Warnings: MMF threesome.

This story is for a prompt from morgenhh, for the tvdmixing community on livejournal.

Original prompt was:

It is Christmas and basically what happens is that Damon, Elena and Alaric are in a good mood (possibly because of too much eggnog) and they have lots of fun. Keeping this as open as possible because your imagination is definitely more exciting than anything I'd come up with now. This can be canon or not the only thing I want is for it all to have a happy ending. Other than that, let your musie run wild.


The day after she and Damon got back into Mystic Falls for the tragically short winter break she got from college, Elena went to visit Alaric.

She knocked on the door of the loft, and after a long moment, heavy footsteps tripping over the floorboards, Alaric opened the door. Tousled and sleepy, rubbing a hand over the back of his eyes, and still wearing yesterday's jeans. He smelled like bourbon and sour sweat, but nodded, pulling the door open to let Elena through, pulling her close for a hug. He kissed her hair, tucked her head beneath his chin.

"No offense, Ric," she said, "but you look like shit."

Alaric chuckled. "Late night," he said. "Reading Kerouac, got a little too into it." On the coffee table was a bottle of bourbon with maybe an inch of amber liquid in the bottom.

"You okay, Ric?" Elena said, pushing him out of the kitchen to make them both coffee.

Alaric shrugged. "This time of the year, man," he said. "I thought by now Christmas would mean kids and Santa, and… it's just another day." He looked up, and Elena feared that her eyes might hold pity.

She didn't pity Alaric. She just hated that he got so sad. Wanted something better for him. She leaned her elbows on the counter, and leaned forward, took Alaric's hand in hers. "Why are you still alone, Ric?" she asked, because she never understood. Alaric had lost Isobel, lost Jenna, and the thing with Meredith had never really gotten off the ground… but Alaric was handsome, smart, strong. He shouldn't have been alone so long.

Alaric only chuckled again, withdrawing his hand from Elena's (too quickly, she thought) and crossing to the cupboard to select mugs.

"What are you doing for Christmas?"

"Jeremy says your place for lunch, so I guess your place for lunch," Alaric said, with a rueful smile.

They sat at the tiny dining table and caught up properly, all the things Elena didn't say in their phone calls because when they spoke on the phone, Elena desperately needed to understand the themes in The virgin and the gypsy or the Third Reich or Spinoza's Ethics, or just to scream because everyone smelled so good and she couldn't talk to Damon, some days, about how hard being a vampire was; he was used to it. Alaric's voice calmed her over the phone, made sense of her garbled ideas. Soothed her.

But with time enough now just to chat idly, Elena spoke of the hairy wart on the chin of her (second favorite) history teacher, and how living with Damon was great because Damon always cleaned up and made sure everything ran smoothly but couldn't he leave a dirty glass for a couple of hours? Did he always have to rinse it and put it in the dishwasher right away? And Alaric smiled, but it was a sad smile, and Elena realized that in a way, Alaric had lost Damon, too, when he followed Elena to college.

"Where is he?" Alaric asked.

"Brother stuff. He says the Grill, later, if you're up to it."

At the door, Alaric paused. "I don't think everyone gets another chance, Elena," he said. "I had Isobel, and I had Jenna, for a little while, and… I think I'm done," he said. "I'm not telling you this because I want sympathy, or anything… I'm telling you because you keep making this worried face, and you don't need to. I'm on my own… but I'm okay. I have friends, books, monsters to kill."

He put a hand on Elena's shoulder.

"Tell Damon I'll see him at the Grill."

He ushered Elena out with a fond smile, and closed the door behind her.

...

Later that night, Elena lay softly panting, stretched out on the bed, with Damon alongside. Both lazy and sated and pleased with themselves, enjoying the languid feeling of muscles stretched past exertion in the pursuit of pleasure.

"I've said it before," Damon said, "but you know, you make a great vampire."

Elena grinned, and punched his arm, a little harder than she intended to. "Shut up," she said, and Damon rolled over, propping himself on one elbow, running his hand over Elena's stomach, sifting gently through her pubic hair.

"Beautiful," he said, and Elena giggled, stopping only when Damon lowered his lips to her throat, maddening soft kisses that lit her right up again. Everyone should have this, she thought, and the thought brought Alaric's face to mind.

