A/N- I hope you're as proud of a relatively quick update as I am. Yes this is quick for me! We find out a LOT this chapter, even though its smaller than the rest, and also some Klaroline feels (I hope). Do let me know what you think! Review tc...
"Have you ever lost anyone?"
Only a soft grumble of response left Klaus as he wriggled in his sleep, causing Caroline's head to move along with his body. Shifting her head back to rest over his stomach, she ran a soothing hand up from the bare, warm skin of his abdomen to his chest, trying to rouse him from his half-sleeping state. Somehow, for a self-proclaimed 'cold hearted man' he was always warm to touch. Sighing into the dip of his lower stomach she repeated her question, a little loudly this time.
His entire body gyrated as he groaned in irritation, resting a hand on her messy curls and mumbling, "No, I've never been married."
Rolling her eyes and giggling at his nonsensical response, she turned around to face him, resting her chin on his stomach and lightly tapping him on the chest, hard enough to make him open his eyes and look down at her. "I didn't ask if you were ever married. Though it makes me wonder what you dream about." She added as an afterthought.
"What?" he yawned, rubbing his eyes and turning to look at the digital clock on the bedside table, "It's late, go to sleep."
"Five minutes." she pleaded, crawling up his lean frame until she reached the crook of his neck, nuzzling her nose against his jaw she put on her best whiny yet adorable voice and added, "Please?"
"What. What?" he murmured incoherently, rubbing his palms over his face almost violently and silently reprimanding himself for not being able to tell her to shut up and go to sleep.
"Have you ever lost anyone?" she repeated for the third time, half-climbing on top of him to make herself comfortable.
The tone of her soft, sorrow tainted voice made him forget his momentary annoyance at having his beauty sleep disturbed as he pulled his arms around her, bounding her closer to him; physical gestures were his only type of extending comfort. Sighing loudly and brushing her unruly hair off her face he asked, "What do you mean?"
"I mean..." she hesitated, intimidated by the serious look in his eyes she averted her gaze and continued, "Someone you love. Like I lost my parents and Stefan?"
He took a minute to appreciate her stubbornness; even despite so many failed attempts and an almost declaration by the police that there was no hope left, Caroline still refused to believe she had lost Rebekah. And Klaus genuinely believed she would never let go of her sister, her resolve to find and believe in Rebekah was what attracted him to her in the first place.
"I've never really had anyone Caroline" he digressed, already getting uncomfortable with this line of dialogue. Feelings, and more importantly expressing said feelings were not qualities he prided himself on. But from his short time with Caroline, he had come to understand that sometimes; if he wished not to anger her and undergo days of guilt and feeling like the 'scum of the earth' – he had to indulge her in times like this. So he did, answering as honestly and gently as he could, knowing that there were some things about him she could never understand. And it always amazed him how she took those things with a grain of salt and never judged and belittled him for it.
"I was two when my parents died in a car crash. I only found out when I turned 18 and started digging around. I never had parents, just foster homes."
"No siblings?" she asked.
"Nope" he responded with a small smile, watching the way her head rose and fell with his every breath, completely in-sync. "No siblings, and I've never had an actual friend other than Dexter."
"What about girlfriends?" she inquired with fake innocence, nudging him in the ribs when he laughed at catching the bitterness in her tone.
"I've never had girlfriends." He answered coyly, his hand moving to graze her cheek on instinct when she lightly kissed his chest.
"Never?" she demanded, her brows furrowing furthermore when he shook his head, "Not even one?" she added almost appalled at the thought.
"I don't do girlfriends." He answered nonchalantly, pursing his lips when her nose crinkled in half-annoyance and half-anger.
"Why do you like me?" she burst out, fighting her sudden urge to blush and cower in embarrassment, she raised her brows and stared up at Klaus.
"Well because you're quite naked at this moment." He quipped impishly, tantalizingly running his fingers from her hips to the curve of her breast.
"I'm serious Klaus." she said defiantly, scurrying away from his distracting hands.
"I know." he lamented, he could see just how serious she from her eyes. "Isn't this enough touchy feely for today? Let's schedule this conversation for next week." He added in what he thought was a joking tone, but from the way Caroline's face paled and her eyes drooped down it was clear that he didn't sound as witty as he wished to.
