Disclaimer: I don't own anything; it all belongs to those who created 'The Vampire Diaries.'
So the plot bunnies were invading my dreams and I simply couldn't get this idea out of my head. Therefore I'm going to write this story alongside my other story that's currently in progress as well. This story will be a long one, with as many chapters as required to complete it. I'm so excited about starting this story, so I hope you all enjoy the first chapter!
Caroline Forbes was certain of only two things. One being, that when she finds that blond haired witch with the finger of doom she will kick her ass. The other being that she was lying on her back in the middle of nowhere. Correction, she was lying on her back in the mud, in the middle of nowhere. The sky overhead was cloudy and gray, the sound of birds nesting in the trees around her giving her a sense of calm. At first she did not want to sit up for fear that she would be sick, her stomach was still unsettled. She waited until the sick feeling stopped before sitting up to take in her surroundings. It was broad daylight which was unsettling because moments ago it had been nearly midnight. Caroline stood up, grimacing at her clothes as she trudged her way out of the mud towards a browning patch of grass nearby.
That crazy witch had left her out here to bake in the sun believing her dead. Clearly Stefan and Damon had overestimated Esther, because it was clear to Caroline that the woman was a few eggs short of a dozen. She huffed petulantly as she stripped off her black outer coat and the top layer of her shirt. Her jeans were caked in mud and so were her pretty beige boots that she'd bought only a week ago.
That bitch owed her a new pair of boots.
Caroline took in her surroundings, trying to figure out where she was. It was the same place as before, except it was different. The old house where all those witches had died was gone, in its place stood several hundred trees.
Caroline took a deep breath and tried to relax her nerves, suppressing the panic that was threatening to rise. So the old hag blew herself up and took the house with her, big deal. Caroline would not be deterred from her task. She had to get ready for graduation in a couple of hours, if she wasn't already late. Her watch no longer worked, the little glass window on her watch broken beyond repair. She must have hit it against a rock when she fell. Caroline started towards the road, humming lightly to herself to keep her mind occupied so that she wouldn't think about her surroundings too much. After walking quite a ways she stopped, turning in a circle. The road should have been right where she was standing, Caroline was certain of it.
The only thing she found was a dirt path that weaved between the trees, leading who knew where. Then she noticed it, the peculiar sound of nothing. No cars, no planes or trains, not a single sound of technology in the distance. Her heart beat only picked up slightly, trying to force the panic down as she started to walk down the dirt path. She didn't care where it led, as long as it took her home. After a few feet she began to run, fear flooding her system as searched the surrounding area for any sign of the town.
Did Esther blow up the town too? Somebody seriously needs to take her magic wand away already.
"Oh god…" Caroline breathed aloud as she gulped down heaving breaths of air, forcing herself to calm down. "Breath Caroline…breath…" she said aloud to herself. The sound of thumping could be heard in the distance, Caroline listening intently with a curious look on her face. It was an odd sound, something she wasn't accustomed to and what was even more unnerving was the fact that she couldn't make out what it was. Usually her vampire senses would have kicked in by now. Caroline heard it approaching swiftly behind her and she turned to face it, her eyes widening at the sight before her. There was a man on a horse charging towards her with a sword in his hand.
A freaking sword.
Caroline being a sensible young woman did the only logical thing she could when a madman on a horse wielding a sword was charging towards her.
She stood rooted to the spot in horror before her survival instinct kicked in and she dove to the side, narrowly missing the trampling hooves of the horse as the man passed by.
"Out of the way woman!" she heard him shout as he rode past.
Caroline scrambled to her feet and dove out onto the pathway again, her eyes following the man on the horse as he disappeared into the distance. She turned towards the direction he had come and followed the path, hoping that maybe there were answers to her current predicament waiting in that direction. She had only walked for maybe half a mile when she heard the same thumping sound approaching from behind her. She groaned aloud as she turned to look, spotting that now instead of one there were four, and all seemed to be very angry.
One of them yelled something in a funny language and pointed at her but Caroline was faster, bolting through the trees at a speed that she feared would make her fall ass over end if she tripped. She'd never run so fast in her entire life, the fear driving her survival instinct to the limit. It was then that she wondered how the village nutcases could keep up with her. She was a vampire and she should have outrun them easily. Yet they were right behind her, shouting curses and speaking in some foreign language she didn't understand. Caroline ran blindly, not really caring in what direction she was going as long as she was going far away from them.
Wait, why was she running?
She was a vampire and she could easily take them all. They were just humans after all, and she was much stronger than them. Then again she feared that if she stopped now she'd be too weak to fight them off so she kept running, and silently wondered why the hell she'd be weak at all.
She was a vampire, right?
"Oh…my…god…" she breathed as she ran, horror racing across her features as realization struck her like diesel rig. She was human, she had to be. She was running all out at full speed and it was nothing like when she was a vampire.
"What the fuck did that crazy bitch do to me!" she shrieked as she ran, anger burning in her blood. It couldn't be that she'd turned Klaus human, he wasn't even present for the spell and he'd have to be for Esther to make him human as well. Ok, so she was human, she could handle this. She wasn't going to have a panic attack in the middle of nowhere with sword wielding psychos chasing her on horses. Her day was getting worse and worse by the minute, and as she bolted out of the tree line and found the village nestled in the clearing, she knew a total shit storm was on the horizon.
"Oh no…" Caroline breathed as she backed away from the village, "No…no…no…no" she whispered as she shook her head in disbelief. The people in the village hadn't seemed to notice her presence, carrying on with their daily lives as usual. It was just as Rick had described so many times in class, and awestruck she just stood there for a few moments to drink it all in. Then of course reality smacked her across the face and she realized if they saw her they'd think she was a witch, or crazy. She was wearing pants in a time that clearly did not allow women to do so. Silently she wondered what year it was as she ducked down behind the trees to watch the village.
The sound of mingled voices from behind her brought her back to her senses and she froze, remembering her pursuers. She was human now, which she would worry about later but at the moment she needed to survive long enough to make it too 'later.' Caroline knew they hadn't seen her yet, and took a deep breath, waiting for someone to pass by along the clearing. She would need to get rid of the clothes she was wearing if she was going to blend in. So she waited for a cart pulling hay to pass by and jumped into the back, ducking down in the straw so that her pursuers could not see her. Now all she needed to do was find different clothing, and then maybe figure out what year it was so she could find out how to get home.
When the cart traversed deeper into the village she jumped out of it and ducked into the first hut she came across. She was immediately face confronted with the smell of burning sage, the heat of a warm fire burning at the center of the hut. As she stepped closer to the flames, marveling at the sensation of heat she heard a noise from behind her and turned to find a woman staring at her curiously. "Who are you? What are you doing in my hut?" she demanded as she stepped into the firelight, the light illuminating her features. Caroline was struck with an odd sense of recognition as she stared at the woman, her eyes widening in surprise. "I…you….Bonnie?" she asked incredulously.
