jedi_of_urth: (elena)
[personal profile] jedi_of_urth
Title: To Shut the World Away
Author: [personal profile] jedi_of_urth
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV)
Characters/Pairings: Elena/Elijah
Rating: NC-17 (including negotiations as foreplay)
Word Count: ~8600
Summary: Follows To Weather the Storm, Elena and Elijah begin to deal with what happen in TWTS.
Disclaimer: TVD belongs to a collection of other people but not me
Author's Notes/Warnings: Character deaths discussed (as per TWTS), while not quite as much graphic sex as TWTS still NC-17. Thanks to [personal profile] got_swagger for the beta work.



As tired as Elena was, and she was bone tired, she wasn’t able to sleep through the night. Damon had joked a couple weeks earlier that she needed to get laid; that it would clear her head and help her sleep better. While she might have agreed with him in principle, at least at the time, it hadn’t been an option as far as she was concerned. Some of her restlessness now had to do with her bed partner, but a lot of it had to do with how much worse things had gotten since Damon had made that joke.

The first thing that woke her was the feel of something against her neck. Her eyes flew open and her senses snapped to alert to realize Elijah was running a warm, wet cloth across the damaged flesh of her neck. She disrupted his movements by craning her neck so she was looking up at him sleepily; her eyes adjusting to the soft light provided by the bedside lamp he’d turned on to light his task.

He silenced any questions she might have asked by leaning forward to kiss her lightly. Not that she had to ask what he was doing; even twisting her neck this much stung, the minor wound was still fresh and something clearly needed to be done about it. “You could have just fed me your blood,” she said, her voice hushed by sleep and an unwillingness to do too much to break the intimacy of the moment.

“If that’s what you would prefer,” he said, his voice just shy of being a question. She nodded anyway; if there had been a question, she agreed to it.

With a nod, he pulled his hands away from her, and used his fingernail to open a small cut on his left wrist. She could see it was already healing as he offered it to her, so she quickly brought it to her lips, sucking the blood into her mouth. She may be well acquainted with the taste of vampire blood by now, but she was still human so it took some willpower not to recoil from the warm, sticky, metallic tasting, tick fluid as it filled her mouth.

Even though she was sucking blood from the wound, the cut healed quickly before she drank more than a swallow of the stuff. Sometimes drinking vampire blood made her fidgety, but when she was as tired as she was now it didn’t do much, so her eyelids started to drift closed as soon as she stopped suckling.

“Would you like something else to drink?” Elijah asked, keeping her awake another moment. She nodded and felt him get up, heard him cross the room and run the faucet in the bathroom and return, pressing a glass into her hand.

Only at that point did Elena open her eyes again, and smile up at him as she drank the cool water he’d brought. “Thanks,” she said, grateful to have washed some of the taste of blood from her mouth. Another drink and most of the aftertaste was gone, and finishing off the glass took care of it.

Before Elijah took the glass back he traced a finger across the already healing but still tender spots on her neck, making her shiver slightly. “I do prefer being nice to you.”

“Me too,” she agreed as his fingers brushed hers when he reached for the glass. This time Elena’s eyes stayed open, tracking his naked form as it crossed the bedroom. As tired as she was her mind was slow to fully absorb his words. She was slow to recall her own request that he not be nice to her while they were having sex; he’d gone along with it, but he’d stopped short of really hurting her and since then kept assuring her that that wasn’t what he wanted.

She smiled at him as he returned, turned off the light, and got back into bed. Then she reached out to hold his cheek in her hand. “Next time you can be as nice as you want,” she promised. He looked slightly surprised, but allowed her to slide into his arms without saying anything more. If she hadn’t been so tired she’d have done more than mold her naked body against his, but all she was interested in right now was sleep.

~~~~

The second time she woke up she was alone in bed. She was pretty sure she’d woken up precisely because she was alone in bed, having rolled over and instead of rolling into Elijah, she’d kept rolling until she had her face buried in his feather pillow. Feather pillows weren’t always an issue for her, but when they were it was hard to breathe, especially if she was trying to breathe with her face pressed into one.

Instinctively she rolled over onto her back, but by then she was too awake to drift back to sleep right away. Through the window she could see that the sky was just beginning to lighten, still the dark grey of approaching dawn that would take a while to get there. If by some chance Alaric decided today was the day they needed to go back to training he’d go looking for her by the time the sun actually came up; but that was pretty unlikely.

Still, it was probably her best chance if she wanted to at least try and slip back in without anyone noticing she’d left. She’d didn’t really want them to know, certainly didn’t want to have to explain what had happened, but she also was in no rush to return to her own house. She brought a hand up to test the side of her neck, and found that her hands were no longer bandaged and the pain in both them and her neck was gone; no incriminating evidence she’d have to explain.

That would make it easier to pull off, assuming no one had noticed she was gone during the night, but that didn’t help her to want to go home. Going home would mean going back to another day of dealing with people offering their condolences; of Ric drifting through the day, deciding how early he could start drinking again and still not consider himself an alcoholic; of Stefan and Damon hovering around, trying to help but ultimately suffocating her as they tried not to seem like they were waiting for her to make a choice between them when that was the furthest thing from her mind; of staring at Jeremy’s room, uncertain if she should start to pack up his things or leave them for later, but unable to just shut the door and ignore it.

Really, of all the reasons she’d had for going off with Elijah, even when she’d thought he might kill her, getting out of her house had been among the strongest motivations. And staying here with him now was much preferable to going back to all that.

She knew she still should go back, but she was too tired to care and she tried to go back to sleep. Her mind drifted but she didn’t fall back to sleep fully until Elijah returned and took her in his arms again. Yes, here was where she wanted to be.

