A/n: So yes, this is the reason I haven't been updating very much lately. This story is me and OKBooey31's brain child. We are very attached to it, so please tell us how you feel. We've already been working on the future chapters and scene ideas. We decided to publish this now so people can see what the characters and story is about while we work on the next chapter. And I'd like to say thank you to OKBooey for even letting me co-write this wonderfully entertaining project with her because it was originally her idea in the first place. Well, she already had bits and pieces of this story when I mentioned in one of my PM's that I'd like to do a Klaroline baby fic. She offered to mix our ideas and co-write this. And honestly, I mostly just edited this first chapter. I've been obsessed with Sherlock lately, as I have mentioned, and well, I don't like writing a story when I'm not currently inspired by/obsessed with the fandom, so she did a lot of the original writing in this first chapter. I really only wrote the nightmare scene. Anyway, enjoy, and OKBooey, I hope you don't mind that I named the story without asking you, I was just so eager to publish it, but we can change it to whatever you want.
Disclaimer: We have firmly established that if we owned this show, we would have forced Joseph to marry both of us by now.
"Fear is the beginning of cruelty."-Anonymous
"Okay, you can do this. It's no big deal. When he gets home, just tell him. It's three words…well technically it's two 'cause of the contraction between I and am," the blonde told her reflection, pausing at the randomness of her own thoughts, "Focus, Caroline, focus! It's not that hard. One sentence, two words, and then he…" she paused as she looked down at the counter, her eyes studying the pregnancy test that was in her hand and the other three on the marble counter, considering what her boyfriend's reaction would be. The little plus signs all looked back up at her mockingly. She honestly had no idea how he would react. Or…she did. She just didn't want her assumptions to be right…
She sighed as she turned away from the mirror and slid down against the counter, tears filling her eyes as she pulled her blonde curls out of her face. She pulled her knees to her chest in a protective gesture and stared at the pregnancy test. Caroline had no idea how long she sat there in the locked bathroom before there was a knock on the door.
"Sweetheart? Are you in there?" Caroline would recognize that accent anywhere. It was one of the main things that made her agree to go out with in the first place, years ago.
Caroline felt her eyes grow wide as she jumped, nearly dropping the pregnancy test onto the tiled floor. "Uh, yeah! I'll be out in a minute!" She called, scrambling to throw away all the 'evidence' and fighting to keep the strain out of her fake cheerful tone.
"Is everything alright?"
"Yeah… never better! I… just got out of the shower!" she lied, hoping he would buy it but she wasn't holding her breath. Nik was the one who informed her that she was a terrible liar. Actually, it was Bonnie, when they were 8. But Nik could always hear in her voice whether she was being truthful.
"Okay. I'll be down stairs," Klaus said after a minute, opting to ignore the worry in the back of his mind for now, "Elijah and Katherine are back in town. I told 'Lijah we would meet them for dinner later. He said they had something to tell us."
"Sounds good," she called after his retreating footsteps, suppressing her groan until they had disappeared out of their bedroom. Caroline had just found out life changing news and the last thing she wanted to do was go to dinner with her brother and sister-in-law. She looked at her reflection in the mirror and was about to walk out when she remembered saying something about a shower. "Shit…" she mumbled, turning the sink on and wetting her hair. And the award for the most neurotic blonde goes to… even her thoughts were mocking her now.
With a huff, Caroline took in her 'showered' appearance before heading out the bathroom door and down the stairs. She found Klaus in the kitchen, the TV on ESPN in the living room- some soccer game- and he was drinking straight from the jug of orange juice. "Do you really have to do that? Other people in this house like orange juice and would appreciate drinking it without your slobber contaminating it, Nik."
Klaus smirked at her. "Oh, come on, sweetheart. You're no stranger to my saliva," he said with a wink.
Well, at least he's in a good mood, Caroline thought. For now, the little voice in the back of her head added and she groaned, sitting down on a bar stool.
"What's going on?" he asked, before bringing the carton back up to his lips, trying to provoke her into smiling or slapping him. Either one would be fine; he just wanted to get her back to normal.
Caroline bit her lip, "You might want to swallow that first," she mumbled as he cocked an eyebrow and put the carton down on the counter.
"There. You have my undivided attention," he was truly starting to become nervous.
He stood there, gawking at her as she bit her lip, waiting for a response. She waited for what felt like forever, watching the surprise freeze his angelic features. Quite ironic really, she thought randomly, angelic feautures on such a man. Concerned that he wasn't even breathing, Caroline broke the silence.
"Nik?" she asked hesitantly, now biting the inside of her mouth, genuinely worried about his response.
"What?" he finally deadpanned, like he had just forgotten the last five minutes.
"I'm pregnant?" She was seriously becoming concerned for his mental status. Maybe he's going into shock?
"Are you sure?"
"Um, yeah. I'm late and I've never been late a day in my life."
