AN: I do not own The Vampire Diaries, but I do own my spot on Elejah Island.
I wrote this while listening to the fantastic "Anything You Love That Much, You Will See Again" by Joe Gideon and the Shark. I strongly recommend you listen to it, if only because it's a beautiful song.
The whole, initial, idea behind this was to see if I could properly write an Elejah kiss (which I failed at) and stress one of things I love about Elejah: their instinctive magnetism, despite time and obstacles. This follows the events of actions speak louder than words and what's best for you, what's best for me?
I hope you enjoy this and feel it does the characters justice. If there are any mistakes, please let me know. Again, I apologize for the length.
P.S. Everything seems to go down in Feb and Greece is always the answer.
P.P.S. Now I have to write a mothereffin' follow up to this, because I'm like that.
Time seemed to slow down and stop completely in the moment they came together and just breathed in each others presence. Elijah felt her warmth flowing through his body at his head and fought the urge to take her in his arms. She had her hands placed on his shoulders, seemingly to steady herself, but his hands were at his sides and fighting their urge to run through her hair. It seemed like hours that they stood like that, but it was really only about five minutes.
Elena was the one to pull away and he moved forward a little, not expecting it and still seeking her warmth. He straightened back up and looked at the clock. It was just after ten and past his usual leaving time. He looked back at her to see that she'd stepped back and was blushing a little as she turned. Her racing heartbeat was like music to him. Elena looked past his ear before focusing her gaze on his face. She smiled and he swore his dead heart picked up its nonexistent pulsing.
"It's getting late and I'm really tired. I'd like to go to sleep."
Would it be a bad idea to talk about this?, he thought while watching her for any signs of rejection and disgust. He suddenly felt like a child, unsure and lacking. He decided to not make things any more uncomfortable for her than they already were. He coughed and regained his poise.
"I apologize for my actions. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. I didn't mean anything untoward."
Elijah seemed to want to say more, but he did not. He turned to walk towards his jacket on the couch and he heard Elena take a step to him. He bent down to retrieve it and while he was buttoning it back up, she moved to stand behind him.
"I'm not. I'm just tired. If you wanted to stay tonight, you can. I have the extra room and I don't like the idea of you going back to Klaus'."
Elijah turned to Elena slowly, a small smile gracing his features. He seemed to actually consider it, but then shook his head slowly.
"I don't think that'd be proper. I can find my way with no problem. Do not worry for me."
Elijah made to walk around her and when he had taken three strides past her to her door, she turned suddenly and grabbed his arm. Elena really didn't know why she was so desperate right now and he seemed surprised as well. It's just that something felt really wrong here, she couldn't breathe with the knowledge that he was leaving, she couldn't let him leave. He turned back to her, but Elena did not let go of his arm. She was breathless and her heart was pounding.
Elijah studied her curiously, head cocked, and his hand reached out to take her hands and remove them from his arm. He lingered for a moment, enjoying the smoothness of her skin, and while his fingertips buzzed with electricity, he set her hands back down in front of her when he realized he'd held them for too long. She was gazing at the floor intently when he looked at her and he took the moment to drink her in again. Her hair, her skin, her scent, her heat, her light.
Sighing, he spoke goodnaturedly and smirked.
"If it would make you happy to know that I'm here and not in Klaus' grips, then I will stay."
She looked up suddenly, startled that he'd agree. He continued to smirk at her and with a mind of its own, his hand reached out again, aiming to cup her face. He controlled himself before he did, curling his fingers and changed direction to pat her head instead. Her hair was smooth and he felt Elena tremble as she breathed deeply. Elijah smiled at her tenderly.
"You're such a silly girl."
