Title: Your Honor
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Category: (drama, romance, adventure, etc)
Summary: Elena leaves Mystic Falls to protect those she loves, goes into hiding, and seeks a way to pay for the damage she's caused. Two years later, an unexpected visitor walks into Bree's bar and threatens to destroy the fragile peace she's created. Elena/Elijah, mentions of other ships
Spoilers: Up to and including 3x15
Warnings: Language, violence
Show/Bookverse: Show 'verse, up to and including 3x15
Disclaimer:The Vampire Diaries belongs to its rightful owners and sadly, none of those people or companies are me. I'm only borrowing them, but I promise to return them once I am finished.
Author's Notes: Thanks to midnight_burn. Mistakes are all entirely mine. Title comes from Bon Iver's 'Blood Bank'.
Three minutes and she's healed entirely. The skin that is revealed by the hole now in her shirt and fleece zipup is smooth and blemish free. She lifts them both to show Maggie.
"Look. See? I'm okay, Mags," she assures her as Elijah helps her to stand on legs still weak. "I'm the one that gave you the crossbow with the tricky safety, I should have-"
"I never put it back on like you said to do!" the Bennett witch argues as they walk back towards the house (Elijah stays close to Elena's side, and at one point when her knee starts to give out – she's still a little dizzy – he keeps Maggie from noticing and Elena from falling with a sudden hand on her back as support). "I got distracted and I was all tense and-"
"Mags, I'm fine, and I know you won't do it again. We'll just consider this one of those real-life examples of weapon safety, okay?" Adrenaline is starting to kick in; the ghost sensation of pain is flooded out of her system by it and she's feeling jittery and wants to get inside to consult with Bree.
Maggie, still a little green and stricken looking, casts a sidelong glance in her direction. "You want me to come with you when you tell Mama about how badly I messed up?" she asks, miserable. "How could I even do that, I thought you said you couldn't get hurt."
It's not her that messed up. It's Elena.
It was the first time Maggie saw a vampire feed someone their blood, and even though they have talked about it, witnessing it firsthand has got the girl spooked. She also seems afraid to stand too close to Elena, as if she's a walking time bomb, as if she's already turned.
Elena's plan is to figure out what is going on, and then hopefully fix this.
"No, no Mags, don't worry about it, seriously. I'm going to go talk to her and we'll..." she trails off as she fights back the wave of nausea she feels over all of this. Jeremy and Alaric and Matt and Tyler are out there possibly unprotected. If the Petrova Fire isn't working, Damon could hurt Mags. "We'll be fine. Can you tell Bonnie that I'm sorry I can't make it this afternoon?" She hasn't been enthusiastic about the need to use her magic around Bonnie, anyway.
Maggie nods, appreciation and relief shining in her eyes. "I'll make up something. I know you don't want them to know."
Elena goes to put a hand on her friend's shoulder, but notices the blood on it, and sees the mess on Maggie's too. "Thank you...Wash up first, though."
A quick glance down at her hands and Maggie runs off to do that.
Elena quickly rinses her hands off in a bathroom on the first floor while Elijah leans against the doorway. The only way she can tell he's just as anxious to start fixing the problem is the fact that he shifts from resting his weight from one leg to the other, and he checks the buttons on his suit.
"Thank you," she says quietly, making eye contact with him in the mirror. "For healing me."
"It is nothing," he responds, dismissive and distracted. "I saw the arrow coming towards you and while my first instinct was to come, I incorrectly assumed your...gift, it would stop it. I am sorry for not getting there sooner."
She shakes her head. "I was counting on the same thing, to be honest. I've felt fine, it still feels like it normally does; I just figured everything was normal." Elena breaks eye contact to find the fluffy hand towel where it rests on an ornate hook and reaches for it.
"I know you do not wish to become a vampire," he says quietly. "I'll see to it that your wishes are maintained, if you still desire the same."
