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Mystic Falls High

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Elena took one final look in the mirror before leaving the house. Her dark curls were straightened and smoothed back in a braided chignon at the base of her neck. A small silver locket rested against her collarbone – a gift from Caroline. She smiled as she took in the outfit. The white blouse paired perfectly with the black pants and open blue blazer. The whole look was finished off with a pair of low heeled ankle boots. She looked professional but not as if she had tried too hard. Nodding once at her reflection, she reached for her bag and walked out the front door to slide in her car.

In the car her mind began to wander. Up until that point in time her conscious mind had been consumed with preparing for the year ahead; only now did she realize what accepting a job at her old school entailed: returning to her old school. Would there be ghosts around? Would she be haunted by her memories of the man who had crushed her beyond measure?

Elena’s nerves were shot when she finally pulled into a parking spot in front of the school. Worrying her bottom lip she stared at her hands; the knuckles had turned white around the wheel. Her foot was firm on the brake but she couldn’t quite bring herself to move the vehicle into park.

For one wild moment she considered pulling back out of the space and fleeing the scene. She had even put the car in reverse and was mentally preparing herself when she heard a quick buzzing from her bag. With a defeated sigh she reached for the mobile already anticipating who the message was from.

CAROLINE: Quit stalling and get out of the car. He does not get to take anything else from you.

ELENA: How do you know I’m stalling in the car?

CAROLINE: I know you Elena. Get out of the car, you are not going to be intimidated by the ghost of your ex.

ELENA: You’re right. The only person who intimidates me is Caroline Forbes. ;) But to be fair she intimidates everyone.

CAROLINE: Damn straight.

Elena smiled and finally threw the car into park. Tucking her car into park Elena opened the door and stepped out into the sunlight. Today would be a new day, and she would fake her confidence until she found it again.

Chapter Text

Elena slipped inside of the staffroom. She could hardly believe that it had already been two weeks. Caroline’s push had been the right thing to do. There were not as many ghosts wandering the halls as she had anticipated. In fact she hadn’t even spared Damon a second thought since she had stepped out of her car. Looking to the couch in the corner of the room she found herself admitting that the handsome history teacher was a big part of the reason why.

Elijah Mikealson was new to the school as well; he was kind, witty, and very attractive. He had introduced himself the first day during the morning break when he was brewing coffee. They had spent the last two weeks chatting in the staffroom whenever they could. Elena was more than willing to admit to herself that she definitely had a crush on her cute co-worker.

“Elena,” Elijah perked up when he saw her take the unoccupied seat beside him on the couch. “How was your morning?”

“It was great,” Elena smiled around her bite of salad. “Alliteration, similes and metaphors; kept them busy all morning. The writing samples should be interesting.”

“I’d expect terribly vague tongue twisters.”

“Probably,” Elena agreed with a soft chuckle. Glancing sideways through her eyelashes she returned his original question. “How has your day been?”

“Not so bad,” Elijah sighed gesturing to the pile of papers on the small end table beside the couch. “Although I’m fairly certain my students now hate me.”

“Well can you blame them?” Elena questioned leaning across him to pick up one of the papers. She grinned looking at him while gently waving the paper. “A test the second week. And on a Friday at that,” Elena attempted to hold back her giggle when she examined the paper in her hand. “Is that an essay question?”

“How else would I torture my students on a Friday?”

“You’ve got a sadistic streak Elijah,” her giggles finally spilled out taking over her body. She shook gently against his side; her leg brushed against his thigh. Elena took a moment to control her laughter before she continued. “I think you’ve made a weekend of work for yourself; a weekend grading.”

“Well not the entire weekend,” Elijah sniggered. “I’m supposed to meet my brother’s new girlfriend tonight.”

“Why do I get the sense that you’re not looking forward to it?”

“Niklaus has not had the greatest history with women,” Elijah admitted. “In my experience they have all tried to manipulate him in some way.”

“Maybe this one will surprise you.”

“Yeah,” Elijah reached for the paper where his hand briefly rested against hers. “What about you? Any plans for the weekend?”

“I’m having dinner with my friend tonight,” Elena considered him. The question seemed casual enough; he was probably just being friendly. In case he wasn’t she decided to add: “Other than that I’m free for the rest of the weekend. I’ll probably just stay in and watch Netflix.”

“Sounds like fun.”

Elijah grinned pivoting to drop the paper onto the pile beside him. He wanted to ask her out; she seemed interested in him as well. Just as he was preparing to ask her to dinner the next night, or if she’d like some company, the bell rang and he lost his nerve.

“Very,” Elena agreed. “If I’m not there when the students arrive they’ll start dancing on the tables. I’ll talk to you later Elijah.” And maybe ask you out to dinner.

Chapter Text

“Hello Elena.”

Music bounced off the walls of the Mystic Grill. Elena found herself wishing that it was louder, deafening. That way she could pretend that she hadn’t heard his voice. There was a time when his voice made her heart sing, but now it made her blood run cold.

Elena weighed her options. She could try to ignore him but Damon had always been persistent. She could leave but Caroline would be here soon for dinner and it was too late to go anywhere else. Maybe it’s not him? Maybe I’m hallucinating? She turned her head a fraction of an inch to confirm her nightmare. Elena was met with a pair of ice blue eyes; it was him. Where is that drink?

“Fancy seeing you here,” he ignored the annoyed look on her face and sat on the unoccupied stool beside her. “Drinking alone this evening I see. Mind if I join you?”

“I’m waiting for someone actually,” Elena leaned back to scan for the bartender, and to put more distance between her and Damon. Just her luck Matt was occupied on the other end of the bar. She turned back to give him a withering look. “And I have no interest in spending any more time with you then I have to.”

“Nonsense,” Damon had never been one for facial cues. “You love me. And you don’t have to pretend to wait for someone to make me jealous.”

Elena glared at him through the dim light of the Grill. Is he serious right now? Or just trying to rile me up? She didn’t love him anymore, and she doubted he had ever truly loved her; people in loving committed relationships don’t cheat.

“I don’t love you Damon,” Elena spoke in a clear low voice ensuring that he heard her. Better go with the direct approach.  “And I’m not trying to make you jealous. I am waiting for someone.” She plucked her bag from the bar, and retrieved the drink that Vicky sat in front of her with a grateful smile. “There he is now.” Elena stood up and made her way towards the door which was admitting several new customers.

“Goodbye Damon,” Elena walked away with as much confidence as she could muster and a smile on her face. She approached one of the men who had entered the Grill and placed her hand on his arm.

“Elijah,” Elena grinned brightly up at him. “You made it. I was getting worried.” Oh no! He looks confused. Confused was an understatement; Elijah had completely frozen. Elena turned with her hand still on his arm so that she was facing the restaurant. Damon was watching her from the bar stool. She twisted slightly to look him in the eyes again.

“My ex is sitting at the bar,” Elena whispered through her grin. “He never could take a hint, and now he won’t leave me alone.”

“Elena,” he smiled brightly. He still had time before Niklaus arrived, and her hand felt nice on his arm. He began steering her towards an empty table. “Sorry I’m late, I got caught up marking tests.”

Not a lie, Elena smirked.

“Shall we sit?”

“Thank you,” Elena whispered loudly as he pulled out her chair.

“Any time,” Elijah grinned and sat across from her. Leaning across the tabletop he whispered. “So which one is he?”

“Black leather jacket at the bar,” Elena mirrored his motion. There was now only a foot separating them.

“Really?” Elijah inquired looking at Damon over Elena’s shoulder. “He doesn’t seem like your type.”

“I have a type?” Elena raised an eyebrow. “And what, pray tell, is my type?”

“Tall, dark, handsome,” Elijah’s eyes twinkled as he continued. “Academic, and able to take a hint,” his voice lost its teasing tone.

“I don’t know about being able to take a hint…” Elena trailed off when Elijah leaned back slightly. Seeing the slight tension in his shoulders and noticing that his eyes were now looking just over her shoulder. “He’s coming over here, isn’t he?”

“Brace yourself,” Elijah nodded.

Chapter Text

“He’s coming this way,” Elijah breathed turning a brilliant smile on her.

She heard footsteps approaching their table. Tipping her head back she saw that Elijah was right Damon had indeed approached the table. In typical Damon fashion he wore a smirk and sipped a glass of bourbon. Elena guessed it was his second or third judging by his wavering stance.

“Who’s your new friend Elena?” To his credit he didn’t slur, but he did glare at Elijah and place an overly warm hand possessively on Elena’s shoulder.

“Elijah Mikealson,” he introduced when he saw the way Elena was scowling at Damon’s hand; her shoulders had stiffened. Elijah hadn’t seen Elena this tense since the first day of school. “Perhaps you could take your hand off of Elena now; you seem to be making her uncomfortable.”

“Elena’s fine,” Damon removed his hand anyway when he saw the look on Elijah’s face. He seemed to decide that Elijah was hiding something darker beneath his mild mannered exterior. “She’s never had a problem with me touching her before.”

He’s truly drunk if he thinks I would want him touching me after what he did, Elena scoffed and glared at Damon. “That was before you cheated on me.”

“I thought we moved past that Elena. It was high school,” Damon growled gripping the empty chair beside her. “Are you ever going to let me live that down? It meant nothing.”

“Interestingly enough, Damon, I was not referring to Bonnie,” Elena picked up her glass to take a sip. Elijah didn’t miss the horrified expression that crossed Damon’s face.

“How many times did you cheat?” Elijah asked with narrowed eyes. He had determined to dislike the man when Elena pointed him out, but now he found himself despising him. Who in their right mind would cheat on Elena Gilbert?

“Twice,” Elena answered for him with a sip of her gin and tonic. “That I know of. How is Katherine?”

“You know about –“ Damon trailed off when he noticed the twin glares being leveled at him.

“I think you should leave now Damon.” Although Elijah suggested it his tone brokered no argument.

Damon sputtered searching for something to say. Rather in defence, or retaliation they never found out because he downed the rest of his bourbon, slammed the glass on the table and stormed out of the Grill.

Turning back to look at Elena with wide eyes he tried to phrase his next question tactfully. “Would it be unwise of me to ask you who Katherine is?”

“Katherine is my sister,” Elena could see no reason to hide the information, anyone could have told him. “My identical twin sister,” she clarified.

“Wow,” Elijah recognized the cliché nature of his response, but it was the first thing that came to mind.

“I found the pictures,” Elena watched as his eyes widened. “Damon claimed they were of me. He said it so many times that I think he began to believe it himself.” She paused to take a breath before pushing on. “It seemed to have slipped his mind that I don’t have any tattoos. Katherine and I aren’t talking right now.”

She watched him carefully for a reaction. Had she scared him off with her emotional baggage? Would their playful flirtation cease?

“How damaged am I?” Elena questioned.

