I can see you in my past

Elijah would be a liar if he said he was capable of looking at Elena and not seeing the two women she resembled. He would be a liar if at times he forgot she was a woman living in the 21st century and not a former lover from centuries passed. He would be a liar if he claimed he had not forgotten once, had not had a lapse of memory, had not once seen her and thought Tatia, Katerina.

Elijah was no liar, but he was no fool either. If her physical resemblance to the past he had ruined with blood and fire became too much, he merely needed to shut his eyes. There, with eyes closed and only her inner self capable of touching him, that is where Elijah could see the difference. It was impossible to know Elena's heart, be touched by it, and be unable to tell her apart from her ancestors. You would need to be a simpleton to make such an error.

Elijah was no simpleton.

Can't seem to find you, but I've come to take you home.

"Elena!" he called into the depths of the murky, dusty, horrible house that was painted with a fresh coat of blood. Times like these he wished he had taken her away from the Salvatore brothers back when he was plotting Klaus' murder. Far, far away from vampires and other supernatural creatures who liked to pray on dopplegangers. Far, far away from the imbecile brothers who could not protect her.

"Elijah." Violet stood before him, a heart clenched in her hand. She casually tossed it away and gestured her head towards an open door.

"She's in the basement," she said, "I'll take care of the bodies." He nodded his thanks out of habit, Violet was always good at cleaning up messes, and sprinted down the stairs where he found Elena, slightly battered but nothing he couldn't fix, sitting alone on the cold, cement floor.

"Are they dead?" she whispered, as if her hopefulness spoken too loud would resurrect the vampires Finn had compelled to kidnap her. Her fingers clutched at the lapels of his jacket until her knuckles turned white. He lifted her into his arms and kissed her forehead.

"They're dead," he assured her. She started to cry and tucked her head into the crook of his neck.

"Take me home."

Do you remember when we met last?

Elijah met Tatia one deliriously hot summer day when Klaus had skipped out on his chores and their father had sent Elijah to find him. She had been out walking with her cousin, a fragile blonde woman with a name that made him think of music. Tatia, ever the bold, brazen woman who had made enough mistakes in her short life that she couldn't care about anything else, had ordered her cousin home and insisted on assisting Elijah in his search for Klaus. In retrospect, he could have changed the course of his life drastically had he refused to traipse about in the forest with an unmarried woman without a chaperone. It was the first moment in his life where propriety was tossed to the wind.

I will know you by the way you look at me. No one can hold your gaze longer than me.

"It must be hard for you," Elena remarked as she stared at the ceiling. Her arms were folded around her teddy bear and her hair was fanned across her pillow. He wanted nothing more than rise from her window seat and run the silken tresses through his hair. But propriety always won out.

"What are you referring to?" he asked and she turned on her side to regard him with those dark, fathomless eyes. They were like the sirens of legend who drowned their victims.

"Seeing me," she said, "With my resemblance to Tatia and Katherine. It must be hard for you; I know it's hard for Stefan and Damon and they only loved Katherine. You loved them both."

"Yes," he said, adjusting a tie that needed no adjustment, "But I see something the Salvatores do not." She propped herself up and stared at him with excited anticipation. When everyone around you compares you to a woman you've never met and another you wished you hadn't, the slightest hope of being distinguished from them was something to grasp onto.

"What?" she asked, voice barely above a whisper. She was trying not to break the delicate web of hope Elijah had spun around her.

"You."

I'll protect you, I've got God on my side.

"Elijah, don't!" He stilled, hand inside Damon's chest and clutching at the younger vampire's heart. There was a groan as he removed his hand, wiping it on Damon's shirt as he stepped away to regard Elena who was staring at him with wide and tear filled eyes. Beside her stood Stefan, his hands fighting the urge to reach out and comfort her.

"You informed me once Stefan," he said, "That you would do anything to protect Elena. Please understand, I will do the same." The threat was clear that even Elena, idealist and sometimes naive in her thinking, caught it. Elijah was still upset about her kidnapping earlier in the week and she was genuinely surprised it had taken him this long to snap at the Salvatores for not coming to her rescue. Instead, it had been some grey eyed ghost of a vampire who honestly frightened the doppleganger more than Klaus.

"Elena?" he said, reaching out an arm to her as he stood in the doorway. She looked between Stefan and Damon before walking to Elijah's side and taking his arm. She wasn't choosing, she told herself, she was just removing herself from a tense situation until it had time to settle.

Yeah right, said her heart.

And they all think they understand you, and you just smile and let them think they do. You've accepted you might have to trek alone, but you'll get your table set for two.

"Who was that girl," Elena asked one night as she sat watching Elijah cook for her. She'd been surprised when he announced he was an excellent cook and based on the tastings she was allowed as he prepared a dish with a name she couldn't pronounce, his statement was more than true.

