Title: About Face

Disclaimer: I own none of these characters. I just play with them.

Rating: T

Summary: She is not Katherine, but she was no longer herself. Up through 4x03

AN: This took another turn than I expected. Ah well. And thanks to my roommate, who is only on Season Two but completely spoiled thanks to me, for reading this and giving me her thoughts on it. And for the title.

The pavement beneath her had lost the heat of the sun hours ago, though Elena hardly noticed the chill as it seeped deep into her skin. The sky above was littered with thousands of stars, expounded by the crisp autumn air.

It had taken her more alcohol than a frat boy could consume in a month to get her close to drunk. The downside to being what she was now, she supposed. And she needed it tonight, the thick drowsy feeling weighing down her limbs staved off the ever-present cravings, but more importantly, the sensation of drowning.

They had been right. Damon, Stefan, Caroline. Every other vampire she had met. Everything was heightened, brightened, and every feeling magnified beyond what she would have been able to handle as a human. As she was now, it took everything in her not to curl in on herself and cry. Or laugh. Or both, one warring with the other until it threatened to drive her insane.

Elena refused to admit why she came here. The old memory of this place was new to her, recently unfurling in her mind with her transition. For months she believed she remembered everything about that day up to the accident, having played it over and turned the day on its side as she tried to fight against the could haves and would haves. In the end, her parents still died, along with the carefree girl whose only concern had been how to break up with her smitten boyfriend.

The phone rang at her side and she wanted to ignore it. She had been avoiding everyone today, especially after what had happened with Matt. Stefan had called at least forty-seven times. Or four. Really, she could not be bothered to remember which. She could not face him now, especially with the knowledge she was trying to block out of her mind. She needed live blood to live, and live blood drove him to an insanity she would not want him to visit again.

The ring tone broke through her drunken haze seconds before it would switch to voice mail. She had set it on a whim, telling herself she wanted to be prepared for anything when talking to him. Now, her finger tapped the screen of its own accord as she brought the phone to her ear.

Elena's voice caught in her throat. She would refuse to show this side, not let him see what she was going through. Not because it was something personal, but because she was being selfish. Worse, she was wallowing, and he did not need to be burdened by this.

Instead, she listened as he breathed, both waiting for the other to break the silence.

For once, he caved first. "Where are you?"

A ghost of a smile graced her lips as he masked his concern in a teasing lilt. She could hear the slight slur in her own voice as she answered. "Taking your advice. You're right, the pavement is a good place to think."

"You're drunk."

"Not for lack of trying."

He was silent for a moment. "Seriously, Elena. Where are you?"

She bit her lip as she rapidly blinked her stinging eyes. Turning her head, she looked over at the spot where she now knew it for what it was. "I miss her," she confessed.

"You would miss a stranger on the street after a five minute conversation," he stated.

She tasted the blood on her lip even before her teeth pierced her flesh. "What was she like, Damon?"


Elena shook her head, bringing her free hand up to rub at her damp eyes. "You were the last one to see her. Was she shallow?"

"You're going to have to be a bit more specific than that."

She ignored him and continued. "I keep trying to remember, and it keeps fading. I don't know her anymore."

Damon remained silent for once, allowing her drunken words to tumble from her mouth with no apparent discernible direction.

"You were there. What was I like?" Elena had missed her humanity long before it was taken from her.

He swore softly as all the teasing left his voice. "I'll be right there."

The phone died in her hand and she let it fall to the pavement.

It had been a slow revelation to her. Looking at the spot where she had last been carefree and mostly happy, where a strange man had wished her all the happiness, she wondered if that had not been the day her transition had truly begun. It had been the end of innocence and the descent into a world she was now fully ensconced.

And now she was not sure who she was anymore. Would she remain as she had been, only magnified? Or was there some dark recess of her mind that would now come to the forefront, twisted and a mocking shadow of a woman who shared her face?

Elena could feel it beginning. There was a pull that had been there before, soft and quiet that now screamed at her. Two directions, either way would hurt someone, and a part of her did not care.

Bright lights flooded the dark environment, blinding her as the familiar roar of an engine shifted to an idle. The light stayed on and it took everything she had not to turn away from it. The old hinges protested as the driver got out. He was backlit by the car's lights as he head for her, casting his face in dark shadow, but she would know him even without the familiar purr of the engine.

"You know, this is more fun when you're actually hunting," Damon said as he came to a stop beside her, his shadow blocking her eyes from the pain of the light. "Much less fun when you're drunk and mopey, trust me. Never turns out well."

He knelt beside her, and she suddenly wanted to slap him. She hated that she needed him, that he was the only one who could help. Caroline could not, she ate from Happy Meal bags, and Stefan was clearly out of the picture. He, on the other hand, could teach her. Seemed eager to show her his ways. He would guide her, and she would rely on him, and it would be so easy to use that reliance against him. She could easily see herself forcing a repeat in history, of going down a path that had forced her to keep this man at an arms length.

The way he looked at her now stayed her hand as his came and brushed her damp cheeks. "She was you. You never lost her."

"But I am," she said and her chest began to heave. "I don't know what to do. I keep trying to fight it, but I'm going to lose. You'll be hurt, and it will be the same thing all over again."

"You're nothing like Katherine," Damon assured her. With an inhuman grace, he scooped her from the pavement. As she dangled from his arms like a broken rag doll, he started for his Camaro.

Elena curled her fingers against his shoulder, tucking her nose against the crook of his neck. She squeezed her eyes shut as she tried to block out everything around her, but his scent pervaded her senses in that annoying way he had. When his grip tightened just above her knee, she encircled his neck until all that existed was him. Here, for now, she thought that she was very much like Katherine as the other woman's voice echoed in the back of her mind. It's okay to love them both.


So, what did you think? Did the voices sound right? Which character do I have a better grasp on?