AN: This is not the sequel to I am Iron Man('s Daughter). That is still in the works, but I got convinced that I should write another crossover that's strictly Klaroline, and Klaus getting the shovel talk from the Avengers. This chapter just sets everything up, but it is necessary. Once again, Caroline is Tony's daughter, except this time he (and probably more Pepper) raised her. TVD progressed as it did in canon, just with no Caroline, and Klaus went to New Orleans, but there was no baby. The story takes place during Captain America: Winter Soldier.

The Shovel Talk: Prelude

The blonde was probably pretty, when she wasn't so bloody.

The observation was made almost distantly. Klaus was still half caught up in blood lust and anger at the fools that had dared to try and harm him. They were all dead, ripped to pieces or drained dry in order to heal him. He wasn't sure who had sold him out – his best guess was Marcellus, or perhaps the treacherous little Hayley whom had been sniffing around the bayou – but they would pay dearly, just as these foolish men had.

"Are you here to kill me?"

The voice was weak, but almost sharp, and for a moment Klaus was confused, not seeing anyone around that could have spoken. Then he looked at the blonde once more, strapped to the table with bruises and haunted eyes, and he realized that it had been her voice he had heard. He had thought her unconscious, her slow heartbeat telling him she wasn't dead, but her shallow breath making him think she wasn't conscious.

"Do I have a reason to kill you?"

The girl looked at him, and he thought her rather foolish, looking at him such defiance when they were surrounded by his massacre. But her hazel eyes… they had a light to him, one that he had seen in very few in his thousand years of life.

"Do you need one?"

Klaus stalked up to her and looked down. She was strapped to the table at writs, ankles, neck, and forehead. They were simple leather straps that he could have easily broken, but this girl was human. Instead, he could see the signs of her struggle written into her skin – angry red burns where she had strained at the straps until they bit into her skin. He should leave her. She was no business of his, and he needed to get back to his city and the traitors it harbored.

But there was something in her gaze…

She recoiled when he reached down, but Klaus ignored it, instead giving the straps tugs that easily set her free. When she realized that he wasn't going to harm her, she looked up at him in confusion.

"Why?" was all she asked.

"You have fire to you. I can appreciate that."

He looked at her, the bruises and shallow cuts and the dark bags under eyes. He contemplated what he was considering for a moment before he let his fangs drop. The girl gulped, staring up at him, but didn't recoil this time. He wondered if that was a sign of bravery, or if movement was simply too painful.

"Drink up love," he said, holding his wrist to her mouth, and she stared up at him in horror. Klaus sighed heavily, and forced the blood into her mouth, not in the mood to deal with a foolish girl that feared the unknown. She coughed, trying to spit the blood back out, but enough went down that she began to heal, and he gave a slight nod. "There you go. All better."

"What the hell?" she murmured, staring at her healing arms with awe. He saw, as her bruised face faded back to clear skin, that she was a pretty girl without the wounds. She was young – in her late teens or early twenties – and her skin seemed to glow, now that it was healed. He paused for a moment to look at her, and her head snapped up so she could stare at him in return. He saw the flare of fear, because his blood had healed her, and she didn't know it was possible. But rather than scream or swoon as many humans he encountered did, he watched as she swallowed, her delicate throat bobbing, and then tilted her head proudly, stiffening her spine. "Thank-you."

She pushed herself off the table and held onto the edge, as if uncertain her legs would be able to hold her weight. When they kept her upright, she took a careful step away, then another, gaining more confidence as she realized that, with his blood, she had been fully healed. Klaus watched her, quirking his head and feeling somewhat surprised. There was no what are you? or who are you? from the delicate girl. After a moment, once she was sure on her feet, she bent down to one of the massacred bodies and removed a gun from it. He watched with some surprise as she held it and looked over it with the eye of someone that knew what she was doing, before turning to him.

"Do you know how we get off of this thing?"

Klaus didn't reply at first, more interested in trying to figure this girl with the cool hazel eyes out. She wasn't nearly as panicked as he had expected. Then he heard shots from down a hall, and reminded himself that they were not alone on this aircraft, and that there were still more men to kill.

"This way," he said, motioning toward the door. "Although you may not wish to accompany me. I'm afraid there are still more that I wish to see dead."