~~~~

Elena was in the woods, a familiar patch of woods where she had died once already. Around her, tied to polls (or were they trees?) was everyone she loved, already unconscious…or dead. Some of them looked dead.

Mom, Dad, Matt, Tyler, Jeremy, John, Caroline, Jenna, Elijah, Bonnie, Stefan, Damon, Alaric, even Isobel. Elena tried to run forward but flames leapt up and blocked her path; there was more force than just the flames, she could have braved the danger of their heat if they were only flames, but they were there as a visual reminder of her captivity. “No,” she cried and through herself forward again, only to be thrown back to the middle of the circle by the magical aspect of the barrier.

“You won’t escape,” Klaus said, appearing at her side, his breath as warm as if he was made of the fire that never actually touched her.

“I won’t,” she promised, tears running down her cheeks as she looked at the slack faces of those around her. “Just let them go. I won’t try to run, but don’t hurt anyone else.”

“No,” Stefan choked out, his voice weak.

Klaus nonchalantly threw a stake at him; it easily passed through the fire and magical barrier without damage to impale Stefan in the stomach. “Why are they even here?” she pleaded. “You know I’ll do what you say to keep them safe.”

“They’re here,” now Klaus’s voice was a low growl, “because you’ve been a very bad girl. I mean to see that you don’t defy me again.”

“I won’t” she swore, “I promise.”

“They’re here,” he said again, “so you can see what happens when you go against me.” And with that he was through the fire himself, his fists plunged into Stefan and Damon’s chests to rip out their hearts. He’d already moved on to snapping Ric’s neck (Oh God, why had they made him stop wearing his ring when it didn’t seem to stop the blackouts?) and ripping Bonnie’s head off before Elena could even scream.


The third time Elena woke up, she came to screaming and clawing at anything she could reach, but unable to see it through the tears pouring out of her eyes.

“Elena, wake up,” Elijah’s voice commanded. But Klaus had already killed him, ripped his heart out in front of her. Maybe even that couldn’t kill an Original? “Elena it’s just a dream,” he said.

“No,” she cried, but she could feel his solid grip on her hands now, she had to be digging into his flesh with how tightly she was gripping him. “No, please, don’t.”

“Elena,” Elijah said again, his voice soft and gentle. “You can wake up, it’s only a dream I promise.”

She finally stopped screaming, but her tears came even harder. The scene in the woods had been only a dream, but it was too real to forget. “It’s not just a dream,” she croaked out, releasing Elijah’s hands only so she could throw her arms around him and bury her face in his chest - not even caring that it was his bare chest and she was still completely naked. “He can kill everyone. He will. No matter what I do, he’ll end up killing everyone.”

Elijah was smart enough not to ask who she meant, and didn’t patronize her by saying things weren’t as bad as all that. Instead he held her and at first just muttered soothing nothings to help her calm down, until he finally said, “I wouldn’t let that happen.”

“You’ll end up back in that coffin with a dagger in your heart,” she said, tears still flowing freely down her cheeks. “If he doesn’t just kill you, who knows what he did with the stakes Stefan gave back to him.”

Elijah either took the time to consider that, or to reconsider trying to comfort her with words. “I’m so scared Elijah,” she kept crying. “I don’t know what to do. Whatever I do someone seems to get hurt. And it’s all my fault because I’m the doppelgänger and Klaus needs me alive so that he can make his own private army. And he’ll keep just doing it until there nothing left of me but a human blood bag he can use as he likes.”

“Elena,” Elijah cooed into her ear. “Elena, you can’t think like that.”

“It’s true. Jenna’s dead because I chose not to fight Klaus, and Jeremy’s dead because I did. And now we know we can’t even kill him because it would kill Tyler and maybe everyone else if we did.”

“Alright,” he said softly, pulling her close to him, “just let it out. Let it all out.”

It had been a long time since anyone had encouraged her to be as devastated as she felt, everyone always seemed to try and encourage her to be stronger and keep it all together. She knew they had nothing but good intentions with how they tried to help her get through everything, but it forced her to hold so much inside. Last night Elijah had stood by while she cursed out his entire family, had let her be as angry as she needed to be; and now he held her as she cried out her grief and guilt and fear; he didn’t say anything in actual words, at least not ones she understood, but he let her fall apart by assuring her he’d help pick up the pieces.

