waltzmatildah: (tvd: damon in close up)
[personal profile] waltzmatildah
Title: Now Shall I Sleep In A Bed Of Blood
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Character/s: Damon (and Elena)
Word Count: 1500
Rating: PG
Summary: A coda to the end of The Descent. What didn't happen next...
Author's Note: For [livejournal.com profile] miss_blanche, who also provided the beta-ing services, so any mistakes are totally hers!! (j/k) and [livejournal.com profile] abvj (especially the end part!). Title and cut text from Dark Storm, The Jezebels.



Jessica.

The syllables bubble in the back of his throat. Trip over and around his teeth until it feels like he's choking on them. Her blood still stains his fingertips. A dark black-red. The innermost parts of her under his nails.

Smeared to sideways across the planes of his face.

Slowly seeping their way into the innermost parts of him.

His breath ghosts in the frigid night air. Hides her lifeless features for blurred seconds at a time. An opaque mist that is almost but not quite permanent enough to switch off his manic synapses.

Backing away rapidly he trips over nothing, trips over everything, ends up sprawled across the black top. Welcomes the punishing slam of skull against asphalt as the entire world grays out for a blink.




*





He's somewhere else then. The highway, disappeared. The stench of death, of senseless destruction, now a vague memory that he can't quite piece back together.

Isn't sure he wants to.

His hip-flask is gone. Discarded.

Emptied and emptying, just like him.

Instead he clamps vice-like fingers around a bottle of something cheap and fiery and doesn't even shudder as it burns a blazing trail through his insides.

A light flicks to on. The absolute terror that masks her face is real.

And exactly as it should be.

But the moment passes, fast enough to convince him it never happened at all, and her features melt into pity and concern and blood numbing sympathy and he wants nothing more than to scream obscenities in her face.

She raises hands in his direction, moves as though to touch him. He backs away sharply. Step by step by step 'til he's pressed up against the plasterboard.

Wonders how hard he'd have to push to disappear into it completely.




*





He hates himself for coming here. Can't even remember making the decision to. Reconciles his arrival with the fact that she's fast becoming his default setting.

And she wears the face of her predecessor so completely that he figures he really shouldn't be all that surprised.

He swings the bottle to his lips, glass against teeth. Swallows. Tastes blood.

He's drunk but not drunk enough. Never drunk enough. Can feel his body processing the alcohol as quickly as he can pour it in.

A betrayal of sorts.

Figures he deserves little else.




*





Her mouth is moving, opening and closing and crashing in soundless waves. She disappears momentarily and he takes the opportunity to breathe. To let his hands shake and his feet stumble and his chin fall to his chest.

She's back with a wet cloth. Pressing it forcefully into fingers that won't curl to closed and indicating wildly that he should wipe away the evidence.

The cloth drops to the floor as soundlessly as everything else. He'd reach to pick it up but the distance is suddenly insurmountable.

The heart he's typically oblivious to is pounding wildly at his ribcage and he's nothing but certain no amount of syrupy liquor is going to quell the fury.




*





He drags his gaze back to meet hers. Has everything he needs to say trapped at the back of his throat. Wrapped, barbed wire-like, around and around his tonsils, coating his tongue.

Manages, only just, to choke out the short version, “Make it stop...”

And the sentence feels like absolution. She blinks back at him. She's crying and something in his chest shifts all the way to the left.

“No, no, no, no...” Shakes his head until up is down and red fades to bright, bright white.

If he didn't know better he'd swear he was hyperventilating. Thick and cloying air sawing, in and out, out and in, through lungs that are out of practice.




*





She moves in slow motion. Hooks the cloth on one finger and brings it to his face. Tentative. Like he's not already shattered into one million slivered shards.

He flinches. Wears the blood and viscera like a scarlett letter. Almost doesn't want it gone.

The water soaked material drags across his chin, she closes her eyes and doesn't look.

He keeps his open. Wide. Pays his penance in the only way he knows how.




*





Arms wrap around him then, tight. Like she might be keeping his insides where they're meant to be.

Her and nothing else.

The feeling is familiar but wholeheartedly foreign in the same fleeting moment.

He can't help but think it was the first of these that started his un-ravelling. All those days and months and hours ago. A tomb that didn't hold his future and the shattered reality that he doesn't think he's quite managed to shake off.

If he's honest with himself.

Which he tries not to be. Most of the time.




*





He's cold. Like ice. From the inside to all the way out.

And he thinks Rose was his friend. That she chose him for him and not for some convoluted ideal that was always more about his brother than anything else.

He thinks Rose was his friend. And he thinks he killed her. Drove a stake between her ribs and used her hollowed out carcass as a smoke screen to hide his own ugly truth.

Wonders, panicked, how long 'til Elena is next.




*





She drops her arms. Moves to step back. His eyelids slide to closed lest he catch a glimpse of the pity she's draped in.

He can see no use for any of it.




*





There's a bottle still clenched between fingers that have long since faded to numb. The fog is clearing. Figures the half-way to full contents will be just enough to call it back.

For now.

The shrill buzzing of a cell phone bursting to life cuts the air between them. He shrugs for her benefit. Brings the liquor to his lips and doesn't stop pouring 'til the mumbled sound of her voice smooths back into silence and ice.

Uses her turned back to disappear as soundlessly as he arrived.




*





He picks an unsteady path to the tomb. Trips his way down the first three steps before slumping to seated on the stone. Doesn't trust himself enough to pace out the rest of the journey.

To not step across the threshold between here and oblivion.

Almost wonders if it wouldn't be the best idea he's managed in years.




*





Dawn comes. Spills orange and pink and elongated shadows over the horizon. They're waiting when he pushes open the heavy front door. Shoulder to shoulder. Fingers in knots.

Strength in numbers.

He'd laugh if he had the energy. Manages a bitter smirk that feels almost like home.

He pushes past them then. Feigns indifference as a weariness that is all encompassing threatens to send him to his knees before he reaches the base of the staircase.

His bedroom door is pulled to closed. And he's not yet convinced he's gathered the resolve to swing it open.




*





There's movement. A hand ghosting against his shoulder blade. He shoves his way into the room in a bid to have it gone.

The bed has been stripped bare. Re-made. Almost like nothing ever happened. As though freshly laundered sheets are more than enough to rid the room of demise and despair.

And maybe they are.

“Damon?”

He spins to face her immediately but only because he knows she doesn't expect him to. Chalks a solitary point up against his name. Loses it amid all the lines that are under hers. Quirks his eyebrows into a perpetual question mark and cocks his head a little to the left.

A challenge of sorts.

And one he's not entirely convinced he can win.




*





She backs down.

Her pity for him has evaporated, she no longer wears it like a heavy cloak, but the unnecessary concern is still red raw.

And he knows her capitulation has nothing to do with conceding defeat. Knows her well enough to know that for a fact.

She shrugs. Paces out the seven steps to his doorway before turning back. Offers him a sad, slow smile that threatens to undo the parts of him that he's steadfastly piecing back together.

Sewing needles and loose cotton thread through his veins.

She leaves then, without a word. Grants him the solitude he both craves and abhors.




*





Alone and mostly sober for the first time in hours, he allows the weight of what has come to pass settle heavily on his shoulders.

Offers up an unfamiliar benediction.

Figures that what comes next must surely fall to him. Clenches his fists around the notion of vengeance and retribution and swears to not release his grip 'til it's done.
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