Title: Now I'm Here
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Pairing/Characters: Alaric/Elena, mentions Stefan/Elena
Word Count: 1962
Summary: Elena takes the first steps to getting over Stefan.
Warnings: Sex with a minor.
Spoilers: Through "The End of the Affair"
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from L. J. Smith, Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec et al.
Betas: Angel's Kuuipo, shakensilence, snogged
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Now I'm Here
It was late when Elena stumbled into the house on her return from Chicago. All that she wanted to do was crawl into bed and cry, but she found herself heading towards Alaric's room instead.
"Ric," she called softly, opening the door as she knocked. Despite the late hour, she was a little surprised to find Alaric asleep, arm thrown back behind his head on the pillow, shirtless.
She started to back out of the room, suddenly feeling guilty for almost waking him, but his groggy voice stopped her. "Elena?"
With a selfish, relieved sigh she closed the door and approached the bed. "Yeah, it's me."
Running a hand through his sleep-rumpled hair, Alaric sat up, pulling the covers around his waist. "How was Chicago?"
"Chicago sucked," Elena blurted out, trying to keep the tears out of her voice as she sat heavily near the foot of the bed.
"You found him?" Alaric asked, sliding closer.
Elena burst into tears, nodding her head in confirmation, crumpling into herself. She felt Alaric's arms wrap around her, and pull her up the bed until she was reclining against the headboard, crying against his chest.
She felt him reach for something off to the side of the bed, and then felt several tissues being slipped into her hand. Flooded with embarrassment, she pulled back, drying her eyes and blowing her nose.
"Sorry," she mumbled into the tissue.
"It's okay, really." When she continued to stay turned away from him, Alaric reached out to turn her face back to him. "Tell me what happened." Elena shook her head. "You'll feel better, I promise."
"Promise?" Elena quietly questioned, turning back to him.
"It's over. It's really over." Elena hated to say the words aloud, not wanting them to be real.
"What did he say to make you believe that, now?" Alaric brushed the hair back from her face. "I thought nothing would ever make you stop loving him."
"I haven't stopped loving him. But he made it perfectly clear that he doesn't want to be with me anymore. He won't be with me."
"What makes you believe him this time? Hasn't he been saying that all summer?"
"He wasn't saying anything all summer; which is why I could believe that he would come back to me some day." Elena locked eyes with him. "I saw it in his eyes tonight. The part of him that loved me is gone. And it's not coming back."
She felt Alaric wrap his arms around her, comfortingly.
"Do you know what the worst part of the whole thing is?" she asked, snuggling into his embrace. "It didn't break my heart when he told me he didn't want to see me ever again."
"What are you saying?" Alaric asked, his hand stilling from running through her hair.
"All that I could think about on the drive back here was that it was like a weight had been lifted." Elena pressed a hand against his chest – his bare chest – to sit up more. "Do you have any idea how crazy my life has been since I fell in love with Stefan Salvatore?"
Alaric laughed bitterly. "I think I have a pretty good idea."
"I know that my life isn't suddenly going to calm down now. I'm still the doppelganger. Klaus still wants me dead and Damon…"
"Just wants you," Alaric finished.
"Yeah," Elena acknowledged.
"How do you feel about that?"
"It's complicated. Is it okay if we examine that another day?"
"Of course." He watched her for several moments before he ventured, "But that's not all, is it?"
"No, it's not."
She hadn't planned this when she came in here, but Elena couldn't stop herself from leaning up to brush her lips against Alaric's. She was a bit surprised when he kissed her back, the hand he had in her hair pulling her closer for a moment before pushing her away.
"Elena, no, we can't," he said, moving a few inches away from her.
"Yes, we can. Don't tell me you don't feel it too. We've both been denying it, but I know that it's there. It's been building all summer."
"Yes, alright, I admit that we've been growing closer and I might even admit to some measure of attraction, but that doesn't mean that this is okay."
"Is it the age difference?" Elena asked, moving closer again.
"Among other things. This would be wrong on so many levels. Elena, you're Jenna's niece. You're Isobel's daughter. And, oh yeah, you're my student."
"Well, Stefan was way older than you and a vampire. I think I can handle a little uniqueness in my men."
Alaric laughed. "You think those things make us unique?"
"See? You do think there is an 'us'," she purred, bending to kiss his neck.
"Elena," Alaric protested. Or was that begged?
"Tell me one thing… Everything else aside… Do you want me?"
Alaric squeezed his eyes shut, but when he opened them again she knew it just as she had with Stefan. "Yes. God help me, I want you."
This time Elena leaned in slowly, giving him the chance to push her away before the kiss began. Instead, he reached out and pulled her to him.
She knew it was selfish, what she was doing. He obviously was struggling with his attraction to her, and while she could understand where he was coming from, she found herself not caring. She had been through too much in the past year to let the things he was worried about stop them from experiencing what pleasure they could with each other. She didn't have the strength to deny herself what she wanted. Right now, she wanted Alaric.
