Te propongo días llenos de libros, tardes llenas de conversaciones, noches de sueños y mañanas de caricias. Te propongo una taza de té, un paseo cada vez que quieras ir lejos. Te propongo sonrisas y besos. Te propongo días diferentes, conversaciones infinitas y miradas profundas. Te propongo ser sólo tú y yo. Dime que sí y te propongo lágrimas de felicidad. Porque nadie será lo que yo soy y seré para ti. Por que nadie será lo que tú eres para mi. Aún menos lo que fuiste o serás
001Coals // Modern Baseball 002Affinity // Red Car Wire003Call It Karma (Acoustic) // Silverstein 004 The End. // My Chemical Romance005I Was Never Your Boyfriend // Tigers Jaw006Blonde Hair, Black Lungs // Sorority Noise007Join The Club // Bring Me The Horizon 008 Plug In Baby // Muse 009Handcuffs // Brand New010The Bass is Too Loud // The Front Bottoms Listen
I started out thinking I’ll do 5 chapters…then my imagination ran away with me and here I am at chapter 15 (the final chapter).
This is the first fan fic I’ve ever written, so I’m going to take a minute to get all nostalgic here. Feels yo, feels !
Also, I’m new to Tumblr, and I’d like to sincerely thank all of you who liked, reblogged and took the time out to read the pent-up creative release of a deranged Steroline mind that found its home in this fic. Thank You !
24 hours… 24 hours… The words echo in his mind. That’s how long she has before he loses her forever. He can feel all eyes in the room focused at him, all but hers. There isn’t enough time.. the objective part of his mind tells him. A memory forces its way into his head. “Caroline…you and I.. not going to happen”. His heart sinks at the thought that those words might just come true after all. . Truth is, since the day he told her he would wait, he never really believed that she wouldn’t be his.. if not today, then tomorrow he told himself… But what if there is no tomorrow?
He pushes it all aside. There is no time to dwell on past mistakes, and certainly no time to drown in fear. He ignores everyone’s gaze and walks up to Caroline. She is on the couch staring at the mark on her wrist. He sits on the coffee table and covers the mark with his hand. “Look at me” he says gently. She looks up. Her eyes convey shock. She doesn’t know what to say or how to react. He cups her face with his other hand, “I will fix this..okay?” He reassures her with confidence that no one else seems to part take in at the moment. Words fail her. She nods. He presses his lips to her forehead as confirmation that he will not let her down.
“Lets first figure out what this Curse is..” he says, his eyes darting from her to his brother, Bonnie and Alaric. Damon nods. Alaric looks grave, Bonnie is still emotional from her cousin’s passing. Alaric grabs the book that contains the description of various curses and flips through the pages trying to find the Curse that has been cast upon Caroline. Stefan is still holding her hand, trying to calm his own nerves along with hers.
“You okay?” He hears Damon ask Bonnie. It irritates him. She is not the one whose dying here.
“Is this the one?” Alaric asks moving towards Stefan and Caroline. He seats himself beside Stefan on the coffee table, book propped open on his lap. Stefan reluctantly moves his hand and uncovers the mark. He makes a comparison of the mark to the drawing on the pages. “Yeah” he says. He takes the book from him. Damon and Bonnie hover over him as he tries to make sense of the words. He finds whatever hope he had of saving her slip away with each word he reads. A curse can only be undone by the witch who cast it. He slams the book shut and puts it aside. If ever there is a solution to this, he will not find it in here.
5 HOURS LATER
“Stefan, you need to calm the hell down” Damon says his voice loud and angry.
“What part of there is not other way, don’t you understand Damon?” Stefan argues with his brother. “We cant force them to undo the spell or kidnap one of them for leverage… they are too powerful to contain.. and killing one of them will have the opposite of the desired effect..what other choice do we have?”
“No” Bonnie says her eyes determined, her lips pressed close together.
“Listen to me, they can’t work the spell till the next celestial event. Which is a month away… we will have enough time to take them out..”
“I won’t do it…” Bonnie cuts him off.
“Bonnie.. she’ll die..” Stefan looks at her shocked that she would let Caroline die.
“It’s too risky Stefan..we can’t just hand over magic crystals that create prison worlds to these socio-paths” Damon concurs with Bonnie.
“Yeah? And if this was Elena’s life on the line?” he questions Damon.
“I know you want..” Damon starts only to be cut off by Stefan.
“What I want is that damn thing off her arm !” Stefan snaps at him.
“We’ll just have to find another way” Caroline tells Stefan, trying to calm him down..
