Six Mornings After
Chapter One: Rude Awakenings
Deep, easy breathing. Light snoring. A few chirpy birds.
"Bon, it's almost noon."
More silence. A sleepy nose twitch. Some shuffling. The sharp whoosh of curtains being flung open.
"Rise and shine."
The morning sun didn't so much hit her eyes as bleach the pupils straight off them. "Mrrrmph!" Bonnie groaned, casting a blind hand around for a pillow and smothering it over her face.
"No, you don't," Stefan said, loping over to the bed and plunking down on the edge in a way that jostled her entire body.
"Stefan," she whined, pulling her limbs into a tight fetal position and burrowing deeper into the mattress.
"Bonnie," he replied in the exact same whine, plucking the pillow off her head and tossing it to the side. "You made me promise like twenty times to wake you up before 10—it's quarter to 12."
"Way too many numbers going on in that sentence," she slurred back, and he rolled his eyes.
"Up and at 'em, tiger."
She swatted at the finger that'd begun tapping on her nose, heaving a dark, begrudging sigh before slowly cracking her eyes open. They were green slits in the blinding sunlight. "What are you even doing here?"
Stefan feigned a thoughtful look. "Good question. Well, I was in the middle of a pretty wild Shark Week marathon—"
Bonnie groaned. "You really need to lay off Shark Week."
"—en all of a sudden someone's calling me at 3 AM…" his brow furrowed, "can't quite place… oh, right. Your delight of a roommate."
Bonnie rubbed at her eyes. "Caroline called you?"
"Yeah, off your phone—apparently confused 'Stefan' for a cab company since she literally commanded me to pick you guys up. Something about semi-annual—"
"—roomie's night out," Bonnie finished in a swell of realization, gaze falling into a wince before she dropped her head in her hands. "Oh, God, that was last night."
"What exactly is semi-annual roomie's night out?"
"A tradition from college that needs to die."
His mouth quirked. "Well, it seems like if it doesn't, you will—you were wrecked."
"I'm so sorry," she said, parting her fingers to stare up at him through them. "We must've been a nightmare—you didn't have to come get us!"
"When I got there you were climbing into an unmarked black van with no license plate, so." He shot her a smirk. "Think I did."
Bonnie shook her head in her hands. "I'm seriously so, so sorry."
Stefan shrugged. "Don't worry about it."
"No, really, I owe you." His grey-green stare took on a glitter, and her own narrowed. "Don't."
"Shark Week marathon weekend."
"Oh, my God."
"Shark Week is quality television."
"You're going to die alone."
Then, "God, I can't believe Caroline called you—how did she even think to try you?"
Stefan rolled his eyes. "I believe her opening line was 'you're the only person I know who'd be home alone on a Saturday night doing nothing'."
Bonnie couldn't help but snort.
It bloomed into a full laugh. "I mean, keep up the pity party Discovery Channel binges and she won't be wrong."
He waved the comment off. "Let's go back to profusely thanking me."
"You're right—thank you. Seriously," she said, face bright with the kind of smile that faded in from laughter, and he shrugged, pushing himself up to his feet. "And you didn't have to stay either—I'm sure drunksitting me all night wasn't super fun."
"Nah, you were out cold," he replied, stifling a yawn, "it was just four by the time I finally got you guys here, so I figured I'd crash and head out once you got up. Plus, it was snowing pretty hard."
Her brow furrowed. "Right, that storm was supposed to hit last night. Was it as bad as everyone was saying?
He rolled his eyes. "Is it ever?"
"I swear the Weather Channel gets their kicks from declaring national states of emergency for no reason."
"Gotta get 'em somehow."
"Thanks, though," she added, expression growing guilty again. "For driving in that."
He waved a hand. "What are friends for?"
She scrunched her nose. "Getting their hungover friends coffee?"
She sighed as he swiveled around and left the room, flopping back down into the bed and flinging an arm over her forehead. "It was worth a shot."
Caroline really needed to stop waking up in her bathtub.
It wasn't that there was anything wrong with her bathtub—she'd fought tooth and nail to get the only apartment in the building with a claw-foot tub. Gold fixtures, deep basin, one of those adorable vintage stoppers with the chain attached—no, her bathtub was a masterpiece.
But it was a masterpiece that was killing her neck.
"Ugh," she groaned, slowly pushing herself up the porcelain wall until she'd reached a sitting position. Pain. Pain everywhere. Her head, her neck, her back—and a few other places, but that was the good kind, and had much more to do with who she'd brought home last night.
Also a habit she was thinking about kicking soon.
