A/N- So this is the final installment, and to apologize for the long wait this is about 7000 words! We loved the response for this so let us know what you think of this final chapter and if any of you expected something like this.
Also we have ideas of doing more cities with more stories and flashbacks so we might include Missing chapters as a seperate story or in this itself with more cities, just as an add-on. Tell us if you would like that.
Written with Lea from tumblr – Cantcomeup (.) tumblr (.) com. She's gonna make amazing gifs for this story now so go follow her!
Now back to reading...
Here without you
The lights illuminate the room and she can't believe her eyes. Japanese people definitely know how to feng shui up a place. Everything in her new fancy hotel room is just beautifully arranged. Simple, dark and bright colored furniture with a few pink notes, like the orchids on her nightstand.
After taking advantage of the wide range of massages the hotel offers, she sits down on her king size bed and takes a relaxed breath. She grabs her green notebook and starts hunting.
Tokyo: Eat Sushi at Ginza Kyuubei.
If she was still human she would be hungry by now, but either way she prepares herself in vampire-speed and leaves the hotel; a taxi already waiting for her outside.
It takes the driver about an hour to get to their destination due to the unbelievably high amount of people rushing through Tokyo's streets. Fascinated by all the loud and colourful life the city bears Caroline keeps staring out of the car window, one hand agaisnt the cool glass. She's in an excited and good mood so she actually pays the taxi driver and enters the Ginza Kyuubei.
A polite, little asian waiter directs her to a table for two since there are no tables for only one person. An attack of loneliness causes her stomach to contract uneasily. Of course there are no tables for one. Who travels half of Europe and Asia on their own and ends ever day with a lonely dinner? ... No, shake it off, Caroline. You are doing this for a reason.
Of course she has no idea what exactly it is she is ordering since she has never even tried sushi, but it can't be too bad, at least not since he loved it so much.
"Disgusting? Please, love, don't judge a book by it's cover"
"A book by - What? It's raw fish we are talking about! And algas! Ugh.. You will not get me to eat that. Ever"
He chuckles at her exaggerated contest and takes another sip of his 1920er red wine.
"You people from Mystic Falls.. never leaving town, never experiencing the exquisite things of foreign cultures" He chides
Did he just call her yet another ordinary girl from Mystic Fall? A wave of rage is growing inside her stomach and she knows this will lead to a rather long discussion.
"Seriously? We people from Mystic Falls? You know, you should not judge a book by its cover"
He laughs, cutting his steak in pieces and shaking his head in amusement. "Well if you are so different, open yourself up to the unknown"
He does have a point. How annoying.
"And you really can't miss out on sushi, you know. It is like all the luxurious ingredients blend perfectly in your mouth..." He leans forward, eliminating the space between them and making her forget to breath since she's too busy holding onto his intense glare. " caressing your tongue, letting you experience tastes you never imagened before.. " Somehow she forgets what they were actually talking about, now fixing her eyes on his lips. His beautiful lips, also providing tastes she never imagened before. " do I still have your attention, love? "
He interrupts her thoughts with a smirk that leaves no doubt that this is exactly the reaction he was hoping for. When he returns to cutting his steak, obviously enjoying the effect he has on her, he keeps telling her about the japanese cuisine, now in a more matter-of-fact-way. But it takes her another 5 minutes to actually try to pay attention, while still focusing on his perfectly woven lips.
And if she can't have those lips back, she can at least feed herself with something of - supposedly - similiar savoriness.
And indeed, delicious was the understatement of the century when Klaus told her about the exquisite japanese rolls. It's the most amazing thing her lips have ever tasted. Well... the second most amazing thing, but she shakes the memory of the other thing off immediately.
She enjoys being in this extremly different country with its special way of living, culture and habits, although she needs a few minutes to get used to the chopsticks that seem to have no interest whatsoever in obeying her. When she gets up to leave the restaurant she notices two men sitting in a corner staring at her. Normally she would have taken it as a compliment but there is something about their look that does not feel charming or friendly at all.
A bit uneasily she hurries to finish the sweet plum wine they brought her on the house, compels her way out of paying and leaves the restaurant to escape those glares.
When she feels the fresh, welcoming breeze waiting for her outside she decides to walk a bit before getting a taxi back to the hotel. After a while she calms down, taking slower and more relaxed steps, only to realize how icy the fresh breeze actually feels on her skin.
