Chapter 1

5 years after the fire
Present Day

Days or months could have past and Elena would have been none the wiser. Tears made their way down her face. She cried for what felt like the first time. Rubbing at her temples the words still plagued her mind, now resonating a single name; Damon. She hadn't known what had come over her. But it seemed to have unleashed a flood of emotions she had been fighting to keep away. For years she had been oppressing these thoughts, stuffing them into the back of her mind, locking them away. She didn't want them. She didn't want these emotions. In the end she didn't want to feel. She just couldn't handle it.

This was his fault. He had done this. Why couldn't he have kept away? Her legs lay frozen. Why couldn't she move? Why couldn't she run? Running was all she was good at or so she had thought, but even running had lost its appeal over the years, so she lay there, numbly on the ground, tear stains on her cheeks and slowly but surely the world disappeared from her, as exhaustion took over.


3 months after the fire

He's dead.
I killed him.

Blood swathed around her as the coppery metallic liquid sweetly slid down her slightly parted mouth, coating her lips with its burgundy colour. The elongated canines made their presence known shining pearly bright against the crimson-tinted substance. Heat embodied her as if it had cemented itself like a blanket to her skin. Dark and red, stained at her hands, dried at her mouth and seeped in her clothes. She looked down at him. His body lay limp; there was no beat against his chest suggesting he still had a breath to live for. She had watched as his eyes became vacant, watched his skin turn pale white. The flush that had painted his cheeks red, had long since vanished and now coursed through her veins, pumping erratically from her heart to the tips of her fingers and toes.

The lingering sweet aroma of blood swiftly wafted through the air only to be picked up by a gentle breeze, the same breeze which tousled her hair ever so lightly. The skin below her eyes began to relax as her fangs sank within her gums. Replacing the monster she was, with her human facade. She had taken too much for him to be saved. He had been simply too mouth watering; she'd craved him, down to the very last drop, showing no restraint or remorse as she drank him dry. She hadn't cared whether he was a father, an uncle, a brother; she had taken what she wanted.

Years of being selfless, of caring had finally caught up to her. She was sick of it all. She hungered for his blood, and she hadn't stopped for a second to consider the consequences. She blocked it all out. Oppressed the images and thoughts, of what she was doing and what she had done. However she did not stifle his screams or his kicks. The scrambling for a foot hold, searching for the right momentum, all attempts to grab a hold of her, to run, were dismal and a complete waste of time when faced with her strength and speed. For the first time, she took a pleasure in it. His fear radiated to her and she consumed it, as if she were a child and he were candy on a Halloween night.

As she drank from him, his will to fight began to weaken, and he no longer had the strength for it. And as he took in his last breaths, she took what felt like her first, his blood bringing her back to life. She felt she could do anything and she did what she did best, she ran.

Running had become her addiction. It had all started with a simple plea to displace her darkest doubts, fears and uncertainties and it was the cadence of a lengthy run that had saved her. It was therapeutic, it calmed her, brought her a sense of clarity. The simplicity of the motion sought out a rhythm so unique she had grown to love it; a remedy of its own resonance. The beat of one foot in front of the other as she sped along calmly saw to her sanity; tearing out all her worries, hindering each streak of pain, stripping her of even the gravest thoughts.

She pursued the clatter of the world searching for stillness, hoping if she could catch even just a little wisp of it, she could find a way to spin it into gold and bring her the peace she yearned for. However her pursuit was despondent as each day when dawn broke way, she ran faster, and as twilight would sink upon her, she would travel farther without a flicker of it in sight.

The dreaded day had arrived. She was just a blur of an image, a gust of wind that rattled the tree leaves. She had come around to the concept that all she had done to this point and all she had been doing, amounted to nothing. There was no contentment within her and certainly no peace. One might have called her numb, but that wasn't true. She felt. She could feel. She was no stranger to emotions; she just couldn't find what she desperately wanted. She had asked herself one time 'What was it she yearned for?', 'Why couldn't she find it?'

