|The Tangled Webs We Weave
Author: LostInLost18 PM
AU, set after 1x03. Due to his vendetta against Stefan, Damon starts to go after Elena, compelling her and using her to torment Stefan. When he starts to feel for her, that's when it all becomes complicated, a matter which gets only worse as time goes on.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Suspense - Damon S. & Elena G. - Chapters: 7 - Words: 31,428 - Reviews: 33 - Favs: 34 - Follows: 41 - Updated: 10-17-11 - Published: 02-02-11 - id: 6710203
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 7: Here There Be Monsters
I have so much to say, and yet words fail me. Imagine the worst kind of nightmare, the worst kind of darkness, and you will still not come close to describing the utter horror my life has been surrounded by.
Though my passion involves writing – or it used to, I can't really remember the last time it had any meaning in my life - somehow, I've never been a big believer in anything I see. Aliens, ghosts, monsters – they were all a part of the books I loved reading, never something to fear or prepare myself for. I remember my father used to quote Einstein, saying that logic only got you from A to B, but imagination took you everywhere. What I didn't imagine – couldn't imagine – was that it could take you somewhere dark and make it real.
Damon and Stefan are vampires. And Damon hurt me – in more ways than one. And I think it goes a lot deeper than that, because there are holes in my memory that don't make sense, but I fear if I try and ask questions, I'm not going to like the answers.
And the worst part is, I think there's a part of Damon – a part he's not showing – that knows exactly what he's doing. Sure, the revelations about Stefan make me feel like somebody's punched me hard in the gut, and my head is screaming to get out while I still can, but I feel like Damon is the worst part in all of this.
After all, it's worse if somebody does something cruel and horrific and they know they're doing it, than if they did that same act without knowing, without realizing that such an act has consequences?
Elena had to stop writing when her pen trailed off the page, her hand shaking violently. She breathed in and out, unsurprised when two frightened tears dribbled down her cheeks.
That's all she'd been doing over the weekend – crying, and writing, the latter of which seemed to be a more productive action.
She'd had endless calls and messages from Stefan – which she'd naturally ignored – but thankfully, he'd not tried to barge his way in. In fact, it almost confused her he'd not tried to make physical contact with her. She had no idea how she would've explained to Jenna and Jeremy that she didn't want Stefan anywhere near her, not without telling them a segment of the truth, and even that was dangerous.
The worst part was the fear, combined with the waiting. Waiting for something bad to happen, for Damon to come swarming in with his charm, his demands simple, his expectations high, and her resistance low. She wrapped her arms around her stomach, trying to hold in its contents. She'd not strayed out of the house, and whilst normally Jenna and Jeremy would've found that odd, luckily Jeremy didn't really seem to give two hoots what she did these days, and Jenna was easily convinced with a well thought of– and, let's face it, not exactly a stretch from the truth – lie about how this latest fight between her and Stefan had really got her down, and she just wasn't up to facing the world.
Elena pushed off her bed, glaring at the morning sun with irrational hatred.
How could something so bright, so warm, still exist in her now cold and dark world?
She traced the mark on her neck, her fingers trembling. She barely felt safe enough to leave her room, let alone elsewhere, and she knew she had to draw courage from somewhere before Monday dawned, as no excuse in the world would manage to get Jenna off of her back should she refuse to leave the house then.
"Have a nice sleep?" came a familiar taunting voice.
Elena flew backwards in alarm, her feet stumbling over a pile of clothing she hadn't gotten round to tidying away just yet. As she fell, she felt a rush of movement, before a hand entwined with hers, and she was promptly pulled to her feet, her eyes immediately falling into line with Damon's.
"Go away," she growled.
"Aw, that surely merits a thank you? I saved your life," Damon mocked, tilting his head and gazing at her curiously. "Tsk, so ungrateful…"
She lowered her head, every part of her trembling with fear.
"Either get out, or I'll set Jenna on you," she managed to force out.
