If I see this story anywhere other than Wattpad or FFN under my accounts, I will rant, rave, and probably curse your sorry ass. I can't express how much I fucking loathe plagiarism. It is not a complement to writers when you steal their work, especially their fanfiction. It's simply stealing their work.
Thanks, mockingjayfire26, for the amazing cover.
Chapter Twenty Seven
"People have gotten so stupid."
Damon snorted in laughter as he pulled Elena closer to him in bed. She was still suffering fairly substantial culture shock from her time in the past. She wasn't remotely used to the noise of modern big cities like New York anymore, to such an extent that immediately after the actual ceremony, Damon suggested they leave New York City to find a quieter place to stay for the wedding night. They ultimately settled on a hotel in Poughkeepsie. There were still the sounds of everyday modern life around, but they weren't nearly as overwhelming as in NYC.
Hours later, they were lying in bed, Elena dressed only in his shirt. They would go hunting soon—Elena had actually scowled when he suggested using blood bags. At the moment, they were watching TV—he'd seen the way her eyes lit up when she saw the flatscreen on top of the dresser, so he hadn't raised any objections when she seized the remote. It felt so normal to be with her like this and he already couldn't stop playing with his wedding band.
"Of course you're going to feel that way when you're watching something as mindless as Teen Mom," he said, kissing her on the forehead. The next one fell on her neck. "I don't see why you need to watch this, actually," he murmured against her skin.
"I have no idea why I ever watched this crap with Caroline," Elena said in disdain and disbelief. "I'd rather knit."
"I don't know, I could think of many other things we could be doing besides watching TV." He slid his hand under the shirt to her naked hip as he continued to kiss her neck. Elena stopped mid-rant about stupid television to breathe a little moan as he touched her.
Just when he thought he'd succeeded in his goal, however, she pulled away, her eyes back on the screen. "Wait," she said, swatting his hand away from her hip. "I'm still watching this. Where's the remote? I think I can stand a louder volume now."
"Ugh," Damon sighed dramatically, flopping backwards on the bed in defeat. "Denied sex for Teen Mom. Welcome to married life."
Elena glanced over at him in amusement. "Don't be such a drama king. I haven't watched TV in months."
"If this is the way it's going to be when we're home, I'm throwing out every last TV in the boarding house." Damon decided. "We'll live like the Amish."
"There are other TVs in there besides the one in your room?" said Elena.
"We've got rooms you haven't seen," he said. "The one in the bedroom is definitely getting tossed. In fact, since you're so scared of the Camaro now, Katherine offered to get us a horse as a wedding present."
Elena burst into giggles. "Now you're just being ridiculous," she said, rolling her eyes. She looked around for a few seconds for the remote, and once she found it, she turned off the TV. "There, are you happy?"
"Yes," Damon said, pulling her down further on the bed. Elena yelped and tried not to laugh when he tickled her. But he stopped fairly quickly, settling over her and stroking the side of her face with his thumb. "You're my wife…I can't believe it."
"Believe it," Elena said, smiling softly. "I love you. We don't have to live like the Amish and throw out our TVs. It's just that I don't like being temporal disorientation girl. I've gotta get used to twenty-ten again."
Damon slid over onto his side, propping his head up on one hand and draping his other arm across her torso. "You'll have plenty of time to do that later. Tonight is the only time we have before we have to get back to the real world." He leaned down to kiss her slowly. "I promise I'll give you a real wedding and honeymoon after graduation."
"That would be amazing…" Elena said, running her left hand down his shoulder. "I'm sure everyone is going to be pissed they didn't get to see it, but all I need is you."
When he reached underneath the fabric of her shirt again, she didn't make a move to stop him.
"Can you please slow down?" Elena said. Her hand gripped the sides of the seat so tight she could feel a few of the threads giving way.
"I'm only driving fifty-five," Damon scoffed. "Which incidentally is still much slower than you can run."
"I don't care. Slow down."
Damon smirked and pressed the gas a little harder.
"Asshole!" she muttered.
Damon burst out laughing and reached for her hand left hand. He had to pry her fingers from the seat. It was a good thing he was a vampire or else Elena might have snapped his bones with her grip.
"You know, we wouldn't even have to be back in the car so soon in the first place if you would just settle for a blood bag," he said.
