AN: This is for my friends on the Bamon thread on fanforum. I got this idea from all of our discussions a long time ago. I hope you like it. You could probably call this one shot a missing scene since the show never gave us any follow up between Bamon afte Bonnie set Damon on fire. This takes place two days after the episode Brave New World (2X02) and before Bad Moon Rising (2X03). This is my first attempt at Bonnie and Damon so I apologize if they seem OOC. I tried really hard to work on getting their complicated characters down.

A special thank you to 1beaut for pre-reading this for me. I could not have posted this without your support and encouragement!

Disclaimer: I do not own the Vampire Diaries. All mistakes are mine and I apologize in advance for any that may be found in the story.

Solid Ground

"You surprise me little witch."

Bonnie tensed at hearing his voice, even though she had been anticipating a visit from Damon at some point. Abandoning the act of unlocking her front door, Bonnie slowly turned to face him. Damon stood a couple of feet behind her leisurely leaning against the front rail of her wrap-around porch. She hadn't expected him to be so close. It was the first time she has seen him since she had left him half barbequed on the pavement at the fair, two days ago. "Why? Because I actually keep my word? I am not like Elena; I don't get amnesia where you are concerned." Bonnie replied assuming he was referring to the fire incident. "It is not like I didn't give you fair warning."

"We will get to that but no that is not what I am talking about. I never thought you would abandon one of your best friends, let alone your child."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"Caroline, of course. You know we are basically her parents now."

Bonnie shook her head in disbelief. "Oh no, that is on you and your psychotic viper bitch ex-girlfriend Katherine. You two are the reason Caroline is a vampire now."

"Whose fault is it that Katherine found out about vampire blood being in poor defenseless Blondie's body?" Damon challenged with a smirk as he closed the distance with his vampire speed, invading her personal space and forcing her to stumble back into the door as he caged her in with his hands gripping the door frame on either side of her head.

Bonnie straightened to her full height refusing to let him intimidate her though she had to look away from his smirk as guilt consumed her. She looked beyond Damon's shoulder at the quiet neighborhood that she grew up in as she struggled to get a grip on her emotions. As much as she hated to admit it to herself, for once he was right: it was her encounter with Katherine at Mayer Lockwood's funeral that gave the evil vampiress the knowledge that Caroline had been saved with Damon's blood. She also couldn't discount the fact that she had been responsible for starting a chain of events that had landed Caroline in the hospital in the first place. No matter what anyone thought Caroline's current situation weighed heavy on her heart but how could anyone know this since she had barely spoken to anyone since she said good-bye to Elena after the night of the fair.

"Hmm, that is what I thought. Let's also not forget the fact that you practically demanded that I give her my blood in the first place."

Bonnie's green eyes clashed with Damon's icy blue ones as she glared fiercely at him. "Please! You were jumping at the chance to play hero for Elena and that is the only reason you were even willing to help Caroline in the first place. Let's not forget that it was your idea. You said she would be fine in the hospital, that the blood would be out of her system in a day. This is just another one of your ideas that has gone to hell because it certainly wasn't supposed to be this way."

"No it wasn't but it is what it is and we have to deal with it now. I thought you were supposed to be the loyal one, that you cared so much about your friends."

"Don't you dare lecture me you homicidal vampire!" Bonnie exclaimed as she finally gave in to her impulse and shoved him back a few steps using her witch powers to give her the necessary strength to move him. She could finally breathe properly again knowing there was some appropriate space between their bodies. While the days of him intimidating her were long gone, being near him still made her extremely uncomfortable in many ways she preferred not to acknowledge. "You were all set to kill Caroline, if Elena hadn't of stepped in between her and the stake you were prepared to shove in to Caroline's heart. Had I known that little detail at the time I never would have let Elena stop me from setting your ass on fire all the way rather than the singe you experienced."

"Caroline was a threat, I was trying to contain the problem as best I could." He explained as he settled back into his original stance against the porch railing.

"You have so little regard for human life." Bonnie yelled in frustration.

