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Self Inflicted Wounds

SkySamuelle

Summary:




Sequel to Sacred Geometry, it takes place during the summer in between Chapter 24 and the Epilogue. Two Couples, two sets of scars. Bonnie/Damon,  Katherine/Klaus


***

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."

Thomas Merton

***

1

“What are you doing here again?”

Bonnie asks, already on the edge and geared for a fight. Honestly, she had thought they were over this … stage, if you want to call it like that. Naïve on her part, most certainly. People don’t change, not really, not that fast.

She should have known better, but damn, she hates that inescapable feeling of disappointment in her heart, the way it makes all of her to ache, proving that yes, she can’t hide from herself that she already cares too much.

Damon is stretched on her couch, drunk, bottle of scotch in hand. In a fully despondent mood too.

I should have shut the door on him the moment I smelled the alcohol on his breath. I had a bad feeling.

Just the glint in eyes had told her he was in one of those peculiar fits of his, needy for affection but goading for a fight at the merest hint he could receive anything but reproach.

She should have sent him on his way. Or she should have armed herself with patience and complacency.

Play Elena for a bit?

But that’s not her way. And now all his turning and twisting from affectionate to aggressive on a dime just gives her an headache and makes her equally irritable.

“The Boarding House is too full for me, my secondary misanthropic personality and all those other vampires. Pearl thinks she can boss me around, Harper broods harder than Stefan and does anything but watching everyone else in silence, which is fucking creepy if you ask me. Jeremy and Ben are all about ripping into each other for Anna’s favor, all the time, and we can’t seem to put a definitive stop at that. It’s a fucking invasion!To top that, whenever Elena is around, which is often, she does that lamia thing of hers that just … douses the air with calm and soothing … rosiness . I swear, it is like we are all high… everything around starts looking lovely and rainbows and sunshine. Can you believe Stefan is content with that? He thinks it keeps our guests subdued. ”

Bonnie rolls her eyes even if, in the end, she can get why Damon would be disturbed by that. As a witch, Elena’s power does not affect her that much and even when it does, she can usually still know it is happening and shutting it out with decent mental shielding. Vampires have not her advantage, and Elena’s presence seems to specifically … draw the human out of them, whereas on regular humans tends to have a more erotic effect .They tested that. Bonnie can’t say she was not relieved at the discovery. For more than one reason.

“You are just pissed that your crush on her was not what you thought it was.”

Low blow. They don’t really talk about Elena or Katherine, not since they agreed to give their relationship a public shot.

A fact that had sent Caroline in a flood of perfectly justified rage.

I am dating a man that physically and mentally abused her. I feel like apologizing every time I look at her.

“My house is not even really my house anymore! – Damon nearly screeches, before going and taking another long, hard swing of liqueur. --But you know what? That’s nothing! What I really am pissed off about is that everyone is acting like it is just fine and dandy that Katherine left untouched, after all she has done to every single member of our group. Not one of us wants to go after her and … destroy her. It was our goal but nooo, now big bad Klaus is coming to town so screw that. Screw all the months we spent protecting ourselves from her, laying low like fucking bunnies as she ripped us apart and won time after time. Suddenly nobody cares about that. Klaus is the most important thing now and we are again laying low and waiting. I didn’t sign up for this! This is why I hate small towns! ”

What does living in small towns has to do with the rest?

She doesn’t ask, because it does seem awfully silly to seek to get in a normal discussion with a drunk.

“Just how many bottles it takes to get a vampire this smashed?”

She is a bit curious about it.

“ It is a secret.”

He pouts, bats his eyelashes at her, and makes a strange crossing gesture moving his fingertips over his lips. For a moment he is entirely too endearing for his own good.

“If not for my lovely witch girlfriend, whose safety I prize above all the rest, I would take my car and fly after her, wouldn’t stop until I tracked and killed her.”

He sounds like he resents her for it, and he looks at her almost with reproach.

We are back to square one.

He has been like this all the night long. Nearly up normal human contact one moment, verging on mean as the hell when he most liked it.

“I am not stopping you.”

“I am not leaving you alone in this mess, no matter how I want to, at times. ”

“I would thank you for not being a bastard over it, but frankly… a total bastard is exactly what you are being tonight.”

“It comes easily to the likes of me, did you not know? I thought Caroline was singing it in your ears at night, at least until she decided I had ruined you enough and you were not worthy of her time anymore…”

“Caroline and I will patch things up, eventually.”

As soon as she finds the appropriate words to explain this mess without exposing their lovely supernatural masquerade.

“Sure. As soon as you dump me. She will come running like the sweet little pet she truly is at heart-”

Instead of one aneurysm, she sends two. It’s a reflex.

Her boyfriend curls on himself and howls with pain. His beloved bottle smashes against her carpet.

This is not how a healthy relationship looks like.

She breathes through the heavy haze of her rage, and fights to create some distance between her and the horrid words he just said.

“Don’t ever talk about Caroline like that, ever again, I don’t care what aganst you are rolling in! She is a wonderful friend and a wonderful, loving person, and you don’t get to make light of her or of how you- ”

She stops abruptly, words dying in her mouth as her brain catches up with what she is seeing: Damon keeps rubbing his closed eyes … both of them are bleeding. Profusely.

“I am sorry. I exaggerated.”

He says flatly, voice roughened by the receding pain.

I hit on both the ophthalmic arteries. I am an horrible person and the worst girlfriend on the planet.

“God, your poor eyes.”

Panic creeps in, gets her hands unsteady as she touches the side of his face, softly, turning it to see better the damage she has done. The ease with the which he lets her, even leaning into her touch a bit, just makes her to feel worse.

“I am sorry, I am so sorry.” His blood is on her hands, and she shaking as she tried hard to recall any and every healing spell she knows.

She is the worst, an abusive girlfriend of all things, and she has hurt him, no matter what he said, and she used her powers to shut him up without seeing how wrong it was until now. Her mind is a blank and she can’t stop apologizing.

“I am so, so, sorry. It will never, ever happen again. I am-”

“It’s fine-”

“It’s so not, I am the most horrible-”

“I am the vampire here, witchy!”

She is crying, and he is actually reaching blindly to grab her, hold her, to comfort her. Bonnie is so ashamed she can’t breathe. This not the way her powers should be used, and she never believed herself in danger to abuse them, or to use them to hurt the people she loves, until this very instant.

She has never been afraid of herself, or of her powers, until now.

It’s a terrible, sobering sensation, that she hurt Damon like this, without meaning or realizing until it was too late, without having the time to process what she was doing until it was done. It flows right into an urgent feeling that she has to find some manner to make this to never happen again.

The healing spells she knows come back to her and she is reaching to mend what she broke nearly instinctively, with fingertips that trace his bloodstained eyelids and sunlight that pours from her skin to his wounded flesh.

She looks down on those tiny, tiny beams of light that weave translucent cowebs over his face, seeping inside to seek and find the broken blood vessels, she feels their mending in every part of her body as it happens –cells that were brutally tore apart knit together again and his pain becomes hers to absorb.

Her magic laps it up eagerly, nearly but not quite erasing her shame. The witch in her is satisfied, the girlfriend is still frozen in silent horror.

All while Damon is still giving himself over to her ministrations, his visage leaning into her touch, her magic,   still so trusting despite what she just did.

I might become a monster and he would let me. Worse, he would follow me right down in the rabbit hole.

A terrible sort of responsibility and yet…. her shoulders straighten under its weight, and she can feel something deep in her soul shifting to accommodate it.

She won’t let herself to become that kind of person.

---

She apologizes a lot that night, and with every time she does she feels a lot more alike to those men who beat their wives in tv reportages. Truly, Bonnie feels like the worst person on the planet.

Damon gets tired of her babbling promises , fast, and reverts to a mix of strained aggression and uncertainty. They scoff at each other until she cries despite of her determination to not, and then it is his turn to babble apologies that never end and reach out to hold her. They end up nestling in each other arms until the dawn, soft caresses and soft tones settling still raw nerves and soothing bruised hearts, kisses mingling with promises and tenderness.

They forget why they were at odds until she remembers to ask.

“Are you really so wound-up about not getting to kill Katherine? ”

It’s a rhetorical question, of course, but it’s an opening good as any if he wants to talk about it, civilly.

Damon rolls his eyes, then presses his cheek in the crook of her neck, looking straight ahead with singular focus before answering.

“I goddamn lived for that woman, Bonnie. For almost two centuries, she was everything I thought, everything I breathed for … I worshipped her like a goddess and I loved her as a woman. When she was gone, I was so desperate to keep some part of her alive in me that I molded my vampire self and lifestyle after hers. She was in my head and in my heart every second of every day since the moment I believed her to be buried alive and forcefully parted from me. When I was not grieving and missing her, I was busy punishing Stefan and the rest of the world for her absence, her suffering. I was … outraged that the life dared to go on for everyone else when for her, my oh so special lady, everything had stopped. She truly was everything to me, in a very literal way. What was I to her? Even then I didn’t assume she felt the same for me. I blamed Stefan because she favored him. I thought, if I could prove I could love her so much better than my perfect brother, nothing would stand in our way. She would have loved me like I loved her. But Stefan was never the problem at all. She just didn’t love me … she just felt what amounted to less than nothing for me. I was meat. A fucktoy. A passing amusement. One in a long series of- ”

“Damon-”

“Can you imagine it, Bon? Really imagine it? To build your whole being around your affection for someone, and to be so certain it is significant and utterly right for years, to never suspect otherwise until you turn around and realize it was all nothing, all you lived for, raged for, suffered for, for most of your adult existence? ”

It kills her, that now he does not even sound sad about it. He just sounds … empty.

“It was not for nothing. It was for you. It made the man you are now. You-”

“It was for nothing, Bonnie. I made myself a complete fool over someone who had not even the capacity to love me, maybe, and I didn’t fuckin’ notice. I dress it up nicely in my head now by pet-calling Kat a slut and a frigid, unfeeling bitch but I liked those things right fine before. I adored her for being promiscuous, devious and cruel. It excited me. The more perverse she proved to be, the more I was happy to accept her the way she was. I was just so stupid to think what we had was so pure, it couldn’t possibly to turn against me. I thought it was all proof – she wanted for me to see her, how she really was. Unlike Stefan, I got the whole package and I could deal with it. It had to mean we had something true, special, unique. I just had to show it to her, and then we could live happily even after in a remorse-less sea of sex, adventure and gore. That was the fairytale I had painted in my head, and I utterly believed in it. Katherine probably laughed at me all the time.”

There is nothing in that monologue Bonnie can exactly deny with good reason, unfortunately, and she has to repress the instinct to try and make excuses for … him? Katherine and the love-story that never was?

Her arms instinctively reach to shelter him against a past he can’t change anyway. Perhaps she should judge him for the lengths he went to in pursuit of just one woman, but, even if she can’t say she gets his being so fascinated with Katherine that he would forsake both his humanity and his family for her … his capacity to love so wholly, beyond right and wrong, is something she respects too much to speak against it.

“I am sorry this happened to you, Damon, but honestly I don’t know if there’s anything in the world you can do to Katherine that will really make you to feel like you evened out the score. Killing her won’t … erase anything that happened in those years, or the fact you once loved her or how cheated you feel of the time you lost… ”

Here, she feels almost guilty to be saying this, but again, as his friend first and foremost, she feels she should be pointing it out. Whatever happened, it happened and there’s no going back … she is afraid that if he channels all of the hurt he is feeling now into vengeance, the wound will only get deeper.

Damon scoffs into her neck, utterly unconvinced. “Maybe, but it will give me back some respect for myself.”

Her fingers tread through his hair, weaving patterns into a caress, almost an apology for the retribution she can aid him with. Regardless of what she is set on convincing him of, for his sake, something in her also bristles at the idea of Katherine getting away with everything she has done utterly unscathed. There’s no denying the injustice of it, but focusing on it now won’t help anyone.

“Will it?”

“I need something Bonnie.”

“Closure.”

“Yeah.”

He is entitled to that, but it is just one thing she can’t help him with.

Elena might. With her approval and friendship and compassion. A perfect anti-Katherine to validate all the pain and the time wasted over the real thing.

The thought paints a fierce scowl over her face, but she silences the doubt, the answering fears, as they rise in her mind. She can’t think of that now, not when their relationship is so fresh and new and so promising. It’s too soon to add unnecessary drama and insecurities to the mix.

