For all of my readers expecting an update to Setting Things Right, I am so sorry, but I have had terrible writer's block on that story. It will get written. I'm not giving up on it, but I just need more time to find my inspiration again. This story however has been bouncing around in my head ever since Thursday's episode. It is meant to take place after next Thursday's episode where Damon is kidnapped and tortured, but it mostly makes reference to recent events on the show. This is meant to serve as a way for the characters to explain themselves for their stupid, stupid behavior as of late. I am mostly venting, and I hope you like it.
I almost lost him again I think despairingly to myself as I make the familiar drive to the boarding house. A few moments later and Rebekah might have staked him, and it all would have been over. It would mean that Damon would never flash his arrogant smirk again or make another sarcastic comment or show up in my room unannounced. These were the habits that I had chided Damon about the most, but when I thought he might die, they were the ones that I realized I would miss the most. A few moments meant the difference between a life with Damon and a life without him. Since that night in his bedroom, never has Damon come so close to death as he did today at Rebekah's merciless hands. The thought terrifies me beyond words, because if Rebekah wants Damon dead, she will find a way to kill him. Stefan and I won't be able to stop her forever. Nothing can be done about that, Stefan and I will keep rescuing him until we find a way to secure his safety, or until there is nothing left to save, I think bleakly.
But before I let my deepest worries take hold, I consider the irony that this is the first time that Damon has been kidnapped. For someone so prone to making enemies and pushing boundaries, it is surprising he isn't tortured more often. My bit of dark humor almost brings a smile to my face until my guilt resurfaces as it always does, because deep down I know that whatever he did to push Rebekah so far, he did to save me.
No matter what I do or how I treat him, he just keeps saving me. I just wish I could find a way to thank him, to tell him how much it means to me, but lately our conversations revolve around angry accusations and hurt feelings. We keep fighting at the smallest provocation, often without even realizing why. My hope is that tonight we can finally bury the hatchet and work through whatever keeps us stuck in this never-ending cycle of anger, but I'm not holding my breath. Damon hasn't let his guard down around me in too long and neither have I. We're caught in a staring contest and neither one of us is willing to blink first. We both feel that we are in the right, and we are both waiting for an apology that never comes.
When I finally arrive at the house that has become like a second home to me over the past year, I walk right in without bothering to knock. As I enter, I listen carefully for any signs of life, but the house appears empty except for the lone man sitting by the piano downing what is likely not his first glass of bourbon. "Stefan's not here," Damon informs me, clearly misunderstanding my intentions in coming.
What strikes me as odd isn't that he assumes I'm here for Stefan, but that the touch of bitterness that typically follows any mention of his brother appears to have vanished. He isn't angry or resentful. On the contrary, his tone implies acceptance. I realize for the first time that Damon thinks life is just going to go back to normal. I'm sure he expects me to reconcile with Stefan and within a few weeks the two of us will be the picture perfect example of a couple in love. How foolish he can be sometimes. As if life could ever return to what it was. Too much has happened. Too much has changed, and that seems to be our problem in a nut shell, because none of us know where we stand. None of us know how to live in our new reality, not Damon, not Stefan, and certainly not me.
"I'm here to see you," I correct him cautiously, not wanting to provoke another argument.
Damon just lets out a heavy sigh, and he puts down his drink. His body language signals that he is preparing for a fight. The cool detachment in his tone has become too familiar to me over the past couple of weeks, but it hurts me every time I hear it directed at me. This wasn't how things were supposed to be. This wasn't who we were to each other, but it seems that things really had changed. "If you're here to yell at me some more, could you please just leave a note or possibly a message on my voicemail, or hey here's an idea you can text me your angry rant, or better yet go old school and email it. Because I'm afraid a day full of original torture really tires me out, so if you could just go," Damon asks while gesturing towards the door.
His defenses are obviously up and showing no sign of wavering, so I take a seat next to him and tiredly admit. "I'm not here to yell at you. We have done quite enough yelling for one lifetime." I lock eyes with Damon for a moment, and for the briefest second it almost feels like I have him back. But he breaks eye contact, and I know that he's shutting himself off.
His tone doesn't change as he asks me, "Then why are you here, because I have given up guessing your reasons for why you do the things you do? It is exhausting."
"I want to call a cease fire. Whatever we are fighting about, can't we just let it go? You almost died today, and if Rebekah gets her way, you could be dead tomorrow. This isn't the time to be pushing each other away. We should be clinging to each other for dear life," I plead desperately. Damon stares at me in disbelief at my words, but quickly that disbelief turns to anger. He abruptly stands up until he is towering over me, and he catches my gaze as he proceeds to scold me harshly.
"Well forgive me, but I wasn't the one that decided to let go. I'm not the one that gave up." He angrily accuses. There is a fire in his eyes. It should upset me that his temper is exploding, but I find anger preferable to indifference. This consolation does not quell my own fury at his words. Him being angry doesn't infuriate me, but his insistence that I gave up on him sets my blood boiling. Instantly the fire is burning behind my own eyes as well, and I struggle to keep from slapping him across the face.
