Disclaimer: I don't own the television series or the books of the Vampire Diaries. Those rights do not belong to me in any way. All I'm doing is temporarily borrowing the characters.

A/N: I haven't lost my obsession with The Vampire Daries yet. In fact, I have almost finished reading the fifth book and can't wait until the sixth one comes out on Tuesday, I think. Although, I have to admit, that I prefer the television show over the books, too otherwordly and fantasy-like, if that makes sense? Also, I am working on my Masters thesis, which is on the vampire, gender, and its struggle between good and evil, so I won't be able to escape the vampires for a while... nor do I want to. I hope you'll enjoy this story, which is very hastily written, I admit, but I still decided to post it due to my lack of time to write.


"It was a feeling I can't explain, as I went against the grain."

Elena was in the middle of a crowd of other bodies that kept her warm with a drink in her hand. As she swayed to the beat of the song, she couldn't help but ponder at the irony of the situation. It was only a few hours ago that she had been upside down in her car, and only a couple of hours ago since she had been arguing with Damon and trying to convince him to drive her back. And now she was here, in a seedy looking bar, dancing in a crowd of what were mostly men, eyeing her in a way she wasn't comfortable with.

She took another sip of her drink, choosing to ignore every single one of them. She felt uneasy, but chose not to show it, though she had no doubt that Damon knew she was just putting up a brave face, especially since she was still sore from the accident, though the alcohol was slightly numbing it and the dancing took her mind of it. And as much as she feared Damon at times, she also knew that he would protect her and even give his life for her own. She still didn't quite know why, but somewhere she figured that it must have something to do with Katherine and him still suffering from a broken heart.

She wondered if he hurt when he looked at her and if he saw Katherine when looking at her, drawn to her because of that. She tried very hard to understand, but envied Katherine more than a little for having such a strong hold on the less pure Salvatore brother, as cruel as he could be, still hung up on his ex. She downed the rest of her drink, playing with the empty cup for a few seconds before deciding that she needed some fresh air. She threw a glance in Damon's direction, too busy with a dark-haired woman at the bar to notice her contemplation and self-infliction.

Elena sighed and made her way over to where Damon was sitting. She intentionally brushed up against him just a little when leaning over the bar to ask for another beer, not particularly enjoying the taste of it, but appreciating its numbing power. She wasn't much of a drinker, too young to technically, so beer was the safe bet for her, having to admit that even now she was feeling the effects.

She gave the barkeep a flirtatious smile, looking at him through hooded eyes as he turned around and got her a beer without further questioning.

Damon observed her inconspicuously, though she always had his full attention, whether she knew it or not. He gestured towards her jacket as she reached for it. "Where are you going?"

"What do you care?" she breathed, her head down as she shrugged on her black leather jacket, matching the edge that was in her voice.

"Excuse me?" he returned with a raised eyebrow, not having witnessed the change in her behavior, so for him it was coming out of nowhere.

"Wherever the hell I want to go, Damon" she snapped, earning her a concerned look from the barkeep as he handed her the beer. "Everything okay here?"

She snorted, like that mattered and like he would be able to stop Damon from doing anything. Out all of the people, Katherine excluded, she had the most hold on him. She quickly plastered a smile on her face and nodded, shaking her hair more than was needed. "Yeah, everything's fine. Don't I look fine?" Her smile widened and the barkeep nodded in obvious agreement. "You are beautiful, alright."

Yeah, but how much in comparison to Katherine, she couldn't help but wonder, knowing full well that it was a road she shouldn't be going down. Comparing herself to other girls always resulted in her feeling worse about herself than she already did. This was even harder because the other girl, in this case, looked exactly like her and yet she was far more beautiful than she was. Bitter, that was how she felt. At least with Stefan she didn't constantly feel like second best, but then again, it shouldn't matter because she and Damon were… barely friends.

"Thank you," she said to the barkeep, genuinely meaning it since a compliment was just what she needed, but not from him. She shook her head while taking a sip from her beer, looking at Damon from over the edge of her cup.

"Let's try this again, then. Where are you going?" he repeated the question, his tone light, but a warning in his eyes, realizing that at the end of the day he had to bring Elena home safely to Stefan. He would have a hard enough time explaining the cuts and bruises to him.

"I need some fresh air. It's too crowded…" she explained while looking around the room vacantly. "Don't worry, I'll be right outside," she finished sardonically, meeting his eyes one last time before turning around and slipping through the backdoor.

And she kept her word, she didn't go anywhere, she just wanted to be by herself, the wind in her hair and all that. She sat down on the steps and drank her beer in silence. It was very unsocial of her and very unladylike; this was something Katherine would probably never have done. Good, she didn't really want to be more like her and less like herself. Ugh, peer pressure from a dead girl. She couldn't help but smile at her ridiculous train of thought. She shouldn't be caring in the first place, Stefan took her for who she was and that was all that mattered.

