Title: Too Long Denying
Fandom: Vampire Diaries
Word Count: 1,193
Banner By: Ziva21
Summary: This story is based on the song ‘It is What it Is’ by Lifehouse
Too long we’ve been denying, now we’re both tired of trying
We hit a wall and we can’t get over it
Nothing to relive, its water under the bridge
You said it, I get it, I guess it is what it is
Sometimes when Damon looked at her when he didn’t think she noticed, Elena could tell he was thinking about that night. The lingering glances when they sat alone in the study, the fire blazing as he drank scotch and she attempted to concentrate on her school work. Elena had been denying the way she felt about him since before the moment she kissed him when she thought he was dying.
Her lips had touched his and something sparked inside of her, but when Katherine brought the antidote beneath the happiness that Damon was going to make it, was the sinking feeling that she was playing with fire. That she had given in to a latent desire, but she refused to acknowledge it. Elena was in love with Stefan…Not Damon.
She repeated the words almost daily to herself during the months that Stefan was gone. But it had done nothing to suppress the feelings growing inside of her. Elena was stuck between her love for a man who no longer wanted her and the attraction of the brother who wanted nothing but her. She and Damon had hit a wall though; they didn’t talk about the kiss. For the most part Elena pretended it didn’t happen.
It was water under the bridge, a moment of weakness, something that shouldn’t have happened…But these past few weeks with Stefan back in town it was getting harder for Elena to remember why she was trying so hard to save something, that her boyfriend, or ex-boyfriend no longer wanted. Why was she trying to save a relationship that was causing her nothing but pain, when Damon was standing in front of her, taking care of her, making sure that she got through everything alive and intact both emotionally and physically.
He was there for her when no one else was and that meant something. Elena had spent many nights confused, some were even spent crying, but she was tired of denying what she felt; tired of trying to pretend that Damon meant nothing to her. When Stefan took off after Michael was killed Damon had been hurt and furious and practically inconsolable. But she’d gotten through to him and she had meant every word when she told him they’d have to let Stefan go and move on.
She was done fighting what she wanted, done making excuses about it being wrong. Damon would never be a saint, he’d always have his attitude and love for human blood, but he’d earned the right to be the man in her life. To be the person she cared about without feeling like he was second best and Elena was ready to give that to him.
Sometimes when Elena looked at him when she didn’t think he noticed, Damon could tell she was thinking about that night. The lingering glances she tried to avoid when they sat alone in the study, the fire blazing as he drank his scotch and she pretended she was doing school work so they didn’t have to talk. He knew Elena was denying the way she felt about even before she had kissed him on his death bed.
When her lips had touched his something had sparked deep inside of him making him feel more alive than he’d ever felt, even when he was misguidedly in love with Katherine. But when his aforementioned fem fatale had brought the antidote to his sickness he knew right away that Elena was going to pretend the kiss had never happened. She wasn’t ready. Beneath the relief he could see in her face, Damon knew that she wouldn’t give into her ignited desire for him. Elena was in love with his brother…Not him.
He knew she probably had some mantra that she repeated in the mirror everyday to keep him at arm’s length while his brother roamed the coast murdering innocent people, but he didn’t care. Instead he put his love for Elena on the backburner, focused on keeping track of Stefan and Klaus. His love for her was always there, but she hadn’t needed that at the time, she had needed a rock, someone to be there and be honest with her even when she didn’t want to hear the fucked up truth.
He and Elena had hit a wall though, one that she was responsible for putting up; she didn’t talk about the kiss and so he never brought it up figuring when she was ready she’d come to him. It was water under the bridge apparently. A moment of weakness for her, he knew that and he was pretty sure she berated herself daily during the summer for letting it happen in the first place, but he didn’t regret it, not for a second.
But these past few weeks with his brother back in town it was getting harder for Damon to see Elena pinning after the bastard his brother had become. He couldn’t understand why she was trying so hard to save something that Stefan clearly no longer wanted. Why was she trying to save a relationship that was causing her nothing but pain, when he was standing right in front of her willing to be the man she needed.
Damon didn’t understand, but then again he never did. There must be a reason all the women in their lives always chose Stefan and not him. It was something he didn’t like thinking about. But things were different now and he was there for Elena when no one else was. That had to mean something. He was tired of being second best, tired of denying what he felt for her just because she couldn’t handle it.
He was tired of pretending that his feelings were wrong and that they were just friends, because they weren’t. When his brother took off after Michael was killed and Klaus released him from his compulsion, he had been furious, pissed off and more hurt then he cared to admit. But Elena had found a way to get through to him, like she always did. There was just something about her that calmed the beast inside of him. And the moment she gripped his face and told him they’d let go of Stefan and get through things together, was the moment he decided she was ready, or as ready as she’d probably ever be.
Damon was done fighting what he wanted. He was done letting her make excuses about a relationship between them being wrong. He would never be a saint; he would always have an attitude and a love for human blood. He wasn’t going to change who he was for her, but he was pretty sure he’d adapted enough to earn a right to be the man she counted on. To be the man she loved without him feeling like he was second best and Damon was pretty sure Elena was ready to give that to him.