*Yes this was previously uploaded but something went wrong and nobody could access it, so I had to reupload. If you read this PLEASE PLEASE rewrite your reviews! I was dying to know what you all thought!
Chapter 1: Time
"Fine." He said, miffed. "But when this whole damn city burns to the ground because you two weren't done making googlie eyes at each other when I sounded the rallying cry, it goes on both of your heads."
It's 6:15 AM and the town of Mystic Falls is waking up. Up the hill on Crescent Street, two blocks away from downtown, the mailman drives, his square truck rumbling like an angered, sleepy cat. The sprinklers on the Lockwood family estates shudder on at 6:16, and not a second later. Shopkeepers roll up the metal sheets that protected their wares at night and turn on the lights.
But removed from the town, in an orchard untouched by the grub of suburban life, apples swing in the crisp morning breeze. Some are rotten, sick to the core. These have fallen from the tree, lying dark brown and shriveled in the shadows. Then on the top of the tree, light rewards these apples. They are rich and red and ripe. They are kissed by the sun and relish its warmth. Then there are those apples that are hooked between the light and the branches: one part in darkness and the other half in light. The farmer must watch these carefully, for while owning great potential to rise above the sun-kissed apples, their darkness can lead them astray. It is only under a good hand of a protector and nurturer do these apples have any chance of survival into something more than their rotten core.
But soon a man comes along. He moves fast, inhumanly fast and some would suggest she smells like a wet dog while others claim his skin is as cold as ice and there's no spell about him at all. This man moves through the apple trees and to the water supply, the well.
Soon, the heroic potential of some apples in opposition to others will not matter. Because, soon they will all be rotten and infected, sick with a disease that kills the host within five days of incubation. One might assume this is the work of a natural virus. But this virus and the man carrying it are both supernatural, and so once the virus is done setting your insides alight with a fever so hot, hell seems a better alternative, the virus opens your eyes again. Your killer has become your controller, your master. And you're too far-gone to realize, or understand that your body is now a puppet for destruction and carnal aggression. Once infected, you'd wish you'd die right there. But in the end, that wouldn't do any good.
The supernatural man with his supernatural virus cracks open the vial and a green muck falls from the class, past stone and moss and dissipates into the water below. The surface ripples, disgusted with what it has just ingested.
The supernatural man smirks and walks off.
At 7:20, the massive sprayers standing above the orchards in enormous V's turn on. Though no one can see it, the water is tinged slightly green and the air smells of acid rain.
It's 7:30 AM and Mystic Falls has become ground zero.
Caroline Forbes had suffered a lot of bad dreams, but last night's took the cake. In fact, it stole the damn cake, put the souls of a thousand gingers in it and send it directly to Beelzebub with a note that said "this cake called yo mama fat". It was that bad.
But thank God it was only a dream, she thought as she rubbed a hand to her head. Daddy would never hurt me like that, even if I am a . . . yeah, sure like Daddy even knows what a vampire is, much less that he hunts them, and me. I really gotta stop hitting the absinthe before bedtime.
She sighed and looked out her bedroom window. Beautiful blue skies; what could possibly go wrong? Caroline tossed off the covers, sat up— and was yanked back to the bed by a cold, sharp pinch on her wrist. She whipped around and saw she was chained to the wall by a metal manacle clasp.
No, no, no, no! It was a dream! A horrible, terrifying dream!
She felt panic set in, a tight jaw that clamped around her chest. She reached out to grab the chain— to yank it from the wall— but it was like touching a burning skillet. She yelped, her hand stung red and steam rose from her burning flesh into the sunlight.
"Oh my God," Caroline muttered. "It's —,"
"Vervaine." A deep familiar voice muttered. "Yes, it is. Good to know you're not a freak vampire as well."
Bill Forbes entered his daughter's room and pulled up a seat from the vanity mirror. Caroline, suddenly realizing she was in a big T shirt and undies, quickly pulled the covers up to her chin.
