Title from Melt My Heart To Stone by Adele.
you say my name like there could be an us.
She's sitting on the sofa at the Salvatore home, watching Stefan as he paces back and forth in front of her. He's telling her about the thirst and the hunger and control and you're life won't be any simpler. She tries to listen to him, she really does. But she can't get passed just watching him. Her eyes follow him from one side of the room to the other, his hand on his hip, then him crossing both arms over his chest. She looks at his face, barely ghosts over it once, comes back to it and she has the same notion to just wipe away the worry in his creased brow.
She knows he's serious about what he's saying, she can feel the worry in his voice and she thinks it nice. He's actually worrying about her. But she can't pay attention to the words, the sentences; they all get morphed into something she doesn't think she can handle right now. So she watches his face again.
Her eyes roam over his jaw line, down his neck, back up to his lips, back to his jaw. And his jaw's set when he stops talking for a minute, then it relaxes a little, still sharp as ever though, when he continues to talk.
God, and she's never thought a man's clenched jaw, jaw line, and neck could ever be so sexy. But it is when she looks at Stefan and she gets these little butterflies that threaten to spill out of her mouth every time she thinks about smiling at him. He's just so sweet, and caring, and she thinks that makes him one hundred and one different types of sexy.
"Caroline." Her eyes, the ones glancing over his mouth, quickly shoot towards his eyes and she lets out this little noise that she's so embarrassed about. "Are you listening to me?"
His eyes, when she looks at them, she's sure will melt her every time. They're dark and warm and everything all at the same time. And she just doesn't think it's fair that he gets to look like that and expect her not to stare, at least a little bit. "Yeah, no, of course."
He gives her a light smile, lips quirking up at the corners just a tad, before he starts talking again.
She pays attention this time. She hears him when he says that she has to be very careful and she's new to this so it's going to be a lot harder than it will later. It all scares her beyond belief, what he's saying, because she knows they must be true coming from him. He's stern when he talks, his eyes hard, and she realizes she's going to be around this until she finds a wooden stake in her heart a hundred years from now, or whatever. She just knows that she's going to be scared all her life and she's not sure Stefan's pretty eyes and endearing concern is really ever going to make that go away.
God, she really hopes, though.
Damon walks in carrying a glass of bourbon in the middle of Stefan talking and Caroline watching Stefan.
He rolls his eyes, gulps down most of his drink, and clears his throat. Mostly because he just loves having everyone's attention.
Stefan stops walking, turns to him, and says, "I was just telling Caroline what it's like to be one of us."
Damon scoffs, looks to Caroline, then back to Stefan. "You sure? Or were you just sugar coating everything?" He looks over to Caroline who can't stop watching Stefan, still. "Listen, Blondie, Stefan over here likes to tell you what you want to hear in a round about way. Truth is, you're going to want to rip out the thro-"
Stefan interrupts right there, puts his hand on Damon's chest. "Damon, stop it."
Damon looks down at Stefan's hand, then up to his face. He picks up Stefan's hand and drops it down. "As I was saying, Blondie. You're gonna want to rip everyone's throat out and suck their blood dry. And you won't stop until you get your fill. And just think about pretty boy, wonder what his blood tastes like, huh?"
Caroline looks at his face then. She hears every words Damon says and it's almost clear as day or whatever that lame saying is, and she thinks oh god. If Stefan's words made her scared to breathe, she's sure she just wants someone to go ahead and stake her right now after she hears Damon's words. She couldn't want to do that. Right?
She looks back to Stefan's face and his eyes are too dark and she thinks what Damon's said has to be true. But she wants confirmation from Stefan or for him to just tell her it's not true no matter what.
"Stefan, is that true?" She hears herself speaking, hears how soft her voice is, she even sounds scared, she must look it.
He's got both hands on his hips, a clenched jaw, and worried eyes when he turns to her from his brother and says, "It doesn't have to be, Caroline."
And she wonders what that even means. It's either true or not. She's either going to want to kill every human she can get a hold of when she's hungry or she's not. She doesn't need 'we can fix that'. She needs him to be like truthful or whatever.
