"You would have liked me in 1864." In search of a gift for Elena, Damon urges Bonnie to use magic in effort to help him remember where he had hidden his mother's jewelry box in 1864. Instead, the spell erases all of Damon's memories after he hid the box. While Bonnie looks for a way to fix the problem, Elena & Co must re-adjust Damon to modern times, vampirism, and other discoveries about his present life, they come to terms with their own previous judgements of Damon. Set after S:3, E:9, Christmas time.
Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries.
I. The Jewelry Box
"Elena! My wonderful, beautiful, sweet Elena!" Damon exclaimed from his spot on the sofa in the Gilbert home living room.
Elena rolled her eyes, "You sound so sincere. What are you doing here?"
Damon instantly jumped up and walked towards her as she dropped her school bag near the stair well, "Waiting for you, of course. What makes you think I'm not being sincere?"
She shook her head, "You're Damon."
Damon raised a brow at her statement, "Dagger."
She bit her lip, "I don't know. Sorry, I just… I've been having a bad day. Exams were really tough this time around," she took off her coat and scarf, "Can't wait until winter break."
Damon feigned sadness, taking her coat and scarf, hanging them up on the coat rack.
"You know how hard it's been for me. Letting go of Stefan each day?"
He avoided eye contact with her at the sound of his missing brother's name, "I understand."
"And if we're going to be friends, and move on-"
"I get it," Damon interrupted her, then his lips shaped into his signature crooked smile, "You need to lighten up. Soon it'll be Christmas, where's your holiday spirit?"
They walked toward the kitchen, where Elena began to pour herself a bowl of afternoon cereal. She half-smiled, "I hope you're not thinking of getting me anything inappropriate."
"Inappropriate?" Damon pretended to be offended, "Like what?"
Elena's face was completely serious, "I know you're going to want to get me something so I won't stop you. Just don't get me lingerie or whatever, I don't care how hilarious you think it is."
"Why I never!" he grinned, "You need to get your head out of the gutter, Elena."
"Shut up, Damon!"
"Come on, Witchy," Damon drawled, "Aren't we friends now?"
"Hardly, Damon," Bonnie retorted, then continued walking down the sidewalk past the town park, "What makes you think I would do this for you?"
Damon attempted to stand in front of her, "Where's your holiday spirit? Or solstice, or whatever you want to call it. Aren't you the least bit interested in what I'm looking for?"
"Nope," Bonnie side-stepped and continued her quick pace.
"Or do you lack the ability since you lost the help of your witchy ancestors?"
Bonnie glared, "I'm very positive it'd be easy for me to perform the spell. I. Just. Don't. Want. To."
Damon grabbed her by the shoulders, stopping her dead on the street, and Bonnie gasped.
"Hey!" Damon exclaimed trying to calm her, "Look, I'm not trying to hurt you, so don't do your supernatural brain explosion… thing, please. This is really important to me."
Something in the way his voice softened, and his eyes softened struck Bonnie, "What is it?" she inquired.
"My mother's jewelry box."
Bonnie shifted her demeanor, "Why do you need that?"
"Come on, should there be a reason? It was my mother's, I hid it a long time ago to keep it from my father and Stefan, now I just happen to want to reclaim it. Unfortunately, when you hide something out of unthinking impulse and never think about it until 146 years later, it's very hard to recall the details of how you went about it. I'm lucky I even remembered I had hidden it in the first place."
Intrigued, Bonnie sighed, "Fine, it sounds harmless… I could use a little practice anyway. It's been dead around here what with Klaus disappeared and all."
Damon peeked through the crack of his late mother's bedroom door, and watched his father drag his fingers across the ivory dresser. Damon and Stefan Salvatore's mother had passed away when Stefan was born, an incident Damon had always resented. His mother's room was kept intact-his father as stubborn as his sons, could never let go.
Damon observed as his father opened the ivory jewelry box on the dresser, and caressed the red velvet interior. His father exhaled loudly, slammed the box closed and exited the room through the door on the opposite side of the room. Damon's eyes darted around to make sure his entry would go unnoticed, then slowly creeped into the room. He swiftly scooped the ornate jewelry box into his arms. Just on his way out the door, he stopped at the portrait of a beautiful older woman, hanging on the wall. He gazed reluctantly, and whispered "I'm sorry mother, but I cannot leave this to Stefan and Father, you understand. This is for the woman I love."
