a/n: dude, i ship matt with every female specimen on the show. my baby needs him some lovin'. and he's the only one that i actually believe capable of giving rebekah the attention she craves. thus, this fic was born. let's just pretend it wasn't matt who killed finn, shall we? i know this will never happen, but humor me. story title comes from come around by rosi golan, which i suggest you listen to as you read.
you feel like breathing
"Although our past attempts at dating were pretty disastrous, I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't treat me as if I was the bubonic plague."
Matt's shoulders tense for a fraction of a second before he shakes his head and moves to help a sophomore with setting up the ring toss booth, dismissing her with an easy smile. Rebekah's eyebrows crease.
"Some things are really hard to look past, like the fact that you're Klaus' sister."
She raises a dubious eyebrow and folds her arms across her chest. "And you're the first love of the girl who literally stabbed me in the back. Bygones."
He narrows his eyes, but relents, handing her a roll of streamer as a peace offering. She claims it with a triumphant smirk and hops up on the table, getting started on livening up the tent.
"Fine, so we'll start with the basics. What's your favorite color?"
She wants to snort at his methods of conversation, but her other options are helping Caroline with supervising or making sure Elena and Stefan know how to work the popcorn maker, so she decides to play along—it's the least she can do since her brother practically crushed his hand into dust.
"Typical," he grumbles.
She glares, grimacing at the stream of teenagers rushing around Mystic Falls' square, making sure that everything is done according to Caroline's orders.
"What's so great about this establishment that we're helping prepare, anyway?"
Matt's eyebrows raise in what she perceives to be genuine shock. "You've never been to a fair?"
She shakes her head slowly, writing off his incredulity as something that only small-town people are bound to understand, kind of like the appeal of honoring the founding families or actually attending their school's dances.
"Wow, looks like the centuries-old Original vampire has yet to live," he teases, holding out his hand to her in what she's sure is an invitation. She stares at his hand skeptically, unsure of whether the boy in front of her can be trusted. "Oh, c'mon, you know what they say; third time's the charm."
She takes it.
"Why are you being so nice to me?"
"Would you rather I be mean to you?"
"Not if you'd like to keep your heart in your chest," she answers stoically, and he can't help but chortle at how casually she just discussed his murder, almost as if he'd asked her the product of three times six.
"There you go. Survival instinct," he answers, the amusement never leaving his eyes. "So what do you think?"
She would never admit just how wholly majestic she found the whole thing—aside from blood, nothing has ever appealed to Rebekah so much as the atmosphere of a small-town fair. The smell of popcorn in the air, the sound of kids cheering when they win the biggest stuffed animal, the sight of a couple waiting to lock lips until they reach the top of the Ferris wheel—she loves it.
"Honestly, I thought it'd be a lot worse," she allows. "Although, I don't particularly see the appeal of those long deep-fried pastries, the ones with the caramel in the middle? Aren't humans supposed to be more wary about their calorie intake?"
"You've never had a churro?" he asks, visibly agitated with her lack of knowledge over such things. She doesn't look at how the lights reflect on the blue of his orbs. She doesn't. She especially doesn't think they're beautiful. No way. "Let me tell you woman, you are gonna seriously consider leaving the blood diet for a churro diet in t-minus thirty seconds. Follow me."
She laughs around the cotton candy in her mouth.
She vows to learn how to cook churros.
"Need a ride?" he asks, fishing around in his pocket for his keys.
"You always seem to forget that I'm a vampire."
"I don't forget," he counters immediately.
Before she contemplates being insulted by his words, she catches the playful way in which his lips are curved and relaxes. She thinks herself ridiculous, being anxious about what this human eighteen-year old Virginia native thinks of her.
Oh, if Nik could see me now.
"Is that a no?"
She doesn't realize she never answered his question. Rebekah purses her lips and fights a smile.
"I'd love one."
"Just so you know, I really don't think you deserve to be categorized as the villain in the whole 'take down Klaus' equation," he says, putting the key into the ignition.
The truck rumbles to life, and Rebekah stares out the window at the fair. Kids pulling on their parent's hands, dragging them around the booths in an attempt to claim more prizes. She thinks of Esther and Mikael and she inhales deeply—as far as she's concerned, she doesn't have parents. Only brothers.
"He's my brother. I know where my loyalties lie."
