Title: Don't give up on my son, a dying man's wish.
Summary: Elena Gilbert agrees to take a job caring for her friend Stefan's father Giuseppe Salvatore when he falls gravely ill. He asks Elena to grant him his dying wish and help him reconcile with his eldest son Damon and she is determined to make it happen. To bad Damon is determined to fight her every step of the way. Can she get through to him on time?When two strong wills collide tempers and sparks will fly. AU AH
Rated: T may change to M I'll warn you beforehand.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries or any of the characters. This is just for fun.
Elena woke early Tuesday morning she was relieved school was over for the summer. She hardly had time to think over the past few months between the college nursing program she started, and the job her dad got her at the Mystic Grill waiting tables. She worked most nights and weekends. Her friends were constantly on her about taking some time to just relax and have fun and she did want that but in some ways it was easier to keep herself busy. Less time to wallow over her break up with Tyler Lockwood.
Tyler was the first person Elena met when she and her dad John moved to Mystic Falls after her Uncle Grayson and Aunt Miranda died a year ago. He was friends with her cousin Jeremy and had been around a lot to help him through his loss. He was the Mayor's son and captain of the football team. Through him she met her best friends Bonnie and Caroline. Tyler was good friends with their boyfriend's Matt and Stefan. Elena and Tyler clicked instantly and he seemed to be perfect.
Seemed to be was a far cry from the truth though. Elena just wished she would have seen it sooner. About 6 months into their relationship she realized he had been cheating on her the entire time they were together. Luckily the group stuck with her for the most part though Matt, Bonnie's boyfriend still hung out with Tyler from time to time
Elena had very little time to mourn the break up . Her dad John Gilbert who always means well but sometimes just screws up anyway. Did something even Elena couldn't find a soft spot for. He claims he meant well and maybe he did. But it was stupid and reckless. He took Jeremy's entire inheritance and bet it on a horse race. A horse race! He claimed he had a tip and it was a sure-fire win. Needless to say it wasn't and now if Jeremy and Elena were going to get into college his meager wage as a cook at the Mystic Grill wasn't going to cut it.
Elena decided to attend the nursing program at the tech college just outside of town. By starting the program during high school she got her first year in for free and now only had to save up enough money to pay for the remainder of the courses. Elena wanted to put as much away for Jeremy as she could. Not only did her poor cousin lose his parents but his inheritance too and Elena felt she had to make up for what her dad did somehow.
"Elena?" Jeremy poked his head in from the adjoining bathroom they shared. "It's the first day of summer vacation. What are you doing up so early?"
"I know." Elena sighed. "I'm just so used to being up early. Did I wake you?"
"Nah..I'm just getting home." He smirked.
"Jer.." Elena said in a tight voice.
Jeremy just ignored her and shut his bedroom door she figured he would collapse into bed and sleep all day. She rolled her eyes and hoped he didn't spend his entire summer vacation this way.
Her dad felt so bad about everything he pretty much let Jeremy do whatever he wanted. Elena really didn't approve of that Jeremy was only 16. John never did know how to dish out rules. Her mother Isobel left right after she was born and John did the best he could with Elena on his own. Although sometimes Elena had felt more like she was taking care of him and not the other way around. Even still she loved her dad dearly and could not imagine not having him around. She tried to be as empathic to Jeremy as she could. He didn't show it but she knew he was still hurting over the loss.
Elena checked in on her dad who was still sound asleep after working a double at the grill the night before. She made herself some oatmeal and sat down and enjoyed the peace and quiet. She didn't have to work until 5 that evening. But she was planning on getting an additional day job over the summer. She had secretly opened a CD for Jeremy and had been depositing money into it. Once she determined he was responsible enough to handle it she would help him use it to pay for school.
Her phone starting ringing and she was surprised anyone would call her this early.
"Caroline?" Elena said even more surprised that it was Caroline she was never up before noon in the summer.
"Hi Elena..I didn't wake you did I?" Caroline asked.
"No I've been up for a while. What's up?" Elena asked clearing her dishes and putting her long chestnut hair back into a loose ponytail before flopping down on the couch.
"Of course you have." Caroline scoffed. Elena could practically see her blue eye's rolling.
"Anyway.." Caroline said in a quiet voice. "I'm at Stefan's. I stayed here last night."
"Oh do you need a ride home? Is everything okay?" Elena asked.
Caroline had been dating Stefan as long as Elena has known her. Her first thought when she met them was, how did they become a couple? They were complete opposites. Caroline as a tall pretty blond cheerleader. Who happily dubbed herself the life of every party and that girl could plan an event like you wouldn't believe. Stefan on the other hand was a average height stocky guy with greenish hazel eyes and light brown wavy hair. He was studious and quiet. He was already completely focused on his career he wanted to go into law like his father and eventually take over his father Giuseppe Salvatore's former practice. He was typically more content spending an evening in with a a book then being out at a party. But somehow they just fit each other perfectly.