"They had me strapped to that table, tor… torturing me" – a shiver ran through her body, as though she recalled what had been done, and shadows danced in her eyes – "I want them dead too."

"Blood thirsty." Klaus felt a smirk quirk his lips as he watched the girl check that the safety on the gun was off. "What's your name, Love?"

"Caroline," she replied shortly.

"And I am Klaus." He looked to the door as another gun went off, and then smirked at her once more. "Shall we?"

SHOVEL TALK

Caroline had never seen anyone move as quickly as Klaus. It had been terrifying, when she'd been half unconscious between sessions on the table, and it was even more so now that she was wide awake, apparently healed by his blood of all things.

She probably shouldn't get a twisted sense of glee out of seeing her companion quite literally rip apart the armed men they faced, but she couldn't help but feel it anyway. They had spent days trying to force her mind to their will. She hadn't realized brainwashing was a thing, not until faced with HYDRA and their methods and…

Caroline shivered. She had screamed. She had screamed and begged and pleaded – things a Stark was never meant to do – and when she hadn't been able to beg and plea or scream because her voice was gone, she had fallen to silent tears and nearly given in. It had been so tempting… so tempting to simply do what they wanted. To be what they wanted. But memories of her father's return from Afghanistan, the nightmares he still had, kept her spin rigid, and then he had torn into the lab and torn her captors apart –

And part of Caroline had reveled in that. Had enjoyed it, seeing those men torn to pieces and left like the broken toys they had wanted her to become.

She saw a man aim a gun at Klaus and raised her own. She had been taught to shoot – first by her sheriff mother, then later by her arms dealer father, before he had brought that business to an end to become Iron Man – but she'd never had cause to actually use that ability on someone. Not until today. She'd always thought she would hesitate.

She didn't.

"Good aim, Love," Klaus commented, the blood that streaked his arms and face fresh once more. He looked like a demon, or maybe like an avenging angel, with his dirty blonde hair and charming dimples and monstrous yellow eyes that seemed to glow as he looked at her.

Caroline wondered what she looked like. Probably half dead and filthy.

She looked at the body of the man she had killed and expected to feel something – guilt and grief… maybe even relief? – but all she felt was empty.

"I want to get out of here," she told Klaus, feeling another shiver run down her spine. Did that emptiness mean that, even in death, HYDRA had still won? That even though Caroline hadn't given in, she still wasn't herself. She wasn't golden, giggling Caroline, studying interior design at NYU and otherwise being a socialite of highest standing. Because that Caroline wouldn't have felt nothing. Not like this one did.

"Please, don't let me stop you."

He waved her down the next hall, and this time he let her lead. She swung the gun up, finger hovering over the trigger in preparation. She could hear more guns, but it seemed to be at a distance. When she looked out the window, she could see that they were hovering above D.C. It was the first glance she'd gotten out a window in days, and it made her incredibly homesick for the New York skyline. Would she get to see it again?

Another gun went, closer this time, and she felt her muscles tense in reaction. Klaus was at her side, still moving far too quickly – quickly enough to put even good ol' Cap himself to shame – and he rested his hand on her shoulder for a moment, before quickly removing it, as though he weren't at all used to offering comfort.

"You should find shelter," he informed her, his gaze hardening on her.

"What happened to please, don't let me stop you?" Caroline replied, hefting her gun, because she wasn't a child, and she didn't need to be hidden away while the big bad wolf took care of things.

Ah… the big bad whatever Klaus was.

"I'm suddenly reminded that you're quite human," Klaus replied with an airy shrug. "But if you wish to die, then indeed please, don't let me stop you."

What are you? was on the tip of her tongue, but Caroline forced it back down. She didn't want to know – she didn't. Her sanity depended on keeping as far out of… all of this as her paternity allowed her. Alien invasions and men that could move faster than she could see… she didn't want the details. She didn't want that to be a daily part of her life.

"I won't," she informed him instead, and it was probably stupid of her, not to take his protection, and to let her pride run with her. But these bastards had locked her up and tortured her for days. They'd planned to kill her father and set her up as puppet heiress to the empire – HYDRA's little doll. They deserved to die, and she deserved to watch them.