She turns to him and he nods. She meant this as both a deflective statement and a warning, and Matt knows she wouldn't hesitate to murder any of them if they were a threat to her brothers.
"I would do the same for my sister," he divulges, making it a point to keep his eyes on the road despite the fact that he feels Rebekah's eyes on the side of his face.
"You have a sister?"
A humorless laugh escapes his lips. "Had. She umm—uh, Damon turned her into a vampire and Stefan killed her." Despite her best efforts, Rebekah feels the sympathy rolling off of her in waves as she thinks of Henrik and Finn, forever lost to her. "I mean, it was for the best, I guess—she would've hurt people. But she was still my sister."
The tension in the cab of Matt's truck has become palpable and Rebekah is growing more uncomfortable by the silence as the seconds tick by.
She presses her lips together. "At least you still have your parents."
He sighs. "Yeah, not even. My dad died when I was four and my mom is gallivanting around the country with God-knows-who, only bothering to check on me twice a year, usually incorporating make-out sessions with my friends into her visits."
Rebekah's eyebrows marginally rise and she has the strangest urge to wrap her arms around this boy, sure that he could fall apart at any given moment. "So it's just you?"
He nods solemnly, and she notes that his knuckles are white from how hard he's gripping the steering wheel. "Just me."
"Just me too."
"You have your brothers."
She knows she should be more cautious around him, considering the fact that he's part of the group of Original-hating teenagers, but there's something about the way that he treats her—so politely, so good-naturedly—that propels the words to spew from her mouth.
"Nik and Kol are too driven by destruction, out to cause havoc wherever they see fit; they'd be willing to leave me in a minute if it meant going to cause more trouble. I've always admired Elijah's morality, and even he's proven capable of betraying his own sister. Finn and Henrik are dead..." she trails off, thankful when he doesn't mention how her voice was on the verge of breaking.
She looks at the stillness of her house outside the window and back to him, not even aware they had stopped. She sees an earnest sympathy swimming in his cobalt eyes and a smile immediately tugs at her lips. Rebekah is almost surprised at how reluctant she is to get out of the truck.
"Thank you, Matt. I had a wonderful night."
Before she can catch herself, she leans over and pecks his cheek, quickly jumping out of his Chevy before he has a chance to react. She looks back for a millisecond and catches a glimpse of Matt pressing his fingers to his cheek with an expression on his face that she can only describe as astonishment.
She closes the door behind her, leaning against the mahogany. Rebekah runs her finger across her lower lip and subconsciously replays the night's events in her head, focusing heavily on Matt.
He's all American too-blue eyes and southern gentleman chivalry and he actually restores what little faith she had in the male species. Rebekah suddenly understands why the doppelganger wench and the less powerful, less enhanced version of herself both have a special part of their hearts reserved solely for this boy.
He's too good to be true.
"And that wraps up our lesson," Mr. Morrisson concludes. "Oh, don't forget that we have our traditional decade dance tomorrow night," he drawls, looking pointedly at Caroline, "don't miss your chance to get to experience the 20's."
Matt's ears perk up and he turns in his seat, raising an eyebrow at her in invitation.
Caroline places her arm on his shoulder and leads him to a secluded corner in the hallway, and he furrows his eyebrows when he sees that she's staring daggers at him.
"Did you just invite the blonde bitch to the dance or was I mistaken?"
Matt rolls his eyes. "No, you're right."
She laughs dryly. "Your job is done, Matt. You don't need to distract her anymore."
He shakes his head. Classic Caroline, jumping to conclusions before hearing the whole story. He knows she isn't jealous, but simply looking out for him—he appreciates that she worries for him, he does, but—
"Maybe she's more than just someone to be distracted now."
He notices her scowling at Stefan and Damon, arguing by the punch bowl, and he doesn't have to obtain enhanced hearing to know the subject of their dispute is Elena, looking forlorn and distressed while Bonnie and Caroline try to comfort her.
He pokes her side and her head swivels back to his face immediately. "I'm sorry about Damon and Stefan—Elena told me that you have a somewhat of a—a history with them," he tells her, not really sure how to phrase the fact that she and Stefan were lovers for a night and Damon used her for sex.
"I don't care," she dismisses flippantly. "Let the doppelganger have them."
That earns her a reprimanding glare. "She has a name, Rebekah."
One of their unspoken rules—no insulting his friends.
