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Fic: [Vampdi] The Message

Title: The Message
Author: skinscript
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (Show'verse)
Rating: Teen
Warning: Violence
Spoilers: 1.21 Isobel
Wordcount: 2800
Posted to: tvd_fic
Summary: Isobel ignored his threat. Damon can't let that stand.




Damon headed up the stairs. He only made it three steps before Stefan was talking again.

"Damon," Stefan said softly, uncharacteristically hesitant. "Isobel – "

Damon stopped, then turned to face his brother. He could feel that his face had tightened again, locking down. "Yes," he interrupted. "Isobel will have to be dealt with. " He held up a single finger when Stefan would have spoken again, forestalling him. "I have to find her first." He tilted his head up the stairs. "Going to check my sources now."

Stefan just watched him gravely.

Damon rolled his eyes. "Do you want to come with me?" he demanded. "I'm still strong enough to roll your mind and let you – " he waggled his fingers vaguely, "tag along."

Stefan's lips twitched as he fought a smile and shook his head. "No," he inclined his head in a slight bow. "But thank you, for the offer."

Damon hummed some form of agreement and turned back to the stairs, knocking back the drink in his hand automatically before opening the door to his room. Absently he poured another Beam then made his way to his window and drew back the drapes.

As entertaining as baiting Stefan always was, today had been a very disturbing day. If she hadn't brought danger to Alaric and Elena, it might have been good to see Isobel again. He'd been serious when he told Alaric that she'd charmed him, and that he'd liked her.

Now, however, he was reconsidering that opinion.

He concentrated, casting out with his power for the crow he'd bound to him after killing his previous feathery minion. He still blamed Stefan for that; if he hadn't been locked up without food for a damned week, and if Stefan hadn't absconded with his ring, he never would have been reduced to having his crow as a snack to stay alive. It was another indignity to lie at Stefan's door.

Stefan knew how much he hated feathers.

His new crow was soaring over the town, not far from Elena's house. Damon touched it with his mind, and guided it closer, figuring that the house was as good a place to begin to search as any. Something shiny caught the bird's eye and they both focussed intently on it: There was a limousine pulling up to the curb. Damon took the crow down, perching it on a tree branch overhanging the car.

Isobel's lovely little Cherie slid out of the passenger door and ran to the door with bouncy grace and an envelope in her hand, leaving the door open. Isobel's voice floated up, unaware of her listener.

"It's being dropped off now." She laughed with a rich throaty sound. "They handed it right over." She tsked with mock sadness. "Frankly, I expected more of a challenge."
There was a pause. Damon could feel his jaw ache as his teeth ground together. The crow shuffled back and forth on the branch, reflecting his irritation.

Isobel was smiling; he could hear it. "It was simple. Damon had the device, and Damon has a weakness, just as you said." She sighed, purring. The crow's feathers ruffled with Damon's reaction. "The girl was the key. I didn't even have to threaten her directly; all it took was the brother and friends." Isobel laughed again, hard and cruel. "It's like playing with little bath toys. Squeeze Elena, and Damon squeaks."

Cherie scampered back down the driveway, having left the envelope at the door. The door slammed before Damon could hear any more. He got the license plate on the limo then retreated to his own body.

Carefully he placed his glass on the sideboard table. It took concentration to do it, to avoid crushing the glass in his rage. It was a good thing he'd already decided that Isobel would have to pay for defying him, he decided. Because if he hadn't, hearing that little conversation might have pissed him off.

He turned to find Stefan in his doorway, leaning against the jamb and watching him closely. He looked heavenward and gestured one-handed in a movement Stefan would have been able to read even before they were turned: come on, what's your problem now?

"What is it?" Stefan asked, obeying the command even if he ignored the subtext. "You look like something's happened."

Damon turned his back and wrenched open the decanter of bourbon with more force than necessary. "I took a stroll – or should I say, a flutter – in my little bird's body," he replied, some of the bitterness leaking out and making the words hard. "Isobel made a stop at Elena's house." He held up a hand before Stefan could start getting upset. "Relax. She just had the naughty little minion drop off an envelope at the door. Didn't even talk to anyone." He poured the glass half-full, then reconsidered and topped it up. "Except by phone that is." He swung around to face his brother, taking a drink. "I'm going to have to go after her tonight."

Stefan frowned. "Are you sure that's wise?"

"Wise? I think it's necessary."

"Why? If she's gone – "

"I warned her to leave Elena alone, Stefan. I was completely unambiguous. And the very next thing she did was take Jeremy, break Matt's arm and put the screws to Elena again. She ignored my threat." Damon finished his drink in a single gulp. "We can't let that stand."

