5.7.2013 NI is officially 2 YEARS OLD! Thanks guys for making those years amazing!
FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS
Welcome! Have you ever wondered what your favorite supernatural TV fandoms would look like if they were all literally interconnected? If Damon from Vampire Diaries heard about Sunnydale becoming a crater? What if 'fighting for vampire rights' in True Blood mattered in the world of Supernatural? Want to find out how your favorite characters will react in a world like this? Join in and don't forget to follow your instincts!
Canons: True Blood, Being Human (BBC), Vampire Diaries, Buffy & Angel, & Supernatural.
Okay, so what? Damon was doing the partying gig a lot more as of late. It was a big city, plenty to do - and Elena was busy Stefan-Longing and Ric was too busy Jenna-Grieving so Damon wasn't one to stick around for the pity parties. Of course, he was around for Elena - doing whatever he could to figure out how to take down Klaus but unfortunately his only lead had escaped and taken up the business of using vampires as a culinary delicacy. Meanwhile, Katherine had some sort of secret master plan she wasn't telling. So until something comes up - Damon was pretty much stuck. Partying sounded like a great way to get un--stuck. Time to get out of the gloomy bubble of Elena and Stefan, even if Damon knew that he was the reason Stefan was in the mess with Klaus in the first place. He knew that. But he couldn't do anything about it. He also couldn't do anything about tweaking the deal he made with that demon - unknown to Stefan, all his martyrdom would be for nothing anyway. Pretty messed up.
Another thing he couldn't do anything about? Ripper douche Stefan massacring people from that stupid mega church. Of course, Damon knew it was classic Stefan - always over dramatic - trying to make a statement. "Ugh," Damon groaned when he heard the news on TV. "Stefan, grow up." At the very least it confirmed he was in NYC. Where? Why? Who knows.
So Damon decided to check out one of the new nightclubs in the city - a natural solution, of course. Not to look for Stefan - no, Damon pretty much figured out that if Stefan wanted to be found, he would have made an appearance already. He had given up on trying to get Stefan to come home and be a goody two shoes again for Elena - in fact, honestly - that wasn't even his concern. Stefan spazzed up on people blood wasn't even that big of a deal to him - in fact it made Stefan a lot less boring. It was just a big deal for Elena, and she thought a kiss and a hug would make stefan aaaall better - nothing would have her let go of that fantasy.
But for Damon? He just didnt like the sound of Klaus making Stefan his little lassie dog. Seriously, was this super powerful hybrid/vamp that desperate for friends? Pretty pathetic, really. So as long as Klaus has Stefan under his wing there wasn't much they could do other than kill Klaus which was like impossible. So where was he now? His brother was gone being a side-kick villain with superhero hair, and Damon was stuck taking care of a girl he could probably never have, all while anticipating his unfortunate end due to a stupid deal he made to keep Elena alive.
It was definitely time for some late night partying.
Damon already had a quite a few drinks already, already buzzed and feeling great so he found a spot on the dancefloor, grabbing a girl's hand, spinning her around and pulliing her towards his body - his arm around her waist with her back facing him. The girl giggled delightedly at the move. "Hello," Damon said in her ear, a slight laziness to his voice due to the alcohol, but still holding flirty suggestiveness in his tone as he smirked.
"Hellooo," the black haired woman said with a smile, leaning her head back a bit against his chest and looking over at him. "Is that how you greet all the girls?"
"Only the really hot ones." Damon answered promptly, letting her hand go so she could turn around. Damon kept his hands on the slim frame of her waist, their bodies still close.
"You got the flattery down too, what else are you good at?" she asked with a suggestive look.
"Mmm well, iin the spirit of leaving something to the imagination, I'm sure you can make a preeetty good guess." he grinned, just as suggestively. The girl laughed and they danced for a while until the song was over. Feeling like another drink, he waltzed over to the bar again, ordering another couple of shots.
Emerald eyes watched Damon from across the nightclub. Brilliant flashes of light brought Damon's features fading in and out with the beat of the music. It was almost too painful to stand there and wait, to watch and to linger for the right time to approach. Stefan debated if he should even bother. Sure. Damon knew he was in New York, but to come face-to-face with him would only verify that and lead to the inevitable argument and fight that would ensue after their meeting. His brother could be such a hypocrite. Hating the calm, placid Stefan for his lack of fun and hating the way he was now because he wasn't his usual self. The thought brought a smile to Stefan's mouth as he watched his brother depart from his dance partner and head to the bar. The man really could drink. A lot. A crease formed in between the vampire's brow as he shrugged the last thread of doubt off his shoulders and made his move. Fingertips adjusted the collar of the black Armani shirt that was pressed neatly against his neck. It was now or never and there was no time better than the present.
"Hello.." Stefan's voice was soft and rich with the blood that coursed through his veins. He had the woman and she was his the moment they met their gazes with one another. Really. She had no chance. He would have felt sorry for her if he could allow himself to feel at all, but emotions were a weakness that could bring him down faster now more than ever given his current situation and there was no way this single human --or any human at all besides Elena -- would tear down every wall he worked so hard to build around himself after his deal with Klaus.
Especially now that there were times he let himself be comfortably locked inside them and gave in to their cold separation from humanity and all of his morals. Tonight, with this girl, that is where he made his home. Stefan pulled the girl inside with him and shut the door. No lock and key needed. To her, he was the only thing that existed besides the lingering hunger she felt in her body for Damon who was busy waiting for shots at the bar. Poor girl. She'd never get to take the drink Damon was buying for her. The busy crowd would demand the bartender's time and his return with the alcohol and that small wait would be all Stefan needed to make his point.
The girl's hand came to rest on his face and she purred with liquid courage up to him. "Tonight must be my lucky night." Her body was warm and coated with a thin sheen of sweat as she moved in closer and pressed her chest against his. Stefan sighed in hunger as her breath swept across the pale skin of his throat. The driving need was too much to bear. "Your eyes are funky.." He could feel them darkening and only smiled down at her in response before murmuring..
