A/N: Umm, so yeah, another D/E one-shot, because I was inspired yet again by my girlies at FF, so this is for y'all...And I kind of have this thing of being obsessed with book quotes, so I included yet another one...:) And yes, I know Alaric is totally OOC here...or is he???

Disclaimer: I. Don't. Fucking. Own. The Vampire Diaries. Stop. Fucking. Rubbing. It. In.

She sat down on a fallen tree trunk, flinching a bit as her backside touched the cold bark. Elena took in her surroundings, sighing as all she could see were trees, and vaguely hoped that she would be able to remember her way back to the clearing.


She turned around quickly, scanning the area for even the smallest sign of disturbance. She swallowed, trying to ease the dryness that had accumulated in her throat. Elena suddenly regretted not letting Caroline and Bonnie to tag along when they offered, instead telling Caroline to go ahead on her one-year-anniversary-date with Matt, and telling Bonnie that it was okay for her to practice her witchcraft for a bit, instead insisting that she needed time alone.

She did.

She needed to be able to process the heap of information Stefan had thrown her way.

Finding out that her younger adoptive brother's history teacher's deceased wife was a possible candidate for her birth mother, thus making aforementioned history teacher--who also happens to be a vampire hunter--a possible candidate for her birth father was not really sitting well with Elena at the moment.

She made sure to breathe evenly and quietly so she wouldn't make much noise. She strained her ears, listening for any more sounds, but when nothing but silence was to be heard, it served only to make her even more uneasy.


She turned around so quickly it gave her whiplash and couldn't help the sigh of utter relief that escaped her lips when she saw that it was just a rabbit.

"I've told you before, I'm not responsible for all the deaths going on in this hick of a town."

Elena's eyes bugged wide as she heard someone shouting, but her fear immediately died down when she noted that the angry, beautiful voice held some familiarity. Her eyebrows furrowed.

What is Damon doing here?

She stepped forward in the direction his voice was coming from.

"You really expect me to believe that, Salvatore?"

Elena stopped mid-step as she ran through her head the possibilities of whom that voice could belong to.

"I don't care what you believe Saltzman. I'm telling you now, and I'm telling you as nicely as I possibly can, which means that you are a very lucky man. Leave. Elena. Alone."

Elena's mouth dropped at the conversation. She almost instinctively shivered at the ice in Damon's voice, even though he was defending her against Alaric, but then why--


Damon was defending Elena.

Elena stood frozen, processing this a thousand times in her head, though it just couldn't seem to make sense. And then a slow smile started stretching her lips apart, because she realized she had been right all along.

He cares.

She knew that his endless taunting of his younger brother and his forever engraved smirk was all just a facade. It seemed as though the incident with Katherine didn't really make her believe that, well, because Damon was even more of an asshole than he usually was after the whole tomb situation, and Elena pretty much avoided him.

But avoiding Damon was far from easy.

Elena then remembered that her mission was to find aforementioned leather-wearing vampire and she continued on her path, going deeper into the forest.

"Are you seriously asking me to do that?!"

"I'm not asking you to do anything. I'm telling you. There's a difference."

If Elena didn't have a bad feeling about the whole ordeal, she might've rolled her eyes at Damon's snarky response. She finally got close enough so that she could see two figures outlined in the darkness before her with her human eyes.

She knew that Damon sensed her presence. Hell, he would be able to sense a squirrel a thousand yards away, but yet, he made no sign of knowing she was standing there.

Alaric started shaking his head. "Why would you want to protect Elena? All you've done is bring her pain!" he exclaimed, carrying on with the matter at hand.

For this, Damon had absolutely no snarky retort, as his jaw simply set and his eyes narrowed at the vampire hunter before him, who, if it were up to the elder Salvatore brother, would be lying lifeless on the ground right now, but he came armed, and this time he managed to get a hold of the gun that shot wooden bullets, so all Damon could do was distract him with an argument until he was caught off-guard and then he would be able to happily rip his throat out.

Damon quickly looked to where he knew Elena was standing, wondering if he hurt her that much.

From where she was standing, Elena could see Damon having an internal battle, and she wanted to assure him that he didn't bring her any pain, because he'd never done anything to hurt her.

Alaric looked down to the ground as he realized the words that just came out of his mouth. "All you do is bring everyone pain," he continued, and his voice had suddenly taken on a much darker tone. "You're a monster, and no one wants you around."

Before Damon could even process Alaric's change of mood, he had four bullets in his chest. One hit a little bit too close to home for a certain vampire's liking, and he grunted, feeling the blood starting to seep through his shirt.

Elena gaped for a nanosecond before she realized that Damon was in danger and ran forward, kneeling beside him where he had fallen to the ground and laying his head on her lap.

"Elena..." she heard Alaric whisper, and she ignored him, looking around the forest floor desperately, making sure that Damon's eyes never closed, and they didn't. If anything, they were amused at her panic, and, if he wasn't dying at the moment, she would've definitely slapped him again.

