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TVD: Damon sick with vervain

The Vampire Diaries fic: Unloved (PG-13)

Title: Unloved
Summary: There’s something unlovable about Damon Salvatore, and he knows it. Post-201, so definitely spoilery.
Warnings: mentions of violence, pre-slash
Author Notes: Deliberate shifting of POVs in the end and invented words where you spot them.
Word Count: 1934


There’s no easier way to put it – there’s something unlovable about him. And it’s always been that way. Ever since he can remember, and he sure does remember a lot.


“I love you, my sweet child.” He remembered her dying voice like it was yesterday.

He remembered crouching by the door, watching her lie there, hemorrhaging, holding a newborn infant in her arms. She was rocking the baby gently and singing to him, wasting precious breath she didn’t have. The helpless mid-wife knelt beside her bed and wept, as did every maid and servant in the Salvatore household that night, allegedly. But the mistress couldn’t possibly care less. She had eyes only for baby Stefan.

It was a moment he’d never forget – one that defined his relationship with his brother for the rest of his life and everything thereafter. Something about that moment felt wrong, unfair, and completely fucked up but he couldn’t explain it. He was, after all, only three years old.

Someone picked him up and carried him away, wailing and screaming and being the insufferable brat he was known to be. It was the only way he knew to ease the terrible knots in his toddler gut. He was taken to his room at the other end of the mansion and there he was kept till morning until Father returned from his monthly hunting expedition.

She was long gone by then.

“I love you so much, my sweet child,” were the last words he’d heard his mother say. And they hadn’t been for him.


Surely there’s a better way to put it. ‘Unlovable’? He never did understand pop culture’s fascination with compound adjectives. Simpler to say there’s nothing lovable about him, or better yet, that no one’s ever loved him. He should know.


“I’m disappointed in you,” were the four words he’d heard the most from his father, in one combination or another.

“I know you are,” was his standard response. There was a time it’d be delivered with a wobbly lip and brimming eyes. But the last time he said it, it was with an insidious lift of an eyebrow and a smirk asking to be smacked right off his freckled face.

In his defense, he tried. He tried to teach Stefan how to kill small animals. Hunting was a family sport after all. Except the little wimp ran away crying and wouldn’t stop bawling for a week.

He saved Stefan from drowning. It was a good day for a swim in the brook behind the mansion. How was it his fault if the tyke followed him around like a stupid puppy with no mind of its own?

He pretended to value their expensive home-schooled education, even though he found Byron frightfully boring and Pushkin barely tolerable. He didn’t envy the evenings Stefan spent reading to their father, sprawled on the carpet beside Giuseppe’s armchair in their favorite room – the library. No, he didn’t envy them at all.

Heck, he even joined the Confederate Army. But nothing he did changed that four-word sentence, or that listless expression in Giuseppe’s eyes that hadn’t really, really looked at him ever since Mother died.

The last time they spoke was after he quit the flipping army, tired of fighting an archaic cause. Even Stefan defended his decision vociferously.

“I’m disappointed in you, son,” came the admonishment right on cue.

He swallowed his torment and smirked, as always. “I know you are, father.”

“I wasn’t talking to you.” Giuseppe glared at Stefan instead, cataracted eyes darkening like never before, never for him.

Disappointment was all he’d ever earned, all he could stake an incontestably sole claim to. In the end, his father gave that away too.


Desirable perhaps, sure, like a gorgeous piece of sculpture that sits well on the fireplace mantel and perfectly complements the curtains. Kissable, usable, foldable like a fetus and finger-fuckable. Sure. But lovable? Keepable?


“I love Stefan. It was always Stefan.”

One hundred and forty five years he’d waited for this cursed reunion, this… defining moment. For Katherine to be in his arms again, telling her how much he loved her. Missed her. Only to have her rip his heart out and with it every last shred of hope he had desperately clung to, for one hundred and forty five years.

Elena, cheap imitation that she was (he didn’t really mean that) didn’t disappoint either, echoing the sordid soundtrack of his undead life pretty much word for word. Katherine was the past he never had. Elena was the future he’d never know.

Being him sucked: less human than human, less vampire than vampire, stuck in the middle with nowhere to belong, no one to love, nothing but rage and regret and unquenchable blood thirst for company. It needed to end. And it had to start with breaking the threadbare bonds of emotion that still held him to Mystic Falls.

Jeremy was just… collateral damage.

Let the kid wake up to realize the utter disillusionment of it all, suffer it like he does every single damn day of his undead life. Let Jeremy wake up to become a vengeful, heartless reminder of his miserable existence; a bittersweet thorn in Elena’s side so she would never forget what she did to him. What her rejection did to him.

“I love Stefan. It’s always going to be Stefan.”

