YES. I finally finished. It's about 4:17 am right now, and I finally finished. It might be incoherent at some parts due to the fact that it is 4:17 am right now and I'm half asleep with my grandma snoring next to me. The POV switches back and forth at times so please bare with me. And it's long. Probably the longest chapter I've written.
Anyways I hope you enjoy. :)
She opened her eyes slowly, an effort that was damn near impossible. The bitter taste of vodka was still evident on her tongue as she rose up from the head-shaped indentation on the pillow. What the hell happened last night? Suddenly, a dreadful feeling gripped her heart, causing the remaining traces of sleep to run away from sheer shock; that sinking feeling you get once you know something embarrassing happened, yet you aren't quite sure of what exactly it was. She pushed the sea of blankets aside, her limbs practically creaking from disuse as a sudden wave of nausea rushed through her, sending her running to the bathroom.
And just then she found her face up close and personal with Stefan's toilet bowl, whilst emptying the contents of last night in a very unlady-like fashion. She grimaced at the feeling, as her head spun so out of control that she'd miss up from down the moment she closed her eyes. And at that moment she concluded that she will never drink ever again. After the urge to puke her stomach out finally subsided, she manage to pick herself up - though god only knows how she managed. Upon standing, she dared to take a glance at her reflection in the mirror. Goodness, she looked terrible. A trail of mascara was plastered to her cheeks, and her hair looked like a bird's nest. She was still wearing the dress from last night. And her eyes, oh god. It was like her eyelids got bitten by a cockroach, they were so swollen. If her head hadn't throbbed so much, then she probably would've laughed.
Just then, flashes of Stefan's murderous face, and Damon's frustrated one played before her. And a sudden whiff of bitter vomit caused another round of retching. The regret seeping through her tortured, alcohol-addled brain did not help matters either. Fuck. After what felt like forever, she finally stopped enough to hear muffled voices coming from the next room.
She strained her ears at the unfamiliar sound, and the sudden laughter dully beating through the wall.
It almost sounded like-no, it can't be. She was in Europe, and if she wasn't, this would probably be the last place she'd be. No, it must be someone else.
Did Damon bring someone home? A resentful feeling passed over her just then, at the prospect of such madness. But she knew that feeling wasn't fair to him, and she attempted to stifle that gnawing in her heart. (No, no she wasn't jealous. She's not allowed to be jealous after last night.) She sighed, finally giving up after the voice subsided. She grabbed her towel then, hoping for a moment of peace before she faced whatever was awaiting her downstairs.
Too bad it didn't work. She still felt like her stomach was somewhere near her feet by the time she was walking towards the dining room. A faint image of Stefan, face all stormy-like the way it got when he was particularly upset, waiting at the door, a fork in his hand ready to attack vaguely crossed her mind. Or Damon, with some cellular picture of their kiss, and a barrage of accuses were also faintly a possibility. Or even worse, he might not even care she walked in at all and he'd be making out with the mystery girl from the other room, saying 'How does it feel Elena? How does it feel!' She sighed. Better late than never.
However after rounding the corner to enter the kitchen, she found no woman existent. It was worse. Stefan and Damon were eating breakfast together. She didn't know whether she should just turn back around or greet them as if nothing happened. But instead she continued in, the silence deafening in her ears as she grabbed herself a plate and fork and seated herself at the table.
Well, this is uncomfortable. It was like the sides were closing in on her, and someone had a death grip on her heart, because of the waves of anger and hostility and regret and whatever the hell else were emanating from the two in waves. And she didn't know whether it was aimed at her or each other. But they continued eating nonetheless, the metallic sound of clanking forks and spoons echoing in the dining room. It was as if there were so many things that she wanted to say, that they wanted to say but instead it was all kept under wraps, the unspoken words banging against each other inside of them, increasing the pressure in the silent room.
It was Damon who spoke first, somewhat alleviating the agony. "Did you sleep well?" She almost wanted to laugh. After everything?
"Yeah. Did you?"
She continually glanced back at Stefan, unable to completely ignore the huge bruise on his forehead, as if it was another being present in the already stuffed dining room. The terrible thing was that she completely forgot why it was there in the first place, something to do with an accident and head-hitting, but she was way too stubborn and proud and afraid to ask him, for fear that he might lash out at her again, reopening wounds that sleep had effectively healed.
