Set sometime in Season 3 between "The Reckoning" and "Homecoming." This is my first time writing explicit scenes, so please be gentle. Contains adult content and mild non-con (or is it?). Thanks to the lovely and talented Jade2099 for encouraging me to take life by the balls and publish this damn thing. Hope you enjoy.

This was a bad idea. A very bad idea. Elena hovered on the doorstep of the boarding house. Again and again she reached for the doorknob, and each time she lost her nerve. She should walk away right now and forget this horribly stupid idea.

Her phone buzzed and she fumbled for the thing. One new text message from Damon. "Is the front door broken?" Elena sighed. Now she had no choice. She had to go in. No way was she going to run and look chicken in front of Damon. Not to mention the relentless teasing and badgering she'd have to endure if she walked away now without explanation. She pushed the door open and walked into the dimly lit house.

A fire was burning in the hearth, as always, and Damon was sprawled on one of the couches, a glass of bourbon dangling from his fingers. "Oh, so the door is working," Damon said without turning toward her, his gaze focused on the flames. "I was starting to worry. Does make me wonder why you were standing on the porch for nine minutes without coming in, though. I think it's a new record."

Elena sat gingerly on the sofa, perching as far away from Damon as possible. "I was thinking," she said. It wasn't too late. She could manufacture some other excuse for being here. New information about the Originals, just checking in on him. Something else. Anything else. She didn't have to tell him what she really wanted.

"That's never a good thing." He finally turned to face her, frowning. "When you're thinking, you usually have some plan. And that usually ends badly. Tell me you don't have a plan."

"I wouldn't call it a plan, exactly. Just...a thought." Elena started to continue, but broke off, swallowing hard. This was an awful idea. There was no way this could end well.

Damon arched one brow, looking at her with sudden interest. "Your heart's pounding like a jackhammer. Must be a hell of a thought."

Elena wiped her damp palms on her skirt. "Well. Caroline was telling me about her dad, and how he can resist compulsion."

"Yeah. He gives a damn good compulsion impression, though. Had me fooled," Damon said, taking a gulp of bourbon. "Called my technique lazy. Hmph."

Elena couldn't help but smile at Damon's rankled pride. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Damon was her friend, after all. She could trust him with something like this...right? "So I was thinking...if Mr. Forbes can learn how to fight compulsion, why couldn't I?"

It wasn't often that Elena surprised Damon, but she'd certainly caught his attention now. His eyebrows flew up, lips parting. His eyes swept over her, first her neck, then to her wrist where his gaze settled on the homemade vervain bracelet. "You're wearing vervain. Are you drinking it?" he asked.

"No," she admitted.

"That's stupid as hell," Damon said. Quick as a snake, he reached out and tore the little braided bracelet from her arm, tossing the thing aside before his skin started to sizzle. Elena felt a mad sense of panic, felt nearly naked without the talisman. She wanted to scramble for the bracelet on her hands and knees, clutch it close and never let go. "If I wasn't your friendly neighborhood vampire, you'd be fucked right now," Damon said.

Elena gave herself a mental shake. It was fine. She knew she'd have to give up the vervain sooner or later in this little exercise. Better to get it out of the way now. "I stopped drinking it so we could practice, Damon. I mean, what would happen if a vampire grabbed me and kept me tied up for a few days until it left my system—like you did with Liz? Or with Bill?" She shook her head, fists clenching in determination. She was right about this. As much as this entire thing scared her, she knew it was the right thing to do. "This is the only way I can really be safe from it. I can learn to fight it."

"Practice," Damon said incredulously. "You want to 'practice' fighting compulsion. With me." He polished off his glass of bourbon, setting the empty highball glass on the coffee table. "I get why you aren't asking Stefan to help you—besides the fact that he's not exactly trustworthy right now, he sucks at compulsion." Elena had no idea what Stefan's prowess at compulsion was like, though she did know drinking animal blood had weakened his abilities. But the simple fact was, she couldn't trust Stefan right now. There was a time when she would have trusted him with her life and when the idea of turning to Damon for help would have been laughable, but everything was different now. "Why aren't you asking Caroline to help you? I bet that little control freak would just love to help," he said with an unpleasant little smirk.

"She isn't very strong with her compulsion. Not yet. But you are," Elena said.

"Not according to Bill Forbes. But flattery will get you everywhere." He fixed her with that otherworldly stare, the one that seemed to see right through her. Elena forced herself to sit still, not to squirm under that extraordinary gaze. More willpower. "There's another reason, though. Tell me," he said.

