Author's note: This story is part of the TVDMixing Author2Author Christmas exchange. I'm going to define this as "somewhat" canon – no sire bonds here, and Damon and Elena didn't immediately end up together post-Stelena breakup
Prompt: Our 6 main characters (Elena, Damon, Stefan, Caroline, Bonnie, and Jeremy) are sitting in the Boarding House on Xmas Eve but none of them feel like celebrating. Bonnie then takes out a snowglobe that she has used magic on: whoever shakes the snowglobe will be transported into their version of the perfect Christmas (i.e. what they truly wish for). So all the 6 characters shake the snowglobe and fall into a trance/dream. The other 4 characters all have their own dreams (not necessary to go into detail) but Damon and Elena realize that they are within the same dream...because they are each other's true wish ;) What happens within the dream is up to you!
-tamilnadu09 on FF and twitter
Warnings: Teen - mild language
Hope you enjoy it!
Elena reluctantly opened the passenger door to the car and put her foot hesitantly on the ground. Even without her vampire-enhanced senses, she'd be able to feel the embarrassment radiating from Bonnie. "Really? This is the Christmas Eve surprise?"
"Well, you're surprised, aren't you?" Bonnie slammed the driver's side door with her hip and waved to the driver of the car pulling up behind them.
"And Jeremy's here too?" Elena rolled her eyes in annoyance. "Bonnie, there's a reason I moved in with you."
Bonnie stuffed her hands in the pockets of her pea coat and shrugged her shoulders. "He's doing really well right now." She grinned widely as Jeremy hefted a container of party supplies in one arm without even breathing hard. "And he misses you." Her eyes looked sad as they stared back at Elena. "This has been as hard for him as it has been for you."
"All because of Stefan's brilliant idea." Elena spoke the name of her former boyfriend as if it were a curse word – made even more troubling since they were currently standing on the sidewalk of the house he shared with his older brother.
"Stefan was trying to help you too." Bonnie spoke in a whisper so soft that only a vampire could hear her words.
Elena stiffened and considered getting back in the car. Everyone kept trying to help her, and that was part of the problem. They were all insistent on getting the old Elena back. Well, that Elena was gone. The only way she could handle this new life was learning to adjust – not by turning her brother into some type of extreme vampire exterminator, and there currently seemed to just be one member of her current "extended" family who understood that….well, two, if she counted Matt.
"Is everyone going to just stand out there?" At first, Caroline seemed to be framed in a halo, but then Elena realized she was simply seeing the light from the overwhelming number of Christmas lights blazing in the Salvatore foyer. The last time she'd seen that much garland, she'd been at Walt Disney World for Christmas with her parents back when she was ten.
Caroline had gone to extreme decorating measures.
That was a bad sign.
Elena held a hand in front of her chest. "Maybe I'll just go back home."
"No." Bonnie seized hold of her arm. "You won't." She gave Elena a glare that hinted that the next step was a witchy headache. "Let's go."
Elena allowed herself to be half-dragged up the familiar sidewalk. She hadn't been to this house for two very uncomfortable weeks. Even though Stefan was the one who started the discussion on her front porch, she kept catching glimpses of him looking expectantly at her, as if he were expecting her to tell him they'd made a mistaken. There was just one problem with Stefan's theory.
And the fact that she knew she hadn't made a mistake.
"Thought you could use this." Damon pressed a mug of a creamy yellow beverage into her hand. At least she thought it was Damon. The voice sounded like him.
She wasn't entirely sure, though, since her eyes were still adjusting to the torture by Christmas lights. Only one person could have produced the Martha Stewart-on-steriods assault on the boardinghouse living room and foyer.
"How do you like it?" Caroline clasped her hands in front of her chest. Caroline had definitely moved past overcompensating and straight onto outright denial mode.
No question about it. Elena definitely did not need to be here right now.
"Elena?" Caroline wasn't going to let her get by without an answer.
"It's…bright." Any brighter and Caroline would have needed to provide sunscreen for all the guests in attendance. Elena wasn't certain if a vampire without a daylight ring would have survived the thousand watts of blazing white Christmas bulbs.