"No, no it's fine." Caroline said. "Well I'm fine, Stefan's not. His dad is getting worse and he just fired another nurse. I offered to help but apparently I'm 'to much' for him."
"This is like the fourth nurse isn't it?" Elena asked rolling her eyes. Giuseppe had a hard reputation he was a intimating and hard nosed. But he had always been nice to Elena. He really respected her Uncle Grayson and had been very supportive to the Gilbert's during their time of grief.
"Yeah..talk about stubborn. That man I swear." Caroline said in a low voice. "I try so hard Elena, I love Stefan and my parents adore him. But his dad just won't even give me a chance."
"Dealing with cancer is very difficult." Elena sighed. "For someone as stubborn and proud as Mr Salvatore. It can only make it that much harder. He doesn't want to have to depend on people to take care of him."
"I knew you would say something like that." Caroline said. "Which is exactly why I called you."
"Caroline..." Elena sighed she knew this tone Caroline wanted something. "What do you really want?"
"To offer you a chance to save up enough money for school and then some with only one job all summer." Caroline chirped.
"And what would that be?" Elena asked.
"You could be Giuseppe's nurse." Caroline said excitedly. "Your like the only person in this world besides Stefan that he actually likes. Plus it will be good career experience and I'm serious about the pay. Stefan offered a very generous salary."
"Caroline I don't know." Elena said softly. "I'm not a real nurse yet. I don't even know if it would be legal."
"Oh who cares if it is." Caroline scoffed. "Then your a caretaker or whatever."
"Did Stefan run this by Giuseppe?" Elena asked nervously she was actually kind of excited to take the job. It would give her a great opportunity to put money away for Jeremy and get career experience. But the last thing she wanted to do was surprise Giuseppe with her appearance. Plus there was the whole getting fired in a week thing...but for some reason Elena was pretty sure he would be able to tolerate her a little better.
"He's wanted to see if you do it first." Caroline said.
"I will." Elena agreed.
Elena started her first day of work the next day. She put on some scrubs and put her hair into a ponytail before driving over to the large Salvatore Estate. She couldn't help but feel a sort of confidence going to a job that she had been training for all year rather then a serving job at the same old bar and grill with the same old people in it night after night.
She always stared for a moment when she stood in front of the large house if you could even call it that more of a manor. It was an old fashioned southern boarding house that had been restored to perfection when Stefan and his father moved here 4 years ago. Giuseppe had grown up here and decided to move back from New York when he retired. They found out he was sick a year ago but lately his health has been rapidly declining.
She knocked softly and Stefan answered right away.
"Hi Elena." Stefan greeted her gratefully. "I'm so glad you agreed to do this."
"I hope I can help." Elena smiled.
"I'm sure you will. Father has always been fond of you." Stefan said.
Elena rolled her eyes at his formal ways. He was so socially awkward and he wanted to be a lawyer like his father was. Elena just couldn't see it happening but Stefan was determined so she kept quiet about it.
"Here is his medicine schedule." Stefan said handing over some papers. "We made it easier by having all his medication split between his 3 meals. It's easier for him to take the pills with food. You will just be responsible for his care during the day throughout the week. He sleeps through the night and I'm always here now. I will take care of his bathing needs. He has a walker and is capable of getting himself to the bathroom but he will need help getting out of bed."
Elena nodded and followed Stefan as he showed her the medical supplies and lifting equipment in the room next to his fathers. He quickly went over any other instructions and then gratefully smiled at her.
"Thank you so much Elena, You are are a really great friend."
"Stefan it's my job now. This is going to help me too." Elena said.
"He does know I'm coming right?" She whispered outside of the door.
"Not only does he know but he's excited about it. I told you he's fond of you." Stefan smiled and led her inside.
"Father, Elena is here." He said.
"Oh yes come in Elena." Giuseppe said in a hoarse voice.
"Hello Mr. Salvatore." Elena said politely smiling and taking the chair next to the bed. She learned a lot about bedside matter and making the patient feel comfortable with you in her nursing program.
"Please." He waved his hand. "I've said it before I'll say it again. Just call me Giuseppe or Stefan's dad. Whatever suits you."
Elena smiled and nodded at Stefan to go on.
"I'll see you later today father." Stefan said.
"What are your plans today son?" Giuseppe asked before Stefan could leave.
"I am actually meeting with the Richard about the practice. I want to ensure everything is still running smoothly." Stefan said.
"I appreciate you watching the practice Stefan, but I'm not really a partner anymore. Richard owns more of the practice then me." Giuseppe reminded him.
"I know but he understands how important it is to keep me in the loop. I'm going to be a senior partner some day father." Stefan smiled.
"I believe you will. But...don't spend your whole summer on it son. Go spend some time with that blond girl that makes you laugh." He waved his hand and Stefan faltered looking a little surprised but nodded.
"I would love to take her out after my meeting. Thank you." He smiled and left.
"I thought you were supposed to be the sternest father in town?' Elena asked with a slight smile as she started getting his medications ready.
"Stefan can be far to serious sometimes." He sighed. "Much like myself. Work, work ,work. So driven."
