Let me just start off by saying thank you for the amazing response on my last Klaus/Caroline fic, Abducted! Unreal, you all are amazing. The mix of such great positive feedback and the ACTUAL Klaus/Caroline scenes inspired me to write this little diddy. I hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it!
He's sweet. Almost too sweet.
And as she sweeps her blonde hair behind her ear and examines the silver bracelet found on her nightstand, she's not sure what to think.
His words echo in her mind for days. Great cities, and art, and music...genuine beauty.
She thinks she wants to see it all. She thinks that just maybe she can.
The cool wind blows her hair from her shoulders and she wraps her sweater closer, tucking her knees in against her chest and staring off into the night. She's made a new habit of sitting on the roof when she can't sleep.
When she was little, and she'd climb out of her window and swing herself higher, her father would yell and her mother would cry until she climbed down and was back in the so called safety of her room. But ever since Damon and vampires, she's not quite sure her bedroom is the save haven it once was. She likes the roof again, it's peaceful and open and entirely hers.
The moon is haunting, full and foreboding. She pushes that away, because at this point she could find a duck looking at her as an omen. She's Caroline Forbes, and she's got to be an optimist, especially if no one else is.
"Beautiful view from up there?" she jumps a little, because she doesn't expect anyone to be around this late and because, well, she really didn't expect for him to come and see her. In her mind, the entire episode with Klaus was a dream. Because it couldn't be real. He wasn't sweet. He was the opposite. He was cruel and terrible and just mean. Not sweet.
"What are you doing here?"
He's got his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jacket and he's standing just beside her mother's rose garden. Not that she ever takes care of it herself, they've got a gardener or two for that. He looks up at her, and she's sure he's got the slightest smirk on his face, "Just dropping by to see if you're doing all right, Caroline."
The way he says her name, Caroline. She wants to pretend it doesn't affect her, but it's so smooth and crisp and sweet that she can hardly take it. "I'm fine, great even. Never been better."
So she's being a little over the top, but she can't help it. The hybrid made her nervous. She has a slight twinge in the back of her mind that he's come here to kill her, because he obviously wouldn't do it on her birthday so why not a few days later?
"No need for any hostility, I'm here with only the most amiable of intentions,"
Caroline snorts and looks away, "Then how about you leave with the most amiable of intentions."
And then, she's almost certain she hears him sigh. Not a large heave, but a soft, tiny exhale. She almost perks up. Almost.
"Well, seeing as you're doing fine, I'll be on my way then."
"Good," she mumbles, letting the wind catch her hair again. He turns around and she watches as he moves across her lawn. She's not quite sure why he came in the first place, why he would stop by little old Caroline Forbes' house at midnight on a Monday to do anything besides murder her.
"Oh and Caroline?" he's stopped next to the big oak tree she used to climb when she was younger. Yet another endeavor her parents stopped her from accomplishing. She watches as he turns around and now the smirk is even more noticeable. "I do think that bracelet looks marvelous on you."
She grabs her wrist, up until the moment forgetting she had put it on before bed, examining it in the mirror and forgetting to take it off. Her cheeks flush pink as he disappears into the night.
Thirty years pass.
She left Mystic Falls behind a long time ago. Time moves on, fads change, and spunky little Caroline Forbes is still the same. Chipper. Perky. Sometimes neurotic. But still as young and blonde and beautiful as always.
She's lived in London, New York, Berlin, Gutenberg, and Rome. But nothing ever feels quite like Paris. Paris in the sun. Paris in the rain. She thinks she's made for Paris, or rather, Paris was made for her.
There's nothing like Paris. And there's no one like Caroline Forbes.
She sees the Salvatores from time to time, forever entangled in their web with the now vampire Elena. Caroline doesn't even have the patience to dive into the Three's Company mess they've got going on. Bonnie used to call every weekend, but now she's Married... With Children and too busy for a teenage vampire friend from the past. Sometimes she stumbles across Tyler, with a new girlfriend by his side and a cocky smirk to match. Sometimes they're civil. Sometimes they just fuck. Usually she just blows him off and then sees him a few months later.
Thirty years is a long time.
Sometimes she thinks of the suave, British original who whispered those sweet words to her. She feels a rush of heat in her otherwise cold body and sometimes she wonders exactly what he meant.
He was too sweet.
Five years after she left Mystic Falls, she spends her winter in Iceland, because she thinks it must be lovely there, in the cold with all the adorable coats and the exploding volcanoes. She had always wanted to see where the Earth was literally ripping itself apart. Something about self destruction was so poetic and tragic that she couldn't resist.
She buys a nice little apartment in Reykjavik, and as puts away the last of her things, she finds the silver bracelet. She pulls it out, running his fingers across the chain, the infinity symbol repeating over and over again.
She can't help but think that's what he meant with the gift, that forever and ever he'd remind her of her past, where she came from and what she could have been.
Christmas in Iceland blows. She knows absolutely no one and it's Christmas Eve and she's wandering the streets alone. And she thinks that life possibly couldn't get any worse.
She stumbles into him along the coast.
