A/N: So really the season finale pissed me off to no end. I mean… I was livid. Elena is starting to annoy me, her actions so unjustifiable. And I was not expecting her to turn, not sure how I feel about it. So here's one of the many rewrites of the episode I have going, I hope you like it.
"I can keep driving to Damon or turn around and go home to Stefan," Matt said and Elena felt the last pieces of her heart break. It was bad enough that they could both die, but to not be able to be with them, both of them if that was the case, tore her apart inside. How could she do that to them? How could she fall in love with Damon? "You have to choose Elena."
Tears welled in her eyes and slowly made their way down her beautiful face. She was going to have to live with this for the rest of her life. "Will you get to Damon in time?" she whispered. Suddenly in a life or death moment, there was no choice. She just knew what she needed instantly.
"I will. We're almost there," Matt said stepping on the gas a little bit more. "I promise."
Her hands trembled as she called Stefan, the lump growing in her throat. It was a small relief to know that she would see Damon, that she could be with him during his final hours, she could hold him, and tell him everything he deserved to hear a long time ago. When she heard his voice she couldn't help but sob into the phone. "I'm so sorry Stefan," she whimpered. She didn't want to hurt anyone, she didn't want to lose either of them, but it was a good possibility that they were both going to die.
"It's going to be okay," Stefan said. "Klaus was lying. I feel fine. Jeremy just told me where you were."
"I'm almost to Damon," she said softly, wiping the tears from her cheek. "There… I wish I could see you both. In case Klaus was telling the truth for once." Her heart knew exactly what she wanted, and like her mother said, she just couldn't say it. But it would kill her to lose them. She longed to say goodbye to them both, and if Damon died in her arms, she wasn't sure how she would get through that. But she'd be damned if she was going to let him die alone. She'd be damned if he was going to die thinking she didn't love him.
"That's good Elena," he said somewhat sadly. "He deserves to have you with him. Take care of him Elena."
"I will," she said sniffling. "Bye Stefan." And she hung up her cell phone, leaning heavily against the window. She could do this. If Klaus was lying, she had already done the hardest thing in this world, and that was telling Stefan. And if Klaus wasn't lying, well nothing mattered after that.
"You sure this is what you want?" Matt asked softly.
"Keep driving," she said nodding. "I have a bad feeling Matt. Something's wrong." Her stomach was rolling, her nerves were shot, and she just had this awful gut feeling. There was so much she wanted to say to Damon, so much they needed to fix, but hardly any of that seemed to matter. Last week she would have thought there would be time for her to do this, but now, there wasn't enough time in the world for them. The rest of the ride was silent until Matt pulled into the parking lot of a storage place. Elena saw Damon's SUV and she nearly fell out of the truck with relief to get to him. She came to a screeching halt when she came around the car and saw Damon on the ground and Ric kicking him in the ribs. "Damon!"
"Oh look it's a party," Ric chuckled. "But I must admit I'm surprised to see you coming to his rescue."
"Get out of here Elena," Damon coughed as blood flowed out of his mouth and nose.
Elena shoved Matt's restraining hand off her arm to stalk over to Ric and shove at his immobile body. "You got what you wanted," she said angrily. "Klaus is dead." A normal person should have been scared, she should be running for her life, but all she could think about was protecting what was hers. And Damon was hers. Entirely hers. Mind, body and soul.
"All vampires need to be killed," Ric said glaring down at Damon who pushed himself to his knees.
Elena moved a little in front of Damon, her heart hammering in her chest. "I'm not going to let you kill him," she said softly.
"You can't off yourself in time to stop me," Ric said smiling. "You're not going to stop me."
Damon pushed himself to his feet, shaking the fuzziness from his head and gently pulled Elena from in front of him. "You are not going to put your life before mine," he growled. "Get back in the truck Elena." Typical Damon. Never letting her help him; protect him, save him, but always putting her first. Always giving her everything he was to keep her alive, to make sure she would be okay. And she was not going to let him push her away. Not now.
Five or six shots rang out in the night and Ric gasped as they looked over to see Matt holding a gun. Ric tumbled to the ground, darts sticking out of his back. "Enough vervain can still take down a vampire," he said shrugging. "For a little bit."
Elena sagged in relief as her hands framed Damon's face wincing at the damage. "God you're a mess," she whispered. Her thumb gently wiped some blood from his top lip, wishing she could kiss away his pain. Damon had kisses to die for, kisses that would rock her to the core and she longed for them now.
"What are you doing here?" Damon asked in confusion, glancing at Matt who went back to his truck to give them some privacy.
"Klaus was lying," she said shaking her head. "You're going to be fine and we're going to go home and…" She couldn't admit to herself that Damon could be dying again. It had nearly destroyed her the last time, taken her weeks to come to terms with what exactly had happened in his bedroom that night and what it had meant to the both of them.
"And what if he's not?" Damon demanded. "What if he did sire me and Stefan? Aren't you tired of deathbed confessions?"
