So, another oneshot from me. I'm kind of being a bitch to Damon again, but for some odd reason, I just can't help it. Also, I was in a really crappy mood as I wrote this – I used the writing to vent, simple as that. Now, a HUGE thank you to my beta AVECIA, who said she wouldn't even kill me if I wrote something with a sad end. I mean, you have to read it to see if I went through with it, and managed to write a sad ending, but well.

Disclaimer: I don't own anything 'bout TVD, I just mess with them for the hell of it!

On with it!

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He's lying on the floor, and he's confused, not knowing how he got there. But the confusion only lasts for a few blissful seconds before it's chased away by pain and memory. The worst of it is, that he doesn't even know what is worse – the feeling of his body, broken and shattered… or the memory of her skin growing paler and paler, and her eyes losing focus until they're staring into nothing. Actually, yes, he knows that the latter is worse. His body will heal no problem. A few pints of blood and he'd be as good as new. But as he's trying to imagine what life would be without her, he just can't. Who wants to imagine never-ending torture anyway?

He forces his mind to refocus on the present, because he can still hear the fight going on around them, still can hear cries of pain and anger. Somewhere to his right there is the sickening sound of something being pulled out of flesh – most likely a stake that hadn't quite hit home, only succeeding in making the injured party angrier and not dead.

So he's pushing himself into a kneeling position, momentarily overwhelmed by his protesting body. But he pushes the pain aside, and stands, dead-set on ending this tonight.

They lost too much to this ancient asshole to let him live on any longer.

So he throws himself back into the fight, ripping heads off and hearts out (thinking it's only justified because, after all, they killed the one person who had a hold on his). In his rage and agony the only thing he's paying attention to is that he doesn't accidentally kills someone on their side. Nothing else matters – killing one side, making sure that the other lives.

No one is more surprised than he is as the white ash wood stake finds its way into Klaus' heart. Bull's-eye. And then, right in front of his eyes this ancient creature – the nightmare of monsters themselves – turned grey, the veins visible all around his face. They stare at each other in wonder and shock for a few seconds. Then one of them crumbles to the ground and the other is still – albeit shaky on his legs – standing. And all Damon could think, was that for once in his existence, he really wanted to lose a fight. Figures that this would be the one time he comes out of it victorious.

Those were his last thoughts before he too sinks to the ground, his vision blurry and fading out from the edges. From somewhere faraway – or so it seems to him – comes the voice of his brother, frantically telling him to stay awake. The only answer he has though is a lazy smile, because now that reality starts to fade, he can't bother with it. He'd rather sleep, and dream of better times. He can't lose Elena forever. And if that means that he has to sleep and dream, so be it.

With that everything fades to black.

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The next time his awareness started to come back to him he wasn't confused, but annoyed. Someone was trying to wake him up and he wasn't even remotely pleased about it. He thought for sure that, as he blacked out, that would be it. That his body would give out on him and he would wake up in a fiery pit. But he could clearly feel the soft sheet underneath him, and the bandages around his body. Someone actually had gone to the lengths of cleaning and patching him up. He was still hurting all over; bones not yet healed, flesh still torn open, but he could also feel that it wasn't quite as bad as a few hours (or minutes? Maybe days, he had no idea how long he'd been out) ago.

Stefan's voice was clearer now, saying something about waking up and feeding, but there was no chance in hell that that was happening. There was nothing out there that was worth the struggle. Not anymore. He was weak anyway, the darkness luring him in, trying to pull him down again. And so he followed.

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He was slowly staring to get really pissed off. Why couldn't they just let him go already? Every time he thought that this finally was it, lights out for the rest of eternity, someone wakes him up again, and pulls him back. First the fight, then his brother with his incessant babbling and shaking him and now even the damn witch. She was standing somewhere near him, and he could hear her chanting in some dead language or the other. A warm feeling started to spread throughout him, beginning in his sternum and then spreading through the rest of his body. He could feel his wound closing and his bones knitting themselves back together. He had no idea why she was doing this – she couldn't stand him, and he'd been pretty sure that she would rather dance on his grave instead of helping his body with the healing process. Soon his body was in perfect shape again and Bonnie stopped her chanting, something he was really glad for. Her voice had started to irritate him. He felt her standing over him for a few minutes more, before she sighed heavily and left. He was alone again. He tried to move his fingers and legs and was disappointed that it actually worked. But he was nothing if not stubborn, so he stopped all movements, forced his mind to go blank, and went back to sleep.

