All right, here it is, the final chapter. Thank you for everyone who stuck with this story to the very end and a special thank you to all who reviewed. This was my first attempt at fanfic and I appreciated all the feedback. If you're sad this one is over and you want more, go check out my other stories Heartbeat and Prowl. I also am considering doing some drabbles or oneshots, so if you have any requests, send me a P.M.
They landed in a cloud of dirt on the unpaved road.
Caroline felt something familiar about the place but she couldn't quite figure it out.
The helicopter had launched back up into the sky, creating a storm of dust and dirt below it. Klaus pulled her closer to shield her from the debris and she leaned in, letting him hold her close.
She felt guilty about it, going back to him after everything. She knew it meant she had lost some of the human she once was. But that girl died in high school and a new Caroline took her place. Vampire Caroline had killed people, even if only by accident, and that changed a person. She had to leave her life in Mystic Falls behind, now that she had spent enough years not aging and people would start to notice. Having to give up big chunks of your human life makes you just a little less like the person you once were. She was different now. Different enough to love him. Different enough to still love him after she saw the worst in him.
He was someone that struck fear into the hearts of the most ruthless members of the supernatural community. He had taken countless lives. Yet he was the best thing that had ever happened to her.
She knew he needed work. He wasn't perfect. The way he handled her running away had made that painfully obvious. But she needed work too. Running away instead of staying and dealing with the problems was a childish move. In her defense, she was a thousand years younger than him, so she felt she was entitled to acting childish every once in a while.
But now they were back. They were together. It wasn't like the slate was wiped clean, there would be rebuilding after what they had been through. She could tell in the way he touched her. It was careful, gentle as if she might break, and at the same time so possessive. He was nervous about her slipping through his fingers. She could tell he was ready to chase her at a moment's notice should she decide to run again. It would take time to convince him that she didn't want to run ever again.
Sure, it was fun to be on her own. She loved getting to meet new friends and being able to be around people who didn't treat her like their Queen. But every night when she fell asleep, her mind went to him. She wished she could have it all, both the freedom to wander off and not be constantly trailed by hybrid guards and still be with him every single day. She was already thinking of negotiating a deal with him about staying on campus for the year. After all, she had always pictured herself going to college, and he made a really good lit professor. Maybe they could find a place to stay off campus. They'd have to be a little sneaky, it would be a bit of a scandal if a student and professor were shaking up together, but that would all be part of the fun.
"Do you know where we are?" he asked, interrupting her thoughts.
She looked around. They were on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere. When he said it wasn't anywhere fancy, he really meant it.
"We're out in some creepy back road I'd worry about getting murdered on if I was still human."
"You really have no idea where we might be?"
"Was something from your past in this spot? From when you were human?"
"Oh, this place is from the past. Ours. Just a little further."
She followed him down the dirt road, trying to recount a time they had been out in the country in Virginia. They really hadn't been in this area since they left Mystic Falls all those years ago.
Then it came into view.
"Oh." she said, a wave of nostalgia hitting her.
It looked exactly the same.
"So you remember." he smiled.
"Of course." she said, looking at the old farmhouse in front of him. "This is where it all began."
"I thought maybe we could have a little time to ourselves here, give me a chance to acquit myself. I figured if I tried to give you something expensive as an apology you would through it right back at me. And any other gesture seemed hollow. So here it is. This is the place I managed to convince you to give me a chance the first time around, so I thought perhaps it would work again."
"You don't have to convince me. I'm already here."
"And I'm glad. But if we're going to do this, we're going to do it right. I can't handle you leaving again. So let me prove to you I can be the man you need me to be."
Every memory came back as she walked up those steps.
"How did you know it would still be empty?" she asked.
"I bought it, a few months after we left Mystic Falls. Bonnie was looking to buy it, but she let me have it instead, since she was so happy with the house I gave her."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I've been sending hybrids out to renovate, apparently even with all the money and compulsion in the world, it still takes forever to get these things done. It's only been ready a few month, I was waiting for the right time to surprise you. Actually, it was going to be a birthday present."
