A/N: Okay guys! So, I never actually planned to write a sequel to Mirrors and Broken Things, but the response was so warm and overwhelming and the requests kept streaming in every day, so you won! You have fully succeeded in convincing me to expand into another episode! If you haven't read MBT, please go check it out, and thanks all so much for the endless support!
So we are kicking off with Elena POV, and much like Mirrors this will be a sequence of Canon and Non Canon events that take us thru the episode. Enjoy!
Huge Shout out to Trogdor19 who did the world's fastest beta on this! You are so amazing!
Episode point of reference: Beginning pre 4x07 with the end of the big break up scene between Stefan and Elena on her front porch (end of 4x06).
IMPORTANT AUTHOR'S NOTE: PLEASE READ (1.20.2014): So, because of Mirrors and Broken Things moving over to Kindle Worlds, I need to explain some things. For those of you that read the version of MBT on Kindle Worlds, let me be honest: in order to meet their criteria for publishing, I had to make some changes, mainly to the end of that story. In the original M rated version of Mirrors and Broken Things, Damon and Elena DID have sex. An act that is referenced quite a bit in THIS story. I understand if this causes some confusion, and for that I do apologize. Feel free to PM me if you would like to request a viewing of the original M rated ending of MBT for clarity, and my sincerest thanks to all for reading and for your understanding.
All the Good Nights
We stand up together, still silent an hour after the final words spoken. There's nothing else to say.
I don't know if he's looking at me, because I'm not looking at him. I turn my back on the first vampire I ever loved and walk inside the house as his quiet steps fade down and off my porch. The steady fall of his feet disappear as my hand grips the doorknob, and I gently close the door that's between us.
No reverberating slam, no screaming, just a slow and quiet good-bye.
I step back into the hallway and look at my front door. I have a faint memory of collapsing against it, chest heaving as I sobbed for us. Sliding down the wood to the floor in one of our many previous break-ups, feeling empty and lost.
This time is different.
We both knew it, and I'm glad he said the words. I know it hurt him that I didn't fight it, but I am fighting for what I want.
It's just not him.
It doesn't feel like failure, like I thought it would. I tried, he tried, but it was pointless. I know better now than to cling to the past. It won't bring back the dead, it doesn't erase the lies. It's been a hard lesson learned, and I still don't know if Stefan has ever grasped it because he's still battling to reclaim things long since gone. Who he was as a human, who I was as a human.
But there is no going back, because those are only ghosts behind us. Traces of memories that are beginning to fade, and the tighter we hold to them the more they slip through our fingers. Eventually you have to let go.
So I did.
I take a deep breath and wipe my eyes of the tears that I was crying. I don't think he understands why they were there. He probably thinks it was because we were over, and in a way, it was. But that wasn't all.
It was relief, too. The confidence and pride that I was making the right decision, the one I hadn't been sure of for months, but am now. The awareness that while I pained him today by surrendering, that I was also sparing him months of anguish from continuing to wrestle with duty, obligation, the meaning of commitment and when it was right to break it.
I love him enough to let him go, because I don't love him enough not to hurt him.
I leave the door behind and head into the kitchen, running the hot water so I can wash the dishes. It feels like I should be doing something bigger in this moment, something momentous to mark the beginning of the new life ahead of me.
I could go upstairs and pack away all the things he gave me, all the items that lay in my room as evidence of him. I could sort through it all, crying with weepy tears as I recall each memory, then placing them one at a time in a cardboard box. I would tape it up, maybe writing his name on the side before hiding it in the back of my closet so it's there for when I want to remember, years from now.
Instead I pour soap over the stack of plates and wait for the bubbles to froth.
This will be my new normal, not waiting for him to return, to feel, to stop worrying if what he's telling me is the truth. I'll probably always wonder because no matter what, I know he will continue to be in my life. Just not in the way he was before.
I'll still see him every day, just as a man with whom I have a complicated history. Hopefully, one day, as a friend. But for now, just my ex and the brother of the one I want.
It's not like the movies where they move away never to be seen again. I guess he could, but I know he can't. He won't leave his brother, and I'm sure he still wants to find the cure that he didn't tell me about.
It won't be the first time we've moved around each other, circling and knowing that even though once we would speak to each other about our future, now that future will be nothing like we imagined. He will still come to my house and knock on my closed door, and I'll let him in. But he won't flood me with kisses or sweep me upstairs. He'll stay downstairs where it's safe for him to roam.
And I'll still be at his house, sitting in the parlor with a drink in my hand and my feet propped up, looking into a steady fire while I contemplate all my life has come to. But when I sit on his couch, hopefully it'll be Damon's arm that I'll lean my head against as he drapes it on the cushion behind me.
