|Dreaming With A Broken Heart
Author: Carly-M PM
Caroline's elated when 'Tyler' returns to town. So why can't she stop dreaming about a certain other hybrid? Post 3x22 fic.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Caroline F. & Klaus - Chapters: 9 - Words: 32,412 - Reviews: 88 - Favs: 50 - Follows: 85 - Updated: 07-19-12 - Published: 05-12-12 - id: 8109195
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Thank you again for reading/reviewing/story alerting the last chapter. Like I mentioned previously, it's always encouraging to hear your thoughts & what you're enjoying in the reviews.
Caroline nestled into a booth at the back of the Mystic Grill, half-heartedly picking at her lunch while she spoke with Stefan on her cell. "You were the one who was supposed to be keeping me posted, mister, not the other way around."
"I know, I'm sorry I haven't been in touch," Stefan sighed. "Things have been… complicated."
"Is Elena OK?"
"She's up and down. You know what it's like."
"Boy do I ever," said Caroline, stabbing at some lettuce with her fork. "But you've been taking her hunting for Bambi and Thumper and all the other innocent Disney creatures, yeah? I'm sure that's helping." There was a long pause. "Hello?"
"Elena's taken to hunting with Damon," he replied, keeping his tone light. "They're out right now, actually."
"Hold on – what?" She sat up straighter in her seat. "But you're, like, uber-patient teacher guy. What's Damon going to show her that you can't? How to smoulder animals to death with overly-expressive eyes?"
"Something like that."
Caroline could sense his tension over the line. "Stefan…" she gently prodded.
"It would seem," he said, clearing his throat, "that Elena feels embarrassed feeding in front of me. That she 'doesn't want me to see that side of her' yet, so she's been avoiding me."
"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," said Caroline. "As if you'd care."
"I said the same thing, but it didn't make a difference. So I'm being kept at arm's length when…" he exhaled deeply. "When all I want to do is help her."
Caroline tilted her head back to rest against the booth, thinking of her misguided 'reunion' with Tyler. "I know exactly what you mean," she murmured. "I wish I could give you some advice like, 'just wait it out and they'll come around', but I won't because that's a pile of garbage," she added, her voice rising slightly. "And why should we have to wait around until they stop living in Crazy Town, hmm? How is that fair on us?"
There was another pause. "Everything alright with you?"
"Yep, everything's completely cool," she replied, resisting the urge to facepalm at her sudden onslaught of self-obsessed rambling.
"Caroline…" he said, mocking her earlier tone towards him.
"I'm fine, Stefan, honestly," she said, trying to smile. "I just miss you guys I guess. When do you think you'll be home?"
"That's up to Elena – but I'm hoping it will be soon. She'll need time to adjust being back home before school starts again." His voice became quiet. "I can hear them coming back, I better go."
"OK. Make sure you actually ring me again soon," she said. "And Stefan?"
"You'll be alright," she said sympathetically.
"I know. You will too," he encouraged. "See you, Caroline."
Ending the call, Caroline stared down at her, by now, mutilated Greek Salad. Admitting defeat, she scrunched up her napkin and threw it over the dish. She was relieved to have finally received an update on Elena, but instead of taking her mind off things, she'd managed to dredge up her own personal conflicts once more. It had been a week since Tyler had run off from her house. She'd tried to search for him the first few days, despite what Bonnie had said, but she'd had no luck. The only sign she had that he hadn't completely skipped town were the flowers she found on her doorstep each morning. One small bunch of blue flowers each time like clockwork. 'Forget-me-nots' her mom had told her when she found Tuesday's bunch before heading off to work, brimming with curiosity but not wanting to pry her daughter with questions. Caroline scoffed to herself. I wouldn't have a reason to forget you if you were still around, jackass.
Collecting her purse, Caroline walked over to the bar where Matt was pouring beers for a waitress to deliver. "I'll have a drink too when you've got a sec," she said, taking out money to pay for her lunch.
Matt handed the beers to his colleague before turning towards his friend, eyebrows raised. "Day drinking now, Care? Really? You haven't been in the past few nights, I thought you'd turned a corner."
"I meant a soda, judgey pants," she glowered at him. "But thanks for the lesson in morality."
