Bonnie got into her car, ready to leave the NYU campus when she saw the dark cloud overhead. If she didn't know any better she would swear Damon was in a mood, messing with the weather, but things had been going very well lately. The fiasco at Christmas had passed, and even though two months later Matt still wasn't taking any of her calls, she felt somehow that everything would be alright.
On her walk to the car she began to think about how things had looked so bleak that night. Elena and Stefan didn't come by as often as she'd like them to, both still uncomfortable with Damon being so close. Stefan and Elena both had seen a different side of him entirely, and neither were very believing of his conversion from evil imp to loving and doting boyfriend.
Really, Damon was much more than just her boyfriend. Within the next few years, Bonnie would be joining him, his world of the supernatural. She giggled at the thought. She had always had a touch of supernatural things in her life, but this was getting a little ridiculous! How many times had she faced death in the last few years and barely escaped it? She shivered, both from the cold and the thought.
She had reiterated that she knew she would be dying young and beautiful. The realization that that was probably sooner than later shook her a bit. Bonnie knew what she wanted, but wasn't absolutely sure she could think about it easily.
Her car was cold as she hopped into the drivers' seat. In a few minutes she would be in Damon's arms. Today they were going to find a bigger apartment, still in Soho with it being a very short drive from the campus, but with more room. Damon had told her they had outgrown her place. And he wanted to re-furnish the place too. No doubt there would be more things to "christen", as he so lovingly put it. Bonnie smiled in anticipation.
* * * * * * *
Damon was about to put his leather jacket on when he heard the elevator bell ring. He smiled and thoughts of Bonnie and her strawberry flavored lips greeting him at the door while she jumped into his arms engulfed him. He opened the door, growling low but fiercely.
"I thought we could talk without all the theatrics, Damon." Matt stood, looking ready to strike. Damon nodded, saying nothing, but stepping aside as Matt walked into the small flat. "Where's Bonnie?"
Damon crossed his arms over his chest. Good, you can't rip his arms off if they're crossed in front of you. He smiled slyly at the thought. "School. She should be on her way home about now, so you might wanna get this over with while you can. I won't have her upset that way again."
The look he gave Matt was definitely meant to scare him, and though it did, Matt vowed silently that he would never let Damon see him frightened ever again. "I won't say anything to you that I wouldn't say with her in the room." He hadn't relaxed his stance. Damon didn't either.
"Well then," Damon said, finally breaking his position and moving to lounge on the couch. "What is it? I don't have the patience to deal with you today, Mutt."
Matt closed his eyes, commanding himself to remain calm. "I want you to leave."
Damon let out a gruff laugh. "I'm sorry, Mutt. I can't do that."
Matt felt his chest start to rise sharply as his breaths became sharp. "Yes…you can. And you will."
Damon narrowed his eyes at him and sat forward, clasping his hands between his knees. "And why exactly is that?"
"Because I'm taking Bonnie back to Baltimore with me where I can be sure she's safe."
Damon laughed loudly now, throwing his head back. He almost slapped his knee, but didn't want to embarrass Matt that badly. When he stopped, he leaned back on the couch, his arms extending across the back. "Safe? With you?" The words came out sounding as though Damon was disgusted with the thought. He saw Matt shake with controlled rage. "What makes you think you could protect her better than I could?"
"It's simple, Damon," Matt barely got his name out of his mouth without being sick. "She'd be far away from the thing that almost took her life on numerous occasions."
Damon was on his feet in half a second, and toe to toe with Matt in the other half. "Do not ever bring that up again." He said slowly, enunciating every word. "Besides, haven't you noticed Bonnie prefers brunettes?" Damon chuckled lightly then, a look of satisfaction coming over his face.
Matt could feel the strange heat coming off Damon's now trembling body. He knew that even though Damon was making light of the subject, he could snap Matt's neck in an instant, but he didn't back down. Bonnie's life was at stake, and he couldn't take that lightly. "You can kill me if you want, but you will never have Bonnie. I will never allow it."
