tyndalecode: (Babs)
Kendra ([personal profile] tyndalecode) wrote2010-12-31 10:22 pm

(no subject)

Title: My Right To Die
Author: [livejournal.com profile] wrigleyfield
Fandoms: The Vampire Diaries
Characters: Elena Gilbert, Damon Salvatore, and Caroline Forbes
Rating: PG-13
Wordcount: 1537
Spoilers: General S2 spoilers
Disclaimer: The Vampire Diaries belong to its respective creators!
Summary: In the midst of Season Two, Caroline convinces Damon to help her show Elena that self-sacrifice is not the way to go. Written for Yuletide 2010.

It was better for all parties involved that Elena was willing to assume that the purr and smooth rumble of a long car ride was what had kept her asleep. That was a thing that happened, wasn't it? Sometimes people passed out of their own accord and not because of their friends' conniving plans and strange, magical abilities. She couldn't tell what kind of sleep it had been as she started to wake up, rubbing her eyes in the face of an orange dawn. Her body ached as she moved around, stretching out in the cramped back seat of Damon's '67 Camero. It wasn't a car made with sleeping in mind.

To her side a car door creaked and opened, allowing in a gust of surprisingly fresh air. “Where are we?”

“Hey... hey, sit up slowly,” she felt a hand on her shoulder and when she stopped rubbing at her eyes long enough, she recognised Caroline sitting on the edge of the seat by the driver's side door. “You were out for awhile.”

It wasn't Virginia air she was smelling. This was too crisp and fresh, almost as if she could taste fresh water on her tongue. She could hear it too, somewhere off in the distance. Elena blinked and pushed herself up until her back was resting against the other door. She peered out into the predawn light. “I thought you were driving me home. Caroline, where—”

There was a tap against the window behind her and if she'd been completely awake she might have screamed. As it was she nearly jumped out of her skin, clutching Caroline's hands tightly as if waiting for something to try and grab her from the car. Given her track record, it wasn't that far fetched a thought. Another two taps and she completely swallowed her words from before. They'd already formed a lump in her throat when she turned around and found herself staring into a pair of familiar blue eyes.

Damon tapped on the window glass again before grinning and motioning for Elena to move away from the door.

“Why would you even do that?” Caroline shot at him at the first click of the opening lock “You scared her. She just woke up.”

“I know. She's finally stopped snoring,” Damon replied easily. He looked down at Elena before holding out his hand. “Come on, Sleeping Beauty. Out of the car.”

It was only because Caroline was also there, climbing out of the old classic that Elena took Damon's hand and let him help her out onto the grass and into the fresh air. They'd parked on a grassy knoll of some sort, high up enough that she wondered how the car had managed. A quick glance behind revealed no obvious trails or roads and the only things on the horizon were mountains and clouds, a bounty of each. The slopes were dotted with trees and about fifty different colors each thanks to the changing seasons. Somehow they were all equally vibrant, even with a light morning mist filtering their vision. And somewhere she could still hear that water.

Elena stared at it all. “Where are we?”

The forests within the mountains were just waking up. Chirping birds and rustling noises seemed to echo throughout the hills. The Virginia woods had their own spectacles, but these mountains seemed to go on forever. Aside from the three of them, she couldn't find a single sign of human life. Not even a town nestled in the valley below them that a lifetime of Disney movies would have had her believe was there.

“It's beautiful, isn't it?” Caroline said softly after a moment. “I mean... I thought it was amazing driving up, but standing here? God.”

Damon gave one of his familiar apathy filled shrugs. He tilted his sunglasses up so that they rested on his forehead. “Welcome to the Ozarks, Elena.”

“The Ozarks?” She pulled her eyes away from the horizon, telling herself she wouldn't miss the sunrise if she looked at Damon for just one second. “As in... the Ozarks in Missouri?”

“And Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas,” he confirmed, turning back to watch the sun. “But yeah, we chose Missouri.”

