|Now I Really Know
Author: LostInLost18 PM
"I'm not one for corniness. In fact, I used to rent rom-coms just so I could boo them and flick popcorn at the screen. But right here, right now… Well, I can honestly say I've never been more in love with you than I am now." Delena one-shots set to ABBA.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Damon S. & Elena G. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 20,319 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 35 - Follows: 46 - Updated: 05-30-11 - Published: 03-18-11 - id: 6835433
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Name of the Game
Elena stared out the window of the car, her thoughts elsewhere. The car, although stationary, in her mind was miles down the road, the search for Stefan continuing despite the fact she knew hope was fading a little more each day. He wasn't answering his phone, which was a given really, and every desperate text she sent was left unanswered, completely ignored.
The driver's door opened and a figure slid in, his hair completely soaked from the downpour that was, unfortunately, the current weather situation outside. Damon shook his hair like a dog, flashing a smirk in Elena's direction.
"Any luck?" she asked quietly, not daring to get her hopes up.
"Sadly, no," Damon responded, his smirk dissolving into a frown. "According to my friend's friend, they passed through here – mostly just to dine on some of the local residents – but then promptly left. Nobody can really recall, even with compulsion, where they actually headed after that. The trail's gone cold."
Elena nodded, her lip wobbling a fraction. She leaned her head against the dashboard, letting a few silent tears slide down her cheeks. She hadn't expected any news as of such, but it was a tribute to her naivety really that she kept hoping all the same, like she was still that same little girl who once believed all the world came to you, not the other way around.
"We'll find him, Elena," Damon reassured her. "It's just a matter of following the blood trail." He winced. "Ugh, even I found that to be in bad taste." The smirk reappeared. "Excuse the pun."
She didn't smile. Instead, she let out a heavy sigh and leaned back in her seat, turning her head to stare at the rain as it cascaded down the window. The sky outside was a fog grey, matching her mood perfectly. It seemed like they'd lost whatever trail they'd managed to pick up for good.
"Let's just find the nearest motel and check in," she said moodily.
Damon looked like he was going to argue, but he examined her expression and realized it was utterly futile. With a heavy sigh to match hers, he started the car and reversed out of the small, abandoned lane they'd parked into.
They drove for the next twenty minutes in silence. At one point, he'd attempted to put the radio on but her glare had stopped him. To compromise, he'd sped up the car a little, trying to coax as much speed as he could out of it so they could reach their destination faster. The silence was literally killing him inside, not to mention they'd still not discussed everything that had happened during that time leading up to Katherine waltzing in with the cure. He'd lied a little, mostly to placate Elena, telling her it was all a fuzz, that he barely remembered anything during his ill moments. He suspected she knew he was lying, but she was grateful for the delay in discussing it all the same. Stefan was the forefront person in both their minds.
Eventually, they spotted a run-down looking motel on the side of the road. After looking to Elena for confirmation, Damon pulled in and parked the car in what had to be the world's tiniest car park, with exactly three parking spaces, two of which were occupied.
Damon got out the car and whizzed around to open Elena's. She smiled gratefully at him, but there was exhaustion in her eyes. Two months on the road together, with very little contact with her friends and Jeremy, had taken its toll on her. Slowly, day by day, she was turning into this zombie, who only really poured her life and soul into searching for Stefan. He felt for her, he really did, and as much as he wanted to offer her comfort, he couldn't. Inside his own mind, there was a violent storm of guilt and emotion he couldn't fight. Stefan had given up his humanity, had given up Elena, to save his life. Nothing he'd ever done could ever match the selflessness of Stefan's last gift, and it'd tormented him, although he'd hidden it well.
Walking side by side, they approached the reception of the motel, which had a stern looking woman of about fifty years old hovering around there, her sharp eyes looking up as they walked inside, both soaking wet.
"Yes?" she barked, causing a flicker of alarm to spread across Elena's face.
"Two single rooms please," Damon requested smoothly, producing his credit card with a flourish.
"Only got one room available, and that's a double," the woman told him.
"No single rooms?" Damon frowned. "Only two cars are here! What kind of people have occupied the other rooms, aliens?"
"We get lots of tourists passing through," the woman replied, her tone thick with ice.
