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Title: All That I've Got
Summary: Caroline tries to bowl away her pain
Rating: G
Disclaimer: Vampire Diaries belongs to the CW and LJ Smith and all those people that aren't me.

Originally posted here

A/N: It's a little… Literal. And I'm determined to slip in some Elena friendship, because the lack of hugs in S5, Ep1 pissed me off so much. So this is set in a special place in my head cannon, because it never would have fit in ep1 or 2 or between them in S5, but that's where it goes.


Normalcy is a fleeting thing lately. But we've been trying, trying so hard.

I say 'we', but I mean Elena's been dragging me out of my Tyler induced solitude, forcing me to see the world beyond blank phone screens , expectancy, and endless silence.

Still no word from Bonnie, random texts not counting, not to me.

And Tyler?

A vat of nothing.

I squeeze my foot into a sweat-doused rental shoe, throw a smile up at Elena through my grimace, and tie the laces with disinterested speed.

The crash of balls blasting into pins , hollow laughter and gloats are silenced by my focus.

I read bowling pins like tea leaves, each pin is a boy who'll break my heart, and I always bowl a perfect game. Slipping fingers into deep, cold holes which spread a chill through me, I raise the ball, take a breath, and I swing.

I hurl the ball, my bruised, bloody heart violently at the pins, praying it might cling on, just this once, and we won't have to fall…

I roll a strike.

"It's impossible you're this good, Care." Elena wanders up behind me, smile laced with forced jealousy as she pats my shoulder.

I step back, and she strides forward, ball in hand. Her fingers are sunk firmly in the holes and gripping tight.

She tries so hard hold on to it, like she can't let go. But Elena leans forward, poised to swing and lets her ball hurtle toward the pins just as hard as I did.

She rolls a spare.

"We're both good at it", I whisper absently, slipping my phone from my pocket. The screen blinks back up at me, blank and mocking.

Pixelated brown eyes eat into me from the background, smile turning my insides to a big rotting hole.

Tyler hasn't called in two weeks.

I hate what this does to me, that my heart can twist me into a hollow shell. But I guess that's all I am. A heart in a hollow, battered shell.

In my mind, another pin wavers, wobbling ,closer and closer to crashing down.

**

I lie in bed, cold and alone and hugging my knees to my chest. A cocoon, cradling my heart desperately in the dark. I let myself cry.

"Care?" Elena whispers from her bed, sympathy tainting her voice.

"I'm fine," I sob, checking my phone again.

Nothing.

The pin falls to earth, and the ball, my heart, seems to shatter.

The bed bows suddenly, as Elena climbs in. She lays her head on my shoulder, an arm around my waist, and holds on tightly.

"I know" she says, softly.

And yeah, I think, she does.

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