Damon+Stefan; Damon/Elena(/Stefan), Lexi/Stefan references, Damon/Lexi (IDEK) | ambiguous future setting | ~2600 words | R
Foraerintine andverdant_fire, both of whom I've owed Salvabros fic for several decades. Um. This is subtextual
06. He’ll wake up one morning on bloodstained sheets, Elena supine beside him, and he’ll think –
(“What are we gonna do about -- ?” her voice, hushed and careful and never, never guilty enough.)
Stefan, a lonely thought. The sun glares.
01. (the thing is, the strangest thing of all, the blood on his hands looks exactly like the blood beneath his own skin.)
Life shouldn’t be that way: an adolescent cry.
05. (every second of every day)
Damon is making promises. Damon is pouring his heart out onto the living room rug and paying no mind to the mess he makes.
“Every second of every day,” Damon is spewing forth, romantic as a deluge.
(“Until,” Stefan hears.)
02. There may have been an incident at Bon Jovi.
Damon hasn't seen Stefan since... the lonely turn of a dark blue moon. It's a sentimental phrase. Bon Jovi's a sentimental occasion. Looking down from above: "Stefan, Stefan," he murmurs, fists clenching round the metal of the balcony railing, "what the actual fuck are you wearing." As if on cue: the worse-dressed brother glances up with comical suspicion. Damon casually steps behind an obese middle-aged man in a leather trenchcoat.
In the lower box: "What's wrong?" inquires the blonde beside Stefan, a hand on his arm. (A smirk curves Damon's mouth.)
After a pause, "Nothing," Stefan decides. "I'm seeing things."
Intently, "Are you having trouble with your urges?"
A dark look that dissipates in a blink. "Lexi, I'm fine," earnest as a lover and, reaching for the offending hand, he places a light kiss on the palm. "Okay?"
Lexi's narrowed eyes are almost instantly replaced with a steady smile. Stefan returns it. Clasps his fingers through hers.
Well, Damon thinks. That's interesting.
He waits for the interval -- at which point, a number of over-excited adolescents have died ecstatically in his waiting arms (dyin' on a prayer, he might be tacky enough to joke to himself -- he's not that tacky). Lexi's excused herself for refreshments, left Stefan by himself in the crowded box -- looking just like everyone else around him and still nothing alike, his hungry gaze roving over every living thing in the vicinity.
It's too easy to slip into the empty space. "Whew, these concerts, man. Really work up an appetite." Damon waits for the shock of recognition. "Don't you think."
Stefan is painted in a myriad of emotions: panic; fear; anger; distrust; resignation. What a welcome, Damon thinks, with something akin to boredom.
"Damon," Stefan finally says. "I'm here with someone."
"So I noticed. I'm unspeakably happy for you."
A pause. "It's not like that."
Damon allows a smile to contort his face. "Ohhhh, isn't it?"
A longer pause. Then, strangely rushed and urgent, "Don't ruin this for me, Damon."
Damon keeps his smile firmly fixed in place, thinks, I need to kill some more people. "It's interesting how that's the first thing that comes to your mind."
As though he hadn't spoken: "I don't want it to be the way it was between us. Things can be different, now. I'm -- "
"Oh, brother," Damon says loudly, carelessly. "Always thinking of yourself and what you want. How typical." Stefan is ashen. Damon doesn't care. "You're -- what? All better? Freed of any and all intense urges to rip out the throat of anyone who may walk past?"
Stefan's eyes dart nervously, melodramatically, as though expecting to be discovered at any moment, as though his personal wrongness is any wronger than, say, the elderly woman in a flower-print leotard to their right.
What a nervous wreck. "So you switched it back on after all."
Stefan looks straight at him, then. "It's better this way. Believe me, Damon. Things can be different now."
"Yeah, you say that like it means something." Damon's bored. Lexi's returning. "Fortunately for me, it means nothing, so -- "
A firm hand on his arm, and Stefan's sharp gaze. "Please, Damon. Just, for once, don't ruin it."
Damon surveys the hand with detached interest and, as heavy and calculated as a stab wound, "You say that like there's something to ruin."
Stefan is pained, brow furrowed dramatically, mouth pursed in perfect misery. Damon has ruined his night. How cruel; how perfectly callous; his back is already retreating, moving on, seeking new devastation. A century-old tale of brothers at irreparable odds.
Damon fucking hates Bon Jovi.
03. That should be the end, except -- Damon Salvatore is a boy who has never learned to let anything mean nothing.
This explains why he's skulking hours later in the shadows of the amphitheare parking lot, his hooded gaze sweeping over the exiting circus crowd whose only crime is misidentifying the real meaning of "rock 'n' roll". Stefan is just another face, arm looped through that of his bee-eff-fucking-eff, the two swaying with the grace of the happily inebriated.
