Sorry for the delay! I got distracted with a Forwood oneshot i'm writing that involves Tyler's third full moon.
Everything in Caroline simultaneously went rigid with fear and ached with pain at the sound of her mom's voice.
Tyler felt horror flood his system. He had moved Caroline right into the arms of her mother, who needed only to open the blinds to get all the proof she needed. Caroline looked petrified and saddened and completely frozen on the spot. Tyler couldn't blame her, if his mother was hunting him then Tyler imagined he'd react in the same way. Casting his eyes around, he tried desperately to see a way out but the only thing he could think of was covering her in a blanket and running for the car again. But he didn't think he could get her past her mother from the second floor.
Caroline on the other hand, jerked out of her stupor. Her eyes flew around the room before they landed on the bed. An idea formed in her head as she looked at the broad expanse of Tyler's shoulders. It was ludicrous and dependent on a motherly instinct Caroline wasn't entirely certain her mother possessed. But it was the only idea he had.
"Uh, get on the bed," she whispered, Tyler stared at her uncomprehendingly, "Tyler! Get on the bed, turn on your side."
Caroline hurried over to the bed and yanked back the sheets, lying down on the mattress. Tyler hesitated, turning towards the door and looking as though he wanted to run. Or fight her mother. Or really do anything but lay down on the bed next to her. Caroline rolled her eyes and pushed herself up on her elbows, glaring at Tyler.
"Tyler, come on!" she hissed, "if you lay on your side you'll be big enough to hide me."
"But your mom knows what I am," Tyler protested.
"Yes but she doesn't hate you," Caroline hissed, "you're her best friends son. As far as she knows you're just an exhausted, uh, werewolf," Tyler still looked skeptical, "Tyler she's your mother's best friend. She barely yells at you, it's not like she's going to kill you in your sleep!"
The sound of feet on stairs spurred him into action. Tyler darted over to the bed with all the grace and silence of a boy whose mother didn't like him sneaking in and out of the house. Sliding into bed he yanked the sheets up over her head and turned on his side. Caroline rolled onto her side and tried to make herself as small as possible. Caroline reached up and grabbed the sunglasses off his eyes. Tyler's eyes were still wide and open and still, unfortunately, still gold.
"Lay there, close your eyes," Caroline ordered sternly before disappearing back underneath the sheets.
Caroline pressed her face against his chest under the sheets as the sound of her mom's boots got closer to the door. Underneath the covers she felt Tyler's fingers tighten on her shoulder in response, but his heart remained at it's steady tempo. The door opened with a groan. Caroline bit back on the squeak of fear that fought to escape her lips, instead focusing on not gasping for air. She tried to pretend that the boots that moved across the floor did not belong to her mother, who had held her for three days straight when her father left. Who brushed her hair and taught her how to use mascara before any of her friends. Who had been so proud of what she had become the first time that she learned of it.
The boots hesitated as her mother looked over at Tyler's sleeping form and for a second Caroline wondered if she had been horribly wrong. She could picture her mother's hand going for her gun, ready to shoot Tyler. She wasn't a scared child either, she would kill him. It was impossible to relax but she knew she couldn't tense up. If she did then Tyler would and her mother would know something was up. She was coming closer to the bed, Caroline could hear it
Then, by some miracle, her mother moved back. Slowly her boots began to retreat before the door closed in that perfectly silently, comforting way that only mothers seemed to be able to do. Caroline let a breath she didn't know she had been holding against the skin of his chest, her shoulder pressing into his body.
Tyler winced as her shoulder pressed against his ribs.
"Sorry," she whispered, "did I-"
"No, my ribs," he explained, "they're a sore spot with changing."
"Oh," she looked up at him, her hand still resting on the side of his chest. Feeling oddly bold, she slid her hand underneath his shirt and splayed her fingers across his ribs. His eyes closed as a sigh of pure relief escaped his lips, "better?" she asked shyly.
"Fuck, you have no idea," he said.
Caroline listened, pushing aside the sound of his heart and focusing on her mother's continued search of the house. Tyler seemed to be listening as well, until Caroline realized he was actually nodding off. Caroline bit her lip, feeling his lungs pick up a steady rhythm as he fell further asleep. They had so much to do but as she watched the stress on his face begin to give way to sleep, she realized she could give him five minutes of 'nap time' before she roused him to work on everything they had to do.
