Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries.

Summary: Damon and Elena spend an evening together at the boarding house. He openly flirts, she subconsciously does the same. There's cooking, a food fight and insane chemistry. Takes place in season 2. One-piece.

A/N: Two one-pieces in one day? Yup. I'm on a roll. After the depressing one earlier today, I thought I'd write something cute and happy and fun. Could take place after the last episode, but you should probably take away all the problems and things like that. It's fun and carefree. Except for Uncle Daddy John. The fact I got to talk bad about him in this was just a bonus. I don't like the guy. ;-)

Elena has been so aware of how she's affecting Damon, recently. The subtle touches, knowing she can get him to do things for her like that… I'm not sure I like it, but this one-piece includes this fact and addresses it. Other than that, it's just fun and fluff and cute. Yes, it's clichéd as hell, but I don't really care. Enjoy!

-x-x-x-x-

On the outside looking in

Elena was surprised to find the door of the Salvatore boarding house wide open. She hesitated for a second, then stepped inside. Her mind immediately wandered to a dark place, worried that something might be wrong. She got like that a lot lately, always jumping to conclusions at the tiniest things that happened. She quietly closed the door behind her.

"Stefan?" She called out from the impressive hallway, frowning.

"Nope." A voice came from the living room and Elena unknowingly smiled as she recognized it. She entered the living room and found Damon sitting in his usual spot, reading a book, holding a glass of liquor in his free hand. He didn't look up.

"Hey." She started, walking over to the couch and dropping herself on it. "The door was open, otherwise I would've knocked."

Damon shrugged, still reading or at the very least pretending to. "I heard your car pull up."

She nodded slowly as she unbuttoned her jacket. "No games today? No 'little miss I'm-on-a-mission'-lines as you open the door with that impossible grin on your face?"

For the first time Damon looked up, his lips carefully curving into a sly smile. "Sorry to disappoint you. This is a really good book."

"Is Stefan home?" Elena changed the subject, now taking her jacket off and throwing it to the other end of the couch, before leaning back in the soft cushions, making herself comfortable. Damon watched her.

"He's not. Don't know where he is, actually. My prayers are with the fluffy bunnies and squirrels."

Elena groaned as she folded her hands over her stomach and stared up at the ceiling.

"You mind if I hang out here for a little while? Wait for Stefan to come back? You can just keep reading your precious book."

Damon seemed intrigued by this as he carefully put the book down and sat up straight. "What's wrong? How come you'd rather hang out here with me than at home?"

"Uncle John." Elena revealed. "He had a family dinner planned for tonight. We all left when he went out to get the groceries."

She chuckled at the memory. Jenna had even changed into an all black outfit to be 'stealth' before sneaking out of the house to have dinner at Alaric's. Elena could only imagine the look on John's face when he got back, but even her imagination was entertaining enough. Damon seemed to think it was amusing too as he looked down to hide his smile.

"You know this is the first place he'll come looking for you, right? And he will come looking for you."

"And drag me home by my pony tail?" Elena asked sarcastically, rolling her eyes. "He's over-doing the father-routine."

"You know I could solve that for you." Damon offered, raising his eyebrows in a suggestive manner. "In the violent way."

"Don't." She warned him, but smiling. "I can handle him."

"By running away from him and straight into the arms of your boyfriend's dashingly handsome brother?"

"Ah yes, straight into your arms." Elena nodded. "I'm on the other side of the room, but okay."

She regretted the words once they were out, since Damon naturally took them as a challenge. He was next to her on the couch within a second, the before mentioned impossible grin decorating his face. She wasn't even surprised, so she didn't move a muscle as she threw him a look.

"My arms are very close right now." He told her, moving in even more, their elbows touching.

She chuckled, but didn't move away. Instead she turned her body towards him and leaned in even closer.

"If John shows up I can trust on you to get rid of him, right? In the non-violent way?"

Elena wasn't even sure how she meant it, but she didn't think she wanted it to sound so seductive or insinuate that she had some kind of power over him to get him to do things. It surprised herself, so she immediately sat back a little and created a little distance, looking away. Damon chuckled, picking up on her surprise.

"Yes, you can trust on me, Elena." He smirked. "But getting rid of John is something I'll do for my own enjoyment, not because your seductive glare practically begged me to."

"I didn't…" She started, cheeks flushing, still not looking back up at him.

"Oh come on, Elena." He interrupted her, switching positions on the couch so he was face to face with her again and this forced Elena to look at him. "So every now and then you take advantage of the fact that I'm not exactly immune to you and your pretty face. It's not a crime. It's what women do."

"Sorry." She offered, carefully smiling.

"No hard feelings." He assured her.

"You're in a good mood." Elena told him, recovering and finding her confidence again. "Wouldn't this normally tick you off?"

