Hello, everybody.

Yes, I have fallen hard—like, hardfor Klaroline, and they got me writing again. However, this is not going to be an actual story but a collection of one-shots, with every chapter having a different plot.
This one is set after canon 4x18; the group is getting ready to fight Silas, and Klaus realizes that Katherine could be useful for something after all.

Please keep in mind that English isn't my first language and that I won't have a beta for any of these.

Hope you enjoy,

Giulia.


Klaus was pacing frenetically at the center of his studio, eyes closed and hands clasped behind his back. In his whole existence, he had never experienced a migraine quite like this one before. I can't believe the guts of his!, he thought to himself, he still had to grasp his mind around the fact that Elijah had had the courage to bring the Petrova doppelganger into his mansion, begging him to trade her freedom for the cure she had in her possession.

He laughed bitterly. After all these years, Katerina still had his brother wrapped around her manicured, evil, little finger; after all these years, she still held a power so strong over him that he would go behind his own brother's back only to appease her. Klaus scoffed.

A sudden knock at the door startled him, bringing him out of his thoughts, and he swore under his breath.

"The Salvatore brothers are here, Nik," Rebekah informed him from the other side of the wooden door, her tone annoyed. "Stop brooding and come out please, I can't be held responsible for my actions if I'm around the four of them alone."

Four?

Klaus zoomed to the door and opened it, using so much strength he almost tore it off its hinges. He raised his eyebrows questioningly, his face stoic. "If you think I'm going to join the love fest around Katerina you are sorely mistaken, little sister." He gritted through his teeth.

Rebekah huffed and rolled her eyes. "Elijah and his little whore are who knows where, the Salvatores are here with the other doppelganger, and with the love of your life," she teased.

The hybrid's face softened for a moment, before he recomposed himself, trying to still look as bothered by the little gang's visit as he was before. "What do they want?" he spat.

"The cure, Silas' whereabouts... I don't know. They will only discuss it with you." Rebekah replied indignantly – in her book, she was just as worth as her brother.

Klaus sighed, walking around Rebekah to join his visitors in the spacious living room of the Mikaelson household. The four of them were standing with their backs to him, and he could notice them visibly stiffen as they heard his footsteps approaching. They feared him, good.

"So," he started casually, opening the cabinet near the stairs to get himself something to drink. "To what do I owe this pleasure?"

Damon rolled his eyes, his hands on his hips. "Oh please, current evil number two, cut the crap, you know we want the cure."

"Damon!" both Stefan and Caroline reproached him at the same time.

Klaus laughed humorlessly, nursing his scotch. "Like I would give it to you lot."

"We came to make a deal," Stefan said, looking over his shoulder at Elena, who was mindlessly pacing around the room. After everything that had happened and that she had put them through shutting off her emotions, they had to take matters into their own hands, which meant locking her in the Boarding House for two weeks, making sure the vervain had completely left her body, and compelling her to not do anything she wasn't told to. It was an harsh decision yes, but they couldn't risk her going around killing other innocent people all over the town, desperate times called for drastic measures. "You give us the cure, we give it to Elena so you don't have to worry about it being used against you, and in return we'll give you some of her blood for your hybrids."

Klaus knitted his eyebrows, drinking some of his scotch. "Ah, dears, I don't care for hybrids anymore," he answered, a smirk playing on his thin lips, turning his head towards them with his eyes trained on Caroline. "I'm sure you can all guess why."

Nobody spoke for some moments, so he cleared his voice and added, still looking only at Caroline. "It was a bit of a failure. That's how you called it, isn't it, love?"

Caroline rolled her eyes at his childish behavior, sighing. "Please, Klaus. We won't use it against you, we want it for Elena."

The hybrid shook his head. "If only it were that simple, love. You see, we can't let Silas roam around, you first hand saw what he's capable of doing."

Damon scoffed. "So what, you suggest we should just give him what he wants? Are you nuts?"

Before anybody could retort something else, they all heard the front door opening, and turned their heads to see Elijah entering the house with Katherine trailing behind him.

"What the hell is the she devil doing here?" Caroline half-shouted, rage evident in both her tone and face.

Klaus smiled, all dimples and bright, white, perfect teeth, but his tone sounded somewhat menacing. "She's the one who's got the cure, sweetheart."

Caroline kept glaring at Katherine as she followed Elijah to stand in the middle of the room, right between them and Klaus.

"I'm glad to see you're still alive, offspring," the doppelganger joked, glaring back.

Klaus' eyes widened, and everything clicked. Katherine had been the one to turn Caroline? "You are the one who turned Caroline?"

Katherine looked partially surprised and partially scared that the hybrid was addressing her, and tried to keep her cool, not like there was much else she could do to bargain with him anyway. "The one and only," she smirked. "Although, I suppose technically it was Damon, she had his blood in her system when I killed her."

In an instant, Klaus had her pressed against the wall, his left hand choking her, his eyes yellow and terrifying. He had never really known the exact reasons or facts behind Caroline's transformation but she had let slip once, at the Miss Mystic Falls dance, that it hadn't exactly been her decision. It hadn't been her decision at all, in fact.

"Klaus," his brother's warning tone came from behind him, but he couldn't honestly care less in that moment.

Katherine coughed loudly, trying to catch her breath somehow, but finding it impossible as Klaus' grip on her throat was deadly.

He snarled, before letting go of her as she unceremoniously fell to the ground, Elijah immediately at her side.