"You're a little blood thirsty aren't you, Sweetheart?" Klaus murmured, nearly making her jump when his breath came up hot against her ear. She hadn't realized he was so close. He took a step back at her recoil, though his expression was thoughtful.

"What makes you say that?" she demanded, looking away from him and back to where she was moving.

"It's a look in the eye and a scent in the air… you're on the hunt, and I don't think you're out to merely maim, Love."

"Your pet names are getting on my nerves, Klaus."

He said nothing, and then they came upon the gunshots, and even if he were to say something, she wouldn't have heard it, because she stepped into chaos.

And Caroline wasn't at all prepared for it.

Holding a gun, even shooting it, was different from this, and despite her earlier thoughts of vengeance, when Klaus grabbed her and hid her behind a desk while he once more turned monster on the armed men, not seeming to care if they were friend or foe, she let him. For a second, she screwed up her eyes and hugged her knees, because this wasn't her life. She was Tony Stark's airheaded daughter – a socialite, a Type-A personality, a honor roll student. She wasn't this.

You are now, a cold voice of reason piped up amid the chaos of her thoughts. They made you a victim, and now you can cower, or you can fight.

Gulping for air to calm her shaking hands, Caroline reached for the gun once more. Tightening her hold, she came out from behind her barricade and positioned herself to shoot.

One.

She ignored the blood that spattered when she made a head shot. The same calm that had come over her earlier returning once more.

Two.

Another one down, and Klaus shooting her a quick, almost surprised look. She thought he might be a little impressed, but ignored any part of her that might be smug about that, focusing on her targets again.

Three.

This one twitched, and earned another shot, just to be sure.

Four.

It was becoming rhythm now. Almost as though she were born to shoot a gun, and maybe Caroline should send Liz a thank-you text when this was all said and done.

Five.

Caroline frowned, because she hadn't pulled the trigger. It took a moment, before she realized something was wrong. Looking down, she saw blood on the plain white clothes they had dressed her in. It wasn't the dried mess that was the result of HYDRA's hospitality, though. This was fresh and vibrant, and her fingers were going numb. The gun fell from them as she fell to her knees.

She had been shot.

She reached out to touch the wound, as she felt something wet fall from the corner of her lips, but her hand fell limply to her side before it could reach it. She looked up and met Klaus' gaze, and he was even more monstrous than before when he saw her. He roared at something behind her and flew toward her.

Was he going to kill her?

Caroline didn't know. Her whole world went black.

SHOVEL TALK

The man that had shot the girl, Caroline, had time to do little more than gurgle before Klaus ripped his head right from his shoulders. He didn't want to investigate it too closely, the rage he felt when he looked at Caroline and saw her shocked expression, the blood blossoming from her chest. But she had a… a light to her. One that hadn't been extinguished by torture, though it was clear the experience had been foreign to her. And then she had handled herself so proficiently, despite her initial terror upon entering bedlam.

So he tore off the man's head and then ignored the others to go to her side.

He tore open his wrist with his teeth and tried to feed her more blood, but she didn't respond. Her eyes stared vacantly upward, devoid of the light and life that had lit them, and he carefully closed them, before lifting her in his arms.

He would have stayed, to kill more of these men, except that Caroline would need him soon.

She was dead now, a bullet to the heart doing damage even his blood couldn't repair… but that meant that she died with that same blood still in his system. She would come back, though she might not be happy with the state. But no matter, she would adjust. He carefully cradled her in one arm, and grabbed a man that came at him, clearly with intent to kill, and rammed his head into the wall. He would serve another purpose on this day.

Caroline would make a fantastic vampire.

SHOVEL TALK

The sun hurt her eyes.

That's the first thing she was aware of.

The sun hurt her eyes, the whole world entirely too bright, and she let out a moan of unhappiness.

"You're awake," she heard a familiar voice murmur. "Good. Come back to me now, Love."

She blinked her eyes open, and shielded them with a hand, using her other to push herself into a sitting position.

"Klaus," she said, seeing the blonde man sitting next to her. She was in a bar, lying on a table, and she wondered how long she had been there, because she felt… sore, and odd. As though she didn't belong in her own body. She frowned, trying to remember what had happened.

