AN: I have no words. Or I have a lot of words. I don't really know yet. I wrote this immediately after finishing the premiere so it may be choppy and terrible and whatever! I think we all know the drill by now; they hurt me and I start writing as an outlet to heal :P
This may turn into a multi-chapter based off of the events of this season, depends on how next week's episode goes and if I feel we're getting enough brotherly love or not. This is not going to be a Delena/Stelena thing because I just truly don't care about either couple. Let me know if you want/need/feel the story needs more chapters
WELCOME TO SEASON 5 GUYS! As always, I do not own the boys. If I did we'd be getting a hell of a lot more brotherly love to give us way more feels than we can handle ;)
"Hey... Stefan, just wanted to check in... Call me back."
"Stefan, it's me. Give me a call."
"Hey, it's been nearly two weeks now. Where've you been?"
"Stefan... I get it. Just, just call me back, okay?"
"This is getting ridiculous! Send me a fricken text! An e-mail! Something!"
"Stef, I'm sorry... I just really need you to call me back."
"Stefan! Brother, what's going on? It's been like, I don't know two months? How the heck are you?"
"Damon, are you drunk?"
"Shhh! I'm on the phone..."
"You know, I didn't think our whole 'in sixty years' deal meant zero contact! What the hell, Stef?"
"I don't know what to do here man. I get that you're hurting and that I'm a jackass... I'm sorry, brother"
"You know what? Screw you! I'm done trying. Goodbye Stefan!"
"Hey brother, just letting you know that I'm still here."
The dial tone cut to Stefan's robotic voice; sighing, Damon pulled the phone away from his ear and cancelled the call. It'd been three months of him trying to get Stefan on the phone with no results. He'd gone years without speaking to Stefan in the past but things were supposed to be different this time; they were supposed to be different.
He understood that Stefan was hurting and it killed him to know that it was because of him but he didn't think it'd be like this! When Stefan left he'd made it seem as though they would be okay. He thought they'd at least be in some kind of contact!
Damon heard Elena in the other room and quickly slipped his phone into his back pocket. He'd try him again in a couple days.
Damon was so fed up with teenagers. The last four years he'd done nothing but babysit a bunch of kids with a knack for getting in trouble; at least before he had Ric to help him! He didn't envy the time Ric had to watch Jeremy though. One day and the kid had already gotten himself expelled.
He fixed Jeremy with a hard stare as he told him he'd meet him outside. He needed a minute to not have to deal with parenting a rebellious teen.
Damon turned and abruptly stilled. Stefan strolled casually toward him and Damon's eyes went wide as he stared his brother up and down, mouth gaping.
Damon's brow furrowed. "Stefan," he gasped.
Stefan merely smirked back at him and Damon had a moment to really take his brother in. Three months without a word and Stefan was just here, right in front of him. Damon wasn't sure if he wanted to hug him or punch him.
"Welcome home," he said instead.
Stefan smiled, "Thanks"
It was Stefan who initiated physical contact. Damon would have been less surprised if Stefan had punched him. Instead, his brother stepped forward wrapping one arm around Damon's shoulders while the other pressed into his back. Stefan was hugging him.
Damon hesitated for a brief moment before his own arms wrapped loosely around Stefan's waist. He felt Stefan slap his back gently before they pulled apart. Their contact, however brief, had Damon's head reeling; what was going on in Stefan's head? And where had he been
They stood facing each other awkwardly. Neither really knowing what they were supposed to say or do. Damon still kind of wanted to hit him for not returning any of his calls. But then he remembered that Stefan had every reason not to and the urge to hit him passed.
"You want a drink?" He finally offered and Stefan grinned.
"Look, I get why you haven't called me back all summer," Damon reached for the nearest bottle and quickly filled both of their drinks. "I wouldn't call me back either,"
He was hurt that he hadn't heard from Stefan but it didn't mean that he didn't understand. He'd hurt him, helped break his little brother's heart; he was never supposed to do that. So he got it. But it didn't stop the sting he felt whenever he heard Stefan's voicemail recording.
"You mean because you stole my girlfriend? I'm over it,"
Damon gave him a careful look. He sounded so casual. Damon was prepared for anger, pain, hell even tears, but not this flippant attitude. He watched Stefan's eyes to see if it would give away how he was really feeling but there was nothing there. Damon frowned.
"So Katherine's living at Chateau Salvatore."
Damon's frown deepened. "How do you know that?"
"Cause I can read your mind,"
His face morphed into one of confusion and he glanced curiously at Stefan as he took another swig of his drink. There was something off about him.
"I'm kidding buddy,"
Since when did Stefan call him buddy?
"Katherine called me first. Remember? It's always been me first."
That stung. He hid a grimace as he lifted the cup to his lips. Stefan was being unusually cold. Not cruel or even angry... just distant, calm. Damon didn't know how to respond to this Stefan.
He was saved from having to by Jeremy's appearance and Damon breathed a silent sigh of relief. He felt unsettled by Stefan's sudden return, and even more so by his new attitude. Was Stefan off on another bender?
He immediately dismissed that thought. He'd recognize ripper Stefan and this was not him. But there was definitely something about Stefan that wasn't sitting easy with him.
"I'll see you at home."
