(Inspired by the Peter Weir film)
Klaus is an art grad student at Hunter College whose student visa is about to expire. Caroline is a journalism grad student and Today Show intern who's dream apartment only accepts married couples. Their marriage of convenience proves to be harder to pull off then they thought when INS comes knocking.
Author's Note: Hello all! Thank you so much for reading my story! I absolutely loved writing Taking a Chance, and many asked me to write more, which is such a compliment and I can't believe it! I had a million ideas, narrowed it down to two, then my friends in the Tumblr-verse helped me narrow it down to this one idea.
And just an FYI, I'm not sticking as closely to the film's plot as I did with The Holiday, I just adore The Holiday and filled in some scenes where I could and let myself give into my Klaroline/Mabekah feels. The movie itself takes place over two weeks but is 2 hours so they skip a lot of day and I really had fun writing those. I also can't stick too closely to this film because... well a lot of reasons, but to name a few:
There's no language barrier with Klaroline like there is with George and Brontë in the movie; Caroline and Brontë have completely different jobs; Caroline's reason for wanting the apartment is totally different from Brontë reason in the movie; Klaus is... George is... okay, I love Gerard Depardieu, he's a phenomenal actor and so adorable, but he and Klaus have... different body types, so needless to say, some of Brontë's insults just won't make sense when hurtled at Klaus instead... But if you liked Dead Poets Society, I highly recommend watching Green Card. The incomparable Peter Weir directed, wrote, and produced Green Card and was the director of DPS too!
Sorry this A/N was much longer than I intended, I promise they won't be this long after this!
Anyway, I won't keep you any longer... Ladies and gentlemen, I present...
Caroline drummed her fingers on the table top and shook her crossed foot under the table nervously. She glanced at her watch again and took a sip from her coffee cup. She felt her stomach growl at her and she sighed to herself.
"You shouldn't have gotten another cup on an empty stomach." she told herself. She shouldn't be drinking coffee on an empty stomach, but she had felt bad just sitting and taking up a seat in Paris Cafe without ordering anything. She would've ordered one of those delicious, freshly baked croissants that she smelled, but she knew she'd regret that later. She was too nervous to keep food down right now. She anxiously glanced at her watch again and told herself she'd give him another twenty seconds before she texted him to see where he was. Just as she went to raise her coffee cup to her lips again she saw the familiar face and crazy hair full of gel and smiled as she stood to greet him.
"Hey! Sorry to make you wait!" Stefan called to her, crossing into the cafe and greeting Caroline with a hug.
"Oh don't worry, you're exactly on time." she smiled and sat back down, Stefan taking off his coat and hanging it over the chair across from her.
"I see some things haven't changed," Stefan grinned as he watched Caroline check her watch again and glance out the window. "How is my favorite neurotic control freak?" Caroline shot him a look and threw a sugar packet at him, which bounced off his chest lightly, making Stefan laugh.
"Shut up, I am not neurotic..." she muttered, gripping her coffee mug with both hands to try and calm herself, "But if I were neurotic, I'd have every right to be neurotic today of all days."
"No reason to be neurotic… A little nervous, maybe, but not neurotic." he said, turning and thanking the waitress that had brought over a coffee cup for him and filled it without being asked.
"I mean, can you blame me? I'm meeting a total stranger and getting married within the next hour!" Caroline hissed under her breath across the table, anxiously glancing around to see if anyone had heard.
"Care, will you calm down? Just think of this as a business arrangement. He's a nice guy, I've known him for the past two and a half years, and he's like a brother to me. I wouldn't be introducing you, let alone letting you marry him, if he was a serial killer or something…"
"Yeah, well, here's hoping." Caroline rolled her eyes and mockingly clinked her coffee cup to Stefan's. Just as she lifted hers to her lips and took another sip, Stefan's eyes widened and his eyebrows raised in acknowledgement to someone he saw in the distance out the window.
"Oh hey, there he is!" Stefan said, waving casually in the direction of a mess of people that Caroline could barely distinguish one from the next. She scanned the crowd trying to find the man Stefan was waving to, but it didn't help that no one was responding to Stefan's waving. Since she didn't even know who to look for, she decided to look down at her hands and focus on her breathing since she started to feel her stomach doing flips like a flapjack.
