AN: They hurt me sometimes. Stefan and Damon are both so angry and hurt and I don't even know what to do with it. 'Klaus' was an eagerly awaited episode but for me the importance of the episode wasn't the oldest vampire, but the Salvatore brothers and their quickly deteriorating relationship. After that episode, and the obvious parallels between the Salvatores and Klaus and Elijah, I simply had to write something.

Hints at Stefan/Elena, Damon/Elena, Damon/Katherine. and Damon/Bonnie

This came out way more intense and fluffy than I had ever intended and I took some liberties with Damon's feelings for Elena and their origins but you know what? This is how I see it, you may have a different opinion, and so may the writers, and that's fine; but this is mine.


That's all; enjoy!

I do not own The Vampire Diaries. If I did, it might look a little more like this :D

Stefan sat on the couch; a glass of scotch cradled in his hands. His body leaned forward slightly, his eyes focused intently on the flames flickering in the hearth. The only light in the room came from the fireplace and silence stretched throughout the house. Elena had gone to sleep hours ago, Elijah was around somewhere, and Damon...

A sigh passed from Stefan's lips and he brought the glass up to his mouth. The liquid burned as it moved down his throat and Stefan welcomed the feeling.

He didn't know where Damon was; hadn't seen or heard anything from him since he'd walked after telling them all to go to hell. The words replayed themselves in Stefan's head and the look on Damon's face was an expression he wouldn't soon forget.

Hurt. Angry. Betrayed.

Stefan through back his head and emptied his glass before moving to pour himself another. Distantly he thought of the irony in what he was doing. Something Damon would do. Stefan sighed again.

What was he supposed to do? He didn't know how to deal with Damon – he never had; not for a long time anyway.

Stefan turned back to the couch, another drink in his hand, and stopped. He stared silently at the figure on the couch but made no move to resume sitting.

"Are you going to sit?" Elijah asked, not taking his eyes away from the flames.

Stefan didn't respond, but moved cautiously to sit beside Elijah on the couch. He glanced curiously at Elijah before turning his own eyes back to the flames, resuming the position he'd occupied for the last few hours.

"Klaus is my brother."

Stefan turned to Elijah then, a look of surprise in his eyes. He waited for Elijah to say more but the older vampire remained silent. He made no movement at all. There was so much Stefan wanted to ask him; so much he wanted to know, but only one question came to him.

"Why are you helping us?" He asked.

"I thought I'd made my position clear. Klaus needs to die."

"He's your brother."

Elijah chuckled; a bitter sound that held no amusement. Elijah tilted his head slightly but still didn't look at Stefan. "Don't pretend not to understand, Stefan."

Stefan's brow furrowed. What did Elijah mean? Why would Stefan understand? The realization came to him only a moment later and Stefan was surprised he hadn't understood immediately. Damon. Elijah thought...

"I don't want Damon dead."

Elijah turned to him then. A look in his eyes that left Stefan with an uncomfortable feeling he couldn't place. Elijah didn't blink; he appeared to be studying Stefan, looking for something in his face that he couldn't find any other way. A moment passed.

"Not yet," Elijah replied.

Stefan blinked before his eyes narrowed. "Not ever," he growled.

Elijah considered him for a moment before smirking in a way that had Stefan wanting to drive a stake through the original's heart, even if it wouldn't work. "I used to think the same."

The flippant way in which Elijah spoke of his brother's death had Stefan feeling a fury he hadn't felt in a long time. For a second he felt his eyes change, a natural response when his emotions were running high, before he managed to control it. Elijah raised an eyebrow but otherwise gave no indication that he'd noticed.

"You don't know me or my brother."

Elijah tsked. "You and Damon are very much like myself and Klaus; two brothers who loved each other, betrayed each other, and now hate each other."

Stefan stood abruptly and moved away from the couch. He crossed his arms over his chest and stared dangerously at the older, and much more composed, vampire still sitting on the couch.

"Damon and I may have our problem but we are nothing like you and Klaus. No matter what he does, no matter how many centuries we both live, I would never want Damon dead. And I'll fight anyone who tries to hurt him," Stefan's words held warning and he paused before continuing.