Elena spotted something in the woman's right hand. It was a plant of some sort, held between her fingers very tightly. The scent it gave off made her eyes widen with recognition and she mouthed the word to 'vervain' to Damon, who immediately rolled his eyes, realizing there was no way he was going to be able to charm some kindness into this woman.
"We'll take the double then please," he said, his lips white from the cold.
"Very good," the woman grunted, snatching his credit card and swiping it through the machine.
As Damon went to enter his details, Elena looked around the reception area, her eyes taking in the grottiness of the place. They couldn't afford to be picky, however. Sure, they'd had better motels, but they'd also had a lot worse. She knew she was slowing Damon down. Damon didn't require much sleep – he could run on an hour's sleep if she'd asked him to – but she did. In fact, it had crossed her mind maybe he was better off searching for Stefan alone, except for the fact she couldn't lose him too. It was selfish, yes, but she needed at least one Salvatore close to hand and, strange as it seemed, Damon had been so kind and thoughtful as of lately that she was beginning to trust him more than she should.
"Room 15," Damon announced, handing her the key. "My word, does that woman have a stick up her ass. She asked me for my date of birth and everything."
"Please tell me you kept it within this century," Elena said, a hint of a smile on her face.
"Of course," Damon replied smoothly. "I'm a born liar."
"That's not a good quality to possess," she pointed out. "Although, I will concede it is useful."
"There you go, I'm useful after all," Damon bragged, linking his arm through hers. "Let's see this double room. I claim the bed."
She rolled her eyes, but couldn't help smiling. Though the days were so hard, Damon was the one who kept her spirits up. If there had been any doubts about whether forgiving him for all his sins in the heat of the moment, they had gone. He'd more than fairly earned every piece of her forgiveness.
Still, something was stirring inside, something she couldn't quite admit, even to herself. It felt like the beginnings of something deep and meaningful, akin to what she felt for Stefan only…bigger. She wasn't sure what was going on between her and Damon exactly, but she did know what Katherine had said before skipping off had resonated with her.
"It's okay to love them both. I did."
What confirmed her suspicions that she might just possibly have feelings for Damon was both the fact she found it so easy to overlook his flaws and see his true colours, and the fact every time he touched her, whether it was a simple brush of the arm or a full on hug, wasn't what she'd call unpleasant, and the shudders certainly weren't ones of revulsion. Not anymore.
I've seen you twice in a short time
Only a week since we started
It seems to me for every time
I'm getting more open hearted
The room, in all fairness, was the perfect portrait of a typical American motel room. There was a double bed, a couple of chairs tucked crudely in the corner, and a cheap, shoddy looking bathroom. The walls were a vile blend of yellow and orange in colour and the carpet was just a plain brown. It was just the kind of place you wanted to run away from not run to, but it wasn't for them to be picky.
"A double bed?" Elena groaned. "I thought it might've been a double room with two single beds."
"Oh no," Damon said, pretending to sound distressed. "Well, we'll just have to make do with what we've got."
"It's freezing in here," Elena complained, ignoring Damon for the moment.
"We can snuggle," Damon suggested.
She turned quickly around.
"You're loving this aren't you?" she accused.
"Well…" He pretended to consider. "Yeah…"
She couldn't help but chuckle, before flinging herself on the bed. She rose up a little in the air as Damon did the same.
"It'll be good for us to share the same room for once," Damon spoke, his voice thick with mischief. "We can bond. Stay up late. Swap stories about our lives."
"Yeah, 'cause we don't already know everything about each other," Elena snorted, throwing her rock hard pillow in Damon's direction.
"I don't know everything about you," Damon reminded her, easily dodging the pillow. "I don't know what you were like before I met you. I'm curious."
She stared at him, surprised by this topic. It was hard to recall those years before vampires had, literally, swept into her life. The friends she'd used to hang around with no longer had a place in her life, except for Caroline and Bonnie. It was hard to keep up with Matt and Tyler, who both had their own lives to lead.
"What do you want to know?" she asked, her surprise still on her face.
"What were you like?" was Damon's first question.
