This takes place POST 4x14, Pre 4x15. Spoilers for 4x14, obv. Enjoy! Next ch will be up in the AM.
Caroline didn't know how long she stood on the front porch of the Gilbert house, watching where Klaus had disappeared. He had walked away from her, all power and deadly grace, and she hadn't seen another soul since. When her click back to reality came, she walked into the Gilbert house and went to collect her things that had still been sitting inside. Collecting them up, she looked towards Kol's body and realized it was gone. She unceremoniously deposited her stuff onto the sofa and walked over to the burned spot on the ground. She would have to come back in a few days and scrub that out before Elena got home. It would give her something to do, instead of worrying about Klaus Tyler.
Grabbing up her things again, she turned off all the lights and left, heading straight for her house. She dumped everything onto the kitchen table, not even caring that it was all a mess, and went straight to her room. Her mother was gone again, and she had to wonder where the woman even was. They had grown closer since her vampirism stopped being a secret. But, she had almost died a few days ago and still hadn't talked to the woman. It made her feel even more alone than she already was.
Peeling off all of her clothes, she walked into the bathroom and turned on the shower. She flipped it on, waited for it to get hot, then pulled back the curtain and jumped. She screamed out, feeling the mist hitting her skin, and looked in the mirror, seeing the tell tale signs of a vervain burn. There was vervain IN THE WATER?!
The Salvatores had a well at her house. She remembered them saying that after the last time there had been a threat of vervain being added to the water. She pulled on a pair of shorts and a tshirt, knowing she could just borrow some of Elena's products and clothes once she got there. She was sleeping with Damon. She knew that Elena had to have stuff still there.
Once she was out in front of her house, she stared at her car, then looked up at the sky. It was a clear night, and she was in the mood for a walk. It had been her thing, for so long, to just go for a walk on occasion. Sure, she could have run over to the Salvatore boarding house, but she just wanted to stretch her legs. After almost dying the day before and spending the day sitting huddled on the couch, she wanted a few minutes to just breathe in the cool air, regardless of how human that was.
Seeing the Salvatore house in the distance, Caroline stopped. She had been trying, so hard, to not think about it, but she couldn't help it. Klaus was free, and Tyler was on the run, again. And this time, he had no reason to come back. And Klaus had done it for her. He had done... so much, for her. Because of her.
"Because of you, Caroline. It was all for you..."
The words still rang in her ears, as if coming towards her on a breath of wind, and her breath caught. The look in his face, when she hadn't responded. The vulnerable look that only she ever seemed to be given. The loss of his mask when she mentioned Tyler, and saving him. She had truly hurt Klaus, and she couldn't be more confused.
Stefan had compared them to Klaus before. True, Stefan had been a ripper, but Caroline's hands weren't free of blood. She had killed. She had harmed others. She had used compulsion. Even though she hated all of those things, she had still done it, and she was only a year old. How much blood would be on her hands when she was suddenly alone? How much blood could she spill in a thousand years?
And now, Klaus was probably sitting in his mansion, alone, staring at Kol's body. Alone. A thousand years of protecting his siblings by daggering them, and the only two he had left hated him. Rebekah was likely going to come back human, and Elijah seemed to have disappeared for good. She was alone. So was he. And she didn't want to be alone anymore. She didn't want to think about it anymore. She was too tired, overthinking everything. She was too tired of trying to resist. She was going to just, for once, do what she felt like. Screw tomorrow. She wanted to see him tonight.
Her direction changed, and this time, she ran. She forgot that she was only wearing shorts, a cheer shirt, and her old tennis shoes. She didn't care that her hair was in a messy low bun. It didn't matter that there was still dried blood on her stomach in a few places. She didn't want to be alone. She wanted to see Klaus.
When she reached the Mikaelson Mansion, she stopped. Everything was so different from the night of the Mikaelson ball. There were no lights on inside. No hybrids at the door. There was no smell of blood in the air. No sounds slipping out. It was like... the house was dead. And yet, she could still feel a presence. As though the dead were haunting it. How many of the former inhabitants were dead now?
