Series: The Vampire Diaries (television series verse)
Word Count: 6,540
Characters, Pairings: Katherine/Elena
Summary: “We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there, too.” – Kristin Martz She doesn't know what she's looking for—and then, one day, just like that, she does.
Warnings: General spoilers for season four; language, sexual content, mentions character death. Also, it's a bit twisted and dark in some places.
Notes: This idea's been swirling in my head for a bit. I hope you all enjoy! :) Also, if anyone could point me in the direction of a good Katherine/Elena fanmix (or just some lyrics or lines that suit them), I'd appreciate it so very much. <3
There comes a time (years after her turning—she'd say she's lost count but she really hasn't; it's only been five years but it feels like it's been impossibly longer and it feels like it's only been yesterday too, and how in the hell that works... well, she hasn't figured it out yet and doesn't know if she ever will) when home starts to feel more like a guilded cage rather than her own personal sanctuary—her safety. There comes a time when she feels trapped in her own skin and she scratches and scratches and bleeds and heals in seconds, only to scratch more and make herself bleed more (more more more but never enough).
There comes a time when Klaus and Stefan (let's not forget Stefan) realize that this 'cure' isn't at all what they were searching for; of course it was all a trick. Of course it was all a ruse. Knowledge gained did not come without losses, either: there are no more hybrids now.
(The loss of Tyler was and is the hardest to cope with.)
There comes a time when Elena grows very tired of Stefan's efforts to 'fix' her, even after she's already told him countless times that a vampire is what she is now. There's something to be said for his perseverance and his denial: the first thing that she could say is a warning wrapped in bittersweet nostalgia; the second thing that she could say deals with letting go and moving on. She's grown more stern and the years since she's turned have added to that. She isn't the Elena that died in the water under Wickery Bridge. She hasn't been that girl for years. She'll never be that girl again. Everyone knows this. Even Stefan, though he's never admitted it and probably never will.
(This is what all those hopes and dreams of 'as long as we both shall live' have become, for them. Because they're both dead, right?)
There comes a time when even Damon's love for her (and her own love for him—it's real, very real, just as it had been before she'd turned; it's never had anything to do with siring) makes her feel as if she is being choked. Maybe she doesn't need air but she craves it; she wants it to fill her throat and her lungs and maybe she won't feel so choked, so deprived. She knows she should be happy (knows she was, for a time), but she's not. Love is always about give and take, but she's been wondering lately what skeletons can possibly give. Between the two of them, she doesn't think she'll find any of the answers that she seeks.
She's grown tired, too, of the way he continues to insist that she is like him. Why can't she just be like herself?
(Nevermind that she doesn't even know who that is anymore.)
There comes a time when she realizes that sometimes love means letting go and walking away while the flower is still blooming and not entirely dead yet (the petals may be crinkling at the edges and the leaves may be browning, but there's still a pretty scent to follow her and remind her of what she had).
(She thinks that someone learned this lesson before her, maybe even taught it to her, but she can't remember. Self-induced amnesia, maybe.)
She doesn't tell Stefan or Damon goodbye. She leaves them a note, short and simple (easy, unlike how the entirety of their relationship has been): I need to go. I might be back one day. If you ever loved me at all, you won't try to find me.
Maybe it's a bit dramatic, and maybe it's a little cruel, but she feels that this is the way it has to be for now. For years, perhaps. Decades.
She and Jeremy haven't lived together for a while now. He's in college, working towards a Bachelor's degree in art. He doesn't kill vampires anymore. She's proud of him—always has been, and she tells him as much when she says that she's leaving. She kisses his cheek and hugs him tightly, because they've been each others' rocks and it's hard to let that go. She doesn't think she ever really will. She's okay with that.
She'll keep in touch, she promises. Means it.
She tells Caroline and Bonnie something similar. Says she'll come back soon, but doesn't know if she means it. How soon is 'soon', for her? She doesn't claim to know anymore.