"I am called Aiyanna," The woman began as she approached Caroline, eyeing her suspiciously. "You are dressed very strangely child."
"I…" Caroline began but stopped, realizing how odd she really must look to the other woman. "I'm lost…" she began gently, hoping that maybe the witch would understand, "I need to get home. A witch sent me here…I don't know how…I don't remember what happened."
"From where did you come?" Aiyanna asked as she examined Caroline's clothing, her fingers pulling at the hem of Caroline's tank top curiously. "You are half naked child, for shame." She scolded Caroline lightly.
"I'm from the future…" she began nervously, hoping that Bonnie's ancestor could help her, "You know…a long time from…where ever now is."
"You know not what year it is?" Aiyanna asked curiously.
"No," Caroline said with a shake of her head, "Look, some witch sent me here and I don't know why."
"What can you remember?" Aiyanna asked as she circled Caroline.
"The balance must be kept!" Esther cried as she pointed at Caroline, "You cannot be here!"
Caroline blinked at the sudden flashback, the memory clear in her mind.
"She told me the balance must be kept," Caroline said in confusion.
"The balance?" Aiyanna repeated thoughtfully as she continued to circle Caroline. "The balance of nature."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Caroline asked with a frown on her face.
"It means you must be here." Aiyanna told her firmly, "It means that this witch was doing her duty by sending you here."
"Well she'd better do her duty and send me back," Caroline demanded with her hands on her hips, "I'm from a long way into the future. I don't belong here."
"Clearly she feels otherwise." Aiyanna said dryly as she stopped in front of Caroline. "Why do you wear man's breeches?"
"There called skinny jeans," Caroline explained.
Aiyanna looked at her skeptically and eyed the denim with disdain, "You cannot be seen in such clothes. They would think you a harlot."
"Excuse me?" Caroline said with narrowed eyes.
"Women do not wear pants, and they most certainly do not parade around half naked." Aiyanna said with a light chuckle at Caroline's confused look.
Caroline looked at her clothes, a white tank top and skinny jeans with her not so clean beige boots. "I'm not half naked." Caroline said determinedly.
"Yes, you are child," Aiyanna laughed and disappeared into a back room, "If what you say is true," she called from wherever she'd gone, "You'll need clothes and a place to stay until I can sort out what magic has brought you here and why." She returned with a simple old faded green dress made of wool. Along with it she held up a pair of knee high socks and a pair of leather shoes. "You'll need to put these on before someone see's you and has a terrible shock."
"My grandma wore less than that," Caroline muttered as she took the clothes and went to change. When she returned she stood awkwardly as Aiyanna scrutinized her for a few moments before giving her a satisfied nod. "It's a little big on you," she began slowly, "but I think it will do for now. We can make you a new dress later on."
"Thank you," Caroline said quietly, feeling sheepish for being rude moments before. The woman was helping her and she was being a total bitch about it. "I'm just…" Caroline began with a sigh, "I feel so confined."
"Do the women of your time all run around half naked?" Aiyanna asked with wide eyes as she retrieved a mug from a nearby table and filled it full of a sweet smelling liquid that had resided in a pot over the fire. "Drink," she said, offering it to Caroline.
"What is it?" Caroline said hesitantly as she sniffed it curiously. It smelt like flowers, and she smiled when she realized it was tea. "Tea…" she breathed in awe, overjoyed to find something familiar in this time and place. After a few grateful sips of the tea she nodded towards Aiyanna, "Women don't wear dresses unless they want too. We can wear pants now, and we wear shorts…and tank tops…boots…heels…lots of stuff."
Aiyanna stared at her for a few moments before nodding, obviously not understanding anything that Caroline was talking about. "Interesting."
"So, can you get me home?" she asked brightly, hope glittering in her eyes.
"Not until I know what the witch in question did to send you here." Aiyanna replied.
"Oh…well…I think it was Esther…" Caroline mused quietly, her gaze turning to Aiyanna at the sudden gasp she emitted upon Caroline mentioning Esther.
"What?" she frowned, "Do you know her?"
"Child, she's my best friend." Aiyanna admitted as she looked at Caroline worriedly, "Why would she displace you child, to balance out nature? What is it that keeps you here?" Aiyanna said with a dark look in Caroline's direction, as if she suspected something was out of place about the whole thing.
"Wait," Caroline said in panic, her heart racing, "Are you telling me that she lives in this village?"
"Child," Aiyanna began slowly, "She lives next door."
"What?" Caroline nearly shrieked in horror. That would mean that she was somewhere in the tenth century, which would also mean that Klaus and his family were here. Why would that crazy wand wielding homicidal bitch send her here? "You have to send me home," Caroline demanded suddenly, almost desperately. "I can't be here, this is so wrong!" she cried, her eyes full of fear.
"Calm yourself," Aiyanna began in a soothing voice, "All will be well. I will find out why you're here and then if it is required I will send you home."
"What do you mean required?" Caroline began angrily, "Of course it's required, I don't belong here!"
"How do you know that?" Aiyanna demanded, the fire in her eyes making Caroline falter, she reminded her so much of Bonnie in that moment, "How do you know that you aren't meant to be here?"
"I just know alright!" Caroline snapped back, fear and anger in her expression.
"Whether you just know or not child, I will still make the decision." Aiyanna said as she put her hands on her hips. Caroline turned away from her before she could continue to speak, anger burning in her eyes. She just wanted to go home, how hard was that?
"Where are you going?" Aiyanna demanded angrily.
"I need some air." She huffed irritably.
"You cannot go out there; you don't know they're language. There are only a few of us who can speak your language." Aiyanna explained as she tried to calm herself enough to reason with the irrational young woman before her. Clearly she was frightened and angry at being displaced to a different time period, but it was no reason to be as rude as Caroline was being to her at the moment.
"Aiyanna," called a voice from outside the hut. Caroline gasped as she leather flap raised and Esther stepped in, a warm smile on her face as she gazed towards her friend. When her gaze turned towards Caroline however that smile faltered, replaced by confusion. She spoke softly to Aiyanna; the words were nothing but gibberish to Caroline of course. The language was beautiful however, as she listened to Aiyanna and Esther exchange words. Esther turned her gaze on Caroline, even more confused than before.
"She doesn't know you," Aiyanna translated to Caroline, "She hasn't any idea why she would send you here."