“Look I’ll continue looking for a way to buy us some more time..” Alaric says breaking the tension.
Stefan presses his lips together and shakes his head. He gets up and walks to Caroline’s room, phone in hand. He hears the door shut behind him.
“Stefan?” He hears Caroline calling to him. He swallows. He doesn’t turn around. He doesn’t want her to see the fear in his eyes. He feels her touch his arm, beckoning him to look at her. He obliges. She is calm all things considered. He fiddles with the ends of her hair. “I’ll find a way” he whispers. She sighs. “You can’t be mad at them..” She says. He doesn’t reply. “Bonnie is right to not want to give them the Crystals…” She tells him. His brows furrow. You would have done it for her, he thinks to himself.
His phone buzzes in his hand. He looks at the text message he just received.
“Who is it?” She asks.. “Enzo..” he replies, replying to the text. He shoves his phone back into his pocket. “Stay here..”
“I’m coming with you..” She cuts him off. The corners of his mouth curve to a smile despite everything that’s going on, he looks right at her.. of course she wants to come.. he doesn’t expect anything less. He steps closer to her and pulls her to him gently. “ If Alaric finds a spell to delay the Curse.. then you need to be here for it..” He says softly. “I’ll keep you posted..okay?” he plants a soft kiss on her cheek.
“When did he say he would show up?” Damon asks his brother while they wait for Enzo at the Boarding house.
Stefan doesn’t reply. He is staring at the fireplace and the two chairs placed in front of it, his mind wanders back to old memories. “Come to think of it, I have no idea what Klaus saw in you…what was he thinking” .. He knew exactly what Klaus saw in her.. ‘cause he saw it too.. and he knew exactly what Klaus was thinking.. because he had thought about it too. He takes a large swig of Bourbon from his glass.
His mind continues to rummage through the moments he shared with Caroline, his heart still heavy with the possibility of losing her.
“this isn’t you.. you might not remember, but I do.. You’re better than this”.… Truth is, apart from Lexi, there is no one in the world that has been there for him like Caroline. Not even his own blood.
If the circumstances were different, she would have been by his side right now, determined to fix the problem at hand.
“Stefan .. I'm right here… just listen to my voice..” He knows for a fact that there is no reality in which he would be okay with her gone. But there is more to his anguish than his own selfish desire to be happy with her. It is also stems from the fact that he knows she doesn’t deserve this.. she deserves so much more than what the fates have decided to throw at her.
“So what? Radio silence? Just because I don’t agree with you on how to go about saving Blondie?
Stefan turns around and looks at his brother, his demeanour serious.
“I can’t believe you are going to stand here and pretend that this isn’t about your fear of losing Elena” He tells him.
Damon doesn’t bother fighting the accusation. “Look..if Bonnie gets sent to a prison world.. Elena never wakes up . . you can’t ask me to take that kind of risk” Damon admits.
“Why not? If you hadn’t left Kai in 1903 with these lunatics, he wouldn’t have had the chance to bring them back…So how about you shoulder some responsibility for once in your life”
Damon looks adamant. “So Bonnie gets to suffer for eternity because of an alleged bad judgement call?”
Stefan lets out a laugh. Damon looks at him like he’s losing his mind.
“Damon..” He begins sarcastically,
“We both know the only reason you let Bonnie live is because Elena is just sleeping… If it was her life or Bonnie’s we would be short a Bennett right now…”
Damon stares at his brother. He doesn’t contradict him. “And what about Elena?”
“Don’t you get it?” Stefan exclaims. He wants desperately for his brother to see things from his perspective. “If Caroline dies, there is no loophole or spell that can bring her back to me.”
Stefan is exasperated with Damon’s lack of empathy. But its not the only thing that’s bothering him right now. The worst part is knowing that had this been Elena in Caroline’s place, his brother would have threatened to kill Bonnie a few times by now and it wouldn’t matter to him who got hurt as long as Elena lived. And right now, Stefan wishes his brother would have just a little bit of consideration for him and not just stand there making sure his interests are safe even if it means letting Stefan’s happiness die.
Stefan’s phone rings, he checks to see that its Caroline.
He answers walking towards the library. “Did you find something?” Time.. he needs more time.
“No.. there’s nothing..” She says. She sounds like she’s losing hope.
“What are you thinking of doing Stefan?” Caroline cuts him off.
“I’m going to talk to Lily..” He says.
“I don’t think that’s such a good idea” Caroline says worried.
“I have to try..” Stefan says. Caroline doesn’t respond.