And she did. Her arms moved up and locked around his shoulders as his returned the favor around her waist. He bent to kiss her and their lips never touched, he felt her groan against him at the disappointment of being teased. To spite himself, Stefan could be a predator that had a reputation of mercilessness unmatched by many. Too bad for the girl. She was going to experience it first hand. The groan gave way to a moan as his kiss found it's way to her throat instead. Her head tossed backwards and she let go a little squeak of excitement. That was when the vein pulsed under his mouth, lifting up and begging to be broken. It didn't have to plead for long. With a bite that had her flinch and go to pull back for only a minute as her human instincts told her this was a bad idea and it was best to get the hell out of there. Instincts were no match to the vampire's embrace and she fell hard back into her place against him.
Stefan canted his neck enough so that he could open his eyes to the bar and catch sight of Damon's back. Just like his brother to impatiently tap his foot on the ground as he waited and watched the bartender pour his drinks. The crowd began to blur and it was only those four in the room. The only four that mattered. Stefan, the bartender who would turn over his brother and the girl who would stand as his entrance and leave in oblivion. Her blood pulsed harder against his pallet. He had to moan. She was going limp now. The gulps hard and deep as Stefan drained her quickly.
Damon turned. Stefan locked eyes with his brother --it seemed for a second, there was a little bit of shock in Damon's blue gaze, or at least that is what Stefan figured-- as the girl's arms fell down to hang limply in the air. She was near death now, possibly too far gone to save. Perfect. Stefan's arms no longer held her. Her fall to the ground felt as if it were in slow motion as one of the drunk kids beside his brother lost his grip on his drink. The cheap glass shattered on the floor, unheard over the banging music. As was the idiot's screams of protest over his own drunken clumsiness. They were unnoticed just like the girl that fell to the floor and was left there alone. To die. To live. Whatever took place was none of Stefan's worry. There was a growing anticipation to have Damon with him. To hear his brother's voice and know that he was near.
Emotion, Stefan. Bad idea.. Pull it together.
Vampiric speed had Stefan gone from the dance floor. He quickly came to a stop on the balcony overlooking below and caught sight of his brother. He crossed his arms on the silver railing that kept partiers from plummeting to their deaths below. Then smiled. A welcoming smile that half mocked, half invited Damon to join him.
Damon leaned against the bar, one elbow on the counter and he held up two fingers in case the bartender didn’t hear him. The guy nodded and went off to fetch the drinks. The music pulsated the entire place, lights flashing across the scope of the floor, drawing attention to exactly how crowded the nightclub had become. And Damon’s plan was working perfectly. He was totally forgetting about how generally screwed he was and how he was running out of options and time in order to kill Klaus. Besides, Damon was very skilled at dismissing things when he really wanted to. Tonight was no exception.
As he waited, he watched a party of 5 already drunk college kids take tequila shots. He smiled at this, thoroughly amused as they rambunctiously carried on conversation – or what one might assume was conversation, who knows. He heard the word ‘pack’ mentioned and before he could muddle through his own tipsiness to register any importance to that discovery, the shots were slid to him. And that point, Damon automatically made the decision not to care at this point. He grinned at the bartender as a thank you and took a shot in each hand, turning around to return to the girl. His eyes landed right where he left her, but a certain missing brother of his had joined her. Well, that’s a very politically correct way of saying “shamelessly stabbing his fangs into her neck and killing her out in the open.’” You know – ‘joining.’
Well. This was unexpected.
Damon’s brow knitted and light-colored eyes looking at the scene, somewhat stunned. While Stefan fed, they made eye contact and if Damon’s expression could talk it would definitely say, “I mean really, brother. What gives?” Not that he cared all that much about the girl he just met like 5 minutes ago, but come on, how much of an idiot could Stefan be? If he was going to be all Mr. Diabolical Villain – at least he could try to work on the diabolical part. Stefan dropped the body and disappeared in a blur, and a scream quickly sounded from the crowd. Yep. Body discovered. Commotion followed. Damon turned around and scanned the area quickly to see where Stefan ended up until he finally spotted him at the balcony.
Ugh. Way to kill my buzz, Stefan, Damon thought as he rolled his eyes. He glanced back at the commotion surrounding the girl’s body, before quickly deciding not to let the shots he bought go to waste. He turned back around to the bar, an annoyed and pretty irked look on his face – and maybe he was a little more pissed off about what Stefan did than he was willing to admit to himself, but maybe not. Still, he leisurely swallowed those thoughts along with both shots, one right after another. Obviously, his baby bro wanted his big bro’s attention. Definitely no rush for that. What was this – vampire kindergarten? Once both drinks were taken care of, he made his way up to the balcony.
Approaching Stefan as he looked over the railing, Damon clapped mockingly. “Well played, Stefan. Well played,” his voice still took a slightly lazy tone and his steps, although made with his usual ease and casual leisure, were a tiny bit off kilter. “It was a little sloppy, what with it being out in the open and all but you pulled it off. Good for you, brother. You’re on your way to being at least somewhat intimidating. You might even scare little kids on the street someday.” He smirked teasingly. Okay, so maybe he was taking a more lighthearted approach to this because of the booze. But for Damon, there was no better way to tackle a situation like this. Looking at Stefan square in the eye, as if searching for something and finding nothing, he finally said, “So what’s with the dramatic grand entrance? I mean, the whole Fellowship of the Sun thing was just a little over the top. Even for you.”
“So what’s with the dramatic grand entrance? I mean, the whole Fellowship of the Sun thing was just a little over the top. Even for you.”