"How did Alaric seem?" she asked, and Damon stopped kissing her. Probably could have chosen a more opportune time, she thought, but it was too late. Damon frowned.

"Um. Alaric-y," he said. "Might even say Alaric-esque. A bit grumpy, but glad to see me, in a gruff sort of way. Vintage Saltzman. Why?"

"Does he seem sad to you?"

Damon groaned, and lay back. "Elena…"

"Well? Does he?"

Damon sighed. "Yes."

Elena shifted into Damon's arms, and he pulled her close. Elena loved Damon's body, strong and hard and honed. "I think we should spend Christmas eve with him," she said, and hoped she sounded insistent.

"Your wish is my command," Damon said, and Elena heard the smile in his voice.

...

And so it was that on the twenty-fourth, at about eight o'clock, Damon and Elena arrived at the loft with a not-so-traditional Christmas feast of pizza, eggnog, and bourbon.

Alaric smiled incredulously. "Guys, you don't have to…"

"I never do anything I don't have to do," Damon said, pushing past and dropping the pizza boxes on the counter. Elena gave Alaric a quick hug, and followed Damon, collecting plates and glasses and hot sauce.

"Eggnog?" she asked.

"What else would I drink with pizza," Alaric said with a grin. "Are you guys sure you don't have anything you'd rather be doing…?"

"Shut up and drink your eggnog," Damon said.

So Alaric didn't shut up, not exactly that; he threw his head back and laughed, and put his arm around Elena's shoulder, and declared himself pleased as anything to have them there. Elena hugged back, startled at the strength in Alaric's arms, noticing for the first time in a long time how tall he was, how broad. How good he smelled. Not just his blood – not even just his aftershave, something like sandalwood, old paper. She smiled up at him, and he smiled back, with a wicked twinkle in his eye.

And it was good, then. Catching up and laughing, Damon telling stories about robbing blood-banks and then volunteering to recruit for the blood drives – "hey, I'm very persuasive."

"You make a compelling argument," Alaric snickered back.

"Very compelling." Damon grinned, and poured more eggnog, and Elena determinedly decorated the tiny tree she had dragged up the stairs once she was sure Alaric wasn't going to throw them out.

"Don't know why you're bothering," Alaric said, but not unkindly. "No one is gonna see it."

"You'll see it, Ric," Elena said, plugging in the lights and choosing between an angel and a star for the top of the tree. "You're allowed to want nice things for you." She ignored the incredulous look Damon and Alaric shared. Boys. They didn't get anything.

No, they got some things. Alaric, with a slight blush, retrieved gifts from his closet. A pretty silver bracelet for Elena, and a bottle of impressive-looking booze for Damon, who regarded it gleefully and opened it right away, with his teeth, pouring a glass for Alaric first. "You selling your body for extra cash?" he said, and Elena supposed it had to be an expensive bottle.

"Who'd buy a tired old man like me?" Alaric chuckled. "I knew you'd share."

And on into the late hours.

Alaric was on the couch, Damon on a nearby armchair, all lazy grace, and Elena was playing with the stray cat that had begun to treat the loft as home. The world was pleasantly muted, the liquor warming them all up, slowing them all down, and Alaric had a smile an acre wide. Despite his protestations, he'd enjoyed himself, and looked happy, relaxed, in a way that made Elena feel a little better.

A little better.

As Elena sat cross-legged, flicking a wad of paper the delighted cat batted back to her over and over again, Damon poured a couple of extremely generous glasses of his Christmas bourbon. He passed one to Alaric, who nodded his thanks, and sipped at it.

Elena looked up, and Damon was smiling at her. An odd smile. There was something in it, and Elena wasn't sure what. Still she returned it readily enough, just in time to catch Damon sweep his eyes over Alaric, with an expression Elena knew well.

Oh, my.

Damon missed Alaric. That much, Elena knew, and as neither of them were prone to long gossipy chats on the phone (again, boys, ugh), they were missing each other from a very great distance, and with nothing to cushion the blow.

But that look. Hungry. Not for blood.

Damon looked back at Elena. Cocked a brow. Elena's heart sped up, just a little. So, she was supposed to see that look. Interesting. She lifted her glass to her lips, draining it while Damon watched. He looked at Alaric, nice and slow, sweeping eyelashes and smiling, almost predatorily, at Elena. Alaric warmed the bourbon in his hand, oblivious.

