The Night Haunters

A Night to Remember

Danny dropped the stunned body of a girl, whom she thought was named Elena. Stefan and Caroline looked at her, stunned. There was something about their expressions that made her smirk evilly, exposing her unsheathed fangs in the process. They looked as if they had heard a ghost story and it was coming to life. They were cautious, if not scared of Danny now. She chuckled at what she must look like to them, a slender girl with a hood covering her face and their best friend slumped at her feet. She heard Stefan grit his teeth, and Caroline growl in frustration.

"She was asking for it, you know," Danny said in an icy voice, feeling Mark move to her right side, and Adam on her left.

With both men flanking her like body guards, Danny walked slowly towards the two intruders. She saw them back up when she was about ten feet away from them, both staring at her with a twinge of anger. Danny stopped, making a show of planting first her right foot, then her left, as she stood shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her chest.

"So," Danny sneered. "What brings you here? Because, as I recall, that you were not invited here by anyone important."

Stefan gritted his teeth again, "I'm here for my brother."

"Oh," Danny said as if she'd realized the meaning of life, then her voice sounded puzzled, "That's it? You'd die for that arrogant guy?"

"You're not going to kill me," Stefan smirked, trying to peer through their hoods for their faces, and stopping at Danny's with a puzzled look. He looked at Caroline, who nodded in answer at his expression.

"Oh, of course not!" Danny said in mock exasperation. "My friends are just going to snap your frail necks and then we'll see what Michael wants us to do with you."

"And what if we don't want to be anywhere near you creeps?" Caroline sneered.

"Oh, you don't really have a choice in this one. Boys," Danny said, smirking again. "Have fun."

Mark and Adam looked at each other, and smiled evilly from under their hoods. Then they turned to Stefan and Caroline, both of them getting ready for a fight. Caroline hissed, flashing her fangs at the two men clad in black as they proceeded methodically towards them. They weren't even phased by her threat, still moving at a slow, steady pace. Stefan surged towards Mark, fangs out as he let out a snarl. Mark dropped as soon as Stefan was close enough and swiped his legs out from under him before he could react. As Stefan tumbled face first towards the ground, confused for a split second as to what just happened, Mark clapped his hands on Stefan's chin and the back of his hand. Stefan's neck was snapped before he hit the cold ground.

Caroline's face went blank in shock at how quickly Mark had taken Stefan out, and in that split second, Adam started towards her. Caroline snapped back and faced Adam. She growled and bared her fangs again, her hands clenched into fists. Adam lunged for Caroline when he was five feet away, hands outstretched and fingers hooked like claws. Caroline sent a fist at his face, making contact and causing Adam to lose his balance for a second. Caroline tackled Adam to the ground, wailing him with punches to his face. After ten punches, Adam stopped first her right, then her left fist with his hands. Adam looked up at Caroline, a small line of blood starting from the corner of his mouth to his chin, and smirked broadly. Then, Adam crushed three to four bones in each of Caroline's hands. She screamed and crawled away from Adam, pressing her wounded hands to her chest. Adam wasted no time. He jumped to his feet and closed the distance between him and Caroline in a second. Adam planted his right foot behind both of Caroline's, then he shoved her back and she tripped over his foot, falling onto her back. Caroline's breath left her in a wheeze and she groaned with the dull pain of the landing. Adam walked over to her and knelt next to her head.

"Nap time," He said smiling at her.

Caroline looked up at him silently. Adam looked around, Danny was walking back towards the house, and Mark was hefting Stefan's lifeless body from the ground. Adam turned back to Caroline and quickly snapped her neck without hesitation. Adam then slid a hand across Caroline's shoulder-blades and behind her knees and lifted her up. Danny held the door open for the two men as they carried the vampires inside, and shut it behind them. Danny followed the men, Elena slung over her shoulder, as they made their way to the Basement, the creaking wooden stairs announcing their arrival to Michael. Danny laid Elena down and then pulled up three more chairs, and got more vervain soaked rope.

Soon, Caroline sat between Stefan and Damon, and Elena sat next to Stefan, all of them slumped in unconsciousness. Danny saw Mark and Adam standing to the right of the stairs, feet shoulder width apart, hands clasped begin their backs, and hoods still covering their faces. Thinking they were awaiting further instruction from Michael, Danny stood next to them, mimicking their stance and starring straight foreword. Danny watched through her peripheral vision as Michael paced in front of Stefan, Damon, Elena and Caroline, looking at them like he could read them like a book.