She decides to find a taxi when she finds herself in a rather dark and unhomly part of the city. She reaches for her mobile when suddenly she senses an unpleasant smell and the sound of footsteps approaching. The second she turns around she meets a hard fist that roughly crushes into her face.
The force of it makes her stumple back "What the-"
"We do not approve of vamps in our district, honey. " growls one of the two men she now recognizes as those glaring at her in the sushi bar.
Their bad attitude combined with the unpleasant smell leaves her with no doubt: Werwolves.
"And I do not approve being hit like that, dog." She runs towards her attacker and grabs his throat, only to be pulled back immediately by his partner who crashes her to the ground with such power that Caroline can feel the blood running from her head the minute she hits the cold beton.
It must be pretty serious since she feels like she is going to black out any second. Nevertheless she tries to get up, but the first werwolf keeps her down, his foot on her throat.
"Neither do we like rebellion. Who do think you are, fighting back against two wolves?" She already has her usual cocky response in mind but his foot on her throat prevents her from speaking. No matter how hard she tries to pull it away, he just squeezes stronger. Apparently he gets bored, since he sets her loose. The moment she tries to stand up again, his foot hits her arm, breaking it. She cries out loudly. When she attemps to get up yet again, she realizes her sight is getting darker and darker, the sounds of the attackers further away.
How is this even possible?
A vampire can not loose his consciousness from a one hit in the head and a broken bone. She can't understand what made her so vulnerable all of the sudden.
As if he could read her mind the second wolf grins at her, mocking "Guess the next time someone serves you a drink in a foreign country you should at least check it first."
Or at least weakened with some kind of vervain mixture or whatever. Seriously?
"Let's get this over with" the first attacker growls. Pushing his partner angrily aside he storms towards her, reaching out for her throat and - he's gone. Like something - or someone - pulled him away. She tries to squeeze her eyes to see what it was, but she seems to be too weak to do even that.
Slowly she is drifting away, giving in to whatever she unwittingly threw down her throat earlier that evening. It's the last thing she can think of, before there is only darkness.
As if her vampire blood was fighting back she regains a slight piece of her conscious once in a while, although she seems unable to find the strength to move or fully open her eyes. But it allows her to sense some blury visions or sounds for a fraction of a second.
There is a rough voice far away, growling "Bloody riffraff". An all too familiar sounding british accent.
Great, now the halluzinations start.
Suddenly she is loosing ground. The next minutes - or hours, who knows - are just passing by without her being really aware of anything. Once in a while she senses something, a touch, a breeze of air, blurred street lights, the feeling of another body. She wishes she was able to lift her head to see who is pressing her against their own body, probably caring her - since that would explain her sensation of floating.
Well, if all of this is even real, she is still not sure in which condition she is. She might just have hallucinations while her head keeps bleeding and the poison is making its way through her system, obviously doing some more harm. But she won't think about that now. These few seconds when she is actually aware of something, she can't help but feeling weirdly safe, her head on that unknown person's breast, feeling the soft fabric covering it, now and then hearing his calming breaths.
Its a unexplainable sensation she has not had often in her life...After a while, the icy wind she's been feeling on her face leaves and a warm, cozy surrounding takes its place.
Gradually, she tries to open her eyelids and gets the unclear image of a bright room with some dark spots. The thought that someone is probably taking advantage of her condition and kidnapping her right now does cross her mind, but somehow the closeness to this person calms her, unable to feel fear or uneasiness.
Suddenly she sinks.
The blurred vision darkens, the unknown person hovers over her while carefully putting her down on silk cloth. He slowly lets go of her and begins to rise, his short stubble slighty touching her cheek. When she takes in a weak breath, she frowns. Only now she realizes that there has been this sweet, earthly smell around her since she was lifted from the street. Apparently it belongs to the body she's been pressed against.
While she is trying to figure out what exactly this smell is reminding her of, a thought that should be more important hits her. Someone must have carried her to this room. Someone who was strong enough to take both of the wolves... to make her his own prey? She forces her eyes to open now more than ever but still all she can see is a dark blury silhouette of the person bending over her, reaching a hand towards her.
No, no, no. But no matter how hard she tries she is not able to force her arm to move, to fight off the attack she expects, probably strangling her or tearing out her throat. Instead the hand rests on her temple barely even touching her, stroking away the hair that is stuck to her face and then... black again.
