Summary: AU-Jeremy and Tyler's relationship hits a rough patch when Tyler's 'drinking' becomes Tyler's 'drinking problem'. Things get complicated just in time for the vampires of Mystic Falls to run into trouble with vamps in a rivaling city. Jeremy/Tyler. Background couples: Damon/Elena, Stefan/Caroline, Jenna/Alaric.

A/N: This is a (long) multi-chapter fic that I started a couple of months ago but am just getting around to posting. I miss Jyler on TVD! If there's anyone else out there that feels the same way I hope this fic will help ease some of the sting of TVD's new Jyler-less world. lol Anyone curious about the rules in this AU can find a link for the list of differences on my profile.

A/N 2: LOL For those who read this chapter before I edited, whoops! I have no idea how it all got underlined! That was NOT on purpose. lol I haven't posted here in years and Idk how to edit it so I just deleted the story and am posting it over again. Sorry about that. Thanks for giving it a try after opening it and seeing that mess. I'm glad you liked what you read anyway.

Warnings: This story does contain *character death* in later chapters. If that's too dark then this is not the story for you. Rated M for language, brief nudity and strong violence in later chapters.

Disclaimer: Tragically, I own nothing but the original characters not found in the TVD world.


Chapter One

Jeremy's head bobbed against the pillow as he waited for Tyler in his bedroom. Mrs. Lockwood let him in about an hour ago. They were supposed to hang out or at least that was the plan last night. The battery on his ipod was almost dead and if he lost his music he was leaving. Tyler was late anyway.

He made it through the second half of the new Beck CD when the screen went black and the song dissolved in his headphones. Yanking them out with a sigh, he sat up and got off the bed, swooping down to grab his bag on his way to the door. He was reaching for the knob when it opened abruptly and forced him to take a step back.

Tyler was all grins. "Hey."

Jeremy tried to frown but was too exasperated to even sum up much of a scowl. "Where have you been?"

"I was with the guys." Tyler shrugged and grabbed Jeremy's waist briefly as he leaned in for a quick kiss. Jeremy's eyebrows rose but Tyler didn't notice him pull back because he was already moving away to his dresser beside the window that overlooked his expansive backyard. Jeremy smelled alcohol on his breath, so he knew what being 'with the guys' meant. The football team. Getting drunk with the football team. At one o'clock in the afternoon on a Sunday.

He turned around and watched as Tyler pulled his t-shirt over his head and cast it to the floor as he reached into one of the middle drawers for a fresh one. Jeremy looked away because the sight of Tyler's bare back was distracting, and he made a resolution this year not to let things like this slide anymore.

He and Tyler were together eleven months. Jeremy was out and Tyler was very slightly out as well. While the whole school knew Jeremy was gay, only their closest friends and family knew about Tyler and their relationship. The truth was, Jeremy didn't blame him for staying most of the way in the closet.

He caught hell at school for not fitting into the gender/sexuality box that some of the bigots they attended high school with demanded. Tyler was popular. He was liked and included. It hurt sometimes that he didn't acknowledge him as his boyfriend to everyone-hurt even more that he hung out with some of the same guys that slammed him into lockers-but Jeremy admitted to himself that if he could have a small taste of what Tyler had he might make the same choice. At least that's what he told himself to excuse Tyler again and again.

Choosing when and how to come out was one thing. It was an extremely personal choice. His drinking was something else entirely. Tyler was a social person. He partied and with parties came drinking and Jeremy wouldn't expect anything else. They were young and it wasn't that bad, but over the past month or so his alcohol consumption had increased so much so that Jeremy found himself repeatedly worried about him. He didn't think he was a full-blown alcoholic. Not yet anyway, but he certainly wasn't acting like himself and he didn't understand why.

They were together, happily so for the most part, though they argued on a fairly regular basis nowadays. They were fixing to graduate in a few months. They were going on a cross-country road trip over the summer and were set to start college in the fall. Life was working out exactly as it was supposed to, so Tyler's sudden increase in partying was a sore point for them. The source of a number of arguments over the last few weeks.

Determined to avoid another one, Jeremy pulled the strap of his backpack over his shoulder and stepped over to the door. "I'm just gonna go."

"What?" Tyler chuckled, pulling a black t-shirt over his head and walking over to him. "I just got here. Stay."

"I've been waiting an hour, Tyler." Jeremy said wearily as the youngest Lockwood pushed the strap off his shoulder, dropping his bag back to the floor.

"I know." Tyler kissed his jaw and pulled his hips against his. "I'm sorry." He kissed his lips and the acrid scent of beer was heavy on his hot breath.

Jeremy gently pushed Tyler off and pulled away. "Come on." He said quietly. "You know I don't like to when you're like this."

"Like what?" Tyler laughed again but there was a tinge of bitterness in it. His smile held a false note that sent warnings to Jeremy. "You don't wanna mess around when I'm a little wasted? …Said the stoner."

"I don't do that stuff anymore. You know that." Jeremy picked his bag up off the floor and pulled it over his shoulder again. In fact he hadn't done any kind of drugs for over five months now.

They were always a numbing agent to help him forget about everything that hurt too much to face: the death of his parents, his sexuality, the loneliness, all the weird stuff that started popping up in Mystic Falls. Things were different now. He still missed his parents but he had a support system these days. He stopped denying who he was and even though he got bullied for it, he was happy he was out. The loneliness went away with the start of his relationship with Tyler and it became easier to make friends when he wasn't so worried about hiding who he was. He didn't need drugs anymore so it was unnerving to him that Tyler seemed to need an escape even more.

"You're not you when you're like this. I want to be with you." Jeremy really didn't want to fight, but the hardening glint in Tyler's eyes didn't say the same thing.

"Fuck you, Jeremy." Tyler's voice was sharp and pissed off.

Jeremy half-smiled sarcastically. "Thought I just said no." His grin slipped though and he sighed because the bravado was hard to keep up.

"Funny." Tyler said without an ounce of amusement. "But not as funny as the pothead pill peddler saying he doesn't want to be with me while I'm messed up. That is a fucking joke."

"You done?" Jeremy stared at him blankly. He hated when Tyler got this way. He wasn't always such an angry drunk, but these days he was belligerent and mean. It stung worse than he knew and a dark hole in Jeremy's heart wondered why he kept forgiving him for it.

Tyler returned the stare but there was a sharpness in his expression that gave away his anger. "What if I'm not?"

Jeremy nodded, rolling his eyes at the wall over Tyler's shoulders. "I'm leaving. I'll see you tomorrow."

He twisted the doorknob and pulled the door open briskly.

"Yeah," Tyler called after him, leaning clumsily in the doorway. "Get the fuck out of here…Fucking hypocrite drama queen."

Tears stung Jeremy's eyes but he blinked them away quickly and refused to look back at him as he walked to the staircase. He didn't pick up his pace until he reached the stairs and descended them at a speed he wouldn't have given Tyler the satisfaction of seeing. He was glad Mrs. Lockwood wasn't around as he made his way to the front door and left. He didn't think he would be able to gloss over the stricken look on his face and he didn't want her to see him that way. He stepped out into the sunlight and wrapped his arms around himself as he jogged off for the bus stop. Tyler had the most extraordinary way of making him feel like the smallest person on the planet.