Summary: "I'm sorry – I'm sorry," they say to each other in between fierce kisses. Elena's holding onto Damon desperately because he's the only one she can trust to not let her fall. Set after Bad Moon Rising.

~ Hold Onto Me ~

"You and Katherine have a lot more in common than just your looks."

She watches him as he walks away (from her), leaving her standing on the porch, speechless and hurt. She knows she's not supposed to be affected by him or his words, but she is, because, deep down, there's still a part of her that belongs to him.

(That will always belong to him)

She continues staring for a while, her heart breaking because, out of all the people she knows, Damon's the last person she could have ever imagined walking away from her.

But there he is, doing that very thing in front of her eyes.

She has to stop him, she realizes suddenly. Stop him from walking away from her, because it hurts, it hurts so much, to see him leaving her; to think that he can and will leave. But her feet are frozen on the spot, and she can't seem to make them work.

I can lose him.

The thought flashes bright and crystal-clear through her mind and then, something inside of her just snaps and she's running like she's never run before, sobbing and gasping as she tries (has) to catch up with him.

"Damon!" Her cry is desperate and full of anguish, but it works because he's stopping.

Damon turns around just as Elena collides with his chest. He's been walking at a human pace the whole time, but she's too busy burying her head in his chest and sobbing in relief to think about that.

"Hey, hey," he whispers gently, putting his hands on her arms to steady her. "Easy there, Elena."

She sobs even louder because, even when she's the one hurting him, he's still the one comforting her.

(Because he'll always be there for her no matter what)

"Damon, Damon, I'm sorry," she says, her voice rising in hysteria. "I can't – I just can't lose you forever. I'm sorry, I'm so, so, sorry but I can't –,"

He crushes her in a hug, successfully muffling whatever she had to say, and Elena gasps again as the wind rushes out of her body. She feels his against her, rippling and shuddering as he breathes out an, "Oh, Elena," and tightens his grip on her.

She can't help but encircle him in her arms, bunching his leather jacket in her hands and trying to bury herself in the warmth of his body as if to merge with him completely. "Please, don't leave me Damon," she murmurs into his shoulder. She knows he's heard her because, next thing she knows, his hands are on her shoulders and they're standing at least an arm length apart. Damon's looking at her with eyes so soft she thinks they could break.

"Elena, Elena," he says, and his voice sounds breakable too. "I'm not going anywhere. As long as you want me around, I could never leave you. Even if I wanted to, and I can't think of a reason I would. I can't leave you," he whispers, and his eyes soften even further. "And look at you, apologizing, when I'm the one who should be –,"

"But I hurt you, Damon. I used you." She didn't have to hear him to know what he was going to say.

"I hurt you more," he says softly.

He's looking at her with such vulnerable and soft and loving eyes that tears are starting to blur her vision. He's stripped down to the core; all the walls and defenses gone (for her). He's willing to let her see this side of him and her heart burns even more for him.

And against everything she ever stood for, relying strictly on her instinct, she cups his face in her hands and pushes herself up to kiss him.

She feels the shock reverberate through his body, but it only lasts for a second because then, he's holding her in his arms and kissing her back urgently.

"I'm sorry – I'm sorry," they say to each other in between fierce kisses. Elena's holding onto Damon desperately because her legs have given out and he's the only one she can trust to not let her fall. Her face is streaked with tears and she breaks the kiss for air. Damon's face is nuzzled against her neck, and she can feel him breathing hard. Her hands tangle themselves in the black of his hair of their own will, and she gasps out loud when he presses open mouth kisses on her neck. She sighs and puts her forehead against his.

Damon's hand reaches out and wipes away the tears in her eyes. "Don't cry over me, Elena," he whispers.

Her hands twine themselves around his neck. "Then don't leave me," she replies softly.

Damon smiles, "I never could." And he kisses her again.

Author's Note: Well, that was certainly one hell of an episode! Damon's certainly getting a lot of shit thrown at him this season. I don't know why, but I'm still very convinced that Damon lied to Elena and that he, in fact, had seen the ring on Jeremy's finger. Call me delusional, but I can't help but think he saw it – not that that would excuse his behavior – or Elena's either. Ugh! Talk about being a hypocrite! Let's just say that I'm super excited for next week's episode, if the promo is of any indication (Damon kisses Elena on the cheek! He KISSES her!) we'll have our Damon/Elena bonding again. From what I've read online, Damon's going to be flirting a lot with little Miss Gilbert. Can't say I'll be complaining ;)

As always, thank you for reading, and drop in a review! I'm excited to hear you opinions on this one.