Damon left Klaus alone in the study of the Lockwood mansion, immediately grabbing Bonnie. "Locator spell on Elena. Now," he said, guiding her outside. His blood was boiling, he was almost sure he was going to kill his brother. How dare he take Elena and threaten her like that. He was snapped out of his thoughts as Bonnie told him that Elena was near Whickery Bridge. They climbed in his car, speeding out of the party. He was going over a hundred in his hurry to get to her, Bonnie chanted mindlessly next to him, trying to keep a reach on Elena, then she gasped. "What?" he demanded, fear settling in the pit of his stomach.
"I think she's in the water," Bonnie whispered.
The car came to a halt and Damon slammed it in park. "Meet me there, I can run faster," he said, hopping out and he was gone. It was cold out, the water was going to be freezing, he only had minutes if Stefan really hadn't been bluffing. His heart dropped as he got to the bridge, half the guard rail missing and without thought he jumped in the water. Sure, being a vampire had its perks, but swimming underwater in the dark, was definitely not easy.
Stefan's red car was easy to see as Damon swam around to the driver side. Elena was still in the car, which was only half filled with water, but she had a head injury, she seemed to be unconscious. He only had seconds to execute this, as he kicked in the driver side window, and pulled her out, rushing them to the surface. Damon laid her out on the bank, pushing her hair from her face. "Elena," he said, checking for a pulse. "Come on Sweetheart." His eyes caught a tinge of red on her front teeth and his heart dropped. Stefan had forced his blood on her. "Elena!" He rubbed her arms, starting compressions on her chest. "Open your eyes Baby."
He barely heard the car approach as Bonnie slid down the bank to them, leaves and sticks fluttering around them. "Elena," she said, placing her hands on either side of her head, chanting softly.
"Don't you dare die Elena," Damon growled, feeling angry tears running down his wet face. "Do something Bonnie. Make her wake up." His heart was breaking, worse than he had ever felt before. She could die, right here in his arms, or she could turn, and both those options killed him inside. She would never choose to be a vampire, he was going to lose her. He was going to lose another woman he loved to his brother. "Open those brown eyes for me."
"I'm trying," Bonnie said frantically. "Her head injury is pretty serious. Just keep pressing." Bonnie leaned over Elena's blue lips and pinched her nose, blowing air into the girls lungs. "Come on Elena."
Damon growled angrily, his eyes turning red. "Dammit Elena!" he flared, continuing his compressions. "Don't you dare leave me Elena. Do you hear me?" Then she coughed, water coming out of her mouth as he helped her sit up. "Easy Sweetheart." Elena shivered violently against him, curling into a ball. Tears flood down her cheeks, mindless mumbles coming from her lips. Damon heard the word vampire, and he clenched his eyes shut as he kiss her hair. If her heart stopped at all before he got here, she was going to be a vampire.
"She needs to go to the hospital," Bonnie said, standing as Damon lifted her into his arms.
"She'll heal," Damon said sadly. "Stefan's blood is in her system."
"What?" Bonnie whispered. "Is she…"
"We have to wait," he said finally, climbing up the bank and into the back of his car. He had very little concern other than getting Elena home. Bonnie hopped back in the driver side, turning away from the scene. "Boarding house," he said softly. "And hand me your phone." Bonnie handed it to him without word, Elena's dire situation too much for either of them to have a spat. Damon dialed Ric's number, his friend picking up after two rings. "Meet us at the boarding house," he said softly. "Now."
"What happened?" Ric asked, and Damon could hear him moving through the sea of people at the stupid party.
"Stefan attacked Elena," he said, his voice nearly breaking thinking about what was going to happen to her. "It looks pretty serious."
Ric could obviously hear the distress in Damon's voice, the feeling of dread starting to heavily weight in. "Be there in 10." And he hung up.
The rest of the ride was made in silence, other then the chattering of Elena's teeth. "You know when I did this to her, I thought that having her hating me was worth it if she was around forever," he said, feeling Bonnie's eyes on him in the rear view mirror. "But nothing is worth having her hate you. And I'm going to kill my brother for doing this to her."
