This oneshot was my original idea for Punishment for Betrayal (though a few tweaks were inserted to better fit episode 3x21). I only decided at the last minute to change this to a different story entirely, deciding that it would be hard to bring in Elena and the others with this as the beginning. Because Elena, Stefan, and Damon will soon be a very big part of PfB.
Note: The premise of this is that Caroline brought Klaus back from whatever the hell it is that they call what's going on with him now.
Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Diaries.
On the Run
If she ever saw Katherine again, she was going to give her a pat on the back. How someone could keep running from the Hybrid for as long as the older vampire had, Caroline would never understand. Five hundred years? She could hardly handle fifty.
She could still remember the night before she left, as if it were yesterday. Hell, when you had eternity, fifty years did seem like yesterday. She could remember how she had wanted nothing more than to cry, realizing that her friends would never trust her again, all because she had made the mistake of developing a soft spot for him. Honestly, how that had happened, she couldn't be sure. But it probably had a bit to do with the humanity he showed her, whether it was an act or truth.
God, she just wanted to lose those memories. She didn't want to recall them every time she laid her head down to sleep...
I knew he was in my house. I could sense it the moment I walked in, the stillness that seemed to seep into every possible nook and cranny. Was this the night that he would kill me? I'd rather die hating him than the people that I cared about. Soon, the entirety of the Salvatore gang—Damon, Stefan, Elena, Bonnie, Matt, my mom—would know about my perceived betrayal, would think of me as little more than dirt.
But how could I leave him in the tomb, dead for all intents and purposes? He had saved me—twice. Was I supposed to just forget all about that? Was I supposed to wish the man I owed my life to dead?
Of course, that didn't change that he was going to be furious with me, as well. I had played my part in his death, in celebrating it. I shouldn't have, but how could I let my friends see my true intentions? He wasn't going to see it that way, though.
I just hoped that Klaus would make my death quick, painless.
The moment I closed the door, he was standing in the doorway of my room. Was that...relief on his face? As if he hadn't expected to ever see me again. "Haven't you done enough?" I demanded, my voice choked with the tears I fiercely wanted to shed in private. I didn't want him to see. I didn't want anybody to see. Because once they left my eyes, there would be no stopping them. "Can't you just leave me alone? I returned the favor of saving my life; we're even."
So I ran into my room, brushing past him in my haste. Throwing my suitcase onto the bed, I started stuffing it with anything I thought I might need. I had to leave. I had to get out. Mystic Falls would never accept me again, at least not the people that mattered. Tyler hadn't stuck up for me as I had thought—hoped—he would; he'd turned on me just like the rest of them. I could still remember Damon's hands around my throat, threatening to kill me.
Klaus didn't come near me, kept his distance as he spoke. "You're in danger, Caroline." Had he ever spoken my name in such a was before? Usually, his English lilt was soothing, even though I knew it shouldn't be. But he sounded almost frightened, if I dared to describe him with such a word.
Perhaps that was why I glanced at him, standing up straight. Perhaps that was why I took his words with a grain of salt, though I already knew that he was speaking the truth. "Yes, I am," I said, wishing for strength in my voice. "I have you to thank for that. Thanks to your little crush on me, all those little bits of humanity that you showed me, my friends are starting to consider me a liability. And you know what people tend to do with liabilities, I'm sure." I was glad for the snarkiness in my tone; I hoped it cut him like a knife. I didn't mention the fact that I had woken him, since he obviously knew that.
"I'm not playing, Caroline!" he shouted, suddenly toe to toe with me. "Can you even comprehend the danger you're in? Do you have any idea how many people are after you?"
My gaze didn't break from his. "Oh? Is there someone outside of my realm of friends that wants me dead, Klaus? I suppose I have you to thank for that, too." Turning away from him, I went back to packing, thinking of the fresh new life I would have to start. If I was away from the others, maybe they would forgive me once all was said and done.
Klaus's hands were at my shoulders, spinning me around just before I was forced into the wall. His face was contorted in fury, fangs flashing as his eyes changed color. "This isn't a joke!" I stared at him, wide-eyed, waiting for him to snap my neck. Sure, it wouldn't kill me, but I was definitely upsetting him. A little knock-out would probably make him feel at least a little better.
But I didn't back down.
