title: (this is a form of) letting go
warnings: post 3x09
a/n: written for the vampire diaries comment ficathon: part 3.
stainofmylove's prompt: take care of yourself.
“Slept with your transference issues yet?” she asks cheerily, twists the cord hard around her fingers. All you touch and all you see. She can’t touch him and he can’t see her.
“Katherine,” his voice ends in the long-suffering, half-resigned note that it always does when he's using her name. It makes her smile. Sometimes.
“Judging by the degree of sheer frustration in the space of nine letters, I’m assuming it’s a no.”
“This is not a tradition,” he retorts, “don’t make it into a tradition.”
It’s a habit, she wants to shrug, you’re a habit.
“Seriously, Stefan’s gone and you’re there. And you’ve been doing the whole ‘I will never leave you’ coupled with late night bedroom visits thing since about an eternity now. What’s taking her so long?” she keeps tabs on her boys.
“I’m hanging up,” he threatens. Doesn’t, though. She knew he wouldn’t. She knows a lot of things; his favorite color, his brother’s favorite book, that they both love with the same frightening intensity, and sometimes, she can’t stand it.
“You’re being cockblocked by the memory of your brother? That’s pathetic, even for you. And you’re the guy who spent a hundred and forty five years of his life sitting around waiting for a comet to crash.” she does this sometimes. Occasionally she does things she doesn’t have to do.
“It doesn’t work, you know. Not now. Not anymore.” he says. He’s not breathing though; doesn’t need to, but still does, and now he’s not, and it works every time, love.
“Don’t worry,” she says, quotes his favorite book because she knows. Because she can, “after all, tomorrow is another day. Maybe she’ll get horny enough to—”
“Katherine.” he warns. Doesn't hang up. She wants him to fucking hang up already.
“What?” the pretend innocence feels much more bitter than it did half a millennium ago, when it ran deeper than just the tip of her tongue, “she’s a girl, Damon. A human girl. An eighteen year old, human girl. Do you really think she’s virginal and virtuous and faithful or something? Surely, you’ve heard Stefan fucking her into the mattress as many times as you've sat and listened to them while trying to drown your sorrows in —”
“I swear to god, nothing will give me as much pleasure as driving something hard and wooden through you.”
He’s not angry, not really, and she thinks she might have lost that. The ability. That power. To make him angry, to hurt him like no one else possibly could. And sometimes she just gets tired.
“You’ve already tried, and how’d that work out for you?” Your brother fed from a teenage girl, she doesn’t say. Klaus has no hold over him now, she doesn’t say.
“I’ll wait,” she can feel him shrugging, clenches the cord tighter, it’ll break and then it’ll be some sort of a metaphor for something she really doesn’t give a fuck about, “I’ll wait till the right time, Katherine. I have a lot of time, really.”
She remembers that about him; waiting. He always waits too much, waits too long.
“What happened to you?” she asks, teases, soaks in her own stereotype, “you used to be so sweet.”
He laughs mirthlessly, “you happened, actually.”
He’s too honest, brutally so, and he’s terrible at pretenses. She remembers that about him too.
“Come to Vienna,” she says, looks out of the booth at a place that isn’t Vienna. He won’t come anyway, so, whatever, “I could heal you. Blood, sex, everything you’ve ever wanted. I’ll straighten my hair, wear boring clothes.”
“What happened to you?” he counters, her words don’t fit his mouth, but he always tries, “you used to be good at this.”
“And you used to have a dick.” she says, crude, in his face. “Try not to imagine my face when she finally lets you fuck her.”
“Come up with a better excuse for calling tomorrow.”
She won’t call tomorrow. It's not like she needs to or anything. She won’t call tomorrow.
She’s almost put the phone down, and maybe today, maybe this time, he won't.
“—take care of yourself, Katherine.”
The click of the receiver on her end drowns out his words, almost. Not quite. But close enough. Maybe next time, he won't.
(So fine, she’ll come up with a better excuse tomorrow, she’s good at those anyway).