"A birthday you forgot."
"A mistake I won't make twice, I assure you."
He opened the door and guided her in.
"It has furniture." she said, looking around. "And paint."
"I wouldn't bring you here if it wasn't presentable. There's running water and electricity as well. All the comforts of modern life."
"Coming from someone who lived centuries without them."
"I also lived for centuries without you. That doesn't mean I'd want to go back to the way things were before."
She walked around the downstairs rooms, in awe of what he had done. Everything had been fixed up. What's more was that it was just the way she would have done it. Either he had done some serious snooping or he knew her much better than she had given him credit for.
"Oh wow." she breathed, looking into the kitchen. It was all authentic restored vintage appliances, soft colors and rounded shapes from the 1960's, with just a few hints of modern technology. A retro looking microwave and coffee maker blended in seamlessly with the real vintage appliances.
"Not my favorite decade, but you said you liked the style of these things."
"My grandmother kept her kitchen the same her whole life, It looked just like this."
"You showed me the picture."
"You did all this from a picture?"
"I thought it was what you would have wanted?"
She wiped a tear away that she hadn't even felt fall.
"Let me show you the rest."
They walked around and she took in the sights of all the rooms he had created out of the blank spaces that used to be there. Every one was a reaffirmed what she already knew. He understood her in ways no one else could.
He showed her the downstairs bedroom they had slept in all those years ago. The flimsy mattress on the floor had been replaced by a plush king sized bed. The room was sparse, walls kept white except for one. A map of the world stretched out along one wall, and to the side was an end table with two glass jars, one full of red thumbtacks and the other filled with blue.
"What's this?" she asked.
He picked up one of the red ones and found the spot where Mystic Falls would be, and pushed the tack into the wall.
"The red ones are for places you've been. The blue ones are for places you want to go."
"And what about places I want to go back to? I still don't think I've seen all there is to see in Rome."
"I like it when you're demanding."
"I could always go on my own. No one says you have to come with and play tour guide." she teased, feigning indifference. As if she could ever go back to traveling without him.
"I could send Kol to watch over you if you're so insistent on going without me."
"And spend the whole time deflecting prying questions about Bonnie? Pass."
"Kol doesn't put that much effort in if he knows he doesn't have a shot. I'm guessing your friend Bonnie must have given him some indication that she enjoys his company."
"You mean other than the dozens of times they've hooked up?" Caroline scoffed.
Klaus looked genuinely surprised.
"They what now?"
"Kol didn't tell you?"
"You think my brother and I discuss things like that with each other? We have some decorum."
"Oh. Bonnie told me a while ago, I just assumed Kol would have told you. So you didn't know that they've kind of had a casual sex thing going on for the past couple years?"
"No. I thought he was just infatuated with her and that she perhaps flirted back. I had no idea. Although I suppose it makes sense that he didn't say anything to me. Kol would suspect I'd be mad about it."
"I'd rather see your friend Bonnie settle down with a nice human, maybe start a family."
"You mean start the next generation of Bennett witches."
"There are few witches in the world so powerful. I would know, love. I've been around for quite some time."
"I don't think a baby is on the menu for Bonnie right now. But I doubt she'd let Kol turn her either, if that's what you're worried about."
He nodded. "So you and Bonnie discuss these things, she tells you all about her dalliances with my brother and god knows who else."
"There's no one else. As much as she likes to pretend to keep things casual with Kol, she's only been with him for a while now."
He smirked and shot her a devilish grin.
"What else do you girls talk about?"
"Nothing." she lied, seeing what he was getting at.
"Oh no." he shook his head. "If she's telling you, you're telling her things too."
"I don't know what you're talking about." Caroline said, moving along the side of the bed to put the object between them.
"Should I be worried, sweetheart?" he asked, pacing around the bed towards her, taking one step closer to her for every one she took away from him.
"Do you really think so low of me?" she teased, circling the bed.
