I don't own The Vampire Diaries.
A/N: Sorry for taking so long to get the sequel up. This continues right from where The Solution left off, so to refresh, the gang are in Brindisi celebrating Christmas...
I'll have the next chapter up soon! Hope you like it!
The Solution : Family Binds
In the afternoon, Caroline, Liz, Katherine and Ric took the twins for a walk through the land for some fresh air while Stefan and Damon prepared the evening Christmas dinner feast. After walking for about an hour, chatting and laughing, they went back to the house. Caroline put some Christmas music on and they sat around talking about what else they were going to get up to while in Italy.
Stefan and Damon were in great spirits as they prepared the meal together. It reminded them of when they were children and they recounted stories and were laughing a lot at stupid things they did and remembered.
"Stef?" Damon asked looking over at him and Stefan turned his head.
"What?" He queried.
"Can you believe that we've gotten to this point?" Damon asked.
"What do you mean?" Stefan tested.
"We have a family." Damon said softly. "After mother died it was just you and me… yet, over 150 years later after her death, we have a real family. They love us. Just as we are. There are no secrets, no lies, no hurt, just unconditional love, trust and support. I just… can you believe that we're that lucky? After everything we've done?" Damon explained himself gently and Stefan couldn't help his glazing eyes because he could completely understand Damon's point.
"We are so lucky." Stefan agreed. "You know, I would do anything for every single one of them in there." He said pointing to the door that led through to the living room and Damon nodded.
"Me too." Damon agreed.
"Do you think we should tell them how we feel?" Stefan asked and Damon smirked.
"They know already." Damon guaranteed and Stefan smiled.
"You totally adore your mother-in-law, don't you?" Stefan teased and Damon chuckled.
"You have no idea. I love her so much." Damon agreed and Stefan nodded.
"Me too. She's amazing." Stefan responded.
"So… you and Rebekah… is it the real deal?" Damon examined and Stefan smiled.
"I hope so. I have a feeling that it is." Stefan nodded and Damon chuckled.
"Make an honest woman out of her before you go getting her knocked up." Damon instructed and Stefan rolled his eyes.
"This is the 21st century, Damon." Stefan said dryly and Damon smirked.
"So what? Do it anyway." Damon directed.
"Why? You know I don't believe in the marriage thing." Stefan pointed out.
"As your elder, I want to see my little brother get married." Damon countered and Stefan sighed.
"Are you going to nag?" Stefan asked and Damon snickered.
"Yes. Your children should be born the right way, Stefan. After us doing so many things the wrong way, at least this should be done the right way." Damon opined and Stefan snickered.
"You sound so old." Stefan teased and Damon laughed.
"We are so old." Damon smirked.
"Fine. If we get serious then I'll marry her." Stefan rolled his eyes again and Damon chuckled.
"Good." Damon approved. "You've already been with her before, it's not a big deal." He added.
"You know for someone who's slept with half of the planet, you sure do like being married." Stefan pestered and Damon laughed.
"I know." Damon admitted amused. "There's nothing better, Stef. You'll see that too." He smiled.
"Mother would be really proud of you. You're a very good father and husband." Stefan disclosed and Damon looked surprised.
"You think so?" Damon asked and Stefan smiled and nodded.
"I remember her telling me that the worth of a man is measured by how he treats his wife and children. You shower your wife with love, you do anything you can for her and your whole world is your children. I think she would have been very proud of you." Stefan elaborated and Damon took a long breath while he processed that then went over to him and hugged him because he couldn't help it. Stefan hugged him back tightly with a smile because there was nothing better for Stefan than having his big brother back.