"Hm, I somehow doubt that, considering you're intent on keeping your dear aunt out of this little mess," Damon replied, the threat vague, but she knew it was there all the same. "So, let's skip the part where you pretend you have leverage against me, and let's keep this civil, hm?"
"What are you doing here?" Elena spat, backing away from him.
"Doing what my brother can't." Damon kept his gaze even, controlled. "Checking up on you. Making sure you haven't opened your mouth and let certain secrets slip."
"Who would believe me, even if I did tell someone?" Elena pointed out shakily.
"True. Fair point," Damon agreed.
He ignored her flinching look as he closed the gap between them, his fingers hesitantly circling the huge ugly bruise on her neck. She could almost – almost – mistake the look in his eyes for regret. Luckily she knew better, although she couldn't shake the feeling perhaps there was more to Damon than she was willing to see.
"I didn't mean for that to happen," he told her, and it almost sounded sincere.
And that, in return, gave her mind enough room for doubt to crawl in, which was perhaps the most frightening part of this whole nightmare, the fact nothing seemed to make any sense anymore.
"Why? You've made it clear your mission is to hurt and frighten me," she spat, using her anger to cover up her doubt. "Don't bother saying sorry, Damon. We both know you don't mean it."
"I don't do sorrys anyway," Damon replied, grinning wryly.
He could hear her heart pumping, and, in another time, another place, it would've given him an enormous amount of pleasure to know his presence brought out that reaction in her. Right now, he could see she was genuinely frightened, and surely it would've been easier to compel her to forget. Wasn't that always the easiest choice, compulsion?
But, then again, since when had easy been the fun option?
"Please leave," Elena begged, hating how vulnerable she felt around him.
"Now where would be the fun in that?" Damon said, almost singing the words. "You and I both know, as much as you want to, you can't avoid me and Stefan forever. You'll have to leave the house sometime."
"Don't threaten me," she snapped, trying to worm her way past him so she could do something, preferably involving hurling some sort of heavy object in the direction of Damon's unnaturally perfect face.
"I don't make threats, Elena," he told her flippantly. "I make promises."
All of a sudden, he'd changed tactics, moving towards her bed, his eyes falling down on her diary.
"Ooh, literature," he began, reaching out for it.
In a bold move – even for her – Elena had struck his hand away, breathing heavily as if she'd just figured out the stupidity of such an action.
"Dear, dear," Damon tutted, his face twisting with disapproval, although she thought she could detect some sort of mild amusement there as well. "Provoking a vampire? I thought you had more sense than that."
"That's my diary," she growled, finding strength in her anger. "Get the hell out before I do something – "
"Like what?" His sneer caused her to flinch. "What can you possibly do to me? Your threats are empty, my dear Elena."
The colour drained from her face, as though this fact had just been made abundantly clear to her. She took a tentative step back, whirling around only to find he was right there, no longer smiling.
"Please…" she begged, trying to reach the human side she was sure was there somewhere. "Leave."
He tilted his head fractionally, the corners of his lips turning upwards. Other than that, however, she couldn't see any flash of emotion which indicated what he was going to do next and, instinctively, she tucked her chin into her chest, folding her arms around her shoulders, trying to protect every naked part of her body he could tear into.
"I'm not going to feed on you," Damon chuckled, amused by her fear.
Elena looked up, her expression guarded.
"What are you going to do?"
"Give you some advice," Damon said, which, naturally, completely threw her. "One, be careful who you invite in the house. Vampires have this nasty habit of being able to enter a house again and again once invited in." He flashed a smile at her. "And you were so kind enough to welcome me in that night, I just can't express my gratitude enough."
She closed her eyes, unable to believe her own stupidity.
"Two," he continued, his tone surprisingly gentle. "I don't want you to be afraid."
"Why? You're monsters," she spat.
"Because being afraid means you're going to be vulnerable," he snapped. "And you're going to need to be strong, Elena."
Elena's eyes pooled with surprised tears, and she found herself unable to react when Damon's fingers gently cupped her chin, lifting her head up so her eyes were in line with his.
