Title: He's Easy Like That
Disclaimer: I do not own TVD – I'm just borrowing!
Rating: M for language.
Author's Note: So, this is it folks. The last chapter. Now I wanted to post this before Christmas but sadly it just didn't work out that way what with me being ill and everything. But, good news is, I am over my other little problem of having writer's block and plan on starting up Lineage again soon.
I also realize that I promised to post last Monday but I had a rather strange and crazy week so I hope you will forgive me.
This chapter is about Christmas, Leo's first to be exact, and be prepared, it's a LOOOOONG chapter! But I hope you still enjoy it.
This has been such a wonderful journey with you all and I hope you trust the decisions I have taken with the story. There will be a sequel and there are things that kind of start in this chapter that aren't really resolved but will be picked up again in my SEQUEL! So I hope you will look out for that. I plan to start writing that and posting by maybe the end of February so hopefully not too long to go. However, these parts that are continued don't actually distract from this chapter and won't leave you feeling short changed – well I hope not anyway
Thank you everyone for continuing to read and review. I'm consistently amazed by how many people have read this story and have reviewed or favourited – it makes it all so worthwhile and makes me happy to know my writing brightens your day even if just a little bit. Now I am only a little way short (about 31 reviews) from making it 600 – please can you help me reach that target? Please?
Finally, forever thanks to my wonderful Rika, she's an amazing beta and helped me so much with this chapter that if it wasn't for her, I doubt it would ever have been written. She is a talented and imaginative girl and you should all swing by her profile and read her fics! (penname Zoraya Windwalker).
And now, I present 'Christmas – Salvatore Style'
Elena had just finished putting the final touches to her Christmas dinner table when she realised she no longer had something else to focus on in order to tune out Damon's almost incessant whining. She sighed loudly.
'Damon, get over it. Christmas is happening. I want Leo's first Christmas to be really special. He's my little miracle...'
She practically heard the eyes roll inside Damon's sockets as she stopped making sure the cutlery was at right angles to the edge of the table.
'...don't roll your eyes at me, he is. And the story of Christmas is all about that. A miracle baby, or did you learn nothing from years of going to mass before you turned?'
Damon managed to unclasp Leo's fingers from around his ear, thus preventing him from yanking it off completely. Growing new body parts hurt like a bitch.
'Well after I turned, mass murder didn't quite reconcile itself with the ideals of the Catholic church...you know, ten commandments and the like. Them and all those other rules they made up, like no sex before marriage? Talk about ridiculous. I couldn't quite get on board with that.'
Elena sighed wishing she'd never brought the subject up. She knew how Damon felt about religion, how it was forced upon him by his father.
'Look I'm not asking you to believe...'
'Good, because if God exists I believe he's one twisted son of a...'
'Finish that sentence Damon and you'll regret it.'
Elena glared at her husband with his mouth hanging open like a fish, making 'O' shapes, before deciding that he'd quite like to keep his head on his shoulders then closing it.
'Look, all I'm asking is that if you can't get on board with celebrating the meaning of Christmas, can you at least try to make the most of the time we can spend together – it's a time for families.'
Damon got up from the armchair clasping his son close into his chest and gently holding the back of Leo's tiny head with his free hand. The baby was on the edge of falling asleep, forcing Damon to lower the tone of his voice to something resembling a whisper.
'Fine! If it will make Miss Elena happy I'll deck the halls with boughs of holly,' he grumbled, effortlessly passing Leo to his mother, 'but we'll leave the donning of any gay apparel to Uncle Ric shall we?'
Elena smiled and kissed Leo softly on his head before putting him in his Moses basket. At five months old he was almost too big for it now. She watched as Leo wriggled slightly until he was lying with all limbs spread out like a starfish. It amused her – yet another trait he'd inherited from his father. But she was distracted from fawning over how cute her little boy looked as Damon continued his protests from across the room.
'Oh and another thing...don't be thinking you'll be able to sweet talk me into dressing up as Santa Clause...'
Elena turned to find Damon fussing over her Poinsettia table decoration and raised her eyebrows at his odd behaviour. He finally stopped what he was doing to clarify his previous statement.
'...red is just not my colour.'
'Are you going to tell me what's wrong?'