“Caroline?” Stefan repeats her name.. he loves the way it rolls off his tongue.. he lets out a sharp breath.. Don’t leave me here...he wants to say.. but he stops himself. She shouldn’t have to comfort him right now. “As soon as that thing is off your arm, you and I.. we are leaving..” He says swallowing his tears. He doesn’t want to do it any more. He doesn’t want to be the tragic hero any more. He is done sacrificing his happiness for the people around him.
“Where are we going?” She says playing along. She knows he needs the hope of tomorrow to keep him going.
“Anywhere but here..” He replies.
He hears Enzo approaching. He turns towards the sound of footsteps. “What’s the plan?” Enzo asks as he enters the library.
“I’ll call you back” Stefan tells Caroline. “Be careful” He hears her say before he hangs up.
“Take me to see Lily” Stefan replies.
“You must be joking?” Damon comments from behind Enzo.
“Do I look like I’m joking?”
“And what exactly are you going to say to her?” Damon asks.
Stefan doesn’t reply. “Just stay here and call Klaus, maybe he found something..”
“Look mate, I’m all for saving Caroline, but I do have to agree with Damon on this one.. this is a bad idea” Enzo says getting into the car
Stefan ignores him as he gets into the driver’s seat of his car.
“Something on your mind dear?” Lily asks Genevieve, who is staring aimlessly into the fireplace, the fire within long extinguished. She turns around to face her surrogate mother. The one who found her and accepted her with open arms.
“What if the witch decides not to relinquish the crystals?”
“Well then… we will simply have to resort to other means to pry it from her” Lily stated.
“And Caroline? What of her?” Genevieve questions.
“What sort of questions are these Genevieve?” Comes the deep voice from across the room. “You seem.. discontent”
“I am merely pointing out that there is no need to let an innocent girl die in vain” Genevieve replies adamant to stand her ground.
“I assure you my dear, it won’t be in vain…” He says, his lips curving at the thought of it.”
“ If we show them mercy now, they will never fear our threats.” The dark haired girl explains.
Stefan walks into the mansion to see Lily descending down the stairs.
“Do you have the crystals?” Lily asks
“No” Stefan replies defiantly.
“Then what are you doing here?’ Lily questions him.
The terms are simple. The crystals for the girl’s life.”
“Change the terms.” Stefan tells Lily.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I cannot get you anything in 18 hours. Undo the curse. Save her. And I will help you get what you want.” He says looking right into Lily’s eyes.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that Stefan” Lily says sipping on her tea.
“Can’t or won’t? the Heretic that cursed her is sired to you, all you have to do is say the word.”
“Sired… there’s that word again.. does it surprise you to see such love and devotion…is that why you choose to attribute to a some supernatural bond’
“ Lets just say..I know what a sire bond looks like..” Stefan says his hands in his pocket.Still waiting for her to answer.
“Won’t” Lily informs him defiantly. “Bonnie has the crystals and I need to force her hand.. or yours in this case..”
Stefan shakes his head in dismay. “Well then.. you are going about it the wrong way… you want to force someone’s hand ? Curse me instead… Leave Caroline out of it”
“The fact that you are willing to risk dying yourself to save this girl makes me believe that you will find a way to get me what I want in return for her life..” Lily replies confidently.
“I can’t in 18 hours…” He admits. “She’ll die and you will be no more closer to your goal…Undo the curse and I will find a way to get you what you want. Curse me if you don’t trust me to keep my word.”
“I’d rather not… ..” Lily says nonchalantly.
Stefan looks at the woman who raised him. He remembers the conversations he has had with her since she came back. However unpleasant, they did give him a glimpse into her psyche. There’s more to this than meets the eyes he decides. If this was about punishing the coven, Lily could have just killed Bonnie, thereby uncloaking the Crystals. This is more about Bonnie than the coven.
“This is not just about the Bennett coven and what they did to you and your heretics is it?” Stefan asks rhetorically. “Bonnie destroyed the ascendant and the only hope you had of bringing the Heretics back….This is not just about revenge..this is about punishing the woman who made you feel weak and helpless..” Stefan says, looking right at her. He sees her demeanour change. She is taken aback by how well Stefan can read her motives.
Lily composes herself and speaks. Her voice thick with anguish; her face distorted in anger. “I promised myself that I would never return to the woman that I once was.. weak… helpless…pathetic..” She takes a step towards him, her countenance defiant.. “And if anyone forces me to feel that way again…I will strike back… so yes, you are quite right.. this is not merely about revenge…”
Lily turns away to walk away from Stefan. He moves forward and grabs her arm, forcing a memory into her mind.
