Title: Questions of the Soul
Sequel to: Obstacles of the Soul
Characters/Pairings: Chloe/Jeremy, Bonnie, Elena, Caroline, Tyler, (past Katherine, Thaddeus, Evelyn, Damon)
Summary: Jeremy is overcoming his addiction, and they are steadily growing closer...but Chloe is beginning to remember things about Thaddeus that shock her, confuse her, and make her wonder about Katherine's part in his life.
A/N: Happy Birthday Virgogirl1979!!!!!
Behind the large home Chloe pulled out the weeds of the overgrown garden that had once been the town's pride and joy during Lucia Salvatore's life, but after her death had become the mess before her. The blonde couldn't believe that they'd let a place that obviously looked so beautiful in its prime descend to the degree it had, and had offered to restore it. She had so much to thank the Salvatores for, and she wanted to pay them back in some way. Sweat poured down her neck and caused her shirt to stick to her chest.
Wiping at the sweat on her brow, Chloe knelt up on her knees and grabbed the hem of her shirt, moving the sticky material, giving a little sigh of relief as the wind hit her wet skin and gave her a moment's relief.
"My, my," a soft, sultry voice declared.
Looking up, Chloe smiled when she saw Elena coming towards her. "Hey, what are you doing here?"
"Bringing you some lemonade." Elena declared, coming towards her with a strange tilt to her lips.
"Thanks." Chloe sent the girl a curious look, wondering about the change in topic since she'd really been asking what Elena had been doing at the Salvatore Boarding House. The blonde took deep gulps of the drink and grinned as she closed her eyes with a hum of appreciation. "That's great."
Elena just watched her with curved lips.
A little intrigued by her odd behavior, Chloe eyed Elena, wondering what looked so different. "Did you do something with your hair?"
The brunette's fingers went to her ringlets. "No."
Chloe blinked, reaching forwards to curl her fingers around one of the curled locks. "But it's curly."
Elena's lips curved more, showing a flash of teeth as she leaned forwards. "I do not know whether to be annoyed that you have only just realized that, or intrigued that it took a cup of lemonade to get you to finally speak to me." She pursed her lips in a pout, leaning closer. "Usually it does not take this long for a gentleman to speak to me...and I do not usually have to search him out either."
Chloe was about to ask Elena what in the world was wrong with her, when suddenly she caught a glimpse of her own reflection in the glass...and realized that the face staring back at her was that of Thaddeus Sullivan.
Her eyes widened in shock as she realized that she was dreaming a memory, and that meant that the person in front of her wasn't Elena Gilbert.
Katherine giggled, biting down on her lip.
This was the girl who for all intents and purposes was identical to Elena...and yet wasn't...she was a...vampire.
Chloe nearly dropped the glass in shock.
Before her was a real life vampire. Under the sun. But how was that possible? Didn't vampires go poof under direct sunlight? Or was that just a myth the vampires had made up to protect themselves from vampire hunters?
"Thaddeus!" A voice called behind him.
Katherine's flirty smile slipped for a second, revealing a dark sneer.
Chloe turned, seeing Evelyn.
Her hair was dark waves, her skin porcelain, and her height...minute. She was quite...tiny...which was ironic considering that Jeremy towered over Chloe. Evelyn's coloring was nearly identical to that of her reincarnation, yet other than that Chloe really couldn't see Jeremy in Evelyn...except when she smiled...or scowled...as she was doing right now to Katherine.
"Miss Pierce, imagine finding you here." Evelyn arrived by Chloe's side but kept her sharp eyes on the other female. "You must be lost, neither Stefan nor Damon are anywhere in the vicinity."
Chloe looked between them. Katherine had something with Stefan and Damon? Maybe she had been the one to change them then? It made the most sense now that Chloe stopped and thought about it.
Katherine sneered at Evelyn. "Why Miss Gilbert, I was just bringing some libations for young Mister Sullivan here. He's been working like a slave under this terrible heat and since he has no one to take care of him and make sure he hydrates I took it upon myself to bring him under my wing much like Mister Salvatore has myself."
Evelyn snarled, taking a threatening step towards Katherine. "Do not for one moment believe that I do not see through you and your acts, Katherine Pierce. You have Stefan and Damon. Leave Thaddeus alone!"
"Insecurity is a very unappealing characteristic in a woman, Evelyn." Katherine smirked at her before winking at Chloe. "I shall see you later."
Evelyn glared at Katherine as the vampire walked passed them, taking the near empty glass from Chloe, allowing their fingers to linger together before swaying her hips as she left.
Chloe turned, unable to believe that Katherine was a vampire. She felt intrigued and fascinated, and wanted to talk to her if only to try and figure out what the truths and cons were when it came to vampires and vampire legends.
Also, why did Katherine look so much like Elena? Could vampires give birth to children?
Hearing a little growl, Chloe turned to Evelyn and blinked in surprise to see the glare directed her way.
"She does not truly have feelings for you," Evelyn glared at Chloe, folding her arms over her chest. "She only is intrigued with you because at least until a moment ago you were the only male in the whole of Mystic Falls who wasn't a victim of her charms."
