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20 September 2012 @ 04:01 pm
Fic: How To Make a Better Vampire 5/? (TVD)  
Title: How To Make A Better Vampire
Chapter: 05 - Resolutions [Featured Characters: Elena, Jeremy, Damon, Bonnie and Stefan]
Author: JenniferH (Arabian)
Rating: M (For future chapters/language, sex, violence)
Summary: Post 3.22 -- Elena grapples with who she is as a vampire, struggling for control as she tries to find herself and accept who she loves (spoiler: it's Damon!) while her friends and enemies grapple with their own choices in this new world.
Word Count: 6,130
Disclaimer: The Vampire Diaries, and all her characters as presented, belong to Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec, the CW, etc., etc., so on and so forth. ;)
Notes: Thank you to my group of wonderful beta-readers who made this fic a ton better than it would have been otherwise. Following canon here, so there will be Stefan/Elena and as portrayed on the show, but fear not, this is very definitely a Damon/Elena story (with other pairings referenced, and some featured (Stefan/Rebekah, Matt/Rebekah, Stefan/Caroline, Jeremy/Bonnie).

After I had finally digested the season 03 finale, I began to think up where they could go from there, especially with regards to Damon and Elena. One narrative stuck in my head and as I continuing weaving it I became so fixated with two major turning points in the story that I just had to try and write it. I've immersed myself in this for the last two and half months, trying to avoid spoilers or even read other fic. I have a head-start of sorts on the story and am hoping that I can stay at this pace so that I can deliver chapters at a steady pace. I can't promise that will stay the case, but I'm going to try. :)

PREVIOUS CHAPTERS - 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Chapter 05: Resolutions

An uncomfortable heat that quickly escalated to a painful burning and then morphed into indescribable agony awoke Elena in a matter of seconds. As the sun continued to creep further over her exposed arms and hands she couldn't control the cry that ripped from her throat. Jumping to her feet, she turned to the door, her arms crossed in front of her. Her hair fanned out over her shoulders and hid the curve of her face.

"Jeremy! JEREMY!” She yelled. "Aaaah! JEREMY, GET DOWN HERE!” She tried to bang on the door but a streak of sunlight struck her now exposed fist. She screamed at the sudden pain. Tears streamed down her face, mixing with the healing burns. "Jeremy,” she cried again as every twitching move of her body seemed to reveal a different strip of flesh: a line between the strands of her hair on her neck, a sliver of her back as she twisted, her top rising.

The door swung open and Jeremy stood there, his eyes wide and his mouth hanging open in shock. "Elena!”

"Let me in, let me --"

"Come in,” he cried as he almost simultaneously pulled her into the house. She zoomed to the bottom of the stairs, curled into a fetal position as he slammed the door shut. Shudders wracked her body. She breathed heavily, silently crying because it still hurt even as the pain began to recede. And then it was gone, the vampire healing power at work. The sun creeping up the porch, waking her, burning her, Jeremy letting her in, it all couldn't have lasted more than thirty seconds and yet it was the most painful thirty seconds she could remember.

"Elena?” Her brother's voice was soft as he moved towards her tentatively. "Hey.”

Feeling safe, she unfurled her body and raised her head to face him. She shrugged even as tears continued to slip down her cheeks. "I don't have a daylight ring yet.”

He sat down on the top stair next to her and reached out, carefully petting her arm. She smiled at him and placed her hand over his, squeezing lightly. "Thank you for inviting me in.”

Jeremy nodded. "Yeah, I just -- I thought you were staying at the boarding house.” He narrowed his eyes, suspicion rearing its head. "Did something happen?”

She shook her head, her eyes pleading with him not to push. "I don't want to talk about it. I just want to go upstairs and take a shower and lay down. Can you make sure my curtains are drawn and I can, you know, go in my bedroom without burning up?”

"Of course, yeah.” He smiled, rising to his feet. He was up the stairs and to her room quickly, calling down to her almost immediately. "It's good, Elena. You can head on up here!”

Resting her head against the wall, she took a deep breath remembering the pain, remembering last night, remembering Damon and Jeremy's blood and Stefan in the water and Rebekah in the headlights. She squeezed her eyes shut. No, no, no. No more Damon, no more bad thoughts. Time to move on. I'm done. I am done, she resolved to herself.

Elena stood up and craned her neck, looking up the length of the stairs. She could be up there in a second, maybe two, if she used vampire speed. She could do that; she was tempted to try, risk running into the wall. After all, if I get banged up, I'll heal just as quickly.

"Elena?”

"I'm coming, Jere. Give me a second.” She wondered if she could just think it and go, if that's how it would happen. About to take a step, she paused and realized that as soon as she did this, there was no turning back. She was making a conscious choice to be a vampire. The blood didn't count, she decided, because she needed it to survive, and she would drink as little as possible and avoid human blood. Focusing on hearing was something that came better to vampires, but the act of trying to hear more clearly at times was certainly human enough. As long as she didn't focus on it, she wouldn't be using a vampire power. However doing this, just a quick flash up the stairs, it was Elena Gilbert willingly choosing to *be* a vampire. Different from her flash inside, that had been done on instinct, without thought. But this ... it would be a deliberate, knowing action on her part.

She thought of when she first met Stefan. Even with his few slips, for the most part, he had passed for human so easily. She could do that. She could live on the bit of blood she needed and ignore every other aspect of being a vampire. She could still eat regular food, digest normally, sleep normally, not focus on hearing and once she got her daylight ring, go out and about in the sun like any other girl.

Taking a step back, Elena leaned against the wall and looked up the stairs. It would make it easier, she thought. To be in control, control my emotions, control my life, keep as much order as possible, I just have to avoid acting like a vampire. If she remained Elena Gilbert, human in almost every way, she could do it. She would only drink animal blood. As it was, she could barely remember the taste of Jeremy's so Elena figured that she wouldn't even crave the human variety if it wasn't a part of her diet. She could be just Elena, the Elena everyone knew. The Elena that she knew.

A bright smile crossed her face. I can do this, she thought, a resolute peace filling her. Straightening up, she put her hand against the wall, trailing her fingers along its surface as she slowly walked up the stairs.

XxxxX


Damon sprinted up the steps of Bonnie's porch and knocked sharply on the front door. Within moments, it swung open and there was the witch, a nervous look on her face.

"Sabrina.” He smirked. "You called?”

She didn't react to the nickname, merely nodded. "Yeah.” Stepping back, she gestured for him to enter as she moved further into the house. Hmm, this must be serious, he thought, but his smile didn't drop and he didn't follow her. Instead, he casually leaned against the door frame.

"Ahem.”

Bonnie stiffened like a wooden plank. Damon rolled his eyes. She remained still for a moment longer -- probably counting to ten -- before turning back to face him. "Yes?” The word was clipped.

"I need an invite.” He was all silky smooth and charm.

"Oh. Yeah, right. Come in, Damon.” And then she turned again, moving quickly out of view.

This time the smile did drop because, damn!, this was fucking serious. Bonnie had just offhandedly invited him into her home. Does she know about Elena? he wondered suddenly and then just as promptly, he was sure that was it. On the heels of that, he paused. Does she know about Elena and me? He took a hesitant step inside, concerned that Bonnie had thrown some witchy magic on the invitation and this was all a trap to make his balls explode. He didn't move for a second, then two. No part of his anatomy went kablooey. OK, she didn't know that Elena and I did the wild fandango. Good. He took a few steps, then stopped. Wait, no, not good. Bonnie Bennett just invited me, Damon Salvatore, into her home without a moment's hesitation. What the fuck is going on?

Eyeing the place as he moved further into the house, he stepped into what he presumed was the living room to find Bonnie seated on a couch, the same anxious look on her face as before. He decided to cut to the chase.

"Do you know about Elena?”

She nodded.

"Is this about Elena?”

"No.”

"This is bad?”

She was silent, and then, "I think. Maybe. I don't know.”

Damon sighed and heavily dropped onto the armchair opposite her. "Hold off on the spilling. I was gonna call you, but you beat me to it.” He pulled a pouch out of his jacket and threw it on the table between them. "I need you to do your daylight juju on some items.”

"That can wait --"

"No, actually it can't.” He cut her off. "Thanks to our favorite dearly-departed history teacher-slash-vampire-hunter-slash-psychotic vampire-vampire killer, the entire council knows about Caroline, my brother and myself. Oh, and wolf-boy too, but he's no longer our problem.”

Bonnie winced, but was silent and he actually felt a stab of guilt. Seriously, this town! Why do I even care? Whatever. He did; he knew it. There it was. Damon sent a conciliatory smile her way. "Yeah, I guess it sucks about that.” He waited a beat and then continued. "We need to take care of this now. So daylight the jewelry. Then we'll talk about the new big bad headline invading our ever-so peaceful lives.”

Bonnie opened her mouth, no doubt to argue, but then acquiesced easily enough and reached for the bag. She emptied it on the table, her eyes widening. "This is a lot of stuff.”

