A/N So this started off as a one-shot. It was going to be a series of one shots, all Damon's POV, based on songs from the Nine Inch Nails album "Pretty Hate Machine". Last night I had a better idea and I've decided turning it into a story. Each chapter is based on a song and I'll either quote the whole song, or some specific lyrics beforehand, depending on what's relevant. If you don't know the song, I highly recommend listening to it. Each chapter will include both points of view. This story will be rather dark. Rated M for a reason. Strong language, sex, violence and drug use in later chapters. Please let me know what you think. Thank you in advance for your reviews!
*DISCLAIMER* I do NOT own Vampire Diaries or the characters associated with Vampire Diaries. No copyright infringement intended.
Under My Skin
Chapter #1 - Down In It
"Kinda like a cloud, I was up - way up in the sky
And I was feeling some feelings you wouldn't believe.
Sometimes I don't believe them myself and I decided I was never coming down.
Just then a tiny little dot caught my eye.
It was just about too small to see.
But I watched it way too long. It was pulling me down.
I was up above it. (x 4)
Now I'm down in it.
Shut up. So what. What does it matter now?
I was swimming in the haze, now I crawl on the ground.
And everything I never liked about you is kind of seeping into me.
I try to laugh about it now, but isn't it funny how everything works out?
'I guess the jokes on me,' she said.
I used to be so big and strong.
I used to know my right from wrong.
I used to never be afraid.
I used to be somebody.
I used to have something inside.
Now just this hole that's open wide.
I used to want it all.
I used to be somebody.
I'll cross my heart and hope to die.
But the needle's already in my eye.
And all the world's weight is on my back and I don't even know why.
What I used to think was me is just a fading memory.
I looked him right in the eye and said 'goodbye.'
Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day."
- music & lyrics by Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails
You know, for the past nearly one hundred years, I've liked myself just fine. Never had any problem with self-respect. Never had any identity crises. Confidence was my middle name.
Until she came along.
Somehow this tiny slip of a girl, this gorgeous, doe-eyed una-fucking-tainable girl managed to get under my skin. Me. And I have no idea how.
I could argue that I wanted her because of the thrill of the chase and the fact that she had zero interest in me - something I am SO not used to, by the way. I could tell you I just wanted to take what my brother had, to make him suffer as I'd promised him I would for all eternity.
I could make up lots of reasons to explain why I crave Elena Gilbert so badly. But none of them would be true. There's no explanation, no reasoning, no common sense involved. I just fell in love with her, plain and simple.
And now I hate myself for it.
I drink a lot these days. 'Yeah, sure, what else is new,' you're thinking. True. But I mean I drink a LOT these days. It's starting to make a dent in my considerable savings. Top-shelf bourbon is not an inexpensive indulgence and I'm putting away three, sometimes four bottles a day lately. Luckily vampires can handle their liquor without things getting too sloppy. At least I can anyway.
I don't go out much. I never hunt. I never pick up hot and more than willing chicks to fuck their brains out and snack on any more. Can't even remember the last time I did, actually. I've let my life become pitiful. I subsist on cold blood from the freezer in the basement. Barely. I'm dead and I'm hardly living. How ironic is that?
She keeps telling me to "be the better man." What the fuck, right? If she can't see how much I've changed for her, she must be blind, deaf and dumb, too. But none of it matters anyway. I'm like some big, docile puppet that she's pulling the invisible strings of and it makes not one fucking iota of difference.
Elena will never love me. She 'cares about' me. She claims she trusts me. She wants me around. Hell, it probably strokes her ego to no end. I mean, it's not like my feelings for her are exactly a secret these days. But I know she can't love me. She's in love with my incredible douchebag of a brother and there's not a damn thing I'll ever be able to do to change that. 'Soulmates' and all that happy-crappy. He doesn't deserve her. But shit, neither do I.
She's kind, compassionate, incomprehensibly forgiving and fiercely loyal. Descriptive words that not so long ago I would have told you were the complete opposite of me. She is also often stupidly brave, incredibly strong-willed and stubborn as all get out. This, I can relate to.
We fight a lot, she and I. Oddly, it's one of the things I love best about our strange, dysfunctional relationship. We bring out such passion in one another. I'd bet that sex with her might literally set us both on fire. It's a risk I'd be willing to take.
So I sit here like the gigantic idiot that I am, and I drink and I mope. I've become broody. Jesus-fucking-Christ, I've turned into Stefan! Kill me now. I'll need to return my Bad-Ass Vampire card shortly.
I roll my eyes toward the ceiling and suck back the rest of my drink. This needs to end. Involuntarily I squeeze the glass in my hand so hard it shatters beneath my fingers. I'm entranced at the sight of the blood dripping down my palm as all the small wounds begin to heal.
It's the middle of the night and I'm standing outside her bedroom window, looking up and waffling on what I want to do next. I've been standing here for almost two hours. Yeah, before you say it - I already know. But vampires are, in essence, the perfect stalkers. It's one of the things we do best. I'm quite capable of keeping completely immobile for hours on end. I don't need to breath or shiver or blink or anything. My mind is the only thing moving right now.
