This chapter is a special gift for Charrrmed on her belated birthday.

Thanks for reading everybody, and your reviews are much appreciated.

Don't Give Them What They Want

Tyler didn't even know what they were talking about. He also didn't know why he was here. Caroline had called and asked him to come, saying it was urgent. From the tenor of everyone's voices, it was certainly urgent to them, but Tyler didn't share the feeling. On the contrary, he wasn't even listening. Instead, he checked his phone periodically to see if Bonnie had answered his texts.

Strangely enough, she wasn't here. Everyone else was. In the Gilbert living room there was Caroline, Elena, Jeremy, Matt, Damon and Stefan. But no Bonnie, and she hadn't responded to his text asking about her absence. Why was he here suffering alone, and how had Bonnie managed to worm her way out of this particularly agonizing meeting?

Tyler made a mental list of all the things he could be doing right now. He could be doing homework, he could be not doing homework. He could be cleaning his house, he could be not cleaning his house. He could be with Bonnie.

Tyler slipped his inactive phone into his pocket and turned his gaze to the window where he could see the sun sprayed street that was just beginning to regain some of its usual coloring as the winter drew to a close. He counted the cars that drove past, all decent and sensible vehicles perfect for the nuclear family. There were five in addition to a kid on a bike who was in a real hurry to get somewhere.

As most of his days were going recently, it was Bonnie's name that turned Tyler back to the conversation being had around him.

"We need her," Stefan said from where he stood at the other end of the room. He said it in such a matter-of-fact tone that Tyler was instantly annoyed. He hated how everyone talked these days and now he wondered if this was how it had always been, if he'd once spoken this way. It must have been something like that, something where Tyler was complicit because he'd never been this irritated with the sounds of these people's voices before.

"No," Jeremy said. "Bonnie's out. That's what she wants."

Tyler looked at Jeremy curiously, cocking his head to the side as Tyler tried to remember if Bonnie had said anything about cutting herself off from these people who called themselves their friends. Had she told Tyler that she wasn't going to be doing this anymore? That she'd checked out of Mystic Falls and its revolving door of bullshit?

"Well," Damon said, "I want to have been done with this whole situation a month ago, but look where we are. Bonnie's gonna have to get over it."

Elena and Caroline exchanged looks. "Bonnie-" Caroline began.

"We'll ask," Elena said, "but we shouldn't assume she'll be up for it. We need another plan."

"We have a plan," Damon said. "Bonnie."

How did anyone listen to Damon Salvatore speak for any extended period of time without shoving a stake into his heart?

"That's not a plan," Tyler said, his voice dripping with venom and knowing even then that he was going to catch several concerned inquiries from Caroline when they were alone. Preemptively, he hated it.

"You have another suggestion, Lockwood?" Damon asked, moving to stand next to Elena as if claiming his spot at the head of the table, like having Elena's okay meant Tyler was going to fall in line.

Tyler didn't even know what they talking about (he figured some vague villainous figure who hadn't found reason to bother Tyler yet) so no, he didn't have any suggestions. Except one. "Leave Bonnie alone. She wants out, so she's out. No one should be asking her because you already know the fucking answer. If she doesn't want to help you, she's not gonna help you, and no one here is going make her."

The only person Tyler looked at as he left was Jeremy who seemed surprised at having been agreed with so strongly.

Tyler had gotten a ride with Caroline so it looked like he was going to be walking home. Or walking to wherever Bonnie was. He dialed her number and got her voicemail, mentally cursing his luck that today of all days Bonnie would find something else to occupy her time with.

"This is Bonnie," she said, her voice sounding surprisingly normal and lilting and happy. "Leave a message."

"It's me," he said, his pace even and steady across the pavement, putting the Gilbert house and everyone in it, behind him. "I've been looking for you, and you are nowhere to be found. I-"


Caroline was behind him. Caroline was always behind him, always calling his name and wanting answers. Tyler was tempted to keep walking, but that would just make Caroline come looking for him again later.

