((Set during Season 2 Episode 20 "The Last Day" after Elena and Stefan's hike up the mountain when she professes that she never wanted to be a vampire. In my version, Stefan takes Elena back to his house to await Klaus and the ritual, but she finds herself uncomfortable staying at the Salvatore mansion after Damon's earlier, impulsive actions, so she pays Elijah a visit.))

WARNING:

*Some spoilers for those who haven't made it through to the end of Season 2 including my take on parts of Elijah's back story

*Some hints of Elijah/Elena

Elijah sat on the window seat of his apartment, staring through the paned glass, watching the people on the street below. He absentmindedly twirled the ornate glass container that held the elixir in his hands. After more than six hundred years, he would have finally been able to use it. He had once failed to save Katerina Petrova, but Elena—this doppelganger he would save, this one he would keep safe and human—if not by this elixir than by some other means. She deserved that—she deserved more than a single fate. He closed his eyes in pain and clutched the elixir even tighter in his left hand.

God, he was so angry he could hardly stand it. He had always had his father's temper, but he, unlike Klaus, had always been able to control it. But, this, this was pure rage boiling under the surface. It was a good thing he had locked himself in his apartment tonight, he didn't wish for any innocents to pay the price for his emotional lapse.

Tonight, he was angry mostly at Damon Salvatore for ruining Elena's chances, for robbing her of her salvation. As his mind wandered back to what had taken place at the Salvatore home hours before—Elena's cries, Stefan leaving him in the den to rescue Elena, who Damon was forcing to drink his blood. And moments later, when Damon entered the room, confused and bewildered— he remembered how he had to quell the urge inside of him to tear the young vampire's heart from his chest right then and there. But he was not a violent sort of man by nature. So reason won out and in the end, he used his words to fight rather than his actions.

"She will never forgive you," he had said, "and never, for a vampire, is a very long time."

As he opened his eyes and continued watching the pedestrians through the glass under the streetlights, he heard a familiar voice in his ear.

"Elijah," she whispered sweetly

He jolted immediately and the elixir bottle smashed to pieces in his hand, leaving silver liquid running down his palm and wrist.

He sighed.

Suddenly, there was a knock on the apartment door.

With vampire speed, he moved to the kitchen, threw the remains of the elixir bottle into the trash, where it landed on top of some empty blood bags, and washed off his hand in the sink. When his hand was dry, he placed the dishcloth on the counter and walked at a normal pace to the front door.

A few feet from his destination, he stopped and took a sniff of the air, catching the scent that lofted from beyond the walnut wood.

A human.

Curious, he stepped forward, threw the latch and opened the door to find Elena standing on the other side, her right hand in midair and poised to knock again.

But at the sight of Elijah it quickly lowered and moved to the side of her head, where she nervously pushed her dark hair behind her right ear.

"Hi" she said with an apprehensive smile, her eyes soft and sad.

Great. It was hard enough looking at Elena in general, but she had to show up now when he was emotionally vulnerable, looking beautiful and clearly in need of a friend.

He suddenly noticed that a few moments of silence had passed when she said, "So…can I come in?"

He must have been staring at her with either awe, intent or stunned surprise because she quickly stepped back.

"I—I'm sorry," she said, clutching her shoulder bag and looking down at her feet as she moved, "This was a bad idea. It's late. I should go—"

"Wait." Elijah suddenly found himself saying, shaking himself out of his trance, "Please, don't go. I suppose I was just surprised to see you."

Elena nodded with a small, hopeful smile
"Really? Are you sure you don't mind?"

"No," he smirked, "And you know, you don't have to ask permission to enter a vampire's home—"

"But you're also a person, Elijah. Of course I do." Elena corrected

Elijah straightened, "Really? What makes you so sure?"

"Because you live by a code of honor, you give more than you take to everyone around you, you don't kill humans unless you have to, you keep your word, and you care—"

"I care only about what you want and what happens to you," he found himself blurting, then secretly reprimanding himself for letting his emotions seep through.