She puts the towel down and turns to him. Becoming a vampire would have saved them so much pain and heartache, but even back then he had been willing to give her another option during the sacrifice. Now, it would only cause problems; she has no idea how well her friends and family are protected, but to lose that possibility of having a way to keep them safe, when Klaus is actively out to lure her in, is something she can't think about. "Thank you," she murmurs.
"I wanted to ask you before I send for them: there are two guards that I trust to guard the house; would you like me to call for them? I unfortunately will have to leave for a meeting with Klaus."
She hates feeling useless...not useless, really, but compromised. "Yeah, having them around would be good."
Their fingers brush and tangle momentarily as she passes him at the door, and then the Original and Aimee Hawkins can be seen traveling to the study with a slightly less than appropriate amount of space between them.
Bree is in the library, but when they ask her to follow them, she joins them in Elena's room and they take the necessary precautions to ensure their conversation remains private.
Elena explains what happened, and Bree's reaction is instantaneous. Instead of becoming as confused and scared as Elena herself feels, the bartender buries her head in her hands. "I was hoping I was wrong, I told Lucy that, but she thought I was reading into it too much back then and oh God, I was right."
"Fill me in, here, Bree," she begs, too scared to currently be upset they've kept something from her. "If that happened to me it could happen to Maggie and-"
"-You can't protect yourself from yourself, Elena. The bond sees you two as the same person. You shared blood." To the side of Elena's chair, Elijah, with his arm resting on the top of the seat, tenses as Elena herself processes what this means. "You shared blood because it makes the protection stronger, but it also means you could...and she..." Bree trails off, staring blankly, despairingly, at the open air in front of her. "This is bad. Shit."
"Why didn't you think to tell me this earlier, Bree?" Elena doesn't mean to sound accusing, but she's feeling slightly betrayed. "How did you know I wouldn't do something that could hurt her?"
"She's the only one you share blood with like that," Bree answers, and it's obvious her heart is heavy as she continues to understand the implications. "We knew you'd never do anything to hurt her, and we figured the Fire would keep you both safe and out of any sort of situation where there was even the possibility of something like that happening. This was part of the reason we were so adamant about you not teaching Maggie how to use weapons. Too much of a risk involved."
"Margaret is not the only one she has shared blood with. Elena's brother, Jeremy, he is your biological cousin, correct?" Elijah has moved to stand in front of the fireplace, and while it seems a casual move, it's the equivalent of frenzied pacing in anyone else. "To a lesser extent, he shares blood with you."
Elena nods, and Bree's own anguish is momentarily forgotten as she looks at Elena, incredulous. "What? I totally get that it's weird, but I told you my family was complicated, Bree," Elena says, defensively. "Elijah has a point though...maybe I did the actual spell with Mags, but if he's correct, anyone from before that who shares blood with me, they're considered 'me', right?"
Bree thinks it over for a second and then, to Elena's dismay, answers her. "Yes."
"If that's the case, then Damon and Stefan share blood with me, too."
Bree's distaste is obvious, but Elijah is on to the next step. "And what of your hybrid friend, Tyler? He needed your blood to complete the transformation."
"I never had his, though."
"So Damon, Stefan, and Maggie," lists Bree, ticking them off on her fingers. "Possibly Jeremy."
Elena know Caroline has never had her blood, nor has she had to feed her. Bonnie is out of the question as well. Alaric's blood has been on her hands in more ways than one, but he's never had hers. The only person left is...
"Matt. Matt shares blood with me," she says, quietly.
Elijah's eyebrow twitches only slightly.
Elena sighs and closes her eyes, the memory from nearly two decades ago hazy but definite. "One of his mom's boyfriends was thinking of moving with them out of Mystic Falls, and Mattie was afraid we'd never see one another again. We'd just seen some movie – I can't even remember what it was, but we definitely weren't supposed to see it – and two of the characters in it cut their palms and put them together and...we copied it. So we would always be with each other."
The hurt in Matt's eyes when she left Mystic Falls was a lot like the hurt she'd seen in them when they were kids. Elena's throat is tight with emotion, but she struggles to clear it before talking again. "Matt is a definite on that list."
