Title from San Francisco by Vanessa Carlton.


love, is dancing on my finger.

She's laying on the bed curled around him, her head pressed somewhere against his neck and chest, fingers absently running over the skin at his side. Her toes rub against his ankle, she can almost feel him shiver at the touch. Her hair's tickling the softness of his lips, his chest rising and falling with each breath he takes.

When she speaks her lips touch his skin softly, teasing, long lasting. "We're a lot like the kids I knew in high school." Her voice's a whisper; so low the wind outside rises just above it.

His fingers trail down her spine slowly, making her tense then relax suddenly all at once. "What – short-breathed and never ending?" She closes her eyes to the sound of his voice, snuggles and presses herself against him more.

She shakes her head a little, hearing her hair ruffle against his skin. "No," she says softly, "in love."

After she's said it she can feel him nudging at her side, his hands too strong pushing her off of him. She's laying back against her own pillow now, the sheet feeling cool against her back, the other effortlessly falling over top of her.

She hears him sigh and he's laying on his side now, facing her, hasn't moved. She thought he'd get up and run away from that. She looks to him; his hands pressed under his face, feet barely rubbing against hers. His eyes dance over her face quickly and often then down to her neck and back up to her mouth. She can feel his cool breath against her as he does so.

"Tell me about them." He says softly. The words don't sound like anything he'd ever say and yet she doesn't think they'd sound so good on anyone else. His voice is sincere and curious, and his brow is furrowed just enough to let her know he really wants her to continue.

She sighs, a small smile playing on her lips as she turns herself onto her side, facing him inches away. She lets out a short breath and it hits him right in the face. By the way he closes his eyes slowly, she knows he can smell the cherry chap stick from when she licked her lips moments ago. It makes her smile a little wider and then hide her face behind her arm.

When she looks back up he's staring at her – all soft eyes and bed head. He nudges her a little with his foot to get her talking. She feels so bashful and there's pink color on her cheeks. "Come on. What were they like?" He asks and she can hear the smile on his lips.

She clears her throat a little even though it didn't need it and looks down at the mattress. "Pretty." She looks up at him from behind her eyelashes, "They were pretty." The smile's on her lips again. "And sweet. And young. Definitely young."

He makes a small noise of acknowledgment and blinks slowly for a time or two. "And they were smeared popcorn butter on their fingertips from holding hands in the popcorn bucket, kisses on the cheek 'cause all the girls thought they were the best. And the guys were driving the girls home from school, laughing at shaky hands, smiling in school pictures. They were happy." She sighs for a moment and looks at him expectantly.

"Were they your favorite?" He asks after an almost slightly uncomfortable few minutes.

She knits her brow, lips pursed a little, confusion etched out on all her features.

He clarifies, "Kisses on the cheek. Were they your favorite too?" She smiles at him and nods her head quickly, "Yeah. Always have been."

He leans over unexpectedly and kisses her softly on her rosy cheek. "There." He whispers right beside her ear. She takes in a sharp breath and pulls away, looks right into his eyes and searches. "Damon." She finally breathes out, surprised.

"What? I can be sweet sometimes too, Caroline." His words are spoken softly and she thinks that's really all they've been with one another tonight – soft.

She just stares at him a beat longer and she thinks that's how she fell in love with him.

–;

"Don't you think it's odd that Damon and Caroline have been spending so much time together?" Before Stefan has a chance to reply, Damon is walking passed them and answering for him.

"You know, Elena, I find it almost certain that the dimensions of our relationship are none of your business." He knows she rolls her eyes and turns to Stefan.

He comes to her rescue and Damon knows it's something he's always going to do. "Damon, don't be so-"

"Keep your girl's leash a little tighter, Stefan." He says as he walks back passed them with a glass of scotch in one hand and a pat on Stefan's shoulder with the other.

Really, it's no one's business.

–;

She spits in his face when it's December and too cold outside for anyone to really think straight. His words are like venom when he talks to her and her eyes glaze over with something similar to heart ache and she really hates him for making her think they were more than just kisses on the cheek because he wanted on her good side. She was so sure they were more than that. She doesn't just imagine things. She doesn't do that anymore. Everything was real, it was real.

So she spits in his face because he says it never was and oh god, yes it is definitely something like heart ache that goes from the look in her eyes all the way to her chest and makes her her heart fucking hurt for a beat.

She's scared for a moment; that he'll attack her, sink his fangs into her neck, and destroy her like he always promised he wanted to do back when she was fresh and new and scared. He doesn't do anything but wipe away her saliva that's sliding down his cheek and she'd be totally grossed out by that if she could really see the look of disgust on his face – but she can't because she can't see passed the tears in her eyes and she can't think to wipe them away because she can't think when he's got her so messed up.

"This is all your fault," she sighs. "All your fault, Damon."

He scoffs, "of course it is, Care." And he's back to his soft voice and pretty bedroom eyes that she can never get away from – mostly because she doesn't want to – and she cannot handle this right now.

