Fandom: The Vampire Diaries, AU future!fic
Pairings: Klaus/Bonnie/Stefan, Stefan/Bonnie, Damon/Bonnie, Damon/Elena, Stefan/Elena, Matt/Caroline/Tyler, Alaric/Meredith, some vague Katherine/Elijah, Katherine/Damon and hints of Jeremy/Bonnie.
Disclaimers: Don’t own The Vampire Diaries, nor any recognizable characters.
It’s been 3 years since Bonnie Bennett has put the town of Mystic Falls in her rear-view mirror, vowing never to return. A history major at BC by day and a witch-for-hire by night, Bonnie pays the bills by selling the tricks of her trade, though she vows to never again involve herself in the affairs of vampires. But when she receives phone calls from two individuals she never wants to see again, she is thrust unwillingly back into the world she so desperately tried to leave behind. As she races against the clock to uncover the killer bent on raising nothing short of hell, Bonnie must put aside her wants and discover the strength she needs in order to prevent the world from destruction. Along the way, she must make a pact with her sworn enemies to take down the biggest threat to humankind the world has ever seen, or soon the world may ring with the sound of silence.
It’s her destiny. It may also be her doom.
.003 THE VISION THAT WAS PLANTED
She walked through a beautiful field, filled with swaying poppies of white and gold. She was barefoot and cloaked in smoke and light, and it took her a moment to realize that it was she who was illuminating the field before her, she who was the source of light towards which the flowers bowed. The sky was a fiery crimson and it churned rapidly, clouds roiling and swelling, then diminishing, and repeating again like a film in time-lapse. The sight discomfited her, but somehow she was not afraid. Something brushed against her feet, and she looked down. The flowers grew; the flowers wilted; the flowers died and their seeds fell, tumbling like glittering jewels from the shivering husks in rapid descent. Before her eyes, they turned into bright green little slashes of leaf even before their roots took hold of the rich black earth beneath her feet.
She heard the dripping of water by her right ear, loud and cavernous, and she flinched away from the noise. She whirled around to face the sound, a perfect pirouette of singular motion. A hallway loomed dark and silent before her now. She gasped, could hear it echoing in the black like some harsh, sentient thing, and she swiveled her head around desperately. But it was too late, and now the field was gone like a wisp of memory. Bare wall met her gaze in its stead and then it was like she was always there, in that hallway, but she just couldn’t remember how. When had everything changed? Her glittering dress of smoke and light dimmed at the thought, tendrils of grey caressing her body as they slid down her back, dropping to her ankles and rolling off them in silent waves. She swallowed and turned back to face the corridor, dread filling her blood with leaden unease. She began to walk, bare feet whispering across the uneven roughness of the floor beneath her.
The hallway seemed… off, somehow. Was it slanted, or was that just her imagination? Doors lined the hallway on either side, dusty and drab and uniformly the same indeterminate shade. Light filtered under the cracks of some of the doors, and under others fog rolled out, beckoning with smoky filaments. Water trickled from under some, cold and slick and foul; black slime oozed out from under the doorway of another, bubbling and frothy and unfathomably dank. Other doors still remained dark and unyielding, neither light nor smoke nor any other element issuing from within. For some reason, those were the doors that Bonnie feared the most. And from all of them, all, came the sound of whispers. They came to her faintly at first, hushed and furtive, so much so that she had to strain herself to hear them. She could not make out what they were saying.
She didn’t want to.
But what was behind them? Bonnie paused in front of one door, hesitant. She cocked her head to the side and looked down at the doorknob, a sense of giddiness running through her even though she heard a voice whispering to her over and over “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.” The word punctuated the dead space of the air around her like the jarring strokes of a typewriter, swift and definitive.
It took her a moment to realize that the words were her own, that she was the one whispering them to the darkness and the void. She did not know why she did so, and yet at the same time she did know, or suspected.
Don’t. She watched as her hand moved of its own accord, fingers shimmering like a mirage before her gaze as they reached out to touch, just to touch.
Don’t. The voice was insistent. Her breath faltered in her throat. Or was the other way around—that it was her throat grasping her breath in a viselike grip, preventing it from escape?
Don’t. Her hand brushed the cool finish of the metal doorknob, the sweet contact of hot flesh and cool element.