Unconsciously he shifted closer to her. Caroline pressed her body firmly against his, knowing that everything depended on him being on his side so her mother couldn't see her body. A sleepy sound of protest escaped his lips but he stilled under her touch as she shifted her arm so more of her cool skin was pressed against his feverish one. Still curled under the sheets, she listened intently, apprehensive about her mother walking through the house and comforted by the steady beat of Tyler's heart.
She listened as her mother came back through the house before leaving, closing the door behind her and turning the lock for good measure. Caroline bit her lip and glanced up at Tyler's face. Tyler was one of those rare people who seemed incapable of looking serene. Even when sleeping he looked a heartbeat from leaping to his feet and kicking someone's ass. Maybe it was a werewolf thing, because for as long as she'd known Tyler he'd looked that way. Shifting closer to wake him up, Caroline hesitated when the arm that was around her shoulder slid down to her back and pulled her closer to him.
Closing her eyes tightly, Caroline focused her thoughts on Bonnie who was fighting for her life, on Damon who was probably loosing the battle for his. On all the things that were wrong that needed to be fixed and not how being cuddled against him was the first time she'd felt truly warm since turning into a Vampire. Gently she reached up and tapped his cheek. His brow furrowed, a look of displeasure coming to his face before brown eyes peeped open in irritation and then blinked in surprise.
"Shit, I didn't-" he went to turn and then looked down at her, "is she-"
"Yes," Caroline said, "she's left. I didn't hear her call for backup or anything."
Tyler nodded, his hand reluctantly leaving her waist to press into the bed as he pushed himself up. Caroline let her hand slide away from his heated skin as he moved. Without warning his arm buckled. Caroline's hands flew out to press into his shoulders, holding him upright. His eyes widened as embarrassment made his cheeks flush and suddenly Caroline wished she'd been a little slower.
They both froze as their voices overlapped, his apology and her reassurance mingling together and falling away at the realization that while her hands were holding his upper body, the rest of their bodies were most certainly not separated. It was the second time that had happened but the drapes were secure and instead of being on the floor, Caroline was on his bed. Underneath him. With her soft lips readily parted. For the first time in a very long time, being a werewolf wasn't at the forefront of Tyler's mind. Or even in the middle of it. All his thoughts seemed to be squarely on the fact that there was a very incredible, very hot girl underneath him and just for a moment Tyler Lockwood felt like a regular seventeen year old boy.
Then the memory of their last kiss came rushing back to him.
Forcing strength into his arms, Tyler pushed himself up with a muttered apology and got to his feet, leaving Caroline laying on the bed fighting not to groan with disappointment. He'd been a second from kissing her. Caroline knew it and yet he'd pulled back at the last minute. The amount of disappointment that seemed to ache in her chest stole her breath away. Slowly she pushed herself up and onto her knees, reaching up and tucking a lock of hair behind her ear as her eyes remained firmly on the sheets under her knees.
"You should go see about Jules' phone," she said quietly.
"What?" the disbelief in his voice made her head fly up, "no. No way am I leaving you. What if your mom comes back? You're trapped in here."
"Tyler, Bonnie could be dead. Damon will be dead if we don't find a way to stop this," she said.
"Screw Damon," Tyler spat, "we'll wait five minutes and I'll call my mom's room and get her to find out."
Caroline's eyes widened at the solution. She'd forgotten Tyler's mom had been pushed down the stairs and was in the same hospital as Bonnie. It wouldn't be suspicious at all for Tyler to call his mom and Caroline would bet the new daylight ring she was going to have to get that Mrs. Lockwood knew everything, including how Bonnie was. In fact, she probably knew as much as Mr. Bennet, though the truth was she shouldn't.
"That might work," she said slowly.
Tyler nodded, crossing his arms over his chest and glancing around to check the windows were all securely covered. Caroline shifted her weight, bringing her legs forward and stretching out on the sheets. Tyler continued to stand against the wall as if he was afraid of what might happen if he got on the bed. After a painfully silent few minutes Tyler pushed himself away from the wall.
"I'm gonna go call the hospital. It's probably better if I use the house phone," he explained.
"You don't have a phone in here?" Caroline asked.
"No, it always," he trailed off with a hesitant smile, "uh, it always woke me up. Even from downstairs."
