|Jenna Sommers (thelasttoknow) wrote in wariscoming,|
@ 2015-04-09 17:21:00
|Entry tags:||alaric saltzman, jenna sommers|
Who: Alaric Saltzman and Jenna Sommers
When: Backdated to February 22nd
Where: Tortas Jalisco Mexican Restaurant
What: Nachos, Margaritas and Catching Up
Rating: A for Awwwwkward. But pretty tame.
Ric wasn't really sure what to expect from tonight. When Jenna had been here before, things had been awkward and then it had seemed like she was flat out avoiding him after that initial meeting between them. Whether that's what she had been doing or not, Ric had barely seen or spoken to her the last time she's been in Lawrence. When he'd left and come back, she hadn't even said hello or talked to him at all. A part of him had expected the same treatment when she vanished and came back, even if she obviously had no memory of being here before.
It seemed more complicated for Jenna this time around, with her recent transformation into being a vampire. Ric wasn't bothered by what she was, not really, but he knew she needed time and space to figure it all out and he tried to give that to her. When she suggested getting together for nachos and margaritas, though, he didn't hesitate in agreeing. Maybe things were a little confusing, considering how long she'd been gone for him and how he'd sort of been moving on with Jo, but seeing Jenna here brought a lot of the old feelings back. He'd stay away if that was what she wanted, but the truth was he wanted to see her.
A little research turned up a place that seemed like a good place to meet and he'd texted her the address earlier. They were both staying at the boarding house, but he'd been out most of the day and after a few texts back and forth about it, they'd decided to meet at the restaurant. And now here Ric was, musing a glass of water as he waited at the table he'd gotten her. Maybe he shouldn't be nervous, but he was.
The constant reminder that Vampires had heightened emotions and they might actually attack and try and kill the people that they loved was part of the reason she had been keeping her distance from Ric right now, the last thing she wanted to do was hurt him. Actually that was exactly the very last thing she wanted to do.
The being a vampire thing was still really weird to her, but she'd been getting better at handling everything. She also was lucky that she had Elena, Damon and Stefan who all were rather helpful with it. The Damon part still surprised her and even though Elena had told her a lot, she still sometimes wondered how all of that happened. It was still all shocking. Hell, being in Kansas was also still extremely shocking to her. That at least was getting easier.
Going out on her own was sort of a new thing for Jenna, she'd been so worried that she'd just want to attack anyone, but she'd made sure to drink what she needed from the blood bags and found her way to the place Ric had picked up.
God it was awkward, she'd gotten some of what happened after she'd died out of her friends, not everything, but a good amount. She was dead, of course he would move on! He deserved to move on and be happy… Jenna stopped herself from thinking about all of that because that was just going to cause more problems that she really didn't need.
Heading in she saw him and tried to give a normal not too awkward smile. She quickly made her way to the table, but at human level speeds. "Hey." She said. "This is awkward." Jenna blurted out having no idea if she should hug him or what.
“Yeah, it is a little, but it doesn’t have to be,” he admitted. Ric remembered how hard it was to adjust to being a vampire. He’d had a really hard with it after he’d been turned into a vampire. The cravings were hard, but so was coming to terms with what he was then. He’d been miserable as a vampire. Being human again hadn’t rid him of all of his issues, but it was something he was really grateful for.
Ric paused, unsure of what to really say next. He knew there were things they needed to talk about. They’d both been dead and then not dead. A lot had happened since they’d been together and now here they were in Lawrence. This place took some getting used to, too. No matter how much time had passed or how much he’d been through in the meantime, though, Ric still really cared about Jenna.
“I’m here for you, Jenna,” he said after a moment. “I mean, if you want me to be, I am.” He understood what she was probably going through and he did want to be there for her, but if she needed her space, he’d give her that, too.
Okay, hugging was out, good thing to know. Jenna sat down much too quickly but luckily no one seemed to be paying attention to them. “Really? Because I don’t see a really strong margarita in front of me, and I think I need one for the conversation we are about to have.”
There was no way they were getting away without having the conversation, whatever exactly that meant, well they were still figuring that part out. They had to figure it out. They couldn’t avoid each other, and the last thing Jenna wanted was to avoid him. Even if he’d moved on and she was supposed to be in his past. He was Damon’s best friend and Elena was married to Damon, they were going to see each other no matter what.
“I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a self help book about our situation.” She said trying to be light hearted about it, although it came out awkward.
Ric couldn’t help but smile, even with how awkward this whole situation was. He’d really missed Jenna. Sure, he’d managed to move on with his life, but having her back felt good. He would take a little bit of awkward if it meant having her around again.
