Course Correction

By: Layla Reyne

Summary: Stefan learns that no matter how hard he and Damon try to change the course of Elena Gilbert's life, fate always has a way of bringing each person exactly where he or she is supposed to be. End-of-series/Three-shot.

A/N: So, this is one of my end-of-series headcanons. Major character deaths all around. Don't say I didn't give you a tissue warning!

Many thanks to Sandra (dutchtreat) for beta reading multiple times, to Chelley (chellethebelle), Kate (This Is My Escape), Nia (Niadk) and Kat (delenaispainful) for their pre-reading input and to Nitsi (sm0lderhalders) for another awesome cover. All very much appreciated, ladies!

Disclaimer: The characters and other things from The Vampire Diaries are not mine. All due credit to the rightful holders.


Chapter 1 – Goodbye

"Are you sure?"

Standing in the middle of Damon's bedroom, I look back and forth between our resident witch, who has just laid out a plan – a spell – that will alter the fate of every person in this room, and my brother, who is sitting up against the massive wooden headboard of his bed, with dried tear tracks on his face and desperation in his eyes, as he holds an unconscious Elena in his arms. I can still hear her heartbeat, barely.

We won the battle – we defeated Silas – but we lost the war when the last Hunter came calling. After learning of his sworn enemy's doppelganger, he vowed to rid the world of the final vestige of Silas, to make absolutely certain that there was no possibility of his resurrection, to kill me once and for all. He was seconds away from fulfilling his mission, from unloading a clip full of super-charged werewolf-venom-laced bullets into my heart, when my blonde best friend stepped in between us, ready to take the impact herself. But in the last fraction of a second before the hail of bullets lodged themselves into Caroline's chest, Elena pushed her out of the way.

I have never heard anything more heartbreaking than the howl that was wrenched from my brother's throat, as the bullets ripped through Elena's body, dropping her to the ground. And I have never heard anything more frightening than the predatory growl that followed, as Damon lunged for the Hunter, holding him down while Jeremy delivered blow after killing blow to his head. But none of that mattered; the damage was already done. Elena was too young, a newborn as far as vampires go, and too weak, after being held in captivity for days while the Hunter tried to torture my location out of her. The super dose of werewolf venom would kill her before we could get Klaus back to Mystic Falls and, since we thought the danger had passed, we were stupid enough to not keep a vial or two of his blood on hand.

"Just do it, Bonnie," Damon orders from over the crown of Elena's head, his fingers threading through her matted hair as he pulls her closer, protecting his mate in these final moments.

Nodding, Bonnie's eyes glance around the room at each other person here. "Are you all sure?" she asks calmly, yet her question is heavy with the significance of the decision we are being asked to make.

"No question," Jeremy answers, without hesitation, staring down at Elena from where he stands next to the bed. I see his eyes flicker to Damon's, and my brother gives the younger man – the one who has become his ally and closest friend over the past few months – an appreciative nod.

Caroline, who's been curled up in the leather chair next to the bed, crying softly, unfolds her legs and stands slowly, wiping the tears from her eyes. "It'll be hard, going back," she says, her voice shaky at first but then surging with the determination that I've come to respect, to depend on whenever I needed reminding that there was more to life than loving the dying girl in my brother's arms. "But Elena saved my life, and not just today. It's the least I can do for her."

"It's all I've ever wanted," Matt confesses from where he stands in the bathroom doorway, shrugging his shoulders unapologetically when Damon snarls in response.

Finally, Bonnie turns to me with a silent, expectant look, and I'm faced with the same damn decision that seems to define my very existence.

Eyes trained on my brother, I step toward the bed. "If we do this, Damon, you'll-"

Die, the word rings in my head, finishing my plea, but there's no sound, because Damon's hand is around my throat, lifting me off of the ground and pinning me to the opposite wall. There are shouts and movement all around us – Caroline screaming as she tries to pull Damon off of me, Jeremy settling behind Elena after Damon leapt from the bed, and Bonnie yelling at Matt to get back, sending him flying into the bathroom with a blast of power.

But all of that commotion pales in comparison to the storm raging in my brother's clear blue eyes – hate and love, warring equally, because I hesitated, because my first instinct, when faced with life and death, is always to choose him. In that instant, I know that he would have made a different choice – then, now, always. He's told me before; he's proven it a thousand times over. That's the difference between the two of us. As much as he loves me, and by now, I know that he does, he will still always choose Elena. Over her friends, over her family, over me, and especially over himself. Whether it's right or wrong is a moot point; it simply is what it is.

