Her eyes were closed.
Her eyes were closed?
Her eyes were closed, but she was looking at the darkness of her inner eyelids; every few seconds, flashes of light rushed past in a blur of red.
She was lying on her side, the surface under her was vibrating and bumping, with her head pillowed on someone's lap. In a car - flashing lights are street lamps, her mind put together without her assistance. Her left arm was jammed awkwardly under her ribs, and the world sounded like the inside of a conch shell.
A hand was stroking her hair. Her eyes were closed.
Quite abruptly, noise shattered her aural shield - she heard crying, and yelling, and the gentle hum of the vehicle's engine. There was so much noise, but her brain still wasn't processing properly and all she heard was unintelligible sounds.
Where am I?
You're in a car.
Where was I before?
Where was she before - in darkness, with pain radiating throughout her entire body. Pain and unrest. Dying wasn't peaceful at all.
She had died. It was all rushing back much too quickly and she could barely pull her mind out of those horrifying last moments; drowning in her own blood, fire ripping through her lungs. Screaming and crying and chaos. So much pain.
So much blood.
Her gums ached at the thought, thirsty convulsions squeezing her throat. Her mouth was so dry, and it tasted like death. Her whole body felt like death. She had died, yet her eyes were closed.
She had died, yet she was seeing light fly across her closed lids; hearing urgent, scratchy voices; feeling her left arm tingle under the weight of her body. She had never been so thirsty.
The top of her head lightly bumped the door as the car turned. Her brain was tired, her eyes were tired, her body was tired - but she could hear the voices; she could understand the words.
"Why wouldn't she tell me, Damon?"
"How the fuck am I supposed to know? Why don't you ask her that when she wakes up."
"I can't believe you didn't tell me - you didn't think that maybe this was something I'd like to know?"
"Look - we both know we can drag this argument out into to the next century, but are you really that upset that your girlfriends only kinda dead instead of dead dead?"
"Yes, Damon - I'm upset Elena's not dead dead."
"Stop trying to be sarcastic, Stefan; people might think we're related."
"I am going to kill you."
"Dude, I just saved your girlfriends life, and this is the thanks I get?"
"How 'bout you both shut up -" A voice spoke, originating somewhere above her head. "-stop fighting about the fact that Elena's alive, and maybe think about how you're going to tell her that her aunt is dead." His voice broke on the last word, and the hand in her hair tightened.
She felt the car turn again before coming to a stop.
Wait - I'm not dead.
How exactly that was possible, she had no idea - but she wasn't dead. Her eyes were just closed.
So she opened them.
Stray pieces of hair had slipped down over her face, partial obscuring her view of the back of the driver's seat - to the right of which she could see a pair of jean-clad legs resting over the center divide. Elena. She closed her eyes again. So she could see (she had died); could she breathe?
She heard the driver's side door open, and then a rush of cold air against her skin as the door by her head swung open as well. She took a deep breathe as she felt Alaric move under her. She could hear his heart start to pound faster; a delicious and indescribable smell thick in the air.
"S-Stefan," Alaric said - though she barely heard it over the consuming sound of his pulse; the overwhelming scent of blood, sweeter every second with increasing amounts of adrenaline.
"Hmm? Damon, I've got her, just-"
There wasn't any rational thought anymore; just the deep need. Her eyes opened just in time to see Stefan look back from where he was moving Elena in the front seat - and his eyes locked with hers. Not even a second passed between then and her grabbing Alaric's motionless hand resting on her head to sink her teeth into his wrist.
Nothing had ever tasted so good - simply for the fact that it wasn't just the taste. With food, you eat it, and then your body converts it to energy; but this. This was something else entirely. It was like drinking pure light, or fire, or energy. She felt like she was infusing life into her body. Her dead body.
There was an arm pulling tight around her waist, two hands trying to pry her jaw open, a throaty howl of pain. She wasn't bothered until her ribs cracked, and she unlatched her jaw to scream in agony - she had never felt pain like that before, but within seconds it was gone. Within seconds she was inside the Salvatore's house, being sat down on their antique couch, and trying desperately to break the hold the two brothers had on her.
