Aug. 20th, 2010 01:38 pm
silverthorn: (Default)
[personal profile] silverthorn

Story Title:Vinegar
Character/Relationships: Stefan/Damon
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Toppy Stefan?   
Notes: Written for the Salvatore summer prompts

     Back when what they were was fresh and novel, Stefan loved watching Damon feed. His brother was a natural hunter; he’d proven it time a plenty when he was human—on prey both wild and of the female persuasion. The first few times (after the first time) his brother was reluctant to eat—refusing, petulant—and hung tenaciously onto the morose fog that had overcome him.

     Those first feedings Stefan fought with him cajoled and bullied him into it. A few times he’d started the frenzy by tasting the newest young thing brought back; breathed sticky sweet encouragements at Damon’s neck until the scent of blood and him overwhelmed and Damon caved as easily as freshly turned earth.

     One time, only one time Stefan locked him away in someone’s root cellar, trying to starve Damon into initiating. It failed spectacularly. Damon was content to sit and let himself waste away. Stefan left him down there for almost a week, checking, asking, and when all else failed, threw in a vagrant and was content to just sit back and watch. Damon sat stone still in the corner until Stefan finally had enough and ended the human’s life himself and took his brother out to feed. Damon didn’t talk to him for a week after that.

     When Stefan did get him to feed, Damon did it whole heartedly. Damon’s body would tense at his first taste; eyes squeezed tightly and then, as if a wave washed over him they would flutter, relax, eyelashes resting on his cheeks. His body would follow— muscles in his face and shoulders becoming soft as he gathered the warm body to his chest and enveloped them in his arms like a lover.

     Most times Stefan sat back and allowed Damon to finish undisturbed. There were moments, though, when pride and selfishness lifted his hand to Damon’s neck. His fingers traced the working jaw and he could feel the warm slide of blood ease its way along Damon’s throat. He was proud; he made Damon this, molded his pliable brother as easily as his thumb could press the remaining tension out of his neck.

     In the moments after Damon’s mouth drew away with the satisfied gasp of a once parched man, he’d turn a drunken smile at Stefan and the haze would over take him. In the hours that followed there was no Katherine, and though the thought of her made Stefan’s stomach clench in a sour, private way (because he misses her sometimes when things are overwhelming and he needs guidance and, really, he loved her too) it was worth it to break Damon’s pinning for the few hours the fresh blood coursed through his system.

     Then came the days where Stefan barely needed to coax him into drinking. Those were the best. They would hunt as a team and together they could take three, four people a night. Damon began to relish the nothing that came with the power. Each night they became stronger, more cunning and more voracious for everything. There were times where they would go out dancing, court ladies as if they were visiting gentlemen, rob, threaten, take lovers.

     It was the closest Stefan could remember him and Damon being before Katherine’s arrival, and for a long time after. If this was what eternity would be, Stefan and Damon embraced it willingly. Then whispers of what happened to Katherine and the others stirred up like the proverbial winds of change. Damon began to hunt more (hunt without him). There was more cruelty, more violence in his strikes. Stefan began to lose his taste for it—that ugly thing.

     Katherine, whose presence had been all but forgotten during their brief high times, oozed up again, the virulent pus from a wound Stefan had thought cleanly healed between them. Like strong vinegar, thoughts of saving her and getting revenge soured Damon. His brother became less his and more hers as his obsession reignited. Damon withdrew into himself and Stefan retaliated by sliding into withdrawal. The taste of it wasn’t as appealing without Damon, who had first fed for Stefan and fed now for revenge. It perverted the ritual and Stefan distanced himself from it.

     Damon noticed. Of course he noticed. Stefan wanted him to. There was a selfish part of him that still yearned for Damon’s undivided attention, unwilling to share his brother with even a memory. He was mildly amused as Damon coaxed less so when his brother accused him of being soft and not caring and leaving Katherine to rot. Stefan wanted to live this life together and, at that first feeding where he cradled Damon’s face in his hands and through Damon’s hair, he had already decided that together was defiantly without Katherine. Things between them became sharply worse; as they fought more Damon shut Stefan out with a thick chilling wall of sarcasm. When Stefan stopped hunting all together, they went their separate ways. 

     Stefan kept an eye on Damon for years and finally free from the nothing that Damon langured in so wantonly now, he felt shame. Soon he stopped. Seeing what Damon had become was too difficult. Years later, when he found her, he thought Damon had succeeded with his plan of revenge. But Elena was too young, too innocent. She felt different than Katherine and he loved her. He watched her now, instead. And, like thunder after a bolt, Damon appeared.

     Things have come round full circle. Stefan thinks of Damon, locked downstairs drunk on vervain, pliant now but with a new hardness that wasn’t there the first time Stefan had ever thought to lock him away. They are each other’s antithesis; mirrors who have switched places—Stefan abstinent and Damon the pretty little monster chasing him and Katherine, and now Elena too.

     But Stefan is still selfish. Though Damon disgusts him and frightens Elena he refuses to give him to anyone else. He keeps his present love and past (possession, obsession) apart. Stefan tells himself it is because Damon is dangerous and it is his obligation to look after the twisted creature he created. He knows that he isn’t though, not in any of the ways that would count. He would never hurt Elena; he is still too in love with Katherine.

     No. He keeps him locked away because twisted and ruined as Damon is, he is Stefan’s; his dark and deadly demon forged by Stefan’s hot breath on his throat and fingers twisting curls into the fringes of his hair.

     Stefan keeps him locked away because, even though Stefan was the fist to walk way, Damon came back for Katherine and for that he must be punished.

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October 2010


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