Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries.

A/N: Okay. Final chapter! How sad. I really am sad, but also a little relieved. It's rare that I start writing something and continue to be motivated enough to finish it. Or at the very least finish writing something and still be enjoying it so much. Could it be the power of Delena? ;-) It has to be, right? So…there's a little shout-out to the heartbreaking scene in 2x08 in here. You'll pick up on it. And I think this answers all the major questions that are still left to be answered. The rest of them are left for you to fill in to your own satisfaction. Isn't that nice of me? Nice or maybe just lazy. Whatever.

I hope this doesn't disappoint. That would suck.


Chapter 11:

Elena knew something was off when she felt a soft wind blowing against her face and through her hair. She hadn't felt wind in forever. She inhaled deeply, keeping her eyes closed and was surprised to realize what she was breathing in. It was fresh air. Her hands were on the ground next to her body and she allowed her fingertips to feel her surroundings. It didn't take her long to identify it as grass.

"You awake?" Damon's voice sounded.

" Yeah." She replied, softly.

"Then open your eyes."

She instantly followed his instruction, too curious not to. The darkness crept up around her and Elena swallowed, fearing the worst, yet she wasn't able to make sense of it all. She managed to make out the dark figure sitting on the ground beside her and knew it was him.

"Where are we? What's going on?"

Damon nodded to something in front of them and Elena sat up a little. She looked over to what was in front of them and it took her a few seconds to connect the dots. The small lights in front of her, the gigantic house, the fresh air around her, the grass she was sitting on.

"Is that…?"

"Nice to look at it from this side for once, don't you think?" Damon asked.

"We got out?" She asked, her eyes growing big at the realization.

"We got out."

She stopped breathing, taking in what he was telling her. They got out? How? What happened? Last thing she remembered was being in Damon's bedroom right after they got attacked by the mad butcher and the little girl. Everything else was gone. She remembered getting to her feet, feeling like hell of a sudden and then…

"Oh God. Did I die?" She suddenly exclaimed, looking down at herself as if the answer to that question would be visible. "Am I a vampire? Is that how we got out?"

Her gaze went up to Damon in horror, desperately needing him to answer her as the panic grew inside of her.

"Do you feel dead?"

"Damon! Don't do this." She objected. "What happened?"

"You passed out." He finally spoke the words. "From pain or hunger or stress, I don't know."

Elena breathed out in relief, closing her eyes for a second. Guess it was now clear where she really stood on the whole turning-thing. She'd been terrified for a second.

"What happened? How did we get out?" Her follow-up questions were, still not understanding.

"Right after you passed out, the darkness disappeared." Damon explained. "So I don't know. My best guess is that we cheated the spell. You passed out, so maybe you stopped feeling for a second. If we'd known the solution had been that easy…"

She took in this new information, trying to comprehend what he was saying. Could it really have been that easy? Just not thinking or feeling for a single second due to passing out?

"I told you I loved you." She then suggested. "Maybe…"

"Ah yes." Damon nodded, the sarcasm easily detectable in his voice. "I'm sure we cheated the spell with a lie."

Elena was surprised at how carelessly he dismissed the suggestion, but didn't feel brave enough to object. Her head was filled with too many thoughts and feeling to even convince herself that it hadn't been a lie, let alone him. Right now she didn't know. She just didn't know.

"So that's it? All I had to do was pass out?"

"Apparently." He shrugged. "Who knows? Important thing is that we're out. For good."

She nodded slowly, her gaze moving back to the boarding house. It looked harmless and beautiful in the dim light and it was hard to believe that place had been a house of horrors to her for that long.

"Are you okay?" She then asked, turning back to Damon.

"Had some blood." He assured her. "I'm as good as new. You?"

She tried to move her left arm that had been sore right before she passed out from hitting the wall and moved her head from left to right, convinced the movement would cause her to feel the aftermath of almost choking to death. However, she felt fine. No pain, no uneasy feeling, no hunger, no headache.

"I gave you some of my blood while you were out." Damon then spoke at her surprised reaction. "Figured you could use it."

"Thanks." She murmured.

"Still doesn't mean you don't need to eat." He added.

