Graduation. Caroline had been looking forward to this day for years now and it was finally here. Though her plans for life after high school had drastically changed in the last year, she was still excited to spend the next few months driving across the country with her two best friends while trying to decide where she wanted to spend the next four years. Caroline had put all her eggs in one basket and had thought she would be too busy to find time for college after high school, but life has a funny way of pulling a one-eighty on you sometimes.
Now she had three months to decide her whole future, unlike the four years Elena had spent over-thinking hers, and the year Bonnie had spent rushing together her plans. Caroline refused to be stuck in her small back water town for the rest of her life, her dreams and attitude were both too big for this tiny town. Today after graduation she'd be sitting in Elena's Escalade on her way across the open road deciding just what her dream was and where she was going to set up shop and claim it. Now all she had to do was survive graduation.
Caroline walked over to the mirror and stared at her reflection. She didn't look different, same old Caroline Frobes, just a tad more flashy due to today's festivities. Caroline made a face at her reflection, somewhat displeased she hadn't changed in the last four years. Though her hair was curled it was the same shoulder length blonde it had been throughout high school and her crystal blue eyes were still the same shade of blue.
Maybe I should get a haircut at least. Caroline thought as she examined herself.
Caroline threw on the baby blue dress she had picked out a year ago and went back to the mirror to examine herself once more. She had bought the dress at a local boutique in town back when graduation was just a dream. Of course she knew she was going to graduate, but all the plans she had made following graduation, those were the things she was looking forward to, and now those things were gone.
Caroline walked out of the dressing room and looked herself up and down examining the dress at every angle. When she was satisfied with it she turned around and smiled.
"So what do you think?" Caroline asked her voice thick with eagerness.
Dean looked up from the magazine he was half paying attention to and turned his full attention to Caroline. He was speechless as he looked at her standing there, smiling at him. Every time he thought he was starting to get used to Caroline Forbes' beauty she pulled something like this and turned his mind into a pile of mush. Dean sat the magazine down and walked across the room to where she was standing. He pushed a strand of her blonde hair behind her ear then slowly ran a finger down her cheek. Caroline let out a small giggle and looked away trying to hide the blush that was forming in her cheeks.
"You clean-up very nicely." Dean whispered as he turned Caroline's face back to his.
Caroline bit her lip as she smiled up at him. "Yeah?"
"Oh yeah." Dean agreed before pressing his lips against Caroline's.
"Same old boring Caroline." Caroline whispered to herself as she flattened out the dress.
It only took Caroline a second to recover from her sudden melancholy mood. She shook her head and smiled at her reflection.
"I'm Caroline Forbes, class of 2010 and as a member of your graduating class I'd like to say congratulations…and we've finally made it!" Caroline recited her graduation speech to her reflection.
Caroline grinned before spinning on her toes and walking away. She was ready to start her life, and just because everything wasn't going as planned didn't mean her life wouldn't be as thrilling as she had planned.
"And now please welcome Caroline Forbes to the stage."
Caroline turned around and flashed a dazzling smile at Elena and Bonnie before getting up from her seat and making her way to the stage. Caroline had recited her speech thousands of times in the last few days, sitting all of her friends down so they could give feedback once she was done reciting it. She had this in the bag, there was no way she was going to mess up. The only thing she had to worry about now was not tripping on the hem of her gown while she walked across the stage. Caroline took a deep breath before grabbing her gown in both hands and walking up the stage steps and then gracefully making her way to the podium. Once she was standing in front of her class safely she let out the breath she was holding and smiled at the crowd.
Two more hours Caroline, then we can leave all of this behind. Caroline thought to herself as she scanned the audience.
"I'd like to thank everyone for being here to celebrate this day with us, the graduating class of 2010. I-"
Caroline stopped at the sound of the back door to the gym opening. How rude do you have to be to arrive to a graduation late?
Caroline looked back down at her notes and went back to her speech. "I, Caroline Forbes would like to say-"
Caroline looked up at the crowd once more and stopped breathing. Leaning against the back wall was Dean Winchester. Dean freaking Winchester was at her graduation. Caroline gaped at him as he flashed her his obnoxiously adorable smirk.
"I can't believe you!" Caroline shouted into the microphone, gaping at Dean.
