Title: No one else
Pairing/Characters : Damon/Elena, Caroline Forbes
Summary: “You look stunning tonight, Elena – more than usual. This color is like made for you” he said with a low voice right beside her ear. It gave her goose bumps having him so close to her.
Show/Book-verse: Show verse - probably by near the end of Season 3.
Elena looked at herself in the mirror again. She tried to find any imperfection, any little thing she could fix, but she looked perfect. Her deep red dress hugged her curves in all the right places and she couldn’t have looked any better. She had her hair straight with a little red pin that matched her dress. She would have done more with her hair if she could, but since Jenna wasn’t talking to her, she had to do everything by herself.
She didn’t know how things had gotten so out of control in such a short span of time. Of course she knew that all her half-truths and little white lies to protect her family would backfire on her some day, but she never pictured that it would come to this. Jenna never even looked at her anymore and Elena couldn’t blame her really, but it still hurt.
The doorbell rang and shook her out of her thoughts. She sighed deeply, tried to compose herself the best she could before going down the stairs and opening the door. There stood Caroline looking like an ice princess with a blue dress to match her eyes and her blonde hair in curls. Elena smiled at her.
“You look gorgeous, Care.”
The blonde girl just smiled, took Elena’s hand and tugged her out of the house.
“Come on or we will be very late. You know the Lockwoods and their parties – no one comes late.”
Caroline drove the car, and through the whole ride she was talking; about her mother, her gay father coming to visit soon, about Matt – about everything and nothing and Elena listened to her earnestly, nodding and laughing, completely engrossed in the crazy stories Caroline was telling. Elena missed this. She missed being able to be and act like a normal 19-year old, hanging out with her friends, having fun, gossiping, talking about boys. Since Bonnie turned her back on her for good and her only other real friend was Damon, she didn’t get much girl-time, so she appreciated Caroline now more than ever. While Caroline was in the hospital after last year’s Founder’s Day, Elena realized what a poor friend she has been to her. Elena and Bonne both were. Caroline could be a little superficial at times and a little annoying other times, but she was also the sweetest of the 3 girls. Elena found this out when she needed her the most. It wasn’t long ago, and she’d never forget how Caroline was by her side, every day, taking her mind off of things.
They entered the big Lockwood house and looked around. Caroline immediately found Bonnie and Matt by the mini-bar and looked at Elena, a little guiltily. “You could join me and hang out with Matt and I, if you want.” Elena just smiled and shook her head.
She looked up and saw Bonnie eying her with that icy look that not even Damon had ever used on her and looked back to Caroline.
“Don’t worry about me. Just go and have fun. I’ll catch you guys later.”
Elena didn’t even know why she came here. She could have found any stupid excuse to stay home, but it was Caroline’s constant nagging and almost forcing her to come that made her give in. Suddenly she felt like all eyes were on her and she hated it. She had always hated being the centre of attention, but she should have known that she would be just that tonight. Soon enough she got fed up with all the pitying looks, and quickly walked to another room, trying to find a place where she could breathe in an out.
When she heard the music start flowing in the other room and she was certain that everyone was busy dancing she emerged again and tried to find a familiar face. That’s when she could feel it. His eyes on her. She knew he was walking towards her from behind, but she didn’t look in his direction, and tried to busy herself with something, anything else.
“You look stunning tonight, Elena – more than usual. This color is like made for you” he said with a low voice right beside her ear. It gave her goose bumps having him so close to her. She turned around to face him.
“I especially love the way you’re wearing your hair.”
She knew what he meant. And maybe she always wore her hair this way because of him, so he could never look her and think of the Other One. She never wore her hair curly anymore, not since last year. She knew he appreciated it even though she also knew that no matter how she wore her hair he would never mistake her for the Other One. Not again. But she understood that he loved the fact that she looked different.
She would never get used to the way he made her skin tingle by just looking at her like that, like she was a Picasso masterpiece and he was drinking her in – always.
They walked around the room and found a couch to sit on.
“How’ve you been?” Elena asked casually, but her eyes gave her away. They were searching his for the slightest change.
