i'd die for some company, darling

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Bonnie decides she's had it with this supernatural bullshit when Jeremy cheats on her with a ghost.

Normally, before the Salvatore brothers had pulled into town, she would have cried on Elena and sent Caroline out for ice cream, but now her two best friends are too caught up in their own vampire/werewolf boyfriend drama to even realize that she's, you know, hurting. It's not that she doesn't get it, with the exception of the "other woman" being a ghost, people get cheated on all the time. But sometimes she just wants to set aside all of the vampire/Klaus/werewolf/witch stuff and sit down and be normal for a few minutes. She wants to cry and scream and be angry.

Caroline's there, of course. She's there threatening to sick Tyler on Jeremy, but it's not the same. Caroline's got a lot on her mind, and yeah, Bonnie totallyunderstands. Caroline's dealing with Liz and her dad and Tyler, all while trying to keep the peace between her friends. She doesn't go to Caroline and cry because she's got a lot on her plate, and Bonnie's failed relationship seems minuscule in comparison to everything else.

Bonnie wonders if she's always been a pessimist.

Elena cares, she cares too muchand that's her problem. Bonnie doesn't even bother speaking to her about it. She just lets the Gilbert girl wallow in self-pity while she teeter-totters between the two vampire brothers that fucked all of their lives up in the first place.

She sits at home for a while, immersing herself in loud music and wine to drown out the voices of her ancestors and the thoughts of Jeremy. It works for a few days, but then her phone starts blowing up because her friends have finally realized that she hasn't been coming to school and that she hasn't spoken to anyone in four days.

Bonnie loses her fucking mind when Jeremy rings the doorbell. She'd only just managed to roll herself out of bed and into the shower, putting on makeup and doing her hair for the first time in days when the doorbell rings. She opens it, plastering a smile on her face. She's expecting it to be Caroline, maybe even Elena. She wants to shoot herself for not using the peephole when Jeremy smiles awkwardly at her.

"Hey, Bon," he says nervously, running a hand through his hair. She used to think it was so cute when he did that, but now all she sees is Anna running her hands through that hair, and her vision runs red.

"Jeremy." she says stiffly, stepping out onto the landing, closing the door, and walking past him. She doesn't want him to think that she's been sitting around the past few days crying over him (even though she has), she won't let him win. She's spiteful, okay?

"Where are you going?" he calls after her, jogging to catch up as she yanks the door to her car open.

"The Grille, is that a problem?" she snaps, glaring up at him.

"Well, no," Jeremy backtracks quickly, "I was just hoping we could talk." hope colors his voice, and she kind of wants to run him over with a semi.

"No, we can't talk." Bonnie says harshly, tears springing at the corners of her eyes. She ducks her head down and gets into her car. She pulls out of her driveway and she doesn't look back.

The Grille is full, chairs dragged from small tables to booths, and table pushed together to make room. She likes it when it's like this, too loud to be heard when you speak. She likes the thrum of the conversations around her. She sinks into a booth in the back corner, pulling a desert menu in front of her. She's browsing the chocolate section when a glass of cherry coke is set down onto the table. She looks up, meeting Matt's eyes. "Hey," she says, smiling softly.

"Hey," he grins back at her, "your usual, right?" he asks, nodding to the drink. There's a pink straw sticking out of the glass, and she glances at him suspiciously.

"You always order a cherry coke, no ice, with a pink straw." Matt says, shrugging and sinking into the seat across from her. She's pretty sure nobody has ever noticed her drink preference before. It makes her feel a little fuzzy knowing that someone's paid close enough attention to her to know what she likes.

"Aren't you working?" Bonnie asks, pulling the drink towards her. He's just sitting there, smiling a dopey grin like he hadn't tried to drown himself a few days ago. She figures he should be just as mad as she is.

"Lunch break," he murmurs, waving at another server. "Wanna share some fries?" he asks as the server drops a plate full of fries onto the table between them.

She'd been planning on spending lunch alone, but Matt's crowing down in front of her, munching happily, and all she can think of is how she'd pulled him from the water and saved his life, and she thinks he might be trying to return the favor by keeping her company. So she says, "Sure." and grabs a fry.

They sit in silence for a few moments, just eating. Suddenly, Matt's looking at her curiously, "So, are you gonna age?" he blurts out, destroying the perfect quiet.

