Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries! I only own my OCs, "Juliet Jordan Gilbert" and "Ivan Christos" and any other character/plotline that I make up along the way!
Author's Note: In this the final Alternate Ending, Alternate Ending #3, I depict what would have happened if Juliet had died along with Katherine to save Mystic Falls.
Juliet Jordan Gilbert-Salvatore. Sister, Wife, Friend. Born 1991. At Peace.
Stefan Salvatore read the words over and over again. He closed his eyes, but they were still there, on the horrid tombstone in the Salvatore Crypt, and it was only a tombstone because they didn't have a physical body to bury and mark.
It had taken them a long time to figure out what they wanted Juliet's headstone to read. Caroline thought that just "Sister, Wife, Friend" was too generic, and Ivan said that whatever was on it, he didn't want "Gone, But Never Forgotten", because it was too cliche, even if Juliet would have thought that it was funny. Elena didn't want it to seem too busy, while Jeremy didn't want it to be too plain. Damon came up with the final suggestion, and they all agreed on it. The one thing that Stefan had requested was to include her maiden name and have it hyphenated as "Gilbert-Salvatore" because he knew that it would've meant a lot to her to acknowledge the fact that she was still a Gilbert.
She was an idiot. She was also so brave. She was a brave idiot.
Stefan was ready. He was all set to inject Damon with his blood to turn him human and then sacrifice himself in his place. He knew it would've killed Juliet, but he knew that she would have been able to move on, especially after Stefan's plan to leave a vial of his blood with Damon that still had the Cure that would give her the option of becoming a human again.
But she was his wife, and Stefan was actually stupid enough to believe that she didn't know that he was taking vervain since the day he became a human. She knocked Damon out with vervain, then she knocked Stefan out with a punch, and then marched back down to the tunnels where she let herself get consumed by Hellfire along with Katherine to send the evil doppelganger to Hell and save them all.
"You still have so much to make up for with Damon. And once Katherine is gone, you'll have the chance," Juliet had reasoned. "For so many years, you two had the worst relationship. And now that you're human, you don't have a lot of years left to make up for it. For the first time in a long time, you two are on the same page. The Salvatore brothers deserve that chance, and I'll be damned if I don't let them have it."
And stupidly, Stefan couldn't stop her. He didn't see the punch coming. That was the last time that he saw her.
The thought of her face hurt. The thought of her laugh hurt. The thought of her hurt. Stefan thought that it would never stop hurting.
It shouldn't have been her, he thought to himself as he fought the urge to kick her tombstone. It should've been me. It should've been me.
"Fancy seeing you here," Elena's voice brought Stefan out of his mental assault on himself. He looked over at the doorway, where Elena was leaning against the wall. Her once long hair was now gone, replaced by a bob that was a few inches away from her shoulders.
"I-I just-" he started.
"Decided that you needed fresh air," Elena started as she walked into the crypt. "That you would take a walk and just magically happened to end up here?" she finished as she sat down next to him. "'Cause I did too."
Stefan nodded as the two of them looked back at the headstone. Juliet Jordan Gilbert-Salvatore. "Do you think we should have put her birth name instead?"
Elena immediately shook her head, her hair bouncing. "Juliet was proud of being a Gilbert, and she was proud of being a Salvatore. She loved the person that she had grown up to be. Juliet Jordan Gilbert-Salvatore was her identity. Putting any other name on that headstone would just make her someone that we didn't know. Because we didn't know Eumelia Christos. She's always been dead."