Caroline's smile matched the brightness of the angel choir on the boardinghouse mantel. Elena didn't even know they made light-up papier-mache angels. "I know…that this isn't an easy Christmas for…any of us." She looked over Elena's shoulder at a new arrival at the house. "I was hoping for a Christmas full of cheer."
Across the room, Tyler raised a mug in Damon's direction. "I'm pretty sure Damon's already got the cheer part under control."
Damon smirked and laughed in response. He nodded to Elena's mug. "Drink up. It'll make tonight easier."
Elena took a reluctant sip. And then came away sputtering. "Is this egg nog?"
Damon chuckled low in his chest. "Old family recipe."
"Did your family make its money by bootlegging whisky?" Elena gulped for air as the burn of the alcohol stung her throat. Beer she could handle. Whisky was proving to be an acquired taste – especially now that her taste buds were enhanced.
"Not exactly." Stefan's frosty response was enough to throw a chill into the air despite the lights and roaring fire in the hearth.
Elena took a step back in surprise. So much for trying to keep the mood light. She glanced in Caroline's direction in defeat. She'd known that coming tonight wasn't a good idea, but her friends had insisted that she be in attendance. Judging by Caroline's expression, her blonde friend had planned for Elena and Stefan to reunite beneath the mistletoe that seemed to hang from every doorway. "None of that." Caroline elbowed Stefan in the ribs and pushed him in the direction of the fireplace. "Now, Bonnie has something special for us." She beckoned to Elena and mouthed work with me.
Elena forced a grin as she noticed the hollow expression in Jeremy's eyes. She owed it to her brother. He deserved a Christmas, and her friends were working to try to help make sure they all had one – even if they were short on people to share it with. It wouldn't kill her to play along for one night. "Okay. But I'm not playing that Rudolph game this year. It took a week to get rid of the red on my nose last year."
Bonnie winced. "I didn't know the markers were permanent." She walked toward the Christmas tree and reached for one of the small, identically wrapped presents. "Trust me, this will be much more fun." She handed the first package to Jeremy and held up a hand in caution. "Don't open it yet. And don't shake it."
Gradually the rest of the group made their way into the living room. Stefan took a seat in the wing chair on the far side of the fireplace. Matt claimed the chair opposite Stefan's. Tyler, Jeremy, and Caroline sat on the couch, leaving Damon and Elena standing awkwardly at the back of the room.
"Come on. There's room." Caroline scooted farther over on the end of the couch as Stefan looked expectantly in Elena's direction from his seat. Just a month ago, she would have happily perched on the arm of the chair – or his lap for that matter. So much had changed in such a short time.
Elena shook her head. "Really, I'm fine." She hesitantly took the package that Bonnie offered. It was light. Whatever was inside the box couldn't weigh much more than a tennis ball, and it was tiny. She fought the urge to shake the package. She'd never been good at waiting till Christmas morning to examine her packages beneath the tree. When she was five, she'd been so insistent at searching the packages, her mother had hidden them somewhere in the house and told her they'd all turn to underwear if Elena found them again.
Jeremy tilted his package to the side, the reflective metallic wrapping paper reflecting the flames from the fire. "So, what is this?"
"This is my present, for all of you." Bonnie knelt in front of the fireplace.
"A box. Very creative." Tyler grinned.
Bonnie rolled her eyes. "It's not just a box. Open it, but don't shake it." Bonnie waited expectantly as the partygoers each went about unwrapping the gifts.
Elena had hers open in a flash while Damon carefully removed the paper without even the slightest tear. "Do you save the wrapping paper?"
"No." Damon smirked in reply. "Stefan's the packrat of the family." Damon still pressed the paper flat and placed it on the corner of the end table next to the couch.
"It's….pretty." Matt held the miniature snow globe tentatively between his fingertips. A tiny Christmas tree stood tall as the lights danced cheerily.
Bonnie laughed and stood, addressing the group. "It's not just a snow globe. It's your present." She lurched forward and stilled Caroline's hand as she began to shake it. "It's enchanted. Grams taught me the spell before…" Bonnie bit her lip and shrugged her shoulders. "It's just for fun. You shake it, and then it gives you a dream for ten minutes."
