Title: A Soldier's Coming Home
Authors: Erin (Erin Salvatore) and Katie (TheIrishShipperholic)
Disclaimer: Neither of us can take credit for anything but this story and any original character we created.
Show/Movie/Book: The Vampire Diaries
Pairings/Couples: Mapril (Matt/April), Delena (Damon/Elena), Klaroline (Klaus/Caroline), Jenna (Jeremy/Anna), JeRic (Jenna/Alaric), Lexol (Lexi/Kol), Kalijah (Katherine/Elijah), Sinn (Sage/Finn), Stebekah (Stefan/Rebekah), Vane (Vicki/Zane, original male character), multiple other couples
Rating: M/Mature/R
Summary: While the rest of the world is at war, the women – and a few gallant men – of Mystic Falls live in quiet existence – until the war comes knocking on their doors.
Authors' Notes: This was of my own creation and after very little persuasion from me toward Erin, we were able to come up with this collaboration.

Chapter One

Salvatore Boardinghouse, Mystic Falls, Virginia – December 8, 1941

Elena Gilbert wasn't sure how to react as she watched Damon pack his bags. Yesterday, Pearl Harbor had been deliberately attacked by the Japanese, and President Roosevelt had made a press conference, declaring war on Japan. And a declaration of war meant that she had to say goodbye to Damon. She wished that he didn't have to leave, and that there was something she could do to make him stay. "Damon, I don't want you to leave," she said, trying to fight back the tears that were threatening to fall. "Stay here with me, please?"

"I don't want to leave either," he said. "But, I have to do this. I have to do whatever it takes to make sure that something like the attack on Pearl Harbor doesn't happen again." He put his bags down and went over to Elena. "I know this is hard for you, but I want you to promise me something, okay?"

Elena nodded, the tears falling now. "Anything," she replied.

"Promise me that you'll be strong," Damon said. "Promise me that you'll be faithful to me. No matter what happens, I don't want to lose you to someone else." He wiped her tears away with his fingers, kissing her softly. "Will you do me that honor?"

"Of course I will," Elena said. "I love you, Damon, and I won't let another man come between us while you're gone. And I'll be strong, because I know that you'd be strong for me." She returned his kiss. "Now that I've made you a promise, will you promise me something in return?"

Damon nodded and kissed her again. "Of course, Elena; name it."

"Promise me that you'll come back to me," Elena said. "I want you to come back to me the same way you're leaving. I don't want them coming to my door and telling me that you died out there. If I got news like that, I don't know how I'd be able to go on."

"You have my word, Elena," Damon said. "I'll return to you. I'll write you every day, no matter where I am.

Elena kissed him again and went over to his closet, taking out one of his scarves. "I'll keep this with me and when I look at it, I'll think of you." She removed the locket from around her neck and went over to him, placing it in his hand. "Here, keep this with you. It's not much, but at least it'll be like I'm there with you."

Damon clutched the locket in his hand. "I'll keep this safe, no matter what." He pulled her into his arms, kissing her again. "I love you, Elena. Stay strong for me."

With that, he picked up his bags and left the room.

Over at the Young Ranch

April Young was leaning over the fence railing of her childhood and current home, throwing out some scraps to the pigs behind the fence. She turned when she heard a voice calling out to her and smiled as she tossed aside the bucket, running as fast as she could until stopping at the sight of her best friend, Matt Donovan, in his Army uniform. "No. You promised me, Matt!" she yelled, turning away again while the tears stung at the corners of her eyes. April refused the arms that tried to pull her around and she ran as fast as she could to the barn, climbing up into the loft.

Matt looked up and met the gaze of April's father, Pastor Andrew Young, and her mother, Theresa. "I'm going to go talk to her," he said simply before setting down his bags and going after her.

Theresa looked up at her husband when he turned to her. "You would think that those two would stop running in circles around each other and declare their feelings, but no, she has to be so stubborn, just like me," Andrew said softly.

"She's stubborn, sure, Andrew, but I don't think that she gets it from you. She's been known to have your strong abilities to hold in her emotions, but I think she gets the hard-headedness from me," Theresa tells him as she kissed him softly.

Over at the barn, Matt walked cautiously up behind the brunette he had come to care very much about in the longtime friendship they'd had since they started school. "April, you know that you can't stay mad at me forever," he tells her as he sits down next to her, putting his arm cautiously over her shaking shoulders.

"Yes, I can, Matthew Donovan. You promised me that you wouldn't sign up for the Marines, just so you can die over there," she sobs out, her head shifting until it was cradled into his neck.

Matt hugged her to him, kissing the top of her head. "Is that what this is about? You're afraid that I'm going to die over there?"

"That's exactly what this is about," she replied, sobbing harder. "Do you realize how many men died yesterday when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor? I don't want the same thing to happen to you." She sniffed. "This is a stupid war. Why did it have to start in the first place? All it's doing is tearing families apart day after day."

"Would it make you feel better if I promised that I'll stay alive?" There was a hopeful tone to Matt's voice as he asked that question.

"I suppose," April said. "But, how do I know you're not going to break your promise?" She stepped back and looked at his uniform. "You already broke one promise."

"I'll keep this one," Matt said. "April, I promise you that I'll come back in one piece. Once this damn war is over, you'll see me again. It's going to take more than bullets from some lousy Krauts or Japanese to bring me down. I'm tougher than you think I am." He lifted her chin. "Will you promise me something as well?"

April sniffed again. "Okay."

"Promise me that you won't give up on me, no matter what happens."

April forced a smile. "All right, I promise."

Matt smiled back. "That's my girl. I knew I'd get you to smile for me."

"You're the only one I enjoy smiling for," she tells him softly, her hand coming up to stroke his cheek.

