because caroline and klaus are perfect together and no one can deny that. okay? okay.

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i was the one you always dreamed of
you were the one i tried to draw
how dare you say it's nothing to me
baby, you're the only light i ever saw

slow dancing in a burning room ; john mayer

Caroline Forbes has always had the bad habit of believing in fairytales.

At age six, she is thin, blonde, wide-eyed and hopeful. That year for Christmas, her father comes home with an armful of classic Disney movies—she spends the next week glued to the television, rewatching all her favorite scenes again and again.

"Caroline," her mother huffs once when she passes by. "You've been watching those silly princess movies for days now. It's unhealthy. Those stories aren't real, sweetie. You know that, right?"

—but they are they are they are, except there is something about the glimmer of disapproval in her mother's eyes that makes Caroline feel like she's always doing something wrong, and she's been trying so hard for so long to be the perfect little girl everyone wants her to be and it never seems to be enough and—

"I know that," six-year-old Caroline says with a roll of her baby blues. "Fairytales aren't real."

On the inside, she's dying.


At age seventeen, Caroline Forbes is thin, blonde, and incredibly sarcastic.

Gone are the shy smiles and fluttering eyelashes she's been known for since elementary school. She's traded in shimmering raspberry lipgloss for bright red lipstick; floral wedges for spiky black stilettos; golden ringlets for untamed blonde tresses. There's not a single trace of Princess Caroline left.

"What's up with you, Care?" Bonnie asks one day, completely out of the blue. They're sitting on the Forbes's leather couch, reading Seventeen magazine and flipping through shows on the flat-screen television. Caroline thinks that it's such an incredibly trivial, useless thing to do—Bonnie's a witch, Elena's a doppleganger, she's a vampire, and everything has changed. So why are they still pretending that things are the same?

"What do you mean?" Caroline asks innocently. "Nothing's up."

"Yes, there is. You're being just... I don't know, weird. Different. Not you."

"Hmm." Caroline taps a French-manicured nail against her chin, pretending to be deep in thought. Her answer is sarcastic and quick-witted. "Well, maybe it's got something to do with how I'm a living corpse who feeds on human blood. You know, I've heard that can really affect a person's life."

Bonnie sighs. "I'm just trying to help."

"You're a witch, Bonnie, not an idiot," Caroline says. "Don't tell me you can't spot a hopeless case when you see one."


"I gotta go," she retorts sharply. "See you later, okay?"

Without waiting for an answer, Caroline gathers up all her belongings in one smooth movement, gets off of the couch, and strides out of the room. She slams the door when she leaves the house. She doesn't look back.


Back when she was Princess Caroline, she used to think that there was such thing as a Prince Charming. She used to believe in The One and Only, her knight in shining armor who would one day come along and sweep her off her feet.

A long time ago, she'd thought that her Prince Charming was Damon.

(Damon, with his smoldering eyes and his smirk and that feeling she got every time his teeth grazed against the soft skin of her neck. Damon, who told her that she was such a sweetheart and a doll and babe, can you make me another drink? Damon, who never loved her. Who was always in love with his brother's girl.)

Next was Matt.

Blonde, blue-eyed, and nice. Didn't she deserve a nice guy?

("Matt, can we talk?"

"Sure. What's up?"

"I—uh—well, this is really hard to say."

"I'm not going to laugh, Caroline."

"Okay. Um. Well, Matt, I think—I think I love you."


"I—I love you."

"Caroline, we've only been going out for a few months. I don't really, uh, I don't really think that we're ready for that kind of commitment—I mean, no offense or anything. You're a great girl, Caroline. You're stunning and funny and nice and everything else, but I just... I can't say that back to you—"

"Is it Elena?"

"What? No, Elena has nothing to do with this."

But Elena has everything to do with this, because she's Elena fucking Gilbert and she is pretty enough and innocent enough for boys—unsuspecting football players and hot vampires included—to drop at her feet with just a single bat of her mile-long eyelashes.

"Okay, this was obviously a terrible idea. I—I'm leaving. Bye, Matt."

He looks like he wants to say something, and she's wishing so desperately that he will, that he'll call her back and say that he really does love her and they'll be together forever. Instead, Matt closes his eyes, lets out a soft sigh, and walks away.)

And then Tyler came along.

