Elena stared at the blank page of her diary, unsure of where to even start. The thoughts in her head were whirling around so fast, she couldn't grab one to jot it down. She looked up at the clock on the wall of the living room at Bonnie's house. It was early morning, almost time for the sun to come up, but she hadn't slept. She was sure Bonnie hadn't either. Her head felt big, numb, just like her heart. It hurt. She almost lost both Stefan and Damon tonight. And Bonnie's Grams…
Tears slid down her face and she closed her diary. She couldn't write anything right now. She wiped her wet cheeks and sniffled as she got to her feet. It was her fault that Bonnie's grams had died… because she had tried to save both of the vampire brothers. And Damon, the look in his eyes, betrayal, and something else that she couldn't place. But she had gotten them out. But Katherine wasn't in the tomb, and she didn't understand. Where could the vampiress be? Katherine was Damon's whole reason for being, everything he did; he did out of love for Katherine, to be with her.
Her phone vibrated in her jeans pocket and she pulled it out, seeing a text message from Damon. She hadn't been expecting that. Damon hadn't said two words since leaving the tomb, not even when she had hugged him in the woods. 'I'm outside.' Her brows drew together, but she headed out to the front porch, pocketing her cell phone. "Damon?" She called softly.
In his usual way, he appeared beside her in a heartbeat, startling her. "Thanks," he said, softly. He didn't have his usual cocky demeanor, he was just, sad, distant. And she couldn't blame him.
"You okay?" She asked, reaching him for instinctively. She was worried, especially after what had happened. She had said goodbye to them and went home with Bonnie, and hadn't heard much from Stefan about what was happening. She had expected him to be looking for Katherine by now, finding out where she was buried so he could bring her back, but Stefan had been vague, just telling her nothing was happening.
Damon took a step back from her, and she snapped her hand back as if she'd been hit. Damon didn't usually flinch away from her, no matter what. "I'm sorry Elena," he said, softly. "But it hurts."
Elena bit her lip, and folded her arms over her chest. "Because I look like her," she stated. That was obvious. She looked like the woman that had shattered his heart. That had ruined his life. So no wonder he didn't want her to touch him. That hurt more then she could care to admit, but she tried not to let it show.
He cleared his throat and continued. "I came to tell you that I'm leaving town," he said, leaning against the pillar of the white porch. He stared off into the night, as if the darkness held the answer to all his questions. "Katherine is still alive. She was never in that tomb. I'm going to find her."
"What?" Elena whispered. Alive? That wasn't possible. Not after this. Everything that had happened tonight had been for nothing. A lump formed in her throat and she sat on the porch swing, her legs unable to support her. "She's alive? Why… why did you come over here to tell me that?" Why should she care if Katherine was alive or not, she didn't understand why she needed that bit of information from him, why it couldn't just be said on the phone or why she couldn't hear it from Stefan?
"To be honest," Damon said, chuckling. "I'm really not sure. You make me crazy. And it doesn't help that you look like Katherine, or that you love Stefan." He paused and rubbed his face. "I just… felt like you deserved for me to tell you that I was leaving, and not hear it from Stefan." He could so read her mind, or the expression on her face. He always knew what she was thinking.
Elena was sure every emotion that was in the book came to the surface and assaulted her. "Why?" She whispered, in confusion. "How can you want to be with someone like her? After she lied to you all this time?" Jealousy, confusion, and anger, were all displayed in a few questions. She almost wished she could take them back, but it was too late.
An eyebrow went up on Damon's face. "I can't turn off my feelings, Elena," he said. "Neither can you. You still love Stefan, even when he lied to you. Don't be a hypocrite. Why do you care anyways?"
That was the question of the hour, and she chose to ignore it. "You're right," she observed, toying with her necklace. "He did keep secrets from me." More times then she could count. She couldn't forget that he knew she was adopted, and he never told her. No one ever told her, even her own family. She felt like every time she turned around he had some new big thing to tell her. He never laid all his cards out on the table. But she couldn't worry about that now.
"Then how can you tell me not to go look for her?" He asked, coming to stand in front of her as she sat on the swing. "How can you tell me that I shouldn't fight to be with the one I love?"
Elena rose to her shaky feet and faced him. "The one you loved has cost people their lives," she choked out. "Bonnie's grandmother died from that stupid spell to rescue the one that you love. And she wasn't even in there, Damon!" She pushed him back away from her and paced around the porch. "Everything that happened tonight was for nothing. You and Stefan both could have been locked in there, and I made her keep the spell going so I could get you out, and now she's dead." She covered her face as she burst into tears.
