|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|
Champagne glasses clinked together and excited chatter filled the grand entrance hall of the Originals' manor. Caroline stood near the bar and smoothed down her blue gown, feeling as though she was a ghost in her own dream. She could see Rebekah loitering around Matt near the front entrance. And Stefan standing alone, watching Damon and Elena embroiled in a heated exchange about something: all exactly how it played out in reality the night of the ball. So if she was re-living the past through her dream that meant…
"Did you get your drink, love?"
Caroline turned to see Klaus, hands in pockets, approaching her carefully as if she might disappear again. She fixed him with a neutral look, waving her empty champagne flute in front of him. "At least you're serving the top shelf stuff," she recited from memory. "Wouldn't want the night to be a complete waste."
He chuckled, unfazed by her brashness. "What would be a waste, Caroline, is if you didn't join me for the first dance."
"I'm not really in the mood," she replied, turning her back to him. But Klaus just swooped in front of her, undeterred.
"It would be a shame to be the only host without a dance partner," he prodded.
"Stefan's looking lonely," she retorted. "Why don't you ask him?"
"He wouldn't be half as lovely on my arm," Klaus smiled, glancing towards the sullen Salvatore. "And besides, I think Mayor Lockwood's already secured him as a date." Klaus extended his hand towards Caroline. "Come on, just one dance. Where's the harm in that?"
Caroline knew now that the term 'just one dance' held no merit, but decided to go along with it – after all, it was only a memory. With a sigh she took his hand, letting him lead her to the ballroom. They swanned around the room, exchanging words about her father and her bracelet and the Miss Mystic Falls pageant, all the while Caroline noticing that people seemed to be moving further and further away. When the time arose to change partners, Caroline twirled out of Klaus's arms but suddenly felt dizzy and came to an abrupt stop. Dream turbulence, just like last time, she thought, squeezing her eyes shut. Why can't I just have normal dream crap happen to me, like being chased or falling or something? She immediately detected a strong arm slide around her waist and another take her hand, lacing their fingers together. Opening her eyes, Caroline saw Klaus standing before her.
"Ready to pick up where we left off?" he asked, drawing her closer to him.
Caroline took in her surroundings, realizing they were now the only ones left in the vast ballroom with music their only company. Definitely not a memory any more, she mused, feeling Klaus's intense gaze upon her.
"It's just one dance," he gently coaxed, sensing her reluctance. "Where's the harm in that?"
"Into repeating yourself tonight are we?" she said in bemusement. "If you keep insisting there's no harm it kind of signals the opposite to me."
Klaus faltered before giving her a playful smile. "You're the one making up the rules, love," he said, turning her on the spot so she'd have to hold onto him. "I'm just here for the journey."
"Yeah, well it feels like the rules keep changing on me," she admitted. Caroline let Klaus lead her around the room in a slower, more intimate waltz than the one they were in before, Klaus never breaking their hold. Half of her felt as though she should take a step back, maybe even escape somewhere else, but the other half took comfort in the rhythmic patterns of the dance steps. It was like a calm sort of trance that soothed her inner-turmoil, even just for a few moments.
"In the spirit of repeating myself," said Klaus, interrupting the silence, "let me just say you're quite the dancer." He smiled as she scoffed at him.
"Recycling lines, how charming." She cocked her head to the side. "I bet you use that on all your dance partners."
Klaus grazed his fingers against the material on her lower back. "I haven't actually danced like this in quite a while," he said in a low voice, bringing his mouth closer to her ear. "There hasn't been anyone I've deemed worthy enough until this moment."
Caroline felt a sharp jolt in her stomach as he leant back to look at her. "Well," she said, grasping around for words. "Obviously you don't get out much then." She was relieved when he broke eye contact with her and smiled.
"I could say the same for you," said Klaus, acknowledging their environment. "Perhaps I'm not the only one repeating myself tonight."
"You can never predict these things," she shrugged. "Maybe next time we'll end up on Mars."
