"Facetious." The little girl quips, stuffing another gummy bear into her mouth.
Damon just stares at her because he sure as hell never said that word to her. But okay, he'll bite and ask the question that he knows his daughter is waiting for him to ask. "And what does that mean?"
She beams and shifts to her knees in the chair before leaning on the counter. Lily was a little too excited about this little vocabulary lesson. "It means bad humor for serious stuff, daddy. Facetious!"
She pronounces the word wrong again, but he knows what she's talking about and either way it's adorable. "Impressive." He grins and sits her juice down in front of her. "And who taught you this impressive word?" He's naturally curious because what's happening in the classrooms where that word would even come up?
"Mr. Elijah." She answers around her cup. "He says that advancing your vocabulary is advancing our understanding of the human language."
Damon goes back to staring at his daughter because who in the hell was Mr. Elijah? The first thing that comes to mind is some whack job harassing four year old children about conspiracy theories. He wasn't sure why he thought that but he just did. Besides, wasn't Lily's teacher a woman? Yeah, her name was Ms. Sommers. Jenna. "Lily, who's Mr. Elijah?"
Lily scoffs as if she was offended by his question. And Damon instantly sees himself in his child. That eye roll and sighing was practically him down to a tee. "Daddy." She deadpans. "Mr. Elijah is my favorite teacher ever."
"Oh, this sounds like serious business. My apologies for offending you, princess."
Lily smiles at him and reaches out for him. When her father is in reach, she affectionately pats his cheek. "It's okay, daddy."
Damon finds that disgustingly cute.
Damon and Lily spend the rest of their day in his bed watching Disney movies. Even though he'd want nothing more than to throw his television out of the window (because there is only so many Disney princess movies that he can take), he deals because his daughter is happy. If she's happy then he is happy. But he totally didn't sigh in relief when she asked to watch Toy Story next.
The weekend goes by faster than he would have liked but he couldn't really complain because having the world's best alarm clock makes life easier when Monday morning rolls around. Who can't have a great day when there are big blue eyes and chubby cheeks staring down at you with a bowl of fruit for breakfast? Just for you. He didn't even question how she got the bowl out of the cabinet but she's creative so he goes with that theory.
So from there, the day starts on a great note. He gets Lily bathed and dressed then to school with ten minutes to spare and makes it to work on time. That's an accomplishment because when he first began his journey as a parent, he was late for everything.
Lily has school from 8am until 3pm. He would complain because seven hours is a bit much for four year olds but the stuff that his child learns on the daily basis is enough for him to keep his mouth shut. Damon's usually there twenty minutes before Lily's class is released. But today he's running late due to some last minute contract signing. He calls the school and they inform the teacher- the infamous Mr. Elijah. The man he's totally not jealous of (even though he is) because he feels like this man is his child's idol.
When he finally arrives it's 4:10pm and he feels like trash for having his daughter wait at school for a little over an hour. His Camaro parks in front of the school. It's a no parking zone but who's going to hassle him right now? He's just picking up his kid.
Lily is sitting there on the bench outside the school with a man he's never seen before but he doesn't panic because the school wouldn't let her leave the classroom without supervision. So he puts two and two together and assumes that this is him. He kind of shocks himself because he doesn't realize that he's starting to refer to this man as him. When had that started? Ignoring his pointless jealously, he treads across the grass and right over to the bench. But before he could even get there he hears, "DADDY" and suddenly there's a small impact gripping onto his legs. His heart swells.
"I'm sorry I'm late, Lily-pop. Daddy had to scold your stubborn uncle at work." He leans down and scoops her up then perches her on his hip as he moves over to the man who is now standing. "Thank you for waiting with her."
Mr. Elijah just stares at Damon. "You are her father?" He asks. He honestly didn't mean to make that sound as offensive as it most likely sounded. But it was more of a shock as in how much Lily looks like this man. The only difference is she has long wispy golden-brown hair. Hair that he assumes resembles her mother. Asides from that, she has this man's bright blue eyes...the same resting glare that he's convinced is hereditary now.
Damon hadn't registered the question because he was far too occupied with admiring the voice that just slipped past those lips. And his assumptive theory on this man being a conspiracy theorist is suddenly gone. With a voice like that he pegs the guy to be a poet- or some sort of speaker that just lures in the audience. His voice is deep but smooth like silk and it sort of sends chills up and down Damon's spine. He doesn't know how to feel about that either.
Elijah is pretty much in the same boat. He's not sure when he stopped but his comparison of Lily and her father had shifted to how Damon was all sharp cheek bones and long neck and slim—whoa! He had to stop that thought immediately. He counts his blessings when the man is finally speaking because his thoughts were traveling down a forbidden path that he really didn't need to go down.
