Disclaimer: TVD belongs to LJ Smith/The Cw.
Summary: You're the reason I hold on.
A/N: After re-watching the last two episodes (4.22; The Walking Dead & 4.23; Graduation) again I decided to not really follow anything from them, only include tidbits that I liked. I've been writing this fic for a long time now and I never expected it to grow as big as it has or to receive the reception it has. You guys are so totally awesome for embracing it and I'm really happy that it kept you entertained and gave you a little slice of Bonnie/Damon when the show was being utterly stupid. I was going to attempt at least two or three more chapters but unfortunately I couldn't do it, so this is the final chapter of What Lies Beneath. It feels weird to type that but we all knew it couldn't go on forever though I am bummed I couldn't make it to 100 chapters! Still I've enjoyed reading your reviews, re-working the episodes and putting Bonnie and Damon into interesting situations. As for the future…I'm not sure how things are gonna play out. I won't say I won't ever come back and add more to this fic if season 5 isn't utterly horrible but for now this is the last chapter. Thank you again for all of your support! I *heart* you guys so much and I hope that you enjoy this chapter as much as you enjoyed the others!
Some people believed in fate and destiny when it came to making decisions about their life. They figured everything was pre-ordained anyway so attempting to deviate from that path would just be a waste of time. If that was true then Bonnie Bennett wanted a do over when it came to her family and friends. Not one of them had gotten out of their situations without scars that would never fully heal. There was so much death and sadness that sometimes she wondered if they would ever be happy again. She wondered if she'd ever be able to have a quiet moment without reliving all of the horrors she'd seen. Would she ever get a good night's sleep again?
Yet there was always a light at the end of the tunnel if you believed hard enough. It just wasn't always in the form you thought it would be. She'd never in a million years thought her light would arrive in the form of Katherine Pierce.
Katherine was selfish and bratty and only out for herself, though for some reason Bonnie believed her when she lamented the loss of Stefan. She knew all about bravado thanks to Damon, and it was obvious Katherine had that going on in spades. It was a defense mechanism and well if it had worked for her for over five hundred years she was entitled to it. With all of that aside one thing Katherine understood was self preservation so that is how Bonnie had ensured her help in getting the tombstone. Well that and a spell linking them together but that had been more for insurance just in case Katherine tried to super speed away.
Going up against Silas wasn't something Bonnie wanted but she had known no one else could do it. Certainty not Elena or the Salvatore brothers. They were powerful in their own rights but she was the one with it coursing through her veins. She was the one willing to die to finally be rid of him, not just for Mystic Falls but for herself as well. It was crystal clear she'd never get a normal life until he was dead and gone.
I just wish it had been easier.
Her head was still aching from the amount of power she'd used to defeat Silas—to turn him into stone deep within the caverns underneath the town—even though two weeks had passed. She felt weak and out of sorts, which basically meant Damon was holding her hostage in the manor until she was one hundred percent again. She didn't have the heart to tell him she wasn't sure that would actually happen. It had taken all of her Expression magic to get rid of Silas, bring Jeremy back from the dead and lift the veil back into place. While the witches on the other side were happy and proud of her, they were also holding back their harnessed collective power that she'd summoned back when Klaus was the only threat. So she was basically back where she'd started magic wise—aka the beginning.
It wasn't bad however, just different. Slower. Like she could float feathers but she couldn't conjure up wind storms or stop someone's beating heart. Bringing Jeremy back was what did it. But really no longer being able to control the elements was such a small price to pay to save a life, especially Jeremy's life. His miraculous reanimation would be weird to explain to a town that thought him dead, but they'd deal with that when the time came. Right now everyone was still trying to come down from their near death experiences. She was still trying to get over seeing her Grams again and desperately wanting to resurrect her as well.
There had been a moment when Bonnie was pushing life back into Jeremy that she'd nearly died. The strain on her heart had almost been too much for her, and it was bad to say but she could have given up. Almost wanted to just so that she could be with her Grams again forever and perhaps get some much needed rest. But then she'd thought about all of the people she'd leave behind—people that would miss her terribly and probably blame themselves for her death.
In the end the choice had been easy.