"Of course not," Caroline muttered quietly, "She hasn't," Caroline stopped abruptly mid-sentence, not wanting to give away Esther's secret. She couldn't tell Aiyanna about the curse Esther placed on her children to protect them because Esther hasn't obviously placed the curse on them yet. Come to think of it, that also explained why Caroline was human. Bonnie had described being a vampire as a sort of curse on the bloodline; it was spell that originated from Klaus, spread through his bloodline to any vampire made of his bloodline, like extending the boundaries of a perimeter. The spell was spread through his blood, passed on down through the centuries. Clearly because the spell had not been created yet, Caroline could not be a vampire.
"Can she get me home?" Caroline demanded quietly without looking at them, ignoring the expectant face of Aiyanna who had clearly noticed Caroline's hesitation at finishing her sentence. She listened to them exchange words for a few moments before Aiyanna sighed and shook her head, "She doesn't know how she even got you here to begin with."
Great, so the witch bitch couldn't send her home. Lovely.
Tears prickled at her eyes as she blinked them away frantically, fear surging in her veins like poison as she tried to be brave. "I don't know anyone here, I don't know anything about this time…I can't even speak your language!"
"I realize that child..." Aiyanna said soothingly, "I will help you." There was warmth in Aiyanna's eyes that made Caroline relax, despite the odd looks she was receiving from Esther. "I'm so scared," Caroline began to weep, "I'm not supposed to be here!"
"Shhh hush now child, it will be alright," Aiyanna said soothingly as she tried to calm the young woman before her. "I will take care of you. You can stay here with me and earn your keep by doing chores for me."
"I don't know how to do the sort of chores you all probably do," Caroline wept softly.
"We'll start with something simple," Aiyanna said calmly, "Tomorrow you can go get water alright?"
"Where do I get water from?" She asked with a sniffle. Aiyanna sighed as she looked at Caroline and then turned her gaze to Esther. She spoke with the other woman for a few moments, Esther clearly becoming frustrated and upset. Then she nodded in agreement with Aiyanna and turned to leave.
"What was all that about?" Caroline asked quietly.
"She is upset because she doesn't know why she would send you here and she feels guilty about it. She says that she will send her daughter with you tomorrow to fetch the water." Aiyanna explained easily.
Caroline nodded quietly as she sat down by the fire and stared idly into the flames. She stayed that way for the remainder of the night while Aiyanna worked around her, doing whatever it was that she needed to do. Caroline fell asleep next to the fire pit, not caring that she was laying in the dirt and hay, or that she was cold because she hadn't been cold in years and was marveling in the fact that she was cold at all. Sometime during the night Aiyanna had thrown a blanket over her and when she woke up in the morning Aiyanna was already up and fiddling with the pot over the fire, muttering to herself quietly.
"Go outside and check the hen's nest for eggs." Aiyanna told her idly.
"You want me to do what?" Caroline said incredulously.
"Oh that's right," Aiyanna grumbled with a roll of her eyes, "There is a pen outside with hen's in it. Go in there and fetch me some eggs so I can make breakfast."
"Ok…." Caroline trailed off, not really feeling up to the task considering she'd never set foot anywhere near a barn animal in her life aside from a horse. Tentatively she stepped outside into the morning sunlight and as thrilled by the warm sun on her face.
"I'm free…" she whispered aloud, finally allowing herself to simply enjoy the fact that she was human again. She looked around, taking in her surroundings. She spotted a large wooden rack with drying leather hanging over it, and next to it she saw a makeshift wooden fence with an assortment of barn animals inside of it. "And so it begins…" she muttered sarcastically to herself as she started towards the pen with determination. Getting into the pen wasn't the hard part; it was the part where she had to get the eggs away from the hen without losing a hand that was the hard part. She yelped when the bird attacked her hand and she jumped back, glowering at the animal as it fluttered around the pen. She crept towards the eggs again, reaching slowly towards them and then diving away when the bird charged towards her again.
"Du vil aldri få egg som mate," said a voice from behind her. Caroline blinked as she turned to look at the young woman standing behind her, surprised to see a familiar face. "Rebekah," she breathed in shock.
"I'm sorry…" she said with a shake of her head, "I don't know what you're saying."
"Du har for å roe fuglen først." She tried again and Caroline stared at her blankly, confusion etched across her face.
Rebekah stared at her irritably for a moment before she turned away and went into Aiyanna's hut. Moments later Aiyanna returned and chuckled at the sight of Caroline's flustered appearance. "She says you'll never get the eggs that way, you need to calm the bird first."
"What do I do then? Sing to it?" Caroline hissed in frustration.
"Relax child, just calm yourself. When you are calm, the animal will be calm. It can sense your distress." Aiyanna told her with an amused smile on her face.
Caroline breathed out slowly, relaxing her tense shoulders before she tentatively stepped forward again and reached out for the eggs. Slowly she curled her fingers around the eggs and stepped away, a pleased smile on her face. "I did it!" she said brightly as she turned to look at Aiyanna.
"Good, now bring them here so we can eat breakfast," Aiyanna chuckled with amusement as she and Rebekah turned away, speaking politely in the same language that Caroline couldn't understand.
When breakfast had been made Caroline ate it gratefully, even if she was really nervous about eating the eggs. She never realized how much she missed technology until it was gone. Now she was stuck in the dark ages chasing birds for her breakfast.
"Rebekah will take you to the river to fetch water," Aiyanna said motioning towards the two empty buckets that sat in the corner of the room after they'd finished their breakfast. "Stay close to her and try not to wander off. There are wolves in the forest."
"Wolves?" Caroline repeated worriedly as she picked up the two buckets and left the hut. She found Rebekah waiting outside, watching her curiously. She didn't say anything, but smiled instead and motioned for Caroline to follow her. She must have realized Caroline couldn't speak her language and therefore chose to use actions instead of words to speak to Caroline. They walked through the village, Caroline taking in the sights as she tried to keep up with Rebekah who kept glancing at her worriedly.
When they reached the tree line Rebekah set down her empty buckets and motioned for Caroline to do the same. Then she reached out and pressed her hands against Caroline's shoulders, turning her around. "What are you," Caroline began but cut off as Rebekah seized several locks of Caroline's hair and began to braid it. "Oh," Caroline breathed, understanding now why Rebekah looked so worried. Women did not wear their hair down during this time, it was considered inappropriate. When Rebekah finished she smiled at Caroline with an approving nod and picked up her buckets again, motioning for Caroline to follow her.
They reached the river after about a mile of walking, Caroline sorely wishing she was a vampire again simply because if she were, she wouldn't be walking her happy ass all the way to the river. She could have simply ran and been there in seconds. They filled their buckets and headed back to the village, Rebekah smiling reassuringly at Caroline despite the awkward silence between them. Caroline hated they couldn't speak to another, wishing that she could at least thank Rebekah for walking all the way out here with her.
