Five Years Gone
My other fics ('Living With Vampires' and 'You Again, You Forever') are going nowhere at the moment because this needs to be written. This won't have more than three or four chapters, so I hope to complete it this weekend. After that I'll maybe find inspiration for my other fics again. Sorry if you're waiting for updates. This is what's on my mind now.
And it's something completely different. I've never written anything like this before and I don't know where the idea came from. The title was stolen from an episode of 'Heroes', Season One.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries or any character you recognize from the show. I do however own two characters in this story. I came up with them by myself and I borrowed the name of one from one of my other fics from a totally different fandom – so I don't think anyone reading this will recognize him at all.
They say that scent is the most powerful sense there is and it's true.
The first thing Damon noticed when the thick fog partly lifted from his head was the scent in the air. A soft warm breeze fluttered over his face and left the smell of rosemary, thyme and other herbs in his nose. It was accompanied by the strong and more earthly scent of wood, and he was also able to detect traces of roses and other flowers in it.
Damon's first thought was that he had to be outside in a blooming garden somewhere but then… no. The soft material he could suddenly feel his body resting on was definitely a mattress, so he deduced he must be lying on some bed. The heavy scented air had to be coming from the open windows then.
Damon tried to open his eyes but realized that he couldn't. He didn't know how. He willed his eyelids to move but nothing happened. It was the same with his arms and legs. None of his muscles obeyed him.
Damon knew that if he'd been able to move his brows would by now be set in a confused frown. What was wrong with him? Why couldn't he move? Why couldn't he lift a single finger, let alone his head or open his eyes?
Had he somehow gotten paralyzed? How? When? And… by the way, wasn't it entirely impossible for a vampire to get paralyzed?
Had he perhaps been dosed with vervain? But if so, shouldn't he have felt the lethal herb curse through his body and cause at least some pain?
Damon strained his thoughts and probed around in his head (obviously the only thing he could do at the moment). Apart from the apparent immobility he felt fine. No pain, no thirst or hunger… in fact he felt better and more relaxed than ever before.
Once again Damon tried to open his eyes but nothing happened. The darkness was slowly beginning to freak him out, to suffocate him (and just what a pathetic excuse for a vampire was that making him?) and he quickly focused his thoughts on something else. He tried to remember… anything.
What had he done last, where had he been…?
A vivid image of kissing Elena on the front porch of her house suddenly rushed through his head. Damon would have smiled if he'd been able to twist his lips at all. But the smile would have quickly faded again anyway because other events of that day, Founder's Day, came back to him as well.
The fire… the foreign feeling of utter helplessness when he'd been forced to watch John put a stake through Anna's chest… his talk with Jeremy…
None of that now explained his current situation, did it?
Damon once again took stock of what little he knew. He was lying in bed, obviously clad in a T-shirt and boxer-briefs (he wasn't completely sure about the type of underwear but he could feel some kind of fabric on his body and since he usually went with boxer-briefs…).
The air around him was warm and heavy-scented, so it had to be summer. Damon could hear birds chirping outside the window (he realized all of a sudden that his ears were obviously intact as well) and there were also several muffled voices floating in from outside.
He couldn't make out exact words or even determine whether he recognized who the voices belonged to because the sounds were overridden by a strange and very close-by humming.
It was coming from somewhere by his feet and sounded to Damon like someone was trying to imitate a car or something. Damon realized with a start that there had to be someone, a human, on the bed with him. He could now feel the mattress dip to one side, barely noticeable, as if the person wasn't weighing much. And the occasional shaky movements indicated that he or she, whoever it was, had apparently some trouble sitting still for long.
"Brrrummm, brrrummm," the humming continued and suddenly there was a hand clutching around one of Damon's knees. His other leg was rubbed with something from foot to mid-thigh and back, he could feel… it almost felt like… tiny wheels?
What the hell?
If he could have Damon would have let out a gasp.
It had to be a small toy car that was wheeled up and down his right leg, like he was some sort of rocky road! Someone was using his unmoving body as a playground for a toy car!
Damon felt anger curse through his body but before he had the chance to let it out (not that he could have) a female voice suddenly reached his ears.
"Linus! Linus, where are you?"
The hands on his legs quickly disappeared and the kid (it had to be a kid, right?) scrambled off the bed in a hurry. Footsteps came closer and then a door was opened.
"Linus?" the woman inquired again, stepping into the room and closer to the bed. "What are you doing here? You know you're not supposed to be in here on your own!"
"I'm not on my own," a small voice replied promptly. "Damon's here with me!"
"That doesn't count and you know it!"
What? Damon wanted to scream. Since when didn't he count? Did those two not know what he was? Why weren't they afraid of him? And why were they here in the first place? Who were these people?
The woman had walked up to the bed Damon was lying on and was now busy straightening the sheets. Damon wanted to squad her hands away. No, what he really wanted was to jump off this bed and rip both their throats out!
The woman didn't seem to sense his boiling rage (and how could she when he wasn't even able to lift a finger) but went on: "If your dad finds out you've been playing in here again…"
"He won't," the small boy shot back, "if you don't tell him. Please don't tell him, Leslie. It's our secret. Damon can keep a secret, too."
