I have my inspiration back! I feel horrible that I haven't update in weeks, but I promise I will make it up to you guys. This story will be finished within a chapter or two and I will be updating my other ones as well. Until then, enjoy!

Haven in Your Arms Chapter 30: Complications Afterwards

"Hey baby."

Elena couldn't help but smile at him. Even despite the circumstances, he still has had his unique sense of humor. Despite everything that had happened, she was excited to see him. Looking behind him, she saw two armed guards on either side of him, their expressions emotionless and non-moving.

"You have the artillery awaiting you or what?" She asked him, trying to keep the conversation light. She didn't want to dive into anything serious now.

Damon's face, while somewhat grainy from the screen, was serious and somewhat…sad. Elena couldn't explain it then.

"After everything that happened a few days ago…they are evaluating me and keeping me under constant surveillance. It's just a precaution since I am a murderer and they are not totally sure what to do with me yet."

"Doesn't Dr. Saltzman make that decision?"

Damon didn't seem to hear that last line. He ran his hand through his hair before staring at her through the screen.

"Listen babe, after you get out of the hospital, would you please come visit me here?" he questioned, eyeing her in a way she couldn't put her finger on.

"Of…of course, I would love to," she responded, wondering why this felt different than the other meetings they had. This had a feeling of foreboding, of dreading the outcome and upcoming events.

"Good. I will see you in a few days here. They will lead you to me when you arrive." Looking back, he seemed to be listening to someone talking to him. He turned back to look at her. "I gotta run. I'll see you in a few days, okay?"

"Okay. I love you…" she responded hesitantly, unsure what frame of mind he was in. After everything, all he wanted to do was see her in a few days? It didn't make any sense given the grave and dangerous circumstances they had just gone through.

This time he gave her a small smile. "I love you too." And with that, the screen went dark.

Klaus was still sitting there next to her hospital bed, reading a magazine. Or pretending to read a magazine and pretend that he didn't just hear every single word that was said. She saw his eyes peak out from over the top.

"So….good news then, love?"

Shaking her head, she lay back in her bed. Honestly…she had no clue what to expect.

…..

Mystic Falls Psychiatric Hospital—5 Days Later

Elena arrived at the hospital. It looked like a nice facility, all white on the outside with a nice garden outside. She saw other patients being led around in wheelchairs and others were walking around by themselves. It seemed like a nice facility to be in. Why couldn't she have gone here in the first place?

After she was checked in at the front desk, she saw a man with a suit come up to her.

"Hi, I'm Dr. Alaric Saltzman. You must be the lovely Elena Gilbert I've heard so much about," he extended his hand towards her.

Shaking it, she knew she instantly liked this doctor. He seemed open, warm and friendly.

"Yes I am. You must be Damon's doctor. Where is he now?"

His smile fell slightly, but he quickly masked it before saying, "Follow me and you'll see." The two of them walked down a bright hallway then down another one before they stopped in front of a large white door.

Dr. Saltzman indicated to her with a flick of his hand. "This is it. Now Elena, I know we just met and I can't discuss Damon's case with you since you're not a specific family member, but I have to say that if it weren't for you, Damon would be a total wreck right now. From what he's told me about you, you've been his light at the end of the tunnel. And that's all I'm going to say about that."

Elena felt truly humbled by his words. It was truly touching. "Thank you sir. So do I have a specific time with him or as long as we want?"

"Visiting hours end at 5. That should give you plenty of time."

Elena was about the open the door when Alaric stopped her with his hand. "Just don't be surprised when you see him alright? It's probably different from what you're used to, okay?"

Nodding, Elena finally opened the door and let herself in, the door closing behind her. It was a large room with a few beds in it, none of which were occupied. At the end, she saw the shape of a leg in the bed. Moving towards it, she knew it had to be him.

Damon was laying down in the bed, asleep. The blankets covered him from his feet up to his chin. Walking up beside him, she couldn't help but admire his beauty. His jet-black hair, his high cheek bones, his soft, pink lips that she so desperately wanted to kiss…

And she did. Leaning down, she kissed him. Exactly how she remembered he tasted…and that little peck made his eyes open. Damn, those electric blue eyes! He blinked a few times before he smiled at her. "Hello darling. How have you been?"

"Good. Almost all healed, see?" she took off part of her jacket to show him her sling. It wasn't as bad of a recovery as she thought. It was okay and she was grateful to be able to move around as she pleased.

Moving to press a button, the bed moved up to a sitting position. "That's good," he flinched.

When Damon moved to sit up slightly, she heard a clanging noise. Puzzled, her face scrunched up before she asked, "What is that noise?"

Damon half laughed as he tried to sit up. "Pull back the sheet and you'll see."

Elena seemed to be moving on pure instinct as she carefully pulled the blankets back. She didn't know why, but more afraid of what she would see. What she saw shocked her and made her gasp!

His hands were chained on either side of the bed with shackles as well as his legs, restricting his movements everywhere.

"My God Damon, what have they DONE to you?!" Elena exclaimed, horrified that even Dr. Saltzman would allow this to happen to Damon. If there's one thing they both had in common, it was a hatred of being tied up.

