To say that Giuseppe Salvatore was disappointed with his progeny would be a gross understatement. Despite several attempts, his wife had died before being able to provide him with any sons. Indeed, several male babies had died weeks after childbirth before one eventually took her with him. He thus ended up instead with two healthy girls, a large home, no wife and no male heirs.
Domenica Salvatore was four years old when her younger sister was born. Estefania Salvatore, they called her. They waited anxiously to see if she would live past the first ten months, unlike the other babies, and when she did, to everyone’s surprise, there was much joy in the house.
Her mother later told Domenica, with a twinkle in her eye, that it served her father right for his two eldest to be girls. Domenica nodded but didn’t really understand, too distracted with her sisters cute clothes and the fear of being replaced.
(She needn’t have worried. Once her mother died and there were no male heirs, her father treated both sisters the same way: with contempt, impatience and, at times, a maddeningly placating attitude.)
Domenica Salvatore was thirteen when she first started noticing boys and being noticed by boys. She was quite beautiful, with her long, dark hair, a piercing blue gaze and sharp smirks. In the following years, she took to her life with ease, giggling with her friends about dresses and openly flirting with the local boys. She soon became a well-known flirt, stringing along boys and men alike for her own amusement.
Estefania Salvatore, on the other hand, much preferred the library in their home and the solitude of their gardens for reading peacefully. That is not to say she was plain, not at all, in fact mother’s much preferred the calm, quiet beauty of Estefania’s brown eyes, light hair and welcoming smiles. She did not hate the social life, and was indeed quite a proper lady in society’s terms, but she much preferred discussing knowledge and learning philosophy than boys and dresses.
Unwatched by their father, who, lacking a male heir and with his wife’s death still an open scar threw himself into his work, both sisters had a rather liberal childhood and it remained thusly early into their teenage years. They had servants and a governess to watch out for them, but no one really paid attention when Domenica’s society-approved flirting began to also take place without chaperones present, or when Estefania’s thirst for knowledge led to her sneaking away books that a young lady had no business reading.
It all eventually came to a head when Domenica was found in the stables with a Lockwood boy. Their father was livid when he was informed, and Estefania could do little but silently cry in her bed as she heard the screams from downstairs.
“What were you thinking you stupid girl?! Did he tell you he cared, that he loved you? Do you not realize he was just using you? How could you be so blind?!”
“I-it wasn’t like that! Father please!”
“You stupid, stupid girl! I have never been so disappointed! How long has this been going on? Are you even still - ?”
“Still what? Father? Father!”
“Are you even still chaste? Still pure? God, I barely recognize you child,”
“Y-yes Father, of course I’m still –“
“Are you really? I don’t know what to believe anymore,”
“Father, please, I swear to you – “
“Pack your bags, Domenica, you are leaving first thing tomorrow morning,”
“W-what? Where? Father, what – “
“Before everyone in this town hears about this, you’re going to that godforsaken finishing school the Forbes woman told me about, and I expect you to come back a proper woman, ready to be married to the man I choose for you,”
“But Father – “
“That’s enough, Domenica! I told you to go pack!”
Domenica trudged up the steps, and when Estefania heard her muffled crying from the next room she did not hesitate to go comfort her sister. As she stepped in the room, she saw Domenica, who was usually confident and beautiful, strewn on the bed, crying quietly. Estefania soon drew her into her arms, and the two held each other until they fell asleep like they had when they were younger. In the morning, Estefania woke up to her sister standing over her, dressed primly like a lady of society, all her belongings packed.
“You know what the funniest part is?” Domenica asked her, smiling despite her eyes watering.
“I didn’t even love him, it was just a bit of fun, that’s all really, just –“ Domenica cut off with a sob, then hugged her sister one last time before she left.
(In the next few days, Estefania saw her liberties given firm limits, and a constant chaperone following her everywhere. Giuseppe was determined that despite his elder daughter’s loss of standing in their town’s society, his younger daughter would still be able to make an advantageous marriage and would remain a proper lady.)
When Estefania was seventeen, she hadn’t seen her sister for two years and a half. Katherine Pierce came to live with them as a result of her loss, and Estefania was instructed to be a good, sensible companion for the lady, who would no doubt be distraught.
