Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries. Belongs to L.J. Smith. She created these wonderful characters.

Summary: Post Season 2, I haven't seen the beginning of Season 3 just some episodes. There won't be any ghosts, I'm ignoring that. It's a few weeks after Damon is cured from the bite. Stefan went off with Klaus, while Katherine skipped town. Damon told Elena he loved her finally. Alaric does become their legal guardian. This is a Delena story. Alaric/Jeremy/Damon friendship. Has the other characters in it too.

Elena is spiraling down into depression. Damon isn't liking it. As much as her stubbornness drives him insane, especially when it can get her killed, he misses it. Damon is worried about her just like everyone else. Can he save her from her guilt or will it consume her? Will Elena let go of her demons to move on in the life and be with the Salvatore brother who deserves her?

CHAPTER 1

Elena was laying in her bed, staring at the ceiling. Damon was doing better since he took the cure and now he was off trailing Stefan. Elena was in shock of everything. From her lost loved ones to complete destruction of her love life. She knew Damon would be back but shouldn't it be Stefan that she wants. Ever since she was with Damon that night, when they thought he was dying. All she thought was that she couldn't lose him. It would be hard for him since Klaus would make it seem impossible.

Elena's door opened to reveal Jeremy. He looked at his sister who has been a zombie since Damon left to find Stefan. He noticed she was awake so he sat on the edge of the bed.

"You coming downstairs," he asked. Elena just stayed still but nodded her head. Jeremy just sighed and squeezed her arm lightly. He got off the bed and headed downstairs. Alaric was making breakfast when Jeremy came into the kitchen. He leaned on the counter of the island. Alaric nodded to him and continued cooking.

Alaric finally spoke when he gave Jeremy is plate, "Is she coming down?"

Jeremy looked at him, "No but I'm not surprise. She was like this when our parents died. I went to drugs while she just shuts down."

"How long was she like that," asked Alaric.

Jeremy sighed, "She never got over it. She made a huge improvement when she met Stefan. That summer though, she spent it at the cemetery. She used to be more social for example, she used to be part of the cheerleading squad. She tried to get back into but Damon talked her out of it. He saw her at practice and noticed that she wasn't enjoying herself. She was forcing it. Only reason she did it was because she talked Stefan into trying out for the football team. Even back when Elena hated him, he still watched out for her. He didn't care if she hated him."

"So he's good for something I guess. He can help protect her," stated Alaric.

"She loves him. I've known for awhile. She's lying to herself for Stefan's sake. Also she's scared she'll be like Katherine. She's wrong though, she loves both, but she's only in love with one. Damon is the true love but she's scared. Stefan was the safe choice," explained Jeremy.

"So other words he might be the one to help her through this. She doesn't blame him for Stefan leaving," questioned Alaric. Jeremy nodded his head and continued eating his food..

~upstairs~

Elena was still laying in her bed thinking of how could life just keep getting worse. Stefan is gone, Jenna is dead, John is dead, Isobel is dead, Damon almost died, her parents are dead, and it's all her fault. Jeremy only has her, and he deserves better. She decided to take a shower while she was thinking how things were her fault.

Her parents: They should be alive. If I didn't skip family night and get stranded at a party, we wouldn't of been on that bridge. How could I be so stupid? I should of at least died with them. I robbed Jeremy of his parents, I've led him to the drugs and Vicki. I've ruined his life. I let Jenna lose her sister. John lost his brother. The town lost two of the greatest people. I lost my parents. They loved me and didn't care that I wasn't theirs.

Isobel: She may have been a horrible person, but she did care for me. She gave me a wonderful life with a wonderful family. She broke Alaric's heart, who in someway not legally is my stepfather. She used Damon and teamed up with John to kill the Salvatore brothers. Just because she and him didn't want me to have that life. A life with vampires. She even killed herself to protect me from Klaus. I watched go up in flames.