Angry admonishing prevailed over the muffled sobs of a little boy. “Boys need discipline Lillian” the voice bellowed as the mother carried her boy away from the source of his fright. “Hush now.. It will be all right” she whispered into her ear. She walked into his room and gently shut the door behind her. The child continued to shake and weep in her arms. She gently settled herself on the armchair in the room and hugged the boy. She broke the hug and looked into the beautiful green eyes of her youngest boy. She smiled reassuringly as she wiped away his tears. “You are my sweet sweet boy and I will not allow any one to harm you…”
The memory takes Lily by surprise. Tears well up in her eyes as she looks at her son. “The mother I remember was never weak, helpless or pathetic..” she hears him say, his eyes sincere. “She was strong .. kind.. compassionate… and I loved her”. His sorrow drowns the sparkle in his green eyes as he continues.. “When she died, I mourned her and wished I had more time with her..” He doesn’t let go of her hand as he continues. “ You came to me after you turned… you came because vampirism did not erase your love for your children..”
He swallows trying his best not to let his voice falter.” Don’t do this..” He pleads.. “ If I lose Caroline.. it will destroy me..”
he searches her face for the tiniest hint of emotion, “At some point between now and eternity, your love for your children will surface and you will want us back in your life … if you go through with this, you will never get another chance with me… and that … will devastate you.” He finishes.
Lily’s gaze is still fixed on the eyes of her boy. She swallows as she takes in his words.. He hopes he’s gotten through to her. She yanks his arm away. Her expression hardens. “So be it..” She says as she walks away. He stands there, unable to move as she turns her back to him. He shakes his head and looks up.. he catches Genevieve looking down at him. He doesn’t mask his sorrow. She looks away and walks into her room. He follows her.
… . … .
… . … . … . … .
“I’m sorry” Bonnie tells Caroline, her lips trembling as she utters the words.
“I know..” Caroline says softly, reaching over to hug her friend.
“Just.. do me a favour okay?” She says as she continues to hug her “Don’t let Stefan lose himself…Please” She concludes closing her eyes caging the tears within.
… . … . … . … . … . … . … .
“You asked me what made Caroline want to turn..why ?”
Stefan says barging into Genevieve’s room. She turns around and looks at him in silence
“Lily wanted you to find out if I loved her… but you wanted to know more about Caroline… why?”
Genevieve continued to stare at him. “Whatever little you know of her, in whatever small amount of time you spent talking to her, she struck a cord with you didn’t she?” Genevieve’s eyes convey her acquiescence of his words.
“She doesn’t deserve this… and you know she doesn’t deserve this… she is a good person..kind and loyal… everything you wished your real family was..” Stefan says to Genevieve.
“That may be so..but she is not my family.. Lily is..” Genevieve replies trying to convince herself more than Stefan.
“Are you standing by her decision to let an innocent girl die because you agree with her or because you have no choice”
“I don’t have to agree with every decision…” She stops at that.. “If I siphon out the curse, it will be a betrayal of Lily and I won’t do that..”
“Is that why you won’t do it.. or is it because you can’t even if you wanted to…”
“Stefan.. I am not sired to anyone.. I told you”
“Turn it off” Stefan says. He looks calm and composed.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Turn. It. Off. . Its the only way I know of to break a sire bond.. and once its broken you will be free to make your own decisions..” He swallows and waits for her response. She takes a minute to think it through. She then heads towards a chest of draws and fetches what looks like a vial with red liquid in it.
“Here.. this is all I can offer you..” She says holding the vial up to him,
“What is it?” He asks confused.
“It’ll take away her pain… In a few hours she will being to desiccate..it will be slow and excruciating . and this.. will numb her pain and cause her to sleep..”
Enzo stares at Lily as she sips her tea with no care in the world.
“The ones responsible for your imprisonment are long dead. If this witch has wronged you
so, and revenge is all that you can see. Perhaps it would be best to just kill her and be done with it.” Enzo suggests.
“I don’t want to
kill her. What I want is for her and her coven to be imprisoned like we were.”
Lily says, her voice calm and collected.
“Look.. I understand.. better than anyone.. I was obsessed about revenge too for a time.. and I almost ruined an innocent life because of it… Caroline is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met… trust me.. you don’t want her blood on your hands.”
“Well then, I suggest you persuade the witch to release the crystals..” Lily replies sticking to her decision.
