Disclaimer: I do not own the Vampire Diaries or its characters. If I did, the Originals would never have happened, Kol would be alive and happily causing mayhem somewhere, and Klaus and Caroline would be travelling the world and sexing it up.
I dedicate this to all of you who have stuck with me and stuck with this story. I love each and every one of you and can't thank you enough.
He'd always looked at Caroline as a younger sister, one to be protected and shielded from the very worst of the world. And he'd been safe with the thought that he would be able to do it for a very long time, that there was no possible way that Caroline would be forced to take the throne at such a young age.
Never let it be said that he, Damon Salvatore, would ever abandon Caroline Forbes.
How could it be possible, when Liz Forbes seemed like she was going to live forever? Larger than life and with enough presence to fill the room over, the older Queen had a steel and fortitude that only came with grief and loss.
The loss of her husband, beloved by all had changed her irrevocably, had hardened her against her only daughter and living heir. And it was so fucking unfair, that Liz couldn't see just how brilliant Caroline was, how smart and intuitive and good and kind she was.
So unlike her mother, in the end. So determined to distance herself as far as possible from the remnants of her mother's reign.
Caroline was different from Liz. Hers was a quiet strength, one that came from within her. She was so painfully young, but so wise beyond her years and so determined.
And he was proud of her. For giving up her hopes and dreams to serve her country. But it was a lonely job, being Queen, and he hoped that someone would be able to make her happy. Even if it was Stefan like everyone was expecting it would be.
And for a while it looked like that it would be Stefan. At least to the rest of the world. And then Niklaus Windsor blew into their lives like a hurricane, and everything changed.
Here was a person that was honour bound to lay his life on the line for her, to protect her and to be there for her and to watch over her and all of her demons, to stop the doubts that plagued her every day in their tracks.
Klaus was like Caroline, he wore his strength like armour, well aware of the cruelty of the world and the way it worked. He was surly and in a perpetually bad mood most of the time, but it was her that softened him that made him human again.
He'd been a mere spectator in their relationship, had witnessed the flowering and the growth and the depth of the feelings between the two, each from polar opposite ends of the scale.
She, the sheltered, young, queen, and he the scarred, battle weary soldier descended from a very long line of kings and conquerors and warriors. It had been an interesting match, one that he hadn't seen coming in a million years.
But it was one that worked, because he could see the love that Klaus had for Caroline, even if Caroline herself couldn't see it yet. And it was beautiful in a sad way that she didn't, because for the first time in forever someone was willing to put her first, in every way possible.
That was why Klaus was so good for her. Had been so good for her. He was painfully aware of his own mortality, fully aware that he was on borrowed time that they were all on borrowed time. And that King or no, he could still die like any mere mortal.
He grounded her, brought her back to earth. It was Klaus that showed the country who Caroline was, through his own eyes, and his own paintings.
The official royal portrait of Caroline Forbes-Windsor was painted by her husband, before they'd even officially begun a relationship. It was breathtaking in its simplicity, and it was proof that a real queen didn't need a crown or a sceptre to demonstrate power and authority.
And so he'd watched, and waited, and struggled through every day with her, because it seemed impossible that she was facing problem, after problem, after problem within the first year of her reign.
Potential war with Acamos. The death of an ambassador while under her roof. The near death of the man that she was in love with. A kidnapping and almost losing her.
And yet she managed it, carried on with a grace and a strength that surprised even him. He couldn't have done it. No one else in this country could have done it.
It was why he was so, so happy for her, when she finally decided to marry. She deserved that much, after everything that she'd been through. They both did.
And of course, no one was surprised when she crowned Klaus as king. It brought to mind an old system of ruling, the likes of which haven't been seen in Qirevia for centuries.
Things changed after they arrived back from their honeymoon. Caroline seemed lighter, freer, happier and it was wonderful to see. Klaus doted on her, and she on him, and the two had such a massive amount of mutual love and respect for each other and as unlikely as everyone thought their relationship was it worked.
