A/N: Hey everyone. I'm back. Once again I'm sorry it took like three weeks to get this done. I couldn't get anywhere for a solid two and three-quarter weeks. It just wasn't flowing. Then, on Friday I just randomly started typing and it's been pretty steady all weekend. With all the trouble I was having I really thought I was just gonna make this a short filler chapter, but instead it turned into the longest chapter yet. I thought about cutting it in half but I figured you guys deserved a treat for being so patient.

Also, I think some credit should go to 'A Drop in the Ocean' by Ron Pope. It was on the show and I couldn't seem to write if I wasn't listening to it. I'm completely addicted and basically listened to it on repeat all week long.

Okay, here's chapter 9. Hope you like it!

For the remainder of the night Damon and Elena laid together, taking comfort in each other's presence. She rested on his chest, her fingers dancing over the lines of his abs as his fingers ran through those silken locks that he had spent the last two years fantasizing about touching.

When the clock read a slightly more reasonable hour, they rose together. She walked him to the door, making sure their hands were knit together. Now that she could touch him this way, she found she really wanted to.

He turned to face her, grabbing her and crushing her to him, breathing her in. It was too surreal. He couldn't stand to let go of her for a second. The smiled at each other, even the threat of a new trial unable to quell the happiness they finally had in each other. He kissed her nose, her cheeks, and finally her lips.

"I'll just pack up and we can be out of here and on the road before you know it." Damon said.

"Mmk." She smiled. "I'm just gonna get cleaned up." She replied, running her hands down his chest, excited to see goose bumps followed her fingertips.

"Mmm…sure you don't want any help with that?" He asked with a smirk.

She shoved him. "Go get your stuff. We can say goodbye and get breakfast on the road. And…you should maybe talk to Lacey…" She told him, her voice turning sullen.

Damon smirked internally. Jealous Elena was fun. "Oh…didn't I tell you? I know how well you two get along so I invited her to come with us." He deadpanned.

She growled, the primal sound making 'Damon' wake up a bit more. "You even think about it and I'll tie you up and vervain your ass."

His smirk grew and he leaned down to brush his lips against the outside of her ear. "You can tie me up anytime." He breathed seductively.

She shivered agreeably and spun away from him, looking over her shoulder. "Don't tempt me."

Damon felt like he had to physically restrain himself from doing a victory lap around the entire frickin' country as he backed out of Elena's room, shutting the door behind him. Forget the country, how 'bout the world? His whole outlook on life had done a complete 180 in the course of a night and he was reeling from all the feelings that he was experiencing. Gross, feelings. But the most overwhelming feeling of all was delirious happiness. If keeping that switch flicked on was the price to pay for this kind of pleasure, for Elena, Damon would pay it in spades.

He turned away from her door to head to his own room only to come face to face with the cause of their argument as well as the reason for their new happiness…Lacey. Shit. He was so bad at this emotional-comforting crap.

They faced each other awkwardly. She was clearly uncomfortable, her cheeks a flaming red.

"Hey." He offered.

"Hey." She replied, her eyes flicking to Elena's door and then returning to the ground.

"Look, Lacey…I…"

She held up a hand. "Don't. I get it. I shouldn't have kissed you…not when I hadn't seen you in so long and especially not when it was clear how you felt…no matter what you both said." The last she added in a whisper.

The old Damon would have said something cocky and probably suggestive. Instead, he put a hand on her arm. "Regardless…I didn't mean to give you the wrong idea."

She looked at him then, her expression puzzled. "When my mother said you were different she was right. I don't remember terribly much from the last time you were here but I do remember you were more…" She struggled to find the right word.

"Devilish, debonair, delicious?" He offered with a smirk and a little eyebrow wiggle. Hey, he was still Damon Salvatore.

"Cold." She replied, that one word like a punch to the gut. He couldn't believe even that little girl he knew all those years ago picked up on the emotional wreck he was.

"You really love her don't you?" she asked.

"I do." He smiled softly, a faraway look on his face. "She's the reason I'm different. She's…just…"

Lacey smiled as well, a little giggle escaping her. "Wow…you really do have it bad. I hope you two will be happy." She hesitated. "No hard feelings?"

