A/N: So new story. It pretty much picks up right from the end of 4x09 and will go AU from there. I want to thank Miranda first for being an amazing beta and looking this over and everything so that I felt confident enough to post it.
I know I updated Wicked Schemes like crazy with one or two updates a week but I will let you know right now that will not be happening this time. This one is much more research intensive plus I do not want to overwhelm Miranda with my words so I'll try to update once a week or so depending on so many different factors.
But I hope you enjoy the first chapter.
It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it~Friedrich Nietzsche
Everything he had worked to gain through the centuries—the loyalty he had believed was rightfully due to him, that he had cultivated, manipulated and demanded out of these werewolves who now were like him—was gone in one fell swoop. Perhaps he could have forgiven them breaking their Sire bonds, it would have been easy enough to fix that small problem with simple compulsion, but the fact that they had planned to kill him and thought that they could do so had earned them their deaths. Seeing them in the woods, waiting for him to arrive, standing there together to watch him die had sealed their fate more swiftly than when he had learned what had been transpiring.
He had given them relief from the torturous process of turning, no longer had they needed to endure the breaking of every bone in their body once a month. No longer did they need to worry about their lives ending in a mere sixty to seventy years. They were stronger, faster, infinitely better than they had been and all he had required was loyalty, doing as he asked when he asked it. Was that really too much to expect after the gift he had bestowed upon them?
He knew who was to blame, who had put the seeds of doubt into their ears and helped it fester into full blown mutiny. There had been no questioning until Tyler's return. No discord until the mutt he had first successfully transformed had stepped back into town, sire bond broken and thinking that he could best him in every way.
Klaus would have Tyler Lockwood's head one way or another, but at least thrusting Carol Lockwood's head under the water, watching the life drain from her eyes as she fought to live had given him some satisfaction. She had said that Tyler was all she had left in life and the fact was not lost on Klaus that Carol was all that the impudent boy truly had as well. Killing her had been easy and while he wished there had been more satisfaction in taking her life, he supposed leaving her for someone to find, knowing the heart wrenching grief that would knock Tyler to his knees would be enough for now.
The Lockwood boy hadn't been the only one involved though and he wondered precisely what part the two that had been his source of distraction during the day had played. It was probably that very thought that had him standing in front of the Salvatore's boarding house and listening to the conversation happening inside.
His rage hadn't dissipated; it still festered there beneath the surface, wishing to be unleashed on the next unsuspecting person, to be doled out to those who had thought once again that they could get some kind of upper hand over him. Perhaps he should have expected it, and to some degree he did. It wasn't as though he didn't know they were constantly using him, Stefan only working with him to benefit the useless doppelganger and Caroline…her part in everything cut him deeper than the rest. His feelings for her were becoming a nuisance, something he needed to either warp to his own advantage or stamp out in a way that didn't allow them to linger beneath the surface, waiting to be brought out again. Just as they had after her betrayal that had gotten Kol daggered by the bothersome quarterback.
Something told him that they wouldn't go away as he wished though, or else he would have rid himself of them months before, tore her from the world and watched the life leave her eyes. That judging, honest gaze never to shine in his direction again. That didn't mean he couldn't let them know he knew, let them know he wouldn't be trifled with again and that the two of them needed to watch their steps, to remind them exactly why he had the reputation that he did. And perhaps get some answers to the questions that were on a constant repeating shuffle in his head.
His eyes narrowed as he walked inside, knowing the two of them wouldn't be paying any particular attention to their surroundings. Klaus picked up a tall lamp as he continued on inside, tossing the shade to the side and unscrewing the bulb. He smiled sardonically at the two as he entered the room. Fear immediately filled his senses, wrapping around him and causing the blood running through his veins to pump just that bit faster. He'd always enjoyed the smell of it, had been bathed in it not even an hour ago, first from his Hybrids and then from the Mayor, and now here he was, walking into the room and receiving the same wonderful fragrance from Stefan and Caroline.
Stefan was up in seconds, no doubt ready to defend Caroline who had also risen, but didn't make any move to leave. Her gaze was fixed on Klaus' clothes, taking in the amount of blood, and Klaus could only imagine the scenarios that were going through her pretty little head. No doubt all of them had to do with the Lockwood boy and that rankled Klaus more than anything.
"Don't rise on my account, mate," Klaus directed Stefan, thrusting the lamp into his stomach and pinning the other vampire to the nearest wall. It would hurt, but it wouldn't cause any lasting damage. "Caroline and I need to have a talk."
"Caroline, run," Stefan urged through the pain, not liking the madness that seemed to dance in the Hybrid's eyes. He didn't think he had ever seen him look so crazed and wasn't sure what Klaus might do to her, especially after what had most likely happened. There was no way he would be in the living room with them, covered in blood, if Tyler's crazy plan had succeeded.
Caroline shook her head, not out of bravery, but she couldn't leave her friend to this madness. Especially when she knew Klaus could catch her before she ever left the room. Besides, she was pretty sure he would only like the chase. "You're alive," she murmured, crossing her arms across her chest in an attempt to showcase some bravado. Hopefully he didn't notice how much her hands were shaking.
"It was all an elaborate lie, wasn't it, sweetheart?" Klaus asked, closing the distance between the two of them. He noted the shaking of her hands, the slight tremor in her body as he stopped in front of her. The way she tried to raise her chin defiantly, to show him she wasn't frightened.
"You'll have to be more specific in your questioning," Caroline told him, silently berating herself as soon as the words left her mouth. The last thing she should be doing was goading him, not when he was like this.
