The Next Chapter

Chapter 90

A/N Knocked another one out. Hope you guys enjoy it!

Chapter 90

Buffy turned around when Stefan woke up with a gasp. She finished setting the tray down on the desk and walked over to the bed. "Hey." She said with a sympathetic smile.

"Hey." Stefan said, confused.

"Sorry. I'm not trying to be creepy, overbearing little sister, but you didn't sleep very well last night. I heard you yelling." She sat down on the edge of the bed as he sat up and handed him a mug. "I made you coffee."

"Thanks."

"So, bad nightmares, huh?"

"Yeah."

"I had them too…. A long time ago when I came back from the dead…. And woke up in my own coffin."

Stefan reached out and squeezed her hand. "I still say that they should've dug you up first. There's not really a way to tell if someone came back from the dead when they're six feet under."

Buffy smiled and laughed. "Probably." She reached out and gripped his hand. "Wait!" Buffy blinked. "What did you say?"

"You heard me."

"How do you remember that?"

"Because my memories are back."

"Are you serious? How? Did Willow…."

"No. Tessa came here last night and she undid whatever spell fried my brain and it's all back. I can remember everything."

"Stefan, this is great!" She grabbed Stefan into a tight hug.

"You know…. I walk in on this way too much." Damon said from the doorway. "I thought when we got married it would stop, but lo and behold…."

Buffy turned around with a bright smile. "Stefan has his memories back, Damon!"

"What? How?"

"Tessa showed up last night and gave them back."

"Are you sure?" Stefan lifted an eyebrow at him. "Ok, a test. November 5, 1847."

"That's my birthday."

"October 1852."

"You broke my nose trying to teach me how to throw a right hook."

"But not on purpose." Damon looked at Buffy. "Just to be clear." She smiled and he looked back at Stefan. "How much did you pay for that hunk of junk motorcycle you ride?"

"That's a trick question. You bought me that motorcycle, although I'm guessing it was pretty expensive."

"So Tessa just gave you back your memories, no strings attached?"

"Well it wasn't exactly a gift. It was a lot to take in at once, everything from blowing out the candles on my first birthday cake to drowning in a safe."

Buffy's face went from bright and smiling to concerned and frowning as Stefan seemed to venture off into his own world. And it seemed to be a tortured world. "Stefan?" Stefan was holding his coffee mug a little too tight and it shattered in his hand.

"Whoa! Easy there, buddy." Damon said.

"Hey, Stef…." Buffy gently took his hand and started cleaning the broken mug out of his hand. "Where did you go?"

"All that and I still can't remember my own strength." Stefan said, wincing as Buffy pulled a large shard of mug from his skin. Before Buffy could answer, there was a loud bang from the basement. "What was that noise?"

"Uh, that is…." Buffy started.

"We have a situation." Damon said. "Of the doppelgänger variety."

"Katherine?" Stefan asked.

"No, nope, not Katherine."

Stefan stood up. "Then what doppelgänger are we talking about?"

"Amara." Buffy said. "Tessa made Amara the anchor to the Other Side."

"Silas's Amara?"

"The one and only." Damon said.

"Why is she in the basement?"

"Suicide watch. She's a bit…. Well, she's a nutter." Buffy said.

Stefan put on a shirt and headed downstairs to the basement with Buffy and Damon behind him. Amara was locked in the dungeon room screaming and trying to cut loose from her handcuffs. She was screaming that she didn't know.

"What's wrong with her?" Stefan asked.

"Tessa turned her into a block of rock, left her in a box for 2,000 years, probably went a little stir crazy like those deserted island guys who talk to volleyballs." Damon said.

"Oh yeah! Castaway. Tom Hanks." Buffy said. "Interesting movie."

"So, you're telling me that this girl is the only thing holding together the other side?" Stefan asked.

"Yep. She's the anchor."

"Leave me alone!" Tessa screamed.

"As long as she's alive, the other side exists, and we can keep trying to get Bonnie from over there." Damon said.

"Well, considering she's immortal, I'd say we have plenty of opportunity." Stefan said.