Elena nodded, and Damon smiled wider, wicked. He cocked his chin; looked sort of impressed with Elena, truth be told, but then he often was. Elena smiled a little wider, and glanced at Alaric.

Alaric looked up. A little spooked. He sat up a little straighter, or tried to, but Damon executed a deft move which ended with him pinning Alaric to the couch, framing Alaric's hips with his thighs. Alaric looked a little panicked; he tried again to sit up straighter, but he was trapped.

"Damon," he said. "What are you…"

Damon ran a hand over Alaric's chest. "I've missed you," he said. "I never tell you that."

"Damon…" Alaric's voice sounded a warning, as he slung a hand over the back of the couch; better leverage, Elena thought, though he had no chance of escaping Damon's clutches, if Damon didn't want him to. And, to be fair, Alaric didn't look particularly put out, though he shot a panicked, apologetic glance at Elena, who only smiled at him.

Her heart beat so hard, so hard.

"What are you doing, Damon…"

Damon pulled back an inch. Less than an inch. Slipped his tongue out to swipe over Alaric's lip.

"You've forgotten?" Damon purred. He leaned, pressing his lips against Alaric's throat, landing a trail of kisses which ended at his lips. He was cautious, slow, just lightly taking Alaric's bottom lip into his mouth. Alaric rolled his hips at that, just a little, and uttered a soft moan, before making a half-hearted attempt to pull away, and looked, almost pleading, at Elena. She smiled. She thought she smiled. It must have looked like more than just a smile, though, because Alaric let his eyes close, put a hand on Damon's chin, angling their faces just right, and kissed Damon.

Elena thought absently I owe Caroline twenty bucks. This wasn't a first. This was settling into a familiar rhythm. And Jeremy owes me fifty.

An absurd warmth began to build between Elena's thighs, as her eyes drank up the sight.

It was an extraordinary thing to see. They were familiar with each other's bodies, very familiar. Damon pressed his lips to a spot below and behind Alaric's ear like he knew, knew that it would make Alaric make that sound. They kissed, only kissed, but Elena could feel the urgency building, could see the way Alaric's hand hesitated over Damon's hip, wanting to push Damon's shirt aside, run that hand over Damon's stomach.

Which was when Elena realized she wanted to kiss Alaric too.

More than kiss him. She wanted Alaric inside her. Wanted him to make love to her, with Damon over his back. Wanted to drink from him, too, wanted that so badly her gums ached, but she swallowed hard against the thought, and just watched.

A moment later, Alaric begun trying to sit up, looking like his mind and his body were at war with each other. As he began to push Damon away, Elena's heart flipped, seeing the tent in his pants, the way he almost involuntarily rubbed against Damon.

"Well," he said, "that was… unexpected. Happy Chr…"

Quick as a flash, Elena crossed to the couch, kneeling beside him. She almost felt Damon's purr of approval when she placed a small, warm hand over Alaric's stomach. "We don't want to go home," she said, shocked and pleased at having been so bold. "We want to stay here."

Alaric's face. Difficult to describe, easy to interpret. Longing, lonely. Happier than he'd been in some time, to have his two favorite people close. Guilty, which made no sense, because it was definitely, definitely Damon who started this, and definitely Elena had… not agreed, no, had wanted it just as badly when she saw what was going to happen.

He looked hesitantly at Elena's face, and back at Damon. Asking permission, maybe, still uncertain this was really happening. Elena felt Damon's hand on her shoulder, a reassuring squeeze, and she pressed back against the hand, never taking her eyes off Alaric.

He seemed, suddenly, to decide. Laughed, actually; at the absurdity of the situation, at the way Damon sat like a cat with a mouthful of cream, the way his lip curled up on one side, the way his tongue snuck out and back again.

Alaric had the heart of a hedonist, all wrapped up in a sensible, tough package, but the heart of a hedonist can't ever be really tamed. He reached out with one hand, tucked his hand around Elena's neck, and pulled her in for a kiss. And what a kiss. So different to Damon, but the same, in a way, hungry and delicious and determined. Behind her, Damon shifted, and when he leaned again, turning Elena's face towards his and kissing her hard, he had removed his shirt. Alaric played his fingers over Damon's hip, and yeah, hot as it was, it was already getting fucking awkward.

