Title: for the weight of us
Disclaimer: The show or characters ain't mine, ok?
Characters: Damon, Stefan
Genre: general, family
Word Count: 2,019
Summary: "Come on, Stef," he says, rising from his chair in a flash. "Let's go find us a good time." /-/ Moments in history where the Salvatore brothers meet, hang out, and shut out the rest of the world in the process.
Prompt: Written for upupa_epops (on LJ), who requested: Stefan and Damon (no incest), flashback fic. Scenes from different times. Getting more and more detached from reality and more and more attached to each other.
It's been a year and Damon misses his brother. The real Stefan, that is. The Stefan who always aimed for Damon's gut when he launched the football with all his might so that Damon would groan in slight pain and annoyance. The Stefan who would remain awake until the morning sun's rays broke through the clouds, listening to Damon's stories of the war. His brother – the only blood he had that actually gave a damn about him.
This new Stefan disturbs him. No longer the loyal confidant, this Stefan does not walk beside Damon, but dashes ahead of him, diving and swimming deep into a world of blood and mayhem and sadistic pleasure that Damon cannot understand. (This Stefan wants to take him by the hand, wants to explore this pool of pandemonium with his brother, but Damon was never a very good swimmer. One false move and he is sure he will sink to the bottom.)
He knows that Ms. Alexia is working with him, supposedly helping him fight the bloodthirsty creature inside.
He knows that he has promised Stefan an eternity of animosity and misery, promised to spit in Stefan's face every time he saw his own covered in human blood.
Damon is infuriated.
But above all, Damon knows that he is impatient.
He wants his brother back.
And so in 1865, with the tickle of the brisk air of an April morning, Damon treads the camps of the dying and drills his teeth into fevered, perspired skin.
Fangs retract and eyes turn crystal blue again, but something in Damon is different.
Racing back home, Damon is eager to share his newfound elation with his brother.
He waits for open arms and an excited smile, but he finds an empty house instead.
Ms. Alexia did what Damon could not; now he fears that he has lost Stefan forever.
The bottle of whiskey that hits his stomach tells Damon who is lurking in the shadows long before his eyes do.
"Hello, brother," he says, face up toward the sky, waiting for a figure to emerge. "Still haven't perfected your pitch, I see?"
Stefan strolls out of hiding, with a smirk that reaches ear to ear.
"Oh, is that any way to treat your long-lost baby brother?"
"Maybe." Damon shrugs, shoulders moving slightly beneath his tailored jacket.
Stefan slowly walks up to Damon, smirk still in place, and grabs the whiskey bottle from Damon's fingers, holding it in front of them. "Well, I did come bearing gifts … care to leave these premises?"
Damon looks around; there's an abandoned alley, (littered with broken glass and lined with mice), women in tattered rags crying, (eyes puffy and sobs unadulterated), and a slew of men (weak and flaccid) waiting for some measly soup.
No one seemed very appetizing to Damon.
"Lead the way," Damon says, snatching back the bottle, already set on popping the top.
"How did you find me, anyway?"
"Damon, it's 1933. Hollywood is the only place worth being. I mean, you have seen the rest, right?"
Damon lets out a chuckle, wry and shrill. "You got that right. I thought I'd venture out into the city of Angels for a walk. Big mistake. It's pathetic out there." He takes a swig, revels in it, before he adds: "Snazzy place, by the way. Really," he starts, glancing around. "I'm impressed."
"Well, thank you, thank you very much. I wanted in on Greta Garbo's, but that dame won't talk to a soul. Ms. Mae West's humble abode shall have to do." A brief gap, and then: "For now, anyway."
Stefan suddenly sits up from his lounging position, a sparkle in his eyes and a smile tugging on his lips. "You should join me. When we get into Greta's. We'll get in there, make her parlor our showroom, her servants our snacks, her long, beautiful gams our feast. What d'ya say?"
"Mm." Damon pouts his lips. "Sure you want me around? Heard you were having a swell time in Chicago without me."
"What can I say? I like the company," Stefan says, pausing and staring right at Damon before he tilts his head back and finishes off the bottle. "Ahh. We need more hooch."
Damon grins. "We'll have to get gingers for our showroom. Blondes and brunettes simply won't be enough."
"Course not. Can't have ourselves a proper show without a spot of red, can we?" Stefan agrees.
In the background, the radio newscaster reports on the decrepit stock market, the dilapidated farms in southern California, and scores of families that line the streets in search of miraculous rescue.
"Blather, blather, blather!" Damon announces as he shuts off the radio.
"Come on, Stef," he says, rising from his chair in a flash. "Let's go find us a good time."
It's nothing short of an utter commotion. Dozens of banners sway in the summer wind, drummers beat their snares with a joyful tune, citizens crowd to cheer, and soldiers march with erect shoulders, slicked-back hair (bits and pieces still sticking out beneath their hats), and smiles plastered on their faces in euphoric triumph.
Even still, Damon spots him in an instant. His uniform is pristine, carefully wrinkle-free and unsullied, and for one second Damon wants to express his pride, to simply be another content face among the throng, knowing that his little brother fought for something in a way that Damon never could; but he soon senses Stefan behind him and stifles his smile, never daring to give his brother the satisfaction.
"Behold, gents and gals, here's the do-gooder vampire now!"
Damon turns around, expecting to see one of Stefan's infamous sullen expressions.
Instead he is met by calm, almost curious, eyes. "What are you doing here?"