After a while her hysteria calmed, and she ran out of words for her feelings, so she just cried; and eventually even that slowed and stopped and she was left clinging to Elijah, every muscle in her body feeling as exhausted as if she’d run a marathon.

“Feeling better?” he asked.

Elena took a few deep breaths, each one feeling a little less shaky in her lungs. “A little,” she muttered, her voice still unsteady. But she did feel a little better - nowhere near good, but starting to get better.

He didn’t make a move to pull away, but he didn’t resist when she did. Elena brushed the tears out of her eyes, but it wouldn’t take long for new ones to form. “I’m sure you’re real glad I stayed over now,” she tried to joke. She couldn’t see a clock in Elijah’s bedroom and it was impossible to tell from the light coming through the window how late it was as the sky was grey and hazy, but it was definitely later in the morning now.

Elijah reached out to cup her face again, and she didn’t resist his way of making her look at him. But once he was looking into her tear stained face he seemed to lose focus of what he was going to say, so for a long moment they just studied each other. Elijah at a loss for words was a very unusual sight in Elena’s experience, but he seemed more comfortable just gazing at her than she felt. “I regret nothing,” he finally said. “Except how I initially approached you last night.”

Elena blanched a little at the reminder of how they started the night, and nodded as she looked away. “What would you have said?”

His fingertips brushed her cheek as his hand moved down to the side of her throat. He didn’t have to ask what she meant; it was the conversation they had stepped around a more than once. “That I had no intention of harming you.” Elena nodded, she knew him well enough to hear what his emphasis on certain words meant. He might not have intended, but he wouldn’t have promised it wouldn’t happen. “At the time.”

“And now?”

“I would have to make allowances for your unexpected desires,” he said rubbing at her neck. It was completely healed now, but the reminder was obvious, not that she had needed reminding.

Elena easily identified it as a complete bullshit non-answer. Last spring she had trained herself to dissect everything Elijah said for what he did and didn’t actually say and she knew he was evading her now. “Elijah,” she warned with a smile.

“Elena,” he said with a smile of his own. He looked and sounded almost turned on by her calling him out on it, but didn’t offer anything else.

The engaged in a silent battle of wills and increasingly seductive smiles until Elena’s effort reached a point where she felt slightly ridiculous and she had to break down in a fit of giggles. Battles of will with Elijah were always difficult, and winning this one wasn’t that big a deal. She’d get him when it mattered; and she was still rewarded with him joining in her laughter.

Once that passed there was the matter of the heightened sexual tension and the fact that between them only Elijah was wearing anything and that was only a pair of pajama pants that would pose little obstacle to doing something with their desires. “So...” Elena started uncertainly.

“Can I draw you a bath? Or maybe get you something to eat?” he offered, sounding about as awkward as Elena felt right now.

Elena made herself look at him, meet and hold his gaze and tried to guess what he was thinking. “Why are you being so nice to me?” she asked softly.

He wasn’t quite rendered speechless again but he couldn’t hide his surprise at her question. Elena watched him fight for control for a few seconds before he managed to answer. “Perhaps I’m only delaying the moment you want to leave and pretend none of this ever happened.” Elena opened his mouth to protest but he shook his head. “Or perhaps it is an attack of conscience for convincing you to do something I knew you would later want to forget.”

“I don’t want to forget,” she assured him. He was still avoiding answering her directly, but the possible answers he gave had the ring of truth to them. “And you didn’t have to talk me into anything. I’m here because I chose to be.” If was a bit of an oversimplification of how she’d started down the road that lead them to this point, but she’d definitely gone to bed with him because she chose to.

“But you’re not going to want to tell you friends,” he said evenly. There were no derision or hurt feelings in it; he treated it as just a statement of fact.

And Elena found she couldn’t argue with him, so she looked away. “Maybe. I hadn’t really thought about it yet. But I’ll have to tell them something, by now they probably know I ran off.”

“What would you like to tell them?”

Elena shook her head, then glanced back at him and grinned a small grin. “How about we discuss it in that bath you suggested.”

He smiled back and Elena’s heart sped up a bit. His smiles did nothing to deter her mounting desire to jump his bones again, and she didn’t think he’d mind if she did. “I’ll go get that started.”

As he walked across the room, he tossed a dressing gown back to her. It was heavy and large for her and it smelled like him; which made Elena pull it tight around her as she finally got out of bed and crossed the room to look out the window. Sometime during the night the storm had blown in heavy clouds that were still covering the world in slowly but steadily falling snow. The back gardens and the edge of the woods were all Elena could see before the hazy air grew too thick to see through.

It felt like she and Elijah were alone in the world. The rest of her life was outside this room, outside this house, outside the world as she could see it; and she didn’t mind treating it as if it were in another world entirely. At least for now. It would catch up with her soon enough certainly, but she was going to enjoy this time out of the world.

