Actions

Work Header

She Knew

Chapter Text

She couldn’t say when she’d begun remembering. It seemed to happen both slowly and suddenly. Perhaps the truth of the situation simply didn’t hit her at first, but still she remembered. Still she knew.

Her mother was beautiful. Her beautiful mother with her long, brown hair and her kind, green eyes. She liked to sing her lullabies, she knew, even though her voice wasn’t the prettiest in the world. It was alright, though; the rocking of her crib helped lull her to sleep when her mother’s voice failed. It was her eyes she got.

Her father was quite handsome as well, but not nearly as stunning as her green-eyed mother. She didn’t get much from him. Sure, their noses could be considered similar and they were the same ethnicity, but there wasn’t much else to prove at face value that they were father and daughter.

It was that realization that caused all her other memories to begin sliding into place. Of course she didn’t look like him. He wasn’t her father. Her green eyes weren’t her mother’s. She wasn’t her mother. Her sister… Well, her sister was still her sister.

Elena and Angela Gilbert were born on June 22nd 1992 in Mystic Falls, Virginia.

She knew that before, in her memories, she used to be quite a miserable person. Miserable but strong. Miserable but smart. Miserable and alone. Now, she supposed, at least she couldn’t be alone anymore. Not now that she had Elena to look after.

Her sister was always a happy girl. Every boy that didn’t fear her deathly cooties had a crush on her, she knew. She supposed she couldn’t blame them. If they weren’t related and she actually was the age she looked she might have had a crush on her, too. Elena was blessed at birth with the gift of charisma and used it unwittingly. Old ladies cooed endlessly when she was around and she made friends everywhere she went. Angela made friends too, but only to see if they could be trusted near Elena. Were they actually friends, then? It didn’t really matter, she supposed. Friendships always complicated things.

She couldn’t remember much of her life before. She supposed that didn’t really matter either. All the useful memories were still with her. Remembering her real parents would have likely only served to drive her mad.

She and Elena met Bonnie when they were a year old. Abigail Bennett was their mother’s best friend and she gave birth seven months after they were born. It was Bonnie’s second birthday, however, that she actually remembered. Wearing a forest green dress and golden circlet, Bonnie looked like a young forest fae. Angela brought this up to her and that sparked the three of them playing a game of trolls and fairies; their own variation of cops and robbers. Elena and Bonnie became fast friends after that. She supposed she was Bonnie’s friend too, as well as a grown adult could be friends with a toddler.

She was called a genius when she mastered the alphabet at the age of three. She made a mental note to stop letting things like that slip. The pages she’d detailed future events on were in an empty bottle buried in the backyard. She had to wait until after midnight to bury it. Digging was tedious with hands as tiny as hers, and worrisome if any adults were awake to see her.

Abigail Bennett left Bonnie and her husband that year, which meant that Mikael had come and gone. The fact that Angela didn’t even notice gave her nightmares for a month.

Jeremy was born when they were four. It seemed that their parents had had their hands full with the twins and decided to wait two more years than they would have before trying for a biological child. She adored her baby brother but, bless his soul, he was the ugliest baby she’d ever laid her eyes on. Red and bald and screaming, he was something out of a horrible fever dream. How could she resist those round blue eyes, however, that were half the size of his head and looked at her so sweetly?

 

With age five came kindergarten. With kindergarten came Caroline Forbes, the girl that would single-handedly change her outlook on life.

Unlike her sister, she was quite indifferent to the idea of starting school, though that might have just been because she’d gone through the whole ordeal once already. Elena had been all abuzz the night before. She was fluttering around their room, making sure her owl-shaped rolling bag was ready, her outfit perfect, her butterfly clips all laid out and ready to be used in the morning.

“It’s not a big deal, Lena.”

Her sister turned to pout at her. “It is a big deal! You’re the one who’s not taking it seriously,” she stomped her tiny little leg and went back to brushing her hair. She’d heard somewhere that giving it a hundred strokes every night made it silkier and followed the advice religiously. No wonder she would always look perfect when she was older, she thought, when even at age five she took good care of herself.

Angela closed her eyes with an amused smile and settled further into her bed. “Goodnight, Elena.”

“Goodnight, Angie.” Brush. Brush. Brush.

The following morning consisted of Elena excitedly dragging her out of bed, raving all the while about making new friends and how they’re finally becoming grown-ups, and though she was still tired she couldn’t help but find her yammering adorable.

The teacher seemed trustworthy. She was a kind-looking older woman with noticeable streaks of grey in her hair. Angela felt confident enough in her firm but sweet approach that she allowed herself to relax.

And that was when she struck.

“Hi! I’m Caroline. Wanna play house?”

It was impossible to be anything but happy when Caroline was around. She was upbeat, optimistic, and gave her compliments freely. She was the first person that made her act just a bit more like the age she seemed to be. The first person that got her to let go and happily play house, of all things. Knowing all that she knew, Angela came to the conclusion that she wanted to be friends with the precious little girl that would one day, with her help, become a confident and brilliant woman.

 

She decided to visit Sheila Bennett at age seven. Enough was enough, she thought, and she had to know.

“What am I?”

Sheila’s gaze shifted from that of a woman regarding a child to that of a woman regarding a woman. She smirked at her knowingly. “You’re human.”

Angela opened her mouth to protest, but Sheila raised a hand to stop her.

“The question you actually want the answer to is how did I get here?

She swallowed. “How did I get here?”

Sheila sighed through her nose. “You died.”

The revelation hit her like a freight-train, but Sheila kept talking.

“Normally, when a human dies they either find peace or get dragged down to oblivion. Heaven and hell, as you likely know them better. Unfortunately… sometimes there’s a, ah, error in the system.”

An error? That’s what she was? An error? Sheila set down the coffee cup that smelled suspiciously like whiskey.

“Instead of passing on, your spirit decided to stay. I don’t know why, honestly it’s not something that happens very often.”

She caught on to what she was saying. “But this isn’t even my world. Why would I reincarnate here?”

Sheila made a noise of disagreement. “Your world, my world… What does it matter when you’re a spirit? There was just as much a chance of you ending up on Mars, millennia from now.”

“Are there others like me?”

She nodded her head to the side. “There have been.” Her lips briefly twitched into a smirk. “Obviously. But you could very well be the only one alive right now.”

They spent some time in silence, Angela contemplating her entire existence and Sheila sipping the suspicious liquid.

“If you don’t mind me asking,” Sheila finally said, “how do you know this isn’t your world? Are you from a different time period? Did humans not exist where you were from?”

She let out a small laugh. “That would be interesting, wouldn’t it? No, none of that.” Her smile died. “The events of Mystic Falls were a TV show where I come from… came from. My sister was the protagonist, for reasons I’m sure you can imagine.”

Sheila’s eyes were narrowed in thought. “You know about her, then?”