"Damon, quick!" He heard Caroline call from where he was in the kitchen and he hurried out with Stefan behind him and she pointed with a smile. Damon looked and saw little Conrad pulling himself up slowly and wobbly to his feet by holding onto the coffee table. Damon cracked a grin and watched his clever little son, even Stefan looked pleased and proud. Conrad's face was one of pure concentration as he gripped the table and about a minute later he finally got to his feet while still gripping the table tightly and Caroline crawled over to him. "Oh, you're such a good boy!" She praised and kissed his cheeks and he let out a giggle while everyone clapped and cheered him on. Damon wandered over with a smile then affectionately ran his hand over Conrad's tiny blonde head.
"You are so clever, Rad." Damon grinned. "Put him back on his butt and see if he'll do it again." Damon instructed and Caroline carefully sat him back down next to the coffee table then she sat back to watch with a smile. They chuckled when Conrad seemed to shoot his mother a look that said 'What did you do that for? That took me ages!' then his little baby hands went back to the table and he started to concentrate again.
"Can you do that, angel?" Caroline asked Sessily who was sitting up a couple of feet away watching curiously with one of the stuffed dogs in her hand.
"She'll do it when she does it, Blondie. Don't push them." Damon remarked and Caroline rolled her eyes at him being a party pooper while the others snickered.
"Do you think that they're doing things faster than normal babies because they get to watch each other do things too?" Ric inquired.
"Probably is part of it." Damon nodded. "Sessy sat up by herself first and Rad watched her do it then like the next day he did it. Rad picked up a toy and threw it first and Sessy watched him do it then soon after she did it too. They're probably teaching each other as much as we're teaching them." Damon shrugged. Just then Conrad got to his feet again and Damon chuckled then picked him up and tossed him up in the air and Conrad let out a huge laugh then Damon caught him with a grin and kissed him. Everyone else was smiling fondly because it was obvious that Damon was really proud of him. "Can't believe you're already standing up." Damon sighed then put him to his hip with one arm.
"What's with the sad face?" Caroline queried.
"Because time will blink and he'll be going to school then it'll blink again and he'll be a teenager giving me attitude." Damon muttered and they chuckled.
"How do you think I feel? It feels like yesterday that Caroline was that age and now she's married with her own kids." Liz remarked and Damon deadpanned at her.
"Thank you, Sheriff. I feel so much better now." Damon snarked and they laughed loudly.
"They're only six months old, will you relax?" Caroline bid entertained and he rolled his eyes.
"Oh, by the way, you know we were looking for a three bedroom house in Charlottesville? It'll have to be bigger." Damon remarked to Caroline and she nodded.
"Four bedroom?" Caroline asked and Damon looked confused.
"Why four?" He tested.
"One for us, one for Sessily and Conrad, one for the three new babies and a spare room." Caroline replied.
"You want to put all three of them in one room?" Damon asked sceptically. "It'll have to be a big ass room then." He said and they chuckled. "But if we're going to be in Charlottesville for five or six years, do you really want Sessy and Rad to have to share a bedroom for that long?" Damon queried.
"Sessy will want a girly room and Rad will want a boy's room." Katherine agreed.
"Well, it depends on what these twins are." Caroline said pointing to her stomach.
"Better make it a five bedroom just in case." Damon remarked. "Because Liz will no doubt come up to visit on her days off." He added.
"That's true." Liz agreed.
"You could always get a transfer to Charlottesville." Caroline suggested to her mother. "They'll have a Department of Public Safety too and they probably won't have to deal with V5's." She teased and they all sniggered at the Mystic Falls Police's term for a vampire.
"It's definitely something to think about." Liz nodded. "But what about after the five or six years? Then I'd just be in Charlottesville by myself." She pointed out.
"Sure, but hopefully you'll have a boyfriend by then." Caroline quipped and they laughed while Liz shot her a look.
"What do you think, son? Should Nana get a boyfriend?" Damon questioned Conrad amused while the others chuckled and Liz blushed.
"Nana." Conrad smiled and they chuckled at him being so cute. "Daddy?" He asked and Damon smiled and kissed him.
"What?" Damon asked him.
"Din-na?" Conrad asked and Damon flashed him a grin while the others looked surprised.