Estefania had prepared herself to console a mourning woman, and was instead faced with something quite different. Katherine assured her she was mourning, however that did not dissuade her from going shopping, flirting with men and enjoying herself. Estefania almost felt as if she had her sister back, except that, when Katherine found her secretly reading some of the literature she had been prohibited from touching as a woman, she actually plopped down next to her and began a passionate debate with her about it. Estefania was pleasantly surprised by this, and the two women thus became closer than before, sharing secretive smiles at having a fellow scholarly confidante in a world dominated by men.
“I think both men and women should be allowed to pursue whatever education they choose, but you know how it is,” Katherine told her.
“Katherine! They might hear you!”
“Let them! They’ll just think I’m being a silly woman, but you and I know better, we beat them at their own game,” they shared a smile.
When Estefania was seventeen, she saw her sister again for the first time in two years and a half. She raced down the stairs to meet her sister despite her father’s cries, and enveloped her in a tight hug. Her sister laughed, that same soft, velvety laugh she’d always had.
“I missed you,” Estefania muttered into her shoulder.
“Had I known this would be how I would be received, I would have stayed longer,” Domenica smiled back, and the girls giggled like they hadn’t been able to in too long.
“Domenica,” Giuseppe’s voice put an end to their happy reunion. He was watching them from the doorway to the house, eyeing his eldest daughter with apprehension and disappointment.
“Father,” was Domenica’s cool response.
The man glared, clearly displeased, before retreating once more into the house. Estefania glanced at her sister, whose face had visibly paled and eyes closed up, confused. When she turned to her, however, Domenica’s usual bright spirit once more shown through her features.
“Come on, help me unpack my clothes, I bought so many new things!”
About halfway through unpacking, the girls gave up and were lying on the bed, boxes strewn everywhere, while they shared stories. Estefania told her about the goings on in the society of Mystic Falls while Domenica shared her troublemaking escapades at the finishing school.
“I’m surprised they let you stay if you did all that!” Estefania giggled, but soon noticed she was the only one laughing. She turned to her sister, who had a somber expression.
“Let me stay,” Domenica whispered, turning to her sister, “Estefi, I got kicked out,”
Estefania gasped. She now understood the cold looks exchanged earlier between her father and sister. Getting kicked out of finishing school was no small matter in a society such as the one at Mystic Falls. Of course, it was possible to keep it quiet, however eventually someone would find out. One of the meddling Lockwoods, or the Forbes sisters who were always-
“Well then, they don’t know what they are missing,” a third voice came from the doorway. Both sisters sat up in surprise at the new addition to their conversation. Katherine Pierce smiled slyly at them.
“Won’t you introduce me, Estefania?”
“Oh! Right! Yes! Domenica, this is Miss Katherine Pierce, she is staying with us for the time being, she’s faced a terrible tragedy,” Estefania quickly explained, blushing at her lack of manners.
“It’s nice to meet you, Miss Pierce,” Domenica nodded.
“The pleasure’s all mine, Miss Salvatore! From what your sister has told me about, we will be the best of friends,” Katherine’s smile was lovely, as usual.
(In retrospect, it was also rather ominous.)
As it turned out, Katherine and Domenica did end up becoming good friends.
(Estefania had at first been concerned that they would clash, having similar personalities, however they instead bonded over their contempt for society, men and their rules.)
They shared opinions and giggles on the men of the town, and often went shopping together, giving each other compliments and ideas, usually dragging Estefania along when she’d rather stay home and read. She wouldn’t deny, though, that she loved the trips with her sister and her friend, as they also provided stimulating conversation on occasion and actually made her feel like the young girl she was as opposed to the brooding intellectual she was turning into.
Thus both sisters had points in common with Katherine, and thus she became quite fond of them both, as both girls had remarkable qualities which, she felt, were very much ahead of their times and wasted in this small town at this age.
Therefore, she decided to turn them.
Domenica jumped on the opportunity soon after Katherine revealed her true colors. The idea of living forever, being eternally young and beautiful was appealing to her vanity. However she was more interested in being stronger and smarter than all the men in her life, in living freely. If there was one thing Domenica coveted of men, was the freedom they were given to live their lives as they chose: yes, they could mess up, but they were allowed to learn and grow from that. She hated being forced to conform to the small box of a role which society gave women to fulfill.