"Good morning, Caroline."
"Good morning, Daddy."
They stared at each other for a weighted silence. His glasses were tinted dark in the sunlight so she could not see her father's eyes. He leaned back in the chair his entire face was masked by gleaming light. Caroline checked for her ring, remembering yesterday's torture session with her father and his use of sunlight against her. It was still there. In what she hoped to be a casual move, she hid the hand under a pillow. But he was always watching.
"I see you haven't forgotten the conditioning I practiced with you last night. You're already hiding your vampire nature from the outside world. This is good. This is progress. Soon we will have you vomiting at the smell of blood, much less at the taste of it."
"What happened last night?" Caroline finally asked. "How did I get home?"
"I drive you home, of course. Your mother has agreed to this arrangement if I bring you home at a reasonable hour and if your school work is not affected by the pressure of the process."
Caroline stared. Are you crazy? Pressure of the process? Dad, you're killing me, literally killing me!
"You're going to need your strength today. Your mother has some oatmeal and OJ waiting for you on the breakfast table. Come and get some when you're ready."
"But Dad, I need blood."
"No you, don't." Bill Forbes shook his head. "This is a mental connection you've made into believing you need something. This is nothing more than an addiction and I'm here to help you through it."
He stood up and walked over to her. Caroline resisted the urge to flinch away. His hand rested on her knee in a protective gesture.
"I'm doing this because I care Caroline." His grey eyes watched her sadly. "The old Caroline would have wanted this but the monster that controls you now is only interested in self-preservation and feeding it's own sickness. I'm doing this for my baby girl."
"But I am your baby girl." She said softly.
"No, you're not." Bill said. "You're the thing that murdered her for a spot to in habit."
He leaned forward and kissed her forehead. Then he reached over and unlocked the manacle. He stood, gave her an expression-less glance and left the room.
"Stefan, that tickles."
"I know. That's why I'm doing it."
"Well, you're teasing me."
"Again, I know." He tickled her nose again with the cherry stem. "You're always so much fun to tease."
She grabbed at the stem, but he was too quick. She grinned playfully from his lap. "And you're just a big meanie."
Stefan grabbed a handful of grass from the lakeside lawn and sprinkled it on Elena's face. "But you're still fun to tease!" Then he leaned down and kissed her nose.
"Oh, I like that."
Stefan smirked. "What about this?" He kissed her forehead.
"Here?" He kissed her left cheek.
"Uh-huh." He kissed her right cheek.
"That works too." He kissed her lips.
"Ah, that's the stuff." He pulled her head up and her body rested comfortably in his arms. "Now this I could get used to."
They leaned heads together, watching the afternoon sun sparkle off the lake. It was moments like these that Elena could nearly believe that she had a normal boyfriend. That she had normal friends. That her brother was an excellent student and someone hadn't tried to kill her for the past two years. It was moments like these that really nothing could ruin.
"You know, when most couples stop talking, it usually means their mouths are busy doing something else." A branch crunch behind them and it was no surprise when Damon, Stefan's older yet perhaps less mature brother, strode out onto the picnic blanket, cutting off the lake from view. "And as far as sexual active teenagers go, you guys are pretty boring."
The looks of disgust and frustration were identical.
"What do you want, Damon?" Stefan sighed. Elena moved uncomfortably from his lap.
"What do I want?" Damon asked as if offended. "It's not what I want, dear brother, it's what you want. You and your chipper girlfriend. Don't we have big bad evil to fight?"
"Klaus is on the lamb, you know that." Stefan said.
"And all his goonish hybrids have kept quiet for a while now." Elena added.
"Ah, and see, herein lies the problem!" Damon said triumphantly. "When I was—eviler than of late— I always chose the moment when my enemy's defenses were down to strike!"
"And that was when?" Stefan asked, his jaw set. "When the little girl stopped crying long enough to beg for mercy? Is that when you 'attacked'?"
