Elena trembled before closing the stolen cell phone. Stefan rushed her home right after the strange guy jumped in front of an oncoming car, and she made up an excuse of being tired so he would leave. She wanted to be alone, handle this herself. Except now she knew that her mother was alive, and didn't want her. It made her think of Damon and his response of "she sucks". She couldn't believe how much of an ass Damon had been today. She thought things between them would smoothen out, and they could really be friends, but he had ruined that tonight.

She lost sleep over the last week, worrying about Damon, wondering if he was okay. She barely saw him after the night in the woods, so she knew he was taking it hard the first few days and she had wanted to be there for him, but he hadn't answered her texts or calls so she left him alone. Stefan didn't have much information for her, just that Damon was drunk all the time and didn't want to talk to anyone, so she made no effort to go see him on her own. She thought she'd make it worse.

There was a tap on her window, and she could have growled. She told Stefan to leave her alone tonight, but he didn't always get her hints. She pushed the window up and glared at the man on her window sill. "What are you doing here?" she asked, hatred dripping from her voice. The nerve he had to show up here.

"Can we talk?" he asked in a soft voice, his bright eyes staring directly into hers.

"I really don't want to see you," she said, folding her arms. "There's nothing left to say." He had done plenty of talking earlier tonight, in front of the whole town. How could he be proud of the things he had done? Was there no sympathy or compassion in him?

"Elena," Damon said, faintly. "I didn't know she was your mother."

"That makes it okay?" Elena asked in horror as she shook her head and paced around her room. "You just don't care about anyone that you hurt." She thought Damon had a soft spot for her, so she never expected him to be as hurtful as he had been tonight.

Finally he slipped into her room and his eyes turned hard as they pierced her. "That's bullshit," he growled. "It's been a long time since I've hurt you."

She didn't think she had ever heard him curse like that, and she knew she had hit a nerve somewhere. "She's my mother Damon," Elena said in a heated voice. Was he really this blind that he couldn't see how upset she was? She was glad she was home alone and didn't have to alert her entire household about her issues with Damon.

"Who did not want you!" he flared. "She gave you up to be a vampire and that isn't my fault."

She snapped and before she could think her fist swung in the direction of his jaw. She was somewhat pleased when his head snapped to the side. "I felt so sorry for you when we found out Katherine wasn't in the tomb," she said. "I was worried all the time and for what? For you to turn around become some big jerk that everyone says you are."

Damon rubbed his cheek and sighed. "I know you're angry," he said. "And you have every right to be, but you can't place all the blame on me. This is how I am Elena. Have no reason to give a rat's ass about anyone anymore."

"Even me?" she asked softly. "I thought we were friends." She hated how pitiful she sounded, trying to figure out when she had gotten on his bad side. When did he decide that she didn't matter?

He raised an eyebrow. "Since when?"

"You said you had fun in Atlanta," she pointed out. "That it was real." She would never forget that he rescued her from her wrecked car, and took her away from her problems. She had fun in Atlanta, and she'd never be able to just brush off the fact that he hadn't compelled her, or that he almost died on that trip.

"I did say that," he said, folding his arms. "And I meant it. And if you had kept me in the loop about this whole thing, we wouldn't be fighting about it now."

She had no argument for that. Only Stefan knew that Isobel was her mother and both of them had kept it from Damon. "Do you know where she is?" Elena whispered. "I talked to her on this phone that I stole earlier."

Damon shook his head, and she could see his muscles relaxing slightly. "I honestly don't know," he said. "I haven't seen her a long time and I know she's connected to Katherine in some way. I'm still putting the pieces together. Elena… you know how dangerous it is for you to keep digging into this."

"I deserve to know," she said, shaking her head. "She gave me up. She owes me answers." And she certainly had a lot of questions, like who her father was. It wasn't going to be a walk in the park to talk to her mother.

"You're very stubborn," he said, heading back to her window. "I warned you."

"Damon?" she asked, coming to her sill, watching him make crouch on her roof, ready to jump off. "We're friends right?" She just had to know what they were to each other so she could deal with it. If they weren't friends, she needed him to be clear about it, but if they were, she wanted to know that she could count on him.

He sighed and met her gaze. "You're the only one that I trust Elena and I would never hurt you on purpose. Never again. So what do you call it?"

"Friends," she answered firmly leaning her head against the side of her window. It was nice to hear how he felt about her, and that he trusted her, and only her. She was working really hard to not betray him again like she had in the past. She didn't want to rock his already fragile boat.

"Alright then," he said. "Goodnight Elena." And he jumped off her roof and disappeared into the night.

