Epilogue: One Year Later
AN: Thank you, luna1415, for pointing out that Kol could not have just gotten back from running with the bulls in Pamplona, since that does not take place until July and this chapter takes place in May. Sorry for the mistake! We'll have to pretend that there was an extra early running with the bulls that year for some reason. ;)
Also, I would like to point readers to my Klaus/Caroline offshoot to this story, which is located on my profile and called 'This is not a love song'. It fills in what happens to Klaus and Caroline between the end of 'That looks on tempests' and this one year later epilogue.
"Well, this is a pleasant surprise. You never call me this early. What's up, buttercup?"
"Buttercup. I like that one, it's a classic. What was it you said to me yesterday? 'What's to pass, sasasfras?' Now that was a bit of a reach."
"That was Tuesday. Yesterday, I think I actually said 'what's shakin, bacon', but you didn't care for it, either. Such a critic, Elena."
"So what meeting did I just get you out of?"
"Oh, it was the most fascinating budget meeting. The auditors are inquiring into why the line item has increased substantially for mayoral office furniture expenditure in the last year since I took office. I blamed it on you and your insatiable appetite."
"Just kidding, it was a garden variety budget meeting, with no questions about my smashingly explosive sex life. But you do owe me a new desk. Another new desk after your last visit. I'm using one from the house right now. I really don't get what it is about mayoral trappings that get you so hot and bothered."
"Oh, I don't know. Something to do with how I'm knocking boots with America's Hottest Small Town Mayor."
"Oh, yeah?" Damon said. "And that cover did not even capture my best side."
"Doesn't matter. It's my screensaver, anyway."
"I hope you are not calling to tell me that you are not coming this weekend. I really don't want my fellow civil servants to see me break down into tears in the hallway. Undermines staff morale."
"On the contrary, I'm calling to tell you that I'm coming early. Tonight, actually."
"I knew that would make you happy. Yeah, Kol and I got into a little disagreement, and I threw him through a wall. Contractors are coming tomorrow morning, so I need to be out of here tonight."
"You, my friend, are such a boon to the construction industry. What did Kol do this time?"
"Grabbed my boob."
"Oh, he's dead."
"Sure he is. If you haven't been able to kil him the last, oh, fifty times you have tried in the past year, I don't think it's going to happen ever. And it could have been accidental. Maybe. We were sparring, so he might have been going for my shoulder. Anyway, I kind of overreacted, - and since the dojo attaches to the kitchen, the wall I took out was a plumbing wall. Water everywhere. You should have seen Kol staggering around with a pipe sticking out of his head. Comedy gold. He's such a moron. I hate him so much. Yes, Kol, I see you there. Stop making faces at me."
"Can you send me a pic?"
"No, sorry, didn't get one. You'll just have to imagine. It was funny as hell, though."
"I didn't even know Kol was back from Spain."
"Ugh. Don't mention Spain. Elijah is furious. You are suppose to run with the bulls, not sit down in the middle of the street and rend them limb from limb. With tv crews filming you. Gross. No more Kansas City Killer, now I'm calling Kol the Prick of Pamplona. Anyway, while the construction crew is out here, there's some other things they need to work on, so I'll be in Mystic Falls for awhile. Maybe all the rest of May, and most of June."
"That's amazingly wonderful news. I'm almost afraid to ask what other stuff they need to fix, though."
"Well . . . the fireplace in the great room."
"All of that stacked river stone. Gorgeous work," Damon groaned.
"And the greenhouse. Again."
"Yikes. Elijah's orchids?"
"Nary a one standing, I'm afraid. Let's see . . . the sauna. But that was Kol's fault, again. He knew I was naked in there, he shouldn't have opened the door. Oh, and I worked out some of my frustrations with Klaus on the guest room that he and Caroline like to use while they are here."
"Dude. You didn't."
"The Isabella Stewart Gardner Vermeer hangs in that room!"
"I'm not a complete philistine, Damon. The Vermeer is fine. Although the next time Klaus decides to stash any of his stolen goods in my house, I'm sending it right back to the museum he took it from. He should know better then to keep anything nice here. Kind of taking a huge risk, after all."
"I am suddenly very relieved that you are staying at the lakehouse, and not at the boarding house when you come this time. Katherine brought me a small Pissarro from Paris last month, and I'm madly in love with it. I was going to put it in your room, but not if you're going to be all smashy."