"Did you tell her about that time in Paris?" he asked, raising his eyebrows.
"You're going to have to be specific. There were so many times in Paris."
"You know what I'm talking about. We didn't leave the hotel room for a week."
He was pacing around in circles, and she was skipping ahead, just out of his reach.
"Nope. Not a word about that one." she said.
"That was some of my best work. If you're going to be blabbing to your friends about us, you could at least make me look good."
"I might have told her about that time on the beach in Bali." she giggled.
"I knew it!" he said, catching her and flinging her on the bed. "You and the Bennett witch have dirty little chats about us."
"Well it's not like I can talk to Bekah or Stefan about that kind of thing..."
"Did you tell her about how we bit each other just as you were about to-"
"Klaus! She's not a vampire, that would gross her out."
"Does that mean she wouldn't like the part about how you scratched up my back so much I'd still have scars if I was human."
"Again, the blood thing isn't really so hot to her. And I can't be held responsible for that. You know how you get under a full moon."
"I know how you get, when we're together during a full moon. Are you sure you aren't part wolf?"
"You're wolf enough for the both of us."
"So what do you tell her?"
She looked up to him, where he hovered over her on the bed.
"Just that... when I'm with you, it's the most amazing thing in the world. There's nothing like it."
"I can live with that." he murmured, kissing her neck.
They were in bed, spending another lazy morning talking about placed they had been and places they wanted to go. Caroline would get up occasionally to push more pins into the map.
"How long are we staying here?" she asked.
"That depends. How long do you want to stay?" he responded.
"I want to go back to the college. I want to finish the semester at least."
"You have your whole life to go to college. Stay here and make up for lost time with me. I spent close to a month without you."
"And we've been here for over a week. I have tests, you know. Research papers."
"You could always compel the professors to give you better grades."
"That's not the point. I liked it. It was a human experience I thought I was going to miss out on. And Stefan's staying, I have friends there."
"So you want to go back now? Tonight?" he offered.
"Just a few more days here with you. Then I'll be ready to go back and face the world."
"And when we get back? Then what?" he asked.
"You're going to have to play nice. Not terrorize my friends. Including Stefan."
"I'm not good at nice. And I only terrorize Stefan when he makes my baby sister cry."
"She's done worse to him."
"You're not still holding out hope for him and Elena, are you?"
"No, I think Stefan and Rebekah are a better match. I used to think it would be Stefan and Elena forever, but she's changed a lot since she became a vampire. And even before, Stefan always had to be so careful to hide his vampire side. He can be his real self with Bekah, the good and the bad, and she won't judge. But they're going to take their time working all their issues out."
"Rebekah can be very dramatic."
"Hmm, sounds like something that runs in the family."
He took a chance and decided to bring up the spell again.
"What did you think of the story I told you earlier? About the spell with the binding hearts?"
"I think it was a nice story. I can see why the witches tell it. It's about a love that lasts forever and about two people who are stronger together than apart."
"Would you do it? With me?"
"It's just a story." she said. "It's not real."
"But would you? If it was?"
"I feel like we already have. I don't want to be apart again. I don't want to ever lie to you. Yes. I would do it."
"You understand that it's not reversible? And that we would feel each other's emotions. If we did it, you would be tied to me forever. You would live as long as I would live. And because I can't be killed by anything but a single white oak stake, forever would be a very long time."
"It would be perfect." Caroline said. "It would be perfect if it was real."
They were walking through the woods, trying to find the lake they had once swam in so many years ago.
"I can hear it" she said. "I remember how you taught me to listen for it."
"We're almost there." he said, taking her hand.
She caught sight of something different out in the woods.
They reached the cliff the jutted out over the lake.
"What did you do?" she whispered.
"Do you like it?" he asked.
She looked out at the woods around them. The trees were all lit up with little twinkling lights
"Wow." she whispered.
He reached from behind one of the trees and found the little music player and turned it on.
"Dance with me?" he asked.