"I gotta go," Tyler said, ending the call and turning to face an approaching Caroline. She threw her hands out to her sides and raised her shoulders in the kind of expectant way he knew he was supposed to respond to, but he just stared at her instead. Until finally, he said, "What?"

"What?" Caroline said. "You took all our heads off with one clean bite back there. What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong," Tyler said. Besides the obvious.

"Then why are you being like this?"

"Like what?" Tyler asked.

He saw himself a year ago back when both of his parents were alive and he and Vicki were doing whatever it was they were doing. He remembered Matt being the only one who would put up with him, he remembered being a grade-A asshole, and he remembered that being easier than being anything else. The minute he changed, the minute he decided to be something else - someone better - his life went to shit. Maybe it wasn't anything special before (he knew for a fact it wasn't anything special before) but back then he hadn't cared.

"Like this," Caroline said. "Why did you do that back there?"

"Why didn't you?" Tyler said.

"That's not what I mean," Caroline said. "I mean why are you being so...This. You were practically asleep in there before you blew up."

"I didn't blow up," Tyler said. "You've seen me blow up, and you know that wasn't it. I just said what all of you should have been saying." He turned, and Caroline took hold of his wrist. Fighting the urge to shrug her off, Tyler turned back around.

"That's not what I mean," she repeated. ""I'm talking about you. You've been like this for awhile, and I'm worried because...I just am. I want to help you through all of this, but I can't unless you let me. So let me, Tyler. Please." When he didn't say anything, Caroline looked down at the pavement and shifted her weight. "I know it's been really hard for you, but I really do want to help. If you just tell me what you want me to do, I'll do it. No matter what it is. If you want to talk, if you don't want to talk, if you want out, too, we can do that. Whatever you need. "

"What if I need space?"

Caroline's eyes grew wide. She swallowed, and when she spoke, Tyler heard her attempt at hiding the tremor in her voice. "If you - I can...I guess we can try - Is that what you want? Do you want space?"

It was moments like this when he felt bad. He felt like he was back in his kitchen the night after he and Bonnie had met at the bar and Caroline was tackling the filth of his kitchen. Sometimes he remembered why he was with her in the first place. It was the wide-eyed sincerity and the desperation to help just rolling off of her in waves that knotted in his stomach and snarled angry, profane reminders that Tyler was a huge piece of shit.

"I want..." Tyler said, looking up to the pale blue of the afternoon sky and wondering. He wanted to give her an answer, a concrete one, because maybe that would help him not feel so terrible when she was around - when anyone was around these days, with the exception of Bonnie. If he could just figure out what it was he wanted from this stupid town, he could figure out a way to get it. "I want to wake up from this. This place is a nightmare. Everything in it is a nightmare, and I'm just tired of it."

Caroline looked at him sadly and reached forward to squeeze both of his hands. "It'll get better, Tyler. It will. It won't be like this forever." She planted a kiss on his lips and wrapped her arms around him, pressing her head to his chest and squeezing him as tight as she did when they'd first gotten together, like she thought he was going to slip through her arms and disappear through cracks in the floor.

He hugged her back because he remembered when that felt like the natural thing to do with Caroline, when all he wanted was to be around her, and now he felt like he was drowning in her, and this town, and everything about it.

In Tyler's hand, his cell phone beeped, and he turned his wrist just enough to see the screen and a text from Bonnie that read: I'm at your house.

Tyler convinced Caroline to go back with the others and assured her that he'd get home fine on his own. She was willing to that at least, maybe she thought their talk on the sidewalk had accomplished something. When he walked up the drive to his house, he saw Bonnie's car parked behind his where she perched on the hood.

"Missed me, huh?" she said as she hopped off the car to fall into step beside him to go to the door.

"A little," Tyler said, unlocking the door and waving her in ahead of him. "Where've you been?"

"College visit," Bonnie answered dropping her bag on The Table and heading for the living room. "Whitmore."

