Rating: twisted feelings;
Disclaimer: Story. Mine.
Summary: Sometimes, Caroline thinks Klaus is cursed to have fallen in love with her. But it's as they say; one man's curse is another man's blessing. And so as soon as Alaric returned to Mystic Falls from New Orleans, she tries her subtle best to find out if Klaus still feels love for her, because finally, after years - she has found the right answer.
As soon as Alaric steps through the boarding school’s office door Caroline asks, “So, how was New Orleans?”
Dropping his bag on the floor Alaric sighs as he answers, “somewhere I wish to stay far away from”.
Closing her Chicken Soup for the Soul book she’s replies with, “It can’t be that bad”.
“Trust me, it was”.
She gives him time to loosen his shoulders from the long journey before casually asking, “So…” then stopping, fiddling with the book and flipping through random pages pretending to be reading, “Did you see Klaus?”
“I did. Angry and overbearing as always”.
“And did you talk?”
The thing with Caroline is, even when she’s trying to be subtle, she also tries not to be - like how, though her voice is steady with nonchalance, there’s a loud urgency in her long calculating pauses and also the cadence in which she asks her questions and how the look in her eyes screams for her to be told the answer without her having to ask the question.
Alaric seems to understand her dilemma.
“I told him to send Hope to our school”.
Slowly closing the magazine she carefully asks, “And?”
“And nothing. I left him with an open invitation”.
Caroline relaxes in her chair once more, “I see”. Clearly disappointed. Clearly wanted to hear more.
Alaric knowing her history with Klaus finds entertainment in her behaviour – watching her biting down on her lower lip as if begging herself to resist her own temptation – she knows she shouldn’t ask; partly because she’s afraid of the answer. With time came her growth, her maturity and reflection about who she is and who she wants to be and through that, Caroline has finally recognised the kind of love she wants. Not the boy meets girl sort of love, but a love that was bold enough to have promised her eternity at a time when all odds were against him – a love that only one man was bold enough to have promised her and meant it. Klaus.
“Did he…”. Then words fail her. There’s no subtle way to asking the one question she has tried her best to answer herself. After all, what man would still keep a promise made at a high school graduation? In all her experience, what man would honestly wait on her and only her after all these years?
“Did he… you know… did he…”
“Ask about you?” Alaric finishes, stunning Caroline into a confused blush. “No. He didn’t ask for you”.
A tightness grips Caroline’s heart.
But then again, how could heartbreak be possible without her first giving into love?
But it nonetheless pains.
Especially now that she sometimes finds herself reflecting on her past relationships; the abusive one, the incomplete one, the convenient one, all the ones in which she was always the lesser or least priority.
Rejections that all the more caused her to dream of that one single love that would redeem them all - a sincere love that would love her inside out and more than any fairy tale prince had ever loved – reflections that all give her the same answer. Klaus.
Only Klaus can love Caroline the way she deserves.
Karma is a bitch.
She has wasted so many years rejecting Klaus.
Wasted all that life running from the very man who wished nothing more than to save her and complete her and paint her dreams of being exquisitely and exclusively loved - into reality.
“But he did send his regard”, a quiet smile on Alaric’s lips as he says so, holding out an envelope to her.
Caroline’s heart finds life again, relief evident in the slow unfolding of her wrinkled forehead and the curving of her lips into a sweet looking forward to smile.
Sometimes, Caroline tells herself she needs to be punished.
Sometimes, she tells herself she’s undeserving of the selfless love and raw passion and devotion with which Klaus loves her still.
Sometimes, Caroline thinks Klaus is cursed to have fallen in love with her.
But it’s as they say; one man’s curse is another man’s blessing.
She had taken her time. Like an experiment of trials with plenty of errors, it’d taken her years of painful wrong loves before she’s now finally able to make no mistake about exactly what and who she wants – and what she wants is to bravely and honestly meet Klaus and taste his lips once more – and every day thereafter.
As she reads the letter, Alaric is intrigued with the way she’s smiling – a smile he’d never seen on her before – like a lover from far away had sent word, promising her his return and full company.
And so, next time their passion won’t be a confession of inquisitiveness and a pinky swear to ignore the grand elephant in the room, like they’d dishonestly done in the woods.
The next time Caroline meets Klaus, he’ll get not just her confession, but her whole heart too.
And then they’ll be happy.
~ the right answer
klaus x caroline