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.
Author's Note: I'm back with another chapter of this story by request of a few reviews. Hopefully the next chapter won't take as long to write.
Previous Chapters: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8)
Chapter 9: To Help a Friend
Caroline explains her idea to Bonnie as she guides her friend to the cellar. Once there, Bonnie examines the area carefully, deciding if the idea is viable. She hasn’t taken notice of Tyler, who is currently working with the chains. When she looks up, she seems to forget what she was going to say as she looks at exactly what Caroline is dealing with.
Finally, Bonnie finds her voice. “I think Emily has a spell that’ll work for this.” She looks to Caroline and explains, “It’s a slightly modified version of the spell I used to keep Elena in her house during her suicidal phase, only I’ll condition it to the two of you and bar everyone else completely.”
Caroline almost objects at that—it’ll look really strange to a wandering human when they run into an invisible wall—but she understands Bonnie’s decision. After all, no one wants to get stuck in a room with a changing werewolf. “Do it,” she says, despite the look of confusion Tyler’s giving her.
So, while Bonnie sets up her candles and looks up the spell in the grimoire, Caroline explains the spell to Tyler. “Bonnie’s going to spell the gate to allow me to get in and out of my own free will. It will keep you in unless I allow you through—don’t look at me like that; it’s magic, I don’t know how it works—and it will prevent anyone else from getting in. At least, that’s what I think.”
They both turn to Bonnie, who nods as the candles on her side of the gate light up. Caroline smiles at the awe written all over Tyler’s face.
She elbows him. “We don’t have a lot of time,” she reminds him, and they begin working with the chains, figuring out where they’re going to put them on his body, as they listen to the sound of Bonnie’s whispered chanting.
“You know you don’t have to do this,” he says, giving her an out as he passes one of the metal chains to her.
She takes it with ease. “And you know I’m not going to let you do this alone,” she retorts.
In that second, they share a look of complete understanding, and all the baggage, all the misunderstandings and disappointments…everything is irrelevant because only they understand the full horror of what is to come when the full moon rises.
“You have to promise me you’ll get to the other side of the gate before I change,” he demands, his voice shaking. “We’re not risking your life here, Caroline.”
Caroline nods. “I promise,” she whispers, holding back tears. She knows it’ll be hard to leave him in as much pain as she knows he’s going to be in, but he’s right. It is too dangerous for her to be with him after a certain point. She came too close last time.
Bonnie’s chanting stops then and they both turn to her in surprise. “Try it out,” she prompts them, waving her hand in a ‘get on with it’ gesture.
Caroline goes first and has no problem opening the gate and walking over to stand next to Bonnie. Tyler carefully drops the chain in his hand and walks over to the gate, stopping suddenly when he gets three feet from it. “I can’t go any further,” he says, putting his hands up to the invisible barrier.
Bonnie turns to Caroline. “You need to mentally give him permission,” she instructs.
The blonde nods and after a minuet of concentration says, “Try it now, Tyler,” and watches as he opens the gate and moves to stand next to Caroline.
“And for a final test,” Bonnie begins as she tries to get past the gate, “if I can’t get past, then the spell was completed successfully.”
When Bonnie reaches the barrier on her side, she smiles. “It is complete,” she says, and Tyler and Caroline watch as she slowly lowers her hands, putting the candles out with her mind. “How long do you have until…?” she asks Tyler, not able to actually say the words. Caroline suspects that the part of her friend that can’t completely accept vampires, even her, can’t accept werewolves like Tyler either.
“It’s not exactly predictable,” Tyler says, “But I figure it’ll get bad in an hour to an hour and a half.”
Caroline doesn’t miss the fear in his eyes and takes his hand in response, squeezing tightly. She feels him relax after a moment and she gives him a reassuring smile.
“So it’s about time I leave, isn’t it?” Bonnie asks, breaking up the moment.
“Yes, it is,” says a new, angry voice. “And you, Caroline, should be going with her.”
The three of them watch in confusion as Damon walks down the stairs at a human pace and grabs for Caroline. She tries to pull away from him, but he’s stronger and all the struggle seems to accomplish is getting Tyler upset, which she notices when she hears him growl low in his throat. It’s much like the sound he used to make when she’d mention Elijah, only in this case, she can detect that he feels threatened.
“Go behind the gate, Tyler,” she whispers, squeezing his hand once more. She looks quickly toward Bonnie, who gives her a nod of approval. Bonnie then glares at Damon before guiding Tyler to the gate, having decided Tyler’s the bigger threat at the moment.
Caroline glances briefly at her arm before looking Damon in the eyes. “I’m not going anywhere,” she declares. She sees the look in his eyes though and sighs. Speaking softly, in a calming voice only for Damon’s ears, she tries reasoning with him. “I was fine the first time, and besides, Bonnie’s spelled the gate so he can’t hurt me.” She is met with an incredulous expression so she then proceeds to give him a brief explanation.