"Caroline isn't human anymore." Damon reminded her harshly and taking advantage of her momentary silence he continued on. "Now listen firestarter, you tired to kill me, I tried to kill you, so I would say that makes us even. I am willing to start over with a clean slate." Damon negotiated another attempt at a truce of sorts between the two of them, which was more than he could say for anyone else who tried to kill him as most never lived to tell the tale. He could still feel the heat of the flames licking up his body as he had tried in vain to extinguish it. The fact that he was here and attempting to play nice with the little witch spoke volumes in his mind. He hoped she was smart enough to realize that there were not many he was willing to allow such leniencies to and he sure as hell didn't offer an olive branch often the way he was currently.

"No way in hell! You still owe me for saving you. Twice."

"Twice!" He exclaimed. "How do you figure?"

"Once in the woods when Stefan was going ballistic the night of the Founders Day ball and then from the fire in the basement that John Gilbert started."

"I could have handled Stefan and technically if you hadn't lied about taking the spell off of the device I never would have been in that basement. However, I do understand why you did it. It is what I would have done had I been in your position."

"I am nothing like you." Bonnie hissed, not liking that comparison at all.

"Of course you are. You proved it with your little temper tantrum the other night at the carnival. You were emotional, distraught even and you took it out on the first person you could. It is not so different from when I attacked you right after Emily destroyed the crystal when she possessed your body. I never stopped to think, I just reacted when I went after you even though technically I was really seeing Emily at the time. Loss can do crazy things to your head and make you act out in ways you normally wouldn't." Damon reasoned.

There was no way Bonnie would ever acknowledge out loud that there was some truth in what he said. She had been so overcome with grief to find out about Caroline's condition that she hadn't considered what she had been doing. She just reacted to all of the emotions building inside of her but that didn't mean that Damon was innocent and there had not been a need to teach him a lesson.

"I set you on fire because you have absolutely no respect for humanity, for human life. An innocent boy had just died and you made a crass joke about it."

"But I did not kill him, now did I? I have not spilled any innocent blood and that was our deal, was it not witch?" Damon challenged.

"You were going to kill Caroline without ever giving her the chance to live." Bonnie reminded him.

"She was out of control; you saw the boy's body." He fired back at her unsympathetically. "Did you want to risk more innocent people? I certainly didn't."

"Do not make it sound like you care about this town or the people in it. You do not care who or what destroys it."

"That may have been true once upon a time but things are different now."

"I am not Elena, Damon; I am not fooled by your words."

"I know you are not but I am hoping to prove you wrong. I am not as bad as you think little witch." He couldn't explain why it was important to him that Bonnie keep an open mind about him but for some reason it was. He wasn't asking for her immediate acceptance of him, he just wanted her to agree to give him a chance. He couldn't help but respect the way she courageously stood up against him, that she wasn't willing to give him a free pass. He hasn't met many people who challenge him the way Bonnie Bennett does. She wasn't the girl he had once cornered in the parking lot of her school like a lost kitten. In the past few months, or more accurately by circumstances beyond her control Bonnie has grown up to be a fierce lioness, someone he could appreciate and maybe even at times admire though he would never admit that out loud. Having her on his side would definitely make life so much easier and he wasn't afraid to work for her trust if given a fair chance. That is all he was asking for in this case.

"Really?" Bonnie offered him a bitter laugh. "Attempting to snap Jeremy's neck for no reason other than you had a bad day. That screams evil to me."

Caught off guard, Damon had nothing to say in defense of that. He should have known Elena would have tattled on him to the little witch. There was no way he could put into words how much his head had been screwed with from the events of Katherine's return, combined with Elena's rejection, not that he was inclined to analyze his mental state of mind with Bonnie. He should have anticipated Elena running her mouth off to her best friend. It irritated him that there seemed to be no room for shades of gray with the witch, everything was black or white, right or wrong. If only the world were really that simple. Bonnie may claim to know who she was but that didn't mean she had a handle on the people around her. She still had a lot to learn as far as he was concerned.

"Jeremy is fine though and there is no point in dwelling on past events. We have three important facts to focus on right now. The main one being to keep Caroline safe and in control of her cravings. The second one is to find out why Katherine is really here and get her the hell out of our town. Thirdly, we need to figure out why Tyler and Mayor Lockwood were affected by the device as well as what is up with Mason Lockwood's timely arrival."

It annoyed her to no end that Damon was right on all three counts. She sighed heavily in defeat, knowing she was going to have to align herself with the devil she knew in order to protect her beloved town and the residents in it. "What can I do to help?"

