AN: And I'm back with another AU/AH story! Wee! I love writing AH stories with Damon and Elena. And I especially love reading them. Anyway, I was inspired by the song We Owned the Night by Lady Antebellum, which is the song quote at the beginning. I was intrigued by the idea of telling two stories at once, kind of. Basically this will go back and forth between the present and the past, unveiling what happened to Damon and Elena way back when and what they will do when they come face to face after not speaking for five years.
We woke under a blanket
All tangled up in skin
Not knowing in that moment
We'd never speak again
The sun hit her face in a cruel awakening. Usually this is how she loved waking up, she relished it, but today was different. Today would change everything. It would rock her whole world and uproot the strong foundations she worked so hard to create. Today would ruin everything.
She felt his arm draped across her waist, and his warm chest resting against her bare back. One of his legs was trapped between both of hers. She wanted with everything in her to roll over and snuggle closer to him, wishing the morning could hold off for just a few more hours. That's what she always did, but again, today was going to ruin all of that. Her heart was aching. If only she could go back to last night, where for just a few hours she was able to push the impending doom out of her mind and just enjoy him and love him like she had done so many days before then.
She knew if she let herself have just a few more hours, or just one more time to hold him like she'd never let go, she'd give everything away. She wasn't quite sure how she was even going to look at him without giving it all away. She couldn't risk that.
So instead of siding with her heart, as she usually did when it came to him, she carefully extracted herself from his grip, being mindful not to wake him because things would only get worse. Tip-toeing around the room she slid into her clothes that were discarded in various places.
Without a look back, she made her way to his bedroom door, but she froze as she turned the knob when she heard his voice.
"Sneaking out on me?" His voice was thick from sleep, just how she loved it. Which only served to make her heart clench and break that much more.
Carefully turning around, she braced herself to see his face and hold back all the tears and pain that threatened to break free.
He was so beautiful. Every time she looked at him she was reminded of just how stunning he was. Especially first thing in the morning after a wild night of... you know.
His hair was perfectly out of place, the sheets were riding low on his hips, reminding her on what else she was leaving behind. His ice blue eyes bore into hers. She always wondered if they were some how bluer in the mornings. She'd swear by it, but he would always laugh and think she was crazy.
"Ya, I forgot I have a staff meeting this morning," she lied. She felt dirty for lying to him. She hadn't done that in ages. It was only in the beginnings of their relationship that she ever lied to him. And mostly she just lied about how she never had feelings for him and never would. Big, fat lie.
But here she was, reverting back to her old self. And not just her old self where Damon was concerned. Her old, old self. The self that had gotten into trouble more times than she could count. Her old self who lied more than she ever spoke the truth. It was a hard pill to swallow, she had worked so hard to come back from those days.
Damon smiled at her and she had to fight off a whole new wave of heartbreak. She loved when he looked at her like that, a little mischievous, a little bit of adoration, but his eyes full of love. Love for her.
"Well, you could always call in sick," he said with a sultry smirk playing on his lips. She found herself automatically smiling back at his blatant attempt to lure her back into his bed. And maybe if things were different, she would call in sick and shed her clothes and pick up where they left off last night.
Now she wished she would've taken him up on that offer the tons of other times he had suggested it. Even though he knew she would always opt for the responsible choice and go to work. And today she cursed herself for the threats hanging over her head. She had never wanted to shirk her responsibilities so badly before, but this was the one thing she couldn't afford to blow off.
"You know the answer to that," she said with a smile that took more effort than her heart wanted to give. Her heart had just plain given up.
"I'll see you later then," he said lazily. She took the small bone the universe had given her and waved goodbye and headed out the door.
"Elena," she heard him call from behind her as she was halfway through the doorway. She actually considered pretending that she didn't hear him, but she was a masochist and she found herself turning back to face him.
"I love you," he said quietly. He was wearing a look of pure love, one that showed her nothing but his love for her. A look that she didn't see often, but she always knew it was there. She felt the tears burning her eyes and she prayed that she was far enough away so he couldn't see her eyes glistening.
She smiled a small smile before quietly saying, "Love you, too," and quickly shutting the door behind her.
The tears started falling before she even made it out of his loft. The second she made it to the elevator and heard the doors ding closed, she let it all out. All the pain, all the humiliation, and all the regret she knew she would feel for the rest of her life.
She had walked out on the one real love she had ever had since her parents died. She had just walked out on the rest of her life, her future and she could never, ever look back.
She opted to walk the few blocks back to her own apartment, thinking the cool autumn morning would to good for the wounds she was nursing. She was wrong. Nothing would ever make this right. Not even turning around and burying herself back into Damon and pretending that she never considered leaving.
But she knew that would only serve to hurt them both even worse in the long run. After all, she was doing this for him. She was also doing this for herself, but it cushioned the blow thinking that she was actually doing the right thing by him, even though when he found out he would vehenmently disagree.
She got back to her apartment and looked around at the few boxes that had not yet been loaded onto the moving truck.
That's how her best friend, Bonnie, found her a half hour later. Still staring into space in the middle of her now empty apartment.
"Are you sure you're doing the right thing?" She asked quietly. Elena turned to her friend who had been there for her through so much and now even in this mess she got them in, Bonnie still stood firm by her side.
"You know the answer. I don't have a choice," Elena sighed defeated.
"I know," Bonnie nodded, she tried to give her a sympathetic smile, but it was lost on Elena.
"You know you don't have to leave with me," Elena said. But she already knew why Bonnie was going with her. If the situation were reversed, Elena would leave with Bonnie because she wouldn't be able to live in this huge city without her best friend. Damon or no Damon.
Together they settled into the cab that would take them to the airport and Elena had one last look at the city that held the one man who changed her life forever.
Five years later...
"Paging Doctor Gilbert," the PA rang out and she knew she couldn't hide in the changing room forever. The ER and all it's emergencies awaited her. She always knew this is what she wanted to do. That maybe one day she could save some young girl's parents like the doctors at the ER were not able to do for her.
But some days, like this particular one, she didn't want to face the death and sadness that would inevitably come. Because sometimes, people just couldn't be saved. Not from themselves and not from the cruel hand that life had dealt them. Just like her parents.
She shook it off and mentally prepared herself for the day that lay ahead.
The first step out of the changing room, she was approached by a nurse.
"Late-middle aged man, myocardial infarction. He passed on the table, we need you to sign him off before we transport him to the morgue. Dr. Lockwood's shift ended before he could do it," she said as they quickly made their way down the hall.
"Any family with him?" Elena asked. She always liked to know what kind of crowd she was dealing with. Overprotective mothers, stressed out fathers, or scared children.
"One son, I'd say he's about 28-29-ish?" The nurse replied.
She made her way down the hall to his room. She took the medical files from the nurse to look them over so she could be sure the file matched the patient. She froze in the doorway of the room when she finally read the name.
"Giuseppe," she whispered. The man that ruined her life so many years ago was now lying dead in her hospital. Under her care.
"Elena?" Her name caught her attention. Not her name really, but the voice saying it. She knew that voice. She looked up to be ensnared in the ice blue gaze of the one and only love of her life. She felt that familiar feeling that she had worked so hard to suppress the past five years.
All she could manage to do in that moment was to breathe his name, "Damon."
For those who are reading my other fic, Catching Teardrops in my Hands, I'll still be writing that, but this story is remedying my writers block for that fic, and vice versa. So I hope you enjoyed the first chapter, please let me know what you thought!