"Well, I need the watch, anklet, silver necklace and comb for me and Blondie to face the council, and the rest ...” he trailed off, annoyed with the ludicrous beat his heart skipped at just thinking her fucking name. Clearing his throat, he continued. "The rest is for Elena. Being a vampire and all, she needs to be able to be out and about and with her being a target for every supernatural creature who steps through this town, I figured one ring wasn't enough.”

She was sifting through the items while he spoke, and had already separated the jewelry he'd picked out for Elena months ago absolutely knowing that this day would come and soon enough. The gold set included a ring, a pair of earrings and a necklace all with the same intricate design containing twin jewels of golden and blue topaz. Picking up the ring, and looking closely at the gems side-by-side, Bonnie glanced up at him, meeting his blue eyes with a narrowed gaze. "Subtle, Damon, real subtle.”

He began to retort, but paused because there was something in her voice, something under the derisive note, the familiar disdain in her eyes. It sounded almost put-upon, and frankly as if she was trying to not freak out. He decided not to push and simply shrugged instead.

Bonnie rose to her feet and scooped the items up. Walking to the window, she arranged them on the sill and placed them directly in the sun. Bowing her head, she whispered some mumbo-jumbo under her breath. A few moments later she was done. Turning around, she moved back to the couch and scooped up the pouch, carelessly throwing the items back in.

"Hey! Elena's set goes in there and should be treated with care. That was not cheap. The rest, give it here.”

Reaching in, Bonnie dug out all but the jewelry for Elena and laid the items back on the table. "What's your plan for the council with this stuff?”

He shook his head. "No, you did your thing, only fair I let you spill. What's going on?” Looking away and upward, she let out an inarticulate sound and then was quiet. He tapped his foot. "You know patience? Really not my strong suit.”

Bonnie glared at him, but there was no heat in her gaze. Finally her shoulders slumped and she spoke. "OK. Remember when we were at the storage unit? With Klaus?” He nodded. "I asked you for a moment.”

"Yeah, you wanted a minute to appreciate him all staked and marbl-y. Go on.”

She sighed. "That wasn't exactly the reason.” Pausing, she was quiet for a moment and then continued with a determined nod. "I knew it could be done because of Mr. Saltzman and what Esther had done to Rebekah.”

Damon's eyebrows rose and he nodded, understanding dawning. He didn't bother to disguise his 'I'm impressed' face. "So you did the witchy transfer thing. Got it.”

Her mouth popped open in surprise. He rolled his eyes, marveling at the continued lack of faith in his awesome deduction skills from this winning group of the eternally clueless. "Oh,” she finally managed. Then shaking her head quickly, she carried on. "Right. And I needed to make sure it was a vessel that could contain the werewolf *and* the vampire.” She paused and smiled weakly. "So, Tyler was it.”

Ahh, clever, he thought. "Makes sense. One question.”

"Just one?” Bonnie arched an eyebrow.

"Yeah, why didn't you just tell me when you did it?”

She shrugged. "I thought you'd try and stop me.”

He threw his hands out, his eyes wide in mystification. "Stop you!? Why? I'd have cheered you on.” She looked taken aback, genuinely surprised and it suddenly hit him that Bonnie had been in the position he found himself all too frequently ... making the tough choice. The smile he sent her way was sincere. She didn't smile back, still looking startled and a bit wary. And just as quickly as his insight had come a moment ago, he realized that this was pretty much new ground for her and she wasn't as nearly as comfortable with making those choices as he was. About damn time, he thought, near-gleeful that someone in their party -- even if it was Bonnie -- was walking in his shoes for once.

He shrugged, playing it cool though. "You did the right thing. It was a good call." Shaking his head, he clicked his tongue. "Look at you, an actual witch not being all judgy, but using your brain.” He smirked and sent her a wink. She looked uncertain, but he could see some of the weight appear to lift as she straightened slightly just as he realized something else. Smacking the arm of the chair, Damon fell back and groaned. "Shit. This means that Klaus probably, most definitely is the 'father' of our bloodline. Fuck.” He stewed in that notion for a moment before shrugging. "Ah well, at least now he's contained because Tyler is nowhere near as strong so we have time to figure out how to kill Klaus without taking all of us with him.

"Yeah, could be worse.”

She smiled, a tentative one, but it was there none-the-less. Shaking her head, Bonnie glanced his way wryly. "I just thought you'd be furious that I saved Klaus.”

"Why? Because you think I want to die? Or Stefan? Or even Blondie?” He paused, and then a half-hearted smile crossed his face, filled with weary sadness. "You know, Elena would have died too.”

She didn't respond at first, and in the silence, Damon found himself thinking of Elena, the vampire and how magnificent she was last night throwing him around, getting up in his face, not backing down, being fucked by him. No! He clamped hard down on that thought, determined and absolutely resolute to *not* think about her, not like that, not until she was ... better and they could deal with this thing between them.

"Why Elena? Did you? My God, Damon, did you give her your blood?”

Her words jerked him out of his distraction. And here comes the judging. "What? No. I wouldn't do that.” He paused and added grumpily, "again.” Unsurprised, he noted that Bonnie still looked a tad suspicious. He sighed, and with a roll of his eyes, explained. "Since I was providing blood to the good Dr. Fell, I just figure that it was mine that turned her.”

"Oh.” She was quiet, her foot nervously tapping on the floor. Then, "so you think I did the right thing with Klaus?”

"Abso-fucking-lutely.”

"Caroline doesn't.”

Damon snorted. What a shocker! "Didn't pick up on the fact that if Klaus *had* been staked, she and Tyler would both be dead-dead by now, did she?”

"Oh!” She sat up straighter, eyes wide. "He showed up last night. I mean, Tyler. Or Klaus. You know.”

Scooting forward, Damon leaned his elbows on his knees, thoughtful. "Where? Here? Your place?”

"No, at Caroline's,” she paused, biting her lower lip, adding quietly. "And he knows that Elena's a vampire.”

Damon exploded out of the chair. "What?! You've GOT to be kidding me. Why, why ...” He trailed off, fighting the urge to pick up the table and throw it through the window. A still-shot of Elena staked through the heart, gone forever because Klaus no longer had his little human doppelganger, flashed in his mind and his heart clenched. He shut his eyes tight, breathing heavily, trying very, very hard to not turn around and rip Bonnie's fucking heart out.

After a few moments, he felt calm enough to face her without killing her. "How did he find out?”

She rose to her feet, indignation on her face. "We didn't tell him, Damon!”

"Then how did he find out?” Damon repeated through a clenched jaw.

"I showed up at Caroline's and when she opened the door I didn't wait, I just told her that I had to tell her about Elena and Tyler. I had just seen Jeremy so I knew about Elena, but Stefan was there --"

Damon took a quick step forward, his eyes narrowed. "At Elena's? Stefan was with Elena?” He felt a stab of pain and jealousy even as he derided himself for not realizing that, of course, she and Stefan would have smoothed things over right away.

"What? No. He was with Caroline and --"

"Stefan was with Caroline? Why?” He was confused, but relieved as well. Even though he knew that it didn't matter if it hadn't happened immediately after or not because the next time he saw either one of them, they would still have already managed to slide back into their twu-wuv forever mode.

"I don't know. I just -- it doesn't matter. He was there, he'd told Caroline and she immediately told me that she knew that Elena was a vampire. And then Tyler, Klaus, whatever spoke up. He was in the shadows, had come to see Caroline -- probably hoping to get some alone time with her as 'Tyler' without her any wiser. That's why I was there so late. I wanted to warn her.”

"And instead you let TyKlaus know that he had absolutely no need to keep Elena around anymore because her blood is now useless to him. Fantastic.”

She shook her head. "No, I mean -- Damon, you said it yourself. You're stronger than Klaus now. *Caroline's* stronger than him.”

Shrugging lightly, he acknowledged that. "Yeah, I guess.”

"No, really. He tried to go inside and talk to her. Stefan stepped up.” Damon rolled his eyes. "But Caroline didn't need a hero. She punched Tyler in the face and sent him flying halfway down the sidewalk.”

"When she's pissed, she certainly goes into Hulk-vampire mode.” Damon granted and then paused as he did the math. "Wait, no, you're right. Even without anger, she's stronger. She's older vampire-wise than Tyler by about six months. That counts for something.”

"Right, so we can all keep Elena safe and work on separating the bloodline.”

He sat back down, nodding heavily. "Yeah, if we keep watch over her and *you* keep Klaus contained. As long as he knows that he needs you on his side to reverse the spell -- it does have to be you, right? Any witch can't just undo it?”

"Yeah, it has to be me. The transference is connected through my power specifically.”

"OK, OK, so that's good. He won't do anything to anyone you care about as long as he needs you. Which leaves everyone in our little Scooby gang safe from Klaus' brand of crazy except for me and I can take care of myself.”

He sent a wintry smile her way and was surprised when she smiled, well, it was more of a grimace, but still ... back. He was even more surprised when she responded to his statement.

