title: Yellow Moon Rising
author: [personal profile] ghostrunner
fandom: The Vampire Diaries
paring: Jeremy/Tyler
rating: PG-13
warnings: SPOLIERS for the entire first season



Tyler sits in the library, bored and edgy. He’s sketching idly, trees with knotted branches and roots as thick as his arm. The shy suggestion of a deer, except that sounds totally gay.

His father is dead and his best friend is sitting with his comatose girlfriend and all he can do is draw fucking trees. His mother said he didn’t have to go back to school yet, but anything is better than lying on his bedroom floor with the stereo cranked up, hiding from the stifled silence of the house, his mother in the drawing room, drinking his father’s scotch.

Not that Tyler hasn’t been drinking his father’s scotch himself.

Jeremy Gilbert walks past behind him and Tyler twitches with awareness. Pine needles flash behind his eyes when he squeezes them shut.

He’s been dreaming of the forest a lot, lately.

--

Tyler gets high with Jeremy out by the old graveyard, sometimes. It’s harder for Jeremy to sneak out, these days. Jenna watching him close, everyone watching him close after his failed suicide attempt.

“It wasn’t suicide,” Jeremy says, even though there’s nothing else to call it when you take a handful of your sister’s pain pills and lie down in your black cotton sheets. “I was gonna come back. I just didn’t want to feel like this anymore.”

He takes a long hit off the joint they’re sharing and stares off into the trees like it’s all too much. Like he skipped straight over mourning, from pain to ending it all without pausing. Like it’s okay for him to leave Tyler stuck here alone with this.

Tyler watches him flip his hair forward over his eyes and he wants to claw his face off.

No, he wants…

Jeremy offers him the joint, tucking his ridiculous hair back behind his ear and Tyler is so glad for the darkness hiding his blush right now. He hates that he blushes at the drop of a hat. It’s fucking inconvenient.

“That doesn’t make any sense, man,” he says. He sucks in smoke and holds it as long as he can. Until his lungs burn and his eyes sting and his fingertips go numb. He lets it out in a long plume, showing off.

When he finally tips his chin back down Jeremy is staring at his mouth.

Instantly Tyler’s blush goes full-body, his heartbeat amps up like he’s running for his life. He’s crazy-aware of every crushed twig under his body, every rustling leaf in the branches of the tree they’re leaning against. The fabric of his jeans is suddenly almost too rough to bear and the clearing goes a funny grayish color in the dark.

Jeremy frowns suddenly and leans closer. “You all right, Tyler? Your eyes are…”

The world jerks back to normal and he can’t see shit in the dark and he can’t hear anything but the pounding blood in his ears and his heart is still racing.

He shakes his head, sharply. “Uh, yeah. Yeah, man, I’m good.” He manages to pass the joint back to Jeremy without burning either of them, which is pretty much a miracle at this point.

Jeremy puts the joint to his lips, tipping his head forward. His stupid bangs fall across his eyes and his lashes are indistinct, feathery shadows along his cheekbones.

Tyler’s jaws ache.

--

He has no idea what the hell is happening to him. What happened on Founder’s Day.

The doctors tell him he’s fine, check him for neurological symptoms, say maybe it was a migraine and he should be aware of any signs that it might return. He thinks about the clearing going gray. Picking out the shine of Jeremy’s eyes in the pitch black, hearing every flare and crackle as he pulled flame through the joint.

He says he’ll be careful.

The sheriff and his mother tell him his father died as a result of some kind of electrical problem. A short in the old wiring. He wonders if it meant something to him, dying as a result of the historical accuracy he’d always fought to preserve.

Except his mother is doing that thing with her mouth that means she’s lying through her teeth about what actually happened. Her fingers twist and strain against each other and she won’t look at him.

The sheriff has no tells at all. He’s pretty sure her sympathy and regret are genuine, but she lies right to his face without so much as a flicker. Makes him wonder what else she’s lied about in the past.

Tyler makes his face say that he believes them. That he doesn’t wonder what happened that night, that he didn’t think it was weird that his father begged him to go home, get Matt and Caroline off the streets like something fucking serious was going down.

The sheriff puts and comforting hand on his shoulder and he wants to bite. He locks his hands into stillness and forces a stiff smile. He hopes his teeth aren’t grinding loud enough for her to hear.

His mother is still looking at the liquor cabinet and he has to get out the fucking house. He struggles not to run out to his car. To walk slow and calm like the blood isn’t pounding behind his eyes and his muscles aren’t telling him to just run.

He’s halfway to the Gilbert house before he even realizes what turns he’s taking and he screeches off onto the side of the road. Puts both hands flat on the steering wheel and forces his arms straight, locking his elbows.

Jeremy’s lying to him, too. If only by omission.

He won’t say what he means by ‘I was gonna come back.’ He won’t talk about the shadows behind his eyes and how he never wonders about Vicky anymore. He says Tyler won’t believe him.

Tyler would believe anything, at this point.

He thinks about driving the rest of the way to the Gilbert house with his hands clenched around the wheel, the anger locked back behind his teeth.

If he saw Jeremy now he might… he shouldn’t go over there. His hands itch with the urge to hit something that will fight back and just not stop. If goes up into Jeremy’s room there’s no chance of this not ending bloody, one way or another. No way he could keep his hands to himself and play nice.

He knows what it feels like now. When he’s about to do something unforgivable.
.

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