Erin: I wrote (or started to write) this fanfic right after season 3 so ignore anything that's happened in season 4 as it applies to this fanfic. In fact pretend like 4 never happened. That's what I've been doing. I wanted to have this finished and posted before season 4 aired but as you can see that didn't really happen. *Sigh* Oh well.

Disclaimer – I do not own The Vampire Diaries unfortunately. If I did season four never ever ever would have happened.

Erin: I also owe the biggest thanks ever to my sister and beta-reader (also partly co-writer at this point, you can thank her for Klaus' introduction scene cause I can't write him well) Epicurean (Ariel, or on tumblr known as DerpKlaus) as she had literally dragged me through this story (even though she quit helping me write at the end even after I begged her repeatedly). If it wasn't for her I probably wouldn't have finished. I mean it she is the greatest (even if she can get on my nerves but hey that's siblings).


A Glimpse Into The Future

She couldn't move, she couldn't breathe. Her heart pounded out of her chest as she froze statue like as Elijah's face leaned in close. Elena could have sworn he was going to kiss her but instead his nose brushed across her skin down her neck and he breathed in deeply. Elena trembled.

Slowly straightening his gaze fell somewhere above her head. "Human. It's impossible." His eyes fell on hers. "Hello there."

Elena's eyes fluttered opened. She expected to find herself curled up in bed learning that everything that had just happened to be a nightmare. Instead she found herself on the dirty floor of the house in which Rose and Trevor where holding her captive inside of. She sat up glanced around the room, spotting another body just a foot away from her.

She crawled across the dirty tile floor to the body, slowly reaching towards it, grasping and flipping the body over. Elijah's face fell forward and Elena instantly recoiled her arm, jumping up and whirling around the room in a panic. It didn't take long for her realize something was off (besides her mysterious blackout). The house seemed to have deteriorated rapidly during the time she was unconscious.

Her attention was brought back to the Original sprawled across the floor as he began to stir. She debated whether or not to run. Could she make it out in time? He had vampire speed; he would catch up to her in no time. Where would she run to anyhow? She didn't have a car, and besides that, she didn't even know where she was. The decision was made for her when his eyes shot opened and he had her by the neck.

"What happened?" he demanded, his previously suave voice replaced by an angry one.

"I have no idea," Elena gasped, "one second I was staring at you and the next I woke up on the floor."

Elijah gave her a once-over before determining himself satisfied by her answer and releasing her. "Where are Trevor and Rose?"

"It was only you and me when I woke up." Elena held her swollen throat gingerly.

Elijah began circling around the room, his eyes scanning everything. Elena followed his every movement, her heart pounding out of her chest. The Original paused, kneeling over something. Elena cautiously stepped forward to get a better view. There was a large bloodstain covering the floor. She didn't remember it from before. Did it happen while they were unconscious?

"Blood," he told her. "It's quite old." He scraped some of the dried blood off the tiled floor, bringing the chips up to his noise and inhaling. "Trevor."

"That wasn't here before and Trevor was just fine." Elena knew she was stating the obvious but that didn't matter. She could barely think as her heart thudded loudly in her chest, sign of her growing panic. She was more terrified now than she had been when Elijah first sniffed her. Her eyes traveled to the chandelier which had been lit. She reached out to touch them, finding them to be cold and covered in a layer of dust. "How long where we out for?"

"I'm unsure." He stood up. "Come. We should be going." Elena stood her ground, refusing to go anywhere with him. Elijah sighed, she was a stubborn one. Typically he would just grab her skinny arm and drag her out of here, but considering the circumstances it would probably be more convenient for both of them if she came along willingly. "Look around Elena. Something has happened. I want you alive and safe. You can stay here in the middle of nowhere or you can come with me. I will protect you."

Elena's gaze drifted around the room. The couch she has been sitting on looked like rats had gotten to it. A layer of thick dust caked everything. The wood panels that Trevor and Rose had put up were now falling off. Her eyes drifted back to Elijah. Based off what Rose had told her, Elijah needed her alive for the time being, until whatever ceremony he was planning was to take place. She thought about waiting for Stefan and Damon but if they had been unconscious for such a long length of time they should be here by now. She didn't think it would be safe to wait for them. As much as she wanted to run from him, Elijah was the safest person to be with. At least for now.

She nodded hesitantly, trying to give off an air of confidence. "Okay."

Elijah smiled slightly before heading up the stairs. Elijah subtly inspected the house as they made their way to the front door. He didn't want to alarm the doppelganger, but the state of the house was quite concerning. Decay like this takes years to occur. They had obviously been unconscious for a long period of time, but the question at this point was how long?

Outside Elijah abruptly stopped, leading Elena to walk right into him. "What is it?" she asked hurriedly, backing off as quickly as she could. Hopefully he wouldn't be too mad about it, although it was his fault.

"My car. It's gone," he replied, eyes scanning the area. It looked the like driveway hadn't been used in years.

"Now what will we do?" Elena groaned in desperation. "There isn't a town for miles."

"Walk," he stated simply, beginning to trek out towards the street.

"This is going to take hours," she grumbled. Even as she complained she knew there wasn't another way around it.

Elijah stopped once he reached the side of the road to wait for Elena to catch up with him. She was slow, much too slow for his liking. So he turned towards her and proceeded to try and convince her of a very bold idea that she would probably raise heaven and hell to avoid.

"I think it would be best if I carried you," Elijah spoke seriously.

"What? No, I can walk," she retorted.

"Yes but at a human pace. I can get us to the next town over much faster if you where to let me carry you," he countered. "It will take all day otherwise."

Elena bit her lip. Again he was right. Apparently he thought things through logically. At least he was being polite and asking her permission. He terrified her still, and the thought of him touching her made her skin crawl, but they were stuck. Her safest bet was with Elijah no matter how much she hated it. And he did ask. Most of the vampires she knew would have just snatched her up and taken off, it was a bit refreshing.

She swallowed. "Fine."

He easily lifted her from the ground, and she instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck, holding tightly onto him. Once he had a firm grip on her he took off. Everything passed by so fast Elena had to close her eyes. She found herself clinging to him with her face buried in the crook of his neck almost against her will.

She stayed in his arms for who knows how long until he came to a stop. Opening her eyes, she found that they were at a small gas station. Elijah placed her down gently walked straight up to a man filling up his car. Elena stayed rooted in place letting the dizziness dissipate.

He locked eyes with him as he ordered, "I need your car." The man completely ignored him and continued to fill up. Elijah went to grab his arm instead falling straight through. Elijah's eyes widened as he was caught off guard and looked up bewildered at the man at the gas pump.

"Excuse me?" Elena called fearfully, trying her best to get his attention. "Our car was stolen and we could really use a ride." The man leaned against his hood, eyes glazed over as they watched the meter. "Hello?" She waved her hand in front of his face. He didn't even blink. "I don't think he can see us," her voice shot out rapidly, quivering slightly in her alarm. She tried to touch him and her hand went through him like nothing was there. "What's happened to us?"

Elijah had regained his composure and stood astute, straightening his jacket as he replied coolly, "I don't know. We need to get in contact with a witch to try and figure this out."

"There's one in Mystic Falls," Elena offered, "she's a friend. She can help."

Elijah raised his eyebrow. "Really? Mystic Falls? This wouldn't be an attempt at an escape would it?"

Elena hadn't actually thought about that. She was so scared about what was happening to them she completely forgot he was supposed to be kidnapping her. "Elijah, we're invisible. And transparent. Do you really think I'd be planning an escape at a time like this? So I could do what exactly? Haunt my friends?" Elijah gave her a look, and it didn't seem angry so she continued, "Do you happen to know any witches closer?" She crossed her arms annoyed.

He smirked. "No I don't. Not as close."

"How about we catch a ride with him then? He's heading in the right direction," Elena suggested, gesturing to the car.

Elijah stepped forward and took hold of the handle, pleasantly surprised to discover that his hand didn't ghost through it.

'So we can touch inanimate objects but not people,' he noted to himself.

He opened the door and allowed Elena room to slip inside before following suit. She tried to relax for the long trip ahead, though it would be difficult with a terrifying who-knows-how-old vampire sitting right beside her.

They had been riding now for almost an hour, and the trip was made in silence for the most part. The only time it was broken was when the man driving turned on the radio to an 80's rock station. She closed her eyes and thanked God for it, because any noise at all was better than the eerie silence from before. But now it had been long enough that Elena had plenty of time to mull over everything that was happening, and she was practically bursting with questions. "What are you going to do with me?"

Elijah side glanced at her. "For now I'm going to keep you alive until I can sort my plans out."

"And what plans are those? Why do you need me?" Rose had given her such vague details. She wanted to know more.

"Quite a curious thing you are. Not long ago you where terrified of me and now here you are demanding answers." He smiled whimsically, eyebrows up in an amused gesture.

"Well since you aren't going to kill me I can't think of anything to be afraid of besides what is happening to us right now. This is my life and I want to know what's going to happen to it," Elena responded. His eyes examined her but he said nothing. The brunette sighed in frustration. "Fine, then how about we discuss how we're supposed to let Bonnie know what's happened to us if she can't see us and we can't touch her?"

"That should be relatively simple as we can still touch inanimate objects. I think leaving her a message will suffice," he answered.

Elena nodded and they lapsed into silence again. It didn't last long however, as Elena shot out another question. "So you're an Original, like the first, how old does that make you?"

"Apparently you aren't good with silence, are you?" Elena shrugged but waited for him to answer her question. "Quite old," he answered vaguely.

"That's not very specific. What, five hundred?" She looked to him for a reaction. "Nine hundred? A thousand? Ah! A thousand." Elena gave herself a mental pat on the back, quickly realizing she was a little too pleased with herself over something so irrelevant. She must be really bored to be this excited over finding out his age.

Elena quickly switched her smile to a frown. How silly was she, smiling in the presence of a vampire who plans on killing her sometime in the future, who just a few hours ago terrified her so much she thought she was going to pass out? Well, she did pass out, but judging by events it probably wasn't due to him. Unless he scared himself so much he… Oh, shut up! Elena shouted at herself. This monotonous car ride was making her weird. Still, her heart had calmed down since the ride began and suddenly it wasn't so uncomfortable sitting this close to an ancient monster. Why did he seem to relax her? Maybe she was just so scared over what was happening that she found him to her only sanctuary. He had said he was going to protect her hadn't he? She didn't know. All she knew was that they were headed back to Mystic Falls.

"Is something wrong?" he questioned.

"Nothing really. It's just this whole situation is weird," she tried to brush it off. She had no intention of opening up to him.

He didn't believe her but said nothing more on the subject. He didn't care about whatever was bothering her. After all, he had big plans for her.

The man who was driving was passing through Mystic Falls on his way somewhere else. Luckily for them he stopped at a Circle K to right outside town to get a Chili Dog and Thirst Buster.

Elena stretched gratefully, relieved to be out of the car after the long trip. "Where to now?" asked Elijah, relinquishing control over to her temporarily.

"We're close to the Grill. She might be there," Elena suggested. She didn't really want to make the long trek to Bonnie's house.

"Lead the way," he said charmingly, gesturing for her to continue.

She nodded and they headed into town.

Elijah opened the door to the Grill, allowing Elena to enter first in a very chivalrous gesture. She scanned the room for Bonnie, who didn't seem to be present. But there was someone else that her eyes rested on, someone much, much worse. Seated at her usual table was her. Impossible.

"Katerina," Elijah hissed.

