A/N: So this is my first Vampire Diaries fic. Written mostly because Jeremy and Damon seem to keep getting kicked while they're down and because I don't like Rose. Jeremy should totally be Damon's special friend. ;-D

Spoilers for everything up to and including "The Sacrifice", I guess?

For now this is a one shot, but if the plot bunny comes back or I feel like Damon and Jeremy need a little more lovin' in their lives, I might add a drabble here or there.

Also, reviews are my personal brand of crack. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Damon was nursing his third drink of the night, staring into the fire and trying to muddle through how ridiculously wrong today had been: Elena's suicide mission, Jeremy's half-baked plan, freaking Elijah still being alive and then not killing them, Stefan trapped in the tomb with Katherine, and Bonnie being about as useful as a six-year-old waving a stick and saying 'abracadabra'. And, just because he needed more to worry about, the full moon would be rising in tomorrow night and he'd have a first-time werewolf to deal with too.

A knock on the door startled him out of his reverie and he pushed off the fireplace, crossing to the door and pulling it open. He didn't know who he'd been expecting (maybe Rose, after her less-than-impressive disappearing act this afternoon), but he was surprised to find Jeremy on his doorstep. He had a bandage over the bite on his neck and he was wearing one of his usual I'm a lonely, angst-ridden teenager facial expressions.

"Isn't it past your bedtime?"

"Can I come in or what?" Jeremy asked gruffly, crossing his arms over his chest.

"Last time I checked, you weren't the one who needed an invitation."

Jeremy sighed and brushed past Damon, walking directly into the living room and pouring himself a drink.

"Sure, make yourself at home, I don't mind at all." Damon said. He topped off his own drink and regarded Jeremy over the top of his glass. "If you're here, who's babysitting Elena?"

"I watched her knock back a shot glass full of NyQuil. She'll be out til tomorrow morning and then Bonnie's on it."

Damon didn't miss the way Jeremy's expression twisted when he said the witch's name, but he wasn't sure what to make of it yet. "Let me see your neck."

Jeremy probably should have hesitated, considering the last time Damon had been anywhere near his neck, he snapped it. But the teenager peeled off the bandage with a wince and angled his head so Damon could see it better.

Damon whistled through his teeth, "Jesus. We have to do something about that."

Jeremy frowned. "Why? It will heal just fine."

"Except that this town is way too vampire conscious. You're not going to be able to pass that off as a hickey.

Jeremy rolled his eyes, "What did you have in mind?"

Damon bit into his own wrist, before offering the wound to Jeremy. Jeremy hesitated for a moment, but whatever compunctions he had, he got over them pretty quickly, his mouth latching on to Damon's wrist. There was a time Damon wouldn't have done this for anyone and now he was practically donating blood to heal every paper cut that crossed his path. Obviously Stefan was having a terrible influence on him. He pulled his arm away from Jeremy, watching as his wrist healed itself almost instantly. Jeremy's neck would take a little bit longer.

Jeremy dragged the back of his hand across his mouth. "Thanks."

Damon shrugged and brushed past Jeremy, dropping onto one of the sofas. "So, is this business or pleasure?"

Jeremy shrugged. "Does it really matter? From the looks of it, the only plans you have tonight are drinking and brooding."

Damon smirked, "And you just thought you'd check in on me?"

"Misery loves company."

"Oh, right, I'd forgotten. You're poor, misunderstood Jeremy Gilbert."

"Fuck you, you manipulative sociopath."

"Sticks and stones, Jeremy."

Jeremy drained the rest of his drink and sprawled next to Damon on the sofa. "Remember what you said, about how you spent all that time with your humanity turned off?" Damon didn't answer, but Jeremy continued anyway. "Do you wish you still were living that way?"

"What makes you think I'm not?"

"You're in love with my sister. If you're letting yourself feel love, then you've got to be feeling everything else too."

"Leave her out of this." Damon said coldly.

Jeremy shrugged, "Fine with me."

They sat in silence for a little while, but Damon answered Jeremy's question before long. "No. At first, it's great, being able to shut out everything. But once that disappears you're just…empty. Which, I'm sure you know, isn't actually preferable to feeling. I haven't flipped the switch, so to speak, in a few decades now."

"Have you wanted to?"

"Only once."

Jeremy was pretty sure he already knew the answer, but he couldn't help asking anyway. "When?"

"The night I killed you." Damon took another sip from his drink. "It's funny, really. Katherine and Elena both choosing Stefan didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. Probably because deep down I knew that the bad brother never gets the girl. But when I thought you were dead…I haven't felt that guilty in a long time."

"Why are you telling me this?"

Damon shrugged. "You asked. I can stop if you want."

Jeremy glanced over at Damon, "No. You don't have to. I kinda get the feeling you need somebody right now."

"I get the feeling you do too, or you wouldn't have shown up on my doorstep at one in the morning."

"Loneliness is a bitch."

"I'll drink to that," Damon said, raising his glass in Jeremy's direction and knocking back the rest of his drink.

Jeremy dropped his head to rest on the back of the couch. He sighed, staring up at the vaulted ceiling. "What are we going to do?"

"Are you asking me or God? Because you aren't likely to get an answer from either of us."

"No?" Jeremy turned his head to meet Damon's eyes.

"I've got no fucking idea. Give me somebody to torment and I can come up with at least eight different plans for that. The saving-and-protecting-people thing is all Stefan's territory."

"I don't know about that. You've saved Elena plenty of times."

"She's the exception to the rule."

"Isn't she always?" Jeremy rolled his eyes.

"Uh-oh. Do I detect some sibling rivalry going on?"

"You make it sound so childish."

"You are a child."

Jeremy scowled. "Maybe compared to you, old man."

"I only feel old," Damon shrugged. "As far as everybody else is concerned, I'm a twenty-one-year-old hottie."

