A/N: As the title says, this all takes place 5 years after graduation. Saving all my thanks and stuff until the end. I know the last chapter had a lot of fluff…and guess what? This chapter has fluff too. You've been warned! Haha, enjoy!
"Oh! Faster, Klaus!" Caroline moaned.
"I'm trying! I don't want to go too fast."
"Seriously? Even for me?"
"Nice try, love. I'm going at my own pace, no matter what you say."
"Please, please, please?" She begged mercilessly.
"No begging. It's very unbecoming," he smirked.
"I'm going insane though!"
"Don't be so dramatic."
"Did you just miss the turn?"
Caroline furrowed her brows and checked the map again. Yea, they had missed the exit to Mystic Falls. She sighed in frustration and pointed her thumb behind her. "Exit. That way. Missed it."
"Dammit," Klaus muttered under his breath. The car swerved to make the next exit. After Klaus got himself turned around there, they headed back in the direction they had originally come from. Then he turned right, getting off at the correct exit this time. Everything was quickly put back to normal. Klaus went back to his sixty mph speed, and Caroline still wanted to slap him.
"I still think you should go faster," she mumbled grumpily.
"Caroline, if I go any fucking faster, I'm going to get a speeding ticket," he said with an exasperated tone.
"You're going sixty, I think we'll live if you push it up to seventy, and dare I say it…seventy-five!"
"I know you're stressing right now, sweetheart, but that's no reason to be a pain in the ass."
Caroline turned to face him as she quirked an eyebrow. So she was being the pain the ass? Well…she could play along then. An evil little half-smile formed on her lips as she reached over to place her hand on his lap. His face suddenly got very serious as he felt her hand sliding up his thigh.
"Love, darling, sugarplum," he said in an overly sweet voice, staying focused on the road, "what are you doing?"
"Just being a pain," she said nonchalantly. Her hand slid from the inside of his thigh, further north toward his groin. A pained grunt escaped Klaus as he gripped the steering wheel tighter. Caroline could see his knuckles turning white as he kept his eyes glued to the windshield.
"I don't think this is the appropriate time for that," he said through gritted teeth. She was impressed that his driving hadn't faltered once yet. Her mission wasn't to cause a collision. She just wanted to get a rise out of him. From the feel of his hard-on, she was succeeding too. The smile on her face resembled that of the Cheshire cat. She leaned in close so that her lips were practically touching his ear.
"I think it's the perfect time," she purred softly. Her nimble fingers began to slowly reach under the waistband of his sweatpants. They had decided on comfortable clothing for the road trip, something she was thankful for now. She gently grasped him near the tip, beginning to stroke him at a painstakingly slow rate. Klaus inhaled deeply through his nose as she moved at a steady rhythm. Not once did he lose his composure.
He did look as if he was trying to keep from speaking though. She smiled. Her hands began to quicken, and she could see his face contort just a bit. The tiniest of moans could be heard from deep within his chest. His length twitched under the strain of his arousal.
"Caroline…faster, please…" he breathed.
"What's that? You want me to go faster? Sorry, but I think I'll stick to my own pace."
"Don't beg, love. It's unbecoming," she semi-quoted him from earlier.
The grip he had on the steering wheel was beginning to shake slightly at this point. Caroline normally didn't like to tease Klaus, but she felt it necessary just this once. What Klaus hadn't been paying attention to was the fact that the car was beginning to pick up a tiny bit of speed. She knew she was about to play a dirty trick on Klaus, but she just couldn't resist.
Right as Klaus was about to reach the highest level of ecstasy, she took her hand from inside his pants and put it in her lap. A desperate sort of choked noise came from Klaus at the sudden lack of contact.
"Did I stop? Well, we're on our way to a wedding, silly! Besides, we're at the hotel now."
The car pulled into the parking lot. Caroline could tell Klaus was borderline pissed and borderline ready to jump the bones of the next thing that moved. He parked the car in an isolated area and turned to Caroline with an upset expression. She knew it was wrong, but a giggle escaped as she took in his features.
"Caroline…I have a boner the size of the Eiffel tower. I can't very well get out of the car, now can I?"
"Want me to take the bags in then?" She asked innocently. His mouth set in a tight line.
