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Summary: Buffy and Faith are on the trail of a notorious vampire called the Ripper. It leads them to Mystic Falls, the town where Willow has brought Dawn to finish out her senior year of high school. Willow hopes to discover why strong magics are felt from the are

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Buffy-Centered
Literature > L.J. Smith > Vampire Diaries, The
lateVMloverFR1830129,55812313,2385 Jan 143 Feb 14Yes

Taming the Beast

Well, this is it. The final chapter in this story. It's a long one and I hope the best one yet!

Disclaimer:  I don’t own the characters only this story!

Chapter 30: Taming the Beast

******Not Where We Left Off*******

Dawn had spent the afternoon at Caroline's. She had to work at five but was too worried about her sister and friends to concentrate. She sent Jeremy a text asking him to cover for her. "Maybe we should go see Rebekah and Elijah. If anyone can stop the blood bath, it has to be Elijah," Dawn told Caroline.

"That's a good point. Of course, they may be with Klaus," Caroline pointed out.

"Well, we won't know unless we go over there," Dawn said.

So they got in Caroline's car and headed to the house the Originals lived in. Rebekah opened the door.

"Hello. Come in," she said. "My brothers aren't here."

"I know. We came to see you and Elijah. Is he here?" Caroline asked.

"I am," Elijah said as he stepped into the room.

"Klaus came to see me earlier to ask me to stay out of the fighting he had planned," Caroline told them.

"Really?" Elijah asked in surprise. "He must care a great deal for you."

"My sister told me to stay with Caroline. She wouldn't tell me where the fighting would be at," Dawn said.

"So you don't know?" Rebekah asked.

"I called Xander. He told me it was at the old Salvatore plantation," Dawn shared.

"I should call my mom. She'll know where it is," Caroline said, getting out her phone.

"I told your brother he would regret taking on my sister, but he didn't seem to believe me," Dawn said.

"Klaus is a stubborn man," Elijah said. He didn't like the position his brother had put him in. He didn't want to engage the slayers. Nor did he want to watch his brothers die.

"Will your sister kill my brothers?" Rebekah asked.

"Not if she can help it. Will has plans to immobilize any of Klaus's siblings. She and Bonnie have been working on something that will contain your brother indefinitely," Dawn said.

Caroline hung up. "My mom told me where they should be. She's going to meet us there. I think she was a little miffed that Giles didn't call her," Caroline said.

"Giles doesn't want her to get hurt," Dawn said.

"He's just a human. He's a watcher not a fighter, but he's still there. My mother is just as capable as he is! More probably," Caroline said loyally.

"Well, let's go. We can stay in the background. Buffy will be pissed if I get hurt," Dawn said.

"I won't let anything happen to you," Elijah assured her.

They got into Caroline's car and went to the location her mom told her to go to. Liz had beat them there. She was standing by her open trunk.

"Mom, you really shouldn't be here. You could get killed. Klaus's hybrids won't care that you're my mom," Caroline said worriedly.

Liz pulled some shotguns out of her trunk. "These are loaded with wooden bullets. It may slow them down," Liz said. She handed one to Dawn.

"Cool!" Dawn said excitedly. She listened to Liz's simple instructions on how to use the gun.

"Don't worry. I don't plan on getting too close," Liz said before Caroline could say anything else.

They crept forward and saw the battle well engaged. "I don't see Kol," Rebekah said. Then she heard Klaus call out for him. He appeared with a short, redheaded guy.

"Oh my God! That's Oz! He's a werewolf and Willow's ex. They broke up because he was afraid of hurting her," Dawn shared.

Liz went to Giles. "I see you decided to have fun without me," she said crossly.

"Oh, well, I..." Giles stumbled over an explanation.

"How did they find Oz?" Xander asked. He shot his crossbow at a hybrid that was fighting two slayers nearby. "Yes!" Xander smiled happily as it actually hit the hybrid he was aiming at.  He knew a crossbow wouldn’t kill them, but if it slowed them down, Xander figured it was a good thing.

"What's he going to do with Oz?" Dawn asked.

"Nothing good, I'm afraid," Giles said in resignation.

Elijah and Rebekah moved forward, ripping out the hearts of the hybrids in their path. They watched Klaus break the young man's neck.

"Oz!" Willow cried, dropping to her knees.

Buffy turned to her in concern. Xander moved forward to get to Willow.

"Don't worry. He may not stay dead," Klaus said carelessly.

Xander dropped down to Willow's side. "It's okay, Will," he said calmly.

"He killed Oz!" Willow cried, her eyes turning black.

"Will, don't lose control," Buffy said. She threw Faith and Xander a worried look. This could get ugly.

"I take it this fellow meant something to you? And here I thought you fancied my dear sister," Klaus said mockingly.

Willow bowed her head, digging her hands into the ground. She reached out and grabbed Bonnie's hand. When Bonnie collapsed unconscious, it became clear that Willow had drained her of all her magic. She looked up at Klaus, her eyes black as night.

"You will regret that!" she said bitterly.

Xander put her hands on her shoulder. "Will."

Willow flicked her wrist, and he was knocked back.

"You shouldn't have done that," Buffy said to Klaus. "This won't end well for any of us."

Klaus frowned. Their reaction surprised him. They appeared afraid of their friend. When the sky grew dark and thunder rumbled, he looked at the witch with interest.

She rose to her feet, looking very differently. Her red hair was black as were her eyes. "I have only ever loved one man, and you killed him without a thought," Dark Willow said, eying Klaus with malice.

She chanted and stretched her arms out toward one of his hybrids. Lightening went through the hybrid and channeled through the remaining few. She called out a spell and closed her fist and jerked her hand back. Klaus's eyes widened as his hybrids all fell to the ground, their hearts yanked out by invisible hands.

Kol stepped forward. Willow stretched out her hand toward him. "You will suffer for what you did!" Dark Willow told him. Kol screamed as she electrocuted him.

Rebekah was dumbfounded by the change in Willow. Willow had told her about her dark nature; however, Rebekah never dreamed it was like this. "Should we do something?" she asked Elijah.

"It's best if we let the slayer and her friends deal with the witch," Elijah said, eying Willow warily.

Willow chanted and a green band went around Kol. Unlike the last time, the lightening continued to run through his body. He cried out in agony as he was held suspended.

Rebekah couldn't stay in the background anymore. She went to Willow. "Willow, please stop. This isn't you," she said.

Willow reached out and grabbed her hand. Rebekah gasped and fell to her knees. "Sorry, Bex, but I need your strength. Your brother is going to suffer," she said coldly as she drained Rebekah. She looked up and knocked Klaus back with a wave of power.

He got to his feet and laughed at her. "Is that all you got?"

Willow kept knocking him down until he was close to the edge of the trees. Vines came out of the ground and wrapped around Klaus. They pulled on his limbs until he was spread eagle style.

