Warning, angst overload. AU, basically.


if you find my cold remains, will you bury them with you.

His knees buckle beneath him and he makes contact with the cold, wet ground. His crazy, intense reflexes don't catch him in time. The rain water sinks through his jeans, his legs now sticky wet and rough against the material of the jeans. His hands come out in front of him, brace him against the ground. His fingers sink into the inches of wet grass and soggy soil, covering the tips of his fingers, turning them a pale color. The rain falls on him, soaking through his black shirt, the drenched material highlighting the tense muscles in his arms and back. His face, beautiful and pale, falls; mouth open slightly, eyes wide – blank – staring into the distance, but still not going far. Rain drops fall onto his lips, trail down his cheeks, frost his hair.

Stefan squeezes his shoulder compassionately as he walks passed him.

His fingers clutch roughly at the wet ground, slowly ripping shards of grass from the soil in handfuls, dropping them then picking them up again.

Maybe he's crying or maybe it's just the rain.

Elena walks passed, holding her umbrella over her head, shielding the downpour, her eyes are sad and there's the faint sound of her yelling Stefan's name for him to wait on her.

He gulps back a lump forming in his throat. He feels the cold rain drops on his lips. They fall into his mouth, wet and acidic against his tongue. He swallows, the awful taste goes away but the lump doesn't.

There's lightning in the distance, thunder echoing passed the trees. The sky's gray and no one sees anything but the red tail lights of cars as they leave. Even that's faint and fading and suddenly it's just him; hands covered in dirt and shards of grass, jeans wet and callous against his skin, shirt sticking not moving against his chest, hair falling onto his forehead, jaw clenching and unclenching.

He doesn't move for a while. Days maybe or maybe his thoughts are just fumbled and he can't remember the difference between not caring and nothing being important. Or maybe the two have always been the same to him. Either way.

When he finally looks up, turns his interest from the soggy ground and cold hands, all the flowers on her grave on withering away, drenched – too much water, not enough sunlight. Never enough sunlight without her – or something poetic like that, he finally thinks.

The red dirt is flowing away from the mound, going off into separate streams. The red mixes with the brown soil and the green grass and then there's puddles of colors instead of mounds of dirt covering her grave. Everything's washing away and why does it have to storm?

He takes in his surroundings; the glass vase he remembers Elena bringing or maybe it was Bonnie – he doesn't remember who, just that they were sad – sitting empty; the flowers blown away in the wind, laying on someone else's grave. Someone who has a slab over the grave instead of just dirt and oh god, she can't be dead. It can't be true, she can't be gone, why is it storming?

He tries to push himself up off the ground, but he stumbles and manages to brace himself with his hands again. His palms resting against the cool ground, only a light mist falling now, dampening his hair more, always keeping his clothes soaked. He can't catch his breath and he doesn't know if it's because he's almost fallen or because she's dead; oh god, she's dead. His reflexes aren't working, his reaction time has faltered drastically. Nothing's working anymore. Not since she left; she's dead. Oh god. It won't stop storming. It won't.

Even if he asks nicely, it won't stop. He learned that from her – kindness. He learned a lot from her but nothing he can remember now, nothing he wants to remember if he can't see her face anymore, can't touch her hair, can't kiss her temple. And oh god, she's under the ground and she's never coming back to the surface. And he wants to get her out, let her breathe, she can't breathe down there, let her out.

He wants to, but he can't. He can't move and he can't talk and he can't think and when will words ever come out? Is his mouth still open? Why hasn't it stopped storming?

Why didn't he tell her he loved her? Why didn't you tell her, Damon?

Why, why, why, why. Dammit, why. He can't remember. Anything. Anymore. Ever.

He closes his eyes, ice blue melting behind his eyelids into some smoldering color that resembles nothing but sadness and oh god, she had the prettiest eyes, didn't she? He's so sure she did. And pretty lips and pretty teeth and pretty hair and pretty smile and pretty pretty pretty, pre-tty prettt-yyy.

She was so pretty and how long has it been since he's felt this ugly? He knows nothing.

He tries to stand again, eyes closed tight, squeezing, squeezing shut. He's finally upright and he's so weak, so fatigue, can't walk, can't talk, can't speak, cannot think. Cannot do anything but stand and maybe he's about to fall.

A sickening feeling falls into the pit his stomach and maybe he's about to vomit up the last bit of blood he consumed. Red, red, red coming from his mouth and landing on the ground. Oh god, was she covered in blood when she died? He didn't even get to see her. He'll never get to see her. He's going to be sick.

He tries, but nothing comes up. He dry heaves for minutes, the clouds in the sky passing overhead, the sun still hiding – it won't come out, it knows. She's dead and it doesn't want to be there if she's not. Him either. Tears sting in his eyes as he heaves, bent over towards the ground almost losing his balance as he tries to stay upright. He tries, tries, tries but seems to fail at everything. Till her. And now she's gone, she's dead, and he can't do anything anymore. Oh god, he's nothing without her.

When did it stop raining? Don't stop raining, please. He can't breathe again. Where is she? Where is she? Where's Caroline? Where did she go? He can't find her and his mind, the tricks it's playing, they're not fun and can he cry anymore? Is it possible. He wants to know. Someone give him answers, please. He's dying here. No, he's dying.

He stands straight again, wipes at his face, stares at the headstones; endless amount of headstones. He squints his eyes, rubs his temples, maybe it'll all go away but she'll come back. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

He's never prayed, but he does now. And maybe it's a little too late. Yeah, it's a little too late.

Caroline, come back. He's going to start crying again. Maybe it'll rain.

He walks to her grave, feels flowers crumbling beneath his feet; god, he loved her so much. He hates this. She's dead.

Oh god, she is dead.