"Just like I thought," Lexi mused, circling him like a mother hen. "A perfect fit."
Klaus looked at himself in the mirror, contemplating just how fine a fit it was. The suit was a little bulky, perhaps, but nothing to fret over. It was good enough considering his attire had been an afterthought for tonight. There were many things to worry over. Clothing, etiquette, and socializing just to name a few. Tonight, he would have to utilize everything he knew about impressing others.
"Do you know what you're going to do?" Lexi asked.
"I will work on it as I go," he told her, distracted as he stepped away from the mirror to put on the shoes Alexia had given him as well.
"This is not a party where you go in with half a plan formulated," she reprimanded him, her fists on her hips. "Tell me what you will be doing."
Klaus glared at her for a few moments before letting out a heavy sigh and answering. "Charm them with my personality, of course," he replied sarcastically.
"Then we are all doomed." She shot her hands up in exasperation, striding toward that majestic fur coat of hers.
"You are not the one facing such an inquisition," he reminded Lexi.
"That is because I have faced it already, and still face it to this day."
With his appearance in check, he offered Alexia an arm, knowing he would look the gentleman when entering near the grand staircase. It was there he would wait for Caroline to arrive, and enter with her. His thoughts ran rampant trying to imagine how she would look, gliding down the staircase as though she were a dancer. It was all he wanted to see.
"You're sweating like a pig about to meet the knife," Lexi muttered to him, never faltering her smile. "Relax."
"If your late husband's clothes were not so heavy, there would be no need to sweat," he retorted through gritted teeth, looking as though they were having a pleasant conversation.
"Would you have preferred to go with the bare essentials?" Lexi smirked.
Klaus couldn't help but give a small smile. The woman did have a quick wit about her. "I'm sure everyone else would prefer it."
It was a long walk down, but once they had braved the masses crowding around the entrance to the dining hall, Lexi let go of Klaus' arm and turned to face him.
"I'm going inside to mingle and see who has arrived. Mind those manners," she whispered, giving him a tiny smile before walking off.
Now, Klaus was left to his own devices.
He recalled years and years of training, galas, and small talk for this moment. There was no possible way Klaus couldn't pass for a gentleman. His eyes darted around the room, observing each person's behavior. There was nothing he saw that he could not imitate to perfection. Klaus' posture was already straight, his hands behind his back, and his head held high. He would make sure Tyler Lockwood knew he was no fool.
A flicker of movement provoked Klaus to turn toward the top of the stairs. Speak of the devil, and he shall appear.
Tyler Lockwood was accompanying Elizabeth Forbes down the stairs, their heads together like two children with a secret, talking and laughing without a care. A twinge of jealousy ran through his body at the sight of it. He would never be that close to Caroline's mother. That had been made perfectly clear on deck. None of it mattered though. Caroline did not seem to mind what her mother said about him. Speaking of his new friend, he was wondering where she was in all of this.
His question was soon answered, however, when a flash of crimson met his eyes. The chattering, the movement…everything appeared to have halted. The hands on the grandfather clock were too in awe of the sight before him to continue moving. He felt light-headed and particularly woozy, his heart squirming to find an appropriate reaction. Increase, decrease…it couldn't decide on which rate to act upon.
These were not thoughts a friend was supposed to think about another friend. This was far worse than when he had first laid eyes on Caroline. Klaus was in much deeper than he thought, drowning by the mere thought of being anywhere else but in her presence.
It was when he finally moved toward the bottom step that Caroline began to descend.
"He draws you in his book?" Elena gasped, fluffing and stroking Caroline's hair as they prepared for dinner. "How romantic."
"Klaus is very different from any man I've ever been with, but I find myself more and more attracted to him. He has an air and charm about him that is hard to resist," she sighed, smiling into her vanity mirror.
"You are lucky to have found someone of such caliber," Elena mused. "What you have sounds extraordinary."
"It is, but it frightens me at times, and I only just met him."
"A love that consumes you, body and soul, is the only kind worth having," the brunette giggled.
"It is not love," she retorted, her words final. "We are friends and nothing more."
"Is that so? Then why do you seem unable to decide on lipstick?"
