This is my first time posting here, I post on AO3 under treadsoftly also but I think there's a bigger audience for this story on this site but damn this place is confusing. I'm sure I'll get used to it but yeah. So this is my first multi chaptered klaroline fic. Just so you know while reading, I don't care much for TO storyline, no baby plot, idk what I'm doing with Camille or everyone else (apparently people rose from the dead?). but this starts up somewhere in the middle of TVD 5x17, you'll know where it becomes AU.
This is an idea that came to me to get Caroline in NOLA because I think it's such a tragedy that the writers don't want to explore Klaroline on screen. I'm hoping it won't be doppleganger-centric, I don't have a defined story line yet so we'll see what happens, I'm just sad Tom had to die so quickly. All the characters mentioned are tentative and will change. This will be very Klaroline centric with (maybe?) lots of yelling and blood and maybe a little working together, you never know. I hope you enjoy! I'm not a fan of this chapter as much, I like the next one I'm working on a lot better.
I'm a working, commuting, college student so updates will be sporadic, random, and not scheduled, just a disclaimer. And also, I don't own any of these characters, the CW does of course.
Spring was upon them. It was in the crisp freshness of the air they didn't need to breathe and the chill the sunlight always seemed to burn away every morning. Dead plants were reawakening and birds began to sing the song of the morning as if rejuvenated. Though Klaus would never outwardly admit it, the colors of spring were some of his favorite to paint.
While winter didn't happen in New Orleans, at least not the sort that paints the town white, a current of cold air sweeps into the city but never stays too long. The sun loves New Orleans too much to relinquish its precious city to the clutches of cold for any longer than necessary. As Klaus roamed the streets, he noticed, pleasantly, the chill hadn't kept anyone in doors. The streets were crowded with people and flooded with alcohol. Patrons drank until the bite of the night pressed against rose cheeks felt like a lovers caress. The moment the sun set, the city came to life, pulsing under streetlights in a way only New Orleans knew how to do.
Klaus stood close to the shadows with a nostalgic grin, overlooking the city he had built and called home for nearly two centuries. A frown slowly formed at the knowledge that this magnificent city now belonged to a protégé he deemed long dead. And now he was determined to take it back despite the angry witches and Marcel's loyal vampires. He had half his family by his side and was missing his light. Nevertheless, he was determined. And being a hybrid was proof that Klaus was nothing if not patient.
His outing that night was called into order for a late night rendezvous with a chirping bird who claimed to have information he wanted. Klaus wasn't one to pass up the chance of possessing anything, but he also wasn't one to pass any one person's assumptions on his desires. This person had to be met.
"Are you just gonna stand there like a creep?"
And his smile fell. He heard her footsteps, her heartbeat, but hoped she was simply a human city goer. Alas, he didn't always get what he wants. "Hayley," he greeted without turning, a smug smile tugging at his lips. "As I recall, you're in enemy territory love." Turning gracefully on his heel, a wicked smile graced Klaus' face. "I must confess a curiosity as to what must be so important that you would be willing to risk that pretty little neck of yours."
"I have information that you may want," she replied, standing a little taller, refusing to be intimidated.
Klaus saw right through it. In his thousand years of living, Klaus could identify every tell when a person was lying or incredibly nervous. And Hayley was frightened. Thought he must admit, she did hide it well. Her heartbeat did however give it all away. New Orleans may not be his yet, but Klaus had to admit, no wolves in the quarter was one of Marcel's rules he'd keep. It did disconcert him not knowing whether or not Hayley's fear came from risking her life in the quarter or speaking to the Original.
Instead of dwelling on it, Klaus smiled to himself, clasped his hands behind his back and stepped forward, unconsciously circling her. "So I've been told." He waited for her to continue. Apparently she needed to be prompted, Klaus thought. "Well, go on then."
Hayley made no eye contact, instead feigning disinterest. She was smart enough to know he liked to play his games, his way. Squaring her chin, she ventured on. "Word on the street is that you've been trying to resurrect your brothers. And take down Marcel."
Pausing, Klaus took a second glance to size Hayley up once more. A few months ago she was nothing more than a lone wolf looking for her family. He had done more than enough for her, he wasn't quite sure why he was still here, listening to her. "That may be the case," Klaus replied dismissively. "What are you here for Hayley?"
"I know people who can help you." The words had barely finished escaping her lips before Klaus chuckled.
A baby wolf wanted to help him, a thousand year old vampire, through an undeclared war. A quick thought on how polished his silver was flashed through his mind before he spoke next. "And I suppose there's something you wanted in return for this information."
"Yes," she answered firmly. "When you take down Marcel, you leave the werewolves alone. We stick to the Bayou but we want to be allowed in the Quarter on our own free will without the risk of death." Before she finished Klaus was standing toe to toe with her, intimidating.
"You seem quite certain that I will in fact conquer my city," Klaus mused.
"If the disaster that was Mystic Falls taught me anything it's that you always get what you want, some way or another."
Klaus hummed in agreement, his lips turning upward once more. "Smart wolf. Now you have five seconds to convince me why such an audacious move on your behalf is warranted before I kill you with your own claws."
