Everyone who have been following A Hole in the World - welcome back!
And those who are new here and have no intention of reading the first installment, here's a little introduction - A Hole in the World was written from Stefan's POV, my own version of season 5, focusing mainly on him, Elena and the whole doppelganger curse. When they brought Bonnie back to life, she lost all of her memories, and she became close with Damon who, at the time, was getting over his break up with Elena. Their company worked because it consisted of silence and Damon playing on the piano - Damon didn't want to talk about how he feels, and Bonnie didn't want to talk about what she doesn't remember. Nothing happened between the two of them but, slowly, over time, both of them started developing feelings for each other. Of course, those feelings became obvious to them and others, but they went unsaid. By the end, Bonnie got her memories back, and felt shame of her feelings for Damon, regarding how he treated her in the past and everything else he had done to her, and others. Qetsiyah opened a portal to another dimension, for Stefan and Elena, to punish them. While trying to save them, Bonnie fell into the portal, and Damon followed her. This is where the story continues!
I hope you enjoy it!
There's a difference between falling and flying.
Flying is liberating. It represents freedom, opportunities, choices and direction. You have a complete control over your life. You can go anywhere, be anything, you can visit countries and cities you never even knew exist.
If flying is a reward, falling is the exact opposite of it.
It's uncomfortable, like someone is pushing you down and pulling you up at the same time. Everything inside of you is urging you to scream, but if you open your mouth, air fills your lungs and it keeps filling them to the point where you feel like you're going to explode from the inside.
Falling is uncertain. You can land on a pile of fluffy pillows, or crash against the solid ground and shatter your bones into million pieces.
You learn to fly when you conquer your fear of falling.
It feels like I've been falling for hours already. I'm ready to grow my wings. I'm ready to fly.
I'm surrounded by darkness. I can't see anything except blackness surrounding me, or hear anything except the wind shuffling in my ears, created by the speed I'm falling. It's impossible to be falling by this speed for hours and still be alive - I should be nothing else by particles in the air by now, my body turned back into what it's been made out of. Atoms and ashes and soil. But then again, it's also impossible to be falling for such a long time without meeting the surface.
I shudder because of a certain thought that invades my mind. Unfortunately, I think the impossible is yet to come.
I can't think. I try to remember how I got here, and where here is, but it's like everything is happening backwards. My life, my memories, everything's been sucked into oblivion, even though I'm aware of my own existence. I know who I am, I just can't seem to say it, not even inside of my head. It's a weird feeling, to be aware of your existence, but not exist at all. Like this place is dissembling who I am, little by little.
Something strange happens then - light pours in from under me. The darkness is hazy gray now. I have a hard time adjusting my eyes to light, especially since it grows the longer I fall. At one point I'm not even sure am I heading towards the light, or is it heading towards me.
At first, there's a small amount of light, coming in through a tiny hole. Then, the hole starts stretching, becoming bigger, and more light comes in. Like I'm coming to an end of a tunnel.
Maybe I'm dead. Maybe this is how dying feels like. I was falling until my heart stopped beating. Until air kept filling my lungs, giving me a power to breathe. That's gone now, so I'm ready to move on to some other life.
I finally reach the light, my toes, my feet are touching it. It's so bright, white, if it weren't so thick I would be able to see right through it.
Then, I fall through it, and it feels like I've been sucked out of a vacuum.
I keep on falling and in one, two, three seconds I'm on the ground. My body hits the ground with such force that I think I've broken every bone in my body. I can't move, my whole body hurts, every muscle underneath my skin is pulsating. My skin feels hot and cold at the same time and my heart is trying to jump out of my chest.
There's no wind, at least not one strong enough to control my hearing.
I can't look properly, though, since my eyelids are falling closed by their own. They refuse to go completely up, no matter how hard I beg them to do so.
I can hear a murmur of water. It's heavy and strong and fast. A river, I'm sure.
It's dark here, like it is before the storm comes. When clouds color themselves gray and hide the sun. Wind is rising, more and more with each passing second, cold air slashing my back. My skin is exposed, my shirt must have rode up my torso when I fell.
I can feel the grass beneath my fingertips, but can't will my eyes to open enough to explore my surroundings. I want to push myself off of the ground. I'm yelling at myself, at my arms and legs, to start working properly, but they refuse to listen. My whole body feels so numb.
My eyelids stop fluttering and, once again, I can't see anything except the darkness. It feels like someone is pulling the ground underneath me and again, I find myself falling. Sinking.
I'm losing conscience.
