Damon just stood there looking at the brunette that had joined Elena and Jeremy in the school car park. He couldn’t believe his eyes. There stood his Isa. Oh how he wanted to call out and have her run to him but common sense and thinking things through got the better of him for once in his life. If she hadn’t remembered her in any of her other lives why would she remember him in this one.
However one never said that he couldn’t befriend, cherish and love her while trying to jog her memory. Maybe if we did the horizontal shuffle together it might…
“Damon!” Was someone calling out to him but it wasn’t her. Looking around he saw Elena walking towards him with the usually sour-faced Jeremy and his stunning Isa trying to look anywhere then at him. He smiled as he saw the blush creeping across her face.
‘Oh how I love to see that blush,’ he thought to himself while smirking at the trio who were now in front of him.
“Yes Elena what can I do for you and Mr. Sunshine? Have you come to introduce this fine specimen of a woman to me?” The woman in question just stood there, her blush turning an impossible shade redder.
“Yes as I matter of fact I am Damon. This is Isabella. She is a cousin of mine who has moved down here from Folks, Washington. I want you to be on your best behaviour and look out for her like I know you do for the rest of us. Please?” Elena had said this to him with a strong bravado except for the last world that she whisper so quietly that if he wasn’t a vampire he would of never heard her.
This made him wonder what she had gone through to get her here in the first place. Elena made it seem that something big had happened to her and that she might need more then a human watchdog to protect her.
“Well you know me I’m all for keeping an eye on beautiful damsels. You have my word.” Damon said all jovial except for that last sentence. Elena nodded and turned to walk away.
“Well we have classes to attend. I’m sure you were here on business that was something other then trying to flirt with my newly introduced cousin.”
“Ah yes I was. Being the older, better looking and charming Salvatore brother means I have to come in when the younger is sick.” At his words he saw Elena flinch and he heard a ‘hrmph’ from Jeremy as he turned and him and his sister started to leave. His Isabella seemed to rooted to the spot she taken up in front of him.
“Isabella, you coming?” Jeremy called over his shoulder.
“Isabella” Damon all but whispered her name and she looked up into his piercing blue eyes. “Would you do me the honour of escorting you inside?” He smiled hoping he got his message across to her. She just smiled goofily like he remembered and looked to her shoes and nervously shuffled. Damon held out his arm for her
“Why of course good sir,” she giggled as her linked arms and the two started to follow Elena and Jeremy. Damien turned and leaned down to whisper in her ear.
“I may not be the good guy but don’t believe everything you hear about me before you get to know me.”
“I don’t think you are as bad as you try to make out Damon Salvatore.”
“And just ho do you know that Miss…?”
“Swan. And I know because I have seen the monsters that go bump in the night and the real bad guys in the fairy-tales.” With that Bella dropped her arm and fled into the school office.
“Good going Damon. She needs comfort.” Elena sighed. “I’m going to class now. Tell Stefan that I will be over this afternoon.” And with that she and Jeremy followed after Bella.
Damon just stood there. How could could his Isa know what went bumped in the night? She was an enigma from what he had known about her. Ultimately she still the same with all the same little tells she had throughout the years but he couldn’t get over the haunted look in her eyes when she was speaking and the look of utter defeat she had as well.
He shook his head and wondered more about the girl Isabella Swan as he made his way to the school office to tell them about his ‘sick’ brother.
Damon had returned home after meeting his Isa for the first time this morning.
“Steffie! I found her. I found my Isa!”
At that Stefan made his way downstairs to the living room where Damon was grabbing himself a drink.
“Are you sure about this Damon?”
“Of course I am little brother. She still had the same blush and the same gorgeous big brown doe eyes. Still doesn’t remember anything of the past but I didn’t think this generations incarnation would be any different in that regard.”
“Well I am happy for you. Maybe this time you can get your happy ever after.”
