you guys, I'm the actual worst. I was planning on silently writing short pieces in the ficathon (actually I hadn't planned on writing anything in the ficathon till next month, but we all know what my will power is) so that I'd feel like I hadn't been on LJ at all when I should be working. But then this happened, and it refused to get posted and exceeded various comment lengths and messed page breaks up, so it's here and I wash my hands off my life /sigh. And because I kind of hate myself for this fic:
you can tell me how I'm not the actual worst and will not fail. Or, more honestly how I AM the actual worst and will probably repeat the year D: or, y'know, just ignore my pity party of one.
(it just struck me, the freaking fic may not even fit the prompt, so let's assume a...metaphorical fitting somehow, yeah?)
She refuses and refuses and refuses again until Klaus finally leaves, and this is it.
This is her and Tyler and being as alive as she can while she's, you know, dead. And this is exactly all she'd ever wanted.
Almost exactly all she'd ever wanted.
She decides to fix Stefan three weeks after Elena first sleeps with Damon.
It makes her a horrible person, because he hurt her best friend, and then he let her best friend die. And every time she looks at him, she still only sees the guy who told her she didn't have to pretend with him.
Which makes her stupid, along with being an awful person.
She's stupid, and shallow, and useless because she's known this guy for a year and she's letting it cloud her judgement, when she's the person who should be mad at him, because Elena wouldn't do it herself, and she's Elena's friend. That's what friends do. They're mad on your behalf for all the guys who hurt you and all the jerks who break your heart and all the guys who threaten to throw you off bridges and then let you freaking drown.
Caroline Forbes isn't a lot of things on The List, but she's a damn good friend.
hurt her again, and you're dead.
She decides to fix him anyway.
(Tyler laughs, "people aren't things, Caroline, they don't break.")
But she's looking into Stefan's eyes not looking into hers, and really? He's not people, he's nothing at all. Ergo, he can be fixed.
("Good luck with Broody McBroods-a-lot," Tyler tells her, slipping his hand between her legs underneath the dirty Mystic Grill table, and she forgives him for laughing.)
"I am going to fix you," she announces.
"Caroline," he says tiredly, running hand across his hair.
"What?" she replies, dares him to say something, because she can hit him then.
Hit him because she looks at him and sometimes it hurts her eyes. Burns behind her lids. And she can't cry. And these days? She kind of believes she doesn't deserve to feel this way.
She’s selfish, really; this isn’t about him, it’s about her. Everything about them is always about her.
He looks up at her, looks into her; it's been a while, "don't."
So that’s her ‘no’ right there.
(She'll take it as a 'please' anyway.)
Here's something she knows about Stefan Salvatore: he isn't much of a savior.
Not in the way of blood and heroes. Not in the way of the hearts he breaks with monotonous regularity. Not in the way of the monster beneath the surface.
He's no savior, but he's still the first person who thought she was worth saving in the first place.
This is how she thought it went:
I promise you I will not let anything happen to you.
His words don’t fit her mouth as well.
“okay,” he says, and she knows he’s just trying to shut her up.
“You saved me, I save you,” she points out reasonably, “I owe you one.”
He laughs incredulously, “you don’t owe me anything, Caroline. I wasn’t doing you a favor.”
“So fine,” she leans against the door of the mansion, and somewhere in the back of her head, his hands are still on her face look at me, Caroline, look at me, look at me, “whatever. You can owe me one instead.”
“You don’t understand—”
“Tell me what exactly I don’t understand, Stefan?”
“You’re seventeen,” he says, mouth set in a grim line and she doesn’t know this man, she’s never met him before, “it’s different for me, okay. It’s not like the epic high-school romance that you have with Tyler”
“You’re seventeen too,” she says, as if that’s the most important part of the sentence, even though her heart is in her throat, even though he terrifies her in this moment.
He laughs, bitter, completely in her face, “technically.”
“Technically,” she echoes, knows she’s lying, this man in front of her is a hundred and sixty three, “And technically, Elena has…something with Damon right now. It’s what she wants. So get. over. it.”
He looks at her like he can’t stand to look at her and her heart slams into her chest just as, a second later, he slams the door in her face.