He pursed his lips and nodded slowly, taking in the information. It was obvious he was still processing it when he started speaking again. "We're going to dinner in an hour," he said simply before walking out of the kitchen in a daze, leaving Caroline staring at the space he had just occupied. Not shock then. Denial.
Klaus hadn't said a word to her since he walked out of the kitchen earlier and Caroline couldn't take the awkward tension anymore as they sat at the table in the restaurant waiting for Katherine and Elijah to show up.
"Nik?" she said from her spot across the table. He was staring at the white tablecloth, fingering his glass of scotch. He'd been doing that since they arrived.
"Nik," she hisses this time and, finally, his blue eyes snap up to hers. She sees the anger in them, masking something else that she can't quite name, and she reaches for his hand but he jerks away. "Seriously? Is this how it's going to be?" She prays that her voice doesn't portray the hurt she's feeling.
"I don't want to talk about this right now, Caroline," he says, leaning back in his chair and running a hand over his face like he does when he gets a headache.
She doesn't have time to respond because Elijah and Katherine arrive and the mood changes into one of smiles and hugs as they greet each other and Elijah orders a bottle of wine for the table.
"Would you like a glass, Caroline?" he asks kindly. Politeness was always her favorite quality of her brother-in-law.
"Um, no thank you," she says forcing a smile that quickly fades when she notices Klaus' glare. If he wasn't giving her the silent treatment, she'd ask him what the hell he was looking at. It's not as if she was making it obvious; she's never liked wine much. So, instead, she tells herself that pregnant women aren't supposed to drink…she's pretty sure she's heard that somewhere before. Dear God, she's not ready to be a mom.
"Then how about two more glasses of scotch instead of the wine," she hears Elijah tell the waiter. Klaus raises an eyebrow. Caroline catches Katherine's smile and the fond look Elijah gives her.
"What's going on?" Klaus asks for the second time in just over an hour, leaning back to observe his brother and sister-in-law. Caroline gets a sinking feeling in her stomach, like she knows what's about to happen and is praying it won't.
"Well," Katherine says, her smile growing on her face. "We're pregnant!" she says excitedly and Klaus chokes on his scotch.
Caroline does her best to look happy as she hugs Katherine and congratulates Elijah. She kicks Klaus under the table when she realizes he's just sitting there with that dumbfounded look on his face, the same surprise that was written on his features earlier. She'd laugh if she wasn't so upset with him.
"Bloody hell," he finally says, "My sister-in-law and my girlfriend drop the same bomb within an hour of each other."
And then the attention is turned to her as Katherine laughs in delighted shock, leaning over to hug her, and chattering excitedly about how the babies are going to be the very best of friends and other nonsense as Elijah claps Klaus on the back, one of the brothers obviously more excited than the other. Caroline would normally smirk at the out-right joy of her sister-in-law and how out of character it was. Guess that's what pregnancy brings out…she thinks bitterly, wishing she could be as ecstatic as Katherine is.
Caroline huffs and spends the rest of the evening talking to Katherine about baby names, nursery ideas, and all other things as Klaus downs more scotch (Caroline finally cuts him off) and Elijah makes small talk with his brother.
At the end of the evening, they say their goodbyes and Elijah and Katherine head back to the hotel they're staying in for one more night. Caroline grabs Klaus' car keys from his pocket, not even bothering to look at him, and stalks to their black SUV. She climbs in behind the wheel and stairs straight ahead. He doesn't say a word to her as she drives them home and, not for the first time today, Caroline wants to cry.
She sits outside on the porch for a long time after Klaus had stalked inside. Her thumb was hesitantly hovering over the 'Call' button on her cell phone, her best friend's phone number dialed as a tear runs down her cheek. She sighs and stands up to go inside, deciding to call Elena tomorrow. Maybe Lexi's back from her trip to Rio…
Things get worse when she gets to the living room to find her pillow and a couple of blankets laid out on the couch. She grabs her pillow and storms up to their room, slamming the door open.
"What the hell is your problem?" she demanded upon seeing him lounging in the middle of the bed, reading some nondescript 'classic'. The nerve of him, sitting there all unaffected. Caroline throws her pillow onto the bed. There is no way in hell she is sleeping on the couch tonight.
"I don't have a problem," he says without looking up.
"You're being ridiculous, Nik. It's not fair," she says, her voice breaking as she can't stop the tears this time.
"We can't have a baby, Caroline."
"Because…because...well why doesn't matter. We just can't have a baby, Caroline!"
"That's the stupidest excuse I've ever heard!"
"It's still a 'no'! Get an abortion or something. I don't care what you do, just get it taken care of," he said dismissively, trying to hide the shake in his voice. She narrowed her eyes as she realized that this was about something else, he was trying to mask something behind the pretense of cold indifference. She doesn't care what it is at the moment, though. Fact is, he's being a complete jackass.
