Well, once again, I have no idea where the time went between updates, but at least it hasn't been a complete year again, right? (But disregard that we're now in a new one) :P Ugh, I think I hate these slumps more than my readers; it's weird. Either way, thank you all so, so much for all of your reviews and paitence with me. :)
Before I get started, I just felt like I should address this review I got; "When is this story going to be updated? Or do you like having people wait for a chapter to get more reviews?" - I do this for FREE, and occasionally life and my own personal shit gets in the way of writing. I'm not just sitting around with nothing better to do than wait for reviews to come in.
Although speaking of reviews, a few would be nice. xD Even if it's just a scolding for taking so long to post this chapter. :P
"Damon, wake up..."
Groaning and trying to slap the offending sound away, Damon woke up with a sharp yell, eyes flying open to find himself caged. Needle sharp pain exploded in his head and his hand flew up to his forehead, only to find a small crater there where a wooden bullet had embedded itself in the bone.
He gritted his teeth to stop himself from crying out as he had to dig away at his skin to create enough room for him to get his fingers around the base of the bullet. Once he had it, he yanked hard, feeling the pressure on his head cease almost instantly.
He tossed the bullet to the floor with a look of contempt, wiping the blood from his forehead as the crater began to sew itself back together. He looked around where he was sat, his head spinning so much he could barely raise it properly, and caught sight of metal bars trapping him inside. He also could've sworn he saw some heels and a brown leather jacket on the floor behind another set of bars.
"Where am I...?" he muttered in confusion, holding a hand to his head and groaning at the pounding headache from Hell.
"Locked in some dodgy old barn by some equally dodgy bastards," Rebekah's voice said across from him.
"Rebekah?" Damon said in surprise, shuffling around and slumping himself against the back wall of his makeshift cage so he could see her better. "How did they get you down?" he wondered.
"Ambushed me with wooden arrows, and one got me in the heart," Rebekah said, her voice slightly strained, looking downwards to cidrect Damon's eyes to the faded bloodstain on her shirt. She must have been here a while. "Don't know what they're thinking in their deluded brains that they can do to me," she added with a scoff that caused her to break into a coughing fit.
"We'll get out of here, little sister," Klaus' voice reassured her, Rebekah glancing up at him when she stopped coughing, "I promise," he swore, Damon feeling all of Klaus's anger at his sister's – and paradoxically his own – captivity.
"No offense, Nik," Rebekah began with an uneasy smile, "But you can't exactly do much from inside Damon's brain, can you?" she said knowingly.
"What are you talking about?" Stefan's confused voice interjected sharply through the wall fencing Damon into his cage.
"Stefan?!" Damon cried incredulously, "Can no-one keep themselves out of trouble without me babysitting?" he asked in disbelief, throwing his hands up in the air.
"Damon, what are you talking about?" Stefan demanded.
"Klaus is inside my brain," Damon said, although with how fast he was speaking to avoid any awkwardness, it sounded more like a hurried garble, and the only words he could make out himself were 'Klaus' and 'inside'.
"What?" Stefan asked in confusion, all of that having gone completely over his head.
"Klaus is..." Damon trailed off with a swallow, suddenly glad he and Stefan couldn't see each other's faces, "inside my brain," he finished, bracing himself for a tidal wave of insults and accusations.
"Excuse me?" Stefan said, sounding like he really couldn't believe the whole thing; Damon saw Rebekah rolling her eyes, because she could see Stefan's expression.
"There's a reason we didn't die, Stefan," Damon began in a slightly exasperated voice, thinking to himself that there was a better time and a better place for this conversation, "Bonnie did a spell that transferred Klaus' spirit into me, and now he's hitching a ride until she gets her strength back and can help him return to his own body," he explained.
"Why would you do something like that?" Stefan asked in disbelief, sounding betrayed.
"Because we all would've died along with him," Damon said pointedly, rolling his eyes.
"So it had nothing to do with you actually caring about him?" Stefan shot back knowingly.
"I wasn't going to say that out loud, but yes," Damon admitted begrudgingly, mouthing a 'shut up' to Rebekah's smug smile when he felt a faint blush tinge his cheeks.
"How touching, darling," Klaus said to him in a drawl inside his mind, Damon a little miffed he had to admit that in front of two other people, namely his brother, who despised Klaus.
"Not to mention we wouldn't have even been in this mess if you had just stuck to the plan and desiccated Alaric!" Damon reminded him hotly, giving the wall separating them as hard a kick as he could. But the bullet slowed his strength and he could just about make a chip in the plaster.
"Save it," Damon said abruptly, standing up and flexing his muscles with a groan. This entire situation was Stefan's fault and Damon was going to be damned if he let him forget.
"Iron bars," he said with an appreciative whistle when he gave them a swift tug, "These guys aren't messing around, are they?" he added, looking around the pen. There looked to be several more cells, and there was only one door out, that was most likely manned by deputies, and a few high, small windows. All the farming equipment looked like it had been removed, except for the instruments that could be substituted for torturing vampires as opposed to housing cattle.
"We have to try something," he said with emphasis, refusing point blank to just sit and wait to be killed by a bunch of idiots who came wielding sticks and guns and pretending to be hot shots, but weren't so hot when a real vampire got hold of them.
"It's no use, Damon," Stefan said from the other side of the wall, "I'm too weak from the vervain," he said regrettably, coughing away the strain in his voice.
"All right, let me rephrase," Damon began with an annoyed snip in his eyes, "Klaus, Rebekah and I need to try something," he corrected himself, hearing Stefan's scoff in response.
"What could we possibly do?" Rebekah asked aimlessly, raising her arms and smacking them down against her thighs in frustration as she looked around the pen, "Even I need blood to be able to fight against the vervain," she said in annoyance.
