Come on. Caroline gets tortured brutally for like six hours and then the next screenshot is of her drinking and being happy? I don't think so.

This was lying around and I finally got to finish it; sorry for the off timing.

The water drips off her skin as she examines her wounds in the mirror, steam still clouding it from her long shower. The marks are all but gone, thanks to vampire healing, but she still turns her head this way and that, searching for burnt skin there and glancing every so often at her hands.

It's always me.

The thought strikes her with startling clarity but she bows her head, immediately rejecting the idea. It isn't always her, and she has no right to assume it is. So many people have been hurt, so many have been victimized, and for her to go around pitying herself because she's been held captive a few times isn't only counterproductive, it's pathetic. And Caroline Forbes doesn't do pathetic.

Wincing as she flexes her hands, she exits the bathroom and walks into her closet, quickly putting on comfortable clothes and throwing her towel in the laundry hamper. The vervain injuries have completely healed, but her hands are still raw from having wood shoved into them for such a long period of time. Pulling back her covers, she's about to crawl into bed when she hears the front door open.

Her body stiffens all over. Her mind goes perfectly blank for one second before a barrage of thoughts almost knocks her over, searing and hot in their intensity. Alaric Klaus Rebekah Alaric Originals and Alaric.


Her breath leaves her lungs in one gush and suddenly she's shaking, legs going weak as the adrenaline pumps out of her system. "Tyler?" she asks, voice tremulous.

And then he's there, all warm and solid and safe at her side as he gently lays her down on her bed, climbing in next to her and pulling her to his shoulder. He breathes her name over and over again like a prayer, fingers tight around her rib cage. "Don't leave my sight, okay? Don't go anywhere without me or Matt or Damon or someone to help you out - "

Tears spill over from her eyes, hot and slow as they trickle down to his shirt. "I thought I was going to die," she confesses, remembering the anguish on Elena's face and the calculating look on Alaric's. "I really thought I was going to die."

"Stop it," he says harshly, twisting to stare at her. "You are not going to die. Not while I'm around." A pause. "And Caroline, I can promise you I'm not going anywhere anytime soon."

The breezy smell of Tyler's clothes quickly soothes her, his thumbs rubbing a comforting pattern across her skin. She falls asleep to the sound of his heartbeat and the blood rushing through both their veins.