She opens her eyes and is staring at the ceiling of her perfectly decorated Japanese hotel room. Wait.., she lifts herself up quickly and puts her hand on the back of her head, searching for the wound, but it seems to be gone. When she turns around she finds her pillows stained with blood nevertheless.
Piece by piece the memories of the night come back until she looks up in shock. Who carried her to her hotel room? Who could have been strong enough to knock out those two wolves and - more importantly - who would have known where to bring her?
Brooding about that she smacks her lips and frowns at the taste they bare. It must be an aftertaste of whatever these jerks fooled her to drink and weaken herself.
But there's something else.
She smacks her lips again and suddenly her stomach feels warm, the taste is familiar and it makes her feel... hopeful. Why would she connect whatever drink with such a strong feeling?
She needs to get under hot water, washing away all those confusing thoughts and drama from last night. The bathroom light illuminates automatically the minute she enters the room. When she turns to the mirror she finds herself looking perfectly normal. Not bruises or wounds. Well of course not, she's a vampire, that's why her arm isn't broken anymore either. Still, the healing process went surprisingly fast this time.
Then she sees it. between her lips there's a dark red line. Blood. Did she feed? But she would recognize the taste of blood on her lips, and the weird aroma she senses ever since she woke up is something else. Blood yes, but not any kind of blood. And then this weird association she has when licking her lips. Blood that makes her feel hope?
A brief second it hits her.
There has only been one person who's blood has ever made her feel hopeful. When she closes her eyes and pictures of a moment that feels like centuries ago an image flash in front of her.
Klaus standing in her doorway, touching the bracelet on her wrist, for the first time appearing like a normal person to her. Him looking concerned because she states she was going to die, slowly sitting down on her bed, saying the most honest and beautiful things, making her choose life. His face closer than ever before, his smile when she says she doesn't want to die, him rolling up his sleeve, lifting her limp and weak body, pressing it against his and feeding her his blood.
It was the moment he saved her life with his blood. That moment and this blood that tasted of pure hope.
But she cannot fool herself. She knows how badly she wants him to be with her, every second, everywhere.
But she knows it's nothing but a silly dream, one that will never happen.
One that can never happen.
She knows that all of it; the familiar accent, the pleasant smell, the immediate calming feeling his touch bears and the tast of blood she somehow drank last night - all of it is nothin but her imagination.
A lie her brain made up because she cannot bear for it to not be true.
She can not bear for having nothing to do with him anymore. She can not bear being here - or anywhere really - without him.
So that must be the consequence.
Her imagening things.
In Tokyo she gets the feeling of losing her sanity.
She's sitting on the plane to India and for the first time since she left Mystic Falls she's afraid.
Her hand actually shakes as she accepts the complementary drink from the stewardess, downing it in one go she clasps her hands together as places them on her lap. Caroline Forbes has seen a lot of fear in her short life; fear of the bite marks from Damon, fear of the weird losses of memory, fear of never being enough never being the one, fear of being a vampire a monster, fear of the consequent nightmares, fear of the bloodlust, fear of what she is, fear of all the mess in that blessed town.
And lastly the one thing that had terrified her beyond anything else.
The fear of falling for Klaus.
But her heart didn't listen to her fears, nor her brain and fall she did. And ever since the day she accepted that she felt for him, that he wasn't just the evil guy anymore she had been perpetually afraid for the day the other shoe would drop.
But now she is terrified for a completely different reason; she has no place to go now. India is the last entry in her little green notepad... and after this there is nothing.
Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no one to meet, nothing to experience... no way to feel closer to Klaus again.
And now the fear of the fact that she may never again feel that familiarity of something he did, something he touched, someone he met, somewhere he roamed settles in her heart and it clenches every remaining ray of hope from it.
As ironic as it maybe but the 1000 year old morbid hybrid was the light in her heart, and now that he is gone and she has exhausted every means she has to feel him again, her heart is engulfed in darkness and she knows not how to cure it.
She couldn't help but reflect back to the last time her heart was overpowered by the darkness; that of pain and loss...
"I'm leaving" he said simply. His blue-green orbs searching her face for every possible twitch, anything to tell him how she felt about his declaration.
"Why?" she asked stupidly, but she had to know the why before she reacted "I thought you liked it here" she added shyly bowing her head a bit.
She was still unaccustomed to whatever it is they were, and for the most part she wondered when she would wake up and realize that this whole her and Klaus thing was just a dream she had.