Elena would like to have said that their relationship changed drastically after that. She'd like to say that he had had a great revelation and knew that she cared for him deeply. She'd like to say he acknowledged some change between them, but she couldn't. Everything went on the same, even after their bonding moment at her apartment. He still liked to tease her and smirk and listened and watched over her. To be honest, she wasn't really sure what she felt for him, just that she felt it deeply. Elijah felt like more than an ally, but less than a lover. He just felt like he was supposed to be her friend, that this connection meant something, and she had this feeling that he could be her best friend. She just knew it somehow and when they were together, she got such a feeling of completion and peace that she didn't doubt that knowledge.
But their friendship seemed to be exactly like before. He continued to visit her and take her on trips to places rich with history or beauty. While the trips started to go farther and longer, the daily home visits went from every night to every other night to sometimes as little as twice a week. Elena worried what that meant, if he was pulling away from her. He seemed normal on their trips together, but he never touched her intentionally and his gazing never lasted too long.
Elijah acted professional when they went to new towns and she almost felt like a tourist with the way he talked to her. She still enjoyed learning, but he seemed to distance himself from her. This was heightened by the fact that she'd now gone a week without seeing Elijah and she missed him terribly. He was always so solid, so smart, so caring and when he was gone, she just felt colder.
Elena thought she was overreacting. It made no sense to feel this way. They weren't best friends before everything and things are the way they were before he left so long ago. If anything, he was just becoming himself again, proper and controlled and unreadable. It's just that she felt something with him, a bond and she didn't want to throw that away. Elena thought she could consider him her closest friend right now.
Things passed this way for three more months before Elena got fed up with feeling like she was losing her friend and decided to do something about it.
There were times that Elijah wanted to make his presence, his feelings, his intent known, but he knew that he could not. Elena had so much worry already, too much love being thrown at her. You wouldn't think there'd be such a thing, but he knew if she was made aware of the depth of his love, it would only cause her more turmoil. She was not completely heartless, but she was human. She was caring and indecisive. She felt strongly and didn't want to make pointless mistakes. She had the Salvatores pining away after her and wanted to be true to her heart, but she could barely handle them.
So he watched her. Just like he'd spent the years before watching her. He was able to get closer to her and they could actually be friends this way. However, the heartache and loneliness that filled him was something familiar.
Elena was right in front of him, but he could not have her. He watched her everyday, trying to decide what to do about Klaus, about the Salvatores, about her life. He didn't want to add to it and so just stayed by her side, supportive and strong, doing whatever he could to ease her pain and help her. He listened to her, gave her advice, supported her and was just there for her when she needed someone around, but didn't want to talk.
Elijah still had a peace with her and a fufillment, but there was this itching desire inside of him that grew more powerful everyday. He would catch himself staring at her, in awe, when she looked away and he would find himself entranced by her voice to the point where he would close his eyes and let it wash over him. Sometimes, in the lazy afternoons, when Elena would doze off in the car or when they'd stop at this park or that field, he found that he was losing himself in her heartbeat. He pretended that his was in sync with hers and when he was sure she was really asleep, he'd brush his fingers lightly through her hair or over her hand softly. He couldn't resist her, but he was still a gentleman. This battle inside grew a little everytime he saw her and it pained him.
It was like he was a dying man, aching for some warmth, but as he drew close to the fire, it burned him. He knew he had to keep this divide between them, but he wanted nothing more than to throw himself into the fire and feel the heat inside for the rest of his life.
It pained him so greatly that he didn't see her as much as he wanted to, just to keep from hurting or from touching her anymore than he already had. It was the middle of July now, five months after his return after four years and three months after that evening where Klaus had come for Elena and Elijah had really opened up to her for the first time in a long time. Elijah had spent the last three months, seeing Elena off and on and taking a handful of trips with her. He hated that he stayed away, but he was afraid of what he might do more.
He had lost his control the last time he saw her at her apartment, a week ago. Elena had fallen asleep beside him on the couch as they both enjoyed their books and the silence. It was such a domestic scene and Elijah had been struck suddenly with the feel of it. The normalcy of it all. It was one of the things that he'd dreamed about. Living with her and being with her, like a normal person. They were just sitting there, reading, but it felt so comfortable to him, like home.
