A/N: Just going to warn you off the bat (oh hey, that is going to be a very twisted pun later whoops) that this fic will be rated M for violence, rather than smut (This can change, of course, but for obvious reasons that isn't in the game plan at the moment.)
Now that we have that out there, let the reading commence!
Somewhere down in Texas, an abandoned house sat in the middle of a field, away from all civilization. In that house, there was a darkened room, with nothing but a chair in it's center, and stone walls all around. A frightened girl, probably in her mid-twenties, sat in this chair; with her hands bound behind it's back. Her mouth, however, wasn't gagged. What was the point?
No one would hear her screams.
"Please," she begged, her eyes red from the pain, and the crying. "Please let me go!"
"I'm afraid I can't do that, darling," a young male, probably in his late twenties, teased the poor hostage. "You're my guest! It would be rude to leave before the first inning."
The brown haired boy tossed his aluminum bat between his hands, playfully flicking his gaze between the girl and his toy. It had been days since she first arrived. He had kept her alive, but only barely. She must have had this gnawing hunger by now. Plates of bread would barely fill her.
He didn't even know her name. Perhaps it was Mary? Yes, that would be his name for her. Mary was a pretty name. Yes, a pretty name for a pretty girl. She had given him quite a bit of entertainment over the days she had stayed in his current house of horrors. Her struggle was so amusing.
"Why are you doing this to me?" the woman cried. The man shrugged.
"Ah, the million dollar question. It's surprising…the number of people who question why they're being held captive. They always think there's some secret agenda against their rather boring life. As if they were caught for a reason. When really…it's nothing personal at all," he cooed, bending down in front of her. He started to stroke her cheek with his knuckles. "You were nearby. Convenient. And I was bored."
His expression contorted into anger, no longer feeling amused. Her time was being dragged out. There was nothing new, nothing exciting with this one. He had no reason to keep her anymore.
"If you let me go, I—"
"You'll what, exactly? I don't think you're in any position to negotiate with me," he said lightly, flipping his bat, so that his fingers now grasped the handle. In one, swift motion, he swung toward her arm, but stopped just as the weapon touched her skin. Mary flinched, and began shaking as he slid the bat down her arm slowly.
"I want to go home," she breathed. The man feigned sympathy, his lower lip jutting out.
"You poor, poor girl," he sang, "I had no idea you were in such agony."
Before Mary had time to calm down from her hysterics, her captor swung his bat again. But this time, he made contact with her knee. She screamed from the excruciating pain, the force of the swing most likely dislocating her joints.
"PLEASE!" she cried out, once she regained her breath. "PLEASE DON'T!"
"Did I tell you about my first ever baseball game, Mary? Did I?"
"No…you didn't," she wept. The man nodded, and began strolling around her at a leisurely pace.
"It was back in my late teens, early twenties. I was the big hope for my team. I had one hell of a swing, and I was facing to go against the best pitcher in the league. They all thought I was good. They just thought he was better. But do you know…what happened…when I stepped up to the plate…and readied myself?" he asked, positioning himself behind her, with his bat at the ready by her head.
"What?" she questioned meekly. He smiled sinisterly.
"The fans began chanting my name in encouragement. Kol…Kol…Kol! The pitcher threw his first ball of the night…and then…"
Kol swung his bat, watching her body go limp as the chair hit the floor with an unceremonious thud. He calmly walked over to where she lied, still tied up. His bat rose into the air, and he prepared to put another blow to her pretty head.
"I hit a home run."
Caroline went marching through the cubicles and workshops spread out through the building her work resided in, her destination clear. She had a newspaper in one, and a cup of coffee in the other. Her morning had consisted of a small workout, and caffeine to get her going for the day. It had also involved getting a tidbit of news that made her positively excited, and a little angry at the same time.
She practically skipped into Matt Donovan's office, captain of the FBI. Matt was the youngest man to ever become one, in fact, rising through the ranks at an incredible speed. It was something she admired about him. The hard work and dedication he put in was something she aspired to have herself.
But that didn't stop her from slamming the paper in her hand down onto Matt's desk, causing him to jump as she placed her hands on her hips, a deceiving smile across her features. He obviously couldn't tell if this was the calm before the storm, or if she truly was in one of her good moods.
"Hello, Care," Matt said hesitantly. She nodded respectfully to him.
"I've told you before that you can call me Matt at work," he reminded her, picking the newspaper up, and flipping it open. "What am I looking at?"
"The Baltimore Times."
"Care," he warned.
