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!!!!!
"So...what do you think I should do about the Matt situation?" Elena asked in the middle of biology, sending Chloe a look. "Should I give him another chance or should I just let this fizzle out into nothing?"
From where she'd been pretending to read her textbook, Chloe looked up at the brunette in shock. "What could have ever given you the erroneous idea that I would make a good relationship counsellor?"
Elena's lips twitched with amusement as she ducked her gaze before raising it once more. "Well, my brother has been flourishing since listening to your advice, so I figured it couldn't hurt to hear some myself."
"Ah...but my advice for Jeremy is 'drugs are bad'...and he still has moments where I have to tie him down and force feed him brownies until his withdrawals and cravings subside." Chloe sighed at the memory of those nights. "When it comes to love though, I'm an utter mess. I mean, the last person I was in love with...let's just say that that didn't end up being a happily ever after situation for either of us."
Elena tilted her head to the side, curious. "What happened?"
Chloe bit her eraser, hesitating. As a way of protecting herself and her past she'd usually side step any talk about her past but for some reason she was feeling nostalgic today and needed to tell someone...even if it was only a tiny bit. "His name was Clark and he was my best friend."
Elena scooted a little closer.
Bonnie and Caroline moved their chairs slightly from the desks in front of them, obviously listening in as well though pretending they weren't.
"He was a farm boy, the 'aw shucks ma'am' kind." She couldn't help the smile from lighting her features as she was lost in the memories of Clark Kent, her first great love as Chloe Sullivan. "We were best friends since I'd moved with my father, and we were inseparable. I forced him to join the school's newspaper just so we could spend more time together, and he did so just to please me."
"You used to be part of the school newspaper?" Caroline stopped pretending to not be listening, twirling back in her seat while the teacher was busy droning on and on about something no one was listening to. "Why didn't you say something sooner? Our school newspaper has lost most of its members after last graduation and has kinda been forgotten, which is an utter shame! You need to do something about it!"
Chloe's eyes widened. "I don't think-!"
"It's been decided!" Caroline continued on, grinning brightly. "I'll talk to Matthew Fell, the acting Editor, and get him to show you around the place! This is so perfect!" And with that she swirled back to the front in time to grin innocently at the professor when he turned to tell her off for whispering in his class.
The professor, having no one to scold, sighed and turned his back to the class once more and started droning on and on about...something...Chloe wasn't really paying attention.
Work at the school newspaper?
The thought filled her with both terror and excitement.
Wasn't she supposed to be blending in? Not calling any attention to herself?
But not being the 'antisocial girl' anymore...wasn't that blending in anyway?
But hadn't her investigative reporting gotten her into trouble in the first place?
Feeling a tap on her shoulder, Chloe turned to see Tyler Lockwood grinning at her.
"I'll give you a personal interview for the school newspaper." He promised with a smug smile. "I am the school's star athlete."
She opened her mouth to declare that his talent must be as large as his ego...when a note was flicked onto her desk. She turned around and glanced around, wondering who'd thrown it, when she noticed Vicki Donovan glaring at her.
Opening the note with some trepidation, she read the writing:
Stay away from my man.
Snorting, she crushed the note again and threw it behind her in annoyance, rolling her eyes at the girl's fear of her being interested in Tyler.
She wasn't interested in him in the least bit, and the assuming on Vicki's part was annoying.
Suddenly the breath was knocked out of Chloe and her green eyes opened wide as suddenly the scenery blurred around her, the classroom being replaced by another building that might have been there once upon a time in the past, sitting face to face with a human-looking Damon Salvatore.
"I do not want to accuse you, Thaddeus, you are my closest friend, quite like a brother to me." Damon frowned, obviously worried and frustrated, even sounding identical to the man she'd known briefly as Adam Knight. "But I need to ask you what your relationship with Miss Pierce is."
Chloe blinked, a little taken back by the questioning. "Katherine?"
Damon flinched. "You speak of her with such familiarity."
Chloe paused, realizing that once more she was being taken over by a memory, living through it...but this was the first time she was doing so awake, and that frightened her somewhat.
"Are you in a covert dalliance with Miss Pierce?" Damon tried once more. "I need you to tell me the truth, Thaddeus."