He'd turned his head slightly to eye Elena out of his peripheral and he saw that she had fallen against the arm of her couch, her head against against the back corner and her arms dropped on her lap over her book. Elijah smiled a little and set his own book on the table in front of him. He turned to look at her, his chin on his folded hands and his elbows on his knees.
He hadn't even noticed she'd fallen asleep in his comfort. Focusing on Elena, Elijah saw her fluttering eyelids and her even breathing and knew she was in deep slumber. Knowing he couldn't stop himself, he reached his right hand over to her to again run his hand through her hair. But when he made contact, she made a small noise in her sleep and her head moved closer to his hand, seeking his touch. He had almost gasped, but just licked his suddenly dry lips and swallowed when she made no further movement. His hand had snapped back when she moved, but now it went to her again, more sure of itself. Elijah ran his fingers over her face slowly and savored the feel of her young skin.
He moved closer, his right leg touching her left one, inch by inch and felt a sudden possessiveness take hold of him. His right hand stroking her face quickly moved to her shoulder and pulled her to him very slowly. His left hand held her face lightly against his chest and he breathed her in. She moaned louder this time and her eyelids fluttered more quickly. Elijah sat there, cradling a sleeping Elena against him and felt something akin to grief invade him. He pressed his cheek against the top of her head and closed his eyes.
He couldn't say how long he sat like that and held her like she was life itself, but it was too soon when she started to stir. Thinking fast and ignoring his disappointment, he pulled back from her and scooped her up into his arms, bridal style.
She let out a confused and sleepy, "What on...?" and he moved slowly to her bedroom. He only answered with a calm he didn't feel,
"You fell asleep, Elena and it is late. I'm taking you to your room before I leave. I couldn't just leave you on your couch."
Elena took a moment to catch her sluggish mind up and then smiled before putting her head against his chest again.
Setting her gently down on her bed, he moved the blanket over her and stood back up quickly. Elena looked up at him sleepily for a moment before closing her eyes. He turned to go, knowing if he didn't, he'd stand in here all evening and that was not appropriate. When Elijah turned after seeing her eyes close and took a step away, she called out quietly. He looked back to her and saw that her eyes were still closed. He thought he saw something sparkling at the corners, but she turned her face into her pillow before he could see what it was.
Speaking muffled, she uttered her words with a shaky breath and he thought he smelled tears.
"Why do you always...?"
She couldn't seem to finish what she wanted to say and he didn't quite know what she was getting at, but he had an idea of what he was expected to reply and she seemed so sad. He stepped back to her side and took her hand gently between his own hands before kneeling down to be eye level with her. Elena looked at him blearily, eyes shimmering, and he felt something catch in his throat and confusion fill his mind. He took a moment before answering her unfinished question, rougher than he intended because he'd been sucked into her eyes.
"Because I have to."
Elijah was a mess of roiling emotions. Not that he showed it of course. His suits were all finely pressed, his hair properly styled, his shoes shined. But inside, he was a war zone. He felt that he was holding onto control by a quickly fraying thread. It was getting harder and harder to avoid gathering Elena into his arms and pouring out his heart to her. Whenever he felt the desire come upon him, he had to clench his fists and focus so hard that Elena took notice and asked him what was wrong.
He'd only smile lightly and just shake his head before leading her off into another topic of conversation. She would look at him for a moment, confusion etched onto her soft features before complying. She then would talk about this or that and he'd lose himself in the way her eyes sparkled or the way her mouth formed words or even just the steady beating of her heart.
So he distanced himself. His daily visits grew to be less frequent and their trips had greater wait times between each other. Elena confronted Elijah about this and he told her it was because she was still in school, had friends and her family. Elena had a life and she needed to give it its proper consideration. He couldn't continue to take up so much of her time. They were having tea at some cafe in Mathews on a sunny day in late August when he said this, to which she set down her cup and just eyed him wearily.