(To the uninformed observer: Stefan is normal. He is happy.)
Damon is as unmoved by this as he is by everything else that has the misfortune to cross his path.
Stalking the would-be lovers back to a corner apartment is easy, too easy, either because Stefan's become even more pathetic than Damon feared... or because he is allowing it. Damon chews on these options, contemplates as to which is more delicious; they're both appealing in different sorts of ways, but he thinks the quality of difference isn't important.
It doesn't take too long for Stefan to slip back out, sans Lexi, and tread into the deserted alley where Damon's propped against a wall and blowing smoke through his lips.
"You're smoking cigars now," Stefan observes.
Damon exhales. "I can make them form shapes and everything. Wanna see?"
"Listen, Damon." Stefan is holding his breath. "I only came out to tell you that it's not a good time."
"No, you came out to pass on a message said by someone else," Damon replies in the next breath.
A pause, then, "And you need to listen. It's not a good time," Stefan repeats.
Damon takes a single step: away from the wall, towards Stefan. "Because your girlfriend says so?" Stops a mere feet away, close enough for the smoke to cloud in Stefan's face. "I'm supposed to care what she thinks?"
"You should." The furrowed brow is back, now accompanied with a look of something strangely like fear. "She's the one looking out for me. I'm trying to control myself and she doesn't think you'll -- " Stefan stops, realising.
Damon narrows his eyes. Holds Stefan's gaze for a long count, before turning his back. "Right." There's a patch of pink gum wedged grotesquely into a crack in the damp alley wall; Damon finds this fascinating. "Right."
A moment passes. Then, "I'm sorry."
"What the fuck are you sorry for," Damon says, automatically.
Yet another customary pause. "... I don't know."
Damon snorts. "That's fucking pathetic."
"I know." A beat. "You should leave."
Damon lets out a long puff. "Yeah. Okay."
That might have been it, if not for the overwhelming relief that settles on Stefan like a cloud.
Damon doesn't really know what happens next.
His hands are gripping Stefan by the collar, slamming him against the filthy alley wall. The cigar drops to the damp ground, its light snuffed out. His fangs are descending; he tears into his own wrist, has a moment to smell the fumes on his breath before forcing the vein into Stefan's gaping mouth.
It's too easy.
Stefan struggles weakly, but Damon has him in a vice grip; it takes an embarrassingly short time for him to surrender, for his own hands to reach up, not in a protest but to clutch Damon's unforgiving arm against himself. Damon's making a fist, causing the blood to flow out more forcefully; it gushes obscenely over Stefan's tongue, rich and thick, cloying, intoxicating (Damon), and Stefan gulps it gladly. This is wrong, he thinks, and doesn't care, wants more, his own fangs latching rudely on to Damon's hand as he presses against him --
But this is when Damon pulls away, breathing harshly, an ugly smugness colouring his features in the moonlight. Stefan clutches suddenly at nothing, feels sharply the loss of Damon's touch (his brother gave and then he took it away).
Damon is running his tongue across his dripping wrist, closing the wound. Licks his lips once, twice. "So, yeah. I'll be going then." His mouth twists into a hungry sneer. "Good luck with that whole control thing."
Then his back is turning again, the picture of indifference; meanwhile Stefan stares, adrift and anchorless in the quiet wave of Damon's parting words: "Goodbye, brother."
(The headlines scream: Entire Californian apartment block brutally massacred; the work of a monster.)
08. These days, Elena gives him smiles like secrets, eyes telling stories of waiting and yearning and something as adolescent as forbidden love.
"Have you told Stefan?" he asks, because he doesn't know what else to do with everything he wants.
Elena's fingers still on a button, one impatient breath away from tearing them off his designer shirt. He shouldn't be surprised when she sighs, "Do you always have to bring up Stefan?" (You do this, you do; you sabotage things.)
"He's my brother," Damon responds, for some reason.
"No shit," Elena mutters, hands working none too gently on his belt buckle. She's bored of this conversation, bored of the age-old drama; she has, in a word, moved on. Damon should be glad. (It's everything he wanted.)
07. (They don't actually plan to fuck on Stefan's sheets.)
(It just happens.)
09. They go hunting sometimes.
The three of them, all together, nothing in the least like old times.
These days, when Stefan looks on the verge of losing control, Elena is there, pressing him against a surface with her new inhuman strength, hands on his face and muttering nonsense calming words; Stefan concentrates on breathing in, out, in again, his eyes locked on Damon waiting just a safe distance away.
(These days, Damon keeps his hands to himself.)
04. "Look what came in with the rodents."
Damon drops the diary. "Where's Stefan?"
"He's not interested in you," Lexi says shortly. Cocks her head. "You're just like a lovesick puppy, aren't you."