Tyler Lockwood is exactly the opposite of all that Caroline has ever looked for: cold, harsh, unbearably conceited, and rough. But there's a side to him that she doesn't expect. He can be civil when he needs to be, and at certain times, tolerable. Maybe even endearing. And despite how hard Caroline tries to cover it up, there's still a part of her that is six years old and wide-eyed and hopeful, willing to help any creature in pain. She gives Tyler advice, helps him with his issues, and stays by his side during his werewolf transition. It almost starts to work out.

(They fuck. They fight. They scream at each other, throw insults, and it always ends with Caroline crying and Tyler storming away looking like he's going to kill somebody. After a few days, they make up. They fuck. And then they fight some more.)

Damon laughs. "You're on a downward spiral, babe."

Matt rolls his eyes and says, "Really, Caroline? Tyler is the best rebound guy you could find? I mean, the kid is my best friend, but he's a douchebag."

Elena says, "Tyler's trouble. He can kill vampires, Caroline."

And Bonnie just looks at her with such a genuinely worried expression, and all of it is just—it's too much to deal with. Can't they leave her alone for once? It's her fucking life, and she's spent seventeen years of it trying to please everyone around her. Being perky Caroline Forbes, the first one with her hand up and always the last one to be chosen. She'll admit that it's not the best relationship she's ever had. There are ups and downs. But Tyler tells her iloveyou and if the lights are off and if their clothes are off and if she shuts her mind off, she can almost let herself believe him.


"You bastard!"

Klaus turns around and raises an eyebrow bemusedly. He's standing in his apartment, staring out the gigantic window at the city lights, a multi-faceted glass of translucent amber liquid in his hand. "Well, well—Miss Caroline Forbes. For what do I owe this pleasant surprise?"

Caroline's still standing in the doorway, struggling to get past the irritatingly foolproof vampire barrier. She grits her teeth. "Shut up and let me in, Klaus."

"I'm afraid that's not a good idea until you get that murderous glint out of your lovely eyes."

"Klaus, let me in!"

Klaus grins at her. "No, I think you're fine in the doorway."

She resists the urge to scream.

"You know, love, the fluorescent light of the apartment hallway casts such a nice glow on you." Klaus takes a small sip of his drink, his tawny eyes still fixed on her. "I never noticed how flattering it could be."

"I—will—skin—you—alive—" Caroline screeches.

"I'm a Hybrid, love, surely you remember that? We're very difficult to kill, unfortunately. Skinning me alive will be unpleasant, I'm sure, but not fatal." He takes a few steps closer to her. "Now tell me, why are you here? Why do you want to kill me?"

"Are you serious? Well, you completely intrude my hometown, first of all. And then you kill a whole bunch of innocent people living in my hometown. And then you try to use me and Elena in your creepy Doppleganger thingy—"

"Pity it didn't work out," Klaus replies, walking nearer still. "Everything would be so much easier if it had."

"Oh, and not to mention the fact that you turned my boyfriend into a fucking Hybrid!"

"Tyler?" Klaus inquires dismissively. "Tyler Lockwood practically begged me to take his life away from him." He takes one more step, and now he's close enough that Caroline can count the number of ice cubes in his drink. "All Tyler wanted," Klaus continues, "was an escape from his werewolf curse, and I did that for him. If anything, you should thank me. You should be grateful for what I did."

"Invite me in, and I'll show you just how grateful I really am," Caroline hisses.

Klaus laughs. "You're a feisty one, Caroline. I rather like that. Another day, maybe, another time—I'll let you come in then. For now, however, you might want to run your pretty little self back to Tyler. Enjoy what precious time you have with him."

"I am going to kill you—"

He shuts the door in her face.


It's her eighteenth birthday.

Tyler has her pressed against the wall, his hands running down the curves of her body and getting tangled in her hair and holding her waist, and his lips are attacking hers with a ferocity she's used to by now, and he groans her name into her mouth—"Caroline"—and she kisses him back because this is Tyler, her Tyler, completely unsired and unbonded—

He bites her.

"What the fuck?"

Caroline pushes him away, holding the side of her neck with her hand. She can feel the warmth of her own blood beneath her palm. "Tyler," she says slowly, panting still, "did you just... did you just bite me?"

Tyler is staring at her, his expression half-crazed. When he speaks, it's frantic. "I didn't want to—I wasn't trying to! This wasn't supposed to happen, I told Klaus I wasn't going to do it... Caroline, that wasn't supposed to happen!"

"Yeah, well, it did," Caroline snaps.

Her head is already starting to feel dizzy and everything is tilting this way and that. She can't help but thinking that this—this is karma. The universe's way of scolding her for being silly enough to believe that she would ever find a boy to live happily ever after with.