Stefan ignored his brother's insults the best he could, raising a brow and shrugging it off as his hands swept down from the balcony and brushed together. Pivoting on his heel, he turned to face Damon as the vampire came face-to-face with him. For a moment, the minutes before Stefan opened the door and followed Damon in came across his mind. Fresh, exquisite was the best way to describe the sensation of the memory. The feeling enough to make his fingers curl into the base of his palm and twitch against his flesh. He had no idea why he'd taken the man the way he had. The snapping of his neck open with utter delight, seeing the red burst into the air so that steam came from the ribbon of crimson only to be devoured by hungry lips. Stefan's eyes had watched the life drain out of his skin and death turn it gray. Green met blue as the human spark was smothered out and he loved it. His fist let the man's dark hair go and his body fall against the wet pavement with a hollow thud. A sound that was and always will be unique to the sound a lifeless corpse made when it came crashing down.
Following Damon there had pulled the monster out and let it race freely through the streets of New York City while Stefan tracked his brother and took life in Damon's wake. Leave it to Damon to leave a trail of dead wherever he went.. Be it his own, or in this instance, not. People died for Damon no matter where he went. Far be it for Stefan to deny him this poetic justice. So. Stefan created it for him in that victim that, he just now realized, reminded him of..
"Damon.." That smell coming from his brother. It made his insides ache, the scent of what felt like a lifetime away and was best left gone and buried down deep. For all the world, Stefan seemed to sway back a bit --was he putting more distance between them than Damon had allowed?-- and search his brother's face with some kind of questioning before a steady smile touched the corners of his mouth and he rocked forward onto the balls of his feet once again. "I was expecting a better hello than that. But. I should have known better. You never were one for.." Stefan's eyes cast a passing glance down to where the club bouncers were fretting over and tending the woman who had collapsed. Stefan's eyebrows quirked as he peered back towards his brother. "Tact."
Stefan took in a breath, shrugging his shoulders together and biting down against his jaw as he brought his right hand up and took hold of the balcony railing. "Anyway.. I've been following you tonight." Was he telling Damon or trying to give him some kind of vague warning? That if he was following him, there may have been a chance another more dangerous creature might have been stalking Damon, too. Stefan ripped his gaze from Damon's eyes and turned to watch the bouncers as they hefted the girl up and began to carry her off the floor. They were saying something here and there to the people who gathered around the scene. Just another girl who partied too much. Damage control.
The tone in his voice made it hard to tell if it was Damon that Stefan was referring to, or someone else entirely. "You should be more careful of where you go. You never know what might be crawling around in the dark. Or who it might be looking at."
"I was expecting a better hello than that. But. I should have known better. You never were one for...Tact."
Damon's eyebrows lifted immediately as he stifled a laugh. Seriously? Okay, so maybe he never was one for tact but what did Stefan expect? A pat on the back for being a ripper douche? Yep, that was it. Poor baby bro, looking for attention. Clearly Klaus had moved on to bigger and better things in the big city of New York so Stefan had nothing else better to do but take it out on Damon's hot squeeze of the night. Pretty sad if you think about it. And that was saying something considering that Damon wasn't even thinking much at all at the present moment.
"Tact, Stefan? Look, honestly, if your personal greeting card hadn't included the body of my hot fling for the night, I might take you seriously. But please," He wiggled his brow a bit and smiled. "Go on. Spill it, brother." He was thoroughly interested in what Stefan had to say. Besides, he went out of his way to get Damon's attention, he deserved at least...mild amusement out of Damon. In all honesty though, Damon was about sick of playing games with his brother. Okay, yeah, he was wearing the dark clothes and leather jackets and going all 'rogue' to save Damon's life. Got it. But now he was just being stupid. They both knew that this badass villain phase was just a load of crap and all it was doing was putting Elena in danger. They needed to figure out a way to kill Klaus and get this over with. And Stefan going around killing church ladies wasn't exactly helping that plan.
And something told Damon that Klaus didn't compel Stefan to do that. In fact, that whole Fellowship thing was straight from the page of Damon, with a touch of typical Stefan drama. What gives?
"Anyway.. I've been following you tonight."
Damon tilted his head a bit and blinked rapidly, faking mild shock, his smirk still holding. "I should've known that was you lurking mysteriously in the darkness," he cracked, widening his eyes just slightly and briefly for emphasis. Stefan was trying to be a villain and he couldn't even do that with out making it sulky and broody. Now why in the world would Stefan follow him? Really? A text message, a voicemail. A postcard. Anything, would have sufficed. When Stefan looked down over the railing, he put an arm on it, casually leaning against it and looking down at what was left of his brother's successful cockblocking attempt. Instead of having a fun, sexy night out, she ended up Ripper Collateral. Oh well.
He turned back to Stefan when he started making his ending diabolical statement. "You should be more careful of where you go. You never know what might be crawling around in the dark. Or who it might be looking at."
The urge to really start laughing in his brother's face was hard to fight, so Damon's face buckled a bit. Instead, he pushed himself off the rail and put a firm hand on Stefan's shoulder, containing himself enough to look directly at Stefan, glazed over alcohol induced haziness in his blazing blue eyes. "Congratulations, Stefan. As if you weren't pathetic enough, now you've resorted to stalking. New. Low." Letting him go, he said, "Come on, what are you doing? Is working on your creepy villain voice how you spend your free time when you're not busy being Klaus' little bitch?" He shrugged, to further prove how nonchalant he was. "For lack of better tact," he added. Honestly - 'crawling around in the dark'? Was Damon supposed to cower in fear or something?
Stefan was supposed to be figuring out a way out - but instead Damon and Elena were struggling to do all the work and getting no where and Stefan was too busy working on his stalker skills. It was really pissing Damon off.
"Congratulations, Stefan. As if you weren't pathetic enough, now you've resorted to stalking. New. Low. Come on, what are you doing? Is working on your creepy villain voice how you spend your free time when you're not busy being Klaus' little bitch? For lack of better tact..."
Stefan's eyes closed for a moment as he took in a deep breath and did his best to gather his wits about himself before Damon's insults began to get the better of him. A few moments later, they opened themselves and he set his gaze back. Damon drunk was even more annoying than Damon sober. This was a point that everyone knew and understood completely. Had it really been that long since Stefan got to experience the inebriated idiot that was his brother or was he hoping that Damon might have grown up a little during the current situation? Another taunt that was shoved off to the side and dismissed as best as it could've been. Why was Damon getting under his skin? Why was he letting him? Stefan was better than this. Wasn't he?
