Blink Part Two

{So this did not come out at all like I wanted it to and I'm not very happy with it but I just wanted to finish this and get back to Forever Fortune's Fool. So here it is.}

Playlist- Brand New Me by Alicia Keys

It never occurred to him that when he went to see Bonnie that she wouldn't be home and when he calls her phone it rings a couple of times but then goes to voicemail. He hangs up and dials back instantly without leaving a message. Again no one picks up. And it's like a blatant slap in the face; a reminder that things have changed. He leaves for an hour and comes back but still her car is not in the driveway and he can't hear anyone moving around. He immediately calls Caroline.

"What do you want?" Is her greeting.

He smirks. "What kind of way is that to answer the phone?"

"Damon what the hell do you want? Is that better?"

He rolls his eyes. "Is the witch with you?" He asks bluntly.

"You mean Bonnie?" She asks.

"No I meant Glenda the Good! Of course I mean Bonnie!"

"No."

"Well where is she?"

"I don't know."

"What do you mean 'you don't know'? Aren't you two besties or whatever? Isn't that part of the BFF handbook?"

"Obviously you've never had a best friend." She mocks and he can hear her smirking on the other end. "Have you checked the Grille?" She asks.

He rolls his eyes and pinches the bridge of his nose in annoyance. "Of course I checked. She's not there."

"Then I don't know. Look she's sort of been MIA for the last week. She's doing college prep stuff I think."

Did everyone know about Bonnie going off to college but him? "College prep stuff; like what?"

"I don't know!" She snaps into the phone again. "Look why do you even care where she is?"

"I don't care! I just need her for something. And it's real inconvenient that she's not around."

"Well what are you going to do when she goes off to college; Have her doing spells through Skype?"

He hangs up on her as a response. He dials Jeremy next but it goes to voicemail. He doesn't bother to leave a message. He sends her a text. It is short and simple.

'WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?"

He seats himself on her porch swing and waits for her reply. And while he waits he begins to think of what he is going to say to her. All the ways in which he is going to convince her that moving across the country is definitely not in her best interest. He will simply reason with her that this just isn't the right time and she will simply need to postpone this little trip of hers. And by postpone what he really means is nix the idea completely. Either way he will simply appeal to her sense of reason and logic and if all else fails he will just guilt her into staying. He's always got the Elena card in his back pocket. It's his safety net; his get out of jail free card. It's the one thing that she can never and will never turn her back on. Hell he might just skip all the reasoning and just go straight for that. It will save him a lot of time and perhaps stop this stupid feeling in his chest that has yet to go away.

However after four hours of sitting on her porch waiting for her to come home and countless text messages later, all talk of reason has gone right out the window. And when he sees her headlights light up her driveway he is all ready for a fight. She emerges weighed down with what looks to be an assortment of shopping bags. She struggles with them as she tries to close her car door and pull her keys from her purse. She's just placed her foot on the first step when she sees his silhouette at the top stairs. "What are you doing here? Is Elena okay?" She asks immediately.

He furrows his brow and looks her over. She looks the same as she always has. Long dark hair, smooth caramel skin, bright green eyes…yeah still Bonnie; so why does he have this stupid gut feeling that something has changed?

It's been a while

I'm not who I was before

"Are you kidding me? You've been running around town shopping?"

She shakes her head. "Where is Elena?"

"I assume still at the boarding house with Stefan trying to figure out our Vampire Hunter problem!"

"But she's okay?" She asks.

"For the moment."

"Unbelievable." The word is uttered on an exhalation of breath as she passes him on the steps. He catches her roll her eyes at the last minute as she goes to her front door.

"What?"

Shaking her head she fights to retrieve her keys. "You're unbelievable! You can't just show up here acting like the world is ending when it obviously isn't!"

"For Elena it might be."

"For Elena it always is." She mutters still fighting with her front door.

"What does that mean?"

"You know what it means!"

"Is that why you're leaving? You're tired of playing second fiddle to your best friend?" His question stops her movement and she turns to him slowly.