"Caroline? Are you okay? Caroline—"

Tyler's concerned voice begins to fades away. She closes her eyes, and then there's the rush of falling just before strong arms envelope her and carry her away.


Caroline wakes up to stare straight into a pair of breathtakingly blue eyes.

For a brief, delirious moment, she's reminded of the scene in Sleeping Beauty when Aurora wakes up and looks up into the gaze of the handsome prince who wakes her. She can almost imagine herself dressed in a long pink gown, on a white bed, with a handsome blue-eyed savior leaning over her—

She blinks.


He smirks. "Hi, love."

"What are you doing here?" Her voice feels dry, raspy, and Klaus reaches over and hands her a glass of water.

She takes it unwillingly, but not before shooting him a suspicious look. "Do you want to bite me, too? It wasn't enough that you got your own personal slave to do that for you?"

"I feel a bit sorry about that, actually," Klaus shrugs. "I didn't expect Tyler to end up doing it when I gave him the order so long ago."

She glares. "Go away, Klaus."

"Not before I save your life, love."

"What are you doing—"

In quick succession, Klaus bites his own wrist and brings it to Caroline's lips. He tilts her chin back. allowing the blood to flow directly into her mouth. The taste is too sweet and wonderful to resist; Caroline grabs his arm and presses the wound against her lips, eagerly, hungrily.

"Easy there," Klaus says quietly. "You're too weak right now. Don't drink so much so fast."

She obediently slows down—as much as she can, anyway, but his blood is the most delicious thing she's ever tasted and all she wants is more. After a while, her thoughts start to blur, her eyelids close, and she feels her head lying down on the pillow once more.

She wakes up a few hours later. There's no sign of Klaus. For some reason, Caroline has the remnants of a conversation ringing in her head. Something that sounds almost like a promise, but can't possibly be because it's spoken in Klaus's low, enigmatic tones—

There's a whole world out there waiting for you.

Caroline shakes the thought away. She must be going crazy.


After she's released from bedrest, and her head doesn't start spinning at every attempt to stand up, Caroline goes back to school. It's a mild surprise for everyone, in a way. She hasn't exactly been the honor student for the past year anyway. Turning into a vampire tends to make learning the Pythagorean Theorem seem slightly less important than usual.

Even Bonnie doesn't feign normalcy. "Caroline," the brunette says at lunch slowly, her brow furrowed and her lips pursed. "Are you sure that going back to school right now is the best choice? I mean—Tyler. He... he bit you."

"I'm aware of that, thank you very much." Seriously, Caroline thinks to herself, why does everyone insist on reminding her? Tyler was supposed to be it. The One and Only. And now he's just... gone. And all Caroline has to remember him by is the searing imprint of his lips on hers, and the twenty stitches along the side of her collarbone from where his teeth broke skin.

"Sorry," Bonnie says. They eat lunch in silence.

The rest of the day passes slowly, painfully, like a bad movie that you can't stop watching because you paid for your goddamn tickets already. Caroline can feel the stares on her back when she walks down the hallway. Oh, look, it's Caroline Forbes. I heard her father ran out on her when she was a kid. And her mother? Total bitch. She's best friends with Bonnie, too—you know, the nice one. And Elena. The pretty girl—the girl with the Salvatore brothers. And Caroline? Well, she's just Caroline. There's not much more to say.

And she's just poor little Caroline, isn't she? Trying so hard and yet never enough. Second best. Always.

The sound of the final bell resounding shrilly through the school sounds like music to her ears. She's the first one out of the classroom door, completely ignoring the English teacher's frantic remarks about getting a doctor's note for her previous absences, and when she gets home, she slams the door and runs upstairs into her bedroom.

"Caroline?" her mother calls up the stairs. "How was school?"

Instead of replying, Caroline buries her head under the covers.


Three weeks after her eighteenth birthday and two weeks after she's fully recovered from Tyler's bite on her neck, Caroline comes home to see Klaus sprawled across her bed.

She almost screams.

"What the fuck are you doing here?"

Even as her mind reels in both anger and shock, she can't help but admit how picturesque Klaus looks lying there on her bed. She's slightly distracted, noticing the strangest little things—like how his bronze curls starkly contrast the white of her pillow, the slight bulge of his arm muscles when he crosses his arms over his chest, the ever-constant arrogant smirk on his pale pink lips.