She touched the door lightly, thinking about knocking, but changed her mind and pushed the door open. She shut the door behind her and the scent of bourbon hit her nose. She looked towards the front room and saw nothing, then started working her way in. It took her a few minutes, but the smell got stronger. She expected to see Klaus draining some girl, but there was no blood in the air. Had the man even eaten? How long had he been without blood? Ignoring hers, of course.
She finally found him, sitting in an armchair, staring at a dead fireplace. Sitting on a table across the room was a closed coffin, presumably holding Kol's charred body. There was a glass of expensive bourbon in his hand, and he looked freshly shaved and showered, wearing only pants. He didn't even look up as she walked in. It was like she was invisible to him.
Caroline opened her mouth to speak, then shut it, not knowing what to say. She hadn't really come to say anything. What was there left to say? Nothing she was really ready to tell him yet. She could yell at him, and blame him for all the evil that had happened in this town, but she knew that was unfair. Nothing would have happened here if the Salvatores hadn't returned. If Katherine had stayed dead. If Elena hadn't been the Doppleganger. She would be a silly 18 year old girl, fawning over a football player, dreaming of prom.
He had been right. She did like the person she was now. That girl had been shallow and insecure and controlling. She had been weak. She had been scared. And now? Now she was strong. Now she was powerful. She WAS fearless. Now, she was full of Light. And an ORIGINAL was IN LOVE with her.
Caroline walked over to the open bottle of bourbon and poured herself a glass, then walked over to the sofa beside Klaus' arm chair. She kicked off her shoes and pulled her legs up under her, sitting down. Neither of them said a word, and she took a sip of her drink. His eyes hadn't moved at all. And even though she was being ignored, she didn't feel so alone.
They sat there in silence as she continued to take small sips, when he finally moved. He raised his glass to his beautiful lips and drank it all down, then let his arm rest back on the chair. She raised herself from the sofa and went to grab the bottle to pour him more. She had stepped up beside him when his free hand reached out and grabbed her arm. She didn't jump. She didn't move. She didn't breathe.
Klaus had been leaning against the barrier, wanting to get out. Caroline was on the front porch, crying for his creation, and he was stuck inside, unable to comfort her. How many people had left her now? Her father? Her friends? Her boyfriend? How many others would understand how alone Caroline was right now? Only him. And he was stuck inside, unable to move.
It felt like something was shifting in the room and he took a step back, then everything went calm again. He waved his hand towards the barrier and his fingers slipped through the air. It was gone. The barrier was gone. He could finally leave, and kill Tyler, and comfort Caroline. He would hunt down Elena and her little gang, and destroy them all, then take Caroline away from here. She would forgive him for it, one day.
But then he remembered his brother. The brother that had died because of Elena fucking Gilbert. Because she couldn't stand being a Vampire. How long had she been a vampire now? A few months? He had been a vampire for a thousand years. Why did she deserve the cure over any others? Not that he wanted it. No, he wanted her to be able to live a thousand years so he could torture her for what she did to his brother.
He had picked up Kol in his arms and flashed to the Mansion. He placed his brother into the coffin that he had rested in for a few centuries, then pondered on what to do next. Caroline was still at the Gilbert house, and he couldn't resist seeing her one last time. He returned to the house through the door he had left from, the kitchen, and walked up to the front door. Opening it, he had promised Caroline that it was all for her...
And she hadn't said anything. But she also hadn't dismissed him. And so instead, he had turned and walked away. She was mourning the loss of Tyler. He couldn't deal with it tonight. Tonight, he had a brother to put to rest.
Along the way home, he had come across a man walking his dog. Klaus had immediately attached his lips to the man's neck, but he stopped, unable to kill him. Caroline was still on his mind. He had told her they were the same, and he had meant it. She was more like him than she realized. But that went both ways. Caroline never drank from another person. She never killed, although he was sure she had at some point. And he couldn't bring himself to kill the man.
He had run home as fast as he could and lost himself in a hot shower, feeling more alone than ever. He had to be rid of her. She was his weakness, and he couldn't protect her when she was mad at him, and away from him. He should have killed her already, many times over, but he couldn't do it. And now, he was alone in his home, with only his brother's dead body for company.