He smirked and pulled her into a hug. "Never. We're heading out soon. Tell your parents so we can say goodbye?"

She nodded and walked away, a little smile still on her face. Damon looked after her, still smiling, relieved that things had ended on a good note between them. Not that they really started. He turned and continued the walk to his room, whistling all the way.

"Thank you so much for having us. It was really just so wonderful to be here." Elena gushed.

She and Damon stood outside by his car. Ben, Lacey, and Moira stood opposite them, the grand farmhouse in the background. Their things were once again stowed in Damon's back seat and all that was left was to say their goodbyes. Damon wanted to get back to Mystic Fall's as soon as possible to call out the cavalry. No way in hell was he gonna take it easy with this new threat, especially now that Elena was officially his.

"It was really our pleasure sweetheart. Anything for Damon here. We're only sorry you have to leave so soon." Moira replied.

Elena shrugged uncomfortably. "Er, well, urgent family emergency, you understand." She nudged the man at her side. "Right Damon?"

She was such a bad liar. Damon smirked mischievously.

"Absolutely. Very urgent. Don't worry sweetie, it'll be okay." He crooned, rubbing her side like he was comforting her.

He allowed his fingers to brush and caress her through her thin little t-shirt with that drool-worthy neckline, lingering near the curves of her breast and hip. She abruptly sucked in a shallow breath of air and he could almost see the violent heat from her blush despite the fact that his eyes were trained on Moira and Ben.

Once he had heard her true feelings for him, he was completely prepared to make the remainder of this trip a slow seduction, playing on every one of her senses until they were both breathless with anticipation and want. The necessity of returning to Mystic Falls so soon just forced him to…revise…his game plan.

Elena's entire attention was purely focused on Damon's hand. The family they were saying goodbye to could have broken out in a circus routine and she wouldn't have noticed. Damn, his hands. She desperately scrambled to scrape together her thought process. Had her body burst into flames? Did she even care? Damn him. That man was dangerous.

She walked forward, deliberately stepping on his foot and taking a little sick pleasure in his slight flinch, before walking over to Lacey. The other girl blushed. Elena smiled shyly and extended her hand. Lacey looked at her in surprise. Elena was rewarded with a soft smile as Lacey took her hand.

"Have a safe trip home."

"Thanks. It was nice meeting you." If by nice you mean don't touch my hot vampire boyfriend.

Lacey let out an uncomfortable little laugh. "Yeah…you too."

Meanwhile Damon walked up to Moira, embracing the little woman tightly. "Thanks for having us Em."

She pulled away, smiling brightly. "Take care of yourself Damon. And take care of that girl. She's a keeper."

"Don't you worry. I'll take real good care of her." He replied, his eyes on Elena. His face contorted oddly as it tried to smile genuinely and look lecherous at the same time. Moira shook her head, before swatting him with the palm of her hand.

"And try to behave yourself."

Elena went to Ben, who had his hands shoved into the deep pockets of his worn jean overalls and was looking at the ground awkwardly. Elena smiled.

"Thank you so much for everything Ben. Really." She said sincerely.

He looked at her. "Anytime hon. And you feel free to come on back if you want another lesson."

Elena smile spread into a wide grin. "I'll do that." She wrapped him in a tight hug, to his surprise, before returning to Damon's side.

Finally they got back in the car and got onto the long dirt drive back to the road. Elena kneeled backwards in her seat, waving excitedly the whole time until the trio was out of sight. She plopped back around, buckling up.

She looked over at Damon and smiled again. She took his hand and squeezed it tight. He looked down at their joined hands with confusion on his face then met her eyes in awe. How could she be so comfortable with him? He had never felt so totally accepted before. He smiled and tightened his fingers around hers.

"Thank you for that. I'm really glad we went there." She said.

"Good. Me too."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yup. If we hadn't gone there and you hadn't gotten all jealous who knows if you ever would have admitted how hopelessly in love you are with me." He teased, doing that eyebrow thing.

She scoffed. "I would have told you eventually…probably."