Not that there was anything wrong with Damon, either—she just worried that if it kept on too long, he might get the wrong idea about how serious they were. Wouldn't be the first time. Guys were so clingy, honestly. Just be a booty call and be happy about it, Jesus Christ.
The door swinging open broke her out of her thoughts, and her mascara-smudged gaze flared with annoyance as it dragged over to the door. And then it rolled. "Morning, loser."
Stefan Salvatore, Bonnie's self-righteous, save-the-whales Boy Scout of a best friend, looked about as thrilled to see her as he measured her from the doorway. "It's noon."
She shot him a breezy smile. "Well then, guess that means it's not afternoon, so: morning, loser."
His mouth formed a flat line. "Morning."
She ran a brief glance over his appearance—rumpled flannel, messy hair, sleepless gaze—and a sly, blonde brow slowly arched up. "Stayed the night, hm?"
"Yeah, crazy story—this girl I barely know called me up in the middle of the night to go pick her up, and I ended up getting back here super late."
"She sounds hot."
The quirk of his lips was dry as bone. "She's a lot of things."
She pulled her arms above her head in a fluid, cat-like stretch, bowing her back into a deep arch. "So did you and Bonnie finally hook up or what?"
Stefan's gaze immediately veered skyward at the predictability of the comment. "Yes, Caroline, after fifteen years of being friends, we realized that men and women can't, in fact, be purely platonic, and that Harry and Sally had it right the whole time, and that all we ever needed for this light bulb of sexual awakening to go off was for one of us to be blackout drunk and the other to be deliriously sleep-deprived."
Caroline waved a loose hand around. "I tuned out once your pissy tone made it clear you didn't get any last night."
He sighed. "Can you just let me know when you'll be done with the bathroom? I need to wash up before I head to campus for a—"
"Tuning out again."
He dropped the hand he'd been gesturing with with an exasperated look, and she sighed, slowly pushing herself to her feet. The briefest of changes flickered across his face, and after a split-second, he looked away, causing her to glance down at herself in a flare of curiosity. She immediately snorted—her robe was a little loose.
Like he'd never seen a naked girl before.
Actually, maybe he hadn't.
Not that he was bad-looking, but God, who could deal with the judgy savior environmental law thing in bed—he'd probably rattle off the scientific name of a different endangered species he was going to save with every thrust. She tightened the knot of her robe and stepped out of the tub, breezing past him with a cool, "It's all yours."
He gave her a humorless smile in response and she ignored it as she made her way back to her room, where the first thing she was greeted with was a very hot, very sprawled out, very naked man. His jet-black hair was a sex-mussed mess atop her bright blue pillow, and his sleepy, slitted blue gaze cracked open just enough to rake up her frame to her eyes. "Mornin', sunshine."
The gravelly greeting was met with a distracted "morning" as she began stumbling around her room in search of her phone. Her boss didn't really believe in 'weekends', so she could only imagine how much nonsense she was already behind on dealing with—she was usually up by 9 at the latest.
"What would you say," he ventured, slowly rolling up into a sitting position that cut his abdomen into a jagged series of ridges, "to a little naked breakfast?"
"Uh," she began, only half-paying attention as she picked up her dress from last night and looked beneath it: no phone, "I don't really do breakfast, but—" she picked up her jacket to check the pockets, "I think there might be some pancake mix or something downstairs: Bonnie's into all that." She waved a hand around in a dismissive gesture, the fingers of the other wrapping around a smooth, hard surface. Bingo. She immediately fished her phone out, shooting him a tight smile over her shoulder. "Feel free to use whatever you want."
He gave her a sleepy wink. "Will do."
Bonnie's grip tightened around her pen.
"Mmm, mmm, mmmmm."
She blinked a few times, trying to focus on the words she was reading.
"Mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, MMMM—"
She set the pen down with a sharp sigh. "Seriously?" The obnoxious chorus continued to filter into the living room from the kitchen, where Caroline's latest boy-toy was whipping up God knows what using her stuff, since Caroline never ate breakfast. She shot a stormy glare in his general direction.
Damon wasn't exactly her favorite of Caroline's strays.
The blasting 90s rock was bad enough.
She wasn't about to deal with a bonus track of culinary MMMbop.
"Hey," she called out, pushing the pathology book off her lap and uncurling her legs from the armchair. When nothing but a wailing Kurt Cobain came in response, she forced herself up to her feet and padded over to the kitchen, trying her best to look intimidating in Snoopy slippers, flannel boxers, and a giant BUSM t-shirt.
Turns out it didn't matter, since the sight of a half-naked Damon swigging bourbon with one hand and pumping a spatula to the beat with the other stopped her dead in her tracks, flipping her determined expression into one of exasperated disbelief. Was this dude for real? "Okay, a couple things," she began, and Damon flipped a pancake with a whimsical twirl.
