Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries
Summary: Klaus is leaving town, but as a gesture of good faith, allows Elena to choose a companion to go with them. Stefan or Damon? In response to swirlsofblue's prompt at the Original Family Comment Ficathon.
Klaus is leaving town with one of them, but he'll let them choose which
"You can't do this," Stefan said with a glare. He stood in front of Elena protectively, his throat beginning to rumble into a growl. Damon didn't look much better next to him.
"Can't I?" Klaus replied in amusement. "Alright then. How are you going to stop me?" There was a tense silence as neither brother could answer. "Right then, as I was saying, I'll just be taking the doppelganger and then we'll be on our way."
"Like hell!" Damon snarled, setting his feet into the ground as he prepared for a fight. It was a fight he knew he was going to lose, but that didn't mean he was going to back down. Klaus would have to stake him before getting to Elena.
Stefan too prepared for a fight while Elena just watched on in horror.
"No, no, no!" she cried. She could see what they were both doing and she refused to let them die for her. "Look, it's okay," she said to the brothers before looking Klaus in the eye. "I'll go willingly. Just don't hurt them," she begged.
"Elena!" the two said simultaneously as they spun to look at her in surprise.
"You can't do this," Damon said in a low whisper despite knowing that Klaus could hear every word. "We'll figure something out."
"We always do," Stefan agreed.
"Not this time," Elena replied with tears as she flung her arms around both of them and brought them into a hug. "I can't watch you get hurt," she whispered into their ears. "Please understand."
Damon and Stefan exchanged meaningful looks out of the corner of their eye as they hugged Elena back. Damon raised his hand but before he could bring it crashing down, Klaus already had it gripped tightly, startling Elena.
"It's not polite to hit a lady." Klaus tisked as he easily broke Damon's offending hand.
Elena gave a small gasp of realization. Damon had planned on knocking her out. A quick look at Stefan gave her all the confirmation she needed that this hadn't been a solo plan. Knowing those two, one had planned on staying to distract Klaus while the other made off with her unconscious body.
Elena crossed her arms in front of her, a visage of anger, but couldn't bring herself to put any real emotion into it. She understood because she would have done the same for either of them. She reluctantly gave Stefan and Damon a small nod of understanding and forgiveness.
Klaus just gave a hearty laugh at the action. "You know, I genuinely don't understand you people, but I find you absolutely amusing," he admitted with a grin.
"Of course you wouldn't understand. You don't even know what love it," Elena spat bitterly wiping the smile off Klaus' face. Seeing the anger he displayed sent a shiver down Elena's back as she cursed herself for not keeping her mouth shut. Bad things happened to the people she loved when Klaus wore that look.
"You are the bane of this entire town," Klaus started casually. "You are the reason why vampires, werewolves and witches flock here. You've caused way more carnage to this town than I have… and yet you're revered. Everyone dies for you… and they do it with a smile," he pointed out with painful accuracy.
Elena flinched in pain. She knew that it was true, but she couldn't help that. If it were up to her, no one would die! She would gladly risk her life if it meant everyone else would be safe, but no one ever allowed her that choice. They all protected her when it should be her protecting them.
"Alright, let's make a little deal," Klaus said with a grin once more, clearly back into a good mood. "One of you can come with us. I'll let you choose which one."
Elena, Stefan and Damon all blinked in surprise before looking at each other surreptitiously. "What's the catch?" Stefan asked causing Klaus to smirk.
"No catch," Klaus replied with faux innocence. "I can hardly be expected to entertain Elena for the rest of her life. I've better things to do. No, better to bring someone along. A babysitter of sorts."
Elena frowned at the word babysitter but even she understood what this really was; a way to keep her controlled. Klaus knew that she would rather die than willingly help him. But if he took someone else with them then he had the perfect means to ensure that she never did anything against him. He didn't want a babysitter. He wanted leverage.
"I'll do it," both Damon and Stefan volunteered simultaneously. The two turned to look at each other, both glaring as they tried to communicate with their eyes why they should be the one to go with Elena.
Klaus laughed heartily once more. "God, living with you people is like living in a soap opera. I love it," he chuckled. "Go on then. Why you?" he asked both of them.
Stefan and Damon turned to look at each other, their tone low even though both Elena and Klaus could easily hear them. "I've already traveled with Klaus," Stefan explained. "You know that I have… influence," he said hesitantly, looking over his shoulder to make sure that Klaus wasn't offended at the thought that anyone influenced his actions. Klaus merely smiled in entertainment.
"Yeah and you also go all ripper douchebag," Damon returned. "You know what you're like on human blood. What's to say you won't go for Elena?" He knew it was a potshot, but it was also true.
"I have more control now," Stefan scowled. Damon knew that; he had been the one teach him it.
"But enough?" the older brother asked.
The two locked eyes once more, glaring lightly as they each tried to push their side. Klaus stepped forward causing all eyes to dart back to him. "Well, you both have your votes, so I guess it's up to the tie breaker," he said as he turned to face Elena. Her eyes grew wide as she realized what this whole thing was. It was nothing more than a setup. "Who do you choose?" Klaus asked with an evil smirk.
"I… I…" Her eyes darted frantically back and forth between both brothers who were looking at her as serious as a heart attack. "Neither," she replied. "Just me and you," she said, turning to Klaus.
"Aw, that's sweet," Klaus purred with faux adoration. "But not an option," he growled, his eyes flashing gold in warning of his temper. "I think it's about time you put one of these boys out of their misery. So who is it going to be?" he asked. "Who do you want to come with us? Who will you spend the rest of your life with? Stefan? Or Damon?"
And that was the question, wasn't it? The one she had been avoiding for months. The one no one knew the answer to, not even herself.
"Tick-tock," Klaus growled, getting impatient.
"I… I…" she stuttered once more, her eyes continuing to shift between brothers.
"Elena!" Klaus growled again, indicating the end of his patience.
There was a silence for several seconds at the end of her declaration. Elena had squeezed her eyes shut tight so that she wouldn't have to see the look in Damon's eyes when she made her decision.
"Well, it looks like our girl has finally made up her mind." Klaus smirked as he slid an arm around Stefan's neck to clap his shoulder in congratulations. "Time to go, Ripper," he said seriously as he used that arm around Stefan's shoulder to usher him forward. Klaus grabbed Elena's arm with his other hand and tugged her around to the car behind her.
Now that Damon was to her back Elena finally opened her eyes, tears falling from them. Stefan moved jerkily, still shocked by Elena's decision.
Stefan mechanically got into the passenger's seat and Elena in the back as Klaus slid behind the wheel, unperturbed by the whole event. In the rearview mirror, he could see Damon, standing there looking after the three of them with a shocked, broken look on his face. Klaus leaned out the window. "Oh, and don't come looking for us like you did last summer," he warned. "Or I'll be forced to harm Stefan in retaliation and I'd prefer my Ripper in one piece." With those last words to the vampire, he rolled up the window and pressed on the gas pedal, taking them out of Mystic Falls. "Well," Klaus said with a smile. "I think that went well, don't you? This is going to be fun."