Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Pairing/Characters: Tyler/Elena, mentions of Matt/Elena and Tyler/Vicki
Word Count: 765
Summary: (A look into Tyler's friendship with Elena before the vampires and in part showing his reaction to her attitude to him in The New Deal.) Tyler rolled his eyes. "We’re in the woods, E; you can’t just take a nap against a tree."
Author's Notes: Written for a prompt by summerofsoaps on stainofmylove's private meme. Originally posted HERE.
Tyler remembers warm summer afternoons at the park when they were seven. Vicki and Matt and Caroline and Jeremy were there, laughing and playing near the monkey bars and he was at the top of the slide with Elena. The slide overlooked the parents—the Fells were there, even if they didn’t have children; Mr. Bennett was off to the side, silent; Matt and Vicki’s mother is absent as always; Sheriff Forbes was on the phone hidden from most by a few trees; Mr. Gilbert was grilling hamburgers and hotdogs; Mrs. Gilbert and Tyler’s mom were at the picnic tables, setting up salads and silverware. They were younger then; the summers seemed longer and these picnics were what they all lived for.
It only occurs to him now that these picnics weren’t about them; these were casual but exclusive founder’s council meetings.
“Tyler,” Elena sighed, leaning her head against his shoulder, “when do you think we’ll be able to join them?” She sounded so desperate and left out that he couldn’t help but feel the need to cheer her up.
Tyler leaned his head against hers and wrapped an arm around her. “Why would you want to talk about grown-up things, ‘Lena? It’s boring. Let’s go down the slide and when we get to the bottom, I’ll race you to the swings. Last there has to push.”
Elena pulled away from him, a positively dangerous grin on her face. “I get to go down the slide first!” she exclaimed as she pushed him out of the way and slid down to the ground, giggling.
Tyler remembers being thirteen and attending his first Founder’s ball. Elena was standing against the wall, her hands playing with the ribbons on her blue dress.
He walked over to her and looked to where her eyes were trained. She speaks just as he registers the sight. “Matt was supposed to escort me today, but Aimee told him she had never been to a fancy party before and he just had to take her instead.”
“So who escorted you?” he asked.
“Dad,” she answered, her head tilting to where her parents are standing, talking with Sheriff Forbes and his dad. “What about you?”
“I was going to ask Vicki, but my Dad told me I couldn’t.”
“Why?” Elena asked, her attention fully on him now.
Tyler shrugs. “He said something about appearances and decorum and then started ranting about standards and some shit—” Elena jabs him in the side “—oww, sorry—anyway, I don’t know—it was weird, okay?”
“Will you dance with me later, then? You don’t have anyone, and Matt will be with Aimee.”
Tyler smiled and did an exaggerated bow. “It would be an honor, milady.”
Tyler remembers being at a party in the woods at fifteen. He’d just had an argument with Vicki and was on his way to the keg—which was supposed to be for the ‘seventeen and up’ crowd, but he was a Founder’s child, the Mayor’s son to boot, so he got what he wanted—when he saw Elena leaning against a tree, her hands against her head.
“’Lena, are you okay?” he asked.
She shook her head. “My head hurts, Ty, I need to lie down.”
Tyler rolled his eyes. “We’re in the woods, E; you can’t just take a nap against a tree.”
She moved her hands and glared at him. “Watch me.”
Tyler sighed, picked her up easily, and started for his car. “I’ll take you home and sneak you upstairs, but you’re gonna owe me, Gilbert.”
Her head nestled against his neck and he felt her breath against his skin as she whispered, “You’re a good friend, Ty.”
Tyler stands in the Gilbert’s house and remembers all of this as he listens to the girl who had once been his friend talk about him as if he is now a monster. He wonders when they stopped being friends. When her parents died? When the Salvatores came to town? When he became a werewolf? When he almost got her killed because he trusted Jules and Brady? When Klaus turned him into a hybrid? At what point was the line drawn?
Jeremy invites him to stay and he breaks from his thoughts, putting on the familiar I don’t give a damn façade and sits at the table.
He tells himself it doesn’t hurt, plays it off as if he’s not even aware of her words, but it affects him.
That night, he lies in bed missing his friend and he wonders if he’ll ever get her back.