"You know exactly what I want you to look at," she said knowingly, her good mood fading.
"I'm afraid I don't—"
"The last Salvatore brother, Matt! You've apprehended him? Without my help?! You told me I could help with this case! It was supposed to be my chance to prove my training is complete."
"Caroline, your notes were considered, but we found him without needing to consult what you gathered."
"Only because he turned himself in!" she groaned. "Besides, that wasn't the point of the notes, and you know it."
"Can we not forget who is supposed to be in charge here? You're going to make me look bad," he joked, cracking a small smile. He might have been her boss, but he was often a pushover when it came to Caroline. Of course, she used this to her full advantage. Now being one of those times.
"There's another killing reported in that paper," she informed, slapping the article with her pointer finger. "I want to help."
"You want to help?" he asked incredulously. She nodded decisively.
"I want to help catch 'The Slugger.'"
"Caroline, he just bashed another girl's brains in. Yet we have no leads. Mind explaining how you plan on aiding us in this case?"
"You're the boss. You tell me."
"Now I'm the boss," he scoffed playfully. Caroline finally gave him a bright, genuine smile. She couldn't stay upset with him for long. But that didn't change her desire to move up in her work. Caroline was supposed to be tracking down serial killers, not doing file work and more training she didn't need. She was fit; she could handle herself—despite her coworkers and superiors saying otherwise—and she wasn't an idiot. Cracking a case wasn't as difficult for her as everyone thought.
"Please, Matt…let me help. Let me do my job," she pleaded quietly, forcing her best puppy dog eyes on him. Matt could never resist that face.
Just like she thought, his expression told her he was going to cave. He bent over in his chair, opening a file drawer in his desk.
"I've been talking with the other agents…we considered taking some drastic measures, since he keeps eluding us. There doesn't seem to be a pattern for his choice of victims, and he doesn't leave us any trail to follow. There's nothing for us to track. If we're going to stop these killings, we need to consider all of our options."
"Anything," she said eagerly, taking a seat in one of the chairs across from him. "I'll do anything. Just give me a chance to prove myself."
"I'm not sure you understand how crazy what I'm about to ask is."
"I don't care."
"Caroline, this is going to be very dangerous. You should care. And for the record, I'm not completely comfortable letting you do this. But desperate times," he sighed, trailing off as he handed her two manila folders, and an ID badge.
"Why are you giving these to me?" she asked, looking in fear at the tab on one of the folders.
Matt frowned. "I told you. Desperate times."
"This doesn't make sense though."
"It makes perfect sense. The one folder contains the questionnaire you'll need to give him," Matt instructed, nodding toward the other folder she held.
"Why does he need to be involved in this?"
"Two reasons. One, psychotic minds think alike, right? Who better to ask when we want to get inside a murderer's head? Two, it's a test run for future interrogations. We're considering using the criminals to help with other cases. If we can get the worst one out there to help us, then the rest shouldn't be too difficult to persuade."
Caroline's eyes widened, the fear of her task ahead hitting her full force. Why had that never occurred to her before? Asking a serial killer how to catch one was both a good idea, and a terrible one. Who said he would help at all though? What if their test run failed?
"So…what are you asking me to do?" she inquired carefully. Matt bit his lower lip.
"I'm asking you to question him about 'The Slugger.' If there's a way to find him, he'll know. Get all the information you can out of him. I would have asked someone else to do this, but…well…he's already stopped answering questions from four other agents. His idea of helping is sending them on a wild goose chase. So we thought—"
"That a pretty blonde might sway his decision to help you," she finished, disgusted at Matt for doing this to her. How could he ask her to just be a pretty face? Of all people, he knew her past better than anyone! When she was cold and alone on the streets, it was Matt and Bonnie who gave her shelter, fed her, and told her everything was going to be okay. Now he was asking her to do the exact thing she had left behind.
"I told you I'm not comfortable asking you to do this. But we don't have many other choices. You wanted the chance to show what you're made of, and this might be it. We don't know what will make him help us, but we have to try something new. Otherwise we'll never get anywhere. If he won't cooperate with you, then just tell me about what he does. What does he do to pass the time, how does he look physically, what's the condition of his cell…details like that. It will all be useful."
"And if I can get information out of him?" Caroline asked.
"You want incentive?" he asked, nodding in agreement. "Okay. If you can get him to answer that questionnaire, or give you any other information on this case…then it's yours."
"What?" she asked in disbelief, too afraid to get her hopes up.
