Strange Bedfellows

Chapter Two

A.N. Well, goodness. It's been awhile hasn't it?

I'm sorry it's taken so long, but hopefully this means my muse is back in action! The catastrophe that TVD and TO have become certainly haven't helped, but the Klaroline faith will never die. Fanon forever, y'all!

Thanks to Miranda and Jane for their help with this chapter.

Read and, hopefully enjoy!

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"I still can't believe you're actually living with Klaus."

Caroline sighed as she plopped down on the bed, cradling her phone between her cheek and shoulder as she shifted the bag of toiletries in her hands. "Tell me about it," she murmured, casting her eyes around the bare room. Half packed boxes were neatly lined up against the yellow painted walls. Precariously stacked towers of books lined the vanity table, awaiting their places in the oak bookshelf that sat in a far corner. The pale purple bedding sat folded next to her, while the open closet housed piles of clothing that waited to be hung in their rightful place.

Katherine's chuckle tore Caroline away from her distress at the long to-do list she faced, and she shifted the phone back to her hand. "I mean, really. It's just, like...wow." She quietly chuckled again, and Caroline could picture her brunette friend's smirk in her mind. "Oh, I'm sure Enzo had quite a bit to say about your new living arrangements. He always seems to think he has more say in your life than even you do."

Caroline rolled her eyes, an affectionate smile tugging at her lips. The tension that existed between Katherine and Enzo was nothing new. Since the day she'd introduced them, it had seemed that the pair declared war on each other, never getting along and making it a point to goad the other anytime they were in the same vicinity of each other. It always baffled her, to be honest. Katherine Pierce and Lorenzo Augustine were essentially the same person.

Though perhaps that was the answer in itself.

"Believe it or not, Enzo kept his opinion to himself," she answered as she pulled herself to her feet, tucking the phone between her shoulder again as she pulled open the bedroom door. "He realized this was the only option, because God knows our days of me crashing on his futon are well in the past." She shuffled down the hallway, lowering her voice as she peered into the large living room, noting the soft jazz music playing from the stereo in the corner, but seeing no sign of her new roommate. "Besides, I think he's way too occupied coming up with revenge plans against Tyler to try to make any kind of argument."

The sound of glasses clinking against each other drew her attention to the kitchen as she passed, peering around the island to see Klaus standing at the counter, his back to her and his attention focused on the glasses he was pulling from a cupboard.

"Well, that's certainly one thing he and I can agree on for once," Katherine was saying in her ear, and Caroline turned her attention back to her task at hand, turning into the room Klaus had showed her as the bathroom, hitting the lightswitch with her free hand before kicking the door closed behind her. "I mean, I know I always told you Tyler was a douche, but how much douchier can you get."

"Please, Katherine, don't even try to pretend that you're not chomping at the bit to say 'I told you so,'" Caroline muttered, tossing her toiletry bag into the sink at glaring at her reflection. "Because I know you are. You're the one who insisted the mysterious voicemail wasn't what I was hyping it up to be, and you were right. So just, you know, get it out."

"What, and kick you when you're down? Even I'm not that heartless. And, come on, I didn't even know it was going to be a break up dinner. As I said, I didn't know he was that much of a douche, but clearly I have been mistaken." Katherine sighed. "How are you?"

Caroline barked out a laugh as she pulled open the medicine cabinet, noting the empty shelves she assumed Klaus had cleared out for her. "How am I? Humiliated. Foolish. With this unbearable ache in my chest that I'm honestly not sure comes from anger or grief." She shook her head, cursing the burning in her eyes as the tears she'd been shedding for days seemed to remerge. She busied herself with filling the shelves, lining up the skin care products and tubes of make up. "Feeling like a complete idiot, that's how I am."

"Well, you're not, you know," Katherine said quietly.

Caroline smiled sadly as she clicked the cabinet shut. "I am," she disputed. "But thank you all the same."

She eyed the other side of the medicine cabinet with curiosity, tapping her fingers against the mirror for a moment before glancing over her shoulder and pulling open Klaus' side, her face turning up in a scowl as she noted the numerous multicolored boxes that sat nestled between bottles of aftershave and tubes of deodorant. "God, Klaus has more condoms than a whore house," she said quietly, rolling her eyes as she softly closed the mirrored door.