Damon stiffened, as if someone called his name from far away and he was the only one who heard it. "Look," he said to Matt, rolling his eyes impatiently. "I really would love to stay here and fight with you, but I have somewhere to be. I would say we could continue this later, but I promised Bonnie I wouldn't kill you, and I intend to keep that promise." He smiled wickedly. "At least for now."
Matt took a step back. "I will be back. And Bonnie will be leaving with me."
Damon stepped to the side, allowing Matt to walk to the door. "The first part I'm counting on. The second?" He shook his head. "Don't hold your breath."
* * * * * * *
Bonnie was in a hurry to get home. The roads were jammed with people traveling for the weekend. It wasn't anything special was it? Valentine's Day! She scolded herself, hitting her forehead with her palm. Though he was never much for material things, she wanted to get something special for Damon. Maybe something they both could enjoy. Like a nightie that won't last long on me anyway…She giggled, flushing a deep scarlet.
Cars were backed up for miles. While it really shouldn't have taken her more than 5 minutes to get to her place from the campus, Bonnie anticipated a long wait being stuck behind this many cars. She spotted an outlet to the side that not many cars were taking use of. Perfect! I can get to that lingerie shop and back home before Damon starts worrying. Damon had asked her why she drove to school at all until it started to get cold, and darker much earlier. He told her he wouldn't always be available to 'walk' her home, though she knew the crow was always around.
The side street was much less crowded and Bonnie made it to, and in and out of the shop in ten minutes. The lady behind the corner gave her a knowing smile. "Have a good evening," she had called to Bonnie as she hurled herself out the door and to the car. The smile gave me away, she thought shaking her head. She really would have to learn to be more discreet where her sex life was concerned.
Bonnie began driving, slowly at first and then weaving in and out of traffic when she could. Normal people would slow down when there was so much ice on the road. Normal people didn't have intimate relationships with vampires who could easily snap their neck. She started to laugh out loud, and opened her eyes just as she almost ran into a car merging into her lane. She felt the urge to scream, but fought it, taking a deep breath. She decided to try to take some more back roads, thinking they were probably less crowded.
Bonnie turned down the first street to her right and shuddered at the dark road ahead of her. This was the type of road murderers lurked in on movies. She started down the road, accelerating when she noticed no other cars in sight. She didn't see the black ice on the road, and she couldn't brake fast enough after she hit it. Her car fishtailed for what seemed like an hour, though she knew it only been a few seconds, and then made four or five donuts in the road before coming to a stop in the middle of the road. She laughed nervously when she realized how close she had been to…
Bonnie shook her head, desperately trying to shake the fear off. Her instincts were screaming at her, and she laughed again, looking around outside. No one came out to see what the noise had been, though it sounded like it would bust her eardrums it had been so loud. She started out into the street and breathed deeply, turning just as the headlights shone right into her driver's side window. The last sounds she heard were the crunch of metal, the sound of breaking glass. And then everything went black.
* * * * * * *
Damon tapped his foot impatiently. Bonnie was blocking him again. That usually meant she was planning something she thought she could surprise him with. He laid back and closed his eyes, putting his head back on the arm of the couch that really was terribly uncomfortable.
Then he heard it.
Bonnie called to him mentally, screaming as loud as she could.
Damon was off the couch and in the air before the door closed behind him.
* * * * * * *
Police cars lined the street, ambulances tried to weave their way down the narrow street in attempt to free the girl trapped in her car. The semi had t-boned her, and she was lucky she was still breathing when the first officer arrived on scene. Blue and red lights lit the houses all around, and Damon could see them from where he was perched in the tree. He could see the officers, and the machines trying to pry open the metal that held Bonnie prisoner in the car that now resembled a pretzel.
