Tripp's Van

(Tripp drives down the dark winding road toward Mystic Falls with three vampires in the back of his van. One of them is Ivy and she is in a full panic as she cries and begs Tripp to release her)

Ivy: Please, just let me go!

Tripp: (calmly) I know this may seem a little barbaric. (Ivy cries desperately and continues pulling on her chains) I promise you, it's nothing personal (The other two vampires in the back also try to get free).

Ivy: Why are you doing this?

Tripp: it's a longer story then we have time for, but trust me-- you don't want this life. If you even call it that. (He turns up the radio)

Ivy: (pulls on the chains anxiously) Come on, come on, come on, come on!

(The chains finally loosen, but she runs out of time as Tripp's van passes the sign which reads "Welcome to Mystic Falls as they pass over the anti-magic border. All of the vampires are immediately affected-- one vampire's throat slits itself as blood pours from his mouth and he frantically grabs at his neck as he relives his death)

Ivy: (panicked) What is happening? (She screams in horror as she watches the other vampire, who died from a gunshot wound to the head, get a bullet wound to his forehead and die) What is happening!?

(She screams again in fright, just as her neck snaps, killing her. Tripp closes the window in the partition separating the front of the van from the back, and he continues driving through Mystic Falls with three dead vampires in the back of his vehicle)


Salvatore Mausoleum / Whitmore Dorm Room / Alaric's Office

Salvatore Mausoleum

(In the Salvatore Mausoleum, the scene picks up where the previous episode left off, with Damon and Stefan hugging each other)

Damon: I missed you too, buddy.

Stefan: I can't believe it. (They pull apart) I thought you were gone.

Damon: (smiles) Well, you didn't think I was gone gone! I promised you an eternity of misery. Heh. '

Whitmore Dorm Room

(Elena paces in front of Caroline, who is sitting on her bed. Elena has her arms folded, and she is clearly not happy)

Elena: (confused) He's back? (Caroline nods in confirmation) How?

Caroline: I don't know. Honestly everything Stefan said after "Damon's back" is kind of a blur.

Elena: (hopeful) What about Bonnie?

Salvatore Mausoleum

Damon: (about Bonnie) She sacrificed herself so I could come back. But, I don't want anyone to know. No sense making this harder than it already is.

Stefan: What are we going to tell people?

Whitmore Dorm Room

Caroline: (quietly) He said she wasn't over there.

Elena: Where is "there," exactly?

Salvatore Mausoleum

Stefan: (confused) Mystic Falls? 1994?

Damon: I know. If a bunch of witches were going to get together and create some space-time purgatory, you'd think they'd pick a better year than the one Kurt Cobain killed himself in. The whole thing was just very depressing (He takes a swig from the bottle of bourbon).

Stefan: So, how did you get back?

Damon: (sighs) Long story, big flash of light, two decades worth of jet lag. I will explain all of my adventures in that flannel hellscape, but first, there's someone I got to go see (He heads toward the door, grasping Stefan's shoulders affectionately as he does so).

Whitmore College-- Alaric's Office

(Elena stands in front of Alaric in his office with her arms folded)

Elena: I don't want to see him.

Alaric: (sigh) I get it, but that's how you feel now, Elena. If you thought there was even a chance you'd see Damon again, you would have never asked me to compel away your memories of loving him.

Salvatore Mausoleum

(Damon stops in front of the door to the mausoleum and turns to face Stefan, shocked and appalled)

Damon: She did what?

Stefan: (hesitant) ...She had Alaric do it.

Whitmore College-- Alaric's Office

Alaric: (shouts in frustration) DAMON IS GOING TO KILL ME!

Elena: (calmly) You're unkillable.

Alaric: Doesn't mean he wont try!

Elena: What do you think is going to happen when I do see him?

Salvatore Mausoleum

Damon: I just need to see her, Stefan! Our eyes will meet, fireworks will go off, and the balance of nature will be restored. She loves me!

Whitmore College-- Alaric's Office

Elena: He's a psychotic killer!

Alaric: You only feel that way because I erased all the good parts.

Elena: I don't see anything that could balance out the bad. Promise me you wont lift the compulsion. (Alaric sighs) Promise me!

Alaric: I wont, okay? Not until you ask me to.

Elena: (sighs in relief) Thank you

Alaric: But, Elena? I hope you ask me.

Elena: (uncomfortable) I have to go. I have a shift at the hospital.

Alaric: (skeptical) Since when?

Elena: Since Damon came back, and I'm trying desperately to avoid him.

Alaric: (sighs) Fine. But, if you're avoiding people, add Jo to your list. (Elena looks at him in confusion) I compelled her to forget our date the other night, and it didn't take.

Elena: (concerned) What do you mean, "it didn't take?"

Alaric: Well, either she's on vervain, or there's some other reason, but she can't be compelled. So, see if you can find out why.

Elena: Okay. Yeah, I will. Will you call Jeremy? I had to tell him about Bonnie over the phone. You can imagine how that went.

Salvatore Boarding House

(Jeremy is in a rush to leave as he grabs his phone and keys off the kitchen table. Sarah walks into the room and looks at him in confusion)

Sarah: Where are you going?

Jeremy: (coldy) Out

(He walks past her toward the front door)

Sarah: You promised me you'd help me track down my relatives.

Jeremy: (frustrated) Just... later, okay?

Sarah: Jeremy, you can't just say, "Zach Salvatore was your dad. Too bad he's dead," and then peace out!

Jeremy: (overwhelmed) I can't do this right now!