"Not as warm a welcome as I'd like, but I can't say I'm surprised. How are you, love?"

"Well, I was perfectly fine... but then you got here."

Klaus swiftly gets up from the bed and crosses the room, until they're standing only a feet apart. "You might want to remind your mother not to let in strange vampires so easily. Although, considering her occupation as the town sheriff, I expected more precaution from her."

"Leave my mother out of this, Klaus," Caroline says sharply.

"As you wish, love."

He walks over to her dresser and glances at the items on the spotless surface. He picks up a small crystal figurine—a girl wearing a lavender ballgown and a tiara neatly placed on her golden waves. "Do you still play with dolls? I've got to admit, I didn't think you would be the type."

She misses his face by inches when she lunges out and swipes the figurine from his grasp. "It's not a doll," she says defensively. "It's a figurine. I've had this since, like, forever, okay? My dad gave it to me."

A strange glint flits through his eyes. Something remorseful, almost, but the Caroline quickly reminds herself that this Klaus, the Hybrid, the Original, the most feared vampire of all time, and he doesn't show remorse. Ever.

"Well, I guess we all can't have perfect relationships with our parents, can we?" His tone is more biting than usual.

At this, Caroline scoffs. "You call my relationship with my parents perfect? Oh, please."

"Certainly seems like it."

"My dad is out of the picture. Always has been. And my mother? As if. You've already met her—she let you in, for God's sake, which shows just how involved she is in my life. How much she knows about anything that concerns me." She wishes she didn't sound as bitter as she does.

"So do you love them?"


"Do you love your parents?"

It would be too easy to say no, too hard to say yes. Instead, Caroline glares at him and asks, "Do you?"

"Well, I'm sure your parents are lovely people, but I haven't even talked to either of them—"

"Don't be stupid. I meant your parents. Do you love them?"

Slowly, he reaches out his arm and plucks the crystal figurine from her fingers. He twirls the doll around and around in his hand, his gaze fixed on it, never once looking up to meet Caroline's inquring look. After the silence becomes too uncomfortable to ignore—

"I don't love anyone," Klaus answers quietly. "Not anymore."

Caroline thinks about Damon and how she was always only a toy to him and Matt and all the times she tried to please him and then Tyler and how he bit her and her mother, how she hates her for turning into this bloodthirsty monster and her father, how he left without even a goddamn goodbye, and every instance in her life when she's actually let herself care and how it never worked out. Not even once.

"Me neither," Caroline says.


The next day at 7:33pm, Klaus pops into her bedroom again.

Caroline, who is sitting in front of her mirror and carefully applying lipstick, is shocked enough for her hand to veer off center—she's left with a streak of bright red lipstick staining her cheek. She whips around and glares at him. "If you show up like this one more time, Klaus, I am going to castrate you."

"Please." He rolls his eyes. "A baby vamp like you? I hardly think so."

"Just try me."

He sees her makeup scattered across her dresser, and the silver dress neatly laid out on her bed, and then something lights up in his eyes. "Ah, you're going to that silly little dance, aren't you? The masquerade ball, is it?"

"So what if I am?" she retorts stiffly.

"You should've been born a thousand years ago," he chuckles. "A girl like you... the kind of girl who still believes in fairytales."

She feels her cheeks color. "Shut up."

He strides over to her leans down, so that his breath blows gently on her hair. "But I'm right, aren't I? You believe in them. You should've been with me during the Golden Age. I would've brought you to the most wondrous events you've ever seen—the sweetest wine, the happiest laughter, and huge ballrooms filled with people waltzing in clothing more beautiful than you can ever imagine."

Caroline turns to face him and says, shakily, "What do you want, Klaus?"

He's too near now, near enough for her to see the light splatter of freckles on the bridge of his nose, and the exact curve of his eyelashes. He lifts a finger and gently wipes off the lipstick stain from her skin. "I want you, Caroline."

And then his lips crash into hers.


Three days after that fateful first kiss, Klaus finally invites her into his apartment.

He kicks the door shut behind her and then kisses her again, and his lips on hers are the best thing she's ever felt, and soon she's gasping for breath and his eyes are dark, dark like the color of the ocean before a storm, and he's gripping her too tightly to be comfortable, and she's saying, wait, Klaus, should we

Shhh, he says.

(Caroline Forbes is eighteen and thin and blonde and incredibly sarcastic, and she's a vampire and her parents don't exactly love her, and it's been too long since she's felt safe. She knows that this, whatever it is—it's wrong. But it feels right. And besides, she's spent her entire life fucking things up. Why stop now?)

