Funny how in the twenty years that Caroline had known Stefan he’d never avoided her–except for after the great bathroom disaster of that second year, but they just don’t talk about that one–but he’d definitely been doing it now. Not answering texts or returning calls and suddenly not in his own apartment either. She’d have freaked out with fear if she hadn’t seen Damon there instead, in all his smug glory, taunting her that Stefan was too afraid of her little claws to be around her until she cooled down.
She didn’t need to cool down, she needed answers, and the longer it took for her to get them the more determined she grew. Not enough to head back up to the annoying Hybrid’s door and demand them, but enough to try and plan how to sneak up on her best friend. Thankfully, she didn’t need to wait too long since it was the annual Mystic Falls reunion celebration–probably the reason Damon was even in town–and there was simply no way the younger Salvatore was going to miss it. Not with Elena guaranteed to be there and him still being half in love with her (as well as Damon being completely in love with her), but she was trying to find herself and that included being with neither brother.
Caroline gave it a decade, if that, before Elena broke down and came running back into one of their arms. Probably Damon since that was all her best friend ever asked about when the two talked on the phone anymore. Like she was supposed to know or care how the elder Salvatore was doing.
But sure enough, there was Stefan, sitting at their usual booth in the bar they always managed to head back to over the last four years Stefan and she had decided to call Chicago their home. Elena was beside him, regaling him with stories about whichever country she was currently enjoying, while Bonnie was heading back toward them, looking just that tiny bit older, though no where near as old as she could because of some spell or the other. Still, Care was sure she could see a wrinkle and she didn’t like that little telltale sign of her friend’s impending mortality.
“Blondie,” Damon drawled out, voice coming from behind her and she could smell the aftershave she’d come to loathe.
“Wannabe Satan,” she greeted, glancing over at him as he moved to stand beside her. There really was no love lost between the two but they tried to be civil for Elena and Stefan’s sake. Sometimes it worked, often it didn’t.
“Stop giving Stefan the death glare,” Damon continued, ignoring her little verbal jab. “I’m sure whatever he did isn’t that bad.”