A/N: I don't own Vampire Diaries or any of the canon characters, but I wouldn't mind a happy ending with Damon...
I want to give a brief shout out to SweetCake87 who let me know about the theft of my fic Nothing Like The Sun. Someone literally copied and pasted my entire story, added a bit to the end and called it their own. It's since been removed and I want to say thanks for bringing it to my attention!
Here we are guys, the final chapter! It's been a fun ride. Who would have thought a simple experiment to see if I could write in the first person would have turned out to be such a full blown story? Thanks to this story I wrote my 3rd book Angel of Mercy in the first person and I had a great time with it. I'm back to third person for the next book, but we'll see what happens for the next fanfic.
I'd love to tell you that Damon and I lived happily ever after. That nothing ever went wrong again. That we settled into a perfect life together, sharing the house with Stefan and Lexi. That Isobel and Alaric remarried and adopted three children. That Jeremy went to college, majored in business management and set up his own chain of dry cleaning stores. That Bonnie fell for my brother of all people, and they moved in together. That Caroline married Matt and they had seven chubby little blonde children. That Jenna married her high school sweetheart, and started her own family. That 'Aunt Katherine' visited once a year and spoiled all the children rotten while we drank eggnog around the Christmas tree. It would be a happy ending to the tale, wouldn't it?
Yeah, none of that happened.
Well not exactly anyway.
*** ten years later ***
It never ceases to amaze me how the more things change, the more they stay the same. I hadn't been back to Mystic falls in a few years, but I still recognized all of the same old haunts. The movie theater, the town square, the high school, the Grill, they all looked the same.
Most of the time I didn't have to think much about my appearance. On the move, I rarely thought about how I hadn't aged in the past ten years.
Until I went home.
All of a sudden, I started to worry about people noticing that I looked exactly the same. I went through every piece of clothing to decide if it would be suitably grown up before I packed. I tried a dozen hairstyles, up, down, curly, straight, even contemplating chopping it all off to find a more mature look. In the end, I decided not to freak out over it. People had plastic surgery right? They dyed their hair to keep away the grays. Went to the gym to stay in shape and wore sunscreen to keep the wrinkles at bay. I'd just tell anyone that asked that I'd made a deal with the devil and let them make what assumptions they would.
But as I pulled up to the park, I was glad it was a sunny day, the protection my sunglasses gave me was probably my best ally. Heading straight for the tents erected for the bride and groom, I slipped into the bride's tent, looking for my friend but Jenna intercepted me before I'd gotten more than two steps inside.
"Elena, you're here!" Jenna cried, wrapping her arms around me.
"Jenna, you look fantastic!" I hugged her warmly in return.
"Me? Look at you; you look like you just stepped off the pages of a magazine! Me… my hips are getting wider every year." She sighed.
"Oh stop, you look great!" I assured her, and she did for a mother of two with another one on the way she was practically glowing with health. "Motherhood obviously agrees with you."
Jenna ducked a look outside to the seating area, her brows drawing together with concern. "You're not flying solo are you? Is there a problem?"
"No, no problem." I assured her quickly. I just wanted to take the scenic route, you know? Check things out."
"Mommy, I wanna be a flowers girl too." Her five year old son Owen appeared, tugging at her dress.
"Do not let your father hear you say that." She looked up to where her other son wrestled with her husband Mason. Old friends, they'd run into each other in town after she'd broken up with Alaric and they'd both fallen hot and heavy for each other. They'd been married within a few months and now had two kids with a third on the way. We'd never spoken about Alaric's reconciliation with my mother, his wife. I think she could understand him wanting to be with Isobel after "miraculously" finding her memory. Personally, I thought they could have come up with a better excuse than amnesia for Isobel's disappearance, but people seemed to buy it. "Say hello to your cousin Elena, Owen."
"Hello." The little boy replied dutifully, largely disinterested in me. "Can I have some flowers too?"
"Sure baby, we'll get you your own flowers before we go home, I promise." She dropped a kiss on his smooth cheek. "Now why don't you go sit with Daddy and Sammy, okay?"