At some point she also needed to figure out what she wanted to do once she had to face the rest of the world again. Elijah wasn’t wrong, she didn’t think telling the others would be a very good idea, but it went deeper than the obvious question of what it meant for her and Stefan or Damon. Bonnie hated Elijah almost as much as she did Klaus; and Alaric...a corner of Alaric’s mind knew the one way to kill an Original and giving him any reason to access that part of him probably wouldn’t end well.

And, of course, there was the question of Stefan and Damon. Elena thought she should feel guiltier than she did for sleeping with Elijah when she was supposedly figuring out how she felt for the Salvatore brothers. She didn’t feel guilty though; in fact she didn’t regret anything about what she’d done. She’d regret hurting them, if and when the truth came out, but she didn’t think she’d ever regret what had happened between her and Elijah.

Which left the biggest question: what happened next between her and Elijah? A few hours ago she’d thought their old relationship was beyond even trying to save, but they’d done far more than save it, they’d started creating some new something between them. Did that something extend beyond these stolen hours outside the world? Did she want it to? Did he want it to?

As if summoned by her thoughts, Elijah came up behind her and encircled her in his arms. “I take it you started thinking things through without me?”

“Something like that,” she said, easing back into his embrace. She definitely wasn’t in a hurry to leave this time they had. “Mostly still thinking about the questions, answers not so much.”

For a moment they just stood together and watched as the snow drifted down, until Elena finally spoke again. “I’m sorry about Finn,” she said calmly. “I never actually said that last night, but I am. You’re right, he was your brother.” She left it there - that was about as much as she trusted herself to say on the subject. Being Elijah he’d be even better at spotting what she didn’t actually say than she was with him.

Elijah squeezed her a little more tightly. “And I’m sorry about Jeremy,” he answered softly. “I don’t believe I said that either.”

“Jeremy wasn’t your fault,” she said, her voice just barely staying steady as she spoke. It hurt to talk about Jeremy at all, and her nightmare hadn’t helped matters, but she wanted to make sure she and Elijah didn’t have any crossed wires. She didn’t blame him for Jeremy - not really, in spite of some of the things she said the night before. Her on the other hand...

Aware that he could easily crush her if she wanted to, Elena still figured she had to tell him the truth. “Finn...I was there. I helped kill him even if I didn’t hold the stake that did it.”

His hold on her loosened a little and she was prepared to move away if he wanted her to; but he quickly pulled her close again. Not uncomfortably so, but he clearly wasn’t letting her move as he worked out his reaction to her words. “I think that I knew that,” he said, as much to himself as her it seemed. “Even if you didn’t say it in so many words before, you never denied it.”

Elena wanted to say something else, but had no idea what. And if Elijah needed a moment to deal with what she’d said, she owed him that much. His arms around her were tense, his chest against her back felt hard and unyielding rather than solid and comforting as it had; much of his centuries-tested control needed to minimize his reaction to her confirming his suspicions.

He released her before he’d let go of that tension and Elena spun around to face him. He was impossible to read, but she didn’t feel like he was putting on a blank face to hide from her, it was more that he was struggling to figure out his own thoughts. Either way he didn’t brush her off when she brought her hands up to cup his face, though he looked a little confused by it. “After I’ve cried on your shoulder this much, I’m here if you need mine.”

In a moment she could feel the tension begin to flow out of him, and as he met her eyes it fled quickly. “And you wonder why I could never hate you,’ he said, amazed. “The depth of your compassion always astounds me, Elena.”

Elena managed a half smile. “I kind of want to kiss you again, if you’re okay with that.” Her hands slipped around to the back of his neck but she resisted the urge to pull him closer.

“I wouldn’t object,” he said. But before she could pull his lips down to hers, he added, “However our bath is nearly ready.”

“We can multitask,” she said, her grin widening even as she stepped away from him. “Shall we?”

The words were barely out of her mouth before he grabbed her, pressed her back against the cool glass and kissed her hungrily. She hadn’t expected that but she responded instantly, kissing him back as she wrapped her arms around him again.

“Wow,” she breathed when he stopped kissing her.

“Multitask?” he asked in her ear. “I can do it if you can, Elena.” How could he say her name in a way that positively dripped with seduction? Three little syllables, the most familiar ones to Elena, were suddenly indecent when he said them like that.

If he’d said they should forget it and go back to bed she’d have happily agreed, but he was daring her to delay their pleasure, and Elena hated to back away from a dare. “Oh, I can,” she told him.

“We’ll see,” he said and backed up a step before gesturing for her to precede him.

“I thought you were planning to be nice,” she said as she slipped past him.

“I can be nice and still make you beg,” he told her, his voice low and seductive; and absolutely certain he could do it. And Elena didn’t doubt him; just thinking about the way he’d made her scream last night was enough to stop any doubts before they started.

