Guess what? I'm back! A new Oneshot, and very different from my last two – promise!

What else….ah! THANK YOU to myTme for the beta-work (she's the one who corrected my last two stories already!); you're the best!

Disclaimer: I don't own a thing 'bout TVD. I just play with them for fun^^.

Now, on with it!

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

"I love you, I need you, Please don't send me away"...

"It was just words; you scramble them up and they mean even less. Just a jumble of letters, meant to convey a message."

And even though he knew all that, he couldn't quite believe in them; he still kept saying them like a prayer, like a mantra in his own head. It hurt so good, the moment she said those words. It was like the past, future and present swirled together to a pinpoint, to this one short moment to give him everything he ever wanted; everything that had been out of his reach for longer than anyone should be alive.

And yet here he was, at the other end of the world, hiding away from her. Literally at the other end, considering he hightailed it out of there as soon as he could get away from her without it seeming suspicious.

There was no reason to stay anyway. Now that she said it, everything would go only downhill. Things never went good when something this perfect happened. Lady Luck just didn't like him enough for that.

So a week or so down the road, one of their merry little group of fantasy novel monsters would have found a cure for the Sire Bond, or they would have unearthed that Silas guy and Elena would be human again. It would be the end for what Elena thought she felt for him.

She would find him later in the night, wearing loose jeans and a long-sleeved shirt so she could pull the cuffs over her fingers, (she did that when she was nervous or feeling bad for something she was about to do,) and every once in a while would push a strand of wayward hair behind an ear.

And then there would be words like: "I'm sorry," and "I never wanted to hurt you," and "I just need to be alone with Stefan right now".

So he went away. Not the best move ever, but he had no choice. Elena was safe anyway. Heartbroken, sure. But she would be fine. Klaus wouldn't allow anything to happen to his precious little Hybrid Maker, and Stefan wouldn't allow Klaus to harm her once she was human again.

They would find a way to lock the Original away again; or better yet, they would all take the cure, sever the link between them and just kill Klaus outright. He would know when that had happened – he'd be keeling over himself, after all.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

He got e-mails, sometimes. Updates from Bonnie (of all the unlikely people), telling him that Elena was alive (more or less), that Klaus hadn't gone mad and killed them all yet. Sometimes she even made sure to tell him that Stefan was behaving like the Saint he supposedly was; no Ripper in sight.

But never did she tell him if Elena was still crying herself to sleep, or if she and Stefan had rekindled their flame and played at happily-ever-after again. The little witch was smart that way, knowing perfectly well that he would stop reading her mails if she mentioned something like that.

But it was nice knowing that Mystic Falls hadn't magically burned to the ground over night as soon as he was gone.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

He rarely ever slept nowadays. Because sleeping meant dreaming, and the only thing he ever dreamed of was Elena.

Elena laughing, Elena crying, Elena hating him. Elena loving him.

And worst, Elena waking up some day, never even remembering his name.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

One bar was just as the one before, and the one after. Dim lighting, bad whiskey and worse food. But there were other people there, and that was always better than being alone with his thoughts. Those stupid, traitorous things tended to try and make him go home. Once, after about a week of not sleeping, he sat down on the bed of his cheap hotel room and closed his eyes, just for a moment.

The next time he had a conscious thought, was at the airport, ticket to Atlanta in his hands. He still had no idea how the fuck that had happened. He wasn't prone to sleepwalking. Not even when he had still been human.

Human...

A week before that stunt, there was a mail in his inbox, telling him they had succeeded. Elena was happily munching away at burgers without pickles again, not needing anything else to still her hunger. And they had forced the fucking cure down Klaus throat, so… no easy out for him either.

Anyway, there he was standing at that airport, headache roaring away like a fire behind his eyes and, well... That was his explanation, wasn't it? The witch had asked him to return home, (writing that Elena wanted him home; as if!) he denied her even the written no that had been obvious anyway and that was that. Seems she had tried to take things into her own hands.

Boy was he glad that the distance between him and her was too much for even a crazy-powerful Bennett Witch.

No really, he was. In no way did he want to be back there. Listening to Elena's heartbeat, watching as she grew older – grew into a fully adult body, finally getting a different face than Katherine.

He was fine just where he was, thank you very much.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

A week ago, he saw Katherine again. She was pounding on the door to his flat (dingy hotel rooms had lost their appeal after all) until he woke up from his alcohol-induced sleep and nearly ripped the door of its hinges in his bad mood. His brain had stuttered to a halt before it returned to work in a rapid-fire way that it hadn't in years.

Elena, was the first thing he thought. Soft curves, hair long and wavy with grey strands here and there… and a little girl holding on to her right hand.

A little girl with hair not as dark as Elena's, and eyes a soft forest green he knew way too well. He had seen them for decades in the face of another Salvatore, after all.

And then the woman grinned, cocked one hip to the side and lifted one eyebrow and he knew his mistake. Not Elena after all. So he was able to reform all his shields, pack away the heartbreak and return the evaluating stare bit for bit.

"My my, Miss Pierce. Time hasn't spared you after all, has it?"