Damon raised an eyebrow at his brother. He still wasn’t sure about that. His Isabella was too good for him – especially after everything he had done in his existence. Could he really have his happy ever after with her? Stefan seeing his brothers face, moved towards the bookshelf and pulled out an old journal and photo album. Passing them to Damon he turned to leave.
“The past is the past Damon you can’t change that, What you can change is the future. Just get to know the girl in this generation. Be the man I know you can be and the one she wants and deserves. She might just surprise you.”
“Where are you going?
“To leave you to your thoughts and to find a suitable meal in the forest.”
“Just stick to the bears rather then the rangers this time won’t you Steffie?”
With that Stefan just shock his head and left the room, missing the smirk Damon had on his face.
The next few hours for Damon was spent looking at the pictures he had of his Isa throughout the ages. The iteration of herself seemed to take a little bit of all her previous lives and were the same while being different at the same time. He didn’t know how his Isa was in this time but he was looking forward to finding out.
‘Let’s start with what you are like in school this time around shall we Miss Swan?’
And with that thought in his head he left the journal and photographs next to his glass on the coffee table and flew off as a crow to ‘look after’ his happy ever after.
Bella Swan sat in her English class thinking about her life and wondered if she would ever find her own Mr. Darcy. She didn’t want the type of person Jane Austen wrote Mr. Darcy to be as she had already had that once and vowed never again. She just wanted someone to love her for her. She didn’t want a tragedy like Romeo and Juliet. Maybe they could have the passion of Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights the love of Noah from The Notebook.
All of these thought lead her to think of Damon. Sighing she wondered what he had done that made him see himself as bad. She couldn’t see it – all she saw was a bravado put on for others. She understood. One way to avoid getting hurt was to avoid getting close to people. It was something she was seriously considering after her stint in Forks.
‘Maybe Damon is just who I need as a friend. Damn why did I have to be like that this morning. Now he probably wants nothing to do with me.’ Bella sighed yet again, earning her a look from Elena.
“Will talk to you at lunch,” she whispered over to her to take the attention off of herself. She had decided after what had happened she was going to try and be more true to herself and completely different the way Edward had moulded her. Ugh Edward. Even in her thoughts she sneered his name and her face turned into one of disgust.
Edward had tried to be her Mr. Darcy in every sense. He had the wealth, he demeaned her, and had apparently loved her as well. She just had to understand that she was clearly below him.
While lost in her thoughts, her class had ended and Elena was trying to get her attention.
“Hey Bella its time for lunch,” waving her hands in front of Bella’s face to get her attention.
“Sorry Elle, what was that?”
“Lunch time Bells. Are you okay though after this morning? I know Damon can be, well himself, which is to say a complete ass. But don’t feel bad about it. I bet the next time you see him he will be back to flirting with you again.”At that Bella blushed and Elena laughed at her.
“Let’s meet up with Jer and we can introduce you to the rest of the group.”
With that Bella was dragged to the cafeteria, her thoughts focused back on to Damon. He had the look of a dangerous bad boy who had been hurt many times so now made himself content by doing exactly what he wanted when he wanted to. To her though he also looked like the type to get his hands dirty to save others the hassle or backlash.
As they got the cafeteria Elena directed her to a table towards the middle of the room. She was getting a major case of deja vu at the scene.
“Bells I would like to introduce you to the girls. This blonde bombshell over here is Caroline and is our resident shop-a-holic and this is Bonnie the brains of group. Guys this is Bella. She is the cousin I told you was coming to live here from Forks.”
“Well since you came from one small town you will get used to Mystic Falls pretty quickly. We really only the Grill here.” Bonnie beamed at her. Bella felt at ease with the girls which made this first day considerably better then the one she had in Forks two years ago.
As Bella got lost in her thoughts and chatting to Bonnie and Caroline about life in Mystic Falls and listening to the gossip about people she hadn’t met yet. Without even noticing all her thoughts had become centred around Damon and if anyone could see her thoughts they would of thought he was the centre of the universe.