Then, Michael turned his gazed towards Danny, Mark and Adam. He walked over to them, eyeing Mark first.

"Who's shift is it right now?" Michael asked.

Mark didn't move a centimeter, nor did he shift his gaze away from the far wall, "Danny's, sir."

Michael's eyebrows shot up, his gaze shifting to Danny then back to Mark, "And how did our youngest member do in this situation?"

"She took down the brown haired girl easily, and seemed in control when she talked to the other two."

"What do you mean by in 'control'?"

"She intimidated them," Mark said.

"Very good," Michael said. "Very good. Now I would like for Adam and you to stay in gear. Danny, you can go."

Danny relaxed and headed to her locker, eyeing the four intruders. Danny quickly changed into the comfortable clothes she'd worn not to long ago. She transferred the boot knife back into the new pair that she was wearing, and replaced the gear exactly as it ha been in her locker. Then, just as the four bound vampires were regaining consciousness, Danny used her vampire speed and flew up the stairs and through the door, shutting it silently. Danny threaded up to her room, and gently laid herself onto her bed. She stars up at the white ceiling, thinking of her old family. She missed them all more then she thought possible, felt as guilty as ever for leaving them. Danny needed to see them again, whether it was at her own funeral or while they slept, it didn't matter, as long as she knew that they were alright.

Danny heard the door slowly creak open, and a slight footfall followed. The door shut quietly behind him as Aaron stood next to her bed.

"Hey," He said.

"Hey," Danny said softly, turning her head to look at him.

"I heard you handled yourself pretty well," He smiled.

"I guess I did," Danny shrugged, "But I don't think you came here to congratulate me, so what's up?"

"You are something else Danny," Aaron chuckled, "I was going to let you know that Tony and Elsa will be here in an hour or two. They left on assignment an hour after you did."

"Ok, where are Nick, Alex and Jake?" Danny asked.

"They went into town to grab a snack," Aaron shrugged, "They should be back by the time you're done resting."

"Okay," Danny nodded, "So what're you going to do?"

"Well," Aaron shrugged, "Hang around, maybe. I don't know, really."

Danny chuckled nervously, "This is the first time a guy has wanted to stay with me in my room. I thought I'd die before that would happen..."

"Technically," Aaron pointed our with a snicker, "You did."

"Oh, shut up, smart aleck," Danny said, rollings her eyes. "What are you usually doing at this hour? Instead of intruding on girl's privacy."

"Feeding," Aaron shrugged, "Or sleeping. Sometimes I mix it up and scare Elsa."

Danny laughed, "You are bored, aren't you?"

"Very," Aaron admitted.

"Well, I haven't fed in a while," Danny shrugged

"Ah," Aaron said in understanding, "Well, follow me."

Aaron rose and held out a hand. Danny smiled to herself and took his hand as she rose as well and they both slipped through the door and down the hall. They padded down the stairs and turned into the meeting room, then into the kitchen. Aaron grabbed two glasses and Danny snatched a blood bag from the freezer, then they both sat down.

"So," Danny began, "What's your story?"

"My story?" Aaron repeated.

"What you were like before you turned, who turned you, and when. Those kind of things," Danny elaborated.

"Oh, okay," Aaron chuckled, "Well, I was the son of a carpenter, which was what I was learning to be. My mother died giving birth to me, so I didn't know her, but my father said that she was sweet and kind. I grew up in Connecticut during 1890s, and I met the most lovely girl while running errands for my father in 1897, her name was Jessica Smith. She was a beautiful, young girl, probably 16, But she seemed as wise as if she'd witnessed the American Revolution herself. Which, I later found out, she had. She was a vampire, but I didn't know that. We fell in love, and when she fed on me, she compelled me to forget, but she also fed me her blood daily, because she didn't want to lose me. She compelled me to forget that as well, she told me the bite marks she'd left were from a wild animal, and I don't know any better. I never gave it a second thought, because all I could think of was her."

"Then what?" Danny prodded when Aaron took a break to take a drink from his glass.