"Blech," Elena said, wrinkling her nose at the idea. "Unless there's no other choice, I want to drink it from the source. I feel so strong now that I've been living off the fresh stuff for over half a year, and I never want to go back to how I felt in my first few weeks as a vampire."
"You need to be careful feeding from people, though," Damon said, "especially in Mystic Falls. We don't need another vampire hunt on our hands."
"Hey, I'm careful. I've got the bloodlust totally under control. That's what happens when Katherine's your teacher and the consequence of failure is destroying the space/time continuum. Besides, the Red Cross isn't a vampire fast food chain. People donate that blood for hospital patients, so if I can get it from the vein without hurting anyone, I will."
"Trust you to make feeding from the vein altruistic," Damon said as he pulled to the side of the road. "Let's grab someone to eat."
Fifteen minutes later, Damon watched as Elena slowly fed from a redheaded twenty-something. She'd done the Katherine special, lying down in the middle of the road to attract the attention of the first car to pass. A pair of sisters in a blue Volvo had screeched to a halt in front of them minutes later.
Damon frowned slightly as he looked down at the frightened girl in front of him. In one set of memories, he remembered Katherine teaching him this strategy, but that hadn't really happened. He still had the old memories interwoven with his new ones, and sometimes he had to double back and think about it very hard. He shrugged mentally and began to feed.
"These girls taste like McDonalds," Elena said with a grimace after she let her girl go. "Blood isn't as good as it was in the eighteen-hundreds."
Damon pulled back from his girl's neck a few seconds later, chuckling. "I'm still impressed by the way you flagged their car down," Damon told her. "And no. Blood hasn't been that pure since a little before the '20s."
After a few minutes, both girls were getting back in their car, completely oblivious to what had just happened.
"I would still rather hunt than feed from a blood bag, no matter how crappy the blood might taste," said Elena a little grumpily.
Damon grinned and threw his arm around his wife as they headed back to the Camaro. "I'll take you to Oregon sometime," he said.
"What's in Oregon?" Elena asked.
"Organic food nuts. Purest blood you'll ever taste."
"Elena!" Caroline's bubbly voice squealed from what sounded like the foyer downstairs, "I didn't think I'd find you here! Why are you walking around in nothing but a shirt?"
Stefan had been trying very hard not to think about the fact that he and Katherine had spent the night together, but the second he realized Caroline was here, he was on his feet and scrambling to find his clothes. He nearly tripped over one of Katherine's stilettos in his haste to find his boxers and jeans, but his shirt was nowhere to be found. He'd have to do without it; he didn't want to imagine what could happen if Caroline realized the girl downstairs was not her best friend. He zipped out of his room and down to the hallway where Caroline was giving 'Elena' an interrogation.
"Please don't tell me you slept with Damon again," she was saying. "Last night was bad enough with you telling Stefan you're in love with Damon—" she pronounced the name as if it were poisonous, "—and I really don't want to pick up the pieces if he goes all ripper—"
At that point, she finally noticed Stefan standing in the hallway. He shot an awkward look at Katherine, silently pleading with her to go somewhere, anywhere else while he dealt with Caroline. But she merely raised an eyebrow at him and took a sip from her blood bag.
"Hi, Stefan," said Caroline. She frowned, looking him up and down. "Wait a second," she said, "Is that your shirt?" she asked, pointing at Katherine's attire.
Stefan opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again.
"Not anymore, it isn't," said Katherine. She took another sip from her blood bag. "Nice of you boys to stay stocked up on O-neg," she added to Stefan. "It's my favorite."
"Oh my God!" squealed Caroline, springing forward and catching Katherine in a hug. "I'm so glad! Did you break the sire bond? It was only a matter of time before you did! I don't see how you could choose Damon of all people! I was ready to tie you up and knock some sense into you, but I'm so happy I don't have to!"
"The sire bond had nothing to do with it," Katherine said, smirking over Caroline's shoulder at Stefan. "I just like to explore my options."
Caroline released Katherine at once and looked at her reproachfully. "What are you talking about? You can't keep switching back and forth between them!"
"Contrary to what you might think, Caroline, I've always chosen Stefan." Katherine said as she walked past her and sidled up against the Salvatore in question. Despite any confused feelings he felt toward her, Stefan still found himself wrapping his arms around her and pulled her close. "Won't you always choose me?"