"Ok." She mumbled in defeat, shrinking away from him but he held her in place, grumbling inertly and cursing his lack of willpower he said, "Caroline ugh..."
Honesty is what he always went with, and it was always something she appreciated. And as always, she did what she always did when he refused to talk about his feelings; shrug and smile with the least amount of hurt possible and said, "It's okay."
"No its not" he countered, bounding her to him with more fervor. "I just don't know how to explain it."
"Try?" she said meekly, smiling warmly and relaxing in his arms when she realized she had won this battle.
He thought about it for a minute, wondering how to word what or why he felt what he did – especially when he himself had no idea what he felt. And that's when he realized it, he'd never really had anyone; no parents, siblings, friends, girlfriends, nothing. The only thing he had to show for his 30 years of existence, the only real person he had in his life was Caroline; and he owed her this.
"You know how you have that blue tattered shirt?" he suddenly quipped, moving up against the pillows so he could get a good look at her. The twinkle in his eyes made her crinkle her forehead in intrigue as she nodded and urged him to continue.
"You buy clothes all the time; on sale, off sale. You've been trying on different clothes and style's your whole life, but that one faded, old shirt still remains. I know it means something to you, that it has a special place in your life. And after you buy new clothes and throw away the old, out of fashion one – this one never leaves you. Every time you open your wardrobe, it's always there – sitting in its dirty, torn, ragged glory. But it's always there. Nothing fits you better than that blue shirt."
"What are you talking about?" Caroline said with a small laugh, shaking her head at his inventive methods to explain things to her.
"I'm saying that that – you're my old, smelly, tattered, blue shirt." he declared, scrunching up his face quite comically as he replayed the words in his head and let out a laugh causing her to chuckle along with him. "Ok maybe that was a bad analogy, but what I mean is..."
"And what you mean is?" she egged him on, not letting go now that he had opened up slightly.
"I tried on a lot of things in my life Caroline." Klaus said, a small trace of sadness clouding his otherwise neutral voice. "I tried to study, it didn't fit. I joined the army and did some things I'll never forget, but it didn't fit. I even tried to be a painter, and that didn't fit at all. I joined the FBI, jumped from missing persons to narcotics – and it feels like that's where I belong, but..."
"Still doesn't fit?" she supplied, shrugging slightly.
"And then I found you, and you fit perfectly" he whispered, leaving a ghost of a kiss over her ear and felt her smile into his skin, "Like you were made just for me. And no matter what happens, what new things I try on – I know you'll always be there."
"Well to be fair, Mr. Mikaelson" Caroline said sultrily, slithering up his body like a snake and pressing her cheek against his, making his short, spiky stubble graze against the softness of her skin. Breathing into his ear, she hissed "I was the one who found you"
"Oh! I see" he mocked, getting with these playful turn of events and flipped her onto her back, hovering over her and nestling in between her legs, "Does that mean you get to take all the credit?"
"Mmhmm" she mumbled against his ear as he sloppily kissed her jaw and neck, "We both know I'm the smart one in this relationship."
"Oh and what does that make me?"
She pretended to think about this extremely important question for a full minute, pursing her lips and biting her inner cheek while he nibbled on her neck, before declaring with a bright smile and a little happy dance, "You're the pretty face and nothing more."
"Oh really?" he challenged with a menacing growl and narrowing of his eyes, attempting to frighten her and while a few weeks ago she would have definitely felt afraid, but now it only made her burst out in riotous laughter and mock him more.
"You're like a pissed little kitten Klaus." She screamed when he flipped them over and over again, rolling over to his side of the bed, intent on showing her just how scary he could be.
His attempts to scare her made her laugh so hard that night that the sound of her laughter was forever etched in his mind. And he stored that laughter in his head, not knowing that very soon, he'd be haunted by it every second of every day.
"I'm coming, I'm coming" Klaus yelled angrily, directing his angered assurances at the person frantically knocking on the door. Striding through the small room to open the door, his face split into a wide, obnoxious cocky grin when he saw a frazzled Katherine standing outside. Not even waiting to greet him she pushed past him and walked into the room, stopping momentarily when she saw Dexter sitting on the table chair.
"Who's he?" she asked, turning around to look back at Klaus.
