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Entombed in the Past

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Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

 

As Elena stepped out of the shower, heard her phone beep, letting her know she'd gotten a text message. She yawned as she finished towel drying her hair before going to see who it was from. Her clock told her it was 07:20, meaning she'd been up over two hours training with Ric as he was teaching her to defend herself against vampires. This had arisen due to Klaus leaving a humanity free version of Stefan to look after and protect her, when in fact Stefan and Klaus were the ones she needed protection from.

When Elena picked up her cell, she noticed a voicemail from Bonnie and a text from Damon asking her to join them at Bonnie's as soon as she was ready as the had a plan, and to bring her journal with her. This caused Elena to narrow her eyes in concern. The message suggested Damon was actually at Bonnie's house, which was almost the craziest thing she'd ever heard. Damon and Bonnie hated each other, although she did suspect Damon had a begrudging respect for her best friend. However, if Damon was with Bonnie, it meant she'd invited him into her house. For Bonnie to do that, it had to be something serious.

Forty five minutes later, Elena pulled up outside Bonnie's place. Damon's car was already parked outside, confirming Elena's suspicions about Bonnie inviting him in, which worried her. Elena was also confused as to why Bonnie would want Elena's journals. Her curiosity became one step closer to being answered as Elena knocked on the door and Bonnie answered, before ushering her into the living room, where Damon lounging on the couch, flicking through what looked like a grimoire.

"Okay, so what's going on?" Elena asked, folding her arms and looking round before turning to Bonnie. "And how come you've invited Damon in?" she frowned.

"Witchy finally couldn't resist my good looks and outstanding charm." Damon grinned as Elena rolled her eyes and tried to ignore him, which was hard considering every time she was in his presence of late, her heart started to race at the sheer sight of him. To make matters worse, Elena suspected Damon knew as he'd upped the flirting lately, although he'd been a perfect gentleman the previous night when he rescued her from the hospital.

Bonnie momentarily glared at Damon before turning to Elena. "Damon had an idea." she explained. "He asked if I could do some type of protection spell on you to keep you away from Klaus." she went on.

Elena frowned. "Wait, you two have been working together to try and keep me safe?" she asked.

"Pretty much." Bonnie smiled and nodded. "Well anyway, I started to go through the grimoire's to see if I could find anything suitable and I couldn't, then Damon had an idea." she started.

"How about we keep you somewhere safe, away from Klaus's clutches and from Stefan, until we know how to get rid of him." Damon smirked.

"And where would that be?" Elena asked, raising an eyebrow. "Wouldn't Klaus just bleed you dry to get the vervain out of your system and compel it out of you?" she asked Damon.

"That's the beauty of it." Damon smiled. "We send you to a place which is so safe, not even we know where it is." he said as Elena turned to Bonnie.

"And how can you vouch for it's safety?" Elena looked at her friend, a little scared of what they were suggesting.

"The spell requires the blood of the protector." Bonnie explained. "You can only return when the protector is happy it is safe for you to come back. Only then will he or she be able to find you." she said. "In this case, I'm suggesting two protectors. Me and Damon." she explained. "That way I can also channel the magic inside his body to give me more power."

"The spell is like sending you to a safe house where only me and Bonnie have the keys to letting you out. She's plugging into the magical fuse-board which turned me into a vampire to give her magic a little bit more juice." Damon explained. "Turns out my body is a magical hot spot." he added suggestively.

Bonnie groaned at his comment. "The dead witches won't help me. They shut me out when I brought back Jeremy. There are no celestial events for another two days. I need to channel something which has strong magic, Damon is an old-ish vampire, meaning the magic inside him is more powerful." she explained. "We need to do this as quickly as possible as Stefan is unpredictable." she added.

"Let's just say the right now he's hell bent on ruining all of the rugs in the boarding house." Damon sighed unhappily. "I don't know what he's capable of and I certainly don't trust him to keep you safe." he said. "He's way too far up Klaus's ass."

"And how do I know he won't hurt anyone here?" Elena asked.

"I've devised a linking spell, which means if Klaus tries to kill anyone you're linked to, then it will kill you. It will mean he will have to ensure everyone you care about is safe." Bonnie grinned. "I already ran this past Jeremy, Ric, Matt and Caroline. They all gave some me of their blood to link themselves to you." she explained. "But if anything happens to you, they'll be fine."

"How long would I be gone?" Elena asked, already realizing she was probably going to have to go through with it.

"Only until the coast is clear." Damon assured her. "Hopefully no longer than a few days." he smiled. "In the meantime, I'll try and find a way to get Stefan's humanity back and how to kill Klaus. Maybe try and get Stefan to work as a double agent, that way he might be able to shed some light in that area. You being gone might make him fear reprisals from Klaus, hence bringing his humanity back." he smiled.

This final comment of Damon's was what sold it for Elena. In one move, she could ensure the safety of those she cared about, and give Stefan a better chance of regaining his humanity. But there was still one burning question.

"Why did you ask me to bring my journal?" Elena asked.

"That's for me." Bonnie told her. "The grimoire isn't clear about exactly where it'll be sending you. It just says you'll be in the safest place, from your enemy and from which you can return, and you'll be with at least one person you love." she said. "I'd like you to write down what happens. But it will also keep you close to the people who are not with you."

"I guess." Elena sighed. "So, what do you need me to do?" she asked as Damon and Bonnie looked at each other and smiled.

"You'll do it?" Damon raised an eyebrow.

"I trust you both." Elena shrugged. "If it keeps everyone I love safe and possibly gives Stefan a chance of getting his humanity back, I'm all in." she smiled. "Anyway, it's only for a few days, right?" she asked.

"Hopefully." Damon smiled. "A couple of weeks max." he nodded.

"Fine." Elena grinned. "So, are we going this now?" she asked. "I'm just a little concerned about school." she said.

"We'll help you catch up." Bonnie sighed and rolled her eyes as she snatched the grimoire from Damon's hand.

"So what do you need to do?" Elena asked.

"First of all, I'm going to do the linking spell." Bonnie explained. "Then I'll draw on Damon to give me extra power before I cast the spell to send you to safety." she said. "The spell is a combination of a protection spell and a transportation spell. One moment you'll be here, the next moment you'll be where we send you. Are you ready?" she asked as Elena nodded hesitantly. "I just need a drop of your blood." she said as she went to a cupboard and brought out a silver chalice, six small vials of what looked like blood, a small shot glass and a knife.

Bonnie placed the chalice of the coffee table and emptied the contents of the vials of blood. She took Damon's hand and sliced a cut down the palm, allowing the blood to dribble into the cup.

"Oww!" Damon protested. "You made that hurt on purpose." he complained.

"Don't be such a baby." Bonnie groaned. "You know it didn't hurt." she added as he snatched his hand back. "Elena?" she asked as Elena held her hand out to Bonnie who sliced it but instead held it over the shot glass. When she'd done she poured half of it into the chalice and left the rest in the glass. "It's so that I don't have to do this to you twice." she explained as Elena nodded in understanding.

Bonnie closed her eyes and began the spell. There was no verbal incantation, but the lights started to flicker and all of the candles in the room lit up. Both Damon and Elena looked around nervously, unsure of what to expect or how long it would take. However, Bonnie soon opened her eyes as the candles went out and the lights returned to normal.

"I need you to drink this, you only need a sip." Bonnie told her. "I can cast a spell so that it tastes like water." she suggested.

"Nah it's fine." Elena lied, dreading the taste of blood. "But I'm a little worried about it having vampire blood in it." she frowned.

"Bonnie's sending you somewhere safe." Damon explained. "I doubt you need to worry too much about dying in the next twenty four hours."

"True." Elena agreed as she closed her eyes lifted the chalice to her lips and to a large sip, grimacing at the disgusting taste and consistency. She took just enough to make sure she'd linked herself to everyone. She glanced down at her hand and noticed the cut on the palm of her hand heal. "Is that it?" she asked. "Are we all linked?"

"We're linked." Bonnie smiled. "Klaus won't touch us now as he could hurt you and prevent him from making more hybrids." she said. "I'm just going to get the rest of the stuff I need for the protection spell."

Bonnie left the room, leaving Damon and Elena alone for a few minutes.

"I wonder where I'll end up." Elena sighed. "I hope it's somewhere nice." she said awkwardly, as Damon walked over to her.

He tucked a loose strand of hair behind Elena's ear, causing her heart rate to increase and goose flesh to break out all over her skin, even though she wasn't cold. "You okay?" he asked with a concerned look on his face.

"A little nervous." Elena admitted, although it was not the real reason for her agitation.

The thought of not being near Damon for a prolonged period of time made Elena uncomfortable. For some reason, he was the only person she trusted to keep her safe. But that wasn't the only reason. Elena was terrified it might be the last time she saw him, and if anything went wrong, she might never get the chance to kiss him properly, even though she knew she shouldn't. Deciding as there was a possibility things could go wrong, Elena would have nothing to lose. So she stood on her tiptoes and kissed Damon on the cheek.

Damon frowned. "What was that for?" he asked suspiciously.

"Just in case anything goes wrong and I don't get to say goodbye." she said sadly.

Damon lifted her chin with one finger and stroked her cheek with the other. "That's not my idea of a goodbye kiss." he said softly as he lowered his lips to hers.

Elena even didn't try to stop him. On the contrary, she desperately wanted to kiss him. In fact, she'd sometimes had dreams of doing more than kissing him, especially since he appeared naked in front of her on her birthday. That image had haunted her many a night. They momentarily stared into each other's eyes before Damon began to lowered his lips to hers. Elena closed her eyes in anticipation of his soft lips being pressed against hers. However, it didn't come. Instead she heard a noise and felt Damon disappear. Elena opened her eyes and saw Bonnie returning awkwardly with an armful of items on a tray.

"Here, let me help." Elena rushed over to her friend, to help carry the ingredients, pretending as if nothing had almost happened between her and Damon.

Elena was a little annoyed she and Damon had been stopped from saying goodbye in what could only be described as a less than appropriate way for platonic friends to part company, especially for such a short period of time. But Elena couldn't help it. She knew she was falling for him and it seemed to be completely out of her control. Her only salvation seemed to have been concentrating on helping Stefan. Instead Elena would be away from Damon which would either make her miss him and be desperate to see him, or it would halt the progress of her feelings and give her time to regroup. Whichever way, spending time apart was probably for the best, even though her heavy heart was in complete disagreement.

Bonnie and Elena placed the ingredients required for the spell on the table. A glass of water, salt, five glass jars, two identical keys, a piece of paper and a pen. Elena frowned as she looked at the ingredients.

"What's it all for?" she asked.

"The salt will act as the boundary." Bonnie explained as she started to draw a picture of a house on the paper. "I place a pentagon of salt in jars around you and sprinkle salt matching it around the picture. I'll then place a few drops of yours, mine and Damon's blood on the paper." she went on. "The candles represent the safety and prevents anyone not protecting you from taking you. In the glass of water I will place a drop of yours, mine and Damon's blood which we all need to drink. This links us together and it means only Damon or I can find you, and we can only do it when you are no longer in danger. The key represents mine and Damon's ability to free you. But first I need to channel some of Damon's magic." she said turning to Damon. "We need to hold hands." she grimaced.

Damon sighed and held out his hands. "And this is not awkward and all." he frowned as Bonnie took hold of them.

"Shut up!" she snapped. "Let me concentrate." she added as she closed her eyes.

Damon just stood there watching Bonnie with one eyebrow raised, as the candles lit up once more. However Bonnie was silent throughout with her eyes closed for what seemed to last for an eternity. Eventually she opened her eyes as she released Damon's hands and smiled at Elena.

"All done." she said.

"Why did it take so long?" Damon asked.

"Although you're fairly powerful, the magic inside you isn't very strong for me to channel." she explained. "It's better than channeling a human and it won't kill you like it did Lucas." she started. "But it looks like we'll have to hold hands during the spell. I can't siphon enough from you to fuel the amount of magic I need without touching you."

"Hey, hang on a minute. Didn't you nearly kill him when you channeled his power?" Damon asked.

"It's a different type of channeling." Bonnie told him. "Plus you're already dead, this can't kill you. At worst you'll get a nosebleed." she grinned at the possibility of hurting Damon.

"So it won't fry my brain?" Damon asked looking hopeful.

"I can't be certain." Bonnie answered truthfully. "I've never used vampire magic to enhance my powers. I don't know what it'll do." she shrugged.

Damon gritted his teeth. "Fine, lets get this over and done with." he said.

Bonnie took some salt and put it in the empty jars, before placing them on the floor in a pentagon. She then placed five candles outside the jars of salt. Then Bonnie added a drop of hers and Elena's blood to the water, before pricking Damon's finger and squeezing a drop of his into the mixture. After that Bonnie drew a pentagon with sprinkled salt around the picture of the house and added five smaller candles at each point of the pentagon.

"I need you to step inside the pentagon, with your journal." Bonnie told Elena who retrieved her journal from her purse and stood inside the the pentagon of salt. "Anything you'd like to say or ask before you go?" Bonnie asked.

"Give my love to everyone and I hope I'll be back soon." Elena smiled sadly, wishing events hadn't led them to resort to such drastic measures.

"See you soon." Damon smiled with a fake confidence.

"You'll be back before you know it." Bonnie grinned. "So if it's somewhere really nice, treat it as a holiday knowing you and everyone you love is safe and sound." she nodded.

"I'd feel a whole lot safer if one or both of you were with me." Elena sighed.

"That kind of defies the point of the spell." Damon frowned.

"Let's do this." Bonnie interjected. "Elena, I need you to take a sip of the water." she told her, handing her the glass of slightly pink liquid.

Elena pinched her nose and closed her eyes before taking a sip, shuddering at the coppery taste, before handing it back to Bonnie who also took a sip before giving it to Damon who finished it off and put it down on the table.

"I need you to put your hand on one of the keys through the gaps in the candles." Bonnie told Damon as she placed the small keys on top of the door in the picture. "We can't risk you burning to death as you're one of the keys." she said as Damon placed his fingers on the key and Bonnie did the same with the other key. "Now take my hand!" she instructed him, holding out her other hand, which he took. Bonnie closed her eyes and began to hum.

Suddenly the flames in the candles shot up three feet into the air. The lights flickered and the fire lit itself. A small whirlwind gusted around the room, initially encompassing all of them. The pages of the grimoire Bonnie was using fluttered and turned themselves over. Eventually though, the wind started to die down for Bonnie and Damon, however it circled with more force around Elena. Damon looked on in panic as if he was scared Elena was going to be burnt by the high flames of the candles, which were slowly getting higher. Strangely, however, they never flickered in the wind. Instead they just grew.

Damon noticed something else. The drops of blood on the picture merged into one single pool of liquid and began to seep into the keys, turning them red. Once the keys had soaked in the blood, the salt did the same thing. As it did, the key he was holding began to get hot, and he suspected the same was happening to Bonnie's. Suddenly he felt a burning sensation in his heart and his nose began to bleed. He was so engrossed in what was going on, he didn't notice the flames around Elena grow so high, she was no longer visible.

Finally the pain in Damon's chest started to ease and he turned to look at where Elena was stood. "Elena?" he called out, but there was no reply.

All of a sudden, the flames disappeared and the key went cool. Elena was no longer stood in the pentagon. Bonnie stopped her silent chanting and opened her eyes.

"Did it work?" she asked.

"Well she's not here." Damon replied with a worried voice.

"You don't have to hold the key now." Bonnie told him as he lifted his hand from the pentagon, noticing the piece of paper was now just a pile of ashes.

Damon walked over to the spot where Elena had been stood. He could see the jars of salt had moved inside the candle pentagon, a little like what had happened with the picture. But more disturbingly, inside the area where Elena had been stood, there was now also a pile of ash. Damon's temper flared, Bonnie had killed Elena.

"She's dead!" Damon yelled as Bonnie walked over to examine the pile of ashes.

"No she's not." Bonnie rolled her eyes. "I've teleported her elsewhere." she explained. "The last time I did this exactly the same thing happened, yet the message was received just fine."

"Wait a minute, are you telling me this spell is based on you sending a piece of paper somewhere else?" he cried.

"It makes no difference whether the object is a piece of paper or human, it works the same." Bonnie grinned. "I just added a few extra elements, like the protection part." she said as Damon walked over to the couch and sat down, hanging his head in his hands.

"And you're absolutely sure she's alive?" he asked.

Bonnie picked up one of the keys and handed it to Damon. "This will disintegrate if anything happens to her." she explained as Damon sighed with relief and placed it in his pocket.

Suddenly Damon got a sharp pain in his head. "Argh!" he screamed. "What did I do? Why are you giving me a witchy migraine?." he asked.

"I'm not." Bonnie frowned as Damon passed out.

Damon found himself stood in a clearing of trees next to a dirt road. It was familiar, this had been the road into Mystic Falls when he was human. He was looking at a carriage which had thrown a wheel. A face appeared at the window, one he knew all too well.

"Miss Katherine?" he frowned.

"Um, no." the woman who looked just like Katherine replied nervously. "I'm Elena." she said.

"Oh." Damon stated, confused. "It's just that you resemble someone..." he hesitated as he approached the carriage. "Forgive me." he smiled. "My name is Damon Salvatore."

Damon opened his eyes with a start and looked at Bonnie.

"I know where she is." he whispered.

"But that's impossible." Bonnie frowned. "The spell was to ensure her safety. If you know where she is, she's not safe. Klaus can find ways to compel you." she panicked.

"Oh Elena's safe alright." Damon smiled.

"How do you know?" Bonnie asked.

"She's with me." Damon frowned. "You've sent her back to 1864, before I became a vampire."

"How is she?" Bonnie asked.

"Confused." Damon replied. "Bonnie, if Elena has gone back to the past, I've seen enough Back to the Future movies to know her every move could mess with our timeline. I might not even become a vampire." he started to panic. "I just hope she knows enough to keep out of events to allow history to continue as close as possible to the way it was." he said.

"So have you got memories of her?" Bonnie asked.

"So far I can only remember meeting her." he explained. "Her carriage threw it's wheel, and we were just making introductions when I woke up."

"When in 1864?" Bonnie asked.

Damon thought for a moment. He'd been wearing his uniform and was heading into Mystic Falls, making it the end of July as he never returned to battle. "Around July twenty ninth." he said.

"That's a little precise." Bonnie frowned.

Damon narrowed his eyes, remembering the day long ago. "It was the day I deserted the confederate army." he told her. "I only joined to make my father proud. But he would've only been happy if I'd have been killed in battle." he told her. "It was a cause I didn't believe in and Katherine had arrived in Mystic Falls only a few months earlier. I met her when I was on leave, and by then I was already in love with her." he told her as Bonnie groaned at the thought of Damon being in love with Katherine.

"And now you've just met Elena." Bonnie looked confused. "But you've gotten no other memories yet?" she asked.

"Nothing yet." he said. "Maybe I need to be unconscious for me to get them and I only remember them when I wake up afterwards." he suggested.

"Okay." Bonnie nodded. "You go home, get some sleep and see if any other memories come back to you. We should be working on the same timeline as Elena, so until she's had the conversation with you, you won't remember it." she suggested. "As soon as you get something, let me know. We need to know what she's up to."

"That's if it doesn't completely change the course of history." Damon frowned. "Let's hope I'm still here when I wake up." he snapped, getting up to leave.

Bonnie suddenly had an idea, so she grabbed hold of his hand and stopped him. "I can get her a message." she said. "It's not just your future her actions could affect. It's all of ours present and future, mine included." she added softly.

"And how do you plan on doing that?" he asked.

"Grab Elena's comb from her purse." Bonnie told him as she pulled out a pen and paper and began to write on it. "I'm going to write her a letter."

"Good." Damon said as he found her comb and handed it to Bonnie. "Tell her to make sure she doesn't interfere with Stefan and I becoming vampires." he told her. "Stick with Katherine. She might be a doppelgänger bitch, but she's a master of survival and running from Klaus. But be warned, she's got all of the ingredients to break the curse, she will try to betray you." he told her.

"Oh my god. I didn't think about Katherine wanting to break the curse. She's got vampires, a werewolf, the moonstone, a witch and the doppelgänger. Let's just hope she doesn't know where Klaus is." Bonnie sighed.

"Oh Katherine knew alright. Just tell Elena to make herself useful to Katherine." Damon nodded. "And tell her to not call herself Elena. If I'm getting memories, so will Katherine and Stefan. They need to think she's a different doppelgänger." he suggested.

"Okay." Bonnie shrugged, deciding Damon probably knew the 1864 version of Katherine better than she did and he was best placed to advise her on how to deal with Katherine.

'Elena

Whatever you do, be careful. Damon is already having memories of meeting you, but that is all so far. Try not to alter the past too much. Remember both Stefan and Damon still need to become vampires. The tomb vampires need to be rounded up. Ask for Emily's help. Tell her everything. Maybe that was the protection you were given. Pretend to be Katherine's friend and make yourself useful to her. She has all of the ingredients to break the curse, if you let her, you are putting everyone's safety at risk. Damon says do not call yourself Elena. Use a different name because Stefan and Katherine will also remember you. If I need to tell you anything else I will do it by sending another message this way.

B'

Bonnie took a strand of Elena's hair from the comb and placed it in the middle of the page, which she screwed up into a ball in her hand. She held her hand out over a lit candle and closed her eyes. Right in front of Damon, the piece of paper began to burn up as blood started to run down Bonnie's nose. Suddenly the piece of paper disappeared and Bonnie started to wobble. Damon immediately rushed to her side and sat her down on the couch. He vamp-sped into the kitchen and got her a glass of water.

"You okay?" he frowned handing her the glass of water, from which Bonnie took a sip.

"Yeah, it's a lot of powerful magic." she shrugged, wiping the blood from under her nose. "Last time I did that spell I passed out." she told him. "I guess I'm a lot stronger these days."

"Maybe." Damon nodded. "You think she got it?" he asked.

"Yeah, she did last time. Anyway, you'll be the first to know as you are the one getting the memories." Bonnie cocked her head and smiled.

"True." Damon frowned. "Speaking of which, I need to get going and see if your little message got to her and find out what she's up to." he said. "You sure you're going to be okay?" he asked, his voice full of genuine concern..

"Yes!" Bonnie insisted. "Now for all of our sake's. I need you to go and spy on Elena." she told him. "Or I'll completely destroy your reputation and tell people how caring you can be." she smirked.

"Okay, okay." Damon held his hands up in mock surrender. "Message received loud and clear. I'm leaving." he said getting up. "Goodbye witchy, lets hope we got this right." he smiled before he turned around and walking out of the door.

Bonnie sighed to herself as she listened for the door to close. "So do I Damon. So do I."

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Elena clutched her journals closer to her chest as the flames from the candles shot ever higher until she could no longer see either Bonnie or Damon. For the first time in a long time, she was scared for herself. Not of death, but for not having had the chance to say goodbye to Jeremy, Caroline, Ric or Stefan. But Elena knew they'd needed to act fast, and the less people knew about her leaving the better. But if it was to all go wrong, those people would suffer if they lost her. Deciding to change her mind Elena called out to Bonnie and Damon, but the flames were so high she couldn't tell whether they could hear her or not. What Elena did know was she couldn't hear them. In fact she couldn't hear anything at all.

Suddenly there was a loud bang and Elena felt a jolt. She blinked for a moment, confused. Elena was no longer in Bonnie's living room, so in a way the spell had worked. But Elena was quite sure her surroundings were not what Bonnie had in mind when she sent her to safety from Klaus as Bonnie had said Elena was going to a place where she was safe from Klaus, not a time where she was safe from Klaus.

It was very clear to Elena, she was no longer in 2010. Firstly was sat inside what appeared to be a horse-drawn carriage, still clutching her journal close to her chest. Secondly, when Elena looked down, she could see she was no longer wearing her jeans from earlier. Instead she was dressed in a period gown, probably from around the 1800's. She also realized she was extremely hot, suggesting it was summer. Suddenly a man's face appeared at the window.

"Excuse me Miss Gilbert, but the carriage has thrown a wheel. Would you like to step outside into the cooler air for a few moments while I fix it?" he asked.

"No thank you, I'll be fine here." Elena replied in panic as the man simply nodded his head and disappeared. She decided she was safer hidden until she knew exactly where Bonnie had sent her. Elena looked out of the carriage window and saw what looked like a dirt road in the middle of a forest clearing. "Where are we?" she asked.

"We're just outside the little town of Mystic Falls." the man replied from below as he set to work fixing the wheel on the carriage. The fact Mystic Falls existed narrowed the date from the middle of the century, although that wasn't entirely helpful.

Just a few moments later, Elena heard the sound of hooves in the distance. She stuck her head further out of the window, only to see a man in a confederate soldier's uniform riding towards them. As he approached, he slowed his horse down and dismounted. He walked over to the carriage, to help fix the wheel, Elena assumed. However the moment she saw the soldiers face all thoughts disappeared.

The soldier frowned. "Miss Katherine?" he asked in a familiar voice, yet his tone was different.

"Um, no." Elena replied. "I'm Elena." she said.

"Oh." the solder said, sounding confused. "It's just that you resemble someone..." he hesitated as he approached the carriage. "Forgive me." he smiled. "My name is Damon Salvatore." he removed his hat and bowed.

Elena now knew exactly when and where Bonnie had sent her. Judging by the leaves on the trees and the heat, Elena suspected she'd arrived in the middle of the summer of 1864. She knew some of the story of that period of time before the Salvatore brothers became vampires, although she suspected much had been kept from her. Now she was about to experience their history firsthand. It was some comfort as at least she was going to be among people she knew. Unfortunately, as Damon had already reminded her, that also included Katherine. Elena's mind began to race, how would she be able to explain her identical appearance to Katherine? There was only one option available to her, and Katherine would hopefully either compel everyone to forget about her, or go along with Elena's plan.

"Katherine is my sister." Elena smiled at Damon. "My twin sister." she lied.

"Miss Katherine never mentioned she had a twin sister." Damon frowned.

"Well, Katherine and I aren't close, and I've been traveling." Elena continued to lie. "I only recently heard about my family dying in the fire. And I was told my sister was staying in the small town of Mystic Falls. So I decided to seek out the only family I have left." she added, smiling sadly, hoping to tug at Damon's heartstrings.

"As luck would have it, she's staying with my family." Damon gave her one of his most charming smiles, his blue eyes lighting up making him look practically boyish. "I'll gladly escort you to see my father and your sister. You are quite welcome to stay with us." he offered as he walked up to the carriage.

"How can a girl resist such an offer?" Elena asked truthfully, her heart racing.

It appeared human Damon was affecting her just as much as vampire Damon did. Yet there was something fundamentally different about the man stood in front of her. Not withstanding him being human instead of a vampire. But there was more. There was an air of innocence and purity about him, which the vampire she knew no longer possessed. Elena reigned in the desire to touch him, to see if he was real. Instead she held out her gloved hand, which Damon took and kissed, before bowing and returning to his horse.

By this time the carriage was now fixed, and the driver returned to take the reigns to continue their journey. Damon rode out in front as Elena sat back inside, her heart still beating fast. Out of the corner of her eye, Elena noticed a screwed up piece of paper next to her, which she was sure hadn't been there a moment ago. She looked around and picked it up, to see if anyone had put it there, although she had a vague suspicion she knew where it had come from. Elena unfolded the piece of paper and began to read its contents.

Elena

Whatever you do, be careful. Damon is already having memories of meeting you, but that is all so far. Try not to alter the past too much. Remember both Stefan and Damon still need to become vampires. The tomb vampires need to be rounded up. Ask for Emily's help. Tell her everything. Maybe that was the protection you were given. Pretend to be Katherine's friend and make yourself useful to her. She has all of the ingredients to break the curse, if you let her, you are putting everyone's safety at risk. Damon says do not call yourself Elena. Use a different name because Stefan and Katherine will also remember you. If I need to tell you anything else I will do it by sending another message this way.

B

Elena smiled with relief at the thought of her friend potentially communicating with her again. However as she re-read the note, her face dropped, she'd already told Damon her name was Elena. If she was going to infiltrate the Salvatore household without causing too much of a ripple effect, Damon was right, she was going to have to use another name. It would need to be one she could easily answer to. Her middle names were Catherine and Jane. Catherine was out of the question, and how was she supposed to explain why she'd introduced herself to Damon as Elena not Jane. It was hard enough having to refer to herself as Miss Pierce instead of being a Gilbert. Then she had an idea. There was a name she could use, which was close enough to make Damon think he'd misheard her name, but different enough for people to think she was someone else. Her name would be Eleanor Pierce.

Unfortunately, this name would not be enough for Katherine. Katherine would know Elena was her doppelganger the minute they met. Elena's best chance with Katherine was to tell her something close to the truth, although she would have to give another name, so maybe Katherine would think she was a different doppelganger and her new memories would reflect that. She would also have to talk this over with Emily too. What Katherine didn't need to know was how much they hated each other in the future. If Elena made it out they were working together against Klaus, then maybe Katherine wouldn't hand her over to the Original to try and break the curse in 1864 instead.

Elena had long suspected Katherine knew about Elena's identity, and hadn't done anything about it until she had to. Elena hoped, at this point in time, Katherine was too afraid of Klaus to bargain for her freedom. Her doppelganger was also infatuated with the Salvatore brothers, although it was mainly Stefan she was interested in. These were Katherine's whims which needed to be catered to. Weaknesses for Elena to exploit. Therefore as her carriage continued on it's way to the Salvatore Estate in Mystic Falls, Elena started to plot how to use her short time there wisely, and how to keep her story consistent. She picked up her diary and began to make notes, thanking Bonnie for having the foresight of suggesting she took her journal with her.

Soon the carriage turned up a driveway to a large typical antebelleum, white plantation mansion with green shutters and columns out front. It looked nothing like the ruins Stefan had once taken her to when he first told her about him being a vampire. The carriage came to a halt and her driver dismounted to open the door for her, however Damon got there first.

"Miss Pierce." he smiled taking her hand as she stepped out as gracefully as she could, remembering how to walk and not trip over in one of the gowns she'd worn for the Founders Day celebrations.

"Thank you Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled demurely as stood with her hands clasped together.

"I will just find my brother and your sister." Damon bowed his head as he ran around the back of the house calling out Stefan's name.

"Miss Gilbert." Elena heard the voice of her driver address her.

"It's Miss Pierce." Elena corrected him with a glare which Katherine would have been proud of. "I gave the name Gilbert so nobody would know I was on my way and I could surprise my sister." she lied.

"Sorry, Miss Pierce." the driver said appearing flustered. "Would you like me to unload your luggage from your carriage?" he asked as Elena turned around to see numerous trunks of belongings loaded up on the back and roof.

"Mr Salvatore has offered me a place to stay so I would think it be appropriate to do so." she smiled as the man went to unload her luggage. All the time Elena was hoping she was talking properly. Elena had decided to use the excuse of having been staying in London. Therefore if she made the mistake of using the wrong kind of language, because the speech patterns were slightly different, her excuse would be she had gotten used to mixing with English people.

Suddenly the front door opened and Damon appeared with Stefan and Katherine. The latter's eyes were initially blazing with anger before turning to shock when she took in Elena's appearance. Deciding to break the ice with Stefan first, Elena curtsied.

"You must be Stefan." she smiled as Damon and Katherine looked at her suspiciously. "Katherine told me in her letters, she was staying with two charming gentlemen called Damon and Stefan Salvatore. As I have already met the dashing Damon, I believe it is safe to assume you must be Stefan. I'm Eleanor." she introduced herself as Damon threw her a quizzical look.

"Pleased to meet you." Stefan nodded, slightly coldly. Elena wondered if Katherine had compelled him not to like her. Maybe her job wasn't going to be as easy as she thought.

"Katherine." Elena smiled warmly at her doppelganger. "It is so good to finally see you again. I was devastated when I heard about the fire. However I was so happy when they told me you survived." she said, walking up to her doppelganger. "Just go with it." Elena whispered under her breath so only Katherine could hear. "I know you're a vampire and you can hear me. I'll explain everything later."

"Eleanor." Katherine smiled falsely. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again." she said. "Come, we have much to discuss." Katherine held her hand out in gesture as if to invite Elena in, yet nobody who had the authority to invite her in offered the words. Elena realized she was being tested to see if she were a vampire or not.

"Lead the way." Elena smiled as Katherine walked into the house first and Elena followed, with Damon and Stefan behind her.

"Your room is being prepared Miss Eleanor." Damon told her as they made their way into what looked like the parlor.

"Thank you for being so kind to let me stay Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled shyly at Damon, whom she realized looked very different with his slightly curly hair to the Damon she knew.

"In the meantime..." Katherine interrupted. "I think my sister and I need a little time and privacy to catch up." she smiled sweetly before turning to Elena. "Do you agree sister?" she added through gritted teeth.

"Of course." Elena replied, nerves now setting in. She'd memorized her story and it was time to insert herself into the lives of the 1864 Salvatores, while at the same time, not affecting their future too much.

"My room is this way." Katherine told her as she began to walk up the stairs.

"Is Emily still with you?" Elena asked, as if she were simply trying to make idle chitchat.

"Of course she is." Katherine continued as they reached the top of the stairs. "I'll request for her to join us shortly." she said loud enough for Damon and Stefan to be able to hear, before Katherine opened the door to what looked like her bedroom and walked inside.

Elena followed her and closed the door, when suddenly she felt Katherine's hands around her neck and her back up against the wall, trying to fight for breath.

"Who are you and why are you pretending to be my sister, and how do you know about me?" she asked, staring Elena in the eyes.

Fortunately for Elena, since her necklace had been out of commission, she'd taken to drinking vervain, meaning Katherine couldn't compel her. Elena grabbed hold of Katherine's wrist to try and get her to let go, but the vampire was too strong.

"I've...taken...vervain..." Elena choked. "I'm...from...the...future...you...sent...me...here..." she lied as Katherine let go of her throat.

Elena rubbed her neck, trying to recapture her breath as Katherine walked over to her dressing table and absently began to examine a silver handled mirror.

"And why would I do that?" she asked.

"To destroy Klaus." Elena told her. Her voice a little hoarse from Katherine pressing down on her windpipe.

"So you've gotten my attention." she said, sitting down on the chair in front of the dressing table. "Tell me everything."

"My name is Isobel Flemming." Elena lied. "As you can see I'm your doppelganger. I'm from the year 2010. Together, we worked out a plan, with the use of a little magic, for you to bargain with Klaus a way for him to break the Sun and the Moon curse." she explained. "It worked, and with the elixir Elijah gave me, which he was going to give to you, I survived. In return, Klaus promised you your freedom and I would pretend to be dead. But there is more to the curse." she said.

"What else?" Katherine asked, sounding bored.

"Klaus only wanted to break the curse to sire hybrids, a vampire crossed with a werewolf." Elena explained as Katherine raised an eyebrow. "But to do that, he needs the blood of the doppelganger."

"So what's the problem?" Katherine asked.

"Klaus didn't keep to his end of the bargain with you." Elena lied. "Not only are you trying to escape Klaus, but you are running from his witches and his indestructible hybrids."

"Go on." Katherine told her.

"Right now, we're trying to kill Klaus and stop him from making any more hybrids." Elena said. "You and I have come up with a way of ensuring there are no more hybrids while you get the weapon to kill him."

"What's the weapon?" Katherine asked.

"That's my leverage." Elena smiled. "We have to change the future." she said. "Klaus needs to think you are dead, and not know about my existence. That way he can't make hybrids and you will have a better shot at killing him."

"And why shouldn't I just kill you?" Katherine asked. "I could always find this weapon in the future without your help."

"Because it won't be just Klaus who comes after you to kill you." Elena warned. "The man you love will also want you dead."

"That's not enough." Katherine sneered.

"And also because you came up with the most diabolical plan to disappear, and you are going to need me to help you pull it off." Elena grinned.

"So how did you end up here?" Katherine asked, seemingly accepting Elena's reasons for being kept alive for the moment.

"A witch friend sent me here." Elena told her. "We would have sent you back to play your twin, but apparently there can't be two you's in one place at the same time. As we both had to disappear, I was sent to play your twin and you are retrieving the weapon. The only way we can destroy Klaus is by working together." Elena insisted. "There are certain things that need to remain the same, and if I suspect something will stop it from happening, then I need your help to ensure the future stays the same."

"Like?" Katherine asked suspiciously.

"Stefan and Damon." Elena said. "You turned them. They still need to become vampires, otherwise the plan won't work."

"I want to turn Stefan." Katherine said dreamily. "But I'm not sure about Damon." she said, inspecting her nails.

"You're going to need them both for the plan to work." Elena pleaded, knowing Katherine was never keen on turning Damon, she'd just strung him along.

"I know." Katherine sighed. "But he follows me around like puppy." she complained. "Unless..." Katherine stopped as a smile reached her lips. "You make yourself useful and I'll turn them both." she smiled.

Elena's face dropped, she had a bad feeling about what Katherine was going to ask her to do. "What do you want me to do Katherine?" she asked.

"I need help with my puppy situation." Katherine explained. "You keep him occupied while I play with his brother." she smiled as Elena nearly choked on her request.

Katherine didn't know who Stefan was to Elena, and she was asking her to keep Damon out of the way while Katherine and Stefan were probably having sex. The thought of it made Elena want to throw up, but she knew she was limited in her options.

"Are you asking me to try and make Damon fall in love with me?" Elena asked.

"Only to fall a little." Katherine clarified. "I'm not ready to give him up completely. You see, I love Stefan, but Damon is amazing in other ways." she said with a smile.

"Ugh!" Elena rolled her eyes. "So you want to keep him strung along just so you can have sex with him?" she frowned. "Isn't Stefan enough?" she asked.

"Damon is a master in the art of pleasuring a woman." Katherine explained. "Stefan is young and isn't quite as skilled as his brother." she smirked. "He'll improve over time, but meanwhile it's nice to have Damon around to fulfill that role."

Elena had often suspected Katherine had used Damon just for sex, now Katherine had simply confirmed what she'd guessed, her heart went out to Damon. People never saw how good he was inside as a vampire, although admittedly he didn't make it easy. Elena suspected people weren't much better with him when he was human. Women were blinded by his good looks, and as it turns out, his apparently amazing skills in the bedroom. But how many scratched beneath the surface and tried to take a look past the good looks and his monstrous ways? In her own way, Elena was no better. She, like everyone else had seen Stefan as the good, pure brother and Damon as the good looking bad boy brother. Stefan was caring and sweet, Damon was selfish, untrustworthy and mean. But now Elena knew better and although she hated having to do what Katherine asked her to do, being nice to Damon might actually be a good thing for him in the future.

"Okay, I'll do it." Elena eventually sighed.

"Great." Katherine clapped her hands together with joy. "I think we should make as start by suggesting he escort you to the Founders Party." she grinned wickedly.

"And when is that?" Elena asked innocently.

"It is in two months time." Katherine told her. "It is going to be quite the town event. And being escorted by one of the founders themselves would be deemed a privilege, especially one so handsome as Damon." she said slyly as she raised her eyebrow at Elena.

"I think it would be a wonderful idea." Elena smiled, knowing it was unlikely she'd even be around for the party, but Katherine couldn't know that. And there was always the off chance it could take them longer to kill Klaus than they'd originally anticipated. "I can't wait." Elena lied.

"You know, I think you and I could have a lot of fun together." Katherine said narrowing her eyes at Elena before getting up and walking over towards the door. "In fact I think it calls for a celebration. We need to introduce you to Mystic Falls society, and toast the return of my sister from... where did you tell them your were?" she asked as she pulled on a purple chord next to the door.

"I'm going to say London." Elena explained. "As you know, language evolves and in 2010, many things have different names and the way we talk is slightly different. So I figured if I told them I'd been in England, I could use that as an excuse for my using the wrong terminology or speech pattern." she said. "It also explains why it took me so long to arrive after you. I know you arrived in Mystic Falls in April. That gave me three months to find out about my family dying, then arrange passage back to America and to get here." Elena said smugly.

"Perfect." Katherine grinned. "We need to keep note of every lie you tell so that there is no inconsistency between our stories." she said as there was a sudden knock at the door, which Katherine opened to a woman standing outside. "Emily." she smiled as she gestured for the woman to enter. Once Emily was inside, Katherine closed the door and turned to Elena. "Isobel Flemming, I would like you to meet Emily Bennett." she then turned to Emily. "Emily, this is Isobel, who says she was sent to us from the future. Is there any way you can verify that for me?" she asked.

"Of course." Emily smiled as fear hit Elena.

How much would Emily know and if the witch knew she was lying about anything, would she tell Katherine to save Bonnie as she was a descendant. Emily took hold of Elena's hands and closed her eyes, reminding Elena of when Bonnie used to touch people and she could see things about them. An especially powerful memory struck her when at a back to school party, Bonnie had predicted a man, a crow and fog in Elena's life, going on to say it was only just the beginning. Elena now knew those images were all related to Damon, yet it still made no sense as to why Bonnie would predict Damon as Elena's future and not Stefan. Elena suddenly wondered if her asking Katherine to ensure Damon became a vampire had anything to do with Bonnie's premonition. As things stood, without her talking to Katherine, Damon would have never become a vampire in the first place.

"Bonnie was the witch who sent you wasn't she?" Emily suddenly asked, bringing Elena out of her thoughts. "She's a descendant of mine." Emily went on.

"Yes." Elena nodded. "I didn't know whether it would mess with time if I told you the name of the witch who sent me." she lied.

Emily quickly let go of Elena's hands as if she were being burned. "Yes you are right. None of us can know too much about what will happen in the future." she said looking directly at Katherine. "I think it is best just to know you, Isobel and Bonnie have made a plan to defeat Klaus and we need to just accept the choices the future you has made." she said.

"I never told you about killing Klaus." Elena narrowed her eyes at Emily.

"I was able to find out everything just by touching you." Emily turned to Elena and smiled as she realized the witch knew everything and she hadn't said a word to Katherine, confirming Bonnie's suspicion regarding who her real protector was. "You were sent here for safety to prevent Klaus making hybrids and to make it easier for Katherine to find the weapon and destroy Klaus." she said. "Klaus went back on his word after making a deal with Katherine, and now you are again on the run again. The only way to be free of Klaus is to kill him, and Isobel is here to ensure everything is done to allow that to happen." she explained. "If you want to succeed though, I recommend we ensure Isobel is on vervain. The other vampires may become suspicious and will try to compel her." she said.

"Only Pearl and Annabelle know my true age." Katherine sighed as she looked to Emily. "But you are right, we can't have the rest of the vampires compelling her. And if she were my sister and I was trying to protect her, I would be making sure she was on vervain. Are you able to procure some for me?" she asked.

Emily curtsied. "Of course Miss Katherine. Is there anything else?" she asked.

"Please tell Mr Salvatore, my sister and I will be down shortly to plan a small celebration for the arrival of my sister." Katherine told her.

"Which Mr Salvatore?" Emily asked with a sly look.

Katherine listened intently for a minute. "All three of them." she grinned. "I'm sure Giuseppe will be delighted by the news of the arrival of my twin sister." she said.

"As you wish." Emily curtsied once more. "Miss Katherine, Miss Eleanor." she said as she left the room.

After Emily was gone, Katherine turned to Elena. "Once your luggage is unpacked, we will need to go through your wardrobe to ensure you have everything you need to turn Damon's head." she smiled. "Do you know, I don't think I ever thought it could be this much fun plotting and scheming before. Usually it is so tedious. But this time, I've already done it for me. And considering I'm alive in 2010, I must have been successfully escaping Klaus until he broke the curse." Katherine stopped for a moment. "Do you think it might be a good idea for us to prevent the curse from being broken?" she asked.

"We were short on time when we decided to send me here." Elena told Katherine. "We never discussed other options. I don't know what we'd need to change to make sure you don't try to break the curse." she said.

"Wouldn't this conversation be enough?" Katherine raised an eyebrow.

"If it's an act of desperation which causes you to try to bargain with Klaus, then I doubt anything I say now will change that." Elena said sadly. "Trust me, if I could change Klaus trying to break the curse, I would. Someone close to me died in the sacrifice." she said, trying to hide the bitterness in her voice. "But let me think about what I do know, and then I'll see if I can find a way to stop it from happening." she said as a flicker of hope shot through Elena.

Katherine's suggestion was brilliant. If Elena could prevent the sacrifice from going ahead, then both John and Jenna would live. Elena knew she shouldn't be messing with altering time, but it was too tempting an offer to pass up. Suddenly there was another knock at the door. When Katherine opened it this time, Elena saw Damon stood on the other side.

"Miss Katherine, Miss Eleanor." he smiled and bowed his head before turning to Elena. "I've come to show you to your room Miss Eleanor." he said as Elena picked up her skirt.

"Thank you Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled before turning to Katherine. "I will join you in the parlor shortly dear sister." she said threading her arm through Damon's as he led her to her room.

"Thank you Damon." Elena heard Katherine say to him as she waltzed past them both and headed downstairs, presumably to spend time with Stefan. Elena noticed Damon's downcast look as Katherine practically skipped down the stairs to see his brother.

"Katherine wants to have a little party to welcome me to Mystic Falls." Elena told Damon. "It could be a joint party as you're home from the war." she said. "How long are you on leave for?" she asked, although Elena suspected Damon never returned to battle.

Damon looked slightly downcast. "I doubt my father will be celebrating my return from battle." he said. "I've decided not to return."

"Oh!" Elena replied, pretending to sound surprised by this news. "Is it because you don't like war? Or do you not agree with the cause?" she pried, deciding now was as good a time to get on Damon's good side. "Because either way, I think it is a very noble decision." she smiled.

"What makes you think I'm not just a coward?" Damon asked, narrowing his eyes at her.

"Because you dismounted your horse to help my driver, although you ended up being distracted by me." Elena replied, using her knowledge of the Damon she knew and what she'd witnessed when they first met to form her conclusion as to why he would desert the confederate army. "The eldest son of a plantation owner wouldn't help a slave out of the goodness of his heart if he truly believed in the confederacy would he?" she asked with a wry grin as Damon's face fell when he realized how quickly she'd understood him. "Don't worry, your secret is safe with me." Elena smiled before looking around her furtively. "I am very anti-slavery, although I do know it's best to keep my mouth closed about such topics around these parts." she whispered. "Especially being a woman and speaking about such things." she added through gritted teeth.

Damon took a deep breath. "Well I would suggest you do not mention your political opinions regarding the confederacy around my father. He may not be as... hospitable if he knew of them as he is to your sister." he said, his face unreadable. Elena wondered if she'd made a mistake in her confession so soon.

"Don't worry, I do not intend to share my opinions with anyone else other than yourself. Not even to my sister." Elena smiled, trying to regain some semblance of control over the situation. She was hoping her presumptions were correct regarding Damon's motives for desertion. He'd never admitted to her as to why he left. She knew he only joined to appease his father, not because he believed in the cause. Elena hoped his reasons for leaving were fueled by his distaste for both war and the cause.

Damon stopped outside an open bedroom door. "This is your room." he said, narrowing his eyes. "Your things have been unpacked." he told her, releasing her arm. Elena began to worry she had overstepped the mark with him. She hated it when Damon was cold with her, although it usually was a sign she was right. "I suspect you are weary from your journey. I'll send someone up to draw you a bath." he offered.

"Thank you Mr Salvatore." Elena replied, suddenly feeling despondent.

"I also think it is wise we keep each other's little secret." Damon smiled softly, making Elena's heart melt. "I'd prefer to let people form their own opinion of why I left the confederacy. I doubt most would be as astute as you are to pick up on the correct reason." he winked, causing Elena's heart to skip a beat. Her Damon was still locked inside this young man, although she was going to have to dig deep to find him. He kissed her hand and bowed his head. "Miss Eleanor." he said.

"Goodbye Damon." Elena curtsied back as she walked into the room and closed the door, finally finding herself alone in the bedroom.

The room was simply, yet elegantly furnished with dark wooden furniture and a large fireplace, which thankfully hadn't been lit as it was already too hot. Elena opened the wardrobe doors and saw it full of elegant gowns made of lace and silk. She walked over to the dressing table filled with various pots of what looked like some type of perfumes and cosmetics. Elena dreaded to think what type of ingredients they were made from.

The one thing however which dominated the room was a large, comfortable looking, four poster bed. She flopped backwards onto the soft mattress and looked up at the canopy.

"Oh Bonnie." she sighed to herself. "You've sent me from the snake pit to the lions den. You and Damon need to get me out of here soon, because I have no idea what I'm doing. I knew I should have paid more attention in history." she complained as she closed her eyes. Damon had been right, she was absolutely exhausted, and she soon fell fast asleep.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).


Elena woke with a start at the sound of a gentle tapping at the door.

"Hello!" she called out.

"Miss Eleanor, I came to draw you a bath." Elena heard Emily tell her through the door.

"Come in." Elena sighed, sitting up as the door opened and two girls carried a tin bath inside, followed by three more girls carrying what looked to be wooden buckets full of steaming hot water. All the while, Emily was lighting the fire in the hearth. Each girl poured two buckets of water into the bath and left, leaving just Emily alone with Elena.

"I believe you will require help with undressing." Emily smiled as Elena nodded. However, before she started to help her, Emily pulled what looked like a green stick with a bulbous end and lit it, causing it to smoke. "Burning sage." Emily explained. "It is a privacy spell, allowing us to talk freely without fear of being overheard by unwanted vampire hearing." she smiled.

"Okay." Elena replied hesitantly. "What do you want to talk about?" she asked.

"Let me help you with your dress first...Miss Elena." Emily smiled as Elena turned to face the mirror, realizing Emily knew exactly who she was. Emily started to undo the buttons on Elena's dress before she continued to speak. "You have no need to worry." Emily assured her. "I'm not going to tell Katherine the truth about who you are and why you're here. Although, it is mostly true what you've told her. You've just left out a few details." she said.

"Bonnie created a spell to send me somewhere safe, some place Klaus wouldn't be able to find me." Elena explained. "And I ended up in the past." she frowned. "I don't think that is what Bonnie had in mind."

"I doubt that indeed." Emily agreed. "Sending someone back in time is extremely dangerous and requires either a very powerful witch, or the witch would need to draw on some magical energy." she said.

"Bonnie used Damon." Elena told Emily. "She drew on his vampire magic to fuel her power to send me to safety."

"And how are you supposed to get back?" Emily frowned as she pulled at the laces of Elena's corset.

"Bonnie linked me to her and Damon. They are the keys to my safety." Elena explained.

"And how did she do it?" Emily asked.

"Candles, salt, water, blood and keys." Elena frowned.

"What type of metal were the keys?" Emily grimaced, as if she had an idea of what had happened.

"I don't know. They were a silver color." Elena replied as Emily closed her eyes and shook her head. "What?" Elena asked, beginning to panic.

"The safety spell requires brass keys." Emily explained. "The spell she cast was a time traveling spell. The silver keys and blood, will tie you to their blood, so you will either be with them in the past, or be with an ancestor of theirs."

"So how do I get back?" Elena asked, turning around to look directly at Emily.

"There is no magic which can send a person forward in time. Only to go backwards. You won't ever see your family again." Emily said sadly.

"No, no, no, no. this can't be." Elena began to pace up and down the room, trying to think and come up with a rationale solution to her situation. "But you're not sending me to my future, you'd be sending me back to my present. Maybe, maybe the witches from the site of the massacre can help." she suggested, her voice full of panic.

"You are correct. A person cannot see into their own future. Instead you are asking to return to your present." Emily agreed. "There is no spell I know of, powerful enough to send you back, but I could call upon the witches to see if they can help." she smiled.

"I'm messing with time." Elena warned her. "I don't know enough about what happened here to stop myself from potentially changing the course of history. Who knows what damage I could do." she insisted.

"Fine." Emily said soothingly. "There is always a loophole. I promise, I will find a way for you to be reunited with your family and friends once more." she smiled as Elena's dress was removed, revealing her hooped underskirt. "But this is something which will take time for me to arrange and to prepare for." she warned. "I am only able to leave Katherine at celestial events, to allow me to harness my power. The next full moon is in just over three weeks. I cannot go before then." she told her. "Then I can talk to the witches and we will find a way to send you home." she assured her.

"Okay." Elena sighed knowing there was nothing she could do about her current situation. "So what do I do in the meantime?" she asked.

"I'd do as Miss Katherine suggests." Emily shrugged.

"Flirt with Damon?" Elena looked at the witch in horror. "But he'll hate me in the future for pretending to fall for him." her face dropped.

"I could cast a spell after you go back to make him think it was Katherine." Emily suggested.

"Oh." Elena thought for a moment. She'd never been able to flirt with Damon because of him being Stefan's brother. To make matters worse she knew she had feelings for him. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to live out her little fantasies about him, even if it was just for a short period of time. Knowing he wouldn't remember she was the one he was with, not Katherine. However Elena's survival depended on it, and so did Damon's. As hard as it would be to watch Katherine fawning all over Stefan. The 1864 version of her ex boyfriend seemed completely different to the person she'd dated. "Fine, I'll go along with Katherine's plans." she agreed before falling silent for a moment. "Do you think Katherine believed me?" she asked.

"I doubt it." Emily replied. "My advice to you is to do what Katherine asks you to. Prove your value and loyalty. Only question her if you know her request directly affects the future negatively." she advised.

"Do you think she will contact Klaus to break the sun and moon curse?" Elena asked. "Does she even know where he is?"

"Klaus is in New Orleans." Emily smiled. "Katherine always knows exactly where he and the rest of his family are." she said. "Regardless of whether or not she believes you, Katherine will not risk contacting Klaus now you have planted the seed of doubt in her mind. Anyway, how could she break the curse? She doesn't have a werewolf." Emily asked.

