Disclaimer: Not mine, etc. Title is from the Dylan Thomas poem And Death Shall Have No Dominion. Worth the read if you have a few minutes—it's not very long.

A/N: I'm just so sad for Elena, guys. Anyway, if you have the time, please review! Happy Reading!

they shall have stars at elbow and foot

Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,

And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?

Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.

Her lips suck forth my soul: see where it flies!

Come, Helen, come, give me my soul again.

-Christopher Marlowe, The Face That Launch'd A Thousand Ships


Elena dreams that she is standing in the middle of a graveyard. Names she knows—names she loves—are carved onto the headstones and she has no flowers, only tears.

I never wanted this to happen, she tries to say, tries to explain because the dashes in between the births and deaths are not enough—never enough. But she cannot speak.

How does it feel? Katherine asks from behind her. How does it feel, knowing your face killed everyone you love?

Elena shakes her head, wants to say No, no, no, but there is nothing. Nothing but emptiness and names above the bodies of everyone she cares about.

I know, Katherine tells her, moving to stand next to her, flowers in her hands. She hands Elena two bright yellow daises before turning to lay her own flowers at two markers that are side by side. Elena can't look at them, can't breathe

It killed everyone I love too, Katherine says and even though she doesn't specify which one of them she's referring to, Elena knows it doesn't matter. We are the same, you and I.

Katherine motions Elena forward, gestures for her to put the daisies down and says quietly, A terrible beauty.

It follows us, she says as Elena squeezes her eyes shut and drops the flowers without looking. Death is our shadow.

Their deaths were written in our blood, Katherine says and Elena's eyes fly open.

She wonders why she owns anything other than black dresses.

They're burying Alaric today. Burying him next to Jenna, who is buried next to Miranda and Grayson, who are buried next to John. Katherine was wrong, Elena thinks tiredly as she stares at herself in the mirror, reflection blurring through her tears. Death isn't our shadow. It doesn't follow us. We are Death.

How does it feel, knowing your face killed everyone you love?

Her family lies buried and she should be there with them. She should be at peace.

Jeremy knocks on her door, wants to know if she's ready. She doesn't look at him as she says yes, doesn't want to see how him to see how she's clutching desperately at the pieces of herself to keep from shattering. She knows he is broken too.

Wordlessly, he gives her a rose and her hand clenches over it, thorns digging into her palm. When she opens her fist, the tiny pinpricks vanish.

We are Death.

Jeremy tells her that Damon dug the g—Damon dug it. His voice chokes a little and she shuts her eyes even as she holds his hand tightly in her own.

It wasn't supposed to be this way, she wants to tell him. They were supposed to live. We were supposed to live. But all they do is run from death.

Stefan and Damon are staring silently down at the disturbed earth and Jeremy's breaths are shallow.

Elena makes it a point not to listen to Katherine, even the Katherine in her dreams, but she is right about this. His death was written in my blood.

Judge, jury and executioner. Her blood in Esther's cup, her blood the key to breaking curses and unleashing unspeakable evil, just like Pandora.

Her face the chasm between two brothers. History repeating, over and over; second verse same as the first. Tatia, Klaus, Elijah—Katherine, Stefan, Damon—and between all of them, there is blood.

A terrible beauty.

It's okay to love them both, Elena. I did.

But I'm not you, she wants to say, and isn't the first sign of insanity talking to the voices in your head? I'm nothing like you.

Her eyes are stinging.

She makes them leave, makes them give her a few moments alone with their dead. The sun is warm, but she can't feel it—not anymore. Her lips move, but no sound comes out; she could be praying. She might be praying. Does God hear the prayers of vampires?

Do you think your parents would be proud of you, Elena?

Her eyes trace the names carved onto the marble. I'm coming apart at the seams, she tells them silently. I'll never become the person you wanted me to be. I'll never grow up.

She will never see nineteen. Her face will never tell the story of how well she lived, no laugh lines marking every smile. She, Damon, Stefan, Caroline, Tyler—the Lost Boys. To die would be an awfully big adventure.

Her head is bowed and she can smell the sunshine.

We are the same, you and I.

Elena wonders if Katherine, running for five hundred years from Klaus, wasn't also running from herself.

Everything is falling apart, she says wordlessly. It's all coming to pieces.

They all tell her it's okay, that everything will be fine. We'll get through this, Stefan says; you're less breakable now, Damon says.

She thinks the entire problem was that she wasn't breakable enough; everyone else broke against her. She's the stone to their waves, and she's eroding.

She tells Jeremy she's leaving Mystic Falls, but she's not leaving him. Just for a little while, she promises. I love you, she says, and I won't be gone long.

She drives to the cemetery, a bouquet of daises resting on her passenger seat. When she arrives, she gently pulls them out of their bunch and lays one on every patch of grass that represents a hole in her heart.

Wasn't sure you'd come, Katherine says from behind her as she places the last one carefully next to the rose on top of Alaric.

We're not the same, Elena tells her quietly.

Katherine tilts her head and says with a smile, And yet here you are.

Elena's eyes rest on the spots of bright yellow bleeding into the blackness.

It follows us, Elena says, and you know how to run.

Apologies for any mistakes, it's so late for me. Drop me a line!