Damon was in the kitchen, putting Leo's bottles in the sterilizer doing his best to pretend like everything was normal. And that was what freaked Elena out the most.
She pulled one of the bottles out of his hand and forced him to look at her.
'Nothing is wrong Elena.'
She wasn't convinced.
'Damon, stop putting up those walls – you've been acting weird all day and I'm worried...I'm your wife, please talk to me. Is it something I've done?'
Rationally she knew it wasn't, but all sense of reason didn't come into play most days when it concerned Damon. He must have been able to see the extent of her anxiety on her face as he sighed and pulled her into his arms.
'It's not you ok; it's just this time of year. I haven't celebrated Christmas in...well it seems like forever. After my mother died, Giuseppe didn't see the point anymore.'
Elena wished the ground could open up and swallow her.
'I understand, and I'm sorry I didn't consider that before I started planning and inviting people around tomorrow...'
She understood, she really did – but why couldn't he understand why she wanted Christmas Day to be special for Leo?
'...But this isn't just for you, it's for our son and that's important to me. Family Damon, that's what we are now. A family. And we should all be together at Christmas.'
She held on tighter as he lazily drew his hand back and forth through her hair.
'I know, I know, shh...I get it,' was his vague response but it satisfied her for now, that and the way Damon held her even closer.
'Caroline please just tell me you're going to be here tomorrow? I need some kind of normality. It's Christmas and nobody seems to be bothered. Jeremy is back to being my irritating little brother again, Jenna is annoying the hell out of Ric about setting a date for the wedding, I'm getting a headache just thinking about what the atmosphere between Damon and Bonnie is going to be like, and talking of my husband, he's been extra huffy recently...'
Elena released the breath she'd been holding while she ranted and shook her head realising just what she needed.
'...I need someone to actually be excited about Christmas!'
Caroline did her best to not burst into a fit of giggles and focus on the task in hand.
'Well Elena if you followed my 15-point party plan and your table looks just like the example photo I emailed you last week, then I will of course be sooo enthusiastic that Damon will be threatening to stake me two minutes after I walk through the door. How does that sound?'
Elena had considered blocking Caroline's emails when she started sending her Christmas party planning mails complete with photographs lifted no doubt straight from a Pottery Barn catalogue.
'That sounds great Caroline, and if you can figure out how to put a smile on my husband's face while you're at it then that would be the best Christmas present ever.'
'Didn't I just say he'd want to stake me due to my endless enthusiasm? He'd look like that creepy joker guy from Batman if he ever had the chance to end me!'
Elena wasn't entirely comfortable with how Caroline was so blasé about Damon driving a stake through her heart, almost as if it was a joke.
'That's not funny Car, I was being serious!'
Caroline giggled this time.
'So was I! But come on, why is he being like the total party pooper? I thought he liked any opportunity to get drunk and make fun of everyone?'
Elena sighed and ran her fingers through her hair.
'That's what I thought too, but he just hasn't had any good experiences with family at Christmas, I guess it's hard to leave it all behind.'
There was silence for a few moments and Elena started to worry.
'Caroline? Car? You still there?'
'Oh, yeah sorry. Just having a bit of a vacant blonde moment. I was totally listening to you. Damon's bummed about only ever having shitty Christmases.'
'Well I wouldn't have said it like that, but I guess.'
Elena wandered into Leo's nursery and watched her little boy as he slept, wondering what it must have been like for Damon and how she never wanted that for her baby.
'Caroline, I just want this one to be special, it's our first family Christmas – I'm allowed to get all sentimental. I am a wife and mother now.'
Elena heard Caroline sigh dramatically through the telephone receiver and instantly wished she could take all those words back.
'God don't rub it in.'
'Oh Caroline, I didn't mean to...'
'...Relax Elena, it's all ok. Really I'll be fine. And to answer your original question I will be there for Christmas at Casa Salvatore with bells on. I just have a present to pick up before I get to yours so I might be there a little after when you've asked people to arrive. I hope that's ok.'
'So long as you get here that's all that matters, it's not like you need to eat anyway. But just for your itinerary, Dinner will be at 5pm sharp.'