I can't reach her! You have to, she only has a few more minutes before she loses all of her air. Sarge, she's not gonna make it. I'm here, cara. I'm with you. I'm here. I love you. I know, I love you too. Oh Damon, why is it so cold? It'll be over soon, amore. You won't feel any more pain.
You have to, she only has a few more minutes before she loses all of her air.
Sarge, she's not gonna make it.Bonnie could hear the voices, wondering why they sounded more distant with each word. I'm here! she screamed, but no one seemed to hear her. Oh God, please help me. Damon! Damon where are you?
I'm here, cara. I'm with you.She could hear him as though he was standing next to her but she couldn't touch him. She couldn't even see him. Where? Where are you?
I'm here. I love you.
I know, I love you too. Oh Damon, why is it so cold?
It'll be over soon, amore. You won't feel any more pain.It was then Bonnie realized she wasn't speaking with her voice, but with her mind. And she could hear Damon perfectly, just as perfectly as he could hear her.
So this was it. She was dying. And again Damon was watching just as helplessly. The only thing comforting her was knowing he would be there when she awoke, whenever that would be.
That's it, cara. I'm here. I will always be here. Just let it happen.Bonnie felt her body take its last breath, and then there was silence.
* * * * * * *
Stefan and Elena waited at the boarding house for Meredith and Alaric. She wore the same wig and disguise she had worn for the wedding only two months before. Now, she wore it to bury one of her best friends.
They had all been told that Bonnie's body had been so severely crushed in the accident that they could only see her from the torso up. The rest of her had been flattened by the impact. Meredith, always the strong one, had mentioned that Bonnie had been right. No one asked about what, they all knew.
When they arrived at the cemetery in Fell's Church, Elena felt herself shiver. It seemed like forever ago that she would come here, alone, and write in her diary as she sat at her parents' headstones. Now, only two rows away, Bonnie McCullough was being laid to rest…like she herself had been not too long before that. The whole situation didn't make much sense, though making perfect sense at the same time. It was eerie.
Matt showed up toward the end, trying to hide his teary eyes. He caught sight of Elena and Meredith, and nodded at Stefan, but otherwise kept his distance. Elena knew something was bothering him, even more than the thought of Bonnie's death. She would ask him later, but she felt her hands grow cold when she saw the giant crow sitting in the tree above.
After the service, the girls sat around under the canopy that was still there, while Stefan paced back and forth, trying not to look upset, and failing miserably. No one knew him better than Elena. She walked over and put her hand on his arm. "Are you ok?"
Stefan looked down at her, into her sorrowful eyes. "Damon…"
A figure seemed to form out of air behind them, and began to walk toward them. Elena stifled a scream, and Meredith jumped up in front of her, with Alaric standing between them and whatever was coming toward them. "Oh please," Damon said coming through the shadows. "I was just passing through."
Meredith's eyes narrowed. This was the first time she'd seen Damon since the night of their deadly run-in with the kitsune, though she had gotten to know him better through conversations with Bonnie. Bonnie…who would never speak again. "What are you doing here?"
"Paying my respects, what does it look like?" Damon gave her a 'duh' look.
Elena eyed him curiously. She had seen him around Bonnie. This was a different side, the side they were all used to seeing. Very guarded, particularly now. "I assume you know why you're here…?" she said softly.
Damon looked at her as if she were insane. "Of course I know. I was there when it happened."
Stefan nearly pounced on his brother, but the look Damon gave him told him now was not the time. "You mean you watched Bonnie die?" The words came out through Stefan's teeth.
Damon looked at his brother, and for a short second Elena thought she saw pain register in his black eyes. "What else could I do? Did you actually expect me to swoop in there and save her like some damsel in distress? What do I look like? Superman?"
Stefan growled loudly, making everyone jump. Everyone other than Damon, who stood there as casually as if he had merely coughed. "You could've done something, Damon. Weren't you the one who loved her?"
Damon rolled his eyes and leaned against the tree that the girls had been sitting under moments ago. "What does it matter now?" He looked at his brother now, and his eyes twitched. The pain was there, but Damon wasn't letting anyone in. "There's nothing that can be done anymore. It's over."
