Happy Holidays everyone! Yes I caved in and decided to do the cheesy thing and write a Christmas one-shot. I'm sure they aren't for everyone. This is especially dedicated to all my Fire and Ice readers. Thanks so much for all your reviews and support and for being so patient with me as I write the sequel. I hope this holds you over for the time being.
The sound of the school bell rang throughout the halls of Mystic Falls High School It was quickly followed by Christmas jingles playing over the speakers. Christmas vacation had arrived. Students burst into the hallways, cheering dramatically, some throwing notebooks and papers up into the air. Two whole weeks without school or homework or any sort of responsibility.
Caroline Forbes could feel the relief too, as she dumped her books into her locker and gratefully slammed the door. She welcomed the vacation more than anyone else. Even though the past weeks since the end of the whole town war thing had been relatively quite, she was still feeling a bit down. It would be nice to experience a little Christmas cheer.
"Well we made it. Half way through senior year," her best friend, Bonnie, said coming to stand next to her.
"Barely," Caroline laughed, thinking of all the things her group of friends had to deal with that did not qualify as typical teenage problems. Surviving high school took on a whole new meaning for them.
"Hey guys," Elena greeted, joining the two girls by the lockers, "how were finals?"
"Brutal," Caroline replied, shouldering her purse, "I've stood down murderous vampires and hybrids, but geometry will always scare me."
"Please," Bonnie said, "you know you'll get an A. You're the perfect student."
"I know," Caroline smiled, "but after 3 hours of continuous studying, compelling your teachers into giving you A's becomes very tempting."
The girls laughed as they made their way down the hall toward the front doors. Everyone was hurriedly making their way out of school, ready to start the break as soon as possible.
"When are you and your dad leaving for Florida Bonnie?" Elena asked as they exited. The crisp winter wind greeted them as they stepped outside.
"Tomorrow. I can't wait to be on the beach."
"Lucky," Caroline quipped.
"What are you doing for the holidays?"
Elena answered, "Jeremy, Alaric, and I are going to have Christmas together. And of course Damon has invited himself so…" Caroline mentally rolled her eyes at her friend. When was she going to admit that something was going on with her and Damon that was more than just friendship?
"What about you Car?"
"Well normally this year would be my dad's turn for Christmas with him but that's obviously out," she replied. Things had been touchy between her and her dad ever since he had found out she was a vampire and tried to torture the bloodlust from her by locking her in a dungeon and letting the sun burn her.
"You're welcome to come to my house," Elena offered.
"Thanks, but I'll probably be hanging out with my mom. She won't be on patrol duty until Christmas night."
"What about Klaus? Will he be around?"
Caroline groaned. She didn't really want to discuss her absent, hybrid boyfriend right now. Correction: Absent jerk, hybrid boyfriend.
"Uh-oh. That's not a good face," Bonnie said, rolling her eyes over to Elena.
"Definitely not," the raven-haired girl agreed. "What happened?"
"Nothing," Caroline exhaled, "just suffice it to say that he won't be making a holiday appearance."
Bonnie and Elena threw each other knowing glances as the three of them climbed into Caroline's car. The traffic out of the school parking lot was backed up, so they remained idling in line until they could make it through the gate.
Caroline's thoughts had drifted back to the conversation she'd had the night before with Klaus. He had been out on the road for almost two months now, trying to track down his family. Or what was left of them rather, which was a bunch of comatose bodies asleep in coffins. The coffins had been stolen by Stefan, Caroline's former friend turned ripper, who had teamed up with Klaus's sister, Rebecca. Each had their own motivation for revenge against Klaus.
Since he left, he had been calling every so often to check in with her, so she would know he was ok. But the entire situation sucked royally. Even though they had both agreed to do things apart for a while, it sucked having your boyfriend always be away. Especially when the relationship was so new.
He had called her last night, for one of the usual check-ins, and she had been so happy and relieved to hear his voice.
"Hello love," his husky, English lilt had greeted her when she answered her phone.
"It's about time you called," she teased, "it's been almost a week."
"Well I try to be a good boyfriend."
Caroline could just picture his face at the use of the word "boyfriend". He hated referring to himself as such. But every now and then he would begrudgingly give in to her and her modern teenage colloquialisms.
"So how goes the hunt?"
"No luck finding them yet. Although my dear sister did dispatch two of my hybrid spies who made the mistake of getting to close. That little move brought me a bit closer to them than usual."
The conversation was always a bit tentative. Of course she loved Klaus and wanted him to find his family, but she also cared about Stefan, and was a bit scared for him. Klaus had promised to "try" not to kill him, but she wasn't sure he would try very hard. He wasn't the most forgiving person.