'Great! Ok, well I'll see you tomorrow. Give Leo a big kiss from me. Oh, and tell Damon to stop being such a Scrooge – there's a 163 year old bottle of special Malt that I will be going to a lot of effort to procure for him so he better get into the festive spirit.'
Elena was pleased she'd decided to call Caroline. She always made things seem less...complicated – even if she was more cryptic now that she was a vampire. Elena supposed that was because she had Damon's blood running somewhere in her veins.
'I will pass that message along. See you tomorrow Caroline, drive safe.'
By the time Elena and Damon made it to bed it was not long before midnight. Despite his reassurances earlier, Damon really had done little to allay his wife's concern for him. She still had no idea what was really causing Damon to act like his broody brother. When she eventually fell asleep it was interrupted quickly after by the sound of muffled crying in the nursery next door. Elena resolved to give it a few minutes to see if Leo settled down and turned over in bed to get comfortable again only to find that Damon was not lying beside her.
Elena sighed loudly because really, they had talked about this.
'I'm so not the overprotective parent, I'm the cool Dad...,' she mocked to herself, getting out of bed and pulling on her robe.
She tip-toed across the bedroom and carefully peeked into the nursery to see Damon on the floor, legs crossed and propped up against the crib. He had Leo tucked safely in the crook of his arms.
'You know, I thought babies were supposed to be in some kind of routine by now – according to that boring book your Aunt Caroline threw at me, most kids sleep through the night from aged 2 months.'
Elena could see that Leo was definitely awake by the way he was trying to grab Damon's ear again and the faint gurgling she could hear.
'Yeah, yeah, you can stop looking at me like that too. I know you're not most kids – you're my kid.'
Elena could see the faint smile on his face as his features relaxed. It allowed the tension in her own shoulders to fade a little.
'You know, when your Uncle Stefan was your age I was almost 8 years old and he was the fussiest baby on the planet. It drove my father crazy at how often he cried during the night. But my mother, well she would always sit up with Stefan until he fell back asleep. I used to creep into his nursery and listen to mamma sing him back to sleep...'
Damon seemed to laugh a little and shook his head whilst drawing his hand across Leo's forehead.
'...Don't look so worried kid, I wouldn't subject you to my singing voice. Aunt Bonnie maybe, but only because then she'd know what a real headache is.'
He paused for a second before continuing and Elena noticed the tone in his voice shift a little.
'I guess all this waking up in the middle of the night reminds me of what it was like with Stefan growing up – you remember I told you last night how he used to follow me around like a lost puppy...'
Elena felt a breath catch in her throat as Damon continued to talk about his brother – the one they had both banished almost a year ago. He'd been talking to their son about him, telling him stories about their youth. She didn't even know Damon thought about him let alone talked openly, even if it was to a baby.
'...well I suppose it was the same the other way around. I loved being a big brother. I was so proud of Stefan that when he was born I used to lift him out of his crib and take him around the Manor showing him off to all the house staff. That was until my father, who had a permanent stick up his ass, saw me trailing Stefan around in my wooden toy cart and well that was the end of that.'
Damon paused to look at his now very content son in his arms, the baby's arms no longer flailing all over the place to grab onto him. Elena was positive she saw a flicker of recognition somewhere in Damon's eyes.
'You know, it makes me so angry that he's not here to see you, hell to see me doing this. I know he thinks I'm a monster but I wasn't always like that, and I'm not, not really deep down inside. He should know that I took care of him back then and he should see that I'm taking care of you now – how could I not? You're my son.'
The frustration appeared to falter though as Damon seemed to realise that his temper or anxiety would likely agitate the child in his arms.
'Look, I know I should say it's his own fault, and believe me, nothing would give me greater pleasure than laying the blame on his shoulders –god knows he likes to play Atlas and carry the weight of the whole world – but what am I supposed to do, he was...is my brother...and I shouldn't have turned away from him.'
Hearing him talk so openly caused a tear to form in Elena's eye, and forgetting the fact that Damon had said the word 'ass' and 'hell' in front of Leo, she felt nothing more than the strong need to give him the reassurance that if he wanted it, she would help him find Stefan and make things right.
Damon's loud sigh brought her back to the scene before her.
