A/N- So here it is. The epilogue. We're skipping quite a few years into the future here. I had a lot of fun writing this, thanks as always to my wonderful beta.
Thank you so much for all your lovely reviews on the last chapter, I love reading each and everyone of them. With this final chapter I'd love to know what your favourite part of this story has been, if you have one. It can be anything from your favourite chapter, bit, character line...whatever. I'd really love to know.
Thanks for reading this guys and enjoy!
"Dr Salvatore?" The young doctor swivelled and looked at the even younger intern, raising an eyebrow.
"Erm...I'm really struggling to get a line into one of my patients and I wondered if you could help me."
"Where's your attending?"
"He...uh...I didn't want to ask him."
The intern didn't have time to finish before he was following the doctor over to where the patient was lying and the resident had set about trying to put the line into the back of their hand.
"Dr Salvatore!" a male voice called from across the ward. Elena groaned as she bent over the patient, ignoring the twinge in her back and rolled her eyes. Straightening up she smiled sympathetically across to the young intern who looked like he might combust from nerves.
"Yes, Damon?" she asked sweetly.
"What are you doing with Dr White's patient?" Elena rolled her eyes again, cocking her head to the side and folding her arms. The intern, Dr White, whimpered slightly and Elena glanced across at him, signaling with her eyes that she had this under control.
"He needed a line putting in." she answered matter of factly. Damon mirrored her pose, raising himself up and folding his arms across his broad chest.
"I don't think that in your condition-"
"Damon, I'm pregnant, not disabled and since you are not my OBGYN I'm not about to take advice on what I can and can't do from you. I am perfectly capable of inserting a line." she snapped.
"You know who else should be capable of inserting a line? My interns! But you won't stop helping them behind my back-"
"Because you won't stop yelling at them!" she screeched, drawing the attention of the majority of the patients, most of the ward staff having become numb to the sounds of their arguing by now.
"That's how they learn, that's how you learned!" He pointed a finger at her.
"That's because contrary to your beliefs, I was never scared of you...no offense." She looked across to the nervy intern. He really did seem a bit of a sap she had to admit but she was a firm believer that everyone deserved a chance.
"Yeah, well maybe I'll just bring this up with the Chief," he taunted.
"Oh, by all means run and tell on me to Alaric, just don't expect either of you to be eating Christmas dinner this year." she replied haughtily. "Me, Jenna, and the whole bunch will have a merry time without the pair of you. I hear the Grill opens for local alcoholics and destitute husbands; you'll fit right in." She placed her hands on her steadily widening hips and smiled acerbically.
He scoffed and chuckled. "Please, like you and Jenna could cope without my cooking. You'd end up eating takeout for Christmas dinner!"
Her cheeks reddened with indignation. "Well if that's what it comes down to, then so be it."
"Erm...Dr Salvatore?" Dr White drew their attention back to him.
"What?" they both snapped, hiding their identical smirks and sideways glances; it never got old when that happened.
The intern was stood back next to the patient with the line inserted into his wrist and a cannula in place. "I did it." he announced, like a child seeking the approval of his rowing parents.
Damon patted the pockets of his white coat, frowning dramatically. "Well I'm fresh out of medals there, champ, but the marching band should be along any minute now!" The young intern's face dropped and Elena scowled at Damon.
"Good job, Dr White." Elena stepped forward and placed a motherly hand on the trembling doctor's shoulders.
The intern glanced over Elena's shoulder to where her husband was fixing him with a look that could melt flesh.
"T-thanks, Dr Salvatore." he mumbled before scurrying away, avoiding the scathing look that his attending followed him with.
"Thanks, Dr Salvatore!" mimicked Damon, raising his voice to an irritatingly high pitch and causing Elena to fix him with a scowl. "I still don't really know how to insert a line because your wife always helps me, but I'm sure I'll still make a good doctor." he continued sarcastically, drawing closer to Elena before tugging her towards him from her ever expanding waist.
"Stop it!" she chided, slapping him lightly on the chest as he smirked. She rolled her eyes at him, hiding a smile. "Remind me why I married you again?"
