Disclaimer: I don't own TVD or any of it's characters.

A/N: yay new story! haha as I mentioned to a few people, I got the idea for this fic while I was writing The Last Stand and I finally have a little free time so I thought I'd get one last story out for the summer ;) First off, I'll just say that this is not meant to be a season 3 fic (there are already a ton of great ones floating around this site!) though this DOES take place after the events of 2x22. I'm thinking it'll be around 12-15 chapters long and I'm really excited for it! Enjoy :)


CHAPTER 1: JUDGEMENT DAY


Elena sat utterly still against the wooden, straight-backed chair.

If it was uncomfortable, she didn't notice.

If she had been sitting there for hours…well, she didn't notice that either.

Her gaze was fixed solely upon Damon, willing him to wake up—to do anything other than lie there, blissfully unaware of her presence.

And although she was completely consumed in watching him, she still heard the floorboard creak behind her as a quiet footstep padded into the room.

Elena stiffened but didn't turn around. She honestly had no idea who would be here at this time of night unless Klaus had decided to return for more payback.

As if he hadn't taken enough.

"Elena."

Her eyes widened slightly at the sound of her doppelganger's voice. She slowly stood up and turned around to see Katherine standing at the doorway, her arms crossed and her expression curious.

"I thought you left," Elena said, distrust edging her voice, "You know, right after you dropped off the cure and sped out of here? I figured you were running from Klaus."

Katherine didn't answer her question right away, and instead took several further steps into the room so that she could look at Damon. "He hasn't woken? Have you been here this whole time?"

"It hasn't been that long," Elena said defensively, looking down at her watch and doing a double take when she realized it was well past dawn. She added weakly, "He's just sleeping."

"Hmm," Katherine placed a hand on Damon's forehead, a frown marring her features. "I knew it," she murmured, "It couldn't have been that easy."

"What?" Elena demanded, fighting the insane urge to push Katherine away from Damon. "What are you saying? What couldn't have been easy?"

"The cure," Katherine's eyes snapped back up to meet Elena's, "I had just reached the state border when it hit me." She moved away from Damon so that she could pick up the discarded vial sitting on the nightstand. "Klaus' blood was the cure but he wouldn't have given it away so freely if there hadn't been more to it."

"Freely?" Elena repeated incredulously, anger seeping through her veins as she picked up her cell phone and hurled it at Katherine's face. "Stefan hasn't responded to a single message I've sent him! Not to mention that you told me he's given himself over to Klaus—there's been nothing 'free' about this whole situation!"

Katherine had caught the phone easily, and now she was staring at Elena through hooded eyes. "That's not what I meant," she said cryptically as she walked back to the doorway and stuck her head out so that she could call to someone, "You can come in now."

Elena's apprehension quickly morphed into bafflement as Bonnie stepped into Damon's room, looking slightly worried. "Elena, you're okay," she said, relief passing over her features instantly. "Jeremy said you never came home…and then Katherine stopped by and told me what happened…"

"Yes, once again you should all be thanking me," Katherine commented as she idly examined her nails, "Seeing as how I figured out something was wrong."

"So you came back because of what, exactly?" Elena turned to glare at Katherine even as Bonnie went over to examine Damon. "Out of the goodness of your heart?"

"Just fulfilling my debt to Damon," Katherine said coolly, "Klaus would have most likely killed me by now if Damon hadn't brought me that vervain."

"You do owe Damon," Elena agreed in a hard voice, "For a lot more than just the vervain."

"Katherine was right," Bonnie suddenly said, glancing at Elena. "Klaus' blood is the cure, but that's not all."

"What do you mean?" Elena immediately walked over to Damon's side so she could point out the obvious difference to Bonnie. "Look at him! He's better now—you weren't here before…he was dying, and now he's not!"

"I know," Bonnie said gently, "The cure did save his life. It brought him back from the brink of death."

"So what's the problem?"