"True." Elena nodded, deciding to keep her knowledge of George Lockwood being a werewolf a secret for the time being. She looked down at herself, and realized she was only wearing a shift. "I think I can finish getting undressed myself." she said. "I'd like to bathe in peace while I adjust to my new environment."

"As you wish." Emily nodded. "Miss Katherine told me to tell you there will be a small gathering this evening to welcome your arrival to Mystic Falls. I am to ensure you get help to prepare for it a little later. Master Damon will be escorting you." she informed her.

"I guess I'm supposed to start flirting with him tonight." Elena sighed. "This Damon is not the same as the one I know." she frowned.

"Becoming a vampire doesn't change the person." Emily said. "Damon is a good, honorable man. But he has demons, which are of no fault of his. He's very sensitive and needs love. He has been mistreated all of his life. Some of the images I've seen of what he had to endure as a child at the hands of his parents are disturbing. No child deserves to be treat that way. He doesn't need for a woman to flirt with him, he needs someone to care for him." she told her.

"Sounds like he's exactly the same person to me." Elena smiled.

"And you know him well enough to know exactly what he needs and how to care for him." Emily winked.

"Damon isn't my boyfriend." Elena insisted.

"No, but other than Stefan, you probably care more about him than anyone else ever has before in his life. That's why he's in love with you isn't it?" Emily asked, a small smile appearing on her lips. "Although I suspect the question should be, more about how much you care for him?"

"I...I don't know what you mean." Elena looked to the floor, not knowing what to say.

Emily walked to the door and turned to look to Elena. "I suggest you spend your time here wisely. Who knows what truths you can uncover and who's souls you may save before you leave, both spiritually and metaphorically." she smiled as she left the room, removing the stick of smoking sage before closing the door behind her.

Elena sighed with relief. Emily was speaking as if it would be possible to send her back. Even if Bonnie's spell had gone catastrophically wrong, Elena knew enough about magic to know there was always a loophole. She also knew she could trust Emily. Maybe it was the blood link Bonnie had provided, but there was something she couldn't quite put her finger on, she knew Emily wouldn't betray her. She removed her shift and stepped into the steaming hot water, kept warm by being close to the fire, even though the weather was sweltering hot.

As she sat in the warm lavender scented water, Elena began to take stock of her situation and what she knew. Her immediate concern was to make sure that she would return to the same people she knew when she left. Elena would need to keep Katherine happy. That meant keeping Damon out of Katherine's hair until her doppelganger required his services. The thought of what she was tasked to do made her feel sick, but it was for Damon's own protection. Elena desperately wanted to get to meet the 1864 version of Stefan, but it appeared Katherine had already compelled Stefan against her, so trying to get to know him would be a pointless endeavor. Because, the one thing Elena Gilbert knew about Katherine Pierce was her jealousy over Elena which she knew at some point, would become an even bigger concern.

The more Elena considered Katherine's needs, the more Elena realized she had to keep Damon occupied, however at the same time, she could not let him fall for her. The conversation with Emily had only confirmed Elena's suspicions regarding Damon's love for Katherine. His feelings for her was born out of a desire to be loved, which was why her looking like Katherine had, unlike Stefan, no effect on Damon. He wanted the woman who loved him, not someone who looked like the woman who loved him, or so he thought.

Instead Elena needed to form a different plan. She already had information leverage regarding George Lockwood. To keep Katherine happy, she would tell her directly about the Lockwood family curse. Elena was also now aware of someone called Mikael who was known as the vampire who hunted vampires. Damon had told her Mikael was allegedly the secret weapon he, Jeremy and Katherine had been searching for to kill Klaus. Damon had told her the night before about their secret little mission and had apologized for taking Jeremy along.

"Fuck! Anna and Pearl are here." Elena whispered to herself.

Elena was not the only person in Mystic Falls who knew about killing Originals and the weapon to kill Klaus. Pearl, Anna and possible even Jonathan Gilbert also knew, which begged the question of how Jonathan Gilbert had come about this information. How had he discovered the information about the daggers? Elena doubted it would have been any of the tomb vampires.

As every moment passed and every thought occurred to Elena, she thanked Bonnie more and more for her suggestion to take her journal with her. Elena didn't know enough about the past to not change it. The only option was to achieve a similar resolution with different methods. Elena needed to take a leaf out of the Katherine Pierce survival handbook. But this time it wasn't just for herself. It was for her, the Salvatore's, Grams, Aunt Jenna and Uncle John. If she could find a way to save them she would do it, whatever it took. Even if that meant having to take Katherine down in the process.

Planning, plotting and scheming was not Elena's only immediate problem. Although Elena had paid attention to her history classes, they were of no help whatsoever with regards to her current plight. History at school taught you facts, but it didn't go into the minute detail she now needed about society and propriety of the age. How people spoke, dressed and what was troubling her most of all was her upcoming encounters with slaves. Elena hated the thought of slavery, the merest notion made her flesh crawl. But there was nothing she could do about it. She was a woman who's opinions would count for nothing. Fortunately Elena could claim her discomfort regarding being around slaves, stemmed from being in London as she remembered slavery had already been abolished in England sometime in the early 1830's.

Elena also had to be realistic. There was a very good chance Katherine would already have the entire household compelled to do her bidding and more importantly, to spy on Elena. This left her one option, be professional, polite and make sure she was on her guard at all times around everyone, and no matter what, her journal needed to be kept well hidden at all times.

Elena finished her bath just in time for one of the maids to come and assist her. She sat at her dressing table while she had her hair attended to. Although she felt extremely uncomfortable about it, Elena knew the girl helping her was a slave and that fact made her feel completely helpless. And although it went against every grain in her body to allow the girl to help her, Elena suspected dismissing the girl, who looked to be about sixteen, and terrified, would be the worst thing she could do as it could be seen she was not happy with her assistance. Instead, Elena decided to focus on the girl's considerable skills with her hair, but there was one detail she needed to make sure would need to be taken care of, and she had an idea of how to deal with it.

"What is your name?" Elena asked.

The girl cast her eyes down, looking sheepish as if she'd done something wrong. "My name is Lizzie, Miss Pierce." she whispered.

Elena smiled. "Are you to be my handmaiden?" she asked.

"I...I don't know." Lizzie replied.

"Well, if you make my hair look real pretty without it looking like my sister's, I'll see if Mr Salvatore will allow you to attend to me during my stay." Elena offered.

"That would be real nice Miss Pierce." Lizzie smiled, standing with her back a little straighter, although she still wouldn't look Elena directly in the eye.

There was a method in Elena appointing one person to look after her during her time in 1864. Firstly, if she could make at least the life of one person a little easier, she would. It wouldn't look good if she was overly kind to all of the staff, but she assumed treating her handmaiden well would be less frowned upon. Secondly, she would be able to feed Lizzie with whatever information she wanted Katherine to know without having to keeping an eye on too many people. The less people she needed to interact with, the better as far as Elena was concerned as this meant she was less likely to create unwanted mess for future generations. Lastly, Elena wanted to be able to be distinguished from Katherine. As Elena was unfamiliar with the style's of the summer of 1864, she needed someone who could create the right look of the day, yet make her appear different to her doppelganger. The easiest way to achieve that would be to have one consistent person to help create her own style.

"I do have a few rules." Elena told Lizzie, who's face became slightly apprehensive when Elena started, although the rules were solely to put the girl at ease. "Firstly, in public you will call me Miss Eleanor, not Miss Pierce. There are two of us and it could get confusing for everyone if you do."

"Right you are, Miss Pier... Miss Eleanor." Lizzie said.

"In private, you can call me Eleanor." Elena told her. "I love to hear all of the gossip, and I'm going to be relying on you to give it to me." she explained. "I tend to gossip with my friends, and I want us to be friends." Lizzie's face took on a picture of horror at Elena's request. "I don't expect my friends to call me Miss Eleanor, it's too stiff and formal." Elena shuddered dramatically. "My sister and I maybe twins, but we have never been particularly close. I've just spent the last year in London and I'm not up to date with the fashions and gossip here. I need all the help I can get. And while you are with me, I will not allow anyone to lay a finger on you." she assured her, hoping that would be enough for the moment to win Lizzie over.

"Why thank you Mi... Eleanor. You are most kind." Lizzie corrected herself and looked to the floor.

"While we are at it. In private, smiles and laughter are allowed. I also would prefer it if you didn't look at the floor when talking to me. In public we have to act proper, but when it is just you and I alone, I want us to act like we've been best friends since we were children." Elena smiled.

Lizzie tentatively raised her eyes to look at Elena. "Thank you." she smiled.

"Good. So back to making me look beautiful." Elena smiled. "Emily told me Katherine had arrange for a little party tonight to welcome me to Mystic Falls." she said. "Apparently I am to be escorted by Master Damon." she told her. "Tell me, what is he like? And no holding back. Whatever you tell me, I promise I won't tell."

Lizzie hesitated for a moment. "He's been at war for the last year or so. But I think he only joined the army to please his father." she told her. "Not that it did him much good. I doubt Master Giuseppe would be happy with whatever Master Damon did."

"Why is that?" Elena frowned.

"Please don't tell a soul." Lizzie whispered.

"Go on." Elena encouraged her.

"My momma told me, when he was a little boy, Master Giuseppe would beat him and burn him with his cigar." Lizzie lowered her eyes. "Master Damon don't deserve that. He's a good man. Always kind to the workers out in the fields and here in the house. Never shout nor beat anyone." she said, although this information didn't surprise Elena. "That's why it surprised us all when he said he was going off fighting in the war."

Elena's heart went out to Damon. She knew he had many demons in his past. Earlier Emily had alluded to such. She also knew he and his father didn't get on particularly well, but she hadn't imagined he was treated so badly by his father. At the same time, she knew Stefan hadn't had any issues whatsoever with Giuseppe. Elena began to wonder if this was the root of Damon's need to be loved.

"And how does Master Giuseppe treat the workers?" Elena decided it was the only word she could use without wanting to cry.

"I...I..." Lizzie stammered, clearly trying to contain herself.

"That's fine. I think I can guess." Elena interrupted. If Damon's father was capable of such cruelty to his own child, she wasn't sure how much she could bear to hear about what he did to those who worked for him.

"What is Master Stefan like?" Elena asked, wanting to find out more about her ex-boyfriend, although she suspected it was unlikely Katherine would allow her much interaction with him. But for the purposes of making sure Lizzie wasn't overly suspicious, Elena needed to try and act as though she was just engaging in gossip.

"I haven't been around Master Stefan too much. He seems nice enough, but he's only young. Everyone thinks Master Giuseppe wants him to take over the plantation after he dies and not Master Damon. Master Giuseppe thinks Master Damon spends too much time and attention on the ladies of the town, while Master Stefan studies hard." Lizzie looked around nervously before lowering her voice to a whisper. "But we know different. Last year, my sister saw Master Stefan meeting with a young lady, and that was not so innocent." she giggled.

"And then there's my sister." Elena smiled slyly. "I know what Katherine has told me in her letters, but I want to know what people around here think is happening." she asked.

"I really don't wish to speak ill..." Lizzie started.

"Don't worry, I know my sister." Elena whispered with a smile. "I know she enjoys the company of men."

"She's been enjoying the company of both of them." Lizzie lowered her eyes once more. "Both Master Damon and Master Stefan have been seen visiting her room, sometimes, on the same night." she told her. "The sounds coming from her room are not those of a virtuous woman."

"My sister lost her virtue a long time ago." Elena laughed.

"Eleanor!" Lizzie looked at her shocked as Elena began to laugh even harder.

They were interrupted by a knock at the door. Elena stood as if to go answer it, but Lizzie was too quick for her. On the other side of the door stood Emily, holding a beautiful pink gown.

"Come in Emily." Elena smiled getting up.

"Miss Katherine sent this for you to wear for this evening." Emily told her. "When your luggage was unpacked earlier, nothing was deemed fit for entertaining, especially when you are the guest of honor. The dressmaker will be here tomorrow for you to order some new gowns suitable for society events. But in the meantime you can borrow some of Katherine's things." she said as she lay the gown flat on the bed.

"It's beautiful." Elena gasped in genuine awe, although she was simultaneously suspicious as to why Katherine was being so generous. Her question was answered almost immediately.

"Miss Katherine wants you to look your best for Master Damon." she told her with a knowing look.

"Is there anything else Emily?" Elena asked.

"Yes. Miss Katherine also wanted me to give you this." she said as she held out a silver ring containing a familiar blue stone surrounded by what looked to be four diamonds. "It was your mother's." the witch lied. "Katherine has the necklace and bracelet. She felt it fitting you should have the ring."

Elena took what she knew immediately to be a daylight ring from Emily's hand, wondering why Katherine had had one made for her. She took one look at Emily before asking Lizzie to wait outside for a moment.

"Why has Katherine given me this?" Elena whispered after Lizzie had closed the door.

"I suspect Katherine has found a use for you." Emily said quietly, pulling a vial of blood out of her pocket. "She wants you to drink this." she said, handing it to Elena. "It's her blood."

"Katherine wants to turn me?" Elena frowned, looking at the small bottle of red liquid in her hand.

"I think Katherine wants to make sure you don't die." Emily corrected her. "I suspect she has found a use for you, and you being dead would ruin her plans." she shrugged.

"So Katherine needs me alive." Elena sighed. "And what if I don't drink it?" she asked.

"She will ensure you take it every day." Emily told her. "By choice or by force. But if it is by force she will not trust you."

"I know." Elena said, opening the little bottle. "I just wish it didn't give me a headache." she complained as drank it the contents, grimacing at the coppery taste before handing the empty vial back to Emily.

"I can get rid of the headache." Emily told Elena as she walked over to the door and opened it. "The guests will be arriving in half an hour. Master Damon will be waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs." she smiled. "Miss Eleanor." she added as she curtsied and turned to leave.

Half an hour later Elena left her bedroom, finally ready to meet the guests. She was wearing the pink satin gown with cream lace sleeves and white gloves as was required for women to wear in the name of propriety for the times. With that, Elena also wore the daylight ring Katherine had given her. The last thing Elena had wanted right now was to be engaging in a party. However, if she were to have to attend the Founders Ball, this would at least give her the opportunity to understand the required etiquette for such an event. When Elena reached the top of the stairs, she looked down and was greeted by the now seemingly familiar sight of Damon waiting at the bottom for her.

This time however, Damon looked very different to the way he had at the pageant and when he rescued her from Rose, and it wasn't necessarily just his physical appearance. The confident air which Damon usually carried was far less visible. He seemed almost nervous, not a state Elena would have ever associated with Damon. The other issue was the way he looked at her. She had become accustomed to the look of love he gave her whenever they were together. This Damon only reserved that look for Katherine, which made Elena want to shake him and tell him to stop being so blind to her doppelganger, but of course that wouldn't work just yet.

Damon's physical appearance was oddly different too. His hair was curly, which surprised Elena. This was a topic which would be revisited when she got back. He spent so much time teasing Stefan about his hero hair, when Damon clearly spent just as much time shaping his bad boy hair. His eyes were also different. They looked the same beautiful icy blue color, but if you looked close enough to her Damon, behind the youthful facade, his eyes held knowledge and experience of being in existence for over a hundred and seventy years. On the other hand, human Damon still had a look of innocence in comparison. Although as a soldier and a man who had an eye for the ladies, he was anything but innocent. Yet in some ways he still was barely touched by the evil which would come to plight him over the next century and a half. Elena found herself thinking how beautiful it was to see some of his purity left in tact. This did lead Elena to wonder if this side of him was something he still kept hidden. If they were closer, would he open this part of himself up to her? Was this the part of his she would like which he referred to on his deathbed? Elena decided Katherine's challenge would be far more interesting than she originally envisaged.

Elena reached the bottom of the stairs and Damon smiled at her as he took her hand. However Elena knew Damon well enough to know the smile was completely fake, which made her heart sink. Suddenly his eyes lit up as he looked up and Katherine appeared at the top of the stairs. Damon's look of joy quickly disappeared the moment he saw Stefan by her side.

Katherine smiled smugly as she and Stefan descended the stairs to meet Damon and Elena.

"Dear sister, I see you are wearing mother's ring." Katherine remarked, an air of triumph in her voice which made Elena's blood run cold.

"Thank you Katherine for ensuring its safekeeping for me." Elena smiled sweetly, knowing two could play at whatever game Katherine was up to.

"Brother." Stefan greeted Damon, practically ignoring Elena's presence, making her more certain Katherine had compelled Stefan to not interact with her.

"Stefan, Miss Katherine." Damon nodded back before turning to Elena. "Miss Eleanor. Shall we?" he asked, breaking out into a genuine and beautiful smile while holding his hand out in a gesture to guide them to the awaiting party.

"With pleasure Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled back almost shyly. Regardless of whether he was human or vampire, Damon still had the same winning charm.

The four of them entered the parlor to be greeted by a small crowd of people, the only faces she recognized were Pearl, Katherine's friend whom ended up being betrayed and locked in the tomb, and Jonathan Gilbert who's face she'd seen only in a photograph. Out of the corner of her eye, Elena noticed a man, probably in his late forties or early fifties, walk over to join them.

"Sons, Miss Katherine." he nodded at Stefan and Katherine, however he completely ignored Damon. "And this must be the lovely Miss Eleanor." he smiled as Elena held out her hand for him to kiss. "I would love to know what wonderful deed the gentlefolk of Mystic Falls did to win the grace of not one, but two ladies as radiant and as beautiful as yourselves." he added, his voice oozing with charm.

Had Elena not known better, she would have fallen for his charming ways. However, from what she knew from Stefan, Damon and now Emily and Lizzie, Elena was not so easily won over. This was a man who was heartless enough to kill his own children. Giuseppe Salvatore was, in Elena's opinion, as much a monster as Klaus in his own way. Unfortunately, Elena had to pretend to like him, as he was after all, the one who was providing her and Katherine with a home. Therefore it would be best to not antagonize him.

"Why thank you Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled. "You are so very kind to take in my sister and I. It is rare to find someone so kind and gracious enough to offer hospitality to two orphans like Katherine and myself."

"Nonsense." Giuseppe replied. "You're both welcome to stay as long as you want. Aren't they boys?" he asked, once again only acknowledging Stefan. Elena glanced over at Damon, who was staring intently at the ring on Elena's finger.

"Of course they are father." Stefan replied as Elena turned to look at him. This was the first time he'd appeared to be even remotely aware of her existence, however Elena's heart fell when she noticed he was only looking at Katherine.

"Would you like to dance Miss Eleanor?" Damon asked.

"Why thank you Mr Salvatore, I would be honored." Elena replied as Damon took her hand and led her off to dance.

Damon woke with a start. He'd been dreaming about the events of 1864, however new memories were manifesting and clearly Elena had somehow managed to get Katherine to agree to pretend to be her twin sister. The last part he remembered about his dream was he and Elena about to dance before he'd woken up. However, what he'd seen had deeply disturbed him, and he needed to know if Bonnie's spell would be affected.

After a short text to let her know he was on his way, Damon arrived at Bonnie's in record time and was banging loudly on the door. The moment Bonnie answered it, he barged past her and headed straight to the living room.

"Come in Damon, please, make yourself at home." Bonnie said sarcastically to the empty space in front of her before closing the door and following him into the living room. "Okay, so what's going on?" she demanded, folding her arms.

"You know that spell you did on Elena." Damon said.

"Mhmm." Bonnie replied nodding her head.

"Wasn't it supposed to send her somewhere safe?" he asked.

"Well, that was the entire point of the spell." Bonnie frowned. "Why?"

"I'm not sure it worked." Damon grimaced.

"What do you mean you don't think it worked." Bonnie asked sounding insulted.

Damon looked at Bonnie angrily. "I think Katherine turned Elena into a vampire." he said.

 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Damon arrived at Bonnie's house in record time and was banging loudly on the door. Luckily it was only seven thirty in the evening and none of her neighbors would have been in bed at that point. The moment Bonnie opened the door to answer it, Damon right barged past her and headed straight to the living room.

"Come in Damon, make yourself at home." Bonnie said sarcastically to the empty space in front of her before closing the door and following him into the living room. "Okay, so what's going on?" she demanded folding her arms.

"You know that spell you did on Elena." Damon said.

"Mhmm." Bonnie replied nodding her head.

"Wasn't it supposed to send her somewhere safe?" he asked.

"Well, that was the entire point of the spell." Bonnie frowned. "Why?"

"I'm not sure it worked." Damon grimaced.

"What do you mean you don't think it worked." Bonnie asked sounding insulted.

"I think Elena's a vampire." Damon told her.

"Excuse me?" Bonnie asked, not sure if she had heard Damon correctly.

"I think Elena's a vampire." Damon reiterated.

Bonnie blinked with shock for a moment before regaining her composure. "And what makes you think that?" she asked.

"She's wearing a daylight ring." Damon frowned. "I think Katherine might have turned her." he told her in a panicked voice.

"Oh my god." Bonnie cried, clapping her hand over her mouth. "Okay, so tell me what's happened." she asked, shaking her head in disbelief.

"Elena went to rest from her journey while Katherine and my father organized a little party to welcome her to Mystic Falls." Damon told her. "Katherine insisted as the eldest son it was my duty to escort Elena, who is calling herself Eleanor." he continued.

"Clever." Bonnie nodded. "It's close enough but still different." she interrupted as Damon glared at her. "Go on." she said.

"While Elena was charming my father, I noticed she was wearing a daylight ring on her finger." Damon told her.

"So you think she's a vampire because she's wearing a daylight ring?" Bonnie narrowed her eyes as Damon nodded. "And she's definitely had time to die and transition?" she asked.

Damon thought on for a moment. "If she has turned, she's taking it really well." he frowned.

"How long has she been there?" Bonnie asked.

"I think it's the same time of day in 1864 as it is here." he said.

"And when was the last time you saw her before the party?" Bonnie narrowed her eyes.

"Around six hours." he replied.

Bonnie raised an eyebrow. "Are you telling me, you think Elena turned, and became a fully functioning vampire who could feed without killing, all in the space of six hours?" she asked.

Damon furrowed his brow. "That's a good point. So why in the hell would she be wearing a daylight ring?" he asked.

"I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest Katherine wants to make sure Elena doesn't stay dead if anything happens to her." Bonnie suggested.

"I thought you said Emily was her protector." Damon frowned.

"Maybe she's not. I mean, if you want to successfully avoid Klaus, who is the most qualified person in the world to do it?" Bonnie asked.

"Katherine." Damon nodded. "It's all she's been doing for the last five hundred years. So, the question is, what diabolical plan is Katherine hatching which is so important, she needs to keep Elena alive at all costs, even if it means turning Elena into a vampire? What is the bitch up to?" he mused.

"Look, we can ask questions and Elena can try and answer them through you." Bonnie suggested.

"How?" Damon frowned.

"We send her a message like last time and ask her to cryptically tell 1864 you the answers." Bonnie smiled as she walked over to the sideboard and opened a drawer to retrieve a pen and some paper. "It's the only way we can communicate." she said, sitting down on the couch, ready to write. "So what time is this party likely to finish? We don't want the questions to arrive too long before she gets back, just in case someone else finds them before her." she asked.

Elena took Damon's hand as he led her to the area reserved for dancing.

"Are you familiar with a dance called the Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch Miss Eleanor?" Damon asked.

"As luck would have it, I most certainly am Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled as she curtsied and Damon bowed. Out of the corner of her eye, Elena noticed Katherine and Stefan also joining them to dance.

The music struck up as they began to dance to the simple routine. They all raised their right hands, almost touching each other as they moved in a circle. Damon and Elena never took their eyes off each other, although Elena could hear Katherine and Stefan giggling, as if trying to distract them, but to no avail. Although as the dance progressed, Elena was unsure as to Damon's own motives regarding why he was being so attentive to her. Was he trying to make Katherine jealous? If he was, it was a clever plan. Regardless of Katherine's feelings for Stefan, Elena knew if Damon flirted with her, Katherine would not be happy as she'd made quite clear to Elena when she gave her the instructions to flirt with him.

However, the moment Damon took Elena into his arms for the waltz, every reasoning where it came to Katherine was rendered pointless. Just like at the pageant, she and Damon became lost in their own little world. It was as if there was magic attached to this dance when it came to them. Some divine intervention, spanning time and space trying to communicate a message, to show them what it would be like if the world centered around them.

Elena's heart began to race as she wished the entire room of people would disappear and leave them alone. Memories of the way Damon had looked at her before almost kissing her only that very morning in Bonnie's living room came flooding back, because Damon was looking at her in almost the same way. This time however, there was an additional look of surprise in his eyes, as if he was experiencing something he didn't expect. Before Elena knew it, she was no longer staring in Damon's eyes. Her gaze had lowered to his lips as if she were begging for him to kiss her. But she knew she wasn't alone. Elena could feel Damon's eyes were also on her mouth as he pulled her slightly closer to him, more than was proper for the dance, but not necessarily noticeable to any onlookers other than Katherine.

The waltz finished and they drew apart, looking at each other as if stunned by the moment, which was broken by Katherine whispering in her ear.

"I think we need to talk little sister." she said.

Elena looked to Katherine and back to Damon, who seemed to have also broken out of his spell.

"Excuse me Miss Eleanor, Miss Katherine, brother." he said, nodding his head. "I have matters to attend to." With that Damon hurriedly left the room.

"Go check on your brother." Katherine said to Stefan quietly, although Elena could tell she was compelling him.

"Certainly Miss Katherine. Miss Eleanor." he said as he left the room.

Katherine took Elena's arm and gently pulled her over to a private part of the room.

"What was going on?" Katherine glared at Elena. "I asked you to flirt with him, not seduce him. Is that how one flirts in the time where you come from?" she demanded in a whisper.

"I'm sorry Katherine." Elena apologized as she quickly worked out a cover story for her behavior. "It just brought back memories of my boyfriend and I doing that dance a few months ago." she told her.

"Is Damon your lover?" Katherine raised a suspicious eyebrow.

"No." Elena choked. "His name is...Matt and I really miss him. I was just having a moment." she sighed dramatically.

"It will serve you well to remember this 'Matt'. I only want you to keep Damon occupied while I have no use for him, nothing more." Katherine threatened.

"Okay, I'll do what you ask." Elena sighed. "Why did you give me this?" she asked, deciding to change the subject as she held her hand with the ring on it.

"It is for your protection." Katherine told her. "There are people who have known me a long time and will be suspicious of the sudden appearance of a sister. They might want to inform certain unwanted individuals if they think you are not one of us." she whispered. "Only two other people know my story other than Emily, Pearl and her daughter Annabelle. I trust them both to stay quiet. The rest won't have the opportunity to get close enough to you to discover what you are. If they see you are wearing one of those from a distance, they wont seek to question it." she explained, looking down at the ring, although Elena suspected Katherine was lying. "Another reason to keep Damon occupied. It will keep you away from prying eyes."

"And how do you expect me to keep him occupied?" Elena asked. "The vampire I know is a little bit different to this Damon. We can't exactly take a road trip in his car."

"I have no idea what that even is." Katherine snapped. "Surely you ride horses." she asked.

"We don't have any need to, but yes I can ride." Elena told her. "Is that something he likes to do?" she asked.

"He's a very keen rider." Katherine frowned. "I'll make sure he asks you if you want to go riding tomorrow." Katherine smiled. "It will keep Damon out of my hair, while I am otherwise...engaged." she smirked.

"Why don't you just compel Damon to stay away from you while you spend time with Stefan?" Elena frowned.

"Because you told me I'll still have my uses for him when he turns." Katherine smiled. "For the time being, I need them both to be in love with me." she said.

"So when the compulsion breaks after he turns, he'll think being with me was to help you, not because you were more interested in Stefan?" Elena asked.

"Exactly." Katherine grinned. "So back to tomorrow." she said clasping her hands together. "I will ask him to take you for a ride and then for you both to go on a picnic. He can take you to see the land around Mystic Falls, keep you both out of trouble." she smiled.

"Fine." Elena rolled her eyes. "I'll do it." she said.

"Just no thinking he is this... Matt." Katherine warned.

"Don't worry, Matt never took me on picnics or horse riding." Elena replied.

A ringing sound of someone tapping a glass quietened the conversation across the room. Elena glanced over to see Giuseppe being the one to be making the noise.

"Ladies and gentlemen. Dinner is served." he announced. "Miss Pierce?" he walked over to Elena and offered her his hand.

"It would be an honor Mr Salvatore." Elena pretended to smile, taking his hand as he led her to the dining room.

Giuseppe was placed at the head of the table, with Elena to his left while Damon sat opposite her, almost scowling. Stefan sat next to her, with Katherine on on his left, yet throughout the meal he once again did not acknowledge Elena's presence. All through the meal, Elena kept an eye on Katherine to understand the etiquette of the day as she had no idea what to do. She was also nervous of the topics of conversation she would face around dinner, she didn't want to get involved in any discussion which involved politics or religion. Fortunately Elena's cover story of being in England for the last year was getting better by the minute as she was not expected to be up to date with all that had been happening during her time away.

Not long after a toast had been made to welcome Elena to Mystic Falls, the conversation turned into the more familiar territory of animal attacks. Elena was surprised they had been labeled as such so long ago, but she wasn't sure how much the town knew about vampires at that point. So far, three people had died and five injured over the summer, all of them workers out on the cotton fields, by what had been described by the surviving victims as a mountain lion. As George Lockwood was still at war, Elena knew these had to be vampire attacks, although she wasn't sure how many vampires currently resided in Mystic Falls. From what she'd been led to believe, a significant number of the tomb vampires had been residents of Mystic Falls before Katherine turned them. Elena listened intently to the conversation as she ate making mental notes as she knew this was information destined for her journal later.

Once dinner was over, the men retired to the study for cognac and the ladies returned to the parlor to gossip. Again Elena was quiet, taking in what she could considering she'd had two glasses of champagne. Eventually Katherine introduced Elena to Pearl.

"I'm very pleased to meet you." Pearl smiled. "Katherine has told me so much about you." she lied.

"All good I hope." Elena smiled.

"Of course." Pearl replied. "So, how long are you planning on staying in Mystic Falls?" she asked.

"Well, Katherine is the one who is familiar with the town. I'm leaving the decision up to her." Elena told Pearl as she turned to Katherine.

"As long as the kind Salvatore family are gracious enough to let us stay, I don't see any reason for us to leave." Katherine replied.

"I wonder why." Pearl raised her eyebrow, causing Elena to stifle her laughter.

"She knows." Katherine mouthed to Pearl who turned to Elena.

"So tell me Miss Eleanor, why did you really return from England to be with your sister?" Pearl asked, although Elena realized that wasn't the real question. Pearl was just wanting to know who Elena was why she was in Mystic Falls in the first place.

"After the terrible events over the last few months, I felt like I needed the safety and security of being with people I care about." Elena told Pearl. "The girl I was staying with, Rebekah, she has moved back to New Orleans to be with her brothers Klaus and Elijah. I don't particularly like being around them. Although Elijah can be very noble, I do find Klaus quite...brutish." she said as Pearl's face took on a semblance of recognition, clearly understanding what Elena's code meaning she was running from Klaus.

"And would your friends want to visit Mystic Falls?" Pearl asked.

"I doubt they'd feel at home in such a small town. I certainly wouldn't invite them. I don't think the townsfolk would appreciate their kind of hospitality." Elena explained as Pearl nodded her head, confirming she knew exactly what Elena was telling her.

"I think we are going to be firm friends." Pearl smiled a genuine smile for the first time.

"Me too." Elena smiled back as the gentlemen appeared back in the room.

Both Damon and Stefan came over to join Elena and Katherine as Pearl left, but not before winking at Katherine.

"I do apologize for my earlier rude behavior." Damon apologized as Elena frowned in confusion. "I was feeling a little under the weather. Probably from the traveling." he explained.

"That's fine Mr Salvatore. It is completely understandable." Elena smiled. "Are you feeling better?" she asked.

"Very much so." Damon smiled as he glanced over at Katherine and Stefan who were talking quietly between themselves. "Would you like me to show you around?" he asked, once again glancing at the couple stood next to them, however they completely ignored Damon and Elena.

"I would be most honored." Elena replied, realizing now was a good time to see if she could secure Lizzie's services.

Damon took her around the downstairs rooms, pointing out the study, library and music room. Eventually he took her outside to stand on the veranda to look over the slowly darkening gardens.

"It's beautiful." Elena said dreamily, staring up at the last remnants of the sunset as the stars were just beginning to appear in the distance. "The stars seem so bright already."

"Do you know the constellations Miss Pierce?" Damon asked.

"I used to." Elena sighed. "But after two glasses of wine and one glass of champagne, I'm afraid my memory has become a little hazy." she giggled. "And please call me Eleanor. Miss Pierce sounds so stuffy." she told him as she sat down on a swing and began rock gently.

"And you can call me Damon." Damon said as he frowned. "Forgive me for my confusion, but when we first met, you told me your name was Elena, not Eleanor." he said. "Why?" he asked.

Elena thought quickly, which was difficult considering the alcohol she had consumed, however she had already lied about her original introductions to one person. It was best to use the same lie to another.

"I wanted to surprise my sister, so I made up a name for my carriage driver." Elena lied. "I didn't know where to find the Salvatore estate and my driver wasn't from these parts either, so we were going to ask around town until we found the plantation. I made the name up to make sure my sister would have a nice surprise when she first saw me." Damon gave Elena a look she was all too familiar with. One which said he was going to accept the story for now, but wasn't entirely sure she was telling the truth. She then had a brilliant idea. "Or it could be my real name is Elena Gilbert, I'm from the future and I've traveled back in time because a vampire is chasing me for my special blood." she smiled.

Damon laughed. "When in the future?" he joked.

"In 2010." Elena told him.

"Who sent you back?" he asked.

"My best friend, who is a witch and...you." she said, her voice suddenly softening although she didn't know why.

Damon's face dropped. "Am I a...a..." he asked without finishing his sentence.

"Yes." Elena said.

"Are you?" Damon frowned.

"No." Elena shook her head.

"But..." he looked down at her finger. "Your ring."

"Katherine doesn't want the others to find out I'm not one." Elena whispered. "She wants me to keep as far away from them as possible, because if they find out I'm not one, they might try to use me as some kind of leverage against Katherine." she said as she came up with an idea which would save Katherine compelling Damon. "That is why she has been tasking you to look after me." she explained. "If I'm seen with you, they won't come near. It would risk exposing them if they challenged you or even came near you. Pearl knows, but I don't think anyone else other than maybe Annabelle will be allowed to know."

"And you don't think she could have asked Stefan?" Damon raised an eyebrow as if he didn't entirely believe her.

"It is better you being my guardian." Elena explained. "Stefan is young and inexperienced in fighting. You are a man with experience of battle. Also I would assume it has become common knowledge of Katherine's interest in Stefan. It would be quite the scandal if she were to turn her affections back to you and either ignore or publicly carry on with both of you. Therefore it would make perfect sense for you to form a friendship with me instead. It doesn't change what is really going on behind closed doors. It is just the public perception, so as to not draw attention to herself." she smiled, hoping it would be enough to convince Damon.

"Is that what Katherine actually said?" Damon asked.

"No." Elena admitted. "But if you ask her, I would expect those to be her reasons. It is because she trusts you with my welfare above everyone else." she smiled.

"If those are Katherine's reasons, then I would be more than happy to oblige." Damon gave her one of his most charming smiles which caused Elena's heart to melt.

"Thank you...Damon." Elena blushed, unable to look at him. This version of Damon was so polite and sweet. Elena couldn't fathom why on earth Katherine found him dull other than in bed as he was winning her heart. Just the thought of Damon in bed with Katherine made Elena want to scratch her doppelgangers eyes out, he didn't deserve the brutal treatment of the fake love Katherine meted out to him.

"Do you mind my company Elena...Eleanor?" Damon shook his head in confusion as he clearly wasn't sure which story to believe. "In the future, are you and I, are we..." he hesitated.

Elena laughed. "No." she shook her head as she saw Damon's face drop. "I was already with someone when we first met." Elena explained hoping Damon wouldn't ask the obvious question. "And you were completely in love with Katherine. You barely even noticed my existence at first." she added.

"And who is your...gentleman?" Damon asked.

"Stefan was." Elena's eyes fell to the floor.

"Was?" Damon asked.

"Stefan and I broke up." Elena said sadly. "He got involved with the wrong crowd." she told him, hoping he wouldn't ask her to delve into it deeper. "Why do you believe I'm from the future but not what I first told you?" Elena asked.

"You answer my questions succinctly and without hesitation. You don't need to think about the answers to my questions, only the ones you don't think I want to hear." he smiled. "Over the last few months I've discovered both..." he looked around before lowering his voice. "Both witches and vampires exist. To me, nothing is impossible." he shrugged as Elena smiled at him. "You told me I sent you back, why would I do that if I barely noticed you?" he narrowed his eyes at her.

"You did eventually notice me. I'd consider you to be my closest friend. I don't know what I'd do without you." Elena lowered her eyes sadly.

"And nothing has ever happened between us?" Damon asked, appearing surprised, more than likely at the notion of a man and a woman being best friends without it going any further.

"No." Elena sighed. "Although we have shared...moments." she admitted.

"Like when we danced earlier?" Damon asked, raising an eyebrow.

"The last time we danced that dance." Elena told him. "The exact same thing happened. It was as if we were the only two people in the world." she sighed, thinking back to the pageant. "But we are just friends, that is all." Elena insisted.

"Then I will endeavor to be the same friend to you now, of which I am to you in the future." Damon smiled.

"Thank you Damon." Elena smiled back, deciding now would be a good time to ask about Lizzie. "As my friend, could I ask a favor of you?"

"Anything." Damon smiled.

"The girl who helped dress me, Lizzie. I'd like it if she were my sole handmaiden." Elena told him. "It limits the amount of people who I have to tell my story to. Also I can pick up on the fashions and gossip from her to help me be a lady of society." she grimaced.

"Are you not of a high social standing?" Damon frowned.

"I am a descendant of Jonathan Gilbert. So as far as this town is concerned, I am of a fairly high social status. It is just, women behave differently where I come from." she frowned. "For instance, Katherine has suggested you and I go riding tomorrow. But we don't ride horses. I have no idea how to ride side saddle." Elena told him in a panicked voice.

"I will help you." Damon laughed. "We have a saddle made up for Katherine which you can use." he said. "And I will make sure only Lizzie attends to you from now on." he added.

"Thank you Damon." Elena shivered as the sky had turned completely black. Elena wasn't cold but in comparison to the day, it felt practically arctic in temperature.

"Are you cold?" Damon asked, creasing his brow in concern.

"I'm fine thank you." Elena assured him.

"I think it is time we returned to your party." Damon said. "People will begin to gossip." he said.

"I think Katherine would be delighted if they did." Elena sighed. "But you are right. Lead the way Mr Salvatore." she said.

"Ladies first." Damon replied as he placed his gloved hand on the small of Elena's back, sending shivers up her spine.

Damon and Elena made their way back to the party and began to mingle among the other guests. Elena was introduced to her ancestor Jonathan Gilbert, who was just as fascinating in the flesh as he was through his journals. She met Thomas and Honoria Fell, who turned out to be just as nosy as their own descendants. The Lockwood's were absent as George was at war. The other names and faces she didn't recognize soon fell into a blur.

As the night progressed, Elena grew tired. Her feet were killing her as the shoes of the day were most definitely not designed for comfort. The corset she was wearing, was so uncomfortable, she thought she was going to suffocate at times. Ever the observationalist when it came to her wellbeing, Damon suggested after her long journey, Elena retired for the evening. She bid them goodnight, but not before agreeing to taking a ride and picnic with Damon the next day after the dressmaker had been to visit. When she reached her room, Elena saw Lizzie waiting was for her. Elena closed the door and sighed a sigh of relief.

"I suspect you'll be happy to get some sleep." Lizzie smiled. "I was told a few minutes ago, Master Damon asked for me to be your handmaiden while you stay." she grinned excitedly. "I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart Miss Eleanor." she said.

"The pleasure is all mine Lizzie." Elena smiled. "However, I would be immensely grateful if you could help me out of these clothes." she said, hating the fact she was asking the girl for help. The last thing Elena wanted to do was treat Lizzie like a servant, but Elena hadn't got a clue about how to undress herself. Also it would not look good if Lizzie told the rest of the staff about Elena undressing herself, even if she could. No matter how much she hated it, Elena had to stick close to the protocol of the day.

Lizzie started on removing Elena's shoes, before taking off her dress, and finally removing the corset she'd grown to hate so much already. While Lizzie was peeling back the layers of clothing, Elena noticed lying on the bed was a white nightdress which looked thin and cool for the July warm night air. Once Elena was down to her last petticoat, she decided to stop Lizzie from going further. Protocol or not, she wasn't going to let a complete stranger see her naked.

"I'll do the rest myself." Elena insisted as Lizzie nodded her head. "You can go for tonight." she smiled. "And could you ensure I am up with plenty of time to spare before the dressmaker comes. I wish to bathe first." Lizzie nodded before leaving and closing the door behind her.

Elena removed the final petticoat and pulled the night dress over her head and got into her bed. Just as she was about to lie down, Elena noticed a piece of folded up paper in her bed. As she opened it and began to read, her heart leapt with joy at the sight of Bonnie's handwriting.

E

We figured we need to ask a few questions and the only way you can answer them is to cryptically tell Damon the answers. Damon saw your ring in his dreams which got him worried, thinking you might be a vampire. Has Katherine turned you? If you're not, do you know why she gave you one? Damon also wants me to let you know, whatever Katherine asks you to do, he won't hold it against you, so don't worry about hurting his feelings. Try and work out what Katherine is up to, even if that means using Damon to get information out of her. If we find anything out here, I will let you know straight away. How are you planning to keep yourself useful to Katherine? Speaking of which, she is still in the cemetery in Charlotte trying to wake Mikael. I'll contact you as soon as we have answers from you and we know more either about Mikael or your situation.

I'm really sorry, I didn't think the spell would take you back to 1864. I don't understand what went wrong.

Love

B (and D)

As she finished reading, it became clear the letter had been written before her recent conversation with Damon. Fortunately, her telling the 1864 version meant she would be able to answer some of the questions without being too cryptic. Elena laid back on the soft cushion and smiled. Maybe her time here wouldn't be too bad after all she thought as she closed her eyes and drifted off into a deep sleep.





 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Elena woke to the sound of knocking on the door. She squinted to look for the clock on her nightstand but it wasn't there. Momentarily Elena was confused, she wasn't in her bedroom, the room looked completely unfamiliar. However the events of the previous day quickly came flooding back to her when she heard another knock at the door.

"Miss Eleanor." the familiar voice of a young girl came from the other side of the door. "Are you awake?" she asked.

"Come in Lizzie, I'm awake." Elena groaned sitting up as her handmaiden entered the room and walked over to the window before opening the opening the curtains.

Elena covered her eyes to the bright sun as she felt the telltale symptom of a mild hangover from the previous night's wine and champagne. To make matters worse, Elena didn't know whether aspirin was available or not back in 1864. Deciding not to chance it she figured a hearty breakfast would have to suffice.

"What time is it?" Elena asked, still squinting.

"A little after seven." Lizzie told her as she walked over to Elena's bed. "The girls are about to bring up your bathtub. Miss Katherine gave me this." she handed her a vial of blood. "She told me I had to make sure you took it. Apparently it should help with the wine you drank last night and I have to make sure I watch you take it."

Elena took the vial of blood from Lizzie's hand. She'd suspected Katherine would get to the girl and she was right. To make sure Katherine didn't touch Lizzie, Elena drank the blood and handed the small empty vial back to Lizzie, surprised to find her hangover disappear almost immediately.

"Tell Miss Katherine I took her hangover cure." Elena smiled. "And thank her on my behalf, tell her it worked perfectly." she said truthfully. If Elena was to have to consume alcohol while she was back in 1864, having a vampire blood cure was going to have to be her answer and just hope she didn't get killed and turn into a vampire.

All of a sudden there was a flurry of activity, as two girls piled into her room with the tin bath which was then filled while Lizzie lit the fire in the hearth.

"Breakfast is to be served at eight and the dressmaker will be here at nine." Lizzie told her. "Master Damon has organized for you to go riding at eleven and is taking a picnic with him." she giggled as the other girls left the room, closing the door. "Is he looking to court you Eleanor?" she asked.

Elena blushed. "No Lizzie, he's just being a gracious host and showing me around." she said. "Katherine asked him look after me to while she attended to business." Elena opting to use the terminology 'business' to ensure she didn't think about what Katherine and Stefan were getting up to, although surprisingly it didn't seem to upset her as much as she'd expected it to.

"Well be careful Miss Eleanor." Lizzie warned as she was about to leave. "Master Damon has quite the reputation with the ladies." she blushed.

"I can quite imagine." Elena laughed, unsurprised that particular aspect of Damon's nature was the same when he was human as it was when he was a vampire. "And please tell me Lizzie, how many of ladies of Mystic Falls would wish for Master Damon's reputation to be even worse, especially if it involved themselves?" she joked as Lizzie blushed.

"Master Damon is very kind and handsome." Lizzie's eyes fell to the floor as Elena laughed.

"Yes he is Lizzie." Elena agreed. "However, I only intend for him and I to be friends. Nothing more." she said.

"Mmhmm?" Lizzie folded her arms and raised an eyebrow suggesting she didn't believe Elena.

"And why would I want to 'court' Master Damon. And what makes you think he'd want to court me? He only has eyes for my sister." Elena replied.

"Master Damon is the heir to a large cotton plantation and the Salvatore family own all of the logging mills in Mystic Falls." Lizzie told her. "He's rich, kind, handsome and the girls in the town who have had the pleasure of his 'reputation' say he's very good with his..." she stopped as if realizing she might be going too far. "Never mind." she blushed.

"I think that'll be all for now Lizzie." Elena giggled. "I need to bathe and be ready for breakfast. Would you care to come back in twenty minutes to help me dress?" she asked.

"Certainly Miss Eleanor." Lizzie smiled as left the room.

Elena was still laughing as she stripped out of her nightdress and stepped into the warm lavender scented bath, absently wondering what exactly Damon was good with. Elena didn't have to be a genius to work out the talent was related to something sexual, but she wasn't sure whether she wasted to know or not. As she washed herself, the scent of lavender overwhelmed her, making her feel drowsy. Elena splashed water on her face to wake her and decided she needed some new scented oils. Lavender might have been fashionable for the day, but Elena wasn't particularly fond of the scent. She was just putting new scented oil on a mental list of things to do when suddenly she heard a noise of a woman moaning in the room next door.

There was no mistaking the voice of the other woman, it was her own, or Katherine's to be precise, and the sounds were clearly moans of pleasure. Elena wanted to die with embarrassment, the last thing she wanted to hear was Katherine having sex with whom she presumed to be Stefan, as her doppelganger had shown no interest in Damon at all since Elena arrived.

Elena slipped her head under the water, hoping it would drown out the sound of sex until they'd finished, but she knew she couldn't do it for long as Lizzie would be back soon. She sat up to hear the final crescendo of moans and cries from the neighboring room before it fell silent. Elena breathed a sigh of relief as she stood up and dried herself with the towel and placed a petticoat over her head ready for Lizzie to come help her dress.

Soon there was a tap at the door and Elena ushered Lizzie in to help her prepare for breakfast and the dressmaker.

"Who's room is next to mine?" Elena asked, hoping it wasn't Katherine's as there was no way she would be able to cope with hearing both Stefan and Damon having sex with her doppelganger.

"That's Master Damon's room." Lizzie told her, lowering her eyes.

"Oh." Elena replied, feeling like she'd been punched in the gut. She knew she had to keep reminding herself both Stefan and Damon were madly in love with Katherine at this point, but it didn't stop it from hurting any less. What did surprise Elena however was it hurt less when she thought it was Stefan than when she found out it was Damon. Elena wondered if her odd reaction was due to her knowing Katherine used compulsion at times with Stefan, although it was only to stop him from being scared of her.

"Miss Katherine gave me the medicine for you just as she was going to visit him." Lizzie told her. "She left just as I was coming to help you dress." she said.

Elena thought for a minute. To her it sounded like Katherine's motives for having sex with Damon were possibly to listen in on her and Lizzie's conversation. Elena knew Lizzie had been compelled into giving her the blood and assumed this was going to happen every day. She just hoped Katherine having sex with Damon wasn't going to be her regular morning wake up call.

"Thank you Lizzie." Elena smiled at the girl, although her heart felt like it was breaking in two, knowing she couldn't fully trust Lizzie until she got the girl on vervain. "I need you to make me look beautiful today. I also need you to give me all of the day's gossip." she smiled.

Just before breakfast, Elena descended the stairs to the dining room, finding Katherine, Damon and Stefan already sat down at the table, however there was no sign of Giuseppe.

"Mr Salvatore had business to attend to. He took breakfast in his office early this morning." Katherine told her with a smug grin on her face.

Damon stood up and pulled a chair out for Elena to sit. "Miss Eleanor." he offered as Elena sat down.

"Thank you Mr Salvatore." she smiled grimly as Damon sat back in his own chair opposite hers.

"How are you feeling this morning sister?" Katherine asked. "I was going to give you your special little hangover cure in person, but luckily for me Lizzie was also on her way to your room." she smiled demurely.

Elena sucked her cheeks in, trying to remain calm as their food was being brought out. "Thank you for remembering. While in London I could barely touch a drop of wine or champagne as it gives me such a headache." she complained dramatically. "They don't have your special remedy there."

"Glad to be of assistance." Katherine smiled back.

"Hopefully I won't be needing it again for a while." Elena nodded.

"I wouldn't be too sure. We have wine every night with our evening meal and it is perceived as rude to decline it. Don't we Master Damon?" Katherine turned to Damon in an appearance to back her up, however it was clear she was compelling him.

"It would be rude to decline a glass of wine with the evening meal." he said as he turned to Elena.

"Don't worry." Katherine smiled. "I have plenty of my remedy to go around. Both Damon and Stefan find it very helpful after a too much alcohol. We never have any need to visit the apothecary."

"The town has an apothecary already?" Elena asked, knowing full well they did and who ran it.

"Miss Pearl opened the store a few weeks ago." Stefan said as he spoke to her for the first time.

"You remember Miss Pearl from last night?" Katherine asked.

"Of course." Elena smiled. "Does Miss Pearl sell scented oils?" she asked as an idea popped into her head. "My bath is scented with lavender, but I would prefer it if I could find something similar to what I used in England." she lied.

"And what oil was it?" Katherine asked.

"I am not sure." Elena frowned. "I would have to smell the oils for myself to work out which one it is. I must remember to pay Pearl's apothecary a visit when I have the opportunity." she smiled, realizing to go into town she would need either Stefan or Damon to accompany her. Elena had decided she wanted to make friends with Pearl as she wanted to make sure she had as many allies as possible knowing she couldn't trust Katherine. Especially after she'd only earlier that morning used Damon for sex just so she could spy on Elena. If there was a chance Elena could break Damon free of Katherine's manipulations, regardless of whether compulsion or love was involved, there was a chance Katherine wouldn't turn Damon, therefore Elena needed a backup sire for him.

The breakfast continued with bits and pieces of small talk, however the air was thick with tension. Katherine and Damon's morning antics were clearly known not only to Elena, but it seemed Stefan was also aware of what had gone on and he didn't seem too happy about the situation. As was Elena, who seemed to be venting her fury towards Damon even though she knew she shouldn't. While Elena was seething, Katherine must have picked up on Stefan's bad mood, as he had been very quiet all throughout breakfast.

"So, dear sister. I hear Master Damon is taking you for a picnic and a ride later." Katherine smiled as Stefan looked up with interest.

"He has promised to give me a personal tour of some of the beauty spots." Elena smiled.

"I'm having a saddle of your own made up, just in case you both wish to ride at the same time." Damon told her. "But for today, I'm afraid you'll have to use Miss Katherine's." he said.

"I'm sure if it's good enough for Katherine, it's good enough for me." Elena smiled looking Katherine directly in the eyes. "I'm sure it will be a wonderful ride." she added, her eyes blazing.

"It certainly is." Katherine smirked, making it clear Elena's double entrendre was not lost on her.

Elena was about to make a witty response when she saw Lizzie enter the room and walk over to her.

"The dressmaker has arrived and is waiting for you in the parlor." she whispered into Elena's ear.

"Thank you Lizzie." Elena smiled and looked around the room. "It appears I must take my leave. I have an appointment to attend to." she said as Lizzie pulled her chair out and she stood up. "Katherine, Master Stefan." she nodded to them.

"Miss Eleanor." Stefan stood up and nodded back.

"Sister." Katherine smiled.

"Master Damon, I shall be ready for eleven as arranged." she said, nodding her head towards him as he stood up and took her fingers in his.

"I look forward to it." Damon smiled and kissed the back of her hand before releasing it.

Elena's heart began to race at his gesture, and her earlier annoyance with him evaporated, which annoyed her even more because she knew he was getting to her and as a consequence, Katherine had seemingly believed Damon was Elena's weakness not Stefan. Oddly enough, under the circumstances, Elena suspected Katherine was right as Stefan didn't need Elena's help, Damon did. The only problem was Elena wasn't sure whether or not Katherine would try and compel Damon to spy on Elena. This meant Elena was going to need another plan.

Elena met the dressmaker, an elderly gentleman called Francis, who first of all measured her under the watchful eyes of Lizzie and Emily. Emily told Elena she was there on behalf of Katherine to ensure they would not have the same clothes yet to keep up with the height of fashion, of which apparently Emily was an expert in such matters. Lizzie was there to learn from Emily, to know what the summer fashions were, the best materials, patterns and styles.