"Well, I appreciate that. I need someone to care about what I want." Elena said, stepping forward

Elijah scanned his eyes over her for a moment, then stepped back from the threshold and extended his right arm in a polite invitation for Elena to enter.

Elena occupied herself looking around at the spacious and modernly furnished apartment as Elijah closed the door with one hand and began to remove her bag from her shoulder with the other.

This caught Elena attention and she let him slide the strap down her arm and watched as he hung it on a nearby coat stand.

"Thanks," she said

"How did you know where to find me?" Elijah said from behind her

Elena smiled, "I have my sources."

"Does Stefan know you're here?" he asked moving back to stand next to her

"No. Not exactly," she confessed somewhat reluctantly, "We went on a little outing today to talk. I think he thought it would help, but it really didn't. It just drudged up more things I didn't want to talk about. Afterwards, he took me back to his house but…"

Elijah studied her face for a moment as she trailed off. She was clearly drawn here and something in the confusion on her face told him that even she wasn't sure why.
He could see it in her eyes, though, that she seemed to trust him enough to show up here instead of going home.

His breath caught and he swallowed.

He hadn't been nervous of anything in four hundred years, but this fragile human girl was suddenly making him feel very nervous.

"Would you like to sit down?" he offered, motioning toward a leather sofa with a matching set of recliners in the next room.

Elena smiled and walked toward the sofa, Elijah following close behind.

She thought he would sit down too, but instead he veered off toward a liquor cart along the half wall nearby.

"Something to drink?" he offered

"No, Thanks," she replied as she took a seat on the sofa and brought one of the matching leather pillows into her lap as she watched him pour himself a glass of bourbon.

"Well," he said, "A doppelganger has just shown up to my house—I need a drink."

He swirled the glass, then took a sip before walking back toward where she was sitting.

"Better than blood," he said, raising his bar glass in a half-toast.

Elena wrinkled her nose, "I'll take your word for it."

Elijah took another sip then unbuttoned his suit jacket before he settled himself into the recliner across from her.

"So, why are you here, Elena?" he asked and after a moment, as he watched Elena's eyes dart uncertainly, he continued, "If you're worried about our deal, don't be. I told you, I am a man of my word. Though the elixir has been rendered useless by Damon's selfish actions, I assure you that I will still do everything in my power to protect you, your family and your friends, as per our agreement. You can count on me, tonight."

Elena nodded, a small look of relief crossing her face.

"Besides," Elijah said, taking another thoughtful sip, his eyes not leaving Elena's, "I like you. You've got guts and spirit and you're a hell of a lot more fun to be around than most of the people in this town."

"Thanks…I guess." Elena smiled shyly, hugging the pillow tighter

"So, are you going to tell you're really here?" Elijah asked in a low voice

Elena took a trembled breath then closed her eyes in anger and sadness.

Then, like an unexpected avalanche, she suddenly burst.

"I just couldn't wait there, Elijah, I just couldn't!" she cried, her face flushed and her voice breaking, "After what Damon did, I just couldn't stay in that house one more second!"

She opened her eyes and tears welled in them, starting to stream down her face, "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry I just sort of showed up here, but you are the only person I felt safe with."

He wasn't sure how it happened or why, but within seconds and with the aid of vampire speed, he made his way immediately to her side. He set his drink down on the glass coffee table in front of the couch and wrapped a strong arm around her shoulders as he took her into his arms.

She seemed taken aback by it at first, but did not resist, letting him rest his chin on the crown of her head as she buried her face into his chest and sobbed.

"You can always show up here," he whispered into her hair

After a few minutes and Elena's weeping the only thing breaking the silence in the room, she finally sniffed and lifted her head from Elijah's chest, trying to wipe her eyes.

Elijah reluctantly let her do so.

After so long without the embrace of another, her heartbeat was like music and her warmth intoxicating.

