"Your daughter is so beautiful," Caroline said in whispered awe.
Klaus seemed to be torn between staring at Caroline, bewildered, and the photos of his five month old daughter. Elijah had heard Hayley crying and came quickly into the room. He wrapped his arms around her and she shushed him quickly, "Look," she exclaimed." Elijah looked at the phone with the same awe shared by the hybrids.
"There's more, videos even, if you keep scrolling through." Caroline muttered. Hayley quickly slid the screen to the right and let out a sound somewhere between a hysterical laugh and a tortured sob. She sank to her knees and the boys moved with her. Caroline watched them as the sat on the floor seeing their child grow over the last few months. She quietly slipped into the other room. She heard a collective gasp, laugh, cry, she heard the sounds of joy. They had probably gotten to the video of her taking a bath, splashing in the water. Rebekah had done a wonderful job of documenting Hope's life with the thought that one day her brother would be able to see it.
She went back upstairs giving them their privacy. This moment was the only time they would have with their daughter for a while, they deserved their peace. She was upstairs for maybe twenty minutes when she heard footsteps outside her door. Hayley walked into Klaus' room and sat on the bed next to Caroline.
They were quiet, completely silent for a few minutes. Klaus seemed to hang between them, until Hayley moved suddenly towards her. The hybrid embraced Caroline, holding her tightly. "Thank you" she whispered, giving her a final squeeze which Caroline returned which surprised both of them. When they pulled away they sat in the awkwardness. Once again Hayley broke the ice, "Well they're waiting downstairs. I think you have a story to tell us."
Caroline began as Klaus had the day before, with her leaving. They were all sitting in what could strangely be called a family room. These three people were a family now. Elijah next to Hayley, Klaus across from Caroline, who was in her own chair, alone.
She had spent a few months wandering through Europe, gone back to Mystic Falls only to mourn the deaths of her friends. Her time in Europe was spent doing as much tourist-y things that could be done. She saw the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the Tower of London. She climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower and walked where the Berlin Wall had stood. During this time, Caroline was completely alone and completely content. She spent the active hours of her day searching for meaning and purpose in her world, and in the quiet moments of the night she was introspective, trying to figure out the path she had been on, the decisions she had made since her body had been changed, ever and completely.
She knew her plan as a woman, a human. She would have gone to college, met a guy, gotten a job, probably in public relations or major event planning. Marriage, Babies Etc. All of that had gone away when Katherine had held a pillow over her face; each gasping breath was a mockery to the concept of that blissfully normal idea of a life. There were no babies in her future now, no controlling fear of unfulfilled life telling her marriage needed to happen soon, or ever. At first, it had been freeing, Klaus had been right, she liked being ageless, fearless. But college felt like a cosmic joke when she had actually attended. She was holding on to an idea of future that is no longer relevant to her.
She had found herself wandering on foot from country to country after that. When she had made her way from Greece through Bulgaria and over the Danube River. She walked slowly towards Bucharest and was taking a little rest in a coffee shop on the Strada Secuilor when she had a feeling that someone was watching her. She turned quickly to see who it was but only caught a flash of blonde hair.
She followed her instincts, something being away taught her, something being with Klaus taught her, and followed the locks. She saw that person, whoever it was, move around into an alleyway. Once away from prying eyes, she ran with all of her speed to catch the vampire, she could smell it now, that the girl she was following was a vampire. More interesting than that, it was a vampire that she knew. She flew around a corner towards a seemingly dead end and ran straight into the Original daughter herself.
Caroline was taken aback, "What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same question." Rebekah smiled "Did Klaus send you?"
"No. Why would he?"
Rebekah smiled again, this time with sadness, "Things have changed." Caroline watched as Rebekah shifted from foot to foot. She had never seen an Original behave this way before. Rebekah was uncertain.
Caroline decided to dissipate some of her uncertainty. "Listen no one sent me here, I've just been wandering through the world for awhile."
This did nothing to change Rebekah's behavior. "Why are you here?" Caroline questioned.
Rebekah looked at the baby vamp for a moment until resolve settled in, "Come with me."
Curiosity normally kills the cat, but this time it gave her a purpose. Rebekah moved into the streets of Romania and away from the city towards the country. She stopped in front of a little cottage in the woods fifteen miles outside of the city.
A woman walked outside the cottage, a witch. Rebekah had to ask her to allow Caroline in the wards. The witch, whose name turned out to be Ileana, was reluctant to allow her passage but Rebekah insisted, "Klaus trusts her, so I trust her".
