Disclaimer: I don't own TVD or any of its characters.
A/N: a new fic to get us through the next four months ;)
It was all very anticlimactic.
"What do you mean you can see dead people?" Elena demanded, squinting at her brother in concern. "You mean you had a nightmare?"
"No," Jeremy said slowly, impatience creeping into his tone. "I mean I can actually see them. Anna and Vicki. They were both here and I saw them with my own two eyes!"
Elena shot a glance over at Alaric, who was sitting at the kitchen table. He raised both hands in a surrendering gesture, "Sorry, Elena. I didn't see anything last night." He hesitated, "But, of course, I don't mean to suggest that Jeremy isn't telling the truth…"
Jeremy huffed out a breath, "Are you guys honestly telling me that you don't think there's the slightest possibility I'm not the crazy one? I mean, we live in Mystic Falls!"
"Okay," Elena said amicably, "You're right. In a town of vampires, werewolves, and witches—well, there obviously could be other things that we don't know about."
"Thank you," Jeremy threw up his arms in relief, "You believe me."
Elena shifted, "I believe that you thought you saw Anna and Vicki…"
Jeremy's expression grew angry, "Elena—"
"Jer, they're both dead! And not the kind of dead you can come back from either—they were both staked!"
"You think I don't know that?"
Elena turned to Alaric for help, her gaze pleading. He cleared his throat, seemingly uncomfortable. "So, uh, what exactly did you see? I mean, were they…human?"
Jeremy frowned, thinking.
"Or were they still vampires? Or…ghosts?"
"I woke up because I…heard something," Jeremy began hesitantly, "But t-they moved so fast."
"So vampires?" Alaric prompted, but Jeremy shook his head.
"I don't know what they were."
Elena placed her hands on her hips, looking at Alaric accusingly for buying into Jeremy's story. "Sometimes," she began pointedly, "When someone loses a person close to them…their mind tries to overcompensate by—"
"I'm not crazy," Jeremy interrupted, glaring at Elena. "I'm not making things up because of Jenna or John or…"
"No one is calling anyone crazy," Alaric cut in, "Elena, why don't you call Bonnie and tell her that Jeremy is, er, having some unexpected side effects?"
"No need, I already texted her and told her to come over," Jeremy replied, glancing down at his phone. As if on cue, the doorbell rang.
Elea sighed and walked over to answer it. She smiled at Bonnie reassuringly, but Bonnie's worried frown never wavered. "What happened?" she asked urgently, "Is Jeremy okay?"
"Hey," Jeremy walked into the room, looking startled when Bonnie wrapped him in a tight hug. "Hey," he lowered his voice, pressing a kiss to her forehead, "Everything's fine."
She pulled back, "What's the big emergency, then?" She looked over at Elena, "Is Damon okay?"
"Still recovering," Elena answered quickly, averting her eyes from Bonnie's probing gaze. "I think Caroline is helping him out."
Bonnie nodded, turning back to Jeremy with a questioning look.
"See, the thing is," Alaric stepped in when no one else spoke, "Jeremy thinks he can see…well, I mean, he saw—"
"Anna and Vicki," Jeremy finished in an oddly defiant tone. "Last night. I heard something moving around in the house and when I got downstairs…there they were."
"Wh-what?" Bonnie's eyes widened, "But they're—"
"Dead. Yeah, we know," Elena crossed her arms. "Do you know if the spell you did had any…other effects?"
Bonnie involuntarily glanced at Alaric before she spoke again, choosing her words carefully. "Emily Bennett and the other witches…they weren't happy with me. They didn't want me to use their power to save Jeremy."
"What?" Elena frowned, "Wait a second, then how...?"
"I begged them," Bonnie said quietly, "I pleaded with Emily to help me. I told her how much Jeremy meant to me…that she couldn't just let him die like that."
"And she changed her mind?" Elena asked slowly, struggling to understand. "Why?"
"For a price," Bonnie corrected in a heavy voice, her shoulders sagging. "She said there would be a consequence."
"And you didn't think that would be an important fact to mention?" Jeremy snapped, grabbing Bonnie's shoulders. "What did you think the price would be?"
"I t-thought," Bonnie took a deep breath, "I thought they would want an exchange of life. Mine for yours."
Elena shook her head, her expression turning disapproving. "Bonnie, we couldn't do any of this without you," she said softly, meeting her friend's gaze squarely. "Jeremy and I…we don't have a lot of people left in our lives. So, I beg you, please stop trying to get yourself sacrificed!"
"It's not like I want to die, Elena!" Bonnie returned, her eyes shining with unshed tears. But her voice stayed strong. "I told you before. I would do anything to keep the people I love safe. I know you of all people understand that concept."
"If that was the only way to save Jeremy," Bonnie interrupted, her gaze steely, "Then so be it."
"No," Jeremy protested, "I would never want you to die for me, Bonnie."
"All in all," Alaric said loudly before Bonnie could respond, "That appears to be a moot point. Bonnie didn't die, and neither did anyone else. The consequence appears to be that Emily Bennett brought back Anna and Vicky, instead."
Bonnie sat down on the sofa, looking thoughtful. "Witches, even powerful ones, can't raise the truly dead," she murmured. "Forget being staked, Anna burned in that fire. There's nothing that could bring her back."
"So what are you saying?" Jeremy demanded, "Are you saying that I saw their ghosts?"
"Well what did they say to you?" Bonnie asked, looking nervous, "Any clues?"
"They said my name," Jeremy answered after a moment, a shadow passing over his eyes. "That's all."
"They spoke to you?" Elena stopped pacing to stare at her brother, "You didn't say that before."
"There's one way to find out for sure," Alaric said slowly, looking around the room. "Vicki has a grave site, right?"
Jeremy looked slightly sick, "You want to dig up her grave?"
"It's a plan," Elena said after a minute, "We'll need Stef—" she broke off, her breath hitching. "I mean..."
"Jeremy and I will do it," Alaric offered quietly, "It'll be best to keep this just between us for the time being."
"He's right," Bonnie agreed, "Vikki Donovan was Tyler's girlfriend and Matt's sister...we can't tell anyone what Jer saw, especially not Caroline or Damon."
"So. Tonight, then," Alaric stood up, nodding briefly at Elena. "I'll meet you guys back here before midnight."
He left, and the three of them sat in silence for a few minutes.
"No word from Stefan yet?" Bonnie asked hesitantly, and Elena shook her head.
"From what Katherine said, it sounded like Klaus wasn't planning on killing Stefan at all. So, I guess that's good news…" Elena trailed off.
"So, Katherine skipped town?" Jeremy muttered disdainfully, "Good riddance."
Elena swallowed, "She brought the cure, even though she didn't have to. I guess we have to be grateful for that."
"How long till Damon recovers fully?" Bonnie asked, turning to look at Elena. "Did he seem to be getting better when you left him?"
"Y-yeah," Elena cleared her throat, "He was a lot stronger and more coherent when I left. It shouldn't be long."
Bonnie nodded with a genuine smile, "I'm glad."
"Come on," Jeremy held his hand out, "I'll walk you home."
"Thanks," Bonnie hopped off the sofa and grabbed her things. "I'll see you tonight, Elena."
As soon as they left, Elena reached over to look at her cell phone.
NO NEW MESSAGES.
"Come on, Stefan," Elena let the phone slide out of her hand and clatter onto the coffee table, "Where are you?"
*if you've read my fics before you know how it works: PLOT + Delena :)
p.s. what'd you guys think of the finale? i thought episodes 2x21 & 2x22 were equally amazing, though in different ways. as always, thanks for reading and be sure to drop a review!