Caroline looked down at her hands, noticing how they hovered between the paper tubes in confusion. Her expression showed one of annoyance. "Tyler will want me to look my best." Obviously that was why she was so indecisive.
"We both know there is nothing you would do to please Mr. Lockwood," Elena smiled, continuing her handiwork on the blonde locks in her grasp.
This was true. "It doesn't matter if I want to please him. It's what's expected of me."
"Yes, well, do tell me how that goes tonight when he's puffing his chest with the rest of the boys," Elena smirked.
"It will never be like that, Elena. It can't be."
"The only reason it could never be is because you made it so. We're on the ship of dreams! Anything is possible."
With a few more tugs, Elena had finished Caroline's hair, smoothing it over with her hands and willing it to stay as it was. Caroline grinned, admiring the way her curls framed her face. As Caroline remained at the vanity, Elena strode toward her dress lying on the bed, taking the peach colored silk behind the changing screen with her so she could put on more appropriate attire. Caroline should have been doing the same, but instead, she stayed in her robe, looking over her face as though it would distract from her mind, and her heart. It would not.
She trudged across the floor, looking over the deep crimson dress she had chosen. No matter how pretty the cloth, and intricate the designs, she could not shake this strange feeling about the night ahead. It wasn't worry, as much as it was…anxiety. Butterflies.
"Caroline, could you help me with my strings?" Elena asked from her changing area.
"Of course," the blonde replied, quickly moving to stand behind Elena and tie up her corset. "One of these days, these god forsaken contraptions will be burnt to ashes."
"You assume the devil's work can be destroyed," Elena quipped, groaning when Caroline began pulling the strings at an uncomfortable pace.
"It was you who said just moments ago that we are on the ship of dreams. Perhaps they will spontaneously combust while we're away."
Both girls chuckled, Elena sighing in relief when Caroline had finished. "Shall I help you with yours?"
Caroline nodded, and so began her process of holding in her breath for the rest of the evening. It didn't take her long to get dressed, sliding her white gloves on as a final touch. Once the earrings and necklace were on, she was ready to leave with Elena.
Except it was never that easy.
There was a knock at the door, followed by Tyler peeking his head in. "Is everyone decent?"
"We have been ready," Elena said innocently. "I was starting to wonder if the gentlemen would take longer than us."
"You know I don't take long, Elena," Jeremy called from the other room.
"Would you mind if I spoke with Caroline privately before we leave?" Tyler asked, ignoring her joke.
"Not at all. Jeremy and I should go on ahead, so I will see you both downstairs," Elena informed them, giving a curtsy goodbye before giving Caroline one last look. Then, she was gone.
Tyler shut the door, making sure no one else was around. "I've been meaning to get you alone for ages."
"What is it?" She asked with concern. Was he on to something about her and Klaus? Was the dance over before it had begun?
That was when he pulled a square box from behind his back. Oh.
"I've been meaning to give you an early engagement present. You don't have to wear it tonight, of course, but I did think you would enjoy it."
Caroline only stared because she knew what this was. It was the very gift Elena had told her about. The expensive gift that was so certain to win Caroline over. It was the heart of the ocean.
Tyler opened the box, and her hand went straight to her chest, for fear of her heart stopping. It was gorgeous, undoubtedly. However, It was much too extravagant for the relationship she felt she had with Tyler. He was overcompensating. It was a gift with an expectation attached to it.
"It's stunning," she breathed, her hand floating out to touch it.
"They call it—"
"The heart of the ocean," Caroline finished. "I'm very aware of what it is." Tyler seemed impressed.
He grinned, taking it from its cage and moving to stand behind her. Tyler laid the necklace against her neck, giving her a preview of what it would look like should she choose to wear it. "Beautiful, as always."
"Thank you. I don't know what to say." To be quite honest, that was not entirely true. She had a few words all right. Just none she could say aloud.
"Say you'll open up to me," he pleaded quietly. "I would do anything for you, Caroline. All I want is for you to do the same for me." It was such a good act that she almost fell for his sweet words. Then she remembered the meaning behind them.
