CHAPTER: It happens like it usually does.

Couple: Stefan-elena.

Fandom: TVD

Disclaimer: I don't own the TVD. Julie Plec does. If I did, I would never be able to do it half as good as she does.

Author's note: Okay, so I am new to the TVD fandom, but really, I cannot get over Stefan and Elena. I especially love them in the time-period that they are currently in. It may sound crazy that I love them when they aren't together, but if you really see, they still are. Stefan has never been able to move on, and Elena, although she kids herself, has never been able to accept Damon the way she accepts Stefan. I truly believe that they will get back together. And when they do, it'll be epic. So this is my piece set in this time period.

For this story, all you need to know that Elena is at a college party where Stefan finds her.

She is wasted. From experience he knows that it doesn't take much. A couple of really strong drinks and she is out. Damon should know. Damon shouldn't have left. But he doesn't. And he does - particularly after a ridiculously stupid argument. Stefan doesn't think it is his place to even know. But she is crying her heart out, wasted and with tears streaming down her eyes and so he does.

She leans on to him, slurs a word that really shouldn't have come out of her mouth if she was so in love with his brother. His brother, he reminds himself. And he grabs her, his hands automatically folding around her waist as they hoist her up, holding her against his side as he reaches for her bedroom door.

"Stefan..." She murmurs quietly. She is completely out of it and she is looking at him like the old Elena would and he is a little dumbfounded when he sees her, all brown eyes laced with sheen of tears and dark hair falling carelessly over her face. She suddenly giggles, and then trips falling on her bed taking him down with her.

"Ooops!" she mutters, slurring ridiculously. "Damon would not be happy with us right now."

"Elena..." He sighs, struggling to get up and off her. The truth is, she maybe out of it, but he isn't and being in such close proximity with her stirs feelings in him that he thought were long buried. He is just about completely loosened himself when she catches his hand. He turns and catches her looking at him with her head cocked to one side, her eyes forlorn.

"I wish Damon was more like you. So caring and so safe."

And come on, it shouldn't matter to him right? Especially after the way she has treated him. Especially after the way she fell so effortlessly in love with his brother, when its next to impossible for him to fall out of love with her. But it does. She does. And he so desperately wants to remind her that she had him, that she had him at hello and that she still left him. But he doesn't. And then her hands pulling him down with her on a mattress that is so soft, so her, as the tears fall out of her big brown eyes and he reminds himself once more as her smell engulfs him. His brother. His brother, brother, brother. And He can't allow himself to forget that. He shouldn't forget that. Although Damon just as easily forgot that she was more his than his as he had kissed her and made love to her and touched her in places only he, Stefan, had a right to.

He pulls away a little harshly, not enough to let her fall, but enough to prevent himself from falling. And maybe it's too late. Because she was always the one to cause his downfall.

"Make me forget him, Stefan. Please. Just for tonight." She pleads. "Make me forget all that Damon has done. Make me forget every self-destructive bone in his body that I love like I've never loved before."

And it cuts him. Her love for his brother is so much more than her love for him, and it kills him to listen to her utter these words, but he does. But then she is staring at him like the old Elena would, and touching him like only she knows how and her lips are parting under his like they were meant to be and it's been so long since he has had the taste and so many days of dreams of her and him that just for a moment, just for a helpless, timeless second, against his better judgement, against the voice that is screaming inside his head to let her go, he does the only thing that he can. He falls. So fast and so hard that before he knows it she is all he can see.

With a sigh of resignation, he pulls her towards him, buries his face in her till he can't make out where she starts and where he ends and gives her exactly what she wants. He makes her forget.

His hands touch every part of her body, and his lips curl on hers with a desperate need that has been brewing for so long as a low growl involuntarily escapes his throat. And before he knows it he is taking her mouth again and again and again, bruising her lips, swallowing them whole as he presses her even further. And at this point he can't concentrate, can't breathe, can't define whom he punishes – him or her.

Her teeth scratch and graze his neck and he can feel that sharp pain before she draws blood, just as his lips move away from her jaw line to her neck, to her pulse point, so alive and so delicious as they draw hers. And then, his blood is flowing through her veins, just as her blood flows through his. It's nothing like he's ever experienced before. It crosses all boundaries, all expectations; all defines of this world as it so effortlessly crosses over to a place where no one exists except him and her. Not even when they were dating. Because he had never allowed himself to feel, give in to this experience, always been in denial of her vampirism so much so that he had made her think that he could never love this part of her. But he does. He does, does, does. Always did. Loved her like he has never loved anyone before.

