A/N: Here it is. The last update for Through Rivalry comes Love.
First of all, I cannot thank you all enough for your support, in the form of reading, sending me tweets and leaving reviews. Best. Readers. EVER.
Second, I am very sad to see this one end. 1723 reviews after 62 chapters. This story was only supposed to be 30 or so chapters, but you all made it worthwhile to continue writing.
There is the possibility that I will add on to this story later on. I left it open to do so. I could possibly write some missing chapters from this story too. The possibilities are endless!
So now on to the story. I tried to make it funny as well as endearing. I hope you enjoy.
"You stay here" Stefan said, opening the car door quickly. It was a bit of a walk to the hospital doors, because Elena hadn't let Stefan drop her off up front. She assured him the baby was not going to come out in the next five minutes, so their car did not need to take up the space in front for real emergencies. Stefan really had to bite his tongue in order to not argue with her. "I'll go and get a wheelchair" he said, shutting his door. Elena undid her seatbelt and opened her door, which nearly gave Stefan a heart attack. "What are you doing?" he panicked, rushing to her side to help her up out of the car.
"I can walk, Stefan" she told him, trying not to laugh at him. "I'm in labor. I'm not dying" she added, standing up and shutting the door with his help. She turned around and saw how fearful he looked. She gave him a sympathetic smile. "I'm okay Stefan" she said softly, reaching her hands up to hold his face. He still didn't look convinced. "I can walk into the hospital. If you hold my hand" she said with a smile. She reached up and kissed him quickly.
"You're sure?" he asked. "Because it would just take me a second to go and get a wheelchair" he added.
Elena smiled, but shook her head no. "I really am fine" she said, despite the sharp pains she was experiencing. "Come on" she said, grabbing his hand.
Stefan lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed it. "Okay" he said, though he still didn't like it. Slowly, he walked with her until they were in the building and on the correct floor. When Elena continued to the front desk to check in, Stefan was walking in a different direction.
"Elena Salvatore. I'm seeing Dr. Viner and I'm in labor" she said casually. As if it was no big deal. She just wasn't as stressed out about all of this as Stefan was.
The nurse began typing on the computer, then looked up and smiled. "You're all checked in Mrs. Salvatore. A nurse will be right out to get you" she told her. Elena nodded, then turned around to find Stefan who was nowhere to be found. She furrowed her brow as she looked around for him. Where had he gone off to now? She sighed and found an empty chair to wait in.
A minute or two later, Stefan was coming hurriedly down the hallway with a wheelchair. Elena stood slowly and placed her hands on her hips. "And where did you get that?" she asked him. He looked guilty as hell, like he had stolen it.
"Found it" he said, though he wouldn't make eye contact with her.
"Stefan Salvatore" Elena accused. "Did you take this from someone?" she asked, pointing at the wheelchair.
"No" he lied. He snuck a peek at her face and saw that she wasn't buying his answer. She knew. "You took this from some other poor pregnant woman, didn't you?" she asked, less than impressed with her husband's behavior. She really was fine. She didn't need it.
Stefan shook his head quickly. "No no" he assured her. "Some old guy didn't need it anymore" he explained, as if taking it from an old man was better than taking it from a pregnant lady.
Elena eyed him closely. "Define what you mean by "he didn't need it anymore" Stefan" Elena told him, using her business talk with him. Sometimes she used it in bed too and it turned him on like people wouldn't believe. But times like these, when she was irritated, well, he still found it to be kind of hot.
Stefan shrugged. "He got up to go to the bathroom and I swiped it" he confessed. "You need one!" he jumped right in, defending his action.
Elena pointed her finger at him, letting him know she was mad. "I told you I was fine. Now you go and give this wheelchair back to that old man or so help me God Stefan" she said, clearly in no mood to be argued against. She had slept like crap and was getting ready to have a baby. The last thing she needed was to babysit her husband on top of it all.