The shot, the one that hadn't come from her gun. She looked down in alarm, hands running over her chest. She was still in the blood stained clothing, but while there was a bullet hole, the skin beneath was whole.

"Your blood again," she said looking up at Klaus. He watched her with steepled fingers. "I guess I should thank you."

"Not this time," he admitted after a long pause. "I'm afraid you died, Caroline."

She blinked in confusion, because surely he hadn't just said that she'd died. Not when she was clearly perfectly fine, sitting on an uncomfortable table in clothes that itched from dried blood and gore.

"You died, and now there's only one way that you will be able to continue to live."

She remained silent, because speaking meant asking questions. Questions she didn't want answered, because they would change her world. They would tell her what he was, and that meant inviting the weird into her world, when there was already too much weird she didn't want to know about –

He pulled a man out from behind the bar. His eyes were glazed over, and he moved with Klaus as though he were a well-trained puppy. She recognized him. He had seemed to like her screams more than anyone else.

"What are you doing, Klaus?" she asked at last, because she needed to ask something, and that seemed safest. Klaus positioned the man in front of him and looked at her.

"Showing you what needs to be done, Caroline."

The monster took over his features, yellow eyes glowing, veins growing prominent, and teeth becoming double fangs that he used to strike the man's neck. He just stared vacantly ahead, as though a monster weren't mauling his neck, and Caroline expected to be sick.

Instead… she grew hungry. Her eyes closed when the scent of blood hit her nostrils, but instead of disgusting her, it made her breathe in deeply. She had never felt anything so sweet, so tempting.

She didn't know what she had done, not until the blood hit her tongue, and then she didn't care.

"That's it, Caroline," Klaus murmured, moving behind her and catching her hair in his hand, pulling it back over her shoulder. "Have at it."

She took another desperate pull, clutching to the man's shoulders as though he might try to run. But he didn't, and she drank. His heartbeat was a staccato in her ears – ba-dump, ba-dump – and then it began to slow. Slow and grow sluggish, as though it were slowing as though it were –

Caroline leapt back, and she moved so quickly that she slammed through a table to get to the wall. It was a distance of fifteen feet that she had covered in under a second, the table no barrier to her, easily shattered beneath the force of her body, and Caroline dug her fingers into the wall, feeling it give way beneath her grip.

"What did you do to me?" she whispered in horror, her fingers coming up to her mouth (her blood-stained mouth), and coming in contact with fangs. They weren't double like his, but they were fangs, and she let out a low moan.

"You died, Sweetheart," Klaus said, stepping toward her. "This was the only way."

"You didn't tell me," she hissed angrily, and she moved once more, before even realizing it, and sent him flying back. He crashed into a table and easily regained his feet, and Caroline went at him once more, anger and superior speed allowing her to-

Get caught up in his arms, twist her around so her back was to her chest and his wrists her in his hands. She struggled, but he was so damn strong, and even with her new strength, she was nothing to the power in his body.

"Calm down," he ordered against her ear, and she thrashed. He let out a low growl and grasped her upper arms, turning her to face him. She was forced to look into his eyes, watch his pupils dilate, "calm down."

Against her will, she felt her muscles relax, and he let go of his hold on her.

"What was that?" she asked, though it didn't hold the demand she wanted. Instead, it almost came out slurred, she was so relaxed.

"Compulsion" – he brushed her hair away from her cheek, but she could see that some of the strands were red with the man's blood – "you'll be able to do that. To humans, not me or any others of our kind."

"Our kind?" the words were out before she could stop them, because she still didn't want to know. But now it was out, and she would.

"Come now, Love," his expression was amused and somewhat fond. "You know the answer."

She stared at him, refusing to say anything, and he sighed and ran his hand down her hair once more.

"Vampire, Love. You're a vampire. So am I, though with a little… extra. But those lessons will come later"- he went to the man's side once more and bent down – "He's still alive, and you should finish eating."

"I'm not going to kill him," Caroline replied, her mind revolting against the thought. Murder… murder was something she didn't do. Something her father fought against. And her mother.

