Chapter 3 – Damon & Stefan
The cellar was a lot quieter after Elena left, the Salvatore’s no longer filling the hours with their promises of protection and escape. Rebekah watched them both will ill-disguised disgust. While she understood their grief and their helpless rage, having experienced it herself when Nik “punished” Elijah the two of them had completely given up.
They no longer pulled at their chains holding them or brainstormed ridiculous plans that would never work. It was like without their precious doppleganger to protect they had no drive left in them.
Giving up on them entirely she turned her head just enough to catch Caroline’s attention. She’d realized the day before that no one but her and Nik even knew she was there and she’d begun to feel pity for the girl who’d only ever stirred anger in her before.
She knew her brother had plans for them all and while she desperately wanted to know his plans for her she found she was equally curious about his plans for Caroline, the girl who’d awakened his heart.
She’d thought about telling the others about her, but in the end she realized that would only increase everyone’s suffering not lessen it. For the moment everyone down here believed that Klaus’s feelings for the bubbly blonde had spared her the horror of this place, telling everyone that she was here and in some ways even worse off then they were would do nothing to help them and a great deal to harm them.
While it was true that they were the ones being punished at the moment at least they all still had each other for company, she shuddered at the thought of enduring this agony essentially alone, with no one even speaking to her. No she would keep her silence and do her best to help Caroline through this while she was still able.
Klaus stood in the entry way cloaked in shadow and just watched the remaining “guests” with glee. The brothers Salvatore had deflated completely, his traitorous hybrid now claiming the title of loud mouthed idiot from Damon. The witch had withdrawn into herself likely trying to find enough strength to gain her freedom and try to kill him as always, to bad his witches were better and there was no power to be had for her. His dear sister was staring at his beloved Caroline with something close to sorrow in her eyes. Oh, Rebekah always was worrying about others when she should be worried about herself. Finally, Caroline, his heart, was staring at Stefan with tears still streaming down her face. Her heart undoubtedly breaking for her supposed best friend.
Time to begin.
Caroline saw Klaus first but as always couldn’t do anything to warn the others, not that her warning would have done anyone any good. Everyone save Tyler was just silently hanging there doing nothing, most of them not even breathing. She felt every muscle in her body tense up and had to force herself to relax knowing that today, like every day before, there was nothing she could do to help her friends. She hated this feeling of being useless again and most of all she hated Klaus for making her feel this way.
She wondered who he would target today, and what their supposed crime would be. She noticed fairly early on that the things he was choosing to punish them for, at times, weren’t the worst things they had done to him. It was like he was going after them not for the physical pain they had caused him at one time or another but instead for the emotional pain or even the inconvience they caused. She had given up on trying to guess a while ago, and now once again could only wait, watch, and worry.
Damon heard Klaus step into their little circle of fun but he kept his head down. Without Elena there he saw no reason to participate in the psycho’s little reindeer games. When Klaus’s shoes came into his line of sight he knew it was his turn.
He didn’t want to live anymore the original dick killing him would be a blessing now that all the meaning in his life had fled out that door leaving her brother and likely her sanity behind. Living forever, being forever young and beautiful, should be an adventure something to look forward to with relish and glee especially during the first century when everything is new and exciting. Now, the only thing Elena had to look forward to was misery and despair and he couldn’t stand it, mostly since he knew he would never be able to help her.
“So Damon, care to know what I have in store for you?”
“Just rip my heart out already and get it over with we all know you want to.” He couldn’t even make himself look up to see the look on Klaus’s face at his delcaration, he just didn’t care enough to lift his head. Too much work for too little reward.
“Oh, you’re right about that I would love to end your existence since I see no reason for you to be on this earth, but the dead don’t suffer, and I have a far better idea in mind for you.”
And just like that with ten little words all the fight came pouring back into him. What better idea? Before he could ask Klaus went on with his little song and dance.
“For your crimes I came up with a more appropriate punishment than the sweet oblivion of deaths embrace.” He was looking far to smug for this to be anything near good.
“What crimes?” Maybe if he knew the charges he could figure out the verdict.
“Your crimes against Caroline.”
Oh hell. Damon just closed his eyes and let Klaus’s words wash over him without really hearing them. He didn’t have to he reminded of everything he’d done to the little Barbie back when she was human and considering how bent Klaus was over her he couldn’t even imagine what his punishment would be. Klaus had said he had a better idea than killing him, he felt cold sweat break out all over his body as he thought of what that idea might be. What he did know beyond a shadow of a doubt whatever it was he was going to wish Klaus had just killed him.
Rebekah listened horrified as her brother outlined everything the elder Salvatore had done to Caroline. The pain and fear, the degradation and callousness, how could her so called friends still welcome him into their lives, into Caroline’s life after something like that. If he had done that to someone she cared about she would have ripped his lungs out of his chest through his throat.
Looking towards the shadows at Caroline she couldn’t quite make out her expression but she looked shocked more than anything. Shocked that Nik knew about all these things that had happened long before he ever stepped foot back in Mystic Falls, or shocked that he would care about what Damon had done before they met? Or shocked that anyone would care at all after her friends so obviously had not.
Stefan was stunned as Klaus listed off Damon’s crimes against his friend, while he’d already known about most of them at one time or another hearing them all listed so methodically, so condemningly, made him sick to his stomach. Damon was his brother and he loved him but Caroline more than anyone had always been there for him and he’d just ignored this huge part of her in favor of keeping his brother by his side.
They had all just brushed it away, always having something else to focus on at first, normally some danger to Elena until so much time had passed that they all had just stopped thinking about it at all. Then they had just expected Caroline to be over it, to work with them to work with Damon to help save Elena. What kind of friend did that make him?