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It had been a few days since the witch had helped his body to heal. He'd been in and out of consciousness ever since, but not once had he moved, or even opened his eyes. Sometimes people came in and talked to him. They told him to wake up because he was needed; accused him of being self-centered. But he was so, so incredibly tired. So he let the voices float right over him, not caring. It was too much of a struggle to care for anything. And what would it be good for, anyway? His brother would be way better off without him. No big brother to make his life hell anymore. Vampire Barbie didn't need him either. She had a pretty good grasp on her cravings and a pet-werewolf to top it off. Judgy would be thrilled to see him gone (he would like to know though, who talked her into that little spell she did for him. And why.). And as for The Teacher, to him he was just another reminder that his wife had left him in favor of an eternally cursed life. Yeah, he thought as he drifted away again. It would be better this way.

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Another two or three days (could be weeks, too… he lost his feeling for time awhile ago) he could feel himself growing weaker again. The spell of the witch had brought some of his strength back, but as he hadn't been feeding for god knows how long, it was fading again. Now he couldn't move at all, not even when he was alone and tried. It was the first time since he woke up on the night of the fight that he was actually kind of glad. Not being able to move, feeling weak… it all meant that his body was shutting down. He wouldn't die like this, he knew. He would just start to desiccate and wither, truly turning into a more or less living dead. But he was pretty sure that Stefan wouldn't stand for that. Sooner or later he would just take a stake and be done with it. Because even though they weren't close anymore, hadn't been for such a long, long time, he was pretty sure that his brother wouldn't just stand by and watch that happening. As soon as he would realize that he won't wake up again, this would be over.

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"Come on already, please. You can't just leave me here. You're my brother, for god's sake!"

"Seriously Damon, I know you're a self-serving ass and all that… I mean, you got me and Grams to open a tomb full of vengeful vampires for you! You managed to weasel your way into the Founders Council. You… you managed to get Elena to forgive you everything you've done! I never pegged you as a quitter."

"You're boring, you know that? Sure, as a kid I loved the story of Sleeping Beauty. But only because there was a nice prince that kissed her awake in the end. And I don't think that you would like if someone would call you beauty, now would you? I'm sure you'd prefer sexy or something like that… I could try to get my Mom to come here. She sure does make for a better prince than a damsel in distress, what with her being the Sheriff and all…"

Why wouldn't they just shut up already? Every time he woke up (however briefly and farther apart that was happening lately) someone was nearby to ramble or plead or swear at him. One time he was so pissed off, that he really tried to open his eyes and told them to shut it already. Only to realize that he actually was too weak for that now. Well, good to know.

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He had started to dream. It had been a very long time since he last dreamed about anything. But now, he could sometimes hear Elena's voice talking to him. Telling him that she loved him and please just to wake up again. She told him that she needed him, that she couldn't do this without him; that he really hadn't lost her – that it's always going to be him. He had waited for this moment – the moment in which his brain started to make up nice things and happy endings. He was just kind of confused that it was doing it in such little steps. He had been waiting for the surround sound, full color, high definition version. But the only thing he got, out of the three, was the sound. Sometimes though, he could actually feel her, too. Caressing his cheek, stroking through his hair, holding his hand. It was paradise, nearly. But still, the only thing he could see was the black behind his eyelids.

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It was getting weirder and weirder. Seriously, this was his hallucination, why the hell would it do something like this? He had been listening to a crying Elena for over an hour now, and it was nearly breaking him apart. He should be able to open his eyes, stand up and take her in his arms, promise her that everything is going to be alright. Why was his brain making up a sad Elena? Everything was upside down here. Elena crying, his brother begging, and Blondie and the witch sounding like they were worried. Sometimes, even Alaric popped up in this strange nightmare he had going on right now, telling him that it wasn't nearly as much fun to nag him if he wouldn't actually answer.

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The moment he started to completely freak out, was the day that he realized that, every time his imagination let him hear Elena, there was one major fact missing: her heartbeat. The first time he noticed that, was when she used his chest as a pillow and there was nothing. It was totally silent in the room. She was breathing occasionally, and even though he drifted off every once in a while, he didn't think it was regularly enough. He tried to pay closer attention after that – maybe his hearing was just wrong. But Bonnie came and went, and her heartbeat and breathing were normal at all times. Same with The Teacher. Stefan, of course, wouldn't have a heartbeat, and neither had Caroline. The only thing out of norm was Elena. It was just frustrating that he couldn't separate real persons from dream ones.

