Author's Note: As promised, more Damon and Bonnie. This is in two parts, with the second part coming out later this week. The poem quoted within the story is She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron. Enjoy (and if you do, let me know!)
New Years' Day
Bonnie is not sure whose bright idea it was. Surely, it must have come from a drunken idiot or an idealistic fool. No one who thought this all the way through would have decided it was a good idea.
Still, she could have stayed home.
Instead she is standing in the grand living room of the Salvatore boarding house at precisely one minute after midnight watching Stefan and Elena kiss. She supposes that given his undead status he doesn't have to come up for air as often. She knows if she glances behind her she'll find Jenna and Alaric trying to keep up. And if she doesn't know any better she thinks that Tyler and Caroline are dancing around one another wondering if they should join the celebration. Great, just what their little group needed – a supernatural version of Romeo and Juliet.
Jeremy sends her another look that proves he has long stopped thinking of her as his sister's friend and Bonnie is left wondering once again why she would even agree to come in the first place.
She comes because it'll make Elena happy. And Elena deserves to be happy – even if Bonnie will be miserable in the process.
She downs the rest of her champagne. Celebratory of course. Dear (buzzed) Aunt Jenna won't allow anything stronger. She has never considered getting blitzed out of her mind as a solution to anything but right now, surrounded by kissing couples and lustful glances from someone she once saw eat worms as a child, she is eyeing the open bar.
She feels him before she sees him.
He flops down beside her, an arm snaking out at vampiric speed to rest behind her head. She turns, aiming a dark look in his direction. Of course he doesn't care – why should he care? He is sprawled out on the sofa, half drunk in his own home. The fact that Bonnie is annoyed by his presence probably doesn't even register with him – and if it does, then no doubt, it spurns him on.
"Do you think," he begins as he pops one of the finger foods she had helped Elena make that afternoon in his mouth. His eyes are surveying the happy couples before him. "…that if this continues we will be witnesses to acts of a pornographic nature?"
She can't control her reaction, though she knows she should. "God, Damon, you're disgusting."
He grins, and she thinks she sees a bit of spinach caught between his front teeth. "So I take you don't want to me to kiss you then?"
Bonnie is at the Mystic Grill with one hell of a Calculus assignment spread out in front of her. She has contemplated burning the damn thing with just one look but somehow she doesn't think that her teacher would believe that her homework has spontaneously combusted.
To be truthful, she would have had it done by now if she had actually been following along in class and keeping up with her homework. Instead she has spent her time worrying and devouring spell books.
Being a teenager is hard.
Being a teenager and a witch – is damn near impossible.
Elena texts to tell her that she should be there soon. No doubt Elena will know how to complete the dreaded Calculus. She faces many of the same challenges as Bonnie but somehow her friend manages to keep her head above water.
Sometimes Bonnie thinks she is jealous of Elena, despite loving her dearly.
She believes she has figured it out when the chair opposite her scrapes noisily across the floor and figure plops down. Not Elena. A harsh sigh from her tablemate has her wrinkling her nose. Definitely not Elena. Bonnie continues with her Calculus, determined to make to the end of the question before addressing the elephant in the room. When she comes up with an answer and realizes that she has yet again gotten it wrong, she has no choice. She looks up, meeting Damon's crystal clear eyes. "What do you want?"
"Hello to you too, Bonnie," Damon immediately retorts. He is tapping a newspaper on the table. The repetitive sound catches her attention and becomes unbearably loud. "I would ask you how are you but I can see that you are in bitchy witchy mode."
Considering he has called her much worse, Bonnie does not rise to the insult. She is busy erasing five minutes of incorrect work. "What do you want?" She asks as she swipes tiny bits of rubber off her paper. He is Damon – he always wants something.
The newspaper stops tapping and there is a long pause. Long enough to cause Bonnie to look up again, her eyes questioning.
"I am afraid I have some bad news," he says quietly.
His words have an immediate effect on her – her whole body tenses. She is almost afraid to ask. Why can't they just have a normal week? Why can't the evil lurking in the shadows stay in the goddamn shadows? Finally she asks the question she does not want to ask. "What?"
"The groundhog saw his shadow and we are in for six more weeks of winter." He seems so committed to this that even his voice has taken on a grave nature.
Bonnie's response is immediate. She has him clutching his head as she gathers her books hastily. Like her assignment, she wishes she could set him on fire. She is shoving her homework into her bag when he speaks, sounded winded. Good, she hopes he is miserable.
