He was alone. Damon Salvatore spent most of his time these days fighting bouts of self loathing and hatred while staying afloat in a sea of bourbon. Life had changed for him and it just keep becoming pure hell on Earth.
It wasn’t just like sitting in the Boarding House and nobody else was there kind of feeling. Damon’s brother was gone. Stefan sacrificed himself to save the day. All the kidding aside with jokes about hero hair and Stefan’s incessant need to save the world, He’d really done it. Stefan stopped Katherine’s final act of vengeance against Mystic Falls by preventing hellfire from consuming them all. Oh his little brother bought enough time for Bonnie to do her witchy woo and direct the hellfire into the sky. But it was her obsession with Stefan was what was her undoing. Damon thought it fitting. She’d ruined their lives and it was Stefan who ended it.
He was sitting in a little house in Mystic Falls staring at an old picture of Stefan from 1864. It had been twelve years since that night. Twelve years of trying to make a go of it with Elena had brought him more in tune with bourbon than it did marital bliss. Elena kept insisting on him taking the cure to be human with her, but he couldn’t. Stefan could have stuck a needle in him on that day, but he didn’t. Instead of sentencing his brother to a mortal life, he’d only clubbed Damon in the back of the head with a rock rendering him unconscious. Damon was still a vampire and unable to age or father children. Elena was showing slight hints of grey here and there while talking about her biological clock. When she talked about adopting children, that drove the final wedge between them. Damon Salvatore was nobody’s father. The spectre of Giuseppe Salvatore was all too real to him. “So you’re really gonna do it?” Elena stood to his side. He looked down at Stefan’s picture before stuffing it in a bag. He said nothing. He simply zipped up that bag. “Damon, please. Talk to me.” Her voice was filled with desperation. Her dreams of a happy family and having babies all hinged on Damon’s decision about whether or not to take the cure. Damon just couldn’t do it, not even for her.
He tossed the bag over his shoulder. Slipping one hand behind her ear, Damon gave her a farewell that would have made the most romantic hearts swoon. He kissed her deeply before taking a step backwards. “I can’t Elena. I can’t be who you want or need me to be. You’re getting your chance to have the life you deserve but I can’t be in it.” While she tried to plead with him in her huge brown eyes, his icy hues were set in grim determination. He grasped her hand and slid his wedding band inside of it. “Goodbye Elena.” With that, Damon Salvatore walked out of her door.
Alaric Saltzman was sitting in his office with a phone pressed to his ear. It was his best friend’s wife, well soon to be ex-wife. Elena spilled her story to the Headmaster. The story of a couple drifting apart was one he’d heard all too often. He was honestly surprised they’d lasted as long as they had. He’d just hung up the phone when Wade came to the door. The young man who discovered that he was actually a fairy and not a witch adjusted his glasses. “Excuse me Dr. Saltzman, there is a vampire at the door that says he’s Damon Salvatore. He looks like he might be, but I thought you had best come see for yourself.”
Alaric stood to his feet when Wade mentioned that name. “Thank you Wade.” He approached the front door to find Damon was standing there with a bag over his shoulder. “You look like hell.”
Damon felt like hell. His hair was disheveled. His clothes smelled like a gym. The light in the eyes of the vampire who had called himself “The Eternal Stud” looked like he just wanted to crawl inside a bourbon bottle and stay there. “Damn Dumbledore, what kind of ship are you running here? You gonna invite me in or not? The kids are starting to stare.”
“Damon Salvatore, I invite you in.” Alaric spoke it loud enough to be heard so the magical forces keeping him out allowed him to set foot inside the door. He watched Damon set one foot in front of the other as he walked inside. “Follow me.” He was in no position to argue, so Damon followed him inside.
The students all watched as the vampire who’s picture hung over the mantle in the library was walking inside with the Headmaster. Whispers surrounding why the older Salvatore was back here began to circulate amongst the students. The stories they were all told about that night twelve years ago were surrounded in a great deal of embellishment. Hellfire coming from the Founder’s Bell was a bit for even some of the kids to acknowledge. Even Alaric and Caroline weren’t there. They were in the car driving away from Mystic Falls. Here he was. Damon Salvatore himself had stood face to face with Katherine Pierce and lived.
Alaric stopped outside a door that led to a private wing. “Caroline insisted on saving a part of the grounds for you if you ever needed it. It’s not what you were used to before, but it’s bigger than the little house you have with Elena.”
The elder Salvatore opened the door. It was a quiet sanctuary with a bed, a bath and even a few of the older things that had actually been Stefan’s. “Had.” Damon corrected before walking inside. He spun on his heels to face the mortal man in the eye. “Look, I don’t want to talk right now Ric, Ok. You just go on and do your thing. Pretend like I’m not here. Ok? Okay. Byeeeee.” He slowly closed the door in Ric’s face before dropping his bag on the floor. He had some work to do, if he was going to bring his brother back from the dead.
“When people see good, they expect good.”