John: For the uncle she always hated, he came though as a father in the end. Even with all the trying to kill your boyfriend and his brother. Finding out John was my father, was a little relief. It meant that I still shared blood with Jeremy. We're lucky he was wearing his ring when Damon snapped his. Otherwise I would be a vampire right now. He sacrificed himself so I could stay human. John was last of the adult males in the Gilbert line. Jeremy is the only one who can carry on the Gilbert name now really. It was just her and Jeremy now.

Jenna: Didn't deserve what she got. She deserved to have a happy life with Alaric. I failed her. She gave up her party life to become a guardian to me and Jeremy. All I did was get her killed. She loved us so much. She tried to to kill the witch. She tried to protect me, which caused her to die. I told her to run but she stayed to help me.

Elena was now sitting on the floor of the shower crying. It hurt to think of all she lost and then there was the one who almost died.

Damon Salvatore...

Damon: He almost died from a werewolf bite. Tyler didn't mean to bite him. Damon didn't go save them for them but for me. He was trying to stall the sacrifice, also the fact she would be devastated if she lost Caroline and Tyler. He would risk her hating him for eternity to make sure she came back. He was always protecting her. Hell he would sacrifice Bonnie again to make sure she stayed alive. He went beyond to make sure she was alive. At the end of the day it was always him who would make sure she was alive. More than Stefan ever did.

Her heart cracked just thinking of Stefan. He's gone. He left her and Damon. He did it for Damon and she was glad for it. She just wished he would contact her but at the same time glad he's not. Everything that has happened but her parents death, is Stefan's fault. Not Damon's. She wasn't suppose to be alive. The night of the car accident, she was suppose to die with her parents. Stefan intervened and then spied on her. Just to make sure she wasn't his first love, her ancestor Katherine Pierce.

Stefan claimed she wasn't Katherine but sometimes felt like a replacement. He always kept that photo of her until Bonnie had to burn it for a spell. His love for her was and he lied about it. Also he wasn't the same when he was on human blood. He wasn't his usual loving self. It makes her wonder about him.

Damon loves her and he's on human blood, He's always been there while Stefan lost it. Elena just continued to cry.

~downstairs~

Alaric heard a knock on the door. Jeremy was still eating, so he pointed to Jeremy to watch the pan. He went to open the door to reveal Damon. Alaric was surprised to see him, for Damon left to try to track down Stefan.

"Normally I would waltz in but I thought I would be kind," smirked Damon.

Alaric rolled his eyes and let Damon in. "I thought you were on Stefan's and Klaus's trail," he asked.

Damon walked into the house and sighed, "He's not with Klaus anymore. He ran off with Katherine. Klaus left the country to England. He has no business here as of right now. Stefan wrote a letter to Elena but let's just say I'm afraid to give it to her. I read it and it's going to destroy her. She doesn't deserve it. He doesn't want to be brought back. I figured I was needed and wanted to come home. Where some people welcome me."

"Your brother is an ass," stated Jeremy. Damon just smirked while taking a mug out for coffee.

Damon took a sip of the coffee then asked, "Where is Elena?"

Alaric looked at Jeremy wondering if they should tell Damon that Elena has become a recluse. It would break Damon but it will probably be Damon that heals Elena. They haven't let Caroline or Bonnie in to see her since Elena asked for some space. Jeremy nodded to him. Damon knew something was up.

"She's in her room. She doesn't leave it actually," answered Alaric. He was making plate up for Elena. Damon looked between the two.

Alaric place the plate on a tray with utensils, and coffee, "Why don't you take this up to her?" Damon nodded and grabbed the tray.

Damon headed upstairs and came to Elena's closed door. He knocked on the door but no response. He knew she was in there since he hears her heartbeat. He knocked again.

When he got no response, he opened the door. He found Elena sitting by her window. She was staring out the window and made no motion to appear that she heard him.

"Hey," Damon said.

Elena stiffened. She knew that voice, It wasn't Alaric or Jeremy, it was Damon. Who's been gone for two weeks. Hunting down Stefan and Klaus. She saw a tray placed next to her with food.