"Hmm? Because I knocked you up?" He flashed her a grin.
"You knocked me up after we got married, idiot." She added another tap to his still well muscled chest.
"Not for want of trying." he murmured, pulling her in as close as was possible with her protruding belly, and pressing a soft kiss to her neck that sent a shiver down her spine. "I can show you later if you'd like." he sang into her ear, swaying her side to side lightly in his arms.
"A-hem!" A loud clearing of a throat behind them pulled them apart as they both turned around.
"If you don't mind, some of us are already ill. I don't wanna get anymore sick by having to watch you pair paw at each other." The old man who had just had his line inserted complained.
"Sorry, Mr Peterson!" they both apologized, hiding their grins as they walked away from the end of the elderly man's bed, both smiling and laughing together.
"Did you sort out your plans for Saturday with Alaric?" asked Elena as they walked into a quiet corridor, their hands joined and swinging between them, both of them eager for the day when they would have a little one swinging alongside them in the middle.
"Yeah, we're gunna meet Stefan at the Grill for a few drinks and just see where the night takes us I guess. Maybe hit up a few strip clubs, you know," He shrugged nonchalantly, "The usual."
Elena snorted. "You'll be home by nine for sure." She giggled, pressing her forehead into his shoulder for a second to disguise her laughter before smiling up at him.
"I am gunna party the night away for your information, Mrs. Salvatore! I'm not half as old as you make me out to be."
Elena nodded mockingly, pretending to agree with his every word. "Stefan's going?" she inquired once the moment had passed. Damon ran his hand through his hair and nodded.
"Yeah, he called and said he was coming into town, so I figured since I'm being ousted from my own home I should invite him along."
"You make it sound like I'm throwing you out on a permanent basis. It's just one night for my baby shower." protested Elena.
Damon laughed sardonically. "Please, I am being kicked out of the house so that Dr. Barbie can make you play stupid games that will neither decide nor predict the gender of our future child. And you're gunna hate it cause you can't even have a drink!" He prodded a finger at her, knowing that she would despise the evening spent playing girly games while he got to sit in the Grill, drinking and playing pool with the guys.
They had decided to wait instead of finding out the sex of the baby. Neither of them were particularly bothered about what it would be, both too happy and excited to worry about gender. The only problem that had presented itself was the decoration of the nursery- Elena wanted yellow while Damon protested the yellow was most definitely not a gender neutral color and when had she ever seen a man in yellow. This had lead to many heated discussions about the fact that their child would not be born a fully grown man and how she refused to paint the baby's room white and have it look like a medical examination room.
Elena rolled her eyes, secretly knowing that he was right. "I wish you'd stop calling her that." she said, deciding to change the subject and referring to his nickname for Caroline.
"What? Dr. Barbie? But it's her name!" he exclaimed. "I even bought her that lab coat for Christmas with it stitched on and everything."
"It's not funny, Damon." chided Elena, although she had laughed endlessly when Caroline had first worn the coat. "She says its compromises her professional integrity, yesterday one of the interns called her that!"
"Which one?" pressed Damon, immediately protective of Elena's best friend and his old intern which warmed her heart.
"It doesn't matter which one. Anyway she gave him two weeks of washing bedpans every evening so I think he learned his lesson."
Damon smirked. "That's my girl. I taught her well." Elena rolled her eyes and pressed herself against Damon, drawing him into a hug.
"I don't want to go tonight." she whined, confirming his suspicions that she was going to hate it. "Can't we just say I feel sick or something?"
Damon laughed, running his hands up and down her back. "Yeah, cause telling a bunch of doctors you're sick is gunna ward them off. They'd still wanna come round and diagnose you." Elena scoffed in agreement, he was probably right.
"I don't see why you can't come, why don't you just stay?" she asked, giving him her best puppy dog eyes.
"Elenaaaa!" he whined like a petulant teenager, "I drew out a whole bunch of one's for this evening, what else am I gunna use them for if not to put in stripper's g-string?" He smirked as she narrowed her eyes at him.
