SEQUEL TO: THE DATING GAME

(Synopsis of TDG: Stefan and Elena broke up after Jenna's funeral, causing him to leave town with Katherine. In the interim, Damon and Elena grew closer as friends until one day he asked her out on a date. A month after their date, Elena fearfully admits to Bonnie and Caroline that she thinks she's falling in love with Damon. Unbeknownst to Elena, he overhears this exchange and decides to surprise her by taking her on a private-jet to an anonymous location. Eventually, his private jet lands them in New York; leaving them to stay in his private penthouse overlooking New York City. They go out on another date to which Elena reveals she never slept with Stefan before. Later that night, Damon admits to Elena that he took away her memory when he first told her he loved her. She runs away to the helicopter pad and tearfully demands to give her memory back. He does so and after a heated discussion; they make love. When they return – Elena finds Stefan in her bedroom. After an argument, to which Damon was listening outside her bedroom door, Stefan kisses her. Assuming Elena would choose Stefan, Damon ran off and had a one-night-stand with Andie. After a dream-sequence with Rose, he mans up and tells Elena the truth who then runs away heartbroken. Just as the two were about to reconcile, Elena winds up dead with vampire blood in her system. One thing leads to another, "The Dating Game" ending with Damon and Elena's honeymoon in Paris).

"Remind me again why we're doing this?" Damon asked as he took another swig from his tumbler. Elena rolled her eyes as she sauntered into the living room, a bin of toys in her arms. She laughed lightly and set the toys on the ground and placed her hands on her hips, her smile playful.

"Because Bonnie and Jeremy deserve some time off," Elena reminded him. Damon rolled his eyes and blurred over to his wife and wrapped his arms around her waist. She giggled playfully and wrapped her arms around his neck. "I told you that you didn't have to stick around if you didn't want to. You could hang out with Stefan or Alaric if you wanted to…"

"I want to have my sexy wife all to myself…" Damon mumbled, his bottom lip extending into a pout. Elena laughed lightly and leaned in to kiss her husband on his pouted lip. He quickly returned her advances, and soon enough they were in full make out mode on the couch. Their moment was short-lived by the ringing of the doorbell. Elena laughed on Damon's lips before pulling away and blurring over to the front door.

Standing on the other side, all smiles was Jeremy with Elena's ten month old niece, Arianna. A wide smile spread across Elena's face as she automatically extended her arms towards Arianna, whose chubby arms were now reaching for her aunt. Elena giggled in awe at the baby's pink flowery dress and the bow in her brown curls.

"It's a good thing I don't like hellos," Jeremy mumbled. Elena let out a small laugh and moved Arianna to one hip to wrap her arm around her brother. He rolled his eyes and half-heartedly returned Elena's hug. "It's alright, I understand, I get distracted by her beauty too…" Jeremy cooed, playing with Arianna's outstretched hand.

"So, is this the weekend?" Elena asked excitedly. Jeremy rolled his eyes and folded his arms across his chest, a smirk on his lips.

"Maybe," he told his sister. "It has to be the right moment – and I have to make sure that she doesn't see it coming…" Jeremy explained. Elena laughed and planted a light kiss on Arianna's temple. Jeremy was planning on proposing to his long-time girlfriend and Elena's best friend, Bonnie this weekend. It was their three year anniversary of dating so he's taking her on a romantic weekend to Florida, leaving Arianna in Damon and Elena's care.

"Speaking of Judgey – where is she?" Damon asked as he sauntered out from the living room, taking his regular stance behind Elena. Jeremy rolled his eyes and shoved his hands in his pockets.

"Caroline needed her for something…" Jeremy shrugged lightly. "Anyways, I better get going. I still have some things I need to pick up before we hit the road." Elena nodded and hugged her brother goodbye while Jeremy kissed his daughter on the forehead and headed off towards the car. Arianna squealed in delight when Jeremy was out of sight, causing Damon to erupt in a fit of laughter.

"See – even the squirt knows when she's with cool Uncle D!" he teased while he set Arianna's diaper bag down by the door. Elena smiled widely as she sat down on the couch; Arianna snuggled comfortably in her arms.

"And me," Elena reminded him. He rolled his eyes playfully and leaned over to kiss Elena on the cheek. Damon and Elena have been married for five months so far; and both Damon and Elena loved every minute of it. "I wonder what could be so important that Bonnie would leave Jeremy to drop of Arianna just to talk to Caroline?" Elena wondered aloud while Damon plopped down on the couch beside Elena, draping his arm around her shoulders.

"Call Barbie," Damon suggested. Elena narrowed her eyes in a mixture of confusion and the slightest bit of hurt. What would be so important that Bonnie could tell Caroline but not her? Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the doorbell ringing. Damon let out a frustrated sigh but blurred over to the door and reluctantly answered it.