As Elena examined the brunette who sat with her hand rested on her neck and her right foot perched on the foot rest, she knew it wasn't Katherine. For one thing Elena had that exact same sundress in her closet. Caroline had gotten it for her because she said Elena needed to dress more feminine every once in a while. Second off, Katherine preferred the curly hairstyle to the straight. Third off Katherine was in the tomb with no way of getting out.

"I don't think that's her," she finally told him.

Elijah gave Elena a confused look as a cheerful voice shouted from behind, "Elena!"

Caroline rushed straight through them. Elena caught herself as she felt the vertigo set in. It wasn't the most fun having your friend run through you.

"Hey," the other Elena greeted her standing up.

The blonde vampire tossed her arms around her. "Sorry, sorry, sorry I'm late."

Elena laughed. "Its fine I only just got here myself."

Elena looked at Elijah incredulously to see if he was getting what she was. And for the first time since she met him a few hours ago, he looked shocked. His mouth opened a bit, brow furrowed together, gaze shifting between her and her other self, seeming to compare them.

"Well look at that," Elijah said, breaking her trance. She followed his gaze to the Lunchtime Special's chalkboard.

"Oh God," she whispered out. "Six years. We're six years in the future. How? I don't understand."

Elijah stared at the date, and for once was completely lost about what to say. "This does explain things. Why the house was more rundown, why my car was missing. It seems as though our consciousnesses were transported into the future. How, I am not sure, but perhaps your friend will be able to help."

Elena merely nodded, completely freaked out. She moved to one of the booths next to Caroline's and her future self's, sitting down quietly and watching as the events unfolded before her. She could barely comprehend what was going on.

"So out with it! What happened? What wouldn't you tell me on the phone?" Caroline sat at the edge of her seat excitedly.

Elena smiled brightly. "Well." She held out her left hand to her.

"Oh my God! He proposed! He proposed!" Caroline shrieked in excitement.

Elena nodded. "Last night. I couldn't wait to tell you."

"It's so beautiful." Caroline ogled over the ring.

"I knew something was up with him but I had no idea. He wouldn't tell me and trust me I tried everything to get him to talk," Elena left the rest of the sentence hanging only lifting her eyebrow to expand upon the word "everything".

Caroline laughed in understanding, still having a firm grip on her hand. "You're getting married." Caroline was still reeling. "I'm so happy for you! You have to let me plan your wedding. I'm not taking no for an answer!"

Elena laughed. "Of course, but I have one other request for you."

"Sure what is it?" She finally let go of her hand.

"Will you be my Maid of Honor?" Elena asked her.

Caroline squealed loudly, even louder than before, causing people to shoot her dirty looks. She covered her mouth in embarrassment and whispered in utter delight, "Of course! I would be honored too!" She leaned over the table and grabbed hold of Elena's hand, squeezing her tightly. "I can't believe you're going to be the first one of us to walk down the aisle." She sighed dreamily.

Elena could barely process what was happening. "I'm getting married," she muttered out. She was getting married to whom? Stefan?

"It would seem so," Elijah replied nonchalantly.

Elena turned her attention back on him. "After everything that's happened I never thought I would live six more years," she confessed to him, unsure why.

"The future is unknown. You never know where life will take you," he responded. Elena nodded in agreement. "Now your witch."

She had forgotten all about why they were here. They had to find Bonnie. There was only one problem. "We're in the future. Six years. I don't know where she is now. She could have left town or anything." Elijah frowned. "We should follow her. I—she, just got engaged. She's going to want to tell everyone face-to-face, it's what I would do and she is me. That means Bonnie as well. She'll lead us to her."

"How do you know you two are still friends this far into the future?"

"We are," Elena said sternly.

"Very well," he shrugged, leaning back in his seat. "You know your relationships with your friends better than I."

It was not like there was a better solution in fact this was their only plan. Six years all his contacts would be gone. If he was lucky enough to be able to find one who hadn't moved or been killed it would take months to locate them if no one was able to see them.

Caroline's phone buzzed and she picked it up, reading a text. She bit her lower lip and peered up at Elena, eyes round and innocent. "Now Elena, please don't freak…"

"Oh Caroline you didn't," future Elena groaned, causing present Elena and Elijah's attention to shift back to them.

"I'm sorry, but he's important in my life. Please," Caroline begged.

"Hello, love," a voice said from behind, thick with an English accent. Caroline stood up and planted a brief kiss on his lips.

Elena didn't recognize him. He was Caroline's new boyfriend? So things didn't work out with Matt then? The mystery man was tall with curly blond hair and dimples on his stubbly face; eyes pale blue and lips bright pink. He seemed innocent enough, and kind of cute, Elena thought approvingly.

"Niklaus," Elijah muttered, and Elena whipped her head back around to face him. His expression was wrought with confusion.

"He's Klaus?" Elena questioned in disbelief, eyes wide.

"Yes." Elijah's expression darkened.

"What?" Elena almost choked out. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry. "No, that's impossible. He just kissed Caroline! This is the future, not another dimension! Maybe you're wrong…"

"Trust me, I know Klaus better than anyone. That's him." Elijah's jaw had tightened.

Elena was completely and utterly speechless. The infamous Klaus, feared by all, the vampire out to ruin her life, appeared to be having brunch with her! What the hell was wrong with future Caroline? What they hell was wrong with herself?

He was different than what she imagined. Her fear had overtaken her and she only envisioned the worst—a dark, towering, muscular man with glowing red eyes and razor sharp fangs haunted her in her dreams. This Klaus seemed so innocent, so harmless. It was all too bizarre.

"What on Earth is going on?"

"So Love, this is why you wanted to meet me here?" Klaus questioned, taking a seat beside her and giving future Elena a sideways glance. Finally something that didn't utterly confuse Elena: her and Klaus didn't get along. At least that made sense, in this future of absurdity.

Elena sat up straight, trying not to let her anger and hatred get the best of her. She's a good friend. She can do this for her.

"Klaus," she greeted stiffly.

"Hello my dear. I hear congratulations are in order," he replied, giving his usual condescending grin. Elena rolled her eyes, even when he was congratulating it felt like he was mocking. "I'm very happy for the two of you."

"Thanks," she managed, fretting with the ring on her finger.

Caroline shot Klaus a look, obviously catching the tone in his voice, and he smiled back innocently as if he had done nothing wrong.

"Come on guys, please. I know you have your issues but can't we just work through them? You two are the most important people in my life. I don't expect you to be friends but still can't you at least be in the same room together?" Caroline tried to convince them.

"Caroline, I love you. I do but-" Elena started.

Caroline cut her off, "I know what he's done. Trust me. I'm the first person to admit that he has done evil, horrendous, unforgivable, things. He's a murderer and he enjoys it way too much."

"Caroline!" Klaus sat up in protest.

She shoved him back in his seat, not sparing him a glance. "It's true! Point is I never thought I would fall in love with him. Hell I fought it tooth and nail not to have these feelings. Sometimes I'm disgusted with myself."

Klaus rolled his eyes, mumbling, "Flattered, darling."

Caroline continued, "I don't expect you to forgive him. I just I want everyone to coexist. Somehow."

Elena gave an exasperated sigh. She cleared her throat and straightened up, turning her attention to Klaus for the first time. "Klaus," she began, "we've been through a lot over the past few years." She swallowed her distaste for the words leaving her lips. "Mostly you trying to bleed me or kill me-" Caroline practically face palmed and Elena quickly moved on. "But none of that matters right now. You're with Caroline and as much as I don't like it, if you're with her then you're with me." She coughed.

"Elena, I don't know what to say. I'm flat-" Klaus was cut off.

"Hold it right there." Elena's expression darkened. "I didn't say I forgave you and we aren't friends. I just want two things from you."

Klaus rolled his eyes. "Yes, Miss Doppleganger?"

"Don't call me that."

"And what's the last request?"

"That wasn't one of the two."

"My God woman, you can't have everything."

"I want an apology." Elena's expression was stern as her eyes bore into his.

Klaus gave a bothered grin and leaned back uncomfortably. "Darling, I don't apologize."

"Klaus, stop trying to be an alpha male. We're all women here—except for you. Jesus, just apologize," Caroline scolded, shooting him daggers. "If you can't apologize to her then we can't continue this relationship. It's hard enough dating a psychopath I refuse to date a narcissist too."

Klaus cracked his neck, smiling quite unpleasantly. "Elena," he spoke, voice tight. "I'm sorry I... killed you. And your aunt. And drained your blood close to death. Twice. And then tried to kill you a second time. And gave you a brain hemorrhage."

"And compelling her mother to kill herself!" Caroline hissed at Klaus.

"That too." Klaus looked thoroughly humiliated, but refused to stop smiling.

"And turning Bonnie's mom into a vampire!" she added.

"That wasn't me, Dear."

"It might as well have been, snookims," Caroline batted her eyelashes aggressively. "You know what, if you just apologize for everything you've ever done, ever, I think we'll be covered."

Klaus relented, "Elena, I'm sorry for what I've done that hurt you and your friends. It wasn't anything personal, it was-"

"Babe, quit while you're ahead. You were doing so well." Caroline nudged him, looking at Elena with hopeful eyes.

Elena gave a deep sigh, then a soft smile. "Thank you."

"And what was the second thing?" Klaus asked, just wanting to get the torture over with already.

"Treat Caroline well. Don't ever hurt her." Caroline flushed, flattered and touched by Elena's protective friendship.

Klaus stared for a moment, then gave the closest thing to a genuine smile he had. "Of course."

"No. I'm serious. You hurt her or anyone else ever, you're back in that coffin. At the bottom of the Atlantic. Forever." Elena's icy glare was almost intimidating for the thousand plus year old vampire. And just like that she was back to smiling. "Well, I'm sorry to cut this short. I have to get back home and start dinner. See you later?"

Caroline nodded happily before she and Elena hugged. Turning to leave Klaus stood. "Elena, one more thing." She stopped turning back. "Thank you, for saving me from Alaric back then. You didn't have to and I know I didn't exactly reciprocate the favor."

"I didn't do it for you, Klaus." Caroline bit her lip. "But you're welcome." Elena continued on her way.

Elijah and Elena stood off to the side, watching future Elena practically walk through them on her way out of the Grill. Elijah had an awkward sort of smirk on his face from what he had just seen. If he wasn't a gentleman he may have laughed. Klaus. Completely whipped. It was the closest thing to a miracle Elijah had ever witnessed. It had been centuries since he had last seen his baby brother with any sort of humanity, let alone humility. Perhaps the future was promising.

Then he shook his head. Well this certainly put a damper on his plans. Obviously he wasn't able to kill Klaus, his plan had failed somehow. But perhaps it was for the best? Maybe he and Klaus had made some sort of amendments?

He turned down to Elena, about to suggest they follow future her, when he was caught off guard by her expression. She looked like she had just seen a puppy run down by a freight train. Her eyes were glossy with what he was certain were the begins of an emotional breakdown.

"Elena?" he questioned unsure of what had caused this change.

"Jenna… died?" her voice cracked, lips trembling at the thought. "Klaus killed her? How, why?"

Understanding flickered across his features. Klaus had listed everything he had done to her, would do to her. Future Elena had time to grieve and heal while this Elena was only learning now that some of the people she loved where going to die. He had only just met her and he planned on using her to kill Klaus, though apparently that wasn't going to happen, but he felt for her. Family after all is the most things in his life. He could understand her pain.

"Elena." He placed a hand on her shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. Her gaze flickered to him. "I'm sorry." There was nothing more for him to say.