“Yes. I know what happened in the past. I know what would happen in a future wherein I never existed.” She scoffed. “I haven’t even tried to change anything major yet, and Jeremy is already completely different. He would’ve been born two years after Elena, not four. He’ll likely grow up to be a completely different person.”

She nodded. “The future is hardly set in stone. Every witch knows that.”

Angela cleared her throat. “Speaking of… I think you should start teaching Bonnie magic as soon as you think reasonable. From what I know, her powers won’t start awakening until she’s seventeen, but she can still start learning.”

Sheila’s eyes narrowed further, and Angela couldn’t tell if she was warning her to back off or only thinking harder.

“And what makes you say that?”

“She wasn’t strong enough last time, in the beginning. She was vulnerable because she didn’t have enough knowledge about the supernatural. She almost died. You… you died before she could learn from you. It’s your call of course, but… all I want is to keep her and the rest of the kids safe.”

“…I’ll keep that in mind.”

The very next day Bonnie told her, Elena, and Caroline that she was a witch.

 

She found Grayson’s notebook at the age of ten. Not by accident, mind you, she had to pick the lock to his desk drawer, but it seemed the easiest way to get him to tell her the truth. She tried preparing herself for its contents, but she clearly underestimated what he was capable of doing.

8.3.2002

A.S: Vervain in blood beginning to show less severe reactions. Up the dosage.

P.F: Flesh of up to 1in. diameter regenerates when removed. Increase depth of incision by ½ in.

C.A: Severed hand doesn’t regenerate. Reattach and see if regeneration process occurs.

“What are you doing?”

She slammed the notebook shut before she could think better of it. He’s going to kill me. Her eyes fluttered closed to fight the bile rising in her throat. No, he’s not. You’re ten years old and his daughter. The worst he’ll do is ground you. She slowly turned around.

Grayson’s blue eyes flicked towards the book in her hands and his face twitched in a way that frightened her.

“D-daddy?” She didn’t need to fake the fear in her voice. “What is this?”

He didn’t look like her father at that moment. He crouched down in front of her, a lion waiting to strike. His voice was too even and his eyes were too cold. “Where did you find that, sweetheart?”

She swallowed. “In your desk.”

His jaw ticked. He smiled in what she assumed was meant to be a disarming manner, but his eyes were still too hard. “Didn’t I tell you girls to never go through my desk? Hm?” His hand lurched towards her face and she flinched. His fingers stopped a few inches away from her and she dared to look back up at him. He looked an odd mixture of angry and hurt. His index finger reached out again and simply touched the tip of her nose.

“I’m sorry.” Her words came out a whisper.

His eyes shut and when they opened he was her father again. “Did you read anything? I won’t punish you if you did.”

“You wrote about cutting people’s flesh off.”

Some time passed in silence before he gently nudged her chin. “Hey. Look at me.”

He had a tortured look on his face. “I wasn’t planning on telling you this until you turned eighteen, but…” he laughed mirthlessly, “well, that’s out of the picture now, isn’t it?”

He sighed and stood, striding over to his desk chair and sitting down. He rubbed his forehead and stared at her. “What do you know about vampires?”

He’s actually going to tell me. “They’re immortal and drink blood to survive?”

“They’re evil. They drink innocent people’s blood. Not just to survive, but because they like it. They like to hurt people. They like to kill people. People like you and me. They’re… they’re problems. And how do you solve a problem, Angie?”

She tilted her head and thought for a moment. “By learning more about it?”

He smiled, pleasantly surprised. “Yes! You brilliant girl, by learning more about it. That way you can figure out what needs to be done to solve it.” He gestured to the notebook, still in her hands. “That’s what you read. I learn more about vampires. That way I can stop them before they hurt innocent people.”

Hypocrite. “Only the bad vampires, though, right?”

He looked confused. “All vampires are bad vampires, honey.”

She shook her head. “That’s stupid. No race or species is all bad or all good. How could you even measure that?”

His eyes hardened. “Don’t call me stupid, Angela. I’m still your dad.”

Anger was beginning to bubble inside of her like water in a pot. The hell you are.

“I didn’t call you stupid. I called your line of thinking stupid.”

He stood suddenly and she flinched once more. “It’s in their nature to kill people!” His voice was desperate. “Of course they’re all bad! I know more than you about this, listen to me for once!”

The door swung open, and there stood her mother hand-in-hand with a six-year-old Jeremy.

“Hey,” her eyebrows were furrowed in concern, “what’s going on here?”

“Dad’s telling me-“

“Hey!” Grayson cut her off, eyes murderous. “Stop talking.”

The water overflowed. You don’t get to tell me what to do. “-about vampires.”

Her mother’s eyes widened in surprise. “What?”

“I thought I told you to stop talking!”

“I thought you were telling me about vampires.”

His nostrils flared and with a sharp sigh he looked at Miranda, face turning weary. “What do we do now?”

She stayed in stunned silence for a moment before looking down at Jeremy with a strained smile. “Hey, sweetie, why don’t you go see what your sister’s doing for a bit, hmm?”

His big round eyes were shifting between the three of them nervously, but he nodded obediently and walked towards the twins’ room. Miranda closed the door.

“What did Daddy tell you, angel?”

She crossed her arms. All her fear was gone, and in its place was only righteous anger. “Well, after I read his notes that detailed torturing people-” Grayson let out a grunt of displeasure “-he told me that all vampires were evil and it’s in their nature to kill humans, so it’s okay to torture them.”

The door opened again and Elena stepped through, looking thoroughly befuddled. “Hey, um, Jeremy just told me you were talking about vampires?”

Angela felt a surge of joy go through her and made a mental note to hug her brother as soon as the conversation was over. This is perfect.

“No, we weren’t, Elena, go back to your room,” Grayson rubbed his temples.

“Elena deserves to know, too.” She tried her best to keep the glee out of her voice.

He shot her a glare much weaker than the ones before. His resolve seemed to be crumbling.

“I think Angela’s right, darling,” her mother spoke up with a shaky smile. “She would be safer if she knew and the cat’s already out of the bag.”

Grayson threw his head back and let out a long groan. “Close the door, Elena. We have a lot to talk about.”

 

They met Tyler Lockwood and the Donovan siblings in middle school. Matt was immediately smitten by her sweet sister, and it was obvious to everybody in the world except for her. Tyler was far from kind and selfless, but he wasn’t anywhere near the bully he was from when she remembered him. It was… odd to see him behaving like a normal kid. It was odd to see all of them behaving like normal kids.

Well… almost normal.

When Grayson and Miranda told her and Elena about vampires, it had the unforeseen – to her parents – repercussion of them insisting that Jeremy, Caroline, and Bonnie know as well. Bonnie handled it miles better than Caroline due to her already knowing about witches, but Caroline refused to talk to her parents for an entire week. She saw it as a betrayal that they could keep such a huge secret from her, even though Angela tried her hardest to get her to see their point of view. Jeremy handled it perfectly well because he was a six-year-old and six-year-olds have no real preconceived notions of the world.

