oh, i'd be your man

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Damon does everything he possibly can to make Caroline believe he's truly in love with her. He's slow, generally speaking, so it definitely took him awhile to realize that when her eyes bore into his and his stomach did this stupid flipping thing, he wasn't just experiencing lust. When he called her "Blondie" it wasn't to be mean, it was because...well, to him it's endearing. He's a backwards man, okay? He's not like Stefan who can show up to a random girl's (Elena, cough) house and completely win her over. He has to work at it, but when he wants it, her, he'll be damned, staked, and burned if he doesn't get her. So, he waits. He waits for Caroline to get over her werewolf stint, he waits for her to do something stupid again so he can swoop in and be her hero. He's done it time and time again, and what has Tyler done?

Not a damn thing. Sure, he was there once, once when Damon had literally no idea that Caroline had been kidnapped and chained up by her own father. But you better believe Damon knocked Bill around a bit, much to Caroline's dismay, but whatever. She'd tossed him against the wall, pissed as hell and vampire-faced. Honestly, you'd think she'd get the hint that he was just looking out for her. It could have been worse, he later tells her, I could have killed him. Of course, then having the chance to pin her against a desk with his knees on either side of her hips was a plus for him, but it wasn't like they were going to have tumble in the sheets later or anything. Anyway, she positively reeked of werewolf sex.

But anyway, yes, he's stupidly in love with that annoying, tiny, spunky, blonde hair having teenage vampire. She gets under his skin. She pulls at his heartstrings and if she wasn't so adorable he'd probably kill her to save himself all of the trouble. You see, Damon's pretty sure Caroline is attracted to him. And to be honest, who isn't? Even Bonnie-I'm-a-saint-not-a-sinner checks him out every so often. So, sure, she's attracted to him, and she might have loved him once (he kind of wants to stake himself or something because he had her once, and when he thought he loved his brother's girl and that evil slut vampire that won't leave him be, he let her go. Hell, they could have been married with a dog or something by now. He needs a drink.), but now she's so wrapped up around Tyler Lockwood that whenever Damon sees him and he's driving, he seriously considers running him over. But he doesn't need to go to jail for manslaughter, he's too pretty.

As previously stated, he waits. He waits until Tyler fucks himself over and plants one on Rebekah, which Caroline doesn't take kindly to. She kicks him out of her bed and her heart. Tyler bitches and moans but she's putting her foot down, damn it. Tyler runs off with Rebekah and blah blah blah and Elena's too busy staking Stefan to his salvation to notice that Caroline's hybrid boyfriend has just committed the biggest no-no in the book. So Damon swoops in.

He doesn't bother knocking on her door, he just walks in. She's sitting on the couch, watching some chick flick and snotting into a tissue. With a sigh, he plops down onto the couch beside her and hands her a spoon and the Ben and Jerry's he'd swiped from Elena's. She gives him a funny look, but takes the ice cream. They sit in silence for a few minutes. Her sobs quiet down, and she sits up a little straighter and wipes a hand over her eyes. The ice cream carton is almost empty, and he thinks he might have done something right.

"What are you doing here?" she asks as they watch the girl in the movie sob her heart out about some boy or something stupid.

"I was in the neighborhood." is all he says.

Damon doesn't miss her lifting the Ben and Jerry's carton to hide her growing smile.

"So, what do girls do when they're sad?" Damon wonders. "Do they just sit around and cry?"

Caroline rolls her eyes at him and continues leafing through the rack of clearance summer dresses. "No, we don't just sit around and cry, god. I don't, at least." she rambles, "I mean, yeah, I cry a lot, but not over some loser who cheated on me. Ugh, can you imagine? I'd be worse than Bella Swan." she goes on and one after that, shaking her head, and he's pretty sure she's talking more to herself than him, but he listens intently. Mostly because he thinks it's hilarious when she calls Tyler names and comes up with creative ways to torture him.

Caroline hands him a stack of dresses and leads him to the dressing rooms. She models for him, and because he's being polite, he keeps his lude and crude comments to himself. But let it be known that he's going to get drunk tonight and forget all of the mental pictures of her modeling nude for him.

Later, when she's paid for everything and they're walking back to his car, she catches his elbow, and with a completely serious face that's so unlike her, she says, "Thanks for coming with me tonight. I don't really know why I asked you. I guess it's just that everyone seems to be too busy for me lately." her lips form a pout, and if she still wasn't bent on what Tyler did to her, he'd probably ravish her against his car.

But instead, he just shrugs and says, "Not a problem. Didn't have anything else to do."

Alaric laughs at him, "You're dumb. Why don't you just tell her?"

It's prom.

She doesn't have a date.

No one asked her.

When she shows up at the boarding house, Damon's not surprised. Lately, they've spent everyday together. She walks in, ducking under his arm that's resting against the doorjamb. Immediately, she asks him if he wants to get drunk.

Of course he does.

So they get trashed, and she's bitching and moaning about no one wanting her and he just wants to tell her. But he can't. Not yet. She's falls asleep on the couch beside him so he calls her mother, alerts the masses as to where she is, and carries her up to his room. As they cross the threshold and she presses her nose into his neck, he doesn't bother hiding his giddy smile.

Tyler's an idiot.

When he comes back to Mystic Falls and he's Rebekah-less, he expects Caroline to fall all over him again. But luckily for Damon, that's not the case. When he shows up at Caroline's house and he's met with Liz Forbes' shotgun, he turns tail and runs to the next place he thinks she'd be: Elena's. Ballsy little Gilbert slams the door in his face, tells him to go to hell, and flips him off through the window while Jeremy laughs his ass off and doesn't look up from his video game. He goes to Bonnie's next, and she threatens to put a curse on him if he doesn't get the hell off of her front porch. When he gets to the boarding house, the newly restored Stefan lets him in just to torture him a little bit.

Tyler walks through the house and follows the sounds of Caroline's laughter. He's met with a happy, bubbly looking Caroline and a smiling Damon. They're in the kitchen, and Caroline's got cake batter streaked across her nose, and Damon's covered in chocolate frosting. They're laughing, and they don't even notice he's standing in the doorway. He leaves before they can notice him.

In the end, he's had enough. Everyone knows. Stefan, Elena, Ric, Bonnie, Jeremy, even her mother knows.

But she doesn't.

So, he does what he does best and he violates her personal space one day when they're at the Grill, and when everyone's looking and she's not expecting it, he kisses her. She's in the middle of saying something about how boy's are stupid to Elena and Bonnie a few booths away, and he hops down from his bar stool, strides forward, leans across Elena and Bonnie, cups her face, and brings his lips to hers. He can feel her rise out of her seat, her fingers closing over his as she kisses him back. She gasps into his mouth and Bonnie mutters, "Jesus Christ, get a room."

Elena giggles. "I think it's cute." she whispers, but Damon and Caroline aren't paying attention. Every patron in the bar is staring at the pair, some with shocked looks, others with "it's about time" looks.

After what feels like hours, Damon pulls away, and before he can chicken out, he says, "I love you."

Caroline giggles, biting her swollen lips. "I know." she says.

Huh. Well. Maybe she did know.

fin.