A Tribute to Alaric and Jenna
She likes to make fun of his hair.
(Jeez, do you ever keep that thing on a leash?)
And she runs her hands through it – his primary action involving biting his lip to stop himself from losing control – threatening to cut it. And for all their banter about the way his hair moves with the breeze, whenever she gets the scissors out she can never find the heart to cut it.
It's a part of him, and she knows she can never ever hurt any part of him.
Sometimes he'll be staring at her (just staring) and she'll catch him. It becomes a staring contest; a test of wits to see who will break gaze first.
In the end, she always breaks gaze first.
Because he could simply stare at her all day, bathing in the fortune life seems to have showered on him. And though she's quick to bring her eyes back (defiantly), he allows a teasing smirk to cross his face.
And then he realizes what game she's playing when she runs her tongue along her bottom lip, her eyes straying casually from his, every inch of her body poised to perfection, one leg casually crossing the other.
Oh, that's surely breaking the rules.
His eyes stray from hers, running down the length of her body.
She may have lost the staring contest but she has her ways of exacting revenge. And he looks longingly at her as she slowly (deliberately) rises and walks away, flashing him a casual grin. Damn it, she's good…
And it doesn't take long for him to catch up to her, his lips pressing against hers hungrily, every primal instinct inside him rising to the surface.
"Your place or mine?"
An innocent question, but it has its dark connotations. She turns, catches him smiling, and wonders whether it's possible to fall for someone multiple times. If it was, she'd be on a drip in casualty by now.
Thump, thump, thump…
As he draws closer, she hears nothing but her heart racing. His fingers run through her hair, his lips lingering just underneath her ear, and she feels her body curve. Pure, utter, undying perfection.
"How about right here?" he murmurs.
Her heart flat-lines.
She has a habit of wearing his shirt.
At first, he makes fun, saying she looks ridiculous, asking her how wearing his shirt is sexy. As he dodges her mock punches, she falls into his arms, making some absurd, half-hearted quip about his hair, before giving him an answer.
"You're the first guy I've got to do this with. Let a girl indulge herself."
And he stares into her eyes, reading between the lines.
"You're the first guy I've felt this way about. So I'm wearing your shirt to advocate that fact."
Moved beyond measure, he kisses the top of her head, before promptly realizing the gesture has fallen flat, and that the look in her eyes calls for an entirely different approach.
Your wish is my command.
He hears her, despite her attempts to remain quiet.
"I like a man who can dine alone. Quiet strength…"
And a brief smile emerges on his face, though he disguises it well, pretending to the world a student's answer has amused him, rather than a strange (but intensely attractive) woman, who technically speaking wasn't even talking to him.
He snatches glimpses of her when she's not looking, observing her little habits, like the way she twists her hair around her finger and then releases it, or the way she nods her head a few times, even if no one has said anything.
It's like even then he knew she would be a part of his life somehow.
It's not officially declared or anything, but Chasing Cars becomes their anthem. Their song. It's the one Snow Patrol track he can listen to over and over. And when she flicks the radio on one day and the track comes on, they both go mental.
It's the first time he's felt so connected to a person.
"Don't be frigid, Ric," she commands. "Dance with me."
He makes a great show of pretending he doesn't dance, that he looks like an idiot when he dances, but when her hands lower to his hips (as she tries to manually make him dance) he suddenly finds he can move.
Even if said movement does involve pinning her to the wall, his lips crashing clumsily against hers.
It's a sunny day. She suggests a picnic, which he readily agrees to (eager to get away from his damn marking).
She invites Elena and Stefan, and the outing becomes a foursome, something Damon takes great delight in teasing him about. (Stupid vampires and their dirty minds). And thanks to him, his thoughts for the rest of the day are muddied, soiled.
And she knows it. She knows his every damn thought. (How is that even possible?) Leaning across to get a cup, she lingers there longer than she needs to be, her eyes flashing with mischief, her lips ending up being the treat of the day, before she withdraws, leaving him deflated somewhat.
