Damon had been putting off having this conversation. Ever since he and Elena had made the decision to go back to Mystic Falls, he’d been making up excuse after excuse to put off talking to Stefan about it. He didn’t know why. He’d been the one who’d asked to do it, to tell his brother. He could have let Elena do it - she would have handled it magnificently, as she always did difficult conversations - but this felt like something he needed to do himself. This was going to mean ‘goodbye’ after all.
When the announcement had been made that Intake had finally been fixed, Damon had admitted to himself, with a heavy heart, that he couldn’t put the conversation off any longer. Elena was growing restless, he knew, and although she had been patient with him so far, that was only going to last so long.
With two glasses of bourbon in hand - a gesture of goodwill - Damon found his brother in the Boarding House’s cavernous living room and, holding out one of the drinks to him, sank down beside Stefan on the couch.
“No frown today?” Damon commented casually, noting the unusually smooth set of Stefan’s forehead.
Stefan accepted his brother’s peace offering (and his presence) as it is were the most natural thing in the world. A world in which he did not expect Damon was a world in which breathing or being was difficult and he accepted that his brother could - and would - come and go with equal measures of alacrity and grace.
“Hello, brother,” was his reply. He took a swallow of the amber liquid and turned, brow arched. “You’re the one with the frown today.”