Elena gasped as she sat up quickly, glancing around in confusion. She was freezing but she didn't pay attention to that as she hopped off the table. Suddenly she realized Stefan was by her side and everything came rushing back to her in a blur. The bridge, the originals, the choice. "Where's Damon?" she whispered. How could he not be here with her? Did she mess up so horribly that he wouldn't even come back? "What happened?" She quickly realized she was in the morgue, multiple other silver tables around her, and many silver doors that she knew held bodies.
"Elena, I tried to get you out in time," Stefan said sadly.
Elena shook her head and headed for the double doors even as her head started to split in two. Stefan grabbed her arm and she shoved him away from her. Her eyes widened when that shove sent him flying across the room, crashing through tables, but she didn't care. She pushed her way through the swinging doors, doubling over as her insides twisted violently. She needed Damon, she could feel him close to her. She braced herself against the wall, panting through the pain as the scent of Damon's cologne drifted through her nose. "Damon," she whimpered heading toward the stairs, more like stumbling. Her jaw was starting to hurt, making her feel like she had been run over by a bus eight million times. She had to squint against the bright florescent lights on the ceiling, all her senses overwhelming her at once.
"Elena," someone whispered but she knew that voice.
Her gaze lifted from the floor, even as her vision blurred she could see his black figure heading toward her. "Damon," she said, trying to smile but the pain in her body was too much. His arms went around her waist tightly and she happily snuggled against him, her arms tight around him. She could feel her bones shifting already, her whole body aching, this intense feelings engulfing her as she tried to listen to the nonsense Damon was mumbling in her ear. Involuntarily she inhaled next to his neck, a surge of power ripping through her and her blunt teeth latched onto his skin, the sweetness of his blood coating her tongue and throat. She felt the wall under her hands as she roughly held Damon in place and he growled in response, but it was anything but angry. "Mine," she snarled licking her marks lovingly. Despite the savage feeling she felt, her marks were neat and precise and looked sexy as hell on his neck.
Damon trembled against her, his own demon coming forth as his fangs gently sank into her neck. He cradled her cheek as he repeated the claim to her, both of them unknowingly sealing their fates together. But he recovered much more quickly than her, gently pushing her back so he could see her face. "Elena… what did you…" he shook his head, trying to clear his confusion. Her hands slid down his chest, a sense of calmness washing over despite the pain from shifting.
"What the hell happened?" Stefan demanded coming from the morgue. "What did you do to her?"
Damon glared at his brother. "I didn't do it on purpose Stefan," he snapped, his arms pulling her closer to him. She wanted to crawl inside of him, couldn't get close enough, happy she had enough sense to not act on her more provocative urges. "I couldn't stop myself and she practically jumped me in the hall way."
"Don't talk about me like I'm not standing here," she grumbled rubbing her sore eyes but she made no effort to move away from Damon. The amount of guilt that was crushing her chest from denying him for so long was sinking in and she wanted to do everything possible to fix it. "What's happening to me?" She didn't really care what was happening to her, she was just relieved that Damon was alive. How could she have been so stupid to choose Stefan, and over the phone? He deserved so much more than that and like she always did, she ran from her problems, which led her right back to Damon's arms.
"We have to get you out of here," Damon said guiding her to the stairs again, his eyes instantly softening as he gazed at her. "You're in transition for one thing…. I think. You had a brain injury that could have killed you, so she gave you some blood. We can talk about the biting thing later." The biting thing. She could still taste his wonderful blood on her tongue; feel everything about him deep into her soul. She had never felt this way about anyone, the demanding feeling of need, of possessiveness. She really had through Stefan had been the one for her, but everything was different now.
Elena squeezed his hand, tangling their fingers together. She squinted as they moved through the empty halls of the hospital and out the back where Damon scooped her up. "I don't feel good," she murmured. Everything was louder, brighter, smellier. She tried to focus on the pleasant smells, like Damon and not typical hospital smells that she had always despised. But she was turning? Already? She thought it had taken Vicki longer than this and she was strong. She shouldn't have been able to fling Stefan across the room already.