"I know." Elena nodded.

"So? You up for that burger we talked about? The chocolate?"

She smiled at the anticipation of eating an actual meal. She looked up and saw he was returning the smile. His arm then reached out and pulled her closer. It was a nice gesture where they finally displayed a little emotion. Elena didn't know if it was because they were simply incapable of comprehending everything that happened, but she didn't feel the way she imagined she would. No bliss. No enthusiasm. Not even happiness. Just contentment. But that was good enough. Damon kissed her hair.

"We made it." She whispered, looking over at the big house.

"Looks like it." Damon nodded.

An unexpected chuckle escaped her throat. They were out. The nightmare was over. For real.

"Come on, trooper. Time to get you home." He told her, ending the sentimental moment.

"Ugh. I'm in so much trouble. Jenna is going to ground me until the next century. I've got a feeling I'm way past my curfew." Elena sighed, loving how that didn't even seem like a really bad thing.

Damon chuckled softly as he released his hold on her and helped her to her feet. "Well, at least you'll be locked up in a new environment. It will be a nice change of scenery. This one was getting a little old."

"Just a little." She agreed, smiling.


Elena was still smiling when they finally reached her house. The walk over had been something out of a dream. She didn't think she'd ever get to see Mystic Falls again or walk home through the familiar town. Damon had suggested to take the car, but she'd refused. She wanted to walk and she'd loved it. She had thrown on the hood-y Damon had brought from the boarding house to cover up her bloodstained shirt. Damon himself had changed into some clean clothes and she had to admit that he looked as if nothing had happened. Like they'd just come home after a night of partying instead of spending days stuck in a nightmare. She didn't know what time it was, but the darkness revealed that it was still night or at the very latest early in the morning. Elena reached into the pocket of her jeans, getting out her house keys that she'd kept in there this entire time in case they would get out at some point. Towards the end it had been wishful thinking more than anything, but even then she hadn't been able to take them out. Now she was glad.

They climbed the steps to the front door in silence, just like they'd spent the walk over in almost complete silence. Elena stuck the keys in the lock of the door and twisted it in a simple motion, even enjoying this, since she didn't think she'd ever get to do it again. The door opened and she turned to Damon, hesitant about what would be next. Did they have to say goodbye? But where would he go? Back to boarding house? Did she even want him to go? Just as she was about to open her mouth without knowing what words would come out, noises came from inside the house and when Elena turned her head towards the sounds, she saw how Jenna emerged from the stairs in her bathrobe.

"Elena?" Jenna asked, surprised.

"Jenna!" Elena exclaimed, smiling and happy to see her aunt.

Jenna was downstairs now and Elena instinctively stepped forward, pulling her aunt into a big hug. Who would've thought she'd ever see her again?

"What are you doing here?" Jenna asked, chuckling at Elena's enthusiasm. She then noticed Damon and stepped back, frowning. "Better question: what's he doing here?"

"Hello Jenna." Damon nodded. "Nice to see you."

Jenna looked at Elena in confusion. "I didn't expect you back so soon! And at this time. How was the trip?"

Trip? Elena looked back at her aunt, trying to make sense of those words. What trip? Why wasn't Jenna upset? She'd been gone for a long, long time.

"Great!" Damon answered instead of Elena and her gaze moved to him. It was obvious he was just playing along and didn't have a clue as to what Jenna was talking about either.

Another frown line appeared in Jenna's forehead as her gaze moved from Elena to Damon.

"Did you go too?" She asked, obvious surprise shining through her voice.

"No." A voice then came from behind them. "We just picked her up."

Elena turned around and saw Stefan climbing the steps towards the house. He was holding an overnight bag that she quickly identified as her own. While things became more confusing with every passing second, Elena found herself incredibly relieved to see Stefan. Her smile grew wider, but she resisted the urge to run up to him and throw her arms around him. Apparently she'd been on a trip and he'd picked her up. At least that's what Jenna thought. A hug would be weird. Stefan had reached the door now and placed her bag on the porch, flashing Elena one of his irresistible smiles. She sighed and gladly returned the smile.