"Yup," Matt nodded, smiling. "I've already spoken with the director, since I've had this thought in mind. Get anything out of him, and the case is yours. I'd want you to report back to me with your findings, of course…but it would, for all intensive purposes, be yours. Get us what we need to find, and capture him…and you'll be promoted to full FBI agent immediately. No more academy schooling necessary. Consider this your final test."
"This isn't a joke?" she smiled.
"No joke. Go to the Baltimore penitentiary today at three. I'll be informing Elijah of your arrival. He'll tell you what protocols to take when meeting him."
"Thank you!" she squeaked, getting up and running over to Matt. Office norms be damned, she wanted a hug. He laughed, and hugged her back tightly before shooing her off him.
"Go prepare before I change my mind. And Care…watch yourself?"
"I will. Promise," she assured him, shuffling out of the office before he could take his gift back.
How was she supposed to drive there? Her nerves, excitement, and overall jitters were making her incapable of focusing. Maybe Bonnie would agree to take her. She more than likely knew how to get there faster. Caroline never made trips to the penitentiary often. Even though it had been joked about a few times once she was comfortable enough with herself to make those kinds of jokes.
She stepped outside the building, the meaning of what she was about to do weighing down on her. Caroline was about to meet the most vicious serial killer known to mankind. At least, that's what the papers made him out to be. There was truth to it though. He was even worse than the Salvatore brothers, who were infamous for their heinous crimes. He was worse than 'The Slugger,' who was in all the papers lately. Two, maybe three killings reported a week. That was two or three killings more than there should have been. And now, she was about to meet the man whose carnage had been far…far worse.
The notorious Klaus Mikaelson.
Caroline showed up ten minutes early to her appointment with Elijah. She was dressed in her finest business attire, ready to prove that she could handle this assignment that was given to her. Her black skirt and blazer clung tightly to her as she sat in Bonnie's car, briefcase in hand with her ID and questionnaire. Her stomach lurched in discomfort, but she made sure none of it showed on her face.
She had never gotten to meet Elijah Mikaelson before today, and she was unsure about how to act around him. Was he a good man? Was he a repulsive, egotistical prick? Caroline had met a lot of different types in her field, and after being thoroughly disgusted by what she saw on occasion, she hoped with all she had that Elijah wasn't like them.
"Are you sure you'll be okay, Care?" Bonnie asked, concern obvious in her tone.
Caroline nodded. "Yes…I told Matt I would do this."
"I'm sure he would be all too happy to hear you decline though. Only do this if you want to."
"I want people to stop worrying about if I'll break or not. I'm a big girl, and I've been through a lot. If I can handle that, I can handle this."
"This isn't going to be like when Matt and I found you. This is a horrible murderer you're about to have a conversation with. Like you two are out for lunch."
"Bonnie! I can do this. Please…just believe in me, okay?" Caroline pleaded with her friend. They had known each other for a year now. Surely she couldn't be that fragile to them anymore, could she?
"I'm sorry," Bonnie sighed. "I just worry about you. I don't want you to get hurt."
"I know you do, and I'm so grateful for that. But trust me, I can do this," Caroline assured the other girl, hugging her tightly before opening the door and stepping out. Bonnie gave her a small smile before nodding, and then slowly pulling away from the penitentiary. This was it. She was on her own now.
Caroline made her way to the front entrance, and walked inside with a clear destination.
Her heels clicked as she strutted with all the confidence she could muster to Elijah's office, looking through rows of name tags until the one on his door came to view. Caroline took a deep breath, and then knocked a couple of times on the heavy wooden surface.
"Come in," a cordial voice called from the other side.
Upon first entering his office, she noticed that the room itself was very dimly lit to create a warm glow from all the lamps. Dark furniture and walls gave the room a surprisingly welcome feel. As well as the bookshelves, file cabinets, paintings, and detailed touches. Two leather chairs were placed in front of his desk, but she remained standing, not sure of how to proceed. Elijah sat behind his desk, flipping through files she didn't recognize.
"Hello," she said politely. "I'm Caroline Forbes?"
"Ah, yes. Matt Donovan sent you, correct?" he smiled, closing the files he read and giving her his full attention.
"Yes," she nodded, smiling in return. He was okay so far. Actually, he was being a complete gentleman.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Miss Forbes. I'm Dr. Elijah Mikaelson. Mr. Donovan has told me a lot about you. I hear you two are very close. He also tells me you are still in the academy?"
"For now. I think Mr. Donovan has pulled a few strings to keep me there, so I don't attempt any dangerous cases."
"Why ever would he send you here then? For this particular purpose no less."