(“It’s okay,” and her boy has the most soothing touch out of anyone she’s ever met and she never wants him to stop touching her, “Caroline, it’s okay.” She rests her head in Tyler’s lap and cries and cries and he strokes her hair and she thinks she might die again if he ever stops touching her.)
She follows him into the dark anyway.
(“Creepy stalker chick,” Tyler says, “it’s a hot look on you.”)
Stefan doesn’t think so. Stefan walks by like he can’t see her burning holes into the side of his head. Stefan hunts and drains and pretends like she isn’t there, just a footfall away. He stays quiet and she doesn’t speak.
And some nights she accidentally wanders off on her own, gets too entranced by the sound of the wind, the crispness of the wet leaves under her bare feet, the smell of water, and leaves him behind.
But every single night, he’s always there again, just a footfall away. Somehow, she always finds her way back to him.
(Tyler is silent for a while, “or maybe, he finds his way back to you”.)
It’s a long time. It’s hard days and long nights and the sound of that door slamming in her face. Now the doors are metaphorical, she knows metaphors, she did them in her English class. They slam just as loud in her head though.
It’s a long time, she knows, because it’s a long time after she stops counting.
It’s a long time, but the thing is, she has a long time; she has forever. So maybe, it’s like a week, really. A minute.
Just a second.
“You,” she slurs, and he laughs, it warms her. Or maybe that’s her body-weight in alcohol, “I hate you.”
He stops laughing, his eyes still crinkling around the edges, and he’s seventeen right now, she knows. She is too. “That’s not the impression I got from your nightly stalking ritual.”
“See,” she says, and it’s makes her ache a little, just a little, but it could be dehydration or whatever, “this is exactly why I hate you.”
“Why,” he asks, indulges her, what do seventeen year old boys know about dealing with drunk high school girls anyway.
“Because,” she says, and this is important. Caroline, you and me is not going to happen. Stupid, but important. “you keep rejecting me over and over and over and we’re not even friends. Not really. Not in the way that most people are friends. And I still keep coming back. I keep coming back and it’s not fair. I don’t want to be that girl. I don’t want to keep coming back.”
She realizes she’s overdosed on her stock of liquid courage by the time it’s far too late and her lips are hard on his unresponsive mouth.
She pulls back, eyes wide, and she didn’t just, she didn’t—
He catches her outside her locked door, fumbling with the key, hand shaking.
Goddammit, she’s a vampire, she has killer reflexes. She isn’t girly little Caroline anymore. Never wants to be girly little Caroline anymore.
He puts his hand across the shoulder and she realizes it’s not just her hand that’s shaking.
“Turn around, Caroline,” he says, and he sounds like the Stefan from that first night of the rest of her life. That guy who was her best friend even if he didn’t know it.
“No,” she says, stupidly, childishly.
“No,” she says, and she won’t cry because he doesn’t deserve it. These days she thinks she deserves things, “no. no. no.”
“Okay,” he says, pushes her hair away from her shoulder, lets his lips linger at the edge of her skin, moves his lips up the column of her throat, “okay, if that’s what you want.”
“What are you doing,” she turns around, back pushing against the door as she tries to make space to breathe, tries to remember how to breathe, seventeen and terrified. She doesn’t need to breathe, but that part comes later, “Stefan.”
And he’s looking at her, and he’s looking at her, and he’s moving closer, far too close, “not rejecting you.”
(Tyler mouths it along with her and she throws a pillow at his face “shut up.”
“That’s the third time you’ve told that part,” he says, and catches her around the waist, dragging her onto the bed, as she laughs, “I’m starting to get jealous.”)
“I love Elena.” she states, breathless. She doesn’t need to breathe, but that part comes later.
It’s an odd thing to say, and for a moment she thinks she might have said his dialogue for him accidentally, but she says it again and it still sounds right.
His hands stop their trail under her shirt, the silence of her room closing in upon them, “she’s your best friend.”
“And she always will be,” she says, because it’s important somehow. Because after Damon, and after this and maybe even after Tyler, after it’s all gone, it will always be that girl who screamed at Lenna Davis in front of the entire seventh grade for talking trash about her best friend's daddy and his boyfriend.
And that girl too will live forever now.
(She never wanted this for Elena, but she wanted it so much for herself and it makes her a terrible, selfish person, because what sort of a person wishes this kind of life on their best friend? The awful, selfish, terrible sort).