When they entered the village they weaved through the crowd, Rebekah smiling and greeting others with a friendly nod and a lilting voice that spoke in a different language. Caroline really did feel like the stranger in the village, the newcomer that everyone stared and pointed at, whispering gossip behind their hands as they watched her pass by. Rebekah held her chin up high as she walked beside Caroline, behaving as if Caroline were a friend and to that Caroline was grateful, because it made her feel less like a total weirdo.
Rebekah laughed suddenly, nodding with her head towards a pair of men sparring with swords nearby. She called to them in her native tongue, skipping over cheerfully and setting the buckets of water down by the hut they stood by. Caroline immediately recognized them as Klaus and Elijah, who sent her into another, bought of panic.
She took a deep breath as the two laughing brothers approached their little sister and her friend, eyeing Caroline curiously. Rebekah said something cheerfully as she pointed towards Caroline and then motioned towards Aiyanna's hut.
"I really hate one sided conversations," Caroline muttered dryly as the three siblings conversed in some foreign language Caroline couldn't understand. Caroline tried not to act awkward when Rebekah and her brothers approached her, the two brothers smiling down at her politely.
"You speak the language of the new world," Elijah said politely, catching Caroline by surprise. Of course, out of all the siblings he would be the most knowledgeable.
"You can understand me?" Caroline said brightly, overjoyed by the prospect of having some other than Aiyanna to talk too.
"I am…" he struggled for a few moments for the right words, muttering in his native tongue for a moment as he contemplated his words, "Familiar with your language, but not nearly as fluent as yourself."
"You're doing pretty well so far," Caroline said cheerfully, trying to ignore the strange look Klaus was giving her.
Klaus turned to his brother without taking his gaze off Caroline and said something very quietly before turning away, taking both his sword and Elijah's back towards their hut.
"Forgive my brother for his rudeness," Elijah told Caroline, "Not many of us can speak your language, and he is moody as of late."
"It's alright, I'm just grateful someone else can understand me." Caroline said brightly.
"Father," Elijah greeted the man who had stepped up beside Caroline, who turned to face Mikael with an apprehensive gaze. "Hello," Caroline greeted politely. He made a face at her words and looked at Elijah and then back at her, "It is not often I meet someone who can speak this language."
"I'm not from around here," Caroline said with a nervous smile.
"I can see that," Mikael told her knowingly as he eyed the water buckets by her feet, "Though you must understand that in this village, we work to survive and you must do your part if you intend to live here with us. Now be off with you, take that water back to Aiyanna."
Caroline blinked at the hard look on his face and then promptly picked up the buckets and walked off giving Elijah and polite smile as she did. She did not want to test Mikael patience; she knew how dangerous he was. When she returned to the hut she gave the water over to Aiyanna who then set her on the task of peeling vegetables for dinner, which wasn't exactly ideal and Caroline sorely missed something as simple as a vegetable peeler. When dinner was finished being made Aiyanna and Caroline ate together in silence, and after dinner they sat by the fire while Aiyanna worked on a new dress for Caroline. "I need to teach you to sew," she mused aloud as she worked, "I will make this dress, but the next one you will make."
"Alright," Caroline agreed quietly as she stared into the flames, shivering from the cold of the night outside that seeped under the leather door flap.
In the morning when the fire had died down in the hearth Caroline woke early just as the sun rose over the mountains and crept out into the village. She needed to think and to relax as she walked into the forest, humming softly to herself. There was vervain everywhere she noticed as she gazed down at the beautiful plant. She continued on into the woods, climbing up onto a hill just above the village so that she could admire it from afar. It was strange being here, she thought she sat down in the tall grass and watched the sun rise over the mountains. Only a day ago she was running through these woods lost and afraid, and now she was part of a village in the tenth century. Something fell from the tree beside her and Caroline started, her gaze turning upward towards the smirking young man in the tree above her. Klaus stared down at her with a scrutinizing gaze as he said something to her in what she was beginning to remember Rick mentioning was Nordic. "I don't know what you're saying…" Caroline said tiredly as she looked up at him. He rolled his eyes and jumped down from the tree, picking up the fallen object and taking her hand, placing it in her hand gently with a nod of his head. Caroline stared down at the green apple in her hand and laughed a genuine smile on her face. "Thank you," she said slowly, stressing the words so that maybe he would understand.
He made a face at her and then sat down across from her, leaning back against the tree. He was whittling something, a carving knife in one hand and a piece of wood in the other. She sat there and ate the apple while watching him whittle, feeling uncomfortable with the silence.
She really needed to learn Nordic.
"What's your name?" Caroline tried to ask, already fully aware of his name but not allowed to let him know that. He looked at her quizzically and she sighed, pointing to herself and saying "Caroline," and then pointing at him with an expectant look.
"Niklaus," he responded as he brushed shavings of wood away from his carving, admiring his handiwork.
"Niklaus," she repeated, letting his name roll around on her tongue with a soft smile on her lips.
"Caroline," he responded with an understanding light in his eyes.
"Yep, that's me," Caroline said cheerfully as she smiled at him. "What are you making?" she asked curiously as she pointed towards the carving in his hands. He looked down at the carving and then reached over and lifted a long metal rod up out of the grass. Caroline's eyes widened as she nodded in understanding, "Oh…it's a…spear."
Well that should have been obvious.
Caroline felt her cheeks turn red in embarrassment at the thought of how stupid she must look in front of him. He seemed to notice this and chuckle lightly, turning his gaze down towards the hill as he watched his brother walk towards them.
"Greetings," Elijah began politely, "I beg pardon lady but I didn't get your name the last time we spoke."
"Caroline," she smiled up at him politely.
"Lady Caroline," he said with a nod, "I see you have found my brother Niklaus."
"Yes, he's making a spear." Caroline said with a smile, turning her gaze towards Klaus.
"I commend your attempts at communication," Elijah chuckled, "My brother refuses to learn; he would rather spend his days running through the woods hunting animals and sparring with our brother Kol."
Klaus snorted rudely and got to his feet, giving Elijah a foul look. He then turned his gaze to Caroline, his expression neutral as he nodded politely and walked off down the hill. "You will have to forgive him lady," Elijah said politely, "He understands only a little and what he did understand of this conversation he did not like."
It struck Caroline as odd that he would not crave such knowledge, that he would not listen to Elijah and learn from his elder brother. Klaus had always seemed so educated and cultured. "I do believe that Aiyanna is looking for you." Elijah told her after a long pause, watching Caroline watch his brother curiously.
"Thank you," Caroline said politely as she got to her feet and started down the hill as well. She spent the rest of the morning doing chores for Aiyanna, quietly wishing that she would hurry up and find her a way home already. It was late afternoon when Caroline caught her first glimpse of Tatia, someone who could have been Elena's twin. She sat up on the hill again and watched the beautiful young woman walk through the village arm in arm with Klaus, laughing about something. These were days that Caroline had no place in meddling with, she had no right to talk to Klaus as if she knew him and she couldn't talk to him anyways because he didn't know English and she didn't know Nordic.
