And So It Begins

Klaus laid on his back and tossed a crumpled drawing of Caroline up and down, flung up with one hand, caught with the other. He sighed; he hadn't realized how much he would miss the blonde vampire Barbie.

Well, that's over now, he thought. If she wants me to leave her alone, then I will. She's just a baby anyways.

Rebekah sauntered in, interrupting his thoughts.

"Another night out with the Salvatore boy, I assume," Klaus said with a raise of his eyebrow. "Aren't you sick of him yet? You rarely keep toys this long, my dear."

"I need something from him," Rebekah replied haughtily.

Klaus jumped up and covered his ears. "No more! I really do not wish to know about the itch only Damon Salvatore can scratch. I've had my fill of vulgarity for the week."

"God, Niklaus, I'm not as loose as you appear to believe. I'd explain my plans, but it's only need-to-know and you simply don't. Go back to your broken heart, I've got work to do, brother," Rebekah retorted on her way to her room.

Klaus laid back down and resumed his paper tossing game.

My heart is not broken. I do not allow myself to care that much.

He continued with his inner-analysis about how he will no longer care for Caroline and invest himself in some murder and mayhem. The only problem was that he could think of no one he had an agenda against whose death would not inadvertently harm Caroline. Killing either of the Salvatore brothers would send Elena into a downward spiral of depression, (even though he'd just be assisting the girl by forcing her choice between the two) and would put Caroline through a lot of stress and hardship. Plus, if he killed Damon, Rebekah might have his head on a pike, because for all her excuses, she seemed to actually care for the boy.

Silly girl, Damon will never feel for you what he feels for Elena. Love is a weakness, remember?

Klaus also didn't feel like killing a random stranger today for it wouldn't give the intended satisfaction. Having run through all plausible options for entertainment, Klaus realized that for him, boredom led to murder and maybe his mother was right; they turned themselves into monsters once they shut out their humanity.

This brought him back to thoughts of Caroline. Caring for her had really changed him into a bit of a softie. In some ways, he resented her for that, but he also realized that she hadn't asked him to change. He changed to be someone that could deserve her affection. Maybe that's why he was so crushed in her rejection; he had hoped he had improved enough for her.

Darling, I can only change so much before I lose myself, and I would never feel as though I earned your love unless there was still a small part of my old self remaining.

With all his musing on Caroline, love, and life, it made Klaus wonder what the lovely girl was doing at this very moment…

Caroline was just doing a bit a retail therapy. She had spent an hour in the first store and had walked out with some great new tops and a gorgeous pair of jeans. She was floating on the shopping high, loving life without a care in the world. On her way down the street, she spotted one of her new favorite shops- an antique jewelry store that had some of the most beautiful pieces she had ever seen.

With a glance at the bracelet around her wrist that had come from Klaus, Caroline decided to enter the shop and find a new bracelet. She didn't need any reminders of Klaus floating around, no matter how beautiful they were.

She determinedly browsed the bracelet case, hoping to find something to top her gift. To her surprise and disappointment, she couldn't find anything that surpassed Klaus's bracelet in elegance and fit. She did find a few nice pairs of earrings and a lovely necklace, but no bracelet. She decided to move on with her shopping adventure and pay no mind to Klaus.

Caroline entered a newer store that she had never been to before and immediately decided that this was her retail soul mate. Everything was stunning and there was never a shortage in her size. As she tried on dress after dress, a common question she would mentally ask herself was "Would Klaus like this?" before shoving it away in favor of more neutral thoughts.

One silver dress was the most magnificent piece of clothing Caroline had ever seen. Without even glancing at the price tag, she tried it on. It fit her perfectly. It was loose and tight in all the right places, it wasn't whorish, but it showed enough skin that Caroline felt comfortable and sexy all in one. The masterpiece of a dress was made for her.

Finally gathering the courage to see how much this would be depleting her savings, Caroline checked the price tag. To her immense pleasure and delight, it was seventy-five percent off, making it only twenty five dollars. Her happiness could be seen on her face, she was positively glowing. Looking in the mirror, she thought to herself, Klaus would love me in this.