As soon as Damon was out the back entrance of his home he rushed through the woods on foot. He could see the sun setting ahead through the trees, the sky ablaze with vibrant colors. He smiled, thinking to himself how perfect the moment would be. Finally, he stopped at a large cliff near a waterfall and placed the box down on the ground near the edge of the bank of running water. He heaved to catch his breathe, and then sat down with the jewelry box and opened the lid, gazing adoringly at the ivory and rose gold jewelry inside. His mother's necklace was a rose gold chain with an ivory cameo setting of a rose. Her wedding ring was rose gold as well, with a beautiful crimson garnet stone. There were other trinkets and earrings. "These would be lovely for Katherine," he whispered.
"You're not thinking of proposing to me?" Katherine's melodic voice sung from behind him.
Startled, Damon jumped up and turned to face her, "Katherine! I… Well, actually I thought that it would be-"
"I'm flattered," Katherine's enigmatic smile instantly charmed Damon.
She was beautifully dressed in a decadent red corset and skirts. He quickly dashed to greet her with a kiss, so very passionate from his end. Katherine faked a cough and released herself from him, "Be serious, Damon. I would gladly accept your mother's jewelry box, but you should keep it for a more appropriate time."
Damon felt rather hurt, "But we're… running out of time Katherine. Soon they will call the hunt on your kind, and Katherine, I fear-"
"Shhh," Katherine placed a finger on his lips, and gazed into his eyes intently, mesmerizing him, "You are not to propose to me right now, Damon."
He blinked, "Of course not, Katherine. I wouldn't dream of compromising anything. I apologize. I merely wanted to give you my mother's necklace."
Katherine smiled, and toyed with an amber necklace with a yellow stone around her neck, "I already have the one I need."
Damon nodded a bit dejected, "I want you to be mine forever Katherine," he leaned in to kiss her again, but she placed her hand on his mouth, stopping him.
"I must go, Damon."
"To see Stefan?" he questioned with dismay.
She grinned, "Are you the jealous type?"
Damon's brow furrowed, and he turned to the sunset. As soon as he turned back around to utter good-bye, Katherine was gone.
"Damon? Hey, wake up."
"Here's the salt stuff you asked for, Bonnie."
"Did it work?"
Damon's brilliant blue eyes shot open, and he found himself staring at an unfamiliar ceiling. "You're awake!" Bonnie exclaimed, "I was worried for a minute there."
He slowly sat up on the wooden floor of the living room, and gazed at the fireplace. Then his eyes locked with Bonnie's. "Well?" she asked, "Do you know where your mom's jewelry box is?"
He nodded slowly, then squeezed his sides with his hands, "Apologies, I feel rather queasy."
Caroline's eyes widened, "I don't do vomit."
"Ugh, you'll both be fine. Atleast it worked," Bonnie began picking up her seance candles, "I thought for a moment something was wrong. I knew I was getting rusty. Let's get this cleaned up and get going, Elena is waiting on us at the grille."
Caroline and Bonnie both stood up, leaving a disoriented Damon sitting on the floor. The girls busied themselves with cleaning, and finally a concerned Bonnie crouched next to Damon, "Hey, um, what's the matter?"
He turned to her hesitantly, "I am sorry, Miss, but should I know you?"
Both Caroline and Bonnie's eyes widened, and they glanced at each other in bewilderment.
Caroline handed Damon the Mystic Falls newspaper, "See. The year is 2011. Okay?"
He nodded, "I see," and began reading the paper.
She crossed her arms and shook her head, walking back to the distraught Bonnie on the living room floor, flipping through her grimoires. "I don't understand! This was supposed to be a very simple memory ritual, why does he think he is from 1864!"
"Well, atleast he's not completely incompetent."
Bonnie gritted her teeth, "He was only supposed to remember the day he last saw his jewelry box, not forget everything after it!"
Damon cleared his throat. Both Caroline and Bonnie looked at Damon standing in the hallway, "I would like to thank your for your hospitality," he announced, "I'd like to… return home now."
They looked at each other again. Finally Caroline sighed, "Let's call Elena."