Like the fabric of the cosmos rent apart, something behind the door issued a blood-curdling scream.
It was unlike any other sound that Bonnie ever heard. The door heaved beneath the force of it, bowing and rippling like a sheet caught to wind, the roars shaking the wood paneling against its frame. Splinters showered over her as the door rattled at such speed that it vibrated in place; it as if whatever was on the other side of the door was trying to break free, and deep down, with the dawning horror of a child, she realized that was exactly what was taking place. The screams undulated, echoing throughout the hall like a crescendo, louder and louder and louder still, distorting and bending and multiplying like a living creature, sharp enough to pierce and piercing enough to draw blood. And it did! The door wept with it, dark, thick crimson rivers of it gushing across the paneling and rushing to meet her, to consume her—
She turned and ran, and darkness overtook her.
For a moment Bonnie lay awake, not daring to move.
The darkness pressed up claustrophobic against her eyes like a black shroud and for one dreadful, heart-stuttering moment she feared that she was still asleep, trapped in a dream-world where space-time and light-dark had no meaning. It took her a few moments to remember where she was, and how she had gotten there.
It seemed like the funeral and her encounter with Damon had been the segue to her bad dream, and this side of the other it felt wrong somehow, like days and months had passed in between that time and now. She sometimes dreamt of that too; dreamt that she was Sleeping Beauty, having awoken from her hundred-year-long slumber only to find the world soft and silent, a vast emptiness forgotten under a layer of dust, and very much alone.
But that was not her dream tonight, no. Tonight was different.
Bonnie’s pulse was pounding in her ears and her tongue felt like sandpaper against the roof of her mouth. She was drenched with sweat, her covers tossed askew over her shaking form, indicating yet another night of restless sleep. She had a lot of those lately. Came with the job, or so she told herself.
She lay still for a moment, eyes squeezing tightly shut, willing herself to remember what she had dreamt. She remembered bits and pieces—a door, a field, light and smoke and the fear, oh, the fear that tasted metallic on her tongue, even then—but the rest was just a fading memory, curling away to sooty nothingness like bits of burning paper scattered to the wind. Bonnie tried harder to recall the dread she had felt, interspersed with those moments of sheer and utter calm, as only dreams could induce. With a heavy sigh, her eyes flicked open once more. No use trying to remember something that didn’t want to be recalled.
But it had felt so real. That much, at least, she could say.
Running a still-trembling hand over her face, Bonnie reached out in the darkness to fumble for the alarm clock by her bedside. Her fingers brushed against the cool plastic as Bonnie swiveled the device until she could read it. The red illuminated face shone brightly into her maladjusted eyes, searing the numbers 3:11 into her vision even as she clapped a hand over the alarm clock to dim the glow. Realizing how early it was, Bonnie groaned, sinking back into her pillows and resisting the urge to cry.
Of course she wouldn’t be able to sleep. By rights, she shouldn’t be sleeping, not after everything that had passed.
Instead, Bonnie threw the blankets off her body and sat straight up in bed. She turned her body until her feet were hovering over the cold wood of the bedroom floor. Before she alighted on the oak, she hesitated, a habit that she couldn’t quite rid herself of even after twenty-one years. Ever since she was a child, she always hated this part: the three-second icy shock of one’s bare foot making contact with the frigid floor below. Bonnie had long ago invested in a pair of slippers to counteract this phobia (and it was just that—an irrational fear of cold floors… laughable, of course, considering what she faced on a daily basis), but, unfortunately, she had left them back at her dorm, five states and a six-hour car ride away. In that moment, it felt like another life, college; like she was just playing pretend. The sad reality was that no matter how hard she tried to pry herself away from Mystic Falls, its shadow seemed to be cast over her regardless of where she fled.
Scrunching up her face, Bonnie gingerly leaned forward and pressed the ball of her foot onto the floor below. It was unpleasant and freezing, as always. Snagging the throw blanket strewn across her bedspread, Bonnie wrapped the fabric about her body and padded her way towards her bathroom, en suite as per her request. She cast a wary eye out the window as she passed it, taking in the darkness and the stars, then looking idly down to the street below.
What she saw made her do a double take, heart leaping to her throat. Every sense flared to life and Bonnie’s grip loosed in shock, the throw slipping from her shoulders to pool at her feet. Without thinking, she threw herself to the wall beside the window and pressed herself up against it, praying he hadn’t seen her.