Where was Elena in all this? If Damon was here, who was watching out for her? Elena. There wasn't an hour that passed by where her name didn't flicker through Stefan's mind. Those thoughts made his stomach twist and a rush of panic jerk up his spine.
"He expects me to be like that. You know. With the report on the news? What other choice did I have other than hurting someone I cared about. You know that is his favorite demand. I figured a bunch of people who would want us just as dead as .. before .. would be easier for us both to swallow. But at least you knew I was here."
That well-known crease formed across Stefan's brow, giving him the appearance of his regular self as he opened his mouth to talk, but instead wiped the back of his hand against his lips. "What am I doing?" He repeated Damon's question back to him with a crack of a bewildered smile showing. Stefan shook his head as he rubbed the back of his neck, his fingers clenching his shoulder after. "What. Do. You. Think. I. Am. Doing. Damon?" His voice that familiar seriousness and low tone. Stefan dropped his chin, peering at Damon closely with a questioning stare. His voice now was a whisper, nothing more than a breath that could be heard between the two of them. Buried by the dying out commotion below. "Are you really that thick?"
"Here is not the place to talk about this anyway. You picked a bad spot to hang out for the night if you want to really hear the answer to that question." Stefan gestured down to the club as he lowered his hand. "You might as well invite him to join us in the conversation if he gets done doing whatever he is doing below. . ." There. Stefan tossed Damon a rather hefty chunk of information that, if found out, could end badly for the both of them. For once. Stefan was happy that the music was picking back up and there was enough conversations between them and wherever else that they'd be unheard by anyone that mattered.
"So, shall we?" An offering for answers. A bit of insight as to what Stefan might be really planning offered to Damon with a gesture of Stefan's hand towards the EXIT sign. "Otherwise. I'm not so sure when I will be free again." The vampire canted his head to the side in the direction of the door and he quirked up both brows and waited with a rather impatient twitch of his jaw.
"What am I doing? What. Do. You. Think. I. Am. Doing. Damon? Are you really that thick?"
Damon met his gaze, very much used to the 'OMG Damon I'm being so serious right now' tone in his voice. And yet again, Damon was and looked unimpressed and frankly didn't care how much he's practiced over-articulating his words, one fact still remained - Stefan was an idiot. And now, he was an out of control hybrid-servant idiot - the worst kind. He rolled his eyes and was about to respond with a snide comment - because really, Damon didn't know what he was hinting at here but from where Damon was standing Stefan was spending all his time Dateline NBC-Stalking his older brother and not enough time getting out of dodge. As far as Damon was concerned, no one was home in Stefan Land. Intellectually or humanity wise. But Stefan quickly followed up his rhetorical question with another little piece of information.
Damon's brow knitted and he look directly at Stefan. Klaus. Those dots definitely connected for Damon, if nothing else. What? No freaking way. He goes out to party and get away from the big bad original ho-hum drama and he lands himself right in Klaus' hang out spot? What the hell was that about?
Damon gazed out at the rest of the club, now extremely annoyed. "Ughh, you gotta be kidding me," he scoffed. All this time looking for Klaus and he was serving Long Islands on Techno Friday Nights?
"So, shall we? Otherwise. I'm not so sure when I will be free again."
Damon rolled his eyes again and reluctantly headed in the EXIT direction. "Well looks like you've freed up my schedule for the night. Not like I have much of a choice." He pierced his lips and glanced at Stefan irritably, walking ahead of him, outside of the night club. The wind was brisk against Damon's jacket, and he could already feel his drunken state declining - considerably. Stefan really must make a hobby out of ruining any type of fun Damon has - even despite the fact that the whole Dark Stefan phase gave him a lot more personality. It was absolutely ridiculous.
"So here we are, all discreet and inconspicuous-like," Damon said somewhat dramatically as they walked. "Mind telling me what your deal is? I know you don't have an actual plan or anything," he said stifling a bit of a laugh. "That's way too far fetched. Especially when you're too busy ripping off of me with all your latest homicidal tendencies. I know they call you a ripper and everything honestly? A little originality goes a long way, little bro." he joked.
"Well looks like you've freed up my schedule for the night. Not like I have much of a choice."
"It's not like you really branch out into other things to do that you would consider entertainment.." Stefan mumbled under his breath as Damon stepped in front of him, always the leader, and walked outside. A bit of a roll of his own eyes mirrored that of his brother's as a pale hand reached out to catch the door and hold it open so he could follow his Damon's broodish, stalking, sauntering, gait? He couldn't help but to smile a lopsided smile behind his back, wondering if Damon realized that even after all these years, the man really could flop his way into a stride that any pissed off Southern Belle would consider feminine. It was a novel thought, at least. A tension breaker that Stefan made up for himself in his own head. It was better than the feeling of guilt that began to roll it's way up his spine and taunt the back of his head into a dull throb. Or maybe it was the headache Damon could always summon from his temples. Stefan turned his gaze to the ground, watching his black boots and Damon's shoes hit against the concrete. Damon could deal with that look better than a bemused little brother.
Damon spoke.. "So here we are, all discreet and inconspicuous-like. Mind telling me what your deal is? I know you don't have an actual plan or anything."
Was that a laugh? An eyebrow twitched questioningly.
"That's way too far fetched. Especially when you're too busy ripping off of me with all your latest homicidal tendencies. I know they call you a ripper and everything honestly? A little originality goes a long way, little bro."
"Seriously, Damon. You think all of this is imitating you? I'm sure you are getting no end of satisfaction seeing me go through this." Stefan shrugged, letting a silent laugh escape. The chill of the air outside pushed small puffs of white from his lips, giving the chuckle the only life that he allowed it to have. "Would it make you happy to know that it's killing me to do what I do when clarity strikes? And even more so, when I stop caring, not a single thought of you passes through my mind when I give in?" Stefan's features darkened as he felt the hunger burn through his veins, taunted by only talking about it. A deep breath, an exhale. And he put himself together again.
