Author: tmbreck / eclectic_tongue / eclectic / Lilbreck
Characters: Bonnie Bennett, Caroline Forbes, Emily Bennett, Shelia Bennett
Word Count: 2,233
A/N: A huge thanks, as always, goes to my wonderful beta velvetwhip. This time more so than others, since she's being forced to read fanfic for a show she has no interest in watching. Though I list Caroline, Emily, and Sheila, this is a heavily Bonnie-centric chapter, and the other three make only brief appearances.
Bonnie thought it was fitting that she had driven straight to the graveyard. After all, one of her best friends was dead and she had helped to kill her. It was too late for regrets, but that didn't stop the guilt or the doubts that filled her as she stared at the rows of headstones through her windshield. Not only doubts about her current decisions, but doubts about whatever version of her existed in the future Caroline had been sent back from.
She didn't even try to stop the half-hysterical burst of laughter at that last thought. She was in some fucked up version of a Terminator movie, playing the part of Sarah Connor, with Caroline playing her Kyle Reese. For a moment she had to wonder how they would end up with John. Reality quickly and ruthlessly set back in, however, and she had to put some serious thought into what had sent her running from her friend.
That damn dream.
Could she really work with Caroline if, as a vampire, her friend could do that to another person? How could she justify that? Of course, hot on the heels of that question, she had to ask herself if she could trust that Caroline wouldn't go after her or Grams.
Taking a deep breath, Bonnie got out of the car and walked into the cemetery. She had no real destination in mind and no specific graves she wanted to visit. She wasn't coming here to talk to some long dead relative to get their opinion. She had come here to get away from everyone else and think. She had jumped right into this plan, going along with whatever Grams and Caroline had said, and she hadn't really stopped to think about how she felt about it.
Her gut told her to trust in Grams and Caroline, that they were doing what they thought was best. But she couldn't help but doubt. How was turning her best friend into a monster the best course of action? More than that, though, Bonnie had her doubts about the other version of herself. And she knew from all that Grams had taught her recently that all those doubts could be her downfall.
Grams had stressed that a witch who didn't believe in herself, didn't believe in her magic, risked losing it. She didn't feel that power, though –didn't feel whatever it was that inspired such confidence in her from Caroline.
Shaking her head, she started back to the car. This wasn't where she needed to think. She needed to confront her worst fear: being betrayed by the vampire she was supposed to be putting her trust in. She had to talk to Emily. According to what Caroline had told her and Grams –and she didn't miss the irony in using information Caroline had given her to find out if she could trust her—the best place to do that would be where a large number of witches had died. She knew that at least one had died because she had been betrayed by a vampire she trusted.
The only place she felt sure that she could get in touch with Emily would be at the old abandoned house that, according to Caroline, was a witches' burial ground. This was her life now; getting advice from long-dead witches about her vampire friend and her future self.
Bonnie drove as far into the woods as she could before what little road there was became too overgrown. Getting out of the car, she began walking into the trees, opening herself up to try and find exactly where the abandoned home was. It didn't take long before the ruins of the house came into view. As she approached the pillars in the front, she saw a figure standing in the doorway. Just as she recognized the young woman from the picture of Emily Bennett that Grams had shown her, the figure turned and walked through the slowly opening door.
"This is the part in the horror movie where I'm yelling at the screen for the girl to run the other way."
Ignoring her own advice –after all, she had come to talk to dead witches—Bonnie made her way through the door as well. While part of her did notice the rotting wood and the boarded up windows, most of her focus was on the ghost in front of her.
"You've come here with questions, Bonnie. But you already know the answers."
While the smile on Emily's face was benign and something close to affectionate, Bonnie couldn't help but feel uneasy. However, she hadn't come all this way just to turn and run.
"I really don't have the answers, though. I have questions, and I have doubts. How am I supposed to know who to trust, and if what I'm doing is the right thing?"
Emily's expression turned cold, and her voice became almost monotone.
"Do not trust the vampire. She will only release the others, and death will follow."
Bonnie could feel anger and frustration welling up inside her. She knew why Emily would take this view, but there was so much at stake.
"This is about more than the vampires in that tomb, this is about more than Katherine betraying you. This is about the original vampires coming after my friend, and about some ancient immortal rising up and wreaking all kinds of havoc. He's going to lower the veil between worlds and destroy the natural balance. I mean… aren't we supposed to be servants of nature, protect the balance?"
She could feel a tight ball of emotion welling up in her throat and tears burning in her eyes. Emily seemed unmoved, though.
"You do not need the vampire to maintain balance. Vampires cannot be trusted. She will betray you."
The thought of Caroline betraying her triggered an automatic denial within Bonnie. This was her friend. Right after the denial, though, came the memory of her vision. Caroline was a vampire, and vampires could and did kill. She saw Caroline killing a man.
"I just… I need to…"
Confusion spiraled through her. She found herself pacing back and forth, arguments running through her head. Emily had to be wrong. If she didn't need Caroline, then why would Caroline have been back here? Why would she have sent Caroline back? Stopping in her tracks, she turned back to Emily.
