She's seventeen ten times over before she sees Rebekah again. It's surreal, more than anything. To turn a corner in Rome and see another face as ageless as her own.
But there she is, just as blonde, just as beautiful as she was before, crossing the street to an art gallery on the corner. She is alone, and Caroline can't help but wonder if Rebekah still feels the ghosts of Klaus and Elijah. The way Caroline can still feel Bonnie and Elena and Tyler and Matt and her mother. Following her everywhere.
It's years since she's seen anyone from Mystic Falls. The ones who grew up have long since died, and the others… Well. She sees them sometimes (except for Katherine. She hasn't seen Katherine. It hurts too badly, the constant reminder of a childhood she's long since outgrown. Elena's face frozen forever, while Elena grew up and away).
Rebekah turns, just enough to spot her, and their eyes lock.
Caroline freezes. Ice races through her veins and the memories-more than one hundred and fifty years old now- wash over her, gluing her feet to the uneven cobblestones. For an overwhelming moment, she is young again. Young and brand new and so very determined. She is running through the battle plans (she has seen so many wars in her time, but she's fought just the one), mapping out the assault, memorizing her lines. The ancient architecture that surrounds her fades away until all she can see is blood and fire and the broken figures of too many people she loves. She is young again and her eyes still haven't adjusted to harsh lines of this world.
The barest hint of a smile flits across Rebekah's face. Caroline can feel it's echo tugging at the corner of her own mouth, and she pulls herself back into the present.
Her body is wound tight as a bow, ready to spring into action at any second (for fight or flight, she doesn't know). She forces herself to relax. The battle was fought and won years ago and she and Rebekah have no more scores to settle.
The moment passes. She can breathe again.
Rebekah slips through the door of the art gallery, and Caroline continues down the street.