This time Damon did laugh.
"Oh yeah. Sleep was great. How about you Stefan?"
It remained quiet, Damon's words hanging in the air with no response to catch them. Elena thought that Stefan was simply going to ignore them, until he replied minutes later, "It was fine." He stood up suddenly, putting away his plates and striding out of the dining room without so much as a glance in her general direction.
The grip in her heart loosened just a little bit as she glanced at Damon. She wanted him to say something again, anything. She ate her food a little faster, a little more violently in an attempt to somehow fill the silence. But she slowed down, finding the right words to end the awkward air between them.
"Uhm...about last night-"
"Stop, Elena. We don't have to talk about it," he shoots back, as if this moment had been what he was anticipating the moment she entered the room, and ending any progress before it even started.
But damn it, I want to talk about it. Her mouth opened to respond, words intended to finally break open that dam sans alcohol, tears, or mind-numbing kisses before she saw Damon freeze, his eyes glaring at something behind her. She turned around, her mouth slightly opening in shock at seeing her infamous older cousin walk into her boyfriend's dining room as if she'd done it all her life. "Katherine?" What the hell is going on? The laughter! Flashes of her presence last night began coming to the forefront.
Damon swiftly stood up. "And that's my cue to leave." She watched him stand up, his muscles tensed beneath the thin gray v-neck that he often wore.
"Leaving so soon Damon? But I just got here."
"Exactly." Katherine only shook her head at him, a smirk firmly placed on her lips before she sat down, her eyes finally landing on Elena.
"He's cute, huh?" Katherine asked flippantly as soon as Damon was out of earshot.
"Wait what are-" Elena began, opting out of answering that question.
"You fuck him yet?" Elena's eyes bugged out at Katherine's words. Her cousin laughed suddenly. "Well don't get your panties in a twist, it's just a question. I mean your boyfriend's cute and all but Damon. How could you not?"
"N-no! What? No. NO. I would never," Elena said, her cheeks flaming.
"Well let's hope it stays that way," Katherine replied. "I mean he's kind of like your older brother if you think about it. The way he used to take care of you when he was still with me."
"Wait. What are you doing here, anyway? I thought you were in Paris?" Elena said, profusely in need of a change in subject.
"A simple welcome would've been nice," Katherine glanced down at her bright pink fingernails, before looking back up. "I mean after how I almost died trying to get here."
"Well if someone was able to handle her alcohol last night then you would've heard everybody yelling it at you." Elena grimaced. Katherine seemed to take pleasure in making her uncomfortable, not that she felt right at home in the first place. "You really don't remember?" Elena shook her head, and Katherine sighed as if trying to make a child understand. "I just arrived last night actually and I visited Mom and Dad. And they told me where to find you, so being the great person that I am, I wanted to come and see how you were. But on my way here a big, black jeep goes and hits me from behind."
"Yep. He said you kept calling him and he finally went to answer but he dropped it and BAM," Katherine said. Elena felt the guilt seeping in at the memory of how she yelled at him. "Don't feel bad, Lena. It wasn't your fault," she continued, as if she could read her thoughts. "Well, actually it kinda is." Elena looked down shamefully. "But thank god, your boyfriend is such a sweetheart. He's letting me stay here for the week. I mean this place has got what - 6 bedrooms? It sure beats staying at a hotel."
Elena looked up suddenly. "Stefan's letting you stay?" Stefan knew Damon's history with Katherine, why would he do that to his own brother?
"Yup. Seven days give or take." Katherine grinned, before getting up and grabbing herself some breakfast.
Damon sat at his computer, watching the blinking text cursor. His mind was so frustratingly blank. He'd promised Andie that he'd work on his part of the article during his little 'vacation' but how could he possibly think when the only thing on his mind was a constant replay of her.
In the room...when...when I said all those things. I lied..
Damn it. He was there, he really was. She told him she didn't want him anymore, and he believed it. He wanted to believe it, because that gave him a concrete reason of why he should stop wanting her. It was hopeless. But then she goes ahead and fucks it all up. It's like she knows exactly what he's thinking, in the way that whenever he gets close to closing that door, she would give him that doe-eyed look (fuck that look), that tiny piece of string over his head that stupid him of course would desperately grab onto. She had him, and she didn't even know it.