"Please. You're the president of the 'hey-let's-suppress-feelings-especially-if-they're-for-Damon' support group."

"Oh yes and you're the emotionally healthy one in this relationship?" She joked.

"Hey I never said I was better."

"True. Though, you were right about one thing."

"Oh really? I was right about something? And you admit it? Do tell." He said, smirking furiously.

"Well, you really were irresistible." She said, winking.

He laughed, loud and happy. "Damn right. Then again, so were you."

She smiled and he pulled their intertwined hands to his lips, kissing the soft skin on the back of her hand. She sighed happily.

"It's gonna be a few hours until we make it back. Feel like taking a nap and seeing if you can't get more info out of your creepy dream-stalker?" Damon asked.

Elena sighed. "I guess I should. Maybe I can see if there's a way to meet her more regularly."

"Eh…I wouldn't go that far. Just see what you can find out."

"I'll do my best." She shifted, releasing his hand to burrow into his side, using her jacket as a cushion between her and the center console. Damon wrapped his arm around her, rubbing her back rhythmically, lulling her slowly to sleep…

Elena was back in that damn field. She was really starting to hate that place. When Silph taught her whatever it was she was supposed to learn the first order of business would be a change of scenery. She was still wearing that ridiculous gown with jewels in her ears and around her neck, her hair flowing gently in the wind. She was the perfect image of some noble heroine of old except for the ferocious scowl on her face.

"It is how one of your standing should be adorned." Silph's voice intoned.

"Silph! Where are you?" Elena yelled angrily, turning around and searching for the elusive shade.

The woman ghosted into view, wearing some kind of priestess' robe. "You appear discomfited. May I enquire what disturbs you?"

"You! This! It all disturbs me! This place, these clothes, this story you've told me. I shouldn't believe you and yet…after the last time I saw you…ugh! It couldn't have been real. My eyes were just playing tricks on me. That must've been it."

Silph cocked her head. "What has happened? What did you do?"

Elena sighed. "I think I might have caused a wind that brushed Damon's head…maybe."

"It is entirely possible given your knew awareness as well as the freshness of your feelings that your power manifested positively towards Damon."

"That doesn't make it okay. It might not be just a gentle wind next time, right?"

"Correct, until you can control what actually occurs you are dangerous. Therefore it is imperative that we train you as soon as possible in the art of manipulating matter." Silph replied.

Elena nodded. "I'm willing to learn but I need you to explain a few things first." She insisted adamantly.

"I suppose I have no choice." The specter sighed. "Very well, I will answer to the best of my ability."

"Okay good, then tell me, what is this new danger that you talked about? Who's coming for us? What should we expect?"

"I have already told you that I cannot say. There are things you cannot know despite your endless questions." Silph insisted.

"You can't tell me anything? Nothing at all? Elena begged.

Silph huffed, a surprisingly unrefined sound coming from her. "I should not be doing this. I suppose it is safe to tell you that it is not a new danger, so to speak. But until you begin to master your abilities I truly cannot say more than that. Please be satisfied for now."

"Fine." Elena pouted.

"Indeed. Now that we are done with that let us begin with your training." Silph stooped, her long, white fingers shuffling through the tall grasses. She stood up and extended a small pebble towards Elena. "Here."

Elena took the stone and held it in her palm, studying it curiously. She looked up at Silph. "What am I supposed to do with this?" She asked.

"Attempt to lift it. Use whatever mental image you must, whether it be a wave of force or a cloud of air. However you can see it, try to make the pebble hover over your palm for as long as you can. Because we are doing this in the dream it should be a little simpler than in the physical world."

Elena furrowed her brows, focusing her eyes on the pebble. "Why is that again?"

"You must be more than aware of the fact that in dreams things rarely behave according to generally accepted physical laws. Therefore it should be easier for you to believe that the rock can be lifted. Your preconceptions will not get in your way, thus you should be more capable of making the rock float. For now that is enough." Silph explained, sinking to the ground to observe from a cross-legged position.

Time seemed to pass endlessly as Elena focused furiously on the annoyingly motionless grey speck that seemed to be glued to her love line. She panted, sweat dripping down her temple. She was ridiculously exhausted considering she hadn't technically moved. She stamped her foot, turning her attention to glare at Silph. "This isn't working!"