I can think clearly now. I can remember everything. Everything is coming back to normal. Well, as normal as the situation allows it to.
My name is Bonnie Bennett and I fell through a portal to some other dimension to save my friends.
That's the first thing I think as my mind starts waking up. My body is still numb and my head too heavy for my neck that it feels like it attached itself to my shoulders. I shouldn't be surprised by the pain, I should be surprised that I'm alive at all. To crash against the ground after falling by that speed is deadly by all laws of physics. And yet, I'm alive.
My eyelids flutter open, ready to sink my surroundings in, but from this perspective all I can see is grass. I dismiss it so easily, I dismiss it too soon, that I almost miss it. I'm in such a hurry to move on to other things that I almost not notice the color of the grass. It's not green like it usually is, it's dark green, bordering with black. I move my fingers towards it, lifting my fingertips off of the ground. Even such small movement sends a shot of pain through my body and I cry out, silently. I take a blade of grass between my fingertips and start rubbing it. At first, it feels like normal glass - thin and slick - but after some time of rubbing, it starts falling apart. It turns into small, black particles, but heavy in my hand, like they're made out of stone.
I let them fall on the ground from my palm, too freaked out by it.
I inhale deeply, preparing myself mentally for my next move. I bring my hands near my head, twisting them so my palms are on the ground and my elbows in the air. I press my palms harder against he ground, pushing my upper body up.
A whimper escapes my mouth, my spine making a cracking noise. I feel like someone is shooting arrows through my body with every movement I make. I close my eyes and clench my teeth while pushing myself off of the ground.
Finally, I'm on my knees. They're pressing against the hard ground, so hard that I'm sure there's no danger of sinking through it. I take my time before standing on my feet. Once I do, pain wraps around my whole body and starts squeezing it with such intensity that I think I'm going to crawl inside of my body.
As I stand up, it feels like my skeleton is rearranging. Like the fall broke every bone in my body, sending it flying to some other side and separating it from its rightful place. And now, everything is coming into place.
I look up at the sky only to discover a frightening fact - there is no sky. The only thing above me is a gray mass streaked by yellow curvy lines that remind of a thunderbolt. Like the ones you see in the books about Greek mythology.
The only thing I can see around me is grass. Miles and miles of dark, black grass covering the ground. In the distance, there are hills, ones I can't see beyond. There are no trees or bushes or anything but flat ground covered by grass. I can still hear the murmur of water, rushing, colliding, but I can't see it. I can't even distinguish the direction it's coming from because the sound is coming from everywhere.
My clothes are torn a little, most likely from the impact of the fall, or from the sharp wind while I was falling.
I don't know what to do. I keep spinning around my own axis, hoping something new would appear, telling me in which direction to go. I can't just stay here.
Which is when I notice it, a black lump, even blacker than the grass, not so far away from me. At first I think it's a rock - in case even rocks are black here - but it doesn't look like one.
I have to be careful. I don't know the story behind this place, or what it contains.
There's nothing I can use as a weapon, and I don't know if I still have my powers. I can't take my chance and risk getting killed my first day here. Or ever. Not getting myself killed sounds nice.
Then it hits me - the grass. I crouch down, my bones still rattling like I'm hundred years old, and start picking the grass. When I think I have enough, I start rubbing it between my palms and, just like the last time, it starts turning into little rocky clumps. I rub and rub until there's one large clump in my hand, size of a rock. It's easy to mold, like clay, but once it's done, it's sharp and massive. Destructive.
With a weapon in my hands, I start walking into the direction of whatever it is on the ground. If it's actually a rock I'll feel really stupid, seeing as I'm coming at it with a rock.
But when I come closer to it, I know for sure it's not a rock.
Black pants. Black jacket. Black hair. It fits well with the surroundings.
I inhale sharply, but it never goes down. My breath gets stuck in my throat. It's a human. Or at least I hope it is. He's asleep or unconscious or dead, because I can't see his chest rising and falling.
I crouch down, carefully, and roll him over.
When my eyes capture his face, I gasp, stumbling backwards and falling down on my butt.
"Damon," I say his name out loud, half in affection, half in fear of affection, and in that moment I can't recognize my own voice. I clear my throat, hoping it will clear all the signs of attachment from my voice, and say his name again, this time more sharply, "Damon!"
He doesn't budge, though. So I get on my knees and crawl over to him and as I do, as I rub my knees against the grass, it starts turning into rocks which tear my jeans and drive into the skin of my knees.
