"A Moment In Time"
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters; those belong to their original creators. The way it's all stringed together is of my making. No profit is being made out of this (*sigh* unfortunately).
Fandom(s): Vampire Diaries
Character(s): Damon Salvatore, Elena Gilbert & Aaron Whitmore
Words: 3,273 words
Requested By: none
Challenge/Summary: There was more to Damon's revenge then anyone could have thought and before he could be judged by his girlfriend, he made her realized that he had no choice.
Inspiration: I just really hated that during the original scene that Elena's reaction was going along the lines of her going back on her word to Damon (that she won't care what he did in the past).
Spoiler(s): everything up to ep. 5x09 ("The Cell")
Time Frame: During the Damon/Elena/Aaron scene in the basement.
A/N: At the end to avoid additional spoilers. This was meant to celebrate Ian Somerhalder's birthday today!
NOTE: At first this was going to go under my 'TV X-overs' version of "A Moment In Time" but it just ended up being longer than I thought so I posted this separately. ENJOY!
Things were not going well for the vampire couple. They've been stuck in the basement cellars at Whitmore House for the day and just when they thought that things were looking up for them, they are met with a gun pointed at Elena. It was definitely not their day.
At the moment, Aaron Whitmore was accusing Elena of killing Megan, which she frantically denied and defended.
"Wes also said that a vampire killed my parents. Maybe that was you too?" Aaron countered quickly as he pointed the gun at the brunette.
Elena's eyes widened; she couldn't believe that this was happening, "No. Aaron that's impossible!" She wanted to say that she was just a kid when Aaron's parents died, like he was, yet she had a feeling that he wouldn't listen to her.
Aaron shook his head; he didn't believe her. "Why else would you be so interested in me?"
Damon rolled his eyes, "Calm down."
"Why else would you pretend to be my friend?" Aaron continued, as if he hadn't heard Damon, before turning his head toward the other cell, "She's a vampire."
"In case you haven't noticed Mini Wes, so am I," Damon noticed how Aaron's eyes widened at the news and the vampire couldn't resist rolling his eyes for the human's stupidity. When Aaron hadn't moved the gun away from Elena, like Damon had hoped he would, Damon decided that he needed to say something else to bring the attention off of his girlfriend, "And besides, Elena was a child when your parents were killed." It wasn't a downright confession, but he hoped it would provoke a response.
Aaron scoffed, "How would you know that?" His eyes still remained on Elena, even though hers kept shifting to the wall that separated her from Damon.
Damon threaded his arms through the bars of his cell and left them hanging, "Because for one, she's new to this life," He shrugged to make it seem like the fact was no big deal, "and because I'm the one that killed your parents."
The vampire was pleased when he noticed the human tense in his spot before he slowly turned to acknowledge Damon's confession. He was never going to confess this but if he didn't do anything then Elena would suffer from it and he couldn't have that.
"What did you just say?" Aaron slowly asked before he turned the gun towards Damon, "Start talking."
"Damon, what are you doing?" Elena hissed as she moved towards the bars. She hoped to catch a glimpse of Damon, to see something on his face that could give her an inkling of what he was up to, yet she knew that she couldn't.
Damon ignored Elena and began his tale to Aaron, knowing that he originally denied Elena the pleasure of knowing when she asked about it earlier, "In 1958, after the fire, Enzo was dead so I had to take on my revenge plan solo."
Damon didn't say anymore after that and Elena knew that he was lost in another memory of his. She still couldn't believe what Damon had to endure during those five years or what had truly happened to Enzo. It was just too shocking of a secret.
That didn't seem to register for Aaron as he broke the silence, "Which was what exactly?"
Damon shook his head, ridding himself of the memory, before he cleared his throat. He had to word the truth correctly if he hoped for his plan to work, "To kill the entire Augustine Society so that they couldn't come after me or any other vampire. I mean, why should the vampires be the ones to suffer through what it meant to be such creatures and yet the humans only get the benefits we could offer." He rambled as he remembered how his hatred for humanity had grown while he was locked away.