She had scoped the land for it, looking beyond what was there. But no luck, all that seemed to follow her was a disarray of feelings which had taken possession over her, despair, sorrow, grief and she was not fine. A cloud of darkness hovered above threatening to strike at anytime. The weight pushed on her shoulders waiting for her to topple over. It had been there for the longest time however she had learned to bear the weight masking her pain. She should have known that it was inevitable; that there would one day come a time where she could no longer search for her answers and instead she'd have to face them.

She hadn't known it then but as time passed she slowly had realised how wrong she had been. Running hadn't helped clear her mind, it had only helped push her thoughts and feelings further away and when you had run as long as she had been, things had a way of catching up to her and usually when she desperately didn't want it to. But by then it had become too late the habit had formed, and you know what they say; the easier it is to do, the harder it is to change. Running was easy.


1 year after the fire

She walked the streets alone. Dark rays of nightfall everywhere she turned. Not a star in sight nor a hint of light. Darkness. Always darkness. She could never escape it. Rubbing her arms as if they were cold, she sang to herself, her voice barely above a whisper, echoing into the night filling a void of emptiness with its lyrics. She had had a change of pace deciding on a slow stroll as she finally approached the city limits of New Orleans. Breathing in the hot night air, her lungs burned with need as did her throat. She needed a drink, of the human variety.

As she began to near the epicentre, a myriad of coloured lights shadowed her face, music blaring around her, as did the buzzing nature ricocheting from the occupants of the city. This was good. A change from the loneliness. She entered a lively bar located within the French Quarter. A live band was on stage; a jazzy swing upbeat tune playing. She had once enjoyed this style of music. Hell, she loved any music she could sway her hips to. However tonight was different. She felt no need to hit the dance floor, nor any inclination to let the blues rhythm take over and allow her body to move to the melody. She had no desire for it, instead making her way straight to the bar. Finding an empty seat, she ordered a drink; compelling the bartender to serve her, making him believe she was twenty-one.

One of the disadvantages of being a vampire; she remained frozen for all time. Burdened to be an eighteen year old forever. While others might enjoy the perks of eternal youth, she kind of missed it. The aging. She would miss out on that important stage; the change from adolescence to adulthood. The one that would show that she wasn't just a young naive kid anymore. She remembered how Jenna who had been barely eighteen, a young teen graduating from high school and how she had watched the transformation occur, recalling how much Jenna had matured over the course of just three years. Things changed. Time changes, but not her. She'd forever be the same. Could she handle looking at the same face again and again as years, decades and centuries pass by? Could she accept that her face would be never-changing in a world forever-changing? She wasn't so sure she could handle it.

Her thoughts cleared away quickly; stunned as a familiar blonde female made herself comfortable on a previously vacated stool to the left of her. She watched as she ordered a round of shots before nudging half of them towards her.

"Cheers." the blonde says, knocking their glasses together, before bringing the clear liquid to her lips. Imitating her, the alcohol burns down her throat but she relishes in the feeling as it alleviates the need for a different sort of drink, one she wasn't quite ready to hunt for. She glances at the girl before her; no questions seep on her face, no hint of care just a small smile; a suggestion of fun and just like that Elena knew she had entered the right bar tonight.

Finishing their shots the blonde grabbed her hand tugging her to the middle of the dance floor where they began to dance. Though she had had no desire earlier that night, now felt like a completely different story and it probably wasn't hurting that she had had a couple drinks. The music had changed from its usual jazzy blues to something that had a more modern feel. She had a feeling it hadn't been a rather willing idea. Nevertheless she threw her head back, letting go as remix upon remix moved her body jauntily, a smile placed upon her face, though she wasn't sure if it was real or fake. Her hips shook from side to side as her hands swayed in the air, finally enjoying something other than sustenance.

