A/N: I don't own Vampire Diaries or any of the canon characters.
Thanks to everyone who followed me over from one of my other stories (One Is the Loneliest Number and Roadtrip), I appreciate you taking the time to read. As I said this is a bit of an experiment for me to try my hand at first person POV to see if it'll work for my new book. I appreciate all comments and criticisms offered.
The premise is this: What if just as Elena realizes that Stefan and Damon are vampires she bolts and there is a tragic accident? As she lies dying in Stefan's arms, he can't bring himself to save her for fear of damning her for all eternity to the same curse that he struggles with. Damon, unburdened by the same concerns, snatches Elena from his arms and turns her. Elena wakes to a whole new world as a vampire. How will she react to her new un-life? Will she become just like Katherine? How will this change her feelings for Stefan? And now that she shares this new connection with Damon as her maker, will they grow closer? Will Damon just use her as a pawn in his personal war against Stefan? Or will he let her into his heart?
It was ironic that this happened to me; I was never a night person at heart. I craved the sunshine with its warmth and light, and I always felt better when my skin held a nice healthy tan. The early bird gets the worm was my motto, even during the summer months when I didn't have to get up quite so early for school.
Those days I hadn't been sleeping all that much anyway, my dreams a battleground for every fear and regret I had ever harbored to tangle with my unfulfilled wishes and dreams. Most mornings I awoke eager for the distraction of school and friends, it was those lonely darkened hours that I dreaded most.
So you can see right off the bat why a vampire was the very last thing I would have chosen to be.
Perhaps if I'd been given a choice I might have thought differently, but at the time all I could think of was what I'd lost that night, not what I'd gained. That night will forever be etched in my mind with perfect clarity, the night that Elena Gilbert died and I was born.
I heard Stefan's voice, sounding strained and upset. What was going on?
"What do you mean what now? It's over and done with. She'll either wake up or she won't."
I could practically hear the shrug in Damon's voice, the disinterest, real or feigned. Were they arguing about me? I'm awake… I tried to speak but to my growing horror I found that I could not move and my eyes would not budge no matter how hard I tried to force them open.
"You had no right to do that to her, whatever there is between us, this is a low blow even for you." Stefan's voice rose sharply.
"Hey, I thought I was helping." Damon retorted. "I took care of her when you didn't have the balls to do it yourself. She would have died if I hadn't done it."
Died? What had happened to me? And why couldn't I move? Panic started to well within me and I could feel a silent tear slip from the corner of my eye, unnoticed by the men in the room. No… not men… vampires…
All at once the memory returned, my argument with Stefan, his admission of what he was; what they were.
The confirmation had sent me flying off into the night, really to upset to drive but I had needed to get out of there, needed to absent myself from Stefan's hurt puppy dog look. Where had he gotten off with the nerve to have such a hangdog look after how things had gone down? He was the one who had lied to me in the first place!
After that my memories were a little blurry… there were headlights and I had swerved… there was a flash as a tree loomed large in the headlights… There was a clear memory of Stefan holding me in his arms but then it changed and it was Damon's icy blue eyes staring down at me intently. It was enough to make my head spin again as I tried to sort through what was imagined and what was real.
"What kind of life can I offer her now?" Stefan sighed.
"The not-dead kind?" Damon quipped.
Oh sweet Jesus… he hadn't… My eyes snapped open, an unnecessary gasp tearing through me out of habit.
"She's awake!" Stefan rushed to my side and I had to admit, a wave of relief washed over me at seeing his familiar face. Only he looked different to me now, in a way I couldn't quite put my finger on. He looked… more. More everything, more handsome, more tired and drawn, more worried, as if everything about him was exaggerated.
"W-what's going on?" My voice sounded shrill to my ears and I couldn't help but wince, doing my best to swallow back my fear. I felt… wrong somehow, but again I couldn't quite identify why.
"Welcome back Sleeping Beauty." Damon was suddenly there, looking over Stefan's shoulder at me, his expression inscrutable. If Stefan looked different, it was tenfold for Damon. Already a good looking guy by any standards (not that I would ever have told him so to his face!), there was an irresistible lure to him now that made the air whistle softly through my teeth at my quick intake of breath.
I was tired of lying down and I might have said something to that effect as I pushed myself up to a seated position, but I was too busy looking at my surroundings to be sure if I'd spoken out loud. It wasn't my own bedroom, or a hospital but Stefan's bed that I found myself in. "I feel…" Dizzy, confused, cold, itchy, nauseous, sore, tired. Wrong… "…different." My tongue finally supplied and I again marveled at the sound of my own voice. Was it my ears or the timbre of my voice that had changed? It was impossible to tell.