She decided that Tyler deserved to know, as well. She couldn’t possibly tell him about werewolves yet, but telling him about vampires would more than likely make him being a werewolf easier to accept.

But first, she needed to befriend him.

The opportunity presented itself during the annual Founder’s Party. Half the attendees were trusted and valuable members of the community and the other half were children trying desperately to have fun. She and Elena had picked out matching dresses in red and blue shades respectively and were talking to Bonnie and Caroline.

Well, Elena was talking to them. Angela was trying to think of a way to grab the moonstone and Emily’s necklace both.

“Um, hellooo?” A pale hand waved in front of her eyes. It pulled back to reveal Caroline’s pouting face. “Were you even listening to what I said?”

She smiled awkwardly. “Ahhhh, no?”

Bonnie and Elena shared a look as Caroline crossed her arms in a gesture that seemed far too adult for her twelve-year-old body. “Okay, what is going on with you? Ever since we all got here you’ve been spacing out.”

She sighed. “I’ve just been thinking…”

The girls waited for her to finish, but when she didn’t Caroline leaned her head towards her impatiently. “Yes?”

She shook her head with a forced smile. “Nothing important, don’t worry about it. Just thinking about that… math quiz.”

“Uh huh, sure,” Bonnie piped up with narrowed eyes that immediately reminded her of Sheila.

“Keep your secrets,” her sister finished jokingly.

Caroline sighed in annoyance. “You’re telling me later.” She looked at her pointedly. “No. More. Secrets.”

Would it really be that bad if I told them about me? She decided to put that thought off for later.

“I’m gonna go explore the mansion. I’d like some time alone, if that’s alright.”

The girls stared at her, concerned.

“Hey,” Elena spoke up and gently grabbed her hand. “You can tell us anything. You know that, right?”

She smiled, genuinely this time. “I know. And I will. But not now, okay?”

The three of them glanced at one another before nodding their assent. Like the three heads of Cerberus, she thought and couldn’t help but smile in amusement.

The mansion was opulent. The outside didn’t offer much to marvel at, with it essentially being a large brick box, but the inside was furnished beautifully, with spotless wooden floors and chandeliers that seemed to grow from the ceiling like flowers. She climbed the wide staircase, her hands grazing the engraved pattern on the railing as Saint-Saëns’ The Swan slowly morphed into Debussy’s Arabesque No. 1.

There was significantly less hustle and bustle on the second floor, and as she made her way through the wide hallways it became quieter and quieter.

Until she heard the sound of glass breaking.

She turned towards the wooden double doors in time to hear a man’s muffled shouting.

“Did I say you could go!? Sit your ass back down!”

She heard what sounded like a thud and felt her pulse begin to quicken. What’s going on?

“You’re a Lockwood! You’re not a servant! You don’t act like that in front of everybody! You don’t act like a pussy!”

A higher-pitched voice mumbled something and Angela started putting the pieces together.

“You’re only sorry because you’re being yelled at, you little shithead!”

She heard another thud. He’s not hitting him, is he? She felt like she should interfere but had no idea how.

“Now go back to the party. Make sure you’re presentable. Do something like that again and I swear to God…”

She heard footsteps rapidly approaching the door and hid behind an archway. Mayor Richard Lockwood exited the room, looking slightly more disheveled and angry than usual. After a moment of him adjusting his suit he made for the stairs. She came out of hiding and walked towards the room, heart heavy in her chest. That poor kid.

She knocked gently and opened one of the doors before Tyler could say anything. He jumped up from his spot on the leather loveseat when he saw her, eyes wide and red.

“Hey! I didn’t say you could come in!”

“Your dad’s a jerk.”

Tyler’s shoulders slumped and he turned his head away. When he spoke his tone was quiet and ashamed. “You heard that?”

She bit her lip and closed the door. “Yeah. I didn’t mean to, but I was walking around the house and thought someone might be in trouble, so I stayed…”

He chuckled dryly; a thoroughly depressing sound to come out of somebody so young. He sat back down. “Yeah, well…”

She swallowed back the lump in her throat. “May I sit down?”

He looked at her with a sad smirk. “Now you wait for permission?” When she smiled back he nodded, expression solemn. “Yeah. Sure. I guess.”

She walked towards the loveseat and gently sat down. “Do you… What happened?”

He sighed through his nose and ran a hand through his black hair that was earlier styled to perfection but now looked shaggy and unkempt. He simply looked down at the floor for a while, not saying anything.

“Y-you don’t have to tell-”

“I picked a lady’s purse up off the ground.”

Her words died in her throat and she blinked in surprise. “What?”

He turned his head to look at her blankly. “I picked a lady’s purse up off the ground.”

She felt her eyebrows furrow in confusion. “And that’s bad… why, exactly?”

He scoffed. “It made me look like a pussy apparently.” His eyes widened. “Uhh, that means… it made me look weak.”

She smiled gently. “I know what it means.”

His face turned curious. “Really? Goody-two-shoes Gilbert knows what ‘pussy’ means?”

Her mouth dropped open in indignation. Kid, I know how to say pussy in French. He was looking at her with a gleam of amusement in his eyes, and it made her heart feel just a bit lighter.

She adopted a haughty look. “I know what ‘fuck’ means, too.”

His eyebrows rose in surprise and his mouth morphed into a toothy grin. He laughed breathlessly. “Damn, and here I thought you were a nerd. You always get straight A’s.”

She shrugged. “Honestly? I don’t really study all that much. I guess I’m just kinda smart.” Or have an incredibly unfair advantage.

He shook his head in disbelief and whistled. “Lucky…”

“Hey, everyone has their strengths. You’re incredible in P.E.” She laughed. “And I literally tripped over my own feet the other day.”

He chuckled. “Yeah, I guess… Only because my dad pushes me so much.”

She tilted her head. “Well, if he didn’t push you, what do you think you’d wanna do?”

He thought for a while, simply staring through her. “I think… I’d like to draw comic books.”

“Comic books, huh? Do you have any drawings I can look at?”

His eyes widened. “Oh, nu-uh, no. No way, I’m super bad.”

She smiled and nudged his shoulder. “Oh, come on. Even the best of the best were horrible when they were our age. Besides,” she snorted, “anything you draw can’t be any worse than the garbage I’d put on paper.”

He pursed his lips to the side and regarded her thoughtfully. “…Okay.” He got up and walked towards a door. “Just let me make sure I’m presentable.

 

Tyler handled the news about as well as Caroline. He couldn’t exactly stop talking to his parents for a week because he’d be punished, but he was noticeably freaked out for a month or so.