But Caroline knew exactly why her mind had led her to retrace her steps. The ball represented one of those pockets of time where Klaus wasn't the ferocious monster they'd all become accustomed to. Loathe to admit it or not, Caroline had witnessed a different side to him that night. A side that she had trouble reconciling with him when he acted like an asshole and decided to do something horrific like kidnap her friends. This was the reminder she needed that there was at least something redeemable about him. She sensed Klaus's fingers stroking the curve of her back once more as Stefan's diary entry came to her attention. He holds her like he's one second away from pulling her close and never letting go.
Flustered, Caroline stopped dancing and tried to untangle herself from Klaus's embrace to regain control (shouldn't I be in control already?). But he caught her by surprise, carefully dipping her towards the ground, his face inches from her own.
"I don't think you're following the right steps," she said, raising her eyebrows.
Klaus smirked. "You know me. I don't really follow the rules, sweetheart."
The incessant buzzing of her phone alarm brought Caroline out of her slumber. She fumbled around to switch it off before stretching and taking stock of where she was, eventually remembering she was still on the sofa at the manor – and that she was going to be late to see Bonnie. She'd hung around last night, determined to do her part and keep an eye on Klaus, but she must have drifted off while he was sketching. Unwrapping herself from a soft blanket – I don't remember putting that over myself – Caroline felt her body tense when she realized Klaus was no longer in the room. Cursing her inability to stay awake, she was just about to speed out when Klaus appeared carrying two mugs.
"Blood?" he said, offering her a cup. "It's from a blood bag," he added impatiently at the look on her face.
Caroline turned up her nose. "How am I supposed to know if you have someone held hostage as a human beer tap or not?"
"Because the idea of that is utterly tacky."
She shook her head, gathering her cell. "I'd probably go with tacky and, oh, I don't know, completely wrong."
"Where are you going?" said Klaus. "Did the witch call you?"
"No I need to get home and let my mom know I'm OK," she said, peering out the window to see that Stefan was still there in his car. "But I'm sure Bonnie will figure something out soon and this whole mess will be over."
"This particular mess at least," he replied bitterly, causing Caroline to come to a standstill in the doorway.
"You need to leave Elena alone, Klaus," she implored. "You need to leave everyone alone and accept the fact that this whole hybrid thing is finished."
Klaus narrowed his eyes. "I'm afraid I can't do that."
"… That's what I'm afraid of too."
He stood there contemplating her words before strolling over to the window, looking out to see Caroline have a hushed conversation with Stefan before racing away on foot. Klaus felt around in his pocket for Bonnie's crystal, maddened that he hadn't heard anything more from her about the spell reversal. It was getting to a point where he couldn't bare to spend one more day in someone else's skin, having violent urges to just rip away the flesh until he found some semblance of his former self. Next to the crystal sat the young Gilbert boy's ring that he'd stolen the night before, knowing he could use it as leverage at some stage. Klaus yanked the curtain across the window before sitting back down at his desk. Once he got his own body back he could move on with the next stage of his future. He glanced at a sketch he'd started this morning, hidden under some scraps of paper, of he and Caroline dancing in an empty ballroom. A future that would hopefully contain a certain blond vampire.
Caroline sat dumbfounded on her friend's bed as Bonnie finished explaining what she'd found out from Abby. "No way," she stammered. "Nuh-uh, not gonna happen."
"Caroline, just hear me out," Bonnie pleaded. "I'm not exactly thrilled with the idea either, but you might be our strongest hope."
"I'm sorry, but no. Find some other ship, because this anchor is staying grounded right here." She planted her feet on the floor, folding her arms.
"So you're going to stay in my bedroom for all eternity then?"
"If that's what it takes then yes." She glanced at Bonnie's television. "You get HBO in here, right?"
Sympathetic, Bonnie reached out and gave Caroline's hand a squeeze. "It's asking a lot, I know. But I wouldn't have even suggested it if I thought I was going to put you in any danger."
"… So this has been done before then?" asked Caroline, looking at Abby's handwritten notes. "There are records of it and stuff?"
"Sort of," Bonnie admitted before conceding the truth. "Well, the last recorded anchor was actually a silver locket, but I mean there was nothing in Abby's journals about anything happening to it," she quickly added.