"I'm not vervained," Damon pointed out.
"No, you got shot in the head," Rebekah said with a pointed look, raising her eyebrows.
"I should know," Klaus said in annoyed voice, Damon feeling his vampire visage surface for a split second and a throbbing in his head.
"Klaus, that is not helping," he said with a wince, rubbing his temples and receiving a strange look from Rebekah.
"Maybe you should just give me total control over your body and I'll get us out of here," Klaus suggested, and Damon could only picture Stefan's face at what was happening, snickering at the thought.
"No," Damon said, for all intents and purposes, to himself.
"Don't you trust me?" Klaus asked him, his voice coming out sounding offended.
"Not really, no," Damon retorted bluntly, making a face that Klaus probably wasn't aware of, "Especially since you're not Stefan's biggest fan and he's not in any position to attempt to fight back right now," he added.
Rebekah was staring at him quizzically, her head slightly cocked to the side and her eyes narrowed. "That is so weird..." she marvelled, continuing to stare at him.
"Oh you're saying it's weird?!" Damon exploded incredulously, managing to hold back his laugh, "I have your brother inside my brain!" he hissed, raising his eyebrows, knowing he had her beaten.
"And what fun it's been..." Klaus trailed off with a devious chuckle, Damon glad only he could hear him. If Stefan suspected anything wrong – well, more than it already was – he could tell Elena, and then she, if she still remembered, could tell him about 'Damon' running her and Matt off the bridge.
He closed a hand around the bars, tapping his fingers against it, quickly scanning the room for any weak spots: Okay, so what if we–"
The heavy double doors burst open and a deputy walked in, dragging a woozy, pale Elena with him. She looked like she's given up struggling long ago, and there was a dark bruise forming around her eye.
"Elena?" Damon asked in surprise. What was she doing here? She didn't look like she had turned, otherwise he wouldn't be able to see that bruise on her face. Unless they had figured out she was in transition, but these guys weren't that good, were they?
"Damon?!" Elena repeated in shock, moving against the deputy with a newfound sense to struggle.
"Kind of," Damon muttered with a fake smile, hearing Klaus' laughter inside his head.
"What?" she asked in confusion, her brows furrowing. She cried out as the deputy yanked her hair and pulled her head backwards.
"Get in there and shut up," he ordered, roughly shoving her into a cage and out of Damon's sight, him able to hear her grunt of pain. The deputy then took out his side arm. "All of you," he added in what he thought must have been a menacing voice, brandishing the firearm and firing a shot off into the ceiling to emphasise his point.
"Bite me, asshole," Damon growled out, feeling the capillaries under his eyes swirling as he met the deputy's eye. He heard the falter in the man's steady heartbeat and grinned spitefully.
Rebekah noticed too. "Scared, are we?" she asked, digging in to that brief moment of weakness they had both picked up on.
Disgruntled, the deputy moved away without a word, him and another outside slamming the heavy doors shut and bolting them. Damon heard them conversing about 'those menaces' and 'how they'll be put down soon, and gave a scoff of laughter. Not if those menaces had anything to say about it, they wouldn't be.
There was shuffling far off to Damon's left and he heard Elena's weak voice call out, "Stefan..."
"What happened?" His brother asked in concern.
"I'm out of time, I need blood," she said in despair, "I'm dying," she whimpered, breaking off into a coughing fit.
"You didn't drink any of the blood Jeremy gave you this morning?" Damon called over to her in exasperation.
"I couldn't, Damon," she said with emphasis, and Damon failed to see why she couldn't. Sure, she had wanted to wait until the last possible minute in case Door a Number Three hadn't been found, which of course it hadn't, but now the last possible minutes of her life were going to be spent in here where there was no blood to be had.
"Well, that was a brilliant plan, wasn't it, love?" Klaus interjected sarcastically, Damon's eyes rolling to the heavens. God he hated when that happened...
"Klaus!" Damon hissed sharply, looking up to his forehead sternly for some kind of scolding. He couldn't wait until Klaus was back in his real body and he could see him again. So he could deck him for all the snarky comments he had made him say that most certainly were not his style.
Damon heardStefan frantically moving, then he was yelling as loud as he could, "Hey!" he called out towards the double doors, "Anyone, hey!"
"Will you shut up?!" Rebekah snapped in exasperation, her eyes screwing shut with a wince of pain as she put a hand to her chest.
"I'm with Barbie-Klaus, on that one," Damon pitched in, craning his head as far on the bars as he could to try and see his brother to reason with him, "Original Klaus is starting to give me quite the headache," he added in distaste.
"You think we're afraid of you?" Stefan called out to the deputies that were no doubt listening.
One was; he opened the door and angrily strode in, brandishing his firearm in Stefan's face as he charged up to the cage.
"You want more vervain?" he threatened, Damon taking a sniff and realising it was an empty threat; he had none. "Keep it down," he ordered, about to walk away, but Damon saw Stefan grab his sleeve. What was the idiot thinking? These pricks didn't have a sense of morality that he would be able to appeal to; they clearly saw everything in black and white.
"Listen to me," he pleaded, the Deputy glaring at the hand on his sleeve, "Elena's gonna die if you don't let her out of here," he said hurriedly.
Damon saw him glancing where Elena was sat, unable to see her for himself, and he shook his head with a shrug. "Sorry, not my problem," he said harshly, yanking his arm from Stefan's grip.
"She's innocent. Let her out," Stefan ordered as the deputy took one last look at the pair of them, before starting to walk back towards the door.
Stefan frantically yanked on the bars of his cage. "Let her out!" he yelled, his voice echoing around the pen.
But as his voice did, so did two gunshots from the deputy's gun. Stefan groaned and Damon heard him go down, his eyes narrowing in absolute fury, while Elena cried out in shock.