Suddenly the sunrise didn't seem as important. Damon could have that effect on a person. “That's a sixteen hour drive from Virginia, at least.”

“We did it in eleven.” In other words, it was lucky she and Caroline were alive.

“But what are we doing--”

Caroline reached out and took her hand, cutting her words off with a gentle squeeze. “Elena,” she said softly. “Just look around. Take it in. Have you ever seen anything like this before?”

“No, I've never been to the Ozarks, and I wouldn't have planned a trip here while Elijah's in Mystic Falls and Klaus might be on his way and Jeremy's probably thinking up God knows how many new ways to get himself killed and Stefan-- I cannot believe you let me leave them! You both know the plan; you both know why Elijah is back in Mystic Falls.”

“Your plan is foolish,” Damon snapped. “Not to mention selfish and self-righteous. Elijah would kill you and then he'd kill the rest of us. I know you're literally dying for the opportunity, but humoring your messiah/martyr complex is not going to solve our problem.”

“Bonnie and Stefan are watching Jeremy and Jenna, who would, by the way, be in so much more danger if you ran off and got yourself killed by Elijah,” Caroline added after a moment of quiet. “It's a stupid idea when you have too much to live for, Elena. Do you want to throw all of this away?” She gestured to the mountains surrounding them and the rising sun in the distance.

The environment was becoming less and less appealing to her each time her friend mentioned how gorgeous it was. They could be in the car, driving back east. “Did you bring me here to try and convince me how beautiful the world is so that I won't give myself to Elijah? Caroline, did you really think that would work?”

Damon raised a hand before the witch could reply. “For the record, she did, I didn't, and she wanted to drive all the way to the Grand Canyon. But loath as I am to admit it, the point stands: My brother may yet ruin your life, but I can tell you, Elena, if you're going to die because of a vampire it won’t be because you walk up to one and bare your neck.” He looked her up and down. “If that ever happens it'll be because I've glamored you and done it myself.”

“Oh my God, ignore him,” Caroline said, grabbing Elena's hand again. “No one's going to glamor you. We just-- I just wanted you to know that I think it's a stupid idea. It sucks being dead, Elena. It sucks. Even with the powers and everything, it sucks and it'll be worse for you because you won't get any of that. You'll get a box and dirt in the cemetery and you'll probably be buried on top of someone else, because that cemetery has been around for ages. You'll never see me, or Bonnie, or Jeremy, or Jenna, or Stefan, or even Damon every again. You'll never see this or anything like it again.” She pointed at the horizon. “It's just over. And for what? Probably nothing. Just more people dying. But you'll never know because... you’ll be dead.

“So yeah, maybe I did try to bring you here to show you how beautiful things can be and what you're going to be missing out on if you kill yourself. Because... well, because you needed to see it and you needed to know.” She stopped, taking a deep breath before throwing her arms around Elena's shoulders. Her next words were whispered as she ignored the affected, disgusted look that always seemed to appear on Damon’s face in the presence of female emotion. “Okay? Do you get it? Can we just... watch the sun rise now and not be suicidal?”

There was little Elena could do but return Caroline's hug, even if she couldn't make any promises after the clearly heartfelt speech. Part of her felt guilty, knowing that even as she squeezed her friend tightly and they both indulged in a few tears, she hadn't changed her mind. As far as she was concerned, Caroline didn't understand, and Damon, well, Damon always had his own agenda. For all she knew he wanted her alive for his own purposes; most likely as an excuse to keep fighting with and needling his brother.

Neither of them were thinking ahead. They were thinking about her and her alone, while she took everyone's lives into consideration-- and no, dammit, she did not have a martyr complex. Having common sense was different than martyring oneself.

Elena had sense. And now, thanks to Caroline and Damon, she'd seen one of the more beautiful sights of her short, young life-- a sunrise over the Missouri Ozarks. She was ready to do what needed to be done and if that meant dying, well then so be it.