Thanks to criminal-intent for the awesome idea: this one's for you :) Set right after 3x20. Enjoy :D

Disclaimer: I do not own The Vampire Diaries.

The anger overtook him, as it often did. Fury was in his nature, even as a human, it had been hidden deep within him, and when he turned, it only amplified, a hundred times over.

"Come on. One dance. I won't bite."

Klaus felt his bones breaking into pieces one by one. It was agony, overwhelming agony. The hybrid knew himself to be strong, but even he could not eradicate the pain that came with the werewolf curse. And, in the end, the pain turned to release; freedom. A freedom man could not posses.

"You would've loved the 1920's, Caroline. Girls were reckless, sexy, fun. They literally used to dance until they dropped."

As the last of his bones had snapped into place and his paws hit the ground, Klaus took off in a run. The wind whipped through his fur, his breaths coming out in pants as he sprinted deep into the woods. Klaus felt the strength in his legs as he ran, leaping over fallen trees and ducking under over brush.

"Perhaps one day, in a year, or even in a century you'll turn up at my door and let me show you what the world has to offer."

He felt his mind begin to focus on one thing: hunt, feed, kill. He knew what he must have looked like to any human who crossed his path. A great big wolf, its fur grey streaked with the purest white, standing taller than normal wolves, and indeed every other werewolf or even hybrid. His amber eyes focused on the world around him, sharp white teeth glistening under the stars.

The moon was not full, but it didn't matter; he was a hybrid, after all, the perfect predator.

"You mark my words; small town boy, small town life, it won't be enough for you."

He didn't know how long he was at it; just running as fast as his four legs could carry him. Occasionally he picked up a scent or two, but nothing that really caught his attention. So he just ran.

Eventually, a scent wafted to him, sweet and familiar, but with an undertone of something dangerously spicy. Klaus immediately knew what it was; blood. Suddenly filled with new purpose, he bounded to the source of the tempting scent.

His paws hit the rough dirt ground, breath coming out in shorter pants. He felt his excitement rise, ready for a fresh kill. He leapt over a small stream that wound its way through the forest, running through some underbrush and into a small clearing. He stood still for a moment, looking around. It was here the trail ended.

It was only a moment later that he finally found the source of the tantalizing scent.

Across the clearing, against a tree lay Caroline, still in her 1920s garb, her hair spilling out of her tight curls. Only, now, her dress was not the only thing that was red, her blood having stained her white gloves and just about everything else. Her breathing was shallow and she would let out the occasional whimper. As he took all of this in, Klaus finally noticed the stake sticking out of her chest, one of her hands wrapped around it feebly.

All thoughts of hunting left Klaus' mind as he looked at the injured girl and, instead of attacking like he had planned to, he approached slowly so as not to frighten her more.

"G-Get away!" Caroline shouted when she heard his footsteps, her voice almost feeble as she hissed in pain. Klaus continued to approach her, a little more slowly, making his way into her sight. Her eyes widened in utter surprise when she finally noticed him, before her face melted into a look of relief. "Tyler?" She asked, her voice breaking slightly. "Is that you?"

For some unknown reason, Klaus felt his heart grow heavy at her assumption. He was about to indicate that he was most certainly not that bloody Lockwood boy when Caroline continued.

"No… You're not Tyler." She stated, a look of realization coming onto her pained face. "Tyler's a different wolf, you…" She muttered, her words beginning to slur slightly. "… you're different." Her eyes began to drift, her grip on the stake loosening, causing Klaus to panic slightly. She was weakening. Throwing caution to the wind, he sprinted to her side, and nuzzled her face with his snout, trying to keep her awake.

Caroline snapped her eyes open, letting out a pained whimper before meeting his amber gaze. It saddened Klaus, to see the beautiful blond vampire so utterly broken. It was the same feeling he had had when he saw her lying on her bed, dying on her birthday.

He had saved her then and he would save her now.

Stay awake, he thought at her, trying to make her see, stay alive. Klaus wished he could transform into a man, but he did not have enough time, her condition was too severe for him to wait. He knew what type of wound this was; the stake must be scraping her heart and, if her hand slipped too much, she could very well pierce it.

"Stay awake." Caroline muttered and, for a moment, Klaus thought maybe she had heard his thoughts. Quickly, getting over his momentary distraction, he moved to stand in front of her. As gently as he could, he closed his jaw around her hand, taking it carefully from the stake without moving the wood. Caroline seemed to understand that he was simply trying to help, and let him maneuver her around. There was nothing she could do but gasp in agony.

Every time she let out her pained moans, it was like there was a stake being driven into Klaus' heart, as well.