Things were quiet again until Elena spoke up. "I heard her," she said quietly, and Stefan looked over to her. Elena didn't look at him as she recited, "'I love you, Elena. I love you so much. And I'm your big sister. I know I lost my way there for a long time, and I acted like I wasn't, but I love you so much. And as your big sister, I'm gonna fix this. I promise.'" When she finished, she finally looked over at Stefan, who had a questioning look on his face. "Before she left to go sacrifice herself, she said all that to me. I don't know how I heard her, but I did. I think she said it because she knew she wasn't coming back." She hung her head. "And then there was when I actually talked to her." She sucked in a deep breath. "She loved you so much, Stefan. She wanted you to know that she would always love you, and that she's waiting for you." She looked back over at Stefan. "I know how much you miss her, because I miss her more. I miss my big sister. I miss the way she talked, laughed, smelled. The other day, I found her favourite lipstick in my drawers. I must have left it in there before Kai put the sleeping curse on me. And the memory hit me-she demanded to know if I stole her lipstick, but I told her no. Because it was a really nice lipstick and I wanted to wear it on my date with Damon. I was gonna pretend afterward that I just magically found it under my bed and give it back to her. Obviously that day never came."
Stefan opened his mouth to say something, but he stopped when he saw Damon approaching the crypt. He stopped abruptly when he saw Elena and Stefan inside, obviously not expecting anyone to be there. He pointed behind him, "I-I was just-"
"Out on a walk?" Stefan and Elena said at the same time, and Damon found it in him to smile.
"Yeah," he agreed as he came and sat down on Stefan's other side. He looked over at the tombstone and nodded at it. "Hey, little sis. I was actually hoping to talk to you alone, but these two are here, so I can't."
Elena couldn't help her giggle, though there was a hint of hysteria. "Remind me again how you and Juliet ended up so close?"
Damon shrugged as he tilted his head to the side. "Honestly, Elena? I don't know. There was never really a time when we genuinely liked each other-we mostly tolerated each other for other people's sake. But after Kai turned you into Sleeping Beauty, she said that you made her promise to look after me while you were gone. At first, she did it just because you asked her. But after a while, I like to think that her feelings changed because she wanted to do it for herself. And then of course, I left for three years, which made her hate me again. Although, we all know my charm, so she didn't hate me for long. And then a really great thing happened." He smiled to himself. "We became friends. We became siblings. I loved her, and she loved me." He looked over at his brother and girlfriend. "As a sister, of course. As someone who has never had a sister, she was the closest thing I had to a sister, and she was really the best. She called me out on my crap, saved me when I needed saving, and most importantly, put up with me." He looked back at the tombstone. "I'm only alive because of Juliet. Because she thought that I was important to her and that I deserved a chance to live."
"She was good at seeing the best in people," Stefan allowed as he smiled to himself.
"Try the best at seeing the best in people," Caroline's voice suddenly interrupted, and the three of them looked over to see Caroline was now standing a bit by the doorway. She gasped as her eyes widened, and her hand flew to her cover her mouth too late. She didn't think that they noticed her until she opened her mouth.
"Out for a walk?" Damon wondered.
"Actually, I was out scouting some places for the kids to train," Caroline made up as she walked into the crypt. She took a seat next to Elena. "Somehow, I ended up here."
"Somehow," Elena agreed sarcastically as she nodded her head.
Caroline couldn't help the small chuckle that bubbled out of her chest as she looked at Juliet's name written on the tombstone. "I miss her," she breathed. "I miss her so much sometimes I forget how to breathe. I'll be doing something, and I'll automatically turn around to ask her something and it would take me a few seconds to remember. Josie and Lizzie keep asking about her, even though Alaric and I explained to them that she passed away. They keep asking how and why 'Auntie Jules had to leave them'." She sighed deeply. "She was really and truly my very best friend. As much as I love you and Bonnie, Elena, nobody got me like she did. When everyone thought I was insecure and annoying, she stayed by my side to help me prove to myself that I wasn't. Whenever we got jealous of each other, we always worked it out because we knew that our friendship could overcome anything. We practically read each other's minds. Somehow, I never thought I'd lose her." She looked over at her friends. "I still remember when we first met. I was playing by myself on the playground because the other kids didn't want to play with me because they thought I was too bossy-and to be fair, I was," she started, which made them laugh. "Juliet came over and said that she wanted to play with me. When I told her that I got to decide what we did and how we did it, she said that that wasn't fair and friends played equally together. No one had explained it to me like that before. The kids always just yelled, 'You're mean, Caroline!' and then ran away. She took the time to explain to me what I was doing wrong, and I changed myself. And right then, I knew she'd be my best friend. I asked my mom if she could come over after school the next day, my mom called her mom and set it all up, and we just took off from there and never looked back." She looked back over at the tombstone. "She's my person. Even in death, she is my person. And I will always be hers."
