Special thanks go to Mich and Joyce for the inspiration and help.
PROMPT by: jaybunzyo
Elena's lost the meaning of Christmas. She refuses to celebrate because of everyone she's lost... including herself. But through a series of adventures, Damon helps her remember exactly why Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Any rating is perfectly fine, but happy Delena is a must!
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME
Elena Gilbert was usually a kind and compassionate person who enjoyed life and being surrounded with love and friends most of the time. She never felt good though when the Christmas holidays were nearing. Her walls came up and she tried to ignore the holidays and everything in regards to Christmas.
Every Christmas decoration reminded her of the day she lost it all. With her parents gone many things had lost their meaning. Home, childhood, a careless laugh… and most of all, Christmas just became an unwanted obligation which made her suffer from the impact of sad and painful memories.
This way, she dreaded facing the upcoming holidays. Damon was the love of her life and he should have understood. They'd been together for three years now and they had been ridiculously happy since, not to mention they had been friends since the Salvatores moved into the town ten years before.
He always understood her mood around Christmas time.
She couldn't put a finger on what came over him this year. He just kept annoying the hell out of her until she couldn't help but yell at him. She chose to sleep on the couch at night even though she knew he'd always come for her to carry her back into their bed. She thought he'd understand and wouldn't push the case.
One day he came home from the work, he brought a pine tree with him and that was it.
She told him to leave, to stay away, at his brother's house, or at his apartment, or even at Grill with Ric. She didn't want him around and one would think he'd take the hint.
He told her she was selfish. His voice was quiet and torn. She expected him to yell again but this time it wasn't the case. He was hurt, really hurt, she saw it in his eyes. She tried to reach out for him but he gave her an icy cold stare.
And then he left.
That was two weeks ago. For the first week there was the silence. She didn't know where he was staying. She tried to call and reason with him but his cell went straight to his voice mail. She saw the accusation in her friends' eyes and felt truly, deeply ashamed of herself. Even Caroline who never truly approved her relationship with Damon, gave her the silent treatment.
The second week wasn't much better except that Damon now decided to fight and punish her. Every single day she got home from work, she found a box wrapped in vintage patterned gift paper on her porch.
On Monday it was a box full of Christmas tree decorations and tinsel, all in white and sparkling silver. She just stood there in her living room, her jaw hitting the floor. It'd been ten years she last had something like this in her home. Looking around, she expected to find Damon with an arrogant smirk tugging at his lips so she could throw the box at his head. But the only thing that surrounded her was the silence and the undecorated pine tree in its stand in the corner of the room, lonely and abandoned.
Placing the box on the coffee table, she noticed that someone had set up fire in the fireplace. Her fingers started to tremble for the first time in years; she picked out a sparkly, white angel filigree from the box. Elena recalled her mother's smile as she used to put similar decorations on the Christmas tree and sobs threatened to rip her chest into pieces as she cried over her lost childhood. She couldn't remember later how she got in the king sized bed so cold and empty without Damon.
On Tuesday it was a box filled with wonderfully smelling ginger cookies, a white pointer filled with decorating icing and Christmas lights. Elena opened the box in the kitchen and she smiled through her tears as she recalled how she and her mother used to decorate ginger cookies with the white icing. The Christmas lights looked oddly familiar but since she wasn't going to use them anyway, she didn't pay any further attention to them. Her fingers played with the decorating tube absentmindedly and after what felt like hours, she lifted the first heart shaped cookie and drew the first hesitant line with the icing.
On Wednesday she took her cell out every now and then and contemplated calling Damon. She still hadn't heard from him and when she finally mustered enough courage to call his brother, Stefan gave her an evasive answer. She sighed and cursed herself for being a coward for not calling Damon direct.
When she came home that afternoon, she found sweet scented candles and other objects that looked like he did the grocery shopping for her. She was confused as she pulled out the fresh milk, eggs, superfine sugar, vanilla aroma, whipping cream and three different bottles of the best liquor, along with a handful of nutmeg and a small sachet of ground cinnamon. She was about to call Damon and ask him what was that when she spotted a red, green and cream coloured envelope on the bottom of the box. She was beyond curious as she tore it open impatiently and once again, she was taken aback seeing her mother's handwriting on the old family eggnog recipe. Fighting her tears, she texted Damon: 'how did you know?' Minutes later came his reply. All he sent was a wink.
She spent the evening making eggnog, smiling at the fond memories of her mother and father doing the same before every Christmas.