Caroline had no choice but to nod in agreement. What else was she to say? How could she deny Tyler this request after such a lavish gift? It would be frowned upon, and if not Tyler, than it would be her mother who reprimanded her. All she was in this world of riches was a child, needing to be guided and coerced by the elders. At least, that's what all the distinguished adults thought.
"I will," she nodded.
"Good. Let's leave for the party before the others think we have started our own."
When they walked out, only Liz was waiting for them, no doubt awaiting her precious Tyler. If her mother wanted the money so badly, it constantly perplexed Caroline as to why she didn't marry the bastard. Darn Caroline and all her pretty looks.
The walk downstairs was agonizing, even if her mother was kind enough to take Tyler off her arm. There was a light at the end of the hallway, however, and it was that Klaus would be there. Elena and Jeremy would also help buffer the boring parts. It might not be so bad. That's all she had to think about.
Before long, the noise of people talking drifted upstairs, and she could tell they were almost there. Just a few more steps now.
That was when she saw him.
He was standing at the bottom step, looking more in his territory than she thought he would. Somehow he was dressed to perfection, capable of blending in with the rest of the penny pinchers. What really surprised her about his appearance was how much it affected her.
People wrote stories about the burst of emotions she felt floating around inside of her. It was the knee weakening reaction she had longed to feel with Tyler for so long. Caroline placed her hand on the railing, letting it glide down as she stepped carefully to where he stood. This was inappropriate. Such thoughts should not be crossing her mind right now. He was a third class passenger, and a man who had saved her life. It didn't mean she had to look upon him as anything more than a friend, like she did with Elena or Jeremy.
Once at the bottom, Klaus greeted her with a smile, holding his hand out to her. She obliged willingly, placing her gloved hand on top of his. Klaus—ever the gentleman—kissed the top of her knuckles with a feather light touch.
"You look ravishing," his voice drawled.
"As do you," she returned. "Wherever did you find a suit?"
"Alexia Branson was kind enough to let me borrow it."
"I'll have to thank her later."
Caroline grinned, receiving one from Klaus as well. She looped her arm through his, and led him to where Tyler and Liz were standing; talking to some couple she didn't know.
"Mother, Tyler, you remember Klaus. The one who saved me?" She introduced.
Tyler looked taken aback when he turned, wearing his fakest smile. "I didn't recognize you. You look so clean."
Klaus only nodded his head in a thank you.
The group soon moved to the dining hall, which was where Tyler and Liz once again broke apart from Caroline and Klaus. Not like she minded.
"Are you nervous?" She asked, looking up at him through thick lashes.
"Not in the least. This isn't my first waltz," he grinned.
"Oh? How has the artiste been to a gala before?"
"My parents are not like I am," he told her with a hint of sadness, "They live amongst the riches everyday."
"You tease me," she said in disbelief. Impossible. Klaus could never be one of these people.
"Not at all. I told you we don't see eye-to-eye. They can live with cotillions for as long as they wish. I don't have to be a part of it."
"And yet you join me to such a party," she countered.
"Only because I have such exquisite company."
Caroline turned to face him, noticing how serious his expression was. This man constantly surprised her. So full of wonder and mystery. If only she could be such a creature.
"Caroline!" An excited voice called to her, practically skipping into sight with her brother close behind, as always.
"Elena, it's so good to see you," she smiled. "Oh! Klaus, these are my friends, Elena and Jeremy. Elena and Jeremy, Klaus."
"Such a pleasure to finally meet the savior I've heard all about," Elena beamed, curtsying. Jeremy bowed his head slightly in greeting.
"The pleasure is all mine," Klaus greeted in return.
Caroline almost jumped out of her skin when she saw Lexi pop up beside her from nowhere. "Hello everyone. So, Klaus, care to escort a girl to dinner?" Oh, right. The actual dinner was soon.
"I suppose it would be my thank you for your aid," Klaus nodded, offering her his free arm. Caroline graciously took his other.
As the music played in the background, a soft drone to Caroline's ears, she noticed everyone was starting to move to the dinner tables, and she followed the other four to their table with Klaus at her side. It was rather crowded, something Caroline likely wouldn't have noticed had she not been there with company. When everyone was seated, the waiters' began their assault on the table, bringing drinks and appetizers to begin the course.
