PNEUMA

Just like an exhausted child, Elena slid into his arms with such a beautiful amount of comfort and security, he believed that holding her like this was could make him genuinely content. A feeling he hadn't experienced in much too long. It was all simply perfect, and Damon merely stood there for a moment with her face snuggled into the crook of his neck, and her legs draped loosely around his waist.

Honestly, he longed for it to never end, and so he forced every second to feel like an eternity, knowing that there weren't often excuses in which he was able to hold her like this.

In fact, he didn't believe that there'd ever been one at all.

Or, while she was still conscious, at least.

Eventually, however, he decided that they'd better leave before the people on the outside got too suspicious of their prolonged bathroom activities. Normally, he would have enforced any thoughts that might have gone through a few wandering stranger's heads, in fact, if she was healthy he'd probably try and convince her to stay put just a bit longer, but this was not the time for thinking like that. Most certainly not the time…

Walking out among the crowd of unfamiliar faces, he could instantly feel the mocking eyes of strangers following them as they moved across the room. The sensation was unsettling at best, for he almost felt violated, which was unusual for him, but he figured it was mostly because of the looks on their faces.

Disdain.

He didn't even need to lift his glance to know.

They'd be mocking her, and he understood that. They'd think that it was alcohol that made her this way. They'd think that it was her fault she ended up like this, that she didn't respect herself…

He kept his eyes to the ground, knowing if he looked up, he'd probably snap on one of them.

The walk across the small, simple space felt like it went on forever, and when he reached the door, he paused.

"Hey, I'm gonna' pull this up over your head, alright?" He felt the need to warn her about what he was going to do before he actually moved his hand away from the back of her head. What would startle her right now was far beyond him, and he didn't need her squirming around in his arms.

"Mkay." She mumbled, her warm breath brushing along his collarbone.

Damon shifted slightly, taking the collar of the jacket that he'd previously wrapped around her shoulders, and slowly tugging it up so it covered the top of her head. She didn't seem to protest, and so with that, he pushed through the door. The rain hadn't let up at all since he'd entered the place, but at least she was covered enough to not be completely drenched in it by the time they reached the car. That was all that mattered.

Carefully, upon opening the passenger's side door, he lowered her into the empty seat.

"Where're you going…?" She questioned upon detangling herself from him.

"Just around to the driver's side door, Elena."

"Oh."

The amount of disorientation that gripped her mind was upsetting. Never had he seen her this out of it. Not once. And as much as he wished to bombard her with piles of questions to get as much information about what had happened as he possibly could, Damon decided that it could wait. It would have to.

"So you must be the guy she kept talking about."

This voice was different. Sudden. Deeper and unfamiliar. It was that unfamiliarity, though, caused him to spin around so fast, that he nearly toppled right over himself, and he glared at the new presence that stood before him.

It was a boy. He couldn't have been any older than twenty-two, and like he expected, Damon had never seen him before in his life. Curiosity instantly overwhelmed him, and he opened his mouth a few times before he actually managed to spit something out.

"Who are you?" Damon raised his eyebrows and took a step forward, as if almost challenging the stranger.

"I'm the reason you had to save your little girlfriend there."

Freeze.

"What did you just say?" His voice was thick and dripping in malice.

"You don't look as tough as she made you sound."

Right then and there, he snapped. He let it all go without a moment of hesitation, and in record speed, the kid was pinned up against the wall, Damon's fist clutching his collar, and his knuckles pressing hard into the base of his throat. He was seething. You could practically see the anger roll off his skin and he craned his neck to get his face only a few inches away from the other's.

"What the hell did you do to her?" He demanded, teeth clenched.

"She was hot and uninterested, so I slipped something in her drink." It was taking awhile, but the kid was finally starting to understand that he meant business. He was admitting what he'd done without even needing to be compelled, after all, so honestly, he mustn't be the brightest crayon in the box to start with.

"What was it?"

"Dunno."

"You're lying." Damon was losing patience quickly.

"I'm not. I swear. She should be fine by tomorrow. That's all I know."

Between them seeped a silence that only made the tension grow to a nearly unbearable extent. It was incredibly intimidating, but that's exactly what he wanted, and for the first time that evening, Damon felt as if he had everything where he wanted it.

"Did you touch her?" This was the most important this to him at the moment. He couldn't stand not knowing any longer.

"What?"

"You heard me. Did you touch her?" Suddenly, he shot out his free hand to snatch up the boy's wrist, "Did you lay either of your filthy, disgusting hands on her body?"

"I went after her, yeah, but it's not what you think. She was a tricky son of a bitch, even all drugged up. She got away from me… started screaming about how someone was going to came save her, and locked herself in the bathroom before I did any real damage."

That sent him over the edge, "You prick." Damon threw the kid to the ground and promptly picked him back up again, "I swear to God, if you ever - ever - lay another finger on anyone like that again, I will make it my first priority to hunt you down myself and rip your lungs out through your throat. Do we understand each other?"

Shaking, the other remained silent.

"I said, so we understand each other?" At this point he was practically screaming.

"Y-yes."

"Damn straight." He released his shirt and pivoted away on his heel. "And don't you ever think for a second that I won't be able to find you."

In a matter of seconds, Damon found himself sitting in the car beside Elena. The adrenaline and anger were still coursing through his veins, but he forced himself to regain some kind of composure around her. She looked so peaceful sitting there, half asleep, even though he knew it was some kind of mystery drug that made her this way.

Better by tomorrow, though… That's what he'd said.

Damon just hoped it was true.


There's something in my conscious that's screaming something about how this chapter can't possibly be perfect. I mean, I wrote it in like twelve hours. That's like a new record. So, make sure to point out any mistakes you can find so I can patch them up, alright? When I write quickly, even if I proofread it, I tend to overlook things.

I'm kind of proud of the dialogue, though... There's a few lines where I could hear Damon's awesome little voice as I read them over. I hope that happens for you, too. D: Normally I'm terrible at keeping people in character.

Anyway, I think there will be at least one more chapter, that I'll try to get up as soon as I can...