It was bright and early Sunday morning. Damon groaned as he opened his eyes only to smile once they had opened because Elena was still beside him resting peacefully. The thought that it was already Sunday and they would be making their way home at some point today or this afternoon bummed him out a little bit. He wished this weekend could go on forever. Damon was afraid of what Elena might do or think once they had returned to Mystic Falls. Would she regret the entire weekend and go running back to Stefan? He really wasn't sure. He hoped not. He hoped that she would tell Stefan it was over and they'd pack their bags and leave Mystic Falls behind. Yeah, he could dream.
As much as he didn't want to wake Elena Damon also knew they were here for a reason (or two). She needed to learn to hunt and Damon was going to teach her. He checked his watch - 9.30am - and gently shook Elena.
"Hey, Elena…" He whispered.
"No." She whined, curling up closer to Damon.
Her closeness made his heart pump viscously.
"I know. I don't want to go either but we have plans." Damon said.
Elena's eyes finally fluttered open, Elena took a little while adjusting to her surroundings but when she did Damon was glad she didn't jump out of bed of start beating him because of last night. She instead looked at him with sparkling eyes and smiled. Damon was only too happy to return the smile. Elena placed a chaste kiss on his lips.
"Good morning." She lazily drawled.
Damon watched on closely as she stretched her arms, still naked from the night before. The hunter in him wanted to pounce on her and ravish her but he submerged the feeling quickly.
"C'mon. Get up. Get dressed. We have work to do." Damon tried to say as cheerfully as he could.
Elena sat up and gathered her her things, dressing in a pair of dark denim jeans and khaki coloured shirt. Damon was dressed as usual in black jeans and a black shirt. As they got into Damon's car Elena finally asked where they were going.
"So where are we going?"
"The hospital." Damon stated.
"What? Why?" Elena questioned.
"Because it's a place where you're going to be tested. You need to not only learn to feed Elena but to suppress your hunger when you need to. What happens if Jeremy or someone you love is badly injured and you have to help stop bleeding or at the very least be in the proximity of blood? You need to learn to cope with that ever lasting hunger and learn how to keep it at bay. The hospital is the perfect place. There are sick and wounded people everywhere, you will be tested beyond belief." He explained.
"I'm not ready." Elena protested.
"Yes, you are." Damon replied.
"No, Damon I'm not. I've only been doing this for a short while…" Elena stammered.
She was only met with a smile as they pulled into a hospital car park. There were no words exchanged during the short walk to the hospital entrance and it was not until they were a few feet away from entering the building that Elena stopped.
"I-I can't." She said.
"You can." Damon responded.
"What if I hurt someone…or kill them?" Elena worried.
"You won't. I won't let you. Trust me Elena. I wouldn't make you do this if I didn't think you were ready. I know you can do this."
With that Damon grabbed her hand and held it in his own and marched her through the big glass doors. They made their way silently to one of the critical care wards where Damon compelled a few nurses to disregard their presence. He took Elena to the first room he seen and scanned the chart. Car accident victim, with mostly internal wounds. This wouldn't be too confronting to start off with. To double check Damon peeked in the room and made sure the victim only had minor external wounds.
He opened the door and led Elena in, closing it behind them and shutting the blinds. As much as he trusted and believed in Elena it would do neither of them any good if she suddenly pounced on the victim and someone seen her. Elena paused in the corner of the room. She could already smell the blood. Her whole face began to change and even though Damon loved her vampire feeding look he knew he had to help her control it.
"Don't breathe. Stop taking in the scent and hold your breath. When you think you are ready take a slow breath." Damon instructed, watching her carefully.
Lucky for them the victim was heavily sedated.
Elena stood still and silent for minutes until Damon finally saw her take a breath.
"Now as that scent fills your nose think about that man lying there. Think about his family. Maybe he has a wife and children. Think about the devastation on their faces after being told their father was ripped to pieces." Damon said.
It was a cruel, horrible thought but this was the way to get to Elena. For Damon it was simple. After a century he was able to take control and suppress his thirst by closing his eyes but for Elena it was different. He knew by making he see that the person she's about to drink to death is a person with a family and a life she won't be able to let the thirst consume her. Or at least that was what he was hoping.
"Is it working?" Damon asked softly.
"I-I can still smell it." Elena said shakily.
"Close your eyes then. Picture him. Picture him holding his baby in his arms or kissing his wife. Make your brain see that he is not food." Damon softly coaxed.
Elena closed her eyes and pictured the bulky man with a baby girl in his arms, smiling down on her. It made her smile and after a few cautious minutes her thirst subsided and she opened her eyes no longer fearful that she would rip that man's throat out. She grinned at Damon and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"Damon I did it! I did it!" She exclaimed.
"Yes you did. But we need to keep going." Damon said.