She wasn't jealous.
She wasn't bothered by the way Tatia's arm was wrapped around his, and she certainly didn't notice the way his eyes twinkled with adoration when she laughed. She noticed Elijah's dark look in the distance and pitied him, knowing about the disagreement that went on between the two brothers over Tatia's affection. She would not interfere in their lives however, that wasn't her place. By now Klaus knew that she was meddling in his past because he would remember meeting her. She wasn't about to make him angry by changing his personal history. She had no right to meddle with his past, just as she wouldn't want him meddling with hers.
Caroline trudged back down the hill, trying to ignore the couple walking through the village. She was wearing her new dress today, Aiyanna had finished it quickly, and it fit Caroline nicely. It a deep forest green with brown trimming. Rebekah had braided her hair again for her, weaving flowers into her hair to add to the effect. Caroline could almost get used to playing the innocent maiden of the village, if it weren't for the fact that they had no running water, no showers, no TV, no phone, nothing conventional. She wasn't materialistic though, she did not mourn the loss of TV or telephone, but she certainly did miss a hot shower.
"You girl," Mikael began as he approached her; he had a terrible habit of picking on her as of late. "Go help the other women get the washing done."
Caroline blinked with wide eyes, biting back a remark. Why did Tatia get to parade around the village like she was the queen of the castle while everybody had to go scrub laundry?
"Go on then!" Mikael urged with a dismissive wave, "meddlesome girl," he muttered as he walked off towards his own hut.
"I'm not a girl," Caroline said petulantly as she stalked off towards the washing area.
"Then behave as a woman and do your duty," Mikael snapped back.
Caroline winced, not intending for him to hear her petulant comments. She blushed furiously and hurried away from him, not wanting to pick a fight with him. It took all of her self control not to tell him off for treating her so rudely, because she was a guest in this village and was living off of their kindness alone. Caroline sat down with the other women and helped finished the laundry, glowering at the wet fabric in her hands as she washed.
Later that evening as she sat by the fire with Aiyanna she asked softly, "Why does Mikael behave like he does?"
"He means well," Aiyanna sighed tiredly, "He simply gets carried away. He cares for his family and for this village. The wolves make it hard for all of us to survive."
"The wolves?" Caroline asked quietly, fully aware of what she was referring too but wanting to hear Aiyanna explain it anyways.
"They change on the full moon and become wolves." Aiyanna explained as she finished her dinner.
"Werewolves," Caroline surmised as she ate.
"Yes, werewolves." Aiyanna said with a nod.
"Do you think you could teach me to speak their language?" Caroline asked curiously after dinner.
"Of course, I intended to anyways." Aiyanna said with a smile. "It won't be easy though."
"I didn't imagine it would be," Caroline said with a soft smile.
"We'll start in the morning," she said with a yawn, "For now I'm going to bed."
"Ok, goodnight," Caroline said with a smile and went to bed as well.
A week would pass before Caroline would speak to Klaus again. She spent most of that week being a total creeper and watching him from afar of course, as he tried his best to woo Tatia while she snuck around behind his back with his brother Elijah. She disliked Tatia immediately because of this; it reminded her to much of Katherine. During that week when she wasn't spying on Klaus she was with Aiyanna learning to speak the language of the townspeople. She wanted to be able to communicate with everyone, and that included Klaus and his family. It was a bright and sunny day when she would find Klaus however, grooming his favorite horse by the stables.
"Hello," she said cheerfully in Nordic, proud of herself of her accomplishments during this week. He seemed surprised by her greeting and responded politely in return, "Greetings, Lady Caroline."
Caroline opened her mouth for a moment and closed it, surprised that he spoke in English. "You can speak English then?"
"Only a little I'm afraid," he said quietly as he groomed his horse, "I can speak more of it then my brother gives me credit for though."
"What is your horse's name?" Caroline said as she smiled brightly, her eyes shining with true joy as she ran her hand lightly over the horse's mane.
"Asgeir," he told her calmly as he set his brush down and watched her curiously, "You like horses?"
"Oh yes," Caroline smiled softly, "Very much."
"Well do let my Father see you meddling around the horses; he says the women must remain where it is safe."
"I can ride a horse if I want too," Caroline said bristling slightly at his words.
"You are so strange," he mused aloud, "Not many women in the village speak and act as you do."
"I'm not just any woman," Caroline said cheekily as she continued to pet the mane of the horse. He kept watching her with an odd expression before he turned his gaze towards someone behind her and smiled a true genuine smile that Caroline had never seen on Klaus's face before. "Tatia," he greeted politely, immediately switching languages as Caroline stood waiting for him to remember her existence.
"Tatia," he began politely after a few moments, "This is Caroline."
"Hello," she said politely in Nordic, greeting the other young woman with a smile.
"There is no need," Tatia said gently, "I know the language."
"Oh ok," Caroline smiled brightly, "Well it's nice to meet you Tatia."
"The pleasure is mine Caroline," she replied with a smile that reminded Caroline to much of Elena.
"Tatia, would you care to join me for a ride through the woods?" Caroline heard Klaus ask her as she stepped away from the couple. Caroline rolled her eyes, trying to suppress the anger that burned in her blood.
She wasn't jealous, not at all.
"We'll I'll leave you two to it." Caroline said with a polite smile and stepped past them without a second glance. Her cheeks burned red as she hurried towards Aiyanna's hut. She was resisting the urge to run, because she was both angry and embarrassed by the easy way Klaus dismissed her for the beautiful Tatia. Even back in Mystic Falls it was always about Elena, Caroline mused as she slowed her walk to a relaxing pace through the village.
"You must be the lady Caroline I hear my brother go on and on about," said a voice from behind her. Caroline turned her gaze towards the owner of that voice, his darks eyes and even darker hair making his skin look pale in the sunlight. Kol had always looked a bit sinister to Caroline, even when he was human. "Yes, that's me." Caroline replied with a polite smile.
"We'll I can certainly see what he's talking about," Kol mused as he walked with Caroline. Silently she was wondering which brother was talking about her and what they were saying. She really wasn't going to let her curiosity get the better of her though, Kol liked to play games with his words and he'd trapped her more than once in these games before. "What do you mean?" Caroline asked vaguely, pretending that it didn't really interest her. Kol grinned playfully at her as they walked, "That you are most definitely beautiful. What land do you hail from?"
"I…" Caroline stammered, trying to recover quickly, "I well, you see…"
Shit. Where did she hail from? What could she tell him? She really should have been paying more attention in Rick's class. Granted the last time she was in his class he'd driven pencils through her hands and forced her to breathe in vervain.
Not entirely a great motivational learning tool.
