Pairing: Stefan/Bonnie (TVD)
Description: Set after I've taken a good look. Bonnie and Stefan go on a road trip.
Rating: Slight M, for one scene.
Disclaimer: No, I don't own them. I like to play with them.
Bonnie knows something is wrong the second his mood changes.
She had tried to forget about that night. She’d been doing her best to avoid Stefan and all thoughts of him, but the newfound connection made it almost impossible.
Before she knows what she’s doing, she’s in her car heading towards the boarding house and, as if he knew she was coming, he’s waiting by the side of the road. He gets in without a word and she starts driving.
There’s no particular destination. They’re not trying to get to some place, they’re trying to get away from somewhere. Up close, she can feel his rage and his disappointment as if it were her own.
She stops the car near a lake just outside of Mystic Falls and they get out. He’s been quiet, trying to control himself, but she knows he’s on the verge of breaking. It should freak her out how she seems to know what he’ll do before he acts, but right now, it gives her a sense of comfort and security.
“She’s with him,” he just says, and Bonnie knows exactly what that means. Elena has gone over to the bad side. “He needs her,” he also says, and Bonnie knows what that means, too. Damon is struggling to come over to the good side. He has been for a while now, and Bonnie tries very hard not to be hopeful. She’s learned not to trust Damon, and every time that she sees the scar on Caroline’s shoulder she’s reminded of why she hates Damon so much in the first place. Damon marked the beginning of the end of a normal life for her.
The rage leaves Stefan’s mind, but the disappointment stays behind, getting comfortable in his head. Bonnie can practically see the thoughts forming in his head: I wasn’t enough for her.
They sit by the lake together for a while until the questions of why and how and what-the-hell get too much for her. She throws her keys towards him and gets in on the passenger side.
They keep on driving for a while in comfortable silence. Bonnie thinks that maybe she should let him know that she’s in his head all the time, but for some reason, she believes he already knows.
His phone rings. One look on the display tells them both who’s calling: Elena. Stefan’s knuckles turn almost white as he grips the steering wheel tighter. Without even thinking, Bonnie opens her window and then, the phone is flying into the bushes on the side of the road. Stefan stares at her, flabbergasted, but she knows that inside, he’s smiling at least a little.
When the sun sets, Stefan is pulling onto the parking lot of a small motel. They check in under the name Nethergoode, and Bonnie can hardly believe that the girl behind the counter didn’t want to see ID. But Stefan is chatting with her and smiling and Bonnie understands the girl is charmed. In the normal way.
The room is small, with one king sized bed, a TV and a shower. That’s when Bonnie realizes, she’s not prepared for a road trip. Maybe tomorrow, they could buy something to sleep in. She calls her Dad on her phone, letting him know she went on an impromptu road trip with a few friends. Yes, she’s doing fine. No, she won’t be home for a while. Maybe a week. When her Dad starts to protest, she pulls the witch card on him, saying she needs to connect with the Spirits. She knows that it’s a cheap one, but it’s effective. And sometimes, she just likes to rub it in.
The further they get out of Mystic Falls, the better Stefan feels. He watches out of the corner of his eye as Bonnie brushes her teeth and he thinks that this silence is the good kind. Bonnie’s mind is calm, reassuring him that she won’t leave. He doesn’t understand, but neither does she. He thinks that this connection could be a result from their blood exchange a few months ago, but he doesn’t want to bring up that night when she’s trying so hard to forget it ever happened.
She turns on some channel that airs reruns of shows all night and she falls asleep next to him sometime during and old CSI episode. He’s a bit surprised that she would let her guard down around him like that after everything.
They get back on the road early the next day, when everything is still wet from the night and fog is crawling around the trees. They stop at the next ATM they come across and Stefan gets out to get some cash. When he throws the bills into Bonnie’s lap, she thinks that should definitely be enough to get them over the next week or so. The fact that nobody knows where they are right now gives her a little thrill.