Like she loves his brother.

His eyes close in surrender because she is not giving up. Not letting go. She is sucking and squeezing till she will squeeze him dry. And he will let her. And he draws her blood with equal force till it feels like they won't stop till her blood is the only thing flowing in his veins and his in hers.

And suddenly she pushes him. Straddles him. Her lips ruby red, smeared with his blood, her t-shirt splattered, like it is marked with him. She pulls it over her head, baring herself to his eyes. Her barely there skirt and underwear follows. And she is naked. Her perfect waist and breast and legs for him and only him. But her eyes are all he sees. They are devoid of any emotion but lust, and an insatiable hunger to forget. And he doesn't want her, not like this, not when she is still more his brother's than his but he doesn't have the will or the power to stop. He is taking her mouth again and again and again, his hands are all over her and he suddenly flips her so that he is the one on top. His hands lock hers above the bedpost and his green eyes lock on hers - forcing her, challenging her, dominating and demanding her to feel all that he does and all that they lost.

"Look at me." He commands. "Feel me. Tell me you don't feel all the same things that I do. Tell me that it isn't enough."

She closes her eyes tightly shut because she can't bear to look at him, to look at the bruising tenderness, the raw sensuality that flows through him into her and makes her feel all the things that she thought she had forgotten. Makes her remember every touch, every kiss, and every bit of love as she looks into his eyes and sees her soul. She is so afraid that she will lose it, if she hasn't already lost, so she does what she does best. She writhes and gasps and grates against him, and lets him know exactly how much she wants him. And then they are one. They love so hard, so passionately that it is difficult to separate them, all scratches and hurts and kisses till they both gasp as they come in one.

"Stefan..."

"Don't." He whispers. "Don't say it. Don't you dare tell me that this was one fucking mistake."

Her eyes are pooling with fresh tears and he can see it – the regret and the loss. He doesn't want her pity, never needed it, not then and not now. He wants her love even when she has none to give it to him.

"I love him, Stefan. Love him like I've never loved anyone before."

"I'll find him." He silently breathes. "I'll make him come back to you."

She looks at him with fresh appreciation and like she can't believe he is for real. "How can you be so fair?"

"Because it doesn't change anything." He answers and he thinks maybe he answers for the both of them. Because he can see the confusion in her eyes, the 'I just felt all the things with you that I'm dying to feel with him', the 'maybe i made the wrong choice', and 'I love you, love you, love you' And he can take the pain, the way his heart will break all over again, but he can't take his brother's humanity away from him. Not like this, when it would be so unfair.

"I get it okay. When the dust settles, he will still be the one that has your heart."

And he squares his jaw and without a backwards glance at the sound of his shattering heart walks out of the door.

...

Its two months to the exact date that they had sex when she finds him. He thinks she has a radar, one that tells her to butt in when she knows he is happy, because that's exactly what she does. She taps arrogantly on the table of the restaurant where he is on a date, a fucking awesome date if he may say so himself, and motions towards the bathroom door.

"Stefan, Now."

She moves towards it without a backward glance all long limbs and short skirt and endless waist like he is so obviously going to follow her.

Like he is just hers for the asking. Like he doesn't have a choice. He isn't going to. He isn't going to follow her into that bathroom, not when the blonde beside him is talking about god knows what, or wait, is she a brunette...?

It is barely two minutes before he finds himself once again against the cold plywood door, her lips on his, her hands scratching his back as their naked breaths mingle. He lifts her up and crashes her against the door, entering her in one swift gasp just as she cries out his name.

"Stefan..."

"Elena..."

They are freer this time, not bound by the what if's, and what this all means. Because they know, and that means that they can do whatever the hell they please. There is a conspicuous absence of guilt and with it the pleasure is more. The sex is more. He thrusts into her, just as her lips draw away to reveal her fangs. And she is smiling, content and hungry all at the same time. She licks her lips, once, twice, in anticipation, like she wants to savour the taste of his blood for a lifetime. He growls, his face contorting with pleasure just as she sinks her teeth into his neck. This time he doesn't return the favour. This time he holds back as she draws and draws and draws some more. He allows her to drink as his eyes close in surrender. She doesn't stop. And he doesn't stop her, even when he whimpers her name, even when he knows that he is just minutes away from a blackout. Everything is heightened and all he can do is feel.