'I know you're there Elena – you have the stealth skills of a ten tonne Elephant.'
The eyes rolled back in Elena's head as she made her way into the nursery (not caring about the fact that she had told him – only hours ago – not to do the exact same thing).
'You mean you let me stand there instead of inviting me in to join the conversation?'
She sat down beside Damon and placed her legs over his. She could see that Leo was now asleep just as she'd suspected and it struck her just how much he looked like Stefan – with those dark eyebrows and his light brownish blonde hair. Was it any wonder Damon felt himself opening up by looking at him?
'Some things are easier to say to someone who can't answer back and offer their humbled opinion. It was easier if you just listened...or eavesdropped, same difference.'
Elena frowned but still understood what he meant. She leaned over and smoothed down some stray hairs on Leo's forehead.
'And I know what you're thinking too – that Leo looks like him.'
She was taken aback at his ability to read what was on her mind.
'Don't go getting all Stephanie Meyer on me. Those vampires do nothing for me.'
It honestly freaked her out how attuned he was to her thoughts, which seemed to amuse Damon endlessly.
'Why would they when you're married to an eternal stud like me?'
She smiled back at him with a hint of an eye roll.
'Seriously though, he must take after the Salvatore side of the family. Stefan did too. As for me, well I always looked more like my mother, thank god. If I'd looked anything like my father I'd have found admiring myself in the mirror every day ten times harder.'
She pulled back and looked at him, knowing he was deflecting slightly. And she was determined to sort this whole mess out.
'I will help you fix this Damon. Don't bury these feelings on my account. Stefan found Jeremy and sent him back to me. The least I can do is to help bring Stefan back to you.'
Damon said nothing else on the subject but carefully pulled himself up off the floor and placed his son back in the crib, satisfied he was now back asleep.
'Come on, let's get to bed – if I'm going to survive a house full of big kids who really should know better tomorrow, including Vampire Barbie and Broomsticks, then I'm gonna need all the sleep I can get.'
'Bonnie! Merry Christmas – how about a little kiss under the mistletoe?'
Damon was doing his best to be hospitable as he welcomed Elena's guests into their home. Bonnie however was not as warm in her response to his request.
'A kiss? You have got to be kidding me,' she laughed as she took off her coat and practically threw it at him, 'I wouldn't kiss you under anaesthetic!'
Damon was trying really hard for Elena's sake to make sure the day was not spoiled by any bickering between him and The Witch, but sometimes Bonnie just pushed his buttons.
'You know I'm not totally comfortable with you being here.'
Bonnie wandered into the parlour where she found Elena, Ric, Jenna and Jeremy fussing over Leo, who, God bless him she thought, was dressed up as Rudolf. So she plastered a false yet toothy grin on her face.
'Well I'm not entirely comfortable with the smell of blood on your breath either but I'm making do.'
Damon grinned, taking almost silent satisfaction at making the witch ever so slightly uncomfortable. But it was par for the course for the two of them to make such cutting verbal digs at each other. It was the only way they knew how to be around each other. And if Damon was honest, it was probably the only way he knew how to show any kind of affection towards Bonnie. She'd really stepped up to the mark since he'd married Elena. Bonnie had put her reservations to the back of her mind and focused on being Elena's friend and a protector of her son. Damon couldn't ask for more really. So he sighed and looked her dead in the eye, the only way she knew he was being honest.
'Wow, who needs affection and season's greetings when I have blind hatred...' he flashed an entirely fake, yet toothy, glare of his own that only earned him an even more forced smile from his house guest. He decided to drop the false pleasantries and just try something different and new – so he tried being genuinely nice , '...I'm pleased you decided to come Bonnie.'
In response, Bonnie allowed her face to relax into an awkward sort of smile.
'Yeah, yeah, yeah – let me just go sit down and you get me a glass of wine. If nothing else it'll numb down my aneurysm inducing abilities.'
'Forget the glass, I'll get you a bottle,' Damon happily declared as he made his way down to the wine cellar.
They were in the middle of Christmas dinner and the conversation, much to Damon's surprise, hadn't been the worst thing in the world.
'Damon how could you let Elena dress Leo up like Rudolph?'
'Quite simple really - she threatened me.'