Around noon, they stop at a shopping area built around some Interstate exit. There’s a Target there, and Bonnie decides to buy at least a T-Shirt for the night. They stroll through the aisles aimlessly, throwing travel things into their cart: toothbrushes, granola bars, instant coffee, water, a small notebook, a couple of shirts for each of them, some underwear, sweaters, pillows and blankets. Bonnie looks at almost everything else in the store, too. She finds a metal picture frame she really likes and makes a mental note to go and buy one like that once they’re back in Mystic Falls. Behind her back, Stefan puts it in their cart. He makes her go get something from Starbucks while he pays for everything.
“So,” Bonnie says when they’re back on the road. “What happened?”
Stefan shrugs. “I don’t know,” he says honestly. “I didn’t see it coming.”
She thinks that’s kind of ironic, considering his past with his brother and the fact that Stefan’s always the first one to warn people of Damon’s actions.
“I think she wants to save him,” Bonnie says quietly. That would be just like Elena, trying to make everything better all by herself, believing she had some kind of superpower that would save the world, one vampire at a time. In Damon’s case, she might be right.
“I hope he wants to be saved.” What he really wants to say is, I hope he doesn’t drag her down with him. Bonnie doesn’t know what to say.
“Oh look, a vineyard. Do you want to check it out?” Stefan, the master of Let’s-change-the-subject.
They’re welcomed by a middle-aged lady that introduces herself as Mrs. Berry. She seems enthusiastic and lovely, giving them a tour around the house, explaining the wine making process and giving them a few wines to sample. Stefan lets Bonnie sample most of it, saying that he still needs to drive. They end up buying three bottles.
It starts to pour late afternoon, so they check into another motel. While Stefan goes to get food – first his, then hers – she takes a shower. He comes back shortly after to find her half asleep on the bed, wearing a shirt that says ‘I am the cute one’ and shows a grinning baby duck that’s hiding a scythe behind its back. The smile that flashes across his face is the first one she’s seen ever since they started this trip. She starts munching on her salad as he sits down next to her and another CSI episode begins on TV. She tells him between bites that, no, the first suspect they have is definitely not the actual murderer.
Caroline calls during a commercial break.
“You didn’t come to school today,” she says and Bonnie realizes that, apart from her Dad, nobody actually knows that she went on a trip. What seemed like a thrill before, now kind of seems stupid.
“Yeah, I went on a rather spontaneous trip with a friend,” she says slowly, choosing her words carefully.
“What kind of friend?” Caroline asks, seemingly a little upset that by ‘friend’, Bonnie didn’t mean her.
“The other kind,” Bonnie says after a little while. Caroline doesn’t believe in witchcraft. Bonnie doesn’t want to prove it to her, at least one of them should be allowed to lead a normal life. Well, as normal as could be after being almost murdered by a vampire who happens to be her friend’s new boyfriend. So, any time that Bonnie does anything remotely supernatural, she explains it to Caroline by saying she did ‘the other thing’.
“Oh,” Caroline sighs. There’s a little pause and then: “Damon picked Elena up from school today.” Stefan turns the volume of the TV up, Bonnie takes that as her cue to step outside.
“Okay,” Bonnie says quietly, not really sure what to say.
“Stefan didn’t come to school today either, I wonder if he knows,” Caroline muses and Bonnie understands that ‘picking up’ was a euphemism.
“Yeah.” Bonnie stretches the word. “Yeah, he knows.” She checks on Stefan through the window, but he seems determined to pretend that he can’t hear every word that’s being spoken. On the other side of the phone, a door bell rings.
“Oh, that’s probably Matt, he promised to go shopping with me today,” Caroline giggles. “I’ll talk to you later. Don’t ever vanish on me like that again, girl! I was about to call the cops.” And then she hangs up.
As Bonnie steps back into the room, Stefan says something about knowing who killed Mr. Brown and she simply accepts his way to change the subject.
She falls asleep while Stefan takes a shower.