That made her stop short. What?

She had no idea where that came from. She couldn't even tolerate Klaus, let alone care what he liked to see her wear. He was an evil original, who had no qualms about killing the people she loved. Had no qualms about killing HER a few months ago, if she remembered correctly. Sure, he was probably the most gorgeous man she had ever seen, but most evil villains tend to be incredibly hot, so why was she pleasantly surprised when she had first met him? And then he said he fancies her. Who even talks like that anymore? Yeah, he was a billion years old, but he should really try to keep up with the times.

She kept on with this inner rant for about five more minutes and was only stopped when a clerk came into the dressing room corridor to see if Caroline needed anything else. Quickly shaken out of her inner monologue, she replied that she was just finishing up and started to change out of the dress and back into the clothes she came there in. The blonde decided to buy the silver dress, along with a few other choice pieces, and left the store.

Having spent her budget for the day, Caroline thought she should take the long way home to clear her thoughts of Klaus. Unfortunately, that didn't work out, and the extended period of alone time allowed her to go into more detail about Klaus's hot body, which were thoughts that could never be forgotten.

Klaus still couldn't seem to make up his mind about Caroline. Should he simply give up and blame it on fate, or should he hold on to hope, wait it out, and let her come to him? There were so many options and he just could not find the right choice.

One thing was for sure: he'd have to protect his heart against her. Caroline knows how he feels (maybe felt?) about her, so she could use it against him and hurt him if it suited her needs.

She would never do that, Klaus thought fiercely.

She almost did… replied a tiny nagging voice in his head.

The look on her face proved she didn't plan on what happened. She was disappointed in my lack of trust and frightened by my outburst of anger. She could never truly harm someone out of spite; she's much too good for that. Klaus quietly answered the voice in his head, which seemed to shut it up.

But closing his heart to Vampire Barbie would be for the best. He never wanted to feel like he did when she rejected him ever again. Thinking of her only distracted him from important matters and made him an easy target. She hadn't given him any reason to believe she was even slightly interested in him, and he still fell head over heels for her. He cannot allow himself to become so absorbed it problems of the heart because it could cost him what he has worked his entire existence for.

While continuing his musing on Caroline, Klaus wandered the hallways of his home and realized how little it felt like a home. Naturally, it was extravagant and cost tons of money to design and furnish, but there were next to no signs that anyone resided there. It was like when you go to view a house for sale and it's been beautifully laid out by experts, but you can still tell no one actually lives there. It didn't have that lived-in vibe of a true home.

Klaus wasn't sure why he was surprised to find this during his exploration, the only homey home that he had ever had was before this whole vampire mess began. He wondered if being alive was an essential part to having a house be a home. This led him to thoughts on Caroline's room and how it was surging with life and effervescence, which made him draw the conclusion that the undead could have homes just as humans.

God, why do I care? As soon as my business is settled I'll leave this place with no regrets. Little voice, consider this my official start to blocking out feelings.

When Caroline finally returned home, she threw her newly bought items in front of her closet and plopped down on her bed. She still expected the exhaustion that used to accompany these all-day shopping trips and felt a longing for the simpler days where the most important things were clothes and boys.

She sighed. She had only recently grown accustomed to the new aspects of her life and had accepted them, but that didn't mean she never had nostalgia for the pre-undead stage of her life.

Caroline decided that she would put away her new purchases to clean up that corner of the room; she could never handle much clutter. Of course, the first thing she pulled out was the beautiful silver dress.

The Klaus dress, Caroline thought to herself.

She didn't know why she felt that this dress was particularly to Klaus's liking. It made her look ravishing; most of the opposite sex would enjoy this dress. Tyler would very obviously appreciate it, in his kind of jock-chauvinistic way, assuming she had only bought the dress because he would like her in it. It would never occur to him that she may have been thinking that it made her feel great when she bought it, or that his name hadn't even come up in her thoughts until hours later.

That was the best part about Klaus (besides his god-like beauty); he assumed Caroline did nothing just to please him, he understood that much of what she does is to help her friends and family. He was similar in that way.