A/N: What if Stefan escapes from the bottom of the falls but doesn't return to Mystic Falls? In his weakened state, he is found by a vampire and her half-human half-vampire child. He remembers little of his life, only the bits that haunt him. Stefan follows the vampire and the hybrid child on their journey. And on that journey, he finds something he hasn't found in sometime: a family.

Hopeless Wanderer

The pain was never ending. Each and every time he died, he woke up and suffered once more—he struggled, he thrashed, he pounded against that metal container, and he gasped desperately for air. . . but nothing ever happened, but death. Each and every time he died. And each and every time he came back to life and the suffering begun once more. Days, weeks, months had passed seemed like they passed. Stefan knew not of how long he had truly been trapped in this hell, but it felt like a long time. For all he knew every day was a minute and every hour was a second. All he knew was pain and suffering, life and death. He reached out to them, but no-one ever came. Did they even realise he was still down here? He guessed not. But they visited him in his hallucinations, like the angel and demon on each of his shoulder.

He pleaded for him to just switch it off. And she kept his humanity close to his heart.

Both of them appraised him for being so strong, when really he knew he was slowly loosing whatever strength he had left. They told him they were happy, in love, and he couldn't decide whether that angered or relieved him. They were grateful that he left; they were grateful he let them be happy together. They were both his torture and his comfort. They made him tear his mind in two, they made him doubt who he was; was he a monster? Could he switch it off? Could he survive? Could he really let them be happy when he was—here—suffering?

Eventually, his subconscious made the choice. He just remembered standing beside the window of the Salvatore Boarding House, vast amounts of light streaming through the windows, enveloping him (he had forgotten what the light had felt like). He handed him a drink and placed a hand on his shoulder. His voice whispered for him to let go; to let go of all this pain, anger, and anguish. And when he turned to face them, she was there too. She looked beautiful, her face was glowing. As he stared into her face, he realised he had completely forgotten her name. He only remembered her smile, her laugh and her cry. She told him to do what made him happy. That lead to Stefan's final evolution; how could he be happy when he was suffering? He was far from happiness from where he was.

So that was when it happened. That was when he switched it off. Just before death reached him again, he flipped the switch . . . and then, suddenly, the pain was gone and the strength had returned. He thrashed again, this time with more power than he had ever imagined. The metal of the door shot open, erupting high into the water, bubbles appearing everywhere. But somewhere through the water, there was light up ahead. He had to get to that light, somehow. And somehow, he did. Whether he swam, floated, dragged himself through the water, he did not know. He only remembered the feeling of coming out of the abyss of water. In that moment, he had never felt so free. That was when he felt happiness An extreme amount of happiness that caused the flip to switch back again.

He was alive again.

After that darkness returned to him, but this time it was different. This time the darkness wasn't accompanied with pain. This time he didn't feel afraid of the darkness because he could breathe again.

The darkness barely felt like it lasted a second, whether it was that long, he did not know but the next thing he knew he was hearing voices. Their words were inarticulate—he couldn't understand them—but from the tones and sounds of their voice, they were both female, and one was younger than the other. When he opened his eyes, his assumption was correct; slightly blurred and moving before his vision, there were two females. A girl that barely looked as if she was six or seven—her long curly hair was a peculiar shade of bronze—and her eyes were an entrancing warm brown. The woman next to her was stunning. Her skin was as white as snow, and appeared as if it sparkled in the light above them. Her lips were red as roses and her hair was a lustrous dark brown. But it was her eyes that captivated him most. They were the most vivid shade of gold. They were the same, large, expressive shape as the girl's beside her. The resemblance between the two was astonishing.

"Can . . . hear . . . me?" the woman was speaking to him, but some of the words were muffled. Her voice was just as beautiful as her face. He found herself wanting to know her name.

The girl looked down at him with pursed lips and an extremely thoughtful look on her face . . . she then turned to look up at her mother and started to say something. "Momma . . . have an idea . . ." she continued to elaborate her idea and the mother listened until the end, exchanging looks between him and her daughter. When the daughter finished, the woman looked down at him once more, pulling her bottom lip between her teeth and finally nodded. The girl smiled—happy to whatever her mother had agreed to—and shuffled closer to him. The next thing he knew a small hand was placed upon his face. Her hand was warm—warmer than anticipated, but he welcomed the warmth.

The girl smiled down at him, flashing him her brilliant set of white sparkling teeth. "Relax." Was all she said and surprisingly he did.

Can you hear me . . .? a voice said—light, airy, like a fairy—but he couldn't understand it. It was the girl's voice, except her lips were not moving. You can hear me can't you? My name is Renesmee, this is my Momma: Bella. She's going to look after you. I promise.

That was the last thing he remembered for blackness returned once more.

When he opened his eyes once more, he was surprised at the sudden strength he had required during the duration of the blackout. His vision was clearer; everything was more clearer—his smell, his sound, his sight; he could smell, hear and see everything and the first thing he noticed was the fact he was moving. He was in a car, placed in the passenger seat of an expensive looking car, with two blankets draped over his body. No wonder he was so hot. He thought, pushing the covers from his body.

"You're awake" a soft, gentle voice stated almost as a whisper. He snapped his head to the side to see the beautiful woman from before. Before he had woken up, he had gotten it in his head that she had been just another hallucination, but here she was—sitting here before him, mere inches away, behind the wheel of which she grasped loosely with pale hands. "I'm glad. Me and Renesmee were getting worried." She said, continuing in that soft gentle tone that soothed his entire body. He realised—when he heard a fast rhythmic sound—that the two of them weren't alone. He turned in the seat to see the same, tiny girl from before. She was dressed in a large purple parka and her wavy hair reached the bottom of her seatbelt. She raised her hand, smiling cautiously, and waved.

"Hi" she tinkled.

He licked his lips and blinked. "Renesmee…" he thought, softly and thoughtfully, when it finally clicked. "You. . . you two found me . . . Renesmee and Bella . . ." he looked at the beautiful woman, realising that was her name.

The woman smiled sweetly. "Yes. We found you by the water." There was a long pause as he took this new information in. "Since you know both of our names, its only fair that we know yours, Mr . . ."

He furrowed his brow. What was his name? a particular name struck out to him. "Damon."

Bella rose her eyebrows. "Mr. Damon?"

Renesmee giggled behind them. Bella shot her a look through the mirror.

His brows furrowed further. "No . . . it's my first name . . . I think."

"You don't remember your name?" her voice wasn't brass or intruding—it remained as soft as ever. It was more sympathetic than anything.

He glanced sideways, his eye catching his reflection in the mirror positioned in the wing of the car. He blinked, staring back at his reflection. His chin was broad, his lips thin, cheeks prominent, and nose angular. His eyes were large and an earthy shade of green. As for his hair, it was a light shade of brown. Was Damon his name? How could he not be sure of his own name? "I . . . I don't know."