"It doesn't matter," Jeremy's voice interrupts our stare down. "If she dies, he'll take off his ring and walk out into the sun. Won't you, Damon?"

Keeping his gaze locked with mine, my brother releases my neck, letting me fall gracelessly to my feet. "Yes," he answers defiantly, leaving no doubt that he intends to die by the morning, one way or another.

"Stefan?" Bonnie repeats her question aloud, though it is all but rhetorical at this point. Damon has made my decision for me.

"Yes," I concede. I will abide by my brother's dying wish to sacrifice himself for the woman that he – that we – love.


"Explain to me how this works, one more time," I say, draping my arms across the high back of one of our dining room chairs.

Bonnie looks up from the table full of grimoires, herbs and talismans. "The witches are giving me the power to perform a reset, to take us all back in time, to before…" Her words trail off and she casts her eyes down, away from mine, but her silence is not without words, not without meaning. The implication is one that I am personally familiar with, an old friend of mine that has rattled around in my head for years.

Before I returned to Mystic Falls. Before Damon and I came into Elena's life. Before we left a path – a life full – of death and destruction in our wake.

Reaching across the table, I give Bonnie's hand a gentle squeeze, letting her know that I don't take offense at what is plainly the truth. She looks up, eyes brimming with tears, before brushing them away with her other hand and clearing her throat. "It'll save Elena, bring Caroline back to life, and Jeremy won't be a Hunter anymore. Things will be normal again. It'll be as if the two of you were never here; they won't remember anything."

"But Damon has to die," I snap, more harshly than I intended.

Withdrawing her hand from mine, Bonnie goes back to work, quickly gathering the things she needs for the spell that will end my brother's life. "The spirits require a sacrifice, Elena's sire, and then the clock will reset to the moment before they first met."

"The witches are finally getting what they've always wanted," I chuckle bitterly, looking away and fighting back tears of my own. "Damon. Despite the fact that he's spent lifetimes keeping you Bennett women safe, and never mind all that he went through to find Lucy and help bring you back from the dead."

"It's actually not about Damon this time," Bonnie replies, and my head whips back around, keenly interested in why the witches are doing us this 'favor.' "They need to rebalance this and the Other Side. If the doppelgangers, the both of you, stay hidden, then Klaus never breaks the curse, Silas is never awoken, and all of the other countless tragedies that led to us dropping the veil, throwing the order of things so far out of balance, will never come to pass."

"But there are too many variables," I argue, thinking of Katherine, Isobel, Rose, Elijah, Klaus and all of the other people that have come looking for the Petrova doppelganger over the years. "Someone has to remember in order to keep those variables in check."

"It's my spell, I'll remember," she states matter-of-factly, before taking a deep breath and looking up at me with somber olive eyes. It's as if the weight of the entire world suddenly falls on my shoulders. I know what she's going to say next, and I dread it with every fiber of my being. "And so will you."

"Bonnie, I can't," I recoil, shaking my head as I pace around the dining room. "I couldn't stay away from her the first time. What makes you think this time will be any different?"

"Because now you know the hell that we'll put her through," Damon's voice comes from the parlor behind me, stopping me in my tracks. "The evil that we brought into her life."

Spinning around, I find him calmly pouring two glasses of bourbon by the drink cart. "But Katherine or Klaus or someone else will find her eventually," I protest.

Walking over and handing me a glass, Damon reaches out his other hand and firmly grips my shoulder. "Which is why, brother, you'll make sure they don't this time. You'll make sure that she has a normal, happy, human life," he says, delivering those words that were once so mocking with complete and utter sincerity now. "But from afar," he adds solemnly, tipping back his glass and swallowing his bourbon in a single gulp.

Following his lead, I down mine in one swallow, before setting the glass aside and hanging my head, scrubbing my hands over my face as I inhale a shuddery breath. I know Bonnie and Damon are right. Staying out of Elena's life, protecting her without giving in to my selfish need to know her, is the best chance she'll have at a normal life.

Only it's not that simple. There won't be a life to protect without one very important interference. Surely, they'll grant me this one reprieve.

"I have to be there to save her from the accident when her parents died," I say, looking up at my brother beseechingly, before glancing across the table at Bonnie. "You said earlier that the clock would reset to when she first met her sire. She didn't meet Damon until several months after the accident."

