A Selfless Savior
Title: A Selfless Savior
Summary: Missing scene from 3x15 | All My Children. O/S.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. No profit is being made from this work.
A/N: I snuck a little Brucas in here but I just couldn’t help it ;)
Rebekah disappeared from the cave leaving Elena in the darkness. She reeked of gasoline and fumes and she couldn’t wait to take a shower and escape for a few precious moments. Taking a moment to make sure the blonde original was really gone; Elena cautiously stepped past the vampire barrier and back through the twists and turns of the caves. She had become to know the caves so well in the past few weeks with the amount of time her and her friends studied the drawings.
Now she shivered in their cold surroundings. It gave her no comfort, no warmth. Just the cold reminder that once again she was held hostage for supernatural gain. The spell hadn’t gone down like she had hoped and it was both a blessing and curse. Elijah would be free to live once again but Klaus would be free to keep his tight hold on her. Slowly dictating her life and removing and glimmer of free will.
Elena saw a bright light from up ahead and walked towards it shielding her eyes. Suddenly two silhouettes appeared through the brightness and she didn’t even have to question who they were. As fast as her legs could carry her, she ran to them letting their relieved faces fill her vision. Soon enough she was close enough where she could only choose one and without hesitation she focused on him and crashed into his unwilling embrace.
Her arms wrapped around his waist as she clung to his leather jacket, letting him consume every one of her senses. She felt herself really exhale for the first time tonight as soon as she felt his arms lift up and cradle her into him. At his mere gesture all her emotions vanished and the only thing she could feel was the sense of coming home. His arms were where she truly belong and it was as if the entire day, the entire summer, began to make sense to her in that one moment.
She was in love with Damon.
And not just young love where it’s full of anticipation and excitement. It was real deal love. She loved him for his complexities. For that fact that he would risk it all to save her and yet question when she’d die doing the same. She loved the way all of his emotions were visible in and around his eyes. The very fact that he was letting his guard down, right now and always, just for her and a million reasons more was why she couldn’t help but cling to him tighter for fear he would be able to read it in her face as he often did. They just understood each other so well.
“Damon,” she breathed and the gentle sound of his name even from her lips sent a calming ease throughout her body. Elena breathed him in, completely forgetting the other brother, her exboyfriend, staring on from a few feet away. A part of her, the old her, still melted at the forlorn look in Stefan’s eyes. But he knew, just as she did, that their broken love never stood a chance at the whirlwind of emotions Damon had pulled out from her. She was a different girl. A stronger girl. And Stefan knew this new version of her was not the same girl he had fallen in love with.
Elena felt Damon pulling away, pushing her away from the shelter his arms provided. She gave a resigned sigh and finally allowed him before looking up into the deep ocean of his eyes. Instead of the love she often found, she found the eyes of someone who had given up hope. “We have to tell you something,” he whispered, sending a glance at his brother.
Her eyes tracked towards Stefan who place his hands in his pockets and stated, “Abby’s in transition.”
“We had to break the connection,” Damon answered.
Elena’s eyes snapped back to Damon’s impassive face and she knew. She knew the words before he even had time to formulate a response. “You turned her,” she stated, looking him square in the eyes.
Damon squared his shoulders, and crossed his arms over his chest, the movement effectively cutting off his emotions and her hold on him. “I did what I had to do.”
“You should’ve let me die,” Elena responded, walking past him and climbing in the back seat of his blue Chevrolet. The brothers got in without question and Damon pulled back on to the road. After moments of silence, Elena finally ordered in a calm voice, “Take me to them.”
With her knees tucked tight to her chest and her head resting on them, Elena let the sobs rack through her. For the first time in a long time she felt completely alone. Even Elijah’s letter gave her little comfort for her current predicament because he could never understand the constant guilt she carried with her. It was a miracle Bonnie had lasted this long before the inevitable push was given. Who would want to be friends with the doppelganger when only death and pain followed?
Her wet hair sent droplets of water cascading down the one side of her oversized sweatshirt and she couldn’t help but hug herself closer as the shivers went up her spine. She knew she had no one to blame but herself even if everything she held guilt over was out of her control. The tears flowed freely down her cheeks until she felt a presence in her room.
Elena looked up to see Stefan standing above her, a worrisome face etched on his inhumane features. Her palmed reached up to wipe at her cheeks as she choked out, “What are you doing here, Stefan?”
