By the Light of the Moon

Tyler knows he should leave, but something holds him back. One-shot. SPOILERS FOR SEASON 2 EPISODE 21, THE SUN ALSO RISES.

Tyler Lockwood is dangerous. He knows that. But he isn't worried about that. He's worried about Caroline.

She looks so sweet and innocent, sleeping nestled in the crook of his arm, her blond hair fanning around her pale face. He hopes she's having sweet dreams.

He can't let go of the fact that he could have killed her tonight.

She always insists on helping him, and he can't understand why. Does she want to die? But deep inside him, he knows the answer.

It's who she is. Compassionate, caring, loyal. He's her friend. So she'll help.

He should have figured out that's why she was so wounded when he almost let Jules kill her, and left town without saying good bye.

So much for loyalty.

He wonders, after all that they've been through, why they're still friends. They've both changed so much. For the better, he thinks. She's not the shallow, jealous cheerleader she used to be, caught up in petty dramas. This Caroline is confident and considerate.

As for himself…he likes to think that he's learned how to control his anger. In reality, he's just relieved that he knows where it's coming from. He's not confused anymore. Jules helped him in that.

Caroline asked him to stay. He knows he can't. Mystic Falls is filled with vampires, and he's a werewolf. One mistake…and everything would fall apart. It was dangerous. But he didn't want to leave again. He wonders what's holding him back.

He looks down at Caroline again, and he knows.

It's her.

It's selfish of him, he knows, to stay. What if he accidentally bit her? He could never live with himself if he did that. But maybe, maybe if they were careful…she had asked him to stay after all.

Why was this different from the first time?

"Matt broke up with me!" she sobbed, her calm façade dropping. All he wanted to do was comfort her, so he took her into his arms and let her cry herself into an exhausted sleep.

Even though he knew that Matt was better for her, Matt was who she loved, Matt wouldn't freaking kill her (well, actually, Matt did have a gun with wooden bullets, come to think of it), Tyler feels that he has a chance now. And he'll take it.