A/N: This is a little one-shot I have been thinking about and finally decided to write. I am frustrated with what the show is doing with Stefan and Elena, so I decided to put my own spin on it. It takes place probably a few more episodes down the road, but everything that has happened up to this point in the show is relevant.

Please let me know what you think!

It happened at about 10:06 on a Tuesday night.

A 14-year old girl had been walking home alone, down a relatively safe sidewalk in a relatively safe neighborhood. Or so she thought.

Elena had been walking home too, or, walking around prowling as she had begun to call it. Then she had spotted her, the 14-year old blonde girl with sad blue eyes. Elena could hear the girl's heartbeat from a mile away and in a flash, was 10 paces behind her, fixated on the blood pulsing through this young girl. Every ounce of Elena's being told her to feed. Just grab the girl, drink from her, and then compel her to forget.

It was sick. Disgusting. Pure evil. And all Elena could do was grin as the thrill of it all consumed her.

The girl was an easy target. Smaller than Elena and the quiet type – not one to fight back. Not that she could stand a chance against Elena anyway.

Blood. Pain. Fear. The idea of being satisfied. It was all Elena thought about anymore. Whether it was preying on innocent people for blood or having sex with Damon night after night. Elena couldn't stop herself. She had lost control, and she didn't even want it back. Most of the time.

The young girl screamed when Elena grabbed hold of her. She cried out in pain as Elena's fangs pierced through the delicate skin on her neck. And slowly, she went limp as Elena continued to drink without keeping the moderation aspect of it in check.

When Elena came up for air she didn't need, she closed her eyes and sighed with complete satisfaction. She smiled even, letting the victim's blood run through her body, making her feel incredibly fulfilled, yet incredibly numb too. When she looked back down at the girl in her arms, she noticed the girl wasn't breathing. There was no heartbeat that Elena could hear. Slowly, her smile faded. "Hey" Elena said, shaking her. "Wake up" she continued, shaking her once more.

Fear shot through Elena as the realization of what she had just done, was sinking in. See, sometimes Elena didn't give a shit about anything. Damon was there to reinforce that thought for her. It was amazing, to not have a care in the world anymore.

But then other times, she did care. A whole lot.

And there was no one there to help her deal with that. Not anymore.

"No" Elena said, shaking her head and beginning to cry. "No no no" she repeated, slowly laying the girl down on the sidewalk. "Please, no. I'm so sorry" she apologized. She ran her hands over the girl's heart in a panic. "Don't die, please. Don't" Elena cried, beginning to give the girl CPR. Something her friend Matt had taught her years earlier as a lifeguard. "I didn't mean it" Elena cried, still in a state of panic. "Please don't die, not like this" she begged. The guilt was consuming her now, and the only way to make it stop was to feed. To let the blood help her turn off her feelings.

But she couldn't. She couldn't flip that switch like Damon could. She wasn't capable of having that control. Her grief and her guilt came and went as they pleased, often times leaving her devastated.

"I'm so sorry" Elena said, stopping her compressions and looking down at the girl as tears fell from her eyes.

But then, the girl took a small gasp for air, her eyes wide open in shock. Elena's tears ceased as she too looked at the girl in shock. Elena knew she has to fix this. To make it right.

So, she bit into her wrist and placed it against the girl's mouth, forcing her to drink the blood. So she could be healed. The girl fought against Elena, but Elena held her down until she was sure she had had enough. Then, she helped her sit up and looked directly into her eyes. "You are going to be okay. You're going to forget what happened tonight and run straight home" she compelled.

The girl looked dazed as she stood up. But she turned around and ran straight towards home.

Elena remained on the ground, unable to move. Unable to process the fact that she had almost killed that girl.

Damon would tell her not to worry about it. The girl didn't die and she had been compelled not to remember. No long-lasting harm done.

But Elena felt pure agony over what she had just done. No one would understand the guilt she felt, not even Caroline. Because Caroline didn't do the horrific things that Elena did as a vampire. And even out of all the horrific things Elena had done, nothing had come close to what she had just done to that child.

No one understood how lost Elena was. How lost she had been since she became a vampire. Since she was sired to Damon.