Chloe didn't know what to answer since she didn't know the truth to that question either. "Are you?" She watched as Damon blushed and lowered his gaze. "If you are, then shouldn't she be the one you consult on this matter?"
Damon gulped as he lowered his gaze. "Miss-Katherine-has a playful disposition."
Chloe gazed into those blue eyes and felt her heart hurt as she realized that Damon knew Katherine was an utter tease...and yet he didn't mind because he was so completely, utterly in love with her. "Damon." She reached out and placed her hand on his comfortingly. "If you love her, then you need to talk to her, give her boundaries, and let her know that she cannot play with you or your feelings."
Damon's head rose immediately, his eyes wide with shock. "Chloe?"
Suddenly the scenery and Damon Salvatore blurred away and she was in the classroom once more, Elena Gilbert eyeing her in worry. "Chloe. What just happened? You-spaced out."
The whole class were looking at her in confusion and a little creeped.
Bonnie eyed her with worried knowing.
Disoriented, Chloe brought a hand to her forehead. "I'm gonna be sick." She got up and raced out of the room, the professor yelling for her.
She raced through the hallway and barely got to the stall and on her knees before she was vomiting, her breakfast burning as it came back up. She didn't understand why her body was reacting so violently to the memory, or why it'd come to her in the middle of the day, but she didn't have much time to wonder, distressed. Finally though her stomach was empty and she stumbled out of the stall towards a sink, turning on the faucet and splashing the cold water onto her face. She was hot. Very hot.
"Are you okay?" Elena asked from behind her.
Chloe kept her gaze on the running water, splashing more onto her face, finally, slowly, feeling herself get back to normal. "I'm fine."
"You don't look it." Her voice came closer, footsteps against the tile.
"I needed some air." She replied, turning off the faucet and taking in a deep breath, before turning towards Elena, pausing when she realized the hair was in ringlets. "Katherine."
The vampire in the beautiful period dress came closer. "You seem surprised to see me."
Chloe's eyes narrowed, more than a little disturbed that this was happening again, and so soon after it had last time. "What are you doing here?"
Katherine came closer, dress swaying with her movements. "I know who you are."
Chloe just looked at her.
A pout pursed those lips. "I was expecting a bit more of a reaction. From what I know, your family thrived on secrecy."
Chloe's eyes narrowed, confused. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Don't play dumb with me Thackery Suleman." Katherine came closer, for the first time letting off an air of predatory intent. "I know what happened to cause you to come to this country. I know how it's your fault your whole family is dead, killed by a common enemy."
Chloe's eyes widened in shock.
"You're obviously surprised I have discovered your true name." Katherine seemed pleased. "I have many contacts and you...intrigued me...as did the fact that there were no Thaddeus Sullivan in the manifesto of the ship you claimed to have migrated on...and yet there was a Thackery Suleman...and it was easy connecting the dots after that."
"Was it?" Chloe's voice shook in confusion as she felt light-headed.
"Yes." Katherine nodded, running her fingers seductively up Chloe's shirt. "For Klaus to have personally killed your family...he only saves that special touch for those who have angered him greatly." Something sad flickered in her eyes before she regained that hard glint. "You had to leave your home, your title, all back in England. You changed your name, live the life of a pauper...all in fear that Klaus will find you and track you down to this town and finish what he started in England."
Who was Klaus?
Had he really killed Thaddeus' family?
Or was it Thackery?
Somehow, deep down inside of her...Chloe somehow knew this to be true. Something she'd done as Thackery had caused her family to be massacred by someone powerful, just like what had happened in the life she lived now.
"So you see, I have a certain...power...over you." Katherine smirked, obviously quite pleased with herself. "If I want, I have my ways of letting him know you're here. Or maybe I could just tell pretty little Evelyn, it would be enough to end her little infatuation with you." She sneered superiorly. "Either way, I have power over you."
"If you so much as think about doing either I'll tell the whole town that you're a vampire." Chloe surged forwards, feeling an anger and desperation that she knew wasn't fully hers, this was what her past self was feeling as her arms closed tightly around Katherine's shoulders before turning them around and pushing her roughly against the wall. "Given the fact that you have yet to tell him it means I'm not the only one running from Klaus. Would you not only risk death at the hands of the good people of Mystic Falls but also risk that I might tell Klaus about you when he finally found me?"