Stefan hung his head low and nodded. "Sorry" he said, slowly turning the wheelchair around and walking away from her.
Elena sighed. Now she felt bad for snapping at him. A sharp pain hit her in her abdomen, causing her to bend over slightly and cry out. "Stefan!" she called. Screw the old man and his wheelchair. She was in pain.
Stefan shoved the wheelchair into the wall and was already sprinting his way back to Elena. "What?" he asked, his hand on her stomach and the other on her hip.
Elena shook her head, keeping her eyes closed. "Really bad contraction" she breathed out. "Get the damn wheelchair!" she told him.
Stefan left her side for a moment and retrieved the wheelchair, then helped her in it. Stefan wheeled her back up to the front desk. "My wife is in a lot of pain" he said, and the desperation on his face showed.
The nurse at the desk could see that. "I want you to take her on back. You'll see another desk through those double doors. They are expecting you" she said, letting them go through.
They weren't quite ready for Elena, but the nurses did their best to get her all set up in her room. "Thank you" Elena said, grateful for the nurses who were working so hard to try and make her comfortable. Her IV was in and her pillows were fluffed. The nurses assured her that her doctor would be in shortly.
Stefan was perched in the chair next to her bed, holding her hand without the IV in it. He looked so worried. "What can I do?" he asked her.
Elena smiled at him, already exhausted and labor had just started. "You're doing everything you need to, Stefan" she told him quietly. "But I need you to know something" she said, looking into his worried eyes. "When the contractions get really bad and I start pushing, just know that I'm probably going to cuss you out" she said with a knowing smile. She could almost guarantee it.
It finally got him to smile though. "But you won't mean it" he said, finishing her thought for her.
Elena shook her head in disagreement. "Oh no. I'll mean every word I say" she assured him. "But know that I will still love you" she added. Stefan leaned over her carefully and kissed her. When he pulled away, Elena smiled again. "I hope he's just like you" she whispered.
Stefan smiled, then leaned forward again, this time, to kiss her stomach. "I'll make sure of it" Stefan promised with a lopsided grin as he thought about how much his son was going to love Elena.
"I think the only name you didn't call me was … my actual name" Stefan said jokingly as he sat in the bed with Elena and their baby.
"I'm sorry" she told him, leaning her head against him. Their little guy was nestled between them, sound asleep. It was hard work coming into the world, and clearly, he was already the spitting image of Stefan after just one hour. "He looks just like you" Elena said, leaning down and kissing the baby's head. "He'd rather sleep too, just like you" she added with a small grin.
Stefan smiled down at their son, loving the fact that Elena had said that he looked like him. "We need to choose a name" he reminded her gently. They hadn't been able to come up with anything yet. But the little guy was now over an hour old.
Elena looked at their sleeping baby for a moment, knowing Stefan was right. He needed a name. "I like the name Owen" Elena said quietly. Then she looked over at Stefan to see what he thought.
Stefan's met hers and his whole face lit up. "Owen in perfect" he told her.
A nurse tapped lightly on their door before poking her head into the room. She smiled when she saw Stefan and Elena. "Your brother is asking to see you both. I told him I would check in and see if you are up for visitors" she announced.
Stefan looked back at Elena. "It's up to you" he told her.
Elena yawned, as if on cue. "I want to see them" she said. The nurse nodded and disappeared again. Stefan looked at Elena to make sure she was really okay with his brother and Bonnie visiting. "Remember how excited we were to meet Juliette?" she reminded.
He had no argument. He had been chomping at the bit to see his niece when she was born. "True" he replied, reaching over and pressing his lips to her temple, giving her a lingering kiss there.