Stefan blinked, thinking it through. He nodded slowly. "All it takes is once," he acknowledged.

"We're only as safe as we make ourselves," Damon agreed. "Everyone needs to know what happens if they fuck with us." He paused then added brutally. "With me. If they fuck with me." He waved a hand casually. "I mean, sure, they could pester me through you, but you're a stubborn bastard and," he considered briefly before settling on, "reasonably hard to kill."

"She's Elena's mother, Damon." Stefan looked torn.

Damon set down his glass and reached for his coat, shrugging it on. "Yeah, well – Elena and Alaric already had to deal with the idea of me killing her once. I've heard it gets easier the second time around." He glared at Stefan coldly. "It's got to be tonight."

Stefan winced. He uncrossed his arms, straightening in the doorway. "Do you want me to come with you?"

"No," Damon replied and strode past him with determined steps. "This is my problem. I'll deal with it."

Stefan nodded, and carefully didn't watch him leave.




He'd expected Isobel to run, to try and put enough distance between them to at least make it difficult for him to catch them. However, it seemed that his one-time protégé had forgotten at least some of the things he'd taught her, because he found them holed up in another foreclosure estate less than two hours from Mystic Falls. He pulled up openly in the convertible, not bothering to hide. The threshold was no problem.

Cherie and the boy toy were inside eating and staring vacantly at each other across a huge antique wooden table. Damon dismissed them as threats with a glance and quickly searched the rest of the house, finding it empty. A single question to Cherie solved the mystery: Isobel, it seemed, had decided to stop for a snack herself, and had chosen pick up over delivery.

Damon looked around the kitchen, thinking hard. His eyes fell back on Isobel's little toys, and he felt his lips stretch into a crooked smile. Suddenly he knew what he wanted to do while he waited.

Being bad was such fun.




When Isobel sauntered in an hour later, she found the three of them half-naked and comfortably ensconced on the plush couch in the mansion's living room. Damon had posed them carefully. The cowboy lounged with his back set into the corner of the couch, with Damon reclining against his chest and one arm extended along the couch arm. Cherie lay in the cradle of Damon's legs, her head tilted to give access to her throat. Her eyes were closed in ecstasy and she was writhing against Damon's chest. His head was bowed over her, face hidden in the fall of her hair. Damon lifted his head from the curve of Cherie's neck, letting the rich blood flow down his throat and moaning in pleasure at the taste. He licked his lips, savouring the hint of brandy.

"Damon." Isobel greeted him through gritted teeth. He could feel her frustration with him from all the way across the room. "I wasn't expecting to see you so soon. How did you find me?"

Damon ran his tongue along Cherie's neck, licking up a thin trickle of blood. "Mmmm. I made you, little girl. I can find you anywhere." He cocked an eyebrow at her. "Assuming I want to."

She hummed at him, but he saw the uncertainty flicker through her eyes. "You seem to have made yourself comfortable," she said. "So few clothes. I like it."

He stretched, smiling as her eyes followed the movement hungrily. "Skin's easier to get blood off of," he purred.

Her eyes flicked between Cherie and the boy toy, and she snapped out a command in something that might have had the right accent, but was not in fact any resemblance to French.

"I wouldn't bother," Damon told her with a deliberately impish grin. "They're not going to listen to you."

Isobel's eyes narrowed and she focussed intently on Cherie, who was lolling comfortably against Damon's bare shoulder. "Cherie," she commanded, concentrating. Her eyes dilated and Damon could almost feel her effort to move the girl through compulsion.

Cherie ignored her, rubbing her cheek against Damon's hand like a kitten begging to be petted. Isobel's face twisted angrily before smoothing back out into an expression of false calm. She turned to her other pet. "Cowboy." Her eyes dilated again.

Damon stroked his hand down the line of Cherie's body before giving her a nudge to get up. She swung her legs down and sat up, but immediately cuddled into his side when he sat up as well. "If by ‘Cowboy' you mean Roy, here," Damon gestured at the man beside him, who was staring at him with heavy-lidded eyes. "Well, I'll let you in on a secret." He leaned towards Isobel and whispered conspiratorially, "I think he likes me better than you."

Without prompting Roy extended his arm, offering Damon the bite mark on his wrist with a sensuous smile. Damon smiled back and accepted the snack, eying Isobel pointedly as he drank.

Isobel glared at him, a thread of fear entering her gaze. "Vampires can't break a compulsion set by another vampire," she told him grimly.

