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Undone By Love

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Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to either The Vampire Diaries or Buffy the Vampire Slayers. None of the characters are mine!

Chapter One: Catching Up

*******Dover, England*******

Elijah stood out on the third story balcony that was outside his room at the slayers' England stronghold. It was a very old mansion that Rupert had said had been in the Watcher Council's possession for generations. It was located outside of Dover, a not too big city in Southeast England. Dover faced the English Channel—a direct route to France. Being here brought back memories long forgotten. They had once lived in Brighton a town further south. That was when most of his family had still been together nearly four hundred years ago. However, this place was vastly different.

He looked down and watched about a hundred or so young ladies of various shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities be put through their paces by Kennedy and the intense Mr. Woods. A son of a slayer himself, Robin Woods had yet to relax around Elijah. He had trouble grasping that Elijah and his line were truly unique. The sight of the women training never ceased to amaze him. They had so much power, so much potential. None had to make a pack with the devil to get it. Instead, a small slip of a girl had changed the fabric of the world with her magic. Elijah still had trouble grasping it. His mother and her best friend had been powerful witches. Yet Willow had somehow channeled the power in an ancient scythe to awaken the slayer power in women all over the world.

He had been here six weeks. Every day was full of purpose. Coming here was the best decision he had made in a long time. When he had first arrived, it had taken some time to get used to being around so many people.

Flashback :

He and Rupert, Buffy's watcher and obvious father figure, had spent most of the flight to England sharing information. Elijah had found the Slayer's Watcher to possess a formidable mind and well versed in many subjects. His grasp of history and languages was extraordinary. The respect and affection all the young women had for him was apparent. He was so British, so different from Buffy and her friends. However, his apparent differences seemed to be what they loved the most about him. His manners and intelligence made Elijah connect with him much more quickly than he normally did to new people. Rupert was like friends he'd known in another life. It was refreshing.

On the flight to England, Rupert had filled him in on the highlights of his early years with Buffy and how much he had to deviate from his training and defy tradition to mentor her. In the history of slayers, Rupert had said Buffy Summers stood out as exceptional, without equal. He had known instinctively that the rules and traditions he had been taught to hold so sacred would not work with the very American girl. What was apparent to Elijah that Rupert didn't seem to realize was that every student can only be as great as their teacher allows them. Under a different mentor, Elijah knew Buffy would never have reached her potential. As much as the world owed Buffy, they owed Rupert Giles. When Elijah thought of the difference between himself and his brother Niklaus, he knew it was partly that Elijah had always been loved and nurtured. His brother had not.

Rupert had decided to not explain who or what Elijah was when he first arrived. Instead, he said it would be better if it came from Buffy. Since Buffy was coming in for the memorial services of their fallen friends, he thought she should be the one to share. Buffy was going to be gone more now, and Rupert wanted her stamp of approval on their new recruit to be public and without any doubts. Elijah didn't mind. It gave him a chance to observe and take note of the new players.

From what Elijah could tell, Rupert was in charge of the slayers when Buffy was not on the premises. Rupert explained that Faith was not cut out for the task even though Buffy now considered Faith the most powerful and experienced next to her—the one she depended on the most when it came to slaying. Willow was considered Buffy's equal in all things, but since she didn't aspire to command the slayers, the task fell to Xander and Kennedy, Willow's ex-girlfriend.

Rupert still didn't know what to think about Xander Harris, the one-eyed Watcher in training. He would never possess the knowledge or skill of Rupert. His mental capacity wouldn't allow it. He had no obvious special skills or powers, yet he was loved and adored by all, especially Buffy and Willow. He had foolishly thrown himself into Buffy's mission as a young man without thought of consequence or concern for his own well-being. Elijah detected no sexual bonds between him and the women, yet his loyalty was without question. He had sacrificed the woman he had loved and his eye in the Slayer's battle and didn't seem bitter over the fact. That kind of loyalty couldn't be bought or compelled, and Elijah couldn't help but admire that in the man.

However, it was his sense of humor that Elijah found so unusual. Like his brother Kol, the man sometimes didn't have an off switch, yet the man possessed no malice or hatred. Nor did he understand there were some things you didn't speak of in polite company.

"So Elijah, can I call you Eli?" Xander asked him the first morning he was with him in England.

