Mind Games (1/?)

Feb 14, 2013 01:50

Title: Mind Games
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Rating: NC-17
Wordcount: 2500
Characters/Pairings: Damon/Elena; also features Bonnie, Jeremy, Shane, Rebekah and Stefan.
Spoilers: goes AU in 4x13. Some of the lines and events are from the episode, some are not. No Lost spoilers in this chapter, just general references.
Summary: Shane is leading them God knows where, things with Elena are problematic at best, and on top of that Damon's head is filled with absolutely inappropriate Lost jokes.
A/N: I don't even know what this is, but I want to give it a shot. This story started as a ficathon fill (They get to cure island and Damon confronts Shane, they find out the sirebond isn't real. Tent sex commences in which they try to be quiet but fail, prompted by cyanskye), but then went completely out of control. I'm splitting it into chapters, because the more I write, the more I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, so I thought feedback would help.

Mind Games

The boat ride is hell.

Damon is stuck in one boat with Elena, Bonnie and Jeremy, caught in the crossfire of glances, nods and puzzled looks. He has nowhere to escape from all the elephants in the room, and his head is more crowded with absolutely inappropriate Lost jokes the closer they get to the island. He has to try very hard to not say anything about polar bears.

(Because yes, polar bears are exactly the thing he should be obsessively thinking about right now.)

It helps that the others aren't talking either, too preoccupied with their own thoughts. Damon's pretty sure Bonnie is actually meditating, her fingers clasped on an amulet she started wearing not long ago. She's so focused she doesn't even notice he is staring, his eyes fixed on her in a desperate attempt to avoid Elena's gaze.

Even before they left Mystic Falls Damon managed to figure out that he can not act like Elena's lover, but it's hard to stop acting like her friend. He tried it once, tried to avoid every contact and every smile, but in the end it only proved to him how utterly ridiculous he is.

How one phone call is enough make him throw his resolve out of the window.

So now he walks on eggshells. He struggles to find the exact right balance between staying away from Elena and keeping close to her, overthinks every word before it comes out of his mouth and feels so fucking tired it hurts.

“Is it just me, or does this island look really creepy?” asks Jeremy out of the blue, almost making Damon jerk on his seat.

“It's the tomb of the first immortal ever. What did you expect?” says Elena absently.

Damon catches Bonnie's eye, and for a split second he's absolutely sure that he wasn't the only one who almost answered: “Polar bears.”


Elena is at her most stubborn, which usually means she's absolutely terrified. Damon is right there with her: they're looking for a cure that does God knows what exactly, not to mention that they're following the lead of probably the shadiest guy Damon met this month. On top of that, they're surrounded by a mine field of important conversations to be avoided at all cost, conversations he never wanted to have.

(Or he did, but it was only for one night, and then he came back to reality like a grown-up he is.)

“Looks like someone forgot her team-building exercises,” he quips to make Elena laugh, but then she looks right through him and says something she shouldn't, something he doesn't even understand.

So he does the only logical thing that comes to his mind. He runs away from her.


The further they go the more Damon feels like he's solving a puzzle in which too many pieces don't fit, and they form an unpenetrable maze around him. There's something eerie about Shane, and it makes Bonnie look a bit eerie as well. Elena is so calm it's unsettling, or maybe it's just the island playing tricks on Damon, because even Jeremy Gilbert seems a little unearthly, his Hunter's Mark now on display. Damon tries to shake his head and laugh, wave off the strange feeling. He reminds himself that this boy walking right behind him isn't some freaky primal force, that he's just a sixteen-year-old kid with rotten luck, but somehow laughter sounds hollow among the trees.

So say it's all true. Say it's the island and its creepy-ass magic, say this forest is just one huge mind game that attempts to catch you in nets when you aren't careful enough. If so, challenge accepted. Damon always was so good at mind games.

He gives himself a moment of rest, eavesdrops on Stefan and Rebekah for comfort. They're the only two who make perfect sense, their voices clear in Damon's head. They want the cure and they want their lives back as if they could pick up exactly where they were interrupted; transition smoothly and finally live.

Well, it's not like Damon can't sympathize.