"With Caroline, it'd be too safe," she said reluctantly. "It's not that I think you'd hurt me—I know you wouldn't hurt me," she amended. "But there has to be a risk. And I know you'll push me. Caroline won't." She trusted Damon. No doubt about that. If she didn't, she never would have come here today with this insane request. But there had to be real consequences to being compelled, or she'd never learn. Caroline's relative weakness in compulsion coupled with her gentleness would mean Elena wouldn't be pushed to the breaking point. And it was only when she had something to lose that she could ever learn to fight the mind control.

Damon considered her in silence, his face unreadable. Did he think she was a foolish girl, tampering with things she didn't understand? Did he think she was an idiot for asking to be compelled? Or was he simply considering what he would do to her once she was under his power? The thought sent a shiver up her spine.

"I'll give you one shot to walk away. Get up and leave right now, and we'll pretend this never happened." His voice was low and unusually serious, not a trace of mockery. "But if you stay, there's no going back. I won't stop. Not if you beg, not if you cry, not if you turn those ridiculous doe eyes on me. You'll belong to me until you can stop me. And that might take a very, very long time. You will do things that you don't like. You will do things that make you want to scream. Because you're right—that's the only way you'll learn, not by being compelled to stand on one leg or perform stupid human tricks. I won't go easy on you; no safe word. Do you understand what you're getting yourself into?" he asked, leaning close.

Did she understand what she was getting herself into? No. Not really. But she knew she had to try. "Do you really think you can help me learn to stop compulsion? Or are you just doing this to play with me?" she asked.

"Oh, I can help you. But this isn't something you're going to master today. Or tomorrow. Or next week. This is about the long haul. Can you handle that?" he asked, head turning slightly to the side She could smell his breath, sweet with bourbon.

"I need to do this. And I know I can trust you," she said, as much for her benefit as for his. Because she was terrified. Damon was utterly unpredictable. And if she let him unleash his true vampire nature, play havoc with her mind and take control of her body, she wasn't sure what would really happen. And while she was determined to fight it with everything she had, the thought made her heart race and heat flood through her body, a million tiny butterflies dancing through her veins.

Damon smiled. He stood, moving to the decanters, taking his time selecting one and pouring a generous drink. Elena forced herself to sit still, to breathe calmly and deeply. She focused on the familiar sounds: The gentle clink of crystal against crystal, the quiet splash of alcohol into the glass.

"Tell me what you know about compulsion," Damon said as he replaced the stopper.

"Most vampires can only compel humans, but Originals can compel vampires, too. Vervain can stop it." She frowned, deep in thought. "I think you have to have eye contact to make it work, right?"

"Yep. So one of the simplest ways to fight compulsion is to close your eyes. Always try that first. Of course, a vampire might just decide to rip your eyelids off," Damon said as he came to sit beside her on the couch, their knees not quite touching. "What else?"

"Compulsion can make people do anything, even kill themselves." The smell of charred flesh overwhelmed her as she remembered Isobel dropping her necklace and bursting into flames. No. She didn't want to think about that. She pushed the memory away. "Compulsion can be broken if the person who's compelled is turned, or if the vampire compelling them dies, even for a minute. Like what happened with Elijah," she said.

"And have you ever been compelled, Elena?" Damon asked.

"Just once. When Elijah kidnapped me in that creepy old house. He made me tell him where the moon stone was," she said, wrapping her arms around herself, shivering. "I think that was the only time, but I guess...I guess maybe I wouldn't know, right?"

"Maybe," Damon said, staring down into the depths of his drink. "Tell me what it felt like when Elijah compelled you."

"What's with all the questions? Surely you know what it's like," Elena said.

Damon looked up at her sharply. "I do. But this isn't about me, now is it? If we're gonna do this, we need to know what it's like for you. Every person is different. Some people are very easy to compel—like Caroline, for instance. God, I could have compelled that girl in my sleep." Not exactly reassuring. The bruises on Caroline's neck, the fear in her eyes... "And some people are much harder. Jeremy, for one. Tough nut to crack. As much as those memories of Vicki hurt him, he didn't want to let them go. So I'm trying to figure out where you fall."

"Oh. I never really thought about what it felt like, I guess. I was so scared, but when he looked at me, he was all I could see. And I knew if I just told him what he wanted to know, everything would be all right. I knew that telling him was wrong, that it was going to cause problems, but even still, I had to tell him. So everything would be all right," she said.

Damon leaned back, considering this. "Hm. Hm, hm, hm."

"What the hell does that mean?"

"The fact that you even realized that telling him was wrong is a good sign. Powerful vampire like Elijah, it's a miracle you didn't spill your whole life story the second he looked at you cock-eyed. Maybe you won't be totally hopeless after all," he said with grudging respect.

"Gee, thanks."

"Of course, that's the simplest level of compulsion; making someone tell you something they don't want to. From there it gets more complicated and harder to resist: Making someone do something against their will, making them see something that isn't there, making them feel something that isn't real," he said.

