Elena Gilbert grips the steering wheel tightly as she accelerates out of the Salvatore's driveway and onto the empty road. How could she have been so stupid to fall for him? He was that charming guy every girl in school would fall for, with that natural perfect hair and brooding look.
She blinks back tears and wipes them angrily. Katherine, Stefan's former flame back from 1864 that looked exactly like her; it felt as though she was looking at a mirror reflection of herself. How is it they look exactly alike?
It doesn't matter anymore; she would break up with him tomorrow and find a way to move past the fact that he was most likely dating her because she shared the same face as this Katherine. Didn't he warn her to stay away from him? She thinks furiously and remembers their conversation in the car.
"You saw what happened today right? You understand why we can't see each other," She had replied, "I'm starting to see a lot of things, Stefan. But I was already buried in all this bad stuff long before I met you."
"This is different."
That was the warning, but she never realized what he meant until now. Now that she had seen who Katherine was. She grabbed her things, tossed the necklace he'd given to her on his table and rushed downstairs.
She peeled out of the driveway immediately, wanting nothing more but to put plenty of distance from the vampire who could easily meet her at her driveway instead. She was so far into her thoughts that by the time she noticed a lone hooded figure standing in the middle of the road, it was far too late to stop. The force of the impact flips her car over, the windscreen cracks from the sheer brutal force of the crash, trapping her to her seat upside-down.
Elena coughs and tries to get her bearings. She turns and sees the man lying on the ground, unmoving. "I killed him", she thinks guiltily. She yanks on her seatbelt and tries fruitlessly to unbuckle it.
Suddenly, she hears an odd popping noise and turns her head. To her horror, she watches as the hooded figure slowly starts to raise his leg, popping it back into place, joint by joint he put himself back together until he could stand again. Frantically, she starts yanking harder on the jammed seatbelt, trying to break free. He starts moving towards her slowly until his boots stop right in front of her car window.
Elena whimpers and tears start to form at the corner of her eyes. Her hands shake as she struggles desperately against her restraints. Regrets start to fill her mind as she thinks back to how she should have just confronted Stefan when she had seen the photo. Her cowardice had led her to this perilous situation.
Out of the corner of her eye, she sees the hooded figure lower himself. Fear overcomes her and she starts screaming, all the while frantically tugging at her restraints. Just as the hooded face is about to come into view, he suddenly jerks up, an instant later, he flashes away, leaving Elena confused short tugging at the seatbelt and leans forward to try to look out of the shattered car window.
Without warning, a second figure lands right in front of her with a huge thump. Instinctively, Elena covers her eyes with her hands and a loud scream escapes her lips.
"Well, what do we have here? Little girls should be at home, safe from big bad scary monsters," a voice that very obviously belonged to a woman reached her ears. Curious, Elena peeks between her fingers and the sight causes her to freeze wide in disbelief.
"Y… "You're Katherine…?" Elena shakily manages to say.
The figure in front of her was pretty much her mirror reflection tilts her head in curiosity as she studies her human look-a-like.
"You know of me. Did Stefan tell you that?" Elena shakes her head hard.
The movement causes a sharp pain to shoot through her head and her vision blurred as she groaned painfully. She feels movement on the other side and clutches her seatbelt tightly. Her vision still blurred, she feels something move at her side.
"W… Wha… What are you do… doing?" Elena shakily stammers as the one deemed Katherine reaches towards her.
"Getting you out," Katherine replies curtly with a vicious tug at the seat buckle.
When Elena starts trashing wildly, Katherine forces the human to look at her and compels her not to freak out. She watches as the human stop flailing her useless hands around and then half-carries a frightened Elena out of the car who blinks owlishly at her.
"What did you do to me?"
Katherine smirks and ignores her as she sets Elena on her feet, checking her discreetly for injuries. The human just collapses, unable to stand. Rolling her eyes, the vampire catches her before she falls. Katherine checks her pulse, feeling the human's neck. She runs her fingers down Elena's straight hair. "Elena, look at me. Focus." Her doppelganger seemed completely out of it and was fading fast.
"What do I do with you?" Katherine sighs as Elena's head falls against her chest and blacks out.
Hours later, Elena dizzily wakes up, her head throbbing and looks around. It takes her a while to register that her surroundings are unfamiliar to her. She is buckled into the passenger seat of a car that most certainly isn't hers. She turns to her left and sees a replica of herself who may share the same face but her hair is different from her usual straight locks. Elena feels confused and distorted for a moment until the memories of what had happened comes rushing back. Struggling to sit up, she stares at the road then at Katherine again, who calmly glances at her and then back to the road.
"Morning." Katherine says cheerily.
Elena crosses her arms defensively. "Where are we?" she asks.
Without taking her eyes off the road, Katherine replies: "We're in Georgia."
Deep in her consciousness, something felt wrong. Yet at the same time, Elena felt that everything was the way it should be save the throbbing headache that was aching painfully. She tried to figure out what it was that felt wrong, but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. She was sitting in the same vehicle as Stefan's former flame, yet instead of freaking out, she was okay with it. Even though thoughts that she was missing her first period of class came to her; or the fact that she had hit a man hard enough to send him flying and watched him simply walk it off, yet, here she was sitting calmly in a car.
