AN: So… I caught up. And like most people I'm devastated. But as per usual I'm not quite satisfied with the amount of Defan in the final two episodes (Am I ever?) So here's this…

I don't have much to say because I'm burned out from writing this. Anyone wants to talk about the finale or Defan though, drop me a PM – I'm more than happy to do that

(I didn't edit this - expect mistakes. Maybe I'll go back and edit it later)

I DON'T OWN. But I would like to petition to own because my poor babies are not treated properly at all and I would be so much nicer to them! (Yeah, I'm crazy)

Elena's phone chimed suddenly in her lap, breaking the heavy silence between them and pulling him from his thoughts of the travelers, the spell, and what the heck they were supposed to do next. Damon glanced briefly at her phone, rolling his eyes slightly at the name and picture that flashed across the screen. Caroline.

"Hey, Caroline what's-"


Damon's brow furrowed and he shot Elena a look of confusion. She shrugged her shoulders and he sighed. Caroline and Stefan should be right behind them. What did the blonde vampire possibly need that wouldn't just result in more problems for all of them?

"Car, what's going on?"

His ears twitched as he tuned into what the other girl was saying over the line. He heard her broken attempts to speak and if possible his frown deepened. Elena tried again to calm Caroline enough for her to speak before Damon reached out his own hand impatiently for the phone. They didn't have time for this.

"Caroline. Look, put Stefan on the phone so he can tell me what's going on without the dramatics kay? We're kind of in a hurry here, what with the whole spell that's going to kill us all."

He was probably being a dick. But seriously what else could possibly be going wrong?

"D-Damon… Damon, I'm so sorry! I didn't, I didn't think to- I didn't even realize- And he, and Stefan just-"

Damon's eyes widened and he darted a concerned look at Elena who stared anxiously back at him.

"Hey, hey, hey, Caroline. It's okay," He spoke gently, conscious now of just how distressed the other vampire was. "What happened?" Why didn't she just put Stefan on the phone? Or better yet, why hadn't his noble and kind hearted brother taken the phone from her?

"You need to turn around. Damon… you need to get back here right now."

"What are you talking about? We can't go back! Caroline, just put Stefan on the phone."

Caroline went completely silent on the other end. Frowning, he pulled the phone away from his ear to check they hadn't been disconnected.

"Damon… turn around."

His chest felt tight suddenly and his entire body locked up. Distantly he was aware of Elena's surprised shout as she grabbed for the wheel and the car lost speed as his foot fell from the gas. He felt like he couldn't breathe.

"Where's my brother, Caroline?"


He couldn't tear his eyes away from the still body lying on the couch in the Whittmore dorms. He couldn't think of the body as Stefan, refused to think of the body as Stefan, because of what it meant.

His brother. His brother was…

"What happened?" Elena demanded, falling into a chair and looking from Stefan to Caroline and back before settling on Caroline.

Caroline sobbed her way through what had occurred after he and Elena drove off. Elena had asked the question but Caroline wasn't speaking to her, wasn't even looking at her. Since they'd come in her attention had been focused on Damon who had yet to really say or do anything.

His brother was dead.

Damon's head bobbed and he seemed to sway where he stood. He felt unsteady, like he wasn't even in control of his body anymore. His eyes burned from a lack of blinking. He couldn't tear his eyes away. How had he let this happen?

"Bonnie has a plan right? I mean, she said that she could bring people back,"

He should have waited. He should have stayed to make sure Stefan got away. They should have all gone together. Why hadn't he waited?


He pulled his eyes away from Stefan only long enough to glance at Caroline and see her distraught face before returning them to his brother's still body. He could feel his eyes welling up.

"Tell me that she can bring him back!"

He forced back the tears in his eyes. He wouldn't cry. No. Because Stefan was not dead, or at least, he wouldn't stay that way.

"We'll bring him, back."

His body went through the motions of walking and finding a blanket. He was aware that he was saying something to Caroline and Elena but he wasn't really sure what it was. His focus was entirely on Stefan.