"Stefan." She bites out his name, looks at him with hard eyes and she can see a hint of a smirk on Damon's face.
Stefan sighs. "Yeah, Caroline. You'll probably want to do all that stuff. But I can help you not want to, or at least push away the thought, or something. I won't let you turn into a monster. I won't."
She wants to sigh and say, aren't I already though? She doesn't say it though.
She lets out a shaky breath and looks somewhere between the two brothers staring at her. She looks as far back as her eyes will take her. They land on an old, old picture and she gets this loud feeling that courses through her saying she won't ever get to be old. She doesn't know where it comes from, but she wishes it would go away.
And when it does go away, when she thinks she can look at either of them without suffocating or something, she looks back, looks at Damon this time instead of Stefan. His jaw is set and his too blue eyes are pouring into hers, and she catches his index fingers circling around the top of his glass.
She's never really noticed before, but they kind of look alike, he and Stefan. They both have strong jaw lines she can't get away from, eyes that won't tell you much of anything except a million different things at once, strong features, dark hair, broad shoulders, height, silky skin, broody and stern looks that grace their faces at least like all day.
How has she never noticed this? Of course, they're brothers, but she never really paid attention to just how much of a resemblance they share. She really can't get away from each of their perfect, sharp, straight, pulse raising jaws. She thinks if this were a teen movie she was cast in, she would involuntarily swoon every time she was around them. She stays away from doing that now because it would be just too awkward and she doesn't want to find herself stuck in an Elena situation that probably won't ever happen, but, still.
She wonders where they get their looks from. Obviously, it's got to be their dad, right? Strong jaw, too pretty eyes, dark hair. She thinks maybe Damon got his eyes from their mother just because she wants to think that. And was their mom this enticed with their dad's looks? Is that what drew her in? Was he this dreamy.
Oh God, she needs to stop. Right now.
She realizes they're both still staring at her, Damon smirking and Stefan wearing an all too familiar look of concern. Oh God, their faces.
She stands quickly, grabs her bag off the floor beside her, and announces she has to go. She knows she must look flustered or something, so she just needs to leave.
She walks quickly to get passed them, walks right through the space between them, and Stefan grabs her arm not too tightly. "Caroline, wai-" She looks at his hand on her upper arm when she hears Damon say, "Dude, just let the barbie go." Then Stefan releases her arms and she barely stops herself from running to and out the front door.
She doesn't know what got into her in there. Not at all. She knows she's always found both of them entirely too attractive for their own good. But she's never been so enticed by their beauty. And yeah, she can say their beautiful because dammit, they are. Yeah, there was that crush on Stefan in the beginning but then he totally shot her down and has been living and breathing Elena, Elena, Elena since seems like forever. And then there was that whole debacle with Damon. His skin and his words in her ear, his hands rough and calloused, bourbon on his breath.
Then she remembers she still hates him. Who cares if he's gorgeous. He fed on her, compelled her, made her a complete fool. She can look at Stefan if she wants to. Because he is so sweet and caring and he worries for her. Which is a big step from anything anyone else has ever done for her. There is nothing wrong with that, she knows he's Elena's and everyone knows that's never going to change. Because even if Elena gets everything, and she means everything, Caroline would never try to take Stefan away from her. A, because Elena's her best friend b, because she knows it wouldn't do any good c, Stefan doesn't want her and d, she's not sure anyone really has anyway.
She doesn't want Damon at all though. Fuck that. (His good looks, blue eyes, smirk, bourbon, his jaw.)
The fuck? His jaw, really Caroline?
When she gets home she tries to entirely avoid her mother while her mother tries to avoid her back, so she just ends up in her room feeling a little too old to be only seventeen and wishful.
She'd call Bonnie but she knows how she feels about vampires. She thinks it was really nice of her not to kill her with one of her witch spells but she doesn't think she's okay enough that she'd want to hang out and paint each others nails.
She won't call Elena either because she's got her stuff to worry about and she just doesn't want to hear Elena giggle about something Stefan's doing to her in the background. She definitely cannot handle that.