Bonnie didn't say anything for a moment. "You were trying to save Elena," she said softly. "You did it out of love, because you didn't want her to die. There's a difference. Stefan… used her to get revenge on someone else. And in the worst way. Her parents died there, and she almost did too. Stefan has just broken something very close to Elena and… I wouldn't blame you for killing him."
"Elena doesn't want to be a vampire," Damon said as they pulled into the boarding house. "I don't even want to be a vampire. It sucks."
Bonnie turned the car off, and turned a little to look at him. "I think, if there was anyone that could convince her to make the transition it would be you. She just needs all of our support," she said, getting out. "And she's got mine."
Damon stayed silent as he took his bundle inside. He more or less just got Bonnie's permission to be with Elena. And she needed him. He laid her down on the couch, tucking a blanket around her before starting a fire in the fireplace. "Keep a sharp eye," he said, heading into the kitchen. He needed blood, or he was going to break something. He drank a cold one straight from the fridge, and repeated the process four times, dropping the empty bags on the counter he was leaning on. His hands gripped the edge, cracking the tile a little as Ric joined him.
"What's going on?" Ric asked, raising an eyebrow at the scene. "Do you need me to stake you 'til you calm down?" He said it in a teasing tone as Damon turned to face him, his blood red eyes and veins a bit alarming.
"Believe me, the only person I'm angry at is Stefan," he said softly. "And until I break his neck, I'm going to be edgy. I should make it slow and painful for him but I think I'm just going to rip his heart out and be done with it."
"What happened?" Ric asked leaning across from him.
"Stefan… kidnapped her and forced her to drink his blood then, drove his damn car off the fucking bridge where her parents died. I have no idea if her heart stopped at all before I got to her," Damon said, pulling another bag of blood from the fridge. "So we're sitting around waiting for her to wake up to tell her the love of her life turned into a vampire, just to get revenge on Klaus."
Ric stared at Damon in shock, the impact of the situation really hitting. "How long until she wakes up?" he asked.
"Within a day," Damon said, licking his lips. "She could wake at any time, and when she does… everyone should be prepared. She doesn't want this." He paused as he tilted his head, going back to the den, growling seeing Klaus once again in his living room. "What are you doing here?" He approached the Original moving between him and Bonnie.
"Well if she is a vampire, then me and Stefan are going to have some pretty serious issues," Klaus said.
Damon took a step into Klaus's personal space. "The only one that is going to be touching Stefan is going to be me," he growled softly. "If you touch him, I will slice you up into tiny pieces and feed you to Wolfboy. Clear?"
Klaus smiled a little. "It's very strange, how much you love her," he said. "She's only a human."
"Well…" said a voice from behind them. "Not anymore she's not."
In a flash of black, Damon had his brother pinned against the floor, his fist buried deep in his stomach. "You have some nerve, brother," he seethed, pressing his knee to Stefan's chest, feeling a satisfying crack, but he wanted to hear so many more. "Showing up here, knowing that even on your worst day you are not stronger than me, especially not now, knowing what you've done to her. You had to know I was going to come after you for doing this to her."
Stefan laughed, then coughed in pain. "This is a good look for you Damon," he said, shoving his brother off him. "I was afraid Elena had you far to whipped for this. And now, we can have a new vampire girlfriend."
"Elena doesn't want this Stefan," Damon said, slamming him against the floor. "What are you trying to prove by doing this? Is this what you wanted, to push me so far that I would rip you apart, brother or not? What is wrong with you?"
Stefan snorted. "You wouldn't kill me Damon," he said. "If you haven't by now, you never will. And this is what vampires do. We kill people, turn them for fun. You should know that better than anyone. I'll be back when she's awake."
Damon stared at the back of his brother, his fangs elongating as he lunged after him, sending them flying out the open front door. Fists and fangs were everywhere as knuckles met flesh. Klaus stood on the porch watching with indifference as Damon impaled Stefan on a branch, the wood sticking out of the wound in his stomach. He broke off his own stake as Stefan pushed himself off the tree, landing on the ground. "Damon, really, do you need to be so dramatic?" Stefan asked, laughing. "You know you can't do it."
