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06 February 2011 @ 01:06 am
These Hard Times (6/?)  
Title: These Hard Times
Rating: PG-13 (for now)
Pairing: Damon/Elena
Verse: Showverse
Summary: Katherine and Elena hear some disconcerting truths from one Damon Salvatore. Will it change anything? AU from 2.04 "Memory Lane"
Warnings: None unless you're a die hard Stefan fan.
Spoilers: I'll be cherry picking from season 2, so yeah, you should probably watch that first!
Disclaimer: Unfortunately they don't belong to me. :(
Author's note: This one caught me by surprise. But I've learned not to argue with the muses. That way leads to writer's block.

Chapter Six

Elena woke up late the next morning. She felt slightly sore; it took her a few seconds to remember why. Masquerade. Katherine. Binding spell. Elena stretched experimentally; everything seemed to be fine. She climbed out of bed with optimism for the first time in a long time. Katherine was locked up in the tomb; the threat to those she loved seemed to be past. Finally. She could hardly remember what it was like to live without the constant fear of death hanging over her.

As she went about her morning routine, there was one thing that still bothered her. Both Salvatore brothers had given her cause to worry over the last few days; worries that had nothing to do with Katherine and impending doom. She was used to getting weird vibes from Stefan; he had a tendency to close himself off. But Damon...Damon was always there with a quip and a smirk, even when she didn't want him to be. She'd come to rely on his steady presence and last night he seemed oddly withdrawn and...angry? She couldn't be sure. All she knew was that she had to talk to him. It was time to get everything out in the open between them.

So after eating brunch with Jenna and Alaric, Elena got in her car and drove to the boardinghouse. As recently as a few days ago, Elena would have just walked in, but now she knocked. There was no answer. She knocked again. Still no answer. Elena tried the door; it was unlocked. Well, that was strange. Cautiously, she opened the door and stepped inside.

“Damon?” she called.

It wasn't like him not to answer her. Growing more worried by the second, Elena searched the entire first floor. There was no sign of Damon anywhere. Stefan either. Elena climbed the stairs to the second floor. After a peak in Stefan's room, she walked down the hall. She'd never been in this part of the house. She'd known that Damon's room was this way, but she'd studiously avoided it. When she pushed open the heavy door, she paused in the doorway. It was enormous. Everything about this room was enormous. Large pieces of art hung on the walls. A huge flat screen TV graced one corner. A large bureau sat on the opposite wall. Finally, in the center of the room was the largest bed Elena had ever seen. It was covered in crisp white sheets with a thick down comforter. The bed had clearly been slept in, but there was no sign of Damon. Entering the room, she got a closer look. There were lots of books. Elena was surprised; she never pegged Damon as a reader, but it appeared she'd underestimated him. Curiosity piqued, she flicked through the titles. Dickens, Faulkner, Jack London. On the nightstand there was a first edition copy of Gone with the Wind. It looked well read.

“It's Damon's favorite, not that he'd ever admit it.”

Elena dropped the book in fright. She knew that voice. “Stefan! You scared me.”

“Sorry.”

“Where is everyone? I got here and no one was here.”

“You mean Damon wasn't here,” Stefan said darkly.

Elena knitted her eyebrows. “I didn't just come looking for Damon, Stefan. I wanted to see both of you. After last night, I was worried.”

“Nothing to be worried about, Elena. Katherine's in the tomb. It's over.” He stepped toward her. “We can be together now, Elena.”

Instinctively Elena took a step back. Something about Stefan's stance scared her. “It's not that simple, Stefan,” she said quietly, trying to keep the fear out of her voice.

Stefan just stared at her. “Why? Why isn't it, Elena?” His face darkened. “It's Damon, isn't it? Katherine said...but I didn't believe her.”

Elena was more confused than ever. What did Katherine have to do with it? “Stefan...”

Stefan slammed his fist on top of the nearby dresser. “He can't have you too!” Stefan said fiercely. “You belong to me!”

For the first time since she'd found out what he was, Elena was frightened. Well and truly frightened. She was paralyzed with it. Stefan had morphed into someone she no longer recognized. This was different from when he was strung out on human blood; this was jealousy. She'd known about his jealously of Damon for a while, but she had no idea how deep it ran. As long as she'd kept her on feelings for Damon buried, it was something she ignored. Now that was impossible. She needed to find her voice, find someway to calm him.

“Stefan,” she said more calmly than she felt. “This isn't about Damon.”