"Okay mommy." He tore off at a dead run, not stopping until he reached Mason, who looked up with a loving smile for his wife before he accepted the friendly tackle.
"So much work keeping up with those two, I don't know where they get their energy from!" She laughed.
"He's gotten so big! I'm so happy for you Jenna, Mason's great. I just wish we could visit more often."
"Yeah, I wish you would too." Jenna reached out to hug me again before straightening and blinking away emotional tears of happiness. "Anyway the bride will be thrilled to see you; you'd better get in there. I think my work is done here."
"We'll catch up more later." I promised, moving to the inner chamber of the tent where Bonnie stood before a full length mirror, studying her reflection, until she noticed me standing there.
"Elena, you made it!" She turned in a cloud of white, and we hugged, carefully.
"Of course I did, I wouldn't miss this for the world." I smiled back. "You look beautiful."
"You look… just the same. I like this look though, very chic." She nodded approvingly.
I could relax now, take off my sunglasses and be myself. "Where's Caroline? I thought she'd be glued to your side, attending to all of the maid of honor stuff?"
"She's having a mommy emergency. Matt came to get her when Savannah got gum stuck in her hair. I think she was talking about going in search of some peanutbutter to get it out."
It sounded so domestic… "Wow. I so can't picture Caroline as a mom."
"She's done a lot of growing up over the past few years. And wait till you see Savannah, she looks just like her mom and she's got her daddy wrapped around her little finger too. But Matt couldn't be happier."
"And now it's your turn." I smiled, brushing the veil back so that it hung perfectly down over her shoulders
"Yeah, after all these years it's finally my day. Are you really sure you're okay with this Elena? I don't want there to be any weirdness between us." A furrow appeared on her forehead.
"What? Of course not, I already told you when you told me about the engagement, I couldn't be happier for the two of you. In fact, I don't know why you waited as long as you did to tie the knot."
"I wanted to be absolutely sure, I only want to do this once."
"And are you sure now?"
"Not a doubt in my mind." She smiled serenely.
"Welcome to the family."
Seated in the front row, I waited patiently for the ceremony to begin, my purse resting on the empty chair beside me. I was just considering sending a text message when I felt a familiar kiss on the back of my neck. "You're late."
"You're forgiven." I smiled up at those beautiful blue eyes as he sat down beside me. "What took you so long?"
Damon gave me a look. "What do you think? The groom looks like he's going to pass out. I had to get a couple of drinks into him to keep him from shaking out of his pants." He smirked.
"You didn't…" The last thing Bonnie needed was a groom too drunk to stand up beside her.
"What? He's a big boy Elena; he can handle a couple of shots to steady his nerves."
"I know, it's just… he'll always be my little brother." I replied with a wistful smile.
"Your little brother looks older than you now; he's even got a gray hair or two."
"He does not! He's not even thirty yet!" I laughed, smacking his arm playfully.
Okay maybe not, but he's a full grown man. About to marry and start a family."
"I can't wait to be an aunt." I sighed happily, thinking about all the ways we could spoil their children, the way we spoiled Jenna and Mason's kids whenever we had the chance.
Damon was silent then and I could guess what he was thinking. We'd never once talked about children; it didn't make sense to open that box when it wasn't an option for us. The music started up then and we both seized upon the distraction.
The ceremony was… long. Why was it that weddings tended to drone on and on when it wasn't you getting married? But the vows themselves were beautiful.
"Do you ever miss all this?" Damon whispered, in a voice so low only I could hear him.
"All what? Mystic falls?" I replied just as softly.
"No, that we didn't do the whole big family wedding?"
I looked down at the band of gold encircling my own finger, remembering our wedding in Venice. I couldn't have asked for a more romantic setting than to be surprised with an impromptu wedding on the water at sunset. Stefan and Lexi had been enlisted to help pull it off without my getting wind of it, but the ceremony itself had just been the two of us and I had loved every moment of it.
"Of course not, our wedding was perfect, just you and me, the way it'll be forever after." I leaned over to press a tender kiss to his cool cheek.