Elijah regarded her carefully as she sipped her drink. Elena’s hand twitched under the table as she waited for his answer.

“That all depends,” Elijah leaned across the table again to meet her gaze.

“On?”

“Whether or not you’re still hung up on your ex? Whether or not you think you’ll ever talk to your sister again?”

“I’m not hung up on him,” Elena wasn’t surprised to find that it was the truth. “Eventually I want to patch things up with Katherine. She is my sister after all; I’m not ready to forgive her yet. It’s going to take some time before I can trust her again.”

“So what’s the verdict Elijah? Am I broken beyond repair?”

“I’ve seen worse,” Elijah smirked before tactfully changing the subject. “Is your friend running late?”

“Yeah,” Elena smiled placing her hands on the table. “It’s not like her. Caroline is always on time. It can get a little annoying.” She pushed a strand of hair back behind her ear. “Is your brother running late as well?”

“Yes although I’m sad to say it is in line with his character.” Elijah ran a hand through his hair.

“Can I get you a refill Elena?” Vicky smiled down at her. Elena nodded to the waitress who picked up the empty glasses from the table before turning to Elijah. “Can I get you anything to drink?”

“Whiskey, please.”

“Coming up,” Vicky babbled turning back towards the bar.

“Did you manage to finish grading your tests?” Elena teased leaning across the table. “I still can’t believe you gave a test on a Friday.”

“Made it halfway through,” Elijah admitted picking up the drink that Vicky had sat down in front of him. “Now I’m thinking the marking experience will be greatly after a few drinks.”

“That bad?”

“There grammar is atrocious,” Elijah grumbled. “I feel truly terrible for the English teachers”

“New drinking game,” Elena brainstormed. “Whenever you find a grammatical error take a shot.”

“I’d be under the table before I made it through the first paper,” Elijah guffawed. “They would have to pump my stomach in the ER.”

“Well I wouldn’t want you to die of alcohol poisoning,” Elena conceded with a small frown. “Better think of a different drinking game.”

“You’d miss me to much if I died,” Elijah claimed with a sly smile.

“Of course I would,” Elena agreed before breaking out in a wide grin. “Who else would replace the coffee in the staffroom?”

“Surely I’m good for more that coffee,” Elijah sputtered as whiskey burned his throat.

“Hmm…” Elena placed leaned her head on her hand and pretended to consider him through narrowed eyes. The longer she looked at him the harder she found it to stifle her giggles. “Well you are good for conversation, your funny, and you’re not bad to look at either…” Elena trailed off as a blush coloured her cheeks.

“You think I’m good looking?” Elijah questioned knowing he shouldn’t push it, but he loved the colour that was flooding her cheeks.

“Well,” Elena tried to stall before realizing that there was no way out of this. “I’d have chosen a different adjective, but if you want to go with ‘good-looking’ that’s fine. Try not to let it go to your head.”

“I’ll try,” Elijah smiled placing his free hand on the table beside hers. “You’re very attractive as well; staggeringly so.” He grinned when the colour rose in her cheeks again.

“Thank you,” Elena murmured looking down at the table where their hands rested side-by-side. He was about to cover her hand with his own when her phone buzzed and she reached into her pocket for her phone only to find a text from Caroline.

CAROLINE: Change of plans. I’m supposed to meet Nik’s brother tonight, and I need you for back-up. Apparently he never approves of Nik’s girlfriends. We will be at the grill in 10.

“Something wrong?” Elijah asked when she re-read the text.

“No,” Elena glanced up at him through her eyelashes. “Caroline is bringing her new boyfriend,” Elena watched him with a smirk. “Apparently she’s supposed to meet his brother tonight.”

Chapter Text

Nik sighed for what must have been the twentieth time that evening. He had been on edge since he had asked Caroline to meet his brother. He wasn’t nervous about Elijah liking her. Contrary to popular belief, he was not blind, he knew that his past girlfriends had been bad for him – toxic even – but Caroline was different.

He was on edge because he had let slip that Elijah had never approved of his girlfriends. The accidental admission had completely unnerved Caroline. She had been nervous about the coming meeting all week. It had resulted in her inviting her friend for ‘back-up.’ A fact that she had let slip when he picked her up from her apartment. That of course led to an argument which ended with them making out on her couch; and as a result they were now late.

“I still think that it was unnecessary to invite your friend,” Nik grumbled pulling into an empty spot outside of the Grill.

“Of course you would think that,” Caroline reasoned toying with her phone. “He’s your brother; a man who has never approved of your girlfriends, who you now want me to meet. Elena is my buffer. She will make sure I don’t come off to abrasive. You know I can be abrasive when meeting new people.”

“Wouldn’t you want a buffer in my shoes?” Caroline asked tucking a wayward curl behind her ear and turned to face him. “Wouldn’t you want someone to take the focus off of you?”

“I suppose so…” Nik trailed off getting lost in the depths of her pleading eyes, they were the colour of the ocean tonight, and every bit as deep. “I might want someone to draw attention away from me.”

“And when you meet my mom you are more than welcome to bring your brother along.”

“I guess as long as she has agreed then it’s alright,” Nik finally relented turning off the car and opening the door. He paused when he was outside and noticed Caroline still sitting silently in the car. “Caroline? She does know about tonight right?”

She mumbled something under her breath and gave him a sheepish grin. It faded when she saw the stony look on her boyfriend’s face.

“You were just going to spring my brother and I on her,” he surmised with a snicker. “And how were you expecting her to react to that, love?”

“Better than she would have if I hadn’t texted her when we left my apartment,” she smiled again stepping out of the car.

“I hope she’s the adaptable type,” Nik murmured locking the car and taking her hand to walk to the restaurant.

“Everything’s going to be fine,” he assured her again when they stepped inside of the Grill. Compared to the heat of late summer the filtered air was like a breath of fresh air rejuvenating his senses. Scanning the interior of the Grill he spotted his brother across the floor. “There’s Elijah at that table. I’m not sure who he is talking to – Caroline?”

His wonderful girlfriend had stopped in her tracks. Her entire body stiffened as she followed Nik’s motion to Elijah. Her blue-green eyes were trained on his brother. No, he realized, she’s looking at the brunette he’s flirting with.

“Love?”

“That’s Elena,” Caroline mumbled inclining her head towards Elijah and the brunette – Elena. “… Flirting with your brother...”

Nik’s eyes darted between his brother, Elena and Caroline. Returning his gaze to Caroline he gave a low whistle and reached for her hand.

“I think it’s safe to say Elijah will not be completely focused on you.”

Chapter Text

“You think my brother is dating your friend?” Elijah questioned his companion who nodded once with a small frown.

“Mmm,” Elena glanced down at the phone in her hand again before raising her dark eyes to his. “What’s your brother’s name?”

“Niklaus,” Elijah raised his eyebrow.

“Niklaus,” Elena echoed. She glanced around the room with a small smile. She paused when she saw the door open to admit two new people. She slid her gaze back to Elijah. “Niklaus,” she repeated. “Let me guess: he’s tall with curly blond hair, and a classic ‘bad-boy’ smirk?”

“That is a very accurate description,” Elijah chuckled with narrowed eyes. “You got all of that from his name.”

“Yes,” Elena snickered leaning forward on the table again; she smiled when Elijah mirrored her motion. “Also … he just walked in with Caroline.”

Elijah spun around in his seat nearly knocking over his glass. Only Elena’s quick hands caught it.

“Never took you for the clumsy type Elijah,” she teased.

“Elijah can be a tad uncoordinated at times,” the blond man chuckled as he held out Caroline’s chair. He sat took the chair beside the man in question. “Are you going to introduce us brother?”

“Elena,” Elijah cleared his throat. “This is my brother Niklaus. Niklaus this is Elena Gilbert.” Elijah smiled at her before turning his gaze to look between Niklaus and Caroline.

“And this is my lovely girlfriend: Caroline Forbes.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Caroline,” Elijah smiled. “My brother has told me a lot about you. He’s talked of nothing else for months.”

Strange, Elena thought.

“All good things I hope,” Caroline laughed. “I see you and Elena know each other. Hopefully she hasn’t told you too much about me yet. We’ve been best friends since high school, so she could tell you a lot of stories…” She trailed off in the middle of her babbling and waved her hand between the pair. “How do you two know each other?”

“I work with the lovely Elena at the high school,” Caroline didn’t miss the colour that flooded Elena’s cheeks at the use of the nickname.

Oh she’s got it bad, Caroline thought. “You’re a teacher too then? What do you teach Elijah?”

“History,” Elijah smiled gently at her. What did Niklaus tell her? “I teach history.”

“That’s interesting,” Caroline sputtered. “I was never very good in history. Couldn’t remember the dates,” she was babbling again. “Test’s always made me anxious.” Elena could see Caroline’s hand gripping the edge of her skirt under the table.

“You wouldn’t have liked having Elijah then,” Elena offered trying to put her friend at ease. “He gave his students a test today.”

“Really?” Nik questioned. “After two weeks? They must all hate you.”

“You gave a test on a Friday,” Caroline burst picking up the menu Vicky had handed her. “Your right Elena, I would not have liked him.”

“Glad I’m not your teacher then,” Elijah smirked.

Caroline laughed feeling the tension leave her body.

Chapter Text

Elena yawned over her coffee cup. She had hardly been able to keep her eyes open when she woke up that morning. It was only now that she was midway through her second cup of coffee that she started to wake up.

Elena glared over her mug at the phone sitting on the table. Caroline has some explaining to do.

The previous evening Elena had learned from Nik that he and Caroline had started dating when they met at his art opening Caroline had organized; an art opening that had taken place in June.

Peering at the oven clock Elena picked up her phone and dialed. It took a few minutes before Caroline picked up.

“Whaisit,” Caroline mumbled causing Elena to snicker. She loved Caroline, but she was not a morning person.

“Hey Care,” Elena chirped down the phone line. “I just wanted to invite you to breakfast. And discuss why it took four months for you to mention the fact that you have a boyfriend.”


 

Caroline slipped into the booth across from Elena. After Elena had called Caroline had suggested breakfast at the diner. Some things were better said face to face.

“I’d just like to state, for the official record, that I did not intend to keep this from you for so long.”

“Then why did you?” Elena asked tugging the hem of her blouse back into place. “Why did you wait? I had no idea that you were seeing someone.” Elena peered at her through widened eyes; searching for an answer before the tears behind her eyes threatened to spill over. She commanded them to stay at bay and glanced towards the waitress now pouring their coffee. “How could I not notice that you were seeing someone?” Elena whispered around the lump forming in her throat.

“I’m sorry Elena,” Caroline took Elena’s hand across the table. “I wanted to tell you; I did. I tried to tell you, but you had just found out about Katherine and D-Damon and I couldn’t bring myself to tell you.”