"Sorry we woke you." Stefan continued, looking at Jenna. "Mr. Saltzman decided to cut the trip short. Really bad weather over there. So they left last night and decided to keep driving."

"Oh." Jenna nodded, obviously deep in thought. "Why didn't you tell me on the phone yesterday?"

It took Elena a second to realize the question was directed at her and she looked back at her aunt. She'd called Jenna last night? How was that even possible? She understood by now that Stefan had covered up her disappearance with some story about a trip, but not knowing the details made her feel uneasy. She hated lying. Especially when she didn't know what the lie meant. And how was it possible she called Jenna? She quickly shrugged off the questions, knowing she had to find a way to play along.

"Uh…the weather suddenly changed last night." She stuttered, hoping that'd be an acceptable answer.

"It was a last minute decision." Stefan added.

Jenna seemed to accept this answer as she nodded. "Okay. Well, glad you're home, Elena. Next time it'd be nice if you'd tell me about a school fieldtrip before you left. Giving me a phone call at work telling me you'll be gone for a week, isn't really the way to go."

"I'm sorry." Elena offered.

"I know. You explained it on the phone. I'm definitely buying you a day planner tomorrow. I just don't understand how you could forget."

"Me neither." Elena sighed. "Won't happen again."

"I sure hope so. You're lucky I'm the cool aunt." Jenna joked. She then looked at her watch. "Well, I can still get a good six hours of sleep before having to get up. You can tell me all about the trip tomorrow, okay?"


Jenna gave Elena a smile. She then turned to the Salvatore brothers.

"Thanks for getting her home alright. The both of you."

"Not a problem." Damon answered.

"You're welcome." Stefan nodded.

"Sweet dreams for later." She then told Elena, before turning around and heading back up the stairs. Elena watched her aunt until she had reached upstairs, before turning to back around to the brothers. Damon's gaze met hers, but she found herself looking away. Next thing she knew, she felt two strong arms around her and realized it was Stefan. She happily returned the hug, burying her face in his shoulder and taking in his familiar scent. He smelled so good.

"You okay?" Stefan whispered in her ear.

"Yeah." She assured him, lifting her head a little and resting her chin on his shoulder. She couldn't resist looking over Stefan's shoulder and found Damon staring back at her. Their gazes locked and a heavy feeling appeared in Elena's stomach. She hadn't thought this far ahead yet.

Stefan pulled away and leaned in to kiss her. Instinctively she turned her cheek and his lips landed there. She couldn't bring herself to look at him as he let go of her, but she knew that Stefan could sense something was wrong. Just then another person rushed down from the stairs and she was pulled into another hug. She was surprised, but then realized it was Jeremy.

"You're back!" He breathed in her neck.

"Yup. In one piece."

"You okay?" He asked as he let go of her and investigated her face.

"Fine." She promised him as her gaze went to the brothers and was just in time to see how Stefan pulled Damon in a quick hug. Now she felt even worse.

"She needs to eat." Damon then spoke, looking away from his brother to Elena and giving her a look.

"I'll fix you something." Jeremy offered, already heading towards the kitchen.

The threesome was still standing in the doorway. Damon had his hands in his pockets and looked at the twosome standing in front of him. Elena and Stefan looked back at him. Awkward. Then Damon followed Jeremy into the kitchen. Again, Elena couldn't bring herself to look at Stefan and almost flinched when she felt his hand on her lower back as he guided her inside. He closed the door behind them, then took her hand in his and she reluctantly allowed him to guide her to the kitchen. Crap. What was she going to do?

She let go of Stefan's hand as they entered the kitchen and she wasn't oblivious to the look Damon was giving her, but she chose to ignore it. Damon was leaning on the counter while Jeremy was standing in front of the refrigerator.

"I can heat you up some leftover mac and cheese?" He suggested.

"Perfect." Elena nodded.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Stefan then asked her again and Elena nodded as she sat down at the counter as far away from Damon as possible.

"What happened?" Jeremy asked as Elena watched him as he scooped the mac and cheese from the plastic container onto a plate and placed it in the microwave. Jeremy was the neutral factor in this situation and she knew she could only look at him right now.