Sarah: What is so urgent to make you finally un-glue your ass from the couch? I know it's not school. It's not work. If it's another girl, I'd shower first.

Jeremy: I just need to get out of here

(He leaves the boarding house. Sarah looks confused and slightly hurt)

Woods-- Tripp's Cabin

(Enzo sits on the floor, still chained up by his wrists and ankles. The door opens and Matt enters)

Enzo: Oh, Tripp's errand boy returns.

(Matt laughs sarcastically and walks toward Enzo with a cup of blood. He bends down in front of him and purposely spills some of the small amount of blood onto the floor)

Matt: Ooh, my bad.

Enzo: Heh. That's all right, mate. Just lean in, and I'll take it right from the tap.

(Matt hands him the glass, which Enzo drinks)

Matt: I'll pass.

Enzo: Yeah, come on! I'm gonna need my strength back for when you help me escape.

Matt: Sorry. If Stefan turned you in, I'm guessing you deserved it.

Enzo: When did Stefan's moral compass become the new true north? Wasn't he the one who scurried off to some poxy little town while he let everyone believe he was still searching for his brother? Not exactly the hero move, if you ask me.

Matt: Still, I think the general population is safer with you in here.

Enzo: Yeah. Probably right. Well except for Elena, Stefan, Caroline.. you... What do you think would happen if I were to tell your boss about known vampires and their... groupies?

(The door opens, and Matt turns to see Tripp entering the room)

Tripp: Well, Savannah was a waste of gas. Minus a few blood bags, the house you told us about was empty.

Enzo: Odd. Must have smelled you coming.

Tripp: Hmm. Would have been a total bust, except I happened upon a girl that fit the description that you gave me. That was near Whitmore, five hundred miles from where you said she was gonna be. (He pulls out a phone and shows Enzo a photo of a girl) Is this Ivy?

Enzo: That's the one.

Tripp: So, I'll give you today to conjure up the location of your vampire friends, or you and I are gonna go sight-seeing in Mystic Falls. (He leaves the room, and Enzo glares at Matt as he turns away and follows Tripp out, closing the door behind him).

Whitmore College-- Alaric's Office

(Alaric is standing behind his desk and talking to Matt, who is sitting in a chair across from him, and Caroline, who is clearly angry and is standing near Matt with her arms folded across her chest)

Caroline: Why didn't you tell us Enzo has been locked up this whole time?

Matt: Honestly, I didn't know anybody was missing him.

Caroline: (incredulously) Matt!

Matt: I'm sorry! I was confused about which vampires we like and which ones we don't!

Caroline: (sighs) Okay. Well, what about Ivy? Is she there, too?

Matt: (grimly) Tripp drove her and two others across the border last night.

Caroline: (sighs) Oh, God.

Alaric: Well, do you know where Tripp is now? (Caroline sits down next to Matt)

Matt: He's running down another lead, but he didn't tell me what it was.

Alaric: Well, can you find out? We need to know who his next target is.

Matt: If Enzo talks, it'll be you guys.

Caroline: Well, that's not going to happen, because we're busting him out, right? And if for no other reason than so I can kick his ass for getting caught in the first place.

Alaric: (to Matt) You have any idea how he managed to get his hands on him?

(Stefan enters the office and joins them, looking guilty)

Stefan: He didn't. I turned him in.

(Caroline and Alaric stare at Stefan in shock and disbelief)

Whitmore College-- Dorm Room

(Elena is getting ready for her shift at the hospital. She puts her uniform in her bag when she hears a knock at the door. She instinctively heads toward the door to answer it and calls out before she opens it)

Elena: (reaches for the doorknob) Who is it?

Damon: (softly) Hey, its me. (Elena immediately pulls her hand away, stopping herself from opening the door) I just wanted to talk

(Damon leans against the door from the outside as Elena stares at it, clearly scared and torn as to what to do)

Elena: I can't. Not now.

Damon: (sighs) Look. I know why you did what you did. It's not real. You know what's real? The way you felt for me. You once told me it was the most real thing you ever felt in your life.

Elena: (gulps nervously) Those feelings are gone.

Damon: Oh, come on, Elena. You've compelled enough people to know it's just a way of covering the truth. And, no matter how badly you want it done, it doesn't make it any less of a lie, you know. (She slowly reaches for the door knob) Oh, I hear you breathing (She gasps and backs away from the door again) You have no idea how long I've wanted to hear you breathe. (She sighs and puts her hand on the door as she leans against it, and outside in the hall, Damon leans against the door as well, placing his own hand on the same spot as Elena's) Just open the door, Elena. Everything can go back to the way it was. (She pulls her hand away as he jiggles the doorknob, realizing the door is locked) Just--(He sighs as he leans his head against the door) Just open the door, Elena, please? Or, at the very least, step aside, because I'm gonna kick this door in. (She unlocks the door, and Damon hears it click. He turns the knob hopefully, and she stands there for a moment as though she's finally ready to see him. However, when he begins to open the door, she loses her nerve and vamp-speeds out the window. When he finally enters the room, Elena is gone, and he looks around the empty room and notes the curtains blowing in the breeze of the open window as he sighs).

Whitmore College Campus / Whitmore Medical Center

(Stefan is on his cell phone with Elena as he walks across the quad. Elena is at Whitmore Medical Center, pacing nervously around the halls before her shift starts)

Stefan: You seriously jumped out of a window? What if somebody saw you?

Elena: I know, I know. I panicked. I don't know...

Stefan: Look. He's been trapped over there alone for months. He just wants to see you.