She laughs before she can stop herself, and suddenly it hits her that she's never thought of thatbefore. She's going to age and nobody else is, with the exception of Jeremy. Elena will eventually choose, and either way she'll be made into a vampire. Caroline's already on the other side of life. Tyler's there, all of her friends are there. "Yeah, witches age. I'm gonna get older. I'll be by myself soon." she murmurs.

She knows it's true. Eventually Mystic Falls will be empty of the Salvatore's, and Elena and Caroline by default.

Matt blinks at her, a boyish smile crossing his face, "I'll be here. Us humans gotta stick together, right?"

Bonnie smiles, and it doesn't feel forced.

It becomes routine, sitting with Matt in the Grille during his lunch breaks. He never asks her about her magic or anything else, and she kind of likes being talked to like a person and not a walking, talking magic book. She's grateful for it. She kind of gets why Caroline had been so attached to Matt. He was like…the original southern gentleman. Even more so than Stefan when he wasn't hopped up on human blood and murder. He fills her drink without preamble, he orders extra fries for her, paid for everything. And he talked and talked, but also asked about her day and her life and everything.

It was kind of nice to have a conversation without the word 'vampire' popping up every six seconds. She learns that green is his favorite color, baseball is his favorite sport, he's got a celebrity crush on Halle Berry, and he carries a little tube of hot sauce with him wherever he goes. She laughs whenever he pulls it out of the pocket of his apron and pours it over his fries.

He's funny and really nice and she wonders why she'd never given him a second glance before. But then she thinks that when you see Stefan Salvatore, Damon Salvatore, and Tyler Lockwood, boring humans like Matt get sort of overshadowed.

After they've hung out for the fourth day in a row, Bonnie realizes that humanity is what she's been searching for. Humanity. Joyous humanity. She's been looking for someone who doesn't give a damn about being young forever.

Late one night, after she's been with Matt all day, her doorbell rings.

She prays it's not Jeremy, and she opens the door to see a smiling Caroline. "Bonnie!" the blonde cries, throwing her arms around the shorter girl, "It's been forever. How are you? Have you been eating? Do you want me to go get some ice cream? Do you-"

"Caroline," Bonnie laughs, extracting herself from her friend, "I'm fine." she holds her arms out and twirls in a circle, "See?"

Caroline blinks suspiciously, "You look happy." she accuses. She purses her lips, crossing her arms over her chest, analyzing the caramel skinned girl in front of her. Suddenly she claps her hands, breaking out into a smile, "Who is he? Do I know him?" she squeals, grabbing Bonnie's arm and dragging her towards the couch.

"He's just a friend." Bonnie says, tucking some hair behind her ear primly.

"I need a name!" Caroline cries, tugging on Bonnie's hands.

"It's Matt, okay? And it's not what you think." Bonnie sighs, and Caroline's expression turns puzzled.

"Matt?" she questions, blonde brows shooting up, "My ex-boyfriend?"

"This is exactly why I didn't want to tell you," Bonnie mutters.

Caroline shakes her head, "No, no, it's not that. It's just…Matt? I mean, he's a great guy, I just never would have pegged him as your type—"

Bonnie holds her hands up, "Hey, I said it wasn't like that."

Caroline blinks, tilting her head. For a moment, Bonnie forgets she's a vampire. Her nose is wrinkled and there's a tiny crinkle on her forehead as she furrows her brows, and the next question she asks is so childlike that it's as if she's never killed, like she's still Bonnie's human best friend, "Why?" she asks.

"Why what?" Bonnie sighs, preparing herself for the twenty questions game Caroline likes to play.

"Why Matt? He's human. I love the kid, but…"

"That's exactly it." Bonnie says, "He's human."

Caroline's eyes light up with realization. "I see." she murmurs, and Bonnie thinks she really might understand, more than anyone.

"It's amazing, Care. We just sit and talk and sometimes it's about stupid stuff, but it's like he actually sees past the, you know," she gestures to herself, "the witch. He sees me in a way that Jeremy never did. I'm Bonnie to Matt. Not Bonnie the witch. I like being Bonnie."

Caroline smiles, "I think I know what you mean. Tyler…he makes me feel like I'm Caroline. Like all I need to worry about is cheerleading and being prom queen." she reaches out, touching Bonnie's hand. "I'm happy for you."

