hi, hi, don't mind me, i'm just posting fic from the fairytale meme post here since the comments break up the fic and mess up the order and generally everything so... yay for documentation? nobody need read etc. etc. (see, you can always tell when i have exams because i'm all over the place with not studying)
disclaimer: I don't own John Mayer, Bob Dylan or Buffy the Vampire Slayer
we are over as the loving kind.
There’s a moment when it cracks. When Bonnie feels every single molecule composing her burn with the kind of rage that sends sparks shooting down her wrists. Because that’s all her magic comes to. He best friend lying on a table in a room that smells of disinfectant and emptiness.
Goddamn you, she thinks, you don’t get to die. Not after everything we’ve gone through to keep you alive. Not after Grams. Not after Abby. You selfish bitch, you don’t get to die.
She betrayed Caroline and she failed Elena in a single night. Ladies and gentlemen, Bonnie Bennett, best friend extraordinaire.
She doesn’t cry. Not when Caroline wraps her arms tighter around the boy she thinks is Tyler, because she’s shivering and she can’t seem to get warm. Not when the Salvatores break down, bit by bit, right in front of her eyes. Not when Jeremy stares blankly ahead, his eyes fixed at a point on the wall above his sister’s head, stone still.
She thinks of the bright girl with the sort of smile that charmed the students in seventh grade and made them vie for a seat next to her in class. Queen Elena, Caroline would say scornfully sometimes, Queen Elena holding court. Ain’t that a grand sight. But everyone knew that Caroline desperately wanted to be friends with her, so her words didn’t count for as much as that hidden note of wistfulness in her voice did. But Elena wasn’t best friends with golden-headed Caroline. She wasn’t best friends with exotic looking Dana. She was best friends with her, with Bonnie. She was only Bonnie’s best friend.
You are magical, Elena wrote at the end of her birthday card each year, without fail, in fancy loopy writing that always tilted slightly downwards on the blank page, you are magical and we’ll be best friends forever.
Apparently forever had come and gone without Bonnie noticing.
Liar, she thinks, and walks out, you goddamned lying—
She doesn’t cry.
the streets will flood
with blood of those who felt the same
“Why won’t Bonnie speak to me?” Elena asks, her eyes childishly wide, her hands clasped in front of her. And for a moment Caroline remembers that girl from seventh grade. Queen Elena. The one whom she’d been convinced was faking it all. The girl whom she loved and hated in equal measure.
“She feels like it’s her fault,” Caroline says, and wonders when she came to know these two girls well enough to know that. Or maybe she had always known that Elena never wore green on Tuesdays and that Bonnie hated strawberry smoothies because she had always been watching, even when they never looked back.
“It’s nobody’s fault,” Elena shrugs, “it’s not even that big a deal in this town. They should probably add in a separate section in the census for the supernatural population of Mystic Falls.”
Her mouth is caked with blood that smells warm and human and all those things that Stefan taught her to fight against, and sometimes, she doesn’t want to. All she wants to do is lick that last drop off Elena’s lips.
“Every night I save you,” she whispers instead, because she doesn’t have a scriptwriter in her life and for moments like these, she steals lines from television shows that she used to watch when monsters disappeared with the light of the bulb and couldn’t touch you if you were under the sheets, “not when it mattered of course. Not then. But after that. Every night after that.”
Elena smiles, wide and feral and wild, “don’t be silly, Caroline. I’m alive. More alive than I’ve possibly ever been.”
She remembers the girl who had told her firmly in kindergarten that her picture was wrong because the sky was not red. Red was the color of blood and there was no place for blood where angels lived.
She’s sorry that she couldn’t save that girl.
(But she’s sorrier that she isn’t sorry enough. That she doesn’t really care about the blood. That she’ll never really care about the blood. That she will choose this girl a thousand times over).
anything other than a yes is no
anything less than stay is go
It’s odd how much she remembers now.
And the memories aren’t soft, bright glowing colors at the back of her mind. They’re harsh, Technicolor, shutting out every one of her senses to force their way in.
She had thought that she would know how it would be because she had already seen Caroline. But this wasn’t how it was watching Caroline turn. Caroline was the same. She sometimes hates Caroline because Caroline is always the same. She’s dead, but she hasn’t stopped living. She still paints her skies red and her days golden.
