Disclaimer: Don't own.

Damon and Elena

And the World Crashed Down

Her world crashes down around her when the car crashes over a bridge and she's helpless to stop it.

She doesn't remember much about the night her parents died – she can't bring herself to remember – but she knows that she felt helpless.

And when she woke, her world was in pieces around her.

He's the new boy.

Dark, brooding, mysterious.

All those things her and her mother used to giggle about when she was younger.

Before her world crashed down around her.

Now, she's taping her world back together and it's so hard. She knows how fragile the pieces of tape are and she knows how breakable her world is but she can't help but be drawn to the mysterious new boy who looks at her like she's the answer to all his problems.

Stefan seems real enough, strong enough to help her put her world back together and she trusts him to help her do it.

But as much as she trusts him to help, as much as she believes he's strong enough to do it, she's caught because she always feels like there's something he's not telling her and she wonders how he can help her rebuild her word into something good and strong and wonderful when she doesn't know if he's being honest with her.

It doesn't make sense but the more she tries to figure it out, the less tangible it becomes until a quiet conversation with a man who's been alive longer than she has and a burning need to know what he was talking about catapults her right into a discovery that defies everything she's ever believed.

When she figures it out, when she knows that her boyfriend's existence defies all logic, she doesn't know what to do.

When she tells him they can't – won't – work, she watches him walk away.

She watches his back and her world crash down again.

She shouldn't be attracted to the other brother.

He's more of a menace than she'd ever thought possible. He's done so many things good, bad, right and wrong that the lines blur and she's convinced that he lives in a permanent shade of grey despite his love of black.

But it's more than that.

It's more because he indulges her. He accepts her need for defiance and is silent when she's frustrated and amused when the fairy tale romance with Stefan just seems so impossible and a million other things that she never thought she needed in a friend.

He's a solid wall that takes everything and, at first she assumes, gives very little back.

It's a gradual process that makes her wonder how she'd missed it in the first place but it's there. The way he always seems to drop everything to keep her safe. The way he manages to make keeping her safe seem like a pain in the ass. The way he checks on her and distracts her when her thoughts become too maudlin, with witty remarks that shouldn't make her smile but leave her lips curves for hours afterwards.

He's giving back in a way she never thought was capable of him, of anyone.

He's becoming her normal.

And by becoming her normal, he's helping her rebuild her world one brick at a time.

It's confusing and disconcerting but when he hugs her goodbye – a habit he's become prone to and not because he wants to feel her up – she holds his waist tightly and breathes in his scent and prays to whatever god that allows them to exist that he never goes away.

She watches his back as he walks away and can hear another brick sliding into place.

Her world crashes down again when she discovers why the Salvatore brothers are so fascinated by her.

It's a photo and the appearance of the woman they'd both loved such a long time ago that sends the big, metal ball through the carefully laid bricks and leaves her shattered and broken on the ground.

Looking at the three of them, three beings that challenge existence and take what should be precious and damn them all to hell because of what they are, she experiences a flash of true, horrifying hatred that terrifies her.

Because all she wanted was a world that wouldn't crash down.

She stands from where the force of Katherine's blow has knocked her and she shakes back her head and looks at the vampire – watching them all with amusement – icily.

"They're all yours."

Three words that devastate her world even more and seem to destroy Stefan's but when she looks at the other brother, sees the pain flash through those amazing blue eyes all she wants is for him to hug her goodbye the way he had last night and help her start to rebuild her world, all over again.

But he doesn't because he knows if he does, she'll yell and kick and scream because she feels betrayed.

Because he knows he's part of the reason her worlds crashed down again.

She alternatively curses them and cries over them when it becomes apparent they're not coming back to rebuild her world.

She knows it's selfish and she knows that the brutal way she has cut them out of her life has sent the message she'd intended but it hurts.

It hurts because she's not strong enough to rebuild without one of them - and it terrifies her which one – and it hurts because she's so disappointed in herself for not being strong enough to do it.

After all those professions of not having a boy – man – run her life, after trying to take control and damning them all to hell and kicking them out of her life, she can't pick up those fragments without him.

And then that becomes the problem.

Because at first she thought him was Stefan and then she remembers its Damon when she walks into her kitchen on a Saturday morning and he's not at the stove cooking the pancakes she loves and she breaks because she wants her normal back.

Stefan was her boyfriend, the centre of her teenage world but Damon was the normal she'd craved since the world crashed down.

She could recover from heartbreak but she doesn't think she can recover from the loss of normal again.

Its becomes clear when she's sitting at her kitchen bench on that Saturday morning, eating a sad bowl of cereal that tastes stale and drinking warm coffee – it was always hot and fresh when things were normal – that Stefan may have been the centre of her world but her world had been Damon.