Damon chooses not to respond to that. "Isn't this his favourite Chicago place of dwelling?"
"Um," she says loudly, "yes, this would qualify as one of his preferred 'places of dwelling'," obnoxious air quotes attached.
Damon rolls his eyes. "So when is he coming back?"
Lexi's shrugging off an overcoat; Damon's eyes are unwillingly drawn to the movement. "Has anyone told you that you reek of desperation?" she says, not looking at him.
"Just fucking tell me."
"Not with that attitude, pretty boy."
He closes his eyes, resists the urge to snap someone's neck. "Fine." Heads for the door. "I'll come back later."
"Oh, I can't wait."
He pauses at the threshold. Grits his teeth and thinks, I'm so gonna regret this. "So. For curiosity's sake. Why exactly do you hate me so much?"
Lexi fixes her gaze on him. "Have you met you?"
He narrows his eyes. "For real? That's all you have?"
"You cause Stefan grief. That's a good enough reason," she informs him, turning away.
"Oh. That's right." Damon takes a step, away from the door, towards her. "You're such a friend to my brother and all."
"Also, I know guys like you," she speaks over him. "You're all the same."
"Yeah, in what way?"
"The full-of-crap way."
He laughs, sharply. "Right. Okay. I get it now. You have some unoriginal damage shit going on."
"I'm sorry, are you fucking off now?" she snaps. She's reclining now on Stefan's bed, possessively, infuriatingly. "Or must I tolerate your deep fried bullshit for longer?"
Damon gives his patent sneer. "Well. Somebody's in need of a deep-dicking."
Without a beat, her reply: "You offering?"
He raises an appropriately scornful brow. "To you? I'll pass." Proceeds to turn his back on her infuriating figure.
But behind him she's crooning, "Ohhh," condescendingly, maddeningly. "The famed Damon Salvatore, all talk and no follow-through? Colour you a disappointment."
He finds himself, again, stilling at the door. Fuck. Grits his teeth, clenches one fist and then the other. You are not gonna do this, he tells himself. You are not gonna do this.
You are not doing this, a useless thought, minutes later, when she slams him down by the throat. Her other hand reaches straight for his hardness, nails digging in harshly, making him hiss. She seems to like that, grins wildly as he bucks his hips. The buttons of his shirt fly somewhere across the room; she runs her nails down his bare torso, drawing blood. It just makes him harder, truth be told.
He's reaching to do the same but she bats his hands away, pins them painfully above his head. Hisses, "Stefan does not hear about this."
Damon nods, compliant, eyes rolling in the back of his head as she finally frees him from his jeans. Then she's hiking up her own skirt and promptly impaling herself on him, her hands moving up to grip the headboard. It creaks crudely with their coarse motions, the groaning of the wood soon increasing to such an unseemly pitch that he genuinely worries about having to buy Stefan a new bed.
Sorry, bro, Damon thinks, while his brother's maybe-girlfriend moves ecstatically over him (he might as well not be there at all): I just can't seem to help myself.
10. Sometimes, there are evenings in front of bad TV. It's not so different from what it used to be -- except for Elena's fingers, tracing soft patterns on his leg. (These days, she has no reason to keep her hands to herself.)
Upstairs, there is the scratching of Stefan's familiar quill. Dear Diary, Damon imagines, Prayer circle that my brother and ex-girlfriend don't fuck on the couch. Think of the upholstery.
After a while, Damon hears Stefan toss his quill aside, followed by the tread of his steps down the stairs. Meanwhile, Elena's giggling girlishly at something on TV, her fingers casually playing with Damon's shirt, brushing his abdomen, lazily moving lower.
Behind them, the front door's being pulled open, Stefan on his way out. Maybe for an unfortunate pedestrian or two. Or several.
On the sofa, Elena's fingers are now working themselves under Damon's shirt; neither of them are paying any attention to the moving images on screen.
Damon imagines himself following. Imagines stepping out into the dark promising night, the warmth of indoors clicking shut behind him. Imagines stalking Stefan to his lonely kill -- some gibbering drunk in an alley, easy prey for Stefan's hunger.
It'd be too easy. Too easy to slip beside Stefan, too easy to waste this poor man together, just as though they've been doing this for a lifetime (they haven't).
Maybe Damon would open his wrist afterwards, grant the man mercy, just because he can -- while Stefan growls a foot away, still hungry, always hungry, maybe growing hungrier at the sight of Damon forcing his blood into the other man's gasping mouth.
But this is when Damon would glance up, take in the still-darkened veins around Stefan's eyes. He'd be before him in a flash, blocking Stefan's view of the bleeding man, of anything else that might fucking happen to exist at that moment in time.
He'd grab Stefan by the collar, a heavy anchor, and press their foreheads together as they both breathe harshly, in and out through their bloodstained mouths.