"After all he did, you wish to show him mercy?" Klaus asked with a raised brow. Caroline looked back stubbornly and Klaus sighed, his hands resting on either side of the man's head. With a hard jerk, he snapped his neck, the sound making Caroline wince, and then dropped the body to the floor. "You'll learn, Love. Mercy in our world will only get you killed."

"Then I'll stay in my world. Thanks."

"Oh?" Klaus raised an amused brow. "Fine. Then perhaps you should leave."

He waved at the door and Caroline frowned at him, looking for the lie in his actions. But he didn't move when she stepped toward the door, and so she picked up space, flinging the door open – only to have the sun burn her skin. She let out a howl and flashed away, back into the shadows the bar. Klaus sauntered up to the door, clearly taking his time, and shut it firmly.

"Some of the myths are true," he informed her. She gritted her teeth and looked at her burned skin – only to watch it knit back together. She stared with interest until it was unmarred, then ran her fingers along it. Klaus was in front of her before she'd realized he'd moved, cradling her hand with his. "And there are some benefits, as you can see."

"You can go in the sun," she told him, pulling her hand back. "How?"

Klaus pulled a ring out of his pocket and handed it to her. She took it, looking at it curiously. It had a blue stone – bright and vibrant, set in silver.

"Lapis Lazuli and charmed by a witch," in a flash it was removed from her hand, and she glared at him as he smirked, "listen to me, and you can have it."

"I have a life. A dad. I'm Caroline Stark. People are going to notice I'm missing and look for me, Klaus. I can't just disappear."

Klaus frowned at her for a moment, before reaching out to stroke her blood stained hair. He shook his head.

"Foolishness," he murmured, cradling her cheek, and she found herself rubbing her cheek against his palm, enjoying the touch. "And so sensitive. Everything is heightened, do you think you can so easily control it all?"

"I have to try," she replied stubbornly, inhaling his scent. It was nearly as good as the blood had been, and with that hunger quenched, she found another rising. Her eyes opened, meeting his, and she fisted her hand in his t-shirt, pulling him down for a kiss. He didn't fight, but he did take over, whirling her around to press her back against the wall. Caroline buried her fingers in his hair and rubbed against him, making him growl against her lips.

"Very good attempt at trying, Sweetheart," he said, his voice a growl. It made Caroline flash away, her fingers coming up to her lips.

"That was… I mean… it won't happen again" – her hand dropped to her side, fingers clenched in a fist – "I'm a control freak. I'll get this."

"Stubborn," he muttered, rolling his eyes to the sky. "And foolish. So very, very foolish."

She found the ring in her hand once more, his body pressed up against hers and igniting those urges again.

"Have it, Love," he murmured, running his thumb over his lips. "And when you realize you need help… call me."

"I don't have your number," she said, and then felt foolish afterward, because she wanted to say something about how she didn't need him, but it just came out lame.

"I'll be around. Simply call."

She met his gaze, something electric passing between them, and then put the ring on her finger.

"If you head east, you'll find the man known as, ah… Captain America. I do believe he's your father's friend."

Steve. Desire for Klaus became overwhelmed by desire for home, and she gave him a nod. She hesitated briefly before the door, before steeling her shoulders and flinging it open once more. This time, the sun felt as it always had – pleasant and warm.

She looked back at him once, his eyes on her, his expression brooding, and then strode back out into the light.

SHOVEL TALK

Klaus followed her, made sure that she made it back to the star spangled hero. When the man caught sight of her, he looked shocked for a moment before going to her quickly, asking if she was okay and hugging her. Klaus saw her struggle, saw the monster become visible for a moment, then watched her force it back as she hugged him back.

He had to admit he was impressed. Such control for a new born… he couldn't remember seeing it before.

But the monster still lurked there, and he knew she would need his help. He should snap her neck and take her with him. Or simply leave her behind. He had things he needed to take care of, not the least of which was the traitors in New Orleans. Marcellus or Hayley, or possibly even his own siblings.

But…

Caroline glanced back, as though she felt his gaze on her, and their eyes locked across the distance between them. She lifted her head, expression proud, and Klaus felt a smirk cover his lips.

But traitors would be there when he returned. And he wanted to see how this would play out.

AN: And there it was – the prelude. This will be the heaviest part. From here on out, it will mostly be light.