Title: Death Will Find Us All
Recipient: [livejournal.com profile] badboy_fangirl
Author: [personal profile] ninj AKA [livejournal.com profile] hisui_ryoshi
Word Count: 2,005
Prompt: Ric + Elena, set during S3; all the gossip going around about Ric living with his history students and all the inappropriateness. This would be fun from the POV of Carol Lockwood and/or Liz Forbes and/or Ric's boss at MF High, etc.
Rating: Teen
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from The Vampire Diaries. No money was made writing this.
Summary: Everyone wants to talk about Alaric Saltzman living with Elena and Jeremy Gilbert. Everyone. Liz just thinks about what it means for all of them.
Author’s Note: A tremendous thank you goes out to [livejournal.com profile] linsell_farm for being my beta reader. She did an excellent job, and had very kind words about the POV. It was an adventure to write from outside of the main cast’s point of view!

Liz Forbes had been warned when she took the job as Sheriff of Mystic Falls that there would be death. However, the council had been saying that for over a decade and there had been no vampire activity. Now, she’s seen more death than her predecessors had and as she looks out over the (mostly) living crowd at Jenna’s funeral all she see’s are dead people. She should probably include herself.

Liz watches Carol Lockwood watch Alaric Saltzman talking to the Gilbert siblings. He’ll be the first to go of them all. Elena Gilbert is death to everyone around her. She’s already killed Caroline.

Carol Lockwood is, of course, worrying about the upcoming scandal of having a student living with a teacher, or rather the teacher living with two of his history students, especially the Gilberts. Liz wonders if it’s dawned on Carol that he’s going to die. Liz and Carol make eye contact and silently agree that this is a situation that needs monitoring.

No one should expect Alaric to have a calming influence on the Gilbert siblings. Sure, he may have helped Jeremy with his drug problem last year, but he couldn’t help either Gilbert sibling with their rush towards the supernatural. Plus, it’s not like Alaric is a terribly good example being as he’s Damon’s primary drinking partner. No one in the town argued that Alaric was a good role model for students. His history lessons, though, did manage to keep students interested.

It’s not that Liz dislikes Alaric, she’s genuinely sad to see him sucked into this supernatural mess. It’s that Liz does like Alaric, she likes him breathing; which is entirely why she objects to his decision to reside with the Gilberts. Anyone who has eyes can tell he’s not going to do anything inappropriate. Well, she thinks with a snort, not in the typical sense anyway.

It’s two weeks into the start of the school year that Carol and Liz have to sit down with some concerned parents who have noticed (and it’s ironic that this is what they notice) that Elena and Alaric have been missing school on the same days. In a town full of supernatural death, the parents are worried because a student and their live-in alcoholic teacher miss school on the same day. The principal, who was a minor member of the council, had long ago decided that this was a problem outside of his area.

“It’s not right,” the mother looked mutinous in the face of Carol’s attempts at soothing. “He can’t be objective if he’s living with them.”

“It’s really a unique situation,” Liz reminds them. “Their last guardian died.”

“That might be my point!” the woman grabs onto whatever she can. “It’s like that family is cursed.”

Well, even the dumbest of Mystic Falls’ families sometimes get it right, Liz thinks grimly. Of course, they don’t really believe that accusation, but it’s the truth.

“I’m sure Mr. Saltzman will be fine,” Carol lies through her teeth. “Elena and Jeremy come from a founding family. They like and respect Mr. Saltzman and the stability he brings to their lives.”

Liz and Carol spend another 20 minutes with the family and never convince them that this is an acceptable situation. However, it’s made clear to them that nothing is going to be done about it. Liz heads out to the Grill with a reliable report from her deputies that Damon and Alaric are already at the bar drinking after their latest encounter with Elena.

Alaric looks to be somewhat far into his second drink and there is definite tension glimmering between the two drinking buddies when Liz finds them.

“Would either of you care to explain why Mr. Saltzman wasn’t in class today? At the same time Elena wasn’t in class today?” Liz can feel the frustration in her voice.

“Elena,” comes out as a chorus from both of them men as they slam back more drinks.

“Care to clarify?” Liz needs some story to start spreading around. Hopefully she was very ill.

“Stefan,” Damon adds darkly, and really Liz should have known. It’s always about Stefan with that girl.

“She wanted to go looking for Stefan and Klaus and Damon said no,” Alaric unveils further truth. “I thought it was better that someone went with her.”

Liz is speechless. She was unaware that Alaric actually had an active death wish. She apparently doesn’t know him all that well after all. He seems to be aware of her sinking opinion and after signaling for another drink continues.

“I warned Damon. He followed us.”

Liz thinks Elena is a lovely girl. She’s been a good friend to Caroline, but Liz will never understand why so many people are willing to die for her. The only redeeming factor in the situation is that Elena doesn’t appear to understand why either. None of this changes that Elena is slowly leading Alaric down the path to ruin. If Liz thought it would work, and if she wasn’t so abundantly grateful to have someone who wasn’t a) a vampire or b) under 20 included in the inner workings of the actual defense of the town, she might try to stop it. However, ultimately Liz is selfish to, and with one last shake of her head she leaves Alaric to his ruin.