Joining them at the table was Tyler and Liz; of course, followed by Lexi, a few other consisting of some of her mother's friends, and some people Tyler had become acquainted with. There was a couple Caroline vaguely remembered seeing. The man had been on deck when Tyler had found her, and he seemed to be accompanied by his wife tonight. All in all, it could have been worse. Tyler's parents could have been there, too.
Klaus had been doing well up to this point. No one had even thought to consider him lower class. It seemed his past was doing him some good for tonight. The fun could never last long, however. Leave it to Liz to break the streak.
"How is steerage, Mr. Mikaelson? I hear it's very accommodating."
"Very. Hardly a complaint to give." Klaus smiled tightly.
"Klaus is joining us from third class," Tyler clarified for the others, as if they couldn't figure it out for themselves after her mother's display.
"Splendid! What tales you will tell the rest of your mates tonight," the larger man at the table stated, his cherry chub cheeks lifting as he smiled.
"Now, dear, we don't want to offend," his wife quietly told him, her dark curls falling as she turned to give him a serious look of disapproval.
"That's most certainly not what I intended, Amy, darling," he said, just as jovially as before. He took another sip from his brandy, turning to give his attention back to Klaus. "What is it you do off Titanic?"
"Mr. Mikaelson is an artist," Caroline answered, before someone had the chance to make a rude comment. "I've seen his work. It's very promising."
"You will have to show us these pictures sometime," Elena added.
"Please, you flatter me, but I assure you they are not as good as you make them sound."
"Don't be silly. You could be the next Monet," Caroline complimented.
"I'm sure everyone's taste in art would differ," Tyler pointed out. How predictable that he would try to lower Klaus' work. "Caroline and I have a bit of a differing opinion on art."
It took everything in Caroline not to roll her eyes. The difference was that Tyler had no taste. He thought the only good art was what he created. While his words had been adequate, they were nothing extraordinary.
"Do you make a living from your work?" Tyler continued to pry.
"I'm afraid not yet," Klaus sighed.
"Then where do you live? How do you eat?"
"I will be living with my family when this trip is over. I have siblings waiting for me in America. Life is much too short to waste time on anything I am not passionate about, however. Each day must count. Once in America, I plan on continuing my artwork."
"Well said, old boy," brandy man cheered. His wife only rolled her eyes, but a smirk played at her lips. The man lifted his glass up, prompting a toast. "To making each day count."
The whole table rose their glasses in unison, and Caroline grinned to herself, a sense of pride washing over her. He was doing well.
It took a couple of more hours to get through dinner, but it mostly went by without any scathing remarks. Klaus had blended well, and no one had even remembered her mother's early attempt at shaming him. The dinner had to end at some point though, and Caroline could sense it was soon. She leaned closer to Klaus so only he could hear her.
"Care to guess what's next, seeing as you're the expert?" She asked with a smile.
"I sense they are about to adhere to the smoking room for a couple of cigars. Talk politics and such."
"Would anyone care to join me for a cigar?" Tyler asked aloud. It was no surprise every man at the table stood up, except for Klaus.
"I'll talk to you tomorrow, sister," Jeremy told Elena, giving her a kiss on the top of her head. "Caroline, I will likely see you tomorrow as well. Klaus, it was a pleasure."
Caroline nodded her goodbye, surprised when Tyler came up to her from behind. "Shall I escort you to your room?"
"I think I would like to stay a while longer," she said thoughtfully, giving him an appreciative grin for his gesture.
"Very well. Goodnight, then," he said, pressing a kiss to her forehead. "Mr. Mikaelson, it was good to see you again. We were all very glad to have you join us and share your stories. I do hope third class will be just as riveting tonight."
"We can only hope, mate," Klaus answered. Caroline couldn't miss how the words were tinged with bitterness.
What was most unexpected was when Klaus stood as well, as if to leave. "You're going?"
"I think my welcome has been officially worn out," he told her softly, taking her hand in his and placing another kiss, much too soon after the one he had greeted her with, it seemed. "Thank you for a wonderful evening. Elena," he acknowledged, saying his farewell to her, too.