Unlovable, remember? He was surprised he was even surprised.

Next stop: Katherine. She needed a reminder of his god-awful existence too; couldn’t let the bitch forget him again for the next one-fifty years. Besides, she was the only one he knew who cared remotely enough to drive a stake through his heart.


Unforgettable. Undefeatable. Uncapturable. Unrapable. That’s the beauty of American English: just make words up as you go. Surely like humans, he’s allowed such liberties too. Unvervainable. That’s his favorite.


“Why do you think you’re still here?” Katherine whispered, yanking the back of his hair painfully.

“Because you love me?”

She smiled, but not cruelly. “You know I’ve never been fooled by your pretense of vanity.”

He tried to laugh but it came out all wrong, like a choking sob. “Worth a try. Only human, or not.”

Ever the smartass, swaying in his chains, tips of his toes barely grazing the floor. If not for the shackles holding him up by his bleeding wrists, he would have buckled to the ground days ago. The four hundred year-old vampire hadn’t taken well to his attempts at vengeance, half-hearted as they were. She had her pets, vampires and humans under compulsion, keep him captive in her dungeon and all it took were four shots of Vervain a day to do it. The whips and chains were just accessories to, in her words, pretty him up.

“You’ve been trying so hard to lose your humanity, but the damn thing just won’t leave you alone, would it?”

“Hardly a problem for you, obviously.”

She dug one long-nailed finger into the most recent gash just under his left ribs. He bit back his whimpering, denying her the satisfaction.

“Word of advice?” She pulled him closer until their lips were millimeters apart. His mouth fell open, panting silently. Hers was pinched into a strangely sorrowful gnarl. “This pathetic need of yours to love and be loved – give it up. Tear it out of your long-dead system and spit it out.”

“Like you gave up loving Stefan?” She twisted her finger inside him again and he smirked painfully, pleased to have touched a nerve.

“Touché.” She pulled his drooping head up by the back of his hair again, forcing him to open his eyes and look at her, ever the attention whore. “But I don’t let it ruin my fucking appetite like him, or even you, for that matter.”

“I became everything you wanted me to be.”

“Except I never wanted you.”

Hearing those words again hurt just as bad as they did the first time around. He tried to roll his eyes nonetheless. “Of course. Everybody wants Stefan.”

She let him go then, leaving him to swing by his chains and stepped back, eyeing him from head to toe and back, bitterly. “That’s right. And Stefan wants you.”

He frowned, squinting to decipher her silhouette through rapidly blurring eyes, about ready to pass out any moment. “What did you say?”

The soft whispering voice prodded again. “Why do you think you’re still here, Damon?”


He remembers faint clipped voices from like far away, from under water, through a smog-ridden London night. Voices that speak of him in third person like he isn’t there. He wishes it were true, wishes he could unexist, in their reality and everyone else’s.


“You didn’t need to torture him,” Stefan gritted his teeth as he knelt by the unconscious figure lying on the blood-splattered floor.

“There is never a need to torture anyone, Mr. Human Rights.” Katherine rolled her eyes and licked her lips. “It’s just fun.”

She watched as Stefan wrapped his brother’s body in a blanket, hauled it into his arms and stood up.

“Why don’t you just tell him?”

“There is nothing to tell.”

“Then why don’t you put him out of his misery like he wants you to?”

Stefan didn’t reply, just steadily headed towards the stairway. Katherine followed him up into what looked like an eighteenth century ballroom bathed in warm daylight. Her acidic words reverberated through the domed hall, taunting him over and over again.

“You’re pathetic, Stefan, you know that? All the love in the world and you still wake up alone, aching and miserable because the one you love hates your fucking guts. And nothing you do will ever change that.”

Stefan stopped, but he didn’t turn around. He adjusted his grip around his brother’s knees, pulling the body close so the head rag-dolled its way down to Stefan’s chest.

“What do you want from me, Katherine?”

“The truth.”

“Or what?”

In a flash, she was before him with a hand closed around the unconscious man’s right ring finger, threatening to snap it in two. Out here in the open without the Lapis Lazuli, the vampire would instantly burn to a crisp. And Stefan couldn’t speed away because she sure wasn’t letting go.

“Fine. What do you want to know?”

Her eyes brimmed over. “Why Elena? It’s not because she looks like me, I know that. So, why?”

He sighed, shrugging softly. “It was not my intention to make her fall in love with me. At first I just wanted to know her, find her connection to you. But then…”

“Then what?”

He looked down into his brother’s placid face, murmured guiltily. “I had to keep her away, from him.”

Katherine took a long, deep breath, looking nearly relieved to finally, just, know. Gently squeezing the hand she’d been holding hostage… she let go.

