prompt: "That sounds ominous."
note: the title is from the james arthur song "say you won't let go"


i promise ('till death we part)


Damon is disappointed by the lack of shrunken heads. He's been to thirteen different witch shops all across Europe and not one has had any shrunken heads hanging around. It's unfortunate, really. But, not his reason for visiting.

Bonnie is out sampling the tourist lifestyle. Three years of traveling and she's still just as eager to go exploring as she was the first day. Meanwhile, Damon skipped out for an hour, wandering elsewhere for other reasons.

Adisa Apothecary is rife with life. The walls are more windows than anything, letting in enough light to feed the overgrown plants that hang in every corner and sit atop every surface. Around the plants are antique knick-knacks, books, jewelry, pottery, and art. A packed rack of clothes sits in a corner; a mixed bag of sparkly gowns, sheer lingerie, and silky scarves. A stabilizing wall in the center is stuffed with everything from weapons to art to a truly ugly embroidered 'home is where the garlic is' piece. His lip curls on principle alone.

"Your kind doesn't wander this way often," an accented voice calls out, light and airy, like she has no reason to fear him.

He might take it personally if harming her was on the menu, but it isn't. He wanders deeper into the cluttered shop, carefully avoiding the potted plants on the floor, their reaching vines like clinging fingers. "Nice place you got here," he says, his gaze falling across a sparkling jewelry display.

The woman behind the front counter hums and leans forward, resting her chin on her stacked hands. She's older, well into her sixties, with curly grey hair half-wrapped in a colorful bandana, brown skin, and dark freckles that mottle her round cheeks. Shrewd black eyes stare at him. "You came here for a reason, state your business."

"I'm looking for something..." He comes to a stop in front of her and taps a finger against the glass display. There are books inside, frayed and peeling, the pages yellowed with age. "A way to prolong life."

She snorts. "I would think you already know a thing or two about that, wouldn't you?"

"Not like me." He shakes his head. "What if a witch wants to prolong her life? How does she do it?"

Her eyes narrow briefly. "What's a vampire need to know that for?"

"Let's say I know a witch that doesn't want to turn. She likes her powers and she's not a big fan of blood. But, dying's no fun and I'm not particularly interested in burying her. So, what are the options here? Besides turning..."

"And this witch of yours, she wants to prolong her life? You've asked her?"

Damon purses his lips. "It's come up. She doesn't want to turn. That's why I'm keeping my feelers out." He shifts his weight from one foot to the other. "I know witches can age slower. They can use their power to prolong their life for a while, but what's that get them? Another ten or twenty years? Tops?"

"If they're lucky, and that's if they don't have both feet in the supernatural world, fending off attack when it comes." She sits back on her stool and stares at him thoughtfully. "You want her to be like you, though? No aging, no dying, preserved as she is."

"If it's possible... And if it doesn't cost too much. Bon-Bon cares about the casualty list, so it needs to stay low."

"How low?"

"Preferably, no casualties at all." He shrugs. "She's a bleeding heart, what can I say?"

She scoffs. "And yet she's with you."

He grins, his eyes flashing with humor. "I'm an acquired taste."

"Must be." She pushes off her stool and walks through an open door. "Come on then, vampire."

It's not the friendliest invitation, but he still circles the jewelry display and follows her into the back. "I hope you don't plan on killing me. I've been to hell. It's better with a friend."

"No, not today." The room is filled with shelves dressed in bottles, jars, and books. Drying herbs hang from strings pinned to the ceiling. Damon has to duck around them, careful not to disturb anything. He has a feeling if he does, she'll take it out on him. "I'm Aberdyne Adisa. Most call me Deen."

"Damon," he responds. "Can't say I've ever been called anything else. At least not in polite company."

Deen snorts and makes her way to a stack of books, digging through them until she finds the one she wants. "Extending a life usually comes at a price. A lot of people go looking for that easy fix. Likely why your kind was made in the first place. People playing with fire when they shouldn't."

"Yeah, something like that." He crosses his arms loosely and rocks back on his heels. "You said 'usually.' Does that mean there's a way to do it without the steep price?"

Deen blows dust off the top of a book and carries it toward him. "Akkadian. It's a dead language now, but I know someone who can translate it for you, for a price. Pay special attention to page 615. There's a linking spell there that I think you'll find favorable."

His brows hike as he takes the book. "Linking?"

"It doesn't work for everybody." She tucks her hands in the pockets of her pale purple smock and shrugs. "A lot of things have to line up for a linking spell to work."

"Things like…?"

"Like compatibility between the people being linked. It helps if they have magic in them, makes that connection easier, even stronger. There are different kinds of linking spells. This one involves tying one's life to another's. That means that so long as the source of the link lives, so does the linkee."

He frowns. "What if the source dies?"

