Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries
Summary: Sequel to MASQUERADE. Caroline is tired of the back and forth going on between her and Damon. She's tired of their charade of a relationship and being second to Elena. Mostly, she's tired of feeling his love for her best friend all the time.
Caroline rushed out of her last class and sprinted out the doors. She was speeding through the courtyard like dogs were chasing her. She heard someone call her name, but ignored it. She needed answers and she needed them now.
She had been sitting in her Government class, minding her own business when she was suddenly hit with intense lust. She wasn't looking at anybody, she wasn't particularly thinking of anything, so where the crap had that come from? Just as she asked herself that question, the answer came: Damon.
Ever since she had turned, she had begun feeling a deep psychic connection to him. At first she thought that she was just getting better at reading him. It was a plausible theory since they had been spending more time together now than they had since they were dating. However, reading his body language didn't account for sudden bursts of emotion or thoughts that definitely weren't hers. Lately, however, things had been getting even worse. She was worried about what this connection was and why it kept growing.
So, she was on her way to talk to the one person she could ask these questions: Katherine. Caroline had been visiting Katherine every once in a while; usually with questions, but sometimes just to listen to her talk. It's not that Caroline liked Katherine- the crazy bitch killed her! But, Katherine did make her, sort of. And Caroline could ask her questions about how she had lived her un-life. Caroline had asked these questions to Stefan before and his answers… were typical Stefan. She would have asked Damon, but she knew that he wouldn't really have the patience to answer them… not unless it benefited him in some way.
Katherine had no where to go and nothing to do. So, once a week Caroline visited. In exchange for a cup of blood- enough to keep her from desiccating, but not enough to make her strong- Katherine spoke. She spoke about her human life, her turning, how she learned to be a vampire, how she spent her centuries, Stefan and Damon, Mystic Falls and laying low. Caroline was sure she wasn't receiving the full story, but at the same time she was sure that she wasn't being lied to.
Caroline had just made it to her car, her keys turning when she heard her name being called again, this time from right behind her. Whirling around, Caroline glared at Elena, "What? Can't you see I'm in a rush?"
Blinking in surprise at having her head bit off, Elena held out a notebook, "You forgot this in Government."
The blonde reached out and snatched the book, "Thanks," She bit out before throwing herself into her car and slamming the door shut. She peeled out of the parking space leaving behind a bewildered Elena.
The worried brunette spotted Stefan and Damon both looking at her a few parking spaces over. They had clearly been talking about something when they had been distracted by the little interaction between the two females. She made her way to them, "Do you guys know what's been up with Caroline?"
Damon raised an eyebrow, "Why would I know what's up with Barbie?"
Elena purposely ignored his response and turned to look expectantly at Stefan. Stefan hesitated, looking for the right words before he spoke, "What makes you think something's wrong?" The girl raised an incredulous eyebrow in response before gesturing at where she and Caroline had just fought, "Right." Clearly Stefan hadn't thought that remark through, "What I meant was, maybe she's having a bad day. I don't think there's anything wrong."
Elena crossed her arms, "Caroline has been acting weird for weeks now. She's been edgy, mean and defensive. I know what she's like when she's hiding something and she is definitely hiding something."
"What makes you think we know what she's hiding?" Damon asked, curious to hear the response. He knew that no one was aware of his… relationship with the blonde so he was interested to hear why Elena thought he would know what was bothering Caroline.
"I assumed that whatever she was hiding involved her being a vampire," the brunette stated bluntly, "What else would she have to hide?"
"Maybe she has a boyfriend," Damon suggested causing Stefan to roll his eyes. Stefan knew about Damon and Caroline's… whatever (relationship?) and found it worrisome to say the least.
"Caroline would announce it to the world if she had a boyfriend," Elena responded before looking at Damon oddly when he smirked in amusement, "Besides, if she had a boyfriend, she'd be acting happy and giddy. Whatever she's hiding, she knows that I won't like it," She seemed to be thinking out loud now. Her eyes unfocused as she thought before she turned to face Stefan, "I want to follow her. Can you tell where she's going?"
