Title: Did It for Love
Author: KristosLilly
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV show)
Pairings: Bonnie and Damon, Caroline and Matt, Elena and Stefan, et al
Summary: AU. This is a series of one shots that jump around time-wise. Some of the one shots will be angsty, some fluffy, and some, a bit of both extremes.


Aging
May 14, 2017

"Elena, Elena, open the damn door!" Caroline Forbes-Donovan called, pounding on the screen. "It's like ninety degrees out today and –" She looked over at her companion, Elena's other best friend, Bonnie. "Screw this waiting; I'm going inside."

Bonnie smirked at Caroline. "Ever the patient one, I see," she said as she pulled back the door. "Pregnant, hormonal ladies first."

Caroline rolled her eyes. "I am not hormonal! But I am pregnant and fat as an Orca which means I am going to sweat. A lot. It's cruel to leave friends standing on the doorstep on a sweltering day like this," Caroline called out pointedly. "Elena, are you here or not?"

Just as the two young women were starting to become worried about their other friend, Elena walked into the living room. "Hey, guys," she greeted them with a weary smile. "When did you get here?"

"Like ten minutes ago," Caroline said.

"Three minutes. Tops," Bonnie amended. "But seriously, Caroline was bellowing loud enough that I was sure they could hear her in Romania. Wait… What's wrong?" She peered closely at Elena. Their friend had dark circles under her eyes and looked like she had aged ten years over night. She looked just plain tired.

"It's Stefan," Elena said, sinking down onto the sofa like her legs couldn't hold her tiny body upright any longer.

Caroline looked at Bonnie. Bonnie's eyebrows furrowed. "What's wrong with Stefan?" Bonnie asked.

"Nothing except… He's not aging."

"Well isn't that sort of a vampire thing?" Caroline said. "I mean, he's forever seventeen and we're already middle-aged."

"We are not middle-aged," Bonnie protested. "Twenty-five is not middle age."

"But we are getting older," Elena said. "While Stefan is not. And that's a big problem."

"Of course it is," Caroline said. "But then again, men do age better than women anyway, so I bet if you just buy something to smooth out some of those frown lines –"

"Caroline," Bonnie said. "You're not helping here."

"I was offering one alternative. Of course there is one other…"

"To become a vampire myself," Elena said.

"Yes," Caroline said.

"But I never wanted to be a vampire," Elena said. "Never. I love Stefan with all my heart but I can't imagine surviving on drinking rabbit's blood for the rest of … eternity. Plus, there's something so beautiful about being alive… You girls know what I mean."

"You don't have to feed off Thumper though," Caroline said. "You could feed off actual people. If I remember correctly from my early encounters with Damon, it's a rather erotic feeling too."

Bonnie rolled her eyes. "Can we please not go there?"

"I'm just being honest," Caroline said. "I feel old and fat and gross. If I wasn't pregnant, I might consider having someone turn me. I don't want to get any older!"

Elena sighed and rubbed her forehead as if Caroline was giving her a monster headache. "We're all getting older, like it or not." Her eyes moved to Caroline's protruding belly and held there for a long moment. "Caroline, you're lucky though. So fortunate that you have a son and now another baby on the way. I'm never going to have that with Stefan."

Bonnie reached for Elena's hand and gave it a squeeze. "Are you having second thoughts about being with Stefan?"

"No, of course not... I just know that it's going to be really hard to explain when I'm eighty and wrinkly as a prune why Stefan still looks like he just stepped out of Tiger Beat." She squeezed Bonnie's hand in return. "Stefan says because he's not aging… Well, people are going to get suspicious of him and we could all be in danger."

"So what're you going to do?" Caroline asked.

"Stefan and I have been up every night for a week discussing our options which are admittedly, pretty limited at this point."

"So that's why you have bags under your eyes – no sleep."

"Caroline!" Bonnie shrieked. "You're still not helping."

"It's fine," Elena said. "Caroline wouldn't be Caroline is she wasn't brutally, unrepentantly frank."

"Thanks," Caroline said, "I think."

"Anyway," Elena said with a sigh, "we could only come up with one solution."

"And that is…" Bonnie said.

"We have to leave town."

"What?!" Bonnie and Caroline said in unison.

"You don't mean that. You can't," Bonnie said.

"It's what has to be done," Elena said. "I've already started applying for fellowship positions across the U.S. I can't practice here in Virginia, that's for sure."

"When do you have to leave?"

"Right after med school graduation," Elena said.

"But that's less than two weeks away!" Caroline said.

"I know."