If that wasn't a loaded question, Stefan didn't know what was. Instead of actually answering her, he leaned down to give her a small kiss. Caroline let out another squeal of delight and clapped her hands.
"Oh this is so perfect. Just don't go into no-man's land with Damon again, okay?" she said. "Like, ever. But here I was thinking Rebekah had ruined everything. She is such a bitch, but it seems like her plan backfired, and she made you guys get everything out in the open where it needed to be so you could clear the air and get back together."
"Something like that," said Katherine, standing up on tiptoe to kiss Stefan again. "She has to find out sooner or later. Shall I tell her, or will you?"
Caroline's happy grin faltered a little bit as she stepped back from the two of them. "What's up? Tell me what?"
"Caroline…," said Stefan, grimacing. "This isn't Elena."
Caroline must have gawped at them for a full minute. Stefan watched a wide range of emotions fly across her face, from confusion, to surprise, and then to anger.
"KATHERINE? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!?"
Katherine reached up quickly to kiss Stefan on the cheek. "Thanks for letting me stay. I had so much fun last night."
God, Stefan wished she wouldn't do that. Caroline stared from one to the other, trembling with fury.
"I need a shower," Katherine added, and with that, she left the foyer, heading off in the direction of the staircase, undoubtedly to go use the shower in Stefan's room.
"Caroline, you need to calm down," Stefan tried, holding up his hands.
"Calm down? Calm down!" Caroline shrieked. "You whine and gripe and complain to me the whole week about Elena snubbing you and how much you love her and that Damon is wrong for her and that you had all these fantasies of taking the cure with her and being normal together—"
"Caroline," Stefan said.
"No, you're going to hear me out! This is sick! This is worse than Delena happening and I can't believe you could be so stupid!"
"First of all, don't call them that," Stefan said with a roll of his eyes. "Secondly, there is a much larger story to this that you know nothing about, but I can't explain it without Damon and Elena here."
"What story!?" Caroline demanded. "What could possibly justify you doing a complete one-eighty and having sex with the tramp who murdered me?! Even as the ripper, you never stooped that low."
In an instant, Katherine was back, and Caroline was struggling fruitlessly to breathe as Katherine's perfectly manicured hand tightened around her neck. Stefan leapt to action and forced himself in between his friend and—lover? Was that the right term for Katherine now?
"Katherine, come on, she doesn't understand the circumstances."
"She should still show more respect for her elders," said Katherine, her lip curling. "I miss Pearl…I wonder if Caroline would like to have her eyeballs pressed out of her skull."
Caroline's eyes widened in alarm.
"If you care about me at all, like you say you still do, you'll let her go," said Stefan.
Katherine gave him a look, the kind of look that made him feel chastised as all hell, but she released Caroline, who staggered back, coughing and rubbing her throat.
"You're really not sorry about any of this, are you?" she said, staring at Stefan in disbelief.
"I wish she hadn't hurt you," he said, "but no, I'm not."
Caroline's lip trembled. "Well that's just great," she said. "I really love your new girlfriend, Stefan." She turned around and stormed out of the boarding house, but not before he caught a glimpse of an angry tear escaping onto her cheek.
"I really wish we didn't have to come home yet," Elena sighed.
"I can't believe I'm the more responsible one here," Damon said. "You know why we have to go back, Elena."
Elena was still holding tightly to his hand. They were almost to the boarding house. She didn't feel as afraid of the car as she had been at first, but she still would much rather have horses and a carriage.
"Yeah, I know," she said grudgingly. "Klaus is a big pain in your ass and we can't just leave him to his own devices in Mystic Falls, you're afraid of Katherine using your shower, and you're giving me a real honeymoon when all of this hunter-slash-cure business is taken care of."
"Don't be such a downer," Damon said. "I know you missed everyone."
"I know, darling," Elena said. "The reality of Mystic Falls circa twenty-ten is what I didn't miss." She frowned. "I wonder if Stefan and Katherine have worked things out?"
"If those two crazy kids have managed to work out everything—and I don't see why they wouldn't considering what I now remember—then they have my blessing."
"Not that I'm having regrets, but I'm starting to worry about how everyone else is going to react to us getting married." Elena could really use a knitting project right about now to keep her mind off all of this stuff. She settled for running her thumb over Damon's instead. "It's strange to be home, you know?"
