Chapter Ten - Just You and Me
Baby it's just you and me. We've got a thing they can't' shake. Maybe it's a little hard sometimes to take, but I'll tell you something. It's a life worth living, just so you know. I wouldn't give it, no.
"Damon?" Caroline asked, her eyes not yet open as she blindly reached from something, anything. Her hand landed on Stefan's wrist, pulling him slightly. She opened her eyes and looked up to see Stefan, and then the gravity of his words sunk in. She tried to hide it from her face, but she was weak and doing a horrible job, no doubt.
"No, it's Stefan, Caroline," he told her softly. "Do you want me to get Damon?" he asked, trying to hide the small amount of hurt that crossed her face when he realized the first thing she thought of was Damon, not that he was surprised by it.
"You love me?" Caroline questioned, bluntly. She wasn't sure what to say, she had suspected it, but not to this level. She had guessed he had a small crush on her, but she had never thought he loved her. She started to say something else, but all that she managed to get out was a request for blood. Stefan jumped to hand her a bag, not answering her question. She sucked down the bag, taking a small, unnecessary breath before setting the empty bag on the nightstand. "Stefan I-"
"Caroline, you don't have to say anything," he stopped her.
"No, Stefan," she argued. She needed to tell him what was running through her head, looking up at him, she began. "I know you think you love me, but you don't." He gave her a quizzical look, but she put her hand up to stop him from arguing before continuing. "Stefan when you and Elena started having problems we got closer. You are my best friend aside from Bonnie. It makes perfect sense that you would shift your feelings from Elena to me, I'm the exact opposite of Elena in every way. Elena was little miss perfect, even in death, she was doing the right thing. Whereas I am flawed and I never say the right thing and I'm just unequivocally me."
Stefan listened to her, trying to figure out when exactly Caroline became to insightful. Her theory made sense, but he was sure that they both knew that it wasn't true.
"But Stefan, I love Damon. I'm in love with him and he loves me," she said, looking up at him. "You are going to find someone who is going to be perfect for you. Someone who fits in the middle of the line between Elena and I. Someone that will love you back, for everything that you are. That you don't have to share with your brother, because this is twice in a row now."
"I know, we have a bad habit of falling for the same girls," he added awkwardly. "I'm going to get Damon. I'm sure he knows you are awake by now and I'm shocked he hasn't barged in already." Caroline nodded and Stefan walked out of the room, coming face to face with a somewhat smug looking Damon. He didn't say a word to him; he walked right past Stefan into the room to Caroline. Stefan watched from the doorway. He knew he shouldn't, he knew it would hurt, but it took him a few moments to pull away.
"I love you so much," Damon said, pressing his forehead to hers, cupping her face gently. He didn't know what to do or what to say to her, what he could possibly do to make her feel better. Watching as the tears welled up in her eyes, he pulled her to his chest, his hand running over her back softly. He could feel her tears soaking his shirt and it was all he could do to stay strong for her.
"It h-hurt s-s-so much," she choked out, her words muffled against his chest. His jaw clenched hearing the words, he wanted to kill Jeremiah all over again.
"Shh, he's dead," he said, running his fingers through her hair gently. "He's never going to hurt you again. No one ever will." He pulled back to look her in the eyes. "I will never let you get hurt again, ever. No one will ever touch you Caroline." He pressed his lips to her forehead.
"I love you so much," Caroline said, holding him as tightly as she could.
Damon held her for a few more moments, trying to calm her down, soothe her worries. He just wanted everything to be better for her; he wanted his sunshine Barbie back. He pulled back slightly, looking down into her eyes, "I asked you something, Caroline. You never got a chance to answer.."
"Is this really happening?" Caroline asked softly, looking over at Bonnie. She smiled seeing the little girl hooked on her best friend's hip.
"I can't believe it, but yes, it's really happening," Bonnie said with a smile. "Ellie what's today?" she asked the little girl as she reached for Caroline.
"Aunt Care and Uncle Damon are getting married!" The three year old exclaimed happily, making a face as Bonnie and Caroline fussed with her flower girl dress and her dark brown curls. "I'm already a princess," she smiled, "That's what Uncle Stefan told me!" she announced proudly, squirming out of her mother's arms to the ground.
"Don't get dirty, we're starting, Elle," Bonnie warned as the little girl headed to the corner of the tent to her doll. Bonnie turned back to Caroline, "I can't believe you really waited four years for a wedding."
"A. It took me four years to make sure every detail of this thing was perfect. B. If you were marrying Damon, wouldn't you wait a few years just to make sure he was serious?" Caroline asked with a laugh.
There was a small knock on the frame of the tent, drawing both girls attention to the opening. They both smiled instantly, making their way over to the couple standing there.
"You came," Caroline beamed, wrapping her arms around Jenna and then Alaric.
"Someone had to walk you down the aisle," Alaric said, returning her hug. He pulled back to look at her shocked expression. "Damon called and said your father was being difficult, I thought you could use someone," he said with a smile.
"You are a life saver." She hugged him again, just as tightly, a few tears escaping her eyes.
"Hey, hey, no tears yet," Jenna said, her hands leaving her pregnant stomach to reach out and wipe the tears from under Caroline's eyes. "I will tell you the same thing my mom told my sister on her wedding day. You can't cry until after he sees you, you can only cry when your last name is Salvatore, because that is something to cry about," she teased. "Only when she said it, it was Gilbert, but I'm sure you get my point." She pressed a kiss to Caroline's forehead.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" Alaric asked.
"Two minutes," Caroline said. He nodded and left to walk Jenna to her seat.
"You ready to do this?" Bonnie asked, taking Caroline's house.
"I've been ready for four and a half years." She smiled. Bonnie took one last look at her, smoothing out the lines of Caroline's perfect, strapless wedding gown before kissing her cheek.
"Come on, Ellie. It's time to drop those petals." Bonnie smiled.
Caroline smiled watching the two of them walk out of the tent. This was it. This was the way it was supposed to be. There were no more obstacles standing in their way. No more evil vampires. No more werewolves. Not even Damon's ego seemed to get in their way anymore. After taking, Alaric's arm, the only thing that was standing in their way seemed to be ten steps. She took a breath before walking down the aisle. Kissing Alaric's cheek, she slid her hands into Damon's and that was it. There was nothing between them now. With two small words, a kiss, and a declaration, there would never be anything between them again.