Title: Casualties Of Accidental Dating

Author: skysamuelle
Author's Note: Betaed by Emmy/martinigirl15, inspired by impishdragon
Rating: PG 13ish

Timeline: Post 'Fool Me Once'

Summary: Extended version of my drabble ' Accidental First Date' that somehow morphed in a real fic. A series of accidental dates between Bonnie Bennett and Damon Salvatore stir feelings of a deeper nature than anyone would have guessed.

I

Across the room, Caroline leans toward Matt, flirty smile in place, fingers idly pulling at his collar. Bonnie wonders why a friend would insist that much that she get out of her house, only to ditch her afterwards.

That's Caroline Forbes –the witch sighs. She doesn't mean to be self-centered, she just…is. It's not in her nature to focus on anyone else's needs for more than five minutes.

She probably thinks her job with me is done. I'm all cheered up.

And just to improve her already sour mood …

"You know"- a familiar and much-disliked voice brushes against her earlobe- "Age is not really about how old you actually are."

Shrinking back, Bonnie warily eyes the vampire suddenly seated beside her, an arrogant smirk on his perfect lips, ice-colored eyes fixed on her.

She nods with a blatantly insincere grin "I am sure it's not about how old you really feel either, because then you wouldn't be any older than twelve."

He chuckles, probably surprised that she's playing along instead of walking away. She is a bit surprised, as well. To say she hates him would probably be an exaggeration, yet…

"And you, little witch, would be positively ancient. "

Annoyed that Damon made the effort to come to her just to be snarky with her, Bonnie rolls her eyes upward and looks away, determined to ignore him.

He doesn't leave.

"An apple martini for the lady." He orders instead, compelling the barman so no unnecessary questions will arise.

Bonnie' s expression as she turns toward her unwanted companion is nearly outraged.

"What?" – he shrugs like the very picture of affected innocence, - You truly look like you need one."

And then he invades her personal space some more, so their shoulders are touching. Yes, this Salvatore definitely has the emotional maturity of a spoiled child.

And, let's not forget, the destructive capacity of a hurricane.

"What game are you playing tonight, Damon? "

"No games, just a drink "– he sing-songs, half serious and half mocking, gaze softening in amusement- "Doesn't misery love company? "

"Not yours," Bonnie snipes back, because it's really, really easy (and oddly liberating) to be mean to him, whereas she has the opposite tendency with most people.

Unlike Stefan, Damon is not a person. Her subconscious nastily adds.

Yet, Bonnie accepts the drink.

Or rather, she downs it before she can think better of it, throwing a filthy look over her shoulder at a certain preening vampire.

"Oooh, you have a mean streak. I like it." His crooked smile gleams under the artificial purple lighting, and his voice is strangely warm.

Bonnie doesn't like how easy it might be, to let his sex appeal and charming mannerisms distract her from what he truly is: a cruel, selfish creature, even putting vampirism aside. It's unfair that someone so superficially alluring is also so vicious and just…plain evil on the inside.

Villains like Damon haven't any friends to hang out with, so it's probably not too surprising that they are forced to consort with their enemies when they feel chatty. Perhaps it's sort of sad, but it's also just another way they use people like her.

"Unlike you, not everyone enjoy being back-handed, insincere and unnecessarily cruel. I'm not playing with you, I genuinely don't want you around."

The words tumble out of her mouth in a smooth rush, defensive but more self-assured than she would have expected. It's the martini spurring her on, she knows. It has run straight to her brain.

There's a beat of silence as their eyes meet and don't let go. His expression is still, but not hostile, although she can see darkness flashing briefly behind his gaze.

Then Damon breaks their standstill with an amused quirking of his lips and leans toward her, seemingly delighted.

"That's exactly what I find so adorable about you."

The back of his hand intentionally brushes against the knuckles of hers, still closed around the glass. The fleeting contact sends a wave of sensation through her whole body, and it's not a real feeling but a casual, disturbing brush of Damon's consciousness against hers.

