Dedicated to Anastasia Dreams, my benchmark in just about every fandom.

A Raven & A Lady

"I get it. Your father didn't love you, so you assume that no one else will either – and that's why you compel people, or you sire them, or you try to buy them off, but that's not how it works. You don't connect with people because you don't even try to understand them."

He watches the evening unfold, his sister's attempts at the manners of a lady and his brother's childlike bloodlust. Kol always loved the kill, so much so that the chase became irrelevant to him. Perhaps it was a mistake to let him out of his coffin after all this time, an overgrown child who breaks his playthings instead of putting them away when he has finished with them; he even dares to make a remark about playthings as he spies the tail end of Caroline's skirt. Klaus reaches for his spine beneath his tuxedo, but Rebekah restrains his eager hand. He could break hers, he thinks. He should break hers.


It's a breath on the breeze of a thought he was just having, and he realises with surprise that he can scent her, still in the house – no, still in the garden. The mess with the waiter boy is being cleaned up, the guests that care have left and the ones that don't have gone back to their drinks. Finn is more suited to storming off, but Klaus affects it and plays his part well.

"I'm sorry."

She doesn't turn around.

"About your boyfriend."

"About turning him or about controlling him?"

"About the fact that I can control him."

"Then that's not an apology."

The blue around her shoulders flutters as he steps closer, parallel, at her side but a few feet off. "It doesn't change the facts, you know. What do you think Tyler can give you? A home? A family? You can't breed, and I don't believe he can either. You're not going to stay in this town and drive a four-by-four and pick the kids up from school, and nor should you want to. You're a vampire, a queen; an empress, even. You own the night and nobody owns you. You can see all the quiet, moonlit places of the world with no one to tell you no."

She snorts. "I'm not choosing between Tyler and you."

"I'm not asking you to." Is that a blush, rose pink, lilac in the starlight on the alabaster cheek? "Tyler is a Lockwood, and he'll stay here and pass his curse onto future Lockwoods if he can, because no matter how he suffers, that's his heritage. His people put you in a cage and tortured you for that heritage."

"You made him bite me!"

"But he didn't mean to bite you. He meant to side with those people who treated you like an animal, who don't understand that vampire and werewolf are strongest together. This isn't me pledging my troth to you, Caroline. This is the case you should be making to yourself against Tyler, and not just because of the sire bond. Who was he before he was a werewolf, hmmm?" Klaus moves nearer, fixating upon the smooth lilac flush. "Cocky, I imagine. Arrogant. He's a handsome young man, son of the mayor, on the football team, and he's been told these things since birth. He has plenty to be arrogant about whereas you…a little lost, were you? Daddy betrayed you and Damon used you and even then Elena was queen bee and beloved by all, and you never got your just desserts."

"You don't know me." Her quarter-profile is striking, a heavy fall of curls brushed away from the true blue eyes, her nose almost too delicate, not strong enough for her face. "You don't know Tyler."

"Oh, but I do." He has that face before she can draw breath, thumbs pressed gently behind the jaw to hold her firmly in place. "I know he wasn't strong enough not to bite you. I know he must have been so proud that he hadn't, that he'd fought me off, another rival vanquished at another homecoming game." Her neck is as pale as her face used to be, so he strokes down and back up again. "Did he kiss you? No, too much when you were worrying. He probably hugged you, didn't he?" Oh, her back, her elegant waist as he squeezes softly and then harder, and she still doesn't make a sound. "He likes the way your hair smells, all boyfriends like the way their girlfriends' hair smells. So this…" Caroline's blood runs like lemonade through her veins, that's the kind of person she is. It dazzles Klaus as he puts his mouth to her throat. "You thought it was a kiss." So he does push softly, as one would when at play with a lover. "And then there was a sting, wasn't there, sweetheart? And everything fell down around you and actually, what you needed to make you feel better again was me."

She is perfection, but she doesn't move. He doesn't like that she doesn't move. He doesn't want a dolly or a statue, he wants Caroline Forbes. He rather fancies her on a hayrick, winner of something that involves a crown while the other contestants lie broken and bloodied and dying all around – rather like confetti.

"I said you couldn't buy me off." Her hands slap against his shoulders and she pushes, and he's so taken aback that he lets this child knock him to the ground. He, Klaus, is actually sitting on the ground at his own party. "That doesn't mean you can seduce me either." There's a pretty twist to her lips as she sweeps away from him, swaying that little bit extra in the just way women do when they hold all the cards.

"Dinner on Friday, then?" He shouts after her, and wonders if she'll laugh.

Not Caroline Forbes. She slips off a long white glove and lets it fall, lost to sight among the grass. She'll go back to the party, or get the waiter boy to take her home.

But not Klaus.

It behooves him to reverently retrieve that glove, bear it upstairs and lay it out on his desk, carefully straightening the fingers and brushing soil from the palm.

Then he begins to sketch.