Bonnie bit her lip. "I wish there was something we could do. Believe me, I've looked in my grimoire for any kind of spell that can slow down time or something but nothing like that is in there. You either have to become a vampire or-"

"Accept a life on the run," Elena said. "I know."

"Are you going to leave town with Stefan?"

Elena nodded. "Yes I am. The truth is that I can't imagine my life without him. I don't want to. I'll just have to be grateful for the fifty or so years of life I have left."

XoXoXo

Bonnie and Caroline stayed for hours talking with Elena, trying to cheer her up, but it wasn't taking so easily. She loved Stefan with all of her heart but she was afraid of what the future might bring. If she didn't become a vampire, she would keep aging and one day die and where would that leave Stefan?

She crawled into bed at seven p.m. and quickly fell asleep.

She dreamt.

In her dreams, she saw herself sitting on a porch, looking out over a field of daisies as far as the eye could see. A little girl with dark locks and piercing green eyes played with dolls just beyond her reach. Every time Elena reached for her, called to her, the little sprite moved further and further away until she was just a pinpoint on the horizon. It broke Elena's heart somehow, wrenching a little cry from her lips. She began to ball though when the sky above turned ominously dark and stormy. She stepped off the porch into a downpour and immediately her skin began to peel away until she was but a skeleton. Then her bones became so brittle that they fell apart and she was no more.

She was just ashes.

She woke up sobbing and found herself immediately locked in Stefan's strong embrace. "Shh, shhh, it's okay," Stefan said, smoothing her long hair off of her wet cheeks. "I'm here."

Elena sniffled and curled into his embrace, wanting to get as close to him as she possibly could. Her mouth grazed his broad shoulder and she shivered a bit. "I'm sorry," she said. "I just had the craziest dream."

"What was it about?"

"It didn't make a lot of sense to me," Elena lied. In all honesty, she knew her mind had been taunting her about growing old – specifically growing old and dying; never having a child of her own.

"Tell me what it was about and maybe we can make sense of it together."

"Stefan it's not a big deal."

"Elena, I think it is. I've never seen you get this upset over a dream so-"

"Stefan, leave it alone."

"Does it have anything to do with us leaving Virginia soon?" Stefan pressed.

Elena cringed as she shifted on his lap a bit. "I don't know, maybe a little?"

Stefan leaned over and kissed her teary face. His lips came to linger directly in front of hers. He said in a hoarse whisper, "Just because I have to go, it doesn't mean you have to as well."

Elena's eyes widened. "What do you mean?" She asked, immediately alarmed.

"I mean, Elena, I have to go but you don't necessarily. You can stay here in Virginia with your friends and family and grow older. You can have all the things I can't give you – a family, security and –"

"Stefan, no. Hell no. I don't want any of those things, not unless I can have them with you."

"I can't give you a child, Elena. It's the saddest thing to say and hear but we both know it's true. You could find someone else, love someone else, have babies and grandbabies with them and live a long, fulfilled, natural live without having to look over your shoulder, wondering when someone is going to figure out that your boyfriend is a vampire and bring the lynch mob after us."

Elena's eyes welled with new tears. "No, Stefan. I love you and only you. I could never have those things with anyone else."

"But you can't have them with me either, Elena." His voice was low and hoarse. "I'm robbing you."

Elena grabbed him by the front of his button-down shirt. "No, Stefan, you're not. Do I want those things? Do I want to be a mother and see my kids grow up? Yes! But honestly, I want to be with you more. Maybe … maybe you should turn me. Then we can-"

"No."

"Stefan-"

"No, Elena! You don't want to be what I am and your humanity… It's so beautiful, so fragile. You run the risk of turning it off the moment I turn you. I can't let you do that. I have asked far too much of you already. I won't let you give up and become the one thing you were most adamant about not being, not for me."

Tears streaked down Elena's face. "What are we going to do then? We could hide in a cave for the next sixty years but it won't change one thing – I'm going to die, Stefan. One day I will die and you'll be left behind. And as much as I will want you to find new, lasting love, I know you – you would just run from that."

"I don't want anyone but you, Elena. I never will."

"And I don't want anyone else but you," Elena returned. "We'll just leave town like we talked about and deal with everything else another day."

"Elena-"

"It's fine, Stefan," Elena said. "Just hold me okay? Don't let me go tonight."

"Never," Stefan murmured. He kissed her forehead gently and helped her settle back onto the bed. "Get some rest. If you have another nightmare, I'll be here to help you through it."

"Thank you, Stefan."

"Of course. Goodnight, Elena."

"Goodnight."

***Stefan's immortality vs. Elena's mortality is a storyline thread that will feature a bit in this one shot series. Thanks for reading what I have posted so far. Feedback is love!***