A/N: Not mine, CW and co owns all, I am just playing with them
Starts season 4, but no cure or hunter
-Year 0-How it began-
"Okay, let me get this straight," Caroline Forbes growled, one hand fisting on her hip while the other pushed her blonde locks out of her face. "You are forbidding me from being friends with Klaus?"
"Yes," Damon Salvatore agreed. "We absolutely forbid it, Blondie. He's the enemy."
"He's not my enemy," Caroline replied. "And what the hell makes you think you can forbid me from doing anything? Are you going to threaten me to make me listen to you? Maybe throw me around the room like you used to."
"Care, this isn't about Damon," Elena Gilbert said softly. "This is about Klaus and how he isn't good for you."
"How Klaus isn't good for me?" Caroline repeated outrageously. "Klaus has never hurt me, he's saved me more than once."
"You're supposed to be my best friend," Elena said angrily, her arms crossing over her chest. "Klaus killed me, he used me for my blood. You can't be friends with him and me too."
"Fine," Caroline shrugged. "Then you can never talk to Damon again."
"No, you can't tell me I can't talk to Damon," Elena argued.
"Damon forced me to have sex with him, do you even remember that?" Caroline said calmly. "Yeah, I consented the first time, right up until he bit me. Then I tried to fight him off and he compelled me to stop fighting. He hurt me, fed off me….made me do things with him that still make me feel ashamed, and then he tried to kill me. So if we're playing the "you're my best friend" game, then you can't be friends with Damon and me."
"That's not fair," Elena said. "Damon's changed, he's saved my life. He's kept us all safe."
"No, what's not fair is that you think the goddamn world revolves around you," Caroline said. "Damon has hurt me more than you will ever understand but I put up with him because you are my best friend and I want you to be happy. But you don't give a damn about my happiness, you never really have."
"Klaus is evil, Care," Bonnie Bennett said. "And anyone that chooses to be friends with him…"
"Is evil?" Caroline finished for her. "You don't have to say it, I know that's how you've seen me since I turned."
"I don't think you're evil, Caroline," Bonnie said. "Not now."
"Did you give Elena the "the witch that made the ring can make it powerless again" speech when you gave her a daylight ring?" Caroline asked, nodding at the look on Bonnie's face. "Of course not, because it's Elena and the whole world revolves around what makes Elena happy. So who cares if Elena has almost killed a couple people, Matt included, because she's your best friend."
"It's not like that, Caroline," Bonnie protested.
"It's exactly like that, it's always been like that," Caroline said sadly. "It's always been you and Elena, with me as the 3rd wheel. It doesn't matter what I do, how I suffer to help, in the end, I am always just an afterthought to you guys."
"You can't see him anymore," Tyler Lockwood, her ex-boyfriend said as he moved away from the front door and into the living room. "You can't talk to him, not if you ever want us to get back together."
"A month ago that was all I wanted," Caroline said. "But I know I deserve better than this….relationship. I deserve someone that wants to spend time with me, that puts me first, and that doesn't run the second things get hard."
"And that's Klaus?" Tyler yelled. "Seriously, you're fucking Klaus?"
"I am not going to say it again," Caroline said. "I'm not sleeping with Klaus, we've never even kissed. We are just friends."
"I'm with Elena on this," Tyler said. "You can't be friends with Klaus and us. You have to chose."
Caroline nodded, looking at her mother, who had remained silent during the whole thing. "You're in agreement with this?"
"Yes," Liz Forbes nodded. "I don't want you having anything to do with Klaus. You're not allowed to see him anymore."
"I'm eighteen, I graduated from high school, you can't forbid me from doing anything," Caroline said, her arms wrapped around herself defensively.
"You live under my roof, you have to follow my rules," Liz said. "He's no good for you, Caroline."
"You know, Klaus never asked me to tell him anything secret, anything that we might have been planning against him," Caroline said, looking at Damon. "He never used me as bait or threatened me, or compelled me. I trust him more than I will ever trust you. Ever." Then she took a deep breath, her arms dropping to her sides as she glanced around the room at her 'friends'. "And he never made me chose, he wouldn't make me chose because he knows how much it would hurt me to do so. But I guess you guys don't care about that."