But Stefan. He couldn't. They were so close to being brothers again, he couldn't mess it up.
He sighed. The rusty cogs in his brain trying to come up with something, anything. He was so intent on thinking of a topic that he almost jumped in his chair when he felt someone's hands on his shoulders, moving down over his chest.
"Hello," came Katherine's sultry voice in his ear. "What you working on?"
His brain was too exhausted to fight anymore, and he still didn't understand what she was playing at. She'd made her choice clear years ago.
"What do you want Katherine? Why are you here?" Damon said, exasperation tingeing his voice.
"Oh come on, Damon. I think we both know the answer to that. I've made it obvious haven't I?" He felt her tongue on his earlobe. "I think you need to just relax, let me do all the work," Katherine said returning to her position behind him, her hands massaging his shoulders.
He jerked his head away from her in disgust. "I'd be calm if you left."
"Why don't you leave with me?"
Damon fully turned around in his desk chair to face the woman, effectively dislodging her invading fingers from him. "What?"
"Come on, Damon. If you don't care about me anymore then why are you still so affected?"
"Let me guess. Mason doesn't want you anymore?"
This seemed to hit a nerve with Katherine, the careless facade crumbling for just a second before it returned with full vengeance. "You didn't answer my question. Face it, Damon. I still have an effect on you." She smiled sweetly.
"No, Katherine. You really don't." He intended to spin back around in dramatic fashion. That is until she practically clawed his shoulders.
"Oh yeah?" And before he could stop her, she climbed onto his lap, her lips mauling his face. The poor chair could barely take the weight as it dangerously teetered back on its axis. It took him about a moment to process what was happening before a sudden tap on the door stilled her attack.
"Damon?" came Elena's muffled voice from behind the door. "Hey we—we should talk.." To his alarm, the doorknob started turning. However by the time he stood up, sending Katherine unceremoniously tumbling to the hardwood floor with a thump, it was too late.
"Elena…" he began, watching helplessly as her mouth fell open a fraction, simultaneous shock and hurt storming through her expressions, and the way in which she tried to restrain herself from reacting, yet failing miserably. The product some cross section of both. Her brows were furrowed, and he could barely see the beginning of tears misting on her lower lashes. And all he could do was stand there. Like an idiot. "Elena.." he repeated, as if that one word explained everything. If only it did.
It was Katherine who spoke up first, breaking the tension in the room. "Privacy, Lena. Ever heard of it?"
"S..sorry, I-I didn't know," she murmured before shutting the door. He wanted to run to her, to explain everything to her, to calm her worries, and to tell her that he wouldn't touch the bitch scrambling to stand up on the floor from a mile away. But the other half felt like it wasn't in his place to explain, that chasing her would only cause her to run further in the other direction.
"What the hell was that about?" Katherine asked, jolting Damon back to reality.
"The way you reacted...Both of you..." she gave him a curious glance.
"Get out, Katherine," he said with finality, cutting her off.
"You'll ask for me back sooner or later, Damon," she coldly replied, before stomping out of the room in a huff.
Elena rushed into her room, feeling numb all over. It was like she couldn't breathe; like something big and beating was trapped inside her chest, weighing it down. She didn't even register pulling Stefan's bed covers over her head, or the way her breathing slowed and the air grew stuffy as tears wet the cotton pillowcase, soaking her cheeks. She didn't remember grabbing her phone, but here she was clutching it in her hand. It was a rather odd feeling really, this utter detachment. It was as if she wasn't thinking, like a dam was propped up between her and her mind. She still has the impression of the raging thoughts inside, the reason for why her heart hurt so much, but it seemed far away. Everything did. And all she can think of is that she has to leave the house, now or else she'll self-implode.
"Sorry 'Lena, I can't hang today. I'm on freaking house arrest after my Dad found out that I drank and drove," Elena heard Bonnie whisper on the receiver an hour later.
"Oh," Elena replied, her heart sank. "Okay. Well How was Care?"
"Oh my goodness, it was terrible! We tried to sneak in but Sherriff Forbes was waiting for us, and get this, Caroline puked all over her," Bonnie giggled.
Elena laughed, the sound sounding weak even to her own ears, "Seriously?"
"Yeah! I honestly doubt we'll be seeing her at all for the next like, year."
