I used to hear it all so loud, the sound of my heart breaking.

The truth is waiting to be found, I trust that I will take it.

I would give my life to be.

- Ellie Goulding, Human

No decision is ever spontaneous, even if it seems so.

Even if the decision is made in the heat of the moment, in a split second. That decision has been rooted in the mind for days, weeks, years. It's been gradually forming and slowly developing into a full-fledged idea that you simply must act on, given the chance. It festers, silent yet solidified, in the subconscious until the conscious finally has the opportunity.

It's only the opportunity that is truly random.

And Klaus has always been unpredictable.

In spite of everything, Damon always knew that he would have to die in order to be human. To prove that he was human to himself, to everyone. So when he found himself laying in her arms, staring up at the ceiling, he wasn't surprised. He wasn't even surprised for whom he had sacrificed his life. It had been a decision in the making for a long time now.

"Damon?" Bonnie said, her voice crackling with concern. "Damon? Are you ok?"

"Not really, witchy," he ground out, struggling to keep consciousness. "The stake must have grazed my heart."

But he knew this already, because Bonnie was crying instead of trying to heal him. This condition- imminent death- was growing out of her realm of capabilities, Death was the strongest of viruses, after all, and Bonnie was no miracle worker.

"I'm disconnected from my ancestors," she said, trying to explain why he was beyond her help. "I saved Jamie before only with their help."

"I know." He was surprised with how many things he had known, really, all along. Damon had known that this was the only right ending for him. Somehow. It was all some poetic, symbolic, corny outcome that he had seen coming.

"I bet you're getting a kick out of this," he said, trying on a pained smirk. "You finally get rid of me. Just what you always wanted."

Bonnie just shook her head, opening her mouth, but sorrow choked the words back for a moment. A sense of mourning hung in the air like thick smog, surrounding them completely but somehow allowing her face to remain perfectly visible while all else clouded away.

"Do you forgive me yet, judgey?" he finally whispered, punctuating the sentence with a cough. Bonnie smiled, in spite of herself. Tears spilled from her without reserve, dropping quietly onto his chest. There was some more poetry there, he was sure of it.

"Of course," she reassured him. "I forgive you."

"Good," he said, but it came out more as a groan.

"I never thought you would do this," she said softly, and he couldn't say he could blame her. All events, actions, and words exchanged between them up until this point did not seem to cause this outcome. It was only after he had done it- after he had jumped in the way of the lethal weapon- that it all made sense, it all fell precisely into place.

"Me neither," he admitted. "Not until now."

"Can I ask…can I ask why? You don't even…" she trailed off, at a loss. He closed his eyes for a moment, struggling to understand it all himself. He knew what she wanted to say. Why me? Why not sacrifice yourself to save Elena? You don't even love me.

But those were all the wrong questions. Because she already had her answer, and life was seeping out of it before her very eyes.

He opened his eyes again, meetings hers. He raised a hand with difficulty and held her cheek in his palm, brushing away some stray tears with his thumb.

"You look ugly when you cry," he told her, because that was the secret, and they knew it all along. By saying that, he was saying that he hated to see her like this, sobbing to him like something was broken. By teasing her, he was saying that he cared for her more than either of them wanted to admit. By challenging her, he was saying that he respected her beyond anyone he had ever met.

By sacrificing himself to save her, Damon was saying he loved her.

"You jackass," she said with a smile crippled by sadness.

I love you too.

All of his senses were blurring to one feeling, a feeling that blanketed him and began to leak into his eyes now. Numbness.

Funny, because he had never felt more alive. It was like he was finally at peace with something he had been fighting for his entire life.

There was just one last thing to take care of.

"Tell my brother…" Words were so hard to form now. "that I forgave him."

And like that, Damon Salvatore slipped from Bonnie's grasp, falling into an unseen place in the universe. Bonnie let out a helpless sound, clutching his body and wishing beyond all reason that this was just another one his stupid tricks, his stupid manipulations.

"Stupid," she muttered to no one. "So stupid. You weren't supposed to do this. You were supposed to live and pretend you didn't care but in the end, but you were going to save everyone. Not just me."

Her breathing was slowly regaining its normal pattern, and she became aware of the environment around her again. Klaus was frozen, speechless at what had occurred, and distantly, Bonnie heard Elena's uncontrollable crying. Reluctantly, she released Damon, settling him on the floor. She leaned over his forehead and kissed him, gently, lingering.

"Damon," she whispered, mere inches from his face. "You were my enemy, my thorn in my side, my pain in the ass, and, eventually, my friend, but most of all, I want you to know that you were always human. Always so human."

She stood, staring down at him for a moment. Then she looked up at Klaus, who seemed to have his composure back and was saying something to her. But that didn't matter.

The wind started to pick up, whirling around at her feet. She felt her power surge to her, ready and purposeful. Damon's sacrifice was going to be worth it. She was going to make sure that she upheld her end of the bargain. Everyone was going to be fine. Thanks to him. Thanks to her.

She raised only one arm. With the wind howling at her back and the magical energy rippling under her skin, she knew that would be all she needed.

Make me proud, Bonnie, she could almost hear him saying in her head.

"I will," she said to no one, and unleashed.


Author's Note: This is how I wish the season finale would end, really. I really do think that Damon will die, but it wouldn't be permanent. But don't take my theory seriously, I'm often wrong about these kinds of things. Hope you all enjoyed! Thank you for reading!