“I deserve a win.” Damon goes on, nibbling on her neck, and she smiles, genuine and bright.

“Well, you know what they say … the best revenge is living well. In the end, who wins is who is the most happy.”

She kisses the tip of his nose to make her point a bit clearer, overcame by a fit of unexpected tenderness.

You are loved, here and now, and that’s nothing Katherine can take away. You maybe cannot see it yet, but you are going to be fine, with or without your revenge.

And Bonnie would be scared by the depth of the feelings she just expressed, even just inside her mind, but Damon’s eyes glitter in the dark, his arms tighten around her smaller frame, and he is suddenly grinning at her. She is utterly distracted by that impish, wild grin.

He is looking down on her in a way that is …. Different, in a way she can’t quite pinpoint.

“I think I got good chances with that one.”

Her cheeks heat and flush at the velvety warmth in his voice, the undertone almost more affectionate than seductive.

It’s one more thing that is different, that confuses her, because … well, they have been having sex for months and she should be far away from the blushing and shying zone.

But she is not, and the heat that spreads in her body as he leans in and they kiss is not what she knows, it is more, a fuller and softer version of what she used to have with him.

She doesn’t understand it yet and perhaps she is not ready to, just yet, but she likes it a bit too much to push it away.

Chapter 2: Katherine and Klaus

Summary:




Love for Katherine is a wound, and home is the open road.


Chapter Text

2

The door to his bedroom is open, and Katherine is not surprised. Rebekah smirks, cold and complacent, pale eyes crinkling in that familiar expression of I-am-better-than-you-dear-and-I-like-it, as she passes the younger vampire by.

“He is waiting.”

She says, like if Katherine didn’t know already, and Elijah had not just sent her up after receiving a full briefing over the situation she left in Mystic Falls.

Still, it is the gleeful inflection in her tone that gives her true meaning away.

Predictable, and Katherine hates her for it, but her face shows nothing of her disdain. Instead she nods like she doesn’t care and goes in for the kill, steps light and spine straight, past the threshold and toward her sire.

Finding exactly what she expected.

He is naked in his bed, barely covered by the pale sheets tangled around his legs. The light that filters through the heavy curtains of the tall window catches in his blonde hair, falls over the golden skin and the taut muscles she is far too familiar with. Oh, she remembers the days she was in love with that body, that chiseled jaw, that perfect lying mouth.

Thanks to his chew toys, I also remember why I am not, anymore.

Sure enough, *they *are there as well, just as naked, one on each side of her sire. Greta Martin, teenager witch prodigy Klaus stole away from her family and brainwashed with promises of greatness. Gloria Esteban, centenary witch and bar owner in his pocket since the 1920’s. Black bodies cushioning Klaus’ pale one, littered with bites and hickeys but still spent with satisfaction. Gloria snores softly, face pressed against his back, while Greta keeps her head under the pillow, breathing a bit too deeply to be anything but genuinely asleep.

Exhausted and near-drained, it is not a wonder they didn’t hear her entering.

Klaus is another matter entirely. He keeps his eyes closed, feigns flawlessly the lax abandonment of real sleep, but Katherine knows him. It’s all a show, the very same he has been running since she was a fledging.

He is giving her the time to appraise the scene properly.

Almost cute. It’s been far past a century since I felt any real jealousy.

She waits, looks down on the bed and its occupants without blinking, and she nearly convinces herself that she can appreciate the picture on a purely aesthetical level.

She would like nothing better than being able to say this particular game grew amusing.

Nope, despite their utter lack of any significance, I would rip them both to shreds and enjoy it.

But Klaus would like it too much. They already danced that dance far too many times for her to pretend not knowing the rules.

He fancies himself to be an artist, her sire. He took her from a whorehouse, delighted from her perfect resemblance to his first dream of love, and he offered another life to her, molding her in his image. He dressed her up as the finest lady, taught the right manners and all his vampire tricks, seduced her out of whatever innocence she had left… he persuaded her to play-act his fantasies of Tatia in return, as the most sinister, meaningless game.

Be Tatia today, be Klaus’ flawless blood-daughter tomorrow, and forget the real Katherine Pierce ever even existed. Let him believe he erased you and remade you in his image like a god, let yourself to forget you were ever anything but a woman in control of her fate. Let it be a children play.

Except she remembers how bitterly it burned, once she realized she was hardly the only one and he took to shove it in her face on purpose. Once he called her a masterpiece, kissing every inch of her with reverence before taking her like a man possessed by a fever and she believed their play was … something.

Until she gave a more careful examination to his collection of pretty supernatural treasures and noticed, finally, that the most of them were female, and all of them were tortured or seduced or tempted into a new mold. To be a weapon or lover, a slave or a servant or just an ornament to his court. They were all tools to show to the world that the great Nicklaus Mikaelson could afford acquiring the very best and twisting it in his image. The heat of the passion her sire could spare on his prize the moments he was inspired to, it could feel searing, but it was never the person underneath the flesh he saw, only the reflection of his inspiration, his so called art.

My poor Stefan, you have no idea of what you are in for. Nobody leaves this circus once your name is on his list.

Katherine is not certain what she feels about it. Stefan rejected her, and she is petty. He is in love with a stupider, weaker, colorless, passive lookalike of hers, and she judges him as vulgar for it.

Just another ordinary man in the end, picking the woman that allows him to not feel emasculated with her outdated pretense of maidenly modesty.

Stefan has disappointed her greatly.

But even with that … he probably does not deserve the hell that Klaus’ imitation of love and friendship will bring in his little, trivial, so-neatly-organized-life.

Not my problem, anyway. Not anymore.

With some luck, now she has done what she was supposed for, he will allow her to be on her way. She longs for the open road, the wind in her hair and the illusion of freedom from his chains. Spain is lovely during this time of the year.

Klaus faux-stirs, his hand rubbing in false distraction Greta’s back, and Katherine bites on her tongue to not snort.

He used to savor the pain in her gaze when she saw him in his little harem, and he has never stopped trying to resuscitate it ( everybody knows that much to her constant humiliation) but he won’t find what he is looking for in her today.

She did not harden her heart for nothing.

His eyes meet hers, and she smiles while she leaves to him the first word.

“You are home.”

He smiles back, voice throaty and sure, totally unconcerned with waking up his… morsels.

Her home is the open road, the memory of Kai and Nadia always warm in her heart, the grandiose pride she takes in being herself every time she looks into her mirror.

“I am home.”

She lies so well, sometimes she even believes herself.
3

Klaus slides out of the bed with the elegance worthy of any predatory feline, grins at her almost impishly as he covers himself with the chrisom silk robe over the leather armchair in the corner.

“I have missed you.”

His lips brush her forehead, his arm surrounds her shoulders to bring her against his chest, and it is a bizarre parody of a gallant embrace between father and daughter.

Katherine barely tenses in his hold, her dark eyes remaining trained on his arrogantly handsome face, but she remains acutely aware of the two women still in the room, passed out on the king-sized bed.

The hitch to kill them underneath her skin reminds her that they don’t belong here, in this picture that frames her with her sire, and the blood in her veins that screams out like a child ‘father, stop hurting me’.

Moments like this, Katherine feels she should go back to Damon and prostrate him to her feet, to force him to acknowledge that she did to him a great courtesy, by leaving him alone for whole a century to cradle and cherish his little dream of her. So easily she could have taken him to New Orleans instead, to dance with her and Klaus. To be killed horribly, because Klaus did not share, or to live and be the cause of her punishment, for the very same reason.

Like I would be ever that masochistic.

To get attached to him or Stefan was never the plan, but with Damon … parts of him were just too much like the woman she used to be for her to either truly care or stay indifferent. She has liked him and wanted him, but she could never have loved or respected him. Hencefore, between them there was never a chance of it ending any differently.

“I didn’t go that far away.”                        

Or far enough for my taste.

Her smirk is saucy and malicious, a studied reflection of the one he bestows occasionally on his bed-warmers. Flirty, but also a weapon to distract and ensnare. She knows it will get his blood going.

“And yet, I find your reports of Mystic Falls only made me envious I could not be there with you, to enjoy the scenery and the entertainment.”

He opens the cabinet, takes out twin flutes and a bottle of sparkling white wine. From the slightly fruity scent, she recognizes it as a favorite brand. It’s a welcome she favors over any empty pretty words.

Yet, the tang of iron lingers in the air, along with the slow sound of their heartbeat, and Katherine can’t relax or enjoy it properly, not even as she sips the lovely offering. Those off-key details grate on her nerves like a repeated wrong note spoiling a decent symphony.

She might be over the jealousy or the delusion of believing in his love, but the constant realization that her sire aims his sadism her way does things to her spirit she can’t quite define. It’s not quite pain, but rather the ghost of an old, worn suffering visiting and keeping her on the edge.

She doesn’t fear him anymore but he is still danger.

“Well, you will be there soon enough, and I suspect you will enjoy what I sowed in Elena Gilbert more than in your old boyfriend. ”

Lie, lie, lie.

Elena is soft, tender, and a bit vain like the Tatia even Elijah gets nostalgic over, on occasion. Klaus will enjoy that.

Stefan is an addict hopelessly in denial of his affliction, with monster sleeping under his skin, waiting to be awakened with a kiss or lulled with an illusion of goodness. Both are delicious perspectives for Klaus’ collection.

Katherine has done what she was getting paid to do – to divide the group before the conqueror could sweep in and reap his new toys- but she mostly applied herself out of self interest. The more Klaus gets interested in them, the less he is likely to focus on her.

“Will she be powerful, by what you saw?”

Those baby blue eyes are already glowing with impatient greed.

“Oh, she has every promise of greatness. Just … spoiled by a good heart and aspirations to decency. Of course, she adores Stefan. Once you get him, she is likely to follow where he leads.”

Maybe. Katherine has a feeling her double might be far less mellow than she appears, and not at all a stranger to the art of subtle manipulation. But Klaus doesn’t need to hear it or to guess it, right now.

“Sounds like perfect prey! – he laughs, pleased- The Bennett witch?”

“I made you a proper necromancer. Be grateful.”

“I am.”

He leans in to kiss her, and it is not at all the sort of gratitude Katherine craves, but she takes it, melting against his mouth for a moment.

Her mind is still on Spain, or maybe Paris, but there’s a kind of release and warmth to be found in her tongue battling for dominance with his. It’s familiar but it is not home. It’s gravity but not comfort.

In the background, she can hear them stirring. She pretends to not.

THE AGE OF INDECENCY

Summary: Caroline both blossoms and withers in the bosom of the Original family… this is her story, her own coming of age.

AN: This is pretty much based on Sacred Geometry’s epilogue, so this universe most likely won’t make sense to you unless you read that at least. ‘Surviving Picasso’ , the movie is a major source of inspiration.

Pairings: Caroline /Klaus

--

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Title: Let The Light In
Fandom/Pairing: Once Upon A Time, Snow White/Prince Charming, Neal Cassidy/Emma Swan , Snow-Centic fic
Rating: G
Word Count: 5,198
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything.
Summary: AU -Snow White makes it through wardrobe, pregnant with Emma, unaware Gepetto smuggled Pinocchio in. There are 28 years to kill before the trio can find a way back to home ... life in this other world changes Snow White, and she has struggle to keep alive her faith in magic, goodness, and true love.
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/4949047

Sacred Geometry: the epilogue

THE EPILOGUE

Bonnie and Elena would spend months training their gifts together, trying to prepare for unavoidable ‘invasion’ from the Originals – it made their friendship stronger than they could have predicted, filling that gap that had existed between them since Sheila’s death. They could once more to call each other sisters, and to know it was no lie.

Unfortunately, their newfound closeness, along with the supernatural existence they now shared, excluded their ‘third musketeer’ Caroline in ways they could not quite manage to prevent, despite their trying hard.

Not enough for Caroline, they would discover later. When Klaus came in town, and put Bonnie in the terrible predicament of killing Greta Martin, witch and one of Klaus’ many lovers-creatures, in a direct fight, his ‘punishment’ would collect Caroline as first casualty of the war between the Original family and their gang.

Turned by Klaus, who used her insecurities, her jealousy of Elena and her feelings that the latter had nearly ‘stolen’ Bonnie away as she stole everything else, to turn the blonde against her old friends, Caroline became for a time a quite vicious vampire.

Especially after Klaus’ constant provocations of Stefan into violence, reopened ‘a Ripper stage’ of his life that had Liz Forbes among its first victims. Caroline turned off her emotions then, and it took all of Bonnie’s magical and emotional power to keep her in check as she made the whole town to pay for her grief.

