Title: Telling
Author: Traxits
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV series).
Characters/pairing: Damon Salvatore/Jeremy Gilbert, established relationship.
Rating: Teen for mild sexual tension.
Content Notes: Spoilers (season 2, episode 9: Rose). Serious hurt/comfort.
Word Count: 1081 words.
Teaser: As Jeremy leaned back, letting him go, he caught Jeremy's hand and pulled it close, his fingers rolling the bracelet up and down over Jeremy's wrist. After just a second, Jeremy reached up and opened the bracelet, letting it slip off in Damon's hand.
Author's Notes: Written for the kink_bingo community on Dreamwidth. November mini-challenge, card three, "emotion manipulation."

[[ … One-Shot … ]]

"Did you tell her?"

Jeremy was sitting on his bed, eyes narrowed as he looked past Damon to where Elena stood, staring blankly across her room. Damon didn't say anything, just looked at him. His eyes were rimmed with red, and his hand was in a fist, white-knuckled. Damon stood there for a moment, but when Elena moved, blinking and looking into Jeremy's room- Damon was off to the side so that she couldn't see him- Damon put his back to the wall by the door and slid down to the floor.

He wrapped his arms around his knees, and Jeremy waited until Elena had sat down on the edge of her bed, until he saw her touching the necklace, before he moved to shut his door and sit on the floor beside Damon. He didn't ask how Damon was feeling. He didn't have to; it was all over his face.

"You left the window open," he said finally, glancing over at Damon. "The same one Stefan always leaves open." He wondered if Damon had planted the suggestion in Elena that Stefan might have been the one to return her necklace. Then he sighed quietly, realizing that Damon wouldn't have had to. It would be Elena's first thought.

"He deserves her." Damon's voice was brittle, cracking with almost each word. He didn't move though. "He loves her."

Jeremy nodded slowly. "You love her too, Damon." He ignored the way Damon flinched at the words. "It's okay. It would be weird if you didn't."

"She's not Katherine."

Sighing, Jeremy wrapped his arm over Damon's shoulders. Damon stiffened for just a moment, but when Jeremy started to rub his back, he relaxed marginally. Jeremy propped his chin up on Damon's head, blinking away the heat pricking in the backs of his eyes. Damon needed this; he had needed this for years. "No," Jeremy said slowly, bracing himself. "She's not Katherine."

Damon pulled away then. As Jeremy leaned back, letting him go, he caught Jeremy's hand and pulled it close, his fingers rolling the bracelet up and down over Jeremy's wrist. After just a second, Jeremy reached up and opened the bracelet, letting it slip off in Damon's hand. Damon swallowed.

"What are you doing?"

Jeremy didn't hesitate. He couldn't. He pulled off his ring, pushed it into Damon's hand as well, and then moved so that he was kneeling just beside Damon. He put a hand on either side of Damon's head, and when Damon looked up at him, he murmured, "You're a good person, Damon."

He saw the flinch, saw Damon start to push him away, and before Damon could, he continued. "No, don't move. If you weren't, you wouldn't have let her go."

Damon pushed him to the side, but in the same motion, he held out the bracelet and ring. "Put them back on."

Jeremy swallowed, but he stayed firm on his stance. Damon was so used to everyone around him not trusting him or second guessing him that he didn't even remember what it meant to have someone believe in him. He needed this. Jeremy shook his head. "No," he said, and he reached out to grab the front of Damon's shirt. "Not while you're like this."

Damon pushed him back this time, until Jeremy was flat on the floor and Damon could straddle his hips. His eyes darkened, fangs erupted into his mouth, and he snarled, bracelet and ring still in one of his hands. "I could hurt you like this, Jeremy."

Jeremy's heart was racing, thumping away so hard in his chest that he was scared it might burst. "You could," he said, and he struggled to breathe as normally as he could. "But you won't." Jeremy reached up one hand to push Damon's hair back out of his face, fingertips sliding along the tightened skin around Damon's eyes. "You won't hurt me."

"I could compel you to put them on."

"You could compel me to stop taking them off," Jeremy countered. "But you haven't. Damon..." He drew a breath and let his hand slide down to Damon's arm. "I'm safe with you."

Damon slammed a hand against the floor- Jeremy closed his eyes and dragged in a desperate gasp of air- and a growl escaped him. "I killed you, Jeremy."

"You saw the ring." Jeremy kept his eyes closed. "You lied to Elena; she told me you said you didn't. But you did," the words were tumbling out of him then, and he couldn't stop them, didn't dare stop them, "you saw it when I grabbed your arm." He felt Damon's weight disappear, and he glanced up, propping himself up on his elbows.

Damon stood by the door, staring at the jewelry in his hand. He looked over toward Jeremy, and then he held out his hand. "Put it back on," he said, plaintive, almost begging.

Slowly, Jeremy pushed himself up to his feet. His legs were still trembling as he crossed the room. He pushed Damon's hand to the side, and he bent down just enough to press a kiss to Damon's lips. Damon made a low noise before kissing him back, his empty hand reaching up to bury itself in Jeremy's hair. He pulled Jeremy a little closer- craving the contact, Jeremy's realized with a flare of pain in his chest- and then pulled back quickly.

"I don't love you."

It wasn't anything that Jeremy didn't already know. He wasn't foolish enough to equate sex with love, not after Vicki. But the way Damon said it, the way his voice shook, it was too much. Jeremy wrapped his arms around Damon's waist, and he shook his head.

"I'm not asking you to, Damon," he said quietly, kissing just under one of Damon's ears. "I just want to help you." He pulled back to look at Damon, his hands flat against the small of Damon's back.

Damon returned the look, and finally, finally, he broke and wrapped his arms around Jeremy too. "I didn't want this," he whispered, and before Jeremy could ask him what he meant, he pressed a kiss to Jeremy's lips.

He spent the night, and when the sun came up, he slipped away before Jeremy woke. Jeremy wasn't surprised. They were both good at pretending nothing ever happened.