Jeremy heard the soft footsteps on moist Earth, leaving rustling as the person made their way towards his family’s cabin. It was the only sound in the stillness, no wind to bother nature. He didn’t panic, because he knew if anyone were to realize he was faking the compulsion, it would be Tyler. Getting home from confronting the hybrid to find Alaric bleeding out and another of Klaus’s pets toying with his family, he’d gone upstairs for his emergency stash of vervain. But there it was, sitting on the corner of his desk, the open window blowing at his drawings and pictures scattering the walls. He supposed Tyler returning his bracelet was as much of an apology as he’d get.
There were no words spoken for a long time, Jeremy heaving a sigh to break it, which set Tyler into motion. “I honestly didn’t know what Klaus was going to do. You have to believe me when I say that he promised you wouldn’t get hurt. He told me it was just to show Damon and Stefan that he could get close to you guys. It was a game. Jere, please, you have to…”
He wanted to. Christ, did he want to. Even as Tyler was speaking, he wanted to forgive him. But the dominoes had fallen and he would’ve died if it hadn’t been for Ric, who nearly did in his place. Tyler’s actions had almost cost him something more precious than his life: one of the two last vestiges of family he had left in the world.
“Actually,” Jeremy bit out through clenched teeth to interrupt, “that’s the great thing about free will; I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. You should try it.” Jeremy stood, making his way up to the porch. He was grateful that Tyler didn’t move to stop him, but there was something like hope in his eyes. Hope that Jeremy was coming to him. But he didn’t.
He walked into the house, pausing just inside the doorway with his hand curled tightly around the brass knob. He smiled ruefully when Tyler automatically tried to follow him in, bashing into the barrier. “I’m not going to make that mistake again. You’re not welcome here, Tyler. And you never will be again.”
The door slammed, cracking through the silence of the night like a gunshot, two hearts echoing in the same.