Alas, we have come to the end of this story. Thank you for all the reviews, favorites, follows and positive words. I really enjoyed writing this, and I have a lot of other ideas for Bonnie and Damon.
Two months into their official relationship, Damon and Bonnie were, for all intents and purposes, living together. During the week while Bonnie had classes on campus, Damon would spend the night in her dorm room and on the weekends, they stayed at the boarding house. It was a Wednesday night like any other when Bonnie left the school library and hustled into the frigid air to her car. Wednesdays were always long for her because she had chemistry lab until nine, then she studied for a few hours. She was tired but she knew that she had Damon to look forward to.
And sure enough, once she opened the door to her room, he was there on her bed, stretched out like he owned it. He arched an eyebrow at her when she walked in.
"You're late," he said.
"You know it's my late night."
"I was starting to get lonely in this big bed by myself," he pouted.
She smiled and deposited her books on the desk, before shrugging off her coat and boots. She shook some of the cold off before climbing into bed with him. He pulled her close and they kissed for several long minutes, until Bonnie slid on top of him and reached for her sweater. She started to pull it off, when Damon grabbed her hands and stopped her.
"Hold that thought," he said.
She groaned. "I don't want to hold any thoughts. I want you to get naked."
He grinned. "I will. But first..." He checked his watch. "It's midnight."
It took Bonnie a moment to realize that it was, in fact, her birthday. She smiled and covered her face with her hands.
"Wow, I forgot my own birthday."
"You finally made it to 21," Damon said. "Which not only means you're legally allowed to drink, but also that I'm officially not a cradle-robber anymore."
"You will forever be a cradle robber," she teased. He pulled her hands down and kissed her palms.
"I have something to show you," he said.
"Actually, I have something to show you, too."
"Me first." Damon gently removed her from on top of him and he started getting dressed. "Put your clothes on."
"But it's cold," she pouted. "I'm tired. And I want sex. Really amazing birthday sex."
He laughed. "You'll get it, I swear. Just come for a ride with me so I can show you your present."
"Fine," she grumbled. "But I want a massage as soon as we get back."
"I've never seen someone so reluctant to get a gift. You'll like it. I think."
She raised an eyebrow and allowed him to help her with her coat. They interlaced fingers as they walked out to Damon's car, and once they were buckled in, he handed her a blindfold.
"Seriously?" she asked.
"I don't want you to see it until I'm ready. Just relax and let me surprise you, Little Bird."
Bonnie made a face but secured the blindfold over her eyes and slumped comfortably in the passenger seat. Damon turned the radio on and took her hand, which made her smile. Between the soft music, the warm heat and the blindfold, it didn't take long for her to nod off. She was just getting into the good sleep when the door opened and harsh winter air blasted her out of sleep.
"We're here," Damon said. "Keep your blindfold on."
He helped her out of the car and guided her along a walkway. She couldn't help the curious smile on her face as he led her up some steps, then through a door. She really had no idea what he was doing, but the suspense was over when he flipped on a light and told her to take off the blindfold. She slowly removed the material from her face and she immediately recognized the kitchen. It was the house. Their house, from the Other Side. It was finished and decorated just like they had planned and she shook her head in disbelief.
"You didn't," she said.
She continued to shake her head because she didn't know how else to react. Nobody had ever given her such an extravagant gift, one that held so many promises and so much permanence. She was used to perfume and balloons and dinner, not a house.
"This is too much," she said softly. "I asked you not to buy this for me."
"It's not for you," he said, as he walked up to her and took her in his arms. "It's for us. I mean, at what point does it get weird that two grown brothers are still living together?"
She encased his face in her hands. "No one has ever done anything like this for me."
"Good. I'm glad to be the first." He kissed her nose. "And I want to be the last."
"You will be," she promised.
They shared a loving look before he took her hand and offered to give her a tour. They went through each room, some of which was more suited to Bonnie's modern taste and some were more in line with Damon's traditional palette. They made their way up to the master bedroom, which was the perfect blend of both of their likes. The attached sitting room was already outfitted with a bookshelf, some of Bonnie's favorite books and a nook for her to write.
"How did you find time to do all this?" she asked, still awestruck.
"When we're not together," he shrugged.
"When are we not together?"
"When you're staying late at school, taking your nerdy classes."
She snorted and perched herself on the edge of the bed.
"Speaking of my nerdy classes, there's still something I want to show you." She patted the bed and he sat next to her. "Take off your shirt," she said.
"Oh, I like the way this is going." He wiggled his eyebrows and tossed his shirt and coat to the side. Bonnie instructed him to lie on his back, which he did, and then she straddled him. "Getting an early start on that birthday sex, huh?"
