Authors Note: I've decided to continue this fic :D hope you enjoy and please review as I love getting feedback even if it's negative.
P.S. If you've got any ideas you'd like me to incorporate into the story please feel free to suggest.
Anyway on with the story…
Head or Heart?
I know we made mistakes,
I see through all the tears,
And that's what got us here,
If love is an Ocean Wide,
We'll swim in the tears we cried,
And we'll make through to the other side
Damon felt…everything. Centuries of repressed guilt, regret and pain came slowly trickling back the moment she'd entered his life. She'd changed him and he couldn't even hate her for the anguish she made him feel because despite the pain she made him feel more alive than he'd ever felt in the last 145 years of his…existence.
When she laughed he got lost in the sound. When she smiled he felt dazed by her beauty. When she was hurt he felt like ripping the world apart to get to the source of her pain and tear it to pieces to stop her tears. He loved her more than he ever loved anything in his life but he knew she could never love him back.
He knew she cared but he knew she only loved Stefan. He'd always been second best to his father, to Katherine and now it seemed he would be forever seen as second best in the eyes of the one person he was sure he loved with every fibre of his being.
The world was cruel. It had played him since the day he was born. Every time he opened his heart it was torn from his chest and stamped on. He couldn't understand. He tried so hard but nobody saw him. They just caused him more pain. They told him he was worthless, useless, evil and alone. Didn't they realize he had to act this way? Had to be evil and manipulative and cold just so he could survive. He wanted to be good, wanted to love and be loved, to care and be cared for in return. But no, that role was reserved for his brother and it seemed Damon could never be right no matter how much he tried, and god help him, he'd tried. It was just easier to be this way, the way everyone expected him to be. No pain, no fear, no regret just hate and anger at everything and everyone.
The only person who had ever truly seen him had the power to break him so completely he knew that he would never recover, wouldn't want to recover, if she rejected him again. He knew she'd never intentionally destroy him but that would only make it worse because she cared yet she still didn't care enough to save him from his destruction.
He'd promised he'd leave but it wasn't to another state or country or continent, it would be for good. A permanent end to a tortured existence. He'd remove his ring and walk right into the sun. The great Damon Salvatore reduced to a pile of ashes. A part of him wanted to just get it over with, end it before he lost the will to fight and flipped the switch back into darkness. But he knew he couldn't. Because of her. Elena. Just thinking her name made him want to laugh, cry, scream, dance and run away all at the same time.
He was a wreck and she was the only one who could pick him up and put him back together again. Every time she was near him he felt weak. He'd tried to deny the pull he had towards her, the overwhelming need he felt every time she was near him. He'd fought against it, pretended it was just her resemblance to Katherine that made him crave her.
The night he'd opened the tomb to find out that that…bitch had never even been there in the first place had felt like his world was collapsing around him. Then she'd hugged him and time had stopped. He'd felt whole for the first time in his undead life. He remembered resolving right then and there that she would be his reason to live again even if he could never truly have her; he needed her in his life.
He'd been stupid. Naïve. He'd fallen in love with a girl who loved his brother. St Stefan, the good one. The holier than thou crap he spouted made him sick. No one seemed to see the way he manipulated everyone around him. No he was the golden child who couldn't put a foot wrong even if he burnt down an orphanage and pissed on the ashes.
Damon pulled himself out of his thoughts to walk over to the bar and pour himself a glass of bourbon. He winced slightly as he knocked back 3 in a row then slammed his glass down to pour another.
A slight shift in the air around him alerted him to his brother's presence.
"Where were you earlier?" Stefan asked a barely restrained flicker of annoyance evident in his tone of voice. "I came back and you were gone. Where?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot I had to report to you every time I so much as breathed. I'll remember next time…father." Damon drawled in contempt before brushing past him to head for the stairs.