Under normal circumstances, Elena would have found this exercise fascinating. This was the epitome of personal shopping, however she was too distracted by the events of earlier. Katherine had been testing Elena with Damon to see if she could make her jealous and no matter what Elena told herself, she couldn't deny how much it hurt knowing Katherine and Damon had been having sex in the room next to her. Elena also suspected Katherine was purposely noisy to ensure Elena heard everything. The more she thought about it, the more Elena realized the only two options left to her. One was to flirt with Stefan. She didn't want Katherine using Damon against her, therefore if Katherine thought Elena was more interested in Stefan, she would concentrate her affections more to the younger Salvatore.

Elena's other option was riskier but had greater potential to work if she managed to pull it off. Future Damon had told her to do whatever had to be done, and not to worry about hurting his feelings, but that wasn't very comforting to Elena. Her idea was to turn Damon against Katherine, get him on vervain and find another vampire to turn him. That way he could pretend to be compelled, however that would only work until Katherine fed from him before she would discover he was on vervain.

As the dressmaker was about to leave, Emily walked over to him and spoke to him in private before heading up the stairs towards Katherine's bedroom. Elena checked the clock and saw she had half an hour to be ready for her picnic with Damon. She returned to her room wondering what she was going to wear when she saw an outfit on her bed which looked very different to what she'd been used to seeing the women wearing since she'd arrived. The riding attire was of a dark burgundy jacket with a matching skirt.

Suddenly Emily appeared at the door and asked Lizzie to leave. As soon as they were alone, Emily lit some sage for a privacy spell which allowed Elena to go into a full blown panic.

"I don't know what to do Emily." Elena cried. "I don't know who to trust. Lizzie has been compelled to feed me Katherine's blood. Katherine is seducing Damon, I'm guessing to ensure he's not on vervain so she can compel him to spy on me. And now I'm supposed to go riding with him and I don't know how to ride side saddle." she told the witch as she flopped backwards onto the bed. "Please help me Emily." Elena begged.

"Katherine is convinced that you are in love with Damon." Emily told her as she began to help her out of her gown. "Which means she thinks she is in a position to use him to manipulate and spy on you. I would suggest you let him."

"I do what?" Elena asked wide eyed. "I'm only being protective over Damon because I don't think she'll turn him and she has to. For your sake." she said. "Your family will die without him."

"Oh." Emily stood back for a minute. "Is it imperative Stefan is also turned?" she asked.

"He saved my life, so yes." Elena replied.

"Do you know when they turn?" Emily asked.

"It's around the time of the Founders Ball. Maybe a couple of weeks afterwards. I think its September twenty something." Elena told her. "There's a comet. You had to do a spell which involved a comet." she said, trying not to give the future away, realized the only way she could ensure their safety was to tell Emily about it. "Katherine wanted to fake her death to escape Klaus. She had all of the vampires, including herself rounded up and taken to Fells Church where it was burned to the ground. But underneath was a tomb which was sealed until the comet returned a hundred and forty six years later. Long story short, the tomb was opened, Katherine wasn't in there, the rest of the vampires got out. Word spread about Katherine not being dead and that another doppelganger existed and Klaus triggered the curse. I'm here to prevent more hybrids being made while Katherine is trying to find a way to kill Klaus."

"If Katherine kills Klaus, Katherine will also die." Emily told her.

"Why?" Elena asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Witches talk, and the witch who created the Original vampires has revealed if an Original vampire is destroyed, then their entire sire-line dies with them. Katherine was created by Rose, who was created by a vampire named Mary who was sired by Klaus." Emily explained.

"Oh my god." Elena cried. "No, this can't be happening."

"We may be able to stop the chain of events, however it comes with a risk of a high price to be paid." Emily warned her.

"Go on." Elena told her, her heart sinking as from Emily's tone of voice, the consequences were likely to be high.

"To eliminate your concern over Katherine turning both Damon and Stefan, we find another vampire who is willing to turn them, just in case Katherine changes her mind." Emily suggested. "I can think of a few who would potentially be of assistance, although I do have one specific vampire in mind." she told her.

"Who?" Elena asked.

"Do not worry yourself over that small issue. The less you know the better." Emily smiled.

"Okay." Elena said suspiciously. "What's the rest of the plan?" she asked.

"Are there any vampires you wish to not become trapped in the tomb?" Emily asked.

Elena thought for a moment. Even though Anna had helped Damon get into the tomb, Elena could tell him before she left. Anna would never return to Mystic Falls to find her mother, and Jeremy would never cheat on Bonnie with Anna's ghost. "Pearl and Annabelle." Elena told her.

"As long as it doesn't affect your future, then that is fine." Emily smiled. "For the rest, leave it to me. I suggest you go with Damon and enjoy your time together. Forget about Katherine and whatever is happening between them or whatever pillow talk they may have. Let nature take its course." she said as Elena frowned.

"What do you mean, let nature take its course?" Elena asked as Emily buttoned up her .

"I believe Katherine is a little jealous of the attention Damon was paying you last night." Emily told her. "But maybe Damon was trying to make Katherine jealous, or maybe not. Don't you think we should find out?" she asked.

"I suppose." Elena sighed.

"It will determine how we proceed." Emily smiled. "We need to be certain he has taken a genuine liking for you."

"And how do I do that?" Elena narrowed her eyes.

"Damon may have a reputation with the ladies, however he is extremely loyal. Test his loyalty to Katherine." Emily told her.

"How?" Elena asked, although she had a fair idea of what Emily was suggesting.

"Charm him and see how he reacts. Trust me, Katherine was reminding him of how good she was for him this morning. She most certainly won't compel him to act in any way improper. If he tries anything, it will be of his own free will." Emily told her. "It is of the upmost importance we know his feelings for you. He is the key to how we proceed with my plan, which I will reveal over the course of the next couple of weeks as I gather information." she said.

"This all depends on whether I can get back or not isn't it." Elena asked.

"Yes." Emily nodded. "If you just disappear because you are safe in the future. Katherine and I need an explanation as to your disappearance. If the witches cannot send you back, we need to look at other options. And for that, Damon could well be the key. He's in love with you in the future, I don't think it will be hard to imagine him falling in love with you now." she smiled.

Elena nodded as Emily blew out the burning sage and left the room before heading to her dresser and pulling out Bonnie and Damon's letter from her copy of the bible which had been left in her room. Looking around she slipped it into a small pocket in her skirt, and made her way out of her bedroom and down the stairs to meet Damon, who was waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs, also dressed for riding with a picnic basket over his arm.

"Miss Eleanor." he smiled.

"Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled back.

"Shall we?" Damon asked as he took her arm and led her out of the door and round to the stables.

Once they reached the stables, there were already two horses prepared. One a large black stallion with a white spot on his nose, the other a smaller chestnut mare with an unusual looking saddle. Elena looked at Damon terrified, wondering how she was supposed to not only ride the horse, but how to climb on it.

"How do I get up there?" Elena whispered to Damon who pointed to a stable lad who was coming towards them with what Elena recognized as a mounting block, to which Elena nodded. "And how do I sit on it?" she asked.

"You place your right leg over the top pommel and your left leg under the lower pommel and into the stirrup." Damon whispered back. "Make sure you sit facing forward with your back straight." he told her.

Elena looked at it with trepidation. She hadn't ridden since before her parents died, and she had never attempted to ride side saddle before. From her perspective it looked quite dangerous, especially considering she didn't have a proper riding helmet. Unable to refuse. Elena stepped up the mounting block and followed Damon's instructions, finding it surprisingly easier than it looked. She took hold of the reins and whip as she watched Damon hand the picnic basket to the stable lad as he climbed astride his own horse.

"What are their names?" Elena asked.

"Mine is called Zeus and yours is called Sally." Damon replied with a smile as the stable lad fastened the picnic basket to his saddle. "You ready?" he asked as Elena nodded.

"Where are we going?" Elena asked.

"Just over those hills." Damon told her. "There's a small pond and some trees for shade. It's the perfect place for a picnic." he told her.

"Lead the way." Elena told him as they set off at a slow trot to allow Elena to get a feel for riding in the unusual position.

After a while Elena became more comfortable with the unusual position and they picked up the pace slightly, heading over the hills. After about an hours ride, Damon brought them to a halt as they approached a small wood. Damon dismounted and helped Elena down from her horse.

"We'll have to walk from here, the branches are too low to ride." he said. "I promise it isn't far." he assured her.

"Please, lead the way." Elena gestured for Damon to go first, however instead he offered her his arm.

"We wouldn't want you to fall now would we?" Damon smirked in a way Elena had come to recognize and loathe over the year she'd known him, and yet she had missed in it the last twenty four hours.

Elena feigned a scowl but took his arm as Damon held the reins of the horses in the other hand and slowly guided them through the woods and eventually coming out into a small clearing where there was a pond. Elena frowned, there was a certain familiarity in the landscape yet everything was different.

"Where is Wickery Bridge from here?" Elena asked.

"Just over there." Damon pointed off into the distance. "About a mile away. Why?" he asked.

Elena smiled. "Where I am from, you live in a house somewhere near here." she told him as Damon took the picnic basket down from the horse and removed the blanket from inside.

"Why don't I live on the estate?" Damon asked looking puzzled.

"Neither you or Stefan told me what happened to the house. Only that it became a ruin over the years. When I went to see it, there was only the walls to the gates left." Elena told him. "I assume it was burned down or destroyed."

"Oh." Damon frowned. "That's...sad." he said, although Elena wasn't sure Damon was telling the truth.

"The house you live in where I'm from, is just as grand." Elena assured him. "It's a very different style of house. And some parts are very beautiful." she nodded as Damon lay the blanket on the ground so they could take in the sunlight, yet be shaded from the heat of the day under the trees. Damon tied the horse up and helped Elena sit as he opened the basket for their picnic.

"Tell me more about the future." Damon said. "You said we don't have horses, so what do we use instead?" he asked eagerly.

"They're called cars." Elena smiled. "They have an engine, like a train does, except it's a lot smaller. A person is able to make the car move around very quickly." she explained.

"How quickly?" Damon frowned as if he didn't believe her.

"There are some cars what can do over two hundred miles per hour." Elena said, however she suddenly burst into laughter at the look of wonderment on Damon's face. Deciding to amaze him even further, she opted to tell him about airplanes. "That's not all. When we want to travel long distances, or go to countries across the sea, we no longer have to use a ship." she told him. "We fly!" she said.

"I know I shouldn't accuse a lady of not being truthful Elena, but on this occasion I'm afraid I'm going to have to say I don't believe you." Damon laughed as he removed a bottle of white wine from the basket and two wine glasses.

"Isn't it a little early?" Elena frowned.

"Nonsense." Damon replied. "We only have to have one glass. It is perfectly acceptable with food." he told her as he brought out sandwiches, fried chicken and an assortment of pickles, surprising Elena of how similar it was to what she would have taken on a picnic.

"Not everything changes." Elena smiled.

"What do you mean?" Damon asked.

"Picnic food hasn't changed much." she said as she tucked into a cheese and pickle sandwich.

They continued to talk more about future inventions over the course of the meal. Elena steered clear of future events of politics and war as she wasn't sure if Damon would interfere or change his own historical course if he knew about what was to come, but she figured technology was a safe subject to cover. As they started on the cake Elena opted to cover the subject of fashion.

"Women and men dress very differently where I come from." she told him as she took her fan out to cool herself down in the sweltering July heat. "Women are allowed to wear pants and show their legs." she told him, his jaw dropping in shock.

"But are women who show their legs, deemed to be of questionable morals?" Damon asked, clearly shocked by the revelation.

Elena giggled, the wine going to her head slightly. "I think what is deemed to be questionable morals today doesn't apply in the twenty first century." she told him. "For instance, it is not uncommon for a woman to live with a man without marrying him."

"Do they sleep in separate beds?" Damon frowned.

"No. Elena shook her head.

"So are certain types of activities deemed normal?" Damon asked.

"It isn't frowned upon for a woman to lose her virginity before marriage." she told him almost immediately regretting her statement as she realized what he was going to ask next.

"Have you and Stefan..." he started as Elena simply nodded. "And you and I have never..."

"No Damon. As I said last night, we've shared moments, but nothing more." she said standing up to stretch her legs, although she had to rest up against the tree a moment as she was a little wobbly from the wine.

Damon stood up. "Do we share 'moments' often?" he enquired.

Elena lowered her eyes. "They've become more frequent lately." she admitted as Damon inched closer to her.

"When was the last time?" he asked softly.

"Yesterday morning, just before you sent me here." Elena told him.

Damon narrowed his eyes. "What happened?"

"You were about to kiss me." Elena looked up at him through her eyelashes.

"But we didn't." Damon guessed as Elena shook her head to confirm his statement. "Why not?" he asked.

"My friend disturbed us." Elena told him.

"Is kissing in front of others frowned upon in your time?" Damon raised on eyebrow as Elena giggled.

"No." she smiled. "I think it is more about me kissing you which would be frowned upon." she told him.

"Why?" he asked, Elena detecting a note of hurt in his voice.

"The future you is slightly different." Elena explained. "If someone tries to hurt someone you care about, you have a tendency to be...ruthless. You act first before thinking about the consequences and you sometimes lash out." she told him. "There were a couple of instances where my friend suffered as a consequence of your actions. Safe to say she's not your greatest fan."

"I'm sorry." Damon apologized sincerely, and Elena knew he meant it. "If you tell me what I do wrong, maybe I can..." he started however Elena cupped his face in her hands causing him to draw back in surprise, and Elena's hands dropped to her side.

"No. I can't tell you." she whispered. "If I intentionally change too much, I might not be able to get back." she told him as tears began to well in her eyes.

"Hush, don't cry Elena." Damon said softly as he took a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and handed it to her. "I'm sure there will be a way, and I promise I won'r ask again."

Damon tucked a stray hair behind Elena's ear causing her to look up and smile at the feeling of familiarity of his touch. Elena grasped hold of his hand and leaned into it so he was cupping her cheek. She closed her eyes and sighed imagining she were home. When she opened them Damon was looking at her incredulously as Elena realized she was overstepping boundaries and pulled away from his touch.

Elena cleared her throat. "I'm sorry, I don't know what came over me." she apologized lowering her eyes to the floor.

"You're lying Elena." Damon narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "There is something more between us. Times may change, but the way one touches another transcends time. Do you touch your other friends like you touched me?" he asked softly as Elena shook her head. "And if I were going to kiss you, I am guessing I am no longer in love with Katherine am I?" he said as Elena bit her bottom lip and shook her head. "Am I in love with you?" he raised an eyebrow as Elena simply nodded. "Are you in love with me?" he asked.

"I don't know." Elena admitted, her voice barely audible.

Damon inched even closer to her. "Would you have kissed me back?" he whispered.

"Yes." Elena replied as her gaze briefly fell to Damon's lips.

Damon gently lifted Elena's chin with his finger and leaned into kiss her. Their lips brushed together as they kissed in an almost chaste fashion. Yet it was clear they were both holding back, scared of the consequences of their actions. As they broke away from the kiss, Elena saw the look of shock in Damon's eyes which mirrored her own feelings. The kiss may have been chaste, however the undertones of passion were clearly evident. For a moment, Elena felt home for the first time since her parents had died. She never even felt this way with Stefan. Elena had a desperate urge to melt into Damon's strong arms, but she knew she couldn't. Regardless of what had just happened, Damon was in love with Katherine, although Elena could already see a change in the way Damon looked at her. His eyes already holding some affection for her, although not the love Damon from the future had, but the spark was definitely there.

The thought of Katherine brought Elena down from the high of their kiss as she remembered the noises she'd heard coming from Damon's room that morning. At first she'd considered confronting him, but after the kiss she had changed her mind. Emily had been adamant Damon wouldn't kiss her if he was as in love with Katherine as he thought he was. He was too loyal to cheat unless he felt he was single and free to be with who he wanted to. Just because he had slept with Katherine that morning, didn't mean his feelings were set in stone. The kiss proved there was something between them, both present and future, suggesting Emily was right. Damon was probably the key to her seeing her family again, however the last thing she could do was use him. If she did, she'd be no better than Katherine. Elena decided she wanted to know Emily's plans to help her if the witches refused to allow her to go home and where Damon fit into her scheme. However, for the time being, Elena would see how her and Damon's friendship progressed.

"I'm sorry Elena, was I too forward?" Damon frowned, pulling Elena from her thoughts.

"That is exactly the same kiss you were going to give me before my friend interrupted us." Elena smiled. "So no, it wasn't too forward. I was just a little surprised by it, that's all." she blushed.

"Why?" Damon asked.

"Katherine." Elena reminded him of the supposed love of his life, causing his face to fall.

"Ah." Damon took a deep breath. "I don't think it's a good idea if Katherine finds out about this." he lowered his eyes.

"I agree. She'll try to kill us both." Elena said. "Although I suspect we both have vampire blood in our systems, so we'd just come back as vampires if she did." she shrugged. "But on the other hand it would probably be a good idea if this didn't happen again." she stated although her heart sang a different song.

Damon hesitated for a moment. "I swear to never kiss you like that again." he promised, although Elena could have sworn she saw Damon suppressing his trademark smirk.

Elena put the look on his face down to her overactive imagination and decided to change the subject. "I think we should get back. It's getting late." she said.

"As you wish." Damon sighed as he began to clear up the picnic.

While he was busy tidying their food away, Elena removed the letter Bonnie had sent from her pocket.

"Before we go, I just need to tell you a few things, just so future you knows the answers to some questions." she said as Damon turned to look at her.

"What does future me need to know?" Damon asked.

"I'm not a vampire, although Katherine is feeding me her blood. I don't know why or what she is up to." Elena told him. "And no Damon, I cannot hurt you, even if it is for the greater good. Although I may have to keep things from you regarding your future for your own safety." she said. "Just one last thing, were the keys silver or brass?" she asked. "If they were silver, we have a problem because it means I might be stuck here. But Emily is working on it." she added as Damon packed the blanket into the basket.

"You ready?" he asked.

"As long as you can help me up." Elena smiled.

"The pleasure is all mine." Damon grinned as he hoisted Elena up onto her saddle before mounting Zeus. "Let's go." he added as they set off back to the house.

 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Damon woke with a start. "Holy shit, I kissed her, and she kissed me back." he cried out as he sat up and took in his surroundings, readjusting to being in his bedroom in the boarding house instead of being outside near the old pond at the edge of the woods, taking a picnic with Elena, where she'd just answered all of their questions, yet to Damon, that paled into insignificance as to what had just happened between them.

"Hello brother." Stefan appeared at the door. "I heard you were awake. You haven't by any chance seen Elena have you?" he asked. "She was missing from school yesterday. As they're both on vervain, I tried a little bit of torture both Ric and Jeremy, but it appears neither of them know where she is. Oddly, they didn't seem too concerned about her whereabouts though." he frowned. "I'm beginning to sense the hand of witches in this. Now I know I can't compel Bonnie, but torture is still an option." he grinned.

Damon flew out of bed and stood in front of Stefan, sizing him up. "Don't you touch a hair on any of their heads." he snarled.

"Ooh, is that a threat? Touchy, but I thought you were in love with my girlfriend." Stefan grinned. "Or are you so pussy whipped that you're now protecting Bonnie as well as Jeremy?" he raised an eyebrow in suspicion. "No, it's something else. Bonnie's placed some kind of protection spell on her, hasn't she?" he guessed.

"You're right brother." Damon admitted. "The only problem is, if you hurt Bonnie, you'll never find her." he grinned. "And then poor Klaus won't be able to make any more hybrids." he pouted in feigned sympathy. "And I bet he'll be real pleased with you for letting her disappear. Now brother, if you'd just move out of my way and let me get dressed, I have things to do and alcohol to drink." he said as he removed his clothes and walked into the shower leaving Stefan to storm out of his bedroom.

Damon switched the shower on, however instead of stepping under the faucet, he wrapped a towel around his waist and vamp-sped into the bedroom and began to search the top drawer of the dresser in his closet. Inside there was a secret compartment where he'd hidden Elena's release key which Bonnie had given to him. In his dream she'd asked whether it was silver or brass. Deep down he knew it was silver, but he wanted to make sure before he text Bonnie to let her know what Elena had told him during their picnic. When he found the key his heart sank, it was silver. He picked up his phone and began to text Bonnie.

Hey Judgy, we have a problem. Just had a message and was told you used the wrong key. I'll explain later. Be round soon. Don't reply to this message, Stefan is sniffing around. Give him a headache for me if he pays you a visit. D

Damon pressed send before deleting the message to ensure Stefan wouldn't be able to read it if he came across Damon's phone. He pulled out some clothes and put the key in one of his jacket pockets before rushing back to have a quick shower. Once he'd finished, he checked to see if the key was still there, but it appeared Stefan hadn't been back to his room. He changed and headed over to Bonnie's, all the while contemplating everything Elena had told him.

When Bonnie opened the door, she didn't even bother to say hello. Damon's message had been slightly cryptic but she had enough to go by for her to consult her grimoires while she was waiting for him to arrive, to see what she could have done wrong. She'd combined a set of spells to give her what she thought was a unique one, but she was beginning to suspect the spell was something else. It had never occurred to Bonnie a time travel spell could exist, but for the first time, she started to suspect it might.

"Has Stefan been here?" Damon asked.

"No, why?" Bonnie replied.

"He's been asking questions about Elena." Damon told her as he sat down on the couch. "He knows we've got something to do with it. I warned him if he wanted Elena back, he needed to stay away from you. Although, strangely he hasn't clued together Eleanor and Elena being the same person yet." he frowned.

"Maybe there's something blocking his memory of Elena." Bonnie suggested. "Compulsion, a spell."

"Compulsion would wear off the moment he turned." Damon told her.

"Which means a decision has already been made to wipe his memory of Elena as soon as he turns. But not yours." Bonnie narrowed her eyes in suspicion. "I wonder why." she muttered.

"Who cares?" Damon cried. "Look all that matters is Stefan doesn't get close to you so that we can bring Elena home. Which means we need you to be at your most powerful witchiness." he said wiggling his fingers.

"Oh Damon, you almost sound like you care." Bonnie smiled sarcastically folded her arms.

"Look Judgy, we don't have time for this." Damon snapped. "Elena and I went for a picnic." he told her.

"How romantic." Bonnie raised and eyebrow.

"That's not important." Damon glared at her. "Elena answered the questions." he said.

"Firstly, you're wrong!" Bonnie snorted. "You and Elena going on a picnic alone, together, might be more significant than you think. But we'll talk about that later. So what did she say?" she asked.

"She's not a vampire." Damon told her as Bonnie sighed with relief. "But Emily has made her a daylight ring and Katherine is feeding her vampire blood."

"Why?" Bonnie asked.

"She doesn't know." Damon shrugged. "It seems Katherine is being typical Katherine and keeping everyone guessing at her motives. But if I were to guess, I think Katherine is going to stitch Elena up, turn her and get one of her friends to hand her over to Klaus. That way Klaus kills Elena, thinking he's killed Katherine, meaning he stops looking for her. Katherine can sleep easy knowing Klaus can never break the curse and won't ever be able to produce hybrids." he surmised.

"That sounds like a typical Katherine plan." Bonnie sighed. "So what did she say about the key?" she frowned.

"Apparently you used the wrong type of key for the spell, which is why she ended up in 1864 instead of somewhere safe." he told her. "And there is a huge possibility she can't get back." Damon dropped his head.

Bonnie closed her eyes and shook her head. "By sending her into the past it could change the future and upset the balance of nature." she explained. "If the spell is a time travel spell, the spirits will only allow her to return if her future doesn't change as a result of what is happening in the past. Every step she has traced, every word she has said up until this point has to stay the same. Any changes in decisions or a different course of action is taken because of what happened in the past will be deemed as sending Elena into an alternate future. And it is forbidden for witches to send someone to the future. If Elena hadn't interacted with anyone, the spirits would have allowed her to come back because she would have been returned to her own present." Bonnie explained. "But if her actions have already had any small effect, then they won't let her come back." she said sadly.

"So how will we know if there are any changes?" Damon frowned.

"There will an event which will trigger changes. We won't feel it, our memories will just gradually change." Bonnie told him.

"Like mine are already changing?" Damon asked.

"Exactly." Bonnie told him. "Right now the changes are minor, but the knock on effect will become greater and greater until there is an event which changes everything. Like a catalyst." she explained.

"Like the night Stefan and I turn and the tomb vampires are captured?" Damon suggested.

"Exactly like that type of event." Bonnie agreed. "How long is it until you turn in days based on the date it is for Elena in 1864?" she asked.

Damon thought for a moment, counting the days. "I think it's about fifty six days." he said.

"So in eight weeks time, our lives could irrevocably change." Bonnie sighed. "Unless nothing has happened in 1864 which could possibly affect what is happening now."

"Like what?" Damon raised an eyebrow.

"What happened on the picnic?" Bonnie asked as Damon began to shift uncomfortably. "I won't judge, I promise. But I need to know what she is doing."

"We talked about our current friendship, and future inventions, that's all." Damon told her.

"And how did she act around you?" Bonnie narrowed her eyes.

"Like she usually does." Damon frowned.

"Shit!" Bonnie swore as Damon looked on at her in shock. "And how does the 1864 version of you interpret that behavior? Is it proper for a woman of that time to be so physically intimate?" she asked.

"I don't know." Damon replied, confused by Bonnie's comments.

"I'm not blind. I've seen the way you and Elena act around each other." Bonnie said through gritted teeth. "No matter how much you both try and deny it, you can't keep your hands off of each other. It's just a matter of time before you two kiss." she added rolling her eyes until she saw the expression of fake innocence on Damon's face. "You already did didn't you?" she asked as Damon nodded gingerly. "When?" she asked.

"At the picnic." he admitted.

"Woah!" Bonnie said, shocked at the new development. "I'm not sure which one of you is moving faster. The 1864 version of you, or Elena who no longer has anyone to answer to." she frowned.

"Oh..." Damon laughed. "So the reason Elena was finally able to admit she had some feelings for me was because she knew she wouldn't be judged by her friends."

"She told you?" Bonnie's eyes widened.

"In a fashion." Damon smirked.

"And how does the 1864 version of you feel about Elena?" Bonnie asked.

Damon opened his mouth to reply but he then realized he couldn't decipher his human feelings for Elena. "I don't know." he admitted. "I can only feel what my current emotions are." he frowned.

"What about your feelings for Katherine?" Bonnie asked.

"I can't tell." Damon looked at her with fear in his eyes, he knew something was wrong. "What's happening?" he asked.

"I suspect the 1864 version of you is falling for Elena." Bonnie said sadly. "And if he does, unless Elena has got a plan, we're all doomed, me included." she lowered her eyes.

"Why?" Damon frowned.

"If you fall in love with Elena, you won't want to get Katherine out of the tomb, which means Elena can't get back." Bonnie explained. "Or you decide not to turn and you and Elena have happy human lives together. But if that happens, I won't exist because you kept the Bennett line safe."

Damon placed his head in his hands. "We need to tell Elena." he said.

"Tell her what?" Bonnie asked. "Tell her to stop you from falling in love with her? Good luck with that one, she hasn't worked out how to stop the vampire version of you from falling in love with you. What makes you think she'll have any more success with human you?" she cried.

"Well if Stefan can't remember her, maybe Emily can do the same for me." Damon suggested.

"Finally, a good idea." Bonnie rolled her eyes.

"We should write her a note and tell her to have my memories wiped of her." Damon insisted.

Bonnie shook her head. "No, not yet." she told him. "Once the 1864 decision has been made by Emily to wipe your memory, then you won't dream about her and we will lose the little communication we have with her." she said. "We'll tell her closer to the time, and just hope it works." she added as she got up and retrieved a pen and some paper from the sideboard and began to write.

E

We got your message. The key was silver, which I'm taking means the spell was some kind of time travel spell. I'm so sorry, the grimoire doesn't specify it has to be brass. I looked and found a time spell which was similar and involved a silver key. I never intended to send you back in time. For now, we need to concentrate on making sure you get home. Damon and I think the point of your return would be a specific event, a catalyst to how the future will proceed. We think it is the night of September 24th. That was the day the vampires were rounded up into the tomb and Damon and Stefan were turned into vampires. We believe if everything happens exactly as it happened that night, you should come back to us in 56 days. Our advice is to sit tight and not to interfere too much with the comings and goings of Mystic Falls. And try to not let the tomb vampires see you.

We think we know what Katherine might be up to, but until we know more we can't be sure. Damon is going to try and find out if he can remember anything else. If you have any plans of what you intend to do, try and find a way of telling Damon without the 1864 version of him understanding, however the problem is he might. So you're going to have to be really careful.

That's all for now. If you have any questions, ask Damon and we'll get back to you, and whatever you do, try not to change the future!

All my love

B (+ D)

"Try not to change the future? That's easier said than done." Elena muttered to herself after she'd for a second time, read the letter she'd found under her pillow after returning from her picnic with Damon.

He must have already reported back to Bonnie the answers to her questions. This time, it appeared Bonnie had everything she needed to know. The letter, in some ways, was the final confirmation Elena was stuck there. She knew full well things were changing and she wasn't sure how she could stop it. The letter had been sent with good intentions and had been meant to comfort her, yet it had the opposite effect, it made her feel even more lonely. She hated the stuffy formality, and the only company she wanted to keep was Damon's, because although he was stuffier than the man she knew, he was still more relaxed than everyone else around her, and his presence soothed her. Elena's only option was to carry on and hope she wasn't messing up the future.

Almost three weeks passed and Elena had gotten into a routine. She would spend time with Damon or Giuseppe, and sometimes Lizzie. Emily came to visit with updates regarding her gowns which were being delivered as they were completed. Fourteen dresses in total had been ordered, including a riding habit which was only slightly more sensible than her normal attire. On top of that their were jackets, petticoats, corsets, hoop-skirts, shifts and shoes. The consignment was being brought to her when each item was completed, which surprised her with how quickly the dressmaker worked, although by this point she still hadn't received everything. Elena was still receiving Katherine's blood, usually given to her in the morning by either Lizzie or Emily. She was also taking vervain, which was being provided by Katherine, just in case one of the tomb vampires did manage to get a hold of her. Katherine couldn't risk anyone compelling Elena, as it could compromise her own safety.

Damon had had a side saddle made for her. Since her arrival, Elena had taken to enjoying riding once again. She and the chestnut mare, Sally, had become firm friends and she'd even managed to charm Damon's horse Zeus, although her efforts had required the bribery of apples. Riding was the only time she felt in complete control of any situation and it was the only comfort she had in a time of chaos, apart from Damon.

Since the afternoon of the picnic, Damon had kept to his word and not attempted to kiss Elena again. At first his attentions seemed to have turned back to Katherine as for the first week after the picnic as Elena was getting morning wake up calls of her doppelgangers visit to Damon. However these visits had becoming more infrequent over the past two weeks. In fact Elena noted it had been six days since she'd last heard Katherine calling out Damon's name in ecstasy. Instead he'd been up early every morning, well before the time Katherine would have come to see him. At the same time, Elena noticed Katherine was spending more and more time with Stefan, which initially left Damon acting grumpy. However, over the last few days his behavior had also changed, which was especially noticeable to Elena as he'd been spending more and more time with her.

Another change was the lack of letters coming from Bonnie and Damon. Previously they'd been every couple of days, but her last letter was a week ago. All of the letters recently had been written to reassure her they were doing everything they could to find a way to bring her home and to warn her not to change the future, but Elena didn't know how to avoid that. Suddenly the letters stopped coming. At first Elena thought nothing of it, but after a week with no contact between her and her friends, she began to suspect the worst. Something had happened and the consequence was she was no longer able to go back to 2010.

This particular August afternoon was the day of the first full moon since Elena had arrived in 1864. Emily was going to visit the site of the witches massacre to see if it was possible for enough power to be channeled for Elena to be sent back to 2010. She and Damon had gone for a ride up to one of their favorite spots, at the top of a hill overlooking Mystic Falls and the cows grazing in the fields on one side and the woods near the first version of Wickery Bridge, which would one day become the grounds of the Boarding House over the other. Elena was nervous of what Emily would find out, but deep in her heart of hearts, she knew she wasn't going to be able to see her loved ones again. Soon Stefan and Damon would turn and Stefan would become a ripper, meaning Damon would be looking after his brother and for Elena it would be unsafe for her to remain in Mystic Falls, leaving her completely and utterly alone.

As Damon and Elena sat down on the blanket, Elena started to pick at the grass, lost in her thoughts of having to stay in a foreign time where she knew nobody. The feeling of melancholy washed over her, which so far, not even Damon had been able to break through, probably because Elena hadn't brought up the subject since their first picnic together.

"Elena, what is wrong?" Damon suddenly asked, breaking Elena from her thoughts.

"It's nothing." she sighed.

"Whatever nothing is, it is an important nothing." Damon observed. "Or you have started to find my company dull." he asked.

Elena laughed and reassuringly placed her hand on Damon's arm. "Trust me Damon, you are anything but dull." she smiled, resting her head on his shoulder.

Damon had seemingly already become accustomed to her unusual physical familiarity. He allowed her to touch him in ways which wouldn't be perceived as proper for the day, yet he understood her yearning to be close to someone she cared about. Damon was her best friend, the closest she had to family, but more problematic were her developing feelings for him.

Once the vampire exterior was removed, Elena found she and Damon were more alike than she'd ever imagined. The violent outbursts he had when he was a vampire were nowhere near as sinister as as human. He was compassionate, principled and had a deep sense of right and wrong. Of course Damon was still funny, cocky and slightly arrogant. Yet he also seemed lonely. There was a deep sadness hidden beneath his sparkling blue eyes, which Elena put down to the death of his mother, his childhood of abuse and his experiences of war. In some ways, their problems with trauma brought them together as kindred spirits.

The more Elena had gotten to know the human side of Damon, which she recognized was still visible in the vampire version of him, albeit buried deep in snarky comments and sarcasm, the more her feelings for him grew. Yet at the same time she missed the vampire side of him. She longed for his overly flirty, funny, inappropriate, sexual innuendos. But most of all, she was desperate to see that look of love in his eyes which was reserved for only her. And if she had to be honest with herself, it would be nice to see Damon look like the Damon she knew. His hair straight and stylishly messy, a shirt and black pants would be fine. But there was no way she could tell this version of Damon that, because a combination of the human and vampire Damon, personality and physically, would be too hard for her to resist, and he wasn't hers to love. And right now he was being very lovable.

"Come on Elena, you know you can tell me. I won't tell anyone." he assured her.

Elena took a deep breath. "It's the full moon tonight." she told him. "Emily is going to find out if I will be allowed to go home. But I think I already know the answer to that." she said sadly.

"Is staying here that bad?" Damon asked lifting her chin, forcing her to look at him.

"I miss my family, my friends." Elena replied. "The only person I have is you, and you are still not exactly the you that I know." tears welled up at the thought of the people she was missing.

"How can you be so certain you won't be able to go back?" Damon frowned.

"My friends haven't contacted me in almost a week. Whatever it is, something from this time is already changing the course of history and the future. I can't go back to a different future." Elena tried to blink away the tears.

"Hush." Damon tenderly stroked Elena's cheek in an unusual display of mutual affection, a look of sadness in his eyes, yet behind them Elena noticed something familiar, but different, a look which she knew she but couldn't exactly place what it was. "I'll do everything I can to help keep you safe and happy. I won't turn if you don't want me to." he offered as Elena choked back a sob.

"You have to." she smiled sadly, heartened by his sweet gesture. "You need to keep Emily's family safe." Elena told him as she cupped his face in one hand.

Damon lowered his forehead to hers until they touched while he continued to stroke her cheek. Elena's heart began to race at the intimacy and the way Damon was looking at her, as she finally realized what she saw in his eyes. It was the look of love. Slightly different from the way he looked at her when he was a vampire as his emotions weren't heightened, nevertheless, the look was there. Elena wanted to cry with relief, this was her Damon, the man who loved her. The man she craved, and deep down, whether she cared to admit it or not, this was the man she knew she loved back.

Elena's eyes dropped to Damon's lips just as his did with hers. She knew they shouldn't kiss, there was too much at stake. However her heart and body disagreed with her mind, as did Damon. Their mouths met and they began to kiss. Gently at first as their lips brushed against each other's like before. But this time it was different, they had gotten to know one another over the past three weeks and were already fairly intimate with their touches, just like they were in 2010.

The kiss didn't stop like it had done the previous time, Elena couldn't have stopped there if she tried as she wanted Damon too much, and this might be the closest she ever got to him, and there was no way in the world was she going to lose this one opportunity, history and future be damned, although considering her recent lack of communication with her friends, she already suspected it was too late. The only stumbling block between them was Katherine, but right now Elena didn't care. For this was their moment, it had never been right before and it might never be right again. As far as Elena was concerned, nobody was going to spoil it for them.

Elena parted her lips as Damon did the same, allowing them to deepen the kiss and taste one another. Damon tasted of a mixture of wine with peaches and cream, just like they'd just eaten for their picnic. She could pick up the scent of leather, which must have come from the saddle, which gave her a sense of familiarity as her Damon always smelled of leather,, although it was usually mixed with bourbon not wine. His lips were soft and sensual, giving Elena the urge to gently bite down and suck on them, but she reigned her desire in for the time being, she wanted to taste more first.

Their tongues met and began to dance and fight all the while exploring and tasting one another. Elena wrapped her hands around the nape back of Damon's neck as she ran her fingers through his soft raven hair. Damon pulled Elena's waist in tight to him with one arm and he held the top of her back with the other as the lowered her to the ground. They momentarily broke away from the kiss to catch their breaths and take stock of what they were doing and how they were affecting each other.

Elena looked into Damon's blue eyes, while he hovered above her, which had darkened with desire, yet still they retained that look of love she so dearly treasured. At that moment, Elena thought her heart was going to burst, she'd never felt a passion or love for anyone so intensely in her entire life. She pulled him towards her and they began to kiss once more.

This time there was no holding back their desire for one another, although Elena made a mental note to ensure they didn't go any further than just kissing. This Damon was human and due to Elena's sex life being so far mainly restricted to a vampire, she'd never really had much need for birth control. Therefore they would have only the basic protection of timing against pregnancy, and Elena couldn't take the risk. Getting pregnant with Damon's child would be the one sure fire way of ensuring she couldn't get back to her own time.

As their kiss took on and even more passionate and fiery turn, heat began to pool in the pit of Elena's stomach. She pushed her hips upwards towards Damon's, but the hoops prevented her from finding out whether he was having the same reaction as she was. Although, it was probably lucky she couldn't, because she knew if she'd found out he was, Elena wasn't sure whether her newly found stance on no sex could be upheld by her. However, this all became null and void when Damon breathlessly broke away from the kiss once more and pressed his finger to her lips.

"Elena, if I don't stop now, I'm afraid I won't be able to stop at all." he panted. "And I know that is not what you want. Not yet anyway." he added as he pressed his forehead against hers.

"Oh Damon..." Elena sighed. "I want you so much. But you're right. We can't, we don't know what the consequences would be."

"We have no idea what will happen about the consequences, so it's not right we go any further until we know if you are to return or not." Damon smiled. "But I need to tell you this, up until becoming a soldier, I liked to enjoy the company of women." he told her.

"You're not telling me anything I don't know." Elena joked.

"Elena, what I'm about to tell you is not a joke." he admonished, his face deadly serious.

"Okay." Elena replied slowly. "Go on."

"Being at war changed me, changed my beliefs about loyalty and integrity. In other words, I will no longer make love to a woman I don't love." Damon smiled.

"Oh." Elena replied, as her heart sank.

"I also expect the same in return." Damon went on as Elena frowned. "I would make love to you right here and now if I could be certain you feel the same for me. But I need to be sure you love me too." he smiled shyly.

Elena blinked at Damon in shock. "You're in love with me?" she asked.

"I would think it difficult for any man to not fall in love with you." Damon told her. "You are beautiful, funny, kind, compassionate and caring." he said as he stroked her cheek. "How could I not?"

"What about Katherine?" Elena narrowed her eyes.

"Katherine and I are over." Damon told her. "She has still agreed to turn me because apparently I'm crucial to her survival in the future. But I ended things with her as I am no longer in love with her." he said. "If you truly love someone, you can't just fall in love with someone else. As soon as I realized my feelings for you, I ended things with Katherine." he explained.

"When was this?" Elena asked, as she suddenly began to wonder if Damon's feelings for her coincided with anything else.

"It was a week ago." he told her. "Why?"

"Because I think I now know why I haven't received any letters from the future." Elena sighed.

"What do you mean?" Damon frowned.

"In the future, you came back to Mystic Falls because you were in love with Katherine." Elena explained. "It is how we met. But you're not in love with Katherine any more." Damon just looked at her blankly. "Don't you see?" she asked. "You are supposed to be in love with Katherine not me. Our love for each other has changed the future. I can't go back." she said.


 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

A picture began to emerge regarding what was going wrong, timings of changes which had to be more than happy coincidence. Now that Damon revealed the time he and Katherine split, everything started to make sense to Elena.

"I think I now know why I haven't received any letters from the future." Elena sighed.

"What do you mean?" Damon frowned.

"In the future, you came back to Mystic Falls because you were in love with Katherine." Elena explained. "It is how we met. But you're not in love with Katherine any more." Damon just looked at her blankly. "Don't you see?" she pleaded. "You are supposed to be in love with Katherine not me. Our love for each other has changed the future. I can't go back." she said.

The future had changed, and no matter what the warnings were from future Bonnie and Damon, she hadn't been able to prevent the most inevitable change from happening. Her blossoming relationship with Damon. Emily had warned her Damon was the key, now the consequences were going to be felt by all, and there was no turning back. Elena couldn't blame Damon for falling in love with her. Elena had been flirtatious, caring, compassionate and everything Damon wanted Katherine to be, but wasn't. But Elena hadn't led Damon on intentionally. In fact, she had fallen as deeply in love with him as he had with her, and now she was paying the price, because at the end of the day, Elena was going to lose Damon to vampirism and she would be left behind in 1864, completely alone.

"I'm sorry Elena, this is my fault." Damon said quietly, as Elena smiled and cupped his face.

"No it's not your fault." Elena whispered. "No matter what we are, where we are, or when we are. We seem incapable of not falling for each other. It just takes a little longer when one of us is at their worst." she shrugged.

Damon frowned. "As if we're fated to be together?" he asked.

Elena thought about it for a moment. There had always been something strange about her feelings towards Damon. They had immediately clicked. And even when she thought he was evil, she couldn't hate him. Even after hurting her the most with his darkest deed of killing Jeremy, she still couldn't bring herself to truly hate him. Nobody else would have been forgiven so easily as Damon was.

There was definitely more to it than just a general attraction. Being separated from one another for any length of time, felt like losing a limb. Elena kept Damon's dark side in check, while Damon gave her the strength to fight for herself. They complimented each other perfectly. It was as if they'd been designed for one another. And if as Damon suggested, they were fated to be together, then no matter what happened, where they met, they would always fall in love because they couldn't help themselves.

"We're soulmates." Elena whispered. "Like two magnets, we find it impossible to not need to be with or to be irrevocably attracted to one another. It's ingrained in our DNA." she whispered.

"Our what?" Damon asked.

"Never mind." Elena muttered, shaking her head. "Emily told me to let nature take it's course, I think this is what she meant." she frowned.

"Like you were never supposed to go back?" Damon sat up as did Elena.

"You and Bonnie warned me to have as little interaction with anyone as possible to avoid changing the future. But Emily encouraged me to spend time with you even though she knew I could end up changing the future." Elena stood up and began to pace around. "Emily is supposed to be consulting with the dead witches tonight because it is the full moon, and she might be able to harness their power if a spell can be found to send me back. But I'm not sure if that is what she is really up to. I think she was just stalling." she lowered her eyes before starting to cry.

Damon stood up and rushed over to her and wrapped his arms around her. "I hope for your sake you are wrong. Because I get to know you all over again, even if I have to wait a hundred and forty six years to find you. I can be patient." he tucked a ringlet of hair behind her ear. "But for you, you lose everything. Your family, me, Stefan, your friends. I can't let that happen." he told her. "If you are stuck here, I will stay by your side. No matter what. I'll stay human. We could marry and have a family." he suggested as Elena laughed through her sobs.

"Are you proposing to me Mr Salvatore?" Elena asked sarcastically.

"If that's what it takes." Damon winked.

Elena sighed. "Look Damon, you have to become a vampire. You need to protect Emily's family." she said.

"Even though she might be betraying you?" Damon raised his voice.

"Her descendant sent me here. I don't know what will happen if she isn't born. I'd probably be dead by now." she shrugged. "So, whatever happens, promise me you will protect the Bennett family line." Elena pleaded, cupping Damon's face in her hands.

"I promise." he replied. "Although, becoming a vampire might not be as easy as we once thought. Katherine is no longer comfortable with giving me her blood. She wants to know why exactly I'm to be turned into a vampire and why nobody else can do what I'm supposed to do."

Elena thought for a moment. Regardless of whatever Emily said or did, the future was no longer set in stone. There were certain things Elena could do to maybe make the future of those she cared about a better place without the interference of Klaus. Damon's promise to ensure the Bennett line survived was the first on her list. Next was Pearl and Anna, who she hoped would give her a vial of blood for Damon, just in case Katherine started to become difficult.

"I think the time has come for us to visit the apothecary." Elena suddenly stated as Damon frowned in confusion at her sudden change of conversation. "I need to talk to Pearl." she said.

"Why?" Damon asked.

"Because I need to talk to an old vampire like Pearl. The reason I was sent here in the first place was because of a vampire called Klaus. He is the very first vampire and he wants both me and Katherine, although for different reasons." Elena explained. "But Klaus isn't just a vampire, he's a werewolf too."

"I didn't know werewolves even existed." Damon gasped. "Even worse, he's both."

"Well not right now in 1864 he isn't." Elena told him. "But he will if we don't stop him."

"How?" Damon asked.

"I know some of his future movements. He can be tracked." Elena told him. "But first, we need to secure you a backup sire."

"Pearl?" Damon asked. "If Katherine hears about this..." he started.

"She won't." Elena assured him. "Because I'm going to save her and Anna's lives." she smiled, bending down to pick up the picnic blanket. "So are you just going to stand there watching me, or are you going to help me or not?" she smirked.

An hour later, they'd packed up their picnic and had ridden straight into town to visit Pearl's apothecary. The official reason for her visit was to try out new oils for her bath, but the real reason was to offer Pearl a deal she couldn't resist in exchange for blood to sire Damon. Elena was working on the premise of the tomb vampires still being rounded up at Katherine's request, to ensure there were no loose ends to let Klaus know she was still alive. Elena wanted to know a little more about Mikael and charge Pearl with the job of ensuring he was trapped in the tomb in Charlotte where he couldn't touch any Original vampire. After Emily's revelation about killing one of them, Elena had decided they needed to be protected at all costs. Which meant removing the threat of the hunter who hunted vampires. A man of whom, even Klaus appeared to be scared of.

There was others who would profit from this change in the future as well as Pearl and Anna. Namely Bonnie and Jeremy. Elena had recently discovered her brother had been seeing the ghost of his ex girlfriend, which hadn't gone down too well with Bonnie. Safe to say Elena wanted both her brother and best friend to be happy together, and by removing Anna from the equation entirely, she suspected their relationship stood a better chance of working.

Elena entered the little shop which would in future become her father's surgery and looked around. The layout was very different from the office she knew. Pearl had made it feel more open. It also felt cruder, yet more natural with less synthetic material about. However, Elena's purpose for her visit was not about the décor in her father's surgery, it was about striking a deal with Pearl. Fortunately as she and Damon entered the shop, only Pearl was around, stood on a box arranging bottles on a higher shelf with her back to them.

"I won't be a moment." she said as she climbed down from the box and turned to greet them smiling. "How can I help you Miss Eleanor?" Pearl asked.

"I'm here for a number of reasons Miss Pearl." Elena smiled. "But for appearances sake, if anyone should enter the store, I am simply shopping for scented bath oils. I'm not keen on lavender, which is partially true."

"You're here for scented bath oils?" Pearl raised a suspicious eyebrow.

"It is one of the reasons, yes." Elena nodded. "But it is not my primary reason. I'm here to make a deal with you." she said.

"And what kind of deal, little girl could you possibly make which would be of any interest to me?" Pearl growled as Damon gallantly stepped in.

"It's fine Damon." Elena smiled as she put her hand to his chest. "I'm going to help save yours and Anna's lives!" she said.

"And what do you get in return?" Pearl asked.

"To ensure your safety, Damon needs to become a vampire." Elena explained. "Right now Katherine is giving him her blood, but regardless of the potential consequences, of which I have warned her. I fear she may not heed them. It is imperative Damon becomes a vampire. He has a number of important roles in the future, and may even be of use to you if you live."

"Fine, I may be interested." Pearl said looking Damon up and down. "Katherine may be my friend, but her behavior with you and your brother has given me great cause for concern. It is almost as if she wished to get caught." she said to them both.

"That's because that was her plan." Elena told her.

"Why?" Pearl asked.

The shop bell tinkled. "Can I trust you not to discuss this with Katherine?" Elena whispered as a woman who Elena recognized from the party, to be Honoria Fell, entered the shop.

"This one is vanilla." Pearl smiled, pretending to show Elena the perfumed oils.

"I was looking for something a little, fresher." Elena told her. "Please serve Mistress Fell." she smiled as she turned to examine the small labeled bottles. "I am just browsing at the moment." she said as Pearl walked over to the counter.

A few minutes later Honoria left and Pearl locked the door behind her. As Elena turned, she saw a number of bottles on the counter, while Pearl's face held an expression of thunder.

"What's wrong?" Elena frowned.

Pearl picked up one of the bottles, opened it and handed it to Elena.

"Do you have any idea what that is?" she asked as Elena took a sniff of the scent.

Elena gave Pearl a worried look. "It's vervain." she said.

"Precisely." Pearl replied. "You most certainly do have my attention as it appears Katherine has the town's attention too." she said angrily.

"Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah." Elena said as horror grew on Pearl's face. "And one name Katherine doesn't know, Mikael." she added.

"What do you want?" Pearl demanded.

"Are you prepared to strike a deal with me? And to keep this quiet from everyone, especially Katherine." Elena asked.

"Just my blood to turn Damon?" Pearl asked.

Elena shook her head. "You need to make sure Mikael can't touch an Original." she told her. "If Mikael kills and Original, the entire line of those who he sired will also die."

"And how do you know this?" Pearl raised an eyebrow.

Deciding not to get Emily into trouble for not telling Katherine about this little snippet of information, Elena opted to lie a little.

"This information was discovered when researching the sun and the moon curse." Elena told her. "My mother was a Parapsychologist, she researched the supernatural, including myths and legends. We don't know for certain if it is true, but would you want to risk finding out?" she asked. "If Mikael has a way to kill whoever sired you, then both you and Anna die." she said.

"Say you are right. Have you any idea of how to stop Mikael?" Pearl asked.

"You'll need to find a witch who can do a desiccation spell. That was what we were told took Mikael down." Elena told her. "And probably the best person to find someone who can do that, is Klaus himself. He has access to witches." she said.

"And if I don't help you?" Pearl asked.

"You'll both die." Elena told her.

"But you said the future may have changed." Pearl frowned. "How do you know mine hasn't changed?" she asked.

"Your downfall was because you weren't warned in advance of what was going to happen in 1864." Elena explained. "Katherine knew, but she let you get caught because you were a loose end."

"I've known Katherine a long time and I trust her." Pearl said. "Why should I trust you? A complete stranger?" she asked.

"What do you have to lose if I'm lying?" Elena asked.

"This!" Pearl waved her arms. "I have built this business up, I don't intend to lose it." she said.

"And what do you have to lose if I'm telling the truth?" Elena raised an eyebrow. "Which one is the bigger risk? Now I can't force you to stop Mikael, but it is for your own good, so it is more of a recommendation. But in exchange for the information which will save your life, all I ask is for blood to change Damon." she offered. "You can take it or leave it, but you are the first vampire I have offered this deal to. I do have someone else I can use to turn him, who would benefit from this offer instead. It's your choice." she shrugged.

Pearl thought about the offer for a moment. "Fine, use my blood." she sighed. "When do you want it?" she asked.

"The day I ask for it is the day you need to leave town." Elena told her. "That way, your leaving will be spontaneous and will be too late to change Katherine's plans. If Katherine does decide to turn Damon I might not need your blood, but I will still warn you if you need to leave. Do we have a deal?" she asked.

"You drive a hard bargain Miss Pierce." Pearl smiled. "Yes we do." she nodded.

"Oh one other thing." Elena began. "Jonathan Gilbert has a device, which looks like a pocket watch. It isn't, instead it is a weapon to use against vampires." she told her. "The device is in two parts. I know you are close to Jonathan, which makes you ideally placed to take it from him. I strongly recommend you take part of it. At some point in the future, this device may need to be activated for the greater good. Once you have left, you and Damon will need to keep in touch. If the device is required, Damon will contact you." she said. "But be warned, it does look like the vampire compass."

"That is all very cryptic." Pearl narrowed her eyes as she looked between Elena and Damon. "Did she tell you any of this?" she asked.

"No." Damon frowned. "This is the first I have been told." he said turning to Elena. "What is this all about?" he asked.

"You don't need to worry about it until you meet me again in the future." Elena told him. "You might not need it as whatever has changed in the future, could render it useless. But I need to be certain these two parts are kept away from each other until it is either safe, or is needed."

"And how will we know if it is no longer required?" Pearl asked.

"If Damon hasn't contacted you by the 150th Founders Day anniversary, then I doubt he will contact you at all." Elena told them both. "That's all you need to know."