"You saved my life, Damon, even when you didn't have to, even when I certainly wouldn't have expected you to. And you cared whether Jeremy lived or died with that dark magic. I don't like you, but ... I'm not actively rooting for your death. Anymore.”

"Aww, I'm touched.” He placed a hand over his heart. "Really, right here.”

"Whatever.”

Definitely a grimace that time. He didn't care. Her oh so grudging civility gave him a moment of satisfaction.

First sex with Elena, and yes, he was still reliving every single moment of that in the back of his mind on continuous loop, thank you very much, then Bonnie not wanting him dead, perhaps his luck was changing. He smiled brightly.

"OK, we'll work on our new latest and greatest take-down-Klaus plan when the gang's all together and,” he waved away any concern over TyKlaus. "Caroline can take care of Hybrid-squared if he comes around again.” Damon reached over and snagged the spelled items on the table, cupping them in his hands. "Now to my plan for retaking the council.”

XxxxX


Elena stepped out of her bedroom, shutting the door behind her. She rested against its hard surface and took a deep breath. She wasn't ready to face Jeremy yet. There was a craving within her that she'd never felt before and it scared the hell out of her. She knew that she craved blood. There were no blood bags in the house -- not that she planned to go that route -- but she also didn't know how to hunt for animal blood yet either.

So here she stood, bracing herself to go downstairs and face her brother and resist the temptation of his blood. And then get him to leave the house. And then much after that head to the boarding house so she could talk to Stefan. About teaching her to hunt.

About last night.

Elena closed her eyes. She wasn't ready. She had tried Caroline, hoping she could put off the talk, but she hadn't answered her phone and God forbid she went to her house. Sheriff Forbes might answer and the temptation to quench her hunger could take over. That would not be good. So Stefan and the boarding house, and possibly Damon, was it. Not that she could go until the sun set.

Elena banged her head lightly on the wall behind her. Forget ten more hours or so, she would happily wait ten more years to deal with any of this. She didn't want to do this. She couldn't do this, couldn't face --

There was a knock at the door. Automatically she began to focus, wanting to know who it was but she stopped. No, no vampire powers, she reminded herself. By the time the thought finished, she had her answer anyway.

"Stefan?” Jeremy said with a slight edge in his voice as he opened the door. There was silence and Elena tip-toed over to the edge of the stairs and peered around the corner. Stefan stood outside, clearly waiting for Jeremy to invite him in. He finally relented. "Come in. Elena's upstairs. She should be down any minute.”

Stefan stepped in, his expression serious. "Do you mind if I wait?”

Elena bit her lip and sighed. OK, scratch the boarding house. Then she straightened as she realized that meant she could also scratch Damon. Without conscious thought, she flashed back to last night, her nails scratching down his back as he thrust into her, his fingers hard on her hips, his teeth biting into her neck.

She slammed her eyes shut. God! Elena let out a long, unsteady breath and opened her eyes. She forced herself to block the images out of her mind, staring at the empty wall in front of her. As the memory faded, the voices below began to take form.

"—they drove off Wickery Bridge.” It was Stefan; he was telling Jeremy how she died.

"What?” A wealth of pain was in that one word. "No, no, man Not -- " Jeremy couldn't finish.

"I'm sorry,” Stefan replied, and he was, he so was. Elena could hear it in every syllable. She couldn't blame him for not saving her life, for listening to her and saving Matt. He already blamed himself so much already.

"So what?'” Jeremy gulped. "Elena, she died on impact or ...” His voice trailed off and she wondered how Stefan would answer. Would he tell Jeremy the whole story or one of the half-truths he was so skilled at handing out?

"No, they went into the water. I got there, but the truck was already submerged.” His voice dropped. ”She asked me to save Matt.”

Stefan told him the truth, she thought and was startled to realize that she was a little surprised.

"What?”

"She wanted me to save Matt --"

"She was alive?!” Jeremy cut him off, his voice rising. Elena straightened up.

"She wanted me to save Matt,” Stefan tried again to explain, but Jeremy was having none of it.

"How could you? Why wouldn't you save Elena? What the hell is wrong with you?!”

Elena shook her head. Stefan wouldn't defend himself. He would just stand there and take it and she couldn't do the same. Taking a deep breath, she stepped onto the first step, making her presence known. "Jeremy.”

They both looked up at her, sadness on Stefan's face, fury on Jeremy's, his fists clenched tightly.

"He let you die!” He shouted and pointed at Stefan, his hand shaking in rage as he moved towards the stairs.

She stepped quickly down them and reached for his arm. "No, he did what I wanted.”

"Elena ...” He began.

"Jeremy, please.” She was trembling, trying to control not only the renewed urge to cry, but to keep her fangs from emerging, to keep from feeding. On her brother.

She let go of his hand and took a deep breath. And then another. She felt better. She was in control. "I need to talk to Stefan. Why don't you go check on Matt?” He hesitated. "Please.”

She cocked her head to the side, her eyes pleading with him. With a heavy sigh, his shoulders dropped and he relented. "Fine. I'll go.” He turned to leave, walking around Stefan. At the door, he paused and shot him a glance as deadly as she'd ever seen from her baby brother.

Jeremy made sure that Stefan was looking at him before he spoke, bitterness lacing every word. "Damon wouldn't have killed my sister. You asshole.”

"Jeremy!”

Stefan's eyes drifted close in pain. He remained silent while Jeremy stood staring at him a moment longer before walking out and slamming the door hard.

"I'm sorry,” she began. "He's just -- he's been through a lot.”

"He's right,” he laughed without any humor. "Damon would have saved -- "

"You did what I wanted. *I'm* not sorry about that.”

He stood still, not responding and then finally nodded with a weary smile. "I thought you were staying at the boarding house.

Shaking her head slightly, Elena released an unsteady breath. Her voice was low and she couldn't meet his gaze. "Damon and I ...” She paused, thinking, trying to figure out how the hell to tell Stefan that she had sex with his brother. "Things ... got out of hand.”

"Oh,” he said. But he didn't understand, she knew. He thought it was just another fight. She needed to explain. She didn't want to, but she had to tell him the truth.

"I went to talk to him and then, yeah, we were fighting and I said horrible things and he said unkind things that were probably true and,” she sniffed, trying so hard not to cry. Why can't I stop crying? she demanded of herself.

"It's OK,” Stefan reassured her. He didn't know; he didn't know. He couldn't understand why she was crying.

"No, no it's not.” And the tears were slipping down, but she couldn't stop them, so she ignored their free-fall and pushed through. "He just drives me crazy and I couldn't stop and things just happened. We -- Stefan.”

Stefan was quiet, digesting her words and she wondered if he understood what she was saying, what she wasn't saying.

"I get it.” Do you?

He ran a hand through his hair and let out another mirthless laugh. "I know things are unresolved with him --"

"Oh, they're resolved. I am resolved. I am done with him. I'm staying away. I need to take control and he ... I can't. I can't be around him.” And it wasn't just for her sake. Somewhere between her re-awakened memories, fitful sleep and hours of quiet since then, she'd allowed herself to think of Damon. Not what they had done, but of his feelings. Of what she was doing to him. She wasn't like Katherine. She was worse. Stringing him along, giving him a little, then pulling back. Leaning on him, turning to him, expecting him to be there for her, do for her, and then turning her back on him to run to the safety of Stefan's arms. She couldn't, she wouldn't do that to him anymore. It wasn't fair to him. At all. I'm doing this not just for me. I'm doing this for him. I'm letting him go because I don't want to hurt him anymore. I won't do it. He deserved better than Katherine. He deserves better than me.

"What about me?”

Elena was startled from her thoughts of Damon and finally looked at Stefan full-on, meeting his gaze, wiping her tears away. Confusion clouded her face. "What do you mean?”

"Can you be around me?” And he looked so hopeful, but sorrowful at the same time, that puppy-appeal of his eyes in full effect. And she realized that, no, he didn't get it. He thought things were unresolved, unfinished between she and Damon. If he had realized, there would have been jealousy, anger, something. Instead his focus was still on himself, on them. And so of course she had to reassure him before she could tell him, make him understand that what happened with Damon was the end of it.

"Yes, I didn't mean you. You're good.” She nodded, forcing a smile on her lips.

"Are we? Good? You love me?” And the weight of his guilt and pain lay so heavy in his gaze, in the timbre of his voice she was again reminded of the boy she had been through so much with as a unit, the one she fell for, who helped her find a reason to live again.

"Yes, we're good. I chose you.” She was quiet, expecting a leavening of his expression, but it remained the same and she realized in the next instant why. She had spoken in the past tense, and unlike last night when it made sense, it didn't now. Elena began to correct her mistake, to tell him: 'I choose you.' But then the moment had passed. If she said it now, it would be too obvious that she had misspoken in the first place. She pressed her lips tight.

A flash of pain sparked in Stefan's eyes, but it was quickly extinguished and he managed a smile that almost looked genuine. "OK, then we're good.”

"Yeah.”