"Then the linkee dies, too. Doesn't matter if they're young and healthy. Once you're linked, that's it. You're bound in life and death." She stares up at him. "It has its upsides. Power sharing, prolonged life, no aging. But, like I said, they have to be compatible. And strong."

"How strong?"

"More than a few people have died trying. The kind of magic it takes to link one life to another, it's no easy feat. Your witch is going to have to risk everything she has if she wants to go this route. Once the link is complete, she'll be just as strong as you are, it'll just translate differently. Her strength comes from her magic, that's where her power source lies. Vampires, though unable to wield magic, have a magical source. She can use that to fuel herself."

"So, she'll be a super witch?"

"In not so many words, sure." She seems amused with him. "But, in order for her to achieve that she must already be a force to be reckoned with. Do you understand? If your witch can't handle that kind of power, if she can't complete the bonding ceremony with you, she's as good as dead and this will all be for nothing."

He hums. "I'm guessing that's why it's not a popular idea."

"That and it hasn't been done in a long time. It's in a dead language for a reason. The only cost is your own life, should you fail. Outside of that, you're not going to find many spells to help you prolong your witch's life. Not without taking someone else's."

He purses his lips and nods. "All right. Thanks."

"I'll get you the contact information for my friend. She can translate the spell for you. It won't be cheap, but it'll be worth it." She walks past him then, back into the main room of her shop.

Damon follows her, the book heavy in his hands. "You always this helpful to vampires?"

"So long as they're respectful to me, I'm respectful in return." Deen scribbles out a name and a number on a note pad and then tears the paper off and hands it to him. "Just be sure you know what you're doing, Damon. Be sure you know what you want."

He stares at her a beat and then nods. "I do."

"It's not just your life on the line, it's hers, too."

"Which is why she gets final say on whatever happens. Trust me..." His mouth hitches up faintly. "If I know anything, it's that Bonnie makes her own choices." He starts for the door then, carefully maneuvering around the clutter.

"I hope it works," she calls after him in farewell.

"Me, too," he mutters to himself.


...


Damon meets back up with Bonnie at the hotel room. She's already kicked her shoes off and climbed into bed for a nap, her face buried against her pillow, the flowy white fabric of her dress rucked up to her waist after rolling around in her sleep. He drops the book off on a table and crosses to her, crawling across the bed to lay at her back. He curls around her, one hand falling to her knee and drawing circles up her thigh.

Bonnie lets out a quiet sigh and presses back against him, stretching her legs out as she does. "When'd you get here?" she mumbles sleepily.

"Just now." He presses a kiss to her shoulder and then balances his chin atop it. "How was your sight-seeing?"

"Good." She smiles widely, her eyes still half-closed. "You should've come. You would've liked it."

"Next time." He hand slides up over her hip, thumb rubbing over the waist of her underwear. "We should get dinner. You're probably starving."

As if in answer, her stomach grumbles.

Bonnie turns onto her back and Damon's hand smooths across her stomach, her dress pooling around his wrist. "Where'd you wander off to?"

"You know me. I like to go looking for trouble when you're not around to keep me in line."

She snorts. "If you say so."

"I do." He bends then and presses a kiss to her lips, close mouthed and lingering there as she sighs and reaches for him, her fingers threading through his hair. "I wanna talk to you about something... But, I don't want you to get mad."

She opens her eyes and stares at him a beat. "That sounds ominous."

He leans back from her a little. "Not ominous, just... serious."

Bonnie tips her head, not completely convinced. "Okay, I'm listening."

"Let's say, hypothetically, that there was a way for you to live forever without turning... And that I, hypothetically, found a spell for that. A life-linking spell that would mean you could live as long as I do. Never get old. No blood-drinking. Just a super-powerful witch, kicking ass and outliving all the other peons."

She blinks at him. "A spell?"

"A very powerful spell which, if used by the wrong person, could, essentially... kill them." He winces. "But, that's just for weak witches, and I think we both know isn't you."

"So, wait, you want to do a spell that could either kill me on spot or keep me alive forever?"

"Technically, you'll stay alive exactly as long as I do. So, if I bite it, so do you. Hence, the 'link' of the whole shebang…"

Bonnie stares at him, blinking after a long moment. "Not to poke holes in your theory, but of the two of us, one is more reckless and danger-prone… and it isn't me."

"I'd seriously argue that fact." He tips his head side to side. "But who knows, maybe knowing our lives are linked will make a less dangerous man out of me..."

Snorting, she shakes her head. "I'm not sure I believe that."

"You know, usually I'd agree, but…" He brushes his fingers down the side of her face. "I went looking for this for a reason."

"Mmm…" She searches his face. "This is the serious part of the conversation."

He nods.

Shifting around to get comfortable, she tells him, "Okay. I'm ready."