Bonnie paused, "You have to understand, Elena. There's not meant to be a cure for a werewolf bite. Klaus—a hybrid—was not meant to exist. Now the balance of power between vampires and werewolves has shifted…and to truly save Damon, you're going to need to convince…them."

"Who?" Elena swallowed, ignoring the fear spiking in her chest. "I don't understand."

"After I convinced Bonnie that I was telling the truth," Katherine interrupted snidely, "She communicated with her little witch friends and they told her that someone had to vouch for Damon's life." She raised an eyebrow almost challengingly at Elena, "Someone has to convince them that Damon's life is worth saving. To bring him back from this…catatonic state."

Elena's brow furrowed—she didn't really see what the problem was. "Okay...what do you need me to do? Talk to them or something?"

"Not exactly." Bonnie knelt to the ground where she had laid down her large purse and rummaged through it for a minute before extracting the ingredients she was looking for.

Elena watched in bemusement as Bonnie carefully placed a wooden bowl onto the carpet before taking out her grimoire and flipping to a bookmarked page. "What are you doing?"

"I'm going to connect you to Damon," Bonnie answered as she surgically sliced a cut into Damon's wrist and let several drops of blood flow into the bowl. Even as they watched, the cut healed itself. She nodded in satisfaction, "His vampiric powers are back; that's good to know."

"But..." Elena trailed off as Bonnie wordlessly requested her hand. She held it out and drew in a sharp breath as Bonnie pricked the tip of her forefinger and squeezed the drops of blood into wooden bowl where they mixed with Damon's. "Is this for a spell?"

"Sit here," Bonnie ordered, adjusting the wooden chair so that it was closer to the bed and Elena would be within arm's reach of Damon. "I need you to hold his hand while I say the spell. It is the only way that the connection can be established."

Elena sat down obediently, but hesitated for a split second before taking Damon's hand within her own. As she glanced upwards, she caught Katherine flash a knowing look in her direction. "What now?"

"Like I said, you have to prove that Damon is worth saving...that the laws put into place hundreds of years ago to balance the powers of all supernatural creatures don't matter anymore." Bonnie met Elena's gaze steadily, "There will be a series of trials. Damon must pass them all in order to be fully brought back."

"Trials?" Elena swallowed as the candles around them flickered to life, "Wait—what kind of trials? What am I supposed to do?"

"Damon is the one who must pass," Bonnie corrected, "You are just meant to guide him...that is, if you do truly believe that he deserves to live..."

"I do," she said fiercely, daring anyone to argue with her. "Just tell me what I need to do."

Bonnie shifted her shoulders, readying herself for the spell, "You have heard of the seven sins?"

Elena suddenly got a vague idea of where this was headed, but all she said out loud was, "I have."

"Those sins are a vampire's natural instincts," Bonnie said, turning to look at Katherine for confirmation. "After all, vampires do not possess humanity's affinity for inhibition." When Katherine nodded, Bonnie continued, "There will be seven trials. If you can guide Damon into overcoming his instinctual behavior...if you can guide him into making human choices...then he will be deemed as deserving of another chance."

"That's not fair," Elena felt the uncertainty wash over her in waves, "What if he doesn't...I mean, what if..."

"You must convince him," Bonnie raised her hands over the bowl, "It is the only way."

Katherine made herself comfortable on the floor next to Elena's chair and looked up at her innocently. "You don't want Stefan's sacrifice to have been in vain, do you Elena?" She stretched her legs luxuriously and then added in an offhand voice, "Besides, I don't know what you're so worried about—If there's anyone that can bring out Damon's humanity...it's you."

Elena took a deep breath and closed her eyes as she gripped Damon's hand tightly. "Okay," she said to Bonnie, a new sense of determination strengthening her resolve, "I'm ready. Do it."


*The "Seven Deadly Sins" (or vices) are known as: Wrath, Greed, Sloth, Pride, Lust, Envy, and Gluttony. Each chapter will be a different trial/sin that Damon has to overcome. It's sorta my way of doing an AU fic without reallyyy doing AU haha. Hope you liked it so far! Be sure to drop a review ;) xoxo