Rating: twisted fluffy feelings; romance
The Vampire Diairies x The Originals
Disclaimer: Story. Mine.
Summary: "Who was it that said time heals all wounds?" It was Caroline's question asked from the window of Elena's office. Prompted by TO 5x13: Caroline's life through the years waiting for Klaus though not knowing if he's dead or alive— he simply kissed her then disappeared when she couldn't follow through with her goodbye.
“Who was it that said time heals all wounds?”
It was Caroline’s question asked from the window of Elena’s office.
Elena flips a page in her appointment book and without looking up, answers, “Well, if it didn’t then my practice would be in trouble”.
A smile drags across Caroline’s face. She’s still looking outside at the trees that are already turning pale as autumn draws near to Mystic Falls. Inhaling and wrapping her arms around her, she further leans against the window and mutters, “But even you know not all pain heals”.
And that’s when Elena looks up from her appointment book with concern in her eyes, “Care, are you not feeling well?”
Caroline doesn’t turn around – feeling unwell is one way of putting it but also, feeling incomplete and restless… unloved and unwanted – bitter and resentful – like a pendulum out of balance, her feelings come in pairs and they always seem at battle.
That day in New Orleans – that day with Klaus, Caroline will never forget.
She went there bold and confident to give a last smile and a last kiss and then she’d planned to walk away and that would’ve ended her story that she always thought was a special sort of fairy tale. But once she got up to leave and felt his eyes on her and heard his heartbeat drumming like a hummingbird, before her mind could catch up with what her heart was thinking, in swift breeze she swoosh past tables and grabbed him and just as swiftly swooshed to the Abattoir, pinned him to his bed, cupped his face and kissed away the tears about to trickle from his eyes.
Klaus did return the hug – though looking at her confused, he hugged her very tightly around the waist and at the same time, feeling relieved and grateful. Caroline was still on top of him caressing his face and gently patting his hair and just when his mouth motioned to speak, she leaned down and silenced him with a kiss – a kiss that was full and wholesome - a kiss that was sorrowful and regretful – a kiss that was so much and yet not enough – a kiss that said hello and didn’t ever want to say goodbye.
In a whispered muffled sound of shared yet intimate tears, they held each other until morning came and Caroline woke up to a handwritten note from Klaus;
“Thank you, Caroline”.
Caroline sighs, stands up and grabs her bag and without looking at Elena, replies, “I’m a vampire. I don’t get sick”.
Elena doesn’t stop her, because she too knows that not every pain can be remedied.
Turn a blind eye and time continues to pass in her usual indiscriminating silence.
“Sometimes, I feel him right behind me”, Caroline tells Bonnie one day, “And he would have this cocky smile that rubs me in all the wrong yet right ways”.
Bonnie sighs, “Stefan?” she more states than asks, stuffing more clothes in her bag - this isn’t her favourite topic.
“No”, Caroline replies in a murmur, shifting her weight to her other foot, watching Bonnie’s face for a reaction as she says, “—Klaus”.
Bonnie arches an eyebrow and nods, her eyes somewhat unreadable.
“That you love Klaus? No”, Bonnie snickers, nodding to herself again, “The surprise is that you finally admitted it out loud”.
“Was it that obvious?” Caroline asks, her eyes wide with shock.
Bonnie furrows her eyebrows again and smirks, “So obvious that even a blind man saw it”.
And at that, a genuine smile creeps up to the crinkles of Caroline eyes, “And you don’t think I’m a terrible person?”
“For falling in love?” Bonnie turns to her with a shake of her head and it all feels so right, like years before when all they had to worry about was which boy to take to the town dance. But then seriousness clouds Bonnie’s face, “What’s terrible is that feeling of having the one you love taken away— knowing there was nothing you could've done to save him”.
It’s been years and Caroline still doesn’t know how to approach this topic with Bonnie. But she’d always hoped that one day following those years when they’ve all grown accepting of their past and its circumstances that they could somewhat talk about this matter. So she swallows, leans against the wall and hesitantly asks, “Do you think one day it will heal? The pain of losing Enzo?”
Bonnie takes a deep breath, closes her window and zips her bag closed, “It’s been nearly thirty years and I’m still trying to outrun the memory and the pain”, she replies, sadness staining her face, “I don’t think it will ever get better Caroline. And thinking about it now, you’re probably the saddest of us all, so you better brace yourself and get used to a very long life without him. Sorry, Care”.