"Yes, because now I'm going to have to take care of this inconvenience. I will get you back for this, so you better prepare yourself, sweetheart," he said. Caroline only smirked and waggled her eyebrows before stepping out of the car and opening the trunk. Their stay wouldn't be for an extended period of time. No longer than the weekend at least. She had still packed about two and a half bags, while Klaus had only brought one. Grabbing her bags, she closed the trunk and headed for the double doors that were thankfully automatic.
They had made reservations only two nights ago, but they had been lucky enough to get a decent room in a nice hotel. No dingy places for them. The employee at the front desk smiled at her and she gave him a small wave.
"Hi. A reservation for two under Mikaelson?" she asked, wanting to get both of the keys to their room. Klaus had made the reservation, so that's why it was under his name instead of hers. After typing furiously on his keyboard, the man smiled and handed her two cards.
"Hope you enjoy your stay, madam," he said politely. Caroline smiled and went to the elevators. She hadn't thought to time Klaus on how long it would take him to finish up. All she had wanted him to do was go faster. In her opinion, the whole affair had been his doing.
Once she was in their room, she set her bags by the television and took out her phone. Caroline was, of course, late getting into town. That's why she had pestered Klaus on going faster. She sent out a mass text announcing her arrival to town, and started unpacking immediately after. Almost instantly, her phone buzzed twice. One message was from Damon, and one was from Rebekah. She cringed and checked the one from Damon first.
Get your ass moving, Barbie. The added stress you are indirectly putting on me is not needed right now.
She stuck her tongue out at her phone as she moved to Rebekah's text.
Awesome Caroline! But you better hurry. I think Damon is starting to fret a little. For the past couple of hours he looks as if he's been constipated or something ;)
Caroline went into a fit of giggles at the faces Damon was probably making out of annoyance. Somehow, over the years, he had gotten to be quite the grumpy man. She shook her head and continued looking through her bags until she found her dress. At least, the one she would wear to her hair and makeup appointments with the girls. There were a lot of last minute things that needed to be done, and she only had seven hours until the wedding was supposed to start.
Ugh! Why couldn't Klaus have just gone faster?
Six and a half hours later, Caroline was scrambling to the dressing room. The hair and makeup appointments had ran a little later than expected, the photographer had only arrived thirty minutes ago, and now, the DJ was late. Why did everything have to go wrong? Couldn't things just go off without a hitch? She sighed and scurried into the large changing room. It looked more like an extravagant dining area. The wedding wasn't held at a church, but some venue Caroline wasn't familiar with. The area for the bride and bridesmaids was massive, and had enough room for socializing among the four of them.
"Is he here yet?" Bonnie asked impatiently as Caroline walked in.
"No. I just called and he said he was stuck in traffic. He's only about ten minutes away though, so if we're lucky, things can still go as scheduled.
"Oh thank god. I'm not sure how much longer Elijah and Rebekah can handle poor, little Riley without me," Jenna sighed in relief as she continued playing with Elena's hair.
"Aunt Jenna! You're going to mess up Guillermo's work," she giggled.
Elena stood up from her seat and Caroline looked at the girl in awe. Was there ever a time when she wasn't stunning? Her dark brown hair hung in loose curls past her chest. The gown she wore was slim, with thin straps clinging to her shoulders as the neckline plunged enough for an alluring effect. The white satin flowed effortlessly to the floor and came to a soft pool at her feet.
"You are such a gorgeous bride," Caroline stated quietly. She wasn't going to cry. She was not going to cry. The ceremony hadn't even started yet!
"Oh, Caroline," Elena smiled and moved to hug the blonde tightly. Caroline gave her a good squeeze before letting go. Just then, Matt came walking in.
"Beautiful as always, Lena." Matt gave a broad grin before heading to Elena to give her a bear hug.
"Is the DJ here yet, Matt?" Caroline asked.
"Yea, he got here just a bit ago."
"Finally!" she squealed. Caroline turned to Elena. "Are you ready?"
Elena nodded with a large grin on her face. Matt went to give Bonnie a quick kiss, gave a final nod to Elena, and then walked out the door. The four girls stood up and began brushing their red dresses down, making sure there were no wrinkles. Once every girl had gotten their small bouquet of flowers, they took their position.