"Speak of the devil…" Damon announced. Elena's forehead furrowed together in confusion while Caroline flipped her blonde hair and walked around Damon, straight into the Boarding House. "Come on in," he muttered sarcastically as he shut the door behind the blonde.

"I am freaking out right now!" Caroline announced, flopping down in one of the arm chairs. Elena narrowed her eyes in confusion while she gently rocked back and forth, the baby falling into a deep sleep. "Okay so Tyler and I were watching The Notebook, and then Tyler starts talking about the future…like we have one? How insensitive is that? And then Matt called and said he wants to talk, what do you think that means?"

Elena exchanged a confused look with Damon, who was suppressing a smirk. "I'm gonna take a shot in the dark here and say that he wants to talk…" Damon suggested.

"Not helping!" Caroline spat. "I mean – why would he wanna talk? What if he wants me back? Tyler would freak out! I've dealt with enough boy drama – and I'm finally happy but, what kind of future can I have with Tyler? He's a werewolf, I'm a vampire…it's not so easy to have forever with someone whose mortal. And then there's Matt who I could probably have eternity with if he'd willingly drink my blood, and I just…ugh! Leave it to The Notebook to leave me all moody and confused…"

"Don't you think you're making too big of a deal out of this?" Elena asked gently.

"No!" Caroline quickly said. "Making a big deal out of this would be like…not what I'm doing. I'm having a mid-life crisis!" Damon ran his hand through his hair, a playfully amused expression on his face. "I was talking to Bonnie earlier and she has her own stuff to deal with so I thought I'd come over here and leave you to help me with my problems," Caroline offered.

"Yay…" Elena muttered sarcastically, smiling at the sleeping form in her arms.

"Maybe this is all we'll get, Elena…" Caroline suggested. Elena turned away from her niece, her eyes now on her best friend who was currently wearing a hole in the floor with all the incessant pacing. "Maybe you and I weren't meant to be parents – just really, really…cool…aunts."

"I don't think any of us were meant to do or be anything…I think that life just stepped in."

"This conversation is getting too…One Tree Hill for my taste," Damon said awkwardly as he stood up. "I'm going to go over to Ric's place; and if he really wants to – I'll even let him buy me a drink." Damon leaned over and kissed Elena on the top of the head and Caroline watched as Elena closed her eyes in contentment, and then watched just as quickly while her smile faded when Damon blurred out the door.

"You two are so in love it's actually painful to watch" Caroline commented as she sunk back down onto the armchair. "Why can't I have that? Why can't I have such a simple love?" Elena couldn't help but let out a sarcastic laugh at the thought that what she and Damon have is simple. It's anything but. "I mean I know that Damon was a first, second and third rate jack ass when you met him but now – I don't think I've seen a more devoted husband, and that's not just because my dad hid his sexuality from my mother and then surprised us when he decided that life with his boyfriend was better than life with his wife and daughter…" she began to ramble. "Anyways, what I'm saying is that Damon loves you – he would literally lay it all down on the line for you if he could, and why can't I have that?"

"Care, Tyler loves you – why isn't that enough?" Elena asked quietly while she set Arianna down in the crib occupying the corner of the living room.

"That's just it, Elena – it is enough. It's more than enough, but he's a werewolf. How can I spend forever with someone without making them some sort of mutant hybrid?"

"Have you talked to Tyler about it?"

"No," Caroline admitted. It wasn't until she sniffled that Elena noticed the tears brimming over her blue eyes. Elena blurred across the room and sat on the edge of the coffee table across from Caroline. "I'm scared…" Caroline tearfully admitted.

"Scared of what?" Elena pressed, her brown eyes sympathetic.

"That what he feels for me isn't enough to last forever," Caroline whispered. Elena tilted her head sympathetically, offering her friend a small smile. "I love him…so much, Elena. But nobody wants this life, not if they can help it."

"Maybe not but if this life with the one you loved is the chance you're willing to take, forever isn't the worst thing to happen to you and someone you love."

Caroline nodded reluctantly in an attempt to relax a little bit. She let out a small laugh as she brought her hand up to wipe a stray tear away. "I'm sorry for driving your husband off," Caroline apologized. Elena laughed with her best friend while she offered the blonde a tissue box. Elena shrugged lightly, her straight brown hair falling past her shoulders.

"Don't worry about it – he was gonna go out anyway; it's Thursday – it's Damon and Ric time," Elena explained thoughtfully. "Hey, how about you stay a little while? You can spend a few hours with Arianna and I, we'll order some pizza and watch a movie…" Elena suggested happily. Caroline pondered the invitation for a moment before ultimately agreeing.