Elena’s eyes were glued to their hands joined on the table while Caroline babbled. She only looked up when Damon’s name was mentioned: stuttered.

“You didn’t want to pile on top of everything else that I was going through,” Elena surmised pouring cream and sugar into her coffee. “You didn’t want to flaunt your new relationship over my failed one.”

Caroline nodded and squeezed her hand tightly. “I’m sorry.”

“Just make sure that next time you’ll tell me sooner,” Elena begged looking into her friends eyes. “Whenever something big happens in your life I want to know about it. I don’t care what I’m going through you tell me,” she asserted gripping Caroline’s hand. “OK?”

“OK.”

Their conversation was put on hold as Maggie came over to take their order. She had been serving them at the diner for year and they always made a point to chat with her whenever they saw her. She was the grandmotherly sort who would bring you pie when you were upset.

“The usual today, girls?” Maggie asked already jotting it down on the notebook she carried everywhere. She smiled and slipped them a couple of butterscotch candies when they nodded.

“Thanks Maggie.” Caroline nodded picking up her candy and popping it in her mouth. It didn’t matter how old they got Maggie always slipped them candy on the side.

“I have a question Caroline,” Elena smirked around her own candy. “And given how you hid your boyfriend for so long I’d like a straight answer.” She waited for Caroline to nod in assent before taking a deep breath. “Why did you stutter over Damon’s name?”

Elena wanted to know. Now that she thought about it she couldn’t remember the last time she had heard her friend say his name; or text it for that matter.

“If I tell you,” Caroline began slowly murmuring over the creamers. “If I tell you I need you to promise me you won’t freak out.” She waited for Elena to nod her assent. “And that you will never bring this up again in the vicinity of my mother.”

Elena squinted at her but nodded nonetheless. Why would I talk about this with Liz?

“D-Da-,” Caroline took a deep breath before continuing in a hushed voice. “He and I ‘dated’ for a month in high school.”

“You and D- him?” Elena questioned. To say she was surprised was an understatement Caroline would hardly look at Damon in high school. “When exactly did this happen?”

Caroline began silently stacking the coffee creamers into a pyramid. Elena was beginning to think Caroline wouldn’t answer, but then she raised her head to meet Elena’s gaze.

“It was sophomore year,” she whispered with a misty look. She seemed lost in a memory.

“You only dated one guy sophomore year,” Elena thought back and became lost in the past as well. “Oh Caroline,” she gasped reaching for her friends hand again. “If you had told me I never would have looked twice at him.”

She could remember sophomore year. She remembered Caroline coming to her house covered in bruises. She remembered the bone chilling conversation; how Caroline had recounted her first sexual experience with the guy she had been seeing, the guy who Caroline had refused to name. Caroline had been too mortified to tell her mom; to terrified to tell the Sheriff. And Elena had helped her to hide the bruises.

You can’t tell anyone Elena, the words echoed in her brain. It was like she was back in her childhood bedroom. She could hear Caroline’s broken sobs, and her own promise to never speak of it again.

“I’m so sorry Caroline,” Elena began.

“Don’t apologize,” Caroline hiccupped wiping away a stray tear. “You had no way of knowing. We were still new friends, and you knew I didn’t like him – I made no real attempts to hide it.” Caroline babbled. “I didn’t think you would believe me. And then you found him cheating with Bonnie and dumped him…”

“You didn’t think it would ever come up again?” Elena guessed. “Care,” Elena waited until she had her undivided attention and continued. “You are my best friend Caroline Forbes. It doesn’t matter what you tell me, I will always believe you.”

Caroline smiled weakly.

“And now I want you to believe me,” Elena informed her. “Believe me when I say that the next time I lay eyes on Damon Salvatore I’m going to break his nose.”

The declaration had the desired effect in drawing a giggle from Caroline.

“Elena –“

“No Care,” Elena cut her off. The joking tone was gone and her voice was slowly rising in volume. “I promised I wouldn’t tell your mother. I know you’re not going to press charges because you don’t want to dive into the past again. You can’t relive it I understand, but he will not get away with this Care.”

Maggie chose that moment to deliver their meals, and two slices of apple pie.

Chapter Text

Elijah slipped into the Grill for an early dinner before he was due to chaperone the dance. Looking around he spotted his companion for the evening sitting at the bar with her back to him.

After meeting Caroline Elijah and Elena had continued with their flirtation. They danced around each other and finally started dating three weeks later. That had been three weeks ago.

Tonight was meant to be their third official date. They had been set to meet up for dinner, when an influx of the flu hit the staff and they were forced to step in to chaperone the decade dance. They had decided to have an early dinner instead. They had left work to change before meeting for food.

“Hi,” Elijah placed a hand on the small of her back and kissed her cheek causing her to jump. “I thought you were getting ready.” He chuckled motioning to her light blue dress and cardigan. “I don’t know that this would have fit in during the 1920’s.”

She turned to look at him with a frown and moved away from the hand on her back. Her eyes were weary when she took him in.

“Is something wrong?” Elijah frowned following her movement with his eyes. Did I do something to upset her? He couldn’t think of anything.

“Yeah,” she gulped. “Some random guy just came up and kissed me in a bar.”

“Very funny,” Elijah chuckled before he remembered something that Elena had told him. Elena had a sister. His eyes widened comically when he realized his mistake. “Oh, you’re not Elena.”

She shook her head. “No. I’m not Elena.”

“You’re her sister,” Elijah rubbed a hand across his cheek. “I just kissed my girlfriends sister.” He stared at her for a beat before apologizing.

“I’m sorry. I saw you from the door and just assumed. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“Partially my fault,” she admitted standing up. “I recently started straightening my hair, and I’m fairly certain this is a dress she left at my apartment. I’m Katherine by the way,” she picked up her hand bag and babbled. “Usually people can tell us apart by our hair.” She glanced over his shoulder to see Damon exiting the restroom; he stopped to watch her.

Katherine started to walk away towards Damon; she made it precisely three steps before she stopped and gazed back at him.

“Is she alright?” Katherine asked fiddling with the clasp on her bag. “Is my sister alright?”

Elijah nodded.

“Good,” Katherine whispered. “Good,” she repeated staring at him. She snapped out of her reverie when she saw Damon still staring at her. Katherine reached into her clutch and pulled out a small red package the size of an envelope. “I-I have to go. Can you give this to Elena for me?”

“Sure,” Katherine shoved the package into his hand.

“It was nice meeting you,” she muttered rushing past him to the door.

Elijah returned the sentiment gazing down at the package before tucking it in his suit pocket. He didn’t see Damon. He didn’t see the way Damon grabbed Katherine’s arm, he didn’t see the way Katherine flinched away. By the time he looked back up Katherine had been steered out into a blue car parked on the side of the street.


 

Music bounced along the walls of the gymnasium. The decorating committee had done an excellent job transforming the space into a speakeasy that would have put the actual ‘20s to shame. At least that’s what the teachers told them when they asked.

Couples were streaming across the dance floor attempting to dance the Charleston. Elijah watched Elena through the sea of students on the other side of the room. She was pouring a cup of punch and listening to something that one of the junior students was saying. Elijah watched as Marcus Greene motioned towards the centre of the gym; it was clear to Elijah what Marcus was asking. He watched as Elena said something before turning her head and walked away towards the bleachers. Marcus was frowning at her retreating back as Elijah moved to join her.

He took a seat beside her and surveyed the crowded room. He settled his gaze on Marcus who had returned to his friends. “What was Mr. Greene talking to you about?”

“He asked me to dance,” Elena admitted sneaking a glance at him through the corner of her eyes. “The kid has some nerve, don’t you think?”

“He’s hot for teacher,” Elijah mumbled through his smirk. “You can hardly blame the boy for having a crush.”

“What?” Elena asked in an incredulous whisper. “He is not!” She blushed when Elijah chuckled.

“Yes,” he stated again, “he is.”

“He is not,” she whispered hotly. She tried to stop the middle school comeback on the tip of her tongue, but found herself powerless to do it. “You’re hot for teacher.”

“Just the one,” he teased and patted her back when she started choking on her punch.

“I uh, I met your sister earlier,” Elijah whispered when she regained her breath. He pulled the small package from his pocket and handed it to her. “I ran into her at the Grill before you got there. She asked me to give you that.”

“Thank you. How was she?” Elena asked peering at the package in her hand before tucking it inside her bag.

“Quiet,” he admitted looking into her dark eyes. Remembering the history she had told him he considered remaining quiet before he thought better of it and confessed. “Although that may have been my fault, I saw her from behind. I walked up and kissed her cheek.”

“Hmm,” Elena mumbled smoothing the beaded hem of her flapper dress, “a complete stranger coming up and kissing her in a bar. That would keep her quiet. Usually you can’t get Katherine to shut-up. She has a tendency to flirt with anything that moves.” Something else was nagging her, but she couldn’t quite place her finger on it.

“Try not to kiss my sister again,” Elena said looking him in the eyes.

“Cross my heart,” he nodded peering into her eyes. Elena watched him for a moment before nodding. Nothing more needed to be said. Elijah stood up and offered her a hand. “Shall we disperse with the crowd?”

“It is that time,” Elena chuckled looking at her watch.


 

After the dance Elijah and Elena had retired to her living room for a cup of coffee.

“There’s one thing bothering me,” Elena admitted as she leaned against Elijah and sipped from her mug. It had finally hit her; the thing that had bothered her about Elijah’s recount.

“What’s that?” Elijah asked looking down to meet her gaze.

“Katherine,” Elena slid her finger around the rim of her coffee cup. She looked up at him through confused eyes. “She has a completely different style. Even if she straightened her hair her clothes would have given her away. What was she wearing?”

“A blue dress,” Elijah answered leaning forward to place his mug on the coffee table. “She said she thought you left it at her apartment. It kind of looked like the green dress you wore the first time we went out.”

“Maybe she’s changing her style,” Elena mused putting down her own mug. “That or she ran out of clean clothes.”

“What does she usually wear?” Elijah questioned leaning back to lay his arm across her shoulders.

“Typically Katherine wears short skirts, and tight blouses with low necklines,” Elena trailed her finger down along the neck of her beaded dress to show just how low Katherine necklines were.

“And curly hair,” Elijah finished tugging the band from Elena’s head to run his fingers through the silky strands.

“She doesn’t like to leave much to the imagination,” Elena breathed. “Most guys liked that.” She tilted her head to look up into his eyes with a wry smile. “What do you think? Since Katherine’s dressing like me should I start dressing like her?”

“No,” Elijah gazed down at her smoothing her hair over her shoulder. He brought one hand up to stroke her cheek. “You are amazing just the way you are.”

“Really,” Elena began running his tie through her fingers drawing him in closer. “You wouldn’t like to see more?”