"You're disgusting." she said sharply, fighting back a smile.
"You married me." he shrugged, pulling her to him once more and planting a kiss on her forehead.
"Oh! There you are." They both turned as Caroline's voice echoed down the corridor as she hurried towards them. Damon groaned, just loud enough for both girls to hear, although Caroline chose to ignore it. "Can I get your spare key, 'Lena so I can drop some stuff off for later?" she asked brightly.
"I'm not giving you a key to my house." answered Damon, immediately jumping in before Elena could reply.
"I wasn't speaking to you." replied Caroline, never once even looking in his direction, but opening her palm to Elena for the key.
"Well that's a shame, cause guess who has the spare key?" A wide smirk spread across his face as Caroline turned to him, folding her arms across her chest.
"Did you know Damon convinced the nurse down in ER to read out a page for 'Dr. Blondie' over the tanoy yesterday?" Caroline cocked her head sideways, looking across at Elena and smiling.
"Did you know Caroline broke one of our wine glasses last time she was at our house but hid it in the trash?" retorted Damon, maintaining the same upbeat as Caroline's mouth dropped open in shock.
"Did you know that Damon's intern still can't insert a line?" Elena would have opened her mouth to tell Caroline that she did in fact know that, but neither of them were paying her any attention anymore. A sharp tingling spread across her stomach and she felt a jabbing pain in her back as she watched the pair bicker. Rubbing a soothing hand across her lower back she conceded that maybe Damon was right and she shouldn't be leaning over patients trying to insert lines when she was this far on in her pregnancy.
"Did you know that Caroline only got such a good score on her intern exam paper because I gave her extra marks for spelling her name correctly? I know it's a struggle for you, Blondie." he cooed, jutting his bottom lip out and mocking her.
"That is a lie!" screeched Caroline, jabbing a finger accusingly in his direction.
"Guys," chided Elena wearily, not really possessing the energy to mediate another childish debate between these two. "Can you just-" Another wave of sensation swept across her lower belly, this time feeling more like a vice squeezing on her muscles and she let out a small gasp.
"Elena?" asked Damon, immediately dropping his friendly banter with Caroline to rush to her side. Caroline similarly appeared at her side, taking her arm and looking her in the face.
"Elena, are you OK?" she asked as the pain started to subside. Elena took a heavy breath in and nodded her head.
"Yeah, I'm fine." she answered, gulping in a few more heavy breaths. "I just felt a bit funny that's all."
"Funny how?" pressed Damon, wrapping a supportive arm around his wife's waist and looking at Caroline over the top of her head.
"I don't know, I've felt kind of off all day but I thought it was just because I was tired. I keep getting these tingling sensations in my stomach every few hours and my back hurts." Damon rubbed across her back and she tensed again, wincing in pain. At that she felt an odd sensation between her legs which took her a few seconds to recognize before she looked up at Damon and Caroline.
"I think my waters just broke." she whispered.
"What?" shouted Damon, looking down between her legs and not noticing any difference. Elena simply nodded rapidly.
"Yeah...yeah, I definitely think my waters just broke." Damon looked over at Caroline, his eyes full of panic as he forgot everything he'd ever learned in med school, everything that they had been told at all the classes they had been to and became a complete wreck.
Caroline, however, jumped into action.
"OK, we should get you down to the delivery suite then, Damon, why don't you ring ahead and explain that you're bringing her in? Elena, how far apart would you say these tingling sensations are?" she pressed, leaning down and making her friend look at her.
"I don't know exactly, I thought they were a few hours but the last one wasn't long at all." she replied.
"Damon, tell them that her contractions are still quite far apart but that you're bringing her in anyway, I doubt they'll turn one of their own away," she added as a comment to herself.
"Do you think they're contractions?" asked Elena, suddenly beginning to panic.
"It's most likely that they are, yeah. Sadly, I doubt that they'll stay as 'tingling sensations' for very long. Congratulations, sweetie, you're in labour!" she said excitedly, leading Elena over to a bank of chairs while Damon flipped his phone open.