"What?" She laughs humorlessly. "What does that even mean?"

"Oh come on! Elena is like the feature of the week…every week and you are just," He begins but she cuts him off.

"I'm just what?"

"Well you're definitely not the star of this drama."

There is a beat as she stands there staring at him. Her eyes blink once and then again and she nods ever so slightly as if something has just clicked into place. His words have made an impact but just how much he can't tell. He feels once again as if he has done something very bad. This was the wrong move.

You look surprised

Your words don't burn me anymore

Cocking her head to the side she is silent as if thinking over her words very carefully. "Why are you here?"

Pulling the book from his jacket pocket he opens it to the page that has been marked. "There is something here written in Witch's Language about The Five. We can't figure out what it says."

She has placed her bags on the porch swing and turns just in time to take the book from his hands. Looking it over she exhales. Her eyes scan the page. "It's a message. Some kind of warning." She reads the text rhythmically.

'The fall of one the rise of one.

They are Five, The Ultimate Five

Pentagram drawn in blood

Sealed by time.

Cycle upon cycle

If a hunter's life you take

Break the bond

Your sanity It will break.

Till another hunter you make.

Handing the book back to him she ignores his look of confusion.

'I don't understand." He replies.

"Whoever takes down the hunter is destined to become insane."

"Then how do we kill him?"

She shrugs. "Don't know. You need to leave." She has the door open.

"So that's it?"

"That's it." Grabbing up the bags haphazardly she turns to go inside. He is blocking the entrance to her front door, staring down into her eyes. "Get out of the way."

"Tell me something. Doesn't it get lonely up there on that pedestal that you're on? I mean don't you ever get tired of staring down at us judging us?"

"Well if you're so tired of the way I look at you then you should be happy that I'm leaving."

"You're just going to abandon us…abandon Elena."

"Elena doesn't need me. She has you. Isn't that what you said? Wasn't that your whole point? If anyone is going to save Elena it's going to be you."

"What do you think I'm doing?"

Been meaning to tell you

But I guess it's clear to see

Don't be mad

It's just a brand new kind of me

"I think that you're running to me to clean up your mess! Like every other time you find yourself in trouble. I can't open the tomb, let's call Bonnie! I can't unlock this coffin, let's call Bonnie. I can't find Elena, let's call Bonnie! You know for someone who isn't the star of this drama, my name sure pops up enough!"

"So what do you want… a medal?"

"I WANT OUT!"

Can't be bad

I found a brand new kind of free…

And neither one of them is sure who is more surprised by her admission. Her words echo into the night bouncing off the walls of two lone bodies that stand on her porch.

"Don't you see what is happening; what has happened? Elena is a vampire. She's not the same girl that I grew up with. Do you even understand what that means?"

"Yes! It's the same thing I've been saying all along! So now you've finally decided to take off your blinders and see the truth."

Shaking her head she turns away from him dropping her bags onto the porch swing and ignores when one of them tips over spilling its contents to the floor. "You don't get it."

"No I get it! Elena has changed and now you're bailing on her. You're skipping town and abandoning your best friend. God you are so selfish! She needs you now more than ever and you hate vampires that much that you're just going to leave!"

When she laughs the sound is harsh and makes him flinch ever so slightly. "You think… you think I'm doing this for me? You think that I'm leaving for me?" Shaking her head she places her hands on her hips. "Not that you deserve an explanation but just for the record…I'm doing this for her."

"Right. You're skipping town to help Elena."

And he watches her squint her eyes at him the way she always does when he has said something that doesn't sit right with her. "You really don't see it do you?"

"See what?"

"She's not… she's not the girl I grew up with. She's changed… she's changing. Every day she's a little bit less like the girl I knew and a little bit more like…you."

And he can tell by the way her voice cracks that it really makes her sad. She lowers herself to the porch swing her hands clasped between her legs she rocks back and forth slowly her eyes never leaving her own palms.

"Right now I can make excuses for her. I can give her a free pass on the things that she's done. But you and I both know that at some point that's going to change." She meets his eyes. "One of these days I'm going to look into her eyes and I'm not going to know who she is anymore. One day Elena is going to cross the line… and who do you think is going to have to stop her?"