Stefan glared. “Isn't it? I've seen the two of you together, Elena. He loves you.”

“I can't control what he feels, Stefan.”

“But you have feelings for him,” Stefan said plaintively.

Elena swallowed. Stefan deserved the truth. The truth as best as Elena understood it; there was so much about Damon that still confused her. “Yes. I don't know what it is, but it's strong. I've tried ignoring it. I love you, Stefan. But being with you, when I'm not sure what I feel for Damon isn't fair. To any of us. I won't be Katherine. I don't want to come between you. You have to understand that.”

Elena could see the tears in Stefan's eyes. She knew this wouldn't be easy for him to accept or understand. To him, it must seem like history was repeating itself. But it wasn't. Not really. Unlike Katherine, Elena genuinely had feelings for both of them. Elena meant what she'd just said. If she came between them, she wasn't sure she could forgive herself.

Stefan sat heavily on the bed. “You were my second chance, Elena. I wanted so badly to get it right this time."

Second chance? At what? He wasn't talking about Katherine, was he? No, that wasn't possible. Then she thought of what Katherine had said on her porch just days ago. Do you see me when you look at her? I know Stefan does. Elena shivered. Was Katherine right? As much as she didn't want the answer, she had to know.

“Stefan, why is Katherine in the tomb?” she asked warily.

After a long pause, Stefan said, “I couldn't kill her. Damon was going to stake her; I begged him not to.”

Why?”

Stefan didn't look up. He stared at the floor as he said, “I still love her.”

It felt like a nightmare. She had to be having a nightmare. Here she was telling the man she thought she loved that she had feelings for his brother and it turned out he was still in love with her doppelganger. This couldn't be her life. It was too weird. Nothing made sense anymore. Suddenly, Elena had to move. She had to get out of that room. She left Stefan without a backward glance and ran for her car. She drove for the first place she could think of. She pulled into Bonnie's driveway and parked. In a daze, she walked up to Bonnie's door and rang the bell.

Bonnie opened the door a few seconds later. Her best friend took one look at her and ushered her inside without a word.

It took a long time, but Elena's tears finally ran dry. Bonnie didn't say much; she just sat with her providing silent comfort and tissues. Gradually, the story came out. Elena told Bonnie everything that happened since she'd heard Damon declare his love for her. She knew Bonnie couldn't understand; the pain caused by her Grams' death was still too raw. Elena needed to tell someone, however. She prayed Bonnie could empathize even if she didn't understand.

“Are you sure Stefan still loves Katherine?” Bonnie asked. “That just seems so...un-Stefan like.”

“You weren't there, Bonnie. He couldn't even look me in the eye.”

“Do you think it's possible that Katherine did something to him?”

Elena considered that. Finally, she shook her head. “You can't compel feelings, Bonnie. Memories and actions, yes. But a vampire can't make you feel something. It's either there or it's not.”

“What about Damon?”

“I don't even know where he is, Bonnie. I have to talk to him.”

“And tell him what? I'm not trying to be mean here, Elena, really I'm not. But maybe this is your opportunity to be free of all these vampire entanglements. You've had nothing but trouble since the Salvatores came back to Mystic Falls.”

Elena stared at her friend. Objectively, she recognized Bonnie's point. Her life had gotten a lot more dangerous and harrowing since Stefan's first day at Mystic Falls High. But the idea of not having the Salvatores in her life made her a little sick. They were such a part of her now. Both of them. Stefan and Damon had become as important to her as the friends and family she'd known all her life. And more importantly, they entered her life at her lowest point and helped her live again. Ironic that it took someone immortal to get her to appreciate how precious life was and how important it was to live it. She would forever be grateful for that, despite the pain that Stefan's betrayal caused her. None of that was Damon's fault though. Elena was only beginning to come to terms with her feelings for the elder Salvatore and she knew she'd regret it if she just let him walk out of her life.

“Bonnie, I know you don't approve. You're looking out for me and I appreciate it. Really. But I can't turn my back on him. I wish I could explain it to you, but I hardly understand it myself. I just need you to trust me.”

“I trust you, Elena,” Bonnie said. “It's him I don't trust.”

Elena sighed. They were going in circles. Elena would have had an easier time explaining that the earth was flat. Rather than try and argue with her, Elena reached into her bag for her phone. She dialed Damon's number and waited. She frowned when it went straight to voice mail. She ended the call without leaving a message and dialed Alaric. He picked up on the third ring.

