A.N. This chapter is Elena's POV after being rescued from the woods by Damon. When she returns to consciousness she is reverting back when she was sent back to earth with the innocence of a child, so part of this will be her view as a child.
hurt to breathe, maybe I should stop.
There was something very wrong.
So much pain, in my legs, my arm, my ribs... my head.
I can't think. Wrong, it is all wrong somehow.
My head feels funny, as if I am not in control of my mind, but the pain subsides, ebbing away like the tide. I struggle against it, I would rather the pain than not being in control of my mind.
"Oh, God, they got to me, whatever is in Damon, whatever possessed him is in me now. "
I feel arms around me. But I no longer cared. It was too late to care.
As I lay there passive and exhausted, I was aware there were emotions that were not mine vaguely passing through my subconscious.
Anger, no. Fury. But towards whom? Frantic worry. Confusion. All these merged into a kaleidoscope of emotion that twisted in upon itself.
Then came a period of time when it seemed I was in a bed.
I tried to wake up, I had to do something. Something important.
But it was futile, every time I attempted to make my way out of the dark, to return to consciousness, I was pushed back under by an unseen hand.
There was a curtain before my eyes, not in the literal sense, but it was there none the less, it was a barrier I could not penetrate, like part of my brain had been turned off. I was in some way aware of what was going on around me, but like a person paralyzed, was trapped inside myself.
I was paralyzed, maybe that was the answer, but how could that be? I was still aware I was in pain, but it was more like a faded memory of pain. Paralyzed people could not feel, what was this?
I was being lifted, the pain flared up white hot, and then just as suddenly, dissipated, then I felt my head being held up, the hands were soft and kind feeling, but cold.
Something was being poured into my mouth; I could not fight, though it tasted worse than anything I had ever before consumed.
Again and again, I had to drink the liquid, but every time I was close enough to resist the foul concoction the pain would return. Then, just as quickly, I would be back in the darkness of my mind, far away from pain and light.
Blood! I was being given blood.
"No, must NOT, fight, Elena, fight!"
No...I was being pulled under again, must... not… Then, ever so quickly, I felt as if I were falling, falling, down, down, down, Ah, I remembered this, This was not the forced, numb paralysis of the mind, but restorative sleep.
I was confused when I first haltingly back to the surface of things. The pain throbbed through my body, I tried to open my eyes, but all at once the shimmering curtain descended over my mind and I was again helpless. Then there was a restful stillness, I saw water, gently rippling water, and I was filled with peace and tranquility. The ripples were calming and I lay there in contentment watching them. I was aware of a tugging on my body, but I was too involved in the ripples to pay much heed to it, then the pain managed to find a way through the imprisonment of the mind, I began to toss my head on the pillow trying to escape from the discomfort. I felt a hand under my head, and something being held to my lips, I sought to evade it, failed, and as I sank back into sleep the knowledge came, that I, Elena Gilbert, had been utterly vanquished at last.
That was a period of time that seemed to last longer than my paralysis.
All at once I awoke and tasted the sweet water on my lips, I drank eagerly, greedily attempting to slake my thirst, but after a few swallows the cup was pulled away. I whimpered pitifully, but nothing came out; I turned my head, which hurt. I could see Damon sitting beside me, holding the cup in his hands. This alarmed me, memories of what had happened in the clearing came back in shattered fragments fragments. I took a deep breath and in an instant Damon was leaning over me.
His eyes were the same as I had always known them to be.
I could not form out the words with which to say what I was feeling.
I concentrated hard for a moment, looking hard at Damon then clumsily pronounced,
"You are Damon. You are really you, not the other you!"
This pleased me for some reason. But Damon looked at ma and frowned, lines marring that beautiful forehead.
"I now know who turn to in an identity crisis, but I do not need that reassurance now, thank you. How do you feel? Are you in pain?"
He looked at me as a stag in the woods would, poised on the brink of doing something, tensed to spring to action at the slightest provocation.
An image of him holding a boy against a wall flashed before me. Now it was my turn to frown. Damon had hurt him, Stefan, Damon had hurt Stefan. And it was my fault, somehow I was to blame.
Tears came to my eyes and found their way down my face. I sought for words,
"If you were so angry about the coat, why didn't you punish me? I was the one to have hold of it, I would have given it, I did not know it was yours, you should have hurt me"
Damon took a sharp breath as if I had wounded him, though I knew that could not be. Damon was unhurtable.
"Elena, are you alright? What happened out there in the woods?"
I looked at him.
"You happened, Damon."
Now I could feel confusion emanating from him, he looked away and abruptly ran his hand through his hair, then rose from the chair and paced the room.
I looked at the empty cup,
"Please, I am so thirsty, I want water."
This brought his attention back to me immediately. He did not respond to my want, he just walked to a door, inserted a key, and said,
"Storage closet, penlight."
I knew those words, I could see the images the words summoned, but put together it made no sense. But it must be perfectly logical, because he came back and sat beside me as if this were normal. Maybe it was, maybe I was the one not normal. Had this happened before? Had I known this to happen before? Maybe it was a game; if I tried hard I could think of two words too!
All at once I opened my mouth and rather smugly pronounced,
"Jellyfish, black light!"
Judging from his looks I did not do good. Oh, right, I had an extra word! How silly of me. I looked up at him as he sat beside me on the bed. I had two good words! I smiled at him sheepishly; I hoped he was not mad, I would show him I could do better!