Stefan looked at her oddly, "I'm not a bloodhound. If you want to know where she is, you'd be better off asking Damon."
Raising an inquisitive eyebrow, Elena turned to look at the older brother who stood leaning on the hood of his blue mustang inspecting his cuticles. He looked up in fake surprise, "Sorry, what?"
Elena rolled her eyes, "Why do you know where Caroline is and can you take me and Stefan to her?"
Damon pondered this idea as he debated whether he wanted to tell her the truth. Stefan meanwhile wondered how he wound up going with Elena. He was sure Caroline was fine and that whatever she was doing was a. not dangerous, b. a secret and thus c. none of his business. He sighed, he loved Elena but he really wished she would learn the meaning of the word privacy. Not everything in the world was her business.
Finally, Damon responded with a half-truth, one he could safely say in front of his brother, "I made Caroline. I can always tell where she is."
Crossing her arms, Elena thrust her hip out defensively as if unsure whether he was telling her the truth, "Then where is she?"
Damon rolled his eyes, "It's not like I know she's at Starbucks drinking a Dark Cherry Mocha. It's more like left or right, hot or cold." Elena noticed that Stefan wasn't contradicting his brother, so she nodded and moved around to the other side of the car, earning twin confused looks from the boys "What are you doing?" Damon asked.
"I told you. I want to know what she's doing," the brunette climbed into the car before looking up at the two of them in annoyance, "Well?"
Stefan sighed and turned to look at his brother. They exchanged a few silently worded glances that basically translated to 'You're the one dating her' and 'You're the one who will agree.'
The two climbed into the car and took off, heading toward the forest. After a few minutes, it became easy to tell where they were heading.
"The tomb? Why would Caroline be heading there?" Elena asked worriedly.
Damon exchanged a look with Stefan through the rearview mirror- Katherine, "I don't know," he said instead. They parked and made their way to the tomb. Just as Elena was about to go in, Damon grabbed her arm to stop her, "Don't make a sound. She has vampire hearing so she'll hear you if you say anything or even breathe too loudly. If you're quiet and if she's busy, she shouldn't be able to hear your heartbeat. We'll stay on the stairs and listen. That's all."
Elena grit her teeth and glared at Damon's all-mighty attitude, but a glance at Stefan showed that her boyfriend agreed, so she seethed but nodded.
Together, the trio crept down the stairs until they were hidden behind the curve of the stone wall while still being able to peak over to see what was going on. Elena barely stifled a gasp as she saw Caroline talking to Katherine.
"So, what question do you have for me today, little fledgling?" Katherine teased once she finished gulping down the cup of blood.
Caroline crossed her legs and sat on the ground in front of where Katherine lay in the doorway of the tomb. She hesitated as she mentally thought about how to approach the subject and whether she even should. Finally, she spit it out, "Damon and I… have a connection."
Elena's eyes widened and they turned to look at Damon who looked unsurprised at the blonde's words. Stefan also looked at his brother curiously, but un-shocked.
"Oh?" Katherine taunted, raising an eyebrow as she tossed her empty plastic cup for Caroline to dispose of later. It wouldn't be good if anyone found evidence of Caroline helping Katherine.
Rolling her eyes, Caroline responded, "Not like that. I'm not talking about some sort of fluffy, love connection," Katherine smirked at the blonde in amusement, "I know what he's going to do before he does it. I know how he feels, even when he doesn't show that he feels anything at all. I can close my eyes and know what he's thinking. When he gets up, I know he's going for the whiskey. When his eyes narrow, I know he's thinking up a plan. And it's only been getting worse. Lately, when I sleep… I dream of him. Only they're not dreams. It's like I am him and I think his thoughts and I feel his feelings. And then I wake up and it takes me a few seconds to remember that I'm Caroline."
