I do not own the vampire diaries, it belongs to L.J Smith and the CW.
This is set a day or two after 5x05. I really need to see more brotherly love on this show.
Stefan sighed quietly as he heard footsteps enter his family tomb and stop in the doorway behind him. He didn't move from the stone bench he was sitting on or turn around to see the newcomer.
"What do you want, Damon?" He asked. It still felt strange to think of this man he did not remember as being his brother.
"So this is where you've been since leaving," the older vampire observed without answering his question. "I like it- it's interesting, in a really creepy way."
Stefan snorted but otherwise ignored the other man and hoped he'd either tell him what he was doing there or leave him alone.
"Have you been sleeping here?" Damon spoke again.
Stefan didn't reply, he didn't feel like telling his old self's brother that he didn't sleep much, he couldn't. Whenever he fell into any sleep, no matter how brief, he was plagued with nightmares that he never fully remembered. He often just recalled elements of them, usually blood, pain and water. He didn't want to tell Damon this, he wasn't his brother- he was the other Stefan's brother and he did not really care about him.
"Killed any innocent residents of Mystic Falls yet?" Damon asked, only half joking.
"You mean any of the three humans left in this town?" Stefan replied sarcastically and Damon fought the urge to sigh. This new Stefan may have looked like his brother and spoken like him but he wasn't him, he just wasn't the same. It seemed strange that he was missing Stefan when he was sitting only a few feet away from him.
The new Stefan may have been a pain in the ass but he was still Damon's brother. "I brought you a snack," he said, throwing a blood bag at Stefan. It missed and landed on the floor as Stefan made no attempt to either catch it or pick it up.
"I'll get that, shall I?" His voice dripped sarcasm. Stefan still kept up his infuriating silence.
"Is this how it's going to be? I ask you questions and you ignore me or snark at me?" He shrugged in acceptance when his brother didn't respond. "Good, then it makes this easier."
Stefan turned around on the bench to look at him with what appeared to be interest.
"I want you to come home." He informed him stiffly, never quite comfortable with expressing emotions towards his brother, even after all these years.
"I don't have a home." The younger man replied quietly.
"Don't be dramatic." Damon admonished, irritation bleeding into his tone as he walked further into the crypt and sat on the bench next to Stefan.
"It was his home, it's not mine. I couldn't even tell you where half the rooms are."
"You'll get used to it, or you'll get your memories back and you'll be glad that I invited you back to our nice, comfortable house instead of leaving you to rot in a stone tomb filled with the corpses of our ancestors." Damon said almost teasingly.
"I don't want my memories back, Damon and if you were smarter, you wouldn't want me to get them back either." He informed the other vampire, who sat in silence and waited for him to continue. "I read his diaries and people have told me about him, I've got some idea of what he was like. He can barely control himself, he's obsessed with being good and he lives every day knowing that it's not going to last and he's going to become the ripper again and more people will have to die. The girl he loved left him-for you and then some lunatic trapped him in a safe for three months where he drowned again and again. Do you really think that he's going to be okay? If you do then you're an idiot."
Damon was shocked into staying quiet for a few minutes as he thought about what Stefan had said with a sick feeling building in his stomach. "So what? You think the best solution is to stay as you are- unable to remember your family and friends, not able to even remember where you live or what you like? Is that better?" He asked rhetorically, his eyebrows raised incredulously.
New Stefan threw him a smile with a sharp unpleasant edge that he wasn't used to seeing on his brother's face. "Considering my girlfriend left me for you, you jumped into bed with her and then neither of you noticed when I disappeared for three months, I'm really not sure that I want to remember you. It's not like either of you cared too much for old me."
The smirk was wiped off Stefan's face when Damon slammed him forcefully against the rough stone wall of the crypt and snarled, "you listen to me you ignorant, snide little bastard- you know nothing about my relationship with my brother or about my relationship with Elena. The only thing that is stopping me from putting you in here with the rest of the family on a permanent basis is the fact that you used to be my brother."
"What and you love him so much? Two days ago, you snapped my neck repeatedly to help the psychopath who left me to starve for three months. Don't act like you care about me now," he snapped, the indifferent cold look leaving his eyes and being replaced by anger and what Damon could only identify as hurt.
Damon let go of his brother and allowed him to move away from where he had been held against the wall. "We were working with Silas to try and use his death to bring Bonnie back to life. It would have made Elena happy and I hoped that she could restore your memories." Damon explained, trying to make him understand that he hadn't killed him for enjoyment.
"And my neck being broken was essential to this plan?" He questioned sceptically.
"Silas's powers only worked when you were dead, sorry." Damon apologised with a smirk, unable to deliver a completely serious apology to Stefan.
"I don't want my memories back." Stefan repeated, returning to their earlier discussion as if uninterrupted.
"Why not? You like living in a state of permanent confusion with no emotional ties to anyone?" Damon demanded with disbelief. This was Stefan, he refused to believe that whatever state he was in he truly wanted to be alone.
"Because it's hard enough now not being sure how much people actually care about me now because I can't remember them but what if I get my memories back and it's worse? My girlfriend left me for you. I read his diaries, I know how much he loved her and how much he loved you. It's going to hurt. What if it turns out nobody really cares about me? It's easier to live in a world where all your fears can't be confirmed than to know for sure that you're alone." Stefan stared intently at Damon, as though hoping he had the answers, that he could say something to make it all better.
He considered for a long moment before speaking to his brother, who looked more scared and vulnerable than Damon had seen him in a long time. "Do you really think that you would have loved us all so deeply- me, Elena, Caroline- if we didn't really love you back. You're a lot of things but you're not totally stupid. People care about you, a lot." Damon informed him, leaning down to pick the blood bag off the floor and handing it to him. "I brought you lunch, what better way is there to tell you I care?" He inquired sarcastically, earning a chuckle from Stefan, who accepted the blood this time and began to sip from it.
"I'm sorry that I've been kind of … a dick to you," he apologised sheepishly, feeling embarrassed as he thought about the things he'd said and done to his brother and his friends.
"Apology accepted- see, I'm a nice guy, I forgive people, I provide food and I'm hilarious."
"Not to mention modest," Stefan contributed, raising an eyebrow but smiling at him.
"So will you be coming home to live with your nice, forgiving, modest brother?" Damon asked, his tone was joking but they both sensed how serious he was being.
"I suppose it can't be worse than sitting in here and freezing every night surrounded by skeletons." Stefan decided with a slight grimace as he gazed around the old crypt with the cobwebs in every corner and the dirt plastering the floor.
"Good, if you said no I was going to knock you unconscious and drag you back anyway but it's easier this way. Less fun, but easier." Damon acknowledged with a grin at his brother.
Stefan rolled his eyes and fought back a smile.
"Jeremy will be glad to have you back, I can mock and harass someone else instead of just him all the time."
"Who?" Stefan's brows crinkled in confusion- and there was Damon thinking new Stefan was giving his forehead a break.
"You're kidding, right? Jeremy, tall, dark, handsome? Kind of weird?"
Stefan shook his head.
"Elena's brother? Talks to ghosts sometimes? He lives with us? You've met him?"
Stefan continued shaking his head and Damon sighed, "how would you get by without me?" He smirked, throwing an arm around Stefan's shoulders and steering him in the right direction towards the Boarding House.
There was absolutely no point to this, I just need more Salvatore brotherly love in my life.
I had Stefan referring to himself before he lost his memory in the third person because (although I've never had amnesia) I imagine that the person you were before would be like a stranger and it would be weird to think of them as being you. I also imagine it would be scary to regain your memories if you'd read Stefan's diaries of all the awful things that have happened to him over the past century and a half.