Tyler looked around the room in mock embarrassment. "What kind of dream?"
Bonnie rolled her eyes. "It depends on the spell, but for this one, you'll have a vision of your perfect Christmas."
"And who decides that?" Jeremy stared into his snow globe.
"You do – or your subconscious does." Bonnie unwrapped her own box. "It'll only work once a year, so make it count."
"Wait." Matt leaned forward and looked around at the group. "Are we all doing this?"
Caroline gave a wide smile. "We thought that would be easier than having one person sitting around while everyone else stared at them." She held her gift proudly in front of her. "Come on, this'll be fun."
"And no one else can see it?" From the expression on Tyler's face, Elena wasn't sure if she wanted to be privy to whatever Tyler envisioned as the perfect Christmas. She had a strong suspicion it involved Caroline and very little clothing.
Bonnie answered simply. "No. The dream just belongs to you."
"No more questions." Caroline spoke firmly. "Dinner will be ready soon, and I don't want it to burn." For the first time, Elena caught a whiff of something Italian cooking – Stefan must have been helping her in the kitchen. "So let's do this."
"On the count of three." Bonnie encouraged as she sat back down and crossed her legs.
"One." Stefan started the count.
"Two." Damon followed suit.
"Three." Elena finished reluctantly. Without checking to see if everyone else was actually participating, Elena gave a quick flick of her wrist.
And the room around her disappeared.
She landed with a crunch in ankle-deep snow. She knew exactly where she was. She pulled her heavy coat tightly around her as she stared up at the cabin nestled in the pine trees at the top of the mountain. Even in the dark night, she could see the smoke pouring from the chimney, and a white-lit Christmas tree peeked through the curtains. In the distance, she could hear excited cheers from the ski slopes, but she didn't want to ski right now.
This was her family's house. Despite her father's busy schedule, he always made time to bring them here every year for Christmas. They never missed a year. Jenna even asked if she and Jeremy wanted to go back to visit last year, but it wouldn't have been the same.
But she was here now. She ran up the recently-shoveled sidewalk and threw open the door, expecting to see her mother humming to herself in the kitchen. She didn't like to cook, but she practically lived in the kitchen during holiday baking season.
The instant she opened the door, she could tell that something was different.
Instead of the music blaring from Jeremy's room upstairs, the voice of Frank Sinatra crooning The Christmas Waltz filled the air. The decorations on the Christmas tree were different too. Rather than the hodge-podge of ornaments collected over the years, the tree was trimmed with golden ribbon and accented with red glass ornaments that reflected the white lights.
Someone was moving around in the kitchen. The smell of chocolate threatened to overwhelm her. Apparently your mouth could even water in a dream.
"I thought you were going to stay out there all night." Damon rounded the corner of the kitchen holding a tray in front of him. Two mugs sat perched on either side of a plate overflowing with chocolate-crinkle cookies, her favorite. He walked through the living room and placed the tray on the low table in front of the fireplace. "Did you see Santa and the reindeer while you were out there?" He draped one arm casually over the back of the couch as he beckoned for her to join him.
"No." She grinned, shrugging out of her coat. She'd no sooner taken a seat on the couch than he pulled her against his side.
"You're freezing. You shouldn't have stayed out there so long." He ran one arm slowly over hers. "I know exactly how to warm you up." His voice was low and dangerous….and insanely sexy. Elena was trying to come up with a flirty reply when he leaned forward and picked up a mug almost overflowing with whipped cream. "It's just how you like it."
Elena took a sip. It was so thick and rich, the hot chocolate should have been considered illegal. This couldn't have been from a mix.
"So?" Damon looked expectantly at her, fishing for a compliment.
"It's….perfect." She took another long drink, not missing the fact that his eyes never left hers. He wrapped his arm back around her shoulder and the music played on while they sat quietly in front of the fireplace. She rested her mug on her knee, and Damon's lips turned up in a grin. "What?"
"You have a whipped cream moustache."
"Oh." Embarrassed, she reached for one of the cloth napkins he'd placed on the tray.
"No." He caught hold of her wrist and took the mug from her hand. "I know a better way to take care of it." His voice had taken on a husky edge, and his eyes stared hungrily back at her. He leaned forward and assailed her lips with his.