"Shit! Gotta go, Elena. I hear my dad. Talk to you later!"
And just like that, with the click of Bonnie's phone on the other side, she was thrust back into her own sphere of madness, and her thoughts drifted back to them.
It was really only a matter of time she supposed, before they got back together. She just couldn't shake the frustrating feeling that she was exactly back where she started: sitting in her room moping at the fact that Katherine and Damon were together. She fought so hard to make herself believe that she was better than that, but here she is again in the same fucking situation six years later. It's pathetic and she couldn't help but dabble in a little pain and self-pity, in fact she liked to wallow in it until she was white and pruny.
She sighed for the umpteenth time that day. She will not be crying anymore over those two, and that'll be the difference. She took her phone and dialed Stefan's number, time to pay attention to her own boyfriend.
"What is it, Elena?" came Stefan's harsh words through the receiver. Elena flinched, she didn't know how much more she could take today.
"I just wanted to know how you were doing," she replied, her voice coming out smaller than she planned it to.
"I'm at the Gym, okay? With Tyler, not some whore or whatever the hell you think I've been doing behind your back."
Elena took a deep breath, trying to contain the anger simmering through the guilt. "You shouldn't strain yourself."
"This is exactly what I'm talking about."
"About what? Talk to me please, Stefan. Because I don't understand what's going on with us. With you."
"I'll talk to you later. 'Kay?" Elena heard through the speaker, the small click in the background signifying the end of the conversation.
"Bye," she replied back bitterly. It's probably high time she had a moment to herself. So what if her friends were busy or that the last thing her boyfriend wanted to do was be with her or that his brother/guy-she'd-give-an-arm-for was probably fucking his ex in the other room. So what? She pressed the phone to her ear once again and dialed the rehab facility Jeremy was staying at. There's the one guy she could always count on.
"So how are you and Elena?" Tyler asked wiping the sweat from his brow.
Stefan let out a humorless laugh, letting the searing heat of the sauna soothe his muscles.
"Dude, you gotta stop letting her manhandle you. It's just embarrassing for all of us. My uncle had it right, you know. You don't let some chick live with you unless you know you can stand each other."
"You're uncle was a bastard."
"But he knew what he was doing," Tyler replied.
"I know what I'm doing."
"Hell, I don't think you'd even realize it if Elena started fucking your brother."
Stefan stiffened. "What the fuck, man?"
Tyler put his hands up in surrender. "Hey, I'm just saying. They seem to be hanging out a lot, and in your bedroom, too. I saw 'em at the party 'talking'."
"So you saw them in my room, big deal. They live in the house," Stefan waved it off. "They wouldn't do that."
"What I'm saying is, you're supposed to be enjoying life right now. Plus half the time you're hiding out with us, what's the point?"
"The point is, I'd feel like a total dick if I broke up with her. Her brother just got put into rehab, her only family disowns her. What kind of asshole would I be if I kick her out of my house?"
"Dude. She practically bit out your ass after you got in an accident on your fucking birthday. What kind of bitch does that? That's why you don't get involved with a girl with baggage. We warned you from the beginning. But, you didn't listen. Matt knew the deal."
"Matt missed out," Stefan replied. "Elena's great, she is...or she was. She just gets annoying sometimes, and I'm just waiting 'til I get the good Elena back. Before Damon came, she'd be crying all over the place and she won't even talk to me about it. Fuck, what does she want me to do? Half the time I just want to tell her to suck it up. I mean, she used to be fun. Like, fun. Now it's like she's PMS-ing all over the place."
"Well better hurry up bro before your brother gets some of that fun." Stefan gave him a murderous look. "Just saying."
"God, you better shut up soon."
"Chill yourself," Tyler laughed. "I'm just saying what I see. I mean you're barely with your brother who came all the way out here to hang with you. And they're always together in the house where you, my friend, are not. How do you know?"
"Because I know my brother. And his ex is in the house right now. Why would he go for Elena when he has Katherine?"
"Katherine Pierce? My Uncle's ex Katherine Pierce?" Stefan nodded. "Good luck with her. She's hot but she's a bitch." Stefan laughed, but Tyler continued. "Elena has something man. She's got baggage for sure, and I wouldn't even get near that for my life, but if I were you're brother and I got her all by herself, I'd take advantage. But that's if I was your brother."