"Damon, no, stop." She wants him to be mad, to yell some more; she wants him to keep yelling and telling her it's all nothing, she's just so easy for him. She wants that, not to be crawling back to him because he's so fucking hard to resist. He should have never said anything so terrible in the first place.

"Care." He steps closer to her. The snow crunching beneath his feet, his breath visible in the air when he talks. "Come on." He lulls his head back in the direction of his car.

She follows him. And she tells herself it's because it's cold out and she doesn't want to have to walk home.

She really couldn't possibly tell you why she stays the night.

-;

Her hair falls in her face, covers her eyes and tickles her cheeks. She feels his hand touch her face as he pushes the hair back behind her ear. He rubs her earlobe between his thumb and index finger, trails his thumb down the side of her jaw, to her lips – the corner of them – and he slips his thumb into her mouth, runs it over the edge of her straight, pretty, white teeth.

"So pretty." He whispers against her forehead, where he's now got his mouth.

She leans herself up towards his mouth and catches his lips with hers. The kiss is rushed and she pulls at his bottom lip a little harder than usual and she hungrily searches for places to lay her hands.

When he pulls back for a minute to move down in the bed, she rubs her thumb over the skin of his cheek. "God," she says slightly out of breath, "you can't do things like that and then say that. You just can't." She catches his lips again and he's so warm next to her and beneath her when she climbs over onto his lap.

He chuckles and unclasps her bra.

–;

She can feel the stares as soon as she walks into the Grill. She simply rolls her eyes and sits at the bar, asks kindly for a gin and tonic and smiles when the bartender brings it to her.

She has it to her lips, can taste the alcohol when it touches her tongue and then there's someone standing beside her, sighing and sitting down.

"Hello."

"What are you doing with Salvatore?" He doesn't even make small talk, damn.

"That's none of your business, frankly." She sips more of her beverage and carelessly plays with the corner of her napkin, waiting for him to speak again.

He scoffs and she rolls her eyes bitterly. "I just thought you were smarter than that, Care." He takes a breath, "That's all."

"You don't know me, Donovan. You don't, not anymore." She finishes off her drink. "High school was a long time ago."

She pulls her leather jacket closer to her and doesn't even pay before she leaves.

–;

"You know we get stares from everyone, right?" She looks at him questioningly. "I mean even Elena."

"Yeah, so?" He retorts.

"I don't know. I just find it odd that everyone is so curious about our relationship, or you know, whatever this is." She motions to the space between them.

His eyes get soft and he's crawling over to where she's laying on the cold hardwood floor. "I don't care what anyone thinks, Blondie."

She smiles and kisses him quick. "Haven't heard that one in a while."

–;

She pushes him against the wall angrily.

With teeth clenched tight, smoke probably coming out of her ears, fire in her eyes, she stands in front of him with the fabric of his shirt bunched up in her hands.

"Don't push me, Damon."

He pries her fingers away from his shirt, smooths it out before looking back up at her with a roll of his eyes. "Oh, Blondie, calm down." He touches her shoulder in a way that feels so patronizing she could rip his throat out. "This is how we work best."

"No, Damon, this is how you push me to the edge then fucking latch onto me right before I'm about to fall so I feel like, grateful for you or something. It's so messed up. That works for you." She crosses her arms over her chest. "Not me."

"You act as if I can control how irresistible I am. I mean, come on Blondie, lets be serious." He crosses his arms over his chest and leans back against the wall, lets his feet hit against hers, then he smirks.

She groans and walks off.

Sometimes she just does not understand. One moment he's the complete asshole she hated when she first turned and then the next he's this sincere guy she can never really handle because he's so fucking sweet. It's like, in those moment when he kisses her softly, he forgets that he has this terrible reputation of being a narcissistic bastard. It's so unnerving because she wants every bit of him; the good and the bad parts.

–;

She's all poetry in the shower, head tilted back against the side of the tile, water cascading down and over her chest, water droplets drip drip dripping onto the floor.

She wipes a hand over her face and breathes out a quick sigh before she turns the water off and reaches out for a towel.

Instead she grabs hold of another hand and literally flips her shit. She screams like the girl she is and only stops when Damon's hand is over her mouth and she sees him stepping into the shower with her.

He turns the water back on and smirks.

"What are you doing?" She asks all breathy and distracted. He's naked and that never fails to hold most of her attention.

He pushes her against the wall gently and falls flush against her, only his arm propped up against the wall next to her head.

The water's so cold when she finally manages to get out of the shower, she shivers for three minutes straight while she towels off.

They share the same towel and he kisses her quick before he leaves her in the bathroom to get dressed.

She thinks that's probably all the apology she's going to get. And that's just fine.

–;

She and Damon are just about like some messed up romance novel her grandmother used to read lines from to her when she was younger. No, really. They're just like the characters; vampires and all. 'Cause grandmother was crazy in love with that shit and when she tells Damon and he laughs wholeheartedly, she can't help but smile.

She thinks they'll be okay.