AN: This is my take on the airplane ride home from the Island back to Mystic Falls in 4x15, in which Silas/Shane does not have Bonnie acting like a homicidal mind slave.
"If you were going to die, I'd rather it be at my hands. After everything, I think we owe each other that."
She had been crying since the boat ride off of the island. That was an hour ago, and now on the plane, he could still hear her quiet sobs as she stared out of the window. Her attempt to hide her pain irked him, made him feel uncomfortable and even guilty. Did she not feel comfortable to cry in front of him? Yes, he would make some snide remark about how little Gilbert was now with his ghost lover, but it wouldn't be because he was a heartless person. He would say it to make her hate him, loath him, call him insensitive and vile, but at least she wouldn't be sad, at least she wouldn't cry.
And so that's what he did.
"What is wrong with you!" Bonnie hissed. She was not about to cause a scene in the cramped airline. It was the best they could get on such short notice, even with Damon's compulsion. "Who says things like that?"
"I say things like that." Damon remarked. "If you want to believe your boy friend will just rot in the ground then that's your problem. But I think he's going to move on to that pie in the sky and find that little vixen he ditched you for and find true happiness." he smirked cheekily and Bonnie could have smacked him then and there if there weren't so many people.
"I'm just a hopeless romantic. Human and vampire, torn apart, brought back together when his witch brings him back from the dead because she loves him, the torn apart again because we all remember that she's dead and now reunited for eternity. It's touching really." he said, dramatically placing a hand over hi heart.
Bonnie turned to face the window again, shutting out Damon. He would not see her cry. He was scum in her opinion, he was right, but scum all the same. "I don't know what Elena sees in you." she said, looking back at him, holding back tears. "I hope she comes to her senses soon and realises that everything, all of this, is a lie, a rouse, and sees you for the calculating, manipulator you really are." Damon frowned. "Yeah, I hope that hurt." she added.
They didn't speak to each other for the next fourteen minutes. Fourteen minutes of Bonnie going over all of the things she wish she could have said to Jeremy, how she was no longer mad at him for what he did. Fourteen minutes of going over what Atticus had told her about Silas and bringing everyone back. Could she be responsible for the death of twelve innocents? All to save Jeremy, Grams and whoever else who was taken too soon? It was unnatural, but that was Expression magic, unnatural.
Damon spent fourteen minutes thinking about that damn sire bond. Why him? Why could't anything just come easy to him. Now he would have to convince the girl he loved to… to what? Forget about her brother's death? Turn it off? He knew she would no longer be the same person he fell in love with and it would be because of him. It was funny, just yesterday he didn't want her to become human because her feelings may change and she may go back to Stefan. That and the reality that as a human she would die one day was too much. But here he was, about to loose her anyway.
And then there was the witch who sat beside him, still silently sobbing despite his imperfect efforts. She had shared what the cooky professor had tried to convince her to do and he wasn't too convinced when she promised that she would not listen to a word he said. He saw the pull the Professor had over her, the way he commanded her normally flawless logic and twisted it to suit his will. Everyone else thought he was over reacting, but here was Bonnie, broken and mourning the loss of Young Gilbert, proof that he was right. This was all that creep's fault, and his for not taking care of him earlier. He had no idea where the man or Silas were and at this point he could care less. All he cared about was the mess that was waiting for him in Mystic Falls and the dejected girl beside him right now.
"I'm... I'm sorry you know." he said breaking the hostile silence. Bonnie turned farther away from him. "You know, if you turn away anymore you'll become one with your seat Bennett."
"Just stop." she spat. "I know you're only doing this for Elena."
"What?" he said, sounding offended "Is that what you meant by my little "game" or rouse" or whatever?" Why did everyone think he always had an ulterior motive? Most of the time he did, but not ALWAYS.
"Staying behind to find her friend and bring her home safely," she started, turning around to face him "sure to win you some points." He folded his arms and looked straight ahead at the back of a balding man's head. "Don't act all offended now because I called you out. You do remember what you just said to me, don't you?" if it was a fight Damon was looking for, he was picking a God awful time to do so. She was in no mood and soon she would forget about the other passengers and show Damon what she was truly capable. It was bad enough that he had to see her cry, see her weak and vulnerable, but now to play with her, she would kill him before they landed.
"And I apologised, so what do you want?"
"I don't want anything from you Damon. Never have, never will." Well at least she was angry, if not at least irritated with him, he thought. Better than sad right? But now he was finding himself vexed by her blatant disapproval and mistrust of him. This wasn't a part of the plan.
"Why is it if I do something good, it's selfishly for Elena and if I do something bad it's just selfish. What is it with you and your goody-goody friends?" he told himself that he didn't really care what she thought but that was a lie. He cared, if even just a little bit.
"You're wrong." she said cooly, rolling her shoulders, trying to work a kink out of them. Curling away from Damon on a tight airline left her stiff and sore. "You do bad things selfishly for Elena too. Remember my mom."
Damon let out a frustrated sigh and tilted his head back.
"It was either me or Stefan, and I know if it were him you all would be coddling him, saying some garbage about how it was somehow my fault anyway. I did what I had to, to save-"
"Elena." his head snapped to the side to face her. She refused to make eye contact, choosing to focus on her sore, cramped legs. "Every move you've made in… I'd say the past six months to a year have been about her. In fact, I challenge you to give me a moment where it wasn't about her." it was rhetorical of course. She knew he was head over heels for her friend, or whatever it was he felt for her. From turning her mother into a vampire to even coming on this death trip, it was all for Elena.