"You are not going to die," she said tears tracking down her face again. "Why did you leave Damon? You promised…" If nothing else, she knew she could always trust Damon to be there for her, to do anything she ever needed. And when he was gone, any time he had run out of town, she had felt like a piece of her was missing. A huge piece. She couldn't breathe without him, couldn't function. He was everything to her.
Damon's anger deflated but he didn't want her to see him die. "I love you," he said stroking her cheek. "You'll have to try to stay out of trouble now." He sounded so defeated, like it didn't matter that he could die in a matter of minutes. She imagined this moment time and time again, rehearsed it in her head, but she couldn't remember anything that she wanted to say to him.
Elena's body shook with sobs as she wrapped her arms around his neck. She pressed her lips against his bloody ones, her hands tugging affectionately in his hair. Her body pressed against his in all the right places, her body singing with desire, when this was hardly the time for that. Her phone rang annoyingly and she could have thrown it across the parking lot but it was Caroline. "Hi Care," she said in a shaky voice then realized her friend was bawling. "Caroline?"
"Tyler's dead!" Caroline cried. "He's dead Elena."
Elena stared at Damon in horror, her free hand moving over his body, checking for any signs that he was going to die right in front of her. "When?" she asked.
"About ten minutes ago," Caroline whimpered. "Where are you?"
"With Damon," Elena said her brows creasing in confusion. "But he's… fine." Her heart soared with hope, praying that Klaus really had been lying. Sage and Finn had died within seconds of each other. If Tyler died ten minutes ago… Damon, Stefan and Caroline should be gone too.
"What?" Caroline asked through her tears. "But I thought… Stefan just walked in too."
Elena's brows creased. "We'll be home soon Caroline," she said. "Be strong okay." And she hung up. "You feel okay?" She shoved her phone in her pocket, both her hands mapping out Damon's body. He wasn't convulsing or coughing up dark blood. He was just… Damon. His scent was filling her lungs, clouding her brain, he was everywhere. He was alive.
"Other than my broken nose, yeah," he said with a shrug. "Don't feel any different."
"But… you and Stefan… and Caroline should be dead," she whispered. Her brain was on overdrive, barely able to process coherence, trying to piece together the mysterious puzzle that was Klaus. Could she really be this lucky? Could she really come out of this on the other side with a man she loved by her side? There had to be something they were missing.
"So Klaus lied," Damon said wiping her tears. "We should get back."
"Damon," she said leaning into his hand. She had to tell him. They couldn't go back to Mystic Falls without him knowing what this meant. She couldn't take her choice back. "Matt… gave me a choice. There was time for me to go home to Stefan or keep driving to you. I couldn't… I had to make a choice. And I called Stefan to say goodbye."
He stared at her in wonder, as realization struck him as to what this really meant for them. "Why would you do that?" he whispered. "I'm not good for you Elena."
"Because I love you," she said softly. She almost expected the world to implode at her admission, she had been dreading telling him or even admitting it to herself for long, but more moments passed, the world kept turning, and he kept staring at her. "I'll always care about Stefan but it doesn't… consume me Damon. You give me everything I want, you make me want to fight and get up in the morning."
His lips smashed against hers, his hand fisting in her long hair, crushing her against him. "You're so amazing Elena," he said, backing her against his SUV. His hips rocked against hers, lighting her body up in a blaze of passion but she learned her lesson the first time and a public place was not where she wanted to do this. Not with Matt 50 feet away. Her arms tightened around him, nipping his lips gently, but she pulled back reluctantly.
She smiled and bumped her nose against his. "Let me… ride back with Matt," she said hesitantly, knowing this would be the hardest thing for him to let her walk away from him for a short time. He wanted to just scoop her up and run from the world, but she knew they had a lot of responsibilities together. "I don't think he should be alone. Follow us?"
Damon kissed her softly once more. "Of course," he said glancing at Ric. "We have to break that spell." He guided her away from Ric's body back to Matt's truck and she kissed him quickly before getting in the passenger side. "I'll be right behind you."
Elena squeezed his hand, reluctantly letting go and nodding to Matt. "Let's go home," she said softly.
Damon had a dumb smile on his face as he followed Matt's truck back to Mystic Falls. His face didn't hurt as much, the joy he felt in his heart drowning out everything else. He finally had her. Elena had finally made her choice. The hairs on his arms stood up a little bit and his brows creased as Matt's brake lights flashed. Damon slammed on his brakes watching in horror as Matt's truck swerved, going right off the bridge. He saw a flash of blond as he growled before jumping out of his car and diving off the bridge after Elena. The water was freezing, and he could barely see as he swam around to the passenger side. The truck was filling up fast, Elena was conscious, but Matt was not. He ripped the door off and ignored her pushing. He was not going to rescue Matt first. He dragged her flailing body to the surface, both of them coughing. "Are you hurt?" he demanded shaking the water from his face.
