Hey Everyone! Back with a new story!
Taking a bit of a break effort wise from writing the complicated beast that was Timeless to spend some time in humor/romance land with this Human fic. Hope you guys enjoy! If you're a fan of Best of Me I'm sure you'll love it!
I'll probably be posting this one on LJ as well. It's kinda become my human fic corner of the world :)
Let me know what you think of this story!
Will update again soon.
"This is the life."
"Excuse me? How is this the life?"
"Some sunshine, daiquiris, some peace and quiet. It's nice to get away from it all."
Caroline gave Elena an incredulous look over the top of her pink sunglasses. "Elena we're in my mom's backyard, in a couple of boring lawn chairs, drinking out of faded plastic 'Go Timberwolves' cups. How exactly is this the life Miss-I-spent-last-weekend-on-a-photo-shoot-in-Cabo?"
Elena adjusted the strap on her red bikini and rolled onto her back again. "Well it was for work. That doesn't count."
Caroline just shook her head. "Well last week I got to go all the way to the next county for work. It's too bad we can't all be famous actresses," she teased.
Any other girl in the world would probably be giving their left arm to be sitting next to the Elena Gilbert. But to Caroline Forbes, the brunette sitting next to her was just Elena. Her best friend since before they could walk. Long before Elena had grown into her looks and become a world famous actress/model/philanthropist.
"Want to trade?" Elena retorted.
"Hmmm," Caroline pretended to consider, "well I'll take the shopping sprees and vacations and cute guys, but leave out the fame. No thank you."
"My point exactly," Elena replied, "not being able to go anywhere without paparazzi breathing down my neck is hell. That's why I love coming to Mystic Falls. Everyone leaves me alone here. No one gives a damn that I'm famous."
"Oh Elena, so humble." Caroline teased.
"I wish Bonnie could be here," Elena said taking a sip of her now melted daiquiri.
"Me too," Caroline said, "but she's taking extra classes this summer. Still rocking it at medical school."
"I can't believe she's pre-med," Elena said.
"He's good. One more year of art school for him."
"God time flies," Caroline remarked, "he's still studying illustration right?"
"Mhmm. I pulled a few strings and got him hooked up with a publisher. He might get to intern for this comic publisher over the summer."
"Certainly pays to have a famous sister."
"Caroline would you stop!"
"Sorry," Caroline said. The statement had come out a little harsher than she meant it. She couldn't help being a little jealous though. Both of her best friends were off doing things with their lives and she was still stuck in the same town they had all grown up in. Left behind.
Not that she hated her life in Mystic Falls. Everything had started well enough. She had taken some classes at the local college, not really interested in studying anything in particular. After a while she began working for the city council, planning and coordinating town events and fundraisers. Her free time was spent with the Memory Matrons or helping out with the cheerleading squad or spending time with her boyfriend. It was nice and she was happy.
But after a couple years, when she started hearing her friends talk about life outside of Mystic Falls, and all of the great things they were doing, she started to wonder if there may be more than her small town existence. She thought about getting out there and starting over. Maybe trying college again. But frankly she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. She didn't know anything outside of Mystic Falls. How did Bonnie and Elena manage to get out so easily while she felt trapped? She hated thinking it, but it was true. Even though she loved her little town, it no longer felt like enough.
"How's Tyler?" Elena asked, breaking Caroline out of her thoughts.
"He's good. Still taking law classes. Still living on his trust fund."
Tyler Lockwood was another friend of theirs from high school, and Caroline's boyfriend. They had started dating the year after high school. Tyler had stayed in Mystic Falls as well. He had a relatively easy life, since his dad was the Mayor and his parents were two of the richest people in town. He had no reason to leave his cushy set up in Mystic Falls.
"And you guys are still good?"
Caroline smiled. "Mhmm. We celebrated the big three a couple weeks ago."
"What'd you guys do?"
"Romantic dinner," Caroline told her, "oh and he bought me this."
Caroline held her wrist out to Elena to show off the silver charm bracelet hanging on her arm. It had a few different charms on it, a cheerleader, a heart, a few other symbolic mementos of her personality and their relationship. Caroline would have thought it was a nice and creative gift, accept for the fact that she had stumbled upon his father's assistant picking out the charms online three weeks ago. But she supposed it was the thought that counted. Not like shopping was really Tyler's thing.