Bonnie is the first one to wake up the next morning. She watches Stefan’s face as he sleeps, the way his chest moves. Outside, it looks even gloomier than the day before, and it’s still pouring down rain.
Then, he moves in his sleep, moving an arm across her stomach. They had barely looked at each other since that night, let alone touched, but now that his hand was brushing against her wrist, the memories of that night came again. She remembers telling him to bite her and it makes her blush. She’s ashamed of herself, not because he did it but because she really wanted it. She really wants it, still. She lifts her hand a little, almost touching his, when she feels his eyes on her. She turns her head to look at him, eyes wide open but unmoving.
“There’s a connection now,” he says nonchalantly, as if he hadn’t just been asleep thirty seconds ago. And, as if he hadn’t just caught her thinking about gently touching him.
“I know.” She looks away, to the ceiling. There’s a pause, and then: “We cheated.”
“Do you think she knows?”
“I think she suspects.” Obviously, Bonnie thinks, Elena knows they did more than just sit down and share a cup of tea as well as some good advice.
“Do you think it was the reason?” He thinks he should have been taking that into consideration a while ago. Then again, that night never struck him as something they shouldn’t have done, just as something that was timed rather badly.
“I don’t know,” Bonnie admits. After all, her and Elena haven’t really talked much. She wonders if things could ever go back to the way they were between them, but after everything, she doubts it’s possible.
“You saved me.” His statement lingers in the room for a few moments, when the phone rings. Bonnie picks it up right away, happy to not have to think of the depth of what they both just admitted – out loud and between the lines.
It’s Alaric. Bonnie suddenly thinks that, in a town full of evil creatures, she should not be surprised about all the calls, but they’re just striking her as weird.
“So, let me be honest here, Bonnie,” Alaric begins. “Do you know where he is?”
“Last I heard, he was working on his tan down in Mexico.” She’s a little surprised by her own answer.
“Ah yeah, alright. Is he okay?”
“He’s not dangerous, if that’s what you’re asking,” Bonnie says, feeling slightly pissed at the automatic assumption that Elena breaking up with Stefan would cause him to go rampage on everyone.
“Actually, I really was just asking if he is okay.” Oh.
She turns to Stefan who just looks at her curiously as if he was waiting for her to give an answer only she could give.
“Rainbows and unicorns,” she sighs. Alaric chuckles.
“And, what about you? Where are you?” As if he could trick her and give up their location.
“Rainbows and unicorns,” she repeats. “See you in a few days, Ric.”
This time, she turns the phone off entirely. When she looks at Stefan, there’s a smile playing around his lips and she can’t help but feel a little proud.
The weather doesn’t get any better that day, so they end up looking at every museum they can find: bottle caps, local history, license plates.
Late in the afternoon, they find a store that supposedly sells ingredients for witches, and Bonnie really wants to go in.
“Oh come on, what’s the worst that could happen?” Stefan raises his eyebrows at her question, but gets out of the car anyway. After all, she came on this road trip with him, the least he could do is get his sleeves set on fire by some random witch in some random town.
The owner of the store smiles widely when Bonnie enters.
“My,” she says as she walks towards her and spreads her arms for a hug. “If it isn’t Sheila’s little girl.”
There’s no way Bonnie can escape this hug, so she just lets it happen as a feeling of uneasiness sweeps over her. For the first time, she’s not sure whose emotion that is, hers or Stefan’s.
“I’m Amalia, I used to do a few spells with your grandmother. Come on in, what brings you here?” Amalia looks at both of them searchingly, and then nods. “I see,” she says slowly. “That’s quite a predicament.”
“Actually,” Stefan interrupts Amalia’s thought process, “we are just passing through. We saw the store and Bonnie wanted to check it out. We’re not looking for anything specific.”
“I see, I see,” the woman repeats, still smiling, with a sudden glint in her eye that makes her look a bit crazy. “Why don’t you look around for a while then?”