“Let me tell you what will happen if Caroline dies…” Enzo says, his voice bitter. “Stefan will lose his mind…try to kill every family member you love so dearly and will probably succeed in murdering one or two, before getting killed himself….is that what you want?”
He waits for her to answer. She continues to sip her tea. He gets up and leaves the house.
Stefan waits in his car outside the Boarding House, staring at Caroline’s name on the screen. He had told her that he would keep her posted.. but he was delaying calling her with bad news. Its as if saying it to her would somehow make it real. He thinks over what Genevieve told him; that in a few hours she will be in excruciating pain. What if it’s started? He calls her.
“Hey” She answers.
“Hey..” He greets her right back, and stops at that. He can’t find the words to tell her that he hasn’t found a way yet. He hears her sigh. “ You feeling okay?”
“Caroline, what is it?” He asks.. worried that she’s in pain and not telling him.
“Stefan…I’m ..sorry.. . for . . kee.. keeping you waiting ” He hears her stammer out, her breath heavy. She’s giving up. Accepting her fate. His heart plunges at the thought.
“Don’t…..” He closes his eyes as he speaks into the phone, glad she can’t see his face right now “You are not saying good bye..” He steadies his breathing. He can hear her do the same.
“This… this is not how it ends for us..” He continues “we are not supposed to end at all…” He says almost to himself, his voice barely above a whisper.
“Stefan..” Her voice is soothing now.. He knows she wants him to be okay no matter what… But he can’t accept that she’s dying.
“It doesn’t matter..the wait..” He says changing the subject, “when this is all over and when you’re ready, I’ll have forever with you..” More than her, he’s, convincing the part of himself that is telling him that he can’t save her.
“Just keep looking for a way to..give us more time..okay?” He tells her.
“Okay” He hears her whisper. He knows she’s just playing along, preserving the bubble he has placed himself in. She’s not going to break it till she absolutely has to.
“I’ll check in on you later..” He tells her
“Bye” She says.
“Caroline..” He says quickly making sure she doesn’t hang up.
“I love you” he says. He doesn’t wait for her to say it back. He cuts the call. He doesn’t want her to say it. She would be saying it because she is dying and that’s not why he wants her to say it. He takes a deep breath and gets out of the car and walks in to the Boarding House where he left Damon,
“Any luck?” Damon’s voice greets him.
“No” he says.
“Did you hear from Klaus?”
Damon doesn’t say anything.
“Right” Stefan says, pressing his lips together and shaking his head. He kicks the coffee table across the room in rage. Damon doesn’t stop him. He stands back and lets him get it out of his system.
“What now?” Damon asks his brother.
“Help me take them down.. force them to undo the curse”
“How? They are all hauled up in the house.. we can’t take 5 Heretics on our own… even with Bonnie, Alaric, Matt and Enzo… we are no match for five heretics and our mother..”
“You have a better plan?” Stefan asks his brother.
“Yeah…” Damon says “Say good-bye”
… … . … . . … … . … . .
“You okay there Care?” Matt asks.
“Yup.. Caroline replies as she takes another swig out of her bottle of Bourbon. “Just sitting around.. waiting to die..” She says.
Matt doesn’t reply. Few months ago he said good bye to Elena and here he is forced to say good bye to Caroline. “I’m sorry” he says.. “yeah me too..” Caroline replies.
She puts down her bottle and hands a book over to Matt. “Here.. look for the spell to destroy the crystals..”
“That can wait…”
“Actually it cant.. when I’m dead, they will come up with a new strategy to get the crystals… Bonnie needs to know how to destroy them..”
“Care..” Matt says looking over at her.. Either she’s taking her impending demise really well or she’s having a psychotic break. He can’t figure out which.
“It’s okay..” She reassures him. “The one thing I’ve learnt from my mom dying.. is that it’s far worse for the ones left behind… mourning …trying to move on.. I’ll be okay.. I’ll find peace.. so don’t worry about me..”
Matt reaches over the couch and hugs her. “I’m sorry you’re dying” He says tears rolling down his cheeks.”I’m sorry…that I can’t… do anything…” His pain silences his words. He hugs her tighter.
“Be nice to Stefan after I’m gone?” Caroline asks..
“..kay..” He says.
“Maybe take him out? Be his wing man?” Caroline tries to lighten the mood.
“Don’t push it” he jokes, smiling through his tears, still hugging her, not wanting to let go.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
“I have a much better idea” Enzo says walking in on the brothers’ chat. All eyes turn to him.“How about we threaten the witch with .. I don’t know.. death?”