"That was beautiful," Ivan said, and they all looked to the door to see Ivan, Jeremy, and Matt.
"Let me guess," Caroline started as they all walked in. There was no more room on the bench, so the three men sat on the floor. "You were out for a walk too?"
"No," Matt answered as they settled in. "Jeremy wanted to come see her, so Ivan and I came with him."
"I just can't believe that she's really gone," Jeremy mused as he stared up at her tombstone. "I keep expecting her to be in the living room of the boarding house, but she's not there. And everything reminds me of her. I was setting up a jungle gym for the younger kids, and all I could think about was when Jules and I were younger. Our favourite thing to do was play on our jungle gym. And I remember when we got older, and our parents wanted to give it away because we didn't play on it anymore, we got so upset."
"That reminds me of when Jules and I used to play in the sandbox," Matt commented. "Our favourite thing to do was make sandcastles and pretend that we were the king and queen. I remember once we tried to make a moat, but we got ourselves soaked with water and sand instead. Our moms were so mad."
"I remember that!" a new voice said, and Bonnie strolled into the crypt and took a seat next to Ivan. "Elena and I were playing on the jungle gym when it happened, and all I remember is all the yelling that Miranda and Kelly did at the two of you."
"You were out for a walk, too?" Damon asked as he nudged Bonnie with his leg.
"I was going to put some more flowers around the crypt," Bonnie answered. "And I saw all of you in here and I didn't want to miss the party." She hooked her arms around her legs and brought her legs to her chest. "I will never forget the day that we made those friendship bracelets." Bonnie looked down at her own on her wrist, where the bracelet proudly sat. It was old and worn and you could definitely tell that it had seen war, but that was what Bonnie loved about it. It showed their history together. "We thought that making one for ourselves would be boring, so we made them for each other. I used all her favourite colours, she used all of my favourite colours. We knew each other so well that we didn't have to ask each other what we wanted on it."
"You guys wanna know something?" Ivan suddenly started, and they all looked over to him. "For a long, long time, I was jealous of you all. I had a twin sister, someone that I shared a womb with, and you guys knew more about her than I did. But Juliet didn't let me feel like that. She immediately made me a part of her family, and so did the rest of you. And I'm eternally grateful to you all. Juliet's the one that brought us all together."
"There was just something about her," Stefan finally spoke up. "Something about her that everybody loved. She was kind, and compassionate, and she could hold a grudge better than anybody I know," he added with a chuckle. "She was funny, she was smart, and she never let anything stand in her way. She was my very best friend. And when we became more, I thought life couldn't get any better, because I was dating someone who was so confident and proud of herself. She was her own superhero, her own cheerleader. And she died to save all of us." He looked around at the people he called his family. "And I loved her. And I will always love her. We all will. I'm grateful that I met her, that I got to know her, and that I had the honour of calling her my wife. Twice."
The joke made them all laugh, and Juliet's family all looked to her tomb that would forever symbolize that yes, there was a Juliet Gilbert-Salvatore, and that she died saving the people and the town that she loved. When they held her funeral, they all put something that symbolized their relationship to Juliet by her tombstone. Elena left her half of the sisters necklace that they both had when they were kids, Jeremy left the sweater that she always loved to steal from him, Caroline left the locket bracelet that Juliet had gotten her for Christmas all those years ago, Bonnie left Juliet's friendship bracelet, Matt left Juliet's key to his home when she lived with him, Ivan left their Christos Family Book, Damon left the bottle of bourbon that the two of them had shared the night of her bachelorette party, and finally, Stefan left his wedding ring. "And I'm sure wherever she is, she's happy and at peace."
"Go to hell," were the last words I said before I died.