Damon stared at her for a moment, trying to process all the things she had said. He made his way toward her and gently rested his hands on her shoulders. "Elena," he whispered, sliding his hands up to her cheeks to lift her gaze. The severity of what happened had hit them both and he understood where she was coming from.
"If she wanted to be with you why isn't she here?" Elena whispered looking up at him as tears slid down her puffy cheeks. "Why do you want to go after her after what's happened? Why does it have to be like this?" She didn't make sense even to herself, and probably not to him. Her small hands locked on his wrists, trying to find an answer to the miserable mess that had become her life.
"I'm very sorry about Bonnie's grandmother, Elena," he said, softly. He shook his head, and she could see the genuine apology he was making. "I really am. I never thought anything would happen, I swear. Nothing went like it was supposed to. I never wanted anyone to get hurt because of this. But I have to go find Katherine. I have to know why she didn't come to me after all this time. I need answers."
"You can't go alone," Elena said, pulling away from him and wiping her cheeks. She needed him to not touch her so she could think, and get her bearings. She stared at the roof of the porch and bit her lip. It was hard to do that with him so close to her. She couldn't believe what she was suggesting. "I can't leave tonight, but we can make plans tomorrow."
"You're offering to come with me?" Damon asked, with surprise. She really couldn't believe she suggested another road trip with Damon herself. She really needed to start thinking about things before she brought them up, but she could use the vacation. She needed to get away from Mystic Falls, away from everything that happened tonight. But she couldn't leave Bonnie tonight, so it had to wait 'til morning.
"You said you enjoyed my company last time," she pointed out, offering him a small smile. "But if you want to go alone, that's fine. It might make it awkward if I'm there when you finally find her." She didn't like the pang in her heart at thinking about them together. It wasn't supposed to be this way at all. She was supposed to be with Stefan but there was no way she could deny her feelings for Damon. And the thought of him with Katherine made her grin with envy. Katherine wasn't worthy of him. Damon deserved someone who would treat him right and not disappear for a century.
"I'll talk to you tomorrow," he said softly. "Get some sleep."
Sleep sounded wonderful and Elena breathed a little sigh of relief as she once again raised her arms to embrace him and this time he returned it. "Good night," she said, breathing in his scent.
Damon kissed her temple and released her. "Sweet dreams," he whispered, and then he was gone, leaving only the wind to rustle her hair around her face.
She went back inside, finding Bonnie sitting in the kitchen. "Hey," she said, not letting her voice crack as she joined her best friend at the table. "Couldn't sleep?" There was a lot of that going around. She was never going to get to sleep now that she spoke to Damon. Her thoughts were more of a jumbled mess then before. She had a lot of things to take care of now.
"Where were you?" Bonnie asked, staring at the cup of tea in front of her, which had barely been touched.
Elena sighed. Her best friend was not going to approve of her answer. "Talking to Damon," she admitted. No reason to lie. She knew Bonnie would be upset, after all Damon wasn't her favorite person. For more reasons than one.
Bonnie's eyes flashed. "How could you?" She asked. "It's his fault Gram's is dead."
"Bonnie, I know you're upset," Elena said, gently. "But we can't blame anyone person. There's so many what if's that come into play that could have changed what happened." It was her fault for going back in after Stefan and Damon, her fault for thinking they could do this without consequences. Damon didn't know that the spell would be harmful and neither had she. It was a freak accident, one that was crushing her.
"He's not a person," Bonnie growled, getting to her feet. "You used to hate him."
"He saved my life, Bonnie," Elena said. "When I was pinned in my car, he rescued me. I can't just brush that off. Especially now. His heart is broken right now. And I've seen the good in him." Many times. He could have done whatever he wanted to her in Atlanta and he hadn't. He had trusted her, more than once, and she trusted him with her life. She wasn't just going to ignore the good things he had done for her.
"He's a monster," Bonnie screamed. "Stefan would agree with me you know."
Elena frowned at the mention of her boyfriend's name. That was a road she didn't want to go down just yet. It was too hard, too bumpy. "I know you're angry but let's not talk about this tonight and get some sleep," she reasoned. She wanted to sleep, figure things out. She did not want to have a fight with her best friend in the process.
"It'll still be the same in the morning," Bonne said. "You know you don't have to stay. I want to be alone."
"Leave," the witch demanded, heading up stairs.
Elena stared at the stair case in disbelief at what she just heard. But she knew Bonnie was just upset. She had good reason to be. She gathered her things and stuffed them in her book bag. She turned the lights off and locked the door behind her as she left. Now what? She couldn't walk home, not when she knew what lurked in the darkness. Her fingers were already typing on her cell phone when she heard man's voice, which startled her into a near heart attack.
"Need a lift?"