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Elena stopped with the crying, finally. Instead she had started to shout and swear – she was angry. Angry at him for making her worry, angry that he was being so goddamn stubborn… angry at anything and all, considering how she screeched the one time Stefan tried to get her to leave and sleep for a little while.

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"Why won't you wake up? What is it that's keeping you inside your own head? Because I won't believe for even a moment that you can't wake up. You have to wake up – if you really love me, like you told me that night, you will wake up! You are healed. And I know you haven't been feeding, but it's not been long enough for you to shut down completely. And even if it were, the blood I've been trying to get down your throat should've woken you by now."

Yeah, those had been some strange moments. The instant he had smelled the blood, he'd gone nearly mad from hunger. But as it had been Elena trying to give it to him, he knew that it wasn't real, just something made up from his brain again. But it had seemed so fucking real that he nearly tried to swallow it, damned the consequences. And it was happening again and again, every day. Like, right now. He felt something at his lips, and a few moments later, blood slowly dripped from the something into his mouth. And this time, he just couldn't hold himself back. With more effort than he thought possible he opened his eyes – nearly completely drained of energy from that alone – and started to swallow the first few drops. He heard a gasping noise from above him, but right now he was focused on getting more the blood down. Someone helped him to sit up, steadying him, and he hungrily bore into the blood bag (turned out that that was the something).

He was done with it way too soon, but before he could voice his disagreement, there was another one held to his lips, and he drained that, too.

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It was close to an hour later that he finally realized that this was actually real. He was sitting on his bed, still a little bit shaky, not quite at his full strength yet, and staring at the empty blood bags at the foot of it. Elena had left the room a few minutes ago, to tell the others that he was awake. He had no idea how, but she was actually here. Not six feet under, feeding the worms.

He looked up as his bedroom door opened again and she came back inside. She had an unsure little smile on her face, and her steps were cautious, like she was afraid he would jump up and attack her.

But soon she had crossed the distance between door and bed, and was sitting across from him, just watching him.

"How… are you feeling?" He hated how she sounded right now. Her tone with him had always been sure, whether she had been angry, mad or afraid of him, it never mattered. This self consciousness was just all wrong.

"Okay, I guess. Confused, though. I …. I saw you dying, Elena. You were dead, and there is no way in hell I would imagine something like that. So… how are you here?"

It's not as if he didn't remember her lack of a heartbeat – or that she hadn't one right now. He just needed for her to tell him. He needed to hear what had happened. And the way she smiled at him then, told him that she knew it, too.

"Yes Damon, I died. But I woke up again. I wasn't ready to die yet so… I asked Caroline for her blood. So yeah, you saw me dying. I just wish you would have been there as I opened my eyes again."

He blinked at her a few times, startled at how easy it really was. It was just so simple, and he never even once thought about something like that. He had known that Stefan never would have given her his blood. He hated what he was way too much to give this life to Elena. But Caroline had been her best friend for such a long time… yeah, he could see now how this had worked. Well, that left only one thing that he still needed to know.

"Is it true, what you said?" She cocked her head to the side, her eyebrows nearly touching her hairline. She clearly didn't know what he was talking about.

"I said a lot of things while you've been lying around here. You've got to be a little more specific."

Damn her for making this hard – sometimes he really wished that vampires could read minds.

"You said that… I haven't lost you that you…"

God, it had been over a century and a half since he felt this unsure of his words.

"And that I love you. That it's always going to be you."

She had finished for him. That was good – it meant that it had been a real memory and really not a dream.

"Yes, that. Is it…."

This time, his sentence was cut off not by his own doubts, but by her lips. She had captured his in a kiss, sweet and gentle, her hand slowly caressing his cheek. It said way more than any other answer ever could have. And he answered right back.

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See that? I really TRIED to write something with a sad ending for once. But I couldn't do it… AGAIN. That's just not normal anymore, because two or three years back, EVERYTHING I wrote had a sad ending. Well, nearly everything. Whatever, now I'm done with this story, and it's your turn. Tell me what you think; just click the little button below. Reviews are love, people!

So long,

Zora