Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries nor the lyrics to Barfly. They belong to their respective owners and creators... unless they've been gypped. No copyright infringement intended or monetary gains acquired. Don't sue I have nothing you'd want anyway.

AN: Lyrics are from my not so new obsession Barfly by Jeff Who? I do realize Elena's a bit ooc, but I hope you'll bare with me as this is my very first venture into the TVD verse and only my second attempt at FF. That being said... ehmm... written please R&R I'd be very thankful for it. All flames should be quenched into constructive criticism unless you want to be the cause of my hysterical crying.

oOo

keep 'em coming

it starts with a haircut that you don't understand
all dressed up; looking so sharp; just knowing you're the man
with a walk to the beat and your moves on repeat
the game is on to night
with a smile on your face, but along with the taste of loneliness to replace

"Good to see you fully dressed brother." Stefan remarked as Damon sauntered in to the sitting room for the first time in weeks somewhat sober and with an actual shirt on.

Damon rolled his eyes at the comment. "Afraid your girlfriend... sorry ex-girlfriend might not be able to keep her hands of my irresistible physique?" He smirked and poured himself a generous helping of bourbon and cursing his brothers idiocy and his own sub-par comeback in his mind. Rose was dead. His Rose was dead, the final and irreversible kind of dead.

Stefan huffed, but decided to cut his grieving brother some slack and ignore the comment. "What's with the hair?" He hadn't realized it right away, but Damon had clearly gotten a haircut at some point. It struck Stefan as odd that he'd managed to think of it in his outdrawn drunken stupor, plus he didn't remember Damon having left the house at all since Rose agonizing death. She had NOT gone quietly into the night.

"I would've been a crime to deprive the female population of my startlingly handsome face any longer... and you know what an upstanding citizen I am." Damon replied smoothly before tipping his head back to down the amber liquid and then refilling his tumbler. He needed to get back his game. He had to face facts; he was simply not destined to be a one woman man.

Caroline walked in and eyed the elder Salvatore brother warily. She didn't bother concealing that she appreciatively checked out his immaculate dark clad body. "Where're ya goin'?" Asked Vampire Barbie as she flipped her shiny blond hair over her shoulder. She wasn't quite sure if this, him looking as if nothing had happened was a good sign or not. As she watched his defensive demeanour while he downed his drink as if it were water she reluctantly realized that it definitely wasn't a good sign.

Damon simply shot her an annoyed look and then downed the entire contents of the crystal tumbler in his hands. He let out an appreciative sound as the liquid burned a delicious trail down his throat that subdued his eternal thirst for the time being. At the sound of a particularly familiar heartbeat growing louder he forsook the empty tumbler in favour of the half empty decanter. He let the amber liquid slide unhaltingly down, after all he had no need to breath. He set it down with a loud clank just as the front door opened and the owner of the heartbeat strode in.

Elena let out a sigh of relief once she laid her eyes on Damon. "You look better." She beamed at him causing him to smile lewdly. She resisted rolling her eyes at him. She knew he was simply hiding his pain behind familiar façades. Being an ass kept him feeling safe and she wasn't about to deprive him of that. Not after watching him loose her. His Rose.

"I always do." He did that eye thing that made her knees go weak and heat to coil towards her centre. His smile grew to a smirk as the scent of her arousal reached him. He sauntered straight towards her. His body ghosted her front then her side as he turned and strode backwards with a mock salute and a smug as all hell smirk in place. If he uttered another word he was sure his defences would crumble into useless piles of rubble and then there would be nothing holding back his outpouring of... emotions. He rested the urge to sneer and gage at the thought. What the hell had he become? The door banged shut behind him with a finality he wasn't sure he was ready for... he would have to be.

He needed to get far away from her and the way she'd been looking at him since... he cringed. Pity. He didn't need or want it.

oh, man you look so good tonight
every woman in need, for your expertise
to hear 'em cheer for you where you sit alone
but with your dignity on the phone

begging you to come home

He strode in with his signature smirk in place and his head held high purposefully heading straight for an empty stool at the bar. A familiar rush of adrenaline went through him as he felt all eyes on him. Women ogled him shamelessly and men glared at him jealously. He was wanted, if only for the night.

