He came back. Tyler Lockwood had left in hopes of breaking his sire bond to Klaus and he had succeeded. He was finally free. But what had he come home too? To see Caroline with Klaus, the man that had ordered him to bite her - who had destroyed everything between them. He couldn’t even begin to fathom how that had come to pass, so he stormed off on her after a huge blowout between the two of them and headed to the Gilbert home. He owed Jeremy an apology but when he got there it was Elena that answered the door, big brown doe eyes laden with sadness that Tyler found himself unable to walk away from as she told him that Jeremy wasn’t there. “What’s wrong Lena?” He finally asked after a moment of silence, never once taking his eyes away from hers.
“I don’t want to feel like this.” Was her reply. Everybody was getting hurt because of her, Bonnie and her mom, and so forth. Damon loved her and she said something she didn’t mean in return and Stefan - he didn’t want to feel anything because it only brought him pain. Where was she supposed to go from here? She couldn’t love them both, it wasn’t right and it certainly wasn’t fair. But choosing one meant hurting the other and could she really bring herself to do that? Elena honestly didn’t know anymore… and she didn’t know why she was breaking down in front of Tyler Lockwood at this very minute. So when he stepped over the threshold of her doorway and pulled her into a hug, she didn’t resist but rested her head against his shoulder and closed her eyes. It wasn’t the first time they had held each other like this. Remembering how he had once confessed he didn’t want to be like he was anymore.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months and Elena found herself spending more and more time with Tyler. After a lot of heart ache and pain - she let both the Salvatore brothers go. Because choosing one would only hurt the other, and drive them further apart and Elena could no longer come between family. Maybe it was the fact that he was there when she needed him, to provide a distraction, or comfort in the days afterwards that made her fall for him.
And Tyler realized after awhile he had fallen for her as well. She didn’t judge him, she accepted him for him and was patient, warm, and caring and could put him in his place when he needed to be. And maybe it was wrong of them to feel the way they did about one another given everything and everyone in their past but when he dropped her home one night after a movie, and he finally summed up enough courage to kiss her - it couldn’t feel more right.
Because from the ashes, rose something greater than they’d ever thought they’d find.