“Oh, I’d love to see more,” he followed the motion of her hands and slid his hand from her hair to her back. His hand left a trail of fire down her back. “But there is something to be said for mystery.”

“Good answer,” Elena’s lips reached across the distance to meet his in a gentle kiss.

It didn’t take long for him run his tongue along her lower lip. Elena gasped pulling back momentarily to catch her breath before kissing him again sliding her tongue into his mouth. Her hands ran up his chest to loosen his tie. She had to break away again to pull the tie over his head; when the tie was gone she began laying a trail of open mouthed kisses along his jaw line.

“Care to see more now?” Elena breathed against his ear while her hands began unbuttoning his shirt.

“Whatever you’re ready to show,” Elijah chuckled pulling her back for another kiss.

Chapter Text

Elijah pressed her firmly against the wall at the top of the stairs. Sucking her bottom lip into his mouth caused Elena to gasp. Releasing her lip he pulled back slightly to run his tongue along her lips before plunging his tongue into her mouth.

Elena raked her nails through his hair as his knee came up to separate her thighs. She began to quickly unbutton his shirt. Pushing the shirt down his arms it fluttered to the floor and her hands came up to splay across his lower back; she dug her nails into his back to pull him closer.

Elena whimpered when he took a step back. Elijah smirked when he spun her around to unzip her dress. The sequined dress pooled around her feet; she was left standing in her white satin thong. Elena mewled when Elijah pulled her back flush against him. His hands stroked the skin of her abdomen. One roamed upwards to roll her nipple between his thumb and forefinger. His other hand slipped beneath the waist of her underwear to stroke through her folds and dip into her dripping slit.

“Elijah,” Elena whimpered and rutted her hips backwards into his growing erection. “Don’t tease me Elijah.” He quickly withdrew his hands causing Elena to pivot.

“I would never tease you, lovely Elena,” Elijah smirked and pushed her back against the wall once more.

Elena shuddered when his breath tickled her neck. He sucked on the skin at the base of her throat before bending to take her right nipple into his mouth causing her body to jerk. She bit back a moan when he switched breasts.

She inhaled sharply when Elijah sank to his knees. He dipped his tongue into her belly button before nipping her abdomen; he soothed the bite mark with his tongue. He gently sucked the skin of her inner thigh into his mouth turning his head he repeated the action with the other.

Elena moaned when he looked up at her and pulled her thong down. Throwing the material to the side he kissed the area under her belly button. She knew what he was about to do but nothing prepared her for the feeling of his tongue against her slit. She threw her head back against the wall when he sucked her clit into his mouth.

Elijah raised one leg to rest over his shoulder and flicked his tongue against her clit.

“Fuck, Elijah,” she moaned when his tongue stroked her inner walls. “I’m so close.” Heat pooled low in her belly as Elijah pleasured her orally in the hall.

“Yes… right there,” she panted when he slipped a finger inside to stroke her g-spot. “Fu- yes… I’m cumming,” she melted when the heat in her abdomen spread trails of fire across every inch of her body. Only Elijah’s body between her thighs kept her upright.

He slowly made his way back up. His lips ghosted along her skin to suck the skin of her neck. His tongue flicked across the shell of her ear.

Elena cupped his face between her hands and pulled him back into a searing kiss. She fumbled with the doorknob behind her. She sucked his tongue into her mouth causing him to groan. He stroked her hips and lowered his hands to grasp her thighs. Lifting her up Elena wrapped her thighs around his waist and ground her hips down.

Elijah moaned against her throat when she made contact with his cock. He walked into her bedroom before sinking onto her bed so that Elena was straddling his waist.

Elena tugged his ear between her teeth. One hand came up to cradle the back of his neck, while the other stroked him over his pants. She gently squeezed his erection before unhooking his belt. Elijah kicked off his shoes before Elena made quick work of his pants and underwear.

“Fuck,” Elijah closed his eyes and clenched his teeth when she pumped his cock. He was stunned when his cock was engulfed in the wet warmth of her mouth. His breath grew shaky when she hollowed her cheeks. She made eye contact with him as her swollen lips bobbed up and down on his cock. He groaned when her tongue swirled around the head of his cock. He stroked her hair back from her face and slowly guided her mouth up and down his length. She had just raised her hand to gently play with his balls when he pulled her up off his cock to crush her lips to his in a bruising kiss.

She knelt over him on the bed and sank down onto his cock. He stilled her hips when she was almost on him. She wiggled her hips against him frantically; desperate to have him inside of her.

“Did you forget something?” Elijah murmured against her neck. He reached for his trousers to pull out a small foil packet.

“I’m on birth control,” Elena took the packet from him, “and I’m clean.” She raised an eyebrow to give him a quizzical look.

“I’m clean as well,” Elijah chuckled when she dropped the condom back over her shoulder. “Oh fuck,” he chocked when sank down on his cock.

His hands came to rest on her hips as she began to ride him. He could feel the muscles in her thighs working against him as she bounced on him. Glancing down he watched as he disappeared again and again into her body.

Her fingers dug into his shoulders as she set a steady pace. Elijah nipped and licked the skin of her neck. Elena tossed her head back when he sucked on her collarbone. She gently pushed him back to lie against the mattress. Splaying her hands against his chest she rode him hard and fast. He groaned when she shifted the angle to better rub her clit against him. He watched as she bounced on him; a flush had risen to grace her neck and breasts.

Elena’s movements grew more erratic as she neared her orgasm. Elijah quickly flipped them over to pound into her.

“Yes,” Elena cooed when she hooked a leg around his waist causing him to hit her g-spot with every snap of his hips. “Right there… Yeeesssss,” Elena howled when his thumb stroked her clit. Stars flooded her vision as she came down from her high.

Elijah snapped his hips against hers faster as he approached his own climax. Her walls fluttered around him. He buried himself to the hilt inside of her as he came apart. Elena moaned when she felt him spurt inside of her. A series of shockwaves rocked Elena’s body as he pulled out. He rolled over to lie beside her and rest one hand on her waist.

“So,” Elena purred kissing a tattoo on his chest. “How was the mystery?”

“Captivating,” he teased brushing his lips gently against hers. “Absolutely riveting.”

Chapter Text

Elena stifled a yawn and attempted to go back to sleep. She snuggled further under the blankets and raised her hand with the intention of grabbing the pillow. Her eyes snapped open when her hand collided with a broad chest.

Not my pillow, Elena flattened her hand against the warm expanse. It took a second before her memory of the previous night came flooding back in. Much better than my pillow, she decided.

She took a moment to study Elijah’s features. He was more relaxed in sleep. Her eyes roamed down to his bare chest; more specifically to the tattoo that sat over his heart. She had glossed over it the night before in favour of more carnal activities, but now she took the time to really look at it. The fingers of her right hand came up to trace the lines of the eight pointed star. The thin lines ended in some sort of symbol. Elena thought they looked vaguely rune-like.

“Good morning,” Elijah mumbled raising his head to watch the way her hand traced his tattoo. “It’s called a vegvisir.”

“What’s that?” Elena continued to trace the mark. She followed the path of her fingers with her eyes.

“It’s similar to a compass,” he explained trapping her hand under his forcing her to look up at him. “Vikings would mark themselves with a vegvisir. It was said to guide the bearer through rough weather to safety.”

“An early morning history lecture,” Elena teased tracing the mark again. She propped herself up on her elbow and looked down at him. “Has it helped you find your way?”

“It did lead me to you,” Elijah smirked reaching up to kiss her forehead.

“That is the cheesiest thing that you have ever said,” Elena declared kissing his lips. She giggled when his hand inched up her side to gently tickle her ribs.

“It’s still early, lovely Elena,” Elijah nipped her jawline. “I’m sure I can come up with something cheesier.”


 

Elijah stepped out of his car and sauntered toward his front door. He had stayed at Elena’s for breakfast before leaving to change clothes and finish his lesson plans for the week. His mind strayed to the good-bye kiss Elena had given him. He wouldn’t categorize it as passionate, but something infinitely better. She had pulled him back when he reached the door and risen up to give him a quick peck on the cheek. It was quick – a habit; it was something that she would do every day. The thought made him grin.

“Elijah Mikealson,” the voice crowed from his left making Elijah jump a mile high as his heart leapt into his throat. “I never thought I’d see you completing a walk of shame.”

“Kol,” Elijah swallowed his heart willing it back into his chest. “This is not a walk of shame.”

“Oh but it is big brother,” Kol sang motioning to Elijah’s rumpled appearance. “Wouldn’t you agree Nik? Our brother has clearly spent the night somewhere else, and now he is coming home to change. I think it qualifies as a walk of shame.”

“Calling it a walk of shame implies that there is something to be ashamed of.” Elijah shook his head and walked into his bedroom to change into fresh clothes.

“No shame?” Kol quipped turning into the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water. “I thought I was the shameless brother.”

“No, no Kol,” Nik perched on one of the stools at the island. “That title definitely goes to me.”

Kol mock glared at Nik over the rim of his glass. Draining the water he put down the cup and prepared to respond.

“Can we just agree that you are both shameless?” Elijah grimaced and put Kol’s empty glass in the dishwasher. Nik and Kol nodded before turning to grin at their big brother.

“So what kept you out all night?” Kol surveyed Elijah critically and cheered internally when he blushed.

“Leave him be Kol,” Nik scolded taking pity on Elijah. He gently pulled his little brother onto a stool. “He clearly spent the night with Elena.”

“Who’s Elena?”

“El-“

“She’s the woman Elijah’s been seeing,” Nik interrupted leaning over to whisper in Kol’s ear. “She’s Caroline’s best friend, and she works with Elijah at the high school.”

“Scandalous,” Kol declared in mock outrage, “a torrid workplace affair. Who knew you could be so interesting?”

“Shut up Kol.” Elijah finished loading the rest of the dishes and turned on the dishwasher. “There is nothing torrid about my relationship with Elena.”

“Really?”

“Really,” Elijah agreed. “Sorry to disappoint you.”

“Shame,” Kol tapped his fingers against the counter. “I suppose that’s good for you though. So what’s she like?”

Elijah thought about the way Elena chewed on the end of her pen when editing her students work. He thought about the way she smiled when she talked to her friend, and the way she called her little brother every few days to check in. He thought about how she had found it in herself to all but forgive her sister for what should have been an unforgivable act because family meant everything to her.

He thought about how he couldn’t wait to see her smile every day, and hear her talk about her classes; and the way he wanted to tell her about his own. He thought of all of this, but could only find a few words to describe the woman who had become an integral part of his life.

“She is amazing,” Elijah straightened to look at his brother, “Elena is smart and funny, intelligent and kind and strong. She’s wonderful.”

“You really like her, don’t you?” Kol mused. He didn’t fail to notice the way that Elijah had failed to mention her physical appearance, or the way he grinned when he said her name.

“He’s smitten,” Niklaus pulled out his phone to read an incoming text.