And of course, the entire country was surprised with just how candid and personable they were. Gone was the distance between the monarch and the people, in fact Caroline seemed determine to tear down every single wall and barrier that her mother and previous rulers had built up.
She shattered the monarchy myth, the one that raised her above everyone else. And she encouraged the people to see her and Klaus as just that. Human beings. And it was a system that worked.
The new system worked as well. There were hiccups, and accusations of foul play, but once those particular wrinkles were ironed out the country started running and never looked back. The sense of elitism, the distance between the supposed great families and the rest of the country were gone.
Peace with Acamos was achieved with a little bit of strong arming from Klaus, and some lightly veiled threats from Caroline. The border troops were scaled back, allowed to go back to their families and their lives, especially after the death of King Albert and the country's reversion to a democratic system of parliament.
Serisa and Qirevia remained the closest of friends and allies, thanks in part to Caroline's friendship with General Lorenzo Augustine. Once Enzo had had his fill with the army however, he moved to Qirevia to live with Thomas in Chatsworth, the two the closest of friends and companions.
Caroline and Klaus were married for 12 years before she gave birth to their first and only child, the Crown Prince George Windsor- Forbes.
George was determined and stubborn and extremely intelligent, just like his mother and his father. But at the end of the day he didn't want to be the King. Nothing could persuade him, and Caroline had burst into tears when he'd told her on his 18th birthday.
George was perceptive however, and was determined to do his duty to his mother and his country by providing an heir that they could be proud of. George went to university, came out the other side with a law degree, and practiced for awhile before settling down and marrying.
Alexander was the result of his union, the young boy set to become future King of Qirevia after Caroline's death.
His eyes follow the path of the young Princeling around the room, carefully watching for any signs of grief, anxiety, or trauma. He sees none despite the length of time that's passed, and instead chooses to turn his gaze out the window, squinting through the glass to see.
The rain is absolutely pouring down outside of the palace, and a sombre mood hangs over the entire property. As it well should, he thinks to himself given the occasion.
He never thought he'd outlive Caroline Forbes, as effervescent and full of life as she had always seemed. She'd lived to the grand old age of 85, long enough to establish a veritable dynasty and see a line of succession to continue the good work that she'd done for the country.
From all reports she'd died peacefully in her sleep, almost a year to the day her husband had been buried alongside the other Kings and Queens of Qirevia. They'd set out a plot for her next to him, so even in death they could rule together.
It was incredibly depressing and yet partly romantic, and he'd put money on it being Klaus' idea. It sounded like something he'd suggest to Caroline, who was always convinced that she'd live forever.
Her legacy stands in front of him now, Alexander Forbes-Windsor, the double barrelled surname making him the most famous 25 year old in Qirevia. He's the technically the King now, even if he hasn't signed the document of succession.
They'd done well by Alexander, the boy wickedly intelligent and equipped with everything he'd need to steer the country through the years to come. He'd been in the public from a very young age, interacting and growing up with the eyes of everyone on him.
From the very start he'd been painted as the next King, and the people had accepted this despite the initial misgivings. Caroline after all, had been 21 years old when she'd been officially been crowned the Queen.
And it's funny how history has a habit of repeating itself.
And really, there was no way that anything with Alexander could have gone wrong with the people he had watching over him. It was his great grandfather, Thomas Windsor who along with Lorenzo Augustine taught him the ins and outs of tactics and the military.
It had been Kol Mikaelson who had equipped him with everything he'd need to survive the politics of the country. Rebekah Salvatore had taught him kindness and humility when it came to the treatment of women.
Henrik had been there from the start, a tutor to the young Prince after his retirement from working for Katherine Pierce at the Qirevian Intelligence Network.
And to the surprise of all it had been Alexander that had softened Katherine, turned her human and wrapped her around his little finger. Katherine and Elijah never did have children of their own, but all they ever really needed was each other.
It was another odd relationship that seemed to work.