No one knew how incredibly lonely she was, how defeated she felt.

No one knew how many times she had almost given up and killed herself. It would have been that easy, to take her ring off in the middle of the day. To just vanish.

No one knew her suffering like she did.

Except Stefan.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Caroline had mentioned that after Stefan left, he bought a piece of land in a wooded area and had begun to build a home there. A life was probably the more correct term.

Since Elena had begun a relationship with Damon, Stefan had left, unable to sit back helplessly and watch as the love of his life screwed his brother.

Elena hadn't seen him since he had yelled at her, demanding to know how many more ways she was going to continue to tear his heart apart. Elena hadn't really cared though. Her sole focus was on Damon.

Call it the sire bond, which she did for a long time. She had no choice but to feel close to Damon. She had to be with him because of that tie, that pull. She had absolutely no choice but to break Stefan's heart by being with his brother.

Which was complete bullshit. She could control who she had true feelings for. She could have broken through the sire bond if she had really wanted to.

Because Stefan had broken through an Original's compulsion for her. He had fought like hell, because he loved her.

Yet she couldn't do the same for him.

She was a coward. Selfish, unwilling to stand up for herself and for what she wanted. She chose the easier route, by being with Damon.

Nothing had been easy for Stefan though. He didn't do what was easy.

He did what was best for her. Like walking away when she chose to be with Damon.

So here she stood now, in the pouring rain outside of the log cabin he had built, crying. Because she knew she shouldn't be there. She was scared and confused and needed him. But she didn't deserve his help. She deserved his door to be slammed in her face.

So, she remained there in the pouring rain, staring at his home. At the home they could have had together.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Stefan came downstairs, deciding on whether or not he would go out to his shop and work on a bench he was building or sit down with a blanket and a book by the fire.

Before he could make his decision, his attention turned to his front door. There was someone on the other side of it. And he knew who it was.

He took a small step towards the door, then stopped, rocking back on that same foot. The urge to go to her was still present. He didn't think it would ever go away. And he wanted it to. Desperately, wanted it to. Because it was painful to still want someone who didn't want you.

He closed his eyes and listened. She was still standing there. And he didn't think she would leave anytime soon.

So, despite his better judgment, he went for the door and opened it slowly. There she was, standing there completely soaking wet, looking down at her feet. She looked so ashamed of herself, and it killed him. He realized she was crying too.

She took a small, shaky breath before she spoke. "I'm scared" she whispered. He could barely hear her past the rain, but he did. His entire heart clenched tight. Her pain was now his, in an instant. "Please help me" she whispered, slowly dragging her eyes up to look at him. She wasn't sure what she was expecting to see. Anger. Betrayal. Hate. Disgust.

Compassion and love shouldn't have been there. But they were. And when he stepped aside to let her in, she was almost hesitant to go in. Because if he wasn't going to hate her, maybe she should hate herself. Maybe she should turn around and go on feeling lost, alone, and miserable.

His eyes were silently telling her to come in, out of the cold. Even if the cold and rain didn't affect her anymore like they used to, he still liked to think that they did. He still liked to believe that Elena was his innocent, kind and loving girl that he had to protect from the world.

Eventually, Elena did step inside, careful to remain as small as possible so as not to intrude on him or his space. And when he offered for her to come in, to have a seat, she lost it.

Completely. Fucking. Lost it. It wasn't fair to stand there, in his home, asking for his help, after everything that she had put him through. Her face was buried into her hands as she let out painful cries, wanting nothing more than to curl up into a ball and disappear. And she might have tried, had his arms not gone around her, holding her so perfectly close that she almost forgot that those arms hadn't been there for quite some time. "Shhh" he said quietly, against her ear as his arms held her close.

This all made her want to cry more, but like usual, she couldn't help but listen to him. To be comforted by such a small gesture. "You should hate me" she whispered, clutching his arm that was holding her.

He sighed, his warm breath hitting her cold skin. "I hate not being with you" he said quietly, honestly. "I can't hate you" he added. He could hate a lot of things in his life. But she wasn't an option. And never would be.