She took his hand and followed in the familiar motions, moving slowly through the clearing in the trees.
"Do you remember this song?" he asked.
"The ball your family had. We danced to this. It was the first time we danced together."
"You hated me."
"You turned my boyfriend into one of your hybrid lackeys. Besides, don't act like you were thrilled with me either that night."
"I don't know what you mean, sweetheart. I've always been enthralled by you."
"Not that night. You tried to show me your paintings and I ended up yelling at you for... being you."
"You were honest. I needed to hear it."
"You told me to leave."
"I got over it quickly."
"And now look at us." she said, shaking her head.
He twirled her around and they continued to dance.
"I don't know how you ended up looking past everything, how you decided to give me a chance, but I'm glad you did."
"You don't always make it easy."
"I know." he said. "Thank you."
She slid closer to him as they danced so her chin rested on his shoulder.
"I love you." she said.
"I love you too." he said. "Always and forever."
"Always and forever. Me and you and no one else." she said.
"Me and you and no one else." he repeated.
The music stopped and they stayed where they were, swaying in place. Slowly, he broke away from her and took a step back. He took a deep breath, as if he was preparing for something.
She tilted her head. He looked nervous.
"Klaus, are you ok?"
"I need to say something."
"I don't ever want us to be apart again."
"I don't want that either."
"Caroline, I don't ever want us to be apart again. Ever. I want to be with you forever. I want to celebrate your hundredth birthday and your thousanth. And... I need you with me. I need your light, I need what makes you who you are. I want us to spend the rest of our very long lives together. It's not about getting married or anything human like that. But I can do you one better."
He hesitated, gaging her reaction. She looked stunned, at a lost for words.
He found the ring in his pocket and pulled it out, bending down.
"It's real. The spell is real and there's someone that can do it. Right now, if you want. Or whenever you're ready. We can be together forever. All you have to do is say yes."
She looked down at him, at the ring he was holding.
Normally she would be speaking a mile a minute, but for once in her life, Caroline was silent.
She just looked at him. Sure, she had been in love before. And people had said it back and they promised forever. Words, anyone could do. But this was something more. And he was the most powerful supernatural creature on the planet and he was picking her for forever.
"Caroline?" he asked, his voice shaking a little.
She blinked. It was really happening.
"Yes! she said, pulling him up. "Oh my god, yes!"
He smiled. Not a smirk, an actual smile.
A few months later
"You know this isn't a wedding, right?" Klaus shouted through the door.
"Will you shut up and let me wear what I want to wear?" Caroline said.
"Caroline." he whined "This isn't really how this is supposed to work."
"Will you just go outside and wait with everyone else?" Bonnie shouted through the door.
"If this was a real wedding, you'd be the priest, and it hardly seems fitting that you get to be locked in the bathroom with her and I don't." Klaus protested.
"Out!" Bonnie shouted. "And get Stefan!"
"Now this part is really ridiculous, why does some other man have to march her up to me?"
"It's a tradition." Caroline protested. "And stop being all jealous. Stefan is filling in for my dad today, not for you."
"This isn't a bloody human wedding!" Klaus said. "This was supposed to be just us and Bonnie to do the spell!"
"You're the one who told your siblings. Did you really think Rebekah would miss a chance to throw a party?"
"How long am I going to have to stand out there with your mother and my siblings and all your friends?"
"Not much longer, now go. You're distracting us."
"Can I just see what you lo-"
Klaus grunted his annoyance and trudged out to the backyard. Bonnie's supplies for the spell were all set up on a white linen sheet on the grass, and their guests were milling around the yard with champagne glasses and chatting.
Liz was walking over to him. He tried to bite back his contempt and be polite. It was Caroline's mother, and he needed to be nice today.
"I guess if I had one of these I would have found out my husband was gay a lot sooner." she joked.
He smiled weakly.
"Caroline told me about this. The part where you can't lie to each other is... reassuring to me, as a parent. You two are brave, doing this. It takes a lot of courage to commit to someone life, especially for as long as life can be for you.