"She had an ex. A mortal ex, but he was much stronger then I was at the time. And he wanted Jessica back, and she wanted him to go away. So I took it upon myself to stop him from annoying her. Imagine my surprise when the pig-headed idiot tackles me from his porch! When we landed, I was on the bottom and, boy, was he heavy! Practically crushed my rib cage, but the worst was that he made me land on my head, and I got a really bad concision. When I was dazed from that, the guy was pounding my face in with his fists, and eventually he made my skull cave, which meant I was going to die within hours, but he didn't care. I was unconscious anyways, so he thought he killed me, so he threw me onto the bank of a nearby creek. Then I woke up. I was in transition, but of course I didn't know that. So when everything is on overdrive, I start remembering all of what Jessica did to me. Funny thing was, the only reason I was offended that she compelled me to forget was that she didn't trust me with the truth."

"And you didn't mind that you weren't human anymore?" Danny asked.

"Well, not really," Aaron shrugged, "I still had Jessica, and now that I knew the truth, we could spend eternity together. So I was elated that I had died. We had been dating for a few years, I had moved away from my dad, so he wouldn't miss me, and I had no other family, so I had nothing to begin with anyway. But then, while I was serving in world war 2, a vampire hunter...killed her. When I came back, I found her body rotting with a stake jutting out of her heart. I was furious, I was so angry at that hunter that I tracked him down for a whole year, only stopping to fed. And when I found him..."

Danny stared blankly as Aaron broke off into a evil sounding laugh. She gave him a look, "What did you do?"

"Did to him exactly what he had done to me. Only I crammed a years worth of pain into a week," Aaron smiled. "I found him while he was sleeping. So I scared him awake by rattling his pots and pans that were hanging from a rack. Then I used my speed to get behind him and follow him as he checked his kitchen. After he found nothing to worry about, he turned around to see me, in the darkest clothes I had, with as much shadow as you could possibly wish for. Scared him good, cause he knew that I knew that he was unarmed, naked, and as good as dead. I hissed like a cat, which I hadn't done since the 30s, and he went as pale as if he had turned, which gave me an idea. I sped to the doorway just as he reached it and I grabbed his throat and squeezed. I made him black out but I didn't kill him. When he woke up, he was tied to a chair, and I was their starring at him with as much hatred as I'd had for Hitler in those days. Long story, short, I tortured him for a day, force fed him my blood, gave him a slow, and painful death, then when he came back I gave him one drop of human blood so he'd turn, and after that I tortured him like a vampire with vervain and blood starvation. And when the week was out, so was his weak heart."

Danny just stared at him, "And that's when this family started looking for you."

"You are smart," he chuckled, finishing off his drink, "Yes, that's when Nick found me."

"Wow," Danny said, "And if I'm here because I'm like you somehow, then what is it that you and me share?"

"I've heard what Alex and the brothers said about you. I've heard how your a natural at this. How, even with no training at all, you've taken out a vampire that's older then you, and successful scared the other two into thinking that they were screwed. They probably think you have your humanity switch is off or something. Because whenever there's trouble, you don't run, you stand, and you don't even seem to be fazed by it at all. In fact, I think you do better when there's danger, when it's real."

"Wait," Danny said, confused, "Humanity switch?"

"No one's told you?" Aaron raised his eyebrows, "A vampire can turn off his or her emotions. You feel no guilt, fear, or danger. But you can't love, you tend to not care about anyone, you lose compassion. So it's awesome, but it has some setbacks."

"And I act like that when I'm scarring the bad guys?" Danny cocked an eyebrow.

"Exactly," Aaron said, "I, for one, would love to witness it for myself. I heard from the two brothers that when those three vampires showed up, they saw your personality just change. Like the light in your eyes went from a cool flame to a blazing fire. They said that they must have scared those two vamps because they were on either side of you, and you were just you. They said you acted like that was your hundredth assignment."

"Jeez," Danny laughed nervously, "And here I thought I was a nice person."

"You are," Aaron reassured, "But apparently not when someones threatening your family."

Danny shrugged, downing the last of her blood, "It's funny, though. I was always the shoulder to cry on, the one friends trusted with all their issues, cause I always knew what to do. I never was the kind of person that would murder someone though, or snap their necks, trick people. And all of that happened in the part two or three days."