He held up three fingers signalling the bartender the amount of his drink. "Single malt." He said as he made himself comfortable on the barstool. It was going to be a long night getting reacquainted to his old ways. He wasn't going home until he was sure she wasn't there to torment him with her mere presence and pity. He'd had enough.

Later he planned on finding Jules and ripping her limb for limb until there was nothing left but an unsolvable bloody werewolf jigsaw puzzle. Not tonight though, tonight he drank to his new resolve, planned relocation and Jules inevitable demise by his hand. There was a lot to celebrate.

Several hours, two bottles and three compelled and sampled women later Damon felt his phone vibrate ominously in his pocket. He pulled out his phone where Saint Stefans' number and a picture of a bunny flashed. Not being in the mood for a lecture he ignored the call and shoved the phone back in his pocket. Damon fully intended to ignore it for the rest of the night after all Elijah was on duty... not that he'd been successful thus far. Rose. Hell, after he'd unsolved his werewolf puzzle he was getting the hell out of Dodge and heading for the hills... Beverly that is. Plenty of pretty little jaded things to have a thorough taste of there. Also there would be no moral compass or angel on his shoulder to boss him around. He fully intended on letting the corrupt sinister voice whispering in his ear retake full control.

your mind slips away with every minute that you stay
messed up your haircut, but still you feel the same
'cause you're gods gift to women, they don't have opinion

at least not the pretty ones
as long as they keep 'em coming in this place, you belong in a game you'll never win

Damon signalled for another even though he was already deliciously inebriated to the point where his thoughts were forgotten the moment they struck him. He ran a frustrated hand through his long since dishevelled hair. He realised fleetingly that nothing had changed and never would. He was only delaying the inevitable and then the thought was gone and forgotten.

"Hello handsome." An unfamiliar bleach blond shimmied unnecessarily onto the stool next to his. "Care to buy me a drink?" She asked flirtatiously almost shoving her surgically enhanced bosom into his face.

Damon smirked lazily pinning her hazel gaze with his. "You don't need another drink. You're already drunk and you want me to follow you into the ally to have some fun." He wasn't thirsty, but tonight he just couldn't get enough. He was an insatiable bottomless pit that he intended to try his damnedest to fill it.

The buxom blond blinked repeatedly ridding herself of her vacant stare. She leaned unsteadily closer and whispered in his ear. "How about you and me go out back and have some fun?" Her drunken slur caused Damons' smirk to darken. He gave her a satisfied nod and helped her up and out the back. He'd send her home after thinking she'd had too much and passed out. Dead bodies were far to inconvenient in a town as small as this one.

No matter what life he chose, he would never have things completely his way. She had ruined him.

so sad this seems to be your fate
all alone again and without a date
your ship will never come in and you'll never win
unless the golden rule becomes your friend

you should never 'ave returned

After having had his fill and sent of the eager little thing home to drink plenty of fluids and wake up without a hangover tomorrow morning he sauntered back to his barstool. The crimson liquid had sobered him up once more and he didn't particularly like it. He was far too aware in this state. Rose was dead and Elena would never want him. His own brother didn't want him there or need him any more now that Elijah was on Elena duty. Damon was no longer the beautiful brunettes strongest ally and there for superfluous. He should have kept his promise and never returned to Mystic Falls. There was nothing and no one here for him any more. Alone... again. It could all have been avoided if he'd only had the facts straight from the start. Fucking Katherine.

He felt his phone vibrate once again. Stefan sure didn't give up easily. "Yeahello!" Damon singsonged lazily into his phone. It must be somewhat important.

Stefan huffed on the other end. "Finally. Why the hell haven't you answered? I've been calling you all night." He huffed again.

Damon rolled his eyes unnecessarily. "I believe you've already answered your own question brother." He sometimes wondered if the little brat had been dropped on his head frequently as a child. He didn't remember doing that himself, but that didn't mean it had never happened.

Stefan sighed dramatically and Damon smirked at his accomplished goal. " I can't find Elena anywhere. She's missing. You have to help me find her." And there it was, the reason for his broody baby brothers hysterics. Maybe if he dropped him on his head now he'd... or maybe it would make him worse?