She rolls her eyes, nodding futilely. "Let Elena have them," she bites out, bitter aggression lacing her words for a second before she smiles at him, trailing a finger down his jaw. "I like to think I've fared for myself quite well, actually."
He sends a suggestive smirk in her direction. "Are you hitting on me? Cause I gotta tell you, coming from a thousand-year old vampire, that is seriously...creepy." She giggles and swats at his arm gently enough so as to not hurt him.
"I changed my mind. My favorite color is blue." There's a twinkle in his eye as he smiles down at her and she swallows her insecurities long enough to lay her head against his chest. "Definitely blue."
He buries his nose into her curls and she smiles into his tuxedo. She doesn't notice anyone anymore, despite her acute senses and the fact that they keep bumping into people every five seconds. All she sees, all she hears, all she feels is Matt Donovan.
She thinks of the actual 20's, of speakeasies and Gloria's red lipstick and champagne towers all around. Of running with Nik and finding—what she thought was—love in the form of one bloodthirsty Stefan Salvatore.
She decides she likes these 20's better.
"You're human," she breathes, when he's parked in front of her house—or rather, mansion. Matt's sure he'll never get used to it.
He laughs. "Thank you, Captain Obvious. What an uncanny intuition you have."
She rolls her eyes, but her smile gives her away before she turns serious once more. "Are you using me?"
He hesitates and turns to face her completely. "Rebekah, I gotta come clean about something," he admits, taking a deep breath when she blinks expectantly. "I was just supposed to distract you for the day of the fair, that was my task, but I gotta say...you turned out to be a pleasant surprise."
He doesn't know what to expect; an outburst of anger, her to start crying, maybe she'll sink her fangs into his neck for deceiving her. What he does not expect is for her to give him a calm smile, until he puts two and two together.
"You knew the whole time, didn't you?"
"That I did," she answers, placing her gloved hand over his. He looks at her and if possible, it seems as though his eyes have gotten bluer. "Thank you for your honesty. It's really something I don't receive a lot, despite my impeccable instincts to know when someone is lying."
He smiles. "You can count on it."
He looks down and runs his thumb over her hand, still on his. His jaw clenches just the slightest bit, and Rebekah is almost stunned because she didn't think it was possible for vampires to feel warm.
He leans in slowly, tentatively, until their noses are no more than a hairsbreadth apart. She really doesn't want to ruin the moment, but Matt's so devastatingly good that she feels inclined to do so.
"It'll never work, you and me."
"I tend to get myself into things bound to end in disaster. And just so you know, I don't plan on changing my ways any time soon," he whispers, and she shivers at the feel of his warm breath on her skin. "Now, no more talking."
He presses his lips to hers, and she sees fireworks.
"So...Rebekah's my girlfriend now."
Caroline spits out her B positive afternoon snack. Elena is looking at him with wild eyes that would make Klaus himself retreat in fear. Bonnie is scowling at nothing in particular, no doubt trying to think of a spell that would somehow reverse what he just admitted to.
He grins at their reactions—they didn't disappoint.
"Good day ladies," he says cheerily, tipping his imaginary hat to the flabbergasted trio. He plops one of Elena's fries into his mouth as he walks away, very much aware of the three sets of eyes burning holes into his back.
Frankly, he can't find it in himself to care.
"Are you on your way yet?" she pouts into the phone.
Matt chuckles. "Yes, I'm literally two blocks away. Someone seems a little too eager for my company," he teases.
"Well Nik is out of the house so I thought we'd have a little fun," she purrs, moving around in her kitchen for the ingredients for Matt's favorite meal.
"I can't wa—"
She hears a scuffle on the other end of the line. "Matt? Matt?" she yells, clutching her phone so hard that it breaks when all she gets back is static.
She drops the olive oil, barely registering the sound of glass shattering before she's out the door and down the street in a blur of motion. She freezes when she sees Matt's truck wrapped around a tree on the side of the road and doesn't waste any time.
Rebekah tears off the door to the driver's side and rips the seatbelt from his body. She lays him down on the ground and immediately bites her wrist, bringing it to his lips. She manages to get it into his mouth, but he shows no signs of having swallowed it, and Rebekah's faintly aware of something wet slipping down her cheeks.
She brushes his blood-coated hair away from his face, willing her fangs to stay at bay as she trails a finger gently down his cheek.