And when I'm tired and want to sleep, it won't be Stefan's sheets I crawl between or even the ones in my own designated room, equal distance between theirs. He'll still bid me goodnight and climb the stairs, but when he closes his bedroom door I'll be on the opposite side, hoping the first light to greet my eyes the next morning will be streaming through Damon's windows.
It will all be so different, and the same.
I leave the thought behind as I finish the dishes and wipe down the counters, taking my time as I sweep the kitchen. I work through the house methodically, dusting and straightening. There's really not that much to do, but I still do it anyways. It makes me feel normal, to keep doing mundane things even though my life is anything but.
I wonder if that's why Damon does it.
I know he's the reason behind the tidiness that has taken over my house, especially since I've been too distracted to really keep up with it and Jeremy's never been one for chores.
I smile to myself as I open the hall closet to get the vacuum out. Someone organized it, rescuing it from its constant state of chaos. I can just picture him standing here, rolling his eyes as he shook his head and probably muttering a curse word with my name attached to it for letting it get so bad. But he still took everything out, reorganizing the space so I could reach the blankets I use the most and placing the spare linens on the highest shelf.
I run my fingertip along the ledge in front of me, and it's clean. Not a speck of dust to be found because he never misses a detail.
I change my mind about the vacuum, I've done enough cleaning for now and instead go sit on the couch. I guess I should feel a little more jittery, a little off balance, but I'm really not. After everything that's happened in the past few weeks, ending my relationship with Stefan has felt like the easiest of them all. And with the exception of my psychotic break yesterday, I have begun to feel more stable.
I've been able to return to school and sit in class, talking about biology and calculus and history and literature without sizing up the easiest prey in the room. It's still there, the need to lure out the weak and gain my strength from their life, but I can focus. I can decide.
I still can't drink from blood bags without getting sick, but since Damon taught me how to feed without killing I've felt so much better. Not sick, not shaky, not starving, but powerful and strong. I still hate the sound it makes when my fangs pierce their skin, but I try to make up for it when I compel them afterwards.
He told me that when I "erase" I can leave something behind, something good if it makes me feel better. So I do.
At first it was little things.
Obey the speed limit and wear your seatbelt.
Don't drink or text while driving.
Take care of yourself; you're worth the time and effort.
Then I started asking questions to find what they needed me to fix; it's only fair if they're healing me that I do the same.
Call your parents and tell them you love them, even though you're mad. They're the only parents you'll ever have, and they won't be here forever.
There are no mistakes, only questions that remain to be answered.
Don't be afraid to love the one you want.
He acts like he doesn't understand why I do it, but I know that's crap. He can roll his eyes and sigh and huff and walk off, telling me I'm taking too long and I'm going to put therapists out of work, but it's not going to stop me. And I've heard him do the same, just to a lesser degree.
He'll compliment them on their taste or tell them to buy more shirts in the color they're wearing, sending them off with a renewed sense of confidence and self-esteem. I act like I don't notice, but I do.
I chuckle to myself as I pick up a book and open it. He's such a faker.
I lose myself in the assigned reading for my English class, the hours passing by as I wait for Jeremy to come home. He finally strolls in through the front door just after the clock strikes eleven.
"Where you been, Jer?" I call from the couch as I hear him open the refrigerator.
"Out." He rustles around in the shelves for a bit, but then closes it and heads for the stairs.
"Who were you with?" I ask suspiciously.
"No one," he says as he takes the first two steps in one long stride and continues his way up quickly.
"Is there something you want to-"
"Goodnight Elena," he says and shuts his door, locking it.
"'Night to you too," I mutter as I close my book and toss it on the coffee table.
I yawn as I stretch, and I know I should go to bed. It's late, and even though I slept late after Damon brought me home from Wickery Bridge, my hours are off. Not to mention tomorrow is going to be one hell of a day.
I'm supposed to go over to the Lockwood's to help Caroline set up for the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, and that has relaxing afternoon written all over it. Yeah, right. More like hours of over-picky instructions saddled with guilt over breaking up with Stefan. Awesome.
I get up and move through the house, turning off the lights and locking all the doors. I remember my Dad doing this when I was a kid, then Jenna, then Ric. Now it's me. I wonder if when I eventually move away if Jeremy will remember to double check the back door because it doesn't catch right if you don't pull on it a bit.
I turn off the last light as I climb the stairs and go to my room, stripping off my clothes to change into my camisole and pajama shorts once I shut my door. All my motions are the same as they have been for years; I brush my hair and teeth, washing my face and hands before getting in bed.
Just a normal, life changing day.
I stare at the ceiling in my dark room and listen to the minutes tick by. They seem so small when compared to the eternity that's stretching out in front of me, but they're still going too slow. I don't need to, I could just count, but I still check the clock on my night stand.
Maybe he won't come, sometimes he doesn't.
