A/N: Forced myself to finish season 1 of TO, and I threw up a few separate times. Just kidding. But just so everyone knows, the whole thing with the moonlight rings, Hayley, werewolves, baby sacrifice, blah blah blah will not be featured in here. Thank you.
Chapter 10: The Rising Sun
There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it's been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I'm one
-A few days later-
"I don't think this is going to go over well with you know you." Jeremy mumbled under his breath.
Damon sharply sighed, trailing slowly behind him, "Yep, well, he isn't here. Besides, these guys need a place to crash for a bit. Now, focus and let's get her situated." He instructed.
Matt and Jeremy compliantly carried the lifeless body from both ends with specified directions from Damon through the abattoir's dim crypts.
An expensive, by its designs, vase of pottery was accidentally knocked over and fell to the ground with a noisy crash when the Matt and Jeremy took a turn too sharp.
Damon stopped. "Ah, great." He knelt down next to the shattered pottery, picking up a piece to look at it before throwing it back on the stone floor. "I'm gonna add 'carry' to the list of things you can't do well, but that's okay." He stood back up, observing their work. "You can pay psycho hybrid back with your salary from the grill." He paused. "If you want to work a couple thousand years." He added more raucously.
"Why don't you do us all a favor and start dating Elena again?" Matt ridiculed in an annoyed tone as he and Jeremy continued.
Damon ignored his question and gestured with his hand to where they should put the body. "Just put her on the table."
"What the hell is going on down here?" Caroline asked as she reached the bottom of the stairs. She was confused at the dozen or so lifeless bodies scattered all over the place. "Who are all these people?"
Damon turned to face her, grinning. "Traveler husks," He said. His hands were placed on his hips as if she should be proud of him.
"These are the Travelers we found in the cellar?"
"Yep." He popped the "p" and turned back around to confront Jeremy and Matt. "You two, make yourselves useful. Patrol the area around this compound, or whatever they call it. Call me if you see anything weirder than usual."
Caroline followed Damon as he walked over to the body that was just carried in, letting Matt and Jeremy pass her by to depart up the steps.
"And what are you planning on doing with all of them?" She asked.
Damon began to meticulously adjust the body of the female Traveler. "Here you go. Oh, yeah. Well, Markos put them in a cellar. I'm hoping he wants them back."
"So you think drawing Markos to this place is the best idea?" Caroline asked, also mentally questioning if Elijah was aware of Damon's genius scheme.
Damon turned to face her, his speech elevating. "It's the only idea I got unless your body-snatched ex-boyfriend in the other room can help us. Don't even get me started on the two idiots who "run this place"." He quoted sarcastically in the air with his fingers.
Caroline let out an irritated chuckle. "Julian is not Tyler. Therefore, he has no reason to help us, so until I figure out a way to get Tyler back, he's just extra baggage. Elijah has done plenty for us, by the way."
Damon took slow steps towards her. "There's no shame in giving up. I mean, aren't we all a little sick of Tyler?" His classic smirk returned. "Maybe it's time that you let Klaus come into the picture."
Caroline crossed her arms, her 'Damon' patience already growing incredibly thin for the day, and it was only in the morning. "You know what? Your whole 'I'm too cool to care' thing is really starting to get old, and don't think for a second that I believe your mood has nothing to do with Elena."
"Spare me the unsolicited relationship advice," He blandly retorted. "We can talk about your mood since Klaus went AWOL."
Caroline's brows furrowed briefly before she shrugged off his remark.
"Fine," She snapped. "Just keep your torture-touchy hands off of Tyler until I figure something out." She then leaned towards him, and whispered, "I don't abandon the people that I care about."
She turned and left to walk back up the steps, leaving Damon to ponder over her words in silence. However, she also mused over her own words. Of course, she couldn't abandon Tyler. She owed him that much. But he was not the one obscuring her mind with uncertainties.