"Wait!" Caroline exclaimed. "Where is-"
"The father of the bride?"
The girls turned at the sound of Alaric's voice. Caroline let out a sigh of relief. She had been worried he wasn't going to get back there in time. Jenna waved him over. They had agreed to leave Riley with Elijah and Rebekah out in the crowd, while Jenna and Alaric did their jobs as part of the wedding party. Caroline thought it had been sweet of Elijah to even offer to take care of him for the short amount of time.
All of them heard the music start, a smile touching Caroline's lips as she looked back at Elena. Jenna would walk out first, then Bonnie, then Caroline, and finally Alaric with Elena. Jenna walked out slowly. After a couple of minutes, Bonnie went out and made her way to the front of the altar. Caroline gave Elena an excited smile before going out to walk down the aisle. Her red dress flowed behind her as she took her spot, and turned around.
The wedding march began. Caroline watched as Elena and Alaric came slowly down the aisle. She looked over to see Damon staring at her with this mesmerized look on his face. Stefan and Matt stood behind him, a small smile on each of their faces. Caroline's attention turned to the crowd. Her eyes scanned over Elijah and Rebekah. The other blonde was holding the little two year old in her lap, making silly faces every now and again to make him giggle. The child was the spitting image of Alaric. And, it was amazing how much Rebekah had changed over the past few years. Caroline had never thought she'd see her entertaining a baby like that. Maybe Stefan was rubbing off on her or something.
Alaric handed Elena to Damon, kissing her on the top of her head before patting Damon on the shoulder, and taking his spot in the line of groomsmen. As the ceremony started, Caroline continued her search amongst the small crowd. Her eyes landed on the man she had been looking for. Klaus sat beside Kol, smiling up at her fondly. She grinned and turned back toward the two getting married.
"Do you, Damon Salvatore, take Elena Gilbert…"
Caroline couldn't believe she was actually back in Mystic Falls. After such a long time, it felt…different. New York was the complete opposite of Mystic Falls. People were walking everywhere, car horns honked loudly at the cars in front of them. It was, after all, the city that never slept.
"And do you, Elena Gilbert, take Damon Salvatore…"
She didn't feel like the people had changed though. No matter how different it felt being back in such a sleepy little town, the people were the same as she remembered them to be. Hell, everyone was still together, even five years after graduation. Rebekah and Stefan had gone through more ups and downs, but they had mostly been together. Obviously, Damon and Elena had been inseparable. Matt and Bonnie had only broken up once throughout those five years, only staying apart for about two weeks, if she remembered correctly. She may not have been back in town since graduation, but she still kept in touch with all of her friends.
"Now for the rings…"
Her and Rebekah had even been talking more, which is how she knew about the relationship she had with Stefan. Sometimes more than she wanted to know, actually. The only person she knew of that was still single was Elijah. Caroline had heard rumors about him, however. Every now and again, he would take spontaneous trips to Europe. She could only guess whom the person he was probably seeing was. As for why in the world he would want to visit her, Caroline had no idea.
"…I now pronounce you, husband, and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Caroline wiped her eyes as Damon went in for the mother of all kisses. The room giggled at the display, watching the love the two had for each other. They pulled apart, grinning at the crowd and giving them a small wave as they walked slowly down the aisle. Caroline linked arms with Stefan, following close behind the newlyweds. She winked at Klaus as she passed. It was Kol who returned the gesture though. She rolled her eyes playfully.
"It's good to see you back in town, Caroline," Stefan whispered, as they continued walking toward the outside area for photos.
"You know it probably won't be for long," she whispered back.
"Still. Everyone here has really missed you. Mystic Falls may not have a penthouse or anything, but we have the best barbecue you've ever tasted," he joked.
Caroline giggled. "That's true. I've never had wings that were better than the ones I got here."
She missed her friends in Mystic Falls, it was true, but her life was in New York now. Her job with the fashion company she was working for was excellent, and Klaus had been selling his paintings to the best museums in the state. Mystic Falls was nowhere for a girl like her. She missed everyone so badly, but she had to make a living somehow.
"How are things with you and Klaus?" Stefan asked, breaking her from her reverie.