Bonnie looks at her differently now, and she’s the only one who talks about the blood. Who wipes her mouth and doesn’t stay silent. Whose hands work agony inside her head till she collapses, and whose hands always form a cradle when she rises again.
(Bonnie is too good for this world of theirs. It doesn’t deserve her. Like all the people whose love Elena never deserved. It doesn’t deserve Caroline’s sunshine either. It is made for monsters like Klaus. Like Damon. Like Stefan. Like her.)
She remembers days that never happened, and she remembers pacts that were never kept because they had forever to start keeping them. She doesn’t know if they’re stories her head makes up, or if it’s real. That maybe it’s every single moment she forgot because she wasn’t looking hard enough, because she was so busy trying to get to the next that she missed the one she passed.
She gets lost in them sometimes. During the day, when they all tread around her like she’s dead. Then she sits back and gets lost. But the night, the night belongs to her. She belongs to the night.
She closes the door behind her, ready for the hunt. Damon and Stefan will find out she’s gone just minutes later, but she makes use of every moment now. She has the time.
(Somewhere in her head Bonnie throws a piece of chalk at Caroline for making fun of their hot English teacher. Caroline sticks her tongue out. Elena laughs.)
into your drying eyes
“I’m sorry,” Elena whispers, “I’m so, so—”
“It’s okay,” Caroline brushes her best friend’s hair back, because she always does, “it’s okay, shh, it’s okay.”
Bonnie stays silent; her hands are soft as she wipes the blood off Elena’s mouth.
The water glows red. They watch it drain away.
friends, lovers, or nothing
we'll never be the inbetween
still the sea is salt
She thinks it is fitting to meet by the sea when the world is about to end, because the sea has no history. Frozen solid, but it is the sea nonetheless.
“Jon Snow,” he says his name is, “of the Night’s Watch.”
It is amusing how the boy thinks the Night’s Watch means anything when the White Walkers walk again. That the Iron Throne means anything when both the men who had loved her lie wasting in the ground somewhere and her dragons could die from the cold and she could be left all alone, forever.
As long as forever lasts.
“Snow,” she repeats after him, like it still matters, “bastard from the North.”
Winter is coming.
It is rather fitting, if redundant at a time when winter has arrived.
He looks away.
“Daenerys of House Targaryen,” she says, thinks of lying for a moment, just so the boy will stay a little while longer. But she is Daenerys Stormborn, she does not lie about who she is. Because then she would be no one.
He draws his sword, like she had known he would. She has known him for an hour, and she knows this because he has no history. All he has are gestures open to anyone willing to read them and she is a good reader.
“You were believed dead.”
Maybe she is. Maybe it is she who lies rotting beneath the ground and not Khal Drogo or Ser Jorah. It should have been her.
“You will not hurt me,” she says.
His sword stops an inch short of her skin, and in his eyes she reads the hesitation, this is not who you are, she thinks.
“I do not strike girls,” he finally states.
She draws her knife then and slashes across his wrist, just enough for the blood to seep through the cut and freeze on his translucent, cold, white skin. It is a work of art.
“I am the Khaleesi of the Dothraki. The Mother of Dragons. I am not a girl, sir.”
She waits for him to leave.
He does not know much about women, if anything, she realizes a day later.
The cave is dry. Her dragons light the dry leaves on fire, but it is a weak flame, and for a moment she is terrified. She is a mother and she will watch her children die and she will not be allowed to grieve because they think the dragons aren’t her children. They are an asset in the war. A means to the Iron Throne, but they are not her flesh and blood. Not human even, they will say.
But the dragons are hers and hers alone. They are the only children she will ever have.
Jon Snow watches her dragons with fascinated wariness. He sits far away and his eyes glow when the fire passes through her and lights the leaves in front of him, but he does not say anything. His skin gains color, loses some of the icy whiteness the snow had lent it.
Jon Snow. He is a child of winter, but the snow freezes him. She is the daughter of fire. Fire cannot burn her. But it cannot warm her either. She has winter in her heart now.
