The Vision's Theft

Elena and Stefan 12

Stefan sat at the table with Emma eating breakfast. If breakfast meant that he mostly watched her eat cereal while he drank his morning mug of blood. Caroline was in the shower and oh how he wished he could join her. His cell rang and the caller ID read Viv. He stood up knocking his chair over and went to stand by the sink before answering.

"Hello."

"I think I found something," said Viv wasting no time getting to the point. This case had plagued her mind even after she returned home. She just had the sinking sensation that she couldn't give up on reuniting these two brothers.

"How quickly can you get here?" he asked.

"I'm taking the first bus out in the morning."

"So, this is real I'm getting my brother back?" asked Stefan trying to keep the relief out of his voice.

"I didn't say that. I think I may have found away for you to see him. And If that works then I have a plan to get'em back," said Viv.

"Sounds like a lotta ifs," said Stefan feeling a little dejected.

"It's all I got," she said a little disappointed that she couldn't do more.

"I'll take it," he said his voice quivering. "See you in twenty four hours?" He hung up and turned around to see Caroline staring him down.

"You lied to me?" she said disappointed. "Em go upstairs and pick out your clothes for today."

"I gotta drink my milk, first," said Emma looking between the pair. She knew something was off. If she didn't leave then they wouldn't fight.

"Just leave it! I'll bring you up a juice box," yelled Caroline losing her temper. The girl could be insufferable sometimes.

Emma began to cry. Stefan sighed two upset women was not what he had in mine when he woke up this morning. "Come here, Ems," he said holding out his outstretched arms to her.

"I don't want mommy to fight with daddy," said Emma rubbing her now red eyes.

"Did she just call me, mommy?" gushed Caroline wide eyed. She jumped up and down clapping her hands excitedly. A huge smile spread across her face.

"I think she did," said Stefan who kissed Emma's cheek that was still wet with tears. He couldn't keep the smile from spreading from his lips. Sure Caroline and he had made a pack to take care of her. To play the fatherly and motherly role, but he never actually allowed himself to believe that he'd ever be considered a father. Now Emma was telling them that she loved them. That he was her father.

"Emma, we are going to fight. It's what adults do, but I can promise you that will always make up after," he said kissing her little fingers. Cherishing this moment that he was sharing with her.

"Oh Yes, Ems I didn't mean to yell at you," said Caroline closing the gap between them using her unnatural speed.

"It's alright, mommy," said Emma giving her a hug.

"Do as your mom says and go upstairs and pull out your clothes?" said Stefan putting her down. He watched as her little feet disappeared around the corner.

"You are not off the hook, mister," said Caroline.

"Yes, but I should be. You wanted this house safe for you and Emma and I did that. I sent the witch packing. Every jug, and juice box is filled with vervain and the house is in Emma's name. So no vampire will just waltz in and touch any of us. I did it because it's my job to take care of you both because I love you and her," he said taking her hands.

"I'm not disputing that," said Caroline frustrated pulling her hand away.

"It doesn't matter you don't get to decide when or if I ever give up on my brother. Quite frankly, I'm disappointed that you even asked?"

Caroline huffed, " My decision was never about Damon or even about Emma. It was about you?"

"Really, I vaguely remember the words safety and danger being thrown around frequently. Hell, at one point you even said I had to be a good role model for Elena."

"I would have said anything to save you from yourself. I love you and I always have. Even before, you loved me."

"Just because you love me. Doesn't give you the right to decide what is best for me."

"You were turning into a monster. Someone I was starting not to recognize. You thought it was okay to keep her hog tied to the basement and feed her scraps until she figured out away to bring him back or she died. Whichever came first and even then it wouldn't matter cause you'd pick up another witch."

"Okay, okay I was there I remember," he said holding up his hands in surrender, "I was wrong for that. I was losing it. That's why I agreed when you told me to let her go."

"But you didn't did you?" asked Caroline looking him in the eye trying to read his feelings, "You've held that women's whole life hostage for your own selfish purposes."

"That's not what happened. I tweaked the compulsion a little. I just said that if she had any extra time to work on my case."

Caroline shook her head he really didn't think he had done anything wrong.

"I would have done the same thing for you or Emma for that matter," he said truthfully. That's what you do for family. You move heaven and earth to get them back.

"That's quite disturbing actually!" she said saddened. "If something unfortunate ever happens to me I don't want some poor innocent women paying for my death," she said making her choice clear.

"I need to do this," said Stefan determined.

"You didn't need my permission before and you don't need it now," she said walking away.

"Where are you going?" he yelled.

"I am going to go deliver the news to Elena. You know," she said turning back towards him, "You told your first lie to Emma today."

"We've been lying to her since she got here," he laughed, "One of the many being The herbs in her drinks are just basil."

"Your first lie to her as a father," said Caroline rolling her eyes at his antics, "We are going to fight, but there are just something's that I won't get over.

"Care, are you saying that you don't want to be with me anymore because of my brother? "he asked not sure he was ready for this.

"I'm just going to need time to wrap my head around this. But I want you to know that I'm happy for you. You might actually get him back. That's good news even if he is a complete tool."

"What about, Emma?" asked Stefan was she going to leave her to or insist on taking her with. He actually didn't like the idea of not seeing Emma on a regular basis.

"Of course I'd never leave Emma? That's not what I meant. I am coming back here."

"So you're just going to run away and leave me with Emma?" asked Stefan unsure if he had anything important scheduled for to do today.

"You're her dad now. Figure it out! You can survive until I get back," yelled Caroline slamming the door behind her.

Emma came downstairs wearing mismatched socks. A pink tutu and an iron man t-shirt. He smiled at the sight, "Wanna watch cartoons." He put Caroline's words behind him and focused on his little girl.

"Yeah," She nodded.

"Sounds like a plan," he said grabbing his mug and downing the rest of the blood. He rinsed the cup out in the sink.

"Why are you always drinking red stuff?" asked Emma it was the main drink she was always seeing them with. She wondered if it was their favorite like coco puff cereal was her favorite.

"Cranberry juice," he said picking her and tickling her stomach. While he carried her to the living room.

"Can I have some cranberry Juice?" she laughed covering her stomach.

"No, never," he said plopping her on the couch and grabbing the remote. He was running out of ideas. He'd have to discuss this with Caroline. He'd like to be able to explain it away like he did everything else, but there was no getting around this. They'd better figure something out soon before she was old enough to know that it's blood.

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