Alaric's hands were on her waist, pushing her dress up her body. She broke the kiss to pull it over her head, straddling him.
"You are so beautiful," he whispered, his hands skimming up her body to remove her bra.
"So are you," she breathed as he began to tease her breasts, his stubble scratching at her sensitive flesh.
"I'm not beautiful. I'm a mess."
Elena pulled his face up to kiss him. "A beautiful mess," she said against his lips. "My beautiful mess."
Alaric groaned and rolled Elena onto her back. The bedcovers that had been separating them were suddenly gone. She could feel him hard against her, only their underwear keeping them apart. The heat of his body was setting her skin on fire.
"Are you sure about this?" He asked, the last of his resolve crumbing away.
Elena slid her hands down his back and under his boxers, pushing them down. "I'm sure," she confirmed.
When he began to pull away from her, Elena latched onto him. "Where are you going?"
"Not far," he promised. "I just need…"
He was reaching for the drawer in the nightstand and Elena realized what he was looking for. She dropped her head back onto the pillow, relaxing her grip a bit. "I'd nearly forgotten about condoms."
"I guess that's one useful thing about sleeping with vampires. No repercussions from sex."
"Just the risk of a broken heart."
"Do you want to stop?" He nobly asked, even with the condom in hand. Elena wasn't cruel enough to stop now, despite the momentary clenching in her chest.
"The past is the past," she said, snatching the condom out of his hand. "You're who I want to be with now."
Alaric took back the condom, saying, "I'll take care of this. You take care of these." He plucked at her panties.
Elena grinned. "Deal."
She quickly shimmied out her panties and before she knew it Alaric was hovering over her again, his fingers between her thighs. She marveled at the look of wonder on his face as he slid a finger inside her and found her wet.
"You really do want me," he said, the awe in his voice as well.
"You still doubt me?" Elena asked, pouting. She couldn't hold the look for long because Alaric's thumb had just found her clit.
"Not you. I doubted myself. I know you wouldn't play me like that."
She pulled him into a heated kiss. "You're the best man that I know. Never doubt that."
She whimpered as he removed his fingers, only to moan as he replaced them with his cock.
Once he was fully inside of her, he managed to say, "I'll try." He pulled back, only to press forward again. "But I may need you to remind me from time to time."
These were the last coherent words either of them said for a while.
Elena woke slowly, pulling the arm that was wrapped around her tighter against her chest and pressing back against the warm body behind her. That realization – that there was a warm body behind her – startled her the rest of the way to wakefulness.
She rolled onto her back to find Alaric watching her.
"Good morning," he said, kissing her shoulder. "Any regrets?"
She leaned up to kiss him. "About us? Not one. You?"
"Not as many as I should. There are so many reasons why last night was a bad idea, but I don't regret being with you."
Alaric leaned down to kiss her again, and Elena couldn't believe how right it felt being kissed by him.
"No one can know about this," Alaric cautioned. "Not your friends, not Jeremy, and especially not Damon."
"Believe me; you don't need to tell me that twice. I'm okay with that."
"Which means," he said, reluctantly, "that you should probably get back to your own bed before Jeremy wakes up."
"You don't want me to take care of this first?" Elena asked, wrapping her hand around his morning erection.
Alaric groaned. "As much as I would love that, I'm going to take a rain check."
Elena pouted, but slipped out of bed anyway. Naked, she walked around the bed to find her discarded dress, and pulled it over her head. She retrieved her underwear, and checked her hair in the mirror. She turned back to where Alaric was watching her from the bed.
"How do I look?"
Elena skipped back to the bed for another kiss.
Before things could heat up again, Alaric pushed her away. "I'll see you downstairs in a little while."
"Fine," Elena sighed and picked up her discarded underthings again, along with her shoes. With one last quick peck, she went over to the door and stuck her head out into the hallway. With no sign of Jeremy, she slipped out into the hallway and turned back to quietly close the door.
"What are you doing?"
Elena spun around to find Jeremy coming out of his room. She hoped he didn't see the hand she now hid behind her back, clutching her underwear.
"Did you sleep in there?" Jeremy asked, coming closer.
"Uh, yeah. I got back late last night and wanted to fill Ric in. Guess I fell asleep while talking and he was nice enough to let me sleep."
Jeremy stared at her for another minute, as if trying to decide if she was telling the truth. Of course, the alternative was just too weird to think about.
"Guess Chicago was a bust," he finally said.
"No, we found him and he sent us away. He sent me away."
"Are you okay?"
"I will be."
"Look, I need to get to work. Fill me in on the details later?"
"You bet," Elena agreed.
Elena was relieved when he finally went down the stairs, and she could escape into her room.
As she sagged against her closed door, she realized that she hadn't been lying to Jeremy. She really was going to be okay without Stefan ruling every thought and action she made.
Copyright© March 2012