jedi_of_urth: (elena)
[personal profile] jedi_of_urth
Title: To Weather the Storm
Author: [personal profile] jedi_of_urth
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV)
Characters/Pairings: Elena Gilbert/Elijah
Rating: NC-17
Word Count: 9,595
Prompt/Summary: [livejournal.com profile] vd_kink prompt Elijah/Elena - Angsty Punishing Comfort Sex. Klaus avenges the loss of Finn by killing Jeremy. Elena and Elijah, both broken and angry about the loss of their family members, turn to each other.
Disclaimer: TVD belongs to the CW, not me (if it were mine episodes would be much more like this)
Author's Notes/Warnings: Many thanks to [personal profile] wheatear for beta-ing and therefore putting up with my raging insecurity issues and comma abuse. Mistakes are undoubtedly still mine. Spoilers through 3x18, AU after that. Character deaths mentioned (see prompt). Also, this ended up being a much bigger undertaking than I had thought but whew, it’s done (but might need a sequel).



The wind that blew in through the window was ice cold. It pierced through the blankets Elena wrapped around herself as she huddled in the middle of her bed, and the cold bit against her uncovered face and hands. But she didn’t want to close it, the sting of the cold on her skin felt better than the numbness that had settled in her mind.

Nothing beyond the physical felt real. Even the sounds of Damon and Ric getting drunk downstairs added little more than a din to her lifeless world. Stefan might be down there too, but she didn’t know for sure; he might have left now that those two had gotten down to the serious drinking and she was supposed to be asleep as far as he knew, rather than sitting in the middle of her bed attempting to let the storm drive actual thought out of her head.

Elena still kept wondering how things had come to this.

She had done everything she could to keep Jeremy safe, and in the end it had made no difference. After they killed Finn, Klaus had retaliated by targeting Jeremy. She hadn’t been able to stop him, and certainly their one time deal hadn’t seemed to matter to the Hybrid. One day she would learn to stop making deal with Originals, last time it had been Jenna and now Jeremy. And what had it all been for?

Elena closed her eyes, dry now as if she’d cried herself out again. She tried to remember happier days with her family, she tried to remember them laughing in the sunlight, she tried to remember them alive, and she couldn’t seem to do it. The images that did come to mind didn’t feel real and the memories, even the faded good ones, hurt too much to recall. Would there ever come a day when she could remember the good times without crying because they would never happen again?

Her eyes may have been closed, but her senses were sharp and raw; there was never a sound of the door being opened, but she sensed a new presence in her room. She was too numb at this point even to be frightened when she opened her eyes and saw the man standing in front of her open window, silhouetted by the moon just past full. She stared at him and Elijah stared back. It was too dark to see his face, but his posture gave his identity away.

“If you’re here to kill me,” she whispered, “just get it over with.” She didn’t want anyone downstairs to hear her so she kept her voice down.

He kept on staring. Normally Elena would have liked to see his face better so she could gauge what he was thinking, but just now she didn’t care. Not if he what he was thinking about was deciding whether to snap her neck or feed on her or take her away and torture her first. None of it mattered anymore.

She really thought she was beyond caring, but she still flinched slightly when he reached out toward her. It didn’t stop him, and when he did make contact with her his touch on her cheek was surprisingly gentle. She looked up again, but even right next to her his eyes were too shadowed to see clearly, and what she could read of his face was still and expressionless.

“It would seem you and I have some more catching up to do,” he said. The words may have changed slightly but they were instantly recognizable. The real change was that this time they were not the least bit friendly, his tone instead almost as cold as the winter wind outside. Yet still his hand rested softly against the side of her face, which only slightly lessoned the slap that was reusing the greeting without its former warmth.

She shrugged, what was there to say at this point? It did seem that killing her wasn’t his first priority, but she wasn’t in any mood to play nice with any of the Original family right now. Any compassion she might have extended them had died with Jeremy. But if Elijah was interested in revisiting scenes from their past then she could play too, so she brought a finger to her lips and pointed at her door, indicating there people who would hear them. Not likely, but it was hard to say how drunk the others were yet.

He removed his hand from her cheek only to offer it to her. “Shall we?”

She glared at him before agreeing to anything, though it was a glare of something between anger and pleading. “I mean it, if you’re going to kill me, do it now. Don’t act like we’re still friends if you’re just here for some more revenge.” Her voice was rising so she wasn’t quite whispering any more, if the others were listening they’d know she had company. No one came rushing in to check though.

“I never said we were still friends,” he said bitterly. “But there has been enough revenge. I’m only offering you a chance to explain yourself if you have anything you wish to say.”

She sighed, a deep resigned sigh. There were things she did want to say, but she didn’t trust herself to say most of them. She’d assumed he’d want her dead for her part on Finn’s death and she still couldn’t really say he didn’t since he’d been all over the map so far. If he wanted to talk the important thing was to get him out of her house, away from anyone else he could hurt if his mood continued to swing wildly.

And she was starting to get curious how this might play out, as long as she didn’t have to play nice. “I’d ask for your word, but I know what you’d say,” she said, almost matching him for bitterness, and took his hand to help her to her to her feet, out of her warmed nest that had shielded her at least partially from the cold air.

She hadn’t even finished standing when he scooped her into his arms and in a few quick steps crossed the room to leap out her window. Elena knew she ought to cry out at that, but in the moment all she could think was she shouldn’t leave her window open unattended for however long she was going to be away. And before she knew it he’d set her standing on the ground outside. Elijah made no further move to carry her away, only pointed towards his car down the block.