Caroline watched him walk away, sadness filling her heart, when she felt something tickling her palm. It was a note. How had he…
She looked around the table, noticing Lexi's sly grin as she placed a pen back into her purse. Caroline should have guessed.
Quickly checking to make sure no one was looking, she unfolded the crumpled piece of paper.
Meet me by the clock. Bring Elena if you wish.
"Caroline?" Elena asked, taking a seat at that moment where Klaus had been sitting. The blonde passed the note to her friend.
Elena could not have nodded her head any faster to answer.
The two girls stood up immediately, walking at a casual pace so as not to attract any attention. This was actually kind of thrilling. It was something like an adventure that she had read about in all of her stories. She was escaping with Elena to a secret meeting, where a boy of the most peculiar qualities waited.
It didn't take them long to reach the grandfather clock at the top of the stairs, both girls slowly ascending so they could reach Klaus, whose back was turned to them. He turned upon hearing the sound of footsteps.
"Would you girls care to join me for a real party?"
Caroline wasn't sure what she had expected. A party in third class? What was she supposed to think about that? The one time she had been down there was to retrieve Klaus. Would they accept her? Throw her out as soon as they could? How ever would she deal with these nerves?
While Caroline was having a miniature heart attack, Elena could not have been happier. Her doe eyes never ceased to stop moving as she looked around the hallways and cabins they passed. It was much different from first. Not as nice, but Caroline didn't find herself cringing either.
Klaus led them down a set of stairs, and Caroline could hear the much livelier music drifting up to where they were. There was laughter and excitement; fiddles and bagpipes were playing an upbeat tune for people to dance to. It was most certainly not what Caroline thought it would be. It wasn't…dull.
As soon as they reached the bottom step, a young child with a bright smile on her face that could melt the hearts of men everywhere, assaulted Klaus.
"Becky, sweetheart, I haven't forgot our dance. Give me a few minutes to get these ladies situated first."
The girl nodded solemnly, allowing Klaus to lead Elena and herself to a group of men. The men looked plenty surprised to see Klaus' company.
"I brought back a couple of guests. I hope you don't mind," he told them. "You all know Caroline. This is her friend, Elena. You lot should get acquainted while I give little Becky an overdue dance."
And with that, he was gone into the crowd.
So much for his help. He had left them to handle the boys on their own. Well, it seemed like that at first. It didn't take Elena long to become comfortable around the table, gesturing for Caroline to sit beside her.
"And what are your names?" Elena grinned, barely holding in a giggle.
"I am Elijah, Klaus' older brother. This is Stefan, and this is Damon."
"Pleasure," Stefan and Damon said together.
While Elena proceeded to talk to the brothers, Caroline turned to Elijah. "Are you and Klaus very close?"
"We are indeed. I don't believe there is anything I wouldn't do for him. What about your relationship with him? You two seem to get along well."
"Klaus is quite the puzzle," Caroline grinned. "I enjoy his company."
"He has been rather elated since meeting you. I'm glad you decided to join us down below tonight."
"I couldn't very well say no. Plus, who would I be to deny Elena the fun she's having?" She whispered conspiratorially.
Elena was laughing at something one of the boys had said. Her starry eyed gaze seemed set on Damon though. Not a surprise, as the man was rather attractive. Caroline watched as she took his hand, pardoned herself from the table with Stefan, and dragged poor Damon out onto the floor.
"I see your brother has found himself occupied," Caroline giggled.
"He was never one to say no to the women back home. Though I'm not sure whom has charmed whom more."
"I say we call it a tie." Both Damon and Elena couldn't keep their eyes off each other. Caroline wasn't sure she could label one more infatuated than the other. It seemed Elena had found her third class man.
"Agreed. And you…you are much prettier in person than in sketches," Stefan complimented, a charming little grin on his face.
"Careful, Stefan. Klaus might be unpleasant when he finds you were trying to court his new friend."
"I wasn't flirting with her," Stefan defended.
"I am not property, Mr. Mikaelson. I may talk with whomever I want. As such, I have no interest in anyone at this table as more than a friend."
Elijah and Stefan shared a knowing look, causing Caroline's temperature to rise. She was cut short from an outburst when Klaus walked up to the table, offering Caroline his hand. "Your turn, love."