They existed the room and Damon continued down the hall until he found what he was looking for. Attempted murder victim. Multiple severe stab wounds and a gun shot wound. Damon's lips curled up. This would be messy and he hoped Elena could handle it.
"Okay. Elena. In here is a man with severe injuries. Open, bloody wounds. I'm asking you this once, do you think you can handle it?" Damon asked.
"I-I, I think so." Elena replied.
Damon cautiously opened the door and took a step inside. The delectable smell of blood filled his nostrils immediately. His eyes started to turn, he could feel it. He clenched his fists and closed his eyes and gulped back the feeling of thirst that almost overwhelmed him.
"Are you ready?" He asked.
Elena nodded. She took a step in the door and sped to the furthest corner from the man. Damon once again closed the door and the blinds. Elena's whole face changed again but Damon could tell this would be harder to control.
"Elena do it again. Remember what I said." Damon spoke.
"I can't. I can't. It's too strong. I'm so….thirsty." She said.
"You can do it." Damon instructed.
Elena's eyes did not change. She stared at the man until it got the better of her. In a flash she was at the man's neck sucking the life from him greedily. Damon launched at her and pulled her back, it took all his strength to hold her.
"Stop! Listen to me. Close your eyes, Elena. Do it." Damon ordered.
"Let me go!" She cried out.
"Close your eyes!" Damon demanded.
Elena closed them.
"Now stop breathing and picture him. Picture what it might do to his mother or father or sister or brother if you killed him. What if he's just like you and Jeremy? No one but each other. What might that do to his sister if you killed him Elena?" Damon said.
A tear rolled down Elena's cheek and slowly but surely her vampirism started to disappear and her face returned to normal. She slowly opened her eyes and looked at the bleeding wound she had caused the man.
"What have I done?" Elena cried.
"It's okay. I stopped you before you could do any real damage. Don't worry. The good thing is you brought yourself back from the brink." Damon smiled.
"I attacked him." Elena sobbed.
"You stopped." Damon replied.
"Only because you made me!" She exclaimed.
"No. I helped you. But you stopped. You controlled yourself. You are not going to get the hang of this overnight but you're doing extremely well. I'm proud of you and you should be proud of yourself. Now, don't worry about him. We're going to get a nurse and it'll be fine."
Elena nodded and followed Damon out of the room. He compelled a nurse to dress the wound and think nothing of it and they left the hospital. Without realising it they had been in there for over 2 hours. Damon was saddened to know that they had to be making their way back to Mystic Falls soon. As they both got in the car and Damon started the engine, pulling out of the hospital car park Elena placed her hand on top of his.
"Thank you." She said.
"For what?" Damon asked.
"For believing in me. For helping me."
Elena leant over and kissed Damon on the lips. It wasn't friendly. It was a real kiss. One that said to Damon that this was real.
Most of the car ride home was silent. They held hands and exchanged glances and small talk. When Damon pulled into the Salvatore driveway he didn't want to have the conversation he knew was waiting for him. He shut off the engine, the darkness surrounding them.
"Look, Damon. I know what happened on the weekend was…well it was what it was. I just…I'm with Stefan and I can't keep doing this to him." She said, practically a whisper.
"Then don't. Be with me. We'll leave Mystic Falls. I'll take you anywhere." Damon replied, feeling like he was begging.
"Don't." Elena said, shaking her head. "You know I can't. I love Stefan. He's your brother and this was…it was a bad thing to do to him. You're a wonderful person Damon even if you don't show it to anyone but me. I know who you really are and you deserve to be with someone that loves you."
"You do love me. I can see it. Elena, please."
"I love Stefan. You're my friend Damon. A good friend. A friend who has been helping me through a lot. But that is all. Please don't make this harder then it already is."
"Damon. Please! Just keep this weekend between us. I had a great time and it was fun but it's over. We should go back to our lives. Mine as Stefan's girlfriend and yours as the town bad boy." Elena tried to laugh.
Damon couldn't say a thing. Elena had broken his heart. Even though it was a long shot he had desperately hoped for his happy ending. The ending where she would leave with him. Did Damon ever get the happy ending he so badly wanted? No. Being good got him no where as a human and being bad got him also no where as a vampire. What was he to do? Elena gave Damon was final sad look before grabbing her bag and leaving the car. Damon watched on excruciatingly as she jumped into Stefan's awaiting arms on the front porch.
As Damon got out of the car he tried not to listen to their conversation.
"I missed you too Stefan."
A/N: I am sorry this has taken so long. It's been a bit of a hectic week or so for me so I do apologise. How are we all enjoying TVD now that it has returned? I'm a bit bummed that they're playing down the Damon/Elena part, but I think other then that I'm enjoying it. I hope this chapter lived up to any expectations anyone might have had and hopefully you'll see another update from me really soon.
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