Damon's fingers threaded through her hair and pulled her possessively close to him. His free hand trailed up her thigh with the familiarity of someone who knew her body very well.
She moaned into his kiss as her heartbeat quickened in her chest.
And then it was over.
She lost her grip on her snow globe as she plunged unexpectedly back into the Salvatore living room. Damon caught hold of it just before it shattered on the hardwood floor.
"You okay?" Damon's blue eyes fixed on hers as he returned the snow globe to her.
Elena nodded, as she fought back tears. "Fine. I'm fine." All around her, the partygoers woke from their enchanted dreams.
"That was amazing." Caroline was the first to speak. Her eyes flashed with excitement as she looked gratefully at Bonnie. "So. Much. Fun."
"What did you dream about?"
"Do you remember when the cheerleaders went to Disney World for Christmas?" Caroline looked between Bonnie and Elena. When Bonnie nodded, Caroline continued. "We were there, but instead of being crammed into a room with six other girls, we were staying in one of the suites at the Grand Floridian." She inhaled deeply. "I can still smell the gingerbread."
"What about you?" Matt grinned at Jeremy.
Elena didn't hear anything else. She couldn't. Every fiber of her being was screaming from the loss of Damon's touch. It had been so real…so intimate….and it was everything she'd ever wanted, even if she'd never realized it.
"Elena?" Bonnie giggled from her seat atop Jeremy's lap. Elena had been lost in her thoughts. "You still with us?"
"I'm sorry." Elena took a step back away from the group. She didn't belong here – not right now, not anymore. She hadn't even tasted the lasagna, and she couldn't bring herself to have a piece of the peppermint fudge. "I shouldn't be here." She placed her still-full coffee cup down on the end table. "I think I'll just go home." She paused, "But I can't."
"Elena, stay." Bonnie appeared torn.
"I'll drive her home." Damon spoke up as he peeled a key off his key ring. He tossed it through the air at Jeremy. "Why don't you spend the night at Ric's?"
"You've been awfully quiet since Bonnie's little present." Damon turned the steering wheel of his car and pulled to a stop in front of Elena's house.
The hint of snow in the air had turned into a deluge on the drive home. During the five minute drive, all the grass had become blanketed beneath at least an inch of snow.
And that only made things worse for Elena. "I just didn't expect it to feel so real."
"I'm sorry it wasn't." Damon's words made her snap her head around to look at him. He gave a crooked grin. "I'm sure your house was bustling with green-eyed kids." Elena blinked in surprise. "I know you never wanted this life, Elena."
Elena shook her head, fighting back tears. "That's not what I dreamed about." She stepped out of the car, and the scene began to replay in her mind, dividing her attention at a critical moment. She missed the snow-covered curb lost her footing, plunging into a deep pothole they'd been asking the city to fix for months. Damon caught hold of her arm, but not before her jeans were soaked through by the icy sludge. "Lovely."
"You know, for a vampire, you're still kind of clumsy." Damon was trying to lighten the mood, but Elena just couldn't play along.
She hurried to the front door and unlocked it. She walked into the lonely, darkened foyer. The house seemed even more sad than normal. Jeremy hadn't even bothered putting up a tree. "I really need to take a shower." She was leaving a muddy, wet trail behind her as she walked.
"Go on." Damon pointed at the stairs. "I'll clean up."
For an instant, she thought about telling him to go. She wanted tonight to be over. She needed to get away from Damon. Her mind kept replaying those last moments – the feel of his hand against her cheek, the taste of his lips against hers – and it was driving her crazy to know it was a dream…it would never be real. She'd hurt him too many times over the years, not the least of which was that night she hurt him most of all – choosing Stefan because it was the right thing to do. It was what everyone expected her to do. And it was the biggest mistake she'd ever made.
She hadn't dreamed about a house surrounded by a white picket fence.
A handful of kids.
Or even being human again.
In her dream, she'd been with Damon.
Elena stepped out of the shower as she finally exhausted the house's hot water supply. Her fingers and toes were far beyond pruned and were well on the way to water logged. She didn't care. If she'd had her way, she would have stayed beneath the hot spray until morning and Christmas Eve was just an unpleasant memory. She reached for her towel and dried her skin before wrapping it around her hair.
