Pairing: Alaric/Damon pre-slash, unrequited (maybe)
Summary: Post S3E10 (The New Deal) in which Damon brings Alaric back to life, then returns to offer more.
Disclaimer: I own nothing and no one. Not for profit, just for fun.
Word Count: 1750
Alaric frowned in his sleep.
He was used to Damon's presence in his dreams – had come to terms with the obnoxious and ill-mannered vampire barging in and making himself comfortable in his house, car, life, inside his head. So no, he wasn't exactly surprised.
But something about this illicit appearance tonight was… felt… different.
He blinked his eyes open, found said vampire lounging in a sofa chair beside his bed. A nearly empty bottle of twenty year-old bourbon dangled from his right hand. Damon was dressed in all black, as always. The shirt sleeves were folded up to his elbows, revealing more pale skin than Alaric had seen on him in a while.
"Finally," Damon drawled, studying his nails and sounding bored as hell. "Welcome back to the land of the liv… wait, I already said that."
Alaric squeezed his eyes shut and sighed. Damon was, of course, referring to events from – he looked at his watch – eight hours ago. It all came rushing back to him at once… Jeremy standing in the middle of the road waiting to be run down by one of Klaus' hybrids, Alaric dying (again), coming back to life (again), only to almost die again (again).
Things got fuzzy after that, but he could piece it together with little snippets of memories from here and there. Damon's pale face hovering over him, the sterile stench of an ER around him, and the sharp ferrous taste of century-old blood on his tongue.
God, how he loathed the taste of blood.
"So what, you want me to thank you?" he shot back in irritation, turning to his side to face Damon.
Damon rolled his eyes, "How many times have I saved your life now, exactly?"
"About the same number of times you've killed me?"
"That was once and you were wearing your ring."
Damon squinted in thought, clearly struggling to remember with his glorious history of homicide. "Okay, but that other time you tried to kill me first. Doesn't count, sweetheart."
"Don't call me that."
"Honey buns? Strawberry shortcake?"
Alaric decided to let it go. Arguing with a completely hammered Damon Salvatore in the middle of the night just wasn't worth it. "Look, as enjoyable as this… midnight bantering with a psychotic vampire such as yourself is, I'd really like to get some sleep so why don't you tell me what you want and get out?"
The vampire was now in full-on sulk mode. His nostrils flared and his eyes narrowed into little slits. He crossed his arms, made a deliberate show of turning away from Alaric about as elegantly as the several gallons of vervain-spiked alcohol in his system allowed him to, which was not at all.
"For someone who just saved your life, I'm really not feeling the love, man."
Alaric snorted and lay on his back again. "So you did come here for a 'thank you'."
"I came here thinking maybe I should turn you."
Alaric's eyes shot wide open. He turned, his jaw clenched, and found Damon with his usual arrogant smirk marring (or enhancing) his angelic face. The bastard knew he had Alaric's attention now.
"You wouldn't dare."
"If you didn't wear that stupid ring, I'd do it in a heartbeat."
Alaric found himself amused more than angered. "And why would you do that?"
"We're running low on fanged friendlies in this town, in case you didn't notice."
"Sure, because we never can have enough vampires, can we?"
"You know what I mean," Damon pouted, glowering doggedly at Alaric.
Alaric raised one eyebrow. "No, Damon, I really don't."
Damon huffed impatiently. "C'mon! With Stefan gone and Caroline cavorting with the enemy, there isn't enough of me to go around, Alaric. Don't you see!"
He sat up (or tried to) and with his free hand gestured to all of himself, "Poor ol' me running around feeding my blood to save any and every schmuck Elena cares about is starting to be a drag. I got a social life too, you know!"
Alaric fixed him with a bland look, "So what, you want me to be a secondary blood bank for our friends?"
"Can't hurt," Damon shrugged. "It's not like you've got anyone to grow old with."
"Thanks!" Alaric hissed bitterly (because it was true) and rolled over so his back was to Damon. "You should go away now."
Damon's voice hardened, even if it still slurred heavily. "Just because I'm doing you the rare courtesy of actually discussing this with you, doesn't mean you have a choice, 'Ric."
"Thank you. Shut the door behind you, please. Or window, whatever."
"Fine! Sleep, you big… frikkin'… sack of perishable food!" Damon stood up and wobbled dangerously. "Don't say I didn't warn ya when you wake up undead!"
The vampire walked into the small table beside his chair and cursed loud enough for Elena to hear in the next room. But he clearly had no intentions of leaving Alaric alone anytime soon.
The history teacher slash guardian to the Gilberts sighed again, turned and sat up in his bed. It was time to put an end to this ridiculousness.