"Oh…" she said in sudden realization, placing her hands on the dark blue Brooks Brothers dress shirt exposed under his suit, dotted with wet spots, "I've ruined your shirt."

"It's alright. It wasn't mine anyway," Elijah said, loosening his embrace as he reached into the inside of the jacket for his handkerchief. When he found it, he presented it to her.

"Here," he said.

Elena studied the blue embroidered cloth for a moment, then started laughing softly as she continued to wipe under her eyes to fix her mascara.

"What?" Elijah smiled, "It's clean. I promise."
Elena smirked as she dropped her hands into her lap, "Of course it is. I'm sorry. It's just you were the last person I expected to go all 'damsel in distress' on. And your kindness is a little surprising."

Elijah looked down as he gently took her right hand in his and placed the handkerchief in it.

"Elena, you're clearly upset and I'm not as cold blooded as most people might think" he said in a soothing voice, then shrugged his shoulders, "Besides, there are some things that you can only cry about in front of a stranger."

Elena stared at him with soft eyes for a moment then shook her head.

"You're not a stranger," she said as she brought the handkerchief to her face and began to dry her eyes and cheeks.

Elijah absorbed her words for a moment then placed a reassuring hand on her knee, "Then I meant what I said. If you truly feel safe with me, if you need a friend, I will always be here. Even after you become a vampire, if you ever need to talk or just have questions. I'm here."

Elena's face crumbled slightly and another tear fell from her left eye.

"Thank You," she said, moving to place her hand on his, but Elijah gently pulled back before she could do so.

"Listen, I know you're mad at Damon, Elena," Elijah said, trying to ignore her actions and how they suddenly made him feel, "what he did was incredibly reckless and selfish, but I understand why he did it and you should too."
Elena shook her head in disbelief and anger as she continued to dry herself, "Stefan told me. He claims that Damon loves me."

"Well, he does." Elijah said bluntly, "As vampires our feelings and emotions are always magnified—hate, anger, happiness, love—they become ten times stronger and ten times our greatest faults, Elena. Damon was terrified of loosing you. I could see it in his eyes the first time we met. He cares for you. You are his only friend and the only person that he trusts. He certainly didn't trust me when I said that I could save you with that elixir—"

"He said that before he fed me his blood," Elena said, crumpling the handkerchief in her hand, her voice seething softly with anger, "That he couldn't loose me…but he has lost me, Elijah. How could he be so selfish? God, I'm so angry that I don't know what to do! He was my friend. He was my friend and he betrayed me! He couldn't let me go, so he made sure I would be a vampire like him. I don't want to be angry at him, Elijah, but I am! I'm just so angry!"

Elijah could see she was losing control.

"Elena!" he cried, grabbing her face and taking it into his hands, staring her into her eyes.

Everything in his heart wanted to compel her in that moment, to make her forget, but he didn't. He couldn't. Not if this friendship thing was going to work. And, oh, God, as he stared at this beautiful young girl, did he want it to work.

He stared intently into her chocolate brown eyes, "It's alright to be angry. You should be angry. And I'm angry for you. He took something from you and he didn't give you a choice about it. But, you need to understand that it came from someplace inside of him that didn't wish to harm you, only protect you."

Elena stared at him intently, blinking slowly as she searched his eyes.

"Would you do what he did, Elijah? If it were someone you loved? Would you do it? Feed them your blood without giving them a choice so you wouldn't be alone for all eternity?" she asked

Elijah released her face and straightened.

"I don't know," he answered honestly, "I've only ever had one person in my life that I've ever felt that way about and she got taken from me before I could even think about doing anything so reckless."

Elena let out a breath then looked down to the handkerchief in her hand, opening it so that the wrinkled material could be free of her oppression and anger.

"I'm sorry…" she said, looking up to him as she held the handkerchief out to him, "Was she human?"

There were a few moments of silence as Elijah folded the handkerchief and placed it back in his pocket while Elena grabbed the pillow from where it had fallen on the hardwood floor and held it to her once more.