Perched in the window seat of the Salvatore mansion, she pulled her legs up to her chest so that she could rest her chin to them. Sleepily she gazed out at the world and tried to decide on her next move. Graduation had come and gone with the usual murder and mayhem but things were quiet now. Stefan had left town to dump Silas' desiccated body into some never ending ravine, Caroline was making up for lost time with Tyler now that he was free of Klaus and Elena was spending time with Jeremy while Matt toured the world with Rebecca.
Oh and Katherine was human but no one knew where she was, just that Elena had shoved the cure down her throat—literally—to keep from being murdered. Bonnie kinda felt bad for her because she knew Katherine didn't wanna be human anymore than she wanted to keep running from Klaus. Life would be hard for her now especially since she didn't exactly have any friends to turn to. Stefan and Damon (more so Damon) would most likely relish the chance to blow her off without any consequences cropping up.
She'd heard about an almost romance with Elijah but like Klaus he was New Orleans bound now so that was a bust. Katherine was just lucky the veil was up again or she would have to deal with all of the souls she had screwed over.
That damned cure. After going through so much fucken trouble to get it, Elena doesn't even use it once it's in her possession. I mean I get Katherine was going to kill her but still...I can't help but feel cheated. Jeremy died for that cure. Damon got a face full of vervain water for that cure. Stefan tortured vampires for that cure. Now it's just gone.
What a let down.
Even though Stefan was gone Bonnie had a feeling he and Elena would find their way back to each other. Time a part however would do them some good because near the end things were hectic and kinda horrible. No emotions Elena had plucked everyone's nerves by the time she was finally fixed, and bent on revenge Elena hadn't been that much better either. But Stefan had championed her even when times were at their darkest, refusing to just give up on her. Loyalty like that didn't just go away because one party was upset or licking their wounds. And now that Elena was Elena again she felt the need to just apologize constantly for all of the bad shit she had done.
She was mostly forgiven. Mostly.
The summer was looking to be peaceful and Bonnie was happy for it. Yes her father hadn't taken the news of her engagement as well as he could, but he hadn't staked Damon either so that was a plus. Nevertheless she could still see that vein in his forehead throbbing as she laid it all on the line for him…
"Are you sure you wanna do this?" Damon asked slowly. "We could just go on pretending I'm your incredibly handsome older boyfriend until we actually pick a wedding date. Or until we're actually married. I could just compel your dad not to make a fuss."
Bonnie chuckled and shook her head. "No I wanna tell him. After everything that has happened I think he deserves to know the truth. I—well I sorta wish Abby was here too to hear it but I'm sure he'll tell her." She sighed with a shrug. "I'm tired of hiding one of the best things to ever happen to me. Besides he knows about vampires and stuff, he should know this too."
Damon snorted. "And when he comes after me with a stake or bottle of vervain water? What should I do?"
She smirked at him. "I didn't say we tell him you're a vampire. We just…tell him we're engaged. The age difference is gonna be an issue either way; let's leave out that you're like over one hundred."
He pointed at her playfully. "Hey! I'll have you know I don't look a day over fifty." He settled down beside her on the couch. "Are we ever gonna tell him I'm one of the undead creatures he can't stand?"
That's a good question. "Eventually. He's been doing really well with my mom. I think if he knows you're not all blood thirsty he'll be able to deal. I'll also make sure to tell him about all the times you saved my life and how Grams actually thought you weren't so bad. That has to count for something."
Her boyfriend made a face. "I suppose we'll see. He's here."
And suddenly she was nervous. She couldn't help but think about all of the ways things could go wrong but she owed her dad this honesty. He'd been powerless to stop her from helping Elena or putting her life in danger. He knew all about the terrible moments; it was time he was let in on the good ones. Even if he didn't see it that way just yet.
The front door opened and Charles Bennett made his way into the living room, arching a brow at the sight of them waiting for him. He removed his coat and hung it on the rack by the door. "Hello. Why do I get the feeling I'm about to get some bad news?"
She smiled sweetly. "Why would you think that, daddy?"
He tilted his head. "I've seen the Lifetime movies. Please tell me you're not pregnant."
She blinked. "What? No. God no." Snickering, she glanced to Damon. "But we do have something to tell you. It's not bad though."
Charles folded his arms over his chest. "I'll be the judge of that."