On Thursday she woke up smiling and found herself feeling excited like a kid on Christmas morning. At work, she kept wondering what was going to be waiting at her on the doorstep in the afternoon and she found herself driving home quicker than before. There was a flat box this time. She felt the curiosity eating her from inside as she went to fill a bourbon glass with her successfully made eggnog, prolonging the time until opening the box. Finally, her impatience became so strong she couldn't fight it anymore and opened the box. She found several bars of chocolate her mother used to buy for them when she and Jeremy were kids and her heart soared when a quite old book came into her sight. Her jaw hit the floor as her gaze fell on the title: 'Our Baby' it said. Now she recognized the book. It was hers. There were several pictures inside, of her and her parents; the first was dated the day she was born. Her mother had written some information about her length and weight after birth, then about little Elena's sleeping and eating habits, the date of her first steps, her handprints at different periods of times, her first words... Her fingertips slid over the old photos lovingly; some memories were sad and some were happy. As she strolled through the pages, she found a picture that made her heart stop beating for a second. It was a photo taken when she was two years old. Her parents and she were sitting in front of the Christmas tree. All of them were laughing and looked so damn happy it squeezed her heart. There was a note under the photo.
'May every Christmas be this happy for my little baby… never let anyone ruin this holiday for you, my Elena, the light of our lives.'
"Oh, mom…" She whispered.
Finally, Friday arrived, and she drove to work with a huge smile that was instantly swiped off of her face when Caroline told her that their boss wanted to see her. Her stomach was in knots as she knocked on his door and walked in.
"Have a seat, Elena." Alaric didn't look up from his computer as he spoke to her.
"Hey boss, how can I help you?" Her voice sounded unnaturally chipper.
His gaze met hers over the screen.
"I want you to take today off."
"Why?" She was baffled. "Did I something wrong, Ric?" Maybe he was angry with her because of Damon.
"You've done nothing wrong." His lips pulled into a smile. "I just happen to know you have a hard time before Christmas and I want you to have a day for yourself. Caroline can go with you."
"Wha-" She couldn't finish her question because the phone on his desk started to ring and he mouthed at her 'go'.
Feeling utterly confused, she rose from her seat and left Ric's office. Caroline was already waiting for her, holding Elena's coat in her hands.
"Why do I have feeling that this is a conspiracy against me?" She mumbled but Caroline just smiled sweetly.
"I'm not here to give you answers." She said authoritatively with a wink. "I'm your fairy godmother today and you are to be a good girl and follow my orders."
Elena followed her with a furrowed brow and wasn't quite surprised when Caroline drove them to the beauty salon, where they spent the majority of the day. They got massaged, trimmed, waxed and pampered. Then she was taken to her favourite restaurant where they had a light lunch, before Caroline took her to a mani-pedi salon and a hairdresser.
Dark was falling by the time they left and Elena hoped that finally, she could go home. But Caroline, who had been extra annoying all day long as she refused to give Elena direct answers, gave her a secretive smile and drove to her own house.
"Caroline, please… what's this all about?" Elena begged her but Caroline only shook her head and led her into the bedroom. Elena watched with fascination that the bed was littered by various sizes of wrapped boxes.
"Wow, someone spoiled you, girl." She mumbled.
"Those are not for me." Caroline stated flatly.
"I thought you are smarter than you look." she replied with a chuckle. When Elena just looked more confused, she decided to take her out of her misery. "These are your presents from Damon."
"But he has been giving me presents all week long." She whispered, touched.
"Those served to give you time to grieve and remember. Damon wanted you to have this week for yourself and your long gone beloved ones."
Elena felt a lump forming in her throat and words left her mind.
"Every day he gave you some presents reminding you of your past. Also, he asked for my help and brought you these presents which are symbolizing your future." She finished with a warm smile and all Elena could do, was to stretch her hand out and lift the first wrapped box.
Caroline helped her to unwrap the boxes and it was soon revealed that she got a pair of silver Manolo's, a Donna Karan little black dress with a heart shaped cleavage, a fluffy white cardigan that kept her shoulders warm, a set of burgundy coloured undergarments which she put aside with a deep blush and a platinum necklace with a sparkling snowflake pendant at last.
"What's in the last box?" She pointed at the smallest wrapped one but Caroline shook her head.
"Just get dressed and let me do your face and hair. Your limo is going to be here in an hour." She said cryptically.
"My what?" Her eyes widened once again but she was already past the point of being surprised. Everything felt like a dream and she let herself go with the flow. She took a shower and dressed up obediently while Caroline chatted happily about sweet nothings.