Elena crosses her arms and draws her legs up in the seat before continuing. "So that's four, maybe five people. They're all protected from anyone else, but I could harm them and they can harm me?"
"If we're correct, yeah," Bree answers, brusquely. "And I'm not about to risk my baby's safety to find out if they can hurt one another."
Which was exactly what she fears.
"Let us assume that is the case," Elijah says, evenly. "Damon and Stefan are down in the cells, and will remain there. I will also keep close watch of Maggie."
Damon's compulsive and short-sighted plans might involve Maggie, and they can't risk it. Stefan might respect Maggie, but Elena wasn't about to rule out the potential for him to try to negotiate with Klaus, using the Bennett witch as a trade for guaranteed safety.
Bree pushes on the arms of the chair and stands. "I'm going to go explain some of this to Maggie; we've got to let her know about this – without mentioning about Damon or Stefan – so she knows to be careful." Bree is almost to the door when she turns around, and fixes the vampire with a firm glare. "Speaking of caution: Elijah, I expect you to be watching over Elena until your blood is out of her system."
"I already discussed this with Elena and assured her she will remain human," he responds smoothly, turning to make eye contact with Elena. "Two guards have been stationed on the premises, but they are not to interfere with any of you. Their orders are strict and they understand that I do not wish for you to be disturbed by them."
"Good enough," responds Bree, who points a warning finger at Elena and says "Stay away from stairs and open windows and pointy objects" and she is gone.
The bartender's maternal streak makes sudden and inexplicable appearances, but Elena is thankful for them. Once the door is shut again, she leans forward and runs her hands through her hair. "I don't even know where to begin with how bad this is."
"The Salvatore brothers have survived two years in Mystic Falls in this condition, and if they haven't managed to kill one another, it's a good sign; I've already dispatched people to watch over those left in Mystic Falls. We shall be cautious moving forward, but this does not change the final goal."
Elena takes the hand he offers, and is more than surprised when as soon as she is standing, his free arm is draped over her shoulder and she is pressed forward, into an embrace. Surprised by the action, she remains stiff in his arms.
"Are you hugging me?" she asks, incredulous, into his chest.
"People do so when they wish to comfort," he responds as he draws back, suddenly perfectly postured and watching her for signs of trouble. "Forgive me for-"
Elena shakes her head. "No, no it's good, don't even start to apologize, I just...it was unexpected. Not something we've really done before."
"At least in our privacy, with your permission of course, I could be demonstrative of affection."
She laughs a little, and moves to close the distance between them. She wraps her arms around his torso and sighs as his arms hold her close and she inhales the scent of him; she's got no idea what it is that he smells like (it reminds her of the woods, though, and smoke), but she likes it. "I could get used to this," she says with a sigh.
"I would not be adverse to that."
All there is is the noise of her breathing, her heartbeat, and the crackling fire. It should be disconcerting to be holding on to someone so silent, but it's a nice respite from her own jumbled, panicked thoughts.
There is nothing sexual about it, nothing truly passionate, but the intimacy of their embrace seems like a puzzle piece that she's been missing. And she doesn't want to give it up.
He'd never go for it, she thinks, trying to dismiss the thought starting to grow in her mind. It might not even work.
"I hate to say this, but I have to meet with Klaus, and I will not be back until very late tonight." He steps away from her, the arms that had been encircling her now gently brushing down her forearms. "But I will see you tomorrow in the morning."
It's a languid, lingering kiss, and Elena's reaction to it is like her reaction to any of their other kisses; it leaves her wanting more. "Be safe," she requests as he moves past her for the door.
Elijah gives her a meaningful look. "You as well."
Dinner is a lighthearted affair. Maggie has finally been convinced that her best friend is fine and holds no hard feelings towards her, and Bonnie is still giddily happy from finding a fellow witch of similar powers to practice with. Caroline's sunny smile is obvious from the other side of the room – Stefan and Damon are on the mend and tomorrow, Elijah will attempt to see if they have been compelled.
