Missing: Presumed Dead.

Summary: My first sort of Vampire Diaries multi-chaptered story, if you will. It's basically a 'What If' scenario, in which Elijah takes Elena and doesn't waste time on cleaving Trevor's head off. Stefan and Damon are broken to find she's gone but are determined to find her. They, and a few others, know her to be alive but, as time quickly goes on, to the rest of Mystic Falls she becomes missing, presumed dead.

Chapter 1: Loss

She stood there in utter terror, watching with baited breath as the vampire Elijah examined her with a blend of mild surprise and curiosity. Having already declared her human, he seemed to find her resemblance to Katherine extremely fascinating - but then, who didn't? - judging by the fact he kept staring at her face.

"Well, we have a long journey ahead of us, we should be going," Elijah announced coldly, still unable to take his eyes off of her.

Elena felt like her entire body had been drenched in ice cold water. She knew what was going to happen to her, what these Originals wanted from her, and she knew if Elijah took her to them, that was it for her. You're the one who has to die, kept ringing through her head and, every time it did, she felt physically sick.

Elijah grabbed her arm, nodded courtly in Rose's direction, and started pulling her along before stopping in front of a clearly nervous Trevor, whose eyes were peeled on the ground, his face pale white with fear and dread.

"You're lucky I'm on a strict schedule," Elijah informed him, his voice thick with ice. "Else I would rip your head off right here, right now, for your disloyalty. You dare stand here and beg for my forgiveness, when it is your fault Katerina Petrova still walks this earth? I admire your pluck, I must say." His eyes flew to Rose's. "I grant you both your freedom from me but not from them. That, coming from me, is more then generous. Take it and get the hell away from here before I change my mind."

He grabbed Elena's arms, ignoring her whimpers of fear, and pulled her out of the room, down the dark corridor, and out the front door. His car was parked directly in front of the house and he pushed her roughly towards it, stopping her only when she was near to the door to bind her hands and gag her, before pushing her inside, fastening her seatbelt for her (throwing her a cocky smile into the bargain) and shutting the door.

Elena desperately looked around for some sort of clue as to Stefan and Damon's arrival, but she couldn't spot them anywhere. She hoped they would find her, although she didn't know how they'd even found her in the first place. She could still feel Bonnie's note crushed up inside her hands and, strange as it sounded, it gave her a weird kind of hope. She knew Damon and Stefan wouldn't stop until she was found, although she did have to admit the lengths they would go to keep her safe did frighten her sometimes.

"I must apologize for tying you up like this," Elijah said, as he sat down inside the car and started the engine. "It's quite rude of me to treat you, a guest, like this. But, as you've probably gathered, you're very valuable and, well, I can't afford to have you running away or shouting for help can I?"

She tried to ask him about the moonstone, but the gag had been expertly slapped against her mouth. She couldn't get out much more than a muffled hum, let alone a desperate chance at negotiating her release.

Elijah glanced at her and chuckled lightly, causing her to tremble at the sound. Everything about him frightened her, from his ice cold expression to his stiff gestures and movements, like he simply didn't possess the energy or the effort to waste any more time on doing anything more.

She felt tears start to leak down her cheeks. She was so frightened, so terrified of what was going to happen that the last remnants of hope she carried fluttered out of the window, disappearing into the horizon like everything else she loved.

Please, please, save me, she silently begged Stefan and Damon, wherever they were. She had no idea how far away they even were. All she could do was pray that they would find her somehow, someway.

Elijah said something else to her but she wasn't listening. She was concentrating on staying alive, and she knew her best chance at staying alive was keeping the whereabouts of the moonstone secret.

A small secret smile emerged on her face as she thought of the moonstone. She knew even if he did learn its whereabouts, he'd have to take her back to retrieve it. If he wandered into the tomb which enclosed a probably infuriated Katherine, he wouldn't be able to come back out.

There was still hope.

The two brothers walked towards the house, both of them extremely on edge. Stefan clutched the bag closer to him, hoping and praying she was still alive, still ok, because he couldn't imagine what he'd do if she wasn't.

"Oh, God! That's completely suffocating!" Damon suddenly complained.