Katherine in turn just rolled her eyes, pushed him aside and entered the flat with the girl in tow.

Of course she was human now, which meant he was stronger – so he could have stopped her if he had felt the need.

But truth was he was curious. So he let her make her way to the kitchen and watched as she poured the girl a glass of juice, and start the coffeemaker.

When they were all sitting around the table, each with some beverage or the other in hand, he looked at her again. Closely this time, trying to find the bitterness she surely had to feel about the fact that she was turning old.

But oddly, the only thing he could find was contentment and – when she looked at the girl – love.

"So… did they pour the stuff down your throat like they did with Klaus? Mixed it with something else? Come one Pierce, spill already."

She looked back at him for a moment, pity coming off of her in waves, before she sighed and answered, "No, nobody forced me. I heard it was found and asked for it."

That got him to blink stupidly for a moment, "You… asked for it? Just like that? Why the hell would you do that?"

A second later he could've kicked himself for the question. He could see her reason every time she looked at the girl – so obviously her and Stefan's daughter.

But then… "What about Elena? I can't imagine that she would've been happy that you snatched her boyfriend."

Katherine already had a breath drawn in and was about to answer, when the girl burst out laughing.

"Aunt 'Lena and Daddy?! That's kinda gross. Mommy, I thought he's Daddy's big brother. Why's he saying weird things?"

Katherine just smiled and caressed the girl's cheek and then told her to go into the living room and find the remote to watch some TV.

"And Jenna, no snooping through Uncle Damon's stuff!"

The girl – Jenna… he'd have to find out the story on the reason for that – just waved over her shoulder and went to do as told.

"Damon… Elena and Stefan never got back together. Sometimes they were too similar, and the next day they weren't enough alike. They worked great as friends but… that's about it. And… considering you didn't know anything about all that, don't you think it's time to go back home? Find out what you missed? It's been nearly twenty years. Stefan is married to me. We have a daughter. People have moved on from what happened, and live their lives. You're the only one locked away in the past. Still drowning in the bottom of a whiskey bottle and tying to forget. Come back home, please?"

After that little monologue, he got the sarcasm out of his repertoire and drove Katherine up the walls for a bit, and shortly after, she and little Jenna left.

He had to blink a moment when the door closed after them, and the world seemed to tilt on its axis and the light went out around him.

Yeah, maybe he should return home… it had been nice to talk, to hear about home.

And then he shook his head and went in search of a fresh glass to pour a healthy dose of his own, personal, amber cure.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

It was another five years until someone else dared to intrude on his solitude. At least he thought it might be five years. It could as well be ten, or fifty. Time tended to get a little weird at times.

And this time, it really was Elena. No mistake there.

Her hair was a little shorter, her curves a little more womanly, and she looked older. Just… not old enough. No grey in her hair, no crow's feet or wrinkles of age.

She looked like a woman in her mid-twenties; and she was pissed.

Just as Katherine, she pushed him aside. Only, she had the strength to back the move up; and her heart wasn't beating.

Elena was just as much a vampire as the last time he had seen her; only this time around, she obviously felt at home in her body.

With his mouth hanging slightly open, he followed her (thankfully not into the kitchen, because that would have been creepy and too much like déjà-vu). She ended up standing in his living room, hands on her hips, legs a little apart to give an enraged stance.

Oh man, he loved it when she was pissed. So much fire, so much passion so….

"Ouch…fuck, what the hell was that for?!" Stupid fledgling mistake to get lost in thought; he had forgotten that the woman loved to throw things at him.

"Oh, don't play stupid with me. I've tried to be patient; I've tried to make Bonnie convince you of coming back…" Now it wasn't just the hands-on-hips thing that showed her anger, but her expression as well. Eyes wild, full of fire, and lips a pale, furious line in her face. And there was the little vein over her right eye that began to show when the shit was really about to hit the fan.

"Hell, I even sent Katherine here so you would see that I'm not with Stefan. But oh, no! It would be too much to ask that Damon Fucking Salvatore just gets his act together!"

She wasn't just angry, she was close to foaming at the mouth. And all he could think about was how very much he wanted to kiss her. And so he did just that.

After a moment's struggle, and one very mean slap, she gave in and let him push her into the nearest wall.

He could hear things breaking around him, but then one of her bare legs wound around him (Thank God for dresses!). He vaguely thought that this really was a bit like their first time all over again. Only, with music and dancing traded for angry glares and thrown things.

Whatever.

It was Elena; she was here, she was with him, and she still wanted him. It was perfect – and then he stopped thinking entirely because Elena still knew exactly what he liked.

Xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Hours later, they were lying amidst his ruined living room, naked, draped around each other, and happy.

He had asked her why she turned again, after going to so much trouble to become human. She was silent for a few minutes, but then: "If you want to be with someone forever, you have to live forever."

And that was the last time he asked her about it, and the last time he ever doubted her love.

They were meant to be, after all.

THE END

So… I hope you liked this little piece. It even has a happy end! See you next time (hopefully…..xD)

So long,

Zora