The cold night air had been almost unpleasant inside, but outside without her coat or even shoes, it was awful. She glared at Elijah a moment, but he obviously wasn’t moving until she made up her mind to go back inside or go with him. Outside in the moonlight she could see him better but it didn’t help matters: he could hardly be more blank-faced if he was carved from stone. Even his eyes, where she had learned to read the subtle signs of his thoughts and feelings, remained dark and emotionless.

Elena didn’t want to go back inside now that she’d left, and she wasn’t dressed to linger outside and think over her decision even if she’d wanted to. She might as well stick to it now that she’d started. She was tempted to go back on her earlier statement regarding asking for his word though; maybe continue the game of flashbacks with a, ‘Can I trust you?’ but she didn’t do it. Instead, she turned on her fast cooling feet and walked toward his car.

In some ways it was like reliving a horrific, twisted version of the morning after she had undaggered him, stepping into the unknown, alone with Elijah. Except this time instead of the uneasy beginnings of trust, there was a wall of hate and anger between them, piled high with accumulated betrayals and dead brothers.

And of course there was still his other brother Klaus. Klaus, the same unkillable hybrid that Elena and Elijah had forged their initial alliance in order to destroy, and yet he still walked among them. Because of him, Jeremy was dead. Finn was dead. Jenna and John and Tyler and Dana, and so many others were dead because they had failed. Elijah’s feelings on that front might have been complicated, but Elena’s weren’t. She had thought for months that she hated Klaus with every fiber of her being, but he kept forcing her to discover new layers of hate inside herself.

This time Elijah drove, and the silence that stretched between them was thick with tension. It didn’t take long to figure out that he was driving toward Klaus’s mansion, and Elena’s anger and fear warred with even greater ferocity the closer they got.

“What do imagine I would say?” Elijah asked suddenly, his eyes still locked coldly on the road in front of them.

“Huh?”

“You said you knew what I would say if you asked for my word not to harm you. What do you believe I would have said?” His tone wasn’t vicious, she though it probably should be, but with him talking in this detached tone she got the feeling he cared more that someone doubted his word than understanding her thoughts.

She wanted to answer with as little feeling as he had asked with, but it didn’t work out that way. “That my ability to ask for anything from you is,” she couldn’t stop her voice from cracking on the last words, “quite dead.”

His silence spoke volumes, and it continued until he parked in front of the dark mansion. Elena supposed she should be grateful he parked as close to the door as possible since she’d have to walk across the stone driveway in her socks to get inside, but she still wasn’t feeling very generous.

“So what, are you going to hand me over to the rest of them?” she asked. It looked like no one else was there, but her rolling emotions made she really want to get a reaction out of Elijah, and she knew that questioning his honor would do it..

She could see his jaw clench briefly, but he gave no other sign that her words meant anything to him. “Come inside, Elena.”

He didn’t wait for her to follow his direction, just got out of the car and walked into the house. Elena was actually grateful for the moment alone to collect herself and her thoughts. He hadn’t denied her accusation but she didn’t think that was his goal. He said that he wanted to talk and Elena still believed him. She reminded herself that she’d agreed to come in order to keep him away from the others when she told him how they had all worked together to kill Finn. Once that came out there would nothing to protect her but the tattered remnants of Elijah’s affection for her.

She supposed she wasn’t doing herself any favors by sitting in the rapidly cooling car, so she took a deep breath and pushed open the car door. The air was every bit as cold as it had been outside her house, and the stone ground was colder than the yard had been so she forgot acting unconcerned and ran as fast as she could for the doorway.

Inside, the front hall was hardly warmer than the outside had been, although it was out of the wind. The cold in the tiles seemed to seep through her cotton socks. On the night of the ball everything had been so bright, artificially cheerful and warm for the comfort of the human party guests, but even for the ball there had been no way to make the house feel alive. Now it was deathly still: fitting for a vampire’s house.

Even as Elena’s eyes adjusted to the darkness well enough to make out the shapes of the sparse furniture in the hall, there was no sign of Elijah. This was obviously a test of some kind, but was it a test simply to see if she could find him? Maybe to see what she would do with unrestricted access to Klaus’s mansion? Or how long she would stand shivering in the front room before she asked for help?

If it was the last he’d be waiting a while. Or maybe she ought to make him help her since he’d dragged her out here in the middle of the night. She had been under the impression courtesy fell under Elijah’s honor code.

Before she had quite made up her mind she saw some light coming from one of the back rooms. As she approached she realized that the light was not the steady light of electricity, but flickering firelight. When she did finally turn into the small sitting room she found Elijah standing in front of the fireplace, silhouetted menacingly against the flames.

She recognized it for the power play it was. Not only the powerful visual, although he probably had planned that too, but the unspoken message that in order to warm herself by the fire she’d have to stand next to him. She needed to respond in kind, show that she wasn’t intimidated by him – so she walked across the room to stand almost shoulder to shoulder with him in front of the fire.

Out of the corner of her eye she tried to gauge his reaction, but once again his face gave away nothing. After what felt like many long minutes Elijah backed away from the fire, leaving her alone, but he didn’t take a seat on any of the chairs or couches in the room. Instead he continued to pace deep in thought. Elena glanced at him a few times, but tried not to look like she following his movements; she had to be just as cold as him. They weren’t friends anymore, not that it had ever made much sense that they were, but here they were sizing each other up as enemies circling each other determining which of them would strike first.

