Humanity

Disclaimer: If I owned Vampire Diaries, Elena would have made a different choice...or at least she would give a better excuse than "I met him first." In short, I don't own it.

Summary: There are times when Katherine Pierce allowed the sliver of humanity to creep back into her mind. Example: The first time she laid eyes on her doppelganger, her descendent.

Katherine Pierce was feeling nostalgic. She wandered through the forest, taking in the familiar, yet foreign landscape. Why, just over by that boulder, she had faked injury and had Martin Slade come to her rescue. He had been such a gentleman, taking her into his arms so that her beautiful, dangerous mouth was just inches from his carotid artery. Slade had been her third victim in 1864.

She smirked, reminiscing at the taste of his warm blood gushing into her mouth. Slade had been pure, no drugs or alcohol in his system to sully the rich blood that had once pumped through his body. Nowadays, she was hard-pressed to find good, clean blood to sate her.

Then she felt that painful pleasure in her gums as her pearl-white fangs elongated and the veins in her face bulged, darkening her eyes. Her lust for blood was as obvious as a teenage boy's hunger for sex.

Speaking of teenage boys...

She could hear music and raucous laughter in the distance. She could smell alcohol and booze. A high school party. How sweet...and such an easy cover story. The animal attacks got old.

She blurred through the trees, the sound of beating hearts calling to her, the scent of fresh blood captivating her. She stopped gracefully on the outskirts of the party, peering at the teenage girls and boys as they drank, danced, and laughed, completely unaware that they were being stalked by the deadliest creature on the planet. She picked out her target, some blond jock who looked like he had just lost his best friend. Perfect.

She cocked her head, contemplating how she wanted to handle this. Attack like a lioness? Compel him to leave with her? Convince him to leave with her without compulsion? That could be fun. She was about to move to introduce herself to her new toy, when she smelt something she had failed to pick up before. It couldn't be-

"Katherine."

She froze. Oh fucking hell. His voice. Her ever-faithful lapdog.

"Um...I...no, I...I'm Elena," a voice, a very damn familiar voice said. Katherine turned towards the sound of the voices, he features returning to normal. She zoomed to the edge of the tree line. She could see the roadway...and the two people standing in the middle of it.

"Oh. You just look...I'm sorry," he struggled to get out. He looked the same, Katherine noted, yet different. He looked darker, more devil-may-care than he had back in 1864. No longer was he the naive boy who had fallen so hopelessly for her.

"You just really remind me of someone. I'm Damon," he continued, introducing himself to the mystery girl. Damn straight, Katherine thought as she observed his companion, a teenage girl with straight brown hair and innocent brown eyes...and every one of Katherine's facial features. Katherine watched in fascination. How...

"Not to be rude or anything, Damon, but it's kind of creepy that you're out here in the middle of nowhere," the girl, Elena, said, wary. Perhaps her instincts were telling her that Damon was bad news, which he was if he wasn't like his bunny-eating brother.

"You're one to talk," Damon countered, "You're out here all by yourself."

"It's Mystic Falls. Nothing bad ever happens here," Elena shrugged. Katherine smirked. Apparently Elena hadn't brushed up on the town's history. After a moment of silence, Elena shrugged.

"Got into a fight with my boyfriend," she admitted.

"About what?" Damon asked before he could stop himself, "May I ask?" he added hastily.

"Life. Future. He's got it all mapped out," Elena sighed.

"And you don't want it?"

"I don't know what I want."

Been there, done that, Katherine thought.

"Well that's not true. You want what everybody wants," Damon stated.

"What? A mysterious stranger that has all the answers?" Elena laughed.

"Ha. Well, let's just say I've been around a long time. I've learned a few things."

I would hope so, Katherine rolled her eyes.

"So Damon, tell me. What is it that I want?"

"You want a love that consumes you. You want passion, and adventure, and even a little danger," he told Elena. For a moment, she looked stunned. Then she recovered by turning it back on him.

"So what do you want?"

"Ah..."

A horn honked, jerking Katherine and Elena from the conversation.

"That's my parents," Elena explained, turning away. In the next second, Damon had completely invaded her personal space.

"I want you to get everything you're looking for. But right now, I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing I'm in town yet. Goodnight Elena."

And then he vanished, leaving the girl standing all alone as her parents approached. As she walked to the car, Katherine watched her further, seeing more and more similarities between Elena and herself. She realized it was no coincidence. After almost five-hundred years, the second Petrova doppelganger had surfaced. The daughter Isobel had told her of was Katherine's latest descendent.

For a moment, Katherine's mind flashed on a screaming, bloody baby girl being held up so her mother could see her. That baby, that abomination, as her father had called it, lived on, continued their line. Katherine's little Avana, who's birth had had her mother exiled to England, had survived the orphanage and grew and had children of her own.

Katherine's heart leapt in joy. Though she had longed to find her baby daughter, she couldn't risk it. By the time she was able to return to Bulgaria, Katherine had already been turned into a vampire...and had already made a powerful enemy.

Klaus, the original vampire who only longed to break an ancient curse set upon him by a vengeful witch. Of course, to break the curse, he had to drain the Petrova doppelganger of all her blood. Understandably, Katherine had ran like hell when she learned of his plans for her. She had been fortunate. She had the warning and the know-how to plot her escape.

That was when she realized that her descendent, this Elena, would have no such luxury. Klaus would not make the same mistake again and allow the doppelganger to escape his sinister plans. She was also totally ignorant of vampires. She didn't know there was a way to escape...but was this an escape? Katherine questioned. The blood lust. The loss of loved ones. The need to flee.

She imagined Elena, still so young and innocent, going through the transition and living day-to-day as a creature of the night. Katherine bit her lip. Somehow, that didn't sit well with her. Elena was not a creature of the night. She was too pure, too good. Almost like Stefan.

Only Elena was special. She was a Petrova, Katherine's however-many-great-granddaughter. Those instincts that had been buried when Katherine had had her child taken from her suddenly resurfaced.

Elena would not be tainted with vampirism.

Nor would she be a lamb in Klaus's sacrifice.

Not if Katherine could help it.

So she sped through the trees at inhuman speed until she reached the road, just a few feet from Wickery Bridge. She could hear the car approaching.

She stepped out of the shadows at the last moment.

She heard the screech as the breaks were applied too quickly.

She could smell the burnt rubber on the pavement.

The resounding splash would haunt her for eternity.

She had just ended her line.

"But you won't suffer, Elena," she whispered to the river, watching as the car submerged, "You won't suffer as I did."

Then Katherine Pierce took a breath and flipped that imaginary switch.

She sped away from the scene, focusing only on her growing need for blood.

She made it to the next town at the exact moment that her descendent was pulled from the river by another of Katherine's creations.

If she had stayed, the mother in her would have staked him without a second thought to protect that innocent girl from the monsters that would soon dominate her life.

The End

AN: I betcha anything that it was Katherine who drove the Gilberts off the bridge. She was always following the Salvatore boys and both of them were in the area at the time of the accident.

This is my take on how that could have come about. We know Katherine has a softer side AND that she knew first-hand how much it sucked to be pursued by Klaus. I don't think she'd want that for one of her family and, in a typically Katherine way, she would attempt to help. Of course, when she came back in season 2, Elena was so immersed in vampires that Katherine could barely do anything about it, especially with the brothers acting as body guards.