She hated when he pulled that face. "Well Damon and I have been together for a while now and we—we've been through a lot. He's been there for me when I really needed someone and I've returned the favor to him." Pause. "He—uh he asked me to marry him and I said yes." She pulled her ring out of her pocket and showed it to him.
Her father's eyes stretched wide. "You're engaged? But you're seventeen years old. What in the world do you know about marriage and—and being married?"
And here we go. "Daddy we don't plan to get married until after I'm done with college. But yeah I'm engaged. And I know how it sounds okay? It sounds crazy because I'm still so young and he's older…but it's not. I love Damon."
"I'm sure you think you do." He said easily. "First loves are always very powerful however I don't think you've really thought this through. You're going to be going off to college soon and meeting a lot of new people. No offense to Damon of course but do you really wanna be tied down to one person?"
Damon's expression was blank. "None taken. Sir."
Bonnie resisted the urge to facepalm. "I've thought about this." Patting Damon's thigh when he scoffed, she continued. "And honestly it just seems stupid to go looking for what I want when I already have it." Getting up, she tucked dark hair behind her ear. "Dad when mom left I saw how upset it made you. I was young and I didn't understand it all but I get that you were sad, and that it was her fault."
Charles' face softened. "Bonnie…"
She shook her head. "It's okay. I know you did the best you could. That you threw yourself into your work because you were hurting." A beat. "It affected me though. I never thought I would ever wanna get married after the way you and mom ended. Not to mention then Caroline's parents broke up and Elena's parents died. Matt's mom was no sort of role model and the Lockwoods had enough issues to fill a grave. Yet after all that I found someone that I could spend the rest of my life with."
He reached out and grasped her shoulders. "I just don't want you to make a mistake that you'll end up regretting."
She totally understood that. "I know. I know that you're just looking out for me but I'm not a kid anymore. I've fought the forces of evil and lived alone," she joked lightly. "And like I said Damon and I aren't getting married tomorrow or even the next day. Our being engaged is a promise we're making to each other that there will never be anyone else for either of us. I—I don't know what the future holds but right now I can't imagine a future without Damon in it."
Damon took that moment to jump in. "Mr. Bennett I love your daughter very much. I'm not lying when I say I would give my life for her in a heartbeat. I know she's…younger than me and that we come from different worlds but it doesn't change how I feel. Whether it's tomorrow or years from now, I'm always gonna wanna marry her. I just went ahead and asked now."
Charles eyed him speculatively but he didn't look angry, just contemplative. "Well I can't say that this makes me happy because it doesn't. Really I think you're both too young to be thinking about marriage." He smoothed a hand across his face. "However it hasn't escaped my notice that Bonnie will be eighteen soon and going off to college. Or that you make her happy. I suppose all I can do is hope for the best."
It wasn't much—or his blessing—but it wasn't screaming and yelling either. "Daddy you gotta trust me on this. Everything is going to be okay."
"You're really gonna wait until after college to get married?"
"I promise. Besides it's gonna be a big affair if Caroline has anything to say about it and she'll need time to plan."
"And this won't affect your grades?"
"Nope. It's not like I think about it every second of every day."
He rolled his eyes playfully. "If you wait and don't flunk out of school I suppose it's not the worth thing in the world. At least you're not pregnant."
She laughed. "Right." Smiling, she wrapped her arms around her father for a big hug. "Thanks, dad. I know this is weird for you."
He nodded but hugged her back. "Very much so. But your happiness is all that matters to me and you're a smart girl. I know you won't get in over your head."
Never again hopefully. "Not when it comes to this I won't."
He grinned. "Okay." And then his eyes shifted to Damon. "I'm going to be watching you however. Maybe even more than before."
Damon waved a hand. "I honestly expected as much."
Smirking, Charles kissed his daughter on the forehead before heading upstairs towards his room.
Bonnie exhaled and threw herself into Damon's arms. "No one got maimed!"
Damon snickered and situated her nicely onto his lap. "Nope. We'll save that for the big reveal down the road."
The thought of telling her father that Damon was a vampire still managed to make her stomach bubble unpleasantly. She could face homicidal witches, ghosts and werewolves but when it came to that subject and her dad, she felt utterly out of her league. It sucked that she couldn't just not tell him for the rest of their lives. While it sounded nice she realized if she didn't come clean eventually he'd probably find out on his own which would be so much worse.