She hops into her car and she drives and she drives, destination unknown. She doesn't have to know where she's going right now; doesn't have to know how to get there. She'll figure it out somewhere along the way, and if she never does, that's okay too.
She can breathe a little easier the moment she's outside of Mystic Falls' speed limit.
(Figure of speech.)
There comes a time when the girl who has always put others first needs to put herself first. She is not Elena the doppleganger or Elena the caregiver or Elena the sister or girlfriend or niece or daughter. She is not Elena the friend or Elena the martyr. She is not even Elena the vampire. She's just Elena, and she's doing something entirely for herself for once.
Funny how it only took death (and some other sordid affairs) for her to finally figure out how to live.
She travels for a while, in search of something that she can't quite put her finger on. She thinks she's searching, anyway—she can't be quite sure, can't figure it out. She has forever, though, so she knows that it'll come to her eventually.
Sometimes she draws attention. New York, Los Angeles, Chicago. Sometimes she likes it when people notice her; sometimes she prefers to just blend in with the crowd. She gets tired of the lustful glances that men and women alike give her from time to time; she's not used to this sort of thing, except for when it comes to two brothers that she left back in Mystic Falls. They used to look at her like these strangers sometimes do, except their was adoration in their eyes as well (and then pain, disgust, disappointment, that sort of thing).
These strangers (in clubs, bars, shopping complexes, colleges) look at her simply like they want her, and that excites her just a little, even though she is almost ashamed to admit it to herself. Perhaps it's the newness of it, and she'll tire of their longing looks, eventually. After all, it's not like she'll let them look and touch.
(In most cases, anyway. She discovers that sex with a stranger can be thrilling—no chance of the 'novelty' wearing off, so to speak, and she almost understands why Damon chose to be unattached for a while, but....)
She feeds when she needs to. Her 'victims' don't remember her five minutes after she's done and there is no long-term damage inflicted. Grab-and-go, easy as breathing (even though the whole 'breathing' thing isn't a requirement for her anymore). Nobody really gets hurt. She doesn't kill anyone. Until....
She's in Las Vegas when she's approached by a man who won't take no for an answer. The hotel lot that she's parked in is nearly deserted at this time of the night, and she supposes that if she were still human, the man who is currently pulling at her clothing would be able to literally break her without any issue. He would have definitely had the upper hand if she were still human.
Thing is, though, she's not human anymore and she's stopped counting the days, the months, the years. She's not human, and she is stronger and faster than the scumbag who is trying his damndest to get her undressed and on the ground.
She sinks her fangs into his jugular and his blood is hot and incredibly bitter on her tongue, filling her mouth and making her want to gag. She doesn't care. She feeds from him until he grows limp in her hold. She feeds from him until he stops breathing. She feeds from him until she feels the last, feeble pulse of his heart, and only then does she let go of him. She hastily wipes her mouth, and she leaves him there in the parking lot for someone else to find. She goes back to her hotel room, smiling at the staff and other guests along the way.
She's shaking a little as she steps into the shower. Now that she thinks about it, she supposes that she could have simply compelled him to never touch anyone in such a manner ever again. She supposes she could have compelled him to castrate himself.
But she didn't.
She supposes she should feel a little guilty over the fact that she's just killed someone (it's her second killing, not that she plans on keeping score, and she shudders at the thought). A (sick, twisted) man with family out there somewhere. She supposes she should feel a little guilty.
She's in Seattle when she has a pretty strange dream.
(She hasn't dreamed since she was human.)
She dreams of coffee and tiramisu and a little cafe just on the outskirts of Venice. She dreams of a cottage that she has never been to, and yet it seems more familiar to her than her home in Mystic Falls ever did (after she drowned and came back as something else, that is). It doesn't make sense. It doesn't have to.
And maybe she's a little crazy and compulsive and ridiculous (she thinks she's earned the right to be as much, finally), but she's on a plane that is Italy-bound within four hours of waking up. No real thinking, just doing.