Elena: Look. I get how I'm supposed to feel, but I know how I actually feel, and I'm happy now. What if I look at him and my old feelings break through the compulsion?

Stefan: Well, they won't. But even if they did, is that such a bad thing?

Elena: (sighs) Yeah. I started over just like you did, okay? I made a smart choice for myself and for my future. (She hesitates for a moment) Stefan, I kissed Liam last night.

Stefan: (groans) Oh, please forget that you told me that. And definitely do not tell Damon that.

Elena: Because he's gonna kill him, right? Just like he killed my brother!

Stefan: I was gonna say because he'll be heartbroken. Listen, what do you want to do? I mean, you have to see him eventually.

Elena: I know, but I just don't think eventually can be today, all right? (Elena spots Jo walking to a nearby hospital room and putting her cup of coffee on a cart just outside of it) I'm not--I'm just not ready (Jo looks at some x-rays before she enters the room) I got to go. (She hangs up, shoves the phone in her pocket and quickly walks toward the cart, lifting the lid off the coffee before she quickly takes a sip. She's surprised when she realizes it has no vervain in it, but when she sees Jo about to return, she quickly puts the coffee back and tries to play it cool).

Jo: (surprised) Elena.

Elena: Hey...

Jo: I didn't think you were here today.

Elena: Yeah, no... I changed my schedule around.

Jo: (sips her coffee) Okay. Follow me.

Tripp's Office

(Matt sits at Tripp's desk in front of his computer, and types in several key words to try to figure out what Tripp's plans for the day are. When he types the word "vampires" into the search bar, it comes back saying "No Files Found." He tries again with "Mystic Falls Deaths," which again comes back with "No Files Found." The door opens, and he quickly tries to hide what he is doing, but relaxes slightly when he sees it's just Sarah and not Tripp.

Matt: (surprised) Sarah? What are you doing?

Sarah: I could ask you the same question.

Matt: (closing the computer lid) You can't be in here.

Sarah: From the look on your face, you're downloading porn, or you're not supposed to be here, either. What are you doing in Tripp's office?

Matt: What do you want?

Sarah: Information on some people who used to live here. (She looks around the room, glancing at the various cabinets) You know anything about the Salvatores?

Matt: (suspicious) Not really...

Sarah: Well, according to Jeremy, Zach Salvatore was my dad. (Matt is surprised by this revelation) He supposedly died from an animal attack, and coincidentally, so did my mom. But, I've been paying attention. I know what that's code for, and your boss seems to know a lot about homicidal wildlife, so...

Matt: So, you thought breaking in here was a good idea?

Sarah: Guess we have that in common. Now, either you help me, or start coming up with a good lie when I tell your boss you were snooping.

Matt: (sighs in defeat and points to a cabinet behind her) Animal attacks are filed over there.

Whitmore College-- Alaric's Office

(Alaric enters his office to find Damon sitting in his chair with his feet propped up on his desk. There are two empty glasses and a bottle of bourbon on the desk in front of him)

Damon: Professor Saltzman. What, you couldn't compel yourself a Ph.D?

(He pours them each a glass of bourbon)

Alaric: (smiles) I can't believe you're back.

Damon: I am... heh. (He slides the glass to Alaric)

Alaric: So, how the hell are you?

Damon: (sarcastically) Well let's see Ric... I clawed my way out of some retro-pocket-universe, only to find that I needed to compel myself a new change of clothes because this anti-magic hamster-ball is keeping me from going home. And then, I find out that my best friend, rather than doing anything about it, decided that it was the best use of his time to compel my beautiful and lovely girlfriend to forget that she ever loved me... Heh. I'm great, Ric. Thanks for asking.

Alaric: Look, Damon--

Damon: (cuts him off) I know she was a train-wreck without me, but a full mind-erase? Seriously?

Alaric: She loved you too much, and it was killing her.

Damon: Well, I'm flattered, but I'm back (He takes his feet off the desk quickly and leans toward Alaric) So, let's get this un-compulsion on the books, huh?

Alaric: (awkwardly) Fine... as soon as Elena tells me that's what she wants.

Damon: (annoyed) Right. Here's the thing-- she's not gonna want to be un-compelled if she can't remember why she'd want to be un-compelled. Mmm-mmm. (He holds his glass of bourbon in one hand and holds up his empty hand, as though he's weighing his options in a balance) Chicken, egg.

Alaric: I know, and I'm sorry--

Damon: Sorry? She won't even see me, Ric.

Alaric: I get it, Damon. But, she's happy, and I'm not gonna take that away from her until she asks me to.

Damon: It's not like I don't want Elena to be happy. I just want her to be happy with me. (He finishes his bourbon and points to himself, but when he sees Alaric isn't going to budge, he slams his glass on the table and picks up the bottle before heading toward the door) Right.

Woods-- Tripp's Cabin

(Stefan and Caroline walk through the woods toward Tripp's cabin as they bicker with each other. Caroline is clearly still angry with Stefan after everything he's done since Damon died, including turning in Enzo)

Stefan: Look, Enzo wasn't being careful. Tripp would've caught him eventually, and that meant danger for all of us.

Caroline: (sarcastically) Right. So, you handed Enzo over so we wouldn't be targeted, and now you're rescuing him so we won't be targeted. Way to go.

Stefan: Well, I thought Tripp was gonna kill him. I didn't think he was going to keep him alive for information.

Caroline: (sarcastically) Oh. Well, in that case, sounds like you were just being practical. So, did you rat out Ivy, too?

Stefan: (confused) What?