“I assume it was one of those white oak stakes that Stefan handed over to Klaus,” Elijah finally said. When Elena nodded, he continued, “Is it worth asking where you obtained them?”

“I figured Rebekah told you,” Elena said, surprising herself when she managed to keep her tone even.

“I suspect I was given the abridged version of events. But I did hear that she thought she had burned the oak from Wickery Bridge until Stefan revealed that some of the tree had survived.”

“Does it matter where we got it from? You can tell Klaus we’re still looking for the last stake. And if there are more out there they haven’t told me.” She didn’t really want to talk about how Damon had gotten the information about the surviving white oak if she could avoid it. Damon might think it something to be gloat about but she didn’t agree.

Elijah’s tone was surprisingly strained when he answered. “I’m not asking on Klaus’s behalf. I just want the truth from you.”

Elena looked away from him again. Damn him. She believed him; she had to stop doing that. “Fine,” she said angrily, though she wasn’t sure whether she was angrier at him or herself, “you want the truth, I’ll tell you the truth. Yes, we were trying to kill you all. We didn’t know Klaus was trying to break the binding spell, or we would have acted sooner. We wanted you all dead. Are you happy now?” She was breathing hard by the time she finished, dozens of emotions threatening to overtake her.

“No,” Elijah said simply.

She narrowed her eyes. “Then what do you want?”

“Why Finn?”

“He was convenient,” Elena said, her words still coming out in a hiss, not nearly as nonchalant as she wanted to seem. “It could have been anyone, but Finn was the one we got to first.”

“Finn did nothing to any of you.”

He was right, Finn hadn’t done anything to threaten any of them, but Elijah’s words also confused her. “Would it have made a difference? He’d have been just as dead if we’d killed one of the others instead.” She’d expected Elijah to focus more on that aspect rather than Finn’s innocence.

“You also couldn’t know with certainty that the binding spell was still in effect, but you still chose to attack the one of us who did nothing to harm any of you.” Elena still didn’t quite understand why that was his focus, but she could hear the beginnings of emotion in his voice and unfortunately she knew all too well how it hurt to talk about a brother you’d lost.

“Yes,” she admitted, “but if Kol had been getting drunk at the Grill that night we’d have gone for him instead.”

“And if I had been there?” he asked, his voice very carefully controlled again as he stepped toward her. “Would you run a stake through my heart?”

A surge of anger overtook Elena then. “How can you even ask me what I’d do to get rid of Klaus? I’d do anything to kill him after what he’s done. It wasn’t that long ago you thought so too.”

“And I spared his life for those of my family,” he said slowly.

She shook her head, and swallowed hard against the lump rising in her throat. His words didn’t have the effect he must have wanted though. “What about my family?” she asked, her voice full of her hatred for everything that had happened since she’d first heard of the Sun and Moon Curse. “Klaus has done nothing but destroy us, piece by piece. I’m not going to apologize for trying to stop him.”

“Finn was our brother.” He still spoke with slow deliberation but she could hear how much control he was using to keep the emotion out of his voice. “I’d imagine you’d be sympathetic to that right now.”

“You bastard,” she bit out. “How dare you-”

“Did you imagine that you are the only one who has suffered here?”

“I don’t care!” she shouted as she threw her arms out forcefully, narrowly avoiding smacking one of the back of a chair as she did so. “I don’t care if all of you die. I want you all to die!”

The words echoed through the empty house. It was the first time she’d said that so plainly without any pang of regret for the man in front of her. Dimly she knew that she had let her anger get the better of her, because normally, in spite of everything including common sense, she cared about Elijah. She didn’t care now though, she didn’t. Right now she meant every word.

Elijah didn’t raise his voice to match her shouts; if anything his voice became lower as it grew more intense, more forceful. He just stared at her with those cold eyes, unmoving as she heaved for breath. “Do you mean that?”

“Of course I do,” she answered quickly. She was still on the verge of yelling at him, but something about the way her words echoed in the nearly abandoned mansion had sounded wrong and made her hesitate to do it again.

Elijah sped across the room, until he was invading her personal space. “Do you mean it?”

Maybe it was that he was so much closer now, but the question sounded different this time. Some new shred of emotion had entered it, almost pleading, almost like some part of him still cared about her and was desperate for her to deny it. It was the barest crack in his armor and the fact that she noticed probably said more about the state of her defenses than it did about his.

She couldn’t look at him, so she stared back into the fire briefly. She felt like crying, but her eyes remained stubbornly dry. No tears left. “Find a way to ask me that last week,” she said bitterly. Her hands unconsciously balled into fists, as she moved a few pounding steps away from the fireplace, away from Elijah and the way being around him reminded her why her answer hadn’t been so clear a week ago. Now it was that clear.

“Finn was suicidal anyway,” she continued angrily, tempted to kick at the furniture as she walked through the room. “Jeremy had finally gotten over all that, finally had a chance at a future. Even if Finn spent nine hundred years in a coffin, he still had more time than Jeremy will ever get. So maybe I’m not the only one’s hurt here, but don’t you think I’m allowed to want you all dead? Maybe you all deserve it.”

Elena’s voice was rising again, almost screaming the last part at him. And again Elijah met it with deadly calm. “Are you attempting to provoke me?”