I will tell him one of these days but not now. Not when things are mellow. Maybe I'll call him from school and leave a message on his answering machine. "I guess it's official now…more than it was I mean."
He nuzzled her throat. "What are you gonna do when Abby finds out? She knows all of the gory details and she might not be too keen on your decision. Not to mention I could see her opening her trap to your dad to get him on her side."
That was a possibility. "I'll tell her myself. Next. And I will make sure she knows exactly what my dad knows; that you're the one I want and if she can't deal then I don't need her in my life. If she can't respect me or my decisions I'll make sure she's never around us again."
"I love it when you get all take charge."
"Hah shut up."
"Ooh yeah boss me around some more."
"I'm gonna punch you in your perfectly chiseled face if you don't stop teasing me."
"But you're so cute."
"Well…I am cute."
"You are. Almost as cute as me…"
Then Bonnie had attempted to punch him but of course he'd simply caught her fist and teased her some more. But it had been nice to be that playful just for the sake of it and not because they were trying to deflect from some melancholy mood. It reminded her of their road trip, which man, they really needed another before the fall semester started.
Stretching her arms out with a groan, she forced herself up from her perch and trudged downstairs. The manor was quiet but she knew people were around; they had nowhere else to be after all. Slipping into the kitchen, she decided a nice cup of tea would perk her up so she started to make some. Damon hated tea or anything without a kick but thankfully Stefan was more open to "bland" tastes.
Yawning, she searched under the cabinets for the tea kettle and filled it with water after finding it. She was setting it on the stove when footsteps sounded and Elena walked into the room, looking more like her old self than she had in a very long time. "Hey. I thought I heard someone down here."
Bonnie smiled. "Hey. Just uh, making some tea. Do you want some?"
The brunette nodded and plopped down at the table. "Thanks." She cleared her throat. "Bonnie I know I've apologized before but I just wanna say how sorry I am again for being such a mega bitch. When I think about what I did to you and what I could have done? God. It makes me wanna lock myself back up in Stefan's safe. I was such an idiot."
Yes… "You were also grieving."
Elena pouted. "Yeah but everyone has grieved at least once in their life. Caroline lost her dad but she didn't turn off her humanity and start killing people. And okay Damon told me to turn it off but he didn't tell me to keep it off. That was all me." Scrubbing at a nonexistent spot in the wood, she wet her lips. "I knew when I became a vampire that I'd be fighting the urge to drain people, but I—I killed for sport. That poor waitress; what if she had a family?"
It was probable that she had. "I suppose if you're wanting absolution then you should actively make a pledge to never kill another human again. Caroline and I have already forgiven you for the things you did, but honestly I like that you haven't forgiven yourself. It's how I know you're really you."
Elena chuckled softly. "I'm never gonna be that way again. I don't care what happens my humanity is remaining completely intact." She gazed at her. "It's because of you that I'm better you know. I mean because you brought Jeremy back. I could never begin to tell you how amazing you are for it."
"You're still welcome." Bonnie searched for two cups. "To be honest I'm glad it took the last of my Expression magic. It was based in death and totally un-natural. I might not be as strong as I was but I feel better. I can watch a scary movie or have a nightmare without accidentally setting the bed on fire."
"That's good." The brunette mused. "I feel better too. My heart is still hurting for the things I've done but…I feel lighter." Her big brown eyes focused on nothing. "I miss Stefan though. I never got to apologize to him."
"He's coming back." The witch said. "After he is settled I think you two should have a long talk about everything. Clear the air."
"I really want to." Elena nibbled on her bottom lip. "There is so much we need to get out into the open. And we need to decide what to do about Katherine."
"Do you think you and Stefan will get back together?" Bonnie inquired innocently. "Is that something you would want?"
"I…" Elena shifted. "Maybe? I know that I still love him, just not sure how he feels about me anymore. I was a terror to him. I think I'll try being his friend first though and if it develops into more then…great. Not like we have to rush or anything."
So true. "Perhaps you can get him to go to school with us. Get the gang back together."
Her friend grinned. "That would be cool." Pause. "Do you think it's stupid that Caroline and I are even bothering with college?"
Bonnie giggled. "Not really. I mean if you were like fifty then maybe but you're still just eighteen. Of course you wanna experience college and stuff. If you live a normal life but as a vampire I don't see anything wrong with that. I'd welcome the peace."