Danny shuddered at that thought. She has done more harm in these past few days then she ever did in her 17 human years. Danny felt sick now, and by the look Aaron was giving her, it was obvious.

"Hey, new vampires emotions are way more exaggerated then normal," Aaron said, "So that means that everything that's good is amazing, and the bad flat out sucks. Trust me, Danny, it's okay. You're alright, still you, but different in a good way."

"Yeah," Danny breathed, "Okay."

Danny remembered the last time she was a human and had to deal with a fight. She remembered feeling nothing but the drive to stop the bully from beating up her friend in 9th grade. Danny had torn off the bully roughly, letting her nails act like claws, digging into the boy'a shoulder. He'd yelped and turned on Danny, blood oozing from his shoulder and staining his shirt. He'd lounged for her, and Danny felt no fear, her icy blue eyes glaring so intensely with indifference and anger that the bully stopped dead in his tracks, long enough for a teacher to march him over to the principals office. Danny remembered blinking a few times as she snapped out of her strange mode, and had helped her friend, who was wandering what had just happened.

"Hello?" Aaron said, waving his hand in front of her face, "Is Danny in there? I'd like to speak with her, please."

Danny blinked, then looked apologetically at Aaron, "Sorry about that."

"What was it?" Aaron said, "'Cause from the look on your face, it seemed pretty memorable."

"You said that when you become a vampire everything becomes more powerful, right?"

Aaron nodded, looking kind of confused.

"Well," Danny continued nervously, "I think I know how I fit in here."

Aaron's eyebrows shot up, "Oh? Do tell."

"Well, when I was in 9th grade, there was this guy who was beating up a friend of mine. I tore him off of my friend and he turned on me instead. But something he saw in my eyes and on my attitude made him stop in his tracks. He stood their long enough for a teacher to drag him to the office. I don't remember feeling anything besides how much I hated him and how angry I was at him. My friend was pretty freaked out about the bully and how I stopped him, but my back was to him so he only saw the bully's face. My friends thought I was bipolar or something, since I was quiet most of the time."

Aaron grinned then laughed loudly, his eyes tearing up slightly, "And you wandered why you fit in here? Geez, Danny! And this was before being a vampire too!"

Danny laughed lightly with him, crossing her arms over her chest, "I guess it should have been a little more obvious."

That made Aaron laugh again, "A little?"

Danny shrugged as she poured herself more blood into her glass and drank, "Yeah."

This time Aaron shrugged, "Training starts for you as soon as we get those four back to Mystic Falls. I would get some rest if I was you."

"Okay," Danny sighed, rising from her seat, "I'll see you tonight?"

"Count on it," Aaron smiled.

Danny woke to the feeling she was being watched. She looked to the door and saw Nick, in his gear, leaning on the door frame with a small smile.

"We are taking two cars for the way back to Mystic Falls, you're going to be riding with me and Aaron. Jake and Tony will be in a white van. The four vampires are blindfolded, bound, and unconscious for now. Go ahead and gear up, I'll be waiting in the meeting room."

Nick turned and left as Danny got up and followed him. She headed down the stairs into the basement, heading straight for her locker. She noticed Mark and Adam, still in their gear, standing guard over the four bound vampires. Danny changed quickly into her gear, clipping her boot knife in her right boot, she strapped her other knife to her right thigh, and flipped on her hood. She nodded in acknowledgement of Mark and Adam's dedication, to which they nodded their thanks. Danny quickly made her way upstairs and to the meeting room, where Tony, Aaron, Nick, and Jake stood in their gear. Danny entered the room and all the men looked at her. They all smiled at the sight of her in the same black clothing and wide hoods as they were wearing. With a nod from Danny that told him she was ready, Nick lead them back down into the basement where they untied the unconscious vampires, who's clothes were soaked through with their blood, and crimson trails marked any exposed skin. Danny felt a pang of pity for these fools, thinking that of they had just listened to common sense and stayed away, they wouldn't be in this sorry state. But the feeling left as fast as it came, they had gotten what they deserved after all.