"And I'm not the least bit surprised," Katherine snorted. "Oh, but maybe leave out the part about your new roommate being a condom hoarder when you talk to your mom this week."

Caroline groaned as she pulled open the bathroom door, sulking back down the hallway as she thought about the conversation with her mother that seemed inevitable.

Liz had been understandably concerned when Caroline had dropped the bomb that she was moving out of her apartment and in with a coworker-and she'd never been more thankful that she'd left it at coworker instead of naming Klaus outright-but when she'd explained that she and Tyler had broken up and her hands had been tied, her mother had seemed to be slightly appeased.

Slightly.

Caroline promised to explain everything more when they spoke again, and she knew there was no easy to explain she'd jumped the gun with Tyler only to be let down, or to avoid the reveal that said coworker was the one she'd complained about last Thanksgiving after witnessing a particularly nauseating interaction between Klaus and the new girl from the mailroom. And while Liz Forbes may adore Enzo and appreciate the friendship he and Caroline shared, she somehow doubted her mother would be quite so understanding a second time around.

"Well, baby steps. I'll deal with that hurdle when she calls later this week." Passing by the kitchen, she saw Klaus settling onto the couch, a glass full of amber colored liquid in one hand and what looked like a sketch pad in the other. She sighed, stepping into her bedroom and wrapping an arm around her waist as she perused the mess around her. "Look, I've got so much to still unpack, so…"

"Caroline, you've barely been moved in for twelve hours. Let your control freak OCD go for one day, and just try to get a good night's sleep. The day will probably still be dark and bleak tomorrow, but at least you'll look drop dead gorgeous."

The blonde smiled. "Thanks, Kat."

"My pleasure, Care," her friend said, her smile evident in her voice. "Oh, and um...I did tell you so."

Caroline laughed as she heard the phone call disconnect, shaking her head as she tossed her phone onto the bed, wrapping her arms around herself as she perused the room again. The tightening in her chest was back in full force as she realized how quickly her life had unraveled, and she took a deep breath as she stepped further into the room.

Her eyes landed on her bedside table, brow furrowing when she spotted the paper propped up against a glass tumbler filled with what looked like scotch. She frowned, crossing the short distance, reaching out with hesitant fingers to lift the paper in her hands.

Anesthetic for the pain.

Her face softened as she stared at the sentence scrawled across the page, teeth capturing her lower lip as she shifted her attention to the glass that rested on the table top. She cast a glance over her shoulder towards the hallway as she picked the tumbler up, ice cubes clinking against the sides as she brought it to her face.

The familiar smell of scotch greeted her, and she couldn't help the small smug smirk that tugged at her lips, making a mental note to brag to Enzo that she was mastering her liquor knowledge. She sat the note down on the table, turning on her heel and walking towards the door and into the hallway.

Klaus was nursing his own glass as she approached the couch. He sat with an ankle crossed at the knee, sketch pad propped on his lap, a charcoal pencil clutched in his hand as his fingers seemed to fly across the page.

As she stopped next to the couch, he glanced at her from the corner of his eye but remained silent. Caroline shifted on her feet, lifting the glass slightly in her hand as she smiled. "Thanks."

Klaus' lips twitched, but he still said nothing, simply lifting his glass to his mouth as he continued sketching.

Caroline tapped her fingers against the side of her glass, moving until she sat perched on the sofa, resting her hands in her lap as she looked over at him. "What you are you drawing?"

Klaus tsked, shaking his head as he lifted an eyebrow. "Come now, sweetheart. An artist never reveals his work until it's finished."

She rolled her eyes, noting the amused smirk that creeped across his face, and she lifted the glass to her own, taking a large gulp and wincing as the drink burned down her throat. Silence settled between them for several seconds, and then Caroline glanced at him again. "You probably think I'm pretty stupid, huh?" she asked quietly, slumping back into the cushions.

Klaus offered a shrug, draping his elbow across the back of the couch as he shifted towards her. "No. Not at all."

Caroline scoffed. "Oh please. Just the other day, you were all 'happily ever afters are stupid, and monogamy is dumb. True love doesn't exist, blah blah blah.'"