"What makes you think I have no plan at all? Since when did you start thinking I was an idi-..." Stefan jerked his hand up, waved off the last part of that question because he already knew the answer. Which would have been something like always. He shook his head and looked towards the sky. It was always so ugly in New York at this time of year. Black and streaked smoky with the clouds illuminated by pollution and electric lights. A chalky, boiling mess. "Nevermind.."
"I'm keeping close to him because there's nothing much else I can do until what to do with the entire situation is figured out. Mainly, how to end it. And I haven't gotten that far yet." Stefan's voice was strained, the man was being serious and letting his brother know he was. He could only hope that Damon had sobered up enough to really take him seriously for once. "I'm afraid of what will happen if something isn't done sooner rather than later. How else to stop it other than to be near it in case it does?" Stefan turned his gaze enough that he was canting his head to the side to look at Damon over the wool collar of his coat.
As the walk sign in front of them came to the glowing orange hand, Stefan came to a stop and Damon felt his brother's elbow press against Damon's arm in a light nudge as Stefan turned the entirety of his attention to Damon's eyes.
His voice then dropped to a confused whisper, "I'm hoping you would have some ideas.. Or are we just screwed in general?"
"It's not like you really branch out into other things to do that you would consider entertainment.."
And it’s not like Stefan even knew what the word ‘entertainment’ even meant. Honestly, Damon’s brother didn’t know what the heck he was talking about half of the time. Let’s compare – Stefan’s form of entertainment was martyring himself into impossible situations, writing in his diary, suppressing any ounce of his personality that could be considered interesting, and being a complete nuisance to Damon 99% of the time. Clearly, Damon’s version of entertainment was far superior. And no, that wasn’t the point of their entire conversation, but honestly, Damon had no clue what the point was. All he knew was that Stefan was taking him outside so nosey superhybrids won’t hear, to tell him…what, exactly?
Oh right. Just that he had a brooding complex that even turning evil couldn’t fix. Got it.
”Seriously, Damon. You think all of this is imitating you? I'm sure you are getting no end of satisfaction seeing me go through this."
“Sure, because I love almost getting myself killed on a regular basis trying to bring you back from the edge, Stefan. It’s the reason I get up in the morning.” Damon said, sarcasm dripping from the words as he walked. No, he wasn’t getting satisfaction from this. What was he? Stupid? He was stuck in New York trying to protect Stefan’s girl – the girl he loved and couldn’t even have because she was Stefan’s. Meanwhile, Stefan was having blood cocktails with his buddy Klaus, and there was absolutely nothing Damon could do about it. Yes, he was enjoying this immensely. Clearly.
It was a good thing Damon wasn’t completely sober…yet.
"What makes you think I have no plan at all? Since when did you start thinking I was an idi-..."
Damon glanced over at him and lifted his brow a bit and smirked, eyes still somewhat half-lidded from hazy drunkenness.
Damon’s shook his head, smiling. “Nice save, brother. Keeps me from stating the obvious.”
"I'm keeping close to him because there's nothing much else I can do until what to do with the entire situation is figured out. Mainly, how to end it. And I haven't gotten that far yet.”
There was a tone in his voice that Damon definitely picked up on. It was that tone that Stefan used when he stopped playing games with his dimmer switch and actually started talking sense. It was a rare occurrence, so Damon glanced over at him as he spoke, smile fading. It was the first time really that he heard anything close to Stefan plotting against Klaus. Now Damon was interested.
"I'm afraid of what will happen if something isn't done sooner rather than later. How else to stop it other than to be near it in case it does?"
Well that was dumb. Stefan was going to get himself killed. They stopped at a street crossing right when Damon formulated that thought, and he felt Stefan nudge him. He turned to look at Stefan directly.
"I'm hoping you would have some ideas.. Or are we just screwed in general?"
“Oh we’re definitely screwed in general.” Damon confirmed. “But all this time we’ve been after you and you didn’t think to mention you weren’t Klaus brainwashed? Good going, Stefan. When you get caught lying, we’ll never know if Klaus decided to…I don’t know, decapitate you?” He rolled his eyes. “Thanks for the help Stefan.” The light turned green and Damon immediately walked ahead of Stefan, now getting a bit pissed.
“Please tell me you have something that we can use against him, now that you’ve spent all that quality time.” Damon said. “As you can see,” he lifted his hands and wiggled his fingers to show they were empty. “Lacking options. Can’t kill an all-powerful hybrid without some of those.”
“Oh we’re definitely screwed in general. But all this time we’ve been after you and you didn’t think to mention you weren’t Klaus brainwashed? Good going, Stefan. When you get caught lying, we’ll never know if Klaus decided to…I don’t know, decapitate you?”
A brow lifted on Stefan's forehead as Damon gave his small rant. The vampire wondered if he should thank his brother for voicing his concern or just let it slide and indulge in his own little sentimental "Aww" moment. He chose the latter. Damon was talking and interrupting with a little "I didn't think you cared." would only stand to shut his brother up and stop the conversation in it's tracks.
“Thanks for the help Stefan.”
It was a bit unsettling that Damon admitted they were, indeed, screwed. All this time, Stefan had a bit of hope that his brother, Ric and Elena might have come up with at least a spark of an idea on what to do about the situation. Being as how they had Ric on their side, Stefan put some faith into the man to come up with a solution or two by now. But that didn't seem the case. A crease formed across his eyebrows as the light turned green and he followed his brother across the street, now watching their shoes on the wet pavement again. A couple hand-in-hand walked by them, the woman laughing up towards the gentleman. Stefan watched them pass and then cleared his throat.
“Please tell me you have something that we can use against him, now that you’ve spent all that quality time. As you can see... Lacking options. Can’t kill an all-powerful hybrid without some of those.”
