Chapter 7 – Round Three
Bonnie knew her part in the game was done. They had said she would be last and with only her and Elena left, there was really no choice left to make. Half of her was relieved that she wouldn’t have to say her friends name, to actually be the cause of Elena’s suffering. Because she was going to suffer, of that there was no doubt, but at the same time she was furious that it had come to this. She never wanted this, not for any of her friends, but especially not for Elena. Looking around the room she saw the same level of apprehension on the faces of all of her friends, they all knew deep down that Elena was on the same footing as Damon as far as the Originals were concerned. Their questions already proved that. Forgiven or not, this was not going to end well for the doppelgänger among them.
Taking a deep breath as she watched them all take up their places around Elena, except for Klaus who just went back to his now normal position next to Caroline, she held her head up high. She would not flinch. It wasn’t much but maybe seeing her bravado would help give Elena the courage she was going to need. It was the least she could do for her friend since she was powerless to do anything else.
Elena kept her eyes down, refusing to look at them, she knew it was stupid but it felt like it would be easier if she just didn’t look at their smug faces. Bracing herself she waited for the first question to come, Kol was first up for her, and for the life of her she couldn’t remember what she’d ever done to deserve that.
“So then Elena, let’s get started shall we. Tell me how do you feel about your friends efforts to save you from the dreadful fate my brother has planned for you? We’ve heard all about how they feel about having to constantly drag your delectable ass out of danger, but how do you feel about it. Do you truly believe you deserve everything they’ve done for you?”
She tried not to answer, she really did, but the words came flowing out of her mouth no matter how stubbornly she tried to keep silent.
“Yes. They’re my friends, why shouldn’t they help me?” Why shouldn’t they? True friends, good friends, help one another. It’s not like she’d ever asked anyone to do these things for her, they volunteered.
“True enough, but would you help them if the situations were reversed. Tell me, if Klaus had come to Mystic Falls in pursuit of Caroline instead of you, would you have stood between them as your friends stand between the two of you?” Of course she would.
“No.” Or not.
“Why not?” Elena tried to take a minute, to really think about her answer before she spoke, but she couldn’t. The compulsion knew the truth she tried to hide, even from herself, and that’s what came out.
“Because I’m human. Humans shouldn’t stand between two vampires.” That was beyond true, a human in a vampire fight was nothing more than cannon fodder.
“Matt’s human and yet you have no problem dragging him into your plans and schemes time after time.”
“Yeah, because most of our plans seem to hinge on the fact that no one ever suspects Matt of being able to do anything to them. Most vampires are too arrogant to see Matt as anything even resembling a threat. We need him.” Why wouldn’t he just let this go?
“So what you meant to say was that humans shouldn’t place themselves between a vampire and their target unless that target is you.” No.
“Yes.” NO! That’s not what she meant, was it?
“Interesting. Your turn sister.” Kol took a single step back and waved his hand forward as though giving his sister center stage. Why were they always so… so… theatrical?
“Elena, do you really feel bad about what Caroline has gone through because of you? For you. I don’t see how you could, after all you are in love with the man who did the most to her, but still the question deserves an answer don’t you agree brother?” Rebekah looked back towards Kol, eyebrows raised in silent question.
“Yes of course it does, even if we all already know what that answer will be.” It’s like the two of them were getting off on this. Knowing them, they probably were, and what kind of question was that. Of course she felt back for Caroline, hadn’t she said so like a million times before, and even if she didn’t what business was it of theirs?
“No I don’t.” And she was feeling more and more okay with that the longer this “game” dragged on for.
“Why not?” Good question, hopefully she had a good answer.
“Because she brought most of it on herself. If she’d been a little less needy and pathetic most of that stuff could have been avoided.” She slammed her mouth shut with an audible click of her teeth. While that was true to a degree, she wished she’d been able to phrase it in a way that was a bit less harsh.
“Alright Elijah, your turn, though I think that last answer may have been a preview for yours.”
Elijah stepped forward, his every move screaming out his disappointment. How dare he judge her! This was all his fault, if he’d just killed Klaus like he’d promised he would none of this would have ever happened.
“Miss Gilbert, how do you see Caroline? What do you really think of her?”
“I think of Caroline as Caroline. She’s always been the same and will probably never change. She cares about some of the most vapid and shallow things, even when we’re all hip deep in the latest problem you’ve created. Even with everything that’s going on she’s still got all those committees and parties like nothing’s changed. Because she hasn’t changed.” She stressed the you hoping to convey, at least to some degree, just how angry she was with him at the moment. Not that it would do her much good, but it would make her feel better which was pretty much all she could hope for at the moment.
“You mean with everything that’s going on with you. Most of these problem’s you’ve been referring to are your problems, and the only reason it even involves anyone else is because they circle around you to try and protect you. If Caroline hadn’t tried to shield you from everything you couldn’t handle it’s more than likely that no one would have ever really bothered her. Katerina and Damon never would have gone after her. My brother would have most likely never even met her. If it hadn’t been for you and your problems Caroline Forbes would have been able to go on with her life blissfully ignorant of the supernatural.”
No! It wasn’t her fault. She was the victim her, a victim of her damn DNA, she hadn’t caused any of this. It was all them! Watching Klaus take a step towards her brought her out of her head and back into reality. It wasn’t over yet.
“So doppelgänger, we are at the end of your little Q and A session, and I have to tell you it’s not looking good for you dearie. We’ll press on though, so tell me, have you ever hurt Caroline in any way?”
“Yes.” It would have been an easier question to ask who hadn’t hurt Caroline.
