A/N- Guess what? I'm a nice person I am! Which is why I have double update today! Ok so this chapter is just sad all over, angst, angst and honestly I feel it is some of my best writing, so it would mean a lot to me if you guys could tell me what you think of it! Please review!

Chapter 20.

From her days as a toddler, to a growing child, to a girl far ahead of her years, to a woman with her own mind, something that had not changed was her fearlessness. It took a lot to scare her. No matter what situation, what predicament, it never frazzled her. She always walked out of any quandary with her head held high and enviable confidence. Nothing, absolutely nothing was terrifying enough to break her resolve.

Until now.

And as she sat next to Damon in his backyard, the cold marble of the bench cooling her heated skin, she contemplated the repercussions of her fears coming true. She had been running a low fever for a few days, something that alarmed the hovering Damon greatly but the doctor and her mother assured them all that it was quite common, and nothing to worry about. Nonetheless, Damon deemed it necessary that she get some fresh air, but he didn't fool her. It was all a ruse to get her alone.

To tell her what she knew he had been thinking for weeks now.

To tell her what she really didn't want to hear.

"Do you feel any better?" he asked, bring the comfortable silence to an abrupt end. She had been enjoying the silence; it allowed her to think without the overbearing influx of other's humming around her. She hadn't been alone, truly alone since weeks. And she craved it.

Fidgeting aimlessly with the hem of her dress she shrugged "It's just a little fever Damon, I can handle it"

"Good" he muttered under his breath, distracting her from her lack of privacy to his wriggling, sweating figure. Damon looked... nervous, or was it worried? Either way, she had never seen him like this.

Before she had a chance to question his peculiar behavior, he threw her another abrupt inquiry.

"Are you afraid?"

Instinctively her hand flew to her stomach, resting stoically over her evident bump. She took a second to ponder over how different her thinking process had gotten over the past few months; her first thought, no matter what the topic, was always, always her child. Obviously, she took Damon's query to relate to her pregnancy as well.

"It is daunting" she admitted, not one to lie, especially not to people who knew wouldn't think less of her for being weak "But I will get through it, I have mother, Caroline, Rebekah - even though she seems to despise me at the moment...

"That's not what I..."

"I will be fine, because quite simply – I love my baby" Katherine concluded firmly, speaking over Damon when he tried to interrupt her.

Smiling softly when her words sunk in, Damon bowed his head in acceptance. Katherine's resilience to this day surprised him, despite her cold, frigid exterior she was the most emotional of the three sisters, and very few seemed to realize it.

"I know" he acknowledged, never having doubted that fact for a second "But I didn't mean the baby, I was talking about Elijah"

Her shoulders squared and her muscles tensed, Katherine let out a strangled breath as she sensed the dreaded topic approaching them at a rapid pace. She wasn't prepared; she didn't want to have this conversation. Even for the sake of pretending, even for the sake of assurance she didn't want to believe it possible.

Because if she believed it possible; then she would break.

All that was fueling her was her unyielding faith in Elijah, and his love for her.

"What about Elijah?" she asked obtusely causing Damon to roll his eyes in response.

"You know" he chided back just as vaguely.

"No I don't"



"Katherine, this is serious. I am being serious" Damon pressed, slight annoyance showing in his tone.

"Yes, well I am serious too" she argued back "There is nothing to talk about, at least not about Elijah"

Damon sighed, knowing her stubborn streak wouldn't let her succumb to fears he knew she was developing "I am not trying to waver your undying trust in the man, or doubt his integrity. All I am saying is..." Damon trailed off unsurely, not knowing how to frame the words that wouldn't wound Katherine currently frail mental state.

"Is...?" she urged, a incredulous look on her face, as if she was waiting to see and jibe at whatever ridiculous argument he came up with "What are you saying?"

"I am saying that even you can't be that sure" Damon digressed, holding his own by looking anywhere but her face, knowing he didn't want to see the hurt that was about to cross her features "Even you have to know, that there is a possibility, that Elijah might abandon you"

"You both" Damon added for good measure, earning a teary glare from Katherine, which he expertly avoided.

"I don't want to" she muttered lamely, shaking her head defiantly and wiping the ghost a tear from her eye.

"You have to" Damon pressed "You can't be selfish Katherine, it isn't just about you anymore. You have to think about your child"

"I am..." she went to argue, but he cut her off instantly, determined to say his part.

"No you don't understand. If Elijah refuses to accept this as his child then no one will marry you, no one. And you alone might have been able to survive, might have been able to live a life, some life"

Lowering her head and picking at the blades of grass with her toe, Katherine let out a strangled breath. Wrapping her hands around her torso, she tried to keep in the tears that threatened to betray her confident exterior.

She wasn't in denial. She knew what could happen. She even feared that it might happen. But she didn't want anyone to know she harbored such fears.