Chloe had somewhat figured that on her own, but she couldn't help but grin at Evelyn, who just reminded her so much of Jeremy whenever he got into his ridiculous jealousy-induced temper tantrums.
Evelyn's glare turned into a pout as she gazed up at Chloe, surprising the blonde with the realization of how much taller Thaddeus had been compared to Evelyn...or herself.
"From now on, I shall make you lemonade." Evelyn declared. "I forbid you from accepting anything more from that tart."
Unable to keep her laughter at bay, Chloe shook her head.
No matter what era or body the soul inhabited...the soul was the same.
Somehow...she found that comforting.
Chloe groaned and swatted blindly at whoever was poking her, before turning and looking up sleepily into the face of Caroline Forbes, one of Elena's closest friends.
"You're supposed to be helping us, not slacking off." Caroline scolded, hands on her hips, trying to look intimidating and yet failing to due to her cute little bright pink, frilly dress.
"I fell asleep?" Chloe groaned, sitting up, hand to her head.
"Yeah." Caroline nodded, most of the scolding tone having left by now. "And considering Mrs. Vernon is not happy right now-I blame either PMS or Menopause-she'll give you detention for sure."
Detention was the least of her problems, but Chloe figured it couldn't help her any so she got up and brushed off the back of her pants. "Thanks."
"No problem." Caroline replied, hand going to the necklace she was wearing. "I love the smell this lets off, thanks again for giving me it."
Chloe's gaze went to the pedant hanging around Caroline's neck. "Don't mention it."
After having realized that there were vampires in the world...and investigations proved that the plants growing in the dungeons below the Boarding house were Vervain (which kept one safe from vampire mind-control) Chloe had nabbed some of the plants from the back of the group so Zach wouldn't notice, and had called Lex in for a favor. The next day he'd Fed Ex'd her what she'd needed and she not only had a necklace of her own which had Vervain in it, but she'd given necklaces to Elena, Bonnie and Caroline...and two more masculine ones to Jeremy and Tyler. The necklaces all were vintage beauties, and she was relieved to see that the five wore their necklaces nearly every day...especially Jeremy. She never saw him take his off, which she was relieved for.
She turned, much like she had in her dream/memory, smiling as she saw Jeremy Gilbert coming towards her, grinning brightly.
There were so many ups and downs when her odd friendship with Jeremy was involved, but since he'd given her his stash some months ago things were slowly heading in a better direction. Withdrawal had been a bitch for the boy, and it'd taken a while to teach him that not every problem and woe should be dulled with alcohol and drugs, and while they'd fought more than she ever had, somehow they'd made it through the worse intact...if not stronger. The Jeremy now wasn't as sullen and overly-dark or depressing as the one she'd met so long ago, instead he was quicker to grin, was slowly starting to raise his grades once more, and he'd taken to drawing once more...something that had Elena and Jenna both begging Chloe to marry Jeremy for.
"Hey." She gave a little wave, meeting him halfway, ignoring Caroline's little gagging sound behind her.
"I was wondering where you disappeared to." Jeremy grinned, thrusting his hand out between them. "It's hot out here so I figured you'd need something to drink."
Chloe's green gaze lowered to the cup of lemonade in his hand and she couldn't help the beaming smile from curving her lips as she looked up at him and accepted the glass. "Thanks."
"It's nothing." He cleared his throat, scratching the back of his head.
"Oh god you two are disturbingly cute together." Caroline groaned behind them before storming away, grumbling: "I need a boyfriend!"
Chloe laughed as she watched Caroline storm away, before truning to face Jeremy. "Talking about needing a boyfriend..."
Jeremy went still, eyeing her.
"What do you think the chances are for Matt and Elena to get back together?" She took a sip.
Something close to disappointment crossed his eyes before Jeremy cleared his throat and ran a hand over his head. "I don't know. Good, I guess. It isn't like there's anyone else here who interests her, and she's relieved that he's respected her need to be alone since...since our parents died."
"That's really sweet of him, you know." Chloe informed Jeremy with a small smile as she took another sip of the sweet liquid. "The fact that he can put her feelings and needs before his own and wait for her as just her friend until she's finally emotionally ready to take things further...that's somewhat beautiful. Not a lot of guys would do that."
"Yeah, well, I guess when you know what you really want you can be patient." Jeremy shrugged, shucking his hands into his jeans pockets, gaze lowering. "You want her to know that you're there for her, that she's not alone, and that she can trust and rely on you to be not only her lover whenever the time comes...but her best friend as well."
"That's...so deep." Chloe blinked, looking up at him in awe. "I hadn't realized you'd given Matt and Elena's relationship such intense thought."
Jeremy sighed as he shook his head at her. "You're such an egghead." And with that he brought his knuckles down on the top of her head playfully.
Laughing as she batted his hand away Chloe danced out of his grasp and twirled on her heels, finishing the last of her drink. She knew what Jeremy had been referring to moments ago but she'd deflected him and his emotions purposely out of pure cowardice. She knew Jeremy had feelings for her, she had feelings for him, but Chloe wasn't sure how much of that was remembrance of what their past incarnations had felt for each other. They might remember the fact that they'd loved each other deeply, intensely, and because of that they were considering their deep friendship as actual romance. Chloe had been friends with a boy before, knew how easily it was to get those two emotions mixed up and how it could ruin a wonderful friendship.