"The Travelers-" and Hayley was pressed up against the nearest alley wall before another sigh could escape her lips. Klaus' hand at her throat held her inches from the ground as his hybrid ears heard her skin tearing along the rough, exposed brick.
"What do you know about the Travelers." It was not a question and Hayley would have been a fool to assume so.
"Dark...witches," was all she could manage with her throat constricted and oxygen compromised. Sighing, Klaus loosened his grip to let her speak. "I hear there's a big group of them heading towards Atlanta," she gasped, hoping this would suffice enough that he'd let her go.
"And you are sharing this information because?"
"For peace you psycho hybrid! I just want peace." And just like that he dropped her. "Do we have a deal?" she coughed out, straightening herself out.
"I don't make deals sweetheart," Klaus smirked. "But I must say, thank you for this wonderful piece of information. What a pleasant turn of events."
Klaus hummed in response. "Yes, now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to find myself witches that can actually understand my macabre sense of humor."
"You asshole!" Hayley screeched as he strolled away from her. Silly girl, she should know Klaus Mikaelson doesn't make deals or treaties. He breaks them.
Four Months Later
Downtown Atlanta was really, really different from Mystic Falls, Caroline noted. People were everywhere, headed in all different directions. They were busy, and in a rush, and all of them were strangers. Caroline couldn't help but feel like big cities were the actual definition of being alone in a crowd. Right beside her strolled Enzo, seemingly basking in the vibe of the city. Though his arm brushed hers more times than she liked, she still felt very alone on this mission.
After the hospital had been a bad lead, they headed to 6643 Peachtree Drive. They headed east, out of Downtown Atlanta and found themselves in a quaint little neighborhood after a few wrong Peachtree Drives proved useless. Their feet carried them along worn down sidewalks with grass peeking out between the cracks, occasionally stepping on fallen leaves. The crunch underfoot was white noise in the background that Caroline had forced herself to grow accustomed to. Instead, she zeroed in on the bungalows they were passing, how many heartbeats she could pick out, or any sort of irregularity that meant something was abnormally out of place.
"It's a normal neighborhood blondie," Enzo spoke, casually taking note of Caroline's tense shoulders. "We're not walking into battle."
"No," she stretched out in agreement, "but we are walking in pretty blind. I just want to make sure we're not walking into a trap or something. I don't really trust the Travelers."
Raising his eyebrows, he chose to ignore her while he spotted the blue bungalow, clearly marked as 6643. "There," he pointed, walking in that direction without waiting for her. "It's a miracle we found this place, every other street in this blasted city is Peachtree."
Approaching the home, Caroline couldn't hear a heartbeat, meaning the home was currently empty. That was good. Or bad. Very, very bad. Instead of sharing this with Enzo, because he should already know, she noted that the mail box was overflowing. "These look old," she commented, lifting them to see their postmark. "Like, four months old," she affirmed with a sigh.
Sharing a look, Enzo knocked in quick succession. With no response, he reached forward to wiggle the knob. "Seventy years in a cage, think I'd learned to pick a lock by now," he sighed, twisting the knob off the door handle. Slowly, the door swung open with a creak that resonated throughout the empty house.
As the stale air wafted out to them, the smell of death hit Caroline immediately. She turned to Enzo and they shared another knowing look. Squaring her shoulders, Caroline took a chance and attempted to step over the threshold. No surprise, there was no barrier. "All right," she assessed. "First red flag, the owner's dead and rotting somewhere in this house."
Enzo slipped past her, eager to see if he could find and dispose of that wretched smell. Caroline hung back, glancing through some photos near the front entrance and along the walls. "This is definitely Hazel's house," Caroline called out after seeing a pretty red head in various pictures. "Or, it was," she corrected with a cringe.
"Well, it looks like someone wanted the doppleganger more than Hazel did," Enzo grimaced, his eyes trained to the living room floor. As Caroline rounded the corner she was met with the sight of what appeared to be Hazel, half decomposed and neck ripped out. That buzzing Caroline was trying so hard to ignore belonged to a myriad of flies floating over her corpse.
Gasping, Caroline could hardly believe that no one had found her yet. "Oh my God, she's been here, dead, for four months!"
"You would have thought the neighbors would have reported a foul odor at least," Enzo scowled, turning away from the decaying corpse. Caroline followed suit to search for any signs of Tom Avery before she called the police to clean up Hazel's body.
"So Hazel was killed by another vampire who wanted Tom," Caroline recounted, trying to get the image of the corpse right behind her out of her head. "And apparently she's a witch?" she questioned, stepping closer to the open grimoire laid out at an alter in the middle of the living room. It's a wonder either of them had initially missed it.
Reaching down slowly to touch the withered pages of the grimoire, Caroline's senses were hit with a scent so overpowering she could hardly keep her footing. Images of the Salvatore woods, the feel of bark scraping against her back, fluttering leaves, the smell of his skin, of his blood, the feel of his fingers ripping open her shirt, of his stubble under her fingers, against her lips, everything about him came rushing to the forefront of her brain and she shut her eyes in an attempt to find the ground again and focus.
"You all right there blondie?" Enzo asked in concern. "Can't have you passing out on me just yet."