"You may if you don't value the use of your tongue," Elijah said with a small smile.

"You may be serious, but I'm going to pretend it was a joke!" Xander said with a grin. When Elijah remained silent, he continued, "Relax. I get it. No nicknames. I guess when you've had the same name for a thousand years, it'd be hard to get used to something else anyway." Elijah's somber silence didn't work to properly intimidate the young man. "I've spent too many years with a certain disapproving Brit. I'm immune to stony silences as a form of punishment!"

"So what exactly do you do with all these women?" Elijah asked when it became apparent the man was not going to leave his side. Since the young man was not going to go away, he might as well learn what he could about his new surroundings.

"Not what I'd like!" Xander replied with a mischievous grin. "Can you imagine? All these women, all the time, and I can't seem to get lucky with any of them."

One of the women in question walked by and overheard. "Xander, you know if I was into guys, I'd totally do you!"

"Very funny, Kennedy!" Xander said, obviously not believing the girl.

When the girl walked away, Xander lowered his voice and said, "That's Willow's ex. She's still a bit broken up over Willow dumping her."

Elijah turned and looked at the young lady, not finding her anything special. "I'm not impressed," he said.

Xander snickered. "She takes some getting used to. She's very different from Tara, and I think that's why Willow went for her. She was pretty much Tara's opposite," Xander explained.

"Tara? That was a woman Willow loved?"

"She was Willow's first girlfriend. Willow didn't know she was gay until Tara. She was in love with Oz. When he left her because he couldn't control his wolf, she was devastated. Then she met Tara. Tara was sweet and shy. She was a witch, too, but she didn't have much confidence in herself at first. Actually, she was the first one to recognize that Willow was abusing magic. They broke up over it. Then Willow finally stopped using magic cold turkey. However, that wasn't the best solution because when they made up and Tara was killed by someone that was trying to kill Buffy, Willow went all Dark Willow. It wasn't pretty," Xander said with a shudder at the memory.

"Yes, I've witnessed that side of Willow," Elijah said dryly.

"You witnessed a taste of it. She didn't try to kill all her friends or destroy the world this last time, so it's safe to say you didn't get the full version. Lucky for all of us," Xander said, for once losing his perpetual smile.

Elijah examined him closely. It seemed he would get all the information he needed from this man, who obviously had no filter. "If Willow is so powerful, why hasn't she given you back your eye?" Elijah asked.

Xander looked startled at the suggestion, and it was clear the idea had never occurred to him before. "Give me back my eye?"

"She is possibly the most powerful witch to walk the earth in generations. She rose Buffy from the dead, and she can teleport and do extraordinary things with just her will alone. Surely, she could do something so simple?" Elijah replied.

Xander's one eye widened. "It honestly never occurred to me to ask. When Caleb poked out my eye, we had very little time to react. Closing the hellmouth was our focus—my eye didn't seem that important," he said.

"It's your eye. What could be more important?" Elijah pointed out.

Xander opened his mouth to reply and then shut it. It was obvious he hadn't considered it.

"Maybe you should ask her," Elijah suggested.

"Maybe I will," Xander said with a dazed look in his eyes. Elijah started to get up when Xander held up his hand. "Wait a sec. I wanted to ask you something. Do you think Will is safe with your sister?"

"Are you serious? The woman easily contained and tortured my brother, the deadliest being I knew until meeting her," Elijah said dryly.

"Well, that's not her normal self. I was talking more about her emotional well-being rather than her physical. Although you guys are wicked fast, it is possible for your gorgeous sister to hurt Will before she could react," Xander said.

"My sister is very sensitive and temperamental," Elijah said. "It's not a good idea for your friend to disappoint her. Nor should she make her angry." He got up, ending the conversation. Xander wasn't very happy with his reply, but it was the truth. He loved his only sister, but sometimes she was too much like Klaus.

Buffy and the Mystic Fall crew arrived two days after he arrived there.

The Gilberts were clearly excited to be in another country. Elena greeted him with a warm smile.

"Elijah! Hey! Isn't this place amazing?" she asked excitedly.

"Well, I spent a few hundred years living here in the United Kingdom, so I ceased to be amazed a long time ago," Elijah said, smiling at her enthusiasm. "I'm surprised you and your friends had passports. Most Americans don't, especially those your age."