"What are your motives behind all of this?" Pearl narrowed her eyes suspiciously. "You are trying to save me and Annabelle just so Damon can become a vampire?"

"I'm just trying to protect the people I love." Elena shrugged. "Now, about that bath oil." she said as the bell tinkled once more. "Do you have anything with jasmine and orange in it?" she asked hopefully.

The next morning, Elena was waiting patiently for her visit from Emily. She'd already had her bath, breakfast and by now she would have been waiting for her horse Sally to be saddled up, but not today. Normally she and Damon would have taken a ride to discuss what Emily had found out from the witches, but he'd told her they couldn't go that day as there was a storm approaching, which was making Elena feel even more uncomfortable. She'd have to wait another day before she and Damon could be alone for her to relay Emily's discussion with the witches back to him.

There was a tap at the door which Elena had come to recognize as Emily's, which only ramped up nervousness and sense of dread. To try and calm herself and try to appear confident and dignified, she stood up and smoothed her skirt.

"Come in." Elena called out, clasping her hands together in front of her as Emily walked into the room and closed the bedroom door behind her.

"Katherine sent me to give you this." Emily said, pulling the daily vial of blood from her pocket and handed it to Elena. At the same time, Emily removed a stick of sage and lit it, closing her eyes as she did to create the privacy spell. After a moment, Emily opened her eyes and smiled. "I think you might need to sit down." she said.

Elena gulped down the vial of blood and grimaced and handed it back to Emily. She sat down on the edge of her bed and immediately began to nervously fidget with her hair. "I'm stuck here aren't I?" Elena asked, although it was more of a statement than a question.

"I contacted the witches last night." Emily told her. "I asked them if there was a spell to send you back." she started.

"Is there?" Elena asked.

"Yes and no." Emily told her as Elena frowned in confusion. "The spell is to send you back to the future to a point in time where your memories are the same as the memories of the future you, before any changes occur." she explained. "The past has to be the same, but the future cannot be one you have already experienced." she said.

"I don't get it." Elena shook her head.

"If you had not met or spoken to anyone other than myself, I could have sent you back to the exact moment you left." Emily told her. "But as events here have changed the future, that point in time changes and I would have to send you back to replace a younger you." she said.

"So let me get this straight, I would return to a point in time in the future when whatever I think is going to happen next, is completely wrong and I won't be able to change it back to what I thought was going to happen in the first place." Elena frowned, wondering if she was understanding Emily correctly.

"That is exactly correct." Emily smiled.

"So did you power yourself up ready to perform the spell?" Elena asked excitedly, for the first time in almost a week she was beginning to feel hopeful for her return.

Emily shook her head. "No." she said sadly. "If we send you back now to a time in your life before any changes happen, an adult you will be replacing a child version of yourself." she told her. "Your conversation with Pearl yesterday, changed certain future events." she said as Elena held her head in her hands.

"What events." she asked.

"The circumstances of Mikael's imprisonment." Emily told her. "Had you have not spoken with Pearl, we could have taken you back to a more relevant time." she said.

"Like when?" Elena asked, desperate to know exactly what she had messed up.

"The witches would not tell me exactly when they would sent you back to. And I do not know your future." Emily said.

"So I can't go back?" Elena asked.

Emily thought for a moment. "The witches wouldn't tell me everything." she said. "Certain reparations can be made, which would be something only I can do. However if you are to be with your flesh and blood, there will be consequences."

"What kind of consequences?" Elena asked but Emily shook her head.

"I do not know, but it is a risk you must be prepared to take." she said. "The witches told me the path to your future can go two ways. Whichever route you go down, you will be with your family." Emily told her as Elena smiled. "Which journey you take, is entirely your decision. And I can only prepare for it after the next full moon."

"Why then?" Elena asked.

"Because only then will your true fate become clear to the spirits." Emily said.

"Why can't they tell now?" Elena frowned.

"Because for the time being, nature must take its course." Emily told her cryptically.

"What do you mean nature must take its course?" Elena cried. "The last time you told me that, I ended up messing up the future by falling in love with Damon."

"But did you really cause problems for the future?" Emily asked. "You are trying to recreate a future you already know. But that is now your past. Your own future isn't known to you yet." she smiled. "So you need to make the most of now."

"You're being cryptic." Elena looked at Emily wearily.

"Elena, you have been here for three weeks. And you are lamenting what you have lost, yet you are forgetting what you have found." Emily insisted.

"I haven't found anything." Elena shook her head.

"Oh but you have, otherwise we wouldn't have a situation where I have to interfere to ensure you can go back to somewhere close to where you came from." Emily raised an eyebrow as Elena still looked at her in confusion. "You found love with your soulmate." she clarified.

"Oh." Elena replied. "But won't Damon still be there?" she panicked as she thought of all the hard work she'd put in to ensure Damon turned, and for her to go back it could all be for nothing.

"The Damon you know now and the Damon you go back to will be very different." Emily warned her. "To send you back I will need to modify both Stefan and Damon's memories of you." she explained. "Stefan's will be simple because you've hardly interacted. He will simply think he spoke with Katherine. Damon on the other hand is different. You've shared intimate moments with him. But that also means every special moment you and Damon have and will share will be forgotten by him. Instead he will believe he shared those moments with Katherine. He won't even remember you existed. That is until he meets this version of you again. Of course that is indeed if he does ever meet this version of you, because only then will he remember it was you he loved and not Katherine." Emily said sadly.

"Won't he remember the moment he meets me for the first time at the boarding house?" Elena asked nervously.

"He will only remember when he meets you , the woman he shares the memories with." Emily explained. "Until then he will believe you are Katherine." she said.

Elena cringed, she'd tried everything to avoid being like Katherine, but now Damon was going to have to believe she was Katherine until he met her again.

"Fine, do it." Elena sighed.

"Do you not think you should consult Damon first?" Emily asked. "After all, it is his memory I am modifying." she said. "And there is a risk."

"What's the risk?" Elena eyed Emily wearily.

"The future has been changed. That means, there is a chance you may never meet him again. The experiences and love you have together, will be lost by him and transferred to Katherine. Are you willing to risk that without his knowledge?" Emily asked.

Elena began to cry, no matter which way she turned, she felt trapped. The walls were closing in and along the way, Elena was going to have to lose someone she loved. But Elena wasn't the only one who would have to make a sacrifice, so would Damon. And Emily was right. Elena had no right to take Damon's memories of him away without his consent. Emily walked over to Elena, bent down and handed her a handkerchief.

"Thank you." Elena smiled sadly as she blew her nose. "You're right, I can't mess with his mind without his permission. It's not right. I just don't know what to do." she sniffed.

"The witches told me to tell you to let nature take it's course." Emily reiterated quietly. "I think they meant for you to enjoy your time with Damon as much as you can, because if you do meet again, him remembering you will be ever more special." she smiled.

Elena raised her eyebrow suspiciously. "The witches are never that nice." she said. "They know something."

"Whatever they know, they didn't tell me." Emily insisted. "They told me what I need to do to help repair the damage done, although I cannot completely reverse everything. The rest is up to you." she told her. "The less interaction you have with other people, the less damage you can do. I can deal with Damon, so I suggest you stay with him and enjoy your human time with him." she said. "But you must tell him."

Elena nodded as she choked back the tears. "I know." she whispered. "I think I need to be alone for a while." she added as Emily stood up to leave, however she stopped before she reached the door.

"He's your soulmate isn't he?" Emily asked as Elena looked up and nodded. "True soulmates always have a tendency to find each other. It's almost as if they were fated to be together." she added as she picked up the sage and blew it out before leaving the room.

The moment Emily was gone, Elena broke down into even more tears. She was happy there was a way to allow her to see her family, although Emily hadn't been very specific about who she'd see. Yet at the same time there was fear in the back of Elena's mind. Emily had warned of consequences, and Elena knew witches well enough to know they did not do anything out of the goodness of their hearts. They would want something from her to restore the balance of nature. She just hoped losing Damon wasn't the price she would have to pay. Elena was aware she was going to lose the human version of Damon, but she would still have the vampire, who although he could be bloodthirsty and cruel, she still loved him. After all, in truth she'd loved the vampire even before she met the human.

However Elena knew her love for Damon and his love for her was the problem. He was prepared to do anything for her, but Elena was beginning to wonder if that price was too high. Emily had suggested there was a fork in her near future which would decide her ultimate path. What if Damon didn't have to pay the price of becoming a vampire and having his memories of her wiped away, what was the alternative? Elena could simply stay in 1864 as Damon had earlier suggested. They could marry, have a family, grow old and die. As long as Katherine ended up in the tomb, she'd never have to worry about Klaus again. As the wife of plantation owner and of the man who ran the logging mills in Mystic Falls, she'd be wealthy and her children would be financially sound. There would be a ripple effect, but hopefully she'd never feel it or discover its consequences.

Elena felt like she was trapped and being suffocated, and she needed to be free, she needed to feel like she was in 2010, not imprisoned in the past, and despite Damon's warnings about the weather, Elena felt the need to be outside so she could clear her head. Go somewhere and feel like she was back home, and Elena knew exactly what she had to do. She pulled on the chord to summon Lizzie as she reflected on her brilliant idea, although it would need a little bit of help from her handmaiden.

Lizzie entered the bedroom a little confused when she saw Elena had been going through her wardrobe, trying unsuccessfully to find the most suitable items of clothing possible.

"Lizzie." Elena smiled. "I need your help. When I was in England, my friends and I would sometimes play a game." she lied. "We'd dress up and ride, just like the menfolk." she told her. "We'd get the servants to find something to wear, a pair of pants..." she started as Lizzie looked on in shock. "Trousers." Elena corrected herself. "We'd obviously wear a corset, but instead of a skirt, we'd wear trousers."

"Why?" Lizzie asked suspiciously.

"Because it's easier to ride horses faster when you sit on one like a man." Elena explained. "And that is impossible to do so in a proper manner in a skirt." she said. "Do you think you can find something that would fit me?" she asked.

Lizzie thought about it for a moment. "I think so." she frowned. "But there's a storm coming in. It's not safe to ride."

"I do not believe anyone can predict a storm coming." Elena stated. "I would like you to meet me there in an hour with a shirt, trousers and a jacket. I need you to help me dress." she grinned. "Also can you get me some food and wine from the kitchen?" she asked.

"Yes Eleanor." Lizzie nodded as she left the room.

Elena clapped her hands together. Although she would have preferred to have gotten rid of the corset, as long as Lizzie loosened the strings, she'd be more comfortable. Also the thought of galloping without a bra didn't entirely appeal to Elena, and her corset was the next best thing. Unfortunately, it appeared riding in pants was about as close as she was going to get to her old life, and she needed to remember the feeling as she decided on what course of action to take. Elena retrieved her journal from it's hiding place behind the wardrobe and headed down to the stables.

Fortunately for Elena, the yard was almost empty, meaning she was able to find a saddle and tack Sally up without anyone noticing. When Lizzie turned up with the food and clothes, she was able to find an empty stall to change into more suitable clothing for riding.

"Master Damon is going to be angry with you Miss Eleanor if he finds out." Lizzie warned, clearly deciding to address her properly should anyone overhear their conversation.

"That's why we don't tell him." Elena grinned. "But if he does find out, you have no need to worry, I can deal with him." she said hoping to appease her handmaiden, but the look on Lizzie's told her she still wasn't happy.

"I still think there's a storm coming in." Lizzie shook her head.

"The skies are blue." Elena assured Lizzie, although the wind had seemingly picked up in the last hour. "But, if you are concerned I will tell you where I'm going so if I'm gone too long, someone can come and find me." she said as Lizzie smiled and nodded. "I'm riding up to Clifton's Point." she told her. "If I'm not back in three hours or the storm does roll in, then find Master Damon." Elena agreed.

"Thank you Miss Eleanor." Lizzie grinned. "I promise not to tell anyone unless there's a storm or you're late." she smiled as Elena finally put her jacket on.

"Put my clothes in Sally's stall." Elena instructed Lizzie who did as she was told and kept lookout for the all clear.

Once the yard was empty, Elena mounted the mare, and took a final look around before setting off for some quiet contemplation at Clifton's Point.


 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Elena set off towards Clifton's point as she'd promised Lizzie, although she didn't go the quickest route available. She stopped off at a stream for Sally to drink and pulled a few apples from the trees for later to keep the mare happy. For the first time since she'd arrived in 1864, Elena felt like her old self. Not that she was a tomboy, but gowns were not her idea of comfortable clothing. Admittedly the pants didn't fit too well, they were an old pair of Damon's from his teens. Lizzie had had to use a piece of string to tie them to her waist to prevent them from falling down, but they were still more comfortable than the dresses she'd been forced to endure.

As they arrived closer to Clifton's Point, Elena noticed the wind was much stronger than it had been back in Mystic Falls, and when she looked out over the valley, Elena could see dark clouds rolling in over the town. If the rain and wind was heavy, she knew Lizzie would already be telling Damon where to find her, although it was because the girl actually cared for her welfare. But Elena was angry at the storm getting in her way as she needed some alone time and mother nature was intervening.

The thought of nature interfering in Elena's attempts to decide which path her future should take, made her laugh. It was almost as if the storm were listening to Emily and the witches advice, by telling her to let nature take it's course. The problem was, Elena couldn't decide and didn't want to decide. She needed some divine intervention which would make the decision for her. Absentmindedly, she wondered if the storm itself might be what she was craving.

The choice was a potential perfect life with Damon, albeit in 1864, with marriage and children, but no vampires. Or go back to her friends and family, with all of the dangers which came with it. Admittedly some of them of her doing, but mostly she was the victim of a curse which affected everyone else around her. This often meant she was the one inadvertently putting those she loved in danger. Going back would also mean the life she and Damon would be able to forge together would be far from perfect. He would be a vampire and she would be human. And to make matters worse, there was a remote chance she'd never see Damon again, because if he found Katherine, he'd never open the tomb and not return to Mystic Falls. Her heart almost fell to pieces at the thought. Neither option was ideal, but at some point she would have to choose. Unfortunately, judging by the inclement weather conditions, that choice was not going to be made today.

Elena took Sally by the reins and set off on foot down the hill to head back to the Salvatore estate. She wondered if anyone would notice Damon's missing clothes, to allow her to ride out again on a more suitable day. As she continued walking down the hill lost in her thoughts, Elena noticed a drop of rain land on her. Under normal circumstances at home, she wouldn't be too concerned. However Elena was far from any shelter she knew of and she knew if she got wet, there was a good chance she could get sick, and yo make matters worse she knew the medicines of the time were not up to the standard she'd become accustomed to. Vampire blood was an option, but Elena wasn't sure whether it was any use against the common cold, as far as she was aware it was more effective on injuries as opposed to sickness.

Elena mounted Sally, realizing she needed to get back as quickly as possible. Even at a canter, she was at least an hours ride away, which judging by the dark clouds over Mystic Falls, was a sign she was going to get extremely wet. To make matters worse, the wind was strengthening by the minute and she spotted a flash of lightening in the distance. Elena hoped Sally was a fan of storms as she wasn't wearing a helmet and a spooked horse without a helmet was a dangerous combination.

Ten minutes later Elena slowed to a trot. It was too windy to go fast, the rain was too heavy for her to see properly and she was already cold and soaked to the skin. She knew there were woods nearby, but she'd end up even wetter if she tried waiting out the storm, which left her with the only option but to carry on.

Suddenly she heard a voice in the distance crying out her name, turning round, she saw a horse and a male rider quickly approaching her. From the distance, she thought she could see tufts of dark hair under the rim of the hat, which caused her stomach to flip when she realized it was Damon coming to find her. Not that his rescue mission would do any good, instead they were both going to end up getting wet instead of just her. Elena now wanted to kick herself for ignoring his warnings about the storm, the last thing she needed was for Damon to get sick too. As Damon reached her, she could see he was soaked almost as much as she was.

"You didn't have to come for me." Elena called out above the noise of the wind and rain. "There's no point in both of us getting wet." she said.

"I know where we can find shelter." Damon shouted to her as Elena frowned.

"Where?" she asked. "In this weather it's at least another hour's ride to the house."

"Follow me." Damon told her as he turned left and she followed him.

Damon led her over a hill to an area they'd never been to before and after about five minutes of riding, Elena saw what looked like a barn in the distance. Relief washed over her, knowing there would be some shelter for a while until the worst of the storm passed.

They reached the barn a few minutes later and dismounted. They were still fairly high up on the hill and the wind was strong. As Damon dismounted a gust of wind blew his hat from his head. He reached out to grab it, but it had already flown off into the distance. As much as she knew she shouldn't Elena wanted to laugh at the irony of the situation. She'd gone for the ride to clear her head and be alone. For a change, the last person she wanted to be with was Damon as whatever choice she made would affect him too and being around him could influence her decision. Yet here they were, about to be stuck in a barn in the middle of nowhere, waiting to ride out a storm.

Elena kept her head down, as they entered the empty barn in silence. Guilt washing over Elena for putting Damon in the position where he felt he needed to rescue her. Although admittedly she was grateful for his gallant efforts. For now she was sheltered although not particularly dry or warm.

"Thank you." she said sheepishly as Damon began to remove the saddles from the horses.

"I could use a little help here." he snapped as Elena wandered over to him and started to work on Sally. Damon was clearly angry with her, and had every right to be. She'd put not only herself, but Sally, Damon and Zeus in jeopardy by ignoring his warnings.

"I'm sorry." Elena whispered.

"I told you there was a storm coming, why didn't you listen to me?" he asked in an exasperated voice.

"Because even in 2010, with all of our technology, accurate weather prediction isn't a hundred percent reliable. And I needed some time to think, alone." Elena explained, knowing she sounded like she was clutching at straws.

"If you didn't want to be around me, all you had to do was say something." Damon told her, seemingly calming down. "Whatever Emily has told you has clearly got you wound up enough to make you need space away from the world. And judging by how you are dressed, I'd say you look like you also want to run away from it." he said pointing at what she was wearing.

Elena looked down at her now soaking wet clothes. Now she was even more glad she was wearing pants and not dress. The skirts would have weighed her down when wet and the amount of layers would have held in the water. At least the small amount of clothes she was wearing would be able to dry quicker. Unfortunately the clothes were not what was proper for a woman to wear and if anyone caught her, questions regarding her propriety would be asked. Of course Damon knew her story and understood her need to feel connected to her own world, but it wouldn't make it any less shocking for him. However, regardless of which time she was from, she looked an absolute sight. There was mud splattered all over her clothes, and her perfect ringlets probably looked more akin to being dragged through a hedge backwards. Elena burst into laughter.

"What's funny?" Damon frowned.

"I look a mess." she laughed, and shivered.

"You're cold." Damon frowned. "I thought to bring some blankets to keep you warm." he smiled as he unpacked them from Zeus before opening the door for the two horses to run outside.

"They'll get wet." Elena frowned.

"And they'll probably have a lot of fun rolling around in the dirt if I know those two." Damon laughed.

Elena was relieved to see he wasn't as angry as he had been. As usual his anger had turned to concern as soon as he thought Elena might be in any kind of discomfort. The Damon of 1864 was no different to the vampire she knew, except the troubles Elena got into in the future usually required slightly more violent remedies than just a few blankets to keep her warm.

"They're not the only ones covered in dirt." Elena laughed as she walked up to Damon and wiped a smudge away from his cheek. Damon was also soaked to the skin and his wet hair was almost flat to his head, although the curls were beginning to spring up. Instinctively Elena ran her fingers through his raven locks while Damon, for a time simply watched what she was.

"What does he have that I don't?" Damon asked softly.

"Who?" Elena narrowed her eyes in confusion.

"The other me, the vampire." he replied.

"Nothing." Elena denied.

"Elena, I see it. Every time you look at me, you are looking for him." Damon said sadly. "There must be something about the other me that is different."

Elena took a deep breath. In whatever time and form, Damon had an uncanny knack of being able to read her like a book.

"The other you, is different, in some ways good, in some ways bad." Elena admitted. "This version of you has a youthfulness, a purity and an innocence. The vampire I know is far from pure and innocent." she laughed, but Damon only frowned. "He oozes sex." she joked, but regretted what she said almost immediately as she could see her words had stung him. "It's just a fashion thing." she backtracked.

"Can you make me look like him?" Damon asked her. "If it is just a 'fashion thing' as you say, I'm sure you can at least try." he suggested.

"Why?" Elena shook her head. "Why do you want me to do this?" she asked.

"You are desperate to see someone you love from the future." Damon told her. "All of this running away to find a piece of 2010. I'm also a part of that. Maybe if I look like the Damon you know, it'll help, instead of this." he pointed down at his clothes.

"Is that the only reason?" Elena asked.

"No." Damon admitted.

"Go on." Elena demanded.

"Because I want you to look at me the way you look at him" Damon growled. "Please." he begged.

Elena took a deep breath. "Fine." she agreed. "But I'll need a little help from you too." she told him. "First remove your jacket, waistcoat and cravat." she told Damon who simply smirked and did as he was told. "Secondly, keep the smirk. It's your signature look." she laughed. "And be flirty." she added.

"Whatever the lady wants the lady will get." Damon raised an eyebrow flirtatiously, surprising Elena of how he could seem so similar without too much encouragement, which made Elena wonder how much he'd been holding back.

"I need to do something with these curls." Elena frowned as she ran her fingers through his hair once more, trying to flatten them out. "You must use a flat iron or something." she muttered to herself.

"Do you want me to get my hair wet again?" Damon asked. "It's probably too dry to flatten the curls out entirely." he offered.

"But your clothes will get even wetter." Elena objected.

"I could always take them off." Damon suggested, his face deadly serious for a moment, before a grin erupted. "I'm sorry, that was very rude of me." he apologized.

"And very much like the Damon Salvatore I know and love." Elena grinned. "Maybe there's hope for you yet. Now stick your head out of the door." she laughed as Damon wet his hair under the rain and came back to allow Elena to play with it.

Eventually Elena managed to tame his raven locks into something which resembled the stylish mess he usually sported. Elena unbuttoned the top button of his shirt and pulled the hem from out of his pants. Elena stood back to examine her handiwork and to see if the human version looked anything like the vampire she knew. The moment she took him in her stomach flipped. The clothes weren't exactly his normal design, but the overall look was the same. He even wore the same smile. Elena gasped and her mouth opened wide with shock.

The human version of Damon had always seemed slightly different to Elena. She'd still always found him attractive, but at the same time there was something which had separated him and his vampire counterpart, mainly their appearance. In some respects, Elena had been happy to keep it like that. This way, she'd managed to act more of the proper lady she was pretending to be instead of the teenager with hormones she really was. Now, as Damon inched closer towards her, he looked almost exactly the same as the vampire she knew. Even more eerily, the way he approached her was like a predator stalking his prey.

Elena stepped back, unable to reconcile the difference between the man in front of her and the vampire she knew. Fear washed over her, for what she didn't know because neither version of Damon would hurt her. At the same time a swarm of butterflies seemed to take control of her stomach. She continued to walk backwards as Damon inched closer until her back hit the wooden wall behind her. Elena looked around but Damon was now looming above her, one hand on the wall at the side of her head.

"You're scared of him." he whispered. "Why?"

"I'm not scared of him ." Elena said. "I'm scared of myself. And of what I want from him." she admitted.

Damon thought for a moment and bit his bottom lip. "And what do you want from him Elena?" he asked in a low voice, lowering his eyes to her lips.

"I want to protect him, make sure he is safe and well." she replied, as her eyes were drawn to his lips.

"Well, you are not doing a very good job Elena." Damon admonished. "Dragging me all the way out here in the middle of a storm. You are putting me in danger. I could've gotten hurt, or I could get sick..." he started.

"But you didn't." Elena whispered.

"I could still get sick." Damon offered.

"Well then I suggest we take preventative measures and take your clothes off, like you suggested." Elena stared Damon in the eyes, mixture of shock combined with feeling emboldened by her own suggestion.

Damon rested his forehead against hers. "Hmm...I'll get the blankets to allow us the liberty of privacy." he said as he turned to leave.

"No!" Elena pulled on his sleeve to stop him from walking away.

Damon turned to look at her. Elena placed her hand on the exposed part of his chest, where the top button of his shirt should have been and closed her eyes. She remembered the times she'd seen his bare chest and tried her hardest to shy away from it and put the sight to the back of her mind. Yet, the vision of his naked flesh had haunted her too many times in her sleep. But now, she had the chance to touch him and explore him. It suddenly occurred to her this was possibly what Emily and the witches meant. Allowing nature to take its course could lead to numerous paths. Elena had been denying herself of the one thing she wanted for the last six months. If she finally gave in, there would be no decision to make. Elena suspected if her body were to make the decision for her, there would be no choice for her mind to make.

"What do you want Elena?" Damon demanded.

Elena cupped Damon's cheek with her other hand. "For you to be you." she whispered as she stood on her tiptoes and gently kissed him. "And for me to be with you."

"Me or him?" Damon asked sadly as Elena looked up at him through her eyelashes.

"Both." she replied, undoing the buttons on his shirt. "Vampire, human, I don't care. I love you either way. But if I could choose, I'd have a little bit of both, a bit like you are now." she smiled as she stroked his cheek.

Elena took a deep breath, knowing her next move could scare Damon, if not it would shock or surprise him. However she knew she had to make the first move because Damon's sense of propriety would not allow him to, even though he already knew women were more sexually liberated in the twenty first century. She slid her hand down his face and began to slowly unbutton his shirt, while he just watched her, fascinated by her actions. Elena quickly dispensed with the buttons and opened his shirt wide, exposing the body she'd seen a few times and once almost touched. She ran her fingers down his skin, cold and damp from the rain before leaning in to kiss his collar bone. Damon hitched his breath as Elena's mouth made its way up his neck, before lowering his head to Elena's ear.

"Is this what you want?" he whispered.

"Yes." Elena said softly as she stopped to look up at him. "For quite a long time. Especially over the last three weeks." she told him with a smile. "But even though I wanted to do this with him, I wouldn't have."

"Why?" Damon frowned.

"Because he couldn't give me what I wanted from him." Elena told him. "His humanity." she said sadly. "I saw glimpses of it, but he keeps it buried. Locked deep inside a wall of fear of being hurt. It isn't about what he has that you don't Damon. It's about what you have that he can't give me. I love and want you both, but if I had to choose between the both of you, who to give myself to right now. It would be you."

"Are you sure?" Damon asked tentatively.

Elena wrapped her hands around the back of Damon's neck and pulled his head to hers. "Only if you are." she smiled.

Damon didn't need to be told twice. He lowered his mouth to hers and they began to kiss. Like the previous day, there was initially a touch of hesitation. Their relationship was moving fast, although technically Elena she had known him for a year. Yet, like any couple, no matter how sexually experienced they were, the first time was always one of uncharted territory. For Elena, making love to this Damon, the one who wasn't as experienced as the vampire she knew, who had a tendency to flaunt his prowess, was far less daunting. This made Elena feel more powerful,and in some respect, a little wanton, especially knowing their illicit relations were highly frowned upon and most certainly not of those befitting of a lady, for the time.

Elena ran her hands over Damon's shoulders and under his wet shirts, throwing off his suspenders and stripping the damp material away from his skin. Helping her, Damon ripped his arms from the sleeves. This seemed to add life to him as he wrapped his arm around Elena's waist, pressed her up against the wall and deepened the kiss. Elena threaded her fingers through the hair on the nape of Damon's neck as she became carried away by her desire for him.

Elena thanked her lucky stars she'd had the foresight to wear Damon's old pants, meaning she was able to wrap her leg around Damon's hips, pulling him in closer to her body. He lifted her thigh even higher with his free hand and pressed his pelvis against hers, letting her feel his erection against her core. Elena shivered with desire, as her need for him radiated throughout her body. Damon on the other hand, took this as a sign of Elena being cold. He broke away from the kiss.

"Your clothes are still wet. You'll catch a chill." he told her, his voice full of concern.

"Oh I don't know. You are warming me up quite nicely." Elena joked.

"Maybe, but I still think you should...take them off." he said with a glint in his eye, one Elena had never seen in the human version of Damon, but was very familiar with when around his vampire self.

"Your wish is my command." Elena grinned as she pulled the damp shirt over her head, revealing a cream corset. She lowered her leg and turned around. "Would you care to help?" she asked as Damon tucked her hair over one shoulder began and out of the before he started to unlace her strings.

"Anything for you my lady." Damon replied politely.

"I have never been a lady." Elena teased.

"And I have never been a gentleman." Damon whispered into her ear before his mouth made its way down to her neck, placing gentle kisses along the way. Finally he removed the corset. His hands made their way round the front of her body to her breasts which he gently began to massage.

Elena rested her head against Damon's shoulder. She moaned with pleasure and closed her eyes, taking in the feel of his hands and lips on her skin.

"I don't know, I think you are being an extremely gentle man right now." she sighed.

"Is that what you prefer? Or do you like it a little rougher?" he asked, his voice low and seductive as he pinched Elena's nipples causing her to suck in her breath with surprise as the sudden sensation of erotic pain, which sent heat straight to the pit of her stomach, causing her core to ache with desire.

"If I did, would that make me a wanton woman?" Elena teased as he continued to massage with her breasts.

"It makes you just as beautiful either way." he whispered. "But it does make me a wanting man." he added, teasing her with his play on words.

"How wanting?" Elena asked as she slid her hand behind her back and unbuttoned Damon's pants. She slipped her hand inside them and took his erection in her hand, eliciting a hiss from Damon's mouth. "Oh my." she teased. "Even with the disadvantage of being cold, you're still very capable of not being a gentleman. Although I think the weather is still hampering you." she added turning around to face him. "I think we should find somewhere a little warmer for him." Elena smirked glancing down at his already impressive shaft. "I want to discover his full potential." she added as she got to her knees.

Damon's eyes boggled with shock, clearly not expecting Elena to be so adventurous. She knew women of the time were fairly repressed on a sexual level. Carnal activities with a woman of a high social standing, which Elena was pretending to be, were usually reserved for the sole purpose of producing heirs. Sex for pleasure was often frowned upon. A man of Damon's social status would have resorted to having a mistress, or using slaves or even prostitutes to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. Many marriages were borne out of a political need or that of a financial transaction. Love was not often the main consideration. Elena had long suspected this aspect of Damon's nature would have put him at odds with his father, who seemed cold, distant and cruel. Damon could never settle for a marriage of convenience, it would have to be all about love, even if the woman wasn't fit for a gentleman in Damon's position. This was the opposite to Stefan who would always do the right thing by his father and for the business. Damon was guided by his heart, whereas Stefan was guided by his head and duty. Elena knew Damon needed a woman to show him affection and love him physically as much as he loved her, and she wanted to prove to him she was that woman.

Elena looked up into Damon's eyes, holding his gaze as she took his shaft in her hand and licked the pre-cum from the tip. She could see his breathing become heavier as his lips parted, staring intently at what she was doing. Elena began to pump his length before closing her eyes and placing his member into her mouth and suck on it. She relaxed her gag reflex and took him as deep into her throat as she could. As she did so, Elena felt Damon running his fingers through her hair.

"Fuck, Elena." he whispered.

Elena glanced up at him, his lips slightly parted and eyes rolled into the back of his head, panting as she continued to suck on him, while pumping his shaft a little faster, firming up her grip. With her spare hand she massaged his balls, eliciting even further moans of pleasure from him. Elena hummed as she went along, knowing it would stimulate him even further. She could hear his breaths becoming more shallow, panting with the need for a release building up inside him. Elena ran her tongue up the underside of his length and was about to take him in her mouth once more when he stopped her.

"Elena!" Damon panted. "You need to stop otherwise I won't be of much use to you later." he said as Elena rested back on her heels.

"Okay." she pouted as she began to stand up, but Damon stopped her.

Damon removed his boots and pants before he momentarily left her to get a couple of the blankets he'd brought and lay one down on the floor. The other he rolled up to fashion a kind of cushion, which he placed behind her before getting down onto his knees. He wrapped his arms around Elena's waist and pulled her in tight to his body, so she could feel his erection poking into her stomach. Damon kissed her and lowered her backwards, moving her legs so eventually she was lying flat on her back with Damon's homemade cushion under her head. He removed her boots and untied the string which was the makeshift belt Lizzie had used to hold up the pants Elena was wearing. He wordlessly pulled them away from her hips, Elena lifting her pelvis from the floor to help him. Once the lower half of her body was naked, she parted her legs to allow Damon to settle between her thighs.

As Damon hovered above her, Elena cupped his face in her hands, pulled him towards her once more and kissed him. She could feel his shaft rubbing up against her nub, as if searching for its home. Damon on the other hand had a different idea. He broke away from kissing her lips and instead he moved his mouth to her chin. Damon then began to pepper kisses down Elena's neck and collar bone.

Damon edged down Elena's body, laying kisses in his wake. Meanwhile his fingers parted Elena's folds before he began to gently stroke them, circling her entrance and massaging her nub with his thumb. Elena moaned with pleasure at the sensation while threading her fingers through Damon's hair.

"You're already wet, and not from the rain." Damon murmured between kisses.

"Your fault." Elena panted. "You seem to have that effect on me."

Eventually Damon's mouth found it's way to it's target. He spread her folds wide with his hands and circled her core with his tongue. Elena bucked her hips at the shock of the sensation, which was completely new to her. She'd always thought she'd be embarrassed having a man using her mouth on her, but for some reason she had no reservations about Damon. She was prepared to share any part of her body with him, what was hers was his, and she suspected he felt the same way. They were already an extension of each other, this applied to their bodies too.

Damon pressed his hand on Elena's stomach to prevent her from bucking again as he pressed his tongue inside her, the sensation forcing her to cry out with pleasure. Her previously cold body felt like it was beginning to heat up from the inside, starting with the aching core turning into a throbbing melting pot filled with the bubbling heat of desire. Damon massaged her nub with his thumb as he continued to press his tongue in and out of Elena's entrance, causing her to pant and moan as she felt the telltale signs of her climax approach.

Suddenly Damon's tongue was replaced by two of his fingers, gently thrusting inside her while his tongue moved north, sucking and licking her folds until his mouth found her clit and he began to suck on the small bundle of nerves.

"Oh my god Damon." Elena cried, pressing his head closer to her, praying he'd never stop making her feel this good. "Don't stop." she begged as she felt the burning sensation of desire around her core building up.

Damon seemed to know exactly what she needed and where. His thrusts increased in pace as he circled his mouth and lapped his tongue while he continued to suck harder on her nub. The fire inside Elena was burning hotter than she'd ever experienced before.

"Oh...fuck...Damon...oh yes, oh yes...Aah!" she screamed at the top of her voice, when finally her body exploded, her orgasm shattering her into what felt like a million pieces. Her only conscious thought being she was glad there was nobody except Sally and Zeus for miles around to hear her screams.

Elena's hand flailed around for something to hold on to, to keep her grounded while she was flying on the high of her release. She felt Damon lace his fingers through hers, allowing her to use him as her anchor. Him releasing his hand from her stomach allowed her hips to fly up in the air, however this didn't deter him. If anything he thrust his fingers even harder inside of her, until the heat and throbbing was so hot, she could no longer feel what he was doing, only the spasms of ecstasy inside her.

Eventually Damon stopped his thrusting and removed his mouth from her nub as the contractions slowed down and her orgasm ended. He removed his fingers as he kissed his way back up her body until he was above her once more.

"You have quite the talent there Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled and then burst into laughter as she remembered the things she'd heard when she first arrived in Mystic Falls regarding Damon's talents. "It appears it lives up to its...reputation." she smirked as Damon looked at her in surprise. "Women do gossip Mr Salvatore." she winked before Damon caught her mouth with his and kissing her.

When Damon broke away from the kiss he looked at her with the softest yet most seductive look she'd ever seen. "Gossip wasn't exactly what I had in mind." Damon whispered.

Elena nodded. "We're definitely long past gossip." she agreed. "I want you inside of me Damon. Every step of the way." she said, almost hesitantly.

"Even when I..." Damon frowned.

"Yes!" Elena replied. "As long as your offer from yesterday still stands." she smiled.

"Of course it does." Damon's eyes lit up. "You're prepared to stay?" he asked.

"If that's what fate decides, I'll stay." Elena smiled as she stroked Damon's face. "I think we should let mother nature decide, don't you?" she asked as Damon smiled excitedly and nodded.

"Is that what Emily said?" Damon asked. "That you can't go home?" he frowned.

"Shh!" Elena put her fingers to Damon's lips. "No more talking." she slid her hand between them and took his shaft in her hand and began to pump it gently before lining it up at her entrance. "Now are you going to make love to me or not?" she asked.

Damon rested on one forearm while ghosting his hand down Elena's body. Once he reached her hip he pulled with his hand and slowly pushed his pelvis forward, gently entering her, stretching and filling her until he could go no further. Elena rolled her eyes back at the pleasure of feeling full inside. Her core was still sensitive from her earlier orgasm which made him sliding inside her feel even more delicious.

Feeling adventurous, and much to Damon's surprise, Elena rolled them over so she was on top. Damon lowered his hands to Elena's hips as she lay the palms of her hands flat on Damon's chest. When she lifted herself up, she noticed Damon taking some of her weight, making sure she didn't tire too quickly, his thoughtfulness made her smile. As she lowered herself she felt Damon thrust upwards, forcefully inside her, his hips brushing against her sensitive clit.

"Oh god that is good." she moaned as her eyes rolled into the back of her head before repeating the action again.

Slowly they built up a rhythm, Elena circled her hips slightly to give added movement and friction to them both. Neither of them spoke, only the sounds of their moans slipped past their lips. After a few minutes Damon rolled them back over so he was on top and hovering above Elena once more.

"Are you sure you want to take the risk?" Damon asked her as Elena pressed her hips needily to his.

"I'm prepared to risk it, yes Damon." Elena whispered back. "But if you don't want to, you know what you have to do." she said as he nodded and thrust deep inside her.

Elena's back arched against him as they rocked together. Damon thrust deep inside her while she moved her hips to match his. Their bodies forming a union of two souls with one unending physical form. As they began to kiss, animalistic desire overtook Elena like she'd never experienced before. Damon turned her on more than she thought was physically possible. She wanted to crawl under his skin, and in that moment, Elena almost wished they were both vampires. To be able to sink their teeth into one another, to feel his essence flowing inside her. That thought alone almost tipped Elena over the edge as she bit down on Damon's lip, drawing blood.

Either he didn't notice or he didn't care as Damon's thrusts became more desperate and yet more powerful at the same time. Elena realized he was close to his release. She wrapped her legs around his waist and thrust her hips up as much as she could to meet his, trying to create added friction against her nub so they could climax together. Damon must have sensed her need as he slipped his hand between them and began to stroke her clit, sending jolts of electricity through her body.

"Oh yes...yes...yes..." she moaned as Damon thrust ever harder. Elena knew from the throbbing and burning inside, her release was imminent.

"I cant...Elena." Damon panted. "Come for me." he begged.

Fortunately it no longer mattered whether Damon was able to hold on or not. His words were all Elena needed to shatter her body into a million pieces. Waves of pleasure engulfed her as her heated core began to contract around his member.

"Damon...Aah..." she screamed as the orgasm rocked throughout her body. Her back arched and her body went rigid, her mind, body and soul numb to the outside world except her orgasm and the sensation of Damon inside her and against her skin.

"Elena...I..." Damon panted, bringing Elena into some semblance of consciousness as she looked up at him just in time to see the look of tortured pleasure on his face. "Argh!" he growled as Elena felt his warm seed release into her womb. A moment of pleasure with an act which could seal both their fates for the rest of their lives.

As they gradually recovered from their lovemaking, Damon softened inside her, yet Elena didn't want him to withdraw. The feeling of their bodies being united as one gave her a sense of being home, something she didn't want to lose so quickly. She stared up into his blue eyes, knowing she could easily get lost in them, she cupped his cheek and smiled.

Damon smiled back at her. "I love you Elena Gilbert." he whispered, kissing her on the nose as he collapsed on top of her.

"I love you too Damon Salvatore." Elena smiled as she rested her head against his and stroked his hair. "And no matter what happens, I always will." she said.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

The rain had eased off as Elena stood at the barn door watching Sally and Zeus playing in the field, a rainbow in the sky someway off into the distance. Damon was stood behind her, their bodies still naked, as he cocooned them both with his arms around her, wrapping them both in one of the blankets he'd brought. Elena sighed with contentment at the simplicity of it being just the two of them, no vampires, no danger, just the two of them, alone watching the horses. Elena turned and wrapped her arms around Damon, leaning her head into the crook of his neck, yet never taking her eyes off the two horses which seemed to relax her. Damon rested his chin in her head he pulling the blanket tighter around them.

"I wish it could always be like this." Elena smiled. "Just the two of us with no complications." she sighed.

"Does that mean you're staying?" Damon asked, his voice full of hope.

"I don't know." Elena told him honestly. "Emily said there was a way for me to go back. But I don't like what she has to do to repair the damage caused by me being here in the first place." she said. "Mostly what she has to do to you." she frowned.

"What would she have to do?" Damon asked tentatively.

Elena hesitated for a moment. "It would require her to cast a spell which would modify your memory. It wouldn't necessarily be forever, just until you meet me again." she told him.

"Why?" Damon asked.

"Because there are things you would need to do and for that you have to become a vampire." she explained. "But, a lot of the things you would do would be bad. You'll kill people, hurt people, destroy lives." Elena told him. "The moment you met me again, everything would come flooding back, and you'd know it was your love of me which drove you to do those things. I cannot live with myself having the blood on our hands of those innocent lives." she added quietly.

"You know I'd do anything for you." he whispered. "If I had to spend a hundred and fifty years of torture, just waiting for you, it would be worth it." he said.

"You'd be giving up your chance of ever having a family." Elena sighed. "We both would."

Damon hesitated for a moment. "Some things are worth the sacrifice."

Elena lifted her head and looked at him. "I knew you'd say that." she smiled. "Emily told me to let nature take its course." Elena told him. "I couldn't decide what to do, and I knew you would go along with whatever decision I made." she explained. "So I thought I'd do what the witches suggested. Let nature and fate take it's course, leaving the decision out of our hands."

"So if you fall pregnant, you stay, we marry and raise a family here in 1864?" he asked as Elena smiled and nodded. "And if you don't you go back home to your family."

"I thought it was the easiest way to decide." Elena shrugged. "You don't mind do you?" she asked hesitantly.

Damon thought for a moment. "As long as we give you a fair chance at staying." he smiled. "I mean, is once really going to be enough?" he asked innocently, although his eyes twinkled mischievously.

Elena sighed dramatically before a smile erupted on her face. "I was hoping you'd say that, because it probably won't be." she grinned.

However Damon suddenly frowned. "You're not just deciding to get married and have a family with me so you don't have to be the cause of all of innocent lost lives are you?" he asked with a worried look on his face. "I mean, this is a little soon." he said.

"Are you backing out?" Elena asked, suddenly worried she might have been a little presumptuous about his intentions.

"Of course not." Damon smiled. "I just don't want our marriage to be for the wrong reasons. I don't want you to feel rushed into it."

"You forget I've know you for quite a long time." Elena replied. "I know the worst version of you. And I still loved that man. It isn't rushed for me." she smiled.

Damon narrowed his eyes thoughtfully. "What if you are not with child? Then you would go back and we would meet again in a hundred and forty five years. All of my memories and feelings for you return. Does my offer of marriage still stand then?" he asked.

His question took Elena by surprise. She knew Damon was deadly serious. And if she had to be honest with herself, Damon was the only man she'd ever seen herself having a future with. Oddly those feelings had started actually while she was still with Stefan. On her eighteenth birthday, she'd even dreamed of hers and Damon's wedding day. Therefore the decision wasn't exactly a difficult one to make.

"If you still want that." Elena smiled. "You might think differently in the twenty first century. "Customs change a little. Marriage doesn't carry the same meaning." she told him.

"But deep down I will still be a gentleman of my time and traditions." Damon warned her.

"Yes." she agreed. "But, on the one condition we at least wait until I've finished college." she insisted.

"College?" Damon looked at her in surprise.

"Yes, college." Elena frowned.

"I'm guessing I will probably find that acceptable at the time?" Damon asked.

Elena nodded. "I'd expect you'll practically encourage it." she laughed at the horror on his face at the thought of a woman going to college, women really were second class citizens during this time. It was one of the most persuasive arguments to go back to her time.

"Fine." he said softly as he lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her before breaking away. "Although, I do think we should still give you staying a fair chance." he smirked as he pressed himself against her, his member hardening once more.

Elena ran her fingers down Damon's chest and wrapped her hand around his member. "I happen to agree." she whispered seductively. "Although I'd prefer not to have an audience." she said looking round at Sally and Zeus.

"Hold this." Damon said giving her the blanket, which she twisted until she'd wrapped it around them both. Damon picked Elena up and she wrapped her legs around his waist as he kissed her and walked her over to one of the empty stalls which was filled with hay. "I suspect trying to get you in the family way is about to become my favorite hobby." he grinned as he lay down on his back.

"Me too." Elena whispered before kissing him once more.

Three hours later the storm finally passed. Damon and Elena had spent their time making love, watching the horses and finishing the small amount of food and drink Elena had brought with her. Eventually, when their clothes were dry, they headed back to the Salvatore house. As they arrived, Elena saw Lizzie was sat on a stool waiting for them while guarding Sally's stall and looking frantic.

"Miss Eleanor, Master Damon. I was so worried." she said in a panicked voice as Damon and Elena dismounted.

"We're fine." Elena smiled. "Master Damon found me just in time and we found shelter." she told her as she looked up at Damon almost dreamily.

Damon placed his hand around Elena's waist and whispered into her ear. "I'll take Sally and Zeus, you go change into something more appropriate." he said looking at her with an expression of unadulterated love.

"Would you go and wait in Sally's stall with my clothes Lizzie?" Elena asked without breaking her and Damon's gaze.

"Ahem, yes Miss Eleanor." her handmaiden replied, curtsying before she scuttled off to Sally's stall.

Damon waited until the Lizzie was out of earshot before he tightened his arm around Elena's waist, pulling her in tighter to him. "Would you care to go for a ride with me tomorrow Miss Eleanor?" he asked with a smirk on his face.

"Why I would be most delighted to Mr Salvatore." Elena grinned.

"And as much as I like you in trousers." Damon started. "I feel it would raise less questions should you wear more...appropriate attire, fit for a lady while out riding." he smirked. "Although I have every intention of making sure you are wearing nothing but my lips on your skin later." he whispered.

"As you wish Mr Salvatore." Elena lips parted as desire grew in the pit of her stomach.

"I think your handmaiden is waiting for you to tell her all of the gossip." Damon told her with a glint in his eye as he slid his arm from around her.

"Then I better not keep her waiting." Elena replied. Leaving Damon's side was the last thing she wanted to do.

Damon took her hand in his, bowed his head and kissed her knuckle. "Until dinner." he said as he pulled away taking Sally and Zeus with him.

Elena sighed dreamily as she watched him walk away before turning and heading towards Sally's stall where she found a wide-eyed Lizzie stood with her arms folded.

"Miss Eleanor!" Lizzie exclaimed incredulously. "Did you and Master Damon...you know?" she started. Elena didn't say a word, but she knew the uncontrollable grin which erupted on face gave her away. "Oh my!" she giggled. "You have that look on your face which only comes from women who have spent time with Master Damon." she said as Elena's face fell, wondering quite how many women Damon had not only been with, but whether he'd made promises to in the past. However Lizzie soon reassured her. "Although I've never seen that look on Master Damon's face before." she said. "I think he might be in love with you and even wish to court you." Lizzie looked around furtively as she lowered her voice. "Maybe even ask for your hand in marriage." she smirked.

"I wouldn't get too carried away Lizzie." Elena smiled.

"Oh but if he did, would he be worth it?" Lizzie asked as Elena realized the last thing she wanted was for Lizzie to know the gory details.

Elena wasn't entirely sure how much she'd even have told Bonnie and Caroline if it had been vampire Damon from the future. Caroline would have been outraged as she despised Damon, although with good reason for the way he'd treat her when he first arrived in Mystic Falls. Bonnie on the other hand, who had a frenemy style relationship with Damon, would be wanting to know how good he was, before potentially criticizing her for sleeping with him.

"Master Damon was just making sure I was safe from the storm." Elena tried to backtrack, however Lizzie wasn't buying her lies.

"I never thought I'd see the day where I saw Master Damon look at a woman like the same way she looks at him." Lizzie shook her head, completely ignoring Elena's denials. "He'd never marry a girl for anything but love." she told Elena, although Elena already knew that herself. "Not even for duty, and definitely not for Master Giuseppe, especially since he got back from the war. He'd let the plantation go to Master Stefan before marrying a woman he didn't love." she said.

"I think I should get dressed." Elena said, trying to deflect the conversation away from the subject of marriage.

"Is he as good as they say?" Lizzie whispered. "They say he's hung like a horse hand has a tongue like a snake." she giggled.

"Lizzie!" Elena blushed as she admonished her handmaiden and looking around before putting her finger to her lips. "Hush. Master Damon was most courteous and rescued me from the storm. He brought blankets to help keep me warm." she insisted.

"Was that the only way he helped to keep you warm?" Lizzie winked.

"Just help me into my gown." Elena snapped, ignoring the question, although she hated herself for speaking to Lizzie like that. She just didn't want to divulge details and she knew Lizzie wouldn't shut up unless she made it really clear it was the end of the discussion.

Lizzie went quiet for a moment as she tightened the strings on Elena's corset to allow her to fit into her dress.

"I hope you were careful, if you get my meaning." Lizzie whispered. "You don't want to end up in the family way, unless of course Master Damon has pledged himself to you."

Elena thought for a minute. They hadn't been careful, but there was a good reason for it. However the chances of Elena falling pregnant were fairly slim as her period was due in around four days. She wasn't sure exactly when she was at her most fertile, but she didn't think it would be this close to her time of the month. Not that it mattered anyway. By making love when they did, it meant sure she'd gotten Damon's consent to go forward with any pregnancy and his assurance of standing by her. Elena suspected her being pregnant would be his desired outcome, as opposed to waiting for her in the future. Although he seemed unconcerned with having his memory altered until they met again if she returned to her time. In essence, she'd covered all bases with Damon's consent by allowing nature to take its course. However just because she wasn't likely to be pregnant now, with Damon's enthusiasm for the task, it meant the likelihood of a pregnancy before the Founders Ball was still fairly high.

Getting pregnant and marrying was definitely not on Elena's to do list at such a young age, however she didn't want to have to completely give up her chances of being a mother, and in fairness, Damon was the only man she'd ever seen herself marrying. If she were to stay in 1864, there was no career path for her. Being a wife, a mother and running a household would be her job. If she were to spend her life with Damon, these next few weeks were her one shot at becoming a mother, even if it didn't happen this month the chance was there for the next and if that was what fate were to decide for her, she would accept it with open arms. However, it was definitely too soon to mention anything to her handmaiden about what her and Damon had already been up to.

"I don't believe being rescued from a storm gets you in the family way." Elena sighed as Lizzie finished buttoning up the gown.

"It's not the rescuing part Miss Eleanor." Lizzie smiled. "It's how you pass the time while waiting for the storm to pass." she winked before her eyes dropped to the floor and she curtsied as Katherine approached. "Miss Katherine." she said quietly.

"Are you well sister?" Katherine asked. "I hear you got caught out in the storm." a fake concern appeared across Katherine's face. Elena hoped her doppelganger hadn't heard the conversation between her and Lizzie. The last thing she needed was a jealous Katherine.

"I was able to find shelter during the worst part of it my dear sister." Elena grimaced. "Nothing that a nice hot bath cannot soothe." she smiled before turning to her handmaiden. "Lizzie, would you have a hot bath prepared for me, and I would like you to use some of the new oils I bought from the apothecary. Now run along." she told her, wanting to be alone with Katherine.

Katherine watched as Lizzie disappeared. "You went to see Pearl?" she asked.

"I wanted to speak to her yes." Elena replied. She'd wanted to talk to Katherine for a while but the older vampire had been a too busy with Stefan. "Did you know Honoria Fell brought in some new perfume yesterday?" she asked.

"I heard rumors." Katherine replied flatly. "And what of it?"

"Wouldn't you like to know what the new scent is?" Elena lowered her voice.

"I'm sure you are going to regale me with such a fascinating topic." Katherine said sounding bored.

"Vervain." Elena whispered.

"What?" Katherine asked, looking shocked.

"Such a delicate odor, don't you think?" Elena asked. "I asked for a bottle of oil for my bath." she smirked. "If one of us is wearing it, nobody is going to come looking for us will they?"she whispered as Katherine looked at her suspiciously.

"What are you up to?" Katherine snarled.

"I'm just making sure nobody mistakes me for a vampire." Elena whispered. "But don't worry sister, by covering me, I'm covering both of our backs." she smiled. "Miss Pearl thought it was a wonderful idea."

Katherine's face fell. "I see." she nodded as Elena could see the machinations of a plan forming in Katherine's head. Elena was desperate to find out what Katherine was up to. Her entire plans had been based on Katherine following the same path as before, but the until a few minutes ago, Elena had forgotten to take into equation one aspect, Katherine was no longer with both Salvatore brothers. Her plans escape Klaus might have changed, and this was a worry. So Elena wanted to at least try and appear as if she was helping Katherine and try and influence her doppelgangers plans.

