Her mom forces her to see a therapist after he dad's death; forces her to sit in this awful overly furnished room across from a woman who only cares about the paycheck she will be receiving. The woman, lovely Ms. Abel, is sweet and lithe, but Caroline thinks she is really quite evil. She scribbles away on that infernal notepad of hers after everything Caroline says; the control freak inside her screams with rage.
"Caroline," Ms. Abel begins, ever the picture of professionalism. "I want you to do something for me tonight."
"And if I don't want to?" she snaps, furrowing her brows and glaring.
"You will," Ms. Abel says. "You mother pays me quite a bit of money. It'd be a shame to let it go to waste."
Bitch, Caroline thinks, crossing her arms and leaning back into the couch. She wishes she could rip the woman's throat out. But that isn't polite and Caroline does have manners, thank you very much.
"I want you to draw me a picture. Let it personify your feelings. We'll discuss it next week." She smiles tightly walks to the door, opening it with a creak. "Goodbye, Caroline."
Caroline stomps out with a huff.
Her mom greets her in the lobby. "Have a good talk?" she asks.
She's wearing her cop uniform, which means she's about to leave for work. Caroline scowls. She should be talking to her mother about how she feels. Not some stupid holier than thou therapist. "Yeah, whatever," she bites out. And okay, maybe she is being a brat. But she's still a teenager, damn it; a neurotic, vampiric teenager on crack but a teenager nonetheless.
"Ms. Abel said she'd give you exercises."
Caroline glowers, sinking down in the seat. "Unfortunately," she grumbles. "Take me to hobby lobby."
He mom sighs. "Caroline, I have work—"
"Fine!" she snaps. "Take me home. I'll go with Bonnie."
Bonnie is busy with some witchy mojo crisis and Elena doesn't even respond to her texts so she goes to hobby lobby herself. She picks up some paints and a canvas (and maybe two bags of candy as well, but she's a vampire she doesn't have to count calories, Mr. judgeypants). She goes to a nook in the forest only she knows about and sets everything up. The forest is alive with sounds and vibrant life and… it makes Caroline feel more whole; more put together. She doesn't feel alone out here, surrounded by all the little insects and woodland creatures.
It is… peaceful, she supposes.
And exactly what she needs.
She breathes in and out, smiling softly to herself. She scrabbles in her bags for her paint supplies and begins. She doesn't really think while she paints. That is what is so wonderful about it. Her thoughts are filled with the way the brush glides against the canvas, the way certain colors accent others, how this line blurs into another. She doesn't know what she is painting and she finds that that doesn't' really bother her.
Time passes slowly and she begins to hum to herself, a soft, light feeling bubbling in her chest. Maybe Ms. Abel isn't so full of shit after all. She laughs at that. Or maybe she just wants to find some peace. Maybe she wants to come to terms with the fact her father would rather die than become what she is. That he hated her, even in his dying breath.
Her fingers tremble and she drops her paintbrush. A hand catches it, startling her.
Klaus is suddenly by her side, scowling at her canvas. "The lighting is wrong," is all his says. No explanation for why he is in the middle of the forest where she happens to be like a freaking stalker. She glares at him. Weirdo, she thinks. It should alarm her how easily he comes to stand behind her, heat wafting off his body.
Her breath hitches as her cheeks color. She frowns to try and cover it up. "No one asked you," she snips, snapping the paintbrush back from his grasp.
She knows he is smirking, the bastard.
"Sorry love," he says, tone amused. "I was merely trying to save the world from your dismal art."
Caroline is really scowling now. "It's not that bad," she protests. Though, now, as she looks at it, it really, really is. The head is too big for the shoulders and the skin tone makes it look like her father really enjoyed tanning beds. Plus, Klaus is right. The lighting is wretched. "Okay," she concedes, "it is a little terrible."
Klaus moves around her to crouch in front of the painting; his is face pensive. He looks up at her, and gosh damn it, why are his eyes so green? This is totally not fair. She hates him. She HATES him. Abhors. Wants to stake him, really. But he's so damn attractive. She wants to rip her hair out. Klaus doesn't say anything, too busy running his fingers over the wet paint, smudging it slightly. She frowns. How dare he just come out of now where, accuse her painting of being crap (and okay, maybe it is) and then ruin it?
"It's my father," she blurts instead. "I'm painting him. For therapy." Way to over share Caroline Forbes, best shut the yapper while she's ahead.
"Therapy?" he inquires. "Hardly seems your style, sweetheart."