"There's nothing going on between us." Bonnie says again, spearing Caroline with a look.

Caroline adopts a knowing look, grinning, "Oh, that's what they all say." she singsongs, jumping up and skipping to the door. She turns around before she leaves, "I'm sorry I can't be human for you, Bon. But I'm…I'm always here."

Bonnie smiles at her friend, "You being you is more than enough." she murmurs, and in a whirl of perfume, Caroline's gone, the only evidence that she'd been there at all is the open door.

"Does it bother you?" Bonnie asks one day, nodding her head at Tyler and Caroline. The couple is seated two booths away from them, Caroline's giggling at something Tyler's said, and Tyler's laughing at her giggle.

Matt shrugs, stuffing some fries into his mouth, "They're my friends, I want them to be happy." he shovels more food into his mouth, and she wants to laugh because he inhales his food instead of chewing it. "'Sides, Tyler's more right for her than I ever was."

"But—"

"I'm over it," Matt interrupts, "seriously. I've thought about it a lot since Care and I broke up. A human and a vampire? It would never work. I mean, just look at Stefan and Elena. They've been to hell and back, more than once, and they still can't get their shit together." he shakes his head, "That's why I'm staying out of this supernatural business." he goes back to his fries, and she stays quiet.

"I wish I could stay out of this supernatural business." Bonnie murmurs, "I wish I was…normal."

"I'd give you my humanity if I could." Matt says, smiling goofily at her.

Bonnie smiles, reaching over and taking one of his fries.

"Jeremy's an idiot." Matt remarks as Bonnie glares at her ex-boyfriend from across the Grille. He's cleaning glasses, whistling to himself.

Bonnie shakes her head and grits her teeth, "Obviously I'm the idiot. I'm the one who dated him."

Matt shrugs, stirring his milkshake, "We all make mistakes."

"Maybe I'm a bit more cynical than you." Bonnie snaps, training her furious look on Jeremy.

"Maybe you need to loosen up." as he says this, he stands, holding his hand out to her. Bonnie blinks at his hand. "C'mon, let's go to the arcade down the street."

Bonnie takes his hand, letting him pull her up. "…Why?" she asks.

Matt grins down at her, "'Cause it's fun. And plus, it'll make Gilbert squirm when he sees you leave with me."

Bonnie squeezes his hand, "Alright, lead the way." as they walk past Jeremy, Bonnie's hand still in Matt's, his mouth falls open in shock and he almost drops the glass he's cleaning. She laughs until they get to the arcade, she laughs until she beats Matt at air hockey and he pouts, she laughs until it hurts to breathe, and that's when she feels truly human.

"To humanity," Bonnie murmurs, tipping her ice-less cherry coke towards Matt. His glass clinks against hers, and he grins.

"To humanity," he echoes.

"Thanks," Matt says one night when they're in the Grille. They'd just gotten done eating dinner with Caroline and Tyler. The couple leaves them alone to their own devices as they go off to play pool.

Bonnie tilts her head, "Thanks for what?"

"Being my friend. I, uh, I don't have many." he blinks, and rephrases, "I don't have many real friends."

Bonnie smiles widely, reaching out and covering his hand with hers, "Us humans gotta stick together, right?" she quotes, winking at him.

Months later, Caroline, Tyler, Damon, Elena, and Stefan have vanished from Mystic Falls. Some say they're off to college, but Bonnie knows the truth. Mystic Falls was too small town for her supernatural friends. She sends them off tearfully, promising to call Caroline every five minutes, and promising Damon she'll smack "Mutt" upside the head at least once a day.

She finds herself in the Grille, even though Matt's not working. He shows up eventually, pulling her from her stool and into the summer sun. He stands on the sidewalk beside her while she thinks. She never thought saying goodbye to her friends would hurt this much, and she wonders how they'll feel when the inevitable happens and she finally dies.

"Hey," Matt murmurs, cracking the silence.

"Hey," she murmurs back, staring up at the sky. She slides her arm through his, and her head falls onto his shoulders.

"Here's to the humans?" he questions, head falling onto hers.

"Here's to the humans." she echoes. He presses a kiss into her hair.

"C'mon." Matt murmurs, tugging her down the street, "Let's go live."

And they do, together, for many, many years.

fin.