Damon and I haven't had sex since the night of the memorial; we both knew that it was unfair to all three of us until I made a decision. And during that long, wonderful night, we had agreed that it was only once. He hasn't even kissed me, other than on my cheek, forehead or shoulder.
But more and more, late at night after everyone goes to sleep, he comes in through my window and crawls into bed with me.
Most of the time we don't say anything other than a whispered "Goodnight." We don't talk about how he waits to make sure Stefan isn't here, which he never is. Or how he's always gone before sunrise to disappear before he's found. We don't acknowledge anything, other than we just need to be close after our increasingly stressful days.
At 2:34 I hear the sound of a boot hitting my carpet and I smile. I turn my head to watch him as he locks my window and closes the curtains, putting one foot behind the other to slip off his shoe. He stumbles.
"Fuck," he hisses as he crashes to the floor, hitting his head on the foot of my bed with a moan.
"Damon, are you okay?" I whisper as I rush from my bed, crouching down beside him.
"Never better," he slurs and his head lolls to the side away from me. He reeks of bourbon.
"Nope," he smiles lazily, his eyes closed. "Hammered, Elena," he declares proudly. "Hammered."
"Any particular reason?" I sigh at him.
"New bartender at the Grill needed breaking in."
"Right," I mutter and pull off his boots, tossing them over by the window.
I grab his hands and haul him forward so he's sitting up, his legs stretched out in front of him. He reaches behind his head to pull off his shirt, but he forgot to unbutton it first and it gets caught on his chin. I try not to laugh as I pull it back down, freeing him from the strangle hold he wrapped himself in.
"What the hell, Elena?"
"Buttons," I tell him as I start to undo the ones at the top.
He looks down at my hands, a burst of a chuckle coming out when he sees that I'm right.
"Oops," he grins, slightly swaying as I do just enough to slip it back over his head with ease, his arms dead weight as they drop back to his sides.
"How you doin'?" he mumbles as I get up to place his shirt on a hanger, hooking it on the back of a chair so it won't wrinkle. "You still need a psych eval or you holdin' up?"
"I'm fine, Damon," I smile as I kneel and take his hands again, pulling him to his feet. "No ghosts, no suicide attempts. All's well that ends well."
"Sweet," he smirks giving me two thumbs up, then his face becomes serious though his eyes are still glassy. "Humanity switch?"
"Upright and locked position."
He yanks me to him a little harder than normal, too intoxicated to pay attention to his strength as he crosses his arms behind my neck and hugs me. He must really be wasted because he normally doesn't do this. He'll hold me, but he's not big on hugs and never has been.
I wind my arms around his waist, marveling at the softness of his bare skin and drinking in the aroma that is better for my nerves than any amount of pharmaceuticals. I want to tell him what happened today, but not until he's sober and we can actually talk about it.
I stiffen as a thought crosses my mind; I wonder if he knows.
It's possible Stefan already told him, it would explain the drinking.
"Nope, not tonight," he slurs. "Bed. Everything else, tomorrow."
I relax into his chest, I can live with that. One more night won't hurt, and he probably wouldn't remember any of this anyways.
"Okay," I agree quietly and he lets out a deep sigh, causing me to sink into him. "Pants on or off?" I ask, tilting my head to look up at him.
"Like you have to ask," he smirks.
I release his waist and unbuckle his belt, his abs clenching as my fingers brush his skin.
"Damon Salvatore, are you ticklish?" I tease as I lightly pepper my nails on his stomach.
"Hell no," he grumbles, but its effect is ruined from him jerking away from my touch and a small grin peeking up at the corner of his mouth.
"Uh-huh, you wanna try that again?"
"Oh, and like you aren't?" he says, narrowing his eyes and going after the spot on my hip that he knows makes me giggle until I cry.
"Damon, stop," I laugh, my knees starting to buckle. "I can't breathe, that's not fair…"
"Tough, and breathing's overrated anyways."
I barely see him as he blurs and bends down, one arm touching my back and the other catching me behind my knees and then I'm loose in the air, landing with an awkward bounce on my bed.
"What?" He flares his hazy eyes as he steps out of his pants, revealing the black boxer briefs he's taken to wearing since he started sleeping over.
"No throwing," I scowl at him as he flops down on the covers next to me. "You're gonna break my bed."
"Mmm, I'd love to try," he growls as he rolls over on top of me, hooking my leg around his waist and stroking the back of my thigh. "Your turn…"
"If I'm not wearing pants, you can't wear shorts. Fair is fair."
"Yeah, but you're wearing underwear…"
His eyes widen with his grin as he catches my meaning, and he wastes no time in sliding his hand further up my leg and under the thin fabric, caressing my bottom and confirming I'm bare underneath.