“I know,” says Stefan, reaches down and takes her hand, and for a nanosecond she thinks he read her thoughts because she's stupid like that. But he has Damon; he has to know what it feels like. And he won't say it, and she won't say it, because it makes them awful people, but she knows he knows. He somehow always does.
(“So are you like bonding or something.”
“Does that mean I don’t have to watch those lame romantic movies because Stefan knows how you feel about them and will be glad to watch them with you because he knows how much it means to you?”
His answering grin is wolfish.)
“I'd like to make a clarification," she says, and it's kind of stupid because she feels like she should raise her hand to talk. Like it's the first day of school. Like it's the first time someone's touched her.
"Of course you would," he says, and the latent amusement coating his words spurs her on, because this guy she knows. She hung out with him once.
"This is not what I meant,” she says, because he needs to know that, “when I said that thing about fixing you.”
He unbuttons her jeans, pushes it past her knees, “I might have actually listened if you did.”
She can feel the heat make it past her cheeks, even if she can’t technically blush anymore, “Stefan.”
And then he’s down on his knees and it’s too much, and she thinks it may never be enough anymore.
He inhales deeply, and something drops low in her stomach, her inner thigh muscles clenching against his curious mouth, “you smell like Tyler.”
And it’s when his tongue is flicking across her clit and her legs are wrapped much too tightly around his head that she realizes she doesn’t know this Stefan either.
“Caroline Forbes,” she says, her name foreign against her lips, far too punctuated and unpronounceable, “my name— it’s…Caroline Forbes.”
He moves his mouth away, and seriously? Sometimes she has the worst, lamest ideas ever, “It’s not a good testament to my skills that you can still talk so coherently.”
“No,” she says hastily, unsure as to how to push his head back there without seeming demanding, and then does it anyway, because hell, she’s nothing if not demanding, “no, it had nothing to do with—”
And the next words jumble inside her head because his tongue is finally there and he’s touching her like that, and his fingers are— and she’s—
“Stefan,” he says, the vibrations from his words making her come hard against his mouth, “Stefan Salvatore.”
“I’m sorry,” he whispers in the middle somewhere, “I’m so, so sorry, Caroline.”
She hears the door slam in her face, closes her eyes against the sound, “I know.”
“I like you like this,” he says later, much later.
“Slutty?” she asks, under the covers, eyes cast down, unable to look at him. She’s the worst person ever. She broke the Girl Code in fifty million ways. Thirty five, just with his mouth.
“Open,” he says, sliding his hand beneath the covers, between her thighs to punctuate his point, “wet. Wanton.”
“Wanton,” she snorts; looks him straight in the eye, because she’ll still a seventeen year old girl, “god, what are you, from the nineteenth cent— oh.”
(“I hope you know you’re not getting any tonight,” she says, crossing her arms across her chest and Tyler still doesn’t stop laughing.)
(“I haven’t actually slept with him yet,” she’ll say gravely, full of Tyler’s cock, fulfilled in a way she never is without him.
“What’s the rush,” Stefan will ask, lazily running his nail across her nipple, between their bodies “you’ve all of eternity to make up for it.”
He won’t be with her for all of eternity, she knows this. Tyler will kiss her eyes shut, because he knows her.
“Yeah,” she’ll say, cool, casual, indifferent, “besides, once it’s over, there really won’t be anything to look forward to.”
“Except the next time,” Stefan will declare, eyes darker than she’s seen them before, mouth against the faded scar on her shoulder, the only part of her skin Tyler doesn’t cover, “and the time after that. And the time—”
“Uh, guys, trying to get some results here,” Tyler will interrupt, and she’ll fall in love with him again.
“Sorry,” Stefan will say, and he won’t sound sorry at all, “I can’t resist her like that.”
“Open,” Tyler will supply, pound hard into her, eyes brimming over with laughter, “wet. Wanton.”
And then they’ll say it in chorus, in this high-pitched voice that sounds nothing like her, because her boys are the most annoying creatures in the whole world, “God, what are you, Stefan, from the nineteenth century or something?”
She’ll pretend to be annoyed, of course she will. And she’ll make them make it up to her over and over, because these days, she thinks she deserves things. But really, the sound will only make her heat beat faster against her chest.
Her heart doesn’t beat, but that part comes later.)