Some other time she might have found that funny. She was already pretty sure he wanted to kill her so it wasn’t like she needed to provoke him any more if he wanted to do it, and if he didn’t ranting at him wasn’t going to be enough to make Elijah leap to hurt her. Some other time she might have thought that. Tonight, as upset as she was, to her it almost sounded like he was trying to provoke her now, and she was ready to be provoked. “Fuck you!” she shouted at him, not caring if her words echoed through the house.

Elena didn’t often swear. Her mom had always said it would rot her vocabulary and since Elena had wanted to be a writer she avoided it when possible. But her mom was dead, and that dream with her, and sometimes there were just no other words for it.

“Fuck all of you,” she cried again, and slammed her fists down on the table in front of her. The wood was solid and unyielding and she hammered her fists into it again and again, cursing Elijah, Rebekah, Kol, Finn, Esther, even Mikael once or twice, and above all Klaus. The entire family could (should) go to hell as far as she was concerned.

By the time Elena was done, she had cracked the glossy finish of the coffee table and she was sobbing in earnest: dry, hacking sobs that shook her whole body. She still had no more tears to cry. She sank to the floor and gasped for breath. On top of everything else, she had hurt her hands. She might even be bleeding from her self-inflicted wounds; not the best thing to do when alone with a vengeful vampire.

“So hate me all you want,” she managed to get out. “I don’t care. I don’t care about anything anymore.” She looked back into the fire, and tried to breathe, but she couldn’t find the air.

Slowly, Elijah approached her and knelt down in front of her. She didn’t even have the strength to flinch away as he gently reached for one of her hands. He then proceeded, carefully, with hands surprisingly soft and tender, to wrap her bleeding knuckles in one of his handkerchiefs. He showed no sign of being affected by her blood beyond his focus on the task at hand. Elena was sobbing and coughing and felt like retching from the pain in her chest; she barely felt the pain in her hands.

After Elijah finished bandaging her right hand, he produced another handkerchief and dressed her left hand as well. Only when he had finished that did he place a finger under her chin and try to make her look him in the eye. She tried to look away, not ready to hear any more he had to say.

“Elena,” he said softly, his voice finally gentled to a tone she was more familiar with, “I could never hate you, not truly. Whatever else you think of us, you can believe that of me.”

The damning part was, she still believed him. Even before she looked him in the eye she knew he meant it. While his gaze didn’t yet have the same warmth it once had, it was far from cold and hurtful; it was honest.

When she looked away again he nudged the table out of the way so that he could shift position and sit beside her on the stone floor. One arm went around her shoulders, lightly pulling her towards him until he could wrap the other arm around her and cradle her head as she cried dry tears. She didn’t resist. She wasn’t sure that she could.

She believed him when he said that he didn’t hate her, but it was the soothing sounds he made as he held her that radiated the warmth of the friendship they had once had, a relationship that she had thought had been destroyed forever. But that only made her sob harder. She didn’t want his friendship – she wanted to hate him, she needed to hate him. If he hated her it would be so much easier.

But after a few minutes, it was even easier to be soothed by the presence of his arms around her. She could breathe again, though her mouth was dry and her throat heavy and raw. By the time she stopped shaking she was clinging to him, her face buried in his shoulder, and she’d climbed halfway into his lap in order to hold on to him as tightly as she could.

It was wrong, but he held her and whispered soothing nonsense to her instead of telling her that she was responsible for ruining his suit in addition to everything else she had done. She expected him to separate himself from her now that she had control of herself again and wasn’t gripping his clothes so tightly. But he didn’t move away, and after a couple more minutes she looked up at his face.

He looked back at her expectantly and she swallowed. She wanted to hide back in his dark clad shoulder, but she forced herself to meet his gaze. She wouldn’t allow herself to look away again; her ability to meet his eyes unflinchingly was a part of whatever connection they had always had, and somehow that connection still existed.

She knew he was waiting for an answer to his question. Did she really want them all dead? But it wasn’t as simple that for her. “The last time I cared about you more that I cared about killing Klaus, Bonnie’s mom got turned into a vampire,” she explained, her voice was still shaking, still on the edge of hysteria, rather than sounding as sure as she wanted to seem. “I can’t let myself care, not if it means that the people I love get hurt.”

At that, he was the one to look away. Even though he still didn’t release her she could see the distant look coming back over his face and she was desperate to keep him here and now, in the moment. “I can’t care,” she insisted again, “but it doesn’t mean that I don’t. I do care about you, but I care about Abby and Caroline and Tyler too. You’ve been a vampire for a thousand years; you can turn it off. Do you have any idea what it’s like to care too much?”

That seemed to pull him up, stop him from withdrawing back inside himself. He still didn’t look back at her though, even as he spoke again. “It is one of your best qualities. And I have taken advantage of it again.”

Finally he did look back at her, studying her carefully; Elena felt unable to say anything as he scanned her expression for something. “I admire your capacity for love,” he said softly. “It hadn’t occurred to me before what that may mean for your capacity for hatred.”

Now was Elena’s turn to look away, biting at her lip. She really didn’t like the idea of what he had just said. “I only hate Klaus,” she said. But as soon as the words were out she wasn’t sure they made a difference; maybe she only hated Klaus, but it was a powerful hate that had driven her to make compromises with her conscience that she normally wouldn’t have.

“I hate him too,” Elijah said, his voice barely above a whisper, as if he was afraid Klaus might hear him. He must have sensed her confusion though, because he continued, his voice still hushed. “For a thousand years I watched him change from the kind, affectionate, man he was to the monster he is now. I hate what he has become.”