Angela encouraged him to keep drawing and when his temper began to rear its ugly head she helped him diffuse it and express it later, in healthy ways. There were still times where it got the best of him, but those were thankfully few and far between. He became an official member of the gang (which they had lovingly dubbed the Mystic Falls Maniacs) and one of her closest friends.

 

At age fourteen she had gathered them all in Sheila Bennett’s house and told them the truth about herself.

Elena and Jeremy were slightly hurt that she kept something like that from them, but seemed to accept her explanation that she didn’t want them to look at her any different. Bonnie was totally accepting, saying that she always knew there was something alien about her but couldn’t quite tell what it was. Tyler was having a bit of a meltdown.

“W-wait, so my life is a TV show?” His eyes were frantic. “So is-is there like a-a writer controlling my life or something? Do I have free will? Shit! Angie! You’re a demigod! Oh my God. Oh my God…”

There was a pregnant pause before Caroline gasped in realization. “No wonder you’ve never had a crush on anyone! We’re little kids to you!”

Tyler looked at her, bewildered. “Our best friend just told us she’s an adult from an alternate universe and that’s the first thing you think of?”

Caroline rolled her eyes with a shrug. “What? It doesn’t really change anything. She’s still Angie. We just know a bit more about her now.”

“Umm,” Bonnie shyly started, “Since we’re all opening up… I think I need to tell the boys something.”

The girls shared a significant look and Angela put her hand on Bonnie’s shoulder.

“We’re here for you, Bon-Bon.”

“That’s right,” Caroline nodded.

“We can call your grams in, too, if they need proof,” Elena said reassuringly.

“Proof about what?” Tyler asked.

“Yeah,” Jeremy’s eyebrows were furrowed in confusion. “Proof about what?”

Bonnie took a deep breath and spoke. “I’m a witch.”

They blinked.

“WHAT!?”

 

Caroline and Tyler started dating at the age of fifteen. It wasn’t much of a shock to the people around her, but Angela didn’t see it coming at all. It made sense though, seeing as they got to know each other much earlier and Tyler wasn’t the douchebag he would have been if Angela didn’t exist. His father had still drilled a few alpha male tendencies into his head that would pop up now and then, but being best friends with four girls helped him accept that he didn’t have to be a tough guy all the time.

Their relationship also helped Caroline reach a new peak in her confidence. Angela had been building her up over the years, always being there for her and ensuring that she never felt inferior to Elena, but being with Tyler made her absolutely glow. She was old enough that Angela could clearly see how she might be as a young woman, and she was more than pleased with the work she’d done.

Her father leaving her, however, undid a lot of it.

She called her on the morning of February 3rd 2008, sobbing and speaking incoherently. Once Angela helped her calm down enough to tell her what happened, Caroline said that her dad came out as gay and was having an affair with a man named Steven.

“He’s leaving us! He’s just leaving us! After all these years! Why did he have to lie to us? Why does everyone in my life have to have these huge secrets!?”

Stab me in the heart, why don’t you? “I can’t even begin to imagine how you must feel, Care-bear, but you’re not being completely fair to him. Th-”

“How can you say that!? He wasn’t being fair by fooling us into thinking he cared!”

She briefly closed her eyes in both heartache and irritation. “There’s a good chance he didn’t realize he was gay before you were born, Caroline. There’s no doubt in my mind that he adores you, which is why I think he stayed with you all these years. And because he suppressed his sexuality for your sake he ended up cheating on your mom.”

Caroline’s voice was quieter. “That still doesn’t make it right…”

“No, that still doesn’t make it right. But it’s important to see his point of view. I don’t want you to have to hate your own dad.”

There was a sigh. “Thanks, I guess.”

She bit her lip. “Hey. I have an idea. Why don’t you come over tonight and you, me, Lena, and Bonnie can have a slumber party? You shouldn’t be alone at a time like this.”

“…Okay.”

 

“I need to get into your dad’s safe.”

Tyler raised his eyebrows in surprise. “Uhhhh, why?”

She rolled her eyes. “It’s a future thing.”

Tyler snorted and sat down on one of the picnic tables in front of the crowded high school. It was mid-October, and the leaves were turning a beautiful shade of marigold. “I’m gonna need you to do a little bit more explaining there, A-game.”

She sighed and sat down across from him. “There’s this… moonstone in there. It’s magic and super duper important. Reeaally bad news if it gets into the wrong hands.”

He grinned. “And how do I know your hands are right?”

She tried to glare at him but her smile betrayed her mirth. “You’re an asshole.”

He laughed and tossed his football from one hand to the other. “Alright, alright. I’ll get it to you.”

She immediately perked up. “Really? Thank you! Oh, um, give it to me in private. I don’t know who might be watching.”

He looked at her curiously. “Is it really that big a deal?”

She couldn’t help but laugh. “Oh, trust me. You have no idea.”

 

 “What do you know about Emily Bennett?”

Sheila raised her eyebrows in surprise. “She was powerful. Lived here in the 1800s. Why do you ask?”

Angela let herself through the door and sat down on the couch. “She had this necklace. Well, I suppose talisman would be the proper term for it.”

Sheila nodded and sat down across from her. “I know it. A large amber crystal. Again, why do you ask?”

Angela took a deep breath. “Do you by chance remember Stefan Salvatore? He listened to one of your anti-war sit-ins when you were young.”

Her eyes narrowed in thought. “I… Yes, actually. Yes, I do. He was Italian-looking.” She smirked. “Gorgeous, too; dark brown hair, stunning green eyes. Mmm,” she chuckled, “I could’ve just eaten him up.”

She laughed loudly. “Funny you should say that, because there was a much larger chance of him eating you.”

Sheila lifted her head in surprise, her smirk widening. “I don’t think that’s very appropriate, young lady.”

Angela waved a hand and giggled. “No, no, not like that. He was a vampire.”

Sheila’s smirk dropped. “Really now?”

She nodded. “Still is, actually. One of the main characters in the TV show. And, um, a really good person, believe it or not.” When he’s not binging on human blood.

“Huh.” Sheila shook her head. “Never would’ve guessed.”

“Yeah, well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He and his brother, Damon, were born here in the 1800s. To make a ridiculously long story short, they knew Emily and in exchange for her protecting the woman Damon loved, he swore to protect her lineage since he and Stefan had been turned into vampires and would be able to watch over her descendents.”

Sheila opened her mouth to say something, but Angela raised her hand.

“Please, let me get this out there. There’s a lot and I wanna make sure I don’t miss anything important. You can ask anything you want when I’m done.”

Sheila closed her mouth sharply and pursed her lips in playful irritation.

“Anyway, in order to protect the woman he loved, Emily used her talisman for the spell. If everything goes the way I think it will, next year the Salvatore brothers will come back to Mystic Falls and Damon will want the talisman in order to get the woman he loves back. Oh, yeah, she’s also my sister’s doppelgänger and a vampire. Did I forget to mention that?”