Elijah just smiled back at her, silent and while he waited for her inevitable response, part of him just wished she'd listen and let him go. She had so much to live for, she was only 23, and he knew the day would come when she finally wanted a normal woman's life. Elena would want a husband and children and he felt a calm come upon him at this thought. It was disturbed when he morbidly thought it wasn't going to be with him.
She looked him square in the eye and took a deep breath, before smiling at him warmly. Her voice was strong and did not waver.
"You know what? I'm so tired of people making their own decisions for me without even asking me. I thought you would be different, but even you have your moments. I guess that proves you're still just a man, Elijah. You're still human. I mean that in a good way. You care about my future."
Elena laughed to herself at that and looked up into the blue sky before closing her eyes. She took another deep breath, this time seeming to want to fill her lungs with as much air as she could. Elijah watched her curiously, intrigued by her behavior, and she looked at him again, a soft look in her eye.
"But the only time I feel normal, feel like the world isn't crashing down around me is when I'm with you. There's more to me when I'm with you."
Elijah felt his heart stop, even though it hadn't beat in ages.
"We don't just talk about danger and death and plans. We talk about stupid little things and you take me places I've never been to before. I feel normal, like a regular person living their life."
Elijah chuckled at that and she just rose an eyebrow. He opened his mouth to clarify.
"I find that hard to believe, Elena, considering I'm one of the oldest creatures around and a monster that feeds on you humans."
Elena's eyes narrowed at this and she shook her head before reaching to take his hand into her own on the table.
"I'm going to keep saying it Elijah. You're not a monster." She looked at him seriously, unblinking and he swallowed thickly. Catching himself relishing her touch and unwilling to break contact, he forced his hand back away from hers and sat back in his chair, smirking. She let it pass and continued.
"I feel safe with you and you are the only one that makes me feel like being a human is a good thing. I don't want that to go away. ...I don't want you to go away, Elijah."
Elena didn't look away from him and Elijah didn't want her to. He felt his insides wavering, or maybe it was his control, and pursed his lips to keep from showing too much. Elijah suddenly felt caught between what he wanted to say and what he should say. He looked down to his teacup to pick it up and sip from it slowly. After he swallowed, he saw that she was still looking at him and seemed to expect some kind of response. He sighed at her persistence and wondered what she was aiming for.
"Well, it's better than being terrified, I suppose. If you can find a bit of peace and quiet, even if it's with me, than I'll do what I can to keep it from being stopped. You deserve some quiet and normalcy."
He looked to her, gathering all the composure he could into his face, and gave her a small, tight smile.
He noted however that Elena was only smiling tenderly and that there something alight in her eyes.
When they stood to leave, Elena came to his side and took his arm like it was the most natural thing in the world. Elijah looked down at her for a second, startled, and when she made it clear she wasn't letting go, he continued to walk towards his car, Elena holding onto him tightly. She only let go when he opened the side door for her and then her fingers grazed his forearm before losing contact.
It was while having tea with him, a couple of months past her 23rd birthday on a beautiful day, that she realized she was in love with him.
On the drive back, during which Elijah tried his best to ignore his sneaking suspicions, Elena sat against the seat and door and just watched him. She watched his expressionless face, curious to see if she could find anything hidden in his cloaked expression. He was always so guarded now, that she longed to see something vulnerable in him, like she had seen those few precious times before.
Eventually, she dozed off and before she knew it, they were back in Mystic Falls and heading towards the Grill. She sat back up and stretched, before reaching to pick up her phone to check the time. It was only about six and she wasn't ready to go home yet. He parked the car outside the restaurant, turning off the engine and then looked at her.
"I'm sure Stefan is inside waiting for you, as is Damon. I alerted them to our return while you were resting."
She felt a flash of irritation at this, but just smiled.
"Yeah, but you don't have to go yet, do you?"
He looked at her for a second before slowly shaking his head. She delighted in that she finally got him to not run off right away and turned to open the door, but he was already there, with the door open and waiting for her to get out. She smiled at him and took the hand he offered her to help her up. She really didn't need it, but couldn't resist the urge to be treated like a lady.
