A/N Sorry about all the delays. Got a lot on my plate right now.
I also wanted to take this time to mention that I'm not following the cannon from the Buffy comic books. I'm not their biggest fan. I'm going with what I feel is right for THIS story and trying to blend the mythology from both worlds. Yes, Willow is super powerful, but she's also got rules to follow (just like all witches do) and there are certain magics that she wants to stay away from because, as she knows all too well, they're dangerous and she has a tendency to go overboard with the dark magics.
Buffy and Damon laid in bed in their room and picked at some grapes and cheese on a plate between them. "This is nice." Buffy said, letting Damon feed her a grape before he kissed her.
"It is nice." Damon said against her lips.
"It kind of reminds me of our honeymoon."
"Oh, you know…. Quiet, peaceful…. Our life rocks when it's like this."
"Yeah, but it is our life and just like our honeymoon, it means that somebody's going to kick down that peaceful door and shatter the peace and quiet."
Buffy let out a groan. "Don't jinx it!"
"In 10…. 9…."
Buffy used her super and was suddenly on top of Damon, pinning him to the bed with his arms above his head. "Can't you just let me enjoy the moment?"
"…. 6…. 5…."
"…. 3…. 2…."
Buffy shoved her lips onto his to silence him, but of course the door burst open and Silas strolled in, opening the curtains with his magic.
"1…." Damon groaned.
"Good morning, frenemies! You know, I'm only a few hours into my old life as a witch, but somehow, the sun feels warmer." Silas walked to the window and let the sun hit his face. "Probably because I'm not cursed with having to outlive it anymore."
"What's with the home invasion, Silas?" Damon asked, sitting up as Buffy moved to sit between his legs.
"Well Damon, after 2,000 years of a miserable existence, I finally get to die."
"Sounds like fun." Buffy growled.
"Oh, I'm sorry…. Was I interrupting something?"
"Only our lives, but we'll get over it once you're dead." The blonde got up and walked around Silas, heading out into the hallway. "Elena!"
"I think I pissed her off." Silas said to Damon.
"We don't get a lot of nice moments to ourselves when we're home."
"I really am sorry." Silas said. "As an advocate for true love and someone who has been denied the same thing you two have, I completely understand. I could go ahead and kill myself and not bother you."
Damon rolled his eyes. "Nope. One: You're not getting out of this. And two: I thought you were rooting for Buffy and Angel."
Silas shrugged. "I'm evil, remember? I like to drive wedges. Obviously it didn't work. You two are pretty solid." He looked around him at the room. "This is a lovely room."
Damon shook his head in confusion. "Thanks."
Buffy walked back in with Elena. "Ok, so how does this work?" Elena asked.
"We all know that Tessa was a real vengeful bitch. Your doppelgänger, Amara died at her hands, but today, after 2,000 years, Amara and I will finally reunite." Silas said.
"Skip the mushy parts." Damon said. "My wife here is just trying to have a good day, and there are promises that she's expecting you to keep."
"Oh, you don't think that I keep my promises?"
Buffy glared at him and Elena said, "You said that now that you're a witch again, you would bring Bonnie back from the other side."
"I did and I can."
"And you promised Damon you would do that if he helped you." Buffy said.
"But you're kind of evil. No offense." Elena said.
"So we're just trying to figure out how we can trust that one of your last acts in the world will be to bring my kid's best friend back." Buffy said.
"Did you want me to pinky swear?"
"It's weird that you even know what a pinky swear is."
"Just tell her how it's gonna go down." Damon said.
"I just want to destroy the other side so I don't get stuck in that pit of a purgatory when I finally do kill myself." Silas said. "Before I do that, I'll bring Bonnie back. And being the amazing and incredible and all-powerful witch I am, I can totally do both things. I just have to find the anchor first and destroy it."
Buffy raised an eyebrow. "The anchor?"
"It's the object Tessa used to bind the spell when she created the other side. If I destroy it, the spell is broken. No more supernatural limbo."
"And I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you know where this anchor is."
"I do. It's in New Jersey."