Elena felt the need to wrap her arms around him sobbing into his chest but she quickly locked that impulse away. After all Elijah was planning on kidnapping her. Whatever was happening to them now didn't change the facts of their introduction.

"We should…" She paused, wiping away her tears and trying to hold back the flood of emotions threatening to escape. "We should catch up to future me." She gestured to the door.

Elijah let Elena lead the way. He wondered why he seemed to care whether she was hurt or not. What did it matter to him? And yet it did.

They found Future Elena opening up the passenger seat with a bag of groceries. Apparently she had made a quick stop at the store. Elijah and Elena slipped into the backseat before Elena came around starting up the engine.

Elena brought them home. Gathering the plastic bags she stepped out of the car heading up the steps to the front door. Following after her they caught up just as she pushed the door opened. Trailing behind Future Elena into the house Elena glanced around her home. Nothing had changed, nothing obvious anyways. She led them in them into the kitchen dumping the bags onto the counter.

Elena and Elijah watched Future her unloading the groceries onto the counter. There was nothing else they could do until Elena finished and brought them to their next stop. Elijah curiously wandered the area as having never set foot in the house. Elena continued to watch herself as if watching her would give her some sort of idea as to what had happened during these years that would change Elena into the one standing only a few feet in front of her.

"Now this is interesting," Elijah spoke snapping Elena from her trance.

Whirling around Elena came face-to-face with Elijah only this Elijah had shorter hair. He wore the same style suit, had the same elegant air around him, but the expression on his face was softer not as cold as the one she had been traveling with.

Without making a single sound Elijah crossed across the room approaching Elena from behind like a predator. Elena would have shouted at herself in warning if not for the fact that she couldn't see her let alone hear her. In the blink of an eye Elena spun around grabbing a hold of Elijah she tossed him into the wall pinning him there.

Elena gasped as her future self's face was revealed to be a vampire.

"I'm a Vampire," Elena whispered in shock.

"It would seem so," Elijah commented moving into the kitchen to get a better look at the action.

Elijah watched with curiosity at the interaction. Elena transformed pinning his future self against the wall fearlessly. Elijah's face surprised for an instant before becoming cold, neutral, eyes narrowing at the younger vampire. The two locked into a staring contest neither backing down.

A smile then grew across Elijah's face. "Impressive." The tension in the room disappeared.

Elena returned to normal as she released the older vampire. "I have a good teacher." She then returned to unloading the groceries like she hadn't been attacked just a few seconds ago. "How about you make yourself useful and help me." She shoved a gallon of milk in his arms.

"How was lunch?" Elijah asked putting the milk inside the refrigerator which revealed to be stocked with many bags of blood.

"It actually turned into a set up." Elena rolled her eyes. "Caroline had Klaus meet up with us under the pretence they were going to have lunch together. She wanted us to bury the hatchet and all that."

Elijah chuckled. "You can't be surprised."

"No I'm not. Caroline really loves him. I can see it in the way she looks at him. And," she paused glancing over her shoulder to Elijah, "he loves her. You know if he wasn't such a…"

"Monster, murderer, bastard?" Elijah supplied.

Elena laughed. "Yeah all that. I would actually find the two of them cute."

"I find it hilarious to see Niklaus so whipped. She has him wrapped around her little finger. Although," Elijah came up behind Elena wrapping his arms around her waist, "I can understand his position."

Elijah placed a light kiss on the nape of her neck. Elena closed her eyes leaning back into his embrace.

"Oh my God." Elena was sure she was going nuts. "No way. No no no. Me and—and you? I'm marrying you?" Elena had whirled on Elijah like he would suddenly have the answers.

But Elijah was just in as much shock and Elena. He wasn't even looking at the doupleganger instead his focus was on himself. He looked so—so… happy. He can't even remember the last time he felt that way. Yet here staring at his future self he was. Whatever happened in those six years he had become happy.

"You know my getting along with Klaus isn't just about Caroline," Elena informed him.

"Hmm?" Elijah murmured nuzzling her.

"It's for you too." She rubbed the skin of his hand with her thumb. "I know you two have your issues but as you once said to me 'family is everything' and he's your brother. He's a part of your life and I would never take want to get between you two."

"Klaus is your brother too?" Elena couldn't deal with all this. This was just too much information and now Elijah the only person she could talk to was apparently in shock as he wasn't answering her anymore. "Elijah!"

She grabbed his arm effectively snapping him out of it. "Yes he is my brother."

Their eyes locked and Elena felt her breath leave her. His gaze it seemed to go right through her. The way he was staring at her, she didn't know what to think. This was the man she was going to marry. Not Stefan, not Damon, not even Matt, but Elijah a man she had only just met who was also kidnapping her. What was going to happen between them? What was going to make her fall so in love with him?

Elijah couldn't believe that he would ever be happy. His happiness always seemed to be short lived. Every time he opened his heart to someone they never reciprocated his feelings. But this human girl standing in front of him, the one he had every intention of killing, his future self was in love with her and she was in love with him. He was genuinely happy. This life he seemed to get a glimpse at it was so domestic, so simple, yet he found he wanted this. He wanted to be that Elijah.

He pushed that thought away as soon as it came into his mind. It was not going to happen. Just seeing the future probably changed it. He was going to sacrifice the doppelganger and kill Klaus and that would be the end of it.

Elena turned around to gaze up into his eyes.

Elijah tugged her closer tightening his hold. "I love you."

Elena smiled her entire face lighting up at the words. "I love you too." Leaning up she placed a chastised kiss on his lips. "But he better not ruin our wedding. Do you understand me? If he does I am going to desiccate him and he won't be coming out for at least a good six centuries."

Elijah laughed wondering how in the world he got so lucky. "Who said he's even invited?"

"So Kol's going to be your best man?" Elena raised an eyebrow at him. "Please we both know how that will end. Besides, you want him to be your best man. This is our wedding. I want everyone you love to be there."

"Everyone I love will be there." Elijah leaned down kissing her. "As long as you're there."

Elena ran her fingers through his hair. "Go ahead, ask him."

"Are you sure?" the worry evident in his voice.

"Yeah I'm sure," she promised. "Though I'm not so sure about Rebekah. How exactly did she take the news?"

"Well…" Elijah trailed off.

"That good huh?" Elena shook her head letting go of him and returning to unloading the groceries.

"Rebekah? Who's Rebekah?" Based off the shocked and emotional expression on his face she was important. "Other me, she also mentioned a Kol. Who are they?"

"My um," Elijah found he was having trouble speaking, "My siblings. I thought—I thought Klaus had dumped their bodies in the Atlantic Ocean."

He couldn't believe this. His family they are alive. Klaus did love them in his own twisted way. He hadn't disposed of their bodies like he said he had. He had instead kept them safe.

"Klaus killed his own family?" Yes Klaus was suppose to be evil but after seeing him with Caroline she never would have thought he'd harm his own family.

Elijah nodded. "In a ways. You can't kill an Original but you can do something close enough to death. Klaus told me he had them dagger and dropped their bodies into the ocean."

"This is good news right? They're still alive and you'll see them again," Elena found herself comforting him.

"Yeah." He almost smiled. He was going to see them again. He was going to get his family back. But then a thought crossed his mind. "But why haven't they mentioned Finn?"

"Rebekah's dislike of you has to do with the Petrova line not you," Elijah assured her.

"Well as long as she doesn't plan on killing me again." Elena was trying to forgive the Original family. The only ones she had no problems with where Elijah and possibly Kol. She was going to marry into the family she wanted to at least be on friendly terms with them.

Elijah cupped her face forcing Elena to look into his eyes. "I promise you Rebekah will never going hurt you again."

"I know. She loves you and wants you to be happy even if being happy means marrying me." She changed the subject, "What about Kol? How did that go?"

"He tried to convince me that marriage was evil. That devoting one's self to a single person for the rest of their life, and in our case eternity, is idiotic and unnatural," Elijah chuckled. "And then he put Rohypnol in my wine. Ruffies don't even work on vampires. He knows that." Elijah shook his head incredulously as Elena bit her lips to stifle a smile.

"Of course he did. There is only one person Kol loves," Elena said, switching the topic back to more meaningful subjects as she began taking out pots to cook with.

"The mirror?" Elijah joked.

"I was going to say himself but now that I think about it he really does love mirrors." Elena remembered the dozens of times she's found Kol just staring at himself. Anytime there was a reflective surface around…

"Have you spoken to Jeremy today? Have they left the campus yet?" Elijah questioned.

"They left this morning and should be arriving at around five. It's going to be weird having the house full again," Elena remarked. "But I've really missed them."

"Did you tell them the news?" Elijah wondered.

"No I want to tell them in person." Having everything laid out onto the counter Elena flicked on the oven to preheat she spun back around to Elijah. "Do you have to go back to work or are going to stay and help me cook?"

"I have a few things left to take care of. It will only take a couple of hours. I'll be back before they arrive," he promised. He tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.

Sighing she nodded. "Okay, I guess that gives me time to go talk with Damon."

Frowning Elijah stiffened. "Maybe it would be better if you just called him?"

Elena draped her arms around his neck. "I'm not going to invite him to the wedding or anything like that but he does deserve to hear about us in person. I owe him that."

"I understand," Elijah gave in. "What about Stefan?"

"It will have to be over the phone. I have no idea where he is, besides he took us getting together much better than Damon ever did," Elena remarked.

"True," he agreed.

"When do you have to go back?" Elena wondered finally letting go of him so she could prepare the meat.

"I still have time." Elijah moved behind her gently brushing her hair to one side. Leaning over his lips brushed against the nape of her neck. His hands slid around her waist pulling her back into him. "Plenty of time." Pressing his lips to her neck he nipped at her skin.

"Elijah I have to make dinner. We have guests coming over," Elena reminded him forcing her tone to sound annoyed yet she made no effort to fight against him.

"Like I said plenty of time."

Spinning her around he lifted her up onto the kitchen's island in one fluid motion. Capturing her mouth his tongue traced the outside of her lips. One hand firmly into her lower back to keep her up straight the other sliding up her thigh dipping under the hem of her dress. Gasping Elena's eyes fluttered closed her heels digging into the cabinets. He took the opening to slip his tongue between her lips running it along her own.

"Elijah," she tried to scold him as his kisses began their travel down her exposed throat but instead it came out as a moan.

"Yes?" Elijah asked innocently standing up straight to look into her lust blown eyes.

"I'm on the kitchen counter. Where we prepare food." If her heart still beat it would be pounding out of her chest.

"Yes you are." He pushed her down his hand pressing into her stomach.

"It's not sanitary," she attempted to protest but as she felt her panties slip away she really could have cared less. Especially not when he kneeled down placing a kiss on her inner thigh.

Elena rushed out of the house. She had not just seen that. Her face was completely flushed. She didn't need to stay inside to figure out what happened next. Yes it wasn't like she was a virgin or anything but watching yourself with some guy you didn't know… Well let's just say that wasn't something she had ever been interested in seeing. And with Elijah, her time Elijah, standing right next to her.

Wait. Elena glanced around the porch. Where was he?

Strolling out of the house Elijah had to school his face as to not smirk. Elena had darted out so fast he could have sworn she was the vampire and not her future self. He on the other hand hadn't bothered to run since this was not the most dirty thing he had ever seen. Having Klaus as a bother he had witnessed more things than he had ever wanted to.

Besides this was to be his future why not get a good look?