If she couldn't completely trust Elijah, then how could she ask anyone else to do the same?

"What kind of life would you give it..."

"Him" she interceded softly, her head still bowed and her hands fidgeting with her dress.


"Him" she repeated, raising her head and turning her teary eyes on a baffled Damon "It's a boy"

"Oh" Damon blinked, scrunching his brows together weirdly, clearly contemplating her state of mind "Nonetheless, what kind of life will you give... him? This isn't his fault; he shouldn't suffer just because his parents happen to be idiots. Don't make him pay for decisions you made"

"What are you trying to say Damon?" Katherine demanded, her head swimming from the fever and her heart thumping against her chest at his words. She was barely managing to deal with the concept of having a child; she wasn't ready to think about the ways in which she could destroy the child's life.

"I'm trying to say that if and only if Elijah doesn't accept this child then you will marry me"

He declared it like a universal fact, as fixed and irreversible like the rising and setting of the sun. The words stung her; the coldness in his voice shook her into a blur.

"But I don't want to marry you" she whispered, almost begging him not to be so sure in his decision, not want to be the hero and save her.

"You think I want to marry you?" he retorted incredulously, whipping his head at her angrily "No I don't Katherine. You have been like my sister since you were born, my Stefan's girl. I have no interest in making you my wife, but I have no interest in watching you survive in misery either"

"Why are you doing this? Why are you ready to give up so much?"

"Because no one else will. Any if anyone does then his intentions will be less than honorable. I have to take care of you, all of you. Your father can't support you forever, and as much as you may want to be a progressive woman, you can't have any life as an unwed mother."

"They would taunt him" Katherine mumbled under her breath. She had been thinking, imagining what her life would be like without a husband, without a man. She would be fine, she knew she would. She always persevered, no matter what.. but what about her son.

"They would shun him, call him a bastard. He would get nothing but shame from the society, and no child deserves that" Damon answered tight lipped "This is the worst case scenario, and none of us want this but it will happen if the need arises. You will never be my wife in anything more than a title, but I will take care of you and your child"

"Why do want to take on the responsibility? Don't you want to marry someone you love?" Katherine asked.

With an exasperated sigh Damon turned his gaze away from Katherine, a somber shadow claiming his chiseled face "Love might not be meant for all. I loved my mother, I loved my brother and I love my father. My mother died while giving birth to my brother, and my brother died; credit to the randomness of this world and father, well we can barely look at each other without remembering the people who've died. The only love that hasn't hurt me is you three, I've taken care of you since you were kids and I'll keep doing that" he added in finality, leaving nothing for Katherine to interpret or rebuke.

"But what about you...?" Katherine pushed stubbornly, her irrational need to believe in love resurfacing.

"What about me, I'll be fine." He dismissed with a wave of his hand "If I could just convince Caroline..."

"Convince her of what?" Katherine piped up suddenly, turning around to glare at Damon. Anger flaring in her eyes she continued "There is no problem between her and Klaus, you don't have to make any... arrangements for her"

Damon stilled in his rocking movement, placing his hands by his sides on the cold bench, he let out a small laugh as he said "You don't understand do you?"

She crinkled her nose and widened her eyes, silently demanding that he stop his vague questionnaire and speak clearly. He surveyed her almost pityingly before saying

"If Mikael has an issue with your and Elijah's marriage, if he doesn't agree to it anymore then, chances are Katherine that he won't be agreeable to getting Klaus married to Caroline either"

"But... but" Katherine spluttered "Caroline hasn't done anything..."

"It doesn't matter" Damon said through clenched teeth "Sister of the unwed mother? Not many people would be accepting of that Katherine. This can easily affect Caroline as well"

Caroline stood nervously by the front door, playing with the frill of her skirt and squinting her eyes up to the blazing sun. If their life has been a novel, then she was at the middle of it, the part where things start to get scary, when situations aren't all rosy and calm.

This was around the time when the protagonists would be wrenched apart from each other, with or without their will they would be separated, both put through individual trials testing their every strength and pushing their every weakness.

And that's exactly what Caroline feared as she clung to Katherine's sweaty hands as she prepared to leave. Glancing wearily at the carriage waiting for her, Katherine attempted to soothe her frazzled sister.

"Caroline" she said in her most comforting sisterly tone, placing a hand on the blonde's shoulder "Everything will be alright"

"No" the blonde countered stubbornly, shaking her head adamantly, thoroughly rusting her wild curls all over her face "No, you can't leave Katherine. What am I supposed to do without you?"

"You'll be fine Caroline," Katherine argued, trying to keep her own tears at bay but the crying fest her mother and youngest sister had just given her wasn't helping her resolution. But Caroline looking so feeble and distraught was her breaking point.

