Title: Sinners Like Us
Disclaimer: Anything TO or TVD related belong to the CW
A/N: Sorry to take so long my lovelies, I was really hoping to finish this up sooner. Beware, this chapter is SHORT and holds a lot of exposition rather than action. It is called the inbetween because that is what it is. The years in between Klaus and Caroline's story together. I decided to essentially blend the two endings I'd come up with together, and this was the result. Hope you enjoy, the epilogue is still to come.
Surprisingly, it's Rebekah who leaves with her instead of Bonnie.
The Bennett witch had found a true friend in Davina Claire, and she felt a strange duty to the remaining witches of the French Quarter. Their coven was small and broken now, but it was not gone. Rebuilding it to the dignified and imposing force it once was would take decades, but Bonnie was dead, so what did she care?
Caroline's parting with her best friend had been rough, but necessary.
"You'll all be fine without me, you know," Bonnie reassured her over their last meal together. "I may not be a witch anymore, but I've got a few on reserve down here to help the Mystic Falls gang out if you ever need it."
That brought up an uncomfortable topic, but Caroline figured it was best to get it out of the way sooner rather than later.
"I'm actually not going back to Mystic Falls," she admitted.
"I'm not going home. Or back to college. You staying here actually makes it easier for me, if I'm being honest," Caroline let out a sigh of relief at the admission. "I think it's about time that our little band of misfits was officially dissolved. We seem to attract way too much trouble together in that tiny town anyways, so I thought I'd shoot for something a little bigger."
"Bigger as is New Orleans?" Bonnie put forward delicately, but Caroline just shook her head.
"I don't think I'm quite ready for New Orleans. But I hear Ibiza is nice this time of year."
The grin Bonnie gave her was enough for Caroline to see that her best friend was truly happy for her. The decision had been a tough one, especially because it felt a bit like she was abandoning the people who'd helped her the most. Now that she had Bonnie's though, it was easier to go. Whatever she chose to do or wherever she chose to go, she could let go.
"Well, at least I know you won't stay away from Louisiana for too long," Bonnie shrugged, stuffing the last bite of their shared dessert into her mouth.
Caroline frowned. "Why's that?"
"Oh please, are we still pretending like you weren't screwing Klaus' brains out the whole time we were here?"
The clatter of her fork against the table was the only noise to escape, since Caroline couldn't even let out a shocked gasp after hearing a bomb like that. "Wha- what do you- you knew?"
Bonnie's laugh was as good-natured as ever. A positive sign. "I had my suspicions before, but once we got here I knew for sure. I can't believe you actually thought you were being sneaky about it. And you scolded me about scandalous secret sex!"
"Oh my god, I wanted to tell you like a thousand times, but I just felt so guilty that I-"
Bonnie cut her off, "Don't apologize, Caroline. I think my head might implode if you apologize. None of us back home are ever going to be rocking the 'Number One Klaus Fan' t-shirts, but you're a big girl and you can make your own decisions. At least this way you've got a reason to visit me, huh?"
The small, playful shove Bonnie gave her turned into a full on body-tackle-hug pretty quick.
"I think you might be the best person I've ever known, Bonnie Bennett."
The other girl just laughed. "Don't you forget it."
Rebekah, ever the eavesdropper, had busted in on their moment shortly thereafter and offered to give Caroline a ride out of town. It seemed the Original sister had taken Caroline's much needed kick in ass seriously, and had packed her things that very day.
They drove until they reached the ocean. And then they flew. Turned out nothing quite got your mind off your complicated love life like a self-indulgent, first class transatlantic flight. It was just as their plane was touching down at Charles De Gaulle airport that Rebekah received the call.
A baby girl. Six pounds, eight ounces, and a murderer already.
The birth had not gone smoothly. A small fall down the stairs had sent Hayley into labor on a bad note, and things had gotten steadily worse from there. Her very sporadic contractions had given way to an abnormal presentation, which led to a displaced placenta situation. It seemed anything that could go wrong had gone wrong with the delivery. The intense bleeding had nearly cost them the mother and the child, but somehow the little one had survived. Unfortunately for Hayley, all the vampire blood in the world couldn't save someone who was too weak to even swallow. The cruelest of fates could not explain why baby Kenna's first breath in this world had taken Hayley's last one. Something to do with the ever present Balance perhaps?
