a/n: Alright. Here's my first attempt at a TVD multi chapter fic. I have a few chapters prewritten, but am only planning to update once or twice a week, work schedule permitting. Please bear through any mistakes; I've only seen the season finale once.

Prologue

In nearly a hundred and seventy years of living, he had never felt such pain. He knew what it meant when the creature that his best friend had become staggered in pain, turning gray as Damon caught him, and died in his arms. He knew what the witch had done, knew the only way to kill the vampire Alaric. He knew exactly who Ric's life was tied too.

He knew the only way that Ric could die was if Elena died too.

"No, no, no…" he pleaded, "you can't be dead." Tears streamed down his face as he clutched Ric's body. Grief claimed him, wholly consuming. Two of the people he cared for most in the world were dead, and for a moment, that was the only thing in his world.

But only for a moment.

And then the anger surged up, heating his skin and turning his vision red. He damn well knew his brother was still alive. If Klaus's death hadn't triggered his own, than it hadn't triggered Stefan's either. So where the fuck had he been? Why hadn't he been on hand to save her from whatever she had gotten herself into this time?

Where had any of them been? All those people who claimed to love her, to want to keep her safe. That damned Judgy witch, Blondie, Fido, her annoying brother. Where were they and why in the hell hadn't they been with her? He knew damn well she'd had time to get back to Mystic Falls, so they damn well should have been with her to save her from whatever knew disaster she'd found herself in.

He trusted that group with only one thing. Keeping her alive. He'd thought that he could trust them with that, admittedly difficult, task. But Alaric lying dead at his feet, skin gray and veiny, was the only proof he needed that he'd been mistaken in that trust.

He tore out of the building, ignoring his car as he blurred out into the night. He may be near to a hundred miles away from Mystic Falls, but he knew he would get there faster on foot. Especially with all the emotions that were currently fueling him.

He made it to Mystic Falls General Hospital in less than fifteen minutes. He slowed to a human pace as he reached the lights of the parking lot. He didn't pause for the cars, or the people, that moved through the lot. He didn't pause for the automatic glass doors that opened far too slowly. He slipped his body through the barest of openings; he would've gone straight through the glass if he'd had too.

The first person he saw, through the red haze still covering his vision, was Dr. Meredith Fell. He hurried forward, taking her arm in a bruising grip as he jerked her around.

"What happened?" he demanded "Where is she?"

The concern and u[set on Meredith's face only served to further fuel his anger. He was about to dismiss her, to search the hospital for Elena himself, but she grabbed onto his arms, her face dreadfully serious.

"Damon, wait. Damon!" Meredith held onto him, giving him a quick, hard shake when he ignored her. "Damon, you have to understand what happened."

He looked down at her now and she loosened her grip slightly.

"What?" he demanded.

"When Jeremy brought her in earlier….it was so much worse than I let on. I couldn't tell Jeremy, he's been through so much. But it wasn't just a concussion. Elen had a cerebral hemorrhage, bleeding in the brain. So I helped her."

She gave him a significant look when he stared at her blankly. "I helped her Damon."

Comprehension dawned, and his eyes widened in horror. "You what?"

"She would have died Damon."

He shook his head furiously. "You gave her vampire blood," he hissed. "Where is she?"

Meredith took a step back. She wasn't particularly afraid of vampires, but the look on Damon's face just now froze her blood and sent her fight or flight instincts to screaming.

"They took her to the morgue," she told him quietly.

He turned from her and strode quickly down the hall, anxious to get to Elena, to be there when she woke up.

Just as he was about to turn the corner, he heard Meredith call out to him. She spoke softly, so the humans around her wouldn't hear. But his vampire ears picked up what she said without any problem.

"Damon. It was your blood."

He step faltered for a brief moment, before he turned the corner and disappeared from sight.

He meant to keep going, to head straight for the morgue and the girl that he loved, but everything that had happened, everything they had been through, suddenly overwhelmed do that he had to stop, to just stop and let it all absorb for a minute. He would be no good to Elena when she woke if he was a jittering mess of overwhelming emotion.

Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, Esther, blood sacrifice, death. They'd survived it all. She'd, somehow, survived it all. But this. This he didn't know if she would survive. Didn't know if she'd choose too.

It was in that moment that Damon realized just how much he loved Elena. Because he knew that she didn't want to become a vampire, and so, even though a part of him was ecstatic that she was not, in fact, dead, a much larger part was appalled that she was being forced into an eternity that she'd neither asked for nor wanted.

Then of course there was the part of him that was grateful it was his blood that would grant her immortality. He knew it was selfish, but now no matter what happened, he and Elena would have a bond that Stefan would never be able to break. If she chose to complete the transition.

Suddenly Damon realized he'd been standing in some random hospital hallway, when he should be making his way to Elena. He cursed himself for spending the past however many minutes lost in his own thoughts as he hurried toward the stairs leading down to the hospital basement.

He paused for a moment outside the heavy metal doors labeled "Morgue". This was not a place he's ever wanted to find her. Steeling himself, he pushed through.

The first thing he saw was his brother, sitting vigil beside the girl they both loved so desperately. He opened his mouth, unsure of what he would say, when a sharp gasp snapped both vampires' attention to the metal table.

Just in time to see Elena's eyes snap open.