Finally, he turned to study her with sad eyes.

"Yes," he said as he looked her over

He couldn't lie to her. He had always felt she deserved more from her own life as well as the truth about where she had really come from. He had only been waiting for her to ask.

"Forgive me. I—I don't mean to stare." Elijah said, quickly breaking himself from his trance as he briskly rubbed the tops of his thighs in nervous contemplation. He grabbed his glass and made his way over to his original position in the opposite recliner.

"It just seems to happen around you because you look—"

"I look like her …right? Like Katherine?" Elena asked

When Elijah was in the chair, he took a long steady sip of the bourbon and looked down thoughtfully into his glass.

"Like, Katerina, yes," he admitted, "but I meant someone else, actually, and I think it's time you know who."
Elena raised an eyebrow as he continued

"As I've mentioned before, my father was once a wealthy land owner in what is now northeastern Europe. Today, I suppose you could consider us Vikings. My parents married young and had just had their first child when a plague suddenly ravished our village claiming countless lives, including their newborn son. It was soon followed by a dry summer and a harsh winter that destroyed the land. To start again, my parents and a number of families, who had also lost everything, boarded a ship and traveled to the new world. There, my mother bore seven more children including myself and my brother, Niklaus."

Elijah smiled as memories suddenly filled his mind.

"We were extremely competitive growing up, Klaus and I. We were only a year apart. The only difference was that I was the light of my father's life and Niklaus seemed to be nothing but a disappointment to him. Of course, as I said before, I didn't find out why until many years later. Like all brothers we fought endlessly and were best friends who shared everything…even affections for the same girl."

"This is the girl you spoke of earlier?" Elena asked, her curiosity peaked

Elijah didn't say anything right away.

After a moment, he looked up to her with the same eyes she felt on her earlier when he had stared at her.

"Yes" he said, lowering his eyes again as he twirled his glass on the arm of the chair

"And Klaus was in love with her?"

"No, he wasn't. Back then I thought so, but in retrospect, I feel it was just a competition to him like everything else. I think he just wanted to take something away from me. And I suppose in the long run you could say that, in a round-about way, he succeeded."

"He succeeded? How?" Elena asked, sitting forward, bringing her legs under her.

Elijah looked up to meet her gaze, "As you know, the curse of the werewolf is realized when the werewolf kills someone while in human form. It happened with your friend, Tyler, I believe.

Klaus' werewolf gene lay dormant for many years, but after my brother made his first human kill as a vampire, his other supernatural side was sub sequentially released during the full moon that followed. Fearing an imbalance that could destroy humankind, the servants of nature made sure that my brother's werewolf side would remain forever dormant. They did a spell to bind Klaus' werewolf side forever in a moonstone so that only his vampire side would thrive. But like all dark magic involving a supernatural being, they needed a human sacrifice. So they chose her."

Elijah, paused, studying Elena, who only sat forward with more interest

"She was an orphan. Her parents were refugees from what is now modern day Russia. Her mother had come over to the New World with my parents while still with child. Her husband had died in the plague that had also claimed my brother. She later died in child birth. So, when human blood was needed to bind Klaus' werewolf curse to the moonstone, the witches believed that her blood was safe to sacrifice. After her parent's death, they believed that her family line to have ended with her. They felt that the curse would be forever safely bound by creating the condition of a doppelganger, a direct descendant, that they knew could never exist."

"She was the original doppelganger…" Elena breathed in sudden realization, bringing her hand to her mouth in stunned surprise.

"Her name was Liliya Petrova," he said, his voice suddenly shaking a little as he continued studying her with reverence

"Klaus may not have loved her, but you did… didn't you?" Elena asked softly, taking note of the change in his voice.

"Yes. Believe it or not Elena, I am capable of the emotion. All clichés aside, I will say that without a doubt, she was my soul mate and if I were to spend the rest of my life loving someone on this earth, it would have been her. And, unlike with Katerina, it was not unrequited. I was fortunate in that she loved me in return. Even after my parents turned us into vampires, she still wanted to be with me. You see, we had been betrothed."