Or rather, he stumbles into her. She's leaning against the railing, feeling the cool breeze against her cheeks and loathing her entire existence when he leans up next to her. She doesn't flinch at first, because she knows she's beautiful and men seem to do it all the time. But then she sees his face.
She screams, one of those girlie-little-girl gasps that make her sound so not intimidating and she regrets it immediately. Because he's grinning at her like she's some freak show in a circus.
"Don't look too excited to see me," he chuckles, turning away from her and staring out at the ocean. She's still too frightened to notice that he's even scruffier than the last time she saw him, but she's not too frightened to notice how calm he is. She hates him already.
"I'm not," she snaps, and she realizes that he was being sarcastic and she frowns. And she turns away, "Bye."
His fingers wrap around her wrist, yanking her back lightly. She knows that she's about to look him in the eyes, so she puts on her angriest face possible. And when they do meet, he's still grinning. She curses him. "You're wearing my gift," he says smoothly, his fingers rubbing underneath the silver bracelet.
"It's a special occasion, Christmas Eve," she stumbles hastily, trying to yank her arm away but he's an Original and has quite the iron grip.
"No need to explain yourself, love,"
He follows her back up to her apartment. She glares at him over her shoulder the entire time and when it starts the snow, she secretly prays he'll leave and go back to wherever the hell he came from. But he doesn't, and when she finally gathers up the courage to get him to leave her the fuck alone outside her apartment, he's leaning against the wall, looking positively un-Klaus-like in his expression.
"Why are you still following me?" she asks, her glare fading for a moment because he's got this thoughtful look on his usually snarky face and she's got a soft spot.
Klaus just shrugs, "There's a bit of a werewolf problem in Reykjavik, thought I'd keep an eye on you walked home."
Caroline stumbles on her words, "You're protecting me?"
He chuckles, "I'm not a monster."
She'd beg to differ, but she just nods and unlocks her door quietly. There he went again. Sweet.
"Well, thank you. I suppose." She doesn't understand him. She's certain she never will.
As Caroline steps over the threshold, she turns around to look at him, another thought crossing her mind. "Why did you give me that bracelet?"
He doesn't answer, only leaves her with one last remark, "Winter hardly does you justice."
Caroline doesn't even have time to reply, as the moment she blinks, he's gone.
For a change of pace she tries Los Angeles. It's warm and they speak English and she's always loved the mystique. She makes friends with a few of her favorite celebrities and it's all fun and games until she accidentally kills one of them. Drunk and hungry Caroline does not mix with people.
Equals parts lucky and unlucky, it's Klaus who helps her clean up her mess. She pretends that he just happened to show up. She pretends that he was mean and snarky to her and not kind and understanding and just so damn sweet.
"There's no mess than can't be properly cleaned up, my dear."
She tells herself he's only talking about the mangled corpse burning behind them.
Six years pass and she's settled in Barcelona. She thanks Jesus and Tom Cruise and anyone who will listen for her daylight ring, because there is no better friend in Spain than the sun.
Damon visits her once, and they go out drinking and dancing and end up sleeping together. He's gone before morning and she feels hurt and broken and she decides she hates Spain.
She moves out in three days.
Next up is Gutenberg, but she hates the Swedish language and fish and so she doesn't stay long. (She sees Klaus through a shop window and tells herself that's not why she's running.)
Rome brings her nothing but happiness. There's just something about the history and the fashion and the men that keep her there for almost ten more years. The fine dining doesn't hurt much either.
Her life begins to fall into a pattern, go to work every day as an assistant for a famous fashion designer, getting paid much more than she deserves and then by night meet her boyfriend of the month for dinner and a romantic date. She loves Rome.
But one particular day, her pattern falls apart. She's twenty minutes late to work (which she never is). Her alarm clock was never turned on (how was that even possible?) and her coffee spilt all over her brand new white blouse. Caroline Forbes was having an off day.
Elena calls her during her lunch break. Alaric is dead.
She flies off the handle and drains some handsy dick in the back alley. And as she's walking home, in a sexy little black dress she compelled off a far prettier model, she feels like her life is breaking down.
Maybe it's not because Alaric precisely was dead, because she was never close to him, but maybe it's because she's finally realized that her life, her old life, was forever gone. She's not Prom Queen Caroline anymore. She's just Caroline. Alone in Italy.
When she walks into her apartment, she knows something is wrong.
Call it her vampire intuition, or whatever.
She drops the bag of groceries on the counter and kicks the door shut behind her with her heel. Her first thought is that it's some stupid idiot burglar, who just happened to pick the worst apartment in all of Rome. Which in that case, Caroline Forbes was feeling hungry.
But as she stood still, sensing everything around her, she realizes it's not a human.
Not a vampire.
She sighs loudly, dropping the carving knife she had previously picked up onto the counter and kicking her heels off. "Really?" she snarls, flicking on the lights and illuminating the British hybrid lying across her favorite couch. "Of all nights, you just have to pop in tonight."
He shrugs, tipping back her favorite bottle of scotch, "Love, we can't always plan out these things."