"Brought you breakfast," stated Damon. He didn't like this. She was just sitting there, not moving at all. Like nobody was home. It's making him uneasy. This isn't Elena. Even when he was dying she was strong. She confessed that she liked how he was not. She didn't give up on him.

Damon noticed she wasn't eating her breakfast, "You need to eat that."

"Did you find him," her voice was low and broken. This wasn't the strong Elena he knew. She always stayed strong even if she knew she was going to die. He didn't know what to tell her. Except he knew with Elena, he had to be honest.

"Yes, I found him," he sighed. Elena looked at him with blank eyes. It unnerved him. He knew he had to tell her and giver her the letter. He didn't want to but she would hate him for keeping it hidden from her.

"Eat something and I'll tell you," he bargained. She grabbed a fork and started eating.

Damon took an unnecessary breath, "Klaus let him go. I guess he did what Klaus asked him to be. He killed over a hundred people in one week. Klaus went back to England to awaken his family again. Which means Elijah will be awaken."

"Where is he, Damon," she whispered.

"He's with Katherine. He doesn't want to come home. I have a letter for you from him. I won't give it to you until you want it. I don't want to be intrusive but I should of staked him for what he wrote."

"Leave please," asked Elena. Damon looked at her worrying.

"I'm glad your back and I know you tried but please just leave me alone right now. I just need to process this. Can you leave the letter?"

Damon looked at her searching her face. All he saw was a broken teenage girl. Somebody who has suffered a great lost. He didn't want to leaver. He was afraid of what she might do once alone.

"Please," she pleaded.

Damon walked to her and got to her eye level, "Call me if you need anything. I'll be here as fast as I can." He then kissed her forehead and dug his hand into his pocket. He grabbed an envelope and placed it near her. He then left.

Damon went downstairs to find Alaric and Jeremy. He found them in the living room.

"Did you talked to her," asked Alaric.

Damon responded, "I told her about Stefan and the letter. She then asked me to leave."

"How did she take the news," asked Jeremy.

"She's processing it. I think its just that she's been holding it in. Always being worried about the ones she loves. Also with the stress that she was going to die, she was trying to stay strong, hopeful. To her right now, she failed. Jenna died, John sacrificed himself for her, and Stefan left. She's lost and needs to find herself again. Stefan was her rock after her parents died. She needs to stand on her own feet. I'll only help if she wants my help. This does worry me though," explained Damon. Alaric and Jeremy nodded.

"I'm going to go, if you need me call or text me," stated Damon. They said goodbye and Damon headed out.

~upstairs~

Elena was done with her breakfast but still looking out the window. She saw Damon leaving and he paused. He looked up to window, she caught his eyesight. He smiled and continued on his way.

Elena sighed and looked at the letter, She wanted to read it but yet something kept her from it. 'Maybe denial,' she thought. She grabbed the envelope, and opened it

Elena,

Don't look for me. I'm free finally. No longer a slave to my emotions. The blood makes it so much easier. You were a mistake. No matter how many times I said you weren't Katherine, I secretly wanted you to be her. She is the woman I love. I leave you to pursue whoever you want. Just make sure not to get them killed since everyone drops dead around you. Just remember you'll always be a Katherine replacement.

Stefan

Elena just sat there feeling cold. Stefan just threw her away, like she was nothing. Katherine got what she came back for: Stefan. It's always knew how Damon felt now but she didn't. Damon has been hurt by Katherine and herself. She felt bad when she told Damon it will always be Stefan, she knew there was something between them.

~Grill~

Damon walked into the Grill. He was meeting Andie and he was planing on leaving her. Her use was over, he didn't a distraction. He needed to focus on Elena and her family. He saw her sitting at the bar sipping a drink. He walked up to and sat on the stool next her.

"Hey," she purred.

Damon sighed, "Andie we're done. I have other things to do and worry about. It was fun while it lasted."

Andie looked at him, "Come on. We can still have that fun."

Damon looked her directly in the eyes, "You will forget everything I told you about me and everyone else. You will stay away from me." He ended the compulsion, Andie blinked and looked confused. Damon was already heading out of the Grill.

