Rating: twisted fluffy feelings;
Disclaimer: Story. Mine.
Summary: Even after sending that letter to Klaus, Caroline thinks that's not enough. What she really wants is to call him, meet him and properly comfort him, but she doesn't have the self-confidence to ease Klaus's pain. In the end, he calls her.
a/n Context: The Originals post-5x7
Picks up directly from part I - Caroline goes to NOLA and she's got plans to last she and Klaus a lifetime.
"Have you eaten?" she asked, holding out a blood bag, "I have more where that came from".
Klaus smiled. Really, he'll never forget why he loves this woman.
"Well thank you", he told her, taking the blood, "But you know I would rather drink from the source".
Caroline hummed like she heard him but not really paying attention as she looked around the study. The last time she came, the circumstance was different but just as urgent, "Well, beggars have no choosers. You're old enough to know that, aren't you?" she looked at him with a smirk.
Klaus smiled back, already half done with the blood bag, his eyes following her around the room with each drag. Her essence as strong as ever was pulling him in. "Caroline...", he called her in that intense voice of his, "Why did you come here?"
She looked at him appalled. "Is it old age?" her eyebrow raised , "Did you suddenly get amnesia? Or is it something you're trying to get me to say?"
"Did I succeed?" he asked with an amused grin, "Just say it, Caroline. Tell me why you're here looking stunning in my depressed study".
Caroline bit her lower lip, suddenly feeling flirtatious. Perhaps the reason she'd stayed away this long was because she thoroughly enjoyed the chase – the way Klaus always earnestly chased after her. It made her feel alive and important. Klaus always made her feel precious - more precious that she herself could contemplate. "Well, you owe me a tour of one of your favourite places", she mimicked his accent that made Klaus smile so wide she wanted to take his photograph and frame it.
"I'm mourning the loss of Hope's mother and you want me to give you a tour of the French Quarter?"
"So is that a no?" she asked with folded arms, swinging the weight of her body to one side, a daring smile in her eyes and on her lips.
"No", Klaus answered already leading the way, "Definitely not, a no".
And while Klaus tried his best to play the perfect host, this visit certainly wasn't what he had in mind when he invited her all those many times and she knew that. Klaus was sad for Hayley and worried for Hope and the thought that Klaus had changed so much, the thought that the good she saw in him all those years ago was finally shining filled Caroline with so much emotion that she had to take a deep breath.
"Bored already?" he asked, concern in his eyes, "I know you're no good with art but music should be OK, shouldn't it? After all, it's Mardi Gras and any Mardi Gras music is sure to be better than that mediocre 'I'm a creep' rubbish you played last time".
Caroline did laugh. "Your age is showing here", then smiling, biting down on her bottom lip as she watched him smile and again, her heart fluttered as her entire being felt light and happy – that was how she felt whenever in Klaus's company, the way he allowed her to brighten him up even on a dreary day. It was only moments as such that Caroline felt her most confident – it was only when in his company that she felt convinced that perhaps, Klaus did intend to be her forever. And although forever would yet be a little while, she was happy that for a brief moment she could help take his mind off unpleasant things.
"But you have a thing for older men, don't you?" he asked, watching her intently, "You like your men fierce and a little bit older".
"A little bit older?" she asked him with a hearty laugh. "Well whatever makes you feel an ounce younger".
"Oh" he singsong, "So we're talking about me now, I see", a victory smirk on his lips and all the way in his eyes but his smile soon withered away, replaced by earnest worry, "Caroline, I know I said however it takes but will you really give me the chance to show you what the world has to offer?"
And Caroline froze.
Klaus had always been frank with her – so frank about his love for her that she oftentimes found him unbelievable because why would he love her so much? Why would he want to be with her so much? A small town girl like her, what could she really offer a man who's over a thousand years old and who has seen the world and had met royalties – a man who could compel anyone to be his. It's then that she suddenly realised, "Not that I would know if you've actually done it, but why have you never compelled me?"