I'm more than a little stunned at his lack of restraint. Normally he's very careful not to cross any lines of temptation that we may not make it back from, and we haven't gone any further than snuggling since the memorial. But whatever he's been drinking seems to have firmly pushed all those unspoken agreements from his mind, and he's not holding back tonight.
"Ugh," he groans, rocking his hips forward and pressing his erection against me. "You're killing me, Elena."
"Sorry," I smile.
"Why are you so mean to me?" he pouts, sticking out his bottom lip.
"Because you're drunk," I tell him softly.
"Pfft, so are you…"
"No," I laugh and shake my head. "I'm not."
"Well, we can fix that. I've got a bottle stashed around here somewhere…" he says and looks around my room like he's trying to remember where it is. I know, and I could tell him, but I'm not going to.
"You need sleep, Damon."
"I'll sleep a lot better if you-"
"Don't," I cut him off, laying a finger over his lips, "finish that sentence."
He nips at my finger and I pull it away with a shocked gasp.
"Killjoy," he frowns at me.
"You love it," he smirks and I don't answer, because I do. I blush without meaning to, and I know he sees the truth. He always does.
"Come on, Fred, get up because we're not sleeping sideways."
"The name's Damon, sweetheart," he glares at me and I can't help but laugh as I push him off me and stand up.
"Flintstone, honey, Flintstone," I explain as I grab his hand and make him stand so I can pull back the comforter on his side.
"Why thanks, Elena, for comparing me to some fat, middle-aged bum who likes to bowl and has dirty feet," he whines as I push him back down on the bed so his head hits the pillow.
"My pleasure," I wink as I cross to the other side of the bed, climbing in next to him and letting him pull the covers up around us.
I go right to my spot on his shoulder, my arm falling over his chest and my hand resting over his heart. He covers it with one of his, placing a soft kiss to my forehead.
His breathing is already deeper, his heartbeat more steady than before.
"You okay?" I whisper a few minutes later as he sleepily traces patterns on my back.
"Just tired," he mumbles and I know he must be.
I've been putting him through hell these past few weeks. He didn't stay with me two nights ago, the day that I killed Connor. He must have thought I was mad at him about it, or maybe that I just needed to be alone; that's what I told Stefan. But he couldn't have gotten more than three hours of rest because I woke him up in the middle of the night, calling him in a blind panic to come over because I stabbed Jeremy in the neck.
And yesterday must have been a nightmare for him. With me getting stolen by Klaus while going insane, him searching for me all night and trying to break the curse, then the grand finale of trying to set myself on fire via sunlight, it's no wonder he's wasted. I doubt he got any sleep while waiting for me to wake up after he brought me home this morning. I still can't believe he found my ring in the river, scouring the bottom with one hand while he held me to him and protected me from the sun.
By my count it's been almost a solid 48 hours that he's been up. Probably longer.
He must be exhausted.
His hand stills on my back and I feel his muscles soften under me, silently releasing all the tension he's been carrying.
He's already asleep.
I smile to myself and carefully shift so I can reach up without waking him, laying a gentle kiss on his cheek.
"Mmm," he rumbles and his hand on my back presses me closer to him.
"Goodnight, Damon," I whisper and snuggle into him, nuzzling his neck.
"'Night, Elena," he slurs and his head turns towards me, but he's asleep again before he can even kiss me.
Something tickles my shoulder, but I'm too tired to open my eyes and find out what it is. Instead I squirm a bit and it goes away.
Good, now I can go back to sleep.
It touches me again and I frown, but my irritation disappears when I hear a quiet chuckle and I concentrate on what it is.
Soft, wet, and hot. It's his tongue.
I half open one eye and smile. Damon is leaning over me and he looks a lot better than he did last night, less stressed and thankfully sober.
"Morning," I breathe, opening both eyes so I can see him clearly.
"Good morning." He smiles back at me, brushing the hair away from my face and laying a soft kiss to my forehead. "Go back to sleep, and there's coffee ready when you get up. You just have to start it," he whispers.
"You're dressed," I grumble.
"Gotta get home, take a shower, plan Klaus' murder, etc…"
"What time is it?" I ask with a yawn, and his shoulders shake with silent laughter.
"You didn't sleep long enough, you have to stay," I pout at him and he smiles my favorite smile, the one that's just for me. I could so get used to this. "Damon," I say and take a deep breath, "I have to tell you something…"
"So call me later," he tells me and places one last kiss to my shoulder before he's opening my window, and then he's gone.
I scoot over to his side of the bed, breathing in his smell that's on my pillow. It's all the comfort I need because I'm already a little nervous about today.
I can't wait to tell him.
A/N: So there we have chapter 1! This is planned to be roughly the same length as MBT, which means we have lots to go! So click that little button to follow, because this is gonna be one fun ride! Thanks for reading!