She never had been able to bear those watery big blue eyes and scrunched up little nose.

"I can't do anything without you, how am I supposed to... you can't leave Katherine, I need you" Caroline mumbled disoriented, gripping her sisters arms tightly as if holding her tight enough would stop her from leaving.

She had known this day would come, but it didn't make it any easier. Father had told them a long time back, that once Katherine started showing and it became impossible to cover it up they would send her away to their great aunt. Abigail Stonewall lived in a giant estate with more servants than she could count. It was the perfect place for Katherine to stay hidden until the baby was born, no one would recognize her there and she would be well taken care of.

Despite everyone insisting she didn't have to leave, father was adamant in making sure Katherine didn't spend her last months of pregnancy here. He wasn't a powerful man like Mikael or Donovan's, he wouldn't risk anything happening to Katherine or the child if their neighbors or the village found out.

He knew no one would accept it, and he wasn't about to take any chances.

So without paying any heed to his wife and Caroline's pleadings he had made arrangements for Katherine to leave in the beginning of her fifth month. Just four more months and when it was time for her to give birth, she would be back.

His wife dealt with it, knowing that it was safer for Katherine and the child to not have prying and judging eyes on her all time. Rebekah, until the moment Katherine was about to walk out the door didn't seem to even care that much, but gave in finally and gave her elder sister a teary hug. Caroline, was the hardest to convince, but eventually she had no control over her father's decision.

"I need you here Katherine" Caroline re-iterated.

And now Katherine was angry.

"I don't care" she hissed, her tone taking an accusing edge which Caroline caught onto as she flinched in response "I don't care Caroline, I don't have the energy nor the frame of mind to care about anyone but me right. I can't be the solution to all your problems anymore. I can't take care of you anymore, you have to grow up. You need take some responsibility now, I can't do it anymore"

Shaking her head like it would make it go away Caroline let out a whine, knowing all the while that Katherine was right. Katherine had much more important things to deal with, a child, out of wedlock that too. She didn't have time to be the caretaker to all of them anymore.

Caroline had to grow up. It was time.

"I understand" she said meekly, forcing a smile on her damp face. A smile of fear and loss, one which Katherine mirrored back sadly. "You go rest, I'll be fine. We'll all be fine"

"I know you can do it." Katherine assured waving a hand wildly when father beckoned to her to hurry up "Now don't cry and sulk all the time, have some fun. Help mother around the house will you? There is something troubling Rebekah, speak to her, find out, help her Caroline. Don't let father drink too much and don't let a drunk Damon go to the bar to get more drunk, he always comes back with broken bones. You understand?"

"Yes I do" Caroline laughed softly, wiping a tear.


"And?" she urged when Katherine hesitated.

"Keep the letter to Elijah ready, when I come back and have the baby, we can post it to them" she replied, her voice cracking unsurely.

"Don't you want to write it?" Caroline asked confuzzled. Katherine should be the one to inform Elijah of their child, not her.

"No, I-I won't be able to. I just want him to know what's happened" Katherine sniffed, a new surge of tears and fear creeping up in her "I don't want to beg him, I just want to give him the facts. I can't write to him"

"I would beg him" she concluded, looking down at her hands ashamed and Caroline nodded.

"Ok, I'll keep it ready" she agreed, giving her a last hug before she began walking away.

"Oh and..." Katherine said, halting by the carriage door "Tell him he has a son, and I want him to name him, whether he's coming back or not"

As Caroline gulped anxiously and waved at the retreating carriage, a sense of dread filled her yet again.

If their life was a novel, then they were about to inch towards the ending. The path between the middle and the end was filled with trials and tribulations. The part of the novel that made her bawl her eyes out and curse life.

The happy ending seemed far far away.

It was on a chilly Tuesday morning that the novel turned a path once again. Four months had passed by then. Winter was here. Like a carrier of suffering, it bought with it the frigid winds, the stunted growth, the icy rain and a sick Katherine.

Her tears froze on her pink cheeks as her teeth rattled in pain. No amount of steam from the many boiling pots of water around them made any difference; it was as cold as ever before.

Caroline shivered sporadically, her cheeks stinging from the damp icy tears, her hand cold oh so cold in her sisters hand.

Maybe it was the winter, or maybe her heart was just dying.

What should have been a house filled with tears of joy, cackling noises, coo's and cries was instead enveloped in darkness. A darkness of depression. There was no joy, no cackling, no cooing.

But there was crying.

The house which once bustled with vigor and joy was subdued in morbid faces and whispering condolences.

If their life was a novel, then Caroline was beginning to think; this novel had no happy ending.

If you don't know what to say about such a depressing chapter then just follow my lead –

Dear Tanya,

How dare you doubt Elijah?

How dare you shove Datherine in our face?

How dare you end like that?

Just how dare you?

insert name here