Tangled: I Want You To Stay

Chapter Seven


Rebekah and Kol are gone at least an hour before any of us speak a word. I'm too afraid if I open my mouth more truths I don't want revealed will tumble out. Maybe that's why Elena, Stefan, and Damon have been so quiet as well, but I really don't know. It could be that they're all so angry with me, and with each other, that they have nothing to say. Either way, the room is so thick with tension it's driving me insane. So, yeah, it was me who broke the silence. I just couldn't take it anymore!

Rolling my eyes in Damon's direction, I ask him, "Can you still only speak if spoken too? Because it's not like you to be so quiet…"

Damon sighs, "Looks that way, Blondie." His blue eyes harden like ice when he adds, "If I could have, I would have already said this: What the Hell were you thinking?!"

I lean back in my chair a bit and avoid his stare when I reply, "What was I thinking when, Damon? There are a lot of ways I could take that question." Most of them involve discussing things I'd rather not get into at the moment. When I asked Damon if he could speak, I didn't realize I'd be opening a can of worms. I probably should have left it alone…

Elena voices sarcastically, "Yes, Damon, what are you referring to? We all know there have been plenty of mistakes Caroline has made recently. Which one should she explain first?" She avoids looking at me, but the bitterness in her voice and the hardness in her facial features is something I've never seen before. Elena and I have been mad at each other in the past, but something feels different this time. She is really mad. She might not forgive me for what I've done.

"Well, I was referring to her trusting Klaus," Damon decides with an exaggerated eye roll, "But, I guess you're right, Elena. Caroline has been seeming blonder than usual...so, Blondie, take your pick: what would you like to...clear the air about first?"

"Well, Damon," I throw his sarcastic tone back in his face, "I pick none of the above. I don't want to explain anything to you."

"If I remember correctly," Elena reminds in a snotty tone, reminding me eerily of Katherine, "You have to tell the truth about it. Rebekah's rules."

"Yeah, she said tell the truth," I recall, feeling smug to find a loophole and not have to answer Damon and Elena's pestering questions, "And that is the truth."

I can practically see Elena breaking down in front of me, and I feel guilty, but I can't stop it. Her heart starts beating quicker as her blood boils with anger. Her usually wide and innocent brown eyes are dark and narrowed, at me. Her hands have tightened into fists on the table, her knuckles white with pressure. I have never seen her so angry, not even after her parents died and she wished she had perished with them. I wonder again what she has been through the past few months while I've been away. I wonder what I missed out on, if she feels betrayed by me, if there is any other reason why she could hate me so much. But isn't what I did enough? Isn't stealing a kiss from her ex-boyfriend on the night I was supposed to die, and then skipping town without notice for months enough of a reason to be furious with me? I suppose it is. That's why I'm not surprised when Elena goes red in the face and starts yelling at me.

"Are you kidding me right now, Caroline? God, what is wrong with you?! Do you even see where we are? Do you get what is happening here? This is all your fault!" Elena's eyes widen suddenly, almost like she wasn't expecting those words to come out of her mouth but they were pushed out with the help of Rebekah's compulsion. Elena had to tell the truth, and even though it clearly shocked her, and me, at what she was thinking, she presses on. "We wouldn't be here right now if you never left Mystic Falls. Why did you have to come back? You should have just stayed away."

"Elena," Stefan cuts in gently, "Maybe you should stop before you say something you regret."

Elena turns her angry eyes on him. She simply glares in silence for a few moments, before stating in a sarcastic voice, "I should stop, Stefan, shouldn't I? But I don't want to. She left us," Elena points a finger at me accusingly, "And look what happened! Bonnie's mom is dead, Tyler is dead, Bonnie won't speak to me, and now she thinks she can just waltz back into town like nothing happened! Guess what, Caroline? A lot happened while you were gone!"