She was too scared to lose what she had with Jeremy...refused to allow them to jeopardize it...refused to allow him to jeopardize it...especially since she knew it could never work out between the two of them. There were too many secrets, obstacles between them, especially her and her lies. Sure, she was lying to protect herself, being in the witness protection warranted one or two mistruths...but she knew that when Jeremy found out that she'd been lying to him for so long he was going to be really hurt. He was truthful to a fault with her and expected the same from her...she knew it...wanted to...but there were so many things she kept from him.
And even if somehow they worked things out and all the truths were laid on the table and somehow they were together-she would soon be leaving here. She was only supposed to stay in Mystic Falls until she could testify at Lionel's trial, and once that was over her future would be decided for her by her elders. Most probably she'd be sent to live with uncle Sam and Lois, and they lived in an army base in California. California was a long way from Virginia. She didn't believe in long-distance relationships.
So all in all Chloe knew that any romance between her and Jeremy was just as doomed as the one between Evelyn and Thaddeus, so she protected them both, and made sure that that line between friends and lovers was never crossed...no matter how tempted she might slowly be becoming.
"Guys!" Bonnie yelled, coming towards them with a smile. "Elena's looking all over the place for you!"
Jeremy sighed, turning towards his sister's best friend. "What does she want?"
"Well, we are supposed to be helping Mrs. Vernon make the school campus ready for the party." Bonnie replied, hands akimbo, eyebrow raised. "And that means you two are supposed to be working, not flirting."
"We're not flirting." Chloe felt the need to clarify.
Jeremy rolled his eyes and walked away.
Bonnie watched him go before turning to Chloe, raising that eyebrow higher. "When are you going to put him out of his misery?"
Chloe gave her her most innocent look.
Bonnie snorted. "Stop it already. The whole oblivious blonde thing doesn't work with you. You're too sharp to pull it off."
Figuring that that was a compliment, Chloe chuckled softly, shaking her head. "Jeremy and I are just friends."
"I call bullshit." Bonnie declared bluntly. "You two have this whole aura of sexual tension around you that its so thick I could cut it with a knife." The dark haired girl sighed as she came closer and placed a hand on Chloe's shoulder. For a second something flashed over her pretty colored eyes before she pulled back.
Chloe had noticed Bonnie do that sometimes, especially when she touched her, and she narrowed her green eyes. "What do you see?"
"Huh?" Bonnie gasped, fanning herself, seeming disoriented. "What did you say?"
"What do you see? When you touch me." The blonde clarified, snorting at Bonnie's innocent act. "And don't play stupid either because like me, you're too smart to pull it off."
Bonnie gulped, lowering her gaze. "Look, you wouldn't believe me if I told you."
"Well, I think you might have the ability to see things through touch, especially through human touch." Chloe admitted. "It's why you surround yourself with certain people and yet push away others who seem perfectly fine at first and yet later on prove to be proper bastards." She tilted her head to the side. "Almost every time you touch me you get this distant glaze in your eyes for a couple of seconds, as if you can something we can't, and I want to know what it is."
Bonnie took in a deep breath, fidgeting. "I've only told Elena but I don't think she takes me very seriously-and I don't blame her because for so many years Grams has been telling me and I've always laughed it off, refusing to believe it. But a couple of months before you arrived in Mystic Falls things have started happening with me, as if it's awoken, and now..." She gulped. "I'm a descendant of a long line of witches that can be traced back to Salem, and I'm a witch too."
Chloe looked at the pretty dark girl and then smiled. "That's kind of awesome."
Bonnie blinked. "You're just going to believe me just like that? No disbelief? No asking for proof? No questions?"
"Oh, I have tons of questions, but I figure they'll just make you feel uncomfortable." Chloe admitted, fighting back the need to spit out question after question.
"Elena." Bonnie suddenly announced.
Chloe blinked. "How random was that?"
For a moment Bonnie just looked at her, and then she giggled. "No! I meant, when I touch you, I see Elena."
"You see...Elena?" Chloe asked, confused.
"Yeah, it's confusing." Bonnie admitted. "I see her with this really good looking blonde guy who isn't Matt, and they're...kissing...or just together I guess."
Chloe felt a cold chill raise up her spine. "Does he have a little scar up his left eyebrow?"
"How...?" Bonnie's eyes widened. "You know him!"
Bonnie wasn't seeing Elena...she was seeing Katherine...and Thaddeus!
But-had Thaddeus and Katherine-?
But what about Evelyn?
Hadn't Evelyn been Thaddeus' one true love?
Breathing in and out, unable to understand anything, Chloe turned to Bonnie. "I need to tell you something, but I need you to promise that you'll keep it a secret from everyone, especially Elena."
Bonnie frowned but nodded nonetheless. "What is it?"
Taking in a deep breath, unable to believe she was doing this, Chloe cleared her throat. "How much do you know about reincarnation?"