michellemtsu (michellemtsu) wrote,

These Hard Times (One-shot)

Title: These Hard Times
Rating: PG-13
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (Showverse)
Characters/Pairing: Damon, Katherine, Elena, Damon/Elena
Spoilers: Through 2.04 "Memory Lane"
Summary: Katherine and Elena hear some disconcerting truths courtesy of one Damon Salvatore.
Disclaimer: Nope, still not mine.
Author's note: My first TVD fic of season two! Enjoy.


The half moon shone through the trees lining the street, illuminating everything in an ethereal glow. Not that Damon needed it, of course. Seeing well in the dark was one of the many perks of his nature. But this night he was grateful for the light. With his crazy ex on the loose he needed every advantage he could get. Katherine could snap him like a twig if she wanted to and there wasn’t much Damon could do about it. She had two hundred years on him. But he was determined to go down fighting, take the psycho bitch with him if he could. There was no doubt in his mind that a confrontation was coming. Katherine was back for a reason, a reason that had very little to do with the Salvatores. Damon had a sinking feeling that Elena was the key to whatever Katherine was planning. And as much as Elena hated him right now, there was no way Damon would let anything happen to her. Hence the vigil in front of her house, especially now that she and Stefan were on the outs. Damon was skeptical about the validity of their break up, but he wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth either. Elena may not know about him watching over her, but it gave him piece of mind. Who knows maybe one day she would know, and it would gain him some points with her. Damon knew that Elena may never love him the same way he loved her, but he was determined to regain her friendship. He’d rather have her that way than not at all.

“She’ll never love you, you know.”

Damon glanced to his left and sure enough, Katherine sat in the rocking chair next to him. Every muscle in his body tensed, prepared for whatever the bitch wanted to throw at him.

“Don’t you have a minion to browbeat?” Damon replied, ignoring her possibly all too true observation.

“Oh, Caroline’s not going anywhere. Right now, I’m more interested in you.”

That puzzled him. Why the hell would Katherine suddenly be interested in him? Hadn’t she spent the last 145 years proving just how not into him she was? Now she suddenly gave a shit? Damon wasn’t buying that for a second.

“Unfortunately, I left my give-a-shit ring in my other pants.”

“Come on, Damon, we both know that I’m going to get my way eventually. Why are you being such a spoil sport?” she asked.

Damon finally turned to face her. “Why are you even bothering, Katherine? We both know you’re the strong one here. You can just take whatever it is you want. Why play these games?”

Katherine actually looked surprised and a little hurt. “For the same reason you do, Damon. For love.”

Damon was momentarily stunned but he recovered quickly. “Screwing with people is not love. It’s sadistic and cruel. I should know,” he said bitterly.

“Just because I don’t love you, doesn’t mean that I don’t know what love is, Damon. I love Stefan. It’s always been Stefan.”

And for just a second, Damon was back in that terrible moment. The moment where he’d lost Elena. He could practically hear Jeremy’s neck snapping. Hearing Elena echo Katherine’s words had been quite possibly the worst moment of his existence. He couldn’t prevent what he said next. “Stefan,” Damon whispered, “it’s always Stefan.”

“I don’t why you’re so surprised, Damon. You’ve been passed over for Stefan your whole life. First Guiseppe, then me and now…Elena,” Katherine said matter-of-factly, nodding toward the upstairs window. “You’re forever second best.”

Jealously bubbled up in Damon’s chest, but he ruthlessly suppressed it. Katherine was trying to get a rise out of him – to let his guard down – but he couldn’t let her. He’d be damned if he let Katherine get to him. He took a mental deep breath and focused on what was important, keeping Elena safe from the psycho in front of him.

“Now that you’ve oh so helpfully pointed out my fatal flaw, why don’t you go? I’m busy.”

Katherine laughed that cruel laugh he knew so well. “Busy doing what? Stalking the girl who wants nothing to do with you? Because if you’re here for some other reason than you’re pathetic obsession with my doppelganger, I’d love to know what it is.”

When Damon didn’t reply, Katherine smiled. “That’s what I thought. Seriously, what is it about this girl? She has both of you wrapped around her little finger. Do you see me when you look at her? Is that it? I know Stefan does, but what about you?”

Damon knew the answer, of course. He wasn’t Stefan. Like his brother, he’d been intrigued by the freakish resemblance, but he never seen Elena as Katherine. They were polar opposites in almost every way. Damon decided to tell Katherine the truth. He could be nothing but truthful when it came to the girl sleeping upstairs. Plus it would piss Katherine off. A lot.