When she can't handle being cooped up in her room any longer, she jumps out of her window, yeah, and decides to go to the Grill.
She walks in and sees Matt clearing away a table, ever the cutest busboy. She'd walk up to him if she weren't so scared about what Damon said being true. She couldn't do that to Matt, wouldn't do that to him. So she sneaks around him, avoids the stares of people who think she looks like an eight year old because she probably does, and finds her way to the corner of the bar.
She sits down with a huff when she's sure Matt didn't see her. She orders a ginger ale because she knows that's all she's going to get out of the bartender and frankly, she likes ginger ale. Granted, brandy or bourbon would suit her well right now, but she'll deal with soda.
Damon sits down beside her and she nearly screams help or get the hell away from me. But she doesn't really know what she's running from anymore. Seems like she's just as capable of being a monster as he is.
He orders bourbon and she can feel the smirk he's suiting burn into the side of her face. Can he hear her thoughts? She can't quite remember.
They don't talk for a while. Better yet, she doesn't talk for a while because she doesn't really have anything to say to him. She hates him with some fiery burning passion deep down inside of her, even if he and others think she's over being compelled and sucked almost dry of blood or whatever. Also, she thinks she has a right to hate him because his blood is partially running through her veins right now. And she wants to know why.
So that's what gets her talking. When she can't handle fighting back and forth with herself in her head as to why he gave her his blood, she simply asks.
"You were going to die, Blondie." And is it really that simple? It's not. Frankly, she remembers him wanting to kill her some time in the past.
"Why didn't you just let me die, then?" She sips her ginger ale and thinks she definitely needs something stronger if this conversation is going to continue.
"Elena would have never forgiven me if I let you die. She couldn't lose someone else." And if he's going to be honest, because shit, it hurt her when he said that, then so is she.
She laughs humorlessly. "Elena's never going to pick you, Damon. She doesn't want you."
He looks at her then like she stepped over some line that she'd been teetering on anyway. "Yeah, well. Stefan's never going to pick you either, Blondie. So give it up."
First of all, she hates that he calls her Blondie, and secondly, she doesn't want Stefan like that. (She doesn't.)
"Who said I want Stefan? I don't want Stefan." She leans over, picks up his glass of bourbon and finishes it off. She wipes her mouth with the back of her hand as he watches.
"Yeah? And I don't want Elena."
He smirks. He fucking smirks at her. So she steals the next two refills of bourbon he orders himself.
Stefan takes her hunting for innocent little creatures in the woods one day. She's nervous about it and feels like a little girl when she almost cries when she thinks of a bunny dead in her arms. She's scared he'll laugh at her or something if she tells him, so she doesn't.
But after he's finished off a deer (oh god) and it's her turn to chase down a helpless little rabbit she's starts to cry. Like legit, full on tears running down her neck and she's thinking she's the biggest monster around.
Stefan snakes his arms around her, pulls her into a hug, and she can feel it when he raises his hand to his mouth to wipe away the left over blood. That makes her cry harder. He soothes her, tells her it's alright to be nervous, and it'll get easier in time.
She doesn't think being a vampire and killing anything will ever get easier. But she believes him for now and he even catches the rabbit for her and she closes her eyes when she sinks her fangs into its neck.
When she gets back to the Salvatore home, her eyes are all red and puffy and Elena's sitting on the couch waiting. She gets up and throws her arms around her, hugs her tight and whispers sweet assurance in her ear. Caroline thinks maybe she really just needed her best friend.
She feels Elena look up at Stefan behind her and she thinks it's probably an exchange of worry and she's a little jealous. About Elena not giving her her full attention or about Stefan and Elena sharing a look, she doesn't know. Either way she tells herself to stop.
The next time she sees Damon is at the Grill, again. She sits down next to him this time, steals his glass of bourbon, and rests her head on the bar top.
"Heard you cried over a rabbit." He laughs a pause after he says it like he may forgotten to in the beginning.
She doesn't think it's funny, at all.
"Sorry I'm not some heartless person, Damon." She doesn't move her head to look at him, isn't sure she wants to. Knows she doesn't want to, just wants his refill.