The door behind her opened and she rolled her eyes as she took another sip of her drink. She waited until the person had sat down next to her before turning to face them, expecting it to be Damon, but it wasn't. Instead it was some guy she didn't know, or recognized from inside, though she should; he had probably been in the crowd dancing. She kept up her carelessness, not in the mood.

"It's nice out here, huh?" he asked her and she shrugged, eyeing the horizon, but really seeing nothing of interest, not tonight. She finished her drink. "I'm going to get another." She started to get up, but the guy surprised her by reaching for her arm and stopping her. "Too good for my company, huh?"

Elena dropped her cup and looked at his hand on her arm before looking at him, the beer slowing down her understanding.

"I mean, let me buy you a beer?" he asked, but didn't remove his hand from her.

She shook her head. "No, it's okay. I think I already had one too many." She offered him half a smile and he lightly chuckled with her. "Not an avid drinker, are you?"

She shook her head again. "No. In fact, I think I should go inside and find my friend, ask him to take me home."

"I can do that, drive you home."

"Oh, well, that's really nice of you, but… I can't do that to him. I mean, I came with him after all."

The guy chuckled again. "You're a polite one." He pulled his hand back, only to place it on her lower thigh. "But I think he'll understand, from a guy's perspective." He winked at her. "So, what do you say, can I give you that ride?"

Elena shook her head fervently, thinking how ironic it was that people looked at vampires as monstrous, but failed to look at monstrosities within human beings themselves. Like right now, she was more afraid of this man sitting next to her than she had ever been of Damon. Oh yeah, Damon would be able to drain her blood and kill her, but this man would cause severe physical damage and would make and let her suffer. She could tell from the gleam in his eyes. She desperately wanted to get out of this situation, so she got up as quickly as she could, before the man could do anything about it and bolted back inside.

She fought against the tide of bodies and hurried over to the bar, slowing down her pace as she got closer. But Damon was no longer there, so she took a seat at the bar and settled for the barkeep. This time she asked for a bottle of water to settle her nerves. She turned to look over at the backdoor and when she turned back around on the barstool, gripping the water bottle was all she could do from letting out a scream.

"Ready to go?" Damon asked, casually leaning against the bar, hands placed in front of him.

Elena nodded, leaving the bottle of water for what it was as she got up, pulling her jacket more securely around her.

"I need to get you back before my dear brother decides to be rash," Damon loosely remarked as they made their way over to the backdoor.

Elena nodded. "Yeah, you've put him through enough for today," she said absently and pushed open the door, stopping dead in her tracks almost instantly. The guy who had bothered her before was still outside, smoking a cigarette. He caught her looking at him and grinned at her, quickly putting out his cigarette and walking over to her. Before he passed her, he leaned in just a little. "Maybe next time, when you're protector isn't around, huh?" He winked and slipped back inside.

Elena shivered in disgust and continued on to Damon's car.

"Umm, not to be nosey or anything, but would you mind telling me what that was about?" Damon inquired while going after her.

She shrugged. "Not a lot to tell, fortunately," she added softly, though he of course heard. He sped up and caught up with her.

"Hey," he said while appearing in front of her, blocking her way into the car. "What did he do?"

Elena sighed. "He didn't do anything, Damon."

"Fine, what did he try then? ….Elena, I have to remind you, I'm not a very patient person."

"You know, I can take care of myself. I did just fine before you came into my life!" she expressed her frustrations.

"And Stefan," Damon added.


"Well, technically, I've only saved you a couple of times, a handful maybe, but Stefan, well my brother is more the savior, really, which is ironic since he is a vampire…"

Elena threw him a look that could kill. "Just take me home? You had your fun and I've had enough put on my plate for one night, okay?"

Damon nodded. "But only if you tell me about that guy."

She looked him in the eyes. "I went outside to get some air and he sat down next to me."


"And he offered me a ride home, got a little too close for comfort, but I managed to get back inside before—wait, where are you going?" she asked as Damon began to walk back over to the building.

"Suddenly I'm feeling very hungry!" he yelled back over his shoulder.

Elena ran after him and came to a halt in front of him, forcing him to stop as well. "Elena, move," he told her. She shook her head. "Damon, no. He was just some jerk, not even worth the effort, and I'm okay," she assured. "A little shaken, sure, but not because of him, but because of the accident. Plus, I think the beer might be getting to me… And I really should get home."

"You mean to Stefan?" It was a rhetorical question and Damon didn't wait around for the answer. Surprisingly enough, he let the situation go and began heading for his car, listening to her for once. He opened the car door for her and waited, but she didn't get into the car; instead, she slammed the door shut and faced him with arms crossed. "Why do you do that?"

"Well, I was trying to be a gentleman and prove to you that chivalry wasn't dead, but—"

"No, I mean constantly put down what I have with Stefan, and what I feel for him?"

Damon shrugged. "It's just unnatural for a vampire and a human to—"

"Unnatural." Elena snorted. "You're such a hypocrite. You fell for Katherine and she was a vampire, when you were still human!"