"You haven't heard from our friend Stefan have you?" He prodded. She hated being put in the middle of this.
"No. I'm pretty sure he figured out that it was me who gave him away the first time. I haven't heard from him since."
"Pity. It was worth a shot," Klaus replied.
She didn't want to talk about Stefan or stolen families any more. The conversation moved on to other things, like how she was doing and what was happening in Mystic Falls.
"I can't wait to see you," she said changing the subject.
"I miss you as well," he replied sincerely. "I hope I'll be able to return soon."
"Well you'll be back at least for a little while right? For Christmas?"
"I don't celebrate Christmas, it didn't even exist when I was born," he said simply.
Caroline's brow furrowed. "Well I do."
"Caroline I can't just come back. Not when I'm this close. Not for some silly human holiday."
"But can't you just take a break from all this hunting? They'll still be on the run after the holidays I'm sure."
"Caroline you sound like a spoiled child," Klaus chided. Her temper flared at his response.
"I'm not a spoiled child. Sorry I choose to do happy things like celebrate Christmas and be happy and normal instead of chasing my dead family and my psychotic sister up and down the east coast," she yelled into the phone.
"I refuse to fight with you over this. I'm not coming back to Mystic Falls until I have my family and Stefan Salvatore's dead heart beating in my hand," he snarled.
Caroline couldn't believe him and the way he was acting. If she was being a spoiled child then he was acting like a selfish jerk.
"Fine. Goodbye Klaus," Caroline replied hanging up the phone.
Suddenly Caroline was pulled from her thoughts by the loud blare of a car horn. She was still sitting in her car in the parking lot of school. The traffic in front of her was moving and the cars behind her were getting impatient. She stepped on the gas, causing everyone inside to lurch forward.
"You sure everything is ok?" Bonnie asked her.
Caroline nodded, keeping her eyes on the road, "Yep everything is fine. Perfectly fine."
Caroline dropped Bonnie off at her house. "Try not to have any witch emergencies while I'm gone," Bonnie said with a smile as she got out of the car.
Elena moved to the front seat and Caroline pulled away from the curb.
"Do you mind just bringing me to the boarding house," Elena asked, "I've got some stuff to do over there."
Caroline narrowed her gaze at her friend. "Stuff? What kind of stuff?"
"Just stuff. I've hidden all of Jeremy and Alaric's gifts over there so they don't go snooping when I'm not home." Elena explained. A lame excuse that Caroline wasn't buying, but she let it go for now.
A little while later Caroline pulled up in front of the Salvatore boarding house. Damon Salvatore greeted them as the car came down the driveway. He walked forward and pulled the door open for Elena, grabbing her school bag from the back seat.
"Hello Barbie," he said to Caroline with a smirk. Caroline returned his sarcastic expression with one of her own.
"So will I see you tomorrow night at the tree lighting festival?" Elena asked Caroline.
Caroline had almost forgotten, which was ridiculous, because it was something the town did every year on Christmas Eve. Each year the town decorated the square in a maze of electric lights and a gigantic, gaudy Christmas tree. There were always carolers and hot cider and also carriage rides. It was corny and festive and romantic but Caroline had always loved it.
"Oh gee, sitting there watching everyone cuddle together and sip cider while riding off in horse drawn carriages. I'll probably pass." Caroline replied sardonically.
"What's the matter with you Barbie," Damon said, "Santa Klaus leaving you alone for the holidays?"
"How long have you been waiting to use that joke Damon?" Caroline replied.
Elena nudged him in the ribs. "Leave her alone." She turned back to her friend. "Well the offer to come to my place still stands."
"Thanks," Caroline said and waved to Elena as she followed Damon into the house. She could feel a little niggle of jealousy watching them walk away together. Yeah they deserved to be happy after all they had been through this year, but why didn't she? Instead she was fighting with her boyfriend and probably wouldn't see him again for months. If she even still had a boyfriend. Who knows, he could decide that he was so annoyed with her and so set on revenge that he just didn't want to deal with her anymore. She pulled away from the boarding house and headed towards home. Maybe Christmas wasn't going to be such a great thing after all.
Caroline spent the entire next day trying to keep herself as busy as possible and her mind off of Klaus. The more she thought about it the worse she felt. She kept going back and forth between being angry with him and being scared that he was never going to speak to her again. She set about decorating her entire house, trimming the tree, hanging garland everywhere, making paper snowflakes, filling up stockings with candy, wrapping presents, anything Christmas related to cheer her up. It was her favorite holiday after all she should be enjoying it.
