A/N: Wow. I have finished it. To be honest, this one has officially knocked out my other fic, Not Your Phantom, for most difficult. The last two lyrics were the ones that held this up the most, so I hope you enjoy the ending. Please review, since this is my only Stelena fic ever, and I'm pretty insecure about it.

It's a songfic based on the song Love The Way (Part II) by Rihanna feat. Eminem. I don't own the song.

Shameless self-promotion: Twitter - SweetWillowTree

Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries.

So maybe I'm a masochist? I try to run but I don't wanna ever leave. Til the walls are goin' up in smoke with all our memories.

"Dear Diary," she writes one day, for the first time in a long time.

"The last time I wrote, I was convinced that there was something wrong with me. No one else could possibly understand why I stayed with Stefan. But it doesn't matter anymore. It hurts more to think about not being with him than it does to be with him. And with Lexi gone, who would be there to bring him back. This isn't just about saving him; it's about saving others. I know that there isn't anyone else who could keep him from mindlessly killing, and there's progress. Every day there's progress.

I'm an adult now, not the naive little girl that I was when we first met. I've had years to try and get away from him, but I can't. I can't be without him. I love him, unfailingly and unconditionally. And that's the way it has to be.

Sometimes, I try to leave. I stand at the front door like I've done thousands of times, and I decide that I will go. But I don't want to. It isn't fear of him that's keeping me here; it's fear of being without him that is.

I think the only thing that could make me go is if he stops getting better. If those little signs started to disappear, then I would too. If he stopped feeling remorse for what he does to me, what I do to him, then we would be over.

So until one of us dies for good, there's nothing else for it. We're forever."

This morning, you wake as a sun ray hits your face, smeared makeup as we lay in the wake of destruction.

I watch Elena, listen to her heartbeat as the sun filters through the bedroom window and she begins to wake. I don't remember if she took my blood yesterday, and there's a bruise under her eye. I don't even remember how she got it.

This is a rare moment. Usually, when I'm like this, when I'm out of control, I don't think. I don't marvel at her beauty, at her perfection. I sleep like the truly dead, and buzz with energy when I wake.

Maybe she's right. Maybe I am getting better. It's been years since I became the Ripper that I once was, and now, for the first time, I can see a little clearer. The blood lust is pulsing in my mind, my heart, my veins, but I'm able to hold it off.

Just a little longer.

Just a little longer.

Hush baby, speak softly,

Her eyes pop open, but she doesn't smile when she sees me. She tries to speak, but it's a raw sound that escapes her. I notice the bruises on her neck; I must have tried to strangle her last night.

"Morning love," I say softly. I try to stroke her cheek.

She pulls away and moans something incomprehensible. I frown.

"What was that?"

Tell me I'll be sorry that you pushed me into the coffee table last night so I can push you off me!

"Don't touch my face," she rasps. "It hurts again, and you aren't sorry this time."

She pushes me away, and tries to roll off the bed, but I grab her, pull her back, until we're nose to nose.

"You aren't sorry, but you will be," she threatens, and I'm confused. "That's the line, Stefan! That's the one thing that I can't take from you. If you can't feel, then this is done!"

I push her away and leap off the bed. A memory from the night before flashes through my mind.

She's holding me back by my throat, but I don't even feel her fingers until she digs her nails into my skin. Enraged, I follow her lead, pinning her to the wall with my hands wrapped around her neck. Her right arm swings around and she punches me, hard enough for me to feel it, and I release her.

"I'm sorry," I murmur. It happens this way sometimes, but not typically this long. I black out, and when the memories return, the guilt swims in along with it. I meet her brown eyes, now undecided, and I'm angry. She would have left me.

"I'M SORRY!" I scream.

Try and touch me so I can scream at you not to touch me!

She moves out of the bed, wearing only my discarded t-shirt, and pads over to me.

"I didn't -" she whispers, suddenly remorseful. "I didn't see it, Stefan. I didn't think -"

She reaches out to grab my hand but I pull away.

"You would leave me, then? Just like that, you would go? And then what? Could I live without you? Could you live without me?"

Again, she moves closer, eyeing me tenderly. This time I slap her hand away.


Run out the room and I'll follow you like a lost puppy!

Her eyes flood, and she flees, running from the room. This is different. Something's changed.