“You know, you don’t need to torture him either.”

What could he say? Some vices just came naturally, vampire or not. He felt no need to bid farewell even as Katherine stepped aside willingly knowing she will never see him, them, again. Stefan walked away in silence, carrying his brother out into the sunlight.


Unloved by the one you love. Too darn lengthy to be a compound adjective? Maybe. But it’s the only thing he has in common with his brother. And for now it’ll just have to be enough. He can wait, for Damon’s three lifetimes of resentment toward him abate. All he needs to do is keep Damon safe, from Katherine and other vampires, humans, the whole damn world… from Damon himself.

He’ll have eternity to uncompound the rest of it later.

** END **

  • 1

*squees in delight*

oh, how I missed you <3

Yes I'm here :D Couldn't resist it any longer, not after that smashing 201 episode!! :) Glad to see a familiar face!!! *smishes* :)


I really enjoyed reading this because I feel like it captures the idea that Damon has literally looked for love and acceptance in all the difficult,, murky places. Damon doesn't recognize the obvious. Good job in capturing this.

Thank you so much!! I'm so glad you liked my take on Damon's psyche :) I love that character... he's so deliciously evil and so broken inside..

I love Vampire Diaries! :) I was happy to see you'd written something for it. Personally I think Elena and Katherine are idiots. Damon is the one I would pick every time. :)

I thought you did a great job of showing how much Damon suffered in those few moments when he found out that both Katherine AND Elana picked Stefan. I thought starting it with their mother dying, and only having eyes for Stefan was excellent. And ending it with Stefan suffering as well was great. This was a wonderful line for both brothers: "Unloved by the one you love."

I hope you write more!

Hey you!! Glad to see a familiar face in this fandom! :) And thank you so so much for reading and liking this hon. Damon is definitely so broken inside... I just HAD to write this down.

I do hope to write more too!! This was me testing the fandom waters, let's see :) Thanks again hon *hugs*

Woot! Poor Damon, everybody's favorite whipping boy. Nice work!

Thank you so much! I do adore Damon, beautifully broken as he is heh.

This is simply terrific. Such a wonderful concept, and a great spin on things with Elena.

Just brilliant, adding this to my fic rec list for sure. ♥

(P.S. Stay in this fandom and write more of this greatness please?)

Thank you so much hon!! So glad you enjoyed this :) I do hope to stay in this fandom and write more stuff too *fingers crossed* Been getting wary of flamers and nonnies in my current fandom and hoping TVD will not turn out like that..

Amazing!! Poor Damon, I had a feeling this whole "it's always been Stefan" may have gone even further back than Katherine (I could see from the flashbacks that their father obviously favored Stefan) :( I think the season 2 premiere really hit home with how rejected Damon feels and you captured that here brilliantly :) I actually really loved the shifting POVs at the end and your creativity with words; and I really do hope to read more TVD fics from you!!

Thank you so much!!! So glad you liked this story hon. I had to put in a disclaimer for the shifting POVs and invented words for the nitpickers you know ;) Wanted to start in this new fandom on a reasonably good note hehe. I do hope to stick around and write more! Thanks so much again, really needed the motivation!! :)

Absolutely AWESOME story!!!! I totally loved it!!

Thank you so much!! And hey you friended me!! Friending you right back - my first new friend in TVD yayy!! :) *hugs*

I love, love, love this so much! Is this suppose to be FANON? Why does it feel so much like CANON??? I still don't know why Katherine choose to release the Salvatore brothers, but I guess she realizes that she'll never have Stefan. You really caught Damon's pain brilliantly and his sheer obliviousness to how much Stefan loves him. Thank you! I hope you will write more!

Thank you very much!! :D Katherine chose to let them go because, I guess, she really did mean it when she said she loved Stefan. And because Stefan loves Damon so she couldn't hurt him either. *shrugs* That's my logic hehe :D

So glad you enjoyed this and found this believable hon. I hope to write more too :)

Oh, this is great. This is totally how I see Damon; I always thought Damon's inferiority complex went deeper than just Katherine and Elena. LOVE his relationship with Stefan; to me, Stefan always seemed like the one person who does love Damon.

Thank you!! Yes I agree, his complex is more deep-seeded than we see on the show. I think he is the way he is because he's been lonely for such a long time. And maybe Stefan is just inherently a stronger person because he could live through the isolation. But Damon's psyche just devolved the longer he was left alone. *shrugs* It's why my heart really goes out to him, I wish Stefan would just for once let him know he does care about him. Okay and that's the end of my rambling hehe ;)

Thanks again hon.

(Deleted comment)
Never too late hon :) Thank you so much for reading and reviewing, glad you enjoyed this!

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