Summary: what if Elena was the child werewolf and Clay was the orphan in the foster system?
Pairings: Elena/Clay, one-sided Nick/Elena, past Daniel/Elena, and parental Jeremy/Elena.
"You're sending me away?"
Jeremy sighed as he stared down his rebellious adoptive daughter who looked absolutely furious. He silently reminded her to control herself before she changed right there and then in his study and ruin another set of books and another rug.
Yes it has happened far too many times to count.
"I am not sending you away, Elena," he said patiently, "I am merely enrolling you in a new college."
"IN CANADA!" Elena shrieked.
"The College is a very good school and I feel you need a severe change of scenery," Jeremy explained calmly, "Elena you have not been yourself recently, you've been restless, careless, and far more violent than usual. It is not forever, you can come back every holiday and then the four years will simply fly by. In fact I think you will have a very good time making new friends and receiving a good education to help secure a decent job."
"What have I done to deserve this?!"
"It's not what you have done Elena," Jeremy lied. Elena gave him a very pointed and sceptical look and he immediately told her the truth. He did not blurt it out no matter what that sneaky eavesdropper Antonio says otherwise. "All right. You've been out of sorts for the last six or so years. It is not your fault but...well...Elena you pushed Nick out of the window. I think you need some time to cool down."
"Do I even get a choice in this?"
"Elena, you always have a choice."
That meant she had no choice and within two day she packed up her stuff to take to Canada so she could study journalism.
And punch Nick again because he can't stop snickering at her.
God boys are so stupid.
It sounds childish since she was the only girl in a world of boys. Since she was five years old and was found on a road in this very country alone and edible she had been declared the only female werewolf as well as a medical miracle. This didn't mean anything good though since day one she'd been in trouble.
She had extreme difficulty to survive for the six months after she was bitten when she was attacked by some great big brute who terrified her out of her wits. She would later learn that that big brute was Jeremy's father but at the time she had become wary of men who smelt like wolves and that made Jeremy's job even more difficult.
He came to find her and spent two months coaxing her to join him in New York State where he inherited a beautiful 19th century house from his grandfather. For a while it was just the two of them and occasionally Antonio who would call her princess. She loved that life.
Then Nick came along and it was still all right. She was his alpha and he was her cheerful loving best friend. But then she was forced to meet the Pack and while Dominic doted on her as one would on a beloved granddaughter there was that political glint in his eyes as he pushed her closer to Nick.
Wouldn't it be grand if the Alpha's grandson married the only female werewolf in the world?
The boys would leer at her and Jeremy could only protect her so much. Nick couldn't protect her that well either so she usually fought her own battles. Not that it helped much just made them more excitable.
Then she hit puberty and they fell all over their feet for her. She didn't know why at first but when Nick forced his lips on her during one sparring session she figured it out rather quickly.
Nick had to have his nose set back by Jeremy and he claims that that's the reason why his nose is off centre, "Jeremy was being the overprotective father and gave me a permanent reminder to not touch you," he would grouse whenever the topic came up.
Elena refused to believe Jeremy would be anything other than the calm, quiet, peaceful, and patient man he is.
Eventually Elena gave into the pressure and dated Daniel Santos for a while. He was good to her for most of it, made her laugh, made her knees wobble a little when he kissed her, and for once he was respectful to Jeremy but when it came down to she would always side with her father and Daniel had a bloodthirsty craving for more carnage and death and hunts.
That and he wanted her to give up her virginity with him and have babies and all that life-long commitment that she really didn't want to have.
Mostly because she was just sixteen at the time but also because she'd rather be lonely for the rest of her life rather than spend it with a guy that creeped her out just a tiny bit and never understood her properly.
So anyway back to boys. In college they were hitting on her or some girl she was trying to become friends with and then act like complete morons. For example when Jeremy had just left a guy ran past squirting whipped cream on the walls.
Who wastes food like that? Really?
Then there was the lack of mature conversation and none of them can match up to Jeremy's intelligent, quiet, and thoughtful words and Elena got frustrated with the lot of them.
The guy who thought groping was a quick way to get to a girl's heart? Yeah he's in hospital with a broken hand, the cry-baby git.
To make it up to Jeremy who had to bail her out of early expulsion with a large donation Elena decided to get a job to help fund her life in Canada. Jeremy told her she didn't have to but she just needed to do something apart from class work and trying to ignore the humanity surrounding her, enclosing in on her, it was a lot like being in school again.
One interview made her miss class sign up and she was very disappointed to miss out on Professor Doe's class on Anthropology. She always loved Anthropology, though she wanted to be a writer than an academic, and she had read his works and they were the best she couldn't miss out on this class.
One of the more likable humans who she shares the dorm with told her she could sit in. That none of the professors' mind if she did and so after another failure of an interview she rushed over to sit the class.
She was late and the TA or whatever he was glared at her when she entered. She glared back and had no problem showing she was the stronger one.
Once she was seated he began to speak and suddenly her world changed.
"So, now that the rest of you know where you are...or think you do, let's get started. My name, in case you didn't read the syllabus, is Clayton Doe. I'm your professor for this class."
Well, shit. She just pissed off her new professor.
Clay Doe had no idea what just happened to his world.
One day he was the orphan professor of Anthropology and then the next he was reverted back to a love struck teenage boy for a student of all things.
Elena Michaels seemed to be something entirely different from anything he had seen. She was equally isolated as he had been her age and just as devoted to her studies and the job he had given to her without a single thought. He just wanted to know her, know why she runs at night so often like he does, why she was so irritable more so than most women, and then why she refused to talk to about her past.