“Hi, Elena.”

“Ric, have you heard from Damon? I've called and been over to the boardinghouse and I can't find him.”

Elena heard Alaric swallow uncomfortably through the phone. “You won't, Elena. He's gone.”

 

It was his third bar of the day. He lost count how many drinks he'd had about thirty drinks ago. His vampirism guaranteed that it would take many more drinks before he passed out in a stupor. Oblivion was what he craved; that place of respite where he wasn't haunted by what he'd left behind. He'd been a fool to return to Mystic Falls, he saw that now. Going home his given him scars wasn't sure would heal if he lived a thousand years. Everything he'd been had slowly and inexorably stripped away by one seventeen year old girl. It was humiliating. He stared into the polished glass across the bar and saw a stranger staring back at him.

How could this happen? Damon had no idea who he was anymore. He knew who he wasn't though. He wasn't good or noble or any of that other bleeding heart crap that Stefan embodied. Damon didn't care. He'd lost his humanity decades ago; there was no getting it back. The sooner he accepted that the sooner he could get Elena out of his head and move on. She could find some nice, sensible, safe guy and have lots of happy children. They would both be better off.

He heard the crash of a half dozen bottles from the back of the bar. A few seconds later the smell of stale liquor and cigarette smoke all but faded away against the metallic iron smell of blood. Damon's nostrils flared. His throat felt parched. He sat there on the barstool for endless seconds as instinct warred with his better angels. As if on autopilot, Damon slid off the stool and walked toward the intoxicating smell. He found a pretty brunette in her early twenties crouched on the dirty floor. She was bleeding where the glass sliced through the skin of her leg. It wasn't a deep wound, but it was enough to catch his attention. It had been so long since he'd tasted fresh blood.

The girl finally noticed his presence. “Can I help you? Customers aren't really supposed to be back here.”

Damon smiled his most charming smile. “I was about to ask you the same thing.” He gestured toward the pile of broken glass and beer. “Quite a mess.”

The girl stood up slowly. She winced as she put weight on the injured leg. “I'm fine, really. But thanks.” Clearly she had experience dealing with drunk, wayward customers. No matter.

Damon focused on her eyes; they were a clear, bright green. “We're taking a little walk, you and me. You're going to lead us out back. No screaming.”

The girl gulped and silently headed toward the back door. The bar was busy; no one noticed them leave. Damon could feel the fear rolling off her in waves. He waited for the old feeling of relish and joy to come, but it eluded him. He felt nothing but sadness. When they got outside Damon shoved her into the wall next to a dumpster. It was dark; the nearly full moon shined just over his shoulder. The girl stood there, trembling hard.

“What are going to do with me?” she asked in a small voice.

“I don't know,” he replied. He knew what he should do. He should rip open her throat, drain her dry and be on his merry way. It was so easy. He'd done it a million times for a century and half. Why was he hesitating?

Tears began streaming down her face. “I'll do anything you want, just please don't kill me.”

Damon laughed bitterly. “That's just the rub, isn't it? Don't kill you? I was made to kill you. I'm a vampire; it's what we do. We kill. Only now everything's all screwed up. In here,” he said, pointing a finger at his own head. “She's made it all fuzzy. Everything used to so clear, so crystal clear. Catch, feed, erase. It's a simple life. It was my life until her.” Damon ran his fingers through his thick hair, yanking out a few strands in frustration.

“Who is she?”

Damon fixed the girl with a harsh stare. “Doesn't matter. She's not here.” He blinked back the tears that threatened to spill over and focused his eyes on the pulse point in the girl's throat. His better angels bowed in defeat as his fangs pierced skin.

 

Elena didn't know how long she'd been driving. Time had somehow lost its meaning. The next one, she reminded herself. He'll be at the next one. There was a nagging voice in her head that told her Damon was gone for good; that he didn't want to be found. The voice sounded suspiciously like Bonnie, so Elena didn't have trouble ignoring it for the first day. But the further she got from home, the louder the voice got. When Alaric told her that Damon had left, she hadn't believed him. Not at first. The Damon she knew wouldn't abandon her. But after searching Mystic Falls high and low for him, she was forced to accept that he had left. She had been right; something was very, very wrong. It took all of five seconds for Elena to decide to go after him. She begged Bonnie to do a locator spell; it led her to a bar nearly 200 miles from Mystic Falls. That had been almost three days ago.

