Title: The hearts true desire (1/1)
Rating: T (only because I'm paranoid!)
Pairing: Damon/Elena,
Warnings: No, not really... tell me if you find something I should warn about!
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters.
Spoiler: A few for season two, but not THAT bad – barely even recognizable!

Prompt: Elena finds a compass that will always point to what she loves the most: Damon. (Idea shamelessly taken from POTC)

A/N: First of all: thank you to my dear beta AVECIA, because she did amazing work (as always).

Also: I know the story is a bit rushed at moments, but if I had drawn anything out any longer, than this would have ended up with at LEAT three chapters – this oneshot is longer than any other I've written as it is.

I hope that you enjoy it, nonetheless!

OH, and this story is written for the "secret santa" exchange on the Damon/Elena community on LJ.

Now, on with it!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Bonnie hated it – ever since Katherine had come to town, her best friend just wasn't herself anymore.

Sure, the evil vampire-doppelganger was gone now, as were the Old Ones; so everything should be fine.

But it wasn't. Elena seemed to be stuck in some sort of limbo. Never laughing from the bottom of her heart, never really angry, sad or… anything, really.

If she didn't know better, she would've sworn that she had turned into a vampire, and turned her feelings off.

But despite the fact that Elena was, in fact, still human, she also lacked the cruelty of all the vampires without their human feelings she had met.

It took Bonnie quite a while to figure out what was actually wrong with Elena.

Because now that the danger was over, her family and friends were safe, and she was with Stefan again

She only found out at the night of Elenas eighteenth birthday. They were celebrating at the Grill, cake and candles -the full works.

Elena had made an effort to plaster a smile on her face and act cheery, but Bonnie hadn't known her for so long for nothing, so she saw right through the façade.

And then she saw Damon. He had the same too-cheery-to-be-real grin on his face, the same far-away look in his eyes. But as his gaze met Elena's, something in those eyes sparked to life again. And a look to Elena confirmed the same for her.

From that day on, Bonnie made it her personal agenda to find out if her suspicion was true – if her best friend had managed to fall for the resident bad-boy – to fall for the 'self serving psychopath with no redeeming qualities'.

There was – of course –no research needed for Damon. A blind man could see that he was in love with her.

Over the course of the next few weeks though, with Elena she was proven right.

The only times that Elena actually acted like the person she once knew, was when the older Salvatore brother was around.

For a while, she wondered why Elena was still with Stefan, despite her heart belonging to someone else – even though their relationship hadn't been the same as it was before Katherine had breezed into town. But then she remembered – this was Elena. She would never do something to hurt someone on purpose.

And as it was – breaking up with Stefan, would hurt him. Breaking up with him because she wanted to be with his brother, of all people? Not even imaginable!

And then there were Caroline and Bonnie, her best friends. Neither one, nor the other could really stand Damon.

And Bonnie knew that even though Jeremy had forgiven the vampire for the whole neck-snapping incidence, it wasn't forgotten.

So Elena stayed with Stefan, making everyone happy – despite herself and the man who held her heart.

Bonnie managed to be a selfish, judgy little thing for about a month, and ignored everything she knew.

But then Elena started to loose weight, her clothes got darker and darker, and she started to stop pretending to be happy.

So Bonnie gave herself a kick in the ass, and got to work.

Of course she couldn't just go to Elena and tell her to get her act together. If she learned anything about the girl in the past, it was how stubborn she was.

So she wracked her brain for something spectacular to do – and found it on a movie night with Caroline and Elena.

Because a compass pointing in the direction of the hearts true desire? Well that wasn't a bad at all.

The next day found her locked in her room, an old compass found at a garage-sale and Emily's Grimoir as companions.

The only thing she had to do was alter the spell for finding vampires, to finding the thing loved most by the holder.

A week before Christmas, she smuggled the compass – wrapped in black and silver wrapping paper tied with a crimson bow – into Elenas room, leaving it on her bed.

Now the only thing left to do was wait and see.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

As Elena entered her room, the first thing she did was to flop down on her bed, wanting to just close her eyes and sleep. It had been a tiring, long day (helping Caroline with some sort of party-preps always was. And it was even worse before Christmas).

But her plan was interrupted as something poked her in the back.

Sitting up again, she saw that it was a small package, prettily wrapped. Bound to the bow, was a really old-looking scroll.

Curios why there was a gift on her bed, even though her birthday already passed, and Christmas hasn't arrived yet, she opened the scroll first.

My dearest Elena,

I've watched you suffering from a broken heart for quite some time now, and I can't any longer, with good conscience, ignore it. I've been waiting for you to do something yourself, but it seems to me that you are stuck, not even knowing what your heart is missing.

So I'm giving you a little something to help you along.

Just open the parcel, and use what is inside – it will point you to the one person, you truly belong to. The person, your heart will be safe with, and with whom your soul will be complete.

And please, for your sake and his, forget about everyone else, for once in your life, and just do what your heart wants you to.

A friend.

