'Where am I?' was Damon's first thought. Turning around he looked, there was nothing, and it was white everywhere. Experimenting, he reached out his hand to see if there was anything there. But there was absolutely nothing. No temperature, no smell, no sounds. He frowned and began tensing up, preparing to fight off the unknown. 'Where was this place?' his thoughts wondered.
In a Flash, it flooded back to him, the rush of memories from the last moments, causing him to gasp as he remembered the shriveling head, the unbearable pain, and the vision of Elena that had comforted him in his last seconds. When the memories ended he looked around, this could not be heaven, he knew it. Being a demon, he had been responsible for multitudes of deaths, deaths he had committed without remorse or compunction. No redeeming purgatory of guilt tinted his emotions during his un-life; there was not a place for him all hallowed halls surrounded by good, purity and innocence. No this was not heaven, it could not be.
So then, where was he?
Then he heard it, the childish giggle that caused his eyes to close in fury. He gritted his teeth in irritation.
"Oh you have GOT to be kidding me" Damon exclaimed a heartfelt "Oh, SHIT!" tone.
He turned slowly, which was ridiculous of course, slowing his movements would not make her being there more real, or more or less of a horrifying reality.
"Damon! You are here too! I am so glad I am not alone!" She almost seemed to be telling the truth, he mused. She looked at him under her seemed almost relieved.
"Not going to work, Katherine, I just died trying to stop you from roasting my brother because of your love for him. This," He pointed to himself, "is just confirmation that I am in HELL. With you. Forever."
The notion seemed to depress him. "But this is all wrong, hell is supposed to be all fire and damnation and screaming. I want that hell. That hell would be a barrel of laughs, I can do demons. Heck, I am a demon. I thought it would just be us hanging out with other demons, swapping stories of our earth days, tormenting and poking the unfortunates. I cannot take this NOTHINGNESS!"He raged, wishing that he could punch something.
"Oh come on, Damon, it won't be so bad! For years this was all you wanted; just us, remember? Now you have it." She smirked at him, looking too happy at how things had turned out.
He looked up at her expressionlessly, "Have you ever heard of the saying that the true curse of existence is getting what you want? That's me now. Oh God, I am cursed."
"Oh come ON, Damon, it can't be that bad! Isn't there even a little part of you that is happy? Maybe just a teensy bit?" she asked trying to look alluring. In the brilliant white light, there seem to be more of the vampire in her looks. A hint of skeleton, sunken hollow eyes, caved in cheeks. Instead of being attracted, Damon was repulsed.
He looked at her coldly, disgust lacing his voice,
"Never again, Katherine. Not if this eternity spanned the rest of my existence, if I even do exist anymore.' He paused, taking on a lighter tone." Besides, you know me; I go for a younger variety of human, prettier too…" He smiled devilishly at her and she glared at him in fury and began hissing like a snake.
"What do you think you are doing?" She snarled. "DO not piss me off, Damon; you of all people know how dangerous that is?" She warned him.
"Or what?" he taunted, grinning at her, dancing around her just beyond reach. "What will you do? I am already dead, there is no one here to use as leverage. Look around you, Katherine, you are powerless here. No more games, no power play, just you, killed by your own obsessions. Kind of poetic, don't you think?" He needled her, giving her his most insulting smile.
She let out an animalistic snarl as she charged at him in rage, but was suddenly flung back by a crackling light, she whipped her head around, bearing her teeth, looking for the source of the punishment, but nothing was visible. She lowered her head and charged again, only to be yet again thwarted in her charge. "Aghh!" she gave an enraged cry as she fell back, panting. Damon looked thoughtful, and then he thought about it, he was not one for gratuitous violence to woman, sure he had killed them, but most were mission based, he had a reason for it, and, almost never made them suffer… but in this case he might as well make an exception. Better her than anyone else for that matter!
He drew back his arm and putting all his weight, all his frustration behind it, threw a punch at Katherine, only to be blocked by the energy barrier. His body jerked in response to the painful charge.
"MALEDICTIO! Son of a…!" he cursed, when he felt the sharp sting, instinctively aiming a kick at the nothingness. He paused then, not wanting to tempt another shock.
He drew back tilting his head up, shouting up to an unseen audience, "So this is it? This is how I spend my eternity? With HER? Withering away to a shadow, spending my time as an ugly wrinkled mummy?" He looked genuinely appalled at the idea as it occurred on him. He quickly looked at his hands to ensure the skin was still smooth and pink.
Stefan and Elena went through the following days in a fog. They had to be careful about how they carried themselves in public. There could be no outward grieving, or people would ask questions. The cover story was that Damon had left for Australia to venture on a walkabout. Since Elena had just gotten out of the hospital with a bad head injury, which had caused her to be temporarily blind for a while, she could get away with a bit of reclusive behavior.
Stefan never left her side during her recovery, They never spoke of Elena's outburst by the cave, Stefan did not feel the need to bring it up, and indeed he had heard Damon's last words, and he was grateful that his brother's last moments had been filled with peace and happiness.
They had held a small service for him, only Stefan, Elena, Bonnie and Jeremy had come; they were the only ones who knew of what happened. In truth Bonnie was there grudgingly, only there to support Elena. And Jeremy had come, because, well, he did not know why, but he came anyway.
After Stefan had said a few words about his brother, they turned away. Suddenly, out of the blue, Jeremy began laughing quietly to himself. Elena and Stefan turned to him inquiringly. His laughter now gone, his face full of shame, he explained.
"You know, Damon would have found this hilarious. Us being here. His brother, whom he tormented for years. Elena, who he pursued though she was with his brother. Bonnie who he could not stand, and me one of his victims. I mean, could it even get more random than this?"
Bonnie rolled her eyes,"Yes, I can just hear what witty things that would be rolling from his tongue, right now."
Stefan nodded in agreement. "You are right, he would have found it quite funny, but deep down, he would have been grateful for you all being here." He looked down, sadness filled him, AND THEN spoke up.
Then, arm around Elena, he turned and led her down the mountain.