"I thought if they know for certain one of us isn't a vampire, then the townsfolk won't think either of us are vampires." Elena whispered. "That way, for now, it draws less attention to us. That is what you want isn't it?" she asked innocently, knowing full well Katherine had flaunted herself publicly with the intention of getting caught so Klaus would believe her dead, burned with the other vampires. Elena might not be able to thwart Katherine's plans, but if she were completely honest with Katherine, she might be able to at least guide her doppelganger in the right direction. "Look Katherine, we have a small problem." she said. "I will come visit you after dinner to discuss the matter."

Katherine sighed with resignation, clearly realizing the magnitude of the situation they now found themselves in. "Fine, I look forward to it." she said sarcastically. as she walked off in the direction towards Damon.

Normally Elena would have been worried about any conversation between Katherine and Damon, knowing under normal circumstances Katherine could compel whatever she wanted from him. However on this occasion Elena knew she didn't have to worry. When Elena requested her picnic, she'd put some vervain in the wine, which she'd shared with Damon in the barn, meaning Damon couldn't be compelled for information. Her suspicion of Katherine was confirmed when she saw them talking and Katherine storm off, clearly not able to find out what she needed to know from Damon. Elena just hoped Katherine hadn't been compelling Damon into doing her bidding, which could include him falling in love with her.

After Elena had bathed,changed into fresh clothes and had dinner, as promised she went to see Katherine. After being let in by Emily, the witch left, leaving Elena and Katherine alone.

"So, what do you wish to discuss Isobel?" Katherine asked as Elena suddenly remembered she'd given Katherine her birth mothers name instead of her own.

"You are going to have to change your plans to adapt to me being here." Elena told her.

"What plans?" Katherine asked.

"I know how you escaped Mystic Falls and evaded Klaus for so long." Elena told her. "But now I'm here, the plan needs to be adapted slightly." she said. "He needs to know Katerina Petrova and the last remaining doppelganger died in the church fire."

Katherine's face dropped. "I haven't heard anyone use that name in a very long time." she whispered.

"Klaus or even Elijah, need to find out you are here, as well as the doppelganger." Elena explained. "Maybe you were collecting everything for Klaus to break the hybrid curse. Ready to make a deal for your freedom." she told her. "Except before Klaus gets here, you get caught by the town council and they kill all of the vampires and those who harbor them."

"But why would the council kill you?" Katherine frowned.

"Because I'm covering for you. In the eyes of a those who hunt vampires, I am just as damned as you are." Elena told her. "To go back, I need to make sure the future is as close to the same as when I left it. But I would at least like to take preventative measures are taken to ensure Klaus knows neither of your survival nor of my existence." she said.

"And should you remain?" Katherine asked. "I happen to hear word of Master Damon wishing to take you for his wife." she said. "Is it true?"

"You compelled him didn't you?" Elena folded her arms as a lump appeared in her throat at the possibility of Damon's feelings for her not being real.

"I only compelled him to tell me his intentions towards you, although as you probably know that didn't work with your little vervain trick." Katherine sighed. "It seems as though you have him wrapped around your little finger, without even a hint of magic or compulsion." she said as she began to study her nails. "Of course, he probably only fell in love with you because you look like me." she said bitchily. "But, he's now clearly smitten. Is it really fair you lead him on and then disappear?" she asked.

"Damon knows what's happening." Elena told her. "But if I go back, he will remember me." she smiled.

"If you go back?" Katherine asked. "What do you mean if?"

Elena sighed. "That's if I can go back." she admitted. "Right now so much has changed, I can't just go back to when I am from. For me to go back, we need to repair the damage to future events which has already been done as a result of my being here. Starting by your escape from Mystic Falls. That now becomes our escape as I will need to disappear into my own time. If Klaus thinks we're both dead, he won't search for us in the future and yes it will change some things, but as long as he does not break the hybrid curse, neither of us will ever meet him again." she assured her. "But if we can't repair enough of the damage, then I'm stuck here." she said.

"And why should I help you?" Katherine asked.

"Because by saving me, you are saving yourself." Elena told her.

"I could always kill you." Katherine reminded her.

"You won't." Elena smiled. "Klaus is already pissed with you. Imagine how angry he'd be if he found out you'd killed his last hope of breaking the curse."

Katherine thought for a moment. "Fine. What's your plan?" she asked, rolling her eyes.

"You, me and all of the vampires in Mystic Falls need to die." Elena told her. "A week after the Founders Day Ball, we all get caught and die." she said. "Stefan and Damon will come to our rescue but fail and are shot dead with vampire blood in their system. They are the witnesses to our deaths. Loose ends are tied up." she said. "But as I keep saying, both Stefan and Damon need to turn."

"And if you stay?" Katherine asked. "Do they both need to turn?" she asked.

Elena thought for a moment. "I don't know." she said honestly. "I guess we could find another way of taking care of Emily's family." she said. "But Klaus is drawn to Mystic Falls because of me. Klaus knew you died there and you were the last person to have the moonstone, so he goes searching for it and finds out you didn't die. Eventually Damon rescues you from Klaus." she lied. "If I don't go back, I think it means Klaus can't find me." she said. "I can work on what damage needs to be covered up while you start to plan our deaths." Elena suggested. "But we both need to know exactly what the other is up to. Because Katherine, believe me, if we don't work together and we screw up, Klaus will kill us both." she warned.

Katherine squared Elena up. "I don't like being told what to do." she said. "And for some reason I don't trust you. But I'd be an idiot to ignore you. We'll work together, but if I find out you are lying to me in any way or have gone behind my back, then I'll make sure Damon never looks at you again. You hear me?" she asked as Elena swallowed hard.

"Yes Katherine." Elena replied. "But remember I am forging a path under both possible eventualities of me staying or going. And so must you." she said.

"I know." Katherine smiled. "I'm already working on a plan B. Now I need you to leave as Stefan should be here soon. I would for us to have a little... privacy." she smirked, opening the door for Elena to leave.

"Goodbye Katherine." Elena nodded. "Have a good evening."

"Oh I will." Katherine smiled. "About as good as the day you had from what I can tell." she whispered as Elena's face fell before Katherine closed the door.

As Elena returned to her room, she saw Stefan knock on Katherine's door, before heading inside and suddenly Elena felt all alone. As she closed her bedroom door to retire for the evening, Elena felt a desperate need to see Damon. She picked up a bottle of vervain oil before heading to Damon's room. She knocked on the door and called out his name softly, after a moment he answered and smiled.

"Miss Eleanor, what a pleasant surprise. How may I help you this evening?" he asked politely.

Elena swallowed, knowing she was being bold as it wasn't proper for an unmarried woman to enter a gentleman's bedroom. "I've got a gift for you." she said as he opened the door wide to let her in. As he closed the door behind her, Elena noticed Damon was just wearing his shirt and pants. The rest of his finery gone, which was how Elena preferred him. She wondered if she'd disturbed him getting ready for bed. "Was I interrupting anything?" she asked.

"Nothing important, I was just reading." Damon smiled as Elena noticed a book laying on his desk. "Would you care to sit?" he asked, offering her a chair.

"Thank you." she replied as she sat down. "I came to give you this." she said handing him the bottle she had brought with her. "It's vervain." she told him. "You need to put just a couple of drops in some water every morning and drink it so the vampires can't mess with your mind or drink your blood." she said quietly, hoping nobody was outside listening.

Damon smiled. "Thank you." he said. "It's good you brought this because I think Katherine tried to compel me earlier." he admitted. "But for some reason it didn't work." he frowned.

"It was in the wine we drank earlier." Elena told him. "I take it every day. I was concerned Katherine had compelled you to..." she looked down and took a deep breath. "I thought she might have compelled you to fall in love with me."

"And why would she do that?" Damon frowned.

"To spy on me. Jealousy maybe." Elena suggested. "She says she hasn't, I don't know whether or not to believe her." tears welled up in her eyes. "But unless you turn, we'll never know the truth." she said.

"Rest assured. She didn't." he smiled.

"How do you know?" Elena frowned. "She can make you think things happened which didn't, remember.."

"She wanted me to spend the evening with her." Damon admitted. "I refused. Then she tried to compel me to well... but obviously that didn't work. So she asked what you have that she doesn't."

"And what did you say?" Elena asked.

"A heart, compassion, and a beautiful soul." Damon grinned. "I would liked to have said you were better than her in other ways, but I didn't think it would be the gentlemanly thing to do to be so cruel to her." he said, kneeling down next to her.

"We need to keep her on our side." Elena warned. "Whether I stay or go, we need her." she sighed and smiled. "I'm glad she tried to compel you and failed. At least I now know your love for me is real, and that makes me the happiest woman in the world." she said as she stroked his cheek.

"And I am the happiest man." Damon smiled back as he kissed her chastely.

"After my little conversation with Katherine, it looks like I will need to disappear if I stay." Elena told him.

"Why?" Damon frowned.

"Katherine and I are being hunted by a vampire called Klaus. He needs to think we are both dead, otherwise he will come looking for us." Elena told him. "Which means I won't be able to be paraded around as Mrs Eleanor Salvatore." she said sadly. "If you married me, you would have to disappear too, that way we could save Emily's family." she suggested.

Damon smiled. "I'm liking the sound of this better by the day." he said as Elena frowned with confusion. "My father hates me, and wants nothing more than for Stefan to inherit the business." he told her. "He tried to buy me off a few times, but I've told him I'd only consider it if the woman I married was in agreement with the arrangement." he said. "It is a considerable amount of money along with four hundred acres of land." he said as Elena's eyes boggled at this new information. "There's not much wood left for logging and it's worthless for planting cotton. But we could build a house, maybe have some horses, cattle." he suggested as Elena threw her arms around him.

"That would be perfect." she grinned. "We'd have to change our names though." she said. "And people will need to think you perished in too."

"But my father will know." Damon frowned as Elena shook her head.

"He won't." she told him as she lowered her eyes. "He won't live long enough."

"When do we need to make the arrangements by?" Damon asked.

"We need to disappear the week after the Founders Ball." she told him. "I suspect that might not be long enough for any transaction to go through." she said.

Damon grinned. "Father drew up the plans the last time I was on leave." he told her. "His hope was for me to either die in the war, or for me to marry Katherine when I returned, in the hope she was desperate enough to marry me considering her predicament after the fire." he said. "Of course he didn't count on her falling in love with Stefan." he said bitterly. Although Elena knew Damon no longer loved Katherine, she knew enough of Damon's personality to realize his biggest weakness was being rejected, especially in favor of Stefan, which seemed to have been a common theme throughout his life.

"Where is the land?" Elena asked.

"Remember the pond I took you to when we went on our first picnic? Out over the other side of Wickery Bridge?" he asked as Elena nodded. "It's out by those woods there. The trees are too young for logging, and our barn just happens to be on that land too." he winked at her as Elena smiled. It was on the exact spot of where the Salvatore Boarding house lay in the future.

"I think that is perfect." Elena whispered. "I suggest you discuss it with your father as soon as possible." she said as Damon's hand began to inch up her ankle.

"Can it wait until morning?" he whispered. "I can think of better things to do tonight." he said before kissing her on the lips.

"We have a deal Mr Salvatore." Elena said softly. "I say we get practicing for married life already."

Damon stood up and picked Elena up from her chair bridal style and carried her over to the bed, causing her to squeal with delight.

"Your wish is my command the future Mrs Salvatore." he grinned, throwing her down on the bed.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

The next morning, after breakfast Elena was pacing about in her room. She and Damon had spent the night together and had decided he would tell his father of their desire to marry first thing in the morning. Regardless of whether he turned or not, he would need to keep the Bennett family safe. The sooner he had his own house built, the sooner plans could be put into place. If need be the Bennett witches would have to stay in the barn where they had spent the afternoon waiting out the storm, but if Damon could muster enough manpower together, some semblance of a temporary home could be built and he would hide them there instead.

The plot of land where the boarding house lay, was fifteen miles from the center of Mystic Falls. In 2010 it was only a few minutes drive, however in 1864 the journey would take much longer and it was unlikely anyone from Mystic Falls would venture out that far considering the land was practically useless, surrounded by saplings. This meant it was a good place to lay low for a while. Should anyone look to try and build anything on the land, they would find it had been left by Damon, to someone called Elena Gilbert. For any properties to be built on the land, or for any to be sold, it would require either hers or an appointed power of attorney signatory.

As well as making love, this had been the conversation which had taken place overnight between them. Wherever their fate lie, Eleanor Pierce had to disappear and the Bennett's needed to be saved. If Elena went back to 2010, she would own whatever land was left which hadn't been sold on by Damon, who, in some guise would act as her power of attorney, and if she stayed in 1864 it could be signed back to Damon. This way all eventualities were covered and there would be no way of tracing Elena and identifying her as Eleanor through the transaction. Elena, they decided, would be the name of Damon's fake illegitimate daughter.

Elena knew the meeting between Damon and his father was likely to be a lengthy one. Although Giuseppe wanted Damon gone and out of his life as soon as possible, Elena suspected the businessman in Damon's father would try and barter his son down in favor of a quicker resolution and a speedier signature. Elena also had a feeling Giuseppe was beginning to suspect Katherine was a vampire. This was where Elena's vervain oil would come in useful to prove herself human.

When she and Katherine had been making their plans, they'd agreed it needed to be abundantly clear Elena was human. For Klaus to believe Elena was the final doppelganger but not come searching for them, they needed for the Original to know both doppelgangers died in the fire, regardless of whether Elena stayed in 1864 or returned to 2010. It was the only way for them to be free. However Elena was a little worried about how Katherine would take the news of confirmation of her impending marriage to Damon. She hoped jealousy would not be an issue, especially as turning Damon and Stefan was part of the plot to aid their escape. This was why she eventually gave into nerves and decided to talk to Katherine.

Elena knocked on Katherine's door and Emily answered with a smile. "Come in Miss Eleanor, Miss Katherine was expecting you." she said with a little curtsy as Elena entered and saw her doppelganger lounging on a chair next to her dressing table.

"Please leave us Emily." Katherine said. "Isobel and I need to chat...in private."

"As you wish." Emily nodded and left the room, closing the door behind her.

Katherine waited until she'd heard Emily was gone before she spoke. "I believe congratulations are in order." she offered flatly. "I thought we were keeping each other informed of our moves. You didn't tell me about this little secret last night." she said.

"Damon and I agreed to it after I left you last night." Elena admitted.

"It was a little late to be discussing matters of such a delicate nature." Katherine raised an eyebrow. "Or was the decision made in Damon's bed?" she smirked.

Elena blushed. "I went to his room to give him more vervain last night." she admitted. "I thought it would be a bad idea if any of the other vampires in town tried to compel him. We need him on our side." she said.

"And was that what you were doing in bed?" Katherine asked sarcastically. "Making sure he was on our side? Although I'm sure it was a most pleasurable task."

Elena's face reddened even further. "The marriage proposal is genuine. Should I be unable to return to my time, Damon and I will marry, although not here in Mystic Falls of course." she told her. "Damon is prepared to forfeit his full inheritance to ensure our safety. Which is the discussion he is having with his father right now." she said.

"It sounds oh so romantic." Katherine sighed. "But for all of Damon's great skills, he is such a bore." she shrugged.

"I've known Damon longer than you currently have, and I happen to like him." Elena lowered her eyes. "In fact I love him." she whispered.

Katherine rolled her eyes. "Well that suits me fine as I prefer Stefan's company anyway." she grinned. "Just promise me you won't make a play for Stefan. Once you've experienced both..." she smirked.

"Don't worry, I already have." Elena replied with a grin. "And I'm more than happy with my choice. You are more than welcome to Stefan." she said, although deep down it hurt her to say that. Only a few short weeks ago she'd thought she was still in love with Stefan. Albeit not as much as she'd thought, and it must have been noticeable to others as Katherine herself had become aware of Elena's growing feelings for Damon. Now they were planning their potential wedding, house and having children together. Although it was happening fast, it felt surprisingly right.

"Are there any other updates you'd care to share with me?" Katherine asked, changing the subject. Clearly uneasy now she knew Elena had, at some point in the future slept with Stefan.

"No, nothing." Elena shook her head truthfully as there came a knock at the door.

"Enter!" Katherine called out as Emily's head peered round the door.

"Mr Salvatore would like you both to come to the parlor immediately, he has an announcement to make." Emily smiled.

"I'm guessing he agreed." Katherine sighed. "Come dear sister, I feel there may be a celebration looming." she smiled as they both left Katherine's room and headed downstairs.

Katherine and Elena entered the parlor to see Giuseppe by the fire, Stefan stood looking out of the window and Damon sat on the couch fiddling around nervously. Elena was surprised by quite how uptight he was, and began to worry Giuseppe had said no. However the moment Damon saw her he stood up and walked straight over to her and smiled before turning to Katherine.

"Miss Katherine." he bowed as he took her hand and kissed it.

"Master Damon." Katherine acknowledged him as he turned to Elena.

"Miss Eleanor." he bowed, taking her hand and kissed it before placing her arm through his and leading her over to the couch.

Giuseppe nodded his head and addressed both Katherine and Elena before also kissing the backs of their hands before Damon and Elena sat on one couch next to each other while Giuseppe continued to stand in front of the fireplace.

"Stefan." Giuseppe called out as Stefan turned to face everyone. "Son, come join us." he said softly, with a hint of excitement in his voice as Damon winced.

Elena suspected Damon and his father's conversation hadn't been particularly cordial. Unlike Giuseppe's seeming adoration for his younger son, regardless of how happy Giuseppe looked, he never seemed to refer to Damon as 'son' in the same fashion. Stefan walked over to the group and stood next to his father and greeted Elena and Katherine.

Giuseppe took a deep breath before he spoke. "This morning, Damon came to me with a proposition, which I believe affects every one of us here." he said. "It appears he and Miss Eleanor have become very close since their meeting only a few weeks ago. I admit, their growing affections had not slipped my notice." he said looking at both Damon and Elena, the latter of the two blushed. "However I was indeed surprised when Damon asked if he would be allowed to wed Miss Eleanor. He has also requested he forfeit his rights to inherit the plantation and mills. This request did indeed surprise me greatly." he turned to Elena. "Were you aware he was going to relinquish all of this?" he asked waving his hand in the air.

"Yes he did discuss the matter with me." Elena smiled. "I truly do not mind. The idea of a more...simple life is far more appealing to me." she said squeezing Damon's hand. "Carrying a smaller burden often makes for a happier man. And a happier husband is a happier wife" she offered, hoping it sounded convincing enough.

"It appears you know Damon all too well in your short time together." Giuseppe narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "And I take it his opinions and behavior does not offend you?" he asked to which Elena unsuccessfully tried to restrain a giggle.

"During my time in England, I met far far worse." Elena lied. "In comparison, Master Damon is a perfect gentleman." she smiled.

"Are you out of your mind brother?" Stefan cried out. "I know I stand to benefit from what you forfeit, but are you such a fool to leave all of this and live in poverty?" he cried.

"Now Son." Giuseppe raised his hand to calm Stefan down. "Damon and his wife will not be living in poverty. I have granted them some land and Damon will receive a lump sum. That way they can forge their own path. Is that not right?" he asked, turning to Damon.

"Father and I have come to an agreement which suits us both perfectly." Damon told him. "Even this afternoon, we will be having the plans for the new house drawn up, so the work can start almost immediately." Damon turned to Elena. "I was hoping you would participate and I can show you the spot where our new home will be built." he smiled.

"I cannot think of anything more wonderful." Elena said truthfully, smiling from ear to ear.

"We wish to marry as soon as possible." Damon announced. "The sooner the house is finished the sooner we can marry."

"I am going to have all of my best men attend to it." Giuseppe told them all.

To anyone who didn't know Giuseppe's motives, it sounded like a proud father doing his best to help his son with his first home. However Elena knew better. Giuseppe simply couldn't wait to get rid of Damon from out under his roof. To Damon's father, this marriage was the best thing to have happened to him all year.

"Congratulations dear sister." Katherine said, offering a fake smile. "Master Damon is a most worthy suitor. I for one cannot wait for us to be making the wedding plans."

"Thank you." Elena smiled back.

"Am I the only one who thinks this is wrong?" Stefan frowned looking around the room, surprising Elena. Of all the people she expected to be upset in 1864, Stefan was the last person she expected to object. Although maybe in 2010 it would be different and he then would be top of the pissed off list.

"Miss Eleanor and I are in love." Damon frowned at Stefan. "You know me brother, I have always stipulated my position regarding marriage. I will never settle for a marriage of convenience." he said. "Only love." he looked over to Elena and smiled.

"And for father to agree to it you've relinquished the business?" Stefan asked.

"No!" Giuseppe replied. "I would have granted Damon the marriage regardless of his inheritance. Miss Eleanor is a woman of considerable social standing, and if you do not mind my saying so, has surprised me she is even willing to consider your brother as a suitable husband." Elena's jaw dropped slightly and eyes opened wide at that comment.

"Ahem." Katherine looked at Elena and pretended to cough as knocked her chin in a manner to tell Elena it was not the proper behavior, as to which Elena immediately closed her mouth.

"It was my suggestion." Damon told Stefan. "Father and I had discussed the subject of inheritance before and I had rejected the offer as I believed it would affect my suitability for the right woman. Yet I admit the idea of inheriting the business was not something I chose to look forward to. I just never expected to be lucky enough to find a woman who shared my view." he smiled.

"And this is not because you are rushing into a marriage brother?" Stefan asked. "I mean it seems not so long ago you were infatuated with Miss Katherine. It seems your attempts were swayed all too quickly." he added.

"I admit there was an attraction to Miss Katherine, she is of great beauty, as is Miss Eleanor. Which should be of no surprise considering they are identical twins." Damon said. "However Miss Eleanor is of a different nature, and like myself, would not be most suitable to running the household as the owner of a large plantation and logging mills."

"You've always been one for the finer things in life." Stefan frowned. "I do not believe you."

"War changes people Stefan." Damon said. "After living a more basic life, I found certain aspects fairly satisfying. Being caught up in the trappings of politics and running a business has never been for me. I do not want,nor have I ever wanted that responsibility. You were always the one more suited to the job. Father and I were aware of that."

"You and father have never agreed on anything in your lives, I fail to see how that has changed." Stefan said.

"Why are you so against this Stefan?" Giuseppe frowned. "Do you take issue with inheriting the business?" he asked, his voice full of concern. Elena was beginning to see why Damon had such issues with Stefan in the future. If this was how he had been treated during his human life, rejection in favor of Stefan, then him snapping Jeremy's neck made complete sense. Elena had said the words which would have hurt Damon more than anything else possible.

"I'm not against it father." Stefan told Giuseppe. "But Damon can be impulsive and make rash decisions. And I fear this is one of them. Come morning he may regret this decision and seek to win back Miss Katherine's affections. He and Miss Eleanor have known each other for what, less than a month. Yet you seem so willing to grant this marriage quickly, which to me appears to be as much for your convenience as it is theirs." he turned to Damon. "Unless of course she is with child." he said bitchily as Damon stood up angrily.

"I will not listen to you sully Miss Eleanor's name like that!" Damon shouted.

"Really brother. Rarely has your idea of love been forged in your head or your heart. It is usually formed under the... bedclothes." Stefan said sarcastically. "I cannot see how this would be any different to your usual affairs of the...never mind."

"Boys, this is not an appropriate conversation which to be had of in front of ladies." Giuseppe admonished his sons, much to Elena's, and she suspected Katherine's annoyance.

"I'm sorry Miss Eleanor." Stefan said to her. "It is just my brother had declared his love for your sister before your arrival." he turned to Damon, completely ignoring Giuseppe's warning. "Is that not true Damon?" he asked.

"Miss Eleanor know more about my history with Miss Katherine than you do dear brother." Damon replied. "Miss Katherine's beauty attracted me to her, I do not deny that. And Miss Katherine has a wonderful manner, befitting of the love from the highest of gentlemen. But there was something about Miss Eleanor's soul which stole my heart. We share the similar opinions and beliefs. Miss Eleanor understands me like no other has before. Not even my own family. She seems to have the ability to recognize my needs, sometimes even before I do. I believe we are kindred spirits." he smiled at Elena, who blushed.

"And you Miss Eleanor?" Stefan turned to Elena. "What are your motives for marrying my brother?" he asked.

For the first time, Elena was truly offended, however it only motivated her to answer. And although Elena could have refused to respond to Stefan's question on the grounds of being offended, she chose to face him head on.

"Damon is the kindest, most wonderful man I have ever met." Elena said. "He has a goodness and purity which, although can be difficult to find at times as he hides it well, it still exists. He also has a dark side and demons which haunt him. I have seen him angry and lash out. However I instinctively know how to comfort him. Damon needs a woman with compassion to see past those demons before he will truly be himself with her. I believe only with me can he do that." she told him. "But you asked why I wanted to marry Master Damon?" she smiled. "Once he lets you see into his soul, it is impossible not to fall in love with him. Imagining my life without him, is like imagining a piece of my own body being torn away from me."

"And if his eye wanders?" Stefan raised an eyebrow.

"It will not!" Elena replied adamantly.

"It has before, he was with Miss Katherine before you. He could do the same again." Stefan warned.

"He won't." Elena said smugly. "I am not Katherine." she turned to Katherine. "Forgive me sister, this is not an affront to you, because the attraction between Damon and I is based upon something entirely different." she said. "I believe he is my soulmate and I am his. When you meet that person, everything else in life bears little consequence as the simplest of life together is fulfilling enough."

"Stefan." Giuseppe interrupted. "I have already gone over this with Damon. Miss Eleanor is only telling you exactly what Damon told me this morning." he said.

"Why are you so against this brother?" Damon asked sadly.

"I am not." Stefan replied. "You are my brother and I love you. I only wish for our relationship to not become strained. Should you embark on this course of action, I am concerned you may come to regret it and had wished you hadn't relinquished your rights to the business. I fear if that is the case, you may be unhappy with your circumstance and give you cause to hold a grudge against me for inheriting the business instead of yourself." he said.

Damon laughed. "I appreciate your concern brother. But your worries are unfounded. Rest assured I will be very happy with my life." he said. "And I never wanted to inherit the plantation or the mills." he added. "To me they were always going to be yours."

"Master Stefan." Katherine said, addressing the younger Salvatore. "I know my sister, and many a man has tried to steal her heart. Those of a higher station and those of far more comely appearances than Master Damon, and may I be bold as to say, potentially more charming." she said. "However none have succeeded. She does not give her heart away easily. I used to fear she never would marry at all, and she was set to become an old spinster as no man would ever be good enough for her unrealistic high expectations. But it turns out I was wrong. I too have been witnessing their blossoming romance and I would never stand in their way as I know I am seeing the rare sight of true love." she smiled.

Elena knew Katherine's impassioned speech was purely to appease Stefan as Damon and Elena's public engagement would suit her escape plan. Nonetheless, Elena appreciated her words, regardless of their intentions. She knew Katherine would be able to put Stefan at ease and in all likelihood would compel him afterwards. She felt sad Stefan had seemed so against the idea, however she knew he was just looking out for Damon as it was clear their relationship was much closer in 1864 than after they became vampires.

"I shall be putting an official announcement in the church notices." Giuseppe told them. "As soon as we find out how long it will take to build the house, then we can look to setting a date for the wedding." he said turning to Elena and putting on his most charming smile. "I look forward to welcoming you to the family and gaining a daughter."

"Thank you Mr Salvatore." Elena smiled at Giuseppe. "I look forward to being part of this family, and for Damon and I to build a family of our own." she said glancing over to Damon.

"I believe this calls for a celebration." Giuseppe told them. "When would you like to have the party?" he asked.

"How about we include it in the Founders Ball?" Damon suggested. He and Elena had spoken at length about this the previous night and had decided to keep Elena's public appearances to a minimum for the time being. This would also appease Giuseppe as it would be one less party to pay for.

"I think that is an excellent idea." Giuseppe smiled. "I do believe Miss Eleanor is having a positive influence on you already." he said.

Elena returned to her room alone as Damon and Giuseppe had more inheritance business to discuss, while Katherine and Stefan went out for a walk. Just as Elena was about to settle down with a book, there was a tap at the door. When she opened the door she saw Emily, to whom she beckoned inside. As soon as the door was closed Emily lit some sage and performed the privacy spell as Elena sat down.

"We have some important matters to discuss." Emily told Elena. "I take it, considering the gossip spreading around the house, you and Damon are to be married."

"Yes." Elena replied. "If possible, whatever the outcome. Whether it is in 1864 or 2010, it doesn't matter. It won't change my feelings for him." she said. "We will hopefully discover whether nature has taken its course a few days before the Founders Ball as you would call it, and we are making arrangements to ensure your family are safe regardless of the outcome." she assured Emily.

"Thank you." Emily smiled. "but first, there are a few things you must know. I have discovered taking vampire blood while with child, is fine for the first three months. Indeed it will prevent you from losing the baby." she said. "After three months it is not advisable. Nobody has ever taken it for that length of time, and if anything goes wrong, either one of you could end up as a vampire. If the child dies after childbirth, it will wake as an infant vampire."

"Oh." Elena replied. She'd read Breaking Dawn and how the children who turned never matured and had no control over their hunger. And although most vampire fiction was exactly that, just fiction, Elena couldn't see past the idea of the cruelty of having a newborn vampire baby who could never mature into anything or grow up. "I guess that makes sense." she said. "Is Katherine on board with this plan?" she asked.

"Katherine cannot know of yours and Damon's attempts to start a family. As far as she is concerned, you and she both need to be dead." Emily told her. "Only then will she feel safe in the knowledge of Klaus never hunting her again. However, as you know, Katherine rarely trusts anyone and this has proven to be the case with regards to a spell she asked me to perform for her." Emily lowered her eyes as Elena knew something bad was coming.

Elena sighed. "Go on." she said.

"The spell to make Damon forget you if you go back to your time is now linked to vampire blood" she told her. "If you stop taking vampire blood, Damon will completely forget who you are while he is also taking it." Emily said.

"Can't Damon stop taking it now and then start again later?" Elena asked as Emily shook her head.

"You told me the vampire roundup took place on September 24th, but that does not mean it will happen on that day this time." she said. "Bringing yourself into the mix may attract the attention of Klaus and his siblings. If so, he may send someone to find you, thus Katherine would have to trigger the vampire roundup sooner." Emily explained. "We cannot risk the chance of Damon being killed in the crossfire." she took a deep breath. "This also ties you both to taking vampire blood until Katherine is safe. It means you cannot run away as you will not have access to any."

"So let me get this straight, Katherine doesn't trust me to stay here, so she is tying me to Damon with some kind of memory spell, and if I disappear, he will forget me forever?" Elena asked in horror.

"No." Emily replied. "He will forget about you until he sees the woman he fell in love with. Meaning if you return to the future, he will not remember your relationship until he sees the person who was with him in 1864." she explained.

"So, when he meets me, or the me in the past in the future, he'd still be in love with Katherine." Elena shook her head with confusion, trying to understand the spell. "I'm sorry, I don't understand it."

"When did you first meet Damon?" Emily asked.

"I went to see Stefan and Damon answered the door." Elena told her.

"If you return before that moment, when he opens the door,, he will know you are the love of his life and all of his memories of your time together will come back to him." Emily explained. "If you return to a later time, he will not recognize Elena Gilbert who he greet. Exactly the same as it was before. He won't remember the Elena Gilbert he fell in love with until the woman who posed as Eleanor Pierce replaces her." she told her. "You!"

"What do you mean I 'replace her'?" Elena frowned with concern.

"There cannot be two you's. You will replace the person who is in the future when you wake from the spell." Emily told her cryptically. "The younger Elena will simply vanish."

Elena thought for a moment. The spell was too complex for Katherine to come up with by herself. As far as Elena was aware, Katherine wasn't a witch when she was human. This idea had to have come from a witch, one who it would also benefit.

"This is not just part of Katherine's plan is it?" Elena asked suspiciously. "You know if I stay, I'll make sure your family are looked after because of my friend. But you don't trust Damon to do it if I go back. This way if he thinks he needs to protect the Bennett line to get Katherine out of the tomb, he'll protect your family and make sure he becomes a vampire." she said.

"That is true." Emily smiled. "It is why I made sure you could take vampire blood while with child, that is if nature takes you in that direction. I do not wish to remove that opportunity from you both" she said. "The moment Damon sees you again, he will remember you. However if you don't take the vampire blood and he does, he will forget you until he sees you again. He will not seek you out. Should you run, and stop taking vampire blood, Damon will forget you. If you are pregnant and you want him back, you will need to seek him out. And that would be a journey fraught with peril." she said.

"Katherine would see me dead?" Elena suggested.

"You know Katherine would be the least of your worries wouldn't she." Emily raised an eyebrow as it dawned on Elena who Emily meant.

"Stefan." she whispered.

"Damon wouldn't remember you and would be protecting his brother. If Stefan saw you first and heard your heartbeat..." Emily trailed off.

"He'd rip me to pieces." Elena swallowed. "Does Katherine know about Stefan?" she asked as Emily shook her head.

"I felt it better to keep that to myself." Emily said. "His purity and his humanity are his curse. Katherine would be reluctant to turn him if she felt he would be too great a burden."

"And his purpose?" Elena asked.

"To save you." Emily replied. "Everything works in a circle and certain things cannot change. The simple fact you are here suggests he is already set to change." she smiled.

"And Damon?" Elena asked. "What if he forgets me, I go back and he doesn't turn. We'll never see each other again." she swallowed a lump in her throat.

"That is true, and he doesn't need to be a vampire to help us now he is building a home and has a possible shelter for us." Emily told her. "I do not know the future, the witches would not tell me. I can make guesses based on what you tell me and my understanding of how time works through magic. So yes, Stefan will turn. But I do not know of Damon's fate, nor do I know yours. A seer could help, but visions are ever evolving and should any decision change, so will the future. It is best not to meddle in such things. You should always let nature take its course. But this is the only way to guarantee he will try to save Katherine and turn in the process."

"But that's what worries me." Elena sighed. "Nature might take its course, but there is always Katherine to contend with. She is a force of nature all by herself." she closed her eyes and thought for a moment. "A part of me thinks Katherine will betray us." she said.

"If you truly believe that, then you must think like her. Put yourself in her position." Emily advised. "What would you do if you were her?" she asked.

"I don't know." Elena whispered. "I'm not a psychotic, selfish bitch."

"Well then I suggest you think carefully about it, because in all likelihood, you are correct. Katherine will betray anyone and everyone to save herself." Emily agreed. "If I were you I would watch her. If I can help I will. You already know what she does here in Mystic Falls. I would expect her to do the same and something more. After all, she has tied you to Damon through vampire blood." she advised. "That is definitely something new."

Elena frowned. "Is it any vampire blood, or just Katherine's Damon and must take?" she asked.

"Damon is tied to drinking only Katherine's blood." Emily told her. "You on the other hand just have to consume vampire blood, and Damon must stop drinking it before you do. Katherine will force him to drink it until she is safe and believed to be dead."

"Every spell had a loophole." Elena insisted.

Emily sighed in defeat. "If you only drink the vampire blood for one day more than Damon, then the spell for him to forget you won't be triggered?" she told her. "But that requires you to find a vampire to give you their blood, and after all, once they are captured, they will not be able to be of any assistance."

Elena smiled. "Thank you Emily for telling me this. Is that all?" she asked.

"For the moment yes." Emily replied. "Although, I would like to congratulate you on your engagement. I suspect he will make a fine husband to you one day, whenever it may be." she smiled as she blew out the burning sage and left.

Elena leaned up against the bedroom door and smiled. "Thank you Pearl." she whispered to herself.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

After the meeting with Giuseppe to announce Damon and Isobel's engagement, Katherine decided to take a walk through the gardens with Stefan. She had not been surprised by his outburst against the marriage during the earlier conversation. She knew Stefan absolutely adored his older brother and would do almost anything for him, which, when she overheard Damon and Giuseppe discussing the matter before she met Isobel, she had compelled Stefan to argue against it, knowing nobody would suspect compulsion. Katherine was going to need to use his disapproval of the marriage for her next move.

Katherine also desired some time alone away from Emily as she suspected the witch was a little too close to Isobel and was feeding her doppelganger information. Not that it mattered. The spell she'd requested Emily to do suited all of them, although admittedly Katherine had different ideas of how Isobel should be dealt with should she not return to 2010. Therefore Katherine had suggested Emily tell Isobel all about the specifics of the spell, ensuring her doppelganger didn't run until she decided as she had a very special use for her. If Klaus wanted Katerina Petrova, he would get a dead vampire Katerina Petrova delivered to him in New Orleans while the unfortunate doppelganger would perish in the fire in the tomb. Damon and Stefan would forget of Eleanor Pierce's existence, meaning Katherine would be able to settle down for a little while longer without the worry of Klaus Mikaelson finding her, looming over her shoulder.

For now Katherine needed a little spy who had appeared to find out if Isobel and Damon were plotting something behind her back. She trusted nobody, including those closest to her, which is why all of the vampires in Mystic Falls were going to have to perish in the fire, including her friends. The job of handing over the body to Klaus would have to fall to someone who could not be compelled by the Original, such as a witch or a werewolf. Katherine didn't trust Emily to hand Isobel over to Klaus, however Isobel had told her she would meet a werewolf soon, although she wouldn't reveal who it was until the time was right. However Katherine wasn't stupid, there had been no werewolf attacks during the last full moon and according to Isobel, the roundup would take place in exactly five weeks. With one full moon in between those dates, the werewolf would be arriving before then. All Katherine had to do was keep an eye out on newcomers to town over the next three weeks, especially those who in all likelihood would have blood on their hands.

Until then, Katherine needed to ensure she had as much information as possible, should there be any need to change her plans. Unlike Stefan, whom she'd compelled to question the reasons behind the marriage, she knew Isobel and Damon's relationship was genuine. She had lived long enough to recognize the way two people looked at each other and the way they moved together, to know when they were genuinely in love. Katherine had frequently used love as a motivator to force people to do her bidding when compulsion had not been an option, therefore she had taken extreme care to know the exact signs to look for. It wasn't just the way they looked at each other. That could be faked by a good enough actor or actress, instead it was something else, something natural and could not be forced. The two would be in complete synchronization with each other. Their body movements and reactions would be in harmony with one another. Hence she knew with absolute confidence, Damon and Isobel's love was genuine and nothing would tear them apart, only magical interference. However they believed Stefan was unconvinced, which made him the perfect little spy.

Katherine was now confident Isobel wouldn't be interested in Stefan, which meant she was prepared to allow him to get to know her doppelganger. Of course Isobel would be careful what she told Stefan as she was aware he was to some extent under compulsion. But something which may appear insignificant to Isobel, could be of a lot of use to Katherine. Therefore she decided it was high time Stefan got to know his future sister-in-law, which was the real purpose of their walk.

"Could I be so bold as to ask a question?" Katherine asked as she and Stefan wandered through the maze.

"Certainly." Stefan replied thoughtfully.

"Why are you so against the marriage and your brother's possible future happiness?" she asked, wanting to make sure her compulsion was practically loophole proof.

Stefan sighed. "I know my brother." he told her. "He has a habit of making rash decisions only to find he regrets the greatly only a short time later. They have known each other for only four short weeks. How can one be sure of finding the person who will be their one true love for the rest of their lives after such a short period of time?" he asked. "It makes little sense. I do not believe it is about love."

"Eleanor is my sister. I do worry about her heart being broken." Katherine shook her head. "What possible motives do you believe your brother may have for this marriage?" she asked.

"There are many possibilities." Stefan sighed. "He and father do not get on. Damon hates living here with him. If it is true and father had offered Damon an inheritance if he left, my brother would want to ensure he had a wife available to him. He knows you would not be an option due to your affections for me, therefore your sister, who looks exactly like you, would be the next best thing." he explained. "However, if that is his motive, then I do believe he would have been thorough in discovering if she were suitable wife material." he told her.

"Suitable wife material?" Katherine frowned.

"Damon would not even consider this desperate path unless he was sure your sister was capable of satisfying all of his needs." Stefan explained.

Katherine drew a deep breath and put her hand to her mouth in an attempt to look shocked by this revelation. "Are you suggesting Master Damon may have stolen my sister's virtue?" she asked.

"I would be surprised if it were any other way." Stefan told her. "Has your sister said anything to you which might point you in that direction?" he asked.

"I am aware she visited him in his room last night." Katherine told him. "However she said this was when he proposed to her."

"And do you know when she left his room?" Stefan asked as Katherine shook her head. "I hear it was this morning." he told her. "I do not believe it takes an entire night to propose to someone. Do you?" he asked.

Katherine sighed. "Oh my poor sister." she said. "Many a suitor has tried to win her heart, yet failed. Yet one night in the bed of your brother has her agreeing to marriage already. Are you sure? I cannot allow my sister to marry your brother if it is for an inheritance." she said sadly.

"I have no proof." Stefan shook his head. "As I say, that is one of many possibilities. It appears they, in all likelihood are engaging in carnal activities. We know not of how long this has been going on. She may already be with child, which would explain why they wish to marry so quickly." he said.

"You believe your brother would marry her if she were carrying his child?" Katherine raised an eyebrow.

"My brother is many things. He is impulsive, stubborn, wayward, in most regards he lacks a sense of duty and often has a tendency to lash out. He is also known to use people to forward his own agenda." Stefan told her. "However he does have a sense of moral right and wrong when it comes to certain matters. He would be completely aware the reputation of the entire family would be sullied if he were to get a lady of high social standing like your sister, in the family way and then leave her." he explained. "No woman of credibility would entertain his fancies again. Instead, if he were to marry your sister and she were not sufficient to meet his needs, he would always take a mistress."

"I cannot believe either of these of your brother or my sister." Katherine shook her head.

"They are possibilities, however I suspect the true motive behind Damon's proposal is you." Stefan lowered his eyes sadly.

"Me?" Katherine frowned as Stefan nodded.

"My brother has become exceedingly jealous of our blossoming friendship." Stefan replied. "Only a fortnight ago he was declaring his undying love for you." he said. Although Katherine knew different. Within a day of Isobel's arrival, Damon's attention had been immediately drawn to her doppelganger, even though Katherine and Damon had continued having sex for a little longer. However it suited Katherine's purpose for Stefan to not know that snippet of information. Instead she simply nodded in agreement. "I believe he is trying to make you jealous." Stefan continued. "He is dallying with the woman closest to you. And he knows from experience, sibling rivalry is greater than any other. The best way to make you jealous would be to take a fancy to your sister. As his plan failed to move you due to our own relationship, he would have to make the stakes a little higher. Proposing to her under false pretenses would, I believe, in Damon's mind, achieve that goal."

"Oh my." Katherine fanned herself quickly. "I now fear greatly for my sister's heart. But I know not what to do. She will not listen to me. She will suspect I am jealous of her due to my previous friendship with Master Damon." she sighed thoughtfully before smiling at Stefan. "Do you think you could befriend her?" she asked. "I do not mean for you to get too close to her. Only enough to find out more about her and Master Damon." she said.

Questioning Stefan's motives behind his hesitancy towards Damon and Isobel's marriage had needed to be intense from Katherine's perspective. Under normal circumstances she would have compelled Stefan's reasons for him. However it appeared Isobel knew the Salvatore brothers possibly even more than she did, which meant any argument Stefan had against the marriage had to be forged from his own knowledge of Damon. Katherine could not risk Stefan acting out of character as Isobel would know right away he was being compelled to be against the marriage. Instead she had compelled him to be suspicious of Damon's motivations and think of reasons why the marriage would be risky. In this case, compulsion would work best if Stefan used his own initiative instead of a direct order. This way she only had to ask and she knew Stefan would find out exactly what she needed to know, that was if there was anything to find out.

"I believe getting to know Miss Eleanor would be an excellent idea." Stefan smiled. "She knows she needs to convince me of her and my brother's love. I believe I am uniquely qualified to question her." he said.

"Then that is the matter of discussion over, until we find out more." Katherine smiled. "Come, walk with me some more." she said as they carried on exploring the gardens.

For Elena the next three weeks passed in a blur. Her period had come and gone, confirming her suspicion she and Damon had started too late in the month to have been trying to get pregnant. However her emotions were a mixture of sadness and relief when monthly came. Her fate had still yet to be decided, which on one hand meant she could still potentially go back to 2010, to her family and friends, yet the possibility of her remaining in 1864 and becoming a mother was still there. Elena was unsure which option she preferred and her only choice was still to let fate decide for itself.

There had been one other issue which had been bothering Elena. What to do with her journal. She wasn't sure if the witches would allow her to take it back with her, and she didn't want to lose a record of her time in 1864 if she were to return. The journal would also provide a record of an alternate future which she could share with her friends and explain her decision to be with Damon as opposed to Stefan. After much consideration, Elena's initial idea was to hide it in the boarding house while it was being built. But as soon as she saw the plans for their house, much to her dismay, they looked nothing like the boarding house. Instead her potential new home looked almost identical to the existing Salvatore house. So instead, she decided to bury it near the pond of hers and Damon's first picnic together, in the hope no bodies were buried there in the meantime.

Elena was also concerned the new house did not reflect the boarding house she knew. Stefan had told her the house she knew was around a hundred years old, and she knew it wasn't built to replace another property. All of that was about to change, which meant the boarding house in the form Elena knew, may now never exist. She just hoped it wouldn't be enough of a change to prevent her from going home, should fate decide that to be her course.

After the announcement, Elena's life had changed dramatically. She no longer had as much free time to do as she pleased, although much of that was coincidence due to the fast approaching Founders Ball combined with her and Damon's engagement party. This had given her a glance into what life would have been like had she stayed there and Damon had inherited the businesses, and it was not one she would have wanted to have lived. There was always much to do. Helping to organize the engagement side of the party had been part of her role. The belief was she would have to run a household after she were married, therefore she would need to know how to provide the entertainment, which she loathed. A thought did make her smile when it occurred to her, Caroline would have been having the time of her life had she been the one sent back to 1864.

The one thing which had kept Elena happy all throughout the last few weeks was Damon. Every day they would go visit the building site where their future home was being built, on the premise of wishing to see every step of the construction. This however was just an excuse. They would stay for no more than an hour before returning to the estate with a detour on the way back. Stopping of at their barn to spend time alone together where they could talk freely and make love without the worries of vampire hearing listening in on their activities. To Elena these moments were precious. And although them making love was under the excuse of letting nature take its course, it didn't affect Damon's insistence on fulfilling Elena's needs. In fact considering this was a time where women were not expected to enjoy sex, Elena was surprised of how incredible a lover Damon already was. This had made her wonder exactly how good he would become when you threw in a hundred and fifty years experience and the added sexual prowess which came with vampirism into the mix. Which, on the day of the next full moon, while lying together in the hay after a particularly pleasurable afternoon of making love, led to an interesting conversation between them.

Elena's head rested on Damon's chest while she drew circles tracing the hairs around his nipples, while deciding how to approach the delicate subject of his future infidelity.

"It's the full moon tonight." Elena started. "Emily may learn more from the witches about the path our futures will lead us to. We don't know if I'm pregnant and we wont find out for a few days." she said. "But if I'm not, and I go back to my own time, you will forget about me until we meet again, and our memories of our time, including this conversation we are having right now."

"I know." Damon said sadly.

"Which means I need you to promise me something." Elena said, raising her head to look at him. The next few words she was going to say would hurt her, but they were extremely important for any future relationship they were to have.

"Anything." Damon frowned.

"Do not feel guilty about being unfaithful." she said.

"I'm going to be unfaithful?" Damon asked, looking horrified by the suggestion, which warmed Elena's heart greatly.

"The Damon Salvatore I know from the future has a reputation with women and is known to be rather...promiscuous." she said sadly.

"But I thought I were in love with you." he frowned.

"You are." Elena nodded. "But vampires have a heightened sexual appetite. Being in love with me without any physical relationship, means you have to find other ways to satisfy you. Or should I say, find other women to satisfy your sexual needs." she said. "Not only that, but you were in love with Katherine and she was missing for almost a hundred and forty six years. No vampire can go that long without sex. And if you end up as a vampire, I don't want you to have to endure that too." she swallowed a lump in her throat. "A celibate vampire is a grumpy vampire, which makes for a very dangerous vampire. So just don't feel guilty if we have to revisit this conversation in the future." she smiled trying unsuccessfully to hide how much it was affecting her.

"It wont take away the guilt Elena." he whispered, shaking his head and stroking her on the cheek as an idea occurred to her, one which made her feel more positive about the entire situation.

"Just think of it as an education." Elena joked. "Over time, people will become more sexually liberated and experimental. Being a twenty first century lover might be a little different. You need to learn to move with the times." she said.

"So, you are having my mind magically altered to love another woman. Then when I do finally remember who I really am in love with, I find I will have cheated on you with dozens of women." Damon frowned. "It seems a little strange you are fine with it."

"More likely thousands of women." Elena corrected him as he looked at her, stunned by this revelation.

"I sound like a..." he started.

"A vampire who enjoys the perks of being a vampire." Elena stopped him. "So just promise me, if you turn and I'm not able to be there for you, I need you to continue to enjoy the perks of being a vampire. I will after all, benefit from it." she smirked.

"You want me to have sexual relations with lots of women?" Damon frowned.

"If I go back, I will want a twenty first century version of you. So unless you are planning on joining a monastery..." she winked. "As long as you don't fall in love with someone else I won't mind. You'll be able to show me everything you learned over the years by making it up to me." she kissed him.

"I can't believe you're willing to accept that." he sighed.

"But when we first meet, I'm dating Stefan. When you realize who I am, that will change, but you're going to have the same problem about me having slept with someone else." she said.

"Fine." Damon smiled tucking Elena's hair behind her ear. "But I think you need a reminder of who you will be sharing your bed with for the rest of your life." he smirked as he rolled them over until he was on top. "Just because I won't remember you, doesn't mean I will lose my love for you." he whispered as his lips made their way down Elena's neck, his signature move for initiating foreplay.

The next morning Elena was eager to hear what Emily had to tell her of the previous night's contact with the witches after the full moon. Instead after breakfast Stefan had asked her to take a walk around the gardens with him. Ever since Damon and Elena had announced their intention to marry, Stefan had continued questioning their relationship. However she suspected his apprehensiveness was likely to be due to being under Katherine's compulsion. Therefore when he asked to meet her, Elena suspected he was spying for Katherine, although she had no idea what information he was being compelled to get from her, so she decided to discuss the most basics of topics, trying to avoid letting Stefan get to know her. Especially as he would also be made to forget her. Unfortunately for Stefan, his memories of Elena in 1864 would be permanently wiped from him, which made her feel guilty as she at some point may have to face him in the future and explain why she was no longer in love with him and was preparing to marry Damon.

Stefan met Elena on the seat near the statue situated at the far end of the maze. It was a sweltering hot September day and Elena had brought a parasol and fan with her to keep cool. The seat was under a tree and Elena decided she wanted to sit through this conversation with Stefan as it was too hot to walk. Therefore when he approached he, she instructed him to sit down.

"I thought you would have wished to speak alone with me sooner." Elena said to Stefan.

"I would have dearly loved for us to speak at an earlier opportunity, however it appears you have been too busy with other...activities." he replied. "Are you sure you do not care to walk?" he asked.

"It is a little too warm for me today." Elena fanned herself hard. "I fear should I get any hotter, I would feel quite faint." she smiled, although she was telling the truth. She was feeling very lightheaded.

"You are not sick I hope." Stefan frowned with genuine concern. "After all, you visit the site of where your house is to be built every day, and you are planning the party. It is a lot of work to take on." he offered.

Elena smiled. "I fear should I leave everything to Master Damon, the house will lack a feminine touch." she said.

"You do not trust him?" Stefan asked as Elena realized the question was potentially aimed at her expectations towards Damon in general rather than just the house.

"I trust him implicitly." she said. "But we want to build a home together, and create a family, god willing. As the building work goes on, we may have ideas to improve upon the original concept. By working together, we can help design our own piece of perfection. After all, if we are to spend the rest of our lives there together, we may as well ensure it is large enough to support our future family. Would you not agree Mr Salvatore?" she asked.

"Do you wish to have a large family?" Stefan asked, changing the subject.

"I do not believe children are a commodity Mr Salvatore." Elena said. "They should be borne out of love, to be loved. The reward for bearing children is the unconditional love you receive back. If the amount of children Master Damon and I were to have would be a reflection of our love, then the number of children would be infinitive." she sighed. "However, that number is impossible, therefore we will have however many children god grants us."

Stefan frowned at her. "Are you sure you are feeling well Miss Pierce. You look a little pale." he asked.

With every passing moment, Elena was feeling worse. Not only was she getting hotter, but her corset was feeling too tight and she had developed a pounding headache and was beginning to see white spots in front of her eyes. Although she'd never had one before, Elena suspected she was about to experience a migraine.

"I'm...I'm..." Elena struggled to breathe before everything went dark.

When she woke, Elena opened her eyes to find herself in her bed, Damon sat at her bedside holding her hand, his face full of concern. She smiled at him weakly as she saw what appeared to be the weight of the world lift from his shoulders.

"Be careful." Damon warned her. "You fainted."

"It was the heat." Elena whispered. "I was too hot. I suddenly got a headache and that is all I remember." she told him as she noticed Emily in the background approach her.

"Miss Katherine would like you to take some more of her blood." Emily told her, handing her a vial of red liquid. "She believes it should serve to heal you quicker of your ailment." she smiled.

"And what do you think?" Elena asked, pushing herself into a sitting position before taking the small bottle from Emily's hand.

Emily looked around to make sure nobody was within earshot. "I believe Miss Katherine is right, it will help you feel better for now. However I do not recommend you take it as a long term solution." she lowered her eyes to Elena's abdomen, which was all she needed for the witch to tell her she was pregnant. "It appears not only was the sun a little much for you, but your corset was too tight. You probably have a bruised or broken rib." Emily lied. "I have spoken to Lizzie about ensuring you are not to wear your corset too tight for the time being. Especially not until you are feeling completely well again."