Klaus looked at her with a raised eyebrow and smirked like he's proud of himself, "Now why would I do that? I already got your confession and I'd already pledged to be your last love. I'm a patient man, Caroline. Look, my virtuous wait is already paying off".
"In what way?"
"Well you're here aren't you? You stepped past my doorstep and came all the way to my balcony to harangue me to show you around", he laughed.
Caroline couldn't help but roll her eyes but followed up with, "So you've never compelled me?"
"I can't ever do that".
"You can't or you won't?"
"I can but I won't".
She smiled as she watched his shy smile– this hybrid king blushing from lips to ears all because of her. "But why can't you?"
"You know why".
"No, I don't".
"Then it's a good thing we have however long it takes", he winked, "We have all the time in the world for you to open up to me", he replied, but his gentle smile soon turned to despair, "Though one day I'm going to leave this place".
And Caroline felt herself gasping.
For reasons she hadn't yet admitted to herself, every time Klaus told her good bye she felt as though, he would go away and she'd never get another chance – for some reason, Klaus's good byes have always frightened her and she hadn't learned how to handle them.
"But you love this place", she answered but what she really wanted to say was, 'And leave me behind?'
"I do. But here you are fulfilling that promise of having me show you around and Hope will be off at the boarding school so there really is no reason to stick around here", he replied, inhaling and taking her hand as though for support. "I love his place but…", he paused and took a long inhale, "Nothing ever goes right when I'm around".
And Caroline know this is where she had to save him, tell him that she's truly looking forward to him showing her what the world had to offer – but she was still insecure and afraid to give in to her deepest desire – still finding it unbelievable that a man of Klaus's stature would be so much enamoured and devoted to her.
"You know, last time in Paris, because of a certain someone, I had no time to go sightseeing".
Klaus looked at her his warmest, "Then how do you suppose we rectify such a mishap?" he asked, with a smile that made Caroline hot and bothered.
So she inhaled and straightened her clothes, "I have a vacation coming up next month".
"And you're telling me this because?"
"Don't be sneaky with me, Klaus", she smiled and simultaneously rolled her eyes at him, "Actually, you know me. I don't just show up without a plan".
"I already made an itinerary for each city".
And Klaus smiled – he grinned actually, "And after this vacation?"
"We wait until the next vacation".
"And after that?"
"We wait again until the next one".
"And when will the waiting stop?"
"When my twins are grown, have graduated from college and can at least do their taxes".
And Klaus laughed – smiled – but then dropped a serious face, "And then you'll love me?"
And Caroline bit her bottom lip, so many things she wanted to say but she knew Klaus was good at retaining and re-quoting every single word she uttered to him so she hummed and wondered how best to say what she wanted to but in the end, all she could come up with was, "For now, on my current vacation, let's to go Mont-Saint-Michel and try that famous omelette".
Klaus laughed and held her hands to which she didn't refuse. In fact, she seemed so relieved and promised that after so many years, he still desired her… he still desired whatever he saw in her.
"I'll take you to all the spots tourists don't go nor know about", her hands still held in his, "Though I don't know why an undead such as yourself would want to go sightseeing at a monastery".
"Why not?", she asked, not letting go of his hand, "It's a world heritage site".
"Of course", Klaus replied with a smile, paused a while then asked, "Caroline, do you care for me?"
"Am here aren't I?"
And her straightforwardness took Klaus by surprise but he then again asked, "Enough to one day spend eternity with me?"
She looked at him, silently at first with her fingers betwixt his before she said, "You intend to be my last, didn't you say?".
And Klaus chuckled, rubbing her arm in a warm gesture in the middle of the festive Mardi Gras, "I'll wait…", his lips whispered in her ear, "However long it takes".
Then one day,
Many years later,
Klaus got a letter with a plane ticket attached.
