Disclaimer: I don't own the Vampire Diaries
Summary: Klaus tried to show Caroline his world. Caroline decides its time to return the favor. Written for ceres_wish at the Klaroline Comment Ficathon. Loosely inspired by her fic "to err is human; to forgive, divine".
Give me a chance and I'll show you that you belong with me.
Caroline tossed and turned, unable to sleep as the night continued. The last few days had been hectic and she'd barely had time to breathe let alone think. But now things were quieting down and she couldn't keep the guilt from knocking. It flowed over her like waves in the ocean. Sometimes the guilt was so strong she got up and made it halfway to the Mikaelson mansion before stopping herself. Sometimes the guilt was weak and she could talk herself out of doing anything about it with a simple 'it was for Elena'. But no matter what she did or where she was, the guilt prevailed.
Finally giving up on sleep, Caroline tossed her sheets from her body and got up. She looked around the room for something to do. She lightly pressed play on her iPod dock and let the beat of her music flow through her body. Moving toward her desk, she spotted a book that she had been meaning to read and picked it up. Deeming it good enough, Caroline sat at her desk and began to read. After a scant few pages in, her eyes began to wander the room once more. There, behind her desk, was a small cork board filled with reminders and important dates as well as numerous pictures of her and her friends. In the center was a picture of her, Bonnie and Elena around a large campfire at some party freshman year. A bittersweet smile crossed her face as she stared at it. She wasn't that girl anymore. None of them were.
Moving to look at more of her old pictures, Caroline suddenly froze as she noticed one picture on the bottom corner, practically hidden behind her large chemistry books. This wasn't a photograph, but instead a hand drawn picture. A picture of beauty – not the subjects – but the art. And at the bottom…
Caroline tore her eyes away from the drawing, but it was too late. The words burned in her mind like molten heat.
Thank you for your honesty.
Her eyes watered slightly. She didn't deserve to be complimented on her honesty. Not by him. Not when she…
Sitting back down at her desk, Caroline slowly reached into the bottom drawer and pulled out a book with a hard black cover and her name scribbled on the front. She opened it gently and fingered through the pages. Klaus wasn't the only artistic one.
The pages started with badly drawn figures; people, places and objects. As the drawings began to get better and she began to get older, her subjects began to change. Now, clothing designs filled up most of the pages with only the occasional portrait of a person.
Caroline flipped to the last sketch. It was of Stefan. Back before he was her friend or even Elena's boyfriend. Before she'd known about vampires and werewolves and hybrids. Back when he was just a cute boy that she liked who had just transferred into half of her classes.
She had stopped sketching after she met Damon and found out about vampires. It seemed like her world had tilted on its axis and art just didn't have a place in her life anymore.
Caroline nibbled on her lower lip as she sent a small longing look at the bottom drawer that also housed all of her pencils, pens and paints. Finally, she reached down and pulled out her favorite 7B pencil and got to work.
It took her all weekend; she'd barely ate, she'd barely slept, her fingers hurt, her body was numb from sitting still, but she was finished.
New drawings, at least a dozen, filled her sketchbook to the end. It started with the Damon she wanted – the human side – and then the Damon she got – a vampire with fangs and veins. There was Elena and Stefan. Damon killing his 'Uncle Zack' after she'd freed him. The ugly amber necklace and Bonnie being possessed by Emily. Matt. Picture after picture; Katherine killing her, saving Stefan and Damon from her mother, Tyler's first full moon, being kidnapped and tortured by werewolves. Even being kidnapped with Tyler for Klaus' ritual. She had put pen to paper and drew everything. Every major event in her life for the last year. Everything that mattered. Everything that made her who she was.
Finally, she drew the Ball. When drawing scenes that included herself, she liked to only show bits of her body. She drew the edge of her gown and her hand with the bracelet around it. But she liked to angle the picture so that one could tell it was from her point of view. The picture was angled over her shoulder so that Klaus could be seen surrounded by paintings and drawings as he showed her his art, his passion.
Lastly, she drew that night. This was the only time she drew a picture that included herself fully. She drew as if from an outside point of view; a stranger watching as two people sitting on a bench in the freezing cold, talked.
She thought it was rather appropriate that this picture was the last one in her sketchbook, having filled all of the other pages. As she closed it, she felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off her shoulders. Not just the guilt, but all the baggage she had been carrying around the entire year.
Her name on the front of the book was no longer there to tell people who the book belonged to. Now that name was to tell people what the book was about. It was a title. She wasn't a kid and she wasn't girly little Caroline anymore. This is who she was now.
She wrote a quick note on a piece of paper and slipped it inside her sketchbook before getting up and stretching languorously. She took a quick shower and changed clothes feeling lighter than she had ever imagined. Using her vampire speed, she dropped the book off at the Mikaelson mansion, hiding behind a tree to make sure he got it.
She watched as he picked up the sketchbook with a hint of disdain but more than a little curiosity. He opened it up and picked up the note, a hint of a smile finally playing on his lips.
For your honesty, she had written in her neat, loopy handwriting. For Klaus had never lied to her, never hidden who he was and what he wanted.
Caroline left, satisfied that he got her message. She headed into town for a cup of coffee and to do some light shopping. It appeared she was in need of a new sketchbook.