She didn't like the slow smirk that spread across his lips, the way his eyes became more yellow, and she especially didn't like when he crashed her into the wall behind them, pinning her to it with his hands pressing to the wall on either side of her. The old plaster had cracked and it scraped her back, opening up a deep gash. She could smell the blood that was no doubt trailing down her back and ruining her dress.
"Why don't we keep your answers to a simple yes or no for the time being," Klaus suggested, waiting for her to nod in acquiescence. "Now, your break up with Tyler was all part of an elaborate game. Playing on my feelings for you. My rather noble intentions, yes or no?"
"Yes." She flinched when he brought a hand to her face, expecting him to hurt her in some way. Instead he fingered a strand of her hair, drawing it between his fingers before tucking it behind her ear.
"A way to distract me from the unsiring he did to the others?" Klaus continued, putting all of the pieces together. No doubt Tyler had thought a free Caroline would make a worthy distraction, something to keep his mind off of the whereabouts of his Hybrids, something for him to focus on so he didn't notice if one was gone for any amount of time. It had been a good plan, one he had readily fallen for, just as he had for all of the little distractions her friends sent her to be. He would not make the same mistake three times.
"Yes." Caroline wondered how long he would keep asking what he undoubtedly knew was the truth from her. Why didn't he just pull out her heart? Rip off her head? She worried exactly how much he would make her pay for her part in everything.
"All to help the annoying little mutt in his thirst for power," Klaus murmured, eyes narrowing at the thought of his Hybrids following Tyler.
"He's not a—" Caroline protested, but Klaus tapped a finger to her lips, silencing her.
"Ah ah ah. Yes or no," he reminded, amused by the glare she directed at him. He had her life in his hands, could easily move his hand to her chest and rip out her heart and yet she still managed to be annoyed with him. It stirred a longing inside of Klaus that he was constantly trying to push down around her, this tiny, baby vampire that should not have any pull over him.
"Yes," Caroline bit out, glancing over at Stefan who was gritting in pain as he tried to pull the lamp out his body.
"And the pageant," Klaus began, grasping Caroline's chin so she would focus on him and only him. "Was that all a ruse as well?" The laughter, the way she had truly seemed to enjoy her time with him there. It hadn't been like when she had come to distract him from Stefan, even though that had been a delightful night up until her revelation. There had been genuineness to her interactions, a freeness that he had believed to be real, and wondered if he had been fooled about that as well.
Caroline swallowed, not wanting to answer that question. She had enjoyed their time there. He had been a ray of light among all of the other crap from the day, allowing her to actually have some fun amid the Elena drama and the stress of running the pageant. But she couldn't admit that to him. Wouldn't allow herself to do so.
"Tell me the truth, sweetheart, or I will remove Stefan's spleen," Klaus warned her, noting the hesitation in her answer. "It won't kill him but it's rather uncomfortable."
"No," she murmured, her voice barely audible.
Klaus smiled, noting the guilt in her eyes, pleased that she had in fact enjoyed that brief interlude between them. "No?"
"No," she spat out, the fire back in her eyes, further annoyed that her reaction the second time seemed to only broaden his smile. His face was mere inches from hers now and she wondered if he was going to try and eat her then and there like this or was he going to try and use compulsion. Fear tried to engulf her, to bring her to her knees at the thought of being powerless to him in the one way that terrified her above all others, but Caroline refused to show that kind of weakness in front of him.
"That's my girl," Klaus breathed, delighting in the way her fear turned so quickly to rage at his words. He stepped back, still blocking her into the wall, but no longer a breath away from her face. "One day, the loyalty that you mistakenly give him, which you dole out on these friends of yours who don't deserve an ounce of your time, will be mine."
"Never," Caroline promised, clenching her fists at her sides at the idea of that. She would never help him, never give loyalty to him. "I'd rather die."
"Caroline," Stefan rasped out, and she knew that tone, knew the exasperation in her friend's voice. Now was not the time to be antagonizing the Hybrid further, but like hell was she going to let Klaus think that she would ever be loyal to him.
"Don't fret so much, Stefan," Klaus stated, taking a step back from her, though he grabbed her arm, pulling her along with him and roughly shoved her into a chair as he glanced over at the Salvatore "If I were here to kill either of you I already would have done so." Returning his attention to Caroline, he smiled. He could almost see her trying to deduce a way out of their current situation. Pity her little ragtag band of misfits never seemed to use the intelligence housed inside that pretty little head. He wouldn't make the same mistake.
"I'd rather not stake you to the chair, love, so be a good girl and sit there while I have a chat with Stefan." Her eyes flashed with a fury he'd never quite seen in them before, could see her fangs wanting to descend, the tiniest pricks of the teeth already coming out to play. "I will do it though, Caroline. Don't tempt me."
Her only response was a glare and he turned back to Stefan, taking a step toward the vampire. Klaus grabbed hold of the lamp and smirked at the scream that erupted from Stefan's mouth as he wrenched it from the vampire's body. He dropped the lamp, moving to Stefan and lifting the vampire up with ease before throwing him at the nearest wall. The sound of bones and the wall breaking on impact was like music to his ears. Caroline's pained gasp at seeing it only adding a delicious melody to the groans and grunts of Stefan who was trying to push himself up to a sitting position.
"Stay where you are, sweetheart," Klaus reminded, not bothering to look behind to see that she was doing so as he strode toward Stefan. His reflexes were infinitely quicker, more defined than hers and if she tried to attack he would have her knocked back before she moved from the chair. "Now tell me. How were you going to find the cure without my sword? I can't see you having given up on it so easily unless there was another way."
One that he would use to his own advantage. Find the cure, force it down Elena's throat and then create a new batch of Hybrids. Ones that the Lockwood boy would never get his hands on.