Bree has locked herself behind closed doors – no doubt seeing if there is a way to alter the bond or the Fire – so the younger women are given free run of the wing, and decide to watch a movie in the entertainment room. It's carefree and fun and Elena finds herself laughing more than she has in a while.
But it doesn't keep Elena from mulling over her thoughts from earlier; she's going to ask Elijah to take some of her blood. He'll probably protest, it might not even work, but at least she wants to try.
He's better than protected as is, but if it comes down to it, she needs to make sure there is someone who knows and respects her backup plan. No Doppelganger? No spell. Her death would mean that the others would not be protected, but Klaus would have no valid reason to try to use Maggie for the Resurrection. Granted, she wouldn't put petty revenge past the hybrid, but if it were to boil down to that, she knows that there are enough people aside from herself who would be willing to protect her.
But that would mean someone would have to kill Elena. As much as the thought terrifies her, she'll do it herself if she needs to. Seeing as the last Petrova Doppelganger took her own life, though, Klaus might be prepared for that. Having Elijah on her side for this is, regrettably, a fail-safe.
When the movie is finished and they all return to their rooms, Elijah is knocking on the door before she even finishes brushing her teeth, and she answers it, toothbrush in hand.
He seems taken aback, at first, that she appears to be foaming at the mouth, but when she holds up the toothbrush in lieu of an explanation, he tries to stifle a smile. "I saw the lights on in your room."
She opens the door farther to allow him in, then returns to the bathroom to finish brushing. "We just finished watching a movie and I had popcorn in my teeth," she explains. She is a little relieved that she hadn't changed into pajamas yet, merely kicking off her flats to flex her toes in the carpet. She peeks around the corner.
Elijah has removed his coat, and draped it over the back of the chair he is sitting in, watching the fireplace. From the crease between his brows, and the shape of his mouth, in addition to his early return, she can't imagine it went the way he planned.
When she pads, barefoot, over to him, he turns his head from the fire, tilting it upward to study her face. She wants so very much to soothe his frown, and before she is truly aware of her own actions, she has started to run a hand through his hair, to trace the frown line as if to erase it with the pad of her thumb. Under her ministrations, he closes his eyes.
"Tell me," she prompts.
His voice is low-pitched, private. "He happily listened to me confirm that Tatia's remains are secured for the Resurrection, and in turn, he told me that you were nearby. He does not suspect me of doing anything more than playing the part of the eagerly helpful brother-henchman who continues to pine for the Doppelganger. His lack of doubt is...disconcerting."
"Is your sister still with him?" He would worry about her, she knows.
He shakes his head. "No, no he has apparently sent her away, for her safety, he says. Klaus worries someone would try to use her as a bargaining chip against him. His typical move would be to dagger her, but I suppose we shall see."
Warm brown eyes are open and regarding her once more, and his gaze drops to her stomach, which is only slightly lower than eye level where he sits in the chair. A gentle hand comes to rest on her hip as he asks: "And what of your wound, Elena?"
When he starts to try to retract his hand, she catches it and keeps it on her hip; the pressure of his hand there seems to generate a deep, fantastic, sparkling burn, and she is enjoying it too much for it to stop. When he makes eye contact with her once more, her mouth goes dry at the his eyes, dark with a human want she could easily assist with. "I-fine. It's fine," she stumbles over her words as his fingers start to curl slightly, and pull her closer. "Good as new, thanks to you."
"Glad to hear."
Okay, she could easily just climb into his lap at the moment, kiss his full lips as she wants to, and draw her fingers through his hair once more before starting to tug his tie off, but she reigns her suddenly peaking lust in and swallows thickly.
"I have something for you," he declares suddenly, and his hand is now gone from her hip, disappearing into his pocket. A closed fist is raised for inspection, and when he opens it, cupped, a handful of thick, wooden bullets sit in his palm. "They arrived from England this morning, and I have a small crossbow that will fire them."
The severity of his expression can mean only one thing.