Bonnie and Stefan share a look of what-the-hell-is-she-smoking and then slowly start looking around.
“You know,” Amalia says calmly, “I never thought I’d ever get to see an alliance like that. Witches and vampires tend to not get along.”
“He’s different,” Bonnie says absentmindedly.
“I can see that,” the woman says, smiling dreamily at Stefan.
“See something you like?” Bonnie asks, suddenly a little jealous.
“Oh yes, of course,” Amalia admits, “but I wouldn’t dare to try and threaten an Alliance.”
Stefan and Bonnie both look at her questioningly. Stefan thinks that maybe they shouldn’t have stopped at the store. Bonnie thinks he’s got a point.
“Don’t you know what you are?” Amalia seems surprised.
“Allies?” Stefan supplies sarcastically.
“Why, yes, that’s exactly what you are. You will figure it out. As a matter of fact, I think you already have. Why else would you do something so intimate to establish a connection?”
“The blood exchange?” Stefan asks, hoping Amalia doesn’t mean the other intimate thing they did that night.
But Amalia just smiles wider. “That’s one part of it.” She looks at the two of them suggestively and everything goes quiet. Stefan turns and busies himself looking through wooden bowls and spatulas.
“I’ll have two ounces of godless weed and half a pound of bleeding heart petals,” Bonnie suddenly blurts out.
“I’ll wait in the car,” Stefan says as he walks out. Amalia is now outright grinning.
“I take it, you two didn’t know what would happen?” she asks Bonnie quietly.
“Well, it’s complicated.” Bonnie looks through the small packs at the register as Amalia rings everything up.
“It doesn’t look complicated to me,” Amalia says then matter-of-factly. “Witches and vampires don’t get along. When they do, it’s either out of respect for a third party or because a truce needs to be held. Or, well, because there’s an alliance.”
“What is an alliance?” Bonnie had been thinking about looking it up, but they’re a three days drive away from her books and she doesn’t think she can wait that long before figuring out what happened the night her and Stefan had sex. That’s partly because she knows she would spend the three days thinking about Stefan and sex and blood and the earth shattering combination those three things make.
“Have you not noticed the connection between you two? That you know what he’s feeling, what he’s thinking and planning?” Amalia asks while Bonnie stands around, slightly uncomfortable. She shrugs. “Well, you probably know how it’s made.” Yes, Bonnie knows that. Very well. In full detail. But not right at this very moment. Amalia continues: “In essence, the procedure opens a connection between the two participants. The alliance is about sharing and helping each other. You will be able to know things in order to do things that serve a greater good. It enables you to work together.”
“We don’t work together,” Bonnie says stubbornly and she hands over the money and takes the ingredients she bought. She’s not even really sure what to do with them.
“Maybe you should think about why you are where you are right now,” Amalia calls after her as Bonnie leaves the store.
It’s raining outside and they continue on the road in silence.
“What is it?” Bonnie finally asks, sensing a question on Stefan’s side.
“You didn’t ask how to close it,” he says, pretending to have a hard time seeing the road and not looking at her.
“No, I didn’t.” It hadn’t even crossed her mind. “We can look that up when we get home.”
“Who says I’m taking you home?” Stefan asks then, winking at her.
“Why,” she says, “did you want to go to Mexico to work on your tan?”
They check into a motel right outside a small town. The man at the desk asks them what they’re doing and they tell him they’re just passing through. He mentions a fair coming this weekend and in the spur of a moment they decide to book the room for two nights.
Bonnie begins to understand what the connection means for them. She realizes that ever since that night, she’s trusted Stefan completely. She knew he was going to be alright, simply because she would know when he wasn’t. She was there – in that room, on that road trip – because she’d known he needed company. And he had gone with her because he knew that she understood. A comfortable silence always surrounds them, a silence made out of understanding, trust and something Bonnie couldn’t quite place.
“Do you think she was right about us working together for a greater good?” she asks with a mouthful of toothpaste.