Elena inhaled a sharp breath. Her heart suddenly broke for him.

Elijah's face hardened as he continued, "And so when Liliya died, a part of me died too. I disappeared for days. I didn't eat, I didn't sleep. I wanted to waste away. I could not live an eternity without her and I didn't want to. But, Elena, you also have to understand that I am one of the oldest in my family. And after my father's slaughter of the village and my mother's death, I had to put my own feelings aside, choose my head over my own heart and return to my brother and my other siblings. By then, though, most of them had scattered, but Klaus and my younger sister had remained. He was still family, Elena, and I also saw it as my duty to ensure that Liliya's sacrifice was not in vein—that his curse stayed bound."

Elena's eyes narrowed, "So all this time, Klaus thought you were helping him, when in reality you had been planning against him all along, making sure that his werewolf side would never be free?"

"Yes. I felt I owed Liliya that. And I've been successful for many centuries—"

"That's why you found the elixir for Katherine?"

"Yes. Though I did not wish to see another Petrova die for my family's gain, my hope was that Klaus would kill Katerina with the elixir in her system. You see, it was designed to revive the person a full day following death. By then, I would have had Trevor move her to a safe and secluded location where she could live in peace the rest of her days."
"What about the curse? Wouldn't Katherine's death break the moonstone's power over Klaus? He would be a hybrid."

"My hope was that the breaking of the curse and its effects would be only temporary since the doppelganger would still be alive. Not knowing of her revival, Klaus would lose his werewolf powers within a matter of days and would finally see that there was no way to fully break the curse. He would resign to that fact and remain a vampire for the rest of his days, losing all of his ambition to become a hybrid."

Elena shook her head in astonishment, "That's a pretty good plan."

Elijah smiled weakly as he stood up from his chair and headed back toward the liquor cart for a refill.

"I may have my father's temper," he said, tapping the side of his head with his index finger, "but I have my mother's brains."

Elena followed him with her gaze as he picked up the decanter and unstopped it.

"So you've tried to thwart Klaus' plan to break the curse for centuries, but what changed that made you decide to kill him?"

She saw Elijah pause for a moment, then lower the decanter to fill his glass.

"I've told you before. My brother lied to me," he said curtly, placing the stopper back in the decanter and turning back to face Elena, "When I returned to the village, he had told me that he did not know the whereabouts of the other members of our family and promised that he would help me search for them so that we could all be reunited."

His nostrils suddenly flared angrily as he closed his eyes and rolled the glass in his hand.

"But, twenty years ago, I found out that he had been misleading me and that for centuries, he had been secretly tracking them down one by one and daggering them, then dismembering their bodies and scattering them to sea."

"Oh my God…" Elena mused sympathetically

Elijah shook his head as opened his eyes and downed the rest of his drink in one steady gulp. Then with a loud, angry cry and quick reflexes threw the glass at the nearby wall where it shattered, part of the dry wall caving in from the force of the throw.

Elena jumped, clearly frightened.

Elijah balled his fists and took a breath.

"Please, forgive me," he said, squeezing his eyes shut and breathing steadily, trying to calm himself. He brought his hand to his forehead, "I didn't mean to frighten you, I'm just—"

"Upset? It's okay." Elena replied quickly, looking at the shattered glass on the floor and the remnants of bourbon splashed on the white wall. She then removed the pillow from her lap and pushed herself up off of the sofa, "I'll just go to the kitchen and get a towel to clean it up—"

"Why does Klaus have to take everything from me?" Elijah said angrily as if he hadn't heard her, opening his eyes, "He killed them like he killed her and I couldn't do a damn thing to stop it!"

Elena's eyes widened and she walked over to him quickly, placing her hand on his shoulder sympathetically as she watched him suddenly compose himself again.