And with excitement and super speed, he nearly tumbled over his own legs, not even worrying to pack his suitcase. "Freya, Marcellus, Hope, Rebekah, Elijah - the time has come", he announced waving around the letter and plane ticket in his hand, "Caroline is ready".
"Meaning?" Marcel asked, amused.
"Meaning your daddy is off to an adventure of a lifetime".
"Wait, who's Caroline?" Marcel asked.
"Dad's crush for the past thirty-nearly forty years", Hope answered.
Marcel was both amused and surprised, "And where was this miracle woman hiding all this time?"
"In Mystic Falls", Rebekah answered with a smirk, "Go get that happiness, Nik".
"I will, little sister", he smiled, "Hope I—"
"Be happy, dad".
"What's Caroline's number?" Elijah asked.
"Why?" Klaus questioned, already apprehensive.
"I want to ask her where to send the cheque".
"For taking you off my hand", he smiled.
"Don't tease your brother", Klaus showed a goofy smile – the one only thoughts of Caroline defined.
So when Klaus saw Caroline waiting at the departure gate at the airport – waiting for him, he felt as though all his sins were being cleansed. And when she looked up and saw him smile, Klaus released a breath of relief he'd no clue he was holding - and when Caroline laughed and pressed a kiss to his cheek, he really did feel his knees bend weak.
"Still want to do this?" she asked, her essence everything Klaus had always loved.
And so Klaus smiled and took her hand as they went through the departure gate, "I've waited a thousand years for this, Caroline", he said.
"A thousand years?" she looked at him amused, "But I've only known you for half a century".
And Klaus smiled, took her hand and kissed her knuckles and her wrist, "I've lived a thousand small years, Caroline. But this half a century of knowing you had been my highlight".
And Caroline smiled. To think that she came from having no one love her to have having someone wait a half a century and even more unbelievable, promised to spend an eternity with her".
"Figure it out yourself".
But Klaus smiled too for he already knew, "I should be the one thanking you".
"Figure it out yourself".
Caroline rolled her eyes, "I hate you".
"If this is your hate for me then I can't wait to be loved by you", he laughed.
"Stop talking and let's go".
Klaus did follow her, beaming the brightest he'd been since the last time he saw her, "So whatever happened to Little Johnny after his goldfish died and him killing the neighbour's cat?"
Caroline shrugged, "His mother bought him ice-cream,... maybe".
"Did you just make that up?"
She laughed, "Well, the movie didn't expand beyond him digging the hole and the neighbour finding out by him telling what he did".
"Then what ending would you give it?"
Caroline hummed a while then replied, "I'm sure Little Johnny will never forgot his goldfish, but I'm sure as time goes by he'll get another one and protect it better".
Klaus nodded in thought, "Are you saying you'll protect me?"
Caroline furrowed her brows amused, "Since when did you become a goldfish?"
"If that's what it takes to become precious to you, then I'll become anything".
She rolled her eyes at him but she was feeling light and happy. "Well, as of now I'm basically... willingly stuck with you so doesn't that say something?"
And he smiled, feeling floaty and immensely happy playing her words over and over in his head as they seated themselves on the plane. "It says you've gotten yourself a personal tour guide".
And Caroline laughed, "Well there's nothing wrong with killing two birds with one stone".
"So what's the other bird?"
"Stop talking now".
And so Klaus relaxed in his seat, smiling to himself as he took her hand in his again. "Well, I'm a patient guy after all".
"Just…", she passed him a neatly folded paper.
"What's this?" he asked, super beaming, "A love letter?"
"It's the itinerary", she giggled at him, feeling satisfied.
"So no love letter?"
"Just look it over", she rolled her eyes but not without a contented and happy smile.
And while Klaus read over the itinerary of their first of many winter getaways, one hand still held onto Caroline's like he'd no intention of letting her go—
He too, would otherwise think it was all a dream.
~ a goldfish story
klaus x caroline