Stefan turned to face him, puzzled by his sudden outburst.

"What is?" he enquired, irritated at being stopped in his mission to rescue Elena.

"The tension that's pumping out of you, Stef; will you relax?" Damon informed him, his usual smirk appearing. "She's going to be fine. We're gonna get her out of there, no matter what."

Even if we don't, both brothers silently added to themselves, knowing her safety was the main thing. Neither of them particularly feared death - not this time round, anyway - and if it was for a good cause - namely, Elena getting back to Mystic Falls in one piece - they were both willing to lay their lives on the line for it.

For Stefan, that irritating sense of duty and honour had always been there - Damon had spent most of their lives as the undead poking fun at him for it - and now it seemed to be in Damon too, and it wasn't hard to guess what - or, rather who - was behind the transformation.

They approached the house cautiously, both of them glancing at the other as if silently confirming what they were about to do.

"You go round the back," Damon muttered to him. "I'll go in through the front, make a bit of noise, spook the hell out of them, before you swoop in, distract whoever's got her with a bit of good old fashioned staking, and then we'll grab her."

"You make it sound so easy," Stefan commented lightly. "Like it's just a walk in the park." Like Elena's life isn't at stake if we screw this up.

Damon seemed to understand what his brother wasn't saying. Well, nearly a century and a half of stalking him, making his life hell, did give him some experiencing of reading his brother like a book, on picking up stuff that his brother didn't openly reveal.

"We're not going to screw this up," he informed him. "We're going to stake the bastards who did this to her and we're going to get her out of there."

"Alright," Stefan replied calmly, or as calmly as he could manage given the circumstances. "Just as long as you get your priorities right. Elena first, revenge second."

Damon gave him a mock salute before racing off in a blur of movement. Stefan watched him for a moment, worried that Damon's kill-now-think-later policy would come into play, and that Elena's life would be at stake because of it, but then remembered the giant elephant in the room which would ensure his brother would behave at all costs.

And, although it bugged him like hell that his brother loved Elena too, he knew he had to reshuffle his priorities too. He had to rescue Elena now, be the jealous brother later.

He ran towards the front door, and opened it quietly, immediately running up the stairs. He could hear voices, but not Elena's. He heard a man's voice and a woman's voice, but no frightened third voice to indicate she was even here. He began to worry for the first time whether they'd even got the right place.

"Damon," he hissed as quietly as possible.

His brother raced into view. "What? I was practising my relay skills."

Stefan rolled his eyes, used to his brother's dry sense of humour by now.

"I don't think she's even here," he hissed.

"Who's there?" a loud voice suddenly called.

They both turned as one as a short, dark haired woman and her companion walked out into the hall. The woman had sharp, cutting eyes, and seemed to move her position in defence of her partner, the tall, lanky haired man with nervous eyes and a posture which indicated he was scared.

"We're the Salvatore brothers," Damon announced, rushing down the stairs so he was only inches away from the woman. "I'm Damon; the broody looking one is my brother, Stefan."

"I'm perfectly aware who you are," Rose said coolly, her eyes flashing to Stefan's.

"Well…I just thought you ought to know who will be killing you, unless you hand Elena over," Damon said, his smirk evolving into his best efforts at a threatening smile, something neither of the two vampires looked impressed with.

"We don't have her," her partner spoke up, looking visibly relieved for some unknown reason. "Elijah took her."

Suddenly, Stefan whirled down the stairs and grabbed the lanky haired vampire by the collar of his jacket.

"Took her? Took her where?" he snarled.

"We don't know," Rose admitted, stepping in, forcing Stefan to release him. "We had nothing personal against the girl. We needed her to negotiate ourselves out of an old mess."

"What?" Stefan and Damon snapped as one.

Rose ducked her head down a little, at least having the grace to look abashed.

"The Originals have been chasing us down for centuries," she explained. "We - well, Trevor here - got us into hot water with them and they've wanted us dead ever since. When we realized the existence of another Petrova doppelganger, we saw our chance at getting our freedom back. That's all we wanted - to stop running."

