copied: (i used to know you so well)
Elena Gilbert. ([personal profile] copied) wrote in [community profile] pylea2012-02-18 09:41 pm

i can never leave the past behind;

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES | [personal profile] copied and [personal profile] secretshame | TVD: pre-series. | where jenna becomes responsible and elena takes ten steps backward only to move five paces forward.

The last thing Elena hears is laughter. She had been laughing in the car with Mom and Dad, sitting in the back seat as they approached the bridge. And then -

What comes next is a blur. Elena's entire memory is groggy; she feels sluggish and slow, like a broken doll that's been put together with superglue but still is missing little vital pieces. When she comes to, it takes seven seconds for her mind to flicker into action, properly identifying the room as a hospital room. The itchy sheets that feel too thin to be her own between her fingers are those that dress the beds in the hospital she hasn't seen since she broke her arm at the age of fourteen. And, even then, she never saw these sheets; it was when Jeremy had severely injured himself that she was introduced to them.

Elena's hand goes immediately to her head. An IV is lodged into her vein. She moves awkwardly, tilting her head around to grab a sight of something identifiable. Where's the car? Where are her parents? She keeps looking for them, but she can't see their familiar figures standing at her bedside. Her mother's warm touch, her hand grasping her own, is missing. Elena feels ice settle in her chest.

The attempts to lift her head so she's not lying flat leads to her vision being blurred and a spinning in her sight. Everything is better if she stays horizontal. Her attempts only saw her head lift slightly from the very thin pillow; she doesn't feel strong at all. It's as if someone's drained her of all of her energy. She doesn't even know if anyone else is in the room, but she needs to be able to find her voice. If she can't, then this is all a dream she's experiencing while sitting in the backseat of her parents' car.

Her voice is croaky and soft when she says, "Why am I in the hospital?"
secretshame: (It's gonna take a superman)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-02-18 05:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Jenna isn't in the room when Elena wakes up. She'd worried she would miss being able to help Elena understand what had happened because she'd had a thesis meeting she absolutely couldn't miss - her advisor wasn't one of those who understood family emergencies and no matter how many times she explained it or in how many ways, he still wouldn't let her get out of the meeting.

She hurries back afterwards, as quickly as she can. There's a flurry of activity going on around Elena's room when she gets there, the doctors checking over the girl, letting Jenna know that she's finally awake. But Elena still doesn't know. No one's been able to tell her; no one wants to. Jenna told Jeremy as soon as she found out, because she thought he needed to know and telling the kids one at a time would be easier on her.

Now, however, she faces the hardest one. With her jacket over her arms, she takes a deep breath and pushes the door open. The doctors and nurses are all gone, having given Jenna specific instructions to call them if anything happens. She shuts the door softly behind her just as Elena voices her question. Feeling her heart break, Jenna lets her purse and jacket fall to the chair by the bed as she leans over to try to reassure Elena and keep her lying down.

"You were in an accident, Elena," she murmurs softly, unsure if her niece will remember her voice after so long. She hasn't been in Mystic Falls in a few years, not since Logan Scumfell. "You just need to rest a little bit, okay?"

She is so not the person for this job. All she wants is to go out drinking, smoke a little pot, and pretend this is all just a terrible dream.
secretshame: (A simpleton could see)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-02-19 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
As soon as Elena tries to get up, Jenna moves to try to keep her down. It's a half-hearted attempt at best, borne of Jenna's desire not to screw up any more than she already has and to do the best she can with Jeremy and Elena. The problem is that she doesn't know quite how to do it, so almost as soon as she tries to make sure Elena doesn't get up, she stops.


What is she supposed to say to that? How does she even begin to explain what happened? It's hard enough for her to wrap her head around the fact that her sister is dead, but to have to explain to her niece that her mother is dead and gone? It's putting that lump back in her throat.

She sits down gently on the bed, taking Elena's hand if the girl will let her. She wants to be there for Elena, wants to help her niece cope with this, but Jenna's an avoider; if something bothers her, she tends to leave it alone and run away from it. This... she has to hit head-on and she doesn't know what to do.

"There's something I have to tell you... about the accident."
secretshame: (And we haven't learned)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-02-19 11:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Jenna's pretty sure she's going to just get up and run away one of these days. She doesn't want to do this - why is she being the responsible adult? - but she owes it to her niece to swallow her own pain and her flight response to tell her the truth.

When Elena's hand tightens on hers, Jenna gives it a reassuring squeeze, trying her best to be what Miranda would've been. She knows she'll never compare, that she can't possibly be the mother Miranda was to Elena and doesn't want to even try, but she needs to be something.

"You were in a really bad accident," Jenna starts, trying to begin slowly, build up to the worst parts so she doesn't overwhelm Elena all at once. "Something happened on the bridge and the car went over the edge. They managed to get you out and to safety, but you've been out for a while."