Lunch was soon over for the group and Bella headed off to Biology while the rest of the girls went to help out with the Founders Day parade float. As Bella walked alone across the campus she never noticed the very odd crow following her and perching outside her biology class to wait out the end of the day.
The rest of the day went fairly quietly which Bella was thankful for. She didn’t want any more drama for a while after the last couple of years. Was it to much to ask for her senior year in high school normal? For once she was going to worry about getting the right dress rather then the undead and threats that lingered over her head.
As she walked to the car-park to meet up with Elena she stopped by a tree and looked towards the sky talking to herself.
“Well if this is my last year of freedom I had better make it one to remember.”
With that, Bella looked towards the sky for a little bit enjoying the sun she had rarely seen before heading off to Elena.
The crow turned its head sideways. Isabella Swan was becoming more and more interesting to him and Damon was determined to unravel her.
‘I must say this version of you Isa is one of the most interesting to date. I can’t wait to see what goes on inside that head of yours.’ With that the crow took off once he saw Bella reach Elena. He saw her smile and vowed to himself he would get her to smile just for him.
Elena had offered to bring Bella along but with her starting fresh here in Mystic Falls she had a fair bit of homework for the teachers to see what level she was at and how they could help her going further. So Elena had made the trek to Stefan’s alone.
However neither Stefan nor Damon were there to meet her. While not being strange it was unnerving to be in the boarding house alone.
‘Figures he wouldn’t remember to give Stefan my message.’
Sitting down on the couch she noticed the books on the table. Flipping through them she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Picture after picture was Bella! But these photographs looked to be ranging in age from the civil war era, to her in a 1950’s nurse’s outfit and even as a peaceful hippy in college.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing!” Damon said loudly as he walked back into his home, startling Elena causing her to drop the photo album and the journal.
“Well… Uh… Hey! Shouldn’t I be asking you the questions? I mean you have a whole heap of creepy old pictures of my cousin. “
“How do you know they are of Isabella? You yourself are a doppelgänger. Did you really think you were the only one? That your mere existence is worth everything?”
“So what is all this Damon? I mean I can see it in your face – what is my cousin to you?”
“She is everything to me.” He whispered so quietly that Elena couldn’t make out what he had said.
“Long story short witches took my Isa away from me, cursed me and left me to live in sadness and unhappiness alone until Katherine Fucking Petrova came and turned me into what I am today!”
Elena could see that Damon was getting progressively getting angrier and angrier until all that was left for her to see was an immense sadness that overtake his body. Damon had sat on the couch in front of her, slouched over with his elbows on his knees and his face in his hands.
“Damon…” she started.
“Just stop Elena. It’s hard enough for me to tell you this and honestly I don’t think anyone outside of the situation should know before Isabella does. Just trust that I really do have her best interests at heart.” With that he made his way over and got himself another drink and walked over to the window and sat there looking at the darkening sky.
Elena could do nothing but stand there. She had never seen this side of Damon and it was she hoped not to see very often. He looked… broken. She had always thought that it was Stefan and Katherine that had caused him to break and become what he was today. In fact, if she could choose she preferred his cocky self assured attitude more then this emotional Damon. It was making her review her previous opinions and form new ones about him. Maybe he wasn’t quite as ruthless and cruel as she thought. Maybe he was deserving of, dare she say it, even love.
‘Maybe they can both help each out. Bella sure as shit needs something interesting in her life right and I would do anything to stop his sadness.’ Elena thought to herself with a sigh. She turned to leave taking that as her dismissal from the conversation Damon she turned and came face to face with Stefan.
Stefan had returned as Damon had dismissed his girlfriend and watched her and saw the many emotions that crossed her face. He felt the sting of jealousy as he saw love and admiration cross her face albeit briefly. He knew Damon wouldn’t be a fool and do anything to mess up anything he could have with Isa but it still hurt.
When Elena turned around though he saw love and when she smiled at him and walked over the jealousy and hurt disappeared.