Estefania was harder to convince. Unlike her wilder sister, her rebellious streak was more concealed, subtler, and she usually followed her father’s instructions, having never been at the receiving end of his rage and contempt. He usually placated her instead. She would not deny the idea was appealing when Katherine brought it up as intellectual conversation, however she was also frightened when Katherine showed her her true face. So Katherine compelled her. She was certain the girl would thank her, in the end.
Of course, it was all ruined when the Council found out about the vampires.
Giuseppe dies, Estefania kills him, but not before Katherine is taken with the other vampires.
(Oh, Domenica and Estefania die too, of course. But not really, since they do wake up again. They don’t need to breathe anymore, but. They’re alive. At least that’s how Domenica decides to think of it.)
Emily Bennett stays with them long enough to give them daylight rings so they can walk in the sun, and then hightails it out of Mystic Falls. When the men of the town find the two sisters the next morning, huddled up and crying close to the body of their father, they don’t question their story about walking in to find him like that and Estfania throwing herself at him, hence her bloodied dress.
They also don’t question it when the girls decide to leave town, thinking they just need to get away from all the constant reminders and pain.
The sisters stick together for some time, learning to forgive and forget their past mistakes, learning to live the life of a vampire, learning to survive.
However, their personalities are amplified as vampires, and thus Domenica becomes even more of a wild child and Estefania more of a brooding intellectual. They complement each other though, know that they bring out the best in each other. That’s one of the biggest reasons why they stick together for so long. But they do have fights.
Eventually, after nearly three decades, they get into such a big argument that Estefania walks out. She won’t see her sister for a long time. Domenica, at the time, shrugs it off, sure that they’ll run into each other again sooner rather than later.
Domenica continues to exist, moving from town to town and from year to year, eventually deciding to move abroad and discover what the world has to offer. She compels herself a valet, a wardrobe and travel documents, and off she goes.
(If anyone was tracking her, by the time war breaks out in Europe, she disappears from their sight.)
Estefania stays in familiar shores, joins the suffragette movement at one point, goes to college when she’s allowed to and devours books and knowledge in old libraries. As time passes, it becomes less about the intellect, knowledge and politics, and more about the snacks in between, which are no longer slow and calculated, but long and messy. Eventually she stops by in Monterrey and destroys the entire town. She becomes the Ripper.
Domenica returns home once the outbreak of war in Europe ruins her extended holiday. She visits Mystic Falls out of curiosity, and becomes involved in solving a murder mystery of epic proportions.
She becomes Domi, and takes to finding the serial killer like a game of cat and mouse. Sage soon begins to stir her in the direction she wants her to go, and introduces her to an entirely new outlook to the vampiric life.
Once the mystery is solved, Domi once more leaves town, intent on experiencing all her vampire powers have to offer her.
In the twenties, Estefania becomes Stefani and meets a man named Klaus in Chicago. She also meets his sister, who is not quite as keen on her, but Stefani doesn’t care. Klaus offers her blood, fun and sex, and what more could a girl ask for, really? He says she’s beautiful, divine, dark. He says he wants to paint her. Stefani goes along with it, unknowing and uncaring whose attention she’s attracting.
Klaus’ sister eventually warms up to her when she mentions Domenica. Rebekah seems ecstatic at the idea of sisters and female friends. Stefani supposes it’s a result of living surrounded by men. She knows the feeling.
(Eventually, Klaus makes her forget, taking his leave of Chicago as he continues to run. The Ripper of Monterrey is left alone.)
When World War II breaks out, the sisters meet again for the first time since Estefania left in the late eighteen hundreds.
Domi, having heard of her sister going off the rails too late to track her down in time, finally runs into her in New Orleans, as Stefani gets ready to aid in the war from the home front, working at a bomb factory. The sisters reunite with drinks and stories, remembering what it was like when they were still human and their concerns were the opinions of their father and the Mystic Falls society. They both agree that their new, extended lives, in which they can watch the reshaping of history were better for them than the small, southern town life could have ever hope to be.
(Domi also meets Lexi, Stefani’s new best friend, who she doesn’t like and she’s pretty sure the feeling is mutual.)