"Very spoilt," she admitted. "I was popular, smart, pretty much everything any girl wants to be. I was with Matt, and was convinced we were meant to be together. I mean, he was my best friend. I thought making the transition from friends to lovers would be easy, would make the relationship last. I was wrong and I broke up with him."
"Were you still friends with Judgey and Blondie?"
She smiled. "Yeah, I was. Maybe if you stopped giving them cute nicknames and insulting them you'd know we've been best friends since we were little. We're close."
Damon looked haughty. "Funnily enough, I worked that out for myself, thank you very much."
"Just checking. You've nearly died so many times, your brain might've malfunctioned," she teased.
He lightly shoved her, but the movement (given his strength) ended up pushing her off the bed. She fell to the floor with a shriek, eventually giving way to waves of hysterical laughter. He peered over the side of the bed, only for her hands to reach out and pull him off too.
Damon fluently rose to his feet, before sitting on the edge of the bed, smirking at her as she struggled to get up.
"You've died, you've faced vampires and werewolves, and yet a bed manages to defeat you?" he teased. "For that, you sleep on the floor."
He sprawled across the bed, causing her to grumble in protest. After a few minutes, Elena rose to her feet and flew at Damon with the full intent of pushing him off the bed. He grabbed her wrists quickly, so that she was straddling him (rather embarrassingly) with her arms yanked above her head.
"Let go," she growled.
"Let go or your trousers will be severely lacking anything to protect."
He gaped at her.
"You are a dark woman, no mistake about that," he told her, smirking.
"I learn from the best," she pointed out, glancing at him meaningfully.
"I have the mannerisms of a saint," he declared, grinning up at her. "You, on the other hand, are now straddling a vampire in the classic position of seduction. You have clearly lost any innocence you may have claimed to have had."
That rather bizarre sentence was what broke Elena. With a loud laugh, she collapsed to the side and started clutching her sides. Months of tension had brought her to this point. It felt good to release all the tension for one moment and just laugh like she'd never laughed before.
As she turned to one side, she saw Damon's earnest look, saw how all traces of humour had gone and he was gazing deep into her eyes. She froze, unable to react, unable to think, all thoughts of Stefan momentarily gone. What did you do when you felt something for someone, yet harboured strong affections, strong feelings of love for someone else? Did you yield to temptation, or did you remain faithful to the only constant left in your life?
What's the name of the game?
Does it mean anything to you?
What's the name of the game?
Can you feel it the way I do?
Tell me please, 'cause I have to know
I'm a bashful child beginning to grow
Elena opted for the second option, rolling away from Damon to conceal her torment. She then rose to her feet, muttering some excuse about going to the bathroom. Once she was in there, she splashed some cold water on her face, trying to remind herself of the real goal here. She'd joined forces with Damon to save Stefan. Once he was home, things would gradually turn back to normal.
If she repeated that like a mantra, she could convince herself what she was saying wasn't utter gibberish, but she possessed enough common sense to realize things wouldn't ever be the same again. Nearly losing Damon had opened up her heart to a lot of emotions she'd initially resisted. She was eventually going to have to face the music; she couldn't hole herself up in here forever
Opening the door slowly, she snuck back into the room, noticing Damon was now standing, his arms folded, wearing a sombre expression.
"Perhaps now it's time we talk about the elephant in the room?" he suggested.
"What elephant?" she asked weakly.
"I'm not one to make the same mistakes twice, Elena," he told her. "So, I'm not going to force myself on you like I did last time. But I have to know… Is there something between us?"
She gazed intently at her hands, wondering how to explain something to Damon she couldn't even explain to herself. It felt like betraying Stefan just by having this conversation.
"Maybe," she hedged. "But I don't know what I feel, Damon. When I thought you were going to die… Well, it put a lot of things into perspective for me."
He looked disgusted.
"So was that a pity kiss? All the things you said to me were just out of pity?"
"No." She shook her head vehemently. "I'm not Katherine, Damon. I don't enjoy loving both of you. It's hard. I love Stefan, I really do. But every time I'm around you…" She raised her arms helplessly. "I think there's always been something there. I'm just very, very, very stubborn."
Damon sighed. "Elena… I didn't mean to…"
"No. You're right. Maybe on some level, the things I said to you came from a fear of losing you. But that doesn't mean the words I said to you weren't real, or that they didn't come from my heart."