Sexy thoughts were briefly driven out of Elena’s mind when she walked into Elijah’s bathroom. The room was enormous - the sunken bathtub alone was more of a small pool and would have been half as large as any normal bathroom. There was also an oversized shower and full vanity, with enough floor space so that all the features had space around them. “Did Klaus really think you needed this much space?” she asked, almost not balking at the mention of Elijah’s hybrid brother (another thing they really ought to address instead of the much more preferable topics at hand). Elijah’s room had been plenty large on its own; add in the bathroom and it was all probably at least half the size of the main floor of Elena’s house.

“Especially surprising when you consider he was planning to leave us in our coffins for a while rather than let us enjoy the space he provided.” Elijah moved past her to check the temperature of the water and shut off the faucet. It also drew Elena’s eye to the impressive array of bath supplies on the edge of the tub, and she wondered idly who had purchased all of them. This was certainly shaping up to be a fun time.

Elijah slipped out of his pants, casually drawing Elena’s attention back to his body and by extension their standing challenge to each other. Then he got into the bath rather than wait around and provide time for her gaze to linger on his fully exposed naked body. Not that the water hid much, but it made for a less clear vision. By contrast, Elena decided to take her time removing her borrowed robe and hanging it on a hook by the door; providing Elijah with plenty of time to enjoy her naked form. She felt a little self-conscious at her display, but she resolved not to show it.

Elijah didn’t even try to hide the fact that he was enjoying watching her when she turned back to him. His eyes tracked her eagerly as she approached the tub, but his smile was almost lazily patient; ever a man of contrasts. When she sat on the edge of the tub her feet just barely touched the bottom, and her lower legs were completely under the hot water. It was warmer than Elena usually used, but it wasn’t uncomfortable.

Elena did try not to stare at Elijah’s parts under the water. His bare chest and arms were enough to keep her attention anyway; there was plenty to appreciate there. With a hand on his bicep she lowered herself down to sit between his spread legs just below the knees, there was plenty of room to spread out in the oversized bathtub, but she didn’t want to sit at the far end and it wasn’t quite large enough to sit side by side comfortably - she’d be half in his lap either way.

Besides, sitting like this, she had room to lean back and wet her hair, her breasts on prominent display for Elijah to appreciate as she arced back and sat up, water rivulets running down her skin. “So,” she said coyly, “what did you have in mind for us to say happened here?”

He swallowed hard before he answered, and as Elena’s feet were curled into his lap she knew she was winning this game so far. But he wasn’t surrendering yet. He lifted one of her legs with one hand and reached for the soap with the other. “As I’m sure you know,” he said calmly as he poured out enough soap for her leg and began rubbing it across her skin, “the surest way to keep your story straight is simply to tell the truth.”

“Are you really suggesting we tell Damon the truth?” she asked, pretty sure he wasn’t.

“Up to a point,” he said. “What point would you suggest?” he teased, stopping his upward movement at her mid-thigh.

“Not that far,” she answered, managing not to have her voice quiver as she did.

His fingers delicately moved back down her leg before lowering it back into the water. “Are you sure?” he said, starting on the other leg, beginning with his attentions confined to her ankle and foot.

“Very.” She needed to get some control back, otherwise he was going to be proven completely right about making her beg for it and end up getting her to agree to whatever version of the truth he wanted to use on the others. She leaned forward, crossing over him to reach for the shampoo. Of course he took advantage of the fact that her shifting towards him pushed her leg more out of the water and his hands pressed higher, but it gave her a momentary level of dominance over him. She took her time choosing between the three different ones sitting on the edge of the tub. What did Elijah need with that many hair-care products, especially since he cut his hair?

As she slid back to her former position, Elijah’s fingers found the ticklish area behind her knee and she gasped at his touch. He had the gall to grin and keep rubbing slowly at that spot long after she was surely clean enough. “And if in the edited version of events you would leave out how I told you I hate my brother I would like to keep that detail between us.”

“Oh really?”

“I don’t care to have it get back to the rest of my siblings.”

Elena focused on scrubbing her hair for a moment. It would be perfectly easy to leave out that detail, as she didn’t want to get too specific with the others about what she and Elijah had talked about even before they’d ended up in bed. “Come here,” Elena said, even as she scooted forward against him. “I’ve got extra shampoo.” Running her fingers through Elijah’s short hair made her miss his longer hair, and she said as much.

He shrugged. “After I came back I thought a change of some kind was in order.” While she scrubbed his hair he took over working on hers with long, skilled fingers, occasionally slowing rubbing his hand across her forehead to keep the soap from getting in her eyes.

“Okay,” Elena said after rinsing her hair, though she remained in her new position just shy of sitting in Elijah’s lap. “Let’s just stick to the short version. You came to talk, we yelled at each other for a while but made up. And I didn’t want to go home afterward.”