"I'm from Europe," Caroline replied vaguely, hoping he didn't ask which part because she knew that her language came from Europe, but she wasn't a walking Atlas and couldn't just pull the name of a random village out of thin air.
"You came alone?" he asked her curiously.
"I did," Caroline confirmed quietly, summoning up all those years of drama class to the surface, "My family did not survive the plague."
Kol nodded solemnly, "My condolences."
"So your whole family can speak my language?" Caroline asked curiously.
Kol laughed, taking in a deep breath of the fresh afternoon air before he spoke, "I take it my brother Niklaus is being difficult."
When is he not? Caroline mused quietly to herself. "He's not bothering me."
"Yes," Kol said knowingly even as they walked, "he has quiet the obsession with the fair Tatia, He and my brother Elijah both."
"Both your brothers seem like good men, she shouldn't string them along as she does," Caroline said bitterly as they walked, her eyes widening at her sudden inner confession. Kol was watching her with curious eyes, a pleased smile curling his lips, "At long last, a woman who truly does speak her mind."
"I'm so sorry," Caroline said quickly, "That was terribly rude of me."
"No it's alright, your quiet right. I dislike the battle that goes on between them as much as you do. She really should chose," Kol said with a distant look as he watched Klaus and Tatia ride out into the woods. Caroline watched them as well, trying to keep the bitter look off of her face. Ok, so she really had no right to be so jealous, she'd spurned Klaus's advances at every turn back in Mystic Falls, so why was she upset now that he was turning his affections upon someone else?
She tried not to notice the way Tatia sat side saddle in front of Klaus who held her against him with one arm and held the reigns of the horse in the other. Or the way Klaus looked at her with such devotion as she laughed, urging him to go faster.
"My brother wouldn't make a good match for you lady," Kol said quietly.
"I, what?" Caroline said, blinking herself out of her deep thoughts.
"I can see a woman in love just from looking at them, and you must understand lady that he loves Tatia. Though I think she would be better suited for my elder brother Elijah, I cannot seem to steer him away from Tatia's grasp."
"I wasn't looking for a suitor," Caroline muttered darkly as she turned her gaze away from the pair disappearing into the woods.
"But you do like him then?" Kol grinned at her, and Caroline huffed, ignoring his question. Instead she turned to walk off but Kol followed her, scrambling for words to keep her from leaving, "Please don't be mad lady, I was merely playing."
"It's no business of mine who he loves." Caroline told him frankly.
"Ah, but I see the way you look at him. You like him." Kol surmised easily.
Caroline glowered up at Kol for a few moments, keeping her silence. Kol rolled his eyes and kept pace with her easily, "My brother would do better with someone like you I think," He told her honestly, "and he does find you beautiful."
Caroline blinked, unable to hide the surprise on her face before Kol could see it. He laughed with amusement in his eyes as he spoke, "I knew it, and you do care."
You have no idea, Caroline thought quietly to herself. Kol really had no idea of the history she had with his brother.
"It doesn't matter." Caroline grumbled quietly.
"Are you going to the festival tonight?" he asked her as they walked, changing the subject.
"What festival?" Caroline asked curiously.
"We celebrate the summer by having a festival," he explained easily.
"I don't know your customs," Caroline said quietly, not wanting to embarrass herself at some party in the middle of the dark ages where the customs were completely different from her own time. "I can teach you," Kol said with a delighted smile.
"I don't know," Caroline trailed off nervously, unsure about the whole thing.
"Oh come on," Kol urged, "it will be fun I promise you. Let me at least teach you the dances."
Caroline quirked an eyebrow at him skeptically, He was really trying to pull a fast one on her, she knew that. Kol had that same wicked gleam in his eye that he wore when he first saw her in the bar at the grill. "Alright I guess," Caroline said, giving into puppy eyed stare he was giving her. She didn't really want to do any of this, but Kol had been nothing but nice to her so far.
"Excellent!" He replied delightedly as he took her hand and walked with her up onto the hill above the village. "This should do," he said as he gazed around, "That way if you fall nobody would see you."
Caroline blinked at him, surprised by his concern for her dignity. She had not expected that from Kol, who was already guiding her through the steps of one of the dances. Caroline couldn't keep the smile off of her face as they danced, hands held palm outward towards each other without touching as they turned in a circle. She picked up on the dance quickly, enjoying the moment as she spun in a circle like he did and clapped, before stepping forward to repeat the same motions again. "You dance well," he complimented her as they moved. Caroline smiled at him, "I've had training."
"Did you dance among a royal court?" he asked curiously, the honesty in his eyes bewildering her. He was so innocent right then, so full of life. He was nothing like the Kol she had met back in Mystic Falls, where cruelty lived behind his eyes. "No, nothing like that." She answered him as they started a new dance, they're arms entwining gracefully as they stepped in a circle and then stepped away from each other, moving from the right to the left and then stepping forward again to repeat the prior actions before.
"It appears our baby brother wastes no time upon greeting the newcomer," Finn mused as he walked with Elijah up the hill towards them.
"Our baby brother has never been one to waste time." Elijah agreed, as he leaned against a tree to watch the pair dance. "I dare say that he has less than noble intentions for our new friend."
"I would never dream of such behavior," Kol scowled at Elijah and then turned a bright smile towards Caroline, "He is merely jealous, he wants a dance from you as well but I clearly hold your hand."
Elijah laughed, shaking off his brothers sharp barbs of anger as they burned just under the surface of his otherwise playful words. Elijah knew that Kol disliked Elijah and Klaus's strange obsession with Tatia.
"I'm sure the lady would find pleasure in dancing with others aside from you tonight Kol," Elijah mused as he watched them dance. "My brother Finn here is an excellent dancer."
"I wouldn't say that," Finn said modestly, a gentle smile on his lips.
"Oh come now brother, I see you dancing with delight at every festival." Elijah said with mirth as he watched Finn fidget nervously. Finn had always been the tamest of the originals, Caroline remembered. It was then that she realized how odd this must look to anyone who saw them up on the hill. Caroline had never been the center of attention before, let alone to three originals. It was always Elena who'd drawn all the attention, and it was a new and foreign feeling to Caroline. She couldn't keep the smile off of her face because she was noticed, but she refused to let that feeling go to her head. Just because a guy smiled at you didn't mean you should give them anything they wanted. Caroline was smarter than that, as she bowed gracefully to Kol who did the same and stepped away from him.
"Alright, time for chores before Father crows at us like the mad rooster that he is for having fun." Elijah said aloud, motioning for his brothers to follow. "You should probably go and see if Aiyanna needs help lady, before my Father becomes cross with you as well."
Caroline smiled politely at Elijah with a nod in his direction before following them down the hill, the four separately as they went off in different directions to finish their chores.
