Author's Note: This is a series of scenes showing Damon in different decades. I've tried to stay away from events shown in the show for this one… I'm just trying to get from the slightly stuffy Damon we met in 1912 to the Damon from Season One. I'm not sure that I'll hit every decade…some of them just don't inspire me as much as others (Klaus and I agree on the 60s…) Please let me know if you catch any mistakes…oh, and reviews of any sort would be lovely of course!
Have a drink with me brother…
Five years ago, I watched my brother go over the edge and I didn't do anything to stop him.
I've seen more than a few of Stefan's kills, but this room was particularly nauseating.
I couldn't tell how many bodies were in here, and the smell…well, there was a downside to vampire senses. I couldn't tell how long they'd been dead…four days, five? I didn't want to look that closely.
I moved as quickly as I could, drenching everything in sight with gasoline. I lit the fire and watched for a moment as it blazed incredibly hot.
My brother had moved around a lot in the past few years, leaving a trail of bodies all over the United States. Sometimes he cleaned up after himself…sometimes he didn't. Sometimes I cleaned up after him.
This year was the bloodiest yet. If the entire country hadn't been entering another war, someone would have noticed him.
Another war. I'd seen the pictures. A lot of vampires followed wars…it made for easy pickings. The Spanish Influenza had taken the blame for more than one of my meals. But I'd have to turn the humanity off completely to ever enter another war zone again. And then I wouldn't care if I ever got Katherine out of that tomb. That was unacceptable. Opening that tomb was the reason for my existence.
So I was operating on a bit of a dimmer switch. And right now, I wished I could turn it off. This had been a camp ground…but as it blazed, it reminded me of those awful days during the war. The stench of burning, rotting flesh was too much. My little brother, the Ripper had done this all by himself.
A small, dusty town was up ahead…I skirted the edges and found what I wanted.
She was small, plump, and cheerful, with curling blond ringlets.
She smiled shyly. "Hello."
I didn't waste time. "You will come with me into the woods. You will not be afraid, and you will not scream."
She followed willingly, but didn't take my hand when I offered it. "I'm married…I just got married…"
I nodded. Loyalty was a lovely thing in a woman.
"Your husband won't mind…there's nothing wrong with what we're about to do. You're just being a good Samaritan, giving a former soldier a meal."
She nodded. This was the sort of thing she would do. I decided to be kind. "This will feel nice….but not too nice…I want you to be able to enjoy your husband when he gets back." I smirked a little, and she blushed as I pulled her hair away from her neck.
She was sweet, and her blood was sweet too. When I felt her heartbeat slow, I pulled away, though she fought me, just a little. She'd enjoyed the feeling of my lips at her neck.
I nicked my wrist and fed her a few mouthfuls of my blood.
I held her for a moment, missing the feeling of another willing body more than I wanted to admit.
But this one was married, so I turned her toward me. "You are going home. You won't remember this. Your day was perfectly normal, and very pleasant." I moved in and held her for a moment, just to enjoy the closeness of another creature, and then I sent her on her way.
Prohibition was the worst idea, EVER. I growled to myself as I tore out another thug's throat. You couldn't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a mobster.
I drained the third one dry and took the bag of cash that they'd brought to the drop. The bodies were messy, but the gang violence in Chicago was pretty messy too. My suit was unscathed, thank goodness. Over half a century of drinking blood had taught me to drink it neatly if I could.
I needed to get out of this town. Getting a decent bourbon was nearly impossible. The only thing you could rely on getting was gin, and I didn't like drinking anything that began life in some backwoods bathtub.
On the other hand, the girls were a lot less prudish. Sometimes they were so forward they shocked me.
Stefan was in town, which meant I tried to stay clear of him. I'd stopped cleaning up his messes years before. If he got himself killed…well…he'd been asking for it for sixty years.
Still…I kept tabs on him. Bad habit I couldn't seem to break.
The speakeasy was open, but there were only a few pathetic drunks here at three in the afternoon. I caught the eye of the bartender. "Tell me you have some decent whiskey…"
He laughed. "As it happens, we do. Ain't cheap." I grinned, thinking about the cash I took from the same guys who ran this place. "Not a problem. I want the whole bottle."
He nodded and I slid an absurd amount of cash across the bar.
Hopefully the guy would try to keep the whiskey coming in if he made enough dough on it. Uggg. I was picking up the classless mob lingo.
The resident witch swept into the room, ordered a gin and tonic and sat down with the band leader, discussing the songs for her sets that night. I waited until the band leader left and sat down beside her.
"Buy you a drink?"
She smirked up at me. "Thanks, but I don't date vampires."
I smirked. "That's probably a health conscious decision, all things considered."
"If you aren't looking for a quick meal, or a quick turn around the dance floor, what exactly brings you to my door?"
I shrugged. "There's an abnormally annoying vampire who frequents this place…waaay too much pomade in his hair."
She threw her head back and laughed delightedly. "Hmmm…you need to add brooding, dangerous, and dead sexy to the list, but I know who you mean. Stefan Salvatore. Runs with a bad crowd…but I gotta say, he keeps up." I felt my brows contract. So Stefan had found other like-minded bloodsuckers to play with. Sounded like him.
The witch's eyes were twinkling.
