otrazhenie: ((6x22-289))
Elena Gilbert ([personal profile] otrazhenie) wrote in [community profile] fateandfortune2017-05-28 03:32 pm

If Things Had Been Different... [For Elijah]

After her parents died, Elena Gilbert's life changed.

That was the easiest point to trace it back to, the place where she could say it had all started. Where she had changed from an innocent teenager to someone who knew what true pain felt like. But at least she'd had Jeremy. And Jenna. And eventually John had come back into her life and secrets had been revealed... So many secrets. Perhaps not enough though, and not revealed the way they should have been. Her birth turned out to be the least startling in the end, despite it being so shocking in the moment, but at least she'd understood then why John had come back into her life.

Learning of the existence of vampires had changed her life even further, and in no ways for the better. Strange things happened sometimes in Mystic Falls, but she'd never felt unsafe in the town where she'd grown up. It was heartbreaking to learn that she was a danger to everyone she cared about, that for some reason a group of vampires wanted her and the only way she could keep her loved ones safe was to leave.

College had been the perfect excuse. As much as she'd dreamed of going to the same college as Caroline and Bonnie, of sharing a dorm room and having those normal college experiences with her best friends, she couldn't put them at risk. If someone found her... She believed John when he told her that if vampires wanted her, they would have no problem going through her family and friends. If it had only been her own life at stake, she would have stayed and fought, stood her ground and tried to find some way around all of this -- but she couldn't risk the lives of others like that.

It was in her sophomore year that the animal attacks started around campus. Elena had been told about what to watch for, and the four dead bodies screamed vampires. She'd claimed family emergency and left, finishing the last weeks of classes on her own thanks to the kindness of her professors, and then she'd transferred to a school on the other side of the country. There was no way for her to know if those attacks were anything more than coincidence, but she didn't take chances.

Med school went by without any major incidents, miraculously. She completed her internship at a small hospital in the middle of nowhere, and was matched to a residency program also in the middle of nowhere. Staying away from bigger cities felt safer, with fewer people who might recognize her. Whether that worked she would never really know, because during her third year another series of attacked happened, and again she ran. It took a great deal of time and effort to find another program that would take her, but eventually one did and she was able to complete her training as a general surgeon.

Working in the ER wasn't the life she would have wanted, exactly, but it was the easiest thing to get when she might need to leave at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately there was usually quite a bit of turnover in the area, and as much as she hated to think that she would eventually just add to that problem, it was her only choice. The safest choice, the one that would let her at least try to live her life as much as she could.

The downfall of moving around so much and constantly being steadily focused on her career? An aching loneliness. As often as she spoke with her family, on the phone or via Skype, it just wasn't the same when she couldn't have one of Jeremy's solid hugs or lean her head on Jenna's shoulder. Going home for major events like weddings helped, but it wasn't enough, and three months into her new job saw nothing change except for a higher tally of Really Bad First Dates. But at least she was trying... Right?

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