"Don't you already know everything there is to know about Whitmore?" Tyler asked as he followed her.

"Oh, but you can never know too much about Whitmore," Bonnie said dryly. "My dad insisted. How was the big, important meeting?"


Bonnie shrugged like she wasn't surprised and started unbuttoning her jeans, pushing them down her legs and kicking them off. Tyler followed suit. "Did anyone call you?" he asked as he pulled his shirt off over his head.

"Was someone supposed to call me?" Bonnie asked, reaching behind her back to unclasp her bra.

"They want you do some magic," Tyler said, "for something. I don't know, I wasn't paying much attention to the details. Me and Jeremy told them not to bother you, but Damon was very insistent so you'll probably get a call."

Bonnie made a short humming sound. "Okay," she said. She moved to slide off her underwear, but Tyler stopped her.

"Before we do this," he said, "I just...Don't do it."

"Don't do what?"

"Whatever they want you to do," he said. "Don't give them what they want. We give them everything they want."

Bonnie blinked up at him before a slow smile spread across her face. She leaned up to brush her lips gently against his. You keep trying to tell me what to do."

"Yeah, I know," he said, as Bonnie's hands touched his waist, sliding underneath the waistband of his boxers. Her lips were still barely touching his. "Sorry. Do what you want."

It wasn't like he could stop her. They could all do whatever they wanted. He was just so sick of doing what everyone else wanted.

Bonnie kissed the corner of his mouth as her hand wrapped around his dick. They both grinned. She kissed him again, and he felt his earlier annoyance leaving him, drifting off with every smack of Bonnie's mouth against his and every stroke of her tongue against his lips.

It was so easy to feel this way. He wanted to bottle this feeling and keep it with him always because he was certain he could be happier if this was what twenty-four hours could feel like.

Bonnie pulled away first. "I want to do you."

With a satisfied sigh, Bonnie climbed off of him and slumped on the couch, brushing her hair from her face. She leaned against the pillows, eyes closed and catching her breath, as Tyler got up to find a clean towel. When he returned, he dropped between her legs to wipe away the gooey mess he'd left there, smiling at the bright pinkness of her slit and the line of white liquid trailing out of her. He only looked away when he felt Bonnie's fingers trailing lazily through his hair.

"Do you want to go somewhere with me?" she asked. "Tonight?"

"Where?" he asked, resting his head against her thigh and cleaning her up with one hand.

"This girl told me about a party," Bonnie said. "At Whitmore."

"What girl?"

"I don't know. She's blond," she answered. "Do you want to go? Free alcohol."

"You mean bad alcohol," Tyler corrected.

"After a while we won't even notice."

Well, it wasn't like he was doing anything else. The only thing he could imagine himself doing tonight was Bonnie. So wherever she went, he did, too.

As far as college parties went, Tyler had been to better ones when he was a sophomore. It was packed, sure, but the music was bad and the drinks were, as predicted, terrible. But he compelled one of the hosts to tell him where they kept their good stuff and came back with real liquor for him and Bonnie to share.

Bonnie took a swig. "Are you having fun?" she asked, having to scream over the pounding music. He could hardly make out her face in the dark. All he could see for sure was the metallic shine of her miniskirt. She'd ditched her jeans from earlier in favor of it because it looked more festive.

"Sure," Tyler answered. "Are you having fun?"

"I will be soon!" she said, taking another drink. They tucked the vodka into a chest of drawers for safekeeping, and Bonnie pulled him onto the dancefloor.

Tyler was grateful that it was less dancing and more grinding because at least that he knew he could do. He and Bonnie didn't dare try to break into the packed inner circle of partygoers, though Tyler could have made quick work of the crowd. They stayed on the fringe, in one of the darker corners furthest away from the makeshift DJ booth where their eardrums were safest from exploding.

Bonnie threw her arms around his neck and put her lips to his ear. "Thanks for coming with me," she said. "I couldn't have come with anyone else," she added.