"Our parents promised us a European vacation after graduating from high school right before our freshmen year, so we got passports four years early. We were so excited at the prospect. Matt's mom hadn't disappeared then. She and my mom were best friends," Elena explained. None of them could've imagined how soon all their lives would change. Most dreams like a European vacation were long forgotten.

"That's fortuitous," Elijah said. He glanced at the Donovan kid who was staring wide eyed at his surroundings and all the beautiful women running to and fro.

"Most definitely!" Elena agreed. "Of course, after my parents died and Matt's mom took off, we quit talking about it."

Elijah noticed that one of her friends was not in the group. "Where's the lovely Caroline?" he wondered.

"She skipped town with your brothers and missed the first week of school. Vampire or not, her mom put her foot down about missing any more school so soon," Elena explained.

"Ah. I see. She has made quite an impression on both my brothers," Elijah remarked with a smile.

Elena grinned and was called away.

The day after the memorial, Buffy gathered all the slayers and explained who and what exactly Elijah was. Many of the girls had battled vampires and demons. Kennedy especially voiced her disbelief that Elijah was anything special. Buffy decided a demonstration was in order. She had Elijah square off with both her and Faith. He showed the girls how fast he could move. He demonstrated his strength—something he hadn't done since he'd been turned. It was odd being the focus of so much attention. However, he understood Buffy's strategy. It was important that the women learn what a useful tool he could be. And that was exactly how Miss Summers saw him—as a useful tool. Her busy brain rarely stopped planning battles. He could see it in her eyes. She may pretend to be retiring somewhat in Mystic Falls, but Elijah would bet that she would know everything that was going on here in her absence. A slayer could never escape her calling. It was imprinted on them from the moment they were chosen.

After Elijah was put through the paces, Buffy explained that he could not be killed. Elijah looked sharply at her. It seemed she was not sharing with the group the power in her scythe. He could see the benefits of keeping that a secret. If they believed he was invincible, they would both fear and trust him more—trust him to help protect them when it was needed.

"I don't believe that!" Kennedy scoffed.

Buffy gave him a questioning glance. He nodded, giving his permission. Although it went against his instinct, he stood still and allowed her to stake him.

The girls gasped as his body changed in color for a few moments.

He heard one of them ask, "He doesn't turn to dust?"

"He's not dead," Buffy said.

It wasn't until he pulled the stake out of his own heart that they believed it. A suggestion was made to set him on fire.

Elena stepped forward. "Well, after I daggered him that one time, my friend Damon took a blow torch to his body. All it did was burn his clothes," she said.

Elijah frowned at her. He didn't know Damon had done that. However, it shouldn't surprise him.

"Daggered? What does that mean?" someone asked.

"Elijah has one vulnerability that is not important nor necessary for any of you to know," Buffy said firmly. "It's basically a temporary immobilization. However, he is our ally and I hope to make him our friend." It was clear to Elijah that Buffy was setting him up as the strong man they could turn to in her absence.

The day she left she found him in the library talking with Rupert. Xander and Willow were by her side.

"Elijah, what are your thoughts about all this? Being here?" Buffy inquired. She sat down at the table across from him.

"I think this is an extraordinary thing you've accomplished here with these young women. They are focused and well-disciplined. It's impressive," he said, meaning every word.

"I've spent a decade fighting vampires and demons. I was fifteen when I became a slayer. There was never a chance at a normal life," Buffy said. She looked at Xander and Willow. "My friends weren't chosen for this life, but they chose it for themselves. They are the reason I'm the oldest living slayer in history. Without them, I would still be dead. Xander was the first man to save my life when I was drowned by a vampire when I was sixteen. Xander is not as strong as I nor as powerful as Willow, but if you give him a chance, you will find that he is the only reason we have remained so strong. He is our heart. Keep him safe for me." Elijah could tell by the look in her eye that she meant every word. He looked with interest at Xander.

Xander looked embarrassed and rolled his eyes. "She exaggerates. I get donuts and pizza," he said dismissively.

Buffy flashed him a fond smile. "Giles is working hard to train and lead the Watchers that escaped the First's attack. There were so few that survived. Some of the deceased Watchers had children that want to learn and carry on the tradition. He wants to spend more of his energy working with them than overseeing the girls' training," Buffy explained. "The day to day training is taken care of with Robin and Kennedy for the most part. However, Kennedy is not nearly as experienced as myself or Faith, but she's the best I got."