"You'd think, except last night she stuck a hole in Silas' neck and sucked the cure right out of him." Buffy said. "Now not only is she completely bonkers, she's completely mortal…. Which means we have to keep her completely human heart beating until we get Bonnie back."

"How would you plan to do that?"

"Silas made a pinky promise that he'd do a spell to bring her back."

"Unfortunately, he's taking his sweet time coming back to Mystic Falls." Damon added. Inside the cell, Amara started to gnaw at her wrist.

"It's your turn, buddy." Buffy said. "I stopped her last attempt."

Damon groaned and opened the door, grabbing Amara's wrist away from her mouth. "Amara, stop!"

"No! No! Let me die. I want to die!" Amara screamed.

"Let's hope love is blind or at least deaf." Damon said over Amara's head. He looked at Buffy "And it's your turn to call Silas."

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Fine." She pulled out her cell phone and walked upstairs. Stefan decided to go with her and followed her up. They wandered into the dining room and Buffy sat down in the head chair by the window.

"Hello, Buffy." Silas said, finally answering his phone.

"Glad you decided to pick up your phone after thirteen previous calls. Is your secretary out sick?" Buffy asked.

"They prefer administrative assistants now, thank you very much. I learned that on the bus. Very nice people on here, by the way."

"You're taking a bus? A bus? Really? We're in a little bit of a rush over here."

"Yeah, but you know what's great about the bus? Open road, Buffy. There's all this time to think, watch every day human beings in their normal environment. Did you know that gas is over $3.00 a gallon at the moment? It seems to really concern a lot of people."

"Oh my god! Seriously? This is not a time to have an every-man crisis. We need you back here to resurrect Bonnie before your off-her-rocker soul mate actually throws herself off her rocker and destroys the Other Side."

"Yeah. I've been thinking about that. Amara needs to die."

"Um…. What?"

"My poor Amara, all those years trapped in stone clearly left her unhinged, so look, if she doesn't want to spend another moment on this earth, then I'm more than happy to put her out of her misery and spend the rest of eternity in the afterlife with her, but listen, if you want to go ahead and kill her and save me the trouble, then please, by all means."

"How about no? Not till you bring Bonnie back. You pinky promised."

"I've been thinking about that, too, Buffy. Remember when I told you that the universe is working to draw our doppelgängers together and your husband laughed in my face? Well, if you don't bring Bonnie back from the Other Side, then you'll be breaking your promise to Elena, and…. Since I'm evil…. The idea of jeopardizing your relationship with your daughter brings me this perverse amount of joy. So I've decided not to help you and I will see you soon. I'm looking forward to all this being over. Bye." Silas hung up.

Buffy shook her head. "Um…. Did we forget that Elena was against this plan in the first place? Idiot." She put her phone back in her pocket.

"Who's an idiot?" Elena asked as she walked into the room. "Hey Stefan."

"Hey, Elena."

Buffy looked between the two and smiled slightly. "So were there sparks when you were Amnesia Stefan?""Wait…. Were?" Elena asked. "Stefan, you have your memories back?"

"Yeah. Uh, Tessa showed up last night."

"Oh."

"It wasn't a nice show up." Buffy said. "She pretty much mind raped him." Stefan shot Buffy a glare, but she just smiled at him. "Just making sure there's no feelings of jealousy." Buffy winked at him and turned to Elena. "And I was saying that Silas is an idiot. He wants us to kill Amara. Or let her kill herself."

"But if she dies, then the Other Side is gone." Elena sat down. "Bonnie will be gone."

"Yeah."

"We need to buy some more time, protect Amara. Maybe we should move her somewhere else."

"Silas is a witch." Damon said, joining the conversation. "He's a living, breathing, GPS tracking device. He'll track her wherever we take her."

"We can't let him anywhere near her until he brings Bonnie back."

"Weren't you listening to anything?" Stefan asked. "He's not gonna bring her back."

"So, what, I should just give up? Come on, Stefan. You got your memory back. You know me probably better than anyone else. Do you really think that I'm gonna give up?"

"You know what? You're right. I do know you. You put your hope in all the wrong places and sometimes in the wrong people. Silas needs to die and put us all out of our misery."

"So long as he's alive, I'm holding out hope that he can still help us."

