A/N: So, this is written for a long time reader and twitter friend. I wrote it for an animal charity event. This one's for you, Passionista23 :)

Hope you all like it. It's an AU loosely based off of the 5x18 promo.

We Could Have Had It All

"Wake up." She whispers against his ear, tracing her fingertips against his jawline and leaning in to kiss him, gasping a breath when he wraps his arms tightly around her and rolls them over, tangling the white cotton sheets around their legs as she giggles into his ear.

"I'm going to be late for work. I have an editor coming in to the office today to look over my book." Elena tells him, feeling his lips trail against her neck, a warm feeling of security and love rushes over her as he smiles and glances into her eyes.

"And, I have an important surgical meeting that I need to get to." He comments, kissing her lips once more before he gets up off the bed and leaves her there in wonder, huffing out a breath and readjusting her clothing and her black pencil skirt that she decided to wear for the day.

"Hmm. Dr. Salvatore..Do you want to play house for a moment?" She asks him with a laugh, looking around their bedroom and grinning at the imagines in front of her. Anniversary pictures, birthday pictures all sit on top of the dresser in the room and she can't help but feel like it's a dream, like she finally has it all...Like she's leading the life they had both always wanted.

"I want to talk about something." Stefan tells her, his voice changing suddenly from playful to serious as she glances up at him in confusion.

"Talk about what?" Elena asks him, biting down on her lower lip as Stefan turns back to her and kneels down in front of her, grabbing her left hand and kissing her ring finger where her wedding ring rests.

"Kids. I want to talk about the possibility of us starting a family..We've been married for 3 years now, Elena. I think it's time the house is filled with the pitter patter of little feet and shrieking baby noises and us learning to be parents together. I know that we're both busy with work and all that. But, I want to give you a family, Elena..Like, the one I promised to you." He elaborates as she runs her hands over his hair and leans into him, whispering softly before she leaves a kiss upon his lips. "Who needs to talk about it, when we could just test it out."

She feels her body push back against the bed, groaning as his hands eagerly lift up her skirt and just when she pulls him closer and wraps her legs around his waistline. Elena gasps for air and awakens.

"Wow, that must have been some dream. I think I saw your drooling." Caroline comments with a wink, turning back towards the mirror in their dorm room, still smiling as she watches Elena get up from her bed, running her hands over her face- still trying to get a grasp of what she had been dreaming about.

"I just had the strangest dream." She comments softly, looking down at her left hand and noticing that the diamond ring is gone and her hand is once again, bare.

"Sure sounds like it. Do you want to tell me what it was about.." Caroline ask her anxiously with a laugh, shrugging her shoulders back and turning away to look at a still visibly shaken Elena Gilbert.

"I need some air. May be coming back here was too soon." Elena tells her,watching Caroline shake her head as she sits down on the edge of Elena's twin sized bed, leaning forward and grabbing a hold of her best friend's hand.

"Elena, whatever this is...Maybe all you need to do is talk to Stefan about it." Caroline pointed out with a small hopeful smile.

"Talk to him about it? About the kids, the happy and married life that I keep dreaming about. The life I could have had with him? You want me to talk about it..Caroline, it would be a mistake. Too much has happened between us to even discuss any of this." Elena says reluctantly, swallowing the lump in her throat as she thinks about her words, ones she instantly regrets because she knows how right Caroline really is.

"Talk to him, Elena...Maybe he's going through it too. Although, you wouldn't even know because that's the problem. Neither of you barely communicate anymore." Caroline scolds her, getting up and turning away from her a moment and reiterating before she leaves the room. "Go home and talk to him. It would really do you both some good."

"You look like hell." Damon says, pushing past Stefan as he passes him in the hall of the Salvatore Boarding house.

"I feel like it too." Stefan tells him simply, staring off into the distance and getting lost in his own thoughts as he closes his eyes and suddenly, he can hear her voice, softly speaking to him, as if she's in the room with him and he's standing right beside her instead of Damon.

" You look like hell from your late night at work. Yet, somehow...Two kids and four years later. I'm still more attracted to you and in love with you than I ever was before." Elena tells him, wrapping her arms around him, feeling her back hit against the counter as he pushes them into the kitchen, the laughter of their children is heard in the other room and Elena pulls back for a moment, shaking her head. "Stefan, the kids will hear us."