Damon shook his head. "New Jersey? The supernatural other-world is bound by an object in Snooki's backyard?"
"It's in a stockyard and it's being shipped out. So, we really need to…." Behind Silas Jeremy had walked into the room carrying a crossbow. Silas trailed off and sighed. "Hello, hunter. Banner day for you, huh? Didn't you and the Bennett witch used to…." Silas clicked his tongue suggestively and whistled.
"Hey, knock it off." Elena snapped. "Ok? It's ok Jer. We all want the same thing today. Silas dead, Bonnie alive."
"AKA, put the damn crossbow down, Pocahontas." Damon said.
"We're just supposed to believe that he's going to bring Bonnie back to life out of the goodness of his heart?" Jeremy asked.
"Well, I hope not. I mean, I am kind of a monster." Silas said.
Buffy walked over and took the crossbow from Jeremy. "I told you to stay out of my weapons stash." She turned and casually pointed the crossbow in Silas' direction. "However, I'm actually with Jeremy right now. I really want to pull this trigger and my aim is better than his. So, let's hit the road before I 'accidentally' send you to the Other Side ahead of schedule."
"You know, guys, I'm feeling really ganged up on right now. K? I would hate to lose my temper and do something…." Silas raised his hand up, fire shooting from his fingers. "Crazy." While Elena and Damon took a step back, Buffy walked over and blew out Silas's fingers. He laughed quietly at her annoyed face. "Ah. Man, I really love being a witch again. I feel like I'm constantly reinventing myself. I'm like a supernatural Madonna, don't you think?"
"I think Madonna is a supernatural Madonna. You're just a bored witch past his expiration date. Get packed. We're leaving for Jersey." Buffy disengaged the crossbow and took it back to her weapons' room. Her phone rang and she answered it. "Hey, Will."
"Tessa is locked in that cabin until the sun goes down." Willow said.
"Thanks. That gets her out of our hair for today. Apparently we're headed for Jersey."
"She's pissed about that necklace being missing."
"Oh well. Point for our team for getting it first."
"I've decommissioned it so even if she finds a way to get it back, she won't be able to use it."
"I wonder what she wanted it for."
"Guess we'll never know. I've got to head to class. Talk to you later."
Thirty minutes later, they were all gathered downstairs. "All right. We gotta get going." Silas turned to Jeremy. "You grab a crowbar, or 4 from the garage."
"What for?" Jeremy asked.
"Does it matter?" Silas looked at Elena. "You are not going. Men only." He glanced at Buffy. "And Slayer."
"Are you serious?" Elena looked at Buffy. "He's not serious."
"Actually, I'm 100% serious." Silas said before Buffy could answer. "She's a freaky carbon-copy of my one true love, Amara. You can understand why I don't want to stare at her imposter face all day."
"That makes no sense." Damon said.
"It would make complete sense if you were ever in love with somebody who looked exactly like her."
"This is ridiculous." Elena snapped. "We're bringing my best friend back from the dead. I'm going."
Silas raised his arm up and summoned an arrow from Jeremy's set, sending it flying into Elena's leg. "Hey!" Buffy yelled, running over to her to help Elena pull the arrow from her leg.
"The next one goes in the heart."
"Yes, it does." Buffy suddenly had Silas pinned to the wall with the arrow just above his heart. "Yours. I'm not entirely for this plan, so I don't really have too many qualms about killing you and leaving your ass stuck on the Other Side." She smiled slightly when she felt him trying to use magic on her mind. "You can't mess with me. My best friend is a witch and you're not getting through her many, many layers of protection spells." Buffy released Silas and threw the arrow into the wall beside his head. "Let's get going. We have until sundown before Tessa tries to stop you."
"What do you mean?" Silas asked.
Buffy just smiled as she headed for the door. "We'll be back Elena."
"But…." Elena started.
"We don't have time to argue. Go find Stefan and make sure he's ok."
Elena groaned. "Fine. I'll go find Stefan."