"Matt?" she pleads.
She nearly topples over with relief when she hears the sound of his heartbeat slowly start up again. Her eyes frantically roam every inch of his face until she sees the slightest twitch in his jaw and his eyes flutter open.
He registers the scene around him groggily and lets out a stream of obscenities when he sees his destroyed truck. "Damn Impala—tiny cars are dangerous."
Rebekah laughs and hugs him, concentrating very hard on reminding herself to be gentle with him. She sniffles into his jean jacket and feels his arms rub soothing circles on her back. She pulls away and sits in his lap, gently running her hands all over his face, making sure he's unscathed.
Her eyebrows crease in confusion when she sees him grinning. "What?"
"You love me."
The way he says this, so sure of himself and the effect he has on her, leads her to scoff. She decides against keeping her mouth shut and knows that the following words past her lips will be forever known as their big defining moment.
"So? You love me."
The corner of his lips twitch. "Touché."
"What on earth are you blubbering on about?" she asks around sips of her tea. She hops up on her counter and opens her arms in invitation. He walks right into them and she lays her hands against his chest, allowing a pleased sigh to escape her lips when she feels his arms envelop her waist.
"You could have any guy you wanted with a snap of your fingers. Why did you choose me?"
She tilts her head to the side and purses her lips, doesn't let him in on what she can't wrap her head around—that he chose her.
"Is it so hard to believe that you're the one I want?"
"Yes," he says, pulling away from her. "You've gotta admit Bekah, surrounded by all kinds of supernatural chaos, the high school quarterback kind of gets forgotten in the grand scheme of everything."
She stifles a laugh at how disbelievingly obtuse he is. Clearly he doesn't see all the looks he receives from practically every girl simply walking down the hall, doesn't know about the lengths she goes to in order to restrain her jealousy—can't have a bloodbath on the way to physics, can we?
She walks over to him and pecks his nose. "I could never forget you."
"It doesn't have to end, you know."
He looks down at her. "What doesn't have to end?"
"This. Us," she whispers into his skin, her index finger absentmindedly drawing shapes across his bare abdomen.
He doesn't have to ask what she's alluding to. She's brought it up so many times in the past three years, and he's always declined her with a firm but gentle no.
As always, he thinks of Bonnie's words from their senior prank night, how he's the only one who gets to live a semblance of a normal life. Tyler, Bonnie, and Elena never asked to be part of the supernatural—they were born into it, stripped of a choice. Caroline didn't want Katherine to smother her with a pillow while Damon's blood ran through her veins—but she was an easy pawn in Katherine's wicked game of chess.
He always felt lucky, like he's the one who got away.
And there's Rebekah, offering him immortality on a silver platter. What kind of a person would that make him if, while all his friends never asked for this to happen to them, he outright chose it?
He thinks about it, what being a vampire would be like. Never having kids, never dying, being in a constant battle with your own nature, having the power to kill someone with a simple flick of the wrist.
He grimaces—it doesn't sound particularly pleasing.
Mind you, Matt's always had a level head on his shoulders, but in this case, the single pro outweighs the multitude of cons by a long shot. Looking down at the blonde draped across his chest, the way her azure irises are emanating nothing but hope and pure, unadulterated love—emotions that are so unfitting on a vampire, he can't think of a better reason to become one of the undead.
"Yes?" she yells, elation consuming her every feature in a way that makes him sure it's painful for her to be smiling that widely. Suddenly she blinks and tones it down a couple thousand notches, playing with a loose curl in order to mask her uncertainty. "Are you sure?"
She doesn't need to ask twice. "Positive."
She leans forward and presses a kiss to his lips that's different from all the others they've shared, with the simple contact of their lips conveying happiness, strength, and endurance. In a word—forever.
She pulls away and bites into her wrist, blood immediately trickling from the self-inflicted wound. He takes a second to run the pads of his fingers over the spidery veins under her eyes, to feel the razor sharp ends of her fangs. He comes away with a pricked finger and Rebekah giggles before lapping up the droplet of blood with her tongue.
He smiles before bringing her wrist to his lips, grimacing slightly at the metallic taste of blood before he feels Rebekah's free hand running through his hair, offering her encouragement.
"Drink up, darling."
Six hundred years later, Matt and Rebekah Donovan can't say they regret a single thing.
Reviews are love, darlings.