~Gilbert Residence~

Elena ventured downstairs with her dishes to see Jeremy and Alaric were in the living room watching the television, She continued to the kitchen and rinsed her dishes in the sink. She went to the fridge to grab a water bottle. She then walked back to the living room and plopped down on the couch.

~Later that day~

Alaric and Jeremy both made dinner and tried to cheer Elena up. Elena was happy but she just couldn't bring herself to show it. They heard the door open and close.

Damon stepped into the dining room with a bag. He placed the bag on the table and to empty it. They were Ben and Jerry's ice cream. He had chunky monkey, phish food, coffee heath bar crunch, and chocolate fudge brownie. He knew Elena liked her ice cream and got some for everyone else to.

"I got dessert," he announced.

"Thanks Damon," Ric says. He got up and started clearing the dishes with Jeremy's help.

Damon looked at Elena's plate and noticed more than half was left on her plate. He looked at her, "You need to eat Princess."

Elena looked at him, "I'm not that hungry." She noticed Damon's eyes flickered with worry. Elena sighed and picked up her fork to eat a little. Ric came back in and saw Elena eating again. He beckoned Damon to the kitchen. Damon picked up the ice creams and followed.

"Thank you for getting her to eat," explained Ric.

"Yea, Damon told her she needed to eat and she did," responded Ric. Damon was putting up the ice cream for later. Elena walked in and only a few bites were left.

After dishes were down they headed into the living room. Ric and Jeremy each grabbed a chair. Elena sat on one side of the couch with her feet next to her. Damon plopped down next to her and stretched her legs over his lap. They popped a in movie. Damon grabbed a light blanket and put it in Elena since she was in shorts and a tank top. Halfway through the movie Damon started to lightly massage Elena's legs. A very small shadow of smile graced Elena's face.

When the movie was over, Damon looked at a sleeping Elena. He didn't want to wake her since she looked happy. Alaric and Jeremy were eating ice cream and Loading another movie in. He looked to the other two and motioned with his hands. They understood what he was going to do.

He lifted her legs softly and gently put them on the couch. He got up and lightly pulled the blanket off of here. He then gently picked her up bridal style. He carried her up to her room where, he gently tucked her in. He kissed her forehead then feather-lightly ran his fingers down her cheek. Elena slightly moved into the touch, he smiled.

He then walked over the to the window to make sure it was locked. He went to her light and shut it off. He didn't want to leave her so he went out to the hall. He found the cabinet with extra pillows and blankets. He grabbed a pillow and blanket. Back in Elena's room he took his shoes of first. He made his bed on the floor. He stripped off his leather jacket, pants, outer shirt, and socks. He lied down and comfortable.

Damon was slowly falling asleep when he heard the two guys come up. Jeremy went to his room to use the bathroom. He heard Elena's door opened and saw Ric stick his head in. Ric looked down at Damon and slightly shook his head.

"Good night," mouthed Ric. Damon nodded to show that he saw him. Ric left to his room. Damon fell asleep when all was quiet in the house.

Elena woke up at two in the morning having to go to the bathroom. She sat up realizing she was in bed still wearing the clothes she wore that day. She looked towards the window and froze. She saw Damon in a black shirt, sleeping in the moonlight, on her floor. She got up and went to her dresser. She quietly grabbed a new tank top and shorts, then went to the bathroom. She out changed and walked over to Damon.

"Damon," Elena said lowly. She nudged him a little. He was still asleep. She nudged harder and this time he started to stir.

"Elena," Damon sleepily stirred.

"What are you doing?"

"Sleeping."

"I see that but on my floor."

"I didn't want to leave you alone tonight."

"Get up."

"I'm comfortable."

"Well I as going to offer some of my bed," sighed Elena. Damon looked at her then got up. Elena walked over to her bed and got in. She padded the spot next to her. Damon was surprised but walked over to her and got in bed.

Elena moved closer to him, "Good night Damon."

"Good night Princess," he kissed her forehead.

Elena fell asleep. Damon was happy to have her in his arms again. This time he wasn't dying. He smiled and fell asleep.