"Well no duh, Bon," said Caroline, rolling her eyes. "What's going to happen to it? Jewellery cancer?" She clutched the bedspread. "What if I turn into a toad?"
"You're not going to turn into a toad."
"You don't know that for sure!"
Understanding the fear emanating through her friend's derision, Bonnie took a calming breath and tried again. "Caroline, I don't want to make it sound like a guilt trip, but this may be the only way to set things right. Tyler and Klaus need something they can both connect to, and the common denominator always comes back to you."
Caroline lowered her head, letting a small puff of air escape her lips. "Why couldn't they both just like jigsaw puzzles or something," she muttered.
"This is the best chance they'll have to return to normal. For Tyler to return to normal."
I don't even know what normal is anymore. Toying with the edge of one of the notes, Caroline glanced up. "Are you sure no one will be in any danger? I don't even mean just me – this isn't going to hurt anyone is it? Don't big spells like this kind of knock you around a bit?"
"I'm actually kind of looking forward to it," Bonnie admitted, her eyes gleaming. "It's a bit of a rush." She quickly shook herself out of it when she noticed the look of minor concern on Caroline's face. "Everything will be fine, I promise. So are you in?"
Surrendering myself to the unknown or going on dates with both Tyler and Klaus for the rest of my life to make one complete boyfriend. Hmm, awesome options there. Knowing she couldn't stall forever, Caroline eventually reached a decision. "OK, I'm in. I trust you." She pointed an accusatory finger at her friend. "But if I do get turned into a slimy frog I reserve the right to revoke that trust."
"I'll make sure you have a really cute lily pad to sit on," Bonnie smirked, ducking when Caroline threw a pillow at her.
Jeremy brought over some lunch to Elena, who had been staking out the same corner booth ever since he and Matt had began their shifts at the Grill that morning. "So are you going to babysit us for the whole day or should we expect the pleasure of Damon's company soon?" he teased, pinching one of her fries.
"I'm not babysitting you, Jer," she replied, swatting his hand away from grabbing more food. "I'm just… hanging out in the same vicinity as you two. And besides, Damon's with Tyler at his place."
"Right, just 'hanging out' like the best buds they are."
"Don't you have peanut bowls to refill?"
Jeremy laughed, wincing when the sensation made his head hurt.
"Are you OK?" said Elena, sitting forward in concern. "Do you still have a headache? I knew you shouldn't have come back today."
"I'm fine, Elena, calm down," Jeremy replied, gently rubbing the spot on his forehead where his bruise was. "Besides, I'm probably safer here in public than at home. And I've got my babysitter with me," he mocked.
"How about Matt?" she asked, looking over to where he was pouring drinks at the bar. "We chatted a bit last night but he's still keeping his distance from me."
"Matt's fine too," he reassured her. "Aside from being kept in the dark about Tyler I think. Just… give him some time, yeah?"
"Yeah, sure," Elena smiled, but it disappeared when her brother walked away. She was too busy staring at Matt to notice Caroline appear out of nowhere and plonk down in the booth next to her.
"Can I have some of these fries? Thanks," said Caroline, shovelling a handful into her mouth without even waiting for an answer.
Elena frowned. "You're going into stress eating mode. What's happened now? I mean aside from the mountain of suck you've been dealing with lately." Her eyes widened. "Did Klaus try something last night?"
Caroline gulped down her food. "Not exactly," she mumbled, pushing away thoughts of her dream. "He's just being his usual infuriating self."
"I'm scared about what he might try next," Elena admitted, curling a napkin up in her hands. "I didn't think I'd have to deal with the consequences of having him around again, y'know? And I mean I'm a lot stronger now, but nowhere near enough to take him on. None of us are." She let go of the napkin, letting the curl spring back. "I had to go to the hospital this morning and compel that girl he attacked. It was Alannah Sampson."
"Isn't her mom on the council?"
"Yep. It's just lucky Mr and Mrs Sampson were out of town on business and I could get to Alannah before she remembered anything else to tell anyone."
Caroline regarded her friend. "Is that the first time you've compelled someone?"
