This brief one-shot was written for Kittyinaz‘s February writing challenge and inspired by the below picture prompt. Just a little look inside Damon’s mind before Mystic Falls and before finding his Bella. Can be read as a prequel of sorts to both Thirsty for Your Love or You’re All I’m Asking For.
Writing Music: 2Cellos version of NIN’s “Hurt” – I love that song in all it’s renditions!
“If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way”
NIN – Hurt
Together They Will Soar
There was a certain solace found when he took the form of his familiar; a distancing from human emotion similar to flipping the switch while still allowing a type of self-awareness. The accountability was gone, but the sensation of it lingered like the weight of a feather against his consciousness.
As the raven, Damon knew emotion only in theory, as one who saw it through the dimming darkness of thick sunglasses. Throughout his many years there had been times he’d needed an escape, to be able to contemplate without the hard, coldness that flipping the switch left in his chest but still needing the distancing effect of it. When those sparing moments occurred he found himself taking flight in his other form, always ending up in the same place.
The wishing well that made up his perch was just short of decrepit which he found somehow fitting. Time had left it’s mark on the wood in the form of cracks splitting across it, but still, it held itself together with startling tenacity. Several of the wooden planks had knots where the fissures splintered from, imperfections that Damon found himself admiring as they echoed the marks he imagined stained his own soul, although there were often days he doubted he had one.
Today was one of those days. He found himself questioning the path he’d set himself on, wondering if it wasn’t time to simply slip of his ring and take a stroll during the next sunrise. He supposed he wasn’t that old in his immortal life, but he found a weariness settling within him like an old friend come to call, and there were days, like the current one, when the visit weighed particularly heavy.
He hadn’t wanted the life of a vampire, not without Katherine and not all by himself. But Stefan had completed the transformation first and had nearly begged him to transition. Despite everything, Damon had felt it his duty to be there for his little brother even as his resentment remained; resentment for Stefan holding a piece of Katherine’s heart and for owning the love of their father. It seemed Stefan would always come in first where matters of the heart were concerned.
It made Damon wonder if Katherine was even worth all the effort he was going through to one day open the tomb and set her free. What sort of reunion would they have? What was he really expecting from her – happiness? Gratitude – enough so as to kill her love for Stefan and be his and his alone?
One of the knots on his soul throbbed, but in his raven form, it only felt like someone gently poking him to get his attention. There seemed to be something lingering on the edges of his vision, a realization he constantly found himself on the brink of that would likely forever shatter his way of thinking. He had a feeling it centered around a woman, as these things often did, but he doubted the woman was actually Katherine.
Time had weathered away his love for her and there was a large part of himself that wondered if he only loved her still because he thought he was supposed to, because it had become a habit he needed some sort of catalyst to break him of. The idea that she was merely a drug he’d become addicted to popped to mind and he found the image rather fitting.
Still, there was a drive, a compulsion almost, to find power and strength. He was preparing for a battle that would define his very existence, but he knew not what it was for or what it was in relation to. He doubted Katherine was his Helen of Troy, but she was a convenient excuse to ready himself, to prepare.
Damon cawed loudly just because he could and the echo of it was rather comforting. He stretched out his wings with a flutter, but was unwilling to leave the well yet. Tilting his head, he looked down and contemplated the vast emptiness there, pondered how deep it went and what tokens he’d find at the end of the darkness, relics of other people’s hopes and dreams.
An odd need arose and he cawed again. He felt the drive to add his own token to the well. It was a silly and sentimental thing he scoffed at himself for feeling, but the desire didn’t dissuade, only it grew like a wave about to reach full swell, unstoppable as the tide coming in.
Too bad I left my change in my other pocket, he thought wryly and if a bird could smirk, he would be. While he had no coin to drop, he figured he could make due with one of the many fallen leaves around him. Expertly, he hopped off the well and used his beak to sift through them, wanting to find the best one because he was the best and deserved nothing less.
Finally, with great care he lifted a dried out leaf in his beak. The edge of it was torn and there was a small hole in the center, likely from some bug finding its lunch, but there was life in it yet. Damon flapped his wings and landed on the well once more with his offering gently clasped in his beak. He leaned over and once again peered into the inky shadows below.
When he dropped his token, there was no wish made, just a subtle yearning for direction, for some answers regarding a future he found himself doubting, and a vague hope to find someone to share it with…
The leaf fluttered slowly into the darkness and the brown-red color caught what little light there was in the clearing, making Damon’s mind flash in a vision of a woman’s hair. Dark auburn, he thought, the kind of color that looked brown but shined with red highlights in the sun. A woman who looked deceptively simple but held fire within her, a fire he could already feel reaching out to devour him. He was only too willing to let it do so.
He supposed the indistinct woman of the vision could be Katherine – the coloring was similar, but somehow he knew it wasn’t and that realization reverberated throughout his entire being in absolute certainty. Katherine had been the one to break his wing, preventing his full flight, but this faceless woman would set it and together they would soar.
Damon flew from his thinking well with a sense of new purpose. The journey would be long and he knew not where it ended, but he would continue the path. He’d prepare himself so that when he found the woman of his heart, he’d have the strength to hold her because he knew once he touched her light, it would sear her into his heart and soul and he’d never be able to let her go.
And she would be so worth the wait, his stella.