It's a luxury that she never really had the opportunity to experience as a human girl.
She finds the little cafe; she orders a caramel latte and tiramisu, and they're both delicious even though neither is what she truly craves. She pays the bill, tips the waiter well even though it's not entirely necessary, and she begins tracing steps that she's never taken before except in that weird dream. It seems like she's done this before, though, more than once. She can't explain it and doesn't bother to wrack her mind and try. It's not worth the added confusion, she figures.
The cottage itself is beautiful—not too large (unlike a certain Boarding House back at Mystic) and not too small. Not terribly eccentric but with its own special brand of flare. The roofing is a shade somewhere along the lines of rust or brick, the walls pale yellow. There are arches and there are vines climbing in places, the green of the leaves and the white and purple of the flowers both contrasting and complimenting the colors of the cottage perfectly.
She approaches the front door, which is the same shade as the roof; the door handle is a deep brass. She contemplates what she will say to whomever owns this place (it's too lovely to not have an owner) and how awkward the ensuing conversation will probably be. She'll probably lie, she thinks. Tell the owner that she just happened to be passing by, because that sounds a hell of a lot better than “Oh, I had a dream about this place.”
She raises her hand to knock, but the door opens before she can even touch it. She feels a jolt of something which only intensifies when she gets a good look at the other vampire standing in the doorway. It's a mirror-image of her, except only not. Not really. The facial features are the same. The eyes are the same. The same, almost-pouty lips, the same set of hips and long legs. The hair is different, though, all loose curls instead of sleek, straight strands.
“Katherine,” she murmurs, and thinks of how she's following in the other's footsteps (she even fell for the same men-turned-vampires, maybe it's the Petrova curse or some strange blessing in disguise), how she's finally looking out for herself. It's not a bad thing, she thinks. Knows.
Katherine raises one perfectly-arched eyebrow and offers her half a smile. “You've found your way here,” she says, and it doesn't really make sense, but Elena's not really focusing on the whole 'rational' aspect of all of this (or the complete and utter lack of rationality).
Katherine moves aside, and maybe it's not exactly an invitation, but Elena takes it as such and steps inside, closing the door behind herself.
They don't form an uneasy alliance. Quite the opposite—whatever bad blood that existed between them when Elena was human seems to be nonexistent now, perhaps not forgotten but certainly no longer relevant. They don't really speak of when Elena was still human. Katherine also doesn't ask about Stefan or Damon or the status of Mystic Falls. She doesn't ask Elena why she left. She doesn't ask much of anything, and Elena doesn't say much of anything. The house is quiet, but comfortably so. Their lack of conversation doesn't feel awkward and Elena supposes it should, considering that the vampire sitting on the couch across from her did everything possible for a while to make her life miserable.
(But even then, she was just doing it to look out for herself. Now, Elena can't say that she blames her for what she did during that time.)
Being with her here like this is kind of like a clean slate. Elena guesses dying can change a lot of things.
It's kind of ironic, really.
She twirls a lock of her own hair between her fingers, bites her lip, and gives Katherine a sideways glance. She remembers when she was still human and Katherine told her about her family, about the baby that she'd been forced to give up. She probably should have questioned whether Katherine was telling the truth then, but she knew deep down (somewhere in her heart, her soul) that Katherine had not been lying. There had been too much emotion in those eyes. She'd never seen Katherine look like that before or after that moment in time.
Katherine had shared something with her that she hadn't had to. She'd been raw and open and vulnerable, just for a moment.
“I killed a man,” Elena admits, and Katherine looks at her, tilting her head like a beautiful, inquisitive bird.
Katherine doesn't say anything—doesn't judge, doesn't pat her hand like she feels sorry for her (she doesn't, wouldn't). Her silence urges her to continue, for whatever reason. Maybe it's because she actually seems interested in what Elena has to say.