“She would rather die than hand over the crystals and be stuck in a prison world for eternity” Damon replies.
“Great !” Enzo exclaims. “Win-win ! Kill the witch, get the crystals, exchange it for Caroline’s life”
The brothers ignore Enzo.
“Okay.. how about I feed her my blood and then kill her, that way she comes back as a vampire..again.. win-win”
“No” Damon says.. he remembers Kai’s words.. If they try anything to circumvent the curse, Elena dies.. He doesn’t want to take the risk.
“Stefan?” Enzo asks ignoring Damon.
“No..” Stefan repeats..
“I’m sorry what? Did I just hear you mumble a no to the best plan we have to save your girl?”
Stefan doesn’t reply.
“Tragic hero… now and always..” Enzo says looking at Stefan. “Caroline deserves better than you” He says bitterly.
“I couldn’t agree more..” Stefan replies as he sinks into the couch, unable to wrap his head around the inevitability of saying good-bye. Maybe he should just turn it off.. do whatever he has to… but he can’t… because he knows Caroline better than anyone and she would rather die than sacrifice Bonnie’s life for her’s.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
“There’s still time..” Alaric tells her. “Who knows maybe the next page one of reads will give us a way to slow down the curse”
Caroline raises her eyebrows at that. In the past 12 hours or so they have gone through almost every book Lucy brought with her, every book Alaric had in his possession and every book connected to Witches and spells in the Whitmore library.
“Stranger things have happened.” Alaric replies to her silent question.
“I’m sober.. and you are not” Alaric jokes. It makes her chuckle.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
“Convince Bonnie..” Stefan begs Damon as his last resort. “there’s time to find a way to beat them before they get a chance to use the crystals”
Damon is silent. He stares at his brother as he sits on the couch, every hope of saving the woman he loves dissipating, striping away his will to go on.
“ If she’ll listen to anyone right now, its you..” Stefan says.
“If we fail… Elena never wakes up..” Damon says
“We won’t fail” Stefan reassures him.
“I can’t take that chance Stefan..”
Stefan looks down, dejected, disappointed.. “You are my brother” He says, “..I’d do anything for you.. and after everything we have been through together .. I need you to …just be mybrother…put me first”. Stefan pleads. What he gets in return, is deafening silence.
He runs his hands over his face, racking his mind to find an alternate solution. He couldn’t get through to Lily or Genevieve. There is no reason for any other Heretic to care about his or Caroline’s predicament. Klaus and the New Orleans witches have no solution. The Heretics are too powerful to be coerced into doing anything. There is no spell or potion that can slow down the curse. And he can’t threaten or kill Bonnie.. He looks straight ahead as the realization sinks in. Caroline. Is. Going. To. Die. He takes the vial out of his pocket. At least she won’t be in pain in her final moments.
“Stefan..” Damon says interrupting his thoughts. “You need to get back..” He says looking at his phone. He looks like he just got word from Bonnie, and it doesn’t sound like good news.
“Let me drive”, Damon says taking the key away from Stefan. He doesn’t care any more as he slides into the passenger seat.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
He doesn’t remember the car ride to her apartment. Or getting out of the car or walking up the stairs. He doesn’t remember whether he rang the bell or whether he just opened the door. All he knows is that he’s kneeling in front of Caroline, who is in excruciating pain. He takes the vial from his pocket. “Its okay” he whispers. “it’ll take the pain away..” She doesn’t want to take it. She wants to say good bye first. “Trust me” He says placing the vial on her lips, she takes in the liquid. He holds her hand as her eyelids struggle to remain open. “It’s okay.. go to sleep” he says kissing her forehead. She stops fighting it. He watches as her facial muscles relax. She looks at peace. He just stares at her, stroking her face with the back of his hand. He can hear voices behind him, he just can’t seem to figure out what they are saying. He lifts her off the couch and carries her into her room, tucks her into bed and closes the door.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
Lily knocks at Genevieve’s bedroom door. “Are you all right sweetheart?” She asks.
Genevieve turns to face her surrogate mother. “I’m not entirely sure” she replies.
“Is this about what Stefan said?” Lily asks. “Do you think your love for me is merely a result of me turning you, and you being sired to me?”
“No.. I love you because you are the only mother who has truly loved me.. It’s not my love for you that is in question here.”
“Then what is?”