Caroline: Well, you didn't want to deal with her anymore. You wanted her gone, and now she is. You know what, you really should write Tripp a thank-you note.

Stefan: (offended) Hold on a second! Enzo turns Ivy, right? A hunter kills her, and yet I'm the bad guy? I'm not the one threatening to turn in other vampires to save his own skin.

Caroline: (annoyed) The only one who turned in other vampires is you, Stefan. That's why you're helping-- guilt for getting Damon's friend captured.

Stefan: Yeah. Damon is my brother, and I gave up on him first. Enzo didn't, so if rescuing his idiot friend is gonna somehow make it up to him, that's exactly what I'm gonna do.

Caroline: Great. Good for you. Let me know when you figure out how you're gonna make everything up to me.

(They finally arrive at Tripp's cabin just as the doors start to open. Stefan's eyes widen in horror as he grabs Caroline by the arm and vamp-speeds them out of sight. They crouch down low behind a large crate and wait as they keep an eye on the cabin. Two hunters come out of the door, who suspiciously look around the area before locking up the cabin and leaving. Once they're gone, Stefan and Caroline share a significant look)

Caroline: Let's get in there (They make their way inside the cabin, only to find it completely empty. Enzo is gone) Well, where the hell is he?

Whitmore Medical Center

(Elena follows Jo down the hospital hallway while she does rounds. She notices an interesting-looking bracelet on Jo's wrist and wonders if it's vervain)

Elena: I like your bracelet. What is it made of? (She goes to touch it, but Jo jerks her hand away as she grabs a chart. Elena awkwardly pulls her hand back and rubs the back of her neck, trying to cover up what she was trying to do)

Jo: No idea. (She pauses) While you're here, can I get your opinion on something?

Elena: Sure, yeah!

Jo: Female patient-- blunt force trauma to the head, massive internal hemorrhaging, multiple bone fractures. (She leads Elena to another hospital room and opens the door) She was a victim at the corn maze.

(When they move inside, Elena is surprised and confused to find the room is empty)

Elena: Where is she?

Jo: (shrugs) Probably Freshman Lit.

Elena: I don't get it...

Jo: Neither do I. See, the patient was never admitted, even with such extensive injuries. Liam said you treated her at the scene. That's a pretty good save for someone with half a semester of pre-med.

Elena: (panics, clearly horrified) Yeah, you know, um, I think Liam was exaggerating how bad off she was. It was dark, and, yeah, there was a lot of blood--

Jo: (cuts her off) Don't. I know what Alaric is. I know what you are. If any more blood bags go missing, I know who to come to.

(She closes the door and walks away without another word, leaving Elena confused and worried).

Whitmore College-- Dorm Room

(Damon clearly frustrated and stressed as he wanders around Elena's dorm room. There are several framed photos on the dresser and her desk, all of which are of her and her friends, though none of them feature Damon)

Damon: Well, somebody was thorough. (He drinks from the bottle of bourbon and flips down the photo of Elena, Stefan and Caroline) No pictures of Damon anywhere. (He picks up the photo of Elena at her graduation) Huh. (He grabs a black sharpie off her desk and gets comfortable on her bed) Ooh... (He draws a stick figure of himself next to her on the glass of the picture frame before calling out to Jeremy, who is lurking in the doorway, without even looking up at him) It's kind of creepy, you just standing there all hulk-y and brooding.

Jeremy: Says the freak who's stalking my sister.

(Damon finishes his stick figure with two eyes and a smile with two fangs sticking out)

Damon: Technically, I'm lying in wait.

Jeremy: (approaches him) Why didn't Bonnie come back? (Damon doesn't answer, and he becomes upset) Why didn't she come back?

Damon: Because she wasn't there. It was just me.

Jeremy: (sitting on the next to Damon) You know, I paid her cell bill so I could call her phone and hear her say the same six words every day.

Damon: Sounds good. I'll give it a call.

Jeremy: Why? She hated you.

Damon: (sighs, clearly torn) Bonnie wasn't there with me, Jeremy, because she found peace. She's in a better place.

Whitmore Medical Center

(Jo hands some files to another nurse as Elena comes up behind her)

Elena: How did you know?

Jo: Besides not believing that you closed a penetrating abdominal trauma without so much as a first aid kit? Pretty sure you weren't looking for stevia in my coffee. With Alaric, I wasn't 100% sure until he tried to compel me. But then, I remembered I have really crappy luck my in my love life, so of course my hot new teacher crush would be a vampire.

Elena: So, what are you?

Jo: Busy. (She walks past Elena)If you want to stick around, there's food trays on the third floor that need clearing.

Elena: (follows her) That's it? You're gonna let me stay?

Jo: You saved that girl instead of feeding on her. That's good enough for me.

Elena: (suspicious) You're not even afraid. Not even fazed, for that matter. There's only one thing that can resist compulsion without needing vervain, and that's a witch. (Jo says nothing, but her face gives her away) You're a witch.

Jo: How about I make you a deal? You don't ask questions about me, and I wont ask questions about you.

Elena: (sighs) Deal.

Jo: Oh, and you can tell Alaric if he wants to avoid a complicated relationship, he doesn't have to hide behind compulsion to do it.

(She turns and walks down the hall, leaving Elena shocked and speechless).

Tripp's Office

(Sarah is going through Tripp's files on the town's animal attacks, which contain gruesome photos from crime scenes. Sarah looks a little nauseated)

Sarah: Maybe it was a good thing I didn't grow up here.

Matt: (curious) So, where do you come from?