But in the end, Caroline’s genuinely loving and joyful nature proved to be the one thing even the all-powerful Klaus could not corrupt. Good memories of her mother and of her friends, summoned in a staged ’intervention’ that saw the use of both Bonnie’s spells and Elena’s gift of Persuasion, brought her back to her heart.

She never forgave Stefan tough, nor did she accept that Bonnie and Elena’s choice to stand by him and not by her.

She returned to Klaus as an extremely controlled vampire with a renewed self-esteem his manipulations could not touch. He was enthralled by the change, the way Caroline’s human OCD enabled to keep her inner monster in check nearly flawlessly, the way she now stood up to him in defense of her old friends.

The seducer became the seduced, once more, and his newest childe basked in that fascination she exercised, exploited it to convince Klaus to return to New Orleans with her in tow.

Caroline Forbes took extraordinarily well to life as his mafia princess there. Having a guy who covered her with gifts every day and acted needier than her was a dream coming true for many decades.

For Stefan, his road to recovery was long and hard. Elena was able to use her power to help him through, Persuading him down the edge every time he was falling over. In the long run, that made their relationship much stronger.

Bonnie and Damon came through the hardships of that year as an ‘official’ couple. They became best friends and lovers, at least when they weren’t at each other’s troath. Love for them remained a battlefield.

Yet, when the Travelers came to town, bringing the rumor of a Cure along with them, at first, and then its reality…. Damon decided to fight for it and take it, despite Stefan’s opposition.

Damon remained vampire until Bonnie was ready for college and set to leave Mystic Falls and its dangers behind. Then he took his magic pill, and actually went to college right along with her.

Ironically, he was the one who set out to become the next Occult professor of the Bennett Family. Bonnie studies psychology and became a therapist. They lived in Salem until they were old and wrinkly, both of them, in a small house with one huge garden Bonnie spent a terrible amount of time and energy on.

They had three daughters Damon insisted to be a stay-home-dad to as Bonnie pursued her career, and all their friends wondered at how they never considered marriage although they were incredibly committed to stay together.

Their daughters grew into brilliant witches, and when Damon eventually died, it was in his sleep, smiling, as he looked his grand-daughters playing since his wood chair on the porch.

Bonnie had not the chance to mourn him – his ghost just refused to leave the house, his woman, or this world. She was glad for it, and for the fact she could still hear his voice and see his face, being an advanced necromancer.

It became a running joke in the family that even death could not part Damon Salvatore from the people he loved.

Necromancy remained a strong talent in the new Bennett line, that would be guarded for the centuries to come from Uncle Stefan and Fair Godmother Elena. 

When Bonnie died, it was emulating the first and only hero of her life, Sheila Bennett. A car accident had left Melissa, her middle child, in a coma, her soul lingering in a limbo. Bonnie consciously sacrificed her life-energy to bring Melissa back. Damon supported her through it, and he was there when she crossed over.

He took her hand as the door to the Other Side opened for her. “I will come with you” he promised as she looked back and around for last time to their home, to the heritage they were leaving behind.

“We had such a life…” Bonnie could not avoid being amazed at it, now all was over. So much sorrow and so much joy, a family they were thick as thieves with, a heritage set to outlast them. Amazing friends that made it all possible and so many adventures, a wonderful love-story even death could not put a damper on.

They had it had all. How had she not noticed until it was the time to leave?

“No regrets. Two centuries behind me, and there were no years I spent better than those I was mortal again in. We did it all, witchy. I am glad I have loved you, even the days you have not made it easy, you old shrew.”

“So the older neurotic coot says. Your antics gave me more white hairs than any of our kids, or their kids for the matter, but I have adored you for it.”

“I wish we could have a last drink to well spent time.”

Thank you for waiting for me.” – her throat clenched on the words because she knew that if he had not, as human … he could have ended somewhere else entirely, in an Afterlife she could not reach him to, now instead she will bring him with her … or stay down here with him

“hush woman, it is now or never.”

They both glared at the transparent Door hanging in the air, and glanced to each other in a mute question of whether it was better to just keep haunting the house, together. Then, in just as mute decision, they walked straight through it, hand-holding, and they let the Other Side to shallow them up, with identical squared jaws and jutted out chins.

Death turned to be truly the Next Great Adventure. Another beginning. Sheila surprised them right away by being on the other side of the door to receive them.

Damon and Bonnie joined the crowd of witch ancestors in a small ghost town struck in between different timelines and worlds. It was the strangest place to get used, at first, and the transition was not made any smoother by the presence in there of several witches Damon had killed in his vampire days. But you got to be as young or old looking as you pleased, and that was a blast. Besides, they got to watch over their family, to guide and protect generations of it with advice and plots. Ancestor politics turned to be a challenge they were up.

Also, Grams forced them to finally tie the knot.

It was by many details a strange ceremony, but the oddity suited the Salvatore’s pretty well.

Eternity stretched in front of them – better to be prepared.

Among the living, Bonnie’s death produced a domino effect.

Elena and Caroline met at her funeral, and they finally reconciled.

Persuasion had kept Elena young and beautiful, but living. She had pursued her dream to become a writer, at first using her power to further her career as journalist and ‘help’ people to confide in her. She had her fun with that until her youthful appearance began to look suspicious, then she settled as romance and erotica novelist under several pseudonyms. She and Stefan had married in an extremely romantic and expensive ceremony right after the birth of their first niece by Bonnie and Damon. They often regretted the impossibility to start a family of theirs ( no fertility ritual or potion had ever succeeded with them) but they consoled each other and themselves pretty well with a great sex life and traveling all over the world.

They were happy, and they kept in frequent touch with Bonnie and Damon for as long they were alive – all festive occasions were celebrated together with the Salvatore-Bennett clan, and when Stefan and Elena visited, they never failed to cover every single relative with gifts from each of the places they had visited in the rest of the year.

Bonnie’s death hit them both hard, it was the end of an era.

It inspired them to take a risk, tough – the following year they adopted a child during one of their travels in a war-torn country.

Caroline regretted she had never let her friendship with Bonnie to bend as she was alive, but the grief brought about a positive life change. Not only she forgave Stefan and made an effort to start over with Elena, but she left Klaus and his family murderous lifestyle, gave herself a chance to be fully the good person she had never really left behind. She moved to London, exchanged human prey for blood bags, and studied for a career as fashion designer.

In the centuries to come, she and Elena became like the sisters they weren’t in their teenager years, although in a different way Elena and Bonnie used to be.

Life went on, and there was a place for new bonds along with the old ones.

Bonnie Bennett managed to stay present in her friends’ lives from the grave. She popped often in their dreams when they were having a major life-crisis, even if her cryptic-speak, as Caroline came to fondly call it, could be terribly frustrating.

--

In Mystic Falls, a Traveler witch called Liv inherited Bonnie’s role as Keeper of the contract before she left. She was chosen by the land wrights, much to everyone’s surprised. Although Bonnie had disliked her fiercely during their acquaintance, she did well by her role.

Pearl inherited the Salvatore boarding house when the brothers both moved out following Damon’s taking the cure. She made it a boardinghouse again and kept it going along with her daughter Anna and Harper.

Ben was killed by Caroline in her ‘bad vampire’ stage, in a fit of temper spurred on by his bravado.

As the Resurrected vampires could not leave the land they were bound to, they had to use enchanted jewelry to set glamour on their looks changing every twenty years or so. The land magic still protected and hid them in ways they never quite understood.

Anna enjoyed the experience of that changing normality and the family life she had always craved. She and Jeremy remained a couple, much to everyone’s surprise, through the years. Even if he moved to Portland for a time, to attend an Art School. He worked freelance as illustrator after that, but normal, for him, was quite never enough. He grew a sinister reputation as vampire slaying vampire, getting off the violence of the kill and the draining of another predator. Anna on occasion got off watching him as he killed, and made violently love to him afterwards. She pet-called him her beautiful monster, and he never stopped seeing her as his Juliet.

Mystic Falls gained a reputation as a sleepy, incredibly quiet small town .

Yet, when Caroline and Stefan and Elena made it a habit to return to their hometown at the passing of every century, finding refuge in the old lake house that had once belonged to Elena’s parents, they always found themselves in a net of secrets, lies and supernatural danger. Darkness just never left that place, and it never slept despite the appearances. It just learned to hide better its traps. They learned to love it for what it was – their very cradle and birthing chamber.

Katherine?

She was another who never changed. She came every few centuries in their lives, just when they had managed to forget her, and she brought back with her all her deceptions and twisted games. She became the dance partner nobody wanted but nobody could refuse. Or kill, and not for their lack of trying.

Eventually, she just seemed to drop off the face of the planet for good.

Nobody but the Original family kept in casual contact with, knew that one day, she had just got bored of everything , removed her ring and walked into sunlight. The reward of a life lived without any attachments, Elijah would have commented in passing.

He couldn’t know he was , maybe, slightly off the mark.

Bonnie and Damon had the misfortune of finding her on the Other Side, and reach a different conclusion.

Katherine Pierce didn’t change.

Even in the realms beyond the door, she created her peculiar brand of havoc tirelessly. The difference? Her grand-daughter Nadia, that strayed never too far away from her side. Her son Kai who possibly worse than good old Kat was, an eventuality even Damon would have not considered as a real possibility.

Even the devil has loved ones, and love is all what leaves a trace, when the show is over and the curtain falls.

--

Soundtrack to this chapter: If I Lose Myself- One Republic

I will follow you into the dark- death cab for cutie

Share the love – c.cremonini

AUTHOR NOTE:

Damn, I am moved. I will miss this story, its characters (and its readers too ;) ). To weave this little tapestry of words was a delight, and I grew fond of this little universe of mine , this darker Mystic Falls.

Kudos to all who caught the parallels with various seasons and oh, I nearly cried as I wrote the scene where oldBamon crossed over, nearly like their canon counterparts too. Raise your hand if thinking of Kai as this Katherine’s son, and of their post mortem unholy alliance, makes you to fear the world’s fate.

*mine is the first hand up*

Sacred Geometry was always supposed to have an open ending, and I was tempted to go with a sequel that showed *this* group of beautiful and scarred heroes fighting the Originals for the town. Maybe someday I will get to write that story, but with college work starting up again so soon, I can’t take that commitment, and frankly I wanted that the readers that stuck around to see this finished had a clear last picture of where those characters were headed. Down to the bittersweet ending. If we can call it an ending, since the adventure goes on and on… forever. That’s what I loved about writing this epilogue; everything is over and it is not at same time.

Life goes on, but nobody is forgotten, and everybody gains a place, a tale of their own. The end is not truly the end, but more like the beginning of yet another tale. Sacred Geometry at work, indeed.

I might decide to return to this universe so dear to me, (next summer? For the het big bang? I have thought of it, at least) and write about Bamon and their big, complicated family joining them on the Other Side when their own race ends. To have them together again for a new grand adventure. Or to go deeper into the war against the Originals. But *this* tale is still complete as it is, and I hope you enjoyed it as such! Thank you for reading.

Sacred Geometry -Chapter 24

Summary: Elena is some kind of Succubus.It is both aweome and terrible.

Chapter 24

Once Elena gets in the car, she drives around the town in a controlled frenzy, her mind circling back on last words Katherine told her.

We will meet once you get the gift or something along those lines. You will want it.

Well, Elena sure wants to talk Katherine right now. But just to put to good use the spare stake under the seat.

Where to find her, that is the mystery of the day. Where would Katherine go, on a fine day like this?

Elena doesn’t expect her brain to supply an actual answer, even if she wants one desperately. Her double tough, is not one to leave any detail to chance. There’s an information, deep buried into her subconscious, that floats to surface and glows (or the psychic equivalent of it, she supposes) like a signal.

She knows at once where Katherine waits, and she loathes it.

It is the place where the accident that turned her life on its head happened, a place Katherine should not be allowed to touch. It should be sacred, inherently Elena’s. That other thing with her face does not belong there.

She speeds to destination.

Katherine is indeed waiting there, a lone and seemingly harmless figure on the side of the road, dark hair moving in the wind, sunglasses covering her eyes, glad in skinny blue jeans, leather boots and a leather jacket, poise and dressing code so different from hers that Elena has to wonder again how it is possible for anyone at all to confuse either of them with the other.

Maybe Jenna is right. All men do their thinking only with their cocks.