"What is it that you are asking from me?" Elijah asked.

Buffy looked at Giles before answering. "We would like you to train with them at times but more importantly go with them into the field when they got to fight for real. They all lack the one thing I have always excelled out. Strategic planning and the ability to improvise and think on their feet," Buffy said.

"We need a general," Xander said with a grin. "Kennedy likes to think she is ready, but she's not. She's a bit too much like Faith sometimes."

"You've been in wars before, right?" Buffy asked.

"Both as a human and as a vampire," Elijah acknowledged.

"You have vast experience, and from what I can tell, you're also both intuitive and highly intelligent," Buffy stated.

"You hardly know me, yet you would trust me in such a way?" Elijah asked, truly surprised by their faith and their naivete.

Buffy gave him a rueful smile. "I'm not asking this on blind faith," she said. "I know that you are unusually controlled for a vampire—more even than most humans. Your long years of living have not corrupted you. You want to know that you made a difference in this world. Well, here's your chance."

Elijah examined her and looked at her friends. They all seemed to agree with Buffy's assessment.

Giles spoke, "We are not going to suddenly appoint you leader or rush into anything. But Buffy and Willow both want to be back in the States. This place will probably never be their home. Xander will be committed here, but I know it won't be easy for him to always be away from them. We could really use you in a leadership capacity. Most importantly, it'd be nice to have another adult around."

"Hey, we're adults!" Xander protested.

"You still watch Saturday morning cartoons," Giles said, giving him a look. Then he smiled at Elijah. "I'm sure you know what I mean."

Elijah chuckled. He did. Being surrounded by people who needed constant supervision and guidance was no easy task. His two youngest siblings were frozen in adolescent bodies, prone to rash and impulsive behavior. "I do," he said. "I will do what I can to assist. It's best if we take things slow and gradual. I sense that your Mr. Woods is not very happy to have a vampire on the premises."

"Spike killed his mother when he was a small boy, and he managed to get over it enough to fight alongside of him. He'll be okay with you," Buffy assured him.

"He's just intense. He was a high school principal and a vampire hunter. He doesn't really like anyone all that much," Xander said with a smirk.

"He's driven and focused. Not easily distracted like some I could name," Giles said pointedly.

"He's got you there," Willow said smirking at Xander.

"Well, as long as my presence here doesn't cause any upheaval, I'll be happy to do what I can," Elijah said easily.

******End of Flashback******

In the past six weeks, Elijah had divided his time between working with Rupert and his Watchers and sparring with the slayers whenever they asked for him. Robin Woods liked to use a sword. It'd been a long time since he'd used a blade in battle. It was an elegant weapon—one, he'd once loved. Working with the slayers brought back so many things he'd forgotten. The women seemed to be in awe of him and kept their distance. He didn't mind. It was easier that way. Humans—even slayers—were cursed with mortality. He'd had enough loss in his long life.

"Hey! Elijah! Are you in there? Knock! Knock!" a voice called out.

Elijah sighed and turned and walked back toward his bedroom. There was one exception. Xander Harris. He had decided that Elijah was his new buddy and was his constant shadow. He was impervious to insult nor did Elijah's lack of openness turn him off. His lack of awe or proper respect toward Elijah was a source of irritation. However, the man's two closest friends were full of power, so Elijah couldn't expect the man to be easily dissuaded. Nor could he ever manage to work up real anger toward the man as his Elijah found him too amusing.

"Mr. Harris. What can I do for you?" Elijah asked. He'd hoped his constant use of the formal would remind the man of his place. When Xander just grinned, Elijah sighed in resignation. Somehow, he knew he was fighting a losing battle.

"When are you going to chillax? We're going to be buds. Do you know how long I've waited for a guy my age that wasn't Spike or Andrew to join us? I had Oz for too short a time!" Xander said with grin.

"I am a thousand years old—hardly your age," Elijah said with a note of disdain.

"Yeah, I know. But you were turned into a vamp when you were just a few years older than I am now. Giles is like twenty years older, and Principal Woods isn't any fun," Xander said.

"Why do you still call him that? He's not a principal anymore," Elijah inquired.