"Damon, where did you go? If you went to Elena I swear I'll…"
"You'll what Stefan?" Damon said menacingly using his vampire speed to run back to where he was stood, his face inches from Stefan's. "What can you actually do? Don't threaten me because there will only be one winner, brother. Me."
"Elena isn't yours, Damon. She's upset and she doesn't need you messing with her emotions. She's mine. We will work this out and she will never be with you so back off." Stefan glared at him with unrepressed rage but Damon noticed the fear and uncertainty and smirked.
"You sure don't sound confident about that anymore brother. Afraid she'll see sense and figure out you're even worse than I am. You might have everyone else fooled with your bambi diet and I-heart-the-world-and-everyone-in-it attitude but I can see through it and I'll be damned if I'm going to let Elena get sucked into anymore of your lies. It's killing her and you don't even care."
"She'll never believe you. She thinks you're a monster. You are. You snapped her brother's neck, fed off of Caroline, almost killed Bonnie and turned her mother. She'll never trust you. She hates you." Stefan jabbed his finger into Damon's chest and laughed, "She'll never love you more than me."
Stefan's words tore at his heart but he pushed back his despair. He couldn't let his last vestiges of hope die, not until she said the words would he give up.
"Elena will make up her own mind. She's not Katherine. You don't love her, you love the idea of her. She's not the perfect, good little girl everyone wants her to be. She has to act everyday of her life just so she doesn't shatter your illusion. I love her, yes, love her, for her, not because she looks like Katherine which is clearly the reason you claim to love her." Damon shook his head in disgust. His brother was the most selfish person he'd ever laid eyes on yet everyone believed he was selfless. How ironic.
"If she still wants you then I won't stand in your way but if she decides she loves me then I will fight for her and if that means killing you then I guess it's win-win for me." Damon strode past Stefan and out the door without a backwards glance.
The sun had come up and it was around 8am by the time he got to Elena's house. She was in the shower when he climbed through her window and laid back on her bed, trying to come up with a way to start a conversation he was sure would be his last.
Elena stepped out of the shower and turned off the water. She towel dried quickly then wrapped it around herself before walking to the mirror and brushing her hair. She tied it into a ponytail then started on her makeup. 15 minutes later she'd finished getting ready and opened the door to her bedroom.
She wasn't even surprised to see Damon lounging on her bed staring at her with his eyes slightly widened in appreciation. She bit back a laugh and relaxed immediately. She couldn't believe the way he made her feel so at ease just by being near.
Last night had been one of the worst nights of her life. Haunted by her dreams it had taken her hours to relax into a peaceful sleep. She'd done a lot of soul searching and finally come to a conclusion. Yes, she loved Stefan and she would always love him, but they weren't right together. He covered up the truth and treated her like a child. She couldn't remember the last time she'd had an honest conversation with him and she felt like their relationship had been over for a long time already.
Her feelings for Damon were complicated and she didn't know if she could love him but she was willing to try. She'd seen him. The real him and it scared her and excited her beyond anything she'd ever experienced. She was the only person who truly understood why he did the things he did and she would not be the next person to turn away and break him. It would break her to do it.
She'd finally realized which brother she couldn't live without and she didn't care what anyone else though. She was done living up to other people's expectations. That's all she'd done ever since her parents had died, toed the line and played the good girl.
Damon brought out her fire and passion for life. He infuriated her and drove her crazy. They were electric. Wild and barely constrained. The world fell away when they were together, lost in their own impenetrable bubble. She'd fought against their connection determined not to repeat history but in the end it had only made her deny her true feelings. Damon was right. There was something between them and it was time to find out just how powerful that something was.
Damon stared at her awestruck. Her face lit up when she saw him. A hundred different emotions flitted across her face as she met his eyes. He still couldn't believe how much she affected him just with her presence. All his anger and frustration washed away as soon as she walked through the door. Whenever they were together it was just them. All pretenses faded and they were just Damon and Elena.
They broke the silence together.
"We need to talk."