Her eyes were as wide as saucers. "No, oh no, not me. I-I couldn't!"
"Nonsense. Besides, the others are too intoxicated to notice if you're good or not," he grinned, pulling her out of her chair and onto the dance floor.
Everyone seemed so familiar with the steps, even if they were too far-gone to notice her dancing. This was not exactly waltzing, and therefore, not something she had ever practiced. Klaus seemed at ease though and was already putting her hand in his. His other arm went around her waist, putting her tight against his chest.
"We'll have to get closer," he drawled. Caroline found herself unable to keep her eyes off his lips as she nodded.
Soon the music took over, and their feet followed along in near perfect sync. Caroline couldn't keep the smile off her face as everyone around her laughed and rejoiced in the good times. It was infectious. She noticed Damon and Elena weren't far away, laughing and smiling much like she was, getting caught up in the sense of friendship that overwhelmed the room.
After some time—Caroline couldn't seem to remember how long it had been since they first started—she looked toward the table Elijah and Stefan had been left at. Elena and Damon had since joined, and now the Salvatore brothers were in an arm wrestling match. Elijah, Elena, and a group of other men were cheering their favorite on.
"They seem to be having quite the time," Klaus noticed.
"Please. A couple of boys trying to slam the other's knuckles into the table? Not much a show of manly strength. Nor is it much fun to watch."
"And what do you propose would be better entertainment?" He smirked. Caroline ignored the underlying comment he was trying to make.
Though, she did have an idea. "Follow me," she lilted, not giving Klaus a second glance as she strode toward the table.
Without bothering to ask permission, or even a warning, Caroline took hold of Stefan's mug, chugging the ale down in one gulp. A different taste than champagne, but not one she disliked. "So, who thinks they would be able to challenge me?"
"I don't think this is a game for you, Blondie," Damon remarked.
"Oh I wasn't talking about your monkey business," she said breezily, waving off his suggestion. "I meant who can do this."
Caroline practically shoved the end of her dress into Klaus' hands. He looked taken aback, but didn't question what she was doing. It took a moment to gather her composure, but once she was poised and ready, Caroline began to lift up into the air. Her motions were fluid, and it looked as though she were floating. Upon closer inspection, Caroline was slowly lifting her feet until she reached her toes. Then…she stood on their ends. She could only hold the position for a couple of seconds, just long enough to get a few wide-eyed looks from the men, before she was falling.
Her face never met the ground.
She looked up to see Klaus' face only inches away from hers. There had been a small smile on his lips, but it had disappeared in a flash, gone only so his eyes could do the smiling for him. Caroline felt like her corset had suddenly gotten tighter, and her breathing was much more shallow. Why was it so hot in third class? Why wasn't she thinking rational thoughts, rather than ones of her doing something very inappropriate?
"I need some air," she exhaled, her arms still around Klaus' neck.
"Allow me to accompany you," he returned, helping her stand up straight.
She nodded, turning to the group she had only just met. "It was a pleasure meeting you all. Elena, I will see you later."
The brunette waved, but turned back to her entertainment soon after. Caroline was about to walk toward the stairs when she felt a coat go around her shoulders.
"It's a bit chilly outside," Klaus grinned.
The giggles never ceased as she felt the slight buzz she had gotten from the excitement downstairs start to bubble over. The chilly air helped bring her down to sea, but she was too…happy. She was happy. Being with Klaus, having been to a lower class party. It was all a dream.
"Oh come, Josephine…something, something," Caroline sang. She could remember hearing the song when she was a child, just not the words.
"You would be quite the singer if you could sing whatever song it is you're going on about," Klaus joked.
She was about to retort—and it was going to be a grand retort, too—until she saw the sign indicating they had arrived at first class. Had time really gone so quickly? A frown forged its way onto her mouth, and she was unable to think of anything other than what she would face inside. There would be no more third class parties. It was her first and last time. Tyler and her mother would know if she was gone too often.
The violins playing no longer seemed cheery. They were classical, appropriate. Well-mannered.
"I think our time together is over," she said, her voice dejected.