"Be quiet and relax," she said.
He folded his hands behind his head and watched as she ran her warm hands over his bare chest. She closed her eyes and chanted something that he didn't understand but that sounded incredibly sexy coming out of her mouth. He was about to ask her what she was doing, when a feeling of warmth surged through his chest and traveled down his arms and legs. He wanted to speak, but he was paralyzed in his position, completely at her mercy. She opened her eyes and looked down at him, smiling as she continued to chant and rub his chest. The ever-present annoyance of bloodlust disappeared and he reveled in the pleasure he felt until she stopped chanting and pulled her hands away.
"Well?" she asked nervously.
"What did you do to me?"
"I very briefly turned you human," she said with a proud smile.
"That grimoire you gave me has all these powerful spells in them. I think this one was supposed to be a weapon against vampires to make them human just long enough to kill. The spell only lasts for a minute or so but I think I could make it permanent. And I think I could make it so you don't age a hundred and seventy years."
Damon raised both eyebrows and maneuvered them until they were sitting next to each other.
"How would you do that?" he asked.
"I'm learning so much in my chemistry class," she said excitedly. "I'm learning how to use herbs and plants and chemicals to help boost my magic. I think with a little practice, I could do it. I would do it for you, if you're interested," she added shyly.
He frowned. "I just bought you a house and you're questioning whether I'm in this with you for the long haul?"
"No, no, I'm not questioning that. It's just...you love being a vampire. I know that. Giving that up for me would be a huge sacrifice."
He shook his head and caressed her cheek. "I'd give it up for you in a heartbeat. It wouldn't be a sacrifice for me. As much as I do love being a vampire, I miss being human. And there's nobody I'd rather be human for than you."
Bonnie smiled and leaned into his hand. "So...you want me to work on making it permanent?"
"That depends," he said. "What aren't you telling me?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean that you witches always have some kind of catch. Tit for tat, right? I give up being a vampire, there must be some consequence for that."
She looked down and hesitated in her response, mostly because she already knew how he would react.
"There is a catch," she said.
"What? You have to sacrifice someone, make another vampire, what?"
She looked into his questioning blue eyes when she said, "I'd have to give up my powers for good."
He immediately shook his head. "No."
"No," he insisted. "You're a witch, Bonnie. It's part of your blood. You're from the most powerful line of witches in history and I won't let you give that up just so I can be human again."
"But what if I want to?"
"You've been 21 years old for an hour. You're too young to know what you want."
Bonnie rolled her eyes. "Don't pull that patronizing old man act with me, please. I'm not some wide-eyed kid. I've been through a lot in my twenty-one years and I know what I want, and that's you. Forever. A human forever."
They stared at one another, hoping to break the stalemate through sheer willpower. Damon budged first when he sighed.
"Fine," he said. "I'll make you a deal. If we're still together in ten years and you still want to do this, I'll let you."
"Ten years?!" she asked with wide eyes. "I'll be 31! No way! Three years."
"This isn't how negotiation works, Bon-Bon."
"Four. Final offer. I'll be 25 in four years and if I'm old enough to rent a car, surely I'm old enough to decide what to do with my magic."
She offered her hand for him to shake, and he took it. Rather than shake it, though, he used her hand to pull her down and he rolled on top of her.
"I've got a better way to seal the deal," he said. "Still up for that birthday sex?"
She grinned. "You know it."
FOUR YEARS LATER
"Bonnie," Damon sang from the bottom of the stairs, "we're going to be late."
"I'm coming!" she called.
She looked at the clothes strewn about their bed and she tried to decide which to take and which to leave behind. She was tempted to just throw it all in her suitcase, but then she knew that Damon would complain that she was over the fifty-pound limit at the airport. Despite the fact that he had more than enough money to cover the $25 fee, he always complained and asked what she could possibly have that weighed more than fifty pounds.
When he called her again, though, she threw her hands up and tossed it all in the bag. She called him upstairs to help and once he lifted the suitcase, he frowned.
"This is more than fifty pounds," he said.
"Yeah, well, you keep rushing me so you'll have to deal with it."
He rolled his eyes but didn't fight her on it. She grabbed her purse and iPad and followed him out of the house after making sure that the iron was off and the doors were locked. He put her bags in the trunk and they peeled out of the neighborhood.
"You know, if this wasn't your 25th birthday trip, I'd complain about how you wait until the last minute to pack and then pack everything you've ever owned," Damon said.
"Good thing you're fighting that urge, honey," she said with a sugary smile. "Just shut up and drive so we don't miss our flight."
"Oh now you're concerned about time management."