Not a minute later, Bonnie was doing her best to contain her excitement as she came into the room. She stopped when she saw the family in bed together and snapped a photo on her phone. Damon wasn't far behind. "Oooh let me see!" she said in a hushed whisper as she approached them. She peered over Stefan, looked for a moment and then felt her eyes well up with tears. She felt Damon's hand on her back for support. "He's beautiful" Bonnie cried softly. She waved her hands in front of her face and tried to apologize for being so emotional. "I'm sorry" she said, taking a few deep breathes. "I'm just so happy for you two" she said, leaning in and wrapping her arms around Stefan. "Congrats Stefan" she whispered. Then she backed up and walked around the bed to hug Elena, and also giving Damon a chance to see the baby.
Damon pulled the blanket back some to take a look at the little guy's face. Then he sighed with relief. "Thank God. He looks like Elena. The kid has a shot now" Damon said with the biggest smirk he could muster up.
Elena laughed, but Stefan just glared at his brother. "If I didn't have a baby in my arms right now, I'd punch you" Stefan told him.
Damon just laughed, loving the fact that he could still give his little brother a hard time. "Really Elena. He's amazing" Damon told her.
"Thank you" Elena smiled.
"Can I hold him?" Damon asked.
"No" Stefan answered.
Elena gave Stefan a warning look. "Yes" she answered. Stefan sighed and sat up some to put the baby in his brother's arms. Elena watched Damon closely, but realized he was a pro. He'd already done this once before.
Damon walked slowly to the rocker in the room and sat down. His attention never left the baby. "What's his name?" Damon asked.
Stefan smiled as he scooted in closer to Elena. "Owen" he replied.
"That is such a great name" Bonnie said, joining Damon in the chair. He moved over and made room for her so she could gush over the baby too. "Juliette is going to love him" Bonnie added.
"I think so too" Elena said, smiling as she watched Damon and Bonnie bond with her baby.
"Oh, before I forget" Bonnie said, carefully getting up from the chair. She grabbed for a bag near the bed that they hadn't seen her bring in. "Katherine sent this a few days ago. For Owen" she added carefully, not sure how Elena would react to Katherine sending her baby a gift.
Stefan grabbed for it and passed the bag to Elena. He shrugged, but smiled. Katherine was trying. Elena took out the card first and opened it. Then she read it aloud. "Dear Stefan and Elena, here is a present for the new baby boy. Congrats you two. Love, Auntie Katherine" she said.
They all looked at one another and then laughed quietly. "Auntie Katherine, huh?" Damon asked, smiling down at Owen.
Elena opened the perfectly wrapped gift and held it up. A leather jacket for the baby. "That is soooo adorable!" Bonnie squealed quietly, plucking the jacket out of Elena's hands and holding it up.
Elena had to admit, it was pretty adorable. "We'll have to take pictures and send them to her" Elena announced. She got a surprised look from Stefan. "She's trying" Elena said. Katherine wasn't her favorite person, but she wasn't the worst person either.
Stefan smiled at Elena and leaned in to kiss her. "I love you" he whispered.
Elena sat out on the back deck, sipping a warm mug of coffee as she watched her two favorite guys. At 3 years old, Owen was literally the spitting image of Stefan. He had the same nose, same color of hair and eyes. He had the shape of Elena's eyes, and that was it. Not that Elena minded.
Elena smiled as Owen walked behind Stefan, carrying the plastic hammer they had given him. He followed Stefan everywhere and loved helping his dad. It made Elena's heart melt, watching the two of them. Sure, their son loved his mother. But he idolized Stefan, doing everything that Stefan did and always being right there to take part in the action.
So when Stefan was adding another nail into their fence in the backyard, Owen was pounding on the same post with his plastic hammer. Elena watched Stefan kneel down to his level and point at the post. Owen listened to his dad intently before pounding his hammer against the post again. Stefan smiled and high-fived him.
Then they were walking again, this time towards Elena. Stefan was holding Owen's hand, walking at his pace. Stefan helped him up the stairs, then smiled contently as Owen ran towards Elena. "Hi baby boy" she said, pulling him up into her lap and kissing his head. "Were you working hard with Daddy?" she asked.