He just nodded. He had never had the best repertoire with Liz Forbes.
"You know, if she was human, she'd be in her twenties. She'd still be so young. You're over a thousand years old. I'm sure you can understand why I'm not thrilled with this. Especially considering her history with much older men manipulating her."
"She told you about Damon." he said.
"A few years ago. It's not really something she likes to talk about with me. She's more the forgive and move on type, where I don't feel better until someone's punished. Typical cop I guess."
"You and I have that in common." he said.
Klaus glanced over to where Damon stood, chatting with Elena and Elijah across the lawn.
"You know, I thought he would have looked much nicer in pieces, scattered across the lawn." Klaus suggested. "But Caroline made me promise not to dismember any of her guests."
Liz laughed weakly, not entirely sure if he was joking.
"I'm going to need another drink for this." she said, walking away.
He found Stefan and sent him inside, then found the spot where Bonnie told him to stand. He was ready. He wanted it to be done. The waiting was gnawing at his nerves.
"You sure this is a good idea?" Elijah asked, walking up to him.
He turned to look at Elijah.
"Once again, your input is not needed, brother." Klaus scoffed.
"If you're looking for a way to protect yourself from death, this probably isn't the best idea."
"You know that isn't what this is about."
"I've heard the stories about this spell. I always imagined if any of us would use it, it would be Rebekah. She's always been so desperate for love, so hungry to hold on to it."
"Says the person who protected Katerina for all those centuries."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Please, Elijah. If she was left to her own devices, I would have found and killed her in the first decade. I know you were looking out for her."
"I think we should keep the focus on you today."
"Did you know she insisted on wearing a white dress? She's making Stefan walk her our here. It's outrageous, the way she clings to these human things."
"It's what you love about her. You don't have to pretend you're not enjoying it. Everyone will still be afraid of you even if you let slip that you actually want to see her walk up to you in that white dress."
Klaus tried to come back with something cutting, but the music of a compelled band started playing.
Bonnie walked in and everyone gathered around.
She nodded to Klaus and he felt himself getting jittery. This was what he wanted, he was sure of it. But what if she backed out at the last minute? What if she had changed her mind?
Then the back door opened.
Stefan stepped out first, holding his arm out to help her down the steps.
Caroline stepped into view in a wash of fluttering white gauze and silk, covered in crystals that made her sparkle. Everyone was looking at her, but her eyes went straight to him.
Klaus's heart dropped into his stomach and he forgot to breathe.
A flash went off and he snapped back to reality, picking up his jaw and taking a deep breath.
She looked beautiful. She looked happy. She looked ready.
She made her final step towards him and he stepped forward.
Stefan hugged her and whispered something in her ear, then he looked to Klaus and nodded slightly. Klaus nodded back, appreciating the silent bond he and Stefan were on their way back to getting. They had been brothers once before, almost a century ago. They could be brothers again. He was certain Caroline would insist on it. Stefan was her family too.
Klaus took Caroline's hands and brought her to the spot Bonnie had designated, and they looked into each other's eyes as Bonnie poured a ring of salt around them.
The candles lit up on their own and Bonnie moved around them, setting fire to bowls of herbs and potions.
"Ok, Klaus. Once I do this spell, you will be bound to Caroline for the rest of your lives. You can not be separated for more than a few days without feeling week and sick. You can not tell lies to each other. You will feel what the other feels, good and bad. And you can not die unless the other is killed in the same moment. Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes." he said.
"Alright. Caroline. Once I do this spell, you will be bound to Klaus for the rest of your lives. You can not be separated for more than a few days without feeling week and sick. You can not tell lies to each other. You will feel what the other feels, good and bad. And you can not die unless the other is killed in the same moment. Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes." Caroline nodded.