Just as she’s about to leave with her sister, Lexi takes her aside and very harshly tells her to leave well enough alone, claiming she had been there for Stefani when Domi wasn’t and she knows what’s best for her.
Angry and hurt, Domi leaves a very perplexed and hurt Stefani behind.
(Sometime in the late seventies, Lexi tracks her down because she heard she shut off her humanity. Domi tells her where she can shove it none too gently.)
It’s a hundred and fifty odd years since they became vampires, and the sisters are right where they started: in Mystic Falls.
There’s also a girl who looks exactly like Katherine, but lacking the feline grace and slyness of their maker. She makes up for with somewhat obnoxious selfless and good will, and Stefani likes her so they decide to stay.
Turns out they have to stay and protect as well, and that’s one Domi should’ve seen coming from a mile away.
Domi turns Caroline Forbes because she can see the girl struggling with losing control and trying to live up to expectations that no one cares about and competing with someone she thinks is better than her. Domi sees a lot of herself in Caroline, so she offers her a chance to be different.
And so, Caroline Forbes becomes a vampire.
To say that Stefani is upset would be an understatement, especially since Domi leaves the vampire training to her because hello , Domi would be the worst teacher ever, she’s got the collection of bodies to prove it. At least Stefani pretends and tries to know what she’s doing, even if they both know the Ripper is still in there.
Domi starts sleeping with Matt Donovan after he and Elena break up again, and yes, she might have been feeding him her blood, but that turns out better for everyone in the end because Katherine decides to come back, because apparently she was never in the tomb, and smothers him to death with a pillow.
(Domi stops sleeping with him after that.)
So Stefani is stuck training two baby vampires instead of one, and she would be angry at her careless sister who never thinks things through but at least they’re all alive and that’s good, because despite everything she’s grown to care for Elena and her circle of friends.
(Stefani then starts having a thing with Matt Donovan which, ew.)
So it turns out Katherine is actually a massive, manipulative bitch, but Domi figures both Stefani and her saw it coming when she turned up in their quiet little town after a century a half of nothing and smothered one of their new friends.
All that shit about best friends forever is just that. Shit. Because they actually had forever but their best friend obviously forgot them. That’s cool. She doesn’t seem pleased to have been replaced with Elena, but right now, Domi would pick Elena over Katherine any day of the week. Bitch deserves it.
Alaric Saltzman came to town with Isobel and John Gilbert and what a nightmare that was, both Salvatore sisters were doing some impressive pirouettes to keep everyone in the town safe and as innocent to things that go bump in the night as possible.
Alaric Saltzman tries to kill her and she actually kills him, only he comes back to life because of the ring, and she finds herself stuck with him more often than she’d like. So they sleep together, and it was supposed to be a one-time thing, but then it keeps happening and suddenly she finds herself in an honest-to-god relationship. One in which he becomes an almost permanent face in the Salvatore Boarding House and cooks both sisters breakfast.
“Alaric Saltzman is the best thing that’s ever happened to you,” Stefani smiles at her over the rim of a coffee cup one morning.
(Domi will forever deny that she blushed.)
It turns out Katherine has a past that’s catching up to her and she’s trading in Elena, Matt and Tyler Lockwood for a shiny new life. Elena makes friend with an original vampire called Elijah who assures them he’ll do his utmost to help them. He saves Domi’s life three times with extreme nonchalance and she is not charmed. At all.
(He ends up stabbed in a coffin pretty fast and so much for that.)
They plan and plan to avoid anyone else dying, and of course it all goes to hell anyway. Vicki Donovan, Mason Lockwood and Elena’s Aunt Jenna number among the victims.
(Katherine leaves again, but this time she’s left them with a new neighbor, an original hybrid, and Domi thinks life can’t be any worse.)
It turns out it can when her sister is forced to leave with Klaus in order to save her life, and Domi could just kill her for it. Elena and her spend weeks trying to track Stefani down, and her sister does not want to be found, especially now that she’s got her humanity turned off.
Apparently, Stefani’s got some kind of past with Klaus that he’d compelled her to forget, and Domi just doesn’t want to think about what they got up to in the twenties because ew, that’s her baby sister.