Xander shrugged. "Giles was our librarian. He's still that in some ways—the book guy. Robin is much cooler than Principal Snyder, our high school principal. But he's still got that disapproving look that irks me. And Andrew? He's just plain weird. Not to mention the opposite of cool. So it leaves you!" Xander said with a big grin.

"I'm flattered," Elijah said dryly, resigning himself to the young man's company.

*******Los Angeles********

Damon faced a nasty looking giant snake with a grimace. They were in the sewers. It was some type of viper demon that did more than keep the rat population down. It was feeding on the homeless in a Skid Row neighborhood.

"So what's the plan?" Damon asked, eying the monster warily.

"We kill it," Illyria said simply.

"How?" Damon asked. The thing's body extended in the sewers like 20 feet.

"The last time I faced a giant snake it was at Buffy's high school graduation," Angel supplied. "Buffy trapped it and blew it up."

"Sounds good to me," Spike said.

"The explosion blew up the school," Angel said. "We can't cause an explosion down here. It could mess up the subway system or cause irreparable damage above ground. Not to mention, it'll cause way too much attention."

"We must cut off its head," Illyria said, holding up her giant blade.

"That'll be a tricky thing," Damon said. Its head was massive.

"It'll take several blows," Spike said.

"So let's get to it," Angel said. They each had a sharp blade.

"Spike and I'll take the rear," Damon said. He moved quickly, beating Spike to the tail. They started hacking. "This is gross!"

Spike just grinned and kept cutting. Finally, they cut off its tail. In a minute, it regenerated.

"Bullocks!" Spike exclaimed. "The bloody thing grows back!"

"We need to cut off its head!" Angel yelled.

"I always wanted to ride a giant snake!" Spike said with relish. Before Damon realized it, Spike was jumping on the thing's back, stabbing it with his blade.

Damon had spent nearly two months with these guys. There was rarely a dull moment. Not having to constantly worry about Elena's safety was a nice change even if he missed her more every day. One thing he learned quickly was that Spike relished a violent kill much more than Damon did. It must have been the demon in him. He fought with relish while Angel was always all business. Damon didn't like all the gore that came with slaying these demons or monsters. A splat of snake blood hit him in the face. He grimaced and wiped his face. "Watch the face with that stuff!" he yelled.

"Slaying is dirty business, pretty boy!" Spike said as he stabbed the snake again.

"Spike, quit playing!" Angel called out. "Force his head lower, so we can whack it off!"

Illyria threw Spike a long rope. He caught it and rolled off toward the opposite side. When he landed on his feet, he tugged the rope hard. Illyria did the same from the other side, and the thing's head lowered. Angel and Damon both stepped forward facing each other and began cutting off its enormous head. Finally, the gruesome mess was done. It quit twitching.

"God! That totally sucked!" Damon complained. "Many more kills like this, and I'm putting up my superhero cape!"

"Don't be such Pansy, you spoiled Yankee!" Spike said. "We'll get you nice and drunk to make up for it!"

"You better!" Damon said.

An hour later, they were at fairly quiet pub knocking back some drinks. Spike had even managed to corral Angel to join them. Illyria, of course, just sniffed disdainfully at the invite and went up to her room. Damon still hadn't figured the former hell god out.

"So Spike, why don't you tell me about your family? Any still alive?" Damon asked. Spike grimaced and didn't reply.

"Now that's a tragic tale," Angel said, shaking his head. "William was a momma's boy. Not even gaining a demon could sever his devotion to his momma. He got the bright idea to turn her."

Damon thought about what that meant and gave Spike a sharp look. "Wait. You turned your mother into a demon?"

"He was actually surprised when she tried to kill him," Angel said, a note of sympathy in is voice.

"What'd you do?" Damon asked.

Spike glared. "What do you think I did? I killed her. One of the first people I killed was my own bloody mother!" Spike said, taking a big gulp of his drink.

"My mom died when I was a young boy. Stefan doesn't even remember her," Damon said. "My father never approved of anything I did. When I refused to fight any more for the Confederacy, my father all but disowned me."

"He sounds like my dad—I could never please him either," Angel said in understanding.

"Our father shot me and Stefan when he found out we were trying to save the woman we both loved. She was a vampire," Damon said soberly.