"Who's she?" Dexter countered, pointing a finger at Katherine and causing Klaus to roll his eyes.
"Katherine, Dexter. Dexter, Katherine." He offered, waving his hand between the two of them before finally settling on Katherine, "I knew you'd come crawling back."
"I haven't..." Katherine began angrily, clenching her jaw and widening her eyes at him before abruptly stopping and lowering her head, as if trying to collect herself. Deciding that someone had to mature in this 'relationship' she kept a cool head and deterred herself from telling him off, "Klaus, I'm going to forget about 'this battle of the ego's' and I hope you do too, because I found something and I know it's important."
"What did you find out?" Klaus asked, closing the door and walking further inside, all traces of mirth gone as he recognized the direness in Katherine's tone.
"I spoke to Candis Martin and..."
"How did you find out about her?" Klaus interrupted.
"Who's Candis Martin?" Dexter asked.
"She told me something that she didn't..." Katherine continued on her tangent but both men butt in again.
"How do you know about her?" Klaus demanded.
"Who is Candis Martin?" Dexter asked irately, obviously unhappy at being kept out of the loop.
"Candis is one of Rebekah's internet friends," Klaus answered Dexter, before turning his skeptical eyes on Katherine, "How do you know about her?"
"I went to the bar – the bar. Where Caroline went before she was kidnapped and on a whim I showed Rebekah's picture to the bartender and he told me about Candis picking up Rebekah time to time." Katherine explained, "And I went to talk to her. She told me you and Caroline spoke to her as well."
"We did," Klaus said with a shrug and raised his brows to ask Katherine to continue.
"Well, she lied to you," on seeing his bewildered face Katherine added, "Candis, she lied because she didn't think Caroline needed to hurt anymore. And the FBI had told her that her information was useless and unrelated so she didn't think to..."
"Wait wait wait," Klaus said hastily, stopping Katherine before she continued rambling and shared a concerned look with Dexter. "Candis went to the FBI? What... just tell us what you found out Katherine."
Taking a deep breath, Katherine opened her mouth to speak but shut it immediately, turning out to look at Dexter and back at Klaus, causing the former to narrow his eyes at her.
"Whatever I know he'll know soon after," Klaus impatiently waved a hand and shook his head, "Just get on with it Pierce," he added in a bark, purposely using her last name to irk her.
"Fine," Katherine snipped, "Candis told me that Rebekah was meeting a guy at that bar, and it wasn't just once but 3 – 4 times that she picked her up drunk and rambling from there. She said that Rebekah really cared for this guy, and that suddenly one day out of the blue, he told her to stay away from him, that... that he was only going to put her in danger."
"Wait, I know about this," Klaus said when Katherine took a moment to breathe, "Rebekah told Caroline this. She met some guy and then found out he was a jerk or something, she never spoke to him again."
"Rebekah lied, Klaus," Katherine said in a slightly softer tone, "She didn't want Caroline to know, because she knew Caroline would tell her to stop."
"Stop what?" Dexter mirrored Klaus's expression as he moved to stand next to Katherine.
"The guy whom she met, the guy who she fell for and who apparently fell for her too," Katherine supplied, taking a pause to watch their faces before continuing, "Was the same guy who she thought was stalking her."
She could see the wheels turning in Klaus's eyes as he stared off into space and fiddled with his fingers.
"Stalking?" Dexter asked doubtfully, "Someone was stalking..." And from the way his words trailed off and his eyes widened as he looked at Klaus, Katherine could tell that he had made the connection. Apparently Klaus really did tell him everything.
"And then I remembered the file that you and Caroline put together," Katherine continued, knowing that while Klaus still looked catatonic but he was listening to her, "It said all the kidnapped girls thought they were being stalked a few days before they disappeared, but they never did anything about it, just dismissed it later on. This information from Candis..."
"It can't be true," Klaus argued half-heartedly looking from Katherine to Dexter.
"It can and it is, Klaus," Katherine quipped, turning to Dexter she added, "They said that... that from the bruises and manner of handling the girls the killer had to be 40 or near 40 right? They were hundred percent sure?"
"Yes, yes" Dexter nodded, clasping his hands together, "He has to be a fully grown man, we ruled out it being a younger kid. And then plus after we found that grave," Dexter added raising a hand towards Klaus, making Katherine furrow her brows and make a mental note to ask about this grave thing later.
