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Man Versus

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Damon senses the exact moment Alaric steps foot inside the Grill. He could probably pick out the sound of his heartbeat from a crowd of humans by now. There's always something intoxicating about the warm sounds of blood rushing through arteries, through veins. Something comforting and tempting. But cliché as it sounds, there's something especially striking in the way it's Alaric's blood. Damon feels his fangs strain to come out at the thought and takes an unhurried swig of whiskey instead, enjoying the warm rush.

Out of the corner of his eye, Damon watches Alaric take his coat off, glancing idly at the people in the bar tonight as he does so, absentmindedly sweeping for potential threats. There's only one threat in the bar tonight though, and Alaric zeroes in on it straight away.

Damon smiles to himself as Alaric drops onto the stool next to him and lifts his glass slightly in greeting before taking another sip.

They sit quietly, shoulders barely touching, as Alaric orders himself a drink. Only after he takes a long swallow does Alaric acknowledge Damon. "So," he says, flicking his eyes toward Damon for a second, "kill anyone today?"

Damon rolls his eyes in response. Doesn't bother to grace the question with an answer.

Alaric grins a little and Damon turns to survey the room instead of savoring it. There'd be plenty of time to enjoy Alaric's smiles later. Damon occupies himself by imagining how each human in the bar would taste. He can feel the ever-present hunger gnawing at him, a dull ache. Maybe he could convince Alaric to let him take a bite later; nothing is as addicting as Alaric's blood. He contents himself to waiting. Though they had agreed to be open about their relationship about a week ago, Alaric usually insists on being more drunk before he consents to leaving with Damon for the night. Damon isn't sure whether to be more insulted or amused.

He doesn't quite start when he feels a large hand on the small of his back, the way a guy might support a friend who's had one too many, but Damon's not anywhere near drunk, and neither is Alaric, and this is warm and intimate. Damon bites back the first snarky comment that automatically pops into his mind, isn't sure how to act. Alaric smiles slightly into his drink, as if he's noticed Damon's discomfort. He doesn't remove his hand and Damon doesn't move away.

He thinks that this might be one of those things, a new step in their relationship or whatever. If it leads to more sex, Damon's good with it, especially if it doesn't involve uncoordinated drunkenness. He's sick of drunk, fumbly-on Alaric's part; Damon's never fumbly when it comes to sex, even drunk-sex. He's Damon Salvatore, for god's sake. Every man, woman, and undead's wet dream. He's never met anyone who's determined to be drunk every time they sleep with him.

Damon's about to suggest they move this somewhere else when suddenly his vision is blocked by a large man. Or, a meal leaning more towards quantity than quality, Damon thinks distastefully.

"Hey," the man slurs, vacant stare directed at Alaric. "Thought I tol' you you weren't welcome here." Damon lifts an eyebrow.

"And I thought I told you to stay the hell away from me," Alaric says, all quiet menace. Damon shivers a little at the tone Alaric usually takes before some murderous undead creature is decapitated.

The man laughs and turns to his buddies, a look of exaggerated amusement on his face. "Oh you hear that? Guy's got some bite to him."

One of his friends looks extremely uncomfortable, tugs at the man's arm. "Come on, you're drunk."

"Nah," the other says, sitting his ass down on the other side of Alaric and slinging an arm around his shoulders. "We're just having a friendly chat here, ain't we?"

Alaric moves his hand away from Damon, which sends a spark of rage through him for a second at the loss of contact. He's torn people's throats out for less than insulting his—his boyfriend. But Alaric's never been impressed when Damon fights his fights for him, so he reluctantly reins back his desire to kill the man and settles back instead to watch the show.

"Well," Alaric drawls, "You must have a different definition of friendly than me, because I think this is anything but." He throws a pointed look at the arm around his shoulder.

The man lets out a crowing laugh that grates on Damon's ears. "How 'bout this for friendly," he says, leaning close and murmuring into Alaric's ear. "Get the fuck out of our town, faggot." He spits in Alaric's face.

Before he knows it, Damon's tossed the man halfway across the room into a table, breaking it in half. The bar goes silent.

"Look, he broke that table!" he hears some woman say.

"No, shit," he mutters to himself as he allows Alaric to tow him out the door, his hand a vice like grip on his arm. Behind them, muted conversation starts up again.

"Hey at least I didn't kill him," Damon says into the night air, trying to gauge Alaric's degree of annoyance. He'd guess about a three and a half on a scale of one to ten, with one being Alaric's usual grumpiness and ten being Damon staking him in the lung.

All of this flies out of his head though, when Alaric grabs him by the shoulders, slams him up against the side of his car and kisses him hard. Damon kisses back enthusiastically, Alaric's mouth opening for him under his insistent tongue. Not-drunk, coordinated, Alaric-initiated kisses are the best, Damon decides. His evening has definitely just taken a turn for the better. It's Alaric who finally pulls away, as if he's only just remembered that he's human and needs to breathe, despite Damon's best efforts to convince him to fix that little flaw.

To Damon's disappointment, Alaric doesn't resume kissing when he's caught his breath, moving away to lean back against the car instead. "So," Damon says, considering, "bar fights a turn on for you?"

Alaric just laughs and shakes his head.

Damon decides to push his luck. "I could go back there and eat him if you want. I mean, I know I've been on a diet but I'd break it for you."

Alaric snorts and says, "How about we go back to your place, fuck each other senseless, and you grab a bite out of me instead?"

Damon is in front of him in a flash, arms bracketing Alaric's body against the car. "Well that sounds like a lot of work. Maybe I'm hungry now. Maybe I'm more in the mood for Drunken Asshole tonight," he murmurs, knowing full well his lust-dark eyes are giving him away.

"Not funny," Alaric says, but he's smiling with fond exasperation, so Damon's inclined to think that he's lying. "Come on," Alaric nods toward the car. "Let's go home." And there it is, what Damon's been waiting to hear all night, what he's been looking for since he'd first heard the familiar heartbeat enter the bar.

Let's go home.