Ric looked confused at Damon's response to his question.
'But you're a vam...oh' he murmured finally figuring out that violence was not what his step-daughter-and-soon-to-be-niece had threatened him with, '...ok I don't think I want to know.'
As if on cue to save Elena from a mortifying conversation about her and Damon's sex life, the doorbell chimed and she practically jumped from her seat, scowling as Damon hummed the theme tune to Saved By the Bell.
'Caroline! Thank god you made it; we're just sitting down to dinner.'
Elena hugged Caroline and motioned for her to come in but she didn't move.
'Caroline, what's going on? Just come in already.'
'Um, I can't. I kind of, well, you remember that present I told you that I was picking up yesterday?'
Elena vaguely recalled her phone conversation with Caroline the previous afternoon and nodded feeling even more confused than before.
'Well, it's kind of for Damon.'
'Oh the Scotch, right, yes. Well just bring it in. Come on, dinner's getting cold.'
'No Elena, you don't understand.'
'What don't I...' Elena trailed off as she saw the figure appear behind Caroline.
'Merry Christmas Elena.'
Elena couldn't figure out if she should scream, slam the door or thank God for delivering him straight to her. The one thing she did manage to force out might not have been the cleverest thing she's ever said though.
'What in the hell are you doing here?'
Damon was at the door in a flash, followed not so quickly by the rest of the guests.
'Last time I checked, I still owed you a black eye. So, unless this is you coming to claim it, you can leave.'
'Damon, let's just all come inside, sit down and talk about it.'
Everyone was surprised that Elena didn't have a stronger reaction to her former boyfriend, well everyone apart from Jenna who knew that her niece had made peace with him a long time ago.
'Please Damon, can we just talk. Caroline asked me to come.'
Damon turned his attention to her instead.
'Oh she did, did she?'
He looked seriously pissed off but it didn't frighten Caroline.
'Oh calm down Damon, don't act like you haven't wanted to see him again or else I'll be forced to kick your ass so hard you'll be wearing my toes as a set of dentures.'
And with that she forced her way into the house, carrying the rest of her presents with her balanced on one hand.
'And I've just had a pedicure so I would not be in the slightest bit amused at having to do that. Now where is my favourite little boy in the world?'
Caroline turned around to see the scene behind her, where all of them were watching her completely brush off the inherent awkwardness of the situation.
'You're a crazy bitch you know that?'
Of all the people to call her out on that, she didn't expect it to be Damon. Him ripping her head off or yanking her heart out yes, but simply sighing and calling her crazy? No. Besides, pot, kettle and black anyone?
She watched as Damon turned back to face his brother who was still standing there at the door with a Santa hat on (Caroline decided then that the hat might not have been the best choice of accessory considering the magnitude of her surprise).
'Fine, come in. But we're in the middle of dinner and I'm not doing this until I've finished.'
He walked off and sat himself back down at the table, satisfied that Leo was safely tucked up in his crib taking a nap and not in any immediate danger.
'Elena, why don't you set a place for Barbie and Ken at the end of the table where I can keep an eye on them?'
Elena nodded and set about putting the plates out. Bonnie managed to catch her eye with a silent 'you ok?' to which she could only nod at how odd the situation was. Damon was doing his best to act unaffected by the whole thing, but she saw him casually looking up to the ceiling, back to Stefan then to his dinner plate and she knew that although he wanted to fix things with his brother, it wasn't going to be easy.
'So I was in class and they showed us this video about these old women and their sex lives...'
'Oh Caroline!' whined the majority of the table, thankful that they had managed to finish eating and were now only sitting having drinks.
Elena was proud of the fact that Caroline made the decision to still go to College despite everything that had happened to her, although she never expected her to study something like psychology.
'What? Seriously, I mean they were in a senior's home talking to this elderly, blind woman who was having sex with one of the men who lived there. I mean, I don't know what's worse, watching an hour long documentary on that or the fact that these women are having way more sex than I am. Talk about Fuck My Life.'
To be fair, it was rather amusing. Elena and Bonnie had missed spending time with Caroline when she went off to College and they'd missed this side of her. Not everything had to be about vampires, blood and killing people the blonde vampire reminded them.
