Title: Secrets Of The Soul
Pairing: Slight Chloe/Jeremy
Fandoms: Smallville/The Vampire Diaires
Disclaimer: Don't own
Summary: When Chloe's dad dies in the safehouse explosion, Chloe is sent to Mystic Falls to hide. But then ghosts, a secret connection, and a troubled Jeremy Gilbert appear in her life...and once Chloe has the answer to her question, she's left with so many more.
Written for my Paranormal25 150 Prompt Table. Prompt used #33
: Gray Lady.
She'd given Jeremy a drive to school, surprised that he preferred to bathe at her house and go to school in the same clothes he had the previous day-instead of going home to change. The blonde hadn't asked any questions. Now that the ghost was apparently gone she had no intentions of staying in communication with Jeremy Gilbert. Especially not after the freaky coincidence about the ghost stalking him having been with someone whose last name was Sullivan.
Of course, there were tons of Sullivans in the States and just because she and this Thaddeus shared a surname didn't exactly mean they were related...but Chloe just felt wiggy and preferred to stay out of it.
Of course, the investigative journalist deep inside of her that she'd been denying since her father's death tormented her throughout the day, and during lunchtime she couldn't fight it anymore. Skipping the next classes she returned to the house and tried searching more on Evelyn Gilbert. There really wasn't anything in depth that she could find out about the woman, or about how she died (other than illness they were being very vague) and there were few references to Thaddeus Sullivan...and no photos.
By the evening she was tired, frustrated, and about to give up.
Why was she even doing this, really?
This had nothing to do with her.
It was this stupid curiosity that'd ruined her life and ended her father's.
She needed to stop this.
She needed to put this obsession with knowing away.
People only got hurt.
"I'm over with this." Chloe whispered, turning off the computer and standing, taking in a deep breath.
Turning around, Chloe's eyes widened and she screamed as a flickering, translucent man with blonde hair and wearing a Confederate uniform stood in front of her.
The ghost of who could only be Thaddeus Sullivan, came towards her.
Quickly grabbing her keys, Chloe dashed out of the house and hurried to her car, body shaking and hands unsteady as she tried to unlock the car and then dove inside, starting the engine and backing hurriedly into the street.
Her gaze kept going to her rearview mirror, which was fixed on her front door, and she saw as the ghost phased through her front door, just watching her drive away, before disappearing.
Hardly holding it together, Chloe somehow made it to the Gilbert house and parked in the driveway. She turned off the engine and her gaze lowered to the steering wheel, her body trembling viciously, her heart racing, and her eyes filling with tears.
"Keep it together, Chloe." She whispered desperately to herself, her voice breaking. "Keep it together!"
And yet she couldn't keep the tears back and rested her forehead against the steering wheel, her grip tightening on it so hard that her knuckles were translucent.
It wasn't exactly the ghost itself that'd made her this messed up.
Thaddeus Sullivan had a vague similarity to her father, and for a second she'd been so terrified that it was him.
While Jeremy hoped one day to maybe see the ghosts of his parents, Chloe was terrified of the same.
Would her father let her know everything that she already did?
That this was all her fault?
That he was dead because of her?
That she was the worst child in the world?
The door was yanked open. "Chloe?"
She jerked in fright, turning to look at Jeremy Gilbert with tear-filled eyes.
"What happened to you?" He hissed, looking at her.
"He came to me." Chloe wiped at her tears, clearing her throat viciously when her voice broke. "It had to be Thaddeus Sullivan."
Jeremy's eyes widened. "How do you know it was him?"
She glared at him. "Gees, I don't know! Who else could it have been? All I know is that after your ancestor tried to elongate your neck last night and you took refuge in my house that this dude in a Confederate uniform appears in my living room and comes at me!"
Jeremy's eyes narrowed. "C'mon inside. My father's things are stored in the attic."
Chloe nodded, getting out of her car and taking her keys with her as Jeremy led her towards the house.
They entered inside and were almost immediately met by an irate Elena.
"Jeremy!" She stormed towards him. "Were you outside? You know you're grounded! And until you tell us where you were last night-!" She then stopped in mid-growl, finally noticing the red-eyed and sniffling blonde standing a little behind her baby brother. "Hey."
"Hey." Chloe nodded, uncomfortable, wanting to dash back outside.
This girl looked so much like Lana, and made Chloe miss her home even more.
"You're Chloe Alexander." Elena gave her a small smile. "We have some classes together."
"Yeah." Chloe agreed, not sure what else she was supposed to say.
These small town people were way too curious and there wasn't much she was allowed to tell them.
"Chloe and I are going to be in the attic." Jeremy announced, voice steel.
Chloe was shocked at the difference in the younger boy, now noticing that he was stiff, his eyes dark, his lips curled in a sneer.
Elena narrowed her eyes at him. "Why?"
"We're going to do some research on the Gilbert family during the Civil War period." Jeremy replied before turning to Chloe. "Come on."
She nodded, following him up the stairs.
"Wait, research?" Elena's eyes were wide. "As in homework?" She rushed to the bottom of the stairs, calling after them. "Are you actually going to do homework?"
Chloe looked back at the hopeful sounding girl and would have stopped but Jeremy must have anticipated that because he grabbed her hand and hauled her up the rest of the way.