Stefan's lack of reaction was what was bothering him. He must have spent the last three months learning some serious emotional control. Damon would still prefer him to yell or hit him.
"Something's wrong. That, that was Silas,"
Why was Silas back? And why was he posing as Stefan?
It made sense. In the same way that nothing in Damon's life ever made sense. Stefan had seemed off to him; cold and detached. Because he was, because it wasn't Stefan.
Damon felt a crushing disappointment at the realization that his brother wasn't back. As much as Stefan's return had been unsettling at least he was home. Now Damon had to go back to not knowing where he was and trying to get him on the phone.
For a minute there he'd had his brother back (or so he thought). Even with all the unspoken pain between them, he'd had him back. And now he was gone again. It physically hurt.
Stefan; no, not Stefan. Silas came rushing down the stairs and Damon turned his attention from making sure Jeremy and Katherine got out to face the immortal currently wearing his brother's face.
He was right though. Silas wanted Katherine. What he didn't know is why.
"Drop the Stefan look,"
Damon said it as casually as he could. He didn't want Silas to know just how much it affected him. He hated having to see his brothers face when he knew that it wasn't him. And now that he knew for certain that it wasn't Stefan, it was suddenly very obvious.
He'd noticed in earlier in the Grill but he brushed it aside as Stefan being really good at hiding his emotions. The eyes were all wrong. It was Stefan face and body, but those were Silas' eyes. There was nothing of Stefan reflecting in them and Damon hated it.
Only now when faced with this physical reminder of his younger brother did he realize just how much he missed him. He wanted to pick up the phone right now and beg and plead with Stefan to call him, to tell him where he was.
Silas gave a harsh chuckle, effectively breaking Damon from his thoughts.
Damon frowned, "What?"
Stefan was a doppelganger. No. Silas said Stefan was a doppelganger. Everything inside of Damon rebelled against the idea. He tried desperately to deny it but why would Silas lie? What purpose did it serve?
"I think I'd know if my little brother had an evil twin,"
Silas smirked and Damon suddenly felt very uncomfortable.
"What are you-"
"C'mon Damon, I mean how well do you really know your brother? Have you even been paying attention?"
Damon's brow furrowed but he didn't say anything. Silas' smirk only grew.
"Do you really think he would leave town for three months without so much as a phone call so you could live happily ever after with the love of his life?"
Damon's entire person froze. He'd tried calling Stefan for months. Sometimes angry, sometimes desperate, hell sometimes he was even drunk and Stefan had never replied. No phone call, not even a text – to anyone. It wasn't just Damon he wasn't talking to. Nobody had heard from him in three months.
The horror must have shown on his face because Silas seemed almost giddy.
"Where's Stefan?" He heard his voice break.
Silas took a step back. "Do you really care Damon? You've been here, living it up with your new girlfriend. Oh sure, you called him but really did you even try? Ever once think to yourself that something was wrong?"
Damon's face hardened and he glared. "Where is he?"
"He's suffering, Damon. Your little brother. While you've been so happy." He taunted.
Damon wouldn't let Silas know how his words affected him. He'd felt guilty for what he did to Stefan but it was nothing compared to the emotionally crippling agony that he was feeling right now. Stefan had been suffering for months and Damon hadn't helped him, he didn't even know or suspect!
He'd been too caught up in his newfound happiness to be a brother.
It always went that way between them. Damon hadn't been a brother to Stefan since they were human, not really, He'd been too stuck by his jealousy, his anger, his resentment. And now he had no idea where his brother was or what he had been, was probably still, going through.
"Call the hunter. Get Katherine back here and I'll tell you where your little brother is."
Damon didn't even need to think about it.
"Your thoughts are churning."
Damon tried desperately to ignore him.
"Where is he? Is he okay?"
Block him out.
"How did I not see it?"
"I have to save him."
"Is he in pain?"
Damon looked at his phone in an attempt to ignore Silas' presence in the room and in his mind. But it wasn't working; not with Silas spouting off every thought that was in his head.
"Hey Damon," Damon glanced at him with a raised eyebrow. "I promise you, he is."
He hung up with Elena after a quick 'goodbye' in place of her 'I love you'. He couldn't say it. Not when it was that that had kept him from realizing there was more to Stefan's missed calls than a broken heart.
He'd had to leave to help Jeremy and he was feeling a little shaken from that. Jeremy was lying on the road bleeding out and all Damon could see was Stefan. I'm supposed to be taking care of you. He'd said that to Jeremy but he wasn't naive enough to think that's who he was truly talking to.
He'd failed to take care of Stefan, the one person in his life he was always meant to look out for. He couldn't fail Jeremy too.
Silas had left the manor by the time they returned. Damon was no closer to knowing where Stefan was or what he was going through. This was so much worse than when Stefan was gone off with Klaus.
This was all his fault. Stefan had been leaving the night Silas must have grabbed him because of him, him and Elena. His absence hadn't been given proper attention because Damon was selfish. And now Katherine was gone and Silas was sure to be causing misery trying to find her.
He'd swapped one love for another. In loving and being with Elena he'd forgotten about Stefan. Not completely; but enough that he hadn't made any real attempt to seek him out. No more.
He had to find him. He would find him.
Review and let me know what you thought please!