Tyler was a good boyfriend to Caroline. Maybe not the most considerate at times, but he wasn't awful. He had been a complete jerk when they were in high school, the kind of guy that gave nerds swirlies in the boys bathroom and didn't care about anything but football and partying. But he'd grown out of it for the most part as they had grown up.
She was getting the feeling that Tyler was going to pop the question to her soon. They had been together for a long time and also, his best friend Matt Donovan had been not-so-stealthily asking Caroline was her ring size was and whether she preferred gold or silver. If she was being honest with herself, she didn't know how she felt about the idea of becoming engaged to Tyler. If he asked her, she didn't know if she would say yes or no.
"Are you hungry?" Caroline asked changing the subject. "It's almost dinner time."
Elena shrugged. "I could eat."
"Wanna go to The Grill?"
"I'd rather lay low tonight," Elena said.
"So pizza and chick flicks?"
"Sounds perfect," Elena beamed.
They grabbed up their towels and melted daiquiris and headed inside. Caroline grabbed a couple pizza menus from one of the drawers in the kitchen and handed them to Elena. There were only two places to order pizza from in Mystic Falls, one was kind of crappy and the other was only slightly less so. They ordered from the less crappy pizza joint and an hour later they were on the couch, indulging in some greasy, cheesy goodness.
"My nutritionist will kill me for eating all this fat," Elena said dabbing at her slice with a napkin.
"What he doesn't know won't hurt him," Caroline said, grabbing the remote control to the TV and turning it on. There was a daily entertainment news show on the channel, with a spikey haired, Ryan Seacrest knock off bringing them all the latest Hollywood gossip.
"Hey it's you!" Caroline exclaimed. The show was in the middle of the segment about Elena, and some of the work she was doing with a new animal rights charity.
"Miss Gilbert starred as an animal rights activist back in 2009, and it seems her soft spot for all things cuddley extends off screen as well," the show announcer said.
"Aww those puppies look so cute!" Caroline gushed as a clip of Elena and some tail wagging Golden Retrievers played on screen.
"I wish they would spend a little less time on me and more on the organization. They're really doing a lot of good work, helping find homes for abandoned pets and strays."
"Well it's a celebrity fluff show," Caroline replied.
"Coming up next," the announcer continued once the segment had ended, "Notorious rocker Niklaus Mikaelson has found himself behind bars once again, this time on assault charges and public intoxication. Well nothing new there. We all have a soft spot for the bad boy, but how much is too much? We've got the story, after the break."
"Well I'm glad they put my charity segment next to the celebrity arrests segment," Elena said, grabbing another slice.
Caroline shrugged. "So which movie do you want to watch? Teen romantic drama? Nicholas Sparks? 80s vintage?"
"How about something non-romantic for a change? I can't do the romance thing right now."
Elena's bitter comment caught Caroline off guard. It was unusual for her friend to show so much passive aggression. She always kept her emotions and thoughts in check because of her career. All of Elena's emotion was usually saved for her acting. Caroline glanced at her knowingly.
"Spill what?" Elena asked.
"There is obviously boy drama that you are not telling me about."
"There isn't. That's the problem." Elena sighed. "I mean I don't really have time for all that right now between being on set and charity work and the press tour is starting the day after tomorrow. Plus it's kind of hard meeting someone genuine in that whole Hollywood crowd."
"But Elena, you haven't really dated anyone since Stefan, and you guys broke up like over a year ago."
"I know," Elena said, "But that took a lot of time to get over."
Elena and Stefan had been Mystic Fall's golden couple in high school. He was on the football team, she was a cheerleader, and they had been homecoming king and queen senior year. But a year ago, the couple realized it wasn't working out anymore. They had become two different people after high school and the long distance relationship wasn't doing them any favors, so they had parted ways.
"Ok then," Caroline said, "action movie it is. But, it has to have hot guys! Shirtless hot guys!"
"Of course," Elena giggled. Caroline selected a DVD from her shelf and popped it into the player.
Klaus groaned as he awoke. His mouth tasted dry and coopery and his back ached like he had been sleeping on a rock all night. His cheek was pressed down onto some hard, smooth surface, not his usual feathery pillow. He opened his eyes and slowly the gray bars of a jail cell came into focus. With another groan he sat up, too quickly, his head pounding. The clanging of keys announced the guard as he unlocked Klaus's cell.
