Author: BecomeMyObsession PM
She had left to protect her loved ones; he had left because he needed to escape temptation. Five years later they're lost, lonely and quietly longing for something they don't understand. Will they be able to find their way back to each other? Post Season One.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Damon S. & Elena G. - Chapters: 19 - Words: 96,508 - Reviews: 125 - Favs: 59 - Follows: 107 - Updated: 10-30-12 - Published: 08-09-11 - id: 7269071
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Chapter 17 – Tough Decisions
A.N/ I'm so sorry that this update is late! My muse sorta wondered off on this chapter, it went on a holiday so to speak ;D. I just found it really difficult to get this written down, I started it and then found it sounded crap so I deleted it all and rewrote it, and about half way through I realized that it was going in a completely different direction I wanted it too. So I deleted it again and then found that my mind was blank. Everything I wrote sounded forced and it had no flow… so I did what any writer would do for a while, I took a little break and focused on 'Reckless Intentions' in which my muse seemed to be dancing around little camp fires and having a whale of a time… ;).
Away from that not so chipper note; my muse came back. I think it took pity on me and all you awesome readers and decided to give me some inspiration for this chapter. So I finally have the chapter you have all been waiting for!
One more extra little note (agrhh, this is one heck of a long A.N): I have had a pretty concrete idea on where this fanfic was going to finish when I started it, but I am sorta afraid that you guys may not be 100% happy with me… :L. So I hope you all don't disappear on me…
DISCLAIMER: The inspiration for this story came from a song by Taylor Swift. So I don't own any rights to the title, changes... Well, the song is actually called Change. But it sounded better with an 'S'. ;) Oh and all the characters you may recognize come from LJ Smiths and Julie Plec's amazing minds! :D
There was a slam from inside the house and it jolted me to my senses. I immediately pulled away and my hands shot to my mouth and my eyes widened. How come I always reacted like that? I spun before Damon could say anything and threw myself inside the house and slammed the door, sliding the the ground behind it. I stared vacantly into the empty hallway listening to the silence outside. I put my head in my hands: Why?
I couldn't sleep. Jason was sound asleep next to me, his sleep not at all disturbed by our most recent argument. His quiet snores were repetitive and relaxing, the quietness and blackness of the room deafened my senses. I should be able to sleep, I should be able to close my eyes and drift off to – well wherever my mind took me at night. But I couldn't; despite Jason's soft breathing and the comforting blackness of the room.
My head was churning with thoughts that just wouldn't rest and my emotions were all jumbled up, so much that I didn't even understand what I was feeling. I felt guilty but not guilty at the same time. I wanted to stop everything I felt towards Damon but at the same time I wanted it to stay, linger and grow.
I groaned and turned over, burying my face into the pillow. What I was feeling was wrong; I had fled Mystic Falls hoping for a new life, and I managed it. My life was simple; I had a boyfriend, a home, a good job and plenty of friends. But why now when I thought about Damon leaving did I feel so empty? He wasn't supposed to be here, this was my life away from the supernatural - the only part I had was keeping the town from finding out the truth. He didn't belong near me; if anyone from the supernatural did then it should be Caroline or Bonnie - my best friends since before I can remember. Or Stefan the boyfriend I had left behind for another. It shouldn't be the older – sexier – brother of my ex-boyfriend.
But no matter what I knew I should be feeling, I couldn't shake the fact that I didn't want him to leave. No matter how much he didn't belong in my – not supernatural life – anymore I didn't want him to go. I couldn't imagine my life going back to the way it was before he reappeared; well I could. But now I had that small taster of the things I left behind I didn't want it to leave. I didn't want him to leave.
What did that say about me?
I had a boyfriend and a reasonably happy life but I didn't want the vampire from my past who had reappeared - disrupting my life - to leave. Why? Because I would miss him too much. I huffed and flipped back over onto my back, to my original position, and once again stared at the ceiling.