"Long story." Damon assured Jeremy.

"What did you tell Jenna?" Elena then asked. "What's with the phone calls?"

"Bonnie." Stefan answered. "She used a spell. Ric came up with the idea that we could tell Jenna he took some kids on a fieldtrip. Seemed like the easiest solution to explain why you were gone. I stayed with Ric. All we had to do was make sure Ric didn't run into Jenna."

Elena nodded slowly.

"It was a fieldtrip, alright." Damon stated. "How did you know we got out?"

Stefan hesitated for a second. "I went by the house. I checked a few times everyday. I was able to look inside now and I realized you were out."

Jeremy placed the steaming plate of food in front of Elena and handed her a fork.

"Thanks." She murmured.

"Eat." Damon told her.

Elena nodded. "Don't worry, I will."

"Why does she need to eat?" Stefan asked and she could tell from the tone of his voice that he was worried.

"We ran out of food a few days ago." Damon explained. "Good thing we got out when we did."

Elena took a bite from the mac and cheese and her body immediately responded. She needed this.

"You must be starving." Jeremy said.

"Sort of." Elena shrugged, taking another bite.

"After not eating for days you're only sort of starving?" Her brother continued to ask. "Impressive."

"Damon gave her blood." Stefan then stated, obviously fitting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Elena finally looked up at Stefan. She saw the worry and confusion in her eyes and suddenly found it difficult to keep eating. The feeling in her stomach seemed to make the hunger disappear.

"It was that or death." Damon shrugged.

"Well, that's just gross." Jeremy decided.

"Says the boy who voluntarily drank the blood of his dead vampire girlfriend."

"Yeah, I did. It's how I know it's gross." Jeremy shot back.

"It's no big deal." Elena spoke up, focusing on her food again. "Damon's right. It was that or death."

A silence fell as the men in the room watched Elena eat. Jeremy seated himself at the counter next to his sister.

"So what did you two do while you were stuck in there? Must've been boring."

Oh boy. Elena felt Damon's eyes on her, but refused to look at him.

"It wasn't that bad." She told her little brother. "A lot of stuff happened. Not much time to be bored."

"Well, what kind of stuff happened?" Jeremy continued to ask.

"Between Elena almost starving and us trying to get out, we were almost sucked into hell, I actually jumped into hell, we were both almost killed by hell and that was about it. Fun times. It had nice hell-theme." Damon answered the question.

"Memories for life." Elena nodded, sarcastically.

"We tried to get you out." Stefan then spoke. "We did. But…"

"It's okay." Elena interrupted him, finally looking up at him again and trying to smile. "We got out. That's all that matters."

"Bonnie figured out what spell it was though." He continued, staring back at Elena.

"So did we." Damon jumped in. "Thanks to your book. We owe you one for that, little brother."

Elena couldn't look away as Stefan's eyes were still locked with hers. She knew him and she knew exactly what was going through his head.

"Seemed to fit you two. With the hatred." Stefan said.

Elena took a deep breath, knowing where this was going.

"We thought so too." Damon nodded, casually.

"The only way out was to find peace with each other. How did that work out? Sounded impossible to Bonnie and me."

"We cheated." The older Salvatore then blurted.

Elena closed her eyes at those words and wanted to strangle him. Really? Just like that? She could feel how even Jeremy tensed up beside her.

"…the spell." Damon then clarified. "We cheated the spell. Geez. Come on, people."

She opened her eyes again and saw how Stefan seemed a little calmer now.

"How?" Jeremy asked.

"Elena passed out. She stopped feeling for a second and the spell was lifted."

"Just like that?" Stefan asked, now focusing on his brother and looking at him suspiciously.

"Just like that." Damon nodded. "Don't worry, baby brother. She never stopped hating me."

Elena suddenly couldn't take it anymore. All of this was wrong on so many levels. She was done eating and dropped the fork on her place, the sound drawing the attention of the three men in the room.

"I'm tired. I'm going to bed." She announced.

She desperately needed to be alone. All these questions were confusing her even more and she felt like the most horrible person on the planet right now.