“He was going to rape me. He would have, had I still been human.” Her hands are in her lap now, and she's fiddling with her shirt, waiting for the next words to pass Katherine's lips, waiting for something, waiting for anything.
“Do you regret it?” Katherine asks, and Elena shakes her head before daring to glance at Katherine again. She is almost shocked to see the look of approval scribbled all over the older vampire's features.
“Good,” Katherine declares, and there's that hint of a smile again. “Anything else you want to get off of your chest while you're baring your soul, and all that?” She says it so casually, like it doesn't matter, but her body language says differently, and it's all quite confusing but Elena finds herself spilling her guts nonetheless. She tells Katherine about the first man she killed—the vampire hunter. She tells her about the sire bond with Damon, and how they'd overcame it. She tells her about Stefan's complete change in attitude and she tells her about Klaus' failed attempt at finding a 'cure'. She tells her about Tyler's death and about Bonnie's strength and Caroline's spirit; she tells her about how she wouldn't want to be human again even if the option were available. She tells her about how she needed to get the fuck out of Mystic Falls before it could drown her yet again.
And how things have changed, because Katherine sits and she listens; she doesn't give her any scrutinizing looks, nor does she really comment on anything. Instead, she says, “ Feel better?”
Elena takes a deep breath and nods. Surprisingly enough, she does feel better.
She doesn't tell Katherine about the dream.
She has no intention or desire to have sex with Katherine; she's not the least bit curious as to what it would feel like, making love with her former enemy (rough or slow? She thinks it might be rough the first time, at least. Katherine seems like the type that would like it that way, and she herself enjoys a little roughness every now and again too).
(This is what she tells herself, and it's a lie. Doesn't matter, because it happens anyway.)
It's a Saturday night and Elena's lost count of the weeks and months that she's been here, living with Katherine as if it's always been the most natural thing ever. Katherine suggests that they go out for 'a bite to eat', and Elena sees no point in arguing. She is hungry, and it's not like they have anything else to do.
They wind up at a local club where there are easy pickings—Venice may be a city full of romance but it's also full of lust and want, and Elena guesses that it's fairly appropriate that all those things go hand-in-hand.
They down a couple of drinks at the bar for the hell of it—something that tastes like strawberries and something else that Elena can't quite identify. The drink plays games with her tastebuds, sweet and tangy together and she contemplates ordering another one before Katherine links an arm through hers and leads her to the dance floor.
“Just go with it,” Katherine says as Elena eyes her skeptically. She wasn't aware that the plan was for them to do some actual partying of their own. She's about to protest, but Katherine shakes her head, pulling her close and looping her arms around her neck.
They move together and it's more sensual than Elena could have ever expected—the feel of Katherine's hands on her like this, her proximity, the way their lower bodies brush against each other and linger. It's not like she's never danced with anyone like this before; she has, but this feels different, somehow. Right in a way that it shouldn't.
It's not long before they're noticed, and a man with the greenest eyes that she's ever seen approaches them, speaking to them in Italian. Elena doesn't understand and scolds herself for it; she should really learn the language if she's going to be living here for a while. She's been relying on Katherine to do the translating and the talking, save for the people who have (thankfully) spoken to her in English.
Katherine greets him with a smile and a soft, “Buon giorno. Molto lieto.” Names are exchanged—Elena understands enough to figure that much out. Katherine continues speaking but Elena gets incredibly lost in translation, or the lack thereof.
It's somewhat fascinating and strangely erotic, how Italian rolls off Katherine's tongue like it's her native language.
Green-eyes responds in Italian, eyes both of them, and grins, all seductive and sweet.
Katherine translates for her: “He thinks we're twins, and finds the notion to be very hot.” Even softer, she says, “Perfect meal for two, don't you think?”
They start dancing with him, and they're all gyrating hips and wandering hands. Green-eyes is very responsive to their touches.
Just before Katherine's lips press against his neck, Elena whispers (only loud enough for Katherine to hear), “Don't drain him dry.”