"'Lena?" Jason mumbled, his voice slurred from sleep. I turned my head to look at him. His eyes were still closed and his face was relaxed still with sleep. He looked so innocent and I immediately felt guilty for feeling the way I did. How could I betray him? Over and over again.
I sighed softly and turned onto my side so I could reach up and softly stroke his cheek. "Sorry. Did I wake you?" I whispered.
He barely shook his head on the pillow, his hair messing up more and falling in front of his eyes and his mouth in a small smile from my warm hand on his cheek. "S'okay."
I nodded although he couldn't see me. I breathed in slowly closing my eyes briefly. "I'm sorry."
He opened his eyes halfway. "Nothin' to be sorry for."
I looked down. He didn't know I had kissed Damon, twice. And we would have again at the party if we hadn't been interrupted by the microphone. "Still – I'm sorry." I mumbled and looked down, away from his face.
He sighed. "Come 'ere." And with that he wrapped his arm around my middle and pulled me into his arms. I buried my head into his chest so he couldn't see the guilt which washed over my face. Knowing there was another pair of arms I wouldn't mind being wrapped up in either. He tightened his arms around me as if sensing my discomfort. "I love you." He muttered into the crown of my head.
I smiled gently; knowing that whatever I felt, I did love Jason. And I wasn't letting the supernatural change how I felt about him. "I love you too." I whispered, closing my eyes.
I felt him smile into my hair as he pulled me closer. "I was so worried when I couldn't find you earlier. I suppose I should thank Damon." I could tell he was more awake now; and I was heading in the opposite direction.
I kept my eyes closed and sighed slightly. Knowing Jason was grimacing at the mention of thanking Damon. "It's okay, I'm here now." I mumbled.
"I know." He interlocked my hand with his. I yawned and finally felt the fog creep up on me and smiled contently knowing I would soon be able to able to drift off to a place which wasn't so complicated. "Though I was still so worried, I'm never letting you out of my sight again. Promise you'll never leave me."
I was too tired to answer; my mouth was firmly closed and my mind was drifting off as I slightly struggled to stay awake. My limbs were heavy with sleep; but I managed to squeeze his hand in answer. Hoping that it would be good enough to tell him I wasn't planning on going anywhere. My limbs fell slack as I finally managed to fall asleep.
I was standing.
I knew that much.
My eyes were closed and I could feel the gravel road beneath my bare feet. The tiny rocks dug into my feet when I moved them. A light warm breeze wrapped itself around me, toying with my hair and ruffling my thin nightie. The breeze brought with it a slight peppery smell, and as I breathed in more to try and calm my racing heart I recognised the distinct smell of the musky pine scent mixed in with the smell of fresh resin. I froze. I would know that smell anywhere. I was home.
I stood; frozen to the spot and listened to the birds singing to each other somewhere above my head. The light sweet chirps of the smaller birds and the deeper undertones of the bigger birds were so familiar I felt my heart ache.
I knew this was a dream.
It had to be.
It was physically impossible for me to teleport from my warm bed wrapped in Jason's arms to here; Mystic Falls.
I breathed in slowly, relishing in the sounds and smells surrounding me before opening my eyes. I opened them as slowly as possible as I didn't want the dream to dispel just as I managed to get a hold of it in my grasp.
I was right.
I was in Mystic Falls.
Well – on the outskirts.
I was stood by the 'Welcome to Mystic Falls' sign as I scanned the familiar surroundings. I turned around in a slow circle, smiling a little at the feeling of home which was seeping into my bones. I shouldn't let myself feel like this; it was only going to make it harder when I woke up. But I couldn't help it, it was so comforting. Knowing mostly everyone I loved was within the walls of this town; going about living their lives like any other normal day.
I took a small step forward, pausing when nothing happened I steeled myself and took another forward.
I spun on my heel, gasping in surprise at the voice. Jason was standing behind me, his face twisted into something between sadness and hope. "Jason?" I asked, taking a small step forward to where he was standing. "Jason, what are you doing here?"