Caroline nods and follows Bonnie to her car. It’s not like she doesn’t already know all that but hearing it out loud puts a rough squeeze on her heart. “How long will you be away this time?”
Bonnie shrugs, “When I run out of gas”.
They hug and say goodbye and as Caroline notes, as the years and decades pass, that’s the only constant in her life— goodbyes, goodbyes and more goodbyes.
Just like with Klaus.
She did go look for him, though.
She strutted through the old streets of Europe and trekked through the forests in South America but he was nowhere to be found— not even a trace to tell her he’s still in this world and that she could still hope. It was like life gave her everything and yet left her with nothing because over time she bit by bit came to accept that he went and did it – Klaus left her in bed dreaming of at least one last glance of him, one last moment with him— but more and more every day, it’s starting to feel as though he really did shut himself up in some abandoned place and slowly killed himself – leaving her nothing but the ghost of his memory and a menacing fade of a future that could've been.
While watching Bonnie’s car drive away, she glimpses Matt passing on the other side of the road and so hops across the lawn passing the bench dedicated to him. Misery likes company.
“Hey Sheriff”, she greets him, her face bursting into a smile.
“Headmistress Forbes”, he smiles back in his same pleasantness of childhood friends but Caroline also notes that it’s not just Elena or Bonnie but even Matt has wrinkles around his eyes and along his cheeks, serving as an unwanted reminder that one day, even these melancholy greetings will cease and then she’ll utterly be left alone.
But for now she clings to how easily they fall into each other’s company. It’s her only solace— these unguarded meetings bring a string of nostalgia of a time when they were young and restless and lived through it all to tell the tale.
“Shouldn’t you be disciplining those unruly supernatural kids?”
“I’m on a break”, she laughs, walking beside him, “Besides, Alaric has everything under control”.
“I’m sure he does but are you so bored that you’re just strolling through town?”
“No”, she rolls her eyes but it’s playful, “Actually, I just saw Bonnie off”.
“Again?” Matt asks with crinkled brows and a voice of surprise, “She just came back, didn’t she?” But after a lingering thought he adds, “But, I guess it never does heal”.
Caroline nods, quickly remembering Matt’s own ordeal but remains hesitant in following up, knowing how much Matt likes to put up boundaries and who more than anyone, keeps everything in. She inhales, mentally acknowledging that time might indeed not heal everything but it should heal some of it, right? So she asks, “Does it get better with Penny?”
Matt makes a thinking sound then bitterly smiles, “Caroline, do you ever think we’re so cursed that whoever gets involved with us inevitably ends up dead?”
Caught off guard, Caroline nods in thought, thinking how best to answer because the truth is, that thought did cross her mind— like how so many things in her life are connected to Klaus— it’s like, even if they were to be thrown in a maze with multiple starting points and exits, it always felt as though they still would’ve ended up crossing paths— like two stars set aligned in the sky.
Yes, sometimes she does think about it.
She thinks that perhaps if she never did sought Klaus that time in France then perhaps he would still be his uppity self somewhere in the world. But at the same time, it’s because she found him why she now knows she loves him surely and unapologetically— but none of that changes the result nor answers Matt’s question.
So broken and lost for words she just dimly smiles at him, and Matt understands.
Another decade passes and she’s watching Lizzie walk down the aisle. The place is decorated with white roses and light blue satin cloth blowing in the wind.
Just like at Josie’s wedding, Caroline remembers her marriage to Stefan.
She remembers how he married her then went to die an hour later for the women he truly loved.
Caroline isn’t bitter.
Sure, she’s sad and upset but never bitter because deep down she'd always known she was second or third best— well, to everyone except to Klaus. She was always his first.
But in the end, he left her too.
In this same aimless pendulum, the years trickle and trickle and then what she’d always feared comes to pass.
She starts attending funeral after funeral.
First it’s Alaric’s.
Then a decade later, it’s Damon’s— and her heart aches watching Elena’s tears splash on his grave.
Then a few autumns later, it’s her tears falling on Elena’s grave.
And as though following Elena, Matt too, is soon buried six feet under.
Bonnie never returns home but if the decades are anything to go by, she can make a guess— but one thing is for sure, Caroline accepts she was truly born to be left alone.
