I know there's something in the wake of your smile
I get a notion from the look in your eyes, yeah
you've built a love but that love falls apart
your little piece of heaven turns too dark

Damon watched his world crumble in her eyes as she watched Katherine leave. Elena hadn't expected to face the consequences of kissing him. She hadn't expected Stefan to sacrifice himself in the worst way possible to save him. Damon couldn't imagine anyone walking away from those eyes, not when she needed them that much. She was breaking, and he broke along with her, her pain ebbing under his skin. He felt the betrayal that burned her alive.

He knew her so well, better than she thought he did. Damon was painfully aware of Elena's fierce determination to pry every last shred of humanity they had to the surface. She wanted them raw, and flawed, and bleeding, but only so she could try to fix them. Stefan had sacrificed everything she had worked for, literally bled for. He had done it for noble reasons, but he'd destroyed a piece of Elena's faith in him, and in herself, in the process. As Damon moved to comfort her, she offered him a reassuring look, obviously not wanting to burden him after his ordeal. The pain and desperation, the fear...they were still there behind the mask that was nothing but a lie. It said that everything would be fine. It said that they would survive this.

listen to your heart
when he's calling for you
listen to your heart
there's nothing else you can do
I don't know where you're going
and I don't know why
but listen to your heart
before you tell him goodbye

She would get Damon to understand that the Stefan they loved was still there. He was dealing with the unfounded guilt the same way he always did. Denial. All she had to do was ignite the desire to try. She could do this...because, she still heard Stefan's voice in her dreams. He was still a fixture in her heart and soul. But, she knew, Damon was too. Elena wasn't sure where they stood anymore. They had tentatively been treading the delicate bridge between friends and enemies for so long that she'd forgotten where the border was. If that wasn't enough, Elena had needed to toss them sideways into the relentless riptide of unanswered feelings and questions. Kissing him had been reckless. She would have to pay for that eventually. He deserved to be loved, but she couldn't do that while her heart belonged to Stefan. Stefan...who had been sacrificing everything to save his brother, who at that very moment had been professing his love to her, Stefan's girlfriend, while she'd held him in her arms and contemplated what it would feel like to let herself feel his love. They had betrayed him with that tender exchange, and they owed it to him to save him back, and to love him as he loved them.

She would get Damon to believe that this was not a hopeless cause. If there was anything Elena was good at, it was getting a rise out of Damon. He would wake up, they would find Stefan, and everything would work out. She wouldn't let him go. She wouldn't let either of them go. If she gave up, Stefan would lose himself, and she wouldn't let that happen. If she didn't slap some sense into Damon, he would eventually flip the switch to hide the pain. Just as Katherine had said, she loved them both, although in very different ways. With everything Elena had lost, she would hold onto them with everything she had.

sometimes you wonder if this fight is worthwhile
the precious moments are all lost in the tide, yeah
they're swept away and nothing is what is seems
the feeling of belonging to your dreams

They had almost died so many times to save him. She had looked him in the eye and pleaded with him. Damon had thrown himself in Klaus' path of destruction so many times...and Stefan didn't care. He didn't want to be with them, to be with her. Elena was as fragile as Damon seemed to think she was, even though she didn't want to admit it. She'd never counted on losing Stefan's love. Sure, they'd had plenty of close calls, but someone dying isn't the same as someone leaving you of their own volition. She'd thought what they had was forever, because he was. Apparently, her hold on him was as weak and breakable as her human body. She had no purpose, just memories of feeling almost whole.

listen to your heart
when he's calling for you
listen to your heart
there's nothing else you can do
I don't know where you're going
and I don't know why
but listen to your heart
before you tell him goodbye

There was a gaping hole in Elena. Damon knew she cried every night, he listened outside her window, feeling more powerless than he'd ever felt in his life. The woman he loved was suffering, and as far out of his reach as ever. There was an ever-increasing amount of romantic tension between them, but the twisted memory of Stefan poisoned them both. They were all he had. She was right. He couldn't tell her that her pain was nothing. He couldn't just let Stefan go that easily. So, he was her friend and partner in all things supernatural. He tried to make sure she didn't forget about his love for her. Despite the fact that it meant he'd learned nothing over the years, he couldn't give up on her either. More and more, she was open to it. He would never forget the dusty, congested bark of a laugh she'd given him as he mocked her chili. He wondered how long it had been since she'd done that.