She watches his hand lift, brushing a strand of her hair behind her ears and leaning in towards her lips. "Let your husband at least steal one more kiss before we get interrupted by the kids." He tells her in a playful and light tone.

"My husband. Dr. Stefan Salvatore. My husband, the popular and handsome doctor can steal as many kisses as he wants when our children aren't in the other room..." Elena whispers, leaning into him and kissing his lips hungrily as she feels him smile against her mouth, pulling back and licking his own when he moves forward and wraps her tighter against his embrace.

"I like the sound of that." Stefan winks at her, stealing one more kiss before taking a step away from her. But, Elena's hand on top of his wrist, pulling him back in to her, causes him to spin back around with a pleased smile.

"I really need to go." Stefan tries to argue with her, feeling her lips being pressed against his neck, her fingertips unbuttoning one of the buttons on his crisp white dress shirts. "You really should go. But, I don't want you to. I'd rather you stay here and we have some fun"

"Elena…." Stefan tries to warn her, pulling back and taking her hands into his own, kissing her knukles and her diamond ring on her left hand with a smile on his face.

"I love you, Elena Salvatore. But, I really need to get to the hospital and go to that conference." Stefan explains, kissing her cheek and turning away from her as he feels her arms wrap behind his back, her head resting on the middle of it. "Tonight then, we'll make up for lost time, tonight."

He nods, smiling never more as she kisses the back of his neck, standing up on her tip toes when he reiterated. "Tonight it is." Then he feels her release her grasp as she places her hands onto her hips and smiles. "I love you, too. Now, get out of here before I make it easy for you to stay."

"Make it easy for me to stay?" Stefan questions, turning back to his wife as she slowly lifts her shirt up, exposing a bit of her new lacy black bra to her husband. She hears a growl leave his lips as he hisses out. "Jesus, Elena. You're lucky that I'm late."

"I can give you a good reason to be later." She replies back in a seductive tone, pulling him back against her by the hem of his shirt, her warm fingertips brushing up and down his stomach muscles as Elena smirks when she feels them contract under her hand and she presses her lips firmly against Stefan's, feeling her backside hit against kitchen cabinets when Stefan laughs, whispering against her ear before he kisses her lips feverishly. "Five more minutes."

Stefan shakes his head, running his hands over his face and finally trying to keep up with whatever Damon is saying.

"Earth to Stefan! I have things to do and won't be here for most of the night. But, if you need me...Call or text." Damon replies, pivoting on his heels and taking one last glance over at his brother as he asks once more. "Are you sure, you're okay?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. I'll call you if I need anything." Stefan tells him, walking back into the living room, hearing the front door close as he exhales heavily and closes his eyes once more. But, when he opens them, he's right back to where he was before...With her…

"I don't ever want to lose this feeling." He tells her, running his fingers through her hair and kissing her forehead as Elena rests her head against his shoulder and buries her face against his skin, replying softly. "You never will. Because, we'll be together forever, Stefan. I promise."

"I know. The day you asked me to marry you was the best day of my life. Stefan, you're the best choice I ever made." She confesses to him, kissing the exposed skin of his shoulder as he takes a hold of her hand and intertwined their fingers.

"I'm glad that Damon took the kids out tonight." Elena comments with a smirk, kissing his cheek and then working her way back to his warm lips, feeling his heated hands glide underneath her thin pink loose fitting t-shirt.

"Remind me to thank him later." Stefan tells her with a chuckle, pulling her closer and feeling her hips straddle his body as she climbs up against him, placing her hand flatly against Stefan's chest and slowly begins making small circles on his skin, leaving a kiss after every touch on his skin.

"I love you, Stefan. And, nothing will ever change that." She tells him, hearing him exhale heavily, his hands running through her hair gently as Elena watches his head lean back against the pillows on their bed when he whispers out. "I love you too, Elena. I always have and I always will."

The abrupt sound of the door opening as Stefan sits in the living room causes him to get up and turn around when his eyes meet Elena's tearful gaze and she utters out. "I didn't know where else to go..I'm sorry that I came here. But….I keep having these dreams, Stefan. About us. Please.. Tell me that you're having them too. Please tell me that I'm not losing my mind and I'm not the only one of us feeling it, feeling this push and pull between us." Elena says to him, stepping into the living room and turning towards him as her back faces the fireplace of the Salvatore's living room and tears run down her red and rosy cheeks.