"Killed by your own father? That's bloody cold!" Spike said. "Did you pay him back when you became a vamp?"

"I had no desire to complete the transition. My brother forced me to," Damon said. "He's the one who killed our father. Of course, he says it was self-defense."

"Do you believe him?" Angel asked.

"Yeah, I do. Stefan doesn't really lie," Damon said.

"How's your brother doing?" Angel asked. "Has he gotten a grip on his ripper tendencies?"

"Yes. He turned his humanity back on. I think he and Faith have gotten quite close. Buffy wants to send her to the hellmouth in Ohio. He doesn't want her to go," Damon shared.

"So why doesn't he go with her?" Spike asked.

"I don't think he wants both of us gone from Mystic Falls for an extended period. Watching out for Elena is what we do," Damon said.

"Buffy and Willow's there now. Elena will be fine," Angel said.

"No way Buffy will let anything happen to your girl," Spike said.

"She's not mine," Damon replied, his unhappiness at that fact clear.

"Well, she's young, so you still have time to win her," Spike said.

Damon hoped that was true. He wondered what she was doing right now.

*******Mystic Falls*******

Elena was trying to convince Alaric and Buffy all the reasons why it would be okay for her to take a trip for fall break.

Caroline was there. "Look, you know I'm strong enough to protect Elena. Not that she'll need it. We're going to see Damon in Los Angeles. He's in the company of, like, your former superhero boyfriends. We'll be fine," Caroline said.

"There's other things that could happen besides you getting hurt," Buffy said.

Elena didn't know how she'd suddenly gained a second adult that took it upon themselves to tell her what she could or couldn't do. It was frustrating. "I need to see Damon. I need to make sure he's okay!" When the two adults didn't say anything, she got frustrated. "You know I'm eighteen, right? I don't technically need permission," she said in annoyance.

Alaric winced at her words. She had a point. He was about to back down, but Buffy wasn't so easily dissuaded. "Don't try that with me, Elena. You are still in high school. You may be legally an adult, but your brother is not. You are not old enough to be his guardian. Your situation with Alaric is informal, but I'll be happy to get it formalized," Buffy said crossing her arms. "You are a doppelganger, a supernatural entity. That makes you my responsibility. I promised Damon that you'd be fine. Letting you go off with Caroline unsupervised across the country isn't a good idea. Anything could happen." In her experience, if a teen could get into any kind of trouble, she would. Dawn had taught her that.

"Fine. Then why don't you go with us, Alaric?" Caroline suggested before things gets heated.

"Good idea!" Elena said, latching onto the idea. "I'm sure Damon would love to see Rick!"

Buffy looked at him. He finally shrugged. "Okay. I'll go with you. It's been a long time since I've been to L.A," Rick said.

Caroline clapped her hands. "Great! It's all settled! Bonnie can't go with us, though. Her dad wants her to visit family," Caroline said.

"I want to go!" Dawn said.

"Not going to happen!" Buffy said firmly.

Dawn pouted but knew not to argue with her sister when she got that look on her face.

"I'll make all the traveling arrangements!" Caroline said eagerly as she turned to leave.

"Do you want to help me pack?" Elena asked Dawn. She nodded, and the two girls left.

Buffy leaned back against Alaric on the couch. "God, teenagers are so exhausting!" she remarked.

"Not if you don't let them get under your skin," Rick said, smiling down at her. His hand rubbed her shoulder.

"How do you do that? Remain so Zin. I can never manage that!" Buffy said.

"That's because I'm laid back, and you're the opposite!" Alaric said, kissing the tip of her nose. "But I've spent years teaching them. You've only been at that two years. It gets easier."

"So you're going to go off and leave me all alone for four days?" Buffy asked with a pout.

"You could go with us, too," he pointed out.

"Do you think showing up at my two exes place with my new boyfriend is a good idea?" Buffy inquired. Things finally felt good with them, but she wouldn't want to throw her new relationship in their faces.

Rick gave her a sheepish grin. "Good point! Am I safe to show up?" he asked.

"I'm sure Damon will protect you," Buffy said with a grin. "I couldn't go anyway. I got work to do here."

"I guess I'll take my ring," Rick said.

Buffy frowned. "Willow can't figure what's wrong with that ring, but she's convinced something is. I don't know if you should be wearing it," Buffy said.