"I am," he grins and Elijah shifts in his stance. "Do I look that un-parent like?"
Elijah shakes his head and looks at Lily who's resting her head on the man's shoulder and playing with his dark black hair. "Not at all." He finally answers. "You just seem...so very young." Not that younger people couldn't have children. He was just stating the obvious since this man looked really young.
Damon grins and adjusts Lily on his hip before raising his free hand to motion at his face. "Just 24." He wasn't that much younger than most people he knew who had children. Besides, he was relatively new at this whole father thing. He hadn't gotten custody of Lily until she was two, which he hated but he hadn't really had a say in the matter.
He had been seeing Katherine Pierce back when he was in college. His sophomore year. Damon was 19 and casual hookups were a normal thing for a young college student. Katherine was four years older than him and apparently had gotten pregnant after they split but never told him until she had no choice but to. He had received a phone call from her saying she was sick and that she never told him because she didn't want to disrupt his life. Katherine wanted him to finish school and not worry about taking care of a child.
That pissed him off because she had no right to keep that from him. He missed two years of his daughter's life. He missed her birth! And considering that he has had her for two years now, he couldn't imagine his life without her. Granted he probably wasn't ready to raise a child back then but it wasn't her choice to decide that. He would have tried his best. Regardless, he knew that Katherine meant well.
He couldn't stay mad at her though. She did call eventually even if half of the news was bad. There were complications during the birth and it followed her for two years. She refused to let her child go into foster care. A few days after he received that phone call, she died.
Damon snaps out of his thoughts when he realizes that they are just standing there— staring at one another. And he really doesn't want to go down that road of thinking of Katherine's death while meeting his daughter's 'favorite teacher ever'. "So, my daughter pretty much worships the ground that you walk on."
Elijah smiles and extends his hand. "My reputation precedes me apparently." He tilts his head some then adds onto that. "I suppose a proper introduction is due. My name is Elijah Mikaelson. I don't believe we've formally met."
Damon takes the man's hand. Elijah Mikaelson. So his first name is Elijah. He sees why his daughter likes this man so much. He's so very well spoken and stunning too. Everything about him just seems right and Damon isn't sure how he feels about it. "Damon Salvatore. It's nice to meet you."
"Daddy, Mr. Elijah taught us how to make origami birds." She chimes in out of nowhere.
"Did he now?" He smiles and tries not to look too hard at his daughter's teacher. "You'll have to show me when we get home."
Elijah slides his hands into his pockets and smiles, the little girl is adorable, very expressive and she talks with her hands. He wonders if Damon does that too.
"I guess we should get going." Damon says, nodding to his daughter's teacher.
"See you tomorrow!" The child says.
Elijah waves to her and turns to head back inside. "Drive safely." He says with a gentle wave to them both before disappearing through the double doors of the school.
Elijah isn't one to pry and he's damn sure not one to become fixated over someone that he doesn't even know. But ever since he met that man on Monday, that's all that is on his mind. Blue eyes, full rosy lips, and cheekbones for days, and okay— maybe he's a little bit fixated.
Kol likes to tease Elijah about it because apparently he knows Damon. Elijah found that out because he mentioned the name maybe once or twice to his brother (Kol claims that Elijah talks about the man all the time but who's being technical here? Elijah isn't), but Kol instantly recognized the name. How many Salvatore's were there in town? Not a lot.
And Elijah still hasn't heard the end of it.
He really hates that he's curious because even though his profession is based around curiosity and satisfying that curiosity with knowledge, he wants to just let this all go. He wants to forget that he even met this man.
But he can't.
Instead he asks Kol a series of closed-ended questions about Damon. It starts with, 'is he a decent person'. Yes or no- straight to the point. But then those closed-ended questions turn into open-ended ones. He finds himself asking 'how Kol knows him' and 'is he nice' oh and, 'what is he like'. He really can't help himself and he refused to accept that he's hung up on someone that he's met once.
Being the snarky little brother that he is, Kol makes this as difficult for Elijah as he can because who is he to pass up an opportunity to torture his eldest brother? Elijah seldom gives his siblings material to work with when it comes to teasing. He's always on his toes since he's the oldest. So he reverses the questioning and pesters his brother about why he needs to know all of these things about Damon Salvatore. It gets him nowhere but it's satisfying just to see Elijah flustered about something for once.
A week goes by and things die down. And by die down, Kol stops teasing his brother but Elijah keeps fixating.
It's Sunday morning and he's getting some shopping done because he's trying to be a functional human being. He's 27 and despises shopping like it's the plague. But he does it because he can't have Rebekah or Kol doing this for him. As much as he would prefer it, he knows he can't keep doing that.