Elijah said nothing but waited for Stefan to finish. The younger vampire appeared to be lost in his own thoughts or memories and seemed to have momentarily forgotten that Elijah was even in the room. Finally, Stefan seemed to come back to himself and he gave Elijah a fierce look filled with conviction.

"You may want your brother dead," he continued in a softer tone. "There may be so much hate between the two of you that there's nothing left worth anything to either of you... but I love my brother, and nothing is going to make me stop."

Silence fell between the two vampires while they both processed what Stefan had said. Elijah looked up at the younger intently and Stefan got the distinct impression that Elijah was studying his face for the second time during this brief, yet heavy, conversation; Stefan wondered what it was Elijah was looking for.

Whatever it was, Elijah must have found it, because he stood and moved to where he was standing directly in front of Stefan.

"Your brother is on the verge of breaking," Elijah said.

Stefan got the impression that everything Elijah had said, his whole purpose for coming to speak to Stefan in the first place, had been leading up to what the older vampire was about to say.

"I know nothing of your or your brothers past, or of what either of you have been through recently but I do know your brother can't take much more." Elijah paused then to move closer to Stefan. "I saw the two of you today; the hostility, the betrayal..." Elijah sighed and his eyes connected with Stefan's.

Stefan didn't move or say anything. Something inside of him told him that whatever Elijah was about to say was one of the most important things he'd ever hear.

"Don't let yourselves get to this point. You say neither of you is like Klaus or I – don't be." Elijah finished.

Stefan could only nod.


Damon sat on his bed against the headboard with his head leaning back. The room was dark except for a dim light coming from a lamp across the room and the only sound came from the wind coming in through his open window. Absent minded, Damon moved his hands, his ring passing between them.

Distantly he heard a knock at his bedroom door but ignored it in favour of fiddling with his ring. He hoped the knocker would get the hint and leave. Not a second later, the door opened and Damon fought the urge to scream.

The door shut with a click and Damon didn't bother looking up. Seventeen years together as humans and over a century as vampires had taught him to recognize his brother's presence without having to see him.

Stefan moved silently to stand next to the bed. He raised an eyebrow at Damon's ring passing between his fingers and gave Damon a curious look which his brother didn't see.

"I hope you're not planning on doing anything stupid." Stefan said, motioning to the ring.

Damon saw the movement of Stefan hand out of the corner of his eye and glanced briefly down at his ring. He gave the slightest shake of his head which a human wouldn't have noticed.

"That's more your style, Stefan."

Stefan dropped his head in an acknowledgement. "You've always said I was too serious."

Damon actually chuckled; one that wasn't filled with resentment or bitterness. Stefan considered a victory in itself, no matter how small. The pair lapsed into silence while Stefan tried to think of how to begin what he wanted to say to his brother.

Damon was blunter than that. "What do you want Stefan?"

"I'm sorry," Stefan said simply. If Damon was going to be blunt than Stefan would do the same.


"I'm serious, Damon." Stefan cut his brother off. "I know you and I don't always agree on everything," Stefan had to pause here and raise an eyebrow at Damon's snort. "But, I also know you're trying to help, and I pushed. I shouldn't have."

Damon turned to him, a curious expression on his face. He appeared to be trying to read Stefan; deciding whether or not to accept his brother's words for what they were. All too soon, Damon turned away from him and went back to staring at the wall directly in front of him.

Stefan remembered a time when he could read Damon; would have been able to figure out from this one gesture what Damon was saying. Stefan sighed. That was a long time ago. He thought about leaving, but Elijah's words were still clear in his mind.

Could they ever turn into Klaus and Elijah? Part of Stefan screamed that no, they would never get to that point. But another part, a much larger part, remembered the way his brother's face had looked and his harsh words; you can all go to Hell.

Stefan stepped closer to the side of the bed and slowly lowered himself next to his brother. Damon didn't make a move to stop him or say anything; Stefan considered it a good sign. Instead, Damon shifted slightly, making more room for Stefan on the bed.

"So, did I screw up things with Elijah?" Damon asked in a mocking tone.