Sarah: Give me the year, and I'll give you the town and foster home. (She tries to open a drawer in Tripp's desk, but it's locked) Oh, good. Wonder what's in here.

Matt: It's locked

Sarah: "Locked" means "important."

(As she starts breaking into the drawer, Matt's cell phone buzzes, and when he sees it's Caroline, he answers it)

Matt: Hey, Care. Did you get him?

Caroline: No. Enzo is not here. Any idea where Tripp might have taken him, besides the very obvious one?

(Sarah finally picks the lock on the drawer, and she and Matt start to go through it. It contains several wallets, credit cards, and a cell phone which Sarah pulls out. Matt looks nervous)

Matt: (still on the phone with Caroline) Hang on, let me see that (He takes the phone from Sarah and looks through it, revealing a photograph of Ivy as the wallpaper. When he checks the recent calls, he sees that she had a missed call from "Caroline Forbes" and looks anxious) Caroline, we have another problem-- Tripp has Ivy's phone.

Caroline: (confused) And? I mean the guy is a murderer, petty theft isn't much of a stretch.

Matt: Yeah, but your name is at the top of the "recent dialed" list.

Caroline: Oh, my God. He knows what I am.

Matt: I'm guessing he knows where to find you.

Whitmore College-- Dorm Room

(Damon sits down on the bed and picks up a beautiful framed photo of Bonnie on Elena's nightstand. He smiles and takes out his phone before dialing Bonnie's number. It goes to voicemail)

Bonnie: (voicemail recording) It's Bonnie. Leave me a message (Beep)

Damon: (scoffs) That's it? That's your outgoing message. Really? I mean, the one time I'm actively seeking the sound of your voice, that's all I get? Perfect. Hmm... Anyway, I'm in your room-- which is a lot less weird than it sounds-- but I just wanted to say that because of what you did for me, today is the day I get to see Elena. So thank you, and I'm sorry. Other than that, I don't know what to say, or what I'm supposed to say except that, defying all possible global scenarios, I might miss you a little bit. (Damon's phone beeps. He looks at the screen to see that Elena is calling him) Ooh, hey, I got to go (He switches over to answer Elena's call) So, you didn't forget my number. That's a good start.

Elena: (walks down the street) Yeah, I figured that I'd press the Damon button and see what happened.

Damon: And what is happening?

Elena: I don't know. I don't even know what I'm doing. I just-- I'm thinking we should meet face-to-face. I can't run from you forever, so... come by my dorm?

Damon: (excited) Yeah! Yeah I'll be here-- there, I'll be there, absolutely, in a bit. See you in a little bit.

Elena: Okay

(She hangs up. Damon, clearly nervous, gets up from the bed and returns the photo to the nightstand. He cleans up the room a little bit before fixing his hair in the mirror. After a moment, the door opens, and Damon assumes its Elena, not noticing right away that it is actually Tripp, who is holding a vervain dart gun)

Damon: Well, that was fast--

(Damon turns and sees Tripp and immediately vamps-out when he sees the gun. Tripp pulls the trigger, but Damon easily catches the dart in his fingers before throwing it forcefully back at Tripp, hitting him in the thigh with it)

Tripp: (groans and grabs his knee) Ah!

(Tripp then attempts to throw a stake at Damon, but he catches it and vamp-speeds over to Tripp, grabbing him in a choke-hold and holding the stake under his jaw)

Damon: Who are you?

(Suddenly, a series of vervain darts are shot from behind Damon, embedding themselves in his back and instantly weakening him.From behind Damon, a dart gun fires into his back a couple of times)

Damon: (groans) Ugh!

(Damon unintentionally releases Tripp and turns to see the two other hunters who shot him before he collapses onto the floor. Everything goes black around him)

(Some time later, Elena walks down the hallway toward her room, but stops when she sees that her dorm room's door is cracked open. She slowly pushes the door open all the way only to find the room is empty and otherwise untouched, aside from the fact that Damon's phone is laying on the floor next to several droplets of blood. Elena is horrified)

Elena: Damon!

Whitmore College-- Alaric's Classroom

(Alaric is in his empty classroom, packing up his bag, while he talks on the phone with Elena)

Alaric: Elena, calm down. Just find Caroline and get to Old Miller Road. We'll get him back (He hangs up and leaves his classroom, locking the doors behind him. When he turns to leave, he finds Jo standing in front of him him, scowling at him with her arms folded)

Jo: I had an interesting conversation with Elena.

Alaric: Yeah, and I want to hear all about it, just not right now.

Jo: (annoyed) What's the rush? Occult studies emergency?

Alaric: Yeah, I have someplace I need to be, so if you don't mind...

(He tries to pass her, but she blocks his way)

Jo: Why don't you just compel me out of the way? (Alaric sighs) Look, don't you think it's about time we level with each other?

Alaric: (frustrated) Okay, how's this? My best friend, he just came back from the dead, but now I have to save him from a vampire hunter before he is driven across an anti-magic border and killed again. So, here's some friendly advice-- it's probably a good idea to stay as far away from me as possible.

(He leaves without another word. Jo looks concerned)

Tripp's Van

(Damon wakes up in the back of Tripp's van, where he's chained by the wrists and ankles to the floor. As he starts to take in his new environment, he realizes Enzo is sitting across from him, also chained to the floor)

Damon: (groans) Ugh...

Enzo: Morning, sunshine.

Damon: Enzo? (Damon looks to see the chains on his wrists) Well, this brings back memories.

