When Elena asks me to convince my brother not to take the cure, I selfishly jump on board.
Damon loves being a vampire. More importantly, he's good at being one. He enjoys the thrill, and he enjoys having so much power over other people. Always one step ahead of everyone else, smarter, better, faster. More evolved. Being a vampire didn't change him much, not like it changed me. Being a vampire only weakened my weaknesses, turning them into a weapon of self destruction. He was always a bit aggressive, ill tempered, angry when things wouldn't go his way. Sometimes I thought that he's too vicious for a human, despite his sweet, loving and protective side. Vampirism just gave him the right tools to express all that.
If he becomes human, there's going to be a price on his head. Not only his, Elena's as well. Elena was a young vampire, no one knew about her, so her heart starting up again didn't create this big shift in the universe. But Damon's been on this planet for a long time. A lot of people know him, and he has a lot of enemies. It's only a matter of time until someone finds out about it and both Elena and him end up in danger, and I would be damned if the information about their location came from me. Which means I would have to keep my distance from both of them.
It seems as if I only got my brother back yesterday. I'm not ready to lose him again. And that's incredibly selfish coming from someone like me. I'm putting my fear of loneliness in front of his happiness. I never knew I had it in me, but I guess more than a century of being alone does that to you - instills such fear in your bones that they rattle at the mere idea of going through it again.
Would he be happy with a human life, though?
I don't know. Maybe. That's for him to decide. I remember the time when I would have done the same - take the cure so I can spend the rest of my life with her, no matter how long it lasts. Without thinking it through. Without giving it a second thought. I would have left him for her as well, once upon a time, so how do I even dare ask him not to leave me?
So I don't ask him. I don't make him choose. Partially because it's unfair, partially because I'm afraid to hear his answer. I know that he would choose Elena over me any day of the year.
I don't blame him, I would do the same.
So I leave him to his thoughts. He has a big decision to make. I have to show him that I trust him to make a wise one, even if it's for the first, and the last time.
The only thing I can think about while putting on my tux are his carefully laid out plans. He actually thought it through, their life together.
They would move to New York. He owns a bar there. There's an apartment above it, in a close proximity to a medical school she would go to.
I button up my shirt as the memories about the future I've tried to implement in his brain haunt me. It's not the thought of seeing them either happy or sad that unsettles me, it's the thought of them sharing a human life together than makes my fingers convulse and my teeth squeak. No matter what kind of a life they share. And what kind of a person thinks like that? What kind of a person that makes me?
I throw my jacket over my shoulders, squeezing my arms into tight sleeves.
She's beautiful when she's doing something she loves, and humans do a lot of things at the same time because they're aware of how limited their time on this planet is, which Elena would be especially, after the life she had. She would try to smile everyday, no matter how much it wrecks her.
And I envy him for that, for taking a part in that beauty 356 days in a year, and then all over again, repeating the whole circle. If they reach old age, that's more than 21,000 days of seeing her smile, which is still too little.
Ah. Yeah. You sound like me four years ago. Elena and me.. we were soulmates too.
I told him that only to get him angry. To show him how fickle love is. How sometimes things don't go the way you plan them, and that life decides to throw in few extra curve balls just for fun.
But when I think about it now, I repeat it bitterly inside of my head.
I remember when I first heard about the cure few years ago. I remember what I said to Rebekah. If it meant that I got to be with her, have children, grow old with her.. if it meant that we'd die together, get buried together.. then yes, I'd take the cure.
If she were still around, she would probably laugh in my face, and I would have died of shame of how close to tears I am. I was so silly to think that, to even dare to consider the possibility of it, when a part of me already knew that she's already too far gone for me to reach.
I can't see her laughing at me, though, but rather closing the distance between a glass of wine and her mouth, spreading over the length of my couch and saying - one would think you would learn by now that love is not meant for people like us.
And what kind of people are we?
How can I think that when I saw it so clearly in my head? I saw our unrealistic, impossible future together, and it felt so real, so close, so touchable. Like the life I'm living now is a dream, and I'm going to wake up soon. I would go downstairs where she's making breakfast to our children and I would tell her all about the crazy dream I've had.
And now my brother is contemplating that kind of life with the only woman who made me feel even remotely human in 160 years and all I can feel is jealousy.
I shake my head.
I shouldn't be.
I have no right to be.
I see her talking to Caroline who flees as soon as she senses me in the close proximity to her.
One more thing I've managed to fuck up. I hope there's no one out there keeping the score.
"I'm not used to scaring people away."
I can hear her heart beat and it's such a pleasant melody. That was the sound that used to wake me up in the mornings.
I don't know if I'm imagining it, since it's only been a day, but there's already a shift in her. She looks differently. Smells differently. Like human Elena is a completely different person. Maybe I'm wishing she is. Maybe I'm expecting a shift in her.
Because the last time she had to fill her lungs with air, it was to sustain my kisses.
"People are uncomfortable around Salvatores in tuxes." She says in that voice of hers, when she knows she's going to say something funny or witty, but she doesn't want to let it show. "It stirs.." she cocks her head and glues her eyes to my chest.
I wait for her to bite her lower lip like she used to.
She doesn't do it.
I remember reading somewhere that dimples are a minor imperfection in the skin caused by a shortened muscle.
There's nothing imperfect about her.
"Uh, oh, Elena's human again," I return the smile, "Am I sensing another brother swap?"
I say only half jokingly.
I think a part of me was hoping for her feelings to shift once she becomes human, and I always knew she's going to, one way or another. She was never meant for a vampire life and no matter what she may think, she's worse at it than I am.
I guess I've been waiting for that to happen. A part of me will always be waiting for her.
A part of me will never stop wishing her back.
She laughs earnestly, and I smile proudly at that small victory. I've made her laugh.
I skip from one foot to another like a schoolboy.
She asks me how I really feel about Damon becoming human. She tells me that I can be honest with her. I tell her that I don't want to lose him, and that I feel selfish for wishing he would stay a vampire just so he can stay in my life.
I'm not afraid to say such things in her presence. She understands. She always did, even when I didn't.
As I watch her leave, I think about what a fool Damon would be not to become human with her.
And once again, I'm overwhelmed by jealousy.
Maybe in some other life.
Maybe in some other life I'll meet her again, and we'll get another chance.
And oh God, please, let me remember all the things I've done wrong so next time I can do them right.
AN: What I hate the most is how writers took away Stefan's ability to feel. They stripped him of basic human emotions. Jealousy, longing, envy, selfishness, wishing - while all of these might be negative emotions, they're completely normal and expected. People are not made out of their initial thoughts and reactions, but out of their actions. And Stefan is allowed to feel all of these things.