"You can start with Caroline. Stefan is working with her on her bloodlust. But she could really use your support. She really needs you right now. She thinks you hate her."

"What? No! I don't, I couldn't, I just hate what has happened to her, what she has been forced to become." A flash of Caroline's pleading face smeared with blood flashed through her mind. Bonnie recalled that even though the heartbreak had been evident in Caroline's tone, Bonnie had barely been able to look at her let alone offer reassure or comfort of any kind. Recalling her reaction to one of her best friends most terrifying moments filled her with immense shame. Now that she was forced to reflect on it, she realized she was better than that and it was imperative that she make it up to Caroline in some way.

"Then explain that to her. Be there for her. This is a very scary time for her right now and she needs all the help she can get. She needs to maintain as much connection to her old life as possible. There are very few of us who actually chose to become a vampire Judgey."

His words surprised her. His show of empathy shocked her as she hadn't thought him capable of anything like displaying compassion for someone else. The tone and vulnerability in his voice snuck beneath her guard enough to cause her to ask him without thinking, "was it scary for you?"

Damon shrugged. "At least I had Stefan to go through it with." From the illumination that the porch light behind her provided he recognized a softness in her eyes that he had never seen directed at him before and it unnerved him, it made him want to share the traumatic experiences of when he first became the monster she hated. Damon shoved the impulse away and kept the lock firmly in place on the switch that kept anything that felt close to his lost humanity in check.

"Now Caroline has you and Stefan though."

"It is not the same. She still needs her best friend. She is also going to need a day walking ring."

Bonnie shook her head immediately. "No! I will be there for her the best that I can but I will not enable her to hurt someone else like she did Carter." Bonnie shuddered as an unbidden image entered her mind of Carter laying in the back of that truck with this throat ripped out and blood covering so much of his lifeless body.

"Who is Carter?" Damon asked confused.

Bonnie sighed and any benevolence she may have been feeling towards Damon disappeared just like that. "Carter is the guy who you compelled to pick a fight with Tyler to provoke a response from Mason. He is also the young guy Caroline killed."

"Found out about that did you?" Damon asked not showing an ounce of remorse which only served to harden Bonnie's resolve even further.

"I always do Damon." Bonnie promised.

He would do well to remember that. "It did prove that there is something off about Mason. But let's not get off track Judgey, Caroline needs a ring and I think by you spelling one for her would, it go a long way in showing her you have faith in her." When Bonnie remained silent Damon pressed a little more. "Emily spelled mine and Stefan's rings; it is almost like a Bennett tradition."

"She did?" Bonnie asked surprised by this tidbit of information.

"Yes," Damon confirmed, noticing her sudden interest on that point.

"I will think about it." Bonnie finally conceded.

Damon nodded knowing that was a start and Stefan would wear her down until she consented to do it. He recognized the curiosity in her eyes and realized that she was dying to know more about Emily, about her family's history. He made a note of that for a future bargaining chip with the witch. These days he seemed to need all the help he could get to keep an edge with her, she was becoming quite powerful as the days passed. She had a huge legacy to live up to and she was well on her way to achieving the greatness of her ancestors. He knew it was only a matter of time before she surpassed it as Emily had predicted all those years ago. He wondered if Bonnie knew the course set for her destiny but with no Bennett around to guide her, he was inclined to think not. For now it served a purpose, mainly his, to keep her in the dark.

"So what are your plans for the Lockwoods and Katherine?" Bonnie inquired reluctantly.

"Since Katherine came back for Stefan I am going to let him handle the bitch while I focus on the Lockwoods."

"What can I do to help?"

"Just focus on Caroline for now since Stefan and I are going to be busy solving those annoying mysteries. I am sure we are going to need you once we have things figured out."

"I am sure you will. It makes me wonder how you have survived this long without a witch by your side all these years."

"Who says I haven't?" Damon asked with a grin, thinking back to his most recent witch Bree but there was no need to tell Bonnie about the fact that he killed her during their last encounter in Georgia. He and Bonnie seemed to be making a bit of progress; he would be a fool to ruin it with the truth. "There is no need to be jealous though BonBon, out of all the witches I have known I can honestly say that no one compares to you." He said with his trademark smirk.

