The foundation of their relationship was built on a precipice, wavering between intimacy and the fear of pursuing it (Or, Five times Elijah wished to kiss Elena, and the one time he finally does).
IMPORTANT NOTE: This story is set slightly after the episode "All My Children" in which Esther attempted to destroy her children. This means that all the events in episodes after that are firmly being ignored for the purposes of this story. Therefore, Elena is still human, Finn and Sage aren't dead, etc.
The first time he experiences it is immediately after the final battle with Esther.
After her first attempt at slaughtering those she had once counted as her beloved children had ended in dismal failure, Esther had returned only months later with a vengeance and renewed fury.
Driven insane by her own self-disgust at actions long passed, loathing the part she had played in the creation of beings she could view as nothing more or less than pure evil incarnate, she had set out to eradicate both her children…and the entirety of the vampire race in the process.
Genocide was, apparently, a small price to pay in penance of her sins against nature.
For her progeny, and those they had in turn spawned, were, according to the ancient witch, abominations that humanity needed to be rid of.
Monsters, she had called them. A pestilence, she had hissed. Dishonorable murderers.
Hate blinding her to all else, motherly love long since washed away by the dusty eons spent obsessing with the misdeeds of her children, the cruel epithets were truly what, in her eyes, her children had become.
Esther had never, after all, seen the boyish grin that dances across Klaus's face when immersed in one of his sketches, nor heard Rebekah's uninhibited laughter when Kol mischievously sneaks a daring finger across her still-ticklish knee, or watched as Finn's solemn eyes grew that much brighter whenever Sage glided into a room, red hair dancing merrily. She had never witnessed the softness in Elijah's gaze as a young human proved to him over and over that the future was not so hopeless as it seemed.
And so, with such an irretractable mindset, she descended upon a once-serene little town with the intention of heedlessly bringing a wrathful flame of devastation to scorch the town, uncaring of innocent lives so long as her children were engulfed in the burning fire.
Bonds were forged through necessity, unwilling alliances spun by reluctant weavers who were all too aware that should they falter, should they betray one another, their fates would be that of a grim unison in death. Witch and werewolf, vampire and human—for the first time in the hate-tinted ages of this world, there is no distinction or prejudice.
And on a lone rainy night on the outskirts of Mystic Falls, as the winds of nature and tempests of magic swirl and blend with spattered blood and ripping snarls, friend fights for friend—
Elena whirls at the desperate shout, catching sight as a mighty crack of thunder rips across the air and a streak of witch-induced lightning spirals through the sky, felling several trees…
…one of which is heading straight for Matt. Only Caroline is far faster than any tree, and she has tackled him to safety before Elena can even think to take a step towards her oldest friend.
Elena may not be able to move with lightning quick reflexes, but that doesn't mean she isn't perfectly capable of firing an arrow from her crossbow cleanly into the back of one of Esther's fiendish underlings attempting to impale Tyler on a repulsively long claw. A merciless Stefan joins the fray seconds later, helping a struggling Tyler plow his way through the creatures.)
—lovers guard lovers—
(Jeremy stands protectively before an inaudibly chanting Bonnie as she works to intervene with the dark forces Esther now calls upon to carry out her bidding, valiantly pushing back the hordes upon hordes of gruesome creatures brought to this forsaken place by Esther's own hand from the world beyond.
A cry is let loose as an angry gash is torn jaggedly across Finn's arm by the malformed hand of one of the demons, a furious Sage bearing down upon the transgressor only a moment later to decidedly end it in a few short strikes. She examines an abashed Finn then, teasing him about being the damsel in distress as the wound knits itself closed. Side by side, they leap forwards in a flashing blur of red and black.
And though Elena cannot quite see him, she feels the soft stir of his presence as Elijah tries to be everywhere at once, guarding over his family yet not allowing even a single creature to scathe her. He flickers into being to swiftly decapitate one monster that cunningly lopes towards Rebekah from behind with glistening teeth; effortlessly rips another apart that has pinned a struggling Kol down; and with a flick of his wrist twists a creature into nothing more than a mangled body when it dares to sink sharpened claws into Klaus.
Elena is briefly wrenched out of the path of a group of charging demons, swept against a hard body and spirited to the opposite end of the battlefield. She is only left with the impression of dark, concerned eyes and a gentle hand upon her cheek before he vanishes to help another and she whirls to face the next oncoming monster. )
— and former enemies do battle back-to-back.
("I certainly hope your fighting prowess is more impressive than what you've shown me in the past," Klaus smirks at a glaring Damon as he effortlessly dodges and subsequently beheads one of the corporeal ghouls their mother has summoned to stall them as she completes her sinister spell.
With movements far too blurred for the natural eye to follow, Damon has swept up a jagged tree limb and swiftly impaled five creatures of the netherworld. They burst into flame, mock hearts punctured and hollow bodies crumpling upon themselves lifelessly. He turns to Klaus. Raises an eyebrow mockingly. "That good enough for you?"
A bloody grin. "Quite.")
Hours pass, and then days, or perhaps weeks or months or years—the flow of time grinds to a halt when blood colors the world crimson and bodies litter the land in abundance, ones you pray don't bear the ashen face of a loved one.
The incessant stream of monstrous demons eases and then ceases altogether as Esther's power steadily wanes, drained by the counterspell Bonnie has called upon and Esther's own weaving of a curse meant to permanently rid the world of her children and the vampire pestilence that resulted from their creation. She stands, a solitary figure upon a grassy hill, with nothing more than her hatred fueling her strength and grim determination holding her wretched body up.