"Don't do this, Willow! If you kill him, you may kill Caroline!" Buffy called out.

Buffy's reminder made Stefan suddenly realize how precarious his own life was, and he tried to charge Willow. She had some kind of force field around her. He bounced off of it and hit the ground hard. He looked at Faith. "What will she do?" he asked in concern.  His life once again mattered to him; he didn’t want to die.

"You don't want to know," Faith said grimly.

"I want to find out exactly how immortal he is," Dark Willow said with a cold grin. Klaus fought and broke one of the wood restraints. She hit him with lightening and threw the same green band around him that was holding Kol.

Klaus's eyes widened as he felt real fear for the first time. He couldn't move. No matter how he tried, the witch had him completely frozen. He had never felt so powerless or vulnerable.

"You know I filleted a man once just like this. He died too quickly, though. I hope you'll last longer," Dark Willow said. She stripped Klaus of his clothes with a wave of her hand. "What do you think, Buffy? Should we rip off his arms or his skin first? I've always wondered if limbs would regenerate in vampires."

"Will, you don't want to do this," Buffy said.

"Oh, but I do. This man thinks he is invincible. He thinks he can just drag Oz into his twisted plans. Oz was the gentlest man I have ever known. He doesn't even hurt anyone during a full moon. Now he's dead," Dark Willow said. "I think I'll start with his eyes. Let's see if they mock me again." Klaus's screams echoed loudly as she pulled his eyes out. They floated to her hands. "How could such pretty eyes belong to such an evil man?" She closed her fist, and they turned to dust.

Elijah was horrified. He turned to Buffy. "You need to stop her!" Elijah said.

"You better pray Oz wakes up," Buffy said. "The last time she was like this she nearly killed me and almost destroyed the world."

Xander went over to stand in front of Klaus. "Will, this is getting a bit much. Why don't you dial it back some, huh?" Xander suggested.

"Go away, Xander." Again, Willow flicked her hand and knocked Xander out of her way. "I'm going to have some fun with hybrid boy. He's going to learn some manners. I don't plan on killing him, so you can relax," Dark Willow with a smirk. She began peeling back Klaus's skin.

"She's out of her mind!" Caroline exclaimed, horrified by what she was seeing.

"Maybe Oz will wake up. It's the only thing that will stop her," Dawn said.

"He will need Elena's blood if he does," Caroline said. She looked at Elijah.

He nodded. "I will go to her and get some of her blood," he said.

"Don't bring her here or she could get drained," Caroline told him before he ran off.

"Willow, this is getting out of hand," Xander said, grimacing at the skinless hybrid. His skin was already growing back as were his eyes. Xander got once again to his feet and faced Willow.

"This is fun! Look, he's already healing!" Dark Willow said with a chuckle.

"Will, stop!" Xander ordered. He warily took a step toward her.

"If you don't like it, don't watch," Dark Willow said. "I wonder how long it will take him to grow back a limb?"

"Will, you're better than this," Buffy said, stepping closer.

Willow knocked her back. "Don't even try it, Buffy. I know you better than you know yourself. Someone needs to teach this vampire he can't do whatever he wants. That there are consequences," Dark Willow said.

"Not like this, Will," Buffy said, getting to her feet. She turned to Giles. "Take the girls back. They don't need to be here. All the hybrids are dead." He nodded and all the slayers but Faith turned to leave. They picked up their fallen sisters as they left.

Willow must have grown bored with tearing off Klaus's skin because once it grew back she began breaking his bones. She started with his fingers. "Not so tough now, are we?" Dark Willow said with a smirk. "Bad little hybrid needs to learn some manners. You don't go killing people I care about."

"He's not dead," Klaus gasped through the pain. "He'll wake up a hybrid."

"That's if he doesn't go insane," Dark Willow said grimly. "I don't want him to be a vampire! He's better than that! He's better than you!" She snapped his arm at the elbow, causing him to cry out in pain.

"I'm going to be sick," Caroline said, turning away. She looked at Kol, who was obviously in agony. She looked down at Oz. He moved slightly. Caroline moved toward him.

He woke up and looked at Caroline. His eyes black. "What happened? What's going on?" he croaked.

"You're in transition. You were bit by a hybrid. It's going to be okay," Caroline said softly. Buffy ran and kneeled next to them.

"Oz, are you okay?" Buffy asked.

"I feel strange. Something's not right," Oz said. He gasped and bent over.

"He's alive!" Klaus called out, detecting Oz's movements.

Willow glanced over and saw Oz stir. "It doesn't change what you did. He'll never be the same. You deserve to suffer!" Dark Willow exclaimed angrily. She hit him with lightening and then ripped off all his skin all at once. His screams were horrible to hear, but Dark Willow only chuckled gleefully, enjoying his suffering.

"Stop it! Stop it! You can't do this!" Caroline yelled, getting to her feet. No one deserved such torment. Not even Klaus.

"Sure I can. I just did," Dark Willow said with smug satisfaction.

"Willow, torture isn't what we do!" Xander said.

"Maybe we should. Some never learn unless they're punished. Killing is too easy," Dark Willow said. She paused and watched with interest as Klaus's skin began to re-form. "This is wicked cool! He really is immortal."

"Please, don't do this. No one deserves this," Caroline begged, her eyes filling with tears as she watched Klaus's torment. She looked at Kol and saw that he'd passed out finally from the pain.

Elijah appeared holding a small container. "You must drink this if you want to live," he said to Oz. He poured it down Oz's throat.

Oz gagged and swallowed some of the blood. He didn't understand what was happening, but he realized that the blood wasn't as abhorrent as it should be. "What did he do to me?" he asked the man with the kind eyes.

"He has turned you into what he is. A werewolf and a vampire. A true hybrid," Elijah answered solemnly.

"Oz, you must stop Willow. She's out of control. She won't listen to us," Buffy urged. She held out her hand and helped him stand.

He looked and saw the man who had broken his neck being tortured by Willow. "Will, I'm okay," he said as he stepped toward her.

Willow glanced at him and faltered. "He turned you into a monster. He needs to suffer," Dark Willow said.

"Your new look is kind of scary," Oz said with a wry grin.

Willow gazed at him and the black receded from her eyes. "Are you really okay?" she asked. He stepped in front of her.

"See for yourself," he said.

Willow reached out and put her hand on his face. Her eyes filled with tears. "He killed you," she said sorrowfully.

"I'm not dead. I guess I'm a vampire now, though. But I don't feel evil," Oz said in confusion.

"You're not. You could never be," she said. She reached out and hugged Oz, crying in relief at his presence. Her hair turned back to red. Kol and Klaus both fell to the ground. Caroline went to Kol, who had regained consciousness. She whispered something to him. He nodded and ran off.

Klaus felt his bones begin to knit back together. He looked at the witch with hatred and fear. "Kill her!" he ordered to Oz.