"This is Dr Salvatore here," he spoke into the device, immediately dropping the playful tone he'd used earlier with Caroline and speaking with authority, "I'm bringing my wife down, her water's just broke, so if you could have a room ready for us, I'd be grateful." There was clearly no argument on the phone as he finished the conversation quickly before heading over to Elena and Caroline. Caroline gave her friend a small hug, and smiled widely at Damon before leaving the pair to go and find Tyler and Bonnie to tell them the news, making sure that Damon knew to contact her with any and all details when he had them.
Damon helped his wife to her feet, wrapping a protective arm around her waist as she groaned uncomfortably. "Come on, Elena."
"You're hogging him." complained his wife from her bed. He looked across, tearing his eyes from the tiny bundle of joy that was in his arms to see her pouting adorably. Her hair was still stuck to her forehead and she looked an odd grey colour that suggested she needed to sleep for a day, but Damon thought she'd never looked more beautiful.
"I've had him for five minutes, you had him for nine months." he protested, wrapping his arms more tightly around his son, lowering his eyes to him and immediately getting lost in the miniature blue orbs that stared back at him.
"I want him again before Caroline gets here," continued Elena, stretching out her arms. "You know we'll only get him back by force once she has him."
Damon chuckled and made his way over to her bed, he handed their son to her and stretched himself out next to her on the bed, looking between her and the unbelievable miracle that they'd made. Elena turned her head sideways, her eyes brimming with tears, before pressing her lips to his.
"I love you." he murmured between their lips before pulling back and stroking his son's head. "And I love you, Baby Salvatore." he lowered his head and pressed a kiss to the soft down of hair on his head.
"He's so beautiful." cooed Elena.
"Yeah, he's definitely gunna break some hearts." agreed Damon.
"Maybe he'll heal some too," contemplated Elena. "Just like his Dad." She smiled up at Damon before resting her head onto his shoulder, suddenly feeling completely exhausted. Her eyes were beginning to drift closed, the quiet breaths of her son and husband lulling her to sleep when the door to her room was opened cautiously.
"Knock knock!" Caroline, Tyler and Bonnie crept into the room, all grinning at the new parents who had woken up at their entrance. "Oh my God!" squealed Caroline, still managing to keep the noise to a minimum. "He is so precious, can I hold him?" Elena laughed and relinquished up her son to her best friend while Bonnie made her way over to her bed.
"Jeremy said he's on his way over." she told Elena. "How are you feeling?"
"I feel fine, tired and a bit sore but fine."
"Have you thought of a name?" asked Bonnie, piquing Caroline's interest as she looked up from where she was pointing out his tiny hands to Tyler.
Elena looked across at Damon who said, "We were thinking Grayson, after Elena's father."
Bonnie nodded and smiled.
"I think he'd have really liked that Elena." she said.
"Yeah, me too." agreed the brunette.
"Come on Caroline, fork him over."
Bonnie said, holding out her arms and laughing when Caroline automatically tightened her hold on little Grayson.
"I'm not done yet." she protested and opened her mouth to coo at Tyler when the baby opened his mouth to let out a yawn. She turned her face to her husband, batting her eyelids and jutting out her bottom lip. "Can we get one? Please?" she pleaded.
"Thanks, Damon." said Tyler sarcastically, easing the baby out of Caroline's grasp and handing him to Bonnie.
"Careful with my son, this isn't pass the parcel." Damon spoke out protectively, reaching forward as the baby was transferred from one person to another.
"Damon," chided Elena, placing a hand on his arm and calming him down, smiling at how protective he immediately was of their son.
Damon placed a kiss to the top of her forehead as she snuggled back into his side. "Why don't you try and get some sleep?" he suggested, combing his hands gently through her knotted and tangled hair. She nodded, shuffling down the bed and drifting off to sleep to the sounds of her best friends, her husband and her wonderful son all around her, feeling truly content with everything in her life.
Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for reading this story. I hope that you have gotten even the smallest amount of enjoyment from it.
Much love to all of you
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