(If Stefani slips and has hate sex with Klaus at one point in their crazy road trip, that’s her fault because she’s got no humanity right now and Klaus, in his pretense of being a gentleman, would never compel her to do so. She knows she’ll hate herself when her humanity is back on, but right now she doesn’t care.)
They come back to Mystic Falls anyway after some kind of lover’s spat, no matter how much Stefani denies it. Stefani still has her humanity off and Domi is now stuck being the responsible one and she hates it so much. There is also someone going around playing serial killer again and she’s about ready to scream from exasperation.
Klaus kills his dad and Stefani stops Domi from killing Klaus and that really blows because they could have ended all that shit right then. But as Stefani later reveals, Katherine and her were just saving Domi’s life.
(Domi hates them both so much right now, but that’s pretty much become a part of her personality, so she shrugs it off and goes back to scheming against public enemy number one: Niklaus Mikaelson.)
She undaggers Elijah and leaves a friendly note in his pocket when she finds out Stefani stole the coffins. He meets with her and she is not charmed, damn it. They come up with a plan to put an end to the lover’s spat by putting an end to Klaus.
For some reason, this includes some strange sort of double date between the two undaggered Mikaelson brothers and the two Salvatore sisters. Domi ensures that both her and her sister are dressed to kill, and she’s pretty sure they could charm the pants off of those brothers if Stefani still had her humanity. Southern hospitality and all that.
The brothers share some sob story about the original doppelganger, some Tatia, and both sisters firmly display no emotion because no, they are not jealous, thank you. They are just here to distract and gain time while Bonnie and the rest of the gang open the magic coffin of evil.
Klaus seems intent on getting an apology from her sister, who refuses to give one and seems to expect one from him instead. Domi and Elijah share looks of mutual frustration.
(Elijah then undaggers all his siblings, but Stefani’s humanity makes an unwelcome return when she decides she can’t see Klaus come to an end just yet. Domi is about to intervene before another original vampire decides he doesn’t care and stakes her sister, when Mommy Original turns up and promptly kicks them out of the house, no doubt giving them the evil eye for hanging out with her precious boys.)
They get invitations to that stupid ball, and Stefani gets a dress from Klaus. Domi thinks it’s creepy how well he knows her sister, because the dress is tailor-made and exactly Stefani’s type. Tired of seeing her sister attempt to find something else, Domi gives her her blessing for going in the Klaus-dress and, as they both thought, she looks stunning. It’s still creepy.
Everyone decides to go, and there seems to be some sort of nefarious plot against the Mikaelson’s going on that both Salvatore sisters don’t know about, based on Elena and Bonnie’s furtive glances and not so secret meetings with Mommy Original.
(Alaric doesn’t go. He seems to be in the know of the plan and he’s been given different instructions. Domi pretends she’s fine and like she doesn’t need to dance with him, doesn’t need to feel pretty and loved just for one night. He kisses her before she leaves and tells her she looks beautiful and she smiles, feeling a lot better. She tells him not to go see the doctor lady too often and he chuckles before kissing her again.)
Domi gives her sister warning looks when she sees Matt dancing with Rebekah, who seems very keen on charming the young vampire. Stefani nods in understanding and heads in their direction before Klaus comes from literally nowhere and steers her towards the dance floor. For the first time since the twenties, Stefani finds herself dancing with him.
“What are you doing?” she asks him eventually, narrowing her eyes.
“Dancing with you, love,” he replies with a grin as he twirls her.
“What’s your endgame?” she grits out.
“Can’t a man dance with a beautiful woman without being cross-examined anymore?” he chuckles, and Stefani keeps her mouth firmly shut so she doesn’t have to endure any more compliments.
Domi groans and wants to smack her head against something, except she finds someone extending a hand out to her. The hand is connected to an arm and Elijah’s ever-so-polite face stares back at her.
What the hell, she thinks, and takes his hand.
“You do realize I’ve got someone,” she says halfway through the dance, unable to stand the silence and constant staring.
“Yes, the vampire hunter, I know,” his lips upturn lightly, and Domi has the very distinct feeling that she is missing out on a joke.
Mommy Original’s plan goes to hell and the Originals are still around. Elena asks Domi to compel Jeremy to go to Denver, and she does so. Elijah and Kol leave town, and Domi doesn’t even notice because Alaric’s new friend the doctor is totally the serial killer and Domi knew the woman was fishy but this is dangerous. And no, she wasn’t jealous, Salvatore’s don’t do jealous.