"How can I be strong?" she forced out. "Vicki's a vampire. My boyfriend is a – a monster. You're – " She bit back a rising sob. "I thought you were my friend."
It was Damon's turn to look surprised.
"Friend?" he repeated, his expression guarded. "Why would you think that? You barely know me."
"I know. But I thought you were so charming that night. And you seemed to understand me," Elena confessed, a fiery flush colouring her cheeks. "And I thought I saw a kindred spirit in you, because I knew you'd lost someone too." She snorted, shaking her head at her own foolishness. "I suppose Katherine was someone you and Stefan tortured and killed, rather than dying in the nice little fire story you've cooked up between you."
Without warning, Damon had grabbed her by the throat, and slammed her against the wall, the veins around his eyes bulging into view.
"You do not get to talk about Katherine like that," he snarled. "You know nothing!"
A frightened mewling sound left Elena's lips before she could stop it. She felt herself start to shake, her eyes closing as she prepared herself for the intense pain which was surely about to come.
But when she opened her eyes, Damon had gone, the only reminder he'd been here was the faint pain along her neck where his hand had been.
Unable to come up any kind of reaction, Elena felt her legs buckle before she crumbled to her knees, her head bowing down and touching the carpet, harsh sobs ripping themselves out of her.
I feel like Damon is the worst part in all of this.
Guess she was right after all.
Damon was back at the Boarding House within minutes, a glass of his finest Bourbon immediately in his grasp. After taking a moment to deliberate, he ignored Vicki, who looked extremely sulky after discovering sunlight actually could kill her, and so had stretched herself on the couch, loud music blaring out of her – Well, Damon's – IPod he'd lent to her just to shut her up, and instead made his way to the cellar, where he could hear Stefan grunting and groaning.
"Oh, pipe down, little bro," he chirped. "I've come to set you free."
"What did you do to Elena?" came Stefan's furious response.
"Nothing… Yet," Damon replied, rolling his eyes. "But she doesn't really seem to think much about your lifestyle, so I think you have some serious damage control to fix."
"Damon – " Stefan wheezed, still weakened by the daily doses of vervain his brother had given him.
"Relax. I've got your back," Damon said, opening the door, allowing Stefan to stagger out. "I hope you spent your time-out wisely. I can get you anytime, anywhere, and if you piss me off again, well, you'll end up in here for longer. Keeping the vervain stash quiet? Shame on you…"
The main advantage of releasing Stefan now was that he was too weak to fight back, but of course there were other advantages too, such as the fact it gave Damon an enormous amount of vindictive pleasure to see his self-righteous brother weakened to the point of collapse.
"I…will…kill…you," Stefan spat, his eyes flashing with fury.
"Good luck with that," Damon drawled, amused. "Meanwhile, I shall set about a less impossible task, and go and deal with our guest."
"Deal with as in…?"
"I thought I'd read her a bedtime story," Damon said sarcastically. "She's a menace, Stefan. She needs to be put down."
Stefan shook his head.
"You've truly gone past the point of no return," he admonished solemnly.
"Let's not forget who set me off on this path with promises of power and women," Damon reminded him darkly. "So don't judge me for a lifestyle you were once arrogant enough to claim yourself king of, okay?" He eyed Stefan up and down. "Oh, and go and get showered will you? Your crippling self-loathing is seriously stinking up this place."
Stefan groaned, but hobbled in the direction of the stairs, leaving Damon alone with his thoughts. He'd tried to block out the sound of Elena's heavy sobs, God help him he'd tried, but either he'd gone soft, or this was fate's subtle revenge, by getting him to slowly care for Katherine's lookalike. For the sake of his sanity, he sincerely hoped it was neither.
Then again, after having the world's longest string of continuous bad luck – it had to be nearing the 150 year mark – he wasn't really expecting the situation to change any time soon.