"Then let's get started." Bonnie said. She held out a knife. "I'm going to cut both of you in both of your have to be pretty deep cuts so they won't close up before the spell's done. I'll move your hands together and you hold them tight, so the parts of your palms that are bleeding are right up against each other. Then I'm going to put a teaspoon of this potion in each of your mouths. You can swallow it. When I say now, you kiss. Keep your hands locked together and keep kissing until you feel it stop."
"Feel what stop?" Caroline asked. She was starting to get worried. What if she did it wrong?
"You'll know." Bonnie smiled. She found a few ropes and draped them around the two figures, and checked all her candles and burning bowls one more time.
"Ready?" Bonnie asked.
They both nodded.
"Ok." Bonnie said, picking up her knife. "Here goes nothing."
She moved quickly, digging into Klaus's left palm first, then Caroline's right. She locked their hands together, then did the same on the other side.
Bonnie quickly poured the potion into both their mouths. It was strange and earthy tasting with a sharpness that followed it being swallowed. Caroline felt dizzy the second it hit her.
"Now!" Bonnie shouted.
Caroline could feel Klaus's fingers squeezing tighter as they kept their hands locked. Their lips met, and the second they connected something jolted through her. She held on tighter to him as she felt a strange spinning motion. It was a strong pull, something spinning them around but they were still in place. Then she was able to focus on her hands. She could feel the blood moving in a powerful current through the openings in their hands. Their blood was spinning together, spinning into him from her palm and back into her from his. It spun faster and faster until she felt something change. He was still kissing her but she felt it twice. She could feel his lips on hers, but she could also feel hers on him. She was suddenly aware of every part of his body in a way she had never been before. Everything was doubled.
The spinning slowed to a stop and the cuts in their palms healed completely. She broke away and looked back at him in awe.
"It's done." Bonnie said quietly, nudging an opening in the salt ring.
Everyone was clapping and cheering, which seemed to be the appropriate protocol for one of these things, none of them were really sure.
Klaus never looked away from Caroline to even acknowledge the crowd around them.
He moved one of his hands away from hers and traced a finger down her arm, making her shiver. He shuddered as she reacted to his touch.
"I felt that." he whispered.
It wasn't as if he felt it on the same place on his body where he touched hers, it was as if he had nerve endings that reached out through her. As if she was an extension of him.
She reached forward and put her hand on his shoulder to stand on her tiptoes and she kissed the spot behind his ear she knew he liked.
Caroline felt a warm tingly sensation that wasn't anywhere on her own body. She could feel what he was feeling.
"Oh." she whispered. "Wow."
They smiled at each other, thinking of all the ways they could have fun with their new connection.
Hand in hand, they walked out of their circle to greet their guests.
Lexi and Rebekah were laughing, sitting together at one of the tables in the yard.
"Does he make this face all the time?" Lexi asked, making a goofy impression of a stoic face.
"Oh, god. Yes. Serious vampire face." Bekah laughed.
"Oh, and how about the dance moves? Does he still do the thing like this?" Lexi asked, making a goofy motion with her hips.
Rebekah clapped a hand over her mouth to muffle her laughter.
"What are you guys laughing about?" Caroline asked, sitting next to them.
"Stefan." they replied in unison.
"Oh no, more horror stories from the past?"
"Lexi was telling me all about the eighties, and I was filling her in on the best Stefan stories from the twenties." Rebekah smiled.
"I'm glad you two are getting along." Caroline smiled.
"We blondes have to stick together." Lexi said. "And by stick together, I mean gang up on Stefan and tease him relentlessly."
"I'm looking forward to the look on his face when three blondes all have higher grade point averages than him." Rebekah chimed in.
"Wait, what?" Caroline asked.
"Well, your friend Lexi and I have been around a long time, we know our history and literature. And you're vampire married to the British lit professor. We're going to crush Stefan. I can't wait to beat him at finals and do my 'I'm smarter than you' dance."
"So you're coming with us? Back to school?"
"Already compelled myself into all of your classes. I won't be staying in the dorms though. No hall showers or roommates for me. Got a nice place right off campus."