"You have a perfectly serviceable bed less than ten feet away," Damon purred, eyes meeting Alaric's, as Elena pulled away and stood up. Unsteady on her feet. Lust and eggnog, the perfect storm. "Can I suggest we see what we can do about reducing it to rubble?"

Alaric looked as though he wanted to protest; at least, wanted to ask 'are you sure about this, is this a good idea' but he didn't. He let Damon pull him up, lead him away, and because she was feeling powerful, and rebellious, and wonderful, as Elena followed them, she pulled her dress over her head, and let it slip to the floor. Damon half turned toward her, eyes wide as saucers.

He turned Alaric, close to the bed, and mumbled into Alaric's shoulder as he unbelted Alaric's jeans, as he opened his fly. "Look at her, Ric. Isn't she delicious? Overdressed, of course, but…"

Elena had never felt quite like this, before. She turned away from them, reaching behind her back, unclasping her bra. Heart beating like a bird's, there in her chest. She held her bra to her body, and looked over her shoulder. "Is this better?"

"Getting there," came Alaric's answer, almost a growl, stuttering. Elena slipped her bra off, dangling it from an outstretched hand, before dropping it. Red lace. She knew how she looked.

"Still overdressed, sweetheart," came Damon's sing-song voice, and there was a grunt from Alaric. Elena giggled, still with her back to them, and an inch at a time, she removed her thong. Alaric let out a whimper, and Elena found she wanted urgently to see what was happening, but she waited. Bit her lip, imagining what she would see when she turned around. Shaped a breast with one hand while the other slipped between her legs. She moaned, a little, swayed her hips. Couldn't feel like anything less than the sexiest thing in the world, with the weight of both men's eyes on her, heavy, a real thing.

"Come here, Elena," Damon said, and she turned around. An inch at a time, revealing the swell of one breast first, a finger over her lip. Alaric's shirt was off, and Damon had pulled his erection from his boxers, was jerking him easy and rough. Alaric's chest was red, and he was making a solid effort to keep his eyes open, wanting to look at Elena. He licked his lips.

"Beautiful," Alaric said. He looked regretful and relieved when Damon let go of him. It wouldn't do, Elena thought, to let the night end so quickly.

Damon, ever the champion of efficiency, stripped down and lay on the bed. Looked curious to know what would happen next. Alaric looked nervous, again, a moment, but no less hungry for all of that, and besides, Elena felt like taking control, so once Alaric was nude, she threw him onto the bed, and followed close behind, on her hands and knees, licking and kissing at his throat.

He smelled so good. When he put his hands on her hips, Elena shivered beneath the feather-soft touch. When he ran his hands over the curve of her ass, she smiled, first at Alaric, and then at Damon.

"What are you going to do, pretty girl?" Damon asked. "I like you all demanding and aggressive."

Elena giggled, and Alaric shook his head, turning to kiss Damon again, as Elena took his cock in her hand. So beautifully hard and heavy, bobbing with the weight of itself. She thrilled at the way Alaric rolled his neck, the way Damon had to grip Alaric's hair to keep their mouths together. It was sort of achingly perfect, the ferocity of their kisses, and Elena felt giddy watching them, as she lowered herself down onto Alaric, guiding him into her, clamping hot, silken muscles around him.

Alaric's reaction was almost instant. He pulled his face from Damon's, arching his back, driving up into Elena. Damon rolled onto his side, resting on one elbow, watching them intently. Slowly his hand moved to his own cock, stroking it the rest of the way erect.

Elena found herself wishing they were at the boarding house, on Damon's ridiculously large bed, but they'd manage, she knew. Besides, it was hard to think of much of anything at all, when Alaric flipped them, suddenly; Elena wrapped legs hard around Alaric's waist, taking him deeper.

Damon, apparently tiring of watching, sat up, then, and like someone who had performed the action a million times before, reached into Alaric's top drawer for a slim bottle of lubricant.

Intent on her own pleasure, thrilling to Alaric's lips on her breast, Elena watched as Damon lubricated his fingers, and smiling down at her, began to work Alaric open. Alaric groaned, thrust ever harder, and still Damon held Elena's eyes, smiling. Lips swollen and red, falling open just slightly, his cheeks red, too.