Realizing the thirst in the back of his throat had to be fulfilled now rather than later, he
Elena sat at the dinner table – briefly grinning at the sound of Jenna cursing in the kitchen – waiting with Jeremy, both of them sharing the odd look of furtive anticipation as they waited for Jenna to complete her "experiment" they hoped would turn out to be lunch.
"I hope this isn't anything like your attempt at making spaghetti," Jeremy called, shaking his head at the memory.
"Some would call that a disaster," Jenna muttered. "I, however, like to see it as a new and creative way of cooking pasta."
"What, by completely disintegrating it?"
"Who knew pasta couldn't be cooked in a microwave?"
Elena gave a shaky smile, unable to concentrate, her body flinching at every little sound, something which Jeremy didn't fail to notice.
"What's the matter with you?" he questioned, noticing she seemed to be pale faced and taut in her seat.
"Nothing," Elena mumbled.
"Seriously – I know Jenna's cooking leaves something to be desired, but you're acting like you're waiting for your own execution."
"I'm fine," she snapped. "Okay?"
"Okay…" Jeremy said, holding his hands up in a surrender type of motion. "Just don't say I don't ask."
"What is this all in aid of, Jenna?" Elena asked, frowning with curiosity. "You usually leave dinner to us."
"Which is usually the option that keeps us alive," Jeremy joked.
Jenna popped her head into view, mostly to scowl at Jeremy for making humour at her expense.
"Seriously, guys, I'm your guardian, and I can't even cook," she exclaimed. "I'm just waiting for the social services to come and rip you guys from me. Forgive me if I'm trying to better myself for you guys."
"It's a guy isn't it?" Elena guessed shrewdly.
"Logan is coming to dinner," she said resignedly.
"No! The guy treated you like crap, Jenna," Elena gasped, allowing herself to be drawn into this soap-opera type of drama, just to let herself be distracted from the burning issue her mind couldn't let go. "Why are you letting him worm his way back into your life like this?"
"The guy is surprisingly charming," was Jenna's brilliant response. "What can I say? Plus it helps that the years have been very, very kind to him."
"Gross," Jeremy commented, looking disgruntled.
"Not gross," Jenna corrected. "And…shut up. I can't help it if that weasel possesses a ridiculous amount of charm."
Jeremy suddenly wrinkled his nose.
"Is that lunch I smell burning?"
Jenna ran back to the kitchen, a stream of obscenities escaping her mouth.
Jeremy looked at Elena.
"Want to skip lunch?"
"Couldn't agree more," she agreed, unable to resist smiling. "Sorry, Jenna."
"Fine," Jenna grumbled. "Go. Leave the captain to sink with her ship. I see how this works. Just don't be back too late, guys. Dinner – if I can actually cook it – will be at about half six."
"Sure." Jeremy gave her a mock salute. "I'm guessing you'll need to make extra, for the flying pig that'll inevitably turn up?"
He laughed loudly and neatly dodged an oncoming tea towel Jenna had scrunched up and lobbed in his direction.
Elena shook her head and smiled fondly, her smile fading as she realized she couldn't exactly retreat to her room again without seeming like a recluse. But what was she going to do? Caroline was preoccupied with planning something or the other, and Bonnie had been pretty much AWOL since she'd sent an ominous text message saying she was spending the weekend around her Grams' house.
There was only thing to do.
She needed to confront Stefan, find out the truth for herself. Truthfully, her mind still flinched at the word vampire, but now curiosity was mingled in with the terror. She had to learn what she was up against, what she had to protect all give her friends from, and she knew Stefan would tell her if she made him.
There was also the matter of Vicki to consider. How could she protect Jeremy, when all Jeremy wanted was to see Vicki? How did she walk that fine line between protecting and interfering?
She grabbed her coat and headed out of the door before she could change her mind.
Before she knew it, she was in front of the Boarding House, sitting behind the wheel of her car more afraid than she'd ever been before. She couldn't quite pinpoint where the fear came from, whether it came from fear that one of the brothers would hurt her, or the fear that somewhere along the way, she was going to hear stories she'd rather not have known about.
