First of all, I'd like to deal with this issue about a review. I read through the reviews and found one that "I" posted, in which "I" was rude towards one of my readers called dhh. I also received a rather interesting PM from said user and I would like to come out in the open and clear up this misunderstanding. This account belongs to me and my friend, so we both have access to it. Now, my friend hasn't read Fix the Broken at all and she did it for the first time 2 weeks ago, I think. Anyway, she read the reviews of course, and she read all the lovely reviews and PMs from dhh. Unlike me, she doesn't overlook things and so she posted the review. I repeat, my friend posted the review.
Now dhh, I thought you would be a lot smarter than what you prove to be. Your PM should've stopped with the very first sentence that went like this: "Why the heck would YOU review your OWN story just to 'TRY' to bully*LOL* me or whatever.." Exactly honey, why the hell would I review my own story and call you rude things? Don't you think that it would be much more effective that I review anonymously and call you everything I could want? That would most definitely prevent me from looking "weak" and "pathetic".
Also, as you can see in the review, why would I ask MYSELF to update sooner? You'd think, considering this is MY story and I'M the one publishing every chapter, that I wouldn't need to ask myself to update sooner because I know when I'm probably going to update the next chapter... If you had just used your brain and actually read the first sentence of the review, you would understand that I wouldn't praise my own story and ask myself to update in a review PUBLISHED BY MYSELF. You do know that when a user is posting a review, the button says "review as" followed by the username. Don't you think I would stop, that I would NOT post the review as myself, out in the open, for everyone to see?
You're right where you say that I should've been mature about it, and I am being mature about it by telling you (though I shouldn't have to considering everything in the review clearly states that I wasn't the one posting it) that I didn't post that review and that I didn't call you rude things. I could've sent you this as a PM, but I wanted my other readers to know that I'm not as "lame, weak, pathetic and immature" as you hoped I would be. It's a shame that you won't be reading this story anymore, but to be honest, it's a win-win situation for us both. You don't have to read this "bad" and "flawed" story anymore, and I don't have to keep reading your bullying messages, because that's what they are at this point. Constructive criticism ended a long time ago when you started calling me a bad writer and this story a pathetic and poor attempt at writing.
No one on this website is a professional writer, my dear. We are all doing this purely for the sake of entertainment and if you can't accept my "poor attempt at writing", then you're better off some place else on fanfiction. I have the review reported and will have it removed, because I don't want new readers to follow your lead and jump to conclusions without any explanation. Thank you for being such a loyal reader all this time and I hope you the best of luck while reading and reviewing other stories on this website.
To the rest of my lovely readers, thank you for the reviews! I understand many of you want Caroline to be stronger, to be able to fend for herself, but that's exactly why I had to keep her so codependent. She needed a wakeup call and I think she got a pretty good one in the last chapter because this is where Caroline starts protecting herself. I'm just glad you guys had the patience to review like a normal person rather than full out calling me and this story bad and whatnot.
This chapter is 3.4k, longer than anything I've ever written before and that's because I have loads of exams coming up so I won't be having any time to update soon. I hope you enjoy the chapter and so sorry for this long rant, I just wanted to clear the misunderstandings.
Caroline slowly came to, groggily opening her eyes, the light blinding her. Her head felt heavy, her body too drousy to even twitch where she lay. Where exactly was she laid out, anyway? One quick look around the room had her realize she was in Stefan's bedroom. Stefan was nowhere to be seen, however. Caroline huffed, annoyed. It wouldn't hurt anybody if he'd atleast stayed with her for a little while considering she had been his brother's chewtoy.
Caroline felt an ugly emotion settle on her chest as she thought of how everything turned out to be exactly what she'd feared. She hadn't wanted to attend the party because she'd been afraid of things leading up to Damon rounding in on her and draining her, just like last time. She was supposed to make things go different and yet, exactly the same things had happened once again.
Except for one thing though. Caroline slowly turned her head to the side, watching the sunlight stream through the open windows as a small smile lit her face. Stefan had come for her last night, he'd saved her from Damon. She realized it was his voice she'd heard right before she'd passed out. Stefan had heard her after all, and he'd brought her here, instead of just letting her wake up all bloody and messed up in the Lockwood's garden. So something had been better this time. That had to count as an improvement, right?
Yet, that small cloud of dread didn't disappear. Her mind refused to be at peace with things as bits and bits from the party started flashing before her eyes. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing her mind to cooperate, refusing to remember even a single scene from last night. But when had her mind really listened to her? She saw it all come back to her; coming to the party with her mom, seeing Damon, dancing with Stefan before joining the Mayor for a toast, needing some fresh air after watching Elena kiss Stefan and- and...
