Well, look at that. Yesterday, I updated "Fear in a handful of dust" and today I have a new oneshot for you guys! I'm on a roll! Well, at least I've lost some of my darn writers block. That's something already, I guess.

Now, thank you soooo much, my dear AVECIA, for your quick betareading. *hugs*.

Disclaimer: I don't own a thing 'bout TVD. I just play with them, because it is so much fun! Also, the song is "Skinny Love" as heard in TVD (Season 2 Ep 21 – the Funeral Scene), sung by Birdy. BUT, my beta told me it originally is from Bon Iver^^.

Now, on with it!

Xoxoxoxoxo

Come on skinny love just last the year
Pour a little salt we were never here
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my
Staring at the sink of blood and crushed veneer

As he entered his room, he knew instantly that something wasn't quite as he had left it. But as he looked around, he couldn't find anything out of place – until he sat down on his bed. Because there on his pillow, looking innocent and not threatening at all, was a simple, white envelope. On its backside, there was his name written in bold, curvy letters.

It was a handwriting he would recognize out of hundreds – because he would always recognize something that came from Elena.

So without hesitating another moment, he opened the envelope. Inside were a few sheets of paper, closely covered with the same handwriting. Curiosity – and even if he hated to admit it, a little fear – made him read the thing, that was obviously a letter, without wasting another moment.

Damon,

I don't really know how to go about this. I have never had a problem with words before. Even those that spoke of goodbye – I always found them willing to obey my feelings and they nearly spoke or wrote themselves. Not so now.

Over the last year, I had to say "Goodbye" so many times, that it has left a bitterness in my heart and soul that's not about to just leave. And because of that, I am leaving. I can't stay here, not even for another day, let alone the rest of my life, however long it might be.

I miss you already, even though I'm sitting on my bed, in the room of the Boarding House that has been mine since I moved my things out of my childhood room. But in reality I'm gone already; if not in body, then in my mind. Because I have all these pictures in my head how my future is going to be. The places I will see, the people I will meet – the friends I will make on my way.

But amongst all these things to come, there are the things that have been, too.

Things – and people… especially people – I'm going to leave behind.

My parents (both adoptive and biological) and my aunt. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering their faces, or the way they smiled and smelled. But then I look into the mirror and remember, because they left proof of their life in me. The way I talk and move – I am the daughter of Grayson and Miranda Gilbert, there's no denying that. And when I see past the fact that I'm a Doppelganger, and look just like Katherine and all the other women that came before us, I can see John and Isobel, too. My eyes and hair… I could have them from her. And I know that my smile looks eerily like John's (his real one, not that stupid smirk of his).

But I'm coming off track here.

Where was I? Oh, yes – I was remembering all that I'm leaving behind.

Jeremy, Bonnie, Caroline, Tyler, Alaric, Stefan… you.

But I know that all of you will be alright. Jeremy and Bonnie have each other, as do Caroline and Tyler. Alaric is tough, and he still is going to have you to come to if he needs to not be tough for once.

Stefan… well, with him, it's a little bit more complicated. He will wonder why I just disappeared. Why I couldn't stay or, at least, take him with me.

But the truth is… Stefan and I are over. We have been for quite some time; we only hadn't realized it yet.

But one day, I woke up in his bed, him still sleeping beside me. And even though all I had to do was stretch my arm to touch him, there was mile long distance between us.

It's just as he once said: We met and we talked, and it was epic. But then the sun came up, and reality set in.

It's funny how I refused to believe him back then – and how now, he won't see his own words as the truth they are.

I guess we just got comfortable. We had to fight for our love – and our lives – all the time. And then suddenly, the fight was over and we had won. We had come out at the end; not unharmed by any means, but still alive.

We all bear proud sets of battle scars, whether they can be seen, or not.

But now those scars had grown faint, and I just can't stay here, and live a comfortable, little life.

I need more. More life, more passion for life, more everything. And I won't find that here, in Mystic Falls.

By now, I have talked (or rather written) about everything and everyone but you, even though this letter is addressed to you.

There is a reason for that though.

One: I need you to tell them sorry for me, to make sure they know I love and will miss them. I need you to tell them why I left.

Second: I needed you, most of all, to understand why I left. I needed you to understand that under no circumstances could it be your fault. And I know you would think that. I know you.

It's got nothing to do with you. If anything you're the reason why I stayed this long.

But now I have to go; have to find out who I am now. I'm no longer Elena Gilbert – Cheerleader, Member of the Founding Families.

I'm no longer The Human Petrova Doppelganger or Stefan's Girlfriend.

I'm just… me, and I don't really have an idea of who this person is anymore. And I need to find it out on my own, without anyone holding my hand, or standing beside me.