There's something else, something worse that she's having a hard time dealing with herself, let alone trying to figure out how to word it for Elena. Jenna's head lowers and she lets her gaze move to their joined hands as her brain works feverishly. She doesn't want to do this. But she has to.
secretshame: (A simpleton could see)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-02-20 12:21 am (UTC)(link)
Jenna waits, letting Elena parcel out what happened for herself. She seems close to it, but she's beating around what exactly that is. Jenna hesitates again, biting her lower lip to keep herself in check. All she wants to do - all she's been doing - is cry into her pillow, but now she can't. She's been spending time figuring out how and when to get moved in; being in her sister's room is so weird. But she can't say that to Elena. Not yet.

"I think you did," she forces herself to say. "You were lucky to make it out."

No one else in the car had. Jenna squeezes her eyes shut against the tears threatening to overwhelm her. She's never been good at dealing with emotional distress, especially not her own, and having to be strong for someone else's well-being has never been her forte.
secretshame: (And we haven't learned)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-02-22 03:57 am (UTC)(link)
And then Elena asks that question and Jenna knows it's come down to the punch line. She takes a deep breath, knowing she has to do this right, has to just come out and say it. Be strong, Jenna. For Elena.

Jenna raises her head and looks Elena straight in the eyes, her own swimming with the pain she's been wrestling with for days. Slowly, she shakes her head. She's never lied about important things, not to Elena, and she desperately wants to keep the lines of communication and trust open between them. She's going to need Elena's help with Jeremy; she already knows that. If Elena can't trust her now, there's no way she'll help with her brother.

And Jenna needs as many people on her side as she can get.

"I'm so sorry, Elena," she whispers, reaching a hand to her niece's arm. "You were the only one who made it out."

She expects tears, a crying fit, and is prepared to either pull Elena into her arms or flee the room to let Elena cry it out herself.
secretshame: (It's gonna take a superman)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-02-27 05:00 am (UTC)(link)
Jenna wished she could have lied, could have said anything else, but she knew she couldn't. So, she just squeezed her niece's hand tightly and pursed her lips against the flood of tears she knew were going to unfold if she didn't hold on as hard as she could.

"No one knows," she murmured in answer, wishing she had a better one to give, one that would make more sense and be more reassuring. Unfortunately, that was all she had, the truth of the matter. No one knew how Elena had survived when her parents had not, but there she was. She was lying here, not Miranda or Grayson, and while that was the good thing in the long run, Jenna already missed her sister desperately. They'd never been particularly close, especially not recently, but Miranda was still her sister. This loss would always hurt.

"But you're here. And it's gonna be okay." She didn't know how, but... somehow. She hoped. She swallowed hard past the lump in her throat.

"They appointed me as your legal guardian."
secretshame: (52)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-03-15 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
The tight grip on her hand nearly swung Jenna into a panic. She wasn't used to people relying on her this much, especially not for something so serious. It felt strange, surreal, like she was watching everything from the outside or that she'd wake up and it would all have been a dream, even though she knew it wasn't. This was their new reality.

"He's at home," she admitted. "I didn't want to have to tell you both at the same time, so I told him first and then came to check up on you. The doctors don't want to let you go for another day at least, so I'll stay at home with him, but if you need me, I'll give you my number so you can call."

Her cell number, since she's pretty sure Elena remembers her own house number.
secretshame: (96)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-04-06 06:44 pm (UTC)(link)
Where Elena didn't want to be stuck in her head, Jenna didn't want to be stuck in hers. She wanted to think about something else, someone else. Not her, not her own feelings or how much time she'd spent crying over this when she'd found out. Not her sister and brother-in-law. Nothing.

"No, but I didn't know what else to do for him," she admitted, looking sideways out of the window. Jeremy was a stranger to her, and she had no idea how to cope with him or what would make him feel better. "I'm fine, Elena."

It was a complete lie, but she'd already done her crying.
secretshame: (It's gonna take a superman)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-04-27 04:30 pm (UTC)(link)
Jenna nodded, fighting her own emotions for the sake of her niece, being as selfless as she had ever been in her short life. Jenna wasn't used to this sort of thing. Normally, she would have taken the news with a bottle of alcohol and a good high, but if she was expected to be the legal guardian to two broken teenagers, she couldn't be irresponsible like that, no matter how much she wanted to. She had to do her best for them.

She shook her head at the question. "I just got here a few minutes ago. The doctors would barely tell me anything because I'm not your mom."

And that had hurt. She'd had to go all legal on them, show them the papers, and step-by-painful-step prove to them that she was Elena's legal guardian.

"The nurses said it might be a few days, maybe a week. They want to keep you here until they're sure you're okay."

What went unsaid was that Jenna would do her best to be there for as long as she could manage. She didn't want Elena to be alone for this.
secretshame: (19)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-05-04 08:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Being able to see that Elena could move around certainly helped with Jenna's confidence and fear of the situation, but she would never stop worrying. She'd heard how bad the crash had been and she knew it would take all of them a long time to get over the effects of what had happened. Elena may have been in a hurry to get back home, but Jenna wasn't sure that was such a good idea. Not yet.