"I do" he said shaking his head from side to side, his tone soft as he tried to convey that he indeed did like being here, with her.
"But" he added cautiously "My siblings and me as well are quite tired of your friends trying to kill us every 4 days. It's exhausting and... And we don't get to be a family here like we all want to, we need a fresh start"
She only gulped and nodded trying to make sense of his words, while wondering where he was going with this.
"I promised them that I would try, I ruined this family and I have to repair it" his face and tone almost apologetic as he said the words.
"Do you want to leave?" she asked skeptically thoroughly confused by the conflicting emotions between his face and words.
"I want to be with my family" he emphasized "But I don't want to leave you"
Urged on by his confession and forgetting whatever self-control she had been exercising for weeks she burst into speech "Then don't go, you don't have to leave. You can stay here, I'll talk to Elena and explain everything, and she can convince the Salvatore's to do anything. I could make them stop with their plans and you can stay here... with me"
He sighed deeply as he turned his head to the side, mumbling to himself and with every second that he delayed speaking her anxiety and anger increased.
"M-my siblings don't want to stay here. Bekah hates it, Kol is bored and Elijah well he doesn't like being near Elena for too long... there's nothing for them here" he tried to explain desperately
"Well then I suppose there's nothing keeping you here as well" she spat venomously and made to go inside her house when he grabbed her arm and whirled her around.
"Don't be like that love" he said irately "You know full well why this is so hard for me, but you could make it easier"
"How?" she asked confused, working over-time to keep the tears at bay.
"You can come with me" he said happily, a wide grin on his face already excited by the mere thought.
"What?" she sputtered "No...? I can't, how?"
"Come on love" he quipped "We could do all those things you have written down in your notepad, I could show you the world"
"I can't... I can't. I can't just leave" she mumbled shocked
"Why not?" he asked in a hurt voice
"Because... I'm Miss Mystic Falls, Caroline Forbes, Blonde cheerleader... Vampire Barbie. I don't know how to be anyone else" she cried
"You can still be Caroline" he said softly "Only with me... you'll still be Caroline"
"No I won't" she said adamantly shaking her head and he hung his head in defeat.
"I have to be here, I can't leave my mom and my friends..." she tried desperately to convince him but once she saw the cold defeat in his eyes she knew he had already accepted it.
"If that's what you want" he said coldly and starting walking away.
She felt all the light fade away from her heart and she suddenly got the urge to give in to her selfishness.
"Please stay" she begged "You can see them anytime, stay here with me"
He turned and she had thought there would be relief or even love on his face but instead he looked angry and hurt.
"Do you even want me Caroline?" she knew he was angry when he used her name; he rarely ever used her name, it was always love, or sweetheart or something even more endearing.
"I-I..." she stuttered shaking her head as if trying to clear it and tried to frame her words when she realized she didn't even know what to say.
He merely tilted his head to the side and furrowed his brows the same way he had when he had saved her life all those months ago.
"I see" he jibed and walked off.
She all but felt the light leaving her heart, walking away with Klaus.
She never saw him again.
And she knew she would never see him again, and that's when the fear set in; so overpowering that she broke down on her porch.
She thought she would never be this afraid again. She had been wrong.
She had recounted the same conversation so many times, but always with a different ending; one where she smiled and jumped into his arms and he took her everywhere.
One where she wasn't sitting on a plane to India all alone; lightless and hopeless.
Her heart was filled with darkness again; this time that of deep regret.
India is huge, no like really huge. Now she gets why Klaus had seen much more here than any other country, it wasn't favoritism it was just due to the size of country.
You could fit entire Europe into India, and the fact that she has much more to do here than any other country warms her heart. She'll be here longer than just a few days; she'll do many more things here. There are many things to scratch off her notebook here.
That means she still has a couple of weeks to go before she's staring down the steely abyss of nothing but bitter regret.
She has a lot to do, a lot of ways to feel him close to her again, a few more ways to at least pretend to be happy again.
She'll be weepy and pathetic later, right now she needs to hold onto that remaining light as long as she can.
The little green notepad is in her hand and for the first time since she left Mystic Falls she thinks about what she would do without it, where she would be right now if she didn't have this book.
She comes up with a blank. She wouldn't be here for sure and she wouldn't be experiencing those occasional bouts of happiness whenever she did something to remind her of him.
