85% chance I like all of this.

Title from Liar by Mumford & Sons.


oh this love that i've found, i detest.

"Not to spoil the ending for you, but everything is going to be okay." She'd offer a slight smile in return if she couldn't hear the terrible smirk in his voice. It's so like him to downplay any real problems she has going on in her life; he doesn't care. If it has nothing to do with Elena or getting Elena to talk to him or cornering Elena in the Grill then he doesn't really care. So frankly, she doesn't appreciate his remarks.

He chuckles humorlessly when she tells him this.

She grinds her teeth together, lets the sound cause her nausea for a minute before she breathes in slowly through her nose and out through her mouth. She squeezes her eyes closed tight and tries very hard not to throw him across the room. But she's trying something new –normalcy. The last normal thing she did was go to a stupid high school dance looking like Mrs. Onassis and fuck that if she ends up having to look into Matt's sad eyes again. Fuck it, this is new, this is normal –ignoring a complete asshole. People do it everyday, normal people. She is normal.

"Oh, Blondie, please do tell what thoughts boggle your mind." He knocks out a beat on the old wooden table before he sits in the open seat facing her. He's smirking when he slumps down in the chair, crosses his arms over his chest, and allows his long legs to invade her space under the table. His boots knock against the smooth skin of her crossed ankles and it's so annoying; him touching her, being here. And is he never not smirking anymore? God.

"Go away, Damon."

His head falls back and she can tell he rolls his eyes before he looks at her again. "Now Blondie, why would I want to do that?"

The pencil she's holding between her thumb and index fingers lays slack against the table and she bites the inside of her cheek as she slowly starts drumming the pencil against the wood. "I have bigger problems that don't involve you that I need to worry about. I need not worry about moments where you're a patronizing asshole."

He sighs and looks around the room. It's quiet here, bookshelves almost reaching the ceiling, the stench of old library books on your clothes. He can almost see a light bulb going off in his kid's head.

He completely ignores her statement and her request for him to leave. He looks back at her after minutes of staring at others with disgust, "God why are you here?"

"I need quiet. This is a library. They have quiet here. I was having quiet here until you showed up. And how did you get here? Following me, Damon." She takes in a sharp breath and blows her bangs out of her face when she releases it. She looks at him again. "It's so like you to follow someone. I did always think you had to potential to mildly cree-"

"Oh my God, will you shut up." His tone is harsh and intimidating, sharp as a knife, just like his eyes when she looks into them. "I never said I followed you here. And so what if I did? I'm a vampire, Blondie. I could smell the stench of dog on you before I could smell the stench of sixteenth century books on the back shelves. It wouldn't be hard to find your anywhere smelling like that. So calm down." He's leaning forward in his seat, his arms pressed against the table, so close his breath is hitting her in the face.

Her eyes are a little wide, she'll admit, and it'll really suck if her mouth's hanging open like she suspects it is. His voice hardened so suddenly and he was in her face before she could even think straight, of course she's a little taken aback.

He stands and leaves after that. She can hear his foot steps all the way to his car then she hears the roar of the engine and the screeching brakes as he pulls off quickly. She's sitting there alone again, the old librarian at the counter sneaking glances at her often, and she's even more confused than ever. She's positive she didn't get any answers from him or even the slightest bit of a reason as to why he was here talking to her.

With her brow knitted, she quickly grabs her bag, and leaves. And she can't even remember the last time she was around Tyler or any other wolf. She doesn't smell.

–;

The next time she sees him he dances around her. No, really. She even rolls her eyes a little and it's such a normal thing for her to do she's mostly proud of herself. It reminds her of some scene from a really overrated movie where the woman comes home from work to find her husband's been in the kitchen all day cooking her the perfect dinner and when she walks in he comes up to her, dish towel in his hand, and spins around her after planting a kiss on her cheek. Yeah, she's sure she's seen a movie like that. She's not just imagining things.

It doesn't even happen like that between them. There's no dish towel and no dinner and she hasn't been at work, there's no kiss and they are most definitely not married. So maybe it's nothing like some scene from some stupid movie she may or may not have ever seen. Except for the spin thing, he did do that.

And she did roll her eyes; she almost played along even. But not really because still, after all this time, she hates him all the same no matter how charming or how soft spoken he is at times. She hates him now and she'll hate him always.

Anyway.

He spins around her and murmurs something repulsive in her ear just because he can. She scoffs at him because she can.

"What're you doing here, Blondie?" He asks, leaning against the counter, arms crossed over chest, brow furrowed.