"Hey, dickhead!" he interjected protectively, the deputy turning towards him with the firearm pointed at his head. "Do it and die," he growled in warning, the deputy backing off slightly as he realised Damon wasn't as weakened as Stefan and Elena were.
There was an enraged thump as Stefan rushed back up. "I said, let her out!" he roared, promptly getting shot again as a rebuttal.
"Trust me," Damon called over to him as the deputy walked towards the doors, rejoining his partner on the outside, "You won't be such hotshots when a real vampire gets a hold of you," he promised, neither of them aware that, as they slammed the door shut on him, he had a secret weapon up his sleeve. Or rather, up in his head.
"Well, that was a great plan, Stefan," Damon went on, his head still leaning on the bars even though he could only see the sole of Stefan's shoes pressing against the bars.
"Not the time, Damon," Stefan gasped out in pain, sounding like he was gritting his teeth, "Or Klaus, whichever one of you that was," he added dismissively, groaning as he no doubt pulled the bullets out of his skin.
"What?" Elena coughed in confusion.
"Long story short, Klaus is hitching a ride in my body to save our entire bloodline," Damon said quickly, really not wanting to go into the details all over again.
"What?" She repeated, and Damon was, like he had been with Stefan, so glad he couldn't see her expression; he imagined she'd be looking more pissed than Stefan might have been.
"Don't make me say it again," Damon pleaded with her, "The more I do, the dirtier it sounds," he added in slight revulsion, because really, when he said he wanted Klaus Inside of him, that spell was not what he meant.
"How you doin' over there, baby brother?" he asked Stefan with a sympathetic wince as he heard the squishing of flesh.
"One of the bullets is stuck in my leg," Stefan said with a groan of pain, "I can't get it out," he said in frustration, hitting the wall separating him and Damon.
"Just yank and hope you don't hear a buzzer," he said quickly, smirking to himself as he pictured Stefan's brows furrowing in annoyance.
"I'm going to fillet those bastards alive..." Damon growled, such hatred filling him as he glared at the double doors, his hand curling around the bars to his cage, wishing he could just break through them.
"Was that you or Klaus talking?" Stefan wondered, his voice still slightly edged with pain.
"Not sure," Damon said with a shrug, biting his lip in slight worry. Something was telling him that the lines between him and Klaus as individuals blurring like that was only going to lead to more trouble.
"Elena?" Damon suddenly called over to her, realising it was quieter than he would've liked, "You still with us?" he wondered.
"Yeah," Elena said in response, slightly delayed, "Yeah, I'm here. I'm okay," she said reassuringly.
"No, you're not," Stefan said knowingly, concerned lacing his voice, "Damon's right, you should have fed this morning. I'm so sorry," he apologised.
"Don't be," Elena said, sounding touched, "You had hope," she said simply, "That's all I ever wanted you to have and you had it," she said with gratitude, Damon noticing Rebekah looking wistfully at the display of affection she could see.
"I love you so much," Stefan said softly, sounding like he was on the verge of tears, or was crying, Damon couldn't be sure.
"Do you know why I was even on that bridge?" Elena asked, "I was coming back for you, Stefan. I had to choose and I picked you," she said honestly, and Damon was sure such a confession where he could hear it would have upset him if it was a few months ago. Instead he felt... relieved, if that was even the right word. Relieved that the situation wouldn't get reversed with her pining for him.
"Because I love you," she admitted, Damon swearing he could see a tear in Rebekah's eye, and then Klaus' resentment at her for showing weakness. "No matter what happens, it's the best choice I ever made," she added sincerely.
"God. It sucks that I can't see you right now," she said, sniffling back a few tears that had formed.
"I'm smiling," Stefan said, his voice equally as quiet and soft as hers.
"Me too," Elena replied.
"So when is it an appropriate time to vomit?" Klaus's voice slipped out with no reserve, no warning.
"Klaus!" Damon said indignantly, very tempted to start smacking himself on the head. He sighed heavily, rubbing a hand over his face, and turned his attention to Rebekah, able to step back from the bars.
"How you doin' over there, Bekah?" he wondered.
"I've been better, in all honesty," she replied, wiping under her eyes, "Not quite a nuisance as being daggered, I'll admit," she said with a pointed look that was most likely meant for Klaus, rather than Damon.
"We need to get out of here," Stefan groaned from beside him.
"Understatement, brother," Damon shot back.
"Wait," Klaus began, Damon starting to get a little worried about how easy Klaus was finding it to take control of him, "I might be able to help," he offered, sounding certain.
"You?" Damon asked incredulously, Rebekah's expression indicating she was feeling the exact same thing, "You're a voice inside my brain right about now," he added with a snort of disbelief.
"With all of my hybrid aspects temporarily passed to you," Klaus reminded him.
"You've lost me," Damon said aimlessly, wondering exactly how an upgraded vampire visage was going to help them, or even Klaus' strength, right now it was halted by the effects of the bullet Damon was experiencing.
"I might be able to turn into a wolf, through you, and get these bars open," Klaus explained, Damon and Rebekah sharing a surprised look, "Although you'll need a lot of blood for me to make you strong enough," he added as a catch.
"It's too risky, Damon," Stefan said in warning.
"Well I don't hear you offering anything helpful!" Damon hissed back in exasperation.
"We need to get one of them in here," Klaus said, "They're so arrogant in their confidence that they can hold all of us, that none of them have consumed vervain in the last few hours, and it's all worn out of their systems," he explained, a smirk forming on Damon's face that might as well have came from him, being that it felt so similar to Klaus'.
"How are we going to do that?" Stefan wondered, "We can barely stick an arm out of these things," he added, giving the bars of his cage a hateful hit for emphasis.