And it helped fill the awkward void of silence that was permeating from one end of the table to the other between Stefan and Damon, the latter of which was practically ignoring the very presence of his brother.
'So seriously, has there been no-one?' Bonnie asked, seeming strangely interested in her best friend's sex life. Damon was pretty sure Bonnie was still carrying that big V-card around like a security blanket so couldn't help but smirk at her odd interest in the topic of conversation.
'Well there was this one guy, and he was so sweet. The best thing about it was that afterwards he would just cuddle me all night.'
'FYI if cuddling was the best part, he didn't do it right,' Damon piped up, receiving a snort in response from Alaric and Jeremy holding up his bottle of beer in mock salute.
'Damon don't be so rude,' Jenna chided.
'Someone tell that to the walking shag carpet!' he replied in jest, pointing to the blonde at the end of the table.
Jenna shook her head, albeit trying to keep from bursting out in laughter, before turning back to Caroline, keen to make sure she didn't fly over the table and make good on that promise about Damon's teeth, 'what went wrong?'
'Well it turns out he was into all kinds of weird kinky things and when he asked me to use Armageddon as a safe word I got the hell out of there, but not before I compelled him to forget ever meeting me.'
And with that the whole table erupted into laughter only to be stopped abruptly by both Damon and Stefan standing up almost at the very same time.
'Is that him?'
Elena heard the soft sound of Leo beginning to wake up come through the baby monitor and realised that this was what had disturbed both vampire brothers. She looked at Damon to see if he was going to respond to Stefan and noticed the tenseness in his jaw as it locked closed.
'I'll go get him,' she practically whispered, wishing for something else to happen, or Caroline to say something else completely inappropriate to dispel the tension in the room.
'No, I'll go,' Damon replied tersely, 'you stay here.'
It was a reply to Elena but somehow she knew by the way he fixed his stare back to his brother that she wasn't the one he had wanted to stay put.
It was barely two minutes after Damon had left the room and she had settled back into her seat wondering why she'd even bothered to go to such lengths for a perfect family Christmas when Damon sauntered back into the room with Leo in his arms.
'Stefan, as you so rudely decided to drop by you might as well meet your nephew.'
It was Elena's turn to jump out of her seat. She had nothing to fear from Stefan but this was her child! Yet she caught the look Damon gave her, silently asking her to trust him – and after recalling the conversation the previous night she couldn't do anything else.
I'm taking care of you now – how could I not? You're my son.
'Are you sure?'
Stefan was slow to move from his seat, and it didn't go unnoticed by the other guests that Caroline followed him closely behind.
'Well not really, but we'll know pretty soon if he doesn't like you as he tends to fill his diaper when he's around someone he doesn't like, isn't that right Ric?'
Ric grumbled and threw back the rest of his Scotch whilst being comforted by Jenna who found it deeply amusing how Leo was much more agitated when around her fiancé.
'Would you mind if I held him?'
'I'll mind if you drop him.'
A sentiment echoed by Elena as she watched with curiosity at the way that Caroline seemed to float around Stefan, almost like she was there to keep him calm. Well that was something new. She thought it used to be the other way around.
Stefan took the baby in his arms and sat down on the armchair. Caroline sat on the edge of the seat and placed her hand gently on his shoulder, almost giving him reassurance that he could do it.
Leo seemed to adjust to the new set of arms holding him up and let out a squeal of delight as his uncle lifted him up and down to play.
It was then that Elena saw that her son was exactly what was needed to bring Stefan back into the family.
'I know this doesn't fix things.'
Stefan didn't take his eyes off his nephew as he and Caroline played with him, fascinated with the miracle baby.
'No it doesn't. But you're here. It's Christmas. And I refuse to spoil it for Elena and Leo.'
'Screw everyone else then,' muttered Bonnie who was quietly getting hammered on the couch next to the Christmas Tree.
'Yes thank you Sabrina, that bottle of wine doing the trick for you?'
'I need a refill.'
Damon rolled his eyes and blurred his way down to the cellar and back with another bottle of wine for The Witch.
'Here,' he thrust the bottle towards Bonnie who took it and promptly poured another glass, 'now can we please just all sit down, have a drink and play charades or something?'
