AN: Sorry, this is terrible. I haven't written in a very long time, and I'm working on a couple of different things for you guys, but the finale made me really angry, and hopefully this will help. I'm sorry if it's incomprehensible; this really isn't my best work at all and I wrote it in fifteen minutes.

Spoiler alert for "The Departed"

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

Your life flashes before your eyes.

It's true, it's actually true.

Not the last time I died. That time, so many backup plans had been put in place that I guess fate didn't see fit for me to see my life.

My life flashes before my eyes.

And it turns out, I didn't even know what that life was, or what it meant.

I can just see the bottom of Stefan's shoe as he kicks Matt to safety. I hope he's safe, I hope one of us gets out of the this alive.

Another memory flashes – Matt's lips on mine and how safe it all was. I think, if my parents had survived, I would have blown Stefan off and ended up with Matt. He is what every girl wants, isn't it? God I hope he isn't dead.

Oh God Oh God Oh God Please don't be dead.

Another flash – Blue eyes and a smirk that I just want to slap. Because he's right. Not just right about everything, even though that's true too. No, he's right.

Right now.

And if Matt and I had gone the other way, we wouldn't -

Flash – I'm in a dark basement, soaked to the bone, heart pounding because the man I love – the man I love – is being tortured to death, and I don't know if there's anything I can do to stop it. Even though he's here and he can do anything, solve anything, fix anything.


Maybe Stefan will come back for me before... before...

I try to draw a breath, forgetting where I am and what I've gotten myself into.

I have the worst judgement. Ever.

Flash - "I want you to get everything you want."

You too. You too.

I blacked out for a second. Or an eternity. I'm not sure. I'm not in the car; I'm in my bedroom. Damon's there, holding my necklace, and I realize...

That bastard.

"... And it's because I love you that I can't be selfish with you."

And I couldn't be selfish with him either, making him wait for me to someday, maybe, be over Stefan.

That would have changed everything. Everything. Maybe not right away, but knowing what he's capable of, even then.

When he forced his blood down my throat to make me turn the last time I died, I would have seen it differently. It wasn't impulsive at all; I know that now. He'd probably mulled it over for weeks, since the very first threat against me. Maybe he'd even pondered ways to slip me his blood daily; maybe he actually had.

I'm picturing it down, him in bed (probably naked, to be honest), one hand behind his head, the other splayed across his stomach, blue eyes glowing at narrowed as he glared at the ceiling, weighing the pro's and con's.

Pro: Elena lives.

Con: Elena hates me for eternity.

Isn't that what I had done? Hadn't I done that to Jeremy? Sending him away so he would survive, but knowing that when he someday realized my betrayal, he would hate me. But he would be alive.

Hadn't I just tried to do that to Damon? Setting him free so he had a chance at happiness, even though I knew I would lose him.

My heart had torn when I did it, when he threw my own words back at me.

It will always be Stefan.

Is that – Is that real love then? Sacrifice and pain? If it is...

What was I -? Blackout again, and I'm in the front yard of the boarding house, and I'm begging Stefan not to go.

If he had gone, he would never have fallen into Klaus' clutches again. If I had loved him enough to let him get out of our cursed town...

But I didn't. I made him stay; emotionally blackmailed him until I was sure that he would never leave me again. Until he did leave, to keep me safe. Because he loves me.

What's the difference between being horrified and being mortified? Maybe I'm both right now.

I have the worse decision-making skills ever.

Odd... I don't remember the front lawn of the boarding house being underwater.

Blackout, and I'm on the street, a strange man in front of me. A man with shocking blue eyes and messy black hair.

My eyes lock with his, and, oh God, I love him. Every time I've looked into his eyes, I've loved him a little more. And not just because of the love I've seen reflected there, but because it's true.

It's exactly what I told Matt. It's exactly what Damon told me.

I want a love that's all-consuming and passionate, not safe and warm.

I want Damon, not Stefan.

He's smirking that smirk that I just want to smack off his face. Because I know what that bastard had done, and I'm burning with anger. All that time... Everything we'd lost. If he'd let me remember any good part of him, for just a second, and let me judge him for what he truly is...

For what I truly am.