Title: Love is Pancake Letters
Chapter: 1/1

Author: ladyknight1512
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV-verse)
Characters: Elena Gilbert, Damon Salvatore
Pairing: Damon/Elena (established)
Genre: Romance/Humor
Rating: T

Summary:It's Damon, right? So clearly this is no ordinary breakfast in bed.
Spoilers: Futurefic, so none.
Warning(s): None
Word Count: 1818
Disclaimer: These characters are the property of L. J. Smith, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec.

A/N: OMG! I wrote something fluffy! Yay!

- o – o – o -

The sunlight streaming through the window was warm on Elena's face and, as she snuggled deeper under the covers, she smiled. There was niggling feeling in the pit of her stomach telling her that today, for reasons as yet unknown, would be a good day.

She stretched ("Like a cat," Damon always said), luxuriating in the sheer breadth and silk sheets of the bed she occupied, and then reached for him. The smile sitting comfortably on her face turned to a frown the moment the palm of her hand brushed the crumpled silk where Damon should have been.

Her eyes popped open and, seeing for herself what her hand had told her, her frown deepened, in mild confusion, but mostly in worry.

Damon never got out of bed before she woke up, even if he'd been awake for hours himself.

"Why?" she'd asked once.

"Because," he replied, trailing a gentle finger down the curve of her cheek, "I still wake up every morning and wonder if it's all been a dream. I need to know that this, us, is real. And I can't know for sure until I see it in your eyes."

Keeping her eyes glued to his empty side of the bed (as if he might just magically appear there), she pushed herself upright. Then she took in the rest of the room, looking for a clue as to where he might have gone, because surely Mystic Falls had gone up in flames and was burning to the ground even as she sat there. What else could possibly possess him to leave her alone in their bed?

Before the thought even had time to leave her head, her phone, sitting on the bedside table, let out a chirp as a new message arrived.

From: Damon

I can hear your heart pounding from here. Relax. I'm downstairs. BUT STAY IN BED! I'm preparing a surprise for you.

Elena could almost feel the fear floating away, but now earnest confusion took its place. She hit "Reply" and tapped out a message.

To: Damon

A surprise? What is it?

With Damon a surprise could be absolutely anything under the sun. She was certain it wouldn't be anything bad, but that didn't mean it wouldn't raise her eyebrows.

From: Damon

If I tell you, it won't be one. And there I was thinking you aced English.

She rolled her eyes.

To: Damon

Ha ha. You're so funny.

His vampire reflexes were a blessing because just a few seconds later, his reply appeared.

From: Damon

Your sarcasm wounds me. Now enough with the texting. You're distracting me.

Her smirk was instant, and she hit "Reply" for what she knew would be the last time.

To: Damon

I thought you liked it when I did that. ;)

When there was no reply, Elena laughed, not loudly, but she knew Damon heard her. She could imagine him grumbling, about how she hadn't beaten him at his own game and how he was just letting her win.

What made victory even sweeter? The fact that he knew she knew what he was thinking.

Content in the knowledge that Damon was perfectly safe (and that she would be getting a surprise; what girl would turn her nose up at that?) she flopped back into her pillow, already deciding that, it being a Sunday and summer, there was nothing she would like better than for her and Damon to stay at the Boarding House all day, preferably entwined between his sheets.

Something told her he wouldn't have anything against that idea; he seized every opportunity to touch her, and it didn't even have to be sexual. Wrapping his arms around her while she slept, or just holding her hand as they walked down the street, was enough for him.

They'd been together for eight months. Officially together that is, as a couple, a package deal, a "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" situation. The three months they'd spent dancing around each other between her and Stefan calling it quits for good, and her and Damon finally arriving on the same page, didn't count.

Yet some people (Jenna, Matt, Bonnie, especially Bonnie) still looked at her like she'd lost her mind. It was kind of a relief, actually, to leave Mystic every fall for Duke. At least when they were North Carolina he wasn't Damon Salvatore. He was just Damon, Elena Gilbert's (ridiculously hot, but completely devoted) boyfriend.

Assuming a word as common as "boyfriend" could be applied to someone like Damon.

Really, the only two people who knew Damon for what he really was and didn't look at them strangely, were Ric and Stefan.

In Ric's case, it might have just come down to him being used to them. Even in the beginning, when they'd first teamed up to get Stefan out of that farmhouse and away from Frederick, he'd just watched them have it out like they were nothing out of the ordinary (barring the obvious extraordinariness, of course). They were just "Damon and Elena."

As for Stefan…Elena still couldn't really understand it. The only answer she had was that he knew them, both of them, as individuals and as a pair (of friends, enemies, lovers), and had simply come to terms with the fact that they just fit together. Stefan was all around too good (too good for either of them, Damon and Elena agreed) and, despite how difficult it must have been, hadn't stood in their way.

