A New Beginning:

As soon as Beth walked out of the airport she saw a familiar car with her guardian leaning on it. The sun was just coming up, as it was 6 in the morning. She smiled, tiredly at the sight of him. She ran to the car and dropped all her bags but one pet carrying case as she hugged him. "Hey, Beth. It's been a while." Alaric chuckled as she let him go.

"It's been almost 3 years, Ric since I've seen you. I've missed you." Beth smiled as she stood back and took a look at her godfather. Alaric was more like a friend than a parental figure though. He had been close to her mother and he always came around to see how she was during the summer and holidays. The last time she saw him was a few years ago but he still looked the same. To her he still had that cool teacher vibe about him. He started putting the bags in the trunk of the car.

"I know it's been a while. But you're here now and that's all that matters. And you've brought a pet?" He smiled as he closed the trunk and looked at her per cat. She got in the passenger seat as he got into the driver's.

"Come on, you don't remember him?" Beth asked him and he shook his head. "It's Day!" She told him as she took the black cat out of the carrier case. He stretched on her lap before he curled himself up close to her. Alaric nodded.

"Right that, furry little kitten that tried to bite me for no good reason." He said remembering about their last encounter. Beth laughed.

"He didn't mean it and he's much nicer now." She assured him.

"He better be." He said in a playfully stern voice. "Listen, this town is a bit…" He trailed off as he turned to the right.

"Odd?" She suggested with a yawn knowing he wasn't sure what word was good. He grinned.

"Yeah, odd. Just be careful around here. There have been some weird animal attacks but they've died down but still so stay in the town and don't wander off into the woods." He told her trying to sound parental. Beth had to stop from smiling at him. She could take care of herself but he had no idea how much she could. That was part of the reason she came here and that her grandmother was too old to take care of her.

"Right, no wandering off into the woods." She repeated to him. "I'm a big girl, Ric. I am fully capable of taking care of myself. " She assured him. He knew that. With what she's been through he knew that she was strong and could probably deal with Mystic Falls but he was still worried.

"I know you are but still." He said and Beth had an odd suspicion he wasn't telling her something but she didn't push it. They both had their own secrets and maybe it was for the best.

They finally arrived at his apartment. Alaric opened the door and Beth found that he still hadn't completely unpacked. "Yeah, I'm still in the works of putting everything in its place." He told her as he moved a heavy box in the hallway closet. His bed was near a window in the big room across from the kitchen.

"I see that. It's no problem, I can help later." She told him as she let Day down on the ground and he roamed around the house. She grabbed her suitcase and rolled it in as Alaric grabbed her 2 other bags and lead her to her room near the bathroom. The room was white and pretty big. There was a small desk on the side with lamps. It had some boxes in it but not a lot with a bed and a queen size mattress in the middle.

"I know it's not much but I'll help get everything set up." He promised her and she smiled.

"It's great, Ric. Thank you for letting me stay here. I know I shouldn't have just taken over your home but it's a few months till I turn 18 and I can't exactly take care of grandma…" She said trailing off and he knew the rest. She had no parents to look after her, not since her dad took off and her mother died.

He put a comforting arm hand around her and squeezed. "You're always welcome here, Beth." He assured her and she smiled at him. "Why don't you get some sleep? He told her. "I don't suppose you want to come to the Founder's Day party."

"Sure, that sounds fun, I guess." She said unconvincingly. Alaric chuckled. "Won't it be awkward? I'm not from here and I'm not a part of the founding families." She asked.

"There are a lot of kids that aren't apart of the founding families that are going to be there too. Besides you'll like them and they'll like you…. some of them" Alaric said after an after thought and Beth rolled her eyes at his attempt at humor.

"Just after I get some and I'll meet up with you there." She agreed.

"Okay just please keep your phone on and be careful." He said to her with a knowing look. She nodded and turned to but her bag on her bed. Alaric was still concerned; knowing everything that has gone on it would be dangerous for her. He reached into his pocket and grabbed a vervain bracelet; one that Stefan had given him. "Here, I saw this at a thrift shop. I thought it would be a nice welcoming gift." He smiled handing it to her.

