Memories of a Half-Life

Vampire Diaries

Summary: She's got a head full of half-real memories and a heart full of regret.

Spoilers: Very AU. Takes place about six months after S1 Ep. 2 'Night of the Comet'

Pairings: Vicki/Jeremy, slight Vicki/Tyler

Author's Note: I haven't written anything in a very long time. The fact that it's in an area I've never tackled before means that this is definitely not my best work. I ignore the books completely for this story (because I haven't read them in 15 years) and use the television show only.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. All of the vampire goodness belongs to the creators of the show and L.J. Smith.

Vicki's pov

She hates the demure black dress rubbing against her skin in the warm autumn sun. Innocent and loose, it covers more skin than any other piece of clothing she owns, but was the only appropriate outfit for the somber occasion. Standing next to Matt, she cannot help but think that she never expected to wear it again, let alone so soon, and certainly not to the funeral of Elena's little brother. Jeremy lies in the closed mahogany casket at the center of a small crowd but she cannot bring herself to look at it, not with the crushing weight on her chest that makes it hard to breathe. Regret chokes her and the fact that Tyler is standing next to her makes it even worse.

Ever since the night she was attacked it's like she's got memories of two different lives. She can't separate her memories, cannot remember what is true and what isn't. The ones of Jeremy – his warm breath ghosting over her skin, slick and warm from sex, getting high in the back of her car, him trying to talk to her over and over, finding her in the woods, checking on her in the hospital – feel so real and honest they make her want to cry. The reality is that if the memories are true she just lost the only person to ever really 'see' her and want her for more than sex.

She cringes as Tyler places his hand on her lower back, a flash of memory of her against a tree and him refusing to stop shooting through her mind. Her hands itch to push him away and she longs for some of the pills that Jeremy used to have so readily at hand. She's not going back to that place though, not when it's those same little pills that took his life.

Everyone murmurs about Elena's loss and about his age – he was so young. Yes, he was young in age but he understood her better than any of her friends or her brother, made love to her like he had years of experience even though he'd been a virgin, and treated her like she was more than just a body.

She looks up when the casket is lowered into the ground. She wants to scream, to fight her way out of this nightmare that her life has become. She can't breathe. One of the half-memories of him tracing small patterns on her stomach, writing out invisible words, floats through her mind and she bursts into tears. Matt pulls her close, slightly confused by her sudden grief, his arms going around her, but not even he can banish the feelings that pour through her like acid, burning everything away. Jeremy had loved her and she loves him, recognizing the feeling now when it is too late for anything but regret and a broken heart. She fists her hands into Matt's favorite blue dress shirt, tears staining the soft cotton, as she thinks about Jeremy and everything that she did wrong.

It wasn't supposed to end this way.