Title: The Devil's Currency

Author: fadingtales

Fandom: Vampire Diaries

Couple: Klaus/Caroline/Stefan

Summary: When Klaus catches Caroline following him, he offers her a bargain for the younger Salvatore.

A/N: Inspired by the lovely Kristina's gif found here: travelingpond . tumblr . com / post / 10954846982

He's not amused when he catches her following them.

For a little baby vampire she's cheeky and impertinent. He slams her head against the wall to knock some respect into her. She spits in his face.

Strangely he's starting to find himself much more impressed.

"What shall I do with you?"

"I have a suggestion. Let. Me. Go," she snarls, her hands clawing at his.

He releases his chokehold and she collapses on the ground coughing.

Stefan motions towards her, but he raises an arm and Stefan stops, hand outstretched. The two exchange a meaningful glance that doesn't escape his notice.

"What pray tell, sweetheart, did you think you could accomplish by following us?"

She answers by silently glaring at him. Her eyes flicker momentarily to Stefan who tries to keep his expression indifferent. Klaus glances at his companion and suddenly a wicked and lovely thought forms in his head.

"Let me guess… you're here to save poor little Stefan from big bad me."

He crouches down so that he could be eye level with her and tilts her chin up with a finger.

"How's this… I'll let him go."

Her eyes widen at him and the corner of his lips quirks upward in a Cheshire grin.

"If you can take his place," he finishes.

"Kla-" Stefan begins, but once again Klaus silences him with a withering look.

"I'll do it," she says.

"I was hoping you'd say that," he grins.

Almost immediately she regrets her rash words. Klaus nods towards one of his minions and they bring out several whimpering girls.

"Stefan, why don't you demonstrate for our little vampire what it means to be a true Ripper?"

Stefan avoids her eyes when he walks over to one of the girls. Even so, he can feel her hot gaze boring holes into the back of his head.

Damon had told her several times about Stefan and his Ripper days. The stories don't measure up to the reality.

She cringes at the carnage, finding herself strangely mesmerized and revolted at the same time. Not that Klaus would allow her to look away. Not even when one of the girls turn to her and pleads for her life with tears streaming down her face. She's young and blonde, probably was just on her way home from school when she got snatched up. Caroline imagines that was probably exactly how she had once looked when Damon had fed on her. Pitiful and terrified. She probably won't be forgetting this girl's scream for a long time.

"You should really stop sulking," Klaus chastises. "And you can leave if you don't want to see it."

Of course leaving would have meant that she was swallowing her words and giving up. If anything as a human Caroline had been stubborn, as a vampire she'd become obnoxiously obstinate and resolute in her pigheadedness.

"I'm not going anywhere."

"Are you sure you still want to rescue him? It looks like he's perfectly content where he is."

"I said that I am not going anywhere," she bites out through gritted teeth.

"Good," Klaus answers pleasantly. He watches as Stefan finishes his handiwork with satisfaction.
"Because tomorrow it'll be your turn, so don't disappoint me."

He motions over one of his loyal witch bodyguards and tells them to go get her cleaned up. He doesn't want to be seen in the presence of riffraff.

He watches with amusement as she shoots him a final glare as they take her away.

"This should be interesting."

Stefan grabs his arm as he passes by.

"Don't mess with Caroline. I'm not going to go back. So just leave her alone."

Klaus pulls his arm away and turns to the younger Salvatore.

"You don't get a say in what I do or do not do."

"There are other people that you can play with, but not her. Whatever sick little game you're playing at, stop. Or I'll-"

Klaus chuckles darkly. "Are you threatening me, Salvatore? You're showing affections for the wrong girl. It should be your doppelganger that I would worry about."

Stefan swallows nervously.

"You should work on that poker face of yours, Stefan. You're extremely transparent. But then again, maybe it wasn't Elena who you were trying to keep me away from. Cheer up, mate. I'll share this one."

He pats Stefan on the shoulder almost endearingly and walks away. Stefan watches him leave with fisted hands by his side.

In this wicked game, love is the devil's currency.