"Things are good. As you know, being with someone for almost six years is a long time."
"It is. I've enjoyed almost every minute of it with Rebekeh, too," he chuckled. Caroline joined him.
"Oh, you two are cute. Any plans to follow in your brother's footsteps?"
"After this long, it's crossed my mind more than once. Seeing her with Riley only made me realize one thing though."
"And that is?"
"That I need to go ring shopping," he admitted. Caroline smiled brightly, nudging him a little at the response she had just gotten. To think the group was still together after so long…it was nothing short of a miracle. She knew that Matt and Bonnie weren't excited about the idea about getting married. They wanted to be together, but both of them seemed to want to date for as long as possible before they wanted to even consider it.
As for her and Klaus, she didn't know what he thought about it, besides he hated the subject all together. She had brought it up a couple of times over the years, but each time he would change topics on her and discuss something else. It was infuriating, to be perfectly honest. She didn't feel like she needed a ring on her finger to know Klaus loved her, but just avoiding the matter didn't make her feel so wonderful. Caroline could only speculate as to why he would want to dismiss the idea of marriage, and the only answer she came up with was because of how it had been with his parents, and with hers even. Her mom and dad hadn't had near the same marriage as Klaus's parents, but still they were somewhat alike. In the fact that they had both ended in divorce, or one certain mother being widowed. From what she remembered, his mother had never had a great relationship with his father anyway.
So Caroline never brought the subject up. That didn't mean it wasn't on her mind, but if he was going to keep changing the subject on her, then what was the point of trying? Caroline tried to stop thinking about it as the group arrived outside and started arranging themselves for the wedding pictures. Maybe a few drinks tonight would be necessary though, just to aid her cause. Thank god Damon had wanted an open bar. It would come in handy tonight.
"And why wasn't I allowed a drink? Just one! You don't control me," she whined, the two of them coming to a halt outside the hotel room door as Klaus searched for the key.
"I just thought it wasn't wise to get drunk. You want to remember your best friend's wedding, right? Besides, it's not like you had to listen." After seconds of searching, Klaus had found the key and unlocked the door. Caroline sped past him.
"You kept taking the drinks I got!"
"Oh, that's right. I did, didn't I?" Klaus chuckled, like he was actually pleased with himself. She could hear him shut the door and now, she was really pissed. There was also only one bed. How was she supposed to spend the rest of the night with him? She sighed and gathered her clothes, going straight for the bathroom. Locking the door behind her, she began to change out of her dress and turn on the shower. Klaus tried the door, only to figure out it was locked. Ha! See how he liked that.
"Come on, love. No shower for two?"
"I don't think so," she said, stepping into the hot shower.
"Caroline," he persisted, "I don't want you to be mad at me."
"Too late. I don't like it when my boyfriend controls what I do."
"And how often do I do that?"
"More than you think!"
"That's not true!"
"Just leave me alone, Klaus!" She grunted and prepared herself for his next onslaught of words. They never came, and she was somewhat thankful for the peace, however temporary it may be. She would have to get out of the shower eventually though.
Caroline knew she was being unfair. Honestly, she didn't want to get so smashed she would forget the night of Elena's wedding. If she had done what she wanted to, the intake of alcohol would have been high. She should be thanking Klaus, but there were other things on her mind. All of it stemmed from being back in Mystic Falls and going to her friend's wedding. Everyone else at least had a plan for the future. She didn't know where in the hell her future with Klaus was going. All she knew was that she loved him, and that he loved her, but what about after? Would he leave her for the next pretty thing to come along? Would love really conquer all?
The water ran through her hair, down her back, and then to her legs. It felt cleansing, like it was washing away all of her anger. It was stupid, to be this upset with him for doing nothing. Caroline quickly washed up and turned the water off. After drying herself and putting on a light blue t-shirt, she went to put on the pair of black sweatpants she had gotten. The sweatpants belonged to Klaus. She grinned as she put them on slowly. Even in her state of frustration, she still picked out his clothes over hers.
She scrunched her nose up as she realized she would have to apologize for shouting at him. The people in the next room must love them. Caroline took a deep breath and exited to find…a sight she hadn't expected. Klaus had already undressed, lying shirtless on the bed with only a pair of black boxers on. He had gone through a small bottle of some kind of alcohol that had been placed in the room. Caroline crossed her arms at him, an eyebrow quirked. Klaus looked up at her with a small grin.