"I've tried to ignore it, tried to shake it off. But, it's still there.. It's like whatever this is has reawakened what I've always known was still there...The love- The love I have for you." Elena tells him, through choking sobs as he finally lifts his head up to meet her watery gaze with his own glazed over green eyes.

"I feel it, Elena. Because, I've been having the same dreams too. And, I can't stop thinking about us lately..The things we've been through, the way we've hurt each other. The people we could have been and the life we could have had together. The dreams are an extension of what we lost." Stefan says, lifting himself up off the chair he had been sitting in when she had walked in, taking a step towards her with moistened eyes.

"I've tried to ignore it too. To tell myself that I've moved on from you and that I don't love you anymore. But, it just never goes away...The feeling in the pit of my stomach and the tightening in my chest whenever I see you..It just, never goes away, that push and pull feeling.." Stefan says to her in a truthful and hurt tone, his voice becoming lower and his eyes narrowing to the ground as she watches him place his hands into his pockets.

There's something about the moment that seems so surreal to her, the look in his eyes takes her back to all the moments when she had felt her heart breaking over what she knew they'd never be after she had turned into a vampire. It takes her back to the girl that he once loved, to the young woman who had dreams, hope and a bright future full of promise in front of her.

"So, you saw it all...The house, the kids…Our lives together..?" She asks, swallowing the lump in her throat as she wipes away her falling tears at the thought of having her own children, a home and a life with the man that she knows still loves her, the man that she deep down in her heart still loves too.

"I saw it all. I saw us happy, I saw us married and living in nice beautiful house. I saw us have the life that we both always wanted, the one I had promised and wanted to give you. The life we'll never get to have." He tells her sadly, ignoring the fact that he's got tears streaming down his own cheeks as he thinks about the dreams, about their unborn children and the realization that they'll never get to have that together, that it's all shattered and broken dreams now.

"We could have had it all once.." Her voice trails off and breaks at the end of her sentence when she glances up at him and bites down on her lower lip. "I'm sorry." Elena whispers softly, turning back to the fireplace and watching the embers from the fire die out slowly.

"I am too." Stefan whispers, taking a seat on one of the couches as he notices that she's still not looking at him, too lost in her own thoughts and her overly emotional state to even see that he's stepped further into the living room, closer to her.

"I'm sorry that I gave up on you, on us and on myself. That I didn't fight harder for what we had, for what we could have been. I'm sorry that I fell in love with Damon and that I didn't try fighting harder, for you." Elena admits, finally turning back and taking a seat next to him as he clamps down on his own hand, telling himself that he isn't allowed to comfort her anymore, that he isn't the one she had picked to have a future with.

He swallows the sorrow, the suffering that's tightening inside of his chest and his heart strings because he knows what she's going to say next, yet..He doesn't want to hear it. He doesn't want to hear how much the love of his life loves another man...His brother... So, instead he changes the topic quickly.

"Don't beat yourself up about it. It was what it was." Stefan tells her, attempting his hardest for the blow to the chest that he's feeling to lessen when he says those bitter tasting words to her. But, his sentence "it was what it was…" don't make it any easier for him or for her.

"Excuse me? It was what it was? Is that what you really think we were?" He hears her snap, she's up from the couch and frantically moving around. He watches her, flailing her arms around and pacing the living room suddenly, her tear stained cheeks are dried by now. But, she's angry and he can see it, in the way she moves with each forced movement, glaring at him.

"You choose Damon, Elena. You got what you wanted…By your own free will. Although what pisses me off is that you've been acting like we were nothing, like you and I never existed as a couple! It's like I never loved you and you never loved me. But, we both know that we loved each other way more than you'll ever love Damon. I loved you more that he ever will!" He shouts at her, getting up too, stepping out of the living room at full speed and turning his back to leave the boarding house as he hears her start to sob when she yells back in his direction.

"You think that I wanted this, Stefan? You think I had a choice in loving your brother? I never wanted to love him more than a friend! Yes, I had a little bit of feelings for him. But, it was nothing more than a little crush. I was sired to him and it ruined me..It ruined us!"

She watches him rub his hands together, the tears threatening to spill over both their eyes. Because, it's the first time that she's fully admitted it, to herself and anyone else...That what she has with Damon is nothing more than filling the void of a broken heart.