“Now hold on, child,” Sheila sounded exasperated and confused. “I know you said to wait, but what do you mean she’s your sister’s doppelgänger?”

“Well, assuming you know about Elena and all, I think it’s actually quite self-explanatory.”

Sheila rubbed her forehead and sighed. “Go on.”

“Right! So, in order to protect her, Emily had to lock her up somewhere and in order to unlock that somewhere, her talisman needs to be used. Now… Damon has become a bit… um… volatile over the years. But! I think a good way to keep him from killing me and everyone I’ve ever looked at is to get that talisman before he does and exchange it for our safety. Thoughts?”

Sheila stared at her blankly. “Let me get this straight… You want Emily’s talisman so you can exchange it for protection because two centuries ago she used it to lock Damon Salvatore’s vampire doppelgänger lover away to safety and he wants it back so he can unlock the place where she’s being kept?”

She placed her hand on her chin and thought for a moment. “Yes. Yes, that’s exactly what I want.”

Sheila sighed. “You’re going to get yourself killed one day.”

Angela shrugged with a smile. “I’m already dead, aren’t I?”

She looked at her wearily. “How can I help?”

 

 “Will it hurt?” Jeremy was looking at the tattoo gun anxiously.

“Only a bit,” the artist said. Her name was Irene and she would surely be enjoying the large amount of money Mayor Lockwood had given her to tattoo six underage children. “You’ll barely feel anything, I promise. It’s just a dot.”

“It’s a mole,” Grayson Gilbert said warningly, “and if anybody comes asking it was already there.”

Irene nodded with an affirmative hum and smiled. “Come on, kid. You first. The sooner you get it over with the sooner you’ll be able to relax.”

Jeremy looked at his sisters with wide, panic-stricken eyes.

“You’ll be fine, Jer,” Elena said with a barely-contained smirk. “I promise.”

“Yup,” Angela confirmed with a wide, amused grin. “We believe in you, Jerm.”

He sighed shakily, defeated, and dragged his feet over to the chair.

Tyler leaned over to whisper in Angela’s ear. “Bet you five bucks he’ll squeal like a little girl.”

She snickered. “Deal.”

As it turns out, Jeremy didn’t squeal after all. He just breathed through it like a woman going into labor, which for some reason was way funnier. Faintly, Angela felt a bit guilty at making fun of a twelve-year-old for being scared of getting a tattoo – even if that tattoo was the size of a small mole – but the fact that he was her brother seemed to override that.

Approximately a split second after Irene told him he was all done, he tore ass out of the chair and went to stand behind their mom, causing the rest of the MFMs to desperately try and suppress their laughter.

“Alright!” Irene exclaimed with a bright smile. “Who’s next?”

It was Angela’s brilliant idea for them to all get tattoos of a mole done with brown ink mixed with powdered vervain. That way they could never be compelled, and by getting them done on or below their left hand they could also use it as a weapon. The thought of what might happen if any of them became vampires did cross her mind, but she figured they could simply cut that piece of skin off, as horrible and brutal as that sounded.

“Yeah,” Bonnie said while smirking, “who’s next?”

Caroline rolled her eyes playfully. “Oh shut up, witch bitch,” she huffed. “I’ll go next.”

“Go get ‘em, tiger!” Angela squeezed her shoulder and Caroline flashed her a bright smile before facing Tyler with a flick of her eyebrow.

“Do I get a good luck kiss?”

He looked taken aback and opened his mouth wordlessly. “Oh, uh, yeah. Sure.”

Caroline kissed him hard before pulling back with a satisfied smile and sitting down in the chair.

Angela tilted her head in confusion. Those two are usually pretty lovey-dovey. What’s up with Tyler?

She turned her head towards him and spoke lowly. “Hey, you okay?”

He blinked and licked his lips in surprise before flashing her an extremely unconvincing smile. “Y-yeah. Everything’s cool.”

She felt her eyebrows furrow in concern but didn’t push the subject.

Elena and Matt went on their first date later that week.

 

“What’s going on with you and Caroline?”

She’d gone over to the Lockwood mansion to hang out with Tyler, but ever since the day at the tattoo parlor he’d been acting odd around her and it was starting to get on her nerves.

He swallowed nervously. “Seriously, I don’t understand what you keep talking about. Nothing’s going on.”

She paused the game and set her controller down.

“Hey! I was winning!”

She turned to face him. “Tyler, I know you’re lying to me.”

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Angie, nothing’s going on. Everything’s fine. Honestly.”

She bit her lip, not missing the way his eyes followed the action and immediately looked away from her, but dismissed it as normal. It wasn’t the first time he did that, and she was pretty sure his werewolf gene was beginning to make him hyper-aware of any movement.

“You can tell me, Ty. Even if,” she chuckled breathlessly, “even if you killed someone or something, you can tell me. I’ll listen to you. I promise.”

He pressed his lips into a line and stayed silent for a while, until he finally spoke. “Fine. Okay. I…” He swallowed and for a split-second looked like he was about to cry. “I think my feelings for Caroline are going away.”

Oh, no…

“When did you start noticing?”

He shrugged, looking down at his lap. “A couple weeks ago.”

She pursed her lips to the side. “I think you should tell her. Leading her on will only make her feel worse.”

He sighed, long and loud. “I know. I know, but with her dad leaving her… I don’t want to break her heart even more.”

She shifted so that she was sitting on her legs. “Tyler, if there’s one thing I know about Caroline it’s that after everything that’s happened, she values honesty a lot. If you keep this a secret from her you’ll break her heart a lot more, trust me.”

He set his controller down and rubbed his forehead. “Yeah… Yeah, you’re right. I… I’ll tell her.” He smiled sadly. “Thank you.”

She leaned over and hugged him tightly. “I told you I’d listen to you, didn’t I?”

She felt his chuckle more than heard it as he wrapped his arms around her. “Yeah. You did.”

 

 “I am done with men!”

Caroline had barged over to the Gilbert house one Thursday evening and was currently smacking Angela’s pillow against her bed.

“Who needs them?” She laughed somewhat manically. “I sure don’t!”

The twins simply looked at each other, very concerned.

“Caroline, just because Tyler broke up with you doesn’t mean every guy would,” Elena said from her spot on her bed.

Caroline looked at her with furious, tear-filled eyes. “Just let me freaking rant for once, will you!? Ugh!

“Alright,” Angela started, sitting down on her sister’s bed. “Rant, then. How did Tyler make you feel?”

“Like… like… like I’m not good enough! Like I’m never good enough! Like I’m not good enough for my dad, like I’m not good enough for my mom, like I’m not good enough for boys, like I’m not good enough for girls,” she scoffed through her sobbing, “Especially you, Angie.”

She felt her heart stop. “Wait, what?”

