Violence and Death warning for this chapter.
Rebekah and Stefan drove in silence for awhile. Neither of them wanting to break the silence with the obvious. They were on their way to kill someone. To murder a woman in cold blood. Even if she was a murderer herself, it was wrong. It was sick. Rebekah didn't want to think about any of it. She didn't want to think about the fact that she was a part of this now. For years, all she'd wanted was to feel like a part of her older brothers' club. But as she grew older she grew to realize that it wasn't a club she wanted to be in. It wasn't a club that anyone should be interested in. But now she was in it. And what might be worse was that her boyfriend was in that club too. When this was all over, if this was ever all over, she needed a drink. Or about a dozen drinks. It was just too much.
"I slept with her." Stefan spoke up and Rebekah turned to look at him. "Katherine." Rebekah sighed, looking back out the window. "It was before I met you but...I slept with her I thought you should know before...you know."
Rebekah rolled her eyes and turned back to Stefan, propping her head on her hand, giving him a hard look. "You're trying to make this easier on me. Killing her? You don't have to do that. She went after my family. I'm a Mikaelson, Stefan, we take blood for blood."
Stefan nodded, his hand tightening on the steering wheel as he drove. Trees flew past them and the sun was rising higher into the sky the longer they drove. The two lapsed into a comfortable silence, both lost in their own thoughts about the hours that were to come. Countless things could go wrong, if even one of them messed up the entire plan would fall apart. They would most likely all die, and Damon, Alaric, and Katherine would go on, killing more innocent people. It was the closest any of them may get to actually doing the noble thing, to being the good guys. Everyone but Caroline, that was.
Rebekah couldn't help but feel sad when she thought about it. Caroline was only a few months younger than her, they'd been classmates in school, they'd sat together at lunch most of the time. Neither of them had many other friends and they took comfort in the solemn silence that would overtake their time together. She was always Nik's though. From the first moment he'd set eyes on her, Rebekah knew that there would be no other. Even after they'd left Virginia. He'd been so young, and Caroline had been far younger. If there was anyone in the world that didn't deserve this whole situation, it was Caroline Forbes. Caroline Forbes who once cried at recess when one of the Fell brothers had killed a bee. Caroline Forbes whose blonde hair was always pulled up in perfect ringlets. Caroline Forbes who, even at such a young age, had captivated the elusive heart of her older brother.
"Bekah?" She turned to look at Stefan, noticing the way he glanced over to her every couple seconds, his brow furrowed in worry.
She hummed in response, not having heard what he'd said to her.
"I asked if you wanted me to do this alone. There's no reason for you to come in. This isn't your fight." Rebekah smiled softly at him, resting her hand on his knee and shaking her head.
"Whether or not she knows it Caroline is family." Stefan sighed but he nodded anyway, taking her hand in his.
"Family above all, right?" It was the famous Mikaelson motto. Even though each of her siblings seemed to live on a different coast, or country all together, they were still a family. They still had one another's backs. There was not a doubt in her mind that if Kol or Elijah had known about what was going on, they would have jumped on a plane and insisted to join in.
"Family above all." The words tasted heavy on her tongue. Perhaps things would be different now, when this was all over. If they all made it out alive that was. Perhaps Nik would be happy, and Caroline would be safe. Perhaps she'd finally get the chance to be with Stefan, with a man who loved her as much as she loved him. Perhaps they would be some kind of a family, no matter how demented they may be. Perhaps it would all be okay, in the end.
The small house sat at the edge of the woods, its nearest neighbor being over a mile away. The shutters fell crooked, the paint peeled off the exterior and on the upper level there was a broken window that had been boarded over. The house was painted a faint pink color, the same kind they used in dentists' and doctors' offices to try to convince you that this was a happy, safe place. Had it not been housing one of the most dangerous women in the country, the house would have been cute. Homey, cozy. It looked like the kind of house a nice family would buy, where dogs and children would run and play in the front yard. It was unfortunate, really, the events that would take place there. No family would ever buy it now.
Rebekah swallowed, undoing her seatbelt and looking over at Stefan once more before sliding out of the car. She looked on at the house, listening to Stefan's door close. He came to stand next to her. He held a gun in his hand. He'd probably grabbed it from wherever he'd hidden it once she'd gotten out of the car and now he was checking to make sure it was loaded. With a faint click, the safety off.
"Blood for blood, right?" He nodded at Rebekah and she nodded back once, following him across the dead grass and up the decaying porch stairs.