“I’ve ignored her safetyand well being for the sake of my own happiness. I knew what Damon was doing to her and while I confronted him about it once when I first found out after that I just let it go because he made me happy. I used our friendship and Caroline’s need to belong to guilt her into doing things that best served me and my needs, but that I knew she would never do if left on her own. Like playing the blonde distraction for you. I’ve placed her in harms way again and again without thought or regard for the consequences for anyone but myself.” Like she was so different from everyone else, looking out for yourself was just human nature. Was it her fault that Caroline was so bad at it?
“Really, that was quite the confession for you. Now then Caroline it’s your turn, do you forgive Elena? Yes or no, love?”
Caroline’s head was spinning. How could Elena say those things about her? They were best friends, weren’t they? Did she forgive her. Could she forgive her, for thinking she was some sort of stupid, shallow, disposable pawn? Like a stupid Barbie stuck forever, unmoving and unchanging. Why hadn’t she seen any of these things before? How had Klaus and his family seen it? Because now there really was no doubt in her mind that they’d already known the majority of the answers before they ever even asked the questions. Was she really so blind?
Could she forgive her?
Bonnie was in shock. She wanted to be angry at Caroline for not forgiving Elena, they were all best friends after all, but she couldn’t help but wonder if she would be forgiving herself if her friends had done so much to her. She didn’t think she would.
“Alright then miss-y Bennett, your turn.” Oh, God. Bonnie let her eyes slide closed for just a moment in silent prayer before she lifted her head and looked right into Rebekah’s eyes. If she was about to be sent to her end she would do it with as much dignity as she could.
“Good for you darling. Now tell me, are you a good friend?” What? What kind of question is that?
“No.” What? She was a good friend, wasn’t she? She always helped Elena! Oh.
“Why?” Of course Rebekah was going to make her say it.
“Because, I always seem to put one friend above the other, and that one friend lately seems to always be Elena.”
“Now that we’ve gotten that all cleared up, let’s try this one. How did you react to Caroline becoming a vampire?” Damn Kol, why was he bringing that up?
“I was angry, shocked, but mostly angry. I thought about killing her before she could become something like Damon. I was eventually convinced by Stefan to give her a daylight ring to try and help her, but I let her know that when she eventually became the monster I knew she would be I would remove that power and let her burn.” She still felt guilty for that now, after seeing the kind of vampire Caroline had become. She now knew she never had anything to worry about.
“Now for the important part. Would you have reacted the same way if it had been your precious Elena who’d ended up with a pair of fangs.” He thought he’d found a way to prove that she cared more about Elena than for Caroline, jokes on him though because she already knew the answer to this question with her whole heart.
“At the time yes, now, I wouldn’t react the same way to any of my friends becoming vampires. When Caroline turned I already hated vampires for all kinds of reasons, I didn’t see them as anything other than killers, I have since learned better.” That was true, she had learned better, and it was all because of Caroline.
“What made you change your mind?” Caroline.
“Caroline. Before her the only vampires I’d seen were like Damon, they enjoyed inflicting pain on others and had no remorse for the lives they’d taken. Caroline was different and she showed me that vampires could be different if they were strong enough to try. When Caroline became a vampire she didn’t become a monster, she just became more… Caroline.” There really was no other way to describe her, she was a world apart from anyone else they knew.
“Good answer. Elijah your turn.” She didn’t know why but the praise for her answer made her relax a fraction, like maybe the outcome of this little interrogation game wouldn’t be so bad after all. Watching Elijah take a step forward she decided to shake it off and turn her mind to what was coming instead.
“How do you really feel about Caroline Forbes?”
“I think Caroline is a force of nature. I think she is a better friend to us than any of us have been to her in a long time. Caroline is … Caroline.” Her words seemed to echo Elena’s but everyone could hear the difference in them, the emotion behind them.
“Now for my question, have you ever harmed Caroline in any way?” Had she? Most likely, it seemed like nearly all of them had harmed Caroline in one way or another. Honestly, she couldn’t understand why Caroline even spoke to them anymore let alone helped them as often as she did.
“How?” Taking a deep breath she began to answer as best she could.
“I have sided with others against her constantly. I’ve let my hatred of vampires in general color my actions where she is concerned. I haven’t looked out for her as I should have, as I’ve looked out for the others. I basically abandoned her after she became what she is now, I rationalized it to myself, saying that she was a vampire now so she didn’t need my help like Elena or the others did, but in reality it was just that I didn’t want to be there when she finally became the monster I thought she would inevitably be. I wanted her to still be the same Caroline who somehow managed to bake me a four layer birthday cake in her easybake oven.”
“Alright then love, time for your answers. Yes or no?”
Caroline didn’t know how she felt about Bonnie. One minute she was ignoring her and siding with everyone else and the next she was defending her and saying all of these really nice things. She knew that Bonnie meant everything she said, there was no way she could lie right now, but did that mean she forgave her for everything else? Could she forgive Bonnie?
“Very well then love, it’s time for another break. That seemed to be a bit draining for all of you. I’ll see you lot in the morning.” As they watched all the originals leave they all knew what came next. When the sun rose their punishments would begin.
A/N – Three chapters left until we reach the end of the original plot. Next chapter we’ll see the Originals themselves having to answer Elijah’s question, Caroline will have to give some answers of her own, plus a flashback. After that will be the punishment chapter and then the Epilogue where you’ll see everyone a week or so later to see how everyone’s coping with what happened. I’ve had some requests to continue it after the game and I might or maybe I’ll have that be a sequel. Either way I’m not done with them yet.