(It turns out it was Alaric and he dies and she knew it’s what he would have preferred to being a serial killer who destroyed everyone he loved but she still cries and cries, and Stefani holds her and cries with her like the haven’t since she was sent off to finishing school so long ago.)
Elena gets turned into a vampire, what the hell Stefani, because she wanted Jeremy to be safe before her. Domi still doesn’t know what Jeremy was doing in that car, it should’ve been Matt, who is already a vampire and could’ve saved himself. The Salvatore sisters wait for Elena to live again, but they both know she isn’t suited for the vampire life, not if she wants to avoid becoming Katherine.
The search for the cure brings out the worst in all of them, as Rebekah and Matt both decide they want it, Domi and Stefani and Caroline want it for Elena, and Klaus wants to destroy it. Professor Shane and Bonnie also want it for reasons still unknown.
Elena and Jeremy kill Kol, which is so stupid, not to mention makes them mass murderers, don’t even get Domi started, but now they’re closer to finding the cure. Stefani stays back to make sure Klaus doesn’t do anything while they all go to some remote island as per Professor Shane’s instructions.
(As per Domi’s instructions, Stefani continues to leave flowers on Alaric’s grave.)
(In complete reverse of Domi’s instructions, Stefani gets a bit closer to grieving Klaus than she is willing to admit, and there might be kissing involved.)
Silas is real and he kills Jeremy and so Elena turns off her humanity and Katherine has the cure. Domi and Stefani hate everything and get uproariously drunk when humanity-less Elena throws a party in their home without asking.
(Sheriff Forbes is injured and Caroline is livid, but thank god for Matt who is now back on their team and working double shift, since the Salvatore sisters are currently out for the count.)
They wake up hung over and forced on an early road trip when it turns out Elena and her new BFF Rebekah have skipped town to look for Katherine so Rebekah can take the cure. They take Matt with them because he works as a good buffer, and Caroline has to take care of her mom and Bonnie needs some time alone right now.
They split up, Matt and Stefani finding Rebekah and Katherine at the diner pretty fast, and Domi running smack into Elijah and Elena, whose neck has been broken and so she’s on the ground.
“She was getting uncontrollable,” Elijah offers as explanation. And no, that is so not what Domi cares about right now.
“ You’re Katherine’s lover boy? Jesus Christ, how stupid can you be? I thought you knew how she used people better than anyone, I mean, just, what?” she sputters, horrified.
“Domenica, please, it’s not like that,”
“Not like what? Like you being her newest toy and defense mechanism against Klaus? I know that you cared about her, but please, she’s not the same person anymore, and she’s certainly not – “
“I would advise against finishing that sentence, Domenica, lest you want to keep your heart,”
“Okay buddy, you know what, fine, whatever, ruin your stupid life chasing after nothing more than a woman who doesn’t exist –“
“Like you ruin yours mourning for that vampire hunter?”
“Woah, no, no, no , you do not get to talk about him in any way, do you understand me?!” Domi’s eyes are watering with angry tears, but she ignores it in favor of shoving the older vampire, who seems to regret his words.
“I apologize, Domenica, it was not my place –“
“Damn right it wasn’t your place, you, you stupid piece of – “ and no, she doesn’t break off because she’s crying, she breaks off because Elijah is kissing her and what the hell she’s kissing back.
(She swears Alaric is laughing at her from somewhere.)
They bring Elena back, her humanity still off. They bring Rebekah back, she’s still a bitch. They bring Elijah back, he greets Klaus and then becomes a frequent guest at the Boarding House.
(Stefani would comment, but she knows Domi knows about her own less than innocent occasional meetings with the other Mikaelson brother.)
They don’t bring Katherine back.
The future looks bleak right now, but the sisters are confident that they’ll make it through. They’ve made it through much worse, and they’re still around.
(Perhaps one morning they’ll wake up in their separate rooms, in rumpled sheets, meet in the bathroom with tired, happy smiles on their faces and descend the stairs to find their respective Mikaelson men attempting to cook brunch, while Elena and her friends set up a table outside. It’s nice to dream.)