Considering that it's such an early time to be shopping, the store is relatively empty and that definitely brings a smile to his face because it makes the process easier. There's something else that gets him smiling and it has to do with the blue-eyed distraction (that he has worked so hard to not think about), standing in the cereal aisle with his daughter. He tries to ignore him because he doesn't want to fall back into that incessant pool of thoughts that overcomes him when his mind drifts to that man. But before he can make his b-line out of the cereal aisle, there's a loud shriek and a squeaky voice yelling, "Mr. Elijah!" His escape is feeble.
He wants to curse under his breath or just keep walking and pretend that he doesn't hear it but that's rude. Besides, he's sure the people in the parking lot heard the little girl shouting his name. So he turns and smiles in her direction. She looks so happy to see him and he swears he heard Damon scolding her for yelling in the store like that. But how could the girl take him seriously when he's smiling at her like she just won the Olympics?
He pushes his basket towards Damon's and Lily is smiling widely at him. "Good morning, Lily." He smiles and she beams, jumping up and down in place. She's wearing a little twirly green dress that suits the child because she's adorable. Elijah does his best to ignore Damon. That's very rude, but it's what best when considering his dilemma. But Damon is suddenly looking at him and smiling brightly and fuck.
"Good morning, Mr. Salvatore." Right. That's good. Be polite, don't use first names because that's crossing a line in Elijah's mind.
Damon scoffs and rolls his eyes. Elijah sees where Lily gets it from. "Seriously, just call me Damon. You're making me feel like a 60 year old man."
Elijah just watches him but nods nonetheless. "Good morning, Damon."
There's that smile again that makes Elijah's knees weak. "Good morning, Mr. Elijah." He coos.
Is that flirtation that Elijah detects? He's not sure but he sure as hell likes— no, he loves how Damon just said his name. So playful and suggestive. A dangerous mixture honestly.
That's becoming Elijah's default word.
Lily returns to looking over the cereal while her father talks to her teacher. Picking the right cereal is serious business.
"Please suggest a cereal brand to her. We've been in this aisle for fifteen minutes and I'm about ready to discontinue everything then burn it all down."
"That's a bit drastic, don't you think, Mr. — Damon?"
Damon just shrugs and lazily leans on the basket he's been pushing around the store for about an hour. "Drastic times calls for drastic measures right?" He lets his eyes trail down to Lily while she quizzically looks over the many choices. He decides now that he hates Sunday shopping when cereal is involved.
Elijah lets his eyes trail over Damon. "Perhaps these will suffice." He reaches out and grabs the first box that he sees, Reese's Puffs.
Lily eyes the box before she reaches out and hugs it close to her chest. "Thank you." She looks at her father and smiles. "I'm ready daddy."
"Thank god." He stands up straight and that helps Elijah decide that he quite likes Damon in that black sweater. "And thank you." He focuses back on his daughter's teacher and points a finger at him. "I owe you one." With that, he's waving and heading down the aisle with his daughter attempting but failing at pushing the basket too.
Elijah spends the rest of his day with Damon's voice on repeat.
He really hates it.
Except he doesn't. He loves it.
A few more days pass and now Klaus is now pestering him. Apparently Kol has a bigger mouth than Rebekah.
"Now, now, no need to glare, brother. I'm not one to judge. I am just curious as to when you started pining. Elijah Mikaelson does not pine." He teases, leaning against the wall by the entrance into the living room.
Elijah gulps down his bourbon faster than he intended to but can anyone blame him? He had survived Kol's interrogation but Klaus is a different story. His methods are more calculated and he manages to get under anyone's skin with ease. "What are you going on about? Is it appropriate to assume that you have been conversing with our little brother?"
Klaus just laughs and moves then sits on the arm of the couch. "He tells me you're obsessed with his friend from college."
Elijah feels like the Salvatore's eye roll is somehow contagious. "I am not obsessed. I believe you have been misinformed, Niklaus."
"So who is this mystery friend that you are so fond of? I mean he must be something to have you so enamored with him."
"God, you are insufferable."
"Avoiding the question. Is this denial that I am detecting?" He genuinely wants to know more because it's not often that Elijah gets like this over a person. Klaus has seen his brother hooked on a person before and it always is meaningful. So if this guy was really eliciting this kind of reaction from Elijah, the guy had to be something. And Kol won't tell him anything else other than their brother having a crush. Kol says he doesn't know much more but Klaus knows better. He knows Kol is keeping the leverage for himself.
"It is irritation, brother."
"Sure." Klaus repeats.
"We are done here." Elijah just leaves.
Even though it's his house.