"A place I'm sure Stefan will be spending many nights." Lexi teased.
"Oh please. I'm still mad at him from the thing in Hong Kong last spring." Bekah sniffed.
"Really?" Lexi teased. "Would you still be mad if you knew he drunk dialed his faithful old friend at least once a week to whine about missing you?"
"I'm sure he was referring to Elena." Rebekah said cautiously.
"Nope. He was pretty specific." Lexi said. "But hey, you're going back to college. Why not have a little fun with the buffet of hot human guys and make Stefan work for it a little longer."
"You're evil." Rebekah smiled. "I like you." She turned to Caroline. "I like this friend of yours."
"Good. Because she's in all our classes, and you're going to need help with 20th century history and culture."
"Blame your husband for that."
"He's not my husband."
"Oh whatever you call it, bound hearts, vampire married. Whatever it is, you're stuck with my brother forever."
"Yeah." Caroline smiled. It felt more real hearing someone else say it. "I guess I am stuck with him forever. It's pretty great, right?"
"To the newest member of my dysfunctional family." Rebekah said, raising her glass."
"Here, here!" Lexi agreed.
They clinked glasses and drank.
Klaus approached from across the lawn, stopping right behind Caroline to kiss the top of her head.
"What am I interrupting?" he asked playfully.
"Plans for world domination." Rebekah joked. "We're starting with driving Stefan crazy and working our way out from there."
"Ahh, crazy Stefan. My favorite Stefan." he replied.
"Not a chance." Lexi protested. "I'm not letting him go off the rails like the last time you got your filthy little hybrid claws in him. We're just going to have some fun with him until your sister decides she feels like taking him back."
"So, two minutes? Three, perhaps?" he joked.
"Not funny, Nik." Rebekah glared. "I have some restraint."
"I'm going to have so much fun with you in my classes." he sighed.
"What's the matter, Nik? Threatened by having a student who spent more time with Dickens than you did? Not to mention the Bronte sisters. They liked me much better than you."
"Caroline, have you seen that dagger?" he deadpanned.
"You're not funny." Caroline replied.
"No, but you love me anyway."
"I do." she agreed.
"Care for a dance, sweetheart?"
She excused herself from the girls and followed him to the small dance floor on the lawn.
He pulled her close, cupping one hand at her lower back as they swayed to the music.
"Rebekah has never been happier." he said quietly, making sure the vampires across the yard couldn't hear.
"She's had a thousand years to live. I'm sure she's had better days."
"She's never had a friend like you. And now, she has your friends accepting her as well, and a whole group of people who want to experience life with her. She can go to college and play at being human all she wants."
"She's been a good friend to me, ever since we got together. All of your siblings have been."
"That's because you're impossibly charming."
"Or it could be because you threatened daggering or dismemberment to them if they were mean to me?"
"It could be both." he said.
They swayed to the music, occasionally turning to look at all of their friends and family, getting along for once. Kol and Bonnie were whispering and giggling in a corner, Lexi was chastising Stefan for something and playfully teasing him. Elijah and Rebekah were entertaining Liz Forbes with some story about their past while Damon and Elena shared a quiet moment at one of the tables.
Caroline pulled Klaus close for a kiss that bordered on inappropriate for around other people.
"I don't think I'll ever get used to that." he said. He absently traced a finger down her neck and felt the shiver run through her.
"Me either. Can you imagine what it's going to be like when we..."
"I am really looking forward to getting you out of that dress later."
"We have another hour before the guests leave."
"Oh, so the dress has an hour and thirty seconds."
"Fine, I can get it off you in ten, but I can't promise I won't rip it at that speed."
She shook her head and laughed. "So not what I meant."
"I know." he replied, tilting his head down to look into her eyes.
She got lost in a faraway thought, looking out at the people around them and back at him. "It's amazing, isn't it? That we're here, like this. Together. I would have never imagined..."
"So what happens now?"
"Oh, you've read the stories, sweetheart." he said, "Now, we live happily ever after."