Damon bent over his brother, draping the blanket over his body up to his neck. He paused for a minute at his face, his eyes locked on Stefan's closed lids. He couldn't stop the few tears he felt trail down his cheeks as he gently brushed a hand over Stefan's cool forehead and into his hair. He let his hand rest there for a minute, vowing silently to himself and Stefan that he would bring him back.


It hit him with an unexpected force. Standing across the room from Bonnie, listening to her explain how they'd had a way and lost it sent him into a blinding rage. Damon smashed everything in sight, knocking things to the floor with a piece of the chair he'd thrown against the wall.

"Damon, stop!"

He ignored her, instead shattering the glass that rested on the mantle above the fireplace. He couldn't breathe. He felt like the entire room was closing in on him and the only thing that brought him any hint of relief was the sound of furniture and glass breaking apart.

How did she not get that?

"You're the one who needs motivation because if the other side goes away, everyone we know there including you goes away with it," His voice didn't sound right even to his own ears. He was so tightly strung and he was going to snap.

He couldn't get the image of his brother's lifeless body out of his head. He hadn't even said anything to him before driving off with Elena! He should have said something; asked if he was okay! For God's sake, they'd just been forced to relive the pain of being shot as their wounds from the night they died over a century ago reopened.

He'd been so caught up lately in his drama with Elena that he'd been ignoring his own brother! His brother who had been through unimaginable emotional and physical pain over the last year.

"I know that. Do you think I want to die?"

Her words coupled with her, to his mind, unconcerned attitude snapped something inside of him. "My brother is over there." he had to force the word brother from his lips, unable or unwilling to accept it. Any of it.

"I know that!"

He saw the tears in her eyes and heard the catch in her voice and he slowly let the piece of chair he'd been pointing at her fall. It occurred to him then that there were other people trapped as well, people Bonnie cared about just as much as he did.

"I need him back, Bonnie," he whispered, a catch in his voice as he attempted to hide the sob.

Bonnie stared back at him sympathetically before slowly stepping forward with her hand outstretched. She rested it on Damon's shoulder, squeezing gently, as she nodded, "I know that too, Damon,"

The moment was interrupted by the appearance on Enzo sarcastically reminding them of his own imprisonment on the other side. Bonnie saw the change in Damon's eyes as his despair was replaced with absolute fury.

He turned to where he assumed Enzo was standing and Bonnie watched as he shakily snapped at the dead vampire.


She moved around him so that he had no choice but to look at her and she could see the wild abandon in his eyes. He was barely holding it together.

"Enzo says he has a plan,"


"We can't blow up our hometown,"

He didn't have time to deal with morality. He turned on Matt, snapping about how he was the only one who could live there now, before attempting to move on with the plan.

Elena's voice came through the phone then, "We're not blowing up our town!"

Damon breathed deeply, closing his eyes as his fingers gripped the desk tightly. He wasn't a patient person on a normal day and today, the day that his younger brother was dead and his revival depended on a group of too moral people and a questionable spell and plan, was an anything but normal day. He did not have the patience for this.

"I don't give a damn about the town. And if I have to blow the entire thing and everyone in it to pieces than I will,"

There was silence from Matt and Jeremy and Elena and Caroline on the other end of the phone as they all took a second to hear his words and just how serious he was. And he was very serious. The whole world could burn for all he cared; he was getting his brother back.

"Damon… we just need to lure a group of travelers to one spot," Elena was careful in her words and the tone in which she delivered them. Damon wasn't stable right now.

He wanted to scream at all of them that he was going to do whatever he damn well needed to but he really didn't have the time to argue with them.

"Fine," he snapped. "Let's just get this done,"


"Project kaboom needs someone to trigger the explosion," he said it flippantly, hoping that she would let it rest.

"Wait, you? Damon, no!"

He regretted his decision to be a good person and tell her about his plans. If he had just left it, he wouldn't be having this conversation right now.

"Damon, do you see a future with me? Because that's all I see with you."

Of course he saw a future with her. He'd seen it at the beginning when she was still so much in denial over her feelings for him and that side of her that wanted him. He'd been able to see it nearly since the beginning. That's not what he told her though.

He sighed, "I don't see a future without my brother."

He saw the defiance flicker out of her expression. He knew he'd said something even she would have a hard time arguing with.