"How about this? If you don't complain any more about being late or my heavy bag, maybe when we're on the flight, I'll do something nice for you under the blanket." She saw his eyes narrow and the little smile that tugged at his lips and she knew she had him. She patted his leg and said, "good boy."
He surprisingly kept his end of the deal when they got to the check-in desk and he had to fork over some extra money. She only smiled and kissed him, and he returned the favor. They walked hand-in-hand through security, which was truncated thanks to Damon's compelling of all the TSA workers. Bonnie didn't say anything because, as often as she told him not to compel people, it was hard to dissuade him when the results benefitted her.
They made it to the terminal with about twenty minutes to spare and they found that their friends had saved two seats for them. They were heading to the Bahamas, just like they had when they were on the Other Side, with the same group of friends but somehow the dynamics were so incredibly different. Stefan and Caroline were a couple, and so were Matt and Elena. Elena had found her way back to Matt after everything because despite all the craziness they had been through, Matt still loved her. And she realized that she still loved him, too.
Bonnie's relationship with Elena had also come around. That first year was rough and they painstakingly avoided each other. The only time they spoke was at Caroline's birthday party, when she'd told them that the only gift she wanted was for them to try to be friends again. They did try, but their conversation devolved into an argument about Damon and it seemed the rift was bigger than ever.
But, as Bonnie learned to be true, time heals all wounds. She and Elena saw each more frequently at events like parties and picnics and the silent treatment gave way to hurried hellos and mumbled goodbyes. They were eventually able to sit at a table together without nearly coming to fisticuffs, and Bonnie knew things were getting better when she received a birthday text from Elena one year. They talked a little here and there and hung out with Caroline always acting as the buffer. One night, Bonnie said something funny, Elena laughed, and it was like the walls crumbled.
They had an honest conversation about their friendship and about how it had been deteriorating well before Bonnie got involved with Damon. Elena apologized, Bonnie accepted, and now four years later, they were closer than they had been since they were kids.
"Hey, we were wondering if you guys were going to show up," Elena said, smiling as she was tucked underneath Matt's arm.
"This one was having a packing crisis," Damon said, pointing at Bonnie with his thumb.
She smacked his arm. "I thought we agreed no complaining."
"It wasn't a complaint. Just an observation." She narrowed her eyes so he pulled her close to him and kissed her forehead. "Your packing neurosis just adds to your beauty."
"Nice try," she laughed.
The flight to the Bahamas was calm and easy and once they rounded up their baggage, they rented an SUV and started the drive to their home for the week. Damon drove and Bonnie sat in the front passenger seat, and she smiled at him when all the scenery was familiar. He hadn't let her partake in any of the planning so she was pleasantly surprised when they pulled up to the same beach house they had lived in on the Other Side.
"How did you find this?" she asked softly.
"I have my sources," he said with a wink.
The house wasn't the only thing that was the same. Damon tried to recreate their whole trip, complete with quality time in the hot tub, on the beach, and sexy dancing at clubs. The only thing missing was their romantic date on a yacht, and on their last night, she knew it was coming when Damon told her to dress up. Caroline and Elena helped with her makeup and made sure that she looked dazzling, just as she had the first time.
"You look beautiful, Bon," Caroline said, wiping a tear from her eye.
"Have a great time tonight, Bonnie. You deserve it," Elena said, looking as though her lips might start quivering.
Bonnie frowned at them and laughed. "I'm going on a date with Damon, you guys. Not moving to France."
"Are you ready?" Damon asked, poking his head inside the bathroom. When he got a look at her, he smiled. "I'd say so. Come along, Ms. Bennett."
She took his arm and they said goodbye to their friends. He helped her into the car and smiled as he drove.
"You look awfully pleased with yourself," Bonnie noted.
"I am. I would say that this trip has been pretty good, wouldn't you?"
"I would," she said dreamily.
"And you didn't even get to help me plan it. I think I deserve a little credit."
"I give you all the credit in the world, baby," she said. She leaned over and kissed his cheek and he turned quickly to catch her lips. They held hands and rode in comfortable silence until they reached the docks, where an elegantly-lit yacht was waiting for them.
"My lady," Damon said as he helped her out and she took his arm.
When they walked aboard, she was pleasantly surprised to see that there were no other couples this time. It was just them, and a romantic candlelit table awaited them. Damon pulled out her chair and the waiter swooped in with bottle of wine. They toasted themselves and spent the next hour laughing, eating and drinking. After feeding each other dessert, Damon stood and offered his hand.
"Dance with me?" he asked.
"I thought you'd never ask," she said.
He pulled her close to his body and she sighed contentedly as she inhaled his familiar scent and they danced to soft piano music. A thought crossed her mind and she debated whether she should voice it or not, for fear of ruining the night.
"Something you want to say?" he asked, still holding her close and swaying.