"Don't you love me Elena? I love you. You know I do." He whispered, ignoring my question and speaking as though he was in a trance; his facial expression not changing.
I frowned; half-way forgetting this was a dream. He wasn't actually here; it was all a figure of my imagination. So I was really talking to myself; but I couldn't help but respond. "Of course I love you Jason."
He outstretched his hand towards me, a slight smile on his lips. "Then come with me."
I balked; I wanted to go with him. I did. But he was away from my home; and it was right here. I took a deep breath: I had left Mystic Falls behind with the intention to move on. I could and I did. I stepped forward towards Jason and his smile widened.
Jason's smile dropped. I froze and slowly pivoted on my heels to face Damon who was now standing where I was heading a minute ago. I should have known this was going to happen.
"Damon." I breathed.
Damon smiled crookedly when I said his name. "Hello Elena." He drawled.
He was acting more like himself than Jason was. I looked back over my shoulder at Jason who was still standing there, his arm still out stretched. "What's going on?" I whispered.
"You have to make a choice." Jason took a little step forward, but halted in his steps as if something was stopping him from moving. He frowned. "Elena, let me in."
I frowned. "What do you mean: let you in? I'm not doing anything." I watched as he tried to take another step forward but failed. "And what do you mean: make a choice." Although I had a very good idea on what he meant. And dreaded it being confirmed.
"You have to decide Elena. Me or Jason." Damon also tried to step closer but failed. He regarded me closely with his intense blue eyes; before shrugging and stepping back, he clearly accepted what was happening unlike Jason who was still trying to get forward. Damon rolled his eyes at Jason. "Elena. You can't keep holding out forever." His eyes moved back to mine and I could swear I saw a flash of hurt in them before he covered it up.
I know what he meant. I was standing on a thin line. On one side was Jason and the other Damon. At the moment the Mystic Falls sign represented that line, on one side was Damon (the side closer to home) and the other was Jason. The side which took me away from everything I knew as home, everything I used to hold dear. But although it was clear here which side was which the lines were actually very blurry, and that was why I couldn't - no didn't - want to choose.
Although Jason may be taking me away from home and everything I once thought of as safe. He was the safer option. He loved me and I loved him. He listened to me, understood most of my decisions and let me make my own choices without question. With him it was warm and fun. I had a life already, a job and new friends. It was a new life; one I actually aimed for when I left Mystic Falls. It was simple, clean and uncomplicated.
Which was where Damon was different. With him every little thing was messy and complicated. The feelings between us were different and incomprehensible. It was constant push push pull and embrace. But when we were together I knew he would do anything for me; he would protect me even with his own life. In his mind nothing would separate us and his love was unconditional. Damon was dangerous, the life with him maybe closer to home and what I missed but it was also as far as I could get. I would never know where I would end up; every turn could be something new or something which would kill me. I would never know whether I was coming or going. It would be a life of constant surprises, never safe but also more safe than anyone could imagine. It would be as far from simple as I could get.
Sometime or another I had to choose; just like I did with Stefan. I left him behind for Katherine so that my friends and family would be safe. I couldn't keep them both hanging in the balance forever, just like I couldn't keep hanging here in the middle forever. Sooner or later I was going to choose, it just depended whether I stepped off or I fell off.
I put my head in my hands and shook my head. I couldn't choose. Not yet.
"Elena. Please." I peeked through my hands at Jason, who was standing, watching me. His voice was pleading, and I knew it was because he didn't want to lose me. I bit my lip and glanced at Damon, immediately my eyes locked onto his. He didn't speak, he didn't need to; he was showing everything he felt in his eyes. The longing, love, lust and desire. And underneath, the emotions he was trying to hide, the despair of always losing, the hopelessness, the fear of being let down and pushed away once more.
I gulped and buried my head into my hands once again. "I can't – I can't choose -" It was too much, I couldn't cope.