"You know if you find the inverse function you'll get the right answer."
It is unexpected and she can't help but give him a curious look. He is rubbing his temples as he continues, "Just don't forget to find two solutions or else you're screwed."
She slings her backpack over her shoulder. "Tell Elena that you arrived. I am sure she'll understand the rest." With that she leaves him in the Grille, hopefully nursing a killer headache.
That night when she successfully finishes her assignment and realizes he was right, she can't help but groan.
Bonnie would like to wipe this day from existence.
Valentine's Day and all the trappings involved has forever been a sore spot for her. The last time she has been in a serious relationship on this day she was ten and he had given her a rock instead of a rose.
She has managed to avoid the worst of it – the heart shaped streamers and cupid cutouts littering the hall, the candy grams and flowers passing from hand to hand. What she cannot seem to steer clear of is the multitude of kissing couples hiding in every corner. She does not have enough fingers to keep track of how many times she has played third wheel or backed up slowly to remain undiscovered.
She will be eternally grateful when this day is over.
At lunch, she escapes to the back courtyard with all the other singles desperate to escape the declarations of love that will no doubt go on now that everyone is free from class. She is eating her sandwich when she notices a familiar figure leaning against a tree.
Great, it is not enough that she has to have her single status constantly thrown in her face but now she has lost her appetite as well. She stands, tossing her lunch into a nearby trash can and decides to confront the problem head on.
He smiles when she approaches.
"What are you doing here Damon?" She demands, ready for a fight. Actually she is pretty sure she has been ready since moment she opened her eyes on this dreaded day.
"If you are here to make a play for Elena I am pretty sure I saw her and Stefan heading toward the underside of the bleachers."
There is a slight quirk to his face that he manages to smother quickly. "I actually came here looking for you."
Well, now, she has been thrown for a loop. She tries her best not to look flustered. "What now Damon?"
"I need your help."
"Not the least bit interested."
"Come on, Bonnie, it's for the greater good," Damon says as he pushes himself off the tree. "I thought you were all about that sort of thing."
"I think we greatly differ on the definition of the greater good," Bonnie points out. She turns to leave, flinching when she feels his hand on her elbow. Looking back, she raises an eyebrow and resists the urge to gloat when he drops his hand away. "I already told you I am not interested, Damon. Go find yourself someone else to do your dirty work."
Damon sighs. "Well, you leave me no choice, Bonnie. Please remember that I asked nicely first."
She is confused – and just a tad bit apprehensive. Damon is unpredictable and there are a great number of witnesses. She steels herself, ready to take him down if need be. He reaches up breaking a near bare branch off the tree. Her confusion intensifies when he bends down on one knee, holding out the branch like an offering.
"She walks in beauty, like the night…of cloudless climes and starry skies…"
"Damon!" She hisses immediately. She believes she sees the ghost of grin cross his face before he continues.
"…and all that's best of dark and bright, meet in her aspect and her eyes: thus mellowed to that tender light, which heaven to gaudy day denies."
His voice is getting louder, attracting the attention of all those nearby. Bonnie can see a few females swoon at what no doubt looks like a lovely romantic gesture.
Oh how she would love to kill him right now.
"Alright!" She cries.
"One shade the more, one ray the less, had half impaired the nameless grace, which waves in every raven tress…" Damon trails off, his grin more apparent now. "What was that, darling?"
"Alright I will help you!" Bonnie repeats, her self loathing apparent.
Damon rises, the branch still extended.
She does not take it.
St. Patrick's Day
Bonnie is surprised by the sight she sees before her.
She opens her mouth before she can stop herself, "Are you drinking green beer?"
Damon turns, mug still tilted upward. His eyes widen slightly, for once she has surprised him. When he sets down the beer there is a foam mustache on his upper lip. He swipes at it with the back of his hand. "Following me now, Miss Bennett?"
She makes a face. "Hardly. Stefan told me that I might find you here."
"And you managed to get in?" Damon raises an eyebrow.
"You'll be surprised what a little magic can do." She moves to lean against the bar but notices the layer of grim and decides against it. "I think I managed to track down your old friend." Although truth be told, given what little he has divulged to her, friend does not seem appropriate. Monster sounds better.
"Really? And you just had to rush over to tell me right away? Did you miss me that much?" Damon grins his shit eating grin and Bonnie has a vision of dumping the green tinged drink over his head.