Sighing and reflecting, feeling lost and worried, Caroline rests a bouquet of flowers on her mother’s grave. She’s finally decided to leave Mystic Falls for good – and then she won’t have to pretend to look older or stay out of sight so as not to alert the town’s people of her unnatural youth.
So she leaves the school with Lizzie and Josie in charge, gets in her car with some Radiohead oldies but goodies on the stereo and drives towards the town border.
But when she gets to the fork in the road just outside, Caroline realises that she still hasn’t decided where she’ll go – she knows she has to leave but hasn’t planned a destination and so she gets out of the car, sits on the bonnet and watches where the autumn wind is blowing – searching for a clue.
And that’s when she hears the whispering amongst the trees.
Whistles that are loud and excited like the chanting of bells at a long awaited celebration at the meeting of fate.
Charmed and confused, she turns around and suddenly gasps with her heart in her mouth, her entire existence doing a somersault when she hears,
With eyes wide open and with stuttered breath and tears prepping themselves at the brim of her eyes Caroline whispers, “Klaus—“.
She has gotten so used to sadness that now, she isn’t sure if her tears are of happiness or of nostalgia, or of regret and hopefulness but her almost empty heart is aching with something full and appeasing.
“Even your tears fall like diamonds”, Klaus steps forward and wipes her eyes, smiling at her the longing way only he could, his eyes on her are like a starry way letting her know that no amount of time could damper his bountiful affection for her – not with the way his heart and his eyes and his entire being pours out a raging and pristine love for her and her alone.
And she’s just standing there, looking at him long and proper and in full, caressing his face and rubbing his nape as though checking to see if he’s indeed real or has she finally reached her limit at containing how much she loves and misses him in all his entirety. She swallows, looks him frank in the eyes and whispers, “I thought you were—“
“Dead?” Klaus smirks, arching a teasing eyebrow but then warmly smiles, taking her by the shoulder and leaning in to touch their foreheads like a wolf admiring a butterfly.
“Yes— or even that you too had left me”.
And Klaus smiles a bit broader, rubs his nose against hers before pulling back and is looking at her with those same eyes that gift her with nothing but affection - soft and ethereal like he truly believed Caroline hung the moon and is the source of all light all through the universe. “Nothing can make me leave you, Caroline. You know that”.
But Caroline is shaking her head, still in disbelief and swallowing back whatever tears she could, “But how are you here?”
“A few buses and trains, airplanes too”, he jokes but then his face levels into a smile as he takes her hand in his, the way he did those times they’d slow danced— and pressing his cheek against hers, he whispers, “Thankfully, I didn’t need to skinny dip in some lava but I did find a few ancient parts of cities and spent all these decades— deciphering a few forgotten languages until I concocted the cure that would take me back to you”.
All this time, Caroline is holding her breath, feeling too overwhelmed to gather her thoughts to say anything, so she just looks him full in the eyes and takes both his hands, once again inspecting them before then roping a hug around his neck and with her breath still held she asks, “Are you really here?”
The wind in the trees continue to chime and Klaus's smile is soft as he leans down and in an achingly grateful whisper against her heart he answers, “I can’t believe it myself”.
And Caroline exhales, finally - in a loud blow of air, relieved though still grappling to grasp her change of fate— because, just as she’s about to give up on her fairy tale, her prince came back to her from the brink of death. “But why now?” she asks, still looking at him, “I was just about to leave. What made you think I’d still be waiting?”
And Klaus simply smiles, “Because I promised to be your last love”, and he's looking at her with the same confidence he had that night he'd told her he would love her forever, “And also", he brushes his lips against hers, "Because you said you’d never forget me. Caroline, before I met you, I thought things such as fate and soulmates were rubbish, total gibberish and yes, things didn’t go as planned but I’m sure I love you even more than I know I do and I know I love you a whole bloody lot”.
And Caroline smiles, then laughs, “I can’t believe you just said the word soulmates", she holds him tight, "And I also can’t believe I’m actually going to say this out loud but Klaus Mikaelson, I’ve always loved you – a lot more than even I knew”.
“I know”, Klaus laughs wide and full like the whistling of trees.
Caroline doesn't object.
Instead, she guides his lips to hers and whispers— finally.
the butterfly who waited
klaus x caroline