Author's Note: A whole bunch of people added this story to their Story Alerts after I posted the final chapter, so I figured I'd add this here. This is the first chapter of the sequel In The End. Please go find that one for a continuation.

That being said, if anyone knows of any good Vampire Diaries fanvids to the song Grenade by Bruno Mars, that would be awesome!

The lyrics are from the song Breathe by Swollen Members featuring Nelly Furtado. Although I've only used Nelly Furtado's part.

The story title is from the song by The Pretty Reckless.

Rated M for language, sexual content, sensitive matter, and dark themes.

I'm alive; I can feel the blood rushin' through my veins.
And that's all I need to know, 'cause I'm not lookin' for a change.
'Cause I've got friends and enemies, but it just don't bother me, 'cause as long as I believe, I can breathe.

There was a shuffle of feet, and Damon woke up. His mouth felt dry, and when he inhaled, he smelled the sweet and intoxicating scent of blood pumping somewhere nearby. When he opened his eyes, he saw someone lying curled up a few feet over from where Damon himself lay splayed on the floor. He crawled over, and sank his teeth into the woman's throat, oblivious to the fear in her eyes.

I'm alive, I can feel the blood rushin' through my veins.
And that's all I need to know, 'cause I'm not lookin' for a change.
'Cause I've got friends and enemies, but it just don't bother me, 'cause as long as I believe, I can breathe.

Once he'd drained her dry, Damon stood up and dusted himself off. He did a mental checklist: No vervain; Not dead; Where's Elena?

Then it all rushed back to him: The car. The SUV. The vervain. Elena screaming for him. And then nothing.

He searched the room frantically. It was dark, with cement walls and floor, and a barred cell door. He balled his hands into fists and slammed until he heard footsteps leisurely making their way down the dim hall beyond.

I've known since before I knew how to that we are all just born to do what our deeper self says to do, whether it'd be easier not to do.

The door creaked open, and Damon took in the sight of Nicolai leaning against the doorframe.

"You're awake. I'm glad. The sooner we get you ready, the better." The older vampire was smiling menacingly.

"Get me ready for what? What did you do to Elena?"

Nicolai pushed himself off the doorframe and took a few steps forward. "Elena is dead. And you -"

Damon cut him off. "She had vampire blood in her system. You probably just turned her."

A blink, then footsteps across the cell, and then Damon felt the eastern European accent wash across his face. "I took her, tortured her, and tore her limb from limb. Now, you would do well to forget anything of your past life, because I will need all of your capacities to make this all worth my while."

Damon opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out as he processed everything that Nicolai had just revealed.

"Now, Salvatore, I know that this will be a lot for you to take in, given how young and emotional you are, but it's for the best for you to accept it as soon as you can. You have a destiny to live up to."

This last finally shook Damon up. He was 172 years old, and had spent the vast majority of his life, alive or dead, killing remorselessly. No one had ever called him young and emotional, and if they had he probably would have torn their head from their shoulders and left it at that.

Nicolai turned to leave, and the younger vampire finally spoke. "What – What destiny would that be, exactly?"

The room was still and the air grew thick with tension.

Then, "Katherine's plan for you."

I've known since before I knew how to that we are all just born to do what our deeper self says to do, whether it'd be easier not to do.

"And what the fuck did that bitch plan for me?"

Nicolai laughed, and finally turned to face his prisoner. "She knew you, Damon. She knew what you were, deep down. You are a warrior. And you will be fighting for the rest of your life."

It was only then that Damon heard the yelling, slamming, and screaming, and he knew where he was. He'd heard of it, and even hoped to witness it someday. A place where disgraced vampires and other supernatural creatures were forced into battle for the entertainment of a depraved and bloodthirsty audience.

But now, he would be forced to participate in a fight to the death, every night, until someone finally ended him.

He was in Hell.