When she finally found what she was looking for two feet away, she reached over and finally responded to her possible father. "Get away from here," she ground out through her teeth, and she could sense that he was beginning to walk away sadly. Elena didn't fucking care whether he was depressed or overjoyed, because at the moment, her mind could only process two words.

Save Damon.

She took a deep breath, but she looked over at Damon, who was confused and getting paler by the second, and she found all the motivation she needed.

Human blood saved vampires, and that's what Damon needed. Human blood.

And Elena was going to make sure he got it.

She held the rock in her right hand and scraped its strangely accurate serrated edge against the back of her hand quickly, trying not to yelp out in pain as she felt it cut through her skin. She looked on in satisfaction when her hand was coated in blood right away.

She put her hand on the back of Damon's neck and leaned it towards her hand, trying to pry his lips open, but he stubbornly kept them closed. She raised her eyebrows at him. "Drink, Damon," she ordered.

He shook his head with the little strength he had left, and Elena's heart melted, broke, and was stolen all at the same time. He was willing to die so he wouldn't drain her. He was willing to put her well-being before his, as he'd never really done with anyone before. And she was willing to give up her life in order to save his.

She loved him. His resistance to drink her blood was all it took for her to make that surprising revelation. The fact that Damon was being selfless toward her was the breaking point, because if Elena was being honest with herself, she would admit that constantly denying her growing feelings for Damon was tiring.

She looked at him endearingly, grabbing one of his hands in her clean one and pressing a reassuring kiss to the inside of his palm. He stared back at her in astonishment, and she simply nodded and started running her clean hand through his hair as she pressed her bloody hand to his lips once more, and this time, they opened hesitantly and he started drinking.

Elena was surprised at the fact that it didn't hurt. She didn't feel like the life was being sucked out of her. She felt...amazing. She was simply overjoyed that she was helping Damon somehow and that turned out to take full effect as she was giving him her blood.

Maybe that's why she felt so incredible. Maybe it was because she was giving it to him, knowing that it would help him in the end, instead of him forcefully taking it against her will, where she was sure it wouldn't feel nearly as pleasant.

She looked down to Damon, only to find that his eyes were closed as if he were in deep concentration. She noticed giddily that he was starting to regain some of the little color he had to his cheeks and that there was no more blood soaking up his shirt.

Her fingers were still threaded in his hair as her vision started blurring a bit, but she could faintly see Damon still drinking, and she was once again reminded that she was saving his life, so she didn't bring it up.

Damon took his lips off of Elena's hand. "Thank you," he told her fervently, and she simply smiled back at him.

"That wasn't so hard now, was it?"

And then the world went black.

Elena awoke in an unfamiliar setting. She looked around the room she'd never seen before, but once she saw Damon's leather jacket hanging on a chair in the far corner, she deduced that this must be his room.

He was there, pushing her back onto the bed slowly before she had time to blink.

"Are you alright?" was the first thing that came out of her mouth.

His eyes narrowed slightly, but he gave her a smile. "Of course. After feeding you some of my blood so you wouldn't die, I left you to rest so I could get my midnight snack. I think her name was Heather..."

She smiled, knowing in the back of her mind that she wasn't supposed to be smiling when he had just freely admitted he had killed someone, but it was Damon. "I'm glad. That you're okay, I mean."

After that, she just stared at him, a silence filling the air that wasn't exactly awkward because it was so comfortable, but yet it wasn't exactly comfortable because it was too awkward. She didn't really know how to be around him knowing that she loved him. With Stefan it was easy, I mean, they were dating and it was her only hope of having him stay by her side.

With Damon...well, they haven't even kissed, the closest they'd ever gotten is by exchanging a slew of insults, and somehow, she knew Damon would never leave.

She averted her eyes. She started getting up. "I guess I should go..."

He couldn't let her go, not with the knowledge that she had just risked her life and nearly died, all just to restore him back to his normal self. It was all so much to take in. One minute she wanted him, the next she swore she loved Stefan, and then she went back to hating him. Elena Gilbert would always be a mystery. But he was going to make damn sure that he would eventually unravel it.

Just when her feet were about to hit the floor, she felt him grab her hand. She turned slowly, staring at their joined hands. He pursed his lips and he could hear him swallow before his eyes met hers again.


She nodded, and with that motion, she could feel her vervain necklace chain sliding across her neck, and she knew her decision was of her own making. She climbed back into bed and laid beside him, not making any contact, just staring into his eyes.

When he hesitantly put his hand over her hand again, leaving a burning hot trail wherever his skin made contact with hers, she smiled at him again.

Deciding to risk it a bit, she wrapped her arm around his waist and laid her head on his chest. She felt him freeze at first, but he slowly got the hint and started running his fingers up and down her back soothingly.

"Is this going to become a regular occurrence or something? Because all this life-saving is really starting to wear me out," she teased.

She didn't have to look at him to know that he was smiling.

The Vampire Diaries: The Struggle

D: "Don't push me, Elena."
E: "I think, that maybe, you
need to be pushed."

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