A few weeks later Alaric proves that he’s an idiot. If Alaric’s potential inappropriate relationship with his students is a popular topic of gossip in the town (it is), then one of the next most popular topics is Elena’s inappropriate relationship with her boyfriend’s brother. Since the town is willfully blind to anything that might upset their views about reality, the story going around town like wildfire is this:

Damon is waiting for his chance with Elena now that she seems to be on the outs with his brother. However, Alaric is apparently also a victim to her ways and tried to get Damon to back off. Damon loses his temper and they fight. Witnesses can vividly recall the fight on the lawn. All the witnesses insist Alaric lost due to an unfortunate tripping incident. Liz wonders how close they will have to be to Damon killing someone before they’ll realize the truth. Liz is also sad to realize that the re-telling isn’t that far from the truth.

Elena and Alaric are not unaware of the gossip that goes around town about them. They too have their willfully blind spots. The fact is they need each other. Although Elena never listens to any adult in her life, she seems to like the act of listening. Liz sees her checking with Alaric on things constantly. They’re closer than people think. She wonders if Elena can handle losing another guardian and if Elena thinks she’s going to.

The Alaric situation continues to go downhill rapidly. Months later the fear is no longer an inappropriate close relationship between students and their teacher, but rather that a murderer may now be living with young adults, and that he’s teaching in their school. Liz knows exactly how popular, because everyone wants to know what she’s doing about it.

Alaric seems to be heartened by the fact that Elena sticks by him, even if no one else in the town does. Despite his active role in the council, and in the school, the town is all too ready to believe him a murderer. Meredith Fell is ready to help them build their case, and she’s taken it to Elena only to be rebuffed. Elena is willing to believe the best of the only guardian she has left in her life. Liz has to examine the facts, and the fact is, for all she likes Alaric, she doesn’t know him. She also doesn’t know if anyone really does.

Mystic Falls has this way of warping people. If Liz were a sheriff in another town, she would not be expected to know how to put down a vampire. If Alaric lived in another town, he wouldn’t go out drinking with the most dangerous emotionally unstable vampire, while simultaneously being on the council with said vampire determined to protect the town from the supernatural. Liz had hoped upon looking into Alaric’s background that Mystic Falls may have done some good for someone for once, but she feels it in her bones that she’s wrong. Mystic Falls has done Alaric no favors.

It’s just a few short weeks later when Liz is attempting to sit and get coffee at the Grill that concerned citizens inform her of the latest Gilbert/Saltzman gossip. Apparently, he had tried to leave the Gilbert household having finally realized how inappropriate it all was. Liz is glad she has her coffee cup to stare into. Her lack of comment apparently being taken as an indication to go on, the woman does so. Elena Gilbert is the real predator here, and Alaric should have been kept out of her clutches. Because ever since Alaric left the Gilbert house she’s been following him around trying to talk him back. Thankfully, that nice man from the council, Damon was it? Yes, Damon. Anyway, Damon had told her to leave Alaric alone, and go back to his brother. That Gilbert girl was a disgrace.

Liz decides to take this latest round of rumors to Carol and get drunk with the only other person who understands, away from the watchful eyes of their children. Liz appreciates that all parents have difficulties with their teenagers, but she knows that she and Carol are special. Caroline and Tyler will probably figure it out, but they’re smart, and they will say nothing. Or Liz will put vervain in their coffee. She will.

Carol relates to Liz variations on the same rumors, and they play their favorite game. They are not in the loop with what’s really going on the supernatural community. They are given information that one or both sides want them to know and then manipulated. They’re aware of this. They in turn take copious amounts of alcohol and try and figure out what is actually going on based off the lies they are told and gossip. It’s always worse than they guess, but they’ve sadly been close a few times. This is not one of them.

Caroline is home one night, and decides to let loose on Elena. It’s a relief to Liz to know that for all her daughter loves Elena, she knows her friend isn’t perfect. Liz gets an earful about the dynamics of Elena and the Salvatore brothers, and Elena and Alaric and their relationship. Elena is out of town with Damon to get Jeremy, and Caroline is upset that Alaric apparently allowed it. There’s some issue that Caroline keeps dodging around, mainly, why Alaric is now residing in a cell in the Salvatore mansion, but Liz figures that like the rest of the town, she really doesn’t want to know what’s going on.

Alaric dies. For all that Liz expected it, she’s still surprised. He’d been doing so well. From all accounts things were looking up for his survival. And by from all accounts she means the snippets she’d gathered from Caroline which indicated he was no longer in the basement, and the town gossip which had spotted him drinking again.

The next morning, Alaric is alive again, and things go to hell. Alaric is no longer the teacher that stands by the council. He outs everyone to the council in one spectacularly bad judgment call. Damon is nowhere to be found, and it is only later, as Liz and Carol plan to save their children, that the realization comes that there is no Alaric.

As usual, things happen quickly in Mystic Falls and Liz gets a text message from Damon that Alaric isn’t a problem anymore. From a broken Caroline, Liz gets the message. Elena died, Alaric died, and Elena is a vampire (or will be). Another Gilbert guardian is dead, and so is another Gilbert. There is no more gossip about Elena and Alaric.

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