Caroline shook her head with a grimace. “You’re perfect. You’re smart, and sweet, and beautiful, and you always know what to say.” Oh. Oh, no. “And here I am, Little Miss Inadequate.”

“Caroline, that is not true,” Elena said absolutely.

“Oh of course it is, Elena!” Caroline said, exasperated. “You know it, too.”

“Caroline, I’m an adult!” Angela exclaimed, feeling like the world was breaking down all she had tried to build. “Of course I seem perfect compared to you, but I know for a fact that I was nowhere near as beautiful and charismatic as you are when I was actually your age.”

Caroline slumped down onto Angela’s bed. “I… I’m sorry. I just,” she let out a sob, “I used to feel that way, but when you told me about yourself I stopped. I didn’t mean it, I’m just,” it was beginning to get difficult to understand her through the tears, “I’m just not in a very good place right now, Angie.”

Angela strode over to where Caroline was sitting and brought her into a giant hug. She locked eyes with her sister over Caroline’s shoulder and they shared a meaningful look.

Elena nodded. “I’ll get Bonnie and the ice cream.”

 

“I think I need to break up with Matt.”

Angela blinked in surprise. “Oh?”

Her sister bit her lip and shook her head. “I just don’t see it, Angie… He’s, like, got our future all mapped out and everything and I don’t even know what I wanna study in college.”

She rubbed Elena’s arm and gave her a smile. “Well, it’s up to you, Lena. He’s a good kid and you’re a good kid, but if you each want different things from life then it’s just not meant to be.”

Elena groaned and laid her head on Angela’s shoulder. “But that’s the thing. I don’t know what I want.”

She started combing her sister’s hair with her fingers. “You’re sixteen, Elena. It’s completely normal to have no idea what you want to do for the rest of your life.”

“You would know, wouldn’t you, grandma?”

“Hey!” Angela pushed a giggling Elena away from her. “I resent that.”

“Mhm, sure.” She adjusted herself so that her feet were next to her on the couch.

They spent some time in silence, each contemplating the future in wildly different ways.

“We’re supposed to go on a date today,” Elena spoke up. “I should tell him then.”

She nodded. “That might be wise.”

Elena looked at her and shook her head with a smile. “What would I ever do without you?”

Angela laughed. “You don’t wanna know.”

Elena engulfed her in a hug and sighed. “No matter what happens we’ll always stay together. Okay? Boys can come and go but we’ll always be there for each other.”

Angela smiled into her shoulder. “Always and forever.”

She heard the matching smile in her sister’s voice, though it was probably a bit less knowing. “Always and forever.”

And in that moment, all was right with the world.

 

 

 

Elena and Angela Gilbert’s parents died on May 23rd, 2009.

Angela had been sleeping badly for weeks beforehand. The moonstone and Emily’s necklace were in a magically sealed box in her closet, everybody she cared about knew about the supernatural, they were protected by their tattoos, and things seemed to be going miles better than they would have been otherwise. She should have been happy, and yet she considered herself lucky if she got five hours of sleep at night.

The plan was simple: stay at home.

And if that didn’t work, they’d go home by foot.

And if that didn’t work, they’d go home with Bonnie, in her car.

And if even that didn’t work, and they were underwater in their car, she’d try her best to knock out a window and escape with her family.

What she hadn’t accounted for was the possibility that the car accident wasn’t so much an accident.

Somebody was shaking her awake.

“Wh- Lena?” She pushed up off the bed with her elbows and rubbed her eyes.

“It’s the day of the party, Angie! Come on, get up, get up, get up!” She smacked her leg with a giggle and flopped down onto her bed. “There’ll be plenty of cute boys; this could be your opportunity to finally meet someone legal.”

“Elena.”

Her sister’s grin calmed into a smile. “Yeah?”

She sighed. “We… shouldn’t go.”

Elena giggled and shook her head in confusion. “What are you talking about?”

Angela sat up properly and stared at her. “We shouldn’t go.

Elena’s smile dropped. “Why? Is something gonna happen?”

Her eyes flicked downward before she spoke. “Mom and Dad are gonna die, Elena.”

Her sister’s eyes went wide and her mouth dropped open. “What?

She shook her head. “We can’t go to that party.”

Elena covered her mouth. “Oh my God… Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

Angela ran a hand through her tangled hair. “And have you be worried when there’s nothing you can do about it? No, I didn’t want you going through what I’ve been going through. Let’s just stay at home tonight, okay?”

Elena brought her hand back down to her lap and nodded frantically. “Yeah. Yes. Absolutely. We should have a family movie night, that way we can keep an eye on them.”

She smiled, and for the first time felt a glimmer of hope shoo some of the butterflies away. “Good idea.”

Their parents and Jeremy, though slightly confused, were completely open to the idea of a family movie night.

It was seven-thirty in the evening and she and Elena had left the house for the Mystic Grill. Cooking was out of the picture, they’d both decided, because tonight was going to be a proper movie night. Or maybe Zorro night would be more appropriate. Jeremy was apparently going through a phase and wanted to watch The Mask of Zorro and The Legend of Zorro back-to-back. Not that Angela was complaining; she’d watch any movie if it meant keeping her family safe.

“What should we get?” Elena asked as she adjusted her purse strap.

Angela hummed in thought. “Well we’re definitely getting fries. You can’t have a movie night without fries or popcorn.”

Her sister made a noise of affirmation and opened the door to the Grill. “Should we get burgers too, then? They’re like, the yin to fries’ yang.”

She nodded. “Definitely.”

She sat down near the bar as Elena placed their order and looked up when she joined her at the table.

Angela smiled and rubbed her sister’s arm. “You doin’ okay?”

Elena sighed deeply and closed her eyes. “I just can’t believe it… Our parents would’ve died today.”

“Honestly I’m still kinda paranoid…” She shook her head and smiled. “I’ll be fine when I wake up tomorrow and hear Mom singing in the kitchen.”

Elena smiled back. “Yeah…”

“Katherine?”

Angela snapped her head in the direction of the voice.

A man was stood five feet from their table, with dark brown hair and blue eyes that were wide in disbelief.

Damon?

From Sheila’s description of Stefan, the man next to them looked similar enough to where they might have been siblings; handsome, Italian-looking, dark brown hair.

“Umm, no? I’m Elena…” She heard her sister say and glanced at her. She looked confused.

Angela smiled as disarmingly as she could. “Who are you?”

The man blinked and shook his head before giving them a gentle half-smile. “Ah, I’m Damon.” Yuuup. Wonderful. His eyes focused back on her sister. “I’m sorry, you just look… you just really remind me of someone.”

“Let me guess: Katherine?” Her sister asked playfully.

He nodded with a breathy chuckle, still looking slightly dazed.

“Well,” she said and motioned to herself with a giggle, “sorry to disappoint.”