For a moment, the witch glimpses the inner workings of his mind, bare and uncomplicated. He truly doesn't mind being evil, because he honestly believes that every man and woman on the planet is just a monster waiting to happen. Circumstances and interests make the most virtuous individual capable of the darkest deeds

And then… it's hard to reconcile the image of herself Bonnie sees echoing inside his head with her actual reflection.

Damon doesn't think she is the same scum that everyone else does, not yet at least.

In his eyes, she is something still untouched and unmarred by Life, a Pandora's box sealed shut but humming with raw potential.

It's almost flattering, and she is ready to bet he would seriously consider draining her if he only knew what he has just given away to her.

This new sliver of insight makes her confused and light-headed when she blinks the glaze away and her focus returns fully on him. His closeness only increases her sense of unbalance.

Bonnie sits up a bit straighter, moving her hand swiftly away from him. Irritatingly, his smirk grows wolfish in front of the evidence of her discomfort.

Fortunately, their first accidental date doesn't last any longer: Caroline and Matt have finally taken notice of something else than each other, and they are stomping to her rescue.

Unfortunately, it won't be the last time that Mystic Falls conspires to bring two of its most powerful children closer together.

II

Meredith McCullough used to be one of Sheila Bennett's oldest and closest friends. Easy to see how much those two women had in common…Meredith –or Auntie Mer, as Bonnie used to call her when she was younger- was a direct descendent of those famous Druids who had migrated to Mystic Falls even before the Bennett women moved on the scene.

In town, Meredith is a kind of eccentric celebrity…more reserved than Sheila was about her interest in occultism, she has a nice, normal-looking shop of herbal products and is the author of several book on world mythology.

One thing Bonnie never knew about Meredith before her grandmother's funeral, is that Meredith is a witch too.

A witch very interested in helping a novice better develop her abilities, so Bonnie often visits her shop lately. It's both a way to honor Sheila's memory and a distraction from Bonnie's recent troubles with Elena.

It's unsettling, the distance that has crept between two girls who have always been closer than sisters. Suddenly, it's like they cannot talk without starting a fight and the more Bonnie discovers herself, the more that dissonance between her and Elena grows. They don't spend as much time as they used to together. Bonnie has cheerleading and witchcraft and Caroline-supporting, Elena has Stefan, her self-imposed outsider role and Damon-flavored drama. They don't envy each other but they also don't share the same world anymore.

The abrupt change of pace in their relationship is weird and scary, but thrilling, too.

Bonnie has never wanted the spotlight her best friend so naturally occupied-she is glad to leave that to Caroline- but this feeling of being the protagonist of her life is refreshing.

Meredith is a patient teacher, more hands-on than Sheila was, but also more eager to reminisce, to share little magic-related anecdotes about her and her late friend.

Sometimes Bonnie will offer to help out with the shop only to instigate a walk down memory lane. It gives her a bittersweet comfort, to reconnect with those family roots she has ignored for so long.

Once, she decides to pass by the shop for a surprise visit and inquire about a few passages in a book she has recently borrowed…

"Meredith?" she calls out to an empty shop, and then there's just the hint of a familiar 'presence' before a door creaks and from the back room someone saunters happily behind the counter to greet her.

It's not a ruddy haired, 50-something lady with a toothy grin, but a despicable young man whose impish smile sets her nerves immediately on edge.

Especially since his chin is smudged with blood.

It's not possible.

"You-you-" she sputters, rage making her speech falter and several jars jump on their shelves.

"Hello, Bon. Have you been avoiding me? It's been ages since the last time we-"

"If you've killed her, I swear I'll set you on fire," she promises, and even in the heat of the moment she is a bit surprised at how cold and firm her threat sounds. She realizes at once, that she is ready to carry through that promise, and it would not matter if it hurt Stefan, her friend Stefan.

No one will take anyone else she loves away from her and stay unpunished.

Damon tilts his head aside –a strangely bird-like gesture that never fails to disturb her-and assesses her with more attention, arrogance melting into curiosity.

He rubs the blood off his chin, pale eyes glittering with wicked amusement, and purses his lips in a sarcastic pout.

"Oh, Bonnie, you must really stop assuming the worst of me. Otherwise, when I'll be really be up to something interesting, you'll have taken all the fun out of it."

