Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Pairing/Characters: Elijah/Caroline, with Tyler/Caroline & Damon/Caroline sprinkled throughout
Word Count: 1700
Spoilers: through 'Daddy Issues'
Summary: (Alternate take on the werewolf/vampire face off in 2.13) Elijah shows up instead of Jonas and helps Caroline after she makes an almost fatal mistake. But helping then has unforeseen consequences for Elijah, Caroline, Damon, and Tyler.
Author's Note: This took longer than I thought it would to upload. Because of recent events in cannon, I have decided to take this story in a different direction than originally planned, and in doing so, have had to revamp (ignore the pun) the next few chapters.
Previous Chapters: (1)
Chapter 2: Threads of Emotion
Whoever this Elijah person is, he pays no attention to Elena at the moment, but instead is solely focused on Caroline as she cries in agony. He takes a decisive step toward her and is immediately blocked by both Tyler and Damon, and while she expects as much from Tyler, Damon’s protecting her surprises her. She tends to forget that there’s a bond between them as a result of his siring her.
“Not another step,” Damon warns him, his voice more threatening than she’d ever heard before.
Elijah doesn’t seem to care about Damon’s warning, but he doesn’t move forward either. “Miss…Caroline—that is your name, is it not?” After Caroline nods slowly, he continues. “I can make the pain stop,” he says, his voice soothing her, calming her despite the burning in her mouth and throat and stomach, “but I need you to come here.”
Caroline understands that he’s an unknown element in this game—he saved them from Jules and Brady, yet Damon’s still choosing to protect her from him, like he’s a threat—but she understands also that it’s her only option, so she takes a step in his direction.
Tyler’s eyes widen and he looks into her eyes. Caroline, in that brief moment, tries to convey how much pain she’s in. “You can’t protect me from what’s already happened, Tyler,” she whispers, choking on a sob of pain.
Tyler stares at her for a moment but then nods in quiet understanding, stepping aside; but Damon grabs hold of her arm and spins her to face him.
“You will not do this, Caroline,” he says and, for the first time in her recollection, she sees something other than anger and bloodlust in his eyes when he looks at her. “I can’t lose you too.”
“It hurts, Damon,” she cries, tears falling down her face. “You know—you know I might already be lost.”
“I can’t let you—I can’t…” both his hands are around her wrists and he’s holding tightly to them, like she’ll actually die if he lets go. “If you die, I don’t know if I’ll…” he trails off, not able to say the words. There’s a look in Damon’s eyes, one she never thought she’d see in his eyes. Desperation.
Caroline nods, understanding what he’s trying to say. “It’s okay—I know. I feel it too.”
She ignores it, for the most part, but there’s a connection between them; a little strand of something immaterial that tethers them together. And she knows that fear, that strange urge to make sure it cannot be severed. She gets that, because she feels it every time he puts himself in danger for this town or Stefan or Elena or even her just now. That fear that she’ll lose him is ever present, usually buried and shadowed by her indignation at the way he had once treated her, but always there.
It is, after all, partly why she ran to him that night of the carnival; she felt that he would help her to fix the problem. And, even though his solution had been to kill her, she doesn’t believe he’d of been able to do it. The thought of killing him puts a bad taste in her mouth and an ache in her stomach—a physical reaction to the coursing emotions in her blood. She always suspected he felt the same about her—even if he never showed it.
Now, she sees that he’s feeling the same physical effects at the thought of losing her, really losing her. It’s so soon after Rose’s death that the feelings must be intense if he’s protesting aloud. After all, he didn’t have this much of a reaction when he found out she was planning on putting her life on the line to help Tyler during the full moon.
“It’s the only choice,” she whispers, crying tears of sorrow now instead of pain.
“I don’t…I don’t want you to suffer, so if that means I have to let you—then I guess I will.” He lets go of her then and moves out of the way and Caroline takes the opportunity.
She doesn’t see the way everyone’s looking at her, doesn’t see the tears in Elena’s and Bonnie’s eyes. Her eyes are focused solely on Elijah, who is staring straight back at her. His face wears no expression and he doesn’t speak. When she gets close enough, he holds out one of his hands and she gives him hers, trying her best to fight through the pain. He pulls her close and holds her steady in his arms. This was it—he’s going to end it.