“The freedom to make my own choices” Genevieve replies.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
They are standing at the porch of her cabin. The sun is about to set. She in white and a denim jacket. She looks around confused. She sees him, leaning against the wooden pillar. He’s in her head she figures. He smiles at her. “It feels.. so real” She tells him. He takes her hand in his, entwines his fingers in hers and pulls her closer to him.
“Are you scared..” He asks her.
“A little bit “ She admits.
“Don’t be.. I’ll be right here ..I promise..”
She places her head on his chest as he wraps his hands around her, kissing the top of her head lovingly. She closes her eyes and enjoys his presence. When she does break the hug to look at him, she sees him blink away tears from his eyes. .
She sighs, places her hands on his chest “Stefan..”, she starts only to be cut off.
“We are not doing that” He says, his one hand around her waist and his other tucking her hair behind her ear.
“Not doing what?” She asks.
“Worrying about me..” He replies. Her forehead crease. He places a soft, lingering kiss right between her eyebrows. She smiles tenderly.
“I don’t want you to spend your last moments worrying about me” he says nuzzling her nose.
“I thought life wasn't about our final moments” She asks, his lips are inches away from hers, his eyes glistening with sorrow and longing.
“It’s not… but ..it’s all I have..” He says as he closes the gap between them and takes her mouth in his. She shuts her eyes and enjoys the feel of his lips on hers.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
“You think I’ve curtailed your freedom?” Lily asks, she looks shocked.
“I don’t think you intended to.. but if I am indeed sired to you, then yes.. you have unknowingly curtailed my freedom.. and no matter how much I may love you I won’t compromise on my free will…” She says. Closing her eyes and turning off her emotions.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
Caroline opens her eyes to find both her and Stefan not on the porch any more. She looks around. “The bonfire?” She asks.. “the night I offered to take you to see the falls”.
Stefan nods. Caroline blushes. It certainly wasn’t her finest moment she thinks. She doesn’t understand why Stefan brought her here of all places.
“In hindsight.. I should have just gone with you” He says to her. He’s trying to put a brave face, she can tell. She can tell he’s trying his best not to fall apart.
“Well..I'm glad you didn’t..” She says to his surprise.
“You are?” He says eyebrows furrowing.
“Yeah.. I was a silly, shallow , stupid girl…” She says smiling awkwardly to mask her embarrassment. “You would have probably dumped me in 2 days..” She says averting her gaze. “Good thing I was turned..” she mumbles to herself. She always thought being a vampire changed her from a whiny teen to a stronger person.
He slides both hands around her waist and pulls her in. That catches her attention and her gaze falls on his. “ It wasn't the vampirism…” he says looking into her now embarrassed blue eyes “it was all you”. He smiles despite the circumstances.
“You were just a normal teenager, Caroline.. . trying to find yourself… and you did…” He continues. “Vampirism just sped up the process… you were always meant to be this person..” He says. He waits for it to sink in. She can’t die without knowing how amazing she is, vampire or not.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
“Well?” Lily asks as Genevieve turns her humanity back on.
“He was right…” Genevieve says disappointed.
“You want to save Caroline don’t you?” Lily says looking away.
“Would that be such a bad thing?” Genevieve asks.
“And if I said yes?”
“I’ve loved you for over a century…if this is truly what you want.. I’ll be inclined to grant your wish.”
“It is what I want..”
“Alright then.. out of gratitude for all that you have done for me…I will do nothing to help Stefan… but I will leave at fist light tomorrow…”
“Its a brave new world Lily.. and Mystic Falls… is not where I wish to be.. this family.. is not who I choose to be with..”
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
The scenery around them changed again. They are at the woods now. Specifically at the place where she had asked him to stay and he didn’t. She looks over at him. He has tears in his eyes. “I should have stayed..” he says. Truth is, now that he looks back at his time with her, he sees too many missed opportunities…and he regrets them. He regrets them because he knows things could have gone so differently for them.
“No….. no, no ,no” She says. “We..” her index finger comically moving to and fro in the space between them. “are NOT doing THIS” She says adamantly.
“We are not going down Stefan Salvatore wallow-in-guilt lane…” She says folding her hands in front of her chest. She lets out a deep breath.
“So.. you made mistakes.. it happens..” Her hands are waving again.
“You are not alone in that department… I made mistakes too..” She says pointing to herself.
“yeah.. ‘cause I ruined your life…” He says looking to the ground. He doesn't see her shaking her head, disagreeing with him. “I'm sorry.. you.. deserved so much better.. instead.. you got.. me..”
