A/N: Just a requested one shot from some of my followers. And, a final happy ending for Stefan and Elena. The way it should of been.


Sacrifice

She waits patiently at the restaurant they frequent every week, spinning her engagement ring around her finger as she thinks about the last few months. So much has changed. Her relationship with Damon had fizzled out four years before she moved away and she's not so broken up about it anymore, instead she's found some form of peace.

The last she had seen him around town, they would say their hellos. Both cordial and friendly. They had gone out to dinner together and that's when they had the talk. He loved her still. However, he needed to let her go. Any outsider looking in could see that the feelings had long gone and they were just two people who used to love each other in that moment in time. She still thinks about him though, what her life could have looked like and been like with the adventurous and daring Damon Salvatore. Now, she smiles at his memory and the ones they shared together. Deep down, she knew that she had loved him too. Yet, after everything that had happened, things just weren't the same anymore.

The thoughts wash away quickly when she feels a light tap on her shoulder and he leans down to kiss her rosy warm cheek. "Sorry that I'm late, babe. Traffic was a nightmare and the 405 was jammed up for miles. Apparently, someone's dog decided to take a stroll down the freeway." He laughs, adjusting his dark blue scrubs while he watches her shake her head, leaning back and laughing.

"You didn't save the dog and bring it home, did you?" She asks him, leaning forward and grabbing his hand as her engagement ring twinkles and shines from the café's lights above them. Stefan intertwines their fingers and sadly says that he didn't. These last few months with her moving half way across the U.S. to be with him in California have been tough. But, he knows that he wouldn't have wanted it any other way. He misses Mystic Falls though. He misses his friends and wonders about what their lives have become. Especially on this day. The day his older brother sacrificed his life to give him and Elena a fighting chance at living theirs.

He doesn't remember the compulsion that his older brother used in the tombs that night. But, he knows that from those missing memories, mind control had to have been used. He remembers Damon telling him to get out of town because he needed to see Stefan live his life. Apologizing for everything that he'd done wrong and making damn sure that sacrificing himself would make things right. Stefan feels it though. He remembers the way Damon gripped his shoulders and locked his eyes on him, begging him to leave. He remembers his words to an extent. "I didn't know how to be a big brother. I didn't know how to do it until now. But, now is the time and I want you to go. Please, Stefan. I love you little brother. But, you need to go and live your human existence." His voice shaking and tears streaming down his face as he leaned over and embraced his younger sibling into his arms, one last time.

"Earth to Stefan." Elena says in a gentle tone, her head tilted to the side as she follows his green gaze and tries to see what he's seeing. But, she can't because it's all the memories in his head and not anything physically in front of them.

"Today marks two years since he's been gone." Stefan comments in a tone so low that Elena can barely hear him. She see's the sadness in his eyes though. The familiar mark of humanity seeping in and she takes his hand gently, giving it a soft squeeze. "I know." She remarks, telling herself that Damon's the reason that they're still living their lives. Because, he is.

"I'm thankful to him. For giving me back something that I'd been missing." She says, smiling softly and watching as Stefan takes her hand and kisses it. He runs his fingers over her ring as he smiles through his tears and exhales deeply. "I am too. I miss him though and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him, Elena." He explains as she nods her head because lately, she hasn't been able to stop thinking about him either.

"He would have been really proud of you. Of everything you've accomplished in your life thus far. He would have been so damn proud of you." She tells him as Stefan smiles and wipes away his tears, speaking in a soft tone.

"I'm alive because of him. I'm living the life I had always wanted with a beautiful fiancé and-." Her hand moving down to her growing belly makes his beaming smile reappear as she does the same while she finishes his sentence for him. "And, a baby boy on the way."

Elena wipes away her tears, clearing her throat as she states in a confident tone. "Our little boy, William Damon Salvatore. Will know how much his uncle meant to both of us." Elena comments as Stefan's green eyes brighten for a second and he cracks a small smile. "A boy?" He asks as she looks around, nodding her head and smiling. Elena leans forward, kissing Stefan's lips gently before sitting back down when she explains. "Yes. A little boy that we're going to love and adore. I can't wait for you to meet him, Stefan. He's going to be just as amazing as you are and he's going to have his uncle's charm.." She says as Stefan caresses her cheek and they both get up from the table. Noticing quickly that neither of them had really touched the drinks she had ordered earlier while waiting for him.

"I need to get back to work." Stefan says suddenly, wrapping his arms around a barely noticeably pregnant Elena as she nuzzles her face into the crook of his neck and inhales deeply. "I need to go back too." She tells him, running one of her hands down his chest as her fingers trace over the familiar words that are embroidered into her own pair of red scrubs that she's wearing as they stand together, holding one another. Los Angeles County General Hospital.

"I won't see you until later tonight in the E.R, I'll be down in the radiology department doing my rounds." She reveals to him, tossing her hair back as she blows him a kiss and Stefan suddenly pulls her back against him. His left hand running through her now shortened dark brown hair. His hand stops at her name badge as he flips it over and examines it for a minute, reading over the words in his mind until he says with a sweet and adoring smile. "I can't wait for it to say Dr. Elena Salvatore. I can't wait for you to be mine forever." He tells her, getting a quick kiss from her on his lips as she strokes his cheek and backs away slowly with a playful smile. "Soon enough, Dr. Salvatore. Soon enough. You and I will be together for as long as we both shall live."

Stefan stands there, alone for a few minutes in the restaurant as he watches Elena leave and as he closes his eyes, he wonders. Like he does every single time she leaves. He wonders what Damon would think of them now?

"I hope you're proud of me." He whispers softly into the silence, pushing open the door to the restaurant and allowing the warm California sun to wash over his cool feeling skin. Their futures have never looked brighter, he thinks to himself and it's all thanks to his older brother, Damon.


Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoyed it!