Letting my own vampire face show, I grabbed his wrists, fighting him as I hissed, "No, this isn't! This is my life! And ever since you showed up, it's been in danger, either from you or all your sired hybrids that I have no doubt are waiting just outside to protect you, should I do something regrettable. " Realizing that he wasn't about to let go, I couldn't help shrieking, "Let go of me, you jerk! Why can't you just take a hint!" That seemed to catch him off guard as I threw him away from me, going to the open door as if it would help me escape.
Straightening himself, he took several deep breaths. Was he trying to calm himself? After a few moments of only our labored breathing, he glanced at me, as if he suddenly had a plan. "You will come stay at the mansion with me," he said abruptly, not bothering to ask my opinion on the matter. "I will keep you safe from them."
I scoffed at the idea. "Seriously?" I chuckled. "You think that would really stop them? Besides, Elena would never let them hurt me." If she was informed of the plan, she wouldn't.
"I won't take that chance, love. Not with you."
My breath left my chest at the ferocity in his gaze. What the hell was this? I had thought it was little more than a fanciful crush, but maybe to him it was more. Maybe he was thinking too deeply into the fact that I had woken him. Because I didn't want it to be more; I wanted him to leave me alone. "You have no say in the matter," I finally choked out. "I don't want to go with you, so I won't. What happens to me has nothing whatsoever to do with you."
But the look on his face said otherwise. What the hell was this?
Snatching up my suitcase with lightning speed, he was in front of me in a second, snarling, "I won't let them hurt you. I won't let them touch you."
I took the case from him, fully intending to hit him in the head with it. Of course, he caught my wrist just as I would have lifted it. "Let go of me," I breathed menacingly. "I won't be manhandled, even by the Big Bad Wolf. You wanna hurt me? Do it. I dare you."
The suitcase dropped from my hand as he shoved me into a wall, his hands wrapped around my wrists to pin them next to my head. "I won't let you kill yourself. You will stay with me at my home, be watched over by my hybrids when you must leave there. I am not taking a chance that they can ever get to you."
"Why are you doing this?" I cried, tears springing to my eyes as I tried to slap him away. "I told you that we're even! Why can't you leave me alone and stop messing everything up!"
He just gave me that wolfy look of his, the one that an animal usually gave a human the first time they crossed paths. It was as if he were trying to decide if I were friend or foe, if he should be on the offensive or defensive with me. "I don't consider letting you fend for yourself 'even'. You woke me even though you knew your friends would not take such an action lightly; the least I will do is keep you alive."
My mind went into overdrive. I had wanted to run, hadn't I? To let my friends have time to do what they had to, without having to worry about me. Wasn't this a perfect change? "Fine," I said, surprising him greatly. "On two conditions. One, you leave me completely alone tonight, let me have my last moment of peace before you start trying to order me around everywhere I turn. Two, no hybrids. I don't trust anything that can kill me with something as simple as a bite." He noted the dirty glare I gave him. If only this could trick him, I would be home free, able to run without anyone coming after me until morning.
I would be long gone by then.
He searched my eyes for deceit, but my ability to lie with a straight face had been enhanced to perfection upon my transition into a vampire. I knew that he wouldn't find anything there.
As suspicion and worry warred on his features, I knew he would agree to my conditions. I knew, somewhere deep inside, that he would rather leave me alone for a night than let me die.
Releasing me, he growled, "Fine," in a typical angry-Klaus manner. "But you will report to me before you go to school in the morning. You will allow two"—he held up two fingers as if I were unable to comprehend—"hybrids to follow you whenever you leave, from a distance. They will know that anyone that hurts you will be subjected to my wrath. And, if you try to leave," he leaned forward, breathing lightly in my ear, "I will hunt you down and force you to do as you're told."
With that, he was gone, leaving me wondering if I was doing the right thing, trying to outsmart a thousand year old hybrid with serious trust issues.
Still, she had run that night, leaving a note for her mother, Elena, and Bonnie. Each said that she had to go, that she couldn't tell them where. She wouldn't contact them in any way; they would be safer without her. Then, she'd tossed the phone out of her car window as she drove haphazardly to Atlanta, ready to take the next plane out.
That was when she'd gone to Paris. Hadn't she always wanted to see the city of love? Of course, now it was merely a rest-stop; she would have to keep running if she was going to keep him off her trail. His warning—threat, more like—resounded in her head, reminding her that she would never be safe from him.
It was only after she saw him stalking after her on the streets of London two years later that she realized what she'd done. When she'd left Mystic Falls, leaving no trace of where she would go, he had followed. She'd inadvertently lured Klaus away from her friends, the ones that he had been tormenting for months. That wasn't what terrified her, however
He'd looked pissed when he saw her.