Enzo: I'm glad to see you found a way back, mate. 'Fraid it's going to be a short reunion, though. We're headed for Mystic Falls, known for it's bridges, quaint small-town charm, and a really big vampire bug-zapper.

(Damon pulls at the chains in annoyance, trying to break free)

Damon: Stefan could've told me there was a hunter in town.

Enzo: It probably slipped his mind because he's responsible for my return to incarceration.

Damon: (confused) Why would he do that?

Enzo: Probably jealous of my accent. (He shrugs) Eh, maybe he did it because I killed his new girlfriend.

Damon: Yeah that'll do it.

Old Miller Road

(Elena drives herself and Caroline down the road, and the tires screech as the car comes to a sudden stop just outside the Mystic Falls city limits. Caroline is in the passenger seat, talking on the phone with her mother)

Caroline: Sorry, Mom, Elena is auditioning for "Top Gear" (They get out of the car and look around) Yeah, okay, bye. (She hangs up) So, my mom is shutting down Route 13. Tripp will have to double back, and there's only two other ways across the border.

(Elena isn't really paying attention to what Caroline is saying. She's staring off into the distance, clearly daydreaming. Caroline bends down next to the wheels of the SUV)

Caroline: Do you have a preference? Front? Back? (Elena leans against the car, still staring straight ahead) No? Okay. (She pops one of the tires, and the air explodes from inside it, causing the car to sink down. Elena turns to face her) I think this sells a spin-out (Elena turns back again toward the dark road) What do you think? Elena?

Elena: (takes a deep breath) I want my memories back.

Caroline: Wait. What? (Elena turns to face her)

Elena: I made up my mind. If Damon survives this, then I want Alaric to un-compel me. I mean, I can't imagine ever loving him, but I also can't ignore the parts I don't like just to avoid the truth. I mean how could I make any decisions if I only know half the story? (Caroline rubs her arm affectionately, and they turn to face the road ahead of them, waiting for Tripp's arrival).

Route 9

(Alaric and Stefan have parked their car on the edge of Mystic Falls on Route 9, the only other way out of town. The sign by their car reads "You Are Now Leaving Mystic Falls, Come Again Soon." They are also pretending to have car trouble while they wait for Tripp's potential arrival. Stefan pops the hood and starts anxiously pulling out pieces of the engine while Alaric watches him in concern)

Alaric: You don't have to take apart the whole engine. We just need to lure Tripp in so we can grab him. (Stefan continues taking the engine apart) You know, it's not your fault.

Stefan: (unhappy) Pretty much is.

Alaric: Look, you're not the only one who gave up. You know, every second for the last four months, all I could think about was when I'm gonna get my next sip of blood... when am I gonna screw up and hurt somebody... why did I come back to life just to be this thing. That I used to hunt vampires, and suddenly I was one. Searching for Damon was the only thing that could take my mind off of it, but I was basically going through the motions as a distraction because... honestly, Stefan? I'd given up, too. (Alaric spots headlights approaching) There (Stefan turns to follow Alaric's eye-line)

Stefan: That's him.

Alaric: You should stay in the car. He knows what you look like.

Stefan: He thinks I'm on his side

Alaric: Yeah, unless Enzo told him different. Go tell Elena he's here

(Stefan gets in the car as Alaric approaches Tripp's slowing vehicle, waving his arms over his head and whistling to get his attention. Tripp's van slows to a halt, and inside the back of the van, Damon and Enzo can hear Tripp and Alaric talking).

Alaric: Evening. (Tripp rolls his window down partially to hear him better) I'm trying to get my buddy to a bachelor party, and our car just stopped. You think you can, uh, help us out?

Tripp: Oh, I don't know anything about cars.

Alaric: Yeah... Oh well, maybe you could give us a ride then?

(Inside the van, Enzo is looking at Damon in confusion)

Enzo: Who's that?

Damon: Ric. He's up to something. Better be something good, bastard owes me.

Tripp: Sorry, in a bit of a hurry.

Alaric: Yeah. So are we.

(Alaric punches through the glass of the window, shattering it. Tripp instinctively ducks back to avoid the broken glass, but Alaric grabs Tripp by the collar and punches him in the face).

Tripp: Uh! Ooh!

(He groans and grabs his vervain gun, shooting Alaric in the shoulder with it. Alaric holds onto the side of the vehicle and runs alongside the car as Tripp slams down on the gas, heading straight for Stefan's car. Stefan, on his cell phone, looks up just in time to see the approaching vehicle. He vamp-speeds out of the car just before Tripp's van crashes into it. The van flips over, flying through the air and crashing over the Mystic Falls sign, eventually landing upside down. Alaric is thrown off the vehicle)

Alaric: Ugh! Ugh! Uh!

(He groans as he hits the ground within Mystic Falls and rolls to a stop. Meanwhile, in the back of Tripp's overturned van, Damon groans as his gunshot wound appears in his chest from where he was originally killed. Enzo's skin is pale as he begins spitting and coughing up blood. Stefan looks at the wreckage in shock and horror from outside the anti-magic boundary line, still on the phone with Elena, who sounds extremely worried).

Elena: Stefan? Stefan, what's happening?

Stefan: Damon and Alaric are across the border. I got to go

(He hangs up and looks around, trying to figure out what to do)

Elena: (whispers) Oh, my God.