Elijah used his enhanced strength to push them both forward so he could rinse his own hair. It also drove his hips toward her a couple times just as she’d done to him. They were playing about even for now. And his next move seemed to acknowledge that, because after pouring soap into his own hand he offered some to her. “I’ll get your back if you’ll do mine.”

Elena grinned at the obvious double meaning and nodded. This move caused her to end up actually seated in his lap, no more distance placed between her and feeling Elijah’s arousal. Running her hands over his shoulders and down his back, feeling his muscles respond to her touch, as well as his other reactions to it, was heady. But not quite so much as the feeling of his hands on her skin, each of his movements deliberate and certain, as certain as he’d been that he could undo her just as easily as he now was.

“I think it would be more believable if you had attempted to negotiate for my greater cooperation.”

“Oh would it?” she asked, tracing her fingers down his spine and feeling him shiver a little under her touch.

“It’s what you do Elena.” His hands slid over her shoulders and trailing past her collarbone but not going so far as to reach her breasts before turning down her arms.

“So should we do some actual negotiating?” she said as she ran her hands around his sides. She kept her hands above the waterline until they met in the front then she trailed downward. She stopped again at the base of his stomach, flaring out and avoiding his crotch altogether.

“I suppose that would make the lie more effective.” His fingers tightened on her arm briefly as hers came to rest on the lower side of his hips. But it was only a moment before he started to trace delicate designs in the soap that covered the sensitive flesh of her arms, just barely brushing her breasts in passing from time to time.

“And less of a lie,” she reminded him. She considered continuing to move her attentions south of her current position, maybe discover if Elijah had any ticklish areas of his own, but she was content with being teasingly close to her ultimate goal for now. “After all, you tell me I’m not a great liar.”

He pursed his lips slightly. “When did I say that?”

“When you figured out your mother’s plan,” she reminded him.

“Of course, that. Though I believe that might have been an extreme case.”

“Yeah,” she agreed, but she pulled her hands back upward haphazardly as her thoughts curved into memories. Their fooling around kept getting mixed up in all the serious stuff that had happened between them. “You know I hated lying to you like that. And really I was surprised you actually believed me at the time.”

While Elijah’s hands still caressed her, his tone grew serious as if he too wasn’t comfortable with the direction their talk had taken. “I suspected that more had happened between you and Esther than you wanted to talk about. Even if my suspicions about her intentions hadn’t been roused, I had intended to come see you the next day and discuss it in more detail.”

“You still knew I was lying out in the woods.”

“You still hated that you were lying to me out in the woods,” he pointed out.

“What makes you think I won’t hate lying to people about this?” she asked, leaning into him slightly to emphasize what she meant by this. But the mood was floating away.

Now his hand stopped moving and rested on her arm instead, giving his own emphasis to his answer. “Because Damon told me how you struggled with that lie. As we’ve discussed this deception I haven’t seen you struggle with it at all.”

“When did...that was when you went to get them to help you stop your mother?” she asked. That was getting way too close to the way that situation had been resolved for her comfort. They’d have to talk about it eventually but she wasn’t really in the mood right now. Things still weren’t right between her and Bonnie and this wasn’t going to help matters.

“Esther,” he said. “My mother died a thousand years ago.” Almost instinctively, Elena relaxed back into his touch. The hurt in his voice, half hidden and so obviously something he was hesitant to reveal, made Elena long to comfort him. “And yes, Damon made a point of telling me that he’d warned you to stay away from me lest your conscience cause you to mess up Esther’s plan. And he reminded me that he’d never trusted me to begin with.”

She leaned forward and kissed him lightly. It wasn’t really part of their ongoing foreplay, just the only thing she could think to do at the moment. “I don’t care what Damon says,” she told him. “I still trust you.”

“Clearly,” he said with a smile, which made her smile back against his mouth. “Except when I come to your room in the middle of the night and you presume I’m there to kill you.”

The smile fell from Elena’s face as fast as it had sprung up. She sighed, starting to get exhausted by this trip down memory lane, they had a lot of places that needed to be revisited, but she was still emotionally worn out from recent events. “Elijah, five minutes after I met you I watched you rip a guy’s head off for betraying you 500 years ago. When I help get your brother killed and Klaus has already killed mine and then you sneak in like that...let’s just say this wasn’t what I expected to happen.”

His hands were firm on her arms now, pulling her closer to him, and she didn’t resist. The eroticism was almost completely gone from of their touches by that point, though his erection was still pressed between them as she slipped into his embrace. They were both still slick with soap, more proof of how quickly the conversation had soured. “Elena,” he whispered, still slightly indecent sounding, but now laced with comforting tones, “as much I could simply assure that you are not Trevor, and you very much are not, I feel I must remind you that I do regret that part of our evening.”

“I know. And this isn’t about Trevor,” she said, shaking her head. She really didn’t mean to go that far back in their history together, but he seemed to miss the point. She sat back enough to look up at him again, so he couldn’t miss what she had to say. “I always want to trust you, but sometimes you can be really scary when you want to be.”