“I don’t know.” Stefan is lying on the bed with his eyes closed. “What I do know is having you on my side is much better than having you try to make my head explode,” he states simply, as if he were referring to her stealing his lunch.
“It’s not like I had much of a choice,” she says defensively and cleans the toothbrush. “You weren’t exactly Mr. Nice Guy that day.”
“Yeah well,” he drags the words out, “I remember you weren’t exactly Mrs. Nice Girl that day either.” He looks at her then and she knows he’s not talking about the same part of the day anymore. “Did you know that would happen?”
“What, that we’d establish a connection?” For the first time, she actually tries to remember what she was thinking that night. “No, I didn’t. But I’d read somewhere that witches can decide what to send along with their blood when it’s taken: memories, emotions, demands, secrets.”
“So you thought you’d make me drink your blood in order to clear my head?” He’s not really sure what to make of that.
“Yeah, well…” she sighs, “it’s not like I was actively thinking when I did that.” She looks at him as if that was his fault. Well, it was to an extent, she thinks, his hand was a bit distracting. “Temporary insanity and all that,” she adds quickly.
He chuckles. “Mhm.”
She walks to the bed and gets comfortable beside him. He’s still staring at her, amused, and she thinks that maybe he wouldn’t be so amused if he were in his position. Then she remembers that he hadn’t really been himself either. She wonders if he would be normally be so daring and taunting.
“Do you think the connection would get stronger if we did it again?” she asks, before she can stop herself.
“You want to do that again?” he asks, his eyes more serious now. She can sense a change in his emotions.
“Just the blood part,” she evades, but she knows she just dug a whole she can’t get out of. She’s not sure she wants to.
“I don’t think that’s how it works,” he says, his voice quiet. “There’s two parts to this ritual for a reason.”
“Spells usually work depending on the intention of the spell caster,” Bonnie tries. She gets a bit distracted by the way his lips move when he talks. “We just have to have the intention of, well, connecting.”
“Mhm.” Boy, was he ever intense. “But my first thought when I see blood is ‘food’. I don’t really think about wanting to connect with you.”
“But you think about connecting with me when you…” she trails off. Had he been that close to her before?
“That’s kind of the point of it, don’t you think?” His voice is barely above a whisper now. She hasn’t quite processed the fact that the look in his eyes just admitted he’s thought of having sex with her.
They seem to move at the same time then, and suddenly, the tension breaks and his lips are on hers and she feels like it’s the best kiss she’s ever had. They pull back at little, unsure whether this is such a good idea, but she can feel his breath and she can’t resist brushing her mouth against his again. She thinks that he was right about saying it’s all about connecting, considering all she can think about is him and how close he is but that it’s not close enough. As if he could read her mind, he moves closer, sneaking an arm behind her back and pulling her towards him. She thinks that maybe they shouldn’t since he had just been broken up with, but he presses a kiss against the corner of her mouth and all rational thought flees her mind. She catches his mouth then, and her hand finds the back of his head to keep him from moving away. She puts a leg over his hip in an attempt to get him closer and his hand wanders under her shirt up her back.
The heat between them is growing exponentially. Every kiss, every touch, every breath makes things just this much more unbearable. Their clothes seem like obstacles now; obstacles that need to be removed.
He rolls over onto his back and she settles on top of him, her legs on either side of his thighs. His hands are pushing at her shirt but she doesn’t want to detach herself from his mouth.
“I love this shirt,” he says between kisses. “Don’t make me tear it off.”
She giggles then, and lets him pull it over her head. Thankfully, she muses, he’s wearing a button down shirt, which doesn’t require them to stop kissing in order to take it off. She feels relieved when her hands finally meet his skin and she can’t help her nails from digging into his shoulders.
“Weren’t you the one wanting to just do the blood thing?” he breathes against her mouth. She wonders how he can still talk when all she can see, feel and think of is him. She’s consumed by only one thought and that is to have him closer.