"No," Elena guiltily replied. "I had to do it once before when…" she clammed up, her face darkening. "Doesn't matter. Weren't we talking about you anyway?" she said, poking Caroline's arm. "What's with eating all my food?"
"Nothing," Caroline lied, not wanting to stress Elena out about the spell. "Like you said, it's just the usual pile of suckitude." Her ears suddenly pricked as she heard a recognizable voice outside. "My mom's here."
Sheriff Forbes entered the Grill, notebook in hand, accompanied by a younger man in uniform with short brown hair and green eyes. Noticing her daughter, Liz instructed her colleague to speak with customers at the front tables before making her way over. "Elena, nice to see you back," she smiled, before turning her attention to Caroline. "Were you OK last night? I didn't hear you come home."
"I'm alright, mom. I stayed at Elena's. Girly catch-up time and all that." Caroline didn't enjoy lying to her mother but it was better than the truth. Yeah I totally hung out with Klaus all night, who by the way is living in Tyler's body now, because he tried to kill a whole bunch of people. Oh, and P.S. Elena's a vampire now too.
"I suppose Damon and Stefan told you what happened here?" The girls nodded. "I thought I'd have to go into major damage control when the victim said they'd been attacked by a classmate. Especially with those neck wounds," she said in a hushed voice. "But we've been back to the hospital and now the victim's claiming an animal attack."
"And you believe her?" said Elena hopefully.
"Of course I don't," said Liz. "But it's better if everyone else does. That's why I'm trying to conduct my own investigation as we go." She leant in closer to the girls. "You haven't heard anything about new vampires in town have you?"
The two of them shook their heads. "Everything's been pretty quiet since the Originals left town," said Caroline, keeping her voice even.
Liz nodded, flipping her notebook closed. "Well if you do hear anything please let me know." She fell silent when her workmate walked over to them.
"No one was here last night when the attacks happened, Sheriff," he said, giving a courteous smile to the girls when he saw them.
"Thanks. Caroline, Elena, this is Deputy Joel Haynes. Mystic Falls' most recent addition to the force."
The Deputy shook their hands, holding onto Caroline's for a moment longer. "Let me guess. Caroline as in your daughter Caroline, Sheriff?" he asked Liz.
"One and the same," said Liz.
"I recognized you from the photo on the Sheriff's desk," Joel admitted, making Caroline cringe.
"Oh God, that was during my gross early teen stage. I keep telling my mother to burn it." She gave her mom a glare. "We have so many nice photos at home and you chose the one where I look like Shrek?"
Joel laughed as Liz rolled her eyes. "Well I think it's very nice," he smiled, glancing at his watch. "We better head off if we want to go back to the hospital to speak to the victim's parents."
"OK." Liz paused when she noticed Jeremy and Matt from a distance. "Are the boys alright? They both look like they've got bruised foreheads."
"They're fine," Elena blurted out. "They were messing around at my place last night and bumped heads like idiots. Boys, huh?"
Liz appeared as though she wanted to ask another question but heard news from the station on her walkie-talkie. "We better go," she said. "I should be home for dinner, Caroline."
"Good to meet you both," said Joel as they walked away.
Elena nudged Caroline with her elbow. "Seems as though Shrek might have an admirer," she teased.
"Don't even go there," groaned Caroline, burying her face in her hands. "That is the last thing I need right now."
"Sorry couldn't help myself." Elena's smile faded. "How long do you think until your mom starts to figure things out?"
"Hopefully never," said Caroline, her voice muffled. "We'll just have to try and keep her off the scent.
The grandfather clock chimed signalling 1PM as Klaus sauntered down the stairs and towards the front door. He ventured outside, noticing Stefan sitting on the hood of his car with the radio set to the news.
"Well aren't we a good little guard dog?" mocked Klaus, clasping his hands behind his back as he stood before the vampire. "You do realize you're still no match for me, despite appearances to the contrary. I could have come and gone a hundred times by now and there's nothing you could do to stop me."
Stefan pursed his lips into a smile, not moving from his position. "Oh I don't know, Klaus. I seem to recall putting you in a coffin not that long ago."