She unconsciously reaches for her necklace – Stefan's necklace – but it isn't hanging around her neck. She groans at her stupid mistake of falling prey to vampires. Elena reaches for her phone and finds her jeans pocket empty.
She narrows her eyes at the driver. "Where's my phone? I can't be in Georgia. Nobody knows where I am."
Katherine ignores her for a while, thinking the puny human would eventually stop her tirade of annoying complaints. When it appears that the human isn't going to give up since she starts insisting that they pull over by threatening to open the door on her side, Katherine slams her brakes.
"Ugh, you were so much more fun when you are sleeping." Katherine groans.
Elena opens the car door slowly and steps out. She instantly feels light-headed and bends down. Instinctively, Katherine flashes towards her in concern and startles Elena who instantly straightens up and freezes.
"I'm fine," Elena takes a step away from Katherine who quietly observes her. "We need to go back. My aunt is going to freak out. I won't tell anyone about this. Please just let me go." Elena tries to rationalize with the older vampire.
"You just had a car accident and you want me to go back. Do you know the vampire you ran over, Elena?" Katherine shakes her head as she continues speaking "Do you want another repeat of last night? No? Then get back in the car."
Elena stands firm, crossing her arms stubbornly and protests: "This is kidnapping."
Katherine scoffs. "Oh, don't be so dramatic. Time-out just for five minutes, Elena Gilbert. I'll have you home by tonight princess. Promise." Receiving no more protests, she walks back to her borrowed car and sits back in the driver's seat, waiting patiently for her human doppelganger to follow suit. She fights back a smirk as she starts the car as soon as she hears the car door slam followed by a frustrated sigh.
As they continue driving down the empty road, a phone starts ringing. Katherine pulls Elena's phone out of her pocket and glances at the screen.
"Stefan's calling." Katherine says before passing the phone to Elena.
Elena takes the phone from Katherine and stares at it for a while before pressing the reject button and tosses it into the back seat of the car.
They continue on in silence, the only noises that could be heard were the insects and the occasional vehicle that passed by as they drove down the empty road.
Just as they come up to a bar, Katherine veers sharply into the parking area and shuts down the engine.
"I'm underage." Elena states bluntly as Katherine exits the car.
She doesn't know if she had been heard or not but Katherine slammed the car door close and started walking towards the bar. Sighing, Elena climbs out of the car and follows after Katherine.
Katherine struts up to the bar counter, orders shots for the both of them and compels the middle-age bartender to put them on the house. She watches the bartender's pupils dilate and dazedly follows her orders.
Meanwhile, Elena takes a seat beside Katherine and glances around. There aren't many people around as the bar was pretty much in the middle of no-where, that and it was still very early in the morning. Katherine pushes the glass towards her younger counterpart who shakes her head stubbornly.
"More for me then" Katherine shrugs nonchalantly as she drowns both shots.
She walks towards the billiards table and grabs one of the cue sticks from the stand. From her spot with her enhanced hearing, she hears Elena order a coke. The sound of the drink splashing into the glass from the bottle reaches her ears clearly. Her heart thumps a little faster than normal before steadying itself.
A couple of graduates join her, breaking her reverie. She smiles coyly and plays with them. They would be her dinner later.
It takes a while for Elena to loosen her guard. She glances at Katherine who is twirling around with the same college boys from earlier. The confidence and freedom that the older vampire exudes as she dances leaves Elena feeling insecure and unbalanced.
They shared the same face and stature yet their personalities are so vastly different. She is controlled, reserved, and always wants to do what is right. On the other hand, her older counterpart is upbeat, carefree, seductive and playful. The moment Katherine Pierce stepped into the bar, all eyes had focused on her, and they had practically ignored the shy, awkward Elena Gilbert that had walked in behind her.
She considers getting up from her seat to dance with Katherine, whom has managed to attract a sizeable group. She looks down at the remainder of her drink and gathers up whatever courage she could from within her. She gulps down her coke and walks determinedly towards the group forcing herself to ignore the urge to run back to the safety of her seat.
As she approaches the group, she wonders about what she should do to reach the surrounded vampire. Just as she is about to come up with something, a soft pair of hands grabs her wrist and pulls her into the circle of guys who have formed a tight circle around the alluring Katherine. Hips sway synchronically to the pulsing music; hands rise above their heads and swing loosely together.
As much as Elena didn't want to admit it, the idea of an impromptu road trip was actually coming to be quite fun. She had never let loose and gotten this wild before. It would be a shame to end it.
Who would have thought she could have so much fun with a person who looked just like her, yet was so much older, more experienced, and just oozed with the right amount of confidence and allure?
Elena feels Katherine pull her in by her hip so that they were dancing more closely. She tosses a grin at Katherine who's already dark eyes seem to be getting even darker. Elena, curious at first just assumes the lights must be getting dimmer to accommodate the atmosphere.
