Have you ever dreamed of being free from the things that haunt your memory?

She was always the backup plan. Plan B. Second choice, second best, second fiddle. If her life were like the Oscars, than the Award for Best Caroline Forbes wouldn't even go to her. It would go to Elena. Like all things in life went to Elena.

Bonnie went to Elena first when there was something to talk about. Matt went to Elena when he needed a friend. Stefan went to Elena because he loved her and even Damon, sadistic monster, went to Elena. If Elena Gilbert's life could handle more men, Caroline was pretty sure even Tyler would go to Elena. It was the way of the world. The way of a world Caroline had had the misfortune of being born into. Even dying hadn't changed things.

"She's always so perfect," Caroline muttered to herself as she drove passed the Mystic Falls cemetery where Elena's parents were buried. Her aunt. Her family.

For someone who lost the majority of people in her life, Elena still managed to be the perfect one. For a second, Caroline wondered if she would become more perfect now that her father had died. But that was a morbid thought she couldn't allow herself to think of, not when he'd just been buried and she still hadn't quite gotten used to the pain caused by the hole he'd left in her heart.

She had begged him to stay. Begged him to be a vampire like her, promising to teach him everything he needed to know. He'd of been a great vampire, but he'd turned her down. Even in the end, he'd hated what she was enough to choose death over an eternity with her.

Even in the end, Caroline was second best.

Have you ever locked yourself inside to find that there is nowhere left to hide?

Her room became her prison. It was where her father had spent his final few moments, where they'd had their last argument, and she liked to let the potent memories wash over her. The walls had absorbed their final words to one another and they played them on repeat like some kind of broken record. She'd sit at her vanity and let the sound wash over her as she tried to make herself perfect. It was the sweetest torture imaginable.

Eventually though, she couldn't find anymore flaws. Her mirror wasn't high quality enough to maximize her pores so they'd be the size of the moon. She thought about buying a bottle or hair dye just to see if red would compliment her skin tone. But every time she thought about doing something drastic, her eyes would flicker over to her dresser where, tucked away in one of the drawers, was the picture Klaus had drawn of her. Or rather, the girl she wished she could be. The one he was somehow able to see better than anyone else.

She tore the picture up one day. It took a few hours for it to set in what she'd done. Then she cried. Cried for her friends, her father, the life she'd lost… herself. She'd lost herself and was incapable of finding herself again.

Have you ever loved and lose the fight to the one you thought would save your life?

"Caroline, you're being ridiculous." The words were spoken kindly enough, with just enough lilt to sound happy and humorous and perfect. So. fucking. perfect. It was grating on her nerves just how perfect Elena could be, how perfect everyone thought she was. Elena was so perfect, she could call Caroline a whore, a bimbo, a dumbs to her face and while Caroline stood there and took it, everyone would continue to smile at Elena like she was some sort of angel. Well, Caroline wasn't an angel, Elena's doppleganger ancestor had seen to that. And maybe that's what made it all the more easier to turn around and not take it.

"You know what Elena," she said, "I could fucking care less what you think about me. I will do whatever the hell I want and if you have a problem, keep it to yourself. Or better yet, go tell Stefan and Damon about it. I'm sure those boys you have wrapped around your finger would love to hear about your problems. Hell, you can fuck them when you're done complaining."

"Caroline!" There was Bonnie, always coming to Elena's defense despite the fact Elena was in cahoots with vampires that Bonnie hated, distrusted, wanted to kill. Despite the fact it had been Damon who'd turned Abby. Despite the fact it was Elena who'd sent Jeremy away. Despite the fact it was all Elena's fault. Fucking God, was everyone blind?

"She's not a saint, Bonnie," Caroline snapped, "And it's about damn time someone informs her of that." She stormed out of Elena's house before anyone could say anything.

No one came after her. No one ever did.

Have you ever been afraid to die, afraid of all the things you fight?

She sat at the bar drinking. Bartenders in Mystic Falls just loved to give alcohol to minors and everyone figured if the Sheriff's daughter was participating in underage drinking, it must be okay. So she sat in Alaric's usual spot drinking his usual drink as a sort of homage to the history teacher whose psycho doctor girlfriend had killed him. She missed him, not because he'd been a great friend or an amazing teacher, but because he'd never called her ridiculous. He never called her vain or shallow or told her she couldn't do something. He just stood back with his hands raised with an expression on his face that said, "You wanna fuck up your life? Go for it."

"To you, Ric," she said, raising her glass before tossing back the amber colored liquid. She pivoted on her stool, casting a glance around the grill that was bustling on a Friday night. As usual, Elena was playing a game of pool with Bonnie and Matt while Damon observed with a drink in hand. There had been a tense moment when she first arrived, but she hadn't cared what they thought and had taken up perch at the bar. If they had a problem with her being there, they could leave.

The door to the grill swung open and in filed a few more customers. Just behind their group was Klaus, who took one look around the room and saw everything he needed. His eyes glossed over Damon, Bonnie, and his doppleganger blood bag. Completely ignored Saint Elena and her mile long lashes and big brown eyes that could melt castle walls. Instead, his eyes went straight for the blonde sitting alone at the bar drinking a brand of alcohol she wasn't too fond of.

"You know what they say about drinking alone," he teased as he joined her, signaling the bartender for two more rounds. Caroline tried to ignore him, her eyes focusing on his fingers as they wrapped around the glass.

"Elena's over there," she said, jerking her head in the general direction of the pool tables. Klaus shrugged and took a swig of his liquor.

"I hadn't even noticed." Caroline laughed, a bitter, hollow laugh because it was a lie. Everyone noticed Elena. It was like she was the gravity holding everything together.

"Liar," Caroline accused, "Everyone notices Elena."

"Maybe when you're not around." He tipped his glass to her and smiled over the rim, watching her mind try to formulate a witty retort. She failed.

"I ripped up the drawing you gave me," she confessed and watched his smile fall just a bit. Her fingers traced the rim of her glass as she thought of perfect Elena with her friends and her boyfriends and her perfect hair and mile long lashes and smile and perfect words. Perfect Elena who'd never had someone draw a picture of her.

She smiled at him and then, "Could you draw me another one?"

If you lost the will to live, there is hope that's real

[song fic inspired by "Love Come Down" by The War