Klaus took another menacing step forward. "Yes, a cowardly move at best, mate."
"I wouldn't say cowardly. More like long-awaited for all the things you've made us endure."
"Hmm, how does that saying go?" said Klaus, affecting a faux smile. "You say potato, I say betrayal?"
"I'm sorry, you of all people want to talk about betrayal?" Stefan scoffed. "That's really rich considering what you've just put Caroline through."
"You don't know what you're talking about."
Leaping off the bonnet, Stefan came to stand in front of his foe. "So you didn't lie to her about who you were then? You didn't take advantage of her feelings for Tyler and her kind nature to suit your twisted fantasies?" He noticed Klaus's face darken. "Am I getting warm yet?"
"Don't test me, Stefan," he sneered, getting up in his face. "You won't like the outcome."
Stefan didn't flinch. "I've been watching you for a while. So how about you leave Caroline alone?"
They stood there seething at one another just as Bonnie's car pulled into the driveway with Tyler in the passenger seat. Bonnie sighed as they emerged from the vehicle. "If this is about to turn into another caveman fight, can you just save it? You're going to want to hear what I have to say, Klaus."
Unclenching his fists, Klaus turned towards Bonnie. "It's about time," he glowered.
"When the full moon occurs in two nights, I can perform the spell to switch you back," she replied. "But I need to go through the process with both of you first. I'm not leaving anything to chance." Except for Caroline's involvement, she thought to herself, knowing how overprotective they both were of her. That news can wait.
Caroline felt her stomach churn as she drove to the manor on the night of the full moon. She'd spent the past couple of days alternating between calmness and then the suffocating notion that something was going to go horribly wrong. Her worst-case scenario had gone beyond toads, too. Now it was visions of growing another head or being sent down into the fiery pits of hell. Or having my own soul sucked into one of the guys' bodies resulting in some really freaky three-way. She turned up her iPod, trying to drown out her thoughts, but it was like her music was rallying against her too. "If I Were A Boy? Seriously? Thanks a bunch, Beyoncé," she muttered, pressing the off button.
Turning into the sweeping driveway, Caroline hopped out of the car and went around the back where Bonnie had told her to meet them. She could see a large circle mapped out with stones in the back garden, candles set up between every second one. Klaus and Tyler stood in the middle with Bonnie in front of them, holding her own grimoire she'd added her mother's notes to. Caroline noticed Stefan and Damon were also in attendance, keeping their distance to the side. Bonnie had told her she wanted them there in case Klaus tried something once the spell took effect.
Klaus and Tyler both sensed Caroline's presence before they even turned around. "What are you doing here, Care?" said Tyler, as Klaus stared at her in surprise.
Glancing at Bonnie, who gave her a small nod, Caroline moved towards the circle.
"I'd step back if I were you," said Damon from afar. "There's some serious witchy mojo about to happen in there. You might get your peroxide blown off your head."
"Well it's a good thing I'm a natural blond then, isn't it," Caroline retorted, stepping across the stone boundary.
"Averse as I am to even say this, the annoying twat is right, Caroline," said Klaus. "You shouldn't be here in harm's way."
Ignoring everyone, Caroline took her place between the men as Bonnie had told her to. "If I'm not here, you don't have your anchor and the spell won't work. It's as simple as that." The deadly silence lasted a few seconds before the vampires all exploded at once.
"Are you insane, Care?" said Tyler, grabbing her arm.
"Caroline, think about what you're doing," Stefan said in trepidation.
Damon scoffed out a laugh. "Have you been sniffing your hairspray again, Barbie? Worst idea ever."
Expecting another voice to be added to the chorus, Caroline turned expectantly towards Klaus. "Well?" Her bravado slipped when she saw how deeply he was staring at her.
"Don't," he said, his conflicted tone conveying more than any words could.
Swallowing hard, Caroline ripped her attention away from him and regained her composure. "If you're all done telling me what to do, then I'd like a chance to speak. This isn't just some decision I took lightly. But like it or not, I'm the best chance you've got for things returning to normal." She smiled at Bonnie. "I know I'm in good hands. So let's just get on with it."