and there are voices
that want to be heard
so much to mention
but you can't find the words
the scent of magic
the beauty that's been
when love was wilder than the wind

Elena couldn't escape the questions. Everyone was confronting her about him. She wasn't sure when things had spiraled out of control, but something had happened. Something had changed that brought all of the feelings she's been fighting to the forefront. They'd gotten so close over the past six months. She felt terrible when she thought of all the things Damon knew about her that Stefan never had. She hated herself for loving the way he made her laugh, for the heat that was undeniably growing between them. She had more trouble every day, convincing herself that it was just physical. It wasn't. She loved how incredibly passionate he was, how strong, and fearless. He was completely selfless when it came to the people he cared about. She'd been at the top of that list long enough to know the heady, intoxicating feeling of his devotion. They'd come so close so crossing that invisible, irrevocable line so many times. How did she explain that she was...falling in love with someone else, with the guy that abused her best friend...with Damon? How could Elena convince anyone that she wasn't Katherine when she kept repeating her mistakes? How could she convince herself to see Damon as a mistake when he was beginning to mean everything to her?

listen to your heart
when he's calling for you
listen to your heart
there's nothing else you can do
I don't know where you're going
and I don't know why
but listen to your heart
before you tell him goodbye

Elena had finally made her decision. Stefan was never coming back to her as the same person he was when he left. She would never trust him like she had. But, more than anyone else, she trusted Damon, she needed Damon. Their relationship had changed, the love she felt for him had evolved and merged with the physical attraction that had been there from the start. It was so much stronger now, strong enough that his heartbreak over Stefan's betrayal was too much for her. He had never been this human, not since realizing Katherine had abandoned him. She knew what she had to do. Elena would make the same choice Stefan had. She would give everything to save Damon. In this case, that meant letting his brother go, as Stefan had let her go. It meant giving herself over to and unstoppable, uncontrollable, all-consuming force. The difference was that this was no sacrifice. Elena wanted to be with Damon. She didn't know if anything would work out between them. She didn't remember the exact moment that she knew that she was absolutely in love with him. It wasn't like that. Elena just knew that she needed to be the one to hold him, to kiss away the pain. Damon needed her, and she loved him so intensely that she couldn't fight whatever was between them. She didn't know if they were forever, but she knew she would be his as long as he looked at her like that, like she was his lifeline. His striking eyes were begging her for everything she'd never offered. She would give him anything at this moment.

She told him she was ready. She marveled in the beauty of his confliction. Damon's emotion was so evident on his sharp features. He was afraid of the insinuation behind her words, afraid that he'd misread her. He was full of hope that for once, he would be the one. And also, there was a weight to him that had been growing since Stefan left. Damon loved his brother, and he didn't want to take the only thing that might pull him back to them. Elena had told Damon that she thought he would be the reason Stefan came back, and it was hard to tell if he thought gambling his brother's humanity was worth having everything he wanted. Seeing the selfless resolution in his eyes, Elena knew for sure. Damon was the one she wanted. Her heart broke and swelled with respect and adoration. She would wait for him if she had to, but he would be it for her because no one affected her like this. This was real, and it was worth the risk to her. She would love him the way he'd deserved to be loved for a century and a half, the way no one ever had. She caressed his face lovingly, and told him the truth. They would survive this.

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I don't do a lot of songfics, but I sort of liked this for Stelena (which I don't really ship at all. Then, as I thought about it, I realized that it fit Elena's feeling of being torn between the two. I love the ambiguity of the lyrics, and wanted to play around with them a bit. The song is "Listen to Your Heart" by DHT. Please, please, please...leave a review. If you like it, I want to know why. Same if you hated it. Reviews help me know what you guys want. Help me help you.