His gaze fell on Elena who immediately turned red as she blushed furiously. Averting her eyes she sat down on the steps back to him. This caused a smile to cross his features. She was not like many women of this age he had met she was actually embarrassed over being seen in such a compromising position. If he had been anything like his brother, or for that matter any of his siblings (besides Finn) he would have teased her. Instead saying nothing he sat down beside her.

Elena waited for him to say something, anything, but it soon became obvious that he wasn't going to comment on the scene they had just witnessed. She didn't want to bring it up but she felt like they needed to talk about it. After all they had just learned that they are not only together but getting married. This was definitely a curveball.

"Um," she coughed trying to get rid of the lump in her throat, "Elijah?" His gaze shifted to her but still he said nothing. "What's going on exactly?"

Elijah's eyebrow raised. "You want me to explain exactly what our future selves are doing in there?"

Elena's eyes widened and she shook her head furiously. "No! I know—I mean—I know what's going on, at least with them, but what does this mean for us? You and me? I mean less than eight hours ago you where kidnapping me now we've learned we're going to get married."

Elijah opened his mouth to answer when he realized he didn't know. He had everything planned out. He was going to use Elena as bate to bring out Klaus, let him perform the ritual, and kill him when he was in transition. Simple. Now that whole plan was thrown right out the window because if he killed her, if he let Klaus sacrifice her then this future will never happen and for some reason that possibility scared him.

Elijah never got a chance to answer her as the front door opened revealing their future selves. Elena panting, flushed, glowing, her sundress crumpled, holding Elijah's hand as she escorted him out. His future self on the other hand looked perfectly made. Just by looking at him you would never be able to tell what had just been going on only a few minutes ago. The only tell tale sign was his slightly swollen and pink lips.

Pulling him back for one last kiss Elena finally released his hand letting Elijah head out. He went right through them as he walked down the porch steps to his car. Taking this as a cue that it was safe to return inside Elena stood up following her older self back into the house.

Not that they remained there long. Vampire Elena only returned long enough to place the meat into the oven before grabbing her own purse and heading out herself.

The Salvatore Manor seemed exactly the same not that Elena had expected it to look any different mind you. Still something about it felt different. It probably had something to do with her future self who just stood outside the door. She didn't knock or try to go in. Instead she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear seeming to try and bring up the courage to knock.

"This is not a good sign," Elena muttered more to herself then to Elijah.

She could guess that Damon wouldn't be too happy about her dating choice. He would probably have thrown one of his tantrums but Elena would have at least hoped that they would work it out and be friends once again. Apparently that wasn't the case.

Elijah gave no answer. What was he to say? He didn't know these people. They were strangers to him, though it was apparent they wouldn't be much longer.

Finally Future Elena brought her fist down only the door swung opened at the action. Confused and slightly worried Elena stepped inside.

"Damon?" Elena called into the home. When she received no reply she stepped through the threshold. "Damon?" Walking down the hallway she found the missing vampire sprawled out on the couch. His shirt hanging opened, an empty bottle of scotch tossed onto the coffee table, and another one clutched in his hand. "Damon."

Elena's expression fell. She had been hoping he was doing better. It had been years now. He was still drinking and he still couldn't let go. She wanted him to be happy, to find someone or something for himself. She moved around the couch to position herself in front of him. Reaching out to snatch the bottle from him Damon yanked it away abruptly standing up.

"Don't," he hissed at her.

"I thought you were finally cleaning yourself up," her tone made the statement into a question.

"Yeah well I decided I didn't want to," Damon retorted bringing the bottle to his lips.

"You can't keep doing this to yourself. Let me help you," Elena practically begged.

Damon laughed hollowly. "Yeah because you've been such a great help." He tossed the now empty bottle onto the table with the first.

"I'm not going to have this conversation with you again. I told you how I feel. Nothing is going to change that," Elena sounded exacerbated.

"What are you doing here anyways?" he changed the topic.

Elena bit her lip. This was going to be a lot harder than she planned. "I wanted you to hear it from me."

"Here what?" Damon tried not to let the anxiety he got from her words show instead reaching into the liquor cabinet to retrieve another bottle.

She decided to just bite the bullet. "I'm getting married. Elijah proposed."

Damon froze processing what had just been said. Closing his eyes he forced a smile on his face as he turned back to Elena. "Congratulations. I'm sure the two of you will be very happy together." The only thing that gave away his rage was the tightening grip on the bottle.

"Damon," she whispered sadly.

Damon didn't let her continue her sentence, "When did he pop the question?"

"Last night," Elena answered.

"Have you told Stefan?" Damon went about actually pouring a glass.

He tried to give it to Elena but she just shook her head waving it off. "No, not yet. I haven't been able to reach him. Have you heard anything?"

Downing his glass Damon shrugged. "The last time I heard from my dear brother he and Katherine where in New York. He's still trying to make her see the light and all that."

"Katherine? Stefan is with Katherine?" Elena gasped.

Out of all the possibilities of what happened to him Stefan ending up with Katherine had not been one of them. He had spent so much time trying to convince her that he didn't care for Katherine she had actually believe him. Maybe he had been trying to convince himself rather than her.

"So Katarina is doing well? How unfortunate," Elijah remarked annoyance in his voice.

Future Elena nodded once before making her leave. She had told him, there was nothing left for her to say.

"Doesn't that bother you at all?" Damon called after her.

Elena stopped turning back to him. "It's his life Damon. I can't stop him from spending it with whomever he wants."

Yes the thought of him with Katherine hurt. When she had first found out it filled her with anger cutting deeply. But she accepted his choice. He wasn't becoming Ripper Stefan again. He wouldn't let that happen. Besides the last time she had seen Katherine she was actually nice, or nicer.

That was the last straw for him. Clinching the glass Damon suddenly threw it across the room smashing it into a wall. "Why him?! All this time it's been between me and Stefan. I could have lived with it had it been him but then Elijah comes out of fucking nowhere and what sweeps you off your feet?!"

Elena surprisingly barely even flinched. This wasn't the first time Damon had thrown something across the room in his rage. "He didn't come out of nowhere he was always there. Don't you get it? He has always been there for me. Honest, noble, kind Elijah. No matter how bad he was the one who listened to me, treated me like an equal. No matter what was happening he was always there when I needed him. Not like you and Stefan. I died! I became a vampire! I needed you. Both of you to help me deal with it and were where you? Living in your depressions over the fact I was a vampire instead of helping me through it! And by the time you finally got around the whole fact the two of you then spent so much time bickering over what type of vampire I should be that you never actually helped me! Elijah was the shoulder I cried on, he was the one who forced me back into the world instead of letting me collapse in on myself. He loves me. Me! But you, Damon you love human Elena. You where so willing to turn me but when I finally was all you wanted was her back." Elena forced the tears back. "Elijah he just wants me. Human or vampire it never mattered."

With that Elena stormed out of the house slamming the door for good measure. Leaving Damon to drink and wallow in his self pity.

Sitting in the back of the car Elena remained silent watching her future self wipe away the tears and pull herself back up. She really had grown in six years. She wasn't the terrified indecisive weak girl Elena felt herself to be. She was strong, sure of herself, and above all happy. Maybe this wasn't the future she had planned for herself but did it matter if she was happy?

"Elijah," she spoke getting his attention. "Thank you."

His brow raised curiously. "For what?"

"I know you haven't done it yet and I don't really know the details but judging by my older self I feel like I owe you one." She smiled at him.

Elijah found himself feeling something for her. The genuine thanks she expressed, the happiness and love he had seen between their future selves, and the surprising ease at which they were able to be together now it made him feel something he hadn't felt in a long time. He wasn't sure if that fact terrified or excited him.

There wasn't really much for them to do back at the Gilbert-Mikaelson house. Vampire Elena went about cooking and preparing for Jeremy's return. Though it hadn't been said Elena assumed he had gone off to college, at least that was her most likely guess. So since there was to be a party, some kind of welcome home Elena hoped that everyone would be there. She had told Elijah as much but he knew she couldn't be sure.

Still this gave them a couple hours time before people started to arrive. A couple of hours to sort everything out in her head.

It was now just occurring to Elena how much she had changed, how much she will change in the next few years. It was weird staring at her bedroom that this was what made her whole finally situation sink in. Not seeing herself sit across from the man who's trying to kill her and have a somewhat friendly conversation with, not finding out she was a vampire, not when she saw herself having or about to have oral with the vampire who was kidnapping her, not even the fight between her other self and Damon for once really standing up for herself. It was her bedroom which made all of this suddenly real.

Not much had changed about it. Her teddy bear still sat in the center of her bed though the bed itself was now a king to fit two people, the nightstands remained and so did the bureau, mirror, desk, all her furniture was exactly the same as it was back in her own time. It was the little things that stood out. Like the nightstands for instance, it was obvious from looking at the objects sitting on either one that two people slept in the bed each with their own side. Hers had her journal left sprawled opened a pen marking her place while the other had an old leather book carefully laid down a cloth bookmark. Her bookshelf no longer held her old trophies, framed certificates, books pushed in randomly, and some knickknacks she had liked, now it was organized. Leather books set on the high shelves alphabetized and meticulously arranged while the remaining books where placed and organized on the shelves eye level with her, even the various objects where placed with some structure. Her mirror decorated with pictures of friends and family included images of Elijah and a few others she didn't yet know the names of.

Curiously opening the closet she found suits hung next to her clothing even a shoe rack filled with men's and women's shoes. This wasn't her room anymore it was their room. Even the bathroom showed that. In place of Jeremy's things Elijah's sat. It was like she had stepped into an alternate universe. Hell she had stepped into an alternate universe.

Sitting on the end of her bed she wasn't sure what to do. Her head was spinning. It was only when her gaze fell on the open journal sitting on the nightstand did Elena finally moved. She knew she shouldn't. From the dozens of time travel films she's seen there was one common theme and that was knowing too much about the future was a very bad thing yet her curiosity got the best of her and she finally picked up the book.

She read the page in which her future self had left it opened to, "Elijah proposed to me last night. I can't believe it. I mean I know I'm going to spend the rest of my life with him but I guess it never even occurred to me to marry him. After everything that's happened marriage is the last thing I ever thought I would do. But it feels so right with him. Elijah makes everything in my life perfect. I've never felt this way before and now I actually am getting a wedding. I'm going to marry the man of my dreams.

"I've been thinking a lot about the past lately. How I got here. All the mistakes I made. What I would do differently but then I'm reminded of what Elijah always tells me how everything we've done every mistake and heartache brought us to this exact moment in time so there's no point in second guessing myself would I really want things to change? I don't know. I'm just going to focus on the now and maybe even plan for a future which I apparently have.

"I'm about to go meet up with Caroline at the Grill. I want her to be my Maid of Honor. I think it's fitting since most likely Klaus will be Elijah's Best Man. Also Jeremy, Bonnie, and Matt are coming home tonight. I've missed them terribly but at least some of us got to go off to college. Elijah says I still can but I've decided to wait. Maybe in a year or two. After all I've got all eternity to do it."

"You shouldn't be reading that." Elena jumped up from the bed slamming the journal shut.

"I…I… Bonnie's coming home tonight with Matt and Jeremy," she changed the subject.

"Good." Elijah's eyes locked with the journal.

Elena felt suddenly guilty under the scrutiny of his gaze twisting the book in her hands. Sitting down beside her Elijah made no other comments. What did it matter if Elena read the journal anyways? What was the likelihood that this future was going to happen now that they had seen it?

"Does it even matter?" Elijah raised his eyebrow in a silent question. "If I read this."

"That depends, do you want to change the future?" Elijah asked in return.

