If you don't love me, pretend.


Klaus has been out for the better part of two hours, leaving Stefan alone in his old Chicago apartment. There's a fine layer of dust over everything. A haze of dust is visible through the rays of sunlight peering through the windows, suspended in the air. It is disturbed now and again by the gentle breeze.

"Please tell me that you have not been sitting here for two hours watching the dust," Klaus announces as he enters, his voice bored with just a bite of sarcasm. But it's the underlying emotion that catches Stefan's attention. The hybrid is, quite openly, upset about something. Upset and angry.

Stefan sits up on the couch, looking at Klaus curiously. Though his tone betrays him, the other man's face certainly does not. He is stoic, his face as firm as stone. It's his eyes that truly give him away. They do not focus on Stefan, and the vampire finds that he misses that, even if it may only be gone for a moment. He misses the way Klaus' stares make him feel important. Makes him feel so very invaded.

"Everything alright?""Fine," Klaus snaps, and turns his back on Stefan.

"Course it could be better if my hybrids lived."

"I'm sorry."

Something large and heavy whizzes past his head. "Don't give me that! I don't want platitudes! I want my army! My soldiers!"

Another object comes very close to knocking him clean off the couch, and he jerks out of the way of the third. It crashes into the backrest and leaves a destroyed hole in the wooden frame.

"Calm down," Stefan says evenly. "This won't help you."

"Neither will sitting around and doing nothing!" he shouts, and suddenly Stefan finds himself pinned between the wall and every inch of Klaus' body.

One of the other man's legs juts between his own, and his hips press dangerously close to Stefan's. Klaus' entire torso rubs against Stefan's, and the vampire suppresses a groan. If the hybrid knew what he was thinking at that moment, there would be nothing left of him to bury.

Klaus sniffs, and for a moment Stefan thinks it's because he's upset. It's only when Klaus sinks his teeth into Stefan's jugular that he realises his mistake, and he cannot hold back the moan that escapes and graces the air between them. Klaus arches his shoulders back, pressing closer to Stefan's body. The vampire reasons that it is to hold him in place, but reason abandons him as Klaus lowers a hand onto his hip and holds it tightly enough to bruise even a vampire's skin.

An immeasurable amount of time passes, and Stefan's eyelids flutter closed. There's a moment as he realises he's lost more blood than he can regenerate without the help of human blood, and then Klaus is gone from his neck. That part of him - the ripper part - begs for the contact to come back. To hell with survival, he'd die then and there with Klaus pressed against him and the hybrid draining him dry, and it'd be bliss.

When he looks up, the apartment is empty except for a glass of blood at his feet. He sinks to the ground, weaker than perhaps he's felt in a long time. The blood is barely enough to give him his strength back, and it's not even fresh.

He waits a short time before he leaves the apartment. Two bumbling teenagers later, his thirst is sated and he makes his way back to Klaus. If the hybrid is even there. Stefan knows it's not a certainty by any it turns out, it's not even a remote possibility. The place is exactly as it was left. He drops into the semi-destroyed couch and sighs heavily. His head has cleared now enough for him to realise just how vocal he'd been during Klaus' feeding. What would the hybrid do?Maybe he just wouldn't come back.


It was nightfall before he returned. When he did, there was a trail of fresh blood from his lips to his chin, and Stefan watched it hungrily. Averting his eyes before they could darken, the vampire stood.

"Where are we going tonight?"

"Out," Klaus says, without elaborating. He wipes away the blood and reaches for a change of clothes.

While he showers, Stefan fidgets in the chair, ignoring the sound of the water hitting the presumably naked body of his the water is switched off, Stefan shuts his eyes and takes a deep breath. He reminds himself that somewhere, Elena is waiting for him. Elena loves him.

And he loved her.

"Let's go," Klaus snaps, still buttoning his shirt as he emerges. Stefan watches him swagger to the door, all thoughts of Elena evaporating rather suddenly. And he follows the man obediently, not because of his debt or anything else he claims, but because he wants to.

Maybe, if he admits it, he misses the Ripper. He misses the man - the vampire - who had once captured the attention of Klaus. He misses the look that Niklaus had given him that night in Chicago, while he bled that pretty little girl and fed her blood to her husband. There'd been nobody else in the room but the Original sitting opposite him, his eyes lighting up at Stefan's antics.

God, he missed that look.

Klaus makes it to the club with the vampire in tow, and he disappears almost immediately into the crowd. Hanging back at the bar, Stefan watches him charm a young beauty and disappear out of the room. Of course, it's nothing unusual. What is unusual is the way it makes Stefan's heart clench just a little. The jealousy that springs up inside him surprises even Stefan himself, and he pushes it down with a glass of something pure.

He doesn't even make it to bottoms up before Klaus is standing next to him. He can't have been gone longer than two minutes, and it's strange for him to be so swift with his food. The second Stefan looks up he knows the hybrid is utilising his fiery temper.

"We're leaving," he says, and there's not an ounce of room for argument.


I hope you all enjoyed. I hope to have another chapter up soon! Please review, it makes me even more inspired to write.