Oz looked at the man who had used him to hurt Willow. A part of him felt a compulsion to obey the man's command. However, he looked at Willow and the desire faded. "I missed you," he said to her. Then he kissed her.

Klaus couldn't believe it. His one remaining hybrid refused to obey him. Instead of killing the witch, he was kissing her!

"You've lost, Klaus. Give it up!" Buffy said, facing him.

"Oz was never normal before he became a werewolf. He won't be your puppet," Xander said with a grin.

"Brother, we must not fight with the slayers," Elijah said, stepping toward his brother. "They do good in this world."

"Willow can contain you without killing you. If you want to live your life, you can't make any more hybrids," Buffy said. "Oz will be your last."

Klaus hated being forced into anything. He looked down in surprise at the hand that held his. "Nik, please don't fight anymore," Caroline begged. She was crying for him.

Hearing her use his name stirred something inside him. "You cannot expect me to just walk away," he told her.

"Please, I don't want you to be hurt anymore," she said, her fear palpable. She wiped her tears.

Klaus couldn't remember the last time anyone cried for him. His sister got to her feet and gave him a beseeching glance. "Let's go home, Nik," Rebekah said.

Willow pulled away from Oz and looked at Klaus, taking a step toward him. "If you hurt Oz in any way, I will kill you," she warned.

"I sired Katerina's line. If you kill me, you will kill the Salvatores and sweet Caroline," Klaus said.

"It will be you that kill them if you hurt Oz. You want Caroline to live then you better not hurt Oz," Willow said coldly.

"Your precious Oz is a vampire now. If I die, he will, too," Klaus informed her.

"There are things worse than death," Willow said with a glare.

Caroline threw Willow a dark look. She tugged on Klaus's hand. "Let's go," she said to him.

Klaus hated to admit defeat, but he knew he couldn't defeat the witch. He turned and let Caroline lead him away.

Elijah turned to Rebekah. "Rebekah, come," he said, holding out his hand. Rebekah looked at Willow, who was talking to her ex. She frowned but followed her brother.

"Oz, I'm so sorry," Willow told him. "I never dreamed he'd go after you. Where were you?"

"I was in New York City. I found a new band. Had the wolf thing under control. Things were good. Then some guy came up to me. I think he was a witch of some kind. I got a searing pain in my head, and then the next thing I knew I was somewhere else," Oz said.

"We have a lot to explain. Let's go to our house," Buffy said.

Liz watched the scene from the background, her presence unnoticed. She looked at Rick, who had stayed behind when Giles left. "That girl is seriously dangerous," Liz said with a worried frown.

"I guess we should be glad she's on our side," Alaric said.

"I sort of thought they were exaggerating about Willow. She's so sweet," Stefan said in bemusement.

"It's a good thing Damon wasn't here. I'm sure he would've found a way to make things worse," Alaric said with a grin.

"Do you think Klaus will retaliate?" Liz asked in concern. "She really hurt him."

"He'd be stupid to," Alaric said.

"Klaus is anything but stupid," Stefan said. "I think we can relax for now."

Alaric looked at him closely. "Is that emotion I see in your eyes? Did the fear of dying bring you back or was it Faith getting hurt?" Alaric asked with a smirk.

"Maybe I just missed you," Stefan said, slapping him on the back. "Let's get out of here."

"We gotta get rid of the bodies," Liz said.

The men sighed. "How about a nice bon fire?" Stefan suggested.

Alaric shrugged. "Works for me," he said. They began gathering the bodies.

******At the Salvatores*******

Stefan returned to a house of mourning. Four of the slayers had been killed. He found himself feeling sorrow for the lost. Then he realized he really had let his emotions back in. When he saw Faith trying to console one of the girls, he felt a rush of emotion mixed with desire. He walked up to her.

"Is there anything I can do?" he asked.

Faith looked surprised at his offer. "Yeah, could you go by a funeral home and get some coffins? We have to send the bodies back to various places for burial. They have families that will want to bury them," Faith said. "Xander, go with Stefan. You'll have to rent a van or something."

"I'll take care of the details," Stefan said.

"I need to go check on Will," Xander said.

"This won't take long," Stefan said.

Xander nodded and followed him out. "You know I thought my dark nature was bad until I saw Willow enjoy the torture of another living creature," Stefan said to Xander as they got into his car.

"Yeah, she has to learn balance. She does well until something truly awful happens. When her girlfriend Tara was killed by a bullet meant for Buffy, she went off like that. She healed Buffy and then absorbed more dark magics until she was completely out of her mind. She almost killed Giles and Buffy. She killed Warren the guy who shot Tara and Buffy," Xander said.

"How did you stop her?" Stefan asked.

"I finally had some use. I got through to her. We've been best friends since kindergarten. I reminded her of that and that she loved me. As you saw when she faced Oz, she can't hold onto her rage when faced with someone she loves," Xander said. "The dark magic is always fueled by her rage."

"But she's close to Buffy, isn't she?" Stefan asked, trying to understand.

"Yes, but Dark Willow sees Buffy as a challenger, so Buffy never can get through to her when she's like that," Xander explained.

"I guess none of us are good all the time," Stefan said thoughtfully.

"Speak for yourself. I am!" Xander said with a smirk. "Faith, not so much, but Buffy is. If Buffy hadn't loved Angel and saw him turn into Angelus, she may be less forgiving. But she understands the darkness that drives some."

Stefan realized he had a lot to think about. Maybe he could learn to find some balance in his own life.

*******Willow and Buffy's Place********

Willow was in her right mind and couldn't stop crying. Buffy and Dawn were doing their best to console her. Bonnie was in the corner of the living room explaining to Elena what had happened. Oz was saying nothing as was his nature. He simply sat on her other side holding her hand. Dawn was kneeling in front of her.

"I am horrible! I enjoyed torturing that man! What is wrong with me?" she asked tearfully.

"Well, he was really arrogant," Dawn said. "Some men only understand a show of force, right?"

Oz was trying to control the urges he was feeling. He could hear the heartbeat of everyone in the room. It was disconcerting. He looked across the room to Giles, who was talking to a man Oz had never seen before. Although they were whispering, Oz could hear every word they were saying. It was an odd realization.

"We need to get him some blood. We don't want him losing control and hurting anyone," the man was telling Giles.

"Good point. Go to Stefan's. I'm sure he'll give you some," Giles said. The man nodded and left.

Oz realized that they were concerned about him hurting someone. That was strange. He felt like himself but more. He turned to Willow. His Willow. The only person he had ever loved. She was even more beautiful than he had remembered. He knew that she'd had a rough few years since he'd left. No one probably knew that she emailed him all the time. He didn't stay plugged in like she did, but he had kept in touch with her. Wherever he traveled, he found a way to get to his email. She was his lifeline.

"Will," he said softly as he put his hand on her cheek. "That's enough crying. I don't like to see you cry."