"Well, I don't think it's fair to kick Jeremy out of his home the weekend of his graduation. And Matt's due back from VCU soon, right? That's two too many humans in the house for me."
"Yes, Matt will be in by Monday, I think. Although, I don't know if I am going to let him stay if he brings that girl with him this time."
"Melinda? I was hoping that was over."
"Nope. Only Matt could leave Mystic Falls and come back with a vampire girlfriend. A pushy, mouthy vampire girlfriend. Cannot stand her. You should hear the way she talks to him. And the way she talks to me. No respect."
"Well, you know what Elijah says about young vampires. So arrogant. You want me to bury her in the lake? I've been really itching to do that to somebody lately."
"Tempting. I mean, super tempting, since it means that you will get wet. But, no. He has to make his own mistakes, and it's not like she's compelling him. I make sure of that. Besides, she is going to have to deal with Becks, anyway. They got into it over Spring Break, and Rebekah threw Melinda in the vampire trap for a whole night. Just for speeding. Oh, and for knocking down a stop sign, and then staking Rebekah with it. So it wasn't entirely undeserved. I guess I shouldn't have had Bonnie re-spell the vamp trap, but it seemed like a good precaution to take at the time. It's getting a surprising amount of use."
"I still think it was a good idea. With our town, you need a jail cell that can actually hold a vampire. That's just common sense."
"Yeah, but Rebekah takes her duties as un-official official vampire sheriff a little too seriously. She made me get her a badge and a set of walkie talkies, and she insists that Liz meet with her once a week. She's driving Liz nuts."
"You need her, though. You can't take care of human problems and vampire problems at the same time. Somebody has to keep the vampires in line."
"Yes, I know, but she's too damn neck snappy. Tyler forgot to compel one of his feeds last week, and she snapped his neck twice for it. A little overkill, if you ask me. But we have zero trouble from vampire drifters anymore, so that's good."
"Speaking of vampire drifters, you didn't tell me that Katherine came by after Paris. How's that going?"
"Not good. Stefan won't come to the house if she's there, and vice versa. They need to work this shit out, the tension is crazy."
"It can't still be about Paris."
"Oh, no, she's over that. If life with Stefan was just a string of Paris incidents, then Katherine would be a happy camper. I mean, who hasn't wanted to slaughter a cafe full of French waiters? We've all been there. And she handled that fine. Bodies buried, witnesses compelled. No, the latest issue is that Stefan has become way too obsessed with what he is doing at Princeton. Stupid biochemistry PHD. Kind of makes me regret forging all of those credentials and having Elijah arrange a grant for him. He's either going to synthesize that damn protein or die trying. Or rather, Katherine is going to kill him for trying."
"I don't see how Katherine could possibly have a problem with his research. The more he focuses on that, the fewer issues he has with bloodlust in general. She knows that. And once he gets the PHD, he can come home to work at the pediatric oncology center. It's a win for everyone."
"Not at the expense of neglecting her, apparently. I don't think she gives a flying fuck whether or not Stefan figures out how to safely cure mankind's diseases with vampire blood, all she knows is that he's paying her zero attention when he is like this. Not sitting well with our prima donna."
"Poor Katherine," Elena sighed. "I know I'm not her favorite person right now, or ever, but I wish she and I could have another chat. For a master strategist when it comes to her own survival, she's not so great at seeing the big picture when it involves anyone else."
"I can have Becks toss her into the tomb for you, if you like. She could be stuck down there by the time you get in tonight, and you can chat all you want."
"Thanks anyway, but I have other plans for tonight, actually."
"Do I get to be involved?"
"Hmmm . . . maybe. Can you clear your schedule for tomorrow, too? Can Mystic Falls do without you for a whole twenty four hours?"
"Baby, if you are going to be naked and stay naked, this town could burn to the ground as far as I am concerned. I'll light the match myself." Damon wriggled his eyebrows at the scandalized lady passing him in the hallway.
"Well, don't burn everything down on my account." Elena took a deep breath, "And speaking of accounts . . ."
"I just spoke to you yesterday afternoon. There haven't been any casualties since the grocery store last week, right?"
"I haven't found out his name yet. A guy who was on our land here in the Berkshires. Hiking, I guess. Or hitchhiking, I don't know. He didn't have a driver's license on him. He just surprised me, that's all."