Things were finally beginning to look up, at least, that was the only way she could look at the situation. Stefan and Elena were both alive, for now, but were out in the middle of who knows where. Somehow, they managed to escape the Travelers and call Damon from a payphone. Elijah had dispersed the remaining vampires he had to find their exact location. However, that would be difficult as they were trying to keep low from Markos.
The downside was that Markos had drained enough of their blood to carry on with his spell. Not to mention the Other Side collapsing, placing Bonnie in grave danger. On that note, Klaus had not been heard from or seen since that one night outside the Traveler's cellar. And Caroline felt completely and utterly useless.
Uncertain of her valuableness, Caroline stopped midway up the steps to turn back down to the cellar, but in the direction to where Tyler, or rather Julian, was chained up. Perhaps, she thought, she could be of help with him. She opened the cell's door and let herself in. Julian was sitting on the floor glaring off at the wall, refusing to acknowledge her presence. The blood from his previous questioning session stained his shirt.
Caroline didn't say anything. She watched him with concerned eyes and couldn't help but feel remorseful for him. Tyler had agreed to this, yet he hasn't been present for how many days now. What was it like in there? With someone sharing your mind and body?
"Quit hovering. It's weird." Julian finally snapped at her.
Caroline looked away from him for a moment then brought her gaze back on him. "You're, like, permanently inhabiting the former love of my life. Let's debate the levels of weird."
"If he's former, why do you care?"
"Because he's a person whose life you stole without asking. He deserves to be fought for."
Caroline sighed, forcing herself to ask him what she came down here for in the first place. "So why can't Markos and all the other Travelers find someplace else to live?" She sat down in a chair across from him. "First it was Mystic Falls, but now New Orleans? Really? There are literally hundreds of other places that would be better."
"I don't know, maybe he likes it here?" Julian joked. "I'm sure you masterminds have already figured everything out. Besides, it's not just about breaking the curse that keeps us from being able to settle." He now sat up to face her, his voice rising. "It's revenge against everything the witches stand for, every grimoire, every talisman, every vampire, right down to your daylight rings."
Caroline guardedly fumbled for her ring and began to rotate it around her finger.
"The Travelers see it all as a perversion of pure magic," He said. Caroline let go of the ring and looked back up at him. "Markos wants to destroy that perversion. He wants to restore the balance."
"But that's just wrong," Caroline argued.
"It's not really wrong when you think about it. If anything, it's kind of right."
"Why does he have to be so violent about it?"
Julian scoffed, "When it comes to getting what he wants, Markos doesn't have much of a sense of humor."
Caroline didn't think Julian could, or would, answer any more of her questions. Letting Tyler back was not an option Julian would allow them to have. Besides, he was locked up in the cellar. How was he supposed to know what was truly going on? She left him then, and exited the cellar. However, another idea had come to her mind during her short conversation with Julian.
She took a deep breath to help clear her troubled thoughts and walked out into the morning sun where Bonnie and Enzo were sitting at one of the tables in the courtyard. She strode over by them to debate her idea.
"So, Bonnie, Julian is trapped inside of Tyler forever or until he dies, so I was thinking what if he does die?" Caroline asked Bonnie optimistically. "Maybe that's how we do it, that's how we get him out."
"You want to kill Tyler?" Bonnie asked.
"Well, he'll go to the Other Side, and then when your new witch friend does the spell to help you, Tyler can come back," Caroline said.
Bonnie clutched her forehead with the palm of her hand and looked away from Caroline. Enzo sat back in his chair, lacing his fingers together in his lap.
Caroline ignored Bonnie's gesture and went on in a worried voice. "And speaking of, shouldn't you be, like, preparing or talking to said witch, or doing anything other than sitting here? And what about you, Enzo?"
"We have everything we need right here, Caroline," Bonnie said.
"Right, but I think the Other Side falling apart is slightly more pressing than this."
Bonnie abruptly stood up then, the chair screeching out from behind her. Caroline took a step back.
"There is no spell," Bonnie said.
Caroline's eyes widened. She tried to mouth the words to reject what Bonnie had just spoken, but she couldn't find them. She was at a loss.