"Well, I have an unexpected, but delightful and charming guest for dinner and there's the potential of my arch nemesis showing up, meaning I'll get to kick him off my property if he does. Sure, I can't use violence, but I've been told I have my way with words, so that could be fun. Hence the good mood."

"So, I'm staying for dinner, huh?"

"Yep." Damon nodded as he got on his feet. "I still have those curly pasta thingy-s you love so much. And I'll make the sauce with the Salvatore touch and the signature secret ingredient."

"The secret ingredient being a whole lot of garlic so that when Stefan comes home our night will be ruined?" She asked, smiling innocently.

"How on earth did you know?" He asked, feigning surprise.

"You're pathetically transparent. And childish."

"Ouch." Damon said, bringing his hand to his heart, but his smirk still very much present. "I'll be in the kitchen if you need me."

"I'm coming with." She announced, getting up from the couch and following him towards the kitchen. "Somebody's got to keep an eye on that garlic."

"Ah, that's cute. Like my vampire speed won't be able to fool your human eyes."

"We'll see." She shrugged, playfully pushing him in the back as she caught up with him. "I can always persuade you with my womanly charm and pretty face that you're not exactly immune to."

Damon chuckled.

"And they say I'm the devil."

-x-x-x-x-

Elena had made herself comfortable on the kitchen counter, her legs crossed as she watched Damon slave away over the stove. She was chewing on the cherry tomatoes she'd found in the refrigerator and she was softly humming along to the radio. She already knew Damon knew his way around the kitchen, but it was still interesting to watch him, because he seemed so passionate.

"Pass the salt, please?" Damon asked.

She turned around to the shelf behind her and scanned it for the required item. Apparently he didn't think she found it fast enough as she suddenly felt a hand on her right upper leg and he leaned over her. She turned her head in surprise and her lips almost collided with his cheek. She was taken aback by how close he was and had to catch her breath.

"Keep breathing, Elena. You need oxygen. Especially in combination with that racing heart of yours." He told her, not looking at her.

She shook her head at his comment, her hand finding it's way to his cheek and she lightheartedly pushed his head away. Damon laughed, allowing her to do so as he already had a firm grip on the salt and made his way back to the stove. She watched him, tongue between her teeth, still shaking her head.

"You're impossible." She smiled.

"You know how to take advantage of the fact that I'm not immune to you, it's only fair I know how to do the same."

"Except that I am immune to you."

"Uh-uh. Very convincing after you just almost passed out at only minimal physical contact between us."

"I didn't almost pass out!" She objected.

"It's okay, Elena. It's the curse of the Salvatores. Or blessing, really. We're just pretty damn irresistible."

"Whatever. You just surprised me, that's all."

"If that's what you need to tell yourself." He concluded, throwing a smirk her way.

Elena squinted slightly at him, unable to hide her smile, but a fun thought popping into her head. She reached for the bowl of cherry tomatoes and grabbed a handful. Damon was focused on the food again and she bit her lip in anticipation.

She took one of the cherry tomatoes in hand and concentrated on the man behind the stove. Her aim was a little off, but when she threw it, it landed against his shoulder and it immediately got his attention. She laughed as more cherry tomatoes followed in his direction, some of them missing their target completely, but several hitting him actually where she wanted them to.

"Oh, you're dead!" Damon exclaimed, smiling broadly, fending off the flying tomatoes.

She shrieked when she realized he was about to make his way over to her and she hopped off the counter. While running towards the living room she still turned around every now and then to throw a tomato. She was well aware that her mission was pointless and he was going to get her sooner or later. He was, after all, a vampire. She felt his hand on her waist, but was able to push it away as she entered the living room. Her laughter immediately filled up the space as she was still trying to escape his embrace.

"Don't!" She yelled out. "I'm sorry! I surrender, okay? Sorry!"

She made it as far as the couch, before his arms wrapped around her waist and he threw her on the couch. She landed softly on her back, shrieking once again, but still laughing, bringing her hand to her face to brush away the strands of hair that were covering it. Her laughter died out when she looked up for the first time and came face to face with Damon. His leg was trapped on the couch between hers and he was hovering over her, an amused look in his eyes. He had one hand still on her side, the other resting above her head. Their position was intimate and it didn't go unnoticed by either one of them.

"I can't let you get away with that." Damon said softly, smiling down on her, mere inches between their faces.

She hesitated a second, investigating his face. Should she play along ? "Well, what are you going to do about it?"

Damon frowned a little, pretending to think of something. Elena realized the palm of his hand was touching a little bit of bare skin where her shirt had crept up. She felt how his fingers started to move a little lower, trying to find more skin. His touch was warm and tingly and this time she didn't need Damon to tell her that her heart was racing.

"Damon…" She started, looking at him.

"I'm thinking." He told her, pretending he didn't know what she was talking about.

"Your hand, Damon."

His lopsided grin grew wider as their eyes locked once again.