"Almost ready, son." Damon said then kissed him again. "And in the meantime, your mother can go put those ridiculous clothes on you." He snarked and Caroline shot him a look while the others were amused.
Just before dinner, Caroline changed the kids' clothes. She put Sessily in a gorgeous red tutu skirt, red leggings and 'I love Santa' top then she put a cute little red clip in her blonde hair and she looked darling. She put Conrad in a little top and trouser outfit that was made to look like a Santa suit with a beard and belt decoration and white cuffs on the arms and legs. There was a little matching hat but she didn't put that on him because it was quite warm in the house. She brought them back downstairs and everyone thought that they looked so cute.
"I like that." Damon pointed to the clip in Sessily's hair. "You should get more of those." He requested.
"Why do you want her to constantly look so girly?" Caroline teased and they snickered because they'd noticed him doing that.
"She is a girl, Blondie." Damon replied because he thought that was obvious.
"Yeah, but you've never explained why you always want her in cute little dresses and stuff that makes her look like a doll." Caroline smirked and he rolled his eyes.
"Because she's our little princess." Damon fortified and they laughed in disbelief.
"God, she's going to be so spoiled." Caroline remarked amused.
"No, she isn't." Damon defended. "Anyway." He shot her a look. "We ready to eat?" He asked.
"What do you want?" Bonnie sobbed.
"I want to be made back into what I was." Klaus informed.
"How are you alive?" Bonnie asked confused.
"I had some of my blood in a vial that I was planning to give to Caroline just in case she ever needed it then she betrayed me. So, when we turned human, I drank it and when Damon shot me, I turned back." Klaus explained. "Now. Unless you help me, your mother, father and the boy die."
They had course after course of delicious food while they talked and laughed with each other, thoroughly enjoying Christmas. After dinner, Damon and Stefan served desserts and coffee then they retreated to the couches in the living room to continue their celebrations. At just after 10pm, Caroline and Damon put the twins down to bed in the travel cribs in the closest bedroom, so that they could hear them if they woke up. The celebrations continued and at just after 1am, Damon was sitting on the couch next to Stefan with a tumbler of bourbon when a scrunched up paper note appeared on his lap. Those who saw it happen, looked really surprised. Damon picked it up and read it and his eyes bugged.
"You have got to be fucking kidding me." Damon hissed and they all instantly were on alert.
"What's wrong?" Caroline asked alarmed then Damon was on his feet with his phone out and he dialled a number and held it to his ear.
"Round up as many as you can and get to Brindisi as fast as possible. I'll text you the address. Preferably those with daylight rings. Yes. Immediately. Good. Bye." Damon said then hung up.
"What the hell is going on?" Stefan asked confused and Damon took a deep breath.
"Klaus is alive." Damon revealed and their jaws dropped.
"How do you know?" Katherine gasped shocked – she couldn't believe it!
"He has Bonnie and her family. He's going to torture them for her cooperation." Damon explained shocking them.
"I'm coming with you." Stefan said and Damon shook his head.
"No. You're staying here. You have to protect them." Damon warned and Stefan gulped.
"But what if it's a trap?" Caroline asked nervously and Damon shot her a sad look.
"What if it's not?" Damon countered. "There are two human doppelgangers now. Think about how many hybrids he could make if he got a hold of Katherine too." He remarked and they all gulped at the thought of that.
"Should we tell Jeremy?" Caroline asked.
"No. If he's here, he's safer and he can help protect everyone. Klaus is in his house in Mystic Falls." Damon said. "I need to go. The compelled vampires will get here tomorrow and protect you just in case Klaus knows where we are." Damon advised.
"You're not going to be able to get a flight out tonight." Ric pointed out.
"I will if I go to Naples or Rome." Damon countered.
"Maybe we should all go with you." Caroline bit her lip.
"No. I want you as far away from him as possible. He tried to kill you last time." Damon refused. "He can't do anything to me." He added.