"I made it up," Bonnie added more seriously. "The Other Side is collapsing and everyone in it, including me, is going away for good. So, no, I don't think you should kill Tyler." She then marched away from them and left the courtyard.
Caroline couldn't believe it. Here she was trying to find the good in every present situation and now there was no spell to help save Bonnie. No witch present to help her. Tyler was trapped by a Traveler. And no Klaus to be found. Caroline shook her head, why was Klaus coming to mind? He obviously did not care about them. She felt like an idiot for believing that he did.
Caroline looked to Enzo. "Did you know about this?" Her voice all but breaking.
Enzo shrugged his shoulders. "More or less."
"Are you kidding me?" She paced around before him. "Urgh, and things were finally beginning to look up!"
Enzo stood up from his chair and walked over to her. "Easy now, Goldilocks. I will personally see to it that your friend makes it through this, you hear me? We've been chatting all night and morning trying to come up with a plan."
"A plan?" Caroline questioned. "What sort of plan?"
Enzo sighed. "Something that will help with the Other Side by getting herself and any others back before it's too late. But we need more time."
"Well, I don't think Markos is going to wait around for us to figure something out!" She shot back. "In fact, we should all be, like, tailing it out of this place. Once he starts the spell, it's basically over for us, and, not to mention, we'll all be dead!"
Enzo raised a brow. "Did anyone ever tell you that you can be tremendously fanatical when things get a little ambiguous?" He asked, ignoring her outburst.
Caroline rolled her eyes and was about to come back with some shrewd comment, but she sensed someone else walk into the courtyard just then. She turned her head to see Elijah walking in their direction.
"Do you have a moment, Caroline?" Elijah quickly asked as he stopped in front of her. He was already turning, about to leave. He gave Enzo a slight nod, waiting for Caroline.
"Excellent. Please, come with me."
Caroline could detect the insistence and demand laced in his voice as he led them out of the courtyard and onto the city's streets.
"What is it?" She finally asked after they had walked about a block away from the compound. Her current state of mind deemed her to believe that she was going crazy and Elijah's mysterious invitation was killing her.
"Firstly, this," Elijah answered. He pulled something out of his breast pocket and opened his palm to reveal the object to her.
"The coin Enzo found?" Caroline reached for the strange coin from his hand and took it in her own. Her fingers brushed along its indecipherable markings and grooves.
"Talisman, actually," He corrected. "But yes, I believe that I have finally come to discover its purpose."
"Which is what?" She anxiously asked. "I thought talismans were supposed to bring good luck, or something." Some luck it was doing, she thought.
Elijah looked ahead and dug his hands in his suit's pockets as they walked. "There's an ancient folklore with the belief that some people had the ability to transport about locations while asleep. Obviously, this also required a great deal of magic. Now, I've scanned through most of my mother's journals and came up short with anything close to relating to such occurrence that you recently experienced. However, I was able to locate a retired witch who was able to trace the talisman's origins." He eyed her warily.
"Oh, really? I thought the witches here hated you guys."
He nearly chuckled, the most she's seen him smile in the last few days, or ever since her arrival. "This witch is an old friend of mine from outside the city. Nonetheless, that talisman had been dormant for quite some time until recently."
"So that explains where you were the other day," Caroline said.
Elijah nodded and looked on ahead again. "As I'm sure you already suspected, a witch is behind the talisman's activation; however, what is further troubling is that a witch was not behind the primeval spell to bring you here."
"Hold on a minute. So a witch didn't bring me here?"
"No, they did not. That spell was performed by the Travelers, which would explain why we were unfamiliar with it."
"Seriously? And do you know why they would want me to be here?" Caroline asked.
Caroline's heart skipped a beat at the mere mention of him. She took a small breath to relax herself before Elijah noticed, if he hadn't already. "And how can you be so sure?"