"Today, when I searched that God forsaken island with my bestest buddy Rebekah all to find you." he stated plainly, still staring at her. He would prove her misconceptions wrong.
"We already concluded that you stayed behind because-"
"I thought you were dead." he admitted. This caused her to turn and look at him, really look at him. He wasn't wearing his usual cocky grin, but staring intently looking at her, the same look he had when he meant business, when he wanted to be taken seriously. And to her surprise, she did. Something about his words caused her mouth to inch up into the smallest of smalls.
"And how many times have you said I'd be better off dead?" she joked.
"Plenty. But if you were going to die, I'd rather it be at my hands. After everything, I think we owe each other that." he responded. She simply shook her head and glanced out the window again. He gave a self satisfied smirk at the fact that he could make her smile, if for even a second. He settled back in his seat and stared straight ahead again, he wasn't done yet.
"You're half right though," he continued, piquing Bonnie's interest. "Stefan called me and said that Elena thought you could bring Jeremy back from the dead, that I had to find you. But before that, I honestly thought you had somehow managed to escape the catacombs in an attempt to get help, and succumbed to your injuries in the middle of the woods, or whatever it is you humans do before you die." he could see her grinning from the reflection in the window "That or Psycho Katherine gave you up as an offering to the natives in exchange for some shred of dignity or class or whatever else the bitch so desperately needs."
"You're quite the story teller Damon." she said turning back to him, her smile growing slightly. "Even though it doesn't make much sense."
"Well I thought I should at least bring back your body, it'd be the right thing to do." he turned to her "I'm glad I didn't have to though… you look heavy." Damon knew Bonnie was the only woman alive who he could make a joke like that too without her taking offense or getting emotional.
Bonnie wasn't sure whether she should hit him or laugh, so she did both. Wasn't she just seething at him a few moments ago. She was, but this was so much easier than hating him. Hate lead to blame, blame lead to guilt and guilt lead to sadness, something she didn't want to feel for the time being. She was so tired.
"Is that why you hugged me when you saw me?" She asked. "You were so filled with relief that you didn't have to risk breaking your old, decrepit, vampire back by carrying me?"
They hadn't mentioned the hug until now. It was odd and very out of character for the both of them so they pretended it was one of those spur of the moment things. For Damon, it was pure relief. After the events of the past two days, something about accomplishing what he set out to do, seeing Bonnie safe and sound, felt to good. At least she was okay, still the same, still the judgy witch and she was one less thing on his growing conscience. He could have kissed her in that moment, he felt that strongly, but he wasn't that far out of his mind with relief. He'd never admit any of this out loud though. He was trying to make her laugh, not bare his soul to Bonnie Bennett.
"Me hug you? You hugged me witch." he said with accusation, "And you loved every minute of it." he added cockily. Bonnie, nodded in a condescending manner.
"I will treasure that moment for the rest of my life, in my nightmares." she said sarcastically.
"Ooo, sex dream. Sounds kinky." he quipped. At this she swatted his arm, which was far too close to her in this confined airplane.
"You wish." Truth was, she had no idea why she had hugged him. In the moment, seeing him was like a gulp of fresh air as she emerged from the sea of words Atticus had fed to her. She was terrified. She knew he had some strange kind of influence over her. One moment she could feel such unadulterated, uncontrollable rage and the next, nothing. Everything as okay because he was there talking to her. He made her feel like a sacrifice was a good idea, like it was the only thing to do. But it wasn't, she knew that in her head, and there was where the inner battle began. She had felt like she was in a haze, lost, waking around the forest, and something about seeing Damon when she emerged into the clearing, wiped away all of the fogginess in her brain. She felt the same security that Atticus forced her to feel, but with Damon it felt genuine and organic. She had to hug him, to make sure he was real, not an illusion like Jeremy. She had to make sure she had a reason to feel safe and like everything would be okay, and he was real, intense blue eyes, jerkish attitude and all.
And he was real now, sitting beside her. Just as he had pulled her out of her fog in the forest, he was pulling her out of her sadness now, by just being him, Damon Salvatore.
"I guess when everything goes wrong, you just need something stable to hold on to, right?" she said out of the blue, she glanced over at Damon, their eyes meeting for the first time since they left the island.
Her eyes were still blood shot and puffy from crying and he knew she was long from done. She would go home and cry even more than he would like to imagine.
His eyes eyes looked troubled and burdened, something she had grown accustomed to seeing. He would have to face a shattered Elena and she knew he wasn't prepared for it.
Even though they both saw more in each other than the either cared to admit, they would never call each other on it. It was too personal, too much out of their comfort zone, but that was the way they liked it.
Their relationship never changed. They would never see eye to eye and they would always challenge each other even if one of them knew the other was right. But they had grown on each other, and in their own way had come a long way from the night Damon had tried to kill her. They were both heading back to Mystic Falls to face their own decisions, their own guilt, but right now they had each other. She would always hate him and never fall for his charm and he would always hate her and purposely push her buttons. They were unchanging, constant and in this moment it was the best damn feeling in the world, a feeling they knew would always be there underneath the animosity and disagreements.
Without warning, Damon placed his hand over one of hers, resting on the arm rest between them, and held it like it was something he'd been doing all of his life. More surprisingly, she let him and intertwined her fingers with his.
"Yeah." He whispered. "Hold on with everything you've got."