"Thank God." Damon said as they pulled up to a warehouse near the docks in Jersey. Buffy had been on the phone with Stefan for the last ten minutes. He was at Tessa's house. Elena had already contacted him and he was telling her that she was mad at Buffy and Damon for snapping Stefan's neck to help Silas. Stefan had tried explaining that he wasn't mad at Buffy, so Elena shouldn't be either, but Elena was mad that no one had involved her.
Buffy got out of the car and hung up the phone. "I just tried Elena. She's mad enough that she didn't answer me."
"She'll get over it." Jeremy said. "Especially once we bring Bonnie back."
Buffy lowered her voice so Silas couldn't hear. "Yeah, but she'll probably be even more mad if she goes over to Tessa's to talk to Stefan and gets stuck in the house with them."
"Why would she get stuck?" Jeremy asked.
"Willow put a spell on Tessa's house to keep her locked in for the day. Hopefully that'll be long enough for us to get this over with."
"I didn't think of it. It was Willow's idea."
"It's still smart."
Damon stood by the door to the warehouse. "Are you two done with the whispering finally?"
"Yes, honey. Let's break into the warehouse now." Buffy smiled and walked up to join her husband. He sighed and broke the door handle. He held the door open for Buffy before following her in. "Ok." Buffy looked at the thousands of crates in front of them. "Where is this anchor thingy?"
"I have no idea." Silas said.
"What do you mean you have no idea?"
"Give me some credit, woman. I did psychically dive into Tessa's mind to see this specific warehouse.""What does it look like?" Jeremy asked.
"Again, I have no idea. Tessa created it after she locked me away in a tomb for 2,000 years and left me to starve. Remember? Remote island, creepy hallucinations?"
"Wait…. You don't know where it is or what it looks like?" Damon asked.
"It binds a spell to a supernatural hell dimension. It's not going to look like a freaking IKEA sink." Silas turned to Buffy. "You're a supernatural bloodhound. Start sniffing."
Buffy narrowed her eyes at Silas and took a step towards him. Damon caught her arms and turned her around. "We can split up and start looking. Buffy, you're with me."
"I thought we were splitting up." Buffy said.
"Either he wants to get nasty with you in a dirty warehouse or he's trying to keep you from killing me." Silas said. "Or both."
"Just…. Go start looking." Damon snapped, pulling Buffy towards another corner of the warehouse.
"Ugh! That guy just bugs me." Buffy groaned as they started picking through boxes.
"I know. We'll be rid of him soon enough."
"I mean, why can't things just be super easy for once? See bad guy, kill bad guy, celebrate with champagne in our big ass tub."
Damon chuckled. "Where's the fun in easy?"
"Oh, I don't know. The celebrating in the big ass tub sounds like fun."
He smiled and dropped the lid of the crate he was looking through. Walking over behind Buffy, he wrapped his arms around her waist and kissed her shoulder. "You're right. That does sound fun."
"Quit dawdling." Silas said, walking by. "We need to find this thing before the Travelers show up."
Buffy and Damon both groaned and released each other. "Why are they so interested in this anchor?" Damon asked.
"They hate me for creating the immortality spell and they know the anchor's the only thing standing between me and my soul mate. Every love story needs to have one thing that keeps getting in the way. Kind of like you, Damon."
"Uh, in case you missed the memo," Damon held up his left hand to show the white gold wedding band there. "I got the girl. Looks like I'm ahead of you in that game." Silas rolled his eyes and walked away. Damon smiled. "Ha!"
Buffy's phone rang and she pulled it out of her pocket. It was Stefan. "Hey, Stef. How's it going?"
"Do I have you to thank for being stuck in this cabin?" Tessa asked.
"Ah, Tessa…. The all annoying witch. Actually, no. You can thank Willow for that."
"Well, since I'm occupied at the moment, I need you to go ahead and kill Silas for me."
"Well, he's kind of a control freak and he really wants to off himself…. Himself. I'd tell him to see a shrink about that whole suicide thing, but frankly…. I'm cheering him on. Kill away, little Silas!"