With anxiety threatening to suffocate him despite his preternatural needs Damon sighed heavily. "Elena's missing? Oh, it must be Thursday." Sarcasm was his speciality, why not use it? "Call Elijah, he's the one on Elena duty." He was sure the Original was keeping a close eye on the doppelgänger and that she wasn't in any danger. She just didn't want to be found and to that Damon could relate, he was hiding from her after all.

"How can you act like this? Elena. Is. Missing." Stefan shouted clearly fuming.

einn, tveir, þrír, fjór...

Someone was tapping Damons' shoulder unexpectedly. He swivelled in his chair intending to wave of whatever hussy was trying to get into his pants, but he was met by two large chocolate pools and a soft smile. He returned the smile with his trademark smirk. Oh hell.

"Because she's not." He said simply before cutting the call short without bothering to listen to his brothers retort.

She shuffled her feet nervously. "Hey. Mind if I join you?" She gestured at the vacant barstool where his last meal had been perched earlier.

"Baby brother's looking for you." He signalled to the bartender to bring them each a row of shots.

"I know." She said blushing prettily as she sat herself down on the stool wondering if she was making a huge mistake or if she'd possibly gone crazy.

Damon grinned happily. "So you're hiding from him as well?" He never would have dreamed Elena would prefer his company to his perfect little brothers... truth, he frequently dreamed about it.

She chuckled as her blush increased. "Maybe." Her eyes sparkled mischievously as the bartender set up their drinks. She was still underage. She raised her glass in salute. "To friendship and fallen comrades." They clinked their glasses and downed their shots.

Whatever did she mean?

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

"To new found allies and dead enemies." Clink. Drink.

"I had Elijah take care of Jules." Elena said offhandedly as she prepared to down another shot.

Damon shot her a confused glare. "You what?"

"I asked Elijah to take care of her and he did. She wont be back. Ever." Elena smiled sheepishly under Damons' hard stare. She'd thought he'd be pleased. She'd done it for him and no one else.

"What do you mean take care of?" He asked with narrowed eyes as he suddenly towered over her, yet still sat on his stool somehow. Had she not known him, truly known him, she would have shivered in fear.

Elena caught herself and straightened in her seat. "He compelled her to leave, go home and stop asking questions... and she did." Elena smiled proudly back at Damon. She'd done very well, hadn't she?

He sat back, but continued to glare at her. "Are you sure that's all he did? In case he killed her I'd like to thank him." He ground out through gritted teeth. Now he'd have to make a detour to Florida. Oh well. "To unsolvable puzzles." Clink. Drink.

"To unexpected presents." Clink. Drink. "Taddaaa!" She pulled out a small black box with an oversized gold ribbon wearing his trademark smirk. Was he rubbing off on her?

Damon furrowed his brow taken aback by her sweet gesture and familiar smug expression. "What's this for?"

"Just 'cause. Open it." She demanded slyly while grinning excitedly and shoving the small box at him almost forcefully.

He gingerly opened the small box revealing a small leather pouch. He raised his eyebrows quizzically at her and she nodded for him to open it. Inside was a small smooth black rock attached to a long chain. "Eh, thanks for the..." He pulled it out of the pouch. "... necklace?" Elena giggled profusely at his bewildered expression. It was such a rare occurrence.

"It's a modified no death by preternatural causes stone." She declared. "Elijah helped me find someone who to make it especially for you." She unbuttoned the first four buttons of her shirt and pulled it half open. "See?" An identical stone lay securely cushioned between her perfect handfuls.

Damon licked his suddenly dry lips unintentionally. "Yeah. Perfectly." She must be slightly drunk he concluded... or possibly high.

"They're almost identical. A pair." She grinned giddily at him. The double entendra clearly lost on her, but not him.

"You don't say." He said still staring at her exposed chest which she had ordered him to look at. She snatched the necklace from his hands and secured it around his neck giving him not only an excellent view, but also a delicious whiff. "To perfect pairs." Clink. Drink. Thank God she forgot to button up her shirt again.

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

"Only one more." She pleaded with a slight slur. She wasn't dead drunk, but she knew to stop once she'd acquired a speech impediment and a peculiar recurring urge to dance on the bar... shoeless?

"Only one?" Damon whined making puppy dog eyes at her and ordered their last round. Maybe.