"I remember walking into this beautiful little house, only enough room for what was needed. There was nothing in the rooms that reminded me of Rebekah. She has an extravagance about her that was not present in this simple place." Caroline said to the group. "Rebekah made me coffee, offered me a blood and she began to tell me the story of what happened after I had left New Orleans. She wasn't even half way through when I heard a baby cry."
She looked at Rebekah with such in shock. "Is that…Klaus'…" Rebekah just sighed, exhaustion seemed to wash over her face and she walked to get the baby. Caroline saw a child with the most beautiful eyes, eyes so dark brown they were almost black. She had dark brown hair, long for a child her age, falling past her ears. She didn't look like Klaus; not the shape of her eyes, or lips or nose, but she embodied him all the same. Hope looked at Caroline with an expression of appraisal, as if she was trying to decide if this blond vampire was worth her time. Caroline had experienced this expression many times from each Mikaelson at one time or another. She knew she had passed whatever test needed when the little baby smiled slightly at her.
Over the next few days, Caroline spent hours with the baby talking to Rebekah about everything that happened. Talking to her about Hope and why Klaus had given her away. Over those same few days Caroline decided she had purpose now. A purpose that would take her exactly where she wanted to be. It came so easily, the love she had for this baby, who was so loved by her family and so feared by the world.
"I couldn't help it," Caroline smiled at Hayley, almost apologetically. "She was just so wonderful." She let out a big sigh. "So that's why I'm here. Hope needs to come home. And I am going to help you all make New Orleans safe for her." She hoped this explanation sufficed for now. There was another reason for her coming back. When she had originally come to New Orleans, it had been to stop Tyler, to save him from Klaus, who would have murdered him. This time she was coming back to save Klaus. To give him the happiness that just three days with his daughter had brought her.
There was an extravagant pause when Caroline made her declaration. Elijah had an expression on his face that could only be pride. Hayley was crying silently after hearing about her daughter, Elijah pulled her into his chest. Klaus was looking down and away from her, trying not to meet her eyes. She didn't want to think much into it; Klaus was a man who worked to hide his feelings.
Each of them had many questions. Hayley wanted to know everything about her baby. Even the little things like what time she goes to sleep at night, and what her favorite songs are. Caroline answered them all patiently and as detailed as she could. The boys waited patiently, respecting that a mother who hasn't seen her child in five months goes first.
Elijah asked about Rebekah about what safety measures she had taken in order to ensure his niece's survival. The phone with the pictures, probably the more damning evidence towards her hybrid lifestyle. Due to the fact that she drinks blood as well as milk, as evidenced by her shockingly pink formula. Caroline explained that the phone was never connected to the Internet; it actually never functions as a phone, only as a camera on which to document Hope's life. Rebekah bought this one, and the subsequent phone she needed after giving one to Caroline, at a mall two countries away from Romania, without Hope present. It is untraceable.
A witch guards their every move. She was not on vervein when she did her first few spells so some wards on the house can not be undone, as Caroline removed their conception from Ileana's head. "She is safe," Caroline promised.
Klaus had stopped looking at the floor by this point in time. "You wish to stay here?"
His eyes were rapt with confusion, sadness, exhaustion. About what, Caroline could guess but she never seemed to understand his thoughts. She gave a slight nod. He grinned a wicked grin. "All right then. Let's talk strategy, how are we going to take down the Guerrera werewolves?"
The next several hours was spent planning meticulously, the Mikaelson's reviewed with Caroline steps they had already taken to ending this war. Those steps included acquiring Davina, a witch, Marcel, a Vampire and Cami, a human. Caroline understood their plan. To put it plainly; united they stand.
Half way through their strategy meeting, Elijah and Hayley began bickering about whether or not to include her family line of werewolves, who had apparently betrayed them in the past. Caroline didn't know enough about it to understand, follow, or contribute so she just sat back. Klaus took advantage of the distraction to lean over and whisper in her ear. She could feel his breath on her neck, warming her whole body, "I have more questions for you, love. You didn't think you would get off that easily did you?" Her eyes widened in response but turned warmer when she saw his expression. He was serious, but there was also a playful edge to his expression that told her, after she answered his questions, she would not be getting much sleep.
A/N: Hello Readers! I really appreciate your support in this story. I do like to get reviews as well as follows because I want to know what you think. I'm thinking maybe 3-5 more chapters before I complete this fic. So were moving towards the end.