"That was different." Damon converted his glance and pocketed his hands in a calm and distant manner.

"No, it's not. In fact, you're still pining for her…"

"I don't pine," Damon briefly intervened.

"… and she's dead," Elena finished softly, but determined to make her point.

Damon's eyes flew over to hers and pinned her to the spot she was standing in. His hands left his pockets and mimicked the movements of his gaze as he moved himself until he was standing directly up against her, using only his body to force hers against the car.

"You couldn't possible understand," he told her through gritted teeth, his eyes gleaming dangerously and actions threatening.

She bravely tilted up her chin and didn't cower from him in any way, showing him a strength that he admired in her. "I do." She shook the hair out of her face. "Your fascination with me… It's because you see me as Katherine, isn't it? That's the only reason," she accused him, leaning towards him. "Right?" She waited for a response that didn't come. "I'm not her, Damon, and I never will be, so either you find a way to accept that, or—"

"Or what?" Damon almost snarled, pulling her head back sharply and brushing her hair away from her throat with his other hand. "I could just turn you into her if I wanted to, you know that? I could just make you into what I want." He smiled to reveal his fangs to her, to scare her, but she didn't flinch. She looked at him directly, completely open and translucent as she spoke, "Still, I wouldn't be her. I couldn't because I would hate you for taking me against my will."

Now Damon flinched ever so slightly.

"You claim to be this higher species, but you're no different from us. From that man who was harassing me earlier, so if you want my blood, then take it, but don't turn me after. Just kill me, please?"

Damon let out an animalistic growl, but released her and she fell back against the car.

"It's no fun if the victim is practically begging for it," he remarked, his back now turned to her.

"It's no fun being seen as one," she countered, cautiously taking a step in his direction. "I know you're not a fan of human/vampire relationships, but if you're not planning on killing me, then what purpose does our hanging out have, this road-trip have?"

"Who says I'm not planning on killing you later on?"

"I say so and, I don't know for what reason, but I think that that's enough for you. You can be as heartless as you want to me and treat me as just another victim, but only if I really am that to you. Am I that to you, Damon, just another victim, or… or do you see me as Katherine?"

"Careful what you wish for," Damon said in a singsong way, finally turning around and facing her again, when she was already on her way back to the car. He watched her get in and lean her chin on the knuckles of her hand, which she had rolled into a fist. Her eyes remained downcast, even as he got in the car and it pulled at something inside of him, something he didn't think he had anymore. He sighed and leaned back in his seat, who was he kidding, certainly not himself. She wasn't Katherine, she may bear some resemblance to her, but that's where the comparison came to a screeching halt. And his next victim, if she didn't want to be his vampire princess, then he wasn't going to do anything to hurt her, not really. He wouldn't stoop down to humanity's level.

"Look," he started, licking his bottom lip before continuing on, "I'm sorry about before, the head thing…" He threw a look in her direction and she threw one back. "Apology not accepted, just don't do it again," she retorted.

He nodded. "Fair enough, you're not a victim, after all." He shot her one of his most charming smiles and the ice between them melted away as she smiled back. She decreased the distance between them as she moved over to the edge of her seat, her hair falling in her face. "And Katherine?" she asked in a whisper, doe eyed as she got even closer to him, not looking at him, but at his jacket as she toyed with the zipper.

"Nothing like the dead whore," Damon answered harshly, swallowing the pain that almost cut as deep as his words, but only because it was the truth. Being faithful had never been Katherine's strong point and he wondered if Elena was more like her in that department that even she herself realized.

Her eyes instantly found his as both her hands gripped his jacket, pulling herself onto his lap with ease. "I think the beer is really getting to me and if you tell Stefan, I'll tell him that you took advantage of me in my drunken state," she breathed against his ear.

Damon, too bewildered to think and too pleased to argue—so much for his heightened vampire senses, they were too busy taking in what was happening right in front of him—simply nodded. Like he cared about his brother at a moment like this and if he only stuck to this one time… He wasn't taking advantage of her, she was the instigator and the drunken excuse would work perfectly for her when she came to her senses and regretted her actions.

He groaned as she sunk her teeth in his earlobe and groaned again when she dragged her lips up to his lips, though this time it was out of frustration, not at her but at himself. He was feeling guilty and despite feeling good at the moment, it wouldn't afterwards. With all the willpower he had in him, he pushed her off him, gently maneuvering her back onto the passenger's seat.

He opened his mouth to say something, but Elena shook her head and shot him a sober smile. "You're a better person than you think, Damon."

"You're a bad influence," he said with a brief touch to the side of her face. He started the car and Elena turned to look out the window.

No, he didn't see her as Katherine. She meant more to him.

Please leave behind a review? I'd really appreciate any comments and/or critique you might have. I write for myself, but it's always nice to know that other people are also reading my stories, and I thank you for that. :) x