In order for him to have eternal life and every benefit that came with it, he had to suffer through the consequences that came with it. Over the decades, he had come to accept that yet it bothered him that the Augustine Society wanted to exploit him and Enzo so that they could reap the benefits without taking on the consequences. It just didn't seem fair whatsoever.
"Personally I don't see how that's fair," He continued before he got back on point. "Anyways once I did that, I made it more personal. I started killing off the Whitmore family, doing things to them that Dr. Whitmore himself had done to me repeatedly during my unfortunate stay here. Hell, I made it more gruesome for Enzo's sake. It's the least I could have done since I couldn't save him." He trailed off as he remembered how he had failed his friend, the one person that kept him sane during that horrendous time in his life.
Once his emotions had returned to him, that night always flashed through Damon's mind to the point that 'what ifs' always came as he saw many ways where he had went wrong in his attempts to save Enzo. If only he had killed faster, then he would have gotten to Enzo quicker; if only he stopped the fire first then he could have bought them some time; if only he realized that the cage was coated in vervain sooner than he could have grabbed something to help him pry the cage open. So many 'what ifs' had plagued his mind and it only made him want to flip the switch all over again but he knew that he couldn't do that.
"He thought my plan was unimaginative," He continued when the two teenagers remained silent, he even forgot about the gun that was pointed at him as he got lost in his thoughts, "until I told him that the real revenge would be on the one Whitmore that I left alive to grow up and carry on the family name once again, only to have me return and kill them off one by one until only one was left alive." He couldn't help but release a dark chuckle as he remembered all the looks on the Whitmores moments before he killed them, "It still baffles me that none of them picked up on the pattern."
Elena was mortified. Damon had warned her earlier that she wouldn't like what he had to say but she never expected this. This had never crossed her mind yet deep down she should have known. This was Damon after all. She should have known that he would seek revenge on those that do wrong by him and yet deep down she knew that it was more than that.
"Why only one?" Elena managed to croak out despite her tail-spinning thoughts on Damon's latest confession.
Damon tilted his head to the wall between him and his girlfriend, "What?" He wasn't expecting her to interrupt.
Elena gritted her teeth, "You heard me."
Damon rolled his eyes; he already knew she was making judgement on his actions despite her earlier promise. He might as well go all in and worry about the downfall afterwards. His goal was to free Elena.
"If only one was left alive, they would start to believe that something was wrong with them, that they were the common factor that led to all the death that surrounded them." His gaze never wavered from the human, who was slowly taking in everything the vampire was saying.
Aaron wanted to shoot Damon right there and then and end the suffering but a part of him stopped him because he knew that he needed to know everything otherwise he'd always wonder why.
Damon smirked a little when Aaron showed signs of his words sinking in as his head lowered just a bit, "So they would start to isolate themselves from everyone, to believe that they weren't worthy of any happiness whatsoever. I wanted them to feel this because it's a fraction of what I felt, what Enzo felt, during our years in this hellhole." Damon bent his arms so that he gripped the bars tightly, "This society took everything from me so they had to pay."
Aaron's head snapped up. Elena remained silent.
"Since I already killed the twisted doctor, I had to eliminate those closest to him in case he confided in them about his work." The vampire continued, "They were all going to pay for the sins of their demented ancestor." He sneered a bit at the end as he thought of what Dr. Whitmore had done to him. If he wasn't fuelled by bloodlust during the escape, Damon would have kept the twisted doctor alive so that the vampire could inflict the same tortures that were placed onto him yet since he couldn't he went to the next best thing…the descendants. And it turns out that he was right, despite his actions the Whitmore family had continued to keep the warped Augustine Society afloat.
Aaron had heard enough, "How many… Whitmores have you killed?"
"Since 1958?" Damon questioned in disbelief; no one could remember everyone they had encountered in over fifty years, "I lost count. Then again, that is to be expected. I had no humanity in me at the time, for a very long time actually, so I didn't care." He shrugged before he relaxed his arms over the other side of the bars.