“We can fix the margarita issue,” he assured her. Drinks were definitely needed for any kind of serious conversation and it seemed like it was one she was determined to have right now. Ric would have been content to put it off, but he knew it was something they did need to figure out.
Fortunately, their waitress came by just then and Ric was able to order them each a giant margarita. She left them to look over the menu a little longer, in case they wanted something more than just nachos, which was probably good, since he hadn’t actually glanced at his, yet. Instead of picking up to do so now, he picked up the conversation they’d been having before placing their drink order.
“There’s no self-help book, but we’ll figure it out,” he said with a little more confidence than he felt. But, honestly, he thought they would. He cared about Jenna too much not to figure it out, especially if that was what she wanted to do.
As soon as the margaritas were ordered, Jenna felt her nerves start to slowly go down. She still struggled being able to hear so much more now, to be drawn to every single person with their blood pumping through their body like a siren's song just waiting to take her over. It was strange being able to tell when someone was nervous, scared, lying, all those little things just by hearing their heart beat.
Snapping out of it though she looked back over to Ric and forced herself to only focus on him, only focus on what was happening right now. The intensity of if was terrifying, but it was also oddly grounding in a way to her as she laughed a little bit at his comment about them figuring out.
“I guess we can just write the book ourselves, and I think we can make it a lot better than of the horrible psych textbooks I was reading before I you know, died.” The way she said it could easily be taken as a joke but it wasn’t really though was it?
So, back to focusing. “How are you doing?” She said taking away from maybe anything else she might have brought up, she was actually really worried about how he was.
Ric remembered all too well what it was like to be out as a vampire. It was a constant struggle to be around the people that his instincts told him were food. A part of him felt guilty for being so happy to be human again when she was going through this. Jenna hadn’t spent the years he had hating vampires, but he knew this had to be hard to her and he wished he could do more to help. The margaritas should take the edge off, at least, he knew.
He frowned a little at her question, almost imperceptibly. Of course, Jenna would ask about him. She would worry about him when she was the one going through so much. "I'm okay," he answered her honestly, "but how are you?" He knew it wasn't easy adjusting to suddenly being a vampire and on top of that, she was adjusting to all these things she hadn't known about for so long and to all the changes that had happened in people's lives, like Elena being with Damon. He knew that couldn't be easy on her, especially with the way her emotions would all be magnified now and even though he had faith in her ability to get through it, he was more than a little worried about her.
“Okay as in, you love living in Kansas okay? Okay as in run of the mill day of being okay? Or… Okay as in doing okay and still figuring out this whole thing?” She asked not at all being shy about maybe not wanting to talk about her yet. It wasn’t that she wouldn’t be honest with Ric, she would, it was just there was a lot of worrying about Jenna going on and she kind of missed normal conversations or you know conversations that didn’t revolve around being turned into a vampire by a crazy vampire and her niece being a vampire and married to a vampire and vampire parties and vampire dances and hey, it’s vampire central!
Jenna leaned back though and smiled softly knowing that she was probably going to have to answer his questions too. “I’m doing better, listen I’m not going to pretend that waking up here, like I am now was easy or made a lot of sense, but I’m alive… ish… And Elena seems to really be okay, which is most important. I’ll be okay. I’ll get used to all of this. The emotional thing is.. strange.” Jenna said knowing that strange didn’t cover it. It took a lot of willpower to not want to just reach across the table and kiss Ric, but he’d lived a whole life while she’d been dead and she didn’t really want to assume anything.
“Well, it’s no Mystic Falls, but sometimes that’s not such a bad thing.” Ric was mostly kidding about that last part. There were definitely things about home he missed, but there were reasons to appreciate Lawrence, too, and one of those reasons was sitting right here with him. He was glad to be human again, too, but he held back from saying so. He didn’t want to rub that in when Jenna was dealing with waking up as a vampire, herself.
“It’s a lot to adjust to,” he agreed, nodding as she talked about how she was doing. Maybe it would be easier for her. Elena and Caroline had both adjusted really well to being vampires. They hadn’t hated it the way Ric had and he hoped that would be true for Jenna, too. He wanted her to be happy, more than anything else. “You will get used to it and you have Elena and everyone else to help. You have me, too. I’ll help you however I can.” He meant that. Maybe he hadn’t really been a vampire long enough to truly adjust and maybe he’d hated it, but he’d still do whatever he could to help her here.
He knew there was probably more he should say, but he wasn’t sure what else to add and just then their waitress came back with a couple of large margaritas, asking if they had decided on what they were eating.