"Yes so that's a fact. But how many 18 year olds can be charmed by a 40 year old man? One, two, maybe three – but all of them? Seems unlikely." Katherine demanded and answered her own question, spreading her arms out dramatically and looking around the room.
"It could be possible." Dexter shrugged and watched as Klaus started pacing around the room, obviously still deep in thought.
He had missed it, somehow while questioning Candis he had missed it. And maybe if he hadn't been so distracted by Caroline, he would have figured this out a long time ago. And then maybe, it would never have had to come to this.
"I don't know." Klaus mumbled incoherently, "We never considered this, not even the FBI did."
"That's because there was no evidence to consider this, or we would have." Dexter defended.
"Yes but there is now," Katherine intervened, "And it makes sense. We know the killer is older, stronger and obviously crazy. He does the killing, this younger kid – the boy Rebekah liked, he's the one who stalks and then charms the girls. It's their way to adhere to the pattern Klaus. How weird is it that when every girl is taken she's wearing something red? How difficult is it to know which day she'll do that, they don't wait around for a girl to wear something red – the pattern doesn't just fall in place miraculously."
"He makes it happen" Dexter finished for her, running a hand over his face and looking like a man who had just seen the light, "The younger guy, he makes the pattern happen – tells them or asks them to wear red so that, so that..."
"It fits" Klaus concluded somberly, an unexplainable emotion clouding his features, "It fits perfectly."
And somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, he could hear Caroline's laughter; haunting him with renewed gusto.
"There's two of them," Katherine whispered, as if afraid to disturb the sudden silence that had pierced the room, "One old, one young. There's two killers... two kidnappers."
She could see the pain and guilt dominated emotions flit through Klaus's face but chose not to comment on it, she had no way to comfort him, she didn't even know if she wanted to comfort him. He had done nothing but make her life miserable, but as much as she may hate him – his dedication to finding Caroline is what had made her give up her strong resolve and come to him.
"You guys know what this means right?" Dexter asked hesitantly, looking from Klaus's blank face to Katherine's curious face. Rolling his eyes when Klaus made no movement and Katherine shook her head, he said "This guy, the younger one you said he cared about Rebekah?"
"Yeah," Katherine said and told him everything Candis had told her about the guy, witnessing the fight and how he didn't just look like a playboy trying to get rid of a clingy girlfriend, "If he was warning her to stay away from him, it means he cared about her too."
"So..."Dexter piped up, raising his brows and reflecting on despite being the biggest pessimist of the lot, he was the only one to see the positive side of this new development.
"So what Dex?" Klaus asked angrily, in no mood for Dexter's riddles.
"So what..." Dexter repeated incredulously, and rolling his eyes again, "That means there is another explanation for why we haven't found Rebekah's body yet." Waiting to watch as the words sunk in, a small smile broke out on his face at seeing a sudden zeal in Klaus's eyes, he concluded, "It means Rebekah could be alive. That he's keeping her alive."
"Tell me again why we have to use my office?" Katherine whined as she flicked the lights on of her office and craned her neck to make sure that Elijah and Bonnie weren't around. She didn't want them finding out more than they already knew; her career in jeopardy was enough – no need to include them as well.
"Because I got suspended," Dexter complained throwing a mocking glare at Klaus, "And because Klaus can't go anywhere near the building. And because we need to find out who was buried in that coffin."
"And because you are as invested in this as we are." Klaus added with a smirk, obviously over his momentary loss of brain power from earlier.
"I wouldn't say I'm as invested as you," she retorted, emphasizing on the 'you', "But yes, I want to find them, both."
"And how exactly do you think we're going to find out who was buried in an unmarked grave?" she pointed this question towards Dexter, raising her brows daringly.
"Just get me a computer and I'll do it" He snapped back, obviously not taking her lack of faith in his skills jokingly.
"He will," Klaus assured her as he pulled a chair and motioned for Dexter to sit on it and do 'his thing' with her computer.
"You did the right thing, Pierce," Klaus said as he removed a flask from his jacket and took a long sip from it, "You did the right thing by coming to us and not going to Meredith."