Shane doesn't take his eyes off Bonnie, not even when everyone is freaked out and extra cautious after discovering the first trap, and that finally draws Damon's attention. This island is a riddle, and Shane is the key, so maybe if he can crack Shane, he can finally make sense of everything else around him.

“Plotting another mass murder?” he asks in a chipper voice he hopes Shane will hate, but all he gets is his fair share of patronizing amusement.

“You would know.”


It all happens so fast Damon doesn't even have time to turn his head. He only hears an arrow, then a hatchet and some screams, and it takes some self-control to not turn around looking for a pillar of black smoke.

If he ever makes it out of here alive, he's never watching TV again.

By the time they reach the spot where Shane wants to make camp, Damon's made up his mind. He needs to get out of this island, get out as soon as possible, find the cure and get the fuck out before he has too much time to think about it. His every instinct is telling him to keep moving. Making camp is the worst idea they could have, and yet that's exactly what they do, and Damon together with them.

It's hard to argue with Shane when he says things that make you freeze with fear even though simultaneously you want to break all his fingers for even opening his mouth.

Damon hears Elena's footsteps behind him, and that's enough for him to understand that he isn't the only one who's angry. It's wonderful to feel her hands touch his face and hear her voice speak to him softly, but there's a creepily familiar note in it, a note he can't quite place. There are things he wants to tell her, things he desperately needs her to hear, but something in her eyes silences him, so he just stands there, uncomfortable and tense, deep down convinced that he should be doing something else entirely.

The moment of peace he experiences when Elena rests her head on his chest is deceptive.

He knows it, of course; knows how much he can't trust his own thoughts or his own tongue. Elena is warm and trusting in his arms, but he can't stop looking around and searching for a trap. He listens for footsteps in the forest to distract himself from anger building up in his chest, anger he doesn't even have a good reason to feel.

Well, not one reason anyway.

Elena gives him a reassuring smile before she goes away. She's unnaturally wise and unbelievably stupid at the same time, and Damon is torn between being glad that she's still strong enough to hold on to her special brand of naivety, and wanting to shake some sense into her, to yell until she lets the mask drop.

(It isn't until later that he realizes this was so much more than just a mask.)


Shane is the key.

The island is quiet, as quiet as Damon remembers the world to be when he was human, and the sound of bones cracking under his fingers goes around like a gunshot. He half-expects Bonnie to storm into the shack and yell at him, but then he smiles, remembering that not every member of their expedition has supernatural hearing. Well, that makes things easier.

It's “Lord of the Flies” now.

“I don't give a crap about Bonnie Bennett,” he whispers silkily. For a brief moment when he has his arms around Shane's neck, one snap away from solving the problem, the world seems so beautifully easy it makes Damon's head spin.

Then Elena's voice brings him back to reality.

Shaking lights in the shack make her face look like a painting, strange and distant, with a deep, blurry crack right in the middle. Damon's imagination runs rampant at the sight of her, and after days upon days of tension, fear and doubts he can't even dream about holding his shit together. It's the island, he tells himself in a moment of terror, the island makes him stand still like his feet were concrete, the island plays tricks with his mind and wants to deceive him. Words spill out of his mouth, and he doesn't even care, he doesn't want the cure and doesn't believe in miracles.

When Elena pushes him and his back hits the wooden wall, the feeling is so familiar it makes Damon laugh.

She's yelling at him, and he loves her too much to not yell back. Soon every thought he desperately tried not to have ever since he got on that boat is lying bare in front of her, and he forgets he wasn't supposed to say anything that could be understood as a direct order, forgets that Shane is still sitting tied to a chair mere inches from them, forgets there's anyone in the world apart from Elena and Damon.

“That's not me, Elena, that's Stefan,” he says, so focused on his own head he doesn't even notice how something behind her eyes cracks slightly.

“Damon...” she starts, but before she can say more Damon registers a movement behind them, just a blink, so fast neither of them can even react.

Before they know it, something like an invisible wave knocks them off their feet, and when they get up, Bonnie Bennett is standing between them and Shane, power radiating from every inch of her body. Shane is a mind game, a riddle they have to crack, remembers Damon, and for the first time in a long while it occurs to him that maybe someone else is better at this than he is.