Feel every part of her skin. Feel his member going into her. Feel her writhing and taking and taking from him. Feel her as she pleads him, begs him, cries his name offering her neck to him again and again and again. Feel her as she comes with spasms and cries and bloodlust all rolled into one as she collapses on top of him, they both crashing down on the floor. It is only then that he draws blood, and before he knows it he is emptying into her, just as he is taking from her harder and faster like he has never before. It takes an eternity for them to come down from the high. She is in his arms on the floor of the bathroom of a restaurant, and he is softly stroking her hair, as they both catch their breaths. To say that it was incredible, would be an understatement. So they don't talk. They don't address it like before. Just soft kisses and whisperings, and tender touches.

"So what happened?" He finally asks.

"Me and Damon fought."

"About?"

"His killing spree in Denver." She looks up at the ceiling, has this insane urge to light a cigarette even though she has never smoked. "I don't know why he does that. It's like I'm not enough for him. Like he has to prove to himself that I can't change him. Like he can't accept me if I do."

"And do you? Accept him, I mean." He turns sideways to better look at her, his hands carelessly stroking her waist.

"I do. Strangely enough, I do accept him."

She looks at him then, and he can feel her looking all the way into his soul, like she is daring him to look into her own. She searches his eyes for the telltale signs of hurt, but they are devoid of that. He is merely asking a question, and she wonders if he guesses at the truth. So she tells him.

"But I don't accept him as fully as I accept you."

"Elena..."

"Don't Stefan." She puts her finger on his lips, stopping him. "You said it before. It doesn't change anything."

He sighs. Because she is right. Because he is right. And because she is still more Damon's than his.

"You going to go back to her?" She motions towards the door and his date who must have probably left. At this point he can't remember her name.

"Maybe." He answers. "You going to go and talk with Damon?"

"Maybe."

They leave it at that, dressing back and following each other discreetly out the door.

...

...

This time it's planned.

This time they decide on it together.

It's come to a point where they can't help it, can't help themselves. They've done it every time she fights with Damon. And seeing as how that's way more than she'd like, they are at a point where it's regular. Its not that she is a cheater or he is home-breaker but they need this release. They need this time away from time where they go into their own little world, a world where Damon doesn't exist and where she and Stefan have just met as she comes out of the men's bathroom door and they collide. She doesn't know why she needs this. She is happy with Damon. But sometimes Damon can be just, so Damon-y that it exhausts her. And because Stefan is just so Stefan that she always needs to come back to him if only for a little while. Just like he needs her once in a while to be the old her.

And so they decide and predetermine the when and where. She knows that the librarian goes out at 6. And she compels her to leave her the key. She tells Damon she is staying in her dorm room since she has to study, tells Caroline that she will be spending her time at Damon's so she doesn't worry. And there is a pit of excitement within her, like she is going to unwrap her favorite present today. And maybe Stefan is that to her, in more ways than one. Her guilty pleasure. Her god given present.

She hears the door creak open and sees him cautiously enter. From her vantage point she can see every angle of his body, every plane and every crevice of his handsome face and her heart flutters and her breath catches in her throat. His green eyes search her, and then pause, dilate, readjust and stare as if they have found what they have always been looking for. They stay like that, locked in that moment, frozen somewhere two years back. She doesn't need the air, but she lets out a deep breath, like she suddenly feels all the air is evaporating out of her lungs. His breath catches in his throat when he realizes that she is wearing nothing but a black sheer lace that barely covers her. Its his lingerie, the thing she had bough for him and only him. And he doesn't know where the thought comes from, but in a flash he is beside her, his hand is holding her wrist tight enough that she mewls in pain, and he has never treated her this way, but his green eyes burrow into hers.

"Have you ever worn this for him?" the anger comes from no-where seeing as it really isn't his place anymore, (they are each other's booty calls), but its lightning intensity and speed catches him unaware.

"Yes." She answers him, throwing her head back defiantly.