And when his phone rings, and the song Push It blares out in front of three confused expressions, his mind finally clears, a new purpose entering his thoughts.
Screw sex – he was going to murder Damon Salvatore.
The first time she tells him she loves him, he's fast asleep.
Her head is against his chest, catching every breath he takes and releases, and she knows he's sleeping. And she also knows she has about thirty minutes before the kids come traipsing in (too short).
"I love you."
It's more an epiphany than a confession, which is why she's glad he doesn't hear it. The warmth of that realization makes her toes curl and her smile spread. And if this is just the honeymoon period, she can't wait for the folds of forever to unveil before them.
As she rises to fetch a glass of water, she misses the twitch of his lips as one side of his mouth curls upwards and one lazy eye opens, hovering on her retreating figure for half a second before snapping back shut.
The first time he tells her he loves her, it's not under the best of circumstances.
She's confused, hurt, and torn. It's all there on her face, in her eyes. And even under the dusty porch light, she still looks radiant.
And the remnants of their fight resurface; she's drowning in ignorance and trying to claw her way to understanding. But he knows it's too dangerous for her to know and tries to beg with his eyes for her to let it go.
And the words I love you tumble out, momentarily making her falter. He can see she wants to end this fight and just tumble into this arms, make all this negativity go away with a tender kiss.
But they're at breaking point now.
And as she closes the door in his face, he slumps against the door, feeling utterly forsaken and desperate.
And when he hears a quiet bang, it takes him a moment to realize she's on the other side of the door, and for a moment it feels like they are united again.
If only it wasn't in misery.
Seeing her with Elijah drives him insane. It's so surreal.
He'd never believed himself to be a jealous man, but it's so strange how seeing her in the company of another male, laughing carelessly like she did with him, can drive him to the depths.
That should be me.
And he's hurt by the cold shoulder she seems to be giving him. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to it.
But her eyes stray to his. He stiffens, unsure what to expect.
And it might be his imagination, but he swears to any and every god her lips twitch slightly. Her eyes certainly show signs of hurt.
He thinks maybe she's seeing the jealousy in his eyes and showing him the hurt in hers as a way of explanation. Her hands move slightly by her side, and he likes to think maybe she's imagining them wrapped in his.
But she soon walks away, leaving him feeling cold, alone, and wondering what the hell he's supposed to have done to drive a wedge between them like this.
After encountering Elena in the hallway, she tiptoes back into her bedroom, suppressing giggles. His head is buried in the pillow, a deep flush arising in his skin, clearly showing his mortification.
"We got busted," she whispers, sounding near enough hysterical.
"I'm her teacher," he bemoans, sitting up. "I've mentally scarred her for life."
"Eh, it's nothing I haven't heard her do before," she responds, waggling her eyebrows suggestively.
At that, he turns a light shade of green and reaches for the pillow, shoving it against his face, the mood effectively destroyed.
He remembers everything, every good and bad memory, as he slowly lowers a red rose onto her nameless grave.
He remembers the way her quiet smile could evolve into a wicked grin in the space of a second, how listening to her heart beating had been his favourite pastime (asides from the obvious), how every touch drove him wild with passion, and how she'd helped him get over Isobel simply by being Jenna Somers.
It feels surreal mourning her like this when it just wasn't her time.
And he feels so empty inside, like every step is like walking a mile.
And when no one's looking, he takes out the small snapshot of them together from his wallet, feeling his heart break all over again.
The worst thing in life is wondering what could've been – the what ifs, in other words. And he wonders now what would've happened if he'd just been honest with her from the start.
And by Elena's broken expression, it looks as though she's wondering the same thing.
A/n: More people need to write Alaric/Jenna. They had the most heart-breaking and short-lived relationship on the show and so I felt it was only fitting I gave them one. Hope you like!