"But he could make Bonnie stop you." Caroline said worriedly.
"Not if I go turn Elijah and compel him to distract Klaus." Damon fired back. "Klaus will not anticipate Elijah, but Elijah isn't going to let anyone hurt Elena. He'll help."
"But Damon, Bonnie can find the daggers." Stefan reminded him and Damon nodded.
"While that's true, they're all here." Damon disclosed surprising all of them.
"Where?" Caroline asked.
"The safe." Damon answered and she nodded.
"We'll make sure that nobody can get them." She assured.
"Stefan, find a lawyer tomorrow and put this house in Caroline's name." Damon bid.
"I will." Stefan promised.
"Good." Damon approved then disappeared down the hall in a blink.
"Oh, God. This is a nightmare." Caroline said emotionally. "We were having the best day ever." She sobbed.
"It is but if Damon doesn't stop him, Bonnie could turn Klaus back into what he was before. That would be so much worse." Ric said while putting his arm around Caroline and giving her a supportive squeeze.
"He would do this on Christmas day. He's so evil." Caroline said with a sniff. About a minute later, Damon reappeared with a small shoulder bag full of stuff like his passport and wallet. He set down the bag then went into the room that the twins were in, gave them each a kiss then went back to the living room and retook his bag.
"I'm going to take the car. Stefan, you can get another one tomorrow." Damon said and Stefan nodded because it's not like money was ever going to be an issue for either of them. Caroline was up out of her seat running towards him almost at vampire speed and she hugged him tightly.
"Be careful." She sobbed and he squeezed her.
"Don't worry so much." Damon smirked. "Though, I'm ripping his head off this time. He can't come back from that." Damon muttered and they snickered in disbelief.
"Please keep us updated." Liz requested of him worriedly and he nodded.
"I will. Hopefully, it'll just be the case of in and out." Damon replied. "Good thing I'm not as drunk as I intended to be." He smirked and they snickered.
"I'll walk you out." Caroline said then took his hand. Damon gave the others a wave then they walked out to the car together. "You swear you won't take any chances?" Caroline asked him nervously and he smiled, cupped her cheeks and kissed her.
"Of course not. I'm not going to be reckless, I promise. I'll be back in a couple of days, baby." He soothed and she couldn't help a sniff.
"I love you, Damon." Caroline said with watery eyes and his stomach fluttered. He pushed her up against the car then crashed his lips to hers and kissed her like the world was going to end. Minutes later, he pulled away and leaned his forehead against hers.
"I love you more than anything." Damon said into her eyes. "I'm going to miss you and the kids so much." He sighed and she nodded.
"We'll miss you too." Caroline responded. "How long will it take you to drive to Naples?"
"Normally about two and a half to three hours but because it's Christmas Day, the roads will be dead. I'll be able to floor it and get there in maybe an hour and a half." Damon answered. "I'll either be able to get a flight there or from Rome. I'll phone the airports on the way." He explained and she nodded.
"Will you call me and let me know what flight you'll be on?" Caroline bid.
"Yeah, of course." Damon promised.
They said their reluctant goodbyes then Damon jumped in the car and drove like a bat out of hell away from the property and Caroline burst into tears. She was so beyond worried because she'd thought that Klaus was dead. Damon had buried him in the woods and everything. Stefan appeared and he hugged her as she cried.
"He'll be okay, Care." Stefan soothed.
"I just wish that someone was going with him." She sobbed.
"I know you don't see him that way, but Damon is the most dangerous thing in the world now. He'll take care of it and everyone will be safe." Stefan pacified softly while rubbing her back. "Get some sleep, Care. The kids will be up early. I'll stay up and wait for his call." He offered…
A/N: So, a little Stefan/Damon bonding, a little bonding with the kids and dun dun dun, Niklaus is back ;)
Next time - Damon&Elijah bond and start their plan...