"I… Jenna," she stuttered out in answer like that single word explained everything.

Actually it did. If Elijah had known what Klaus had planned on doing to his family he wouldn't have been able to just stand by and do nothing. No he understood her dilemma.

"You know changing things doesn't necessarily mean you'll change them for the better." He wasn't sure what he was trying to do. Convince her not to change anything to have this future? What did it matter if things changed and yet…

Elena opened her mouth to what protest? Instead she found the words dying in her throat. She hadn't actually considered that things could be worse because to her losing any of her family was the most horrific it could get but she had forgotten that only a few hours ago she didn't even expect to live the next few years. Now here she was happy, getting married, starting a life. Was it worth taking the chance that if she changed things she would lose that happiness she had found here? Best case she was happy like this with everyone alive, worst case everyone was dead.

Elena didn't know what she wanted. She never had guessed that she'd ever have to face this kind of decision before. "What would you do?"

Elijah found himself speechless and unsure. What would he do in her place? Actually looking on it now they were both in the same boat except Elena seemed to have more to lose.

"I don't know," he decided to go with honesty.

Elena bit her lip in a frown. It wasn't the answer she wanted to hear but she understood it. So then she asked, "Do you want this?"

She didn't need to expand on what the "this" was. "This" was not just this future, but this relationship, it was her. They barely knew each other but now they had to make the life altering decision on whether they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Sure they would go through the process of falling in love, they would date, they would get to know each other, but they still had to decide if they wanted to even give this a chance.

Did he want to risk it, risk his heart again for another doppelganger? Tatia, Katerina, both had hurt him and he swore he had learned his lesson and would not be so foolish again. Yet here he was with another one. Was he a glutton for punishment, a masochist? Still seeing them interact in the kitchen this future Elena wasn't anything like Katerina or even Tatia. She truly loved him, the older him.

"I… I don't think I even remember being so happy," he gave her in answer.

He gave her a sideways glance to find a small smile forming. "Yeah, me either."

Silence enveloped them. Neither sure what to do or say so settling for nothing at all. They remained that way until Elena stood up replacing the journal on the night stand just as she found it. Elijah shifted his gaze away hiding the smile that was threatening to come out. In distraction he stood up walking over to the mirror that hung above the dresser. He examined each and every picture curious as to who they were, lingering on the ones he knew. The ones of his future self and Elena, the ones of his family.

He didn't move an inch as Elena stepped up behind him. "That's Bonnie." She pointed to a photo of her, Caroline, and Bonnie from before, when they didn't know of vampire or witches, when her parents where alive. "That's Matt, an old friend. And that's Jenna. My parents. Jeremy, my brother." She pointed to each one. "And my uncle John, my Dad's brother. That's Alaric, he's um well, he's family I guess, also a hunter, and he's dating—dated," she corrected herself, "Jenna. I don't know who they are." She pointed to a couple of pictures. One was of four people, three men and a girl. She recognized Elijah and Klaus but the other two she'd never seen before.

"Kol and Rebekah," he supplied. "My other siblings."

"What are they like?" Elena found herself asking curiously.

"Kol he… he is foolhardy and impulsive. One could correctly call him a narcissistic. But he does love us in his own way. Rebekah desires to be loved more than anyone, but has a terrible taste in men. She shares Niklaus's temper and stubbornness, probably why they butt heads so much—but they love each other. They're very close, perhaps even closer to each other than to me." He chuckled remembering their many, many, fights. He never thought he would miss them. Anymore conversation was ended as the sound of a car pulling into the driveway hit his ears. "It appears that your friends have arrived."

"Jeremy!" the elder Elena threw her arms around her brother. She missed him desperately. Though the college wasn't too far away it had taken some getting used to as they had never been apart for more than a few days. "Welcome home!"

"Hey Elena." Jeremy dropped his bags to return the almost crushing hug an easy smile spreading over his face.

"How was the drive? And school? What's going on in your classes? And your new friends, how are they?" the questions spilled out of Elena's mouth in a breathless stream.

"Give me a second to catch my breath." Jeremy laughed. "We've got plenty of time to catch up."

Elena blushed. "I just really missed you."

"Me too."

"Hey what about us?" Matt joked coming around the car.

"Of course I missed you too." Elena making up for ignoring both Bonnie and Matt by pulling him into a hug. "How are you? You guys don't call enough."

"I'm good football practice has been taking up most of my life though," Matt answered.

"Yeah we barely ever see this guy." Jeremy smirked slinging an arm over his shoulder.

"If you guys are done how about you help me with the bags?" Bonnie quirked an eyebrow at them.

Laughing Elena went to the trunk grabbing her best friends bag. "I know you're staying here," Elena directed at Bonnie, "but Matt are you?"

He shook his head. "No I'm going to go home. I love you guys but living on campus gives you no privacy. I'm going to enjoy having some peace and quiet while I'm back."

Jeremy closed the trunk moving around to head up to the house.

"I can understand that," Elena agreed walking with Matt up the stairs. "Though I'm actually looking forward to the house being nosy again. It took a while to get used to the quiet."

"Have there been no murderous rampages or killer vampires on the loose?" Matt laughed.

"Not a one which has been pretty surprising but not unwelcomed," Elena added. The biggest scene had been a bar fight a few weeks ago and that had been between humans not one supernatural creature involved.

"So the originals have all been behaving?" Bonnie asked a serious undertone to the question evident.

"Klaus has been preoccupied with Caroline, Rebekah has been trying the whole normal life thing, and Kol he comes and goes. Whenever he gets bored he heads out of town for a few weeks. I'm not sure what he does but I have a feeling I'd rather not," Elena informed them dropping the bags by the stairs to the second floor.

Bonnie nodded but said nothing else on them.

Elena decided now would be a good time to change the subject. "I'm really glad you're all home."

Bonnie's expression cleared up. "I missed you too." She pulled her friend into a tight hug. "I wish you had come with us. It's just not the same without you and Caroline there."

"Don't worry we'll join you eventually," she promised, though when eventually was she wasn't sure.

"Well, well, well. Look who we have here."

Bonnie released Elena and turned around. "If it isn't the witch bitch."

"Rebekah," Bonnie gave a strained smile. "What are you doing here?"

"To congratulate the lucky lovers, of course. What else?" Rebekah sneered and held up a bottle of red wine.

"Excuse me?" the Bennett witch raised her eyebrows, looking back at Elena in confusion.

Elena opened her mouth to say something, but not before Kol busted in the room shouting, "So where are the strippers?"

"The what?"

"The strippers in the giant cake! Bachelor parties are supposed to have those, aren't they?"

"This isn't a bachelor party, you ape," Rebekah hissed. "Evidence of the lack of Y chromosome in the room. Honestly Kol, sometimes I wonder how we're even related."

"Hold up," Jeremy said, stepping in front of Elena in a subconscious defensive move. "Bachelor party? Congratulations? What the hell is going on?" He turned around to face his sister. "Elena?"

"I meant to tell you over dinner with Elijah," Elena was speaking fast, rambling in her bewildered state. "It was supposed to be a nice and quiet evening, welcoming you guys back, and then we were supposed to casually bring it up. I don't even know how Rebekah and Kol know or who invited them, I—"

"Elena, hold up," Bonnie cut her off, holding up her hands to calm Elena down. "Are you and Elijah… engaged?"

"Yes," Elena sighed in both relief and exasperation. "I'm sorry—"

Suddenly she was back in Bonnie's arms, being held tight as Bonnie breathed in her ear, "Don't be! Don't be sorry, Elena. Oh my God, I'm so happy for you."

"How adorable, now where can I find the liquor?" Rebekah rolled her eyes, popping the wine bottle open. "I'm not nearly drunk enough for all this mooshy gooshy talk."

"Engaged?" Jeremy gaped, confusion riddled in his voice. "You're going to marry Elijah? You can't—vampires can't marry… can they?"

"There's not exactly a rule book for it, Jer." Elena pulled back from Bonnie and brushed her hair back behind her ear. She smiled, looking at him, eyes wide and hopeful and expectant. "Are you… alright with this?"

"Alright?" Jeremy laughed, voice getting caught in his throat. "Is this what you want?"

"Yes."

"Then hell yes I'm alright with it. Come here." He pulled Elena into an embrace.

"Oh my God, is everyone going to hug?" Rebekah groaned, downing the remainder of her bottle of wine. "Kol, why don't we… Kol?" She looked around. Somewhere during the conversation Kol had slipped out of the room. "Kol, damn you! Where did you go?"

"Matt's gone too," Bonnie said, looking around.

"Oh, shit," Rebekah mumbled to herself. "Not again, I thought he was over it!" She turned to rush out of the room, leaving Elena, Bonnie, and Jeremy to rush after her. "Kol, you little slime! Where are you? I swear to God, if you touch so much as a single perfect blond hair on his charming head, I'll knock your teeth so far down your throat you'll be shitting them for weeks."

"Calm yourself, sister," Kol droned as he came around the corner with a bottle of Scotch in his hand. "We were just looking for the liquor. Isn't that right, mate?"

"Yeah," Matt said, following behind with a hand of shot glasses and a Jack Daniels. "Sorry, I didn't mean to make you guys worry."

"We've become quit cozy, he and I." Kol grinned and patted Matt on the shoulder, who gave his awkward crooked smile, like he had just given up trying to understand vampires. "I promised Elijah, no killing anyone during his wedding high."

"That's sweet of you," Rebekah groaned sarcastically. Just for good measure, she went over to Matt and grabbed his head as he protested, tilting it back to check his neck for bitemarks.

"You really don't believe me? I'm hurt, Bekah."

"Oh please, Kol. Don't act so offended. You know exactly why you can't be trusted. Promises or not, you just love to ruin a good party. Need I remind you of the summer of 1708, when you…"

"That was a long time ago. I've evolved since then. I'm mature now."

"Hardly," Rebekah gave a dry laugh, turning her attention back to Matt, who had slipped out of her grasp with an uncomfortable look on his face. "He really didn't do anything to you?"

"No, I'm fine. He just wanted me to show him where the alcohol was kept."

Rebekah gave a relieved smile, and then flushed a little as she realized how long it had been. "How are you? How is University?"

"Oh God, Bekah. You're going to do this now?" Kol groaned in disgust, pouring himself a drink.

Elena was looking back and forth between the bickering siblings. "Should we stop them?"

"Leave Original siblings to their Original problems," Bonnie shook her head.

"Elena." Matt smiled and came over to give her a hug. "Sorry I slipped out. There was a lot going on. I'm happy for you. Elijah is a lucky man."

"Thanks Matt." Elena squeezed back, keeping in mind not to hold him too tight and crush his bones.

"Rebekah, Kol, enough," a commanding voice echoed through the halls. Everyone turned their head to the threshold to see Elijah.

Relief immediately swept through Elena. She never knew how to deal with his family even after all these years. Rebekah and Kol stopped but still glaring daggers at each other.

"What are you two doing here?"

"To stop you from making the worst mistake of your li—"

"To congratulate you," Rebekah cut Kol off.

"I didn't inform you of my intentions so you could bombard us with your nonsense."

"I know Elijah. I promise we're not here to cause trouble. It's been so long since we've seen you… and Nik. When's the last time the four of us have been together? And what a better reason to reunite than to celebrate the extension of our family?" Rebekah turned to look at Elena, giving a hopeful smile.

Elena knowing what she was doing still placed a gentle hand on Elijah's arm. "We have room for two more, I've made more than enough."

Elijah giving away immediately under her soft touch conceded.