"You're going to be fine, Caroline." Stefan said, looking over and seeing his friend clinging to her cup with the jaws of life. "Just breathe." Caroline took a deep breath through her nose and then let it out slowly, feeling Stefan's hand supportively rubbing hers.
There was a light knock on the glass and Stefan and Caroline's heads snapped to the figure in the window that was trying to get their attention. Caroline's breath caught as she gazed up at a handsome man with dirty blonde curls, piercing blue-green eyes on Stefan and 5 o'clock shadow surrounding a set of full, kissable lips, which were turned up in a smirk. But once their eyes met, his smirk disappeared and he openly gaped, and Caroline felt her heart drop into her stomach and she felt her face gradually get redder as his expression changed.
"Oh god," she thought to herself unhappily, "He hates me, this is never going to work! Why is he staring at me?! Wait, have I seen him somewhere before?"
"Shit!" Klaus muttered as he glanced at his cell phone and saw the time, jogging down the train steps. He pulled his pea coat tighter around his body, cursing himself for not grabbing a scarf before he left his refrigerator box of an apartment. He hated that stupid tuna can, but it was either that or crash on his brother's couch while he looked for a new apartment. Somehow, he didn't think Elijah would much appreciate a Klaus shape permanently pressed into his couch; and he and Katherine weren't done with the renovations to their house in Jersey, so it'd be a while until they had a spare bedroom for him to use.
He walked down the street, a little more speed in his step, knowing he was going to be a few minutes late even if he rushed there. He felt a little bad knowing that he was making Stefan and this girl, what's-her-name, he'd be marrying, wait; however, the fact that it had to come to this—marrying a complete stranger—slowed him down a little.
And besides, he figured that they'd have to wait once they were at City Hall anyway. If they were just going to just go, get it done, then never see each other again, what was the point of idle chitchat over croissants that paled in comparison to the real deal? But Stefan had insisted, and he had been the only one to come up with a solution to this immigration issue, so Klaus couldn't say no.
He crossed the street and Paris Cafe came into view. Of course Stefan would have them meet up in a Parisian-style cafe; what was that, his idea of irony? Maybe if they met in an artificial romantic setting that would change something? Stefan was such a moron sometimes. From what Klaus understood, this girl was not looking for a boyfriend, much less a fake marriage, but she was going to inherit something or buy something with her newly obtained marriage status or something like that; he neither remembered nor cared. Once they each had a certificate, they'd go their separate ways and that would be that. He crossed the street as quickly as possible, dodging a taxi and car here and there and approached the window where he had seen Stefan waving at him from a table.
He was sitting with a blonde, and her face was turned away, her hair covering her face, but he still smirked. Typically brunettes caught his eye, but this blonde's hair was styled in hot iron curls (he knew from years growing up with a younger sister that hogged the bathroom) and he could make out a lovely figure underneath her outfit. She was wearing a coral colored long sleeve lace dress that ended mid-thigh and her deliciously long legs were encased in skin colored lace tights, swirling flowery patterns down her lovely stems. A pop of contrasting color in her outfit was her light teal pumps, which he appreciated the usage of complimentary colors as an artist, and he knew right away she was a knockout. Suddenly much more excited at the prospects, he wanted to see the face of his future wife and knocked on the glass to get her and Stefan's attention. He looked over at his friend and smirked, thinking, "You dog, I owe you even more now, digging up this girl." before finally looking over at his bride-to-be. He finally turned to look in her face and he could feel his jaw go slack. He'd seen her before. "Wait. Isn't she that girl that...?"
"I can't believe you invited your ex to the party when you're dating his brother, Elena! You've got some major cajones on you, girlfriend." Caroline said as she took a sip of punch from her Solo cup.
"I can't help it, Stefan will always be a part of my life and Damon's." Elena explained, refilling her Solo cup with the ladle in the punch bowl, a slight hint of guilt in her voice. "Besides, I heard he's bringing a really cute friend with him... with an accent." Elena waggled her eyebrows to enhance the last part of her statement and Caroline rolled her eyes at her friend.