I press back in my seat, trying to distance myself from the truth, and soak in Elena's words. I start blinking rapidly in an attempt to keep my tears at bay. I can't believe what I heard, but it has to be true, because Elena wouldn't have been able to say it if it wasn't true. "What…what do you mean? Tyler's dead? Bonnie's mom…?" I can't pull myself together enough to string together any more words so I simply trail off.

Stefan answers my questions, and for that I have to be grateful. Damon and Elena look ready to leave me wondering just to spite me. "Abby was killed after Mikael was released from his box." He states it very matter-of-factly, not placing blame on anyone, which is nice but leaves me wanting more details. Leave it to Stefan to prevent conflict even during a situation like this. "Tyler…" He frowns, his green eyes flicking to me nervously, "Klaus killed him. He…found him and killed him. I thought you knew."

"When?" I demand through bleary eyes, "When? When you two were gone for that week? Please tell me that's not when it happened, Stefan." He meets my eyes straight-on and I know that it is true. "How? He said that Tyler…that Tyler was gone. He said he got away and that he couldn't find him. He lied to me. Oh my God; Tyler." I can't hold back my tears any longer, and I don't try to. Klaus lied to my face and said that Tyler was still alive when he had just killed him. I can't believe I trusted that lying monster! I didn't even just trust him; I helped him, I comforted him, and I slept with him. I am a fool.

"I'm sorry, Care," Stefan explains softly, looking like he wants to reach out to comfort me, but he thinks better of it, "I was going to tell you, but-"

I cut him off with a sharp look. "Why didn't you tell me right when it happened?" Suddenly, it clicks why he kept it from me, and I feel sick. "You knew that I wouldn't find out what you needed about the coffins if you told me. You knew I couldn't trust him, and you couldn't have that happen just yet. Wow. You are a lot more like Klaus than I thought, Stef. You pushed me right into his arms so that you could get what you needed from me." I cross my arms over my chest and stare at the edge of the table in front of me. I don't want to meet anyone's eyes right now. I am heartbroken, furious, and betrayed all at the same time.

"Gross," Elena comments, "You've been spending time in Klaus' arms? Please tell me you haven't slept with him. I think I might throw up." I ignore her, despite the fact that I'd like to tell her she sounds exactly like Damon right now and maybe she has been spending more time with him than she should be. My lack of response gives her what she needs, and she concludes, "Oh God, you did sleep with him. You know, I always thought you were a little boy crazy, Care, but I had no idea you were such a slut."

Snapping, I throw an insult back her way, "And I had no idea you were such a bitch, but I guess people change."

Ignoring me, Elena turns to Damon and asks, "Did you know Caroline was such a slut, Damon?"

Damon smirks, probably excited to finally speak again, "Of course I knew, Elena. I got down and dirty with Blondie before, don't forget. Although it was a long time ago…"

It was last year. That is not so long ago, but I don't care enough to argue about it. I'd honestly like to forget it ever happened in the first place, but unfortunately I can't. Well, not unless Rebekah decides she wants to take away some memories from me with the help of her compulsion, but I highly doubt that will be happening.

"Oh yeah," Elena says, feigning innocence, "You and Caroline were together…back when Stefan rejected her and she had such low self-esteem that she threw herself at the next good-looking guy, who just so happened to be you. Funny how things work out."

I roll my eyes, "Yeah, it's fuckin' hilarious."

"She used me about as much as I used her," Damon agrees with Elena.

It isn't true, of course. Not really. I was upset about Stefan's rejection, and I did fall for Damon because I needed a distraction and he was a very hot one, but he and Elena are leaving out one very huge part of the story: Damon compelled me! I may have been interested in him at first, but when I realized what he was there was no way he could have gotten me to stay with him without compelling me to do so. He used me, abused me, and tossed me aside like last week's garbage. I was a seventeen year old human girl with no defenses against a one-hundred-seventy year old vampire. How did I use him?