Stefan groaned, spitting out blood even as his body attempted to knit itself back together. "Tick tock, Stefan. I don't have all day." Klaus grabbed the vampire by his throat, pulling him up and pushing him against the wall again in one easy motion. "We had a plan. One that would have worked to both of our benefits and I'm failing to see what use you are to me now. I'm sure you remember what it is that I do with useless things."
"Why should we say a thing if you're just going to kill us?" Caroline pointed out from behind, and Klaus pressed his lips together, annoyed with the assumption that he wanted either of them dead. He thrust his hand into Stefan, breaking and then yanking out a rib, causing Stefan to cry out in pain and Caroline to scream for him to stop.
"I can do this all day until one of you answers me," Klaus replied, glaring down at Stefan.
"Professor Shane already knows where it is," Caroline informed him, trying to keep from moving to Stefan's aide. She had a feeling if she stepped one foot toward him that it would only equal pain.
"Now that wasn't so hard, was it?" Klaus asked, even as he pressed his hand to Stefan's chest, the pressure and force he was using causing the bones inside to crack. "Who all knows of the cure?"
"All of us," Stefan replied, glancing over at Caroline. He wanted her to get out of the house, she might be able to make it to Elena's, maybe Matt's, if Klaus was so focused on him. She would be safe for at least a little longer then. "Damon, Bonnie, Elena, Matt, the whole gang."
"Tyler knows too, but we didn't tell him. He already knew somehow," Caroline added and then bit her lip for having offered that bit of information up. "Why do you even care about the cure?" He didn't want to be human. They all knew that and was it really worth all of this hassle to turn Elena back to a human so he could make more hybrids that would only turn against him?
"A weapon that could be used against me. Can't imagine why I'd want to know the location of that, sweetheart." Klaus muttered, but didn't bother to look at her. "Where is the Professor?"
The other two were silent again and Klaus thrust his hand through Stefan's chest cavity and grabbed hold of his heart. "I tire of this game, children."
"Elena's lake house. Or at least he was. He might be back at Whitmore now," Caroline muttered, not caring in the least for that man's life if it gave Stefan a chance of walking away from this meeting with his life.
Klaus stepped back as he pulled out his hand, watching Stefan stare at him, the fear in his eyes as he clutched his already healing chest a nice sign that the vampire understood how close to death he had just come. I held your life in my hands, mate. Could have ripped away and been left with nothing. The hope of camaraderie that they had shared in the 20s ever returning was gone and Klaus would no longer try to gain it back, no longer let Stefan in on his plans. He would complete this journey on his own and destroy any who interfered again.
"I believe that's enough for today," Klaus told them as he licked Stefan's blood off of his hands and turned to leave.
"Where's Tyler?" Caroline asked, and Klaus stopped, turning back to her with a fury he couldn't seem to contain as he walked to her. He didn't pick her up and throw her as he had Stefan, simply blocked her into the chair, leaning over her as he stared down at her, waiting for the fear to register on her face. He could smell it coming off of her in waves, see it in the tremble of her body, but she kept her chin raised, kept glaring at him as she repeated her question. "Where's Tyler?"
"Worried about what I've done to your little boyfriend?" Klaus sneered down at her, touching one of her curls again. Though this time he was anything but gentle, yanking it to the side and delighting in her cry of pain. "Not his blood on me. Though I did have the pleasure of drowning his mother in the fountain to satiate the need to kill him for the moment."
The widening of her eyes, Caroline's little gasp as his words registered, brought another smirk to his features, delighting in her horror. Had she forgotten what he was capable of if crossed? None would be free from his wrath if they tried it again.
"How could…" Caroline started, her gaze turning from horrified to anger but Stefan called out her name, no doubt trying to silence her from saying something to further anger him.
"After all he took from me; I felt it only justified to leave him a little taste of what's to come. There are more who need to pay for their part in this little scheme and they will meet their violent ends in time, but first." Klaus paused, locking his gaze with Caroline's. "A gift for you, love, to show that even though your judgment has been lacking recently..."
Klaus grasped her chin again, making sure she was looking at only him. Stefan was hardly a threat, skin still trying to mend itself and the loss of blood no doubt limiting his capabilities. Klaus tightened his grip on Caroline, watching her eyes water in pain at how hard he was holding her. Bruises formed on her skin, marking her and while they would heal in seconds once he released her, he would know that mark was there just under the surface. "I still endeavor to have your heart."
He watched her flinch at that, fear finally registering in her eyes, and Klaus let go of her chin. He didn't know why but he didn't actually like it there, not when she was looking at him, not like he thought he would. Funny how she was more afraid of his feelings for her than the threat of death at his hands. Or maybe it was one in the same.
"I allow Tyler this one last night on Earth, but know this, Caroline," Klaus started, pushing away from her, though he never broke his gaze with her. "Once the sun rises I will rip out his heart and eat it if he is still in Mystic Falls. I suggest that you tell him to run and try to hide so that I don't find him for a little while. He should at least try to make it entertaining."
She nodded and he could see the wheels in her head turning, the scenarios that she was no doubt going through for how to try and save the whelp. There was no saving Tyler Lockwood and Klaus would make sure she understood the gravity of the situation they had gotten themselves into. "And, Caroline, don't think of running off with him. If I find out that you have, nothing will stop me from finding you. Of course, that will only happen after I've decimated the town you call home."
Klaus didn't wait around for an answer, turning on his heel and heading out of the house and toward his home. Caroline's soft gasps of disbelief carried on the wind; Stefan's words of comfort following behind it, and Klaus couldn't help but smile, pleased with how that meeting had gone and ready to drown the rest of the night away with a good bourbon.
What had just happened?
