When Stefan first slipped into Damon's dream, it was by accident. Invading the mind was a power Katherine never described to him, so when his thoughts bent towards his brother, he didn't expect to see the world bloom into view. His brother, dressed formally, is leaning into Katherine's neck, murmuring words of love and eternity.

Stefan's heart catches and he burns the dream to ashes. When Damon wakes up in horror, Stefan soothes his brow and pushes his guilt away.

He found his brother at Monterrey. Damon was living happily, had a job, dating a girl with auburn hair and bright blue eyes, much like Damon's own.

If Monterrey was wiped out, they only had themselves to blame for it.

This time, Damon finds him. All the blood-letting, blood-spilling had left Stefan weary to the point of death. He shacked up in a cave, letting the despair take him. Damon comes to him, his face fever-bright and intense.

"Save me," Stefan croaks out, "Please."

Damon crushes his neck.

When Stefan wakes up, he's in Damon's arms. Damon is cradling him, on a train speeding to somewhere. Damon kisses his eyelids as they flutter.

"You're not allowed to leave. Not now, not ever."

Stefan rests his head in Damon's neck. It was easier than answering.