(On the ground past the boundary, Alaric is coughing up blood, and a large stab wound has appeared on his chest where he was stabbed by Esther when he originally died. It is bleeding profusely and soaking his shirt. Stefan looks at the sign that says "Welcome to Mystic Falls" before staring straight ahead at the overturned van, finally making a decision as to what to do. He steels himself and walks forward purposefully and eventually crosses the border, which causes his own gunshot wound to appear on his chest. He falls forward, clutching his stomach in pain, but forces himself to keep going so he can save Alaric, Damon and Enzo)

Stefan: (groans) Agh! Ugh! Agh! Ah!

(He pants and presses forward, picking up a crow bar on the road and walking toward the van. Inside the van, the spirit magic that makes Damon and Enzo vampires is slowly being ripped away. Damon and Enzo are both in agony and bleeding)

Damon: I came back for this?

(He looks up at Enzo and watches him in concern as he spits up blood)

Enzo: Consumption. Wasn't much fun the first time around, either.

(Stefan uses the crow bar to break into the back of Tripp's van to save them. Outside in the grass, Alaric is dying from his stab wound, too hurt and weakened to get up and move out of the town's borders, when Jo appears and runs over to him. She falls to her knees beside him and immediately starts applying pressure to his chest wound).

Jo: it's okay, I'm here. I followed you like a crazy stalker. Not one of my finer moments.

(In Tripp's van, Stefan has finally gotten the doors open and goes to help Damon, but he stops him and points to Enzo.)

Damon: No, no. Get him! (Stefan uses the crow bar to get Enzo loose from the chains that are attached to the top of the van. He then gets Damon loose. Tripp comes out of the front of his vehicle, blood gushing from his head. Instead of facing off with the vampires he tried to kill, he runs away. Damon, Stefan and Enzo struggle to get out of the van despite their injuries. In the grass, Alaric is gasping and panting as he spits up blood while Jo tries to help him medically)

Alaric: You have to get me across the border (Jo pulls medical supplies out of her bag) it's stripping away the magic. I'll die.

Jo: You'll die if I move you. I have to stop the bleeding. You nicked your descending aorta.

Alaric: I know. That's what killed me.

Jo: (holding up a package) And you didn't have me back then, did you? (She rips it open with her teeth) And, you didn't have hemostatic gauze.

(Enzo and Damon are still struggling to get out of Tripp's van. Stefan is pushing them along. Eventually, he links one of his arms with each of theirs and pulls them down the road as they grasps their stomachs and cough up blood)

Stefan: Get up! Come on, get up!

(Finally they reach the safety zone. Enzo and Damon drop to the ground, coughing, panting, groaning and trying to catch their breaths as their wounds heal. Stefan turns back toward Mystic Falls, knowing Alaric is still in the borders of Mystic Falls. Jo continues working to save him while Alaric lays on the ground)

Alaric: (anxious) What's happening?

Jo: You still with me? While I'm sealing this wound-- (She applies more gauze to his bloody chest, her hand covered in his blood)-- I want you to think about how you tried to compel one of the smartest women on campus to forget about her date with you. The date where I single-handedly saved dozens of lives without smearing my makeup. (She works quickly and Alaric gasps for breath) Alaric? Hang on! Stay with me. Come on (She starts performing chest compressions) Gonna get that heart pumping. (He gasps again) You don't get to have the last word with me, Alaric! (Alaric stops moving, his eyes now closed) Alaric!

(She screams his name and continues performing CPR, but Alaric doesn't move. From outside the border, Stefan and Damon both watch helplessly, not recovered enough to go back to save him. Damon rips his hands free from his chains and watches Jo work on Alaric, his eyes wide in shock and horror. Jo continues chest compressions, unwilling to give up)

Jo: Stay with me! Come on! (Suddenly Alaric's head snaps up, his eyes open and he gasps for air. Jo is momentarily startled, then relieved) Ah!

(From outside the border, Stefan breathes a sigh of relief. Back inside the border, Alaric looks around, clearly shaken and confused)

Alaric: So-so-something's wrong.

Jo: (strokes his face) Don't move.

Alaric: No, something's wrong. I'm not supposed to be alive.

Jo: There's no reason you shouldn't be! I sealed the wound. We just have to get you to the hospital.

(He breathes heavily and rests his head back on the grass, unable to believe what just happened).

Old Miller Road

(Caroline is on the phone, standing on the side of the road just outside of Mystic Falls, while Stefan updates her on what hapened. Caroline looks shocked)

Caroline: (quietly) Yeah, I'll tell her. Thanks (She hangs up as Elena vamp-speeds up to her, coming from the opposite direction)

Elena: I was just on Route 9, and there was a crash, but they weren't there.

Caroline: Yeah, I know. They had to get out of there.

Elena: (worried) What happened?

Caroline: (sighs) Uh, Stefan said that, um...

(She stares at Elena, not able to find the words)

Elena: (anxious) What, Caroline? What?

Caroline: Alaric crossed the border... but Jo was there, and she saved him.

Elena: (relieved) So he's okay? That means he's okay, right?

(Elena gives Caroline a look when she doesn't answer right away)

Caroline: Yeah, Elena, he's okay.

Elena: Then why do you have that look on your face? What happened, Caroline?

Caroline: (sighs) All the magic stripped away, but Jo saved him just before he died.

Elena: (doesn't understand) What? I don't know what that means, Caroline.

Caroline: Alaric is not a vampire anymore, Elena. He's human.

(Elena is shocked and troubled by this news when she realizes what this means).

Salvatore Boarding House

(Matt and Sarah enter the house after spending the day researching in Tripp's office)

Sarah: Thanks for the ride.

Matt: (closes the door behind him) Yeah, I thought I'd save you the trouble of having to boost another car.

