This is a simple one-shot about Stefan and his relationship with Elena, with a lot of mentioning of Damon's relationship with Elena.

Honestly I'm not sure how this has come off. I always struggle to write Stefan. Writing Damon is so much easier for me. Yeah, my bias doesn't come out in my writing at all! But (even though I have not seen episodes from 3x09 – haven't come to UK yet) I HAVE seen the scene where Stefan nearly drives Elena off the bridge. It has definitely inspired me.

I hope you enjoy this! Let me know how accurate my interpretation of Stefan is.

DISCLAIMER: I do NOT own The Vampire Diaries or any of the characters

xXx

End of the Road

I fought for her. Every single day I fought to be the good guy; to be her hero; to be her crying shoulder. Even though it wasn't, perhaps, who I was, I still was that guy – for her.

I've stopped fighting.

xXx

On any given morning, I don't know what I'm going to find. Sometimes I wake up and find Elena curled up beside me in the bed. I'll kiss her, she'll smile, and we'll make love. Yes, make love. Not fuck like Damon does with every girl he meets. Make love.

But sometimes I'll wake up in the morning and find Elena's side of the bed vacant. I'll wander downstairs and see Elena sitting on the sofa, talking to Damon.

Sometimes they'll be arguing about the latest problem (there are too many to count). The scary thing is that it doesn't happen often. Instead they'll often be debating about the latest book by Jodi Picoult (every though Damon swears up and down that he'd rather be caught dead than reading her books) or their favourite classic (I adore Wuthering Heights, but Damon favours Jane Eyre and Elena is torn). Sometimes they'll talk about history: how it felt to live during the Cold War; what the propaganda was like during the Second World War; how racism changed throughout the entire period.

I can't help but wonder why she doesn't ask me these things.

The worst though was when she asks about Katherine.

One day I wake up and she's not next to me. But I don't hear voices downstairs; instead I follow them down the hall, to Damon's bedroom.

The door is shut. That alone makes my anxiety grow.

I feel a little shameful as I press my ear against the door. Maybe Damon hears me, I don't know. But I need to hear what they're saying.

"What did you think," I hear her ask, her voice a tiny thread, as though she's embarrassed, "when you first saw Katherine?"

There's quiet, and then Damon answers: "She was beautiful. Like a wildflower among a thousand blades of grass. You could tell she didn't belong there, you could tell she was different." I hear Damon give a chocked laugh. "I just didn't know how different."

Another pause, then, "Why were you attracted to her?"

This time he does laugh. "You've met her, right?"

For a few minutes I can hear him walking, and then – to my horror – the shower is being turned on. Some muttering, and then Damon: "Your choice." I hear the definite sound of the shower door close. When Damon speaks again, his voice is raised and easily heard:

"Confidence I guess. You would see her walking down the path, eyes ahead and smile on her face. She always knew people were watching her, and she loved it." When he snorts this time, it's filled with buried fury. "Show off."

"Like you're not?"

"Least I never pretended to be anything other."

Once again the room is quiet. I press my ear closer to the wood, in case I'm missing something.

"Why are you asking me this anyway?" my brother asks. Another pause, and then, "C'mon Elena. You can't ask me all these questions and then not give me answers."

I hear her sigh. "I was just thinking... What did you think when you saw me?"

I am practically trying to go through the door, desperate to hear his response.

"I thought... You were innocent." There's more, both Elena and I can tell. It lingers off the edge of his sentence. He wants to say more, but daren't. What does he want to say that he won't?

I can hear Elena smile. "Innocent?"

"Easy prey. Not blood prey, but someone that I could play mind games with."

"Thanks!"

I think Damon shrugs – at least that's how I'm picturing it. "That was me then. I'm different now."

"Then..." I wonder if Elena's going to leave, if she's done with the questioning. It's only wishful thinking though; I know Elena well enough to know that she won't and can't leave it at that. "...what do you think of me now?"

Why is she asking him this? Elena thinks I'm paranoid, but when I hear this how can I not be?

He's quiet for so long that I think he won't answer, or that I've missed it. I hear his drawling voice come through the wood, a charmer's voice: "You're Elena. You're too much and too many things to be just one thought."

xXx

Elena and Damon are friends. Elena, the naive girl whose parents died and Damon, the deranged vampire, are friends. It's the last thing anyone expects, especially me.

Sometimes I'll find him in her kitchen, making dinner; other times I'll hear Elena on the phone with him as she's getting ready for school; other times it's just a look, him raising an eyebrow and her rolling eyes, no words needed. I'm getting so used to him being with her that I'm not surprised anymore when I come in the house and find him leaning against the doorframe, smiling as she mouths off about something or other.

It's not just that either.

When I come over I'll find him playing video games with Jeremy, or pouring Jenna another glass of wine. I've always admired my brother for being a chameleon, and it's no different now. He has Jenna laughing at a joke he's pulled, or admiring him for some recipe he's making. Jeremy talks to him about girls and (when Jenna's not around) drugs. Damon doesn't act parental though. Instead he's an older brother, giving advice and rolling his eyes, laughing along with him.

I wonder if Damon's misses being an older brother. I know I miss being the younger brother.

What I'm unwillingly reminded is that boyfriends are the bad guys; they're the ones that the girl runs from. Friends, they're the ones that the girl runs to.

xXx

Sometimes I think this is all just a game for Damon. That he enjoys holding his relationship over me, taunting me. He's trying to get me paranoid. He wants to hurt me through Elena. It's so typical of Damon I'm equally amazed and unsurprised at his gaol.

But sometimes I catch him looking at Elena; he has this face that's not a smile but a sort of wistful, far off look. Like he's staring at a beautiful picture, somewhere he wishes he could be.

It's those times I think that, just maybe, it's not a game.

xXx

When it's the three of us – me, Elena and Damon – it can go two ways.

Sometimes Elena is distant. She might sit next to me, she might hold my hand, she might even kiss me. But her kiss will be quick and cold, as if I'm made out of stone. She will then turn her head and focus back on Damon. It's like he's the sun, something that is so bright and so warm that she can't look away from him for too long.

Other times she'll be all over me: kissing me for so long that my vampire lips are numb, squeezing my hand, glancing at me and sending smiles my way. Sometimes she'll come downstairs wearing my shirt and a pair of my boxers, and most of the time this is when she knows that Damon is with me. She'll sit beside me and send a smile towards him, as if proving to him that she's happy. Or maybe she's trying to prove it to herself.

I honestly don't know which is worse.

xXx

And now here we are, standing on the bridge. Elena is looking at me, but not in the way she used to. It's the way she used to look at Damon when she heard his comments about killing people and turning Vicki. No, scratch that, it's a million times worse, because I've disappointed her.

Well, she disappointed me too.

She doesn't understand me. I'm not sure if she ever has. "Destroying Klaus...it's all I have."

"You had me."

The thing is I didn't. It took me a while to realise it, but I don't think I ever had Elena. She never truly belonged to me.

A part of her, no matter how small or insignificant, always belonged to Damon. Belongs to Damon.

I get in the car and drive away. I don't look back, not even for a second, at Elena. It's too late. We tried – I tried, but I failed. I couldn't be the one she wanted.

Our relationship has reached the end of the road. I'm on a whole new highway now.