"Do you want me to stay?" Stefan asked, a sudden sweetness in his voice.

She forced herself to look at him and give him a reassuring smile.

"That's sweet, but I could use a little time alone."

"I understand." He nodded, returning the smile.

His hand reached out to her cheek and softly stroke it. Elena closed her eyes, remembering how much she had longed for his touch.

"Damon and I'll just go home." Stefan continued, taking back his hand.

"Okay. No." Damon objected. "No way I'm ever spending another night in there."

"Damon…" Stefan sighed.

"I'm serious. Hell no. I'll go to a motel. Maybe even knock on my buddy Ric's door. He's got a bed available now you're gone. I'm sure he'll be delighted to have me."

"Fine." The younger Salvatore agreed, but obviously annoyed.

"You can stay here." Elena suddenly found herself speaking up, regretting the words once they were out, because they were out for everyone to hear, but not really regretting the question. It seemed weird to have to say goodbye to him. "On the couch."

Great. She really had to add that? Of course he'd be staying on the couch. Where else? She felt Stefan's eyes on her, but didn't look at him. Instead she was looking at the other brother, almost pleading with him.

"If that's okay with you, Jer?" Elena then remembered. God, how insane was this? She'd almost forgotten about what happened.

"Fine with me. I've got my ring." Jeremy shrugged.

"As if that will stop me." Damon objected, rolling his eyes.

"Damon…" Elena reasoned with him. "Not funny. Never funny."

"Right. Sorry. I'll behave."

"I'm not worried." Jeremy assured Elena.

"So you're staying?" She asked Damon, hating how she sounded so eager.

"Okay." He nodded, obviously understanding her reluctance to say goodbye.

"Just for tonight. I mean, I understand you can't go back to the boarding house. You can figure something out tomorrow."

"Jenna is going to freak out." Jeremy contributed to the conversation. "Just saying."

"I'll be gone before she wakes up." Damon shrugged.

Elena sighed, the situation tense again in the kitchen. "I'll get you a pillow and a blanket."

"I'll do it." Jeremy offered. "You just go to sleep. You need it."

"Thanks, Jer."

Jeremy nodded and made his way into the living room. Elena half expected Damon to follow her little brother, but he didn't. He just stood there, watching her. She took a deep breath, then turned around to face Stefan.

"I'm sorry about all this." She offered. "I'm just really tired."

"It's okay. I'll come over tomorrow morning."

She nodded and smiled. "Thanks."

"Kind of looking forward to spending the night in my own bed again." Stefan smiled back and Elena knew he was trying to make it sound like he was okay with all this. She knew the other questions would come later. She was dreading them already.

"If or when you're being strangled by an insane little girl or you find yourself chained to a wall and gutted like a fish by a mad butcher: give me a call. I've got some unfinished business with them." Damon offered.

"The spell is gone. They'll be gone. Stefan will be fine." Elena stated.

"We'll see about that. One way or another those two are going to get what they deserve."

Elena chose to ignore Damon, the things that happened at the house the last thing she wanted to think about. She stepped forward and pulled Stefan into a hug. It was a sincere gesture. Despite everything she truly was glad to see him again, even though the immense guilt she was experiencing seemed to overshadow this feeling at the moment.

"I'm sorry you had to go through all that." Stefan told her, wrapping his arms around her.

Elena closed her eyes. He was sorry? As if she didn't feel bad enough already.

"I'm fine. It wasn't that bad." She assured him.

"No, it was a regular walk in the park." Damon added. "You know, if walk meant 'nightmare' and park was a synonym for 'hell'."

Elena pulled away from Stefan and turned around to throw Damon a look.

"Can we not do this right now?" She pleaded with him. "We made it out. We're okay."

Damon nodded, locking eyes with her. "Yeah, we are."

"Thank you." She whispered.

"You're welcome."

Elena nodded, feeling like wrapping his arms around him and knowing she would've gotten away with that before, but also knowing that hugging him right now would be too much to bear with Stefan in the same room.

"I'll see you around." The older of the Salvatores told her, giving her a nod.


Her head turned to Stefan, immediately noticing the worried expression on his face. She smiled at him.