One of the college boys start moving towards the doppelgangers. Katherine intercepts him, looks him hard in the eyes and whispers something to him. She dances with him closely for a moment, and then tilts his neck to a side exposing his jugular. Elena sees Katherine's iris darken even more and watches mesmerizingly as Katherine's face switches as her fangs sink into the boy's throat. Both of the doppelgangers' eyes lock onto each other, neither one looking away until Katherine has had her fill.
Elena pushes her way out of the crowd and heads towards the exit for a breather and to process the event that had just unfolded before her eyes. She heads towards the car and leans against the car, running her hand through her hair. She spies her phone vibrating incessantly away in the back seat of their borrowed car. She groans and yanks the handle open, scooping the phone and hitting answer button.
"Hey, it's Stefan. Are you okay? Where are you, Elena? Nobody has seen you all day. Jenna is freaking out." Stefan's worried and urgent voice comes through the speaker.
Elena groans as she remembers that she had forgotten to tell Aunt Jenna of her whereabouts. She had been having so much fun with Stefan's former lover that she had completely forgotten about her situation.
She hears him repeat himself, this time adding "Look, tell me where you are and I'll come pick you up."
Elena sighs into the phone and then remembers she should be angry at him for last night's incident. She bites back, "Not until you tell me how I am connected to Katherine, Stefan. I deserve to know."
"I don't know, Elena. I -" Not wanting to hear anymore, she ends the call mid-sentence.
Frustrated, she kicks a pebble angrily and watches it roll a small distance towards the middle of the parking area. The afternoon sky was turning into a darker shade of blue. Disappointment sets in as she realizes the day is about to end. She turns to head back inside the bar but is startled by Katherine standing behind her.
"Are you alright?" Katherine asks, studying her human doppelganger. Elena is so weak, helpless, and innocent, that it is almost nauseating for the vampire who has seen too much to be around her. Elena reminds her of herself in the past. The past her those many centuries ago before everything had changed; before she had met the mysterious brooding Niklaus and his dashing well-mannered brother, Elijah.
She had changed her fate, not to die but to survive. While on the run, she had heard rumors of a doppelganger and a prophecy. Curiosity had gotten the better of her and she had gone to check for herself.
And so she had met Elena Gilbert. The young, innocent Elena Gilbert who was still very much unaware she is going to die before her life even began. Or that she is repeating history all over again by for falling for Stefan Salvatore.
No! Katherine thinks to herself, I won't get attached like Stefan did. The doppelganger is the ticket to her freedom. Five hundred years of running from the hybrid had made it such that she would do just about anything to hand the human over. Elena Gilbert is nothing more but a means to an end.
"I'm fine." Elena replies just as her stomach growls loudly.
Holding back a chuckle, Katherine says: "How about an early dinner? Burgers?" She gives a tight-lipped smile and guides Elena back into the bar.
Whilst waiting for their meals to arrive, Elena asks Katherine the question that has been in her mind, on the tip of her tongue but never coming out until now.
"Why do we look exactly alike?"
Katherine smirks and absently twirls the beer on the table.
"You're asking the wrong question." She answers coyly.
Elena narrows her eyes and frowns.
She tries again. "Are you getting back with Stefan?"
Katherine smirks and drawls. "Now that is a better question. Refill?" She gestures at Elena's glass.
Elena pauses and then suddenly declares to the bartender who was hovering near them. "I'll have what my twin has."
When Katherine arches a delicate eyebrow at her, she grins mischievously.
"Time out for five minutes, remember? Well those five minutes is going to need a beer."
Halfway through their dinner, Katherine abandon's her half-eaten burger and instead starts stealing Elena's fries off her plate. The time they had spent together had caused Elena to completely drop her guard around the older vampire, and she was now completely comfortable with Katherine. A sudden curious thought hits Elena and she blurts it out without thinking.
"How can you eat human food when you're a…" Elena starts and stops and then glances around whispers: "A vampire?"
Katherine smiles, bemused, and leans in to whisper to Elena: "Well as long as I stick to a healthy diet of human blood, I can eat whatever I want."
After a few hours of driving, they arrive at Mystic Falls. Katherine parks the car at the side of the road and turns to find Elena fast asleep in the passenger seat, her head leaning against the car door.
She gently shakes the human awake. With Elena disorientated and groggy, Katherine decides to take advantage of the weak human's condition.
She presses a firm thumb to Elena's chin and forces the doppelganger to stare confusedly into her dark eyes. "Let's keep this friendship between us. You are not to tell anyone what happened when you were out of town or that I am back in town." The doppelganger's eyes dilate with the vampire's request and then blink a couple of times.
Elena steps out of the car and is immediately consumes by renewed worry and panic.
How is she going to explain to Aunt Jenna where she was earlier? What about her car? Is it still lying at the side of the road?
All these thoughts come crashing back to her like a tidal wave. She bends down to meet Katherine's eyes in a silent demand for an explanation to her overwhelming feelings.
Katherine looks her nails as she says coolly: "I compelled you not to freak out when you're with me. There are always loopholes in everything, Elena. I'll see you real soon."
Just like that, she re-starts the engine and peels out of the curb, disappearing into the night and leaving Elena Gilbert to face the consequences of her actions.