He does not come closer. He does not try to touch her. And in just a few hours, she is wishing he would, because she cannot go to him and demand to be touched.
And he would not touch her even if she asked. She knows this, because she knows this man now. She is him and he is her and they are all that's left in the world to know.
“Did you love him?” he asks, despite himself.
She does all the talking, while he sits silent in the corner. She talks against the hunger, against the cold, against everything that is lost in a mist of white. She creates lands through her words and places at the back of her eyes. She talks about the desert, about the golden city of treachery. Knows in her heart that her entire world now is this cave and this man and the two sons she has left and the one son who died and lies buried in a shallow grave at the end of the cave.
She does not go there.
And sometimes she forgets he is there. She talks because these are stories that no one will ever hear South of the Wall. They will never know that Daenerys of House Targaryen had lived. That she had had a conqueror’s spirit. That she had been the rightful heir to the Iron Throne. That she had loved. That she had lost. That she had dared to love again.
So she leaves her stories to the walls. They will be here, long after she is gone, and she will have left her mark.
She thinks of his question for a moment, and she knows the answer, maybe she always did. She can't remember why it had seemed so important to lie, but what does it matter now, “yes.”
He is a quiet for a while, and she believes he has said all he had to, because he only ever strings a few words at a time, “I have never loved. I have never been hurt like that.”
She stares into the fire. Wishes it would burn her just once. “You have lost more than I have.”
She catches him staring sometimes, like he was just glancing and forgot to look away. It is an unusual stare. It has as much a brother’s love as the lover’s lust.
“You remind me of someone,” he says, the first time he speaks when she hasn’t spoken, “someone I had known.”
But then you have loved, she thinks, does not say, eyes cannot lie like tongues do.
“Of whom?” she asks instead.
“Arya,” he smiles, he is beautiful when he smiles, “she was my sister. Half sister. A trueborn Stark.”
It does not matter how you felt, she wants to tell him, there is no shame now, not in the winter, not near the water.
“Did she look like me?”
He looks at her a long time, “no,” he says finally, “nothing like you. But you remind me of her. She did not have your beauty. She had your spirit.”
I could love you, she thinks, because she is cold and lost and alone and closer to the girl she had been rather than the woman she became, I could love you even though my heart is not gentle and pieces of it lie buried all over the world, the one that used to be. I could love you.
He makes love to her that night. He is unsure and rushed and she knows it is the first time he has touched a woman, but for a few moments, she is warm. Maybe he thinks of his sister, she does not know.
But she is like his sister, he had said so himself, so maybe it is her that he thinks of when his mouth roams and his hands caress.
She thinks of the sea.
and the bible didn't mention us
She thinks she loves most those lazy days of summer when her skin is warm and she can pretend she’s growing older as the scorching dates melt into each other on her calendar. Just a little bit, just eighteen, because it’s such an important age. She wants to be eighteen.
Tyler laughs at her for being very seventeen in wanting to grow up, because that’s what seventeen-year-olds do, and she throws things at him and Stefan looks at them from the couch he’s sitting on and makes his older brother face and going back to his book. But then she’ll slip an ice-cube down the back of his shirt and run before he can catch her. He always catches her in the end because she always lets him, and her skin is warm and his lips are warm, the summer sun heating up her dead blood, and she loves those long days of summer.
Tuesdays, Stefan wears his ‘hey it’s Tuesday’ look and Tyler loves her even though she is a mess till the afternoon because she pretends she can paint in the mornings and splashes more color on herself than the canvas. They don’t laugh at her paintings and later, they wipe off every smudge off her under the running shower water with their hands; each brushstroke of their fingers making her body come alive with brilliant hues. She thinks they are better painters than she is, but she will never tell them that because she likes to be good at things.
One day in a week, Stefan wanders out till late night and each time she is terrified he will not return. Because Tyler, Tyler stays, but Stefan always has one foot out the door. Those days she thinks of all the reasons why, and remembers things she had half-forgotten and all those names that lie at the back of her head like a constant ache. Tyler stands close by and touches her as much as he can those days; brushes his hands down her back, entangles it in her hair, lays a kiss on the side of her neck because he knows she will fall otherwise. And she thinks she could live like this, even if it was just her. She could live like this. If she had to, she will, she's Caroline Forbes. That used to mean something.