“I’m starting to get that, but I do kind of miss home.” Jenna admitted, although maybe it was better that she wasn’t somewhere familiar, she wasn’t somewhere that would be harder, or would it be harder? She really didn’t know and it wasn’t like it mattered to this world Mystic Falls was fictional, it wasn’t like she was actually going to be able to get there no matter what she did, seeing as if the seal took her she’d be dead again, and really as much as being a vampire wasn’t easy, it was better than being dead, she liked that part of all of this.
“Tell me about it.” Jenna said leaning back. God, was she sick of thinking about being a vampire and the vampireness of pretty much everyone she knew, except for Ric and Bonnie, but they knew about it and Bonnie was a witch so supernatural things were always around them no matter what. “I’m really lucky I’ve got her here, and believe it or not Damon has actually been helpful. That’s not really something I thought I’d ever say.” Jenna hadn’t been a huge fan of Damon’s… but she couldn’t deny the fact that he made Elena happy and he’d actually been really good to her here.
“So, enough about my.. condition. I want to hear about what you’ve been up to.” She said as the waiter came up. “And to order some really good food.” She said with a smile as she ordered the largest thing of nachos she could.
Ric nodded. “I do, too, sometimes,” he admitted. It had to be harder for Jenna, knowing that even if she left Lawrence, she couldn’t ever go back to Mystic Falls. He couldn’t, either, with the border around the town and he wondered if Jenna knew about that. They were all from different points here and he wasn’t sure how much the others might have told her, especially with how much had happened since she’d been gone.
He nodded, glad that Jenna had the others here, too. “Damon’s a good guy,” he told her, smiling a little, because he could appreciate all the reasons Jenna hadn’t liked the vampire. To be honest, Ric hadn’t liked him much at first, either. “He kind of grows on you after a while,” he added, “and he’s changed. Give him a chance and he’ll keep surprising you.” Damon could still be a dick, of course, but Ric believed what he was saying.
When the waiter came back, he placed his own order, but turned his attention back to Jenna after he was gone. “I’m not really sure where to start,” he admitted. “I don’t know how much the others told you about what’s been happening in Mystic Falls.”
That was one thing that Jenna was starting to find irritating here, was constantly being told what she should and shouldn’t do. It was just a reminder of how she’d been kept in the dark for so long and how everyone seemed to think that she needed to be protected or something and she was just sick of it. Of course the rush of irritation would have been minor except now nothing was minor. She could however push it away better now than she had, oh even two days ago.
“I’m working on it.” She said deciding not to add that it wasn’t something that she could just switch over and trust the guy 100%, hell she’d been struggling with trusting the people she loved before being turned into a vampire. All those lies had piled up and it sucked that she basically wasn’t even able to feel what she felt about all that, everyone else moved on, she’d died.
“Elena’s told me a good amount of it, pretty much anything I’ve asked about she’s told me.” Or so Jenna hoped.
Ric would never try to tell Jenna what she should do. He was confident she’d see how Damon had changed if she gave him a chance, because Damon tended to rise to everyone’s expectations. If you expected him to be a dick, he was. If you expected more - well, sometimes he could be a good guy for people who weren’t Elena, no matter what he tried to claim. But he knew Jenna would make up her own mind there and even if she didn’t
He realized that he didn’t actually even know when Elena was from. He assumed Damon had probably filled her in on everything that was going on in Mystic Falls and he knew that he and Damon were from roughly around the same time, but how much Elena knew, he wasn’t sure.
“I don’t know how much Damon told Elena about what was happening for us at home,” he started before filling her in on the Travelers and how they’d put up an anti-magic border around Mystic Falls. He told her about how the Other Side had collapsed and how Liv had done a spell to help them rescue everyone over there, including him, how Damon and Bonnie had gotten stuck and how Damon had gotten back home after several months, with Bonnie’s help. He told her a little about trying to take care of Elena and Jeremy, about teaching at the college since he and Elena had been locked of of Mystic Falls. Then he told her about how he’d gotten caught on the wrong side of the border, how he’d been dying until Jo jumped in and saved his life. “So, that’s how I got to be alive again,” he told her, trying to gloss over it like it wasn’t a big deal. Talking about how much that meant to him felt somehow like bragging a little too much.
“Damon found this bear of Bonnie’s, he said it proved she was still alive, so we went to Portland to investigate this coven and try and get some answers to getting her back and then I ended up back here,” he finished his explanation.