She was quiet as was he. And in the quiet, the guilt began to curl within her again. She had to tell him.

"Stefan, I have to tell you what happened last night.”

He was shaking his head even before he began to speak. "No. No, you don't.”

"Stefan ...”

He moved close and cupped her face in his hands. She contained a gasp. It felt so alien, him holding her so intimately even though he had done nearly the same just the day before. Before she died. Before she and Damon ... No! Her mind skittered away.

"I meant what I said at the dance. Damon has nothing to do with us. You don't have to tell me anything. If you say you're done with him, then you're done with him. And so are we.”

"But --"

"No, it's OK.” He leaned forward and pressed a gentle kiss to her lips.

She felt nothing. Not even the slightest stirring. It was just a kiss. She forced a smile. She was numb; everything was crazy. Last night she had felt too much, today was just sanity reasserting itself, creating a balance for normalcy. They would be fine. They just needed to find their way back to each other. Elena nodded. "OK. We'll be OK.”

He nodded and released her face, stepping back.

Elena smiled again, and this time it felt real. He smiled in return and she realized that it must have looked genuine as well. That made her smile wider, and for the moment things seemed almost comfortable. She suddenly ached for the familiar and so strove to create conversation between them without tension, just two people talking. "Where did you go last night? After? I mean, you hunted, but you were gone for a while ...”

"I went to see Caroline.”

That surprised her; it had been so long since she and Stefan had spent any time together.

"Oh, well, that's good.” She brought her hand to her mouth then, suddenly remembering and any chance at comfort was gone. "Tyler! How is she? I've been trying to call her, but I couldn't reach her.”

He shook his head. "She's not that good. I mean, she's better now. She knows about you. I told her.”

She nodded, taking that in.

"But ...” he trailed off, sighing. "Elena, I have to tell you something.”

And she could see it in his face, hear it in his voice. It was more bad news. She took a few steps back and lowered herself onto the stairs. The damn urge to cry hit her again, but she fought it and pulled herself together. Be strong, be in control. "Tell me.”

"Bonnie showed up at Caroline's while I was there and Caroline immediately blurted out that you were a vampire. Which Bonnie knew.”

"How did she know?”

"She saw Jeremy earlier.” Elena nodded in understanding. "Anyway, Tyler showed up then.”

"Tyler!? I thought he was dead.” She shook her head, and looked up at him.

"Long story short. It wasn't exactly Tyler. Bonnie had transferred Klaus into his body.”

Elena's eyes widened. "You mean like when Klaus possessed Alaric?”

"Yup.”

"So, wait, why? I don't understand.”

"Klaus wasn't lying. He is the originator of our bloodline and Bonnie knew that Alaric wasn't going to stop until he staked Klaus. Once he did that, Caroline and Tyler would die. So would Damon and I, but I don't think Bonnie cared so much about that. The thing is, she was determined to not let the witches take her friends from her, so she pulled her own stunt.”

"So Klaus is in Tyler's body and Tyler is just kinda inside, pushed down?”

"I guess.” Stefan moved over and sat next to her, and Elena had to resist the urge to scoot over. It just didn't feel right ... yet.

"How did Caroline react?”

"She wasn't happy, especially with Tyler, I mean Klaus. Apparently, he'd already spent some,” he paused and raised his eyebrows, "'quality' time with her in Tyler's body earlier.”

Elena shuddered. "Poor Caroline.”

"Poor Tyler or Klaus.”

She turned to look at him. "Excuse me.”

"The second he got close, she socked him so hard he went flying twenty feet in the air. That girl can pack quite a punch.” He smiled, but it faded quickly. "The thing is, Elena, he knows that you're a vampire. He overheard Caroline and Bonnie.”

Getting to her feet, she began pacing. "Yeah, that's not good.” She threw her hands up, circling them above her head. "Right now, I'm stuck here. I can't go anywhere and Tyler's body has an invite into my house.”

Stefan hopped up. "Bonnie said she's going to get you a ring today and will be over as soon as she has it ready.” He reached over and gripped her shoulders. "We'll take care of this. We'll keep you safe from Klaus and everything will be fine.”

"Right.” She replied even as the weight of his hands gripping her felt heavier than ever before. Even as his words gave her no confidence. Even as the sincerity in his eyes, the love in his voice did nothing to ease her mind or her heart. Still, she smiled and agreed with him. "I'll be fine.”

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A lurking goblin marionettedanceinacircle on September 20th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
So there's this song, and every time I hear it I think of Damon and Elena and thusly you, so I thought I'd tell you about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uD63wVc57A8
A lurking goblin marionettedanceinacircle on September 20th, 2012 09:47 pm (UTC)
Note: the video gets better about halfway in, but the song is the important part. =P
Arabian: musicarabian on September 20th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
It is a really good song. I like it.
A lurking goblin marionettedanceinacircle on September 20th, 2012 11:09 pm (UTC)
Full disclosure, the guy in the pink hat is my friends boyfriend, but they're on tour with fun so I feel like that makes them legitimate enough for me to recommend them to other people without being one of THOSE people, lol.
Arabian: musicarabian on September 21st, 2012 08:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, you're good, LOL!
Arabian: Alaric01arabian on September 20th, 2012 10:23 pm (UTC)
Oh, OK. I'm taking this as a good thing, LOL!
k_stjames: pic#117006481k_stjames on September 21st, 2012 01:53 am (UTC)
I love, love Jeremy. God bless him for being the voice of reason and laying into Stefan for his massive failure. What I wouldn't pay to see this happen on the show.

Elena's denial and turmoil was very well written and it can't be long before she completely cracks because the amount of stress she's dealing with us crazy. But boy does she do an excellent job of lying to herself but I was grateful that you included Elena admitting that her behavior / actions with Damon are hurtful and damaging to him. I can't wait for all of this to blow up in her face.

Wow, Stefan's ability to live in a fantasy land is crazy. I could not believe his reaction to Elena's clear panic and distress by willingly ignoring it and refusing to deal. Plus the sheer panic that she was desperately trying to talk to him and about how Damon spins her out of control and Stefan is cool knowing some unnerves his girlfriend so much? He deserves to lose her and I can't wait to watch it happen.

Loved the Damon / Bonnie interaction and Damon's support of her actions. It make sense that Damon understands why she did it. I liked the tone of their conversation and I would like to see a friendship between them since they understand the necessity of playing dirty. Plus I think and closeness between them would bother Elena.

Thank you for another excellent chapter.

Edited at 2012-09-21 01:54 am (UTC)
Arabian: Ian & Nina(PS)01arabian on September 21st, 2012 08:30 am (UTC)
I love, love Jeremy. God bless him for being the voice of reason and laying into Stefan for his massive failure.

Yeah, I will probably have the others (maybe not Matt, though) lighten up on him, but not Jeremy.

What I wouldn't pay to see this happen on the show.

Yeah, I love the show, but the lack of Stefan-follow-through -- to which all other significant issues literally stem from -- apparently is just not gonna change. So totally won't happen.

Elena's denial and turmoil was very well written and it can't be long before she completely cracks because the amount of stress she's dealing with us crazy.

I gotta say originally she was gonna hold out longer, but yeah, I'm gonna have it happen sooner rather than later, LOL!

But boy does she do an excellent job of lying to herself but I was grateful that you included Elena admitting that her behavior / actions with Damon are hurtful and damaging to him. I can't wait for all of this to blow up in her face.

That was actually just an addition today before I reposted. I realized that I was aware that this was part of Elena's push, but had only vaguely referenced it before.

Wow, Stefan's ability to live in a fantasy land is crazy. I could not believe his reaction to Elena's clear panic and distress by willingly ignoring it and refusing to deal. Plus the sheer panic that she was desperately trying to talk to him and about how Damon spins her out of control and Stefan is cool knowing some unnerves his girlfriend so much?

This section was DIRECTLY a result of what Stefan did/said in "Do Not Go Gentle" when Elena tried to tell him what happened with Damon in Denver. It was just so 'no, no, will not deal' that it was just completely in character that he would react this way.

He deserves to lose her and I can't wait to watch it happen.

He does indeed.

Loved the Damon / Bonnie interaction and Damon's support of her actions. It make sense that Damon understands why she did it. I liked the tone of their conversation and I would like to see a friendship between them since they understand the necessity of playing dirty. Plus I think and closeness between them would bother Elena.

I adored their interaction in the last two episodes SO HARD that I wanted to continue in that vein. I desperately hope they do so on the show.

Thank you for another excellent chapter.

You're welcome and thank you for commenting. It means a lot and helps me going. :)
Florencia: DE (When the Light Dies Out)florencia7 on September 21st, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
“Tears streamed down her face, mixing with the healing burns.” - This is such an intense, heartbreaking scene. You show Elena's struggle with her vampirism in such a unique, perfect way, not limiting it or even not focusing on the bloodlust, but taking the more complex approach and touching upon ALL the issues that she must, inevitably, deal with.

