A/N: Hello everyone! This story is based on a prompt from SilverFoxPunk for Lizzy85cec's Valentine's Exchange. The prompt was:

"I'd like an Alaric / Elena pairing please. M rating preferred. Canon.

It's Valentine's Day. Ric overhears Elena crying in her room after he himself has failed to secure a date with Dr Fell. He goes in to speak to her, and she pours out her heart to him - telling him about how lonely she is since Stefan has become the Ripper.

Well, comfort becomes something more. And they both share in a sensual, passionate night.

I want something sexy and tender, but also a bit 'forbidden love', as he is her teacher and her guardian (naughty!). But no guilt, just fun..."

Please forgive any Alaric discrepancies; I've never written him to this extent before, so I had a hard time getting his voice.

Thanks a lot! Please review!

Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries. Made for fun, not for profit!

The sound of wind blowing through the branches of the trees had Ric looking over his shoulder, justifiably nervous about being outside alone less than twenty four hours after being stabbed to death in his own home.

Well, his own home, of sorts.

He shuddered, his trembling hands fumbling the keys and they fell to the ground with a jingle. He groaned, leaning his forehead against the solid wood of the door, rubbing his now empty palm against his still-sore chest. He leaned over slowly, plucking his keys from the doormat and finally unlocking the door.

It swung open with a slam, eliciting yet another groan from the battered man's throat. He stumbled in, calling Elena's name once before registering the sound of the shower running upstairs. Glancing around, his eyes fell on the golden wrap and black gloves tossed haphazardly on the couch in the living room. He frowned; Elena typically took such good care of her things.

He tossed his keys onto the side table in the entrance before ascending the stairs slowly. All he wanted to do was take a hot shower and crawl into bed. He'd woken up in the hospital, Meredith hovering over him. Then, she'd told him about the ball at the Mikaelson's, leaving him to deduce for himself who the hell the Mikaelson's were, and then why the hell no one had called to tell him about it. By the time he'd convinced Meredith to discharge him and drive him home, the ball had been over, and now he was just feeling left out and rejected.

Why rejected? Well that part came as the good doctor was driving him home, and Ric, being the idiot that he was, suddenly realized that it was Valentine's Day. And he would blame it on the painkillers, but he had blurted out the most awkward and nervous, discombobulated drink invitation of his life.

To be entirely honest, he'd just been terrified, afraid to condemn her to the same fate of his last two significant others. But all the same, he'd choked out his laughter and mumbled his words, and she had looked at him with such a pitying expression, he nearly threw himself out of the car.

As he shuffled up the hall to the bathroom, he paused at Elena's door, hearing her shower switch off. He was just going to knock to tell her that he was home, but then he heard something that made his heart clench uncomfortably.

A sob. A single, heartwrenching, undeniably-Elena sob.

Now, Alaric had taken a pretty indefinable role in the young woman's life, but at the bottom of it was a protective drive that overrode any qualms he had once had about being so involved with her. Thus, hearing her cry, something uncharacteristic for someone who had been so strong for so long, made him desperate to find out what was wrong, and what he could do to fix it.

After what he'd made her do the night before, forcing her to stab him to save his life, he owed her that much, didn't he?

"Elena," he called softly, knocking on her bedroom door.

He heard another stifled sob, a sniffle, and then...

"Ric? What are you doing home? I thought you were still in the hospital?"

He rolled his eyes. Of course she would put the emphasis on him.

"Can I come in?" he persisted.

"Um..." He heard a shuffling sound, presumably her getting dressed. "Yeah, c'mon in."

The door opened softly. She was standing in her closet, trying to fit her dress in amongst the other formal wear. Her back was to him, so all he could see of her was her black tank top and red sleeping shorts.

He had never before wished for more clothing on a woman in his life. He froze, ogling her, as she stood on her tiptoes, back arched, shirt riding up just enough for him to see...

"How're you feeling?" she asked, her muffled voice cracking.

Alaric blinked, feeling his face flush as he mentally berated himself: You were married to her mother. You dated her aunt. And if you even look at her like that, Damon will murder you. You don't have a death wish.

He stepped quietly closer to her until he could place a hand on her shoulder.

"Elena, what's wrong?" He felt her shudder, probably choking back another sob. She had yet to turn to face him. "Come on; whatever it is, you can tell me about it. No offence, but there's a good chance that I'm the only person you can fully trust at this point."