Alaric and Bonnie were the only ones who knew where she was; she knew that the others would try to stop her. Since that first bar, she kept driving, stopping at a few likely spots. Exhausted, she'd finally been forced to stop for the night. As she watched the local news, she saw something that made her blood run cold. A girl had been found in a shallow grave with a gaping wound in her neck. Instinctively, she knew it was Damon.

Since then the trail had run frustratingly hot and cold. There hadn't been any other deaths, but there were rumors of people with missing memories and mysterious bite marks. She decided to focus on that. That was a good thing, right? But Damon had a day's headstart and a century and half's worth of practice of not being found. It was bordering on madness to keep chasing him. Still, she had to try one last time, for her own piece of mind if nothing else.

She saw a sign on the road advertising a bar off the next exit. A few miles later, she pulled off the highway and turned right. Sure enough, the bar was a couple hundred yards down the street. It didn't look like much, but she knew better than to dismiss it. As she pulled in the parking lot, she saw a car that looked just like Damon's. For the first time, she felt a tiny spark of hope. She could only pray she wasn't too late.

Things didn't look promising when she entered the bar. She scanned the crowd for a glimpse of his telltale dark hair and blue eyes, but came up empty. She was no longer surprised that no one questioned how or why someone of her age was in a seedy bar. The trick, she'd found, was acting like you belonged there. Most of the bars she's been to in the last few days were much like this one: tiny out-of-the-way places that catered to a local, rural crowd and the occasional passerby. Hardly anyone noticed her and when she did get singled out all she had to do was bat her eyes, flash a smile and emphasize her cleavage. Part of her was dismayed at how well it worked. The rest of her was just thankful it did. She didn't think that saying she was looking for devastatingly handsome vampire would go over too well.

After discreetly checking the bathrooms, Elena sneaked out the back door. It was getting dark; the long shadows made it hard to see. Then she heard commotion on the other side of the back lot near the tree line. She tore off in the direction of the sound only slowing when she entered the trees. It was darker there; she had to watch her footing.

“Damon?” she called. “It's me, Elena.”

There was no answer, so she tried again. “I saw your car out there, Damon. I know you're here.”

Finally, she heard Damon's groan. “Go away, Elena,” he ground out.

Elena stepped into a small clearing. There she found Damon with a girl a few years older than her. She was shocked at the change in him. He looked ragged, tired and lost. Elena's heart broke for him. She didn't know what had brought this on, but she knew her Damon was in this shell somewhere. But first she had to get that poor girl out of here.

Elena held her hands out as non-threateningly as she could. “Give the girl to me, Damon. Please.”

Damon smiled a cruel smile. “Why should I? She doesn't mean anything to me, Elena. I'm a vampire. I eat people, remember? You can't make me forget who I am.”

“You're better than this, Damon. I know you are.”

“Wrong, Elena. I'm not, don't you get that? I'm not good. I never have been. I'm not Stefan. Now go home.”

Elena glared at him, hands on her hips. “When have I ever asked you to be Stefan? I know you're not Stefan, Damon. I don't want you to be him. I want you to be you. Being a vampire isn't who you are, it's what you are. There's a difference. You're a good man, Damon. You may not believe it, but I've seen it.”

“Newsflash, Elena. I'm not a man. Not anymore and I haven't been for a very long time. I'm a monster. How can you deny that after everything I've done? I broke Jeremy's neck, Elena. I killed him. In that moment, I wanted to hurt you, as much as you'd hurt me. I didn't see the ring.”

“I know, Damon. I know what happened that night. I'm so sorry. I didn't know. I didn't know how much my words hurt you. I didn't know about Katherine, but I do now.”

Damon frowned, confused. “How? How did you...”

“I heard you talking to her. On my porch. I heard you tell her that you loved me.”

The look of astonishment on Damon's face nearly floored her. Just as quickly though, his countenance hardened. “So what? Now you feel sorry for me? I don't need or want your pity, Elena. I made this mess and now I'm dealing with it. Go back to your precious Stefan.”

The idea of going back to Stefan nearly made her gag. “Why? So I can be his Katherine substitute? No, thank you,” she shot back acidly.

“So you know,” Damon said. It wasn't a question.

“Yeah, he told me when I came looking for you.” She paused. “You knew didn't you? Is that why you left?”

“I left because I couldn't keep torturing myself anymore, Elena. Knowing I can't have you eats at me. I couldn't leave so long as you were in danger, but now...you're safe. Now we can both move on.”