Glass rang against metal downstairs. She listened harder and realized someone was in the kitchen. Damon. Of course he wouldn't have left. He was more faithful than a golden retriever – no matter how badly she treated him, he always came back.
And that's when the tears started to fall. If Bonnie's snow globe revealed their deepest Christmas wishes, hers had no chance of coming true…and her own actions were to blame.
"Elena?" Damon's concerned voice carried up the stairs. Damn vampire hearing. A girl couldn't even have a good self-pity cry when he was around. "You okay?"
"Yeah." She sniffed and wiped her blotchy face. "Just give me a second." She sped into her bedroom and opened the top dresser drawer. Instead of pulling out her normal sleep shorts, she decided on her traditional Christmas-eve pajamas. She was sure Damon wouldn't care if she came downstairs dressed for comfort – he'd seen her in much worse.
She slid the red flannel pants on her legs, smiling faintly at the Scotty dogs with holly collars. Her mother gave these to her during her freshman year of high school. She'd worn them every Christmas Eve since. Elena tugged the bright green coordinating camisole over her head as she heard Damon continue to move around beneath her.
Elena had to admit that she was wondering what he was doing downstairs. But this was Damon. Jeremy had never been a great housekeeper. Damon was probably waxing the hardwood floor by now.
She stepped out of her bedroom and realized something had changed downstairs. A soft, golden glow shone up the stairwell. And she could smell chocolate.
Damon's back was to her as he stood over her father's sound system. Neither she nor Jeremy had touched it since their parent's death, but soon the first chords of The Christmas Waltz filled the air.
"You had to have a tree, but it's not my best work." Damon gave a crooked smile and nodded to the tree. White lights. Red balls. A blend of ribbon wrapped around the tree. "You were in the shower for a long time."
Elena nodded. That was the idea. Stay in the shower until the dream left and reality was back in place. But…
A fire danced in the fireplace. A tray with two mugs of hot chocolate and a plate of chocolate crinkle cookies sat in the middle of the coffee table.
"Your hot chocolate's going to get cold." Damon looked back at her from his seat on the couch. He patted the cushion next to him.
Was she awake now? Had she somehow gotten so caught up in the fantasy the snow globe provided that she was stuck?
"Elena?" Damon's face took on a shadow of concern.
She rounded the couch and took a seat next to Damon. His eyes searched her face as he waited for her to speak. But she couldn't. The music. The tree. The hot chocolate overflowing with whipped cream. "How did you know?" She finally choked out the question.
"I didn't." He shook his head. "At least not until now. But while you were upstairs, I saw that picture." It was her family's cabin – the one she'd visited less than an hour before courtesy of the snow globe. "I'd never been there before, so there's only one way I could have dreamed about it."
He'd been there.
That was the only way he could have known. He'd shared her dream with her. And that had to mean….
She forgot how to breathe.
His eyes were so intense right now – even more than normal with the shadows from the fireplace playing across his face. "It felt so real." The tears that had threatened her all night finally took control.
"And that's why you were sad?" His lips turned up in a barely visible smile.
"I wanted it to be real."
Damon reached over and picked up a mug from the tray. "It can be. But first." He glanced down at the mug, handing it to her.
She took a sip and felt a whipped cream moustache clinging to her upper lip. His took the hot chocolate out of her hand as his lips crashed against hers.
It was the same as her dream – almost.
In her dream, they'd been together for a while. She could feel it in his experienced touch. He knew just how to touch her, and his lips were familiar.
Tonight was different. As he kissed her with a hunger she'd never experienced, it was filled with surprise and wonder too. His hand slid over her thigh and reached up higher, skimming over the hint of skin between her camisole and the waistband of her pants.
He pulled her against him as his other hand tangled in her hair. The fire blazed in the hearth as the hot chocolate grew cold and Elena's Christmas dream came to life.
Merry Christmas! I hope you've all enjoyed my version of Elena's Christmas wish.
I hope all of you have a lovely holiday season! Thanks for reading! Reviews are like presents for an author. :-)