But he'd learnt the most from Klaus and Caroline.
Despite the generational gap, he can see hints of both of them in Alexander. The sandy blonde hair that curls at the temple is all Klaus', but the eyes, that crystalline blue is all Caroline.
And yet at the same time there's a stance, a bearing, the way that the young prince holds himself that is uniquely his. Extremely perceptive, even now Alexander is staring at him, head cocked to the side with a curious smile on his face.
"Were you very good friends with the Queen?" The younger man asks oh so politely. And formally. The Prince has had all of the graces and nuances of social etiquette down for years now.
"I was." He confirms with a nod towards the Prince. "Caroline was my younger brother's closest friend. She was like a sister to me." He adds, heart twisting at the mention of Stefan, dead and buried not a year ago.
They'd fought more than they'd gotten along at times, but blood was blood and Stefan had been all he'd had for such a long time. Time heals all wounds they used to say, but time also gives and takes as she sees fit.
"Why aren't you at the funeral then?" Alexander continues his line of questioning, hands on his hips in a gesture that's so reminiscent of Caroline that it brings tears to his eyes.
"Too old." He lets out gruffly, motioning to his decaying and deteriorating body. Despite that, the years had been kind to him. His hair may have been more silver than raven, and the wrinkles on his face deep, but his mind was still as sharp as ever, and he can remember events from years ago with a startling clarity.
"What about you?" He directs towards Alexander, who's trailing a hand along the bookcase in the study.
"Not allowed. It's a stupid rule." The boy replies wryly, a smile directed over his shoulder towards him.
"Maybe you'll have to get rid of it." He allows with a quick smile towards Alexander.
Watch over him for me Damon. Caroline had said just last week, as if she'd just known that she wasn't going to be around for much longer to do so herself.
And it had broken his heart, to nod along and to say yes and to promise that he would.
"Maybe I will." Alexander muses out loud, running his hand over the desk that was now officially his.
"I'm sorry, that this happened to you so early." He bites out as he swipes at his cheeks, not caring that the younger boy is seeing him cry.
"It's okay Damon." Alexander returns quietly. "I had all the time in the world to grow up. And whatever happens next I'm ready for it. Thankyou, for being so good to us over the years."
He's surprised, when Alexander reaches over and hugs him. They'd always been close, but the other boy had always chosen to shy away from affection. It was an odd quirk he'd probably picked up from his father.
"You know you're going to have to get married and all of that fun stuff now. Have you asked Claire yet?" He asks, referring to Alexander's long time girlfriend, someone who 60 years ago would have been considered a commoner.
"We've discussed it." Alexander returns neutrally. "But I think it's best that I get established first." He adds as his voice cracks.
It's the first time he's shown emotion all day, he'd been holding back so much.
He watches as Alexander visibly sags, forehead rested against the cool glass of the window as his body shakes with silent sobs.
Alexander and Caroline had always been close, Klaus and Alexander even more so. Losing both of them in the space of a year can't have been easy on him, especially knowing the responsibility that would come in the wake of their deaths.
"Hey kid. It's alright." He struggles to his feet, gripping his cane white knuckled as he limps over to the window. He claps a hand on the younger man's shoulder.
"It's alright to miss them. Don't ever be afraid of showing that."
Alexander squares his shoulders, turning to face him. His face softens.
"She was lucky to have you." The Prince points out; helping him back to his chair and tucking the blanket around his shoulders carefully.
He coughs into his fist, staring back at Alexander with a calm gaze.
"Honestly? We were lucky to have each other."
Excerpt from Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown: An Official biography of Queen Caroline Forbes- Windsor by Elena Gilbert.
The greatest Queen that ever was. It's a controversial statement, but one that I firmly believe in. As a childhood friend of the Queen's, I had the greatest pleasure of being there with her when she grew, and witnessed first hand the transition from child to adult.