I smirked back. "He isn't dead sexy. He's just dead. We all are. My brother just can't seem to get over it." Maybe the little witch would take the warning.
"Thought I saw a resemblance." She looked him over with banked heat in her eyes. "Like I said, I don't date vampires…no matter how pretty they might be."
I pulled out a thousand dollars in cash. "That's as it might be…but all I need is a favor." I wrote down my address. "If anything happens to Stefan, if he leaves town, gets in too much trouble…" Dies. But I didn't say that out loud. "If anything happens to him, send someone to this address for me as quick as you can. Little brother and I are in the middle of a little squabble, but I want to know if he's in trouble."
The witch, Gloria took the money. Hey, even witches had to eat.
I finished off the bottle of whiskey in one long pull and nodded to the bartender. "Keep stocking that stuff, and I'll be back." He looked shocked that I could walk as I padded out of the room.
I fudged the dates and facts a bit to let Damon meet Einstein and Leona Woods-Marshall/Libby. Einstein WAS teaching at Princeton at the time, but Leona would have been 15. Still, I wanted him to meet one of the only women who worked on the Manhattan Project.
What a miserable year.
It was like the whole world went to hell in 1929…and by 1934 the drought and the heat was bothering even vampires.
I folded the newspaper in disgust. That idiot, Wilson had helped enact austerity measures that had ruined Germany…and now they had a total mad man as dictator. This wouldn't end well. Why was it that no else could put two and two together?
I looked at my watch. Just enough time for lunch before I left…
I called in the maid, drained a couple of pints as she giggled, and then sent her on her way.
The girl was looking too thin again. I wrote a quick note for the housekeeper to raise the housemaids salary. In the middle of the depression, paying the going rate wasn't really enough to keep body and soul together.
I wouldn't admit it to anyone, but I was excited today. Einstein was giving a lecture on unified field theory at Princeton. I'd managed to get an invitation. Ok, I'd managed to compel an invitation. Same thing.
It was seventy-five years until Katherine could be released from the tomb. It was a long time yet, so I was trying to keep myself busy. It wasn't in my nature to find a cave a brood, which is what my idiot brother was doing at the moment.
His little friend Lexie had hauled his ungrateful self back from the abyss…again. Last I heard he was in an eternal guilt spiral and eating bunnies. I snorted. Bunnies, of all things.
I slipped into a seat next to one of the other students, John Blackthorn, a fellow who had decent taste in whiskey.
"You were almost late."
"I had some household details to see to."
The other man chuckled. "You are the only man I know who still keeps a full household for a single person."
I realized that this was no longer the fashion… but I had the money, and it made me feel more comfortable, more settled to have a proper household.
"My family is somewhat old fashioned." I smirked at my own joke.
Einstein walked up to the blackboard and I gave my entire attention to the lecture, trying to unravel the mathematical mystery behind the theory…
Blackthorn invited several of the other students to one of the more popular university bars after the lecture ended. I nursed the whiskey in my hand, but the debate couldn't hold my attention. It was a watered-down version of what Einstein had theorized, without the genius that made it entertaining. The only women in the room were the kind who were too desperate for attention…there was a time and a place for women like that, but they couldn't hold my attention tonight.
I was about to walk out the door when I noticed that one plain brown head was not a floozy or someone's girl. She had a stack of textbooks on her table, a cup of coffee by her elbow, and I thought I spied a copy of Amazing Adventures peeking out of her book bag.
"I have to admit, Buck Rodgers is a lot of fun, but have you seen the Flash Gordon comics?"
She looked up at me with a wide-eyed stare.
I wasn't sure why, but I sat down.
"What's your name?"
She cocked an eyebrow at me. "Why should I tell you?"
"Because I'm not your average irritating university student."
She quirked a little grin, showing a dimple and suddenly becoming beautiful, though there was no real reason why she should be…her face was still a little plain…but there was a light from the inside of her…a fire burning….
Not my kind of fire…she reminded me suddenly of Einstein, though the professor was already old, and she was in the first bloom of youth. It was that sort of fire.
I cocked my head. "I'll make a deal with you. If I can guess why you study physics, you tell me your name. If I don't get it right on the first try…you walk away and I never bother you again."
She looked at me intently. She didn't ask how I knew that she studied physics. She just raised her coffee cup. "Well, get on with it then…"
"You are the smartest person you know." He smirked when she opened her mouth. "No false modesty here. You have a gift, and it takes over your entire life. You study at Princeton, not because of the school's name, but because there are others of your kind here…others who have that same spark. Some of them deny it because you are a woman, some of them just don't like you…but you don't study physics because you want to. You do it because you can't do anything else and remain sane."
Her mouth was open, and he stretched out one finger and shut her pretty mouth for her. "Leona…Leona Woods."
I smiled at her. "It was nice to meet you Miss Woods." I got up to go. This one wasn't for me. There was something special about her.
"I imagine I'll see you in the papers."
A few short years later, after the war was over, a picture caught my eye. Among the founders of the Manhattan Project, there was a lone dark head. Leona. Her name meant 'lioness'. I smiled at the picture. I wasn't sure about right and wrong…but I still admired the fire burning in her. I was glad I hadn't been thirsty that August night.