"Screw you, Damon!" I screech, "I didn't do shit to you! You used me! You compelled me! You used me as your own personal blood bag and slave girl all in one. I wanted to kill you when I turned, and I could have, because you had no idea what I was capable of in that moment. But I didn't, Damon. I didn't because I knew it would hurt Elena and it would hurt Stefan. I am a better person, and a better vampire, than you!"

"Oh please," Damon scoffs, "You are a weak, spineless, little girl."

I decide not to keep the conversation going with him, because if I stop giving him chances to talk he'll have to stay quiet. I am once again thankful for Rebekah being as annoyed with Damon as I usually get. She is so lucky to be able to compel him into silence. I don't normally condone using compulsion, but for that one thing I would make an exception.

This conversation has gotten me so worked up and agitated that I need another blood bag to calm down. I reach into the basket at the center of the table and pull out a blood bag, simultaneously popping the plastic top off the tube so I can sip from it. The minute the blood enters my mouth I feel much more relaxed and in control of my emotions. I realize I've been focusing entirely too much on keeping the truth about what happened between me and Stefan, and me and Klaus, inside. I haven't even queried about the death of Bonnie's mother and how that is affecting her. I haven't asked Damon how he got lured here or Elena why she even came at all since she's a human who can't defend herself against the likes of an Original vampire. All I've done is made more problems.

When I finish with the blood bag, I place the empty plastic bag on top of my other empty one and then lean back in my chair. I look to Elena and ask gently, "How is Bonnie doing?"

Elena quirks an eyebrow at me in a way that clearly says, 'You've got to be kidding me', but she surprisingly doesn't say that. She seems to take a moment to think about the question before she answers, "She's not doing good at all. She's still upset that you took off on us. She didn't want to do anything to help vampires, but she went against her instinct for me because she wanted to help protect me. And now her mom is dead. I don't think she's wrong to blame me. I would blame me too if I were her. Bonnie hasn't spoken to me once since the night we opened Mikael's coffin and released him."

My heart aches for my best friend. Bonnie has always been there for me, no matter what. When I was turned by Katherine, she was devastated. She saw me as a killer, but she still made me a daylight ring so that I could go out in the sun without burning up. Bonnie hated that I was turned into her most hated enemy, and we were having a rough time dealing, but she was trying. I feel terribly guilty for being gone in this tragic moment when she probably needs her best friend by her side. She already lost her Grams, and now her mom? It just isn't fair.

"I'm so sorry for leaving," I apologize to all three of my fellow hostages sincerely, but mainly focus on Elena. Stefan already knows why I left, and Damon couldn't care less, so it's really Elena that I'd like to convince I was doing good when I left Mystic Falls. "I had no idea all of this would happen. I thought leaving with Klaus would help. I know now that it was stupid to trust Klaus, and I meant it when I said that I don't and I never will again. That night…the night I left, I felt like I didn't belong here anymore. I mean, my mom was mourning the death of her daughter, but I was still there. Just when things were going well with Matt, he found out I'm a vampire and now he's terrified of me. Things would never have worked with us. Bonnie didn't trust me, and you have no idea how hard it is to feel hated by your best friend just for being alive. I honestly felt that if I had died instead of turned that you all would have been happier. So when Klaus came and told me that he could take me away from all of that, I said yes. I wanted that. But I also thought if he took me away that he wouldn't come back, and I was wrong. So I really am sorry."

I can see a glimmer of regret cross Elena's face before her shoulders slump and she says in defeat, "No one wanted you gone, Caroline. Your mom has been worried sick about you. Matt feels like it's his fault you left. Bonnie misses you too, even though she's too stubborn to admit it. We all worried about you."

"I wasn't really worried," Damon admits with a shrug, "I knew it wouldn't be that easy to get rid of you." He smirks in a smug fashion and I roll my eyes. Typical Damon.