The other girl nodded in agreement. "Oh yeah. After the past couple of years I'm praying for normal so hard right now. I also wish I hadn't burnt down my house."
Laughing, Bonnie jerked as the tea pot let out a loud whistle. She lifted it from the stove and poured two cups full of water. "Yeah that wasn't your smartest move."
Elena hid her face. "All those memories and pictures—ugh! I'm such an idiot!" Slouching, she gathered her hair up and off her shoulders. "I'm so thankful my parents' cabin is still there or I really would have nothing."
After finding the tea bags and honey, Bonnie sat down in front of her. "I think we all acted stupid this year in one way or another. I'm looking forward to a fresh start in college. Not sure how I feel about living with Caroline though. Her clothes are gonna dwarf our clothes."
Elena snickered. "Oh yeah. We shouldn't even unpack because she is going to take all of the closet space. I'm glad to be able to be here to yell at her though. I'm so thankful that we all made it out alive." Her nose scrunched up. "Kinda shocked Matt went off with Rebecca considering how he used to feel about her. But I guess he just needed a break."
Bonnie felt that was true of them all. The last few years of high school and life in general had been totally exhausting where they went from one extreme to the next. She didn't personally trust Rebecca since she'd been threatened by her before, however she could see the appeal of traveling with a rich vampire that could get you whatever you wanted. And Rebecca had taken good care of Matt—saved his life even—when the dead Hunters had returned for their revenge. She would probably show him a good time.
For the first time in a long time Bonnie could feel a sense of normal seeping into her bones. Not a lot of it with vampires being real and most of her friends being one, but enough where she didn't get the urge to pull all of her hair out. If she closed her eyes she could almost pretend Elena and Caroline were regular teenagers like herself…until they whipped out the blood bags.
"I think things are going to be okay." She said idly. "Don't quote me on that but it's just a feeling I have."
"I hope you're right." Elena whispered. "Though even if Klaus comes back to be a dick I won't care. Jeremy is alive and that's all I've wanted for months now. Thank you again."
"You're welcome." Pause. "Again."
So Damon Salvatore wasn't psychic and he couldn't read minds, but he had an innate knowledge about people that he was close to. Like he knew Caroline would continue to steal blood from him even if Tyler said he could get them all they needed. He knew Jeremy would move in the second he was breathing again—ugh—and then proceed to just make a mess of everything by constantly being in the way. And he knew Elena would turn herself blue in the face by apologizing and apologizing but the latter he actually agreed with. She'd been a bitch and she needed to make amends, simple as that. He wasn't sure about the Stefan of it all; why his brother had wanted to disappear with Lexi to get rid of Silas but he had an inkling. Things between him and Elena were on wobbly wheels and for once he was running instead of attempting to fix what was broken.
Maybe he just needed a vacation.
Mystic Falls was almost back to something that he could manage. Almost. It would never be as it was because Alaric was dead, and for all his nagging he'd made things more interesting. If there was one reason Damon wished the veil could have remained down it was for him. He missed his best friend more than he liked to admit. It was also amusing how two of the most important relationships in this life started with him trying to kill the other person. He supposed that meant Bonnie and Alaric were special…or insane to put up with his bullshit.
If Alaric hadn't died I would have made him a groomsmen. Heh imagine that?
It was strange because he wasn't quite sure how they'd managed to win but they had. Silas was gone, Klaus was gone and things were quiet again. Probably for a split second but he was okay with that. Gave him time to focus on helping Bonnie get over the trauma of bringing Jeremy back. He…tolerated the kid but in all honesty he could have done without him. Just the thought of Bonnie dying for him made his face muscles twitch unpleasantly. To be hair however the thought of Bonnie dying period made his face muscles twitch. But he knew that had to be the reason he'd found her barely conscious down in the caves with a stunned looking Jeremy babbling about having a heartbeat.
Bringing someone back from the dead was epic. His fiancé was…there were no words to describe her.
Sometimes he thought it was dumb how much in love with her he was. Not in a bad way but Stefan was the one that fell for people and continued to love them for like decades. He was the guy that could barely tolerate people even when he felt remorse over feeding and killing. But he supposed he just hadn't met the right person, not to mention that Katherine had probably screwed him up so badly with her mind games. He'd thought he'd seen a future with Katherine but in reality it had all been a pipe dream.