I grab him by the shoulders and start shaking him crazy, "Damon! Wake up!" I say annoyed, or desperate, or maybe a little bit of both. I don't want to be alone here. "Wake up, wake up, wake up!" I chant while shaking him.
His eyelids start fluttering. He's waking up. Once in his life, he's doing what I've asked him to do. I let go of him because my hands got strangely comfortable on his shoulders.
"Bonnie.." he mutters my name, still hazy.
I don't say anything. I don't know what I would say to begin with. I'm scared of how my voice sounds when I say his name and of the whirlpool that starts in the pit of my stomach as an after affect. I remember everything now, and I'm scared of how those memories mean so little to my heart, when they should mean everything.
He opens his eyes and pulls himself up. It's easier for him than it was for me. He heals faster.
"What are you doing here?" I ask angrily. My anger is non existent, but derived from worry. I have to mask that worry somehow.
He looks at me with those blue eyes of his, lost and confused, like a child. Damon never seemed as young to me as he does in this moment. "I fell in," he says, probably the first thing that comes to his mind.
He's stunned. I've never seen Damon quite so lost of track.
"You fell in?" I ask doubtfully, my brows furrowing.
He doesn't say anything. There's nothing to say, because we both know that's a lie.
"Tell me," my irritation grows, "How does one fall into a hole to another dimension?"
By now, he regains his composure, shifting back to his old self. The corners of his lips go up in that signature way of his, "Is that where we are?" he asks, finally looking away from my face. I can see his eyes widen a little when our surrounding registers with him. He had probably never seen anything like this either.
"You followed me, didn't you?" I ask to get his attention back. He looks at me, which is when I know. He doesn't have to say a thing. His look is affirmative. "Damon!" I shriek his name. I can't believe him. I can't believe he would do this. Follow me into such an uncertain situation, knowing we may never find our way home. "You stupid, idiotic, brain dead," I get to my feet, my face completely red. I assume I look like a blowfish. I can't find the right word. I can't concentrate, not with him looking at me the way he is. He's got one eyebrow raised, watching me amused. "Vampire!" I finally blurt out.
He looks like he's going to die laughing. How can he laugh in a situation like this? Few seconds later his expression becomes serious. Something else catches his eye.
"Bonnie," his eyes go wide, my name sounds so soft coming from him, soft in a way that takes my breathe away. He doesn't give me enough time to respond when he says, "Your knees. You're bleeding."
I'm not sure is he worried about my well being or is the sight of blood making him want to suck me dry.
I look down my knees. My jeans are completely torn, more than I've thought. There are perfectly shaped round holes where the material used to be, and my knees are bleeding. I can't either feel or see small rocks on my skin, they must have fallen off.
It doesn't hurt, so I'm not worried. Even though the sight of so much blood makes me stomach queezy, especially since the blood is my own.
"Yeah," I shrug it off, "It's from the grass."
"The grass?" he repeats questioningly, as if I'm crazy for saying such a thing.
Well, I guess, it does sound crazy.
"Yes, the grass is - " I think about explaining it to him, but that would take too much time an energy, so I bend down and pick few blades of grass, "Let me show you," I start rubbing them against my palms until they turn into tiny rocks, separately barely visible.
He watches with fascination. You don't see Damon fascinated by many things, at least he doesn't let it show often.
"It's like clay," I mash those tiny rocks in a bigger one and let it fall down. It gets lost in the tall grass.
He follows my lead. When the grass turns into something solid in his hands, he doesn't say a thing.
He gets to his feet and starts spinning around, exploring.
"Well, we're definitely not in Mystic Falls anymore," he makes a comment while looking up at the sky.
I huff. "Nothing gets past you, does it Damon?" out of some reason, him stating the obvious hits a nerve with me.
He looks at me, half amused, half annoyed by my behavior when, once again, something else makes him shift his attention from me. He frowns, looking towards one of the hills, "Can you hear that?" he asks.
"The water?" I ask, because that's the only noise I can hear. That, and the wind, but I really don't think he's referring to the wind.
It's only now that I realize even though the gray mass above our heads is streaked by thunderbolts, there are no thundering sounds. They're flashing, but they're not manufacturing any sound. Like someone drew them up there.
"No," Damon answers, "This noise.." he can't quite figure it out.
I still can't hear anything. It must be his heightened vampire hearing that's enabling him to hear what I can't.
And soon, I don't have to. Horses appear on the hill in front of us.
Even from this distance I can see there's something wrong with them. They're black, like everything else here, faster than the wind and twice their usual size. All it takes is for me to blink once and they're already at the bottom of the hill.