So he shuts up and listens.

“You played us,” says Bonnie after what feels like hours of silence. She sounds surprisingly like a teenage girl who's been hurt. “Them, me. You played us all. That locator spell leads to a trap, doesn't it?”

“I only did what I had to do. Bonnie, you need to understand...”

“Elena was never sired. You never meant for any of them to take the cure. Is this cure even real?”

“I never lied to you about Silas. Bonnie, listen...” says Shane quickly, desperate to convince her. “It's important, you have to listen to me. Silas...”

“What did you just say?” interrupts Damon in a voice that doesn't even sound like his own. He wants to take a step forward, but Bonnie turns to him before he can even set his foot on the ground.

“There is no sire bond,” she says as if she was spelling it out for a complete moron. “Think about it! Did you see what she just did?”

Damon leans against the wall for support.


The locator spell Bonnie does is a trail of fire, a trail she follows with Elena right behind her.

“Don't go there,” says Damon just to make sure. His knees almost buckle under him when Elena shoots him an angry look and disappears among the trees.

They come back after an hour, Jeremy between them, his fingers clutching a crossbow so hard his knuckles almost crack. When they get closer to the camp, Damon notices something red on Elena's hands, but for once he's smart enough not to ask.


After Jeremy is safely tucked into his sleeping bag and Bonnie is done tying Shane to the nearest tree, Elena drags Damon to her tent as soon as she can.

She unzips his jacket like she was making a point, and a part of him wants to tell her to stop, to catch her hands and make her step back until his head stops spinning. Damon Salvatore knows revenge sex when he sees it, even if he isn't quite certain if Elena is so mad at him or at the world. Maybe she isn't angry with anyone in particular. Maybe she just needs to vent.

There's distance between them, distance he can almost touch when he rests his hands on her hips. His first instinct is to ask Elena to slow down, to take a deep breath and let him make it good for her, but he keeps his mouth shut; she doesn't want it good, good is not the point now.

She whimpers in pain when she takes him inside her too soon for it to be comfortable. The look of determination on her face is frightening, way too close to what he sometimes sees in the mirror, and Damon can't help himself: he reaches to touch her face, and that's when Elena bursts into tears.

They should get dressed and talk things through, that would be a sensible thing to do, but when Damon feels Elena's body become more tense and rigid with every passing minute, he knows he isn't ready for sensible. He can't bring himself to care about mind games. Elena is here with him now, raw, furious and honest, so intense he has to close his eyes for a moment to compose himself. It's real, overwhelmingly, unbelievably real, and the idiot in him wants to celebrate it (celebrate her) before things go to hell again.

He maneuvers his hips so that he slides out of her and sits up, rests his forehead on her collarbone. He can hear the noises of the camp just like all the vampires around can probably hear his every damn movement, but he tunes them out. Soon all he can hear is Elena, her ragged breath and her sobs. He lets her get it all out, puts his arms around her waist without a word so he can focus on her skin against his, her limbs wrapped around him so tightly it almost hurts.

“Please, let me,” he whispers when she stops shaking. He isn't even sure what he's asking for, but he feels that he should plead for something, and it can't just be given for free.

(It might be that the word he's looking for is “forgiveness”, but he sure as hell isn't ready to plead for that.)

He feels her relax a bit around him, and he takes it as a “yes”. He doesn't even move that much. Just lets his hands slowly climb up her body, remove the rest of her clothes while his head is still pressed against her chest as if he couldn't stop listening to her heartbeat. Something feels off, not at all like the night they spent together in his bed, so Damon tries to kiss the eerie feeling away, gently strokes Elena's cheek and lets his tongue do the job (that's what he does best anyway). She opens her mouth eagerly, so soft and pliant under his touch it gives him a stop.

“Elena?” he tries, not even sure what question he should ask.

“I'm fine,” she says with a smile. There's still tears on her cheeks, but her eyes aren't even red anymore. “Thank you.”

fanfiction: the vampire diaries, mind games

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