"You must be patient. Believe it is possible. Your belief that the rock should not float is the only thing restricting you."

"It's not possible. I can't do this. Which means this ridiculous danger that you won't tell me about is going to kill everyone." She was so angry. She thought she could finally be useful and Silph just sat there looking perfectly calm and composed. A heavy wind cooled her damp brow as her attention focused on the frustrating apparition before her.

"Elena…" Silph began.

Elena shook her head furiously. "No! You have the wrong person okay?"

"Elena please…"

"God! I'm so useless! I thought I could protect everyone else for once but no…"

"SILENCE!" Elena gulped back the angry words tumbling out of her mouth at Silph's outburst, looking at the woman in surprise. "Look at your hand."

She glanced at her palm in confusion only to see that stubborn chunk of rock spinning and hovering a good foot in the air.

"Oh…" She stared at the rock in amazement. It plopped back into her palm after her anger was so abruptly dissolved.

"Well done. You have achieved the first thing on a long list. Can you recall any special feeling during that outburst? Something that would help you recognize and draw upon your power?"

"You mean other than frustration and general annoyance?" Elena deadpanned.


"Well…not really. I felt…warm I suppose. The same with Damon that morning."

"A temperature increase. Intriguing." Silph said, sounding about as intrigued as a red-blooded male watching The Notebook.

"So that's good?"

"It is too soon to definitively state but…yes I suppose you could say it is good. Well done. When you wake, practice this technique using perhaps a feather or a piece of paper, something more readily lifted than a rock."

"Wait that's it? I have so much more to learn. Didn't you say this danger was going to be here soon?"

"I did, but rushing achieves nothing. You must master the basics of air, light and heat, water, and earthen manipulation. By proceeding thus more advanced maneuvers will be more rapidly assimilated."

"Well in that case we should at least try to meet more often. Is there any way that I can see you when I'm not asleep? I don't sleep often enough for this to be efficient."

"Hmm. I will consider your point and see what may be done. For now we have done enough."

It was a blatant dismissal and Elena immediately felt the dream dissolve around her, everything blurring at the edges and turning dark until all that remained was a smudged Silph.

She woke up with a groan. Her muscles felt sore and she had a roaring headache. How could sleeping be so ridiculously exhausting?

She came aware of someone rubbing her back and looked up to see Damon watching her with one eye as he drove.

"Hello Sleeping Beauty. Welcome back to the land of the living. How'd it go?" He asked.

She straightened in her seat and stretched, letting out a moan. "Ugh, that was rough."

Damon's eyes narrowed. "What's wrong? Why are you moving so weird?"

"Eh, Silph's being difficult. She gave me almost zero information and had me doing air manipulation exercises. I feel like I got kicked in the head by a donkey while lifting weights and running a marathon all at the same time."

He grunted. "You shouldn't have let her train you until she fessed up. In fact, you shouldn't have let her train you at all." His eyes softened as she rubbed her temples. "I think there's some Advil in the glove box if you want."

Elena dug through the compartment, emerging triumphant with the little blue and white bottle as he continued talking. "We'll be back in Mystic Falls in about twenty minutes. I've already called the rest of the Justice League. They'll meet us at the boarding house to talk."

"Mmk." She mumbled around a mouthful of stale water and pills. She swallowed. "By the way, why do you keep Advil in your car? It's not like vampires get headaches."

Damon looked at her pointedly. "It used to be useful."

"How?" She asked, still confused.

He sighed. "Back when I was still drinking from Andie regularly I would sometimes get…carried away. It was useful."

Her brow furrowed. "Oh. Right." Andie. Ugh.

"She was just a distraction Elena." It was like he could read her mind.

"You cared about her, I know you did. And I understand. It's not like I can be jealous of your exes considering who I was with." She insisted wryly.

Damon stiffened. "But you chose me. And you deserve to know that I chose you too, a long time ago. Rose, Andie, as much as it pains me to admit, I did care about but they were just an effort to numb how lonely I was watching you with my brother. And more importantly that's in the past." He squeezed her hand, making her look at him. He was relieved to see a small smile on her lips as she looked at him with those big, shining eyes that he just fucking had to bare his soul to. "I'm with you now."

