"Damon. No! Get that stuff away from me!!"

"Bonnie...Bonnie, get over here! Now! Stop playing around, you stupid witch!"

The leather clad vampire scrambles toward the fading witch who's tossed him into the far cavewall. A task he knows she's too weakened for. Idiot teenager.

He winces slightly when he feels a slight jab in his brain the moment after, that almost immediately dissipates.

"Don't call me stupid!" the green eyed judge breathes druggedly, and he grits his teeth and rolls his eyes in annoyance. Yet another unaffordable use of magic.

It takes him less than 2 seconds to move to the ground and loom intimidatingly over her slumped form.

Damon forces his dripping wrist toward her mouth and she stubbornly holds her lips together like a child refusing medicine.

"Drink it NOW, witch!!" he demands, as she shakes her head defiantly.

"NOW" he bites out murderously.

Her jade orbs glare with a fire bigger than he's ever seen in them before, and he glares back into them with equally matched fury.

It's a lost battle.

"Fine! Don't want my blood? Die for all I care!" Damon rips his already healing wrist away from Bonnie's mouth, and throws himself away from her body and off the cave floor.

He won't force her. He won't make the decision for her.

"There's always a choice. Whenever you make one, someone else suffers."

It's seared in his brain, no matter how he hates it. Courtesy of a certain supernatural.

Damon dangerously turns to make his way out of the dark hole. As much as he tries, he can't seem to leave without sparing her one final look.

Bonnie Bennett - bleeding, weak, and vulnerable, fiery eyes staring vacant and blank at the ground as if she's content and ready to meet her maker.

This is the moment he used to dream of. No more aneurysms, fires, scoldings, arguments!!

Wordlessly, Damon bends and gathers her small frame into his arms, lips thin and frowning as he stands and cradles her body to his.

"I don't want your help, Damon."

"Well too bad, you've got it." he grunts in reply to Bonnie's broken whisper, as he barrels out of the cave, never moving his eyes from the horizon. Never chancing a glance down at the girl in his arms, lest he meet her eyes and she see the truth.

"Careful, Damon. I might start to think you actually care." the dialogue echoes in the vampire's head.

It's amazing she hasn't caught on yet.