"Wow," her mom said entering the living room. It was definitely a sight to see. All red and green and gold. Not a single inch was left un-Christmased. "You've outdone yourself this year sweetie."
Liz walked over to where Caroline sat on the couch, cutting away at more snowflakes with her scissors.
"Glad someone is around to appreciate it," she muttered, hacking away at the paper.
Liz looked at her daughter carefully. "Have I done something? Are you mad I'm working on Christmas?"
"No mom it's not you," she replied.
"Is it your father?"
"No it's not dad." Her mother just stood there, waiting for her to explain. Caroline stopped her cutting and looked up. "It's just…boy things."
Her mother looked uncomfortable. Liz hadn't exactly been keen on the fact that her daughter was dating someone of Klaus's reputation. The sheriff knew all about the doppelganger and the hybrids and vampires and all Klaus had done. When Caroline had come clean about their relationship, Liz had had more than a few things to say.
"Did you two break-up?"
"No. Just a fight.
"He won't be around for Christmas," Caroline narrowed her eyes at her mom, "and don't even pretend. I know you're relieved you won't have to meet him."
"I can't help that I have my opinions about my only daughter dating a murderer."
"I so do not want to get into this right now mom," Caroline turned back to her cutting.
"All right," Liz said holding her hands up in surrender. "You better hurry though if you are going to make it to the square by dusk."
Caroline gave her a confused look. "What are you talking about?"
"The tree lighting. I volunteered you for cider duty. I told you weeks ago."
Caroline jumped up from the couch furiously. "No you definitely did not!"
"I definitely did Caroline. You've just been such a zombie these past weeks you barely listen to anything anyone is saying."
Was Caroline really that bad? Was she letting Klaus's absence affect her that much?
"Mom I'm really not in the mood to go," she pleaded.
"Well it's too late now. Besides, it might help cheer you up. Doing things that you normally like to do," with that the discussion was closed.
Caroline groaned. Great. Things just kept getting better and better.
An hour later she was behind a table in the town square, at the tree lighting, serving people hot apple cider in cheap paper cups. Everything looked gorgeous and the weather was actually pretty nice. She tried to smile and get into the spirit but it just wasn't happening. She did perk up a little when she saw Elena headed toward her, Damon following behind.
"Hey Caroline, I thought you weren't coming," her friend inquired.
"Yeah well apparently my mom volunteered me for cider duty. I couldn't get out of it," she replied.
"Don't be such a Grinch Barbie, it's Christmas," Damon smirked.
Caroline and Elena ignored him. "Do you wanna head over to the Grill later for dinner? I think Matt is working."
Caroline's mouth twisted in consideration. "Probably just gonna head home after this," Caroline replied. She really didn't feel like third wheeling.
"I feel your pain," Damon said, "I'd rather not participate in this cheesy festival either. Too much Christmas cheer for my taste."
"Thanks Damon," Caroline rolled her eyes.
"Ok well see ya," Elena said as Damon slung his around her shoulder and directed her away.
For the next hour Caroline filled up and passed out cups of cider. Everyone was having such a great time. Eventually the crowd began to thin. Families had gone home for the evening and couples were out on their carriage rides. Only a few people lingered in the town square. Caroline filled up a cup of cider for herself and took a seat on a nearby bench. It all really was quite pretty. She felt bad that she was missing out on everything just because she was feeling so grumpy.
"Is this seat taken?" A voice asked next to her. Caroline's eyes went wide and her heart leapt. Her head snapped up to look at the owner of the voice.
There was Klaus. Standing besides her with a lazy grin on his face. It was so weird to see him there. Not only because it was so unexpected but also because it was the first time she had seen him since they parted ways. It felt odd to have him here in front of her, a tangible person.
"What are you doing here?" she replied, standing slowly, her forgotten cup of cider on the bench.
"It's Christmas right? Time to be with people you love and all that?" Caroline just gaped at him, still surprised that he was there. "Oh come on love. Is that all I get?"
Suddenly she shook herself out of the shock at seeing him and threw her arms around him. He hugged her back tightly, lifting her off the ground. She pulled back a bit only to have her lips connect with his. It was the first kiss they had shared in weeks and it was as passionate and new as ever.
"That's more like it," he smirked keeping his face near hers. A wide grin spread across her mouth.
"I can't believe you actually came. You weren't planning this all along were you?"
"I suppose you wouldn't believe me if I said I were?" he replied setting her back on the ground. He kept his arms circled around her waist.
"Evil mastermind you may be, but you know nothing about the delicate art of the Christmas surprise."