The men each took a vampire and headed up the stairs with Danny bringing up the rear. They walked through the halls and out the door onto the sprawling front lawn. The girls were tossed into the back of Tony's van while the Salvatore brothers were dumped into the trunk of Nick's Camero. Danny slid into the seat behind the passenger seat, where Aaron sat, just as Nick slipped into the driver seat and turned the key into the ignition. Danny heard Tony's van rattle to life just after Nicks engine purred.

They were on the hidden dirt road that lead to the Manor for about five minutes before they turned onto the highway, heading south towards Mystic Falls. Danny had overheard some bits and pieces of the small town. She'd heard that it had a history of supernatural influence, that it was a breeding ground for trouble, and also that it was home to a lot of supernatural creatures right now. She also heard that the town had a secret Council that fought to cleanse the town, though most of them hadn't even fought a vampire. How foolish of these humans to think they could evict vampires.

"I heard about your little performance with the three strays earlier," Nick chimed on as he hit 75 miles per hour, glancing in Danny's direction.

"Yeah," Danny shrugged, "Aaron and I talked about that a little while ago."

"Oh?" Nick looked at Aaron.

Danny rested her head on the arm rest, closing her eyes and losing track of the conversation after Aaron started talking about her confrontation with the bully. They were heading to the Salvatore's original home, Danny heard. She'd heard bits of conversation about Mystic Falls, and it's reputation for supernatural infestation. After what little Danny had seen made her scoffed at the notion that the town had formed a Council to combat the vampires. Humans fighting vampires seemed the same as mice fighting against cats to Danny, but she knew there were always exceptions, since hearing about the vampire hunter friend of the Salvatore's. Danny wandered that if she was a vampire, then were there werewolves? Danny didn't want that to be true, since the idea of a person morphing into a wolf made her skin slightly crawl in disgust.

Before she realized it, they were in the outskirts of the town, and Danny sat up, rolling her neck to relieve the knots her little nap had given her. They drove through the town until they reached the Salvatore Boardinghouse. Danny opened the trunk and stood aside, letting the men heft the bodies of the intruders. They were joined by Tony and Jake with the two girls halfway to the front door. Danny knew they had to be being watched by someone if these vampires were even close to being in league with the supposed Council.

Then she saw it, a glint in the shadows. A gun. Danny nudged Nick nonchalantly, a signal that she'd seen something. Nick mumbled "Go." and Danny split off from the group, crouching silently into the brush. She made her way to where she saw the glint of metal and was rewarded with the sight of a muscular man, clad in a camouflage jacket and dark jeans. There was a small pile of wooden rounds that rested next to the man's sniper rifle. Next to the man sat a girl with strawberry blonde hair and brown eyes, a pistol resting uneasily in her frail hands. Both wore matching vervain charms around their necks. Their breathing was a controlled rasp, as if they were trying to slow their heart rates immediately after a hard sprint.

The girl seemed to stand guard, looking in every direction. But Danny knew that was futile. It was pitch black, and she was wearing gear designed for this very purpose: to conceal her body in shadow and eliminate any vestige of sound out of the equation. Danny smirked arrogantly, and slid the knife from her thigh sheath. She held it in a reverse grip in her right hand. She felt her fangs lengthen in the anticipation of a fight, her senses going into over drive. She crept up to where she was no more then ten feet away from the humans.

"What are they, Bruce?" The girl whispered, "Some kind of assassin cult?"

"Something like that, Jewel," The man in camouflage shrugged, "They punish rogues."

"So why are we doing this if their taking care of our problems?"

"Because," the man whispered hoarsely back, sounding annoyed, "A vampire is still a vampire. And these vampires know the locations of every vampire in New York. We get those to talk, and we can clean up the entire East Coast."

"So we aren't going to kill them?"

"Head shots knock them out, but if I hit the heart they're done for good. But we need them alive to talk."

Danny glanced at the entrance to the boardinghouse. The Salvatore's and the two girls were unbound and laying limply on the front door. They were all still unconscious, and there was something familiar above them. The crest that had been above the door at the Manor was pounded into the door of the boardinghouse, seemingly permanent. Danny looked back at the man, he was laying down behind his rifle, cheek nestled on the butt of the firearm. His finger itched on the trigger. Danny rose slowly and silently, letting the rays of moonlight darken the shadows that covered her face. She could feel her emotions shutting down, closing out everything but the anger at these humans audacity to even think of attacking her new family.