Willow smiled and put her forehead against his. "I have missed you so much. Why did you stay gone so long?"

"It was never the right time," Oz said simply. He looked at Buffy and Dawn. "I'm sorry about your mom."

They looked surprised that he knew. "I've been emailing Oz. He's like my dear diary," Willow said with a small smile.

"So why don't you guys explain to me who those guys were you were torturing. One you seemed to hate quite a bit," Oz said.

Willow's eyes grew dark as she thought of Klaus. "Will, take a deep breath," Buffy ordered. "You have to be in control."

Willow nodded. They began explaining what they knew.

Bonnie watched from across the room. "Elena, it was so horrible! When Klaus killed Oz, Willow lost her mind. She drained me of all my powers until I was unconscious. When I woke up, she was ripping off Klaus's skin," Bonnie shared.

Elena found that the news didn't horrify her. Instead, it brought her some satisfaction. "I didn't realize I was so blood thirsty, but thinking of Klaus suffering like that makes me happy. He killed Jenna. John is dead because of him. He sacrificed me and used me as a blood bank. He thinks he can do whatever he wants. Maybe now he'll realize there are limits. There is someone more powerful than him. Even if she is human," Elena said smugly.

"Maybe. But how can I trust Willow? You didn't see her. It was like she was a different person," Bonnie said, upset.

"Like Stefan when he turned off his emotions?"

"Like that but worse. How can I let her be my teacher?" Bonnie asked.

"Well, I guess you'll learn what not to do," Elena said.

"I guess. I'm going to go see Jeremy. I need to think about something else for a while. Is he at home?" Bonnie asked.

"No, he's at the Grille filling in for Dawn," Elena said. Elena felt very alone after Bonnie left. She slipped unnoticed out of the house. She wished Damon was here. When she got into her car, she pulled out her cell and called him.

Back in Los Angeles, Damon was playing poker with Angel, Spike, and Illyria. Or rather they were trying to. Illyria was always difficult at her best. When she lost a hand, she threw a hissy fit and knocked Spike across the room because he could never refrain from gloating. Damon always moved right before her fist connected with him. He was developing a sixth since where the blue woman was concerned. His phone rang.

"No phone calls!" Spike complained.

"It's Elena," Damon said. He got up and took the call. "Hello."

"Hey," Elena said. "How are you?"

"Good. How's things going?" he asked.

"Not sure how to answer that," Elena said.

"What happened?" Damon asked in concern. He listened in silence as Elena filled him in. When she was done, he started laughing. "You're serious? Klaus got his ass handed to him by that tiny redhead?"

"Well, from what I gather, she is very scary when she loses control. She drained both Bonnie and Rebekah of all their power. No one could touch her. She knocked down both Buffy and Xander, her closest friends."

"Man, do I wish I had been there! Stefan gets to have all the fun!" Damon complained.

"You're not having any fun?" Elena asked curiously.

"Well, it is fun to see Spike get bitch slapped by Illyria all the time," Damon said with a snicker.

Spike flipped him off. "Hurry up! I need to win some more of your money!" he yelled.

"What are you doing?" Elena asked.

"Teaching Illyria how to play poker. Every time she loses a hand she backhands Spike across the room. I seriously wish I had a video camera," Damon said.

"You do on your cell phone," Elena reminded him.

"Oh yeah! I'll send you a video. You'll see what I mean," Damon said.

Elena was surprised that Damon seemed so lighthearted. She didn't think she'd ever seen him that way. "I miss you," she admitted.

Damon closed his eyes a moment. He missed her every hour, but he hadn't allowed himself to focus on her. "I miss you, too," he said honestly.

"I miss you more! Get your ass back in the chair, you bloody yanker!" Spike yelled.

Elena chuckled. "Sounds like you found a new buddy to keep you out of trouble. Rick will be glad," Elena said.

"He's no Rick, but he's entertaining," Damon agreed, watching Spike argue with Angel over who was actually winning. "Buffy's exes are very surprising. Angel is dark and broody like Stefan. He and Spike are complete opposites."

"Well, I'll let you get back to your game. I just wanted to hear your voice," Elena said. She said goodbye and drove to the Grille. She was feeling lonely and knew Matt would always want to see her.

A short time later, she was biting into a chicken sandwich when her phone beeped. Damon had sent her a video. He had spanned around the table, so she got a good look at his new friends. She could tell right away which one was Angel and which one was Spike. Angel looked like he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. Spike looked like a mischievous devil. He threw popcorn at Damon and posed for the camera. Illyria was freaking looking in a beautiful way. When Spike made fun of her for losing again, she knocked him so hard that his chair went flying backward. He got up and did some happy dance. "You're getting soft! I barely felt that!" he chanted. The woman got up from her chair. Damon filmed Spike running out of the room with Illyria hot on his heels. The camera panned back to Angel, who sighed and shook his head, a long suffering look on his face. Then Damon turned the camera to himself. "Can you believe these clowns fight evil?" He grinned into the camera and waved. Then the video ended.

Matt saw her laughing and walked over. "What's so funny?" he asked.

"Damon sent me this video of his new friends. The two guys are Buffy's exes. The woman is an ancient hell god of some kind. They are teaching her poker," Elena explained. She felt her loneliness leave as Matt watched the video. Soon Jeremy and Bonnie were there, and they played it again. It was good to have something to laugh about.

Across town, there was no laughter. Klaus and Kol were both still reeling from their experience at the hand of the slayer's witch. Klaus had went to his room and put on some clothes before sitting down next to Caroline on the sofa.

"No one should be that powerful!" Kol exclaimed. "We must kill her!" He was pacing back and forth as everyone else was seated.

"Will you ever learn, brother? Invoking her ire could get you dead and not the dead that you come back from!" Rebekah informed him crossly.

"Are you okay?" Caroline asked Klaus. His skin had healed she knew, but she wasn't so sure about his bones.

"I'm fine," Klaus said. Elijah handed him a blood bag. He drank it down.

"I need more than this," Klaus said. "Bring me a human."

"I will," Kol said. He turned to leave.

"Don't kill anyone, Kol," Rebekah advised.

"You shouldn't have toyed with the witch that way, Niklaus," Elijah said. "You invoked her wrath on purpose by killing someone she loved."

"I thought she'd be incapacitated by grief. I didn't think she'd go out of her mind like that!" Klaus exclaimed. His entire plan had backfired so completely.  He couldn’t remember the last time he’d failed so utterly. "Did you arrive in time to see how she killed my hybrids? She didn't even have to touch them! Never have I seen such power! How can she be mortal?"

"You were warned, brother," Rebekah reminded him.

"Dawn tried to tell you. When her lover Tara was killed, she went out of her mind. She killed the murderer and then almost killed Buffy and Giles when they tried to stop her," Caroline said. "Then she was going to raise some temple that would destroy the world. Luckily, Xander got through to her in time."

"She's not someone to trifle with," Elijah said.