"Good morning Mr. Mikaelson, you've made bail," the police officer said opening the cell door.
Klaus dragged a hand across his face and stood up slowly, his body protesting the movement. He walked out of the cell and followed the officer down the corridor and into the main area of the police station.
"Wait here, I'll grab your affects," the man said. A few moments later he returned with Klaus's leather jacket. He checked the pockets. Inside were his phone, wallet, and keys. And a pair of sunglasses. Thank goodness for small miracles, he thought. He slipped the shades over his eyes, to block out the blinding fluorescents of the police station.
"Sorry about everything sir, we're all big fans here at the station," the man said. Klaus looked up at the cop. He was young, probably not too far out of high school. Eager and bright eyed. Klaus had met a fair enough share of LA cops to recognize when someone had been around for a while and when someone was brand spanking new. This one was too eager and friendly to be a seasoned professional.
"Thank you," Klaus replied, "so where is the knight in shining armor who has released me from my prison?"
The boy-cop looked confused for a moment but then shook his head, catching on to the sarcasm. "Oh the person who posted your bond? Some brunette came in and put up the money, said she would be waiting for you outside."
Klaus rolled his eyes behind his sunglasses. He knew exact what brunette came in to bail him out. Just perfect. He'd almost rather be back in the tank. He turned on his heels and made his way to the entrance.
"Hey Mr. Mikaelson!" Boy-cop called after him. Klaus turned around just as the kid caught up with him. "I know this isn't really professional but—"
"Where do you want me to sign?" Klaus finished. The cop produced a CD, one of Klaus's first, and a permanent marker. Klaus scrawled his signature on the cover and then headed out the door.
Outside a sleek, black BMW Gran Coupe waited for him by the curb. Klaus opened the door to the backseat and fell inside. The car pulled away as soon as he shut the door.
"Good to see you in one piece Mr. Mikaelson," the brunette greeted him from the driver's seat. She was looking at him from the rearview mirror, her perfectly manicure fingers tilting down her Chanel sunglasses so that she could see him better.
"Wish I could return the sentiment Katherine," Klaus quipped, "still running around doing Elijah's bidding I see."
Katherine pushed her sunglasses back into place and smirked. "Your brother is waiting for us back at his office. He won't want us to be late."
She stepped on the gas and the car lurched into the LA morning traffic. Thirty minutes later, they arrived at their destination. The car drove into the parking lot of a large silvery, office building. Katherine parked and Klaus staggered out of the car, the sound of Katherine's heels following him. He entered the building and took the lifts to the second floor.
"So Klaus is this your third or fourth arrest in the last 10 months?" Katherine baited as the elevator ascended.
"I know my brother enjoys your commentary dear Katherine, but could you do me a large favor and shut your trap."
Katherine chuckled. "I don't remember you being this uptight when we were sleeping together."
"Well darling I was drunk for most of that time," he quipped, "so I was in a better mood."
Katherine frowned, unable to think of a pithy comeback, which satisfied Klaus for the moment. The bell dinged and he slid forward as the doors opened.
"Good morning Mr. Mikaelson," the receptionist smiled at him.
"Morning Mandy," he said.
"It's Mindy," he heard her correct as he walked on. He entered the office at the end of the hall. Inside Elijah sat at his desk, his phone at his ear.
"Yes, thank you very much. I understand completely. This is a tremendous favor you will be doing for me and my client," Elijah said into the phone. He motioned for Klaus to sit and ended the call. Katherine followed him inside and shut the door behind them.
Elijah stood, asserting his dominance, but his tricks didn't work on Klaus anymore. Klaus wasn't a typical client that Elijah could just boss around. He'd seen this expression of Elijah's one too many times. Klaus simply slouched in the chair, waiting for his brother to begin his usual angry tirade.
"Notorious Niklaus Arrested, Niklaus Mikaelson: Big Bad in Big Trouble, Niklaus Mikaelson: How bad is too bad? Niklaus Mikaselon: Hitting rock bottom?" Elijah read from a stack of morning papers tossing them down on his desk one by one as he read. "This has got to stop Niklaus. The drunkenness, the arrests, the violence, it has got. To. Stop."
