A Hero's Vow

by Erin Salvatore

Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries. I'm just borrowing.

Note: Hey, guys, this is my take on the ending of "The Reckoning." Been thinking about how I would do it, especially since I loved the Delena moments that were featured. The only things I didn't like were Katherine keeping Damon away from Elena and Stefan showing up. Anyway, no spoilers, except, like the ending I did for "The End of the Affair," this will be from Damon's POV.

Damon's POV

I felt the guilt rising within me as I raced back to Mystic Falls. After I had gotten Katherine to give me my phone, I saw that Bonnie had been trying to text me, telling me that Elena was in trouble, that Klaus had shown up and attacked the school. Great, and I wasn't even there. I shouldn't have let Katherine talk me into leaving. I should've slammed the door in her face. That way, I could've been able to at least try to stop Klaus before Elena got hurt.

As I got nearer to Mystic Falls, thousands of thoughts raced through my mind. What if I was too late? What if Klaus killed Elena? I forced myself not to think like that. I had always come through for Elena before, and I wasn't about to fail her now. She was about the only good thing I had left and I was determined to make sure that nothing prevented me from saving her, especially not that asshole, Klaus. Speaking of, something good did come from my being gone. Katherine and I found out that was a Big Bad out there that was a bigger Big Bad than Klaus, some guy by the name of Mikael, and from what I heard about him, he wasn't to be awakened...for anything. That had become our leverage against Klaus. If he knew that we had Mikael, he'd be shitting in his drawers.

I smiled a little at that thought. As much of an evil whore as she was, Katherine did have some good use to her. I just couldn't believe that she thought that she could try and get me to feel love for her again. Yeah, right, that ship sailed a long time ago. As I told her earlier, she didn't do it for me anymore. After all the shit she put me through, she deserved to get her ass dumped.

I finally arrived at the hospital and sure enough, there was Klaus. I didn't see his bitch sister anywhere, so I was guessing he sent her away before I even arrived. Not that I didn't want to face him one on one, but it would've been nice to try my luck against her too.

Klaus had sensed me and said, "Well, look who finally decided to show up to the party."

That asshole. I expected no less. He seemed to have gotten a lot more smug since our little run-in in Chicago, and I didn't like it. I was the only smug one around here, and he was just trying to weasel in on my territory. Just because he was older, it didn't mean he had outdo me, Damon Salvatore, the King of the Smug.

Deciding that pleasantries would be a waste of time, I put my focus on the reason I had come back in the first place: Elena. "Where is she?"

Klaus smirked. "Elena? She's making a donation to a greater cause."

I didn't have to guess what he meant by that. Since Elena was the doppelganger, her blood was the key to the success of his plan to create more hybrids. Well, I couldn't let that bastard hurt her just so he could preserve his hybrid species. I would rather let myself be bitten by a werewolf again than let him do that.

When he tried to strangle me, I brought up Mikael and the fact that Katherine and I found him, and that he knew he was here. The next thing I knew, I was being thrown into a car. When I lifted myself up again, Klaus was gone. Of course, I wasn't about to wait around for him to come back and I hurried into the hospital, all the while hoping that I wasn't too late.

I found her in a room connected to a heart monitor. As I got further into the room, I noticed that she had a bandage on her neck. Shit, that meant that either Klaus or Stefan must've bitten her. I also noticed that she was sleeping, but I had to get her unhooked from everything. I then noticed a tube that had some leftover blood in it. The bastard! He must've compelled the staff into taking Elena's blood. Oh, that's it, he was dead if I ever saw him again.

"Damon?"

Elena's sweet voice brought me back to reality. I gave her a half smile and then I lifted her up in my arms and carried her out of the room. My poor angel, the horrors she must've experienced. Damn that Klaus! Forget killing him, I was going to make him suffer slowly for this. But, that wasn't what was concerning me at the moment. What was concerning me was getting Elena somewhere safe, and the safest place I could think of was the boarding house. I would've taken her home, but I was sure that Alaric was there and I was in no mood to deal with his bullshit right now.

Later...

I walked into the boarding house, Elena in my arms, and when I reached the study, I gently sat her down in a chair and wrapped her in a blanket to keep her warm. She woke up again and watched me as I went about mixing something to drink. I was tempted to offer her my blood, but given what happened the last time I did it, I decided against it and went for the next best thing: bourbon. It always seemed to make me feel better whenever I needed it, and Elena definitely needed something right now, and someone as well.

"Here's some bourbon," I said, handing it to her. "It's a bit strong, but it'll help you forget."

I sat down and watched her drink. God, I hated this. I hated feeling powerless. I loved her, would do anything for her, and yet, I had to go and leave her alone.

I then offered to make her forget as well, but she refused. I guess that meant that she remembered that I had compelled her once before, after I had told her I loved her and made her forget. But, having always respected her wishes, I didn't make a second attempt, since I was sure she had been through tonight without me making it worse. I then remembered the necklace that Katherine had in her possession. Thinking that she would want it back, I took it out of my pocket.

"I stole this back for you."

However, Elena didn't reach for it. I didn't get it, if she treasured this necklace so much, I would imagine she'd be climbing out of the chair right now to take it from me, but she remained where she was. I was about to ask her what was wrong, but what she said next answered the question before I could even ask it.

"Stefan's gone for good this time. I saw it happen. After all we went through to help him, he's really gone."

So, I wasn't far off when I guessed that Stefan had bitten her. No doubt on Klaus' orders. Good God, no wonder she didn't take the necklace from me. I placed it on the table by the chair and then there was another silence between us before I saw her start to cry. Shit, I hated when she did that.

"Where were you, Damon?"

Her question cut me deep, deeper than seeing her cry. Klaus was right, he really didn't care anymore, not about me, or Elena. The feeling of powerlessness returned and I blamed that whore, Katherine, for dragging me along with her. I should've just told her to go to hell and slammed the door in her face when she showed up, asking me to be her partner in crime. Yeah, fat friggin' chance of that ever happening.

I placed my hand on her leg and said, almost like making a vow, "I promise you, I will never leave you again."

Elena said nothing, just nodded. I nodded as well, wiping her tears away before leaning in and kissing her softly. I didn't know why I did it, but it felt right. I was about to move away when Elena pulled me closer and returned the kiss, moaning against my mouth as her tongue collided with mine. We reluctantly pulled away after a few minutes, just looking at each other. I meant what I said to her. I would never leave her, and I am a man of my word.

~ FIN

Note: There you have it, my take on the ending of "The Reckoning." Like I said, I didn't like the fact that Katherine kept Damon from Elena in that episode, or the fact Stefan ruined the tender moment Delena had.

ENJOY, GUYS!