Some people might have found it odd that it was Damon, not Elena, who said they should try not to flaunt their relationship in front of Stefan. But Elena, who had seen how much he loved his little brother, had just kissed him and said, "You're right. We won't."

But Stefan was currently out of town, visiting Caroline (of all people) in sunny California (of all places); Damon and Elena were not above taking advantage of having the house all to themselves while he was away.

The stairs creaked in that way they did whenever someone started up them, and Elena smiled, noting that his steps were slow and careful. It became evident why when he finally appeared in the doorway, wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and carrying a large breakfast tray.

"Awww!" She made the sound before she even realised she was going to. "You made me breakfast in bed?"

"Yes, but this is no ordinary breakfast in bed."

She shook her head (nothing was ever "ordinary" when Damon was around) and situated the pillows so she could sit upright comfortably. "Why?"

"You'll see." And he lowered the tray to her lap.

There was a glass of orange juice standing in one corner, beside a small bowl of syrup, but the majority of the tray was covered by a large, rectangular cloche. She assumed there was a plate underneath (though maybe hoped was a more accurate word; she hadn't realised til that moment how hungry she was).

She raised an eyebrow at him, trying as hard as she could to limit her smile to just an upturned corner of her mouth.

"I'm pretty sure there's traditionally supposed to be a flower on this tray somewhere."

Damon rolled his eyes. "Now, Elena, you know how I scoff in the face of tradition." But then he smiled, a proper smile, not the smirk he was so famous for. "But I knew you'd say something like that, which is why I also come bearing this."

Presumably from the back pocket of his jeans, Damon pulled a large bloom, such a stunning vibrant red that she gasped aloud. She held it gently in one hand and rubbed one of the soft round petals between her fingers.

"It's beautiful," she whispered.

"It's a camellia. The red ones are supposed to mean 'you're a flame in my heart.'"

It took a moment, but his words must have really sunk into his head, because he coughed self-consciously and hastened to add, "Or something like that. According to my mother. She was a well bred southern lady. She knew her flowers."

Elena just hid her smile in the blossom, and pretended she didn't see Damon flit around to his side of the bed. He settled beside her carefully, so as not to disturb the tray of food.

"Look, it's not about the flower, okay? It's supposed to be breakfast."

She nodded and laid the flower aside. "Right. Sorry."

She lifted the cloche…and her head tipped to one side as she was hit by yet another bout of confusion.

The plate held a stack of pancakes. It wasn't unexpected; the syrup had tipped her off. But they weren't round. And there weren't all that many either. She did a quick count. Eight. Eight thick, oddly shaped pancakes, no more than a palm and a half in size.

Clearly her texts had been more distracting than she'd thought.

She picked up her fork to stab the first one but Damon grabbed her wrist before she could even get close.

"I told you," he said, "this was no ordinary breakfast in bed. The pancakes are important. You have to lay them in a row."

An eyebrow perked. "Lay them in a row?"

Damon nodded, perfectly serious. "You might want to put them on the tray. It's clean, and the plate won't be big enough."

Elena shrugged, willing to play along for the moment, and lowered her fork. She balanced the plate in one hand and picked up the first pancake. It was long, and looked more like a breadstick, only flatter, than a pancake. Still, she laid it on the far side of the tray and picked up the next.

She'd laid out five in a wobbly sort of row before she realised what he'd done, and hurriedly put out the last three. When she saw she'd been right, Elena grinned.

Because these weren't everyday, run-of-the-mill pancakes. He'd poured the batter in such a way that they formed letters of the alphabet, and laid out before her they spelled three little words.

I LOVE YOU.

She swore her heart leapt, but she shook her head, almost unable to believe that this man, this man who had so many flaws and had been hurt so many times, who gave everything he had and was willing to ask nothing in return, was hers.

Elena turned and pulled him toward her for a lingering kiss.

"You're perfect," she whispered against his lips, before brushing them again with her own.

Damon shook his head. "I'm not."

"For me you are."

She turned back to the pancake letters and then shot him a teasing smirk.

"I'll flip you for the E."

"Hell no!" He snatched it up before she could even grab her fork. "Do you know how hard that one was to make?"

He popped it in his mouth, chewed and swallowed, and then just laughed at her outrage.

- o – o – o -

Author's Note: Right, so, maybe this idea seems kind of random (Pancake letters? Really?), but it's actually based in reality. When my brother and I were kids, and my mum would make pancakes, she'd use up the last little bit of batter by making an 'M' and a 'P' (the first letters of our names). Then we got older and I guess she decided that we'd grown out of it. But then the other night, we sat down to dinner, lifted the lid on the plate, and there, right on top were the M and the P. I looked at Mum and she just smiled. She didn't have to say anything, but I knew it was a way of saying, "I love you." The title of this story immediately appeared in my head, and I knew I wanted to write something, something sweet and fluffy (as opposed to dramatic and angsty), about those pancake letters. This is it. :)

Let me know if you liked it, and thanks for reading.