Worry confirmed. They were really at a loss. A pale hand came up as Stefan scratched the side of his cheek and wriggled his fingers in the air a second later before stuffing them back into his coat pocket with a shrug. "I can tell you that.. He's been acting a little odd lately. Laying low and plotting, I'm sure. But he seems almost too mellow. Like he really is at a loss of a plan himself. I'm pretty certain that isn't a good thing, regardless--."
He didn't look up, the words muttered like there was a distraction that had him not really knowing what to say. Or perhaps he was simply trying not to answer the question in it's entirety.
Stefan froze in his steps as his cellphone rang inside his coat with the familiar ring tone that was Klaus'. Shooting Damon a look that was caught somewhere between "Shit" and "Damn", he let the phone ring until the little chime dinged letting him know he had a missed call. Pressing his lips tight together, he reached out to catch hold of Damon's arm.
"I'm sorry. I have to go." Emerald eyes searched pale blue and for a breath, Stefan measured the words he was about to say and then he decided against all of them. The hesitation's length calculated and far too long for him to properly recover, he cursed his brain for trailing off. His hand snapped back to his side and without letting Damon argue against it, he turned to walk back towards the club.
"I can tell you that.. He's been acting a little odd lately. Laying low and plotting, I'm sure. But he seems almost too mellow. Like he really is at a loss of a plan himself. I'm pretty certain that isn't a good thing, regardless--."
Well that wasn’t cryptic at all.
Wasn’t all that helpful either.
Damon was pretty sure Klaus always had some kind of plan. The ball was in his court now, why would he be at a lost unless he really sucked at being the biggest baddest vampire/werewolf freak show alive? Exactly – no reason. So the lull before the storm was just a sign that some really messed up stuff was about to happen. Of course, Damon was thoroughly expecting Stefan to give him much more than that to go on. Damon could probably find more useful information flipping through all the sappy embellishments in his diary than in this current conversation. Why was this so difficult for Stefan? They needed to kill Klaus. They can’t do that when ripping off heads was the extent of Stefan's assistance in that mission…unless of course, he really did give up and really didn’t care anymore.
… Or compelled Stefan was giving Damon the runaround.
Damon stopped walking and turned to him with a slightly annoyed and slightly suspicious expression when Stefan’s phone rang. Needless to say, he was curious to see if Stefan would pick it up or not and when he didn’t, well – that knocked at least one brick off of Damon’s wall of pessimism in this situation.
Until of course, Stefan said: I'm sorry. I have to go."
Damon caught the look of debate in his brother’s eyes, as if he was holding something back or in other words – lying - either one. But Damon didn’t have the chance to respond before Stefan turned to walk away. And once he did that, Damon’s outrage spiked to a whole new level. Hell no – Stefan doesn’t just get to walk away, not after spending weeks and weeks in Klaus’ corner. Sure Stefan was generally useless when it came to plotting and scheming but Damon needed to pull some competence out of his brother, otherwise they were both screwed – that is, if Stefan wasn’t pulling the wool over his eyes with his whole ‘I’m – so – conflicted’ act. Damon had no clue what Klaus had compelled Stefan to do all this time. So Damon didn’t even think a second before he supersped his way in front of Stefan, shoving him back a bit with a slight push in the shoulder.
“No way.” Damon stated, stepping up to him – a confrontational glare in Damon’s now slightly widened eyes. “You think you can just tell me that and walk away? I'm looking for information, Stefan, not Klaus' horoscope. We need a lead on Klaus, brother, so get a grip and get talking. Klaus has other mindless minions to attend to – he can wait.”
“No way.” Damon stated, stepping up to him – a confrontational glare in Damon’s now slightly widened eyes. “You think you can just tell me that and walk away? I'm looking for information, Stefan, not Klaus' horoscope. We need a lead on Klaus, brother, so get a grip and get talking. Klaus has other mindless minions to attend to – he can wait.”
Stefan steadied himself after Damon's rather rude shove, his fists clenched at his sides and his jaw tightened. His first reaction was to toss a swing at the cocky vampire. Starting a fight in the middle of the street would only end up with both of them bloody, a crowd to spread the word, and maybe let it end up a conversation or two inside the club they left blocks behind. All-in-all it was a bad idea. So, Stefan shook it off and decided to take an older, more annoying approach towards a response.
That condescending Damon-you-idiot eye brow knit formed across his forehead and he smiled impatiently at his brother. "What sort of information do you want me to give you?" He looked up towards the sky, appearing to search for some kind of clue there to feed to Damon. Coming up empty-handed, he looked back. "Do you think he's letting me in to divulge his deepest, darkest secrets? I'm sorry, but that is not the case. Damon." Stefan reached his hands up, curling them around Damon's shoulders and moving in. His head canted to the side as his eyes squinted and he lowered his chin, emerald searching blue. "I. don't. know. I wish I did. All I can do is wait for him to call on me. Maybe then you'll know... But right now. What I have to give you isn't much of anything at all."
Stefan pressed his lips together thoughtfully as he lowered his voice to a whisper. "Time for answers from you, now, brother." He let go of Damon's shoulders, taking a step back and moving his arms behind his back so that he could cup his hands together there. A puzzled expression crossed over his face as his continued. "Can you tell me where Elena is right now? Right this second. While you are out getting your thrills at a club, where is she? Is she safe? Who is with her?"
Something in the tone almost gave way that Stefan might know where she was. And it might not be a place that was in anyone's best interest.
Damon threw a blow at him by demanding answers, now it was time to throw one back. This time, he hoped his words would land squarely against his brother's jaw and knock him right on his ass. "Good job, Damon. That whole protecting her thing. You look like you are doing a rather fantastic job at it." The smile that followed was one that didn't seem to quite fit on Stefan's face. Like it was put there by some buried old Stefan they both hadn't seen in a very long time.
Damon stood his ground as Stefan gave him that look he was all-too-familiar with. The one were his forehead has a fight with his brow and one of them goes and has a time out. Yeah, that one. Like always, Damon wasn’t concerned about Stefan retaliating – there was no universe in which he would be concerned about that. That wasn’t an issue at this point – Stefan could be pissed at Damon all he wants, as long as he gets mad enough to get himself out of the mess he’s in, it won’t even matter.