"Right," she snaps, "because you just happened to stumble across me in Italy. Just like you happened to stumble across me in Iceland and Gutenberg and New York and Los Angeles and-"
He waves her hand, hushing her, "So I wasn't just in the neighborhood. Is it a crime to come and see my favorite?"
Caroline Forbes rolls her eyes. Here he goes again. Favorite. Love. Blondie. Darling. My dear. She could just throw up all over his expensive leather jacket. The sweetness was disgusting.
"I'm not in the mood to get into it with you," she sighs and stomps over, grabbing the bottle from his hands and taking a large gulp. "If this were any other night, I would have thrown you out on your ass," he chuckles, because as if she could even make the oldest vampire in the history of time budge, "but because I'm having the worst day ever, I will put hostility aside. And get as blackout drunk as possible."
Klaus just raises his eyebrows, "Well, then don't let me stand in your way."
She glares at him once more, just for good measure before settling into the armchair.
The next morning, the summer sun peeking through the shutters, she realizes he's still there.
The smell of eggs and bacon fill the air and she sits up in her bed. She's not wearing the dress anymore, but her silk nightdress that she wears because she thinks she looks sexy in it. She can't help but panic. And so she carefully tosses the sheets aside and puts on her bravest face, walking back into the kitchen.
And she can't take it anymore.
"Stop. Stop it. Just stop!"
He pauses, turning around and looking at her with the most innocent expression Caroline has ever seen grace his handsome face. She almost feels bad. Almost. But she's angry and so she glares some more. "Stop being so nice. Stop being so goddamn sweet to me. You're supposed to be evil and mean and cruel and you're not supposed to hold my hair back when I throw up and to call me beautiful and make me breakfast when we haven't even slept together-"
"-you can always heat up your eggs after I ravage you in the bedroom." Klaus smirks. That's better, she thinks. But she doesn't feel like it is.
"Just stop!" she yells once more, because she doesn't know what to say and so she storms out of the kitchen and back in to the bedroom.
And when she comes out an hour later, he's gone, but the breakfast is sitting on a plate and there's a tiny jewelry box tied with a light pink bow sitting next to it.
She tosses the breakfast into the garbage. But she sits and stares at the box until she decides she's done with Rome. She's done with him.
She's done with the sweetness.
She goes back home for a week. But it's all too much because everything and yet nothing is the same. She leaves without saying goodbye.
Paris is home.
She settles in and she thinks she'll never leave. Even after the Salvatores visit together, and she once again drunkenly kisses Damon, she doesn't blame it on Paris. She stays.
Stefan comments that she's really grown. That Paris has made Caroline Forbes a little bit wiser, and a lot more the woman she should be. Caroline smiles at him, her once best friend, and for once doesn't look back on her past with disdain.
When Klaus is once again in her apartment, five years later, she doesn't even flinch. She just walks in and offers him a glass of scotch. He accepts.
They sit together on her balcony, watching the sunset and he makes a few comments about her bracelet and how amazing she looks. She accepts it without even a fight.
She asks him about the places he's been and who he's seen and somehow she manages to ask the question she's been wondering all along, "Why?"
He knows right away, "You remind me of someone."
"Rebekah?" she scoffs, almost insulted. She may not have particularly liked him, but call her crazy for expecting something better. Something more, romantic and epic. Because above it all she's Caroline Forbes, dreamer.
"No," he smiles, just barely. "You, my dear, remind me of myself."
She looks away and scratches at her nose, but manages to chime her glass with his nonetheless.
Maybe not too sweet.
She may have the body of a seventeen year old, but she feels like a grown woman, one who's seen the world and has a suitcase full of stories to tell.
Sometimes she sees Damon and Stefan and Elena and feels let's in the nostalgia. Sometimes she glares and retreats to her old ways. But usually she's greeted with open arms and a few snarky comments.
Tyler drops by still, and they've made up. Good friends, they've promised each other. She no longer feels the twinge in her chest when he walks through the door.
She even sees Katherine from time to time. Not always an amiable meeting, but Caroline still sees the vampire as her co-maker. And for some reason that's a bond that Caroline just can't break.
But it's Klaus that she sees the most.
He's Nik now, has been ever since she opened that tiny black jewelry box to find a silver band with her name engraved inside of it
She knows her friends will never approve, but she's a grown woman and able to make her own choices.
And so when he kisses her on the forehead one evening instead the places she really wants those lips to be, she finally reacts. Because goddammit it's been all these years and he still hasn't laid one on her.
She grabs his face, cocks one eyebrow, and plants her lips smack onto his.
When he pulls away, he's grinning at her.
"Tastes like strawberries," he chuckles, using one hand to push away the loose strand of blonde hair.
"Too sweet?" she manages to ask, a grin growing on her face as well.
"No, love," he shakes his head. "Just right."
Possibly my first happy ending, in well, forever? It just fit the story and I couldn't help myself. Even though I generally see Klaroline as tragic and dark and unhealthy, if they were to ever get their happily ever after it would be many years later. And so, in this fic, they did. I've only ever been to Iceland and Gutenberg of these places so if there's anything strange and incorrect I apologize.
Reviewers get kisses!