"Don't start with me. I needed something to calm my nerves. And don't worry, I'm not looking to get drunk."
A feeling of guilt washed over her as she walked to stand beside the bed. She saw him watching her as she walked, as well as the look he gave upon seeing his pants on her. Klaus slowly sat up and put his feet on the floor, his eyes raking over her body. A blush rose to her cheeks. He never failed to make her feel like some sort of goddess in his presence. He slowly reached his arms out as he began to put his arms around her waist, bringing her in close to him. She kissed the top of his head, and then put her cheek on it, all the while stroking his hair.
"I shouldn't have got so upset with you," she mumbled, "I'm sorry."
"Darling, you and I have been in much worse spats than that. Think nothing of it," he whispered.
"That doesn't make getting mad at you any better. I mean-"
"Caroline, please. Let me finish, angel."
Caroline nodded and he backed away from her a little. Only enough to grab her hands gently before giving them a sweet kiss. The expression she saw on his face was one she had seen before. It was one of affection and complete adoration. He didn't wear it as much as he used to, but it only made the times he did now more special.
"I don't enjoy arguing with you either, but it's just going to happen. You know I love you more than anything in this world, right?" She nodded, allowing him to continue. He stood up, not letting go of her hands. Instead, he enclosed both of her hands in both of his, giving them another kiss. She was beginning to wonder how much he had gotten to drink tonight. He was completely composed though, so she let him continue without any interruptions.
"I'm in love with you, Caroline," he said softly. His words got stronger as he proceeded. "I love you so much. I know I don't say it as much as I used to, but I always think that you just know. It's not an excuse, but I promise to get better at it. I promise to tell you every chance I get, and then some. You've done so much for me, Caroline. More than you know, I'm afraid. One of these days, I'll be sure to list every reason, just so you know how important it is to me."
Caroline was starting to get a little worried. Usually, she would be a big sap at this point in the speech, but she didn't know where he was going with this. Was it some sort of goodbye? She still kept quiet, however, and waited to see what the catch was.
"The most important reason though…is because you showed me the way home. For years I was afraid of that time of day when all the children would be sent home. To that time of day when I had to greet Mikael at the door, waiting to tell me everything I had done wrong. Even after you and I had met, it wasn't until graduation was over, and we were in New York, that I had figured out what you had done for me. Every time I went out with a prospective buyer or I had to be at some exhibit…all I could think about was going home. To the place I knew you would be at. Caroline, you are my home."
This was sounding less and less like a goodbye to Caroline. Her eyes were watery now and she was trying her hardest not to cry, but damn he was making it difficult. As if the night couldn't get any crazier, Klaus did something she had never thought he would do. The one thing that he had always avoided…the one thing that made Caroline start to cry silently.
He got down on one knee.
"I always thought a serious commitment would end badly, that things like that could never work. I was wrong though," he said quietly, a small smile beginning to form, "I was so very wrong, sweetheart." He reached into the drawer on the table beside the bed. A small, red velvet box was what he brought back out.
"I didn't want you drinking tonight, because if you had gotten drunk when I had finally gotten the courage to do this, I would have been the saddest man alive. I took that small bottle from the room because I needed something to calm my nerves down for this. Not because of a silly little argument. There is honestly nothing I want more than for you to stand by me until the day I get old and gray. For you to let me watch over you for once, and to just…be with me, in every way possible."
He let go of her other hand now, so that he could open the box to reveal a brilliant ring. She forced herself to keep her eyes open, because there was no way in hell she was missing any of this. The look in Klaus's eyes was without doubt vulnerability. He was putting himself out there for her.
"Caroline, please…please say you'll marry me."
More tears of happiness fell down her cheek. The smile on her face gave away her answer, but she managed to get it out anyway.
"Yes…oh, yes of course I'll marry you!" she said without hesitation.
