Title: Tribute

Rating: T

Couple(s): Caroline/Damon + Stefan + Klaus

Warning: Language and minor sexual situations

Important Note: I will be posting the Dean/Caroline fic many reviewers have requested, hopefully sometime this week; as well as the next chapter of my Caroline/Draco crossover fic. So please check back for updates.


"Where are you taking me?" Caroline questioned, eyes distraught as she took in the form of her captor's brother—the man she'd loved since she was a young girl. His lips were stained with blood, face drained of its usual color. "What has befallen Damon?"

Stefan remained silent as they neared the entrance of what appeared to be a bathhouse. His countenance veiled no emotion and his green orbs lacked the lust for blood they had once held when attacking the village. He was not the same Salvatore she'd grown up with…gentle with kindness reflecting brightly from his eyes. Now he seemed as cold and stoic as the vassal who had pardoned her from sharing the same fate of her three companions….

"What have you done to him?" She inquired more fiercely, struggling against the powerful grip he held over her arm.

"I will drop him if you do not still yourself," Stefan finally spoke up, voice unthreateningly calm as she froze in his grasp. He pulled her aside, looking up and down the narrow corridor before finally speaking up in a hushed tone. "He will be fine. This I promise you Caroline."

She blinked back at him in surprise. The sound of her name on his tongue sent a flood of memories back to her from the days when they were children. She recalled they used to amuse themselves with each others' company, sneaking down to the falls to watch the crossing of shadows between the sun and moon. The village council had called it the dance between the lover spirits, the Sun and Moon—separated from one another until their very crossing. It was in that time alone when they could finally be together. For however short a period it may be.

Caroline nodded solemnly, gaze drifting from the older Salvatore to Stefan; picturing the boy who had taught her the basics of hunting; the same one who had carried her back to the village after she had injured her ankle climbing the falls.

Deep down she knew she could trust him…Stefan had always been a man of his word. He was of noble birth, a member of a prominent founding family—and someone she'd held in the highest regard as a friend. He had never given her cause to doubt his word before. And in her dire situation she did not have many options in the matter of who to place her faith in.

"I need you to do what Klaus asks of you," He informed her, his fingers digging into the flesh of her arm as he added darkly, "He is not one to antagonize, Caroline. I can nay protect you if you upset him."

The blonde chewed into her bottom lip nervously, almost drawing blood as that bit of knowledge washed over her. Her father had told her of these creatures of the night—demons from childhood stories; how they fed on the elixir of life…how they could manipulate the minds of humans in ways she could not even fathom. Make them do things with just a few soft words or the twinkle of an eye. She would not fall prey to either if she had anything to say about it.

His brows scrunched up and his face swiftly drained of any and all emotion…a façade she later realized, as the door to the bathhouse slid open.

"Stefan," A soft voice spoke in slight surprise, its source a young girl, who appeared to be fifteen. With her pale skin and long, dark hair Caroline knew she was one of them. "Is this her?"

The young Salvatore gave a nod in reply, ushering Caroline toward the girl. She did not feel a sense of panic, as she thought she should have, nearing the entryway. There was something in her eyes that overwhelmed her with warmth…and comfort. She did not appear as intimidating as the four that had stolen her away.

"I am Anna," She informed her with a soft smile on her face. She placed a hand over the blonde's arm, gently taking her from Stefan's possessive embrace. The Salvatore moved on hesitantly, gaze flickering over the blonde before continuing down the hall. Caroline surmised he was taking Damon to his room. She allowed the young girl to escort her inside of the wash room, peering over her shoulder as Stefan disappeared through the entrance of another room with the love of her life—unsure of what would happen to him.

"Caroline." The blonde gave in reply in a barely audible whisper, suddenly feeling as if she was alone in the world, even in the company of the seemingly kind Anna. The sound of the door closing behind her almost made her jump out of her skin in surprise and she turned to find the brunette picking up a basket that lay near the edge of a circular framed drawn bath, embedded into the center of the room. Exquisite drapery and silk tapestries hang from the walls furnishing the space. The pottery that cluttered the space looked remarkably antique, she noted as Anna took a seat beside the bath.