It is an ungracious thought, but then she is not feeling much gracious at the moment.

Elena stops, Katherine enters the car like nothing is amiss with the picture. She takes off her sunglasses and has the gall to smile, a natural and clean smile that entirely out of place on her.

“Let’s drive to next small town in line.”

Elena finds she is too angry and upset to even talk. She drives according instructions, acutely aware of the where the stake is – she moved it to the inside pocket of her jacket- and of the easy movement that would bring it to accidentally poke out Katherine’s eyes.

Elena is human and too slow for that, but she has nothing to lose and a desperate will to do this vampire damage, to hurt her back at least a little.

“No need to thank me yet.”

“Thank you?”

This woman is crazier than she looks, and that is saying a lot.

“ I am just beginning to set you free. My gift was just a little taste of motivation.”

“A threat, you mean.”

“No I mean exactly what I said, motivation. You can have heard my sire is a … collector of supernatural treasures. He wants a lamia in arsenal, but one untrained is of no use. Fortunately, I had the advantage to raise both my son and my grand-daughter. I saw him developing his gifts by experiment, and I trained his daughter myself. I am in a position to make you my masterpiece.”

“Dream on. If you think destroying my relationship with Stefan and my reputation is enough to make me fold to join a crew of psychopaths… think again. You are off the mark.”

Katherine just laughs.

“You have a drop of spunk, good. I hate too fragile toys – they get broken before growing useful.”

“Your opinion of me is irrelevant. I am here because I want to hear what you have to say before having the satisfaction before giving you my gift too.”

“The vervained wood you have on you? I can smell it. We both know you can’t be strong or fast enough to get me with it. You are here because you are angry and you want to unload, all to take back the power you feel I took from you. Whatever. I don’t care. You will listen to my story, I will do my part to keep Klaus happy, then we will both free of each other. ”

It’s Elena’s turn to laugh.

“Motivation, Elena. You are the school’ slut now, but you don’t need to be. You can take control of this. You use your abilities the right way, you can maneuver your idiot citizens to see you as a saint. Hell, you might persuade them that what you think, what I have done in your place, is the coolest and romantic thing ever. You will be their goddess of love, descended on hearth just to light up their miserable, grey lives. You will rule them, they will want to crush anyone who says a bad word on you. No more needing lovely Bonnie or my secretive Salvatores studs to protect you. You can handle yourself, if you accept my tuition. ”

That is seductive, the concept she might finally be not defenseless, not a weight.

Not acceptable.

“Go to hell.”

“Really? Then stop this car right now.”

Elena drives on.

The other alternative, to be vulnerable when everyone leaves, and in a world where everybody hunts for everyone, is not acceptable. She needs to know too, if every single thing she received in her life she has not had because of herself, but because of some supernatural hold she has on others , that is beyond her control.

All answers have a price. This answer in particular comes to the cost of her pride.

--

As the road runs before them, Katherine spins a tale.

“My son was always a pretty child. A bit capricious maybe, but people seemed to barely notice and rarely care. Women wanted to protect and coddle at first. He had every single of his nurses and teachers wrapped around his palefinger. I was the only person in his life that ever said no to him, which was why we didn’t get along. That, and the fact he tended to take the spotlight away from me, being terribly rude about it. I loved him, but I didn’t like him at all. It made me very curious. I studied him, grew suspicious, and eventually tested what he could do once I discovered it. By borrowing and reading his diary. He too, had experimented with his abilities, used fancy words to dress them up. He had two gifts, that he named Persuasion and Imperium. Persuasion to him, felt like a cloak he projected on the person he wanted to affect. He conjured a feeling, an illusion, an image and he wrapped it around his body, then extended it from there… soon his victim was somehow convinced the idea, my son had was real … or in some cases, the person’s brain utterly reshaped itself to better accommodate that belief. My son could persuade you the sky was green, if you weren’t careful around him. He used to drive some into madness, on occasion.”

Elena shudders, horrified.

“Imperium was a little better. He could just break into someone thoughts and push into them the need to commit whatever action he wanted. He loved it. A bit too much. Fortunately discovering sex calmed him little. He decided his gifts were a wonderful opportunity to do some fortune hunting. He seduced young heiresses , then he did away with them and enjoyed their fortune. He was doing wonders for himself until he met a girl he actually liked. He did the stupid error to reveal himself to his seventh bride. She poisoned him. I killed her and took their daughter with me. Nadia … I actually liked her, and I was devastated when she died an old maid. ” – Katherine tells it like that was a true feat, but it’s the softness in her eyes as she pronounces Nadia’s name that gives her away-.

“Her power expressed itself differently. She described it as pouring silk through her mouth. Anyway, the effect was the same – she talked, and crowds could believe every words without a shadow of questioning. She could fascinate too. Even women who met her could not avoid having fantasies of her.”

Elena strives hard to not imagine what that could have meant for Katherine’s relationship with her grand-daughter.

“Imperium was something she never mastered tough. It didn’t work for her, but then she never needed uttering orders .If she wanted something and mentioned it, whoever was around at the time would move mountains to bring her that desire made real. They wanted to please her to the point of madness, that was her secret.”

Again, not a principle Elena is fond imagining to live her life to, but an useful tool nonetheless.

It might save lives, it might destroy lives. Which would it be for me?

“So, it is different for everyone. How would you help me?”

“I know how my children found their triggers, the tricks they used to learn their way with it. Today, I will make sure you pull your trigger and bring your sweet power out. Tomorrow, I will be on the first train out. ”

“What?”

“Klaus wants me elsewhere. It’s his show and he hates sharing. Stefan and Damon will have to deal.”

She sounds almost sorry about it.

“You just finished bullying into accepting your teachings!”

“I gave you all the bits of history you need to find your way. Once your power is awake, you can’t come back. My job is just to … unlock you. It can be accomplished within a day. If it can’t … I will keep up the research for the right motivation. Believe me, you would hate that.”

“It’s you I hate.”

“Join the club. Have I mentioned that once you tap into the power, the sexual frustration you will stir into the nearby humans will keep you young, by feeding the power itself? Like a self-regenerating battery. My darling sadist of a son adored that part. ”

“I can’t think of any reasons he would not.”

Personally, Elena feels cursed already, but it’s late to turn back from this step. She needs one weapon, only one to protect those she loves from the oncoming danger.

I might actually get forever with Stefan if I do this, without becoming a vampire.

They stop at a bar.

Katherine makes Elena to try on all the mental mojo and imagery her son used to persuade or command.

Every attempt fails. Elena does not feel anything.

Then they try all of Nadia’s tricks. Some of them hit close to home, and Elena feels like pianist touching her instrument for the first time, just to find all the chords are broken.

She puts together, under Katherine’s scrutiny the bits that touch her inside and combines them together in a bunch of different puzzles.

It is hard to say what Awakens her, because every single thing she does seem to fail but …

In the evening Elena unfurls like a rose. It is what her senses tell her, anyway.

Something deep inside opens up and she feels it blossoming like a flower. Her power is not silk, it is a perfume spreading in the air gently, overpowering the passersby, who stop and stare, not at two identical girls but only one. Enchanted.

Her words too, feel like perfume. She can Persuade. She can order and make it to sound like a prayer. She can get a dreamy look in Katherine’s eyes for a couple of seconds before the vampire shakes herself out of it.

I found my self and my forever, at last.

She leaves Katherine to the train station without looking back, closes her imaginary petals around herself to contain It.

Bonnie is the very first person she calls.

Whole the story spills from her lips with no control. Maybe Elena even cries.

“Come home. –Bonnie pleads. - Come to see me. I won’t call Stefan, or anyone else. ”

And she does so because Bonnie always saves her, like that summer she could not get out of the bed, some mornings, and so Bonnie would stay the night just to snap her out of it. Drag her into the sunlight again by filling the room with chatter.

This is my sister, she knows without doubt when they hug on her doorstep, and it will never change.

“Make her happy.” she will say Damon the day after, without any Persuasion “and take good care of her.”

She will mean it.

She and Stefan meet each other at school.

The awkwardness between them cuts her nearly phisically.

“I am a jerk.” He starts, and maybe it is a little true, but all of him is brooding in her face, it is hard to stay indifferent.

“No, you are not, I just … ”

Doormat Elena at work again. I need to stop.

“I am a jerk, I know that for a fact. I want desperately to not be, tough, so I put a lid on many things I feel, and many things I lived. I never meant to hurt you with it, it is just … habit, at this point of my life.”

Some justification.

It strikes her that he is not promising to change.

“The Klaus thing?”

“I was being honest with you about that. If Originals can compel other vampires, I suppose it might have happened, and I might have had my mind erased again. I hope it is not the case, but I can’t exclude it. ”

“Okay.”

Not a problem, even if it turns to be true. Not for her at least. For him, yet another lover ready to brainwash him will be a blow. For his sake, she hopes Katherine was lying too. She just has a feeling it is not very likely.

“I was worried about you yesterday.”

“I know”

“You are still angry.”

“I am sad. We will grow apart if you don’t let me all in.”

“You are in!”

“I don’t feel like it.”

“I told you-”

“I want a love that consumes me, Stefan. I didn’t think I was that sort of girl, but I am and I can’t change it. It’s why I kept returning inside Damon’s orbit, even if I wanted, love and chose you every time. I was wrong about it, and I am sorry, I won’t do it again but-”

“You want more.”

“I want all of you, even the bits you are ashamed of.”

He looks serious like a funeral as he digests that.

I didn’t ask for the moon or a deadline, does he realize that?

But his forehead wrinkles in that cute way she has always, always loved. It sweetens the offense.

“Well, I don’t want to consume you. Vampires are already obsessive by nature. I want to see you to burn with what makes *you* Elena and take flight as I watch you, not to see you disappearing into the black hole that my life has been before you.”

That does sound a bit obsessive, now I think of it. Maybe. Is it off that I like it all the same?

“It sounds like we might be able to compromise.”

She smiles, he smiles back.

Her heart suffers that beautiful feeling of and growing three sizes and being lifted to the stars. Like the day we met. Exactly like that.

Then his gaze changes, a slightly dazed, dreamy veil descends upon it and between them. “You look even more beautiful than usual today. ”

And she remembers a pretty important detail she has not yet made him aware of.

“Did I mention, now I am a demon too?”

Smooth, Elena, really smooth.

“That’s a funny joke.”

There’s still a glazed … something over his expression. He actually believes she made an amazing joke.

Controlling this tiny novelty will take a lot of work.

She is totally up the challenge.


Sacred Geometry- chapter 23

Summary:



Tables turn fast on everyone. Or, this is the point of the story where the secret meaning of the title comes to light. Every single character here has deep issues. It's their issues that keep them together.

Chapter 23





He makes for her pancakes with ridiculous syrupy smiley faces and looks down to her like a puppy waiting for approval.

It’s those smoldering, so blue, puppy eyes that make Bonnie to feel disoriented, because, in her life, it is usually Elena or Caroline to be on the receiving end of them. She is the girl who looks on by the sidelines, judging a little that loss of dignity, hoping it will never happen to her and yet dreading it will.

It has never been clearer that her life took a drastic turn to somewhere known.

She draws Damon’s head down for a kiss – the fire in her belly, never quite gone since that moment before flares up to new life. There’s a monster underneath her skin now , and it screams to her to take what is hers.

With her body pressed to his tough, the possessive feeling fades to a certain burning, bone-deep fondness. She is simply glad of him, his presence in her house, of the shape his body makes against hers, familiar but always new, of his scent and the way he growls as he kisses her throat. She likes this thing they have together, no strings attached, no limitations, despite the hovering promise of more.

It feels good, natural. Even if probably it should not, with his being a vampire and her being a witch and their species being made to be each other’ bane.

If she was not feeling so weak from the ritual, it would be far more than making out. Instead they come back to the table, both breathless and light-headed, and share breakfast in companionable silence. When she collapses on her bed he is underneath her, a vampire-shaped, warm cushion of flesh that ouches in faux-irritability while she gets comfortable.

He is talking when her eyes drift shut… she can’t make out the exact words, this is how tired she is, but she knows the tone, the amused sarcasm it carries. She falls asleep, feeling safe for possibly the first time since getting introduced to the supernatural.

It’s weird to sneak around Pearl and Harper like he and Anna are just two normal teenagers.