Caroline felt her lips quirk up in response before Tyler moved away from the bedroom, closing the door behind him. Scooting back against the headboard, Caroline wrapped her arms around her knees and drew them up to her chest, resting her chin on top of them. Things were so messed up she knew the very last thing she should be thinking about was kissing Tyler. But it was difficult given that the he had managed to lay on top of her twice in the past few hours. Firmly pushing the thoughts aside, Caroline looked around the room, idly wondering what Tyler would think if he knew she'd snuck up there once.
It had been during a party at the Lockwood mansion for something she couldn't quite remember. She'd still been furious at Tyler for what he had done and coming back from the powder room she had stopped by his bedroom door. Feeling oddly like a kid, she'd slipped into the room, half expecting to find him stretched out on the bed or doing whatever else Tyler Lockwood did in his free time. The room had been perfectly empty and orderly, no sign of the young man's disappearance or the events that had led to it.
The idea that everything that happened could be so easily erased had made her head spin and she had sunk unsteadily onto the bed which she now sat. Worst of all was the fact that Tyler was not neat and he certainly did not smell like cleaning products. On some level she had known he was gone but it wasn't until that moment that she realized she might miss him more than she was angry at him. And that she was just as upset at the fact he ran off without a goodbye as the fact that he had abandoned her to his werewolf friends.
"Caroline?" he knocked even before he entered his own room, reminding her that he was back and alive.
"Yes?" Caroline turned to the door.
"I talked to my mom," he said, "Bonnie's in surgery, the doctors are working on her but it might be a while before they know anything for sure," Caroline nodded, "I asked my mom to call if she heard anything new," he added.
"Thanks," she said, "hows your mom?"
"Healing," Tyler said, "I think I've only got a few days before she starts asking questions," he shook his head, "I don't know what I'm going to tell her."
Caroline gave the best smile she could but knew it was faulty. Belatedly Tyler realized that he'd somehow managed to touch on the sorest subject. Shaking his head he walked over to the bed and sat down next to her. Caroline tightened her grip on her knees and rested her cheek on them as Tyler sat back against the headboard next to her.
"Do you know what you're going to do?" he asked.
"I guess I'll just take away her vervain supply, wait for it to get out of her system and compel her again."
"Again?" Tyler looked at her.
"Did I mention that I've had to compel her twice?" Caroline asked with a weak smile, "I guess I'm the last person you should be asking for parental advice."
"I wouldn't say that," Tyler said with a smile.
Caroline looked over at him with a hopeful smile that made Tyler's blood boil with the desire to find her mother, Matt and whoever else made her unhappy. As much as he thought she deserved to not have people like him in her life, he realized that if he was going to break every bone n Matt's body and make sure her mother stopped taking vervain because of pure fear, he was going to have to stick around. Carefully Tyler reached out and slid his arm around her shoulder. Caroline loosened her grip around her knees and leaned her head against his shoulder.
"I can't believe today is still today," Caroline admitted softly, "so much has happened."
"Yeah," Tyler agreed quietly.
Caroline looked down at her hands and the ring that no longer graced her finger. She was effectively trapped in the Lockwood home. In Tyler's bedroom. Normally the thought would have made her blush to the roots of her hair but even after their almost kiss with everything going on it just made her feel helpless. And if there was one thing that Caroline truly hated it was feeling helpless. Especially when she knew that if she just had her ring she could help. Or at least be there. Instead she was trapped in the room while Bonnie fought for her life and Damon suffered.
"Its cool if you hide out here for a few days," Tyler offered after a moment of silence, "I mean I can get a guest room ready for you," he said, cutting himself off before he could suggest that she spend the time in his bedroom, "if you want."
"Thanks Tyler," Caroline said quietly, though which thing she was thanking him for he had no idea.
Tyler leaned his head back against the headboard. Caroline shifted her head against his shoulder, her body fitting neatly against his side. She was careful not to put weight on his body, but he didn't seem to mind her head against his shoulder. This time even though his heart beat was steady and his breath was even his eyes remained open. He didn't want to fall asleep again in case Caroline's mom came back. Or his mother called. Or Matt dared to show his face.
"Hey, Tyler?" Caroline asked softly, "where did you go while you were away?"
"I went to Florida," Tyler said, "thats where Mason and the others spent a lot of time."
"Florida?" Caroline asked, "isn't that kind of hot for werewolves?"
"There is air conditioning in Florida," Tyler pointed out, "and they moved around a lot."
"Do werewolves do that?" she asked, "move around a lot?"
"Yeah," Tyler said, "the killing makes it hard to stay in one place for a while."
Caroline tightened her arm around his chest.