Damon kept his confrontational glare, eyes slightly flared, waiting for Stefan to respond and hopefully say something that wasn’t completely useless. It was a stretch but Damon knew that Stefan could do it even if it was totally out of Stefan’s natural thinking abilities. Sometimes challenges can grow a person, after all. Stefan would be the first person to say that after trying to live off of woodland creatures for so long. But Damon is saying it now because this thinking challenge would get them one very dead super-hybrid.
"What sort of information do you want me to give you?"
“Well I’m not exactly looking to know what his favorite color is, Stefan.” Damon scoffed sarcastically.
“Do you think he's letting me in to divulge his deepest, darkest secrets? I'm sorry, but that is not the case. Damon."
Damon tilted his head, narrowing his eyes just a bit in suspicion as Stefan talked and put his hands on him. Well duh, Damon didn’t think Klaus would let him divulge anything, which was exactly the point. One minute, Stefan was more than willing to plot and scheme behind Klaus’ back and the next minute, he was a completely clueless compelled idiot. Pick one, Stefan. Damon really didn’t have time for this. Before he could interrupt and say exactly what he was thinking, Stefan added:
"I. don't. know. I wish I did. All I can do is wait for him to call on me. Maybe then you'll know... But right now. What I have to give you isn't much of anything at all."
Damon wrinkled his brow and shook his head a bit as if to say ‘seriously?’ Did he even know how pathetic that sounded? If Stefan doesn’t know anything by now he won’t know anything period. “Unless Klaus texts you all his dirty little secrets and a smiley in the next 5 minutes, you’re wasting your time. I mean –“ He paused and noticed the bemused pointed look on Stefan’s face. Hopefully something clicked somewhere in there. “What?”
"Time for answers from you, now, brother."
Damon furrowed his brow for a second when Stefan let him go. Oh here we go. The all-mighty deflection. Stefan and this crazy notion that he can turn this all back around on Damon – always amusing. He blinked a bit rapidly with a small smirk as if his ears ‘perked’ up. “Well…I’m an open book, Stef,” he replied as if it were obvious.
"Can you tell me where Elena is right now? Right this second. While you are out getting your thrills at a club, where is she? Is she safe? Who is with her?"
For less than a second, one could almost see Stefan’s questions seriously registering in Damon’s head – that is, until he cracked a lopsided grin, diverted his gaze in a half eye roll and stifled a laugh.
”Good job, Damon. That whole protecting her thing. You look like you are doing a rather fantastic job at it.”
“Well considering she’s still alive, I am doing a fantastic job, thanks for the compliment.” He said, purposely ignoring the sarcasm. Damon didn’t feel any need to prove anything to Stefan. He knew what had to be done in order to protect Elena – half of those things Stefan probably didn’t even have the balls to do. It just so happens that Stefan was all Ripper Binging to save Damon, so if Stefan was so concerned, he’d be a little more proactive to get his life back. Or so Damon thought…which was logically, unlike some. “I’ll take this passive aggressive questioning as an indication that you’re worried about her. Not to worry, brother, the damsel is safe. Oh and by the way, she’s been a real party animal too since you’ve been gone. Died her hair black, colored her nails black, going out to raves and smoking hookah with Jeremy…” He smirked teasingly. “But you know…getting rid of Klaus would make the whole ‘bodygaurd’ gig a lot easier, but what do I know? You think that sitting around waiting for the opportune moment is the best strategy. Well guess what – it’s not working.”
He paused and gave his brother a slightly unreadable look - knitting his brow a bit. "Besides, you should be glad I'm here keeping myself...busy." Because they both knew what Damon would rather be doing and who he'd rather be doing it with. Too bad his distraction was Stefan's late night dinner. Not that Damon was trying to rub it in - it was a passing comment really - and the truth. Simply put, Damon knew he owed it to Stefan to help him get his life back and bring him back from the edge - as much as he hated that fact...as much as he hated the fact that he couldn't just go after what he wanted.
“I’ll take this passive aggressive questioning as an indication that you’re worried about her. Not to worry, brother, the damsel is safe. Oh and by the way, she’s been a real party animal too since you’ve been gone. Died her hair black, colored her nails black, going out to raves and smoking hookah with Jeremy…”
Damon smirked at him, it earned a glare in return as he crossed his arms and stood there to listen. Fingers clutched each opposite crook of his elbow tightly, nearly pushing the knuckles to a translucent white. Hearing Damon talking about Elena could push him to a limit that deep inside, his brain told him to not dare to reach. It was a place he didn't want to -- couldn't -- go. Not now. Not maybe ever. Especially in front of Damon. Stefan knew Damon would eventually flaunt the fact that he is taking care of Elena instead of him. He knew the taunts and the pushes were nothing more than a reason to make him think. Get jealous. Give a reaction. Feel. That reaction would threaten every brick that Stefan built around his emotions, the walls would come tumbling down and he'd be lost and completely confused with an Original seeing it crumble. And then Damon would have the full attention of Klaus. A deal had been made. No matter how hard Damon tried to push it to be broken, it wasn't going to happen. Damon would be denied of that. At least at the moment. While Stefan was holding it together the best he could and that wasn't getting any easier. Each passing moment shared with his brother was making that increasingly difficult.
Pull it together.
“But you know…getting rid of Klaus would make the whole ‘bodyguarrd’ gig a lot easier, but what do I know? You think that sitting around waiting for the opportune moment is the best strategy. Well guess what – it’s not working.”
"The same can be said for you, brother. What are you doing that has pushed this ahead? Can you give me a solid plan you've made to make this end for good? Or are you too busy clubbing, drinking and in general..being Damon to try and give me something I know I can rely on?" Stefan stood solid, arms still crossed as he spoke. The only movement he made was a slight tilt of his head to the side and a questioning lift of his eyebrow. He waited, letting that linger in the air and as he began to speak, it was cut off by the typical Damon badgering of what they both knew was always in the back of Damon's head. More. Who was in always in the back of Damon's head.
