The girl’s neck is broken, and her blood is cooling slowly as Stefan scoops up the last few drops and paints Damon’s lips with it. Even now, he can tell Damon doesn’t want it, but he licks his lips clean anyway. He needs the blood too much. Stefan knows just how he feels. The hunger inside him is gnawing and greedy, impossible to ignore even as his skin crawls with sensation and the night fills him with an intensity he’s never experienced before. He can see every drop of moonlight, smell the distinct scent of every flower on the wide lawn, feel each delicate caress of the light wind. He heard the girl’s last breath. He heard Damon’s heart stop beating.
Now, his brother looks up at him, his face licked clean of blood and his eyes so wide that the whites show all around his bright blue irises. He’s breathing hard and shaking, the change still wracking through him, and he looks up into Stefan’s face and rasps, “More.”
Stefan shakes his head. “No,” he says, although he wants it too. Needs it too. He thinks he could drink through gallons, feed all day and all night and never really be satisfied, but, “Not yet,” he says. “We’ve got to lie low for awhile, Damon. At least until you’re stronger. You’re still in transition and —” But Damon isn’t listening. His eyes had glazed over while Stefan was talking, and now he’s leaning in, his lips a breath away from Stefan’s cheek. “Damon, what —” Stefan starts, cutting off in a startled gasp when he feels Damon’s hot tongue against his skin, sliding down under his jaw, lapping at his chin, his throat. For a second, he doesn’t know what’s happening and tries to push Damon off, but Damon just grips his shoulders tighter, sucking hard on the angle of Stefan’s jaw and making these needy little noises that can only mean one thing. “All right,” he breathes, letting Damon push him back on the grass, mouth searching for any blood Stefan wasted in his first messy feed: their father’s, long dried, and the girl’s, still wet and sticky. “That’s good, Damon,” he whispers as Damon brings his hand up to his face, sucking his red-stained fingers into his mouth. “Take it.”
Damon just moans in response, licking the palm that held that bloody stake, helpless to stop himself. He doesn’t notice when Stefan groans too, or when he squirms under him, too lost in his need for anything else. Where Stefan had a whole grown man to himself, and more than a little of the poor dead girl, Damon only had half of the girl’s blood, if that, and he must still be so hungry. Much too far gone for rational thought, or even to feel much beyond the sweet, hot taste of the blood he’s so desperate for. But Stefan, though the hunger is burning like white fire in his gut, is present enough to feel other things, like the warm slide of his brother’s tongue against his skin. It feels good — his mouth soft and yielding, but rough, too, in the best way — and Stefan grits his teeth and clenches his fists and tries to keep the feeling from filling him. This is his brother, for God’s sake, his desperate, half-dead, starving brother who can’t even help what he’s doing. It’s nothing like the times when Katherine held him down and dragged her mouth all over him, although that’s what it feels like as Damon tears his shirt open and starts mouthing down his chest, his tongue flicking at the thin spray of blood there. This is Damon’s survival, and it shouldn’t be turning him on.
But it is, undeniably, and he wriggles under Damon, trying to release some of the pressure building between his thighs. “Hold still,” Damon whispers against his skin, rough and low and definitely not helping. “Hold still, Stefan. Just let me…” He rips the shirt another inch, licking up the last of the arterial spray low on Stefan’s stomach, sending those muscles fluttering. There’s no way Damon doesn’t feel it now. From his current position, sprawled between Stefan’s legs, his mouth inches from Stefan’s navel, Stefan’s profane desire must be digging into his collarbone, pressed hard and insistent against his throat. He must feel that, if only for all the stolen blood that fills him. He wonders if Damon will rip his pants open, too, trying to get to all that blood, and the thought excites him much more than it should. God, it’s all too much — his body swelled up with the adrenaline of the feed, and everything he feels for Damon: instinctive love, jealousy-born anger, and now unthinking animal lust, all driving him to do one thing — throw him down and take him, claim him, make him his. His to love, his to fuck, his to hate, his to hurt, his to kill. All of that summed up in an all-consuming hunger that makes him dig his new fangs into his lips in a desperate attempt to hold it back.