"If I didn't need Caroline, if she couldn't be trusted, then why would I send her back?"
Again, Emily remained unmoved.
"It does not matter why she was sent back. She is a vampire, and you cannot trust her."
Anger began to override her confusion. No matter what she said, Emily's answer remained the same. But she needed an answer, not the same phrase repeated at her again and again.
"If I can't trust her, why did I send her back?"
Before Emily could repeat her mantra again, Bonnie nearly growled out, "Don't. I don't want to hear ‘it does not matter'. It matters. If I couldn't trust Caroline, why would I send her back? Why would she be sitting in that motel room with a…"
Suddenly, it hit Bonnie how important it was that Caroline was carrying around a piece of her soul. Her Grams had all but implied that the only way that could happen is if she truly did trust Caroline in whatever future she came from. At some point, she trusted Caroline with both her soul and everyone's lives. Her voice, when it came out again, was very calm.
"I sent her back to save everyone. I trusted her. I trusted her so much that I sent her back with a piece of my soul."
The tears that had been threatening now spilled over.
"When you stand there and tell me that I can't trust Caroline, that's not all you're saying. You're telling me that I can't trust myself. That I shouldn't have faith in myself."
Grams' first lesson rushed to the front of her mind, and she repeated it automatically.
"A witch must have faith in her power, in herself. When a witch doubts herself and her power, she risks losing her power."
Shaking off the near trancelike state that had overcome her, Bonnie continued on, "You're asking me to doubt myself, when that's the last thing I can afford. I can't risk Silas getting free and lowering the veil just so that you can have your revenge. That's not what's right. It's not what will maintain the natural order."
Taking a deep breath, Bonnie could feel the beginnings of peace take root in her mind.
"I don't need to trust Caroline right now. I need to trust myself, to trust in my own judgment."
Looking around the ruins, Caroline addressed the witches she couldn't see but knew were there.
"I need you to trust in me and stand with me. I have so much I need to do, and I can't do it alone. I need all of you to lend me your power and trust that what I do is in the service of nature. I need you to trust that I'm going to do what is right.
There had been no answer, but Bonnie had felt a warm sensation wrap around her. When she looked at Emily again, the young woman's expression was no longer cold, but instead appeared content. Knowing that she had found the answers she had come for, Bonnie left the house and made her way back to her Grams' car.
Before starting up the engine, she picked up her phone and sent a text to Caroline, asking if she was still at the motel and telling her that they needed to talk. She spent the drive back thinking about exactly what she needed to say. While she didn't think it would be what Caroline wanted to hear, the air needed to be cleared.
Grams had already left by the time Bonnie got there, though she was no doubt close by. This was something that she and Caroline needed to do alone. When she opened the door and saw the mixture of fear and hope on Caroline's face, however, she wished that Grams were in the room to make this all better.
Crossing over to sit at the foot of the bed that Caroline was sitting on, Bonnie took a deep breath to gather her courage.
"I ran out this morning, because I had a dream. But… it wasn't just a dream, it was a vision. In it, I saw you killing a man. So, I panicked and left."
Caroline's face showed equal parts dread and resignation, and her voice was soft.
"I can't guarantee that I won't kill anyone this time around. The first time I did, there were deaths that could have been avoided."
At this, her expression changed to determination and she continued with a firmer voice, "But there were people I killed that, if the circumstances were the same, I wouldn't hesitate to kill again. I'm not proud of that, and I do feel guilty, but I did it to save someone I loved."
Bonnie could feel the tears starting to spill down her face. She had been afraid of hearing something like that, but now that she had, it didn't horrify her like she thought it would. Reaching across the space between them, she gently grabbed Caroline's hands in her own.
"I don't know if I can really trust you. I'm going to have my doubts about you, I can't help that. But, right now, I'm making the choice to trust myself. At some point, I trusted you enough to give you a piece of my soul. I have to believe that I wouldn't do that unless I was completely sure of you. I'm not there yet, but I have to believe in myself."
The sight of Caroline's tears left Bonnie feeling raw and helpless. She wanted to so much to take back her words, swear that she trusted her friend completely. But she had to be honest, for both of their sakes. When the emotion became too much, she quickly moved up the bet to sit next to Caroline and wrap her arms around her friend.
"I don't mean to hurt you, it's the last thing I want to do."
She felt Caroline turn and wrap her arms around her. She then heard a sob before Caroline's voice came out soft and unsure.
"We got past this before, and it was much worse. We'll be fine."
Holding onto Caroline tighter, she reached up and ran her hand over her blond curls.
"We'll make it through this together."
Even as she said the words as an automatic platitude, she realized that she truly believed them. At some point, between talking to Emily and arriving here, she had not only decided to believe in herself, but had actually made that leap of faith. They would be okay. It would take some time, but they would get there eventually.
A short time later, Sheila walked into the motel room with a bag of take-out food and found the two girls wrapped up around each other and fast asleep. While their faces still looked wet with tears, they both seemed at peace in their sleep. She was all too aware, though, that this was only the first hurdle.
It wouldn't be the hardest one to surmount either.