"Oh come on, I know accents are like beer goggles for you." Elena insisted.
"Accents are like beer goggles for all women, doesn't mean we're doing the horizontal mambo..." Caroline stated, sipping her punch, and when Elena snorted she elbowed her friend. "I'll have you know I'm not girly little Caroline anymore. I am a responsible, mature adult now, that can take care of herself. I'm a grad student and a shoe-in for an internship with The Today Show, so you're not going to find me passed out in your bathtub with some random nameless guy that doesn't remember me either."
"I'll drink to that!" Elena laughed, clinking her Solo cup with Caroline's and both girls drank from their cups. Elena winced when she finished her sip and Caroline's eyebrows furrowed in worry.
"What? What's wrong?"
"Nothing, just excuse me for a second, I have to go murder my boyfriend." she muttered, giving Caroline an apologetic look before she made her way across the crowded apartment to find the man in question. Caroline faintly heard over the roar of the crowd Elena yelling, "Damon, I TOLD you NOT to add more booze to the punch! If anyone pukes on my rug, you're cleaning it up!"
Caroline shook her head in the direction her friend had just walked and turned back to the table. She looked warily at the punch bowl and decided she'd like a little more mixer and a little less booze. She'd have to leave in the next hour or so anyway. She had to be up early for a meeting with her advisor to talk shop about getting her ducks in a row for NBC. She wove in and out of the crowds until she made her way to the kitchen. She opened the refrigerator and snorted at the contents of the fridge. Any edible food was obviously purchased by Elena, because the only things in the fridge besides girly groceries from organic food stores were bottles of liquor. She reached in the back to get the bottle of mixer when she felt the door smacking her.
"Ow!" she yelped in surprised, yanking her torso out of the fridge just in time to watch the person who'd knocked into her with the door spill the contents of half his solo cup of punch on her shoes.
"OH. MY. GOD." Caroline all but screamed at him, not looking at him but down at her ruined shoes. "SERIOUSLY?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!"
"Sorry, love. I think someone pushed me and..." a voice started to explain but Caroline angrily just threw the mixer down on the counter and stormed past him.
"Whatever." she muttered darkly, pushing past others and making her way to the main bathroom and opening the door, immediately wishing she had knocked.
"OH MY GOD!" she screamed, her hand flying over her eyes, trying to block the sight of Elena, sitting on the sink counter, her legs wrapped around Damon's waist and her tongue down his throat.
"Caroline!" Elena turned in surprise, pushing her hands against Damon's chest and dropping her legs in an attempt to put space between them, but Damon stood firmly where he was, his hands on her waist and holding her in place.
"I so could've gone without seeing that." Caroline said in a tiny voice, her hand still slapped over her eyes, the shock causing her to forget how to move.
"I'm sorry, I was just... We were just..." Elena tried to apologize and explain simultaneously.
"No, no, don't mind me. I'll just go to your other bathroom to wash my eyeballs... I MEAN MY SHOES! MY SHOES!" Caroline called over her shoulder, waving dismissively with her free hand and stumbling backwards to go and make her way through the crowd to the private bathroom in Damon and Elena's bedroom.
She rushed to make her way there, dashed in and locked herself in. She sighed and took off her shoes to assess the damage. It was probably her own fault, she should've known better than to wear suede shoes to a party, but she just got them and wanted to show them off. She thought that a bunch of grad school aged people would've been a little more considerate and a little more coordinated, but she guessed that she was wrong. Stumbling in on Damon and Elena in the other bathroom had jolted her out of her ire, so she resigned herself to scrubbing her shoes with water and a washcloth dejectedly. She heard a knock at the door and groaned.
"Not available! Go tell the host to get her tongue out of Damon's throat and let you use the main bathroom!" she yelled at the closed door. There was a pause and Caroline thought that they had left, but then she suddenly heard a gentle voice on the other side.
"Caroline, it's me..." Caroline gasped her eyes as big as saucers.
"DAMMIT! Nice going, Caroline! God why am I such a blabbermouth?!" she thought to herself angrily, and she quickly leaned over and opened the door and saw her other best friend leaning against the door jam.