Elena opened the door of her car, stepping out and storming across to the front door, determined to gather up as much courage as she possibly could because, God help her, she was going to need it.
She raised her hand and knocked on the door, unsurprised by the fact the door seemed to open by itself. Stefan and Damon weren't exactly prone to locking their doors, she'd discovered, and know she knew the reason why – it wasn't like they had anything to fear if someone broke in.
"Stefan?" she called, sounding nervous. "Stefan, are you home?"
She walked inside, her heart in her mouth. Each step she made was a tentative one, as though she believed if she made one wrong move, everything would come crashing down on her.
She felt a sudden breeze, and she turned back, sure she'd shut the door. Yes, she had, she could see it was shut. So what was causing that sudden breeze? She wished she could blame it on an open window – something normal at least – but every part of her knew that wasn't the answer at all.
"Stefan?" she began again, her voice trembling with fear.
"Guess again," another voice purred.
Elena turned around so fast her neck made a loud cricking noise, but though she could recognize the voice, she couldn't identify where it was coming from.
"I love this whole speed thing," Vicki stated, laughing with a wild, almost hysterical kind of delight.
"Vicki…" Elena reached out her hands, showing her she came in peace. "I'm here to help. Let me talk to you. Let me help you."
"Help?" Vicki came sauntering into view, tossing back her curly hair with visible contempt. "Oh, sure, because I'm the girl who always needs to be saved. I'm always the girl who screws up so bad she needs someone to come and fix her. Well, guess what, Elena - screw you! I don't need your help. I know you've always looked down on me, disregarded me as nothing more than Jeremy's dealer, a lowlife who deserves exactly what she gets, but I'm more than that, and your baby brother gets that about me."
"No." Elena shook her head vehemently. "That's not true. I've never said – "
"You didn't have to say it." Vicki momentarily looked hurt, her eyes cold and distant. "People just don't get me. I can handle that. What I can't handle, is you messing my brother around."
"Matt knows the situation," Elena began.
"Does he?" Vicki spat, looking furious. "Because it seems like maybe he doesn't. He always wears those puppy dog eyes whenever he's around you, so it seems like maybe he'll never be over you."
"Well, that's not my problem. He has to find a way to move on," Elena said, shifting uncomfortably.
"Typical Elena Gilbert response," Vicki responded contemptuously. "The problem must lie with the Donovans. After all, it's not your fault you ripped my brother's heart out and stomped on it."
"I – "
Vicki blurred in front of her.
"It seems the only way of getting your attention is to be that much stronger than you," she continued.
Her hand whipped out, grabbing Elena's throat before promptly slamming her against the wall, the action in question causing a picture to crash onto the floor.
"Vicki – " Elena gasped, unable to breathe. "I… can't… "
Suddenly, Vicki was pulled off of her, revealing an angry Stefan, a Stefan who'd managed to regain his strength after some rigorous hunting in the woods – hunting animals, naturally.
"Vicki!" he yelled, shaking her. "You don't just go attacking innocent people. Try and control yourself."
"Why? I'm a vampire now. Damon said I can do whatever the hell I want," Vicki screamed, looking extremely angry.
"Vicki, you're only this way because you need blood," Stefan reasoned, gradually calming down. "Let me help you get some."
Out of the corner of his eyes, he spotted the door closing, and gave a resigned sigh, his ears able to detect Elena's sobs even as she ran away from the house, his mind not even daring to conceive the hope – however faint it had been – that she might just have come round to give him chance to explain.
A/n: Apologies for the lateness in updating this. I had actually forgotten this in all the excitement of Vampire Diaries's third season! :P It feels strange revisiting season one again, when there was no talk of sacrifices and the sexual tension between Damon and Elena was only given to us in small doses in amidst the Stefan/Elena fluffiness/drama. Remember those days? :P Anyway, apologies for the lateness, and I shall try and update as quickly as I can, although I can make no promises. :D