I couldn't let Stefan or Damon die. I loved them both too much to just let their story end with the both of them dying. So I knocked them both out and took Damon's place.
Katherine struggled in my vampire grip as I plunged the Bone Dagger right through her heart, and I had seen the force of the Hellfire coming straight for us when I closed my eyes last second.
It hurt for about one second, and then that was it. It was over.
I was walking for a long time in a sea of bright light before shapes starting coming into focus. Trees. Sidewalks. The road. Houses. More specifically, my house. My old house.
I stopped in front of it as it fully materialized. I smiled as I thought of spending my afterlife in my old home when the door suddenly opened and I got the shock of a lifetime.
Standing on the front porch of my old house was my mother and father, Miranda and Grayson Gilbert.
"Mom?" I breathed, not believing my eyes. "Dad?"
My mom looked exactly the same as the last time that I saw her all those years ago. Her dark hair was the same length, she had the same perfect eyes that I always loved looking into.
My dad had the same dark hair, though there was a hint of grey hair all over his head. I used to love making fun of him for it, and I always used to joke about how glad I was that I was adopted because I knew I couldn't inherit his terrible hairline. He had the same warm brown eyes, the same eyes that I saw in Jeremy every day.
"Juliet?" Mom said uncertainly, as if she couldn't believe her eyes either.
Those were the words that I needed to kick start my brain, and I was running. I was running harder than I ever had, and I swear I was flying as I ran up the steps of the house. I burst into tears as I collapsed right into their arms. My head was in between their shoulders as I wrapped my arms around the both of them the best that I could. My dad was pressing kisses to my head while my mom was kissing my cheek. I cried harder at the feeling, because I hadn't felt it in such a long time.
When I pulled away, I saw a redhead behind them, and I felt the wind get knocked out of me as my parents stepped aside to reveal my aunt Jenna. "Jenna?" I sobbed, and we both met in the middle as we threw our arms around each other. The last time I saw aunt Jenna was in Damon's made up world, but that Jenna had no idea that she was dead. She had no idea of our new reality. But this was the real Jenna. She remember everything. And I missed her to death.
She pulled her head back and wiped away my tears with the pads of her thumb. "It's great to see you, Jules."
"It's great to see you too, Jenna," I cried as I grabbed her into another hug. Just as I rested my head on her shoulder, another figure stepped out of the house, and I grinned when I recognized who it was.
"Uncle John?" I said as I stepped out of Jenna's grip and right into John's, who hugged me tightly to him. Happy tears streaked down my face and on to John's shoulder as I hugged him.
"Eumelia?" a feminine voice said, and I pulled away from Uncle John and turned around to see a man and a woman standing at the bottom of the steps of my house. Even though I had never seen these people in my life, I knew exactly who they were.
I slowly went down the steps and stopped in front of them. The man was very tall, with hair that was chestnut brown and deep brown eyes. The woman, in turn, was very short (she was only a couple of inches taller than me), with light brown hair that fell all the way to her back and very familiar brown eyes staring right back into mine. She lifted her hand and put it on her chest. "I-I'm-"
"Cassia Christos?" I finished, and I saw her eyes light up through my blurry tears. I looked over at the tall man standing next to her. "Linus Christos?"
Linus nodded as his eyes filled with tears, and he and Cassia looked at each other with tears in their eyes. "We-we're-" Linus started.
"My parents?" I finished again, a smile forming on my mouth. "My birth parents," I clarified.
"Ye-yes," Cassia said. She choked out a sob as she reached out and put her hands on my arms. "Oh, look at you! You're so big!"
I half laughed, half sobbed as I stepped forward and hugged my birth mother. She was surprised at first, but she immediately reached up and wrapped her arms around my back, holding me to her tightly. The last time she held me, I was so small she could lift me up and hold me to her. Now, I was so big that I was almost taller than her.
Linus put his arms around the both of us and hugged us to him, holding on to us as tightly as he possibly could. They had been waiting a long time to meet me, to hold me. And I'd been waiting a long time to meet them as well.