The young witch takes a deep breath, trying to focus on anything but the anger boiling up toward the surface, begging to be let out. She puts down the two cappuccinos she brought over for herself and Meredith on the counter, and her hands lay open on the wood surface with a strange calm.

"Where. Is. Meredith?" She asks, more collected, but it has no effect on her opponent, who looks more entertained and irreverent than ever.

"You should get enraged more often, it gives you quite the sexy glow."

Before she has the chance to answer that or even to decide whether to set Damon's pretty hair aflame or shove his sorry ass telekinetically against the wall, a rustling from the back room draws her attention.

"Who 's there?"

A young girl, no older than fourteen, appears behind Damon, paler than normal and with a scarf loosely draped around her neck, her carrot-colored hair in a messy ponytail. Bonnie is so shocked that it takes her more than a few seconds to recognize her as Jenny, Meredith silliest niece.

Jenny smiles, cheeks flushing profusely in embarrassment, and stutters that her aunt is out of town for some appointment with her editor and so she left her to attend to the shop for the evening.

Unsure at how she is supposed to react, Bonnie just glares and glares at Damon, who has the gall to smirk and steal a cappuccino.

"You fed on a kid?"

"I am not-"

"She offered, and who am I to refuse some spicy Druid blood? It's not my fault Twilight has created so many vampire groupies."

Jenny's head whips toward him, her freckled face registering little surprise at his condescending tone.

"Do you think I'm a vampire groupie?"

"Sure. But don't worry, I won't spread it around." He winks at the girl, who folds her thin arms around herself defensively and struggles very transparently to maintain her cool.

Half of Bonnie wants to reach out to her, or to defend her, but another half knows it would be better, in the long run, to let the teen take full credit for her rash stupidity.

Damon pins the poor thing down with one of those cool, dismissive looks, enjoying his hold on her before adding casually "Now, where's that special soap I came for? "

"I'll get it now" Jenny snarls, turning on her heels and basically shooting towards the back room once more, without sparing a glance to their audience.

Bonnie is left speechless by the whole display, unable to pinpoint if Damon's attitude disturbs her more or less than Jenny's.

He sips his stolen cappuccino slowly, cocky as he turns to look at her with a certain disdainful indifference.

Her brows rise up just as disdainfully in response.

"It's surprising how every time I meet you or I hear your name in conversation, you have hit a new low."

And with that winning exit line, she smirks a little and brings her cappuccino to her lips, slowly, to mirror his action. Childish contest or not, for now this is the only confrontation she feels fully prepared to face him in, and it feels important to stand her ground, somehow.

She pretends to not notice the way Damon's gaze lingers provocatively on her mouth, trying to make her uncomfortable. It travels lower, to the book she keeps tucked under her arm and pressed against her chest.

"Hexes and Counter-Curses: A Pagan Anthology," he reads title out loud with a faint accent of approval "So that's what you have been doing lately: building up a witchy culture."

Bonnie shrugs, relaxing a bit despite herself. "It beats moping over absentee ex-lovers or plotting to steal my brother's woman."

There's a fine line between boldness and imprudence, and that comment might just have crossed it, if the shadows flashing so briefly behind the ice of Damon's eyes are of any indication. She should care more about that, but strangely, this time, possible death wishes don't matter quite so much.

Even more strangely, the vampire chooses not to take offense.

"I would love watching you to try stealing anyone's woman, if that's your team. I might even lend a few tips along the way…or lend Elena to you, since you don't have a brother of your own. Now that would be a pl- "

She interrupts his increasingly sickening daydream, shaking her head in disbelief."Have you ever had a conversation with a woman that didn't border on sexual harassment? "

Damon places his cup down and scratches his chin pensively, like he is actually considering the question.

"I don't think so," he smiles, and for an instant, his visage resembles a mischievous child's, not a remorseless killer's." But this one was a nice diversion. Feel free to invite me along for another coffee break any time. "

"I wouldn't hold your breath for that" she snorts at his back while he swaggers toward the cashier, where little Jenny waits in resentful silence with a colorfully wrapped package.

Guiltily, Bonnie reasons that it's a waste that such a bastard has such a fine backside.