She's pressed against him, wearing nothing but a lacy black bra and matching panties, and he's running his hands through her wild golden curls, his breath hot against her bare skin.

His eyes suddenly meet hers. "Are you sure you want to do this?"

"Y-yes." She takes a deep breath, hating the hesitation in her voice. "Yes."

"Fuck, Caroline," Klaus breathes, aggravated. And just like that, the moment is abruptly ruined. He rolls himself off of her, scoops her clothes off the floor, and throws them at her. "Get yourself dressed. I'll give you some money for the cab ride back to your house."

Caroline props herself up on her elbows, breathing heavily. "Don't you want to—?"

"It's not about what I want anymore," Klaus interrupts. It's maybe the first time she's ever heard anything but bitterness in his voice. "And besides—you're too young to be self-destructive, love. I've created enough monsters already."

When she's finished putting on her clothes and adjusting her makeup, she pauses at the doorway and looks back. Klaus is still sitting on the edge of the gigantic queen-sized bed, his eyes closed. Caroline has the sudden urge to stay—not to kiss or fuck or anything, but just to talk to him. But because he is Klaus and she is Caroline and neither of them have ever wanted pity, she turns the doorknob and quietly slips outside.


Tyler comes back.

He sends her a dozen texts all saying the same thing using different words—baby, I'm sorry, please please forgive me, can we start over and forget this, we're stronger than this baby, let's pretend it didn't happen, clean slate, I'm so sorry, please.

Caroline sends him one text back:

You're forgiven, but we're over.

Then she turns off her phone.


Tyler comes back, but Klaus disappears.

And that's the way she wants it, Caroline reminds herself, again and again. Sometimes she even has to resort to standing in front of the mirror, forcing her eyes to stare at herself, and then she'll say it loudly, clearly: This is good. Klaus is gone? This is good. This means that she won't have to stay up at night wondering when her throat will be slit, when the next time one of her boyfriends turns into a slave, when he pops into her bedroom and flips her entire world upside down again.

This is good.

"Caroline," her mother calls from downstairs. "Elena and Bonnie are here to get ready for prom!"

Oh, fuck. Prom.

Caroline tries to smile at the mirror. For a few seconds, it's almost there. The familiar pale pink curve of her lips, the shimmer in her cornflower blue eyes. But then it's gone, quick as lightning, and even to herself her expression seems fake. She rolls her eyes at her reflection, turns around, and heads downstairs.

Elena and Bonnie look timid, scared. Caroline hasn't really spoken to either of her two former best friends for days now—not since Tyler came back, not since Klaus left—and frankly, she hadn't expected them to show up tonight. They'd made plans to get ready at Caroline's house weeks ago. But they're here, so Caroline invites them into her bedroom. They plop down onto her bed, and with Elena picking fluff off of a turquoise throw pillow, and Bonnie eating jelly beans off the bowl on the dresser—it almost seems normal. Almost.

"So, uh," and Elena's always been the brave one, so it makes sense that she breaks the silence, "I guess we should first change, and then do our makeup. Or should we do it the other way around?"

"Other way around," Bonnie replies promptly, grateful for something to say. "We don't want to get the dresses crumpled before we even dance."

"But we might smudge our makeup if we try to put on the dresses after," Elena points out.

They both turn to face her. "What do you think, Caroline?"

Caroline sighs. "Honestly? I couldn't give less of a fuck."

Elena is shocked. "But Caroline... we've been planning our prom night for months—years, really, when you think about it. Remember when we were in sixth grade? We already knew that I'd be wearing blue, Bonnie would be purple, and you would be red."

"We were going to walk in at the same time," Bonnie smiles.

"Right." Caroline nods. "Yeah. Except... I was twelve back then. Twelve and blonde and silly. And... And I'm not that twelve-year-old anymore, you know? It just seems pointless now. How can you still do this after all we've been through? The vampires, the witches, the Hybrids? Everyone in our town practically getting killed right before our eyes?" And now that she's gotten this far, she figures that she might as well keep at it. "This prom thing—it's just stupid now. Bonnie, we all know that you really want to go with Jeremy, except he doesn't even fucking live here anymore, so that's not going to work out."

"Caroline," Elena admonishes softly.

"And you, Elena." Caroline says, swiveling around. "Elena fucking Gilbert, with those big brown eyes and the blue velvet gown... you're going to be the prettiest girl in the whole school tonight, Elena, but you're also going to be the cruelest. Have you told Damon and Stefan who you're bringing yet?"