Things with Bonnie were real, and he wasn't even freaked out by them. He always felt like they were working towards something—like there was a reason they were bound together beyond protecting one another. Hell maybe the reason he'd really saved Emily's kids was so that Bonnie could eventually be born. Maybe Emily had known it all along.
Being a vampire wasn't exactly about living, it was about drifting. Being with Bonnie was the first time in a long time that he felt like he was actually living a life, not just coasting through the years and watching technology change.
Probably helped that she was such an old soul.
Snapping out of his thoughts, he put down the glass of Bourdon and made his way upstairs to his room. He couldn't hear Elena and Jeremy but he figured they were around somewhere. Jeremy was pretty much on house arrest until they came up with a plausible story for him being alive. Damon had wanted to go with zombie but no one felt that would be prudent. Still the idea of Jeremy being chased by townspeople pitch forks amused him.
"Hey judgy." He said upon seeing Bonnie in his bed, reading. "Where are the houseguests from Hell?"
She laughed. "Jeremy was feeling cooped up so I think they went for a walk in the woods. Where have you been?"
He slipped off his shirt. "Filling Liz in on all the gory Silas details. She's happy he's dead or whatever after that stunt he pulled at the hospitals. With Klaus gone she thinks things might actually get back to normal. I didn't have the heart to tell her nothing will ever be normal again."
Bonnie bookmarked the page she was on and closed her book. "Maybe normal is overrated anyway. If you were normal you'd be dead."
True. "Yeah. And things would be so boring around here." He grinned and crawled up beside her. "How ya feeling?"
She kissed him softly. "A lot better today. I'm getting stronger every day Damon; there is no reason to worry."
Impossible. I always worry. "I'll be the judge of that. Until you're fit and perky you're gonna rest and let me annoy you by playing nurse."
Her eyes sparkled as she teased, "Does that mean you're gonna dress up like one too? 'Cause I do think you have the legs to pull off that little white dress."
He smirked. "Damn right I do." Shifting closer, he slipped his arm around her shoulders, trailing his fingers along her arm. "Promise me something? Never pull another stunt like you did with Jeremy. Or anyone else for that matter. You're—fuck you're ten times more important than anyone else."
She looked up at him. "I just wanted everyone to get a happy ending."
"You're my happy ending. Why should we suffer so others get to smile? We deserve to smile too." He kissed her temple. "I get it—you wanna save the world. I love you for it. But I also need you here."
"I am here." She whispered, snuggling closer. "I will always be here no matter what. I don't think there is anything that could ever keep us a part. Not even death. I think we'll always find our way back to each other."
Damon wanted to believe that but outside forces made it hard sometimes. However if he had faith in anything it was Bonnie. "We better. You make me wanna be a better person."
She smoothed a hand across his chest. "You don't have to be better for me. I love you just the way you are." Pause. "I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow or a year from now, but I do know that I can't see myself living without you. I know that's dramatic but you're one of the main reasons I fight so hard to fix the bad things. Life hasn't been very fair or kind to you…so I wanna fix it so that now it can be."
His bright blue eyes met deep green. "You're a real piece of work, you know that?" He inquired playfully. "I've met tons of people throughout the years and none of them were like you. Everyone has wanted me to change but you take the bullshit and never cut me any slack. I know now I was a fool to ever think we'd ever just be fuck buddies."
Bonnie giggled. "Are you admitting that you were wrong?"
He scoffed. "I wasn't wrong…I was misinformed." He entwined their fingers together. "All along I knew there was something…just never figured it would be this. I thought Katherine was what I needed but it was this. It was you."
Her cheeks flushed pink but she looked utterly pleased by his words. "So, we have the rest of our lives together Damon Salvatore. What do you wanna do next? Keep in mind at any time some grand evil might pop up to interrupt us."
What do I wanna next? That's easy.
"That's a tough one." Sitting up, he cupped her face and gazed at her lovingly. "While I contemplate that truly profound question, we can just do this." Leaning down, he kissed her as she chuckled, his fingers going for the buttons on her blouse. "I'm sure it'll come to me in the meantime."
Pulling him closer, she sighed happily and ran her fingers through his hair. "I'm sure it will…"