"How long will that be?" Damon asked, clearly not understanding the full nature of the conversation.

"These things take time to heal Master Damon." Emily replied. "Although Miss Katherine has provided Miss Eleanor with her healing medicine, she will still need bed rest for the next couple of days. Even if it is only for appearances sake." she said quietly. "To ensure no questions are asked, I will procure some herbs which would help ease any symptoms you would endure under normal circumstances."

"Does Katherine know what you are doing?" Elena whispered.

"It was her idea." Emily replied. "After all, it wouldn't appear natural if you were to recover from your injury too soon. She did not wish you to be in any discomfort, so the blood will heal you, however you must rest for the next couple of days until the herbs I use to relieve the pain begin to take effect. Then you will be able to continue as you were with no side effects whatsoever. However I must immediately take my leave as I need to quickly gather the ingredients." she said. "I should return in an hour or so, and I will need to treat her...alone." Emily turned and looked at Damon.

"Am I allowed to stay with her until then?" he asked looking worried.

"As long as you make sure she rests." Emily told him. "And ensure she takes Katherine's medicine." she said as she left the room.

Elena wasn't sure what to say. She knew she should tell Damon what Emily was really telling her, but she didn't want anyone to overhear their conversation, which meant she'd have to wait until they next rode out to the barn, if she could still ride. Elena also wanted to know more from Emily regarding how the witch could be so certain she was pregnant. Elena hadn't missed a period and her next one wasn't due for another few days. Her fainting could be attributed to a number of things, including heat stroke. In fact, Elena wasn't even sure pregnancy symptoms would start so soon. This was why she needed to have the talk with Emily before she told Damon, because she knew he would be ecstatic at the news.

The other side to this was Elena now knew her fate lie in 1864. She would never see Jeremy, Bonnie, Caroline, Matt or Ric again. Even Stefan would be lost to her after the vampire roundup, and if anything went awry, there was a small possibility Damon could be too, whether it be to memory loss, or becoming a vampire. The thought of which was too overwhelming for her. She desperately wanted to cry, but Elena knew she would have to withhold the tears until Damon left because he couldn't be allowed to understand just yet. Instead, for the time being, she just needed him to hold her. But not until he believed her injury was healed.

Elena opened the vial of blood and gulped it down, grimacing at the coppery taste. Surprisingly, after a minute she began to physically feel much better, unfortunately it did nothing to heal her internal conflict.

"You gave us all quite a scare." Damon told her, kissing her knuckles. "I could not bear the thought of anything happening to you." he whispered.

"And I couldn't live without you." Elena said tearfully. "The pain has gone. Will you please hold me?" she asked.

Damon climbed on the bed beside her and wrapped Elena loosely in his arms while she held on to his chest, burying her head into his waistcoat and taking in his scent. As the seconds ticked by, she began to feel somewhat calmer. Damon had a knack of either being able to wind her up, or soothe her more than anyone else. The heady combination of his touch and scent made her feel like she was home, where she belonged. Maybe that was why she was destined to stay in 1864 and not return because human Damon was her true home. The last thought which ran through her mind as her eyelids became heavy was she hoped their baby would inherit Damon's eyes. After that, she fell asleep.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Emily returned little over an hour later as promised with a box of items, prompting Damon to leave the room for the two women to be alone. Immediately the witch lit some burning sage to ensure they had privacy from every quarter, especially vampire hearing.

"You didn't tell him did you?" Emily asked, placing the box on top of the dresser.

"No." Elena looked down. "I have yet to take in its consequences myself. Most women just have to consider they will be having a baby, which will change their lives. I have to account for a completely new life in a different century. Everything I know about how to look after babies is different here. I'm scared." she whispered. "I have no one other than Damon. No family to support me. And there will always be the niggling doubt in the back of my mind Klaus might find me."

"You will have a lot more help than you think." Emily said. "For now it is not something you should concern yourself with. There are other more pressing matters to deal with first." she said.

"How did you know?" Elena frowned. "It could have been heat stroke." she said.

"The witches warned me last night." Emily told her. "They also told me of a few other things which was why I was unable to meet with you earlier and you were with Master Stefan instead." she sighed.

"What kind of things?" Elena asked.

"The baby needs to be cloaked." Emily told her. "It will soon have a heartbeat and Katherine will be able to hear it. If Katherine finds out, she will try and find a way to kill the baby or kill you."

Elena frowned. "Katherine is a lot of bad things, but a baby killer?" she asked. "I don't think even she is so heartless."

"If it comes at the expense of her own survival, she would be." Emily sighed. "You being pregnant means in another few hundred years there will be another doppelganger, she won't risk it." she told her.

"But Klaus won't be looking for one as it will be made clear the last living doppelganger died childless." Elena said.

"But Katherine will not risk that." Emily said. "And do you really believe she will just let you live if she finds out you are not returning to your time? What if Klaus wants proof of her death or yours?" she asked.

"Oh my god." Elena began to panic. "What am I supposed to do?" she asked. "If I'd have known nature taking its course would have been so dangerous, I would have told Damon to well..." Elena lowered her eyes. "Make sure I didn't get into the family way." she said through gritted teeth.

"During the last full moon, the witches placed a spell on you." Emily told her. "If the damage could be repaired in time for the comet, then you would return to the nearest point possible into the future." she said. "If not, you would fall pregnant."

"And now my fate could get me and my baby killed. That is just great." Elena said angrily.

"You need not worry too much." Emily assured her. "As long as Katherine doesn't find out you are with child and thinks you have gone back to your own time, you have nothing to fear." she smiled.

"That's easy for you to say." Elena huffed.

"It is because I have been preparing for this." Emily told her. "The witches have offered a way to help cloak the unborn child and protect you and the baby from anything that should arise to your body for the majority of the pregnancy." she said. "The chances of losing the child will be very low." Elena nodded her head.

"I know the first three months are the most dangerous." she said.

"I will produce the spell to cloak the baby." Emily told her. "Then we must help you to escape, however there will be the possibility of consequences." she said sadly.

"What consequences?" Elena asked as dread filled the pit of her stomach.

"For your escape to be believable, Master Damon will need to pretend to have forgotten about you." Emily explained. "One of the ways for the memory spell to be triggered is if you returned to the future. The vampire blood has to be running through your veins in 1864 for him to continue to remember you. If he pretends the spell has been triggered, Katherine will be none the wiser and think you have gone back to your time. She will not look for you." the witch said.

"But there is a risk Damon could end up as a vampire isn't there?" Elena said flatly as Emily nodded sadly. "What if he isn't in control when he first turns, he might hurt me."

"Master Damon loves you dearly and you bring out a protectiveness in him. One which would only be heightened by vampirism." Emily smiled. "He will not hurt you. He will protect you and your child." she said.

"And when he meets future me again, after I've lived and died here?" Elena asked.

"I admit, he in all likelihood will be curious to find you again, that is if he chooses to live after you've gone. The future you will live a different life to what you have known. And maybe Master Damon will get to experience his love with you all over again." Emily suggested. "But at least you and Master Damon will be able to bear one child. And in exchange for his protection, my family will protect yours." she smiled.

"I guess that is of some comfort." Elena sighed.

"Instead, think of the good you can do here." Emily suggested. "You will still be in a privileged position. Damon will still have his wealth and you can set up home elsewhere. Maybe you could help someone less fortunate than yourself." she said.

Elena thought for a moment. "Lizzie." she smiled as Emily nodded.

"All of her family are dead. When you escape, take her with you. But you will need to get her on vervain before the roundup to make sure she does not tell Katherine of your intentions." Emily told her. "You will need all of the help you can get to escape."

"And how do I escape?" Elena asked.

"I will cloak you and your child long enough to prevent Katherine from coming to look for you." Emily explained as she began to unpack the box she'd brought with her.

Elena narrowed her eyes. "What's in there?" she asked.

"I am to perform a cloaking spell for your child, while I am make a mixture of herbs, which combined with the vampire blood, will relieve any future pregnancy symptoms, apart from the obvious one." Emily smiled sheepishly.

"No morning sickness or cravings?" Elena asked hopefully.

"None. Well, there will be one, but it is a side affect which both you and Master Damon will enjoy." Emily winked at her. "And as you are taking vampire blood, all normal activities can be resumed. You should not change any habit, Katherine will suspect something is wrong if you do."

Elena thought for a moment to see if there were anything obvious which she knew she couldn't do while pregnant. "What about wine. In my time drinking alcohol is not recommended during pregnancy." she told her. "But we drink wine here every day."

"The baby's life force is linked with your own. Vampire blood is protecting you and helping you to heal. As long as you are healthy, so is the baby. Which is why I am giving you these herbs." Emily told her as she put various plants into a mortar and began to grind with a pestle. "This allows me to cloak the baby from outside and in." she smiled, adding a little water to the mixture.

"Won't Katherine think it strange that you are giving me a mixture to hide the symptoms of pregnancy?" Elena asked. "She might not be a witch, but I'm guessing she's seen enough over the years to work out what you are making." she surmised.

Emily smiled and shook her head. "This is also a typical mixture for relieving pain, but in your case it is also spelled for another purpose. Normally we spread it over the affected area and hit helps ease the discomfort." she told her. "But when ingested by a pregnant woman who drinks vampire blood daily, it turns into something else entirely. This is the herbal mixture Katherine would expect me to make for you." she said. "However the difference is this has been spelled so every dose you take will give you protection for one moon turn. You will take the medicine for three days, which means you will be protected and symptom free for three moons. I will make a new mixture which you will take after that which, although it will no longer cloak you, it will protect you and should help ease your symptoms until you are close. Again each dose will represent one moon. I am afraid you may have to endure the final month of symptoms, as there is not enough time between now and you needing to leave to take nine doses. But hopefully you will be far away from Katherine by then."

Elena smiled. "Thank you Emily, for all you are doing for me." she said. "It means a lot."

"You are welcome Elena. Master Damon is going to make sure my family survives. Therefore it is my job to ensure the one he loves does too." Emily replied. "I suggest you rest for another two days. I will tell everyone the rib is only bruised and you will be fully fit for church on Sunday. Although the corset cannot be worn too tight. I then suggest you tell Mater Damon of your pregnancy and the threat Katherine could pose. That way you can both decide on a plan for your escape." she said as she held out a spoonful of paste for Elena to swallow.

"That is gross." Elena coughed at the unpleasant taste.

"But necessary for you and your child's survival." Emily told her. "Now I will take my leave and allow you to get some rest. I will send Master Damon back shortly. I suspect he is desperate to be by your side." she said as she nodded before leaving Elena alone to contemplate her future. Although, deep down she knew this was always going to be the outcome. She claimed to have let nature take its course, but she wanted Damon more than anything in the world and even without the suggestion from Emily, in all likelihood, the same thing would have happened. Instead she needed to make peace with her choice and find a way to survive.

It was another three days later before Elena could be alone with Damon to tell him the news. She'd been confined to bed for two days and after that it was Sunday which was spent at church. Stefan had once more requested to see Elena but instead she told him she wanted to be with Damon at the building site, which was true, but for different reasons. After they'd visited the house where the groundwork was beginning to take shape, they headed to their barn and made love frantically, as if trying to make up for their lost days, although Elena noticed Damon was slightly more gentle with her than normal.

Elena had decided to wait until afterwards to tell him about the baby. Usually they would sit against the bales of of hay, wrapped in a picnic blanket and talk for hours after making love. It was what made it so special. However, on this occasion Elena suspected Damon was itching to tell her something, so she thought she'd let him go first.

"You've been dying to tell me something for the last two days Damon." Elena sighed. "What is it?" she asked.

"The day you took ill, four people were found dead in the woods." Damon told her.

"Vampires?" Elena asked.

"No." Damon shook his head. "These bodies were torn apart, mutilated." he said with disgust. "They are calling it an animal attack."

Elena had to suppress a laugh. "And here lies the origins of the famed Mystic Falls animal attacks." she said sarcastically. "The cover up phrase used for vampire attacks, although ironically, the first one wasn't even a vampire." she shook her head.

"Elena, four people died." Damon frowned.

Elena sighed. "I'm not laughing at the deaths. I'm laughing at how the legend of animal attacks being used as a cover up for vampires was formed. In truth it was an actual animal attack which was used to cover up what was falsely believed to be vampires. Well sort of." she frowned.

"It really was an animal attack?" Damon asked.

"Yes and no." Elena replied. "Has George Lockwood returned from war yet?"

Damon frowned as he stroked her hair. "What has George Lockwood got to do with it?" he asked.

"He's back isn't he?" Elena asked again.

"He is." Damon looked confused. "Elena, what is going on?" he asked.

"The roundup of the vampires was triggered by the mutilated bodies found just after the full moon." Elena explained.

"You never told me any of this." Damon said softly.

"I completely forgot about it." Elena shrugged. "I had more important things to think about." she told him. "But now we know the founders council are already looking into these deaths. George will sway them to believe these people were murdered by vampires. But they weren't." she said. "They were killed by a wolf."

"So why would George lie?" Damon asked.

"Because he was the wolf who killed them." Elena told him. "The Lockwood family contain the werewolf gene." Damon looked at her confused. "They inherit this ability." she explained. "If they kill another human being, the curse is triggered and they turn into a wolf every full moon. This wasn't a problem for George until he went to war and killed someone on the battlefield."

"So George blamed it on the vampires to cover his tracks?" Damon asked.

"Yes and no." Elena said. "Initially they suspected it might be vampires, but Katherine encouraged George to use the idea of vampires to cover his tracks. In exchange she helped him round them up and lock them in a Fells Church, only for it to be burned to the ground." she sighed.

"Everyone died?" Damon asked.

"No." Elena frowned. "There was a tomb underneath which allowed the vampires to hide. Instead they were left to rot."

"But Henry, Pearl..." Damon started.

"I've made a bargain with Pearl, remember?" Elena reminded him. "Blood for the heads up. Who's Henry?" she asked.

"Someone I was at war with." Damon frowned. "Do you think I can trust him to save him?" he asked.

"I don't know him." she said truthfully. "And I don't think we are in any position to take risks." she said.

"We could always give him vervain." Damon suggested. "That would weaken him."

"It's not an option." Elena said, taking a deep breath. Now was the time to tell him. "I'm not going back." she told him quietly.

"How do you know?" Damon frowned. "I thought it would be tomorrow before you would find out."

"I didn't break a rib Damon." Elena looked at him sheepishly. "I'm having a baby, your baby." she winced, hoping he would be as happy as she thought he would, because not all of the news was good news.

"You're...what?" he asked wide eyed. "Please tell me I did not mishear you. You are with child?" he asked as Elena nodded.

"I'm not going back. You're stuck with me." she smiled. "You're not going to go back on your proposal to marry me are you?" Elena asked, suddenly worried.

"No!" Damon laughed. "I am the happiest man in the world." he grinned from ear to ear, a smile Elena had never seen from him before, a sight which made him look more beautiful than ever. "I am going to marry the most beautiful woman in the world, who unlike her pretend identical twin sister, is beautiful inside and out. And she's been kind enough to love me back. But not only that, but we get to have children together. What more can a man want?" he asked as Elena took a deep breath to break the news to him.

"It is likely to be your only child." she said sadly. "To stop Katherine from finding out about this, I need to run. You will have to pretend to forget about me until Katherine escapes. You will need to save her." she said. "Klaus must think Katherine and the last remaining doppelganger died in the church. But it comes with a risk for you." she started.

"I'm still fated to become a vampire." Damon said flatly.

"It doesn't change anything." Elena started.

"Doesn't it?" Damon asked. "You said yourself you wouldn't be with the vampire version of me, no matter how much you loved me."

"It was circumstances." Elena cried out. "You hurt everyone I loved. Yet I still forgave you. But this version of you as a vampire won't have done that. I have fallen in love with you before you could hurt me. Life after turning changed you. I don't know what happened in those intervening years, but it clearly wasn't good." she insisted as she grabbed his face. "Listen to me Damon, you didn't become bad when you turned. You will still be you, but with a different diet." she joked.

"And what am I supposed to eat?" Damon asked. "I will kill people." he said said sadly. "What if it is you? What if it is the baby?"

"You won't." Elena reassured him. "Even in your darkest hour, you cannot physically hurt me. That was apparent when we met in the future. Your instinct was always to protect me even when it went against your every belief. You hurt those people I loved for various reasons. But I will have nobody you can hurt here." she told him. "I understand you need to feed and bloodbags aren't an option in 1864. But you do use the snatch, eat, erase option. I could help you with that." she suggested.

Damon thought for a moment. "The sooner we get you out of Mystic Falls, the better." he said.

"The vampire roundup is September twenty fourth." Elena told him.

"Then we get you out the day before." Damon suggested.

"We can't." Elena argued. "We are linked by vampire blood, if I leave too soon, then you will really forget me." she said sadly. "And I can't come back for you."

Damon creased his brow thoughtfully. "As long as you have blood for the twenty fifth, we'll be okay, right?" he asked.

"I guess. Why?" Elena asked.

"Use Pearl's blood." Damon suggested. "As long as you have vampire blood in your system I only have to take it to keep the connection. You just need to take a dose after my final one." he said. "Katherine will be gone on the twenty fourth. All you have to do is disappear earlier in the day." he said.

"But you will need to pretend you don't know me." Elena reminded him.

"I'll be able to do that." Damon nodded confidently.

"Katherine will want absolute proof." Elena told him. "My guess is she'll expect you to have sex with her."

"Oh." Damon's face dropped. "I can't hurt you like that." he sighed.

"Do you love me?" Elena asked.

"Of course I do." Damon replied. "I would die for you."

"Then you need to do whatever Katherine asks you to do." Elena told him. "Even if it means having sex with her."

"I can't do that." Damon grimaced with discuss.

"Not even to protect your family?" Elena asked. "Can't you just pretend she is me?"

"But she's not." Damon said sadly. "It won't be that easy, and I fear she will know the difference."

Elena sighed. "Where is Viagra when you need it?" she asked looking to the roof of the barn.

"What is that?" Damon asked.

"Nothing important." Elena shrugged. "Maybe Emily can do something." she said thoughtfully.

"To help me be able to... with Katherine?" Damon frowned.

"All of our lives might be depending on your ability to..." Elena took a deep breath. "To rise to the occasion. To get it up. To please Katherine." she said, her skin practically crawling at the thought of what he had to do.

"Just because she looks like you, doesn't mean she is you." Damon said, stroking Elena's cheek. "Whatever magic Emily pulls out to make it happen, she's gonna need to do a very powerful spell."

"So you will?" Elena asked.

"I will do anything to save your life." Damon replied. "And believe me, I am only doing this to save your life."

Elena smiled. "I know." she said as she heard one of the horses whinny. "I think someone is wanting to go home." she smiled.

Damon sighed. "They can wait a little longer." he said. "How do we get you out?" he asked.

"We're going to have to come up with a very creative plan." Elena sighed. "And we need to work it out before the Founders Ball." she said.

After much discussion, Damon and Elena had come up with an idea for Elena's escape from Mystic Falls. And for Katherine to think she had returned to 2010. Emily had agreed to do the spell to ensure Damon had no problems when it came to making love to Katherine, should the need arise. He would believe Katherine was Elena and when he called out her name in the throes of passion, Katherine would be the one he cried for. It wasn't perfect, but it was the only option they had.

They decided the escape should take place while they were visiting the new house. It had already become common knowledge they would always leave the building site early and not return home for a number of hours later. The idea was they would leave the house and ride off. Elena would ride Sally to the house up until they got to the woods close to the estate, as if Damon were chasing her. The horse would emerge riderless while Elena would leave in a carriage waiting for her.

Damon would return home and joke about Katherine leaving him behind, as if his ride had been with her. Giuseppe would be too caught up in the vampire hunt to notice anything amiss and Stefan would be too interested in saving Katherine to care about anything else. And if necessary, Damon himself may have to keep Katherine occupied for the time being.

To ensure the vampires Damon and Elena wanted to be saved, actually survived, Emily agreed only vampires with a daylight ring would be able to enter the tomb. Only four vampires had daylight jewelry, Pearl, Anna, Henry and Harper, the vampire Elena met who had been good to Stefan when he was kidnapped by the tomb vampires. Nobody else would be able to crawl into the tomb and survive the fire as they would encounter a barrier spell. This contingency was based around any potential need Damon might have for help in the future after Elena died. Initially Damon had argued against the point, stating the moment Elena died, he would remove the daylight ring Emily had confirmed she had already made for him and Stefan. However, Elena reminded him of his obligation to the Bennett witches, his own descendants. And even the future Elena, who he might have a chance to be with when they knew each other the second time.

Elena would then ride out to the barn and stay there until the next day and if Damon didn't come for her, Emily would. Emily had promised to ask the brothers to stay where they were during transition, even if it meant creating a barrier spell. As long as Elena took the vampire blood for the day after the vampire roundup, Damon wouldn't forget her, which was exactly the comfort Elena needed to hear. fortunately the task of getting hold of the vampire blood shouldn't be a problem. Pearl had already agreed to give them blood for Damon, but instead of it being for him, the blood would be used for Elena.

For the escape itself, Damon had paid one of the slaves called Tom from the plantation to ride the carriage to help Elena leave. He'd made sure he found someone who had no family and was an outcast by his fellow slaves. He'd managed to do this with Giuseppe's approval as his father had agreed to allow Damon and Elena to take a small retinue of staff when they moved out. So far only Tom and Lizzie were on the list. Tom was being taught how to drive a cart and horses, and how to ride one. Usually this required far more skill than Tom would be able to muster in time for the task, but he would only need to learn enough to get Elena to the barn and wait with her.

Sadly neither Zeus nor Sally could be used to draw the carriage which Elena would escape in, as they weren't broken in to pull one. Instead Elena was introduced to two aging ponies called Rosie and Aquila. Damon had selected them due to their gentle temperament, ability to pull a carriage together and how easy they were to ride. The carriage would only get them close to the barn, the rest would have to be on horseback. As Elena was the expert horsewoman, Lizzie would have to ride with her.

Elena was devastated when she found out they couldn't use Sally and Zeus for her escape. She'd come to adore the gentle beasts, and they'd become firm friends, especially Sally. Therefore when Elena began to get to know Rosie and Aquila, Sally wasn't too pleased and had caused quite a ruckus in her stall, which required a lot of bribery with apples from Elena to calm her down. The sight of her horse being so upset had caused Elena to shed a few tears, as although she wasn't suffering physical side effects of pregnancy, her hormones were already all over the place. Elena joked she was now beginning to understand how a vampire felt with their heightened emotions.

Throughout all of her tears, Damon had been incredible. He was understanding and would hold her, wipe away her tears and try to take her mind off all of her fears and problems. Elena knew if it wasn't for Damon, she would have completely fallen apart. This had confirmed to Elena, Damon was thoroughly a man of the twenty first century. Someone who had been born in the wrong era. The role he was playing was nothing like what was expected of a man for the times and his status. The social norm of the age for someone in Damon's position would be to get his wife pregnant to produce an heir and leave it at that. However Damon was not only was he there for her emotionally, he was there for her physically. Their love making had become more frequent, sometimes they would slip into each other's rooms at night as well as their daily activities in the barn, and he was also becoming highly protective of her. This behavior had become a slight concern to Elena as she knew Katherine, in all likelihood would pick up on it. Although everyone else would put he behavior down to Damon protecting his bride to be, her doppelganger would know it was something else as Katherine believed the marriage would never go ahead. Elena just hoped Katherine would think Damon was putting an act on for those who surrounded them. Therefore Elena decided to make sure the ones close to them were to be put on vervain the day after the Founders Ball.

In fact, Katherine had indeed noticed Damon's odd behavior. Therefore she'd compelled Lizzie to keep a closer eye on Isobel. So when on the morning of the Founders Ball Lizzie came to visit her, she wasn't surprised to her doppelganger's handmaiden.

"I take it you have some news for me?" Katherine asked.

"Well I'm not sure." Lizzie replied, lowering her eyes in deference to Katherine. "You see Miss Katherine, it isn't anything Miss Eleanor or Master Damon has said or done which I have noticed. In fact nothing has happened." she said.

"Then why are you telling me this?" Katherine snapped. "I don't need my time wasting."

"Well that's it, nothing has happened." Lizzie said quietly, shaking a little. "Something that should have happened hasn't."

"What do you mean?" Katherine frowned, becoming curious as to what the girl meant.

"Miss Eleanor hasn't...you know, for over a month." she whispered.

Katherine looked confused. "Hasn't what for over a month?" she asked.

"She hasn't...bled. There haven't been any, rags." Lizzie said hesitantly. "I think she might be with child." she told her.

Katherine smiled, this was even better than Isobel returning back to her own time. This way she could provide Klaus with a dead version of Katerina Petrova, and she'd no longer be on the run from him.

"Well, well, well, so my little doppelganger is pregnant with Damon's baby." she smiled and clapped her hands together in glee. "It looks like my day is getting better and better. Well, we definitely can't have Klaus breaking his curse. He needs to think both the doppelganger and I are dead. I think it would be a good idea if he think she died in the church fire and I got staked. The my dead vampire body could presented to Klaus as a gift." Lizzie looked at Katherine in horror at this revelation. "Hmm, I suppose I'm going to have to find someone to hand my dead body over. Someone who knows me." she said to herself before turning to Lizzie. "Leave and forget we ever had this conversation." she compelled the girl. "And ask Emily to come and see me. I need to dress to go to the apothecary. It seems Pearl is going to get out of this alive after all. That is if they survive the trip to New Orleans to see Klaus." she grinned.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

The shop bell tinkled as Elena and Damon entered Pearl's apothecary. It was the day of the Founders Ball and the day before the vampire roundup. They'd promised to give Pearl the heads up about when to leave town in exchange for a vial of her blood, so now they'd come to make good on the deal. This way, as long as she drank the blood, Elena would have it in her system half a day longer than Damon and regardless of whether he became a vampire or not, he wouldn't forget her. As long as Pearl came through with the blood, Elena believed this was the only part of the plan which she could guarantee wouldn't go wrong.

Pearl smiled when she saw them both. "Miss Eleanor, are you here for some more bath oils?" she asked.

Elena looked around to ensure nobody else was around. "No, but I'll take some of the vervain elixir. I wish to wear it at the ball tonight. Just to ensure people do not suspect me to be a vampire." she said.

"Of course." Pearl smiled, taking a bottle from the shelf behind her.

"I have also come bearing information for you for a price we previously agreed." Elena said quietly.

"Surely the roundup is not tonight." Pearl frowned.

"No. It will take place tomorrow." Elena told her. "As the apothecary is usually closed on a Saturday, and many people will be experiencing sore heads tomorrow morning, tonight will provide the perfect time for you to escape." she said.

"I am supposed to attend the Founders Ball with Mr Gilbert." Pearl frowned. "Are you suggesting I do not go?" she asked.

"I think it would be a wise idea for you to still go." Elena replied. "But be ready to leave immediately afterwards. You need to be far away by daybreak." she said. "Do you have enough time to ready yourself?"

"I have already prepared much for the escape." Pearl sighed. "I'll have Annabelle ready the horse and carriage while I'm at the ball." she said looking downcast.

"What is it?" Elena frowned.

"I thought Jonathan might be able to overlook the fact that I'm a vampire." Pearl said sadly. "I thought he loved me."

"Miss Pearl." Damon addressed the vampire. "You deserve someone far better than Jonathan Gilbert if he cannot see past his own prejudices." he said.

"Thank you Mr Salvatore." Pearl smiled as she pulled out a drawer under the desk and retrieved a small bottle filled with blood and handed it over to them. "I believe this is the payment you require for your advice." she said.

Elena handed the bottle to Damon as Pearl believed it would be for him. "We cannot risk Damon not turning." she sighed sadly. "All of our futures depend on it."

"He really is so important?" Pearl asked looking unconvinced.

"The survival of a lot of people and vampires depends on him." Elena told her as the bell tinkled once more. Elena turned around to see Katherine walk in. "Katherine." she smiled through gritted teeth, internally thanking god her doppelganger hadn't walked in two minutes earlier.

"Eleanor." Katherine replied with an equally false smile before her face genuinely lit up. "Master Damon, Miss Pearl." she said.

"Well thank you for the elixir Miss Pearl." Elena nodded. "I believe Damon and I need to be getting on our way, we have much to do before the ball." she smiled.

"Ladies, I bid you farewell." Damon bowed his head as he and Elena left the shop.

Katherine wandered around the shop, absentmindedly sniffing various perfumes as they left, waiting to ensure they were out of earshot.

"Have you thought any more of what I've said?" Pearl asked. "I fear things may escalate soon."

"We'll leave soon, Pearl, I promise. I need to take care of a few things first." Katherine replied. "What did Damon and Eleanor want?" she asked.

"She wanted some of the vervain elixir for the ball tonight. She said she wanted it to be obvious she was not a vampire." Pearl replied.

"Hmm." Katherine mused. "I'm not sure her husband to be will find it very alluring for long. It seems she may have wasted her money." she smiled.

"You're going to turn both of the brothers, aren't you?" Pearl asked surprised.

Katherine looked at Pearl, mischievously. "It isn't as if Eleanor didn't know. She practically begged me to." she sighed.

"Are you sure?" Pearl frowned.

"Of course." Katherine replied. "He's been taking my blood for weeks. He has to. Emily has created a spell to ensure neither of them betray me, and that requires me to give him my blood every day. And if everything goes to plan, he'll soon forget all about my bitch of a doppelganger and turn his affections back to me." she said.

"Katherine, please. Be careful." Pearl begged.

"We'll all be safe, I promise." Katherine smiled. "Although I do need a favor from you."

"What is it?" Pearl asked hesitantly.

"To ensure all of our safety, I'm going to need you to deliver a package for me." Katherine told her. "A very important package."

"What is it?" Pearl frowned.

"Officially, it is my dead body." Katherine told her. "I need you to take it to New Orleans." she said.

"What are you up to?" Pearl asked suspiciously.

"Klaus Mikaelson wants me dead. Therefore, he is going to get what he wants." Katherine smiled.

"Your plan is to turn her and then kill her?" Pearl asked as she realized what Katherine was up to. "Then I take her to Klaus and pass her off as you."

"Precisely." Katherine grinned. "I'm sure he will reward you appropriately for your endeavors. However, it also means neither you nor Annabelle will be here when the vampires are rounded up tomorrow night." she said. "You are my friend and I cannot see you die." she said sadly.

Pearl looked confused. Eleanor had been adamant Katherine would betray her. Either Eleanor had been lying, or Katherine had had a change of heart. And considering Katherine's past, Pearl knew it was the latter option. Suddenly Katherine looked over Pearl's shoulder as the bell tinkled once more. Pearl turned her head and saw Jonathan Gilbert in the doorway.

"Mr. Gilbert's coming." Katherine announced dramatically. "Quick, your cheeks." she said, pinching Pearl's cheeks. "Perfectly rosy." she smiled as Pearl turned to see Jonathan.

"Miss Pearl. May I have a moment?" Jonathan asked.

"Yes, Mr. Gilbert. I'm still waiting for you to explain that comet in the sky." Pearl replied with a smile on her face.

When Katherine returned from Pearl's, she stopped off at the stables. It was clear Damon and Isobel were up to something. Whatever their plan was, Katherine needed to thwart it with her own. To do that, she would require a little compulsion and hopefully someone who couldn't tell the difference between her and Isobel.

"Tom." Katherine smiled in her sweetest smile.

Tom bowed his head. "Miss Eleanor. I didn't expect to see you in the yard so early, and especially without Master Damon."

"He'll be out shortly." Katherine lied. "Do you know what we are doing today?" she asked. "He didn't tell me."

"Well, my cart control and riding is now good enough to go it alone." he told her proudly. "Master Damon told me it is all about practice. But I'm still learning to tack up the horse. He's going to get one of the stable lads to show me around a carriage today. I think he's going to teach me to drive that tomorrow, although he says it ain't much different." he smiled. "We might even go on the road and take you for a ride."

"Which road?" Katherine frowned.

"He didn't say, maybe the one near your new house." Tom suggested. "Anyway's, he's gonna show me where it is later."

Hmm." Katherine sighed. She wasn't entirely sure where Damon's new house was being built. Instead she'd need to find out another way as Tom seemingly didn't know yet. Fortunately there were only three roads into town. "I think it is nice Master Damon is showing you personally." Katherine asked, changing the subject. Something was off about Damon taking such a personal interest in teaching Tom himself. She was surprised nobody else had found it odd.

"I think he's just very protective of you Miss Eleanor." Tom smiled. "If you want something done proper, you do it yourself." he told her. "And anyway, you ain't got too much time before you get married and go live at your new house."

"I suppose." Katherine sighed. "Well Tom, you've been most helpful." she said.

"It's always a pleasure Miss Eleanor. Do you want to see Rosie and Aquila before you go?" he asked. "You know they love it when you visit."

Katherine smiled, she wondered is Damon had gotten their driver on vervain yet, as Isobel was fully aware of the vampire roundup the next evening. Tom taking her doppelganger for a ride in a carriage the next day was clearly an interesting twist. With Isobel being pregnant, Katherine had a feeling the carriage ride would be one way and straight out of town, but Tom wouldn't know that. He'd used up his usefulness for the time being.

"I don't have time right now." Katherine shook her head sadly. "I'll probably be back later today though." she told him thoughtfully when she suddenly had an idea.

Katherine looked Tom in the eye to start the compulsion, but first she needed to check whether he was on vervain. "Tom I need you to do something for me. When I'm gone, I need you to forget I was here." she said.

"I will forget you were here." Tom repeated robotically, confirming Damon hadn't thought to put him on vervain.

"Wonderful!" Katherine clapped her hands. "Now Tom, I need you to do something very important for me tomorrow..." she started before giving him his instructions for the next day.

Elena stood in front of the mirror in her bedroom, studying Lizzie's handiwork. She'd had to go some way to convince the girl to not feel guilty about lacing her corset strings too tight the other day, claiming it was her own fault for not telling her. Tonight, Lizzie had definitely outdone herself. Elena wore a pink gown, which had purposely been made in the identical style to Katherine's, but her doppelgangers gown was to be in blue. She'd just finished putting on her gloves when there was a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" Elena called out.

The door opened and Emily's head appeared around it. "Mr Salvatore has asked if you are ready. If so, he is waiting for you at the bottom of the stairs." she said.

"Tell him I'm on my way." Elena smiled as Emily left before turning to Lizzie. "You've done a wonderful job Lizzie." she said. "And for that, I'm going to take you for a little ride with me in a carriage tomorrow. How would you like that?" she asked.

Lizzie's eyes widened. "Yes Miss Eleanor." she grinned. "I've never been in a real proper carriage before."

"When you come to live with Master Damon and I, you will get to ride in one quite a bit. So we need to show you how to get in and out like a proper handmaiden." Elena smiled, giving her an excuse to sound like it was all part of Lizzie's training, albeit a slightly more fun part. "I'll ask Emily to find you something suitable to wear."

"Thank you Miss Eleanor." Lizzie cried, her eyes lit up with joy. "You are the best Mistress anyone could want." she said, a comment which broke Elena's heart. Lizzie shouldn't be serving her unpaid at all, but for now her and Damon had to keep up the ruse until they had the opportunity to have paid servants, who genuinely wanted to work for them. Although Elena suspected Lizzie wouldn't want to work anywhere else.

Elena left her room and walked to the top of the stairs and looked down. As Emily had told her, Damon was indeed waiting for her at the bottom of the stairs looking all dressed up and handsome as usual. Behind her she heard Lizzie giggle.

"He looks ever so handsome Miss Eleanor." Lizzie whispered into her ear. "You are a very lucky woman to be marrying a man as comely as Master Damon." she said, bringing a smile to Elena's face.

"Why Lizzie, I do believe you have a soft spot for Master Damon." Elena whispered back.

"I think you'll find most of the girls who work here have a soft spot for Master Damon. They're real jealous I'm getting to go with you when you marry." Lizzie told her.

"I better be careful not to take any of those girls with me then." Elena whispered back. "You have a nice evening Lizzie, I won't be needing your services again tonight." she told her.

"But how will you undress?" Lizzie asked.

"I believe Master Damon is more than capable of helping me." she grinned as her handmaiden's eyes widened with shock. "Goodnight Lizzie." she added before descending down the stairs.

For a moment she began to suffer from deja vu. Memories of the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, where Damon was waiting for her. It was the first time he'd taken her breath away and she realized just how sexy he was, especially in a suit. Back then he'd sent her pulse racing, and right now he was having the exact same effect on her. When she reached the bottom of the stairs Damon took her hand and kissed it before leading her to the door.

"You look stunning." he whispered.

Elena looked at him. "So do you." she smiled.

Damon helped Elena into their carriage before they set off to the Lockwood Mansion. As the sight of the Salvatore house left her view, a wave of sadness suddenly washed over her. Soon she would leave it forever, and tonight would probably be their last night together with them both being human.

"What is it?" Damon frowned, clearly noticing her change in mood.

"This time tomorrow, you will be helping with the roundup." Elena told him. "You might even be in transition. Tonight could well be our last night together as humans." she said.

"Then we'll make it count." Damon took her hand and rubbed the back of her knuckles. "We shall leave the party early and when we get home, we will make love all night, and tomorrow in the barn too." he smiled."That way my memory of how I touch you will be so vivid, you won't be able to tell the difference." he said.

Elena smiled at the gesture. She knew it was his way of showing her how much he loved her and it was exactly what she wanted and needed before everything would change the next day. Elena wanted to remember his warm human touch, his gentleness and his purity, before vampirism and a desire for blood took over, potentially breaking his soul. She just hoped her love for him and impending fatherhood, had healed him sufficiently to keep his dark side at bay. The only part about him turning which would be beneficial to her, would be his sexual stamina. Elena knew form her experience with Stefan, a man would take longer to recover from making love than a vampire. And while under normal circumstances this would not be a concern of Elena's, she had noticed a change in her libido since becoming pregnant. Every slight touch from Damon seemed to turn her on, and she could no longer get enough of him. No matter how many times Damon satisfied her, her need was never satiated. This led to Damon frequently being exhausted by their lovemaking activities. Therefore, as long as Damon could control his blood lust, this was one vampire perk Elena was going to enjoy.

The Ball at the Lockwood Mansion was in full swing as Elena recalled her and Stefan examining the guest register before she knew about him being at the original party. She and Damon mingled, drank and danced throughout the evening as he introduced her to friends. Eventually it came to the time of making the announcements and raising toasts.

Damon clinked his glass with a silver spoon to gain the attention of the guests, which worked as everyone in the room quietened and looked at him."Everyone will you please join me in raising your glasses to my good friend George Lockwood." he turned to a man Elena had yet to be introduced to, but knew exactly who he was. "George, thank you for so bravely defending the south." he raised a glass to the werewolf.

"My honor Mr. Salvatore. After all, someone had to do it." George joked. "Although I admit, I do not blame you. I see you have a beauty by your side. One whom I am led to believe has incredibly agreed to be your wife." he smiled as Damon looked at Elena, who's eyes fell to the floor as she blushed with embarrassment. "I would like to raise a toast to my good friend Damon Salvatore and his lovely wife to be, Miss Eleanor Pierce." he offered as the room of people raised their glasses once more. "I would like to congratulate you upon your upcoming marriage." he said as he walked over to them and kissed the back of Elena's hand.

Katherine was watching their interaction intently, wondering when she would have to opportunity to confront George. She was just about to go over and introduce herself as Eleanor's sister when she felt a tap on her shoulder. She turned as saw a vampire called Henry, who had been a soldier and had returned from battle with Damon. Instead of going back to war, Katherine had turned him. Katherine had Emily make him a daylight ring so he could work for the Lockwood's, which turned out to be and ingenious move as he and was proving a very useful spy.

"Can we have a word Miss Katherine?" Henry whispered in her ear.

"Grab a glass, Henry. It's a celebration." Katherine smiled.

"Please, Miss Katherine." Henry insisted as they left the room to talk alone. "I looked into those attacks from the other night. It wasn't vampires" he told her.

"That's good news, Henry. That means we have nothing to worry about." Katherine smiled.

"I'm afraid you don't understand. Those folks were torn apart in ways I've never seen before." Henry said, looking horrified.

"Then...it won't be long before the founders drop an investigation." Katherine said thoughtfully, although she'd been expecting this. She'd just been waiting for the right time to make her move.

"We'll leave town immediately. I'll tell the others." Henry started.

"Relax, Henry." Katherine assured him. "This town is our home and the vampires are my family. I won't let anything happen to us." she added as she saw George watching her conversation. She cocked her head in the direction of an empty room, giving him a look to tell him where to meet her. "Excuse me Henry." she said, leaving him stood in the hallway as she entered the empty living room and waited for George to meet her.

"She's all alone. Does this mean I can finally have you all to myself?" George asked as he followed her and closed the door behind them.

"Your father has outdone himself." Katherine smiled.

"Knowing father, he will want to throw a Founders' Party every year." George boasted.

"I must admit, I'm rather surprised that you'd come looking for me." Katherine sighed.

"Because you were the rope in the Salvatore's brother's tug of war, that is until your sister arrived?" George laughed.

"No, because I'm a vampire who could kill you in your sleep." Katherine threatened him.

"I beg your pardon?" George whispered, fear in his voice.

"Relax, George. I know you know my secret." Katherine told him.

"This conversation is over." George turned to leave, however Katherine caught his arm.

"And I know your secret too and I know that you're extra strong, only not as strong." Katherine whispered before releasing him and smiling triumphantly.

"How do you know who I am?" George asked, lowering his voice.

"You think that I would settle into a town without knowing my enemies?" Katherine said as if it were the strangest question anyone had ever had the audacity to ask.

"What do you want?" George asked.

Katherine smiled. "I have a proposition which might of be of some interest to you." she said.

"What use could you be of to me?"George snapped.

"How about, if I told you I had in my possession, something which would stop you from turning every month." Katherine looked at him sweetly.

"And why would you give it to me?" George frowned with confusion.

"I need you to do something for me George." she told him. "I have a plan and I need for you to help me disappear. In return for successfully executing the plan, you will heroically help rid the town vampires and I will give you the moonstone, and you will no longer have to turn. Does that sound like a fair deal to you?" Katherine smiled.

"What would you like me to do?" George smiled, suddenly interested in what she had to say.

Damon and Elena left the party early, claiming Elena's rib was still hurting and she would need to apply more of her paste to relieve the pain. She knew Katherine was already suspicious, but she didn't care. They just wanted to get home and enjoy a little privacy, knowing the party wouldn't be over for quite some time. The problem for Elena was she already wished they were back at the mansion. The moment she stepped outside, all she wanted was to rip Damon's clothes off and for them to make love, even if it meant it was in the back of a carriage. Unfortunately it would take around twenty minutes to get home and Elena wasn't sure she could wait that long.

"Damon, how fast can this thing go?" Elena asked as she sat down.

"Are you unable to wait until we return home?" Damon whispered.

"I'm not sure I can wait twenty minutes." she complained.

Damon leaned over and closed the curtains, cloaking them in darkness and sitting next to her. "We'll have to be quick." he whispered as he bent down and lifted Elena's skirts, running his hands up her legs. "And you'll need to be very quiet." he said as Elena nodded, although she knew he couldn't see her. Her hormones had taken over her senses and she no longer cared who saw or heard them, but Damon did, so she knew she'd have to do as she was told.

Elena lifted her hips to allow Damon to pull down her drawers. They wouldn't have time to remove any more of her clothes, but it didn't matter. It wasn't the first time they'd had sex almost fully clothed. Desire had taken precedent over the need to disrobe on more than one previous occasion, and Elena did indeed desire Damon. So much so, she was already wet enough to take him without the need for foreplay, although she needed to ensure he was ready for her.

Their lips met as Elena's hands fumbled with the buttons on Damon's trousers. Despite Elena not needing any additional stimulation to make love to Damon, he clearly wanted to make sure she was ready for him. As Elena wrapped her hand around Damon's shaft, his hands made their way up her skirt, his fingers finding her slit and running his them along her folds.

"Fuck Elena." he whispered, knowing he wouldn't offend her with such coarse language during sex. "You weren't lying when you said you couldn't wait." he said as Elena simply kissed him as her answer and began to pump on his shaft.

Damon slid two fingers inside her and began to massage Elena's clit. Elena lifted her leg to give him greater access as she began to ride his fingers, the heat inside her beginning to overwhelm her. She could tell Damon was ready for her and Elena herself wasn't far from her release. There kisses intensified as did the heat radiating throughout Elena's body. She needed Damon inside her, and quickly.

I need you, now!" she moaned quietly.

Damon nodded and pulled her so she was straddling his lap. Elena held her skirts while she lowered herself onto Damon's shaft, her eyes rolling back at the delicious sensation. Her gown settled around them, mostly covering their activities, although it was clear from the heated way they looked at each other, they were not doing anything of an innocent nature. Damon's wrapped his hands around her hips to give her additional support, ensuring she didn't tire before they reached their release.

Every time Elena lowered herself, Damon thrust violently upwards, ensuring a deeper penetration, and to speed up the process of them reaching their climax. They had very little time as they'd need to appear every inch the proper society couple they currently weren't acting like. Meanwhile their lips were locked together. Taking in one anothers taste while exploring and frequently biting each others lips. It only heightened the haze of desire Elena was feeling building up in the pit of her stomach.

Damon was clearly close to his release as his thumb reached around and began to massage Elena's nub, sending the additional sensations she required to take her over the edge. It's continued ability to work did not fail them this time. The moment his thumb began to circle her, the heat building up inside her burst out like a damn of hot lava as her body began to shake. As much as she desperately wanted to cry out at her glorious release, she knew she couldn't alert the driver of their activities, therefore she bit down on her bottom lip.

Just as her body went rigid from the last throes of her orgasm and her back arched, she felt Damon's warm seed spill inside her. Elena dropped her head into the crook of Damon's neck and whispered his name, as he did hers.

As they came down from their respective high's, Elena lifted herself up and quickly put her drawers back on. Damon adjusted himself and buttoned up his trousers, and sat opposite Elena, just in time for them to pull up to the Salvatore estate. A moment later there was a noise outside the door and it opened, revealing the face of their driver.

"Mr Salvatore, Miss Pierce. We're here." he said holding a lantern out while they disembarked from the carriage. It was clear the driver was none the wiser regarding their activities, which for Elena were just the beginning of the end of their final night together where she could be certain they were both human.

Two hours later, Katherine and Stefan were the last to arrive back at the Salvatore Mansion, as Giuseppe had gone home early with Barnette Lockwood. Katherine had overheard a conversation between them and arranging to meet Jonathan Gilbert as he had something to show them. They had left at the same time as Pearl and Jonathan, allowing time for Jonathan to arrive at the Salvatore Mansion just after them.

As Katherine and Stefan climbed the stairs, she could hear Damon and Isobel making love in Damon's room, filling her with disgust Fortunately to distract her, Stefan had been the perfect gentleman to her all evening which more than made up for it. She desperately wanted to mimic what Damon and Isobel were up to with Stefan, however there were important matters to be dealt with, so she'd asked Stefan to escort her to her room before compelling him to seek out his father and to listen in on his conversation, however she almost abandoned her plans when they reached her door.

"I had a lovely time, Stefan." Katherine smiled.

"How long do you plan on staying in Mystic Falls?" Stefan asked.

"As long as I'm wanted. Your father has so far been very kind to give me and my sister a shelter, although it may not continue for long." Katherine said.

"How could he not? Losing your family in the fire, gratefully you made it to Atlanta." Stefan smiled.

"So, I gather I'm wanted?" Katherine asked demurely.

"Uh, very much so." Stefan lowered his eyes. "I know...we've only known each other for a short while and I know I'm in competition for your affections but I've never met a woman quite like you. I look at you and I see an angel. I touch your skin and my entire body ignites. I kiss you and I know that I'm falling in love." he whispered as he kissed her. "I am in love with you."

"There's so much you don't know about me, Stefan." Katherine shook her head.

"More to learn and love." Stefan enthused.

"I must say good night." Katherine lowered her eyes as she turned to the door.

"I have upset you?" Stefan frowned.

"No, you haven't upset me, you've just surprised me. Until tomorrow." Katherine kissed him on the cheek. "Now you need to go see your father and find out what he is discussing." she compelled him before entering her room and closing the door behind her.

Stefan made his way back downstairs and stood outside his father's study. He'd noticed Jonathan Gilbert's arrival only a couple of moments earlier. As soon as the door was closed he waited outside, listening to the men's conversation.

"We're supposed to believe that can track one of them?" Stefan heard Giuseppe ask

"What is it, magic?" Barnette saked.

"It's science." Jonathan insisted.

"I'll believe it when I see it." Barnette scoffed.

"I've been thinking about George's church idea. I believe it could work." Giuseppe said as Stefan decided he wanted to find out what they were looking at. He opened the door, trying to appear surprised by his father having guests so late at night. They all turned to look at Stefan as he noticed Jonathan holding what looked like a pocket watch.

"Excuse me, father. I didn't know you had guests." Stefan lied.

"We'll be done in a few minutes, son." Giuseppe smiled.

"I'll come back. Forgive me, Mr. Gilbert, Mr. Lockwood." Stefan nodded his head and closed the door, but continued to listen to their conversation.

"Have you told them?" Jonathan asked.

"Not yet." Giuseppe replied.

"Giuseppe, we need all the men we can get." Jonathan insisted.

"I'll tell them. You can count on both my boys." Giuseppe told them as Stefan leaned his head back against the wall outside the study, listening to every word his father said. Katherine was right, they would be rounding up the vampires shortly, Katherine might not be wanted after all.

Meanwhile, at the other end of town, Pearl and Annabelle climbed into their carriage, their belongings packed and already loaded. The moment Jonathan Gilbert left, to go see Giuseppe, she and Annabelle readied themselves to leave, just as both Eleanor and Katherine had told them to. She had taken Eleanor's advice and retrieved the strange looking device which was apparently a weapon of some sort. This way, by keeping both pieces separated, the weapon could only be used when Pearl herself decided it could be used.

In the meantime, Pearl was to ride to the nearby town of Roanoke and await word from Katherine, where she was supposed to take Eleanor's newly turned dead body to New Orleans and hand it over to Klaus Mikaelson in the guise of her being Katherine. Pearl felt sorry for the girl just hoped she could escape Katherine's clutches before it was too late.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Katherine had arranged to meet George Lockwood early the next morning after the Founders Party. The conversation Stefan had overheard in Giuseppe's study confirmed George had indeed fed the church idea into his father's head and they were already in the process of planning to destroy the town vampires. Katherine just had to finalize the finer points to ensure George knew what to do.

They took their walk around the Salvatore estate, speaking in private, not even other vampire ears were allowed to privy to this conversation.

"I just spoke to Giuseppe Salvatore. The round up happens tonight." George told her.

"Good." Katherine smiled. "Insist that they do a body count before the church is set ablaze."

"I will." George agreed.

"There needs to be twenty three vampires and one human. A woman caught in the crossfire as a sympathizer." Katherine told him.

"Twenty four in total?" George frowned, "I thought there were more than that."

"There was." Katherine told him. "But Pearl and Annabelle left early this morning, they needed to go to another town for supplies." she lied. "They took their servant Harper with them." she explained.

"And the human?" George asked. "I don't like the sound of that."

"My sister." Katherine told him. "How can she not be classed as a conspirator? But I need you to also help her escape." she said.

"Once the flames create chaos, you both need crawl to the exit under the choir loft. I'll be there to set you free." George told her.

"My sister has already left to see her new home for the day. I fear I might not see her in time to warn her about the roundup. Do you think you could tell her as it is happening? It is important she survives, otherwise the numbers will need to be revised." she asked.

"I will." George promised.

"Make sure you're not followed. I need everyone to believe my sister was lost in that fire, and if she does accidentally die, then I will also need to be recorded as to having perished." Katherine told him.

"I will do everything in my power to ensure that is what becomes recorded. If I save your sister, it is known only she died and you escaped." George agreed.

"Good!" Katherine smiled. "Let us walk a little more, before we prepare for the evening." she said.

Elena stood next to the small mound of earth next to where she buried her journal. Even though she was to stay in 1864, she wanted Damon to give this to her future self, and as there was no guarantee as to what would happen over the course of the next few hours, she decided to stick with burying it near the pond. She'd tied two twigs together to make the sign of a cross to mark the spot and had made Damon promise not to retrieve it without her future self with him to read it. Every day since she'd arrived back in time, she'd kept an in-depth play by play account of what she and Damon had been like together. She gave her future self a stern talking to, telling her no matter what her current feelings for Stefan were, they would pale into insignificance if she decided to accept her own advice and be with Damon. Elena wasn't just doing this for Damon's sake, to allow him a second relationship with her, Elena was doing it for her own future self's happiness.

Damon took her hand as she absentmindedly ran her fingers over her stomach protectively, her eyes stinging with tears, knowing there was a small chance, if anything went wrong, they could be parting forever. Elena turned and placed her head against Damon's chest as he held her tight to him. These were to be their last few minutes together before they went their separate ways. They'd already spent the last two hours in the barn together, making love, talking and crying. Now the moment had come for them to ride to the woods and meet Tom, who had Lizzie in the carriage waiting for them. Before they set off, Elena took a vial of blood from her pocket to show him she had it with her.

"Is that Pearl's?" Damon asked, tucking a stray strand of hair behind Elena's ear.

"Yes." she nodded. "We've both already had Katherine's blood today. But I will take it tomorrow morning, just to be on the safe side. I can't have you forgetting all about me and the little one now can I?" she asked, choking back the tears. "Did you give Tom any vervain?" she asked.