Leaning down, Matt pressed his lips to hers, holding himself back until he felt her hands grab a hold of his hair and bring him back for more, kissing her passionately and moaning as his tongue collided with hers. He finally lifted his head after a few minutes and let his forehead rest against hers. "I love you, April Young," he whispered before standing up and holding his hand out to her. "And I'm going to show you how much, when I return."

"I'll hold you to that, Matthew Donovan," she replied softly as she accepted his hand, standing up to embrace him.

Crawford House – That Same Moment

Zach Salvatore seemed nervous as he approached the house his girlfriend, Jules Crawford, lived in. He had signed up around the same time his cousin, Damon, did, mostly because he wanted not only to fight alongside him, but to see the world a little, even if parts of it were being blown up. When he got to the front door, he knocked and after a few minutes, Jules answered, smiling at him. "Zach, hi," she said. "I didn't know you were coming over." She noticed his uniform and her smile faded. "Oh no, tell me you didn't do what I think you did."

Zach nodded. "I did, Jules. I signed up for the army, and Damon and I are going off to war together."

"Must you always do what your cousin does?" Jules said. "You know that you can't compete with him."

"I'm not competing with him, Jules," Zach said. "Besides, Stefan's too young and Aunt Elizabetta would be hysterical if he went off, so since I'm close to Damon's age, it's fallen to me to go."

Jules fumed and slapped him. "You idiot, you don't have to do this! Don't you realize what you're doing by going over there, and that there's a good chance that you may not survive?"

Zach recoiled from her slap and firmly locked her arms behind her back with his hands. "I understand the risks, Jules, and I know that you're not exactly thrilled that I'm leaving, but you forget that I'm a Salvatore, and the Salvatore guys are fighters as well as survivors. There's nothing we can't overcome." Not giving her a chance to reply, he pulled her to him and kissed her. "I love you, Jules, and I will come back. Damon will look after me, like he always does, and I'll be back."

Jules didn't know what to say to that, but decided that it would be pointless to say anything, so she just leaned in and kissed him back. As angry as she was that he was leaving her, she had to have faith that he'd be in good hands and that he'd return to her, just like he had promised.

She pulled him backward with her into the house. "Make love to me," she whispered against his lips, tugging at the brass buttons of his new uniform until she had freed them one by one. Once the jacket was open, Jules pushed it off his shoulders until it was on the ground by their feet.

Zach groaned and turned her in his arms until her back was to his front, rubbing his member against her backside as his hands spanned the width of her waist. "I'm glad that you asked that, Julianne, because I'm going to make love to you until you can't even remember your own name," he whispered in her ear and she squirmed against his firm hold on her waist.

That being said, Zach threw her over his shoulder and carried her upstairs to her bedroom, where he deposited her gently onto the bed, following after her, kissing her roughly as he undid the buttons on her dress, his fingers making contact with her breasts. Jules let out a muffled scream against his lips as she undid his tie and shirt, throwing them to the floor. By the time she had gotten his tie and shirt removed, Zach had gotten the last button on her dress open and threw it on the floor along with his discarded tie and shirt before undoing the clasps on her bra and caressing her breasts before leaning down and kissing them.

Jules arched her back as she let out a scream of pleasure. Shit, Zach was a natural when it came to sex. Then again, he was a Salvatore, and from what she understood about the family, they were lovers as well as fighters and survivors. Once she was calmer, she reached down to his belt, loosening it and then opening the button on his pants, pulling them down as soon as she got the zipper undone.

Zach then pulled her panties off and helped her remove his boxers before he spread her legs apart and driving himself into her, groaning as he felt her wet, hot heat. Jules wrapped her legs around his waist as she felt him begin to thrust, gyrating in time with his movements, keeping in sync with him, afraid that if she stopped, she'd lose him.

Later, she opened her eyes to find her bed empty and she pulled the pillow he had lain on closer to her, keeping her sobs muffled as she cried. Once the tears had dried, she decided to go see her friends at the boardinghouse. She knew Elizabetta would be glad to take her in and she'd keep an eye on Stefan whenever possible. When Zach's aunt answered the door, she saw the red eyes that Jules bore and stepped back to let her inside before pulling her into a gentle hug. "They will come back to us, child, don't you worry," she said softly to Jules as she moved her hand comfortingly up and down Jules' back.

Elena, who had been crying upstairs for the past hour since Damon left, came downstairs and saw Jules with Elizabetta. She didn't have to guess why she was there because she already knew: Zach was gone. She approached them and said softly, "Hi, Jules."

Jules pulled back and smiled through her tears at Elena. "Hi, Elena," she replied back. All three women turned when they heard the knock on the door and Jules moved over to answer it, seeing Pastor Young's daughter April on the other side.

Elena put her arm around April's shoulders and they went to sit in the dining room together, where April accepted the tissue her friend handed her. "He's gone, Lena, and he finally confessed his feelings for me," she tells the other brunette as she blows her nose. "But I didn't get a chance to respond before he was gone."

Elena smiled. "That's great, April. I knew you'd tell him eventually." She sighed. "I miss Damon already. I wish he didn't have to leave."

April sniffed and looked at her friend, reaching over and clasping her hand and squeezing it gently. "He'll be back. We just have to pray each and every day for everyone's safe return," the curly haired brunette said as she blew her nose into another tissue that Elena handed her.

Elena nodded. "I know, and I'm definitely going to pray for him." She showed her the scarf she took from Damon's closet. "I'm keeping this with me and I'll think of him when I look at it. I gave him my locket so that he can think of me. That way, we'll never be alone."

Author's Note: We hope that you enjoyed this next collaboration and that you'll come back for Chapter 2 of it when we have it written and posted! Make sure you leave reviews for us, because they are love!