It takes me some time to notice that the creatures riding them are not humans. They're massive, so massive that I wonder how do those horses even manage to carry them. They have giant muscles all over their body and barely any clothes to cover themselves. Their hair is mid long, but thin and greasy.
"Wh-wha-what are they?" I stammer, fear dripping from every pore in my body. This would be a good time to test do I still have my powers here.
I don't expect an answer to my question. Damon has never been here before, or in any other dimension, that I know of, so I don't expect from him to have an answer. But he surprises me with just one word, "Laestrygonians."
I whip my head around to look at him, stunned. He notices me staring at him so he shrugs, "What? I read."
I can feel laughter bubbling in my lungs, rising in my throat. His answer is so simple, like this is what people usually read before bedtime. Creatures you can stumble upon while visiting other dimensions.
"Huh, and here I thought all that alcohol burned all of your brain cells," I joke, even though situation can be describe as more than inappropriate.
I can see him smirk from the corner of my eye. "I'm glad you kept your sense of humor, witchy," that word tickles me from the inside, "As we're most likely to be eaten alive."
My eyes go wide and I look back at him only to catch him already looking at me.
"Have I forgotten to mention that Laestrygonians are cannibals?" he says as lightly as one would comment the lovely weather we're having today - which we're not - his expression calm. "They live on islands, separated from the civilization, which means this place is most likely not populated by humans," I don't know how can he be so calm while saying this, or how in the world does he know all of this.
I don't even know is he telling the truth, or just making stuff up so at least something around here would make sense. Despite my doubt, I swallow hard.
The giants stop their horses few feet in front of us. The ground shakes as they hope down from their horses.
Damon stands in front of me, shielding my body with his, when they start walking towards us. I can't even imagine what they could do to us, with their long, masculine arms and heavy legs. I wonder how sharp their teeth are. I'm such an easy pray, especially if I don't have my powers - I keep forgetting about checking those - and I don't think even Damon's supernatural strength would do him any good. His protection means nothing, he must know that, and yet, he seems determined. His shoulders are tense, the muscles on his arms tight.
Two giants step in front of us, their large arms hanging by their sides. Just as I think they're going to seize us, one of them mutters, "My lady," and both of them bow.
They're not speaking English, but some weird language. It sounds ancient, extinct. Similar to old Greek. And yet, I can understand them.
I really do hope they're not talking to Damon, that we're not in some weird dimension where sexes are reversed, because if I have to see Damon wearing a dress, I'll kill myself before anyone else gets a chance to do so.
Yet, it seems less likely they're talking to me.
"My name is Lesteros," the giant says, his head bowed, his look glued to the ground, "I hope I'm not asking too much when I ask you to enlighten us with your presence."
I don't say a word. I don't move. At least, not until Damon whispers, "I think they're talking to you," and he steps aside.
I look at him helplessly, hoping he knows what to do next. From the look on his face it's evident that he doesn't. He nods at me to proceed, to follow my intuition.
So I do. "Rise," I say, followed by one quiet please.
Giants rise to their feet and it the elegance they handle themselves with surprises me. Judging by their size, I would say they're highly incompetent and clumsy creatures. They don't move or act like monsters at all, but their movements remind me of warriors and knights I've seen in movies.
"We're here on the behalf of our Queen. She sensed your arrival."
"Yes, we come from - "
I start talking, but one of them interrupts me.
"Please, you do not own us an explanation, but you will have to explain yourselves to our Queen. We're here to accompany you to the city."
These creatures seem pleasant and behaved. And Damon said they're cannibals. I don't think cannibals have such manners.
"And tend to your wounds," the other one says. This is the first time the other one has spoken, so I look at him. His wide eyes are on my knees, his pupils following the blood dripping down my skin. I can see hunger in them. Okay, maybe they are cannibals after all. I'm just thankful they seem to know how to control their hunger.
"We just have one question," the first one continues, as if the other one didn't just look at me like he would swallow me as a piece of candy, "Why is your slave not in chains?"
I furrow my brows out of confusion. "My-my slave?" I ask.
He looks towards Damon who's standing by my side and who doesn't look all too happy to be called a slave. "Your slave, my lady," he says, his eyes still on Damon.
"He must have gotten free on our way over here," I decide to accept the rules to their game, "Don't worry, he's not going anywhere," I smile gently, half enjoying this.
Damon, as my own personal slave. How things change.
"Of course," the giant repeats, "Shall we?" both of them turn around and start walking towards their horses, the first one looking at us over his shoulder.
"We shall," I say, my throat contracting after those words come out.