"That was the most horrible thing I've ever seen," Caroline said with a shudder.

Klaus put his arm around her. "It wasn't fun, but I've been tortured before, love," he said.

"Someone gauged out your eyes before?" Caroline asked in horror.

"Well, no, but I was tormented day and night for fifty years once. I lost a limb or two. I'm fine, I assure you," he told her.

"Why did your hybrid not listen to you?" Rebekah asked. "I thought werewolves always followed the alpha even without the sire bound."

"The man must have a very formidable will and intelligent mind to fight the compulsion to obey me. Especially since he was just turned," Klaus said thoughtfully.

"Willow is highly intelligent. It would stand to reason that her first love would be her equal," Rebekah said.

"You should take Kol and leave town for a while," Caroline urged. "Let things settle down."

"I'm not going anywhere without my hybrid," Klaus said firmly.

Rebekah groaned. "You are hopeless, brother!" she exclaimed.

"I hope you won't try to force him from her side," Elijah said in disapproval.

"On the contrary. He will come to me. If he's truly intelligent, curiosity will compel him to seek me out," Klaus said. He will get to know his hybrid and discover what weakness the witch had. Everyone had one.

*******Later that night*******

After the house had settled down for the night, Stefan paced his room feeling restless. Every time he saw Faith she was with one of the girls. He wanted to spend some time alone with her, but it didn't seem she felt the same way. His emotions were back on. Seeing her hurt made him angry and upset. His feelings for the sexy slayer were much different than what he felt with Elena. With Elena, he had felt love, warmth, and protectiveness. With Faith, he felt alive. All his senses were rearing. He wanted her more than he wanted blood. He never thought that'd happen. He heard footsteps outside his door. He waited for a knock. It didn't come.

He walked to his door and opened it. Faith looked back at him. "You're still up?"

"Looks like," Stefan replied. He smiled at her and stepped back. "Would you like to come in?"

She stepped inside. "It was quite a day, huh?" she said.

"Yes, it was. How are you doing?" Stefan asked.

"Oh, I'm five by five," Faith said with a shrug.

"I'm sorry about your friends," Stefan said.

Faith looked at him and realized that he meant it. "You have your emotions back!" she exclaimed, obviously pleased with the development.

"It appears so. The excitement was too much for me, I guess," Stefan said with a rueful smile. He didn't know how to explain that watching her get hurt invoked so many emotions in him. It had been impossible to stay emotionless.

"I'm glad," Faith said, suddenly feeling shy.

"Would you like a nightcap?" Stefan offered.

"Sure," Faith said.

Stefan poured them each a drink. He took a sip, his eyes watching hers. Then he set the glass down.

Faith did the same. They stood there staring at one another. Neither speaking. Then it seemed they both came to an understanding. Faith stepped toward him, and he grabbed her and pulled her close. He began kissing her like he'd been dying to do since he'd first tasted her. This time she had no objections. When he picked her up, her legs went around his waist. They stumbled onto his bed. He raised up to take off his clothes. She kicked off hers just as quickly.

"No biting!" she warned.

"You may like it," he said with a grin.

"I'll kick your ass!" she said with a glare.

"Okay, but you can bite me all you want!" Stefan said with a grin. Then he covered her body with his and began making love to her.

******Buffy and Willow's********

Willow and Oz talked in her room all night until they both fell asleep. Oz watched her drift off holding his hand. He smiled at the oddly familiar sight and then drifted off, exhausted by the day's events.

Downstairs, Buffy gave Xander final instructions.

"Are you sure it's safe to leave?" Xander asked.

"Yes, Klaus would be a fool to test us again. He doesn't strike me as one," Buffy said.

"So I'll take the girls back to England with Giles," Xander said.

"I'll talk to all of them before you go," Buffy said.

"Are you sure Willow will be okay?" Xander asked in concern.

"Yes. Oz is with her," Buffy said.

"He's a hybrid now," Alaric reminded her. "We don't know exactly what that entails."

"I guess will find out," Buffy said. "Xander, why don't you just sleep on the couch? It's too late to go back to the mansion."

"Works for me. I want to talk to Oz and Willow in the morning anyway," Xander said.

Alaric got up. "I guess I'll say goodnight," he said.

Buffy stood and grabbed his hand. "You don't have to leave," she said coyly.

"I don't?" Alaric replied, smiling at her.

"You could stay," Buffy said, giving him a saucy grin.

"Guys, I'm still here," Xander said, covering his ears with his hands.

Buffy pulled Alaric toward her bedroom door. "Would you like to stay?" she asked.

"Are you sure?" Alaric asked.

"Yes. That is if you want to," Buffy said, a questioning note in her voice.

Alaric bent down and kissed her. "I think that would be just fine," he said, smiling at her.

Buffy laughed and pulled him into her bedroom.

*******The Next Day*******

Buffy woke up in Alaric's arms. He smiled and gave her a soft kiss. "I could get used to this," Alaric said happily. For once, the sorrow was gone from his eyes.

"Me, too," she said with a happy sigh. "It's been a long time since I've felt this way about a guy. I can't always stay in town, but I really hope we can go the distance."

"Well, when school's out, I'd love to go with you," he said. "I believe in what you do."

"I'm going to send Faith to Ohio for a while. There's a hellmouth there that's getting out of hand. The two slayers that are currently there have asked for help," Buffy said. "I spent enough years on a hellmouth. It's Faith's turn."

Alaric chuckled. "I've got to get up and go home for clothes. School starts in an hour," he said.

Buffy frowned. "I don't know if Willow will be up for a day of school," she remarked.

They got up and went into the kitchen. A party was going on. Willow was making pancakes. Dawn was chatting her ear off per usual. Xander and Oz were sitting at the table talking.

"Wow, does she bounce back quickly!" Alaric remarked, very surprised.

"Good morning!" Buffy called out. Her friends turned and yelled out greetings. She went up to Willow. "How are you feeling?"

"I feel good. Oz said he would come to school today with me. I figured I'd tell everyone he is my visiting brother," Willow said, winking at him.

"You both have red hair, so I'm sure people will believe it," Dawn remarked.

"Dawnie's been telling us all about the perfection that is Matt Donovan," Xander said. "It looks like I've been replaced."

"Don't worry, Xander. You'll always be my favorite guy," Dawn said, grinning.

"It was bound to happen, dude," Oz said. "At least you weren't replaced with a woman like I was."

Willow flushed in embarrassment. Oz chuckled. "It's okay, Will. I chose to view it as I ruined you for other men."

Willow walked over and kissed his cheek. "You really did," she told him. "I will never love another man the way I loved you."

"That's something at least," Xander said, grinning at Oz.

Giles came into the room. "Where did you come from?" Buffy asked.

"The front door," he said dryly. "The girls are packed up. Arrangements have been made for the fallen."

"I can't believe Vi is dead," Dawn said sadly. "She was finally learning English."