“Yeah well…I'm grateful I got you.. that I got to.. get to know you..to be friends with you…” She moves in closer to him and takes his hand.. “to fall in love with you… I wouldn't be me without you… so don’t be sorry..”
He pulls her in for a kiss. Their lips part..”I love you..” he says as he kisses her again knowing he wont have the liberty of kissing her any time he wants to after this. She pulls away from him. His hands are still in her hair. “I need you to be okay Stefan..” She says.
He doesn’t say anything. His eyes are fixed on hers.
“I need you to.. let me go..” She says.
His hands are now cupping her face, his thumbs stroking her cheeks.
“You are my whole world.. and you don’t even know it… I was supposed to have forever to show you how much you mean to me… how am I supposed to just let you go?”
“Just.. try.. I.. can’t be the one to ruin eternity for you…” She stammers the words .. tears streaming down her face.
“Hey…” He says wiping her tears and pulling her in for a hug.. “You won’t ruin.. anything.. I promise..” She swallows and steadies her breathing. She hugs him tighter… wishing she could go back and not keep him waiting. “I love you” she says softly…
“Too…” he says his lips pressed to the hair covering her neck. and soaking it with his tears..”you’re supposed to say I love you too”.. That’s his biggest fear. That she still doesn't believe that he loves her like she loves him.
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
“How much longer does she have?” Damon asks the crowd gathered in the living room.
“Not long enough” Alaric replies.
The front door opens. Enzo walks in.
“She’s asleep.” Damon informs him. “ Stefan is with her.. I don’t think you’re getting a goodbye..”
… . . … . . … . . … . . … . … . .
She breaks the hug to see that the world around her has changed yet again. There’s music and she is in a dress she remembers she borrowed from Klaus.
“Prom..” She thinks out loud.
He smiles. The dreamy, dorky one she loves so much. He twirls her around and brings her close to him. She wraps her arms around his neck as he envelops her in his.
“When you told me that I would fall madly in love ..and move on..” He says his voice low, his lips glazing her cheek “I didn't realize I was already falling in love with you…..but I saw the hope you had for me ..”
He pulls away to look her in the eye. “ . .. and ..for a moment.. I wondered .. what it would be like to be loved by you..” He pauses before be continues, “I guess I’ll never know….”
She doesn’t know what to say. He continues to look at her woefully.. like he is being forced to let go of the most precious thing in his life.
“And I’m just going to have to live with that… But I can’t live with you never knowing how much I love you.. how much I’ll always love you..” He goes in to kiss her, but she disappears..
He finds himself lying on the floor of Caroline’s bedroom. He looks up to see Enzo towering over him. “What do you think you’re you doing?” He asks livid that he was pulled away form Caroline.
“Look” He says pointing to Caroline.
There’s a young guy, holding her hands.. he looks familiar. Will.. the guy who worked at the bar with Caroline. the one who had a crush on her.
“Will is a Heretic?” Stefan asks shocked.
“Yeah.. he was moved by your speech.. he.. un-sired himself and volunteered to help..”
Stefan pulls himself back on his feet. He notices the whole gang is standing behind him, waiting to see if it the Heretic can siphon out the Curse.
Will places her hands softly back on the bed. “It’s done.. she’ll be okay..” He says..
Stefan rushes to her side. He checks her arm for the mark. It’s gone. He breathes a sigh of relief.
“Thank you” he tells Will. He strokes her cheek nudging her to wake up. She opens her eyes and sits up disoriented. She is not sure what’s happening. “Its ok.. you’re okay..” He says hugging her and kissing her cheek. She notices Will.
“Will?” She asks totally confused.
“I.. am a Heretic.. probably should have told you that… “ he says awkwardly Caroline opens her mouth slightly in shock. She was working with a Heretic. And this Heretic apparently just saved her life.
“Why?” Damon asks bewildered. “Why would you help?”
“We are not all monsters..some of us. like me and my sister.. just want to live in peace..” He says and walks out. The gang takes a minute to let it all sink in.
“Care!!” Bonnie screams clapping her hands in delight.
“Get out !” Stefan says, killing Bonnie’s excitement. His head is buried in Caroline’s neck again. He is in no mood to let go of his embrace. Damon pulls Bonnie out of the room, the rest of the gang follows suit, closing the door behind them.
He pulls away and looks at her relieved. “I love you, too” She says beaming..sliding her arms across his neck. He moves in to kiss her without a second thought. Pulling his lips away only to place them back where they belong. She finds herself lying down on the bed, Stefan’s lips moving from her lips, to her chin and resting on he side of her neck, where he whispers, “I love you more”.