One minute Stefan was having a breakdown because of the fact that Elena and Damon had slept together and the next Klaus was in the house. As soon as she saw him come inside Caroline had known Tyler's plan had failed. She had known something was going to go terribly wrong based on the fact that Hayley had snapped her neck and left her in the bathroom of the Grill. She didn't understand why the girl had done that. Wasn't it better that Klaus not go into Tyler's body but his sister's instead? Hayley was supposed to be Tyler's friend. Surely she would have seen how that slight change in the scenario would be better for everyone.
Except Klaus was alive and apparently Tyler still was for the moment, but the hybrids were dead. There was no way they would have been spared their lives after the betrayal they had planned, not with how much blood had been on Klaus. Not when she had been able to smell them, that distinct scent that was hybrid blood coating him. Similar to his own, yet Klaus' pulled a yearning from inside that Caroline steadfastly pushed down. She didn't want to think about his blood sliding down her throat, healing her, and being etched forever into her head along with that damn woodsy scent that seemed to surround Klaus.
She had to find Tyler, had to somehow explain what had happened to his mother, and after that she needed to convince him to get the hell out of Mystic Falls. He needed to run as far and as fast as he could and hide as best as he could. She wasn't sure if he could do that though. The first time he had left, Klaus hadn't bothered to go after him, but this time, Caroline had a feeling there wasn't anything that would stop the Hybrid from going after Tyler.
All because of the stupid pack and Tyler's need to try and help them. Why couldn't they just unsire them and let them leave of their own accord? Why did the end result of the plan have to be trying to take down Klaus? How had none of them learned by then that it was impossible to do so?
Her mind was a mess and she hated the conflicting thoughts that ran through it as she tried to force back the fear that wanted to grab hold of her and never let go. It took Caroline a moment to realize that Stefan was standing in front of her, hands on either side of her face and talking to her. She had seen the current look he was directing at her before back when she had first turned and had been freaking out on him in the school bathroom. It took her a moment to realize the sobs that she also heard were coming from her mouth, that she was the one who was crying.
"Caroline," Stefan murmured, and she finally focused on him, remembering that she needed to breathe in and out to get her body under control.
"I'm okay," she stated not sure if it was Stefan or her own mind that she was trying to convince. Caroline pushed back from him, threading her fingers through her hair and forced herself to breathe in and out once more. "We can't just sit here. There's…we need to contact Bonnie and maybe Shane won't have left yet and if he did then she probably has a way to contact him." Because she had been spending entirely too much time with Professor Creepy who seemed to know more than he was revealing but that was something to focus on at some other point. "But we need to give him a head's up that Klaus might want him."
Caroline wasn't exactly sure what the Hybrid would do that night. "He can't get into Elena's lake house at least." But they both knew that the simple invitation barrier wouldn't do any of them that much good if Klaus really wanted to get someone from inside of it. He wasn't exactly against burning the lot of them out of a building.
"I'll deal with all of that," Stefan told her, giving her shoulders a reassuring squeeze. "You need to focus on finding Tyler and getting him to leave Mystic Falls."
She nodded, at a complete loss for how to even do that, but she knew that she needed to at least try and get Tyler to see reason. "I'll get him to leave." Not that she could go with him. There was little doubt in Caroline's mind that Klaus would make good on his threat and go after her, killing the entire town in the process.
Stefan pushed himself away from the chair, nodding as he moved, and she could see the tension in her friend, blood staining his shirt and had a feeling that he was still healing internally. "Call me when you're done and we'll meet up at your place," Stefan told her as she got up from the chair and headed to leave.
"You're going to be okay, Caroline," Stefan called out, and she stopped at that, looking over her shoulder at him. He seemed to look about as confident in his words as she felt about them.
"Always am," Caroline replied, forcing a smile before she hurried out of the house, not wanting to hear any more lies. She wouldn't be okay. There was nothing about their current situation that was okay, but she would survive it, somehow conquer it and move on, live her life. Just like she had done with every other curve ball that had ever been thrown her way.
Klaus sensed someone inside of his mansion before he even got to the front door. There shouldn't have been anyone in there. Rebekah was daggered and resting wherever Stefan had hid her. His Hybrids were dead in the woods and Lockwood cellar. He would have sensed Tyler's presence right away because of their blood connection. Caroline and Stefan hadn't followed him and there was no reason for the rest of their motley crew to be traipsing around his home.
He was in no mood to deal with trespassers. Or perhaps it was the perfect mood considering he still had leftover rage that he would happily dole out on whoever was inside.
Klaus made no move to be silent, nor did he hurry toward the presence. He could hear the clinking of glass and knew the perpetrator was helping himself to some of his liquor. He found that to be a bit curious. For one, they would need to know where it was located to find it and two; most intruders wouldn't bother with stopping for a drink.
He arched a brow as he entered the room, surprised to see Kol sitting down on one of the upholstered chairs. His younger brother draped his legs over the side, haphazardly pouring brandy into a tumbler, drips of the liquid ending up on the furniture and floor.
"Looks like someone was out having fun without me," Kol commented as he looked over at Klaus, smiling impishly as he raised his glass. "And it looks like you had quite the time while you were out. Did someone piss in your Cheerios? I heard that while I was in Canada. Funny little saying, don't you think?"
There was a time when Klaus would have welcomed his younger brother's presence. A time when he had wanted all of his family to share the house with him but that dream had died before it was ever fully realized. "Why are you here? Last I heard you wanted to make a name for yourself again out in the world."
Klaus had thought it was a foolhardy desire that would result in Kol getting into his usual brand of trouble. He couldn't quite discount that he understood the younger vampire's need to set off on his own after so many decades cooped up in the coffin. Kol had never been one for sticking around any place for too long, not even when they had tried to stick together as a family.