She steps around the room slowly, turns around slowly looking at everything. She faces him again and barely smiles, "I thought this is what we do. You know, show up randomly wherever the other person is. Oh Damon, you know!" She's faking it, even lays her hand over her heart like she's really offended by his confusion. "Isn't that what we do? Stalk people." She pauses, "Oh, wait. That's what you do."

He merely rolls his eyes at her and sets his mug of coffee into the sink. She never noticed he even was drinking anything.

"No, really, Stalker. What did you want at the library? Why'd you follow me, Damon?" Her tone is serious, her face hard, hard eyes, set jaw.

"Blondie, I told you. I didn't follow you, the smell of dog merely led the way." He smiles shortly.

"You are the worst liar since me, pre-vampire. You know I haven't been around a wolf in like ages. I smell like fresh dandelion 24/7, thank you very much."

He rolls his eyes again and she's really getting sick of that.

"What Elena still off with Stefan, not paying you any attention? Decide you'd torment someone else?"

She doesn't even flinch when he's in her face and she can barely hear him say "Get out of my house, Caroline."

She crosses her arms, purses her lips, stares at his face in disgust. "Gladly." Then she leaves.

–;

She's really gotta get this whole normalcy thing down to a T. She thinks maybe she's slacking.

Or maybe she's just not meant for normal anymore.

No, she tells herself, she will be normal. She will be normal and seventeen and do whatever she would have done if Damon hadn't fed her his blood. Dude's a total mood killer, like, really.

–;

So she goes to a party with some girl she's sure she used to be friends with when Bonnie and Elena were off being best friends without her. She reminds herself all night that the girl's name is Lacy. Lacy, Lacy, Lacy and don't forget Caroline!

She only forgets when she's had way too much to drink and she laughingly calls her the wrong name. Who cares anyway.

She drinks more JD than anyone else and she totally feels some guy hard against her when she's in the middle of the crowd.

Seventeen feels pretty good for a while.

–;

Then she's home and she's sad; feels neglected even.

She tries to remember where Elena is this week and if Bonnie said she would talk to her today or tomorrow. What time is it, again?

She falls back onto her bed with a huff, rubs at her temples when she senses a potential headache, and groans when she realizes she left her bedside lamp on. God, so bright.

Then there's a breeze blowing in from her window and she has to stop leaving that thing open because lo and behold Damon's standing right inside her room, leaning against the wall.

She can barely see him, either because he's hidden in the shadows or her vision is still really blurry, she doesn't know. But he is there because the air is stale and the breeze isn't helping her breathe and that's all his fault. It just is.

"What are you doing, Caroline?" He slowly steps out of a shadow, definitely a shadow. She thinks she should be asking him that but she answers anyway.

"Trying to be seventeen."

"You've got your whole life to be seventeen." And he means it and that's the drama about this whole thing – she still can't get over having to be seventeen forever, that's not normal.

"Correction: I'm trying to be normal." She holds one finger up towards him as she speaks, it dangles for a moment before she drops it back onto the bed. She hasn't looked up at him yet, is still staring at her ceiling, feet touching the floor, leather jacket digging into her side.

"Oh, Blondie." He says it slow, drags out both words as he walks from the window to her bed. She feels it dip when he's finally settled. His knee brushes against her thigh a little and she unknowingly touches the spot after he's moved his knee. The place is hot and she tries not to let it distract her from being whatever. "You're not cut out for normalcy, don't you know?"

She thinks 'obviously not' but doesn't say anything, just sighs a little. Then she feels him beside her. She peeks one eye open to see he's laid back beside her. His leather jacket touching her leather jacket, his leg pressed against her leg, his smell never going to leave her sheets.

She opens both eyes and suddenly she's all sobered up, or like, almost there. And she doesn't know how that happened so fast, but it did; just like she doesn't know when they started being around one another often, it just happened.

She hears his light breathing and it's almost put her to sleep when all of a sudden he doesn't take in another breath, starts talking instead. His voice is low, right above a whisper, when he speaks. "You don't need normalcy, Caroline. You're just fine the way you are." And fuck, no one's ever said that to her before. And she's not being dramatic and exaggerating. No one's ever said she's okay the way she is and she thinks if she didn't hate him the way she does, she could probably love him a little for saying that. Shit, she just may love him for it or something.

She takes in a sharp breath and turns her head towards him. She stares at his face; soft lips, perfect skin, closed eyes, relaxed. She turns her head back straight, stares at the ceiling for a little while longer, and tries not to think about how everything kind of depends on what happens next or something major like that.

