Delena drabble. Post 4x07, pre 4x08. I own nothing.

Be Your Safety

Her eyes opened to darkness. Where was she? Once upon a time, her heart would have beat such a fierce tattoo against her ribcage that it practically fluttered out of her chest. There was a cold emptiness there where that motion used to be. Strange; it didn't seem like she'd lost her heart. Or if she had she could still feel it. Warm and safe, patient and nearby. Maybe it had quit beating. Maybe that was okay.

For the first time since becoming a vampire, maybe it was okay. She'd known she didn't want to be a vampire. She wanted to grow up, have children, get married, all of that. Not exactly a tenable life plan, when her boyfriend was a vampire, but for the moment none of those details mattered. But when she and Matt had gone off the Wickery Bridge, all of those plans went down with them. Elena had known she didn't want to become a vampire. The part she hadn't realized is how much it would change. They told her it would amplify her feelings. Make her strong, almost invulnerable, but desirous of blood and dependent on her daylight ring. She'd known she would hate herself for her vampirism. But no one had warned her that anyone else would. Who would ever choose to be a vampire, if all it did was make you wrong. She wasn't herself anymore, wasn't good enough, was a monster. She made the wrong choices and couldn't live up to expectations and everyone seemed to have an opinion. Every moment of her vampiric life was marred by anguish. Every one but this one. Where it had come from, she didn't know, but here she wasn't a monster.

Elena blinked a few times, clearing the sleep from her eyes and trying more seriously to place her surroundings. Warm, dark… Blankets moved across her shoulders as she stirred, and the arm draped over her back pulled her closer.

Abruptly, everything came back to her. Stefan, Caroline, Jeremy… Damon. Damon. As if answering her thoughts, his eyes flicked open in the darkness, intense blue barely visible even with her enhanced eyesight. A quiet moment passed where they just looked at each other, Damon's hand running up and down her spine like she'd always been there, like there was nowhere else she should be.

"You woke up?" His voice was thick with sleep, still not quite into his surroundings but the look in his eyes was already guarded. Without quite knowing how she came to this realization, she knew that he was waiting. Waiting for her to leave. Even with his arm around her waist and her hand on his chest and the utter lack of barriers between them, Damon waited for her to leave him.

"Mhm." Around them, the world was still early-morning quiet and Elena had no desire to disrupt that. Her desires were torn, between wanting to feel Damon's hands on her again, the heat of his eyes over her skin and just wanting to mold herself to his chest and sleep, to hold onto these moments for a few more hours before they slipped away into daylight. She allowed her fingers to run across the muscles of his back, the way they flexed under his skin as she pulled him closer until they were the same. Damon was all around her. His limbs, his scent, his gaze. He consumed her.

"What are you…"

"Shh." She shook her head, not sure if she was quieting him or just nuzzling closer into the curve of his neck. Her body pressed against his in unguarded intimacy, their legs tangled together. Damon's eyes ran down her, as much as he could see. Elena felt it like a caress and melted into him. They were the only thing in the world. Like an electric current, contentment bounced back and forth between them, amplifying until it became a nimbus, a shelter defined by Damon's presence. Slowly, she felt the tension drain from his body as he relaxed into her. Safe.

Sleep lapped at Elena's consciousness like waves and for once, she let herself go. There was nothing to be afraid of. Nothing to rush. After all, they were vampires. If they wanted they could have forever. But for the moment they had each other. That was enough.