Jeremy never once imagined it was possible to be looked to again like a real boy once the news of what he had done got out. But Elena knows and still treats him with compassion, forgives him before he can work up the courage for asking. Anna is grateful, Anna is happy he is in love with her, she had doubts before. Anna allows him to tell her how in love he is with every part of her body as soon they get an hour alone in her bedroom.

She offers to him the pale curve of beautiful neck, let him to drink from her while she drinks from him in return. He never felt so close to another being until that second her skin is in his mouth and her blood is moving inside his body. His blood runs in her body too, keeps her alive and strong and well. That furious, primal, grandiose feeling, there are no words for it.

They feed each other, and it is erotic without even coming close to sex, intimate without ever coming close to shed a layer extra of cloth. Sustenance is offered and accepted, but it’s oh so much more than that.

It’s life, his dead heart almost fluttering and stilling in imaginary tune with hers, her essence coating his veins, breathing color into his skin while he knows his blood is doing the same for her.

This is his new normal.

Jeremy already adores it.

Elena wanders in her neighborhood without an aim, attention drawn inward, toward a past she can no longer catch.

She left Stefan with a boisterous kiss and soft caresses, light in her eyes as she danced out of the door with promises of seeing him later at school. She was playing at being happy. Without that mask, she just feels lonely.

She is more sad than angry, really, and it will probably stay like that even if Katherine’s tale turns to be true.

Strangely, all she can think of this morning is her parents. How hard it was after they died, to just… get up and do normal things, bring herself over that terrible realization that they were gone.

The way it hurt, the tide of memory, bringing them back, flesh and bright as if they were still with her, part of her forever, just to bring them away again. And again, and again, the pain never truly gone, even when everybody acted like it was just fine to go on, to move on, to leave people and pieces of you behind.

Everybody always spoke to her about death eventually losing her touch, leaving only a more serene recollection of a past shared with people you used to care about.

Elena tried to convince herself it could work for a time. It did not. It kept surprising her, at the most random, unexpected moments, that the parents she had loved existed only the past, along with all the hopes, all the dreams that would never come true.

The pain remained a bleeding wound and not a scar… and god, if it drove her crazy, the general assuming that she could, should, would just …stop loving those who weren’t there like they were, in fact, just in the beside room.

If only it was a matter of choice.

This is the way I love, and I can’t help it. I don’t know how to let things or people to go. The more I try to force myself in that direction, the more I lose .I pretend otherwise out of necessity, fairly well.

I forgive too easily, before ever wondering if it’s wise. I get easily fond of the people I meet, then I just as easily forget them. I feel for anyone in pain, I feel almost coerced to sooth it when I see it, even if I dislike the person in question, even if it turns me into a doormat on occasion. I hate that feeling of people I care about slipping away, so I hold on even when it is against their best interest. I am not perfect, and I feel most alive under the eyes of those I love. Right now, it sucks.

Because it is becoming odiously apparent that even when people stay, they can no longer to be there anyway, and that’s a wholly different brand of pain.

She does not resent Bonnie for her … whatever it is with Damon. In time, when she made sure Damon is not using her to get attention, she will be happy for them. But Bonnie is growing into a stranger, and Damon maybe no longer feels for *her*, maybe he never really did, and Jeremy killed himself to become a vampire.

Here it goes, three people that matter to her, that used to care about being in her life, that either promised or were genetically wired to stay in there, always, just took a turn to drive in whole another direction.

Stefan?

He feels like forever, but he won’t let her in all of him, apparently. It hurts her, but she feels helpless about it too. Saint Elena is already forgiving and worrying about his pain instead. I am so pathetic.

Funny thing is, she was attracted to his brother. She saw Damon, holding on this blazing obsession for her look-alike, this passion that drove his every action for beyond a century and that compelled him to listen to her, a perfect stranger, only because she wore the face of the woman he loved… and she thought, somewhere inside ‘this is a man that would never leave me, no matter what’.

The idea, even now, holds all of its appeal – because that’s all she wants: one person that won’t ever let her go, only one person in the whole world she doesn’t need losing. One person she is safe in getting attached to. Because she doesn’t know how to release herself from the attachment once she takes someone inside her heart wholly.

She is not sure she can recover from another pain like the one the death of her parents inflicted, that sense of being tethered to someone absent, gone, unable to pour back on her the affections she still pours constantly on her memories. Unfading pictures, an ache she tries to distract herself from everyday –that’s what is left. But her heart still waits for a return that will never happen, still bleeds at reminders that it won’t be ever again like it used to be. She grew used to it.

For her parents, she could. For anyone else … she shut the door the summer she left Matt. She loved him then, but at the same time the sharp pain she felt, the way his presence could not diminish it by a long shot, showed her that he was not the man she could love until she grew old. Some part of her soul decided, right there and then, that if he was not her destination, she had no energy to spare and invest in their relationship.

She wanted to try for forever, or be alone; free of the burden of expecting a relief he could not offer her.

Enter Stefan. Vampire, meant to never die. A bit of a monster but so much of a man too, who could fill her loneliness with a discreet and yet unconditionally loving presence. Who believed in her enough to depend on it, and who made her the muse of his reaching beyond the bloodlust for his lost humanity.

He gave a face to her dreams, and she fell in love with his reality every day because of it.

She read the Great Gatsby once, as a school assignment. She remembers the part that struck her straight at the heart:

He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night. Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.’

That’s her. The girl reaching for the green light, sure it is so near, so within her reach, hoping every time she can get close to touch and to be touched back.

In the novel, Gatsby dies waiting for his Daisy to come to him, so certain it will happen even while every single person around him understood from the beginning it was never to be. Daisy loved his love for her, not the man who felt it. So Gatsby dies hopeful and desperate, waiting for a phone call from a woman who won’t shed a tear on his death.

The fate of a true dreamer. Nearly slave to his dream, giving it all to see it realized. Dying along with his dream, refusing to accept its fall.

Except, Stefan is real, and he loves her. He just nit-picks the parts of his self he is ready to let her see, control-freak he is. He judges himself so harshly and then expects from her the same condemnation he bestows on his actions, takes it for both salvation and absolution when she chooses to accept it all, the good and the bad.

She can live with that, but his propensity to keep secrets from her scares her and hurts her more than any skeleton he hides in his closet.

I want everything- the monster and the man, the savage and the saint. Your secrets, your blank spaces, every little thing you never offered to another. I want that you want to give it without my asking, or it won’t mean anything. I want to be loved, and to know your love won’t ever desert me. I want you, Stefan, but it needs to be real.

She will have to talk him about this, unavoidably. To be clear about what she wants and needs, to come clean about every scrap of information Katherine dangled in front of her face.

And then, she will have to change her approach too, because her boyfriend is not the only one who is holding back.

She too, despite what she feels, started their relationship with a foot on the fence. She withheld a little part of herself, saved it for Damon just in case Stefan could not be the man who stayed, who gave it all. She had not wanted to open herself to the pain to be left hanging, not so soon after that summer of crawling stubbornly in and out of her depression.

She is ready for a risk now. She is not afraid of the pain anymore, she knows how it tastes and that she can shoulder it, bear its weight, and to still find happy moments in the darkness despite its sharp bite.

Elena Gilbert has reserves of strength the world does not suspect of under her sugar. She is a survivor.

When she gets to school, everybody stares and whispers. Some girl giggle as she pass them by.

I have a bad feeling about this, already.

Caroline is the one who rushes forward, grabs her elbow to draw her aside. “What were you thinking, coming to school today? – The blonde talks in a rush, a thousand expressions shifting on her visage, like she can’t decide whether to play the part of the concerned, angry, scandalized or upset friend, then some kind of realization dawns behind the screen of her blue eyes, and her features freeze in … pity- Elena, I am so sorry, everybody knows!”

“Everybody knows what?”

This better to not be Katherine’s promised gift, I swear…

But it is, she realizes as soon Caroline presents her with her cellphone and a youtube link.

“One of my cheerleaders emailed it to me this morning. We don’t know who set it up.”

I do, and I am going to kill her.

She strolls out of the school without sparing a glance to the murmuring groups of fellow students that pretend to not gossip about her.

From pity case to school slut. Might be a progress for all I know. Same dynamics at work.

She finds Stefan on the way out, in the parking lot.

“El-”

“Your ex is on you-tube, using my body and my identity for having a threesome with people I have known since elementary school.”

She is livid with anger of such an intensity she is not sure she ever experienced before.

There’s not even enough space left for feeling violated in the intimacy of her body, the sacredness of her memories. Anger is a red haze that absorbs everything in its wake.

Stefan freezes, a blank, stony expression descending on his face. His eyes flash tough, and she might swear that as his hands close and clench in fists, dark veins flutter under the skin around his eyelids.

“I am going to stake her.”

He promises, an errant knight ready to die for her honor.

Too bad it is not what she needs now.

“Were you involved with Klaus at any time of your life, in any capacity?”

Good time as any for asking, she supposes, and it is not like the rage she feels will allow her to think.

“What?”

Stefan blinks, goes blanker, looking either very innocent or very guilty, Elena can’t tell the difference.

“She claims you were his lover for fifty years. It is true?”

“Absolutely not. How can you even imagine I would keep it from you if it was? After yesterday? I would never consciously endanger you!”

“How can I imagine it? A good question! Might it be because it would not be the first time that you hide your past from me? Because you lock away from me the parts you won’t even acknowledge? I don’t know how you look when you are not in love with me!”

Stefan denies nothing, and she can read it on every line of his face, of his body, that he knows she is not off the mark but he has no intention to verbally recognize it.

“Where is this coming from?”

Those are the words that break her heart.

All of Elena wants to run. Away from him, and his stony, beautiful, cherished face that kills her only by not being hers. She needs out of this parking lot, where she is forced to realize that Stefan is the one to truly hurt her and deliver a killing blow. You see, she put him on a pedestal too.

Him turning into a stranger was never an option she considered. Her bad, really.

“I need to be alone now. I can’t have this conversation now.”

It’s all too much. All she can do is running.

--

Stefan does not return to the Boarding House before he punched two jocks into oblivion.

He doubts anyone at school is even surprised about it, and he can certainly use the outlet. He can’t summon the will to care about this being probably a wrong way to deal,for once.

They weren’t even compelled to set that video up, damnit, they did all on their own. Assholes.

He compels them to spread around that they got her drunk on purpose, took advantage of her, that they are ashamed. And to take off the net that insulting rubbish.

If he could, he would compel whole the school to forget, but it is too dangerous and this will have to be enough.

It does not feel like it.

Elena is hurt, and he doesn’t know how to make it better for her.

Katherine’s story about Klaus is not one he understands , at all, yet … Pearl has warned them that Originals can compel other vampires. He has found it weird right away that he lived moving between New York and New Orleans, part of their supposed territory, for fifty years, give or take, but he didn’t remember ever hearing of an Original family.

He set aside his suspicions about whole the thing because it seemed there was no point in airing them so far, and because it was believable that those Originals operated on a level of underground criminality that required secrecy.

What are you playing, at Katherine?

She has to have lied to Elena, and topped it with all sorts of insinuations about his history and character if Elena turned on him with that desperation.

Or maybe she was just hurting and leashing out, with her reputation in tatters and that offensive video online.

She has to be feeling so violated.

Bonnie might help. There might be a spell, to fix this.

--

He calls Bonnie, the witch is outraged and more than a little worried when she can’t find Elena on the phone.

Then she turns all her attention on her Grimoire, and Stefan is left with a bizarrely relaxed Damon, in the Bennett sitting room.

The two brothers study each other silently, sitting on the opposite sides of the room.

Stefan is feeling restless, on the edge, angry. A caged animal locked in a prison of ice, that can’t even verbalize how he feels without fearing he will lose the control he needs on his inner monster.

Usually, Stefan can count on Damon to be everything he can’t allow himself to. If Elena is in danger, and he can’t voice how badly he wants to crush those who would hurt her, he will look at Damon, who is likely to be telling her just that, and he will feel better. If he pretends to himself that he won’t always choose Elena’s safety over morality or anything else (assuming that choice is indeed absolutely necessary, obviously) he can count on Damon to force the issue. Damon externalizes what Stefan suppresses with all himself, it is the only reason his pursuing of Elena has not completely killed their already dysfunctional brotherly bond.

Some days, the younger Salvatore even wonders if this ill-fated courtship keeps them connected more or less than it keeps them distant and at war with each other.

So it is with a feeling of unreality that Stefan notices, this time he and Damon are not on the same page.