The festival was bright and beautiful as Caroline followed Aiyanna towards the feast table, carrying food that she and Aiyanna had made for the dinner tonight. Caroline could see that this was a well thought of festival, because people seem more than a little excited about it taking place. "We do not do this often," Aiyanna told her at the look of curiosity on Caroline's face, "We fight to survive here, and we do not often get to live frivolously like this. It brings unity to the village however, we fight together and we live together."
"Mikael doesn't seem pleased," Caroline noted as they set the food out on the tables with the other women. Aiyanna raised her eyes towards the matriarch of the Mikaelson family, who sat with his sons and other met drinking mead at a nearby table. "He does not like this sort of gathering. He worries greatly that we will be attacked in the night by the wild animals of the forest. Do not mistake his worry for cruelty Caroline. He does care a great deal for the village even if he fails to show it in a manner that is understandable."
"He's a jerk," Caroline muttered darkly under her breath.
"Another word of your time, I assume," Aiyanna said with amusement.
"Yeah, sorry," Caroline smiled politely as she followed Aiyanna towards the gathering of women nearby. Rebekah grabbed her hand and guided her over to a log where she sat, Rebekah already picking up pieces of ribbon and flower to weave into Caroline's hair. "Its tradition," Aiyanna told her at Caroline's confused look, "You will look beautiful."
When Rebekah was done she draped a wreath of purple flowers around her neck, like the other women around her were wearing. She tried not to freeze up at the sight of the flowers, realizing that she was wearing vervain. Caroline plastered on the brightest fake smile she could and followed the other women out into the festival. It was a heady sight, the bright flowers hanging from the trees and the smell of good food wafting in the air. They played cheerful music in the background, while men smoked and drank, laughing loudly from a nearby table. It seemed that the women and the men kept separated in this time as Caroline sat with the other women and listened to them discuss idle things that Caroline really had no idea of. This was fun and all, but she really wanted to go home. She did not want to sit here and play house, pretending that she belonged here in this village when she did not belong here at all.
"The dancing begins!" One of the women said with delight as the girls as stepped out towards the center of the festival in a line, Caroline being pulled along by Rebekah to come stand beside her in line. She did just as Kol taught her, beginning the dance with a random man in the village who Caroline couldn't remember the name of, keeping a polite smile on her face as she danced with him. They switched partners, like weaving threads of a knot as the dancers spun in a circle and stepped across, the men and women switching sides as they swayed to the music. Caroline found herself faced with Elijah who bowed his head politely and Caroline returned it with a smile, beginning the dance again with Elijah.
"Are you enjoying yourself?" He asked as they danced.
"This is fun," Caroline responded with a smile, "I really do like this."
"I realize Kol may have left out a few of the more complicated steps," Elijah mused at the look of concern on Caroline's face as she watched some of the dancers do far more intricate moves. Elijah took her hands and politely showed her how, Caroline beaming a grateful smile in his direction for his help. "A gentleman would never let a lady flounder in such a way."
"Thank you," Caroline responded politely as they turned in a circle and then stepped across, switching partners again. Caroline took a deep breath as she steadied herself, her latest partner flashing her one of his famous smirks, making her heart flutter in anticipation. "My brother taught you well," he said as she and Klaus turned in a circle, hands outstretched and close but never really touching. "I'm a quick learner," Caroline responded nonchalantly as she tried to ignore his handsome features.
"So I have noticed," he responded in the same tone, seemingly put out by her lack of interest.
He ignored her, so she was going to ignore him too.
"You look lovely tonight; my sister truly is a miracle worker." He said casually as they intertwined their arms and turned, mischief twinkling in his eyes.
"Clearly she couldn't work the same miracles on you," Caroline responded bitingly, her eyes narrowed in his direction at his previous rude comment.
He smirked at her, the typical expression on his face that told Caroline he was letting her biting comments roll off his shoulders. Even now he enjoyed their games despite how little he knew about her. "My brother seems quiet taken with you," He said changing the subject as he glanced towards Kol who was watching them dance with an unreadable expression on his face.
"I noticed," Caroline replied evenly, "he is very sweet."
"But sweet really doesn't suit you, does it?" Klaus said with a knowing smile as he gazed at her, "Such fire cannot be named with sweet words."
"Exactly, so maybe you should try a different tactic." Caroline said cheekily as they turned and stepped away from each other, bowing gracefully. "You are much too boyish for my taste;" he said casually, "Forgive me if I gave you the wrong impression."
Caroline flushed red and turned her gaze away from him, offended by his words. Elijah seemed to overhear the conversation and gave his brother a stern look before turning again to take up a dance with Tatia. Caroline turned and walked away from Klaus, biting back the anger that was threatening to boil over the surface of her cool demeanor.
"Hey," Klaus said with a laugh as he followed after her, catching her wrist gently with his hand to stop her progression, "I meant no harm lady, I was merely teasing."
"You're a cad," she snapped rudely, a frown marring her features, "leave me alone." She told him, pulling her wrist from his grasp as she turned away, ignoring his pleading calls as she walked off towards the other women.
"Well that didn't take you long," Kol said as he clasped a hand cheerfully onto Klaus's shoulder, "I'll take it from here brother." He said as he stood off after Caroline, shooting Klaus and wicked grin as he did so. Klaus watched him go, anger etched across his face. That anger turned to irritation and frustration as he turned away, his gaze travelling to his brother dancing with Tatia. The girl with the pretty blond hair was frustrating; he could never seem to gage her reaction to anything. She was completely unpredictable and that drove him crazy. He was only teasing her and she behaved outraged at his words. He only wanted to talk to her, finding it difficult to do so because of how little he had known the language before he decided to finally listen to Elijah. She was his only motivation for continuing his studies, because her blue eyes haunted him in his dreams and her sweet voice drove him mad with want of hearing her speak again, his name rolling off of her lips like honey.
He wasn't entirely sure what he wanted from her, only that he needed to speak to her, this strange feeling in his chest confusing him. She made him behave irrationally, more so than Tatia ever did. He was no stranger to the fact that Tatia preferred his brother over him, and yet he chooses to take Tatia out for a ride when Caroline so clearly loved horses as much as he did. He supposed he'd done it to drive Caroline from his mind, believing that it was just a fanciful notion of infatuation when his love for Tatia was true and real. He did not give his love easily, and he had spent much time coming to love Tatia.
He watched as Kol swept Caroline out onto the dance floor, the two smiling at each other as they danced. His idiot younger brother had absolutely no idea what he was doing, he mused as he watched them dance. The fire in her could clearly not be sated by the likes of his brother, who was trying so desperately to get her attention.
He turned away from the sight of them, unable to watch any longer. He would let his brother make a fool of himself and he would turn his attention back to the one person who held it captive.