"I'm doing this to bring him back, to bring all of them back. And I'm going to come back with them."

"What if something goes wrong?" She demanded.

Damon braced himself for what he was about to say. He looked at the ground, to the sky, anywhere but directly at her. He needed to organize his thoughts. He needed to say this. He needed her to understand.

"Elena… I'm willing to risk that," He held up a hand to stop her from interrupting and she reluctantly stepped back to listen. "I've lived a long, long time… I've done some pretty terrible things, and some good things to, sometimes. I've loved and hated, lost people I cared about and learned to care about new people. My life has always been chaotic and there hasn't been much good in it, or much worth holding onto. But the one thing I could always count on. The one person that's been there for pretty much my entire life is Stefan."

His eyes had glazed over with enough emotions for the last 168 years, lost in his thoughts and memories of everything he'd experienced since the day an infant Stefan was placed in his arms and he vowed that he'd always love and protect his little brother.

"The day he was born… I made a promise to our mother, to myself, and to him that I would always take care of him; I failed."

"Damon, no…"

"I've failed him in so many ways," he went on as though she hadn't spoken, "I let Katherine tear us apart, I spent 150 years on and off tormenting him, I wasn't able to stop him from becoming the ripper, I didn't keep him safe from Klaus, I stole the love of his life, I let Silas torture him, and now… this. He's dead, Elena. And I don't know how to exist in a world where he doesn't."


"Even if something goes wrong. Even if this plan fails and we can't bring them back and I end up trapped on the other side with Stefan and everyone else… That's okay. Because I'd rather be there than alive in a world where I failed to protect him, a world where I'd have to live forever without him."

Elena was crying and he only just now realized that so was he. Another time he'd probably be embarrassed by that not now.

She was quiet for so long that Damon wasn't sure she was going to say anything and then, "What about me, Damon?"

"I get that you have to save Stefan but how am I supposed to live with this if you don't come back?"

He smiled sadly and pressed a hand to her cheek. He stroked away her tears with his thumb. "What if it was Jeremy?" he whispered.

He knew then that she wouldn't argue with him. Not anymore. She had a brother to, a little brother at that, and she would understand. Even if she hated it, even if it killed her… She wouldn't try to stop him.

"I want to go with you,"

Damon shook his head. He'd prepared for that. "You can't. Because on the off chance that this doesn't work? You won't leave Jeremy alone, you can't."

Her tears came harder than as she accepted his words.

"Besides none of this really matters anyway because this is going to work. I am going to bring him back. I've failed as a brother too many times; I won't fail again."


He groaned as he rolled onto his side, pushing against the debris that surrounded him. Dying hurt. A lot. It took him a second to gather himself before he slowly stood and glanced around the now destroyed Mystic Grill.

Footsteps to his left had Damon whipping his body around, prepared for a confrontation with one of the travelers if need be. He tensed as a figure appeared in the dust from the debris before moving fully into his line of sight.

Slowly, his body relaxed and he grinned. "Ric…"

Alaric stopped in front of him, a wide grin on his own face. "So what? You missed me so much you had to blow yourself up?"

Damon laughed, the first real laugh in days. "What can I say? No one else in town can keep up with me."

Ric laughed and rested a hand heavily on Damon's shoulder. "It's good to see you, buddy."

Smiling, Damon brought his own hand up and pulled Ric into a tight hug. "You too," he whispered as he clapped the taller man on the back.

Their embrace was brief as both became aware of their surroundings and the time limit they were currently under. There would be time later for hugs and talking, and in their case drinking, but for now they had to get to Bonnie.

"You haven't seen Stefan, have you?" He asked as they made their way through the crumbling building.

"No, I haven't. I saw Sheriff Forbes lying among the rubble just before I stumbled across you but that's it."

Damon's steps halted abruptly and he turned to Ric with wide eyes full of dread. Alaric chuckled and shook his head. "She's okay. I lifted a beam off of her and she was breathing and struggling to her feet; she'll be alright."

He breathed out a huge sigh of relief. He wouldn't have been able to just walk away, Liz was his friend, but the delay could've had serious consequences for them.

Now he just had to get Stefan and get to Bonnie. Fast.