She doesn't lock her window. The logical explanation is that she leaves it open so my brother can come and go as he pleases, without disrupting the household. But a part of me knows deep inside that she does it for me, too. She's always acting annoyed or sarcastic about my nighttime visits, but I hear her pulse race when she sees me perched on her window seat. Often I can smell her instant arousal as well. I said she could never love me – I never said she wasn't attracted to me. I mean, have you seen me?
I leap silently to her windowsill and slip inside, closing the window noiselessly behind me so an errant breeze won't disturb her. We're apex predators, vampires. I can creep up on anyone without a sound, if I choose. It comes in handy.
She is even more breathtaking when she's asleep. All the worry lines leave her face and she looks so peaceful and innocent. The steady thump of her heartbeat and the sweet fragrance of her skin are like a fucking magnet to me. How can I not be drawn to her?
Ever so gently I sit down on the bed beside her and reach over to brush a loose strand of hair off her forehead that has escaped her ponytail. Her skin feels hot and electric under my fingers. I would give my life for this woman and she doesn't even want it.
A sigh of frustration escapes my lips and suddenly she mumbles something to herself and rolls over, away from me.
I freeze. If I had a beating heart, it would have paused. Did my ears just report that back to my brain correctly? Did she really just say "Damon"?
Not in an annoyed way, not in an amused way…but…dare I say it? It sounded almost…loving.
I shake my head once, to clear out those dangerous thoughts, and I stand up. This is wrong; it's all wrong. I have to get out of here before she wakes up and discovers me invading her privacy.
At vampire speed I hastily exit the window. Just before it closes behind me, I could swear I hear her whisper my name once again.
I am completely fucked.
I have a secret.
It's buried so deeply inside me that half the time I'm able to pretend it's a secret even from myself. I've gotten very good at pretending. Don't look so skeptical!
Things used to be great. Well, not great per se - nothing has been truly great in my life since my parents died. But…things used to be better. Good even. Less complicated for sure.
I met a boy at the beginning of my junior year. A handsome, mysterious boy who attracted me instantly with those cheekbones and that hair and those smoky green eyes. At first he drew me in and pushed me away with equal force, which only made me more and more determined. Stefan seemed so sad sometimes. My Florence Nightingale side took over and I became determined to make him smile.
It turned out he had his own secrets. Case in point – I found out that he's a vampire. Cursed to be 17 forever. It was both terrifying and tragic to me. But, instead of making me flee screaming like it probably should have, it only drew me in further. Once I found out, he tried harder to push me away and I stubbornly refused to give up. Eventually his resistance crumbled and we fell in love.
This was about four months after my parents were killed in a tragic car accident that almost took my life as well. I later found out that it was Stefan who saved me from perishing that night. I owe him my life.
After losing my parents and nearly dying myself, the idea of dating a vampire doesn't seem so scary. A part of me is no longer afraid to die.
You're probably wondering what the problem is, then? The problem is that Stefan is not the only vampire around. He has an older brother.
When I first met Damon, he completely took my breath away. He is stunningly beautiful. The great artists of the Renaissance would have created masterpieces in honour of this man. Jet black, tousled hair, sculpted jawline, full, sensuous lips and those eyes. My God, those eyes. Damon's clear, blue eyes can look through you straight into your soul. He looks like a fallen angel.
Back then, I came to understand he was more like the devil.
I won't go into all the detail for you, but in short, Damon has changed monumentally over the past couple of years. When I first met him, he was in a very bad place and his behavior was unconscionable. Beyond horrible. He's done horrendous things. Things I should never have forgiven him for. But I have. For some reason I always do, with him.
He and I, against all odds, have become friends. Close friends. I know - who would ever have thought, right? We've had our ups and downs to be sure, but at the end of the day, he's always there for me whenever I need someone. And he loves me.
He doesn't have to say it - it's obvious to me and I suspect to everyone else around us, too. His love for me is so intense and powerful that it overwhelms me sometimes. He would do anything for me and we both know it.
But I'm his brother's girlfriend. I know Stefan feels threatened by the way Damon and I are with each other. He sees the way his brother looks at me. I suspect he's noticed the way I look at Damon sometimes, too. I try so hard not to let my feelings for him show, but Stefan knows me and he's not stupid.
Sometimes when I'm alone in bed at night, I allow myself to think about him. I push aside the guilt and disgust with myself and really think about him. How he makes me feel. How he makes me laugh. How I can almost rediscover my old self, the Elena of before, when I'm with him.
Damon's so different from his brother. He's impulsive and passionate about everything he does. He's spontaneous and sometimes ends up making very stupid decisions because of that. He lets his heart rule him. Sometimes I envy that. I get stuck in my head too much, trying to do the 'right thing' too much.
Don't get me wrong – I love Stefan, really I do. But, Damon is my deep, dark secret. I'm terrified that I might be in love with him, too.
Which makes me a horrible person, right? If I allow myself to go there, all three of us will get hurt for sure. So I bury it. If I don't, it causes me actual, physical pain.
Sometimes I hate myself for it.