In a flash, Damon’s gone from between his legs and he almost cries out at the loss before his head rocks back against the ground as Damon slams his hands against his shoulders, holding him down. Stefan gets a brief glimpse of his brother’s blood-streaked face, his wide, wild eyes, before Damon’s attacking his mouth, pulling his split lip between his teeth and sucking hard. The thick throb of pain arcs through his body, making him writhe under Damon, bucking up against him. Damon snarls at him and pushes him down again, fangs out. He laps at Stefan’s lip futilely, the cut already healed clean, then bites him, setting the blood flowing again. Stefan’s tongue traces out automatically to recapture some of that spilled blood, and Damon growls and sucks it into his mouth, taking every last drop for himself. Stefan gasps and falls back, caught between shoving Damon off him and wrapping his legs around his waist and urging him on. He feels Damon’s tongue twining around his, still searching, all the way down to the root, and then he’s licking around inside Stefan’s mouth.
Stefan doesn’t know if he realizes what he’s doing, if the bloodlust turns to something else, but suddenly, Damon’s hands aren’t restraining him anymore. They’re wandering up to his face, hooking under his jaw, pulling him closer. Damon’s pinning him with his body, lips moving restlessly against his, their fangs clicking together, and Stefan can’t just lie there and take it. He grabs Damon by the back of the head and retaliates, tonguing him with all the force and fire of his hunger. Damon’s mouth tastes like blood, warm and wet and vital, and that just makes him want more. Any doubt he felt before is fading, any revulsion at the act gone, along with the guilt for the body lying just a few feet from them. All he feels now is the cool, dewed grass at the back of his neck, the welcome weight of Damon’s body, his greedy hands, his hot tongue. His skin is alive with almost more pleasure than he can bear, but he still wants more, always. He wants to feel Damon’s naked skin against his. As soon as he’s though it, his hands are snaking behind Damon’s head, grasping at his collar. The fine fabric tears like paper with a sharp, gratifying sound, sending the remains of the shirt to slip down Damon’s arms. He gasps into Stefan’s mouth as the night air hits him, caressing his cooling skin, and Stefan slides his hands down his arching back, trying to warm him. Damon moans and presses back into the touch, so eager and so good, and his hips stutter against Stefan’s, revealing his own desire. The feeling of his brother hard against him sends Stefan reeling, clutching possessively at Damon’s waist and wanting so hard it blinds him. And it doesn’t matter that Damon is his brother. All that matters is that Damon is his.
Hissing through his teeth, he flips them, so Damon’s the one lying in the wet grass and Stefan’s straddling his waist, pinning him down. Damon is pale in the moonlight, his gasping lips stained red, and he looks so wanton and so right lying between Stefan’s thighs. What’s left of his shirt is tangled around his arms, impeding his movement as he slides one hand up Stefan’s leg, faltering before he reaches his hip. Stefan knows how easily he could free his hands, but maybe he doesn’t have control of his new strength yet. Damon’s hands are moving upward, his fingertips just brushing Stefan’s stomach through the rent in his own shirt, even that brief touch making Stefan suck in a breath, and he can’t wait for him to figure this out for himself. He makes short work of his own torn, stained shirt and reaches for the remains of a sleeve pooling around Damon’s wrist. Gently, he pulls the fabric away, revealing even more of Damon’s creamy skin. It takes his breath away to see it. He discards the useless tangles of fabric and grabs Damon’s hand, bringing it to his lips. He kisses his new ring, the strange taste of metal filling his mouth, lays his lips to the back of Damon’s hand, slow and courtly, old gestures meaning something new. He can feel the faint shocks of Damon’s pulse, and before he knows what he’s doing, his fangs are out and he’s grazing the inside of Damon’s wrist, feeding shallowly from him. It feels like the most natural thing in the world, though the blood is too cold and too thin, and the way Damon cries out as he drinks makes hot little shudders run up from his gut. Much as he’s enjoying this, it’ll take more than blood to sate him now. He pulls off with a wet sound, ignoring Damon’s whimper of protest, and he leans down over him, kisses him with a bloody mouth.