“She wondered if she could just think it and go, if that's how it would happen.” - I find it absolutely terrific how you convey a sense of loneliness, Elena's loneliness here. It just puts everything into a different perspective. It makes every moment, every problem, every doubt carry more weight, more sadness, more meaning. Her loneliness is partly due to her choices, but at the same time it isn't. On the one hand, she's trying to stay away from Damon – hence his absence. But on the other hand we have Stefan's absence that has little to do with Elena's wishes and everything to do with Stefan's tendency to be absent when he shouldn't. That line I quoted above, it's almost painful to realize that she has to wonder about such things. That she doesn't know them already or that she has no one to ask at the moment. I like how in addition to loneliness, it also seems to be hinting at Elena's inner strength and independence. Your writing is just so complex and I love it!

“Different from her flash inside, that had been done on instinct, without thought. But this ... it would be a deliberate, knowing action on her part.” - This is such an interesting paragraph. SO in-character for Elena. I adore it.

“She looked taken aback, genuinely surprised and it suddenly hit him that Bonnie had been in the position he found himself all too frequently ... making the tough choice. ” - OMG Bonnie and Damon's scene was PERFECTION. Firstly, I love the suspense, how I waited with bated breath for the conversation to start. Secondly, each line, each retort, each reaction, gesture, look, EVERYTHING was so masterfully arranged and described, it was FANTASTIC to read. Last but not least, I love how you drew a line of similarity between them. It's such an intriguing, promising train of thought to follow.

“I don't like you, but ... I'm not actively rooting for your death. Anymore.” - lol Awesome line!

tbc
Arabian: Damon07arabian on September 23rd, 2012 04:53 am (UTC)
This is such an intense, heartbreaking scene. You show Elena's struggle with her vampirism in such a unique, perfect way, not limiting it or even not focusing on the bloodlust, but taking the more complex approach and touching upon ALL the issues that she must, inevitably, deal with.

And people say I'm not writing Elena sympathetically! How can you not feel bad for her? Poor Elena. :(

I find it absolutely terrific how you convey a sense of loneliness, Elena's loneliness here. It just puts everything into a different perspective. It makes every moment, every problem, every doubt carry more weight, more sadness, more meaning. Her loneliness is partly due to her choices, but at the same time it isn't. On the one hand, she's trying to stay away from Damon – hence his absence. But on the other hand we have Stefan's absence that has little to do with Elena's wishes and everything to do with Stefan's tendency to be absent when he shouldn't. That line I quoted above, it's almost painful to realize that she has to wonder about such things. That she doesn't know them already or that she has no one to ask at the moment. I like how in addition to loneliness, it also seems to be hinting at Elena's inner strength and independence. Your writing is just so complex and I love it!

OK, uhm, wow. I totally did NOT think of that when writing it but I love so much that you got all of that from it and it does make sense. I love that you're making me think again upon some of the very stuff I've written and finding more there. THank you so much. Maybe I should be snagging you for beta-reading duty!!

OMG Bonnie and Damon's scene was PERFECTION.

Thank you. I had an absolute BLAST writing it.

I love how you drew a line of similarity between them. It's such an intriguing, promising train of thought to follow.

THey are the only two in the group who ever get stuff done. Everyone else flounders around and fails spectacularly. Damon and Bonnie? Get shit done!

“I don't like you, but ... I'm not actively rooting for your death. Anymore.” - lol Awesome line!

Thank you. This was actually part of a rewrite. I may them a bit too chummy originally. Much thanks to my beta-readers for pushing me to tighten and 'canon' it up there.
aurora7948/Celestial Aurora: Faerieaurora7948 on October 3rd, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
Ok, I know this may be a crappy way to introduce myself (AKA, first time commenting) but I will be making a nice long post in a few minutes and I wanted to respond to something....

THey are the only two in the group who ever get stuff done. Everyone else flounders around and fails spectacularly. Damon and Bonnie? Get shit done!
I disagree in one instance (though I'm guessing you feel this way too from how you've written him standing up to Stefan and telling him were it's at), I think Jeremy is also a gets-shit-done type. He just tends to not really understand what all he is up against. I think he still acts the "naive" human at times, maybe because of his ring. BUT he is always saying that he will be a part of any plan, even if it's Damon's, and that he won't just sit around and wait for eveyone else to solve the issue. That was part of why on the show I liked him and Bonnie together. They both got shit done.
Arabian: Jeremy01arabian on October 3rd, 2012 03:08 am (UTC)
You know you're right. I guess because Jeremy has been cut out so much that I didn't think of him. Everyone is always cutting him out so he doesn't get to play much with the group but as he's been more and more part of the action, he does get stuff done too. You're right. Yay, Jeremy!

And welcome. :)
Florencia: DE (In Silence)florencia7 on September 21st, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
[part 2]

“...but she also didn't know how to hunt for animal blood yet either.” - Stefan's absence is so GLARING throughout this chapter. I love it! lol Yet his glaring absence (even when he's present, which is, again, masterfully done) is such a brilliantly subtle clue. You can't even really blame him, you can't really accuse him of anything, and yet, and yet!...

“"Things ... got out of hand.”” - haha I love that when at a loss Elena just repeats Damon's words.

“She wasn't like Katherine. She was worse.” - I LOVE this paragraph. I love your take on Elena's reasoning here.

“He deserved better than Katherine. He deserves better than me.” - It's actually “feel-able” (OK, that's a terrible non-word but anyway ;) both on Elena's and Damon's parts, but more so on Elena's, how despite her resolution to keep her distance AND despite the fact that D&E don't share a single scene in this chapter, Elena's, slowly, subconsciously emotionally drifting toward Damon more and more anyway, acknowledging her own motivations, reviving what happened recently...

“If he had realized, there would have been jealousy, anger, something. Instead his focus was still on himself, on them. ” - OH I love how you address Stefan's indifference/tolerance/fearfulness/whatever here. And of course his surreptitious selfish streak. The entire S&E scene is so poignant and just amazing throughout. All the details are so carefully included, each line carries so much truth, so much insight.

Stefan's refusal to even hear a word he might not want to hear was SO wonderfully written. I was leaning closer and closer toward my computer screen, waiting for him to break, or for Elena to push, but GAH no, nothing of the kind, they both tripped back into their respective lakes of denial. Your writing captures/conveys such delicate, complex emotional entanglements SO WELL.

“"Damon wouldn't have killed my sister.” - And Jeremy totally gets the Best Line Award this week lol *hugs Jeremy*

Amazing chapter! WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE? ? ?

♥!
Arabian: Damon & Elena02arabian on September 23rd, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
Stefan's absence is so GLARING throughout this chapter. I love it! lol Yet his glaring absence (even when he's present, which is, again, masterfully done) is such a brilliantly subtle clue. You can't even really blame him, you can't really accuse him of anything, and yet, and yet!...

Yup. I keep flashing back to 2.20 when Elena thought that drinking human blood was the worst thing about being a vampire. Just MIND-BOGGLING. They just worked so hard at pretending that Stefan was human and not a VAMPIRE that it's put her at a disadvantage here big-time.

“"Things ... got out of hand.”” - haha I love that when at a loss Elena just repeats Damon's words.

I remember trying to figure out how to have her say it without saying it and that popped into my head and I was like,'Oh perfect!' She's using Damon's words.

“She wasn't like Katherine. She was worse.” - I LOVE this paragraph. I love your take on Elena's reasoning here.

That was literally a last-hour addition. The original write-up, the edits after beta's and rereading it a few weeks later, nothing. Then right before I posted it, I reread it one more time and was like I need to put something here where Elena flat-out states, not just hints at vaguely, but flat-out acknowledges that this isn't just for her, but because she has GOT TO STOP HURTING DAMON because she is. I'm very happy I added that bit in there.

despite her resolution to keep her distance AND despite the fact that D&E don't share a single scene in this chapter, Elena's, slowly, subconsciously emotionally drifting toward Damon more and more anyway, acknowledging her own motivations, reviving what happened recently...

Interesting how once again you bring to light something that I wasn't even thinking of when writing this. Awesome!

OH I love how you address Stefan's indifference/tolerance/fearfulness/whatever here.

THIS IS SO CANON! This scene is directly inspired -- wait, here it is from my notes: "Elena tries to tell Stefan, Stefan does the 3.20 thing, saying whatever happened with Damon doesn't matter, isn't about them."

Because I was, again, mind-boggled that that was Stefan's reaction. Just pretend it doesn't matter. So I had him do the EXACT same thing here. So canon.

And of course his surreptitious selfish streak.

I love him, but he is SO selfish. By far, THE most selfish character on the show.

The entire S&E scene is so poignant and just amazing throughout. All the details are so carefully included, each line carries so much truth, so much insight.

But it's not obvious how deeply and completely I loathe them, though, right? I'm trying to not let that infect my writing of them, LOL!

they both tripped back into their respective lakes of denial.

That's the only way they work -- which, yes, a certain character (ahem!) will mention at some point.