"Leave that to me," Rebekah said with a smile, "I grew up with a smarmy, arrogant, yet charming bastard for a brother, I'm sure I can think of something," she said doubtlessly, giving Damon a knowing look.
"I love you too, sister dear," Klaus shot back, a wry smile forming on Damon's face.
"Let's just see if Klaus can turn Damon first," Stefan said evenly, as the voice of reason, "Before getting all our hopes up," he added.
Damon had all-but resigned himself for this not to work – he wasn't a werewolf, it wasn't in his genetic makeup – until he felt a strange buzzing energy radiating through his entire body, touching every single nerve ending.
Then those nerve endings started to sear and burn, Damon's grimace of pain exploding into a full-blow yell as his arm broke, then the other, then his ribs. He screamed, feeling his spine bending him over into an unnatural shape. As he gasped back tears, he saw Rebekah looking at him in horror as Klaus' hybrid fangs ripped through his gums and his eyes undoubtedly turned amber.
There was a resounding smack on the door that Damon could barely focus on, and a yell of, "Keep it down in there!" from one of the deputies guarding the outside.
But he couldn't. He had never felt such agony in his life; as each bone and sinew began snap and reshape itself, Damon swore to himself that all the times he had been tortured absolutely paled in comparison. His leg snapped and he gave a strange spasm from the awkward pile of limbs that he had became, hearing the door bursting open from the soft cradle of his broken arms.
"I said," the deputy growled in warning, Damon hearing the sound of his gun cocking as he desperately choked back his screams, "Keep it down," he spat harshly.
Damon's head shot up, having had enough of their attitude, and let out a deafening roar that resonated from deep within his chest. The deputy backed off in horror, firing a shot into Damon's shoulder, but he couldn't feel it, the agony of him changing outweighing it completely.
The deputy noticed and looked at him in confusion. Damon gave a strangled sounding laugh.
"You'll do right to run," he growled at them, feeling his anger intensifying as it flooded his entire being, "Because I will find and massacre every last one of you," he promised, not even caring if it was Klaus or him speaking. These men were not going to live another day.
"Good luck from in there," the deputy said smugly, leaving and bolting the door, but Damon could sense he was rattled, able to smell the perspiration on the man's body thanks to Klaus' heightened senses.
He relaxed with a relieved sigh, collapsing in a languid heap on the floor as he patiently waited for his bones to heal themselves, absolutely dreading the full transformation, but he had no choice. It was a chance to get out of here, and he wasn't fancying a dance with death and escaping just by the skin of his teeth.
"All right, let's do it," Stefan said in response.
"What other choice to we have?" Damon said bluntly, grimacing at the pain ebbing through his bones, surprised at how raw and quiet his voice sounded.
This was gonna suck.
Damon wasn't sure how much time had passed, seeing the brief cracks of sunrise from the windows, but he was grateful that the pain in his body had subsided. The doors opened and two deputies walked in, carrying some vervain plants, and Damon narrowed his eyes in annoyance. It looked like he was going to have to find anyone and everyone who knew the secret of growing vervain and eradicate them. Again.
"I got this," one nodded to his partner, "Go keep a look out," he said, and the other deputy left the barn without question, chuckling at the vampires in the cages.
"You arrogant fool," Klaus chuckled from inside Damon's head, the vampire smirking in agreement and unwittingly catching the eyes of the man's partner. It was the same one he had threatened earlier.
At his unwavering gaze, the man swallowed and moved off to another part of the barn, cocking his gun. Damon smirked, knowing that in a few moments it wouldn't be able to protect him.
"Damon, are you ready?" Stefan whispered to him.
"As I'll ever be," he whispered with a nervous swallow, now understanding completely why it was called a werewolf 'curse'.
"Rebekah?" he said in a hushed voice, "Give me your necklace," he said quickly, holding a hand out of the bars for it.
"Why?" she asked in confusion.
"Because I need something to rip that bastard's head off with," he said bluntly, certain that was Klaus and not him. He would've just been happy squeezing his head off.
Rebekah gave him a slightly surprised look, but took her necklace off nonetheless, putting her arm as far out of her cage as she could, looking around for the deputy before she tossed it to Damon.
"Here we go," he said with a smile, testing the necklace between his fingers. It was a sturdy, strong chain and had a pendant he could grip hold of for extra traction.
"How's Elena holding up?" Damon wondered, thinking that it had become a little too quiet.
"Unconcious," Stefan said with a worried swallow, "But she's still breathing," he said confidently.
Damon looked to Rebekah and they exchanged a nod.
"Excuse me?" she called out to the deputy, forcing painful sounding coughs out of her throat and wincing, "Hello, sir?" she tried again, her 'coughing fit' getting worse as the deputy strode over to her cage.
"I thought I told you to shut up," he said in what he thought must have been a menacing voice, Damon's fingers itching around the necklace hidden behind his back with the desire to crush his windpipe with it.
"Actually, you told me, remember?" he said in remembrance, waving at the deputy when he turned around for a split second to glare at him before turning back to Rebekah.
"Here's the thing, my family we" – she feigned a pained breath – "We have money, castles, apartments, jewelry; just name your price and let me out of here," she said in bargaining, Damon privately wondering where the Hell Klaus had gotten a castle from.
The deputy walked right up to her cage with a smug expression. "I'd much rather watch you die," he gloated.
Rebekah gave the man a very Klaus-like smirk. "Sorry, darling, you won't be seeing much of anything," she stated, getting up and rushing to the bars, snarling and flashing her fangs in the deputy's face.
The deputy gave a startled yell, and brandished his gun, but he lost his footing and stumbled towards Damon quickly whipping the necklace around the man's neck and trapping him between the bars of his cage.