Katherine hummed in interest as she took in the scared look on Caroline's face. On the stairs, Elena tried to keep herself from hyperventilating at her friend's words and even Stefan's eyebrows were raised in shock. Damon, however, was calm and merely thoughtful as he absorbed her words. He knew the connection was stronger for her than it was for him, but to hear exactly what she was feeling from her own words… it was disconcerting to say the least.
"Is it because his blood is what turned me?" Caroline asked hesitantly after waiting several minutes for Katherine to respond.
"Do you think that's the reason?" the woman responded in kind, as if genuinely curious as to what the blonde thought.
"No," She answered easily, "If this was what happened, Damon and Stefan would have known you weren't in the tomb. They would have felt your pain; felt you desiccate."
A smirk graced the brunette's lips, "Correct." Katherine paused as she continued to scrutinize Caroline, "Some emotions and thoughts are common enough in maker bonds. The reason you feel him so strongly- and make no mistake; he feels you just as strongly as you do him- is because he compelled you."
Elena and Stefan's heads both whipped to face Damon, trying to get a read on his expression as to whether Katherine's words were true and he felt Caroline's emotions and thoughts. Damon's blank expression was just as telling as it would be if he had said yes.
"But you compelled Damon and Stefan before you turned them," Caroline argued, easily finding the flaw in Katherine's logic.
The brunette sighed, finally tearing her eyes away from the intense inspection it had been giving Caroline since she brought up her bond, "I only lightly compelled them. Damon got in too deep with you. He mixed both of your minds too intensely and now it's stuck."
Stefan and Damon's eyes widened as they recognized her words and realized what they meant… but, it was only supposed to be a legend…
"What does that mean?" Caroline cried out, even more scared than she was before, "Our minds are stuck together?"
Katherine rolled her eyes at the shriek, "Don't be absurd. Minds can't stick together."
"But you just said-"
Caroline was cut off, "I meant he left too much of an impression. When you compel someone, you are forcing your will, your thoughts and your emotions onto the other person. When someone is compelled by the same person too often, it can create a temporary bond. It allows them to form a special connection."
Caroline stopped to think about this, "Stefan locked Damon up in the basement once. Damon called to me, even though I was on the other side of town. I was working at the school car wash and suddenly I felt the urge to go to the Boarding House. I knew that Damon needed my help."
Elena's eyes widened as she heard her friends words. She remembered Damon's escape; the chaos it caused… Vicky. To know that her friend was involved and Elena never even knew…
The brunette vampire smirked in victory, "The bond is temporary. Damon should have stopped compelling you after that and allowed the bond to waste away… but he didn't, did he?"
Caroline shook her head, curls flying, "He needed me to throw a party… and later, to use the vampire compass."
"By continuing to compel you, he was strengthening the bond. He was overlaying his mind with yours completely. When a vampire falls in love with a mortal, they sometimes do this."
"Compel them over and over again?" She asked incredulously.
Katherine rolled her eyes. Sometimes Caroline could be incredibly clever and sometimes… "No, overlay their minds. It's like compelling but without giving commands. By overlaying your minds, it ensures that bits of him are mixed into you and bits of you are mixed into him. That, combined with your maker bond equals you panicking at my doorstep. The bond gives a bit of empathy between the two of you, but when you add in the overlay, it's twice as strong."
Caroline processed Katherine's words but avoided thinking too hard on them, knowing that if she did, she would freak out. Instead she focused on something the brunette said earlier, "If it's usually done when a vampire is in love with a human, why didn't you do it to Stefan? I know you love him."
Elena flinched at her friend's blatant recognition of her enemy's feelings for her boyfriend. Stefan put a soothing hand on her back as if to reassure her that Katherine's feelings were not his own and she allowed herself to take comfort in that.