Suddenly, one particular moment seemed to replay right before her eyes; Stefan, handing her a drink, seemingly troubled about something, asking whether she trusted him or not. Instantly, memories from the first time she'd attended the Founder's Party came back as well as she realized exactly what had happened, as everything fell into place.
Her chest contracted painfully as she realized Stefan had spiked her drink with vervain. He'd used her as bait, he'd put her out in the open for Damon to snack on. Just like the first time, Stefan had once again used Caroline, disregarding her as collateral damage. Sure, he'd come for her eventually, he hadn't left her lying on the cold grass. But that didn't change the fact that he'd used her. He'd saved her, yes, but only after he'd put her life in danger.
Her eyes welled up as she realized she still meant nothing to him. Stefan would never have put Elena's life in a situation like that, never. Yet, Caroline could be the collateral damage, as always. She angrily wiped at her tears, refusing to shed them for someone who barely considered her as a friend. She wanted so much, so hard, to believe that Stefan was truly happy to be her friend, that he really wanted to be with her. She never even thought of it all being an act, of him using her just to get Damon. He'd been so convincing and he'd known exactly how to win Caroline over. She'd thought she knew him, that she would recognize a lie coming from Stefan any day because of how close they were and yet ...
A bitter laugh left her mouth as she dried up her cheeks before taking gulps of air to calm herself down. This wasn't how she was supposed to act. She'd dealt with rejection and betrayal like this countless times, one would think she'd be used to it by now. She was stronger than this, better than this. She wouldn't let him get to her. He'd pretended to be her friend, everything he'd done had been an act. He'd fooled her like she'd never been fooled before, and it really hurt, really, really, hurt. So maybe she should return the favour.
She'd realized by then that the only reason Stefan could have for keeping Caroline in his room, was the fact that he wanted to compel her to forget whatever she'd encountered. She would be stupid to think he'd done it because he cared about her, she wouldn't even go down that road. But she couldn't let him compel her to forget about vampires, now, could she? That would make her forget everything and anything that she knew of the future as well.
That's where her acting came in. She decided she would pretend as though she didn't remember anything from the moment she stepped out into the garden. She would just have to be as oblivious to everything as possible, showing absolutely no signs of anything traumatic at all. That was something she'd perfected over the years so she knew Stefan would buy her act. Atleast, she hoped he would. Having her memory modified wasn't something she was particularly fond of at the moment, especially not now that she knew Stefan was done with her and would throw her out like yesterday's leftovers.
A pressure in her throat and the stinging of her eyes told her she was about to cry again and that was enough for her to start moving her muscles and sit upright. She wouldn't cry, not anymore. She wasn't helpless, for god's sake! She was Caroline Forbes, she would be damned if she sat and cried over a boy who already had a girlfriend! That was way below her, especially now. She knew she would have trouble coming to terms with the fact that Stefan had betrayed her just like that, but she would do it eventually. He'd used her and that was not something she could let slide, something she could just forgive and forget.
But he had been very upset about it, a decisive voice spoke inside her. Come to think of it, he had been very quiet and he'd sounded put off. He'd kept asking her whether she trusted him and when Elena had pulled him to the side, he'd looked so upset. Caroline realized now that Elena, her so called bestfriend, had been reassuring Stefan of Caroline being the perfect collateral damage. Atleast Stefan had the decency to look as though he'd regretted his decision, but Elena had actually persuaded him to follow thorugh with the plan.
Caroline closed her eyes shut, shaking her head. No, she was not going to think of Stefan being the good guy in this scenario. He'd followed the plan, he'd used her as bait and Caroline had ended up with her throat slashed. Whether it had been Elena's plan or Stefan's, the plan had worked and that was it. They were both at fault, they were both deserving of her resentment and she would keep it that way. She wasn't going to forgive either of them just like that.
Caroline realized the more she stayed in that bed, the more upset she grew and the stronger a headache she got. She slowly slid her legs off the bed before getting up and padding over to the windows to get a little air. The weather was beautiful, a startling contrast as to how Caroline was feeling inside, but she wouldn't think of it. She turned around, noticing for the first time that she wasn't wearing the blouse she'd been wearing last night, but stood there instead in a tank top that didn't belong to her.
Might as well, Caroline thought as she ran a hand through her hair. Her blouse probably had bloodstains all over and that would be hard to look past in her act of memory loss when Stefan would come to question her.
"Caroline," Stefan announced, suddenly walking through the door, earning a small shriek from Caroline. Speak of the devil and he shall arrive, Caroline thought as she took a deep breath to calm down. "Sorry, sorry," Stefan piped as he walked up to her, his arm reaching out to hold hers. He looked just the same, that same old smile, those warm eyes, the gentle touch. How could all this be an act? Caroline could cry at the thought of what Stefan truly must be thinking about her inside right that moment, but she was stronger.