“"Damon wouldn't have killed my sister.” - And Jeremy totally gets the Best Line Award this week lol *hugs Jeremy*

If Jeremy is not pissed at Stefan in the new season I will not be a happy camper. I just can't buy that he won't be upset. Dude killed his sister!

Amazing chapter! WHERE IS THE NEXT ONE? ??

Thank you, and thank you so much for commenting. :) Tuesday or Wednesday, I promise!

Edited at 2012-09-24 09:14 am (UTC)
eolivet on September 22nd, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
Oh man, I'm just in awe of how you're interweaving all these storylines together -- it's just SO effective and your love of all characters shines through. :D I seriously LOVED how Elena decided not to use her vampire powers -- it struck me as her last vestige of control over her fate. A great way to show her rebelling against being a vampire, and just SO creative, too. :D

You know I ADORE your Damon, so I was thrilled to see him interacting with Bonnie!!! I loved the element of surprise at the idea that Bonnie thought he'd be annoyed she didn't kill Klaus -- I honestly wasn't sure how he'd react since he did hate Klaus, but it was such a great way of reminding us that wasn't worth...y'know...him dying. ;) I did love Damon all wary when he walked into Bonnie's house -- but that when "his balls didn't explode," it was all good. Hee!!! Classic Damon. ;)

And OMG Stefan and Elena -- so mismatched, so hopelessly out of synch, but done so beautifully. LOVED Jeremy calling Stefan on letting Elena die (though Elena's defense of him was classic). And because I cannot stress it enough: "You love me?" "I chose you." PERFECT. :D

So wonderful, so well-told and I can't WAIT for more!!! Please update soon!!! :D
Arabian: Caroline01arabian on September 23rd, 2012 05:04 am (UTC)
Oh man, I'm just in awe of how you're interweaving all these storylines together -- it's just SO effective and your love of all characters shines through.

I was gonna say, well, I love the whole show so much, it's easy!

:D I seriously LOVED how Elena decided not to use her vampire powers -- it struck me as her last vestige of control over her fate. A great way to show her rebelling against being a vampire, and just SO creative, too. :D

I thought it would work for her definitely.

You know I ADORE your Damon, so I was thrilled to see him interacting with Bonnie!!! I loved the element of surprise at the idea that Bonnie thought he'd be annoyed she didn't kill Klaus -- I honestly wasn't sure how he'd react since he did hate Klaus, but it was such a great way of reminding us that wasn't worth...y'know...him dying. ;)

YUP! And you know I love Damon and I love Bonnie, so following through with how they interacted in the last two episodes filled me with glee!

I did love Damon all wary when he walked into Bonnie's house -- but that when "his balls didn't explode," it was all good. Hee!!! Classic Damon. ;)

THANK YOU! That is seriously my favorite line in the whole chapter by far.

And OMG Stefan and Elena -- so mismatched, so hopelessly out of synch, but done so beautifully. LOVED Jeremy calling Stefan on letting Elena die (though Elena's defense of him was classic). And because I cannot stress it enough: "You love me?" "I chose you." PERFECT. :D

Yup. He's so her past, she just needs to see it. Why am I 95% convinced we will NOT get that on the show, but rather same ole, same ole? Sigh.

So wonderful, so well-told and I can't WAIT for more!!! Please update soon!!! :D

Thank you! Working on the next chapter tonight.
CallistianStar: Tug Of Warcallistianstar on September 22nd, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
Great story so far! It would help a bit if you put the new chapter in a link at the bottom of the previous chapter, like you have all the previous chapters listed at the top of the screen here.

Just went through the whole story so far. Really enjoying it. Its definitely calming me down before the new season pops up. I like the differences and descriptions of Elena as she spends time with people (feeling too much with Damon, nothing really with Stephan). It does beg the question whether these are feelings before the transition that she couldn't admit, or whether it is the change to becoming a vampire that changes the person.

Also liked the introduction of Elena's old memories.
Arabian: TVD-Cast02arabian on September 23rd, 2012 05:07 am (UTC)
Great idea! I went through all the chapters and put that link in there at the bottom. (Can you tell I don't write multi-chapter fics very often!?)

Its definitely calming me down before the new season pops up.

Thank you. (Although I'm still very nervous about the new season even though I do love this show like whoah! Not a happy camper with regards to S/E. Not Damon/Elena, I actually think their story is being written perfectly, but ugh, to S/E, LOL!)

It does beg the question whether these are feelings before the transition that she couldn't admit, or whether it is the change to becoming a vampire that changes the person.

Well, being a vampire amplifies existing stuff already, so it definitely was already there, she just couldn't admit it. But being a vampire is amplifying all of her emotions.

Also liked the introduction of Elena's old memories.

Thank you. I was really not sure how to do that and played with it a bit, but I like how it came out.

Thank you for commenting. :)
x5vale: torturedx5vale on September 26th, 2012 07:57 am (UTC)
You made me like Bonnie. Seriously. I want to see a non judgy, down to earth witch and you made it. Congrats :)

I also loved how Jeremy reacted to Stefan's truth and how Elena is in denial again. Also the fact that she is terrified to be like Katherine is very interesting to see developed.

Great chapter.
Arabian: Damon09arabian on September 27th, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
See, this is why I'm confused. THIS Bonnie that I'm writing, this is the Bonnie I see on screen, LOL!

Thank you for commenting. I'm trying to bring all the characters in and have them evolve a bit based on where we were at the end of season 03 and all that happened.
aurora7948/Celestial Aurora: Faerieaurora7948 on October 3rd, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
First time commenting so just gonna comment on everything I've read so far. Sorry it's so long...I actually have to make it 2 comments....

To start: I LOVE THIS FIC!

I LOVE how you are writing Damon. I am a BIG fan of the D/E pairing to the point of calling Elena a bitch when Damon got the "good-bye" phone call (wtf Elena!). A lot of the fic writers are taking Damon's character and making him soft. He is soft to Elena at times but he is also challenging, forceful and demanding. He shows her a side that few see but he also pushes her and that is part of what makes this pairing so perfect. HOWEVER, he is still Damon. He is still crass. He will still curse and swear. He will still think crude remarks about his balls exploding (great line). He doesn't cater to her or pretend to be someone other than who he is just to make her happy. I think you've nailed his character in all ways but one...

I don't think his and Elena's first time having sex would have happened like that. Yes, it would have been passionate, lust-driven and forceful (spot on with that, again something that other fic writers seem to want to soften up) but, in my opinion, Damon, because of his love for her and because of his own need for self preservation, would have shown restraint here. He has shown (s3 ep11) that when it comes to Elena, timing and her reciprocation is important to him and he is willing to wait until it is right (which was probably not gonna be the day after she picked his brother over him).

The scene with him and Bonnie: PRICELESS. Perfectly written. It's about time that the gang starts to realize that there are hard choices to make and that someone has to make them. It's time that they grew up and realized that life isn't always black or white, good or bad, love or hate. Having Bonnie be the first to see that and to understand it enough to make that choice was a great move as far as I'm concerned because witches are all about finding and keeping a balance. Killing Klaus would not have created balance, it would have caused destruction. Families would have been torn apart, many would have died just because he sired their sire's sire's sire. But for you to have both her and Damon REALIZE that she made the unpopular choice in a tough decision was great. He needs for the others to finally start to see that there are shades of grey. And that sometimes, no matter what you do or how hard you try, someone will get hurt no matter what choice you make.
aurora7948/Celestial Aurora: Faerieaurora7948 on October 3rd, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
I love when Elena gets her memories back. Her beginning to dissect it, to finally start being honest with herself, but then push it aside to proclaim that she is staying with Stefan was masterfully written, suspenseful and heartbreaking. I feel like she's no longer in love with Stefan. I'm not saying she doesn't love him, she does, but there is a difference between loving and being in love. Right now, she is with him out of obligation. She (and Damon, Bonnie, Jeremy, etc.) just went through how much HELL trying to get him back? To make him be "their Stefan" again? It "forces" Elena to be with him because otherwise everyone's suffering would have been a waste. I think that would be the bigger cause of guilt. And that guilt means that she has to be in denial, believing that things will work with Stefan. I think you managed to capture that when she mistakenly says "I chose you" (brilliant!).

Stefan is not in denial about their relationship. He's desperate. He sees that she isn't in love with him anymore. He knows it and she's all but admitted it at this point (also captured spectacularly in the "I chose you" line). But he is so desperate to hang on to her because she's "all he has left" that he can't even bear the thought she has moved on. So he says it's ok "he doesn't need to know" praying that his prostrating himself to her will be enough to keep her. So true to his character. Love it. And I honestly can't wait to see what he'll do when she chooses Damon. Will he really have no one left and go off the deep end (which I'm kinda hoping for...let him be in Damon's shoes for a while)? Or will he realize that there is life (and love) beyond Elena? Will he hate her? Will he try to punish her and Damon? So many ways to go...and I think all are plausible.