And suddenly she is on the table, her legs spread wide as he tears it away from her. He is fully clothed and she isn't. He is hovering on top of her with both his hands splayed on her either side effectively trapping her, and she is naked in front of him, wide and open and vulnerable. And yet, she is the one who is powerful and he is the one feeling powerless in front of her. He cocks his head to one side, furrowing his brows in confusion. How can this one woman have so much power over him? But then all thought evaporates as she draws his head down and kisses him.

They kiss softly at first, taking their time. They have the whole night after all. And he draws out every single touch, every single kiss, every single breath till she is screaming for him and mewling his name in pleasure. He wants to prove to himself that he can make her lose it, just as much as she makes him. And so he doesn't allow her to touch him or kiss him, but instead focuses all his attention, all his power into pleasuring her, into making her forget that Damon ever existed. She is screaming his name now, her hips writhing against his mouth as he laps her up. And still he doesn't give in, doesn't give her what she wants.

"Stefan please..."

"Elena." He breathes her name against her sex, his warm breath tickling her and it's the sexiest thing she feels, before his tongue lightly flicks.

"Stefan, Oh... My... I'm going to."

"No." He stops her. Forcefully pulls away from her before she can come. He can feel the power rise in him. Because writhing against the table, she is his and only his. This is the one moment when there is no Damon between them. He doesn't know why he feels the need for that raw power to course through him, but something about the fact that she wore his lingerie, their lingerie for Damon, grates and he can't forget. He bears his fangs and moves towards her neck. She can feel her sex, her smell on him just as his teeth bite her. And then her blood is making him giddy with pleasure, like only it can and he forgets himself and his plea to not give in as he opens his zipper and gives her exactly what she wants just as he comes with a shattering, arching, loud climax.

They don't talk. For a long while after they don't need to. This is the first of the many, and he takes her against the floor, the door, the bookshelf, the rows of tables, the chairs until there is not a surface in the library where he hasn't marked her as his own. Its 6 AM before he finally allows her to dress. Just before they part, she looks at him like she is sorry and yet with a hope and a wonder and a plea that he knows he can't answer.

"When will I...?"

"No Elena." He finally says. "This is over. You won't see me again."

"Stefan..." her eyes pool with tears, but she doesn't say a word, nods her head in that way of her's that tells him that she agrees. That night she cries for all that could have been, should have been but isn't. And for the first time she thinks that maybe she made a mistake. Maybe it was Stefan that was her choice and she had been blinded by the glittering and shining lifestyle of Damon. That maybe it was always going to be Stefan for her.

He packs his bags and without so much as a goodbye to Damon or to Caroline or to countless other friends in Mystic falls, leaves never realising that he has marked her as his own.

...

...

He meets her one night. It's out of the blue and so not planned and just the way these things sometimes happen.

"Stefan?"

"Elena?"

They are both breathless. And their eyes do the dance that they always have. But it is as mundane as the grocery store and it feels anything but, as she awkwardly hugs him. She is all sweet breath and a happy smile and brilliant, glittering brown eyes and he is shy and a little blown away. No. Correction. A lot blown away.

Time and distance has changed nothing.

They are still the same - Stefan and Elena.

The subject of Damon never comes up as he walks her to her door and she invites him inside. She, just like him, avoids the topic all together. Just like they avoid the topic of the day he left or what came before. And so they talk and talk and talk, about anything but, about nothing in particular and everything under the sun. She tells him about classes, about what she learnt and about the book that she is hoping to publish. But she doesn't tell him how it's been ages since she has laughed this much or enjoyed herself this much or the fact that she feels like a giddy teenager with hormones running rampant as she falls in love with him all over again. And he doesn't tell her how he thought that time would be enough to heal the wounds but coming here, looking at her he is remembering all the hurt and the loss but he is also remembering what it felt like when he fell for her the very first time.

She is at the sink, when in his haste to help her their hands both go for the same cup. The cup slips and instead of moving for the cup, he holds her hand instead. She looks at him a little startled and their eyes lock, the intensity and the passion all comes rushing back as their fingers weave into the other. He doesn't rush, lightly brushing against each finger tip and her breath hitches. With his other hand, he gently curves against her face, memorizing it, memorizing her before it becomes too much for the both of them. He leans in all the way but suddenly hesitates - What if she doesn't want him? What if its too late? What if she isn't feeling the same things that he is? What if? And then there is no time to think as his lips of softly capture hers. She doesn't stop him. Instead, she curls her hands in his hair and molds her body to his in that way of hers and they fit perfectly like they always do, like they had always done. She is the one who leads the way to her bedroom and this time when they come its soft and full of love and feels just like their first time. They stay in each other's arms, but the reality soon comes crashing back for him and he finally asks.