Her smile widened and she shook her head, pulling his hand to her lips and brushing a soft kiss over it. "I'm sorry. I don't know what I was thinking. It was kind of a reflex reaction to Andie. Never really liked her." She admitted.

Damon smirked.

She giggled. "Nuh uh, don't you say it. Don't even think it."

"I knew you were jealous!" He crowed. "Even then! Ha!"

They laughed together and kept talking. Before they knew it they were pulling up in front of the Boarding House. Ric's and Bonnie's cars were already in the drive, meaning everyone else was probably there, just waiting for them. This should be interesting.

Damon had come around to stand beside her, holding their luggage, and was looking at her in a way that could only be described as nervous. He expected her to want to hide their relationship. She smiled encouragingly and held out her hand. She would not be embarrassed to be with him. If they didn't like it, well, quite honestly, they could all go to hell.

Damon's reaction made it all worthwhile. That wide genuine smile immediately beamed out of his face as he handed her her own bag and took her hand in his. She smiled back and they made their way to the door together.

Everyone looked up when they entered the cavernous boarding house lounge. They were all there. Caroline, Bonnie, Ric, Jeremy, even Tyler and Sheriff Forbes. Their eyes immediately zeroed in on Damon and Elena's joined hands, their expression ranging from smug acceptance (Caroline) to skeptical anger (Bonnie, duh) to downright nausea (Ric).

Elena smiled brightly, refusing to be cowed. "Hi everyone."

Damon maintained a straight face though internally he was dancing in mischievous glee. This was gonna be fun. Ric's face was even better than he hoped! "Yes, hel-loo" He drawled, his voice smooth and thick as molasses. "Thanks for setting up camp while I was gone."

Ric's head whipped between their faces comically. "Elena? What's going on here?"

"I would think it's obvious." Damon replied.

Elena rolled her eyes and let her happiness show on her face. "We're together Ric."

"Huh?" He replied dumbly.

"Damon and I are dating." She repeated patiently.

Immediately the room erupted in an outroar of different reactions.

Caroline almost literally began jumping up and down, squealing "Finally!" and "I called it!"

Jeremy interestingly enough stood quietly with an accepting smile on his face. Bonnie on the other hand, unsurprisingly, wore a stormy expression and immediately shouted "What?"

Tyler and Sheriff Forbes just looked at each other. The werewolf whispered to the Sheriff, "Is it just me or do you feel like we're missing something?" Ric sputtered helplessly.

Bonnie continued to shout. "Damon? Really Elena?"

"Gee thanks Judgey." Damon muttered.

Elena nudged him, murmuring "Play nice."

"Enough!" She said firmly to the room, causing the noise to abruptly stop. "Damon loves me. You all know this. More importantly I love him. We are going to be together for a long time if I have my way. And if any of you can't accept that not only does he make me happy but he is what's best for me, then maybe you shouldn't be here." She said, looking unashamedly at Bonnie at that last statement.

The whole room stared at her in shock. Damon looked out over them confidently though internally he was completely awestruck by Elena. He didn't think he'd ever been so determinedly championed by anyone in his long life. His heart swelled with love for her. How did he get so lucky?

The first person to move was Jeremy. Everyone watched him as he approached the couple. He looked down at his sister.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes." She said confidently.

He smiled before looking at Damon. He studied the older man for a moment before extending his hand. Damon raised his eyebrows in surprise before gladly taking Jeremy's hand and shaking it firmly. Jeremy moved to stand beside his sister, putting an arm around her shoulders. He looked out at the rest of the room.

"Well?" He said pointedly.

Bonnie sighed. She looked at her friend wearily. "Elena. You know what he is."

"I do. I also know how many times he's saved me. Saved all of us for that matter. I think the benefit of the doubt is in order."

Bonnie rubbed her forehead. "I suppose..." She looked at Elena softly. "You'll always be my best friend Lennie. If this is what you want…I can try to get along."

Her eyes snapped to Damon. "You."