"No, there were too many people around. It would have looked suspicious." he sighed. "Although I doubt Katherine would even know who he is." Damon said.

"I'll give him some when we get to the house." Elena told him. "Just in case Katherine comes looking for us. I gave Lizzie some this morning."

"You sure you're ready to do this?" Damon asked.

"As long as you promise not to forget about me." Elena smiled.

"I will always remember you." Damon whispered.

"Is that a promise?" Elena asked.

"That's a promise." Damon smiled. "Although I don't think it me you should be worried about. Zeus and Sally will probably not remember you as they are easily bribed. The next time they are offered apples, they will have forgotten you completely." he joked as Elena coughed in a combination of laughter and tears. "I suggest you say goodbye to these two." he suggested. "We can't be sure whether we'll be able to come back for them." he said sadly.

"I know." Elena nodded walking over to Zeus. Despite his intimidating appearance, much like Damon he was gentle on the inside, and very easy to love. Over the weeks they'd become firm friends. "I'm going to miss you." she said gently, stroking the white spot of the face of black stallion. "You take good care of Damon for me until I see him again won't you? And make sure you look after Sally." she asked pulling and apple from her pocket and feeding it to him. He whinnied and took the apple from her hand. "Typical." she laughed. "They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, and you Zeus, are living proof." Elena made her way over to Sally as the real tears started once more. The mare had become such an important part of her life, she didn't want to let her go.

"We need to go." Damon said sadly. "If we leave it too late, Katherine might try and find you."

"I know." Elena sniffed as she kissed her beloved mare, giving her an apple. "I love you Sally. Stay with Zeus, he'll keep you safe." she whispered as Sally pricked her ears back before taking the apple from her hand. Elena wiped her tears away and turned around. "Right, time to go." she sighed, turning to Damon.

After her walk with George, Katherine made her way to the stables to find Tom already readying Rosie and Aquila for their ride out of town with Isobel and Lizzie. She'd given him some instructions the day before, but she wanted to know where Tom was meeting Damon, which would give her a clue as to their destination.

Katherine silently walked up behind him. "Hello Tom." she said, making him jump and turn around.

"Hello Miss Eleanor." he said nervously. "I didn't see you there."

"No need to worry." Katherine smiled sweetly. "Has Master Damon told you where we are to meet today?" she asked. "I need to make sure I'm wearing appropriate clothing."

"He told me to wait for you out by the road which leads up to Wickery Bridge." Tom told her as Katherine smiled.

"Here." she handed him over a package. "This is what you will need for some of what I asked you to do yesterday. Did you do the other part?" she asked.

"Of course Miss Eleanor." Tom smiled. "I did it right after you told me."

"Good!" Katherine grinned mischievously, before she began to give him the precise instructions of what she wanted him to do.

Damon walked over and helped Elena up into the saddle before mounting Zeus himself. They rode off in silence, knowing should either of them speak, there was a chance one of them would end up crying, and as they were about to face Tom and Lizzie, they were going to have to pretend nothing was wrong. Damon had told Tom to take Elena to a house he'd secretly bought with the money his father had given him, about twenty miles out of town and he would meet them there to see how long it took Tom to drive them there. This was just a ruse as by the time they would arrive, it would be dark and there was no way Tom would be able to drive them back without Damon's help. Damon had told Tom to not leave the house without him, ensuring they would at least stay the night. Elena was hoping Damon would transition as soon as he could and maybe arrive by morning, telling Tom and Lizzie his father had urgently needed his help with matters in town.

The house they were to stay in itself was large enough to house the three of them comfortably. Damon had stocked it up with enough supplies to last them a couple of weeks, should he have issues with his blood lust and be unable to return to them sooner. He'd also had some clothes made up for Elena, Lizzie and Tom, to ensure they were well kept until he came back. All the while the concentration had been put into the main house being built, this was the one Damon had bought for their temporary shelter, which was the reason why he'd needed the money from his inheritance as soon as possible.

Twenty minutes later they arrived at the meeting spot with Tom and Lizzie. Damon dismounted Zeus and helped get down from Sally. This time it really was goodbye. In all likelihood, Elena would never see the human version of Damon. Instead he would be a vampire, with heightened emotions and a brand new diet. He'd promised her Tom and Lizzie were off limits, even if he did manage to snatch, eat and erase almost immediately. But deep down Elena knew these wouldn't be the only differences. His purity would be gone, replaced by the man she'd known and loved from a hundred and forty six years in the future, although Elena suspected some of his quirks had taken time to evolve. Leaving her to hope he was still very much the man she still knew.

They stood holding on to one another, knowing the moment they let go, there was no going back. Damon lifted Elena's chin and kissed her tenderly on the lips as he slipped his hand between them and placed it on her stomach.

"You have important cargo in there." he whispered. "I need you to take very good care of it."

"I will." Elena replied, tears streaming down her eyes. "I promise."

"I'll come back for you." Damon swallowed thickly, as he wiped the tears away from Elena's cheek. "No matter what happens, no matter how long it takes, I promise I will find you." he assured her.

"I know you will. I guess whatever happens, I just have to be patient." she nodded.

"I'm not going to put either of you at risk, so I won't return until I'm under control." he promised as Elena wrapped her fingers around his.

"Whatever happens, I love you Damon Salvatore, and I always will." Elena smiled as she kissed him once more.

"And I love you Elena Gilbert, I did from the moment I laid eyes on you. I will love you until the day I die." he replied as Elena choked a laugh. "What's funny." he asked.

"You do know that you are likely to die today." she raised an eyebrow.

"Fine. I will love you until I leave this world for good." he smiled. "Is that better?" he asked,

"It is." Elena smiled as she noticed Lizzie looking over to them quizzically. "I have to go." she sighed, as they rested their foreheads together. "At least I know you won't forget me." she said.

"Not while you have vampire blood pumping through your veins." Damon agreed as Elena stood back.

"Until tonight, my sweetest Damon." Elena said loud enough for Tom and Lizzie to hear.

"I look forward to it my darling Eleanor." he replied as he bowed his head and kissed her hand. "Tom!" Damon called as her driver climbed down and came over to join them. "Take good care of my wife to be. I will take Sally back and meet you at the house. Under no circumstances are you to leave until I arrive. These parts can be dangerous after dark." Damon told him.

"Yes Sir." Tom replied, bowing his head, as Elena walked over to the carriage, trying hard not to look back, knowing she would likely burst into tears if she did.

Tom opened the carriage door and Elena sat down inside as she dared look out of the window to watch Damon mount Zeus. She waved goodbye to him as he picked up Sally's reins before waving back and trotting off slowly into the distance. The carriage set off along the road as Damon finally disappeared.

"Are you alright Miss Eleanor?" Lizzie asked with a worried look on her face.

Elena swallowed. "Nothing for you to worry about Lizzie." she told her. "Master Damon can be very romantic at times and he often moves me to tears with his beautiful words." she lied.

"You are so lucky." Lizzie sighed dreamily.

"Who knows, you might find your dream man someday." Elena winked at her.

"I doubt that Miss Eleanor." Lizzie lowered her eyes.

"Why?" Elena asked. "After Damon and I are married, we would love for you to come and work for us, but it would be paid work, and you would be free." she said as Lizzie looked at her wide eyes.

"Mistress Eleanor, I don't know what to say." Lizzie gasped.

"Just don't say anything yet." Elena told her. "Not to anybody."

"I won't." Lizzie grinned as Elena decided to look out of the window.

Elena could hear the sound of water nearby, which meant they must be nearing Wickery Bridge. She was surprised she could even hear the water as everyone was saying the creek was running nearly dry. There hadn't been any rain since the storm where she and Damon had first made love in their barn, and the land was completely parched due to the long hot summer, which had extended all the way into September.

Just as they were about to cross the bridge Elena heard a gunshot close by and suddenly the carriage jerked forwards. The ponies were dragging them along too fast as they began to cross the bridge. Elena looked at Lizzie whose eyes were wide with fear.

"We'll be fine." Elena tried to assure the girl, but she was just as terrified herself because she knew the carriage was going too fast and it appeared Tom was no longer able to control it.

Elena heard a clunking noise and the carriage tilted to one side, as she knew a wheel had come off. One moment they were sliding along the bridge, the next they were falling. She heard screams coming from not just her own but Lizzie's mouth. Then with a thud they hit the bottom of the almost dry creek. Elena felt a pain in her neck before she hit her head, and suddenly everything went black.

Damon rode off, trying to be a proper gentleman and hide his fears for Elena's safety. His forgetting to give Tom vervain was concerning him, although he didn't want to voice that in front of Elena. He'd kept the location secret from Tom until the last minute, hoping Katherine wouldn't get to him. Knowing Katherine she would probably pretend to be Elena and Tom would be none the wiser and tell her where they were going without the need for compulsion. However, the more he rode, the more frantic he became. Damon was just about to turn back when he a heard gunshot in the distance, coming from the direction Elena had been going. He turned Zeus around and let go of Sally's reins and began to gallop back in the direction he came. Fear coursing through his veins, as something may have happened to Elena.

Suddenly Damon stopped, confused. He was supposed to be going back home. Why Sally was with him he had no idea, especially considering she had what looked like Katherine's saddle on her back. For some reason his memory felt a little fuzzy, and wondered if it was a delayed hangover from the Founders Ball, the previous night. He suspected Katherine may have initially been with him, but decided to return using her vampire speed instead of the horse after he'd fallen asleep. Damon shrugged, trotted over to Sally and took her reins before making his way back home.

After Damon returned from his ride, Giuseppe had asked Stefan and Damon to walk with him later in the gardens. Stefan already suspected the conversation was related to the impending the vampire roundup, but he wasn't sure how much Damon knew about it. His brother had been preoccupied with his bride to be over the past few weeks and their impending marriage. Although oddly, Stefan noticed Damon he hadn't mentioned Eleanor once since he had returned from his ride. Instead, curiously he was once again fixated with Katherine, leading Stefan to suspect his initial suspicions were correct and Damon had been using the poor girl to make Katherine jealous. Maybe it had worked. But for now he just had to listen to his father, after all what happened next would affect both sisters.

"As descendants of the Founding Families, they'll want to know that they can count on you." Giuseppe insisted as all three of them walked along the grounds.

"Of course they can. Is there any doubt?" Stefan asked.

"I'm not sure your brother Damon understands the importance of duty." Giuseppe sighed.

"Damon left the Confederacy on principle. It was his choice and should be respected." Stefan stated.

"You'll forgive me if I have trouble respecting a deserter." Giuseppe snapped back.

"Well, I never asked for your respect." Damon spat as Giuseppe stopped and faced him. He halted in front of his father.

"Good for you Damon." Giuseppe said sarcastically. "Because all I have is disappointment. The only good thing about you is the poor woman who has agreed to marry you. Hopefully you wait long enough for her to see the error of her ways and realize she is making a grave mistake." he argued as Damon looked at his father baffled by this comment. Just as Damon was about to reply Stefan decided to change to topic, concerned Damon would only confirm his fathers disgust regarding Damon's odd behavior towards Eleanor.

"You said the town is in trouble?" Stefan asked.

"There's been too many deaths. It is time for us to fight back and stop these killers." Giuseppe told them sternly.

"Killers? What are you talking about?" Stefan frowned with confusion.

"We live amongst demons." Giuseppe explained.

"You're being cryptic now, father. Why don't you just say the word?" Damon sighed.

"Vampires. They exist. And they live amongst us." Giuseppe told them. "But we have a plan to kill them. And you're going to help us." he told them as he looked at Stefan, who nodded in agreement.

Damon looked at his father blankly. "And how do you plan on killing these demons?" he asked.

"They are to be rounded up and imprisoned in Fell's Church." Giuseppe told them. "We will then burn it to the ground." he said excitedly.

"Do you know who they are?" Damon asked. "If they live among us, surely they will be impossible to find."

"We have a device which allows us to find them." Giuseppe said. "You do not need to worry about that part. We just need you to help capture them." he told them.

"We will father." Stefan agreed. "Won't we Damon?" he glared at his brother.

Damon grimaced. "Whatever you need." he lied.

In fact Damon was concerned about Katherine and wanted to get her away. He couldn't just let the love of his life be taken like that. He needed to warn her, save her. Therefore after the meeting with their father he rushed upstairs and knocked on Katherine's door.

"Katherine?" he called out quietly as she answered the door.

"Damon, I did not expect to see you here." she said with surprise.

"Can I come in?" he asked.

"Certainly." Katherine frowned, opening the door. "Is there something wrong? Is my sister unwell?" she asked.

"Sister?" Damon looked at her blankly.

"Never mind. Forget I mentioned it." she smiled smugly. "Now what news do you have for me?"

"I have just spoken with my father." Damon told her. "They are rounding up the vampires tonight and locking them in Fell's Church before setting it alight." he said.

"Do not fret my dear Damon." Katherine smiled. "I'm already fully aware of what is going to happen tonight." she told him. "I have eyes and ears everywhere, remember." Katherine inched up to him as she drew a line down his chest seductively. "I will be in a safe place where nobody will come to look for me." she whispered as Damon's jaw dropped slightly, his desire for Katherine becoming evident.

"Where?" Damon asked. "I would protect you with my life." he offered.

"There is no need for you to know." Katherine smiled. "I will be perfectly safe. Once the whole affair has blown over, they will not come think to accuse me. And then we can finally be together, forever." she added brushing her lips up against his.

"Are you expecting any visitors?" Damon whispered.

"I am to play croquet with your father a little later, should you wish to join us." Katherine told him. "Why, do you have something in mind to keep us entertained in the meantime?" she teased.

Damon took a deep breath and licked his lips. "Only if you do." he said quietly as his eyes lowered to Katherine's lips.

"Most definitely." she said as she kissed him. "I believe we have time for a very entertaining afternoon."

Later that afternoon Damon went out to the gardens to join Stefan, Katherine and his father. He and Katherine had spent the last hour in her bed before having to attend the stables due to two aging ponies and an old carriage having gone missing. Damon had been teaching Tom, one of the slaves to pull the carriage for when he moved out to the new house he was having built, and he hadn't been seen for hours. Earlier Damon had given him a route to take around Wickery Bridge, which would total about fifteen miles. An experienced driver would have returned by now, but as Tom was new to horses, Damon wasn't expecting him for at least another two hours. Maybe more as soon it would be going dark. Damon told the grooms not to bother worrying too much until tomorrow. If Tom wasn't back by then, they would send out a search party.

Once Damon had finished at the stables, he headed to the gardens to join Stefan who was watching Katherine and his father playing croquet.

"You can trust me, Mr. Salvatore. I would never cheat." Katherine said sweetly as she hit the ball with her mallet, knocking it through the bridge. Giuseppe sighed a sigh of resignation while Katherine giggled devilishly as Damon and Stefan approach them.

"I'm losing over here. Again!" Giuseppe called out to Damon and Stefan, before taking his turn at the game as Katherine curtsied at Damon and Stefan. Damon and Stefan stop walking, keeping just out of the earshot of their father, appearing to be just watching them.

"She's good. I almost believe she genuinely likes him." Damon said through gritted teeth.

"Perhaps she does." Stefan shrugged.

Damon scoffed. "She knows father would have her killed if he knew the truth."

"Not if I talk to him; explained how I feel." Stefan said. He could help us keep her safe." he suggested.

Damon turned to face his brother and frowned at him in shock. "Have you gone mad?" he shook his head. "No, no, father would drive the stake in her himself!"

"That's not true. We can trust him." Stefan insisted.

"No, no, not with this. Please, promise me you won't tell him, Stefan." Damon begged.

"I know you are concerned with Eleanor's welfare, but father knows she is human. She wears vervain, you do not need to worry about her." Stefan said.

"Who?" Damon asked. "I care not of this Eleanor, only Katherine's safety. Promise me you won't tell father." he demanded as he gripped Stefan's shoulder, but stopped as he saw Katherine watching them from across the garden, her smile faltering.

"I promise." Stefan agreed.

"Good." Damon smiled. "Katherine has a plan to keep safe and away from the roundup. Let us hope she's right and they don't find her." he said.

Elena woke, her head and neck sore from the impact of the fall. Fortunately the creek was nearly dry. What was left had managed to cushion their landing slightly, but there wasn't enough water to flood them out. From what Elena could work out was the carriage was on it's side as the door as above her head, meaning she should be able to escape. Lizzie's eyes were closed, and Elena couldn't tell whether she were unconscious or dead. There was no blood so Elena just hoped the girl had knocked her head and was out cold. Either way she knew she had to get them both out.

Elena fumbled with her dress, removing the sash from around her waist and wrapping it around Lizzie's chest, hoping it would hold tight enough to pull Lizzie up far enough for Elena to hoist her out.

As Elena opened the door, she noticed the sun was already setting in the sky, suggesting she must have been out for at least a three hours. She finally managed to climb out of the door and pull Lizzie up until she could grab under her arms and pull her out. Luckily, Lizzie was petite and the clothes she wore were nowhere near as heavy as Elena's awkward gown. The sound of neighing horses in the background alerted her to the top of the bridge, where Rosie and Aquila were, still alive. It appeared not only had the wheel come undone, but something had broken free from the horses gear as they were hurtling along.

Elena looked down to where the driver sat and saw Tom's lifeless body, laying face down in the water with a gun in his hand. He'd been the one to startle the horses, and had probably loosened the wheel and cut whatever it was which caused the horses to break free. Elena knew Tom well enough to know he wouldn't have done this on purpose and the entire situation smelled of compulsion, which could only lead back to Katherine.

The decision to not put Tom and Lizzie on vervain until the last moment had been a joint one. For Lizzie it was to keep her safe from Katherine. In regards to Tom, Damon frequently spent time in the stables, and they never considered Katherine would know to single him out. The reason they were going to put him on vervain when they reached the house was just in case Katherine came looking for them afterwards. They'd also figured if Katherine couldn't compel him, she'd simply pose as Elena instead as, unlike Lizzie, Tom wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them.

Therefore Elena couldn't blame Tom for what had happened. She and Damon just hadn't had the foresight to realize Katherine would know to stop them from escaping. And for Katherine to know they would try to escape, she must have found out Elena was pregnant. All the time they'd been worried about Damon, when Elena was also in grave danger.

Adrenaline pumped through her when she realized she still needed to escape. If Katherine had organized this, she would still be coming after her. Not only that, Tom might have told her where they were heading. This left Elena with one option, grab the horses and ride to the barn.

Elena managed to drag Lizzie from the top of the carriage and into the chest high water. Fortunately this helped her pull Lizzie along as all Elena had to do was wade until she got to the banks, which weren't far. After ten minutes of pulling, Elena finally got them to dry land. She collapsed momentarily to catch her breath before shaking Lizzie to try and wake her. When Elena got no response she looked to see if she were breathing, but as the sky was getting darker by the minute and they were sheltered under trees, she couldn't tell whether her chest was rising or not. Elena picked up Lizzie's wrist and tried to find a pulse, but there was nothing there. She felt the girls neck, but again nothing. Lizzie was also dead.

Elena grabbed hold of the girl and cradled her in her arms as she began to sob. It was all her fault, these people had died to save her. Tears running down her face, she rested her cheek on Lizzie's head, when an unfamiliar strong smell hit her nostrils. A moment later she felt excruciating cramps in her stomach. Elena dropped Lizzie to the ground and doubled up in pain. It was only then she saw what it was. Although it was dark, her yellow dress was still easy to see, and so was the stain on the front of the skirt. It was blood, and judging by where the pain was coming from, she was losing it from her womb.

"No, no, no, no, no." she screamed as she realized she'd lost the baby.


 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Although Damon had warned him not to discuss the vampires with his father, Stefan thought his brother was being over dramatic. Ever since he returned from his ride with Eleanor, he'd been acting strange. Even to the extent he would not acknowledge the mere existence of his bride to be. Another concern was Eleanor herself had not been seen since. However she'd been ill recently and had probably retired for the day, but that did not explain his brother's strange behavior.

Instead, much to Stefan's annoyance, Damon had returned to the arms of Katherine. He wasn't stupid, he knew his brother had spent the afternoon in bed with her. Stefan just wished Damon would have kept to Eleanor and left him and Katherine alone. However, what was done, was done and Katherine seemed enthralled to have both of them with her once more. And if Katherine was happy, Stefan was happy.

Damon had told Stefan, Katherine had said she would be safe, but unless Stefan knew what she was planning, he was going to worry. Regardless of whether she were with them both or not, he needed to make sure nothing happened to her. If he left it to Damon, Katherine could possibly end up dead. This was what had led him to see his father. He was going to try and reason with him. After all, he never refused Stefan anything. With this in mind, he knocked on the door to his father's study and opened it, seeing his father was writing in his journal. When he saw Stefan, his face lit up and he put down his pen and book.

"Stefan. To what do I owe this pleasure?" Giuseppe smiled at his favorite son.

"Did I interrupt your writing?" Stefan asked.

"These are the dull musings of my troubled mind." Giuseppe told him solemnly.

"A great mind." Stefan corrected him, causing his father to smile.

"Still. I will carry the real secrets with me-" Giuseppe started.

"To your grave." Stefan interrupted.

"And a full grave it will be." Giuseppe informed him as he gestured towards the empty chair next to him. Stefan entered the study and nervously sat down next to his father.

"Now, speaking of troubled minds, what's on yours?" Giuseppe frowned.

"I have concerns about your plan for the vampires." Stefan told him.

"And why is that?" Giuseppe looked at Stefan with a concerned expression on his face.

"We are making the assumption that all vampires are as evil as they've been characterized, but what if that's not true?" Stefan asked.

"Do you have any evidence to the contrary? Do you know of any vampires?" Giuseppe demanded, a murderous sound in his voice, any information given to him now would be a death sentence for the vampire involved..

It was with that thought, Stefan realized Damon was right. His father couldn't be reasoned with. He needed an excuse for his decision to question his father's actions, otherwise Giuseppe would become suspicious. "No. No, of course not." Stefan said hurriedly, trying to think of an excuse could use to make him seem simply naive instead of sympathetic. "But are we to take what others say at face value? You always taught us so differently." he lied ad Giuseppe got up and poured himself a drink.

"Stefan...These creatures are of the darkest parts of Hell." Giuseppe told him." They have the ability to control your mind, seduce your spirit. They are deadly. They must be destroyed." he insisted as he handed Stefan a glass of bourbon. "Those who stand with them; those who bring shame to their families will be destroyed as well." he warned before holding his glass out to Stefan. They clinked their glasses together as a toast before drinking the contents. Giuseppe seemed content with Stefan's explanation, but he still felt disconcerted and wary of his father's all too easy acceptance.

Elena closed her eyes, tears running down her cheeks, how could everything have gone so wrong? She was stuck in 1864, with nobody to help her. The love of her life missing and her only true friend there dead. She didn't know where the house she was supposed to be hiding out and waiting for Damon was located, and Katherine was probably going to come after her soon. Just as that thought was going around in her head, she heard a voice, her own voice. Or more likely the roundup had already happened and the voice she could hear was Katherine's who was coming to look for her. When she opened her eyes to look, the sight she saw in front of her was not what she expected.

Instead of looking up at the bridge and seeing Katherine in her gown, Elena was on a road. Not a road from 1864, but a modern road, one she recognized, it was just outside Mystic Falls, near Wickery Bridge. She looked to see where the voice came from. Instead of seeing Katherine, she saw herself, or at least a slightly younger version of herself. And judging by what she was wearing, she knew exactly what night this was, it was the night her parents died. She was on her cell talking to Bonnie, about Matt, a conversation she remembered well. Tears welled up in her eyes, thinking not only of her parents, but how much she missed her best friend too.

Out of nowhere came another voice she recognized. "Katherine." Damon called out as Elena turned around, expecting to see the version from 1864 who in public called her Eleanor, the one with the curls. Instead she was greeted by her Damon. The one from the future. She could have cried at the sight of his familiar leather jacket and jeans. It was only then did she realize how much she had truly missed him.

"No...um...I" Elena watched her old self look around her to make sure wasn't talking to someone else. "I'm Elena." she said looking baffled.

Elena herself was now confused. She had no recollection of Damon being there that night, so why was she dreaming this? And why would he have called her Eleanor? Was she delusional from the pain of the miscarriage, or was it concussion. Maybe it was the part of her wanting the human Damon and vampire Damon all rolled into one. With that thought, she decided not to fight against the dream, or hallucination. Instead she settled in to watch the scene unfold in front of her eyes.

"Oh, you...you just look...I'm sorry, you just really remind me of someone." Damon narrowed his eyes at her younger self. "I'm Damon." he said smiling as he introduced himself.

"Not to be rude or anything, Damon, but it's kind of creepy that you're out here in the middle of nowhere." Elena looked at him skeptically.

"You're one to talk. You're out here all by yourself." Damon retorted.

"It's Mystic Falls. Nothing bad ever happens here." Elena shrugged, leaving an awkward moment of silence, before explaining her own reasons for being alone on a road in the middle of nowhere at night. "Got into a fight with my boyfriend." she volunteered.

"About what? May I ask." Damon asked, holding his hands up, letting her know he was just being polite.

"Life, future, he's got it all mapped out." Elena sighed as she trustingly walking towards him.

"And you don't want it?" Damon narrowed his eyes.

"I don't know what I want." Elena shrugged, looking at him slightly flirtatiously.

"Well, that's not true. You want what everybody wants." Damon told her softly.

"What, mysterious stranger who has all the answers?" Elena asked, openly flirting with Damon.

"Hmm, well, let's just say I've been around a long time. I've learned a few things." Damon nodded in a knowing fashion.

"I bet you have." Elena murmured to herself before continuing to watch the rest of the scene unfold.

"So, Damon, tell me. What is it that I want?" the younger Elena asked, as Damon moved closer towards her.

"You want a love that consumes you." Damon told her. "You want passion, an adventure, and even a little danger." he winked.

"So, what do you want?" Elena asked as Damon simply smiled at the other her in a way which made Elena feel as though she'd known him her whole life. He took in a deep breath as if he were about to say something when in the background, Elena heard her parents honk their horn and drive closer. "It's my parents." she told Damon as he had suddenly moved even closer to her younger self, so when she turned back around, they were practically face to face.

Elena knew what was coming in the scene unfolding in front of her eyes. Although Damon had never compelled her before, she recognized the look in his eyes. She just hoped whatever he was going to compel her to do wasn't something too bad, because this was Damon near the point when he first arrived in Mystic Falls. Although he'd never confirmed it, Elena suspected Damon had had his humanity off for a long time when he first arrived in Mystic Falls. His behavior had certainly suggested as much. And although it was just a dream, she dreaded to think what kind of compulsion her own mind would conjure up.

"I want you to get everything that you're looking for." Damon compelled her with a soft voice. "But right now I want you to forget that this happened. Can't have people knowing that I'm in town yet." he winked. "Goodnight, Elena." he added before disappearing into the night.

Suddenly Elena came to, and she was back on the banks of the creek, her yellow dress still with a mark down the front which looked to be blood, and Lizzie was still lying next to her dead. She couldn't stay where she was, and she had nowhere else to go. There was nothing for Elena to lose. Her only option was to get back to Mystic Falls and hope the vervain she'd been wearing during her time there was enough to convince them she wasn't a vampire. Maybe she'd even get back in time to save Damon from being shot.

Katherine was sitting at her dresser, examining an amber necklace which Emily had given her while Stefan watched on her from her bed. She and Stefan had just spent the last hour in bed together, Katherine knowing this could be their last time. She'd told them she was going to turn them, and they could be together forever. However, they would be a loose end, and she didn't want to jeopardize her chances of freedom just for the sake of love, or in Damon's case lust. Instead she would disappear and let them think she were dead, or escaped and staked, like she intended for Isobel. They would mourn her and go on to live their lives. Spreading the word Katherine Pierce was dead. The doppelganger curse broken and no chance for Klaus to die from whatever weapon Isobel had told her about, which she had never revealed the full details regarding what it was. Katherine would be free as long as she never crossed paths with any of the Original family.

Emily had created the necklace just in case anything went wrong in the church fire and it got out of control. If she couldn't reach the choir loft, she would be able to escape into a tomb underneath the church, located behind the pulpit. Katherine had asked Emily to ensure only those with daylight rings would be able to enter the tomb, because she didn't want the town overrun with vampires, which would only serve to prove tonight's roundup pointless.

With that, Emily had told her, should she get caught in the tomb, Katherine would be able to escape as the amber necklace would act as a key to release her. Emily had channeled the power of the comet into amber to create a very powerful boundary spell, allowing nobody to enter or leave the tomb from midnight until the next full moon, which was almost three weeks away. Katherine was slightly dubious about this as Isobel had told her the tomb wouldn't be able to be opened until the next comet. Emily assured her that was no longer the case. With the knowledge of hindsight, she'd been able to change the spell, as it was easier because before the tomb had allowed all of the vampires in there, which was another part of the spell which Emily told her now differed. Thus it had required more power to undo the magic. Unlocking a boundary spell for twenty six vampires and unlocking a boundary spell for no more than anyone who possessed a daylight ring, required different levels of magic.

Katherine didn't completely believe Emily regarding when she claimed the tomb would be able to be opened, and even if the witch was telling the truth, she still wasn't entirely happy about potentially having to wait three weeks to be released from the tomb. However had been around long enough to know the boundary spell Emily was using was something she had come across before. Channeling magic into gemstones to bind a spell was similar to what had been done to the moonstone which Katherine had stolen from Klaus. Only his was to lift the hybrid curse. Using astral events was also commonplace among witches. So in theory Katherine needn't have worried, however she had a suspicion the witch was going to betray her. She'd already helped her doppelganger and lied when she asked for her vampire blood. Emily had been taking it from her for the last few days, telling her it was for the pain relief she was giving to Elena, however Lizzie had informed her only two batches of the paste had been made. This led to Katherine wondering what use Emily had for the rest of the vampire blood.

On the other hand, if Emily really were telling the truth, there was some method in keeping up a vampire boundary spell for three weeks. The townsfolk would still be on the lookout for vampires for a few days after the roundup. Waiting for any potential attacks, when there were none, they at least have no need to look for a vampire and she could escape in the middle of the night and nobody would be any the wiser. Just as long as she managed to avoid George Lockwood turning into a werewolf. Werewolf venom was fatal to vampires, and during a full moon, even allies had no control over themselves in wolf form. And although she'd told George the moonstone would stop him from turning again, and his descendants from inheriting the werewolf curse, it was a lie. She was leaving him as the keeper of the moonstone, so if by chance she needed it one day, she knew exactly where to find it.

For the boundary spell to work, Katherine or the witch unlocking the tomb had the amber necklace, the tomb could be opened. This was why Katherine was currently examining the necklace, deciding what outfit she would wear with it later.

"What is that?" Stefan asked.

"A gift." Katherine lied.

"From Damon?" Stefan raised and eyebrow suspiciously.

"From Emily, actually." Katherine informed him. "And when will you stop worrying about Damon?" she asked as she placed the necklace down on her dresser and walked back over to Stefan, placing a shawl around her shoulders.

"It just seems like Damon is back in your affections and seems to be abandoning your sister." he said.

"Damon and I had a disagreement." Katherine lied. "He decided to pretend to be in love with my sister to make me jealous. It didn't work, he eventually came to his senses." she smiled.

"But I want you all to myself." Stefan complained.

"Just as he wants me. Which was what lay at the heart of our disagreement. But I'm the one who gets to make all the rules." Katherine smiled smugly. "If he wants to be with me, he has to accept sharing me with you as I see fit." she told him.

"And why is that?" Stefan asked.

"Because I'm spoiled." Katherine admitted.

"Yes, you are." Stefan agreed as Katherine inched closer to Stefan and pushed him back down on the bed.

"And selfish." Katherine whispered as she straddled him. "And because I can do this." she said running her hand up Stefan's chest, eliciting a moan of pleasure from his mouth. "And this." she continued as she kissed his stomach and made her way up his chest. Stefan closed his eyes and sighed, enjoying the attention Katherine's lips were paying him. Finally as her kisses reached Stefan's neck, she inched her face closer towards his. "And this." she whispered as her eyes became red and her fangs elongated before biting into Stefan's shoulder. Stefan groaned as Katherine held him down. Suddenly, Katherine pulled away from Stefan and started gasping for air.

Stefan sat up and watched Katherine, clutching at her throat. "What? What?" Stefan cried with fear.

"Vervain." Katherine croaked.

"What?" Stefan gasped as Katherine fell off the bed and onto the floor, gasping and choking.

Stefan jumped off the bed and knelt down next to Katherine, grabbing her face in his hands. "Katherine! Katherine!" he cried in panic out just as his father burst through the door. Stefan turned and looked up at him in shock.

"Go get the sheriff. Tell him we have a vampire." Giuseppe barked.

"What? No!" Stefan cried.

"Do as I say, son! Nothing that you feel for her is real. She's a vampire, Stefan! A monster! I fed you vervain hoping that it would expose her." Giuseppe told him.

"How did you know?" Stefan asked frantically.

"Your sympathy for their plight." Giuseppe snapped. "I didn't raise my sons to be so weak." he said throwing a shirt over to Stefan. "The sheriff, now. Go, quickly! Now, son!" he told him.

For a moment, Stefan hesitated as he looked down at Katherine, wondering if there would be a chance to save her later. In the meantime he needed to play along with his father, he and Damon would have to come up with a rescue plan. Therefore he stood up and ran out of the room, leaving his father alone to watch over a vervain weakened Katherine.

Realizing she was going to have to ride without a saddle, Elena began to remove the parts of her gown which would make riding impossible. Eventually she was left with an underskirt which was light yet offered plenty of room to sit astride a horse, and her drawers. Although this would be deemed distasteful, Elena hoped if she explained herself to the townsfolk, they'd fully understand as she had no other way to get home. Elena scrambled up the banks and managed to get to the bridge where Rosie and Aquila were standing around innocently as if nothing had happened. She decided to ride Rosie as the mare was the smaller of the two ponies and it would be easier for her to climb on her back, although that was still going to be an issue.

Elena removed what was left of the harness, just leaving the reins to control Rosie. She walked the her over to a tree stump and stood on top of that to allow her to climb on the pony's back. She's never ridden barebacked before, leaving her feeling scared and unsafe without the stirrups, but she had little choice. It would take hours to walk back to Mystic Falls, and considering her period footwear, she'd be in absolute agony before she got there. She also hoped Rosie didn't mind her not having a saddle to help control the pony. Instead she improvised using words and the reins, eventually managing to get Rosie heading back towards town, all the while Aquila, Rosie's ever adoring partner in crime, silently following them.

Back at the Salvatore House, Sheriff William Forbes had arrived and began to place a muzzle over Katherine, while Giuseppe simply stood and watched. Once in place, the Sheriff and his deputy picked Katherine up and started carrying her off to be locked in the church. Just as they were about to carry her out of the doorway, Damon crashed into the room.

"No! Don't take her!" he cried out as his father grabbed him and slammed him against the wall. Damon managed to struggle free of his fathers clutches, but it was already too late. The two men carrying Katherine had already left of the room. Damon took one look out of the door to see Katherine staring back at him helplessly.

"Do you know what they'll do to you if you're branded a sympathizer? You'll be killed along with them!" Giuseppe yelled.

Damon grabbed his father by the shoulders and looked him in the eye. "Then let me be killed!" Damon sneered.

"And what about Eleanor, the woman who you professed to be the love of your life. The one you are to marry?" Giuseppe asked. "Was that a lie just to distract me from finding out about Katherine?"

"I know not of what you mean father." Damon spat. "All I care about is Katherine." he said running out of the room and following the men carrying Katherine.

By the time Damon reached the entrance, the two men had already carried Katherine to a cart and were placing her in it. Damon ran towards the cart to try and stop them. Stefan, who had been lurking in the shadows watching everything unfold, had managed to come up with a plan to rescue Katherine, but he needed Damon's help, and for Damon to stop trying to interfere otherwise the plan wouldn't work. Stefan ran up to his brother a stood in front of him, stopping Damon in his tracks.

Stefan grabbed hold of Damon's shoulders. "Damon! Damon! Stop, stop. I'll help you. We'll get her back." he cried.

"Help me!?" Damon spat in disgust, violently shoving Stefan away. "Don't you think that you've done enough? You promised you wouldn't tell him!" he cried.

"I didn't think this would happen." Stefan pleaded, as the sound of the wheels of the cart moving caught their attention. They turned and saw the cart with Katherine in it, had started to leave. Damon and Stefan watched on as Katherine was driven away to Fell's Church, to be burned to death with her fellow vampires.

Damon turned back to look at Stefan angrily. "You did this. This is your fault." Damon he yelled as he ran off into the night.

"Damon...wait." Stefan cried out after his brother. "I have an idea." he shouted as he set off running after Damon.

As Elena continued on her way back to Mystic Falls, she began to feel more and more ill. She must have hit her head hard as she had a splitting headache. The pains from the miscarriage had passed relatively quickly, making her wonder if it had just been a bleed, and not a miscarriage at all. Emily had woven a protection spell around the pregnancy and as long as Elena was well, the baby would be. However Elena knew she wasn't well, she felt sick, dizzy and confused, and maybe the baby's wellbeing was reflected in this. If Elena could find help, maybe she could save the baby too. The problem was, Elena knew she was very sick, possibly even delirious as she'd already been experiencing hallucinations. She closed her eyes for a moment, hoping to ease the headache when her minds eyes seemed to be conjuring up memories from her past specifically the one where she kept meeting Damon. But this time it changed, instead of saying Katherine, Damon called her Eleanor, and she was sure he whispered I love you afterwards. Knowing riding a horse and having possible hallucinations was dangerous, she consciously clung on tight to Rosie, hoping she wouldn't fall, or worse encounter Katherine.

When Elena next opened her eyes, in the distance she could see lanterns shining and voices in the night, confirming the roundup was in full swing. Elena was tempted to try and find someone to help, however when she realized what a mess she was with blood all over her, being in the middle of a vampire roundup probably wasn't the safest place to be. So she decided to wait on the fringes and hope she would spot Damon and Stefan and be able to get to them in time.

"We have to get to the church. They're waiting." Damon heard one of the men cried out.

"Circle around that way." Stefan whispered to Damon as he pointed out where he wanted his brother to go. "I'll distract them. Go." he told him as Damon set off in the direction Stefan had suggested. "Over here!" Stefan called out to the men. "There's another one! Quick! Help me!"

"Arm yourselves." Jonathan Gilbert cried out.

Damon watched as the men followed Stefan while he had found the carriage holding the vampires. Fortunately only one man was standing guard over it's cargo, making it easy to get rid of him. Damon hits the man on the head knocking him out, just as Stefan returns from his divergence tactics. Damon grabbed the keys out of the man's pocket and unlocked the carriage.

"We don't have long." Stefan warned Damon.

"Katherine. Katherine." Damon called softly as he and Stefan lifted her out of the carriage. They began to untie her and took off the muzzle which covered her mouth.

"We're going to get you out of here." Stefan promised. "Damon, you're not fast enough, let me." he said pushing Damon to the floor and taking over the task of untying Katherine. "You weren't the one faithful to her." he growled. "I was." he added as the sound of a gunshot rang through the air, hitting Stefan squarely in the chest.

Damon rushed over to him. "No! No. Stefan." Damon cried as he saw his brother was already dead.

"Come on. Let's go." Damon overheard a man in the distance say to another.

"Urgh!" Damon growled with anger as he grabbed a gun and stood up, ready to shoot, but he wasn't quick enough. Damon heard the sound of the gunshot before feeling the agonizing pain in his chest, he fell to the floor, gasping for breath, knowing he was going to die.

Elena heard gunshots in the distance rousing her from her haze. She could see lights nearby, slowly moving away, so she followed them. Elena had a horrible feeling those gunshots he heard may have been the ones to kill Damon and Stefan. Frantic, Elena pushed Rosie to canter, hoping she wasn't too late. Soon she saw two bodies lying in the road, her heart fell. She was too late. Damon was going to be a vampire and Elena would be stuck in 1864. Elena thanked her lucky stars Damon wouldn't want to open the tomb, as Klaus would come looking for them.

As she drew up next to the bodies, she dismounted Rosie and knelt down on the ground over Damon's body. At first she thought she saw a flicker of life in his eyes, but when she tried to find a pulse there was nothing, and what she thought she saw had now gone. And even though she knew he would come back, he would never be the same. Those blue eyes would continue to see the world, but there would forever be a darkness attached to them, one he never deserved. His human life had ended, and it was all to help her. Tears welled up in Elena's eyes as she pressed her head against his chest and sobbed uncontrollably. In the space of only a few short hours, she'd lost Tom, Lizzie, the baby and Damon's humanity, it was almost too much to bear. If it weren't for the fact she knew Damon was coming back, she would have ended it then, but she knew she had to try and escape Katherine, to make sure Damon's death hadn't been pointless.

Elena lifted her head and stroked Damon's cheek, when she noticed a smell. It was familiar, yet she couldn't place it. At first she tried to dismiss it, but the scent was calling to her, as if trying to tell her something. Elena looked around her trying to locate it's source until she found the source. It was the blood which was soaking through Damon's shirt. Elena quickly unbuttoned it to see the wound lying underneath, morbidly fascinated by the smell. The open shirt revealed Damon's bare chest, but that was not what had Elena so absorbed. It was the gunshot wound which was calling out to her. Or more precisely the blood surrounding it.

Without a thought she swiped her hand along Damon's chest, gathering up the blood on her fingers. She stared at them for a moment, as a strange need to suck her fingers clean washed over her. Elena placed her fingers in her mouth and tasted them. The disgusting coppery flavor of blood filled her mouth, yet there was something more, an undertone which was delicious.

Immediately her eyesight improved, as did her hearing and sense of smell. Then the realization of her strange dreams hit her. They weren't hallucinations, she'd been in transition, and Damon had compelled her to forget their first meeting. The baby died because so had she. It suddenly occurred to her, when she died, the vampire blood would no longer technically have been flowing through her veins, triggering the memory spell. The moment she went off Wickery Bridge, Damon had not only forgotten her, but had believed he was in love with Katherine. He hadn't died for the love of Elena, he'd still died because he believed he loved Katherine. And until he saw Elena again, he wouldn't know who she was.

Elena knew she had to escape, Damon would be at the quarry the next day. She would find him there, but for tonight, she just had to find a place to stay. Suddenly she heard a noise behind her.

"Another one over here!" she heard the unmistakable voice of Giuseppe Salvatore.

A powerful rage took over Elena. She was angry at him as he was the one who had killed Damon. Elena lifted her head and looked up, as she felt her fangs elongate for the first time. It hurt, but in a sense it was pain she needed, that and to kill Damon's father. She roared with anger as she heard another gunshot. Elena felt a sharp pain in her head and then suddenly everything went dark.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Word had already spread about the carriage crash at Wickery Bridge, and speculation among the men rounding up the vampires was Eleanor Pierce had now become a vampire herself, even if she hadn't been before, and they were now searching for her. While everyone was out searching for vampires, Emily quietly slipped into the Salvatore Mansion, knowing she needed to be unnoticed as she would also be a target as a conspirator and potentially a witch.

Emily climbed the stairs and first headed towards Katherine's bedroom. Once inside she grabbed Katherine's hairbrush, the amber necklace she had given her earlier that day and a pair of earrings the vampire frequently favored. After she had gotten everything she needed, Emily made her way to Elena's room and also took her hairbrush along with a silver and emerald hair clip she often wore. One of the gifts which Damon had bought for her. Once finished, Emily placed all of the items into a small bag and discreetly slipped out of the house.

Once outside, Emily ran to the stables, which was empty as all of the men were helping with the vampire roundup. Fortunately she managed to find one of the carts which had been transporting the vampires to the church, still with the its horse. Emily climbed on top and began to drive it out of the yard and to a place where she knew nobody would come looking for her or vampires.

Pearl's apothecary was closed up with nobody likely to visit in the next few hours as it wasn't due to open for two days and Pearl was said to be away on business. Emily did a small unlocking spell and broke in. She wanted somewhere quiet where she wouldn't be disturbed as she needed to practice magic so she could find out where both Katherine and Elena were.

Although Emily had been loyal to Katherine, she was not concerned with the vampire's continued survival. Katherine had protected her family, and in return for Emily had served her, having to do things she'd rather forget. It was because of this knowledge of Katherine's behavior, Emily knew she would also be targeted by the founding families. There was nothing she could do about helping herself as she wasn't an innocent victim. Elena on the other hand had been tricked into the situation she was in, and there was no way she was going to let the poor girl die if she could help it. Especially as she suspected Elena's downfall may have been linked to the advice she had given her. But addressing that issue would be for another time, and right now she had to focus on making sure Elena was safe.

The first thing Emily did once she'd gotten everything together was to cast a locator shadow locator spell for Elena. To do that, she first cut her hand to draw blood and placed it onto the comb, while holding onto the hairbrush with the other hand.

"Phasmatos Tribum Nas Ex Veras" Emily chanted the spell as a vision of Elena's location slowly came to her.

Elena woke in the darkness. She heard noises of people shouting all around her. Allowing her eyes to adjust, her new vampire sight, she could make out the familiar faces of people she'd met in the future but under very different circumstances. Back then, to her, they had been the bad guys, but in truth, they'd had their lives stolen from them by Katherine. And although their desire for revenge had overwhelmed them, after a hundred and forty five years stuck in a tomb, she understood they had been just as much the victims of Katherine's machinations as she had. She just hoped they didn't know how much of a part Katherine had played towards their downfall, because if they did, Elena would be dead before the church burned to the ground. She also hoped Katherine was either dead, or not in the church, because if her doppelgänger found her, Elena knew she would be dead.

As her new vampire senses continued to adjust to her surroundings, a new smell hit her nose. She immediately recognized the stench of wood burning. The church was already on fire and she had no idea how to get into the tomb.

The next thing Emily had to do was to find out whether Katherine had escaped or whether she was inside the church. Katherine already knew where to find the entrance to tomb should she get locked in, but if she were free, Emily and her family would be at risk. Katherine would want all loose ends tying up, and that was all Emily was, a loose ends. If Katherine survived, Emily would have to find a way of either disappearing herself or to make Katherine disappear. Whichever way, first she needed to know if the vampire were still alive.

Emily drew blood and clasped a hold of Katherine's earrings to perform the shadow locator spell, which was the same as the one she'd just performed on Elena. Due to her personal closeness to Katherine, this vision was stronger, lasted longer, and told her even more than she asked for.

Emily found herself stood in the woods watching Katherine, who in turn was staring a the dead bodies of the Salvatore brothers. She heard a noise in the background, prompting both Emily and Katherine turn around to see the approaching George Lockwood.

"George." Katherine nodded.

"Your carriage is just waiting." George told her.

"Was my sister caught up in the church fire?" Katherine asked.

"When I got to her she was unconscious." George told her. "A wooden bullet to the head. I couldn't tell her how to escape and I was surrounded by other people." he said. "I'm sorry, I couldn't help her." he apologized.

"It is of no matter." Katherine shrugged. "All I need to know is that the records will show twenty four vampires and one human died in the fire?" she asked.

"Your sister was also a vampire, and will have been recorded as such. I saw her face for myself." George told her.

"Well you need to change the records George. She must be known to be human." Katherine demanded. "The records must reflect both of our deaths in the accurate manner, otherwise my plan will not work." she said. "Can you do that for me?" she asked.

"Of course." George nodded. "Is there anything else?" he asked.

"All done, George. Thank you." Katherine smiled.

"Now onto your part of the deal." George insisted as Katherine removed a smooth oval shaped stone from her buxom.

"If anyone learns of my escape, I will find you and I will kill you." Katherine warned him. "Don't think that I won't." she said as she handed him the moonstone.

"We shall take each other's secrets to the grave." George assured her. "Now, you must hurry." he insisted as he headed towards the cart.

Emily watched as Katherine hesitated for a moment, before running towards Stefan's body, completely ignoring Damon. She knelt down beside him and tenderly stroking his face.

"I love you, Stefan. We will be together again, I promise." Katherine whispered as she kissed him, before getting up and running towards her carriage.

Emily was once again back in the apothecary. The locator spell she'd performed on Katherine had not only given her the vampire's whereabouts, but it had also given her the location of the bodies of Damon and Stefan Salvatore. Sadly it also sealed Elena's fate in the tomb. If she'd have remained human, Emily would have been able to have gotten her out that night, but she was now a vampire. And although Emily had told Katherine she would only be in the tomb until the next full moon, it had been a lie. The tomb could not release a vampire until the comet next passed over in one hundred and forty five years. Elena was now trapped and there was only one person who could free her, Damon. But that was only if he remembered her as the memory spell would have been triggered by Elena's death and Damon would have no memory of her. Emily was going to have to play this very clever if the girl were to ever get out of the tomb.

Emily reached under the apothecary counter and found a piece of paper and a pencil. She wrote out a letter to Elena, giving instructions on whereabouts in the church to find the entrance to the tomb and that someone would eventually come for her. Emily took a piece of hair from Elena's hairbrush and placed it in the middle of the sheet of paper. She folded the letter and placed it in her hand, which she held over the flame of a burning candle and began to concentrate hard on Elena. After a moment, the piece of paper set on fire in her hand and disappeared into thin air, off to find the recipient of the message.

After she had finished with her spells, Emily left the apothecary and took the cart to the clearing in the woods she'd seen in Katherine's vision, which was now dark and empty, except for the two bodies of the Salvatore brothers lying on the ground. As Emily disembarked she heard a sudden intake of breath and Damon woke.

"Where am I?" he asked, confused.

"You are in transition." Emily told him sadly.

Damon frowned. "Did they take her?" he asked. "Everything is a little hazy right now."

"You need to feed." Emily said. "But yes they took her. I have already made provisions should the occasion arise to keep her safe." she told him.

"What does that mean?" Damon cried as he stood up. "I need to go find her."

"Wait!" Emily stopped him. "If you go there now, they will throw you in there too, and neither of you will come out alive. If you really want to save her, first help me with Stefan. And then I will tell you all you need to know, and what you need to do." she said holding out her hand which contained an ornate ring with a blue lapis lazuli stone underneath the letter D carved in silver. "Katherine had this made for you." she said. "And whatever happens, Stefan cannot know the truth. Not yet." she added.

Damon slipped the daylight ring on his finger before doing as Emily requested by picking Stefan up and placing him in the carriage. He locked the door and joined Emily as she drove them out of the woods and up to the quarry via Wickery Bridge.

The smoke had started filling the small church, as Elena heard screams of fear from the other vampires. She couldn't understand why nobody was heading towards the tomb, had Emily not told them where it was? Had Elena's story about the future changed Emily's plans for the tomb?

As Elena pushed herself up against a wall, she heard a crunch underneath her. She lifted what was left of her dress and saw a folded up piece of paper, which she was certain hadn't been there a few moments ago. Curious as to whether it was magic or not, Elena opened the long letter and began to read.

Dear Elena

I know you are in the church and that you ahve transitioned into a vampire. I cannot rescue you from the fire, but I still created the magical tomb underneath the church. Crawl up to the pulpit. Behind it is a trap door. Climb down it and stay there. I will send someone to rescue you as soon as the spell can be broken. But for now you will have to be patient. You need not worry about the other vampires, only those with daylight rings can enter the tomb. Other than yourself, the only others in the church to have them are Henry and Bethanne. Both of them will know you are not Katherine and shouldn't harm you should they follow you to the tomb.

There was more to the letter, however the heat of the fire and the haze of smoke was becoming too pressing and she could always read the rest once she'd gotten out of the burning church and down to the somewhat relative safety of the tomb. Elena folded up the note and crawled over to the pulpit and found the trap door, just as Emily's letter had described. Once there she grabbed a handful of unlit candles, as she knew she was going to be there for a very long time and threw them into the tomb. She picked up on which was lit and looked around, making sure nobody had seen her, before climbing down into the cold, dank room.

She wandered over to an area which contained a stone slab, surrounded by iron doors, which she decided could double up as a bed or a seat. But for now she just sat down and opened the note, placing it next to the candle to allow her to read the next part of the note.

I told Katherine I would be able to open the tomb before the next comet. And if you hadn't have transitioned so quickly, I would have been able to rescue you as the spell is only applicable to vampires. But I lied to Katherine, and you are also a vampire, bound by the same spell. I will try to break it with whatever little time I have left before the founders take me and kill me.

I will also find out why the witches sent you down this path as it doesn't make any sense to me.

It is my fault you were trapped in the tomb, of which I will be eternally sorry. But I will find a way to get you out of the tomb, however I cannot promise when that will happen.

I am now going to search for Damon and Stefan as I hear they were shot, just as you predicted.

Please forgive me.

Yours Faithfully

Emily Bennett

Once she finished, tears began to pour from her eyes. "I forgive you Emily." she said quietly, folding the letter back up and clutching it close to her chest.

Elena listened carefully as she heard the screams above her, vampires dying all because Katherine Pierce wanted to be free of Klaus. At least if Elena were to be released into the future, she would never have to worry about him. Being a vampire now rendered her completely useless to him as he wouldn't be able to sire more hybrids.

Eventually the screams gradually quietened until all that remained was deathly silence. Elena looked at the candle burning and took stock of the few she'd managed to throw into the tomb. There were enough to last about three or four days, and Elena knew she was going to be stuck there for a lot longer than that. Fear took over as it soon dawned upon her she would be potentially sitting in the dark silent tomb, writhing in agony for the next hundred and forty five years. All she could do was hope she would keep her sanity until the day came when she could be rescued.