"Don't worry Sweetheart," Damon said kissing her hair. "I'm just happy you're okay." He gently set her in the front seat of his SUV, his lips frowning a little as Stefan got in the back but they could do this at home. The trip home was short, Damon constantly checking on Elena to see how she was doing, but she kept her eyes closed. There was so much she wanted to say and do, but she didn't know where to start, didn't want to answer a million questions that were going to be fired at her. Once they were parked in the driveway, she tried to get out of the car on her own, but she just gasped and wrapped an arm around her stomach. She knew she had to eat. Her body was commanding her to do so.
"Easy," Damon said resting a hand on her back as he scooped her up once more. Inside, he set her on the couch gently, hesitantly taking a step away from her. "You need blood." Her heart felt like it cracked as he moved away from her and more than anything she wanted to yank him back to her, but she was so tired and sore, she didn't want to make a bigger scene than this already was.
"She doesn't want to be a vampire Damon," Stefan said coming to sit next to her.
Now usually, Damon always felt a pang of jealousy when his brother was close to Elena, but nothing like this. His demon was screaming at him to separate them. "Elena," he said softly, choosing to ignore his brother completely as he sat on the table across from them. "I don't know what you know about vampires and claims… but if it's anything that I know it's next to nothing. But that's what happened in the hall."
"I couldn't help it," she said shaking her head, her skin suddenly feeling tight having Stefan so close to her, her mate only mere feet away, but obviously not happy. "I just… wanted to get to you. I just… so what does that mean?" As soon as she had woken up memories of Damon had assaulted her brain, putting her on autopilot.
"It's like the vampire version of a marriage," Stefan said finally moving away from her. "Unbreakable."
Elena curled her legs under her, trying to calm the pain in her torso. "Somehow that doesn't seem like the most important thing going on right now," she said, resting her head in her hands, rubbing her temple. So much was happening all at once and now she was eternally connected to Damon and that… didn't bother her at all.
Damon gently touched her leg. "Do you want blood Elena?" he asked softly. It was a very simple, gentle question. He wasn't demanding anything from her, wasn't forcing her into something she may not want, just simply asking her if she wanted what she so desperately needed right now.
Elena stared at him for a long minute before nodding. "Please," she whispered. Last month, last year, she didn't want this. She wanted to live, but it was different now. She couldn't leave her brother, couldn't leave her friends, and couldn't leave her mate. She was afraid to ask him what would happen if she didn't complete the change, but she already knew the answer. She could adapt to this life, she could be strong.
"Elena," Stefan said shaking his head. "You don't have to do this."
"I want to," she said, her leg practically burning where Damon was touching her. He always lit her body on fire when he touched her, the chemistry always crackling between them, but nothing like this. It was consuming her, and she didn't care. What she really wanted was to drag him upstairs and find out exactly what he could do, and she could see the tiniest of smirks playing on his face.
"This is because of what Damon did to you," he said angrily. "He never should have claimed you."
"I didn't do it on purpose," Damon said getting to his feet. "I have never claimed someone before Stefan. I couldn't make it stop. Just give her some space."
"You just couldn't stand the fact that she chose me and instead of leaving like you promised, you came running back to take her away from me," Stefan growled.
Damon growled dangerously low and Elena could feel her stomach drop from the emotion. "I thought she was dead Stefan," he seethed taking an angry step toward his brother. "I thought you killed her. You're damn right I came back and you're lucky I didn't kill you on the spot. So don't you dare turn this back around on me. You're the one that left her in the car. You're the one that made her this."
Elena pushed herself up between the two brothers. "Enough," she said tears stinging her eyes, as her thumb gently stroked Damon's breastplate, trying to calm him down a little. She couldn't handle his emotions on top of her own right now. "My god Stefan what is wrong with you? I'm not even going to touch the fact that you made him promise to leave me but it's not Damon's fault." She stumbled around them, making her way to the basement. She didn't bother to stop the tears from sliding down her face as she found the freezer of blood. She stared at the packet for a moment, barely looking up when she felt her mate join her. "I want to do this."
Damon leaned against the wall away from her, even though it killed them both to be apart. "Whatever you want Elena is what I want," he said softly. "I can't make this decision for you and you can't make it because of me or because of Stefan."
She turned to face him with a sad expression. "I don't know what happened when I woke up," she said softly. "I just… wanted you with me and I couldn't control myself when I bit you. It just felt right, like I had to. I can't explain it I just… needed you." She shook her head as she leaned against the freezer, folding her arms.