He awkwardly cleared his throat and sat on the edge of her bed. Elena involuntarily inched closer to her headboard and Stefan frowned. It seemed surreal how much distance was between them both physically and emotional. That comfort and familiarity barely existed and she only found echoes of it when she was trying to make him feel again, or he smiled at her in a way he used to. It still wouldn’t be enough to repair the damage they both had done to their relationship.
With the sleeve of her sweatshirt she wiped under her eyes. Stefan took a deep breath before composing himself and speaking, “There’s something you should know about what happened tonight. About Damon and Abby. It was supposed to be me.”
“Huh?” she whispered, placing her chin on her arms that were resting on her bent knees.
“We flipped a coin and it was my job to take care of Abby. Damon did it for me.”
Her head lifted up as she challenged, “I don’t understand. I thought you didn’t care, Stefan.”
Stefan looked away from her. “I’ve been lying to myself, to you, to everyone. But Damon saw through it. I meant what I said the other night about feeling nothing but pain but there’s no fighting that. I feel it either way.”
“Stefan…” Elena whispered. It was all she could offer to soothe him, not even her hand would move from its perch to offer him comfort. This had been what she had been hoping for and yet it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Her realized feelings for Damon were overpowering her need to save Stefan. It’s not that she didn’t love him or care for him; it’s just so much had changed.
“I was wrong before when I said you didn’t deserve Damon. He couldn’t be more deserving of you. That’s why I have to step away and let you be happy. Why I have to go away for a while. I see the way you are with him. The way he makes you smile… I’ve never been at the receiving end of one of those. At least not for a long time.” Stefan stood up and approached the side of her bed. He leaned forward and pressed a chaste kiss on her forehead. Elena found herself closing her eyes at the feeling as their relationship passed before her eyes. She found herself smiling sadly with tears as he pulled away and rubbed the pad of this thumb against her cheek. “I’ll always love you, Elena. I’m sorry.”
“I’m sorry, too, Stefan.” She couldn’t bring herself to repeat the words he had so graciously handed to her. Though it was evident through her tears. The words didn’t need to be said because she knew he knew them.
She watched as he disappeared out her window and after a few longing glances, she picked herself up and ran out of her room with Stefan’s words echoing through her head.
She found him where she expected: by the fireplace with a glass of bourbon in his hand. A soft smile lifted her lips as she remembered all the times she had found him just like this. He must’ve heard her coming because the glass lifted to his lips and he downed the contents in a single gulp. Trepidation radiated through her as she walked towards him, her hands fidgeted with the sleeves of her sweatshirt.
“Why are you always taking the blame, Damon?”
He shrugged. “I get blamed for it anyways. Why not just embrace the whole bad boy image?”
“Because there’s more to you than that. You’ve done some horrible things, Damon, but that doesn’t mean you’re not good. That you don’t deserve to be loved or be praised for the times you do good. Regardless of what turning Abby has done to Bonnie and my relationship with her, you did it to protect me and your brother. You did it for love.” Elena shook her head as she muttered, “I know I didn’t understand that at first but I understand it now. But Stefan helped me see.”
“You and Prince Charming make up?” he jeered, staring into the dancing flames.
“Stefan’s gone, Damon.”
Damon turned towards her in shock. “What?”
She nodded. “He left after we talked. We realized we were trying to tape back together something that was broke, something that wasn’t meant to be. There were a lot of realizations tonight.”
Elena took a step forward and looked up into his eyes, allowing herself to open up the part of herself she had hidden from him for a long time. The side she was afraid would make her into the kind of person she didn’t want to be. A side that was scared and frightened over the intensity of opening up to him. “I know I said once that it would always be Stefan, but I was wrong. I was wrong because it’s been you for a while now.” Her voice began to break as she began to cry. “I haven’t told you because I was afraid of you and the way you make me feel. I know that may not matter now after what I said, but I just thought you should know… I love you, Damon. I was just too scared to admit it.”
Carefully, she watched him as an array of emotions crossed his face. First shock, then awe, and then complete love radiated through his bright blue eyes. He reached out and tenderly brushed her hair away from her face, his finger then following a path along her cheek as she cried. “I’ve been waiting for you to say that.”
“I know,” she laughed through her tears. “I’m sorry it took me so long and that it took you losing hope in us to make me see that… I need you in my life, Damon, and because I love you.”
He smirked down at her. “I don’t think I could ever get tired of you saying that.”
“Good,” she breathed as he inched closer, “because I don’t plan on letting a day go by without letting you know.”
“I love you, too, Elena,” he whispered before he closed the distance between them and brought his lips home.