"STEFAN!" Caroline said, a mixture of relief and embarrassment in her face and tone. Stefan took one look at her and chuckled and all was forgiven.
"How's it going, kid?" he said, hugging her.
"Don't 'kid' me, kid." she chuckled, "I'm three months older than you."
"And you'll never let me forget it." he replied, releasing her and smiling. "You okay?"
"Yeah, just some asshole spilled punch all over my new Brian Atwoods," Caroline muttered, turning her attention back to her shoes and scrubbing them with the wet washcloth.
"Uh, yeah about that... I..." Stefan started to explain.
"Sorry about that, love." a familiar voice said, "If it's any consolation, your legs look ravishing in those shoes." Caroline snapped her head up to see a ruggedly handsome guy with blue-green eyes and five o'clock shadow smirking at her. That smirk made whatever compliment his apology contained, tainted with arrogance and misogyny. And of course he was Stefan's "really cute friend with an accent." Just perfect. He was an arrogant jerk she'd unwittingly insulted right in front of him. Just her luck. Caroline took one look at his expression and couldn't even hold back the scoff that flew out of her mouth or stop her eyes from rolling. She pushed past Stefan and the mystery man to walk into the bedroom.
"Yeah, well you owe me $473 dollars!" She muttered to Stefan's handsome mystery friend, making a point to not look at his face and she was glad she decided to wear her hair down because she was pretty sure it hid the redness of her cheeks.
"My apologies, your shoes were collateral damage, it was nothing personal... I'd be happy to replace..."
"Guess again!" Caroline cut him off angrily, crossing to sit down on the edge of the neatly made bed. "They are a discontinued style I got for a discount at a sample sale." She glanced up to look at Stefan and gave him an annoyed look. Stefan only smirked and rolled his eyes.
"Well... That was a great start... Caroline, I'd like to introduce my friend—"
"Charmed I'm sure..." Caroline muttered sarcastically, cutting him off and not looking up from her task at hand. Stefan made a face at her and cleared his throat.
"I'm, uh, going to go see if Lexi is here yet..." Stefan said, bowing out and leaving the room, in an obvious attempt to force them to talk and get to know each other. Caroline scoffed and shook her head at him as she watched him exit the room, then went back to futilely trying to salvage her shoes. She kept her eyes on her shoes, and she felt the bed move as the man came and sat down beside her. She scooted away, putting more space between them, and she heard him chuckle.
"Come on, don't be angry, love... We had just a little spat... I'm over it already."
"Oh, well I'm not..." Caroline replied, her voice mockingly matching his casual tone.
"Well how can I acquit myself?"
"Well," she began, "You can stop calling me 'love' since that's not my name, and you and your lame excuses and your cavalier attitude can leave me alone."
"Oh come on, Carrie..." he chuckled. Caroline turned and stared at him.
"It's Caroline." she deadpanned and Klaus chuckled again.
"Look it's nothing personal, I'm not trying to piss you off, lo-" his words halted as Caroline gave him another frightening glare, and he cleared his throat and continued, "Stefan has been trying to set us up for ages, and I'm only doing this because I'd never hear the end of it otherwise. And I said I am sorry for spilling the drink on your shoes. I hadn't even been here for five minutes when it happened."
Caroline silently looked up at him and realized he was telling the truth. She had had no idea he was Stefan's friend and now she felt really bad for bad mouthing him just moments ago.. to Stefan... and in front of him.
"Come on, take a chance, Cara..."
And then suddenly she didn't feel bad anymore.
"It's CAROLINE," she said angrily, her voice getting a little louder and her annoyance making her stand to put space in between them. "CA-RO-LINE. Not Carrie, not Cara, not Carolyn, Caroline... You know like Caroline Kennedy, Caroline Rhea, Caroline B. Cooney. I mean sweet Jesus, the song is called, 'Sweet Caroline' isn't it?!" Caroline finished her rant and took a deep breath looking down at the man still sitting on the bed with his mouth open, gaping a little bit.