“No,” Elena said. “No, you don't get to make that decision, Damon. I decide who or what is best for me. And how do you know you can't have me? Why do you think I came all this way, Damon? I came for you. Because I care about you. Because I love you.”

The second the words were out of her mouth she knew they were true. She felt it with every fiber of her being. This was where she belonged. She wouldn't have moved heaven and earth to find him otherwise. It had truly snuck up on her. She'd fallen for him without even realizing it was happening.

“What did you say?” Damon asked incredulously.

She stared into his ice blue eyes, willing him to believe her. “I love you, Damon.” she repeated.

 

The words “too good to be true” kept running though his head. Damon was half convinced that he was dreaming. Elena loved him? How? Why? It didn't make sense. Coming on the heels of Stefan's betrayal, she couldn't be serious. This was some sort of game to get him to be a good boy. It had to be. But Elena didn't play those kind of mind games, not like Katherine did. He wanted so badly to believe her, but he'd seen too much, done too much.

“I'm done accepting Stefan's sloppy seconds, Elena,” he said harshly. “Now get out of here.”

Elena didn't even flinch. Instead, she closed the space between them. He could hear her heart hammering in her chest, but her face was unreadable. She looked up at him with those doe eyes of hers full of determination. “Kiss me or kill me. I'm not leaving.”

Madness. This must be what going mad felt like. Nations rose and fell as he stared at her. Finally he decided that it didn't matter how or why this was happening. If this was all he was going to get, then he was going to take it, consequences be damned.

Damon brought his hand up to cup her cheek and lowered his lips to hers. His world changed with that kiss. He knew that whatever or whoever he'd been before didn't matter. She loved him, just as he was. He could feel it. And it was the happiest, most joyous feeling he'd ever known.

It didn't take Elena long to deepen the kiss. She wound her arms around his neck and swiped at his lower lip with her tongue, demanding entrance. He pulled her to him by the waist and moaned as their tongues tangled together. It was everything a first kiss should be, just the right amount of passion and sweetness.

Eventually, Elena had to come up for air. She leaned her forehead against his, breathing hard. A soft smile graced fer features; her eyes were closed.

Damon shook his head in disbelief. “Are you crazy?” he asked quietly. “Do you know what I could have done?”

Elena opened her eyes and looked steadily at him. “I know, but you didn't. I told you, Damon. I believe in you. You're just gonna have to deal with that.”

“You never stop surprising me, you know that?”

“Am I going to get the chance to keep surprising you?” she asked.

“If that's what you want.”

“It is,” she said, nodding.

Damon held her at arm's length. “You know this won't be easy, don't you? I can't just turn off everything I was before. It's a part of who I am, who I've been for 150 years. I'll try, Elena. For you, I'll try.”

Elena reached out and stroked his cheek. “Don't just do it for me. Do it for yourself, too. None of us are angels, Damon. We all have darkness inside us. But it's how we deal with that darkness, that defines who we are. I'm sure there will be times that you'll drive me nuts, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Are you?”

He could ask for no more than that, could he? Damon nodded. “Let's go home,” he said.

Several hours later, they crossed the North Carolina line. Elena was asleep in the passenger's seat. Damon had the radio on low so he didn't wake her. They'd left his car at the bar. He'd send Alaric after it when they got back to Mystic Falls. He still couldn't quite believe what had happened. Elena had come after him. Him, Damon Salvatore, of all people. He hoped the universe wasn't playing some gigantic cosmic joke on him. Given his luck lately, he wouldn't have been surprised.

Damon had no idea what would happen now and that terrified him. What would he do when Elena came to her senses? That insecure boy he'd once been kept whispering to him. The voice that told him he'd never be good enough; that there was no way someone like Elena could ever truly love him. Only time would prove the voice false, Damon knew that. Now that he had her, he fight tooth and nail to keep her. If that meant playing nice with the other children, then he'd do it. He'd do whatever it took to make her happy. Maybe Elena was right. Maybe there was a way for the man and the vampire to coexist.

He yawned and looked at the clock. It was 4 am. They were still hours from Mystic Falls; it was probably a good idea to find somewhere to get some rest. Damon pulled into a motel at the next exit. He went to the lobby where he found a half awake clerk staring at a small television. For a second, he contemplated snapping the boy's neck and grabbing a set of room keys, but knew that wouldn't be the best way to start his new life. Pity. Paying for a room was the more boring, but practical choice. He'd just have to find new ways of amusing himself. That could wait though. Right now all he was worried about was getting Elena into a bed.