"But you didn't," she pointed out.
"I could have," Tyler replied darkly.
"But you didn't," Caroline said lifting her head up and looking at him, "you could have and you didn't," Tyler looked away, "Tyler," Caroline laid her hand on his shoulder, "you didn't hurt me and you didn't hurt Matt. I know how hard that was."
"Care-" he sighed, "it shouldn't be hard. I shouldn't want to eat people, especially not-" he stopped, "not my friends," he finished.
"I know," Caroline said looking down before meeting his eyes with her own, "I know it shouldn't be hard. But it is. And sometimes the best that we can do is act like a human, even if we can't be one," he looked at her doubtfully, "you think I don't want to bite you every time you blush?" he opened his mouth but she quickly continued, "but I don't."
"Is that why you make that sound?" he asked.
"That sound?" Caroline looked at him.
"Yeah, sometimes you let out this breath and you make this sound-" he trailed off as Caroline blushed a brilliant shade of red and buried her face in her hands, "shit, sorry, I didn't mean-" he fumbled for the right apology.
"No, no you're right," Caroline said, lowering her hands, "it's a trick Stefan told me. When I first saw my Vampire face I freaked out and Stefan taught me how to help control my Vampire face," she said, "but," she continued, "sometimes its harder to control than others."
"Like when people blush?"
"Sometimes," Caroline said. Tyler looked at her expectantly, "or if I'm hungry, or upset or, you know, if I like a person," she added quickly.
"So wanting to suck someone's blood is like, what? The ultimate Vampire flirt?"
"That is not funny," Caroline said punching his arm lightly, "but when that happens, I just tell myself that I'm going to get through it. That no matter how good it will feel, I'm strong enough to push it away," she shrugged, "and it gets easier with time. Look at how much better you did this time with your transformation"
Tyler nodded. Even though they had seen each other at their most not-human, it was hard to think of Caroline as being a moment's notice from lunging forward and sinking her teeth into his jugular. Frowning he looked over at her.
"Can you?" he asked. Caroline looked at him curiously, "can you drink my blood? I mean I know if I bite you it's a problem but isn't that with my spit?"
"Yes, Tyler, the venom's in your saliva," Caroline said, "but it's not like I want to bite you," she said. He raised an eyebrow, "well even if I do that's beside the point. Because I won't. This," she said motioning between their bodies, "is a no biting zone," he raised his eyebrows, "seriously, promise me. No biting."
He was surprised at the stab of panic he saw in her eyes. But what she was afraid of he didn't know. Maybe it was him biting her, her biting him but Tyler had a strange feeling it was more to do with the latter. He wanted to question her further but instead he found himself nodding, doing whatever he had to to get that panic stricken look off her face.
"Okay, no biting," he said, "promise," he added as she looked at him hard for a moment before nodding, seemingly satisfied with his sincerity, "but I don't find it weird or anything," he added, "the Vampire thing."
Caroline looked over at him.
"Thanks," she said, her eyes softening before she straightened up, "should you get some rest? Your mom said she'd call if anything changed and there's no point in you getting run down when there's nothing we can do."
"Hey, I'm okay," Tyler protested.
"Tyler," Caroline sighed, "you sound like a kid asking to stay up past his bed time," she grinned, "though you know with that long hair of yours," she began.
Tyler shot her a look and Caroline's smile widened at his distaste.
"I get it, I need a haircut," he said with a roll of his eyes, pushing himself to his feet and walking over to the cabinet, opening the doors to reveal a tv before grabbing the remote and walking back over to where she was laying, "I'm probably going to pass out. No sense in you being bored."
Caroline accepted the remote with a smile, scooting back to her original spot on the bed as Tyler settled next to her. Clicking on the tv, she idly scrolled through the channels.
"Your hair matches the wolf's you know," she said quietly. Tyler turned to look at her, "the first time I didn't really see but this time," she glanced over at him, "your fur is the same color as your hair."
Tyler looked at her. This was the first time Caroline had mentioned 'the wolf' and his fur. Jules had warned him that the last thing to do would be to get in the habit of thinking of himself and his werewolf form as two different things. Two separate entities. If the wolf killed, he killed. The wolf hunted, he hunted. They were the same thing. He had hated the idea that he'd have to be connected even further to the creature he turned into once a month.
Hated it until he realized that she was kind of right.