He hadn’t been much around lately, and she knew that she was one of the reasons he had to get away from Mystic Falls every now and again. He always disappeared for a few days, to God knows where and then he’d pop up out of nowhere again.
She stared at him, holding his gaze. She could see that he had missed her, though he would never admit it. There was warmth in his expression, it was guarded but it was there. And she had missed him too, more than she should. More than she would admit to him.
“I’ve been… well, you know. “ There wasn’t much to say.
Elena paused, unsure, then she blurted, “Where have you been this time? You were gone for longer than usual.”
She knew that this was an off-limit topic. They never talked about where he has been and why he was gone, but she just needed to know. She has gotten so used to him being in her life that she couldn’t help but be annoyed whenever he didn’t show up at her house at night or come to pick her up from school. She almost scoffed at herself inwardly. He wasn’t her boyfriend so she couldn’t expect all these things from him – but still.
“Do you want a drink? He stood up and extended a hand to her, not waiting for an answer and clearly avoiding the subject. Elena sighed, knowing she wouldn’t get her answer and stood up by herself. She felt him stiffen beside her when she didn’t take his hand on her way up.
The room was too crowded all of a sudden, and they were walking up to the bar so close to each other. She was whispering silent prayers that he doesn’t put his hand on the small of her back. He didn’t, but when he turned around to face her again his arm brushed hers and she had to look at him again when that bolt of electricity ran through her body. He pretended he didn’t see that from the corner of his eyes.
“Would you like to dance, Elena?” he asked after a few drinks. The song playing was a slow song and everyone on the dance floor was dancing closely with a partner. Matt and Caroline, looking deeply in to each other’s eyes, even Bonnie had her arms around Tyler’s neck. Elena shook her head. “No.”
He expected it. How could he not? After all this time of Elena striving to keep their relationship strictly friendly, and her being careful not to be too close to him, not to touch him when it wasn’t necessary he should have known she wouldn’t dance with him.
After everything she still rejected him. Even after killing Katherine; he drove a stake through her heart slowly and thoroughly, all the while looking deeply in her eyes that were filled with shock and feelings of betrayal – all in front of Elena. Even after him being her only friend when she broke up with Stefan, holding her and soothing her the first night while she cried – over his brother – and every tear that landed from her eyes on his skin was like a ray of sun burning him. He hated every second of it, but he was doing it for her, only for her. He hated the way she made him feel sometimes, the way she made him do things that reminded him of Stefan, but he couldn’t help it. After Jeremy turning and disappearing it was even worse. The break-up with Stefan she could take, she was a tough girl, but losing her brother almost made her go insane. She was like a zombie, she wouldn’t eat if somebody didnt feed her, she wouldn’t talk if somebody didnt force the words out of her, she wouldn’t stop crying if somebody didnt stop her. Caroline was with her every day and when she went home, Damon climbed up through her window to take over the job of being with her at night. It was like they had their shifts to keep her from breaking and falling apart. Of course Caroline didn’t know that Damon took over at night.
Elena saw the way his otherwise light blue eyes darkened with anger and how he clenched his jaw, narrowing his eyes at her. She has done it again. It was like an automatic answer she had prepared for whenever he asked her something, anything. It was always ‘No’, and she couldn’t believe that she actually embarrassed him in front of those around them by rejecting him so clearly. She wanted to make up for it, tried to take his hand, but he pulled away before she even tried.
“Why don’t you find Stefan and dance with him? He’s here, you know. I’m sure he would be more than happy to oblige, and you know how much I enjoy watching you two dance”, he hissed at her.
He knew it was a very low blow, but he wanted her to feel just a little fraction of what she was putting him through every single day. Elena looked up at him wide-eyed as if he had slapped her hard across the face.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll let you be Stefan’s date for the evening, while I’ll see you later tonight, where you’ll be waiting for me, as usual” he said trying to lower his voice and make their little scene as private as possible. She didn’t miss the true meaning behind his words and the clear reference to Katherine and what happened between her, Stefan and Damon after the original Founder’s Party. He almost winced and almost, just almost, kicked himself mentally for saying such things to her in front of all these people. Granted it didn’t reach everyone’s ears, but those who were dancing close to them clearly heard and they were looking at Elena questioningly. Elena looked absolutely horrified, and the song slowly stopped. He expected her to break down any second, to give in to tears and run out of the room like they always did in those crappy movies she had forced him to watch, but no. She looked at him with a powerful glare and he turned his back on her and walked away towards the other mini-bar.