"We will have a memorial for all the girls next weekend back home if you all want to come," Giles said.

"We may swing that. We could leave Thursday after school," Willow said. "It'll have to be a short trip. We'll be tired, but I can plan a busy day Monday, so I don't have to say much."

Buffy turned to Alaric. "Would you like to come?" she asked.

"I think some time out of town may be good for all of us. Elena and Jeremy will have to come, too," Alaric said.

"I'll send the jet back for you," Giles said.

Dawn's eyes lit up. "Do you think I can convince Matt to come?" she asked excitedly.

"You can do your best," Buffy said smiling. It was good to see her into a normal guy. One Buffy didn't have to worry about.

The doorbell rang. Xander got up to answer it. He blinked in surprise at the new arrivals.

"May we speak to Buffy and Willow?" Elijah asked.

Rebekah gave him a nervous smile. She wasn't sure she was ready to see Willow, but she didn't want the first time she saw Willow again to be at school.

"Come in. Everyone's in the kitchen," Xander said.

Conversation came to a halt when Elijah and Rebekah came into the room. Willow was putting pancakes onto a plate. When she saw Rebekah, she put down her food and went around to her.

She gave Rebekah a guilty look. "I don't even know how to begin to apologize for what I did to you yesterday. I am so sorry," Willow told her.

"I can't say it was pleasant, but it's not the worst thing that's been done to me," Rebekah said with a grimace.

"You don't hate me?" Willow asked anxiously.

"Of course not," Rebekah said. Willow stepped forward and hugged her.

"We have lost control a time or two over the centuries," Elijah said pragmatically.

"Me more than Elijah," Rebekah said with a rueful smile.

"Oz, this is my friend Rebekah and her brother Elijah," Willow said, introducing.

"We are Klaus's family," Elijah said, holding out his hand to the new hybrid. "Welcome to our family."

Oz looked at the two in bemusement but shook hands. "So what does being a hybrid mean exactly?" he asked them curiously.

"Well, you aren't bound by the moon anymore," Elijah said.

"What does that mean?" Dawn butted in.

"It means that he never has to turn into a werewolf unless he wants to," Rebekah explained.

"That's something at least," Xander said.

"I had already learned to control my wolf nature. I hadn't turned since that time I tried to attack Tara a few years ago," Oz said.

Elijah and Rebekah exchanged a look. "You must be an extraordinary young man," Elijah said thoughtfully.

"He is. There is no one like Oz," Willow said proudly.

Rebekah found herself feeling a surge of jealousy. The hybrid looked at her curiously. It was as if he knew.

"I was wondering if I could be of some use to you," Elijah said to Buffy. He looked at Giles.

"In what way?" Giles asked.

"I have lived for over a thousand years. Until I met your slayer, I thought my siblings and I were doomed to a purposeless existence. Yet Buffy speaks of heaven. In all my years, I have never found much hope for such a reward. I would like to do what I can to help fight evil. I grow weary of having no purpose outside of my family," Elijah shared. "I would like to earn some redemption."

"Cool!" Xander said excitedly. "We can put him in charge of the new recruits!"

"I'm moving Faith to Ohio. Maybe he can join her there eventually," Buffy said.

"I'd love to have you accompany me back to England. We lost so much of our books when the council was destroyed," Giles said. "I hear you are an historian."

"Well, when one lives it, it's hard not to be," Elijah said.

"It would be great to have someone of your vast experience help rebuilding," Giles said excitedly.

"Works for me. We could use someone of your caliber on the team," Buffy said. "Maybe I can actually stay in Mystic Falls for a while."

"I hope so," Alaric said, smiling at her. "I've got to get out of here. I'll talk to you guys later. Giles, Xander, it was great meeting you guys. I know I'll be seeing you." He dropped a quick kiss on Buffy's lips and left.

When he left, Xander said to Buffy, "I hope you don't break his heart. I really love that guy!"

Buffy frowned. "I do not plan on hurting him. He's amazing," she said.

"Are you sure Oz going to school will be a good idea?" Rebekah asked. "That's a lot of humans to tempt him with."

Oz looked thoughtful. "Hmmm. I guess I never considered it. I don't feel like I want to attack anyone right now," Oz said.

"Have you had blood this morning?" Elijah asked.

"No. I thought I was just really hungry for pancakes," Oz said.

"Eating human food helps with control. As does caffeine and alcohol. However, you will want to feed before going to school around so many humans," Elijah advised.

Oz grimaced. He didn't like thinking he had to feed on people.

"Stefan only feeds on animals before he flipped his switch, so you can do that," Dawn said.

"Kill bambi?" Oz asked in disgust. "I could never hurt a living thing. I spent months with Buddhist monks. All life is precious."

"Wait until our brother hears this," Rebekah said to Elijah. She laughed picturing the look on her brother's face.

"Caroline only drinks from blood bags. She didn't like the animal diet. It grossed her out, and you'll be stronger on human blood," Dawn told him.

Oz shook his head. "I'm not sure I like this," he said with a frown.

"Well, you'll never grow old and die," Xander pointed out.

"That's something, I guess," Oz said.

"Also, these vamps can control people with their minds," Xander added with a grin.

"Jedi mind tricks? Nice!" Oz said with a smile.

"We need to get going," Willow said. "We'll stop by Stefan's for some more blood."

Everyone vacated the kitchen but Giles and Elijah. "The new hybrid is very unusual," Elijah observed.

"Yes, he has always been a self-contained young man. When he left Willow, she was heartbroken," Giles said.

"I think my brother will be very surprised," Elijah said.

"If he hopes for a mindless lackey, he'll be sorely disappointed," Giles said.

Elijah smiled at the thought. "He may be just what my brother needs," Elijah said.

******Later that Day******

Oz stayed with Willow until lunch. Then he told her he wanted to explore the town. Willow had wanted to make him a daylight ring the night before. Buffy had pointed out that hybrids were wolves and didn't need the rings. Willow, however, wasn't going to take any chances with Oz's safety and made him a ring anyway. Well, in his case, it was a necklace he already had on. She felt better knowing that the sun would never be able to hurt him.

Oz felt a strong compulsion to meet the man who had so callously changed his life. He couldn't explain how he knew where to find the man. He just followed his extinct. It led him to a very big and old house. He rang the bell.

Elijah opened the door and welcomed him inside.

"So has my hybrid finally come a calling?" Klaus said as he entered the room. "My big brother has decided to abandon me to go fight demons with a bunch of super-powered young girls. Kol, my younger brother, is anxious to leave this town and go explore the world. Since I am responsible for his lack of worldly knowledge, I feel an obligation to accompany him. At least for a time. You will join us."

"Will I?" Oz asked archly.

Klaus frowned and moved closer and looked down at the slight young man. He was unafraid and entirely too still. "Do you understand who I am?" Klaus asked.