"Jesus fuck, Damon," Alaric muttered.

"Missed you too," Damon growled back, as he lined himself up behind Alaric and began to enter him. Moving gently, at first, beginning to alter the rhythm Elena and Alaric had set, starting a new one, a rhythm for three. Elena looked at Alaric's face, cracked open, wild and wanting. No hesitation remained. Elena wanted to ask questions. When had it started, how many times, how often? Did Alaric ever spend the night with Damon? Did they sleep curled together, did they, did they? Did Alaric ever wake to find Damon watching him, the way Elena sometimes did?

When did it stop? Had they broken up, because of Elena, had they just stopped? What were they? Why weren't they that any more? Elena loved Damon, and it had never occurred to her that he might have given anything up to be with her.

Alaric's blood, rushing in his veins, was intoxicating.

Carefully but quickly, Damon repositioned them, so they were all on their sides, so they could move more slowly together. Arms and legs tangled, skin slick with sweat, and Damon's lips at Alaric's shoulder. Watching Elena from under heavy eyelids. Lazy with lust and ferocious still, even with the slower pace.

"Want to bite you," Damon growled, directly into Alaric's skin.

Elena expected Alaric to be angry, pull away from them both, but instead he quickly nodded, like he wanted, like he was expecting and waiting and biding his time. He reached down, between his own body and Elena's, and began to thrum expertly at her clitoris, making her moan, making her want to shout.

Making her want to bite, too.

"I want to bite you too," she half-sobbed, and Alaric nodded, collecting her in his arm, pulling her face up close to his neck.

"Be careful," he warned. Obviously, Damon had much more experience at this. Damon's face changed, just as it disappeared from view, and Alaric breathed in hard through his teeth as Damon sank his fangs into the meat of his shoulder.

Elena was careful. She kept her bite shallow, working her lips and tongue over the wound, trying not to go deeper, heedful of Damon's warnings about the throat, about how quickly someone could bleed out from there, if she wasn't careful. Alaric's heart raced, and he anchored Elena to him, pressing a hand to the back of her head. He turned to Damon just as Elena forced herself to stop biting, and she watched as Damon bit into his own lip, as Alaric kissed him, sucking hard on the wound until it healed. It was always magic to Elena, the way a wound knit closed, with vampire blood in a person's system. Intriguing, beautiful.

A moment later, Alaric's face changed again. Eyes lightning bright, sharper than ever. A new vigor to his thrusts, and seeming determined to kiss them both senseless, though their bodies were stretched to their gymnastic limit.

As Alaric's rhythm changed one final time, and he hit his climax, he rolled his shoulders back against Damon, and Damon reached all the way to Elena, pulling them all closer. "Love you, Ric," he growled, as Elena's most intimate muscles began to quiver, again under Alaric's sure and tender touch. It was such an unexpected thing to hear, and she expected Alaric to be surprised, maybe laugh, but there was again that sweet familiarity on his face when he said "You, too, man," and Damon pressed his lips to Alaric's throat, eyes scrunching shut and lips falling open in a face Elena knew meant he was coming. He thrust harder, two times, three, eyes opening again to meet Elena's, glazed. It was so strange, and so… oddly beautiful, to see that face on him, inspired by someone else.

But it was Alaric.

Weaving her fingers into Damon's, and rubbing her mouth messily across Alaric's, Elena said "me too, Ric. I love you too."

Alaric chuckled. "You too, 'Lena."

An overwhelming need to be closer to Damon saw Elena climb over Alaric and nestle herself between them. With Alaric molded to her back, and Damon holding her eyes, there was an odd sense of completion. Elena's hair was a mess, and her body held a deep, satisfied ache she wished she could hold onto a while.

"Did you want this, when we came tonight?" Elena asked Damon. He gave a half a smile, and a quarter of a shrug.

"Call me an optimist," he answered, and even Alaric guffawed at that; Elena felt it through her body, almost a gift. Alaric ran fingers over her arm, and Elena had the strangest feeling that it was right, what had happened here, tonight.

But why was it right?

Some days, Elena felt so young.