After pulling on a pair of pants and finding an open bottle of bourbon, Klaus had settled himself into Kol's favorite chair. How many times had he seen Kol sitting in it, making a snarky remark to Rebekah? Sitting in it even though he knew that Klaus prefer the chair to be his. He had come home a few times to see Kol just sitting in it with a girl's body across his lap as he fed. His brother would never sit in this chair again, and that fact destroyed him.
When he heard Caroline outside the house, he chalked it up to a hallucination. She wasn't there. She wouldn't come to see him. Not the man that was threatening her boyfriend's life. No, she was probably crying in her room right now, or worse, chasing after Tyler to join him. His house was the last place she would be.
And then he heard her coming in, and walking towards him. He didn't move. He didn't believe it. She was here to distract him again. She was here to hurt him. She was here... He couldn't believe those things. Just as he was doing things for her, he believed that she would stop doing things against him. The last time she had distracted him had been the night that 12 hybrids and a mother had died. She knew the consequences of playing him.
She stood at the doorway and he heard nothing. She was then pouring herself a drink, and she still said nothing. And finally, they were both just sitting, staring at the emptiness, and he was somehow comforted by her presence. She hadn't said anything, but it was enough. And at that realization, he finished off his bourbon, looking for a bit of liquid courage for whatever she had come to say.
When she got up to refill his drink, he couldn't believe it. What was she doing? She was in his house, refilling his drink, playing hostess, and not saying a word. She had almost died the night before. He had threatened her boyfriend. And now she was just here with him.
He didn't understand it. He didn't understand her. And he didn't want to. She needed to leave, before he did something. Before he pushed her from his life forever. Before he ripped out her heart so he would never have another weakness. Before he kissed her and claimed her as his own. Before he begged her to love him back.
His words were harsh, sounding like a warning, and she looked down at him. His eyes weren't cold or empty, like she expected. Instead, they were full of rage. Hatred. Anger. He was furious with her. Furious at her. Furious at the whole of Mystic Falls. And she couldn't blame him.
She stared back at him, not backing down, and poured the drink anyways. She didn't look away, nor even blinked, and once the glass was filled, he released her arm. She turned and set it down on the table, then felt his presence behind her. He had stood up from the chair and was now only a few inches behind her. She turned to face him, and looked up into his eyes. Eyes that held so much anger.
"Caroline, why are you here?"
She thought for a moment he was trying to compel her, given the way he stared into her eyes, but she realized after a moment that he was trying to intimidate her. He wouldn't compel her. He knew how much that bothered her. And earlier, he had said he wouldn't hurt her. Was he telling her to get out because he was scared of hurting her, or because he was scared she would hurt him again.
She thought about ignoring his question and returning to her own drink, but she decided honesty was best. He had always liked her honesty in the past.
"There is vervain in the Mystic Falls water supply, and I wanted a shower."
Klaus didn't move as she stepped around him to return to her seat, nor did he turn around to face her as she spoke again. Her hand had barely touched the sofa to sit back down when he asked another question.
"And you chose here, of all places, to take your shower?"
She said nothing, but he also didn't hear her sitting down on the sofa. He couldn't bring himself to turn around and look at her. She was wearing next to nothing in her tiny shorts and tshirt, and he was a cruel torture. Didn't she know how badly he wanted her? Needed her, for so long? How it had destroyed him, time and again, knowing she was spoken for, by TYLER. How now, knowing that the boy was gone, that he could claim her for his own?
He gripped the glass so hard that it shattered in his hands, and yet still she said nothing. He dropped the shards of glass onto the ground and he heard Caroline walking up behind him. It was like a phantom feeling, her fingers so close to his shoulder, and when they finally connected, he let out a moan. How long had he been dreaming of her touching him, truly touching him. Not just holding his hand in a dance, or clinging to him as she drank his blood.
Caroline let her fingers spread then, so that she was resting her full open hand on his shoulder. She didn't know what she was doing, but this felt right. Touching him. Giving him comfort. She could have taken that shower at the Salvatore's, but no. She came here for a reason. She had been lying to herself. And in turn, she had lied to him.