"But…" Tyler began, but Caroline quickly cut him off.
"My decision's been made." She tried to give him a reassuring look. "It's a good thing, OK?"
None of the men were entirely convinced, but they knew nothing they said would change Caroline's mind. Bonnie took a moment to center herself before beginning the ritual. "Caroline, as the anchor all you need to do is make a connection with each vessel and just try and tune yourself into their thoughts while I chant."
"Got it," said Caroline, hoping her confident voice would be convincing enough. She felt Tyler's hand slip into her own, his thumb briefly grazing her skin as a silent thank you. Klaus then took her other hand, but instead of joining them in a simple hold like Tyler had done, he gently laced their fingers together so they were wholly connected. Caroline froze, peering at him out of the corner of her eye, but for once he wasn't looking her way.
Instructing the two men to focus their thoughts on Caroline, and for all of them to close their eyes, Bonnie started her chanting. At first Caroline couldn't feel anything except for the wind whipping through her hair, but then she felt a surge of warmth spread through her chest as memories of her and Tyler burst through. He'd focused on some sweet things, like their first kiss and hanging out at the Grill, but also a lot of intimate stuff too, like the many times they'd slept together. Oh God, I hope no one else can see this, thought Caroline, blushing. Fifty Shades of Vampire Sex right here.
Those memories soon faded, though, and new ones emerged as a different feeling pooled in her chest. Where connecting with Tyler felt cozy and familiar, connecting with Klaus made her feel hot and overwhelmed… but Caroline was surprised to realize that it didn't scare her like it should. Images of Klaus appearing in her room on her birthday and letting her feed off his wrist came into her mind. That immediately changed to his point of view seeing her make her way into the Mikaelson's ball. Caroline had seen the way he'd gazed at her, not sure she could handle the responsibility of having him regard her in that way. But experiencing it from his angle was a whole other story. She blushed again, this time from the intensity of the situation. Klaus then conjured up memories of the decade dance and finding her after she'd ran from Alaric (his pure awe at her honest thank you struck another chord in Caroline). But then she became confused when Klaus began thinking about the 'You are now leaving Mystic Falls' sign and discussions about horse riding, knowing she'd only dreamt about those moments. Her entire body tensed when one final image was shared between them – Klaus dipping her to towards the ground in an empty ballroom.
He'd infiltrated her dreams.
Caroline thought she was shaking with anger, but it soon became evident that the final effects of the spell were coursing through her, causing her whole body to convulse. She could hear Bonnie's voice get louder and louder before a white light flashed under her eyelids and everything became quiet and still.
"You can open your eyes now," Bonnie gasped.
Caroline obeyed straight away, noticing thin black lines circulate around Bonnie's face. She blinked a few times to get her focus back, but by then Bonnie's complexion was clear. Feeling sick from what she assumed was suppressed rage over her new discovery, and also apprehension about the spell, Caroline chanced a look towards Tyler's body. A broad smile broke across his face.
"It's me, Care. I'm back." It was then he looked down to see how their hands were intertwined tightly together; frowning at the last form of contact Klaus had had with Caroline.
Turning to her right, Caroline unclasped her hand with Klaus's. He could see renewed pain and wrath embedded in her features, knowing exactly what had caused it. He never meant to share those secret moments with her, but became too wrapped up in the process as it went along. Not only could Caroline sense him, but he could sense her too and was astonished by the way his whole body had heated up like he was on fire. But now there was only a coolness directed his way.
Stefan and Damon made their way towards the group as Caroline continued to stare daggers at Klaus. "You… absolute, jackass," she managed to spit out before beginning to sway on the spot. "I can't believe…"
"Caroline?" said Klaus in concern, noticing her speech had become slurred.
"Don't," she murmured before succumbing to her light-headedness and fainting into his arms.
So Klaus is finally back in is own body, hooray! And to think it only took one million chapters. I hope you're all still liking the story - I'm excited about what's to come. And as always I want to send out thanks to everyone who's reading this, and especially to the lovely reviewers.