She looked it over. It had a strange scent to it but she liked it. "Thank you, Ric. This is really pretty." She told him genuinely as he helped put it on her wrist. It made him feel better that she would have some kind of protection when he wasn't around.

"It's no problem. I saw it thought you would like it and take this." He nodded and handed her a can of mace. Beth raised her eyebrows. Alaric seemed to be getting more paranoid but she didn't know that the mace was laced with vervain. Beth resisted the urge to laugh. If only he knew how much she really didn't need it but she could tell he was worried so she would take it for his sake.

"Okay, I'll take it." She agreed taking it out of his hand.

"Thank you. Now, get some sleep, you're probably tired." Day slinked into her room and moved between her legs as he made his way to hop up on her bed.

"Okay, Night." She said to Alaric as he left her room and closed the door behind him. She smiled at the gift. She changed into some shorts and tank top before getting in the bed and letting sleep overtake her.

Beth woke up a few hours later it was already 1 in the afternoon. She walked to the fridge and saw there was nothing but left over cartons of Chinese take out. "Definitely, Alaric." She decided as she closed the door. On top of the fridge was a note that said that he had left to the party and would see her there.

That gave her enough time to explore the town before heading over there. She quickly changed into some jeans and black tank top before grabbing her jacket and her black messenger bag and her phone. She left the room and closed the door, while Day was still sleeping on her bed.

She walked out of the apartment and out the building. Beth thought Mystic Falls would be a nice change, even though it was smaller town then she was used to coming from California. She was walking down the street when she saw a huge mansion. It had a lot of property as she saw their waterfall and a small river. She thought it was beautiful as she walked past it. She figured one of the founding families probably lived there.

Beth walked bit more until she came to the town square. Founder's day seemed to be big deal around here. Everyone was dressed up and there were numerous floats going by as the parade started. It was pretty crowded and Beth looked around at all the people in costumes from the 1800's and the event floats.

Beth turned around and bumped into another guy in a soldier costume complete with a hat, she accidentally stepped on his toe in the process. "Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't see you there." She quickly apologized. She felt stupid for being a klutz on her first day.

They guy just smiled. He was pretty built and had a nice smile. "It's okay. I'm used to girls throwing themselves at me." He joked and Beth let out a sigh of relief he wasn't angry. "I'm Tyler Lockwood." He introduced himself with a smile. "You must be new around here." He looked her up and down. She was cute and obviously not from here. There was something about her that stood out.

"Beth. I moved here to stay with my godfather. How'd you know?" She asked him smiling back. He seemed to be nice enough. She didn't want to say anything embarrassing to scare him off.

"Well for one, you're not dressed in a silly costume for this thing." He noticed and she laughed a bit. "And I haven't seen you in school and I'm pretty sure I know all the hot girls." He winked and Beth grinned at his obvious flirting. "And, no offense, but you look a little lost."

Beth laughed, "Yeah, pretty much. I just came to look around." She told him as he led her past some floats that had stopped.

"Well, basically this thing is huge for the Founding families." He explained to her. "The big floats are for like the Battle of Willow Creek, during the civil war which was a huge thing around here. And Miss Mystic Falls pageant winner and runner-ups. Which is all really boring."

Beth gave a small laugh. "It's not, it's interesting. Alaric didn't really tell me a lot about this place but he said it had some pretty interesting history to it, being a history teacher he should know." She smiled at him. Tyler started to smile back but then stopped short.

"What did you just say?" He asked her, not sure if her was hearing her right. Beth bit her lip, realizing her mistake.

"Yeah…kind of thought I should get that out of that way." She said giving him a shy smile. He was shocked, trying to take in what she said. He was hitting on his teacher's goddaughter. "And I really should have kept my mouth shut." She muttered.

Tyler snapped himself out of it and scrambled for an explanation. "It's-its not a bad thing. I was just surprised." He said.

"Nice save." She smirked at him as they started walking again. Tyler felt a little guilty for acting that

"Seriously, it's cool. I just wasn't expecting that." He explained.