"This is cosy," Damon murmured in the man's ear with a sinister chuckle, crushing the necklace around his neck with ease.
The deputy's gun fell limply from his fingers and he resorted using all his strength to pry Damon off of him, but it was fruitless. Damon smiled and applied more pressure, feeling the deputy's blood spilling over his fingers as it cut into his skin, the man not even able to call out for his partner only a few feet away.
Damon gave one final twist, the chain knotting up around his fingers, and yanked on the necklace, completely severing the man's head from his body, the body collapsing at the foot of his cage, while the head bounced until it hit the wall and landing with a squelch.
Discarding the necklace, Damon quickly dropped to his knees and stuck his arms through the bars of the cage, scooping up as much blood as he could and began sucking it hungrily from his fingers, feeling his strength returning to him.
"Damon, we don't have long!" Stefan whispered to him with urgency.
"Give me a minute!" he growled back in annoyance, thick streams of blood dangling from his mouth and dripping down his neck.
As he continued to hungrily drink, he felt that same buzzing energy seeping through him, bracing himself with a heavy sigh. His screams of pain fell deaf to even his own ears, and the white-hot pain became a strangely numb sensation as he felt his bones morphing themselves into a more canine shape, his backbone painfully bending him onto all fours as his arms and legs accustomed themselves to hold his weight.
He could feel his clothes ripping off his body and sweat beading off his forehead as he forced himself to push through it. All of his teeth extended inside his mouth and he choked on the blood, spitting it out on the floor. And next came the fur, and God, it felt like a sweet massage compared to everything else.
Throwing his head back and roaring, Damon reared back on his hind legs and sprang towards the bars in a mighty leap, them crashing down onto the floor as the wolf slammed into them. The double doors burst open and Damon ran towards Rebekah's cage, his wicked teeth crunching up the bars with ease and allowing her to escape.
Several deputies brandished their rifles at the wolf, but Rebekah charged forwards and sank her fangs into his neck, while Damon leapt onto the fray, any unfortunate soul caught in the midst getting torn by his teeth or slashed into pieces with his claws.
Shaking himself off, Damon went to look outside for any other deputies. It seemed like the coast was clear, for now.
He turned to see Rebekah rifling through the dead men's pockets, and pulling out a set of keys. As more rapid footsteps approached, she tossed them to Stefan.
"Stefan, keys!" she yelled in warning, her and Damon preparing themselves as another wave of deputies barrelled in.
The bullets fired at him felt like little mosquitos, and Damon dispatched one wayward man with a swipe of his paw, snarling voraciously before sinking his teeth into the man's chest and tearing it up. Rebekah was busying herself with disarming the rest of the men, her limbs smacking into them in a frenzied flurry, blood and organs flying everywhere.
"Elena. Elena!" Damon heard Stefan coaxing her through all the pandemonium, tearing the arm off one of the men who moved to stake his brother in the back.
He snarled, seeing Rebekah becoming cornered by an onslaught of them – how many did the Pastor have?! – and rushed forwards, ripping into them to give her an opening. She ripped one of the pipes off the wall and smacked a deputy's head so hard it came off.
Damon turned with a snarl at the sound of a gun clicking to see a deputy pointing it at Stefan who was crouching over a weakened Elena and trying to get her to drink some of the blood. He roared and leapt onto the man, seeing Stefan grip Elena a little more urgently.
He yelled out in agony as Damon ripped open his throat with powerful jaws. He turned to face the last of the men in the doorway, blood and saliva drooling from his teeth, and leapt forward with a mighty roar, the terrified screams of the men and the crunching of bone and crushing of metal passing him by in a euphoric rush of blood and power.
Every bone in Damon's bone was aching like he hadn't used them in about a thousand years. Opening his eyes, he saw all his limbs laying at a weird angle, from a weird angle that his neck was positioned at. His skin was caked with dirt and blood, the liquid around his mouth thickened and coagulated.
He groaned as he moved his neck back to it's regular position, wincing an, "Ouch..." and gritting his teeth as he cracked his other limbs back to normal, trying to push himself up, but buckled on his legs and covering his knees with mud.
Looking down at himself, feeling a slight chill sweep over him, he narrowed his eyes in annoyance, rolling over onto his back, "Really?" he exclaimed in disbelief, "I couldn't have at least kept my underwear?" he grumbled. They had been John Varvatos...
"One of the downsides if you don't strip first, I'm afraid," Klaus said sympathetically from inside his head, a weird warmth spreading through his body like he was trying to comfort him or something strange like that.
"Well, my apologies that I didn't want to give your sister, and my brother, a peepshow," he shot back, a grin forming on his face as he imagined the expression Klaus probably would've had, "And besides, you're actually complaining?" he asked rhetorically, Klaus chuckling at him.
"Guessing that's a 'no'," Damon snickered as he, for the second time, managed to successfully haul himself onto his feet, wobbling a little on unsteady legs.
"Are you feeling all right?" Klaus asked as Damon groaned, flexing his fingers back into place.
"I'll get over it," Damon said with a shrug, "It's not like I'll ever have to do it again," he added dismissively, and he was grateful. He had too much expensive clothing to lose, and he wasn't entirely sure he could deal with the throbbing joint pain. Or the pain in general.
Shaking it from his mind, Damon walked over to several bodies, whistling in appreciation at just how crazy things had gotten. Only one body remained intact, while the others laced in pieces of organs, limbs and tattered clothes, their weapons completely destroyed beyond repair, either bent out of shape or crushed with teeth marks in them.
"It's quite marvellous, isn't it?" Klaus said, Damon feeling a smirk pull at his mouth as a sadistic pleasure washed over him.