"You are the oldest living vampire of your kind. You are basically indestructible. Both a vampire and a hybrid. You have made me like you," Oz answered simply.

"I have freed you from your curse. You owe me your allegiance," Klaus said arrogantly.

"Actually, Niklaus, Oz told me this morning that he had already overcome his curse," Elijah shared with a small smile.

"That's impossible!" Klaus said in disbelief. He examined the man whose face gave away nothing.

"I met with some monks. They taught me to control every part of my mind and body. It's why you can't control me," Oz said simply.

"So I have a hybrid who can't be compelled and isn't indebted to me in anyway," Klaus said sourly.

"You've turned me into a vampire. I don't kill. You tried to use me to hurt Willow. That's not cool," Oz said with a frown.

Finally, the man showed some emotion. "I don't understand this man, Elijah. He's now a vampire. His emotions should be heightened. Yet he's in complete control," Klaus said in confusion.

"Maybe you could learn something from your new hybrid," Elijah said with a small smile. "I must go meet Mr. Giles. I will be in touch, brother. Please, try to stay away from Miss Summers and Miss Rosenburg."

"Are you going to say goodbye to our sister? You know how she gets," Klaus said.

"I have already said goodbye to her. She will be fine," Elijah said. He turned to Oz. "Please give my brother a chance. He has some good in him, I am convinced. Maybe you can remind him of that."

Elijah left the two hybrids alone. "So I take it you guys have a lot of money," Oz said looking around.

"You could say that," Klaus said in bemusement.

"Cool. I don't really care much for riches, but it makes things easier," Oz said. He stopped and looked at a painting that caught his eye. "I really like this painting."

"You do?" Klaus asked in surprise. "What do you like about it?"

"Its loneliness calls out to me. The man in the picture seems to be seeking something that's just out of reach," Oz said, looking closely at it. "I wonder if he'll ever find it."

"I haven't yet," Klaus remarked.

Oz looked at him in surprise. "That's yours? You paint?" he asked.

"It was a habit of mine before I became a vampire. It's a habit I never broke. A constant in my life throughout the centuries," Klaus admitted.

Oz decided that a man who could paint with so much emotion had to have a soul. "I guess I can go with you as long as you let me bring my guitar," Oz said, coming to a decision.

Klaus smiled. "You're a musician?" he asked in surprise.

"It's the one constant in my life," Oz said. A sense of camaraderie sprung up between the two men. Oz gave Klaus a rare smile.

******Back at School*******

Dawn and Elena joined Matt and Bonnie at a lunch table. Caroline sat down with them. Then Rebekah joined them. Caroline was unusually quiet.

"My brothers are all leaving town for a while," Rebekah shared.

"They are?" Caroline asked. Even though she had suggested that very thing to them, a feeling of disappointment filled her.

"Elijah plans on joining Giles in England. Kol and Klaus are going to travel around for a while," Rebekah said.

"I still can't believe what Willow did yesterday. It was horrible!" Caroline said with a grimace.

"Niklaus was told not to mess with her and the slayers," Rebekah said with a shrug.

"How can you be so cavalier about it?" Caroline asked. "She ripped out his eye balls and tore off all his skin twice!"

"That's twisted! I'm glad she's not my teacher!" Matt exclaimed with a shudder.

"He shouldn't have done that to Oz," Dawn said loyally.

"So it's okay to torture if a person deserves it? How does that not make her a monster worse than Klaus?" Caroline demanded.

Dawn didn't want to fight with her new friend about this, but she felt like she had to defend Willow. "She's really sorry. She cried for hours over what she did. That's not who she is," Dawn said.

"We've all had experience with losing control," Elena reminded her. "Damon has. Stefan was ripping off heads all summer. And you, Caroline, killed when you first became a vampire. You even attacked Matt and erased his memory."

"My brother is fine. It takes a show of force to get him to hold back. He would never stop trying to drain Elena to make his hybrids if Willow hadn't showed herself so strong. He respects power," Rebekah said.

Caroline frowned but didn't say anything. It was going to be a long time before she'd be comfortable around the witch.

After her last class, Rebekah started to get up from the computer and leave when Willow called out to her. "Rebekah, could you stay, please?"

Rebekah nodded and waited until the class emptied. She got up and faced Willow. Willow chanted and threw up a mirage. "If anyone looks in, they will see you at a computer and me at my desk," she explained.

"Why so theatrical?" Rebekah asked.

Willow stepped forward and grabbed her hand. "I wanted to explain about Oz. I don't want you to think he and I are a couple since I went so postal over him," Willow said.

"You love him," Rebekah said.

"Yes, I do. I always will. But I'm not the same girl that fell in love with him. I've changed. I like who I am now. Oz knows that. I will never love another man the way I loved him, but I don't want to be with him again that way," Willow explained.

Rebekah nodded. "Okay. I understand, I guess," she said with a shrug.

"So did my bad day yesterday scare you off?" Willow asked her nervously.

"I don't scare easily. I can be pretty vicious myself. I've slaughtered and tortured before," Rebekah admitted.

Willow stepped closer. "So would you freak out if I kissed you like I've been wanting to?" she asked.

"I don't know. I guess you'll have to give it a try," Rebekah said, smiling.

Willow smiled and embraced the beautiful vampire.

******The Next Day******

Oz didn't go with Willow to school the next day, but he spent it alone. He meditated and spent time coming to terms with the new change in him. He felt powerful, and energy coursed through him. Before when he would turn into a wolf, he'd lose himself. The wolf would just take over. He didn't really get to experience the power of being a werewolf. Now, however, he knew everything was different. He figured that he'd probably be in control even as a werewolf, but he wasn't about to test that particular theory.

Willow came straight home from school to check on Oz. She loved having him with her again. It was strange how they both had changed so much, but the connection between them was still there. When she looked at him, her world felt complete. It was like coming home to a place that was both comforting and familiar. However, the sexual heat she'd always felt with him was gone. She didn't necessarily think she was born to be a lesbian, but she knew that for her it was who she was now. Enough time had passed since she and Oz had been together that way that it didn't feel awkward between them.

She found Oz in her bedroom on the floor sitting Indian style. "Whatcha doing?" she asked, sitting down next to him.

Oz opened his eyes and smiled at her. "I was meditating. It's been a lot to take in. I don't want to quit being who I am," he said.

"I doubt that could ever happen," she said. She laid her head down on his shoulder. "I'm so glad to have you here."

"Well, maybe I should tell you now that I'm leaving," Oz told her.

She sat up and looked at him. "Leaving? Why? You just got here!" Willow protested.

"Yeah, I know. I'll be back. I'm going to spend some time with Klaus and his brother. We're going to travel," Oz shared.

"What? You're traveling with that original psycho?" Willow asked in disbelief.

"He's interesting," Oz remarked. "Plus, there's things I need to know. What am I exactly? He's the only other one like me. I feel a connection."