The front door swung open with a creek that echoed throughout the small house. When they stepped in, their footsteps sounded unnecessarily loud compared to the harsh silence that greeted them in the foyer. If it weren't for her gut telling her otherwise, Rebekah would have thought that Katherine had run. But when she followed Stefan closely through the small hall and to the left, she was greeted with the brunette head on.
Katherine looked gaunt, her cheeks devoid of color, her eyelids drooping. She held a gun loosely in her hand. The arm that was holding the gun was slack at her side, the handle only just dangling from her long fingers. She looked as if she'd been crying for days. As if she hadn't slept in weeks and hadn't eaten in months. She was a shell of a person and by Stefan's shocked expression, Rebekah knew that this was not the version of the infamous doppelganger he was expecting to come across.
The gun slipped from Katherine's hand and hit the wood floor with a crash, the brunette's eyes following it before slowly looking back up at Stefan. She seemed as if she might collapse, as if the smallest breeze might knock her over and blow her away like dust. "I thought you might be coming. I have to admit though I thought it would be Klaus…" She looked between the two of them, moving slowly to the chair that sat at the small kitchen table. "You're here to kill me." She seemed to be highly interested in a small chip on the surface of the table. She picked at it with her nail, looking up at the two of them in turn. "What're you waiting for then?"
Stefan searched for an answer, what were they waiting for? She was an easy target now, weak, defenseless. Her eyes were practically begging for it. But Stefan couldn't bring himself to raise the gun to her head and pull the trigger. It was just...too easy.
"I'm not going to fight you, if that's what you're waiting for." She leaned back slightly in the chair, her hands resting palms down on the table before her. "People fight death because they have a reason to live. I have no reason to live. Elena-" Her voice broke at the mention of her twin's name. "Is dead." Had she had any tears left to shed, one would have made its way down her cheek, to the small crevice between her lips. "Kill me Stefan." She was asking him, begging him to do it. Rebekah watched Stefan swallow, watched his eyes hold Katherine's. She watched him raise the gun and position his finger over the trigger. She watched his hand shake only slightly, and she watched the way Katherine looked at the barrel of the gun almost hopefully. Rebekah watched as Katherine opened her mouth, watched as she whispered one last plea to Stefan. The gun went off before she could finish the word.
Katherine's head jolted back, blood and brain matter spraying against the peeling paint behind her. The doppelganger's body slid lower in the chair, her eyes vacant, staring beyond Stefan's shoulder as her mouth fell slightly open, the corners tilted up in a small smile. There was a gaping hole in her forehead from where the bullet had plowed through, blood trickled down her face, staining her white skin and running down to the collar of her shirt. It flowed over her arms, and down to her hands where it then proceeded to drip slowly onto the floor
After a moment, Stefan cleared his throat, lowering the gun.
"We should call Klaus."
Rebekah pretended not to notice the quiver in his voice as he spoke and the heaviness of his steps as he turned to exit the room.
Caroline pulled up to the bureau just as the sun was setting. Her muscles ached from the hours spent driving through nothing but fields and trees. As she stepped out of the car she slid the gun she'd brought with her into the back waistband of her jeans. She pulled her jacket over it, concealing it from sight as she closed the door to the car behind her.
The building that she knew so well suddenly looked terrifying. Caroline swallowed, letting out a slow breath as she squared her shoulders, tossed her hair back, and walked toward the front entrance. She toyed with her ID badge, her fingers running along the edge as she walked toward the two doors at the entrance of the building. She took a second to compose herself before she pulled the door open, smiling at the woman working the front security desk as she approached her.
"Good evening," Caroline smiled warmly at the bored looking woman, sliding her ID card across the desk and shifting her weight awkwardly, her heart beating fast in her chest.
"Night shift?" The guard took her ID, scanning it into the computer and then drumming her fingers as she waited for it to register.
"I owed someone a favor." She watched the woman's face carefully, and the second that she heard a small beep from the computer, the guard's face turned white and she stood slowly from her chair, un-holstering her gun and pointing it right at Caroline.
"I'm going to need you to put your hands up now." Caroline's mouth fell open slowly, raising her hands just as about half a dozen other agents came flooding in the front lobby. Their guns were all pointed at her and Caroline sighed, closing her eyes as she felt someone come behind her and grab the gun from her back.
Her hands were yanked down and behind her harshly and a pair of handcuffs were snapped onto her wrists as someone else came to grab her shoulder and push her forward. No one said anything as they pushed her down a side hallway and into a service elevator.