When she finally speaks she sounds so small and maybe a little more broken than she'd like, so she curses herself for not being stronger and clears her throat. Her voice is still only above a whisper when she says, "You too, Damon. You're fine the way you are, too." She's sure he hears it loud and clear though.

He doesn't say anything at first, just lays there. But then his hand falls from off his stomach to the space between them on the bed and she swears she can feel him inching it closer to her.

Her skin is on fire when he runs his thumb over the back of her hand, smoothing over her knuckles, touching the straight line of her fingernails, and dipping to the other side to touch her palm light as a feather.

She holds her breath until he's finished. But then she doesn't think he's going to stop so she eases herself back into regular intakes of air. She doesn't even know why she feels this way. Yeah, he's probably the most handsome person she has ever laid eyes on and just by his looks alone he had her wrapped around his finger the day he met her. He's gorgeous and he has these moments like this when he's not a total pain in everyone's ass and he's careful and sincere and holy shit, she does know why she feels this way. Oh god, she wishes she didn't.

He's on his side suddenly, running the back of his hand over her cheek softly, staring at her face. She opens her eyes again and stares back at him and just like that her breathing is rugged again and her skin's on fire and oh my God why does she allow herself to feel like this?

She doesn't even hesitate when he kisses her, she just kisses back.

–;

She mostly tries to forget what happened with Damon. But mostly she keeps replaying it in her head and starts getting hot and it's so embarrassing that she's allowed herself to be wrapped up in him or whatever. She doesn't even know. She hates him with a fiery burning passion sent all the way from hell, she's supposed to. He's an ass. Mostly to her, all the time.

She pushes away the moments when he's totally everything she's ever wanted in a guy. She cannot be thinking about that now, or ever.

–;

That does not mean she doesn't. Because, oh god, she thinks about it all the time and she's so freaking confused.

–;

She doesn't knock when she gets to the boarding house. She almost feels like she's barging in on something potentially important; well she is barging in but not on anything important. Nothing goes on in this house, now that everyone but Damon decided to leave Mystic Falls.

He must hear the click of her boots against the hardwood as she's walking away from closing the big door. He's at the end of the stairs when she looks up. He's holding a glass of scotch in his left hand and his right is holding onto the banister.

"Well, well. Look what we have here. Special occasion? Or just dropping by because you need your fill of me?" She can hear the sexual innuendo a freaking mile away but decides to ignore it. There he is back to his old asshole self. Never changing, always trying to forget.

She's standing in front of him in a flash and she can tell it surprises him because he leans back a little. In another flash she has him pressed against the nearest wall, some of the scotch sloshing out of the glass. He's taken off guard by it again and she wonders what's up with his reaction time lately because any other time he would have her up against the wall with clenched teeth and hard eyes. Now he's just standing there, the edge of a picture frame jabbing him in his back, sipping at the scotch as she holds some of his shirt bunched up in her hands. She lets go when she notices, smooths out the potential wrinkles it'll leave and looks up at him.

He's smiling a little cockily, downs the rest of his scotch, and looks down at her hands still laying on his chest. "Can I help you?" He asks condescendingly.

She shakes her head a little and it makes her feel dumb. But not nearly as dumb as crashing her lips against his and like holding on for dear life or something. That's worse and so much like a fucking cookie-cutter kid movie, she can't even handle it.

–;

She and Damon never get moments after the big climax. It's always the moment then nothing. She's always let down and/or searching for more and he never, ever gives her everything, just enough for her to curse at herself right before she lets him kiss her again.

They always get the good stuff followed by the terrible moments where she doesn't know if she should leave right after the sex or stay put and she's always wondering if he's thinking about Elena and that just fucking grosses her out so she ends up leaving, always, feeling like the other girl or something royally fucked up.

–;

When his head's between her legs and she moans his name she feels like she's given up some part of her that she'll never get back. And it's kind of funny in some light because she gave up a lot of herself a long time ago when she became a vampire.

Sometimes she's just so foolish she has to look away when she's in front of a mirror.

–;

He's in her face again and she thinks this is all they do with one another. It's always push and pull and push, push, push, fall and ouch, that hurts. And she remembers why she hates him, always.

"Damon." She breathes out slowly.

"Sweet Caroline." He rubs her cheek with the back of his index finger, breath touching hers, eyes staring, staring, staring.

She closes her eyes and tries to steady her breathing. She reaches out for him, any part of him she can get. She wants to hold onto this – him, normalcy, love – for as long as ever.

–;

But Caroline doesn't get forever or happily ever after.

She thinks he fucking lied when he said everything turns out okay in the end.

Nothing ends well for her. And that's the only normal thing she'll ever get.