Alaric pulled Meredith close to him, wrapping his arms tightly around his wife, who had begun to sob quietly behind him. Elena reached over and grabbed Stefan's hand, pulling him away from Damon. His face showed no emotion, though Elena could feel the sadness. It rolled off of him in waves. Stefan had been like that after she had died…
Wait! She died as a mortal, but came back as a vampire. That was why Damon showed nothing. He knew. As much as she wanted to tell Meredith, to rejoice in the fact that they would see Bonnie again, she knew she needed to let Damon have his moment. Damon would find a way to get Bonnie out of here so they could be together again. She wanted to smile, but thought it best not to. Not now. When she and Stefan were alone later, she would tell him, though she was sure he'd already figured it out. That was probably why he hadn't charged Damon. They left quietly, getting into their cars and driving away slowly.
* * * * * * *
Bonnie reached up to her head, touching where the blood had been, but feeling nothing. She couldn't see anything, but she knew she was safe, the accident a distant memory. Damon? she called into the darkness.
No light, no sound, nothing.
Then she heard it. A door opening or closing, and from the sound of it, scrapping against concrete. Almost like the door to…
A tomb. She was in the McCullough family mausoleum. There hadn't been a lot of her family in Fell's Church, but enough to build this monstrous tomb for each one that was to be buried here. The Smallwood's had one twice as big, just across the old cemetery. It wasn't far from Honoria Fell's tomb. The one that Elena had died in as a vampire…
Bonnie sat up slowly, looking around now, her eyes adjusting immediately to the darkness. She could see every scrape on the concrete walls. She heard the mice as they ran. Gross, she said to herself. She put her feet over the side of the block she had been laying on and swung her feet, looking like a child sitting in a seat too big for her. Ok Damon, I give up. Where are you?His hand came over hers, and though every instinct in her wanted to scream, she knew who it was, and that she was safe. Damon walked around in front of her, taking both hands and lifting her gently off the stone table. "How do you feel?" His whisper sounded like he was speaking full volume, and Bonnie winced. He looked at her and apologetically shrugged his shoulders.
"I'm thirsty," Bonnie said, looking up into his eyes for approval. "Is that right?"
Damon nodded, grinning from ear to ear. "Yes, that's exactly right. I wouldn't subject you to my brother's diet, though. You deserve much better than that." He started to lead her down a dark passageway. He looked back at her when she stopped, eyes wide. "Rossa," she smiled brightly, "nothing can hurt you now. Everything's right. We'll have to get you home to change, and then, we'll go somewhere where no one knows us. We can start our life. But we have to get you out of here first. Trust me."
Bonnie nodded. She trusted Damon now more than anything. "Wait," she said, grabbing him and pulling him into her. She kissed him long and hard, and he lifted her against the wall, pulling her legs around him for support. "It feels like forever since I've felt you, any part of you," she said when they broke apart. "I needed to make sure you're really here, that we're really together."
"We are, cara. We will be forever. Siete la mia vita, rossa. You will always be my life."
* * * * * * *
"I know it sounds stupid, Stefan, but it's the only thing that makes sense. I saw how he felt about her. There's no way in this world that he could not care that Bonnie's dead." Elena was pacing now, but safely in the confines of Stefan's room at the boarding house. Meredith and Alaric had gone back to her parents' house to get some rest. They had promised to be back in the morning. She ran her hands through her hair, blond again with the wig thrown in the corner of the room, and came to stand in front of him. "So we have to find out where he's taking her."
Stefan looked up at her from where he sat on the bed, his head in his hands. "What?" His expression was tired, both physically and emotionally. "You realize that if you're right, they could be halfway to Florence by now."
"Is that where you think they'd go?" Elena's expression was hopeful.
Stefan shrugged then nodded. "More than likely. He'd want her to see where we come from. Not that it matters now. She can't leave him."
