A/N: Hey guys :) I started writing this fic a little while back in the show's break, and have decided to start posting it here - so it's current until 3x22 and then goes AU. It will flash through different years of their encounters with one another so there will be romance, humour, angst, and yes smut ;) I hope you like it, and please R&R.

Prologue – The Clock Starts

"Time is the longest distance between two places."

Before he left Mystic Falls, Klaus came to her; she was slightly surprised at his leaving, but it was no shock that he'd planned to see her before his departure. Caroline had resigned herself to the fact that Klaus had some weird fascination with her, and anything that she said to dissuade him seemed to have to opposite effect.

He always promised that he'd leave with Elena if he ever decided to vacate their unfortunate town, but once she'd become a vampire those plans were no longer a viable option. She knew that day she'd been tortured in the school he'd collected a large store from Elena, and wondered at the number of hybrids he could possibly make with it. The thought made her shiver; only a single drop could promote transition, and Elena had lost so much.

When she saw him through the soft white curtains of her front door, she rolled her eyes, but nonetheless went to open it in the hopes that he'd leave sooner. Ignoring him was not an option; the knocking on the door was simply a courtesy, and if she didn't answer he'd just invite himself in.

"You don't take a hint do you." She spoke to him accusingly, leaning against the door frame.

A small smile flit across his features at this, and she scowled at the repressed mirth that sparkled in his eyes.

"Actually, sweetheart, you're getting your wish. I've made the decision to leave Mystic Falls, and thought I'd come see my girl one last time." He stated simply, with a shrug.

Caroline didn't hide her shock, but recovered quickly when the audacity of his last statement sank in.

"I'm not your girl and you know it. Moreover why should I care that you're leaving? Good riddance, I say. I am beyond ready for the next villain to get to town."

He laughed and shook his head at her words. Even if they never spent time together, her personality left lasting impressions on him, and he would miss even the smallest of their interactions.

They stood there for a long moment in silence, just looking at one another. Caroline found that, strangely it wasn't awkward at all; more companionable. Fortunately, she was shaken from this frightening thought before it could be led toward more ridiculous observations by his velvet speech.

"What I told you that day; the offer still stands if, in the years to come, you find yourself no longer wanting what you have. Sometimes…it can be a lonely existence."

Usually, Caroline would have made a witty comeback at such an invitation by him, but his hesitation at the end of the sentence and the vulnerability that coloured his voice made her stop. He genuinely seemed to care, and in this matter she would graciously hold her tongue.

As she searched for the right words to say, he stepped back and turned to walk away. A part of her seemed to sink at the idea that she was letting go of an opportunity to experience the world that she might never get to see, but she shook off the silly thought. She didn't need him to see its beauty, and she had an unlimited expanse of time ahead of her which she chose to govern wisely.

He stopped at the top of the porch stairs and looked at her over his shoulder, a smile spreading once again across his face.

"Maybe I'll see you around, love."

Klaus straightened his jacket then, and descended the stairs with graceful steps that could only have been possible with years of practice; he seemed to glide down them. Once he disappeared from sight, Caroline let out the breath she had unknowingly been holding the whole time. She didn't move from her position for a long while, simply watched the place he'd vanished from sight.

"Maybe," she whispered finally, though she was skeptical if she'd ever see that handsome face again. Caroline was sure that the world was big enough for the two of them to live comfortably without the chance of ever running into each other in the years to come.

But then, she had the strange feeling that Klaus' words were spoken with promise rather than in speculation.

So there you have it :) the next update will be up in a day or two, so I'll see you then! Meanwhile, please review and tell me what you think :)

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