Damon's lips curled into an unfathomable expression, which could've been either fury or complete and utter disdain. Stefan's stomach had physically dropped when he'd realized they'd spoken no word of a lie. It wasn't just that he couldn't hear Elena, he couldn't feel her presence in the building, the way he normally could. His love for her meant that he always knew when she was around, or nearby.

Judging by the fact Damon looked like he was itching to kill, he could feel her gaping absence too.

He was not far off. The eldest Salvatore brother certainly couldn't detect her presence in the house, and he could read on the faces of these…indescribable monsters he was ashamed to call his fellow vampires, that they breathed no word of a lie.

Elena was gone.

"So, where is she now?" he asked, his voice dangerously low. "Tell me - and I'll make your last seconds on this earth painless, even though I don't do mercy towards those who mess with the people I care about."

"We don't know," Rose snapped, her expression suddenly showing fear. "Elijah's taken her to the Originals. Based on what we've told you, I'm sure you can understand our lack of knowledge on their whereabouts. Like I said before, it wasn't anything personal."

Stefan groaned loudly and smashed his fists loudly against the walls.

"I must say, Stefan," Rose added, looking at him curiously. "Lexie told me you were one of the good ones, and I see why she says it. Although, your choice of girl seems to suggest you have certain issues with your exes…"

"Shut up," Stefan roared, feeling suddenly vengeful. "I want to know where she is! I want to bring her back! You say you want your freedom, yes? Well is it really worth trading your immortal lives for that of someone who has barely begun to live? Is it?"

"Stefan, take the tantrum down a notch," Damon remarked calmly. "Your blood pressure's waaaay off the meter. I pull off better angry monologues anyway." He saw Stefan's scowl in his direction. "What? I do."

The younger brother started pacing, an indicative sign of his distress. Damon felt for him, he really did, but they were wasting time interviewing these yahoos. This time could've been put to better use, I.e. finding Elena.

"My patience with you two only extends so far," he informed the other two. "It's because of Elena, and because of my brother, that I'm not watching your heads roll around the floor right about now. So, last chance - where has he taken her?"

He grabbed the nearby coat stand and snapped in too, sharpening the end for effect. He briefly grinned when he noticed the tall, nervous looking vampire flinch at the sound it made, and increased the volume, enjoying the power he had.

"The Originals don't all hang out with each other," Rose explained, eyeing the makeshift stake warily. "So, it's likely he's gone to where one of the first Originals lives, which, last I heard, was up in Vancouver."

"Canada? Seriously?" Damon rolled his eyes at the cliché of it all.

"That's a two day drive at least," Stefan noted. "What if he has - ?"

"He won't do anything to her without the moonstone," Rose reassured him. "They need the moonstone present in order to break the Sun and the Moon curse."

"What'll they do to her if they get it?" Damon, as always, was the one to ask the harder questions. "Why do they need her?"

"The moonstone binds the curse - sacrifice is the one that breaks it. Come on, don't you boys know your history?" Rose replied, one eyebrow raised out of curiosity.

Stefan looked completely tortured, whereas, by stark contrast, Damon just looked pissed. The very idea of Elena being a sacrifice was infuriating, insulting and something that definitely wasn't going to happen. Not on their watch.

"I suggest you get yourselves out of here," Damon growled in Rose's direction. "Get out, if your precious freedom means that much. Go!"

Rose gave him a wary glance, but nodded towards Trevor to leave. He gave the brothers a parting grimace, before he dashed out of sight.

"For what it's worth," she said, hovering by the door. "We're sorry for our part in this. I hope you find your girl."

And, with that, she disappeared…

With no inclination as to which of the brother's she was referring to.

"Is it just me," Damon muttered darkly, "or were those two about as helpful as getting a stake covered in vervain through the heart?"

"We have a lead, Damon, and that's a start," Stefan reminded him, already halfway to the door.

"We're just gonna take their word for it? We're just gonna drop everything and go on a road trip when we don't even know if that's where he's taken her?" Damon protested. "Stefan - do I always have to be the brains?"

"It's Elena," was Stefan's only response.

Damon gave an unnecessarily loud groan, although, like Stefan had so smugly pointed out, he couldn't back away from anything which involved Elena.