He cocked a half smile. “Most people, including Damon, would say I hardly have to try.”

“And you were trying last night.” He nodded but she continued. “So how did we end up here? I was there, I know how we got here,” she corrected before he said anything, “and I’m glad we did. But I think I’m having trouble thinking about what to tell them because I don’t know what this makes us really.”

Elijah started stroking her wet hair, and played with the ends for a moment before answering. “I don’t have an answer for you. But what if we told them I had a suggestion for how to deal with Mr. Saltzman’s condition?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“If we were supposedly negotiating the subject would surely have come up.”

She swatted at him playfully, her hand sliding through the soap that still coated his arm. “I’ll bite, what is this suggestion about Alaric?”

“For centuries one of the best ways to obtain blood from willing humans was to provide vampire blood to be used for healing in exchange. Less common was using compulsion to access a person’s mind and cure mental afflictions. But it can be done; with sufficient skill and care even magically created afflictions can be treated this way.”

Suddenly all questions about where she and Elijah stood seemed pointless. This was far more important. “So you’re saying if I can convince Alaric to let you mess around in his head you’d be able to help him?” A flash of insight hit her just as she paused to think. “But you’ll want to find out where the stake is first won’t you?”

“Of course,” he said, but his half smile told her there was more to it.

“And we give it to you, not Klaus,” she thought out loud. “What would you do with it?”

“I’m still considering that.”

Elena cocked her head to the side and studied him. “When we tell people about this we can tell them we talked about it longer. That I wasn’t sure I wanted you in Ric head, or that’s when I tried to get you to admit you still thought Klaus was bad news. Don’t worry,” she said when he looked about to interrupt, “I won’t tell them you did. Just tell me you do.”

“Klaus’s power needs to be checked. But I do not plan to kill him if that’s what you’re thinking.”

“I never said you would.” She knew him better than that; and as much as she wanted Klaus dead for all he’d done she also didn’t want to see anyone else she cared about die, which meant they couldn’t kill him.

“Then you can tell them that version of what I said.”

She nodded. “And tell me you can help Ric.”

“I believe that I can, and I will do my best.”

“Your word, Elijah.” She looked at him meaningfully. Whatever else came from this negotiation, helping Alaric was more important than the family problems of the Originals.

His hand came up to cup her cheek, blurring the line between an understanding not that different from what they’d always shared and their new intimacy; and Elena leaned into his touch without breaking eye contact with him, straddling that line herself. “Which part?” he asked softly.

“Just the part about Alaric,” she assured him. “You don’t have to promise to lie to everyone else; it was your idea though.”

“Then you have my word that assuming Saltzman agrees to the terms that you’ve agreed to on his behalf I will do what I can to repair the damage that has been done to his mind.”

Elena hand moved to rest on Elijah’s hip and she leaned toward him again. “Seal it with a kiss?” she suggested, her voice practically dripping with desire.

Elijah didn’t need to be asked twice. Their hands roamed each other’s bodies freely; no calculated seduction now, just affection and desire. There were no boundaries and no hesitation as they touched each other; and though they both knew how it would end, there was no need to rush.

“Did that help you figure out what we are?” he whispered between kisses.

“I’m getting there,” she said.

“Let me know when you decide,” he said simply, before latching his lips onto one of her nipples.