Katherine's laugh is low and dark and spine-tingling. “Oh, but that isn't what this is about,” she reassures, and then they are both drinking from him and he isn't protesting. He's pulling them closer, holding on tight. Apparently, Katherine's already compelled him and Elena's managed to miss it.
She can taste the alcohol in his blood but she doesn't mind it; she'd always been able to hold her liquor, even as a human. She finds herself glancing at Katherine every now and again, eyes lingering on the look on Katherine's face (satisfied—she's enjoying herself, definitely, and so is Elena), and she doesn't want to begin to ponder why.
When they're finished (actually, they could drink so much more but they can't lest they risk a dead body being found), they let him go. Katherine has him drink some of her blood so that he can heal, and then compels him to believe that they got a little wild during sex and all three of them had an amazing time. He walks away with a huge grin on his face and becomes lost in the crowd of dancing bodies.
“Still hungry?” Katherine asks, and Elena turns to look at her, notes the blood on her lips and becomes somewhat transfixed. She feels something hot and twisting low in her belly and she simultaneously forgets how to breathe and can't seem to remember the fact that she doesn't need to anymore.
Yes, she's still hungry, but as for what she's hungry for, she's not quite certain.
“You're staring at the blood on my lips,” Katherine points out, unnecessarily. She's practically smirking as she crooks a finger, says come here with more than just her mouth and eyes. “If you want something, Elena, you're going to have to come and get it.”
And Elena does.
She licks the blood from Katherine's lips and dares to go further: her tongue slips easily past pliant lips and she swallows Katherine's soft gasp, which is followed by a tiny, sexy laugh. Katherine's hands are in her hair and they are pressed as close together as they can possibly get (and there's still too much between them, Elena dizzily thinks) and their tongues are pushing and probing and twining and how in the hell Elena allowed something like this to happen, she doesn't know.
(Except only she does.)
She tastes good, like blood and mint and chocolate and something unidentifiable but uniquely Katherine. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Elena wonders if she tastes the same to Katherine, if their tastes and scents are as similar as their looks, or if they're as different as...
… Well, no. Their personalities aren't even so different anymore. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, Elena doesn't particularly care right now. She's far too focused on the way Katherine arches against her when she glides her hands along Katherine's sides. She's far too focused on the way Katherine pulls back slightly, just enough to catch her bottom lip between a pair of fangs. She draws blood and for half a second, Elena feels a hint of pain, and then Katherine's licking the blood away and tugging at her, pulling her towards the ladies' restroom.
They don't even bother with going into a stall, and therefore Elena is grateful that they don't have an audience, but at this point in time, she can't really say that she'd protest too much if they did. She discovers rather quickly that it's very difficult to think even remotely coherently with Katherine's hand up her skirt and inside her panties, fingers expertly rubbing her clit. Just the right amount of pressure, and oh, her mouth is on her neck now and it makes Elena tremble in anticipation.
It's hot and it's dirty and it's quick, and she comes the minute she feels Katherine's fangs pierce her skin. She comes with her blood in Katherine's mouth. She comes with her fingers tangled in Katherine's curls. She comes with Katherine's name on her lips and she isn't the least bit ashamed of that fact.
Katherine's short dress is hiked up and she's pressed herself against one of Elena's thighs and she's grinding, and Elena can feel how wet she is even through her panties. So she grabs Katherine's hips and she helps her, moves with her, until Katherine is moaning and panting and writhing, and then she falls still save for the tiny post-orgasm spasms.
Eventually, Katherine lifts her head and Elena finds herself licking blood from her lips for the second time in the span of ten minutes.
“You're going to be in my bed later tonight, Elena,” Katherine whispers hotly against her mouth, no questions asked. Those words are full of promise and they make Elena even wetter.
She wouldn't dream of telling her no—not now. Not anymore.
(Not even if she should.)