Elena held on tight to the letter Emily had written, and over the next three days she read it and re-read it, over and over, knowing this was the last communication she would have with the outside world for a very long time. Eventually the flame of the last candle died, and Elena was all alone in the silent darkness, and all she could now do was wait.

Damon descended the steps to the tomb to meet the witches and Stefan. Elena had met Damon at the Salvatore Boarding house and instead had come with him as she'd convinced him the witches were prepared to do the spell to open the tomb. Damon had been dubious as to whether the Bennett witches would help as Emily had promised they would. Which far as Damon was concerned, was the least they could do as it was the fault of the Bennett witches she being stuck in the tomb in the first place. Before he left, he made sure he was stocked up with everything needed to release her. In his arms he held the grimoire and a small package he was going to need when they got out of the tomb. He'd also brought a number of bloodbags with him, just to make sure she was strong enough to leave the tomb.

He whistled to get group's the attention. Which was clearly successful as they all turned to look at him.

"Brother. Witches." Damon grinned as he walked straight past them with the grimoire, with Elena trudging along behind him. Once she reached the bottom she walked over to Stefan.

"Everything okay?" Stefan asked as Elena nodded.

"I just want to get this over with. Are we ready?" Elena turned to Bonnie.

"I guess so" Bonnie replied, turning to watch Sheila at work as her Grams drew a pentagram on the ground and strategically placed four unlit torches around the edge in a circle, located outside of the sealed entrance to the tomb itself. Bonnie was stood next to her Grams while Stefan, Damon, and Elena watched on from the entrance.

"Air. Earth. Fire." Sheila called out as she lit each of the torches.

"Water." Bonnie added, holding up a plastic bottle containing tap water. Sheila took it from her and sprinkled it on the floor.

"That's it? Just water from the tap?" Elena looked on in amazement.

"As opposed to what?" Sheila asked innocently.

"I just figured maybe it would have to be blessed or mystical or something." Elena shrugged as Sheila simply smirked as Elena's ignorance.

Meanwhile Damon pulled out a bloodbag, catching Stefan's eye.

"What's that?" Stefan asked.

"It's for her. Gotta have something to get her going." Damon frowned at him, as if he were asking the most stupid question ever. "That is unless your you can find someone up there who's offering a vein to tap." Damon said looking up to the entrance, before glancing back at Elena, who wore an expression of distaste on her face. Stefan rolled his eyes and sighed at Damon's tactless comment. "Admit it, you can't wait to get rid of me." Damon whispered into Stefan's ear.

"I can't wait to get rid of you." Stefan chuckled.

"Hmm." Damon simply nodded knowingly, as Bonnie looked up and over towards Damon.

"We're ready." she told him.

"I'm not." Damon smirked as he looked to the top of the steps. "Oh Little Gilbert." he called out in a sing-song voice as Jeremy's face peered down the stairs. "I need your assistance." he said as Elena's younger brother climbed down the steps and stood next to Damon.

"Jeremy. NO!" Elena cried out.

"Damon, what are you doing with Jeremy?" Stefan asked, as Damon gave him a maniacal smile. "Look whatever you want, just don't hurt him."

"Relax." Damon smiled. "Nobody is going to hurt him. Unless I'm stuck in the tomb of course. And then he stays with me." he smirked. "Then I'll just have to keep him as a snack until the we are all out of the tomb."

Why?" Elena pleaded.

"Because I don't trust Bennett witches." Damon frowned. "You see, they would have lifted the spell to let me in, but getting back out, well, that would be an entirely different matter." he said. "You'd just seal me in."

"Don't take him in. I'll bring the walls down." Sheila threatened.

"You'll bring the walls down if I don't. You think I trust you?" Damon asked.

"As much as I trust you." Sheila replied.

"You see I don't get this." Damon shook his head. "We're stood here, because your ancestor, Emily Bennett screwed up. But you knew that didn't ya." he asked as Sheila looked slightly sheepish. "And you wouldn't even be alive if I hadn't promised to protect her family." he added. "You owe me." he added.

"Only for your own gains." Sheila spat. "Therefore I owe you nothing."

"Tit for tat." Damon shrugged. "Look, I just to get want her back, that's all, surely you can understand that. And if you want us out of your hair afterwards, then fine, we'll leave. Although I suspect you might change your minds about that. Huh Sheila, what do you think?" Damon raised an eyebrow as she scowled at him. "Heh." Damon chuckled.

"What are you talking about?" Stefan asked.

"Nothing." Damon shook his head. "Witches, please continue." he told them as he handed them the grimoire. "Don't forget to use your necklace." he reminded Bonnie. "Don't want either of you two to overdo it. You know how deadly doing too much magic can be." he winked.

Sheila glared at him before turning to open the book and show the spell to Bonnie. They closed their eyes and interlocked their hands.

"Phasmatos Salves Nas Ex Malon, Terra Mora Vantis Quo Incandis, Et Vasa Quo Ero Signos." Bonnie and Sheila chanted together, over and over again.

"What are they saying?" Damon frowned.

"Sounds Latin." Stefan offered.

Elena shook her head. "I don't think it's Latin." she said.

A few seconds after of the witches began reciting the spell, the torches started to flare up dramatically.

Elena grabbed Stefan's arm in fear. "What's happening?" she whispered as the door to the tomb slowly creaked open. As it did Sheila and Bonnie stopped their chanting and look up at the entrance.

"It worked!" Bonnie cried.

"Of course it worked." Sheila rolled her eyes and smiled.

Damon looks from Bonnie and Sheila to Elena and threw a leather bound package on the floor.

"I think you'll find this of some interest when we get out." Damon said directly to Bonnie. "And if you do decide to leave young Jeremy here in the dark tomb with me, I think you'll then find this book might make you think twice." he smirked before turning to Jeremy. "You ready?" Damon asked.

"No!" Stefan yelled.

"No?" Elena cried. "Damon don't. Take me instead. Just not Jeremy."

"I'm afraid only Jeremy will work." Damon sighed. "Let's just say it increases the motivation stakes. And yes I know a human can get out." he added before grabbing Jeremy on the shoulders and turning him to face him. "You cannot leave the tomb until I do." he compelled Elena's little brother.

"I can't leave the tomb until you do." Jeremy said blankly.

Elena frowned. "But..." she started.

"Looking for this?" Damon smirked, shaking his head as he held a black leather bracelet between his fingers, before putting it back in his pocket. Elena folded her arms and huffed with anger. Damon paused for a moment and walked over to her and placed an arm on her shoulder. "Look I'm sorry it had to come to this." he said sadly. "But I want the girl I love back, and everything comes at a price. But I promise you I won't hurt Jeremy, and I won't let her hurt him either." he assured her.

"You promise?" Elena asked.

"I promise." Damon nodded. "You know why I have to do this don't you?" he asked softly .

"Yeah, yeah. I get it, leverage and all." Elena sighed.

"Something like that." Damon smiled. "I suspect one day very soon you might thank me for this."

Elena snorted. "Unlikely." she whispered.

"We'll see." Damon smiled as he walked away and grabbed a torch from the circle.

"May I?" Damon asked as Elena nodded at Sheila and Bonnie, reassuringly. She grabbed hold of Jeremy and gave him a big hug, and handed him a small torch, before he followed Damon into the tomb.

Bonnie watched as Damon and Jeremy disappeared into the tomb before turning to her Grams. "Were you just going to let him rot in there?" she asked.

"Damon Salvatore no friend to the Bennett witches." Sheila said. "He came into town just a few weeks ago and demanded we do a spell for him, unleashing a potentially unstable vampire on this town." she said.

"What do you mean unstable?" Elena asked.

"Can you imagine dark silent solitude for a hundred and forty five years?" Sheila asked. "Not to mention the excruciating pain desiccation. Now you see? It wouldn't be nice would it? Now if your brother blames us Bennett witches for what happened to his girl, do you think she's gonna feel any different? I protect my own and whether her being in that tomb was the fault of a Bennett witch or not, I will not put my family at risk by releasing her." she growled.

"And what about Jeremy?" Elena asked, wide eyed.

"We'll get your brother out just fine." Sheila promised before turning to Stefan. "But not yours." she smirked.

Elena coughed. "Damon trusted you, he trusted me." she begged, her voice sounding breathless. "Why don't we wait until he revives her and see if she can be trusted. She might promise to leave with him." she suggested, as she screwed up her eyes.

"Katherine Pierce cannot be trusted." Stefan shook his head as he glanced at Elena who was swaying. "Elena?" he cried in panic as rushed over to catch her before she fell.

"I don't feel so good." Elena whispered before passing out in Stefan's arms.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Damon ran through the tunnel of the tomb with Jeremy in tow, searching as he went along. He didn't know how big the tomb was, but he did know he didn't have long to search. Eventually he came across two iron gates. He lowered the torch which illuminated what looked like an alter with remnants of wax from burnt out candles strewn around it. Just behind, he saw a figure which looked like a corpse. However Damon knew she was alive, just gray and thin from desiccation.

"Is that her?" Jeremy frowned.

"It most certainly is." Damon grinned.

"She doesn't look too hot." Jeremy observed as Damon pulled out a bloodbag from his pocket.

"She will do soon." Damon smiled. "Although I doubt you'll agree with me." he chuckled.

"Whatever man." Jeremy shrugged as he watched Damon put the tube from the bloodbag to the lips of the corpse like woman.

Slowly she began to sip. First of all a small light flickered in her eyes and the grayish color disappeared, replace by more normal skin tones, although Jeremy couldn't make out exactly what they were in the poor torch light. Her face began to fill out slightly, which was when the younger Gilbert sibling got a shock. He didn't need lighting to show him the woman's coloring, he already knew because she looked identical to his sister.

Elena finished the bloodbag which Damon took away from her lips so he could give her another, but she pushed it away and looked up at her brother.

"Jeremy." she whispered, her voice raspy from lack of use.

"Elena?" Jeremy frowned in shock as she managed to nod slightly.

"I've missed you so much." she smiled.

"Um." Jeremy frowned not knowing what to say.

"Did mom and dad still die?" she asked.

"Yes." Jeremy looked downcast.

"I figured the first face you'd want to see after a hundred and forty five years of hell, would be the one person you love the most." Damon said softly as he stroked her hand. "It'll help you with your humanity." he whispered, before looking up at Jeremy. "You wanna come a little closer and say hi?" he asked as Jeremy inched closer. "Don't worry, I'm here to make sure Jeremy doesn't get hurt." he added as Jeremy knelt down next to Elena.

"How...how can you be in here and out there at the same time?" Jeremy asked in shock as Elena's eyes flew to Damon and back to Jeremy.

"She can't." Damon replied as Elena's eyelids began to droop.

"Damon..." she whispered as her head lolled forwards.

Damon caught her as she fell. "Elena." he whispered, lifting her chin, but she was out cold.

"Elena!" Bonnie's voice screamed from outside, although only Damon could hear it.

"We need to get her out of here." Damon told Jeremy, as he scooped Elena up in his arms and vamp-sped to the opening of the tomb, while Jeremy following behind at human running pace.

When Damon reached the entrance of the tomb he saw everyone in a group huddled around a collapsed Elena. Sheila looked up at Damon with disgust.

"This is a magical sleep." she said. "Do you know what happened? Because judging by the woman who is also asleep in your arms, I think you do Mr Salvatore." she looked at Damon suspiciously.

"It's all in there." Damon nodded to the package on the floor. "It's Elena's journal. Emily never told me this would happen, but she wrote down some instructions and an explanation, which she gave me to hide until the time came it would be needed. So I dug Elena's journal back up and placed it inside. I never read it so I didn't know this would happen." he said sadly.

"That's Elena?" Stefan frowned.

"Yes." Damon told him. "And if either of them are to survive, I think we will need to get her out of here. So witches please, do your stuff and make sure you channel that amulet otherwise the magic will overwhelm you." he warned.

"Don't you warn me what to do Mr Salvatore." Sheila frowned.

"If you don't I know you will die Sheila. Elena told me what happened." he said.

"What do you mean she told you?" Stefan asked.

"We don't have time for this." Damon cried out angrily.

"Will someone save my sister, whichever one she is." Jeremy called out from behind Damon.

"How can you be sure she's Elena?" Bonnie asked.

"She knew me." Jeremy told her. "And she asked whether mom and dad still died. If she's been locked in there for a hundred and forty five years, how would she know that?" he asked.

"Fine." Sheila huffed. "Bonnie we need to do the spell again, but this time we need to channel the power of the amulet." she said as Bonnie took her necklace off.

"Here Grams." she said handing the necklace over. Sheila placed it in the palm of her hand before clasping hold of Bonnie's hands.

"You ready?" Sheila asked as Bonnie nodded.

"Phasmatos Salves Nas Ex Malon, Terra Mora Vantis Quo Incandis, Et Vasa Quo Ero Signos." Bonnie and Sheila chanted as the flames on the torches burned high.

Damon lifted his foot through the entrance, which went through. He quickly stepped out followed by Jeremy. As soon as they were clear, Bonnie and Sheila stopped the spell, and the stone slab which had been blocking the entrance closed up once more.

"We need to get them somewhere safe." she said. "We can take them to mine."

"Are you prepared to invite me in?" Damon asked. "Because if not, I'm not letting her go in there with you. We'll do it at the boarding house." he said. "Just pick up your magical herbs and cookbooks along the way." Damon turned to Bonnie. "You are in charge of that." he told her nodding at the leather bound package.

"Fine, let's get out of here before somebody sees us." Stefan said as he lifted up the other Elena and carried her bridal style up the steps.

Twenty minutes later the seven of them pulled up outside the boarding house and got out of the cars. The sleeping Elena's were taken to the parlor and placed on the two couches which faced each other in front of the great fireplace.

"I've been looking at this book you gave me in the car." Bonnie said to Damon. "This is Elena's journal. Well sort of." she said holding up Elena's buried diary in her hand.

"Hey, that's my sisters diary." Jeremy called out looking at Damon. "What were you doing with that?" he asked.

"Jeremy, look." Bonnie walked over to him with the book in her hand. "Look how old it is." she said, handing it to him.

Jeremy opened the journal and began to browse through the early pages. "It's definitely Elena's, that's her writing. What did you do to my sister?" he demanded looking at Damon once more.

"Look at the last few entries, especially the dates." Damon told him as Jeremy flipped the pages.

"This is dated September 1864." he said looking up at Damon. "What the hell?" he asked.

"She was sent back to you through a time travel spell wasn't she?" Sheila asked flatly.

"No." Damon replied. "She was meant to be sent somewhere safe. But you..." he pointed at Bonnie. "You sent her back to 1864. you fucked up the spell by using the wrong key. Apparently you used silver instead of brass... or something like that." he frowned.

"I never sent Elena back in time." Bonnie frowned.

"No but you will, or now won't as it seems." Damon sighed. "Look, this is getting us nowhere. There's a note in the back of the journal from Emily, everything you need to do is written down there." he told her. Emily gave me a list of dark objects I might need, which I have managed to obtain over the years through various means." he grinned mischievously.

"I thought you were bringing back Katherine." Stefan said. "Why did you lie?" he asked.

"I doubt you'd have been happy if I'd have mentioned I was bringing back Elena who happened to be stuck in the tomb." Damon scoffed.

"And Katherine?" Stefan asked.

"Um, she's dead." Damon shrugged innocently. "I managed to track her down and for the small price of a few dark objects made by Kol Mikaelson, I handed her over to his big brother Klaus. Kol didn't mind as Klaus had him daggered in a box by then." Damon turned to Sheila. "An esteemed friend of mine, she's the Professor of Anthropology at Duke, has been the caretaker of the objects for the last four years, although her ex husband, yours history teacher." he said looking at Stefan, Bonnie and Jeremy. "Wasn't too happy with me leaving them with her. And now they're all yours." he shrugged.

"Mr Saltzman?" Bonnie asked as Damon nodded.

"You can keep them after we're finished Sheila. I'm sure they'd be great artifacts to study at your college classes. My gift to furthering the cause of education." he grinned.

Damon vamp-sped to his room and returned moments later with a wooden crate. He opened it to reveal a device. In the center was a pewter bowl with loops on either side. Attached to each of the loops was a length of chain. At the end of each chain was a set of shackles and chains.

"Are we supposed to attach them to that?" Bonnie asked, handing over the instructions Emily left to Sheila.

"I think we are child." Sheila smiled as she opened the paper and began to read its contents.

"Why can't I remember her?" Stefan asked. "You were in love with Katherine." he frowned.

"Emily placed a spell on you so you wouldn't remember anything about Elena." Damon told him. "I had one too, but because I spent so much time with her, and well..." he tailed off looking down.

Stefan frowned. "What?" he asked.

Damon shook his head. "Nothing." he smiled grimly. "Let's just say Katherine didn't want you spending too much time with Elena so she was tasked to be entertained by me." he shrugged. "To make sure the future wasn't tampered with, memory spells were placed on us. Yours permanent, mine came with conditions. If the I did forget her, then as long as I saw her again, the memories of her would come back." he said. "She was the last thing I saw just after father shot us." he smiled. "I remembered her just before I died."

"Why were the memory spells there?" Stefan asked.

"To stop you meddling in the future." Sheila piped up. "I'm guessing from some of the things you said earlier, you already have." she raised an eyebrow at Damon.

"Pff!" Damon spat. "I needed you alive to do this spell. I doubt Sabrina here has the skills for something as complex as what I think Emily has in mind."

"You're right." Sheila nodded. "She can't do a spell this powerful. The magic is too dark for one so young. I'm going to need something more than this." she said.

"I'm glad you mentioned that." Damon grinned as he felt around in the box and pulled out a small carved starling. "This belonged to the original witch, the one who's fault we're in this mess right now." he told her. "Apparently you can channel her power from it."

"Fine." Sheila sighed. "The Original witch was extremely powerful. I don't like it, but if we do nothing, neither of them will wake up."

"Which one of them will wake up?" Jeremy asked.

"I don't know." Sheila shrugged. "But whichever one it is, she will still be your sister." she smiled.

"What will happen to the other body?" Bonnie asked.

"It'll disappear." Sheila said sadly. "But all memories will remain in the body which stays. I'm merging the souls together. The strongest will be the one which survives."

"Won't that be the vampire body?" Stefan asked looking worried.

"It isn't about the strongest body." Sheila corrected him. "It is about the strongest soul." she explained. "The same girl at two different points in her life with different reasons to live. It is all about which one wants it the most. That is the body which will survive. That body will inherit the memories of the other, but the memories will not seem like their own, just a third person watching in on events." she said. "Now will you help me with these?" she asked looking at Stefan and Damon, pointing to the bowl and chains, I'm not strong enough to lift these things." she said.

Damon placed the bowl on the coffee table. He and Stefan pushed the couches closer together before fastening the shackles around the girls wrists and ankles.

"Anything else?" Damon asked.

Sheila looked down the spell. "I need a small lock of their hair and some of their blood." she told them, before proceeding to list the ingredients for the spell.

Damon walked over to the wet bar and collected two glasses and offered one to Stefan. "Do you think you can do it?" he asked as Stefan shook his head. Damon vamp-sped to the kitchen to collect a small knife, a pair of scissors and the rest of the items Sheila had requested. "I'll do the blood, you do the hair." he suggested.

"Fine." Stefan agreed as he cut a small amount of hair from each girl and handed it to Sheila, who placed it into the bowl.

"I also need an essential object from each girl." Sheila demanded. "A talisman, trinket, a piece of jewelry would work best.

Damon made a small slice on the palm of each girls hand, allowing blood to drip into to each glass. When there was enough, he handed the glasses to Sheila, who added the blood to the bowl. Stefan removed the vervain necklace he'd given to the Elena who hadn't been stuck in the tomb while Damon removed the daylight ring of Elena from the past. These items were then handed over to Sheila, which she added to the bowl. She placed candles around the pewter dish and shook a large circle of salt on the floor wich surrounded herself, the coffee tables and the couches where the girls lay sleeping. Once done she stood inside the salt boundary and clutched hold of the starling.

"I hope she's going to clean that up, that's my favorite Persian rug." Damon complained to Stefan, which drew a glare from Sheila. "Fine, I'll do it later." he sighed as she turned back to the spell.

"Phasmatos unum haec duo animarum ut vivet apud unus corporis." Sheila chanted over and over.

Flames shot up from the bowl as everyone looked on expectantly. Then the flames began to change color until they burned almost white. Suddenly the flames stopped and the chain links broke away first from the bowl, then from the Elena's. Both Elena's sat up blinking for a moment as Sheila picked up the bowl and headed over to the Elena of 2009.

"You need to take a sip child." Sheila smiled as Elena took the bowl from her hands and drank some of its contents before handing it back to Sheila, who then walked over to the Elena from 1864. "You too." she said. "You need to drink this too." The other Elena took the bowl to her lips and drank down the rest of its contents.

"Is that it?" Damon asked.

"And now we wait." Sheila replied. "I suggest you say your goodbye's, just in case it is the other girl who survives. They'll only be awake for around five minutes before they fall asleep again." she told them.

"I'll take you up to my room." Stefan said to the modern day Elena as they left the parlor with Bonnie and Jeremy in tow.

"Do you want to come to my room?" Damon asked.

"I'll be fine here thanks." Elena smiled. "It's nice to be back, and if I get to lie in your bed, then I don't want it to be tainted by it being a place where I nearly died. I want it to be a place of love, for us." she smiled as she touched Damon's cheek. "Our little sanctuary." she whispered.

"Like the barn?" Damon winked as Elena nodded. Damon's eyes dropped to the dark stain on Elena's skirt. "Is that the..." he started, however Elena put her fingers to her lips.

"We can talk about these things later." she smiled.

"But if you don't survive..." Damon shook his head.

"Either way, you'll find out what happened." Elena stroked Damon's cheek. "But for now, sit with me and hold me like you used to do in the barn, while we watch the fire like any normal couple." she said, quietly.

Damon got up and lay beneath her, wrapping his arms around her midriff, while they silently waited and watched the crackling of the fire.

"I love you." Damon whispered, as he kissed Elena on her head.

"I love you too." she replied just before her body went limp in his arms.

"Elena!" Damon cried. "Elena!" he shouted as she shook her. "Please don't leave me." he tightened his arms around her as tears ran down his cheeks. "I'll take my daylight ring off as soon as the sun comes up if you don't come back to me." he cried rocking her body.

"I wouldn't be too hasty if I were you." came the voice of Sheila Bennett from out of the shadows as she emerged in person. "The magic hasn't finished yet, look." she said as she pointed at the pewter bowl.

A glow was coming from the bowl as Damon heard the sound of clinking metal. Slowly, link by link, each piece of the chain disappeared and turned into a pewter starling before diving into the bowl. Eventually the shackles did the same. Once everything was in the dish, a stream of green flames erupted from it, rising high, almost to the ceiling. But before Damon had the chance to complain about the house being burned down, the flames had disappeared.

"What's happening?" Damon cried.

"The essence of both girls went into the flames, only one can come out." she explained. "They were both represented by an important trinket. The essence of other girl who didn't survive lives on in that trinket. As long as the trinket remains on the body of the surviving girl, they will retain the memories of the other version of themselves." she said. "The moment it is placed on the one who lives, the body of the other will disappear forever, and then the surviving girl will wake." she told him as she looked down into the bowl. Do you wish to know which trinket it is first or do you want your brother to know?" she asked.

"There's only me here to say goodbye to her." Damon replied sadly. "Go give Elena her necklace." he said as Grams left the parlor and made her way to Stefan's room. Once she'd gone, Damon rested his cheek on Elena's head. "I never told you this, but I wanted our baby to be a girl." he told her. "To have chestnut hair and olive skin like yours. As long as she had your smile, I'd be happy." he whispered. "But that bitch Katherine Pierce took everything from us. I remember you telling me about Klaus, so I got my revenge. With Emily's help I tracked her down. Emily took some of her hair so we could do a locator spell and find her." he said. "When I told Klaus about you and what she did and her messing with time, he was pretty pissed. When he found her, he tortured her and killed her. I told him I was going to free you, but he knew it was Katherine's fault you were a vampire. So whatever happens, even if the human Elena wakes and not you, then he won't come after you. He'll think you're a vampire." Damon chuckled to himself. "I didn't turn Isobel, although she did ask me. But I remembered you telling me about my drinking buddy Ric. So I just told him she wanted to sleep with me and become a vampire. Ric divorced her and is now your history teacher." he whispered, wondering why things were taking so long. "And yes, I killed Tanner. But he was an ass!" Damon laughed when suddenly he heard someone coming downstairs.

Sheila entered the parlor. "It's time." she told him.

"Goodbye my sweet Elena." Damon whispered as Sheila pulled out Elena's daylight ring.

"She's not going anywhere." Sheila told him. "She obviously wanted to stay more than the younger version of herself." she smiled. "But, I suggest you give them a little time before you put that ring on her finger, let it settle in the Elena they know is gone. Give them a few minutes to grieve before you welcome her back into the world." she suggested. "You've got eternity together."

"I wish we didn't." Damon said sadly. "Do you see this mark here, on her dress?" he asked as Sheila nodded. "That was our child. We were supposed to marry, but Katherine had to spoil it all." he growled.

Sheila took a breath. "Emily wrote something for me in her grimoire. She told me what went wrong."" she said as Damon frowned.

"Emily told me she suspected the witches had led us along a false path." Damon said. "But she died before I could learn the truth." he said. "So what exactly went wrong?" he asked.

"Emily counted on the honesty of witches." Sheila told him. "She placed too much faith in their integrity." she said. "When Emily was asking questions, one of the most powerful witches of all time, was pretending to answer on behalf of all of the witches. This witch was the Original witch, Esther Mikaelson." she explained.

"Esther Mikaelson?" Damon frowned. "As in Klaus and Elijah Mikaelson." he asked

"The very same one." Sheila nodded. "Esther was hell bent on making sure Klaus never triggered his werewolf side. Esther would go to any lengths to stop it. She just had to make sure that whatever was in that book you gave Bonnie would never happen. Esther only knew what she learned from that book." she said.

"So Esther tricked Emily?" Damon asked.

"Yes." Sheila lowered her eyes. "The advice was to 'Let nature take its course.' She meant yours and Elena's love and possibilities. Elena understood she could have your child and was willing to sacrifice everything to let that happen. But Esther just needed Elena to have more of a reason to stay in 1864 than to go back to her own time when the spell was already broken. Then all Esther had to do was kill her. Whether it be by the hands of Katherine or anyone else, Elena wouldn't have survived the pregnancy, because your child could never have been allowed to live." she said sadly. "Any survivor of the Petrova line had the potential to produce another doppelganger in the future. Esther had good intentions but you, Elena and the baby were simply collateral damage."

"So you knew all of this, yet you still hate me?" Damon frowned.

"I don't hate you. You're intentions are driven by love, and when things don't go right, well you are the most dangerous vampire out there second only to a Mikaelson. I wasn't sure I could trust you." she shrugged.

"And now?" Damon asked.

"You've proved your worth, especially by her." Sheila looked at Elena. B"ut you will need to look after your brother. He's about to lose the love of his life to you. Don't be too harsh." she smiled as Damon heard footsteps.

"I'm going to get some more bloodbags." Damon told them as he went to the refrigerator in the basement. He took a beep breath as he pulled out a selection of the packages. Elena was going to need to learn how to become a vampire and how to adjust back to society. It was going to require a lot of love, compulsion and patience to get her there. He just hoped he was up to the task, because he knew he couldn't count on Stefan's help. In fact he was genuinely worried about Stefan after Sheila's warning. Stefan was going to lose Elena so Damon could get his own version. His brother was going to be angry and bitter, and he was going to need a friend to calm him down. Fortunately he knew someone who was perfectly suited to the task. Damon couldn't stand her but she was the only person who could keep his brother on the straight and narrow.

Damon got out his phone and typed in the number. After three rings a voice snapped at him.

"What do you want?" Lexi asked.

"My brother is probably going to need your help real soon." Damon told her.

"What have you done to him now to send him on a ripper binge? I thought he was happy with his girl." she asked.

"Yeah, well his girl and my girl are the same, but she was mine first. But she'd lost her memories and they're about to come flooding back." Damon told her. "That's the short version. It's more complicated than that. But I think my brother might need a friend after this has all gone down." he said.

"Fine." Lexi sighed. "I'm only about an hour away. I'll be there as soon as I can." she told him and hung up.

Damon returned to the parlor with the bloodbags in his hands as veins appeared around Elena's eyes, prompting all of the humans to step away.

"She'll be fine." Damon told everyone. "Her first impulse wasn't to rip out Jeremy's throat. And other than transitioning, she'd never fed before." he said. "Maybe she has excellent control." he smiled smugly at Stefan. "Although she might want to wear something more comfortable when she wakes." he frowned.

"Elena has clothes upstairs." Bonnie suggested. "We could take the ones she is wearing now off, and when her body disappears, her clothes wont."

"Good idea." Damon smiled.

"I'll undress her." Stefan offered. "I'll send you a text when she's ready and you can put the daylight ring on." he said sadly. "I want to stay with her when she..." his eyes fell to the floor.

"Thank you brother." Damon smiled as Stefan left the parlor.

"So is this going to be the same Elena, but just a vampire version?" Bonnie asked.

"The Elena is older." Damon explained. "She and Stefan had broken up. She's a lot more knowledgeable about life I guess." he sighed. "See that mark on her dress?" he asked as Bonnie and Jeremy nodded. "That's what is left of our baby." his momentarily closing his eyes to stop the tears. "Katherine compelled her driver to crash and she ended up dead. We were trying to save her from Katherine, but the bitch was always one step ahead." he said. "We were going to get married."

"Oh my god." Bonnie said in shock. "I can't imagine Elena wanting that, especially with you." she said. "No offense."

"None taken." Damon smiled. "Read some of the the stuff in journal. Things Elena saw from her time here, in the future and in 1864. I believe she started to fall for me at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant." he smirked.

"Wait, that's at the beginning of February." Bonnie frowned. "I've gotta read this." she grinned, flicking through the pages until she found the entry and scanned down the page, opening her eyes wide with shock.

"What does it say?" Jeremy asked eagerly.

"You're too young for these things." Bonnie slammed the book closed. "Looks like we'll have a lot of fun going through this. And there is no way she can flunk history with that kind of advantage." she said.

"I doubt they teach you about petticoats and hairstyles." Damon raised an eyebrow. "Or how to build a house." he smiled as he received a text from Stefan. "It's finally time for me to put a ring on Elena's finger." he said as he slid the daylight ring back on Elena's finger.

For a moment nothing happened, then she took in a deep breath and sat up, taking in her surroundings, before looking down at her dress and then to Damon. "Thank you." she smiled as she sat up, threw her arms around Damon and kissed him. "Thank you Miss Sheila." she said after she broke away from Damon's lips, throwing a shy smile at Bonnie's Grams.

"You're welcome child." Sheila smiled. "Just keep this one in check." she nodded at Damon with a wink. "C'mon Bonnie. I think our work here is done for the night." she said. "You too Jeremy. Tell Jenna she's staying with Bonnie and me. She needs to feed and she might feel a little overwhelmed by it all. We'll see how she is tomorrow." she said as Jeremy and Bonnie walked over to Elena and hugged her.

"Thank you." Elena said to Bonnie. "We'll talk tomorrow. Okay?" she said.

"Sure." Bonnie nodded before turning to Damon. "Why did you give me Elena's journal?" she asked.

"So that you'd believe me." Damon told her. "You were going to need proof it was Elena in the tunnel and not Katherine. By having that, I thought you'd realize I was telling the truth. Even though in the end it turned out you didn't need it, because Sheila knew everything." he said.

"I don't like it when witches get caught up in vampire business." Sheila defended herself.

"Bennett witches helped create this vampire business." Damon argued back.

"True." Sheila nodded. "That's why I did it. But don't expect any more favors from me." she told him.

"Not even one, I mean c'mon, I saved your life." he smirked.

"Damon." Elena said quietly as she tapped him on the shoulder. "I'm going to talk to Stefan, alone. He needs to know what happened." she said.

"Okay." Damon nodded. "Take all the time you need." he said. "But have a couple of bloodbags first before you go. If Stefan gets pissed, you can beat the crap out of him." he smirked, holding two out to her.

"Damon!" Elena admonished. "I'm starting to wish I had the 1864 version of you back." she rolled her eyes as she quickly drained the two bloodbags before going upstairs to talk to Stefan.

"How am I going to explain this to Aunt Jenna?" Jeremy asked.

Damon looked to Bonnie and Sheila who both nodded. "Jeremy. You went to the party but were bored so you came here with Elena to look at Stefan's collection of miniature cars. You'll forget vampires ever existed until I or Elena say you can remember." he compelled him.

Jeremy blinked for a moment. "Tell Stefan thanks for letting me look at his cars. They were cool." he grinned.

"You dropped this." Damon pulled out Jeremy's vervain bracelet from his pocket and handing it to him.

"Thanks." Jeremy said before leaning into Damon. "I wouldn't expect Stefan and Elena back any time soon. They're probably having sex right now." he whispered.

"Too much information." Damon grimaced, knowing full well Elena was actually in the process of breaking his brother's heart.

After Bonnie, Jeremy and Sheila had left, Damon poured himself a glass of bourbon and sat down on the couch. He looked at Elena's journal, his fingers itching to read it, yet at the same time angry with it.

"So it's all your fault." Damon said quietly. "If you hadn't have come back in time with her, it would have all gone down a very different path." he sighed. "I wonder what would have happened if Esther hadn't have know its contents." she shook his head. "I guess we'll never know." he sighed.



 

 

Chapter Text

Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to The Vampire Diaries, TV show or books. However I decided to have a little play around with the characters (I would definitely like to play with Damon).

Elena opened her eyes and smiled. She glanced over to her clock which read 07:45. School was out for the summer and today was a big day for Elena, as it was officially her eighteenth birthday, although this was the second time she was going to celebrate it. She showered and dressed, and despite the heat, she'd chosen to wear jeans as this was what Damon had told her she would need for the day. Once ready Elena heading downstairs for coffee only to be met by Jenna.

"Morning Elena. Happy birthday." Jenna smiled.

"Good morning Jenna." Elena walked over and kissed her aunt on the cheek.

"What have you got planned for the day?" Jenna asked innocently.

"Damon said he's got a surprise for me." Elena sighed. "I told him not to buy anything." she said.

"He loves you, he spoils you, let him." Jenna told her. "That stage of a relationship doesn't last forever, take it while you can." she said with mock cynicism.

Elena blushed. She'd yet to tell Jenna about her and Damon being vampires. With no bad guys to fight, and Klaus knowing about her existence, but it being of no consequence to him, Elena had not felt the need. However she knew Jenna would soon become suspicious about neither her nor Damon aging.

"So what are you doing today?" Elena asked.

"Ric is coming around with Damon,." Jenna told her. "We're going to the mall to look at rings." she said giddily.

After Damon told Ric about Isobel wanting him to make her turn and trying to have sex with him, he'd filed for divorce. Ric had ended up in his job as a history teacher at Mystic Falls High School after Damon killed Mr Tanner. Ric knew all about vampires as he and Damon had still managed to become best friends and drinking buddies. Ric had also just proposed to Jenna only the Saturday before. This was why Damon and Elena had decided to wait until after Elena's birthday before they broke the news of their vampirism to Jenna.

On the other hand, Elena had told John about her and Damon. He wasn't happy about the situation, and wanted to try everything he could do to stop their relationship, but eventually he came around to having Damon as a Elena's boyfriend and them both being vampires. John had also ended up engaged to Isobel after she and Ric divorced, meaning Elena had some contact with her birth mother. This was something Jenna had been told about. Elena was fairly surprised when she met the human version of Isobel, as she turned out to be very different to the vampire persona she'd known before. Isobel was not happy about Elena's relationship with Damon after she'd unsuccessfully tried to seduce him, and instead of turning her, he'd become best friends with her ex-husband. But Isobel was in no position to make demands on Elena's choices, especially when she had wanted the same thing. Elena simply put it down to jealousy on Isobel's part.

After Elena talked to Stefan the day she came out of the tomb, he'd gone to Atlanta for a time with Lexi. However as of the last few weeks he'd been coming back to visit the boarding house. Often staying over for a few nights. As Elena was technically under eighteen, she'd never spent the night at Damon's, although his bedroom was her favorite room in the house, and they spent a lot of time there, unless Stefan was around. However Elena had noticed Stefan was spending more and more time with Caroline.

As Katherine had died before Elena was born, Caroline hadn't turned into a vampire, and she'd never even dated Damon. Therefore she was still in the dark about vampires, although she knew Bonnie was really a witch. As it was becoming clear Stefan was more than mildly interested in the newly single Caroline, Damon and Elena suggested he spend more of the summer with them. Therefore he would be moving back into the boarding house on the day of Damon and Elena's joint birthday party this coming Saturday, and was already looking to going back to school in the Fall. For the party, Stefan had already asked Caroline to be his date, to which she'd agreed immediately, as she'd had a longstanding crush on Elena's ex boyfriend.

After being turned down by Vicki one too many times, Jeremy had ended up dating Bonnie. Once he found out she was a witch, it was decided to let Jeremy in on all things supernatural in Mystic Falls, therefore Damon removed the compulsion he'd placed on her brother the day she'd been released from the tomb. Mayor Richard Lockwood was still alive, as was Vicki, who was dating Tyler, and finally getting her life straight. Tyler never triggered his werewolf gene, and Elena presumed neither had Mason. This meant the moonstone was still in the hands of the Lockwood's, not that it mattered anymore as the curse could never be broken. Matt and Caroline had briefly dated, but he couldn't deal with Caroline's insecurities, and eventually they'd broken up.

Bonnie's mom and dad never got divorced. Elena didn't understand why because as far as she was concerned there was nothing had happened in her life to influence the change of heart for Abby.

Zach Salvatore was still alive, but only the caretaker of the boarding house. He, his wife Gail and daughter Sarah lived in a lodge near the house, which hadn't been around the first time Elena had lived in Mystic Falls as a human. The lodge looked to be a scaled down version of the house she and Damon were building back in 1864, and although she couldn't be sure, she suspected it was on the very spot of land they'd chosen to build their house on.

After Elena had been placed in the tomb, Damon caught up with Pearl and Annabelle. He told them to keep to their word about finding a witch who would be prepared to desiccate Mikael. This was in order to save Klaus and his siblings, just to make sure all of the vampires of their sire lines were safe as Emily had warned if an Original died, the sire line died with them. Pearl and Anna were more than happy to help as they didn't want to die. And although Katherine had told them to get out of town, they knew she'd only changed her plan because of Eleanor, or Elena as they now knew her name after Damon eventually told them. Mikael was no longer a threat, and Pearl and Anna were in Klaus's good graces.

Elena's coming from the future was something which had to be kept secret from Klaus. Had he have known, he would have kidnapped her before the tomb was opened and tried to find the moonstone. This was why it was essential Mikael never went near Elena. They couldn't have anyone with any connection to Klaus going anywhere near Mystic Falls. Over the years, Pearl and Annabelle had become trusted friends of Damon's and had acted as guardians over Elena as she grew up. Prior to Damon's return, Pearl has been an art teacher at Mystic Falls High School, and Anna had been a student there for two years, pretending to befriend Jeremy, until they had to move on due to Anna not aging. However, since then Anna and Pearl were back in touch and were both attending her and Damon's joint birthday party.

Damon had also treat the Salvatore's who carried on the family name with more dignity and respect than he had done before. He wasn't hated by his family like he was the first time Elena met him, which was why Zach was still alive. Instead, he'd protected not only the Bennett family, but the Salvatore family too. Sadly Stefan had still become a ripper, which was why Lexi was still his best friend. She and Damon, although still having a frosty relationship, got on for the sake of Stefan. Elena suspected this was due to Stefan trying to set Damon and Lexi up together, however Lexi was a little insulted when Damon turned her down. Lexi turned out to still be alive as Damon had kept such a low profile after his return to Mystic Falls, the council weren't on such high alert. Damon's only victim was Mr Tanner, and as it was a single kill, it could be passed off as a one off incident.

The one thing Elena had never thought to tell Damon was the date her parents died. She suspected, had she have done that, they would have survived, but when it was discovered she wouldn't be going back to her own time, she didn't think it was important. Sadly, this meant her parents had still died in the car crash and Stefan had still saved her. The one other tidbit she now knew of that night was she met Damon before they died, and he'd compelled her to forget. This compulsion had earned Damon a one night ban from sex, ensuring Damon would be more restrictive with his compelling of people in future.

So much change, Elena reflected and yet she herself had done little to affect it. All she'd done was get to know Damon when he was human and warn him of the monster he could become. Damon had clearly gone out of his way to prevent that, although he had done as he was told and gained a vast sexual education over the years. Elena couldn't bring herself to be jealous of the women he'd slept with as it wouldn't have been fair for him to stay celibate for a hundred and forty five years, although it turned out he did manage a monk like existence for the first forty eight years. Damon's own education became Elena's education and as they already knew they were going to be spending eternity together, his experience would come in useful for them to have as good a sex life as was possible if you were going to stay faithful to one person for potentially all of eternity.

Damon had already proposed again to Elena, although she did reiterate she wanted to go to college first as was their original agreement. They hadn't told anyone, although she knew Bonnie already suspected. They'd already gotten Elena's engagement ring, and considering it would have cost a year's salary for Ric, they were holding out on their announcement until at least Christmas. By then Jenna would know about them being vampires and that Elena had been with Damon longer than Jenna had previously known and at one point had been pregnant with his child. Of course this was all dependent on how Jenna took the news in the first place. Elena knew Jenna would want to make sure her niece didn't mess up her future.

Elena's future was one of the things she had thought about a great deal when she was in the tomb. Especially about what she would do when she got out. Elena decided she wanted to put her vampirism to good use, and help people instead of hurting them. This was why she was seriously considering following in Grayson's footsteps and becoming a doctor. And fortunately for Elena, this would be possible as she had absolutely no issue with being around human blood. She'd stayed true to not hurting anyone as the only human blood she'd ever tasted from the source was Damon's, and that was a long forgotten memory. Elena had tried the bunny diet, but she found the blood repulsive, therefore she stuck to blood bags. Luckily Damon had never pressed the matter even though he occasionally indulged in snatch, eat, erase on special occasions, like his birthday the previous weekend. As long as he didn't kill anyone or go on murderous rampages, she didn't mind him feeding from the odd human.

As Elena was now officially eighteen, she was going to finally get to spend the night at Damon's place. To her this was the best gift anyone could give her, being able to wake up next to the man she loved, who she was going to spend all of eternity with, for the first time. While getting ready she'd been packing her things very carefully and had selected a number of matching underwear sets, even though it wasn't as if they'd never had sex since she returned. In truth, they couldn't keep their hands off each other every chance they got. This was especially heightened for Elena as she had the best version of Damon possible. His humanity was far more intact than it had been previously, he was still more like the human 1864 version. However, the cocky sarcastic vampire was still there. Damon had also developed his ruthless streak, although it wasn't something he acted upon, unless his family and friends were threatened. If so, he wouldn't think twice about killing someone. Another thing Elena noticed was Damon no longer lashed out like he did before. He got angry, but he channeled his anger into other methods. He'd play the piano, or a racing game with Jeremy as he knew he'd always beat him. The more she saw him interact with Jeremy, the more she realized how good a father he would have been had their chance not been taken away from them by Esther and Katherine.

There was a knock at the door and Ric and Damon walked in without being invited. Ric headed for Jenna and kissed her as Damon wrapped his arms around Elena and also kissed her.

"Good morning birthday girl. I've got a surprise for you." Damon smirked.

"Morning Elena." Ric called over.

"Morning Ric." Elena replied before turning back to Damon. "I told you not to buy me anything." she said through gritted teeth.

Damon frowned. "Technically I didn't. It is something of mine which I am giving to you." he said, kissing her on her forehead. "The other part is already yours, and the third part will have to wait until Saturday I'm afraid." he said sadly. "And that is something money can't buy." he smirked.

Elena looked at him suspiciously. "You're being cryptic." she said.

"I'm trying not to spoil the surprise. Are you ready?" he asked.

"I'll get my overnight stuff." she told him as she ran upstairs and collected her bag full of clothes and the spare toiletries she'd chosen to leave in Damon's bathroom.

They set off to the boarding house where Elena dropped off her stuff and Damon collected a few blood bags and a picnic hamper.

"We're going on a picnic?" Elena raised a suspicious eyebrow.

"It was what we did on our first date." he told her.

"Are you taking me to the pond?" Elena asked in excited anticipation.

Damon shook his head. "The woods are too dense now. Plus I've got some things to show you first." he grinned as they drove out of town for about ten minutes before pulling up an entrance to some local stables.

"We're going riding?" she gasped.

"Yup!" Damon grinned. "I thought you might like to ride again, that's of course if you haven't forgotten how to." he winked as they pulled up outside of the stables and got out of the car. "I also thought it might be a little romantic." he shrugged.

Elena wrapped her arms around Damon and kissed him. "You're the best. I guess that's why you suggest jeans huh?" she asked as he nodded.

"But there's something I want to show you first." he said as he took her hand and led her inside the stables and over to a stall where there was a mother and her chestnut foal.

"Oh my god, that's so adorable." Elena said.

"Descendants of Sally and Zeus." Damon whispered as Elena turned to him in surprise. "What, you didn't think I'd leave them behind did you?" he asked.

"No." Elena shook her head. "Wait, do you own these stables?" she asked as Damon nodded with a smile.

"I saved Aquila and Rosie too." Damon said. "They were a little old to be having any more but they had already been bred. In fact I bought up most of the horses, in your name of course." he grinned.

"In my name?" Elena frowned.

"I inherited a lot of land when we got engaged. So I put it all in your name before I turned." Damon told her. "I bought some more, again under your name and added to it."

"So this is my birthday present?" she asked.

"I figured you might want first choice on the foal." Damon shrugged. "She was born about a month before you came out of the tomb. I wanted to see how she was doing before I suggested her to be yours." he offered.

"This is the best present ever." Elena ran over to Damon and wrapped her arms around his neck. "You are the best." she added kissing him.

"However, as cute as the foal is, she's no good for riding right now." Damon said as he walked her down a few stalls. "This is Sunshine." he introduced Elena to a dapple gray mare." she's got a great temperament and she's very partial to bribery by apple." he winked.

"Sounds familiar." Elena laughed. "Who are you riding?" she asked as Damon walked to the next stall.

"This one." he grinned as a large black stallion peered down at them. "Elena meet Apollo. Also partial to apple bribery. Give him sugar cubes and he'll love you for life." he added with a wink.

The grooms tacked up the horses, while Damon and Elena dressed in slightly more suitable riding gear than they had in 1864, although ironically they no longer needed it. Eventually they set off, although Elena had no idea where they were going.

"Have you got a destination in mind?" she asked.

"Oh yeah." Damon nodded with a big grin. "Two places. And you are going to love them both." he told her as they continued to gently trot, making sure they didn't exhaust the horses in the heat.

After around half an hour Damon stopped and pointed to and area where the grass had been dug up.

"See there." he said.

"Yeah." Elena replied.

"Remember our house?" Damon asked.

"I remember we were having one built, but I can't remember the exact plans." she frowned. "why?"

"I kept the plans." Damon grinned. "I figured that would be a nice spot to build it on. Unless you don't like it." he said.

Elena's eyes opened wide. "The original house?" she asked. "But it was huge." she said.

"With some modifications." Damon corrected her. "I had to upscale a bit to make sure each bedroom had an en-suite, especially for the humans." he told her. "I also wanted a bigger kitchen."

"Why?" Elena frowned.

"For when we are entertaining." Damon said.

"But I can't cook." Elena said.

"I can." Damon nodded smugly. "I thought it was only fair to Stefan if he wanted to move back to Mystic Falls, that we all get some privacy. Including him and possibly Caroline." he winked. "Vampire hearing does have some pitfalls."

"I know. I've had to resort to earplugs whenever Ric stays over." Elena grimaced.

"Too much information." Damon laughed. "Anyway, so what do you think?" he asked. "You like the location of our new house?"

"I love it." Elena smiled and wrapped her arms around Damon's neck before kissing him. "You know, a house is too much for a birthday gift." she said raising an eyebrow.

"This is not your gift." Damon told her. "Let's get going, I'll show you your real present." he told her as she mounted Sunshine.

They rode in the opposite direction for another ten minutes. The view felt familiar yet somehow different, until she saw a barn come into sight.

"Is that our barn?" Elena asked in wonderment.

"I had to have it partially rebuilt." Damon told her. "But yes, it's our barn. Our own little piece of heaven." he said as Elena jumped of Sunshine and vamp-sped over to the small building.

As she explored, she realized Damon had been very particular in ensuring it was identical in every way to the one they used to frequent. Even the bales of hay were stacked up the same as in 1864. Tears of joy welled up in Elena's eyes, unable to believe she'd got the best of both worlds. She had her friends, her family, Damon and now even a small piece of hers and Damon's past life.

"I can't believe it." she sobbed.

"You want to road test it?" Damon asked as he pulled out a picnic blanket identical to the one they used to use from the basket.

Elena grabbed hold of his hand and pulled him inside. "You don't need to ask me twice." she whispered as their lips met.

After they'd ensured the barn met to their specific standards in every stall, they stood watching the horses. Damon had the blanket wrapped around their naked bodies as he always had done in the past, standing behind her with is chin resting on her shoulder.

"Have you ever wondered whether it would have been a girl or a boy?" Damon finally asked.

Elena had been waiting for him to bring the baby up. Ever since she'd returned, they'd never spoken about it, both finding it too painful to be reminded of. But now they were inside the building where the baby had originally been conceived and it felt right to talk about it now.

"For the first year in the tomb I cried so much about losing the baby." Elena told him. "I have never hated anyone as much as I hated Katherine. But me and you having our own children was clearly never meant to be." she sighed. "I did have a feeling the baby would be a girl though." she admitted.

"Me too." Damon said sadly as he rocked their bodies together. "That was why I killed Katherine. She robbed us both the chance of ever having a child through her own selfish needs."

"Katherine was just trying to survive. For her everyone else was just collateral damage." Elena shrugged. They stayed silent for a minute before Elena continued. "I know we can't have kids, but there's always horses, and we can have a dog. I know it's not the same..." she started.

"Dogs smell, and they piss and poop all over the house." Damon argued.

"We'll make sure it is house trained." Elena retorted, suddenly feeling excited about the prospect of maybe getting a dog.

"So you want a dog when we move into the new house?" Damon asked.

"Thank you Damon." Elena cried. "That is such a wonderful idea."

"I didn't suggest we get one." he panicked.

"Oh don't be a spoilsport." Elena slapped him on the chest. "We're getting a dog and that is final." she grinned.

"Ugh!" Damon groaned.

Elena turned around and kissed him. "You'll love it." she said, rubbing her hips against his.

"Just make sure it's locked away when Stefan is around." Damon whispered as their lips met.

"Stop talking." Elena told him as she jumped up and wrapped her legs around Damon's waist, their lips never parting.

By the time Saturday night had arrived, Elena was in Damon's room putting the finishing touches to her outfit. Examining herself in the mirror, she saw Damon behind her leaning against the wall.

"I thought it was time to give you my last gift." Damon told her as he walked up behind her and kissed her neck.

"I hope it didn't cost too much." Elena sighed.

"This one cost nothing at all." Damon grinned. "You see, you and I weren't the only people who's lives were ruined that night. We weren't the only ones who turned into vampires." he said.

"I know. Stefan turned too." Elena said, confused by Damon's statement.

"There was someone else." Damon told her. "When Emily was treating you for your pregnancy, she used Katherine's blood. But she asked for more than she needed. Instead of using it to make pain relief, she was feeding it to someone else. That someone else also died that night." he said.

Elena frowned. "Who?" she asked.

"You can come in." Damon called out as Lizzie's head popped around the door.

"Oh my god, Lizzie." Elena cried as she ran over to her former handmaiden and hugged her.

"Elena." Lizzie smiled as she opened her arms out. "It is so good to see you again." she cried as tears fell from the eyes of both girls.

"Where have you been?" Elena asked.

"Well for a long time I was keeping this one out of trouble." Lizzie smirked as she looked over at Damon, who edged out of the room. "But after we got rid of Katherine we went our separate ways. I fell in love and got married." she smiled.

"Are you still married?" Elena asked as Lizzie nodded.

"He's downstairs. He decided to give it all up and turn for me." Lizzie smiled dreamily as she told her. "Becoming a vampire was the best thing that could happen to me." she said. "But I was still angry with Katherine for what she did to you. She compelled me to spy on you and forget I'd ever told her anything. I was the one who noticed you hadn't bled in over a month, and I told Katherine." she lowered her eyes. "I hope you can forgive me." she whispered.

"Of course I can." Elena smiled. "Katherine compelled you, it wasn't your fault."

"I blamed myself for years, but Damon never did." Lizzie said. "He's a good man and completely in love with you. He was devastated about the baby. His only consolation was he would see you again. Otherwise I'm sure he would have taken off his daylight ring. So I'm going to say, make sure you treat him right." she winked.

"As long as he lets me have a dog, I'll be the perfect girlfriend and wife." Elena said loudly so Damon could hear.

Damon walked back in. "Okay, that's enough otherwise she'll never drop the subject of getting a dog." he complained.

"i think that's my cue to leave. I'll see you at the party." Lizzie grinned, giving Elena a quick peck on the cheek before heading back to the party.

Damon bowed before offering Elena his arm. "Shall we Miss Gilbert?" he asked with a smirk on his face.

"Why most certainly Mr Salvatore." Elena curtsied and took his arm. "I would be most honored." she smiled as they headed downstairs to host their joint birthday party.