            CAROLINE: I need you help

            NIK: What’s wrong, love?

“Smitten is definitely the right word,” Kol agreed.

            CAROLINE: I have to go to the hospital, I can’t drive.

“I have to go,” Nik jumped to his feet and rushed past his gaping brothers for the door. “I’ll see you later.” Elijah and Kol watched him go.

“What do you think that’s about?”

“No idea.”


 

Elena placed the beaded dress on its wooden hanger and went in search of her hand bag. The dress had been easy to find after last night’s activities; it was pooled on the floor just outside the bedroom door a few feet from Elijah’s shirt. The matching bag was likely to be downstairs. She hadn’t seen it when she and Elijah were eating breakfast so it was probably in the living room.

She walked into the large room and spotted the bag lying on the floor under Elijah’s tie that they had searched for earlier. Elena made a point to fold the tie and slip it into her coat pocket. She then sprinted up the stairs and dumped the contents of the vintage bag on her bed before adding it to the hanger and placing the costume in its place at the back of her closet.

She was about to leave her bedroom again when a spot of red caught her eye. Elena sat down on the side of her bed and picked up the small package. She weighed Katherine’s gift in her hand and almost put it away before she opened it. Inside, under a folded piece of paper, was a small charm: a heart formed by two clasped hands. It would attach to the charm bracelet Katherine had given her years ago; every birthday and Christmas Katherine would give her a new charm.

Elena reached into her bedside table for the bracelet. She attached the charm before restoring it to her rightful place on her wrist. Only when it was secure on her arm did she turn to the paper.

       Elena,

            I miss you so much. Mere words cannot express how sorry I am. You are my sister and my actions were a complete betrayal of your trust. I am deeply ashamed of the way I behaved. I know I don’t deserve it, but I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me one day.

            I probably deserve everything that has happened to me since last June. I understand if you choose not to forgive me; Damon says you never could, that nobody could.

            I love you sister,

            Katherine.

Tears threatened to spill over as Elena finished the letter. Damon had driven a wedge between them and as a result she had pushed aside her emotions. Only now that she was reading the familiar handwriting did she realize just how much she missed her sister.

Shaking her head Elena tucked the paper into her jeans. I have to see Katherine now. She sprang from the bed and raced to the stairs.

Chapter Text

Nik’s eyes kept darting from the road ahead to Caroline. He had barely put the car in park before she had jumped in and commanded him to drive. Now she sat quietly in the passenger seat. Her leg was jiggling and she had bitten the nails on her left hand down to the quick. Unlike him Caroline’s eyes were glued to the road.

Nik came to a stop at a red light and turned to look at her. The rapid motion of her leg increased the longer they sat at the light.

“Caroline, love,” Nik implored gently pulling her hand away from her mouth. “What’s wrong?”

“I-I,” Caroline stared at the road fumbling for her words. “Je-El,” it was as though the language she had grown up with had flown out of her head. The only things left in her skull were the unintelligible sounds flowing from her between her lips.

“Caroline,” Nik begged. She was starting to scare him now. “Caroline. Breath. Take a moment and breath, love,” Nik waited until she had taken three shaky breaths. “Now try again,” he urged.

“Elena’s hurt,” Caroline trembled but managed to enunciate clearly. “Her brother called me… he can’t get here until tomorrow morning. It’s bad Nik; Jeremy said it was bad.”

The light turned green but Nik stayed still. He thought about how Elena had been with Elijah that morning. Countless scenarios were running through his brain, but try as he might he couldn’t come up with an answer. What could have possibly happened to her so quickly?

“What happened?”

“He didn’t say,” Caroline whispered. “I don’t think he knew.”

A horn honked behind them launching Nik into motion again.


 

“Elena Gilbert?” Caroline demanded. “How is she?” After Nik had parked the car and rushed inside the hospital he had watched as Caroline’s nerves faded to be replaced with a determination he had seen few times before. She had a look on her face that demanded answers.

“Are you family?” The nurse – Rose – asked glancing up at from her post at the nurses station.

“I’m her best friend,” Caroline stated.

“I’m sorry miss,” Rose drawled turning back to the desk. “I can only release patient information to family.”

Nik could see the blow-up coming and laid a hand on Caroline’s arm.

“Where is she?” Nik attempted an alternate tactic. “You can tell us that right?”

“Hold on,” Rose sighed. She typed on the computer for a minute before jotting down a number on a slip of paper. “Fourth floor recovery wing room 23.” She passed the coordinates to Nik. “They should be bringing her out of surgery soon.”

Nik quickly directed Caroline to the nearby elevators before she could react to the tidbit of information. They were in the elevator when she began shrieking.

“Surgery!” Caroline slammed her hands against the wall. “She had to have a surgery?”

“Caroline you need to calm down,” Nik soothed taking her shoulders to peer into her eyes, “getting worked up is not going to do anyone any good right now.”

“Worked up!” She shrieked slamming her hands against his chest. “I am not worked up!” She cried pushing him against the wall. “I’m not worked up,” she choked.

Nik wrapped his arms around her to stop her flailing arms. Caroline struggled for a moment before sinking into him. He held her close while she sobbed. She only pulled away when the door opened. Nik wrapped his hand around hers before leading her toward the recovery wing.

They sat on two chairs outside of the empty room.

Caroline glanced up when she saw the gurney being wheeled in their directions. She could just make out a mass of straight brown hair before turning into Nik’s shoulder. Only when the doctors left the room did she look up again.

“Dr. Fell,” Caroline whispered. It was loud enough to catch the woman’s attention. Unfortunately that was all Caroline managed to get out before her sobs started again.

“Caroline,” the doctor frowned. “I’m sorry but I can’t tell you anything specific about her condition.”

“Is she going to be alright?” Caroline found her voice, but remained against Nik’s shoulder.

“It’s touch and go right now, Caroline,” Dr. Fell explained. “That’s all I can say right now. I can only release that information to – “

“Family,” Caroline nodded. “I know.” She watched the doctor leave and then stood up to look inside the recovery room.

Her breath caught in her throat when she saw her friend’s lifeless form on the bed. Wires seemed to spring from every inch of her body: arms, chest, and stomach were attached to monitors and fluids. A white bandage was wrapped tightly around her brow, and her arm was held in a cast. There were two monitors one measuring her heart, the other measured something else and was attached to her stomach. There was a cut under her eye, and bruises bloomed on every inch of visible skin.

Caroline couldn’t bring herself to look to closely at her friends face. Instead she looked at her ‘uninjured’ hand and lightly ran her hand over it.

She pulled her phone out before turning to the second monitor. She watched it as she took a seat beside the bed and waited for the call to connect.

“Katherine,” Caroline breathed into the answering machine. “I know you two still aren’t talking, but you need to come to the recovery wing at the hospital. Elena’s hurt.”

“Her sister?” Nik questioned. He picked up the bag of personal effects before sitting beside Caroline.

“Yeah,” Caroline nodded and then clarified, “her answering machine.” She fingered the bloody blue dress through the bag. “I gave this dress to Elena last year for Christmas.”

“It’s going to be fine, love.”

“You don’t know that,” she glanced up from the dress.

“No I don’t,” Nik squeezed her hand and reached for his phone. The call connected after the third ring.

“You should come to the hospital. Fourth floor recovery wing, room 23. Hurry.” Nik hung up.

“Elijah?”

“Yeah.”

Chapter Text

Elijah rounded the corner and began counting the room numbers.

21 – Fourth floor…

22 – Room 23…

23 – Hurry!

Room 23 loomed ahead of him. His brothers words echoed in his head. Is it Rebekah? Finn? Niklaus had only told him to hurry making his mind run wild with the possibilities.

“Niklaus?” Elijah rushed into the room. “What –“ Elijah’s heart skipped a beat when he took in the scene. A sobbing blond, and a still brunette.

“El-Elena,” Caroline hiccupped waving the bag in the air. “She – I – They won’t tell us –“

Elijah inclined his head to look at her. His heart began to beat again when the bag caught his eye. He recognized the blood stained dress something about the blue nagged at the back of his mind.

“The doctor won’t tell us anything because we’re not family,” Caroline didn’t stop to think about how easily she had lumped Nik into the ‘us’ category’. “Which is ridiculous, by the way. Jeremy can’t get here, and Katherine isn’t answering her phone.”

“Katherine?” Bitter hope surged in his chest. He remembered where he had seen the blue dress. He reached to pick up the bag. “You can’t reach her because she’s in the bed,” Elijah realized.

“What?” Caroline stared at him as if he had suddenly grown two heads. “Katherine has curly hair, and this is Elena’s dress,” she spoke the way she would have to a child.

“No,” Elijah argued. “This is Katherine.” He motioned to the bag again. “I met her last night, and she was wearing this dress. She told me she had recently started straightening her hair.”

“Katherine straightened her hair?” Caroline looked incredulous. She wanted desperately to believe him, but the thought of Katherine willingly changing her hair was a difficult concept to wrap her mind around.

“Are you sure Elijah?” Nik placed a supportive hand on Caroline’s arm and looked to Elena/Katherine.

“I’m sure,” Elijah clung to his belief stubbornly. “Caroline, you said you can’t reach Katherine?” He watched her nod. “It seems to me that there’s a very simple solution,” he reached for his phone, “call Elena.”

Ring-ring-ring

Caroline bit the nails on her right hand.

Ring

Elijah felt the hope in his chest begin to fade.

Ring

Nik wrapped his arms around Caroline’s shoulders.

Ring

“Hello,” Elena’s voice filled the room, nobody responded immediately; they were two busy sighing in relief. “Elijah? Hello? Are you there or am I talking to your pocket right now?” Her voice switched from annoyed to teasing.

“Elena?”

“Caroline?”

“Elena!” Caroline snatched the phone from Elijah’s hand. “You’re okay. They thought it was you, but you’re okay.”

“Of course I’m okay Care,” Elena replied slowly. “Why wouldn’t I be okay? And why do you have Elijah’s phone?”

Caroline however was too busy sobbing in relief to answer. It was Nik who stepped in.

“You’re on speaker Elena,” he explained in a gentle voice. “We are all at the hospital.” He glanced at the bed and monitors. “There has been a small case of mistaken identity. You’d best get down here sweetheart. I’ll text you the room details.”

“Alright,” Elena agreed. “I’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

“We’ll see you soon,” Nik hung up and immediately sent Elena a text.

“Thank you,” Elijah swallowed the lump in his throat and tucked his phone away.

“Why didn’t you tell her?” Caroline wondered.

“She has to drive here,” Nik explained, and then looked carefully at Katherine and the many wires running from her body. “So this is Katherine?” His eyes traced the wires to the monitors. “What’s the second monitor for?”

