Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Pairing/Characters: Elijah/Caroline, with Tyler/Caroline & Damon/Caroline sprinkled throughout
Word Count: ~2000
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.
Previous Chapters: (1) (2) (3) (4)
Chapter 5: To Talk of Trust
From outside her house, Caroline hears her mother’s steady breathing and knows she’s asleep, but she also notices a light is on in her own room. She stands still for a moment, studying the space within the window, and sees the shadow of a person move about inside her room. She doesn’t hear a heartbeat and, if she’s being completely honest, she’s not at all surprised that Elijah’s come back.
She quietly opens the front door and makes her way to her room, mimicking the actions of her younger self sneaking in late and trying not to wake her mother. She remembers his warning about sneaking up on an Original, but does it anyway; and she’s not at all surprised to find herself pressed up against her bedroom door once she surreptitiously closes it behind her.
“What have I told you about sneaking up on an Original?” he asks, and she feels his warm breath against her ear.
She doesn’t even try to resist, but almost relaxes into the pose. “You never said I couldn’t try,” she points out defiantly. “You just said I’d never be able to.”
Slowly, his grip on her loosens, but neither moves. His eyes hold hers, and they lock her in place, but she knows he’s not compelling her—she knows what that feels like, and this isn’t it. Whatever it is she feels for him, it is completely of her own accord. For reasons she cannot understand, she’s drawn to him in a way that seems to defy logic. Aside from what Elena’s told her of their encounters, she knows little of him, yet she feels as if she knows everything there is to know as she stares into his captivating eyes.
“No,” he whispers after a moment, the corner of his mouth turning up slightly in strange amusement. “I suppose I didn’t.”
She moves from the door then, purposely brushing against his shoulder as she passes, and rummages through her dresser for pajamas. “Turn around,” she says authoritatively.
Elijah raises an eyebrow and gives her a disbelieving look, but does as she asks. She changes fast, keeping an eye on him as she goes, and she’s not surprised when he doesn’t even try to peek. And, when she’s done, she tells him he can turn back around.
She stands still, facing him, as he looks her up and down. She’s wearing a royal blue silk nightgown that stops mid-thigh and shows just a bit of cleavage. She stays silent as she waits for the verdict she knows is coming, the anticipation has her breathing in deep gasps. Finally, he says, “I think I may like this outfit much better than the last.”
She doesn’t feel embarrassed exactly, but there’s a sense of something more in his gaze, and that makes her nervous. He’s looking at her in a way that she doesn’t know, and it frightens her to a degree, but intrigues her even more so.
She walks over to her vanity and brushes through her hair and takes off her jewelry—save her ring—and gets into bed, pulling the covers up around her. For the most part, she ignores Elijah’s ever-present eyes as they follow her around during this process. She holds her pillow close to her chest as she looks over at him curiously. He’s still standing near her door, just simply looking on silently, as if guarding her room from intruders. Caroline makes a decision and wordlessly she slides over on the bed in a silent invitation.
Neither speaks, but Elijah does move slowly to the bed, situating himself into a sitting position beside her, still wearing even his shoes.
Caroline can’t help but wonder what her mother would think if she walked in at that exact moment. Caroline resists the urge to giggle at the image of her mother’s reaction. For, even though Elijah’s acting the part of the perfect gentleman, her state of dress would give way to suspicion. Not to mention the apparent age difference—although, now that she’s thinking on it, the apparent age difference is only seconds when compared to the real age difference—her mother would just freak if she saw this.
“You shouldn’t even be allowed in the house,” Caroline says hesitantly. “No one let you in.”
Elijah shrugs, unconcerned by the minor detail. “You’re allowed in, right?” he asks, as if that deflection clears up the entire matter.
She nods, accepting his half-explanation for what it is: his way of acknowledging their connection. And, really, she had already guessed that much—that he and her were so deeply connected that the invitations granted to her apply to him as well, and she had wondered if it worked both ways.
Deciding to take those words as a sign, she takes a deep breath and plunges forward. She turns her head up to look at him and whispers, “Why’d you come back?”
Elijah shrugs, and right away, she knows he knows the answer to her question but will not directly answer it. “I wanted to,” he eventually says.
“So it has nothing to do with this—how easy it is to just be like this?” she asks, closing her eyes. He doesn’t answer, and that says more than words. “So it’s not just me,” she muses, moving a little to get comfortable. She doesn’t say anything for a while, her mind too busy trying to find out the ‘why’ without asking.