"See you tomorrow." She offered.

"I'll be here." Stefan nodded.

Elena took a deep breath and with that she left the kitchen, making her way to the stairs. This had hardly been the reunion with her boyfriend she had imagined right after she got locked up with Damon. But things had changed. Not just because of what had happened. She'd changed. She started climbing the stairs and heard Stefan's voice coming from the kitchen.

"She wants to be alone, Damon. You better not come near her tonight."

"Was that a pathetic and failed attempt at a threat?" Damon's cocky voice sounded.

"I mean it. Leave her alone."

Elena closed her eyes as she reached the top of the stairs. She'd just rolled from one nightmare into the other. She walked into her bedroom and closed the door behind her. The silence surrounded her and she sighed. This sucked.


She was unsure about how long she'd been twisting and turning in bed when she finally opened her eyes again. Her bed had felt like heaven when she'd crawled into it, but falling asleep seemed to be impossible, no matter how tired she was. The ticking from the clock on her wall, a sound she'd been longing for, was now making her nervous. It was a reminder that morning would come eventually and she'd have to face Stefan again. Sweet, perfect Stefan who seemed well aware that something was up, but had been still been so protective and caring. She rolled on her back and stared up at the ceiling. She'd heard Jeremy go to bed a while back and had heard Stefan leave through the front door. She closed her eyes and could practically picture Damon downstairs on the couch. She wondered if he was able to sleep. Or was he also staring at the ceiling, thinking similar thoughts to hers? It was crazy, but she felt like talking to him. Like being near him. Nearer. Even after all this time together, she still wasn't ready to be away from him.

Before she realized what she was doing, she found herself standing next to her bed. She considered just going to the bathroom and ignoring the crazy voices in her head telling her to go downstairs, but she ended up tip-toeing to the door. She figured Jeremy and Jenna were fast asleep, but wasn't taking any chances. She reached the hallway and looked down the stairs. A dim light came from the living room and she realized Damon was still awake. She took a deep breath.

"Can't stay away, huh?" His soft, but smug voice then sounded.

She closed her eyes. Of course he'd heard her. She started to head down the stairs.

"Don't be like this." She told him.

She'd reached the bottom step now and hesitated just a second, before heading towards the living room. Damon didn't reply. She walked in on him, just as he put down the book he'd been reading. He was lying on the couch, still fully dressed, but with the blanket covering him. He immediately looked up and their eyes locked as Elena stopped dead in her tracks.

"Nice PJ's." He offered.

She looked down and smiled a little.


"Couldn't sleep?"

She shook her head as her gaze went back to the stairway.

"They're asleep." Damon assured her, sitting up a little, making room on the couch. He motioned for her to come closer and sit down. She brought her hand to her forehead as she looked at the small space he'd cleared for her. If she sat down, they'd be close. Real close. Being close to him had become a natural thing while they were locked up, but now…

So she continued to stand at the same spot as her eyes moved back to Damon.

"Please tell me I'm not the only one who felt horrible tonight."

"Can't say I particularly enjoyed deceiving my brother like that. Which I feel is a real sign of personal growth for me." He shrugged.

"I don't know what to do, Damon." She suddenly admitted, giving him a pleading look. She swallowed heavily and blinked away tears that had started to form in her eyes.

"Sleeping sounds like a good plan." He told her. "For now."

"You know that's not what I mean."

"Look…" Damon started, sitting up a little more. "I don't know what you want me to say."

Elena nodded, knowing that she wasn't really looking for him to tell her what to do. She walked over to one of the arm chairs and sat down, folding her hands together and looking down.

"Me passing out wasn't what broke the spell." She then spoke. "It couldn't have been."

Damon didn't reply right away. He seemed to take in these words. "How can you be so sure?"

"Because…" She started, forcing herself to look up at him while speaking the truth. "…I didn't stop feeling or thinking. Not for a single second. I had a dream."

"What kind of dream?"

She sighed.

"About us." She then admitted. "It took me a while to remember it, but it's still very clear in my head. I remember how everything went dark around me and I remember how right after that you appeared."

"Did it get all sexy after that?" He asked, smirking.