Chapter Text

The elevator doors opened admitting Elena to the fourth floor. She stepped out to see Elijah pacing in front of the window. When he saw her he stopped to pull her in and wrapped his arms around her back.

“Elijah,” Elena returned his embrace before attempting to pull back. “What happened? Where’s Katherine?” Elena found herself trapped in his arms. “Elijah?”

“They thought she was you,” he choked and slackened his grip slightly. “I thought she was you; until I saw the blue dress.”

“What happened?”

“They wouldn’t tell us,” he took a shaky breath and tucked a curl behind her ear. “The hospital will only release that information to family.”

Elena felt the colour fade from her cheeks as he continued. She could see the worry that had resided in his eyes, and she knew instantly that it was bad.

“She’s still asleep,” Elijah explained. He had finally realised her, but he still stood close. He looked into her fear darkened gaze. “She doesn’t look good Elena, but her vitals are stable. The nurses did tell us that much.”

“Where?” Elena whispered. She turned slightly to look down the hall and reached for his hand.  He took it without hesitation and led her to the room where Nik and Caroline were waiting.

Her breath caught in her throat. Elena had to fight the lump before she could speak.

“Find the doctor, please.” She gripped her boyfriend’s hand tighter when she felt him pull back to search for the doctor. He shot a look at Nik and it was understood that he would go in search of the doctor.

Caroline stood to join him.

Elijah motioned to Elena to take a seat in the recovery room. They sat in silence for the next ten minutes while they waited for the doctor. Elijah gently stroked the back of her hand with his thumb.

Every thirty seconds or so Elijah’s eyes would search out Elena’s face. The other half of the minute was spent gazing at Katherine. He couldn’t stop picturing Elena in the bed; it was only her presence in the room now that kept him calm. Now she leaned over and he released her hand to wrap his arm around her shoulders.

“She was fine yesterday,” Elena whispered. She peeked up at him through her eyelashes. “She was fine?” Her dark eyes shimmered with moisture.

“Yes,” Elijah gently squeezed her shoulders. “She was fine.” He placed a kiss on the top of her hair.

“Elena?”

They turned to see Dr. Meredith Fell standing in the doorframe. She was watching them carefully.

“Dr. Fell,” Elena breathed. “Are you Katherine’s doctor?” She leaned forward to address her. Elena’s side was still pressed firmly against Elijah. “What happened? Is she going to be alright?”

“Your sister was brought in last night – early this morning really – she was unconscious on arrival,” Dr. Fell consulted her chart. Her dark eyes jumped between the twins. “She had a minor brain bleed which we evacuated. Her arm was broken in two places. And she has suffered multiple contusions and lacerations,” Dr. Fell moved to check the monitors, and to shine a light in Katherine’s eyes.

“How did she get here?” Caroline cut in. “Everyone thought she was Elena. Shouldn’t someone have known that it wasn’t her? Don’t you have tests for that?”

“We had no reason to believe it was Katherine,” Dr. Fell explained quietly. “She was brought in last night. The young man who brought her in said she was Elena Gilbert. I had no reason to doubt him?”

“Who brought her in?” Elena took Katherine’s undamaged hand. “Who said she was me?”

“It was Stefan Salvatore,” Dr. Fell answered before she continued with her explanations. “Katherine’s vitals are stable now, and her pupils are responsive. I expect she will make a full recovery in the next few months. We’re just keeping a close eye on the baby’s heartbeat just in case.”

“She’s going to be fine?” Elena latched onto the piece of information she had been waiting for.

“Yes,” Dr. Fell nodded once. “She should be just fine.” She turned her gaze on Elena again. “Elena –“ she hesitated before pushing on, “most of her injuries are consistent with domestic abuse, both physical and-and sexual. Her arm was likely broken in an attempt to defend herself. Do you know who she’s been seeing?”

“No,” Elena shook her head slowly. Blood drained from her face. “No, I’m sorry I don’t.”

“She should wake up within the next hour or so,” Dr. Fell said on her way out the door. “I’ve notified the sheriff’s office, and someone should be here soon to talk to you and her. They wanted to talk to Stefan first.”

 “Who’s Stefan?” Nik questioned the room at large.

“He’s D-Damon’s brother,” Caroline rubbed her arms to return some warmth to them.

“She’s gonna be fine,” Elena didn’t notice when the doctor left. Tears were streaming down her face. Elijah wrapped an arm around her waist.

“Yes,” Elijah murmured against her hair. “She is going to be alright.” Without any warning Elena spun around to face him and her friends.

“Did she say baby?”

Chapter Text

“She’s awake.” Caroline called down the hall when she saw Elena returning from the nurse’s station. She could make out the figure of her mother following closely behind.

Elena began to run when she heard Caroline’s voice. She burst into the room to wrap her arms tightly around her sister. “Katherine! You’re awake. How do you feel?” Elena could just make out Caroline motioning the guys from the room. Katherine remained silent. “Kat?”

“Ow,” Katherine moaned. She raised the arm that was free of wires to hug Elena.

“Sorry,” Elena leaned back but remained seated on the side of the bed. She swiped at her cheeks to remove the relieved tears from her face.

“S’okay,” Katherine blinked against the harsh hospital light to focus on her sister. “I should be the one apologizing.” She choked back a sob and rasped, “I’m so sorry ‘Lena- “

“Don’t,” Elena grasped Katherine’s good hand. “Don’t you dare apologize. I forgave you a long time ago.”

“You forgive me?” Katherine whispered. “How could you possibly have forgiven me?”

“You are my sister,” Elena explained what was the most obvious thing in the world was. “I can’t stay mad at you,” she gently kissed Katherine’s cheek, “Besides it’s not like I was in love with the guy.”

“You forgive me?” Katherine repeated.

“Yes.”

“I’m sorry to interrupt girls,” Sheriff Forbes knocked. She stepped inside the room and approached the bed. “Katherine I need to ask you a few questions if you’re feeling up for it.”

“Sure Sheriff,” Katherine attempted to sit up but got caught in the fetal monitor. Elena reached out to help her now very tense sister. Katherine stared at the monitor before whispering to Elena. “Is the baby alright?” She sighed in relief when Elena nodded.

“Katherine,” the Sheriff took out a small notepad. “Who did this to you?”

Katherine didn’t answer right away. Elena waited with bated breath. Elena stuck her hands in her pockets where she was met with a crumpled paper. I deserve everything… Damon says you never will. The words in the note ran across her mind; she echoed Katherine’s whispered response.

“Damon Salvatore.”

Unbidden an image of Caroline swam before her mind’s eye: 15 and covered in bruises. The very recent memory of Katherine lying prostrate in her hospital bed followed it. She felt a white hot rage fill her body from the tips of her toes to the ends of her hair.

“Damon Salvatore.” Sheriff Forbes nodded once before leaving the room to radio the station. She returned a few moments later to take Katherine’s full statement.


 

December 4

6 weeks later

Elena watched as Katherine examined herself in the full length mirror. She had turned to her side so that she could eye the growing bulge on her abdomen. Katherine rested the palms of her hands against her belly. Her cast had been removed the day before, and the prenatal exam was today.

“Everything’s going to be fine,” Elena declared. She stepped forward to place a hand on her sister’s belly. “Your baby is going to be perfectly healthy; and you’ll find out if it’s a boy or a girl.” Her eyes twinkled as she glanced down to stare at the bump. “We can finally stop referring to the baby as ‘it’.”

“Yeah,” Katherine took a seat on the edge of the bed in her childhood room. She had moved back in with Elena after being discharged from the hospital.

“What’s wrong Kat?” Elena knelt to down to place her hands on Katherine’s knees. “And don’t say nothing because something is clearly bothering you.”

“I jus- “ Katherine rubbed her growing belly. “I’ve barely left the house since I was discharged. What if he shows up today? What if he tries something?” She bit her lip and peeked up. “They let him out on bail ‘Lena.”

Elena came up to sit on the bed. She wrapped an arm around her sister’s shoulders and attempted to calm her. “There is always someone with you when you leave this house. He is not getting anywhere near you. And to prove it I’m going with you today.”

“Don’t you have a date tonight?” Katherine shook her head quickly. “I won’t have you canceling on Elijah again.”

“I won’t,” Elena swore. She even went so far as to cross her heart. “The appointment is at 4:00 and Elijah is picking me up at 7:00. There’s lots of time,” Elena pulled Katherine towards the door. “Besides I wanna know if I’m gonna be an aunt or an uncle.”

“You know that’s not how this works, right?” Katherine laughed and followed Elena out.

Chapter Text

“How was the appointment?” Elijah pulled up to park in her driveway and came around to open her door. They had gone for dinner and lingered over the dessert. They were now much later than they had meant to be.

“It went well,” Elena stepped out of the car and took his pro-offered hand. “Everything is fine with the baby; just like I told Katherine it would be. And we found out it’s a girl.”

“That’ll make you an aunt then.”

“Mmmm,” Elena agreed before deadpanning. “It’s a shame really; I was looking forward to being an uncle.”

“Maybe next time,” Elijah chuckled and followed Elena into the house.

“Maybe,” Elena giggled as she shut the door and shed her coat. “It does make Jeremy an aunt though.”

“True enough.”

Elena hung her jacket in the closet; she handed a hanger to Elijah before pausing to listen. The rest of the house was silent.

“Katherine didn’t find that joke very funny,” Elena grinned up at him. “She said it didn’t work that way.”

“Your sister has no sense of humor,” Elijah swooped down to give her a chaste kiss.

Elena wrapped her arms around his neck to hold him close. She murmured, “Agreed,” before pulling him in for another kiss.

Elijah gently walked until Elena’s back was pressed lightly against the door. He ran his tongue along her bottom lip to ask for entrance to her mouth; Elena was more than happy to oblige.

Elena threaded her fingers through his hair as their tongues battled for dominance: she lost – submitted. Elena shivered when he slipped his hands under her blouse to stroke the skin of her back. His thumbs came up to rub small circles along her waist; Elena felt her stomach muscles clench tightly as a fire ignited in her belly. She tugged his hair and bit his bottom lip when Elijah pulled away from her with a moan.

“What were we talking about?” Elena panted. Her breath fanned out across his neck.

“Your sister’s sense of humour,” Elijah supplied letting his hands wander to rest against her back again. “Would you like to go back to that conversation?”

“Maybe later,” Elena’s eyes glanced at his mouth. “If it’s alright with you I’d rather not talk right now,” she smirked and kissed him again. Elena pulled him closer until his body was flush against her own. She could feel every hard inch of him pressed up against him and every inch of the door at her back; including the handle that began rattling at against her hip.

Elena pushed him back with a grunt. She turned to look down at the door; the handle was definitely moving.

“Did Katherine go out?” Elijah muttered behind her.

“She’s hardly left the house since she moved back in,” Elena motioned to a blue jacket in the still open closet. “And her coat is still here.”