"Yeah but I know girls get all sentimental over the big…"
"Hey, I may still look like a teenage girl but I'm not the same wide eyed innocent that wrote nonsense in my diary like I did when you first came to town."
"Oh yeah? What do you write in your diary?" His eyes flashed and I could feel the familiar heat spring up between us.
"Nothing fit for print." I gave him a wicked smile of my own.
"And the family thing?"
"I told you, I'm happy to be Aunt Elena. That way I get to do all the fun things, and then send the kids home when they're cranky."
I loved that my badass vampire had this vulnerable side to him, as if I could destroy him with a single word. "Really. I love our life together." My fingers stroked across his beloved features, and in the next instant we were kissing, the rest of the world forgotten but for the feel of his lips on mine. The applause was enough to draw our attention though, and I pulled back in time to see Jeremy and Bonnie smiling at the crowd, walking down the aisle as man and wife. Damon and I clapped and cheered for them as well, knowing we had an eternity to finish what we'd started.
The reception was a fantastic party. It was great to see everyone again; I only wish that Stefan and Lexi could have been there. In the aftermath of the broken curse, Lexi had left town, not wanting to watch Stefan with Katherine after she'd recovered. It took Stefan less than two days to realize that he felt more than friendship for Lexi and he'd taken off after her. Unfortunately it took him two more months to catch up with her and tell her that he loved her too. It's a fantastic story actually; you should ask them about it sometime, I'm sure Lexi would be happy to tell it to you.
We traded emails and the occasional phone call but for whatever reason just didn't end up at the same place at the same time too often. While I was willing to risk the odd look over how little I'd changed in the past ten years to attend my brother's wedding, Stefan hadn't felt like he should show up still looking like he was seventeen. Instead he sent Jeremy and Bonnie a gift with his congratulations from Tuscany.
After the dancing started, I snagged a dance with my baby brother who did look older and stronger than I did, to my amusement. As we danced, I wondered what it would feel like when his children looked older than I did, and everyone I knew growing up would start to wither away and die.
"Penny for your thoughts." Jeremy asked, "Or should I be afraid to ask?"
"I was just thinking about the future is all." I shook away the momentary stab of melancholy. "Did you ever think about it? Going off with Anna and her mom?" Not long after we'd broken the curse, Bonnie had found the spell to open the tomb just long enough to get Pearl out of there. They'd left town soon after with a weakened Katherine and I hadn't heard from them since.
"That's a strange question for me after I just married Bonnie."
"No, I know, you guys are great together. I just wondered if you ever thought about, you know, immortality."
"Oh, that." He shook his head. "No, not really. I mean all most of us can ask for is the chance to live our lives with the people we love. Whether it's one year or a hundred, as long as I get the chance to spend it with the woman I love it'll be worth it."
"When did you get to be so smart?" I smiled up at him.
"It must have happened sometime after my sister left everything behind to be with the man she loves. You're a tough act to follow Elena."
"Well if you ever do want to… you know follow." It was the only time I'd ever mentioned turning him if that was what he wanted.
"I'll keep that in mind. But for now, I've got everything I ever wanted." He looked up and smiled at his bride.
My eyes sought out Damon then, who was dancing with Jenna, making her laugh over something silly thing. "Yeah, I've got everything I ever wanted too."
As for happily ever after? Who can say? As long as we're still living there's always a chance that doom and gloom might befall us. But if there's one thing I've learned, it's that come what may, love really is eternal.
A/N: So there we have it, the final chapter. Now while I can imagine a ton of adventures for vampire Elena and Damon to share over the years, I prefer to leave them this way for now, in a haze of happiness after everything I put them through.
BTW I think I'm leaning towards the western AU fic for Damon and Elena next. It'll prolly be a couple of weeks before I get started though, as I'm wading into my next book. If anyone wants to keep in touch, you can always check out my website (where I am still doing the VD episode recaps weekly) listed on my profile page, or follow me on Twitter under Mystewitch (not that it's all that exciting to hear about what I'm watching at the movies and whatnot. Though I do tend to update there when I've finished writing something or updated the website)
Thanks for sticking with me on this one, you guys rock!
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