Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries
Summary: Sequel to MASQUERADE. Caroline is tired of the back and forth going on between her and Damon. She's tired of their charade of a relationship and being second to Elena. Mostly, she's tired of feeling his love for her best friend all the time.
"I think you loved her," Nikita spoke softly as she walked around the abandoned car, fingertips trailing the cool steel in thought, "Maybe you weren't in love, but you definitely cared for her at the very least."
Damon stared despondently at the dead body to his right before taking a swig from the bottle Nikita had brought him. "And you didn't help me save her," He spat bitterly.
She sat on the hood of the car and stared down at him, "Are you telling me you would have been willing to pay the price? Elena's life for Rose's?"
"There would have been another way," He argued drunkenly, taking another sip.
"Klaus wants one thing; the doppelganger. There would have been no other deals," She replied easily, "Oh, look. Another car is coming," She said simply. Nikita was unsurprised when the other person stopped.
"Is everything okay?" The driver asked worriedly as he surveyed the splayed body in the street.
"Not really," Nikita grinned blurring up to the man, "You see, I have this problem. I'm hungry," She answered as she dove in for the bite, ignoring the man's screams in her ear. She only stopped when the man dropped to the ground, passed out from blood loss.
"You should clean that up," Damon said from behind her, "Mystic Falls is very vampire trigger happy. It won't take much to get them on the case of the new resident if he talks."
The Indian woman hummed in thought before reaching down and snapping the human's neck, "Problem solved. Now he won't talk."
Damon snorted as he got up, leaning on the first victim's car unsteadily, "And the body?"
Nikita stared at him blankly causing him to sigh. Nikki had never been one for subtlety. Where ever she went, a trail of bodies tended to follow. She was too old and too powerful for anyone to mess with so she just left her messes for others to clean up.
"Come on," He said, heaving his victim over his shoulder, "We'll bury them together."
"The couple that kills together, stays together," She laughed, picking up her own kill and following Damon deep into the woods where they buried the two bodies together, "Aw, romantic," She smiled sarcastically.
Damon rolled his eyes, his vampire healing removing the last traces of the alcohol he had been drinking. The two made their way to the cars still in the middle of the road, "We'll drive them out of town to ditch them," He explained as he started the car and drove down the highway.
It didn't take long for Nikita to get bored and pull up beside Damon's car, driving on the wrong side of the road. She rolled down her passenger side window and Damon rolled his eyes and did the same to his window, "I'm sorry," She said.
"For what?" He asked in annoyance.
"Even if I had contacted Klaus and by some miracle, he agreed to hand over the cure… It never would have gotten here in time," Nikita answered solemnly.
Damon was silent for a moment before he spoke, "I know."
She nibbled on her lip before repeating herself, "So, I'm sorry for your loss."
He stayed silent for a moment before deciding to change the subject, "We never finished talking about the bond. What do you know about it?" Damon asked.
"Not much," She readily admitted, "I'll have to do a little research. You and the blonde will have to come in for one of my little experiment tests."
"The blonde's name is Caroline," Damon rolled his eyes knowing that while he called Caroline Blondie and Barbie as annoying nicknames, Nikki had simply just forgotten her name.
"Yeah, whatever," the dark girl said dismissively, "I'll probably tell you to think of something and ask her to tell me what you're thinking about and vice versa. Then emotions, then physical sensations… Simple tests like that."
Damon nodded in agreement. They sounded pretty reasonable and he trusted Nikita… mostly… sometimes… when it suited her... Well, he trusted her to help him with the bond at least. "So, what do you know about Klaus?" He asked curiously.
Nikita looked at him out of the corner of her eye, "I ask a question, you ask a question?" She offered, "We both answer honestly, but also can opt out of answering no problems?"
"Done," He grinned, well used to her games, "What do you know about Klaus?" He asked again.
"A lot," She replied belligerently, "Be more specific, Damon. You know you can't ask open ended questions like that. You just wasted your first question."