Through the chaos, he heard her. She whispered his name, his eyes finding her standing on the porch, tears of horror sliding down her face as Bonnie and Ric stood next to her, Bonnie's arms holding her up. He took a step toward her, and Stefan snorted again, using the tree to push his bloody body up. "Told you, she really does have you whipped."
Damon snarled and in a blur he turned and slammed the stake into Stefan's chest, his face covered in shock that Damon would take the extreme measure. He watched as his brothers skin turned to the usual ashen color of a deceased vampire and he slowly rose to his feet, feeling the loss sink in. His own brother, murdered at his own hands, to keep Elena safe. He wished it had never come to this, but Stefan had made his choice. He could allow is brother to suffer either, living like a monster. This wasn't who Stefan was.
Elena stared at the scene in front of her, the body of her ex lover on the ground, his brother standing over him, for her. Because Stefan had taken her life, so Damon had taken his. Bonnie squeezed her hand, tears in both their eyes.
"I want my family back," Klaus growled.
Damon slowly turned around. "We're done with this Klaus," he said in an empty voice. "You take your family and you get the hell away from Mystic Falls."
After a very tense moment, Klaus nodded. "Fine," he said.
Bonnie gave him the address of the house with the coffins, knowing the witches would lift the spell and he was gone, leaving the four of them alone. Damon glanced at his brother for a long moment before he was gone as well, vanishing into the night. "Come on Elena," Bonnie said, guiding her distraught friend into the house.
Elena forced her legs to hold her as she headed through the kitchen. "Damon can't be alone," she said, staring out into the backyard, through the sliding glass door. She could still feel him close to her, watching over her. Her body was calling to him, unable to function properly without him near her.
"He just needs a minute Elena," Ric said softly rubbing her shoulder, and in the distance, they heard the most heart breaking noise. A scream, that sounded more like a howl rang out in the night. "He's losing everything around him, including his mind."
"Elena," Bonnie said, squeezing her hand. "We love you, you know that. None of us want to lose you. And… if you decide to change, you have all of our support. I promise."
"It hurts," Elena whimpered. "Everything hurts. My head, my jaw, my heart."
Bonnie opened a few drawers till she found a knife and a glass. She carefully sliced her hand, allowing her blood to trickle into the crystal. She pressed a paper towel to the cut, setting the glass on the counter. "You can have my blood if you want to change Elena," she said, softly. "And.. I'm afraid if you don't, Damon will slaughter half the town."
Elena sighed and pushed the sliding glass doors open and stepping out onto the back porch. She shivered as she closed the door behind her, rubbing her face as she tried not to cry. Stefan was dead. Yes she was angry at what he did to her, and she would have hated him forever, but it still hurt. But her heart was breaking for Damon. A breeze fluttered around her, a slight tangy smell to it as she walked down a few steps, scanning the yard for him. "Damon," she pleaded, moving further into the yard, and she saw him slowly head toward her, almost unsure of her. She could still see the veins on his face, his blood tinted eyes, the tear tracks on his face as he paused in front of her.
Elena slid her arms around his neck, rising on her toes a little to fit her body against his. His arms banded around her waist, crushing her to him. "I'm so sorry Elena," he whispered against her shoulder. "I tried to get to you in time. And he just… acted like he didn't do anything. I just had to. Stefan… made his choice, he crossed a line Elena."
"Shh," she whispered, pressing her forehead against his, stroking his cheek. "I'm not angry at you. This isn't your fault."
"But I know you don't want this," he said shaking his head. "God help me Elena, I don't want to lose you, but you really don't want this life. I would do anything for you to make you happy but you have to let me. Please Elena."
She nearly started crying again, knowing how badly it had to be killing him to think that she was going to refuse to turn. She was all he had left. They needed each other. "Come on," she agreed, taking his hand and leading him back inside. She stared at the glass on the counter, knowing she had to do this. Jeremy and her friends needed her, she couldn't leave them. She reached out to pick up the blood, downing in one swallow with a grimace. "God that's disgusting."