She grimaced a little, realizing she'd let her temper get the best of her and had flown off the handle. She had a shoe in each hand and was waving them around and in his face like a crazy person. If there was one thing Caroline was good at, it was sticking her foot in her mouth; with the way she'd been going tonight, she'd need to grow another foot to stick in there. She claimed to be "a responsible, mature adult," but maybe she hadn't quite outgrown rash, tempestuous Caroline yet. She was positively mortified and her face flushed as her previous actions sunk in.
"Is... Everything okay?" Stefan's voice came from the doorway, and she took the opportunity to dash off as it presented itself.
"I'm suddenly feeling really tired, I think I'm going to go home... Text me later, Stefan..." she said, turning to leave the bedroom, not bothering to say good-bye to Stefan's friend or even ask him his name, and huffed out. She thought she could hear the man chuckle behind her and it only made her speed up to grab her clutch from the hall closet and high tail it out of there.
"Caroline! Caroline!" she suddenly heard and whirled around and saw Elena running up to her.
"Hey, sorry, I think I'm going to go..." Caroline said, making sure she had one hand on the door.
"Look, I'm sorry about earlier and I'm sorry about your shoes. Here, at least take these and wear them home." Elena said, reaching down in the coat closet and thrusting a pair of plain black flats into Caroline's hands, "I'll talk to Damon about replacing your shoes tomorrow."
"Thanks, but don't worry about it," Caroline said dismissively, opening the door and moving out into the hallway. "I'll call you later..."
"Uh, okay..." Elena said, "Have a good night!"
"Bye!" Caroline said quickly and shutting the door fast. She sighed and pinched the bridge of her nose, feeling a migraine coming on, and she sadly took her shoes off and slipped on Elena's flats. She cursed whatever-his-name-was, Stefan's douchey accented friend, as she padded down the hallway to the elevator, wiggling her feet in the too small shoes.
Klaus chuckled as the pretty blonde huffed her way out of the room, obviously clinging to whatever shred of dignity she had left after unwittingly insulting him to Stefan and ranting in his face about her name like a lunatic. It was actually kind of adorable though, and he quite enjoyed her little outburst.
"Isn't she stunning?" he chuckled, half-sarcastically.
"Well she certainly looks good walking away from you..." Stefan chuckled.
"Don't worry. I take that as a challenge." Klaus said, clapping a hand on Stefan's shoulder and was about to set off to follow the irritated blonde.
"I would give her some time to cool off." Stefan said, stopping him. "You don't understand... She's really into her shoes. I mean, you might as well have kicked a puppy. And I'm guessing that she's also nursing a bruised ego." Klaus laughed and rolled his eyes.
"Then how about a drink, mate? I seem to have spilled half of mine on a pretty blonde girl's shoes." he chuckled and Stefan clapped an arm around his shoulders and steered them towards the kitchen. He knew where Damon hid the good stuff, and if he had Elena, he could at least have the good spirits.
Caroline's eyes flitted from the man in the window back to Stefan in a millisecond.
"Stefan, how do I know him?" she hissed through clenched teeth. Stefan looked back at her with an innocent but knowing look as Klaus turned to enter the cafe.
"I told you that you didn't know him, and you never actually knew his name, so I don't really know if that counts..."
"OH MY GOD, HE'S 'THE SHOE GUY!" Caroline groaned, putting her head down in her hands as the reality dawned on her. "Oh my god, what have I gotten myself into?!" she thought.
"Come on, Care, that was two years ago. You do this and you can get your apartment and you never have to see him again. Come on; pick your head up before he sees." Stefan muttered quickly to her, standing to greet his friend. Caroline took a deep breath and pulled her head up and put an obliging smile on her face. Stefan was the only one that had come up with a solution to this issue with the apartment she wanted, so Caroline couldn't say no.
"Klaus... no long time no see bro!" Stefan said, grasping Klaus's hand and going in for a hug.
"No, not in nearly two weeks, mate." Klaus replied, with a smile plastered on his face. Once he pulled Stefan in to clap his arms in a hug, he muttered, "Is that the girl that I..."
"Yes it is," Stefan muttered, cutting him off, "And she's your golden ticket, Charlie Bucket, so play nice." Klaus scowled. Stefan couldn't have found some other beautiful single girl desperate for a marriage of convenience for him to marry and get his green card?! No, apparently the only one was the one woman he'd managed to piss off even before she could claim it was due to his personality.