He shrugged easily. They still had all night and plenty of driving to do. He had more than enough chances to ask better ones.
"Does Stefan love Elena?" She asked curiously.
"Still trying to get in my brother's pants?" Damon chuckled, "Yes."
Nikita laughed, "Was that your question? I'm always trying to get into Stefan's pants. And his bed. And his shower. And his-"
Damon grimaced, "I got it, thanks. No, that was not my question," He got serious as he thought about what to ask, "You said that the cure wouldn't have been able to make it here in time. Does that mean you know where Klaus is?"
"Yes," She replied, "Why do you care so much about him?"
"Elena needs to be protected," He answered, "Where is he?"
"Can't answer. Ask a different question," Nikita offered.
"Why are you protecting him?" Damon tried again.
Nikita hesitated as she thought about how to answer. Damon eyed her as he waited for her response. Normally, Nikki's answers were immediate and honest. But if she was thinking about her answers then it meant that she was thinking about how much to tell and how to word it so that she was being honest without giving away too much. It usually meant that her answers, while true, would also be misleading. "I owe him a lot," She finally answered, "He has helped me many times throughout the years and he is a good friend."
Damon turned her answer over in his mind. There was nothing particularly misleading as far as he could tell. Then again, he never knew he was being misled by Nikita until she wanted him to know it. Sill, it appeared like she had simply taken so long to answer in an effort to decide how much to tell him and how specific to be which turned out to be not very specific at all.
"Are you in love with Elena?" Nikita asked suddenly.
His head swirled to look at her. Luckily he was saved from having to answer immediately by an oncoming truck. Nikki had to swerve back into the correct lane as it passed her by before she returned to her original position.
Damon thought about his answer in silence. He could lie but he had learned early on in his friendship with Nikita that lying when he was supposed to be telling the truth would do nothing but piss her off and cause her to lie right back. The difference was that her lies usually came around to bite him in the ass. She was vindictive like that. "Yes," He finally answered with a sigh. "If it came down to me or Klaus, who would you pick?"
Once again, Nikita hesitated, "Pick a different question," She replied even though she knew that by saying that she was already giving away her answer. If she was going to pick Damon, she would have just said so. By avoiding the subject, she was telling him that she would pick Klaus.
"Can I trust you?" Damon asked, almost sadly. Clearly, losing Rose had made him not only sad, but lonely as well. He wanted reassurance that he still had his best friend.
"Always," She grinned softly. "How about this? I'm Switzerland," Nikita offered, "I won't help you with Klaus but when he shows up – which he inevitably will, don't bother fooling yourself – I won't help him either. I'm here for one thing and that's your overlay bond."
"Deal," Damon snapped up as quickly as he could. He knew that this deal was as good as he was going to get. To be honest, it was a lot more than he expected. Nikita was one of his oldest friends; his best friend, really. And he was very close to her in return. So for her to choose Klaus over Damon… he knew that he was going to be in hot water. An offer of neutrality was quite honestly a miracle.
"How do you feel about Caroline?" Nikita asked.
Once more, Damon paused as he thought on his answer, "She's a pain. She's annoying and whiny, but she's strong. Stronger than I realized at first. And she cares… about everyone. I… like her," He hesitated to answer, "I'm fond of her," He clarified.
Nikita let a slow grin overcome her face, "I know," She admitted, "I just wanted to see if you realized that."
Damon rolled his eyes with a grin before pulling over to the side of the road, "We'll leave them here. Crash your car into mine," He ordered which he immediately regretted when she drove her car harshly into his. He was unharmed, but more than a little jarred which he knew was done on purpose. Nikita didn't like being bossed around.
As they raced back to Mystic Falls, Damon couldn't help but ponder the questions Nikita asked. She could have simply been curious, but experience said that Nikita was never just curious. She always had a plan; always had some sort of agenda. The question was how did Caroline and Elena fit into that?