She laughed, a sad, watery sound. "Because you aren't a vampire or a werewolf?"

"Or a hybrid, or a witch," he chuckled in response. "I'm just a guy who's making sure that you're okay."

Slowly, she turned. Her eyes were red and puffy, her face pale. There was a trace of eyeliner and lipstick that the shower hadn't washed away.

"You're pale," she whispered, eyeing him with unnecessary concern.

"Yeah," he smiled, stepping back to allow her to lead him to sit on the bed. "Some brat student of mine stabbed me last night. Just you wait 'till I get my hands on her."

Tentatively, her hand stretched out, moving toward his chest where she'd thrust the knife. Then she blinked and caught herself, her hand dropping back down into her lap.

"Are you okay?" she asked him.

He shrugged in response. "I will be. So why don't you tell me what has you so upset?"

For a moment, Elena's eyes seemed to pierce him, trying to gauge whether she could truly rely on him or not. He couldn't blame her; nearly everyone in her life took her emotions and tried to play them against her. Bonnie and Caroline; Damon and Stefan; Klaus and his sociopathic siblings.

"Stefan," she choked out finally. "And Damon too, I guess. But mostly Stefan."

"What did he do?" Alaric blurted, mentally preparing himself to go Rambo on the Salvatore's.

"I just said something stupid to Damon and he threw a fit, as usual." She rolled her eyes, looking down at her clasped hands. "But Stefan...God!" She jumped up from the bed, pacing back and forth in front of Ric. "I just keep trying to bring him back; I promised him and Damon that I would bring him back, but all he does is push and push and push."

"Well maybe -"

"And then... And then, he just can't make up his damn mind! He almost drives me off a bridge, and then he gets pissed that I kissed Damon, and -"

"Wait, you wh-"

"And it doesn't even matter, right? No matter what he wants, now, I clearly don't even compare to how important the blood is to him. And yeah, that's totally understandable. He only said that he was in love with me; that can't be special at all, right?"

"He's an addict, Elena. It doesn't make -"

"But," she squeaked out, coming to an abrupt halt directly in front of Alaric's knees. Her anger seemed to have evaporated and she started sobbing again. "But I just miss him so much. Every time I see him, my whole body just aches because I want him back so badly. I thought him being far away was bad, but this isn't even bearable, Ric. And I don't know what to do anymore, I just -"

In a heartbeat, he was on his feet, arms wrapped around Elena's hiccoughing form. Her hands moved up, fingers twining into his t-shirt, shuffling forward so she was standing between his feet. He rubbed up and down her back, resting his cheek against her damp hair, breathing deeply the scent of her coconut shampoo. He kept his mind focused on his goal: Rubbing her back comforted teenage girls, didn't it? It was perfectly normal and innocent to just rub the poor girl's back.

They stood that way for a long while, until her whimpers became exhausted sighs.

And then, it happened.

Elena moved forward just a little more as Alaric shifted to hold her for one last tight hug. Her leg slid, grazing his groin, causing his breath to stutter. And much to his surprise, she didn't stop. She shifted her weight, her hands sliding up to his shoulders. She pulled back, her eyes meeting his, pleading, questioning.

Alaric jumped back, arms up. "I should go," he suggested.

"No, Ric, wait!" she exclaimed, grabbing his arm as he brushed past her.

I guess I do have a death wish. I should have moved out the second she turned eighteen. Legs like that, wearing shorts like that every night... Yeah, I should have gotten out of this house when I had the chance.

"Elena," he sighed, still turned away from her, "I'm your teacher, and your guardian -"

"I'm an adult," she insisted.

He turned around, one hand wrapped around her arm to haul her closer and hold her in place. She was pressed hard against his chest, so he could feel her breathing.

"It's still wrong. I'm not going to take advantage of you like this, when you're heartbroken and confused, and probably drunk from the ball."

"I had a sip of champagne, Ric," she reassured him, eyes scanning his face and locking onto his lips before catching his gaze again. "But you're probably right, we should get some rest..."

"Yeah... We should."

Neither of them were making any move to separate as Ric argued with himself. On the contrary, Elena's hands moved up to cup his face, thumbs stroking his cheeks.

"Ric..." she breathed, and he felt it on his lips.

Rolling his eyes in exasperation, he felt himself snap. "Fuck it!"

He ducked his head, roughly capturing her lips. Her head fell back, arms snaking over his shoulders, one hand gripping his hair. He couldn't believe what he was doing, couldn't believe that he'd succumbed to his illicit attraction to her.