Damon meets him eagerly, his hands twisting up in Stefan’s hair, his tongue battling Stefan’s for dominance. But Stefan has the better angle, and he uses it to make Damon submit to him. You’re mine, he thinks, as he bruises Damon’s lips with his. And he is, now, in every way that matters. Where his own transition was a bitter thing, betrayal and violence and guilt, when Damon looks back on this, all he’ll remember is Stefan. Stefan saving him, freeing him, bringing him into this dark world of blood and pleasure. Stefan feels a smile curling his lips as he reaches down to brush a few stray curls out of Damon’s eyes. Mine, he thinks again, and warmth floods through him. He traces his thumb over Damon’s cheekbone and down the sharp angle of his jaw. “Mine.” He says it aloud, skimming his fingertips down Damon’s neck, and he feels his brother swallow. “Don’t worry, Damon,” he croons, stroking down his chest, feeling his tight muscles and the hollows between them, hunger and strain and struggle. “I’m yours too.”
Damon’s breath is fast and shallow as he looks up into Stefan’s eyes. “Prove it,” he whispers. His hands move hesitantly up Stefan’s splayed legs, stopping too low. “Prove to me you’re mine.”
In answer, Stefan guides Damon’s hands up his thighs, to his hips. Damon’s thumb brushes against the tented fabric, and he shivers. “Is this what you want, brother?” Stefan asks. “Take it. It’s all for you.”
Shuddering and sighing, Damon leans up and presses his lips to the flat planes of Stefan’s stomach. Slowly, his breath seething against Stefan’s skin, he kisses down, past Stefan’s navel, to the waistband of his trousers. Damon looks up at him from there, his sweet blue eyes almost black in the dark, and Stefan feels something in him split, a fresh wave of desire bursting free, threatening to overwhelm his brother, to drown him. Damon breathes against him, leans in and presses his face into Stefan’s hips, his lips seeking out something through the fabric. It’s almost too much. It is too much, when Damon finds what he’s looking for and laves over it with his tongue, so hot and wet. His hips jerk forward of their own accord, forcing more of him into Damon’s mouth, and Damon takes it, groaning, sucking a little harder through the layers of spit-wet fabric. Stefan cries out helplessly, his hands balling into fists. “Damon,” he whimpers, ashamed of the way his voice breaks, “Damon, please!”
Damon smiles up at him, showing the points of his fangs, and with a single wrench, he tears Stefan’s trousers along the seams, leaving him bare.
Stefan gasps as the air hits him, feeling every whirl and current of it, and then Damon’s hands are on him, too, red-hot where they touch, branding him with his fingerprints. The sound that comes out of him is nowhere close to human, and he shoves Damon back onto the grass and strips the same way, recklessly. Then they’re naked as Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, sharing in their own original sin. His hands are on Damon in a way that’s more than forbidden, and Damon is moaning and crying out, no pride left, only need. And Stefan needs too, so much, though he’s barely conscious of what. He needs Damon, needs to claim him, to love him, to tear him apart and consume him. It all blurs together in the shuddering, staccato rhythm of his hips, his flesh against Damon’s, desperation against desperation.
They roll on the wet grass, rutting like animals. Their mouths come crashing together, and there’s blood spilled between them, someone’s fangs tearing someone’s lips. Stefan doesn’t know if it’s his mouth that’s stripped bloody. He doesn’t know if he would feel the pain. He’s too lost in Damon’s body, his fevered skin, his gasping lungs, his wild, speeding heart. They’re so close now he swears he must be feeling what Damon feels, his own need doubled, blinding him. That need twists inside him, fills him so it strains at the edges of his form, trembling seconds from splitting open. Damon throws him down and grinds so hard against him, and it’s over. With a tight cry, he has his release all over Damon, painting his beautiful lithe body and claiming it as his own.