I follow after her, afraid that she'll leave me this time.

She hasn't even made it to the stairs.

Baby, without you, I'm nothing, I'm so lost, hug me. Then tell me how ugly I am, but that you'll always love me!

I grab her, hold her, kiss her. She holds me back, kisses me back. The rest of the world ceases to exist when I'm in her arms. I can only think when I'm near her. Her fingers weave through my hair, and I know that it'll be okay. She'll make it okay. She's better than me; she'll make it okay.

"I'll love you forever, Stefan," she breathes against my neck. "But if you go backwards, I can't stay with you. If you get worse, I'll leave."

The thought of her not being mine is enough to draw out my vampire visage, and my fangs press against her skin instinctively.

Then after that, shove me, in the aftermath of the destructive path that we're on, two psychopaths but we know that no matter how many knives we put in each others backs that we'll have each others backs, 'cause we're that lucky!

She pushes me back, somehow offended. She's erratic today; uncontrolled and unpredictable. Is this how she feels? Is this how I act around her?

She's headed for the stairs again. I see a hole in the wall. Is that new? From last night, or the night before? Elena usually has it repaired by now. No matter what I do, how I hurt her, Elena always fixes everything. I'd do the same for her, if I could. But she's so much better than I am.

Together, we move mountains, let's not make mountains out of molehills: You hit me twice, yeah, but who's countin'? I may have hit you three times, I'm startin' to lose count.

I reach out, grab her wrist, say something heartfelt and true and useless. We're over words, but I see in her eyes that she hears me somehow. She's calmer suddenly, watching as my fingers graze the length of her wounded neck, then the bruised skin under her eye.

"My blood..." I offer, drifting off to bite my wrist and present it to her.

A peace offering.

With one last calculating glance, her lips clamp over the blood on my arm, her tongue darting out to tease the sensitive skin around the wound. I feel the hunger more intensely now, the desire to taste her is almost irresistible.

Like in slow motion, her free hand crawls up to press into my chest, and I step back as she licks her lips and moves forward. The wall stops my backward momentum, and Elena is on me, in me, around me. As her body moulds to mine, something incredible happens: my fangs recede, the throbbing around my eyes slows and disappears, and my hunger shifts, moves lower.

My hands glide down along her ribs, her hips, to her bare thighs.

"Stefan," she sighs into my mouth.

I spin us so she's against the wall, the syllables of my name echoing in my ears, breaking off into the million different things she's saying; things like 'I love you', 'I need you', and 'Make love to me'.

And I do.

But together, we'll live forever, we found the youth fountain.

My grip tightens on her thighs. She slides up the wall; my boxers slide to the floor; I slide into her. Her legs tighten around my waist, and she moans long and loud into my neck and shoulder as I slam into her. I wonder idly, as I do every time, whether this is the day that I'll break her. But I need to hear her pleasure, feel her satisfaction, and that desire trumps my concern for her physical well-being.

It always does.

She arches back, her scrambling fingers failing to find purchase on the wall behind her as her moans become screams. I watch her fall apart; a small luxury, since I'm usually focused on her neck at this point. Her hands are now in my hair, tugging my head back. She's kissing me, and moving her hips with mine, and I come. Her name falls from my lips like a prayer, or a curse.

Our love is crazy, we're nuts, but I refused counsellin'. This house is too huge, if you move out I'll burn all two thousand square feet of it to the ground, ain't shit you can do about it!

In the afterglow, she's still pressed to the wall, and I'm still inside of her, and the old hunger returns. My face is nuzzled into the junction of her shoulder and neck and I can feel her pulse beating against my mouth. I press kisses to the spot, trying to will away the urge, but the action only serves to draw out my fangs.

"Stefan, no," she murmurs into my hair.

Her legs unwrap from around my waist, and she tries to skirt around me.

"It's too much," she croaks, backing away towards the stairs, holding my eyes. But she's smiling a little, a small, sad smile, so I know we've pulled back. I haven't lost her. "Right now, it's just -" Her hands flutter as she tries to find the words.

I take a step towards her, and she moves back again; fleeing, but not fleeing, all at once. My brittle control is close to snapping, though. The desire to drink her, coupled with her nervousness, is stoking the demonic part of me to want to hunt, rip, kill, destroy. I step towards her again, and again she moves back.