"You mean, after he destroys the Other Side? Yeah, that's not gonna happen. Plus I want him dead before he has the pleasure of finding the anchor."
"Not following. Splainy?"
"Kill him. Now."
"Buffy…." Elena said in the background. Buffy looked up at the ceiling in exasperation.
"Did I mention I lured your brat here to me? I used the oldest trick in the book: jealousy of Stefan! Thought you should know."
"Gee, thanks." Buffy heard Elena start yelling in pain and Stefan yelling her name. "Stop it! Stop hurting her! I can't kill him yet. He has to do something for me first."
"Is that something more important than Elena? Because your little witchy BFF put a spell on this house and bound it to the sun, which means we're trapped here until sundown, which means you have until then to kill Silas or I kill Elena. With a face like Amara's, it might be cathartic. Bye now." Tessa hung up.
Buffy started to throw the phone, but Damon caught it. "Let's not break another phone. Our provider is going to stop providing you with new phones."
"You need to save Elena." Bonnie said, suddenly appearing behind Damon.
Buffy sighed. "I know!"
Damon looked behind him, confused. "Oh, did Bonnie follow us?"
"I'll tell Jeremy to meet you outside." Bonnie walked off in one direction and Buffy led Damon towards the door.
A few minutes later, Jeremy walked out and joined them. "We can't kill Silas. Silas is the only one who can bring Bonnie back and he's not going to bring her back until right before he destroys the Other Side."
"Yeah. Well Tessa wants to do it now." Buffy snapped. "Something tells me patience isn't her strong suit."
"You promised. You promised Elena that she would see Bonnie again."
"You don't think I'm aware of that?"
"Look at it this way," Damon said. "If Tessa kills Elena, guess who's not going to make it to Bonnie's welcome home party?"
"The plan's off Jeremy. Bonnie's not coming back. I'm sorry. And I'm sorry to Bonnie. Maybe Willow can figure something else out." Buffy's attention moved to the warehouse and she disappeared, the door slamming shut the only evidence of where she'd gone.
"Sul opraem chele kouzlo." A man said, standing in front Buffy.
She cocked her head in confusion. "I've met a lot of witches in my short time on this world. I can honestly say that I've never quite heard that one before." Another guy appeared behind her followed by a two more. "No, don't tell me…. You must be Travelers." All of them began to chant the same words and Buffy's daylight ring began to malfunction. Her skin began to boil and she jerked her arm away. "That's a bit rude, going for my ring."
Damon appeared behind the Traveler in front of Buffy and the guy collapsed, his heart ripped from his chest. "Nobody messes with my wife."
"You're too sweet." Buffy turned to the other Travelers. "You know, we're about to do your little euro-tribe a favor. We wanna kill Silas too."
"That's the problem." One of them said. "We don't want him dead yet."
"Well, that's not gonna work for us." Damon said. He grabbed a blade from the next Traveler closest to him and threw it into another Traveler's chest.
Buffy sighed and ripped out the heart of the last Traveler. "Ugh! I hate doing that. I never have a towel on hand to clean up."
Damon smirked and grabbed one of the cloth tarps covering a pile of crates. "Here."
"Thank you." Buffy wiped the blood off her hand as her phone started ringing. "That's probably Tessa again."
"Well, the blood's not off my hand yet, so she'll have to wait a minute."
"Want me to answer it?"
"No. I want her to wait." Buffy smiled brightly as she cleaned her hand off. When she was satisfied, she pulled out her cell phone and answered it. "Hello!"
"Is he dead yet?" Tessa snapped.
"There you are." Damon said as Jeremy walked in. "Man up. We're under attack."
"Nope." Buffy said to Tessa. "He's not dead yet. I was just ambushed by some of your travelling circus inbred cousins. Any idea why Travelers, who hate Silas, would want to stop me from killing him?"
"They probably want his blood."
"For the cure? They're not immortal. Who do they want it for?"
"Think about it, Buffy. The Travelers aren't fans of immortality. I had to bind the Other Side to something, something that would last forever, something that Silas couldn't destroy."
"His snuggley security blanket he's had since birth?"