"Look at it this way, if you will, Caroline. I'm no fool. I know that you and my brother have your history back from Mystic Falls. I know he still cares for you. It would make absolute sense for our enemies to bring someone who he'd never harm into this situation to be used against him, if necessary."
Caroline scoffed, shaking her head. "Yeah, well, I'm sure the safety of his own life would trump anyone else's. Including mine."
"I wouldn't be so certain of that," Elijah said, his voice lowering.
Much like Klaus, Caroline felt a sense of ease wash over her while walking with Elijah. There were advantages in befriending and having the trust of an original vampire. Yet, there were also the setbacks. Elijah had been quite busy these last few days trying to deal with all the different factions within the Quarter single handedly.
Caroline and her friends were luckily not thrown into the mess outside of the Travelers. All the way from parties, to funerals, to full out war was the present state within the Quarter and its occupants. Elijah established that he would deal with the Quarter as long as Caroline and her friends helped with the Travelers.
As then walked, Elijah suddenly stopped in front of a building.
Caroline looked up at the neon lights within the buildings windows as she passed, disbelief written on her face.
"It would appear so. The second thing I need you for, if you will." He exhaled, walking up the steps and opening the front door. Caroline didn't ask any questions. She just followed.
However, Caroline's sense of ease began to marginally falter as she viewed on ahead and caught a glimpse as to why Elijah became apprehensive.
She saw through the mass of people, sitting at a table by himself in the back, was Klaus.
"Let me fetch us some drinks. Please, see if you can converse with him. I've all but given up with words as of late," Elijah muttered. He walked away and over to the bar area.
Caroline gulped. Was Elijah serious? And how in the hell did he know where Klaus was? Has he known these past few days? What was she even supposed to say to him?
Caroline dismissed the questions racing through her mind and walked slowly over to the hybrid's table. His back was to her, and she could see him stiffen as she drew nearer. She couldn't pin point what exact emotion she was currently feeling. It seemed to be a mixture of anger, confusion, betrayal, but most of all, she deducted, relief.
Without further hesitation, she took the open seat beside him. Klaus, however, kept his eyes captivated on the half-full bottle of bourbon clutched in his hand in front of him. Caroline couldn't help but feel somewhat responsible for him vanishing on them, and for the fact that he was shrouding away in some bar during the morning hours.
She intended to wait for Elijah to join them, but she somehow found herself speaking.
"Where have you been?" She quietly asked. She brought her eyes up to closely inspect his face, which was more impassive than usual. He appeared incredibly exhausted, which indicated to Caroline that he most likely had not been sleeping. His eyes were cold and lingered only on the bottle. He did not respond to her.
"Klaus." She tried again. She had to restrain herself from reaching across the table to him, to help fight away whatever was going through his mind. Could he really be this down because of her? She refused to believe so.
He finally glanced over to her, dark eyes glowering into hers. Her heart sped up then.
"I've been having these dreams about my dead father." His voice quivered. "But, please, spare me your grief."
Caroline blinked. What was he talking about? Dreams?
Klaus took a drink from the bottle.
Elijah returned. "I should have warned you, Caroline. Niklaus is in a spectacularly foul mood this morning," Elijah said as he took a seat next to Klaus. He placed a tumbler of amber liquid in front of Caroline and kept his own drink in hand. Klaus eyed Elijah viciously.
"Sod off., Klaus said to Elijah, setting the bottle back down.
To answer Caroline's question from before, Elijah had known where Klaus was this enire time. Perhaps it was for the best. Caroline picked up the drink before her and swashed its contents around the glass. She wasn't exactly in the mood for a drink.
Out of annoyance, Elijah adjusted his shirt's neck collar and leaned over the table towards Klaus. "Niklaus, as I trust you are aware, the Travelers may commence their spell at any given moment. Grieving in this hovel is doing nothing for us." Elijah glanced around the place with revulsion and sat back in his chair.
Klaus shot a look at Caroline who immediately froze in her seat. The look he was giving her made her wish she could take back every horrible thing she had said to him. The pain in his eyes was enough to choke her. She set her drink back down and crossed her arms over her chest.