"Are you not going to regale me with tales of what you did?" Kol mock pouted, bringing the tumbler to his lips, but didn't take a drink yet. "What happened to sharing your conquests and our little wagers on which of us could cause the most panic?"
Klaus walked over, snatching the bottle of brandy from him and then headed toward the cupboard that held the rest of the tumblers. He ignored Kol's smug grin, the small laugh that left his brother's mouth at having goaded him so easily.
"I'm surprised you're still in this town, Nik," Kol continued, swirling the amber liquid around in the glass as he watched his brother's shoulders tense. "The doppelganger isn't really any use to you any longer so what is it that's keeping you here?" Klaus didn't reply, pouring himself a drink and keeping his back to Kol. "Don't tell me it's that pretty little thing from the ball?"
Klaus tightly gripped the glass he was holding, reminding himself that breaking it would only serve to give Kol the reaction that he obviously wanted. Something he was not about to do.
"Answer my question, Kol. Why are you here?" Klaus demanded, turning around and fixing his brother with a venomous stare. It rankled that doing so only seemed to further amuse the younger Original.
Kol swung his legs around and placed down his half-drunk drink onto the table. "There's a rumor going around that a Hunter was in town. One of those ridiculous Five that we searched long and low for a century or two." Kol tapped the glass. "And from your lack of immediate answer I'd say that I'm correct in that assumption. So where is he?"
"Dead," Klaus replied, taking a drink.
"Obviously it wasn't you. You're not ranting and raving about father every other second." Kol pressed his lips together, brow furrowing in thought. "Was it Rebekah?" That would explain her absence when he'd come into town.
"Elena Gilbert." Klaus sat down across from his brother, watching the amused smile that spread across Kol's lips as he clapped his hands together in delight.
"Stake herself? Or walk out into the sun without the ring? No wait. Somehow managed to chop off her own head?" Kol leaned back, more possibilities playing out in his mind. "Did someone at least manage to record it? I learned how to do that on the cell phone. I quite like the device." He pulled out his phone, twirling it in his hands. "I can constantly relive my highlights. I'll have to show you what I got up to in Toronto but first, how did she finally end it?"
Klaus couldn't help but smile at the enthusiasm, relaxing a tiny bit as he leaned back against the couch. It reminded him of the last time they had been in this very room together like this. Rebekah would have been striding into the room, still in her gown from the evening before. He would have been sketching in his book. Kol remarking how bored he was and wanting to go out to play. Back before everything had come crumbling down.
"We learned how to break the curse, so she's still around. No hallucinations." Klaus informed him, watching Kol arch an eyebrow at that. "Have to get a potential Hunter to kill a vampire and take hold of his destiny. True circle of annoyance that witches delight in creating."
"That disrespectful tone is exactly why most of them don't like you," Kol smugly pointed out. "Who's the new Hunter? And how did you find a potential?"
Klaus waved off the questions, not in the mood to go into more details. "If you want to be of help then go and retrieve Professor Atticus Shane from Whitmore. I'm sure you can figure out precisely where he lives off campus. He has information about where we can find the cure."
"I don't get why you even care about this? Why don't we just destroy this Professor and cut off the chance of any of them ever locating it?" Kol asked, picking up his glass. Trick one of the others to kill whoever the new Hunter was and any potential Hunters that came along. It didn't seem as though they grew on trees anyway. After all, this was the first Kol was hearing about another one after the Five had died nine hundred years ago.
Klaus didn't respond again, and Kol tapped his glass, trying to deduce what appeal the cure would hold aside from the fact it could be used as a weapon against them, which admittedly, was a pretty good reason to find it first. Of course finding it meant that it could potentially be stolen and used against them that way. Better to cut off any hope of ever locating it in the first place. What could have Klaus wanting to actually get his hands on it?
"You want the doppelganger to be human again, don't you? Make more little hybrids?" Kol saw the tightening of Klaus' jaw when he mentioned his brother's pets. "Where are they? I was expecting to see at least one of them roaming around when I got here. They were all such a bloody nuisance the last time. Though that one—Kim I think—did know how to make a good cocktail."
"I'm not in the mood for fifty questions, Kol," Klaus replied, rising from the couch and already heading toward the door. He needed a shower, to rid himself of the blood of his failed attempt at loyalty. He certainly didn't want to go into where his hybrid army was with his little brother.
"Just one more, Nik," Kol called out, unsure what exactly had gotten him into such a tizzy. Who even knew with Klaus at times? "Where is our dear sister?"
"I can honestly say that I have no idea where Rebekah is residing right now," Klaus replied, and headed off toward his room.
He heard Kol leaving as he started stripping, making a mental reminder to burn the clothes. Hopefully Kol was doing as he asked. It would save a lot of headache if his brother retrieved the professor that night before the others could do anything to hide or protect the man. But if not, he'd put into motion another plan to get the information needed to get the cure before the rest of them. Or perhaps do as Kol suggested and simply put into effect the Professor and Jeremy Gilbert's death so none of them would ever get the prize.
One way or another, he wasn't allowing the Mystic Falls gang to come out on top.
Tyler looked devastated, like he had suffered a great loss, but not quite as broken as Caroline was sure he would be if he knew about his mom. There were no police cars out front either and she knew there would be if he had been informed about Carol Lockwood's death. This was a scene she had seen play out too many times recently. Though this time there was a definite lack of Hayley sitting by him on the couch as he mourned for dead pack members.
Caroline didn't think she would ever understand the pack dynamic. She hadn't liked how he so quickly jumped to their side on everything. Even if she could see why he did so. He considered them friends and family, put their needs above others. Had been willing to put their needs above a cure-that he didn't want and why would he but was needed to help Elena, another of his friends-and that still didn't sit well with her. No, it wouldn't have helped them out, but they couldn't have given them even another day to try and find the sword before Stefan got that fateful call. All of their lives had been at risk as soon as Tyler decided he wanted to take Klaus down and Caroline wondered if he even realized what he had set in motion.