He was sitting in the living room – his living room - watching TV, drinking his favorite drink, whiskey and O-negative when she opened the door and stormed in as if she owned the place. And maybe she did own this place. She owned everything that was living (or undead in this case) in this house, both him and his stupid brother; they were hers and she didn’t know what to do with them.
Damon pretended not to notice her presence, despite the fact that just having her nearby made him feel more alive than he had for 150 years. He leaned back on the couch and continued watching TV ignoring her while she was walking around, yelling at him, telling him that he cant just go around saying things like that in public, that people didn’t know he was kidding (or lying), yelling that he should just stop being such an asshole all the time and be her friend in stead of making her life a living hell. When he still didn’t respond to all of it she went and stood in front of the TV, making it hard for him to see anything. That’s when he rolled his eyes and motioned for her to move away with his hand.
“Move aside. I’m trying to watch something here.”
When she didn’t move he just stood up, shot her his coldest smirk and turned towards the stairs, going towards his room.
“You know the way out, and you know the way to Stefan’s room, so I wont be worried about you getting lost in this house. Bye now.” Elena blinked, trying to ignore the way his comments stung her.
She knew he was just upset by something and that’s why he kept hurting her like this. He wasn’t doing it for his own amusement.
She went up to him slowly, praying that he wouldn’t pull his vampire speed disappearing act on her. He didn’t. He just watched her closely and she looked in to his eyes, all over his face. And he was looking in to hers, trying to understand what she wanted, trying to understand anything. All he could see was confusion, uncertainty and guilt. Maybe deep down she realized that she also had a hand in this mess, that he wasn’t being completely unreasonable. When she came closer to him and he was engulfed by her scent he couldn’t help but remember that mind-blowing kiss they had shared a month ago. Caroline had thrown her a birthday party and she went outside the Grill to have some fresh air. Damon wasn’t invited, but of course he came. He was standing outside, leaning up against the wall of the building, looking at her with that sexy look on his face, but he was sure it wasn’t going to work, that this was just what they’re used to do. He looks at her, does the eye-thing, she rolls her eyes, but that night it went differently. She had grabbed him from the lapels of his black leather jacket, looked him straight in the eyes and then just kissed him like there was no tomorrow. Thinking about it alone made his lips tingle. And even after that she didn’t want much to do with him.
But whenever they were in the same room, he could feel her eyes on him, and there were always these looks between them that he was sure everyone else noticed, those little moments where their eyes met, an electric feeling coursing through both of them and then looking away quickly. And then there were those damn secret smiles she only reserved for him. She was confusing the hell out of him and it was more frustrating than anything he had ever experienced.
“Why, Damon? Why are you doing this now? Arent we done playing games?”
“Why? Because I’m a big bad vampire. A bastard. Stefan was right about me. Now can you go or do I need to show you the way out?” he said harshly. It had been along and tiring day for him, and he just didn’t need her standing there with that accusing look in her eyes, as if he were the one in the wrong.
“No! There is more. What is it Damon?”
He sighed deeply and shook his head softly.
“What is it you want with me Elena? One day you want me to be your friend, and I am, the next day you kiss me like it’s the last day on earth and then you act as if it never happened.” He paused and before she could open her mouth to respond he spoke again “And don’t even give me the I-was-drunk-at-the-party excuse, because we both know it’s a lie. So you either tell me what it is that you want or you leave me to have some peace and quiet, because believe it or not, vampires can get exhausted too.”
Elena looked down at her feet. Her heart was beating quickly and she was having trouble finding the right words to say to him. When she didnt answer he continued.