Elena sat in front of her laptop trying to find out more information on Isobel, which really wasn't a whole lot. She texted both Damon and Stefan; only hearing from her boyfriend and it bothered her to hear that Damon never came home and she wondered where he went after he left her rooftop. Her stomach was in knots and she called Damon to leave him a voicemail to call her back as soon as he could. She left her room, needing to go do something to keep herself busy. She headed over to the boarding house, her brows furrowing when she saw Damon's car in the driveway. Stefan hadn't noticed?

Maybe Damon had just gotten home, but she couldn't ignore the horrible feeling she had in her stomach. She ran her fingers through her hair and headed up the walk, but paused when she saw something out of the corner of her eye. She peered in the front passenger side window of the Damon's car and gasped. "Damon," she whispered, trying to open the locked door. His face was a collage of blood and dirt and he wasn't responding to her. "Stefan!"

Her boyfriend joined her a few seconds later. "Oh my god," he said. "Stand back, Elena." He moved her behind him before smashing his elbow through the window, allowing them access to the beaten vampire.

Elena stared in horror as Stefan lifted his brother from the car. She slid one of Damon's limp arms around her shoulders and they gradually made their way inside. "He needs blood," she said, her foot on the bottom step, ready to start the long trip up the one flight of stairs. "I'll clean him up while you go to the hospital and get some human blood." She had never seen Damon like this, unresponsive. He always had some comment to make, and she knew if he was awake, he'd be snarking at Stefan to put him down. She knew it was bad if he couldn't figure out where he was.

"Elena," Stefan said, shaking his head once at the top of the staircase. "I can't leave you alone with him when he's like this."

"You're brother is dying," Elena said furiously. "Get over whatever it is. He needs us." With that, she took the rest of Damon's weight and headed to the bathroom, relieved to hear the front door close. She knew Stefan was worried about Damon's hunger taking over and then she would be caught in the crossfire, but she knew Damon wouldn't hurt her. Damon wouldn't want Stefan taking care of him either. With care, she lowered him to the floor and turned on the water of the shower. She stripped to her jeans and tank and removed his jacket and shirt along with their shoes. "Damon?" she whispered, stroking his cheek.

"Elena?" he moaned, his head moving to the side. She almost sobbed in relief when she heard her name fall from his lips. At least he knew she was here with him.

"Come on," she said, and with him semi conscious, she was able to help him into the tub. She washed the blood away from his face and hair and her fingers moved over the solid plains of his chest, seeing two holes in his abdomen. "What happened?" She felt sick, but she tried to ignore it, knowing that wasn't what Damon needed right now.

"Got shot," he said, catching his balance as he placed his hands on her shoulders. "They hurt like a bitch too."

Bullets didn't kill vampires, but that didn't mean they hurt any less. "You're going to be fine," she said, watching the rest of the blood wash away from his skin. She turned the water off and helped him out of the shower to dry off. "Can you change?" She had imagined Damon naked many times, but to actually experience it, was a whole other story.

He steadied himself and blinked rapidly. "Yeah," he answered.

Elena turned her back to give him a minute of privacy until she heard the bed squeak. "Stefan went to get you blood," she said, helping his battered body under the blankets. All the things she was mad at him for seem irrelevant now as he lay helpless in his bed. Whoever had done this was strong and caught him off guard.

"Elena," he mumbled, his eyes falling closed."I'm so sorry I killed your mom."

Her face fell and she collapsed next to him. Even now when he could barely open his eyes, he was apologizing to her. "I know," she said, holding his hand. "You told me earlier." They could worry about all this later, if she even bothered to bring it up again.

"I would never hurt you," he muttered. "Please believe me."

"Don't worry about that right now," she said, stroking his damp hair. "Just rest." She bit her lip but relaxed when he seemed to finally fall asleep just in time for Stefan to return. "He's got some gunshot wounds," she said, getting to her feet and taking the blood from Stefan. "I'm going to heat this up." She left the room, heading downstairs to the kitchen. She poured the blood into a cup before putting it in the microwave, and bursting into tears. Damon was hurt so bad, and it had happened right after he saw her last night. The microwave dinged and she used a paper towel to wipe her face before heading upstairs.

After setting the mug on the end table, she sat next to Damon, sliding her arm beneath his neck and lifting him up, trying not to cause him too much discomfort. "Damon?" she asked, tilting his head. "Wake up." She brought the cup to his lips, hoping the smell would help his instincts to kick in. It wasn't long before he started drinking the fluid slowly and he drowned the contents with ease. Elena set the cup to the side and lowered him back down onto the bed. She noticed the way Stefan was staring at her but she ignored it. She didn't have time for his jealousy right now.

"You should go home," Stefan suggested. "I'll keep an eye on him."

Elena shook her head, curling in the chair next to Damon's bed. "I'm not leaving," she said. "When he wakes up, he's not going to want to see you."