She couldn't blame him though, not with what she had to tell him. "Hey," she started, stopping at the threshold of the room. He seemed to tense upon hearing her voice, but didn't turn back to look at her.
"Caroline, I don't want to talk to you right now," Tyler muttered, lifting up the bottle of scotch.
"Tyler," she continued, not at all surprised that he didn't want to do that. She took another step forward but stopped when he started talking.
"They're all dead. He killed all of them. Every single last one." Tyler took a long swig from the bottle, emptying it and then tossing it onto the couch beside him. "Hayley set us up. I don't get why though. None of it makes sense."
Caroline didn't get that part either. Though it tied into why the other girl had snapped her neck, even if it still didn't explain why she would have betrayed those she had considered to be friends though. "Seriously, Caroline, just go. I need to mourn on my own," Tyler told her, shaking his head as he stared down at the floor.
"Klaus didn't just kill the hybrids, Tyler," Caroline took a deep breath, not wanting to tell him this way, but sugarcoating it wouldn't help any. "He found your mom." Tyler rose at that point, turning around to look at her. He shook his head, no doubt willing her to stop talking. "He. Tyler, he."
Tyler stepped backward, scraping his nails through his hair as he shut his eyes. "He drowned her," Caroline finished, stepping toward him again.
Tyler slammed his hands into the coffee table, easily splitting it in two. She stopped walking, needing to keep out of the path of any stray debris as he took out his fury on the couch next, sending it flying across the room. Tyler let out a harsh scream, dropping to his knees as he cradled his head in his hands, pulling at his hair. Caroline moved to him then, kneeling down beside him and reached to try and offer some comfort. He smacked her hand away though, arms slamming into the floor as he screamed again.
Caroline's heart broke for him. She knew what it was like to lose a parent and she knew Tyler knew that already as well. But to lose his mom to Klaus, the one being that Tyler seemed to hate more than any other, that had to make it worse. She could almost feel the rage that was coming off of him and she reached for him again, frowning when he pushed her away a second time. "There's more," she murmured, flinching when Tyler looked at her, directed that fury filled gaze her way.
"What the hell else could there be?" he demanded, nails digging into the floor to keep from striking out again. He didn't want to accidentally hurt her.
"If you're still here in the morning he's going to kill you," Caroline replied, tucking her hands into her lap. Whatever response she was expecting from Tyler it wasn't for him to start laughing. A high pitched, delirious sound that reminded her of films when someone was losing their mind. She couldn't hold back the tears anymore.
"I don't want you to die," she sobbed out, pressing a hand to her mouth to try and reel her emotions back in. She didn't think Tyler needed to deal with her having a breakdown after all he had lost.
That seemed to knock a little sense into Tyler and he stopped laughing and finally reached for her, pulling her close. Burying his head into her neck as she hugged him tightly, sobs racking through her whole body. "He's not going to kill me, Caroline," Tyler murmured, rubbing her back, trying to soothe her with his touch. It only made her grip around him tighten. "Let's just go. We'll just get the hell out of Mystic Falls." Take her and run, get as far away from Klaus as possible. Do what they had planned on doing when the Council had been after them.
Maybe they should have done that to begin with.
"I can't," Caroline told him, pulling back a little as she shook her head.
"I think your mom will understand you needing to disappear," Tyler assured her. Surely that was why she was hesitant to go. They could always figure out how to contact the Sheriff later on. He brushed her hair off her face and she sobbed harder.
"You don't understand," she murmured, knowing she couldn't go. That her reasons would only make her boyfriend even more angry than he already was. "Klaus said he'd kill everyone in town if I went with you."
Tyler let go of her, pushing himself up off of the floor and reached for the nearest object, flinging it across the room. He tore the room apart, not really seeing where anything landed. The bastard had managed to take everything from him in one night. His pack, his mother, Caroline. He would be left with nothing.
No doubt Klaus was laughing it up in his mansion. He wanted to kill him, to take everything that mattered to the Hybrid and destroy it, just as Klaus had ripped him apart. He couldn't do that if Klaus tore his heart from his chest though. Klaus would win forever then and Tyler couldn't handle that being the outcome. Klaus didn't get to win. Not anymore. He would simply need time to figure out how to strike back at the Hybrid in the worst way possible.
He turned to look back at Caroline who was still on the floor, hugging her knees tightly to her chest as she watched him, waiting for him to calm down. He knelt down beside her, hugging her again. "Tell me you're leaving. Tell me you're not going to go to his house and try something right now, Tyler," she begged, pressing her face into his neck.
She knew if he did that it would be the end. There would be no hope left. "I'm going to leave," he murmured, brushing her hair as she looked up at him. "I'm going to get out and I'm going to run so far that he'll never find me."
Caroline nodded, tears clouding her vision. "And it'll take time, but promise me you'll find someone who makes you happy."
"Caroline," Tyler started, but she shook her head, willing him not to interrupt.
"Tell me you'll do that. Tell me you'll learn to love someone again. Please." Because she couldn't stand the thought of him being out there on his own, stewing over all that happened. He had forever and he deserved to find happiness in it.
"I will learn to love someone again," he promised, kissing her forehead. "But I won't ever love them like I do you."
She collapsed against his chest then, hugging him as tightly as she could. He would need to leave soon, to run and hopefully never look back, but Caroline needed to hold onto him for another moment. To try and put everything about Tyler Lockwood to memory because she truly hoped she never saw him again. Something told her that if she did that would be his last day on Earth and it was better to know he was out there somewhere, hopefully happy again one day, than see him one last time just so he could die.