"Yeah other than the wonderful teacher's pet comments that are sure to come." She said sarcastically.

"They won't say anything and if they do just tell me. I'll handle it." He smiled and Beth smiled back at him. They were walking when a blond girl in a 1800's style dress came up to them. "Hey, Care. This is Elizabeth, she just moved here. Beth, this is Caroline." He introduced them.

Caroline looked Beth up and down. She seemed to deem her a pretty okay person. "Hi! I'm Caroline Forbes." She said cheerily sticking out her hand and Beth shook it.

"Caroline is Miss Mystic Falls." Tyler informed her and Caroline blushed at him revealing that and lightly slapped his arm.

"Really? That's so awesome!" Beth said enthusiastically and Caroline smiled again. Complimenting her seemed to be a way to get on her good side. "Was that recently?"

"Yeah a few weeks ago. My boyfriend Matt Donovan was my escort." She rambled on smiling. "He's around here, somewhere. You should meet him! We were on the float that we made. My friend Elena was competing too, you should meet her too!" She said animatedly. Beth smiled again, this girl seemed to be very friendly when she liked you but Beth wasn't complaining. It was better than walking awkwardly around by herself. Tyler just laughed as she went on. "There she is now!" She said looking at someone behind her. "Hey, Elena."

A short girl who was wearing a similar dress to Caroline's came up from behind her. Her hair was done in big curls. She seemed kind of familiar but she had probably just seen her while she was walking around. "Hi." She said with a smile. "I'm Elena Gilbert." She introduced herself to Beth.

"Beth Brown." She replied. "I just moved here." She explained.

"That's cool. Are you going to be going to school?" She asked, making conversation. Before she could answer, Tyler did.

"Her godfather's Mr. Saltzman." He blurted out. Even though she didn't know him for long, she inconspicuously stepped on his toe for spilling the beans. He muttered an apology. Beth blushed.

Elena and Caroline both were surprised. "Why are you staying with him?" Caroline asked after a moment of an awkward silence and Elena nudged her for asking such a personal question. She knew it probably wasn't good if she wasn't with her parents. Beth noticed.

"My parent's are gone and my grandmother's too old to take care of me so Alaric's practically my only family left." She mumbled. Caroline looked embarrassed and Tyler gave her a sympathetic pat on the shoulder.

Elena knew better than anyone what is was like to be without both parents and she laid a hand on hers. "I'm sorry. I understand what that's like. Mine are gone also." She said sympathetically. Beth gave her a small smile and mumbled thanks.

"I'm so sorry." Caroline said quickly. "I had no idea. I put my foot in my mouth again."

"It's okay. I just don't talk about them a lot." She told her, not wanting her to feel bad. Elena and Caroline both knew she would want to change the subject.

"Where did you move from?" Elena asked quickly changing the subject before it got too awkward. She knew how it was like to be forced into a corner like that and Beth appreciated the gesture.

"Los Angeles."

They all seemed impressed. "Wow, California must be so different from our small town." Elena thought aloud. "Well I have to go check on my brother Jeremy. But it was nice meeting you! Maybe we could hang out later?" She suggested trying to be friendly.

"Sure. That sounds great." Beth replied. Her and Elena exchanged numbers and she did the same with Tyler and Caroline. Elena said good-bye and left them.

"Tyler, did you tell Beth about the grill?" Caroline asked him. He shook his head no. She pointed over her shoulder at the bar. "It's kind of like a bar, restaurant thing but anyone can go. Matt, Tyler and I were going to go hang out there around 7. You want to come?" She offered hopefully.

"You totally should. You know how to play pool?" Tyler asked and Beth nodded. "We can play." They both looked like they really wanted her to come, probably to make up for asking about her parents.

"Sure. Yeah, I know how to play." She felt her phone vibrate and knew it was probably Alaric. "I have to go but I'll meet you guys there." She smiled.

"Cool! See you there!" Caroline waved as she and Tyler walked off. They both seemed pretty nice. At least she didn't do anything too embarrassing her first day here, yet anyways. It had a weird feeling to it but it seemed like Mystic Falls wouldn't be too bad.