"I made them do it. It was by my request."

Her head snapped up to stare at him as if truly had lost his mind. "What?!"

Damon lay back in his bed, watching her with a seemingly ghostly expression. "It's a precaution. After the events of the past week and then some, I don't want any more surprises coming from me. I don't want to hurt anyone anymore; not Dr. Saltzman, the staff, fellow patients, and especially not you. Alaric was even against it when I suggested it, but I wanted it."

"Why in the world would you think such a ridiculous thing? Nothing is going to happen to you Damon, I won't let it," she tried reasoning with him, gently touching his cheek with her hand. He seemed to relish in her touch before taking her hand in his, bringing their joined hands down to the bed.

"Because this isn't a social meeting, Elena. That's not why I asked you here today. I asked you here to have a proper goodbye with me."

So many emotions and thoughts were running through Elena's mind. Shock, surprise, anger, depression, guilt, but mostly hurt were her biggest emotions. She didn't know where to start or even begin. Did this mean Damon didn't want her anymore? After everything they had been through, she hoped he was finally the One, the one that she could get through anything together. The one that knew and understood her more than anyone else in her life.

And he was leaving her?! It didn't make any sense!

Damon gulped, willing his emotions to stay in check when he saw how hurt she was. "This isn't goodbye for good Elena, not unless you want it to be. All I'm asking for is time. Time to get better once and for all; something I've never done before. I can't be certain I won't freak out again and not hurt you. That's what has scared me the most these last few weeks. I know you say you love me despite everything…but the truth is that I don't trust myself."

"But you were getting better…you're still getting better…" she tried to say but the tears threatening her eyes and trying to keep the sobs at bay were taking their toll on her resolve.

"No I'm not Elena. I just killed my own brother. Rightfully so, he was threatening you! I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had to…but that doesn't take away the guilt of killing one of my own. My parents won't have anything to do with me, it's probably worse now that they've lost their other son. I haven't even seen them for over 6 years. Lord knows what they're going to do to me now. My future is uncertain. All I do is hurt people Elena—I killed Katherine, I hurt Klaus…you…and even though I didn't hold the blade in my own hand, I killed Kol."

It was the first time she had heard Damon mention Kol since that horrible night at Kol's apartment. So a part of him did remember and felt guilt about it. That was a good sign.

"I remember bits of pieces of that night now. Dr. Saltzman has helped me remember and put the pieces together. I didn't like Kol but I would never wish death upon anybody. I've been coming to terms with all the bad shit I did when I wasn't myself. But when I do this…I can't be holding you back from your life." By now, Damon's own eyes shined with unshed tears brewing in them, making this even harder for her. She hated seeing Damon in pain.

Shaking her head, she stopped him there. "You're not holding me back Damon, you've only helped me through everything that I've been going through. No one has ever stuck around like that for me before. I can't….I….can't…" she couldn't hold on anymore. The tears took over before she felt Damon pulling her towards his chest lightly.

"I know, I know it hurts Elena. This is killing me just as much as it's killing you, believe me! But deep down you know this is for the best. We can't be together right now. Both of us have been through hell and back and I can't keep holding you back from living your own life. You have your aunt and Elijah, Jeremy, friends back home," He pulled her head away from his chest, cupping her chin in his hand, forcing her to look into his eyes. When she did, she saw that his normally blue eyes were a grey color and glassy. He was hurting just as much as she was and saying this was killing him.

"But I am not better. I'm still trying to live through this hell and get better. I can't be holding you back. You'll want to move on and live your life, find a career, a husband, children, and the whole life package everyone deserves. I'm just holding you back from it all. I'm doing this for both our sakes. Please respect my wishes and try to understand, okay? But one thing will never change: I love you. Never forget that, alright?" He whispered to her, holding her close before kissing her lips. It was a soft kiss, but it held all the emotion he was feeling and conveying to her.

Elena remained quiet as Damon spoke. Hearing it all was difficult for her but deep down she knew Damon was telling her the truth and imploring her to see reason. If the two of them stayed together now, it may or may not work. And a part of her was still afraid of the dark Damon's return.

Pulling back, she looked at Damon, running her hands through his hair before touching her forehead to his, eyes closed. Giving him one last kiss, she pulled away from him and stood up. In zombie mode, she walked toward the door before turning and looking back at him.

He wasn't even looking at her, just staring out the window.

'Or maybe he can't look at you because it would tear him apart,' another part of her brain said. With that thought and one foot in front of the other, she made her way out of the room down the halls, out the doors and to her car.

Then she let the tears finally fall. She didn't know how long she remained there, but it felt good letting all the pent up emotions out finally. If she didn't do it then, they would consume her.

Although she was hurt and felt like a part of her was missing, she did understand where he was coming from. Deep down, he was loving her by letting her go and live her own life. There was no greater sacrifice or gift that he could have given her except that.

Whether Damon was going to be a part of her life later on or not…only time would tell.

Nice long chapter, right? Next chapter will either be an epilogue or one more before the epilogue. I know it's a lot to ask right now, but please review!