He feels like a mess, Damon … is not pacing or raving or threatening to go off the handle any time soon. He is not even flying off to find Elena, as it would be natural for one of them to do, and she certainly was not in the mood to be near to her boyfriend.

Come to think of it, Damon looks contrary, morose and put off from this turn of events, but also remains strangely relaxed, collected. His anger is not spilling in all directions; he does not look like a man who would kill to be beside the woman he wants in moment of distress. He is not even lifting a finger to exploit an ideal time to drive a wedge between his brother and his girlfriend, which is very out of character in itself.

Stefan is a facing a puzzle whole pieces are not quite making sense.

Damon reads him like book.

“It is probably the wrong time to advertize Bonnie and I are seeing each other, is it not?”

He dishes it out playful and casual, which is how Damon delivers most often the stuff he really means.

Just … Bonnie and Damon together is not an equation that adds up in his brain. Last time he checked they were very hostile toward each other, but that might have blown away while they helped each other in those months.

She distrusts vampires fiercely; Damon distrusts witches just as much. Damon uses witches, Bonnie is out for keeping vampires like him in line since she discovered her powers.

Damon’s focus was or is all for Katherine and Elena … Stefan has just supposed that Katherine’s return had shifted the attention away from his girlfriend and back on their sire.

Unless…

“Are you using her to get Elena jealous? I won’t-”

“I am into her and she is into me – Damon barks, interrupting him and aiming in his direction one of those disgusted and hurt and resentful glares he used to reserve for their father alone, a lifetime ago- however impossible you might find to believe the idea of me in a real relationship. Of course that’s reserved for the martyrious likes of you-”

All of sudden, the room is thick with hostility.

“I was just concerned for a friend.”

“An acquaintance, if anything. –Damon tsks, still glaring – One that is both intelligent enough to tell if I am in for real or not, and fully able to kick my ass if I cross any lines.”

“Okay.” Stefan acknowledges, maybe a bit too easily, but this conversation is weirding him out. He needs time and perspective to establish if he is to take it to face value or not.

Silence between them remains tense after that. When Bonnie strolls in, oblivious to their sour faces, it is a relief for more than one reason.

“I found a memory spell to lift on a community. I would wait for Elena’s final say before I do it, tough. It is very specific, and I need to be careful in naming what we want to erase from the group memory of this town. Her imput would be useful.”

“Please- Damon chirps, shifting back to relaxed and easygoing- who would turn down a chance to have their imaginary misdeed erased?”

“You would be surprised. Memory spells almost constantly backfire, and they need to be repeated from time to time to stay effective. It might not be the brightest idea to take a risk with the Council already on alert, but I will give it my best shot to make it safer, if that is what Elena wants. ”

In other words, it is Elena’s call and nobody else gets a say. Good enough for now.

Sacred geometry: chapter 22



7.00 AM, Salvatore Boarding House …



Stefan opens the door, and is not sure he can do anything except blinking at the scene before him.



It is way too early for Damon-induced shenigans, and this scene already definitely looks like something that is going to give him a major headache.



He is very tempted to shut the door on Damon's shiny, cat-just-ate-the-canary-and-you-can't-do-anything-about-it-anymore grin and crazy-moving-to-match eyebrows, to return to his bed and Elena's warm, long, welcoming body.




But …



Bonnie is just there beside Damon, looking nearly apologetic.



Anna and Jeremy stand behind the vampire-witch duo nuzzling like a pair of innocent lovebirds that death (or murder) never parted. Pearl is in the middle of the should-be-dead-but-they-are-not vampire group, all stiffness and ice, flanked by an aloof Harper and a twitchy, nearly-familiar-looking … ah, no, now his memory connects … that one is the newbie who kidnapped Elena and Bonnie ages ago.




Nothing is right or promising with this picture.



Also, why is the weirdest little cat peeking out of Bonnie's bag?



"There's a really good, really colorful explanation for all of this." His brother zeroes in before he can ask, his whole being stretching in a string of charm and smarminess.




Again, not a good sign.



"I bet."



He is nearly curious… not. He is still pretty attached to that fantasy of cuddling Elena until breakfast time, getting his morning refill of blood and coffee, basking in the glow of her soft smiles as they read the newspaper together, and then facing the crazy of the day.



He got used to that schedule (or variations of it, anyway) when he was staying at the Gilberts, and he is not quite ready to let it go. Not in favor of complications he has not predicted or planned.



But he can hear her dressing in the other room, so he is fully aware he is just stalling the unavoidable until she is ready.



"Dare I ask why they are out of their grave? Katherine's work?"



"My work, preventing her work." Bonnie stresses, raising her hand to claim the responsibility of this, and she manages to look so unhappily guilty about it than Stefan feels unpleasantly certain that the story behind the picture is going to turn even less pretty than he imagines.



"What is up?"Elena asks from behind him, and Stefan takes it as his signal to stand aside and let the group in.




Elena listens.



And she feels.



A lot of different things.



Suspicion – an ever present shadow on the background of everything else- Pearl is too scared of those so called Originals to be trusted with the town or the lives of the people she loves… and the others are just loyal to her.



Relief – a sharp hit of it, because Jeremy is out of Katherine's pocket finally, no matter what this cost them on the long run.



Horror – heavy and inescapable, a thick haze that cloaks anything in its path - for what Jeremy did, what Bonnie almost went through, what Bonnie did that night that changed everything without Elena ever knowing it.



Incredulity that she and Stefan never suspected whole this long, dark list of happenings that concerned their friends and his brother, for God's sake. Shame that she never noticed Bonnie slipping far away into this dangerous world *she* brought on both their doorsteps when she decided to stick with Stefan.



Gratitude that Damon helped her friend and her brother, and disbelief that he managed to keep it from her and Stefan.



She is overwhelmed and she hugs the living daylights out of Bonnie at some point, mouthing a 'thank you' to Damon that looks over at that moment with a suspicious sort of attention she can't quite figure out.



She hugs Jeremy too, hard. Her brother, almost lost, back where he belongs.



There's much that she wants to say to them, privately, a lot of questions she needs to ask … but now, with strangers looking on, this reunion is hard enough without getting too personal.



She wants to thank Damon properly, for orchestrating all of this while she had shut him out, to explain why she felt she had to put their friendship on ice for some time, to thank him again for standing by Bonnie.



She wants to ask Bonnie why she didn't confide in her, assure her best friend that she is not judging her, that she can tell her anything, anything. Comfort her for all the times Bonnie needed her and she didn't know to be there. To erase this sudden sense of separation between them.



She wants to reach for Jeremy, get him away from this crowd and make sure that now he has Anna he knows to draw lines between what he can do and what he should. She wants to take the pain away from her brother, more than anything. She wants to mend him and pull him through.



But this is not the place or the time, she gets that.



Hugs shall have to do.




It is decided that the 'Resurrected Gang' will be hosted at the Boarding House and kept hidden until they are sure about how to settle scores with Katherine.



It goes unspoken that this is also where Stefan and Damon will be able to better keep their guests under a cautious watch.



Eventually, because this time Damon leaves with Bonnie, claiming she is too wiped out by the ritual to not have a 'stud of a bodyguard' at her back for the day.



He's truly a good guy underneath, Elena can't avoid to think then, and she is a little bit happy she was right to put her trust in him, after all.



She hangs on with Stefan as he gives rooms to his unwanted guests, plays hostess by holding polite conversation with Pearl and Anna and helping them to settle in. She even manages to corner Jeremy into a one-on-one-chat, even if not much comes out of that. Too soon to reach him beyond his walls, but she can wait.



She goes to school, comes up with excuses for Bonnie's absence, diverts Caroline's attention from it whole the day long.



Bonnie deserves a break. Elena does not forget the shadows under her eyes or the tension in other girl' body as she hugged her, so when she tries to reach her after dinner she is not too surprised her cell is ringing on unanswered.



It is strange Damon is unreachable too, tough. He is not at the Boarding House either, when she returns to it after leaving Jenna to Alaric' romancing.



Stefan is pissed that he is struck babysitting other vampires all by himself, even if he won't openly say it.



Elena does her best to sweeten the pot for him, insists to stay the night even if he would have safer at house Gilbert.



"Silliness, nowhere is safer to me that a place where you and my brother *both* are."



Besides, she feels better if she can see to Jeremy for herself.




At night, Stefan spoons her and she slides among heavy dreams right away. Even if she does not feel all that tired.



In her dreams she is combing her hair before the mirror of an antique looking vanity. She wears lacy pink lingerie and confidence, the air of fresh-faced self-possession that came easily to her before her parents died. It is the *old her*, Mystic Falls queen bee and socially-active head-cheerleader, someone today' Elena sometimes misses and often does not.



The reflection blurs and the mirror is showing her something else. Bonnie's kitchen, and Damon in it, making pancakes with smiley little faces drawn in syrup upon them, serving them to a visibly exhausted Bonnie that wears the same clothes she did this morning at the Boarding House. Except this Bonnie kisses him for a thank you, a ravenous, almost feral sort of kiss that the real Bonnie never would dare, not with Damon anyway, because she hates him. Or used to hate him tough. And then,* her* Bonnie has not eyes like those, paling green and feverish, haunted but not.



Her Bonnie is consistent with herself and her opinions, always, a steady compass for anyone in need. She is a worrier and a nearly maternal best friend, and she would never grin like that, wide and wild, certainly not for a vampire, and not for a vampire like Damon. She is Bonnie.



With that certainty, the disturbing image blurs away, and her reflection returns. Except it is not *her* reflection for real, this time around.



That penetrating, mocking gaze that cuts into her is 100% Katherine Pierce.



"Denial does not look cute on you, Elena. I saw them. My eyes might well be your eyes, if I put my worst intention to work."



It is not a real dream, it occurs to her at once. There's a pressure all around her mind, squeezing her in one direction, and she can't get out, can't leave.



"Get out of my head!"



"Not until I am done."



The grin is smug, it looks all wrong on lips so closely resembling to hers.



Elena forces the panic to recede.



"What do you want?"



"Nothing but opening your eyes, my naïve little fool."



"So if I say I believe you, you leave."



Simple enough.



Katherine rolls her eyes, twisting her features into an expression of petulant distaste.



"Please,honey, give me a little credit. You will believe me when our dear Bonnie confesses up to you, which will most likely be very soon. She can't keep the charade up for much longer. I just want you keep to your heart the beautiful picture I gave you. They looked hot together. Remember who discovered them first for you."



They looked like strangers, Elena corrects to herself, Bonnie with her … general strangeness, Damon with his domestic fluffiness and tender, not-so-desperate blue eyes.



Irrational, she is acutely aware of it, but she feels betrayed.



"There's anything else?"



With her voice covered in ice, she is reminded once more of that other, past self she glimpsed before in the mirror.



"How is Stefan?"



"A day without you is always a good day."



"Or so he says."



The casual lightness her double uses to insinuate that, like Stefan's view point is nothing because Katherine already decided on her version of reality and will bend him to it, angers Elena in a thousand different ways.



"He means it too. You abused him, made him to feel like your whole relationship was a rape on every level and he still was so defenseless than he could only love you for it. That's monstrous enough. You don't get to dismiss his feelings on the matter, on top of it."



"Yet he loves you now, my living likeness in all but the mellower personality, and before you there was Klaus, my sire and teacher in nearly all things that made me as you know me, for almost fifty years. Basically me with a cock, but then I suppose the same mind games that he found so offensive in a Southern flower weren't so bad in a New York bad boy."



"Don't hide behind sexism. Stefan is not the bad guy here, you are. Right as proved by this … forced conversation. Other people boundaries mean nothing to you."



Elena responds in automatic, determined to not give in an inch.



Inside, she feels like someone just doused her with iced water.



It's an old fear, that Stefan might love her just because Katherine hurt him so much that only being with a *good* version of her could heal him. She pushed it down and decided to believe in their relationship, every time it came up.



But this …



Pearl described the Original family: Niklaus Mikaelson, second born son and bastard of the family, bloodthirsty and vengeaful head-clan; Elijah the Seer, Rebekah Of The Beautiful Death, ruthless assassin to her brothers' enemies. Kol the Trickster who collected witches, who had recently turned one of the New Orleans Harvest Girls right before a sacrifice could occur, making her a nearly all-powerful… Davina The Goddess, they called her now. Finn the Kinslayer who was buried alive after he descended into madness and tried to slay his own siblings, defeated only by a combined effort of all his kin.