“Drink,” he says, his voice commanding. For a second, she doesn’t know what he’s talking about—drinking’s what got her into this mess. Then she sees his wrist held out in front of her and she doesn’t even think about it. Her fangs extend and she bites, sucking greedily at the blood within.
She feels the burning in her mouth subside at the first drop of blood, and as she swallows, the pain in her throat ends. Soon, she doesn’t feel any pain at all and at that realization, she stops drinking and looks up at him. “What happened?” she asks.
Elijah looks down at her and she swears she sees the hint of a smile in his features as he wipes away a few dribbles of blood. “I made it stop,” he answers, “just as I said I would.”
“But—I don’t understand—I thought…” she starts, but how does she explain how she thought he was going to kill her?
He seems to understand anyway, for he gestures around the clearing and says, “So did everyone else. There isn’t a known cure for werewolf blood poisoning, after all.”
“So how did you—” but she doesn’t finish, because he’s no longer there to ask. Without the support he was giving her, she falls to the ground.
It’s Damon who picks her up, cradling her in his arms as he says, “Let’s get you home.” Caroline nods, and they start walking through the woods, everyone else following suit. Tyler, she notices when she looks over Damon’s shoulder, is twenty feet behind everyone else but is staring at her and Damon. When she meets eyes with him, he looks down.
The entire way home she feels how tightly he holds her, the way his body seems to exude relief, and she feels the bond between them tighten. “Is your mom home?” he asks when they get to the front door.
Weakly, Caroline shakes her head, “No, she’s working, won’t be back ‘til late.”
“Let’s get you cleaned up, then,” he says as he walks up the stairs to the second floor bathroom.
He sets her on the counter as he runs a bath, keeps his eyes on hers as he helps her remove her clothes, and helps her in. Damon goes to her room and picks out some clothes for her to wear to bed—and she’s not surprised by how revealing they are. However, he does give her some privacy after that, saying he’ll be back when she’s done. “What are you going to do?” she asks curiously.
“You must be hungry,” is all he says before he shuts the door.
She washes her hair until she’s sure it’ll shine, scrubs the blood from her body, and examines her now healed skin. How miraculous vampirism can be, she muses, as her finger traces the places she knows should have bullet wounds.
She gets out of the bathtub when she hears Damon in her bedroom, dries off with a towel, then puts on the short shorts and tank top outfit Damon picked out for her. She then makes her way to her bedroom where she finds Damon setting up a tray and a glass of blood next to her bed.
“Thank you,” she says softly, “for taking care of me.”
Damon doesn’t say anything at first, just ushers her into bed. Then, when he has her sufficiently tucked in, glass of blood in hand, he speaks. “It’s the least I could do after being partly responsible for putting you in this situation.”
“It’s not your fault,” she tells him. “I was just an easy target for them.
“But you wouldn’t have even been a target if I hadn’t turned you,” Damon says, surprising her by speaking so freely about this. “And I didn’t even help you afterward. I left that to my brother. You were my responsibility, and I was too self-centered to bother with you like I should have.”
Caroline shakes her head. “You saved my life that night in the hospital,” she says. “You couldn’t have known Katherine was planning on turning me. And, at that time, I don’t really think it would have been a good idea for us to be in the same room. We didn’t exactly get along back then, if you recall.”
“Even still,” he insists.
Caroline knows she’ll never be able to convince him of his innocence in that regard, so she takes the proffered glass and drinks, surprised by exactly how hungry she is. After she drains the glass, she looks up at Damon, who’s wearing his customary smirk, “Did you bring any more?” she asks, her eyes lighting up at the prospect. She feels herself gaining strength from the blood, and she wants a little more.
“Be right back,” Damon says, rushing out of her room, the empty glass in hand. Seconds later, he’s back with a refilled glass.
Caroline smiles and accepts the glass, sipping the second one in order to make it last longer than the first. Damon sits at the edge of her bed watching her, and she decides she likes this Damon’s company.
When the glass is empty, she gives it back to Damon who stands up. “I’m glad you’re alive, Caroline,” he says as he closes her bedroom door behind him. Caroline smiles as she closes her eyes, it’s just like Damon to be so casual after such a serious situation.
Once Damon’s gone, Caroline’s thoughts turn to Elijah and what he said, and she falls asleep wondering what he meant.