Elena stumbled back, pulling Ric with her until they landed in a heap on the bed. Her leg wrapped around his waist as she ground up into him, and he could do nothing but pant and try very hard not to come in his pants like a teenager.

"Jesus, Elena," he grunted, reaching around to grasp her wrists and pin her arms to the mattress. "Let's just... slow down. We need to think about what's happening, and the consequences and -"

"Stop being the adult, Ric. I know you; I've seen your apartment and your secret stash of comic books. I know that this is a one-time thing between two people who care about each other. This isn't forever; I have two vampires offering me that, and that's the problem. We're both just lonely and tired and we need something. Is that good enough for you?"

He grinned at her candour. "Perfect."

She wriggled around, slipping her hands out of his to quickly whip his shirt over his head, reaching up to drop it on the other side of the bed. Her new position offered Alaric a whole new view of her torso. Her tank top rode up over her belly button and stretched impossibly tight over her chest. He slid down her body to press his lips to her stomach, eliciting a throaty moan.

"Why did you throw my shirt all the way on that side?" he asked, glancing up at her.

She smiled innocently. "So even if you try to run away again, your shirt is still in the other side of the room."

He nipped at her, smirking when she squealed. "Sneaky."

"Like a fox," she answered cheekily, stretching out again.

His rough hands slipped over her skin, pushing her shirt up higher and higher, kissing and licking and sucking his way past her ribs, encouraged by the quiet sounds she was making. He was amazed by how smooth her skin was, how her stomach contracted with every shallow breath she took. His hands slipped up to the sides of her breasts, surprised that she wasn't wearing a bra, and suddenly hesitant about where this was headed.

He paused, looking up to meet her eyes.

"Why are you stopping?" she asked, frustration seeping into her voice.

"Are you sure about this, Elena? We can stop now; I don't want you to feel – What are you doing?"

As he spoke, she'd huffed out an annoyed sigh, rolling her eyes and sitting up, pushing him off of her. He landed in her pillows, but didn't have time to do much before she'd straddled him, running her hands over his chest. She leaned down to kiss him, hard, but before he could reciprocate, she pulled back again, and peeled her shirt off, tossing it nonchalantly over her shoulder.

"This is good," she stated huskily, their mouths pressed together again. "This is what we both need, right?"

Alaric said nothing else, simply watched as she slithered down, kissing her way lower and lower. She paused over the pink mark on his chest from where she'd slipped the knife. Her tongue slipped out to lave the scar, and Ric felt any latent soreness in his body dissipate under her tender affections.

They weren't rushing anymore, blind to the sudden lust that had overtaken them. Elena was taking her time, dutifully making her way along the expanse of his chest and stomach, not missing a square inch of skin. When she reached his hips, she stopped, placing her hands on his belt on meeting his eyes. Her fingers deftly undid the buckle, and -

"Oh, crap!" she exclaimed suddenly, sitting up on her knees between his thighs.

"Wh-what?" Alaric stuttered, trying to draw his eyes away from her perky breasts.

"Ric, I don't -" She was flushed, her expression entirely different from the minx she'd been only a moment before. "I mean – it's been a while since I've been with someone who could... procreate, so..."

... Really Ric? You forgot that you need a condom.

"Of course," he answered gently, trying to ignore the urgent throbbing in his pants. "I'll be right back."

He tried to slide out of the bed, but Elena was already on top of him again, pinning him down and staring at him with eyes wide and vulnerable.

"You're actually coming back, right?" she asked in a quiet, pitiful voice.

He leaned up, pressing his lips to hers in a tender kiss, luxuriating in the feel of her soft skin so pliant against his mouth. When he pulled away, she gave him a weak smile and he slid out of the bed, trying very hard not to run to his room and back.

He kept his gaze locked on the floor, not wanting to see a reminder of Jenna. He knew that what they were about to do was wrong on all kinds of levels, but Elena's insistence that he return, and the suggestion in her tone that, somehow, she needed him to return to her bed, was overriding any qualms that he might have had.

Jenna was gone; Isobel was gone; Elena was an adult; he was an adult. And they were both hurting and lonely and in desperate need of intimacy and healing.

With that thought in mind, he managed to move a little faster, and it took him less than a minute to dig a condom out of his bedroom and return to Elena's. When he got there, she was waiting for him at the door, eyes lighting up when he poked his head back inside. As the door clicked shut, she plastered herself to him again, skin against skin, her arms over his shoulders to lift herself up so she was wrapped around his waist.