"You weren't answering your phone," Bonnie retorts. "And I believe you were the one who insisted on me telling you as soon as I found out anything. Well, I found out something. Do you want to know it or not?"
Damon takes another sip of the beer, looking as if he is mulling over the possibilities. Bonnie shifts on her feet, annoyed by how he can't seem to help but draw it out. These little meetings, clandestine in nature of course, are happening more and more often despite her best intentions. A little over a month ago she agreed to help him for the greater good – now she realizes that she may be in over her head.
In more ways that one.
"Damon, there is man dressed as a leprechaun who looks as if he would like to do a jig under my skirt getting closer by the second. Do you want the information or not?" Bonnie asks, clearly exasperated.
Damon gives the man in question a withering look. If Bonnie didn't know any better, she would swear that he shifts his body a little to stand between she and the drunk. "Of course. What did you little tracking spell say?"
"He's in California," she tells him and immediately notices the change in his body language. "Damon?"
"That's too close," Damon answers.
"It's across the country," Bonnie points out.
"He's on the same continent. That's too close." Damon runs a hand through his hair. Bonnie is not used to seeing him unsettled. It makes her more nervous then she is willing to admit.
"What do we do?"
"We? Nothing. You are going to keep quiet about this. Got that Bonnie?" He places both his hands on her shoulders as if to ensure her silence. She looks down to where one of his hands rests and he immediately pulls away. "Telling Stefan and Elena would just cause necessary panic. I don't even know why he is in the country."
"Yes, you do," Bonnie corrects. "It's Elena. It's always Elena." Her words are not mean spirited. She is merely stating the truth. Her best friend has been placed in the middle of a war through no fault of her own.
"I'll figure something out," Damon says off handedly but Bonnie not convinced. He dismisses her by turning back to his green beer. Somewhere in the background Bonnie hears a dirty limerick being yelled. Tonight is obviously not the night to convince Damon she needs to help protect Elena.
"I don't know how you can drink that stuff," she mutters as she eyes the door.
He considers the drink for a moment before tilting his head toward her. "I was in Ireland once for St. Patrick's Day. All this…" He indicates the overly decorated bar and its low class patrons. "…is an insult. I can't even get a real Guinness."
"I'd rather the green beer. That stuff looks like tar." She figures it is as good of a farewell as any and heads for the nearest exit. She does however manage to hear Damon's quip.
"Tastes like tar too."
She is a little annoyed with herself when she grins.
April Fool's Day
Bonnie has no idea what time of day it is.
Hell, she is not even sure she knows what day it is.
The blindfold is tight enough around her eyes to filter out any light leaving her disorientated. She doesn't dare move for fear that she will further chafe her wrists. They are raw enough.
She is hungry. And thirsty. So thirsty.
They probably have forgotten that humans need to drink to survive. Not much different then themselves really. She wishes she is strong enough to level them. Or fight back even just a little. She doesn't want to be painted as some damsel in distress.
Even if she is one at this particular moment in time.
A door opens behind her and she can hear one of them shuffling into the room. She tries her best to keep her body calm, her heart rate steady. Part of her wishes that they would just kill her and get it over with.
The vampire kneels next to her, a hand running through her hair. She can't contain the shudder. "You will help us?" He asks in an accented voice that almost sounds pleasant if it were not for the measure of menace underneath.
She answers as she has every other time the question is posed. "No."
The hand tangles in her hair this time and she yelps when her head is yanked back. She thinks she can smell decay when he speaks again. "You helped him."
She wants to tell him that all vampires are not built equal. That yes, she has willingly helped Damon Salvatore despite wanting to stake him. But at least once and awhile he has shown that there is an ounce of humanity hiding beneath all those things she despises.
When she doesn't give an immediate reply he releases her head. "You'll change your mind once he gets here."
A familiar threat.
She thinks that 'he' is the so called friend Damon had asked her to track down. And no doubt this 'he' has connections to Klaus. Once again, Elena is in danger. She can only hope that her warning has filtered through. The moment she had been taken two days ago (or has it been three) she sent a clear psychic message to the one person who might fully understand the situation – Damon.
God, now she is relying on Damon to keep Elena safe.
And to rescue her – although she'll never admit that out loud.