"That is a very lovely name," an additional voice exclaimed from behind her. She turned on her heel in shock, coming face to face with yet another brunette—she, however, appeared only a few years older than Caroline. "I am Rosemary but you may call me Rose."

Caroline was unsure of how to answer to that smidgen of kindness. Maybe Stefan was not the only one here that could help her…maybe one of them would allot her freedom and a safe return to Mystic Falls. She knew she was fooling herself…remembering her earlier thoughts; they would nay come for her. They would not risk it.

She managed to muster a smile as Rose took a step toward her.

"Pleasure," Caroline stammered, eyes widening as the woman went to work as disrobing her; her hands moving to her front. It completely disarmed her, the sudden close proximity Rosemary had initiated and Caroline made a move to distance herself from the woman.

"Please," Rose sighed with frustration, swatting away the blonde's hands as she unlaced her discolored bodice, "Niklaus wishes for you to be cleaned…I will nay hurt you. But he will do so me if I do not complete this simple task."

The undertone of fear in her voice was clear enough for Caroline to comply, allowing her to continue on with her work. Anna hummed silently to herself as she began tossing strange petals into the water of her bath as Rose sunk to her knees and tugged off the girl's boots one after the other; before urging her toward the water. She had never bathed in such luxury as this…but she was a prisoner; and this is the way she saw it. She was unsure of how long she would allow them—him—to have free reign over her…whether she would behave as Stefan had asked of her. William had always told her the mind was a precarious thing; that it could be trained to do amazing things. And in her mind she did not wish for Klaus to have control over her.

Rosemary helped her into the expansive tub, hands icy cold against her nude shoulders as the lukewarm water came to a stop around the curve of her waist. Anna smiled brightly as she tossed a few more petals in with her, the scent of lavender filling the air around them. Caroline looked between the two thoughtfully, mind skirting with ideas on whatever fate was doomed to fall upon her. There was a reason Klaus had chosen to keep her, one she was uncertain of. It could be that he had simply wished to have her as a meal…or even a concubine of sorts. Either way she would not allow herself to live in fear of him. She was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Forbes, leaders of Mystic Falls' Council and she would not bend to the whims of a man such as Niklaus.


The room was possibly more extravagant than the bathhouse. The walls were seemingly lined with gold…paintings of rustic quality hanging from the walls. Annabelle had brought her a platter of fruit…reds, greens…it was almost too much for her to bear. The notion that she was a prisoner and was not being treated as such; she could not understand what kind of mind game they were playing with her. Treat her like a treasured friend and then rip it all out from under her? She disliked Niklaus more and more…when her father told her the stories of the demons of night he had described them as manipulative, vile beings that did not care for anyone or anything. And she imagined the man was quite like that…but Damon—he would now share the fate of his brother. What would that entail?

Her chest wrecked with a muted sob as tears formed at the corners of her eyes. An overwhelming sense of lose flowed throughout her as ideas of what may happen came pouring it. His humanity could be lost…the man she loved may never be the same again. He would nay be the same Damon. Would she still love him? Her fingers curled around the salver that had been left out for her. Anger—boiling anger ran through her veins. She didn't realize what she was doing until the platter of fruit was hurling through the air. She flinched at the sight before her; bruised and open apples, mangled grapes and pears running with juices on the floor, by the feet of a familiar visage. He held the salver between his hands, eyeing her silently.

"Stefan." She breathed out in surprise, raising a hand to her mouth to suppress the gasp strangled in her throat. His green eyes dwindled down the fruit, moving up, until they fell on the blonde. It was hard to decipher what the man was thinking. His expressionless face softened slightly, brows scrunched together as he stared pensively back at her.

A stray tear escaped her. "How is he?"

She managed to ask, her question muffled by the hand over her lips. Stefan placed the salver back on the stand as he took a step toward her. "He will be fine. He just needs time to…adjust."

Caroline did not shy away from the Salvatore, who now stood before her with a knowing look.