Elena was pretty sure she was halfway to falling in love with him, but she’d wait until she could think clearly again to decide how far down she was.

~~~

Their gasps and cries of pleasure mingled with the crash of the waves caused by their movements, and all sounded louder than usual in the cavernous bathroom. Elena wasn’t as loud as she’d been the night before, but not for lack of pleasure as she thrust down onto Elijah over and over again until and just as she felt him erupt inside her, her own pleasure overtook her.

She remained straddling him after it was done, savoring the feel of him inside her and in her arms. Vampires never felt more alive than they did during sex, their hearts pounded powerfully and audibly, and heated their skin to the point where it felt like that of a normal human; and she wanted to savor the moment with Elijah. Rarely in their relationship had she thought him to be as far removed from humanity as the others painted him to be, but to feel him like this was to know that he truly was just as much a man as any of them, that she’d been right to see that in him. With their arms wrapped around each other, supporting each other above the water; their bodies still joined and full of post-orgasmic delight; Elena would have been happy to never have the moment end.

Elijah seemed to be in no hurry either, his hands still rubbing lightly over her flushed skin but otherwise unmoving. His face was buried between her neck and shoulder, his lips instinctively drawn to the place where’d he’d bitten her the night before, though this time he only kissed it lightly from time to time. In a way it surprised her how much she trusted him with her body already; but then, she had trusted him with things far more precious back when all she had was his word and her solitary belief that he would keep it. Now, what was between them ran far deeper than that, although her trust in him was surely just as solitary as ever.

“You know why I have to lie to them right?” she asked, still holding him as close as she could.

“I suspect there are any number of valid reasons,” he answered, unconcerned.

“Care to remind me what they are?” she joked. Or half-joked anyway. At the moment she was a little less sure lying to everyone now would help the situation in the long run; now that it looked more and more like there would be a long run to worry about.

She felt him smile against her neck, and it almost seemed as if he was going to laugh as he kissed her there again. “When you have returned home, if you still need a reminder, that might be the time to reconsider.”

“You really do think I’m going to change my mind as soon I leave, don’t you?” She hugged him tighter, if it was possible. Sure, once she left she’d have to deal with a lot of factors that she was able to brush aside while in his arms, but she wasn’t going to forget the way she felt here either.

“I think you need time to come to a decision, and I’m fully prepared to give that to you.”

“So for now we’re what? Friends with benefits?”

He finally drew away from her enough to look at her face again. “Considering all the lies that must go into keeping that, I believe dirty little secret is the more apt description.”

Elena laughed; it was always funny to hear Elijah use modern slang in that refined accent of his, especially when you knew how old and cultured he really was (and when he could use ‘apt’ in the very same sentence). “Maybe, but I prefer it my way. It means we’re more than just a booty call.”

“Are we still negotiating?” he asked. Elena kept laughing and he joined in after a moment. “Have it your way,” he eventually said.

“Admit it, you like it when I win.”

“I always have,” he said. He was still smiling, but Elena wondered just how much truth there was in that. She’d always figured he respected that she negotiated with him, but until just a little while ago she hadn’t realized quite how much he saw it as a thing that happened between them. And though she’d never put in words, she couldn’t deny it was very much a part of their relationship; their old relationship and the new one.

“Really?” she asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.

He kissed her lightly. “Elena, we could continue to discuss this issue, but I would prefer to get out of this bath before it gets any colder.”

“Probably a good idea,” Elena agreed. As she rinsed herself off a final time in the now much cooler water before getting out of it, she realized he’d evaded her question again. But that might be for the best, they didn’t need to start talking about more of their rocky past right now. Later it was sure to happen though; because it seemed clear to Elena now that there would be a later.

~~~

It was close to 11 o’clock when Elena and Elijah finally came downstairs. Which meant it had been just over twelve hours since Elijah had arrived in Elena’s bedroom the night before. By now even Alaric must have noticed Elena wasn’t around the house, the question now was how quickly he’d called the rest of the group to see if they knew where she’d gone.

Elena should have had Elijah take her home right away; they could get on with helping Ric if they could stop him before he took his daily dose of vervain and maybe avoid adding any more questions about what had happened while she was alone with Elijah. But her rumbling stomach protested that idea and Elijah offered to cook her breakfast. He said it was only honorable after everything they’d done, and she couldn’t tell if he was joking or not, but she was happy to agree.

Klaus’s kitchen was as overdone as the other rooms Elena had seen in the house. Of course, Klaus had probably meant for it to be manned by servants or hybrids, or hybrids as servants, rather than two people trying to cook a normal sized meal. Elena set about figuring out the complicated coffee machine while Elijah began pulling ingredients out of the refrigerator.

Elena had just about figured out how to work the coffee maker and was set to ask Elijah if he wanted regular coffee or a cappuccino when he stopped short of cracking a second egg into the pan. “What is it?” she asked.

“It would seem that our quiet morning is about to be interrupted.”

“Klaus?” Elena asked, trying and failing to keep the fear out of her voice – though, thankfully, she knew Elijah wouldn’t judge her for it when he’d already seen her express a lot more.

“More likely the Salvatores.”

Elena didn’t have to ask why they’d look for her here. If she wasn’t with them or Caroline or Bonnie, they’d assume Klaus was back in town and had made good on his threat to take her away. “Well,” she said, her heart rate calming down slightly, though she was still nervous, “we knew we’d have to face them sooner or later.”

Elijah’s look said he would have preferred later as much as Elena. But before he said anything to that effect, someone started pounding on the front door. And before he could move to answer it, Elena threw her arms around him one last time. As soon as this started it was going to be a while before she had another chance.

The pounding on the door continued for the few seconds Elena and Elijah allowed themselves to ignore it. Damon, Elena knew, but that didn’t mean Stefan wasn’t out there too.

“Okay,” she said softly, hoping they weren’t listening too closely from outside. “Showtime.”

Date: 2013-04-20 11:46 pm (UTC)
sipral: Buffy huging Xander. Not happy hug, more of sharing-your-pain hug. (touch-deprived)
From: [personal profile] sipral
This is a good fic, although it feels unfinished, so I'm really wishing you will write someday something more.

There are a lot of issues between them and I love how you're not hiding them. Actually I like the whole 'tone' of this fic ... with the whole hurting, loving , "I don't want to hurt you", "I want to hurt , because I think I deserve it " ...

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I'm real.y awful of commenting and I would normally not, but I saw there was no comments and I thought it would be sad if you thought you messed up with this series ... because you did not!

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October 2013

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