He clenched his jaw and closed the distance between them. "Listen to me Elena," he said softly. "I felt the same thing. I thought you were dead Elena. I can't pretend that I'm not happy that you're here. I've never… been bitten like that before, I couldn't control myself. I wouldn't… I wouldn't have done it to you against your will or anything. She used my blood when you got hurt, I don't know… if that's why you felt that pull towards me…"
Elena bit her lip. "I'm sorry Damon," she whispered. "I know you must… be so angry at me because of what happened I just… made a mistake." She didn't really know how she could justify herself when there really wasn't any excuse for leaving Damon to die alone, but they were both here and she wanted to make it up to him. "And maybe subconsciously I was trying to fix it. Seems like the demon has a mind of its own. And I don't want to change it."
"It does sometimes." Damon's body deflated as the elephant in the room finally made itself known. "And what happens now?" he asked carefully.
Elena stared down at the blood bag in her hand. "I… guess I'm drinking this and then you're going to show me how to be a vampire," she said. "And we'll have to figure the rest of the stuff out on the way." She wanted to so badly tell him right now how much she loved him, but she wasn't quite sure she was there yet. She cared about him, needed him, wanted him, and claimed him, but she didn't know that was love. Everything in her obviously knew Damon was who she was meant to be with or she wouldn't have jumped him at the morgue.
"And what about Stefan?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I didn't hear Stefan's name anywhere in that sentence. I told you, I made a mistake and… I want to make it up to you," she said offering him a small smile as she held out the blood bag for him. "Open this for me?"
He smiled back and ripped open the corner of the packet for her. "Drink it slow," he said softly. His eyes darkened watching her feed but his brows creased as her eyes turned a golden color rather than red.
"Do I have something on my face?" she asked dropping the empty bag in the garbage. She licked her lower lip, leaving as slight smear on her face, which did nothing to curb Damon's reaction to her. Her womb pulsed with need as she stared up at him.
"You're beautiful," he said kissing her softly, his tongue gently peeking out to touch her blood stained lips. Electric shocks licked their way across her body, igniting something she had never felt before only read about in stories. They were connected now, and she could feel everything he was feeling. Such warmth and tenderness and an overwhelming sense of love.
Her arms slid around his neck, her body fitting perfectly against his. "My head still hurts," she said with a pout, her fingers gently playing with his hair. "Everything kind of hurts still." She was tired, emotionally drained; she just wanted to crawl into bed for a while. There was no way she'd have the energy to really show him how she felt tonight.
"You'll feel better after you feed again," he said softly as he kissed her forehead. "I promise I'll teach you control Elena. But accidents happen… but we'll get through it together." Killing someone was inevitable as a vampire, especially a new vampire. She was going to do everything she could to be careful but she knew from experience with both brothers that sometimes, things weren't avoidable. She had seen Stefan fly off the wagon more times then she could count, and she didn't want to end up the same way.
"And… you're not going to compel me anymore?" she asked with a raised eyebrow. She wanted to be angry that he messed with her mind, knowing what they could have had if he hadn't compelled her to forget him.
Damon clenched his jaw. "You're not allowed to be mad," he said shrugging. "You didn't mean anything to me the first time and I didn't want anyone to know I was around. And… you know things would have gotten way out of control the second time. I didn't want to put you in that position." He reached around to pull another bag out and ripped the corner off as well before handing it to her.
"Didn't say I was mad," she said softly as she slowly drank the second bag. The pain her jaw lessened considerably, her eyes becoming less sensitive as she threw the empty plastic out. "I just don't want you to do it again is all." She kissed the underside of his jaw, her hands sliding up his muscular chest.
"Fair enough," he said his hands running over her sides. "Feeling better?"
"I'm feeling amazing," she said nodding lifting her chin to kiss him softly. The kiss started out slow, tender, sweet, until one of his knees snuck between hers and she rubbed against him, gasping a little as he lifted her onto the freezer. Her ankles locked around his waist, her fingers tugging his hair affectionately as teeth nipped lips. Her head fell back against the brick wall as his lips trailed down the column of her throat. "Damon," she mewled trying to pull him closer to her.
Damon growled in approval as his hips bucked against hers. "I think we should move this upstairs," he whispered against her skin. "Think Stefan left us alone."
Elena kissed him once more as she reluctantly slid off the freezer. "Race ya," she said against his lips before she was gone in a flash, both their laughs echoing through the house.