This is a oneshot. I was re-watching season 2 after being so thoroughly pissed off with the goings on in the end of season 3 and season 4 so I blame that for me writing this. It takes place during Plan B.

I don't own anything.

"Damon." The voice was soft, and yet still heard over the pained sounds coming from the man chained to the chair in the middle of the room.

"What do you want, Ric?"

Alaric watched them moment. Damon had yet to remove the poker from Mason's chest but that wasn't what really had Ric's stomach doing a flip. Damon's voice was flat, void of emotion.

"Jeremy found something," Alaric offered, hoping to catch the vampire's attention fully. Damon pulled the poker away but still didn't look over at Ric. Ignoring the pleading words coming from Mason, he instead stuck the end of the poker into the fire again, kneeling.

"You should go," he said finally.

"Look, you should at least look at this stuff." He rambled a bit about the wolfsbane and the information Jeremy had found. The kid had wanted to come himself but Alaric had talked him out of it. Jeremy had no idea just what he'd be walking into.

"Please, Damon," Mason continued on. "I love her, I do. I'm sorry…"

Damon stood abruptly, letting go of the poker and stalking over to Ric. He took the offered plant at Alaric's explanation that it might be as poisonous to werewolves as vervain was to vampires, crushing it in his fist before going to stand in front of Mason.

"I told you to stop talking," he said, voice still flat and emotionless, then he stuffed the wolfsbane into Mason's mouth, holding his hand there to keep the werewolf from spitting it out.

Mason choked when Damon finally pulled away again, trying to explain himself through it, trying to apologize, to tell him that he loved Katherine but that he'd just gotten so caught up.

"I know," Damon stated. "You're just stupid. But so am I." Emotion had finally began leaking into Damon's expression and his blue eyes seemed almost unnaturally bright with it.

Ric stepped closer, the worry that sprang up in his chest overriding everything else.

"You'd think I'd learn, right?" Damon asked, placing his hands on Mason's forearms and leaning in close enough so that he could feel the man's breath on his face. "After that bitch." The swell of rage was building behind those words, hiding the pain.

Ric watched from the sidelines, refusing to interfere and almost feeling like he was intruding but refusing to leave as well. He had no idea how he had come to this, to being this guy. To being the guy who could look over at the unstable vampire and feel so much pain for him.

Damon was still a bad guy and this wasn't supposed to happen. Ric stared down at the pleading werewolf and wondered how Mason Lockwood had gotten so under the vampire's skin. Gotten under his skin the same way that Katherine and Elena had…

"I might have confronted Lockwood tonight."

"He's dead?"

"Not exactly."

"Then what?"

"I kissed him instead."

Alaric remembered the shrug as Damon had said it and felt a spark of that old jelousy. It was easy enough to push it aside, though, considering he'd been doing it for so long. Plus, here, now, in the present, Damon was staring down at Mason with the same type of contempt he usually reserved for Katherine.

"It was all a game, wasn't it?" Damon demanded, grabbing Mason and forcing him to look into his eyes. Mason gave a choked sob but didn't deny it. "Well, game ends here."

There were several things that Ric knew he should have been feeling when Damon punched his fist through Mason's chest a second later. He should have been feeling horror that Damon could do it when Ric was pretty sure that Damon had been falling for the werewolf, he should have been feeling disgust when Damon ripped his hand out through Mason's ribcage, the man's heart in his hand.

He didn't feel either of those things, though. He didn't listen to the tiny voice in the back of his head that told him he should be leaving, or pulling out a stake. He couldn't listen when it told him the truth, that this was a vampire…an unstable, most of the time psychotic vampire.

He couldn't listen because, for a few moments, it seemed as if Damon had forgotten he was in the room. He stood, one hand bloody, staring down at Mason's body.

"Heart for a heart, huh?" There was disgust in Damon's voice. Disgust and anger and pain. So much pain. He reached forward and ripped the chains from the chair, watched as the body sagged forward.

And Ric still said nothing. He still couldn't leave. Instead, he helped Damon get rid of the body. Later, he sat beside Damon and got stupid drunk with him. Damon never asked him to leave again and it didn't matter that the little voice was still there, urging him to.

Hours later, Ric watched Damon sleep and was thoroughly convinced that he was just as screwed as Mason Lockwood.