Just something that was floating around in my head for a while so I had to write it down. Takes place sometime in Season 2, everything that happened in season 1 has happened within the context of this story too.

I don't own the Vampire Diaries but you already knew that D:

When Elena awoke she could see nothing. The air was warm, stuffy, her heart drummed loudly in her ears igniting a throbbing pain somewhere in the vicinity of her left temple, the last thing she remembered before the darkness was her face, the ancient carbon copy of herself standing beside her equally ancient and maniacal mother in the cemetery… Oh god she panicked, swiftly reaching a hand out and confirming her worst fear - she felt the silk lining of what could only be a coffin… a coffin that she was now buried in.

She stifled a horrified sob, her heart rate tripling as she frantically tried to latch onto any sense of hope in the situation, anything! She shifted trying to determine which way was up in her disorientated state, and then she noticed that it was too cramped; that there was something next to her. Elena froze. For one horrifying moment she thought… she thought they'd put her in there, in her real mother's grave, with her body, before she forced that thought out of her mind. Grimly it didn't smell bad enough to be true, the coffin was too fresh she didn't know how she knew but she could just tell.

Instead she extended a shaking hand in the general vicinity of where she thought her "company" was, meeting something firm, something covered in leather and expensive cotton.

"Damon?" she whispered her voice sounding foreign to her own ears, she hadn't meant to sound so desperate, she hadn't meant to convey the huge sense of relief she felt knowing that he was at least here with her; didn't register in her mind that she was now buried underground with a vampire, a vampire that was Damon and not Stefan.

The panic began to rise again when she realised that he hadn't responded, there was something wrong, she could feel it her bones. Slowly she drew her hands over his body, looking for something, anything that might explain why he wasn't responding.

Her hands traced smooth planes of muscle that was encased in a tight form-fitting shirt before they hit a belt buckle; she was going the wrong way. She retraced her previous actions patting down his arms before the palm of her right hand snagged on something cold to the touch; something that was protruding from his chest where she feared his dead heart was no longer beating and she was floored by the immense amount of pain she felt at the realisation that Damon was hurt. That he was… that he could be…

"Damon!... Damon, please!" she sobbed outright, hands shaking severely, eyes searching wildly as if willing the light to come and reveal the tinge of his skin to her desperate eyes would actually work.

Her hands were clasping roughly at the worn material of his jacket, she was shaking him, violently, shouting, pleading for him to respond. Her hands cupped his face; sticky with congealed blood as she slapped his cheeks roughly, tried to feel for those veins, they came out when they were dead right?

The minutes were agonizing until she felt the barest wisp of breath cool the rapidly drying blood on her hands; she froze beginning her mantra with renewed enthusiasm.

"Please Damon!"…"WAKE UP" and "I need you" …

"Please you can't die…" before she heard what may possibly have been the sweetest sound of her young life to date.


She half sobbed, half laughed with a relief that shook her to the core, the adrenaline still coursing through her veins as she muttered "Thank God!" over and over. A new mantra.

"Vervain… on the stake Elena" he mumbled painfully before she forced herself back to reality, she nodded her understanding knowing that his keen eyesight would allow him to see her through the seemingly impenetrable darkness. Her hands fumbled until they found the offending piece of wood and she took a breath steeling herself for what she was about to do, He groaned in pain.

"Careful - it's close" he instructed, watching as the tears continuously poured from her swollen red-rimmed eyes. He'd be lying if he said it didn't tug at some long forgotten part of him, the time for dwelling on emotional baggage ended abruptly though as he tried not to scream as she ripped the wooden stake from his chest, the vervain already causing the blood to boil in his veins, causing the bloodlust to rage ever stronger in his system as his over sensitive hearing rejoiced at the sound of her wildly beating heart, at the smell of the pure terror emanating from her. He closed his eyes shut in order to gain control but he was fighting a losing battle.

He was too quiet she realised, this wasn't him, he always spoke, always had stupid smart-ass remarks but now; now he was silent. Elena wondered for one horrified second if she had just killed him but his rapid erratic breathing put that thought to rest.

"Are you… Are you going to be ok?" she stuttered, uncharted territory. It seemed that in the space of what could only have been a few minutes the idea of Damon dying had scared her more than anything. More than Stefan giving into his bloodlust, more than Katherine violating her house and killing her father… it was as if the very air had been stolen from her lungs and her gullet crushed.

And somehow she knew. Knew exactly what this meant. Tentatively she held out her wrist in the general direction of where she thought his face would be, hoping that he understood what she was telling him.

"Please Damon… You can't… If you need to…" she mumbled unable to complete the sentence, what was she doing? Was this really a good idea? After all the last time she had allowed a Vampire to feed from her in order to save them it had proved catastrophic.

