Title: Tell Me When I'm Gonna Live Inside
Author: Indigo Night
Feedback: Yes please
Summary: Damon went behind Alaric's back, but can Alaric forgive him?
Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Diaries or the characters.
Spoilers: AU, so not really.
Warnings: AU. Character death, kinda. Slash. Schmoop.
Author's Note: If you've read my other story When The Dust Settles, that was originally meant to be a prologue to this, but it spun out of control, so they aren't officially linked. The title is from the Skillet song Rebirthing, which is a really good song. Read, Review,
Alaric came to both slowly and all at once.
It was smell first, of all things that hit him; dust and mildew, and something warmer somehow, tangy.
His first instinct was to sit up and look around, to see what it was he was smelling so he could understand. But he discovered he couldn't move, at all.
Sounds hit him quickly. Thunderous rain that seemed to be hammering against his skull, even though he wasn't getting wet. It stopped abruptly a moment later, and was followed by a loud thudding as though someone was trying to play catch with boulders.
He was in pain. Everything hurt, a sort of dull aching, highlighted by a sharp stabbing in his head and an uncomfortable prickling across his neck. Even the dim glow of light filtering through his eyelids hurt.
All of this his senses perceived in a matter of seconds, while his mind was still too muddled to interpret them. He lay there for what was simultaneously an eternity and less than a minute, unable to move, attempting futilely to make sense of the messages his senses were receiving.
Quite abruptly a large, surprisingly warm hand was touching his face. They felt so good, he instinctually just wanted to press his face into them and let go of everything else, but his brain wouldn't let him.
"It's okay. Just relax." The voice was little more than a whisper, but it sent lances of pain shooting through his skull and he winced, unintentionally trying to move away from the noise.
"Hold still," the voice admonished sternly.
He knew the voice, that voice meant a lot of things to him; danger but also safety, frustration but also pleasure, and so much more. But a part of his brain he'd never even known existed was trying to tell him that the voice belonged to the strange warm, tangy scent and he didn't understand.
"Damon?" he rasped, his voice painfully rough. He had the vague, nagging feeling that had something to do with the prickling of his neck, but he wasn't sure why. "What happened?"
Damon didn't answer, even though Alaric knew he hadn't left because he could hear Damon breathing. With tremendous effort he managed to pry his eyes open, only to have to immediately snap them shut again against the brightness of the light.
"Damon?" he insisted, struggling to force his eyes to stay open. He didn't like this, being stuck helplessly on his back unable to move much or see. He didn't like not knowing what was going on. And he really didn't like the anxiety he could physically feel coming from Damon.
"Stop moving. You haven't finished healing yet. You don't drink enough." The last part was added in a mutter that Alaric probably wasn't meant to hear.
Finally, Alaric managed to open his eyes enough to ascertain that he was lying on an unfamiliar bed, in a room he'd never seen before, and he was being blinded by muted, pre-dawn light that was filtering in around the edges of thick black-out curtains.
Damon was hovering over him, pushing him back down on the bed. They were both covered in blood, but Alaric couldn't remember who's.
"Where are we?" He asked, choosing to relinquish to Damon's demands he stay put and focusing instead on keeping his eyes open.
That, at least, Damon was willing to answer. "Georgia."
Alaric frowned. He vaguely remembered staying late at the school to grade papers… a phone call… everything was hazy, and the harder he tried to focus on the memories the more unclear they became. Despite that, he was certain he had had no plans whatsoever to travel to Georgia.
"I like peaches," Damon evaded. "Relax. The memories will come back, don't push it."
"My head's killing me." His memories were frustratingly unclear, but his awareness of his surroundings were becoming more distinctly in focus.
"You'll adjust to it." He stood and moved away from the bed with an abruptness that made Alaric dizzy, though his eyes had no trouble following the movement. Just as abruptly he returned. "Here, these will help." He slid a pair of sunglasses over Alaric's eyes; and they did help, though his head still ached.
"What's wrong with me?" Alaric pushed himself up so he could lean against the headboard. Despite the aches and dizziness, he surprisingly didn't feel weak or shaky; he felt strong.
Damon hesitated, but sighed with the air of one accepting the inevitable.
"You're dead," he admitted.
Alaric was not a stranger to the very real possibility of people returning from the dead. Technically, he himself had done it before, though under different circumstances. Nevertheless, his mind refused to comprehend Damon's meaning.
"How?" he demanded.
"John Gilbert slit your throat."
"No. How… am I back?"
Damon wouldn't meet his eyes, though his tone was casual and offhand. "I've been slipping a little of my blood into your drinks for months."
Feelings surged through Alaric; rage, betrayal, confusion, and also something he couldn't quite name.
"How could you?" he accused in what would have been a shout if his still sore voice hadn't cracked at exactly the wrong moment. "You knew I didn't want this!"
Damon shrugged, but with new eyes Alaric could clearly see through the flippant front. "I figured when the time came you might change your mind."
He needed to move, he needed to get away. Away from Damon and this dark, musty room of death, he needed fresh air. He pushed himself out of the bed and staggered to his feet, shoving away the hand Damon extended to steady him.
He made it barely fifty feet from the house when it him, and he stopped. This house, no unlike the Salvatore Mansion in Mystic Falls was isolated, away from the town, surrounded by woods. He was in an unfamiliar place, how knew how far from other people, but besides that, there was absolutely no place he could run.
He couldn't escape this thing that had happened to him. He was dead. The only choice that remained open to him was whether he would succumb to it, or accept it.