"I didn't mean it like that, Caroline," he said, getting her a Coke. "You know I worry about you."
She accepted the drink, forcing herself to chill out. "I do. I'm sorry. And I have, you know," she added, poking an ice cube with her straw. "Turned a corner and all that."
"You have?" Matt frowned in surprise.
"Yep. From now on I don't waste my time drinking over people who aren't worth my energy." She raised her glass. "Cheers to that," she said, taking a big gulp.
"Caroline!" Matt stared at her in astonishment. "The poor guy is dead. How does that even make sense, 'he isn't worth my energy'?"
Caroline coughed as some of her soda went down the wrong way. Only her and Bonnie knew the truth about Tyler's return – he hadn't even been to see his mom as far as she knew. Mrs Lockwood was still under the impression her son had skipped town by himself. And poor Matt still thought his mate was dead. Caroline had considered telling him the truth all week but didn't know if it was the best thing to do while Tyler was acting so standoffish.
"I didn't mean it, Matt," she said.
"It sure sounded like you did."
"I'm just really tired and emotional right now," she replied, which actually held some truth. Her sleeping pattern had been erratic most of the week, her brain only truly resting during her Klaus-induced dreams. And a big high-five to my subconscious for those, she thought dryly.
"Do you think you might need to talk to someone?" Matt attempted to casually wipe down the bench. "I spoke to a counsellor a few times about Vicki," he said quietly, not wanting to make eye contact. "I mean it didn't completely take away the pain – or the confusion – but it still sort of helped getting things off my chest."
"Oh Matt…" Caroline reached out to squeeze her friend's arm, feeling awful that she was still choosing to lie to him. "I'll definitely think about it. Thank you," she smiled warmly. "Maybe I'm finally working my way through those five stages of grief," she added, trying to lighten the mood. "In a weird roundabout kind of way." He smiled back at her. "Hey, I almost forgot. I spoke to Stefan just before – Elena might be coming home soon."
"Really?" Matt tried to keep his smile in place. "That's great news."
"I know, right!" she replied, not quite registering his discomfort. "Anyway, I better head off. That daytime TV isn't going to watch itself." She held out her pinky to Matt. "Stay safe and see you in the morning?"
Matt latched his pinky with hers. "Ditto."
Lying on the sofa, Caroline flicked through a bunch of channels before settling on what looked like a Lifetime movie. One of those predictable ones where a person's life was all happy and light before they were struck down with cancer or they died on their wedding day leaving a grieving spouse. Something morose at any rate, which suited Caroline just fine. She snuggled her head into the cushion to get comfy, but as she watched a family wheel their sick mom around a fairground, her eyes began to slowly droop shut…
Caroline found herself leaning against a fence railing, admiring the flashy lights from the carnival rides that lit up the clear night sky over the fair. People bustled around in front of her, eating fairy floss and corn dogs, completely ignoring her existence. "I know what you're going to say," she said out loud. "Why are you dreaming of such a pitiful thing when you could be enjoying a carnival in Rio?"
"I wasn't going to say that at all," said Klaus, leaning on the railing next to her. "But now you mention it…" he smirked.
She rolled her eyes. "I can just see you wearing a feathered headdress and a bejewelled bikini."
"Perhaps not me, sweetheart," he said, raking his eyes up and down her body. "But I can think of someone else it would look quite delectable on."
"Oh please," she scoffed, drawing her jacket closer. Caroline tried to return her attention to the goings-on in front of her, but gasped when she saw something over near the Ferris wheel ticket booth. "Oh my God."
"What is it?"
Caroline squinted at the young blond girl in line with her parents. "That's me," she said, Klaus's gaze following where she was pointing.
"You used to come here with your mother and father?"
"No," she replied softly. "I used to dream about coming here with them." She shook her head. "It's a dream within a dream – I've Inceptioned myself."
"Sounds painful, love."
Caroline laughed humorlessly. "Yeah. But a different kind of pain." The ten-year-old version of herself had her arms linked with her parents, one on each side. Young Caroline grinned as her mom and dad chatted and joked with one another. "They were always happy in my dreams," she said wistfully. "No fighting, no divorce, we were invincible." She watched as her younger self hopped into a Ferris wheel carriage with her parents. "I thought if I could keep them happy here then it would somehow transfer into real life, too. I guess that's where my incessant need to please people came from." She wrung her hands together, turning her head to see that Klaus was staring intently. He reached out to put his hand over hers, but Caroline quickly dropped them away. "I don't know why I'm telling you this," she disparaged. "This whole thing isn't even real, none of it matters."