After she straightened up, he dropped her hand and they both moved inside. It was fairly busy, but she found Stefan and Damon quickly. Rather, they found her and led her to a table. Elijah noticed with some amusement that Kol and Klaus were here again, Klaus openly ogling Caroline, who was playing pool with Tyler, Bonnie and Rebekah. If you had told him a couple of years ago that this would happen, he would have called you a fool. She would have just gotten sad and hoped.
But now, as Elijah looked at Elena and she looked at Elijah, while sitting with Stefan across from Elijah and Damon, things were a whole lot different.
They made idle, friendly conversation, but Elena couldn't help but notice Elijah was not really paying attention to her and seemed rather focused on anything but her. She tucked this away for later pondering and chatted with Stefan and Damon about little things. She also noticed that Stefan and Damon kept giving her odd looks. Stefan just smiled next to her when she caught him and when she caught Damon's narrowed eyes, she did the same at him.
The time passed quickly and when the pool players finished their game, they joined them at their table. When it became apparent that they were forming quite the crowd, Elijah took his leave quickly, wishing them a good night. He glanced at his brothers at the bar, giving them a warning look before excusing himself. Elena had half a mind to stop him or even go with him, but with Stefan on her left and Caroline on her right, she wasn't going anywhere.
They confronted her about it that night after seeing her to her apartment. It was actually quite sweet that they were worried about her, but all she could feel right now is them closing in on her. She just felt guilt, wrapping around her tight and she knew she couldn't escape what she knew what she had to face. Elena set her messenger bag on her chair and sat on the couch, waiting. Stefan sat next to her, Damon standing in front and there was silence.
After a bit of waiting, Elena went to speak, but Stefan cut in.
"You're in love with him, aren't you?"
She didn't look at him, just down at the floor. She felt Damon freeze in waiting and then nodded her head slowly. She wondered how they knew when she'd just figured it out, but they knew her and she was spending a lot time with Elijah. Well, more than one would think was normal. Stefan's head dropped and Damon collapsed into the chair opposite the one with her bag on it. She looked to Stefan and saw that there was so much pain in his eyes.
"Stefan, you know I love you. Everything that I loved about you when we were together, I still love now. I love you. I don't want to cause you any more pain, but you should know that. I love you very much, but I can't be with you now. Our time has passed and I'm going to miss it for the rest of my life."
She took him in her arms and felt him shaking. She couldn't hold back her tears and started to cry into his shoulder. She held him for a few minutes, him clinging to her for dear life. Elena still felt the strength and love that Stefan emanated and knew that she loved him dearly, but she was not in love with him like she used to be.
Despite Elena not wanting to let go of Stefan, she then turned to Damon who'd put his face in his hands and felt her heart split even more. She stood up and bent down to his sitting figure and took his hands in her own. Speaking through her tears, she spoke jaggedly.
"And you Damon. I love you very much too and there are no words to show how much you mean to me either. I will never forget all the things you've done for me. That either of you have done. Damon, you have so much love to give and I don't think I ever really appreciated you the way you deserved."
She sobbed then and hugged him tightly. He almost clawed at her back, not wanting to let her go and she held him for a few minutes as well. He started to shake, but she knew he wouldn't cry in front of her. Elena forced herself to step back away from Damon and took a deep breath to calm herself. She knew they didn't want to hear what she had to say, but it really was the best for them as brothers. She wanted to see them happy together, she longed for it.
"But this is killing all of us, never mind what I might feel for someone else. If I did choose one of you, the other would be hurt and neither of you deserve that. You are brothers and I don't want to be the wedge between you. I know I said this years ago, but now I really understand it. None of us is going to win this way. One of you is going to be hurt and things will never be the same then. I don't want that. I want you guys to be brothers again, with no bitterness or anger."
Stefan and Damon looked at each other then, just staring at each other and Elena moved her bag to the floor to sit down, feeling her anguish move through her like paralyzation.