Elena gave an uncomfortable glance to Damon before slipping her hand into Stefan's. Damon's nostril's twitched.
"If you don't have anything to do, go home, Damon." Stefan continued. "Elena and I want to spend sometime together and you're not invited."
Elena would not meet their eyes. Damon, staring intently at Elena's temple, ground his teeth. "Fine." He said, miffed. "But when this whole damn city burns to the ground because you two weren't done making googlie eyes at each other when I sounded the rallying cry, it goes on both of your heads."
With that, Damon gave a tight smirk and left.
Elena was silent while Stefan listened. Finally he nodded, signaling his brother was out of earshot.
"What was that about?" she asked.
"He's bored." Stefan said simply. He reached down and took a sip of champagne. Elena watched him carefully. "He gets like this when he's bored. He's an outdoors cat that's been put inside for a while and now he's getting restless. I tell him to leave and stretch his legs over in Zimbabwe but he just doesn't listen."
"Why doesn't he go?" Elena asked.
Stefan sighed. "When he gets like this, he lets his mind wander. And Damon with an imagination is never a good thing. He starts to think about things . . . and people . . ."
Elena rolled her eyes. "I don't get it. Blood is blood. Why is it coming from a vein so much better than—,"
"Elena," Stefan said sharply. "That's not what I meant."
She felt her cheeks go warm. "Oh, right. That thing. About Damon and his feelings for me." The butterflies in her stomach suddenly turned to hot coals. "But when is he going to get it through his head? I am not Katherine! I will never be Katherine! I don't play mind games like she does! I'm not evil—,"
Stefan kissed her, cutting her off mid-rage. He chuckled. "Did anyone ever tell you, you're cute when you're mad."
She was here with Stefan and that's all that mattered.
"Oh my god, Bonnie, are you okay?" Caroline gasped and grabbed her friend's arm. She led the witch to a booth at the Mystic Grill.
"I don't know." Bonnie replied. Her skin was cold and clammy and she was tinged green. "I woke up this morning feeling super icky."
"Well what hurts?" Caroline asked. "That's what my mom always asks first. And why the hell are you here at Mystic Grill if you're feeling so nasty?"
"I came here looking for Elena." She put her head on the table. "I found some stuff on Klaus and I figured some spells would perk me up. But every time I try anything, I feel like I'm getting sicker. It's like the earth itself is sick, you know?"
Caroline frowned. "Um, actually I don't know. You're the one with the witchy connection to Mother Nature and all that jazz. I just came here for a drink."
"So you don't know where Elena is?" Bonnie groaned from the table.
"Nope." Caroline shrugged. "Want me to give you a lift back home?"
"You're not going to make me walk or get a cab?" Bonnie asked, lifting her head up in genuine surprise.
"Of course not!" Caroline said. "Friends take care of friends, even when mucus is pouring out of their noses like a broken faucet."
"Oh my god, is it really?" Bonnie grabbed for a napkin, but Caroline laughed.
"No, silly, it's not. Learn to take a joke." She touched her friend's hand. "But, ew , you're all slimy."
"And there's the real Caroline . . ."
"Hey, this new Caroline has been around for a while, now so don't be acting all surprised when I'm nice!" She took Bonnie by the shoulders and carefully led her towards the door.
"Yeah, yeah and you're being nice has nothing to do with the fact that Tyler Lockwood didn't show up for his shift here." Bonnie grinned.
"Oh shut up, Truth-Seer."
"Either way, it won't matter because they'll all be dead soon." Said Bonnie astutely.
Caroline froze. "What did you say?" But Bonnie was staring off into space, eyes glazed, her mind receiving a premonition. Caroline shook her. "Bonnie! Hello! Snap out of it!"
Caroline gave her one more good shake. "BONNIE!"
Her soft brown eyes fluttered awake. "What?"
"What did you see? Is there something bad coming?" Caroline asked.