Her mind went back to the day they had wandered down by the brook—both age thirteen, filled with childish dreams of the future. Even then she knew she loved Damon. At times he would join the two of them in their adventures but on this particular day he had not…and it had been one she could never possibly forget.


"Look at them, Care," the young boy exclaimed, pointing toward the colorful fish making their way up stream. Caroline joined him by the stream, dipping a hand into the cold water before quickly pulling it out.

Her gaze skirted over them…gold and orange scales, such a dazzling sight. A smile twitched at her lips as she shifted her attention to her companion, whom was staring down at the fish intently. "Damon would have enjoyed this."

Stefan nodded in agreement, turning to meet her eyes. There was an unusual look in them and he ran a hand awkwardly through his disheveled mess of brown hair. His eyes raked over her form, taking in the blue tunic she wore that day, embroidered with elegant, white lacing; her blonde locks pulled back into a braid, reveling her strikingly blue orbs.

"I enjoy the time we have together," Stefan revealed, a hue of scarlet adorn his cheeks. Caroline blinked back at him, unsure of the connotations of his words. He reached out to her, taking her hand in his and turning her until they were facing one another, only inches apart.

"And I as well, Stefan," Caroline murmured softly, gaze falling to their joined hands in question. A tingle of warmth sent a wave of uncontrollable thoughts to her mind. Stefan had been behaving strangely for the past few days. It was nothing that had caused her alarm but she did not understand what the cause may be.

The Salvatore tilted his head slightly, an unsure expression clouding his countenance. His brow furrowed as he brought his free hand to caress her cheek. The girl's eyes widened at the intimate touch and she suddenly realized why he had been behaving so strangely.

"I prefer it when it is simply us two." Stefan admitted; thumb grazing the corner of her pink lips.

"I—Stef—" His name died in her throat as his lips fell over hers; inexperienced passion dulling the small ache in her chest at the surprised intrusion of space. Her mind ran wild with thoughts…this was not how it was supposed to be…she loved Damon. Yet, she reacted to Stefan's tender embrace. She pushed away from him to catch her breath, visibly shaken from their kiss.


"I know," He sighed, hand dropping from her cheek; a detached look crowding his usually happy countenance. "You love Damon."

Caroline flinched, unsure of how he knew that. Was she that obvious with her affections? Did Damon know?

"How long have you known? Does Damon know?" She inquired hurriedly. She felt embarrassed by the idea that the older boy may know of her strong feelings for him. Maybe that is why he ventured out less and less with her and Stefan.

Stefan shook his head, "He is completely unaware…and I knew by the way you look upon him…the devotion in your eyes."

"Then why?" Caroline whispered taking a step away from the boy to collect herself.

"I had to see…" He stated simply. "I know for you it will always be Damon…but for me, it will always be you."

The girl's lips curved into a soft smile as she stared back at her companion, pushing a loose blonde curl back behind her ear. "You are far too sweet Stefan. I—I don't know quite what to say."

"You do not need to say a thing," He said gently, shoving his hands into the pockets of his breeches. "I…just know that I will always be here for you Caroline. I promise."


"When may I see him?"She inquired softly as she stared back at him. He sighed. He recalled a time when he would say anything to make the girl smile. Do anything for her…but he could not grant her this. It would mean putting her in danger and he could nay allow himself to allow her to be hurt. Not at the hands of his brother…and especially not at those of Klaus.

"You may not." Stefan informed her, waiting for the next floor of anger to overtake her. Instead another formation of tears appeared at her eyes and he found himself pulling her to him. He held onto her tightly as she unleashed a soft cry.

"He is transitioning, Caroline." He continued on, rubbing circles into her back hoping it would ease her. "He is too dangerous to be around…"

"How long will he be in transition?" She whispered, head buried against his chest; his head resting on top of her matted blonde locks.

Stefan sighed, "It is not simply that…he will have a thirst…for blood. And it is usually those closest to him that he will want. Any desires he holds for that person will be amplified. He will want to drain them of their blood, Caroline. He will want to feed from you and he will not be able to stop. No matter how much he loves you."

Caroline pulled away from him and moved across the room; sitting down at the edge of the impressive bed she'd been given. "I am willing to take the risk."