Tyler wondered if there was anything they could do with anyone in their little circle of friends anymore. Everything felt very far away, like it had happened years ago. It reminded him of when he thought of his middle school self, so different from who he was now, as if he existed in an alternate universe. But it had only been a year or so since then, less than that if he starting counting where he and Caroline became him and Caroline.

"I know," Tyler said. "You're the only person I like anymore."

Something flickered across Bonnie's face, an emotion he couldn't place, but it must have been a good one because she kissed him.

That's where it started. With the kissing. They weren't the only ones out there doing it. The whole floor was a collection of liplocked, drunken couples. Tyler wasn't even fully aware of it escalating until Bonnie's back touched the wall, and he pressed against her and kissing her even harder. He felt his cock harden and rocked against her so she'd feel it, too. She got the message because her hips rose to push against his.

Her lips were parted so he could make out the pink of her tongue, and he lifted his hand to run his thumb along her bottom lip. When her tongue flicked out across the pad of his thumb, his hips gave an involuntary jerk against hers, and he must have hit her clit because she let out a sudden moan that was drowned out only by the music blaring somewhere behind them.

They could fuck right here, and he wanted to. They were going to unless Bonnie stopped it. She'd have to because he was too far gone to think of anything else. The people behind them, the flaring lights, the pumping bass - none of it mattered. Nothing but Bonnie's body sliding against his, her head now buried in the crook of his neck and her short, hot breaths against his ear. The little sounds she made had been magnified times a thousand and rattled around in his brain like loose change in a mindless echo that just made him want her more.

Tyler felt feverish, like he was moving too quickly. He was desperate to be closer to her, to be inside her, to feel every bit of her body against his. Only hours ago he'd had that, the two of them crushed against his too-small sofa and not caring at all. It had only been hours. Maybe this was an addiction, an affliction, a curse. He didn't care what it was as long as it didn't go away.

Bonnie's leg shifted further to the side of him, and he put a hand under her thigh to hook her leg around him. He had better access that way, and the difference was instantaneous because Bonnie cursed, and he said into her ear, "You like that?"

He didn't even know if she could hear or understand him.

Feeling daring he took his hand from her waist and dropped it between her legs to stroke along the front of her soaked panties. Her back arched off the wall, and he kissed her as he slid a finger beneath the waistband of her panties to circle her clit. He crowded her as close as he could to block her from anyone else's view and he saw her face, occasionally lit up the light. She bit down on her bottom lip, and her eyes were squeezed shut. Her hips moved with his strokes as he ground himself against her thigh, just relishing in the friction. It took every bit of sense he could find not to pull his cock out right there.

He came in his pants with his fingers still in Bonnie's underwear and covered in her juices. He untangled his fingers to bring them to his mouth, and he sucked them clean. Bonnie watched him with hooded eyes, and her tongue darted quickly along her bottom lip as she straightened up against the wall, on two feet again.

Tyler adjusted her skirt, pushing the front of it back down to cover her panties. When he looked over his shoulder, he found the entire room to be completely oblivious to them, everyone too wrapped up in their own partners or their drinks to pay much attention to the couple none of them knew who'd stolen away to a dark corner to get each other off.

"I don't think anyone saw," Tyler said, more to reassure Bonnie than himself. "We're fine. I mean I kinda look like I wet myself, but I doubt anyone here's gonna notice."

Bonnie's moving hand danced in and out and view as the flights flickered, and he wasn't sure of its destination until her palm was pressed against the front of his jeans, exploring the damp spot there. His cock was still sensitive enough to give an extra-appreciative twitch.

"Bonnie-" he said. If she was looking for an encore, there was no way he was going to be able to not be inside her this time.

She silenced him with a kiss.

By the time she pulled away, he was hard all over again. She slipped her arms around his neck and pulled him close, putting her lips to his ear. "We need to be alone."