Rebekah nearly ran home at that point. The promise of a motherless child was almost too big a temptation to resist for the poor girl, and it was within her rights as Aunt to raise the child after all.
But then a few weeks later, more news came. The full moon was a bitch of a curse that didn't differentiate between the innocent or the accidents. The newest Mikaelson's body had broken apart and come back together too violently for any infant to bear. The newborn's fragile little heart could not take the stress, and after less than a month as a father, Klaus had another family member to mourn.
The decision to stay away after that had been one of the hardest of Caroline's life.
Every fiber of her being told her to run to him. To help him through this. To be there for him and keep him together.
But Rebekah and Elijah had staved her off, and she'd heeded their warning. Klaus, for all of his weaknesses and insecurities, was not a broken baby bird in need of a hug. He was an ancient, dangerous, and royally pissed off monster, who was cutting a bloody swath through New Orleans like it was his sole purpose for being. The pain and the anger and the loss was too much for him to bear, and the world had to burn along with him. Rebekah wisely suggested that perhaps this was something that Caroline did not need to see.
And she'd agreed. Everyone grieves in their own way, and Klaus' way was apparently rather violent. She could never hope to stop him. She could only hope that one day he'd need her in a way she could allow herself to be needed.
There were many times over the years that Caroline wondered if Rebekah hadn't somehow been ordered to stay with her.
They certainly hadn't ever planned on sticking together longer than a hop across the pond, but somehow Caroline found herself with Original company more often than not. They'd taken breaks from each other, sure, but those breaks never lasted more than a few months when she thought about it. The longest stretch had been nine... maybe ten months on her own? And assigning his sister to babysitting duty was definitely not out of the realm of possibility for Klaus after all.
Their first order of business had been to get the hell out of France. The great shopping and delicious food did not make up for the decidedly romantic vibe the entire country gave off, and neither of them were in the mood to be reminded of the loves they'd left behind.
"You could invite Marcel to visit you know. I wouldn't mind," Caroline told her too many times.
"The wonderful thing about a timeless romance is that it's timeless, Caroline," Rebekah always answered. "Marcel will keep."
And there was no arguing with that.
So they wandered. Europe was their playground, and Asia was their wild ride. Hell, they'd even traipsed over to Australia a few times despite the oppressively hot weather. The men there were astoundingly handsome, and the accents made them melt. She tried not to think too hard on the whys of that particular affliction.
Caroline mastered three languages in the first five years. Rebekah still called her Italian atrocious and her French an insult to the entire continent, but she was proud of herself nonetheless. They hooked up with Stefan at some point in their fifth year, and the three of them lost six months of their memory to absinthe and a small Spanish town that had the cutest little burlesque Caroline had ever seen.
Stefan was less than enthused to hear about what Caroline had gotten up to in New Orleans.
"Don't you think you should maybe keep some different company if you're trying to distance yourself from Klaus," he suggested one night when Rebekah had wandered out of earshot.
"Why, you think she's keeping tabs on me for him or something?" Caroline giggled. "Please, Stefan, if Rebekah told Klaus even half of the trouble she'd gotten me into these past few years, she would have been daggered faster than you can say family dysfunction."
Stefan laughed, taking a look around at the scantily clad women that danced on either side of them. "Okay, good point. But still, be careful with this thing you guys have going okay? You never know when you might get a hybrid sized visit, you know?"
That had worried Caroline briefly, but she'd brushed it off. The dynamic between her and Klaus might have been left hanging a bit, but he wouldn't pursue her again. Not with everything he was dealing with and not after she'd left him the way she had. The ball was firmly in Caroline's court, and right now Caroline's court was a continent away. She planned to keep it as such until she'd had her fill of the single vampire life.
It hadn't taken long for Caroline to realize that time passed very differently when you didn't have semesters or schedules or anything really to keep you grounded. Before she knew it, she was closing in on a decade away from home. Away from drama and love triangles and life or death consequences.
But happiness is a hard thing to capture for too long, and her bliss was eventually interrupted in true Mystic Falls fashion.
Elena Gilbert had died. And it was time to go home.
There you have it people, we pick up next time with the epilogue and the end to Sinners Like Us. This chapter changed a bit stylistically, so I hope you were able to follow along :)