And she wonders what the hell that means.

When the realization that she's in love with the other brother crashes over her head, warm coffee sliding down her throat, she hears the tinkle of the little she's rebuilt fall down again.

It's a fight that's bitter and full of resentment on both parts.

She'd wanted him gone, so he'd abandoned her.

She hadn't wanted him gone forever, but he'd taken her word literally.

She thinks it's strange how Stefan bows out of the fight so casually – he later tells her it's because he knows, too, what his brother is to her and he wants to believe he loves her enough to let her rebuild without him – but doesn't thing too much of it when she throws the tumblers he's so fond of at his head and manages to clip him – despite his inhuman speed.

"What the hell is your problem?"

She thinks he has nerve for roaring that at her, anger so stark on his face, with the blue of his blazing with cold fire.

"My problem? My problem? You left. Why did you leave?"

The tumbler she sends flying crashes into the wall, inches from his head and he doesn't flinch.

"You wanted me to leave! What the fuck was I meant to do?"

She searches wildly for something else to throw at him and is filled with dark pleasure at the sight of empty whisky bottles.

"Be your irritating, chauvinistic, impossible self and not leave." She hurls one bottle at him. "Me." Another flew and smashes at his feet. "Alone!"

He catches the third bottle and she waits for him, her eyes prickling and the back of her throat burning.

"Well, that would have been nice to know," he retaliates and throws the bottle at the wall she's standing beside. "A month ago!"

The glass that's flying everywhere cuts into her bare arm and she winces as she feels blood begin to seep through the crack in her skin he's made.

Everything becomes still and she waits for his face to change. Waits for him to lunge at her and take all his anger out on the blood that's coursing through her.

It worries her – somewhere where she's not so blindingly furious – that she wants it. Expects it, even relishes the thought.

If he completely destroyed her then she won't have to worry about her world crashing down.

She's breathing heavily and tears are starting to slide down her face and she's trembling from fury.

He's breathing just as heavily and his body's straining against the tight control he's exerting and his eyes are still blazing with fury.


The word chokes her and he seems to sense something in her tone – a tiny hint of a tremor that's not anger – and he takes a hesitant towards her.


She closes her eyes at his soft voice, at the way he seems to just know and she hears the first brick fall back into place.

The world rights itself, somehow, after that brutal fight.

Normal returns and she hears bricks slide into place again and again and again, every time she sees him.

Her world is being built more rapidly now and with more certainty, as if crashing down again is the furthest thing from its mind.

He's helping.

In so many ways she knows he won't ever know; he's helping.

He steadies her when a brick falls and rolls his eyes when she cries over it. She hits him when he does and he reminds her that the world doesn't revolve around her.

She nearly tells him once that of course her world doesn't revolve around her; it revolves around him. But bites her tongue and tells him that he's taking too long to cook dinner instead.

He raises an eyebrow at that and slows down even more, just to irritate her.

It slips out anyway, when she's caught between sleep and awareness and snuggled against his chest, his hand running lazily through her hair as he reads a book in Latin. She thinks he's doing it to show off but he contradicts her and tells her that if she's ever going to read what the ancients wrote, she needs to do it in their language otherwise she'll miss the meaning of it all.

"I love you, you know."

She speaks against his chest and can't wish the words back, even if she was awake enough to do it.

His hand stills momentarily before continuing its soothing slide down the length of ebony and he flips a page and continues reading.

"I know." He pauses, as if concentrating on a word. "I love you too, you know."

She snuggles closer.

"I know."

Her world crashes down when her brother ends up in hospital.

Not for any supernatural reason or anything connected to her but because he was being a stupid, ignorant teen who wanted to self-destruct.

She's trembling as she stands with her aunt and the doctor approaches, looking grim but hopeful.

Her world can't be destroyed. Not again.

Her trembles calm and she starts breathing – when she stopped, she's not sure – when she feels a warm hand slide into her own and squeeze.

He's standing behind her, offering his support silently and holding her hand as they all listen intently to what the doctor's saying about her brother.

She listens and nods and when the doctor moved away to see to other patients, she leans back against the solid wall of his chest and closes her eyes.

Her world's in pieces again but he's there to help her rebuild.

A/N: I think I have a lot of faith in Stefan bowing out nobly. Not a clue why. Maybe because his character seems so inherently noble to me? Anyway, I'm not too sure where this has come from but I hope it was enjoyed. Just some random, disjointed thoughts that pulled themselves into this, I hope that it was alright and that Elena wasn't too irritating, I'm a little afraid she might be. Anyway, I hope it was enjoyed, in any case!