Klaus released his friend and put the show smile back on but shot his friend daggers with his eyes. He turned the smile to the blonde standing behind Stefan, shifting from one foot to the other, with an uncomfortable and awkward smile on her face. He took a little solace in knowing the feeling was mutual.
"Hello, nice to see you again, love." he said congenially, moving to shake her hand and politely lean in and touch his cheek to hers in greeting.
"It's Caroline, actually." Caroline corrected him, flinching away from his platonic kiss. She thought her rant would've made herself more memorable.
"Oh I remember... Caroline Kennedy, right? Or no, it was Caroline B. Cooney." Klaus said mockingly, tapping his finger against his chin. Caroline felt herself blush a few shades of red. Looks like her rant had been memorable. Stefan sighed and rubbed a hand over his face. Caroline glanced at him and sighed. She'd try to wave a white flag, if only for Stefan.
"Well, thank you for doing this for me. It really means a lot."
"Anytime..." Klaus quickly answered, shedding his coat to take the seat next to Stefan's. "Maybe you getting your inheritance will get me off the hook for those shoes then, eh?" He winked at her and Caroline tried her hardest not to roll her eyes but she did it anyway.
"Yeah, well... it's not an inheritance, it's an apartment." she corrected. Klaus groaned inwardly at his mistake and Caroline cleared her throat, "And, uh, we'll see." Caroline said, trying her best to sound pleasant, but she couldn't help but take a jab right back. Screw white flags. "I just figured you'd be the one thanking me, seeing is how I'll only be losing real estate, whereas you will be losing your citizenship."
"Ouch..." Klaus put a hand over his heart as if she'd struck him with an arrow, "...She's a feisty one..." he said to Stefan and turned back to her with that wicked smirk, "Stefan knows I like a challenge."
"Well I promise not to disappoint in that regard." Caroline said, physically forcing the smile to stay on her face. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of knowing how much he pissed her off and she knew a frown would fuel his fire. He simply gazed back at her though, careful not to let his gaze slip down past her face.. at least not while she was watching him.
"Okay, are you two done throwing punches? Come on, as I said, this is a business transaction, nothing more. Once your feet hit those courthouse steps, you never have to see each other again." Stefan assured them, his hands moving and emphasizing his words.
"Thank god..." Caroline muttered before abruptly standing up. "If you'll excuse me, I have to go to the ladies' room." she turned quickly and made her way to the restroom and Klaus watched her go, enjoying the movement of her body underneath the short, form fitting dress.
"Nice going mate," he said, leaning back in his chair and turning to his friend, "You picked the only girl in all of New York that doesn't want to marry me." Stefan scoffed and turned to look at him more squarely.
"Look you need to stop stoking the fire, Klaus." Stefan said seriously, "She's right... You need her more than she needs you. She can bite the bullet and sleep on an Aero Bed in friends' apartments until she gets her own, but you only have thirty days after you get your degree before you're shipped off."
Stefan watched his friend sigh and rub his eyes with his palms before burying both hands into his messy mop of dirty blonde curls. He knew he was right and Klaus had to face the facts and fast. Getting married any later might raise some eyebrows with immigration.
"And she really is sticking her neck out more for you than you are for her..." Stefan added, picking up his coffee cup, "...She wouldn't agree to this without doing the research." Klaus looked up at him, eyebrows raised, and Stefan stared at him. "If she gets busted for doing this, she will get fined $250,000 and serve up to five years in afederal prison. You know, for committing a felony."
"Yes, yes... I get it, Stefan, thank you... Bloody Christ..." he rubbed his eyelids as Stefan sipped his coffee. He nodded at the waitress as she refilled Stefan's coffee and she quickly came back and filled one with coffee for him as well. Soon after, Caroline reemerged from the bathroom, looking calmer but more determined. She sat back down and both men could tell she was all business; pleasantries were over.