"Make it a good one." Elena demanded leaning forward on the bar causing her bosom to push up deliciously and a sliver of red lace to appear. Pure torture. Just as he was about to speak she put her index finger to his lips. "Wait. I've got one. It's good. Don't laugh." She tapped her finger absent-mindedly against his lips while she spoke. She almost lost her train of thought at the feel of their plump softness. Would he object if she had a nibble? Just a small one?

"If it's good then why would I laugh?" She still had her finger on his lips muffling his speech. Elena leaned closer in order to hear him better at least that's what he thought. She knew better, he smelled like leather, whisky and heaven.

"Just don't laugh." She repeated with a tap on his nose. "To falling madly in love... again." Clink. Drink. He snickered. "You laughed." She accused with a surprisingly sexy pout.

"I did not!" He feigned hurt. "I snickered. It's not the same." He declared accompanied by a hoity nod.

"Jerk." She grumbled and slapped him playfully on his chest.

He grabbed the offending limb and gave the inside of her wrist a light kiss. "Sorry." He mumbled against her skin. He listened intently as her heart sped up delightfully at his touch. Tracing patterns on the back of her hand with his thumb he spoke again. "So what was that toast all about?"

"Love." She replied stubbornly knowing full well that wasn't what he meant. He cocked an eyebrow at her and she gave in with a small sigh. "Falling out of love that you thought was epic makes you hope that you'll someday fall all over again. I'd prefer if it were madly... I'm too drunk to talk about this." She blushed and tried to turn away from him.

"You're just the right amount to talk about this. So you're out of love then?" He'd trapped her knees between his preventing her from turning away. Just in case.

"Yeah." She sighed. "No." She pursed her lips. "Maybe... it's complicated." She shrugged and averted her eyes and blushed.

He tilted her head up by her chin. "Hey, you can tell me anything. I'm excellent at keeping secrets." If she only knew. No she couldn't ever find out.

"It's pointless. It's unrequited." She retorted and quickly glanced away from his piercing blue gaze strangely fearing he would be able to read her thoughts.

"Impossible. Is he gay?" He half whispered then glanced around over animatedly. "Is she not?" He quieted her with a finger to her lips. "Wait. Let me guess. He's a wolf in human clothing." He tsked and shook his head. Impulsively Elena bit his finger. "Are you flirting with me miss Gilbert?" He waggled his brows seductively reluctantly realizing he was hoping that she had been.

She scoffed. "I'm not about to become another notch in your bedpost." She sounded bitter. Was she bitter?

"You could be the very last notch if you like." He smirked and did that thing with his eyes that both of them knew she couldn't resist. She was very glad she as sitting down since her knees would have given out being this close to him when he did that. She blushed furiously when she realised that he'd noticed her arousal. His smirk simply grew into a knowing grin. He knew that she knew that he knew. Oh, hell.

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa

He decided not to push her into confessing her love for someone that wasn't him. Her attraction to him would have to suffice. He didn't want his heart re-broken tonight or ever really. Tonight he was just going to revel in her willing company.

"Dance with me." He demanded playfully tugging on the hand that still lay in his.

"There's no dance floor." She chuckled and followed him despite her words.

"Sure there is." He pushed aside a few tables and chairs around the old jukebox to make a makeshift dance floor. He popped coins in the machine and pushed seemingly random buttons. As a new song started he twirled her while she giggled. They spun around to the music laughing unaware of everything and everyone else.

"You're really good at this." She said in between pants as he dipped her expertly.

He scoffed. "Honey, I'm good a everything." He pulled her up flush against him. "Exceptionally good at everything." He would have seen her blush if she hadn't already been so flushed from their dancing. Without thinking he leaned in and captured her lips. She surprised him by responding eagerly to the kiss and snaking her hands around his neck and up into his hair.

Wait.

"Sorry." He pulled away from her. She was drunk and she'd hate him in the morning. He couldn't loose her. She might just be the only reason he...

She quickly disentangled her hands shying away from his gaze. "Sorry. I shouldn't have. I... We..." She took a full step away from him to compose herself. She needed to clear her mind. It was too late. She'd missed her opportunity if she'd ever truly had one. Elena wrapped her arms around herself snugly feeling impossibly foolish. "I'm not Katherine." She flicked her eyes up to look at him, glare at him indignantly. "I'm not Rose." She was such an idiot for ever thinking... She quickly turned on her heel and made her way out and away from him.