"I think," Damon said, "that your little adventures in the past have turned you into a worry wart. You already know what'll happen when everyone finds out we're married. Blondie will burst our eardrums with her disapproval and I'll threaten to kill Bonnie if she starts to unleash her witch mojo on me, after which Jeremy might try to punch me. I might have to break his wrist. I'm sure you understand."
"Damon," Elena admonished, "I realize you're angry with Emily but Bonnie had no control over what happened. It happened before she was born!"
"I'd still like to have a few choice words with Bonnie's great, great, great, great grams, if Jeremy doesn't mind playing interpreter," he muttered as he pulled into the driveway of the boarding house. He stopped the car and turned it off.
Elena sighed in exasperation.
Damon chuckled at her as he pulled the keys from the Camaro's ignition. "Ready to face the firing squad?"
"Yes. I suppose it's now or never?" Her stomach rolled as she thought about who might be waiting inside. They hadn't called a meeting or anything, so it was luck of the draw. Damon opened the door for her and they walked inside.
"Elena!" cried a delighted voice that sounded exactly like her own. The next second, Katherine had barreled into her, crushing her in a hug. Elena beamed and returned the hug with equal enthusiasm. She could see Stefan slowly approaching from the parlor, and caught him exchanging glances with Damon, as if they were both thinking "What the hell?"
"You owe me big for making me miss your wedding," said Katherine. She was obviously trying to sound fierce, but the effect was ruined somewhat by the fact that her voice was cracking with emotion.
"I promise you'll be my maid of honor when we have the big ceremony for everyone here," Elena said. She bit her lower lip and glanced at Stefan nervously as Katherine released her. There was no condemnation on his face, he was merely staring as if he weren't sure what he wanted to say. She moved back to Damon's side, and his arm immediately went to her waist.
"You're a dick," Stefan said, his eyes now on Damon.
"Is that the best you can do?" Damon asked.
"I guess so. Since I didn't actually get to be best man."
"I did promise you that, didn't I? One of the details that slipped through the cracks, I guess. I'll make it up to you later."
"Such a dick," Stefan muttered. He turned around and left after that, going upstairs.
Elena stared after him. "He's mad at me, isn't he?"
"He's still processing everything," Katherine said. "I think he just needs time. He was the last of us to get back all of his memories, and it changed more for him than it did for any of us."
"What do you mean?" said Elena, who was fairly certain Damon was the one who'd gotten the biggest backstory edit out of the whole thing.
"He spent all those years thinking this life was something he was tricked into, but he chose it. Just like you did, Damon. It's a lot to reconcile for someone who's spent so much time hating himself for what he is."
"I didn't think of that," said Elena, looking in the direction Stefan had gone, feeling a pang of sympathy.
"Well, now that that's out of the way," said Damon, "what do you say to torturing a Bennett witch, Katherine?"
"I'm completely for it," Katherine said.
Elena pulled away from Damon and crossed her arms, glaring suspiciously from one to the other of them. "Neither one of you is allowed to harm a hair on Bonnie's head."
"Fine," said Katherine. She smirked at Damon. "Bonnie isn't the only Bennett witch. I've been meaning to track Lucy down to pay her back for that little stunt she pulled in the spring anyway."
"I don't care who it is, I just want to bite one of them."
Jeremy peeked outside warily. "I don't see Klaus or Kol," he said.
Matt flopped into one of the kitchen chairs, opening the first aid kit to re-bandage his neck.
"The Originals are such dicks," Matt said. "Do they really believe the crap they're talking about?"
Jeremy frowned at Matt as he sat his cross bow on the kitchen table. "You really need to ask that, man? Of course."
"Where the hell have Damon and Elena been, anyway?" said Matt. "I thought she'd be here, and maybe Damon could have helped us prevent the whole Klaus-forcing-you-to-kill newbie-vampires plot."
"Knowing him, he probably would've just pissed Klaus off even more," Jeremy said with a shrug as he sat down across the table from Matt. "Elena isn't answering her phone."
"You don't think she's with Damon, do you?" Matt asked. "Because what if he's like, taking advantage of the sire bond or something?"
At that very moment, the front door opened. They both stood up, but they hadn't made it two steps before the very people they'd been discussing walked into sight.