“It’s still dangerous, Caroline.” He insists. “What if you don’t get to the gate in time?”
“I will get to the gate in time—I’m a vampire, remember—and anyway, staying in Mystic Falls is just as dangerous, but we’re all doing that, aren’t we?”
Damon’s hand tightens its grip on her arm and she winces—more from long buried memories than any actual pain—but her eyes stay focused on his. She is not afraid of him anymore, she doesn’t even hate him now, but a part of her still resents the feeling of being powerless. Focusing on this, she manages to turn her apprehension into strength. She stays calm and focuses her attention on him, assessing his feelings; she’s getting better at that now. She sees a brief flicker of fear in his eyes and feels the faint pull of their connection.
Her free hand reaches up to caress his cheek for just a second, faster than Bonnie and Tyler can comprehend. “I’m going to be just fine, Damon. You won’t lose me.”
“Can you promise me that, Barbie?” he asks. His tone is dry and sarcastic, but Caroline can hear the request beneath his devil-may-care attitude. She smiles wryly.
“I even give you permission to stop by tomorrow to check on me if you wish to be sure.”
He, of course, wouldn’t need to, though; he’d feel it if anything were to happen to her. Giving him the option allows him choices, which she knows he needs so he’ll let her make her own decisions. She’s almost positive he’ll agree and leave, but after a moment of silence, he says, “Or I can just stay here.”
“No, absolutely not,” she says immediately before Tyler, whose looking even more agitated by the moment, can protest.
“Why not?” he asks.
Caroline gestures to the other side of the gate. “Do you honestly not see the effect you have on Tyler?” she asks. “Your staying would only put me in more danger.”
For the first time, Damon bothers to look over at Tyler, who Bonnie is working hard to keep calm. His breathing is heavy, and he’s not paying any attention to Bonnie, but is instead completely focused on Damon.
“He feels threatened by you.”
“Why? Did you tell him about what happened between us when you were human?”
Caroline shakes her head, working hard to keep those memories from taking over her mind—she can’t think on that, not now. “No, he instinctively hates vampires, Damon. For the same reason you felt agitated when you were around Mason.”
“So why is he not like that with you?”
“I don’t know, exactly. I suppose he just likes me enough to fight that natural instinct.”
“But you can promise me you’ll be safe.”
She nods. “Yes, I’ll be just fine.”
After a little more arguing and reassuring, Damon agrees and Bonnie escorts him out, leaving Caroline alone with Tyler.
“Come on, Tyler,” she says as she opens the gate and walks toward him, “we don’t have a lot of time.”
Immediately the two work to secure the chains around Tyler’s body. Tyler says they only have about forty minuets until things start getting bad. When they’re finished, Tyler grabs the water bottle Caroline had left there earlier, unscrews the cap, and puts it to his lips. Caroline, watching intently, notices his brief hesitation and trembling hands. He takes a deep breath and swallows for only a few second before he chokes and pushes the bottle away from him. Caroline tries not to cringe at the sound of his screams.
Despite her best efforts, as she works to soothe Tyler, her mind is not in the present, but back in the cage remembering the feeling of vervain water on her face and the intense pain from the wooden bullets. She can still hear the gun in her mind over Tyler’s cries.
After some time, the water has been used as well as can be and the pain of pre-transformation hits Tyler fast. Caroline holds Tyler tightly, ignorant of his dirty, sweaty body. She pushes the memories of her torture to the back of her mind because Tyler needs her to be strong for him now.
She pays careful attention to his eyes, watches them flash golden during the more intense moments of pain. When his eyes fail to change back to his human color, Caroline squeezes him tightly. “I can’t stay anymore, Tyler,” she whispers soothingly. “I have to go to the other side of the gate.”
The part of him that is giving into his ‘wolf’ tries to hold her tighter at those words, but the lucid ‘human’ part of him nods. “Go,” he whispers hoarsely.
She hesitates for only a second before walking decidedly to the gate, separating herself from him, despite the urge to make sure he is okay. The stronger part of her is currently more concerned with her survival, however, and she locks the gate and watches with tears streaming down her face as the most painful part of the transformation occurs. Then, suddenly, Tyler’s no longer human, and Caroline’s staring at a grey and brown wolf.
It hits her in that moment that she has to be the first vampire, if not the first being, to ever witness the transformation and live to tell about it.
Tyler’s golden wolf eyes lock on her and for a few seconds, he lets out a growl, but then something changes, and he’s pacing the gate, right at the edge of the wall Bonnie had erected. He doesn’t look at her until he turns during his pacing, only affording her a quick glance at each turn before turning his golden eyes to the floor.
She notices his slow gait, and the tremble in his legs and she knows he’s in a world of pain. That is something she understands all too well, and once again, she shivers at the memories.
Tyler whimpers, bringing her back to reality. She wants to reach out through the bars and touch his fur to assure him that everything will be alright, but she knows that it wouldn’t be true, and she refuses to lie to him ever again.