"Besides, you should be glad I'm here keeping myself...busy."
Something sparked in him, his fingers twitched on his arms. They wanted to reach out, curl themselves around Damon's neck and shake the hell out of him. He wanted to put his face right next to Damon's and hiss the words that popped into his head as an instant reply. A foot moved, he took a step forward and his hands came to his sides. A fist flexed, moving the lengths of his fingertips to meet the inside of his palm. Eyes dark, he lowered his chin in a narrow glare.
"Yes, Damon. I know I should be grateful to you for going out rather than staying in and trying to finally conquer your greatest, most useless conquest. But we both know that it is never going to happen. She won't let that happen. There is where you have your downfall. No matter where this goes or what comes of this entire mess. She's going to love me. You are filler, brother. And judging by the smell of liquor on your breath, not much of even that at all. You're her friend. Remember? It'll always be me.." The walls trembled, a bit of the mortar flaking in a cloud of dust. "If I walked back into her life, right this second, you would be forgotten and she would be in my arms." Were they really going to fight over Elena? On the street? Stefan could feel his anger rising. Anger and something underneath it. A thread of an unacceptable train of thought that he couldn't let wrap itself around the rage. "So can you end the innuendo and cut back to the part where you are doing your best to ..."
His mouth closed, catching himself before he said what was about to follow out loud. Set me free. The thought registered and made him shudder inside.
"The same can be said for you, brother. What are you doing that has pushed this ahead? Can you give me a solid plan you've made to make this end for good? Or are you too busy clubbing, drinking and in general…being Damon to try and give me something I know I can rely on?"
Damon smirked at this, once again, not feeling the need to have to prove anything to him. Apparently Stefan didn’t remember that one time when Klaus tried to sacrifice Damon and Elena in a creepy ritual …and forced Stefan into this mess in the first place. It was safe to say that Damon wanted Klaus gone, Stefan didn’t need his credit report for that. But it didn’t matter. Stefan didn’t need to rely on Damon. But as far as he was concerned, Stefan was in a much better position to get some dirt on Klaus than Damon was, so all of this ‘who’s doing more’ business was as pointless as Stefan’s hair cut. Besides, Damon was a good multitasker – a work hard (when he wanted to)/party hard (almost always) kind of guy.
And it turned out that he did have a plan – be it, a little underdeveloped – but one that was being delayed because Stefan couldn’t get his act together. Like Damon said earlier, he wouldn’t be able to ‘end’ anything without leverage, or something. And he couldn’t get that without Stefan’s help. Pretty bad catch 22 when he didn’t know if Stefan was being compelled half the time. If anyone couldn’t be relied on, it was Stefan.
Unfortunately, however, the conversation was moving on to more touchy subjects. Damon watched Stefan take a step forward – a threatening step forward – and Damon tilted his head a bit, not moving and not affected. What could Stefan say? It wasn’t exactly news that Damon wanted his brother’s girl – it had been an ongoing story since before they moved out to New York. But apparently Damon’s comment struck a nerve. Well, too bad. Whatever would get Stefan mad enough to do something was good enough for Damon. He needed Stefan to get mad – and fast. All this detached Ripper crap wasn’t doing anyone any good, and it certainly wasn’t going to get Stefan his life back. So whatever coping mechanism game he was playing while talking with Damon had to stop, Stefan just needed to suck it up and get over it – there was no easy way out of this mess.
Therefore, he was looking forward to the little angry rant he was about to receive when Stefan took that little step forward.
”Yes, Damon. I know I should be grateful to you for going out rather than staying in and trying to finally conquer your greatest, most useless conquest.”
Damon smirked a bit for a brief moment and lifted his brow. “Oh really?” This should be interesting.
” But we both know that it is never going to happen. She won't let that happen. There is where you have your downfall. No matter where this goes or what comes of this entire mess. She's going to love me. You are filler, brother. And judging by the smell of liquor on your breath, not much of even that at all. You're her friend. Remember? It'll always be me.."
Damon’s expression shifted slightly, brow a bit furrowed – because in that moment he realized his bright idea to get Stefan mad kind of blew right back in his face. The worst part about it was that (he knew everything Stefan said was absolutely right) Stefan was failing miserably at pretending not to give a crap about Elena. It only frustrated Damon that Stefan was being so difficult when he was trying to figure out a way to keep the girl alive. All of this soap opera drama was wasting precious time that they currently had none of.
” So can you end the innuendo and cut back to the part where you are doing your best to ...help."
Damon looked at his brother as if considering his words, taking a moment to swallow them, and it was clear from the slightly stung look in his eyes that they were hard to swallow. But with a blink, that was gone, and Damon sneered a prompt – “Fine,” He shrugged a bit nonchalantly. “You’re the white knight Stefan. So act like it. Sweep her off her feet – oh wait, that’s right – you’re trying to pretend you don’t want her, which makes your well delivered but extremely defensive speech pointless.” Stefan probably expected him to throw a punch, but Damon’s first impulse – for once – wasn’t that. If it was, he would’ve done it – as much as Stefan deserved it. Damon had his mind set on finding Stefan – after all this time – and bring him back from the edge, and that was exactly what he was going to do. Hell yeah he was pissed. Hell yeah he wanted to kick the crap out of his brother just for sport right now, and he still might – but unfortunately kicking the crap out of him won’t kick any commonsense into Stefan’s brain.
“Sticks and stones, brother.” Damon said. “But at the end of the day, you can’t win back the girl if you don’t make a move. Time’s ticking, Stef. Better start digging some dirt on your hybrid buddy before Elena ends up dead and then neither one of us gets her.” He put a hand on Stefan’s shoulder, and started to walk pass but stopped beside him to say: “Whatever Klaus compelled you to do, there’s a loophole. Find it. ”