"Okay, so let's just get one thing straight," she started, staring Klaus down, "This may be a marriage, but it is not, I repeat, NOT a relationship. Once I have that certificate, I am bidding you farewell and I am off to meet with the apartment's co-op exec board to be interviewed without you, seeing is how you're a very involved with something in some country far away from the continental United States." Caroline barely took a breath and finished her tirade, "Therefore, in exactly one year, I will see you again only to go and get the marriage annulled and we will both be free people: you with one legal citizenship and I with one glorious apartment on Central Park West and a job with The Today Show, got it?"
"Sounds good, lo—" Klaus smiled, but quickly corrected himself, "Caroline."
"Good," she nodded and sighed, "Now let's blow this popsicle stand and get this over with..."
Klaus took a long drag from his cigarette as he and Caroline waited on the Pearl Street courthouse steps, just five minutes away from Paris Cafe, for Stefan to finish signing and notarizing the final documents. Caroline shot him a look, looking disgustedly at this cigarette between his lips. But it wasn't just the smoking, it was all of him; yes, he was a very attractive person, but he obviously lacked the effort or desire to try to look decent judging from his appearance. He had a 5 o'clock shadow and wore a worn out and faded black Henley, stained with splatters of paint, as were his jeans. He had on scuffed and stained old brown shoes and a faded black pea coat that looked like it had battled with a fluffy white cat and lost.
It kind of tickled Caroline, the thought of a guy like Klaus owning a cat, especially a fluffy one. She didn't ask though, because once he caught her looking over his attire, he started hurriedly and angrily trying to wipe off all the hair and muttering to himself. But seriously, even though it was a fake marriage, didn't he have enough decency, or clean clothes, to wear something nice and respectable to the courthouse? Sure when she was sitting down the dress hiked a little high, but it was an inch and a half or so above her knee when she was standing. In any case, she'd attempted to look nice; couldn't he have at least tried?! And not only was he a slob, but he was a tardy slob. She had shown up early, Stefan was able to show up right on time, but Klaus had shown up late. If there was one thing Caroline couldn't stand more than slovenliness, it was tardiness.
Klaus glanced over at her but quickly looked away from her judging gaze, taking another drag of his cigarette. What was her deal? Not everyone cares about wearing designer stuff, and most have enough sense not to walk around New York with nice things that would probably either get dirty or stolen or both. He shook his head and took another drag, thinking, "What is her problem? It's like she said, 'Once she has that certificate, she is bidding me farewell,' and that will be that! She doesn't have to look at me, or my paint stained clothes, or my cat hair covered coat again. Which reminds me, I have got to remember to kick that damn cat of Katherine's when I go back to Elijah's..."
Luckily and happily for both of them, Stefan emerged, a big smile on his face and a piece of paper in each hand.
"That is for you, and this is for you." he said, handing each of them a sheet.
"Great!" Caroline smiled.
"Fantastic!" Klaus said, putting out his cigarette with a smile and taking his copy. They each gazed at their certificates and glanced at Stefan.
"So is that it? Is that all we need to do?" Caroline pressed Stefan, who shook his head with a smile.
"That's it. I now pronounce you man and wife!" They both looked at him irritatedly.
"Sorry," he said, blushing, "I've been waiting all morning to say that." Caroline just rolled her eyes with a smile and looked back down at the document in her hands.
COUNTY OF MANHATTAN
STATE OF NEW YORK
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY CLERK
CERTIFICATION OF MARRIAGE
LICENSE NUMBER: 3113141-5
GROOM'S NAME: KLAUS C. MIKAELSON
BRIDE'S NAME: CAROLINE G. FORBES
DATE OF MARRIAGE: FEBRUARY 25, 2012
WERE UNITED IN MARRIAGE IN THE COUNTY OF MANHATTAN AND STATE OF NEW YORK
CIVIL MARRIAGE CEREMONY
NAME: THE HONORABLE REBECCA SONNENSHINE
TITLE: DISTRICT JUDGE
WITNESS(ES) NAME (S): STEFAN P. SALVATORE
PLACE OF MARRIAGE: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
DATE RECORDED: FEBRUARY 25, 2012
APPLICATION DATE: FEBRUARY 10, 2012
Caroline smiled to herself and looked up to see Klaus gazing at her warmly and smiling too. She got caught up in the warmth in his eyes for a moment before she snapped herself out of it and cleared her throat. "Focus, Caroline, focus! Now is not the time to get sentimental."