Everyone started to whisper as they looked around trying to find out what the sudden outburst was all about. Elena and Bonnie turned around just in time to see Dean mouth "You're mic's still on" before turning back to Caroline, both of them now just as shocked as Caroline was. Caroline's cheeks turned bright red as she realized what she had just done. She went back to looking at the index cards trying to compose herself enough to finish her speech.
"I'd just like to congratulate the class of 2010. It's been a hard four years but we finally made it. We've aced and failed tests, we've fallen in and out of love. We've even had an epic love story and then suddenly he just leaves because 'It's for your safety'. When really you're a big girl and don't need some one-liner douche bag to 'protect' you. I mean really- Oh! You have got to be kidding me! Is the circus in town or something?"
Just then Sam Winchester, Dean's younger brother, walked in the door and stood next to his brother. Caroline knew it was bad news once Dean walked in the door, but when both the Winchester's were in town, it meant trouble. Caroline tapped her fingers against the podium while she glared at the two brothers in the back. Sam registered that all eyes were suddenly on him and turned wide eyes to Caroline, shocked that she had noticed his, what he thought to be, quiet entrance.
Caroline just rolled her eyes. "Here's some advice. Never fall in love, and never get caught up in someone else's family drama. You'll just be left three months before your friends go off to college trying to patch together a future for yourself. So to class of 2010, dream big and chase those dreams. Thank you!"
Well, that went well. Caroline thought sarcastically to herself as she stomped back down the steps.
As soon as the ceremony was over Caroline didn't even take the time to find her friends, she was on a mission. She had spent the last two months picking up the pieces of her heart Dean Winchester had left behind when he disappeared into the night two months ago. Instead of waking up to the usual cup of coffee, bagel, and Dean hunched over a book at her coffee table she woke up to a note saying "I just want you to be safe". That's all it said. No explanation, no number, just that sentence that she ran her fingers over for weeks after he left. He had left her with nothing, and now he was back. If he had waited one more day he would have just missed her and she would have been none the wiser. But of course, she was still in town, and there he was, smiling up at her like nothing had happened while she tried to give her speech.
It took her a few fuming moments to find him but once she spotted him across the field standing next to his brother she quickened her pace and marched over to him. Once she got close enough to him, Dean turned and flashed her a smile. Any other time it would have made her heart melt and she would flash him her own dazzling smile, but the anger inside her was too great. Once she closed the distance between them she snatched the cookie out of his hand, threw it on the ground, and smashed it with her shoe.
"Hey! I was eating that!" Dean shouted through a mouth full of cookie.
Caroline snapped her head up and glared at Dean. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Hi Caroline." Sam interjected, hoping to calm her down.
"Shut-up Sam." Caroline snapped, not even glancing over at Sam, too busy glaring at Dean.
Dean pulled an envelope from the inside of his jacket and handed it to Caroline. "I was invited."
Caroline looked at card in her hands as if it were a practical joke. Yes, the moment graduation invitations had arrived a week before spring semester Caroline had given Dean an invitation, but the second he left town she thought he had enough common sense to know his invitation had been revoked. Caroline glanced up at him, one perfect eyebrow perfectly arched. We're talking about Dean Winchester here. Caroline rolled her eyes and handed the invitation back to Dean.
"What are you really doing here Dean?" Caroline sighed, already exhausted from this day.
Dean's smile disappeared. "We're working a case."
Caroline rolled her eyes and could feel her anger rearing its ugly head once more. "Of course you are. Well, thanks so much for ruining my graduation. I guess I have you to thank, my speech will be the most memorable for years to come. Now I have to go."
Before Caroline could turn and walk away Dean grabbed her by the elbow. "I didn't come here to ruin your day Caroline. I want to talk, and maybe take you to dinner. Give me an hour to explain some things and if you're not moved by the end of dinner, I'll let you get back to the American dream of a normal life."
Caroline had run through this scenario a thousand times. Maybe none of them were quite like this, but they always began the same way, Dean begging her to come back to him, and depending on the day, she'd either say yes or no. Right this instant, standing in front of him, remembering nights full of laughs and smiles and cheesy one liners and terrible music and disgusting bars on the out skirts of town, she wanted to say no so badly but there was no chance she would. For the sake of her self-respect, she wished she could say no, but there was no chance in hell she was going to walk away and wonder for the rest of her life.
"You get 30 minutes, and if I'm not moved by the end of the salad you forget my name. Are we clear?" Caroline huffed, trying to keep some of her dignity in check.
Dean flashed her his signature cocky smirk and nodded. "Crystal."