Damon quirked his eyebrow at her, daring her to try whatever she was thinking.

"You ever hurt her and I'll burn you where you stand." She promised.

"If I every hurt her I'll be begging you to." He said sincerely, shocking the close-minded young witch into silence.

Caroline skipped to the middle of the room, an enormous smile on her beautiful face. "And on that cheerful note, I think it's time for you guys to spill what's got Damon calling us all here."

Damon and Elena looked at each other and walked into the room to take a seat, joining their friends. Elena quickly filled everyone in on her dream and what she knew about Silph and the powers she supposedly had.

****Bromance Texting Interlude****

rly damon? how the hell did you manage to go on a three day trip nd come back dating her?

;D why ricky? what's wrong?

ur my undead best friend/drnking buddy who i swore 2 kill for turning my dead/undead ex-wife who happens to be the birth mother to my dead ex-girlfriend's ward who is now my ward/history student and now UR DATING? this is wrong in so many ways.

:( you don't approve? don't worry ric, we'll try to keep the wild monkey sex to a minimum.

0.o worst bf ever.

****End Interlude****

"It was just really trippy. And she kept complaining about how many questions I had."

"How do you know that what you dreamt is even real? Maybe it's just a really vivid dream?" Bonnie asked skeptically.

"First, too many crazy things have happened for me to write this off as just a dream. At best it's a weird and pointless compulsion dream sent by Klaus. So no, I don't think that I'm imagining this. Which brings me to my proof. Right after I woke up this morning, I was looking at Damon…"

"Wait…he was in bed with you?" Ric choked.

"Really not the point right now Ricky-pie." Damon said.

"B..b..but, you…and her…and, Damon! Don't make me think about what you were doing in her bed!"

"You know, I know people think I walk through life, well, unlife, constantly chasing tail, but I wasn't about to jump her when she was all beaten up and stuff." He huffed.

Elena rolled her eyes. "Anyway…when I woke up I was looking at Damon and just thinking about how happy I was," Damon grinned smugly at the room in general as Bonnie's face got redder and redder and Ric just looked ill "and I was looking at his face and a wind stirred his hair, kind of like someone was brushing his forehead. I thought it was weird and then I was convinced everything Silph said was true when I figured out why. The windows were all closed, there was no breeze in the room. I think…I think I made that wind. Silph said it's possible."

Caroline gasped and Jeremy and Bonnie looked at each other worriedly. Alaric blanched and walked to the liquor cart, pouring himself a generous tumbler of bourbon.

Damon looked at Elena confusedly. "You didn't tell me this."

Elena blushed. "Honestly? I forgot. I had…other things on my mind." She said, looking at him coyly.

Damon growled low in his throat when he realized what she was talking about. Why was everyone else here again? Her eyes were shining at him and she was worrying away at that full bottom lip again. He wanted to take that lip and sooth it with his tongue. He wanted to grab her and yank her to him and…no. C'mon Damon, pull it together. New supernatural threat remember?

While his mind was busy spiraling into more and more graphically delicious fantasies, Elena continued talking.

"Also, I dreamt about her again in the car on the way home and I want to try something." She walked to the desk in the corner and took a piece of paper. She tore it in half, just in case and walked back to stand in front of the group. "I did this with a rock in my dream, but she said to try it with a piece of paper here. I'm not sure I can actually do it."

"Do what?" Jeremy asked.

"Just watch." Elena sat the paper flat on her palm just like she had with the pebble. She focused on it, trying to shut out the eyes she could feel on her. Her eyebrows knit together. Her clothes stirred in a wind that touched no one else. Her hair brushed around her shoulders. She narrowed her eyes, trying to think of the paper hovering. She was almost surprised when the item rose shakily, quivering three or four inches over her palm. She let out a heavy breath in relief. The wind abruptly stopped and the paper fell back to her hand.

She looked up to see the whole room staring at the paper in her hand in awe. "Ta da."

Elena swayed, her headache back with a vengeance. Damon was suddenly there, supporting her and watching her with concern. He scooped her up and carried her to the couch, helping her sit without letting go of her.