And part of her wanted a chance to get Jeremy back on track before Elena got there.

The question about John Gilbert proved to be more of a distraction than Jenna could have hoped for and she rolled her eyes at the topic change. She harbored a lot of angry feelings where Jackass John Gilbert was concerned and those pushed away some of the worry and pain she was feeling.

"Oh he knows. He wants to come down for the memorial service. I told him to get a hotel room. He's not staying with us."
secretshame: (33)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-05-30 06:37 pm (UTC)(link)
Jenna had her own far more personal reasons for disliking John Gilbert, but she wasn't really incline to tell Elena them at the moment. John wasn't the point. Elena's well-being was.

"I think it was less wanting to stay with us and more wanting to assert himself as the head of the household," Jenna grumbled. "I told him to bite me and get out."

The last thing Jenna wanted was for John to come bursting in, claiming he could be their guardian. As afraid of it as she was, she knew she would do a far better job than he would. She wasn't going to give up on them, even if she messed up a few times. All the time. Jenna would do what she had to, anything she could, to make sure Jeremy and Elena would be okay.
secretshame: (14)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-06-13 03:26 pm (UTC)(link)
Elena's words did help a little bit and Jenna offered a small smile in return. Unsure of how to respond to all of these positive words, she ducked her head a little and focused on reaching for Elena's hand just to have something to hold onto.

"Like I was going to let Jackass Uncle John be your legal guardian," she replied with a roll of her eyes as she lifted her head again. "Besides... your mother would never have forgiven me."

And that was also the truth of the matter. Miranda would have been extremely upset with Jenna if her sister had denied guardianship, and even though Jenna had thought of it at first, she figured it meant something that she'd eventually taken it anyway, once she'd weighed the options.

"Do you want me to stay the night with you?"
secretshame: (12)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-06-21 07:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Jenna had had little reason to care about how anyone felt about her - or at least children-sized "anyone" - before this, so it didn't matter very much that their relationship was going to be different. In the long run, this difference would be better for her. Jenna didn't want to be a replacement for Miranda, after all.

"Then I'll stay," Jenna answered with a small smile. "I may have to plead school work later on and go get my thesis notes, but... I'll make sure it's really quick, okay?"

After that, she would stay as long as Elena wanted her to. Or before it. Jenna really didn't want to do her schoolwork today. Not that she ever did, but that was entirely beside the point.
secretshame: (100)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-08-01 09:47 pm (UTC)(link)
"Hey, you're more important than my thesis and if my professor doesn't understand that, he can deal." It was the truth, honestly, and even though Jenna might worry a little bit about it, she needed to make sure Elena and Jeremy were doing okay first and foremost. Otherwise... they might get taken away from her and she didn't want that.

With a hesitant smile, Jenna reached out to gently and carefully push back a piece of Elena's hair. "You're my family. I'm not gonna leave you with someone else." Or with the only other family they had, Jackass Gilbert. That was the last thing she wanted and she would do whatever it took to make sure that never happened.
secretshame: (94)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-08-21 03:58 am (UTC)(link)
Jenna would be lying if she tried to say she didn't care anymore about all of this responsibility. In all honesty, she was terrified - and what she wouldn't do to be able to go get high right about now to distract herself from everything - but she had an obligation to Elena and Jeremy now. Cravings and responsibility to her school be damned; her niece and nephew needed her. They were far more important.

She just... didn't quite know how to comfort them yet. Elena wasn't acting as confident as she always had. Jenna knew she must have been taking the accident very hard. She searched for something else to talk about, something that wouldn't depress them both.

"...Why don't you tell me about school? How're things going? How's cheerleading?"

A distraction would help, right?
secretshame: (87)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-09-12 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
Preparations would certainly help. Jenna wanted to know what she was getting herself into. Well, part of her wanted to know. The rest of her was terrified of it and what she had to deal with regarding Jeremy. Not really sure what else to do, she let Elena guide the conversation.

"What do you mean?" she asked, frowning at the mention of some guy named Tanner. She'd have to look at the list of teachers, too, and prepare for Parent / Teacher nights. Oh great. Jenna paled slightly at that thought.

Why was she doing this, again? Oh right, she wasn't letting Jackass Gilbert get his hands on the kids.
secretshame: (94)

[personal profile] secretshame 2012-10-04 05:02 am (UTC)(link)
That clarification didn't really make Jenna feel any better about all of this, but she pursed her lips and nodded anyway. "Okay. I'll deal with it." Somehow. She still wasn't sure how they were going to manage all of this, but somehow they would have to.

She was terrified of the responsibility, but what was more frightening was the idea that she could fail them and then lose them. If she had anything to say about it, that wouldn't happen. Adulthood. Right. She could do this.

"He'll be okay. And so will you."