“You were right,” she huffs, “this works better for the connection.” She moves her hips then and he lets out a breath against her neck. Her hand curls up in his hair, asking him, begging him to bite her. Instead, he brushes soft kisses against her neck down to her collar bone. His arms snake around her back, pushing her over so she’s on her back.
He takes a moment to look at her, wearing only a bra and a pair of shorts, eyes half closed and panting breathlessly. She shoots him a pleading look and he has to remind himself that the sex is only supposed to establish the intent to connect. It’s not supposed to be solely for fun. He’s not so sure he’s going to like that.
“What?” she asks, sensing his realization.
Before he can change his mind, he bends down to catch her lips in a searing kiss. He can feel her gasp around his mouth as he pins one of her arms beside her head. Her other hand finds its way to his shoulder again, nails breaking his skin. She didn’t know, she’d have the power to draw blood, she wants to apologize, but he’s already moved his mouth over to the wrist he’s got trapped against the mattress.
His teeth sink into her flesh so suddenly, she can’t help but gasp out. He can taste pleasure with the first drop of blood he draws. She’s overcome with the need to draw him closer and she wraps her legs around his waist. She rests her face against his neck as he takes her blood little by little. She can keep no secrets from him, everything she knows, everything she is, he takes it all in along with her blood.
There’s a small trail of blood running from the wound Bonnie created. She tentatively licks the blood away and is immediately overwhelmed with his feeling of pleasure and excitement and there’s a hint of confusion there, as well. She doesn’t understand why he’s confused, everything is painstakingly clear to her. This is who they are, it was meant to be.
Her hand comes up again, all by itself and widens the scratch. She can feel him jolt in surprise against her, which only makes her think she did it right. This time, she soothes the wound with her tongue right away and starts sucking a little.
He can’t help but gasp at the sensation and he drops his face next to hers.
“Bonnie,” he whispers, not knowing why or how. He shouldn’t be enjoying this as much as he does. He shouldn’t be wanting to tear off the rest of her clothes in an attempt to feel everything about her. He shouldn’t be rocking his hips against hers and she shouldn’t be pulling him closer with her legs. He doesn’t think this should feel so right, so complete, when just days ago he was heartbroken over Elena. He wants to move away from Bonnie, tell her that he’s sorry but that they can’t do this. But she only draws him closer to her, sucking at the wound on his shoulder as if she was trying to take those thoughts away from him.
She moves her mouth away from his shoulder at some point, pressing small kisses against his neck. He refuses to acknowledge her questioning nudges against his jaw and she takes that as a hint. He’s not ready for all of it, she realizes.
There’s a knock on the door that presents a welcome distraction. Slowly, he untangles himself from her and gets up to answer the door. It’s the man from the desk, handing them a bunch of brochures about the fair, telling Stefan which parts of town they absolutely have to visit. Bonnie stares at her now healed up wrist longingly as she puts on her shirt again and invites the man inside.
That night, neither of them can sleep well. They both try to keep their distance from each other, but it doesn’t seem possible. Somehow, hands are touching and they find each other in the dark subconsciously, slowly inching closer.
“I’m sorry about earlier,” she whispers when she thinks he’s asleep.
He doesn’t find the words to say that it’s all his fault anyway, that she didn’t do anything wrong. He just pulls her closer instead.
The fair lightens their mood almost magically. They’re so busy eating cotton candy and throwing balls at cans they forget they were trying not to touch each other.
Stefan wins at a game and picks a fluffy duck. He gives it to Bonnie as a present and she laughs, beams up at him and hugs him close. He thinks it was definitely worth the three dollars.
There’s a flee market and Bonnie strolls through all the stands looking at everything from old books to flowers and herbs. Stefan walks behind her, amazed at how excited she can get over picture frames, bronze kettles and pansy seeds.
They stay around for the fireworks, sitting on a bench drinking freshly made lemonade – “With real lemons!” Bonnie had exclaimed – and Stefan thinks that maybe, just maybe, she was right in thinking that this is how it’s supposed to be.