She must have danced for hours before she felt her gums ache for that ultimate delight. Looking around, she found her victim; another young male. Leading him outside to a backyard alley, she roughly pushed him against the wall, before mashing her lips to his. She wanted to hear his heart race and what better way to do that, then to turn him on, just a little. She began to run her hands up and down his chest before moving her lips to his neck. She could feel the blood rushing towards her, calling out, just to her. Quickly glancing up at him she told him not to scream. The freedom rushed towards her as she began to drink blood. She could taste the alcohol in his blood giving her that extra buzz. It felt good. Too good. She didn't want to stop.

"You're gonna kill him." says the female blonde from the bar calmly . She had followed them outside. She had never been far behind. Leaning on the opposite wall, there seemed to be not a worry on her face as she was observing the brown haired vampire . It was kind of distasteful that Elena hadn't noticed her, that she hadn't checked to see if she were alone.

The words break her out of her blood ensued trance . She lets go of him, startled, watching as he drops to the floor fruitlessly. She had almost done it again. Killed another man. She knew better, but yet again, there was no to desire to keep him alive. Elena turns to face her accompanist.

"Why shouldn't I?" she throws back. "The better question would be why aren't you joining me? As I seem to recall you've done worse." she said hinting towards her treatment of Damon.

"This isn't Mystic Falls, Elena. You need to know there are laws here. Vampire made ones. Vampires that are skilled to bring down those who cause trouble to their sanction. Reckless baby vamps like yourself don't stand a chance."

"Don't tell me you've suddenly become a law abiding citizen. As I seem to remember you were all for breaking curfews in Mystic Falls." she smirks walking around the blonde, trailing a finger down her arm before her hand was batted away like a fly.

"But I'm an Original. Not much they can do to me. You on the other hand aren't. And as I seem to remember, the Elena I knew would have never killed a person for blood. But then again you did assist in killing my brother Kol. Not that he didn't deserve it." she points out.

"What brings you to New Orleans anyhow? Didn't think you and your family would ever leave Mystic Falls?" questions Elena, changing the subject at matter from her past life.

"Oh you know, this and that." she says casually before receiving a pointed look from the girl. She relents but not before giving out an exasperated sigh. "I'm here, cause Elijah's here. And he refuses to leave Klaus' side as he pursues to rule this city once again." Rebekah rolls her eyes as the name Klaus falls from her lips.

"Now what about you?" She throws the question back at her. "Last I heard, you took off in the middle of the night leaving the whole Scooby gang behind, bewildered, without a word on your whereabouts." she pauses waiting for a response and when she sees that Elena makes no effort to comment she continues. "And I see, you're still running. Getting tired yet?" she says knowing exactly how it feels. After all Rebekah was no stranger to running. She had done it for over a thousand years. Elena's one year on the run was nothing compared to the lengths Rebekah and her family had gone to stay safe.

"It's fine. Nothing I can't handle. Hell, I would even consider it fun." she says a smile painted on her face, even her eyes don't betray her, she has mastered the act of deceiving even herself. She knew the right words to tell herself and the right facial expressions to tell others. Yet standing in front of a person who had been in her shoes; running from life, like she was...they could see past her facade. She could she past it all.

"Oh Elena, Elena, sweet little Elena, how very wrong you are. Just a little tip. You can't run forever, sooner or later things have a way of catching up and especially when you don't want it to. You'll see soon enough." she voices. "One more thing." she pushes Elena against the wall. "You will leave New Orleans and head towards New York, this isn't the place for you, you don't need to be stuck in the middle of another war." she compels the young vampire. "Leave and never look back. I hope you find your happiness, Elena." she finishes.

"And your humanity." she mumbles under her breath watching Elena's fleeting figure.

She hoped the girl would be alright in the end. She saw a lot of herself in the latest doppelganger. She just hoped that the girl would see and learn from her mistakes.

Rebekah had one last thing to do before she'd return and to clean up Elena's mess. Pulling out her phone she texts one of the few contacts on her phone.

She's headed to NYC
-R


Present Day

Her eyes fluttered opened as the sun's rays filtered the sky above her; heat cascading on her hollow face. It had been dark; middle of the night when he had found her. And now it seemed to be early morning. Light was breaking free.

