She's insecure Caroline when she wakes up an hour earlier than anybody else she knows, just so she can look half as pretty as Bonnie does. She straightens then curls her hair, applies too much make-up only to take it all off so she can start again. She needs to look perfect.
She's neurotic Caroline when she plans her meals at the beginning of every month, counting out the perfect amount of calories and always leaving enough left over in case Elena wants to go to lunch (where she makes sure to give her friend the last few fries, in case the dark haired girls metabolism finally decides to turn against her like it does normal people) and cries herself to sleep when she puts on an extra pound even though she said no, oh my god but thanks so much for asking! when her mother offered to order pizza.
She's control-freak Caroline when she organises everything (her closet, her bookshelf, the Autumn/Winter formal, her closet again) because she wants to live in a perfect world almost as much as she wants to be perfect, but it's not really her fault, the therapists used to say,
(it's called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and she pretends she doesn't have it because nobody else does in Mystic Falls High and she wants to be fucking flawless and she's never met a perfect head case in her life, let alone a flawless one).
She's insecure, neurotic, control-freak Caroline who's always picked second. Or third if Bonnie's around.
The phrase "suck and fuck" takes on a whole new meaning when she dates the other Salvatore and it eats away at her how he can smile so charmingly as he forces her to do things she doesn't want to and the pretty scarves that draw attention to her pretty collarbones aren't enough to make her feel better when she knows he's just covering his tracks.
Literally because her whole body screams his name now and she hatehatehates it.
She spends hours in the bathroom each night attempting to scrub away his smell as she tells herself it'll never, ever happen again. Competing with Elena isn't worth this. The darker haired girl can have them both.
(She doesn't even pretend she doesn't kind of hope Damon treats her best friend the way she's being treated instead).
Elena's strong, stronger than Caroline. She can take it.
She's stupid Caroline when she gets an A- on her Biology exam when Elena gets an A; even though it was Caroline tutoring the other girl all week and Caroline creating a brand spanking new cheer which includes three front-flips she worked her ass on and Caroline making the Spring Fling as perfect as possible.
And really, she says to herself late at night, it's not like this is the first time. Because it's not.
Caroline cares for other people too, too much because it's the good and right and nice thing to do. And good and right and nice people look after others above themselves, even if they're a little bit vain.
Still, she would have loved if she'd gotten a thankyou from somebody other than Elena, who says that phrase like it's Vera Wang and it's going out of style in a month.
She's useless Caroline when she kills a man for the first time, because all she can think is; how lovely would it be if she wasn't stopped? If Stefan and Damon and Elena had only stayed the fuck back- But no. Instead she just imagines anybody else wouldn't be nearly as terrible at being human than she is.
And Bonnie seems to agree because she doesn't speak to her for days and she never realised how annoying Elena is without the other girl in their little trio to act as a buffer. Caroline snaps four times in one day and Elena stops talking to her for a while too.
She's shallow-as-a-kiddie-pool Caroline who can't stop eating now she'll never gain a pound. She thinks she's more than willing to give up her mother and friends and the possibility of little-Caroline's if only she can look like this for the rest of her life.
She's stupid, useless, shallow-as-a-kiddie-pool Caroline who begs her father to stop trying to fix her because she isn't broken, but that's a lie isn't it? Because she always was a little bit, right in the centre of her chest, right where it matters.
And even when she's saved by her Prince Charming who's really not charming at all because he's Tyler even if he is sweet sometimes, she can't help flinching away while simultaneously grasping at him tighter than she's ever clung to anybody before in her life.
Flinches because she doesn't want to be saved this time because this time isn't werewolves with a grudge against people who aren't her, it's her daddy who used to dance with her and braid her hair when her mum was too busy (and if that wasn't a sign of his impending gay-dom then what was, huh?). It's her daddy who called her perfect for the first time ("You're my perfect little girl, aren't you Care-Bear?") and who now is struggling so, so hard to change her.
And holds tighter because then she figures it out; Caroline isn't pretty like Bonnie or a man-magnet like Elena therefore she really can't make damsel-in-distress look nearly as good, can she? Not when she's not a princess. Not when she's sobbing and begging and pleading and all the while burning like the other two will never burn.
She's beautiful Caroline when she looks up at him dressed in sweats and covered in sweat as she tells him matter-of-factly that she not free because she's dying. She let's him save her, because nobody's ever asked before if she wants to live. And this time she thinks she does, especially if he's looking at her like she's the most precious piece of 'collateral damage' he's ever seen.
She's strong Caroline when she looks in the mirror and admires the dress he bought her and realises she looks absolutely perfect in it. Like Cinderella or Satine from Moulin Rouge and diamondsareagirlsbestfriend so she adds the bracelet with a small smile. (And later when she sees Elena all dressed up it's with a small vindictive kind of glee that she realises she looks better for once, even though she only spent four hours getting ready instead of five).
She's full-of-light Caroline when she looks at his paintings and thinks maybe she should go see the other ones he has, the ones in Rome, Paris and Tokyo as well as the ones she suspects he has hidden in other places around the world. She's taken aback but full of hope when he offers to take her, because he looks like a happy little boy (not an evil Hybrid from Hell) and she feels like a happy little girl (not an ugly, mean, bitter vampire-barbie) for the first time in years.
She's beautiful, strong, full-of-light Caroline and she's currently seeing the world with an Original because it's what she wants and he always said he'd give her anything she wanted.
They're in India when she realises she could have asked for Elena's eternal safety and blahblahblah, but she's sick of putting the should-have-been Miss Mystic Falls over the actual one.
And it's when they finally get to Paris two years later (after Bali, Rio, Prague, LA, Beijing, Vienna and so many more in no particular order) she finds she hasn't thought about being perfect in months, she's too happy for those kinds of thoughts.