Elena glared at him. "Go get Matt," she screamed. "I'm fine. Please Damon."
She was breathing, seemingly uninjured so Damon dove back down to rescue the boy. He swam to shore where Elena was waiting, laying his body out and starting compressions on his chest. "Start CPR," he said. He kept firm continuous compressions on the boy's chest, pausing briefly to bite his wrist. He coaxed some blood down Matt's throat, just enough to get his heart going as they continued CPR. "I think he's going to be fine. My phones in the car, call 911."
Elena scrambled up the bank, leaves and sticks fluttering down to the water as she ran to Damon's SUV. She came back down, on the phone with the operator, giving them their location before hanging up. "They are on their way," she said, running her hand over Matt's head, cautious of the cut on his forehead. "You should have saved him first." A pang of guilt stabbed her in the chest, knowing this was her fault. If she had listened to Damon in the first place, this wouldn't have happened.
Damon shook his head. "You know I wouldn't have done that Elena," he said, sliding his arm around her shoulders. "You know I will do what it takes to keep you safe, no matter what. Even if you hate me for the rest of your life, I don't care. I will never ever put someone else before you." He told her before he would always choose her, and she knew that, deep inside. He killed people to keep her safe, people she knew, people she loved, Damon didn't care about those things.
"I was so scared," she whimpered, curling against him with a shiver. "It was like a horrible nightmare that I've already been through. I knew my parents were going to die. I just knew." Tears slid out of her eyes as Damon folded her in his lap. She clutched him desperately, snuggling his jaw. "Thank god you were here." She could be dead. She could be sitting in the bottom of the creek, her last bit of oxygen disappearing. She jumped when she heard a noise, surprised to see Stefan come down the bank. "Stefan…"
"Rebecca called me," he said, staring at the scene in disbelief. He came down to kneel beside Damon, resting a hand on his brothers back. "You feel okay?"
Damon nodded, his chin brushing Elena's head. "The ambulance should be here soon," he said softly. "Klaus isn't exactly known for telling the truth Stefan."
"Why is Elena wet?" Stefan asked shaking his head. "Wasn't she in your car?"
"I didn't want Matt to drive alone after hearing about Tyler," Elena explained, tiredly resting her head against Damon's shoulder. She just wanted to sleep and her head hurt a little. She didn't want them to fight, she just wanted to get warm and dry. "Why did Rebecca try to kill us?"
"You," Stefan corrected. "To get rid of Ric."
Damon rose to his feet with Elena in his arms. "You know Stefan, we're going to do this my way from now on," he said with a sigh. "You're too forgiving and trusting of people. We're going to break the spell between Elena and Ric and then we're going to kill him and Rebecca and Elijah if he gets in my way. No more deals, no more trades, no more sacrifices." He headed up the bank to his car to place Elena in the passenger seat with some heat. "And you're going to the hospital."
"You don't have to be so grouchy," she said with a pout as she wrapped her arms around herself tightly as she shivered.
"You could have died and I've had my face bashed in," Damon said shaking his head. "Let me be a little grouchy." He glanced up as he heard sirens, wincing a little as emergency personal arrived. "Just humor me okay?"
Damon cradled a sleeping Elena against his chest as he headed inside her house. Jeremy emerged from the kitchen, pausing his rapid movements seeing his sister. "She's fine," Damon said, softly. "It's just been a long night, and she's tired." He nodded once to the younger kid and headed upstairs, not surprised to hear Jeremy following him.
"If it means anything, I'm glad you and Stefan didn't die," Jeremy said softly, watching with interest as Damon gently untied Elena's sneakers before pulling them off her feet. "I know how much Elena cares about you both. She wouldn't… she wouldn't have survived losing both of you."
"You know what Jeremy?" Damon muttered. "I wouldn't be able to survive losing her either."
"You know I'll kill you if you hurt her," Jeremy said firmly. See you in the morning Damon."
"Night," he said with a chuckle, shutting the door behind her brother. "You can kill me for this tomorrow." He shut the lights off and as fast as his reflexes would allow without waking her, he changed her into warm clothes. Meredith assured him she was fine, no major injuries, maybe some headaches, but nothing life threatening. Matt was going to be fine too, his head injury needing to be monitored over night, but he would live. He had changed into dry clothes at the hospital and even though he couldn't really feel the cold, he could definitely feel wet clothes. With a weary sigh he slid behind Elena, his arm sliding over her waist as his face found solace in her neck. He inhaled deeply and pressed a kiss to her skin. "I love you," he whispered.
She murmured gibberish, tilting her head as her hand curled around his where it rested on her stomach. But she remained asleep, tucked against his body and Damon allowed his eyes to close, keeping his breathing in sync with hers. The whole day felt like a dream and a nightmare all rolled into one, but here he was, with the woman he was in love with, and he couldn't care less. He could do anything as long as he had her by his side. And from now on, she was his, entirely and he would do everything it took to keep her safe.