She slowly brought her hand up to place it over his on her arm, hesitation clear in her actions as she slowly slid his hand off her. "No problem, I was just startled," Caroline said, her voice slightly thick as she took a step around Stefan, the look of hurt on his face not going missed by her. "So-so how are you feeling?" Stefan asked as Caroline sat down on the bed, him taking a place beside her. "I'm fine, I-I just-" Caroline felt her facade dropping as she looked at him, seeing the soft look on his face. She could almost cry because it would be so easy for her to look past whatever he'd done, to forget everything.
But where would that lead her? Everyone thinking she could be used and abused just like they wanted to, because she would always forgive them, that's where! Was that something she wanted? Nope.
She took a deep breath before looking him full in the face, wanting him to realize, some time in the distant future, that he wasn't the only one who could look people in the eye and lie through his teeth. "I'm a little hungover, I guess, and my head hurts like hell," Caroline babbled, watching him suddenly look confused. "I know for sure that I didn't drink that much because my mom was there and there was no real booze so exactly how can I be hungover? And I have this sore spot on the back of my head, which is throbbing like a bitch and I have no idea how that came to be. I don't think I was in a fight or anything, but then again, anything is possible to have happened because, Stefan, really, I have no idea what happened last night."
She looked at him expectantly, pleased to see that he looked slightly speechless. She could practically hear the buzzing in his head right now, knowing he was trying to make sense of whatever she had just rambled on about. "So, you're saying you don't remember anything from last night?" Stefan questioned and Caroline almost said "duh". "Yeah," Caroline replied, looking away when Stefan just stared at her. "Care, what do you remember?" Stefan asked as Caroline looked back at him. "Well, I remember coming to the party with my mom," Caroline started, inwardly flinching at the nickname. "Then I met up with some people and then I- I think I met you," Caroline said, posing it as a question rather than a statement.
She saw Stefan's eyebrows furrow, his brooding look on-track. "What do you mean you think you met me? Don't you remember it for sure?" Stefan asked worriedly. "Well, it's all a bit hazy so I can't be sure, no," Caroline replied, not even batting an eyelash by the lies that were coming out of her mouth. If Stefan could do it with no remorse whatsoever, so could she. "Anyway, I think I met you and-and we danced, right?" Caroline wondered, loving the way Stefan seemed to get more and more confused by the second. "We did, actually, yeah," Stefan replied, nodding for her to continue. "Well, after that I-I was with- I was with Matt?" she said, once again asking rather than stating.
Stefan's eyes widened slightly before he gave her a worried look. "Care, Matt wasn't at the party," Stefan said and Caroline forced herself to look shocked. "He wasn't?" she asked, receiving a nod from Stefan. "Well, I know I went out to get some fresh air," Caroline continued, noticing how Stefan's face took a look of anticipation, probably waiting for her to remember Damon now. Caroline had other plans though. "I remember that spesifically because I was worried for my shoes. The grass was wet and I had on white, it would get all gross and green and- oh my god!" Caroline exclaimed. Stefan almost jumped, his eyes wide. Caroline felt a little guilty for almost laughing because she knew what Stefan thought Caroline was about to say and she could already see the look of confusion Stefan's face would take in a matter of seconds.
"What, what do you remember?" Stefan urged as Caroline gave him a look of understanding. "I must've slipped!" Caroline announced and sure enough, Stefan's face was exactly what Caroline pictured. "What?" he asked incredulously. "The grass was all wet and slippery and I must've fallen and hit my head. Why else would I have this goddamn headache and not remember anything?" Caroline asked dully. "Are you sure?" Stefan questioned, as though waiting for some last bit of confirmation. "Of, course! Why else would I not remember anything? Isn't that where you found me, in the garden?" Caroline wondered. "Yeah, yeah, it is," Stefan answered.
"Well, there you have it," Caroline said as she stood up. "But Care, is that really all you remember?" Stefan asked, quickly getting up after her. "Yeah, I've tried to remember more, but it only hurts my head so I'm not gonna try it anymore," Caroline explained, feeling somewhat uneasy by how easily she kept lying to him. But then again, he'd been feeding her lies for so long so she could do the same. "Wait, why? Oh god, I didn't do something, did I?" Caroline asked, voice slightly laced with fear. Stefan gave her a long look before shaking his head. "No, no, nothing to worry about," he smiled and Caroline was thankful for realizing he'd bought her act rather than focusing on his smile.
