This was inspired by the song Sweet Dreams by Marilyn Manson and the love-hate complex I have for Mikael.

I really do love to hate him.

Anyway, this idea popped into my head while watching the latest episode of The Originals (1x20). It is kind of a 'what if'.

Let me know what you think :)

Caroline laughed as his breath tickled her skin. His arms were large and warm; she felt safe as they encircled her waist, pulling her back against him. Her neck was bare, his lips at the base of her throat. His breath ghosted along the creamy white arch of her neck, hot and cold, saccharine in their seduction. The rough scratch of his stubble on her cheek as his mouth moved to level with her own caused her insides to clench in anticipation. His face was level with hers, his head by her side as they looked out at the fields below.

"This is beautiful," she sighed, leaning back into his embrace. "Where are we?"

"Scotland, 1604," his voice was low and content, his words whispered quietly as if not to disturb the beauty of the scene. "A castle in the southern uplands near Galloway. Bekah and I happened to stumble upon it sometime in 1598, I believe. We were happy here."

Six years of rolling hills, of the Scottish countryside; it was quiet, peaceful. It felt like home.

"Why did you ever leave?" she questioned, leaning forward to look over the antique columned balcony. "It's so beautiful. Peaceful."

His hands pulled her back harshly against his torso and the view below slowly morphed before her eyes. Green hills turned red as the sky rained fire. She could hear the cannons fire and smell the burn of the gunpowder. Peace turned to chaos as men appeared, shadows of men that moved as if in a dance, spidery demons made of smoke. They screamed and fought, red rivulets pouring from their blackened bodies.

Caroline tried to shake free from the arms that held her captive. She tried to escape the cruelty within him that made her watch the scene below.

"Stop it," she struggled against his hold. "I don't want to see this. Why are you showing me this?"

The voice that answered made her scream.

"Oh darling girl, why ever not? Do you not wish to see your beloved's masterpiece? Is it not a thing of beauty?"

She clawed at the hand that gripped her waist, noticing now the worn lines, the jagged edges that were not there before. Caroline fought, her feet kicking, nails biting into skin until eventually, with a dark chuckle, he let her go. She fell to the floor, the soft blue lace of her dress now an angry red. She looked down at her nails and saw blood.

His laugh was dark, a low dangerous rumble that shook her to the core. She found the courage to look up, to see the face she already knew was there. "Mikael."

The old man's smile sent a shiver down her spine, fear coiling in her abdomen. "Ah, you remember me. Lovely."

He looked down at his torn hand, drawing her attention to the angry red lines she had drawn on his skin. A small look of pride flickered in his eyes, pride that was tempered by the cruel satisfaction of her fear.

"You're not real," she shook her head in denial. "This isn't real. You're dead. You died."

"Oh I assure, sweet girl, this is very much real," he moved toward her slowly, his step measured and unhurried, predatory in nature.

Caroline continued to shake her head, hands grappling for traction against the cold flagstones as she scrambled to get away from him. She could hear the sounds of the men dying, their screams echoing in a symphony of agonised torture. Tears pricked at her eyes but she refused to let them fall.

None of this was real.

The men screaming, their shadowy deaths a crescendo of broken cries, scratchy and terrified, stunted in anguish as the battle below rolled on. Cannon fire sounded, a thunderous clap that caused her heart to stutter in fright. Not once did she look away from the dark eyes that surveyed her, not once did she dare turn her back.

This was not real.

It was a dream.

And yet, as the earth below her moved and the castle shook at the force of impact, as steel ripped through stone, Caroline somehow felt that this was all very much real.

"Please," she begged, her back hitting the stone wall behind her. "Just leave me alone."

Mikael tilted his head and surveyed her. She was a mouse caught in his trap with nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. She was at the mercy of a man who knew no mercy.

"Now why would I do that?"

Caroline breathed deeply, her hands fisted in the material of her dress. "I'm not important. I swear, whatever you think you know –"

"I know that my son holds your face in his blackened heart," he crouched down in front of her, a hand reaching to stroke her hair. Caroline closed her eyes, scared and scrambling for some way to escape his grasp. "That is enough."

"I haven't seen Klaus in months. I-I –"

He hushed her. "And yet you dream of him."

She bit her lip, breathing deeply as she tried to find some sort of strength, some inner courage to open her eyes and face the demon in front of her. She was stronger than this. She was better than this. She would not be weak. She would not cower and play the damsel. Not anymore.

His eyes stared at her curiously as brown met blue.

"You are quite exceptional. The innocent monster with blood on her hands that is still, somehow, inherently good," his hand ran down her cheek. Caroline shuddered in revulsion. "We are alike, you and I."

"I am nothing like you," Caroline spat, anger fuelling her courage as she slapped away his hand. "There is nothing good about you. You're just a hateful old man."

Mikael chuckled and leaned back, his elbows resting atop his knees. "I have been called far worse."

Caroline pushed herself to sit taller, to remain strong, to actually be stronger than the weak creature she saw reflected in his eyes.

Mikael let out a low laugh at the defiance in her eyes. His charming smile, the facade he'd built finally dropping as his face turned hard. "You're nothing but his whore. One of many."

