They had been walking for what seemed like hours and Elena was getting more and more grumpy. She hadn't seen or heard any sign of Stefan and this was worrying and upsetting all at the same time. She felt like saying "Are we there yet," but then didn't want Damon to utter a single remark about her wining like a five year old, so she kept her mouth shut. She couldn't remember Mystic Falls being so far from the waterfall, but then they had gone back in time so who knew what was happening.
Finally, they cleared the woods, or forest as she was thinking of it. A never ending forest. "Well now," Damon was laughing. "Isn't this impressive?"
Elena stared with wide eyes her mouth hanging open slightly. "It's...there's...there's nothing here."
Well, there were a few primitive buildings made of stone and that was about it.
"Dear Elena, this is what the past is like I'm afraid. Well, in my day it was a little bit more than this of course. Stefan and I had it lucky obviously."
"Yeah, you guys had a mansion," she snapped. "And you're not doing a good job of winning me over you know so you better grow up and stop with the bitchy comments."
"I don't bitch," he growled at her, but didn't say anything else and she was glad of the quiet moment.
"I guess we start walking," she was thinking out loud. "Maybe Stefan is down there?"
"One can only not hope," Damon started but shut up at the look she gave him.
As they neared the village, she could hear the sound of music, or well, people singing, and could see in the centre of the village that there was a fire burning that she hadn't noticed before. Damon obviously distracting her again from noticing anything, even the smell of smoke it seemed. It looked like there was a celebration going on of some kind, a feast. There was meat roasting on spits and a wooden table of odd looking food broths and cheeses and other things she wouldn't know the name for. A young girl came up to her then startling Elena with her excitement. "There you two are!" the girl exclaimed. "I've been looking just everywhere for you. How could you be running out on your own wedding celebration like that?"
Elena was truly speechless and nearly fainted right there in front of everyone. Luckily, it was Damon to the rescue handling the situation like he had been rescuing people his whole life.
"We just wanted a little alone time," he was calming her down a bit, but the girl wasn't going away anytime soon. Elena needed time to process what she had just said. She looked down at her outfit and realised that the top she had been wearing was actually part of a dress. A very white dress that looked a bit dirty and frayed around the edges. She tried to hide the rip in the sleeve with her hair but the girl had seen it and shook her head in disbelief. "You could have at least waited until later on for that sort of thing," she scolded. "Look at you, you look a fright. All that hard work you're mother put into your dress and it looks ruined."
Elena felt genuinely guilty and pulled herself together a bit to mutter an apology. "This may sound a bit strange but, would you mind telling me where I would have some spare clothes? Just in case people notice this," she pointed at the dirt.
The girl's eyes widened. "They'll notice you're not in your wedding dress for certain. But I can show you to you and Damon's new home. They've spent ages working on it as you know, both of your father's. We moved all of your things in it so you can relax tomorrow."
"Thank you," Elena didn't know how to ask the girls name without it sounding weird so she left it at that. She felt Damon slip his hand into hers and flinched at the unfamiliar contact. "What are you doing?" she hissed at him.
"We have to look the part right? Trust me, I'm good at this."
She turned to the girl who was leading their way. "Excuse me, umm,"
"Don't tell me you're so drunk you're forgetting my name now?" the girl let out a silvery laugh. "I told you Damon was a bad influence. Remember? I'm Sara, your cousin?"
"Right," Elena suddenly missed Jeremy a lot.
As they entered the stone building Sara began to light candles as she went and Elena was suitably impressed. It wasn't as bad as she had thought, there was a room that someone could call a living room and she could see through a doorway the bedroom that had a piece of cloth over it to keep it separated. As she went into the bedroom with Sara the girl pointed out a pile of clothes on the floor by the bed and Elena chose another dress that was much plainer than the one she wore now and was a brown colour. It was slightly warmer too, but less comfortable and the material making her skin itch a little.
Sara had gone into the main room to let her change and was talking with Damon. "So could you tell everyone that we're really tired and want to get some sleep?" he was saying. "Isn't it a tradition that the bride and groom retire early and then everyone else parties into the night?"
"I can tell them," Sara said hesitantly. "They are probably too drunk to notice anyway, but Elena you're mother was worried."
"Tell her I'll see her tomorrow and not to worry, that I'm having fun and have had a lovely night. I'm sorry we sneaked out like that but we just wanted some..."
"Alone time, as you put it," Sara giggled. "You are talking strangely Elena. Not remembering me and not knowing about this place. Maybe you hit your head while having all this alone time hmm?"
Elena smiled and then thought of something as Sara turned to leave. "Sara, is there someone called Stefan living in this village?"
"You're being strange again," Sara frowned. "You know everyone here Elena. Of course there is someone called Stefan. He's you're best friend."
When she had gone Elena turned to Damon and found him sitting at a stool by the table deep in thought. "You ok?"
"I wonder if Stefan is my brother in this life?" Damon looked up at her, genuine worry in his eyes now, even if he tried to hide it. "What if I don't know him?"
"Well, if we're best friends then surely you would know him a little bit right?" Elena was wondering what her parents were like in this time and suddenly really badly wanted to meet them.
"We have an even bigger problem at the moment Damon," she told him, putting her hands on her hips. "You and I are married. And there's only one bed!"