"Something a little closer to his heart. 2,000 years old, immortal, indestructible. You're a quick girl, Buffy. Figure it out." Tessa hung up and Buffy put her phone back in her pocket.
"What did she say?" Damon asked.
"Well, that makes sense since she wants Silas dead and he's not."
"No…. Well, that, yeah…. But, well…. Tessa may be insane, but she's a genius. 2,000 years old, immortal, indestructible."
"I'm not sure if you're babbling or…."
"The anchor isn't a thing. It's a person."
"What?" Jeremy asked.
"She never killed Amara. She made Amara the anchor."
"That is genius!" Damon said.
"Right!?" Buffy shook her head. "So…. I'm thinking now that we probably need to find her. Or Silas."
"Or both. Jeremy, you go that way." Damon said, pointing towards another corner of the warehouse. "Buffy…."
"I'll head back outside and loop around the place. See if I can hear anything from Silas…. Or if there's any more Travelers."
"And I guess I'll head this way." Damon turned and headed in the opposite direction of Jeremy.
Buffy headed back outside and started around the warehouse. She heard a choking noise among some crates in an alleyway and headed for them. The smell of blood drifted to her just before she heard someone muttering and stumbling into things. A girl who looked like Elena with blood around her mouth stumbled around a stack of crates a moment later.
"Stop talking. It's not up to you. Leave me alone. Leave me alone. Please, leave me alone. Leave me alone." Amara saw Buffy standing there and moved closer to her. "Are you real?"
"Uh…. Are you?" Buffy asked, feeling a bit confused.
Stefan and Elena walked through the front door. They obviously didn't see Buffy, Damon, and Jeremy sitting in the living room. "Well, uh, have a good night." Stefan said.
"Yeah. It's weird. Even with no memory, you're still you."
"Well, Tessa was gonna kill you, and you don't seem like you deserve that, so I was just going on instinct, that's all."
"Exactly. That's what I'm saying. Your instincts were always to protect me, so, thank you for…. for just being you."
"Well, have a good night."
"Stefan Salvatore sleeps in his own bed tonight." Damon said as Stefan headed up the stairs. Buffy shot him a glare. "Does that mean he stopped hating us or did the power of the doppelgänger universe push him into the car with you?"
"Well, he…. Uh…. Saved my life, so I'll take that as not hate." Elena said.
"Victory in a day otherwise marred by failure." Damon lifted his bottle of bourbon and Jeremy raised his glass.
Elena looked at him with a shocked face and turned eyes to Buffy. Buffy shrugged and took a drink from her glass. "We didn't get Bonnie back. He gets a pass." She said.
"Did I say anything?" Elena asked.
"You were shooting me judgy eyes."
"Tell her it's for the best, Jer." Bonnie said behind Buffy, causing her to jump and spill her drink.
"Warn me!" Buffy snapped, getting up and wiping the liquid off her pants and shirt.
"Sorry. Just…. Please tell Elena that it's for the best."
"No." Jeremy said. "No, I won't because it's not."
"What did I miss?" Damon asked.
"And she needs to ring a bell when she decides to play the Ghost of Christmas Past. At least he had chains to rattle." Buffy said.
"She wants us not to worry." Jeremy said.
"We're gonna keep trying, Bonnie." Elena said, obviously not able to see her. "Ok? It's not over. We've dealt with much worse."
"Well, Silas is M.I.A. and out and about, which is pretty bad." Damon said.
"And Amara's been cured, which is even worse because now she's easy to kill, so the fate of the Other Side, where Bonnie currently resides, rests on a living, breathing human being that we now need to protect." Buffy added.
"We need to protect?" Elena asked.
Buffy wlaked over and wrapped an arm around Elena's shoulders, guiding her towards the door. "Take a walk with me." Damon got up and followed them out to where Buffy's car was parked. He opened the trunk to reveal Amara wearing a piece of fabric covering her mouth. That didn't stop her from screaming when she saw Elena.
"Elena, meet Crazy Pants. Crazy Pants, meet Elena." Damon said.