"Well, as someone who just spent the last 3 months at the bottom of a quarry because of the guy, I wouldn't hold your breath, pun intended. Silas needs to die, and I need to be the one to kill him, end of story." Stefan stormed out of the room.

"What's his problem?" Damon asked.

"He had a bad night." Buffy said. Damon and Elena both turned to look at Buffy. "What? You guys didn't hear him yelling last night?" She looked at Damon. "What am I saying? A tornado wouldn't wake you up."

"That's not true."

"Some mornings it takes me just short of an air horn and large bucket of ice water to wake you up."

"How are you that deep of a sleeper?" Elena asked him.

Damon shrugged. "I, uh…. I feel safe." He looked at Elena's shocked face. "What? You spend over a century making enemies, you don't exactly get a good nights' sleep." He looked at Buffy. "Since you walked into my life…. I feel…. Safe."

"Well, I am a Slayer." Buffy said.

"No, it's not just that." He took her hands. "I've never really had anyone who has my back like you do. I feel safe because I know you're going to be there for me. Even when I'm a crazy, evil, jerk."

Buffy smiled and pulled him closer. "It's because you're my fungus man."

"Should I be grossed out by that?" Elena asked.

Damon laughed. "No. She calls me that because she says that I grew on her like a fungus."

"Ok, now it's kinda sweet."

"Thanks." Buffy said.

Jeremy walked upstairs with Bonnie right behind him. "Guys! Bonnie just thought of something amazing!"

"What?" Elena asked.

"Amara could see Bonnie, and Bonnie could touch her. They made physical contact. It's like Amara's got a foot on each side or something."

"Amara exists in both places at once? Here and the Other Side?"

"Then she's not crazy crazy." Damon said.

"She's just talking to dead supernatural beings roaming around in our basement." Buffy said. "That makes me feel warm and fuzzy."

"That's not the point." Bonnie said.

"The point is if Silas isn't gonna help us, what if Bonnie could be the same thing?" Jeremy asked. "What if she existed on both sides at once? What if she became the anchor?"

"You're right." Elena said. "Jeremy, you're right. So, all we would need is Willow to do that spell." Elena looked at Buffy.

"I'll call her and ask." Buffy said. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and headed for the library as she called Willow.

"Hello, Buffy." Willow said cheerily when she picked up.

"Hello, Willow. How's school?"

"Boring today. All my fun classes are in the beginning of the week."

Buffy laughed slightly. "Well, all classes are boring to me."

"You never were good with school."

"Hated it."

"So, what's up?"

"We need you for a spell."

"What kind of spell?"

"Well, let me give you a little backstory. We found the anchor. And the anchor isn't a thing. It's a person. A very specific person. A person named Amara."

"Silas's girlfriend?"

"The one and only."

"How is she the anchor? I thought she was human."

"Was. Well…. Actually, Tessa made her an immortal hunk of rock for 2,000 years and she got woken up. Sucked Silas nearly dry to take the cure and now she's human…. Again. Now she's on suicide watch down in our basement."

"Fun."

"And now Silas wants us to kill her so he can do the whole love eternal in death thing."

"He backed out on his promise? How surprising. So, what's the spell?"

"Well, Amara is the anchor to the Other Side. That makes her a part of both sides. Here and there. So, Jeremy and Bonnie figured that the anchor could be transferred from Amara to Bonnie. That would make Bonnie technically, sort of, well, alive again."

"She'd still be dead, but everyone could see her. Not just Jeremy…. And sometimes you."

"Yes."

"I could give it a try, but Tessa made the anchor. It's her spell. I'd have a better chance of making it work with her help."

"You seriously want us to ask for her help after we locked her in her house all day yesterday? She was so pissed about it, she came here last night and forced Stefan's memories back on him."

"Poor Stefan. All 160 something years at once? That's a lot to take in."

"He had nightmares last night."

"I can imagine. Ok, so…. I think Tessa will help. I mean, Silas wants Amara to die and Amara wants Amara to die. So other than us, Tessa has the biggest stake against letting that happen."

"I guess that could work."

"Send your husband to ask. He's charming."

"I think I'll go with him because his charming comes with an expiration date for most people."