She's more than terrified sometimes to admit (even if only to herself) that she's happy. Truly, genuinely happy for the first time in quite a while. She can be herself here, with Katherine, in ways that she couldn't be herself back in Mystic Falls.
Damon might have loved her as a human or as a vampire, but once she turned, he didn't really know her anymore, and neither did Stefan. Katherine, on the other hand, has always known her—it's been deep-rooted and just there, and maybe it's the doppleganger thing, but Elena likes to think that it isn't. That it's more, and that scares her, too.
Sometimes, she thinks about running away again. Running while she's still ahead, running before she can get herself hurt, before she can hurt someone else.
But she stays.
Katherine stays, too, and maybe that says something about the both of them.
“I need to go back,” she announces one morning after 'breakfast' (the pretty, leggy blonde won't remember anything once they send her back to her dorm), and Katherine looks up at her, brown eyes full of questions that both of them know she won't ask.
Elena clarifies anyway: “I need to see my brother. And Bonnie. They aren't like us, Katherine. They won't live forever.”
“Bonnie will live longer than the average human,” Katherine points out. “She's a witch. And a Bennett one, at that. She'll be in Mystic for some time yet, unless she decides to get the hell out of there too.”
“And my brother is human,” Elena reasons. “It's been twenty years. He's married now. He has a son and a daughter. If I can't see his family, I at least want to see him for a little while.”
Katherine shrugs and then inclines her head—not quite a nod, but close enough. “I'll come with you.”
Which is nice, because Elena was going to try to muster up the courage to ask her to go, anyway.
Jeremy's still living in their old home—the one they grew up in. His wife is beautiful and his children are, too. He looks happy, and Elena is glad for him. Her happiness for him is tinged with self-pity, however, because this is something that she has and will forever miss out on. She will never know the joys of being a mother, and she thinks (not often, just sometimes) that if she could give up immortality for the chance to hold her baby in her arms, she would do it.
As if reading her thoughts, Katherine says, “I missed out on that, too,” and Elena's heart hurts for her. Katherine had birthed her child but had not been granted the opportunity to hold her or comfort her in any way.
“I know,” Elena replies solemnly, reaching over to gently squeeze Katherine's hand. Katherine accepts the gesture, and even squeezes back.
Elena calls Jeremy on her cell phone, watching as he fishes his out of his pocket and answers.
“I'm outside,” she tells him. “I only wanted to see you for a moment. I won't keep you from your family.”
She hears him say something about 'a brief visit from a business partner who needed to drop something off' for him, and within a few moments, he's outside and shutting the door behind himself. He hugs her tightly, and just for that, she's glad that she came.
But then he's pulling back, raising and eyebrow. “What's she doing here?” he demands to know, his wary gaze focused on Katherine.
“I already told you,” Elena replies, somewhat exasperated. “She wanted to come with me. I would have asked her anyway if she hadn't offered.”
Jeremy frowns, but doesn't say anything else on the matter.
“Your wife and children are gorgeous,” Elena tells him, desperate to change the subject. “I bet you're proud.”
Jeremy beams. “Yeah, I'm really proud. They're good kids, and Nikki is wonderful—she's so great with them and so patient with me, and she doesn't fuss when I have to work late even if I deserve it.” A pause. “She keeps me in line, though.”
Elena laughs good-naturedly. “I'm sure she does.”
She wonders if Jeremy tells his wife and children that he has a sister. She wonders if he tells them that he had a sister. The Elena that he grew up with did die, after all.
She doesn't want to think about that, though—doesn't want to ask, and so she doesn't. Instead, she hugs him tightly once more and tells him to get back to dinner. Some things are best left unspoken.
“So we'll do this again in what, another twenty years?” he asks her and he laughs, but there's a hint of sadness and seriousness there, right at the edges of his laughter. She feels the metaphorical cuts and they sting.
“Maybe sooner,” she answers. Can't promise. Time passes differently for her. “Just... don't ever forget that I love you, Jer.” And she hugs him again just for good measure.