"I will live up to my word." Klaus finally spoke, keeping his eyes on Caroline's. "We will find Markos and put an end to this. But right now, I'm gonna finish this bottle and the next in the hopes of drowning the demon that has chosen to haunt me. Cheers, Mikael. Impeccable freudian timing." Klaus cynically praised, raising the bottle in the air. He took another drink.
Elijah then sat up on the edge of his seat.
"Elaborate," Elijah spoke to Klaus. "Have you dreamt of our father?"
"Go ahead. Have a good laugh."
"I can assure you there isn't a piece of this that I find even remotely amusing, Niklaus, especially considering I've been dreaming of him, too."
"What?" Klaus asked.
"If you are also seeing him…" Elijah unexpectedly glimpsed away from Klaus. He looked out to the crowd of people, as if someone else had caught his attention. Caroline looked out as well, but did not see anyone who she was familiar with in the bar.
Elijah continued more sternly. "Perhaps our other elusive, unknown enemy is orchestrating a further attack."
Klaus, too, looked out to the crowd. Caroline followed their vision of sight and finally saw who it was they were both looking at. It was a woman with long, red hair. Yet, the Caroline was unacquainted with the woman.
Something clicked in Caroline's mind then. Both brothers believed that these visions or dreams – whatever the hell they were - of their father was an intentional attack on them from someone else. However, Caroline knew better. Her recent discussion with Bonnie in the courtyard could back up her theory.
"It's the Other Side." Caroline quickly expressed, grabbing both brother's attention before more words could be said about the red haired woman from across the bar. "Bonnie, she said that…" Caroline paused. What were Elijah and Klaus going to do with this new information? Should she even tell them?
"What is it? What did Bonnie say, Caroline?" Elijah insisted.
"There is no spell," Caroline whispered, giving in. "Bonnie said that everyone on the Other Side is disappearing. Anyone who dies now...they'll be gone for good, including Bonnie."
"What about the witch Bonnie was going to contact?" Elijah asked, distraught.
"I don't know! She didn't say," Caroline said.
Elijah contemplated the news and sat back in his chair. "I should've known. It all makes sense now. Our father, faced with permanent extinction, has decided to spend his remaining time tormenting us. How delightful."
"Well, on the plus side, we'll soon be rid of his abhorrent soul forever. And what a good riddance that will be," Klaus supplemented.
The fear of losing Bonnie was beginning to tiptoe upon Caroline once again. She couldn't be sitting here, at this table, trying to convince Klaus to come back to them. He evidently was in no state to confront the Travelers with his father haunting him. Elijah as well, although he appeared to be less distressed than Klaus was on the matter.
They either have to take action now or leave this place. Fight or flight, Caroline thought, the natural reaction any prey would take. And they were being hunted. With their current predicament, she was leaning towards the latter of the two responses.
"We need to get to safety," Caroline said, standing up from the table.
"We will not abandon this town," Klaus said, eyeing Elijah who also nodded his head in agreement.
Elijah's phone suddenly began to vibrate in his pocket. He stood up from the table and walked away to answer the call.
"Relax, love." Klaus spoke in a low voice to Caroline once Elijah was gone.
"Klaus, look, about before -" Caroline began. However, he held up his hand to prevent her from continuing.
"Don't," he said.
Caroline bit her lip as she watched him finish the rest of the bottle. She was unsure of what to say to him in fear that she would make matters only worse.
Elijah returned only moments later, his usual laidback expression was anxious.
"They found them."
Caroline's eyes widened. She knew who Elijah meant, but needed to confirm it to be sure. "Stefan and Elena?"
"Yes, they're just on the other side of the river near the shipping yard. We must move, quickly. Are you going to join us, Niklaus?" Elijah asked, eyeing his brother.