Elijah moved her gently to the side to peer out the peephole. His body stiffened when he saw the person on the other side. He spun to blink slowly at Elena.

“Did Katherine get a restraining order?”

Elena quickly pushed him aside to stare at the person on the other side of her front door. She nodded her head once.

“Can you get ready to call the police?” Elena reached to unlock the door. Turning the knob she murmured over her shoulder. “I’ll try asking him to leave first.”

Elijah was already fishing his phone out of his pocket.

Elena made sure to stand in the center of the door to block all entrance into the house.

“You need to leave Damon,” Elena stated flatly. Her hands grasped the door frame tightly. “I’ll give you three minutes to get off my property and then I’m going to call the cops.”

“Where’s Katherine?” Damon took a step closer and scoffed. He acted as if he hadn’t heard him.

“What makes you think I’ll tell you that?” Elena drew herself to her full height to glare into his icy eyes. She attempted to find the patience that she practiced with her students. It was impossible with Damon; the only thing she saw when she looked at him now was Katherine bloody and broken in the hospital. White hot rage burned through her. She felt an overwhelming desire to claw out his eyes; her fingers twitched against the doorframe. The rage dissipated slightly when a warm hand rested against her back.

“She’s carrying my child,” Damon argued. His hands came up to rest on the other side of the door frame. “I have every right to see her whenever I want.”

“I’m fairly certain there is a restraining order that says otherwise,” Elijah’s low voice rumbled behind them.

“And you lost any rights you had when you put her in the hospital,” Elena whispered furiously.

“Not yet,” Damon smirked. He leaned closer to explain in a whisper, “There is no proof that I ever laid a finger on her; other than her word. I’ll be cleared in a few days at the trial. And then you’ll be seeing a lot more of me.”

Elena tried, but she couldn’t stop the fist that collided with his nose. Damon’s head jerked back as blood flowed between his fingers.

Elijah quickly moved to restrain her by wrapping his arms around her. With her hands pinned to her sides she should have been safe from causing any more damage. However her legs were still free; she didn’t bother to try to stop the knee that connected with Damon’s groin.

“Get. Off. My. Property.” Elena spat as Damon stumbled to his feet and lurched to his car.

“Remind me to never get on your bad side,” Elijah watched the blue mustang speed away down the street. He let go so she could lock the door. “Do you still want to call the sheriff?”

“No,” Elena shook her head as the lights finally faded away. “He’s gone now,” she murmured looking down at her hand. She could feel the bruises beginning to form under the bloodstains. She gaze up at him again with wide eyes, “Did I really just punch him?”

“You did more than that,” Elijah led her to the kitchen. He pulled an icepack from the freezer and wrapped it in a towel. “I’m pretty sure you broke his nose,” He quickly cleaned her hand before laying the ice against her knuckles. “I don’t think he’ll be having sex anytime soon either.”

“What a shame,” Elena quipped.

“I’d offer to stay tonight in case he comes back,” Elijah chuckled gently squeezing her hands, “but it appears that you have everything under control.”

“Who said you needed a reason to stay over,” Elena wiggled her eyebrows suggestively. “Other than the promise of my company?”

“Are you propositioning me, Miss Gilbert?” Elijah gasped raising his hand to rest over his heart. “What will the neighbors say? My honour will be ruined; my reputation shattered.”

“I’m pretty sure I ruined your reputation months ago,” Elena threw her head back and laughed. She tossed the ice in the sink and used her hands to lower his from his heart. “None of the neighbors seem to care.”

“Oh right,” Elijah slipped his hands around her waist. He gave her a thoughtful look before asking. “Should I be offended that nobody cares?”

“I care,” Elena offered with a smirk. “I just prefer you with a ruined reputation.” Elena’s arms wrapped around his neck; her fingers began to play with the ends of his hair. She placed small kisses at the corners of his mouth and along his jaw line.

“Life is much more fun this way,” Elijah cupped her face and placed a sound kiss on her lips.

“Definitely,” Elena smiled. Her brow suddenly furrowed and a small frown tugged at the edges of her lips. “Could what Damon said be true?”

“About being cleared? I don’t know,” Elijah admitted. “I’m not a lawyer though.”

“Katherine’s lawyer seems confident,” Elena murmured thoughtfully. She leaned back against the counter, “but Damon has a way of getting what he wants. He gets away with everything. What if the lawyer just telling us what we want to hear?”

“It’s a possibility,” Elijah tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “I can ask my brother to take a look; he is a lawyer.”

“Kol’s a lawyer?” Elena’s voice rose in shock.

“Not Kol,” Elijah chuckled and pulled out his phone again. “My older brother Finn is a lawyer.”

“Would he mind?”

“I don’t think so,” he shook his head. “At the very least he’ll be honest with you.”

“That would be great,” Elena nodded. She looked at him through the corner of her eyes. “What does Kol do?”

“He’s a third year med student,” Elijah raised his phone to his ear, “he wants to be a surgeon.”

“Never would have pegged Kol for a doctor,” Elena grimaced staring at her hand. “Should I have him fix up my hand?”

“Personally I wouldn’t let him near me with a band aid,” Elijah joked, “but I remember when he broke Rebekah’s collarbone trying to take off her hat.” He grinned at the memory, “They were seven at the time.”

“How?”

“I have no idea,” from his expression Elena could tell that the question had been plaguing him for years. “He was always a little clumsy, or at least he was as a child.”

“Hi Finn,” Elijah smiled when the line connected. “I need a favour. Can you meet me tomorrow around 10?” Elijah listened to the raspy voice of his brother. “Yes I do know what time it is. I’ll text you the address later.” He hung up the phone and turned to his girlfriend.

“He’ll meet with you tomorrow.”

“Thank you.”

Chapter Text

Elena woke to the sound of rain pattering against the window. Gray light filtered into the room. She wiggled in the bed in an attempt to distance herself from the dismal weather. She only made it a few inches before colliding with Elijah’s warm chest; he instinctively draped his arm across her waist. She giggled when his breath fanned over her neck.

“Good morning, lovely Elena,” Elijah breathed against her throat causing her to giggle again. She raised a hand to protect herself from his breath. “Are you ticklish, darling?”

“No,” Elena denied vehemently.

Elijah having found an opening became persistent. He was now determined to find every ticklish spot on her body.

“You’re a teacher Elena,” Elijah wiggled his finger over her cloth covered abdomen. He smiled when he saw the grin she fought to hide. “You should know better than to lie to one.”

“Who’s lying?” Elena squirmed under his fingers.

“If you’re not going to admit it,” Elijah smirked and rolled to pin her to the bed. “I’ll just have to prove it.”

Elijah proceeded to run his hands over her wriggling body. He grinned when he found what he was looking for. As his fingers made contact with her sides she erupted in laughter.

“Elijah!” Elena shrieked and tried to push his hands away. “Stop please,” Elena panted. Her cheeks were beginning to ache from all of the laughter.

“Admit you are ticklish,” he paused in his ministrations to give her a chance to speak. He watched her bright eyes and flushed cheeks; he thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

“Never!”

“Very well,” Elijah pressed his fingers against her hips again. He had barely begun when she gave in.

“Alright,” Elena pressed her palms against his chest. “I admit it,” she panted, “I admit I’m ticklish.” She raised her right leg to hook over his waist. She flipped them over to straddle his hips; from her new vantage point she smirked down at him. “What about you? Do you have any ticklish spots?”

“Yes,” Elijah trapped her roaming hands with his, “but I’m not about to tell you where they are.”

The December chill had withdrawn from the area around the bed. Elena felt warmth in every fibre of her body. He had made her laugh on a day she thought it would be impossible. She decided right then that she wanted him to stay always; if for no other reason than to make her laugh.

“I love you,” she laughed when his fingers started ghosting over her hips again. His hands froze and grasped her waist.

Oh crap, Elena drew in a sharp breath, I said that out loud. Her eyes searched desperately for something else to focus on. “I-I-I-,”

Elijah silenced her with a finger on her lips. He stared at her flushed cheeks. “I love you, too.”

Her eyes snapped up to look at him. He took the opportunity to gaze into her eyes; a small smile graced his face. A grin bloomed across her face.

“Yeah?”

“Yes,” Elijah chuckled and trailed a finger down her cheek. “I love y- .”

Elena’s lips moved firmly against his affectively cutting him off. One hand cupped the back of his neck while the other scraped against his morning stubble. Deepening the kiss Elijah gently flipped them over again; his hand slowly slipped up her side to rest against her ribs. They were interrupted by the doorbell.

“That’ll be Finn,” Elijah gasped when he glanced at the clock.

“I should probably change then,” Elena grinned standing up. “I wouldn’t want to meet your big brother in my pajamas.”

Elijah ogled the silky material at her back before agreeing that it would be best for her to change.


 

Katherine had woken up to the sound of her sister’s laughter. The shrieks had penetrated the walls. Katherine might have been upset if she hadn’t gone to bed so early.

She slid her feet into a pair of fuzzy slippers sitting by the bed. Picking up the sweater she had thrown at the foot of the bed Katherine made her way to the kitchen.

The laughter faded when she reached the first floor. By the time she had poured herself a glass of orange juice and started making toast the laughter had ceased. Katherine assumed they were too busy doing other things to laugh.

Katherine felt a flutter in her abdomen when the doorbell rang; it was like a cricket had run across her stomach. Making her way towards the door her hand came to rest on her baby bump.

Rising up onto her tiptoes to look through the peephole she saw a man there that she didn’t recognize. She rubbed the fluttering area before dropping her hand to open the door.

“Hello,” the man smiled at Katherine and introduced himself, “I’m Finn Mikealson.”

“Elijah’s brother?” Katherine opened the door a little more when he nodded. She could definitely see the family resemblance. “What are you doing here?”

“He called last night,” Finn tightened his scarf, “to tell me his girlfriend needed some legal counsel. I’m assuming you’re her?”

“No,” Katherine stiffened. She remembered the way that Damon had always compared the two of them; he had tried to turn her into Elena. “I’m her sister.”

“My apologies,” Finn said smiling down at her. “I saw a picture of her once, and just assumed.”

“Finn,” Elijah greeted as he walked down the stairs two at a time to stand behind Katherine.

“Why does Elena need a lawyer?” Katherine frowned at Elijah over her shoulder.

“I don’t,” Elena stopped on the stairs. She locked eyes with her sister. “He’s here for you.” Elena finished her descent down the stairs. “I thought you could use a second opinion, and Elijah recommended his brother.” Elena motioned to Finn still standing on the doorstep. “Why don’t you let him in before he freezes to death?”

“Come on in,” Katherine stood aside and closed the door behind him. “I’m Katherine by the way.”

“It’s nice to meet you Katherine,” Finn smiled turning to look at Elena. “And you must be Elena. Elijah you didn’t mention that your girlfriend had an identical twin sister.”