"Isn't that a good thing?" Elena quizzed.
"Oh yes it is dear. But it isn't everything." He said quietly. "Certain things shift when you face death."
"I know." Elena said handing him a glass of water. She helped hold his head up as he took his pills.
"It is a tragedy what happened to your aunt and uncle. They were wonderful people. They sure knew how to balance family and career. Something I never learned." He grunted.
"I always envied what my cousin Jeremy had with them." Elena nodded. "That's part of the reason I chose nursing. I want a career that will give me time for family."
"I can't even believe John is related to Grayson. Damn, drinking , gambling, good for nothing..." Giuseppe started to grunt.
"Hey! That's my dad." Elena chided with a small smile.
"How can you still stand by him after what he did to your cousins inheritance?" Giuseppe asked.
"He's my father." Elena said her eyes widened. "He may not be without flaws but come on we all have flaws. I still love him."
Giuseppe grew quiet and started in on the cereal Stefan already had ready for them. His eyes looked far away and Elena grabbed some laundry from the room and decided to leave him with whatever thoughts he was having.
Giuseppe was asleep when she returned. She straightened up his room and then headed downstairs to get lunch ready. She made a mental note to go buy them some real groceries when all she could find was frozen entrees. She took out the most edible looking one and got it started for him.
Giuseppe was quiet as Elena helped him with his afternoon pills and lunch. She used the lifter to get him out of bed and flipped the mattress for him while he used the bathroom. He was still quiet even as she helped him back into bed. She worried that maybe she upset him somehow and hoped she wasn't going to get fired.
"Elena can you go get me something?" He asked suddenly.
"Sure, what is it?" She asked.
"A box in my closet on the left upper shelf." He pointed towards the closet.
"This brown one?" She asked taking it down.
"Yes, can you bring it to me?" He asked.
She handed it over and he started sifting through the contents. She noticed several cards and photographs many of a beautiful woman with dark brown hair and amazing blue eyes.
"This was my wife Elizabeth." He said handing her the picture.
"She was so beautiful." Elena said gazing at the photograph.
"She died far to young." He said sadly. "She had a heart transplant when she was young. She got sick several times after having the boys. But a few years after Stefan it just gave out."
Elena felt a stab of sadness for him losing his wife so early with boys to raise on his own. He had more in common with John then he realized.
Wait boys? What, he had other sons?, Elena thought, she had only met Stefan.
"You have more sons?" Elena asked timidly.
"Just one, Damon." He said a trace of bitterness in his voice. "We don't get along."
"Oh...but your sick. He should be here." Elena said looking at the photograph of a young Stefan with dark haired blue eyed boy standing behind him. She guessed he was about 14 in the picture he was really good looking even as a boy. She wondered what he looked like now.
"Well you know sometimes things just get so bad there isn't a way to get back. Not to where it was good it was never really 'good' with us. I take my share of the blame in that. He didn't take to pressure like Stefan does. But when he left it was bad. It was really bad. I won't see my eldest son again before I die."Giuseppe said his face somber.
"You are good to forgive your dad. To see past his flaws. I wish I could go back but I can't now and it's to late." He continued.
"No it's not." Elena said shaking her head. "It's not to late."
"Oh it is dear." He sighed. "I have accepted that."
He looked so small and frail at that moment. He had always looked tall and sturdy with a clean cut conservative hair cut small hazel eyes and his tight and serious face expressions. He was someone not to be messed with but now he just looked so fragile. Elena felt compelled to help.
"Does Damon even know your ill?" Elena asked.
"I'm sure Stefan has told him." He moaned and shifted on the bed.
Elena quickly helped straighten up his pillows
"Stefan has never even mentioned him." Elena mused getting him more water.
"Stefan took it hard. He idolized his brother." Giuseppe said. "He hates who he turned into. I do to."
"No you don't." Elena said. "You may hate his actions but not him he's your son."
"I suppose your right. " He said staring at the picture of the two boys wistfully.
"I should let you get some rest, and get dinner started." Elena said and he nodded her off still gazing at the picture.
Elena hurried downstairs and was happy to see Caroline and Stefan pulling up.
"How did it go?" Caroline asked hugging her as she walked in.
"Really well." Elena smiled hugging her back.
"Father wasn't to much trouble?" Stefan asked.
"Would you just say dad like a normal fricken person?" Caroline teased and he pouted at her. She laughed and ruffled his hair.
"No trouble at all. I was just about to get dinner ready." Elena smiled and rolled her eyes at the nauseating couple.
"Great we'll help." Caroline said and they followed her into the kitchen.
"Help me microwave a meal?" Elena asked rolling her eyes. "I'm getting you some groceries Stefan."
Stefan laughed and shrugged sheepishly sitting down on the counter while Caroline leaned against him.
"So um Stefan?" Elena asked cautiously.
"What is it?" He asked looking curious.
"Could I get your brother Damon's number?"
AN: This story idea has been sitting with me for a while now and I just had to start writing it. I hope you like it so far. Please review!