Alaric kissed her shoulder, rough stubble tickling as Damon smiled at them both, lazy and satisfied, still breathing a little hard.

"Are you staying?" Alaric asked. Sounded a little wistful, a little hopeful. Damon nodded for them both, and ignoring the rather urgent need to clean up, he and Alaric pulled the blanket up over them all.

Elena slept better than she imagined she would, with a strange body at her back, and a million questions running through her head.

...

When Elena woke, she was only vaguely aware that they had all rearranged themselves in the night, once again, that Damon and Alaric were kissing lazily on the bed beside her. The sort of kissing where kissing is the whole point, lazy kissing. The sort of kissing that isn't intended to lead to something more. They looked oddly like a couple, like that. Oddly right. Elena yawned, and stretched, and wondered why she didn't feel jealous, or guilty.

Alaric sat up, regret heavy on his face, and kneaded Damon's arm with his hand.

"Jeremy gave me a list for shopping this morning," he said. "I have to start, if I'm gonna…" he made a strange gesture, and crossed to the bathroom.

They watched him go, and Damon pulled Elena into his arms.

Twice, three times, she opened her mouth to speak, and decided against it. Damon bumped their noses together, the look on his face the exact twin to the expression she woke up to after their first night together. Happy.

"What?" Damon said. "C'mon. you're thinking so hard your breasts are getting smaller by the second."

"Beast," Elena said, but she was smiling.

"What are you thinking? Out with it," Damon said, poking Elena's side as the shower turned on.

"Why don't I feel weird?"

Damon grinned. "Because you're amazing."

"Don't, Damon. I… I love you. And I don't feel jealous that I watched you fu… watched you make love to Alaric. And I don't feel bad that I did the same. Am I…"

Her heart rolled over, a second.

"Are you like Katherine?" Damon twisted his lip.

"I don't think I mean that, exactly…"

Damon pulled her closer. "You're a vampire, Elena."

"I'm aware," she deadpanned.

"You and me… we get as long as we want. Hundreds of years, maybe. Hundreds of years to wake up together. If, y'know, nothing manages to kill us first."

"Yeah, I know," Elena said, thought the prospect still made her feel dizzy. Not so long ago, the thought of getting through another day was a struggle – now she was facing down hundreds of years, maybe, in Damon's arms, and it was like looking in the wrong end of a telescope. A year seemed like such a long time, when she was a little girl, and they seemed faster all he time.

She supposed that one day the years would go by so fast they would give her whiplash, and wondered where Damon was going with this.

"We only get Ric for a little while longer. He'll get old. He'll be like this… young, and strong, and vital, and then suddenly, he'll be frail. And then he'll die."

"What a horrible fucking thing to -" Elena recoiled, angry. Emotions still overwhelmed her sometimes.

"No, it's not horrible. It's true. And it's what he wants."

Elena breath quickened again, and she wondered again about them. Had they talked about this, late at night, breathing hard with the moon streaming in the window? Had Damon asked him? Had he said please?

She couldn't help but picture it, Alaric lying back with a hand behind his head, Damon kissing patterns over his chest. "You'd make a good vampire, Ric," he would have said, and Alaric would have smiled fondly and shaken his head and promised that all he wanted was a good human life and a dignified human death.

"So you're saying… what? We get forever and he doesn't, so… oh." He wanted it to happen again, and…

Why not?

"We don't live by human moral codes, 'Lena. And it doesn't make us any less us."

Why not, indeed.

"Have you ever… done that… before? Kept a human around like… I'm not saying it right."

Damon tucked a strand of her behind Elena's ear. "I've never wanted to."

And maybe this would be all they got. Maybe next year Alaric would meet someone new, or maybe they'd drift together a couple of times a year until Alaric's inevitable demise, and maybe they'd find a way to live closer together, see what more it could be. Too early to tell. Who knew?

...

And so it was that on Christmas night three bodies piled onto Damon' bed. Alaric leaned against the headboard with Damon settled over his body, leaning his head back against Alaric's shoulder, while Elena buried her face between Damon's legs and wondered again at the rightness of something so very strange.

"Merry Christmas," Alaric muttered into Damon's shoulder.

"Merriest fucking Christmas in a hundred and fifty years, man," Damon answered, and Elena felt herself smile.