Elena pretends not to hear Damon. She fidgets in her seat, her eyes never leaving mine, and I can see she's struggling with herself. She wants to say something…she's just not sure how to say it. Finally, Elena speaks up, "Thank you for explaining your reasons for leaving. I understand why you felt like you had to go. I wish I could forgive you, Care, but I-I can't. I don't know how. I mean…you and…Stefan," her eyes dart to him for a split second before returning to me, "You both kept another big secret from me, and since neither of you want to talk about it, I can't forgive you." She shrugs apologetically, but she has nothing to be sorry for. She's right. How can I expect her to forgive me for leaving when I kissed her boyfriend and I won't even tell her it meant nothing?

I can't tell her it meant nothing, though. Because it didn't. It meant a lot.

"It won't make any difference, Elena," Stefan speaks up, "If you can't forgive now you won't be able to. Explaining what happened won't change what you already know."

Elena's face grows even more serious than it was before, causing her features to appear like a little girl's. Her doe-eyes are large and wide, her lips tiny and pursed together. She looks almost like a lost puppy, and it pulls at my heartstrings. I know before it happens that I'm going to confess everything to her, all because of that face. Curse Elena and her innocent puppy dog face!

"It's fuzzy to me now," I state, my mind going back to the night that Tyler bit me and I accepted my fate was to die slowly and painfully from the poison of a werewolf bite. I can remember everything, see everything, but it is almost like a dream. I know what happened, but I don't know if my interpretation is correct. What if I hallucinated the whole thing? "I, um, remember the night in bits and pieces. And I don't know if some of it was made up by hallucinations, but…I'll tell you everything that I do remember." After a brief pause to collect my thoughts, I recount, "When Tyler bit me, I was pissed at first, and I remember telling him that I never wanted to see him again." That hurts to think about now because it was the last time I saw him, and now that he's dead I'll never get a chance to take back those words. "I don't know who I called, but I know that someone drove me home. I tried to hide it from my mom, but there was a lot of blood, and she saw it. She made me sit down at the kitchen table while she tried to clean the bite with like alcohol wipes and stuff from the first aid kit. Nothing worked, of course. I tried to tell her that, but she wouldn't listen."

When I'm trying to remember what happened after that, Stefan cuts in, reminding, "I was the one who drove you home. You called me when Tyler bit you and I was at the Grill, so I came and got you."

I nod absently, remembering that he's right. I did call him. He did drive me home. "Yeah, and you told my mom that she couldn't do anything to make me better. There is only one cure for a werewolf bite, and it definitely doesn't come in a first aid kit. She got mad at you." She did. I almost laugh when I recall the look on her face when Stefan told her she couldn't do anything but wait for her daughter to die. I'm pretty sure she yelled at him, but then the bite wound really started to sting and I told her to shut up. "After that…I went up to my room and I went to sleep." Elena looks like she wants to ask me to cut the crap and get to the part where I kissed her boyfriend at the time, but she holds her tongue. She's been waiting close to three months to hear this story, and I don't think she wants to risk being told she ruined her chances at learning the truth.

"It must have been a few hours later when I woke up, because it was pitch dark out. The fever was raging. The bite hurt so badly I was in agony. Stefan stayed with me the whole time. I didn't know that you were with Klaus trying to bargain a deal," I beg Elena with my eyes to believe me, even though she knows I can't lie under Rebekah's compulsion, "I thought I was dying. The fever was definitely messing with my head. I nearly attacked my own mother when she tried to bring me a glass of water. Elena, I was unhinged; I was not myself." She nods, both in understanding and to encourage me to keep going. I'm just getting to the part she wants to hear, but I'm getting nervous to spill the details. When I speak again, it is much slower and more careful, because I'm afraid when Elena hears the truth she will go off like a ticking time bomb. "I started talking…a lot. I told Stefan that I was grateful to know him, and that I appreciate him always being there for me. He's saved me more than once, and I was glad that he would be there when I died. He tried to tell me that you were coming, Lena; that I wouldn't die because you were bringing me the cure. I just couldn't comprehend. I didn't have any hope that I'd live through the night."