Owen tipped his head back and looked up at her with a huge smile on his face. "We fixed the fence, huh?" Stefan asked, sitting in the chair next to Elena. He leaned over and gave her a kiss, filled with the promise of more to come later after Owen was down for his nap. "How'd you sleep?" he whispered against her lips.
Elena blushed, thinking about what they had done together right before he left her exhausted and passed out on top of him. It was nice to know that after four years of marriage and one child, they still could have fun in the bedroom. A lot of fun, actually.
Stefan smiled, moving closer to Elena so he could whisper in her ear again. "Maybe we convince Uncle Damon and Aunt Bonnie to take Owen Saturday night so you and I can … go at it all night" he whispered, biting down on her ear softly with his lips.
Elena leaned away from him and giggled. "Sounds fun" she replied. It sounded amazing, actually.
Stefan smiled. "I love you" he told her, leaning in and capturing her lips quickly.
Owen watched them, then smiled. "I love Mommy" he said, looking back at Stefan. He did everything Stefan did, including loving Elena.
"I love you too" Elena said, leaning down and kissing Owen's nose. He laughed, and Elena kissed him several more times. "You know tomorrow is take your child to work day" she reminded.
Stefan smiled proudly. "Yep. We're going to have a blast, aren't we?" he asked Owen.
"Yes!" Owen said happily. Then he squirmed down from Elena's lap. He set his hammer down and danced around to his own beat.
Elena just laughed. "Yep. No mistaking he's yours. He likes attention in any way he can get it" she said with a grin.
The sliding glass door slid open, causing Stefan and Elena to turn and look. Bonnie's hands were clasped together as she watched Owen. "He's a natural. He can start ballot classes next session" she announced.
Elena was afraid to look at Stefan, because they had had this conversation many times before. "The day my son wears tights and a tutu better be the day I am buried six feet in the ground" Stefan warned. "We like football, right Owen?" Stefan asked.
Elena rolled her eyes. She really didn't care what Owen was interested in as long as he was happy. "Yeah!" Owen yelled. He was quite the football watcher with his dad and Uncle Damon. They painted his face and had bought him his own jersey.
"But you like dancing too, right?" Elena asked.
"Yeah!" Owen yelled.
Stefan groaned. "Elena" he pleaded.
Elena held her hand up to stop him which Bonnie found quite amusing. "Boys can dance and wear tutus too" she told him.
"Yes, boys can" Stefan agreed. "Just not my boy" he added.
Bonnie shook her head. "Whatever" she said, giving him an annoyed look before she kneeled down. "Hey Owen, Auntie has something for you" she told him, digging through her purse.
"So help me Bonnie if you pull out a pair of dance shoes …" Stefan said, though he did so playfully. Sort of. Bonnie would have flipped him off had her nephew not been standing right there.
Owen approached curiously and when Bonnie brought out a small white paper bag, his eyes lit up. "Cookie!" he yelled, reaching out for it.
Bonnie took it out for him and handed it to him, smiling as Owen happily munched away on the cookie from his favorite bakery. She ran her hand through his hair and stood back up. "I drove by there today and figured I'd stop and get him one" Bonnie said.
"Owen, what do you say?" Elena asked.
Owen looked at his mother with cookie crumbs on his lips. "It's good" he said, taking another bite.
Bonnie grinned. "Oh look Stefan, he has your manners" Bonnie announced.
Stefan laughed, slipping his finger through Owen's belt loop on his pants and pulling him backwards toward him. "Hey Mister. What do we say when someone gives us something?" Stefan asked.
"Goodbye" Owen answered, taking yet another bite of his cookie.
"Nope. There's another word. We've been working on it" Stefan said. Owen looked at him confused, so Stefan whispered in his ear.
"Sank you" Owen said, repeating what his dad had told him.