Willow laughed. "I'm on my way. The rest of my classes be damned."

"Thanks." Buffy hung up and called for her husband.

Tessa opened the door to her cabin and found Damon and Buffy on the porch. Damon gave her a charming smile. "I was hoping we could talk." He said.

"And I was hoping you were my Chinese food. Good bye." Tessa tried to close the door, but Damon stopped it.

"You remember Amara, right? Brunette, brown eyes, little bit crazy from 2,000 years as a rock?"

"What about her?" Tessa walked back into the house and Buffy and Damon followed.

"She took the cure, she wants to die, and we have her." Buffy said.

"But she's alive?"

"For now."

"Silas is literally on his way to kill her." Damon said. "He's completely obsessed with destroying the Other Side so that he and Amara can live happily ever after in the great beyond."

"You were right about these doppelgängers. They do always end up together. How does it feel to say, 'I told you so'?"

"Like I want to shoot fireballs at Silas and drown him in acid." Tessa said.

"See? That's what we thought." Damon said.

"So, how would you feel about us making a deal?" Buffy asked.

Tessa sighed. "I'm listening."

Buffy looked up at Damon. "Would you like to do the honors?"

Damon smiled. "Why sure. So, here's our pitch. In order to keep the Other Side in place, you need something to anchor the spell, right? Something powerful? Like an immortal being powerful? Now, Amara was obviously a great choice until she downed the cure. So, would you consider someone who's dead but stuck on the Other Side a viable candidate?"

"An anchor swap?" Tessa asked.

"We've got a volunteer." Buffy said.

"I'd be making a ghost a human toll booth between our side and the Other Side, giving her the power to interact with our physical world and the supernatural purgatory."

"So what's the problem?" Damon asked.

"I need a massive amount of power to do a transfer spell like that."

"I've got a witch with that much power." Buffy said. "She's on her way to help."

"I can't draw on another witch's power."

"You're not going to need to. Willow's going to do it. You're just going to help since it's your spell."

"We'll still need something to draw on. The moon's not full…. I don't think there's a worthy comet for another couple billion years…."

"Well, you're a big girl. I'm sure you'll come up with something valid for Willow to work with." Buffy turned and started to leave.

"Doppelgängers. They're powerful, mystical, naturally recurring."

"You want doppelgänger blood?" Damon asked. "We've got doppelgängers coming out of our ears. How many do you want?"

"Damon!" Buffy snapped. "I'm sure there's a different way to do it without bleeding our kid and her freaky twins."

"Doppelgänger blood will work." Willow said. She, Damon, Buffy, and Tessa were standing in the living room of the boarding house.

"Are you serious?" Buffy asked. "There's nothing else?"

"It's Tessa's spell. Not mine. If she drew on something powerful to make it work, then that's what we'll have to do for this spell."

"What would you draw on?"

"The Earth. There would probably be a dead spot in the woods where nothing would grow again for a couple hundred years, but I'm sure Tessa's not that advanced." Willow smiled at her.

"I need my necklace." Tessa said, holding out her hand.

"I decommissioned it. You're just going to have to have some help."

"Why would you decommission it?"

"Because you don't need that kind of power, you psychotic fool." Willow smiled and turned around. "I'll be gathering some supplies from the kitchen if you need me."

"Ok." Buffy said, watching the red head walk away.

"So, where's the ancient boyfriend-stealing bitch?" Tessa said.

"This way." Damon gestured towards the basement door.

It was Elena's turn to watch over Amara. She stood up as they approached. "Does she really have to be here?"

"If Willow says she does…." Buffy said, obviously not happy with it either."Don't worry, Elena. Fate says that you get to be with Stefan. Not me. I've got Silas." Tessa sneered. "Now open the door."

"A please wouldn't kill you." Elena said as she opened the door to reveal Amara tied to a chair.

"That'll be all." Tessa walked in and closed the door. "Well, if it isn't the face that launched a thousand doppelgängers. A little birdie told me you aren't enjoying your immortal life." She grabbed Amara's face. "2,000 years, you have nothing to say to me? No apology?"

"I'm sorry." Amara said.

"What was that?"

"I'm sorry."

"Oh."