"Wait, you can do that? You could compel someone to fall in love or something?" Elena asked. What a horrifying thought.

"Theoretically. That's a hard one to sustain. The hardest thing of all is to fool someone's emotions. The body and brain are stupid, but the heart's a tricky thing. Mostly I've just used it to make someone not afraid. Comes in handy," he said.

"That's disgusting," Elena said.

"Whatever; it comes in handy when dinner won't stop screaming," Damon said. "All right. That's Compulsion 101. Now it's time to apply the theory."

Fear flooded through Elena, starting at the crown of her head and running down her spine like a hot liquid. "Wait, already? We didn't talk about any way to stop it. I-I don't know what I'm supposed to do," she protested.

"You're supposed to remember who you are and what you want, Elena," he said, pushing his drink away. "That's the only hope you've got."

It came without warning. One moment they were chatting like they had a thousand times before, and the next she was frozen in his gaze, those crystalline eyes holding her captive. His voice was like a sigh, soft and gentle. "Are you afraid?"

Such a reasonable question. Why would she even try to fight that? "I am, but not of you. I'm afraid of not being in control," she murmured. It felt like she was talking in her sleep, the words drawn out of her effortlessly.

"Smart girl. You always like to be in control, don't you? Always like to be the one holding the cards," Damon said.

"Of course, doesn't everyone?" she asked.

He laughed softly. "I suppose they do. But you aren't anymore, Elena. Not while you're with me." His eyes broke from her face for a moment and the fear came rushing back, sudden and visceral.

"God, this was a mistake. I should-" she staggered to her feet. No. She couldn't take this. He could force her to reveal every secret, everything she felt—about him, about Stefan. He could make her do anything, even love him. She stumbled for the door, but there he was in front of her, and all she could see were those eyes again.

"You asked for this, remember?" His fingers brushed her cheek. "I'm trying to help you. Whatever happens, I want you to remember that."

"I'll remember," she echoed. And she knew it was true, even outside of the warm, insulating comfort of his compulsion.

"Tell me how you feel when I touch you," Damon said, his hand trailing down her cheek, sweeping across her neck, only the lightest tips of his fingers caressing her skin.

"Warm. Safe," she said.

"Safe. That's a new one," Damon said with a soft laugh. "Is that all you feel? What about when I touch you here?" His hand moved lower, fingers hooking around the hem of her skirt, pushing it slowly upward.

Elena gave an indignant little squawk, reaching down to jerk his hand away. "Damon, you can't do that. Knock it off!"

"Stop. I can touch you wherever I want, Elena," he said, and Elena's hand fluttered away from his ineffectively. She strained to step back from him, to move away, to defend herself in some way from that hand that ran along her inner thigh as the skirt crept upward, but she couldn't. Couldn't budge a muscle. She felt her cheeks burning with embarrassment, and...something else. A sensation Elena hadn't felt in months, not since Stefan left. Well, a sensation she only felt when she awoke in the night, her thighs damp and her body aching for a lover who fled the moment she opened her eyes.

"Tell me what you feel when I do this," Damon ordered as his hand moved inexorably higher, coming to rest where her leg met her rear, cupping the flesh in his hand.

"I feel like I want you to stop," Elena said, her voice quavering.

"Wrong. That's what you think. Tell me how your body feels," he said, eyes pressing in on her, squeezing the answer out of her. Suddenly she wasn't swaddled in the warmth, she didn't want to answer out of affection or devotion, she had to answer so she could breathe, to relieve the brutal pressure of those eyes on her.

"Hot." She gulped in a breath of air as the horrible, relentless pressure eased just a bit. "Turned on."

"Mhm. That's what I thought." Long fingers stroked against the silken fabric of her panties, caressing her through the thin fabric. She shuddered under his touch. It had been so long... "Do you still want me to stop?" Damon whispered.

"No," she breathed. "I don't."

"I know." But suddenly his hand was withdrawing, his cool touch drawing away from her, and she looked up at him with eyes full of confusion. "You're going to go home and finish the job. You're going to lie on your bed with your cute little teddy bear, and you're going to stroke yourself and tease yourself and fuck yourself until you come. But all the while, you'll be imagining that it was me." He leaned forward, lips brushing her ear. "And when you come? You're going to scream my name." Damon pulled back, smirking at her, and she could feel the full weight of his words crashing down on her. "You won't tell anyone about what we're doing. And you'll come back at this time tomorrow and tell me all about it." He smirked. "Go. Have fun."

Elena left on mechanical legs, unable to stop to think until she was in her car on the way home. Then the trembling struck, her entire body convulsing in fear and desire. What had she done?