"What number am I?" She stared at the elevator doors as they moved down almost impossibly slowly. "On the wanted list. What number am I?" This was all Rick's doing, there was no question about it. The doors dinged as they slid open, revealing a dimly lit hallway that she immediately recognized.
"Nine." The voice came behind her and Caroline turned, her eyes going wide as she saw who it belonged to. "You're number nine Care." Jeremy held the gun in his hands tightly as he looked at her.
"Jer," She saw the confliction in his eyes. She'd trained him, they'd been so close, he looked at her as if she was an older sister to him. And now he was ushering her into a holding chamber, the same holding chamber that they'd held Klaus in, if she remembered correctly.
"Open your mouth again and I'll blow you to pieces." To make his point, the man pushing her into the small room pushed the barrel of his gun into her lower back. He shoved her harder over towards the table and she tripped, falling sideways and hitting her shoulder against the table before falling onto the cement ground. Caroline groaned as she looked up at the men. Jeremy was looking anywhere but at her, his eyes focused on a dark spot on the wall. Caroline looked away from him as one of the other agents came forward, grabbing her forearm and pulling her up.
The handcuffs were taken off quickly and then, too fast for her to really comprehend, they were cuffing her hands in front of her this time and pushing her down into the metal chair that sat slightly pulled out from the table. Slowly the men filed out and the door shut with a resounding bang. The lock slid into place on the outside and then there was nothing.
She didn't know how long she sat there. That was the whole purpose of these kinds of rooms. The walls were plain, dark cement. There were no clocks, no windows, nothing to show how much time had passed. The one way mirror that sat in front of her taunted her. She knew well enough to know that there were people on the other side, watching her, probably determining what to do with her next. Rooms like these were meant to intimidate, to force a confession out of someone.
She sat with her shoulders squared, her eyes trained on her reflection in the mirror before her. She wasn't going to let them see her break.
After a lengthy amount of time, the door slid open and Caroline looked over. Alaric strode in, a gun strapped to his waist as he slid into the chair across from her, folding his hands on the table. He had a few more grey hairs on his head, a few more wrinkles under his eyes and when he looked at her there was none of the warmth that there once had been when she'd started at the bureau.
"Alaric." Her voice was colder than she'd ever heard it and she was sure that her eyes mirrored it.
"Caroline." He inhaled deeply, sitting up straighter in his chair as he looked at her.
"You put me on the wanted list." She tilted her head slightly. She was terrified, completely helpless in front of him and however many guards he had stationed outside. She wondered if this was how Klaus felt, but as soon as she thought it she knew that he would never feel like this. So she tried to channel him, his cool demeanor even in sticky situations, the way he captivated a room, intimidated even when he no chance to have the upper hand. Although, Klaus always seemed to have the upper hand, she'd have to ask him about that after all this was through.
"You aided and abetted a serial killer. Corrupted the image of the bureau and I'm sure there's something about conspiracy in there." He gave her a smug smile, leaning slightly forward.
"I'm guessing most of these charges came from your desk?" She didn't know where her anxiety ended and her anger began. Her jaw was set tightly, her eyes glued to his as she let out a slow breath.
"You always were very observant. I should have recruited you for my special task force. You would have made a good addition."
"I don't work with psychopaths like Damon Salvatore." She sneered at him, her gaze turned to a glare for a moment and he smirked at her, licking his lips before speaking again.
"No, but you do with with psychopaths like the hybrid." Caroline returned his smirk.
"Touche. But one is very different than the other." Alaric chuckled lightheartedly, shaking his head slightly as he leaned back in the chair, tilting his head to look at her.
"I'm guessing you're here to take care of me?" His eyebrow raised and Caroline only stared at him in response. "I'm guessing this wasn't a part of your plan."
"No." There was no reason to lie. She hadn't expected for him to flag her ID. She hadn't expected to end up here, although she kind of figured that she should have, considering everything.
"And the Hybrid is taking care of Damon I'm assuming?" Caroline bit her lower lip, adjusting in her seat as she cleared her throat slightly. "Not a bad plan. Take out the both of us at the same time, that way neither of us can alert the other." Alaric nodded as if he was impressed with her, maybe he was, but she was past the point where she cared what he thought. "But if one of you fails…" He trailed off and Caroline held his gaze.
"We're not gonna fail."
"Are you sure about that? You seem to be in a very precarious spot at the moment." He nodded down to where her hands were cuffed, resting on the table and then around the room.
