a small ficlet.

title from zombie - the pretty reckless.


two thousand years i've been awake, waiting for the day to shake.

Everyone's there, watching, when Caroline dies.

Strangely, Damon's the only one who's there in a flash, at her side, pleading Care, Caroline. Please don't go.

Elena stands, hand to her mouth, tears running over her fingers.

Bonnie closes her eyes instantly, can't watch.

Stefan presses Elena to his chest, watches Damon intently.

Tyler searches for someone's hand to grab hold of, can't breathe, finds Matt's.

Damon pushes her hair off her face, tucks it gently behind her ear, runs his thumb down the side of her pretty, short -lived face.

It takes five seconds before she's ice cold and gray.

–;

one

Pretty Caroline sitting in a tree. Her sundress flitting out around her, legs crossed at the ankle, hands folded in her lap, sweet smile on her lips.

Caroline is seven and she can climb a tree better than Bonnie or Elena. Caroline is good at this, Caroline perseveres through the scraped knees and embarrassed looks. Caroline is better, Caroline is best.

Her mother scorns her from the ground, "Caroline, get down from there. You're in a dress for goodness sake!"

Caroline simply rolls her eyes and stares down at the pouting lips of Elena and Bonnie. They will have to get over it. Her mother need not tell a lie to make her friends feel better. They're jealous – that their dresses aren't as pretty as hers and that she can climb the tree and they can't.

Caroline is better. She raises her arms above her head in victory and shouts, "I am the best!"

For once, she is.

–;

two

She meets Stefan and swoons – all perfectly shaped hair and dark brooding eyes. He is gorgeous and she never denies him her honesty.

"Care, it's my turn to catch them!" He says, pulling out his charming, albeit immature, voice.

She simply rolls her eyes and says, "Next time, Salvatore!" Then she is gone in a flash; hunger in her speed, desire in her eyes, happiness in her smile.

He's leaning against a tree when she gets back. She's holding a rabbit in each hand, an endearing smirk on her lips. She laughs, "Dinner!" in a singsong voice.

He rolls his eyes and shakes his head, but still grabs a rabbit from her grasp. He slings his arm around her shoulder and sighs her name, "Oh, Care. What am I going to do with you?"

She leans her head against his shoulder as they walk deeper into the woods. "I don't know, Stef, us pretty people, we're just made this way. I can see it in you."

He scoffs and turns his gaze her way, "I am not a dramatic, little brat!"

She widens her eyes at his statement, smiles when he widens his eyes back at her, "No, you're a gorgeous, sexy, 162 year old vampire who's only weakness is other pretty people."

"Oh, god," he says as he turns back to continue walking. "What am I going to do with you?"

She only chuckles and brings the rabbit to her mouth.

–;

three

Matt's been in her life for nearly ever.

In third grade gym, they were partners during warm ups; Matt always holding her feet down when she did her sit-ups.

She's thirteen when she falls in love with him. Well, her adolescent, pimple-popping Backstreet Boys love that only every other thirteen year old girl felt. She swears it's true though – his hair matching her hair, his eyes matching the blue in hers, his name rolling perfectly off the tip of her tongue.

True love.

That she doesn't experience until she's seventeen and forever and a day older than him, always. Pretty Matt with pretty Caroline and take that, Elena.

Caroline gets the guy, she gets Matt. And she will never forget how he says I love you with blushing cheeks and awkward pauses. She says it back without hesitation – sweetness, the taste on her tongue.

–;

four

Tyler nips at her neck and she moans.

Tyler makes her feel everything more than she's ever felt. He growls and it's a little reminiscent of the werewolf howl right before he lunged at her all those days ago, but still, it's all the same eager touches and she wants more of him.

Tyler is not sweet kisses to her cheek or holding her hand in public. He's not like Matt. He is rough hands on her sides, and growling her name when she's lying beneath me.

Tyler feels good and Tyler makes her feel things and Caroline is good when she is with Tyler.

–;

four and a half

Sometimes Caroline wonders how she managed to lose both Matt and Tyler at the same time.

–;

five

She thinks not about the times he compelled her.

She thinks of all the times he sweetly pushed her blonde curls behind her ear and whispered to her everything she wanted to hear. She thinks of his smirk and every truth hidden beneath it. She thinks of his eyes and swimming in them. She thinks of his fist against the wall on either side of her face and him being mad and yelling at her and the anger in his eyes but the sweetness on his lips. She thinks of him like that – she thinks of him real. She thinks of him best, she thinks of him most, she thinks of him fondly.

Damon was the best. Caroline was the best. And she thinks of nothing else.

–;

Caroline's always wondered what it'd be like when she died; who all would kiss her cheek, give her assurance, smile sweetly. She always wondered who'd love her most of all.

I do, I do, I do. Damon keeps offering her.

The last thing Caroline sees before she dies is Damon and his tears and Damon and his eyes and Damon and the I love you he keeps whispering to her.

Caroline thinks this is the best way of any.