No, she would be still be in Mystic Falls pretending that she was happy listening to Elena talk about Damon and Stefan, trying to avoid Tyler as much as possible, helping Bonnie 24x7 in an attempt to never have to be alone by herself.
No, she would still be missing Klaus.
That's why she does these things, like a possessed maniac travel from country to country all alone, always alone... but somehow always smiling. Because here; meeting someone he met, doing something he did, seeing something he liked she doesn't miss him that much. She feels like he's right next to her.
And she'll feel him right next to her on her first stop here.
Right here, in the spectacular Lake Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
It's beautiful and as its name suggests it actually is in the lake. She's a part of the cooing and cackling tourist group as they move from room to room of the massive establishment, but it's not the tourist guides voice she hears. No, she can hear Klaus's voice in her head telling her how this was the only palace in the world that had absolutely no safety measures included in its original plan.
Apparently the Maharaja who ordered its construction – in Klaus's words – was as dumb as they came, and hadn't quite anticipated the possibility of any of his enemies attacking him.
'It wasn't long after its completion that the neighboring state invaded the Palace and stole all the valuables' she can practically see him rolling his eyes as she recalls this in her head.
But what excites her most is that the Royal Family still lives here, and she all but squeals a little when she realizes that she's sitting at the same dining table where the Prince of Udaipur eats his food.
She tries not to think of the fact that as handsome as the Prince of Udaipur may be, he still doesn't compare to Klaus in her book.
She almost desperately wishes that he did, then maybe she wouldn't hurt so much.
She uses her persuading powers to get permission to stand in the large terrace for longer.
You can see the entire city from here in all its ethnic glory, the water right below her is a deep blue-green and it only reminds her of his eyes. The smooth and cold white granite of the floor feels just like the floor of Klaus's bedroom on her bare feet, the air smells of wet earth and charcoal and it reminds her of his characteristic smell.
She closes her eyes and imagines him creeping up behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist and nuzzling his face in her neck.
She's never felt closer to him than she has at this exact place and time.
She never wants to leave, but she knows her next stop is as good as this one so she detaches herself from the view and goes back inside.
Even the forests of India are so large that she's sure even with her vampire speed she'll need at least 5 hours to see it all.
She's in Kanha National Forest in Madhya Pradesh, and no she doesn't even attempt to pronounce any of the names in fear of making a fool of herself. Whenever she wants to go anywhere she merely shoves the notepad with Klaus's cursive handwriting into people's faces.
Currently she doesn't understand how the small thin old man sitting next to her who also happens to be her guide can spot a white owl in a tree so far away when even she couldn't spot it.
She likes the owl very much, and the Sambhar deer and the gigantic Bison that scares her a little. But she came here to see only one thing; the majestic Indian Tiger.
Why? Because it's Klaus's favorite animal. She wonders for a second if she's done anything non-Klaus related for the past 2 months.
He'd force her to see all the shows on National Geographic and make her watch as he donated her entire house's worth money to the 'Save the Tigers' foundation.
She liked to see him so passionate about something other than killing and massacring.
She spends a week and a half in Kanha and she sees a leopard- well more like a leopards butt but she never gets to see a Tiger.
Everyone tell's her it's not so easy to spot a wild Tiger; they are very secretive and rarely go close to humans. When she's this close to giving up and moving towards her next and last destination a young guide takes pity on her and offers to take her one last time.
He tells her to be ready and waiting for the Safari jeep at 4 am, she's there at 3:30.
She laughs and cries and hugs her guide and driver when she finally sees's the tiger. It's like it was meant to happen since the Tiger lets them follow him for half an hour and she takes so many pictures that her camera battery dies out.
It's huge and just as beautiful, majestic and mysterious as Klaus said they were.
She has a huge idiotic grin on her face on their way back to the hotel, and again she can all but see Klaus sitting across from her smiling at her in that infuriating way that makes her burst in warmth.
Yes, she likes India.
She hates India.
It made everything worse, it made everything unbearably real. It bought her back to reality; which is that Klaus is gone and she is alone desperately collecting any remnants of his memory she can.
This is why she's sitting on the steps leading to the monstrous building staring at the reflection of the Taj Mahal in the waters surrounding it.
Here she finally realizes how stupid she has been, doing all these things that she has haven't made her miss him less. No, in fact it's done the opposite. She missed him less when she was alone and wallowing in Mystic Falls. Here after being everywhere he had told her about, she missed him more.
It made it that much worse to almost feel him with her and then realize that she will never again see his face.