Anger flared inside her. "If I'm not important, if I'm just another one of his whores as you say, then why are you here?"

His hand shot out, fingers tightening around her throat. Her eyes widened as his fingers clenched tighter. Her nails clawed at his hands, digging deep and dragging desperately as her lungs began to constrict painfully in her chest.

"Do not overestimate your worth," his mouth moved to her ear. "I can destroy you. I will destroy you. I will cut your body into tiny little pieces and send my son a gift of your heart and scatter the rest of you across the globe for him to find. I will make you a bread crumb trail he cannot possibly hope to follow. I will make you obsolete. It will be as if you never existed. You are nothing but a –"

His closeness was all she needed as Caroline used what little strength she had left to take the man off guard, her head coming forward to collide with his own. Her movement took him by surprise and he fell back, giving her the opportunity to break free. Her throat burned as she sucked in harsh, raspy breaths.

Caroline ran.

She didn't know where to – far away – as far away from the monster behind her as she could get. She ran, lungs burning, mind dizzy with confusion.

He was behind her in a second, pulling her down, hand grasping the back of her neck and throwing her to the floor.

"Did you really think you could run from me?"

She looked up at him, hair a tangled mess in front of her face. She raised her head defiantly as she spat at his feet.

A boot collided with her face.

"I will make him suffer," suddenly his hand gripped her face, his eyes staring deeply into her own. "You will make him suffer."

Mikael's eyes dilated.

"Klaus is twice the man you will ever be," she replied viciously, making her final stand as a heavy pressure settled in her chest.

Caroline looked down, eyes wide in terror and pain, at the hand buried deep within her chest. He whispered words she could not comprehend, words that somehow took root inside her.

She wanted to fight.

She wanted to scream.

His hand ripped free.

Caroline awoke with a start, a silent scream on her lips. She sat upright, body shaking in the aftermath of the dream. Her dorm was cold, silent and dark. On any other night she could listen to the soft comforting sounds of her friends as they slept, the gentle whine of Bonnie's restless slumber and the rhythmic breathing, the constant calmness of Elena as she dreamt of what was, no doubt, only happy dreams. Elena who had been through so much. Elena who had lost more than Caroline could bear to imagine. Every night the doppelganger slept soundly, untroubled by her worries, by the world around her. All fear, the nightmarish landscape that was their lives simply faded away and Caroline hated her for it.

Every night she dreamt of Klaus' face. Sometimes they were in Rome standing atop the Colosseum as the roar of the crowd thundered below. Then they were in Paris, strolling so casually, so leisurely down the little side alleys. Sometimes he showed her the Louvre, other times they traversed the palace gardens. It was always calm, always playful, peaceful, comfortable.

Caroline didn't know why she dreamt of him or the places that she did, stuck in the vortex of memories that were not her own. She only knew that she awoke every night happy yet trouble, rested yet agitated. She would stare at Elena, stare at the happy smile on her sleeping friend's face and wonder if she dreamt of Damon as Caroline did Klaus. Did Damon pull her through the streets of Tokyo? Did he talk to her of humanity and humming birds and the Andes?

No, Elena's dreams were far simpler.

Caroline let out a shaky breath as she looked about the empty room. Elena was away with Damon. Again. And Bonnie – Caroline didn't know where the hell Bonnie was. The darkness, the silence of the shadows that flickered about her dorm were only illusions, a trickery of the light. And yet, after that dream, she felt uneasy.

She had never dreamt of Mikael before.

The dream had been so vivid, the pain so real that she could still feel the burn in her lungs. Her throat ached where phantom fingers had gripped, wrapped so tightly, squeezing so viciously her body still felt the panic.

It was a dream.

Nothing more.

And yet, as she looked to her left, eyes locking onto the tiny black object, her mobile phone, she felt an inexplicable need to call him.

She wanted to call Klaus and she didn't know why.

As her hand reached for the cell, Caroline stilled in surprise.

Her nails were bent back and broken, chipped beyond recognition and covered in blood. Her hand flew to her neck and she winced at the bruises she found there.

A dream.

And yet not.


Her mind screamed at her and she tried, tried to remember why she didn't want to call Klaus, why she didn't want to bring him back to Mystic Falls, to her. She moved without thought, dialling his number like a puppet whose strings were tied firmly to its master.

Caroline fought against the compulsion. She could remember the way his eyes had dilated, the way he'd whispered to her in a language she didn't understand but her body seemed to comprehend. She resisted the temptation, fought the control, reciting over and over what her father had said about training his mind to resist, about being stronger, more resilient and immune to the manipulation.

"Caroline," Klaus' voice floated down the receiver and her stomach lurched.

She would not do this.

She would not let Mikael control her like this.

She would not let him use her from beyond the grave like some puppet.

Caroline was stronger than this.

With great effort, she hung up the phone, breathing hard.

She looked down at her hands with wide, horrified eyes.

The Other Side was breaking.

And Mikael – he was at their front door, ripping and tearing his way through the veil, trying to break through.

It was only really a matter of time before he did.

And when he did –

Caroline shuddered at the thought.

Thoughts anyone?

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