"I didn't want to be alone."
She had whispered out the words, and they felt like a fan across his back. He still didn't turn around to face her. He couldn't. The mask that he had worn for so long was gone, and he wasn't quite sure what she would see on his face. Would she see the anger? The hatred? The loneliness? The lust? He didn't want her to see any of it. He just wanted her gone. He couldn't do this. He couldn't have her so close and not touch her, not possess her.
The hand slipped from his shoulder, and suddenly Caroline was walking around him to stand in front of him. He didn't stop looking at the ground, and all too late he realized that there was broken glass. Her foot stepped on a piece of it and he was already lifting her up in his arms and sitting back down in the chair. She was trying to lean forward to grab the piece out and there were tears going down her face, but she hadn't made a sound other than the first whimper. He pulled it out and watched the skin heal, then rubbed her foot to make sure that all of the glass was gone.
When he was sure her foot was fine, he turned to look at her. She was sitting on his lap, staring at him, her mouth somewhat open in shock, and they just stared at each other. Yes, he had held her the night before, but this was different. He wasn't saving her life. He was simply taking care of her. His hand slid up her leg slightly, and his other arm wrapped around behind her lap and pulled her up and closer, cradling her to his chest. She refused to rest her head on his shoulder, still looking up at him, and he didn't know what to say.
"Why," she whispered, fear showing on her face. No, it wasn't her being scared OF him. More like... she was vulnerable. She looked as vulnerable as he felt.
He looked down at her, and she felt her undead heart racing. This was real. Perhaps the first real conversation they had ever had. There was no reason for either of them to be here. No reason for them to be touching. The only reason they were like this was because they wanted to be. She couldn't deny it anymore. She wanted to be in his arms.
"Why what," he whispered back to her, and she looked down at the hand resting on her leg, then looked back up at him.
"Why did you do it? For me? You have lived a thousand years. What makes me so different?"
He stared into her eyes, then looked away, unable to face her as he spoke. "You know why, Caroline."
She shifted uncomfortably, feeling awkward that he assumed she knew. She knew that he was in love with her, but she didn't know why. What had she done to earn this? Why, after so many years of living, was he doing things for her? Why was she, a baby vampire, so different from others.
He looked down at her, shock spread across his face. How could she not know? He had told her, hinted, so many times. And yet, she still didn't know. And then he realized that she had no idea. No idea how beautiful she was. How pure she was. How she was his angel. What had this town done to her, that she took herself for granted?
He was still shocked as she pushed herself up out of his lap and went to her shoes. She slipped her feet into them, and walked around him, going towards the front door. This had been a mistake. She shouldn't have come here. He wasn't ready for this. She wasn't ready for this. And yet...
He stood up from the chair and took a step toward her, ignoring the glass cutting into his feet. She protested, hearing the crunch of glass under his step, but he didn't care. He grabbed her arm and turned her back to full face him and stood over top of her, looking down. His jaw was set as he studied her face, so full of concern for something as foolish as glass in his feet. He had faced worse than that, many times over. It was barely even a pinch.
"Tell me," she whispered, but he remained silent. She looked away from him, trying to ignore the pain she felt and pull back the tears that were threatening to spill. She shook her head, trying to talk herself out of doing anything foolish, and she looked back up at him again. Her voice was raised this time. "Tell me!"
He flinched a little at her voice, and she shook her head again, unable to get any more of a response. They were both so stubborn. So strong. So weak. So alone. She pulled her arms up over her chest, as if to create a barrier, and rubbed her arms slightly, trying to comfort herself. She was looking down again, unable to look into his face as he stared down at her, and she was startled when she felt the warmth of his hands grasping her upper arms.
"Because you are the light in my darkness," he gasped out. She looked up at him then and saw that there were tears in his eyes. "You are strong, and beautiful, and you do not fear me. You understand me. You care about me, even after all of the terrible things I have done. Because when you cry, I want to destroy entire countries, and when you smile, I want to rebuild it for you. Because you are my greatest weakness, and I am in love with you."