Henceforth, her sobbing frame as she cursed herself for coming here. Going anywhere, she should have just stayed home. She shouldn't have gone anywhere; it just made it more painful, more real... more irreversible.
Looking on at the literal symbol of love was the breaking point for her, as she forgot all about seeing the intricate carvings and designs and the way the while marble shined in the moonlight, instead she plopped onto the cold steps and cried her heart out.
And she hated him for telling her about the Taj Mahal.
She was sitting flipping through his sketch book trying to ignore the intensity of his gaze. He always tried to get her to see his sketches of her but she always gurgled and shook her head, hiding the delicate rosy hue on her cheeks with her hair. Instead she liked to see the sketches of everything other than her in his book.
The half-built Eiffel Tower, Pyramids, Odd Castles and many other things he had seen in his long life. Her favorites were the one's of little Rebekah, and his sketching wasn't amateur which means he had drawn his 7 year old sister from memory.
It showed Caroline that he still felt, that he wasn't as cold hearted as he pretended to be.
Her hand came to a stop when she saw a sketch of the Taj Mahal, and she couldn't help but ask.
"You've been here?" she asked confused showing him the image and he pursed his lips and nodded slowly and unsurely.
"Bad memory?" she asked nonchalantly
He almost smiled when he heard the jealously in her voice.
"Didn't think you would like to know the real story about it" he answered and she looked at him curiously
"It's the Taj Mahal I know everything" she said confidently
"Not everything" he said slowly and she waved her hands asking him to continue.
"When it was completed in 1653 The Emperor had a grand opening, people came from all over India and for the first time the public was allowed to see the monument and on that day he told them that what they were about to see was a thing of pure beauty, a token of his love. And that love and beauty requires sacrifices" Klaus said with trepidation
"What sacrifices?" she asked not following a word.
"All the 20,000 workers hands were cut-off" he said softly and the sketchbook fell from her hands as her eyes widened in shock.
"Some say that even their eyes were mutilated. He wanted to ensure no one could ever replicate the workings on the Taj Mahal" he added cautiously
"Men are stupid" she hissed angrily and he laughed loudly
"Indeed" he agreed nodding his head
"You know something else though" he said and she gulped nervously when he got up from the sofa and sat down on the arm of her chair, his face a mere inch from her's and she was literally unable to look away.
"He was sick, the Emperor for a long time. Some disease you could probably cure with a shot now. He was dying and they say he held on against all odds only because he wanted to see it through to completion. He wanted to live only long enough to leave behind a sign of his love for her and then go join her"
She was speechless and breathless so he interpreted her silent thoughts and voiced them immediately.
"I'll take you there one day" he whispered against her lips with a smirk that made her want to kiss him.
And she does...
"I told you I would bring you here one day"
She jumps and squeaks when she hears his voice. The first thing she does is pinch her arm. When that doesn't work she slams her fist on her thigh and shakes her head violently. And yet she doesn't wake up.
She doesn't turn around, sure that it was some trick her mind was playing on her. She was tired, hungry and depressed and she had thought of nothing but him for months... she had to be this level of insane by now.
"It's too beautiful a sight to cry at love"
This time she turns around, it's like a default button in her. Whenever he calls her 'love' she can't help but respond no matter how angry or in this case hallucinating she may be.
She scrambles to her feet as she takes in his stance. Typical Klaus with his one-tone T-shirts and ripped jeans, all those blessed necklaces, a black military jacket and that characteristic smirk on his handsome face.
She's sure it's a dream, but when he moves closer to her and he doesn't blur but just gets clearer she's confused.
It feels too real to be a dream.
And when she realizes that it might just be real a hand flies to cover her gasp as her brow furrows in anticipation. She just extends one hand which turns into one finger which she pokes into his shoulder roughly.
He solid and strong; not vapor and vanishing.
That means he's real.
Another hand flies to her mouth in a vain attempt to stifle her gasp, and her brow is so furrowed by now that she's sure she looks like Stefan.
"Did you really think I left you?" he asks in a raspy voice heavy laden with emotion.
She laughs a little into her mouth as she nods and shakes her head at the same time, still disoriented, still in disbelief.
"I never left you Caroline" he says taking another step closer to her "Not for a second"
"I watched you get drunk with Fabrizio in Rome, I stole the Henry Toulouse-Lautrec in Paris for you, I watched you buying Man United jersey's in Manchester, I healed you in Tokyo... I watched you standing in the balcony in the Palace. I never left you"
And now she's angry.