But he always comes back though, just when the panic makes its way up her throat, he is at the door. She loves him fiercely those nights, marks him for her own and doesn't let him go. And he isn't gentle either, the shape of his hands are imprinted all over her body and it's frenzied and desperate, but he's back and she gets another week.
Stefan mentions the word 'love' then, and tries to catch her gaze, but she always looks away because she can read him now and if he's lying, she does not want to know. Not just now. Someday she will look back. Just not today. Tyler never tells her he loves her, but he stays with her when she looks at children in the park in the summertime and there is this ache that never gets filled, and he holds her hand just when she wants it held, and that is its own brand of love.
Sometimes she catches them looking at each other when they think she isn't and she thinks something like 'oh.' She needs her boys to want her, she needs them to want each other, because she always, always wants them and it would be unfair if she was the only one. If she was the only one desperate enough to need this so badly. Because they want her, she knows that, but she does not know if they need her. And she wants everything in those moments. She wants so much that she can’t possibly get it all because there would be nothing left for anyone else in the world to want.
And they fight some mornings, and Stefan leaves and Tyler takes the most dangerous route to the nearest liquor store. She wears her shortest red dress and goes out and gets drunk and allows the first boy she sees to grope her, because sometimes she is still that girl, and sometimes she still wants to be that girl. They always end back together though, always end up at the same place and stare out at the water. They don’t talk because they always talk too much, and sometimes they just don’t.
If you ask her, she’ll mostly remember those months, when each day is a Sunday and they don’t get out of bed. When every touch is slow, languid, building, till she’s incoherent with need and arousal and want, and they look at her with dark eyes, each word a sin, each gesture grace. She loves those days the best.
Or maybe she loves those days the best when she compels her way into the classes of the local college. When she meticulously turns to page forty-five and wears reading glasses and thinks of project titles and lives the life that could be. When the professors talk and she takes notes, and she is eighteen for once. They follow her sometimes, and Stefan sits at the back, and Tyler takes the seat behind her and they are strangers. It is new and exciting and there are these two hot guys in her class whom she watches out of the corner of her eyes and tries to figure out their favorite song from the flick of their wrists. The boy behind her snaps her bra strap and she turns around in outrage because this is college, not seventh grade. And then the other hot guy at the back of the class laughs out loud and the professor tells them to stop disrupting the class and ‘please will you keep quiet, Miss Forbes’ before she even gets a chance to open her mouth and complain.
In the car ride home, she takes the bra off through a corner of her shirt and they can’t touch and she thinks it’s revenge.
Stefan writes in his journal every night, and Tyler sits and draws them both in different lights while she watches the television and hates it when they laugh and make her miss a dialogue and loves it when they laugh and make her miss a dialogue. Most nights end in the bed, but some nights they don’t make it past the door and sometimes her boys break things in their hurry and she bitches at them till the end of time or till they get her a replacement, whichever comes first.
They still crave blood too much and sometimes Stefan gets this look in his eye that terrifies her and she doesn’t know what to say because she says the wrong things a lot. Tyler calms him down,and somewhere along the way, Tyler was the one who became that guy. He’s Stefan when Stefan is not Stefan and I promise I will not let anything happen to you even though she doesn’t need promises because she’s not girly little Caroline anymore. She stays with Tyler till the last moment, and it hurts just as much each time, each full moon, and she doesn't let Stefan touch her alone in their house, listening to the howls, because it wouldn't be fair and Stefan doesn't ask to touch her alone in their house, listening to the howls, because it wouldn't be fair.
Five days a month she thinks of writing a book, about the beautiful girls with the same face and the lost boy with the brilliant blue eyes at the other end of the world because that’s poetry. Or maybe three days a month, she thinks of a book which isn’t poetry about that blonde girl with the boys who love her when it’s cold outside and sometimes don’t play monopoly when she wants to, but other times let her be the banker, even though she cheats each time and wins each time. She thinks love a lot more than she will admit to. Even though she is older and should know better.
Those days she is still a seventeen year old girl, and she may lie if you ask her, but some days she is okay with that.