"Fuck you," Stefan stood up leaving Tyler by himself.
"What?" Tyler asked, holding his arms out. Stefan grabbed his towel and strode out of the sauna, barely hitting a little old lady in spanx in his anger. They wouldn't do that. He sighed, this has become one of the worst reunions in the history of reunions, or at least the second worst. Maybe it was time to do some heart to heart with his big bro? God knows, that's been way overdue.
Elena fumbled with her bag, her hand meeting all kinds of debris in the form of coins, and quarters, and bread crumbs. Where the hell did that come from? But nope, no jangling of any sort indicating her keys where found. She stepped back into the house dejectedly. Thank god, visiting hours don't end for a few hours or so.
"Where the hell...?" She wracked her brain for some kind of clue that would point her in the right direction until suddenly an image of her hand and Stefan's in a war over the keys came forth.
She rushed back into their bedroom, and effectively turned everything upside down, scouring every nook and cranny where those damn keys could've possibly fit because there was no way in hell that she was gonna ask Damon for help.
No way. She'd rather walk the thirty minute drive it took to get there. She really would.
Until of course thirty-seven minutes later, after probably the sixteenth time she looked beneath the leather couch. She plopped herself down, her face red. She didn't know if she could take another glance at them together. Once was enough for a lifetime, thank you very much.
But she sighed, already knowing she had no choice. The trek up the stairs was probably the hardest part. She wanted to turn back at least three times and actually did twice before making her way back up. You know? You're just asking for your keys. No biggie. So she squared her shoulders and made her way to his door. But before she could knock, she heard someone's footsteps behind her and an adjoining, "What are you doing?" She felt her shoulders tense, her body freezing up at the sound of his voice. Her face heating up in embarrassment at the prospect of him witnessing her indecision.
"Oh, uh..." she croaked. "I-I was just wondering if you knew where my keys where?" The tension between them was so thick you could probably spin a quarter on it.
"Oh. Over here." Elena nodded, following him inside his room. She couldn't help but glance towards the computer chair, the image of Katherine and him there moments ago causing another flash of burning in her chest. "Hold on a sec," he said before disappearing in what looked like a walk in closet. She debated sitting on his bed, but dirty thoughts began flashing through her head- and well it's probably just better to stay standing. Looking around, something on the glow of the computer screen caught her eye, and before she could help it, she was reading through probably what was the most elaborate poem she's ever read.
"Here it is," he finally said striding out of the closet, her keys dangling from his right hand, but his face suddenly looked alarmed once he saw what she was looking at.
"What is this?" Elena asked, the tension taking a break at her sudden revelation.
"It's nothing, really."
"You wrote it?"
"Well it's kind of my job."
"You're a writer?"
"A freelance writer. But I'm working on this piece with a partner and my shit is due in a few days."
"You never told me."
"You never asked."
"It's kind of my dream."
"Well, my mom was a writer and I guess I inherited the gene. Like, I don't know it's like when I write I'm finally in control of something, you know? And I feel like it's the one thing that can connect me to her," Elena replied, trying to fight tears threatening to come through. It was weird talking to him so normally after what just happened. "Sorry."
"Giueseppe wanted a lawyer for a son."
"He wanted a lawyer. My dad." He replied, stepping slightly closer to her. His gaze burned through her. And she was floored by the emotion she witnessed in those striking blue orbs.
"I tried to be what he wanted me to be. In fact, I tried so hard to be perfect and to make him so fucking proud. And I fuck up once. ONCE. And suddenly I'm the abomination of the family. And then I realized that it didn't matter whatever the hell I did. None of it mattered because he only ever saw the bad in me. And hell, that's what I gave him."
Elena stayed silent, waiting to see if he would go on, but after realizing he wasn't, she spoke up."You're not bad, Damon."
"You sure about that?" What a terrible question to ask. But she nodded nonetheless. No, he wasn't bad. Not in the slightest. If anyone was bad it was her. And that's what she told him. He laughed of course, and she never even noticed how much she missed that sound. "You're as bad as a unicorn on a rainbow with sprinkles on top."
"Shut up," she replied, but she couldn't help the smile tugging the corner of her mouth. "What was it like? You know...after you left?" She asked, letting her hand run over his silk covers before finally giving in and taking a seat on the bed.