She closed her eyes tight and a few lingering tears slipped out. She couldn't keep it in anymore, what she did. She had to tell someone about it. Because it was eating away at her little by little. "I did something unforgivable tonight" she said, taking a painful breath as her whole body tensed.

Stefan closed his eyes, leaning his head against hers. He had no intention of letting her go, because if he did and she broke down, he might have lost her. For good. "Tell me" he said calmly, giving her the freedom to say as much or as little as she needed to.

A quiet sob escaped her as she remembered exactly what she had done. But she had to tell him. She had to get it all out. "I almost killed someone tonight" she whispered painfully. "A girl. A young, innocent girl" she said, her voice trailing off into almost nothingness.

He was quiet for a few minutes, focused on being with her in that moment. "You're not that person" Stefan said, reassuringly. She wasn't cold-hearted and evil. She wasn't a monster.

"I am when I'm not with you" came her words, soft, sad, and full of guilt. His grip on her loosened slightly, as he realized the implication of her words. "I'm a monster without you" she added quietly. Because he kept her sane. Rational. He made her control her urges by believing in her.

"Why are you here, Elena?" he asked, letting go of her after seeing that she had calmed down significantly.

Elena looked at his pained face with regret. What right did she have to burden him with her problems? None at all. She smiled sadly at him. "I don't want this anymore" she told him.

Stefan looked at her so hard, she thought he was looking right through her. "Don't want what anymore?" he asked for clarification.

Then she frowned as she realized what she was about to tell him. "This life" she answered. "I don't want to be here anymore" she said sadly.

He could tell how much the guilt had been eating away at her. How much it was destroying her. "It won't always be this way" Stefan reminded her. The guilt, the need to feed on the innocent. It came and went, but it was never constant if you didn't want it to be.

"I kill people" Elena told him with so much pain that he almost couldn't stand it. "I hurt people" she said. Then, she took another shaky breath in. "I hurt you" she admitted. "And I don't want to hurt people anymore. I don't want to hurt you" she said, beginning to cry again.

Stefan realized how serious she was, about ending it all. Something inside of her had changed from when he saw her last. She was no longer strong and carefree. She had given up and wanted an out. He'd be selfish not to give it to her. "You want to die?" he asked, needing her to say it before he could completely believe it. Or accept it.

"I can't keep living like this" she told him. And the only reason she was opening up to him about this was because he wouldn't stop her. He wouldn't throw her in the cellar and force her to keep living like everyone else would. He would respect her wish.

In an instant, she was in his arms again as he was crushing her body to his. "I'm going to find that cure" he whispered. She felt his own tears trickle down the side of her face and it broke her heart that he had so much hope. Even after she had crushed him by being with his brother, he was still trying to save her. Do what was best for her. Put his own life on hold to give hers back to her. "I just need you to hold on a little longer" he said, nearly pleading with her to not give up.

"I don't think I can" she whispered.

"I know you can" he said. "I just need you to trust me."

"I've always trusted you" she admitted. He nodded his head against hers, feeling like she had heard him and that she wasn't going to hurt herself. Not right now, anyways. "Can I stay here for a little while?" she asked nervously. Because if she walked out that door, she was afraid of what she might do.

"What about Damon?" Stefan asked hesitantly. As much as Stefan hated to think about it, the sire bond was still ever present.

Elena was quiet for a moment before she spoke again. "I want to stay here" was all she said. And all she needed to say.

"Stay as long as you want" he told her, knowing he was opening up his heart for more pain and disappointment. But his need to help her was overwhelmingly stronger.

She pulled away from him slowly, finally finding the courage to look up at him once again. His eyes looked sad and worried, and she wished they didn't. "When you find the cure, will you take it with me?" she asked. Because if anyone wanted humanity back more than her, it was Stefan. He deserved it more than any of them, herself included.

Stefan ran his hand along the side of her face, resting it there as he smiled sadly at her. "If there's enough" he replied selflessly.

Because if it came down to only one person being able to use the cure, he'd die making sure it was her who got her humanity back.

A/N: I truly believe the Stefan we know and love would do anything for Elena, no matter what happens between them. I wanted to show that in this one-shot.