Seeing that I'm having a hard time getting the words out, Elena prompts, "So you kissed him, then?" I swallow thickly and then nod. "Just like that?" She snaps her fingers, like it was that easy.

"Yes," I nod, but then shake my head, "I mean, no. I don't know."

"How do you not know, Caroline?" Elena is obviously growing frustrated with me. Her anger is being held back by a thread, but I can tell she'd like to jump across the table and shake the truth out of me. "What made you think you could kiss him? What made you so sure he wouldn't push you away? Did he say something to you? I need to know. Just tell me!"

"I told him I love him, okay?!" Once the confession leaves my lips, I clap both hands over my mouth and squeeze my eyes shut. Oh my God! Did I really just say that? And now I hate Rebekah again for compelling us all to tell the truth.

After a long, very awkward moment of silence, Elena's voice breaks through, "You are absolutely unbelievable. What about you?" I open my eyes to see who she's talking to; Stefan. "Did you say it back? Did you tell her how much she means to you, too? Why do you have nothing to say about it?"

"No, I didn't say it back, Elena," Stefan says seriously, "But I do care about Caroline. She's a good friend to me, and to you, and you're being-"

Cutting off his words, Elena accuses, "You kissed her back though, didn't you? You can't deny that you have feelings for her when you kissed her! Don't tell me what I'm acting like, Stefan; I don't care! You lied to me. You were supposed to love me, and only me, but you-"

Following suit, Stefan cuts Elena off as well, "Like you love me and only me? What about Damon then, Elena? You have feelings for him, you've admitted them, but you still expect me to love you the same as before? You can fall for my brother right under my nose, but I can only have feelings for you? Do you even hear yourself right now?"

I've never seen Stefan and Elena argue, never thought they did argue, but it's not something I am enjoying at all. In fact, this whole being-held-captive thing is getting really old. I'm almost eager for Rebekah and Kol to return so one of them can put an end to this ridiculous argument. Elena is being stupid if she thinks Stefan will wait around for her to figure out her feelings for Damon. It's not fair, and yet she expects Stefan to be completely loyal to her. It's not that she feels betrayed because Stefan kissed me. She just doesn't want him to fall out of love with her if she still might be in love with him.

Childishly, Elena repeats, "Do you hear yourself?"

Suddenly, I hear a whooshing noise to my right, followed by a crack. Before I can even glance over in that direction, I hear a crack on my left side. Stefan's head falls forward and hits the wooden table with a thump. Briefly, my mind registers that someone has just snapped Damon and Stefan's necks. Then, I feel hands around my own neck, and before I can comprehend anything further, my neck is snapped as well.


When I come to, I can hear someone crying, and Stefan and Damon are arguing about something. It is a strange sensation, feeling your neck heal itself and your brain switch back on; it's unnatural. Even though I know I'm a vampire and I healed, I still reach up and feel the bones on the back of my neck to make sure everything is realigned right. Once I've confirmed everything is in place, I straighten up and take a look around the table. Damon and Stefan are clearly very angry, and I assume that's because they were just put down for an unwanted nap like myself, but I don't understand why Elena is so distraught.

Then, I hear it. Or, don't hear it, rather.

Elena's heart isn't beating. She's dead. But she's not dead.

"Oh my God, Elena," I gasp, "You're in transition. How did this happen?"

My mind is racing a mile a minute and I have so many questions to ask, but I don't voice a single one of them out loud. None of them know any more than I do, and it doesn't really matter. Elena is in transition, and there's nothing to be done about that except to complete it so that her life no longer hangs in the balances. There are still five blood bags sitting in the basket at the middle of the table, but it doesn't look like Elena has touched one of them. I wonder if she's considering accepting her fate and dying instead of completing transition and becoming a vampire. I don't dare ask her though because I am too scared to hear the answer. I might have been ticked off at Elena, but I never wanted her to die.