"Sure he can," the woman, Leslie, sounded as if she was smiling. "Now, come on, Linus. Let's go downstairs."
"I wanna stay here," Linus pouted and scrambled back onto the bed. The mattress bounced up and down and Damon could feel his right arm jiggle with the movement. He had the feeling his head had lolled to the side as well.
"Damon doesn't mind. He likes it when I play with him."
"Really? And how do you know that?" Leslie wanted to know.
"I just know it," Linus shrugged. "He likes me."
'No, I don't!' Damon growled inwardly and desperately tried to open his eyes, to move his hand, to do something to draw attention to the fact that he was awake and aware of them. A brief sliver of light suddenly flashed before his eyes and Damon screwed them shut again on sheer instinct.
"See," Linus continued excitedly. "He blinked. That means yes."
"He… he blinked," Leslie let out a gasp. "He did, I saw it!"
Damon tried to open his eyes again, more cautious this time, and really, the darkness slowly gave way to blurry forms and dots of light.
"Oh my God," Leslie gasped again and bent over to watch him more closely. "Damon?"
Damon forced his eyes to stay open. He felt the bed jolt and then there was suddenly another blurry head bending over his face.
"Damon? Uncle Damon," the boy's voice nearly doubled over in joy. "You're awake!"
Damon focused his eyes on the boy and very gradually the blurry form sharpened and revealed a tousled mop of blond hair on top of a smiling round face covered in freckles. Wide blue-green eyes kept staring straight at him.
Damon opened his mouth, his jaw creaking in protest, but eventually his lips parted and Damon dry-swallowed a few times. Then he tried to form the word he so desperately wanted to say but what came out instead was nothing but a guttural string of gurgles.
"Easy there," he heard the woman say and turned his head towards her again. "Don't try to speak yet, Damon. Okay?"
Damon's brow furrowed but he stopped working his throat for now. Instead his gaze swept past the two figures and he tried to take in his surroundings.
The dark wood on the walls, the bed, the mahagony dresser to his left… this was his room at the boarding house. But who were those people? He'd never seen the woman nor the boy before.
Leslie must have sensed his confusion because she went on:
"You're at home, Damon. I'm Leslie and this is Linus. You don't know us but… ugh…" She broke off, a slightly helpless expression on her face, and then addressed the kid instead.
"Linus, go fetch the others. Your mom and dad and everyone… tell them the good news."
"Okay," the boy readily jumped off the bed and dashed away so quickly that Damon wondered if he had used vampire-speed. He could hear him run down the stairs and outside. But that boy couldn't be a vampire, could he? He couldn't be more than five years old from the looks of it. But how about this woman, whoever she was. Was she a vampire?
He was about to croak the question past his dried throat when Leslie's next words stunned him into shocked silence.
"Elena will be so happy," Leslie send him a genuine smile and sat down on the edge of the bed. She didn't seem to be the least bit afraid of him. "She never gave up on you, you know? She always knew you'd wake up again. Nothing Alaric, Jenna or even Stefan would say could ever make her give up on you. Not for all those years."
'Years?' Damon's eyes budged. Just how long had he been gone?
And why? What the hell had happened to him?
His mind was tumbling over and over, leaving him a confused mess. Thoughts and feelings scrambled around in his head until he couldn't be sure of anything anymore.
And then the floorboards creaked and a pair of hasty feet flew up the stairs.
Damon let out a gasp at the sound of that voice. Her voice.
The door was pushed open so forcefully that it smashed hard against the wall behind and probably left a dent. Damon didn't care. All he cared about was the girl that flew over to his bed, nearly tripping on the carpet, and came to a screeching halt in front of him.
"Oh my God, Damon!"
Hands grabbed hold of his and squeezed tightly.
"Elena," Damon croaked out, staring at her beautiful face, at the tears leaking out of her big brown doe-eyes and he wanted to reach out his hand and wipe them away. His fingers twitched but he couldn't find the strength to lift his hand off the sheets.
He growled in frustration.
"Damon," Elena choked out once again and fell to her knees. She let go of his hand and threw her arms around his neck instead. Her head came to rest on his chest and she buried her face there, sobbing desperately.
"I knew you'd wake up some day. I knew it. You'd never leave me. Oh Damon," Elena sobbed and laughed at the same time, her hands around his neck nearly suffocating him.
Damon closed his eyes and inhaled her scent. He had a million questions running through his head at once… but the answers could wait. For now he'd simply revel in Elena's presence by his side.
They stayed like that for what could have been hours, neither of them noticing Leslie silently leaving the room and closing the door firmly behind her.
In the hall she encountered Linus bouncing up and down in excitement, his parents standing not far behind and nearly as eager to get in the room as the kid.
But Leslie shooed them off. "Just give them some time, will you?" she smiled. "You can welcome your hero back later."
Damon heard her words through the shut door (vampire-hearing as good as ever) and his confusion grew just another notch.
He, a hero? What the hell had he missed?
Confused? Bored? Hooked? Let me know what you think.