She swallowed as he stood up, moving to lean his back against the mirror, looking intently at her. "I could just kill you right now, Damon could kill your boyfriend, and no one would ever be the wiser of what went on here today."
"You think you could kill me that easily?"
"You clearly thought you could kill me that easily." Caroline let out a sigh, biting her lower lip again as she tried to figure out what his angle was. "Why should I treat you any differently?"
"Why did you do it? I don't get it. You were so...dedicated to the cause and now you're working with Damon Salvatore? Of all people?"
"If you'd stayed here longer than you had Caroline, climbed higher," He pushed himself of the wall, resting his hands on the table and leaning forward. "You would have understood that there's only so much we can do. There's only so many times you can get blocked by red tape. I'm making a difference this way. I'm preparing the world to be a better place."
"You think Damon Salvatore is your key to making the world a better place?"
"No. But he knows the ins and outs of the criminal world. And since he despises competition, I offered him a deal he couldn't refuse. We'd get rid of his competition, he'd aid me in a few...things. And we would leave each other alone when the time came."
"You're responsible for the killing of innocent people Rick, you're helping a man get away with the murder and rape and traumatisation of countless victims, how do you sleep at night?" Alaric didn't answer. Instead, he smiled at her, moving his hand into his pocket and taking out a key, dropping it on the table in front of her.
"You came here to do a job." He slid the key toward her, and Caroline looked at it cautiously. "The least I could do is give you a fair shot." He took a step back as she took the key, rolling his sleeves up his forearms slowly as he watched her slowly undo the lock on the cuffs.
The handcuffs fell to the table with a clatter and she stood up, watching as Alaric dropped his gun on the table next to the handcuffs. He walked slowly around the table and Caroline's eyes followed his every movement.
Before she could even raise her fists to defend herself, Alaric moved quickly, his fist connecting with the side of her face, sending her head snapping to the side and her to stagger back, hitting the wall. His fist hit her stomach and she raised her knee, hitting him in the stomach. The air left his lungs in a whooshing sound as he took a step back. Caroline's elbow connected with his back as he stood doubled over. Alaric groaned and Caroline grabbed the back of his head, her knee coming up and connecting with his nose. There was a resounding crunch and blood streamed from the now broken bone.
When he regained his stance, he smiled at her, his mouth stained with the blood that gushed from his nose. "I trained you well." He lunged forward once more, but this time she was prepared for him.
Damon Salvatore had never been one for subtlety. That being said, the second Klaus pulled to a stop in front of his hideout, he knew Damon was there. While most 'under the radar' criminals would opt for a sleazy motel, or better yet, cheap house that they could pay for under an alias and would never be traced to them, Damon Salvatore opted for a high end apartment in the center of the city. Hiding in plain sight.
He knew Damon wasn't stupid, he would know something was up when he hadn't heard from either of his partners. He would be ready for Klaus, he always was. Which was one of the main reasons Klaus refused to let Caroline take him on her own. Besides, he would take pleasure in the elder Salvatore's demise. Klaus stepped out of his car, his knife sheathed on his hip, barely covered by his coat. Guns were too quick and he'd always resented when he had to use them. This time though, for Damon, it would be a slow death. And Klaus would relish in every second.
He kicked the door open without a second thought, stepping into Damon's apartment. There wasn't any risk of neighbors, he'd checked beforehand. Damon had rented out the whole floor, which consisted of only his room and the one across the hall.
He pulled his knife out as he walked in. "Damon," Klaus' voice was taunting as he walked into the dark apartment. He could sense the other man there, hiding, preparing to jump out at him no doubt, assuming that Klaus wouldn't be expecting it.
As if on queue, the door slammed shut behind him and Klaus spun around, facing the gun Damon had pointed at him. "Hello Klausy." He grinned. Klaus smirked back, completely unphased by the gun pointed directly at his head. "Nice of you to stop by." Damon stepped out from the shadow of the door, locking the deadbolt without taking his eyes off of Klaus.
"I figured it was about time for me check up on an old friend." Klaus' smirk was humorless, his eyes gleaming as he slowly moved his hand to his knife, pulling it from its sheath. The blade glinted in the moonlight and he watched as Damon's eyes darted to it for a fraction of a second. "I'm sure you know why I'm here."
Damon didn't reply, his arrogant smile slipping from his face slowly. Niklaus Mikaelson never left a victim alive. Well, except for one. But those had been rather...interesting circumstances. When it came to revenge though, there was no one what excelled more than The Hybrid. Klaus looked down at the blade, a smirk curling onto his lips, knife twirling in his hands.
