Note: Okay, so I made a mistake, I posted this story although it wasn't really done. Well, I didn't iknow/i it wasn't done when I posted it, but it wasn't. But now it is. Really. It's done. Let me know what you think.


Alaric is silent, doing his best to keep himself on his feet while Damon busies himself with scrubbing the blood off his skin, keeping one arm around Alaric's waist to keep him upright. The hot water seems to do the trick, Alaric stops shivering at some point and begins to relax against him, letting his head fall down onto Damon's shoulder, eyes closing.

Damon grins, turning his head to whisper into his ear, "I would take advantage of you now if you had enough blood to spare…"

Alaric rolls his head to the side, squinting at him. "Is that all you ever think about?"

Damon cranes his head to look at him, his grin widening into a smirk. "You, all wet, hot shower, naked... You really have to ask?"

Alaric chuckles softly, closing his eyes. "Blood all over me, everything spinning, not even enough blood left insideto get interested... This is not my night."

He sounds tired, a little resigned and a little sad, and Damon's smile fades. "Don't do that again."

Alaric stops smiling, fighting his eyes open to study him from the side. "You would have done the same for me."

Alaric's voice is soft, barely audible over the water, a tone Damon has never heard from him before. Damon frowns, looks at the pale face, the dark eyes that have trouble staying open, looking at him with so much more trust than he deserves. Something about this moment makes him think, makes him hesitate, makes him stop and retreat for a second. This is no longer about the fight; this is something completely different. Something he wouldn't even consider thinking about if Alaric hadn't just risked his fine ass to save him. Something that demands honesty and the truth.

Something he really, reallydoesn't want to talk about.

He runs his hand over Alaric's side, watching his fingers glide through the foam. Alaric stays silent, watching him from the side, no doubt picking up on something—or simply too tired and disoriented to follow the situation and their conversation anymore.

Damon is silent for the rest of the shower. He gets the bloody side cleaned up, pulls Alaric out of the shower and hands him a towel when Ric tells him he feels steady enough. Damon dries himself, changes into some jeans and a shirt and goes down into the kitchen to get something to drink. He listens to Alaric move in the room above him, the soft sigh the other man gives when he sinks down onto the bed, tracks his heartbeat as it slows down when he falls asleep almost instantly.

You would have done the same for me.

Alaric's words echo through his head, again and again, and Alaric is right, Damon would have done the same thing for him, he would have tried to save him. And it scares him. A lot. He doesn't get attached to people, not anymore, not so much that he'd throw his life away to save their asses and he expects nothing like that from them. This, what he has with Alaric, it's nice, it passes the time, it's fun and he likes it—he likes him, but he's always thought about it as a temporary thing, it's not about commitment. He wouldn't want him to die and he'd be pretty pissed if anything happened to him, but—

—and the werewolf goes down without so much of a twitch. There's a weak grunt when the heavy body collapses to the ground and he reaches out to pull it off Alaric. The teacher is barely moving by now, his hands fisted in the wolf's fur, but falling away when Damon throws the furry body to the side.

"Ric?"

Blood, everywhere is blood, Alaric's side is wet with it, it's staining his clothes, the ground—everything, the wound is so deep he can see the white of bone and Alaric isn't moving—

Jesus Christ.

Damon shakes his head to clear it, to chase the memories away, rolling his eyes at his own sentimentality. When he gets back into his room, Alaric is sounds asleep, curled beneath the covers on one side of the bed. On hisside of the bed. Damon stops and rolls his eyes, again, the bed has an Alaric-side… Who would have thought?

He sits down on the bed, careful not to disturb the sleeping man, but Alaric doesn't stir; he doesn't even look like he is asleep, more like he's fallen unconscious. At least his skin isn't as pale as before and, even though his heart is beating very slowly, it's already stronger than before. It seems like the worst is over and Damon leans back against the headboard, watching Alaric sleep.

You would have done the same for me.

Damn it. Damn him.

The first thing he's going to do the next day is get the stupid ring back for him, as a thanks for saving his life.