Her question hangs between them the warning very clear. And it's like a bad story unfolding before his eyes; Scene after scene all culminating to one epic disastrous moment. When had all of their roles altered? Yes he was very aware that Elena was changing but somehow he failed to recognize that so was everyone else. Their personalities like pieces on a chessboard were shifting. How could he have missed this? "I don't want to kill her… but that doesn't mean I won't." He has never seen her this sad. She is so resigned to what she thinks is inevitable. How could he have missed this?

He stares her down looking for words to bring them back to what he is used to. He wants to shift her back to the track that he knows. "You would never do that… I wouldn't let you kill her." His words sound so empty but it has been his mantra for so long. It's habit to stop all threats to Elena even if he knows deep down that he can't. Bonnie is the one thing that he cannot stop. If she feels that Elena has become a threat there is no stopping her. Yes he could try to kill her but he's not sure that would really be effective. He would give it his best shot but she's a witch that is able to incapacitate him with one look. The odds are not in his favor.

Careful with your Ego

He's the one that we should blame

She tilts her head slightly and her eyebrows lift. "What do you think will happen to you when my reason for not killing you is no longer a factor?" This is not a threat. It is just a very simple basic truth and he can recognize it for what it is. The day Bonnie loses Elena is the day they all lose. Elena is the only thing standing between him and death's door. She has held her hand for Elena. Everything she has ever done has been for her best friend. Elena is the line that Bonnie is never willing to cross. Holding back not because she isn't capable but simply to spare Elena's feelings. If Bonnie ever rises to her full potential there is no telling what will become of the rest of them.

Had to grab my heart back

God knows something had to change

"I have compromised so many of my beliefs for her because it was worth it to me. She was worth it. And for the moment she still is. So I'm giving her the only thing I have left to offer… I'm giving her, her life. And in return I want my life back. I'm not doing this to punish her… I'm doing this to save her. Consider it one last gift from an old friend. What she chooses to do with it is completely up to her."

"I don't think she really sees it that way." He points out.

She shrugs tiredly. "How Elena perceives things isn't really my concern."

"Just answer me this; When did you decide to turn your back on her? When did Elena become the enemy?"

"She's not. And that's not what I'm doing." She huffs at his lack of understanding.

"That is exactly what you're doing. You are packing up and leaving town. How is that not turning your back on her?"

"Why are you so adamant that I stay? I mean besides the obvious."

His eyebrows rise inquisitively. "Meaning?"

"Well I'm sure it's quite inconvenient for you to no longer have the resident witch in your back pocket; Ready and willing to offer up my life at a moment's notice to save Elena."

"That's not…" He begins when she cuts him off.

"Don't insult my intelligence by telling me I'm wrong." Rolling her eyes she stands placing her hands on her hips. "I mean I'm not angry with you… much." She remarks quietly and the look that he pins her with screams 'liar'. "I'm not. We both know that I have been more than willing to lay down my life for Elena. But there is a big difference from me offering my life for a friend and you willing to simply hand it over without even the slightest hesitation." She remarks with a sarcastic smile. "But where is all this fight coming from? Surely you can find another witch to fight your battles." She points out.

He smirks. "Who has that kind of time? You're here right now."

It took long long time to get here

It took a brave brave girl to try

"Yes but how long did you think this was going to last? This can't be that much of a surprise to you; can it? I mean you had to know that at some point this was bound to happen, that this moment was coming right? You have been steadily pushing the people that care about Elena out of her life just so you can be the center of her universe. So why are you so upset now that I have conceded defeat?" She asks truly baffled and he offers up nothing but silence. Shaking her head she gathers her bags ready to go inside. As she passes him she stops short. "You win Damon. You win."