For a moment she contemplated to just throw the entire thing away – scroll and package, without even opening the latter.

She really didn't need anything even remotely resembling something supernatural. But as always, her curiosity got the best of her, so she opened it.

Inside was an old wooden box, so she took it out of the wrapping, and lifted the lid.

Nestled in dark blue velvet, was an old-fashioned compass. It was quite stunning, made out of the darkest wood, with silver pattern on the backside. It seemed damaged though, as the arrow inside kept spinning around wildly, not even stopping a second to point in any particular direction.

Sighing, she put the compass back into the box, and put it on her bedside-table, wondering why she felt disappointed. It's not as if she needed some mystery present to tell her whom she belonged with.

She was Stefan's girlfriend, and she would stay that way – she owned so much to him, she would never even think of breaking up with him.

She conjured up the image of her boyfriend to take with her into her dreams – but as she drifted of to sleep, his dark eyes slowly got lighter, his hair a little bit darker, and the gentle smile turned into a mischievous grin.

Her last thought before her consciousness left her, was that it was so typically Damon – not even in her dreams would he leave her alone.

Never once did she see that the arrow stopped spinning for a few moments, pointing straight in the direction of the Boarding House.

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Come morning, Elena packed the compass into her backpack – to show it to Caroline and Bonnie, because the two of them would find the idea of it hilarious. Certainly not because she hoped it would start to work as described.

Well into the afternoon, she was standing on a ladder, fastening green and red ribbons to the ceiling of the school's sports hall.

She had been working in here all day – either instructing a few other helpers, or helping with the decorations herself.

By now she was thoroughly frustrated. Caroline skipped to spend her day with Matt (who finally had a free afternoon to spend with her and only her – Caroline's words, nor hers), and Bonnie had to leave shortly after lunch to do last minute Christmas shopping with her Dad

With her two best friends MIA, she was left being in charge of the preparations for the Christmas party, and it royally sucked (no pun intended).

As the ribbon in her hand refused to stay where she wanted it to, she stamped her feet in a petulant show of anger – forgetting that she was on top of a really high ladder.

Predictably, the thing rocked for a moment, and she couldn't find her balance before she lost her footing and tumbled backwards.

She let out a shrill, short scream and pressed her eyes shut, waiting for the impact on the floor.

But it never happened. Instead, she found herself safely pressed to a warm, muscular, male body, held to his chest bridal style.

After a few moments she had gathered her breath enough to open her eyes, to look who had come to her aid.

Gazing up, she met a pair of blue, blue eyes, watching her with barely hidden concern.

It was like she was caught in a bubble, the outside world no longer existing, as she slowly lifted her hand, fully intending to caress his cheek.

But then something at the far end of the hall fell to the floor, making a crashing, crunching sound, breaking her enchantment.

She wiggled around a bit, indicating for Damon to let her down, bringing enough distance between them to be considered proper.

"Are you alright?"

She blinked a few times, caught off guard by his question – she had waited for some sarcastic remark, about her human clumsiness.

"Yeah… yeah, I'm okay. Just… forgot I was standing up there for a moment. Long day, and all, you know?"

Something about her must've clued him in on how beat she was, because he didn't even try to taunt her. He just nodded and gestured to the stands at the edge of the room.

She didn't even think of denying him the time of the day, instead simply choosing to drag herself there and sitting down.

Damon joined her a few moments later, holding a plastic cup of still steaming coffee out for her.

She took it gladly, wrapping her fingers around it and sipping slowly at the scalding liquid.

"So… wanna tell me what's up with you? It's not like you to be all grumpy and gloomy just because you have to pretty up some old hall."

There it was, his usual sarcastic demeanor. But it was all in good nature – he was trying to lift her mood, to get her talking, and she knew it.

So she talked.

"I don't really know, to be honest. It's nothing and everything at the same time.

I keep thinking that now, that the danger is mostly over, things will start to get back to normal again and everything will be fine. And they did get back to normal. Caroline is planning parties, Bonnie is diving head-first into her legacy which she loves, and Stefan is… well, he is Stefan. Laid back, and bor…well and…. You know how he is."

Elena looked a little bit sheepish. She was about to say 'boring' and she could see that Damon knew. She felt guilty for thinking such things, but truth be told, Stefan had been acting it lately. Never going out with her, always staying at the Boarding House, wanting to read or talk and be serious and romantic.

But there was a time for everything, and at the moment, Elena felt like she needed to go out, and celebrate the fact that she was still here and alive, despite everything that had happened these past few months.

"I'm acting stupid. It's just been a strange day. I'm sorry."

Abruptly, she wanted to stand up again, and return to her work, but Damon caught her wrist and pulled her back down.

"Slow down there. This work isn't going anywhere, just because you're taking a little break. So… what's been so strange about today?"

She looked at him for a moment, before she decided that he was right. So she told him how Caroline and Bonnie deserted her, how she had had strange dreams the night before – and even about the parcel that had been waiting for her on her bed.