But she knew better.
The balmy autumn air disturbed the sheer white drapery covering the open window, and the gauzy fabric fluttered slowly towards her like a dancer. Light from the streetlamp below cast a yellowish hue into the room, and she edged away from it instinctively, biting her lip. Bonnie took a deep breath, heart thudding, and slowly lowered herself until she was resting lightly on her knees. Leaning forward, she allowed her eyes to crest the bottom of the window sill in order to peer down at the street below.
The street was deserted, save for the lone, tall figure that had occupied a corner of her darkest thoughts of late.
She should have known he would find her.
Stefan Salvatore, as still and silent as the shadow he embodied, stood bathed in the harsh glow of the streetlamp, gazing up at Bonnie’s window.
He was standing with the light at his back, which cast his face into darkness and made it difficult to see his features. She did not know how long he had been standing there, but as soon as she looked at him, she regretted it. A sudden jolt ran through her and she knew without a doubt that he was now looking directly at her with those dark, impenetrable eyes of his.
She frowned. Casting a net out mentally, she probed for his conscious, for any sign of familiarity that she could coax out of him, and in turn any information she could glean from that simple telepathic touch. Instead, as she reached out, her mind slipped and lost tread, as if coming into contact with something smooth and refractive, like a mirror. This repelling force bounced her back, but not before her mind slid up against something cold and silent and completely alien. Instinctively, Bonnie recoiled, breaking the connection with a gasp.
As if determining that he had sufficiently gotten her attention, Stefan cocked his head to the side. She could see his half-smirk, half hidden in shadow but for the gleam of his teeth, all the way from her vantage at the window. He blinked once, and then turned, walking away in a fluid, predatory gait that she did not recognize in him. Her eyes followed his retreating form as he walked all the way to the top of the street, turning around the corner and disappearing completely from her sight.
Bonnie recognized a summons when she saw one.
She dressed in the dark, slipping into her running shoes and throwing on track shorts and a hoodie, which she salvaged from the spartan pile of clothes she had brought with her for this trip.
Bonnie faltered by the door, biting her lip. Even with her magic, following the likes of Stefan into the dark was especially stupid without some kind of protection. Letting out a weary sigh, she doubled back and crouched down by her suitcase. Unzipping it once more and reaching inside, she felt all the way down to the bottom, parting her neatly folded shirts and jeans. Her fingers encircled the newly acquired artifact she had packed with her and she lifted it apprehensively from the depths of her suitcase. The scarce light that filtered in through the windows illuminated the carved ridges along its sides, the runes and various inscriptions flowering from end to sharpened end. Bonnie held the dark wooden object reverently with both hands, bowing her head in a silent prayer to whatever ancient entities had possessed this relic before her.
For it wasn’t just anything she held aloft in her grasp.
This was one of nine stakes carved by one of the first hunters of vampires, Jonathan Harker, passed through dozens of hands throughout the ages until it finally found its way to Bonnie.
The blood of hundreds of vampires, according to legend, was what stained the wood the unnaturally black color it now held. Bonnie’s grip tightened around the stake and she stood. She was hoping to break it in on a vampire somewhat more… worthy, to be quite honest. But, Bonnie decided as she slipped the thing in the waistband of her sweats, if it came to it, she would have no hesitation in stabbing Stefan’s cocksure little smirk off his face with the thing.
Lord knew he deserved it.
Bonnie’s rapid footsteps echoed loudly into the night and she winced, slowing to a brisk walk. She knew that stealth was pointless when it came to a vampire, but still, the idea of the element of surprise was an appealing one. Once outside she realized just how chilly it was; she hugged herself tightly and ran her hands up and down her arms, fighting a shiver despite her sweatshirt.
She turned the same corner she had seen him disappear around and skidded to a halt. This couldn’t be right. The street was a complete dead end. No houses, no buildings of any sort, just overgrown weeds beyond a concrete barrier that, from the looks of it, had long been forgotten. And a lone streetlamp, sickly orange light flickering like a firefly as she drew closer. Of Stefan, there was no sight.
Bonnie hated games. What was this? Where the hell was he?
Luckily, her guesses were cut short.