Caroline grabbed her purse and coat off the Salvatore couch. She ignored her mom, and her 'friends' as they tried to talk to her. She pushed past Damon, who tried to stop her from leaving, growling when he grabbed her wrist hard enough to actually bruise her. "Are you going to force me to stay? Too bad you can't compel me anymore, you could make me stay, maybe dress up like Elena again."
Damon dropped her wrist as though burned, a tiny bit of what could be called shame flashing through his eyes. She doubted it though, Damon didn't care enough about her to feel guilty about anything that he did to her.
She wouldn't deny having feelings for Klaus, because she did. She didn't know exactly what those feelings might be, but she knew she had them and she wasn't ashamed of them. He made her happy, made her feel special in a way nobody ever had before. She also had a sudden realization that her happiness didn't mean anything to her friends, not more than her obedience. She loved them, and she knew they cared about her, but it wasn't enough, not anymore. She needed more than Mystic Falls had to offer her, she needed to get out.
"Care, are you okay?" Matt Donavan asked. Her ex-boyfriend was approaching her at a light jog, having just exited his shiny, new truck.
"Let me guess, you're here for the intervention," Caroline sighed, not really ready for round two.
"No," Matt shook his head. "I don't….I think you need to leave town."
"Wow, you must really hate me now," Caroline couldn't help the hurt that built up in her tone, she could handle the scorn from just about anyone but Matt.
"I could never hate you, Care," Matt gripped her shoulders softly. "I care about you so much and I know that this town isn't good for you. It's going to get you killed. Damon doesn't care about your safety, he will use you again and again until there is nothing left."
"I know," Caroline nodded solemnly.
"I know about Klaus, and I can't say that I approve of it," Matt continued. "But I've seen him with you and I don't think he plans to hurt you. If you really trust him, then I trust your judgment."
"Thank you," Caroline hugged him tightly. "I needed to hear that."
"You are better than being used as a diversion or bait," Matt whispered in her ear. "You deserve better and if you don't get out now, I don't think you ever will."
"I know," Caroline agreed. "I feel like this place is draining every bit of life out of me and nobody notices or cares."
"We've noticed, Care," Jeremy Gilbert said from behind her, the human actually making her jump. She hadn't heard him approach, didn't even realize he was with Matt. "I love my sister, but she puts too much faith in Stefan and Damon. Sometimes I think she's addicted to being a victim and the special treatment she gets. Damon is just as bad as Klaus, if not worse in some ways, but Elena can't or won't see it. I don't trust her to make the right decision when it involves Damon."
"Me either," Matt said. "And I don't trust them not to use you again."
"I think I need to leave town," Caroline whispered.
Matt placed his hand on the small of her back, leading her towards his truck. "I think so too."
"Niklaus, whatever this little obsession you have with Ms Forbes needs to stop," Elijah Mikelson said, approaching his younger bother cautiously. "We have a tentative truce with the Salvatore brothers, we do not need to do anything to jeopardize that."
"I do not care about any truce you are attempting to make with the Salvatore brothers," Niklaus Mikelson didn't turn to acknowledge him, instead focused solely on the painting in front of him. It was an abstract piece, mostly black, brown, and dark blue with a bit of bright yellow mixed about. He had an inkling of where that bit of muse came from but didn't want to admit it. "My interest in Caroline Forbes is both none of your business and not up for debate."
"She is beneath you, Nik," Rebekah Mikelson grumbled as she stalked into the room, the only female of their family plopping down on the couch within in Klaus's den. "She's is merely a peasant."
"A hot peasant," Kol Mikelson added, smirking from the doorframe. "But a peasant nonetheless. If you want to screw her, do so, but this bit of wooing is getting old."
"Is this some sort of intervention?" Klaus threw his paintbrush down, his hands fisting as he turned to face his siblings. "Shall I bring up how you fall for the same girl over and over again, Elijah? Or perhaps how you have slept with brothers but somehow think that you are nothing like the doppelgangers, Rebekah? Or how you kill every girl you sleep with to keep them from running the next morning, Kol?"
"Niklaus, there is no need…."
"I have neither asked for your input in regards to Caroline nor will I ever," Klaus interrupted. "Unless you want me to start interfering with your sexual partners, I suggest you leave. Now."
