"It's hard to recocile
What I've become
With the wounded child
Hiding deep inside
I'm coming up for air
I wanna see another dawn
Coming up for the air
Sick of the slaughter
I'm coming up for air
'Cause I've been floating here too long
Take my ego for a ride
'Cause there's nobody by my side
It's getting hard to justify
And it won't be long 'till I collide "
Breathe Underwater- Placebo
He doesn't exactly understand how or why it has happened –or why he's not correcting the aberration-, but the switch is on more often than not lately.
He's feeling…things, human things he doesn't always understand or remember. It's often disorienting, exhilarating once upon a rare occasion.
He looks at Elena and sometimes he is not sure who he is looking at: Elena, or what he wishes Katherine could have been (although he loved Katherine for being Katherine, so how could he love Elena for not being her?).
He talks to Stefan, and there's something different from aggression and resentment lurking beneath his words.
He jokes around with the Sheriff and it's not always about the endgame.
Sometimes, lately he's just tired of being by himself. Damon knows he hungers for something, but he is no longer able to tell what-a purpose, a contact, a moment of freedom from everything heavy and bothersome.
So when he turns around, at the parade, and spots her there, behind him, barely a moment after her scent has hit his senses, he remembers.
He remembers gripping her petite, breakable body and sinking his teeth into her soft throat, the heady flavor of her blood filling his mouth.
But mostly, he remembers chasing after her in that parking lot and how confused she was then. How her fear inebriated him as he breathed it in. Emily's appearance in her life had ruffled her feathers so much then that panic rose off from her dark skin in waves: he had enjoyed playing with it until it was nearly too much.
When he had put his hands on her face, the little witch had felt like a flutter of nerves and innocence under his fingertips. For a few seconds, he had been consumed with a sudden impulse to devour her.
To corrupt at once that naiveté that angered him so much, to stomp on the defiance flaring in her eyes until they were nothing but a memory.
The joke must be on him because now, as his gaze meets hers and Bonnie' s soft expression twists into something bitter and hard, he no longer sees that purity. There's strength and bravery and spirit, but there's also something else. A too-familiar darkness he senses screaming beneath the very surface of her. A roughness around the edges that lacked before, and he is the one who has put it there. For some reason, he can't look away from it. He can't switch the uneasiness coiling in his gut off.
"What do you want?"
"Just watching the parade."
Bonnie has every proper reason to hate his guts, so it shouldn't surprise him that she is turning her back on his bravado as fast as she can.
Yet…he can't let it go.
"Where are you going?"
His feet move, follow after her before he fully understands what he is doing.
Damon has never trusted witches, has never felt remotely guilty about tearing Bree's self-esteem to pieces. He is not sure he feels all that responsible over Sheila's death. But something about Bonnie Bennett's recent transformation ticks him off.
"Away from you."
Gee, really? "I want to say something to you."
"Just leave me alone." She snaps, too angry to be afraid of him anymore. It comes as a small comfort to Damon, although he fails to grasp why. He likes that she stands up to him.
"Thank you." It rushes out of his mouth before he changes his mind, because she deserves this much, at least, and he is not used to pointless niceties.
There's not a single shift in her features, but she stays quiet and her eyes hold his like it's a silent challenge to reveal some ulterior motive.
"The device that Emily spelled could have killed me. I don't take what you did lightly, so...Thank you."
Instead of loosening up, her gaze narrows, full of suspicion and pride. "I did it for Elena."
Yes, and Damon imagines it was the hardest thing Bonnie ever had to do, and she still did it, for Elena, despite the cost their friendship has already exacted. In her position, Damon would do the opposite. He would make sure that everyone would lose as much he had lost.
"I know, but I'm still very grateful."
He's not grateful because he values his life all that much, but because someone should be. Stefan and Elena have taken her assistance for granted, and why shouldn't they? They have gained her help.
He has not. There's nothing so aggravating as a pending debt, even if nobody expects you to pay it back.
"And…I owe you. " he adds, because talking is cheap and 'thank you' doesn't really mean much coming from someone you despise.
Seemingly unimpressed, Bonnie studies him with the cool composure of someone who doesn't really want to give up hostilities.
Her scrutiny leaves him feeling oddly exposed, and Damon can't avoid cringing a bit.
What does he expect from this, anyway?
"Enjoy the parade."
He says quickly, eager to get this done and over with, shrugging the twinge of nervousness away.
This is not like him at all.
And so Damon leaves, because the witch is not exactly giving him a reason to stay, and the situation is unnatural enough as it is.