waltzmatildah: (tvd: elena thinks)
[personal profile] waltzmatildah
Title: No Time To Tell You How Much We Lost
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries
Characters/Pairings: Ensemble cast (implied pairings: S/E, exC/T, exD/K).
Word Count: 850
Rating: PG
Warning: Implied character deaths.
Prompt: For [livejournal.com profile] sd_twobrothers at [livejournal.com profile] softly_me's TVD ficathon. Even after the end we carry on...
Author's Note: Oh, the bleak... Title and cut text from “Carry On”, Motor Ace.



Dust settles like ant-hills. Coats sweat sticky skin in a layer of something unfathomable.

Works its way into the hairline fractures of foundations that are already three quarters to rack and ruined.

There are casualties. The inevitability of this outcome was crystal cut clear from the moment the first battle flag fell.

That death and dying was to be expected doesn't make it any less shocking in the acid rain aftermath.





*






An unreferenced coming apart occurs. Like the memories in the room are too heavy if they all meet there together. Shoulders slumped under a weight that may one day drown them all.

But they are the ones spared and so this shall be their cross to bear.





*






In the most abstract of ways it is Katherine's downfall that mitigates the fraying of edges that unravel as quickly as the second hand ticks away time.

Ten, eleven, twelve...

And they watch as the fire in his eyes burns a little lower with each passing beat.





*






That it should all end this way is oddly poetic.

In the grand scheme of things.

After all, it was her unannounced arrival that drew them all in. Solidified unbreakable bonds and forged new ones in the face of unholy horror.

That her demise should shatter what they built to fragments and shards seems only fitting.





*






Ties are cut. Gently at first.

Tentative and trying.

As though tiptoed moonlight meetings will become easier over time. As though hands won't shake and smiles won't slip slide across salt water slick chins and eyes won't open to any further than a faded half mast.

But they do and so they stop trying.

It all feels like failure in the end.





*






The bad guys keep winning long after their mottled corpses are nothing more than the blackened soot of haunting memories that take up space under jagged fingernails.





*






Tyler leaves first. Picks haphazardly at belongings that mean nothing anymore and shoves them deep into the cavernous insides of a duffle that will become his whole world.

He heads west. Chooses Seattle because it's as far from here, as far from her, as is geographically possible without leaving the country and thinks, maybe, if he can manage to hold his breath long enough to reach the city limits, he might just make it after all.

Eventually the overcast skies cool his internal furnace by degrees. Build an ice block deep in the hollowed out space where the thinks his heart and lungs used to live.

And when he climbs the space needle to sit on top of the world for a few slow turning minutes at a time, he can convince himself that he's exactly where he wants to be.





*






The brothers drift. Emptied and emptying as the tentative bond built over so much more than just shared motives and a common genetic code disappears, sand-like, through fingers that don't even try to close.

That they'll meet up again is inevitable when eternity is all that you have left.





*






Elena threads her fingers neatly through Stefan's as the endless black of midnight meets the endless black of the eternal highway ahead. White lines down the centre that divide everything neatly into halves.

And it doesn't even feel like running anymore as there is no one left, begging them to stay.

She keeps her cell to all the way charged. Waits, ever impatient, for contact that fails to eventuate. Forgets to remember that phone calls go both ways.

That maybe it's her turn now...





*






The end of the road for Caroline brings with it bright city lights that dance across her up-turned palms. A place where anonymity becomes both her best friend and her heaviest shadow in the space of a single, stuttered heart beat.

She types emails. Painstaking essays illustrated with cheesy photographs of the myriad cities she intrepidly explores.

Stockholm. Geneva. Paris. Bangkok.

Can't quite bring herself to click send on a single one.

Figures no-one's listening anyway. Just a series of headstones in a cemetery on the other side of the earth.





*






Damon disappears. Both into himself and into the world.

Picks fights that he can't be bothered finishing and relishes the momentary burn of mortality that they bring. Clenches his fists around the sensation in a desperate attempt to feel something.

Anything.

Adrift again and playing at something that might taste a little like survival probably does.





*






Calendar pages turn. Snow drifts melt into the rivers that separate them while age wearies at the edges of those lucky enough to have the illusion of an expiry date.

Time? Time wearies at them all.

And as ten years disappear amid dusty footprints blown to been and gone, it's clear that they've well and truly lost the count.
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