Room key secured, Damon went back out to the car and gently lifted Elena out of it, grabbing her bag for good measure. She was still asleep, but managed to curl into his chest as he walked to their room. The room itself was unremarkable, just the standard the generic bed, bureau, and TV combo. Damon barely noticed. He didn't even want to turn the lights on, he was so loathe to wake her. She'd been through so much in the last few days; she needed to rest. With one hand, he pulled back the duvet and carefully laid Elena on the bed. Even in sleep she was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen. He hoped that her faith in him wasn't misplaced. He didn't know what he would do if he failed her. Gently, he removed her shoes and his own. Then he climbed into the bed beside her. He hated sleeping in jeans, but he didn't want to presume anything. He was only going to get one shot at this with her; he didn't want to fuck it up. He was surprised when Elena snuggled into his side. Smiling, he wrapped an arm around her and drifted off to sleep.

 

Elena woke up to the sun shining though the gaps in the blinds. It took a few seconds for her to figure out where she was. She had a vague memory of Damon carrying her...somewhere. Eventually she opened her eyes and took in the room. It looked like the same type of motel room that she'd spent the last few nights in; the difference this time was that she wasn't alone. Damon slept peacefully beside her. He looked so innocent and carefree. Elena was surprised not to feel awkward or uncomfortable waking up with Damon. Instead it just felt...right, like they'd been doing it for years. It surprised her, but it didn't scare her. She'd spent so much time afraid of what she felt; she'd her fear rule her. Nearly loosing him to the darkness that was a part of him helped her overcome her fear. Living a life without him was a hell of a lot scarier than this fragile thing they had. She knew it would be hard, she'd told him as much. But weren't the best things in life the things worth fighting for?

Elena brushed a kiss across his forehead and climbed out the bed. She needed to shower. She saw her bag lying next to the bed, touched that Damon had thought to bring it. She grabbed the bag and headed for the small bathroom. As she showered, she half expected Damon to join her. She was slightly disappointed when he didn't, but mostly she was relieved. While there was no doubt that she wanted him (she'd spent far too many a night fantasizing about him), Elena didn't want to rush anything. They had all the time in world, didn't they?

When Elena stepped out of the bathroom, she saw immediately that Damon was awake. And shirtless. She swallowed audibly. Those shirts of his had not done him justice. She could feel her resolve crumbling. Looking like Damon did should be illegal.

“Nice shower?” he asked.

It took Elena a few seconds to find her voice. “Uh, yeah.”

Damon smirked. He knew exactly what he was doing to her. Bastard. “It's a good thing I've embraced this new outlook or I might have joined you.”

“I'm surprised you didn't,” Elena shot back. “No one's stopping you.”

Damon was in front of her in a flash. “Is that so?”

Elena stood her ground. “I don't want you walking on eggshells around me, Damon. I want you.”

He was kissing her before she could draw another breath. Without breaking this kiss, he hauled her up and Elena instinctively wrapped her legs around his waist. Damon backed her into the wall, effectively trapping her. Which she was more than okay with. She gasped for breath when Damon turned his attention to her jawline and neck. Her skin felt like it was on fire. When he found that sensitive spot behind her ear, Elena moaned and ground her hips in to his, relishing the feel of his hardness against her. She yanked his head back up and caught his lips in a fiery kiss.

Damon's hand was working it way up her shirt when her phone rang. She groaned in frustration.

“Ignore it,” Damon said.

“I can't. It's probably Ric; I haven't checked in yet this morning.”

Damon kissed her again before putting her down. “Remind me to kill him when we get home.”

“I might help you,” Elena replied, when she got to the phone. She hit the button on the phone with more force than she intended. “Hello, Ric.”

“Elena? Where are you? Did you find him?”

Damon was nibbling on her left ear; it was very distracting. “I found him,” she managed to say. “We're on our way home.”

“Thank god. We've got trouble.”

“Trouble? What kind of trouble?” Beside her, Damon straightened; he was on full alert. Elena took the phone from her ear and put it on speaker.

“Jeremy's missing.”

Elena stood there stunned. Damon grabbed her hand and squeezed. “How long?” he asked Alaric.

“Not more than 24 hours. I didn't call sooner, because I didn't want to worry you unnecessarily. He's stayed out before.”