"I believe it was a more that they were silly notions, but..."

"But, pretty much the same thing. And clearly, you were right. So...go dumb me," she muttered with a sigh, throwing back the rest of her scotch with a wince. Her face scrunched as she stared down into her glass. "Dumb, stupid me."

Klaus sighed as he looked over at her, a teasing smirk on his face. "Is this what my future looks like, then?" he asked. "Tear filled evenings, commiserating about lost ex-lovers and bad decisions?"

Caroline laughed, shaking her head and swiping at the dampness she could feel on her cheeks. "Please. Something tells me you've never commiserated about an 'ex-lover' in your life."

Klaus rolled his eyes. "Ah, yes. Heartless disbeliever in love that I am." He sighed, glancing over to see Caroline staring at the ceiling, worrying her lip. "Okay. If we're going to indulge in self pity, we're certainly not going to do it on a two hundred dollar bottle of scotch." He pulled himself off the couch, flipping his sketchpad shut and tossing it onto the end table as he maneuvered around the sofa.

Caroline craned her neck to watch him pad into the kitchen. He returned a moment later, two shot glasses in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other. She smirked, shifting on the couch until she could tuck her feet beneath her. "Encouraging me to drown my sorrows in alcohol?"

"It is one of it's many uses," he said, settling back into his seat and quickly pouring them both a drink. He smirked as he handed Caroline her glass, shifting back against the couch as he held his own up. "To silly notions, love?"

Caroline looked at her shot glass before glancing up at him. She sighed, rolling her eyes with a smile as she tossed the drink back, waving her hand towards the bottle as he downed his own. She gripped the neck of the bottle tightly, pouring the clear liquid into their glasses before gently clinking them together. "To silly notions," she repeated, scoffing a laugh as she threw the shot back once more.

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She'd lost count around the sixth or seventh shot. She didn't even know how long they'd been sitting there drinking, but she did know that her head was fuzzy and her tendency to babble had come out full force.

"You're not the only one who thinks I'm stupid, you know," Caroline mumbled, staring up at the ceiling as she tapped her fingers against her chin. She sluggishly turned her face to peer over at her drinking companion, squinting as she tried to focus on his blurred face. She could vaguely make out his amused smirk and the questioning arch of his brow, and she pulled at her bottom lip as she shrugged. "Katherine was just...itching to drop the I told you so."

"Well, Katherine Pierce is a horrendous human being, so I wouldn't concern myself too much with her."

Caroline snorted, a bubble of drunken laughter escaping her lips, and she draped her hands across her stomach as she stretched her legs out onto the table in front of her. "She is really awful," she giggled, shaking her head. "She was the first friend I made when I moved to the city though. So she's my really awful, horrendous human being, even if she is mean and grumpy." She glared at him, holding out a finger. "But don't you tell her I said that."

Klaus shrugged, crossing his feet at the ankles as he leaned back into the couch. "I wouldn't dare."

Caroline nodded, reaching out to pat his knee but missing her mark entirely, her fingers tapping against the couch cushion between them. She sighed, returning her gaze to the ceiling. Her brow furrowed. "What was I talking about?"

"Katherine and her unappealing habit of saying I told you so."

"Right," she said, sighing. "She thinks I'm stupid for throwing everything in my Tyler basket. Which was dumb, I mean, who keeps just one basket? I should have had….like...four or five baskets. That's just not being prepared. Dumb. Dumb, that's what it is, it's dumb. Just like me. Dumb, dumb Caroline Forbes, who stupidly believed that...love could prevail."

They settled into silence then for a moment, Caroline closing her eyes as her head began to lull against the couch cushion, the haziness in her brain starting to drift into drowsiness. The couch creaked as Klaus shifted on the opposite end, and she drew a deep breath, tilting her head towards him the slightest bit.

"You're an optimist, Caroline," he said quietly, and she cracked open an eye to see him staring ahead at the wall, fingers tapping against the arm of the couch. "You see the world in a way very few do. There's nothing dumb about that."

"Mr. Cynical commending me for optimism?" Caroline murmured, reaching up to rub a hand across her tired eyes as she looked at him.