Just as carefully as before, he bit on the end of the stake and pulled it free, spitting the despicable thing out, watching as it rolled in the grass. Caroline screamed once, her face twisting in hurt but it soon turned to relief.

Klaus could see the healing process already beginning and he knew she would be alright. The gruesome wound was already knitting together and he heard Caroline's sweet sigh, her eyes drifting closed.

"Thank you." She whispered.

Klaus would have smiled if he could.


Caroline awoke in her bed, hazily wondering why she was still in her pseudo 1920s dress. Once she was more awake she began to remember what had happened. The dance. Klaus coming in and ruining her moment with Tyler. Alaric… Poor Alaric… Tyler insisting on taking her home, Caroline refusing, knowing she need a bit of time to herself. Walking home… Being caught unaware by a human man, one whom she recognized as being one of the council members.

He must've figured out her secret because the next thing she knew, he had vervained her, using a dart similar to one of Ric's. He had then taken a stake to her, and, though she was already weak, she managed to narrowly avoid it piercing her heart. Just as she was about to retaliate though, she had heard more people approaching, and, instead, using the last of her strength, she had blurred off into the forest.

The next part of her memory was blurry, all she really knew was she had been in incredible pain. Still, she knew she had been saved, because here she lay, healed, in her own bed. A flash of wolf came to her mind, it was terrifyingly beautiful, taller than a wolf should be. Though she was sure it was not Tyler that came to her rescue, there was something frighteningly familiar about the wolf, and, when she looked into its amber eyes, she could have sworn she saw a flash of the most stunning blue…

Ignoring her curiosity, Caroline got up from her bed, feeling the need for a shower, or three. Just as she had collected all of the necessary things and she was about to exit to the bathroom, she saw a piece of paper, stuck in the window. Putting her stuff, down she went to the window and opened it, causing the paper to fall out. She grabbed it before it could drift away from her. Turning it over, Caroline noticed a simple line of elegant script.

Caroline, it read, the offer still stands. The words brought Caroline back to earlier in the night.

Perhaps one day, in a year, or even in a century you'll turn up at my door and let me show you what the world has to offer."

She glanced out the window, her hand tight around the paper. Klaus. Her mystery savior. She knew she should feel nothing for him, nothing at all, but she could not help her gratitude. He had saved her for the second time. And this time it was not for some deal with her mother.

"Small town boy, small town life; it won't be enough for you."

Still looking out the window, she thought of their conversation. He had been so… sad. It was odd, but, for a moment she had almost sympathized with him. She knew what it was like to be rejected, to be everybody's second choice. She had shut down her traitorous feelings soon enough, however, and gave him the treatment that was expected.

Now, though, she wondered what would have happened if she had successfully managed to scare him off. She would be dead, for sure. She glanced once more to the paper, before looking to the outside world.

"Thank you…" She whispered for the second time. "…Klaus."

For the slightest second she was convinced she saw the shadow of a figure, a man. The next second it was gone, though, so she took no notice. Doing one more sweep with her eyes, she shut the window and turned away.


Klaus watched as Caroline closed her window, relieved to see she was perfectly fine. When she had fallen unconscious he had been utterly panicked, but, once he noticed she no longer bled he knew it was simply the exhaustion of the night's events that was weighing her down. Knowing, he could not just leave her there, he had transformed back into a man, and carried her home.

He only wanted to stay for a moment, knowing her attackers were most likely out still there. When she had thanked him again though, this time knowing just who she was thanking, it had taken all his years of self control to not to make himself known. Still, here he stood, watching over her.

Now, that she was awake however, he knew it was safe to go. A part of him did not want to, wanted to stay by her, reassure himself she was alive… but, she would never want that if she knew. He had to go, because, for now, she wanted nothing to do with him. Maybe she would find him eventually, after a few decades.

As Klaus turned to leave he felt an unexpected wave of sadness. He was leaving Mystic Falls and, where he was going, there would be no Caroline Forbes to light his way. He briefly considered just taking her, but he knew he couldn't do that, not to her.

So, instead, he took his anger and grief and, for the second time in one night, he felt himself turn into a wolf. This time he did not cry out in pain, nor did he feel any freedom when he once again stood on four legs. As he ran away from the house, from Caroline, his mind did not single-mindedly turn to hunt, feed, kill.

Instead it was filled with the image of a beautiful blonde girl.

Klaus stopped suddenly, and stood on his haunches. He raised his head and let out a long, loud howl, the sound filled with feeling a normal wolf could not posses.

Goodbye Caroline.

FIN

For the purposes of this story, Alaric told the council about the vampires immediately after he turned (the night of the dance). Assume that Klaus went to go get his clothes before he returned Caroline back to her home… or, you know, don't :)

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!

RW