He stared at her, his expression conflicted.
"What?" she asked, looking troubled.
"It's not going to make you any more comfortable with the situation."
"Tell me. I can handle it," Elena insisted.
"I'm not one for corniness. In fact, I used to rent rom-coms just so I could boo them and flick popcorn at the screen. But right here, right now… Well, I can honestly say I've never been more in love with you than I am now."
There was an awkward silence, as Elena tried to figure out how the hell to react to that wonderful admission. She knew he loved her, yet it seemed like a different admission hearing him say he was in love with her. There wasn't much difference between the two, but somehow it made all the difference to her.
The short distance between them was made even shorter as she closed the gap. She looked up at him and wondered whether this was another line she wanted to cross. Somehow, despite the similarities between this situation and the situation she'd had with Matt, this felt new, challenging. When Matt was hurt, he sulked and retrieved his Ipod, using music as a form of escapism. When Damon was hurt, usually other people got hurt into the bargain. She had to wonder whether pursuing a relationship with Damon was a volatile action to take, like lighting a fuse. But then again, she had to think of the benefits she'd reap: lifelong protection, someone who'd sacrifice sleep just to see her, passion beyond anything she'd ever experienced…
Before she'd even noticed, Damon was only inches away, his hands on either side of her face. There was no fight left her in anymore; whatever happened now could be considered as consensual.
Their lips met once, in a soft and slow kiss that took her breath away. Their lips temporarily parted as he gaged her reaction, before his lips assaulted (there was no other word for it) hers. She wrapped her arms around his neck, almost begging for more. Something had just exploded inside her, releasing fireworks inside her chest she couldn't contain. There was no room for feeling guilty; so many emotions were building up inside her.
He guided her gently over to the bed and, still kissing her, gently pushed her down. She couldn't protest. Two months on the road with Damon had meant she'd discovered another side to him, another sweeter, kinder side that she was afraid she'd fallen for. How could she protest what her heart at this moment wanted?
She fought for breath, before returning the assault in a move which surprised them both. Her hands tugged at his shirt, a surprised laugh escaping both sets of lips as some buttons popped off.
"It's my muscles," he bragged, his voice constricted due to his breathlessness. "They…do…that a… lot. Burst my shirts, that is."
She ran her hands on his skin under the fabric, a surprised smile emerging.
"Wow," she breathed.
"I know," he said, grinning, his lips next attacking her neck.
She suddenly froze, uncomfortable with that particular gesture. It wasn't because she hated being kissed there; she just couldn't help remembering what had happened last time Damon's lips had been at that point.
Damon drew back, looking instantly confused.
"Did I hurt you?" he asked worriedly.
She gently grabbed his hands and moved his fingers to the now faint mark on her neck where his lips had been drawing blood from her.
"It still hurts," she whispered, sitting up, her arms locking around her body.
He sat next to her, the moment gone. He wondered how to break the silence, immediately sensing nothing more was going to happen tonight. Her expression was one of confliction. Now she'd taken time to breathe, her conscience had kicked in.
"You can't feel guilty you know," he told her, taking one of her hands in his. "It's not your fault I'm a devilishly handsome rogue on the quest for your heart."
That made her smile; good, he could work with that.
"If Stefan was here, he'd want you to be happy," he continued, trying to make her smile again. "Look, we don't have to talk about this again if you don't want to. But I can't forget. You know I can't."
"I know," Elena murmured, turning to give him the faintest of smiles. "It's just hard. We're here for Stefan, yet we almost… I mean, we…."
She looked at the bed, her facial expression almost making Damon laugh out loud. She was trying to look disgusted with herself, but he could see the longing in her eyes. The two expressions, each with different intents, messages, just made her look like she was some kind of satanic creature.
"If it's any consolation, I'm fantastic in bed," he bragged, leaning back on the bed, his arms behind his head.
"Oh, yeah, that's not a consolation," he mused. "That's more like torture."
She rolled her eyes and stood up, making her way over to her bag to retrieve her cell phone. There was a message from Jeremy there, and the message itself made her burst into laughter.
"What joke am I missing out on?" Damon demanded, rising to his feet.