He'd never quite enjoyed a kill like he had enjoyed killing Damon Salvatore. He'd put up a good fight, better than Klaus had anticipated but he'd underestimated one thing. The devil himself couldn't prevail against Niklaus Mikaelson when he was fueled by revenge and rage. Especially when it came to certain blondes with sharp wits and sharper tongues. Klaus wiped the blood from his blade on one of the bathroom towels, smirk long since gone.
Someone would discover the body within a few days. Maybe weeks. But by then this would be over. And when the news of the death of the infamous Damon Salvatore broke, he planned to be far away with his girl. Somewhere quiet, secluded. Where no one but he could even set eyes on her. His fingers itched to pull out his phone, check on her, on his sister-but there would have to be time for that later. Right now he had evidence to dispose of, fingerprints to wipe. Clothing to burn. By the time the cops came to investigate, there would be no trace of him. Well, no trace apart from the knife wounds that had long ago become his signature.
Damon lied on the floor of the bathroom, blood spilling over the stark white tile. It made for quite the scene. The pool of blood slowly spreading with every passing minute. The barely recognizable features of the man who had once sworn he couldn't be killed. An odd sense of pride filled his chest as Klaus looked on. Like he'd done her some sort of favor. Like he'd avenged Caroline in some way. Gloating could come later, pride could come later. For now his body went through the automatic motions, hands running under cool water in the sink, scrubbing away blood that would forever figuratively stain his hands. Doorknobs were wiped, anything else he might have touched cleaned. By the time he slipped out the door and out into the night, there was no sign that Niklaus Mikaelson had ever set foot into that apartment.
Stefan and Rebekah were already there when he pulled up to the rest stop they'd designated as their rendezvous point. Something had been settling in his stomach the entire drive over, the sun just peeking out from the horizon as he climbed out of the car. Something wasn't right. And that feeling only grew stronger when he noticed a suspicious lack of a certain very important person when he approached his sister. Stefan's brows furrowed together slightly and he ducked his head to say something to Rebekah. His sister's eyes found his, worry etched in her expression.
"She hasn't called." There was no need for preamble. They all knew that Caroline should have been there by now. Should have been there well before. If everything had gone off without a hitch that was.
He didn't know how to explain the feeling in his chest. It was as if someone had taken his heart in their hand and squeezed, all the while sucking the air from his lungs. He should have known. He should have bloody well known that this would happen. She was skilled, yes. Smart, undoubtedly. But she wasn't a match for someone who ran with the likes of Damon Salvatore. A low, rumbling growl left him as he pulled out his phone, thumbing through the handful of contacts he had before finding Caroline's name and bringing the phone to his ear.
There was a small click after four rings, and he could almost feel the relief waiting to wash over him. "Sorry, Caroline can't come to the phone right now. She's a bit...indisposed." The voice was familiar. Too familiar and he swore that he'd start having to decapitate his victims because there was no way a dead man was talking to him right now.
"I distinctly remember killing you." Klaus' eyes met Stefan's and he watched as the blond swallowed, eye twitching slightly.
"Yeah. Almost did. Lucky for me I've got friends who have friends that happen to be very cute doctors. Shot me up with some pain medication, stitched me up for the time being." Damon's voice was strained. As if the act of speaking alone pained him. "There's a lot of internal damage. Internal bleeding. I told them I didn't need to live forever. Just long enough to see the look on your face when you see what we do to your pretty little girlfriend."
"Touch one hair on her head Salvatore and I swear on your life-"
Damon laughed, cutting him off. The sound cut off abruptly, interrupted by a short hiss and a few choice swears, and then there was a different voice speaking into his ear. "She's alive. And she can stay that way-for now." Hatred rivaling anything he'd ever felt before burned in his chest. "If you come and end this once and for all."
Klaus swallowed, turning his back on Rebekah and Stefan, fingers curling so tightly around the phone that he was almost afraid that it would break. "I'll be there."
so yeah so ok its been awhile sorry i haven't really had much kc writing inspiration
BUT HERE YOU GO
so okay here's the deal -
- there are two more chapters after this & then an epilogue
- major character death warning stretches on until the end of the last chapter
- i love angst? what can i say
i love you guys, thanks for sticking with me. i'm gonna try to get to writing the next chapter now and hopefully it'll be up sooner than this one was