“You know,” he says after the fireworks are over, “I think it’s time.”
“Time for what?” She could probably use the connection to get the answer, but she prefers to hear his voice out loud.
“Time to go home.”
As they walk to the motel, he intertwines his fingers with hers.
It’s Sunday later afternoon when Bonnie turns her phone back on. They’re about fifty miles away from Mystic Falls and she feels now would be a good time to call her Dad and maybe Caroline. She has seven missed calls from Elena.
“Apparently she noticed you were gone,” Stefan says, the hint of a smile in his voice.
“Or maybe she put two and two together, like Alaric did,” Bonnie says meaningfully.
Just then, Elena calls again, and Bonnie picks up right away.
“Where in the world are you?” The girl on the other side is almost shrieking. “I know we haven’t talked lately, but you can’t just vanish without telling anyone! Are you okay? Where are you? I will come and pick you up.”
“I’m in a car, Elena,” Bonnie says, her heart warming upon her friend’s concern. “A moving one at that. It would be a bit hard to pick me up.”
“Where were you?” Elena seems to have calmed down a bit, Bonnie puts the phone on speaker.
“I was on the road for a while, I had to go buy bleeding heart petals.” Stefan doesn’t even try to hide his snort.
“Bleeding what? Never mind. Why would you turn off your phone?”
“I had to do some thinking.”
There’s a pause then, neither knowing what to say. Then: “Stefan’s gone.”
“I know,” Bonnie says calmly, “I guess, he needed to do some thinking, too.”
“When are you back?” Elena asks, obviously trying to change the subject again.
“In a little while. Listen, I have to hang up now. We’ll talk more later.”
“Oh, and Elena?”
“Say hello to Damon from me.” Then she hangs up.
She stares at the phone for a while before she calls Caroline. Still on speaker, Bonnie lets Caroline’s voice fill the car while the girls talk about the weekend and the newest gossip. Neither one mentions certain people whose names begin with the fourth and fifth letter of the alphabet.
“So, you know Matt’s birthday is coming around,” Caroline says suddenly. “Any idea on what I could get him?”
“You can rent cars from the sixties two towns over in Mary’s Field,” Stefan chimes in. “That would probably be perfect.”
“Stefan?” Caroline suddenly screams.
“Ow,” he says as Bonnie punches his arm. “What was that for?”
“For giving me a heart attack, obviously!” Caroline says. “Seriously, though, what are you doing in Bonnie’s car?”
“Someone has to drive.” Stefan says evasively.
“And you’re doing that because…?”
“We might as well tell her now,” Bonnie sighs, “she’ll probably find out before we see the ‘Welcome to Mystic Falls’ sign anyway.”
“Alright then,” he agrees, “tell her.”
“Actually, by ‘we’ I meant ‘you’.” Bonnie gives him a wide smile and then giggles at his fake exasperated expression.
“Let me guess,” Caroline interrupts, “you’ve been with her the whole time.”
“You are both in a heap load of trouble!” Caroline exclaims, laughing. “You should have told me! You’re going to have to tell me all about it later. But for now, do you know where in Mary’s Field I can get those cars?”
Stefan laughs, a little relieved, and tells her the name of the owner. Caroline thanks them, tells them to drive safe and be back soon, then she hangs up.
“You didn’t have to punch me,” he says after a while of silence.
“She didn’t know! We wouldn’t have had to tell her.” Bonnie says, looking away.
“So, you just want to keep lying to her when she asks what friend you went on this trip with?”
“She wouldn’t have asked.”
“Of course not,” Stefan chuckles, “it’s Caroline, one of the least curious people we know.”
Bonnie keeps looking out of the window, shaking her head slightly.
“I just didn’t think we were going to tell anyone, that’s all.”
“So, what exactly is your plan once we’re back?” He can’t help but feel like she’s pushing him away even though he realizes it’s probably his own fault. “Except for pretending this road trip didn’t happen, I mean.”