He won't press. He never liked to talk about his past either, his clearest memory of his family had been a loud rowdy lot, far too big for the amount of money his father earned, that just left him on the road side on their annual summer holiday.
He had survived in the wild for ten months before he was found by social services and by then he had forgotten most of his life. He just remembered he was seven years old, called Clay, and got his eyes from his distant mother.
He had been shifted from one foster home to another for years and had been smacked around by his foster fathers until he left the system at eighteen and never looked back. He's favourite teacher helped him secure a scholarship and his own natural genius (which he had to fight for tooth and nail since everyone thought he was nothing but a cheater) helped him graduate early and gain a doctor ship at a very young age.
He didn't know Elena's past but he did know she was adopted by a cousin at a very young age and this was her first time alone since she was five. He just hoped she would tell him eventually.
Their friendship quickly changed into a romantic one by Christmas where Elena introduced him to a proper Christmas with all the trimmings. Her favourite holiday.
"My cousin never celebrated Christmas until I was seven and asked why we're the only family without a tree and a turkey," Elena explained as she decorated their tree that took forever to get hold off (they really weren't thinking when they decided to go to the tree farm on a motorbike of all things), "Christmas to him was just an excuse to meet with friends, eat lots, and exchange presents, so when I asked for a proper one he spent ages researching it before going to the extreme. I had to put my foot down when he burnt the gingerbread."
"He sounds like an awesome guardian who loves you very much," Clay grinned.
Elena had a soft smile on her face that lit up the room better than any fairy light. "Yeah," she said happily, "he is."
"I hope I get to meet him one day," Clay said.
The smile faltered a little bit, "So do I."
Christmas was fantastic and not just because they made love for the first time. Every waking and sleeping moment was spent with one another. They watched every cheesy movie, ate every clichéd food, spoiled each other with far too many presents, and almost broke a window with their terrible singing.
It was the best Christmas Clay ever had in his life.
Then suddenly it was Valentine's Day and Clay realised he couldn't live without Elena and that scared him a little. He only known her for four months and he wanted her for the rest of his life. He wanted every aspect of her, her terrible moods, her never-ending hunger for food, knowledge, and life, and her laughter, her love for Christmas, how she curls on the sofa in his sweatshirt doing homework. He wanted it all.
He proposed knowing she could easily turn round and say no but instead she said yes and everything was going to be perfect.
Then Nick came along for a visit. He already met Logan who he wasn't keen on but liked because he made Elena very happy and tried to be very polite to Clay. Nick was nice but there was something off about him and that scared Clay for some reason.
Things were starting to crumble and he thought they were fixing it when Elena was taking him to Stonehaven finally to meet her guardian.
Her guardian had no idea who he was.
Elena never told Jeremy about Clay and that worried him.
The first proper day after sleepless night Clay was pulled into the study for a conversation with Jeremy. He knew what sort of conversation this was going to be, it was the one a father would have with his little girl's boyfriend. There was the casual talk about what Clay did and what his background was.
Basic checking out the background and seeing if he's up to the right standard Jeremy has for his little girl.
Then the questions came.
Are you aware the age difference between you? Elena is very young and inexperienced compared to you.
Are you sure it's wise to be dating a student? After all it could cost you your job and Elena's education.
Don't you think it's moving a little too fast? You only just met six months ago.
Clay argued each point, that age doesn't matter, no one can come between him and Elena, that he would throw away anything for Elena, and no it wasn't too fast, it was just the right pace for them.
Then the door opened and a beautiful golden wolf-dog came in. Jeremy suddenly got very angry and yelled for Elena but Clay was enthralled, this animal was beautiful and had something very familiar about her.
He held his hand out for her to sniff and she did before licking it and then suddenly...
Suddenly she bit down hard and everything changed.
Jeremy had never met someone so adapted to the change.
Well more accurately someone who adapted to the change since Elena who took to it like a duck in water making her such an unusual miracle in the world.
Clayton Doe accepted everything with only the strangest academic questions when Jeremy told him everything about being a werewolf. In any other situation a man would be furious that his fiancée had lied to him and then turned him into a monster but then Elena would have never fallen for a normal man.
Within a year Clay had become a strong member of the Pack slightly higher than Logan with all the hard work he had put in for the Pack. During that year Elena had been sent away back to College and forced to stay there over the holidays as well.
Banishment was a harsh punishment on both parties and Jeremy might be transferring some of his affections over to Clay who was eager to please like any excitable young Pack member.
Clay and Nick were quickly becoming best friends and Antonio would indulge the pair of them over the trouble Nick would drag Clay into and Peter would laugh at them all and Logan would smile but really he was more worried about Elena.
So was Clay. Jeremy often found him in Elena's room looking rather mournful as he fingered one of the lace curtains in what Elena always called 'a pale pink princess monstrosity' whenever she thought Jeremy was out of hearing.
"Bring her back," Clay begged.
"I will but after she graduates, this isn't just a punishment Clayton," Jeremy said calmly, "I want her to finish her education as well."
What he didn't tell Clay was the longer Elena was banished the less chance she would bite another human being again. The Pack had been Elena's home since she was a small child and it had always been seen as the worst punishment being sent away. Even if it was just to her bedroom for a few hours.
Another year passed and Clay was quickly rising up in the ranks protecting what he said was Elena's home. Everything was for Elena and the whole Pack knew that.
Jeremy had a feeling everything was going to work out eventually.