He blinked slowly, trying not to look her in the eyes.

Elena took a stoic breath, clearly pained at the sight of his emotions pouring out.

"That's how you knew the doppelganger had to die in the ritual to break the curse...why you found the elixir for Katerina…" she exhaled, "because that is how it was bound?"

"Yes." he admitted reluctantly, "They tied me up in a nearby forest so I couldn't get to her. The—the witches starved Klaus for days so that he was forced to feed on her to complete the ritual."

Her eyes narrowed, "So he did take her from you…in the end."

Elijah's met her gaze, "I tried holding it all inside of me for almost a thousand years. I put aside my own personal feelings about Liliya's death to help my brother, but then…"

He lowered his head

"But then he took the rest of your family away from you." Elena finished

"Can I tell you something?" he whispered suddenly, "Something I've never told another living soul."

Elena was taken aback, but nodded.

"I miss them," he said in a soft voice, "I miss my family. I miss being human."
Then he brought his hand to tentatively stroke Elena's left cheek, "But more than anything, I miss Liliya."

Elena glanced down, studying his hand on her face for a moment, but did not pull away.

He seemed to need to contact and the comfort it gave him and she wanted to help him.

After only a moment's hesitation on her part, she brought her left hand up to rest on his, something he wouldn't allow her to do earlier.

Elijah let out a trembled breath as he watched her hand fall on the back of his.

"You don't just look like her, Elena, you are like her" he said as he searched her eyes for what felt like eternity, "I knew it that day you kept your word and returned to me. You weren't like Katherine…you were like her—a true piece of Liliya that gets to live on in this world. It's almost a miracle to behold you."

Then, his features went placid and Elena saw that look spread across his face. The look he always seemed to get when he was staring at her, but thinking of someone else with fond reverence.

"Jeg vil elske deg for alltid…" he whispered in his native tongue as he leaned in and gently took her lips into a soft kiss.

But just as it started to deepen, Elijah pulled quickly away as if snapped out of a dream, leaving them both catching their breath. He narrowed his eyes as he quickly searched Elena's face, searching for any anger, any fear or any doubt. Coming to his senses and honorable to the end, he had pulled away to give her a chance to refuse his advances. For after all, it wasn't her he had thinking of when he let his emotions get the best of him.

But, that was not likely, because as soon as he pulled away, she reached for him and brought him to her, kissing him back with a fierce passion, her arms coiling around his neck as she pulled him closer to her, letting him draw her into an embrace.

They turned and immediately smashed into the liquor cart.

Elijah growled and freeing one hand from Elena's waist, grabbed the handle of the cart and tossed the entire object across the room, where it fell behind the sofa with a loud crash, freeing the wall behind it for their use.

He quickly shoved her up against it, trying hard to be gentle so that he wouldn't crush her.

Their mouths continued to dance as they ground against each other.

Elijah's lips freed from hers and started trailing kisses down her neck as she moaned.

Suddenly there was a hard knock on the door.

The two immediately flew apart like shrapnel.

Elijah used his senses to detect who or what their visitor was, then his eyes quickly focused on Elena and with vampire speed grabbed her and tossed her as gently as possible back onto the leather sofa as he sped toward the door, straightening his shirt collar and smoothing his hair before opening it.

"Hello, Stefan," he said with a cordial smile, "I assume you are here to retrieve the lovely Elena."

"Yes," Stefan said, standing just beyond the threshold, his hands shoved in his jacket pockets and his eyes narrowing as he looked past Elijah and noticed Elena sitting on the couch near the collapsed wall and the overturned liquor cart, "Am I interrupting something?"

Elena stood up from the couch, crossing her arms across her chest

"No," she said calmly, "Elijah and I were just talking. How did you find me?"