Stefan was there as Pearl talked and talked some more.



He didn't act like someone who already knew the Originals. He asked all the right questions, confided his concern over the situation to her right afterwards.




Stefan was silent about Katherine once too, but that was different. They had not the relationship they have now.



Even if she still ignores so much of his past. His remorse makes a lot of not-Lexi-related subjects a complete taboo.



"I won't say I have not traumatized him, Elena, but in the end, what is love but a wound we keep digging into over and over again, trying to feel something other than a lack, an absence? We might hate solitude, but the only healthy love we are ever allowed is the love we hold toward ourselves. A score on the which you need improving, dearest."



"Shut it up."



She has had enough of this proselytism and condescension and general Katheriness. She is ready to get the hell out of this dream.



Katherine just gives her a triumphant smile.



"He told you nothing about Klaus. Nothing about fucking another man neither, just to stay on the generals and bond over the years he was crazy and experimenting? It sounds more and more like you are not inside his head at all, and only because he does not want you there. Some love, being the fuck-toy and not the lover, always the healing and never the sickness that haunts him in his sleep."



Elena mirrors that smile with a beaming grin that comes so easy, too easy. It is never hard to tap in the bravado when there's nothing to lose, and this is how she feels. Nothing is over and everything is at the same time. When she wakes she will have Stefan and Stefan will have her. They will be sharing a bed, a life, but there's a dream she is losing, here and now, and Katherine is killing it somehow.




Just words, they are just words. Ideas and not facts. It might be all a lie. It might be a truth said in the wrong light. I love Stefan. I trust Stefan.




Even if deep down, I don't know him enough to tell the difference between truth and lie. Even Katherine saw that, and she understood how to use it.



"I had enough of you pretending you know anything about me or my boyfriend or our relationship. You can get out, or I can push you out. Either way, I am done replying to whatever you say."



Elena means that. It may be a stretch to claim she will push an ancient vampire out of her head by force, as she does not even know if it is possible (damn her, for relying too much on other people' protection to get better informed) but it won't stop her from trying and trying again.



She is not going down this easy.



"Brave girl. I have one more gift for you, and then we will talk in person. I promise you will even want to see me, when you receive it."



Elena wants to bite back just how likely that is, but she holds back. She promised to stay silent and she will follow through on ignoring her double if it kills her.



Katherine's dark, predatory eyes are the ghost that follows her as she finds herself in her bed, exhaling deep, like she was underwater for long time and just now coming up for air.



Stefan's arms are around her – they feel like a cage.



"Elena?"



He speaks her name against her shoulder like he owns it. He has always seemed to say her name like it meant something to him, everything. He was the only person to ever do that. She trusted that.




I trust it, still.



"Just a bad dream. About exams and not vampires, how odd is that, with our situation? "



And it is easy to talk to him the way she always talked to him. Kindly, softly. Like nothing changed.




Nothing *has* changed, except we have issues to talk through, now.



It is the easiest thing in the world, to lie.



 



 


Sacred geometry : chapter 21

This has to be why Grams used to warn me about never giving the Powers too much of a leeway when closing a Contract.

Bonnie does not like how this turned out at all.

Having Ben, a vampire who kidnapped her, humiliated and traumatized her, back from the grave was not an option she had considered.

But he fit the bill for the Fourth Vampire servant – dead on Mystic Falls’ soil, from the same bloodline whose blood was used as tool in the ritual.

I should have named the fourth, no matter what. I should have picked all of them personally just to exclude the chance of such an eventuality actually presenting itself. I rushed through, I left one detail up to chance and divine mercy, and this is what I get … a royal kick in the theeth.

Standing behind Pearl and Anna, Ben does not look like neither death nor resurrection improved him a bit.

And he still glares at me like I am prey and he can’t wait to make a meal out of me.

Smug, megalomaniac and stupid – not a good combination. Especially since she was hoping to avoid to aneurism all of her present company into submission.

“You are saying you enslaved us. Do you expect us to be good with that?”

Not even half-an-hour out of her grave, Pearl Zhu seems to have already taken up the role of unofficial leader of the vampire foursome. The others let her speak on their account, keep behind her in a silent show of support, don’t join the conversation if they don’t glance sideways to her first. Hell, even Jeremy had fallen in line with that trend from the instant he led the resurrected vampires to Bonnie and Damon, and he was supposed to be on their side!

Another stroke of luck. Damn vampire hierarchy.

If there was once one chance that Elena might have been forgotten all Bonnie had been keeping from her deliberately in name of Jeremy’s safe return into family, it is growing more distant by second.

The younger Gilbert is keeping to Anna … literally. He holds her hand, keeps stroking the inside of her wrist at random moments like if maintaining his focus on the conversation happening around him requires physical effort, and touching her is the only touchstone that grounds him. His gaze keeps drifting to her face, and when he does the feverish, haunted intensity she finds there paints him as a stranger into Bonnie’s eyes.

He might be obsessed or he might be in love, but either way he won’t stick with us for long.

“You are not shackled to me, you are bound to Mystic Falls-”

“A place where a Council set on ending our kind thrives.”

Pearl’s pale face is a mask of contrite, controlled incredulity. Her tone when she speaks to Bonnie is the tone a teacher would use while striving to be patient with a child that is unreasonably missing the point of an important lesson.

“Would you prefer being dead?” Damon snipes helpfully, with all the flair he usually sports when he spoiling for a fight.

Pearl levels at him the coolest glance “Most certainly not. My rejoicing in life doesn’t keep me from pointing out the flaws in your plan tough.”

Damon snickers. “You are not here for your comfort, but for ours.”

And Bonnie knows she has step in before tensions escalate, no matter how privately she agrees with him. She tries hard to sound calm and reasonable.

“You were brought back as a protector of the land. As long as you keep to that law, the land will keep you protected and undead. My role as enforcer and referee of the Contract is purely a matter of theory unless you try to kill on these grounds or to harm any innocents. You were dead and you get to live, it does not seem to me like the price you are going to pay is too high. ”

Magic is going to save us from a stake, when we can’t kill those who hunt us?”

Ben laughs, low and derisive, and the aneurism that brings him to his knees right away is almost reflex.

Gods, I’ve wanted to do this since the moment I saw him, but he makes easy to not regret it.

Other vampires ignore his whimpers of pain … except Damon, that grins his beaming approval.

“This trick looks like a much classier move when I am not the one on the receiving end of it.”

“I don’t doubt it.”

She finds herself smiling at him, despite the situation, and the desire that slashes through her body when he leans in slightly, approval so bare on his features, takes by complete surprise.

The cemetery, the vampires in it, the little cat still curled, immobile, around her shoulders in silent protection, and even the cold, heavy awareness of Death all around her weighing on her senses -- it all recedes, grows as distant as dream in front of this primal gravity that tries to pull her body to his body, her mouth to his mouth.

The magic that keeps her on the edge, ready to respond to the smallest provocation in the face of danger, the tension in her muscles, the left-over, dark energies lingering in her from the ritual … it all blooms into a feeling of want so visceral and so pure that it takes her breath away.

Her instincts would love nothing better than grabbing Damon, forgetting her cursed company and sneaking in one of the family crypts to hide.

To slam his back against cold stone, rip his shirt open, get him out of those pants and inside my body. Just get myself off on him, over and over again.

Wait, what?

She shakes herself out the fantasy, but the heat dancing up and down her spine from her loins doesn’t leave.

She feels good about it tough; it makes her warm and comfortable in her skin instead of ashamed or nervous, like she thinks she should feel, zoning out like that in a crisis.

Stupid hormones.

“What if we tried to leave the town?”

Her attention drifts to Harper. It is impressive like his whole body language reminds her of Stefan.

“The very same magic that was calling you to me after your Resurrection will keep you from going past certain boundaries.”

“Even if our lives were in danger? ”

“Yes.”

No getting around that. To his credit, Harper nods at himself with an air of resigned complacency.

He clearly expected as much.

“After you, your descendants will inherit the role of Referees of the Contract. What if you don’t have any descendants? Will we… return to dust?”

Anna asks, inserting herself in the conversation for the first time.

“No, the Ancestors will name another. Most likely another witch. No use in planning for my death, therefore.”

Bonnie smirks, and again she feels all fire and adrenaline, herself but not herself at the same time. It is the queerest feeling.

“But, if we die defending this rotten place, does it stick?”

Ben is on his feet again, but noticeably less confrontational than he was when he opened his mouth last. Good.

“Sorry, you are still susceptible to all the downfalls of your vampirism. One more chance is all you get, and even that is conditional.”

Damon sing-songs beside her, almost giddy to deliver the information. He too, didn’t look too content of Ben‘s presence among the ‘Chosen Ones’, as he called them.

“Then I am afraid you took a useless risk in going against Katherine’s desires.” Pearl asserts herself back in, quietly.”Four of us, in addition to two of her Childen-of-blood in Damon and Stefan, might perhaps be enough to take her down, if that is what you hoped to obtain. But if she has been acting on the account of our sire, and she certainly doesn’t care enough about me or my daughter to do all of this unless she is instructed to, we will be all slaughtered regardless. We are no match for the Originals.”

“The Originals?”

Damon’s brow is furrowed in suspicion. He mocks the title even as he inquires about it.

It makes Bonnie guess that he has even less of an idea of who they are than she does, and it is not a reassuring thought.

“The First Vampires, one family whose bloodline started all others, and sired me and Katherine both.”

“A myth you are trying to frighten us off with. It won’t work.”

He glowers, but the older vampire doesn’t even blink.

“All you will manage to accomplish with *this charade* - she assures with a certain iciness – is to irritate them … the sad thing is that now you will drag my family down along with yours.”

 

 

Becoming Moriarty : An Elementary Fanfic

I love badass female villains.
I am not crazy about Elementary as a tv show, but I am enthralled with Jamie Moriarty, and in general the idea of Irene Adler and geniuscrime boss Moriarty being the same woman. This is the result.

Title: Becoming Moriarty
Fandom: Elementary
Summary: How does a girl with a too high IQ become a criminal overlord?

Pairing: Sherlock/J.Moriarty(Irene Adler)
Rating: G

--

You are a little girl who loves her books more than her dolls – although you like them well enough… dressing them up, changing them around, spinning different stories for each of them in your head … a new story for a new disguise, always.

Life looks always more interesting in a book – there at last people have layers upon layers, and each complex character is constantly on the verge of some intriguing adventure.

Your greater disappointment is realizing that in the real world it is rarely like that. People love banality. Worse than that, they tend to kill what sets them apart from preconceived norm.

Even if normal is a statistic and, therefore, not a real thing, people crave it.

For you, it is not like that.

You want a life like a novel. Not a romance novel, to be precise because you don’t get the fascination with those, and not a fairy tale, but something with substance, a classic.

You love your parents dearly but oh, how often you wish they could just… understand you.

You are good to read people and behaviors quite well, and most of time you feel like you can relate to adults more than you do to other children. Bu adults don’t ever take your advice or opinions seriously – they call you wise and mature beyond your years but, that’s where it ends, and you don’t get it, for the longest time.

Over years, the craving to be understood is something you suppress ruthlessly. It won’t ever happen, no matter how hard you try, and accepting it is sort of a liberation.

At school you get picked on a lot. The excuse is that you are apparently not a pretty child. Your face is round and flat like a plate, they say. Nobody likes you, they insist.

You guess it is more a matter of you defying statistics. Know-it-alls are not supposed to be proud of themselves, to walk with their chin high, and be bold or cheeky. They are not supposed to feel superior.

You don’t feel superior at first. You walk through most of middle school convinced that you are just unfortunate in meeting large numbers of not-so-brilliant-ones.

The day you stop and take stock of your experiences, and realize it’s you who is just different, and that’s chasm between you and the rest of the world is meant to never be filled … is a lonely, cold, painful day.

But from that day on, your reality makes sense in a way it did not before, and for that you are grateful.

What is real is already so, owning up to it won’t make it any worse.

Before, you looked to the universe as an unfolding mystery, you met new people and you were eager to unravel the stories hidden inside of them.

After, you accepted that the world was what it was, and that if you wanted it interesting, *you *had to make it so.

Mostly, the world was made of people, and people made it back.

You, Jamie Moriarty, looked at people and saw games waiting to happen.

You could spin a story and make it real, test what your friends and family were truly made of in the process.

At last, you found a way you could relate to them that felt both real and significant to you.

--

You hit your sixteen, and you blossom into a woman.