"You know I'm right. I don't want to be another Katherine. I refuse to. At least this way, we're all hurt, but you two still have each other."
They both looked at her then and the rest of the evening passed slowly, them in silence for a while and then talking openly about what was going to happen now. There was no way they were going to give up their friendships, despite everything. They'd already had that break and losing their closeness now would not do anyone any favors.
Elena knew that there would be loneliness and pain and that it felt like things were over now, but they would get through this. She knew that for a fact. They were in a painful place now, but that only made her believe more fiercely that they would come out from this stronger than ever.
She didn't tell them that she wasn't sure that she would have turned for either of them or that she knew the day would have come where she would have let them go to live her life. She definitely didn't tell them that she felt the opposite for Elijah. It would have been selfish and mean, even if it was the truth. She think they knew anyway.
The rest of August was one of the hardest times of her life, but she persevered. They persevered. Things eventually smoothed out and when the tension and waiting was taken out of their relationship, Elena, Stefan and Damon could actually be friends. It turned out to be one of the best choices she'd ever made. Once they could stop guarding their hearts and being afraid or jealous, things were just the way they should have been. For the next six months, as she hopelessly pursued Elijah in a quiet and subtle way, the trio's friendship blossomed into something that Elena would never regret.
She wasn't going to lie and say she didn't miss Stefan's kisses or Damon's touch, but she wanted Elijah's kisses and touches more. Now that she had a clear head and clearer conscious, she knew what she had to do and what she wanted. She was going for Elijah and she wasn't going to give up. She knew he was concerned for her and wanted her to live a normal life as a mortal woman. He didn't want to drag her into any more pain and while she couldn't be sure that he was in love with her, she knew there was something between them and hoped he would take a chance. There had to be a reason he was staying here and she would take advantage of it.
Not that he was making that easy. He didn't avoid her as much, but he didn't seem to want to acknowledge anything serious or any change their dynamic. They continued on in the way they have been, Elijah warming up and opening up to her bit by bit. He shared with her more personal details, his life during certain time periods, his favorite foods, his favorite places to visit. She learned that he loved Greece and wanted to return.
But, he was quite the deflector when he wanted to be and Elena soon grew tired of his dodging. She'd spent the last half a year either too needing of the strength and comfort he brought her or feverishly trying to find the right time to express what she felt and the words to say it. Then came the morning in February she woke up and knew that she would tell him. This is was it. It just felt like today was the today to get it all out. She worried the whole day while also positively crackling with electric excitement. She cleaned up her place a bit and when it neared five o'clock, she set about making tea the way he liked it.
Just as it started to whistle, he knocked on the door with three sharp wraps and she ran to the door. She paused, taking a deep breath before remembering Elijah could hear her. Blushing, she opened the door for him and he looked up only to freeze, almost imperceptibly. She took that as a good sign and that her preparations were not in vain. He turned a little bit, seeming to want to leave, but she grabbed his arm and tugged him inside.
Elena was dressed in a rich red shirtdress that reached to her midthigh and had sleeves that opened widely at the elbow. She had black leggings underneath and was wearing her favorite tall, brown boots. She hoped he liked the way she looked and that she'd not put on too much makeup. Only eyeliner, mascara and some lip gloss. She was not one for heavy make up. With the way that he stared at her, she considered her attempts a success.
Elijah stiffly walked to the chair he frequented while Elena gathered teacups together and brought them out with the kettle. She set it down and bent to pour him a cup. She handed it to him with one hand and when he went to take it, her other hand covered his. She looked at him and smiled.
"Elijah, let's talk. But, first I need to do something I've been meaning to do forever."
He pulled his hand from hers and started to rest back in his chair. He set the cup down and when he looked back up at her to ask what she was referring to, she had moved into his space, grabbed his shoulders, pulled him forward and kissed him. He supposed he could have stopped her, but given the way he froze at the contact of her hands on him and the way that everything was collapsing inside himself, he supposed, no, he really couldn't have.