Title: Falling Slowly

Author: Marcalbabe

Summary: Elena Gilbert is starting her senior year of high school. Being in one of the richest families and being in the most popular click definitely suggests that she's got everything, but her life is far from perfect. She finds comfort and kinship in a fellow teacher. Will it lead to more? And what will happen when she goes through her darkest struggle yet?

Rating: R and eventual NC17

Disclaimer: Sadly I do not own Paul. Nor do I own Nina. This all purely fan-based.

Author Notes: This story will eventually deal with rape. And there is a bit of controversy seeing as it does deal with a student/teacher eventually getting together. Stefan is 24 and Elena is 17. And everyone's human, all alternate universe.

Chapter 1


Elena Gilbert groaned for what seemed like the hundredth time.

It was her first day of senior year and she could not find her last class of the day.

She really thought she'd covered this whole building during orientation back when she'd started freshman year.

Apparently not, She ruefully decided.

Elena's apprehension grew when she saw the yellow color of the lockers.

"This is freshman wing!" Elena whimpered, putting her head in her hands. "Not good, so not good..."

She looked over at the clock and felt her tension mount.

If she didn't get a move on and figure out where in the hell she was supposed to be pronto, she was gonna be late.

That word was so foreign to her.

Elena Gilbert was going to be late.

Elena could not be late, that just was not an option. She'd never been late for a thing in her life, and she sure as shit wasn't going to start now.

She looked up at the clock and realized she may not have a choice in the matter.

Elena Gilbert was gonna be late for class and get...detention.

She could feel her nerves build up as she thought about what her parents would say...what they would do...to her.

Life really was a bitch and than you died was all Elena Gilbert could think right at this very moment.

Elena looked at the clock hanging on the wall.

Two minutes left.

Maybe if she really hauled ass, she could get the hell off this wing.

Elena took off and started racing down the halls again. She was half way to the yellow lockers when she felt herself slam into a solid form, the impact of the force crashing them both to the ground.

Elena moaned at the pain she felt in her back as fell to the ground. She could've sworn it cracked.

Not wanting this stranger she'd crashed into to see her tears, she hid her face in the floor.

"Oh my God," A young man's voice said full of worry and sorrow. "Kid, are you okay?"

Elena took in a deep breath as she struggled to stop her tears. She couldn't let this guy see her cry, she couldn't.

"Of course you're not," The guy continued. "I saw how you fell, straight onto your back. I bet it hurts like hell." She felt him gently touch her shoulder. "Here, let me help you up. I'll take you the nurse's office."

At that statement, Elena found the strength to make her tears stop. That could not happen. If she went to the nurse's office, they'd call her parents, and if they called her parents, her parents would come down here and if her parents came down here....

Elena felt her head spin at those ideas. Oh, no, no, no. That just was not an option.

Elena lifted her head and any words that were going to come out of her mouth completely died when her eyes met his.

Right in front of her face was the most gorgeous guy she'd ever laid eyes upon before in her life.

Their eyes met and for a brief second she felt like he was looking right into her soul and she was looking right into his.

"Hey," The guy gently touched her face and it made her shiver. "you're not gonna pass out on me, are you?" He shook his head. "You know what, it's okay. I'll just carry you to the office and it'll be okay..."

Just like that, Elena got her senses back. "No!" She quickly shouted. "I don't need to go see the nurse. I am fine, I promise."

He looked hesitant. "Are you sure? You took a pretty bad fall."

Elena smiled at his obvious concern. Back in the fifth grade she'd broken her arm falling out of a tree and her dad couldn't even be bothered to go to the hospital with her. She didn't even know this guy and he seemed to care more than her dad did.

"I'm positive." Elena assured him. "I'm sorry about knocking into you like that. Are you alright?"

He nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine." He looked into her eyes with a look she couldn't quite define. "You know, in the future you may not want to run so fast," His brow furrowed as she detected a hint of scolding in them. "Or at all."

"Right," Elena quickly responded. "I shouldn't have ran into you at all, and I am so sorry about that. I never run like that usually, I promise."

Her eyes scanned over at the fallen papers out of a briefcase and she felt her heart stop.

A teacher.

She'd just ran into a fucking teacher.

Scratch that, she'd just been crushing on a teacher.

Just great, She thought worriedly. My first day was going fine and the last hour of the day, I'm gonna get detention for running in the halls and knocking a teacher down in the process. Just fucking great.

The older guy suddenly broke out into a laugh. "Relax kid, I'm just messing with you."

Elena's eyes shot up. "Huh?" She already felt herself being so into him and the phrase 'messing with you' caused her mind to go places it really shouldn't be going with a teacher.

He looked at her amused. "I was joking. You know? It's that thing where someone says something and it's like meant to be one of those things that makes the other person--"

"Right, right!" Elena laughed nervously. "I get it. I get what joking means. I'm not retarded."

He laughed along with her. "I'm sure you're not. You do seem like you might be a little lost though, Miss…"

"Gilbert." Elena supplied and didn't miss the look of recognition in the man's eyes. Sadly everyone in town knew of her family. "Elena Gilbert. Sorry, I seem to have forgotten my manners along with my common sense all of a sudden."