“What’s your plan? Dinner at the boarding house with your brother and his girlfriend? We can all share about our adventures. Maybe we could start off with telling them how we had sex the night of the Miss Mystic Falls pageant.”
He pulls the car over to the side of the road as thick raindrops start to hit the front window. Within seconds, it’s pouring. He’s leaning over to her, crowding her against the door.
“Do you wish it never happened?” He asks, his face close to hers.
“You do,” she answers, staring at him, determined to hold his gaze now.
“That wasn’t the question.” She’s silent. “And also, you’re wrong.”
“Wrong about what?” She asks quietly and he thinks it’s infuriating that she doesn’t understand what he wants when they’re supposed to have this connection to make it all easier.
“I don’t wish it never happened. I just-,” he lets out a breath, “I don’t know. But I really don’t want to go back to the way things were before.”
“No, you don’t get it. This alliance thing, it didn’t come out of nowhere. This isn’t a coincidence or a lucky shot. We were in this way before we had sex. We were always connected. This thing just takes it one step further.” He pauses then, realizing something. “The connection is not the root of what we are, it’s a result.”
“Look at you, Sherlock, did you-“ He cuts off her snarky remark with a simple kiss. His lips on hers, his hands cupping her face. And just like that, it’s over.
“We will work something out,” he says and then steers the car back on the road. It’s stopped raining.
She tells him to drop himself off first, and when they come to the boarding house, Alaric’s car is in the driveway.
They enter the house to find everybody – Damon, Alaric and Elena – seated around the table in the kitchen. Bonnie feels a little bit like she missed curfew or something.
“Hey Stefan, how was Mexico?” Alaric grins at the two of them. Elena is staring at Bonnie accusingly while Damon just leans back and lets his eyes wander between the two of them.
“Pretty rainy,” Stefan answers slowly. “Why the long faces.”
“We were a bit worried, little brother,” Damon says. “You weren’t answering your phone. We found it, lying in the bushes by the road. We thought you may have been kidnapped.”
Stefan turns to Bonnie who has difficulties suppressing a laugh. He can sense a little bit of devilish mischief in her and also, accomplishment. She wanted Stefan to not be bothered, and it worked. Damon being a bit riled up in the process is just a bonus.
“Yeah, I must have lost it,” Stefan says finally. “Besides, you can’t have been too worried, since it took you so long to convince Alaric to call Bonnie.” Everybody, even Elena, is looking at him now. Stefan shrugs. “I could hear the two of you breathing on the other side of the phone.”
“And you didn’t tell me?” Bonnie asks.
“You were having so much fun, Mrs. Rainbows and Unicorns.” He smiles at her brightly. “Anyway, now that we’ve established that I’m not kidnapped, my skin is still as pale as ever and we’re all healthy and happy, how about you guys let us unpack.”
“I’ll be going now,” Bonnie adds quickly. “My Dad is probably just as excited to read me the riot act when I come home.”
Elena follows them down the hall as Stefan opens the door for Bonnie and watches as she drives away.
“Can we, maybe, talk?” She asks tentatively. “You were gone kind of suddenly and I want to explain.”
Stefan looks at Elena, really looks at her for the first time since the came back. She looks tired, relieved even. He feels a bit guilty for leaving her like that, but he still thinks that blurting out ‘I think I’m in love with Damon’ is not a good way to break up with someone.
“Sure,” he says. He has a feeling that maybe Elena did the right thing breaking up with him. It gave him a new perspective.
Bonnie unpacks some of the things she didn’t use during the trip when suddenly a package falls onto her bed. It’s the frame she liked so much the first day of the trip
“You liked it.” Stefan’s sitting in a chair on her balcony.
“I did.” She puts it on her bedside table and goes to brush her teeth. When she comes back, Stefan is still sitting in the chair, watching as she gets under the blankets.
“Please, come in.”