"What?" Bonnie asked, laughing. "What are you talking about, Caroline? Why do you think I would know?"
"Because you had your Premonition face on." Caroline frowned. Bonnie stared in disbelief. "Oh just forget it."
At that moment, a man burst into the Grill. He strode onward, shoving Caroline by the shoulder.
"Hey, watch it, jerk!" Caroline snapped.
The man looked apologetic but sneezed into his hand. He looked worse than Bonnie did.
"Okay, ew. Let's just get you home before the rest of the world forgets their manners!"
Mass text: Stefan and I are throwing a nice little dinner to enjoy this peace while it lasts. We'd love if you all could join. Salvatore manor at 7. xo Elena
Caroline looked at her phone, biting her lip. Should she go? Why wouldn't she? I mean it's not like home was exactly a safe place to be right now— especially since she hadn't replied to any of her mother's texts since this morning when she ditched. And it wasn't like she disliked hanging with Elena and Stefan. She loved those two a lot and especially after her Transformation, she owed Stefan more than she could possibly repay. It was just all of these cutsie things that they did around each other, now that Mystic Falls had lulled into peace. It used to bug her a lot that Elena's world was so perfect while hers literally crumbled around her. But with becoming a vampire, being second-rate to a good guy didn't sound so bad. And then that whole thing with Matt started up again, and then there was Tyler Lockwood, who could melt her bones with a single glance. But neither of those boys ran in supernatural fanclub, really. So why didn't she want to go? Because the lovie-dovie gushy-wushy garbage is just way too much to handle right now.
Besides, it was a lot more fun to sit in Matt's tree and watch him work on his homework, lift some weights, oh now it's shower time—
The phone buzzed again and Caroline nearly dropped it. Well, the old Caroline certainly would have.
Care— this one is just to you. Please come tonight : - ) Damon's having Alaric over and Jeremy wants to show them this new videogame he got. Please. It's a sausage fest over here! Save me!
Caroline rolled her eyes. Like for you that's a bad thing . . .
But this is what the new Caroline does. She helps friends and ignores the fact that this might be her one and only chance to see Matt Donovan naked. Grumpy, she swung down from the tree and landed surprisingly light on her feet. Maybe she was getting a hang of this vampire thing after all.
"It sounded like an elephant dismounting onto a drum set."
Caroline's head snapped up and saw Tyler Lockwood smirking in the shadows.
"Tyler, what are you doing here?"
"I have an excuse to be here. Matt and I were going to play the new Madden game. What about you?"
"I was— uh, looking for my— uh . . ."
"In a tree? Yeah, whatever you were looking for was definitely at the top of the tree that looks into Matt's bedroom."
Caroline scowled, then stormed off passed him. But then a hand grabbed her elbow.
"Caroline, wait." His eyes were suddenly soft and sympathetic. "Please, don't go. I'm sorry. It's nearing the full moon and I can't help myself sometimes."
Caroline forcefully yanked her arm back. "Well, you should learn to control it or you won't have anyone to listen to your sob-stories."
As well as a dinner can go with three vampires, one vampire hunter, one human and a Petrova doppelganger, this one went quite. Nobody guessed that about an hour before everyone arrived the stove caught flame and burned down the entire meal, forcing Elena to get on the phone and order in from Macaroni Grill. That is, no one knew until Damon blurted out that something smelled burned. That earned him a lot of glares. But soon, everyone went back to eating and talking and discussing the game that Jeremy brought.
"It's called Skyrim. It's totally cool with everyone these days." Jeremy said happily. "You can customize your own player and pick his race and everything! Then you can do quests or tame dragons or do spells. I heard that you can even turn into a vampire!"
This was met with a silence. Damon grinned into his wine glass.
"Oh, well I guess it's not as cool in present company." Jeremy said.
"It certainly sounds like the entertainment world has gotten a lot bigger since I played." Ric said, smiling to Jeremy. "Let's clean up and see if my talent in Pong will serve an even greater purpose."