Elena tilted her head sideways. "Stefan, she loves him. No one understands that love better than I do. She'd travel to the ends of the Earth for him. Leaving him isn't an option for her. Just like it isn't for me."
Stefan put his hands out to her, motioning for her to come sit on his lap. He buried his head in her hair. "You're right," he said softly.
"I know," she said, grinning as if she had just won a match of wits. "You knew it the day Matt came to see her. On Christmas. She heard your thoughts, just as clearly as though you had said them aloud. You and I used to do that when I was in my not-so-solid state. If I caught it I know you caught it."
Stefan nodded. "Yes, and she confirmed it when she told me to never mind how she heard me. Damon must've been giving her his blood from day one. Then again, combined with her Power, there's no telling what effect it was going to have on her. I just hope it's a good one."
Elena looked down at him. "It will be. You'll see."
* * * * * * *
"Can I open my eyes now?" Bonnie squealed under Damon's hand. He had covered her eyes, and Bonnie was squirming impatiently. "I can smell-"
"Then plug your nose," Damon commanded. Bonnie's mouth curved down into a frown, and Damon leaned down to kiss her perfect lips. "When I'm ready for you to see, I'll release you."
Bonnie frowned . "Well how much longer?"
"Just a few more steps. Ok, now."
Damon released her then, and the sight before her completely overtook her. They were in a cabin, much like the one Elena had described to them, but this one was the White House compared to Elena's description of her cabin in Shinichi's prison. "Oh," was all Bonnie could say.
The front room alone was immaculate, looking like something out of a magazine. Pictures lined the walls, from famous artists to brand new ones, and the leather furniture was the deepest shade of chocolate. "This isn't really your taste, Damon."
"I know," he said, leaning against the staircase. "It's more yours. Do you remember telling me about the cabin you used to go to on family vacations when you were little?" Bonnie nodded, tears in her eyes. "I tried to recreate it…with a modern twist."
Bonnie was at his side in half a second, putting her hands on his perfect chest. Another perk of my new life, she whispered to herself smiling. It was then that she noticed her new adornment.
On the third finger of her left hand was the lapis lazuli ring.
Bonnie gasped and brought both hands to her chest. "Oh Damon!" she squealed in delight. "Does this mean-"
Damon came to her side, putting his arms around her waist and pulling her into a deep kiss. "It means whatever you want it to mean. If it's your engagement ring, fine. If you want it to mean your wedding ring…well then, we just have to make it official, I guess." He shrugged in his nonchalant way, a slow smile spreading across his face.
Bonnie threw her arms around his neck, a low growl escaping his lips before she kissed him fiercely. Wow! This feels so different "Do you mean it? We can have a small wedding?" She beamed for a moment, and then her face fell. "But I can't have any of my family there."
Damon hugged her tightly. "No, not your family…but close enough will work, right?"
Bonnie's eyes brightened again. "You mean?"
"Yes," he smiled and felt his heart soar when her eyes widened in excitement. "But if I give you your way with that, can we at least go to Florence? My home there is three times the size of this shack," he said, gesturing to the center of the room, "and I know you'd love the grounds there. You and Elena can plan your parts, and I'll even play nice with my brother." He rolled his eyes in mock disgust. Bonnie punched his arm and he laughed lightly. "It's not really gonna matter, you know?"
Bonnie's head came down a fraction, and Damon pulled her up to face him by her chin. "I know…"
"Cara, I will do whatever you need me to do. If you want me to play nice with them, I'll do it for your sake. I love you. You are my everything." Damon cringed inside, knowing it was true. Though it wouldn't be exactly pleasant to be nice to Stefan, he would swallow his pride…for his Bonnie, his piccolo uccello. He would never feel this way about anyone else as long as he existed, and he was sure she felt the same way about him. Especially now, her arms wrapped around him, head on his chest. She no longer had to fear him. They had each other…the way it would be forever.
* * * * * * *