"Elena!" said Jeremy.
"Jere!" she cried, and she flung herself at him in a hug that nearly knocked him flat. "I've missed you so much!"
"What are you talking about?" he said, hugging her back and looking at Damon in confusion. "I saw you last week."
Instead of answering, she gave him one last squeeze and darted over to Matt to give him the same treatment.
"Uh, thanks," said Matt, "I missed you too."
"Would one of you mind telling us what the hell is going on?" said Jeremy impatiently.
"Well, it's kind of a long story," said Elena, "and—" But at that moment, she caught sight of the silver compass sitting on the table. She screamed and vamp-sped back over to Damon, practically jumping into his arms. "What the hell is that doing out in the open?" she demanded. "Didn't you see my note?"
"Uh, yeah, but it only said vampires beware," said Jeremy. "What is it, anyway?"
Before she could finish her sentence, the door opened again, and they heard the sounds of a very agitated Caroline and an exasperated Bonnie who seemed to be trying and failing to calm her down.
"Don't tell me to calm down, Bonnie, we're in the middle of a freaking apocalypse here!"
"You're being melodramatic," said Bonnie.
Ignoring these warning signs, Elena dashed over to hug her two best friends the second they came into view. "It's so good to see you!" she squealed. "I've missed you both so much!"
"No!" said Caroline, pushing Elena away. "You don't get to do hugs until you explain why I walked in on Stefan shacking up with Katherine this morning."
Damon let out a low whistle. "I guess that answers your earlier question, Elena," he said.
"You stay out of this," said Caroline angrily.
"Where did you take Elena?" asked Bonnie, staring at him suspiciously. "Why hasn't she been answering her phone?"
"Don't look at me, Judgy," said Damon, "the She-Hulk here smashed it against the wall when nobody would answer her calls yesterday."
Jeremy snorted and Elena rolled her eyes.
"Enough already!" said Caroline. "Stefan said you two could tell us what's going on, and—"
"Elena," Bonnie interrupted suddenly, staring at the ring on Elena's finger. "What's that?"
Caroline followed Bonnie's gaze, and her eyes grew, if possible, even wider. "Elena Gilbert, why is there a ginormous rock on your ring finger?"
"That's Elena Salvatore to you," said Damon with a wicked grin.
Elena winced, though she couldn't stop from grinning a bit herself. Caroline looked like she was about to have a stroke. So did Bonnie. Matt's jaw was hanging wide open.
Jeremy was the first one to recover. He was advancing on Damon with an extremely menacing expression on his face. "I guess next you're going to try to tell us that the fact that my still in high school eighteen-year-old sister running off to marry you had nothing to do with the sire bond, huh?" he spat.
"Hey Elena, would you mind smacking my new brother-in-law up the back of the head for me?"
"Dude, what the hell?" said Matt.
"I thought we'd already established that violent commands are not the best way to prove the sire bond is broken!" said Elena, crossing her arms and scowling at him.
"Wait, the sire bond is broken?" said Caroline. "How is it broken? How are you still with him if it's broken?"
"Oh, for the love of God," said Elena rolling her eyes. She was so beyond done with people maligning and dismissing her relationship with Damon. "All four of you, in the living room right now," she ordered in a very loud voice, pointing to the couch. "I only want to have to explain all of this once."
Meekly, and with startled expressions, Caroline, Bonnie, Matt, and Jeremy all filed into the living room and sat down.
"Rawr," said Damon, waggling his eyebrows. "I married one badass southern belle."
Elena shot him a look, and he held his hands up in surrender.
Half an hour later, all four members of Elena's audience were still sitting in their same spots, each with an expression of utter shock on his or her face. Elena, on the other hand, was snuggled very comfortably against Damon in the loveseat across from them, waiting for them to finish processing everything.
"So," said Bonnie. "I guess I should work on dispelling that compass before anything else happens."
"Good plan," said Damon.
"Does this mean Katherine is part of the family now?" said Jeremy with a grimace.
"She is for me," said Elena. "But you don't have to like her if she doesn't do anything to earn it for you."
"Did you say a Mrs. Donovan owned the dress shop you bought all your Civil War era clothes in?" said Matt.
"Yep," said Elena, grinning. "She was really nice, too, but very determined to make me wear my corset as tight as everyone else did."