"That is what you want to hear, isn't it? How I have suffered, how every moment of my life has been a living hell? It has! My sin was falling in love, and I've learned my lesson. You win. You won. Now, please, kill me. Please. Please kill me!"

"Don't worry. When I make someone else the anchor, I will, and since you're nothing more than a non-supernatural human, you'll pass on while Silas is trapped on the Other Side, and then you and Silas, you're gonna spend eternity apart and that is gonna be kind of fantastic for me. Selfishly speaking."

"She's a breath of fresh air." Damon said sarcastically, heading back up the stairs.

"We're going to need you in a little bit, Elena." Buffy said. "You and Amara."

"What for?" Elena asked.

"A spell." Damon said, shutting the basement door behind him.

"Ok, Buffy…. You stand right here." Willow said, positioning her off to the side of the table where Katherine, Amara, and Elena all stood.

"And I need to be here…. Why?" Buffy asked.

"You're…. Our…. Physical connection to Bonnie."

"Jeremy can't do it? Damon and I were going to…. Well, none of your business, but we were going to."

"I'd rather have you here. Now, is Bonnie here?"

Buffy looked around the room and saw Bonnie walk in. Bonnie waved at her and came to stand next to her. "Yeah. She's right next to me."

"Good. It is ok that we're using her grimoire, right?"

Buffy looked at Bonnie. "Yeah. It's ok." Bonnie said.

"She says it's good." Buffy said. "So, if we have her grimoire, why do you need me?"

Willow sighed. "Because I want you here." She turned around and walked over to the table as Tessa walked in and set Bonnie's grimoire on it.

"What is that?" Amara asked.

"It's Bonnie's grimoire." Elena explained.

"A grim what?"

"It's a magic spell book." Katherine said. "Idiot."

"It's a talisman." Willow said. "Since Bonnie can't physically be here, her grimoire will have to do. Tessa…."

"Hands in, palms up." Amara extended her arm shyly but Tessa grabbed her and cut her palm with a blade that had been on the table. The blood fell on the grimoire. "Sorry, love. Did that hurt?"

"I've been through worse." Amara said.

Katherine held out her arm. "Easy, ok? I'm fragile these days." She grabbed the blade while Tessa was holding it by the handle, squeezing it enough that it cut her. She winced in pain and the blood fell on the grimoire as well. Elena smiled and extended her hand to Tessa who just punctured her hand with the tip of the blade. She kept smiling and looked at Katherine while the blood fell on the grimoire, showing no signs of pain.

"Showoff." Katherine said.

Tessa began to cast the spell while Willow stared at her. The blood of all the three doppelgängers formed a triquetra on the grimoire. All the candles flared up before suddenly going out. "No." Tessa said.

"Is it done?" Katherine asked.

"No, it's not done."

The wind started to blow through the room. The lights cracked with electricity and the bulbs exploded. Buffy glanced at Willow and realized it wasn't her. "Silas." Buffy called over to roaring wind.

"Show yourself, bastard!" Tessa screamed.

The room went dark suddenly. "I can't see anything. Can you?" Katherine asked.

"I can see perfectly fine." Buffy said, moving towards the door.

Damon walked in with a flashlight and met Buffy at the door. "Electricity's out in the whole house. What happened?"

"Silas is here."

"Well, Silas owes us a fuse box. Hang on. I only count two doppelgängers. Where's crazy pants?"

"And where's the other crazy?" Elena asked.

Buffy turned around and realized that Tessa and Amara were gone. "Stefan was here. I can smell him. He probably took Amara. Willow?"

"I've got enough to finish the spell." Willow said. "Tessa's powers are pretty much Criss Angel weak."

"What's going on?" Elena asked.

"While Tessa was performing that spell, Willow was draining the spell from her." Buffy explained.

"I was trying to drain all of her magic from her." Willow said. "That way she would be dead dead instead of on the Other Side. Didn't plan on Silas getting back so soon."

"Ok, Elena stay here with Willow. We're going to go find Crazy One and Crazy Two." Damon said.

"But…." Elena started to protest.