I love that Elena is, for maybe the first time ever, being forced to stand and figure things out on her own. To feel real loneliness. As others have mentioned, Stephan is absent even when present. Why the HELL is he trotting off to see Caroline and hold her when he should be at Elena's side constantly to explain things to her and help her through this? And holding HER instead. But again, Stefan can't man up. He can't handle the tough stuff. And so he leaves her alone even though it's the last thing he should be doing.

Very much like the turmoil that you have Elena going through about being a vampire. Not focusing on the blood lust works perfectly for her character. I mean look at Caroline and how quickly she was able to overcome the cravings because she loved Matt. Caroline is way more self-center and self-serving than Elena. I think the blood lust would be one of the easier things for her to deal with. But the conscious choice to be a vampire and do vampire like things....that's deep. That plays with her whole self concept and how she sees vampires. It makes her see that she does, some where deep down inside, still consider them to be "bad" things. She doesn't want to be one because it's wrong and bad. Jeremy is right when he tells Bonnie that Elena isn't the same anymore. She's not. She never will be again because some part of her will have to either deal with her own self loathing or she will have to change her perspective of good and evil. Either of which would majorly change how a she acts, thinks and feels.

Wow, this ended up being long...BOTTOMLINE: I love this fic and I'm dying to read more. Keep up the GREAT work!
Arabian: Elena05arabian on October 11th, 2012 06:36 am (UTC)
I love when Elena gets her memories back. Her beginning to dissect it, to finally start being honest with herself, but then push it aside to proclaim that she is staying with Stefan was masterfully written, suspenseful and heartbreaking. I feel like she's no longer in love with Stefan. I'm not saying she doesn't love him, she does, but there is a difference between loving and being in love. Right now, she is with him out of obligation. She (and Damon, Bonnie, Jeremy, etc.) just went through how much HELL trying to get him back? To make him be "their Stefan" again? It "forces" Elena to be with him because otherwise everyone's suffering would have been a waste. I think that would be the bigger cause of guilt. And that guilt means that she has to be in denial, believing that things will work with Stefan. I think you managed to capture that when she mistakenly says "I chose you" (brilliant!).

Thank you so much for the kind words about the writing, but I also have to say I LOVE how you phrased your thoughts on where Elena's mindset is, and I agree completely. (I hope we can continue to discuss TVD when the show starts!)

Stefan is not in denial about their relationship. He's desperate. He sees that she isn't in love with him anymore.

I actually think he is in denial, but a different kind of Elena. She's just flat-out not getting it, Stefan is practicing his normal play of willful deniability. Somewhere he knows, but whenever that reality makes its way to the surface, he pushes it back down, denying that reality.

I love that Elena is, for maybe the first time ever, being forced to stand and figure things out on her own. To feel real loneliness.

Hmm, I didn't even realize that is how I was having it play out, but you're right.

Very much like the turmoil that you have Elena going through about being a vampire. Not focusing on the blood lust works perfectly for her character. [...] But the conscious choice to be a vampire and do vampire like things....that's deep. That plays with her whole self concept and how she sees vampires. It makes her see that she does, some where deep down inside, still consider them to be "bad" things.

Actually I don't think she does consider them bad anymore, her immediate reaction to Caroline's dad dying was 'but, hey, he has vampire blood, he'll be fine!' However, I think it's another case of 'should.' She SHOULD think they are bad, except for, you know the good ones that she loves, so therefore she is clinging to that reality.

Wow, this ended up being long...BOTTOMLINE: I love this fic and I'm dying to read more. Keep up the GREAT work!

Thank you, and I really appreciate your insights. (I'm sorry, it took me so long to get back to responding.)
aurora7948/Celestial Auroraaurora7948 on October 19th, 2012 04:02 am (UTC)
No worries on how long it take to reply. Obviously, I'm not always on top of things myself. I'd love to keep talking about TVD with you! And I hope you're watching and enjoying the season so far....

For spoilers sake: [Spoiler (click to open)]
I have to admit that the first episode disappointed me a little but in a very predictable way. Having read some things that others have written on the progression of the relationship between Elena and Damon, this season has to be one of transition...on multiple levels. And while I'm hoping for and expecting them to be together eventually, I was disappointed in how they handled her day of transition. I know that can't bring them together too quickly because just about everyone wants to see Damon and Elena together at this point (I think) but if they bring them together too fast, people will lose interest in the show cause we love our sexual tension!

I'll have to watch it again before I can really put my thoughts into eloquent words, but I didn't like the scene between Damon and Elena (though I understand it and somewhat expected it) and I didn't like how Damon reacted and nearly killed Matt. I know it was because of where his head is at, which we talked about before, and is for the most part in character for him. But I still didn't like that Elena having to save Matt from Damon was basically her first act as a vampire.

I am SO grateful though that they followed through and made her a vampire. I can't wait to see how it changes Elena. I mean, to me it change Caroline SO much and made her such an in depth and great character (i really didn't like her at all before her transition). However, so far all that Elena has really done has been to cry and whine (yes with reason).

I HATE how lovey-dovey Elena and Stefan have been. I know she just got him back and she loves him and blah blah blah but he pulled a LOT of shit while being the Ripper (especially the bridge!). And I hate that all of a sudden, all is forgotten, everything's good. No worries. YUCK. However, the Damon/Elena scenes in episode 2: AWESOME. She had to end up going to Damon because he is the one who will not see her as being a monster or anything other than the Elena he loves. Going back to the relationships between Damon and Katherine and Stefan and Katherine. Stefan, upon discovering that Katherine was a vampire, was freaked out, she had to compel him. Damon drank from her willingly. He has always been the one to see the person and not the monster. And he will be solid and dependable (or at least as solid, dependable and stable as he ever gets) and nonjudgmental for her during her "vampire training".

Where the heck was Caroline during 90% of the second episode? I know, she was with Tyler but seriously, her best friend is transitioning and I think Elena needs Caroline more than ANYONE else at the moment. Both Stefan and Damon have their own guilt and emotions to deal with regarding Elena. Caroline is just on Elena's side no matter what.

I LOVE Rebekah. I liked her character before and wanted to see more of her but the way she essentially told Klaus to F-off...I loved it. I'm excited to see what happens with her...maybe she and Stefan will rekindle some old feelings once Damon and Elena are together (I can hope can't I?). At any rate, I see him with her much easier than I see him with Caroline (like some fanfics have them).


Now, I have to get to bed. Just wanted to share my thoughts so far and find out how you're feeling about it all.
Arabian: Damon & Elena10arabian on October 19th, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
Since this has nothing to with the fic - would you be up for posting these thoughts under my episode post? You can find it here. I was actually pleasantly surprised about the episode which you'll see in my post. :)

As for the show, I watch every episode live when it airs. I write up my analysis/review of the episode and I've started doing gifs this season -- I'm doing a backlog of older episodes too -- and I do icons per episode as well, all within a few days of the episode airing. :)
Arabian: Damon & Elena09arabian on October 3rd, 2012 06:36 am (UTC)
Welcome and thank you. :)

I don't know if you've read any of my other stuff, but I wrote up a LOT about Elena's phone call after the episode aired. I don't know if it will help, but it might ease your thoughts on Elena a bit. I dunno. Anyhoo, here's the link. (I have all of my main TVD posts linked here on my TVD round-up post, because, yes, I write about this show THAT much, LOL!)

As for writing Damon, I've seen writers going both extremes. Damon too soft, or Damon too much of an asshole (especially to Elena -- which he's only done now and then). So thank you very much for liking my take on him. :)

He will still think crude remarks about his balls exploding (great line)

That, no lie, is one of my favorite lines in the story so far. Hah!

in my opinion, Damon, because of his love for her and because of his own need for self preservation, would have shown restraint here

I would agree ... under any other circumstances. He watched his best friend die. Then Ric didn't die and instead turned into this evil, terrible monster who beat the crap out of him and really, really tried to kill him -- only telling him THEN and in a cruel way because this Ric didn't care just how much Ric cared about Damon. He believed less than a few hours ago that he and his brother (his brother!) were going to die, be gone for good forever. He lost the girl he loved again and he wasn't even going to ever see her again. THEN after HE didn't die, he found out the girl he loved who he had lost he REALLY lost because SHE died. And then he found out she didn't. She was going to be a vampire. THEN he found out she died because his brother LET HER DIE. And within a few hours of most of this happening (just the first two didn't happen in the last few hours), Elena was in his arms, all but saying FUCK ME NOW! This girl that he desperately loved, desperately wanted and thought less than a few hours ago that he had lost emotionally (to his brother) and then for good (she died) and then becoming something he knew that she really, really did not (as a vampire) ... and it was all because of the stupid martyrdom of Stefan AND the girl. That's a LOT to deal with in a very short amount of time.

Damon had just been through an intense two hours deeper really than anyone else (with the exception of Elena) had been through. He wasn't thinking straight. He wasn't all there. Sure, he's been a vampire for 150 years roughly, BUT, he's still a vampire. Everything is amplified. Stefan internalizes. Damon externalizes. And it basically ALL came to a head here. That's why he didn't stop. It was the exact configuration of circumstances/moments that led to what happened here the same way that all of those pieces in those nearly 24 hours that led to Damon to snapping Jeremy's neck. Had one of those things not happened, Damon would have pulled back. But it all did happen and so he didn't pull back.