Alone turned out to be an empty bedroom upstairs that smelled faintly of weed, where the music made the walls tremble, and it wasn't neat, but it wasn't a mess either. Tyler had just closed the door when Bonnie's hands started undoing his belt then unbuttoning his jeans, then shoving them down his legs and taking his boxers with them so she could drop to her knees and take his already come-covered cock into her mouth.

Tyler stared down at her, watching her lips moving up and down his shaft. He remembered the first time she'd sucked him off, how surreal it had been, how hot she'd looked. She looked hot now, too. Tyler touched her cheek, able to feel the movement of his cock in her mouth. He had to swallow down a curse. "You look so beautiful," he said, his voice thick.

Bonnie looked up at him as she slowly drew back, fisting his cock a couple more times before she straightened up. She smiled as she shrugged out of her jacket, and Tyler watched as she took off the rest of her clothes and left them in a pile on the floor.

There was a dresser up against the opposite wall with a large mirror mounted on the back. Bonnie approached it and bent over, holding the edges of the dresser with both hands. When she met Tyler's gaze in the mirror, her earlier smile returned, bigger than before.

Tyler kissed her shoulder before lining up behind her, holding his cock at the base to slide into her. She was incredibly slick and incredibly warm, and he couldn't quiet the hiss that left his mouth as he slid into her. Balls deep on the first stroke, and Tyler watched her lick her lips and close her eyes in the mirror. He dropped a series of open-mouthed kisses on her back, letting his tongue follow the trail of her spine and extended another hand around her to stimulate her clit with his fingers.

"Open your eyes, Bonnie," he whispered. "Look at us."

It wasn't the best visual from this angle, but it was there, the reflection of his cock disappearing inside her with long, measured strokes.

"Me and you, Bon," he said. "Me in you."

Bonnie sucked in a shaky breath and turned her head toward him for a sloppy kiss, only breaking it when Tyler stroked particularly deep, and she cried out, pushing back against him.

"Again," she whispered against his lips, and he obliged. The mirror shook with every thrust.

Bonnie was easy this time around and came relatively quickly, but Tyler was still stiff so she knelt down in front of him again to suck him again. She was circling the head with her tongue when he started to come, and some of it spurted to land on the corner of her mouth before she could close her lips around his cock.

Having swallowed most of it down, she looked up at him. "Still beautiful?" she said, half-mocking, half-something else.

Tyler wiped away the small, milky spot with his thumb and pressed it to her lips. She sucked his finger into her mouth, and Tyler grinned. Sometimes he wondered how he and Bonnie hadn't done this sooner. How'd he slept on the sexual perfection that was Bonnie Bennett for this long, he didn't know.

"Definitely," he said.

They kissed most of the way home.

If the cab driver was annoyed, he didn't say so, and Tyler made a mental note to leave him a good tip. Bonnie got dropped off first, and she untangled her fingers from where they were twined with Tyler's in his lap to get out.

"Hey, wait," Tyler called, sliding across the seat to the open door.

Bonnie turned and lifted her eyebrows expectantly.

"What are you gonna tell your dad?"

Bonnie shrugged. "I'll just tell him I was with Elena. He probably won't question it. He'll just think I'm rebelling or something. He'll probably he glad it's the usual stuff - drinking, sex and drugs. Opposed to the other stuff."

Yeah, drinking, sex and drugs would make him feel better than vampires.

"You've never had a rebellious stage," Tyler said. The only Bonnie he remembered was a sweet one who was always plenty nice to Tyler even when he was being a dick. Maybe "nice" wasn't the word. "Tolerant" was better.

No one had ever worried about Bonnie Bennett or lamented the road she was traveling down. She was a beacon of decency and met expectations.

"Nope," she confirmed. "This is it," she added. She glanced over her shoulder, and he knew she was looking for any onlookers, before she leaned down to kiss him. "Goodnight."

"Goodnight," Tyler echoed.

Bonnie closed the door, and Tyler waited until she was in the house before he told the driver it was okay to drive him home.