Just a few minutes after she was finished, the doorbell rang and Caroline told her to go, with a wide smile, before closing Elena's fingers around the wrapped present.
"Thank you." Elena said to her.
"You're welcome." Caroline gave her a tight hug. "And remember, I was the first one who congratulated you."
Elena didn't have a chance to respond because Caroline opened the door and a man in black tux greeted her and all she could do was to follow him to the sleek black limousine. The man helped her to get into the limo and she was immediately surrounded with comfortable warmth and the soft tones of classical music soothed her nerves until the car stopped in front of her house.
Her heart was beating fast as she walked to the front door and was relieved to see that the building wasn't wrapped in flashing lights. The house was quiet when she unlocked the door and the only source of light was the flames in the fireplace and she heard Christmas music playing in the background.
"Damon?" She called his name hesitantly and her breath caught in her throat when she saw him standing next to the fully decorated Christmas tree, sporting a glass of bourbon in his hand. He wore a black tux with a white collared shirt and looked devastatingly handsome as the darkness surrounded him and the tiny lights illuminated his face and his beautiful blue eyes.
"Hi." She said weakly clutching the tiny box between her clammy fingers.
"Hi back." He said with a guarded expression as he regarded her warily.
"I see you decorated the tree." She broke the silence once again, taking a step closer.
"No biggie." He said with a shrug after taking a sip from his glass.
"They look like the ones my mom used to have." She pressed with a strained voice.
"They are." He watched her intently. "Jeremy found them at the lake house."
"I see everyone helped you with this."
"They love you." He stated the obvious.
"Do you?' She asked quietly and his eyes flashed in response before he slammed the glass against the table. Taking several long strides, he was standing right in front of her, so close that their heaving chests were almost touching.
"You seriously didn't just ask that." He seethed at her and she gulped nervously. "The last two weeks weren't enough to prove what you mean to me?"
"You told me I was selfish."
"And you called me a jerk and bastard in return before throwing me out of our home." He retorted and his hand shot out to touch her face. "We hurt each other pretty hard."
"I-" She licked her bottom lip and his gaze followed the action with darkening orbs. "I was angry and you kept pushing me… I'm so sorry what I said to you." She reached out to trace his features with her fingertips and relief flooded over her when he leaned into her touch, like he always did before. Maybe it wasn't too late for them then.
"Yeah. About that… I shouldn't have press the subject further. I hate when you are sad and crying. I feel so helpless and it makes me feel crazy…" He confessed as he reached out to tuck a strand of hair behind her ear. His touch sent electrifying sparkles all over her body and he had yet to touch her properly. "Every Christmas, it kills me to see you depressed and punishing yourself."
"I feel guilty." She whispered. "You know why."
"It wasn't your fault. You were away at university."
"They were going to see me in New York." Her eyes started to glisten. "If I wasn't so stubborn and listened to them, I'd have chosen the university in town instead and they would be still alive."
"You never know. There are always irresponsible truck drivers who fall asleep at the steering wheel. There's always a bridge that has old and rusty bars and cars cut through them like a knife cuts through butter, Elena." He soothed her. "You can't blame yourself forever."
"But they are gone…" Her voice was barely audible.
"You can't change the past nor drown yourself in your regret. Have I sent your presents for you in vain? You haven't learned from those gifts that your parents never'd have wanted you to refuse being happy?" He tipped up her chin lightly with his forefinger and paused until their gazes locked. "Your parents'd shown you how to enjoy every single moment of your life. They loved to celebrate and most of all, they loved Christmas. They would want you to honour their memory by celebrating that their hope and love was brought into this world."
"I never'd have guessed you a religious type…" She murmured with a tiny smile as her mind and heart slowly let his words sink in. "Thank you for being so patient with me…"
"Don't you get it, Elena?" He croaked out. "If you'd been in hell, I would go through every fucking hell to find you and bring you back here, where you belong. You know, after I went last week to Alaric for help, your friends started texting and calling me like crazy. Everyone offered a hand, an idea and a bit of help." Elena's heart soared when she realized, her selfish grief just hurt the people who loved her. "Your brother gave me the idea of bringing back the nice memories and the traditions that were practiced every year at Christmas with your parents. They would've been happy to see you following their path. When I saw that picture in the baby book, I just knew your mother never wanted you to be unhappy and depressed. She hoped you'd bring light into this world, Elena…"
"Now you are just playing this silly game with the meaning of my name again…" She uttered in the silence to break the tension and her heart jumped with joy when he offered her his trademark smirk in return.