Once they were at the top of the stairs, Chloe jerked her hand out of his.
He didn't react, just motioned with his head for her to follow him until they reached the stairs towards the attic and went up.
That had to be the cleanest, best kept attic Chloe had ever seen.
"After Aunt Jenna stopped trying to play the responsible adult this evening, I asked her where exactly dad's family things were." Jeremy led her towards a large chest. "She said that dad had some journals that Jonathan Gilbert actually kept during the Civil War."
"Wasn't Jonathan Evelyn's father?" Chloe gasped. "That's amazing."
"I was actually looking over some things when I heard a car drive up and saw it was you through the window." He sent her a look and opened the lid of the chest, grabbing a particular book and leafing through it before pulling out an old, warn and yellowed photograph. "Is the man you saw in this picture?"
It was a group shot of young men and women.
Chloe didn't see Evelyn in this picture, but she did see Thaddeus. "Him."
Jeremy took in a deep breath. "That was Thaddeus Sullivan."
Chloe sat down on the ground by the chest, hugging her knees. "Great."
They sat together and went over journals and pictures and other such documents that were there. They found other pictures and mentions of Evelyn and Thaddeus.
Apparently Thaddeus was a young immigrant who'd lost everything and decided to relocate to Mystic Falls to restart his life. He'd been close friends with the Salvatore family, and had, if Jonathan's journals could be trusted, been very reluctant in accepting the attentions of Evelyn at first. Jonathan had admitted to having them spied on, not believing the immigrant worthy of his daughter, and not trusting him either. But apparently the reports of his spies eventually led Jonathan to change his opinion of the young man, especially when he realized that his daughter (the apple of his eye) truly was in love with Thaddeus.
Eventually (after constant, persistent pursuing that had the town gossiping nonstop about and her 'scandalous' behavior) Evelyn won over Thaddeus, who had at first believed her to be too young and capricious and not sincere in her feelings. Finally though, they were engaged. But then the war broke out and Thaddeus joined the Confederates, and was killed in the battle of Chickamauga. Upon the news of her beloved's death, Evelyn went into a depression and later committed suicide. Jonathan Gilbert admitted to asking the Mystic Falls doctor of the time to rule the death a natural one, so that her death wouldn't 'bring shame' to his daughter's memory.
"That's so...tragic." Chloe sighed, closing the journal.
Both Chloe and Jeremy, who'd been so engrossed in what they were doing, jumped, turning towards the doorway, seeing a pretty young woman with dark strawberry blonde hair holding a tray in her hands.
"Uh, one of my ancestors." Jeremy announced, eyeing the woman warily. "She pursued this guy she was really in love with, and got him to propose, only to lose him in the war. She then killed herself."
"That sounds like Evelyn Gilbert. Your mother and father told me that story." The woman entered and smiled at Chloe. "I'm Jenna Sommers, Jeremy and Elena's aunt and guardian."
"Chloe-Alexander." As always Chloe nearly slipped, but rescued herself with a small smile.
"I brought you all something to nibble on." Jenna smiled, lowering the tray onto the small table in the attic. "I just-I just can't believe-so you're really studying. I'm so happy."
Jeremy gave a disgusted sigh and looked away.
Hurt crossed Jenna's face.
Chloe glared at Jeremy before turning to Jenna with a smile. "Thank you, for the snacks, I was thirsty." Getting up she went towards the tray and took one of the glasses of lemonade, taking a sip of the sweet liquid. She turned to Jenna. "Why did your sister tell you about Evelyn Gilbert?"
"Well," Jenna's smile returned. "There was a big legend about them, the star-crossed lovers." She smiled brighter when she saw that even Jeremy was now looking at her in interest. "Apparently, according to Jonathan, before she died Evelyn left a note that said that she'd gone to a witch, and had been told that as their love was fated and had been ended before it could truly begin, that Evelyn and Thaddeus' souls were going to be reborn in the future and would find each other once more."
Chloe felt her world freeze.
"What?" Jeremy stood as well. "Are you serious?"
"Well, that's how the story goes." Jenna announced, pulling a strand of hair behind her ear. "Your mother used to believe it though."
Jeremy took a step closer. "She did?"
Jenna nodded, looking so heartbreakingly happy to see Jeremy interested in something and talking. "Miranda always believed that the day a Sullivan returned to Mystic Falls, that it heralded the reincarnations return, and that they'd have to connect with their past selves and complete what they hadn't been able to in life."
The glass slipped from Chloe's numb fingers and crashed to the ground, shattering in a million pieces, surprising Jeremy and Jenna.
"I'm-I'm sorry." Chloe whispered, horrified, breathless. "But I need to go."
She raced out passed Jenna and down the stairs to the front door and her car.
The blonde jumped inside and closed the door, starting the ignition the moment Jeremy broke out the front door.
Reversing out into the street, Chloe sped away.
"Get a hold of yourself." She whispered as she sped back to her house. "Get a hold of yourself!"
She was losing it.
So distracted, so disoriented, she realized she couldn't drive...it wasn't safe.
She stopped by the old cemetery and stumbled out, finding her way inside...and by the time she'd emerged from her daze she realized that she was standing in front of Evelyn Gilbert's tomb...
...and she wasn't alone.