"Hey!" Damon yelled in her face, shaking her, "Settle down, or we're gonna lock you in the cellar 'kay?" She stilled, staring forward at him; all she could concentrate on was the leftover specks of blood on her lips.
"Damon," Stefan said, tilting his head towards the open front door, "Why don't you go put Elena upstairs and help Alaric with his wrist. Everyone else should be here soon."
Some time must have passed but her mind didn't notice until she heard a voice say her name, and a glass of water hovered in front of her face. A hand attached to the glass, an arm to the hand, and Stefan to the voice. She gulped down the water and she seemed to be pulling herself out of the rabid fog. He was staring at her, and after a few minutes of silence he spoke.
"Do you know what happened?" he asked gently. She looked around a moment before turning her head back to where he was sitting, facing her on the coffee table.
She blinked for a moment and swallowed the last few drops of water. "I...I died?" Though she knew the answer, and that it wasn't really a question to begin with. She knew she had died.
"Alrighty, Elena's all tucked in - and I expect she'll be waking up in about twenty minutes, so I've got a blood bag all warmed up - Alaric's healed, and the rest of the Scoobies are gonna be running late because Caroline's car broke down," Damon interrupted as he wandered into the room. "Oh, and P.S., I thought I'd save the surprise," he gestured at her, "for when they get here."
"Damon." Stefan said warningly.
"Just - stop, okay? Now's not the time."
"Lemme guess; you're taking it slow as to not frighten her, and unsurprisingly haven't gotten any answers."
"Answers?" she interrupted, and for a moment they both looked genuinely shocked that she had spoken. "What answers?"
"Oh, I don't know," Damon asked, moving passed the shock and straight on to his usual personality. "Maybe the fact that you're a vampire, and yet neither of us gave you any blood in the past day?"
Stefan turned towards her questioningly, "Did Caroline-"
"-No," she sighed, "And neither did anyone else in the past day, or weeks - ...why is this happening. How is this happening?" Her face was crumpled, and tears were pouring out her eyes. She had never been happier to be alive, but coming to terms with the fact that she was a vampire - well, that was going to take a bit of adjustment.
Damon poured himself a glass of scotch before turning abruptly back towards her. "Wait a minute, weeks?"
Stefan looked confused, as was she.
"What?" she asked him to clarify.
"You said weeks - who's blood did you have weeks ago?"
"It was actually, uh..." she said, counting in her head, "like two months ago or something. It was just after Alaric told me - about everything. I was really angry and broke some fingers by punching a tree, and Elijah gave me his-"
"-No way," Damon interrupted, and for once Stefan didn't scold him as he was staring at her with the same amount of disbelief. "That's a myth!" he exclaimed as he turned to Stefan. "Isobel even wrote 'rumor' next to it!"
Stefan looked at his brother, "You mean like werewolves were a myth? It's the only plausible explanation."
"What is?" she demanded.
"Well, you know Elijah's an Original - which makes him faster, and stronger, and basically a more enhanced version of a normal vampire," and she nodded. "A while back, we found pages in Isobel's research stating that she thought even their blood might be more potent.
"That it may stay in the system longer; even increase a regular vampire's power. Her main piece of evidence being that in all her years of searching, she never once came across a vampire turned by an Original."
Jenna was in shock. "So, what...Elijah healed my hands knowing full well that if I died 'Presto, Vampire!'?"
Stefan looked at a loss, and for once Damon was silent to.
"And I'm guessing by the fact that neither of you are are saying 'Why don't we just ask him?' that he left."
"Yeah," Stefan responded, "both he and Katherine split as soon as Klaus was dead."
"Are Tyler and Bonnie okay? I totally forgot to ask -"
"Then how were you able to kill Klaus?"
"Apparently the guy was weakened enough with only one of the ingredients dead," Damon said, sitting in an armchair by the empty fireplace.
They all sat in silence.
She could really use a nap.
Being dead was not really that much different than being alive; at least the way she was dead.