"And it said that it would point to 'the one you truly belong to'…my my, how peculiar."

"Well, I thought so too, but it isn't actually working. It's probably just some stupid prank of Jeremy or something."

"How is it 'not working'?"

"Well, it's just been spinning round and round, never coming to a damn stop. Made me dizzy looking at it as I ate lunch. Wait, I'll show you, I have it here."

She jumped up from her seat, and made her way over to the corner where she left her backpack, pulling out the box with the compass in it.

Sitting down next to him again, she opened it, and held it out to Damon to take.

He studied it for a moment, and then lifted his brows.

"Well, it certainly isn't working like it should. But I don't think the problem is that it doesn't stop spinning. And I hardly think that your heart wants me."

The last part was meant to sound light and sarcastic, but Elena could clearly detect the bitterness in it. And then she noticed what he had said before that.

"What are you talking about it's been spinning nonstop the whole….woah, what..?"

Damon was right. The arrow had stopped its crazy circling – and was pointing straight at him.

She was speechless for a moment because… the thing with her traitorous heart? She had been able to refuse to acknowledge how it always sped up if near Damon, how she felt all warm and tingly inside every time she talked to him.

But that was just because she was the only one who knew it. But here was this stupid little compass, telling her that, what? Damon was the one she belonged to? That she should give her heart to him?

At the same time though, she knew that it was true. That was the downside of lying to oneself. It only worked until someone (or something, as was the case) pointed the lie out –quite literally, this time.

So she did the first thing that came to mind – she grabbed the compass, stuffed it back into the backpack, and fled, only shouting a halfhearted apology over her shoulder to a baffled looking Damon.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Elena was pacing her room, throwing a glance at the compass every once in a while.

By now she wished it was spinning again. About a half hour ago, it was turning a little bit, but now it was pointing in the direction of the Boarding House, not wavering.

She would pretend that it was pointing to Stefan – only she knew for a fact that he was out in the woods, hunting.

She had no idea what she should do now –stay with Stefan? Break it off with him – and then what?

In her heart of hearts she knew that there was only one option that would make herself happy. But it would be such a selfish thing to do.

Going back to where the compass lay, she shut the lid again, and went to bed.

Maybe in the morning things would be clearer to her.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Her relationship with Stefan survived a whole two days after that. She avoided him in the school hallways, she let her phone go to voicemail when he called, and answered his messages only when absolutely necessary. On the second day, he cornered her in the parking lot in front of the school. There was a lot of screaming and accusations and tears involved, but at the end of their conversation/fight/break up, they were sending each other tentative smiles, secretly relieved that they finally got it over with.

They had realized that they had both been holding on to a dream. They both had changed over the path of the last few months, and the persons they had come to be, just didn't fit together anymore.

She was glad that she had one less thing to worry about– that she wouldn't have to play pretend anymore.

And now that she and Stefan had broken up – and were not just 'taking a break' – she could pursue what she really wanted.

As she went to the sports hall to finish the preparations for the Christmas party, there was a new spring to her step, and an honest-to-god, real smile on her face.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

The party was turning out to be a raving success. People were dancing, or chatting or standing around the buffet, having a blast – and Elena was right in the middle of it all.

She couldn't believe how free she felt, just because she didn't feel the need to care for everyone's feelings besides her own anymore.

As she saw Damon at the other side of the hall, idly chatting with Stefan, she drained her cup of punch (generously spiked with something alcoholic – most likely by Tyler) and made his way over to him with determined steps.

Coming to a stop in front of him, she got the compass out from her purse, laid it open in the palm of her hand and held it out to him.

Lifting one eyebrow, he took it from her and studied it.

"Well, looks like it's still broken."

Shaking her head, she took it back from him and smiled.

"No – the damn thing's just smarter than I am."

"Smarter than…"

She knew she confused him with her words, so she didn't even let him finish his sentence.

Standing on her tiptoes, she took his face between her hands and kissed him.

No great speech, no fanfare. Just her eyes trained on his, and their lips pressing up against each others.

As he finally realized what was going on – what she was trying to tell him – he wrapped his arms around her and deepened the kiss. Soon, they lost all sense of reality, lost in each others embrace.

And Stefan just grinned, shook his head, and went in search of company that wasn't attached at the lips.

He knew that it was time to step back, and leave the field to his brother.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Bonnie was twirling around the dance floor with Jeremy, as something at the edge of the hall caught her eyes.

Damon was sitting on the stands, and Elena was sitting on his lap and they were… talking.

On of his hands was playing with her hair, the other one holding her close to him, while she fiddled around with the lapels of his jacket.

They were just sitting there, lost in each other, looking like they wouldn't even register if the world were to explode around them.

If a few weeks back, someone would have told her that this sight would make her all warm and tingly inside, she would have suggested a trip to the nearest psychiatrist.

But now she just smiled, turned back to her date, and danced with a new vigor.

Mission accomplished.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

The End

So, I hope you had fun with this story, and remember: reviews are love, people!

So Long,

Zora