"It's part of my image," Klaus replied flippantly, "I'm supposed to get into bar fights and have an arrest record. My fans love it."
"Your fans will tire of it," Elijah said, "I'm tired of it and others are growing tired already."
"What are you talking about?"
"The studio called me up this morning, as soon as the story broke. Your third arrest is too much for them. No one takes you seriously. They are pulling you from the project."
Klaus sat up at attention, yanking off his shades. "They can't do that."
His shoulders dropped. Klaus had waited ages for the chance to make the move to acting. Most musicians couldn't transition from music to acting, but he hadn't cared. He wanted to be an actor. He wanted that role more than anything, had worked really hard to get it too. They couldn't just take it away from him like that.
"They can and they did," Elijah said, "your record label is growing wary as well. You miss press ops and photo shoots, you waste valuable time in the studio. They can't keep someone as volatile as you are acting; it's bad for business. This isn't the 70's Klaus.
"You're my publicist, do something! Be my brother. Help me."
"Maybe you should learn from this little lesson," Katherine chimed in, "it'll do you some good to realize you're not infallible."
Klaus glared out her. "If you think I even give a damn about your opinion you—"
"Enough," Elijah commanded, "Katherine is right. You need to learn some manners."
"But," Elijah said, "I think I have found a way to give you a second chance. Reboot your image."
"What is it?"
Elijah's mouth twisted slightly; as if he were trying to hide his amusement over a punch line for a joke he hadn't even told yet. Katherine was smirking as well. Klaus didn't like it.
Klaus cocked his head curiously. "A girlfriend? That's easy."
"Not one of the usual whores you spend time with dear brother. I mean a real relationship, with friendship and commitment and love."
"Call me old-fashioned Elijah. But isn't love something that occurs naturally? It can't just appear out of nowhere."
"It can in Hollywood, if you play your cards right," Elijah said, "and I already have someone picked out for you."
"Never took you for a matchmaker Elijah. So who is the lucky girl that I am destined to fall for?"
Klaus's face dropped. "You must be joking."
Elijah shook his head. "She'll be good for your image Niklaus. She's got a very upstanding reputation in the press. It'll do you some good to spend some time with someone like her. Someone to keep you grounded. And, she's going to be your co-star, so you might as well get to know her."
"So what you're saying is the studio will keep me around if I'm dating Elena Gilbert?"
"It's good press for the movie as well. Two star-crossed lovers of the screen dating in real life. Audiences will adore it."
"No need to be dramatic Elijah," Klaus sulked, "so what's in all this for her? If I'm as notorious as the press thinks I am, then who's to say I won't drag her down with me instead?"
"You won't. Not if you know what's good for you," Elijah warned, "plus you've agreed to donate two million dollars to her new charity."
"Two million," Klaus growled, "you go too far."
"You've dug your grave Niklaus. You will pay the price for your misdeeds."
Klaus glared at his brother. He didn't like this. He didn't like not being able to call the shots. But he wanted the movie. He wanted to break into acting and get away from music. He'd never liked the stage that much to begin with. Most of all, he did want people to start taking him seriously.
"What do I have to do?" Klaus asked crossing his arms over his chest.
Elijah smiled. "We're flying to New York to meet Miss Gilbert and her people tomorrow, then accompanying her to Europe with her as she continues on her summer press tour. The studios are planning to announce the movie within the week, so you'll be able to talk that up as well. Additionally, the label is scheduling a couple shows for you while you're overseas."
"Sounds like a once in a lifetime experience."
"And Klaus, I need you to keep it together while on tour. No partying, no drinking, no drugs, and no women. You'll behave. You'll be a good and respectful boyfriend to Miss Gilbert and appreciate this great favor that she's doing for us."
"Fine, fine," Klaus said, hoisting himself from the seat, "I'm leaving now."
"The flight to New York leaves at eight in the morning. Don't be late."
Klaus waved away Elijah's words as he sauntered out of the door. Katherine followed him out again.
"How do you plan on getting home Klaus?" She asked.
Klaus rolled his eyes as she strutted triumphantly in front of him, car keys in hand, and pressed the call button for the lift. Thankfully she didn't talk to him as she drove him to his apartment.