When he'd walked them over to the bed, and laid her down, he noticed, with some unease, that she was watching him with calculating eyes. After a moment, her lips quirked up in a smile.

"What?" he asked, hovering over her.

"You look different," she answered coyly. "You don't look like you're having a panic attack anymore."

He smiled back at her, glad that it seemed to have a comforting effect when she reached down finish undoing his pants. When they were open, her hand slipped inside, fingers wrapped around his erection. He let out a gasp, followed by a sharper one when she began pumping him. Her thumb slipped over his head, spreading his precum to use as lubricant. Her hand sped up, drawing louder sounds from him, until he couldn't take the teasing anymore and grabbed her wrist, forcing her to stop.

She didn't say anything, merely pouted. He sat up to pull his jeans and boxers off, watching, enthralled, as she peeled her own shorts from her legs and tossed them to the side. Her legs spread open invitingly, and he was so distracted by the sight of her dampened core that he didn't even notice her unwrap the condom. She reached between her legs to his swollen member, rolling the sheath tightly over him.

When she finished, her fingertips danced up her thighs.

"Ric," she said softly, biting her lip in anticipation.

He didn't need any more encouragement than that. Moving forward, he settled himself between her toned legs, pulling one to wrap around his waist. Propped up on one forearm, he guided himself to her entrance and waited.

Her fingers stroked his chest, seemingly intrigued by the hair there.

"Did you ever play football?" she asked spontaneously, just as he was readying himself to slide into her.


"It's just -" She paused to stroke his face, "- the chest hair... It must be a football player thing... To shave it."

"You're insane," he whispered conspiratorially.

She smiled at him, a wide, genuine grin that calmed his nerves like nothing else.

"You're only just figuring this out?" she answered in an equally low voice.

"Good point," he admitted, pressing his hardness closer to her.

She jumped, eyes wide. "Ric," she said in that pleading tone. "It's just – It's been a while, so just... slow."

He kissed her then, slowly, reassuringly, and began to slide himself inside of her tight entrance. Her face contorted with what he hoped was pleasure, and he was slightly comforted when she let out a long sigh.

"Christ, Elena," he groaned, slowly pushing further in.

Her leg tightened around his waist, heel pressing into his back.

"More," she breathed, head pressed hard into the pillow. He obliged, thrusting the rest of his length into her heat. "Oh m'god!" she exclaimed, arching back.

He experimentally pulled out a little bit, relishing in her desperate moans. Her nails were digging into his shoulders, her bottom lip pulled between her teeth, as if she was trying to contain every one of her feelings.


Her eyes snapped open at his query. "Yes! God, very... very good! Just -" He pushed back in again, and she screamed.

Alaric's eyes were rolling at the feeling of how tight she was. He sped up his thrusts and Elena's fingers scrambled to touch every inch of him that she could reach. She eventually settled on his lower back, as though she could press him closer to her. Her hips moved in time with his, drawing him deeper and deeper with every stroke. Her back arched, pressing her full chest against broad one.

"Harder," she begged in a hoarse voice, one of her hands gripping the back of his head, bringing his lips to her neck.

He kissed his way down to her shoulder, following her collarbone to her breasts. He shifted, freeing one hand to knead a sweaty mound, pinching her nipple before nipping at it.

"Oh God, Rick, that feels so good!" Her grip on his skin tightened, goading him on to pound into her harder and harder. "Yes!" she cried. "Oh my God! Please, don't stop!"

"Hold on," he murmured before rolling them, so he lay on his back, and she was straddling his hips.

"Whoa!" she exclaimed, wobbling a little. "This is... new."

"You've never done this before?" he asked breathlessly, frowning at her.

She shook her head. "Nope. The only guys I've been with have been all about dominating, I guess, and -" He bucked his hips upward, watching with delight as he whole body responded. "OH! Yeah, okay, this'll work."

"Mm hmm," he hummed, guiding her hips to slowly grind down on him. "Yeah, just like that."

In no time at all, he had her screaming louder than before, both of his hands freely exploring her body. She was bouncing on him, hands pressed into his chest, her whole body covered in sweat. Alaric watched in wonder at the beautiful image she created, swept up as she was in the carnal pleasure of it all.