Elena looked back into Elijah’s eyes, and saw the truth of what he said. And there was a deeper message that she could see there now; he was letting her in again, because he knew she understood. She understood the way he hated the monster-Klaus for killing the human man that Elijah had loved, not unlike the way Elena hated what Stefan had become even though she still wanted to save him from it. “You can hate him, but not me?” she asked softly.

If his previous look had been open that she could read it if she wanted, this thrust the meaning on her. His look was so deep and open and full of feeling. Elena shied away from the word love that shot across her mind briefly. “Never you,” he whispered. There was no doubting him when he looked at her like that, and spoke in that voice.

Mostly she knew it didn’t matter what he said. Even if it was true that he didn’t now, it hadn’t stopped him from threatening her life before and when he had less cause. If she ever attacked any of the others, except maybe Klaus, he’d defend them first before thinking of her life. And if one day she turned and became a monster like Klaus or Katherine, Elijah would hate her then.

But if she knew all that, he probably did too, and yet he said it anyway. Elijah was careful with his words, but he still said he could never hate her, even after everything.

All those thoughts spun through Elena’s mind as Elijah’s position shifted slightly, bringing his face closer and closer to her. He gave her plenty of time to react, but she didn’t understand his intentions until just before his lips met hers. She still had a few seconds to pull away, but she didn’t and with those seconds gone he was kissing her.

After such reserve leading up to the kiss she would have expected the kiss itself to be equally restrained, but it wasn’t. His mouth was firm against hers, and when she gasped slightly in surprise his tongue slipped into her open mouth. Elena was too surprised to know how to respond, her mind reeling trying to process the very idea of what was happening.

Surprising and invasive might be the first words she would use to describe the kiss, but it was sweet too. Elijah kissed with purpose, and he knew what he was doing with the way his tongue caressed the inside of her mouth, able to calm and arouse her at the same time. By the time he did end the kiss Elena had reached the point where she didn’t want him to. Her eyes had fallen closed and her mouth hung open after he had separated his own from it.

“Always and forever,” he whispered slowly, each word precisely said, his breath just brushing against her ear as he said them. Elena’s eyes snapped open and met his, finding the promise of his words clearly written there. The depth of feeling and affection in his dark eyes, warmed by the fire’s glow, was astounding. She could lose herself to the depth of what Elijah gave her.

Losing herself sounded like a good idea right now. Losing herself to something besides grief and loneliness or the burning hatred she’d so recently given in to, was more than tempting. It was new and exciting, and she wanted it.

He stayed still as she leaned forward for another kiss, parted his lips and allowed her to explore his mouth as he had with hers. She liked kissing him as much as she had liked being kissed by him, but she knew she’d like it more if they were both kissing each other at the same time.

His eyes asked a thousand questions when she finally pulled back from his lips. Elena smiled. It was a tight, shy smile, but she had been out of practice since she had heard about Jeremy. “How about we start with now?” she asked quietly. It might not be as romantic as always and forever, but it was what she had to work with.

He gave her a nod and a half grin. Even a half grin made his lips seem all the more kissable to her, so she leaned in again. As soon as he leaned in to meet her, she knew she’d been right: both of them as active participants was infinitely better than either of their one sided kisses. His smile against her lips made her smile in return, both of them honest and happy.

She shifted so she was straddling his lap, before returning to kissing him with more passion than she had expected from herself. But even as she melted against Elijah’s firm body, she began to feel reality starting to catch up with her. It was her bandaged hands that broke the spell; as she brought them up to run through his shortened hair the extra bulk of his improvised dressings came between her and her goal.

She deepened their kiss then, trying to keep further thought at bay as long as she could; but even as he moaned under her attentions, his hands gently pushed against her shoulders, pressing her away from him. She half groaned, half sighed in protest as she gave in to his suggestion. As she did sit back, his hands drifted lower, resting on her chest just above the swell of her breasts – a no doubt careful compromise between desire to do more than make out and his honor that demanded he not move faster than she wanted.

She nodded her permission, but he continued to study her face. Instead of moving lower, one hand came up to caress her cheek. “Tell me what you want, Elena.”

Something in his tone demanded complete honesty. She glanced at her bandaged hands that had broken her hold on this moment alone, before she answered. “I want to forget about all of this, at least for a little while.” Her voice caught in her throat again as she spoke, but she made herself look back at him.

All she saw in his face was understanding and sympathy, and she wasn’t sure she wanted that when she was looking to forget. “Something like this cannot be compelled away,” he said sadly.

Elena shook her head. “I didn’t mean that,” she assured him. “You couldn’t anyway; we put vervain in a lot of things in this town these days.”

His hand moved from her cheek to push her hair back behind her ear, and he smiled slightly. “Good to know.”

“What?”

He was still smiling slightly, but his tone was serious. “So we both know that whatever happens tonight, I haven’t compelled you.” He looked hard at her for another moment, letting all the possible meanings of what he said sink in, before he leaned in toward her again.

He didn’t quite kiss her, waiting for her to decide if she still wanted to after what he’d said, but he didn’t have to wait more than a moment. His words and the feel of his hands on her body made her feel hot with desire, warmed from within rather than just the fire.

Emboldened by that desire she pushed his suit jacket back from his shoulders. Elijah complied with that plan easily, though he had some trouble getting his hands pulled through the sleeves. That made Elena laugh against his lips as she kept kissing him; it was sort of reassuring that Elijah wasn’t smooth at everything.