"Uh, well... Thanks." Klaus started, but he closed his eyes for a moment to gather himself and looked back at Caroline both seriously and sincerely, "Thank you so much, Caroline Forbes. You have helped me tremendously and I can never thank you enough. I wish you the best of luck with The Today Show."
Caroline smiled and looked at the hand he extended to her and saw not only the gesture, but the white flag and gladly took it.
"You're welcome. And thank you, I also couldn't have obtained what I needed without your help. Good luck with your artwork and your Master's."
Klaus looked at her confused for a moment; he didn't remember mentioning any of that to her at the Cafe, and when Caroline saw his expression she laughed. Klaus smiled at the bright and enjoyable sound.
"Unlike some people," she raised her eyebrows at him, "I listen to what Stefan tells me."
"Oh..." Klaus realized what she was saying, glanced at Stefan who bore a smug expression, and couldn't help but laugh along with Caroline. Her laughter was contagious and he grinned from ear to ear. "Well we'll always have Paris, love."
"What?" Caroline didn't bother to point out how he called her 'love,' because he totally threw her for a loop.
"You know... Paris? The cafe that..."
"That we were just in! Right right..." she added, finally understanding what he meant. He simply smiled at her again with that warm smile that made his eyes crinkle and his dimples show, and she couldn't help but smile her own dimpled smile.
"Well, I've got to go meet with the co-op board.." Caroline said, dropping Klaus's hand, lingering to step back and look at them both. "I'll see you later, Stefan?" he nodded and she turned to her new husband, "And I'll see you in a year?" Klaus nodded with a small smile.
"Okay then, good-bye." Caroline glanced at both, giving Klaus a grateful smile before turning and walking down the courthouse steps, her hand raised to hail a cab. Klaus and Stefan watched her go and Stefan took a step towards the silent groom.
"There goes your wife." Stefan said without a hint of irony.
"Yes..." Klaus said, his voice distant as he watched the stylish blonde tuck her long legs into the cab and close the door, cutting off his view of her for a year at least. "There she goes..." He murmured as he watched the cab slowly drive away then turn a corner and disappear. "Although I do recall you saying that she looks good walking away from me…" Stefan watched him and clapped him on the shoulder.
"Come on. What kind of best man would I be if I didn't buy the groom a drink on his wedding day?"
"It's 10:25 AM, Stefan..."
"Have you never heard of a Bloody Mary?!" Stefan said with mock horror, making Klaus laugh. "Come on," he said, clapping an arm around Klaus's shoulder and yanking him down the steps. "I know a great bar around the corner. Besides we have double celebrating to do. You're not only a married man now, but you're a legal citizen!" Klaus grinned at his friend's declaration of this auspicious moment.
"And trust me," Stefan said with a smirk, "If there's one thing I know how to do as a Salvatore, it's how to get my drink on." Klaus finally lost it and burst out into sidesplitting laughter. Stefan joined him in laughter and Klaus put his arm around Stefan's shoulder as they turned the corner, on their way to buzzed alcohol bliss.
Author's Note: So I hope you all enjoyed this! I'm so excited to write this story, and although I may keep some of the over arching plot points from the movie, this will be a lot more original writing from me because there aren't as many parallels. A decent amount of this chapter was me coming up with new things... I also might incorporate a few things here and there from The Proposal :) WHO KNOWS?! :D I'd love to hear from you all so please READ & REVIEW!
And many thanks to my tumblr bby and amazing beta, C.C. (klaussaholic on tumblr) who rocks my socks with her great editing and notes that always make me smile…
And to my tumblr big sister, Katie (hybridlovelies), for reading over this chapter and letting me know what she thought of the plot and writing and making sure I made everything clear and concise!
And to all my tumblr friends who've been so sweet and supportive: Kady Lou (klausykins), Miranda (livingdeadblondegirl), Alex (klarolineepiclove), Erica(moonandstarscollide), Emma (klarolinesgenuinebeauty) and Rosemarie (bigbadklaroline)… You guys really made me feel better. Your words of support really did make me cry and love each and everyone of you so much!
If you aren't already, you should be following them on here and/or tumblr!