"How often did you have to do this?" Damon wondered as he walked over to the body that was still intact and began stripping him of his clothes. "Like with the moon and stuff?" he added, feeling something churn in his gut when he saw the deputy's pistol bitten in half.
"Only twice," Klaus replied, Damon's brows furrowing in confusion until Klaus elaborated; "It was only when I destroyed an entire village did my sorry excuse of a father convince her to curse me and keep my wolf side at bay."
"I never turn much now if I can help it, with the exception of the past few days of course, but I like having the free will to do so," he said, Damon a little surprised at the honesty of his answer.
He covered himself in the deputy's clothes – although drew the line at his underwear because that was just disgusting – still feeling some weird throbbing in his right hand, wondering what the Hell he had done with it when it had been a furry paw.
Getting to the ranch, where the Pastor was no doubt still holed up inside like a coward, he saw Rebekah outside. She had her arms folded and was tapping her foot impatiently until she saw him.
"Damon!" she said in relief, running over to him, and – to Damon's utter surprise – hugging him. Was the world that off kilter since he had decided to be selfless and save Klaus' life? "You made it, we were worried about you," she said as she pulled away, holding him at arms length.
"Apparently I make one kickass wolf," Damon joked with a grin, Rebekah allowing herself to smile back, but then a look of concern crossed his face. "How's Elena?" he asked.
"Stefan managed to get her to drink some of the deputies' blood," Rebekah said, and Damon barely refrained from face-palming. She was going to remember anything and everything she was compelled to forget, or maybe already did. "She's completed her transition," she added with a roll of her eyes.
"Wonderful," Klaus' sardonic voice broke through Damon's mouth, Rebekah having a look on her face that suggested she still wasn't used to Damon with a British accent. He would never get used to it. "One more annoying teenager to add to the vampire world," he added in disdain, some of those feelings transferring onto Damon.
"All right in there, Nik?" Rebekah asked with a chuckle.
"With any luck, the situation will be rectified soon," Klaus said simply.
"So now I'm a situation?" Damon said in mock-offence, looking up to his forehead as if he could see Klaus sitting on his brain, "Love you too, honey," he drawled, rolling his eyes, Rebekah laughing at them.
"Hopefully Bonnie'll be able to pick up where she left off from and help us," he said to Rebekah, who nodded seriously once her laughter had subsided.
"If not?" Rebekah wondered.
"Well, my life is going to become a very interesting sitcom," Damon said with a shrug. He would technically have a bunch of new siblings and become Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde without the use of some weird potion.
"I should go find Stefan," he added, walking off and patting Rebekah's shoulder when he went past.
"Do we have to?" Klaus said, and if Damon didn't know any better, he would say that he was whining, "I swear, if I have to witness another nauseating declaration of love, I will vomit," he declared in the most serious tone Damon had heard him speak in, discounting when he threatened people, of course.
"Shut up, Klaus," Damon said with a chuckle, stopping short when he actually realised what he had said.
But when he got nothing back in return, he started to worry.
"What?" he said to the empty air, glad no-one was around to eavesdrop, "No witty retort that you'll rip my tongue out?" he said teasingly, chuckling to himself.
"Just remember that when I get my own body back," Klaus began, a light growl burning the corners of Damon's mind, "You're in so much trouble," he finished, Damon raising an eyebrow at just what trouble he'd be in, and a small part of him was quite enjoying thinking about it.
Eventually, Stefan and Elena emerged from the woods – where Damon figured they must have gone for cover when he had wolfed out – with relieved expressions on their faces. Elena though, Damon noticed, had dried tears staining her cheeks.
"Damon?" Stefan asked as he came into the clearing, Damon nodding, looking like he was about to say something entirely different than, "Why are you dressed like a deputy?"
"I didn't get to keep my clothes, Stefan," Damon said with a raised eyebrow, Stefan nodding in understanding.
"You look better," Damon said to Elena, Elena biting her lip and wrapping her cardigan tighter around herself as she refrained from looking at her, "For a dead girl, I mean," he added with a chuckle, trying to attempt some levity, but it clearly wasn't appreciated.
"Stefan?" Elena asked, her voice a little scratchy. She cleared her throat as Stefan looked at her. "Could I talk to Damon, please?" she asked, Damon sighing heavily and rubbing his forehead.
"Sure," Stefan said with a smile, giving her a gentle kiss on the forehead before he left to give them some space.
Elena looked up at him, a hint of betrayal in her eyes. Damon held up a hand. "Look, if this is about me going behind your back to help Klaus survive, I really don't need to hear it, Elena," he said quickly, "It's because of me we're all still alive," he said defensively, "As usual," he added with a scoff.
For a moment, it didn't seem like a Elena was going to say anything, and Damon could feel Klaus's impatience at having his time wasted seeping into him. He made to walk away, but Elena's inevitable statement halted him in his tracks.
"I remember everything."
"Yeah?" Damon said, turning back to her with a nod, wondering exactly what "everything" entailed. He had only compelled her twice, and the first time was so he could keep a low profile when he arrived back in a Mystic Falls for the first time since 1912.
"Things were a little fuzzy at first..." Elena said with a swallow, her voice getting a little stronger, "But I remember," she said with certainty, licking her lips nervously.
"Remember what, Elena?" Damon asked, praying she wasn't going to insist on a lengthy talk about an "I love you" he had compelled away. God, that felt like a lifetime ago now, what with everything that had happened and how his feelings had changed.
"Besides you taking my memories away?" Elena said incredulously, sounding betrayed, but then her gaze hardened in anger. "I remember you running Matt's truck off the bridge!" she said between gritted teeth.
At Damon's blasé look, Elena sighed heavily, continuing to look at him. The last time he had seen that look in her eyes had been the first time he had slept with Klaus and he had been caught walking him out the door.