She was sure that if she hadn't ducked into the crowd, keeping with it until she reached the nearest train station, he would have caught her. And he would have tortured her.
So, she kept running. She'd seen the world, at this point. All the places she knew he would have taken her, had she accepted his offer. Paris, Rome...Tokyo. At one point, she wondered if maybe she could have done so, could have just jumped at the chance to go places with him. To see sights with him.
She'd seen the first sunrise after winter in Alaska, stood at the base of the pyramids, walked the Great Wall of China. Everything had felt empty since she knew that she wasn't there as a sightseer. No, she was a fugitive on the run. When she yearned for home, she knew better than to go. She knew better than to get too close.
Over the years, she'd compelled her way across the world, spending little money, even less time. Now she knew why Katherine had so valued her freedom.
Standing on the street of the apartment she'd had her first time in Paris, she stared up at the window where she had sat, wondering about how the others were doing. She half expected to see a ghost of her former self there, full of some futile hope that she could go back in the future. It was the only city she'd spent time in as a normal girl since she'd been turned. It was probably the last place she would remember feeling hopeful in.
A cold chill crept up her spine and she froze, not wanting to look behind her. She knew he was there, watching her. She wanted only a few more seconds to believe that she had lost him since their last encounter—an avalanche on Mount Everest—before she had to take her punishment. She was just so sick of running and, as of late, he was catching up with her faster and faster. Whether it was his determination or her fatigue, she couldn't be sure. But she knew it was all coming to an end.
"You won't even try to run, love? Now, where is the fun in that?"
His voice was mocking, taunting her into looking at him. But she didn't. She just stared ahead, whispering, though she knew he could hear her as clear as day over the sound of the cars in the street behind them.
"I understand a little more about loneliness, you know," she breathed, eyes filling with unshed tears. "I thought I knew it back then, as Elena was coming closer and closer to the life she wanted. I thought that I understood what it was like to feel completely alone in a crowd of people. Now, I really do." She took a deep, calming breath, glancing over her shoulder at him. "It's a monster. It eats at you until all you want is that closeness. It steals all your energy, leaves you crying out for more. All you want is for someone to see you, to be with you." She turned fully towards him. "It makes life tiresome and easy to let go of. But you know all about that, don't you, Klaus?"
The smirk had fallen from his face as she spoke and she wanted to believe that it was sympathy, understanding, that she saw cross his features for that brief moment. But then he was furious, knocking her into the wall of the building she had been fixated on. Her wrists were trapped in one of his hands above her head as the other wrapped around her throat. "Fifty years of loneliness is nothing, sweetheart," he practically spat. "Nothing in comparison to the life I have led."
Couldn't he make it quick? She was so tired, so ready for the sweet delivery of death. But she knew him better than that. "Will you kill me?" she asked quietly, emotions gone from her voice.
He chuckled without mirth, clenching his hand tighter around her throat. "You remember what I promised you that night, don't you? Of course you do; it has kept you running all these years." His body pressed closer to hers as the hand around her neck moved to her chin, forcing her to look at him in the eye, though she hadn't broken his gaze. "I do not take betrayal lightly, love; you will pay for every year that I have chased after you, every attempt you've made to slow me down."
It was her turn to laugh at him. "Oh? Seems fair, I suppose. But, I promise you, nothing is going to truly affect me anymore. A vampire's lifetime of nothingness will do that to a person."
Their eyes were locked, green against blue, when that smirk came back to his features. "I could compel you, you know," he said suddenly, keeping her trapped against the wall only with his body as the hand on her face stroked her cheekbones and the other went to her waist. "I could compel you to love me as you have no other, torture you as you try to piece together why the love of your life would do that. That would get a reaction out of you," he noted dryly. His next words surprised her. "But I won't. Everything you feel for me will be real."
With that, he caught her mouth with his own, kissing her with the ferocity of decades of repressed anger.
She didn't try to break away, didn't try to stop her reaction to it. She clung to the sense of closeness, even if it was him, The Bad Guy. The Evil Hybrid. The Shockingly Human Monster.
"This time, you get no chance to run."
That was when his hands went to her face, snapping her neck and knocking her out. He carried her away, thrown over his shoulder, marching away to whatever dark cave he now called home.
I would just like to remind everyone that this is a oneshot. I will not be continuing it. But, if you enjoy fics about Klaus chasing Caroline around the world, tell me in your review. I'm trying to decide if I will do a story about that next.