"That is rich coming from someone who wrote me off the second I hurt his feelings," I bite back cruelly. Damon fights to maintain his carefully honed mask, but I see how much my words have hurt him once more. He looks as if he's been punched in the gut. In the back of my mind, I know how terrible I am being, especially when I came here trying to make amends. But in that instant, I finally realized what I was so mad about. He broke his promise to me. I wasn't upset about Rebekah or Abby or Stefan. These were all small infractions that in another time I would have forgiven within a day or two. I let these fights drag on because I wasn't ready to forgive him for giving up on me. After my words hang there for a moment, I continue with my cathartic release of hurt feelings that I pile at Damon's feet. Now there is more pain in my words than anger as I speak. "I'm sorry for what I said at the ball that night. I truly am. But after all that we have shared in the past few months, how could it all be undone with a few thoughtless words? You didn't even let me explain, because the second the words came out you were done. You were done with caring, and you were certainly done with me. You lied to me Damon, and after everything that is what I cannot forgive," I say with tears filling my eyes. He resumes his puzzled staring, before he finds the words to express his confusion.
Once again, he snaps himself out of his confused pondering to resume yelling at me. "What lie? When have I ever lied to you," he questions bitterly?
It's true that Damon has been more honest with me than anyone, but he sat in this same house weeks ago, and he made a promise that he couldn't keep. He needs to be reminded of that fact. "You said that you would never leave me again. That was a lie," I claim. The night Klaus compelled Stefan to feed on me had been so frightening, but when I opened my eyes and saw Damon again, I suddenly felt so safe. He had come back for me. He promised to stay with me, and I believed him. Promises never did mean much in this town. It was foolish to believe that this would be any different. People always leave.
Damon clearly doesn't understand my reasoning, because he is staring at me like I have three heads. His voice raises with every word, and before he is done, he is fuming in righteous anger. "What are you talking about? I have been here the entire time. You may have been too caught up with Stefan to notice, but I have been here. I was here when I stopped Rebekah from lighting you on fire. I was here when I taught Stefan self-control. I was here trying to solve the council murders and trying to save Ric. Most importantly, I have been here while I was finding a way to kill Klaus. A mission that nearly got me killed tonight, so a little gratitude from you would be nice."
He's waiting for a rebuttal or an outright denial, but he is at least partially correct. He never did leave town. He just left me. "You're right," I admit. "You were physically here, but you just weren't here for me. You checked out of being my friend. You used to be my rock, the person I depended upon above all others, but that man that you used to be, he left me some time ago. You have been there for everyone but me. Do you even remember what it was like before? It was you and me against the world. You used to come see me just to check to see if I was alright. You would come to explain yourself whenever we had an argument, and you would include me on whatever plan you were hatching, but that's all gone now. You left me to deal with everything all alone when I needed you the most," I whisper teary eyed. My parents, Jenna, John, Isobel, they're all dead. Jeremy is gone, and Alaric is losing his mind. My ex-boyfriend is fresh off killing and maiming innocent people, and the one person that I want to talk to most won't even look me in the eyes.
I feel the selfish urge to hurt him like he hurt me. Damon's abandonment stings worse than all the others, because I thought he would stand by me through anything. Without censoring myself, I fire question after question at Damon not really expecting an answer. "Do you have any idea how confusing this is for me having Stefan back? Do you know what it was like to have Caroline practically slam the door in my face and tell me that my best friend couldn't stand to be around me? The answer is no you don't know how any of that felt, because you weren't there. You abandoned me just like he did, just like everyone does. Everyone always leaves," I whimper unintelligibly. Sobs wrack my body, and I expect Damon to comfort me. I expect to feel his strong arms embracing me as he apologizes or whispers that everything is going to be okay, but today is a day for disappointments. He simply stands next to me without uttering a single word until I stop crying.
Damon's next two words break my heart and make me feel more alone than I ever have. "You're wrong," he states strongly. "I didn't abandon you. You abandoned me, and I'm done being blamed for things that aren't my fault. So go, leave this house and never come back, because you were right about one thing. You and I are done, so leave before I forcibly remove you," Damon warns without a trace of sarcasm and without any room for argument. I try to preserve what little is left of my pride by not shedding another tear in his presence. I merely pick myself up and leave without another thought. As I walk to my car, I swear I hear a crashing sound coming from the boarding house, but I am too focused on keeping it together to concern myself. I make it all the way to my car before breaking down. I'm not sure how long I spend in the driveway, but after I can see through the tears again, I drive home wondering how things got this bad, and if anything would ever make it right again.
I know this was super angsty and depressing, but for anyone who has read my other stories, I specialize in angsty and depressing. The next chapter will be in Damon's perspective and it will be him explaining why he is so upset with Elena. They both are holding on to so much anger right now, and on the show, I don't think either of them care to admit what they are really angry about. That's why I felt compelled to write this explaining their perspectives. I love reviews, because I love hearing what you guys think, and I always respond to constructive criticism. I hope you guys liked the first chapter.