Bonnie's eyes drift over to Damon. "Do you want to tell him or should I?"

"Tell me what?" I bark, my head snapping back and forth between the two of them.

"That day at the Boarding House," Damon says, taking my mind back to the afternoon I found the two of them in our parlor, standing too close for strangers and seemingly entranced by one another. "That was actually my third first meeting with Elena."

"What?! How?!" I gasp, my eyes tracking him as he casually walks to the other side of the table, helping Bonnie gather her things.

"The second time was in the cemetery, only I was a crow," he smirks, adding a mock cawing sound that causes him and Bonnie to laugh, and I want to throw things because making jokes is the last thing either of them should be doing at a time like this.

"And the first?" I demand, bracing my arms against the edge of the table, preparing myself for some long kept secret that I sense is about to blow my world apart.

"About a mile up the road from Wickery Bridge, ten minutes before the accident."

"You're lying," I sneer, glaring at my brother incredulously.

"He's not," Bonnie answers for him.

Deflating at the truth I see in both of their eyes, my elbows give out and I reach for the arms of the chairs on either side of me to stay upright. "How come she never told me?"

"Because I compelled her to forget it," Damon shrugs. "She only remembered when she transitioned."

More questions are on the tip of my tongue – why didn't Elena tell me then, what else did he compel her to forget – but before I can get the words out, Damon's attention shifts to Bonnie, the tailspin he has thrown me into all but forgotten. "Can you talk to the witches, buy me a few extra minutes with her on that night? There's something I need to set right."

"I'll try," Bonnie says, laying a hand on his arm in an uncharacteristic show of sympathy, before she picks up one last amulet and heads for the stairs.

"I don't understand, Damon," I mumble weakly. The thoughts in my head are swirling too fast to make any sense of them, and amidst all of that confusion is the increasing certainty – and abject terror – that I'm about to lose everyone that is important in my life.

"You think that you're the one that brought all of the bad stuff into her life – vampires, hybrids, me," he smirks, before his eyes fill with regret and the smug grin vanishes from his face. "But you're not. I'm the one that sent her running after it, which is why I have to do this. Because I'm the one that set all of this in motion."

"Damon," I start, but he doesn't give me a chance to finish, leaving a gust of wind in his wake as he bolts for the stairs.

By the time I recover from the revelations of the past five minutes and race up the stairs after him, I find Damon back in his bedroom, wrapped in a weeping Caroline's arms. "You're an asshole," she mutters between sniffles and sobs. "But you are an asshole that's saved my life more times than I can count. And I'm sorry that I never said thank you before."

Damon, to my surprise, is actually returning the hug, not just patting her on the back and placating her hysterics like he usually does. That doesn't stop him from replying sarcastically, though. "It's okay, Blondie. If you had, I might have died of shock and then I wouldn't be here now to save your ass again."

"Arg," she huffs, shoving him away with a watery smile. "You're impossible."

"I know," he replies, waggling his brows and flaring his eyes wide. Turning to Matt, he holds out his hand. "Take care of her," he says, glancing over at Elena's too-still form lying in the bed.

"I will," Matt answers, shaking his hand and sealing the promise that he'll soon forget, but caring for Elena is so engrained in the Quarterback's soul that I have no doubt he'll keep it anyways.

When Jeremy pulls Damon into a hug, there are no words – just two grown men that I can see and hear struggling to keep their sobs in check. For the first time, I have an idea of what it must have been like when Ric died in Damon's arms, and the injustice of it all comes crashing down around me. Damon trusts cautiously and loves fiercely, and everyone he's ever held dear has been torn from him too early. Now, he's the one being forced to rip himself out of the picture, out of time, out of his loved ones' lives and memories. I turn away, taking huge gulps of air that I don't need, to try and rein in my own tears.

Hearing the bed frame creak, I still, leaving my back turned and giving Damon the privacy he needs to say goodbye to Elena. He'll see her again shortly, if Bonnie is able to broker the deal he's asked for, but something tells me this message and the one he'll give to her then are vastly different. I hear him scoot onto the bed, pulling Elena into his arms as he settles back against the headboard once more. I'm half expecting a long drawn out speech, because that's what I'd do, given the circumstances. I'd be a blubbering idiot, confessing everything and nothing to the woman that I love before going to my death. But Damon isn't me.

"Thank you, for loving me and making me happy. Please forgive me."