One of his hands snuck to wear their bodies were slapping together, and he softly circled her clit. Her intermittent cries were muted as her mouth opened in a silent scream until his fingers moved away. He could feel her inner walls fluttering around him, hinting at her oncoming orgasm. He stimulated the little bundle of nerves again, satisfied with her new reaction.

"Fuck! Yes! Fuck, Ric, that's – Fuck!"

He could feel himself pushing closer and closer to the edge; he marvelled at how right it felt, after being left to take things into his own hands, as it were, to share this with another person, no matter how inappropriate the choice was.

"Elena... Just a little more..."

Her nails dug into his skin, dragging down over his nipples, and the added stimulation did it. With a shout, he came, releasing months of pain and guilt and loneliness into her. With one last stroke over her clit, Elena followed him into ecstasy, collapsing on top of him.

They were both breathing heavily as they rode out their pleasure, until the silence took over and Ric began to dwell on what he'd just done. He couldn't help but feel... better than he had in months, if he was being truthful. He was just concerned that now that it was over, Elena would blame him for not putting an end to things.

All of his fears were laid to rest when he felt her lips press against his chest.

"That was great," she mumbled, pulling back to look at him with a goofy smile on her face. "Just what we needed, right?"

"Definitely," he purred back, humming when she kissed him.

She rolled off of him, curling into his side, watching him intently. He pulled off the used condom and threw it in a wastebin next to her bed.

"So..." she began, causing Ric to wince.

Now that they were finished, he wasn't sure what he should do. Well, no, he knew what he should do. He should leave, go back to his room, sleep alone. But he now had a sated eighteen year old with him, and he wasn't sure just how much more she needed from him.

"So..." he answered, teasing her.

"Well, you don't need to stay."

"Elena, it's okay if – Wait, what?" He'd been completely prepared for her to ask him to stay, not ask him to leave.

"Not that -" she mumbled, blushing with embarrassment, rolling onto her stomach. "It is what it is, right?" she asked, eyes wide and truthful. "We talked about this earlier; we're just friends being there for each other."

Much to his surprise, Alaric felt a sharp pang in his chest that had nothing to do with his death from the night before.

"It's not that I'm uncomfortable, or anything," she continued, "But you don't need to stay and cuddle me if you don't want to."

He rolled over, flinging an arm across Elena's back and nuzzling into the crook of her shoulder.

"And what if I want to?" he mumbled sleepily.

He heard her giggle, then felt her move so her back was pressed against his chest, her comforter pulled over them both.

"Then I guess that would be nice."

When Ric woke up the next morning, it took him a full minute to remember where he was and why. The bed was empty, the shower running, and he smiled at her complete non-interest in dragging out whatever had happened the night before.

They had taken refuge in each other, offering comfort and healing inasmuch as they could. And now that the sun had risen, a new day had begun, they could continue their friendship as it had been.

As per his usual morning routine, Ric ambled downstairs to fix himself a cup of coffee, scratching at a spot just under the waistband of his sweat pants. He barely had his eyes open as he entered the kitchen, making for the appliance and ingredients by memory. A few minutes later, he was sipping on his coffee, staring out the window, when a skinny pair of arms wrapped around his waist from behind.

"Ah!" he yelled, jumping and spilling a bit of the hot beverage on the counter.

"Morning, lover," Elena murmured into his ear, nipping at his earlobe.

Alaric's stomach plummeted: Hadn't they discussed things the night before? Hadn't they agreed that it had changed nothing? Hadn't they -

His internal panic spiral came to an abrupt halt when she pulled away, and he heard her giggling malevolently. He spun on his heel, glaring at her.

"Gotcha, Ric!" she laughed, pointing at him.

To his surprise, she was fully dressed, purse in hand as if she was going somewhere. She caught him scanning her, and sighed.

"I've gotta go check on Damon; he was really upset last night, and I need to make sure that he and I are okay."

"Well that sounds pleasant," he deadpanned.

"Oh yeah, favourite morning activity ever!" she responded with mock enthusiasm. "Wish me luck!" she drawled, turning away from him and making her way into the hall.

Suddenly, her head popped back into the kitchen.

"Oh my God! Ric!" she called in a panicked tone. His stomach immediately dropped. "What if he can smell you on me! Oh man, you'd better go into hiding!"

She ducked, dodging the towel he threw at her, laughing as he scowled at her retreating form. When the door had closed, and she was gone, he turned back to face out the window, bringing his coffee to his lips once again.

"Fucking death wish."