Damon chuckled, withdrawing to take a seat across the room. "That's a serious understatement." He muttered.
"It's natural that you feel a bit… disoriented for a while, your body's been through quite a change." Stefan said gently, and I could see the pucker of worry between his brows.
Uh-oh. "There was an accident…" I raised my hand before my eyes, the vague memory of the fingers being crushed against the car door returning to me. As I bent and flexed my perfect fingers, I noticed that my skin was flawless, smooth and supple if a little pale. "What did you do to me?" My eyes went to Stefan, unable to keep the note of accusation out of my voice.
"I…" Stefan looked like he wanted to dig himself a hole and pull the dirt in after him.
"He didn't do it, I did." Damon spoke up, saluting me with his drink.
I stared back, my attention going back and forth between them as the reality of what he'd done sank in. I was like them now, a dead thing, no longer human. I would live forever but never be truly alive again; and I would need to feed… "Why didn't you just let me die?" My voice was low, barely above a whisper but I knew they could both clearly hear me.
Damon snorted, pushing himself up to his feet. "Yeah… sounds like you two are M.F.E.O." He drained his drink, setting it negligently aside. "As much fun as this conversation is apt to be, I think I'll take off for now. Have fun kids."
Typical. As soon the damage was done, Damon skipped out with a merry song in his heart. Did he even have a heart? I didn't even bother to look at him as he left, my gaze riveted on Stefan who would not meet my eyes. Idly I wondered just how old he was, but I was still too angry to ask. "How could you let him do this to me?" My voice fairly dripped with venom and now his eyes met mine.
"When have I been able to stop Damon from doing anything?" He retorted bitterly.
I could tell this rivalry between them had been going on for years upon years. What had sparked it all? "Why does he hate you so much Stefan? What did you ever do to him? Why bring me into it at all?" There were so many why's floating around in my head I wanted to scream. It was inconceivable to me back then that it could all stem from the love of a woman, did anyone truly love so deeply?
"Because naturally it's my fault?" Stefan returned, his eyes hooded with so much pain that I recoiled from it.
"I'm sorry, I'm just trying to understand." I said softly.
"I know…" Stefan rose and went to his bookcase, withdrawing something and gazing at it for a long moment before her turned, the flat object held close to his heart. "I've told you before, about Katherine…"
I felt myself nod absently, what did Katherine have to do with any of it? Sure they had both been involved with her at one point but wasn't she dead? Why would Damon take things that far, was he just a sore loser? Or was there something more to it?
"We both loved her, but she wasn't just an ex-girlfriend." He said softly, coming to kneel at my feet. "Katherine… was the vampire that turned us, both of us."
My mouth dropped open at that, but no words came. How could they have both not only fallen in love with the same woman, but for a vampire? Just as quickly I realized the absurdity of the thought, wasn't I in love with a vampire? As I stared down at Stefan's upturned face, I realized that I did still have feelings for him. Despite all the secrets and lies and the fact that he was a monster, he was still the same person, wasn't he? Or had it all been a lie?
I moistened my lips, preparing to respond, but his hand rose up to stay my reply. "There's more…"
Sweet mother of god, how much more could I take? I nodded again, not trusting myself to speak.
"This… was Katherine." Stefan turned over the card, revealing a picture of a woman close enough to be my twin done in black and white, her hair done up elaborately in an old fashioned style. "And that's why Damon hasn't been able to leave you alone; why he hasn't been able to let me have you either."
There were no words to express how I was feeling in that moment, the shock of looking into the mirror of those dark eyes, knowing this was surely what had brought both Damon and Stefan to my door. Had any of it been real? Or was Stefan just chasing the dream of his lost lady love? What did this mean for us? Was there still an us?
It was too much, and I felt the room start to dip and sway. My hands clutched at the bedspread beneath me, my eyes squinching tightly shut as I fought for a steadying breath my body didn't need. "I can't… I can't do this, not on top of everything else. I need to go home." Despite the dizziness, I launched myself to my feet, throwing myself off balance as my muscles propelled me farther than I had intended.
Before I could stumble into the doorframe, Stefan was there, his arms around me, keeping me from harm. "Let me take you home."