He looked down at her, a few tears slipping down his cheeks, waiting for her to say something. Anything. She just looked at him, her eyes full of tears as well, not saying a word. Their eyes were locked and he removed a hand from her arm to wipe away a stray tear. She still said nothing, and he looked down before closing his eyes, unable to look at her any more.
He felt a hand on his cheek and he couldn't open his eyes to look at her. Another hand joined the first, so that his face was being cradled in her hands. She was coming closer and he couldn't open his eyes. He couldn't look at her, knowing his eyes were still filled with tears, and then he felt it. It was like an angel's wings brushing over his lips. Her lips ghosted over his for but a moment, then she was pushing her lips against his. They were soft, they were perfect, and he didn't know what to do.
And then she pulled away. He couldn't look at her. He couldn't touch her. Didn't she understand? Didn't she know that this was destroying him? That her kissing him like this was wrong? He wouldn't take her pity kisses. She had just told him a few hours ago that she loved Tyler, and now she was kissing him. Hadn't she mentioned before that she was never the first choice? Well now, she was his first choice, and he wasn't hers.
Caroline stood there in shock. She had kissed him. She had actually kissed him. After all the months of dreaming of giving in to him, of leaving Tyler, of succumbing to her building attraction for Klaus, she had finally kissed him. And he hadn't responded. He had just stood there. He wouldn't even look at her.
The tears were now flowing hard down her cheeks and she let her hands dropped as she stepped away. Nothing could have hurt her as bad as this. She had chosen him. She hadn't gone with Tyler. She hadn't hidden from him. She was here, with him. And she had kissed him. And it wasn't enough. She was too late. Even though he loved her, he was done with her. She had burned the bridge too many times.
Her hands covered her face as she tried to keep her tears from turning into sobs, but she couldn't help it. She let out a loud sob, and when Klaus looked up at her, she turned around and ran at human speed. She couldn't bear to look at him. She couldn't stand to see him deny her. She couldn't let him see her like this. He had called her strong, but at that moment she had never felt so broken.
She reached the front door and flung it open, not sure where to go, when she ran into a hard chest. Klaus was standing in front of her, tears running freely down his face. She tried to run again, this time with her Vampire speed, but he grabbed her arms so she couldn't pull away. She struggled against him, still sobbing, her heart breaking.
"I chose you. I could have gone with Tyler, but I knew that there was something between us, and I couldn't leave without exploring it first. I had to know, Klaus. I had to know what it would be like to finally give in. And then you say those things, and I don't want to resist anymore. I don't want to fight it."
Klaus looked down at her in shock, unsure of what to say. She had chosen him? Was that why she hadn't gone with Tyler? He thought about her friends, about her mother. He had assumed that was why she hadn't run, but it was because of him? She had... chosen him? No one chose him. Ever. Rebekah only ever stayed because she had known he would win. The rest had been forced to stay. But Caroline was choosing him?
His voice was raspy as he finally spoke. "Caroline, you cannot just... you cannot just explore this and leave when you're done. You cannot... I cannot... if you leave me..."
She jerked her arm out of his grasp, then smacked him. He dropped her other arm in response and looked down at her, so full of fire and passion. He didn't know what had brought on that slap, and he wanted nothing more than to kiss her in that moment.
"Take a chance, you said. You asked me to take a chance, to get to know you. And that's why I'm here. Because I FEEL something for you. Because I like your art, and because I like when you make me laugh, and I like that you put me first. I want to take a chance to get to know you."
Then she took a step back. Her entire body was shaking now. Her vampire senses were raging inside of her, all of the lust and passion and hatred and anger she felt overwhelming her. She had to get away from him before she said or did something she would regret, but she was already on a roll, so why stop now.
"And I know that there is a line that, if I cross it, you won't let me go. If I cross the line, and I decide to leave, then I had better call up Katherine Pierce and ask to come hide with her, because you won't ever allow me to leave. But we have danced around that line enough and we have never even kissed. And so help me god, Klaus, if you do not take a chance for once yourself... take a chance on ME. On THIS. Nothing in this life is a guarantee save for this moment, and if you want me, then KISS me."