“But – “
“He’s got a point, Elena.”
Elena shot Stefan a glare. Damon smirked.
“Thank you, little brother.”
Stefan turned towards Damon.
“Don’t get cocky. You may have a point, but Elena’s still right.”
It was Elena’s turn to smirk, and tuck her arm around Stefan’s waist.
Damon rolled his eyes.
“Of course I’m right,” she said.
“I’m telling you, if we do this, it will be a disaster.”
Elena reached for Damon’s hand.
“It’s a nice gesture. Ric will appreciate that we included her. He’s your best man, Damon. Do this for him?”
“Ha. As if.”
Elena let go of Damon’s hand and pulled him towards her and Stefan by his waistband. She looked up at him through her lashes. Stefan’s knowing grin mocked him from the periphery of his vision.
“If you won’t do it for Alaric, who is our family, then… do it for me?” She casually slipped her fingers under his shirt to brush along the skin of his abdomen. “Please?”
Damon gritted his teeth.
“But, it’s Katherine. You do remember Katherine? Yay tall, dark hair, manipulative bitch?”
Damon tensed as a cool hand began rubbing slow circles onto his lower back in tandem with the smaller one on his belly.
Stefan cleared his throat.
“It’s different now, Damon. She’s different. She makes Alaric happy.”
“Yeah, I’ll bet she does,” Damon said. He wet his lips and stared at Elena’s mouth. She bit her lip.
“More importantly,” Stefan’s breath skirted just behind Damon’s ear, “This will make Elena and me very happy.”
Damon shivered as the edges of Elena’s engagement ring tugged at the fine hairs under his belly button, her fingers dipping lower. She deftly popped the button of his jeans and slipped behind the waistband. She kept Damon’s gaze locked with hers. Smiled an innocent smile and nodded.
“Mm hm. Very happy.” She stepped in closer. “Will you do it for us? It’s only Katherine, and it’s only this one thing.”
Damon opened his mouth to respond, when a voice interrupted from behind.
“Ooh, talking about me, are we?”
The trio looked up, surprised, to find Katherine leaning casually against the doorjamb. Elena flushed and quickly stepped back, pushing her hair behind her ear and looking sheepish. Stefan moved to tuck Elena closer to his body, but kept a finger hooked through one belt loop at Damon’s back. Damon casually stretched his arms above his head, revealing his partially zipped pants, and then crossed his arms.
“How deliciously depraved. Tell me, do you three always bring me up during foreplay?”
“Shut up, Katherine,” Damon said.
“Hmm. Witty. I’d feign offense, but we all know I’d be lying.”
“You’re always lying,” said Damon. Elena elbowed him. “Ow! What?”
“Tell her what we decided,” Elena said through closed teeth, gesturing at Katherine with her eyes.
“No. We didn’t decide anything.”
“Oh, come on, Damon. What does your pretty bride-to-be want you to tell me?”
Katherine looked genuinely intrigued, a small smile playing at the corners of her mouth. She stepped in close to Damon and traced the top button of his shirt with her fingertip. Damon stared at the offending digit, looked pointedly at Katherine, and then at Elena. He raised an eyebrow.
“You see what I mean? This is a mistake.”
“Cool it, Katherine,” said Stefan.
“Yeah, knock it off,” Elena said, “Don’t make me regret standing up for you.”
Katherine held her palms out and stepped away from Damon. Her lips aped a pout before she sighed.
“Fine, I’ll behave. What is it?”
Damon looked to Stefan for help, but his brother just shook his head and nodded towards Elena. No assistance there.
“Alright. What our gorgeous bride wants me to tell you is that she – Ow! – I mean, we would be thrilled if you would givethefirsttoastatthereception.” He winced as Elena’s spidery fingers found just that spot near his kidney and pinched him again. She smiled sweetly at his glare. He looked back at Katherine and huffed. “Please.”
Katherine just stared at him for a long moment. She looked truly bewildered. Her eyes darted to Stefan and Elena, who both looked at her expectantly. Finally she smiled rather deliberately.
“Why, I would be honored to say a few words about you three crazy kids on your special day. Thank you for asking me.”
Elena smiled, relieved.
“Really? It wouldn’t be too weird? We just thought that, you know, with you and Alaric being…”
“No, Elena, not at all. We’re all one big happy family now, right?” Her smile never wavered. “I can’t wait to tell everyone in Mystic Falls how perfect all three of you are.”
Stefan spoke up.
“It doesn’t have to be much, Katherine. We know this is all a little strange.”