Caroline spoke first, as usual. "Well that was…impressive." She said dryly.

"So what? You're, like, a witch now?" Bonnie asked.

Elena cleared her throat. "Not exactly, I don't think so. Not only do witches need spells to work, you can do things other than elemental stuff. I just kind of think it and it happens and I'm pretty sure I'm restricted to however creative I can get with nature."

"Huh." Alaric managed, reeling from way to many life-altering revelations in one day. "Cool." Jeremy nodded in agreement.

Damon, on the other hand, was not happy. "I thought we weren't going to do this. You have no idea if you can even trust this psycho dream-hijacker."

Elena tried to reason with him. "But I need to learn this. If I can protect all of you, if I can stop whatever is coming…"

He cut her off. "No way in hell. Don't even go there. There is no fucking way I'm putting you anywhere near this super-secret villain. We'll run away first. And you know I'll make you go if I have to."

Her eyes narrowed. "I'm doing this Damon."

"You keep thinking that."


"I'm with Damon on this one Elena." Ric interrupted. She saw all of her friends nodding along.

"This is ridiculous…everyone I have to do this…"

They all paused when they were interrupted by a quick, precise knock at the door.

"Don't think this gets you off the hook." Damon growled as he went to answer it.

Elena turned to the others. "I really think this is something we should at least consider. I could be strong enough to protect myself, to put an end to all of the supernatural nonsense that's always after me."

"We've spent too long trying to keep you safe to take that risk Elena." Bonnie argued. "We can't trust anyone. We need to figure out who this Silph is, what she wants, and how we can keep her out of your head."

"I agree with Bonnie." Jeremy said. Elena rolled her eyes. Of course you do.

As he stomped through the foyer Damon was still fuming at Elena's general lack of preservation instinct.

He yanked open the door angrily. On the other side of the threshold stood a tall, blank-faced woman looking completely innocuous in a long, loose dress that reached to her ankles and was made out of homespun fabric. Her plain blond hair was straight and long and hung in a severe plait down her back. She looks like a freakin' nun.

"Look, if you're trying to convert me or save my immortal soul or something…let's just say it's a little too late for that." He grumbled.

"I would like to see Elena Gilbert please."

Damon's eyebrows snapped down. "She's busy."

"Please get Miss Gilbert."

"Listen lady, I don't know who the hell you think you are, but you need to leave." Damon growled.

She looked at him blandly for a moment before he was thrown back against the wall. He slid down to the floor in a daze staring at the woman.

The sound of his crash had drawn the rest of the gang. They crowded around him in concern, trying to figure out what had happened.

"Damon!" Elena pushed her way to the front, sinking to her knees beside him. "What happened? Are you okay?"

He groaned, pushing himself to his feet. "Yeah, I'm fine. Only my pride is bruised. I got thrown by the chick in the door. Little bitch didn't even touch me."

Elena looked where he was pointing, her eyes widening comically.

"You." She breathed.

Damon's head snapped down to look at his girlfriend. "You know her?"

She ignored him, standing slowly and staring at the woman in the door. "What are you doing here? How did you get here?"

The woman smiled as if the motion was unfamiliar. "Once again you have far too many questions."

Damon snarled, quickly losing patience. "Oh, Elena," He sing-songed in a too-sweet voice. "Who is this woman?"

She looked around at her friends and family, almost as bewildered as they were. "Silph."

Damon blanched.

Wonderful. Just FUCKING wonderful.

Oh boy, what's gonna happen next? Review! If you tell me what you think I'll be more inspired to write!

If you care what I'm thinking while I write:

Like I said, I was stuck for so long with this. I knew what I wanted to happen once they got off the ranch, but they had to do that first and I just couldn't make the words come. As far as the whole 'telling everyone about their relationship bit' I really like how it turned out. I know Bonnie's reaction in particular was a little out of character but, honestly, I really hate Bonnie in the show. I know she has it pretty awful, but so does everyone else and her stubborn refusal to see things from any other perspective than one that's super prejudiced just makes her more likely to get hurt. That said, I couldn't stand any more hater drama from Bonnie so I had to make her accept them. Hope you liked it!