Summer turned to fall as the leaves changed, fluttering to the ground around the village. Caroline spent the whole morning with Rebekah as they cleaned animal skin that the men had brought in. They were going to make blankets for the winter, something that Caroline was apprehensive about. She should have been home by now but was slowly giving up on the concept considering that Aiyanna could find nothing on how to send her home and Esther knew just as much. Caroline raised her head, the sun catching her golden curls as she watched Klaus walk by with Elijah and their father, Klaus's eyes finding hers for just a moment before turning his gaze away from her. During the months they had spoken occasionally, mostly ending in Caroline storming off angrily because he was being a jerk again. Usually they found each other up on the hill, Caroline's favorite place to muse about the day as she waited for dinner to be ready. He would sit with her and they would discuss the day, him occasionally tossing her an apple that he'd stolen from a basket in his parents hut.
Sometimes they would just simply sit in silence and she would watch him whittle out spear heads while she lay back in the tall grass and enjoy the warm sun on her skin. The two had slowly become tentative friends; it was a fragile bond that had been formed between them, one that Caroline was still uncertain about. She did not want to change history or meddle in his past. She figured she was already doing that however simply by being here.
"Lovely," Rebekah mused aloud slowly, the words uttered carefully as she tried to pronounce it correctly. She held up the brown animal fur for Caroline to see smiling brightly. Caroline returned the smile, happy to hear a language she understood. She kept trying to teach Rebekah English, which turned out to be really amusing because Rebekah struggled with the words just as much as Caroline struggled with Rebekah's language.
Mikael said something in Nordic and Caroline watched the smile on Rebekah's face drop as she immediately went back to her work, Caroline following in suit least Mikael decide that Caroline was being a distraction and send her away to go and do something else.
"Freaking tyrant," Caroline muttered under her breath as she cleaned the fur and then carried it over to the wooden drying rack to dry.
"Can you sneak away?" Klaus asked suddenly as he appeared on the other side of the drying rack, eating an apple. He leaned against it and watched her expectantly, mischief in his eyes.
"I need to help your sister finish cleaning the animal fur," Caroline told him with smile that she couldn't keep from curving her lips, the playful look on his face making him look so different then she remembered him.
"Rebekah will understand," he urged her in a soft voice, "Come with me."
"I can't," Caroline hissed under her breath as he caught her hand lightly in his and hurried her away from the other women, Caroline's eyes searching the surrounding area for Mikael. Hopefully he hadn't seen her run off with his son. They ran together deep into the woods, Caroline both fearful and excited as she grinned from ear to ear. "Shhh," he said gently as he put one arm around her upper back and dropped to his knees with her, the two of them ducking down in the tall grass. "Watch," he said, pointing towards the trees just up ahead. Caroline looked at him curiously and then turned her gaze to where she was pointing, gasping in excitement at the sight before her. She beamed at him and then turned her gaze back to the grazing wild horses in the distance, her eyes drinking in the sight before her with awe.
"Niklaus," she breathed in excitement as she beamed at him, "Oh this is just…" Caroline said as she watched the beautiful animals grazing, "Thank you!" she said, throwing her arms around his shoulders and hugging him without thinking about it. He seemed to freeze in response at first, and then slowly raised his arms to return the hug gently. When Caroline realized what she was doing she nervously released him and turned her gaze back to the animals in the distance, trying to avoid the odd stare he was giving her.
He held his finger up to his lips and smiled, and then carefully picked up a coiled piece of rope he'd left by the tree and crept out of the brush and motioned for her to stay where she was. She watched him creep towards the horses slowly, his hands outstretched as he kept a slow steady pace. He was creeping towards a pretty white horse with black speckles, one that Caroline had been admiring before he'd stood up. "Niklaus, be careful," she whispered, fearful that he would be hurt. He uncoiled the rope and readied it as he crept closer towards the horse, Caroline watching with baited breath as he readied himself to throw the makeshift loop he'd made in the rope to throw around the horses neck. She smiled as he tossed the loop around the horses neck and pulled gently, the slip knot tightening around the horses neck as it reared up and cried out in surprise, the other horses scattering in all directions. Caroline stood up and hurried towards him, gasping in surprise when the horse kicked its legs backwards and narrowly missed hitting him in the face. He lost balance however and let go of the rope, tumbling backwards onto the ground as the horse galloped off into the trees. "Nik!" Caroline cried out, running at full speed towards him, her dress skirts in her hands as she raised them up high enough so that she could run. She dropped to her knees beside him, his body unmoving and his eyes closed. "Oh please don't be dead!" she said in a panic, unsure whether or not that the horse had really kicked him or not. Perhaps it had and she only thought that it hadn't?
If he was dead then everyone back home in Mystic Falls was totally screwed.
"Nik!" she cried gently, shaking him as she searched his body for injuries. He lay unmoving for a few moments, Caroline's heart racing in panic when he did not respond.
"Arg!" he shouted suddenly as his eyes popped open and he jolted upward, giving Caroline a terrible fright. She screamed and fell over backwards, glowering at him as he laughed at her. "Oh you scared me!" Caroline hissed angrily at him, "I thought you were dead!"
"Your concern for me is touching," he said as he laughed.
"Jerk," she said petulantly as she smacked him in the arm playfully. She could help but crack a smile as well, his laughter making her anger and fear dissipate.
"While I am familiar with your language, some of your words baffle me," he told her frankly, "What does this word, 'jerk' mean exactly?"
"It means you're being an ass," Caroline told him as she lay back in the grass.
"I was merely teasing you," he said as he looked down at her, "I need to go and find that horse before it gets tangled up in the trees and hurts itself."
"It's a beautiful horse," Caroline agreed as she watched him.
"When I find it, it's yours." He told her honestly, his eyes glimmering with some strange emotion she didn't recognize.
"I don't know how to take care of a horse," Caroline told him quietly.
"I'll teach you," he replied easily, "Can you ride?"
"No," Caroline answered in reply, mesmerized by the way the sunlight made his blue eyes shine.
"I will teach you that as well then." He grinned at her. She watched him stand up and offer a hand to her which she took, standing up as well. She brushed the grass off of her dress and walked with him back towards the village, the two of them silent and thoughtful as they walked. When they reached the edge of the village he stopped and took her hand, kissing her knuckles lightly, "I must go now and find the horse, you'll be safe here." He said, motioning towards the village. She watched him go, realizing that he just walked her back to the village for her own safety. It was a chivalrous thing for him to do, something that surprised Caroline and pleased her immensely. Her friend was acting strangely lately, his attention seemed to be turning towards her more and more and while she worried that it would change things, she was also enjoying it.
Klaus was making her happy even if she wouldn't admit that out loud.
Caroline rejoined Rebekah and the other women who were chattering away happily as they worked, and smiled to herself because she looked forward to being able to ride the horse that Klaus was out catching for her. Maybe living here wouldn't be so bad after all.