Maybe part of it was the thrill of deciding something--anything--with Ric, even if they hadn't told anyone, hadn't discussed when to tell anyone, or how or...whatever. It didn't matter right now. Elena was hurting and, if he was honest, so was he. Whatever else...Stefan was his brother and he loved him and watching all he'd accomplished fall apart again hurt. No Lexi to pull him back this time, either. She was the only one who ever had, but thanks to him, she wouldn't be fixing things this time.
It seemed like Stefan didn't want to be fixed.
Damon would be damned--more damned?--if he let his brother take Elena down with him.
Which was why he was letting himself into her house and putting coffee on, and starting to bang pots around to figure out what they should make to go to the party.
Well, that needed to not happen again, Damon thought to himself as he moved through the city, blending with the crowd and shadows. The bright lights were all around, but that just kept even more people's attention off of him. There were too many other things to look at.
He'd forgotten how easy it was to hunt in the city, and he had to wonder why the hell he'd ever left. It wasn't for anything...god. It seemed so long ago. Thinking he'd be the one to free Katherine. That she'd love him forever, that they'd hunt the night and lord it over everyone else, just the two of them.
That he wouldn't be alone, haunted only by the girl who'd been taken and the brother who'd damned him.
Fuck, but what was that saying? The more things changed...
A girl bumped into him, and apologized before thinking she could slip past him. Damon's hand slipped out and grabbed her arm, hard and fast. Before she could bother protesting, he had caught her gaze, compelled her to silence. Then slinging an arm around her, he guided her down the street, looking for a quiet place for a snack.
Maybe that would take his mind off the level of fucking horror these last few months. Or keep him from taking out his phone and sending a text for another night of...not aloneness.
Tell me where to now 'cause the lights are up
And the covers and the gloves are off
There's no win or lose so go ahead make your move
Let's just pray that it's good enough
There's a war in my heart getting tired of fighting
When you say that you love me it hurts like lightning
In the end, he couldn’t stay. He tried; God knew he tried. He wanted to be there for her, to make sure she made the transition all right. For as long as he could, he stayed. He fought with Stefan and went toe-to-toe with Matt and snarled for her right to choose her own path rather than being forced to be what Stefan wanted her to be: some other version of himself, fettered to human morality.
Damon knew what it was to lose yourself; to lose everything you hoped for and dreamed of; to let go of your life; to have to forge a new one. Stefan was going to keep her trapped in a cycle of denial, for fear of what she could become, but…
But she’d chosen Stefan. It didn’t matter that she had to know, now, that she’d met him first. Didn’t matter she likely remembered <i>everything</i> he’d ever made her forget. She’d chosen Stefan.
And a few minutes later, Ric had died in his arms, and after that he didn’t see much point in sticking around.
Besides…he’d promised to go.
* * *
There hadn’t been much reason to stay. Elijah said they’d done enough. Nothing left to bury; nothing left to burn. He was angry, she thought, at what she’d done. Or maybe he was just angry at their mother, or himself. She couldn’t be certain. Where Nik’s anger was obvious, and he never had let you wonder about what you’d done…Elijah was cold. Contained. Remote.
Rebekah wasn’t sure if it was anger, then, or who it was aimed at, or if he had just shut down in grief, shattered into pieces he couldn’t pick up.
If he was angry at her, he didn’t lash out. When she cried, he held her; when she woke in terror from nightmares, he was there.
But he wouldn’t let her in; wouldn’t let her see his own grief; most certainly wouldn’t talk about it.
The modern world was still new to her, and she drifted through the streets of New York, so changed from the last time she had visited it with Nik, before they’d gone to Chicago. Kol came and went; Elijah stayed; and she wondered if she would ever get the chance to really live, or if the next thousand years would be a more grief-stricken version of the last.
* * *
( He hadn’t meant to follow them )
Damon had spat the words at Matt, rejecting his words, his offer, and they echoed in his head now and again. But when he walked away, there had been only one place he felt he could go: home. Part of him was certain he should have gone elsewhere, somewhere he could disappear.
The other part of him half-wanted to be found, wanted to see if they would come after him, come to find him.
Florence had always been home, a place where he could settle into like a second skin. Funny now, how badly he'd wanted to get out of it when he'd been human. Now, it was a beacon, always.
He'd settled back into the exclusive house on Via Tornabuoni, its polished wood and marble frescoes and inlaid floors soothing something inside of him. Tonight, though, he'd left it for the clubs he knew a lot of students frequented. They always made such easy hunting, the girls all but begging to be embraced by darkness. It was almost too easy.
He had a drink in his hand, sitting on a couch in the VIP section. Several girls were vying for his attention, but he was only half paying attention, his thoughts half a world away.
He was a vampire, a predator. Once upon a time, he'd been death lurking in the shadows. He took what he wanted. He didn't ask for permission.
And now...well, on several levels, yes, he had everything he wanted. People weren't happy about it, but so far no matter how badly he acted, no matter how far he pushed against the boundaries, no one snapped back. He didn't know what to make of that. Shouldn't they be snapping back? Shouldn't someone be drawing lines?
Granted, he was all ready to rip through the lines already drawn, as well as someone's throat. He remembered the last real taste of fear he'd had, the night he and Rebekah had hunted those girls through the club, and he shivered just a bit. Biting his lower lip, he sent her a message.
My room. Now. I have a plan.
He didn't know.
He just knew that he wasn't ready to give up what was really just supposed to be a one time thing.
He'd told the Original siblings that he needed to close up a few things, and to meet him back at his room. Rushing back, he'd made sure of a few things--stocked on blood bags; actual candles lit because, well, it was sort of a Valentine's Day recreation in some ways; lacing some wine with blood.
With a bit of a smirk to himself, he sent a message to let them know everything was ready, then poured himself some of the wine and waited for them to arrive.
Elijah groaned at the roll of her hips against him, pressing up against her again. She was warm and wet against him and the only thing in the world he wanted was to bury himself inside of her. Her nails only heightened that, sending shivers over his skin.
Damon watched them both and shifted closer, kneeling next to them. His fingers lifted Rebekah's hair out of the way as he pressed a kiss to the shell of her ear, nibbling a bit before murmuring, "An excellent idea. Do we want to tease him a bit, or should you shift just a bit..." His fingers found the inside of her knee and trailed upward toward her core, the backs of his nails dragging along Elijah's side in turn. "And start this off with a bang?"
The Contessina de' Bardi, Cosimo de'Medici's wife, was talking to his father on a corner settee, fan lightly tapping on his arm as she related some story. Guiseppe, Conte di Salvatore, bore it well, laughing lightly when it was appropriate and paying the right amount of attention to the wife of the man he looked to as a patron. Damon felt his lips curve in a sneer, as he turned away from the sight, pushing through the crowd far more easily with his lithe form and without the bother of a sword on his hip. No one took any note of him, despite the leather and denim in place of doublet and hose. Something whispered in his mind that things were off kilter, but he brushed it aside, intent on a hunt of his own that had little to do with society's foibles.
( Cut for length and possible disturbing imagery. Warning: slashy, incestuous content below )
The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.
It's strange what desire will make foolish people do.
I never dreamed that I'd love somebody like you.
And I never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you,
No, I don't want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I don't want to fall in love (This world is only gonna break your heart)
With you (This world is only gonna break your heart)
2. David Bowie - "Within You"
How you turn my world
You precious thing.
You starve and near exhaust me.
Everything I've done,
I've done for you.
I move the stars for no one.
You've run so long.
You've run so far.
Your eyes can be so cruel,
Just as I can be so cruel
( Cut for the length of the rest of the lyrics )