"I hate to show up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it
I had hoped you'd see my face and be reminded that for me
It isn't over."-Adele Someone Like You
It's amazing when you think of how many times you see a person and never really see them. That's how it was for one Tyler Lockwood. He had known Caroline Forbes his whole life, but they hadn't been close. Not like they were. The operative word being were.
He tried to rationalize it so many ways. She lied to him first and about something so important; his uncle's death.
He tried to separate it into before and after. Before he had never cared for a girl, he was content in hiding behind meaningless hookups because even before the curse had been triggered, he never wanted anyone to see him. To get close, for being close with someone means you have so much more to lose. But after, well, after, there was no worse yet wonderful feeling like being in love. It was effervescent, and abominable.
He tries to settle into his new life with Jules. Training; learning how to control the wolf. But he can't concentrate. He's well aware there's a full moon coming up, but he doesn't care. He needs to go back, so when he gets a message on his phone of a person screaming, he takes off.
His return to Mystic Falls could have earned him a worst timing over award. Because, seriously? What kind of idiot shows up to a town of vampires on the day of a full moon? One who was in love, irrevocably.
He finds her locked up, courtesy of Matt, whom he later finds out pretended to be compelled in order to come up with a plan with Sheriff Forbes about what to do with Caroline. Tyler was bewildered with this. How could anyone not see Caroline for the wonderful person she was? She was not a lonesome creature, but a beautiful perfection. One that he couldn't have dreamed up and had he known what a twit Matt would have been, he never would have gave him the benefit of the doubt, much less the girl.
However, he doesn't get far as Matt has a gun and they somehow all end up in the woods, along with Damon Salvatore.
It doesn't go well.
Tyler starts to transform, but keeps his wits about him enough to tell Caroline to get the hell out. He probably wouldn't have minded mauling Matt, but Caroline, sweet Caroline. No. He couldn't bear that.
Afterwards he wakes up to a massacre. People dead. People who didn't deserve this. Jenna, Alaric.
Maybe some people who did questionable things, ala Sheriff Forbes, but because she was Caroline's mother and he didn't want her to be alone, he put her in that category as well.
He gives her time after her mother's funeral to digest everything; his return, Matt's betrayal. He was sure that she wasn't ready, even if he was.
But time moved slow; an hour felt like three. He decided he needed to take action, even if she told him to go to hell, he just needed to hear her.
He arrives at her house and stands on the porch. Maybe he wasn't as ready as he thought. No. He was. He needed to be.
She opens the door before he even has the chance to knock, her face all puffy. She was in and old t-shirt and sweats.
"What do you want, Tyler?"
He moves closer as she stands still.
"I just needed to see you, even if you didn't have anything to say. I needed you to see me."
"Because I needed you to see me, to know that for me, whatever is between us, it's not over. It'll never be over. I could meet someone tomorrow and she could be nearly perfect, but she would never be perfect because she'd never be you. I could marry her and be happy, have kids, and I'd come back thirty years from now to tell you that for me, it's not over. And I just needed you to see that. To really see that."
She stood still for what seemed like forever and then she released all of her anger and resentment and hugged him. Then she said two words, just two words, and that was all he needed.
It's a month later and they're friends, yes, just friends, but he's okay with that. He'll give her time, as she said she needed that. But he meant what he said. Nobody will ever be to him what Caroline Forbes is.
And so he'll wait, because someone like Caroline, will never be Caroline. And that's he needs to tell himself.