Today, Beacon Hills High School prepares to welcome a new student! Several new students, in fact; a whole class of them. As summer gives way to fall, so too does freedom give way to restriction. Get in your seats, everyone.
"Um. Oh. Like other than practical things that will get me off the island? I suppose... my camera and my car? Though that's a really stupid thing to bring. But still. I want it. And," She stops and thinks, "if I'm the only one there.." she wouldn't need any chains then, "uh, my music player."
"Oh, okay. Just assume I don't know anyone but you...which is the truth, but like..." she trails off, "Catwoman is cool, any version of her in particular? I like Eartha Kitt. My favourite character right now is probably Hamlet. I just started reading it and he's like.. the original dark and broody guy," she jokes.
She looks between Danny and Jackson, confused, but looks to Brian when he speaks.
"I'm thinking about it. It sounds like fun. I think I'll just have to convince my dad to let me... I don't know, do extra things. He wasn't really keen on me attending high school in the first place."
She dumps her leftovers in the bin and looks around the room, analysing it. Hm. She walks over to one of the corners where she can get the best lighting, and takes out her camera. She starts taking pictures. Mostly of Erica, and anyone else she's interacted with through the day.
Juliet pouts for half a second, but then laughs. "Ah. It was worth a try. It's fine, I'll stop, no need to pay me." She slips her camera back into it's bag and then holds out her hand for a shake. "I'm Juliet, and I was not lying about the good looking part, but I'll drop it if it makes you uncomfortable."
"The lighting in the hallways isn't very forgiving, but the windows in the cafeteria? I'm really looking forward to developing the ones I took here. But I am hoping I'll be able to do something with the hallway photos, I read about this cool technique in an old issue of Popular Photography..." She pauses, realises she's rambling, "Uh. I'm sorry. I'm Juliet. Wanna be partners?"
"Uh, maybe a little lame. But. I'll start?" Beat. "So this summer was really exciting actually. My cousin and I managed to convince my dad to let me attend high-school. I was home-schooled. So yeah, it was a big thing. In celebration we went down to the water hole on our property and had barbeque. It's probably super corny, but my cousin and dad are super homebodies and they're pretty much all the company I get, so them coming out with me was... nice."
"I'm also an only child. My birth was complicated, to say the least, so it was just me and my dad. Well. And my cousin, but he's always been kind of a second dad to me, despite his age," she laughs, amused at this. "The Salvatore's have been around since the Founding of Beacon Hills, that's interesting, right?"
"There's a little bit of everything." She smiles and shifts in her seat, lowering her tone dramatically, "So picture this, it's 1864 and it starts out with a girl, as most stories do. She was beautiful, and as wicked as one can be. She shows up a little after we've put our pegs down in the ground here in Beacon Hills. And she very nearly wiped out the whole Salvatore family, the whole town, actually. Do you know this one?"
"Her name was Katerina Petrova, though by that point she was going by Katherine Pierce. She showed up one night on the edges of Beacon Hills, alone and frightful. And very expertly managed to worm herself an invitation to stay in the Salvatore Manor, with Giuseppe Salvatore himself, my many many times Grandfather. He'd recently lost his wife, see, so I don't really think it was all that innocent on his part." She makes a face.
"She was on the run, actually. From her former lover who had betrayed her, and who she then in turn betrayed. It was this whole big betrayal thing. Very exciting. But that's another story. So. She finds herself in with the Salvatore family, with all the riches she could desire... and the anonymity that provided. But, you see, Giuseppe had himself two sons... very good looking and charming sons. You see where this is going?"
"Yes, very biblical. So, she can't decide. Which is so like her. And though she loved the younger brother most, the older brother, Damon, had a love for her that was.. all consuming. Obviously she liked that, didn't want to give it up. So she played them off each, toyed with them both for months, until. Her past caught up to her."
She laughs. "It always comes creeping back at you, it's sneaky like that. This one especially. They had intergrated themselves into the wider community of Beacon Hills, biding their time and their pitchforks, until... they find her. And obviously she's a witch. That needs to be burned, because all women with agency were back then," she jokes, "and they rally the town into a frenzy. Tracking her down, rounding her up and putting her into the old Church. They throw a few other people in there to make it look like an epedemic, but she was who they were really after."
"Oh, yeah, sure. We are pictures of individuality," she laughs, "no mobs here."
She continues: "So in comes the two love struck heroes, lost without their love. They fight, nearly kill each other, blaming the other for her misfortune. But eventually they crack their heads together and come up with a plan... So its a shit plan, obviously. And they get caught... by Giuseppe himself. Who had taken one look at his stupid stupid sons, saw that they had been bewitched... and shot them both in the back, killing them."