“You know, lately everything between us has been about everything and everyone else. It’s either Stefan, Jeremy, Jenna, the town or some girl-problems you have. Now can you please help me out for a change? I just… I cant deal with this. With you.”
He paused for a moment, waiting for her to say something, and when she didn’t he continued.
“You’re the main reason I need to take off, out of town, whenever I feel like drowning in you, but not allowed to reach out and touch you. I wont lie to you, but every time I go away, I plan on never coming back. To forget that you exist, and leave you, because I know you’ve got my brother, Caroline and this whole town to catch you if you fell. But as you see, I keep failing, coming back. For you.”
She had done this to him. Lately she had just been a lonely girl who needed someone to just be there. And he was. After Jeremy disappearing and Jenna not talking to her after finding out that her niece was dating a vampire and her new best friend was one too, she had had it. She had needed him – a lot, and after breaking up with Stefan she needed him more than ever, and he didn’t ever leave. She realized just now how selfish she has been, to keep taking and taking from him without giving anything back, especially when she knew what he wanted. Deep inside, she had always known, but she tried to ignore it, because she knew that it was the same thing she wanted. And the fact that he never made a move to put pressure on her and only took what he was given made her fall for him even more, without her realizing it. She has pushed him – them – to the friend-zone even though she knew that they didn’t belong there. Of course he was her best friend, but he was more than that. It was that fact that scared her the most; what he really meant to her. All these feelings of comfort, happiness he brought her, and the passionate affection she felt for him, she kept telling herself were friendly feelings. Friendly affection, nothing more, she always told herself.
She knew he wouldn’t leave her, but it still didn’t make it less frightening to give in, to give her heart to him, for him to do whatever he pleased with it, because that heart of hers had been broken too many times now, and she didn’t know if she could take another heartbreak. She knew that his heart has suffered the same and more, but it still didn’t make it easier. When their eyes met again, she knew that he knew what she was thinking.
“It’s always someone else, Elena.” His mask of coldness and sarcasm was discarded now. He just wanted her to understand, so he kept his emotions on his face so she could read him like an open book.
With the last step she took towards him, her face came to be right in front of his, only an inch away. “Well then... tonight it’s about you. And me.” She came even closer, her lips almost brushing his. “No one else.” she whispered against his mouth before finally, finally touching his lips with hers, kissing him softly.
He was unmoving, surprised by this as she enclosed his lower lip in between hers and put a hand on his cheek stroking it slowly. He started responding slowly, kissing her back just as softly as she was kissing him. Before breaking away a little. “No one else” he repeated whispering it hotly against her lips and he held her firmly afraid that she would disappear from his arms, fade away, as if this was only a dream and he wanted to hold on to it for dear life. He wanted to kiss her passionately, to hold her face between his hands and show her just how much he wanted her, how much he needed her. How much he loved her. But he also didn’t want to scare her away, now that she had finally taken that step to get closer to him.
She kissed him again, assuring him that this was real, and that this time she wont be running away. He didn’t break their kiss walking her backwards towards his room, putting his hand in her long hair and pressing her face harder in to his. When they finally reached his room, he closed the door with his foot and looked at her, all over her. She wanted to protest when he started to unzip her dress, kissing the side of her neck tenderly. This was all too fast, too much at once. “Damon…” she tried weakly. She just admitted her feelings for him to herself, they couldn’t do this now, but she couldn’t get herself to give him any sign of rejection at this moment. She wouldn’t do that, not after everything so she let him, only to discover that this wasn’t sexual. His eyes didn’t move from her face and down to her only bra-clad chest like she would have expected. He was stroking her face with his thumb before pulling off his shirt, carrying her to his bed, lying down beside her and pulling her in to his embrace. He just wanted the comfort of feeling her skin on his – nothing more.
She pulled away from him slightly to take his face in her hands again. Her eyes were wide and bright. His roved over her face, tender and warm. She leant her forehead to his, her eyes fluttered closed and she smiled. For the first time in a very long time, she felt content and genuinely happy, lying here like this with him – and no one else.
A/N: I really hope you enjoyed it and that Damon wasnt too vulnerable. Please tell me what you think in the reviews. They make me very happy :D