Being a werewolf had defined him for his entire life. His anger, his athleticism, even his inability to stomach his father's need for dominance could all be traced back to being a werewolf. It wasn't so much that killing Sarah had changed his life and made him into a new person. More than killing her and triggering the curse had made him into what he was always supposed to be. As much as he hated it, having an explanation somehow made things better.
"Huh," he frowned, "that's weird," he continued, "Mason's was grey," he explained at Caroline's puzzled look, "so was Jules's fur."
"Maybe they don't have blonde wolves," Caroline offered, her head settling on his shoulder, "I'll take a picture next time and show you."
"Caroline," he began.
Caroline lifted her head and looked at him, hating the note in his voice. The suggestion that maybe he wasn't going to be around at the next full moon.
"What?" she demanded, her eyes searching his face, "you're not leaving again are you?"
"Huh? No," he shook his head, "but you can't stay with me during the transformation."
"Are you serious? I keep trying to kill you. I could barely control myself this time."
"But you did," Caroline pointed out, "and you got the bullet out of me without killing me."
"Yeah, barely," Tyler said, "when I turn I want to kill everything. We've had two close calls, we can't risk a third," he continued.
"So what?" Caroline demanded, "I'm just supposed to chain you up and be all 'have a nice full moon Tyler' and leave you in the cellar? No way. We haven't even found chains strong enough to hold you! And now you aren't taking wolfs bane either?" she shook her head, "I'm not leaving you down there alone."
Tyler pushed himself off the bed and looked at the Vampire. Caroline rose to her feet as well, looking at him as if the request to leave him alone when he turned was insane. When really it was perfectly logical, for one simple reason.
"Damn it Caroline, I already bit Damon. Next time it could be you!"
"No," Caroline said shaking her head, refusal on her face, "it won't be me. You stayed with me that whole night. You protected me from Matt."
"This time," he said, "I already abandoned you once," he stopped as Caroline's eyes widened, surprise and hurt written all over her face. He realized he brought up the last thing she needed to hear after the night she had, "I hate that I hurt you," he admitted finally, "and I can't stand the thought that I'd do it again."
Caroline stared at him, her eyes wide and surprised. It wasn't so much that he had brought up the one thing she wished that he hadn't, the very thing she'd been trying to ignore. It was the fact that he had admitted what he had done was wrong, that it had hurt her and that he didn't want to hurt her again. The pain in her chest was terrible, but what was worse was how easily she remembered the feeling of him hesitating, of him choosing the wolves he had just met over the person who had stuck by him. Who he had pressed against the door and kissed senseless.
"Then don't," she said, her voice soft.
Tyler gaped at her like she had grown a second head, as if he couldn't believe what she was saying. Like how he had looked at her when she had explained that she cared more about him than the chance he'd bite her. The surprise on his face was actually heartbreaking, the disbelief that someone would care that much.
"I don't get it," he said with a shake of his head, "after what I did you said-" he hesitated, "you said we weren't friends."
"I was upset," Caroline said, "but I didn't mean that," she ducked her head, "you've never had a girl be that mad at you before, have you?"
"Not one I care enough to want to stop being mad at me," he admitted.
"Well next time instead of stealing my phone and skipping town, you could bring me bourbon or flowers and apologize properly," she said, "and I'll keep in mind that you're a seventeen year old boy," Tyler rolled his eyes, "girls mature faster. It's a scientific fact," Caroline said crossing her arms.
"Okay okay," Tyler held up his hands, "bourbon or flowers, got it."
"And no skipping town," she said, steering him back to the most important point.
"Yeah," he agreed, "no skipping town."
Caroline nodded, satisfied and returned to the bed, intent on not having either of them get up from it until Mrs. Lockwood called with news on Bonnie. If there was a chance in hell she would be able to get Tyler to leave to see if Jules had a cell phone in the car, she would take it. But the werewolf was adamant that he was staying there. She was more grateful to him for staying than she would care to admit.
It took him a minute to join her on the bed, cautiously as if he too could sense there would be a good chance they'd jump up to either help or fight. But eventually he settled next to her and her head found its way onto his shoulder once again, her body tucked against the side of his chest. Caroline smiled faintly at how well they fit back together, even after continuing to jump apart. It was strange, twisted but she knew that if anyone like her mom she could count on him to protect her.
"I am sorry," he said quietly.
"I forgive you," she replied.
Next time they take steps towards saving Damon, Bonnie's fate is revealed and who knows? Maybe these two will finally make out.