"But if he's mortal, would we really need-"she starts to ask, then shifts from one foot to the other and gives him a nod. "I can't see it coming to that, Elijah," she says with a hush, because having to kill him is the last thing she wants to do. Regardless, she takes the bullets and takes them over to a trinket box on the mantle for the time being.
"Nor I, but I want to ensure that you have the means to protect your friends, no matter what. My brother's abilities as a hybrid give him a physical advantage over me; we have never tried to compel one another but I would not say it is outside of the realm of possibilities. "
At least they're on the same page then, and she feels a little better about the offer she'll be giving him. She's been racking her brain for a way to say it that's tactful, but she knows she'll never have Elijah's way with words, and instead goes hurtling headfirst into it.
"I want you to take my blood."
She's just turned around as she says it, but she doesn't miss the sight of Elijah's entire body becoming eerily still. Is he waiting for her to back down?
He knows her better than that.
His silence invokes a need to add "I'm not sure if it will work exactly like the others but...we could hope for the best."
His mouth parts, only the slightest of spaces between his lips (she's kissed them how many times now? She's lost count and it will never be enough), inhales slowly and then says "Elena, you do not need to feel obligated to reciprocate my-"
"I don't. Really," she quickly assures him. "I was thinking it over, after Bree talked with us." She licks her lips, and finds that she needs to weave her fingers together in front of her to keep her hands from nervously moving around. "You...you understand," she explains and jerks her head in the direction of the bullets, "you get why I'm willing to do what I'll do, and the others...I love them, and I trust them with my life, but not..."
But not her death. He nods, quickly, obviously aware of how uncomfortable this is for her. She looks down at the carpet and sighs. This isn't something he wants to do, just as much as she doesn't want to have to hurt him or kill him in the process of killing his brother. "It's kind of selfish, I guess, when you think about it."
When she looks up, his head is tilted slightly, and there is something so pensive and different about his expression that her shame is exchanged for curiosity. She frowns as she asks: "What is it?".
"You," he responds, as he rises from the chair, and he says the word as if it's an answer to any and all the questions she could ask him. He puts a hand on her cheek, after brushing it through the hair that frames her face. "You are exquisite, and you cannot imagine how incredible you are – I only wish there was but a way to show you. Katherine and her fierce sense of self-preservation, Tatia, despite her kind heart...they could never compare to you. I have known them, have known of the others, but those aspects of them that I regarded so highly...they are but tiny facets of your character, your honor. You outshine them without trying or desiring to do so."
Her throat feels constricted, as she looks up at him, at the emotions that play on his face. She can't think of a single person who deserves to be regarded with such high esteem. But she knows how much she admires aspects of who he is that he cannot even see, or chooses to see, and thinks that maybe this isn't so bad, the two of them believing better of the other than they can recognize in their selves.
The lips she could not help but focus on before are brushing over hers as soon as she starts to raise herself to close the distance. Soon it's tongues and teeth and fingers and she tries to draw herself closer to him as her nails scrape at the material of the back of his shirt. It takes but half a second of consideration for her to decide (although she's operating mostly on instinct) to press her hips forward and against his.
Instantly, he breaks their kiss, but his hands clutch at her hips; they're so synchronized, so very much aware of what the other wants and she has her proof in spades in their current position. "If this is what you want, Elena," he rasps, his breath fanning out on her neck as he kisses his way down it. "If you are-"
"You know I am," she cuts him off, kissing him again, firmly. "I want you to have my blood a-and," she has to stop to swallow, to breathe, because the next part she wants to say as firmly as possible. Serious brown eyes meet serious brown eyes. "I want you."
It's like a switch is flipped for both of them. "I want you to watch," he says, his lips brushing over hers still as he back them towards the dresser and the mirror there. Her pulse is throbbing in her ears.
They stand before the mirror, her back pressed into his chest, and make eye contact in the mirror as the veins beneath his eyes darken. Her arm covers his arm wrapped about her waist, and his other rests on her shoulders.
She tilts her head to the side and leaves her neck exposed and vulnerable, her ultimate decision and admission, and watches him as he lowers his head to her neck.