As soon as he had settled out of his jacket his hands were on her back, one resting on her waist, the other tracing sensually along her spine. He stayed on the outside of her clothes, but she started tugging the shirt from his pants, anxious to feel skin beyond his face and hands. On Elijah, anything else was unknown territory and that made her excited to explore it. With her muffled grip she managed to dig past his dress shirt and his undershirt to finally make contact with his skin; just that for a man in so many layers felt like she had found something new and foreign.

Straddling him as she was, she could feel him growing more aroused as they continued to explore each other. By the time either of them spoke again she had Elijah looking quite disheveled, although he hadn’t actually shed any clothes since his jacket. But he hadn’t removed any of her clothing either. He had followed her lead and gone underneath her shirt, gracing her skin with well-placed touches and grazes along her body.

His fingers finally grazed along the under edge of her bra when he asked again, “Tell me what you want.”

He’d answered her last request, so far, but his question asked her to think again, and thinking brought back earlier thoughts. “What do you want, Elijah?” she asked instead, and she sounded much more confident that she had so far tonight.

He went back to doing that studying her face thing, though his fingers kept rubbing her flushed shin while he did it. “I would very much like to take you to bed,” he answered. “If that’s what you want.”

Her heart was pounding in her chest as she nodded. “Yes,” she breathed. She wanted that. There was no way she’d be able to explain her choice to anyone tomorrow, she already knew that, and she had to banish Stefan and Damon’s faces from her mind, but she wanted it. She wanted to be comforted by this man who should offer her no comfort; she wanted to feel safe in the arms of one of the least safe men she’d ever known; she wanted it all.

He studied her for another moment and then for the second time that night he scooped her up into his arms faster than she could realize what he was doing. But this time he didn’t race to their destination, and she knew he was giving her every chance to reconsider. She leaned forward and kissed him again; reconsidering would mean thinking and she still didn’t want to do that.

As he carried her away from the warm sitting room, back into the cold front hall, she shivered in his arms. He held her closer, though as a vampire his body provided little warmth, and hurried up the staircase. He continued quickly down the hallways until they reached one of the bedrooms; it was presumably his room though Elena couldn’t see anything that marked it as such.

He set her carefully on the wide raised bed and kissed her deeply again, gradually leaning her back to rest against the soft comforter. Her arms were still laced around his neck and she locked her grip around him, drinking him in as he settled above her. All thoughts of the cold were forgotten as she blindly fumbled with the buttons of his shirt

But he hadn’t forgotten. When he was apparently satisfied that she was aroused and quite willing he pulled away from her. “I’d hate for you to catch cold,” he said. It was too dark to see his expression, again, but she could hear the humor in his tone. She was halfway through unbuttoning his shirt before he pushed her hands away. “Give me a moment,” he said, and rushed out of the room.

Elena sat up slightly and looked around the room, but there wasn’t much to see. The only light she had was the moonlight that shone through the partially open curtains, but even in that light she could see that the room was large with heavy furnishings, yet bare of anything beyond the furniture. Which made sense. Elijah hadn’t spent much time here to make the room his own.

She wondered again where he had gone after Esther’s ritual. She wondered how things might have been different if he had stayed.

Once she thought that, the thought wouldn’t leave her mind, no matter how much she didn’t want to think it, until he returned to the room.

“Where did you go?” she asked cautiously, leaning back on her elbows rather than lying down completely again.

“I went to switch the heater on,” he explained, apparently not realizing she meant in a larger sense. “As I said, I’d hate for you to catch cold.”

He came back to stand over her prone form, and soon reached out to caress her cheek again. His touch was again gentle and meaningful. With his enhanced vision the dark wasn’t a problem for him studying her so he could probably see her expression clearly enough to see the larger question she asked. “Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone,” he said.

“Just don’t go again,” she said and brought her arms around his neck again.

He kissed her again, and it wasn’t lost on Elena that he hadn’t promised that he wouldn’t leave her again. But it would have been foolish to expect him to stay. For now it was enough that they both knew he’d be welcome to.

Again his lips and hands quickly soothed away her worries about what would happen later, rooting her in the moment and the passion between them. She surrendered almost all control to him as his hands dove back under her shirt and unclasped her bra, then slowly drew her clothing off of her, his fingers trailing long touches along her arms as he did.

It must have been warmer in here now, or she was so warm with desire that she hardly noticed the cold air against her exposed skin as she scooted back to lie against the plush pillows, pulling Elijah with her. He was still mostly dressed as he looked down at her exposed chest, his expression unreadable in the dim moonlight.

“Do you know how long I’ve wanted to do this?” he asked, his voice low and hushed.

She wondered if he meant with Katherine or Tatia and he didn’t elaborate, his attention now focused on her breasts. And that made Elena even less inclined to ask than she might have been otherwise, and she doubted she ever would have wanted to know very badly.

Though far from uncertain his attentions did have an exploratory feel to them, as if he was testing to see what pleased her the most. So Elena decided not to hold back from expressing when she particularly liked something. Their solitude in the large house made her more free with her vocalizations than she usually allowed herself to be.

Her gasps and moans of encouragement only seemed to strengthen his commitment to the task at hand. Before she knew it Elena was moaning and writhing against him, wanting even more than this wonderful torture. Elijah seemed to take the hint and pulled the rest of her clothing off quickly so she was lying completely naked before him.

