BurningRoses: Thanks. Yep, she does.

Long Live BRUCAS: Yes, she does. Yep. Ah, we'll see.

Luzith: You're welcome.


The Vampire Diaries belongs to L.J. Smith and the CW. I only own the plot.

When Elena regained consciousness, she was surprised to see her in Stefan's house. She was further surprised to find herself in his bed.

"What---what happened?" she murmured.

"You're awake," Stefan sighed in relief. She opened her eyes to see Damon and Stefan sitting on the edge of the bed.

"It worked?" Elena asked.

"Yeah. You did good," Damon answered.

"How'd we get out of the hospital?" Elena wondered.

"I glamoured them. As far as they know, we were nowhere near the place last night," Damon responded.

"Good. No hard questions," she approved. Then, "Speaking of questions, what exactly happened to Stefan?" The brothers stared at each other.

"It was a vampire…that I knew from a long time ago," Stefan admitted haltingly. "It---it wasn't a good situation for me."

"And now he's dead. Never to bother him again," Damon stated brusquely. At the tone, Elena turned to him.

"You killed him."

"Yeah, well, he bugged me." Elena laughed.

"More like you found out what he was doing and went medieval on him."

"Dream on, girlie."

"Oh, please. I'd do the same thing if I found out someone was messin' with Jeremy." Damon just stared at her. How could she just read him like that? It was annoying.

"And if I haven't said it yet, Damon, thank you. He would've killed me," Stefan said.

"Yeah, not on my watch. I told you: no one's killin' you but me," Damon shot back.

"Oh, what a tough guy," Elena teased.

"Whatever. You guys are lame. I'm out of here," Damon said, standing up. He clasped Stefan's shoulder, squeezed it, and then flew off. They laughed.

"Yeah, he's real tough," Elena sarcastically commented. Then, "How are you feeling? Did you gen enough?"

"I got plenty. How about you? Do you want anything?"

"Um, water, if you don't mind."

"Of course." He went downstairs, got the desired beverage, and then came back up, and handed it to her. She took it and sipped it as he sat on the bed next to her.

"What are we going to tell my aunt?"

"Bonnie told her that you were staying with her. And Jeremy's fine as well. Worried about you though." Elena nodded.

"Let him know that I'm okay."

"I will." Stefan fell silent.

"What? What is it?"

"I know what you did for me. And I know it was the only way, but---"

"Don't. Stefan, don't." As she interrupted him, Elena carefully sat up. "I made the decision of my own free will. No one compelled me to do it. And if I had to do it all over again, I would."

"That's what scares me. That you would make that kind of sacrifice for me. Elena, I never meant---"

"Stop. You're not going to win this argument. I wanted to do it, so I did it." The vampire sighed and gave a small smile.

"Thank you. I mean it…thank you." He took her hand and squeezed it.