Stefan ran through the trees, sidestepping fallen branches and avoiding larger bushes as he went. Bonnie had said that Damon was here but he'd awaken with his body. He had to get back to town and make sure his brother was alright.


He slowed to a stop and glanced over his shoulder to see Lexie coming up behind him. He frowned. "What are you doing? Stay with the others!"

Lexie fixed him with a pointed look, eyebrow raised and her arms crossed over her chest defiantly. "You really think I'm gonna let you go off alone? What kind of best friend would I be if I didn't make sure you and your brother made it out of here?"

Stefan rolled his eyes and shook his head slowly. He wanted to object further but really there wasn't time. He had to get to Damon.

"Besides," she continued, bouncing over to his side. "We're already halfway back to town,"

Stefan laughed and reluctantly nodded. "Okay, fine. Let's go,"

They took off through the woods again, both of them running at their full speed. Bonnie had warned them both that there wasn't much time left and they'd have to be ready. But Stefan wasn't going anywhere without Damon.

He was so focused on his thoughts of Damon and getting to his brother quickly that he failed to notice something coming at him and Lexie through the woods. He shot a glance at Lexie.

"Stefan! Look out!"

He didn't have time to stop and Lexie's warning came a second too late. He crashed at full speed into another body before falling to the forest floor, the other person landing with him.

Stefan gasped for breath he didn't really need and shoved gently but firmly at the body that had landed half on top of him. Stefan pushed his head back into the ground and blinked up at the person on top of him who seemed to just be catching their own breath before staring down at him surprised. Stefan blinked.

Damon shook his head and rubbed at his forehead where he'd made impact with the other vampire. Ouch, he thought, as his eyes focused and he realized he was not only lying on the ground, but on another person. He looked down, somewhat surprised to find himself so distracted that he'd managed to knock into another person.



Stefan laughed and without thinking threw his arms around his brother's neck, pulling him further down on top of him in a hug. He had half a second to think about how weird it was for him to be lying on the ground holding his brother before the thought was caught off by Damon's own arms going around him and forcing them even tighter together. He felt Damon's own breathless laugh against his neck and he grinned happily. Thank god.


Damon didn't let go of him for several long minutes, although they did get off the ground. They'd barely made it to their feet before Damon was pulling Stefan against his chest and holding onto him tightly. Stefan didn't complain.

"I was so scared I wasn't going to be able to get to you," he whispered against his neck.

Stefan responded by holding onto Damon a little tighter. He knew that of course. He'd been watching his brother all day as he tried desperately to keep himself together. He'd been terrified when Damon drove his car into the Grill. Whether it was fear that it would work or that it wouldn't, he wasn't sure.

"I really hate to break up this epic display of brotherly love but…"

"We have to go guys!"

Lexie's teasing words and Alaric's amused but serious statement finally broke them apart and they nodded. Damon breathed out a shaky breath and clapped Stefan one more time on the shoulder before he stepped away from him, although not too far.

Stefan smiled reassuringly and turned to Lexie and Ric. "Alright, let's get out of here."


They made it back to Bonnie without incident to find that both Luke and Enzo had already stepped through the gate and the spell wasn't going to hold much longer. Bonnie ushered Tyler through as well before turning to face the four of them, a desperate look on her face.

"Cutting it a little close,"

Damon smirked but didn't comment. He turned instead to Stefan, "Go!"

Stefan shook his head, turning to Ric and Lexie. "You first!"


"Go, Alaric! We're right behind you," he yelled over Damon.

Alaric didn't waste time arguing and stepped up to Bonnie. With a small smile for the young witch he grabbed on to her arms, immediately reappearing on the other plane.

"Now you, Lexie!"

The blonde vampire shook her head. "You two first,"

Damon rolled his eyes. Why was he surrounded by such noble people? They did not have time for this. "C'mon Stef," Stefan nodded his head slowly and reached for Bonnie's hand.

He didn't get a chance to grasp her hand however as before he could he was slammed into by a hard body. Stefan was knocked to the ground as Marcos made for Bonnie. Damon snapped his head around, growling as his face took on his vampiric appearance.