“Are they identical?” Elijah deadpanned. “I hadn’t noticed.”

Chapter Text

“I still don’t understand why he’s here,” Katherine mumbled around her toast. “I already have a lawyer,” she turned to gaze at her sister thoughtfully, “why do I need a second opinion?”

Elena wrapped her hands around the steaming coffee cup and began to explain. She felt Elijah’s body shake when she got to the part about kneeing Damon and breaking his nose. She explained everything.

“Is it possible?” Katherine turned to Finn when Elena had finished. “Could Damon get away with this?” She found her eyes glued to Finn Mikealson.

“He does have an alibi- “

“He’s lying,” Katherine whispered ferociously. “And he has friends who are lying for him.”

“Be that as it may,” Finn reasoned with her, “he does have an alibi. Without priors, physical evidence, or an affidavit it is possible that he could walk.”

“So my lawyer has been lying to me?” Katherine slumped back in her chair with a dejected sigh. “He’s a lying bastard.”

“Well,” Finn sipped his coffee. “In his defense most lawyers are.”

“I see that you think very highly of yourself Finn,” Elena remarked softly.

“Sadly, it’s the truth Elena,” he tapped the side of his coffee cup. Finn looked to Katherine who had begun to chew her nails. “If you’d like I can take over your case.”

“Promise you’ll never lie to me and you’re hired.”

“You have my word.”


 

“Unless you have anything further,” the judge frowned at Finn from the bench, “I’m inclined to move towards a summary judgement in favour of Mr. Salvatore.”

“Your honour – “

“There is no physical evidence, Mr. Mikealson,” she interrupted with a sigh, “and without priors this is turning into a high school ‘he said she said’. I will not have you make a mockery of my courtroom. Do you have anything further?”

“I’d like to request a 24 hour recess your honour,” Finn made an attempt to stall for time.

“You can have 3,” she banged her gavel to dismiss the room. “We reconvene after lunch.”

“What good are 3 hours?” Katherine risked a glance at Damon’s self –assured smirk; it caused a chill to trail down her spine.

“Nothing,” Finn gathered his brief case. “Without evidence he will walk.”

“Way to sugar-coat it.”

“I did promise not to lie.”

“Finn,” Elena leaned forward from her spot behind them. “I may have something that will help,” she reached into her purse to pull out her cell phone, “give me 10 minutes?” She didn’t wait for an answer in her haste to reach the door.


 

It had taken the entire recess but Elena and Finn had pulled it off. The only question now was whether their ‘evidence’ would stick around.

Elena sat down and watched as bodies filed into the courthouse. Her eyes remained glued to the door. She could distantly hear Finn presenting the new evidence: a rape kit with some rather violent images, DNA confirming Damon Salvatore as the rapist, and a signed affidavit swearing the events told were true.

“As you can see,” Finn motioned to the images being projected for the jury. “DNA confirms the defendant is guilty of a past sexual assault in which the victim was beaten.” He turned his full attention on the jury before continuing. “Not only did Mr. Salvatore violate my client; he also put her in the hospital jeopardizing the life of her child.” He left out the bit about Damon trying to turn Katherine into her sister, or the unhealthy obsession the man had with the Gilbert twins; with the new evidence there was no need for it.

“Why did this woman wait so long to come forward?” The defense cut in after skimming the document. “It’s been 8 years and she has kept her silence on the matter.”

“In case you have forgotten there is not a statute of limitations on rape in Virginia.”

“Even so,” the defense rose to his feet to toss the papers on the table. “This doesn’t prove anything in this case without testimony.”

“The sworn affidavit proves precedent,” Finn argued. “There is no need to force this woman to reopen old wounds.”

“I think there is,” the defense insisted with a smirk. “I think this woman is clearly out for attention. She has waited until my client was a highly respected member of the community before coming forward. Why did she wait if she didn’t want attention?”

“I wanted to forget it ever happened. And I was doing a good job of it until now.”

Every head in the room spun to view the door. A slim blond woman had entered the room. Now she stood on the balls of her feet. Her breath came in shallow pants, and she seemed poised to bolt at any moment. She managed to stand firm when she looked to Elena to see the encouraging smile on her face. Risking a peek at Katherine she was greeted with wide eyes; her brows had all but disappeared into her hair line.

“With her consent,” Finn sighed looking from the blond to the judge, “and your permission I would like to add Miss Caroline Forbes to the witness list.”

“Miss Forbes?” The judge questioned. She looked intently at Caroline while she waited for the response. Caroline nodded once. “Very well Mr. Mikealson; you may have your witness.”


 

After nearly an hour of deliberation the jury filed back in to court.

Caroline was shaking from head to toe; Elena reached out to grasp her friends hand tightly to stop the trembling.

Caroline tried hard to ignore the smirking defendant while Elena glared daggers at his head.

Damon turned to gaze at the jury. Everyone was now staring at the jury. Deliberation had only taken an hour. According to Finn a short deliberation could mean the jury was leaning either way.

The head juror rose to their feet. “We the jury find the defendant guilty of sexual assault and domestic violence. We would recommend the maximum sentence.”

“What?” Damon shrieked. His face had grown abnormally pale when he turned to glare at his lawyer.

Elena tried but she couldn’t make out the fevered whispers passing between the two of them over the voice of the judge.

“I’m inclined to agree,” the judge laid the verdict on the bench. “I’m sentencing Mr. Salvatore to 15 years; eligible for review after 10 years. In addition,” she motioned to Katherine. “I am awarding full custody of their unborn child to Miss Gilbert and commanding Mr. Salvatore provides child support; the amount of which is to be worked out by their attorneys Mr. Mikealson and Mr. Lewis. Mr. Salvatore will bow be handed into police custody. Court is dismissed.”

Elena could have sworn that there was a joyful ring to the bang of the gavel. She stood to wrap her arms tightly around Katherine and Caroline.

Chapter Text

June

Elena sat behind a pile of unmarked exams. She had ninety-six papers to grade before Monday morning: 3 days from now. With a sigh she pulled the first exam onto the table. Clicking open her pen she mentally slapped herself for not using scantron’s on the multiple choice questions; it would have saved her hours of work.

An hour later she had managed to finish two of the paper. There was a crick beginning to form in the back of her neck. She stood up to stretch before starting on the third paper.

“It may go faster if you complete the multiple choice sections first,” Elijah came silently into the room to place a cup of coffee in front of her.

Elena had to take a minute to recover from the miniature heart attack. His voice had made her jump when it disrupted the silence of the classroom.

“I didn’t think to set up the scantron cards,” Elena pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and looked up at him. “Thank you for the coffee,” she sighed when the caffeine entered her system.

“Do you have an answer key?” Elijah pulled a chair up to the other side of her desk and picked up a stack of papers.

“Yes,” she reached for the same stack that he had taken, “but I am not letting you help me. You have your own exams to mark.” She attempted to reclaim her stolen exams.

Elijah’s reflexes proved to be faster as he moved them out of her reach. With the exams above her head he snatched the answer key sitting on her desk. “I remembered the scantron,” he chuckled when she jumped for the papers over her head. “I finished marking an hour ago. Please let me help you,” Elijah pleaded and then added in a hushed whisper, “Caroline will never forgive me if I allow her maid of honour to exhaust herself the night before the wedding.”

“Of course not,” Elena teased. “She would never forgive you for allowing me to mentally tire myself out.” She slumped back into her desk chair. “Fine,” she huffed, “you can help me. Just promise not to mock me later for failing to use Scantron.”

“Deal,” Elijah grinned and returned the papers to the desk. “You grade the essay sections, and I’ll handle the multiple choice sections. You’ll be finished twice as fast.” He took a seat and smirked across at her. “Since I’ve kept you from mentally tiring yourself out does that mean that I can physically tire you out later?”

“That depends on how long this takes,” Elena grinned before she started to grade her papers.

They quickly fell into a comfortable silence. Their system worked well; it wasn’t long before they had finished.

“That only took three hours,” Elijah glanced at his watch with a smirk. “Can I tire you out now?”

“How about dinner first?” Elena suggested with a grin when their stomachs growled.


 

“Kat?” Elena stepped inside her house. She was quickly followed by Elijah. “I’m home. Kat?”

Elijah came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. “I don’t think she’s here, darling.” He rested his chin on her shoulder and nuzzled her neck.

“It would seem so,” Elena giggled and led him to the couch in the living room. “She’ll probably be back soon though.”

“Not a lot of time to waste,” Elijah pulled her to straddle him before giving her a searing kiss. His hands were pushing up her blouse when the ringing phone took her attention. “Ignore it,” he murmured and pulled the blouse over her head and trailed his lips from her chest to her ear. She shivered when he nipped on her ear lobe.

“What if it’s important?” Elena whispered rocking her hips against him. She bent down to unbutton his shirt with her teeth.

“They’ll leave a message,” Elijah growled and hiked her skirt higher on her waist. He grasped her chin and tilted her head up to kiss her again.  Their teeth clacked together as Elena tore his shirt down his arms to toss it across the room onto a packed box.

Elijah bit her lip and Elena opened her mouth to give him access to her mouth. His tongue darted in and out of her mouth before massaging her tongue. He paused when her hips dipped lower to rub against him. Their lips were barely touching when the voice mail kicked in.

“Elena,” she splayed her hands across his chest and blocked out Caroline’s voice. “When you get home call me back please.” Elijah bit her collarbone and reached to unhook her bra. His hands rested on her lower back to guide her hips.

“Katherine’s in labour. Nik brought her to the hospital and then called me when he couldn’t reach you.”

Elena’s forehead pressed against his as her hands stroked him with a newfound sense of urgency. “You were right,” she shuddered when his hand came up between her legs. “We don’t have much time.”

An hour later found Elena and Elijah rushing into the hospital only to have Nik point out the missed buttons on Elijah’s shirt.


 

June 22, 1:32 AM

Miranda Gilbert was born at 12:47 AM on Saturday June 22.

Katherine gently stroked a finger down her daughter’s cheek. A single tear escaped her eyes as she gazed on the tiny face.

“She’s beautiful,” Elena leaned over the side of the bed to stroke her nieces head. “Looks just like you.”

“I don’t know,” Katherine hiccupped holding the baby closer, “I think she looks more like her auntie Elena.”

“Nah,” Caroline waved dismissively, “She definitely looks like her mom.”

They all gazed at the little girl for a few moments. Caroline stifled a yawn before looking at the clock.

“You two should go home,” Elena suggested placing her niece in the hospital bassinet. “You’re getting married in 12 hours, Care.”

“The maid of honor needs some sleep too,” Katherine giggled giving her a sister an amused look. “You need to go home too Elena.” She motioned to Caroline, “Take her home, get married and then come and pick me up when I’m discharged.”