So she fly's at him flailing her little fists on his torso and he doesn't even try to control her. She gives up after a few second when she realizes she's tiring herself out more than she's doing anything to him.
"You've been following me this whole time?" she screams "When I thought I would never see you again, when I thought I had lost you. But no... you were having fun watching me lose my mind"
"You didn't even know if you wanted me" he says his tone still soft and his pitch still low, unlike her. But you can hear the hurt in his voice
"Yes I did" she hisses
"After I left" he hisses back
"You needed to find out if you really wanted me or not. I needed to know if you really wanted me or not. You liked me sure but did you ever think whether you liked me or what I could offer, what I could give you; a life away from that disastrous town, a life of your dreams"
"So you put me through this torture for months just to stroke your ego" she yells and tries to turn away but he grabs her shoulders and turns her to face him.
"No no no" he says firmly "Now you know, you know that you want me with absolute certainty. And what anyone else thinks doesn't matter to you. That's why you did all this. I needed you to understand that, you needed to realize that. I needed to know that I hadn't just intimidated you into feeling for me" he adds desperately
And then she gets it.
While she had questioned his feelings for her many a times, he had questioned her feelings for him 10 times more.
No one ever felt for him, no matter how hard he tried. And here was someone who should hate him, but he never saw hate in her eyes, only everything but hate.
And it scared him.
He needed to know that he hadn't tricked her feelings for him. That it wasn't something that would just fade away one day, like everything else in his life.
He needed to know if it was real. Just as much as she needed to know that it was real.
She doesn't say a word, alphabets and letters have abandoned her. So she simply buries her face in his chest and wraps her hands around his waist.
Feeling him relax against her, she can feel the darkness leaving her heart.
"I would have stayed" he whispers into her ear and she shivers and pokes her head out to look at him, her chin resting on his chest and her lips brushing his jaw.
"I would have left" she whispers back.
She knows it's the truth, if he had stayed in Mystic Falls for a few more days she would have left with him.
And that's when she realizes that he's been filled with as much regret as she had.
She promises herself at that moment that she will never again do anything that will cause her regret.
She will never let him leave her again.
And then she smiles, like the old Caroline for the first time in months and the urge to do their location justice wins her over and she presses her lips to his and he responds in a second.
He's a man dying of thirst and her lips are the cool sweet water.
Her light is back.
His hands move to cradle her face and she almost cries at how divine it feels. She tilts her head and presses herself closer to him, trying to compensate for the months she had to go without his touch. She moans softly when he bites her lower lip and he's sure it's the sweetest music he has ever heard.
He doesn't remember how long he kisses her, but he knows it isn't long enough.
When they finally put some distance between them the sun is rising, and her cheeks are the same color as the horizon.
"So, will you leave with me?" he asks with a smile
She takes his hand and says "Yes"
In India, she loses her regret.
She goes to all those places again. This time with him every step of the way.
In Rome, she makes the most hideous sketch of Klaus, though Fabrizio says that it has extraordinary likeness to the original.
In Paris, she makes him return the painting back to The Musee d'Orsay, while he adamantly protests the entire way.
In Manchester, he yells at her saying that she's bad luck and he's never going to a soccer match with her again. He grumbles, pouts and vamps out on all the Chelsea fans in the stadium.
She doesn't point out to him that he's the bad luck. When she went to the match alone... Manchester united won.
In India, she yells at him saying that his freaky hybrid status scared off all the tigers. She tries to sneak out for a safari ride all alone early one morning but he catches her and stubbornly tells her that he categorizes this as cheating.
She doesn't speak to him for 3 days.
They fight, bicker, yell and grumble every 3rd day. But they would never leave each other.
She isn't certain of much in their uncertain life, but one thing she's certain of is that she will never be anywhere without him ever again.
A/N- Did you really think we would kill Klaus? So, what did you think?
Also I want to take this opportunity to tell you guys something that is very close to my heart. I am Indian as some of you know, and I have been working closely with the 'Save the Tiger' foundation for 3 years now and I just want to tell you guys to do your bit to support the cause. Just join up as a member and spread the word it isn't all about money. There are only about 1500 wild Tigers left in India and the situation is getting worse every day.
Sorry for that but I felt the need to do it lol... Now tell me what you thought of the chapter.