Title: Soldier Boy (1/1)
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (tv show, not book)
Characters: Damon Salvatore, Elena Gilbert
Rating: PG-13 for mild language
Words: 565
Spoilers: Through 2x09
Disclaimer:
The Vampire Diaries and its characters belong to the CW, not me. This story is purely meant to entertain. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: In this war, he won't be a deserter.
A/N: I'm new to TVD and to Damon/Elena, so forgive me if there are gaping holes in this. Con crit is always welcome.

There are a thousand reasons why this 'ship is dirty/bad/wrong, but I can't help being intrigued anyway. ;) Fiction isn't real life, after all. And the angst, oy...

Soldier Boy

He goes to her with the taste of Rose still heavy on his tongue.

Cloaked in shadow, with only the cold stars in the night-black sky to keep him company, Damon sits vigil in the ancient oak behind her house, the bark rough at his back. The Originals are out there; she isn't safe, and as long as she isn't, he'll wait by her window like her own personal gargoyle. If that's what it takes.

He can stand seeing her in Stefan's arms. Baby brother deserves her even if he doesn't. (That doesn't keep him from wanting her; if only love and desire were that simple.) He can stand her not remembering his selfish confession. He can even stand the arctic distance in her eyes, the miles he put there with his rash actions.

But she has to be all right. The alternative would be intolerable.

She's trying hard to muffle the sounds of her crying against her pillow, probably in an effort to avoid alarming Jenna or Jeremy, but he can hear her. Is she afraid? Sad? The questions torment him, tugging him inexorably toward her room. His hands grip the rough bark until his palms are scratched and bloody, holding him there against his every instinct. She won't welcome his presence, won't allow herself to find comfort in him. Friends, she told him, help each other, and right now this is how he can help her.

Friends, he thinks, his mouth filling with bitter ash. What is it about him that makes him such a fucking pansy for women who could never love him? All that love's ever gotten him is an eternity of loneliness.

It doesn't matter. In this war, he won't be a deserter.

Eventually Elena's sobs quiet and cease, her breath relaxing into a sleep he desperately hopes is peaceful but fears is anything but. If the vervain didn't keep him from doing it, he'd fill her dreams with sunshine and puppies and even...Stefan.

Only once he's certain she's asleep does he come into her room. Her blanket lies in a sad heap at the bottom of her bed, her ridiculous stuffed bear has been tossed onto the floor. He can't help rolling his eyes at the latter, but his mouth curves into a smile utterly devoid of cynicism as he tucks the bear into bed next to her and gently pulls the blanket over her sleeping form.

Despite his effort to avoid looking at her face, he fails: even vampires can be compelled, it seems. He permits himself a quick glance at the tearstains on her cheeks and chin - silver paths of captured moonlight - and calls himself a fool a thousand times over.

The longer he stays in the stillness of her room, the more he'll want to touch her. One of his hands lifts toward her face, hovering there, not touching, just feeling the heat rising from her. Then he departs, resuming his post outside, like a good little soldier boy.

Lulled by the metronome of Elena's heartbeat, Damon keeps watch in the tree, a dark sentinel, eyes at half-mast but fully awake. Until dawn drifts in on tendrils of gold and indigo, and he hears her heartbeat accelerate as she begins to wake.