This came to me when I listened to Matthew West's "Family Tree" (used in the fourteenth episode of season 2), and immediately the sentence that's the summary appeared in my head. Also, this is the first time I've written Tyler/Caroline, but I hope it's satisfactory.

Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries. Obviously.

Breaking the Chains

After Tyler's first painful experience as a werewolf, Caroline stays with him. He's alone and has no one to talk to, so the least she can do is rub her hands over his overstrained, aching muscles as he tries to recover from the physically and mentally exhausting transformation.

She thinks the reason why it works so well is because they're both alone in their own ways. He's completely alone; he has no one to confide in or to ask about what's going to happen in his life now that's it's taken a supernatural turn. She has both Stefan and Damon around to ask for guidance, but they're not in the same league.

She rolls her eyes at the thought that they can be alone together. It's too cliché and it's impossible to be alone and be together at the same time. Still, it makes her feel a little better. She's new as a vampire and things are different from when and how the Salvatore brothers were turned, so she has to work things out on her own. Things haven't always gone smoothly, but she's getting there.

Her mother isn't at home tonight. For once Caroline is really glad Sheriff Forbes is a very busy woman.

"Tyler," she whispers. They're still in the Lockwood cellar and she's still holding him while he's lying on the dirty floor. "How are you feeling?"

"I've been better," Tyler groans. His body is still shaking a little and the tears on his face haven't dried yet.

She rubs his arm again. "Do you want to come over to my place?" she asks. "Mom's not home tonight."

"I'd appreciate it," he answers in a low voice. "I don't think I'm ready to meet my mom yet."

Caroline smiles faintly. "I kinda figured. Are you ready to go, then?"

"If I had my way I'd stay here on the floor for the rest of my life, but all right," he mutters. "Help me up."

Normally she probably would've told him to get up by himself, but not this time. She removes her arms from him, grips his bare biceps and gently pulls him to his feet. He staggers slightly, so she doesn't let go of him until she's sure he can stand on his own.

He waits quietly as she hands him his clothes that he took off before the transformation. His movements are slow, but she's patient and lets him take his time. While he dresses, she puts all the chains and restraints back into the bag in which they were carried here in.

They leave the dark and dirty cellar behind. Tyler walks on his own, but she can see that every move he makes is painful. She wants to help him, but she's not sure how. She decides that staying with him will hopefully be enough because that's all she can do at the moment.

"Do you want anything?" she wonders when they've reached the kitchen in her house. "Coffee, soda, food?"

"Soda," he says. "Got some Coke?"

"I think so." She looks through the fridge and finds a can. She holds it out and he accepts it gratefully. She sees that his fingers are shaking when he's going to open it, and then how his Adam's apple goes up and down repeatedly as he gulps down surely half of the can. "Do you feel better now?"

"A little," Tyler replies and looks at her with tired eyes. "I'm already dreading the next full moon."

"I know." Caroline pats him sympathetically on his shoulder. "I wish I could help you more."

"You've done what you can," he answers and meets her steady gaze. "That's all I ask for. At least you're doing something to help me. I don't think I could've done all of this on my own." His voice is sincere.

Then she smiles brightly. "I'm glad I'm able to help you, but there's not much that I can do."

He gives her a small grin back. "I am, too. Do you mind if I rest here for a while?" he asks and points in the direction where the couch is. "I just need to catch my breath a little. I promise I won't stay too long. It's late."

Caroline raises her hands. "No, no, don't worry about that. You can stay for as long as you like. Mom won't come home tonight and if she would, I'd wake you up in time."

A look of relief flitters across his face and then he heaves a sigh, turns on his heels and mumbles something that could've been a thank you.

She smiles faintly and moves around for a little while in the kitchen to put some things away before she picks up the soda can. "Tyler," she calls and walks after him. "You forgot your Coke." She stops when she realizes that he's asleep on the couch.

She presses her lips together, then tiptoes back to the kitchen and puts the can back into the fridge. She goes to find a blanket that she places over him. Even in his sleep his face is frowning a little because of the lingering pain. She can't even imagine how it must've felt to go through what he just has.

She sits down on the floor so she can watch over him. Life is unfair, she thinks. Why does it have to be like this for them?

Caroline is stronger than any human and if she wanted to, she could tear this whole house down and leave it as a pile of dust. What she really wants to break are the chains that bind Tyler to the werewolf curse, but not even her supernatural strength is enough. The only possible thing she could do would be to kill him, but she could never do that. Tyler is too important to her now for her to kill him.

She sighs heavily, closes her eyes and leans her head back. She has wished many things in her life, but she has never wished for something as strongly as that she wants a normal life for them both.

Caroline smiles despite it all with her eyes still closed. At least they can live their wretched lives together.

Ah, Tyler/Caroline…Awesome. Although not the best story of them out there, but still.

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