He nipped at her lips, sending chills down her spine. "I'll leave the Christmas planning to you love."
Caroline kissed him again, letting her mouth fall open and his tongue intertwine with hers. Klaus's hands trailed up and down her back, tracing lazy patterns. She moaned her contentment into his mouth.
"It's a bit cold out love, what do you say we go somewhere and warm up," his voice was husky and his eyes burned with desire. It had been too long since they had been together. Caroline felt a jolt of lust seize her body. It was always that much more intense as a vampire. But with Klaus it was even harder to control her urges. She smiled seductively and took his hand, leading him toward her car. Hopefully the clean up crew didn't get too upset that she had ditched.
The drive home could not have taken any longer, Klaus's hands and mouth on her the entire time. They were practically ripping each other's clothes off as they stumbled towards the door. The cool winter air tickled the bare parts of their skin. Caroline managed to separate herself enough to get her key out and in the knob. Thank God her mom would still be out patrolling. Klaus pressed her up against the door, sucking at her clavicle. She moaned again at the scrap of his teeth against her neck. The scruff on his chin scraping her skin delightfully.
The knob turned and Caroline all but fell through the door. Their bodies disconnected as Klaus hit the doorframe, holding himself up with both hands against it. He growled, frustrated, and she looked at him quizzically.
"What's wrong?" She asked wishing for his hands to be back on her again.
"I can't come in."
The realization flooded over her. He was part vampire and therefore wasn't allowed in without an invitation.
"Damn it!" Caroline stamped her foot like a child. She couldn't invite him in either. "My mom would literally stake me if I invite you in without her permission. She's already not your biggest fan."
Klaus groaned. "Quite the predicament then."
They stood there staring at one another. Caroline's lips were still red from Klaus's kisses. The blonde folded her arms across her chest as she contemplated what to do. Suddenly, an idea came to her. A mischievous smile spread across her face.
"What are you thinking?" Klaus asked her.
"Come on," she said grabbing him by the collar and dragging him back toward the car. "I know exactly where to go."
Christmas day turned out to be more perfect than Caroline could have ever planned. Aside from the bittersweet farewell she had had with Klaus. He had only been able to stay for the night and had to head out again Christmas morning. She relished waking up in his warm, tight embrace. They had spent the night in her used-to-be bedroom at the Salvatore house.
"I'm sorry I didn't get you anything for Christmas," Caroline had said as she told him goodbye.
"Well last night was a very good present," he smirked.
"Sex does not count as a Christmas gift."
"Then it really is a useless holiday," he replied. Caroline just shook her head at him. "I didn't get you anything either."
"You're here. That counts." She replied, giving him another quick kiss. She ran her fingers through his curly blonde hair.
"I was thinking the same about you," he whispered pressing his forehead to hers. She knew there were a million things he probably wasn't saying. But hopefully one day soon she would have the chance to hear them.
Caroline held back the tears as she gave him one final, lingering kiss goodbye and watched him drive away again. She had spent the rest of the day with her mom, watching Christmas movies and opening gifts. Liz was definitely glad to see her daughter in better spirits, even if it was because of an evil hybrid.
After her mom left for work, she found herself at the Salvatore house, with Elena, Damon, Alaric, and Jeremy. The group hung out by the fire, enjoying drinks and each other's company.
Damon was being testy as ever, clearly more annoyed with Caroline than usual. Her idea for getting back and Damon and his annoying attitude had definitely been a lovely bonus to spending the night with Klaus.
"Thanks so much for the concert last night from you and your boyfriend," he snapped at her, "it will take weeks for to get those sounds out of my head."
Caroline just smirked at him and sipped her drink.
"You were here last night?" Elena asked, looking confused.
"Yeah, I stopped by when I left the square. Klaus ended up showing up after all."
"Oh I see," Elena replied giving her friend a sly look. Caroline smiled back from behind her glass.
"I guess you could say that last night Santa Klaus came to-" Elena slapped her hand over Damon's mouth.
They all laughed and raised their glasses, toasting to one another. It hadn't been a perfect year, but Caroline felt happy. A lot happier than she ever imagined she would be after everything that had happened. She'd become a vampire, had her heartbroken multiple times, and been through many a traumatizing experience. But in the end she had found love. All in all, it was a really good year.
Hope you guys liked it :) Also just so all of you regular readers and Klaroline fans know, I have a tumblr just for all my writing called CicadaaWritesThings (the link is on my profile). I've started posting previews for my new fanfic The Perfect Unplanned and will probably continue to post little snippets from upcoming stuff. So go check it out if you can't wait to see what happens next.
Also, let me know what you think of this one in the reviews!