Re: The Damon/Bonnie scene. Thank you. I loved how that scene came about and I got it all from the last two episodes of interaction between the two. I will be very sad if we DON'T see follow-through on that interaction on the show.

He needs for the others to finally start to see that there are shades of grey. And that sometimes, no matter what you do or how hard you try, someone will get hurt no matter what choice you make.

That's part of what Damon's journey through this fic is .. the others kinda beginning to see his way, as in he's not THAT bad, not looking at the big picture, and especially in light of all he's done for them.

Edited at 2012-10-03 06:40 am (UTC)
aurora7948/Celestial Auroraaurora7948 on October 3rd, 2012 06:17 pm (UTC)
but it might ease your thoughts on Elena a bit.

I don't hate Elena. I actually very much like her character and watching her grow and become a stronger person. I just was very upset with that scene because I've been waiting and hoping SO hard that she and Damon would get together for so long that when she did that to him (even though I understand why) it broke my heart a little. I cheered the first reciprocated kiss and I "cried" when she denied him. I understand all the many reasons that she chose Stefan in that moment but since I feel that she had already lost her love for him and that she was falling in love with Damon, it killed me to think that she would do that to him. And maybe part of it was that, being an viewer, I knew that he would survive. They couldn't have basically everyone on the show die at once....you have no show then. So I didn't take that perspective into account with my initial outrage that she hurt Damon like that.

I would agree ... under any other circumstances...

I guess when you explain it like this, I can see how the circumstances could have overwhelmed him (and anyone else for that matter) beyond the point of no return. Maybe since it's been about a month since I saw the season 3 finale, I had forgotten just how rapidly things kept changing and how up and down and all over the place his emotions had been. I mean, that would be a lot for almost anyone to process over the course of several years, let alone in one night. So, I can definitely see where you're coming from and I take back my previous critique and leave you with a "JUST PLAIN AWESOME fic!" comment. Lol.
Arabian: Damon07arabian on October 11th, 2012 06:41 am (UTC)
I don't hate Elena. I actually very much like her character and watching her grow and become a stronger person. I just was very upset with that scene because I've been waiting and hoping SO hard that she and Damon would get together for so long that when she did that to him (even though I understand why) it broke my heart a little.

Oh, I wasn't implying that you hated her, I meant you might feel better about THAT scene in particular and why I do think it was the right choice for Damon/Elena and for their fans in the long run.

it killed me to think that she would do that to him.

That's kinda what I touched upon in mypost.

I guess when you explain it like this, I can see how the circumstances could have overwhelmed him (and anyone else for that matter) beyond the point of no return. Maybe since it's been about a month since I saw the season 3 finale, I had forgotten just how rapidly things kept changing and how up and down and all over the place his emotions had been. I mean, that would be a lot for almost anyone to process over the course of several years, let alone in one night. So, I can definitely see where you're coming from and I take back my previous critique and leave you with a "JUST PLAIN AWESOME fic!" comment. Lol.

Yay! I'm glad it worked then. And thank you again. Loved your comments. :D
Diana: Vampire Diaries -- Team Elenabutterfly on October 4th, 2012 04:42 pm (UTC)
An uncomfortable heat that quickly escalated to a painful burning and then morphed into indescribable agony awoke Elena in a matter of seconds. As the sun continued to creep further over her exposed arms and hands she couldn't control the cry that ripped from her throat. Jumping to her feet, she turned to the door, her arms crossed in front of her. Her hair fanned out over her shoulders and hid the curve of her face.

Oh, ouch. Elena needs a daylight ring!

As long as she didn't focus on it, she wouldn't be using a vampire power. However doing this, just a quick flash up the stairs, it was Elena Gilbert willingly choosing to *be* a vampire. Different from her flash inside, that had been done on instinct, without thought. But this ... it would be a deliberate, knowing action on her part.

Oh, honey. You're a vampire no matter what. This kind of desire to slip into denial is... very in-character, but it's not healthy, hon.

Of course, it makes complete sense that she's not able to see that this approach has not worked for Stefan in the long-term at all.

This time the smile did drop because, damn!, this was fucking serious. Bonnie had just offhandedly invited him into her home. Does she know about Elena? he wondered suddenly and then just as promptly, he was sure that was it. On the heels of that, he paused. Does she know about Elena and me? He took a hesitant step inside, concerned that Bonnie had thrown some witchy magic on the invitation and this was all a trap to make his balls explode. He didn't move for a second, then two. No part of his anatomy went kablooey. OK, she didn't know that Elena and I did the wild fandango. Good. He took a few steps, then stopped. Wait, no, not good. Bonnie Bennett just invited me, Damon Salvatore, into her home without a moment's hesitation. What the fuck is going on?

Hee! I love his line of thought here. Bonnie hated him for a good long while, so it makes sense that he's a bit nervous and uncertain when she's acting a bit differently.

She was sifting through the items while he spoke, and had already separated the jewelry he'd picked out for Elena months ago absolutely knowing that this day would come and soon enough. The gold set included a ring, a pair of earrings and a necklace all with the same intricate design containing twin jewels of golden and blue topaz. Picking up the ring, and looking closely at the gems side-by-side, Bonnie glanced up at him, meeting his blue eyes with a narrowed gaze. "Subtle, Damon, real subtle.”

Oh, Damon. *pets*

There was a knock at the door. Automatically she began to focus, wanting to know who it was but she stopped. No, no vampire powers, she reminded herself. By the time the thought finished, she had her answer anyway.

Oh, Elena. *hugs*

"Stefan, I have to tell you what happened last night.”

He was shaking his head even before he began to speak. "No. No, you don't.”

"Stefan ...”

He moved close and cupped her face in his hands. She contained a gasp. It felt so alien, him holding her so intimately even though he had done nearly the same just the day before. Before she died. Before she and Damon ... No! Her mind skittered away.

"I meant what I said at the dance. Damon has nothing to do with us. You don't have to tell me anything. If you say you're done with him, then you're done with him. And so are we.”


And there's Stefan's denial, right on schedule. He knows that it would change things for him if he knew, so he doesn't want to know.

ETA: oh, btw, you don't have a 'next' link on this part. Thought you'd like to know. ♥

Edited at 2012-10-04 04:45 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Elena09arabian on October 11th, 2012 06:48 am (UTC)
This kind of desire to slip into denial is... very in-character, but it's not healthy, hon.

Yuppers!

Of course, it makes complete sense that she's not able to see that this approach has not worked for Stefan in the long-term at all.

Hee! I love his line of thought here. Bonnie hated him for a good long while, so it makes sense that he's a bit nervous and uncertain when she's acting a bit differently.

I seriously had SO MUCH fun writing their scene, LOL!

And there's Stefan's denial, right on schedule. He knows that it would change things for him if he knew, so he doesn't want to know.

As I told you, I was directly inspired by his response to her in 3.20 when she tried to tell him about 3.19.

ETA: oh, btw, you don't have a 'next' link on this part. Thought you'd like to know. ♥

Thanks, got it fixed.
Alisha: Revenge - EmilyNolanBamfWalkkalishaka on April 13th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
First off I love how you've dealt with Elena's awakening vampirism. The idea that using her abilities is how she would understand letting go of pieces of her humanity is very Elena, and would have been something I'd like to have seen more from the show. I feel like they lost some of the human element of her grappling with the change in the midst of the 'sire bond' nonsense.

The parallels between Bonnie and Damon are spot on. While I believe Bonnie is more prone to erroneous judgments than Damon, both tend to have to make the calls the rest of them won't, seeing a larger picture that involves more than just the core group. I'm also enjoying the weakening of the threat of Klaus by placing him in Tyler's body. Who knew Tyler could be useful. =)

He deserved better than Katherine. He deserves better than me.
Elena and Damon are both ridiculously self-sacrificing of their own happiness.

I like that you have given so much weight to Stefan's reactions in this. His hope that he's done the right things by everyone, and yet continually being shown he hasn't. It's nice to actually see him involved and caring about other people, and still caring about Elena. I think it can be easy to villify Stefan in fics, I appreciate that you've avoided that for the reader, even while having certain characters react against him.
Arabian: Stefan03arabian on April 14th, 2013 04:12 am (UTC)
Yeah, I would have liked to see more human!Elena vs vampire!Elena, but I do like what we've got, and hey, that's what fanfic is for, right? LOL!

While I believe Bonnie is more prone to erroneous judgments than Damon, both tend to have to make the calls the rest of them won't, seeing a larger picture that involves more than just the core group.

Yup. I agree.

I think it can be easy to villify Stefan in fics, I appreciate that you've avoided that for the reader, even while having certain characters react against him.

I love me some Stefan, I know that's not a common utterance in the D/E fanbase, LOL!