Damon's voice is a whisper, too quiet to reach the humans' ears, but not for us vampires. His simple, heartfelt goodbye nearly sends me to my knees, and by the renewed stream of tears I see cascading down Caroline's face, I know that she heard it too. Behind me, I catch the sounds of fingers threading through hair, a kiss placed softly against skin, and the momentary uptick of Elena's heartbeat before it slows to a sluggish crawl. And then the smell of bourbon-soaked tears and fresh vampire blood assault my nostrils.

Turning, I see my brother dripping blood from his wrist into a bowl in Bonnie's hands, his face streaked with tears while his eyes blaze with determination. "Don't get dead, witchy. You'll need to stay alive for the spell to hold."

"I won't," she says softly, stepping back and beginning to chant.

Wrapping both of his arms back around Elena, Damon pulls her tightly to his chest, tucking her head beneath his chin. "Remember what I said," he implores, his gaze darting up to mine. "About a mile up the road from the bridge. Meet me there, and bring a stake," he orders, before closing his eyes and burying his nose in Elena's hair.

"Propago," Bonnie chants one last time, and then everything goes black.


As I come to, I immediately sense that the time and the place are different. Gone is the winter chill that blew through the Boarding House, replaced by a warm, spring breeze that is thick with humidity and the smell of dirt and leaves. Gone are the wood-paneled walls of Damon's bedroom, replaced by the tall, spindly pine trees swaying above me and the cool, damp earth forming a bed at my back. Gone are my friends and family, replaced by forest creatures that give me a generous fifty foot radius, understanding innately that a predator is in their midst – one that is angry, hurt and alone.

Closing my eyes to this new reality, I reach inside of my mind for that elusive switch, ready to numb the tidal wave of pain and heartache that is only a memory away, but then a familiar voice calls to me.

"Remember what Damon said."

Bonnie's words echo through the trees, reminding me that the spell is not yet complete and Elena's life is still in jeopardy. Snapping open my eyes and jumping to my feet, I take a moment to determine where I am exactly before sprinting through the woods toward the place I am supposed to be.

Crossing Wickery Bridge on my way, I quickly scan the concrete railing for damage, sniff the air for burnt rubber and listen for sounds of struggle beneath the water. Convinced that I am not too late, I race the last mile up the road to where Damon told me to meet him, stopping only when I slam into an invisible wall at the edge of the trees twenty feet from the road.

"Sorry about that," a soft chuckle rumbles behind me. Turning my head, I see Bonnie approaching through the trees, tucking her cell phone into her back pocket. "Should have given you a heads up, but you were moving too fast."

"Vampire hazard," I smile wryly, dragging myself off of my ass and brushing the dirt from my jeans before pulling her into a hug. "Did it work?"

"See for yourself," she answers, stepping out of my embrace and nodding toward the road. Cautiously approaching the transparent barrier, I peer through it like a window into another time – a night several years ago when my brother is lying in the middle of the road, waiting for his next victim, and an unsuspecting Elena is walking right into his trap.

"El-" I start to yell. Damon's head whips to the side, his blue eyes shooting daggers at me, and a half second later, the skull-crushing pain that I know all too well drops me to the ground.

When the pain recedes a few excruciating moments later, Bonnie is standing over me, her booted foot pressing down against my throat with more force than should be humanly possible. "I was able to get Damon the extra time that he asked for. These are his last minutes with Elena. Not interfering is the least we can do for him, don't you think?"

"But it's a trick," I whisper hoarsely around the pressure on my windpipe, my hands frantically clawing at her ankle. "He's going to hurt her."

Shaking her head, Bonnie looks down at me with that same judgmental glare she usually reserves for Damon. "You still automatically think the worst of him, don't you? Hasn't he proven us all wrong enough times by now?"

She's right, of course, and I curse myself for the instinct that I can't seem to rid myself of, even as my brother prepares to sacrifice his own life to save all of ours. Properly chided, I avert my eyes, releasing Bonnie's ankle and letting the tension out of my body, relaxing back into the ground. "I'm sorry."

"He didn't kill her the first time, Stefan," she says, taking her foot off of my throat and stepping back. "Killing Elena now would defeat the purpose."

Nodding, I pull myself up off of the ground and turn back to the barrier, watching this secret of theirs play out before my eyes. By now, they're both standing on the road, slowly moving toward each other in that magnetic way I always noticed and futilely tried to ignore.