"Oh, but you are, Blondie. Not even a person really." He talks low like he doesn't want anyone to hear him say it and she wonders when he became so aware of his surroundings. This is the guy who would snap a neck at a family outing or something, and now he's being hush hush about the true fate of her existence. She is not a human anymore, true. 'Least he can do is make it not sound so nonchalant.
"Shut up, Damon." She growls it out. Then she lifts her head and grabs his drink. She swirls her finger around in the amber liquid and then sticks the finger in her mouth. "Just, shut up," She says with her brow furrowed, still looking at the drink, "please."
She downs the rest of the bourbon. "All I'm saying, Blondie, is that it's fantastic that you cried over a rabbit. It really is. Shows just what kind of girl you are." And she doesn't know when the next shot was placed in front of him, but she takes it from him as soon as she sees it.
"I'll play along. What kind of girl does that make me?"
He watches her place the glass down, stares at the shiny liquid still on her lips and sighs. "I don't know. I think it makes you the girl that pussies out."
She stops tapping her fingers against the bar top and she can already feel heat gathering at the back of her neck. She turns to him so fast she thinks she should fall off the bar stool if she were anything but what she is, and she glares at him with what she knows is a heated glare. "Fuck you, Damon." She pushes at his chest as hard as she can and stands. "And my name's Caroline. Not fucking Blondie."
She walks away and thinks if she's ever wanted to rip someone's throat out it would be his. God, she hates him inside and out.
She can't remember how Stefan found out about the bar incident. She doesn't know if Damon told him, if she told Elena and forgot then Elena told him, or if she told him and forgot. Either way, he knows.
And in some sick, twisted way she thought that he would wrap his arms around her, kiss her temple, and rub her back. He would tell her it's all going to be okay and kiss it better. The fuck was she thinking?
All he does is tell Damon to take it easy on her because she's having a hard time and she thinks fuck you, Stefan.
Then she looks at his face. His pretty eyes, strong jaw, silky skin. And thinks she's going downhill because fuck, if Damon was right.
Maybe she is being a total girl about this whole situation and overreacting about every single thing that goes on. Yeah, she remembers Stefan saying something about everything being hyped up even more now that she's a vampire. But she doesn't think she should be this stupid, this naïve, this incapable of controlling her feelings, her emotions. She should not be this girl, (crying, killing, swearing, avoiding, drinking, never dying.)
She sees Stefan and Elena at the Grill one night when she's still not talking to Damon and she has to sip ginger ale instead of bourbon.
They're holding hands and he's talking right at her ear, and whatever he's saying is making Elena laugh. She throws her head back a little and he kisses her right below her ear when the chance arises.
She thinks her best friend's fucking amazing and Stefan's fucking amazing and they both deserve each other.
She grabs her bag and walks to her car. The brisk night air hitting her at all angles, flying through her hair, chilling her ears a little.
When she gets to her car Damon's there leaning against it. She rolls her eyes and fishes for her keys in her bag.
"Hey Barbie." He thinks it's a step up from Blondie. Obviously from the glare she gives him, she doesn't think it is.
"Oh, God, fine. Hey Caroline." His hands are stuffed in the pockets of his leather jacket and he rolls his eyes when he talks. And she's already thinking he doesn't get to look like that when she's mad at him.
"Damon." She says it nonchalantly as she moves towards him and her car to unlock it. He steps out of her way a little, but she still brushes against him when she goes to turn the key. She thinks maybe he did it on purpose.
He puts his hand on top of hers when she goes to pull the key away from the lock. "Caroline." She stops moving when she hears how soft his voice is.
She looks up to meet his eyes, open water blue, "What, Damon?" She tries to still sound mad, at least a little upset. She's trying, but she's honestly not sure if it's working out so well for her because the way he's looking at her is kind of way more intoxicating than she thinks even he knows.
"I came to..." He doesn't stop looking at her face even when he can't make himself say the words. She can feel his breath on her lips and cheek when he releases if slowly and she can smell his cologne and she's too close to him.