“I’m glad your home. How was your ‘sick’ day?” She said wrapping her hands around his neck.
“It was okay – although I didn’t do much except research.” With that he brought their lips together and gave her a chaste but loving kiss. “What are you doing here? I thought I was meeting you at the Grill later on?”
“Well that confirms that your big brother over there never gave you my message. I was going to bring Bella here to meet you but she said the teachers piled on her homework and that today was a bit exhausting with everyone.”
“Understandable.” With another kiss he leans towards her ears whispering to her. “What’s wrong with Damon? He seems more maudlin then usual.”
“I may have pushed one topic a bit too far.” Stefan raised his eyebrows at her and saw over her shoulders the dropped photo album on the sofa.
“Oh Damon,” Stefan sighed before kissing her nose. “Why don’t we go to the grill and catch up with Bonnie and Caroline?”
“Okay Stefan. Talk to him before we go please. Its hard to see him like this.”
“I know it is. But I will try my love. I just can not promised how open he will be about it.”
With that Elena went upstairs to Stefan’s room to give them some privacy.
At this Damon turned to his brother with a raised eyebrows.
“So Steffie how are you going to stop me being so maudlin over everything I have been throughout my existence?”
“To be honest Damon I wasn’t going to convince you to be happy or even get you out of your funk at the very least. I was just going to ask you if you were okay.”
“How on earth can you think I could be okay! I just had to relive to give little miss doppelgänger the cliff-notes version and however brief it hurt as much as it did back then. And if that isn’t the kicker my dear brother I came to the realisation that I would most probably ultimately loss her again as I have done with every incarnation of my poor Isa!” Damon seethed at his brother his voice progressively getting louder and louder.
“Okay Damon I get that this is hard for you. I can’t understand what you are going though because I don’t have to go through these cycles like you do. But you know I will be here for you to rant and rave at.” Stefan said with his hands up defensively and started to walk backwards. “I’m going out with Elena let me know if you need me.”
“Just go Stefan. I will be fine. I’m stronger then you both think. A simple moment of weakness where my thoughts got the better of me. Now I am going to take this bottle of whiskey and my thoughts and go and be maudlin in my room until you get back then we can have a heart to heart how about that brother?” Damon sarcastically as he grabbed the bottle and turned to go upstairs noticing Elena watching on from the banister. “Don’t your little human pet here Stefan.”
“Damon…” Stefan growled.
Moving downstairs Elena reached out to Stefan.
“He is just hurting so he decided to hurt everyone else. Don’t let it get to you. Lets just go. Okay?”
“Fine.” Was the clipped answer given from Stefan as they made their way to the car.
On the way to the grill Stefan calmed down considerable. Damon had a way of getting under his skin and had been able to for the last 160 odd years.
“What am I going to do with him Elena? I don’t want to see him suffer from not trying this time around or self destructing if he loses her again. I mean losing the love of your life once is hard enough but to have the happen multiple times is beyond cruel.”
“Well,” Elena said. “Maybe they just need a bit of help together…”
“But..” Stefan started.
“Stefan I’m not talking about getting them together and forcing them on a date or even trying to get them together. I’m simply talking about putting them in situations where they can start something themselves. Damon isn’t one to go without when temptation is staring him the face.”
“True. I think he needs to at least try again.”
“I know this sounds weird coming from me of all people but I think he will be for Bella as well. From what I can gather her last boyfriend was the complete opposite of Damon and he was controlling and degrading to her.”
“Sounds like she had it rough.”
“Worst of it all is I think she had it tougher then we can or have imagined. But here’s hoping Damon helps her and doesn’t run her off. I mean there is only so much we can do…” She trailed off smiling.
Stefan laughed. “Well that is one factory I forgot to think about. But enough about my moody brother. There will be time for him later. Right now I just want to hang out with my love and her friends.” With that he grabbed her hand across the console and they drove to the grill hand in hand with a comfortable silence, each lost in their thoughts of each other and the star-crossed couple.