"Okay, let's pretend for a second that what you're proposing isn't just you being piss-ass drunk and blabbering total nonsense…"
"I'm not drunk."
"Sure, let's pretend that too."
Damon flipped him off and flopped back into the sofa chair. This time his legs hung off one arm while he rested his neck on the other one.
Alaric shook his head and continued, "Being a vampire isn't exactly death-proof in Mystic Falls, Damon. Hell, it might even make things worse."
He was thinking of Jenna, but hoped it wasn't obvious to Damon.
Damon looked at him with eyes full of a strange… desperation. He probably hoped it wasn't obvious to Alaric either. "It's better than being human with a stupid malfunctioning ring! What's up with that anyway?"
Alaric rubbed his temple, trying to stall the impending headache. "I don't know. And no it's not better, Damon, it's the worst thing that could ever possibly happen to me and I'd really rather be dead and gone for good and I'm… I'm exhausted, alright? Besides, I've already died a couple of times today – think my quota for the week is up. So how about you plan to kill me next week, okay?"
Alaric lay back down, clearly intending to go to sleep again. He should have remembered the dark-haired vampire didn't react well to being dismissed.
In a flash, the bed dipped and Alaric found himself looking up into Damon's alter-ego – blood-red eyes with bulging capillaries, snarling lips and razor sharp teeth. Damon held his wrists down, hovering over him, getting ready to rip into his vulnerable throat at any second.
For a moment, Alaric truly feared for his life. Until he remembered the reason why they were here, having this conversation in the first place. He relaxed against his pillow, under the cold but comfortable weight of the vampire straddling him.
"Put it away, Salvatore. It's okay. I get it… it's okay," he whispered, over and over again until Damon's grip loosened. His face morphed back to that of the gorgeous twenty-one year old he was destined to be for all his undead life.
Damon's lips panted and his eyes were wide with blatant confusion. Alaric didn't give him time to re-think or regret anything. Calmly, he put his arms around his slender torso and pulled Damon down to himself. The vampire didn't even try to resist. He collapsed listlessly on top of the human, twisting until his face came to rest on Alaric's sternum.
Minutes passed, or maybe decades, before one of them spoke. And it wasn't Alaric.
"I hate that you're mortal." Damon whined petulantly.
Alaric smiled. "I'm still here, aren't I? Wait – does this mean I'm on your shortlist?"
Alaric sniggered. Of course he was on it. Damon being here tonight, drunk out of his mind, was proof of that.
"I miss Stefan," he whispered meekly.
"I know you do," Alaric whispered back. Damon relied greatly on his brother to always have his back. But now with Stefan gone, he was starting to feel the stress of protecting the people he'd grown to care for all by himself.
He rubbed Damon's back, long, firm strokes from his neck all the way down to the small of his back. "You didn't fail me, Damon. You saved me. And I am grateful."
"So, I'm not the worst thing to ever happen to you?"
Alaric tightened his embrace, knowing he couldn't keep Damon if he chose to run but wanting to try anyway. "That's not what I meant and you know it."
"You won't be the first if you did. Actually, you'd be the first if you didn't…"
Alaric adjusted positions until Damon was lying beside him on the bed, his body starting to warm up in the human's arms. He watched the exquisite face, half-asleep but still devious, still creased and inhumanly beautiful, still restless. He'd dreamt of holding Damon like this for so long and so often, that the real thing didn't feel strange or unnatural in the least.
Damon lay quietly for awhile, fidgeting, then abruptly raised his head and looked into Alaric's eyes.
"Aren't you tempted?" he murmured, absently licking his lips.
Alaric swallowed, wondering if Damon meant what Alaric thought (or wished) he meant.
He decided not to risk it. "Immortality? Not really, I mean look at you – you're miserable."
He smiled gently to soften the jibe, fully expecting Damon to scowl and shove Alaric right off the bed. Instead, the unthinkable happened.
Damon's eyes shimmered and he quickly buried his face back in Alaric's chest to hide them. "Just you wait, Saltzman. One of these days, you'll acknowledge the grays in your sexy sideburns and… and then you'll fall on your knees and you'll beg, beg me to turn you."
Alaric laughed, holding Damon closer as sort of an apology. "Whatever you say, Damon."
"But then I won't turn you, 'cause… then you'll be miserable too," Damon kept on slurring, barely awake.
"Okay," Alaric pulled up the covers around them and settled in for the night.
"But then, maybe I will, maybe… we can be miserable, together?"
Alaric swallowed around the giant lump in his throat. Come morning, he'd be the first to pretend they didn't just spend the night keeping each other's loneliness at bay. Until then, he'd take whatever he could get.
"Sleep now, sweetheart."
Damon didn't stir again.
A/N: Do let me know what you think!