"Yeah well, not all of us get to mull for thousands of years over the fact that our father wanted to murder us. I'm new to this, thanks," she snaps, immediately regretting it as Klaus' face hardens. And oh shit, he's going to kill her.
Klaus moves towards her in a flash, grabbing her wrist with bone crushing strength. She winces. His face is so very, very close to hers now and if she had a heart beat she would have put a frightened jack rabbit to shame. "You should think before you speak," he snarls at her. And oh, his lips are really quite nice close up—no no no no she is not going there.
"Sorry," she grounds out, trying in vain to wiggle from his grip.
He stares at her a bit longer, the sea green of his eyes swirling with emotions she really doesn't have the peace of mind to decipher. He pulls away suddenly, stalking back over to her canvas. "I'll help you," he says suddenly. And gees, is he bipolar or what?
"Help me?" she repeats, face screwing up in confusion. "No," she refuses automatically.
"It wasn't a request," he replies dryly.
Oookay then. Not a request. She's stuck in the middle of the forest with a murderous thousand year old hybrid. Her life really, really sucks, like she is really prepared for a selftervention at this point.
"Sit," Klaus commands, gesturing to the stump her rump had previously occupied. (Haha, she's a poet and she didn't even know it).
"No," she refuses.
"Caroline," he growls in warning.
She walks over in a huff and sits. "Sitting, gees, calm down Mr. Grouchy Hybrid."
"You really have a way with words, love," he says and the proverbial eye roll makes her want to smack him.
"Give me your hand," he orders. She grumbles, but does so albeit a little crossly. He places the brush in her hand and the guides it to the canvas, working her hand back and forth with gentle strokes. She is suddenly so very aware of how close he is to her and how focused his gaze is on the painting. "There, good," he breathes, breath scorching her neck and setting fire to her cheeks. "Tell the brush what you are feeling. Good, like that, yes." He seems pleased with her and so help her, her stomach does that infuriating flip flop when she really likes someone and she cannot like Klaus. He's a murderer. A sexy, British murderer. But she digresses.
His other arm comes to snake around her waist, settling idly on her hip and god, if that isn't the most distracting thing. How does he expect her to concentrate when he's all but molesting her? Wasn't he supposed to be a gentleman?
"Caroline," he says in irritation. "Focus."
So she does.
It is easy to let Klaus guide her movements, to watch as the painting before her comes to life. To watch as he uses her to mold her father's face, every line, wrinkle and shine. He helps her create something beautiful, silently, attentively. There is no judgment, or snarky commentary. There is just her, him, the forest and a painting of the man who she loved from infancy. Her father. She feels the tears building and she wipes them away furiously, angry with herself. Angry with him. She is so damn mad. How dare he leave her! How dare he hate her, how dare he not understand! It breaks her up inside, seeing this beautiful painting of him smiling. Of him being everything she ever wanted him to be.
Klaus remains silent, merely running a comforting hand up and down her spine as she begins to cry. He doesn't say anything because words are not needed. Touch… touch is enough.
She leans into him and relishes his touch. She doesn't even complain when he warps his arms around her, the embrace warm, like home; strong and safe. He holds her like this for a long while and as she pulls away to look up at him, he surprises her. There is no pity in his eyes, no overt softness. He looks almost resigned and peaceful; content. As if he doesn't quite know what to do, but is grateful all the same. The corners of his lips pull upwards. It's almost a smile, but she isn't quite sure. "Are you done now?" he asks. She thinks he is trying for irritated, but it comes off as fond. Fond. Huh. Not a word she ever thought she'd use to describe him.
She pushes away immediately. "Yes," she says, looking away in shame. "Yes, I'm quite done. You can go now. Go make some more hybrids or whatever it is you do in your spare time."
He chuckles at that, the sound deep and warm. "I like to draw," he admits, "in my spare time." He pauses. "Mostly, I like to draw beautiful things." He's looking at her because she can feel the way his gaze burns into her skin. "Like you."
"Like me," she scoffs.
"Whatever misgivings you may have about me, Caroline," he begins, "they do not define who I am; who I was. People are infinite. We have layers. You may think I only ever have the most deplorable of intentions, but that sort of thinking will not get you and your friends very far," he's frowning at her now, eyes dark, closed off, different from only a moment before. "Expand your thinking."
She looks up, tears still fresh in her eyes. "I don't like you," she declares.
"That can change, love," he returns, confident.
And for one tiny, miniscule moment, she thinks that perhaps, he is right. In a blink, he is gone. All she has left is the painting he helped her craft.
She wonders idly what Ms. Abel is going to decipher from that.