"You noticed that, huh? Bummer." He spoke, immediately removing his hand from her hip and moving it up, resting it on her arm.

"We need to get up." Elena continued. "We can't do this."

"We can't?" Damon frowned, amused. "But it feels so good."

She involuntarily chuckled, but placed her hands on his chest, trying to push him away.

"Come on, get up." She urged him, no longer looking at him. "I learned my lesson, okay? No more tomato throwing."

Surprisingly enough, Damon listened to her and immediately got to his feet, taking her hand in his and pulling her up. Unsurprisingly, he used just a little too much strength and their bodies collided as her feet touched the ground. She lost her balance for just a second, so Damon conveniently had to wrap his arm around her waist again to keep her on her feet.

"Careful, there." He told her.

She threw him a look, removing his arm from her waist.

"Okay, that's enough." She told him, sternly. "No more flirting, no more touching, no more trying to get me off-balance. Literal or otherwise."

"So you're not immune to me, then?" Damon smirked, doing that eye-thing again. She should've mentioned that was off limits too.

"Don't you have to get back to your food?" She asked him, nodding towards the kitchen.

"Oh, crap." Damon muttered, before hurrying back into the kitchen.

Her gaze followed him and it didn't take her long to realize she was smiling.

-x-x-x-x-

"A little burn-y aftertaste." Elena commented after the first bite of her favorite pasta, her head turning to him. He was right next to her on the couch. "Is that supposed to happen?"

"You're on thin ice there, missy." Damon frowned. "I'll have you pinned down on this couch again before you know it."

Elena smiled. "It's delicious. Thank you."

Damon took a quick, overly dramatic bow. "You're welcome."

"I happen to like burn-y aftertastes, so…"

He dropped his fork as he threw her a look. "Now you're practically provoking me, Elena. I cannot be held responsible for what happens as a consequence of your desire to have the last word."

She was ready to reply, but the sound of her phone ringing prevented her from doing so. She put her plate on the coffee table in front of her and reached in the pocket of her jeans. A sigh escaped her lips when she saw the name appearing on the screen and she carelessly tossed her phone aside.

"Daddy dearest?" Damon asked, raising his eyebrows.

"Yup."

"Are you also picturing him all alone at the carefully set for four dining room table, his three-course, restaurant worthy dinner going bad in the kitchen?"

Elena chuckled. "Yup. In my head it goes on to him growing more and more frustrated when nobody answers their phone and eventually his head explodes."

"I was thinking he angrily paces into the kitchen, trips over the rug and falls headfirst into the still burning oven." Damon added.

"If only..." She muttered, reaching out to her plate again and placing it on her lap.

"I thought you were opposed to getting Uncle Daddy John injured?" Damon asked, taking another bite of the pasta.

"I'm opposed to getting him injured when these injuries are inflicted by you or anybody else. If his own stupidity causes him to seriously get hurt, I think I can live with it." She explained, shrugging.

"I'm kind of curious about that dinner though. Is his other hand fully functional again? Because this would be even better if he really struggled in the kitchen with only one good hand, sweating and cursing, but determined to pull it off."

Elena chuckled, shaking her head. "We're evil."

"And doesn't it feel good?"

"It has a certain appeal." She agreed.

"Welcome to the dark side." Damon announced, raising his hand towards her. Elena hesitated, then put her fork down and gave him the high five he expected. "We're a good team, Gilbert."

"Back at you, Salvatore."

He smirked. "I just touched you again."

She threw him a sideway glance, before nudging him in the ribs. He just chuckled, looking at her from the corner of his eye. She gladly returned the stare, unaware she was softly biting her lip while doing so.

The twosome was too focused on each other to notice the dark figure standing right outside the window looking in. He'd been standing there for a while now, getting more uncomfortable with every passing second. His hands were in his pockets, his brow furrowed, worry shining through his eyes as he observed his brother and his girlfriend. He wondered how he'd never seen it before, how he never picked up on it. This wasn't just friendly or playful. This wasn't even just physical attraction that he, of course, had noticed at one point or another. It was more than chemistry, more than friendship. He saw how comfortable his brother looked right now, how incredibly at ease he was with Elena. How real this was. Her smile, the spark in her eyes, the soft biting of the lip that he always thought was reserved just for him. He was wrong. About all of it. And all of a sudden it hit him. He was going to lose her to him. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day she was going to give in to his brother and she'd be gone, while one thing remained the same. He'd still be the one on the outside looking in.

-x-x-x-x-

A/N: So, this was completely different from what I wrote earlier today. I hope you enjoyed it. Please let me know. They might not have been completely in character, but I like how the flirting went back and forth in this and how she told Damon to cut it out, but she still can't resist doing the same thing. She loves him, she just doesn't know it yet. ;-) It'll come.

Okay. Once again: Working on a multi-chapter story for these two. I have some ideas, I just need to start using them. Until then, this one-piece!

Steffanie