"How's Damon?"

She looks at him then, but he is closed off and all the passion that she felt before just feels like a dream.

"We broke up, not long after you left."

"Oh!" He turns towards her, surprised. "Why didn't you tell me Before?"

"Would it have changed how you felt? Would it have made you less angry at me? Would it have made you forgive and forget?"

He looks down as his eyelids shutter. Because truth of the matter is that it wouldn't have changed. The hurt ran deep and she had hurt him like no-one ever could, like Katherine hadn't been able to in a million years. And although he loved her, there would always be a part of him that would be weary of trusting her.

"No, it wouldn't have." He answers.

She nods. Picks up her clothes and dresses because the moment is over and she has just been dismissed. He keeps looking at her as she does, before he sighs and does the same. He wants to. He really does want to tell her that they are ready to start again, but he cant deny that it just no longer feels right. She sees it in his eyes. And she wants to stop him. But she also wants to set him free. And when he comes back to her, if he comes back to her she wants him with all his heart and soul. Not like this. Not because he can't seem or doesn't seem to have a choice. So she lets him go. And she tells him that she will wait for as long as he needs.

"Goodbye Stefan."

"Elena..."

"I'll wait for you. So come back to me."

He swallows the lump in his throat. And he wants to say he is sorry and that he wished he could offer her more, but she is right. She is always right. He isn't ready and so he nods. It takes monumental effort on his part, but he lets her go.

...

They keep in touch this time. And it's been years of friendship and laughter and him sitting on the front row cheering for her when she graduates and him offering his shoulder for her to cry on when for the first time she realizes she will have to repeat high school because no one will ever believe that she goes to office. She invites him to her 2nd prom.

It's all red gown and balloon shaped hearts and her shy comments on how great he looks in a tux. It's the same thing she has said a million times before, and yet he feels just as giddy as the first time hearing her shy compliments. In what seems like a long while he doesn't remember the first prom or what she was like when the blood lust had taken her over or how he felt when she had picked Damon over him. Instead all he remembers is her red ball gown and how similar it looks to her first prom dress when they had danced. And he teases her if this too was stolen from Caroline.

She laughs. And when the DJ stops playing music they dance to their own tune, under the skylight in a world of their own. It seems like the right time, and although he asks, it is more out of curiosity and a genuine need to understand than any real hurt.

"Tell me what it was about Damon that made you hurt me the way you did."

She is ready. She has been waiting for him to ask her this question for a long while now. And she has contemplated and questioned and justified herself in her mind only to once again come back to the starting point. Its taken her sometimes but now she finally understands. "It was everything." She answers looking straight into hhis eyes. "He was dangerous and he made me feel things i'd never felt before and he just allowed me to be who I was and he didn't always feel the need to change me or make me a better person. He accepted me with all my mistakes and I felt free."

"So what changed?"

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I still felt all the same things as i did before, but I lost who I was. It's like eating an ice-cream. You love it, but at the end of the day, if you keep eating it you will have a stomach ache. With you there was passion and romance, but more than that, I found myself with you. With him, I just got lost."

He understood. It was similar to how he felt with Katherine. Nothing comparable, but still. With Elena, he was home.

...

It happens one June morning. They are out hunting and the sunlight is falling on her at the right angle, and her eyes are sparkling as she teases him on what a pathetic run that was, when he suddenly pulls her.

"Marry me."

"What?" she asks, her eyes rounding like saucers at his question.

"I said, marry me."

"You mean it?" She is giddy and excited and thinks she must have definitely heard wrong.

"Yes." He hoarsely whispers. "Its been a hell of a journey. And there have been deaths and family members dying and each of us getting lost, but this feeling that I have when I look at you, this overwhelming love that you bring out in me, that's never lost. And maybe i'm not making a lot of sense but I, I love you Elena. You are home to me. And if you need more time that's fine, but..."

"Shut Up." He is mumbling and muttering and she pulls him towards her and kisses him and holds his face in her hands so he finally stops. "Yes. Yes. Oh God yes!"