"Well, if you don't mind, I'd like to get home now," Caroline said as she looked around. "I don't think my mom will be very pleased and I don't want to make things worse," Caroline continued, feeling uncomfortable by the way Stefan seemed to just gaze at her. "Oh, don't worry about that. Elena told her you were sleeping over," Stefan revealed and Caroline was actually relieved by that, not wanting to answer all her mother's questions the second she walked in her door. "Thank god, that'll spare me so many questions," Caroline sighed as they started towards the door. "And thank you, Stefan," Caroline smiled as they started down the stairs. "For what?" Stefan asked, smiling himself.
"For not leaving me to wake up by myself on that icy grass," Caroline answered, genuinly thanking him for that particular action. Stefan stopped as they reached the bottom of the stairs, taking her hand in his. "Always," he grinned, placing a kiss on her knuckles. Caroline forced a smile, biting back the tears that threatened to fill her eyes. She was spared her uncomfort by Elena, who seemed to pop out of nowhere. "Stefan," she called as she walked up to them, her eyes narrowing in on Stefan holding Caroline's hand. "And Caroline, hi," Elena stated, though somewhat bitterly. "How are you feeling?" she asked, her tone suspicious.
Caroline offered her a bubbly smile, faker than Elena's friendship. "All good, except for that stupid headache. That fall must've been pretty nasty if it still hurts," Caroline replied, her tone cheery. "Oh, oh yeah, you were totally knocked out by that fall," Elena agreed, making Caroline bite her lip for not laughing considering Elena had no clue what she was talking about. She probably thought Stefan had compelled Caroline, but she had a surprise coming. "Anyway, I was just about to ask Stefan if he could give me a ride home. Mom's probably a little worried," Caroline smiled, looking at Stefan.
"Yeah, of course," Stefan quickly stated, starting to walk with her. "Wait, Stefan, you-you did do it, right?" Elena asked suddenly, grabbing a hold of Stefan's arm. Caroline wanted to ask, wanted to interfere and right out ask Elena exactly what she was referring to. But she knew better. "I'm gonna go ahead and grab my shoes," Caroline called, not stopping to look at them. She knew they would have a rather heated conversation right about now, where Elena would yell at Stefan for not compelling Caroline and Stefan would say she doesn't remember anything and that he isn't strong enough to compel her yet so why bother.
Caroline had better things to do with her time.
She walked out of the house, feeling goosebumps rise on her arms. It wasn't even cold, but she was only wearing a tank top and there was a slight breeze. The crisp air greeted her as she took a deep breath, looking around herself. She was literally crying on the insides, actually crying, because she had never been one to simply push down her pain. She felt betrayed, hurt, angry, hopeless and so much more. Her body was shaking and though she wanted to blame it on her being cold, she knew better. Overwhelming feelings of sadness crept up her spine, filled every cell in her body, made her realize just how hurt she really was.
Come on, Caroline, you can't be serious, she thought to herself, puffing out a breath. Was she seriously going to just pity herself, wallow in self-loathing because she had been, once again, the collateral damage? Hadn't she learned from her past, or her future actually, that pitying herself would get her nowhere, that being sad and shutting out her emotions would lead to her drifting off the edge of her sanity bridge?
No, she was better than this. She wasn't this person, she wasn't poor, weak little Caroline Forbes. If anything, she was stronger than ever. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right? She would come out of this heartbreak as a much stronger person, she would get over all of this, just like always. She was brave, braver than a lot of people she knew. She took a deep breath before smiling, feeling the emotional wreck inside her subside, ease down. She could do this, she could get through this.
Something warm and heavy landed on her shoulders all of a sudden, and hadn't she been so relaxed, she would probably have jumped. "Ready?" Stefan asked, his face far too close for liking as his arm stayed draped over her shoulder, keeping the leather jacket on place. Caroline nodded, grabbing a hold of the jacket herself so Stefan would let go. "Let's go then," Stefan said as they made their way towards the car.
Caroline wished he hadn't done what he'd done, now more than anything. She never thought Stefan could be this fake, that he could pretend to care about her by these small acts of kindness. She wished he hadn't betrayed her trust like that, that he didn't pretend like nothing had happened, that he didn't continue being sweet and gentle. But as long as her memory wasn't tampered with, she was okay. She would get over it, eventually. If any good had come out of these new horrible discoveries about Stefan, it was the fact that she knew she was being used. Atleast now, she knew what he really was like inside.
Atleast now, she knew she had to look out for herself.
There's our Caroline! And don't worry, Stefan isn't a bad guy. But Caroline thinks so, and she isn't going to let go of that perception any time soon. Hope you liked the chapter and do leave me review of your thoughts!