"When was the last one?" Elena asked; she had an idea but she needed to hear it from him.
Damon turned his head slightly as he debated on whether he should say anything or not. He already knew that his confession would put him on shaky grounds with Elena but he did warn her that it wasn't pretty. Granted he hadn't planned on revealing his revenge to her like this, or at all, yet he couldn't do anything about it now. He just needed her to understand before she completely shut him out.
"Damon, when was the last one?" Elena repeated again more forcefully.
"A few months ago, her name was Sarah," Elena gasped when he said this; she looked to Aaron as earlier in the day the human had told her that his Aunt Sarah had died a few months ago.
"I had to go all the way to Charleston to find her," Damon continued without acknowledging the quick looks between Elena and Aaron, "Weekend trip, you didn't know."
"But we were together a few months ago," Elena whispered as she tried to process everything. She knew that Damon had killed in the past and that he had killed since they met but she was under the impression that the human killings had stopped since the sacrifice (she didn't count the time that Damon killed Matt since Matt had been revived by the Gilbert Ring). Apparently that wasn't the case.
"Starting the summer of our lives," Damon quipped as his focus stayed on Aaron and the gun that was still pointing at him.
Elena huffed, "I had no idea."
Damon rolled his eyes; he knew what was coming next despite her promise from earlier, "Did you really think that I would stop my revenge just because we were together Elena?" He asked and he took her silence as a sign for him to continue, "Dr. Whitmore filled five years of my life with tortures that I didn't think my body would recover from despite its advancements. If you think torturing a human is bad, torturing a vampire is worse since we feel things magnified and apparently they could do a lot worse to us than if their lab rats were humans." He sneered as the mere thought sickened him; while the humans seem to categorize all vampires as the sadistic creatures of the night, they seem to forget that humans are capable of being just as sadistic (without the excuse of being a vampire). Who's more twisted now?
Aaron didn't know what to say yet he knew to remain silent. His silence wasn't really a choice though as his mind was spinning with this new information. He couldn't fathom that his family had been involved in inflicting such cruelty.
Damon hated how much he was sharing but he needed her to understand, he wasn't ready to lose her, "They took away my friend which led me to flip off my humanity and it remained off for a few decades Elena. Decades! Do you remember what you felt before you turned off your switch?" He didn't want to have to bring it up but he needed a way for her to connect with what he had done.
Elena tensed when he brought up the switch; they never talked about that time for good reason, "Damon don't."
He didn't listen, "It took the death of your own brother to flip the switch. While you had everyone around you try and bring you back from that, and might I add that you tried to kill us on many occasions, I had no one." He let the words sink in for a moment before he continued, "No one Elena so I did whatever I wanted. I killed whoever I wanted and the only goal I had was my revenge. Just like how your only goal was to kill Katherine. Do you remember how determined you were about that?"
She did remember, all too clearly. She remembered how ruthless she was without her emotions. She remembered how she tried to kill many of her friends on many occasions without even blinking. She remembered how she killed that waitress to prove a point…not because the waitress was a threat to her well-being but to prove a point! She never would have done that if she had her emotions. And she was without her emotions for a few months after Jeremy's death and when she looked back on that time, it was horrible. She couldn't imagine living like that for much longer and yet Damon had done that. He had spent decades without his emotions and with only his need for revenge as a way to push forward in life. And he had no one while she had support. Could she really fault him for his revenge? No, because like she said to him earlier, she didn't care what he did to the people that tortured him and yet the generations of Whitmores that followed…they didn't have anything to do with his tortures and yet he killed them for it. Could she forgive him for that?
Before Elena could find an answer to her internal questions, Damon's voice brought her back to reality, "So don't go judging me Elena because for one, you said you wouldn't, and because you have no idea what I went through." He stated without realizing where her true thoughts were on. "I just hope to God that I get you out of here before you experience first-hand what I had to go through all those years ago." He mumbled as he looked towards the wall that separated them.