Bonnie smiled. "You're welcome. Come give me a hug goodbye. I have to get home and figure out what's for dinner" she said with a sigh. It had been a long and tiring day.
Owen ran towards Bonnie and went straight into her arms. She hugged him tight. "Bye bye" he told her, dropping cookie crumbs all of her sweater. She didn't seem to mind.
"Bye sweetheart" Bonnie said, giving him one last big hug. Owen moved away from her and sat down to finish his cookie.
"Hey, do you think you can keep him overnight on Saturday?" Stefan asked, getting up to walk with her.
Bonnie eyed Elena who was trying to not blush again. "Oh" Bonnie teased. "You want a little hanky panky time" she guessed. Then she shrugged. "If you take Juliette next weekend, we might just have ourselves a deal" she winked. Elena was a whole other shade of red. "Bye Elena" Bonnie said, laughing as she went back in the house.
Stefan laughed at Elena. "Come on. By this point, I think she knows we get a little frisky sometimes" he said.
"I'm going to start dinner" Elena announced, standing up and walking past Stefan.
He hooked his arm around her and pulled her close. "After four years, you still make me incredibly frisky" he whispered.
Elena laughed at him this time and gave him a quick kiss. "Save those thoughts for Saturday" she said, biting down on her bottom lip as she snuck away from him.
Stefan watched her disappear back into the house and sighed. Then Stefan looked down at Owen who had finished his cookie. He was such a happy and content kid. "It is bath time for you" Stefan said, picking Owen up to take into the house.
Elena peered from out of the kitchen to watch Stefan and Owen climb the stairs. Stefan was telling Owen all about how they were going to spend the day together at work. It melted her heart to see those two together. He wasn't the ideal image of what a father should be.
He exceeded that.
The next day, Owen sat in the middle of the table in the conference room, dressed in a black suit and a dark blue tie. He matched Stefan perfectly, and even had gel in his hair to get that perfect look that Stefan had.
Owen followed Stefan around everywhere, and even carried random things Stefan gave to him so that he would feel useful at the office. Owen couldn't get enough of it.
Stefan sat at the conference table, signing documents while Owen colored with his crayons. Elena poked her head in, having done a little work in the office since Owen was spending half the day there anyways. "How's it going?" she asked, suddenly becoming very aware of the room she was walking into.
Stefan caught on and smiled. "He's helping me sign stuff" Stefan announced. Elena nodded as she watched Owen scribble on scratch paper.
"He is so adorable in his suit" she said, admiring her son. She wanted him to find his own destiny in life, but secretly, she hoped that he ended up working alongside Stefan in the family business.
"You know, I'm surprised we never made him sooner … like on this table" Stefan stated. He looked up and saw Elena's mouth pop open, like she was shocked he'd say such a thing. "I'm sure you remember what happened the night we got snowed in here. I mean, it happened there, and there … and there" he said, pointing out all the spots they had had sex in that room.
"Stefan!" Elena exclaimed. Their son did not need to know what had happened in that room.
"I'm pretty sure we could have made six kids that night with the things we were doing" he winked.
Elena didn't even hide the fact that she was embarrassed now. But she wasn't going to get mad at him either. "Kind of funny how this all started with us being rivals from competing companies" she mentioned. She walked over to where she could reach Owen and stood him up on the table, holding his hands and giving him a kiss on his cheek. "Hi" she whispered to him.
Stefan tossed the documents he was signing aside and watched the two of them for a moment. They sure had come a long way. "If you can't beat them, join them" he added. Elena looked over at him, taking in his words. "I wasn't going to beat you" he admitted. He'd never stand a chance against her in business. "Probably the smartest thing I ever did was join you" he added, giving her a loving smile.
"From rivalry, to love" Elena said, adding to his own words of wisdom. Elena looked back down at Owen and smiled.
And love was something they definitely had.
END (For now. I may add more updates at a later time).
A/N: : ) Probably one of my favorite Stefan's that I have written so far. He will be missed!