“Now Salvatore, do you have anything to say before we get to the climax of the evening? Nothing? How unusual for you. Very well on we go to your punishment. Since you so like turning people into your puppets I thought you might like to know how that feels and luckily for you I know just the puppet master to pull your strings. Kol, brother how do you like your present?”
Damon closed his eyes and tried to hold back his shudder of unease. Not Kol, anyone but the Original dick, the only guy to give Klaus a run for him money for head D-bag. He’d been right he was going to wish Klaus had just killed him. Opening his eyes again to see what was happening in the silence he found his eyes caught in Klaus’s gaze. Fuck!
“You will serve my brother Kol in every way. You will take everything he says as a command you will have no choice but to follow. You are never to stray more than ten feet from his side without his express permission and you will not speak without his permission. If you are ever disrespectful of him or in his presence you will find the nearest sharp object and drive it through your right leg one hundred times for every second you were disrespectful. Am I clear?”
Rebekah looked at her brother with slight hope, maybe Kol would help her, but she knew he wouldn’t. Klaus would never have let him down here without his word that he would not interfere, not that she blamed him really. If she had been in his place she would have done the same thing she was sure, walk away now to try and help later.
Maybe given enough time Kol would be able to convince Nik to at least let Elijah walk free again. She could only hope it would happen that way as she watched Damon Salvatore being lead away by her far too smug brother leaving an even more smug brother behind.
Stefan hung numbly in the cellar all of his weight on his wrists causing them to fracture before healing and fracturing again, but he couldn’t make himself care about that. In only two days he’d lost his brother and the love of his un-life.
When they’d first woken up down here he’d known on some level that most if not all of them were going to die, but this this was worse. Now, he knew the people he loved were alive, but he also knew they were suffering and he was helpless to stop it. He wished Caroline were here, he knew she was the only one who might have been able to stop this. And what kind of friend was he that he was wishing his best friend into this hell so he wouldn’t be alone.
He heard the footsteps now before Klaus ever appeared. He was so aware of his surroundings they sounded impossably loud even though he knew they were as soft and soundless as always, and deep down he knew it was his turn. He wondered vaguely what was going to happen to him, but then decided that he just didn’t care one way or the other, his reasons to care were gone. Forcing his head up he looked straight at the doorway and waited for Klaus knowing that for him at least this would soon be over.
Caroline watched Stefan accept his fate and it broke her heart. He looked so defeated almost like he wanted Klaus to kill him, even though by now they all knew that wasn’t likely to happen. Klaus didn’t want them to die, he wanted them to suffer, and as always whatever Klaus wanted, Klaus got. She just closed her eyes and hoped that when it was all over there would be something left to save, but she really doubted it. His punishments weren’t just meant to punish, they were meant to destroy them.
She thought again about what was going to happen to her, she had been thinking about it off and on since this whole nightmare began, before shoving it aside to focus instead on what was happening now. She wished she could save Stefan but she knew she was as helpless to save him as she’d been to help the others. Maybe this was her punishment watching her world burn down without even making a weak protest to stop it all from turning to ash around her.
Klaus stood in the doorway and just watched his old friend for a moment. Stefan was looking right at him without actually seeing him. He was defeated, resigned to what was to come, and it was sweet. He knew the ripper was so wrapped up in others, in his need for their presence in his life to make him whole and keep him sane that taking those people away would hurt him, but even he hadn’t realized it woud crush him this much. It almost made this next step unnecessary. Almost.
“Stefan old mate, how was your night?”
No response, of course there wasn’t. Looking around the room he saw nothing but defeat and acceptance of his will from nearly all of the remaining inhabitants. Only his hybrid and the witch seemed to have any fire left. Even his dear sweet Caroline seemed momentarily beaten, though he knew her fire would return before it was all said and done. Perfect, time to continue.
“So ripper I bet your wondering what I have in store for your future. Well wonder no longer for I am here to tell you. Or better yet why don’t I just show you.”
And with that and a small signal to the witch at his back his old friend finally came back to the present and started paying attention as every drop of blood was magically drained from his body. Oh, starvation one of the more cruel things to do to someone, but he loved doing it to vampires. With vampires you could visably see the changes you could watch as their suffering increased more and more.
Stefans skin was turning grey and his veins were starting to protrude more and more by the second. Caroline didn’t know what Klaus was doing to him but it looked like it hurt. She watch her friend until she wasn’t able to take it any more, finally she turned her head away and closed her eyes letting her tears flow freely. Please, make it stop!
She knew her silent prayer for mercy would go unanswered but she couldn’t stop herself from begging for deliverance from the agony her friend was suffering through. Please! Stop!
Rebekah stayed silent as she watched her brother drain Stefan. While she mentally wailed for him to stop she knew now that any pleas for reprieve would be wasted and it would only hurt Stefan to hear them so she bit her tongue and stared right into his eyes willing him to know he wasn’t alone. To know that she was still here with him, at least for now.
“Well, now ripper, that’s much better. Are you feeling a little thirsty? I know, I know, when your hunger starts to get the better of you, you feel disconnected from the world. No worries on that score though, I know exactly where to put you so you can feel connected to your world again. You see I’ve had a tomb created under your little family home just for you and I’ve filled it with mementos of your life. You see one of my witches made it so that your memories would project from your mind onto the walls around you every second of your entombment. It’s up to you what you see, but considering how hungry you are, I think it’s obvious what you’ll be thinking about.”
With that Stefan was finally unchained and dragged to his home, to his new resting place.