He lunged for Marcos but was stopped by a hard tug at his jacket and he stumbled back, barely managing to stay on his feet. His eyes shot to Lexie who'd pulled him away only to jump after Marcos herself, grabbing onto him and slamming him into the ground.

She looked up at him then, moving his eyes over to Stefan who'd stumbled to his feet before turning back to him with a significant look. "Get out of here!" she shouted.

"Lexie, no…"

"What kind of best friend would I be if I didn't make sure you got out of here with your brother? Go, Stefan!" Her eyes hadn't left Damon and he nodded his head slowly in acceptance and gratitude.

He turned to Stefan, locking his fingers around the younger's wrist and pulling him along toward Bonnie.

"Lexie!" Stefan shouted, struggling against Damon's hold. But he was stronger.

Bonnie stepped forward at the same time Damon tugged Stefan around to face her and she grabbed a hold of each of their arms at the same time. Damon didn't let go of Stefan the entire time as the bright light and strong wind faded away into the regular sight of the woods.


It was a long while later, after he'd had a chance to talk to Ric and have a brief moment with Elena, that he found himself alone with Stefan in front of the fire in the sitting room. He sat down slowly next to his brother, passing him a glass of bourbon as he did which the younger vampire accepted.

"She never came through," he said after they'd been sitting for a few minutes.

Damon nodded slowly. "I know,"

"The spell stopped working before she had a chance to get through. She stayed back to keep Marcos from getting through and to make sure that we did,"

Damon whispered again that he knew and took a large gulp of his bourbon. He thought about telling Stefan how sorry he was but he wasn't. Sure, he was sorry for Lexie and he wished she could've made it. But her sacrifice ensured that Stefan did and for that he would never be sorry. But he would be grateful to Lexie… forever.

"She was a great person, Stef." He held his glass up and tilted it toward Stefan. "To Lexie,"

Stefan smiled sadly and knocked his glass gently against Damon's. "To Lexie,"

They drank in silence long enough for Damon to need to get up and refill their glasses twice. He didn't say anything, leaving Stefan to his thoughts and his grief, but he stayed there with him. Letting him know that if he wanted to talk, he was there.

For Stefan, it was enough.


It was a couple days later that Stefan finally brought up their trip to the other side, or more specifically, Damon's trip to the other side. They were playing pool (Stefan had rolled his eyes again at the purchase of the table and complained about where Damon had chosen to place it) when he stopped suddenly and stared intently at Damon.

"You know, it was a really stupid move,"

Damon didn't pretend to not know what Stefan was talking about. Normally he'd make some kind of sarcastic remark or flippant comment but he hadn't felt much up to it the last few days. He was exhausted; they all were. What with losing Bonnie and everyone's grief, and still dealing with his own emotions over Stefan's however temporary death (he'd yet to feel comfortable being away from the younger vampire for very long), he was just tired.

"Maybe," he shrugged. "But with all the stupid moves you've pulled over the last 150 years for me? I figure it was about time it was my turn,"

Stefan rolled his eyes and bent down to line up his next shot. He attempted to hide his affectionate smile but he was pretty sure Damon saw it anyway. They carried on with the next few shots before Damon said anything else.

"I wasn't going to live in a world without you, little brother,"

He said it so softly Stefan wasn't sure he even meant to, or at least that he didn't mean for him to hear it, but he did. He was reminded of the night he forced Damon to turn into a vampire all those years ago.

He walked around the table and dropped his hand down on Damon's shoulder, squeezing reassuringly. "I know,"

Damon glanced over at him and smiled fondly. A moment passed before he rolled his eyes and playfully shoved Stefan away from him mumbling that it was his shot. Grinning, Stefan moved away to line up his next shot.

Damon watched him as he moved around the table. He wasn't quite over what he felt upon discovering that his brother was really and truly dead. Even now, knowing that he was okay he still felt like he couldn't quite breathe sometimes. And if he snuck into Stefan's room in the middle of the night just to make sure he was still alive? Well, no one really needed to know that.

But right now? Watching his brother smiling and playing pool… He felt like he could breathe again.

Let me know your thoughts! :)

Even if they're about the show/characters/relationships and have nothing to do with my story lol