He laughed again. "Hey, it's fine. First days can be very rocky. Nice to meet you, Elena Gilbert. I am Stefan Salvatore."

Elena was surprised. Teachers never introduced themselves to her by their full name. There was something so different about him. Almost like he could be the kind of guy she could talk to, even with him being a teacher and all.

Stefan seemed to catch on to her surprise and he elaborated. "I like to try and get to know my students, so giving them my full name just seems to help ease things along."

Elena smiled. "What makes you think I'm one of your students?"

"Senior, right?" Stefan said, pointing to her id pass.

Elena lightly chuckled. "You caught me."

Stefan laughed also. "Well, seeing as with you being a senior and all….you have to take psychology in order to graduate…"

"So, you're my psych teacher." Elena realized, her eyes held noticeable relief.

"You seem happy about that." Stefan noted. "Aw, were you worried you were gonna wind up with Mr James?"

Elena nodded. "Immensely."

Stefan laughed. "I would up stick for him, but he can be kind of a di--" He broke off as if he realized that he was talking to a student and not some girl he'd just met that was his own age. "Jerk. Big jerk."

This time it was Elena's turn to smile at him in amusement. "I think I'm gonna like you, Mr Salvatore."

Stefan smiled. "I think I'm gonna like you too, Elena." He reached down and helped her gather her papers and books.

"Thank you," Elena smiled gratefully. "although, shouldn't I be doing that? I mean, I did run into you. Still sorry about that."

Stefan looked up at her, his eyes suddenly serious. "Well, just don't do it again. This is a school, not a playground."

Elena nodded, worry in her eyes. "I so will not, I promise. I was trying to find your class and not be late, but that's no excuse. I shouldn't have…"

"Elena, Elena!" Stefan cut her off with a slight laugh. "I am messing with you!"

"Oh," Elena said and than gave a small smile. "You have to stop doing that to me. You're like giving me two strokes in five minutes."

"I'm that intimidating, huh?" Stefan smirked.

Elena rolled her eyes, feeling completely at ease with him now. "You're a teacher. You could screw up my college plans, not to mention my record. Coming from two parents who expect nothing but perfection…"

"That's just a parent's right." Stefan smiled at her. "If they didn't love you, they wouldn't be on your case. Remember that."

"I wish they did," Elena muttered, sadness entering her eyes.

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. You okay?" Stefan asked with concern.

Elena quickly plastered on a fake smile. "Yeah, I'm fine." A bell rings.

Stefan laughed. "Well, I am totally late."

"Me too," Elena replied. "I was lost though, what's your excuse?"

Stefan appeared to look thoughtful before replying. "Injured by a student."

Elena laughed. "You're funny."

He shrugged. "Hey, I try." He picked up his briefcase and stood up. "C'mon, I'll show you to class. Unless, you were planning on skipping?"

Elena smirked. "Oh my parents would just love that! On second thought, maybe I'll do that. It's always nice to freak them out."

"You're mean." Stefan noted with a hint of amusement.

Elena rolled her eyes. "Oh, you don't know my parents."

Elena stood up and she felt a shooting pain rip through her back. "Son of a bitch!" She slumped back to the ground and quickly covered her mouth. She really needed to quit while she was ahead with this guy.

Stefan felt himself slightly chuckle at the look of mortification on the girl's face for swearing in front of him.

"Oh god. Please, don't give me a detention Mr Salvatore." Elena pleaded, tears nearly coming into her eyes and it made Stefan's eyes soften. This poor girl was really afraid. "I wasn't expecting to feel such a sharp pain in my back like that, I'd never swear normally and..."

"Elena, Elena!" Stefan knelt down to her level. "I am not going to give you a detention, okay? You're not even in my class yet and you didn't really do anything wrong. I get why you sweared." He gave her a small smile. "Take my hand, I'll help you walk to the nurse's office."

"No!" Elena instantly responded. "I don't need to go, I'm fine."

Stefan raised his eyebrow at her stubbornness. "Wow, you are really strong willed. Most girls would be happy to go to the nurse's station and get out of school an hour early."

"Yeah, well I'm not most girls, okay? I have no one to come get me anyway." Elena told him. "My parents are really busy people and I have to keep moving. Life is hard and you can't just quit the moment things get rough."

Stefan looked at her stunned. This girl couldn't be any older than seventeen, but he could've sworn he was talking to a twenty six year old. "I don't care how busy your parents are, Elena....they're your parents. It's their job to take care of you."

Yeah right, Elena thought bitterly. They have never taken care of me. They may put a roof over my head and give me a five thousand dollar credit limit every month, but they haven't shown me love ever.

"I can take care of me, okay?" Elena responded. "I really need to finish this day. Don't make me go home, please."

Stefan seemed to consider her for a moment before nodding his head. "I admire your strength, Elena." Stefan gently took her hand in his, helping her stand and watching her grimace. "I'm still taking you to the nurse's station. Make sure your back isn't fractured."

Elena sighed. "Fine, okay. If you must. I don't want my parents bothered though, okay? They are busy people. They wouldn't be happy if you called them."

Stefan helped Elena walk down the hallway, his arm around her waist.

"They can't be that bad," Stefan insisted.

"Tell ya what, you meet them and than we'll talk." Elena retorted.