I didn't argue, though he was the last person I wanted to be around at the moment, I wasn't sure if I could make it home on my own. And there was the small matter of my car, which was wrapped around a tree somewhere, the last time I saw it. Jenna was gonna kill me… Hysterical laughter bubbled forth then at that thought. Everything going on and I was worried about what my Aunt was gonna say for wrecking the car? I giggled uncontrollably, all the while that Stefan guided me down the stairs. One look at the concern on Stefan's face set me off again on another string of giggles, surely he must have thought me unhinged.
Somewhat more subdued, I slid into the passenger's seat, not bothering with a seatbelt, my focus on the scenery blurring outside the window as he drove.
"There are some things we should talk about." Stefan began.
"Does it have to be right now? I'm kinda on information overload at the moment." I replied without looking at him. I could feel his hesitation like a palpable thing, but I refused to budge for the moment. A bit selfish? Maybe, but then again, I was entitled to a fit of pique, it wasn't every day that a girl got killed after all.
"There are things you have to know, about what you are now…" He continued, "What you need to expect."
He had my attention now, and I turned to look at him. "What do you mean what to expect? I'm a vampire now aren't I?" Good lord, there wasn't some kind of secret society of vampires I was gonna have to swear fealty to or something equally as ridiculous, was there?
He had my full attention now, was there a way to get out of this? Some way to restore my humanity by killing off the head vampire? I admit my experiences were largely colored by cheesy vampire movies. I blame cable TV… "I'm listening."
"You haven't completed the transformation yet."
I could have kissed him. "Then there's still a chance to fix this? Whatever it is, I'll take it." I volunteered eagerly.
"No, not fix it… Elena… you died. There's no way to regain your humanity, but you won't transition into a full vampire until you drink blood."
I could have joyfully wrung his neck. I died. The words sounded so strange to me, sitting beside him in his sporty little car; we could have been on the way to the movies on any normal night, not having this ridiculous conversation. I would never regain my humanity, but that didn't mean I had take someone else's. Would drinking vampire blood suffice? I had a victim in mind already… "Does it have to be human?"
"Yes, and it has to be fresh, no blood bank bags will do."
I digested that for a moment, my thoughts swirling and jumbling together. "How much does it take? I mean I could just have a little bit and not really hurt someone too badly, right?" That might not be so bad, just a little taste and then I could switch to blood bank stuff, or what was it those sparkly vampires did? They hunted animals only. I could do that…
No lie to me… Why do people always ask 'honestly?', has anyone ever responded with anything to the contrary? I simply waited for him to continue without responding to the prompt.
"I don't really know." Stefan continued. "In my experience, a newly made vampire doesn't have the strength to stop at just one taste."
There was something in his voice that made me think he was speaking from personal experience there, but I didn't want to know the circumstances. "So the bottom line is I need to feed from a human to complete the change." I looked to him for confirmation, which was given as a single nod. "So what happens if I don't do it?" Would I remain as a half-breed of sorts?
"Then… you will meet your final death."
The silence stretched between us. Final death… just sounded so… final. I hadn't asked for any of this. I hadn't asked to fall in love with a vampire, or to be turned into one. We never had that all important… do you want to share eternity with me… conversation. He was only the second boy I'd ever fallen in love with. Did I really want to be linked to him and his screwed up brother for all eternity as nothing more than a Katherine substitute?
"So that's it then." I said finally, just as we pulled up in front of the house. "I just won't eat anybody and I'll… just slip away."
"Elena… it's a big decision…"
"And it's mine to make." I interrupted him. It was late and I was beyond tired after the emotional upheavals of the day.
"Elena please reconsider… it doesn't have to be this way… you can learn to live without hurting people as I have. You can…"
"Stop it!" The words seemed impossibly loud in the confines of the sports car. "Just leave me alone! All I want is to die in peace, surrounded by my family. It's the least you can do for me after everything, just give me that peace."
His face stricken, Stefan nodded.
Of all the memories that sift through my mind the memory of that moment still remains sharp and clear to this day. The haunted look in his eyes, the utter sense of defeat that emanated from his very pores. The sure knowledge that I would never end up like him, I would be righteous and brave. I would resist temptation and find the strength to hold to my ideals, preserving the sanctity of human life. I would lay myself to rest and find that elusive peace with dignity.
Yeah, none of that happened.
A/N: Ok guys, tell me what you think? The plot itself aside (because this is seriously the result of about fifteen minutes of brainstorming and that's it), does the first person narrative style work? Do you think the writing might be better served from a 3rd person POV?
Depending on the response I might completely scrap this fic and retreat to my corner to lick my wounds, or I might continue and see where it goes.
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