“Elena Gilbert!” the cashier shouted out.

Elena flicked her eyebrows up with a smile. “That’s me! Nice to meet you, Damon.”

Angela watched as Damon stared after her sister and spoke up. “So, Damon, what are you doing in this little ol’ town? I’m Angela by the way,” she grinned, “thank you for asking.”

He stared at her and after a moment chuckled. “I’ve got family here, Angela.

Her grin widened.

He leaned down close to her and looked her in the eye. Now tell me… How do you know Elena?”

Is he trying to compel me? She kept her tone as even as possible, her movements limited. “We’re twins.”

“Hmm, are you now?” His eyes widened slightly in such a way that they seemed to gain a new intensity.

“Sure are.”

“Good to know. Forget we ever had this conversation.

And in the blink of an eye, he was gone.

“Hey,” her sister said from in front of her. She held up the take-away bag with a smile. “Ready to go?”

 

“Sooo,” Elena started once they’d left the Grill. “He was cute.”

Angela snorted. “No way. Not happening.”

She looked at her with her eyebrows raised. “Why not? He was cute. He was legal. Well, he looked legal. He was male. You are attracted to men, aren’t you?”

Angela rolled her eyes. “Yes, just not that one.”

Her sister huffed. “Oh, come on, I’m trying here. What do you want from me?”

Angela giggled at her frustration.

“I will say, though,” Elena said skeptically, “He did tell me to forget I ever met him. That was pretty weird, wasn’t it?”

Angela stopped walking.

“What did you two talk about anyyy- hey.” Elena noticed that she was walking alone and turned on her heel. “What’s wrong? Why’d you stop?”

Angela raised a finger to her lips in a motion to stop talking. Elena shook her head in confusion, but shut her mouth. Angela starting walking again.

“Did you check to see if they had any popcorn?”

“U-umm, no? Was I supposed to?” Elena still looked perplexed but didn’t say anything about what had happened.

She shook her head with a smile. “Nah, it’s fine, just wondering.”

They turned to walk up the steps to the house, but what they saw made them stop in their tracks.

What the hell?

“Oh my God…” Elena’s voice came out shaky.

Angela walked towards the porch. “Stay out here. Call Caroline’s mom. Tell her there’s been a break-in.”

“W-wait, what about you?”

She turned to look at her. “Jeremy could be in there.” She nodded and flashed her a smile. “I’ll be fine, just call her.”

“But-”

Do it, Elena.”

And before she could give her sister a chance to respond she was already up the steps.

The front door was busted and the handle looked to be missing completely. Once she got close enough she could see that the door was slightly ajar. After pausing for a moment to take a switchblade out of her purse, she swung it completely open.

Please tell me they’re okay. Please, please, please. She swallowed back the bile that was rising in her throat as her hands began to shake from adrenaline.

She slowly walked in, making sure not to step on any of the floorboards she knew would creak. The house was completely dark, and with the minimal late evening light that was coming from the outside Angela had to focus hard to be able to see the vague outlines of the furniture and doors.

She searched the living room first. At first glance, there wasn’t anything really out of place, but when she looked harder she realized that her mother’s phone was on the floor next to the coffee table.

Please don’t tell me this is happening.

She tried not to think about all the horrible possibilities and moved onto the kitchen and dining room. There was nothing suspect there; no broken objects, no odd-looking liquids, no vampires on the ceiling. Next was the bathroom, and when there was nothing there either, she decided with quite some trepidation that it was time to search the upstairs. She could hear the faint sound of sirens in the distance.

She checked her and Elena’s room first, since it was the closest to the stairs. Opening the door revealed everything as they had left it. It wasn’t a horribly huge room, and there was no way somebody could fit beneath the beds, so she was tempted to turn the light on when she realized they had an entire closet somebody could hide in.

Oh God, this could be it.

She closed the door to the hallway as quietly as she possibly could and tip-toed over to it.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. You’re such an idiot. You should’ve told Elena about the bottle in the backyard. Fuck, what’s wrong with you?

She swung the closet door open and nearly screamed when she saw somebody inside of it.

“Jeremy!?” she whispered.

The boy was staring up at her with wide, fearful eyes. Staring through her more like. He was shaking and breathing shallowly and his gaze stayed rooted to the spot where she was even when she knelt down.

“Jeremy. Hey. Hey, you’re okay. Sheriff Forbes is on her way. What happened?”

His mouth moved and he spoke with every one of his shallow breaths, but formed no real words. “Fuh-hah-ma-hah-ma-ma-fah-”

She glanced behind her, and after making sure they were alone she looked back at Jeremy.

“Listen,” she licked her dry lips with her dry tongue, “you stay here. Okay? You’ll be safe. Sheriff Forbes will keep you safe.” She stood up and slowly closed the closet door. “Just keep quiet.”

She stepped into the bathroom that connected their room to Jeremy’s. There was nobody in there either, and she carefully entered her brother’s bedroom. She made sure to search the closet and found the entire room to be empty.

Only one more place left to check now…

She closed her eyes before she exited the room and could hear frantic voices coming from outside the house, including one that was very distinctly Sheriff Elizabeth Forbes.

It would be safer to wait for her, wouldn’t it? She opened her eyes and sighed. Fuck me.

She opened the door and walked to her parents’ bedroom. She rested her hand against the handle and took a deep breath, feeling as though she might just faint. She swallowed.

You can pass out later. Open the goddamn door.

And so she did.

 

 

 

Her beautiful mother with her beautiful green eyes loved to sing her lullabies even as she grew older. After a while she would run out of songs to sing and began to make her own. The lyrics never made much sense, she knew, but then again that wasn’t why Angela loved to listen to them so much.

Her mother always looked so unbelievably happy when she was singing. Her eyes would light up and her mouth would smile at her in that sweet way it did, and Angela always felt loved when she looked at her like that.

Her father wasn’t as handsome as her mother was beautiful, she knew, but she also knew that he loved her more than anything else in the world. Even though they didn’t always see eye to eye and he could sometimes be a bit close-minded, she knew that she loved him, too.

As she grew older she realized that he had given her far more than she had initially thought. He hadn’t given her her eyes, or her hair, or anything physical. He’d given her the gift of memory, and of knowledge, and of life.

And what in the world could be more important than that?

 

 

 

Her mother’s lifeless eyes were the first thing she saw. She was crumpled on the floor, her head twisted so far back that it was almost hanging off of her neck. There was no blood on or around her, but what else had enough strength to snap somebody’s neck like that but a vampire?

Her father was a different story. He was in the corner, next to his desk. His head looked to have been bashed on its edge as many times as it took for his brain to start poking out. He wasn’t looking at her like her mother was. He was looking at his own corpse, a few feet away. His eye sockets were empty and angry and red, and Angela finally collapsed onto the floor.