Jackson goes home. Mr. Whittemore tries to talk to him, but he's not interested in what he has to say.
He's not sure if he wishes they told him sooner, or if they'd never told him.
Every time he thinks about it, he wishes the lie had fallen apart years ago; every time he thinks about it, he wishes he could scrub the knowledge from his memory.
Lydia goes home.
"How was your day, honey?"
"I made a new friend, I think."
"That's wonderful. What's her name?"
"...Salvatore? That's not a very common name, is it?"
"Isn't it? I haven't studied which Italian names are common in Southern California, should I?"
"There's no need to bite my head off, Lydia, I was just asking."
Boyd goes home.
His parents are polite, and pleasant, and avoid looking at him for longer than they have to.
His mother cries in the bathroom while he tries to study ahead for Latin. There's only one wall between them, but he can't confront her. Can't comfort her.
He puts in his earphones and thinks about crows.
Juliet arrives home. Her father is not there to greet her. She stands outside his office door and calls out to him, she can hear his heart beat, but she gets no answer.
She does not break down the door.
Instead she goes for a run, a swim and then transforms and runs through the woods.
Eventually when she arrives home she finds dinner waiting for her on the table. Pancakes.
She goes to bed hungry.
"We just wanted to make sure you were apprised of what happened yesterday," Vivian says, wringing her hands apologetically.
"It's a shame, really. I'm sure most of the students won't remember the details," her husband muse.
Sean is gritting his teeth, but he doesn't expect the adults to care.
"Yes, in front of a class full of students."
Vivian shakes her head.
"She can sit out gym if that's what it takes, you're not pulling her out-"
"Don't speak that way to Stefan, Sean, it's rude."
"She might have flashed her eyes, and been a little better at playing dodgeball than the average kid, nothing incriminating."
"Not anymore than they were hurting each other. Not a single kid in there thought it was anything other than dodgeball."
"Sean, please," Wallace snaps.
"We've said what we came to say. We care about her well-being, but she's not our daughter. We'll leave the decisions up to you," Vivian says, placing an arm around her husband.
"Lydia Martin. I'm a freshman this year too. I'm in some of her classes, and I know a few of her other classmates. The teachers want to make sure she gets notes that she missed. If you ask me, some of them are useless, but I've highlighted everything that's actually important. Is she here?"
Juliet is laying on the dusty ground in her cell when her phone rings. She nearly drops it on her face in surprise, busy as she was taking pictures of the shadows on the ceiling.
The phone rings loudly.... Which echoes throughout the large house. She quickly answers it, hoping her dad didn't hear.
"Hello?" She whispers.
She ignores her father, "Um." She pauses and moves away from the door. "I think so too. I mean, you're awesome. You like photography and Shakespeare and you know who Ibsen is. I missed you too."
Zach starts loudly unlocking the door.
"You're the most interesting person I've met."
"Things at home are... tense. I'm probably gonna avoid being there until my dad stops being so...." She pauses. "I was just- it was hard. Being there. Especially when I finally had my first taste of the world. Not gonna let him lock me away again. I can be better. I know I can."
"I wouldn't call him my enemy. Though I think Danny might want that role," she laughs and continues, "I've known Sean forever. But. He's also the reason why dad was mad at me." Pause. "No. I'm the reason. But I told Sean, who told his parents who told my cousin and then I guess my dad was there..."
"I'm a little bitter."
"Popularity seems like so much work. And I don't really care if people don't like me..."
"No, rephrasing that. I like interesting people. Interesting people like me. If they don't like me, they're not interesting. There are exceptions. But I choose to ignore them."
"He's like.. the strong silent type. Likes to brood, though in this case it's not attractive because cousin. He likes reading and working on cars and all the other things that we do together, because I'm the best. He's funny when you get to know him. And also has a tragic backstory! His first love died, it was all very sad. For him. She was a bitch."
"It was- mostly just me locked in my room all weekend. I finished listening to Hamlet again. Did some sketches. Um. Thought about redying my hair a different color," she fingers the red streak in her hair, "and started plotting my revenge," she jokes, "have to figure out all the logistics. Otherwise it'll all fall apart."
She laughs. "Damon is not nice. He can be a son of a bitch, pretty much always. But yeah, I know if I needed it he'd let me in, no question."
Handy perk of the guilt he feels about murdering her mother. Which she should probably hold against him... but it's hard to have feelings about a woman that died the day she was born and was a complete mystery.