"Well." A voice drawled slowly. "You're going to have to choose eventually." I looked up in shock; Katherine had appeared from nowhere and was standing behind Damon. He gulped and turned slightly to eye her before quickly turning back to me. He smiled weakly as if he knew this was going to happen.
"You can't have the both of them. Just like you couldn't have the both of us." I spun on my heels and my eyes widened in disbelief. There was Stefan, standing behind Jason.
Jason's eyes widened and a look of panic crossed his face: he obviously knew about this too. "Elena. Let me in, please." He begged.
I stood, frozen and watched the two new people to appear. Somewhere in my head a voice was shouting at me that this was all a dream; but it was to quiet for me to make sense of it.
"You have to choose Elena. If you don't then you don't get either of them." Stefan swiftly moved forward and grabbed Jason harshly by the shoulders.
Jason tried to shrug him off but Stefan tightened his grasp, Jason whimpered in pain and looked helplessly at me. "Please."
I took a step towards Jason. "Stefan let him go." I whispered, feeling tears well up in my eyes. "Don't do this, please."
"Is Jason your final choice Elena?" Katherine taunted. "Let's test that shall we?" Before I could answer Damon breathed in sharply and groaned in pain.
I spun around, my breath hitching when my eyes landed on Damon locked tightly in Katherine's grasp. Her left arm was curled around his waist to hold him up as he hunched over in pain, her right hand had a stake punctured into his side. "Leave him alone!"
She smirked wickedly. "Hmm, seems as though you haven't made your mind up."
"You choose, we let that one live. You don't choose, they both die." I turned to face Stefan, tears over spilling. He grinned. "Your choice." As I watched he grasped Jason's hair and yanked his head to the side to give him access to his throat.
"Please, please don't hurt them."
Katherine faked a yawn. "Choose and we will only kill one." She grinned. "Hurry up. Time's ticking."
I shook my head. "Don't kill them, either of them. Please." I pressed the palms of my hands into my closed eyelids. This was not happening.
She chuckled. "Maybe you need a little incentive." My eyes flashed open and I watched in horror as she pulled the stake from Damon slowly so he grunted in pain and squeezed his eyes shut; before stabbing it harshly into the unclosed wound. Damon cried out in pain and his eyes flew open, his eyes glazed over and locking onto mine.
There was a sharp cry in pain from behind me and I wrenched my eyes from Damon's and turned in time to watch Stefan sink his teeth partly into Jason's neck. His eyes filled with tears, which quickly over spilled. His eyes drooped slightly and Stefan pulled back, his face covered in blood and grinning widely.
"Stop. Stop it please." I begged, my legs giving way beneath me, I stumbled but regained my balance.
"Hmm…you don't seem to be taking us seriously." Katherine grinned maliciously and Stefan chuckled.
"I – I am taking you seriously. Don't – don't kill them."
She tutted. "You're not choosing Elena." She looked down at Damon, who was still hunched over in pain; barely awake. "It's shame really. He was great in bed." She laughed. "Oh well, times up."
"No!" I cried.
She looked up curiously. "Are you going to choose Elena?" She shifted Damon in her arms and he groaned in pain. She locked her eyes onto mine. "Last chance."
I looked at Damon, hunched over in pain his eyes halfway closed but still trailed on me, the icy blue slightly dimmed. Jason was slumped in Stefan's arms, his eyes tightly closed but he was whimpering in pain, his breathing rapidly increasing. They both meant so much to me; how was it possible to choose knowing that the other would die? "I – I choose-" My breath hitched and I couldn't force the words past my lips. I didn't want anyone to die; no one was supposed to die.
"Tick tock Elena."
I dropped my head and closed my eyes, my body shaking. My head and my heart were telling me two different things; which one should I follow? I never knew whether to follow my heart or my head.
"Times up." Stefan shrugged as if it meant nothing and once again dug his teeth into Jason's throat. This time obviously with the intention to kill. Jason cried out, thrashing wildly in Stefan's arms but he held on, while hungrily keeping his mouth to his throat.