Her brows rose dangerously high at the superiority in his tone and a smile tugged on her lips when she saw Dexter attempt to control his own smile. "You know Klaus, in my experience, gratitude works better than condescension."
"I'm not thanking you," Klaus huffed, saying the word with as much venom as possible and lightly kicked the chair Dexter was sitting on when he burst out into a huge grin at his words, "I'm just saying you were smart."
"Sure. Explain this coffin thing to me again?" Katherine asked, ignoring Klaus's inability to say two simple words as she watched Dexter type at frightening speeds.
"We already told you," Klaus sighed, "They guy came there, and now I think it was the younger of the two – because he was..."
"Of smaller built and ridiculously fast." Dexter finished the sentence for him, without looking up from the computer screen.
"Yeah and we figured out that whoever was buried there had some relation to the killer, so we find the person, we find the killer..."
"We find the girls." Katherine mimed, pursing her lips and chewing on her inner cheek, "And you figured this out from dried Lilies?" she couldn't help but keep the awe and admiration out of her tone.
"No," Klaus laughed softly, shaking his head and inclining it towards Dexter, "I was livid and going out of my mind, he figured it out."
"Oh," Katherine commented and lowered her head.
"Meredith was right," Klaus mumbled, his confused words aided with a small dark laugh as Katherine shared a confused look with Dexter, "I'm too emotionally invested in this case, I'm not thinking straight."
And in that moment, as she looked at the first real shade of Klaus she had seen in all these days, Katherine felt like putting her hand on his shoulder and telling him that it was alright, he didn't have to do it alone; that Dexter was here to help, and she would help. That she would do whatever she could to find Rebekah and Caroline.
But before she could frame the words, Dexter banged his fist on the desk and all but yelled, "Found it."
"Who is it?" Klaus and Katherine said at the same time as they moved closer to Dexter.
"Lauren Smith, died in 1982 and born in 1950." And then Dexter stopped speaking as his eyes kept widening to the stage where Klaus was actually fearful that they might pop out.
"What Dexter?" Katherine prodded impatiently.
"You won't believe this," Dexter breathed, barely above a whisper, forcing them to come closer to him. Pointing at the news article on the computer screen, Dexter read it out loud, "Lauren Smith, aged 32, was held hostage in her secluded house by James Cooper, who is now in custody. Cooper, kept her captive in her own house for three whole days, before strangling her to death in her bathtub and then proceeded to dress her in her red bikini and throw her body in the woods by her house."
"That's it," Dexter exclaimed, springing off his seat and watching as a small smile formed on Klaus's face, "We got it. James Cooper, he did it before, it's him. It has to be."
"Guys..." Katherine said softly, as she took Dexter's position on the computer and went through the article herself.
"We need to contact the prison and find out when he was released and..."
"At least we have a name and description now..."
"Guys...!" Katherine bellowed, not caring who else heard her as long as she got Klaus and Dexter's attention, "It's not Cooper."
"Why not?" Klaus challenged, the blood draining from his face when he saw Katherine's expression. He had seen her afraid, he had seen her angry – but this, this was something else.
"Because he died in a prison fight 15 years ago." She answered, still not looking at them but staring at the screen, her mouth hanging open, her face paling as she could practically hear her own heartbeat.
"But I know who it is," she said, looking like she was about to cry, "You didn't read the end of the article Dexter."
"What does it say?" he asked as he spared a glance at a stony faced Klaus, he could practically see his heart ramming against his ribs.
Turning her glassy eyes to them, she read the article out loud, "On August 6th, while Lauren Smith was held hostage and killed by James Cooper, authorities said they found her 6 year old son hiding in the closet, and that he had stayed there for the entire three days of Cooper's invasion. Without food and water for three days, the severely weakened boy watched as his mother begged Cooper for mercy, watched him strangle her in the tub and finally watched as his mother's dead body was dressed in a red bikini and thrown into the woods."
It took a few seconds for everyone to digest this new information before Katherine stood up and said, "It's him. He's replicating what happened that day. The son is the bikini killer"
If you don't know what to say after yet another weird chapter, just follow my lead –
How dare you not explain the Falcon?
How dare you give us half information?
How dare you make Klaus all sad and angsty?
Just how dare you?
insert name here