"I can't believe this is happening," I state quietly, not realizing I even opened my mouth to say the words.

All this time we spent protecting Elena, trying to keep her alive, and it's all for nothing. We failed. We didn't save her this time and now she has to become something she wasn't sure she ever wanted to become. I understand how she feels more than anyone else in the room because it's exactly what happened to me. Katherine killed me, and I came back, and I had no idea what was wrong with me. But I was all alone, and she has Damon and Stefan and me here with her.

I reach across the table, stretching as far as my arm will reach so I can touch Elena's hand. She blinks through her tears and looks at me, her expression terrified and desperate. I squeeze her hand and tell her, "It's going to be okay, Elena. I know it doesn't feel like it right now, trust me, I know, but it's not hopeless. Don't give up."

Elena grips my hand tighter as she chokes out, "It was Mikael." Stefan and Damon shut up and listen intently to Elena. This must be the first time she spoke since waking up in transition. I didn't realize we all 'came back to life', so to speak, at almost the same time. "He killed you guys, and then he made me drink his blood. Then he-he killed me." She starts to sob again, even harder than before.

I look over at Stefan in confusion, and he provides the answer I was looking for. "If she turns, and Mikael is killed Elena will die too."

I feel all the hope I had for Elena to still have a happy life sink down to the floor. Now that Elena isn't human, Klaus has no need for her; he won't help protect her from Mikael any longer. In fact, Klaus may even be so angry to hear that his father killed his Doppelganger he'll kill Mikael himself. If it isn't Klaus, it will be Rebekah, or Kol, or maybe even Elijah. For the rest of eternity Elena's life will be tied to Mikael's, and his future isn't looking too bright and sunny at the moment.

"Excellent deduction," A man's deep rumble comes from directly behind me, his foreboding tone sending shivers down my spine. I crane my neck to get a glimpse at him, but he is just out of my line of sight. Somehow, I still know the man is Mikael. "It is good to see some vampires have knowledge of their history."

Finally, Mikael steps forward and I can see him. He is wearing a black suit with a crisp white dress shirt underneath, which comes across much too formal for the monster it is concealing. His hair is short and light brown, his eyes a hazel color, his features hard and lined. His very presense is superior and overwhelming, much like Klaus at a first impression, only Mikael holds no smile in his face or eyes and Klaus loves to play the charmer.

The four of us have nothing to say to the evil step-father of Niklaus Mikaelson. Mikael doesn't point out our silence. He continues speaking as though there were no break in words, "I'm sure you are all curious to know what I have planned...yes?" Someone must have nodded. It wasn't me, but Mikael cracks a crooked, scary smile and says, "Yes, I thought so. I will tell you, but first I need Elena to complete her transition." He stares hard at Elena, "Now, are you ready to do that, sweetheart?"

Elena's lips form a straight line and she shakes her head back and forth a few times before she decides, "I'd rather die."

Sorry about the week-long break with this story. I've been working on it all week, but I didn't get a chance to finish it and edit until today. It also took a bit of a different direction on me, so thus the evil cliff-hanger. Thanks soo soo much to everyone following this story, and especially those who reviewed. You guys make me feel great about the story, and I really am glad you like it. Hope this chapter did not disappoint:)

NEXT CHAPTER - The question is: Will Elena turn? Will she choose to die naturally? I want to know what you think she should do! Let me know in your review. Also in the next chapter, Klaus comes back to Mystic Falls (for real this time, since I said that last chapter too), and a few rather shocking surprises occur...

I will have an update by this weekend for this chapter:) In the meantime, check out my other Steroline fic: The Only Exception

And take the poll on my profile if you have the chance. It's to help me decide on my next Steroline story. I'll be leaving the poll up until I finish this story, so be sure to check it out and vote for your fave idea(s).