It wouldn't go away. He wouldn't get out of her head. "Klaus," she whispered, eyes flying everywhere as if she expected him to step out of the shadows. Why here? Why Tom? Why now? How could she identify his smell? Or more like why? It must have been months since he was last here and all she can do it smell him under all the death. Oh my God, Caroline thought, Klaus killed Hazel.
"Klaus?" Enzo asked, confusion ever present on his face. "The Original? What's he got to do with any of this?"
"He was here," Caroline said, now sure of it. "He was here and he took Tom and oh my God I have to call Stefan." Nothing was making sense, every single thought she had was racing through her mind as she tried to understand, or really fathom, what this all meant. Connecting the dots was never fun when she only had a fraction of the information. And she doubted Stefan would know anything about this but he'd know better what to do and maybe he'd affirm that tiny voice in Caroline's head that kept calling her crazy.
It was one of those moments where Caroline's fingers kept fumbling and the call wouldn't connect right away and Sloan wouldn't answer Stefan's damn phone fast enough. "Is he dead?" Sloan greeted indifferently.
"No, I've hit a road block," Caroline seethed, suddenly wanting to rip the brunette's head off. "Put Stefan on the phone."
There was rustling in the background before Stefan finally came to the phone. "Caroline?"
"Stefan! Are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. What's going on?"
"Klaus," Caroline deadpanned, hoping Stefan would connect the dots. Well, she didn't know why she assumed that because it took her a few seconds but it was easier than explaining everything that wasn't making sense in her head.
"What about him?" Stefan finally asked after a few moments of silence.
"He took Tom!"
"Oh-wha-Caroline, how do you know?" Stefan asked slowly, trying to find the right words and, sensibly, be the calm one in the situation.
"Because!" she exclaimed as if it were obvious before realizing, no, it was not obvious because Stefan has not slept with Klaus. Taking a deep breath, Caroline slowed herself down. "Because," she sighed, "I-I can smell him."
"Uhhh, okay, I'm not sure-"
"I slept with him Stefan! I know what he smells like! This is for real, Klaus took Tom."
"Yeah I know, but Caroline, if Klaus took him, he took him months ago. Scents don't linger that long."
"I'm on Stefan's side on this one," Enzo chimed in, in the background. "I'm can't say I'm in any mood to go hunting for an Original vampire either."
Turning around, Caroline shot Enzo a glare fiery enough to shut him up. "Stefan, you need to trust me. It's his blood, it's spilled somewhere here, I can smell it. And Hazel's dead. Those are serious signs of struggle if you ask me which is the definition of Klaus."
"Wait, Hazel, the red head? She's dead?"
"Throat ripped out and decomposing for months."
"Is that werewolf venom?" Enzo asked, more confused now than before, his nose upturned to sniff a few times more.
"Did Damon not fill you in?" Caroline cried. "He's a hybrid! See! Stefan, he was here, I know it."
"Okay, okay," Stefan sighed, "if he was, what does Klaus want with my doppleganger?"
There was a long pause on both ends of the phone before Caroline finally spoke. "You don't think..." she trailed off, unwilling to continue.
"No," Stefan said firmly. "I mean that's not possible, he needs blood from a human Petrova Doppleganger."
"Well, what if he doesn't?" Caroline inquired. "I mean seriously Stefan, we didn't even know you had a doppleganger until a few months ago when Silas showed his face. What if he just needs doppleganger blood?"
"Doppleganger blood is powerful," Sloan interjected. "It's possible Esther's spell had a loophole Klaus is trying to exploit to make hybrids."
Shaking his head on the other end of the phone, Stefan refused to venture into this illogical possibility Caroline accepted. "But that doesn't make sense, if he was making hybrids, wouldn't we know?"
"I hate to break it to you lot," Enzo interrupted, "but Mystic Falls is not the center of the universe. So no, you wouldn't necessarily know everything that was going on somewhere else in the world."
Grinding his teeth, Stefan refrained from saying anything to Enzo. "We can't know for sure if Klaus took him, either way."
"I know but Stefan, come on, this is our only lead."
Stefan sighed, a deep contemplative one that had Sloan glaring at his indecision. "Caroline, are you positive?" he finally asked.
She took one more deep breath and let her vampire senses seek their way through every scent in her immediate vicinity before it fell on the faint, but lingering, scent of the Original's blood. If she focused, her senses took her to a deep red rose image in the carpet. That's where it was, camouflaged. How convenient. And with its location came another onslaught of memories she quickly squashed. "I'm positive. One other thing's for sure though," she paused, "if Tom is alive, he's well protected." Caroline sighed at how complicated everything suddenly became.
"Which means Klaus must be working with witches," Sloan added. "That's why we can't find him."
"Which basically means we're rerouting our trip to New Orleans."
"Wait, no, Caroline," Stefan started. "What if Tom's just dead? Why go to New Orleans if that's the case."
"If Tom was dead we'd know," Sloan added. "Find me the doppleganger Caroline and kill him. You're running out of time."
Choosing to ignore Sloan, Caroline continued to talk to Stefan. "I'm a big girl Stefan, it'll be fine. We'll go to New Orleans and I'll fix this."