"Damon how could you do that?" she asked in dismay, Damon supposing he did feel a little guilty to condemning her to a life she never wanted, just like what had happened to him, but Klaus felt no such thing, and was slowly getting more and more riled. "To me," she added, her eyes starting to shine with more tears.
"Well, in Damon's defense, sweetheart, not everything is about you" – Damon's eyes widened a little as Klaus's voice came out of his mouth with no reserve – "and I was the one that made him walk out into the road," he admitted, Elena's eyes going wide with disbelief.
But Klaus wasn't done with her: "And if you think I was going to sacrifice my entire family for one insignificant human life, you're mistaken," he said, Damon's voice taking on a darker tone that had Elena taking a nervous step back, "Especially since that human life already cost me one sibling," he added, glaring at her.
"Now, are we done here? or were you actually going to say something to Damon, that in your small mind, would make up for leaving him to die alone in a storage locker?" Klaus added, folding his arms and looking at Elena expectantly.
"I knew I was eventually going to have to make a choice between them, Klaus, so I did!" Elena said defensively, holding her arms out. "Besides, he's already made his pretty clear," she said with a hateful glare at Damon. Whether it was meant for him or Klaus, he didn't know.
"Then let me make something very clear to you," Klaus began sternly, Damon stepping forward, "If you try and sour Damon against me with your weak charms, accusations and doe eyes, I will personally rip your heart from your chest," he said with finality, leaving Elena with a smirk and her own shocked expression.
"Did you have to chew her out like that?" Damon asked as they walked down the path.
"I wasn't entirely sure what she was alluding to when she mentioned you taking away her memories," Klaus began, and Damon was lucky he didn't; things got crazy when he got jealous. "But I wasn't going to risk her trying a last-ditch attempt to poison your mind against me because she felt her strings were short one puppet," he said with a harsh undertone.
"I think my mind is about as poisoned as it's gonna get with you riding shot-gun," Damon said with a snicker, "Let's just hope Bonnie didn't get taken somewhere by those maniacs," he added worriedly, feeling a clash of the same thing from Klaus.
Damon jumped out of his skin at the sound of a loud explosion resonating from far off, towards where the Pastor's ranch house was. He saw a brilliant orange jet of flame shooting up behind the trees before it gave way to thick smoke.
"What the Hell was that?" Damon asked, squinting up at the smoke trailing up the trees.
"Probably Rebekah's way of telling them that she didn't appreciate their treatment of her," Klaus said airily, Damon able to picture him shrugging his shoulders, "Or at the very least to give her a change of clothes and some caviar if they think about trying it again," he added and Damon chuckled at him.
He was about to dig for his phone to call Bonnie and check on her, but Damon realised he was wearing the deputy's clothes. "My warranty had better be covered by supernatural wolf damage," he grumbled, rushing to the cattle pens, or what was left of them.
He wasn't entirely sure if he walked in the front door, or from a cage. Damon found himself again appreciating just how deadly he had became under the influence of the wolf. The building had became rubble, blood and organs littering the floor, with bodies either mutilated beyond recognition or crushed by the rubble.
Tossing concrete aside like it was plywood, Damon found his phone laying amongst the tattered remnants of his clothes, thankfully unharmed. He found his contacts and called Bonnie's number.
"Damon, are you okay?" she asked worriedly when the call came through, "We thought–"
"We're all okay," Damon corrected her reassuringly, "Thanks to wolfy in my brain," he added in relief, smiling as he glanced around what was left of the cattle pens. If anyone was left, they would think twice about trying something like it again.
"All of you?" Bonnie repeated in confusion "Damon, what happened?" she demanded, her voice rising a little in panic.
"I'll fill you in later," Damon said quickly, not giving Bonnie time to get a word in edgeways as he said, "Bonnie, I need you to finish that spell. Are you still at the witch house?"
"Yes, but Damon–"
He hung up before she could give him any details that would sour his mood that all this would soon be over and Klaus would get his own body back.
"Let's try this again," Damon said to him, feeling himself nod in confirmation, "Without you trying to rip my heart out," he added with a less than favourable sneer.
Getting to the old Witch house, Damon found some deputies' cars still outside with the sirens flashing red and blue lights. As he walked past, he checked the engines and found they were cooling down; he hoped Bonnie was okay, or Klaus would not be pleased and would probably be tempted to try blackmail by tugging off a limb instead.
Surprisingly, Damon made it inside with no resistance whatsoever. Klaus inside his brain had made it a little harder for him to get in last time, because the witches hadn't been pleased with the results of the spell Bonnie had made, mostly because it had succeeded in preserving the life of a species they deemed a worse abomination than vampires.
He walked up the stairs, sensing no energy radiating from the building at all, which was strange. This place was usually a powerhouse.
"Damon? Is that you?" Bonnie's voice was laced with concern as it drifted from down the hallway, footsteps shuffling around.
"Until Klaus gets bored again," Damon called back dryly – having heard nothing from said man inside his head – walking through the length of the corridor and into the main room, eyes widening in surprise at what he saw.
The bodies of several deputies, who the cars must have belonged to, lay scattered around the room, gunshots marring the walls. Some of the bodies were laying on their fronts with their heads facing upwards, eyes blank and dead, mouth hanging open with a frozen look of shock, while some had unnaturally bulging eyes and blood dribbling from their mouths.
"What the Hell happened in here?" Damon asked in slight shock, glancing from Bonnie – and Jeremy who was just coming out of his hiding place in the corner – to the bodies. It felt odd in here; usually the power here was the strongest, a warm thrumming feeling that he could sometimes feel dancing in his veins. But like the rest of the house, it felt cold and distant.