"Stay." Buffy ordered, walking out with Damon. They split up and agreed to meet back up by the front door. Buffy found Tessa bleeding to death in the library from a crowbar to her shoulder. She decided to leave her there since she was definitely not going anywhere. After a sweep of the downstairs and the basement, Buffy met back up with Damon. "I found Tessa, but there's no sign of Stefan or Amara."

"They're definitely not inside." Damon said.

"Stefan took her. We have to find him before he gets himself killed."

"No. He's luring Silas away so he can finish this. It's typical Stefan. He'll be fine."

"Damon, he's not thinking clearly. Silas may have been the one that put him in that safe, but we were supposed to get him out of it. We need to find him because we can't lose him again."

Damon took her hands and kissed her forehead to calm her down. "Ok. Let's go find him."

They headed outside and Buffy took a step away, breathing in the night air. She caught the faint scent of Stefan and turned towards it, heading off in that direction. Damon tried to keep up with her, but she was using her super-super powers. Buffy dodged past the low hanging branches and twigs and deftly maneuvered over the downed trees and rocks. She finally made it to the small clearing where Silas was laying dead on the ground, Stefan was siting against a tree, and Amara was kneeling over Silas.

"Our eternity starts now." Amara said, just before she stabbed herself in the gut.

Buffy caught her before she fell over. Her wound was bad, as she'd meant it to be. Buffy wasn't sure if Willow was done with the spell, so there was no way Amara was dying yet. "Come on, Amara." She bit into her wrist and fed Amara her blood as Damon made it into the clearing. "Drink this. Come on." Amara started convulsing and threw up any blood she had taken in. "What…. Ok, stay with me. Just for a little while longer…."

"I've been in hell for 2,000 years." Amara said weakly.

"What's another 5 minutes?"

"Let me die."

"Not yet. Come on, Amara! Five more minutes." Buffy sighed as Amara took her last breath and died in her arms. "Crap!"

"Willow was doing the spell when we left." Damon said. "Maybe it wasn't too late."

"I'm not sure if this was enough time." Buffy laid Amara down and stood up.

"Go." Stefan said. "Go find out. I'll stay here and deal with this."

Damon started to leave, but Buffy turned to Stefan and walked closer to him. "I hope this was what you needed, Stef." She gestured at Silas's body. "I hope now you can start healing."

"I…."

"I've missed you. A lot. And I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry for not being here to save you." She hugged him tightly to her. "You know that if we had known, we wouldn't have stopped until you were safe."

"I know." Stefan hugged her back. He reached out for Damon and Damon joined the hug. "I'm not blaming you guys."

"It is a part of it, though." Damon said. "And we'll be here for you."

"Don't be afraid to ask for help, ok?" Buffy said."Ok." Stefan kissed her forehead. "Now go see if…."

"Buffy!" Elena yelled, running up to them. "It worked! Willow's spell worked! Bonnie's back!"

"That's great!" Buffy said, hugging Elena tightly.

Elena noticed Silas's body laying on the ground. "Oh…."

"Stefan killed him." Damon said.

"So, he's dead? It's over?"

"Yeah, it's over." Stefan said.

"We'll meet you guys back at the house." Buffy said, pulling Damon away.

"Are you ok?" Elena asked Stefan.

"I'm fine." Stefan said.

"Look at me and tell me that killing Silas worked. That you'll be ok now."

"Why is this so important to you?"

"Because I know how much he stole from you."

"Yeah, and he's dead."

"And because while you were suffering in that safe, grasping onto hope, fighting every second so you wouldn't lose your humanity…. I was happy. I got the summer of my dreams and I got Bonnie back….. So I need to know that this worked. I need to know that it's gonna take away all your suffering. I need to know that you're gonna be ok."

"I wanted it to be you. When that safe finally opened and somebody found me…. I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be all of you." Stefan gestured at where Buffy and Damon had left the clearing.

"I'm sorry." Elena reached out and took his hand. "I wish I'd have known. I wish that I'd have listened to my uneasy feeling."

"I know." Stefan pulled her to him, hugging her tightly. "I know."

"I'm going to do everything I can to help you get back to the old Stefan, ok? I promise." Elena looked up at Stefan. "Ok?"

Stefan nodded. "Ok."

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