I pulled away from the hug and grabbed a hand of each of them. I nodded my head behind me at my adoptive family, the family that took such amazing care of me when they could no longer do so. I didn't have to say anything when they nodded in agreement, but I held onto their hands as I turned around and walked back up to my front porch to the rest of my family.
When I got there, I dropped their hands to give my parents another tight hug. I turned around, but I kept one arm around my mom as I reached over and took Cassia's hand and asked, "What is all this?"
"This is peace, honey," Mom answered as she pressed her cheek against mine.
"Peace?" I repeated as I looked at my family members, the most important people in my life. "Peace," I said again.
Time passed differently here. I didn't know how exactly, because there wasn't a way to track time. But that was the beauty part of peace; you didn't have to worry about running out of time.
I spent so much time with my family. I recounted everything that happened to my parents, because they had died just before everything happened. They were happy to hear that Elena, Jeremy, and I managed to be happy after they died. Aunt Jenna and Uncle John knew a lot, but they still didn't know some things, which was when I explained everything that happened after they both died.
I got to know my birth parents, and my birth parents got to know me. They knew that I had a younger sister and a younger brother that I loved with all of my heart. I told them that Ivan and I were separated after their death, but we eventually found each other and stayed together always after. I told them about Caroline, their son's wife. And I told them about Stefan, their daughter's husband. I never thought I'd get the chance to know Cassia and Linus, but I was so grateful that I got the chance.
To my delight, peace had more familiar faces. Lexi, Tyler, Vicki, Liz, Jo, and Sheila were all here. I spent a lot of time with them too, telling them everything that's happened to us since the Other Side fell and they couldn't keep an eye on us.
But most importantly, I was at peace. I lived in the Gilbert House with my family, where we all bickered and talked and laughed and loved. I spent time with my friends, my loved ones. I didn't care what I was doing. All I cared about was the fact that I had my family with me.
But I also did one other thing: I waited.
One day, I was walking down the steps in my house on my way to the kitchen to help my mom make lunch. I had just whirled around at the bottom to make my way into the kitchen when there was... a knock at the door.
I stopped in my tracks and my heart dropped to my feet. I don't know what was wrong with me. It just could've been Lexi or Tyler, but somehow I knew it wasn't.
I swallowed the lump in my throat and slowly turned around. I took careful, cautious steps to the front door and stopped in front of it. I reached out and grabbed a hold of the lock and turned it slowly. I hesitated, my heart thumping wildly against my chest. Then, deciding to do it quickly like a bandaid, I grabbed the doorknob and swung the door open.
Standing on the other side was my husband, Stefan Salvatore. I think I wanted to gasp, but all I could do was stand there and stare at him.
He had his hands stuck in his pockets. His hero hair was exactly the same, and his green eyes had a twinkle in them as he smiled at me. "I hope I have the right address," was the first thing he said to me.
I choked out a laugh as I launched myself forward and threw my arms around him. I sobbed against his shoulder as he clutched tightly at my back. Stefan buried his face in my hair, and I turned my head into his neck. I took a deep breath in, and I shuddered. I had forgotten what he smelled like.
When he finally brought his face out of my hair to look at me, I reached up and touched his face. I traced the spot under his eyes and the length of his cheekbones as I grinned up at him.
He returned the smile, and I was floored at the sight. I almost forgot what his smile looked like. If he was here, then that meant that he had hopefully lived a good, long life, just like I had wanted him to. I couldn't wait to hear all the details of his human life, what he did, who he was with, and most importantly, if he was happy.
Without another word, we met in the middle for a kiss. As I pressed my lips against his, I knew I was truly at peace.
And that's it. That was all three possibilities of Juliet's life had a few things gone differently.
And just to clarify, when Juliet said that she waited, she wasn't just waiting for Stefan. She was waiting for everyone else, too.
And as I change the status from "In-Progress" to "Complete", I thank you all for reading and reviewing and following and favouriting for the past three years. I love each and every one of you.