Katherine blinked, but allowed the subject to digress, "I considered it, but… do you really think I am capable of staying with one person for eternity? I love Stefan and I know that one day, we will have again what we had before, but eternity is a very long time. Everyone gets sick of the same person eventually. That's the problem with the overlay."
The blonde swallowed hard, tears beginning to well up in her eyes, "Is there no way to reverse it?" She choked out.
Damon perked up, intently listening for the answer, but for once, Katherine looked at someone in pity, "No. The bond, once complete, is completely irreversible. Damon will be the one person you know best and you will be the one person he knows best. Distance can help. If you don't see him get up then you won't know he's going for the alcohol," Katherine explained using Caroline's old example, "But you'll always feel intense emotions. If he's injured, you'll know. If he's angry, you'll know. If he's in love -"
"I'll know. I got it, thanks," Caroline tried half-heartedly to sneer.
"Rumor is that with enough practice, you'll be able to talk to each other," Katherine shrugged as if this was an up-side, "Not just fuzzy pictures or emotions, but actual conversations," She clarified.
But Caroline clearly wasn't paying attention as her eyes focused above the tomb doorway. She was still trying to mentally digest the information she had been given. She still mentally tucked that bit of information away to ponder later, but it didn't exactly rank on her priority list.
Pouting at being ignored, Katherine spoke, "So, have you and Damon had sex yet?"
Head whipping to face Katherine, Caroline blinked in shock, "What?" In the stairway, Elena too stiffened in shock as her jaw dropped open. Stefan silently shook his head as he realized things were about to get even messier. He wasn't even sure how that was possible, but it appeared to be the story of his life.
"Bonded sex is supposed to be quite spectacular," Katherine purred, satisfied at once again being the center of attention, "Twice the pleasure since you'll be feeling it from your side and his. Did it not… rock your world?" She taunted with a teasing pout.
Damon stiffened as his sexual prowess came into question. He resisted the urge to expose his hiding place to yell at Katherine, but reigned in his temper in favor of hearing what Caroline had to say.
Caroline blinked at the small surge of anger she felt, presumably from Damon since she wasn't feeling particularly angry at the moment. Her mind began to work in overtime at the suspicious coincidence of him getting angry right as Katherine insulted him…
"Damon's great in bed. He was great when I was human and his vamp sex is even better. But no, there was no double pleasure," Caroline answered carefully, testing her theory. She barely contained her gasp of shock when she felt a swell of pride that was definitely not her own and realized that Damon was eavesdropping on her conversation. Annoyed, but not upset, Caroline vowed to yell at him later. They were talking about him, so she could hardly be upset if he listened in.
Elena froze in complete shock. Caroline and Damon slept together after Caroline was turned? How… she turned to look at Stefan to see his reaction. Elena's eyes narrowed as she realized he had been looking at her to see her own reaction. Stefan was unsurprised; he had already known.
Katherine hummed in thought, "Maybe it's just a myth," She shrugged, "Overlay bonds aren't exactly common. Most of the known information is just rumor. Still, it would have made sense…" She spoke the last part mostly to herself before her attention once again focused on the blonde, "Did you try and activate the bond while you were having sex?"
Caroline's eyebrow raised, "One- I only just found out what the connection really is. Two- Even if I did know what it was, I have no idea how to control it, let alone activate it. Three- When would I have done this anyway? Between my second and third orgasm?"
Now that Caroline knew what to look for, she was able to detect Damon's smugness again. Hopefully, with enough practice, she would be able to fully sort out his emotions from hers.
"Well, if you have vampire sex questions, there's only one person you can ask," Katherine smirked, "Nikita."
"Who?" Caroline asked in confusion.
"Ask Damon," the brunette vampire looked positively gleeful, "You do know…"
Caroline let her eyebrow rise, "That he's eavesdropping? Yeah, I figured it out." She stood up and in a flash, she was at the stairs. Her eyes widened when instead of finding Damon alone, she found him with Stefan and more importantly Elena.