"And such a modest one too."

"Modesty is overrated."

"You could do better, you know. Than Elena, I mean. I know you don't want to hear this, but she's never going to look further than Stefan and you'll always just be Stefan's older brother."

"I know that." Damon said hollowly. "But don't you think you should listen to your own advice? As far as Bonnie is concerned, you'll always just be Elena's little brother." It was a shot in the dark, but from the way Jeremy flinched Damon knew the remark had hit home.

"Yeah. I'm figuring that out."

They sat like that for a long time, both sprawled comfortably on the couch, drinks in hand. Damon wasn't used to being around people who were comfortable in his presence—even the people who didn't know he was a vampire still had the primal instincts to know there was something dangerous about him and it kept them on edge—so it was actually kind of refreshing sitting next to someone who didn't look like their skin was crawling from proximity to him. Jeremy had more reason than most to be wary of Damon, but here he was, sitting there casually like he did it all the time.

Jeremy studied Damon's profile. The artist in him was itching to draw Damon, but he was pretty sure he'd never be able to do the vampire justice. He really was too beautiful to be allowed. Without even realizing he was doing it, he reached out and curled his hand around the back of Damon's neck, his thumb stroking across Damon's pulse-point. He expected to be snapped at or pushed away, but instead Damon just tipped his head in Jeremy's direction, so Jeremy tugged gently and Damon moved closer until they were centimeters apart.

"This isn't a very good idea, Jer." Damon breathed, his eyes locked with the younger man's.

"Don't care," Jeremy said, closing the distance between them. Their lips brushed across each other tentatively, before Jeremy's grip tightened on Damon's neck and he pulled him closer, the kiss hungry and desperate. One of Damon's hands tangled into Jeremy's hair, and he grabbed a fistful of Jeremy's t-shirt with the other. Jeremy pulled Damon into his lap before tugging at the hem on Damon's t-shirt. They separated and Damon scrambled out of his shirt before helping Jeremy out of his own.

Damon's eyes took on a predatory gleam as he looked at Jeremy's bare chest. Jeremy's fingers danced down the length of Damon's spine, giving him chills. He leaned forward and captured Jeremy's mouth again. This kiss was slower and deeper and made Jeremy's toes curl (not that he would ever admit it).

Damon mouthed his way along Jeremy's jaw, down to the pulse point in his neck. He nipped at it playfully, not enough to break the skin, and Jeremy gasped, his hands tightening on Damon's hips.

"You can, you know." Jeremy whispered.

"Another time," Damon hissed in his ear. "Considering someone already almost drained you once today."

"You won't hurt me." Jeremy said with a shrug, and Damon reared back, the expression on his face unreadable. "What?" Jeremy frowned. "I trust you."

Damon wasn't sure if Jeremy was incredibly stupid or an expert flatterer or more naïve than he'd originally thought, but he decided he didn't care. Nobody trusted him. If Jeremy did, Damon wasn't going to turn his back on that. He kissed Jeremy again, softly this time.

"You know, I've got a bed upstairs that's infinitely more comfortable than this couch."

Jeremy grinned at him, "Does that line actually work on people?"

"You tell me." Damon smirked.

After a moment's consideration, Jeremy dropped a kiss on Damon's shoulder and said, "Lead the way."

"That's what I thought," Damon said, his expression smug.

Damon woke to Jeremy using him as his own personal vampire pillow. A tiny voice somewhere in the back of his brain whispered something about being able to get used to this, but he shoved it aside quickly. He was not interested in getting attached. As if Jeremy knew what he was thinking, the younger man tightened his hold on Damon's waist, and nuzzled his face into Damon's neck.

"I should go," Jeremy groaned.

"You don't have to." Damon said, surprised how nonchalant he managed to make that sound.

"I do. I need to get home before Bonnie gets there." Jealousy flared in the pit of Damon's stomach at the mention of the witch's name. Okay, maybe he was already more attached than he'd intended. "Besides, Elena will be awake soon and if I'm not there to babysit her, she'll think up another suicide mission."

Damon sighed and rolled to pin Jeremy beneath him, leaving a trail of open-mouthed kisses from Jeremy's shoulder, across his collarbone, up the side of his neck, before capturing his lips.

Damon might be a manipulative sociopath, Jeremy thought, but he made it pretty easy to forget about all of that when he hit you with one hundred and forty-some years of kissing expertise all at once.

"Damon," Jeremy protested weakly. "I really have to go."

"Fine." Damon sighed heavily and rolled back onto his back, allowing Jeremy to crawl out of bed. Damon watched as Jeremy pulled his jeans on and searched the room in vain for his shirt. He gave up and walked over to Damon's dresser, stealing one of his t-shirts. It was too tight across the shoulders, but he shrugged and shot Damon a grin. He shoved his feet into his sneakers and sat on the edge of the bed to tie them, not protesting in the least when Damon slipped his arms around Jeremy's waist and pressed kisses to the side of his neck. Damon figured he could probably trust Jeremy not to tell anybody how clingy Damon could be in the morning.

Once he finished tying his shoelaces, Jeremy turned and kissed Damon again, much too briefly for both of their tastes. "Come over later," Jeremy said with a grin. "I'm sure we can find some time to ourselves while Elena spends the day pouting and whining."

With that, he gave Damon one last quick kiss, before heading for the door. Damon tried to come up with something vaguely sarcastic or clever to say, but the look Jeremy shot him over his shoulder before he crossed the threshold rendered Damon pretty much speechless. It was all blind trust mixed with post-coital glow, and Damon decided there were worse things in life than getting attached to Jeremy Gilbert.

Although he's going to have to come up with something snide and mean to say to Vampire Barbie, just so nobody gets the idea he's going soft.