"Klaus!" she said, wrapping her arms around her stomach, a movement that's both protective to the being inside her and an attempt to keep her sobs in. She shook her head, blonde curls bouncing with the movement. "You better damn well listen to me, Niklaus Mikaelson. I'm having this baby whether you like it or not. I'll do it with or without you, so, make your choice!" she exclaims before storming out of the room and back downstairs where she curls up on the couch and cries.
Caroline pressed a hand to her stomach and rubbed it soothingly. "It's okay, baby. Mommy's here and I won't let anything happen to you. Mommy will always take care of you," she whispers, making a promise to herself and to her baby that she will learn how to be a good mother even if it kills her.
As it turned out, he didn't have a peaceful and unaffected sleep. Not at all. In front of Caroline, he over-projected his anger so she wouldn't notice anything else. Actually, the pretense was intended to fool himself more than her. But even he couldn't hide from his subconious, most certainly not in a dream.
It wasn't like he hadn't had this particular dream before. He had. Many times, in fact. But it still affected him the same way-cold sweats. The dream-nightmare- frightened him. Because it's different. In most of his dreams, he can tell, in some tiny part of his subconscious, that it isn't real. But with this one, he feels it. He feels like everything happening to him is real. He feels every punch his father inflicts to his face. He feels every bruise, every crack in his ribs, every black eye and every cut from his father's pocket knife. The bruises pulse with a persistent aching that is in time with his heartbeat. The cracks in his ribs break more every time he breathes, like needles and stones digging into his insides. The cuts sting like acid-like alcohol being poured over open wounds- every time the wind hits them. And he lays there, half curled in on himself, as that man-he refuses to call him 'father' anymore by that point- says things to him that leave longer-lasting scars than the cuts do, things like 'useless, stupid mutt', 'god-damned bastard', and the worst of all 'nobody cares about you, boy'.
Even his imagination couldn't conjure up that accurate of sensory perceptions. No. This dream is different because he feels it and he feels it because it's not just a dream, it's a memory. Back then, his father would tell him it was all his fault. Of course, Nik was only a child. Hardly even eight years old. He would see his parents scream at each other and watch as his father threw around furniture and words like 'cheating slut', but he never knew what any of it meant. The one thing that was always engrained into the back of his mind though…was that it was all his fault. He didn't understand how, but he'd had it shouted in his face so many times that he'd started to believe it. Years later, his mother finally explained to him what his father had burned on his memory-he was not Mikael's son. His mother had had an affair with a man from her office, years before, and from it, Niklaus was born. His mother told him that right before she ran off, never to be seen again. Mikael probably always knew-that's why the beatings had started. He'd needed an outlet for his fury. And the defenseless boy became that outlet, that punching bag.
The Mikaelson kids had been sent into foster care after that. They had once made the mistake of trying to separate Niklaus and Rebekah. Rebekah bit the social worker to the point of making her hand bleed. Niklaus broke every chair in the orphanage's living room. Needless to say Rebekah was not taken away that day.
But Klaus saw it almost every night, his father's face, as he felt him lash out against him. And over and over again, with each hit, he would hear the words that stung more than any of the physical crap.
Nobody cares about you anymore, Boy.
Nobody cares about you anymore, Boy.
Nobody cares about you…..
It rang in his head as he tossed and turned in their bed. The sheets were soaked and tangled from his sweating and turning, but the words kept pounding into his brain as he fought with every fiber of his being to make himself believe that they weren't true. He breathes hard as the dream changes directions. Funny, he'd normally wake up at this point. The dream turned, he was no longer with his father. This time, he was the father. He was standing in a plain, dark room and a little boy was sitting on the ground in front of him. Klaus repressed a scream as he recognized himself in the boy's face and distinctive blond curls. Clear blue eyes looked up at him through a film of tears, the boy's chin was shaking in fear. The boy had a bruise just above his right eyebrow. Klaus blinked and flashed back to the day he had gotten hit in the exact same place. One more blink and he was right back in that dark room with the little boy. Nik clenched his fists in a nervous habit, and felt something wet on them. He slid his fingers together in an attempt to determine what the substance was. Everything went in the type of slow-motion one sees in horror movies as he turned his palms up. His heartbeat doubled and his face grew hot as he saw it. Blood. All over his hands, covering them. He looked down at the boy quickly and saw that more damage had appeared-cuts and bruises and scars, all over him, covering his body, blood soaking his white pajamas. He turned around in a panic, but it was no use. There was no door. The only thing he saw was a mirror. When he saw the face in it, he screamed, bolting upright in bed. His heart pounded as he rapidly turned his hands out in front of his face. He let out a huge breath as he saw that they were clean. He put a hand on his face and breathed into his fingers as he waited for his pulse to slow down and his mind to stop racing and sending up red-alert signals. He fell back down onto the bed with two conflicting thoughts raging war inside his head:
'That baby will not die because of me' and 'I cannot be a father'.
The face he had seen in the mirror was not his own; he'd seen his father's face staring back at him.