"Do you want it to be?" He asked. There was intensity in his eyes that she would never be able to forget for as long as she lived.
"No," she breathed, shaking her head.
In an attempt at stalling her departure, she moved toward the railing, holding on to the taut ropes. Caroline looked to the sky, hoping for some cosmic answer to her worries. There was none.
"We are infinitely smaller than what your shipmates might believe," Klaus mused, sauntering to where Caroline stood so he was beside her. "The world is a vast place, Caroline. One day, you must see it."
"How I want to," she sighed. "The world has much to offer, and I'm surrounded by people who think they are the world. Yet, they have nothing to offer me. They cannot be the world for they only offer pleasures to themselves."
"Are you positive you're in the right location?" He grinned before becoming serious again. "The world has plenty of cruel tricks waiting for you, but it will offer you plenty more than the blokes in there."
Caroline nodded, understanding what he meant. It was a frightening thought, going out into the world without aid. It was one she was ready for though. One she wanted.
Her gaze looked up for only a moment then, but it had been the right moment. Across the blackened sky, a bright and blazing trail swept across the stars. Her smile would have challenged the moon's luminescence.
"A shooting star," she whispered.
It was unexpected when she felt Klaus' breath in her ear, but she didn't jump. It was too comforting to be afraid of. "My mother used to tell me when I was a boy that they belonged to spirits passing to heaven."
"Do you believe that?"
"I'm undecided. My sister does. I'm not sure I have the same faith as her, however."
"I think it's a nice thought. Can we wish on these stars?" For years, Caroline had been wishing on stars. None had come true.
Klaus' head tilted down to face her, his eyes holding that look of unbridled hope. There was a world all it's own in those blue eyes. Full of wisdom and experience she had yet to gain.
"What would you wish for?" He whispered.
Her heart melted at the words. It was such a simple question with such a complicated answer. Caroline shrugged off the jacket around her shoulders, handing it carefully to Klaus. "Something I can't have."
The words hurt to say, but it was the truth. Wishes on stars never came true. It wouldn't make a difference if she hoped with all her heart for it to come true. "Goodnight, Klaus."
Without looking back, for fear of faltering, she hurried back inside, knowing that eventually, reality would be waiting for her return.
Klaus barely had a chance to understand what was going on before Caroline was off, away from his reaches. Just like she always was.
It was silly to think she would have said or done anything more. To have gotten her away from her dinner party and below deck was a miracle in itself. He couldn't ask the universe for anything else, as it had already given him more than enough.
Even as he reentered third class, and went back to the dying party, she was still on his mind. This couldn't be all to their meetings. It was too little. Klaus couldn't stand the thought of her being around Tyler, when she should be around him.
He came up to a lonely looking Elijah, his head in his hands. "Where are Damon and Stefan?"
"Damon has made off with Elena somewhere, and Stefan has presumably done the same with another girl."
"Leaving you with a yearning for someone back home?"
"You could say that," Elijah grinned, sitting up straighter. "Caroline seems like quite the girl. Do you intend to see her again?"
Klaus nodded. "I do. I only need to figure out when."
"If you need any help, be sure you ask in the morning as my head is throbbing."
Laughter erupted from Klaus' chest, and his brother only rubbed a hand over his face. What would he do without his family by his side? Having Damon and Stefan around was not the same as having his older brother at his side, ready to do mischief. "Of course, brother."
Yes, tomorrow, he would try again, just like he had been doing so far. Klaus wouldn't stop until Caroline was free from the cage she had been placed in.
It was either that, or until she told him never to see her brilliant face again.
A/N: I am incredibly sorry about the long wait! I've had a lot going on. Needed breaks, other stories, real life, the usual. I intend to finish this fic though.
Thanks to my beta, Amy, for somehow still sticking with me through all this and encouraging me to write the thing. Another thank you to Becky, for the long list of deleted scenes you took the time to send me so long ago. It's where the last scene of this chapter came from, and the scene in chapter 3 where Caroline went down to third class. They've been quite the treasures. Again, trying not to go scene for scene from the movie, but a lot are just too good to leave out.
Thanks for sticking with me if you're still here, and once I get one of my other fics finished, I'll be focusing more on this one. Love you all!