"No" was the simple response she received. She had never expected that, least of all from him. Hadn't he always sought to remind her of how fragile her continued existence really was? How many a time her life had been spared purely thanks to his good graces? Somehow it ignited a burning and intense wave of rage within her. How dare he suddenly develop a conscience; not when he was dying! Not when she needed him!

"Don't! Don't do this now; don't pretend that there's some moral implication stopping you from drinking my blood Damon, not now! Not when our lives depend on it!" she spat angrily.

He had to admit that threw him, if he'd been in any form of shape he would have smirked his trademark smirk and admired the fire in her words, but as it was although he hated to admit it, she was right. If not to spare his own life then he would do it for her… always for her.

He took her wrist gently and guided it to his lips, his fangs already ready and waiting, felt the tell tale rush of excitement consume him, felt the veins erupting around his now darkened gaze and sunk his teeth into the tender flesh. He felt her stiffen, another time he could have made this easier for her but not right now; right now he needed to feed to survive and he didn't have the strength to fight his body's natural instincts.

The seconds passed by agonizingly slowly as Elena felt her blood being drawn from her body, she tried to concentrate on something else, on coming up with a plan to get them both out of there, but the burning pain proved too much, she felt the sting of fresh tears in her eyes and willed them not to fall, for both of their sakes.

Since that fateful night when Katherine had returned, when he'd opened up his heart after 145 years he had changed. It was almost imperceptible, in fact it was. To everyone but her because she was the only one who cared enough to notice that his mask was stronger than ever, that he drank more than ever, that the remarks cut deeper, that he was even colder now if it were possible. And she knew that if he realised how much he was hurting her it would only add to the half a tonne weight of baggage that he already internally bore the brunt of.

He broke away suddenly thrusting her arm back towards her. To safety he'd already had too much, he felt her slump down next to him in the little space that they each had. He felt the skin on his chest beginning to heal, felt himself become more alert as she slipped into the darkness. She'd wake up soon enough.

Damon used the time to examine their surroundings. The coffin was larger than a standard one and it chilled even him when he dully realised that it had been made to measure. It was a perfect fit for the both of them, and any misguided notions of love that he once held for Katherine that may still have lingered somewhere deep inside of him died suddenly in that moment.

He didn't need to reach up to touch the silk clad lid of the coffin just 30cm from his face to realise that it was coated in vervain. Very smart he thought bitterly. Punching his way out of here wasn't going to be an option.

He reached down to pat his pockets, knowing before he even checked that both of their phones would be missing, but he should at least confirm that thought right? He cursed when he came up empty. He wouldn't be getting out of here any time soon. He might be ok for eternity, driven mad by hunger yes, but he didn't need to breathe. Elena on the other hand...

"You fucking bitch!" he exclaimed angrily, his sense of calm escaping him an uncontrollable anger taking over instead. How the fuck did he let this happen? She was older than him but he'd be lying if he said that she was smarter than him too. Twice she had bested him at his own game, she'd used Elena and let himself fall right into her trap willingly, like a lost puppy looking for its mother all because of his misguided feelings for her Human doppelganger. He'd thought he was past this! Past feeling that one stupid weak emotion that brought even the greatest to their knees!

Damon had avoided Elena for months, only spoken to her when necessary only acknowledged her when she forced her company upon him. He couldn't leave Mystic Falls entirely because he knew that Stefan wasn't strong enough to protect her on his own, and pathetically the idea of harm coming to Elena was worse than being tortured with her presence everyday. Worse than being reminded of what a stupid and weak individual he was. Than being reminded that everything that mattered to him in the world once again belonged to his insufferably perfect brother.

Hours ticked by before Elena regained consciousness, her head was pounding and she felt weak as a kitten but she was still alive so she guessed that was something.

"Damon?" she whispered into the darkness, there was a stretch of silence in which she thought she could almost feel him deciding whether to respond or not. Finally he spoke.

"I'm here" was all he said. It spoke volumes and suddenly the last few months of torturous silence weighed down on her shaking shoulders all at once. All of the guilt all of the hurt and anger that he no longer wanted anything to do with her. She cried then. Big heaving sobs, they were going to talk about this, right now, now that he couldn't run from her.

"Why?" …

"What did I do wrong?" she cried. He wished he could turn off his hearing as well as his emotions, the sound of it was just gut wrenching and it was preventing him from flipping that switch, the switch that had well and truly been his only true friend throughout his long and miserable life.