"What was that?" Elijah, the ever composed one, yelled at his brother while helping Katherine up.

Klaus felt the need to put himself between Caroline and the old doppelganger, not paying the least attention to his brother's question. All he could think about was how much more he hated Katerina now that he knew she had ruined Caroline's life. Sure, he knew Caroline loved being a vampire, that she would never want to be human again, but at the same time, he felt his heart ache: she should have had the choice. The same one he didn't have either when hundreds of centuries ago Mikael had forced him and his siblings to turn into monsters, sealing the whole world's fate.

Katherine laughed, still coughing, massaging her sore throat. "Well, that's certainly an interesting development," she shot Klaus and Caroline a meaningful smirk. "I probably deserve my freedom just for giving you the chance to meet her. I mean, little, neurotic, human Caroline would have never survived Mystic Falls. You yourself would have probably been the one to kill her, to drain her dry until she was dead. That would have been kind of ironic, wouldn't it?"

Everyone seemed to have caught up with was going on thanks to Katherine's little speech, and Klaus seemed everything but pleased, his jaw clenched, his stare set menacingly on the doppelganger.

Elijah, who hadn't been in Mystic Fall for relatively a while, seemed baffled, his eyes wide, and his mouth slightly hanging open. If the situation hadn't been so dramatic, he would have probably been quite the funny sight.

Stefan cleared his throat awkwardly. "I don't think this is the moment for–"

"Actually," Klaus interrupted him mid-sentence, a devilish twinkle in his blue-green eyes. "I think this is the perfect moment to talk about it." He said, the perfect plan suddenly forming in his mind. He hated to admit it, because dammit!, he was the big bad hybrid, he didn't want to have a weakness, he wasn't supposed to, but all this time, his main concern had been Caroline's safety – how could he ever make sure nothing were to happen to her during the war against Silas? How was he supposed to be able to stay at her side every moment of it, every second, every time he attacked? She was a distraction, she was his distraction. He was never going to focus knowing she was out there fighting, risking her life. He shuddered at the mere thought. No matter how many times she had rejected him, he couldn't imagine a world without her in it, without the possibility of finally winning over her affections, of finally making her fall for him just like he had fallen for her. He didn't want a world or a life without her, it wouldn't have been life.

Everyone in the room was eying him with a mix of curiosity and fear, waiting for him to go on, to say something else, to explain.

"You want your freedom, Katerina?" he asked her, his tone low and persuasive. Everyone's eyes shot wide open, and Katherine's breath caught in her throat. She merely nodded, too afraid to move a single muscle in her body.

"Well then, you are strong, and cunning, and intelligent," he asserted, leaving his spot in front of Caroline to move around Katherine. "And not that you're not all of those things, love," he added quickly looking at Caroline with a smile so genuine and soft that it left everyone in the room bewildered as the blonde, young vampire eyed the hybrid carefully. "But she's older and with much more experience... so, Katerina, keep Caroline safe until Silas will be defeated and then you have my word you won't have to worry about me anymore. You will be free."

The other three men in the room stood unmoving, startled, similar shocked and confused expressions on their never-aging faces. Rebekah, who had joined the group and was leaning against the living room's door frame looked amused, and while Katherine was profusely nodding her head at Klaus, Caroline's gasp echoed through the room, cutting through the almost reverent silence that had fallen upon it.

"What?" she shrieked, moving at vampire speed towards Klaus and pushing at his chest with both hands. She was furious, outraged, offended even. "I don't need a freaking babysitter!"

Klaus rolled his eyes with a smirk. "Love, humor me, please. I can't very well stay by your side the whole time, mostly because that would mean staying home, away from Silas," he eyed her warily, cutting off her numerous new protests as he continued. "Not to mention, protecting you with my life wouldn't work very well because if I die, you'll die too," he added softly, a series of different, intense emotions flowing through his concerned eyes. "While Katerina will protect you with her own life because she knows that if something were to happen to you, she would die nonetheless," his tone was still soft, but the threat was resounding to Katherine's ears.

"You can't do this to me," she pleaded, her voice strained. "I want to help."

It pained him to hear and see her like this, but he wasn't going to accept it any other way. "You will help this way," he assured her, lifting his hands to her shoulders, trying to soothe her. She was so petite in comparison with him, so fragile, so soft and good, he couldn't even begin to imagine all the horrible things Silas could do to her. "If I knew you were out there risking your life, I would be distracted the whole time, and we all know that I'm our best shot at defeating Silas," he stalled for a moment, looking around the room. Somehow, at one point, the others had decided to leave them alone. "Especially if the cure will go to Elena."

Caroline's eyes widened and Klaus smiled down at her, bringing one of his hands to cup her cheek. "Can't you see I'm doing this all only for you?" he whispered, his eyes locking with hers, searching and finding and reading her very soul, leaving her breathless.

After a few seconds, she nodded. "Okay," she agreed in a small voice. Silence encompassed them again for what felt like forever. "Thank you."

Klaus smiled down at her, his heart warming at having her so close, at having her thank him for something. How could she ever thank him after all the times he had hurt her? "What for, love?"

Caroline sheepishly bit down on her bottom lip, looking everywhere but at him. She moved one of her hands to take hold of Klaus' free one and intertwined their fingers. The gesture was so simple, yet so significant for them that it made Klaus' breath caught in his throat, and his heart swell.

Caroline smiled, finally letting herself look at him again. "For loving me."