Klaus's gaze never faltered. "It matters to me."
An announcer's voice jolted Caroline awake from her unplanned nap as she realized she'd accidentally leant on the volume button on the remote. She switched off the game show commercial and sat up, smoothing out the side of her hair that had been mushed into the pillow. She was contemplating grabbing a blood bag from the fridge when she heard the faintest of noises on the outside porch. Without thinking, she sped to the front door and yanked it open, but no one was around. Swallowing her disappointment, her eyes dropped to the doormat where, to her surprise, another bunch of forget-me-nots were sitting – this time with a note attached. She'd already received flowers this morning, which she'd met with her usual sigh of frustration, but this second unexpected bunch made her extremely curious. Caroline picked up her gift and hurriedly opened the folded piece of paper.
I need to see you and explain my actions.
Please meet me in the cemetery at 8pm.
Don't tell anyone you're coming.
"Seriously?" she exclaimed, fighting the urge to pitch the flowers back onto the ground. "You make me feel like shit the entire week and now you want to talk?" she muttered, heading back inside. "I don't understand you." Maybe I just won't go and you can get a taste of your own abandonment. See how you like those apples or whatever the hell the saying is. Caroline re-read the note and scowled, knowing she was going to go despite her protests. "Dammit!"
Checking her watch for the hundredth time, Caroline paced around the entrance of the graveyard. She'd spent the whole afternoon in a war with herself about how much effort she was going to put into this meeting. Part of her just wanted to rock up in her oldest, grossest pyjamas and no make-up to show Tyler just how much she didn't care. But the other part of her – the less stubborn more self-conscious part – settled on jeans and a blue blouse. She lifted her arm up to brush some hair from her face, hearing charms tinkle against each other on her wrist. Oh yeah and his stupid birthday bracelet. Because that doesn't contradict the 'I'm pissed at you' vibe at all, Care, she chided herself.
"Caroline, you came."
Freezing mid-step, Caroline span around to see Tyler smiling at her. She tilted her chin up. "Yeah, well, there was nothing good on TV tonight so…"
Klaus hid a smile and moved closer, holding out another bunch of forget-me-nots. "These are for you," he said, noticing her shirt. "It's a nice match."
Caroline groaned inwardly. That was not something she planned. She made no move to take the bouquet on offer, still not allowing herself to cave. "I think I've had my fill of flowers, thanks all the same."
"Fair enough," he replied, dropping his arm. "Caroline I…"
"Why the hell did you just run off?" she blurted out, interrupting him. "I could have helped you. We could have gone through this together."
"And what would have happened if I hurt you?" said Klaus. "I'd never have forgiven myself."
Caroline's eyes darkened. "Yeah, well, newsflash. You already did." She folded her arms. "So are we done here, or…"
Klaus came to stand in front of her, noting the way she chewed the inside of her cheek when she was trying to keep herself composed. This week had felt like an eternity, biding his time, planning his meeting with Caroline away from the prying interference of the witch. He wasn't about to let her go now. "Will you walk with me?" he asked.
She looked around before meeting his eyes. "Fine."
The two of them strolled through the cemetery, mainly in silence, while thunder rumbled overhead. Klaus paused outside of a tomb and laid the flowers he was still carrying at the front entrance.
"This is where I had my birthday," she remarked quietly.
"I remember," he said, noticing something glinting in the moonlight on her wrist. He grasped her arm and gently nudged one of the charms with his thumb. "You deserve something more beautiful than this."
She frowned. "You're the one who bought it for me."
"And this is why you shouldn't trust the tastes of a teenage boy," he smirked. "I'll get you something better."
Caroline tugged her arm away. "I don't want anything better. You shouldn't have to buy me off with flowers, or with jewellery or with anything." Her face fell. "Don't you get it? I just want you."