She was completely bare and exposed before him and he was still mostly dressed. “This hardly seems fair,” she said, reaching forward to grab his shirt again, but he easily kept out of her grasp.

The moonlight caught his face just right to show off his grin. “I promise to make it worth your while,” he said seductively. He kissed her again, first on the lips, then trailing down her throat, over her breasts and stomach until he reached the hair that covered her sex. Then he continued lower, alternating open mouthed kisses on the inner sides of her thighs.

Then, instead of the wet kisses he’d been using, he brought his teeth into things. Just light grazes, they couldn’t even be called love bites, but it was the faintest of reminders of what he was. And then, was that the faintest touch of his fangs or were his teeth just particularly sharp? It was exhilarating, even though she knew it shouldn’t be. Adrenaline mixed with desire, flooding her body, sharpening every sense.

And then, his sharp teeth still grazing the overly sensitive skin of her thigh, he plunged two fingers into her dripping core. She was so wet that he slid in easily, and still he spread his fingers wider to stretch her out.

Elena’s head was already thrown back against the plush pillows, moaning wildly when he slid a third finger into her channel, causing her to buck forcefully against his hand. His other hand captured her hip to keep her steady as his fingers pumped in and out of her, not letting her take control.

And then, only then when she thought she was already about to lose control did his mouth descend on her clitoris. Earlier she had asked him to make her forget, and everything he was doing now was succeeding. There was no thought for anything outside this moment. Everything and all of her was right here.

She was aware only of his mouth locked on her clit, seeming to know just when suck and swirl and press; of his fingers as they pumped in and out of her body, pushing oh so right where she needed him. Of the wonderful feeling that grew and grew until it all climaxed into a single moment of absolute, perfect bliss.

For a few blissful moments, all she was aware of was the pleasure he gave her as she rode out the waves of ecstasy he brought over her entire being. But as she came down from the heights of her orgasm, reason painfully reasserted itself and she was aware how vulnerable she was against an Original she had been sure wanted her dead an hour ago. Not just physically vulnerable in her undressed, post-orgasmic state, but emotionally the very idea of having to doubt him again made her shiver. Fortunately she didn’t have to doubt him as he crawled back up to cover her body with his own.

She’d usually felt awkward kissing Matt or Stefan right after they’d gone down on her, but she met Elijah’s kiss hungrily, desperate to drive away the confusion and grief and fear that had flooded back into her mind.

Next to her need, his kiss was annoyingly gentle, as his hands tenderly stroked only her arms, avoiding all the places he had so recently paid attention to. Then with another soft, almost loving, kiss he removed himself from her long enough to at last remove his own clothing.

Elena swallowed hard, trying and barely succeeding to push back her uncertainty. For the first time since they came up here she fully wished that there was more light in Elijah’s room. Before tonight she’d never given much thought to the man under those fine suits and she wanted to see it now. The idea of having sex with a man she’d barely ever seen less than fully clothed (in layers in Elijah’s case) was a new one for her.

But it was only a few breaths before he was back with her, again covering her body with his own. She didn’t need to see him to feel the hard muscles of his torso under her hands, the toned arms that held her so sweetly, the substantial size of his erection against her thigh.

And still every touch of his hand to her skin and kiss against her lips and face and neck was impossibly gentle. Again the word loving flitted across her mind to describe his behavior, and again she did her best to ignore it: love and Elijah didn’t belong in the same sentence, not for her. Whatever they were tonight didn’t change that fact, and that was part of what she wanted him to make her forget. Her thoughts were far too clear right now; she needed more to make her forget again.

It was when he started to enter her, still slowly and gently that she shook her head. “No,” she said, her voice cracking slightly. He stopped, halfway inside her and looked at her in confusion. “I don’t want to feel anything but this,” she said. When he still didn’t seem to understand her request she whispered, “I don’t need you to be nice to me.”

He waited another breath before he moved, but when he did, in a flash he had her hands captured in his on the pillow beside her head. His own weight and a little vampire strength would keep her pinned until he let her go. Tomorrow she’d have bruises on her wrists to complement her battered hands. He trailed a series of small bites down her jawline onto her neck where he sank his teeth into the base where neck met shoulder. He didn’t bite hard, at least not with his fangs, but it was no gentle love nip either.

The pain jolted her and she tried to rock her hips to take him deeper inside her but once she had managed that his hips pressed down hard on her, keeping her from taking control of their coupling. “Is this what you wanted?” he growled in her ear.

She thought about telling him that if he had to ask he wasn’t doing enough, but all she said was, “More.”

He switched to the other side of her neck, his teeth grazing her pulse point, and then he bit her. He only used his human shaped teeth, but they were sharp and with Original strength they were still strong enough to break the skin. As he did, he shifted his hips just slightly so that he was penetrating even deeper inside her, but he still wouldn’t actually just fuck her. She gasped, both from the new pain and the maddening presence of him thrust fully inside her but doing no more than filling her completely.

“How about now?” he asked, but didn’t give her a chance to answer before his mouth returned to her neck and his tongue went to work coaxing more blood to the surface though she doubted there was much for him to drink.

“More,” she said again. Just as she did his hips started to move, circling in time with the ministrations of his tongue against her neck. “More,” she gasped again. Each time his movements caused him to brush against her clit all she wanted was, “more, more.”