Damon stared at her with an odd expression. "Elena…"
Her heart leapt into her throat as she turned to face him. "I would do anything for you too Damon," she whispered. "Even turn."
"This is hardly the time for this but I don't care," Damon said as his lips covered hers in a searing kiss. This time she returned it with equal passion, running her hands through his hair, gently sucking on his bottom lip as he hands smoothed over her back, gently pressing her into the counter. The veins on his face receded, his eyes returning to their brilliant blue, his body molding around her. The calmness she often felt when he was around began to sweep back over them, the dark cloud slowly drifting away. They could deal with the loss together.
Someone cleared their throats from the doorway. "Hate to interrupt," Ric said with a frown. "I don't want to see the mauling."
Elena giggled a little, leaning against Damon. "I guess we should… go deal with everything," she said.
"I'm going to deal with it, and you are going to stay here and… maybe put dry clothes on," Damon said, kissing her hair.
"You don't have to do this alone," Elena said softly. She didn't know what she would be able to do for Damon but she wanted to be there for him.
"I know that," he said and he made his way towards the front door to take care of his brother. "Stop fussing and go change."
"Are you okay?" Ric asked, reaching out to touch her arm.
"Well, this is what we all wanted right? Me to be safe?" she whispered. "Klaus isn't after me anymore."
"Elena," he said. "That's not what I asked. You can't do this to Damon. I care about both of you, you know that. He… can't handle this if it's not what you want."
"He's already given up so much for me," she whispered. "And no, this isn't what I wanted last year. It's probably not a choice I would have made for myself either, but it happened. And I don't want to die. I want to be here, with my friends and my family."
"Okay," Ric said. "I'm sure you two can make each other crazy for the rest of your lives now."
Elena gave him a watery smile. "We're pretty good at that," she admitted.
"Ric, you're a bad influence," Damon said coming back into the house. Her heart fluttered as it often did when Damon showed up, and this time, she couldn't keep the small smile off her face.
"I'm going I'm going," Ric said, holding his hands up. "Call me if you need anything." Goodbyes were said, Bonnie left with Ric, leaving Damon and Elena finally alone.
"How are you feeling?" Damon asked softly.
"Sore," she said, heading towards the stairs. "Like… everywhere. So how long until the transformation?"
"We should know by tomorrow," Damon said, following her upstairs, where she headed to his room. "Best thing is to just rest, let your body get used to it." She moved around like it was the most natural thing in the world. He hadn't minded that she had taken up half residence in his room, her clothes were hanging in the closet, her stuff was in the bathroom, but it was rare that she slept here. Her nightmares would never totally stop and he wasn't about to complain that she wanted comfort from him.
Elena pulled open one of his drawers, digging out one of his shirts and boxers before disappearing into the bathroom. He stared at the door with a raised eyebrow, the girl did have her own pajamas. "Will it hurt?" she asked from behind the cracked door, shaking him from his thoughts.
"I will make it very comfortable for you," Damon said, changing as well. "So don't worry about that." The night still felt surreal, he could barely process as he watched her walk back to his bed like she had done it everyday of her life, looking like a million dollars in his clothes, despite her swollen face from crying. "Do you want to talk about what happened?"
Elena propped her head up as she turned toward him. "Do you?" she asked, softly.
"Not really," he said stretching out with a contented sigh. Was it possible for the best and the worst day of his life to be the same? Killed his brother, got the girl of his dreams? That didn't happen to people. Especially not to him. "I just want to lay here with you."
Elena smiled and curled up along side of him. "I think I can manage that," she said, resting her head against his shoulder. "I'm scared Damon."
His arms hugged her tightly against him. "I know Elena," he said sadly. "But I promise, we'll get through it." He kissed the top of her head, his body warming as she molded around him. He flicked off the light and stared at the ceiling as Elena slipped into sleep. He loved this girl more than he ever thought was possible and she was his for the rest of eternity. He was going to have to earn every minute with her and he had no problem with that. He whispered how much he loved her before allowing himself the first real sleep in over a year. Elena was safe, finally. And she would be even safer now that she was his.