“Thanks for taking care of them.” She said feeling horrible that she hadn’t been there. There were a thousand what ifs and how about maybe her not dying, or if they hadn’t all spent so much time lying to her constantly. That might have been better? Maybe? Jenna hated that she was dead for them and she couldn’t do anything to help them. Yeah, she knew that she wasn’t dead here, and that was great, but that didn’t make it easier knowing how much pain they’d all dealt with.
“So basically life sucks at home, and I died leaving my niece and nephew to constantly live in danger?” Jenna said as she felt horrified at how terrifying that must have all been for them, and what? She and regretted it right away. “Sorry… It’s just…” A lot didn’t really cover how she felt. It didn’t really cover anything at all. She nodded to the rest of it, she wasn’t dumb, she got that he moved on, and he should have moved on, it wasn’t like he’d done anything wrong, but it still hurt her a little bit knowing that things probably were even harder given that she wasn’t dead now, and he’d moved on.
“I guess a lot changed.” She said which was pretty clear and a dumb thing to say, but frankly Jenna didn’t know what else she was supposed to say. How was she supposed to act to everything? There wasn’t exactly a manual for this, and even if their was everyone reacted differently probably
It was a lot. So much had happened that it hardly seemed possible only a couple of years had passed. It seemed like he’d lived a couple of lifetimes in that time. He’d mourned Jenna, he’d moured Isobel. He’d tried his best to be there for Elena and Jeremy and he was pretty sure he’d failed at playing the father figure more often than not. But there had never been a question that he would do it.
“It’s a lot, I know.” Ric could just imagine how hard this was for her, hearing about everything Elena and Jeremy had been through. “You don’t have to take me. Jeremy and Elena are my family.” He didn’t mean that just because Elena was biologically his dead wife’s daughter. That actually had nothing to do with it. “I tried to take care of them. I don’t know how good I was at it sometimes, but I tried.”
He knew he’d screwed up a lot with Jenna, with the secrets and keeping her in the dark, even if he’d just been trying to protect her. She had every right to be angry, he wouldn’t blame her for that. Maybe now, at least, he’d get a chance to make it up to her.
“I’m sorry,” he added a little more quietly. He had to force himself to meet her gaze as he said it. “For the way I handled things, for every time I didn’t tell you the truth. I thought I was protecting you, but I know that’s not an excuse.” He wanted to make it up to her somehow, if he could. Maybe that wasn’t possible, but if she would let him, he planned to try.
“That’s all I could ask for, trying, I mean I know I wasn’t really sure what I was doing at all, at any point. Especially when Jeremy and Elena went to stay with the Forbes because I had no idea what I was doing.” Jenna said shrugging. There wasn’t much else to be said about that, she’d failed Elena and Jeremy more times than she’d actually done the right now. That hurt like hell, but she was trying not to think about it too much right now because if she thought about it too much she’d feel like her whole life was falling apart and keeping her emotions in check was very important.
“You’re right, it’s not an excuse.” Jenna said oddly matter of factly. “I understand why you thought that, but, it’s not like it matters now does it?” It still mattered to Jenna in ways that she knew were petty and just simply having a hard time letting go of it.
“We are all here now living in Kansas, I guess we just have to make the best of where we are now.
“No, it does matter.” Maybe it was all in the past, maybe it had happened a long time ago and it was all in the past, but Ric and Jenna had never really had the chance to make things right between them again. Her friendship meant a lot to him, no matter what else did or didn’t happen between the two of them in the future and he wanted her to know that he was sorry for betraying her trust. It was important that she knew she could count on him, not just to look after Elena, not just to protect her or help her if she needed him, but to be honest with her. The way he maybe should have been from the beginning, anyway.
“Jenna, we never got the chance to work everything out and maybe it’s too late for that now, but it matters, because I still care about you and because I want you to be able to trust me. I can’t take back the past, but I want you to know I am done lying to you, okay?”
It might matter, but it didn’t as well, so much had changed, Jenna was changing herself. She didn’t feel like a completely different person, she still felt like herself but it was still strange. The concept of being the same and different. She just nodded as she thought about it for a moment.
“I guess getting killed puts a wrench in trying to work things out.” She said having a weird mixture of feelings as she said that. Joking about it sometimes helped, but sometimes it also was really difficult at the same time too. “I want to believe you, and I do, but to truly and completely believe it, it’s going to take some time, just like it’ll take time to really get a grip on everything.”
Ric nodded. “I know. I guess it’s a good thing we have time here.” There was a chance either of them could get sent home, there was always a risk of something happening here in Lawrence, but for now they were both here and they were both alive. That had to be a good start, right?