"I loved you, Stefan..Even when I was with him...I still knew that my feelings for you were there, that they still are. But, I never felt worthy of your love..I don't deserve it anymore. Not after everything that's happened. Not after all the thing's you've sacrificed for me or that I've done to you...I don't deserve you, Stefan." Elena replies, tears spilling over her cheeks and landing on her black shirt as she exhales heavily and watches his pace pick up. Before she knows it, he's standing in front of her, just inches away, staring at her with hurt and pain in his eyes.

"Look me in the eye and tell me that you don't love me anymore. Tell me that what you feel for Damon is what you always wanted and that you can picture a life with him...Tell me that and I'll leave, I'll move on from you, like I've been trying to do for months now. I've given you your space with my brother. And, I'll continue to do so..All you have to say is that you love him more, that you don't love me. And, that you don't still feel anything for me or what we once had between us."

"I can't." It's barely there, a hoarse and broken sound that escapes past her lips before she turns away from him. But, Stefan's hand on her wrist, his thumb stroking her olive colored skin cause her to turn back around and speak in a tormented tone.

"I'd be lying if I told you that I loved him more than I ever loved you. Because, I don't. Everything would be a lie...Because, . I've realized that I made a mistake by letting you go. I made the biggest mistake of my life by hurting you and I'm sorry...I'm sorry that I can't stop picturing my life with you. That, I still feel your love around me, that I've thought about a future with you, about our children and what we could have been. That even though it breaks my heart to know that we'll never have that..That I can't stop thinking about us-." His soft voice and gentle green eyes stop her words as she gazes up into them and she hears him sniffle back a few tears as he speaks.

"I'm sorry we never got the chance to have that life or to plan for it. That, I failed you." He tells her, leaning in to kiss her forehead before he backs away and turns to leave the room for good this time.

"Stefan.." Elena's weakened voice makes him stop in his tracks as he turns and looks over at her. She looks broken and defeated, gutted by all the guilt he knows that she's carrying inside of her.

"Yeah?" He questions, turning around to lock his eyes on to hers when she asks quietly. "What were their names...Our children...What were their names?" She watches him close his eyes as he heavily sighs out a breath and imagines it for a moment.

"Daddy put me down!" She shrieks, her brown curly hair sways in the wind as Elena watches them play together from the porch, looking over at her son who's tying his shoes.

"Zach, make sure to walk and not run to your dad and sister." She reminds him, crossing her legs over each other and leaning back into her chair as she whistles towards them, her journal in her lap and the pen bounces against the already written on pieces of paper when she looks out at her small happy family.

"Mommy, come on...Daddy's going to make s'mores!" Their daughter, Lexi yells, waving over to her mother as Elena smiles, getting up from her chair , walking towards them as the smell of firewood fills her senses and she takes a seat next to their daughter, brushing her hair back with her fingertips when she adds. "Don't sit so close to the fire pit, Alexia. It's not good for your lungs."

Stefan laughs, hearing their daughter groan when she mumbles something and then he adds in a sweet tone. "Your mother's right, Lexi. Listen to her. She loves you very much, Lexi. You and Zach. We both do. You two are what your mommy and I have always been missing. You've made our lives complete."

Elena watches Stefan's green watery eyes meet hers when he says. "Zach and Alexia..The names we talked about, the names that we always wanted to give our children, if we had them." Stefan confesses, shrugging his shoulders back as he glances over once more at Elena and begins to leave the room.

"Don't go, Stefan. Please!" Elena exclaims, following him through the foyer in the boarding house when she sees him stop in front of the entrance door, shaking his head.

"I can't be here, looking at you. Because whenever I see you, I see our shattered dreams. Everything we could have had..And, now because of the mistakes that we both made..All this will ever be, is a dream." He says in a stern tone.

"So, where does that leave us now?" Elena hears herself asking him as she pushes a strand of her hair out of her face.

"We take it a day at a time and we rebuild, Elena. I will always love you even when it pains me to do so. But, we need to fix ourselves before we can fix each other." Stefan tells her in a broken tone, opening the door and finally exiting the boarding house as he hears her quietly reply back. "One day at a time..Like we always have, like we always do."

Thanks so much for reading & I hope you all liked it! :)