"What the hell just happened?" Damon muttered to himself taking off after her disappearing silhouette.

lalalalaaa laaa lalaaa...

"Elena. Please stop. Talk to me." He tugged on her hand as he caught up with her in the parking lot. "Please. I'm sorry. Don't just leave. I promise I wont do it again." Was he begging? He was begging. Damn it, he was begging.

She stopped but didn't turn around. "It's fine... I'm fine... we're fine. Sorry." She stammered. Was she crying? He could smell salt. Hell. He'd made her cry... again.

Damon groaned and forced her to turn toward him. "Hey." He said softly wiping her tears with the pads of his thumbs. "What's going on? Talk to me." He searched her eyes trying to understand what was going on.

"I don't want to be the second choice." She said as if that would explain everything.

He furrowed his brow. "Second choice?" He just wasn't getting it.

Elena sighed in defeat. "I'm always the second choice; if a choice at all... to my parents, friends, Stefan... you." She shook her head with a humourless chuckle. "I'm just so terribly tired. Can we just leave?" She was just as sober as the moment she stepped into that bar.

"You're never my second choice." Damon proclaimed earnestly.

Elena raised her palm to his chest and pushed away from him with a pained huff. "Thanks, but that's not true. Kitten. Kat. Katherine I was always second to her, always will be... well I guess I was, am third technically since Rose... was I ever a choice at all? Don't answer that. I don't want to know. I want to leave." She snapped open her phone and began scrolling through it and then putting it to her ear.

"What? That's not..." He started, but she cut him off quickly.

"Don't." She put up a hand to stop him. "Hello, yes I'd like a taxi." Damon snatched her phone. "Hey! Give that back" She tried to grab her phone back unsuccessfully. Damn him.

"Sorry. Turns out we don't need a ride after all. Thank you. Good bye." He said overly cheery fending her off easily. "Have you gone bat shit crazy? Katherine." He huffed loudly shutting her phone and pocketing it. "If I thought I'd had a sliver of a chance to..." He huffed angrily and started pacing back and forth only to stop and scold her. "Don't you tell me what I feel Elena."

She threw her hands up. "Fine." Turning she stomped away muttering under her breath so quietly even Damons' exceptional hearing couldn't pick up on it.

He vamp sped in front of her causing her to collide his rock solid chest and stumble back. He grabbed her forearms forcing her to stay put. "I've loved you since Georgia. Since then it's always been you first. No one else, just you. Why the hell do you think I'm still in this death magnet hell hole of a town?" Damon hissed. It really wasn't the way he'd envisioned telling her if he ever did. He wasn't taking it back this time though. She always found a way to make his plans unimplementable.

She surprised him by launching forward into a bruising and frantic kiss. Her bottom lip split on impact and her blood smeared over their locked lips. He groaned. Despite his substantial age he had never gotten such an intimate first tasting willingly from anyone and it being her made it mind blowing. He fangs throbbed and the skin around his eyes began to tighten, his earlier gorging suddenly inconsequential. He broke the kiss breathing raggedly and trying to control himself. It was useless. As his fangs descended he turned away from her. He tried to block out her heaving breath and the mouthwatering sound of her blood rushing just beneath her flushed skin.

He felt her feather-light touch on his skin. He turned to see her wide-eyed with blood stained lips; a drop making a slow trail from her swollen lower lip and down her exquisite chin. Her fingers ghosted over the veins around his eyes. Her breath hitched before she spoke. "You're so... " Her eyelids fluttered as she inhaled sharply. "... breathtaking." She finished seemingly mesmerized. She slid her hands into his hair and tugged him close again to capture his lips in a tender kiss. She ran her tongue over his lips begging for entrance. Once he let her in she softly swept her tongue over his elongated fangs. She pressed experimental up to let his canine pierce her flesh and draw blood. He pulled her flush against him almost loosing control completely when he realized what she was doing. She was excepting him.

Perhaps he'd been destined to be a one woman man after all.

oOo

AN: Phew! Comments and reviews are deeply appreciated... someday I hope to become good enough to start spitting out chapter-y fics so every little suggestion and encouragement helps.