Elena only stares back at her.

"That's what I thought," Caroline says with a smirk. "When are you going to stop playing with those Salvatore boys? They're already dead, Elena. They don't have hearts anymore."

After her last words, a silence fills the room. It grows and grows and grows until it's too deafening to bear, and then Bonnie quietly says, "You're not the only one going through hard times, Caroline, maybe you should think about that," then gathers up her stuff and stands up. Elena does the same, blinking back tears, and the two of them slip outside.

"I'm sorry," Caroline says to the empty room.


Caroline Forbes is eighteen and thin and blonde and incredibly sarcastic. And she's mean too—she's become this mean, mean person who will intentionally hurt her best friends just to make herself feel better, and even that doesn't last. When did she turn into this? When did things become so bad? When did rock bottom start being the ground underneath her feet?

Maybe she should pack up all her bags and just leave. Maybe that would be the best for everyone. She could hop on a train and be out of Mystic Falls by morning. Out of Mystic Falls, away from all its people and the supernatural shit that's completely messed up her life—

"Are you seriously wearing that to prom?"

"Stop fucking doing that." Caroline whirls around.

"I mean, I personally find the pajamas endearing, but I'm not so sure the student body will agree." Klaus is standing in front of her, dressed impeccably in a suit the color of night, and a tie the color of blood. The ominpresent smirk is still on his face. He walks around her room, his gaze pausing on the glass doll that he played with the last time he was here. "Your room hasn't changed one bit. Neither have you, it seems."

"What are you doing here, Klaus?" She narrows her eyes. "Everyone thought that you left. And believe me, we celebrated."

"Do you want the truth?"

"If it doesn't kill you, then yes, please."

"I came back for you."

And it's not the answer she expected—the farthest thing from it, actually, and she's so surprised that she actually can't form words for a minute, and then Klaus closes the distance between them in a few long strides, and he kisses her like it's the only thing he can do. The touch of his skin underneath her fingers burns.

"Why?" she breathes, pulling away. "Why would you come back for me?"

"Isn't it obvious?" he murmurs against her lips. "I can't stop thinking about you, Caroline. Annoying and fickle and young as you may be, you've somehow made your way into my thoughts, and I can't get you out."

"Klaus, I—"

"I rented this ridiculous tuxedo to be your Prince Charming tonight, love. Don't tell me you're not going to prom."

"I'm sorry." She sighs. "It's just like... I used to think that prom was going to be the best night of my life. Graduating high school, on top of the world. And I was supposed to have my Prince Charming by now, and my entire future planned out." She swallows hard, blinking back the tears. "But nothing's worked out. And I'm not a princess, and there's no such thing as happy endings... and I'm such a bad person now, you know?"

"I think you've misjudged yourself. You're not a monster. You're..." His blue eyes stare straight into hers. "You're Caroline Forbes; strong, beautiful. But you're also this little girl on the inside, the one who still believes in fairytales and love that lasts forever. You've just spent so much time trying to forget about her that you've gotten a bit lost."

"Wanna know a secret?" He leans down so that his lips brush her ear. "Things get better. Always."

She sniffles and smiles a little. "You're not really the big bad wolf, are you? You're more like a fuzzy teddy bear."

"Call me a teddy bear one more time..." he growls.

She can't help but laugh.


They spend the rest of the night talking. She tells him about every single bad thing she's done, from tripping her friend in the second grade to the biting words she said to Elena earlier that evening. And he tells her about the world through the years; about all of the grand places he's been and seen, all the pieces of history he has saved up in his mind.

She sends apologetic texts to both Bonnie and Elena, complete with smiley faces, hearts, and exclamation marks.

"They'll get over it," Klaus assures her. "Humans are forgiving like that."

After hours and hours of talking, of sharing their lives with each other until there's absolutely nothing else to say, Klaus asks her to dance.

She says yes. Because this is Klaus Mikaelson, and he's the last person in the world who she would expect to do something as silly and spontaneous as this. And because she is Caroline Forbes—eighteenthinblondesarcastic—and she's never stopped believing in fairytales.

Slow dancing in the middle of her pink-and-white bedroom with no music on, wearing the same pajamas she's owned for years, with her head resting on his shoulder and their fingers interlaced... Caroline thinks that maybe this is the closest she'll ever get to her happily-ever-after.

The clock chimes at midnight.