Klaus smirked, leaning back against the couch and craning his neck so he could meet her gaze. "Believe it or not, but there are times I commend those people who choose to see the world through rose tinted glasses. My sister Rebekah...she's suffered more heartbreak than anyone ever should. Granted, she's not exactly snagging the real winners in her heart's ventures, but despite the tears and the pain, she just...eagerly awaits to do it again. She goes into it with such naive hopefulness that it just…" He trailed off with a sigh. "There's a certain bravery in that. To persevere amidst such despair."

Caroline stared at him, watching the way his face softened as he spoke of his sister, catching the small, fleeting envious tone in his voice before he turned to look at her again, and she smiled. "Are you saying you think I'm brave?" she whispered.

Klaus chuckled, reaching over the pluck the glass from her hand and set it on the table. "At the moment, love, I'd say you're well and truly pissed."

She snorted, snuggling back into the couch and finally letting her eyes close. "Damn right I am." She sighed, feeling her head droop, her chin brushing her chest, and then the room was spinning as she found herself lifted from her comfortable perch. She started, arms automatically tightening around Klaus' neck as he draped her legs over one arm, the other cradling her back as he stood to his full height.

Caroline giggled, tossing her head back as she crossed her ankles and lifted a hand to pat Klaus' scruffy cheek. "This was fun," she said. "We should do this again. It could be our thing."

Klaus smirked as he headed down the hallway, glancing at Caroline as she leaned back in his arms, her blonde hair swaying against his side as peered upside down at the passing walls. "If you say so, love."

"No, seriously. All roommates have to have a thing. This could be ours. Commiserating and drowning our sorrows in cheap vodka."

"Cheap vodka and tap water. I switched barely half way through."

Caroline snapped her head up faster than he would have given her credit for in her current state, and his steps faltered with the sheer force of the movement, frowning as he looked down into her wide eyes.

"You fake pity drank with me?"

He laughed at the ire he heard in her voice, her lips parted in an offended gasp, and he grinned, shaking his head. "Someone had to keep an eye on you. I do happen to recall the effect free flowing alcohol tends to have on you, Caroline, as evidenced by the office Christmas party two years ago."

"Ugh, that was a one time thing," she groaned, throwing her head back again, and Klaus had to readjust his grip on her when her arms followed, hands covering her face, and he bit back a laugh as he stepped into her room.

His eyes took in the boxes scattered across the room, each one pushed up against a wall, with Caroline's familiar feminine scrawl dictating what rested within each one. The open closet door showed an array of colorful clothing already hanging within, while an assortment of piles still sat on the floor, awaiting their turn. He wasn't the least bit surprised to see that they were coordinated by color, and the sight even brought a small smile to his face as he crossed to the bed.

He gave the bare mattress a fleeting glance, noting Caroline's sudden silence and the fact that her hands were now cradled on her stomach, her eyes closed and her breathing heavy and even. Kneeling down on the side of the mattress, he carefully shifted the slumbering blonde out of his arms. She curled onto her side as he reached towards the foot of the bed for the folded comforter, shaking it out to its full length and draping it across her.

He watched the fabric settle around her curled body, a sigh escaping her lips as she shifted further under the blanket, her hands tucked beneath her chin. He stood at the bedside for a moment longer, waiting to see if she would awaken, and when she remained still he turned and headed for the door.

"You know...you're not as awful as you'd like everybody to believe you are."

His fingers had just wrapped around the doorknob when her quiet voice called to him, and he glanced over his shoulder, seeing her eyes peering at him sleepily as she tucked the comforter around her torso.

He raised a teasing brow, his lips curled up into a smile. "Let's not let that get out too much. I do have a reputation to uphold."

A quiet sigh, the shifting of the mattress, and then came her quiet, "Good night, Klaus."

He nodded, turning back around and stepping into the hallway, pulling the door closed behind him with a murmured, "Goodnight, Caroline."

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Klaroline bonding. Tyler bashing. And of course, sassy Katherine.

This was a bit more of a filler chapter, setting everything up, but hopefully you still enjoyed it.

Hit me up on Tumblr for crazy babbling and all sorts of shenanigans: klarolineepiclove.

Until next time, lovelies!