He returns the hug again and again, holds onto her tighter and longer than what might be considered 'necessary', but Elena loves it, has missed it terribly.
“I love you too,” he responds, and to Katherine, he says: “You'd better take care of my sister.”
Katherine seems neither angry nor concerned over the nearly threatening command. “I haven't stopped since the day she showed up on my doorstep.”
Bonnie and Caroline are at the Grill, waiting for her as they said they would be. Bonnie's a single mother and Caroline is with Klaus now—as soon as she's pulled back from Elena's hug, her hand is in Klaus' once more, like they can't and don't want to be separated from one another for long.
Funny how Caroline gives Elena a look when Katherine moves to sit close beside her. Pot, kettle.
But there will be no arguing today. They are beyond that, above that, and this is about reminiscing and catching up. So that is what they do.
They smile and they laugh and they hug some more. It almost feels just like the old times.
Things aren't like they used to be with the three of them, though. They all know it. There is a rift there, and it's miniscule and unimportant right now, but it is present. It's like a tiny crack in the foundation that just widens and widens until, sooner or later, the entire glorious home comes crashing down.
She wishes that it didn't have to be this way.
She understands, however, that it does.
“We should see them while we're here,” Katherine says, and Elena agrees without knowing why. It's not the most brilliant idea ever but she finds herself standing at the front door of the Boarding House with Katherine nonetheless. She feels nervous and jittery, and it's Katherine's presence alone that is keeping her from bolting.
They haven't changed, of course. They are both standing in the doorway when it opens, and they somehow manage to look surprised and expectant at once. There is an awkward silence and Elena can see so much in their eyes: anger, loss, frustration, sorrow, guilt, heartache, love. Love; it's still there. For her, for Katherine. They keep holding on and so does she, in her own way. Maybe she'll never stop loving them. Maybe Katherine won't, either.
But fire and gasoline don't work well together, unless the goal is to set everything ablaze and watch as the destruction unfolds.
Damon clears his throat. “Do you want to come inside?”
She and Katherine both shake their heads. Katherine offers a soft smile. “We just wanted to check on our favorite boys. Sometimes we miss you.”
“You left,” Stefan states flatly, and he's looking straight at Elena.
“I had to,” she replies. “You know I did.”
It's the elephant in the room—the one they never really had the chance to talk about because yeah, Elena did leave. She doesn't regret it, but she does regret hurting them. She tells them as much but doesn't know if she gets through to them. Maybe one day, they'll understand. She can only hope. For now, she knows that they are alive and well and not trying to kill each other and that is enough for her.
She slips her hand into Katherine's. “Let's go home.”
Home. What a strange thing, to know that 'home' to her is now that little cottage in Venice—or, more specifically, home is now where Katherine lives. Where they live, together.
Their parting words to the boys who loved them (too much, not enough) are similar to the ones Jeremy told Katherine. “Take care of each other.”
They glance at one another. “We always do,” they respond in unison.
Elena knows that they always will.
Once they're back home, Elena contemplates retreating to the guest bedroom (the one that was hers when she first came here) to let Katherine have some peace and to let her be alone with her thoughts, but Katherine makes it obvious that she will not have any of that. Instead, Elena finds herself being led into the master bedroom—the one that they've shared for years, and she doesn't protest. She lets Katherine lead, but the moment that their clothes hit the floor, she allows herself to be a little more aggressive.
She likes to hold Katherine down sometimes even though both of them know that it's more or less a farce; she doesn't have the physical power that Katherine does. Katherine is older and could break her hold in less than a millisecond if she wanted to, but she doesn't. Katherine allows Elena to grip her wrists and hold them above her head while she showers kisses along Katherine's neck (and then bites, and then drinks); Katherine allows Elena to hold her hips down while Elena flicks her tongue over her clit again and again—slow and then faster, only to slow down again. Elena likes to draw it out, likes to make both of them work for Katherine's orgasm. There's a sense of power that comes with it, but also some strange sense of utter joy. Katherine trusts her enough to allow her to do these things, and that makes her happy.