"Seriously?" Jeremy sighed, his eyebrows furrowed together in annoyance.

"Are you still angry I said we weren't friends in Denver?" Kol gave a devilish grin. Jeremy looked away, annoyance turned to anger, refusing to talk to Kol. "I'm sorry, mate. I take it back. We're friends." He sauntered his way over to Jeremy and went to pat his shoulder.

Jeremy shook away his hand. "I don't want to be your friend, Kol."

"Sure you don't." Kol winked and downed the rest of his glass.

"Come here, Jer," Bonnie took a seething Jeremy by the arm and led him back to the kitchen. "You can help me set the table."

"Hey, women are going to the kitchen. You should join them, Bekah."

"Shut it!" Jeremy and Rebekah shouted at the same time.

"What happened between you two in Denver?" Bonnie mumbled to Jeremy as they left the room.

The beeper on the stove suddenly went off. "I guess that's me." Elena smiled, trying to hide her relief that she was being saved from this Soap Opera in the living room. She gave Elijah a quick peck on the lips before asking Rebekah, "Do you want to help?"

"Do I look like I cook?" Rebekah's face was placid and unamused. Then she caught a look from Elijah and sighed. "Of course, Elena. I'd be charmed."

"I'll help too," Matt offered, not wanting to be left alone in a room filled with Original Vampires.

"When did my life change from a horror story into a Soap Opera?" present Elena wondered aloud from her position on the couch before turning to her couch mate. "Have they always been like this?"

"A thousand years and they still bicker like two year olds," Elijah sighed. "It's something that will never change." It gave him a sort of comfort knowing that after all this time things hadn't changed they were still as close and dysfunctional as ever.

"How long since you last saw them?" she asked almost smiling at the first real emotions she was able to detect on his face. He wasn't even trying to hide his fondness for them.

"Kol, a century, Rebekah about eighty years. Klaus had them… We can't be killed not like an ordinary vampire but we can be temporarily immobilized. But without their bodies I couldn't bring them back," Elijah found himself explain though he realized in the back of his mind that he shouldn't be doing so.

"I don't know what I'd do if I didn't see Jeremy for a hundred years. Even if it's for a few days I find myself missing him." Especially after her parents died. The need to be closer, at least physically, was stronger. She had to keep an eye on him. Make sure he was safe.

"That's why I'm doing all this," and again Elijah knew he should stop talking, stop confessing things. How was she pulling all his secrets out?

"You mean kidnapping me?" Elena clarified wanting to make sure she was on the same train of thought as him.

"Yes." He paused. "I want to kill him. I want him to pay for taking them away from me. For breaking apart our family."

"But—I don't understand how can breaking the sun and the moon curse do that?" If Elijah was the one to break it then vampires would walk in the daylight. How could that possibly have anything to do with killing Klaus?

He shifted subtly in his seat. "The sun and the moon curse," he looked to her, "it's fake. Niklaus and I, we made it up. We created it."

"Why?"

"Because how else do you find an elusive doppelganger one that is born only every couple of hundred years and a single stone? By making everyone want them," he explained.

Elena was silent as she let the words sink in. "Then what does the spell do?"

"Our mother she had an affair. Niklaus is not our father's son. His father was a werewolf making Niklaus—"

"Both? He's both?" Elena cut him off.

Elijah chose to ignore it. "Yes. But a being so powerful it interfered with the balance of nature so our mother, a witch, cursed him binding his werewolf side. He has been trying to break the curse ever since."

"So you break the curse and then what?"

"During his transition it will give me the chance to kill him."

Elena nodded in understand. "Okay, but… That didn't happen." Klaus was alive and dating Caroline.

He frowned. "No it didn't."

"Is that a good or bad thing?" she wondered.

"I'm not sure yet." A knock at the door ended their talk as future Elijah moved to answer it.

"Hey!" A bumbling, bright-eyed Caroline cheered, a row of wide teeth showing as she smiled. She made a movement and paused before asking, "Can I hug you now? Is that okay? I mean, you're marrying my best friend and I'm dating your brother, so we're practically family." She gave a hopeful smile, big eyes peering up at him. Elijah opened his mouth to say something but was cut off as she flung her arms around him. "Yes, this feels right. Hmm." As she pulled back, she added, "You smell good," and winked.

"Caroline love, please," Klaus strained as he appeared behind her. "Forgive me, Elijah. She's impulsive. And a self-proclaimed hugger."

"It's no problem." Elijah shook his head in slight bewilderment before stepping aside to let them in.

"Yeah Klaus. We're one big freaky vamp family now. Don't be surprised if the evening turns orgy." She winked again before skipping her way into the house, carrying a dish of fruit salad to the kitchen.

Present Elijah stood from his seat at the couch and wondered over to them—himself and his brother. He had to see this, up close. He had to know where they stood in the future. Elena adjusted herself, wondering whether to follow, but decided to stay back and let him have his moment.

"I see things are going well between the lovely Caroline and yourself."

"Surprisingly, yes. And you with… Elena. Big move, brother, don't you think? Marriage for a vampire?"

"Sounds absurd, doesn't it?"

Klaus laughed. "A little. Has it ever been done before?"

"Who knows? We tend to make up our own rules as we go along. You know that better than most, Niklaus."

"Indeed." Klaus smiled. He looked uncomfortable. In this family setting with the cheerful chatter ringing from the kitchen and the sound of dishes clinking together and the perfume and meats and cheese and fruit and all these human delicacies. This wasn't Klaus's setting.

"I'm surprised you came."

"I wasn't going to. I know where I'm not welcome. But Caroline said…"

"Caroline was right. Niklaus, you're a lot of things. And you've done a lot of things. But above all, you're my brother. And nothing will change that for me, not even my relationship with Elena. She understands, and though she may not like you, she accepts you. You are always welcome in our home."

Klaus put his hand on Elijah's arm and squeezed it. "Always and forever, huh?"

"Hi," Elena said, voice tight but optimistic, wiping her hands off on a washcloth. "Come in, please."

"Yeah babe, you're missing the party!" Caroline's voice echoed from the kitchen. "Rebekah and Kol are practically inhaling all the alcohol."

"Well we're at a lack for blood, unless one of you chaps is offering," Kol's voice followed.

"Keep your fangs in your mouth," Rebekah scoffed.

"Rebekah, share some of that!" Caroline grumbled.

"Oh boy," Elena mumbled. She turned back to Klaus and Elijah. "You guys can head on to the dining room; I'll kick everyone out of the kitchen before someone gets staked."

Elena shooed everyone out of the kitchen and wrestled the rum away from Kol as Bonnie and Jeremy put the last of the food on the table.

"Evening." Klaus smiled as Bonnie nearly ran into him.

"Klaus," her voice caught, and she stepped back. "What are you doing here?"

"I was invited, love. Come to join in on the festivities."

"Caroline brought you," Bonnie stated, expression darkening as she shot a look to the kitchen.

"Indeed she did. Seeing as she loves me and enjoys my company, yes, she tends to bring me to most of her social gatherings. That's what people in relationships do, is it not?" Klaus questioned brightly.

Bonnie's hand twitched as she suppressed the urge to slap him. "What's going on?" Caroline asked, coming up behind Bonnie.

"Nothing, darling," Klaus pulled Caroline to his side and kissed her temple. At that Bonnie shoved her way through them and rushed upstairs.

"What's going on?" Elena demanded, having just exited the kitchen, to a baffled Caroline.

Caroline shook her head confused. "I don't know."

She made to follow Bonnie but Elena stopped her. "I've got this." She trailed after Bonnie up the stairs.

"He was egging me on, Elena," Bonnie seethed. "You should have seen him. He was rubbing it in my face that he's with Caroline now. I know it shouldn't make me angry, I know it, but it does. I can't stand to see him act that way with her or talk about her like that."

"Bonnie…" Elena stepped forward, voice wrought with concern.

"Klaus is bad Elena. Do you think he's changed? Caroline is just overlooking his habits. She thinks she can save him. He can't be saved. He's been this way for far too long. It'll never last, Elena, and when it does end do you think he'll just let her go? Look at what he did to his own family when they tried to leave him. She won't make it out of this alive."

Elena sat down next to Bonnie, not knowing what to say. Bonnie was saying what she herself had always thought but was too afraid to say aloud. Elena trusted Caroline to make her own decisions and take care of herself. It was Klaus who she didn't trust.

"Don't get me wrong Elena. I really am happy for you. Elijah is a great guy. A vampire, but a good man nonetheless. Probably one of the best men I've ever met human or otherwise." Bonnie laid a hand on her arm. "I just—I hate that you're marrying into his family. You're going to be Klaus' sister-in-law and that Caroline is dating him and she's in love with him and I hate him Elena. I really hate him and I've tried to forgive him but I can't. And with you and with Caroline this means that he'll be in my life for the rest of my life. I'll never be rid of him."

Elena wrapped her arms around her. "I'm sorry. I get it better than anyone. I haven't forgiven him. I'm still working on it but I'm trying for Caroline, for Elijah. I'm trying but you don't have to. You don't have to forgive him. I'll understand, Caroline will understand."

"Are you sure?" she muttered into her shoulder.

"Yeah I'm sure. The only thing we want is for you to be happy but you need to let go of some of this anger. It's not healthy." Elena pulled back enough to look Bonnie in the eyes.

"I'll work on it," she assured.

"Good." Elena let her go.

"Elijah's a lucky man."

"No I'm the lucky one," there was something about her voice that made Bonnie pause.

"Elena, is some wrong?" Bonnie laid a hand on her shoulder.

Elena waved her off. "No, of course not."

Bonnie squeezed lightly. "Elena?"

She sighed trying to find the words. "I just keep waiting for him to realize I'm no good." Her eyes began to redden as the signs of impending tears appeared.

"What are you talking about? He loves you Elena. You are good," Bonnie promised.

Elena shook her head. "No I'm not. I don't understand how he could want me, how he could ever forgive me."

"Forgive you. For what?"

"How many times have I betrayed him? How many times have I broken my word, almost gotten him killed? It's my fault Finn's dead. I could have stopped it. And still he forgave me."

"No." Bonnie grabbed her shoulders. "Don't you start thinking like that. Hey." Bonnie forced Elena to look at her. "You're not the only one who's broken her word."

"Yeah he did it once. For his family. I would have done the exact same thing. I have done the same thing. I've screwed up so many times, over and over again. One day when the honeymoon stage is gone he's going to remember everything I've done to him." The fear began to take over. She couldn't stop it. It had always been there locked away in the back of her mind forgotten about but now the proposal let the floodgates open. The fear he would leave her alone and heartbroken.

"When was the last time you lied to him or broken your word?" Bonnie questioned forcing her out of her head.

Elena thought back racking her mind. "I was human. It was the ball I think."

"We were kids. We were thrown into this world with no warning and yeah we screwed up a lot but we learned. We're not the same people we were in High School. Thank God for that." She got a small smile out of her friend. "He hasn't forgotten. He just has just moved past it because he loves you and he knows you would do anything and everything in your power for him. Right Elijah?" Bonnie looked up to the Original standing in the doorway.

Elena whirled around to him her eyes widened before her gaze fell guiltily to the floor. "Elijah." She hadn't wanted him to know her fears.

"I think I'll head back downstairs." Bonnie stood up leaving them the room.