“The only person I see when I look at her is Elena. Sorry to burst your bubble, Katherine, but not everything is about you.”

Katherine’s gaze, which had been curious if mildly bored, suddenly turned angry. She was a blur of movement, but Damon anticipated her reaction and beat the older vampire to Elena’s front door. Barely, but it was enough. Katherine stopped dead in front of him and glared.

“Get out of the way, Damon.”


“I can make you. You know that. This has nothing to do with you.”

“You threatening Elena has everything to do with me.”

“She hates you, Damon. You killed her brother. She’ll never forgive you. Why are you protecting her?”

“Because I love her,” Damon replied without hesitation.

Katherine looked disgusted. “You’re even more pathetic than I thought. This hero act is going to get you killed. Again,” she reminded him.

“At least this time it’ll be worth it,” he said, echoing their earlier conversation.

“Fine. Suit yourself.” With that, Katherine turned and was gone in a flash.

Damon exhaled, letting go of some of the tension. He’d successfully called her bluff. Katherine needed Elena for something. He was sure of it now. Otherwise he’d be dead already and so would Elena. But what was it? Damon pondered that disturbing thought as he settled back into his place of the porch. It was going to be a long night.


Upstairs, Elena climbed down off her perch in the window. She’d been unable to sleep; the all too real fight with Stefan kept running through her mind. What if they were making a mistake? What if Katherine didn’t believe that their break up was real? What were they going to do? As Elena turned the situation over and over in her head trying desperately to find a way out of it, she heard voices down on the porch. Damon’s she recognized instantly. When she also heard a slightly distorted version of her own voice, however, Elena’s eyes went wide. Katherine. At her house. Her first instinct was to run, but Elena knew that wouldn’t do any good. Katherine was too fast; she’d never get out of her room. So instead she peaked out the window and listened. And what she heard had shocked her profoundly.

It was like puzzle pieces falling into place. Well, some at least. And none of them had to do with Katherine. No, it was Damon who revealed himself to her. Damon, who’d always been second best, even though he was older. Damon, who wore his heart on his sleeve only to have those he loved stomp on it over and over again. Suddenly, she truly understood what happened the night Damon snapped Jeremy’s neck. Damon had said that Katherine had pissed him off, but Damon hadn’t been telling the whole truth. When Elena heard her own words to Damon echoed by Katherine, she understood. Elena had unknowingly rejected Damon the exact same way Katherine had rejected him. It didn’t excuse what Damon did by any means – and Elena was still extraordinarily angry with him – but at least she understood. Understanding is the first step to forgiveness, as they say.

When the conversation turned to her, Elena nearly threw up. Katherine had to be lying. She had to be. There was no way Stefan saw Katherine when he looked at her. Not the Stefan she knew. No, her heart refused to believe it. Then she remembered the look Stefan had given her at the Founder’s Day parade, when she was dressed in period costume. He’d smiled at her, yes, but it was unlike any smile he’d ever given her. It was almost like he wasn’t seeing Elena, he was seeing a memory…a memory of Katherine. No, no, she was just being paranoid. Stefan loved her, not Katherine. Elena’s sanity rested on that notion. It had to be true, because if it wasn’t…Elena didn’t know how she could survive it. As disquieting as that thought was, Elena’s heart involuntarily swelled seconds later when Damon said that he only saw Elena when he looked at her. A wave of shame washed over her. Despite everything that had happened, Damon was devoted to her. Elena recognized that now. And she’d taken advantage of that devotion, when she’d tricked him into giving her Katherine’s journal. As angry as Elena was, Damon didn’t deserve to be played like that. Damon had been treated like that his whole life. Elena resolved to do better in the future. If Damon could try and be better, then so could she. Elena wasn’t ready to forgive him; but deep down she knew it was just a matter of time.

Hearing Katherine demand to know why Damon was hellbent on protecting her pulled Elena out of her thoughts. Elena already knew the answer, of course. But to hear Damon proclaim his love for her with such sincerity made her heart flutter. She knew it shouldn’t. Elena knew she should be disgusted. She hated him after all. He killed her brother. But that didn’t make what she felt any less true. And that’s when she knew. Damon was right. She did feel something for him. Something more than friendship. That’s why what Damon did hurt so much, why she was so angry with him. Somehow Damon had gotten into her heart and she had no idea how to get him out. Or even if she wanted to.

How had her feelings for Damon become so complicated?

What kind of person did that make her? How did that make her any different than Katherine?

It was going to be a long night.

Tags: damon/elena, fic, vampire diaries
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