"I guess I was just taking everything out on life in general. I didn't want to remember. I didn't want to think. I didn't want to feel. But I did, and that's what made it so hard. I wanted to go to a place where I didn't know anyone and just become whoever I wanted to be and act however I wanted to because I was so sick of being judged. I couldn't handle it anymore." He paused for a second before continuing, "That's me. I guess I get a little self-destructive."
Elena couldn't help the humorless laugh that sprung up. "You're telling me. It's like no matter what you do, none of it ever goes away no matter how hard you try to run away from it."
"Exactly." They looked at each other and it was like the clock stopped. She could practically hear a click in the background with how close she felt with him right in that moment, like two pieces of a puzzle. Elena finally broke their gaze, biting her lip in a nervous gesture. But then she saw the damned chair, again. The offending piece of scrap metal, and before she knew it she was scrambling up to leave, the stuffiness of the room threatening to suffocate her.
"So the keys?" She asked, setting her feet down from the bed. He nodded silently, placing the keys in her hand. "Thanks," she murmured, walking towards the door.
But as soon as she touched the cold steel of his doorknob, he spoke from behind her. "Wait."
"What?" she turned back, afraid of what she might see.
"Nothing happened with Katherine and me." It was like the temperature in the room escalated ten fold. "It's not what it looked like." He walked closer to her. "When you came earlier, you wanted to talk right? Then let's talk."
"You don't have to explain to me, Damon. There's nothing to talk about. Not anymore," she replied. Her words were controlled, too controlled, like the tightness of a rubber band right before it snaps.
Damon scoffed, it was an intruding noise. He's had enough of this. "Right, I don't. Because you don't give a flying fuck about me and what I do. And Katherine mauling me earlier had absolutely zero effect on you. Right? When are you gonna stop pretending, Elena?" The barely held frustration finally exploding from him, Elena almost flinched.
"What do you want me to do?" she replied in a whisper.
"Just be fucking honest," Damon muttered with as much bitterness as he can muster, turning away from her in a final signal of defeat. "At least if you're gonna reject me, be fucking honest about it, instead of pretending like there's nothing going on between us."
"You want me to be honest, Damon?" Elena replied after him. Something in her voice caught his attention and he faced her again, the broken remnants of the shame he saw earlier practically all but gone, replaced with some mixture of bravery and indignation. "I've been in love with you since I was fucking 12 years old, Damon." He froze. "And I get it. Trust me I get it, that I have no right to be angry that you and Katherine are together again. No right. But I can't. And it hurts so fucking much and I'm so tired of it. And then there's Stefan, who is the last person that I ever wanted to hurt but damn it, Damon. I can't. So pardon me, but pretending is the only way I get through the day, alright?"
Sorry, but did she just say love? It was as if the world skewed right then, sputtering on its axis, stopping at a halt with that word. That can't be right. But the way she stood there, and the way she was looking at him right then with her burning eyes and mouth set in that subtle pout that was so uniquely hers, how could he not want to completely ravish her right then. He didn't know if he should get started on that, or the backflips at the fact that he wasn't completely delusional. "Elena, Katherine and I aren't back together."
"You can call it whatever you want-" she began, all traces of the vulnerable eighteen year old girl fading away.
"We're not back together." He closed in on her, taking in the hitch in her breath and the way her body seemed to soften before him. "But damn it, you and my brother are."
"I know," she replied, all the fight leaving in that one statement.
"So you know how completely wrong this is."
She let out a shuddering breath before nodding her head. She closed her eyes then, the feel of his rough fingertips ghosting on her skin, sending her breath away and all that was left between them was her racing heart beat. Until suddenly, she felt him stop, feeling his soft breath hovering over her lips, and she realized that he was waiting for her to make the final move. That this time it wouldn't be him. And against all voices telling her no, she closed the gap, pressing her lips to his.
Is this what heaven felt like? Or death? Sweet, melancholy death that left her breathless and desperate for more of him. The way his velvet lips shaped to fit her own, it was surreal. Completely surreal, and by the time her hands tangled in his silky hair it was like every thought in her head impeding this from happening flew away and it was just him and her once again.
God, she was so, so screwed.
Did you like it? R&R por favor.