He falls back, hot sharp shocks racing through him, and he looks up gaping into Damon’s face. Damon snarls and flips him, gets him facedown and pliant between his thighs. He whimpers a half-protest when Damon lays over him, his skin too flushed with sensation, but he quiets when he feels how hard and needy Damon still is. Instead, he whispers soft encouragements as Damon finds an angle and rocks against him. He expects it to go further, for Damon to stab into him and find completion there, inside him. He offers it in half-heard words, his skin going tight at the thought, but Damon doesn’t respond. He’s moving mindlessly against Stefan, as helpless to stop this as he was to stop feeding before. And now, like then, Stefan takes pity on him. He holds his thighs together, giving Damon the friction he needs as he thrusts himself between them. His breath speeds up, and he cries out, just once. Something hot and wet splatters against Stefan’s legs. “Good, Damon,” he murmurs. “That’s good.” Damon doesn’t respond, but Stefan can feel him nearby, his strong, slowing heartbeat echoing through the space between them. He’ll live, Stefan thinks, or something like it. “You and me, Damon,” he murmurs, his eyes slipping closed, and time fragments a little.
When he comes around, it’s still hours before dawn, the moon barely lowered in the sky. Stefan presses his cheek against the cool earth, breathing in its thick scent and thinking absolutely nothing. The pleasure still ebbing though his body is like nothing he’s ever felt before, more intense, more ecstatic than the same sensation when he was human. He sighs and lets his eyes slip closed again, just enjoying the aftershocks and the light breeze teasing his naked skin. The only thing that could make this moment better would be a few mouthfuls of fresh, hot blood.
A sound to his left disturbs his lassitude, and he opens one eye, annoyed. Damon’s sprawled on the grass beside him, his breath coming in short, sharp gasps. The ragged remains of his shirt is knotted between his hands, and he’s staring down at it with a look of incomprehension that transfigures his whole face. It makes him look younger than he is, Stefan thinks, and weak. It doesn’t become him.
Just as he’s about to go back to the half-sleep he’d been so enjoying, Damon catches his eye. “What have we done?” he asks, his voice thin and panicky, and it’s all Stefan can do not to roll his eyes.
“Come on, Damon, don’t be like that,” he says, not even bothering to lift his head. “You liked it, didn’t you?” Damon’s face colors and he averts his eyes, which Stefan can only take as a yes. “Then what’s the problem?” he asks. “We aren’t human anymore. Why shouldn’t we do what feels good?”
Damon shakes his head numbly. “You don’t understand.”
“Sure I do.” He levers himself off the ground now, looking his brother in the face. “You don’t have to feel like this, Damon,” he says, aiming for something like gentleness, but coming closer to disdain. “You can turn it off.” He doesn’t know why his brother would choose to feel any of it: the grief that nearly destroyed him, this guilt and shame, and whatever other remnants of his human self still ensnare him. Better he give himself over to sensation, as Stefan has. Then they can start their new lives together, bound only by blood and not by law or pain or fear. He reaches out for Damon, strokes up his pale thigh. “Just feel,” he murmurs. “Just let go.” Damon’s breath hitches and his eyes fall closed. “That’s right,” Stefan breathes, his fingers tracing up over the swell of his hip, the line of his hipbone. “It’s you and me now, Damon, for all eternity. Nothing else matters. Not the war or our father or Katherine –”
Damon’s eyes flash open, and Stefan knows he’s made a mistake. “Katherine?” he says, his voice shaking. “You’d ask me to forget her? To forsake her for you?”
“She’s gone, Damon,” he says, trying to make his voice soothing as his hands as they ghost up Damon’s side, “but you don’t have to feel that. You don’t have to feel anything but –”
Damon shoves him back, sending him sprawling. “No! No, I won’t do it!” He stands, clumsily trying to hide his nakedness, and he backs away. “You’ll regret what you’ve done, brother.”
And Stefan lounges back on the cool grass, very much doubting that he will ever regret anything again.