Her eyes widened in shock before narrowing, pupils expanding unnaturally. "You will not threaten me again. You will do as I say."
"The hell I will." Chloe snorted.
Katherine's eyes widened. "You have Vervain on you."
The blonde's lips tilted in a smile.
The vampire struggled against Chloe's hold, but surprisingly enough for the both of them couldn't break free.
Breathless, Katherine looked up at Chloe, confusion, frustration, fear and a little arousal obvious on her expression. "How-?"
Chloe had no idea.
"We can work together." Katherine whispered, not struggling, gazing up seductively into Chloe's eyes. "If we work together we can keep Klaus from ever getting what he wants, and we can escape, free from him. The both of us have been unable to truly escape him, despite changing our names and identities and homes...but if we work together we can truly get him off of our trail."
So Katherine really was hiding from this Klaus guy.
"Why would I work along with you?" Chloe wanted to know, curious. "I could easily expose you to the town and thus make sure that you don't secretly contact Klaus before skipping town."
"Because we obviously have talents that can help in this...and because I can bring another player to the table. Vampires aren't the only supernatural creatures in Mystic Falls."
Chloe frowned, subconsciously tightening her grip on Katherine's shoulders. "What are you talking about?"
Katherine smiled at her. "You need to snap out of it."
"What?" Chloe asked, confused.
"Chloe, you need to snap out of it now!" And then suddenly Katherine's face and body rippled before her, blurring and being replaced by Bonnie, whom she had pressed hard against the wall of the bathroom.
Chloe gasped, letting go of Bonnie's shoulders, disoriented. "What-?"
"I came to check on you after you ran out." Bonnie replied, rubbing her shoulders with a wince. "You were staring ahead of you as if you were in a trance like you were in the classroom, and when I tried to talk to you you just grabbed me and pushed me up against the wall...and then I could vaguely see what was going on, though the audio was on the fritz." Bonnie shook her head. "Whatever happened between Thaddeus and Elena's ancestor must have been tense."
"It...was." Chloe wondered how to say this without mentioning the vampire part. She wasn't ready to tell anyone about that. It would make her seem even crazier. Also, her nonchalant acceptance of the existence of vampires would garner questions and she couldn't explain her obsession with the paranormal without finally touching upon how it'd gotten her into trouble and her father killed. She was supposed to be in the Witness Protection Program. She had to help keep herself safe. And while she doubted Bonnie or Jeremy would sell her out to Lionel or his goonies the less they knew the safer they all were. "Apparently my real name wasn't Thaddeus Sullivan but Thackery Suleman, and I'm actually from England."
"Wait. What?" Bonnie frowned, hugging herself. "Why did you, he, your past self..." She took in a deep, calming breath, before starting once more. "Why the name change? The lies?"
"He was running from someone named Klaus, and so was Katherine." Chloe responded. "This Klaus person killed my whole family because of something I did, and I think he might have killed Katherine's family too."
"Why would you think that?" Bonnie wanted to know, coming closer.
"Call it a hunch, but when she mentioned Thackery/Thaddeus' family being killed by Klaus as something only done as a special punishment there was something in her eyes for a moment that betrayed she knew about this all too well." Chloe responded.
"Did she say who this Klaus was?" Bonnie made up her face.
"No." Chloe shook her head, before finally noticing Bonnie rubbing her shoulders. "Did I hurt you?"
Bonnie paused a second before sighing. "I think I'll bruise, but other than that I'll live." She smiled a crooked smile. "You're really strong."
Chloe looked down at her hands. "No, I'm really not."
The bell rung, signaling the end of the school day.
"Well, I'm going to drop Elena home and then I'm gonna go to Grams' like I told you would, see if she knows anything that could be useful." Bonnie declared. "Are you going to be okay?"
"Yeah." Chloe promised, smiling bravely. "Jeremy and I are going this thing tonight so I'll be fine."
"Okay then." Bonnie gave her an encouraging smile. "Talk to you later?"
"Sure." Chloe nodded, watching the pretty dark girl leave the bathroom, before she returned her attention to her reflection and frowned.
Leaning on the sink, eyeing her reflection, Chloe stared into her eyes...the only thing identical to Thaddeus...or Thackery...or whoever the hell she'd once been. The young teenager took in a deep breath, staring at her reflection intently. "Who are you?"
Her reflection never answered.