Danny slowly closed the distance between her and the would-be assassins, moving five of the ten feet and staring with hatred in her eyes at them. The girl was the first to notice, screaming and aiming her side arm at Danny's head. But it only clicked. The safety was on. Foolish girl. But the man was up faster then Danny thought possible for a man of his physique. He looked with disgust and hatred at Danny. While the girl was practically cringing away from her and the man stood firm and tall, both had the same look in their eyes that made Danny grin as evilly as possible, her fangs as apparent as they'd ever been: Fear.

Danny blurred to behind the girl and grabbed both of her arms behind her back, disarming her in the process. Danny used one hand as handcuffs, placing the honed edge of her blade to the girls neck. Danny had sharpened the blade so much that as soon as the blade to touch the girls neck, it seemed, it drew blood.

"What the hell are you doing here," Danny said in a cold monotone.

"We're here for you, bloodsucker," the man said venomously.

Danny pit more pressure on the girls neck, and blood began to flow a little more freely, "I'd be more respectful of the one who holds your girlfriend's life in the balance if I were you."

"I don't think you have it in you," The mans voice was firm, but his face was like an open book and he looked as scared as the girl in Danny's arms was trembling.

"I don't know," Danny shrugged and grinned, showing her fangs again, "She might be tastier then she looks."

The girl started to whimper an trembling all the more as the man spoke, "Please don't do this, vampire. I know there's some humanity left in you. Don't kill her, please."

"So you planned on killing probably hundreds of people, but when you have to lose one measly girlfriend, you get all soft," Danny laughed, "Where's that serial killer spirit? 'Cause I would think of you were planning on cleansing the East Coast, then you'd shoot through your little friend here, since I'm your ticket to the extinction of all vampires."

The man locked his eyes were he thought Danny's were, gritting his teeth, "You're not human, you're a monster. You kill so that you live, and there is nothing that matters to you but yourself. You're despicable."

Danny threw her head back, hissing as her fangs gleamed in the pale moonlight, and sunk her teeth into the girl's shoulder. Blood gushed as Danny hit the vein expertly, it was so much better then the blood bags shed been living off of for the last few days. Warm, salty and metallic, Danny couldn't begin to think of anything that tasted better, because there wasn't. The girl went limp as she became unconscious, and Danny continued to gulp down her blood. Suddenly, there wasn't any blood left to drink. Danny sighed and dropped the girls lifeless body as if it were spoiled food. She looked up at the man, blood smearing her chin as she breathed through her mouth, fangs still extended. Her breathing was ragged and feral.

The man choked back a sob, then he looked back at Danny. He no longer had that hatred in his eyes, since it was replaced by a volatile mixture of contempt and disgust. He reached into his jacket and drew a wooden stake a foot and a half long with blood stains covering it's sharpened end, it was worn smooth from countless uses where he grasped it with white knuckled tension. He looked hurt beyond description. Tears were welling up in his eyes as he spoke.

"Go to hell!" He roared and surged at Danny as fast as humanly possible, maybe faster. Just as Danny's hand plunged into his chest, the man sunk the stake within inches from her heart. Danny let out a low feral growl and tore the mans heart out of his chest before he could kill her. The light left his eyes as he fell in a crumpled heap in the brush next to his girlfriend. The stake slipped out of her chest as he fell. Danny looked to her hand, his practically still beating heart in her hands, then back to the two people she'd just killed.

Then she fell to her knees and began to cry softly in guilt. She knew she didn't have to kill that man and his girl, but she did anyway. She should have let them go, let them live their mortal lives as they should have, but she'd taken away that chance for both of them in five seconds. Danny dropped the man's heart and it rolled away from her as as felt a hand rest gently on her shoulder.

"It's okay, Danny," Nicks compassionate voice was as soft as silk and as warming as a fur coat, "It's alright, it was either you or them and we couldn't lose you. Especially me, Danny."

"Oh, God, Nick," Danny practically wailed, rising and burying her head in his chest, "I did this."

"You'll be fine, Danny," He said reassuringly, softly stroking her black hair, twirling her red highlight, "When I'm done with you, you won't ever feel this way again. I'm here for you, Danny. Now, and forever."

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