She didn’t have to turn around to know that he was behind her. The way her body reacted was indication enough—the natural defenses that she had learned to refine as a witch, the simple honing of Sense and Sight which gave her an upper hand in close proximity to other supernatural beings. Her whole body tingled, somewhere between a shudder and a shock, and the hair on the back of her neck stood up like hackles on a dog in his presence. And she could smell him, oddly enough. Not his aftershave, although he hadn’t been sparing with that either, but something older, and distinctly… Stefan. She couldn’t describe it.
“Stefan,” she uttered, back still turned to him. The word escaped from her almost involuntarily, as if vocalizing his name was some sort of incantation to make his presence an immutable reality.
“Bonnie.” He acknowledged. His tone was conversational, but Bonnie knew better. Every word exchanged with a vampire, especially a vampire like Stefan, was as double-edged as a knife, and they were wielded in much the same way.
She shifted her stance carefully, feeling the weight of her concealed weapon heavy and reassuring against her back. Something about the sight of Stefan filled her with an irrevocable rage. The stake calmed her somewhat.
“Long time,” Bonnie returned, bobbing her head in acknowledgement.
That earned her a low chuckle. “Too long.” Stefan replied, although his tone suggested otherwise. His boots made barely a whisper across the macadam as he circumvented her at a leisurely pace, circling her like a buzzard would its next meal. She hated having him at her back, and she fought the urge to whirl around and face him, instead allowing herself to be inspected.
Stefan finally stopped before her and for the first time in years, Bonnie got a good look at the younger Salvatore.
He was different. Of course he was different, but it wasn’t an obvious thing that she could quite pin down, not at first. His hair was the same, light brown locks still coiffed in that gravity-defying architectural dome of mousse and male secrets. He wore the same kinds of clothing, which she supposed always suited him, really: worn leather jacket, simple white tee shirt, dark jeans that probably cost more than her college tuition, heavy shitkickers—the perfect balance of metrosexual and distinctly rugged that only someone like Stefan could pull off.
Bonnie saved his face for last, not sure if she could handle what she saw there. She was right about that.
His face was the same as before, of course—beautiful, chiseled, and angular like some Grecian god statue freed of his marble entombment—but where his eyes once held life and kindness, now instead simmered a rage and cold calculation in his stare that almost made Bonnie take a step back upon meeting it. It cemented everything she had known but not felt, not truly believed about him until now.
Old Stefan—he was as dead as Jeremy. This new Stefan, this Ripper Stefan… he was in control now. And, from the looks of it, he had been pulling the strings for a very long time.
Bonnie’s lips tightened into a thin line. This was starting to look like a very bad idea in hindsight.
“How did you know I was here?” Bonnie asked at last. It was an idle enough question, but she made sure to watch his face very carefully. Old Stefan was a terrible liar. She was curious to see how New Stefan compared.
“Jeremy’s funeral, obviously,” Stefan’s voice was curt, clipped, and efficient, as if he were listing off items on a grocery list rather than discussing the death of one of their—well, just her now, she supposed—loved ones. “I knew you would find some way to slip into Mystic Falls just to pay your respects,” he recounted, fixing her with a flat stare.
Bonnie shrugged as if to say, go on.
Stefan sighed and rolled his eyes impatiently. “You’re still on the outs with Elena, so staying at the Gilbert house was out of the question. You weren’t sure where Caroline’s allegiances lie, and you weren’t going to impose on Matt. And Damon…” Bonnie’s eye twitched at the mention of his brother’s name, and Stefan’s lips quirked with a smile. It shadowed rather than lit up his face, and Bonnie swallowed, officially unnerved. “Well, we all know how that would turn out. Plus, you hated the idea of having to see everyone again. So you went to the oldest, closest-to-the-outskirts bed and breakfast you could find, registered under a different name, and hoped that you could skulk away the morning after the funeral. Sound about right?”
Bonnie just stood there, mouth open, unable to process. She wasn’t sure what she felt at this moment: anger and fear, sadness and caution all formed a cacophony of emotion inside. She settled instead for folding her arms tightly across her chest and shifting her stance once more, cocking one hip to the side as if she hadn’t a care in the world.
“So,” Stefan continued, satisfied he had shut her up for the time being. “I assume you remember my little… proposition on the phone? Care to discuss?”
“Why the actual hell would I do anything to help you?” Bonnie burst out hotly, a dark scowl contorting her features.