She tries to sleep, to regain some of her strength and therefore power, but her current position only lends itself to fitful moments of rest. Every noise is painfully loud, causing her to twist and jump in her bonds. When she hears footsteps on the stairs, coming hard and fast, she whimpers and prays for the end.
The door flies open, splintering as it hits the wall.
Her head jerks up. "Damon."
It is all a blur. She can hear the sounds of a fight, brother talking to brother, an anguish cry that could only signify death. Finally she feels cool hands and she flinches. "It's okay." It's Damon again, talking to her as if she were a skittish colt. She tries to relax but as he works through the rope that holds her through the chair she can't hold back moans.
It takes both he and Stefan to maneuver her down the narrow stairs and out the front door of her prison. The bright light of the sun nearly knocks her to the ground but they hold tight. Once they are what Stefan considers a safe enough distance away, she is allowed to sit.
"I need to call Elena. To let her know Bonnie is all right," Stefan explains leaving his older brother to watch over her.
She leans against the tree, looking at her battered wrists in a state of perverse awe. Damon stands at her feet looking down at her. She knows he wants to yell, to call her names and tell her how foolish she was for getting involved when he expressly told her not to. She wants to save him the trouble. She tilts her head upwards and meets his icy gaze. "What day is it?"
"The first of April," Damon answers.
Bonnie adjusts her bunny ears and makes a face. This is ridiculous and she knows it.
Still, she agreed to it.
She supposes she did so because it is something normal. Before the Salvatore brothers returned to Mystic Falls, she helped out with the Easter festivities on a regular basis. She could hardly cite 'an influx of supernatural weirdness' as her reason for not doing so this year.
Standing on the lawn of the Lockwood mansion, she holds her giant green basket high and watches all the little ones who have been assigned to her come running forward. They all have eager faces and she misses being that age – not knowing anything but Saturday morning cartoons and playground games. She feels tainted being around them.
Still she smiles, kneels and tells them that they have a very important mission.
And they are off, spurting in all directions, looking for brightly colored eggs. Bonnie slowly wanders after them, sweeping her eyes across the massive lawn and keeping count.
"Where's your tail?"
Bonnie doesn't turn her head, doesn't take her eyes off the children. He stops next to her, hands in pocket and falls quiet. She finds herself more annoyed then when he is leveling sarcasm in her direction. At least then, she knows what she is getting herself into.
"Why are you at a children's party, Damon?" She finally asks to break the uncomfortable silence.
"You have no reason to worry. I don't eat children," Damon assures her in a matter of fact manner. "They're cute. Likes puppies."
That is not an answer to her question. Not that it matters. She already knows why he is here. It has been a little over two weeks since he and Stefan pulled her out of that house. She has been in his presence twice since then. And each time neither of them addressed it.
Bonnie sighs. She may as well be the one. "I'm fine, Damon."
"I can see that," Damon answers immediately.
There are no outward signs of her brief captivity. She healed quite nicely thanks to a spell or two. There are nightmares, but that is to be expected. Bonnie believes that she is progressing beautifully on the traumatic survivor scale.
"Elena gave me hell," Damon says.
She does look away from her charges for a moment. He looks a bit sheepish – maybe even a tad guilty. "I knew she would. I'm her best friend; you're the monster who convinced me to go along with your top secret plan." Never mind that in the end, she had directly defied Damon's orders to stay back in favor of an approach that put her directly in the enemy's path. No, Elena will never blame her for that whereas Damon is an easy target.
"I'm sorry – "
"Oh, Damon, don't," Bonnie says not sure she'll be able to stomach an apology from him. Especially if it is not sincere – and given Damon's nature, she will never know. "We both know I stepped into it. I did what I thought I should to do to protect the ones I love. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
"I know you would."
"And it worked out in the end, didn't it? I am no worse for wear and there are two less vampires in the world," Bonnie figures that a part of Damon will take offense to that. She hopes he fires back. The fact that they are standing in the middle of a lawn on a sunny day having a borderline heartfelt conversation while children search for eggs around them is not sitting well with her.
She should not care. He should not act like he cares.
"Next time, be more careful," Damon finally says.
This time she turns more than her head. She stands facing him now. "What makes you think that there is going to be a next time?"
A grin spreads across his face. "There always is." The laughter of children grows close and he makes a face. "That's my cue to leave." She has turned back, kneeling down so the eggs can be deposited.
Before the children reach her, before he makes his exit, he tells her, "You really would look cute with a tail."