It wasn't hard to locate the Professor. Kol had easily found out where the man lived, some old apartment not too far from the campus, but it seemed that the Professor had decided to head to the office instead of home for the evening. It was an interesting choice considering there was hardly anyone on campus that late at night and Kol doubted the man was going to be working on anything academic. He didn't bother to look around the place, heading straight for the man's office and walked right on inside.
Shane was at his desk, going over some papers that were strewn across it and picking up his vibrating phone as Kol entered the room. "Afraid you won't be able to take that call, Professor," Kol informed him, easily smacking the phone out of the man's hand and letting it slide far out of reach.
"Who are you?" Shane asked, looking more curious than frightened, something Kol hadn't quite expected. Most would fear him, having burst into the office and slapping away the only method of communication.
"Kol Mikaelson. My brother requests an audience and I'm feeling generous toward to him today. Thought I'd bring you along instead of calling him to meet us here," Kol replied, yanking the man out of the chair by his shirt.
"You're an Original," Shane stated, his fascination growing at being privy to being in one of their presence. He had read so much about them. Learned so much about them in his travels. Never had he thought he'd meet one in person. He'd glimpsed the Hybrid at the Mystic Falls Pageant, watched him interact with one of Bonnie's friends, but had made sure to stay out of the way there. The others were already suspicious enough about what his motives were, what he knew. He hadn't wanted to stir up more trouble.
"Very good. And I have a feeling you know a lot more than you're letting on. But I'd rather Nik bother with the questioning since he seems to know a little more than I do at the moment." He flashed them out of the office and to the parking lot, shoving Shane into the car he had already stolen off of a coed who had the misfortune of being alone in the area. No doubt her drained body would be found in the morning but he'd be long gone by then anyway.
He noticed that Shane seemed to tense at the mention of his brother and Kol set the child lock on and pressed the lock key, trapping the two of them in the car. "Buckle up. Hate to lose all that knowledge you have up there too soon. You can always try to do that roll out I've seen in some films, but all that will do is break some bones, maybe lose consciousness, and I'll just have to take you back the old fashion way. The car ride will be infinitely more comfortable."
Hopefully he would get to dispose of the man once they were done with him. No point in leaving any loose ends hanging around.
An hour later and he was leading Shane up the mansion steps and calling out for Klaus to join them. "I've got your teacher friend, Nik."
Klaus appeared looking less psycho killer than when Kol had last seen him, though there still seemed to be an edge to him that hadn't quite disappeared. Something had happened to his brother and he wanted to find out exactly what had occurred. "And look not a scrape or bruise on him," Kol added, wagging his eyebrows at Klaus as he pushed Shane to sit down on one of the chairs before moving to sit on another.
"Klaus Mikaelson. The Hybrid." Shane stated, nodding to himself as he took in the two brothers. "My research showed that the two of you were at odds at times. Fiercely competitive. Brought about a couple of wars."
Kol winked at Klaus, pleased with the other man's knowledge. "We had our fun." When his brother wasn't putting daggers in his chest and spoiling it.
"You're not here to give me our life history. I'm already well aware of what I have and haven't done," Klaus started, not bothering to sit down and instead leaning against the wall as he regarded the man. He had seen him at the pageant, but there had been no reason to pay him much mind. He was of no consequence then, though Klaus was beginning to wonder exactly how he had come across all he did know. "I'm told you know where the cure is."
"I'm sorry this is just a dream come true right now. Two of the Original family. I mean, I saw you at the pageant," Shane nodded toward Klaus, his excitement growing. "But I never thought I would actually be speaking to either of you."
Kol was in no mood for the game, already having heard enough from the man on the way over about how fascinating it was to be in his presence. "Where is it?" he asked, utilizing his compulsion but that only seemed to make the man smile.
"Compulsion won't work on me. Actually learned how to avoid that during my travels," Shane informed him, and Kol frowned, not having met another who was able to avoid it without use of vervain.
"Well, then, I believe Kol gets to enjoy his favorite pastime in order to make your tongue compliant," Klaus stated, waving his hand for Kol to proceed. He walked over to the couch then and took a seat, arching a brow at the fear that seemed to finally surround the professor.
Kol laughed, leaning forward and resting his hands on the arm of Shane's chair. "How shall we do this? Would you like drowning? Or I can just smash it out of you until you break." He grabbed hold of Shane's right hand. "I know. Let's start with the fingers and work our way up." With a malicious smile, he cracked back one of the man's fingers, twisting it until it broke and Shane cried out in pain.
Looking back at Klaus, Kol nodded toward the fireplace. "Would you mind lighting it? I'd like to use the pokers later if he takes too long."
He turned back toward Shane, knowing Klaus would do as he asked. No doubt his brother would get the poker nice and hot for him to use. "It's such a simple question even," Kol continued, twisting two fingers that time. "Where is the cure? All we need is a location."
He moved on to the man's arm, slamming it down against the arm of the chair with enough force to shatter it. "I'm not even sure why you care about it. You're human. What exactly could you do with it anyway?" Kol continued. It made little sense to him why this man would want it, would know anything about it.
"I don't want it. You all can have it." Shane gritted through the pain. He was swimming in it, the amount of it making him lightheaded.
"I just want Silas," Shane muttered, still seeing stars, barely hanging onto consciousness.
Kol's eyes widened at the mention. Silas. He knew that name. He knew that being's cause. "What do you know about Silas?" Kol demanded, lifting the man up and shaking him. Shane's head rolled back but his eyes flicked open, a small smile tugging at his lips.
"First immortal being of this world. And he's imprisoned with the cure," Shane replied, eyes sliding shut and open as he tried to remain awake. "And I am going to free him."