"It's easier this way" he answered quietly, completely uncomfortable with the situation. He wouldn't lie to her, what would be the point? She'd be dead if they didn't get out of here in a few hours, even if he did turn her. She had to have Human blood to complete the transition - she'd be dead either way. He supposed he at least owed her the truth.

"Only for you!" she accused. He smirked then and couldn't stop the chuckle that escaped his lips.

"If that's what you think"

God. She wanted to scream.

"Then WHY Damon!" she all but shrieked. He winced at the decibel level that her voice had taken on. She was after all pressed tightly to his left side, her mouth only inches from his ear although he doubted she knew quite how close they were.

"Lower your voice, there's no need to get hysterical" he quipped coldly. He wished he hadn't chosen that moment to cast a glance at her expression, the amount of confusion and hurt he saw in her eyes caused something… was this what his heart used to feel like when it ached? All those years ago… he sighed tiredly and continued.

"What exactly do you want from me Elena? You're with Stefan you've made that very clear. You love Stefan, he's better than I am, he isn't a self-serving sociopath with no redeeming qualities… We might have an understanding Elena, but we are not friends, we are not anything Elena, so what do you want?"

He watched as her mouth made fish like motions as she struggled to come up with an answer, he laughed coldly hate seeping through every pore in his body.

"That's what I thought"

She was thankful that she couldn't see, for she was sure the hardness of his glacial gaze would have frozen her solid in that moment, her crying had at least dulled into silent tears. He watched as another fell, making it's way down her tragically beautiful face. And then she spoke one of the deepest truths she had ever admitted to anyone but her diary.

"I just want you to let me in" she whispered, barely loud enough for even his keen hearing to pick up. He furrowed his perfectly shaped eyebrows.


"I want to know you Damon. I just want to know you" she repeated and somehow through the darkness she knew that she was looking straight into those heartbreakingly beautiful eyes.

"Why?" he asked before he could stop himself. Before he could stop himself from opening up, even in the slightest. He cursed his stupidity because he was aware that he had just shown Elena the metaphorical door; the door to his complexity which was always kept hidden beneath a maze of deadly thorns.

"Because I know you're there! I know you're more than this… indifference you project. I know there is more to you than Katherine and you're hatred of Stefan! You might like to pretend that you don't feel your humanity, but all of this… this coldness and anger! God why don't you see how Human that makes you!" She was speaking passionately, holding the gaze that she couldn't see, her hands had moved of their own accord to grab roughly at the first part of him they came into contact with.

"You don't know half of the things that I've done Elena" he spoke dangerously, her words hitting a little too close to the mark for his liking.

"I don't care! It's not what you do, it's why you do it!" she spoke exasperated. He became angry then, so angry. She should be scared of him damn it! When had he failed to notice that he was loosing control? He slammed his hand into the wall of the coffin beside her, it reminded her vividly of the time that Stefan had lost control in his bedroom, when she had dug the vervain needle deep into his back and watched him slump to the floor.

She flinched but reminded herself that she needed to hold her ground. He was trying to scare her, to stop her because what she was saying was getting to him- she was finally getting somewhere.

"I know you won't hurt me, scaring me isn't going to work anymore… I want you to hear me" she spoke calmly, and if he were capable of it, he would have panicked.

"…I can't give you what you want" he finally said. After a long, long stretch of silence, and then she finally did crumble, finally did feel fear because the thought of him continuing to live the way he had been the past few months did scare her.

"I know… and that's what scares me" she choked out, throat closing so tightly on her that she could barely force the words out. Her heart was throbbing with protest in her chest, her arms tingled with the exquisite and unique pain of utter heartbreak and she felt the ghost of his fingers on her cheek.

"I don't need your pity Elena, I don't want it… you forget that I've survived all of these years alone, and I'll survive many more, no need to feel sorry for me" he quipped, she just knew that smirk would be gracing his features, the mask in place; could hear the teasing in his tone.

"You'll survive… but you won't be living" she conceded. Finally breaking free of his gaze and dropping her hands to her side, defeated… again. His smart-ass remark about already being dead died on his tongue.

You'll survive… but you won't be living. He was glad the she couldn't see the way his face had fallen at that comment, the way his eyes had burned with shock and… pain. He swallowed tightly. Unable to form a response.

It was exactly as she had said - Katherine, in a different lifetime when he had still been young and naïve, when he'd thought that threatening to leave her if she didn't chose him exclusively would sway her mind. She'd only laughed easily. "You wouldn't be able to live without me Damon" she had chided, stroking an elegant hand down his face. He'd been stubborn too, even then; told her that he could, that she was wrong and then her features had deadpanned and she'd held his face so strongly between her powerful hands and spoken. "You'll survive… but you won't be living" and had left him standing. Alone.