He walked inside and made it up to his penthouse. The corner apartment had a gorgeous view. The morning sun streamed in through the windows. Klaus rarely saw the sun at this time of day, usually he was still passed out. He immediately walked over and shut all of his blinds, blocking out the light. All he wanted to do was collapse into his comfortable bed and go to sleep. His head was killing him though, so he made a detour to the bathroom to grab the bottle of aspirin before he passed out.
Klaus switched on the bathroom light and stood there, looking at his reflection in the mirror. He looked awful. His hair was matted, and his lip was cut and stained with blood, no doubt from the punches he had taken last night. His t-shirt was ripped and stained with booze and who knew what else. There were bags under his eyes and he looked like he hadn't shaved in days. He stood there, staring at himself in the mirror. His mouth drawing into a hard line at what he saw.
Caroline headed over to Elena's house early that morning. The two story suburban home had been left to Elena and her brother, Jeremy, after their parents had died in a horrible car accident when they were all still in high school. Even though she had a home in Beverly Hills, Elena kept the house in Mystic Falls, sharing it with her brother whenever they were both in town. Caroline rung the doorbell and Jeremy answered the door.
"Good morning," she said cheerfully walking into the house. Jeremy answered the door. Elena's brother definitely carried the completely unfair Gilbert good looks gene. When he was young he was awkward and scrawny but as he aged he filled out and spiffed up. He was tall and broad and had a smile that could stop traffic. Someone would probably mistake Jeremy for a model rather than a nerdy comic artist. As handsome as he was now though, Caroline had always seen him as a little brother.
"Hey Care," Jeremy greeted her, "Elena's in the kitchen and it's not pretty."
"What do you mean?"
Caroline shared a knowing look with Jeremy. "What happened?"
"I'll let her explain."
Caroline nodded and made her way into the kitchen. She found Elena at the counter, covered in flour, with a large spoon and mixing bowl in hand. There were broken eggs everywhere, smashed up blueberries, and a bottle of vegetable oil was leaking into the sink. Her friend greeted her with a smile.
"Hey! I'm making pancakes!" She announced.
Caroline sat down her purse and slid into the stool by the breakfast bar, trying to avoid getting any of the mess on her outfit.
"Ok, what happened?" Caroline asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Elena, you're baking. You only bake when you're really upset."
Elena sighed heavily and put down her mixing. "My publicist called me this morning."
Caroline nodded. "What did she say?"
"Ok you know how it's kind of an urban legend that celebrities will fake date each other for publicity reasons?"
"Well my publicist wants me to fake date someone," Elena admitted, "in fact she's already agreed to it so I have no choice."
"Who does she want you to fake date?"
Caroline's jaw dropped. "Niklaus Mikaelson? Like notorious rockstar never-met-a-bottle-of-whiskey-or-a-slutty-girl-he-didn't-like Niklaus Mikaelson?"
"That would be the one."
"Why on Earth would your publicist want you to date him?"
"Well apparently his people called mine and practically begged us to agree to it. I guess his image needs a serious overhaul and they think dating me will help make it better. He's going to come with us on our press tour and we have to make appearances together and act like we're madly in love."
"So what's in it for you?"
"Well," Elena said, "he has agreed to give two million dollars to my charity."
"You must really love those puppies," Caroline said, "but I suppose it won't be completely awful. I guess he's attractive at least."
"Yeah. And he's my costar in my next film, so I have to get to know him eventually. "I just wish that—" Elena stopped, her eyes lighting up with another thought, "you should come with me!"
"Wait what?" Caroline blinked.
"Come on, I need someone there who is normal. I'll be surrounded by my manager and publicist and Klaus and his entourage, I'm going to need someone to keep me sane."
"Europe?" Caroline shook her head. "I can't go to Europe."
"Come on, what else do you have going on?"
"Hey!" Caroline shot back indignantly.
"I didn't mean it like that!"
"I'll have you know that I have the Miss Mystic pageant I have to start planning for and kid's cheerleading camp to coordinate next month and my work at the city council office and not to mention Tyler. I think he might propose soon."
"Oh my gosh really?" Elena said, "I didn't know it was so serious with you guys. But I guess you have been together forever."
"Exactly!" Caroline nodded. She had things going on! But she didn't quite feel the importance she was trying to exude.
"You're right. You have a life. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to ask you to drop everything for me."