Elijah stared at her for a moment his gaze soft before stepping towards her. Kneeling down in front of her he took her hands gently between his own. "Elena." He paused waiting until her eyes briefly glanced up at him. "We've both made mistakes, a lot of them, but I have never once hated you for any of them. I could never hate you even when I probably should have," he chuckled lightly reassuringly. "You know my past. You know more about me then my own family." Taking her chin between two of his fingers he gently lifted her face to look at him. "Whatever has happened between us before it doesn't matter now. All that matters is that I love you and I want to be with you for the rest of my life whether that is a day or a thousand years."

Tears dripped down her cheeks as she nodded leaning forward to press her forehead to his own. "I love you so much that it hurts."

He cupped her cheek stroking her soft skin. Tilting forward their lips met barely even touching but more intimate then anything they had witnessed before.

Elena averted her gaze this time not of embarrassment but because this moment was between the two of them. Not her and Elijah but their future selves. Maybe one day they would be them but right now they are only observers and this moment belonged to them.

She turned away to leave the room when she realized something was wrong, very wrong. "Elijah?" He stood there his face contorted in pain completely unmoving except for the trembling throughout his body. "Elijah?" She reached out carefully placing a hand on his arm.

This snapped him away causing his other than to instinctively snatch her wrist holding tightly. Not enough to hurt but enough that she couldn't move. His eyes finally drifted onto her the far off look gone.

"I knew something was wrong. We didn't talk about him. We talked about Klaus, Rebekah, Kol, but we never said a single word about Finn," his voice shook with unshed tears.

Elena understood. Just as she had learned of her aunts death Elijah was now learning of his brothers. She opened her mouth to say something anything when suddenly he dropped her arm taking a step back. She could see that walls come up as he pushed down his feelings. She didn't know what to do, how to comfort him, but she did know that she couldn't let him push it all away, lock himself up. So Elena didn't think she just acted. Throwing her arms around him she tucked her face into his collar her arms tight and reassuring around him.

"I've got you," she found the words tumbling out of her mouth. "I've got you."

He stiffened under her but she didn't let go instead tightening her grip. They just stood there, Elena holding him while Elijah froze, unsure of what to do. When she finally began releasing him, prompting him to action, Elijah's hands came up around her waist holding her to him. He felt himself crumble as he buried his face into her hair the tears now coming.

Elena felt the soft gasps of breath against her skin as the wetness of tears. Her fingers dug into his suit as if she held on tighter she could take away some of his pain.

By the time the present Elijah and Elena returned downstairs everyone was sitting around the table food being passed around, drinks being served. Elena glanced back at her companion. Looking at him you never would have guessed the emotional breakdown he had just experienced. She didn't say anything. She didn't think he'd want her to, so she simply tucked her hand into his own and squeezed.

"Please Kol stop trying to enhance your adventures. No one is going to believe your wild stories," Rebekah rolled her eyes.

"I am the only one here who enjoys a good adventure! You shouldn't bash on my fun just because you decided to try living this normal life you seem to enjoy so much," Kol retorted.

"Like we are suppose to believe that you became a stripper in Las Vegas dancing for hundreds of men and women which I might buy if you didn't say that you became famous and the most wanted stripper in the entire city." Rebekah snatched a roll from the basket.

"What do expect? I am gorgeous. And I'll try anything once. What is it the men thing you have a problem with? We're vampires we're going to be alive far too long to worry about a thing like sexuality." Kol ignored all the food on the table choosing instead to fill up his glass.

"He does like to take off his clothes," Jeremy remarked causing the entire table to turn on him.

Jeremy picked up his glass taking a long swallow pretending like he hadn't said a word.

"I believe you only because that's exactly like one of the stupid stunts you'd pull. You love it when people flaunt over your looks," Klaus broke the tense silence.

"You know once Caroline provided us with quite a show." Elena smirked.

"Elena!" Caroline tried to shush her. "We swore never to speak about that again!"

"My my I must hear about this," Klaus turned his attention onto his future sister-in-law.

Elena was more than happy to comply. "It was during our freshman year of high school. We were having a sleep over at Caroline's house and her Mom was off at work. Naturally it turned into a game of truth or dare. I don't actually remember who gave her the dare but one of us dared her to strip dance for us. So we turned some music and Caroline provided us with quite the show."

"See two can play at this game. Elijah do you want to know what Elena's dare was?" she quirked her eyebrow in challenge.

"I think it would be best if I answered no to that question," he chuckled in answer.

"Well too bad I'm going to tell you anyways," Caroline informed him.

"Caroline…" Elena started.

"Oh no you started this. Elena she completely undressed. She wasn't wearing one piece of clothing and then she went outside and stood on my porch for thirty seconds." Her grin widened. "Want to know what the best part is?"

"Do tell," Kol encouraged.

"Old Mr. Hendricks from across the street had been taking out his trash at the time. I'm surprised Elena didn't give him a heart attack," she answered with glee.

The table erupted with laugher. "At least he got a good show." Elena shrugged.

"That he did," Caroline whole heartedly agreed.

"What about Bonnie I'm sure she has some stories?" Jeremy questioned nudging her.

"No way keep me out of this." She shook her head adamantly.

"I have enough dirt on the three of them to last me my entire life," Matt spoke up. "I'm just not stupid enough to use it. They wouldn't even find my body."

A normally funny joke died on all their throats as there had been far too much death already.

"Perhaps a change of subject is in order?" Rebekah suggested.

"I'm going back to college this upcoming semester," Caroline piped up.

"Really? Why now?" Bonnie asked.

"I'm just," she shrugged, "ready. I mean I took time off because the town was falling apart, our lives where falling apart, and I just wanted to fix it all. And I have. All the repair work has been done and with all the volunteer work I've done at the hospital I've seen a lot of people with regrets about no living. I'm a vampire, I'm going to be around for a long time. I don't want to sit around. I want to do something and right now I want to be a college student. Enjoy the college life." Caroline took Klaus' hand. "Klaus even got an apartment next to campus and we're going to move in together."

"Niklaus you've been holding back from us. You're making a commitment of your own." Elijah raised his brow at him.

"Well what do you expect from me? I am after all a romantic at heart. I'm just not foolish enough to promise forever and always. Not when it comes to love. I can however promise now which is exactly what I have done," Klaus responded.

"God when have you lot become such saps at love. Bekah has always been the foolish one when it comes to love now it's rubbed off on you lot. Kill me if I ever become like that," Kol instructed.

"With pleasure." A dark smile crossing Klaus' features.

It was deadly quiet before the tension just snapped and the entire table broke out in laughter.

Elena laughed burying her face in her hand when the doorbell rang. Elijah made to stand but Elena only placed her hand on his shoulder stopping the movement.

"I've got it." She stood letting him continue to talk with his siblings. Rebekah had been right it had been far too long since they had all been in a room together. Elena was so caught up in the dinner that she hadn't even stopped to wonder who possibly could have been at the door. "Damon." She froze surprised.

"Elena," he greeted in return shuffling his feet nervously.

She opened her mouth to say something but instead finding her throat suddenly dry. She swallowed trying again, "What are you doing here?"

"I'm not here to cause a scene if that's what you're worried about. I," he paused, "Can we talk?"

Elena glanced over her shoulder towards the direction of the dining room before back to Damon. She nodded once. "Okay."

Stepping outside she closed the door behind her.

Present Elena drifted behind her Future self following her outside while Elijah remained with the dinner party. She wanted to know what would happen. She wanted to know that Damon would be okay. She wasn't the girl in love with Elijah. Not yet. She was still the girl who cared deeply for Damon. More than she probably should.

And maybe, maybe if he was okay she could make a decision, a real decision on what she wanted to do, what she would do when she got back to her own time.

Vampire Elena stood awkwardly on the porch her weight shifting back and forth between her feet.

"I'm sorry about before," Damon started.

"I know." And she did. Damon was hurting taking it out on her the person at the source of his pain. There wasn't anything she could do anything about that. She couldn't stop his pain.

"And you were right. About what you said. When you turned I—both of us, Stefan and me,— we were so consumed with making you human and when that didn't work we wanted you to be our type of vampire we didn't even stop to think about what was best for you. It wasn't supposed to go down like it did. You where never supposed to become a vampire and if you did it was suppose to be your choice. This was all supposed to be your choice and I guess I've just forgotten all that. So I have to ask," Damon stepped towards her, "is this your choice?"

Elena met his eyes. She wanted him to know how serious she was. "Yes. He's my choice."

Damon studied her face before finally breaking his gaze nodding. "Okay. Then I want you to know… I want you—I need you to be happy. Be happy Elena. Live your life. Where ever that takes you."

Elena's eyes watered but she managed to nod. "You too. I don't want you to be sad anymore. I know somewhere out there is your girl. Find her and be happy, not for me but for yourself."

Elena threw her arms around him. This was it. The last piece of her old life. She was free to move forward nothing holding her back.

Human Elena found herself comforted. She was okay with this. Okay with Damon moving on, with herself moving on. It felt liberating not to have to choose anymore. No more fighting over her. She wasn't the problem in everyone's lives. They were all letting go.

Elena pulled back brushing the tears from her eyes.

"Do you want to come inside?" she offered.

Damon shook his head. "No I think it's time for me to go."

Elena bit her lip. "Good luck."

Damon leaned forward pressing one last kiss to her cheek before disappearing.

Elena slipped back into the house everyone evolved in their multiple conversations. She took her seat next to her fiancé. Elijah glanced up his eyes softening at the sight of her.

"Are you okay?" Elijah questioned quietly shifting towards her.

She smiled fondly. "Yes. I really am."

He reached out tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. "Are you sure? You loved him once."

Elena hummed, leaning into his hand. "I loved the idea of him. The idea of being free, having fun, living. It was a nice idea. But I've found something so much better."

"Really and that is that?" Elijah asked a smirk appearing on his lips.

"Well." She intertwined their fingers. "I found someone who supports me, loves me unconditionally, who makes decisions with me, and who I couldn't imagine spending the rest of eternity without."

Bring her hand up to his lips be place a single kiss there much like he had at the ball. "That does sound much, much, better."

"Will you two stop with all your ridiculously soppy love? It is making me ill," Klaus cut in.

Caroline whacked his arm. "Stop it they're in love. It's beautiful. I want soppy love."

"Now the two of you are giving her ideas," Klaus snorted.

"Well I think that's the kind of love that will last. You want someone that you'll still be in love with fifty years from now. Especially for you guys since when you say its forever it has a whole different meaning," Matt pointed out.

"See Matt understands. Love is suppose to be beautiful and eternal, undying," Rebekah spoke dreamily.

"Coming from the girl who loves too easily. Truly Beks, how many men have you given your heart to?" Kol smirked downing the rest of his drink. "Love isn't forever. You should be with someone you can have fun with and enjoy whatever time you have. Now let's change this subject shall we?"

"It's better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all," Rebekah quoted.

"Really? Tennyson? Why must we keep coming back on the topic of love? I thought I was changing the subject here?" Kol refilled his drink.

"They did just get engaged," Bonnie pointed out.

"Yes yes yes. Hooray for the happy couple. Many well wishes but do we have to spend all evening discussing it?"

"Elena dear, have you and my brother decided what you're going to do for your honeymoon?" Rebekah smiled widely at the groan she managed to get out of her brother.

"I'm taking Elena to Venice." He squeezed her hand.

"Of course you are. Always the romantic." Klaus rolled his eyes.

"Aren't you also planning on taking Caroline there one day?" Elijah reminded.

"How long are you planning on staying?" Bonnie asked choosing to ignore Klaus for the remainder of the night.

"A few months while you are still away at school. We're planning it so we'll be back by the time you're all on break again." Elena leaned into Elijah knees pressed together.