Everything slows down. I watch her face change from soft to panicked, watch her wobble. Too late, I realize that she's backed up too far, or the stairs have somehow moved closer by a few feet. For once, I'm too slow. She falls backward, and I blur to the bottom before she makes it down, but it isn't enough.

My world stops.

With you I'm in my fuckin' mind, without you, I'm out it!

Her neck snaps. She is motionless on the floor. I am frozen. I am finished.

Unless she wakes up.

Until she wakes up.





Just gonna stand there and watch me burn? But that's all right because I like the way it hurts;

Elena feels it before anything else. Her heart is not beating.

Her eyes flutter open, focusing and refocusing on the room swirling around her head. Her heart is not beating.

She can't breathe, her throat closes against the myriad new smells that bombard her. Her heart is not beating.

Her mouth feels sticky and dry, but she tastes something familiar: Stefan's blood. Her heart is not beating.

The couch feels prickly beneath her fingertips, and not at all soft like she remembers it. Her heart is not beating.

And finally, she hears it. Him. Her name whispered with such tenderness and awe, her entire body goes haywire.

And still, her heart is not beating.

"Stefan," she whispers, sitting up and breathing deep, grimacing at the taste of the world.

He's at her side in an instant, both of his hands clenched around one of her own, his eyes penetrating hers like they never have before. He's watching for something, waiting for it.

She pulls her hand back and presses it to his chest, needing to feel like he's real, because everything else feels like a dream. And then she remembers. Their argument; his blood; her hand on his chest, much like right now; him taking her against the wall; and her refusing his bite, too overwhelmed and emotional to allow that. Then a final stab of panic, and nothing.

"Stefan," she whispers again, more like a question this time, and she can feel her bottom lip trembling.

"Oh sweetheart," he breathes, pulling her close to him, wrapping his arms around her like he used to, back when she was still a fragile teenager.

Just gonna stand there and hear me cry? But that's all right because I love the way you lie.

A bubble of hysterical laughter bursts from her lips, and he loosens his hold on her.

"An accident," she giggles before bursting into sobs. "After all these years, I'm turning because of an accident?"

He nods slowly, still solemn in the face of her shocked laughter.

"I'm a vampire? I'm becoming a vampire?" Stefan looks like he wants to answer, but she's still talking. "I can't – I can't become this, Stefan. How will I –? How can I -?"

She dissolves entirely into tears, and he pulls her in again, stroking her hair and whispering to her. Over the years, he has whispered pretty lies. But now, she knows, it's the truth. She believes him when he tells her, over and over, that she'll be okay, that she can do this.

She hears a shuffle just outside the parlour, and sits back against the couch, frowning.

"Jeremy's here," Stefan informs her, and she finally takes the opportunity to examine him.

His t-shirt and jeans are torn, and there's a cut down his face, from his forehead to his jaw.

"What happened?" she asks carefully, although she has some idea.

"When you fell," he begins, looking panicked. He hasn't had to interact with people alone in years. Elena was always the buffer, "I went to get him, to tell him. He didn't believe that I didn't kill you, so he hit me."

"With what? A bat?"

"His car," Stefan deadpans.

Elena knows that she should laugh, but she can't. The severity of the situation is clouding her mind as she realizes exactly why Stefan ran to fetch Jeremy.

After this many years, she knows that she need not explain her thought process. She and Stefan share a mind now, she thinks.

"You drank from your father," she states.


"And you want me to drink from my brother?"

This time, there is a pause before he nods. They are both silent for a time, although Stefan does stand, and begin to edge toward the entrance.

"Wait!" Elena exclaims, reaching forward and clutching his hand. Their eyes meet, and she is deadly serious. Literally. "Things will change. You have to take care of me now. You'll have to fix me, protect me, hold me back. You're responsible. Have you thought about that?"

For a moment, it seems as though he's zoned out. Then he blurs over top of her on the couch, and echoes her own sentiments back to her.

"I will keep you safe and well, even if it kills me," he growls, pinning her hands above her head and kissing her roughly. "I love you," he says with so much vehemence, Elena wonders if he has ever meant it before in comparison to this.

And just before he peels himself off of her to bring in her brother and seal their twisted fate, he says the one word the convinces her beyond anything else.