Disclaimer: Vampire Diaries not mine.
A/N: I'm apparently on a writing streak. I was going to write another Glee fic, but this came to me. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
The Heart Brings You Home
Days Without Caroline: 11
After he leaves Mystic Falls with Jules he realizes that although it was the right thing to do, it was way harder than he that it would be. Jules decides that constantly moving would be best, preferably in small towns, where no one will look for them. Their first stop is Moosup, Ct., a town the size of Mystic Falls. The motel they stay in looks like it's stuck in the sixties, the local diner serves grease with a side of food, and the local beauty queen's daughter keeps giving him the eye. After four days there he convinces Jules they should leave, after Rebecca flirts with him and all he can think about is how Caroline could do it so much better.
Days Without Caroline: 55
Tyler realizes in Tuffin, Ohio that he's never going to outrun the memory of Caroline. The entire trip so far he's tried ignoring how he feels, but he knows he can't survive that way. So he instead starts searching for her features in the girls he picks up from the Horseshoe, a local bar. Rebecca has her eyes, Jean has her smile, April has her hair, and Bianca has her smile. He gets piss drunk and focuses on pretending he's with Caroline. The fantasy never satisfies him.
Days Without Caroline: 92
He sometimes wonders if he should find it weird that he misses someone he never had a relationship with than his own mother. He's stopped sleeping with pieces of Caroline- it's never going to be enough- and figures the only way it'll be enough if he imagines what a relationship would have been like. He imagines going back, her reaction, and the resulting aftermath. He imagines their first date- a picnic in the town square because going to the Grill would just be passé- , how their next kiss would happen- underneath the porch again, though this time she'd initiate-, and the first time they would make love- after weeks of dating, after they'd exchanged I love you's, after she'd set up some movie-worthy romantic moment. His imagination is vivid, but it takes 156 days to realize that nothing will ever sate his appetite for Caroline but Caroline.
Days Without Caroline: 478
He doesn't know how it actually happens, but the second he kisses Jules he knows he can't run from Caroline or Mystic Falls anymore. One second they're sharing a post-transformation, awkward moment half-naked under the stars, next moment he's pushed up against a tree and Jules is running her hands across his chest. He's growing close to his sudo-friend/mentor, but not close enough that there's anything beside gratitude. He manages to skirt the issue with Jules, but starts making plans to end their roadtrip.
Days Without Caroline: 901
The second that Jules' back is turned, he leaves; hotwires a car and drives all night back to Virginia. It takes him two days after he's back in his home state to work up the nerve to approach Mystic Falls. Once he's in town he tries to keep a low profile from Caroline or his friends, because what kind of son would he be if he didn't see his mom first. He explains, she forgives him, and then starts gossiping about everything that happened while he was gone. Elena and Damon were together, the town had gotten a new store, Bonnie and Jeremy were engaged, they were erecting a statue to his father, Matt was dating, she was thinking of dating again, Caroline and Stefan were off and on.
The news of Caroline's relationship with Stefan makes him wonder if he's too late, but regardless he's glad he's home. It takes him a week to finally gather up the courage to stop by Caroline's. When they finally come face-to-face he expects hate or a slap, instead he gets smiles and hugs. She start babbling about things he's not really listening to until she's crying against his neck. Suddenly he doesn't remember why he left or why he didn't come back sooner.
Days With Caroline: 1
Before he asks out Caroline he gets the okay from Matt and Stefan. Matt begrudgingly gives it to him- Tyler suspects he's still in love with Caroline- and Stefan's more than happy to give his blessing. Their first date, unlike in his imagination, does happen at the Grill. They exchange stories, laugh at each other's joke, but never talk about their time apart. He doesn't tell her about the other girls and he doesn't ask about her relationship with Stefan. Their date ends the next morning with breakfast in bed, and his mother lectures him about jumping into bed with Caroline at dinner.
Days With Caroline: 78
He wants to spend his life with her and begins to wonder how that's going to work seeing as she'll never age. He's just turned nineteen and she'll forever be seventeen. He debates with himself for weeks about telling her what's on his mind. High school ends in four months (for him, he had a year to make up after all) and his mom's pushing for him to go to Princeton and Caroline is thinking about quitting community college.
Days with Caroline: 238
It's the end of summer when he gets turned into a vampire. It was the toughest decision he's ever made and Caroline spends months trying to discourage him. She promises to stay by his side no matter his age and die when he does. Although he loves her Twilight-inspired idea, he's too in love with her to choose that option. Caroline doesn't have the heart to kill after feeding him blood, so Damon does it for her. He wakes up hungry, but happy. They leave town the next day and he periodically checks up on his mom. She's remarried and happy- that's all he needs to know.
Days with Caroline: 7,379
Their cover story varies from town to town, depending on Caroline's mood. Sometimes he's the long lost relative, other times she is. The other allows moves to town after "their parent's death". Sometimes they're teenagers, sometimes they're young adults. The important thing is they always end up together, regardless of how many people throw themselves at him and Caroline. They marry more times than he can remember, visit Damon and Elena every decade, Stefan drops in on them every couple of years and visit Jeremy and Bonnie's gravesite every time they're in Mystic Falls. But the important thing is that they're together- that's all the needs.