"Say bye bye." Katherine giggled and thrust her hand through Damon's chest to his heart. He gasped in pain, his eyes opening all the way and locking onto mine, alert and full of pain.
I took a small step in his direction. "Damon." I whispered, my voice wavering.
"Elena." He murmured. "Wake up."
I frowned, and shook my head. "Wha-?"
"-Wake up Elena." Jason cried, his body slowly losing strength. "You have to wake up!"
"Wake up!" Damon repeated his eyes begging and full of pain. "You need to wake up."
They both gasped in pain, as Katherine yanked on Damon's heart and Jason's final strength left him. I squeezed my eyes shut so I didn't have to watch. "Wake up." I muttered to myself. It didn't make any sense. "Wake up."
I jolted up in bed, my eyes flying open. "No!" I screamed into the dark room.
"Elena! Elena. It was a dream." Jason was crouched beside me on the bed, his hand running through my hair. "Just a dream." He soothed.
My breathing was heavy and my eyes were wet; obviously from crying. "No. No no no no." I shook my head, my hand grasping onto the bed sheets.
"Shh. Elena. It was a dream."
I turned to look at Jason. My eyes immediately landing on his neck…no bite mark. I breathed out slowly in relief, my body shivering. He grabbed the blanket from the bottom of the bed and wrapped it around my shoulders. I gulped. "I can't – I can't ever – go home." I muttered.
He frowned. "What are you talking about?"
"I can never go home." I reached my hand out in the darkness, searching for some kind of contact. But I couldn't find his hand.
"Why can you never go home?" He climbed off the bed, obviously not as worried now I knew I was awake.
"I – I just can't. It's not safe, it was never safe. And now it's not safe here." I shook my head. "It's all my fault."
"Why was it never safe 'Lena?"
I clamped my mouth shut, I had just revealed more about my past to him than ever before. "It just wasn't." I paused, squinting into the darkness. "What time is it?"
He frowned, obviously knowing I was changing the conversation. He shook his head as if telling himself some other time. "Just past seven."
"Why is it so dark?"
"I have the curtains closed." I heard him walk over to the thick curtains and immediately light filled the room. I blinked past the sudden bright intrusion into my eyes. "I decided to close them last night." He shrugged. "I don't know why."
I frowned, peering at him closely but he seemed genuine. I shook it off; I had other things to think of than Jason closing the curtains at night for the first time. "Okay." I muttered.
"Listen. I know this is probably the last thing you want to hear. Since you just had your work's party last night." He sat down on the edge of the bed and smiled at me. "But I promised Sarah a birthday night out tonight; since it's her birthday tomorrow." He ran his hand through his hair. "And you're invited too, you're her best friend. She expects you to be there."
I winced, and looked away from him. I didn't consider Sarah as a friend anymore. Who would? Friend's weren't supposed to try and kill each other. She obviously hasn't told Jason about our 'non-friendship.' "I don't feel too good."
He frowned. "She's going to be twenty five Elena. This isn't about you, it's about her. She deserves a good night out with friends."
I didn't think she deserved anything, maybe a taste of her own medicine. I winced, when did I start to think so aggressively? I sighed. Sarah was around three years older than me, we met through Jason. I was twenty two and she was twenty five tomorrow; I smiled slightly when I realized she would be past Damon's physical age. He was physically twenty four. I don't know why that pleased me so much, I was sure Damon has been with women way past his physical age. "Fine."
"What?" Jason frowned.
"I said fine. I'll go." I snapped. "Just don't blame me if I throw up everywhere." It wasn't Jason's fault; he didn't know anything. But forcing me to go to something I didn't want to do, when it was clear I wasn't 100% didn't seem fair. I shook the thought away; life wasn't fair.
"Good. Were leaving at 7." He nodded and stood up from the bed. Before he left the room he turned back. "I'll bring you breakfast." He shut the door behind him as he left.
