Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN ANYTHING. Except my writing ^.^ And I do NOT align myself with any ships, so please don’t kill me for the romance stuff.
I looked around at their faces, white with fatigue and pale with fear. Apprehension etched in every line of his handsome face, Damon approached me.
“Welcome,” he said, holding open the door of the Salvatore mansion, “to the Rescuing My Idiot of a Little Brother Committee.”
Dark. It was dark all around.
That was the impression Stefan got when he awoke.
A rotting, sweetish smell. Sweat trickling down his face, soaking his body. A burning sensation in his arms and legs. A stabbing, blinding pain at the base of his neck. Something seeping along the contour of his back- thicker and more draining than sweat. Was it blood?
A gas lamp hissed into life on the wall right beside his head. He blinked, blinded.
The creature’s face was close to his- and as he looked into the dead white eyes, his stomach churned and fear constricted his throat.
The hiss was a part of the darkness, as the flame flickered and jumped on the grimy wall.
“Why me?” I asked. My voice was shaking. Missing. Missing for two days.
And they call me now? Excuse me while I debate the idiocy tag.
“Because you, my dear, are the handiest researcher we have right now,” Stefan’s blue-eyed brother replied, throwing down a sheaf of papers on the desk. “Here are the clues. Put them together. Research. And find my brother.”
The California sun sang gleefully with the melody of the blue sky outside. The winds nudged the softly murmuring waves onto the golden sand. But the darkness inside the mansion was at odds with this glory. The sun stopped at the windows. Bonnie looked silently at me, her dark eyes unreadable.
How was she here? Shouldn’t she be in Mystic Falls?
“A locator spell,” Caroline said, as if she read my mind. That girl was unsettling. She was observant, for a blonde. “It narrowed us down to here-“
And she put a finger on a lonely stretch of coast, entrenched among high cliffs and eucalyptus forests. “But the creatures- they are our problems. We have no idea what they are.”
‘They have better fashion sense,” Damon replied. “The one that I glimpsed- well, let’s just say she wasn’t there for a beauty contest.” And his trademark Damon smirk lifted the corner of my lips too. So blasé, Damon. But I see right through you. You want your brother back. I will get him.
Glancing through the notes, odd phrases caught my eye.
“Eyes flash violet?! Or was that a mistake?”
“Fangs. Definitely fangs.”
“The legs! One brass and the other-“
Here I came to an abrupt halt.
“I beg your pardon?” I raised an eyebrow. “One leg made of brass, and the other that of a-“
“Donkey,” said Damon and Caroline together, glaring at each other simultaneously.
“Bit unexpected, isn’t it?” Damon sniggered . “clearly sending Blondie, of all people, to track it was a mistake.”
“I know what I saw, okay, Damon?!” Caroline snapped. “ I know it was there! It stepped towards that man, and there was a tear in the robe, and-“
“Wait- what man?” this was just getting better and better. Not.
“It attacked a man in the woods,” Caroline replied, speaking directly to me, “the guy walked towards it- like he was hypnotized. Didn’t even seem to realize that she looked like a hag and smelt worse. It was weird, let me tell you. How could he not-“
“Maybe he did,” I replied quietly.
Elena turned sharply. Crucifying me with her eyes from the darkest corner of the hall held no interest for her anymore.
“What do you mean?”
She had always disliked me, because she thought that Stefan and I had a thing for each other. Denying that would be untrue, but the fact that she was now a married- well, betrothed- vampire, and not to Stefan, seemed to make little difference.
“I mean, maybe he did see it. He just didn’t care. Like he was, well… compelled.”
There was a shocked silence.
There was a shocked silence.
“Wait.” Damon’s blue eyes narrowed. “That was a type of vampire?”
“That,” I handed the notes over, “was the predecessor of you vampires, also known as empoussai, the ones-”
“The ones whose spirits the Original witch Esther invoked to create vampires,” Bonnie finished for me, a tiny flame from the candle in front of her dancing in her green eyes.
I first met Stefan at Stanford, Palo Alto. I was a researcher, a student of humanities (yes, I know the irony), writing a thesis on Mythology Transcending Boundaries. While passing through a friend’s house in California, I saw Stefan- then a tall, brooding, quiet stranger and now a merry, sweet-tempered, caring friend- with a polite manner utterly unrivalled in the 21st century and a lovely smile that just lightens up the room.
“Talk to him,” my friend told me, “He knows a lot about this stuff.”
And unsurprisingly enough, he did. How I know what I know about him is a story for another day. For now, his brother’s urgent summons were all that counted. Stefan needed help. He needed me.
I did not hesitate.