I imagine what this moment must have been like for Damon the first time around, stumbling upon an exact replica of the woman he'd been obsessed with for over a century. I'm sure he was just as intrigued as I was. But where it took me months to approach Elena again after the accident, Damon confronts her head on and has her talking about her love life less than a minute after creepily appearing before her on a deserted road.

But this isn't the same Elena that I met several months later. The differences are remarkable. This girl is open, unguarded and vivacious, and together with the playful, flirtatious inflection of her voice, she is absolutely stunning. After saving her from the accident, I was obsessed with knowing Elena, but it's clear now that I only ever knew one part of her – the tragic girl whose parents had died. I was the perfect company for that sort of misery, as I was all too familiar with it myself. But Damon had met them both; he knew that this vibrant, young woman was buried beneath the mire of death and destruction.

I laugh harshly to myself, realizing that I never stood a chance. The day that Elena decided to live again – when she declared that she wanted to be free, happy and unpredictable – it wasn't the sire bond or vampirism that led her into my brother's arms. It was this girl on the road, finally crawling out from under the rubble and breaking her silence, seeking out the man who knew her.

"You understand now?" Bonnie says, coming to stand beside me. I nod, and she gently places a hand on my shoulder. "Took me a while too."

"What did he think he needed to fix, though?" I ask, recalling what my brother had mentioned in the dining room earlier.

"Just listen," she replies, and I turn back to Damon and Elena, focusing on their conversation.

"And you don't want it?" Damon asks her.

"I don't know what I want," Elena admits honestly with a shrug.

"Well, that's not true. You want what everybody wants."

"What, mysterious stranger who has all the answers?" Elena asks, head tilting to the side and eyes dancing with mirth.

Damon laughs, looking over and meeting my eyes for the briefest of moments before turning back to Elena. "Well, let's just say I've been around a long time. I've learned a few things."

"So, Damon, tell me. What is it that I want?"

My brother steps closer, and I see one side of his mouth pull up in a half smirk, his eyes brightening for a split second, before a veil of resignation slides over his face, dulling his eyes and flattening out his smile. Furrowing his brow, he takes another step closer, and if I'm not mistaken, he's compelling her.

"You want to spend the summer with your friends and family, and then you want to get out of this town for a while – a long while. Maybe go stay with some nice family friends, study hard and finish up high school at the top of your class, so that you can go to college wherever you want. You'll meet new boys, living boys. You're going to drink a few beers, take a lot of writing classes. You'll do whatever you want to do." A single tear runs down Damon's cheek, and I can see him swallow hard, struggling to get the rest of his words out. "You're going to have a better life, Elena."

"That's not what he told her the first time, is it?" I quietly ask, glancing over at Bonnie.

"No," she sniffles, wiping tears from her own eyes. "He told her something else, something he's afraid may have set her on a more dangerous path. It's a ridiculous notion, but it has always bothered him."

"But that's not what you want, is it?" Elena says, her compassion-filled voice drawing my attention back to them, as she closes the distance between her and Damon, cupping his cheek with her hand and brushing away the solitary tear track on his face.

My mind is racing with questions. Was he compelling her? Did the spell work? Or does Elena just inherently know that she is the only person that can comfort him? Deep down, is what she really wants, who she's always wanted from this very moment on, Damon?

I watch as my brother lets his eyes slip shut, his hand coming up to hold Elena's to his face as he nuzzles his cheek into her palm. I can hear her erratic heartbeat from here and smell her salty tears.

"I'm sorry," Damon mumbles, pressing a lingering kiss into her palm, before opening his eyes and locking them with hers. Elena's brow creases in confusion and Damon raises his other hand, smoothing his thumb across her forehead before trailing it down her cheek, returning the comforting gesture. They stand like that, silently gazing at each other, for what feels like an eternity, until a car horn blows behind them.

"It's my parents," Elena says, lowering her hand and taking a step back, turning toward the approaching car.

Grabbing her by the wrist, Damon pulls Elena back to him, and by the wide flare of his eyes and the firm tone of his voice, I am certain that he is compelling her now. "I want you to get everything that you're looking for, but right now I want you to do two things for me, Elena. One, you're going to tell your parents to go the long way home, to avoid Wickery Bridge, and you're going to stay away from that bridge for the rest of your life. It's not safe."

Elena nods robotically, and I fall against the barrier, air rushing from my lungs, as I realize what my brother has just done. He has saved her life and her family's life, ensuring that his Elena will never be buried again, assuming I am able to hold up my end of this deal.