"How did you know?"
"I can feel you thinking too much."
She smiled and looked up at him. "It's been four years, you know."
"I'm old enough to rent a car."
"I want you to be human."
He stared at her with those intense eyes and she knew that he was trying to determine whether she was really ready for that commitment.
"You're ready to give up your magic permanently?" he asked.
"I've been ready for a long time."
"You'll be stuck with me, you know," he said. "You can't do something this huge and expect to just dump me."
She chuckled. "I think I want to keep you around for a while."
"Good. That makes this a whole lot easier."
She frowned in confusion when he stopped dancing. "Makes what easier?"
He didn't answer with words, but she knew exactly what he meant when he scooted back just enough to get down on one knee. Her hand flew to her mouth in surprise, even though she supposed that she should have seen it coming. They had been together for several years. They did live together and she was ready to give up her magic for him. Marriage was probably the least committal thing on that list.
"I know we haven't always seen eye to eye," Damon started, gently holding the hand that she wasn't using to cover her shocked face. "And I know that most of that was because of me. I was looking for love in all the wrong places, but I found it in you. I've been waiting my whole life for you, Bonnie, and I want to spend every second of the rest of it making you happy. So..." He produced a small white box and opened it to reveal a gorgeous diamond ring that sparkled in the moon light. "Will you marry me?"
Tears blanketed her eyes and she nodded vigorously. "Yes."
He smiled and slipped the ring on her finger. She wiped her eyes and took in the beauty of the jewelry, still trying to wrap her head around the fact that Damon Salvatore wanted to marry her. He stood up and embraced her in a big hug, which she allowed for only a second before she pulled him down for a sloppy, heated kiss. The crew on board cheered and blasted celebration music, which caused Damon and Bonnie to laugh against each other's lips.
Bonnie was floating on cloud nine the rest of the night, especially when they returned to the house and her friends were waiting anxiously.
"Did he do it? Let me see!" Caroline squealed.
She yanked Bonnie's hand to her and she and Elena screamed when they saw the ring. Bonnie laughed and let them carry her off to the kitchen so she could tell them all the details of the proposal and so Caroline could start wedding plans immediately. It was well into the early hours of the morning before Damon was finally able to extract his new fiancé and bring her to bed with him.
"I thought they were never going to let you go," he said.
"I can't believe you told them you were going to propose," Bonnie teased. "You know Caroline can't hold water."
"I didn't tell them. I told my brother who is so whipped that he probably told her as soon as she batted her eyelashes at him. I did threaten to stake her if she spilled the beans."
Bonnie snorted. "Glad she kept it to herself, then."
Damon jumped on the bed with his hands behind his head. He had already changed into some pajamas pants and a black T-shirt, and he waited as Bonnie disappeared into the bathroom. He heard her brushing her teeth and humming, which made him smile. His smile only widened when she emerged completely naked.
"Oh my," he said.
She crawled onto the bed like a lioness on the prowl and when she rested her warm body on him, they stared at each for a while.
"I love you," she said.
"I love you, too."
She leaned down just as he leaned up and they kissed. He sucked her bottom lip in that way that drove her crazy; she twirled her tongue in his mouth just the way he liked. His hands were everywhere and so were hers. They went slowly, tasting and savoring every part of each other's bodies. Neither said anything but they both knew that it was the last time they'd make love as supernatural beings. So they didn't hold anything back. Damon bit her and drank from her neck, her breasts, her thighs. Bonnie didn't even try to contain her magic or her screams and she didn't really care if her friends heard. When they finished, both were sweaty and breathing hard. Damon offered his blood for the last time, and Bonnie drank it slowly like fine wine. He pressed his forehead to hers and kissed her.
"Make me human," he whispered.
Bonnie didn't unwrap her legs from his waist or move from underneath him. She pressed her hands to his chest and never took her eyes off of him as she chanted. Heat passed from her to him and the more she chanted, the warmer he got. The window flew open and the perfect night air wafted into the room. He felt his fangs retract into his gums and the bloodlust waned until it was nonexistent. When she finished, he felt lighter and weaker, but in a good way.
"Is that it?" he asked softly.
She nodded and they both smiled as they felt his heart beat underneath her hand.
"Now what?" she whispered.
Damon rolled to his side and pulled her to him. He tucked some hair behind her ear and kissed her nose.
"Now we spend the rest of our natural lives together. We get married, have jobs, and you birth me a house full of kids. At least five."
She laughed. "Two."
"You really need to work on your negotiation skills, Bennett."
She kissed his chin and whispered, "here's a compromise. Two kids, but I'll let you start practicing right now."
Damon grinned and rolled on top of her again. "Deal."