"What girl?" he asked, adding garlic to the sauce he was preparing. Sometimes Elena wanted to laugh at the absurdity of some vampire myths. Garlic and Holy Water? She wondered if Elijah had made any of those up.

"The one who helped save me," she said, "She said there was someone else with her, but I only ever saw her. Who was she?"

"Her name is Violet," he said, "She's Rose's cousin." Elena sat in shock, trying to piece together the information he had given her. Rose had a cousin? Did she know about the werewolf bite and how Damon had been the one to stake her?

"Her cousin?" It was the only response Elena could formulate at the moment. She didn't know why she was so surprised that Rose had family. Stefan and Damon were both vampires and the entire Original family was still alive, so why was it so hard to believe that Rose had a cousin?

"Yes, Iolanthe," he said, "Or at least that's the name she went by until she arrived in England and adopted a more modern form of her given name. Much like Katerina adopting the name Katherine."

"But a cousin?" He laughed at her disbelief and held out a spoon laden with sauce for her tasting approval. She nodded her head and he continued.

"You remind me of her, in a way," he said. Elena stared at him for a moment, trying to work out if that was a compliment or not. After all, if what she'd heard was true, then her savior- Violet, Rose's cousin- had beheaded and ripped out the hearts of the vampires who had taken her without any hesitation… and then some. She'd seen the walls herself as Elijah carried her from the house. It was brief, but she could recognize blood when she saw it and it looked as though someone had dipped a brush into a bucket of blood and painted the walls. Had Violet done that?

"I assure you," he said, drawing her back into the present, "Being compared to Violet is a good thing. I've never known someone quite as loyal and brave as her- save for you, of course. She was willing to die for those she loved." His voice fell and trailed off slightly and Elena watched as his focus on what he was cooking became too intense.

"There's something else, isn't there?" She prodded with her eyes and then reached out to grasp his hand. His eyes rose to meet her's and he did his best to smile.

"Despite her willingness to die for those around her, she was always alone. No one could ever truly understand her; or at least if they did, they didn't stay."

"Are you worried that will happen to me?" Elena asked and Elijah brushed his thumb over the back of her hand.

"You will never be alone, Elena," he said, "I promise."

they all want to own you, but I just want to have this dance.

"I love this song," Elena said, turning up the radio in the kitchen as her and Elijah cleaned up his cooking mess. Or rather her cooking mess which had resulted when she insisted on helping him and refused to take no as an answer. How was she supposed to know the sauce would boil over quite like that?

"I am not familiar with it," Elijah said, not pausing in his dish drying as he attuned his ears to the words pouring from the electronic device seated on the counter. Beside him, Elena rinsed another dish as she hummed along, swaying her body along with the music. He dropped his dishcloth and held a hand out to her, bowing politely.

"Miss Gilbert," he said, "May I have this dance?" The grin that spread over her face was priceless. He could not have placed a value on it had his life depended on it.

"Of course, Mr. Mikaelson," she said, attempting a curtsy and stumbling awkwardly into his arms. He caught her and she melted into his frame with ease as they stood in the midst of a half cleaned kitchen swaying to a song Elijah would never forget, but never bother learning the words to. This was no waltz, but it was perfect.

Don't lose your faith in love. Come home, come home to me.

"Go to sleep," he whispered from where he sat on her window seat. Her eyes were open and fixed on him, but he doubted she could actually see him in the darkness of her room.

"I can't sleep," she complained, "Tell me a story." Her hand darted out from beneath the covers and reached out to him. He rose and took it, tucking it between his hands as he settled beside her on the bed.

"What sort of story?" he asked and watched her eyes scrunch up as she thought. She was tired, he could tell, but she was refusing to admit it.

"Your favorite moment," she said, burrowing deeper into the softness of her pillows, but refusing to release his hand. He brushed away a few strands of her hair and allowed his fingers to twirl them before settling them down on the pillow. She smiled sleepily at the sensation.

"I like this one," he said, "Right now." She yawned and pressed a kiss to his hand, tucking it beneath her cheek.

"Me too," she said. He listened until her breath evened out before rising and stepping away from her. He cast a backwards glance as he retreated from her room and shut the door softly behind him.

One would have to suffer from a sort of blindness to be able to look at Elena and somehow see Tatia and Katerina. Elijah was learning to see again, after all these years. He hoped, however, everyone else stayed blind.

a/n: Elijah… the only vampire who doesn't need a hearing aid to hear Elena's heartbeat.

Fave, flame, faint. I don't own the characters, just my ideas.

[song fic inspired by "Faith in Love" by Devil Doll]

oxox