“Yeah,” Damon added, “Something along the lines of ‘Here’s to the bride and grooms, Mazel tov’ will do just fine. In fact, you don’t need to speak at all. Just raise your glass and then sit your ass down. OW! Damn it, Elena!”
Katherine nodded and turned to head back towards the main house.
“Oh, don’t you worry, kids. I’ll come up with just the thing.”
Three weeks later…
“… And that’s why we should all be celebrating the absolute miracle of their love. Won’t you join Alaric and I in raising your glasses? To Elena, Stefan, and Damon. Mr. and Mr. and Mrs. Salvatore!”
Katherine gulped down her champagne.
No one moved. The room was silent.
She looked around expectantly. A sea of faces stared back at her in shock. At last, someone towards the back of the hall started clapping wildly. No one joined him. A low murmur rolled through the guests as they tried to figure out what had just happened. Several ladies and gentlemen hurried towards the restrooms, looking peaked.
Katherine smiled in satisfaction and daintily took her seat next to Alaric. She placed a hand on his thigh.
“You’re not drinking your champagne, Ric. Is anything wrong?”
Alaric just rubbed his temples with one hand and sunk lower into his chair.
Katherine looked over at the newlyweds. Damon stared at her with eyes full of murder. Elena clutched a white-knuckled hand on his arm, whispering something frantically into his ear. Katherine wiggled her fingers in a little wave.
“Congrats, guys. Really.”
Sound suddenly filled the room as the band started to play. Caroline stood near the stage, regal in her bridesmaid gown, gesturing emphatically at the band leader and smiling meaningfully at the caterer. Wait staff rushed to start serving slices of cake to everyone.
Stefan stared blankly at the large white projection screen on the wall of the ballroom, mouth slack. Slowly, he turned towards his new wife and husband.
“Well,” he said, “that was… unique.” He gulped. “With the… visuals.”
“I’ll kill her. I swear to Christ, she’ll be nothing but a stain on the carpet when I’m through with her.” Damon snarled in Katherine’s direction.
“Damon, no, just let it go. It’s nothing.” Elena’s voice was pleading.
“Nothing? Are you kidding me?” Damon looked at his bride with incredulity. “I told you. Didn’t I tell you this would be a disaster? I believe my exact words were ‘this will be a disaster.’”
“It was certainly a creative toast, wasn’t it?” Stefan continued to look just past Elena and Damon, staring at something unknown in the distance.
“Snap out of it, Stefan. You’re about to start drooling. Save it for tonight.” Damon snapped his fingers in front of his brother’s face. Stefan blinked and shook his head.
“It’s fine,” said Elena.
“Elena – “
“No.” She slapped her hand down on the table. “It’s done. It’s fine. We’re fine. I’ve got my husbands on either side of me and I’ve got a glass full of champagne and a dance floor just begging me to drag you both onto it. And the world’s craziest sort-of-stepmother is paying for all of it. I’m happy.”
Damon’s expression softened a bit.
She smiled at him.
Stefan reached around Elena to cup Damon’s face.
“Me too, Damon. We’re all just fine.”
Damon looked back over at Katherine. She was currently nibbling on Alaric’s ear, coaxing him to look at her. He finally relented, giving her a smile of annoyance and amusement. Damon turned back to his spouses.
“Well, then. I guess we should dance.”
Elena’s eyes lit up. She nodded eagerly.
Stefan stood and offered Elena a hand.
She smiled from ear to ear as she jumped up and accepted his hand.
He offered his other hand to Damon.
Damon smiled despite himself and placed his hand in his brother’s.
As they made their way around the table towards the dance floor, Katherine caught the hem of Damon’s tuxedo jacket.
“Damon, I just want you to know…” she looked up at him in earnest.
He paused, halting Stefan and Elena in the process. They all looked at Katherine with curiosity.
“What is it, Katherine? You’re on thin ice after that stunt.”
“I just wanted to say, I’m totally okay with you calling me Mommy from now on.” She smiled wickedly.
Damon’s eyes darkened.
He made to lunge for her but Stefan used the momentum to swing him around and kiss him fully. Damon immediately went slack. Elena pressed into him and clamped her mouth to his ear. The ballroom erupted in hoots and cheers.
After a moment, the three finished their journey to the dance floor, where the spotlight held them while they moved together. It should have been awkward, but it wasn’t. It should also have been tame in front of such a large audience, but it certainly wasn’t. Before long Caroline was buzzing around the room, pulling guests to their feet and shoving them onto the dance floor to provide some distraction from the threesome.
The Salvatores danced on.