He laid it all out to her and now it was her decision. She knew what she was getting into when she get involved with him, he just hoped that she didn't think it was all a mistake. Because he did mean what he said earlier…they had the summer of their lives together, and he hoped that he'd have many more in the future with her.
"So I'm just some means to an end for you?" Aaron interrupted as he steadied his arm so that the gun remained trained on Damon.
Damon tilted his head back to Aaron, "Until you Whitmores get the message, yeah, you are."
Aaron's brow furrowed out of confusion, "What message?"
Damon groaned; could this human be any more of an idiot? "To stop experimenting on us! I heard what the good doctor wanted you to do." When Aaron only showed more confusion on his face, Damon had to hold in his temper once again, "He said he hoped for you to join him with his research before you decked him. And since I brought it up, good call with that punch," His enhanced hearing was able to pick up on the earlier conversation between Aaron and Dr. Maxfield from the main floor.
Aaron's eyes narrowed, "I don't need your approval."
Elena closed her eyes and sighed; she knew that Damon wouldn't react well to that comeback. She knew that she should say something to get in between the two yet she chose to remain silent.
"No, what you need is a brain." Damon shook his head; his annoyance was very clear in his movements, "You humans don't know when to stay out of vampire business. Humans are supposed to run when they see a vampire, not capture and experiment on them because I'll let you in on a little secret Mini Wes…we will bite back with a vengeance. And I personally revel in that."
Aaron gulped yet he stayed standing strong, "You don't scare me."
"Another reason why you need a brain," Damon mumbled out before he squared his shoulders, "Alright, here's the deal; you let me and Elena go and I'll alter my revenge strategy to involve less death." He didn't want to but getting Elena free was his priority, even if it meant that he had to change his fifty-plus-plan then so be it. If they wanted less death then compelling would have to be his backup plan.
Damon growled, "Let's put it this way Mini Wes, I don't care if I get tortured again but if Elena gets on that surgical table, I will kill you."
Elena looked to the separating wall with a stunned expression on her face, she wasn't expecting that. Although she should have; history had shown that Damon would do anything and everything he could if it meant that she was safe.
Aaron quickly looked between the two vampires to see if the threat was legitimate yet the serious yet stunned look on Elena's face was enough of a hint to tell him that Damon wasn't joking around anymore.
"Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but I will kill you." Damon continued as the revised plan continued to formulate in his mind, "I will kill the doctor upstairs and then I'll hunt down every member of the Augustine Society again and kill them and everyone in their family, and then I'll come after you, after you've suffered with the knowledge that so many deaths happened because you wouldn't make the deal with me."
"That's what Klaus did to Katherine's family," Elena couldn't help but point that out.
Damon released a dark chuckle, "And you know how effective that turned out to be Elena."
Elena sighed, "You can't make threats like that Damon."
If he could, Damon would be glaring directly at Elena but he had to settle for glaring at the wall between them, "I did not spend two years putting myself in more danger than I enjoyed to protect you Elena only to have you face the same thing I did in the darkest part of my past because I will guarantee this Elena, losing Jeremy won't compare to how you will feel during and after those experiments." He assured her through gritted teeth as his temper elevated. He had enough with this situation.
Elena said nothing to retaliate and Damon took that as a sign of his words sinking into her brain.
Damon turned to face Aaron, "So what's it going to be Mini Wes? Are you going to let us go or are you going to have to pack your bags and run for the rest of your life?"
A/N #1: And there you have it! What'd you think? I know its quick, possibly a little OOC (and a lot longer than I thought), but I just couldn't help the dialogue once it came to me and I just need to defend Damon…TEAM DAMON! Aside from the faults, how was it? Please leave a review!
A/N #2: Don't forget to watch the mid-season finale this Thursday December 12/13!
Originally Published: December 8, 2013 (Happy Birthday Ian Somerhalder!)