"She isn't a toy," Elijah said from the doorway, his eldest brother not able to leave without giving one last bit of 'brotherly advise'. "She isn't here for you to use for your amusement and then toss away when you are done. The Salvatores were able to desiccate you once before, if you give them a reason to do so, they will try again."
Klaus ignored his concern having already taken steps to ensure that he could never be desiccated again. If anyone tried, the spell would reverse back on the witch attempting to perform it.
He was not sure what his intentions towards Caroline actually were. He found her delightful, an actual ray of pure light in his otherwise dark world. She made him feel something, he wasn't sure what it was, but until he figured it out, he would pursue her.
His cell phone vibrated on the table next to his painting, he glanced down, a little startled by the name that flashed across the screen, "Caroline".
Can you come to my house like right now?
Klaus frowned at the screen, a bit startled by the question. When they spent time together, it was always at his home; she had never invited him to her house. He wiped his hands off on his pants, grabbed his phone and flashed out of the room. He didn't bother responding to the text, knowing that he could reach her house just as quickly. The new truck that Rebekah purchased using his money was sitting in Caroline's driveway, and he could hear three heartbeats inside; one vampire and two humans. The front door was unlocked and he let himself in, speeding up the stairs to Caroline's room.
He braced himself for some type of trap, curious as to what the humans could be planning against him, refusing to think about the fact that Caroline had betrayed him again. He would deal with that later. He pushed her door open completely, taking in the chaos with a frown.
The Donavan boy was piling shoes into a duffel bag, while the Doppleganger's little brother was shoving clothes off hangers and tossing them into a large suitcase. Caroline was standing by her dresser, tossing underwear into a smaller suitcase.
"What the hell is going on?" Klaus said, smirking to himself when all three of them jumped.
"I'm just going to go get your bathroom stuff together," Matt said as he grabbed Jeremy's arm. "Jeremy's going to help me."
"Thanks," Caroline smiled brightly at them, turning to lean against the dresser. She did not look well. Her eyes were red, her makeup smeared and she had bags under her eyes. Her hair was a bit of a mess, like she had ran her hand through it a thousand times.
"Love, what's wrong?" Klaus approached her slowly, head cocking to the side as he studied her. "Are you leaving?"
Caroline nodded. "I have to go, I can't….I can't stay here anymore."
"What is going on?" Klaus gripped her shoulders gently but firmly, forcing her to look at him.
"My friends had an intervention today," Caroline said. "And pretty much told me that I'm not allowed to be friends with you."
"I'm not sure why that means you need to leave," Klaus said. "You do not have to listen to them, you can do what you want to do."
"I know," Caroline closed the distance between them, her forehead moving to rest on his shoulder. "Does that offer you made me about seeing the world still stand?"
"Of course," Klaus kissed the top of her head. "You wish to go right now?"
"My mom has to work and everyone else is at the Boarding house," Caroline said. "If I don't go now, I'm afraid that I'll never make it out of this town alive."
"Is somebody threatening you?" Klaus growled. "Who?"
"Nobody is threatening me," Caroline whispered. "But in the last year I died, turned into a vampire, got kidnapped and tortured 3 different times, and nearly died more times than I care to remember. I love my friends but to them I'm expendable. I don't want to be the girl that every bad guy grabs because he can. I don't want to die before I ever truly lived."
"Your mum?" Klaus asked softly.
"She agreed with them," Caroline said. "Her house, her rules. If I don't go now, they'll talk me into not going."
"And the human boys, they're helping you?" Klaus glanced up at the doorway where both humans were standing, watching them.
"I love Caroline," Matt said without hesitation. "If she doesn't leave now, she never will. Mystic Falls will be the death of her."
"Elena's changed since she turned," Jeremy added. "Three months ago, I would have never thought she would let anything happen to Caroline but now, I'm not so sure. If Damon told her it was the only way, I think Elena would let him sacrifice Care."
"We just want her to be safe," Matt said. "Can you keep her safe?"
"Of course," Klaus cupped her face, his thumb rubbing over Caroline's cheekbone. "You really want to leave?"
"Yes, if you'll go with me," Caroline nodded.
"Finish helping her pack," Klaus ordered the human boys. "There is a diner about 10 miles outside of Mystic Falls.."
"I know the place, my mom used to work there," Matt said.
"I will meet you there in 30 minutes," Klaus said, looking down at Caroline. "Love, do you have a passport?"