"No, you're not," Kol shook his head, hands moving up to snap the professor's neck, but Klaus was there before he could, shoving him out of the way and catching Shane before he could hit the floor.
"Are you mad?" Klaus demanded, ripping into his wrist and pushing it to Shane's mouth, forcing the blood down his throat. "He's of no use to us dead."
"Didn't you hear what he said?" Kol asked, pointing down at the man who was regaining strength because of his brother's blood. "He wants Silas."
Klaus sighed, moving past his brother as he ripped into his wrist and pushed it against the professor's mouth, forcing the blood down his throat. "You cannot still believe that silly old tale, Kol."
Kol grabbed onto Klaus' shoulder, trying to pull him away from the man. It was better if he died, better if no one knew the location of the cure. "It's not a tale, Nik. It's real and releasing him will destroy us all." He moved to grab onto Shane, intent on snapping his neck and letting the secrets go with the man to his grave, but Klaus was quicker, shoving him away and pinning him to the wall with one of the pokers he'd talked about using.
"Silas is real and soon I'll have the spell that wakes him," Shane muttered, slowly coming back to reality.
"That's impossible," Kol shook his head. It had to be.
"I have the tombstone. Dozens dead in a blood sacrifice. One courtesy of your own brother," Shane replied, smiling at him. Klaus looked back at the man, realizing what that meant. He had been played by this Professor. "Kill me and you'll never know where it is."
Klaus narrowed his eyes, fists clenching in rage, and Kol tried to dart past him after tearing the poker out of his own chest. Klaus grabbed hold of him, slamming him down to the floor.
"You can't let him do this, Nik," Kol protested, struggling to be released, trying to flip his brother off of him. If he could get close enough to the professor he could end this all in one easy stab.
"You will not mess this up because of your superstitions," Klaus warned, grabbing onto Shane and flashing the two of them out of the room.
Kol knew there was no point in going after Klaus. Not with his mind made up like it was. Not to mention if the Mystic Falls gang knew about it then his brother wasn't the only one that he needed to be stopped. He needed to find leverage against Klaus, to help make his brother see reason and join him on his side. And then he needed to relocate the Covens he had once known, hopeful that they could help stop the rise of Silas.
Usually, Kol wouldn't mind some destruction, but he liked the world. He liked to be the one to cause pain, to learn, and to conquer. It would be impossible to continue doing that if there was no world left.
He looked around the room, trying to figure out what to use against Klaus, what he could dangle in front of his brother in order to get him to do as he needed. Kol spotted the sketchbook on the tabletop. He didn't even need to open it. He already knew what was inside, sketched on nearly every page, and he knew exactly what he could take that would have Klaus doing whatever he said.
It wasn't hard to locate Caroline. He already knew where her house was considering it was always a good idea to know where the members of any local council lived in case they needed to be dealt with. So after a few minutes he knew she hadn't been inside but that the Sheriff and Salvatore brother were expecting her to get there at some point. Kol stood to the side, angling himself behind a tree and utilizing the shadows to hide him from anyone's prying eyes. It didn't take long to hear her voice in the wind, and he whipped his head in the direction it came from, easily spotting the girl walking down the street.
She was on her phone, not paying any attention to her surroundings, but he knew he had to act fast. Snap her neck, get her into the car, and get off the street before her mother or friend was able to catch him. Simple enough.
"Look, I'm almost there, Stefan. I can literally see the front door so can we finish this when I get inside?" Caroline asked and he was pleased to watch her hang up the phone a second later.
Kol flashed out in front of her, offering up a smile as realization as to who he was hit her. "Sorry, darling. But you're what is known as leverage." He snapped her neck before she could make a sound, catching her body as she fell, and easily lifted her up and to the car. He deposited her in the back seat, knowing it would take an hour or so for her to wake up and he would be where he needed to be by then and have other means of holding her captive.
He dialed his brother's number, holding the phone to his ear as he began speeding down the street and toward the boundaries of Mystic Falls. "I do not have time for your—" Klaus started, and Kol smiled at the anger he heard there, knowing it would only be magnified in a minute.
"Hello brother. I have the pretty little blonde. We're leaving town," Kol started, waiting for the eruption he knew Klaus would have at that news.
"Yes, I know. Tear out my liver." Kol replied, remembering the threat his brother had doled out to him a few months back. "If you'd like to see her without a stake driven through her chest, you'll do as I need."
"She means nothing," Klaus bit out, but Kol wasn't buying it. Knew that his brother didn't like being ordered around by anyone.
"So you won't mind if I pull over and do it right now then? She's a pretty little thing. Maybe her and I could have some fun before I do it," Kol remarked. "I think I'd enjoy trying to drive her insane. Like dear old Mary."
"What do you want, Kol?" Klaus asked, and Kol could hear the fury in his voice. Knew he'd picked the right choice.
"I'm glad we're finally starting to be honest with one another, Nik," Kol began. "It's been so long since we've had an honest conversation." He smirked at his brother's low growl, knew it was time to stop playing around. "Silas is not allowed to rise. I'll give you the girl after you've killed the professor and gotten rid of the Hunter's mark."
"Do you even realize what you are asking of me?" Klaus demanded, his voice rising with each word.
"You have until the end of the week," Kol replied, hanging up before his brother could respond again.
If it didn't work he'd do as he said, dispose of Caroline, and work the witch angle to stop the rise of Silas. That mattered more than anything. Even more than his own family. Something told him though that Klaus would do as he needed and that was only going to be the first part of a very long journey ahead for them.
Kol looked back at the still dead Caroline and smiled before returning his attention to the road. "You and I are in for a long ride tonight, Caroline."
Next stop, New Orleans.