Sarah: (smiles) That was almost funny. Hope for you yet, Donovan.

Matt: If I told you I knew about your family, promise to take a little friendly advice?

Sarah: Hang on, you know who my family is?

Matt: Read any history book about this town's founding members. The guys that live in this house are Damon and Stefan Salvatore.

Sarah: (confused) Why are you just telling me this now?

Matt: Because... (He pauses) They're vampires, and wherever they go, death and pain always follow. So, if you're looking for family, you're not going to find it here. Do yourself a favor, and get as far away from this place as you can.

(Suddenly, from the other room, Jeremy's loud, frustrated voice catches their attention. Matt and Sarah rush over to find him in the parlor, where he's shouting at his cell phone that laying on the pool table)


Matt: Jer-

Jeremy: I keep trying to cancel Bonnie's phone, but I can't without her PIN. Why can't I remember her PIN? (In anger, he slams the phone down on the pool table, smashing it into pieces. He holds up his hand, which is cut open with jagged pieces of the broken phone embedded in it and is shaking slightly. He then smashes his hand through a bottle of alcohol that sits on the pool table. Glass flies everywhere, and he punches his fist over and over again into the pool table until Matt and Sarah grab each of his arms and hold him back).

Jeremy: (fights against them) Get off! Get off!

Sarah: (gently) It's gonna be okay.

Jeremy: No, it's not! She's gone! Bonnie is gone.

(He tries to catch his breath as he starts to cry, and Matt hugs him tightly to calm him down)

Whitmore College / Mystic Falls Hospital

(Elena is at her dorm at Whitmore while Alaric is in the hospital in Mystic Falls. They are on the phone with each other as the scene switches back and forth between locations)

Elena: Jo's a keeper. How does it feel?

Alaric: (in a hospital bed) Oh, it hurts a lot.

Elena: Well, it's too bad there aren't any vampires in Mystic Falls to help heal you.

Alaric: Well, I think they got me on a morphine drip. It's the next best thing. (Pause) Elena, I'm so sorry.

Elena: No, no, no, Alaric. I'm just glad that you're okay. I mean, up until an hour ago, I didn't even want my memories to return. I was the one who made the choice to lose them. Now I have to live with the fact that you can't give them back to me. I know how much you hated being a vampire, so I'm just glad one of us got what we wanted.

Alaric: And what is it that you want?

Elena: To be able to look Damon in the eye, knowing all that I know and all that I don't, and see how I feel about him. I want to trust how I feel.

Alaric: I hope that you can. Good luck okay

(He and Elena hang up just as Jo returns to his room)

Jo: This hospital sucks! I can't believe anyone even makes it out of here alive.

Alaric: (laughs) They usually don't.

Jo: I'm having you transferred to Whitmore ASAP.

Alaric: (smiles) Thank you

Jo: (smiles) Just doing my job.

Alaric: (takes her hand) Hey, you did more than that. You gave me back my life. Thank you.

Skull Bar

(Stefan and Damon sit at a table drinking bourbon at a bar near Whitmore where Stefan listens while Damon rants)

Damon: I was this close. This close.

Stefan: I know. I'm sorry

Damon: (takes a drink of his bourbon, clearly annoyed)Oh, I got it. Everybody's sorry. You're sorry you gave up on me. Sorry you turned Enzo into that hunter guy. Ric's sorry for the compulsion. I'm sure if Elena could remember anything. she'd be sorry too.

Stefan: You've gotta understand how hard it was for her.

Damon: I am so tired of hearing how hard it was for her. It was hard for me as well.

Stefan: At least you knew you had a home to come back to. She didn't have anything. To her, you were just gone.

Damon: Guess I still am. Ric said she's happy without me since she's erased me. You know what? I don't want her to be happy. I want her to be miserable, just like I am.

Stefan: (rolls his eyes) You done?

Damon: Yeah. I'm done.

Stefan: Good. Now, quit stalling. There's a girl you need to go see.

Damon: What if it doesn't work? What if what we had isn't strong enough to break the compulsion?

Stefan: You're not going to find out just sitting there, are you?

Damon: (thinks about it for a moment, then finishes his drink) Here goes everything.

(Damon leaves. Stefan sighs and sits alone at the table until he spots Caroline walking down the street. He quickly leaves the restaurant to catch up to her).

Stefan: Hey.

Caroline: (turns toward him) Hey. So, am I your last stop on the Stefan Salvatore Apology Tour?

Stefan: Could we just get past this, please?

Caroline: I'm trying to.

Stefan: Look, Caroline. What do you want me to do, huh? Stop making me guess and tell me so we can go back to being friends again.

Caroline: Yeah, well... you know, that's the thing, Stefan-- after all of this, I... I don't want to be friends anymore.

(She walks away, leaving him alone on the street. He sighs and shoves his hands back in his pockets)

Whitmore College-- Dorm Room

(Music plays as Damon walks down the hallway toward Elena's room)

(Inside Elena's room, she goes through the box of Damon's things she retrieved from Alaric's office. She pulls out her diary, which holds a strip of photographs of the two of them together. She pulls the strip out and looks at it. Damon continues toward Elena's room as Elena pulls out Damon's black leather jacket from inside the box)

(Damon reaches Elena's door and knocks. Elena takes a deep breath, pausing for a moment as Damon waits anxiously at the door. Elena hesitantly walks toward it, reaches for the doorknob, and slowly opens the door to face Damon. After four months of Damon being gone, the two finally get a chance to see each other face to face. Their eyes meet, and they stare at each other)


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