Stefan shook his head. "No, he's still going to help us. Damon..." Stefan paused and waited for Damon to turn and look at him.

Damon's jaw was locked and he tensed at the tone in which Stefan said his name; gentle, like he was talking to a scared animal. Damon considered replying with a sarcastic quip but he didn't have the energy. He was tired. Without argument, he turned his head and met his brother's eyes directly.

"I know you're worried about her," Stefan said carefully. "I don't like it either, but we have to let her do this. She won't sacrifice Bonnie and I wouldn't want her to... if you're honest with yourself, I don't think you'd want her to either." Stefan held the breath he didn't need, and waited for Damon's reaction to his words, particularly the last part. He didn't have to wait long.

Damon sighed and leaned his head further back against the headboard. "I know. I never expected her to let Bonnie die." Stefan caught the slightest hint of a smile on Damon's face. "Without the witch around, it would be all too easy for me and my 'evil schemes'."

Stefan chuckled at that, remembering the times he'd accused Damon of plotting something evil or dangerous. "She does have her own special way of keeping you in line."

Damon laughed, a real laugh; one Stefan hadn't heard in awhile. "Brave and stupid," Damon tsked, but the fond smile on his face gave him away. Stefan raised an eyebrow but chose not to question Damon about his and Bonnie's weird friend/enemy relationship.

"So when are we going to talk about it?" Damon asked, his face turning serious once again.

Stefan dropped his head and sighed. He knew what Damon was referring to, but how did you go about dealing with this issue. They'd never been good at in the past, and really what had changed? They were both in love with the same girl.

"I don't know what to say Damon... how to deal with this. I mean, what am I supposed to do? How do I make this better for you?"

Damon's eyes widened fractionally and he gave Stefan a questioning look. Stefan shook his head sadly at the surprised expression on his brother's face.

"Contrary to what you believe, Damon, I don't actually enjoying seeing you hurt. I know my being with Elena hurts you, but other than breaking up with her I can't see a way to fix it."

"Would you do that, Stefan?" Damon asked curiously.

Stefan studied Damon's face. His brother wasn't asking him to do it. He was genuinely just curious. Stefan thought about it. Would he? Could he? He loved Elena with his whole being. More than he'd ever loved Katherine... more than he loved his brother?

Damon was still staring at him curiously. Stefan's eyes met Damon's and he was pulled into over a century of memories with his brother; human and vampire, happy, and sad. He lived more than a lifetime with Damon; his big brother, his best friend. Nothing in his life had ever been a constant except Damon; he'd always been there in some way, always would be there.

No, he decided. Not more, differently. He loved them both with everything that he was. It wasn't a matter of Elena having half his heart and Damon the other; they both had his whole heart.

"I'd try," Stefan said.

Damon's eyes seemed to go wider at his brother's admission. He turned away from him then and stared down at his hands still holding his ring. He didn't know how to respond to that. Stefan would try and live without Elena to make him happy.

Damon was suddenly filled with all the love he had for his brother. His little brother who he'd once promised a lifetime of misery, the same brother he'd sworn at a young age to always protect. Damon could remember holding his brother for the first time when he was a baby. Remembered watching him grow up, playing with him, taking care of him, holding him when he was scared, comforting him when he was sad, and laughing with him when he was happy.

The last century had shown a drastic change in those memories. The brother he's always made sure was happy was the same brother he sought to hurt. Stefan's words brought back a feeling in Damon that he had long kept down, only allowing out when someone else tried to hurt his brother; only now it affected him as well. The need to protect him; affection... and love.

"I'd never ask you to," Damon said, surprising both himself and Stefan. And it was true, truer than anything he'd said in awhile.

Stefan couldn't conceal his surprise at Damon's admission. "You wouldn't?"

Damon was still lost in his musings which had shifted from Stefan to Elena. Elena who he'd first pursued to piss of Stefan, Elena who he found amusing if not annoying; Elena who was an exact copy, if only physically, of Katherine. And if Damon was honest, as he was currently being forced into, the real reason he held so tightly to the idea of Elena.