It took one too many excuses

And one too many lies

And she has a point. A very real and poignant point. So why was he fighting her on this? He should be throwing a freaking parade; pulling out the streamers and wishing her a safe journey. In all honesty there have been many instances when he wished that Bonnie Bennett was somewhere else. Wanted her miles and miles away from Mystic Falls and out of the way. He had once believed that his life would be greatly improved by her absence. No longer having to endure her judgmental glares and constant put-downs as though he were second rate to his younger brother; so this should be the happiest day of his life.

But it wasn't.

Yes he could always get another witch but the problem with that was none of them would be her. None of them could ever replace what he had grown quite accustomed to. Those judgmental stares had become somewhat endearing to him. For all his boasting about her being useless the truth was she had a way with him. A way of making him stop and question his choices and if she left who would do that? Who would be his moral compass; his Jiminy Cricket of a conscience bugging the shit out of him?

Don't be surprised…

Don't be surprised

"Because I expected you to always push back." Her footsteps stop suddenly at his confession and though he can't see her he knows that she's listening. "It's what you do. You don't concede defeat. You don't ever stop…pushing. You don't allow guys like me to win. It's not who you are." Exhaling deeply he licks his lips and turns to face her back. "You're the one that stands and fights. Even when the ones you're fighting for don't deserve it; there you are… So to answer your question: no this moment right here never occurred to me, not once." Taking steps in her direction he leans over her shoulder his cheek almost touching hers. His voice is in her ears. "And if this is what it means to win… then I don't want it. I don't want this." He reaches for her, hesitates and then takes the plunge and wraps his fingers around her wrist. "She needs you. We need you. I need…" He begins but finds that he can't finish that statement. "I don't want to be the guy that broke Bonnie Bennett."

It took a long long road to get here

Took a brave brave girl to try

There are several beats of silence. He counts them by the breath she takes and he waits. Because he finally realizes the precarious position that he is in. "You didn't." She whispers. "You didn't break me Damon. I simply wised up and realized… I deserve more than this." She turns to him. "I want to be more than just an 'extra' in the life saga that is Elena Gilbert and I don't want to be the girl that brought her down when she got to be too much for Mystic Falls." She sighs and gives him a sad smile. "My life is more than just saving Elena and reining her in." She laughs softly feeling his fingers twitch ever so slightly around her flesh. "You were right… I am abandoning her… because she doesn't need me."

I've taken one too many excuses

One too many lies

Don't be surprised (Said you look surprised)

She exhales deeply her eyes pooling with unshed tears. "I have been running behind Elena all my life always there to pick up the pieces when her world was falling apart. And I never stopped to pick up the pieces of my own." The very thought just makes her sad. Looking up into his face, his expression almost looks distraught.

I don't need your opinion

I'm not waiting for your okay

"You know… I am a fighter… and it took a while but I finally see…all this time I've been fighting for the wrong people. I should have been fighting for me. So that's what I'm going to do." She slips her wrist out of his grasp.

I'll never be perfect

But at last now I'm brave

Reaching up she touches his cheek and the move isn't gentle enough to be a caress but it's the first time she has ever touched him. "I'm not broken… I'm just free." Going up on her tip toes she leans in her lips brushing over his skin she whispers. "Thank you. Thank you for setting me free." She takes in a slow breath.

Now my heart is open

I can finally breathe

"Now go home… go home and fight for the girl that wants to be fought for, and let this 'extra' go."

That ain't bad

I found a brand new kind of me…

It's funny because he doesn't even realize when he started fighting for her. He had come on behalf of Elena but it was very clear that in this moment he was fighting to keep her here for him. And he had lost… And even though she is standing right there in front of him he feels as if somehow she is already gone. Sometime during this conversation he allowed her to slip through his fingers. It was as if he blinked and suddenly the girl that he used to push around had gone away and in her place was this brave young woman about to strike out on her own and leave them all behind.

Don't be mad

It's just a brand new kind of free

And he wants to say something, something that will make her stay but there are no words, and there is nothing to be done. So he simply watches her, step by step as she moves away from him, turns her back and steps over the threshold of her home…he catches the last glimpse of her as she disappears behind a closed door.

He blinks and the girl he knew is gone… she is free.

Don't be mad

It's a brand new time for me…