Willow didn't know what to think about that, but she couldn't help but feel a little hurt. Oz could read her expression and reached out to take her hand. "Don't, Will. It's not about you. It's been great seeing you. I wish I'd come to you sooner, so don't be upset with me. This is something I need to do," Oz said.

"Really?" she asked doubtfully. When he nodded, she sighed in resignation. "Promise me you won't let him turn you into a killer like him. Promise me!"

Oz smiled. "That's an easy promise to make. I have no intention of being turned to the dark side," he teased.

Willow finally smiled. "You'll call me and let me know you're okay?" she asked.

"Absolutely," he agreed.

"When will you leave?" she asked.

"In a few hours," he said.

She grimaced but didn't protest. "Well, then we should go out with Buffy and Dawn for a last dinner before you leave. I don't really want to share you with them, but it'll be easier to say goodbye if other people are there," she said.

"You're still the person I love most in the world," Oz told her. For once his unreadable expression was very readable. His love was as visible as it always was.

Willow's eyes filled with tears, and she threw her arms around him and hugged him tight. "I will always love you," she said softly.

*******Caroline's*******

Caroline was lying on her bed listening to her music very loudly. She was feeling out of sorts. It confused her that she was so bothered by the thought of Klaus and Kol leaving town. She knew it was for the best, but it still upset her.

"Look at her, brother. She is lost in her own world," Kol said from her bedroom door.

Caroline rose up quickly and looked at the two brothers. "How did you get in?" she asked.

"Your mother was kind enough to extend an invitation. I had to promise to never hurt you. As if I would," Kol said with a grin. He started wandering around her room, poking through her stuff.

"We were leaving town for a bit and wanted to come say goodbye to you before we left," Klaus explained.

"Nik's one and only hybrid is going to take us on a tour of the best music scenes in the country," Kol said with a happy grin.

"Oz? Oz is going with you?" Caroline asked in surprise. "Does Willow know that?"

"It seems my hybrid does what he wants. Neither I nor his witch control him," Klaus said with a sardonic smile.

"Really? He really can't be compelled?" Caroline asked in surprise.

Kol snickered. "Leave it to Nik to pick the one werewolf in the world that didn't need a single thing from him!" Kol exclaimed.

"He is an unusual fellow," Klaus agreed.

"I think that's good a thing. At least you know he's with you because he wants to be and not because he has no choice," Caroline pointed out.

"True," Klaus said, not ready to admit how very much that fact meant to him.

"How long will you be gone?" Caroline asked.

Klaus shrugged. "I'm not sure," he said.

"Maybe you can come back for our Halloween dance," Caroline said casually.

"A costume ball?" Kol asked eagerly. "I am so there!"

"Well, I wouldn't use the word ball, but you can dress up," Caroline said.

"We'll see," Klaus said noncommittally. Caroline's disappointed expression didn't escape him. He smiled. "It's time for us to go."

Kol walked over and gave Caroline and loud smack on her lips. When she shoved him away, he laughed and hugged her. "Don't waste your time on any more mortals. We'll be in touch," Kol said. He gave her a wink.

"You better!" Caroline said.

Klaus stepped forward and kissed her cheek. "Take care, love. Your friendship has been a great gift. One that we treasure," he said.

Caroline blinked back tears. She didn't like goodbyes. "Please, behave!" she ordered.

She walked them to her front door. Oz was waiting on the porch. He waved at her in acknowledgment. "Keep them out of trouble," she told Oz.

"I'll do my best," Oz said.

"So, Oz, did you know you can run like the wind?" Kol told him.

"Really?" Oz asked curiously.

"I'll race you to the airport," Kol said.

"I don't know where it is," Oz pointed out.

"Follow me if you can," Kol called out and then raced off in a blur.

Oz watched him a moment. "Cool!" he exclaimed. Then he followed him, laughing in delight at his new speed.

Caroline laughed. "I think you're going to have your hands full," she told Klaus.

Klaus turned and faced her. "Anytime you want to join us, love, just say the word," he said.

Caroline shook her head but stepped forward and hugged him. "I'll miss you," she said softly.

Klaus had been alive centuries, but he had never encountered such warmth before. It made him ache and long for things he knew he could never have. He put his hand on her cheek a moment, their eyes locked. "I don't think anyone ever has before," he told her. "Goodbye, love." Then he was gone.

******Back at Buffy and Willow's********

Oz was gone, and Willow was sitting on the living room couch hugging a pillow. Dinner had been fun and festive. They had discovered that Rick and Oz had a similar sardonic sense of humor. There had been a lot of laughter. Now, though, Willow just felt sad and lonely.

Buffy and Dawn came into the room. "I got ice cream!" Buffy said with a grin. "Three different pints." She sat them down on the coffee table with the spoons.

"And I got two sad movies for us to cry to: Beaches and Steel Magnolias!" Dawn announced holding them up.

"There's a video store in this town?" Willow asked.

"There's Caroline. She has every sappy chick flick ever made!" Dawn announced. "Which do you want to watch first?"

"You pick," Willow said. "I saw Caroline at school today, and she wouldn't even look at me."

Buffy sat down next to her. "Give it some time. You were pretty scary," Buffy said.

"Well, she was already upset with you guys for not stopping Damon from killing Tyler. And she considers Klaus and Kol her friends. She didn't think they deserved that," Dawn said.

"They didn't," Willow said morosely. "I don't know what's wrong with me. How can some part of me enjoy torturing another living thing? That's not what Wicca is about. Maybe that's why my magic is different than Bonnie's. The spirits wouldn't empower me because I'm tainted."

"Hey, don't talk about my friend like that!" Buffy insisted.

"You know Rebekah wasn't overly upset, and they're her brothers. She said Klaus respects power and if you hadn't made it really clear how powerful you were, he never would've backed down," Dawn shared.

"See. Torture not so bad after all," Buffy said glibly. She handed out the spoons. They each picked the pint they wanted while Dawn put the movie in.

"I can't believe both Xander and Oz are gone. They were barely here," Willow said with a frown.

"We'll see Xander in two days when we fly to England, and Oz will be back," Buffy reminded her.

"I think it's funny that Klaus can't voodoo Oz with that mind stuff like he does everyone else," Dawn said with snicker.

"Yep, he's finally met his match," Buffy said happily.

That brought a smile to Willow's face. There was no one like her Oz. Klaus really didn't know what he was in for.

******The End*******

Thanks so much for reading! I've really enjoyed writing this story, and I hope you've enjoyed reading it. I wasn't too sure about how to end it. I hope you weren't disappointed! If you have yet to review, here's your chance! I am halfway through the sequel "Undone By Love" and will be posting it as soon as I can.  It will be equally fun and picks up six weeks later.  If you cannot wait to read it, you can find it on fanfiction.net.  I use the same handle.  It’s under the Buffy/VD crossover section. 

 

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