She felt him smile against her neck and wondered if it was about sexual desire or the predator’s freedom to hurt her. As soon as she thought that she knew it was unfair, even if it was probably both. But she only had that clarity of thought for a moment before his tongue pressed hard into the sensitive spot he’d created as his hips bore down on her. He did it twice more before he eased off her.

She moaned involuntarily as he drew out of her, just the tip of his erection resting against her opening. And she was aware that he wasn’t lavishing attention on her tender neck anymore, and even his grip on her wrists loosened until he was hardly holding her down at all. She opened her eyes to find him staring down at her, his eyes darkened with blood or desire, and there was just a hint of her blood shining on his lips in the moonlight. Sure he had her attention he spoke softly, “I don’t want to hurt you.”

She hated him for his compassion, for his concern, for his thoughtfulness when she didn’t want to think about anything. Pushing against his hands that still loosely restrained her to the bed she kissed him. She could taste the tang of her own blood in his mouth, but she’d been around vampires long enough to be familiar with the taste of secondhand blood. When she stopped kissing him she shifted her hips toward him, asking, inviting, demanding him to take her. But she spoke less urgently when she told him what she wanted. “I want you to fuck me until we both forget.”

He released one of her wrists entirely and brushed his fingers against her tender throat before tracing lightly along her jawline until it rested under her chin. Unlike before she didn’t resist his efforts to make her meet his gaze. She couldn’t see him as well as he could surely see her, but she could see the honesty in his face when he spoke. “I never want to hurt you.”

What could she say to that? It was a confession, an apology, a promise; full of emotions she couldn’t begin to think about now. Instead she brought her own hand to touch his cheek as he had taken to doing with her. All she did was nod, but she put as much feeling into it as she could. Whatever it was she meant to convey, he seemed to understand it and thrust into her, not so slowly as he had at first, but still carefully.

His eyes held hers captive as his hips began to rock. It didn’t take long for Elena to realize that each thrust was different, varying angle or depth or speed; the uncertainty forced her to continue to allow him control of their coupling but the surprise of each movement only made it more pleasurable for her. His eyes never showed bloodlust, only desire and emotion that she couldn’t bear to look away from.

After a minute, or two, or however long it was; Elijah finally closed his eyes, breaking the spell they had fallen into. “Elena,” he breathed as his head buried in her shoulder and his thrusts grew less methodical, more abandoned to passion that she was happy to abandon herself to as well.

Both of them were breathing erratically as their bodies slammed together again and again, and Elena’s earlier willingness to be vocal about her desire returned. Her entire vocabulary reduced to “Oh yes, Elijah,” in various forms, with the occasional “more” or “there” added in as her cries grew louder and louder as he continued to drive her senseless.

For his part, he seemed to have only one word to use as he repeated her name over and over again until even he didn’t put the same distinction on the syllables that he normally did. If Elena had had the capacity for rational thought she would have been surprised he’d lasted this long when he was clearly so close to finishing. But she wasn’t capable of rational thought as every thrust of their hips pushed, and pushed, and pushed her closer to the edge until finally she went over it and all she could do was cling to Elijah as she rode out a tidal wave of pleasure that consumed them both.

She was still clinging to him as they both came down from the heights of their pleasure. He pulled out of her and shifted them so they were lying on their sides facing each other rather than him on top of her, but he didn’t pull away from her tight hold on his body.

Again reality reasserted itself on her mind, but it wasn’t the same crushing return she had faced earlier. She was aware that the air was still cool again her heated skin, aware that the dressings on her hands had come loose, aware of the very pleasant ache between her legs. Piece by piece the events and emotions of the night, and recent days, moved back into her conscious thought, but she clung to Elijah as it did. She had at least lost all fear of losing him.

“Do you want to stay?” he eventually asked once their breathing had returned to normal.

“Yes,” she answered without thinking. She didn’t want to go anywhere right now, least of all go home. “If you want me to stay,” she added.

In answer he reached out and pulled the comforter out from under them so that he could spread it over their still naked bodies. As soon as she had settled into his arms beneath the warm blanket, sleep seemed ready to overtake her quickly. But she reached out and stroked Elijah’s cheek again, and smiled sleepily at him. She didn’t have the words yet, she didn’t even know what she wanted to say if she had the words, so for now touches and smiles would have to do, but she knew he’d understand.

As Elena’s eyes drifted closed, she could still hear the winter wind blowing outside. Nothing had changed out there, the storm hadn’t even passed through; but so much had changed for her since she had been out in those cold winds. Even if this storm did blow through, there would be more, but at least for now she felt warm and like she could survive it.

She might not weather it well, but she would survive it.

Date: 2012-05-08 03:31 am (UTC)
got_swagger: (TVD:  Elena/Elijah - Respect)
From: [personal profile] got_swagger
Amazing!

This really gave me all the feels and I loved every bit of it. Elena's pain is so terrible and raw, while Elijah felt to me like he was barely hanging on to his control over his emotions.

Their confrontation was excellent, and I adored the image of the fireplace and the meaning behind it - these two are always pushing and pulling at each other and this captured it so well.

The sex was beautifully written and it made sense that even if an understanding was reached between them, she'd still feel the guilt, like she didn't deserve his kindness - it was just perfect, especially as Elijah said he never wanted to hurt her.

The ending I loved - it's very Elena - always pulling through, even when she's been to hell and back with more ahead of her. And that she has Elijah there with her as she realizes this is beautiful.

You did such an amazing job on this.
Edited Date: 2012-05-08 03:31 am (UTC)

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