Damon finished with Roy's wrist and patted him on the hip before getting to his feet. Cherie and Roy watched him like eager puppies. "Of course they can't," Damon said, stalking towards her. "Unless there's a special – link – between them." He sighed dramatically. "If only there was an old, powerful vampire with that sort of connection to you nearby, to save dear Cherie and Roy from your wicked clutches." He smiled at her, teeth bared. "Oh, wait!"

"You don't have that kind of power, Damon," Isobel started backing away. It was their little dance at the last house, all over again. "Katherine would have known about it."

"Right. Because, Katherine has been around to know." He smiled wider, closing in on her. "I found your house, I broke your hold on your unhappy little minions, and – " he jumped, catching her by both shoulders, "now I've caught you." He pushed her against the wall, using his body to pin her in place. He leaned in and whispered in her ear, "You should see what I can do with the fog."

A long shudder ran through her body, and Damon could taste the instant she realised that she was in real trouble. The scent of fear burst from her body in an intoxicating wave, and he took a deep breath to enjoy it. "What do you want, Damon?"

"I told you to leave Elena alone, Isobel," he rubbed his nose along the length of her jaw, enjoying the little trembles starting under his hands. "I don't think you even waited until I was out of the driveway before you went after her again." He clicked his tongue in mock sadness. "I told you what I would do, and now – " he tightened his fingers enough to bruise even vampire flesh and heard her bite back a whimper. "I've come to collect on my promise."

"Damon, please." Isobel said huskily. "You know I couldn't refuse Katherine - she won't be happy if you- "

Damon's hand flashed up before he even had a chance to think of it, taking Isobel around the neck, cutting off her breath and with it her words. He could feel the bob against his palm as she tried to swallow.

"Katherine isn't here, and I don't give a damn if she's happy or not. It was you who chose to go after Elena and Ric," Damon chided her. "I warned you." She choked silently, her eyes bulging. "Oh." He eased off and tilted his head politely. "You had more to add?"

"I'm Elena's mother," Isobel wheezed painfully. "She may be angry with me now, but that's not a bond that can be broken." She glared at him triumphantly, sure she'd reasoned out his weak spot. "She could forgive you turning me, but do you really think she'd be able to love you if you killed me?"

Damon laughed.

Isobel stilled under his hands, looking up at him with confusion filling those pretty dark eyes. He grinned down at her with honest amusement in his face. "I didn't say I was going to kill you, Isobel," he told her merrily. "Though that's one way to send a message, there are many, many more." Relief swam into her eyes and she sagged in his grip. He rested his forehead against hers, noses touching. "No, I'm not going to kill you." He nudged her with his body, as if to include her in the joke. She started to smile. "No – do you remember what I said I would do?"

Isobel's smile fled. Horror filled her eyes, so close to his that he could see their pupils dilate in fear.

"That's right." He felt his eyes darken and his fangs flash down. "I'm going to rip you to pieces." He turned the hand around her throat, releasing her to slide two fingers under her chin. He pulled back so he could enjoy the look on her face as she realised there was no escape. "You'll survive. But you might not want to." He snarled, finally letting the rage he felt show on his face. "I don't squeak for anyone. But you're going to squeak for me, Isobel. You're going to fucking scream."

He clenched his fingers and tore out her throat.

Isobel thrashed, choking on stolen blood, unable to make a sound.

"Oh, don't worry," Damon crooned, reading the fury and terror on her face. "We'll get there."




Stefan was waiting up for him when he got home.

The fact that he thought of it as home made him pause, but he shook it off and headed for the sideboard. Stefan stopped him with a hand on his arm, handing him a full tumbler of whisky. Damon took it and downed half of it in one gulp. The familiar burn rolled down his throat, replacing some of the taste of blood. He savoured it for a second then knocked back the rest of the glass like it was a shooter.

Stefan watched him with solemn eyes, seeing too goddamned much as usual, before striding over to the sideboard and getting the decanter. He hesitated, then brought the whole bottle back rather than just pouring another glass. He refilled Damon's glass and his own, leaving the bottle on the side table. Damon picked up his drink and sat in the armchair, idly turning the drink in his hands to watch the play of firelight through the whisky.

"I liked her once," he said suddenly. "She was – charming. Special." He closed his eyes. "I liked her." His eyes snapped back open. "Once."

Stefan was silent for a long moment, looking at the fire as if it held answers to questions Damon wasn't willing to ask. Then, firmly, "It had to be done." Another pause. "Is it done?"

"Yeah," said Damon. He tightened his fingers around the glass until he could feel it creak in protest. He could still taste the blood in his mouth, feel it slick on his skin. It felt good. It felt powerful. "It took a while, but she got the message."

.end


Tags: c: vampdi fic, f: the message
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