And then Elijah, just Elijah, stands before her, the blank-eyed, black veined creature poised motionlessly with her arms raised to the heavens bearing no resemblance to the woman who had once sung him lullabies every night as a child…
…who had once fretted over every scrape and bruise her offspring tumbled home with…
…who had once had a lilting laugh that could charm the birds from their nests and the fish from the river…
…who had once had arms unfailingly spread in a welcoming gesture of love…
…who had once, a long time ago, been his mother.
But no longer.
He draws in a deep breath (one he no longer needs) and feels the encompassing essences of Niklaus and Rebekah and Kol and Finn surrounding him; a familial solidarity that none could break. They had begun this together, over a thousand achingly stretched and tired years ago, and so too will they finish it as such. Always, he knows, and forever.
It is enough for Elijah to steel his resolve…
…and then rush forwards, his fingers plunging unhesitatingly into the chest cavity of the witch before him. There is a soft, wet sensation of a thrumming heart against his skin—he's almost surprised to find one, half-expecting this particular space to carry nothing more than hardened stone, silent and unmoving.
And then his fingers curl upwards, eventually clenching into a tight fist that echoes the constricting squeeze of his insides as he does so.
It is over quickly.
He catches her as she falls (the entire world seems to slow it happens), sinking to his knees as the thin form of his mother drags him down with her.
Elijah cannot avoid evenly meeting her dulling gaze as her blue eyes widen with horror, and disbelief, and, if he's being truthful with himself, just the smallest suggestion of liberation, a respite from her duties as an enforcer of the balance of nature. Only another short moment and her body crumbles to mere dust in his arms (nature, it seems, is finally reclaiming its servant for the last time), the remainder of their ghoulish opponents soon following in the wake of her demise.
Elijah stays that way, sentient and unwilling to stir, staring lifelessly at his empty arms as water drips mockingly through his dark hair and down his cheeks in cold rivulets (whether it comes from the sky or his eyes, he knows not).
They come one by one, first an ashen-faced Finn, reaching out hesitantly to touch his brother's frozen shoulder, before abruptly withdrawing it. Then is Rebekah, clothing bloody and petite shoulders shaking in silent sobs in an uncommon display of raw emotion—she stands a little ways behind Elijah, her repressed cries striking deep within the empty space in his chest. Kol, eyes devoid of his usual laughter and face pale, clutches Rebekah's hand like a broken little boy. Last is Klaus, who for once lacks any cockiness or confidence in his air, slowly striding up until he stands beside Elijah's bowed form, joining in his older brother's wordless vigilance over the loss they have all been forced to experience once again (no matter what, losing someone for the second time over isn't any easier than the first time).
The brothers and sister remain that way until the storm lessens, its intensity fading into nothing more than a soft trickle of tears from the weeping sky, and the reluctant sunshine begins to peek out from behind looming trees. It is morning now, and it is time to move on yet again.
A limping Sage slips her arm through her lover's, gently drawing a still-shocked Finn away from the small gathering of people.
Rebekah is next, a calm Stefan pulling her pallid, numb figure against him and leading her down the sloping hill and far from where death lingers—all enmity is forgotten, or perhaps put on hold, in honor of what they once were and might have been again. Kol follows warily after them, not quite trusting his little sister's wellbeing to another.
Klaus, forever a survivor, needs no convincing to depart…but perhaps he does need the slim hand extended to him by a little blonde vampire, her crystal blue eyes unwavering as he accepts it with a tired, but honest, smile.
And so it is, one by one, that they disappear.
Soon, there is only one that remains, near invisible snatches of sunbeams cascading down on a bowed head of hair.
Elijah's not quite sure how long he kneels there, oblivious to the coming and leaving of his siblings.
Elijah's not quite sure when he feels her drop wearily to her knees beside him, the soft squelch of mud and the plop plop plop of scattered raindrops from overlying tree boughs upon her skin distantly alerting him to her presence.
But he is sure of the fact that his world is suddenly enveloped in her sweet fragrance (unmarred even by the blood and dirt that coats her like a symbol of her bravery) when she loosely wraps her arms around him, face pressed into his shoulder comfortingly as she simply holds him throughout the remainder of the encroaching day.
He is sure of the fact that it is her warm, desperately human body nestled firmly against his, her lashes brushing against the crook of his neck, that anchors him to this Earth, when he's so in danger of completely leaving it. That only her encompassing scent and small fingers upon his skin makes the cavernous hole in his soul ache just that little bit less.
He is sure of the fact that in each second that passes he wants only to draw her ever closer with his empty hands that have nothing left to hold, wants to press his lips tightly against hers so that he doesn't feel so utterly alone, and wants to deny like hell how very much he needs Elena Gilbert.
But he doesn't.
So he settles for shaking fingers running soft strokes through his hair, and a melodiously sad voice whispering "I'm sorry" over, and over, and over…
to be continued
This is the answer to my hatred of about 95% of the debacle that was Season Three. So much of it was disgusting fan service that was unfair to both Damon and Stefan lovers, a horribly wishy-washy Elena, a total disregard of the potential exploration of the familial relationship of the Original vampires, and culminated into the terrible decision to turn Elena into a vampire, thus robbing the character of everything that made her an invaluable part of the show. Elena was the human voice of Mystic Falls, the human defender. She was special because of her limited abilities and flaws that gave the message that magical powers weren't necessary to strive to protect what was important to you.
Anyways, hope my fellow Elijah/Elena shippers enjoy! This story will be short, but hopefully sweet ;)