"You boys go. Caroline and I will clean up." Elena offered. "I know Jeremy's been dying to get his hands on a bigger staff."
"Shut up, Elena." Jeremy's ears went red.
"Are you sure?" Ric asked. "Because we really don't mind—,"
"Alaric, my friend," Damon sighed, clapping him on the back. "Cleaning the kitchen is actually code for 'lets go whisper about hot boys because we think they're out of earshot'."
Caroline resisted the urge to giggle. For a pompous bastard, he really had some wit about him.
Elena was not so inclined. "Yes, Ric, we're fine. You guys go on ahead."
"Okay, babe." Stefan came around and kissed her forehead. "But we'll be in the other room if you need us."
"Thanks," Elena smiled and kissed him back, more heated on the lips.
Is this desert? Damon thought bitterly. 'Cuz the "sweetness" makes me want to heave.
He forced himself to look away from the lip-sucking couple and his eyes fell upon Blondie. Her facial expression of disgust and anger surprised him, which didn't happen very often. Is that jealous the littlest vampire is feeling? Oh, this will be fun.
"I'm going to start the dishes. Please bring your plate to the kitchen when you're done." Caroline briskly turned and walked off.
Her golden hair bounced as she walked and Damon's treacherous eyes slipped down her back, as his eyes do when confronted with a beautiful girl. She was wearing white pants and he could just barely make out the lime green pokadot thong. Ooh, what color bra—
"Hey, Damon!" Elena snapped her fingers in front of his line of vision. She seemed to have managed to pull herself away from Stefan's fat lips. "Don't think you think for a second you have the right to look at my friend like that."
Damon rolled his eyes. "Keep your sweater vest on, Soccer Mom. I was just having some fun. Now take my plate, woman."
She snatched it out of his hand as Stefan walked off into the living room after Alaric and Jeremy, glaring. "Don't think this is any sort of habit you can fall into. This is a one-time deal. I am not your maid or your housekeeper."
"Because if you were, I'd make you wear the outfit." Damon's eyes glittered. "Besides, I can Compel myself a maid and just have sex with her instead."
With that, he spun on his heel and went to follow his brother.
So there, bitch!
"So it's not weird that I still like Matt a little?"
"From what I'm hearing Caroline, a little sounds like a lot." Elena smiled as she put the ranch dressing away. Caroline sighed and slumped her head onto the marble counter top.
"What am I going to do? And then there's Tyler who, one minute is looking at me like a lovesick puppy, and then the next, like he wants to wolf-out and tear my clothes off."
"Well, don't tell Stefan this, but I'd go for the second one!"
"Elena!" Caroline gasped. "Who knew you were so much fun!"
The two laughed and hugged. Maybe this Stefan thing is for the better.
"Have you heard from Bonnie lately?" Elena asked. "She didn't answer me back."
"I saw her today at the Grill. Said she was looking for you and that she had new info on Klaus or something."
Elena's heartbeat quickened. Caroline heard it. "What? What did she find?"
"She didn't say, because she was looking super sicky. I drove her home and put her straight to bed. She was babbling on about the earth being sick and the world decaying, so I figured it was time for beddy-bye."
"Yeah," Elena nodded, her heartbeat returning to normal. "It was probably for the best."
"But oh my God!" Caroline spun around. "I totally didn't tell you the story of the insanely gross homeless guy that totally coughed on me today! I mean, really, the nerve of some people!"
CRASH. The lights flickered then dimmed. Elena let out a quick scream before Caroline put a hand over her mouth.
"Shh, shh. I hear something." Caroline listened with all her vampire prowess, searching for the scuttling sound she'd heard moments before. But she heard nothing.
CRASH. More breaking glass. If she had a heartbeat, it would have skipped a beat. Caroline grabbed Elena's hand.
"Come on, let's meet up with the guys in the living room."