Caroline felt bad. She listed the reasons she gave in her head for not wanting to leave. But truthfully, none of them seemed that important to her. The pageant wasn't for months, and cheerleading camp could survive without her, and Tyler…
"What time is the flight tomorrow?"
Elena brightened. "Really?"
"Yes," Caroline replied, "I mean what girl doesn't want to be whisked away on a dream vacation to Europe. Granted, it would be better if you were a cute guy."
Elena threw her arms around Caroline joyfully and hugged her tight. "This is going to be so much fun! We'll shop and eat and there will be cute guys and it will be the best summer ever!"
"And who knows, maybe Niklaus Mikaelson will be a bad boy with a heart of gold and you two will fall in love for real!" Caroline predicted. She was a romantic at heart, and she couldn't forget the sadness in her friend's voice the night before as she spoke of her lackluster love life.
"I kinda doubt that," Elena said.
"You never know," Caroline countered in a sing-song voice, "love always happens when you least expect it."
That night Caroline and Elena joined Matt, Tyler, and Jeremy for dinner at The Grill; one last hang out session before Elena and Caroline departed for Europe. Elena announced to the group that Caroline would be joining her. Caroline hadn't missed Tyler's expression when he heard the news. She hadn't really gotten a chance to mention it to him yet. After dinner, he followed her home and sat in her room while she packed her things.
"Do you even have a passport?" He asked.
"Yes," she replied, "I got it that time you said we were going to vacation in Cancun and we never went."
She flipped though the outfits in her closet and tried to decide what she would need while she was away. She had never been anywhere before, she had no idea what she should bring.
"I just feel like the timing isn't right," Tyler said.
"I'll only be gone for like two months," she replied.
"Two months in a foreign country is a long time."
"It's not that long," she replied flippantly.
Tyler stood up and walked in front of her, taking her face in his hands. "What about us?"
Caroline sighed. "Like I said. It's only two months."
"Yeah, two months with hot celebrities and foreign guys. Especially Niklaus Mikaelson. I'm sure all of his rock buddies will enjoy hanging out with you."
"What do you not trust me?"
"No it's the guys I don't trust."
Caroline scoffed. "Please. You have nothing to worry about. I need this Tyler, I need to get out of Mystic Falls just for a little bit and experience something else."
"Yeah, yeah I get it," he said, "just promise me you're coming back to me after you've seen the world."
Caroline leaned forward and kissed him. "I promise. I'll be back in no time. You'll barely have time to miss me."
Tyler stayed for a while longer, before she ordered him to leave, much to his chagrin. "But it's our last night together! I was thinking we could…" His eyebrows shot up suggestively.
"I need my beauty sleep!" She giggled shoving him out the door with one last kiss.
But she couldn't sleep that night. The anticipation was too much. She was already fantasizing about all the things she would see and do in Europe: the parties, the clothes, the sights, for two short months the world would be hers for the taking.
The alarm buzzed loudly, waking Klaus from his repose. His eyes opened a fraction, glaring at the offending electronic informing him that it was six in the morning. He picked the clock up off the nightstand and hurled it at the wall, effectively silencing it.
"What was that for?" The girl in bed next to him murmured sleepily.
"Just go back to sleep Mandy," Klaus said rolling back over.
Again he was broken away from his sleep by the sound of his phone vibrating angrily on his nightstand. He grabbed and slid the answer button. Couldn't he get a moment's peace?
"What?" He growled into the receiver.
"Where the hell are you?" Elijah demanded on the other in.
He heard Elijah's sharp intake of breath. "Get out of bed and get to LAX right this second. Your flight leaves in 30 minutes!"
Klaus's eyes went wide. So that was why the damn alarm went off so early. He hung up and jumped out of bed, grabbing the first clothes he touched and quickly putting them on.
"What's happening?" Mindy asked, rubbing her eyes.
"Sorry love, you'll have to show yourself out," he said grabbing his wallet and slipping it into his back pocket. He didn't have time to pack. All the way to LAX in 30 minutes would be nearly impossible as anyways.
"Hey where are you going?" The girl in his bed shouted as he rushed out the door.
So for those of you who didn't read the teasers...love? hate? do I have your interest piqued?
If I don't have you yet...stay tuned for the next chapter. I'm sure I'll get ya then.
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