"I had to convince him a little that I was ready, but they're desperate for answers, and to use this as a test for future cases. But 'The Slugger' hasn't shown any signs of stopping, and he needs to be caught."
"I agree," Elijah said distantly. "I think the program he plans on starting is a unique, but intriguing idea. Though I'm a bit hesitant about sending you into the fire. Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes," she said quickly, not wanting him to keep her from this chance. Why couldn't people just believe in her? "I can do this."
"I asked if you wanted to, not if you could," Elijah reiterated. Right.
"Yes…I want to do this," she stated, hiding how her confidence began to waver.
"Well…if you are certain," he nodded, his gazing flicking to hers to read what facial expression she wore. Caroline kept her face as indifferent as possible, not wanting him to hear just how fast her heart was beating, or see just how concerned she was that she wouldn't be able to follow through with Matt's wishes.
"Mr. Donovan tells me there are protocols to keep in mind when meeting him, sir?" she asked, changing subjects. Elijah tugged his jacket tighter over his chest, standing up with a noble air she had never seen a man possess before. He didn't give off a better-than-thou vibe, but he was a man who was high on the food chain.
"Not just to keep in mind, Miss Forbes, but to follow precisely, and to not stray from. Do you understand?"
"I understand," she nodded, the grip on her briefcase tightening. Elijah nodded, satisfied with her response.
"Would you care to follow me then? Or do you need a moment to prepare yourself?"
"Thank you, but I'm ready to see him now, sir."
"If you will please stay close to me, that would be much appreciated," Elijah instructed, a warning hidden in his advice that said it would be in her best interest to listen. Caroline gave a few quick nods, and followed his stride out so that she would remain either beside him, or close behind.
As they walked past the other desks, and people working, she didn't miss how they stared at the two of them. Caroline wasn't used to all eyes being on her, since she normally kept a low profile at the academy. Besides Matt and Bonnie, nobody paid attention to quirky, high-spirited Caroline. They just went about their day, and let her go about hers.
Caroline watched as all the eyes snapped back to their business, afraid of staring for too long. The reason for their constant staring popped into her mind, and she actually wondered how she could have forgotten. Elijah shared the same last name as Klaus. Could they be…were they related? Or was it simply a coincidence?
"Now," Elijah began as they reached a door to the stairwell. Something told her they wouldn't be going near the other inmates. Klaus was kept in an isolated area. "I'm sure you're aware of Niklaus' track record, correct?"
"It's hard to forget," she said quietly, swallowing a large lump in her throat. Caroline also noted how Elijah called Klaus by a name she wasn't as familiar with. Was that his real name? The papers always referred to him as Klaus, and nothing more. He didn't need a nickname. He only needed his first name to become infamous.
"Well, to be certain you never forget, let me just remind you of what he is capable of," Elijah said, gliding down the stairs quickly. "Niklaus was able to avoid custody for years, with only a first name for the police to go off of. A name they weren't even sure was his own. Niklaus' kills are numerous, vile, and would make the devil himself ashamed. For four years he ran rampant, collecting the hearts and love letters of countless men, and women. Literally taking their hearts from them. Niklaus was never shy about his work. He…are you listening, Caroline?"
"Yes, I just…I remember reading about all of this in the papers. It sickens me."
"As it does with most. To continue what I was saying…he was never shy. In fact, he became rather ostentatious when he found the police couldn't find him. I believe you might remember the particular incident down in Alabama?"
"The five men and women he killed by a warehouse…" she told him quietly, not wanting to continue.
"And then what?" Elijah persisted, not letting her off the hook.
Caroline bit her lower lip, and tried to keep the bile from rising. She said she would be able to handle this though, and knowing his kills was part of the job. Being able to say them out loud was necessary.
"He painted Munch's 'The Scream' on the warehouse walls. In their blood."
"That's right. He did a goddamn finger painting," he said calmly, shaking his head. "Took the blood of all his victim's to complete. He was even kind enough to autograph it for us."
"So that's why he was caught? Right? He got too flashy?"
"More emotional than flashy. The biggest reason they couldn't catch him was because he is unpredictable. He covered his tracks, and there was no pattern. Niklaus took whomever he wanted, whenever he wanted. But his mistake was going on a massacre out of anger, rather than his usual kill for sport. He didn't cover his tracks properly."
"What was the reason for the massacre? The papers said when they found him; he was covered in blood by a river. The bodies weren't anywhere in sight."
"To this day, he refuses to tell anyone," Elijah sighed.