Since turning, she’s felt something similar with Damon—a sense of likeness, of familiarity—but this is so much more. This is safety and strength, affection and acceptance, tenderness and trust, all with the promise of more to come. She wonders how she can feel such things when they’re virtually strangers with hardly anything in common, aside from being of the same species. She wonders why he feels it too. With Damon, she knows it’s because they’re of the same blood, but she and Elijah aren’t. She’s partly of his blood, as far as she knows, but that doesn’t explain why he feels it too, unless….
Caroline opens her eyes in realization. “Does the connection go both ways?” she asks, not waiting for him to answer before continuing. “Damon said something’s changed in my blood. He said he’s not as vital to me anymore. Does that mean you are? Is that what this is? Is that what you meant when you talked about my blood infusing with yours? That I’ve basically got two separate makers?” Caroline doesn’t mention Katherine—doesn’t count her as a maker, even though she instigated her turning.
Elijah finally looks down at her. At first, that’s all he does, but then his hand reaches over to her and tangles itself in her hair. “You could say that,” he finally answers. “I’ve sired vampires before, dear Caroline; I’ve even healed some from werewolf blood. But never has it felt like this. Yes, the connection goes both ways, although I suspect it’s stronger for you than it is for me. What this means, I cannot tell you, for I haven’t a clue. That is partially why I am here, just to see what this is—what it could be.”
“What is it like, what is it normally like—to cure a vampire from werewolf blood? What’s different about us?” Caroline wonders, pushing herself up in order to lean on her elbow. She’s curious now, knowing that she’s not the only one to think this is different.
“There’s a connection, much like that of vampire feeding on a human. There’s a sense of loyalty on the cured party’s side; and I’ve been known to feel somewhat…in a position of power over them. It usually ends there, though. I’ve never before taken the place of their original sire. I’ve never felt drawn to them like I am to you. I’ve never….” He doesn’t continue and she doesn’t expect him to.
Caroline shivers only slightly as she recalls the way Damon used to treat her once upon a time. She was human then and, at the time, Damon didn’t have the decency to not put himself in a position of power over her, but the memories sting from time to time, and now she fears she may be forced into much the same situation. “Do you feel in a position of power over me?” she inquires bravely, afraid of the answer.
He’s quiet for a moment as he appears to consider his answer. Finally, he shrugs. “Somewhat,” he answers, “but you’re so modern. You’ve had the idea of free choice ingrained into your society since before you were born. I can’t make you subservient if you don’t want to be so. I think that’s part of what draws me to you, really. You’re not afraid of me.”
“Should I be?” she asks. Her mind can’t help but see the parallels between this kind of talk and the way she and Damon used to talk after sex when she was human.
Caroline wants so desperately for this to be different. She doesn’t want to wake up one morning and find that he was just using her—another pawn in another game. She doesn’t want to realize one day that he compelled her to feel things for him. She doesn’t want to look at him and be torn between loving him and hating him, settling for tacit acceptance as a result. She doesn’t want to have to hate him.
“I’ve been on this earth a long time,” he says. “I’ve done many things that you should be afraid of, Caroline.”
She nods; another similarity between him and Damon. Damon was honest with her too—even if she was compelled not to care, she did know what he was and what he was capable of. And she doesn’t mean to say it out loud, but the words come out before she can stop them. “I trust you.”
Elijah tenses at her words, and she opens her mouth to take them back, but realizes they’re not exactly the type of words one could recall, even if they wanted to. So, instead, she stares at Elijah as he seems to fight with himself over his response to her declaration. “You should never really trust anyone, Caroline,” he advises when he finally regains composure. “Most people have an agenda, and those who don’t simply do not care about you one way or the other.”
Caroline just blinks up at him, outwardly showing no reaction, although she makes a mental note to herself as she responds. “And you?”
“I do have an agenda—I want Klaus dead,” he admits casually, like they’re talking about the weather. Although, maybe to him, talking of death is like talking about weather; he’s probably experienced just as much of it.
“So…can I trust you?” she asks, unsure what that side note means in regards to the original question.
“In that I want Klaus dead, yes. In anything else, not really.”
“Can I trust you with me?”
She hates herself for asking, because she knows he’s going to answer in the negative and she doesn’t know what she’s going to do when he does. She can’t stop this thing, whatever it is, but she doesn’t want it to continue if she knows he’ll just end up hurting her like everyone else. And she so desperately doesn’t want him to be like everyone else.
After a while, when he doesn’t speak, she assumes he’s not going to, so she adjusts herself again, curling herself around him and moving her head to lay in his lap. She closes her eyes and is lulled into sleep by the feel of Elijah’s hand gently playing with her hair. She hasn’t fully drifted off when she hears him speak his answer.
“Right now,” she hears his soft whisper, “I really don’t think I have it in me to harm you, Caroline; and that right there goes against everything I have learned since becoming a vampire. As to what that means for you, I just don’t know.”