'Ooh I brought Just Dance for the Wii,' clapped Caroline as she sprang from her spot on the armchair to rummage in her bag of goodies.
'Forget the lame dancing games Caroline, Elena mentioned something to me about a bottle of Special Malt.'
Caroline paused, realising that Elena hadn't quite figured that the Malt was a metaphor for finding and bringing Stefan to dinner.
'Um yeah, about that...'
'You know, I think all things considered, that went surprisingly well.'
Elena raised her eyebrows at Damon as he settled in to bed, pulling her close.
'Well? Bonnie gets hammered and pukes all over that expensive Persian rug, Jeremy ditched us completely after dinner, Jenna wouldn't stop going on at Ric about the wedding and for all the vampire powers in the world Caroline still manages to break that antique lamp whilst doing some crazy dance move to that computer game.'
'Actually I was referring to my long lost brother that previously tried to eat you turning up unannounced, but sure, we'll go with your response.'
Elena let her eyebrows settle back down on her forehead and then shook her head at his blunt reply.
'Oh come on, that's the most fun Bonnie has been, in like...well ever, Jeremy is 17 and has his own friends, Ric seriously needs a lesson in manning up and I hated that lamp anyway.'
She loved how he managed to reassure and calm her down with his humour, even if she could swing for him most days because of it.
'You're right. I'm actually glad Caroline asked him to come. Who knew they were even in touch?'
'Mmm...she's more deceptive than she looks, that's for sure.'
Elena swatted him with a pillow from behind her head, knowing Damon had let her by the way he made no quick vamp move to get out of her line of fire.
'That was cruel! Caroline has done a lot for you or do I need to refresh your memory?'
Damon pulled her in closer to him and readjusted her pillow for her.
'No refresher needed, and actually in my head, that was a compliment.'
'Only in your head could that ever be a compliment,' she complained, 'but really, do you think there's something going on between them?'
'Elena can we just...not talk about this right now? If last night is anything to go by, and what tomorrow is no doubt going to be like with Stefan coming back over, I'm going to need some sleep. You putting the image of my baby brother and his blonde sidekick into my head is going to give me nightmares.'
'You're right, I'm sorry.'
With that Elena, pulled herself over on top of her husband and grinned as it was then his turn to raise his eyebrows.
'Oh really, how sorry?'
'Sorry enough to give you an extra Christmas Present,' she practically drawled in response.
Damon, rapidly getting more excited about the idea of finally getting some alone time with his wife, reached up and grabbed Elena's shoulders, flipping them over so he was staring down at her before quickly attempting to get a little naughty.
'Well I like the sound of that, Santa has all sorts of presents in his sack, how about you let him empty it for you to see if there's an extra present for you too?'
Elena stared at him before bursting into laughter quickly followed by Damon who relaxed slightly on top of her.
'Yeah I'm sorry, that was not at all how I wanted that come on to sound. Today has just thrown my better self through the ringer.'
Elena nodded profusely as she tried to compose herself.
'Yep,' was all she could manage to get out in between giggles, which began to concern Damon slightly at how quick she was to agree with him.
'Wait a minute – was it too cheesy to strike out at having sex with my wife tonight?'
Elena reached up and kissed him fully, smiling and giggling into his mouth as she rolled them over so she was back on top, straddling him again.
'Nothing is ever cheesy enough to stop that from happening,' she breathed, reaching up to remove her tank top and setting free her breasts, 'Merry Christmas Damon.'
Never failing to be mesmerised by the sight of his wife naked on top of him, Damon was lost in his own thoughts.
'Yeah, Merry Christmas to me.'
So there it is. I hope you enjoyed it.
And for me I have finally found a sense of achievement having finished my first multi-chaptered fic (unless you count The Long Way Home – but that was only 4 chapters!)
I don't usually like to beg for reviews, but in this case, as it's my last chapter and I am only a few short of the big 600 I would love it if you could leave me a little note saying what you think and if you will maybe read the sequel. That would mean the world to me.
Thank you once again for your patience and commitment at reading this story.
Much love always, Ave x
P.S. If you didn't get the 'Armageddon' joke you might want to google 'Armageddon Gerbil Match' - it's not for those easily offended!