Disclaimer: Not mine. Title is from "Re: Stacks" by Bon Iver (and did I just out myself as a hipster? Oops…).


Your Love Will Be (Safe With Me)

Caroline has no idea what he wants from her. Absolution, maybe, but his sins are too numerous and she's not nearly old enough to be able to offer that amount of forgiveness. Besides, most of it isn't hers to give anyway. Or maybe he wants entertainment, but she's not even nice to him, and she thinks as far as drinking buddies go, he's still holding out for Stefan to come back around. But still he hangs around, enough to spur Damon into making leering innuendos and for Stefan to cast her these subtle, worried looks.

I fancy you, he says and she scoffs at the memory. He can't fancy her because he doesn't even know her and it's kind of terrifying because as soon as she stumbles even a little—steps one toe off the pedestal, who knows what he'll do? She isn't perfect—she doesn't even try to hide that she loves someone else, and maybe he thinks the chase is fun now, but what happens when he realizes he'll never actually catch her? Caroline isn't an idiot, and every modern American girl is familiar enough with fairytales to know that the princess never falls in love the villain. And she has Tyler, her very own Prince Phillip with a feather in his hat to her Aurora, so she really doesn't need the Big Bad Wolf worming his way into a fairytale that isn't even his. She's not Little Red Riding Hood, and there's no room for Klaus in this story.

And anyway, it's got to be because she's roughly the same coloring as Rebekah, right? Caroline doesn't have any siblings, but maybe he thinks in his psycho brain that she's some kind of redemption for all the crappy things he did to his sister; and beyond that, to his family in general.

She thinks that he's definitely one of those guys who thinks someone else can save him; the perennial drowning victim who is too busy desperately thrashing for rescue to realize he's pulling his would-be savior down with him. Because she has no doubt he would drag her down to hell—she could give him an inch, but he wouldn't just take a mile, he would take an entire marathon. And she can't keep giving pieces of herself away because sooner or later, there won't be anything left for her to hold onto.

You're beautiful, strong; you're full of light. I enjoy you; but Caroline is not some ditzy stereotype—not anymore—and words are just words. How could he possibly enjoy her when he's spent all of, what, twenty minutes (during some of which she was feverish and having a major existential crisis) with her?

So she plays the worm on the hook to Klaus's fish because she loves Elena and in what universe does Klaus think he could possibly rank higher than the best friend she's had since before she could walk? A little blonde distraction… She draws the battle lines because this is how things are—she's on Team Good, Team White Knight, Team Hero and he's killed more people than currently inhabit her hometown. A few long, lingering stares may make her cheeks turn red but they don't make up for the crap he's put her—and Elena, and Bonnie, and Stefan, and Tyler, and everyone she loves—through.

And yeah, maybe he's pissed and eerily quiet for a few days; and maybe she reinforces all the locks on the windows and doors (and she fools herself into thinking that makes any kind of difference), but nothing comes. It makes her wonder if maybe fancy wasn't a strong enough word, and seriously, how terrifying is that? The higher up he puts her, the more likely she'll shatter into a million tiny pieces when she inevitably falls and no one will be able to put her back together.

He's obsessed with you, Damon says matter-of-factly and it sends a chill down her spine. She's seen obsession, in—irony of ironies—Damon, in his single-minded determination to rescue Katherine from a grave she never needed saving from. She knows how quickly obsession turns into hate, into an all-consuming burn for revenge, and it's not like Klaus was ever really all that stable in the first place. So she keeps Tyler's return a secret and avoids being in public because she sucks at keeping secrets and Damon's nose twitches knowingly whenever he's around her.

But all Klaus does when he finds out Tyler's back is force a pissing contest that makes Caroline roll her eyes because seriously, for someone who's been alive for over a thousand years, he is a total child. She wants to snap at him that she can get him a ruler if he wants, but she's not certain she's ready to find out just how far she can push him before he lashes out at her. She does scoff at him when he predicts with an annoying amount of self-assurance that she'll show up at his door one day for him to take her around the world because seriously there's nothing stopping her from seeing the world with Tyler, the boy she actually loves.

His eyes narrow and darken and she thinks with a slight frisson of fear snaking through her insides, but he just lets go and leaves and for a fleeting moment she lets herself wonder if maybe fairytales are overrated.

The walls of her defenses, which he had been chipping away at since the night of her birthday, start to crumble entirely after Elena rescues her from Alaric's evil alter ego at the high school. It's me, he says as she struggles blindly against him. You're safe, he says and then he tells her—promises her that he'll save her best friend, that all anyone wants her to do right now is get home and stay there. He punctuates this with a sharp turn so that his eyes bore right into hers and he says with a hint of desperation, Do you understand me? When she thanks him, her voice cracking over the words, his eyes sweep over her and then he's gone and she does exactly as he ordered.

Huddled under her covers, she thinks maybe she was wrong, maybe—

Her cell phone chirps and when Tyler tells her that Klaus had drained Elena of half of her blood and only stopped short of killing her because of his and the Salvatores' intervention, she realizes she was right all along. He'll lie and manipulate and pull everyone down with him just to get what he wants and she gathers up all the alcohol she's managed to sneak into her house over the past few months and goes to Elena's. She puts on her best happy face and drinks to his demise because she would rather have one lifetime with Elena than a thousand with Klaus.

There's no room for him in her happy ending.

...


A/N: Eep, this ended up sad. But still pretty please review? And for anyone reading the earth is not a cold dead place or the birth and death of the day —not to worry, I'm working furiously on them. ~xo