"That's so crazy," said Matt, staring unseeingly at the floor.
"You know you're going to have to give me more details than that about Emily and her family, right?" said Bonnie from over by the table, where she was now examining the compass.
"No problem," said Elena, but her eyes were on Caroline, who hadn't said a word the entire time. "You okay in there, Care?" she asked nervously.
"Yeah, I just…," she began vaguely, but suddenly her expression turned fierce and she jumped to her feet. "Did you seriously just get married and not invite me? Even though you, Bonnie, and I swore to make each other our maids of honor way back when we were seven years old?!"
"Actually I think Katherine has dibs on that," said Damon, grinning. "Technically, Elena did promise her first."
Elena tried to elbow him in the ribs to shut him up, but he dodged it and pulled her hand up to kiss the back of it instead, trailing his thumb over her ring, and she melted at the sight of the happiness radiating from him. They could figure out the formal wedding later.
The thousand-year-old turned around lazily. After a day fighting Kol about his idiotic paranoia, he was quite ready for a distraction, even if it did happen to take the form of an annoying doppelgänger.
"To what do I owe this pleasure, Miss Gilbert? Come to strike a deal with me to get my little brother off your little brother's back, have you?"
"I don't need to make a deal with you to deal with Kol," she said. Her tone was bored and haughty, very unlike Elena Gilbert.
His eyes narrowed briefly before his lips stretched in a wicked smirk. "Ah, Katerina," he said. "I should have realized. But then again, it's such a suicidally idiotic move for you to actually seek me out that you can't blame me for guessing wrong. Ready to surrender at last, then?"
She moved closer, not looking remotely afraid. "That's strike two, Niklaus," she drawled.
He glared suspiciously at her. "Oh really?" he said. "Then who are you, and what are you doing here?"
"Come now, I know it's been a while, but you can't have forgotten," she said.
Klaus's eyes went wide. "That's not possible," he said. "Mother killed you. I saw it happen."
She smirked. "Appearances can be deceiving," she said. "You'd be amazed how many of your enemies can slip through the cracks."
She sped towards him, and the next moment, he was yelling in agony as she drove an ornately carved white oak stake into his stomach.
Taaroko: Dun dun dun! *innocent smile* So, rant-y Caroline is pretty much the funniest thing ever. And S5 starts in less than a week, you guys! I can't wait! Also, I have now survived a whole month of teaching two intro English composition courses, and it's actually kind of fun. I also survived all of my presentations in my grad classes. Fellow grad students are much more intimidating to speak in front of than a bunch of timid freshmen, but my professors really liked my stuff, so hooray! And now we're doing film analysis in the comp courses, which makes me so very happy. I'm using Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog as a teaching tool for that. Pretty much have never had more fun at work in my life.
AnglcDmn1986: So, here's my plan.
Taaroko has stepped back to just beta the sequel. I'll be writing it on my own this November for National Novel Writing Month (the month-long challenge where you are supposed to write fifty thousand words in a month). I haven't decided if I'll post it while I'm doing it because I, personally, am not allowed to edit anything until December and my writing gets a little nightmarish when I'm writing on coffee fumes trying to meet that word count goal for the night.
If you follow me on twitter, anglcdmn1986, I'll probably post periodically about it... there, you'll also learn about how Winnie (one of my bunnies) just got neutered at the local humane society and how my stomach twisted and turned over that, my annoyance at being mistaken for being married to my brother by one of my neighbors (I straightened that out RIGHT quick), and the occasional fussing about my muse.
Petrova Blood is the working title for the sequel…unless I decide I hate it. We threw out a dozen titles and I shot down nearly all of them but that one.
Taaroko has a twitter account too! Same name, go follow her :P I nagged and nagged and nagged 'til she got one.
By the way, in November I'm putting off all other stories so I can finish the sequel. I'd drive myself mad if I tried working on everything at once and I'd never meet my word count goal.
Oh, and thank you for all the support you gave us while we were writing All This Time, and especially in the plagiarism debacle on Wattpad. That situation has been taking care of and the girl's account was removed. ATT is up there now under my account if you want to go show us some love over there.
If you have questions, or ideas about what is going to happen in the sequel, feel free to bug me in a PM or on Twitter (and in the rare instance you're on my FB, I will poke you mercilessly). I love talking to you guys. :)