Stefan turned on his heel, pacing the space and coming to a stop in front of her, crouching down so that they were eye to eye. "I am not."

She remembered the way Stefan used to coddle her…as if she were an infant. He had always been there to protect her. And Damon had always been there to protect him.

"I will not let anything happen to you Caroline." Stefan promised. Her brows furrowed as he stood to his feet suddenly, face twitching back into its usual expression. "I must go, but come the morrow I will be back for you. Till then…"


The smell of blood clouded his senses as he spoke to Caroline, alerting him to Damon's revival. He promptly excused himself, returning to his room with swift strides. The scene before him was unsurprising but managed to leave him at a loss for words. His brother lay on his knees at the side of an unmoving body—the face registered in his mind as one of girls that had arrived with Caroline. Victoria Donovan. He recalled the girl from his childhood who had once attempted to disrobe him during one of the village's many celebrations. Poor Vicki; she lay silent, the crimson elixir drained out of her completely. Damon looked up at him upon his entry, a frightful glint in his eyes. His hands were shaking. Some color had returned to his face from the feeding.

"I did not mean to…" Damon got out as his eyes drifted back down to the corpse. He pushed her dark locks from her face as he stared down at her, almost catatonic, "It was an accident."

"It is okay, brother," Stefan said as gently as he could muster as he approached him with slow, steady steps; not wanting to alarm the older man. "I know…it could not be helped."

"She—smelled so delicious," The Salvatore said through gritted teeth, pain evident in his voice as his eyes flickered back up to his brother with a suddenly questionable gaze. "What is that?"

"Hmmm Damon?" Stefan asked frozen where he stood as his brother suddenly got to his feet, eyeing him suspiciously.

"That…smell," Damon growled out, eyes darkening as his inner demon visibly took over.

Stefan suppressed a cringe at Damon's change in countenance…A shiver almost overtaking him at the dark undertones of his brother's voice as he took a step toward him. Damon wiped the corner of his mouth, dried blood removed from sight as he continued. "You smell of lilac…and sunshine…Caroline."

Stefan remained silent as his brother took another menacing step toward him. "Where is she, Stefan?"

"She is safe," He informed him. He did not flinch when he unexpectedly found his back pressed against a wall of his room, a few unimportant paintings falling from their place. Stefan quickly reversed their positions, arm pressed firmly into his aggressor's throat. "The longer it takes for you to control yourself, the longer it will be before I allow you anywhere near Caroline."

As Stefan pulled away from him Damon's body fell to the floor. He would never want to hurt Caroline. It was the last thing he would ever want. She was his life. She was everything he hoped for…and now he was this—this monster. How could she ever accept him now? He wasn't even human.

But he wished to see her. And to do that he knew he had to take control of the overwhelming urge for blood. He loved her. They would be together again…no matter what it took. He brought a hand to his neck, rubbing it gently; watching Stefan who now hovered over Victoria's corpse.

"Okay," He breathed out, catching Stefan's attention. "What do I need to do?"

Stefan sighed, wrapped an arm around the brunette's waist and pulled her up from the ground. Shifting the weight of her onto his other side he spoke up, "I will help you control your cravings. But first…I need to get rid of this."

Damon nodded, closing his eyes thoughtfully as an image of the blonde came into view.


"You love Damon." He heard his brother say from where he hid, sitting high on the branch of tree near the spring the two had disappeared to. Damon had followed them—simply to make sure nothing befell them. They were always going off, doing things they should not and he decided it was his job to keep them safe. When the words escaped Stefan's lips he could not believe it. Little Caroline Forbes was loved him…it was an interesting thing. He had always held a soft spot for the girl—and now come to learn she loved him. Damon felt an unusual flutter in the pit of his stomach…almost like…butterflies. His face scrunched up at the sensation, confusion filling him. He quickly climbed down from his tree, making sure not to be seen by the pair as he made his return to the village. He did not know what was happening to him…but it was suddenly as if he could not get Caroline out of his head. What could that possibly mean?

Thank you for reading! Please leave a review and tell me what you think.