He blinked languidly down at her, that infuriating smirk still plastered to his equally infuriating face. He learned from the best of course, and Bonnie could see traces of Damon in that smirk of his. It only made her angrier.
“Because I have something you want,” Stefan said simply.
Bonnie laughed in his face. “You have no idea what I want, Stefan. None.”
Stefan stepped closer, his tall frame dominating hers, and she shrank away from his proximity. She could feel the warmth of him radiating in waves off his body and she clenched her fingers into fists at her sides, resisting the urge to grab the stake at her back and use it to remind him of a little thing called personal boundaries. He was never really good at that. Good to know some things don’t change.
Stefan regarded her carefully, those slate eyes of his searching every inch of her face like it was a map. His smile was gone now, and Bonnie dared not breathe.
“I might not know what you want, Bonnie,” Stefan spoke at last, leaning so close to her now his face filled the entirety of her vision, “But I know what you need.”
The last word took on a low, rumbling timbre and something in Stefan’s eyes stirred to life. Bonnie frowned up at him, recognizing a look that she had seen on his face only in the presence of Elena, or fresh blood.
It made her numb at the sight of him. She backed away slowly.
She didn’t like Stefan like this, unpredictable, clearly unhinged. But then again, after everything that had happened that summer, the summer that changed everything… Who could say if she was in the right and he in the wrong? What gave her the right to judge? At any rate, she had given him his fifteen minutes. She wasn’t impressed with what she had seen and heard so far.
“Goodbye, Stefan,” Bonnie turned and started walking away. “Pray for your sake that we don’t meet again.”
“Bonnie,” Stefan intoned. His voice was back to the plaintive, dulcet murmurs that reminded her of Old Stefan, Kind Stefan, Stefan from Before.
Bonnie cursed herself as she felt her feet slow to a stop. That wheedling tone of his had always succeeded in making her do what he wanted and he knew it. The bastard knew it so well. Bonnie whirled around to face him, livid, mostly at herself for lapsing into who she used to be around him: pliant, willing, easily swayed.
“Would you believe me if I told you that you were a powerful medium?” Stefan asked Bonnie suddenly, tenting his fingers and puckering his lips against their tips.
“I’d tell you that you were stating the obvious,” Bonnie replied smoothly, trying and failing to keep the condescension out of her tone.
“But am I?” Stefan responded indulgently. “Something tells me you don’t know your own potential.”
“I know enough to get by, Stefan,” Bonnie reminded him. “I gave all that up, remember? And now you’re asking me to dive right back in, I assume? For you of all people? Give me a fucking break, Stefan. You’re just wasting our time.”
“Then why did you follow me tonight?” Stefan asked simply. He ran a hand through his spiky hair and fixed her with a slow smile that seemed wrong somehow on his face. “You could have just… gone right back to sleep.”
Yeah, like I could go to sleep knowing a confirmed sociopath and blood addict is roaming around outside my window at night. Sure.
Bonnie let out a sharp breath and squeezed her eyes shut. “Beginning to wonder why myself, actually,” she muttered under her breath. She leveled him with a sharp stare, emerald eyes glittering. “I just don’t like being stalked, funnily enough. Figured I’d tell you that in person. And look at that! Mission accomplished. Time for me to go back to bed and pretend that all you are is a very bad dream.”
Stefan reached out and grabbed her arm with crushing force. Warning bells went off like klaxons in her head.
It was second nature to her by now, mere muscle memory, so it was no surprise to her when one minute she was being yanked forward by Stefan and the next she had one hand gripping Stefan’s hair and bending him back painfully at the neck, the other pointing Harker’s stake directly at Stefan’s jugular.
“You don’t what to know whose stake this is, Stefan,” Bonnie breathed, tone dripping with venom as she traced the wooden weapon against his Adam’s apple. “Let’s just say he was friends with a guy named Van Helsing, and that he pretty much wrote the vampire slaying manual.”
She expected fear. Or, at the very least, respect. She wasn’t at all prepared for Stefan’s reaction to this information.
Stefan laughed. Laughed. With a stake pressing dangerously into his throat. Like it was something he did every day. Like it was a joy to do so. Like he was more worried about grass growing than he was about the ancient power aimed at his neck.