"And two," he continues, "You're going to forget that this happened. Now, close your eyes, Elena." Leaning forward, Damon places a gentle kiss on her cheek before whispering "Goodnight" into her ear, and to anyone who's really listening, myself included, it's unmistakably 'I love you.' I'm a fool for not recognizing it in every other parting I've overheard between them.

Damon is by my side before Elena opens her eyes, and we watch with bated breath as her parents' car drives a couple of feet forward, before her father hits the breaks and hangs a U-turn in the middle of the street, turning them away from Wickery Bridge. I catch my brother as he sags with relief.

"Thank you," he says, looking up at Bonnie, who continues to surprise me by throwing her arms around Damon and hugging him fiercely.

"You're welcome. I'm just glad it worked."

Pulling back, his serious eyes belie the grateful smile on his face. "I meant what I said before, witchy. Don't get dead."

"Don't worry about me," she replies confidently. "I know what I can do now, and don't you dare fucking haunt me," she chuckles, narrowing her eyes and shaking a finger at him. "I'll give you two a minute," she says, shooting a quick glance at me before stepping a few feet away.

"I was never going to get the girl," I say, shoving my hands in my pockets and staring down at the ground.

"Not this one," Damon concurs, bringing my eyes back up to his. "But as to the other one, you know what you have to do?"

"Yes," I tell him. After witnessing the lengths to which Damon is willing to go to save Elena, to give her the normal life that she deserves, I am more resolved than ever to make his sacrifice worth it. "I'll find Katherine," I assure him. "And I'll make sure that neither she nor Klaus nor anyone else ever comes after Elena. I'll protect her."

"From afar," he reminds me, making sure I understand the parameters. I know that staying out of Elena's life will keep her safe, so I nod in agreement, despite my dread and anxiety over the task ahead. But what of her part in all of this…

"What if your compulsion doesn't hold, after you die?"

"Worth a shot," he shrugs. "Bonnie will be there to steer her away from danger, as need be, and if nothing else, Elena will remember a stranger and a strange warning. Maybe that's enough."

Enough. It's a word that has passed between us more times than I can count, an ever-present measuring stick from the time we were children that Damon usually found himself on the short end of. But as we stand here now, I don't think I will ever be able to measure up to him.

"You were always enough, brother," I say, pulling him into a crushing embrace. "I'm sorry for not seeing that sooner."

"Better late than never," he quips, pulling me tighter. "Do me a favor?"

"Anything."

"When it's done, throw my ashes off of Wickery Bridge."

"Damon," I gasp, leaning back and meeting his eyes.

"Do it," he orders, I think to me, but then suddenly I feel him stiffen in my arms. Looking over his shoulder, I see Bonnie standing behind him, staring mournfully up at me. Glancing down, my eyes go wide at the sight of the stake protruding from his back, thrust up beneath his ribs and into his heart. Reaching one hand behind my back, I feel for the stake that was in my waistband and discover that it is missing.

"Bennett witch," Bonnie explains, as she helps me ease Damon to the ground. "I had to be the one to finish it."

Damon manages a weak eye roll. "Bet the witch bitches loved that."

"Be careful what you say," Bonnie laughs through her tears, giving his hand a final squeeze before standing and walking toward the increasingly foggy road. "You'll be their bitch now," she smirks over her shoulder, as she vanishes into the mist.

"Witches," Damon grumbles, turning his face away from the road and back to mine, reaching out a hand and clasping it around my own. There is something cold, solid and round between our hands, and tears spring to my eyes when I realize it can only be one thing.

"You keep them alive," he demands, intently holding my gaze.

"I will," I choke out around the lump in my throat, as tears fall from my face onto his.

"See you on the Other Side, brother," he whispers with his final breath, as his eyes slip shut and his body goes still, his hand falling out of mine.

I am left alone, with nothing but my memories, a seemingly impossible mission and my brother's daylight ring in my hand. Closing my eyes, I can feel the switch closer than ever, tempting me with the promise of blood and detachment, but I made a promise to save a life. One that Damon died for. I owe it to him to keep my word.

-TBC-


My apologies for any tears that were shed while reading. I assure you many were also shed while writing and editing! Hopefully, there's still some love left to share in the review box below. And if you need a pick me up after this, Chelley's just updated "Uncovered" and Kate posted a very sweet one-shot, "Yours, Always", earlier this week.