She felt disgusting. She was a complete mess. Dried mud and leaves in her hair. A tear in her ragged jeans. Patches of dried blood on her clothes. She'd need a shower soon. Was it possible for vampires to get headaches, even when they hadn't been drinking? Her head pulsed, and memories flashed before her. She sat up quickly, startled by her visions of last night. Her head turned from left to right rapidly looking around her, making sure he wasn't there. There was a possibility he hadn't woken up yet. But she couldn't be sure.

Shakily she got up. Her knees wobbling. She had to start moving and as she looked for which direction she should take her vision started blurring, spinning and her legs weren't co-operating either. As she tried to take a step forward, she fell straight back to the floor. Her heart began racing as she tried to look around. She didn't know what was happening. She couldn't breathe. Her chest began to constrict and she felt a sharp pain run through her. Surprised by the pain, she let out a small scream.

She suddenly moved to stand on her knees her hands digging into the soil below her. It was then she felt a familiar feeling. She expelled a pint of blood from her mouth. She sobbed as the feeling came again spurting yet another pint. She emptied the entireties of her stomach; all the food and blood she had eaten and drank. Her face had turned ghostly white as she began to dry heave when she had nothing left to vomit. Her stomach continued to clench and she'd wish it would just stop. She was shaking again. Dizziness hitting her once more as she swayed slightly.

She couldn't hear anything anymore, it was like she was in a bubble. There was only her. She clenched at the soil again tears streaking down her cheeks. It was then, there was a rustle of leaves and before she knew it he was there again.

"Elena!" he said as he rushed towards her. He knelt beside pulling strands of hair out of her face trying to calm her down. It was obvious to him, she was having a panic attack.

She looked at him clutching at her chest as if realising he was here. That it was really him.

"It hurts." she cries. "Make it stop. Damon, please. It all hurts."

The attack wasn't subsiding. Her breathing was becoming more shallow. He had to act fast. Ripping off his shirt. He took one of her hands placing it on his chest where his heart pulsed.

"Elena! Look at me." he breathed out, forcing her vision to meet his. "Look at me." Her chocolate doe eyes meets his ocean blue ones. "Feel this, Elena! Can you feel it." he continues to hold her hand to his chest desperately hoping she feels the rhythm of his heart. That it steadies her. "Breathe with me, Elena. One...two...in and out." he says calmly trying to regulate her breathing. It seems to be working, as her breaths start to even out.

"That's my girl." he says soothingly wiping away her tears with his free hand. She soon falls into his chest as a calm wave washes over her. Her breathing had slowed down and her heart was steady again. He softly lulls her into a sleep, holding her close to him.

He had vowed a long time ago he would find her and help her no matter the cost. He had been pissed earlier when he had woken up, alone, after she had snapped his neck. But when his eyes had fell on her heaving in the middle of a forest, the anger had dissipated way. He couldn't hold it against her. She was swallowed in grief, loss and he hadn't been there to help her. He hoped she would finally let him be there for her. Finally allow herself to lean on him.

Standing up he carried her sleeping body to a little place he knew, that wasn't far. He looked down at her, she was a mess, he had never seen her like this before. So lost. She wasn't broken. There was nothing to fix here. She just needed to find a path that would show her bravery. Where she would stand on her own two feet and face her demons rather than run from them. She had a long way to go. But he was sure she'd get there. She had to.


A/N Hai! I finally updated! Yay! Thank you to the persistent reviewer of mine. You really did inspire me to continue writing. So thank-you for that. I'm sorry if this chapter is a little confusing with the time jumps. There will be more time jumps in the next chapter. Okay so the way this story is being handled is everything after 4x15 did not happen. That's when Elena left. But The Originals Story line still remained intact. Its just the TVD story line thats a little bit over the place. I'm just gonna skip the whole Silas thing. It never happened in this fanfic. So Katherine is still a vampire and Jeremy isn't alive. So I hope you enjoyed the chapter and don't forget to review. Love you!