"Well, it's better than the alternative," Rick said. "I guess I should go pack."

"Do you think that's the first thing you should do now?" Buffy asked with a saucy grin. She positioned her body until she was straddling him, her arms around his neck.

Alaric smiled at her. She was like liquid fire in his arms. Sometimes, he wasn't sure she was real. The dark cloud he lived with all summer had dissipated with her in his life. Every moment he was with her was so good that he felt a bit anxious sometimes. Good things in his life never seemed to last for long. However, when she put her lips to his and began to kiss her, his worries disappeared.

******Outside of Boston*******

Oz was sitting at bar with Kol and Klaus in Coolidge Corner a neighborhood in Brookline, a home to many Boston University and Fischer College students. It was early in the evening and the place wasn't yet crowded. Much to Kol's disgust, Oz and Klaus were having one of their typical discussions.

"Power is of the individual mind, but the mind's power is not enough. Power of the body decides everything in the end, and only Might is Right," Klaus told Oz with a smirk.

"If you're going to quote The Once and Future King, you can't ignore the lesson Arthur learns," Oz said easily. "You're ignoring the fact that you can harness Might so that it works for Right, remember? 'The Might is there, in the bad half of people, and you can't neglect it.' You can choose what you do with the power you've been given. Being the strongest person in the room doesn't make you better than anyone else. It doesn't give you the right to force your will on another."

"Sure, it does. If you knock down your enemy in the first fight, they'll come back again. If you kill them, they can't come back. If you kill enough, they'll eventually stop coming," Klaus said arrogantly. Klaus should've realized he wasn't the only one with a photographic memory.

Kol groaned. "Enough already! I'm bloody sick of these debates. Face it, brother, Oz is not going to be convinced your way is better. The man is immune to compulsion and reason. Let's talk about something else!" he insisted.

"I'm not immune to reason. I just don't like bullies," Oz said quietly. "I was always the smallest guy in every room growing up. I got my share of noogies."

"What's a noogie?" Kol asked, curious.

"Let me show you," Klaus said with a grin. He grabbed his brother in a headlock and rubbed his knuckles roughly over Kol's head until he managed to break away. Klaus laughed, and Oz even deemed to smile.

"Damn it, Nik! That's not funny!" Kol yelled.

"Sure, it was. You asked what a noogie was. I was simply being a good older brother and educating you," Klaus replied with a smirk.

Kol glared and sat back in his chair. He looked at Oz. "Is that really what was done to you when you were a lad?" he asked.

Oz nodded. "That was one of the more milder things," Oz said.

"Let me guess. You eventually figured out a way to befriend the biggest bully using your superior intellect and allowed him to fight all your battles?" Klaus guessed. When Oz didn't say no, he laughed in admiration. "Why doesn't that surprise me?"

"'Cause that's what he's done with you," Kol said with a knowing grin. It was fascinating at times watching the affect the small redheaded man had on his brother. The hybrid wasn't advanced in years, but his keen mind seemed to forever fascinate Nik, who was normally easily bored. The three of them had been together constantly the past six weeks, and two things never seemed to change. Oz refused to feed on humans, and Klaus never stopped trying to convince him it wasn't a big deal.

Klaus laughed again and looked at his new friend in bemusement. "Yes, I suppose that is what he's done," Klaus said thoughtfully. He hadn't figured Oz out yet, and the puzzle that he was never ceased to intrigue Klaus. Oz was a singularly unique creature. At times, the man's serenity was maddening. At other times, it was soothing. Klaus looked around the college bar that was beginning to fill up. Oz insisted the band coming on in a few hours was worth their time. His eyes narrowed in on a sight he didn't expect to see. "What are the odds that my doppelganger, Elena, would be in this college town?" he asked his companions.

Kol looked and saw the woman in question sitting at a bar downing a drink. He didn't see Bonnie or the lovely Caroline. "If that's Elena, wouldn't her friends be here?"

Oz looked. "Teenage girls never go anywhere without their friends," Oz said.

Kol and Klaus exchanged a look. Klaus frowned in displeasure. "Katherine!" he spit out.

The vampire sitting at the bar heard her name and looked in dismay and fear at the last person she ever wanted to see.

*****Chapter End*****

I hope this first chapter doesn't disappoint! Comments are welcomed!