"You are the light of my life. My friend, my companion, and my partner in crime… my love." He took a step away from her. "Say something." He regarded her with an insecure stare when she remained silent, watching him with wondering eyes as the soft tones of the Christmas melodies were playing in the background.
"Dance with me." She said finally, unable to express her emotions with words. She needed to feel him, how strong and brave he was, fighting for her even if she'd given up fighting for herself a long time ago. He was her rock, her strength, the one who had made her every dream come true.
"You are beautiful, Elena." He said before their gazes locked when their hands joined and swayed to the music, slowly, savouring the perfect moment. They weren't just close physically but their souls entwined like twin flames, always and forever burning for each other.
He twirled her around and when she turned back, her hand rose on its own volition, grabbing his collar and pulled him in for a hungry kiss. She almost'd forgotten how good, how right, it felt having him this close, what it felt like being kissed by Damon Salvatore. After three years of their relationship she could never get enough of his kisses and though she thought the fire would be tamed after some time lapsed, she was proved completely wrong. He was her drug and she had been suffering from withdrawals during the past two weeks.
They kissed frantically like there was no tomorrow and she moaned when he bit into her bottom lip before sneaking his tongue inside to meet hers. His mouth moved over hers expertly as their tongues teased each other and explored the taste and the texture they'd been forced to forget at the time of separation.
"I missed you so fucking much…" He whispered between her lips before backing her against the wall and her stomach clenched with desire in the sweet anticipation; she was excited and unbelievably aroused about what was about to come. This wall behind her back was familiar; certainly it wasn't the first time they christened the living room and this wall. But this time it felt different. They had never spent this much time without each other and now everything felt like they were having their very first time.
Their hands were impatient, their lips were trying to touch and kiss every inch of skin… She felt his hands on her shoulders as he pulled the cardigan down her arms, leaving her exposed and burning with need. Her fingers were gently tugging at the soft hairs on the nape of his neck, in an attempt to memorize how good, how right it felt, having him all to herself.
She hitched her thigh around his hip and her center came into a direct contact with his arousal, still contained in his pants, straining against the zipper impatiently.
"Damon, please…" She moaned when his mouth descended onto her cleavage, kissing his way lower, until he reached the silk of her dress and carefully, pulled it out of his way. She let out a loud cry as his lips closed around her nipple, sucking at the soft flesh just the way he knew it would driving her crazy. His right hand came around her waist and lifted her up a little and instantly, she started to rub herself against his hardness making them both groan in the process.
"Elena, I want…" He whispered against her neck and she lifted herself up a little to answer his unsaid question. He freed himself with a well-practiced flick of his wrist and pulling her panties aside, he slowly eased himself inside her. The feeling was so exquisite that she started to tremble with need and lost her balance, tipping them over. He fell on his back, pulling Elena with him and they laughed at the awkwardness of the situation.
The fire burst to life once again between them once his cerulean blues met her chocolate ones. She got rid of her ridiculous panties in a flash because truly, she hated when the flimsy fabric was getting in the way of their being intimate, and then climbed back on the top of him. Kissing him deeply, her palms caressed his hard, smooth chest and moaned when she felt his fingers teasing her entrance with soft, firm strokes until she couldn't take it anymore and let him fill her once more. Her walls stretched around him deliciously and the sheer pleasure'd spread on his features as she started to move slowly, savouring the moment of having him inside.
Their mouths hardly left each other, maybe only to gasp for air from time to time but never left the other completely. She rode him hard, feeling the need turning her into an animal as her body was aching for more. Sensing her need, Damon flipped them over and started to pound into her as he pulled her thighs around his hips so he could bury himself to the hilt. She arched her back and he took a nipple between his lips, making her head spin with desire and her body convulsed underneath his. He learned long ago that she didn't need to get her clit stimulated during sex when he gave enough attention to her breasts while moving inside her. She had yet to disappoint and this time wasn't different. His lips moved hungrily around her nipple, sucking, licking and biting, repeating the process on the other nipple until he felt her tightening around him and when he was sure she was on the right track, he sneaked his hand between them and drew firm circles around her clit while his mouth never left her tight bud, heightening the sensation until it became almost unbearable for her.
She exploded around him like never before, digging her fingers into his shirt covered shoulder blades deeply, screaming his name before her breath got caught and he let himself go, letting the painfully amazing completion wash over him.
He fell against her in exhaustion while their bodies trembled with the love they'd just experienced.