Klaus stilled as Caroline placed her hand over his chest, allowing her sentiments to feed his growing delusions. He drew up his own hand to rest on hers, lowering his eyes to her pink-tinged mouth… where she emitted an abrupt shriek as fat raindrops fell from the sky in a sudden summer downpour. "Oh my God, my hair!" she yelped. "Quick, in here." She shoved the tomb door aside and dragged him in, laughing at her own vanity. "I can't believe I just screamed about my hair – but in my defense it took forever to curl, OK. Now I'm going to look like a haystack."
Smiling at her uplifted mood, Klaus ran his fingers through her blond locks, feeling her shiver as he continued down the side of her cheek. "Don't be ridiculous. You're the most stunning woman I've ever seen," he whispered.
Licking her lips, Caroline stood on tiptoe and fervently kissed him, wrapping her arms around his neck as he took her by the waist. Their tongues danced together, Caroline moaning softly into his mouth as she backed him into the wall. Klaus tilted his head back in pleasure while Caroline traced kisses down his neck, sucking softly where his pulse point should have been. He gently lifted her head, greedy to have her lips back on his, drawing her body in closer. Caroline ran her fingers around the hem of his shirt, grazing them against the bare skin on his back before beginning to provocatively lift up the material. "Tyler," she moaned into his mouth.
Warning bells immediately triggered in Klaus's head as he broke through the lust-infused fog he was in and pushed Caroline away with a bit more force than he intended. "Stop," he growled, rubbing his hand over his face. "Now."
Caroline regarded him with hurt and confusion. "Why are you still brushing me off? Don't you want to be with me anymore?" she asked in a small voice, hating how needy she sounded.
Noticing how wounded she was, Klaus reached for her hand. "Of course I want to be with you, Caroline," he said, calming himself down. "More than you know. But I don't want to risk anything while I'm… still not feeling completely like myself." The truth was there was nothing more he'd like to do than take her right now against the wall, to feel her body writhing against his. But that was just the thing. He wanted it to be his body with hers. His name she'd call out in ecstasy. His arms she'd wake up in the next morning because she'd chosen to be there. Klaus was used to taking what he wanted, but he knew with Caroline it would be different. It had to be, or else he'd lose her before he'd even had the chance to have her.
"OK," Caroline nodded, squeezing his hand.
"I think the rain's stopped if you wanted to leave," said Klaus, unsure if she was telling the truth or just placating him.
"I think I want to stay here for a while," she said, leading him back to the wall and sitting on the ground, waiting for him to fit beside her.
Klaus wrapped his arm around her shoulder as she tucked herself into his chest, letting his chin rest on her head. He couldn't remember the last time he'd sat like this with a woman without it being a scam to feed on them, draining them dry instead of feeling some form of comfort. It was a decidedly human interaction he'd buried long ago, but he'd found himself drawn to this girl more and more, finding ways to get close. Letting her feed off his wrist, caressing her back while they danced, soothing her trembling body in the school halls. It exhilarated him and endangered him all at once. The last time he had let someone this close he'd…
"Where would we have gone?" asked Caroline, breaking his reverie.
He stroked her arm. "What do you mean?"
"When we were going to run away from the council together. Before everything turned upside down." She ran her fingers up and down his stomach. "Where do you think we would have gone?"
"Anywhere you wanted to go," he said, feeling her trace a star pattern on his torso.
"… Paris," she said almost inaudibly.
Klaus didn't move. "What made you choose there?"
"I don't know," Caroline shrugged. "I've just heard it's nice."
He grinned and brushed his lips over her hair. "We should find out one day."
Klaus walked up the driveway of the Mikaelson Manor, feeling Bonnie's crystal heat up in his palm. He'd been reluctant to part with Caroline when he'd first noticed the crystal react in his pocket, but promised her he was getting 'help' for his condition and that he'd arrange to meet her again soon. Klaus saw Bonnie waiting for him in the shadows of the front entrance.
"Where have you been?" she said accusingly, stepping out into the moonlight.
"Out for a drink, not that it's any of your business," he said flatly.
She pursed her lips. "In the cemetery?"
Klaus sneered at her. "Are we going to play twenty questions or are you going to tell me why you're here?"
Bonnie sighed and took her car keys from her purse. "It's time," she stated, gesturing for Klaus to follow her. "You're getting your own body back. Tonight."