"Hot dog, can't I enjoy this dandy end-of-war celebration? Free booze, Stefan, free booze. The garb really makes you look spiffy, by the by," Damon says, tone drenched in derision to mask the truth of the statement. He gently places his hands on Stefan's chest to smooth out the lapels of his uniform.
"Mm," Stefan retorts. "You could've gotten one too, if came with me like I asked you to three years ago."
"Eh. What can I say? I'd rather go for Rosies than the riveters. Besides, I have you to tell me all about it now."
Damon sprints to the quiet alleyway, seizing a stray cat within his hands. "We'll share her. A tale for a tail? Got a hankering for feline?"
Stefan drops his head, hiding a smile, before bobbing his head to the side. "Let's scram."
"You should've seen Normandy, Damon. The beaches were beautiful. More so the ones with the broads than with the tanks, for obvious reasons."
"Did you get to handle 'em?"
"The girls? Some, yeah," Stefan says, satisfied.
"Heh. The tanks, I mean?"
"You better believe it, brother."
"Damn straight!" Damon lets out a laugh, raw and genuine. "I'm glad you had enough brains in your head not to get fatally wounded. The last thing we needed was some jerk figuring out you weren't exactly human. What with you not being able to compel him into silence, it'd be a fiasco we wouldn't need."
Stefan grimaces slightly. "Suppose that's one downside to the many perks of my lifestyle. Just another reason to be more careful, then."
Rolling his eyes, Damon states, "Still not sure what those perks of your lifestyle are."
"Let's not," Stefan says, slowly shaking his head. "Let's not get into this. Let's just …" Stefan stops, his attention on an object hidden beneath the sofa.
He displays the football and with a grin, he commands, "Go long."
"I like it," Stefan declares, thumbing the radio's knob to amplify the volume.
"You also like Lucille Ball. Clearly, your opinion is not worth much. Honestly, who is this Hendrix guy and why can't I eat him already? His stupid guitar is giving me headaches."
"Your age is showing, big brother. Watch out, or it might be backaches and arthritis in your future."
"Very funny," Damon says, wryly. "Well, when the arthritis comes, I guess I'll just have to numb the pain with this. Got a light?"
Stefan shrugs. "Depends," he says, eyeing Damon's joint with envy. "Got another one to spare?"
Ever the older brother, Damon tries to outwit and outrace him, using his vampiric velocity to have himself unexpectedly appear in Stefan's face, searching his coat pockets for a lighter.
Coming up with nothing, a flash of disappointment emerges on Damon's face.
"I knew you'd go for the coat pockets," Stefan says, smugly, and pulls out a lighter from his jeans pocket. "Now … about that spare blunt…"
"You …" Damon starts, almost in awe of his brother, "are smarter than you look. Which, I suppose, is very fortunate as you look like a doofus."
Damon's gauche words bounce off of Stefan like wooden bullets from a shield. The same wide smug was perpetually visible on Stefan's visage.
"You are also very lucky that I'm in a somewhat pleasant mood today," Damon says, while bending down to open a small container, holding up his own form of leverage.
"On three?" Damon asks.
Three. In perfect unison, Damon and Stefan toss their objects to one another.
Damon lights his blunt first and inhales deeply, before passing the lighter into his brother's palm.
A second later, Stefan says, "Wanna turn on the idiot box?"
"Fine. But under no circumstances are we watching old episodes of I Love Lucy. Or so help me, I will feast on all your little college buddies."
"You know, out of all the modern inventions, I think I like this one the most," Damon says, after an hour and a half of watching the latest variety hour show.
"You never did appreciate a good book."
"You mean like you do? Mr. Studious Stefan – the one hundred and plus year old vampire that goes to college for kicks. Yeah, guess I'm not that much of a nerd."
"Yeah, okay," Stefan dismisses, as he turns the television's dial to put on the evening news.
"Hey!" Damon shouts in indignation. "I was watching that."
Stefan wants to retort, but he simply whispers a quiet shh, before focusing his attention on the television set.
Images flood the small picture box. Images of women weeping with babes in their arms, of children soiled in dirt and tar and gunpowder from head to toe, of men in battlefields soaked with so much blood and grime that Damon simply says in a repulsed manner, "Now that's just unsanitary. What a waste of good food."
Stefan ignores Damon's commentary and continues to stare straight ahead. "This is why I'm here."
"What?" Damon mutters, barely opening his eyes to say so.
"This is why I'm here – at this place, as this moment."
"Uh … I wanna remind you that I've had more dope than you, so you're gonna have to be clearer with your explanation there."
"Have you ever seen anything like this before? Look at the world – there's a ruthless and savage war halfway across the world that people here can watch on a little box in their rooms. Violent protests every day outside each college campus in the country. Negroes wanting equal rights, gals fighting for theirs. Did you ever think it would be like this, then – in 1864? I didn't. Sometimes I think … maybe the world's ending. And it royally tees me off because I haven't even seen half of it, even though I've seen more than most have. How can a gift like immortality have such a cruddy snag in it?"
Damon doesn't have an answer. He has never contemplated it and he never will; he is not like Stefan, who hunts for a Trojan Horse inside every attractively-wrapped package.
The only thing he knows is this. Should this world end in 1968, he thinks he won't care much. He'll take a case of joints, a couple of brews, and the baby brother who hates him a good seventy-five percent of the time … and let the rest burn.
A/N: First TVD fic. Fandom, please be honest, but kind as well. That said, both good and bad feedback is highly welcomed and appreciated. Hope you enjoyed the fic!