You discover the curves of your body like a poet would learn to make poetry.

Your breasts are full and firm, high and soft, your legs are long and slender. You are not too thin nor too round. Suddenly, you become popular for the very reasons you used to be an outcast.

Boys notice of you, girls get jealous on occasion.

You? You are amused at the change, but more interested in sketching and painting and sculpting, discovering art and the beauty of a concept that becomes form. The attention you receive is a fun diversion until you realize something else: beauty for a woman needs to be a weapon, a tool she can use comfortably. Otherwise it becomes too easily a hindrance, a picture to guys jerk off and girls pin their expectations upon, something other people want to exploit you for. A reason to be dismissed and objectified.

No, than you.

You make of your looks a canvas on which you can paint yourself anew every time you want. You learn fashion can be intellectually stimulating if you conceive it like this.

You are your masterpiece, and your beauty is something you construct. A thousand others out of there are more classically beautiful than you are, and they waste so much time over it, to maintain it, to resurrect every day the pretense they are up to the standard.

You disregard standard and care about the nuances, the changing light of your appearance. You dress to make love to yourself, to raise a shield around your intelligence. It is never about impress others, that is your secret, it is about giving yourself what you deserve.

--

On occasion, you shoplift for fun.

Just to see if you can manage it and get away with.

Your criminal career tough starts when you date a guy who makes synthetic drugs in his basement.

What draws you to him is his intellect, the fact he is different. He can’t believe the luck of this geek who is finally getting the beautiful, intelligent, artsy girl popular in all ways he is not. He adores you for it.

You bring your business acumen to his drug dealing, get his work more organized, his trade more far-reaching.

It’s all fun. A game at first.

Then you realize you have a certain touch with those things, as his dealers begin to look up to you, as you direct them toward other areas ... it is easy to expand, almost too much, and you realize you found your calling, your key to a life like a novel.

Your sex and your looks an advantage, your intellectualism a perfect cover.

Nobody expects somebody like you to turn to a criminal life just because it is intellectually stimulating.

You use that. You learn to use everything.

The pregnancy is an accident whose value you can appreciate.

You don’t dream of picket-fences, you are not interested in marriage, you never felt a particularly motherly streak in your heart. So you won’t get another chance to see your belly swell with a new life, you know.

This is child is it for you, last occasion you will allow yourself to pass your genes to someone else, to be part of something greater. To be connected to another being.

You talk to child in heart of the night, when you can’t sleep. Always in your mind she is a girl, and you wish on her to be intelligent, more than beautiful.

I might give you the world, little one, but it won’t be me, watching you as you learn to walk, as you say your first word. Yet I hope so much for you, and I love you before knowing you. It doesn’t make sense, but I feel it. You are already my contradiction.

In the end, you want your daughter, with a depth you don’t quite understand, a primitive force that leaves you aching when you let her go, leaving her to other arms, to a whole another life that won’t include you in any shape.

But… it’s because you want her that you let her go. She deserves to grow up safe, but more than that she deserves to be someone’s center of the world, and you are not wired that way.

You are made to be your own world, and to build an empire.

Holmes is a discovery.

The idea that there’s truly a mind that might rival yours out of there, a man you might see as an equal and not a pleasant diversion is more than a bit exciting.

You want to meet him, to seize up the threat he poses but more than anything, you want to play.

--

You wait and wait for him to see the signs, to catch Jamie behind Irene.

He never does.

For all his intelligence, he is caught up in the dream of a woman he can set up on a pedestal, but that will stop just short enough to not be a true companion. Like all men, he wants a prize and not an equal, so he can’t see you, not the way you see him, simply because he does not desire it.

You hate that it hurts you to state it.

I might have loved you.

It shames you, that after all those years and all your progress you still craved companionship, that you found that temptation in him and you gave in, even only for a moment.

You know that you will punish him for this disappointment.

But you will let him live.

He is still a piece of art – his beautiful mind, his complex self, and the body that for months pleased you so well – and you believe in preserving art.

Truly beautiful things are so rare.

Sacred Geometry: Chapter 20

Chapter Summary: The Night above Mystic Falls just gets darker. You did not think Katherine was resting on her laurels, did you?

AUTHOR WARNING: Mature content ahead.

Chapter 20

Katherine Pierce loves, loves, loves being herself. Any time, any day. But ,on nights like this one? She loves it just a tad more.

It’s that special hit of adrenaline that reaches its zenith when she knows she is one step or two ahead everyone and she has discovered just that special move to twist to bring whole the castle of cards down-the only high she really craves, better than bloodlust, most significant than any kill, most all-around-satisfying than any drug.

“Oh, Elena I love you-”

She keeps the grin in check, affects what might pass for a teenaged, demure version of arousal by leaning back, eyes half-closed, rolling her hips in a certain way as her hands slide down his ribcage and toward his groin to stop there provocatively.

“It’s more like you love my hands…”

“Damn right-”

Whatever her lover is to say gets swallowed by a grunt as she strokes the inside of his thighs softly, slowly, teasing his family jewels for a lingering moment or two just before caressing his stomach again.

He is bringing his hot mouth to her breast when her lips tremble around a moan: “Oh, I just feel so guilty.”

Oh Elena, even pretending to be you is a mood-killer. Fortunately, there are props.

My poor Stefan…

“Yeah, poor Stefan”

The jock mutters with obvious disinterest, kissing the line between her collarbone and her nipple.

“I say he is a lucky man.”

Another mouth smirks against her shoulder, nips at her skin like a promise of punishment.

Hands bring her hips against other hips, and she undulates back and forth between two bodies, both nicely built and muscular, almost but not quite losing herself to the sensual feeling.

How cute for them to think of me as their sex-toy and of themselves as the masters of a poor drunk and miserable orphan, when I might flip their large frames over any second now, and so easily slaughter them. Ah, to cut their throats open, the way my father used to cut into his chickens, but without any blades - using only my fingers, or my fangs.

The thought is tempting, and nothing she has not put into action in past. This time tough, she has a project .

Such a shame. This world is so small and full of idiots- it might use some trimming.

Her hands reach for both her boys, to bring a dark head down for a kiss and another lower, back to her nipple. Her thighs spread wider and wider as she pushes her ass back to meet the hard length ready and eager to impale her backdoor entry.

Jock number 1 is careful and nearly considerate while he slides in, going slow as his hand gets her wet by playing in her secret garden.

Not a bad lay for a teenager.

Still he knows to pull her snugly close to his chest when his friend wants to enter her too.

It makes you to wonder if they imagine their candy-sweet school queen would never willingly submit to such profanation.

Katherine allows her body to be managed, closes her eyes to get a better read of the emotions coloring the air around her.

Lust for flesh, lust for control, a sliver of spoiled macho-boy misogyny: a shot of yellow-red fever that floats from body to body and sticks to her skin like sweaty imprint. The sort of sickly-green, vaguely predatory excitement that brands bullies when they team up to get their way and they succeed.

In the space of two heart-beats (theirs, not hers, because her heart is dead and they can’t touch that, nobody can, it’s only hers, it feels only for herself) all she wants is to scrub them and their filthy emotions off. They make her to feel dirty.

But the show has to go on.

She grins the loose, only too happy grin of someone who had way too much drink at this sorry high school party.

“Oh, I feel so full, it is so very good ! ”

Well, maybe that came out too shrill.

“What’s that, princess, does not Stef know how you like it?”

She stretches up, giggling in faux-giddiness, so the camera in the corner of the room will get a really good shot of her bare breasts.

“He does! He does! He just thinks I like it a bit too much! But it is not my fault! Since my parents died I only need something extra, do you know?”

Oh, if the dig to her dead parents on record while having a threesome on record does not break her in half, I will have severely misjudged her character.

“Yeah, yeah we understand. Right, Jack?”

“Sure, man.”

“Just shut it up, both of you, and get me off.”

That might be the first totally honestly-meant thing she has said in the whole night.

“Oh, is that a… a camera?!”

“Elena, honey, you were the one who wanted to do something crazy - I told you, nobody will ever see the tape except me and Jack -”

More like you and your meat-head cronie will show it to whole your pathetic football team, if I have to compel it out of you. Which I will totally do because I did not enjoy your sophisticated company for sport.

“Promise! I would die if anyone ever knew! My poor Stefan! Pretty please, do that scissor thing to me with your fingers again!”

I sure to God hope my double is not as annoying as I play it in the bedroom. Dear Stefan, what were you thinking?

At dawn, she is sliding back into her tiny black dress, slipping on her trench coat, and leaving behind two worn out, properly compelled morons and their video camera behind as silently as she can.

The fresh air of morning that hits her in the face while she steps out the house goes a long way to put distance between her and the previous night. The show can go on and the stench of mediocrity and sweat is already only the shadow of already accomplished deeds.

Elena Gilbert’s deeds, not hers.

Life is all about the little things.

All Katherine wants at that point is a good, long, hot shower and a martini.

But first things first.

Her maker never liked to wait.

She dials him up as she strolls toward the nearby bar, a vampire on a mission to get at least some caffeine in.

“Kat?”

He sounds drowsy, like she just woke him up. Good. She should not be the only one to be inconvenienced.

“Nik, I am on schedule. Elena’s life stage as Mystic Falls pure princess just got an hit it will never recover.”

“Do I want to know the hows?”

“A pointless question from a control maniac like yourself.”

“Very true.”

“So why are you not grilling me? I might to want to gloat.”

That’s basically the whole basis of their sire-childe relationship. He sets her up a task, invites her to do her worst ever-so-sweetly, and she has her fun going above his expectations, if she can. She gloats, he spoils her high by unloading on her his ever-present man-pain about family issues, and their shared assessment that yes, being an Empath does make you more and not less of a sociopath.

“Elijah had a vision.”

This one makes her to roll her eyes. There’s always a vision coming from that particular party.

“So?”

“We will lose Pearl and Anna.”

“Staked? Burned? Unsuccessful ritual?”

Maybe that Bennett witch is not powerful enough, after all.

“Land-bound, actually.”

“What does that even mean?”

“You will see.”

A frown.

“Am I not supposed to make me my best to avoid it?”

“No, play along and roll with the punches for now. Pretend to be surprised and upset when it happens. Pretend to be petty and vengeaful over it. Use it to push Bonnie Bennett around, but not too much. Divert attention from Elena while you play her, and over all …”

“Take good care of Stefan!” She finishes for him with a mocking purr.

It makes her sire to laugh, a low and sexy pleased sound she still likes.

“I want my boy on the edge when I come in town.”

“Elena?”

“See what you can do, I am still curious. Three women of your bloodline looking so incredibly alike. It sounds like a puzzle I might like to resolve. To not mention, I am missing a lamia in my entourage. I will collect the girl as willing as I can make her. If it gets me my Ripper back, all the better.”

Like if you would settle for anything less. Two copies of your first love, one vampire and the other lamia. An unresolved supernatural mystery that makes your paranoid brain to hitch for a definite answer. The possibility of getting back your masterpiece of a monster. You will want it all and you will give nobody of us any rest until you get it. It’s the way you are.

“About the Bennett witch…”

“Not pliant enough, yet?”

“She got intimate with Damon. I am not sure Elena is going to be enough leverage anymore with her. Her loyalties might shift ... and a Damon in love s a wildcard, always.”

“You would know better than anybody. But, if their little group scatters it on its own it only goes to our advantage. The witch is not my priority anyway. I have plenty of those and my Gloria is doing wonders now. Her bloodline has certainly nothing to envy to the Bennetts.”

Ah, the artist is already infatuated with his dangerous creation. Right as usual. Nik, if only you were as unique as you think yourself being…

“One of those days, this obsession of yours with adding to your … menagerie will land us all in serious trouble.”

“You love trouble and I run a business. Having only the very best in our employ is what keeps our family on top.”

The casual amusement that was there just beneath the surface of that velvet voice now to turned to pure steel. Katherine knows better than to not take it seriously.

*Our* family, or *yours*, Mikaelson?

“Naturally. You know me, I was only joking.”

Not.

“I will keep in touch.”

He hangs up without waiting for a reply.

Moody as always, my daddy.

--

AUTHOR NOTE: OKAY, DON’T HATE ME RIGHT YET. This is leading up to Elena having her own storyline, separate from her love-issues, something that personally I always wanted for her. Also, this is my chance to make Klaus the villain I once dreamed he could be. It will be dark and occasionally agansty ride, but it will be rewarding I promise.