"You guys are going to have so much fun!" Caroline squealed. "You're getting out there, going to see the world, and Venice is suppose to be one of the most beautiful places to go. You're so lucky to be going there."

"Love I told you I'd take you to see the world. All you have to do is tell me when," Klaus reminded her.

"I know but I want to finish school first and then we'll have an eternity to explore every inch of the planet," Caroline replied.

"That's quite a list you have there. Not every place is worth seeing," Klaus retorted.

"Maybe so but I want to learn that myself," Caroline responded.

Klaus shrugged. "Whatever you want."

A smile broke out over her face and Caroline leaned into press a kiss to his cheek. Yes Klaus somewhere along the way had become whipped.

"Come one mate how long are you going to hold a grudge?" Kol persisted shifting towards the younger Gilbert.

"I'm not holding a grudge I just have no interest in speaking to you," Jeremy retorted eyes narrowing.

"We were friends once and we'll be family soon enough. Let's let bygones be bygones," he suggested.

"You're the one who said we were never friends," Jeremy gritted out.

"Oh so that's what you're so upset about. I only said that to make a point with your sister. It was nothing personal. Now we're on the same side. We used to have fun together and we could have fun again." Kol smiled enticingly.

"So you're really going back to college next semester?" Bonnie asked.

"I am. I'll be a semester behind but I'll take extra classes to catch up. I'm really glad I took the time off. I needed life to be a bit slower for a while. I spent all of High School planning dances, dealing with the supernatural, just running around I barely had time to think let alone relax. But these last few months living the quiet life its help me put things in prospective, figure out what I want to do. Mom and I have also gotten closer again. Without all the supernatural things running around causing her problems we've been able to spend time together. Really talk. She's the one who helped me decided on what I wanted to do." Caroline explained. "Though you should have been there when Mom, Klaus, and I had dinner together. I was worried she was going to shot him for half the night. I know it wouldn't have killed him but still your Mom shooting your boyfriend. It tends to make things a little awkward."

Bonnie shook her head ignoring the part about Klaus instead focusing on her big life changing decisions. "I'm proud of you. You've done a good job around here and you've really grown up." Bonnie took her best friends hand.

"Yeah I have, but so have you. What do you want to do? I mean really want to do? You've always done things for everyone else what you wanted always took a backseat. What the plan now that we're all finally okay?" she questioned.

"I thought about traveling but really after everything I just want to live a quite life. College has been the best thing for me. I've been taking occult classes and history. I'm thinking about becoming a history major maybe even teaching like Alaric." Bonnie paused. "I don't really know but right now I just want to focus on school. The future can wait."

"Niklaus, really. Still thinking about revenge?" Elijah raised his brow at his brother.

"Only if she dares set foot in Mystic Falls again. Really I don't see what Stefan sees in her. He's being foolish." Klaus ground his teeth together.

"What does it matter now?" he questioned his insufferable brother.

"It matters to my pride. She has escaped me for five hundred years and she thinks now that I've stopped actively hunting her she can just come and go through Mystic Falls? I have a reputation to maintain," Klaus answered a dark gleam in his eye to which Elijah felt a headache coming on.

His brother was changing even if it was far too slow for his liking.

"Italy has always been my favorite country. The culture is just beautiful. So many stories, so much history. I spent a great deal of time there in my younger days," Rebekah told Matt.

"You've traveled a lot," Matt commented.

"When you've been on the run for a thousand years you see quite a bit of the world," Rebekah replied.

"I can't even imagine. Being on the run from your own father." Matt shook his head.

"It's just the way things where. I couldn't change it." Rebekah brushed it off.

"Still it must have been hard," Matt comforted.

"It was." Rebekah was silent for a moment before changing the subject, "What about you? Have you ever thought about seeing the world? Getting out of Mystic Falls?"

As Elena walked around the table looking at all the people she loved, all the people she would love something built up inside her chest. A comfort, a happiness she hadn't felt since her parents died. A feeling she was sure she'd never have again. Everyone was happy. Though they bickered and fought their words weren't aimed to hurt. All had an air of playfulness.

She swallowed a feeling of tightness in her throat. Matt and Rebekah leaned in close Rebekah smiling, Matt laughing, Rebekah telling him stories of places she'd visited. Elena could safely assume they were friends and perhaps if Rebekah wasn't a vampire they would be something else. Get married, have a family, all the things Matt wanted. All the things Matt could have. Yes she was getting married but she'd never have kids or grow old with her husband.

Jeremy glared snarking at Kol who took all his words in stride. While they seemed to do nothing but fight Elena knew when Jeremy really hated someone or was just faking it. This was him faking it. She didn't know what happened between them but whatever it was still filled the air around them. Jeremy was good though. He was happy and he would get to grow up, have what she couldn't.

Bonnie and Caroline laughed. Even now with the strain of Klaus between them they were still friends and Elena knew that no matter what happened between them that was something she could still count on. The three of them would always be friends and this just proved it.

Elijah and Klaus. They tried to kill each other. Her Elijah still planned to do it and yet apparently family won out in the end. Something had changed for Klaus. Caroline was probably the main cause but she was sure something else had spurred these changes. Watching the way Klaus held her hand even as he chatted away with this brother. His thumb stroking her skin almost subconsciously it was a gentleness Elena never would have imagined coming from the monster who wanted her dead.

And now focusing on herself and on this Elijah it actually hurt her to see how in love they were. It reminded her of her parents the way they always gravitated towards each other, leaning into one another without even thinking about it. The way her future self stroked the nape of his neck playing absently with the strands of his hair.

She froze focusing on her hand. She had seen the ring earlier but she hadn't gotten up close. She hadn't realized before. That ring, her engagement ring, it was her mothers. She was wearing her mother's ring. How did Elijah get a hold of that? How did he know the importance of that ring?

Elena couldn't be in that room anymore. She couldn't look at them anymore. She needed to get out. She needed air. She couldn't breathe. She practically tore the door off its hinges in her desperate attempt to get out. She would have if she was a vampire like her future self.

When the cold air hit her face she felt relief. The pounding in her chest was still there but she no longer felt suffocated. They were all just so happy. She can't even remember the last time she felt like that, looked like that.

Collapsing onto the porch swing she felt the prickle behind her eyes that signaled the start of tears. That was when she realized how much she wanted this future. Sitting around the table with her family, the whole dysfunctional lot of them, with the man she loves, even if that means she'll become a vampire.

"Elena?" Elijah spoke softly standing far enough away to get her some space.

"I want it," she sobbed out. "I want this." She turned to look at him. "I want you."

Elijah didn't say anything instead moved to sit down beside her much closer than any time before. They touched their sides leaning against each other even with all the extra space on the swing. Just like their future selves. He stared out over the railing into the street. His eyes glazed over showing he wasn't actually looking at something in particular.

They just sat there silently. Elena wasn't sure he was going to say anything. She didn't know how he felt about all this. She may want him but what if he didn't want her. She hadn't thought about that and with the silence growing longer anxiety began flooding through her.

"I want you too," he admitted when the silence became too much. "I want to make this life with you." Pure relief filled her as the weight of her confession faded away. "But if we do this. If we want this future when we go back things they have to as they were. If we use what we know, if we change anything at all no matter how small this could all disappear."

She could read between the lines. She knew what he was saying. She couldn't alter anything no matter how tempting it was. She would have to live with the bad to get to the good. Future Elena had suffered, she had suffered a lot, so had Elijah too. Elijah would have to give up his brother, she would have to give up Jenna. Could she do nothing when she had the possibility of stopping it? Could she step back and let events unfold as they where suppose to? Could she go back to pretending that she was still in love with Stefan when now she found herself falling in love with another? With all this knowledge didn't she have a responsibility to stop the bad, to save everyone?

But inside her house, this house, everyone is smiling and laughing and living. People died, people suffered, but now in this moment everyone was happier then they had ever been. Was she being selfish if she chose this future? Did she have any right to make this decision for everyone? Maybe the reason they were sent here was to change events, make them better, or maybe the reason is to give them hope, to give them a reason to go on.

Elena swallowed closing her eyes. Elijah was giving the decision to her and that made her realize he was willing to give up everything for this but he wasn't going to force her to make the same choice. He was giving her a choice something no one had allowed her to do before.

Opening her eyes she let go of all her doubts and put her faith in a future that may still not happen but was something to strive for.

Taking his hand in hers she intertwined their fingers. "Okay. I can do it." She nodded. "So what do we do?"

"Nothing. We don't do anything. After we talk with your witch Bonnie and figure out how to return to our time everything will have to be like before."

"You'll be my kidnapper again?" Elena found herself laughing. The thought of being scared of him, of Elijah kidnapping her seemed like another time. It was another time.

Elijah found himself laughing with her. "Yes."

"We better be amazing actors then." Elena leaned against his shoulder her eyes drifting closed as she let herself enjoy this moment.

"You don't have to be."

"What do you mean?" Her gaze flicked upward.

"I could," he paused part of him wishing she'd say no but the other knowing it would be better if she said yes, "I could compel you to forget. Everything would be as if this never happened."

Elena immediately began shaking her head. "I don't want to forget."

Elijah sighed angling himself more towards her. "It wouldn't be forever. When you are turned…" he drifted off.

"I'd get my memory back." She understood why he was giving this to her. What this offer was.

"It would give us a better chance at making to it this," he explained.

"I would be less tempted to say something, to change something." Elena knew that if she really wants this she should do anything to help them but at the same time it would leave Elijah alone. He would have to carry the knowledge of the future by himself. "What about you?"

"I won't let this effect me," he assured her.

Elena shook her head. "No, I don't… I don't want you to be in this alone."

With her words Elijah had no more doubts. He was going to make sure this was their future. He reached up cradling her face in his palms. "I'm not alone."

Elena found herself leaning forward her eyes drooping. Everything about him seemed to pull her in. He tilted his head down so that their lips met.

Opening her eyes Elena was met with the deep brown of Elijah's. She couldn't help the smile that grew on her lips that was until the sudden realization that they where no longer on the porch swing at her house. Her eyes flicked around the room falling on Rose then to Trevor. They where back. A pain filled her chest as her gaze drifted back to him.

His looked so sad and she wanted to reach out to him tell him it was okay because she knew that they would be together eventually even if it wasn't today. They had seen the life they would have and it was going to be amazing. But she couldn't not with Rose and Trevor present. So she did the only thing she could do.

Her eyes locked onto his own hoping that he would understand and she nodded. Just barely. Not enough for anyone else to notice. But she knew he got her message as a comforting smile crossed his face and then her mind went blank as the memories where stripped away.

End.


Ariel: She wouldn't let me use the line "He picked her up gently like a baby koala, and she instinctively wrapped her arms around his neck as if it were a eucalyptus tree." :( I'm sorry guys, I tried. /runsawaysobbing

Erin: *Ignores sister* Well it's done people! *pops open the Champaign * I can't believe it after a year it's done. Finished. Complete! My dear Beta-Reader wants me to make a sequel and I do have ideas about how I would want it to go. Probably taking place in season four when Elena gets her memories back but as it took me a year just to write this well I don't see me doing a multichapter sequel. (I would ignore all the plot holes that where in four. Maybe the whole season itself. I really hated this season.) Plus even my sister gave up on me and refused to help which is kind of annoying when she's also my beta reader. But who knows, maybe I'll be inspired?

Please please please review. After a year of writing and crying and beating my head against a wall repeatedly I just need to know what you think. Your real honest opinion.