She could still go out into the sun (thank you, Bonnie), she could still eat, she still had a heartbeat; she could do everything she could as a human - and more. Over the past few years, she had learned that though she had the same basic abilities as every other vampire - speed, strength, compulsion - she was...different. Their theory was that since Elijah was an Original, his blood had been more potent.
Just as it had stayed in her system longer than normal, it had given her more than normal. She was faster than Damon and stronger than Damon, all while only drinking animal blood (and even that she only had to do every week or so).
So once she'd moved past the initial shock and fear, she'd managed to settle in to her undead status fairly easily.
It was nice having Elena around. They had grown infinitely closer since their deaths, and had supported each other every second of the past six years. Well, she'd mostly been there for Elena as Jenna herself didn't have much occasion for help.
She kept to herself.
They had decided to pick up and leave Mystic Falls almost four years ago. Jeremy had gone off to college with Bonnie, Stefan decided to go on some trek of Canada, and Tyler and Caroline were off in Eastern Europe somewhere. That left herself, Elena, and Damon.
They'd settled on London.
Elena spent her days at college, studying literature and architecture. Damon spent his days doing...well, whatever it is that Damon did. Jenna would just walk and watch.
She found that her favorite activity was to just sit at cafe and people watch. She never realized before how interesting people were. She could easily sit all day long and watch.
After a while, she needed something new. So she left Elena and Damon to explore the world. She went to New Zealand and Egypt and Bulgaria and Thailand - everywhere and anywhere she could. She saw every corner and crevice of the world. Though it was only when she went back to Virginia that she actually found something.
She was sitting at a rickety old table on the second floor of an obscure Virginia library, piles of books acting as a mini-fortress along the edges of the table. The only light was a small desk lamp amidst the stacks, casting a low but steady glow over the open pages of The Brothers Karamazov.
She'd been here for three days already. Sitting in this corner with her only constant companions - Salinger and Tolstoy and Hemingway and everything she could get her hands on. In a life as monotonous as an immortal life, breaking up the moments into distinct memories helped. Thursday was Lolita, The Things They Carried, and Firestarter. Yesterday was Anna Karenina and The Silmarillion. Today was The Satanic Verses, Howl, Of Mice and Men, and now The Brothers Karamazov. Though today was now tomorrow for when she checked her watch, the face read one seventeen in the morning.
Rolling a crick out of her neck, she decided to continue until two o'clock. She turned eagerly back towards her book.
The hairs on the back of her neck raised, and she snapped her head up.
"I'm surprised you didn't notice me until now."
The silence lasted long enough for her to shift uncomfortably in her seat.
"I was reading," she said, unable to think of anything more profound than that simple answer.
He walked towards her, graceful as ever, to move aside the mounds of books before settling in the chair across from her. She wasn't sure what to say - was he expecting her to speak first?
Well, he can shove that idea up his a-
"What are you reading?"
She ignored his question, instead asking one of her own, "Why are you here?" He opened his mouth to answer, but another thought popped into her head and she continued on, "And for that matter, how did you even find me?"
"And why would you give me your blood, knowing that it would change me."
He raised his eyebrows, obviously staying silent to allow her to finish.
"I'm done," she sighed, closing the book and pushing it aside. She fiddled with her hands and looked at him.
"I'm here because I wanted to see you. I was able to find you because you have my blood in your system and when I concentrate, I feel a pull in your direction."
She hadn't seen him in over a decade, and this first meeting wasn't going anything like she'd imagined in her head. She was sure her face was inscrutable, but inside she felt like a jumbled mess. She was surprised, and confused, and angry, and curious, and something else - relieved, orhappy. She felt something warm swell inside her, and their eyes met.
"As for why I gave you my blood; I did it because you were hurt and needed to be healed. The fact that you would be protected from death was an added bonus."
"But...you could have just, I don't know, taken me to the hospital. You didn't have to heal me. I highly doubt you just go around giving people your blood all willy-nilly, so why then? Why me?"
With that knowing smirk upon his lips, he answered, "You're much more interesting when you're alive."
Excitement and anticipation rushed through her.
This was a beginning.