"Alright, but if you play the Elena card one more time…" He let the somewhat vague threat hang in the air before following his brother.

"It's been hours. Why haven't we heard anything yet?"

"Relax, Jeremy. They're probably on their way back right now."

Jeremy sighed heavily, picking himself off the bed so that he could start pacing around the room. It always seemed to help him when he was edge.

"I think something went wrong," he said, going along with his own thoughts. "We should've heard something by now. Stefan promised he'd keep us updated."

"Maybe they've run into a little trouble," Bonnie suggested, her heart racing inside her chest, mostly out of anxiety.

"That's what I'm afraid of." Jeremy plonked himself back on the bed. "How do we know Elena's even alive? I don't understand why they took her."

Bonnie gently rubbed his shoulder trying to comfort him. The motion felt flat to her, because she couldn't put her heart into it, not if she didn't really mean it. She was anxious and sick at the thought of losing Elena, and all of their past fights, their past moments when they'd been so tense with each other they'd felt more like strangers than best friends, suddenly flew out of the window. She just wanted her best friend back, one of the only few people left in this world she could talk to.

Jeremy's phone suddenly buzzed into life, and he quickly picked it up.

"Stefan?" he questioned. "Have you - Is she safe?"

There was a moment's pause.

"No. She was at the house you found, but another vampire named Elijah took her. Apparently they're heading to Canada."

"What?" Jeremy demanded. "That's like two days drive away; what does he want with her?"

"Apparently, she's the key to breaking the curse. She's being taken to one of the original vampires, vampires which are older than Katherine herself. We're driving after them now. You think you can cover for her a little longer?"

All of a sudden, they heard the door open, and the sound of Jenna's laughter rang up the stairs towards them. Jeremy and Bonnie exchanged a look of despair. How could they hide Elena's disappearance from Jenna?

Suddenly, Bonnie drew inspiration. She bounced off the bed, grabbed some of Elena's clothes and stuffed them into an overnight back.

"We'll stall her," she decided. "I'll tell her she's going to spend the rest of the week with me because she's upset about breaking up with Stefan. You finish talking to Stefan, and I'll meet you in my car in five minutes."

"Why? Where are we going?" Jeremy asked, looking puzzled.

"Remember that witch at the masquerade ball?" Bonnie asked. "I figure she might have some more information about these originals. She had a connection to Katherine, so maybe she told her some stuff. It's worth a try, anyway."

Jeremy stared at her in awe, quite unused to this braver, more dominant Bonnie. He quite liked her this way, actually, as someone who wasn't scared of charging into things head on. It was far more refreshing to see than having everyone tiptoe around him, telling him what he could and couldn't get involved in.

"Jeremy? Are you still there?"

"Er, yes," he said, quickly pressing his ear back to the phone. "Bonnie's on it. Stefan…" He waited until Bonnie had left so he could let his emotions loose. "Please bring her home soon. We can't keep this up forever and Jenna's eventually gonna find out. I - I can't deal with all this worry and stress."

On the other end, Stefan sighed.

"I know, Jeremy. We'll get her back. Soon, I promise."

Jeremy heard the familiar click and the ring tone and then sighed, wandering into Elena's room, haunted by the emptiness of it. He wondered how many more people he loved would be dragged away from him.

He picked up Elena's small teddy on the bed, surprised she'd kept it all these years. His sole purpose had been a source of a comfort and protection, and he remembered teasing her about why she still kept it around. She'd said plainly that when people grew up, they chucked their toys away and that's when the problems started. She kept it around as a way of warding off all the problems in her life.

It was a nice thought, having something from the innocent years of your life as a way of keeping away the problems you faced as a grown up.

Too bad it never worked.

A/n: First chapter complete! This story sort of has three different stories, or points of view to it, as you can see. We've got Elena's, Stefan and Damon's, and Jeremy and Bonnie's tales. Don't ask why I chose Canada, it just makes a sort of sense that the originals would've spread out a bit, probably steering clear of Mystic Falls.This is going to end up Delena, I think, but there will be a while until we reach that point. Enjoy, read and review! :)