Bonnie could feel her blood starting to boil; she should be used to this feeling by now since it always seemed to happen whenever she was in the presence of Damon Salvatore. She was tempted to give him a brain aneurysm; she knew she could get away with it given their semi-secluded surroundings. Instead Bonnie took a few deep breaths, deciding to give him a temporary reprieve since he was being fairly decent to Caroline and he had played a considerable part in reminding her of the simple fact that actions had consequences despite all of her good intentions. The irony was not lost on her that it was Damon Salvatore, the man who seemed to face no consequences at all, that was emphasizing this to her. Who knew he was capable of having such an enlightening conversation with no agenda as far as she could tell. "That much is obvious since nobody else has been smart enough to set your ass on fire the way I have. Am I seriously the only woman on the planet immune to your so called charms?"

"No one is immune to me Bennett, not even you." Damon replied flirtatiously, happy to be on familiar ground with her once again. There was no one he enjoyed bantering with more since the witch matched him so evenly with her wit.

Bonnie rolled her eyes, the vampire was absolutely impossible. "Shall I give you a headache as a reminder of just how deep my affection runs for you?" Bonnie asked in a sweet voice, batting her eyes innocently at him.

Damon laughed at her cheekiness. "That won't be necessary. I barely recovered from the last demonstration of your fondness for me."

Bonnie didn't make any effort to hold back her own satisfied smirk. She was very pleased to hear she had made a strong impression on him during their previous meeting. "Good choice since there is no one here to save you this time."

Damon grinned once again as Bonnie amused him greatly despite the fact that she was making jokes of his near death experience at her hands or rather powerful young mind.

Refusing to be distracted by his devastating smile Bonnie suddenly turned serious. "Just so we are clear, we may be linked by our responsibility to Caroline and forced to work together to look out for her and those that matter to us, but that does not make us friends. I still hate you and everything you stand for." Bonnie informed him.

"I wouldn't have it any other way little witch. Ironically your hate is the one constant in my life."

Bonnie ignored the unexpected twinge of sadness his admission inspired in her. She refused to allow herself to feel for the unstable homicidal vampire, he left too much destruction in his wake and she refused to be another casualty by letting her guard down. She didn't want to see another side of Damon. If she did she was afraid she would become confused about who he was, which would cause her to question everything she had built her beliefs around lately. Her life was complicated enough without the added confusion that came with Damon Salvatore. There were too many people in their circle who made excuses for the way he behaved, she would not be one of them even if her role often isolated her from the only family she had left, her best friends.

"So I can tell our daughter that you will be stopping by tomorrow then. Perhaps if the visitation goes well we can discuss shared custody of the Vampire Barbie."

"Damon!" Bonnie exclaimed not bothering to disguise her exasperation.

Damon grinned, pleased with her response as the young witch had been looking far too serious for his liking. "Good night Judgey."

"Good-bye Homicidal." Bonnie said as she watched him make his way down the steps and off her property before seeking comfort in the shelter of her quiet house. Her encounter with Damon left her strangely unsettled and conflicted but she refused to think about him now that he was out of sight. It had been a long day, hell it had been a long week and dealing with him just enhanced the exhaustion she had already been feeling before he showed up. Knowing she needed to be refreshed for the day to come, Bonnie headed up to bed determined to put everything vampire related behind her for the next eight hours. She wouldn't realize until morning that her subconscious had other ideas as a certain annoying blue eyed vampire would invade her dreams all night long. It was not the first time, nor would it be the last as she would eventually discover.

Damon grinned as he walked off into the night pleased with all that he had accomplished. He was satisfied with the results of their latest encounter considering how things had been left between them the last time. At least this time she had said good-bye rather than just rudely disappearing in such an emotional state. Who knew that the two of them could actually carry on a real conversation without a referee being present? He really hadn't thought it possible given his previous track record with her. Bonnie had truly surprised him tonight as he hadn't expected her to be so receptive to anything he had to say. There were not many people who could surprise the 145 year old vampire but Bonnie Bennett was one of them. It was one of the reasons he found her so fascinating, not that he planned on confiding that little detail to anyone. Things were definitely progressing and he suddenly felt lighter than he had the past couple of days. Now that he was back on solid ground with his favorite witch again, he was free to focus on the next pressing matter...The Lockwoods.

AN2: Thank you for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts…good or bad. Please review. :D