She showed him the phone and he bit his lips, trying to hold back an immature snicker.
Hey, Elena. Everything's fine here. Me & Bonnie r fine. So's Caroline. Nothing new to report. We all still miss you. Hoping you r ok and that Damon hasn't got his hands on you yet xx Jeremy.
"Now what does he think I'm going to do exactly?" Damon demanded. "I am a gentleman."
"I can think of about twenty different memories which would dispute that," Elena fired at him.
He poked his tongue out at her but was too tired to come up with any more witty comments. He collapsed on the bed, yawning loudly, surprised when Elena, after typing a quick message back to Jeremy, followed suit. Rather than making an even divide in the bed as he'd expected, she snuggled up to him, something that evoked all the feelings he'd felt the last time she'd been this close to him.
"Jeremy's alright," he yawned. "I'm glad I didn't kill him."
One eye of Elena's opened him, examining him curiously.
"Do explain that strange comment," she demanded.
"He's very protective of you," Damon explained, giving her a smile. "As much as I'd like to punch him for assuming I'd have my wicked way with you, I can't condemn him for trying to protect you."
"You'll make me cry," she warned. "Stop being so damn nice. I want the asshole Damon back. This new one is strange."
He chuckled, closing his eyes.
"One thing I've learned out of the madness that is my existence, Elena, is that people are capable of changing. You put faith in me when no one else did, so, in return I'm going to take this slow. I'll wait for you. Always."
She smiled at him, her eyes filling up with tears. Damon usually could take her breath away with his insensitive comments, but, this time, he'd taken her breath away for all the right reasons.
You make me talk and you make me feel
And you make me show, what I'm trying to conceal
If I trust in you, would you let me down?
Would you laugh at me, if I said I care for you?
Halfway through the night, Elena felt herself stir, desperately needing water. Trying not to disturb Damon, she tiptoed in the bathroom, surprised to see a glass of water already there waiting for her.
"Damn it, Damon," she thought to herself. "Every time I think I know you, you go and pull a stunt like this."
She took the water and guzzled it down greedily. Damon made a surprisingly comfortable pillow; when he was awake, she wondered if he'd consider taking on the role full time. When her thoughts reminded her what she'd just considered, she blushed. Usually, when they camped out in motels, they would talk for a bit, then go into their separate rooms. Now, however, they'd been forced to share and it had been a bizarre and wonderful experience.
"We should book double rooms more often," she mused, and then rolled her eyes, realizing her current train of thought seemed to be orientating around her and Damon sharing a bed.
Damn it. She needed to get some more sleep.
Either that, or she just needed to get some, which sounded like something Caroline would bark at her.
Concealing a smile, Elena tiptoed back in, surprised Damon lay there, completely undisturbed. It was unusual to see him so quiet like this and so still. She was accustomed to seeing him blur around, verbally and physically wounding people. It didn't matter really that he wasn't perfect. He was there for her, and in the dark and dangerous world she lived in, that was exactly what she needed. With Stefan gone, he hadn't resisted when she'd insisted they try and find him. As she recalled, he'd yelled 'road trip' and had whisked them both to his car.
She lay back down on the bed, smiling fondly at the memory. As she closed her eyes, preparing to go back to sleep, Damon stirred next to her.
"Bet you anything you were thinking about me just then," he murmured.
She raised an eyebrow.
"How can you be so sure?" she whispered.
She opened her eyes and saw him staring at her.
"Because you're wearing a silly little grin which only I could be the cause of," he inferred.
She shrugged. "So what if I was? What are you trying to prove?"
"Oh, nothing," Damon replied, settling back down and closing his eyes. "Just that Edward Cullen has nothing on me, that's all."
And he fell back to sleep quickly, muttering something about not having mind reading powers and still being insanely awesome. Elena rolled her eyes but also slowly fell back to sleep, wearing the biggest smile on her face.
A/n: Thanks for the reviews! This was my favourite chapter to write. Next chapter is when things get hot and heavy so look forward to that! The time periods between one-shots are undetermined, but I usually specify somewhere within the one-shot. Just to specify, I don't own Damon or The Vampire Diaries, although I'd dearly love to. I'd sell my soul to own either one (mostly the first).