Caroline was, and always had a big heart. Always putting everyone else first, she never seemed to pause for breath or stop to gather her thoughts. It was amazing to see her in action, planning and preparing and always thinking two, three, four steps ahead.
Even in the first years of her reign when she was faced with so many challenges she carried herself with grace and strength and a quiet determination to see things through to the bitter end, no matter what.
It was that determination that almost cost her life, but also wrought such great change in this country.
The democratisation, the breaking down of barriers, the brokering of peace was something that she took ownership of, despite all of the ups and downs that came with brining about such a change.
And of course, she had the support of a wonderful man, husband, and King by her side. Niklaus Windsor, a special forces soldier born and raised in the South of Qirevia was not one that we expected to captivate the Queen so fully.
But his selflessness combined with his ability to always put Caroline first was what made the entire country fall in love with him, right along with Caroline. Niklaus was an easy person to like, a charming disposition and a love and a loyalty for his family that ran deeper than blood.
Seeing them interact with each other and their son George, and then grandson Alexander was a gift. They gave each other strength, lifted each other up. As it should always be.
Caroline didn't live forever. As larger than life as she seemed, she was mortal just like us. And history might not remember her name. In a thousand years she'll be nothing more than a distant memory, a name in a history book.
But Qirevia will remember. Qirevia will never forget.
When they tell the story of Caroline and Niklaus, it will be a love story for the ages.
They will tell of a girl called to duty to early, of a girl that burned brighter than the sun, and like Icarus, of a man that wasn't afraid to fly.
And we're done! I want to start off by saying a massive thankyou to everyone who has read, reviewed, favorited, and shown me some love. This is the first multi chapter Klaroline story I've ever completed and I'm so proud of myself and of this story. You are all beautiful people and I'm so lucky to have you.
Please pat yourselves on the back because I wouldn't have finished this if you guys hadn't reviewed. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou!
This epilogue was from Damon Salvatore's P.O.V, on the day of Caroline's funeral.
Caroline and Klaus had a son, George Forbes- Windsor, who didn't want any part in ruling. On Caroline's death, the throne passed to their grandson, Alexander Forbes-Windsor, who takes on the role at the age of 25.
I mention briefly what happens to everyone but for those of you who missed it, here's a super brief summary. Thomas goes back to Chatsworth, but plays a large part in the lives of Klaus and Caroline. He's a doting grandfather and great grandfather. Enzo moves to Chatsworth after he's retired from the Serisan armed forces. The two aren't together like 'that' if you were wondering, they're just the closest of friends and Enzo didn't want Thomas to be lonely.
Rebekah and Stefan get married, Katherine and Elijah get married. Kol remains close friends and a brother to Caroline, although we don't hear much of him in the epilogue. Henrik becomes Alexander's tutor.
Damon remains a friend and confidant to Caroline right until the very end, and it's Elena that writes the official biography of Caroline. The excerpt at the end is a passage from the biography.
I'm happy to provide a more detailed explanation for any questions you guys might have.
My plans: At this point in time my priority is to update In the Land of a Billion Lights and finish that bad boy, so I'll see you guys over there soon!
After that I have two more ideas for multi chapter fics that I'm super excited about, and a possible Kol/Caroline one shot. So we'll see where that takes me!
Here's the official playlist for Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown. I've always written to music, and these are the ones that inspired me the most.
Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun- M83
Lanterns- Birds of Tokyo
Adagio in D Minor- John Murphy
All I want- Kodaline
Home- Naughty Boy
Cosmic Love- Florence and the Machine
Tenerife Sea- Ed Sheeran
Salvation- Gabrielle Aplin
Coming Home Part II Skylar Grey
Triumph and Loss- Audiomachine
What if You- Joshua Radin
Lay You Down- Matt Corby
Never Let Me Go- Florence and the Machine
After the Storm- Mumford and Sons
Grow Old with Me- Tom Odell
I Lived- One Republic
As always, thankyou again for showing this story love. I'm blown away by the number of reviews, favourites, and follows.
So for the last time on this story…