"Came to apologize?" She looks up from wherever, to his eyes, catches them in a frenzy; darting from her nose to her cheek to her chest back to her eyes.
"Yeah, that." She laughs a little because he honestly cannot even say it.
"Well, you're going to have to do better than this." She motions to the little space between them.
He scoffs and lulls his head around a little, "Come on, Blondie."
"Damon, you called me an awful name. And not only is that such an offensive comment to a woman and you're mother should have raised you to not use that language even in 18-whatever, it's also not nearly an accurate description of me, nor do I ever want to hear it come from your mouth again. It's just cruel, Damon. Honestly." She lets out a huff and feels a little bit accomplished. Okay, so she wasn't going for the whole rant thing 'cause it's not really her. But still, it worked. She feels better.
"Oh my God, you're such a drama queen." She gives him this stern look and she's really not up for playing games. He needs to stop. "I can't even use it when I talk dirty to you when I've got you in bed?"
She looks at him in shock, her jaw literally has fallen open. He did not just say that, did he?
"Oh, Blondie, it's not like you haven't fantasized about me. Come on, now. I know you have." He's smirking again.
God, she really wants to hate him. She does.
"I had you remember? Then you didn't want me anymore. So I think this score is settled."
She gets in her car and pulls off. He doesn't even stumble when the car moves from under him.
When she gets home she changes into her pajamas and thinks about Damon. Then Stefan.
Damon. Stefan. Damon. Stefan. Damon. Stefan. Damon. Stefan.
And she thinks she probably won't have either of them anyway. So what's it matter? (I can't even use it when I talk dirty to you when I've got you in bed? Oh yeah, that.)
She pushes open the door to the Salvatore home and walks in. She should probably call out to see who's at home, but they're both like always there, never leaving and such.
She walks into the living room and finds Stefan and Elena. Well, more like StefanandElena; together on the couch all wondering hands and curious lips.
They both stop and turn to her when she gasps a little. She can't help it, okay. It startled her.
"Oh, sorry. No, no. Continue doing...that. Or you know, whatever. I'm just here to see Damon."
Elena's cherry red and Stefan's hanging his head down.
She definitely should have called out for someone first.
She makes it to Damon's room and pushes his door open. She sees him laying on his bed, glass of bourbon in hand, staring at the ceiling. She walks in and then closes the door.
"You hearing all that in the living room?"
He glances at her then back to the ceiling after taking a sip from his glass. "You mean all that's Stefan and Elena? Yeah, I hear it."
She feels kind of bad for him. 'Cause however awkward it was for her to walk in on Stefan leaning over Elena, it's had to have been worse for Damon to lay in his bed and hear Elena gasps out Stefan's name. She hears it now too.
"Do you think she knows you can hear?" She walks over to the foot of the bed and just looks at him for a good while.
"She wants to fucking rip my heart out. 'Course she knows I hear." He's leaning against the head board and when he finishes off the bourbon he hits his head against it.
"That's awful." She feels bad for him. She looks down at the floor then walks over to the side of the bed he's laying on. "Here." She places her hand out for him to give her the empty glass. "I'll refill."
He smirks a little and hands over the glass. She walks over to his little bar and fills the glass almost to the rim, sips at it a little to keep it from sloshing out.
She walks back over to him, tells him to move over and sits down when he does. She runs her fingers over the outside of the glass, feels his eyes on her hands as she does it.
"You know," she starts, "I forgive you for being a total jackass to me." She looks over to him and smiles a little.
"Good." He sighs. "That's good, Caroline."
She hands him the glass and watches as his eyes ghosts over her face then down to the drink that he puts to his lips.
She notices the way his jaw clenches after he swallows and she thinks that gulp must have burned his throat or something. She finds herself running her thumb over his jaw line, feather touch lightly.
"What're you doing, Caroline?"
Pretty eyes he must have gotten from his mother, he looks at her, and she draws in her breath. "Nothing." She takes the glass from his hands and drinks the rest of the bourbon and smiles.
She thinks if she ever had to choose between Stefan and Damon, she'd pick Damon every time.