Katherine begs her sometimes. Tonight proves to be one of those nights, and when she begs, Elena can't bring herself to make her wait terribly long for it. She users her tongue and fingers to make Katherine writhe and moan and shudder and come again and again (and again), and then Katherine is tugging at her hair, urging her to stop.
“It's your turn now,” Katherine informs and then half-grins. “Or maybe I should say that it's my turn.”
She shoves Elena onto her back and straddles her hips; she's slick and hot against Elena's lower belly and Elena wants her to move a bit lower, to rub against her until they both come, but she doesn't say anything—she doesn't ask Katherine to play out her fantasy, because Katherine likes to surprise her.
She's learned that Katherine likes control in the bedroom as much as she likes to give it up. When she's being the more dominant one, she likes to hold Elena down, too. Of course, Elena lets her. Katherine could overpower her very easily, but it's not like that. Elena lets Katherine hold her down because she wants Katherine to do it. She likes it as much as Katherine does.
“You're so wet, Elena,” Katherine purrs against her ear, and Elena whimpers. “I don't have to even touch you to know that. I can smell you.”
“It's because of you,” Elena replies in a husky whisper; she makes a token attempt at lifting her hips a bit, but Katherine applies more pressure, effectively holding her in place.
“Oh, I know,” Katherine answers, nipping at her jaw. “And it's not unappreciated.” She gathers Elena's wrists in one hand, squeezes hard enough to bruise, but it doesn't matter because if a bruise begins to form, it fades within seconds. Sometimes Elena doesn't like that, because she would occasionally like to display the marks that she's earned.
Katherine's right hand plays momentarily over the skin of her thighs before slipping easily between them. Elena feels three fingers press inside of her and curl, and she gasps reflexively, eyes rolling back. She bites her lip hard enough to draw a hint of blood, and Katherine licks it away.
Those fingers find her spot easily and Katherine knows exactly how fast to thrust and which way to twist her wrist to make Elena reach orgasm quickly.
When Elena does comes undone, trapped between Katherine and the mattress, Katherine holding her down and keeping her in place, she realizes that it's moments like these in which she's never felt more free.
If that isn't some sort of twisted irony, she doesn't know what is.
They're lying side-by-side on the bed later, shoulders touching, when Elena randomly (and sleepily) quotes: “We lose ourselves in the things we love.” She's heard it before somewhere, but can't remember where.
“We find ourselves there too,” Katherine finishes for her, reaching over to tuck loose strands of hair behind her ear.
Elena hears herself make an odd sound—a short laugh bordering on a sob, and she rolls over and kisses Katherine, letting her lips linger just because.
As the first rays of early-morning sun peek through the blinds, Elena murmurs, “I forgive you, you know. For everything that you did to me and my family when I was human.”
Katherine snorts lightly and rolls so that she's curled against Elena's side. “I don't recall asking you for such.”
“I'm giving it to you anyway,” Elena replies lightly. “Because it's important.”
There is a long silence, and then Katherine says, “Okay.” No arguing and no elaboration.
Elena takes a breath and slowly releases it. She doesn't know why she feels the urge to tell Katherine about the dream now, but it feels right. “I had a dream years ago before I came here. It was about this place. It never seemed significant before and I've avoided telling you about it because it was so weird, but I'm telling you now.”
Katherine lifts her head and smiles. It's a genuine smile, not a mocking one. “I was calling you.”
It's not a grand gesture or an epic confession of affection, but it might as well be. Elena knows that their love isn't the kind of love that the bards would have sang about, but it doesn't have to be.
It's theirs, and that's what matters.
I regret nothing!
I am, however, amused at how lengthy this turned out to be when it really was supposed to be shorter. Oh well. I hope at least some of you awesome readers enjoyed!