The smile on Klaus's face was all the reassuring she needed to know that this was the right thing. He carefully pulled the ring out of the box, and slipped it slowly onto her left ring finger. It was beautiful. Caroline looked back up at Klaus, not able to contain her excitement. She threw her arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. She only withdrew enough so that she could plant a very passionate kiss on those plump lips of his. When she pulled back for air, she put both of her hands on each side of his face, caressing his cheeks with her thumbs.
"When did you know? That this was what you wanted?" she asked quietly. He responded with a smirk.
"Remember our little trip to Miami?" He waggled his brows. Her cheeks blushed a deep red as her eyes widened.
"That was when you knew you wanted me for a wife? Then?" she asked amazed. He laughed cheerfully before somehow bringing her in closer, placing a kiss to her forehead.
"It was our last night there. We were outside on the patio, sitting on that comfortable couch," he arched another eyebrow, but she only narrowed her eyebrows at his insinuation.
"Continue…" she encouraged.
"Anyway, we were outside on the couch, and you had fallen asleep by my side. I remember just sitting there…looking out onto the beach with the moon above our heads. Everything was so…peaceful. I looked down at you and I remember thinking that, I could get used to this. I knew that everyday, I could fall asleep and wake up next to you, without any complaints. I knew then that I wanted you, always."
She smiled and put her forehead on Klaus's shoulder. "I love you."
"I love you too, Caroline."
So many thoughts were beginning to swirl through her head. She was about to get married to the man she had never thought would be hers. Caroline looked up to catch Klaus's gaze. For some reason, one particular thought seemed to be sticking to the forefront of her mind.
"So, about this morning…are you still going to get me back?"
"No," he chuckled, "I hadn't actually planned to. Why?"
"Because I'm about to make up for it," she said, waggling her own eyebrows.
"Caroline, you don't have to reward me with sex for proposing to you," he said with a smile.
"Did you ever think I just want your body right now?"
"Well, if that's the case then-"
Before he could finish his sentence, Caroline had put her lips to his, leading him to the bed. Klaus laughed through the kiss, causing Caroline to smile more. It turned out to be a sleepless night for the both of them. And, it was the best kind of sleepless night, too.
That moment was a memory she would always cherish. It was the night her Klaus had finally found his way to her arms. The night he had truly found his way home.
A/N: Hope everyone enjoyed that! I also just want to thank all of you for supporting me through this! It was and is a learning process for me, and I'm still figuring things out. Your feedback, follows, and favorites, always kept me motivated. I would thank each person by name, who ever reviewed, but there are so many of you, this author's note would get really lengthy. Just know that I know who you are, and I thank each and every last one of you.
Now, after taking in to account what kind of story everyone wanted next, I've thought of a few, rough story ideas that I thought I'd run by you guys before really beginning. I've got three of them, and they are:
1) AU. The setting? Los Angeles. 1947. Caroline sings at a jazz club that Klaus's family owns. Two brothers die mysteriously. Is the killer on a murdering spree? Who will be his next victim? And can he be stopped before he takes another life? Romance/Mystery. (I know I said I would never do any murder mysteries because of the CSI stuff, but I've been playing a lot of Heavy Rain and L.A. Noire for ps3, and the plot just kind of came to me. L.A. Noire is also where I got the idea for the setting as well. There would be vampires, werewolves, and witches in this one, but I'm not sure I'd do the whole hybrid thing.
2) AU/AH. Klaus is hero of war who has trouble dealing with the memories his service has left. Caroline lives in the apartment below, wondering where all the shouting is coming from, and why. Will the little blonde be the answer to stopping all the nightmares of the former soldier? Romance/Hurt/Comfort. Takes place in modern times.
3) AU/AH. Caroline works as an assistant to the big actors. Klaus is a big time actor, who happens to be dating the hottest supermodel around. Caroline is quiet, Klaus is infuriating, and for some reason, he keeps bringing her out of her shell. Just not in the best way. Romance/Comedy. Takes place in modern times.
Unfortunately, I do not have titles for any of these. I'm waiting to see what you guys might want more, and what my muse likes the most. I will definitely be doing a lot more planning for this next story, whatever it turns out to be. All will be rated M. Also, I have an AO3 account! Username is the same, and I'm putting all my stories from here on there, just so I have them. I'll still put my new story on this site, but just letting you guys know it will be there as well! Thank you all again! I look forward to our next journey together =]