I started to say, "kitten, mush," when he gently placed a finger on my lips. He wanted me to not speak. I smiled up at him and nodded, happy I knew what he was wanting.
He held the flashlight up to my face and suddenly light hurt my eyes, I started to turn my head, but before I could do much more than think about it, a hand held my chin firmly in place, I fought against it, but it just hurt the bottom of my face.
"Shh, shh, don't move." The Voice said, soothing me, I was relaxing suddenly, I felt so pleasant,and happy, everything would be fine now Damon was here. Wouldn't it? What was wrong that I could not remember? I felt slightly chilled.
I was very still as the light flickered from one eye to the other.
I could see he was staring into my eyes, looking deep as if he wanted to get to know my soul. I knew a better way that did not hurt the eyes! But, no, I must be very still. I was starting to be aware of being cold to the bone, a deep aching cold.
Then he held up his hand, I looked at him expectantly.
"How many fingers are there? "
Now he was just being silly, I quickly counted, three touching his hand, and two sticking up.
"Five." I was good at this!
He was shaking his head, and his lips made a line.
"I was holding up two, Elana."
Then his hands were in my hair, fingers probing as if looking for something. That felt good. I closed my eyes and leaned into him, I liked that. But switching positions had caused pain to wash over me, I grabbed at my shoulder, but he held my hands prisoner. I looked at his hands again, I was sure he had five fingers. I held up his hand for him in my small ones.
"See, I counted, you have five."
He froze, then sat me up on the bed, I felt hurt.
"What is your name?"
"Elena, you know that!"
"Who am I?"
"Damon, Stefan's brother."
He did not like this. I could see his face harden, and grow dark, reflecting the inside dark.
I looked at him sadly.
"I want Stefan, why is he not here with me?"
His eyes flashed fire, and as he was about to reply with words I knew I did not want to hear, I shivered.
I was cold, so cold. The hurt was coming back, every muscle protesting, the shivers that wracked my body only made them worse.
"Stefan left, but I am taking care of you."
"Thirsty, I am so thirsty. Water."
He was not letting me; I could see it in his eyes.
"I will get you some soup; too much water will hurt you."
"But I want it."
Another shiver punctuated my words.
A blanket was tucked around me.
Damon rose to his feet gracefully,
"I will be back with some soup."
He walked away out of the room, just as I was about to say I did not want to be alone, alone was bad.
There was a loud crash and I could feel the wrongness of this place. I covered my ears and screamed, throwing myself to the side to escape. I fell off the bed. The pain made me dizzy.
"ELENA! ELENA! I could hear Damon shouting my name, and then he was in the room, taking in the scene, empty disheveled bed, sheets tangled around me as I struggled to get up, gasping with pain.
So fast I never saw him coming, I was in his arms, being cradled against his chest. Instinctively I snuggled close to his body in an attempt to warm myself, but he was cold. Like stone. I shivered.
"Elena what were you thinking? Why did you get out of bed? " He seemed angry, but I knew he was hiding fear, which was silly, because I could see it.
"Y ,y,you c,can't hid,de what p,p,people see." I stammered between chattering teeth.
He made no reply, but simply lay me back on the bed and put the blankets over me so I would not be cold, this was so silly, I was so cold the blankets were only trapping the cold against me. Damon must have known what I was thinking, because he stood up and turned his back, and then said,
"Utility room, scissors."
Then he shut the door, and then said,
He opened the door and I felt panic start to rise in me, as he stepped into the bathroom.
Then I was peaceful, I knew it was alright, and I would be warm, so warm soon, the haze in my mind intensified, numbing the pain completely again.
I heard water running, wisps of steam wafted out of the bathroom and swirled and eddied as Damon walked back into the room with a large towel folded in his hands. He walked up to me and pulled all the blankets down laying the towel over me. I looked at him puzzled, but he did not meet my eyes, I heard the sharp snip of scissors down at the bottom of the bed, and realized he was cutting off my jeans from the bottom up, he repeated the operation on the other side as I lay there quietly wondering. When he was done, he did the same to my shirt, cutting it from neck to waist.
He went back to the bathroom and the water stopped running. He came back and stooped over me, lifting me. My clothes fell off of me leaving me only in my underthings, but he had picked me up so the towel was still there, covering me.
He carried me to the bathroom, and then lowered me into the water, towel still covering. It was boiling. It felt as if it would scald me. I cried out and struggled, but it was useless. I succeeded in nothing more than dislodging the towel over me. It floated and undulated in the water.
"Hot, it's too hot, you are hurting me!"
"No, stop fighting Elena," he exclaimed,
"The water is only eighty degrees. It can't hurt you. I would never do that. It just feels so hot because you are so cold."
He made a desperate grab to retrieve the towel and replace it, made harder by the fact that he was not looking at the water or towel, instead staring up above my head. Why was that I wondered?
I was still feebly trying to fight, thrashing in the tub and soaking Damon, when the warmth came and enveloped me, I could feel what was coming next and fought it, fought with every ounce I had left in me. I realized that Damon was the one responsible for the warmth and haze, I knew some how that something was not right. Trying to tear away the sense obliterating curtain as it descended, I was struggling so hard in my mind I began to get a head-ache. Damon was holding me firmly with one arm around me in the tub, staring off in the distance as if concentrating with all his might. I wondered what he was thinking about, and whether or not I would see Stefan soon when the darkness again claimed me.
A.N. Yes, Elena has had a relapse into her child-like state in this chapter. Damon still has not pieced it together so fears a head injury.