Damon bites the inside of his cheek to keep from grinning. He trails a finger along the line of her jaw and taps her chin. "We agreed I wouldn't pressure you to turn."

"We did."

"And I'm mostly okay with that." He pauses. "Outside of situations when you're in immediate danger and my first instinct is to make you as impenetrable as humanly possible…"

"Which, since going on vacation, has been less prominent."

"Right, until recently, when you mentioned wanting to go home." He lets his fingers trail down her neck, thumb brushing against her steady pulse.

"So, this is because you're scared we're going to get into trouble and I'll die…?" She stares at him, head tipped thoughtfully.

"That's part of it."

"What's the other part?"

He purses his lips. "Do I have to spell it out?"

She grins. "Absolutely."

"You're not human, not entirely. But you will age. Slower than most, probably, but it'll happen."

"Not a fan of grey hair?"

He rolls his eyes. "I'm sure you'd rock it better than most."

Bonnie nods. "But it's a big red flag that I don't have as much time as you."

Damon swallows tightly and lets his gaze wander from her, centering on the pillow behind her head, where her hair lays in loose waves. "This is a chance for us to have more time. You get stay exactly who you are, the strongest witch I've ever met, and I… I get forever with you."

"With our danger prone lifestyle, I'm not sure how long 'forever' really is."

He lets his fingers trail down the v-neck of her dress, dancing atop her heart. "I could be a little more careful for you…"

Bonnie reaches up and cups his cheek, her thumb tapping lightly. "You know what that means? If I die, you do, too. That's a pretty huge risk, Damon."

"A risk I'm willing to take." His brows hike. "I've faced death with you enough to know that if it's coming, we're better off meeting it together."

She bites her lip to hide a smile, but it's quick to dim anyway. "What happens in ten or twenty or a hundred years when you don't—"

"Shhh…" He shakes his head. "That's not going to happen."

She lets out a soft sigh. "Nobody thinks they'll fall out of love."

"I know I won't."

"How?" She combs her fingers through his hair and drags them down the nape of his neck. "Things happen. People grow and change and—"

"And I can do that with you." He flattens his palm against her chest. "I've done it with you already."

"I just want you to be sure."

"Are you?" He searches her face. "Am I who you want to be with for your foreseeable future?"

"Of course you are. You're my best friend and…" She smiles then, letting out a little laugh. "I can't imagine my life without you."

"Then let's do this… Before we go back, before we're faced with whatever supernatural hiccup the world wants to throw our way…" He grins. "Bonnie Bennett, will you link your life to mine?"

She laughs, pure joy lighting up her face. "Yes, I will."

Damon ducks his head down to kiss her, smiling against her mouth. He kisses her once, twice, and a third time before he sits back. Bonnie wipes away the smudged lipstick from his mouth and gazes up at him with soft eyes.

"Thank you."

His brow furrows. "For what?"

"You went looking for a solution that wouldn't change me."

"Yeah, well, I like you exactly how you are." He leans back against the bed. "Although, the witch I got the spell from did say something about you being super-charged, so… That might help with the whole kicking bad guy ass and living for eternity thing."

"An edge over the competition always helps." Bonnie settles her head atop his chest and wraps her arm around his waist. "Is this why you kept sneaking off while I was touring around?"

"Mm-hmm."

"You've spent three years looking for this?"

"You didn't want to turn." He shrugs. "Once we got together, I wasn't about to let you go, not to something like old age and death."

Bonnie tips her head back to see him. "I love you." It's a simple and sincere declaration, with as much weight as those three words are capable of carrying.

Damon's chest warms; it always does when she says that. "Love you, too, Bon-Bon." He presses a kiss to her forehead and lingers there.

In a week's time, Deen's friend will have a translated spell for them and the next stage of their life together can begin. It's a comfort, if nothing else, realizing that he and Bonnie have a chance to live out the rest of their days together. And while the small chance that they aren't strong enough exists— though he highly doubts it— it's worth it. Either way, if they go, they go together. He just hopes that when the time comes, they're still holding hands, so they won't be separated, not in this world or the next.


end


author's note: this is another fic i started forever ago. it was actually part of an epilogue to a different story, but then i changed direction with that one but i still liked what was written here, so i decided to make it its own oneshot and incorporate a sentence prompt, too. i like to think it happens at some point after they've returned from the prison world but completes erases/ignores anything where kai puts elena in a pointless coma. damon and elena go their own ways, and damon's just so happens to be with bonnie, traveling and living life and being stupid in love with each other. as in, where i wanted season 7 to go, which would've made more sense.

also! i do have a ko-fi account where you can buy me a coffee/send a donation in of appreciation. you can find it on my tumblr (sarcasticfina) on the sidebar, the blue "buy me a coffee" box or at the top of the page, through the ko-fi link. every little bit is appreciated! :)

thank you for reading! please try to leave a review! :)
- Lee | Fina