"Mornin', little bird."
That threw her for a second: since when the hell was she little bi—you know what? Whatever. "One: it's barely noon." She waved a hand at the bourbon to clarify her meaning, though her brow promptly furrowed. "And we don't even have bourbon."
"Well," he said, tipping his head back to finish off the bottle before tossing it aside in a loose skitter, "you certainly don't anymore." He waggled his eyebrows at her and she fought back an eye roll.
"Two: are you literally allergic to shirts?"
He smirked as he poured a thick pile of pancake mix on the pan. "Why, you going to cure me, doc?"
"You don't cure allergies," she replied a bit coolly, giving him a pointed once-over. "You avoid them." He seemed thoroughly amused by this response, and it made her skin prickle with irritation. "Third—"
"This is more than a couple of things."
"—I start my Urology rotation tomorrow, which means I have about a thousand different things to memorize, and I really can't concentrate with—"
"Is Urology the one where you deal with dicks all day?"
Her lips pressed together in a thin line. "Actually, that's what I'm doing right now."
"Oooo," he replied, flashing his bright blue stare up to hers. "Prickly."
Her jaw set. "Are you going to keep it down or not?"
His gaze grew sultry. "Keep sassing me in those big, fluffy slippers and it might be hard to keep anything down." She rolled her eyes at the innuendo before spinning on her heel to head back to the living room.
"Turn it down," she said humorlessly as she cleared the door.
"Doctor's orders," he sing-songed from behind her, and she wondered for the hundredth time this month how long 'til Caroline got a new fix. The thought didn't last, however, since a sudden, blood-curling "WHAT" tore through the air like screeching tires on hot asphalt, causing Bonnie's already pounding head to nearly split open.
"Really, Care?" she hissed, snapping a glare toward the hallway just as Stefan emerged from it, phone out and brow furrowed.
"What was that all abo—"
"Have you checked the news?"
Bonnie's brows lifted. "No?"
"We got six feet of snow last night."
Her eyes blew into giant circles. "What?"
"Is this a joke?" Caroline snapped as she burst out of her room, rushing down the hall in a tornado of blonde hair. "The MBTA is totally shutdown and my Uber app isn't working—how the hell am I supposed to get to work?" She pushed past Stefan en route to the front door, swinging it open and storming into their hallway to do God knows what.
Bonnie's stare was fixed on Stefan. "I thought you said it wasn't that bad!"
He threw an exasperated hand up. "It wasn't when I got here!"
"Six feet in one night?"
"And more tonight."
"What? How is that possible?"
"I don't know."
The door to the kitchen suddenly swung open, admitting a frowning, spatula-wielding Damon. "There's a chance I'm still drunk," he began, "but you guys live on the second floor, right?"
"And?" Bonnie sighed, in absolutely zero mood to deal with Damon's shit.
He shrugged. "Nothing, really—just wondering why the ground's now magically up to your window."
Her face paled, and she immediately set off toward the living room's old bay window, wrenching the curtains open with a sharp whoosh. Sure enough, the snow had accumulated to just below the sill. It looked like they were on the first floor. Jesus Christ, this was a snowpocalypse.
"I can't get out of the building!" Caroline exclaimed as she burst back into the apartment, causing all heads to turn to her. "The door literally won't move; it's like there's a freaking wall behi—" her voice cut off as her gaze landed on Bonnie, and more specifically, the window behind her. She blinked. "Is that the snow?"
Stefan shot her a 'hello?' look. "Did you miss the part where we got six feet?"
"Yeah, but we've gotten six feet before, right?"
His brows flew up. "In one night? Literally never."
She looked at Bonnie for confirmation and she winced, shaking her head.
Caroline scoffed, tossing a frustrated hand up. "Well, then what the hell are we supposed to do?" She looked at Bonnie. Bonnie looked at Stefan. Stefan looked at Caroline. Caroline looked at Stefan.
They all turned to look at Damon, who gave a capricious wave of his spatula.
Author's Note: It's finally here! For everyone following this story from the movie trailers/tumblr account, hope it lives up to what you had in mind. It's moving a little fast right now, but these four have a TON of time for development as the story goes on (there's only so much you can do under one roof for six days), so hopefully it starts fleshing out more. To anyone who just happens to have stumbled on this, this fic is weird in that it was born out of a couple of AU movie trailers I made for it, so basically, it already has vids and graphics and playlists made for it. The idea seemed to garner some interest, so I decided to go ahead and fic it. If you want to know more, you can find it all on the tumblr (sixmorningsafter is the username - also linked in my author bio). Thanks so much for the read!