"And then you surprised him." Damon sighed. "I'm sorry, babe. You've been trying so hard and doing so well."
"It wasn't like the grocery store at all. That was supposed to be a controlled experiment, and things just went wrong. But I least I went in with some preparation. I wasn't prepared at all for the guy yesterday. And if he hadn't gotten aggressive all of a sudden . . . I mean, if I had just come across a gardener doing his job there would have been no problem."
"You should have called me last night."
"I know. But you were having that graduation barbecue for Jeremy's friends, and I didn't want to ruin the festive atmosphere. But you are right, and I probably should have."
"You need me to find out the hiker's name for you?"
"Carlos is on it."
"Well, on the bright side, the hiker and the grocery store incident aside, it's been a really good three months for you."
"I know. I know it has, objectively. And when I tore the grocery store down, it wasn't about blood at all. That has eased to the point where I feel almost safe enough to be inside a building with actual people. Almost. Not willing to experiment with my own brother, or with Matt, though."
"Understandable. Well, I did fix it so graduation is going to be outdoors, just for you."
"Yep. Compelled a couple of kids to turn the sprinklers on inside the gym this morning, so the place was flooded. It'll take days to dry out, and they will need to repair the floors, so they are doing graduation on the lawn. And yes, before you ask, I'll pay to fix the damn floor. You'll get to see Jeremy walk across the stage and get his diploma after all. It was going to be a surprise, but what the hell."
"Thank you, Damon. So much. So so much. It means a lot to me, and you know that. And I hope it means a lot to Jeremy as well." Elena was quiet for a second, and then added, "I guess walking into prom must have been quite a fluke. I've not been able to do anything like that again. I don't understand why."
"Well, you were on a mission that day. It was an extraordinary day all around, if you remember. But someday you will again, Elena. Someday you will have all us beat when it comes to control, and you know that."
"Everyday, it gets better."
"Hell yeah, it does. And tonight, it gets even better than that, if you know what I mean. I'm basically talking about sex here, in case I wasn't being clear enough."
"Damon, we should have a party."
"Are we still talking about sex?"
"No, silly. A party where people keep their clothes on."
"Oh, that sounds lame. But hey, we are already having a party. After graduation, remember?"
"No, another party. Smaller, less human-y."
"Oh, yeah, what kind?"
"We should have folks come up for a cook out on the deck at the lakehouse, next week after everyone is back home from college. I haven't seen Bonnie or Tyler in forever. And Caroline and Klaus should be back from Tokyo by then, right?"
"I think so. By Wednesday at the latest. If we invite Klaus, we can't invite Tyler, though."
"Really? Still?" Elena sighed. "Everyone is being so stupid. If you and me and Stefan and Katherine can manage to hold it together most of the time, then I don't understand everyone else's problem. But fine, we'll invite Tyler and Caroline and not Klaus. I like not inviting Klaus to things, anyway. He gets pouty, and that makes me happy."
"I am totally cool with that solution."
"Is Katherine actually in town right now?"
"Yes, your identical cousin Kathy who gets up to wacky hijinks is back at the house. She got in late last night and woke me up. I almost staked her. I'm making her stay home today, though. Nevada is supposed to pop a litter either today or tomorrow, so she's on dog labor duty."
"Wait - I thought Nevada was a boy dog?"
"So did we. Your brother is an idiot. All this time, he thought Nevada was just getting fat off of dropped Cheetos."
"Puppies! That's adorable. I am super excited about that. Well, if Katherine is there, then make sure Stefan gets his ass home, too. Although, tell him no eating the puppies. We'll solve this stupid issue he and Katherine are having while I'm in town."
"Oh, never let it be said that you don't like to meddle."
"You are a fine one to talk, Mr. Mayor."
"Good point. And speaking of . . . "
"Oh, I know. Civic duty calls. And I need to hop in the car to make it down there before midnight, anyway. Well, then, I crazy love you."
"I crazy love you, too. Damn, we're so cute it almost hurts to be us."
"I know, right?" Elena laughed. "We are so the couple that everyone else hates to be around. So I'll see you tonight for illicit sexual relations, 'kay?" She paused, and then Damon heard her say, "Kol, if you don't stop humping the couch, I am going to dagger the fuck out of you."
Damon laughed. "Tonight, Elena. It's a date."