"I tracked your scent," Stefan replied, then turned to Elijah, "Though I wouldn't have expected to have it lead me here."
"Like I said, Elijah and I were just talking. I needed someplace safe to stay before nightfall. I'm sorry I didn't tell you where I was going Stefan, I just couldn't stay at the house with you—not after—"
"I understand." Stefan nodded, clearly thinking of Damon's action earlier as well, "But you should get your bag and we should get going. If we want this plan to go through, Klaus can't find you here."

Elijah turned back to Elena, "He's right. It is essential that Klaus not know I am part of this. You should go with him. I will meet Bonnie at the mansion as we planned."

"Elijah—" she started as she stepped forward, then stopped and looked to Stefan, "Would you mind waiting for me in the car?" she asked sweetly.

Stefan eyed Elijah then looked back to her with soft eyes, "Sure. But don't take too long."

When he had disappeared back down the hallway, Elena walked past Elijah and closed the door.

She turned, leaning back on the wood as she faced him.

She started to speak, but Elijah put a hand to her lips to silence them.

"You don't owe me anything," he said, "Not a word."

Elena reached up and grabbed his forearm, lowering his hand.

"Honorable to the end," she said smirking as she took his hand into her own.

As she studied it and how it fit perfectly into hers, she could feel his eyes on her, studying her with reverence and adoration. Perhaps there was something besides fate and a curse that linked her and Elijah. Perhaps even the same thing that once linked him with Liliya.

She looked up to him, "But, I'm still going to say what I want to say, whether you want to hear it or not."

Her grip tightened on his hand, then breathed a sigh, "Thank you, for turning out to be someone I could count on. I needed a true friend in this fight and you have proven yourself to be just that."

"Well, Miss Gilbert, I suppose I should thank you for giving me a side to be on," he replied, "You know, it's been a long time since I could trust someone—really trust someone—tell them things I haven't spoken about in centuries. I suppose it's fitting that it should be you."

"Well," Elena said with a humorous smile, quoting him from earlier in the evening, " 'there are some things that you can only cry about in front of a stranger',"

"You're not a stranger," he said softly, leaning into her, returning the smile

Elena nodded, then releasing Elijah's hand, reached over to the coat stand to retrieve her shoulder bag.

Without warning, Elijah quickly, but gently, took her face into his hands, his eyes boring into hers. Immediately, her hand froze on her bag before moving back to rest on his forearm, catching his attention before he could say anything.

"No." she said sternly, staring back at him unafraid, "No compulsion. I don't want to forget. It was my choice, Elijah, and I want to remember everything….Please."

A few seconds passed before Elijah gently released her face and he nodded with a knowing smile as she again reached for her bag.

When it was secure on her shoulder, she brushed a lock of hair out of her eyes and turned toward the door, reaching for the knob.

She opened the door, but before she could cross the threshold she stopped and immediately turned back and embraced Elijah.

It was not an expected gesture, for Elena heard his huff of surprise as she wrapped her arms around his torso.

His arms lingered open for a few moments, then they tentatively came around her. One hand rested on the upper part of her back, while the other softly caressed her hair.

"Bye," she whispered, not knowing what else to say. Who knew if they would ever see each other again after tonight? And if they did see each other, she would probably be completely different.

"Goodbye," Elijah replied, his grip on her tightening, then releasing as she pulled back.

When she was facing him, he leaned down and kissed her forehead, then stepped back and crossed his arms over his chest, biting his lip.

"Now, go on. Stefan's waiting for you," he said in a low tone, his mind immediately flashing to Liliya lifeless in Klaus' arms as he drained the life from her body—then to Klaus four hundred years later, leading Katerina away from him that day in the garden.

Elena nodded, adjusted her shoulder bag, and with one quick look over her shoulder to Elijah as she crossed the threshold, she was gone.

"I'll love you forever…" he whispered, repeating the words in English that he had spoken in Nordic to Elena when he had kissed her.

And Liliya was gone.

This is my first fan-fiction for well…ANYTHING. I would love some feedback. All of you inspire me, so if you feel I should continue with this story let me know. There is still potential. Thanks for reading!