She couldn't help, but smile. "No. But it was nice. Better than nice. And it's how I know that I didn't stop feeling. I was dreaming. Vividly. About you."

Damon didn't say anything at first, but just looked at her. "Okay. So then we unknowingly cheated the spell in some other way."

"Why do you keep doing that?" Elena suddenly spoke up, frowning. "Why do you keep insisting that we cheated the spell?"

"What other option is there?"

Elena shook her head. "I told you I loved you. And you keep dismissing it like it's some joke or a lie. I tried to tell you that I meant it, but you keep dismissing it. Why do you do that?"

"Because I know you." Damon instantly replied. "And I know there's no way in hell someone like you could love someone like me. Ever."

"Well, then you're wrong." She shrugged. "There is a way. Especially in hell."

A silence fell as Elena looked down again. She was relieved that was out, but still confused as to what it all meant.

"I don't want to." She continued. "Love you, I mean."

"Been there, done that." He replied, sighing.

"And nothing's changed. I don't think. You're still unpredictable and dangerous and…"

"And that's exactly what you love about me."

Her head shot up and they looked at each other once again. "Maybe." She nodded.

"It's ironic." Damon stated.

"What is ironic?"

"Looks like we're stuck together." He shrugged. "Still."

Elena closed her eyes for a second. That sounded about right. She hadn't looked at it like that before. She sighed, before opening her eyes again and locking gazes with him. She saw something in his eyes she had rarely seen. Vulnerability. So much that it terrified him. And all she wanted to do was go up to him and kiss it away. Make it go better. Tell him that he could trust her, that she wouldn't hurt him. So she relied on that instinct as she got up from her chair and walked over to him. He seemed to get her intention as he lifted the blanket and allowed her to crawl on the couch next to him. He instantly covered her with the blanket and pulled her closer. Their noses were almost touching and Elena sighed.

"Is this what you want?" Damon asked and she easily picked up on the uncertainty and vulnerability in his voice. It was so unlike him, but fitted him so well.

She hesitated a second. "This is all I want." She then nodded, more conviction in her voice than ever before.

Damon smirked a little, relaxing a little. "You're about to get yourself in a lot of trouble."

She chuckled softly. "Let's deal with that in the morning, okay?"

He nodded and she smiled at him. Then she felt his warm hand on her bare hip as he pulled her closer. She instantly buried her face in his neck and snuggled up against him. She closed her eyes, taking in his scent. It was remarkable how fast she landed into a peaceful dream.



A/N: Well? Was this okay? I really, really hope so. Please just let me know and don't hesitate to be honest. I'm not sure I love how this turned out. I liked the final scene though. And I liked writing Damon like this. Maybe you would've expected him to be mean to Stefan about what happened between him and Elena, rub it in, drop not so subtle hints or whatever, but I feel that he knew that it was real between him and Elena and that he understood the delicate situation she was in. Also, the "I guess we're stuck together"-line was probably a little cliché, but I wanted to use it, because it's so true. And writing Damon so vulnerable like he was in the last scene was a little difficult, but I think that Damon is capable of being vulnerable like that, we just haven't seen it to that extent yet. Should we ever get so lucky that we get to see Damon/Elena together on the show, I think he'll get like that. I mean, really opening up and letting her in will probably be the biggest risk he ever takes. I mean, at the moment he'd rather have Elena forget that he loves her than ever be that vulnerable. Sure, he disguised it as saying that he did it for her, because she deserves better and I'm sure that's partly true, but I also think right now he's just not ready. But that's just my opinion.

I'm going to miss this story and I'm going to miss all of you leaving such wonderful reviews. They are the first thing I check when I wake up. Such a great way to start the day. Hopefully I'll be back soon with more Delena goodness!

Last but not least I'd like to thank my coffeemaker and my huge coffee mug and just coffee in general. They made this story possible. Nothing like a bitter, dark, hot beverage served in a soup bowl-sized cup to keep me going when it comes to this story. Seriously. I wouldn't have been able to write this without my caffeine rush.

And thank you to every single one of you for reading and liking this story! I can't even begin to tell you how much that means to me.