"I ruined your dress…" He managed to croak out and she giggled in response. Oh, how had he missed this lovely sound! He lifted his head. "What?"
"It should be me worrying about my dress." She said with a sweet smile and he gazed at her with so much adoration it made her heart skip with happiness.
He slowly eased himself out of her, his body protesting against his decision but he knew they'd have enough time to for the next round later. She sat up but before she would accept his outstretched hand, her gaze fell on the tiny box, wrapped in silver paper she wasn't allowed to open before. She couldn't even remember when it fell out of her hand.
"May I open it now?" She reached for the box and let Damon help to stand her up.
He gave her an insecure smile.
"You may." He replied with a tentative smile as he buttoned his shirt up. He watched her beneath his lashes as she tugged her dress back to its place before going to the table and unwrapped the box.
She gasped when the dark blue box was revealed and she struggled to open it.
"Let me help you." He offered before opening the lid swiftly and a ring with a delicate shade of blue sapphire in the center - it matched Damon's eyes'colour as she found out later - came into her sight.
She stood there speechless, almost shocked. Her mouth was hanging open for a second and her gaze was transfixed on the ring. The silent moment dragged on and Damon started to feel uncomfortable.
"I know we never truly discussed this…" He started, unsure of what he wanted to say. "I always dreamed about this moment when I ask you to stay with me forever."
"What, how long?"
"How long were you planning this?" She asked with tears suffocating her.
"I-" He shifted behind her uncomfortably. "The first day I saw you I told my brother I wanted to marry you."
"But I was only sixteen back then."
"And I was eighteen when we moved to Mystic Falls."
"You wanted me to marry me back then…" She trailed off. "I thought you saw me as a friend."
"What could I do, honestly? You were head over heels in love with your books and let that poor Donovan boy hope that you were eventually going to let him into your panties…" He kissed her temple and started to feel hopeful when she didn't push him away.
"We both know who was my first Damon." She said with a smile, finally turning to face him.
"Do you regret it?"
"Never." She said without hesitation and once again, he felt himself drown in her chocolate pools.
"So…" He started.
"So?" She replied with a teasing smile.
"What's your answer?" He was getting anxious. What if she said something stupid about the beauty of just living together and not binding themselves to each other?
"I never heard the question." She retorted with a smug grin.
"All right." He flashed his panty-dropping smirk at her before narrowing his gaze. "Elena Gilbert would you do me the honour of becoming my faithful wife and eternal company until the death shall us apart?"
She closed her eyes for a second, feeling the utter happiness spreading through her veins. Her whole body buzzed with life and her heart was doing an internal happy dance. She didn't expect him to propose to her because he was always all about the freedom and all. But here he was, wearing his heart on the sleeve, offering her his whole life with a coy smile.
"Before I give you the answer, I want to know how did you know tonight would end like this."
"I didn't know." He shrugged. "I bought this ring for you months ago but there was never the perfect moment to give it to you and to say how I feel about you."
"Your timing is perfect." She pulled him into a sweet kiss, loving the softness of his lips before pulling away.
"Are you going to accept my proposal?" He asked with a smile that warmed up her heart.
"Yes." She said simply and before she could say anything else, he pulled her into a hug, squeezing her so tight that she could practically feel his heartbeat against hers.
"Thank you, my Elena." He whispered into her hair.
"You are welcome, my Damon." His heart leapt with joy at her possessive words before pulling away. He took out the ring from the box and put it on her finger before placing a kiss on her palm. "I love you."
"Let's go," He said with a newfound happiness and she stared at him baffled.
"Where to? I thought we were going to bed."
"Later. First we have to attend Caroline's party."
"What party? She said she didn't want to throw a Christmas party this year." She followed him. He went to the kitchen and brought a bottle of her eggnog along with a wrapped tray of her cookies, while she went to the bathroom to clean herself up. She took the tray from him after he helped her into the coat.
"She isn't." He agreed and opened the door for her. "She's throwing us our engagement party."
"You-" She trailed off, for the umpteenth time that night. "So this is was she meant by wishing us well. Who else knew?"
"About me proposing to you? Everyone." He added with a wink.
He pulled her out of the house laughing and she followed him with a huge smile wondering if she'd ever figure out this man, the love of her life.
"Hey Damon," She said when they were seated in his Camaro. "I have a surprise for you too."
"What's that?" He asked with a smirk.
"I forgot to put back on my panties." She said with a smug grin enjoying the shocked expression on his face.
Yeah, life was never going to be boring with the two of them and she was glad he found her, fought for her and brought the joy back into her life.