"Good idea," Elena squeaked.
Upon arriving, it was apparently neither Damon or Stefan had heard anything. They were casually lighting candles as Alaric comforted Jeremy.
"Maybe it auto-saved." He suggested.
"Not likely. Freakin black outs." Jeremy scowled.
"So you guys didn't hear anything?" Caroline asked. Stefan turned and looked up at her. Damon's eyes darted to her face. It was remarkable how blue they were.
"No," Stefan shook his head. "We didn't hear anything."
"But we smell it!" Damon lifted a hand to his nose. "Oh my God, what's that smell?"
"Rotten." Stefan was suddenly tense. He reached out his hand for Elena. She took it gratefully. "Rotten flesh."
Jeremy scrambled to his feet. "Are you serious?"
Stefan nodded. "Stay near me." Alaric reached for a weapon under the coffee table.
Damon rolled his eyes. "It's probably just the chicken that Elena hatefully set on fire. Its come to exact its revenge on all of us! Oooh! Oooh! Oooh— oof!"
Something tackled him to the ground. It was moaning and roaring, smacking and snapping at his face. Damon chucked it to the side. It rolled and stood up again.
"Oh big bad got the surprise attack. I'm so scared." Damon snickered. "Well, here's my surprise."
As the thing lumbered forward, Damon shot out a hand and grabbed its heart. He yanked it through its chest cavity and it stumbled to the ground.
"Now see what happens when we don't all get along." Damon said smiling. "I get very angry, you loose your heart— and there are worms in it!"
Damon dropped the heart to the ground where it turned into a red moosh. The thing on the floor leaped up again, roaring and charging. Damon mouthed an explicative as he dodged it and Stefan leaped forward and hurled the thing into the wall. There were multiple bones crunched but as soon as it hit the floor, it stood up again.
"What in the—,"
"Caroline! Your arm!"
Caroline looked down at her arm in time to see another creature grabbed it from behind. Using a sudden rush of fear-fueled adrenaline, she yanked her arm free and ripped the creature's jaw off with the other hand.
More suddenly appeared from the darkness, gurgling and growing, hissing and snarling.
"Oh Hell." Damon ran, and yanked the arms off one. Stefan removed the head of another but the mouth kept snapping.
Elena handed Jeremy a hot poker, and herself armed with one, they backed into a corner, hitting anything that came near. Alaric was firing well-shot bullets into their hearts, lungs and stomachs. And then Jeremy got a good shot: he pierced one through the head starting at the left eye.
"Guys, destroy the brain and they'll stay dead," he said as his kill slumped to the floor.
And from dark shadows, they came, moaning and growling, arms outstretched and loose clothes hanging from the yellowing skin.
"Alaric, protect Elena and Jeremy. Do not hesitate." Stefan ordered, his eyes on the approaching mob. "Caroline, Damon, take them out."
"Uh, Stefan, there's three of us and like thirty of them!" Caroline exclaimed, taking a small step backward.
"Come on, Blondie. Afraid to get your hands dirty?" Damon smirked. One lunged at him. He step sided it, flipped it to the ground and smashed its head with his heel. "Come on, don't you just love a little tussle?"
The creatures were tired of waiting. They charged the three vampires.
"I might have spoken too soon."
Hey guys, this is my first hand at TVD fic. Hope you all like it! I'm really trying to focus on character development, so if the characters say or do anything that seem un-character-like, then let me know! I really want to focus on Caroline and her father's relationship, and Damon's infatuation with Elena. If it seems like it's a Delena/Stelena triangle right now, then it should. Like I said CHARACTER DEVELOPMENTS, which means through out this fic I will hopefully show a successful transformation into a happy and nurture Daroline relationship. Which I personally believe should happen in the show, but that's beyond the point.
Reviews are appreciated and word through your friends (that means you, Tumblr) is even greater appreciated! Thanks guys and please enjoy the ride!