"Even his brother?" she asked kindly, looking up at him sheepishly. The older man turned to her, a small grin on his face.
"Even his brother," Elijah concurred. "It's why I asked for him to be put under my watch. I'm the only one who knows how to handle him."
"Is that why people were staring? Everyone knows?"
"Everyone is very aware of who I am. It frightens them to know brothers who share the same blood reside in the same building. They are all so afraid I will be just like him."
"But you don't seem like a man who would murder hundreds of people."
"Neither did Niklaus. Not five years ago. We all have our breaking point, Miss Forbes. When he found his, the changes became permanent. Niklaus only killed once for reason. The rest were for enjoyment."
Caroline shivered, wondering what it must have been like to be related to such a psychopath.
"Did you know it was your brother before they found him a year ago?" she asked quietly, afraid someone would overhear. "Did you know how to find Klaus for all those years?"
Elijah remained silent, giving her a stoical look before continuing down another hallway with her. Caroline wasn't going to get an answer.
"We need to go over procedures," he informed her, changing subjects.
"Of course," she agreed.
"Niklaus is aware of Donovan's plans to interrogate him for information. I'm sure you've been told about the four agents he spoke with, only to have them chase their own tails. You need to watch yourself very carefully around him. Niklaus hasn't even seen a woman in months."
"Yes, sir," she said obediently, following Elijah down one more flight of stairs before turning a corner.
"He is behind glass for obvious reasons. Do not touch that glass, and do not approach it. Do not pass him anything except soft paper. We do not need Niklaus to get his hands on any possible weapons. Do you understand everything I have said so far?"
"I understand. Will you be coming with me?" she asked as they stepped through a gated door that could only be opened by buzzer. Elijah hesitated for a second, not sure how to answer her.
"While I have Niklaus' respect, I think it would be best if only you went," he told her quietly. "There is one more thing you need to comprehend before I let you go. Under no circumstances are you to give my brother any personal information, understand? Tell him nothing about your past, present, or future."
"Why?" she asked, hearing the door behind her open.
"Niklaus is a manipulator, among many other things. Do not let him get inside your head. There is a strong determination inside you that I admire and have faith in, but even the strongest can fall prey in a moment of vulnerability. Do not let him play you like that."
"I won't, I promise," she assured him. Elijah gave her another small grin, and winked. He turned on his heels, and began walking back up the stairs.
Once he was out of eyesight, Caroline greeted the man waiting for her. She walked behind him, and into another room. The small area he led her into was full of small television screens, showing security footage of various places surrounding them. There was a gated entryway that led to the cells. There was also a small desk, with papers scattered across the top. The last thing she saw was the room protected by glass walls where all the guns were kept.
"Hello, miss. I'm Brady. Did the doctor tell you about the glass?"
"Yes. And hi, I'm Caroline Forbes."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Caroline. Now," he said, waving her toward the cage door. Caroline slowly walked through, letting him shut and lock it behind her. "His room is just a little farther down. Open the door, and you'll be there. I put a chair in there for you, so he's expecting company."
"Oh, that's very kind. Thank you," she said nervously, trying to contain all the nerves that threatened to pour out of her. Brady gave her a sympathetic grin.
"I'm going to be watching the whole time. It's going to be okay," he said gently, trying to boost her confidence. Caroline gave him a grateful smile, but she didn't feel much better.
The sound of a buzzer went off, and then the clack of another set of gates opening. Caroline looked straight ahead, preparing herself for what was to come. This was it. She knew she could show everyone they were wrong, and that she was more than capable of handling this task. Caroline could talk to the deadliest man anyone had ever read about, and had the unfortunate accident of meeting when he wasn't locked up.
As she moved forward, one baby step at a time, she felt like she was walking straight through the gates of hell. But if that was the case, then she was going to keep her head held high, and her guard up. This was her time to shine. The time to catch "The Slugger." It was time to prove she could do what no other agent could. Gain the trust of a committed murderer, and ask for his help.
And that's just what she would do.
A/N: So remember how I said I was working on two new fics? This would be one of them.
This fic was inspired by Silence of the Lambs, because let's be honest, what better couple to compare Klaroline to than Clarice and Hannibal? It will only be loosely based off of it though. As you can tell I've already made some changes.
Don't be afraid to leave reviews to tell me what you think, and so I know if I should continue with it or not. They are always greatly appreciated =]
Fic cover made by the incredible Leonie (leetje on tumblr). All graphics made for this story will be under the tag "Hellbound" on my tumblr. Also thank you to Ariel for being my beta for this story =)
See you around!