That was true Elena knew. But who or what would want Jeremy? Unless...they were using Jeremy to get to her. This was her fault. If she'd been home instead of running after Damon...she fought down the rising panic. There was no sense in second guessing herself. Damon's solid presence beside her helped more than she could say.

Damon seemed to know what she was thinking. “This isn't your fault, Elena. We'll find him. Ric, we're a few hours from Mystic Falls. Meet us at the boardinghouse. Elena will call when we're close.”

“Okay, I'll keep Jenna busy until then. And Damon?”

“Yeah?”

“Don't go quite so far next time, okay?”

Damon smiled grimly. “I won't.”

 

 

 
 
Current Location: Mossy Manse
Current Mood: nervousnervous
Current Music: Tomorrow - Chris Young
 
 
 
Miranda Aurelia: elenamiranda882 on February 6th, 2011 09:29 am (UTC)
I love how this story is coming along and am looking forward to the next chapter!
michellemtsu: Daon/Elena - USTmichellemtsu on February 6th, 2011 01:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I was worried it was too much too fast, so I'm glad you're enjoying it!
(Deleted comment)
michellemtsumichellemtsu on February 6th, 2011 01:12 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm so glad you like it. I really love your icon BTW. ;)
damon_s_86damon_s_86 on February 7th, 2011 05:56 am (UTC)
I loved the chapter. It was well rounded. Every part of it felt right.

Thank you!
michellemtsu: Ian Somerhaldermichellemtsu on February 7th, 2011 12:45 pm (UTC)
Welcome! :)
damon_s_86damon_s_86 on February 8th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)
:) more? pretty please?
katiebug78: VD Damon fistskatiebug78 on February 7th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
Oooh - there's more! Loving it so much.
michellemtsu: Damon Salvatore - Wetmichellemtsu on February 7th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, there's more. Would I really do an AU season 2 story that didn't have Klaus? LOL Thanks for reading!
chateauschateaus on February 8th, 2011 03:19 am (UTC)
I just caught up with this story and I am loving it.
michellemtsu: Damon Salvatore - Wetmichellemtsu on February 8th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
Thanks!
~ danika jaidyn ~: chinadollpersephone_20 on February 9th, 2011 01:32 am (UTC)
OMG I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!!!

I think after I write this to you, I'm going to go back and read the whole chapter again :D:D

I very much love what you did with Stefan. We don't really see that jealous side of him, but we get hints that it's there. And the way that you built Damon/Elena towards being together was perfect. And and and!! So much awesome. I love that Jeremy is now missing, and I love your Damon/Ric friendship because it's gorgeous, and I'm going to stop gushing now, seriously ;)
michellemtsu: Damon/Alaricmichellemtsu on February 9th, 2011 04:22 am (UTC)
Um, wow. Thanks for all that! I just hope I can maintain the awesome. :)
~ danika jaidyn ~persephone_20 on February 9th, 2011 05:10 am (UTC)
:D I've just started watching the first season again with a friend of mine, and am realising just how different season 2 Damon is, and how you're managing to bridge the gap between seasons 1 and 2 with Damon here. I look very much forward to the next chapter.
brightstarmarabrightstarmara on March 2nd, 2011 09:38 pm (UTC)
You tease! I like that though.
michellemtsu: Damon Salvatore - Wetmichellemtsu on March 3rd, 2011 11:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I was kinda worried about this chapter, but the muses would not be denied. Now that my computer is back, I can finish the next chapter!
illuminanted: D&Eilluminanted on March 5th, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
WOW! I ADORE this story!!! I read the whole thing tonight (well, the whole thing so far, of course :D) and I LOVE it! I think your portrayal of all the characters is amazing! I especially like what you're doing with Stefan since I think he is way more selfish and jealous (and still in love with Katherine) than we see so I'm VERY glad that you do! :)

Plus, every version of a Damon/Alaric friendship is AMAZING so thank you for writing them! <3

And I OBVIOUSLY adore the Damon & Elena relationship and they way it was built up - it was just soooo AMAZING and extremely close to how I see it developing!

Overall, I can't wait for a new update of your awesome fic! :)

P.S. Is it okay if I friend you? Not just to keep updated on your fics but also because you are Delena fan and we all know that all Delena fans are AWESOME! :P
michellemtsu: Damon/Alaricmichellemtsu on March 9th, 2011 04:07 am (UTC)
Sure, go ahead and friend away! I'll friend you back. And thank you for reading! I've got the next chapter mostly finished, just ironing out a few bugs. lol