Caroline, too, looked down to Klaus who then loudly exhaled and stood up from the table. Caroline did not want to admit it, but she was glad. Klaus walked passed her, brushing his hand against hers. Caroline felt a certain hope she had been dreaming about return. The three of them headed for the bar's exit with Klaus leading. Klaus opened the front door and walked down the steps and onto the street.
Elijah was just about to step outside, however, he stopped in place.
"Elijah?" Caroline questioned in an aggravated voice after she had to stop herself from walking into him. Now was not the time for him to rethink things over!
Klaus turned around to look up at Elijah and Caroline from the street and snickered. "Having cold feet now, brother?"
"I can't move," Elijah said, furiously.
Klaus's smirk quickly diminished.
Caroline reached to the door and noticed that her own body could not proceed pass the door any further. There was an invisible barrier. She gasped.
"Hello, Klaus," A woman said, now standing beside Klaus. Caroline recognized the woman from inside the bar earlier - the red haired woman.
Elijah's nostrils flared as he tried once again to progress forward, to vault at the woman standing beside his brother, but his attempts demonstrated to be ineffective.
"Genevieve," Elijah hissed.
"Nice to see you too, Elijah." The corner of her lips curled up wickedly. "So kind of you to follow your brother all the way out here. And I see you brought the distraction as well." She eyed Caroline then.
Klaus, on the other hand, was seething. In less than a second, he had Genevieve's body pressed up against the building's brick wall with his hand clutching tightly around her throat.
"Stop this, now," Klaus snarled, his face inches away from hers.
Genevieve's eyes widened in terror. "N-No! Markos and the Travelers must be stopped. If they are not, we will lose all of our magic. Our ancestors will fade away an-"
"And you think that I give a damn about your magic or the bloody witches?" Klaus's grip tightened. "I swear I will hunt every last one of you down. End this now!"
Genevieve's raspy voice broke out. "If Markos proceeds, you'll die. Your brother will die. All things supernaturally made will die. We have to kill only one of the doppelgangers to stop the spell. The Travelers brought her here to sidetrack you from them." Genevieve looked up to Caroline for a brief moment. "Don't you see? She's been stopping you this entire time from doing the very thing you know you should do."
Klaus's dark, livid eyes met Caroline's before going back to Genevieve.
Genevieve continued. "The doppelgangers would have been dead the moment they arrived here if it wasn't for her."
Caroline was speechless. So the Travelers really were the ones responsible for her brining her to New Orleans. Not the witches. It didn't make any sense to her. But never mind that, Klaus could not kill Stefan or Elena! Genevieve was making a great point to Klaus, but there has to be another way.
Without warning, Caroline and Elijah both suddenly collapsed to their knees in pain as they felt every single vein in their bodies begin to pop or burst. Caroline caught a glimpse of two young witches chanting their spell from across the street.
"Your brother will survive, but the vampire will not." Genevieve threatened to Klaus. "They won't stop until she's dead!"
"I should end you right now!" Klaus snarled, tightening his grip.
"B-But you won't," The witch said in her hoarse voice, her eyes now bloodshot. "You know what you must do, Klaus. You must survive. Like you always do. Come help us to ensure your survival."
Caroline was unable to keep her focus on Klaus. She dropped to her hands and knees as the magic was inching closer and closer to her heart. The pain was unbearable. She truly felt like she was going to die.
"Klaus, d-don't. We'll…we'll find another way." Caroline pleaded with all of her strength, knowing he could very well hear her. She could not bear it if Elena or Stefan were to be killed. She would happily give up her own life for them.
"Niklaus, do not listen to this monster." Caroline heard Elijah say next to her. He was still on his knees, clutching onto the door frame to hold himself up. "She has done nothing but fill your head with lies. Killing Stefan or Elena will not fix this for us."
Caroline squeezed her eyes shut as she felt the magic begin to scrape at her heart. This was it, she thought. She's going to die, and had no way of returning from the Other Side. She collapsed to the ground.
Maybe she'll finally see her dad again, was her last thought.
A/N: REVIEW! Seriously. I would kill to improve my mediocre writing. :)
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