He'd loved Katherine, only to find out that those sentiments were not returned in the least. He'd always been fond of Elena but his feelings of love hadn't come about until after he'd discovered Katherine had been alive and just not cared enough to find him. Maybe it wasn't about Elena at all.

"No, Stefan, I wouldn't." He turned to his brother again, a smile on his face this time. "Besides, even if I did; we both know she loves you."

Stefan studied his brother's face. His smile appeared sincere. Damon caught on to Stefan's confusion and sighed. He turned his body so he could fully face Stefan.

"Since we're having this conversation, I might as well be open with you, as open as I can be. I haven't figured it all out in my own head but I'm working on it. All you need to know is that I'm not going to be a problem with Elena."

Stefan nodded slowly. "Is this about Katherine? Because Damon, I don't think you and Katherine will-"

"God no, little brother," Damon laughed, only slightly bitterly. "No, Katherine's a manipulative bitch, I know that." He shrugged. "It's about Katherine but not in the way you're thinking. Just, let me figure it out okay?"

Stefan nodded. He didn't know how this conversation had turned around so much. It was the last thing he'd expected to happen when he came up here but he felt a lot better, about everything. Maybe after over a century of this game he'd been playing with Damon, they'd finally be okay, maybe even back to how they'd once been.

Damon reached a hand out and placed it on his brother shoulder. He squeezed gently, trying to reassure Stefan that they were good. He was surprised when Stefan reached forward and tugged Damon closer, and arm going around his waist. Damon froze for a second, having not hugged his brother in years, before relaxing into the strangely familiar feeling. His arms went around Stefan and he hugged his brother to him tightly; Stefan held on just as tight.

A minute passed and they both slowly let go of the other, matching smiles on their faces. Damon chuckled and shook his head; this wasn't the night he'd expected to have, especially after how his day had gone, but he wasn't complaining. Some important things had been said, and realizations made. This talk was long overdue.

Damon glanced at the clock on his dresser and stood abruptly. Stefan raised an eyebrow.

"Where are you going?" he asked

Damon pulled on his leather jacket. "I want to go check on Bonnie, make sure she has everything she's going to need for tonight. I meant to go hours ago." He said over his shoulder.

Stefan nodded, a smile on his face. He wasn't blind to his brother's fondness for the witch. Maybe Bonnie would be able to help Damon sort out his head, and his heart. Stefan thought silently.

"Hey Stef, what made you come up here anyway?" Damon asked on his way to the door.

Stefan considered Damon for a moment. His brother seemed happier, lighter even. He thought about not telling him but he didn't want to ruin the honestly between them.

"Elijah came and talked to me."

Damon raised an eyebrow and leaned against the wall. He motioned with his hand for Stefan to continue.

"Klaus and Elijah are brothers. A lot happened between them centuries ago and you know Elijah's current feelings. Basically he warned me about you and I becoming them. You know Elijah's feelings for Klaus."

Damon ignored the part about them being brothers and focused in on the fact that Elijah wanted Klaus dead and he'd warned Stefan that one day they would be like them.

"As in we'll want each other dead?" Damon asked.

Stefan nodded and was happy to see the anger and outrage that flashed in Damon's eyes. It seemed they both had the same feelings on that particular subject.

"He doesn't know anything." Damon growled.

Stefan laughed. "That's pretty much what I said."

Damon grinned, some of the anger fading from his eyes. "Eternity would get pretty boring without you around." He admitted.

Stefan's throat felt heavy and he felt his eyes glazing over. He reached up in an attempt to cover his reaction but Damon's fond eye roll suggested he was unsuccessful. Damon shook his head, a smirk on his face and moved to exit the room.

"I'll see you later, little brother."

"See yeah."

Stefan sighed and leaned his head back. That had gone better than he ever could have imagined or hoped for.

"Oh, and get out of my room; you have your own!" Stefan heard Damon say from somewhere out front of the house.

Stefan chuckled and made his way back to his own room and Elena who was likely still sleeping. He felt lighter than he had in months. Elijah claimed to know how to save Elena, Bonnie was safe and being looked after by Damon, and Damon... well, he and Damon were good.

For the first time, Stefan was feeling hopeful.

Review and let me know what you thought please! : )