I need to just take a deep breath and jump into the unknown. With you right there though, I couldn't do that.

So please just… be patient. Be fine without me, keep your balance – oh please, please don't return to what you were before you came back to Mystic Falls. Be kind to your brother and our friends (and yes, they are our friends, not just mine – whether you're admitting it or not).

You have time, Damon; if you have anything in the world, it's time. You won't get any older. And I know for a fact that you can outwait everyone else if you want to. You waited for Katherine for over a hundred and forty years.

I guess now I have to give you a reason to wait for me, right?

It's because the only thing I don't need more of, is love. Because when I look at you, I feel so full of it, that I'm always afraid it might spill over, out of my eyes and ears – god, what a picture.

In case it wasn't clear enough - I love you, Damon. I won't say "I probably always have" – no matter how much of a popular line and cliché it is - because it won't be true. We both know that in the beginning I was afraid of you, and then I hated you, just a little bit.

But there was this bond between us, and it only grew stronger with every hurdle on our way.

And one day, that bond was so strong, that I could never imagine life without you. Not forever, at least.

There is one cliché I have to use though: I love you, and I probably always will.

I will turn twenty-three tomorrow – by tomorrow, I will also be gone.

But in a year from now, I'll be twenty-four; in a year from now, I will be as old as you where when you died.

Wait for me, just this one year. I'll come back to you, for you, in a year. And I promise you I will be ready for your forever. I'll be ready to die, and to wake up to the night again.

I know it probably is presumptuous of me to just assume that you still want me now, never mind in a year. But I just have to believe that you do, because otherwise I'd be so incredibly lost on my search for myself, that I'd probably never be able to find my way back home.

So I just believe, and I hope and dream.

Now, I have said everything I had to say; now is the time for that goodbye I have been dreading the whole time I was writing this.

You won't know because all you will see here are the words I have written but…. I've begun this letter over a week ago. I had to stop all the time; I hid it in my diary, and would continue to bring this goodbye to paper, little bits at a time. Just because I wanted to keep the final words of it as far away as possible.

But now I can't talk around it anymore, so I'll just write it:

Goodbye.

Now, that wasn't even as hard as I thought it would be. Another few things before I finish this for real: I love you, please wait for me (and yes, I know I already said this. But I needed to repeat it anyway). Take good care of yourself, and don't miss me too much; please don't be angry or sad that I had to go because – and this will be a repeat, too – it is not your fault. I will (hopefully, if you really did wait for me) see you in a years' time.

I love you,

Elena.

He had to read the letter a few times to fully comprehend its meaning. She really was gone. She left without anyone noticing – how the hell had nobody noticed what she was about to do?

But strangely, he wasn't even all that upset about it. Sure, he was going to be worried sick most of the time; he would miss her like crazy, and he would hate it to stay in this town without here.

But she had promised to return – Elena always kept her promises. And she had said that she was in love was him.

That she would return for him. And what's one year in the big scheme of things, anyway? Nothing, really. She had said it herself; he had waited for Katherine for over a century. And that crazy bitch had never deserved it. Elena on the other hand… she hadn't faked her death, or her imprisonment. She wrote him a letter and told him to wait. Hell, she even told him how long to wait.

He could do it; he would do it.

And then they would have forever at their hands.

Smiling, he folded the letter and put it back in its envelope. After carefully putting it in the first drawer of his nightstand, he made his way downstairs.

The others would be here soon to make the last plans for Elena's surprise party tomorrow; meaning he had to begin to think of a right way to tell them that the birthday girl would be missing.

Xoxoxoxoxo

As he went to bed hours later, he had to laugh as he remembered the faces of people. Shocked, sad, surprised… it had been fun, being the one to tell them.

But as Elena had asked of him, he had been kind. He told them that she would be back in a year, and he told them that she wanted them to know that she loved them.

He had not told them that she was planning on Turning – or that she was planning to be with him, and not his brother. He would have to tell Stefan, and soon; but not now, and not with this many people around. This would have to be talked about in closed quarters.

Sighing, he shed his clothes and crawled under the covers.

Three hundred and sixty-five days left – Three hundred and sixty-five days he had to sleep alone. And then, never again.

With a gentle smile ghosting on his lips, he fell asleep. He couldn't wait for forever to finally come along.

I told you to be patient
I told you to be fine
I told you to be balanced
I told you to be kind
In the morning I'll be with you
But it will be a different "kind"
I'll be holding all the tickets
And you'll be owning all the fines

Xoxoxoxoxo

Well, I'm done already. I know that it was a little short, but… I just wanted it to be like it is now. Also, I have a feeling that I'm going to continue this one some time in the future. Not yet, as I only work on one multichapter at a time, but maybe after that…we'll see^^.

Now… reviews are love people!

So long,

Zora