Bonnie bit back the temptation to take him right then and there, just barely. Instead she dug the stake further into the pale skin of his neck, smiling in sick satisfaction when she drew a pinprick of blood.
Stefan only laughed harder, hands raised in a submissive manner. “You haven’t changed a bit, Bonnie,” he chuckled, genuinely filled with amusement at her little show. He eyed her and continued to laugh, as if she was the best damn joke he had heard in decades.
Bonnie allowed her lips to curve into some facsimile of a smile, and whatever Stefan saw in her face made his laughter falter.
Suddenly, in one fluid arc of motion, Bonnie removed the stake from his neck and rammed it up, hard, into Stefan’s gut. Giving it a savage twist, she let go and pushed him back with a flick of her wrist.
Stefan let out a broken cry of pain, keeling over like a felled tree. Blood seeped out between his fingers as he gasped, unable to draw breath, hands scrabbling at the stake sunk almost clean through his abdomen.
“You’re right, Stefan,” Bonnie mused cheerily, tapping her chin with her finger. She knelt down and, with a vicious yank that made Stefan grunt hoarsely, she pulled the stake free from his body with a sickening squelching sound. “I haven’t changed a bit.”
Bonnie reached out and wiped down the sides of the stake on the front of Stefan’s white v-neck shirt, and then leaned back on her haunches, admiring her work. Stefan sank to his side, wheezing, hand still pressed to the gaping wound glistening garishly in the harsh light of the streetlamp. Doubling over, he coughed violently and then spat out a thick mouthful of black blood.
“Why…” Stefan ground out, eyes darting from the bloody mess of his stomach to meet her gaze. “Why is it taking so long to heal?” Gone was the tone of calm, replaced instead with something closely resembling panic. Bonnie wondered how long it was since he felt that particular emotion.
“What, this?” Bonnie tapped the wound with the butt of the stake, Stefan’s gasps of pain music to her ears. “I told you whose stake this was. Do you really think it didn’t come with some extra—what was it your brother calls it? Witchy woo-woo?” She stood upright, smirking down at him as he bled out onto the cracked pavement before her.
“It’ll heal… eventually,” Bonnie continued, unable to keep the regret out of her voice. “But in the meantime I suggest you invest in some ACE bandages or something. Wouldn’t want to bleed all over Klaus’ nice upholstery when you go running back to him.”
Stefan grimaced up at her wordlessly, unable to keep the surprise out of his face, visible even through the pain.
“What? You didn’t think I could see right through you? Isn’t it Klaus who you’re working for these days?” Bonnie sneered, contempt lacing like poison through her words. “What was the deal he gave you so that you would work together? Revenge on the world that wronged you? Your brother’s head, or maybe Elena’s magical doppelganger vagina for your own once more? Both?” She laughed harshly. “What did you give him in return, Stefan? Did you have to fuck the promise out of him? Everyone knows Klaus always had a complete hard-on for you, that’s probably why he welcomed you back with open arms in the first—”
He was in motion before she had even finished her sentence. All she saw were his eyes, dark, veined, and terrifying, and then…
Don’t. Her world turned into a blur and dimly, she registered that she was flying through the air before—ah, bless—the trunk of a tree was kind enough to break her fall. She could only half hear the resounding crack her head made when it collided with the immovable object, but it must have been impressive because immediately, her world began growing smoky around the edges. A ringing sound filled her ears.
Don’t. She couldn’t move. Not one limb responded to her efforts. Oh god. Blinking blood out of her eyes, she saw Stefan appear before her, one hand still clutching his ravaged stomach, the other hand wrapped around the stake she had held in her grip not seconds before. He seemed twice—no, fifty times his size as he loomed over her, twirling the stake through his fingers and smirking down at her feeble form, as she had done to him only moments ago. Her mind sluggishly tried to process—how was he even standing? That stake should have immobilized a vampire like him.
What are you, Stefan?
Don’t. Vaguely, and at long last, Bonnie realized that she should be afraid, very, very afraid of the man standing before her now. His blood dripped in streams from his tattered shirt front, mingling with her own. His eyes were black slits as he stared down at her with bared, pointed teeth. She wanted to run. She wanted to fight. She could do neither. He leaned in closer. Closer.
Don’t. But then her eyes rolled back into her skull, the world fell blissfully silent, and Bonnie Bennett worried no more.