She heard loud footsteps walking towards the room and a light shone onto the wall in front of her.

“Oh my God…” A woman spoke from behind her. Angela? Angela, are you okay?”

She could only let out a broken whimper as it all became too much and she violently retched on the floor.

“Andy, get her out of here.” Buzz. “We have a double 187 in the Gilbert residence, 2104 Maple Street. I repeat, a double 187 in 2104 Maple Street.”

Somebody attacked her.

“Get off of me!!”

 They were trying to restrain her arms, but she wasn’t going to give in that easily. My world has crumbled, but I need to be there for Elena. For Jeremy. Always and forever.

She swung her arm out and cut her attacker with the switchblade. She heard a masculine-sounding hiss and the woman from before started talking.

Angela, it’s alright. Hey, it’s alright.”

A face appeared before her and she recognized it as Caroline’s mother.

“Caroline… Caroline’s m…m…”

She nodded with a strained smile. She looked sad. “That’s right. I’m Caroline’s mom. You recognize me, right?”

She thought she nodded but couldn’t be sure.

“Do you trust me, Angela? I can get you out of here but you need to trust me.”

She was sure she nodded that time.

Caroline’s mother smiled at her again. “Good. Good.” She looked behind Angela. “I’ve got her. You take over until I get back.”

Caroline’s mother gently grabbed her arms. “Can you stand up for me?”

She shook her head.

“Okay. That’s okay. I can carry you. Is it okay if I carry you?”

She nodded, but grabbed her arm when she made to pick her up.

“Jeremy… Closet.”

She glanced behind Angela again and gave her another strained smile. “He’s safe now. You don’t have to worry. Elena’s safe, too. Come on, let me take you to her.”

“Elena…”

And suddenly she was flying. First she was flying normally, but then she swooped down. Am I a bird? Am I looking for worms? Why am I going down?

She saw pretty red and blue lights and a crowd gathering outside the house. A man looked oddly familiar. Perhaps she’d seen him in a dream once. He looked sad, too.

“What’s going on? Oh my God, what’s going on, is she okay?”

“Elena.”

“She’s in shock. She’ll need some time. Could be up to one or two months, but she’s a strong girl. She’ll be okay.”

“Mom!? What’s going on?”

“Sweetheart, not now-”

“Are my parents okay!? Where’s Jeremy!? Oh my God!”

“Don’t cry, Lena…”

Angela said your brother was in a closet. I didn’t have time to check on him, but-”

Buzz. “We found the boy. He’s in shock but alive. He doesn’t show resistance to being moved, I’m bringing him outside.”

“-apparently he’s okay.”

Caroline? Elena? What’s going on?”

Bonnie, somebody broke in!”

“What!?”

Am I in a well? Why is there an echo? Am I a bird that’s fallen down a well?

“Girls, I think you should sit down. Everybody move out of the way! This is a crime scene! Patrick, help them put the tape up.”

She was flying again. What’s happening?

“Here, you can sit down here. Angela. I’m going to put you down now. You’re safe, okay? Elena and the girls are here.”

“Elena…”

She finally landed somewhere. Somewhere good, because she could see her sister. She smiled in relief. “Elena.”

Her sister looked sadder than Caroline’s mom and the man from before both. Why is everybody so sad?

Elena tried to smile at her. “Hey. Hey, I’m here. We’re okay.” She looked behind Angela. “What happened?”

Elena, I’m so, so sorry. Your parents… Somebody… Somebody killed them.”

“What!? Oh my God, Elena…”

“Mom, I don’t understand…”

“Don’t cry, Lena.” For some reason that made her cry harder.

“I’m taking you all to our house. Bonnie, you can come too if your grandmother allows it.”

“She’ll be fine with it, trust me.”

“Here, follow me. The men and women here are trustworthy, they can deal without me for a bit. My car’s this way.”

And then she was flying once more.

 

 

 

It took Angela four weeks to recover. She couldn’t decide if it was better or worse this way, knowing exactly what happened.

Jeremy still refused to talk. He could understand and respond to what people were saying, and she sometimes heard him crying when he thought he was alone, but still he wouldn’t speak. They were staying with Caroline and her mom until their aunt Jenna could go through all the necessary procedures to become their legal guardian.

I never should have existed. I’m cursed. I’ve cursed everybody I ever cared about.

Following the recovery from the emotional shock she’d suffered, Angela fell into a deep depression. She had to be there for Elena and Jeremy, though, so she hid it as best she could. She knew how to; she was sure she’d done the same thing in her past life. She suspected Elena was depressed as well, so she made certain she was there for her whenever she was needed.

They moved back into the house in early July. She and Jeremy nearly had a nervous breakdown, stepping back inside after what had happened, but aunt Jenna the psychology major made the move as cheerful as she possibly could. That made things a lot easier than they might have been. Angela was thankful that she was around.

Jenna had taken Jeremy to see a psychiatrist.

He still refused to speak, but he began to smile more often and he stopped wetting his bed at night. The three of them collectively saw that as a win.

Elena had taken to writing. She would journal daily, and wrote short stories whenever she had the chance. Angela was glad that she was channeling her pain into something creative. She knew that it helped people feel better.

She wanted to channel her pain into something creative, too, but the only thing she could think of doing was singing. And she couldn’t very well do that now, could she? Not when the thought of it only made her see her mother’s dead green eyes.

She went to Tyler one day and asked him to teach her how to draw. She wasn’t naturally talented like he was, and she often had to ask him to repeat his instructions, but he was patient with her and she eventually learned how to sketch portraits. She was far from great, but she wasn’t bad enough anymore that she was embarrassed to show people her work.

Bonnie and Sheila were a massive help to both her and Elena. Sheila would cast calming spells if they ever got too upset, and Bonnie helped them get everything out of their system. Tea at Sheila’s was a regular occurrence.

Caroline helped bring a sense of normalcy to their life. They would go shopping regularly, and she treated them like she normally would. She was still there whenever they needed to talk to her though, and Angela was proud of the woman she was becoming. Apparently she’d asked Jenna how she could help and followed her advice to a T.

She and Elena were more grateful for their friends than ever before, and they both knew it. By the time September rolled around, they were finally able to go back to living relatively normally. What happened was still a very sensitive topic, but opening her closet door no longer made Angela want to cry.

 

And then it was the night of September 6th, and the following morning was the first day of school.

“Are you ready?”

They were sitting down on their respective beds, facing each other.

Angela smiled. “I don’t think I’m gonna get any readier.”

Elena huffed a quiet laugh. “Yeah, tell me about it…”

She took a deep breath and laid down. “Hey. No matter what happens we’ll always stick together, right?”

Elena nodded and followed suit. “Always.” She gave a gentle smirk. “And forever.”

Forever is a pretty long time, Elena…

She couldn’t stop the smile from growing on her face. “…Always and forever.”