"I had to stop the deputies when they realised this place is actually an old witch burning site," Bonnie said defensively, shrugging her shoulders, while Jeremy nodded in confirmation behind her, "I didn't fancy the 'quick chat'" – she made quotation marks with her fingers – "they were offering, anyway, especially when they shot you in the head," she said with a sympathetic smile.
"Honestly?" Damon said with a contemplative shrug, "This morning I would've said those guys couldn't find their asses with both hands and a map, but..." he trailed off in surprise, giving a scoff of utter disbelief. Alaric might have been completely insane, but he must have been a charmer if he could convince a gang of about twenty people to rise up against vampires.
"What was that all about, anyway?" Bonnie wondered, Jeremy giving him a similar look, "Liz finally get tired of the unsolved case loads racking up?" she teased, although something in her eyes told Damon she really knew different.
"I wish," Damon said with a brief snort of laughter, "Pastor Young was trying to rid the town of vampires; imprisoned me and Klaus, Rebekah and Stefan, and Elena once they must've figured out she was transitioning," he explained with a shrug, putting his hands into his pockets.
"Luckily, it didn't go so well," he added, relieved. If he had died, and Klaus at the same time, the world would have had a lot of explained deaths filling up newspaper headlines.
Jeremy stepped forward with a nervous swallow. "So what happened to Elena?" he asked hesitantly, Bonnie giving him a sympathetic look.
"She was out of time and had to feed," Damon said regrettably – although he felt a surge of sadistic pleasure at the thought of Elena suffering, meaning Klaus was slowly beginning to wake from inside his head – Jeremy's expression falling to one of disbelief, while Bonnie closed her eyes and took a breath, "I'm sorry, Jeremy," he apologised, "She would've died otherwise," he added, almost as a consolation.
Jeremy sighed heavily, Bonnie turning around and rubbing his arm. "Where is she?" he finally asked Damon, his voice shaky.
"Stefan was taking her home last I saw," Damon relayed with a shrug.
"Is it–?" Jeremy looked at Bonnie expectantly, motioning his head towards the doorway.
"Go, I'll be fine," Bonnie said with a gentle smile, nodding for confirmation when Jeremy had briefly stopped short in the doorway, glancing at Damon with a look of apprehension.
And Klaus noticed: "What was that about?" he wondered, Damon shrugged, wincing a little at the newfound pressure in his head he had only had momentary relief for.
"What about Tyler and Caroline?" Bonnie asked worriedly.
"Hightailed it out of here before all this happened," Damon said reassuringly, Binnie sighing in relief, "Liz should be calling them back soon," he guessed.
"How did you all even make it out?" Bonnie wondered curiously, then she tilted her head and looked at Damon's deputy uniform, "And why are you dressed like a deputy?" she asked, Damon chuckling at her.
"Klaus managed to transform into a wolf through me," Damon explained, Bonnie looking both impressed and amazed, "And it was enough to break out of the cage, but my clothes got torn up," he added with a chuckle, well aware of how ridiculous he looked.
Then he clapped his hands together. "So, now that that's out of the way..." he trailed off, waving as if he was waving everything that had happened away, "Can you do the spell before Klaus gives me a permanent migraine?" he asked, those words alone causing Klaus to, probably purposely, give him a confounded itch.
Bonnie swallowed hard, her expression turning grave. She avoided his eyes.
"What is it?" Damon demanded, sensing trouble brewing.
Bonnie sighed, running her hands through her hair in frustration. "Damon, I can't do any magic," she confessed, Damon feeling his stomach drop.
"You were fine a few hours ago!" he protested in exasperation, throwing his arms in the air.
"The spirits cut me off after I killed the deputies," Bonnie explained with another heavy sigh, looking around the room. If anyone could sense the missing power, it would be her. "We're not supposed to tap into dark magic like that, unless absolutely necessary," she stressed, Damon surprised the spirits wouldn't have found it necessary, especially if she had been trying to save herself, "And they already weren't happy with the spell I did to save Klaus, and when I tried to save Elena earlier," she added.
"What are you saying?" Klaus asked, Damon's eyes narrowing as he spoke through him, Bonnie looking nervous at the sound of Klaus's voice mixing with Damon's.
"She's saying, Klaus, that a bunch of dead witches are so far up their own asses it's one long witch centipede," he said, looking around the room with a harsh glare, half-expecting a painful migraine.
When nothing came, it hit home with Damon just how screwed he, and Klaus, were.
"So, you really can't help us?" he asked in dismay.
"I'm sorry," Bonnie apologised, and Damon felt a shock of panic hit him. Now what was he going to do? "And there's something you really need to know," she added, looking at him worriedly, biting her lip.
Damon braced himself for the worst.
"If you don't find a way to get Klaus back into his body soon..." Bonnie trailed off, as if she was unable to bring herself to say it.
"What?" Damon demanded, growing doubly uneasy as Klaus's own creeping anxiety swept over him.
Bonnie sighed. "Your spirits will start to merge and the stronger one will end up in permanent control of your body," she explained, most of the words other than 'spirit' and 'stronger' going completely over Damon's head.
"And that means...?" he asked aimlessly, motioning for Bonnie to keep speaking.
"If Klaus' spirit – powerful hybrid spirit – continues to live inside your body, there's every chance it will wipe you from existence," she tried explaining again, and that Damon understood, and he did not like the sound of it.
"How long do we have?" he wondered, swallowing nervously.
Bonnie gave him a sympathetic look. "Three days, at most," she said, and Damon felt his stomach drop. He only had three days to save himself from being taken over by Klaus' spirit or else he would become nothing, and the only person he knew that could help could no longer help.
"Brilliant," he said sarcastically, rolling his eyes, "The one time I try and be selfless," he muttered bitterly, petulantly shoving his hands into his pockets.