I swallowed and slumped back down onto my back. When had my life got so complicated again? Oh yeah, when Damon strolled back into town. Jason was an amazing boyfriend, he was still making me breakfast because we argued last night even though he was now mad at me again. I couldn't help the wave of guilt that washed through me. Here he was making my breakfast and I was going around kissing his sister's boyfriend. I groaned into my pillow thinking about tonight. Damon was going to be there and so was Sarah, and more than likely Nick. Great. I closed my eyes while I waited for my breakfast. I had a dreadful feeling about tonight.
I was standing in front of my mirror, staring down my reflection. I hadn't seen Jason since he had given me my breakfast. He had left this morning and had not come back until half an hour ago. I could hear him in the shower, it was now 6.30 and he had half an hour to get ready so we could meet everyone at the bar.
I was wearing a floor length silk red dress, which had a slit up the front of the dress so you could see my leg. The front was cut into a deep v-neck with little diamonds around the edge of the V. The straps crossed over my back and the dress dipped down till just above my waist line leaving my back bare. I had curled my hair and pulled it back, pinning it to one side in an up do. I was wearing silver high heels which had an open toe, so you could see my red painted toe nails. I had finished my make-up, keeping it mostly light so it complimented the dress and it wasn't too much. I was holding my earrings in my hand, and as I heard the shower switch off I quickly put the long silver diamond ears in my ear and stood back.
I smiled at myself in the mirror; you wouldn't be able to tell that I didn't want to go out tonight. I sighed, looking longingly at my trackies and vest top lying on the bed. I just wanted to crawl into them, climb into bed and watch a good chick flick with Ben and Jerry. I still didn't think this was a good idea; I had to face Damon, Sarah and Nick all at once. I just wanted to crawl into a corner and hide there.
"You ready 'Lena?" Jason walked out of the bathroom, already dressed and his hair still slightly damp.
Why did he get changed in there? Was he that mad at me? I covered up my grimace and plastered a bright smile on my face. He deserved it after my mood earlier and he hadn't done anything. It wasn't his fault that Sarah tried to kill me. "Mmhmm. Just give me a sec." I replied, grabbing my favourite perfume and quickly spraying myself. It always relaxed me. I turned and grabbed my bag and smiled at Jason. "All ready."
He nodded and left the room, grabbing his suit jacket on the way out and tossing it over his shoulder. I hesitated a second, glancing at the bed quickly before following him out the door and down the stairs, grabbing my jacket from the banister as we passed. I slipped it on as I climbed into the passenger seat; Jason not meeting my eyes the whole time.
I sighed and slumped back into my seat. "I'm sorry."
He turned to look at me slightly before turning back to the road and starting the car. He nodded. "I know."
"Forgive me?" I tilted my head.
He muttered something under his breath which I didn't catch, but he smiled all the same. "Yes. I forgive you. Let's just enjoy tonight."
I nodded. "Okay." I paused a second, giving him a once over. "I love you." I stated, refusing to admit to myself that I was actually saying it to reassure myself.
He glanced my way, his eyes softening, a small smile gracing his features. "I love you too 'Lena."
I returned his smile and kept it on my face for the rest of the journey to the bar. I still had the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and no matter how much I smiled; it wouldn't go away.
I'm sorry for any grammar mistakes or typo's. I haven't proof read this chapter; I just wanted it uploaded knowing you all have been waiting for it.
I don't know if you realized but Jason was softer in this chapter in parts. I was trying to show you all how much of a hard choice Elena is going through in choosing one of them. She is stuck, and doesn't know what to do… :L.
I have some bad news… I won't be able to update for a little while. I have exams coming up and I need to study for them if I am going to actually pass. So I hope you will still be here when I do update in a few months time. I will try and write whenever I have two minutes to spare but don't expect something amazing anytime soon.
Thank you, you all are truly amazing readers. Keep reviewing, alerting and favouriting. I may not be updating for a while but I will always read your reviews. They mean so much to me! :D