Chapter 1: Chapter One
This is super AU, but has some canon moments. Basically, I picked what I wanted and went with it. Hope you enjoy!
He is five when he first asks his mother about the mark that rests on his skin. She tells him it marks him for another, and then tucks him into bed with no further explanation.
When he is older, and able to read the markings in his mother’s grimoire he learns more.
The marks do mark them for another, another person, another soul in this world. A soulmate, he thinks, and scoffs.
Because he is a boy, and soulmates are silly and ridiculous, and what need does he have for one of those.
His own Mother and Father do not share a mark, although, he doesn’t find this out until his father is dead.
His Mothers mark is a tooth, his sisters an arrow, Finn’s a flower petal, Elijah’s a scroll, Kol’s an intricate star, Henrik’s a leaf. Rebekah day dreams about meeting her marked, but her brothers scoff at her, silly girl dreams for a silly girl.
But when his father shouts and rages and hits, he whispers secrets to his skin, sharing his dreams and his pain, tells it all the things he wishes he could tell another.
As he approaches manhood, he forgets about this little mark, the feather that sits tucked into his elbow, because he has found a love, in Tatia, and what need does he have for another.
He no longer shares his secrets with his mark, instead he shares them into long dark hair, a pale neck, small hands. He ignores the mark that sits under his lover’s hair.
The day he dies, he feels the little mark shiver and pulse, but then he is no more.
But when he wakes with a clawing hunger in his veins, and a monster that sits too close to the surface, he forgets all about the little black mark etched into his elbow, and barely thinks of it until one day, hundreds of years into his eternity, it pulses.
The day she is born, there is a stark black mark on their baby girls skin. And they worry about the day they will have to give their baby girl away to another.
“Mommy, what does this mean?” The little girl strokes her fingers across her mother’s mark, two interlacing circles. Her mother sighs down at the little five-year-old in her pink princess bed.
“I’ll tell you when you’re older, now go to sleep”.
When she is a little older, she and Elena and Bonnie ask Grams, and she tells them a story of soul mates and pulling feelings and a bone deep knowing. Tells them everything she can about their marks, a feather on her hip for her, a pen along a rib for Elena and a poesy for Bonnie, that rests behind her ear.
She likes the idea, of another person meant solely for her, someone who will love only her, and she tells her mother this.
But her mother has been duped by the circles on her skin, has never found their match, and been broken by it. So, she tells her girl to make her own destiny, to forget about her mark.
When she talks to her father over the phone, he tells her not to forget who she is, that she cannot be held back by a little marking on her skin, that she must live her own life. Her father tells her that just because she has a mark, doesn’t mean that life will agree, that she must make sure she is happy.
He doesn’t tell her he has found his marked in someone other than her mother, doesn’t say that he has been lucky enough to be loved for the mark, and despite it.
Instead, she whispers secrets to hers in the dark, and watches as her mother wastes her life away working.
Elena writes to her marked, these long and rambling letters that she will not share. She starts them when boys stop having cooties, and stops the day she meets Stefan Salvatore.
Bonnie doesn’t have to wait to find her marked, as she has watched him grow up, she and Jeremy tell her how nice it is, to have another. To feel whole and comfort and warmth, and she feels the mark pulse, but she can’t tell if it’s just her heart beat or longing that causes it.
Instead, she distracts herself, lets herself forget about the mark, because damn it, she is Caroline Forbes and she refuses to let some little feather tell her how to feel.
Damon makes her feel powerful, and then so so small. She never sees his mark, or, she realises later, she did and he made her forget. Just like everything else.
The day she sees Matts mark is also the day she dies.
In that little hospital room, the girl that looks like her best friend, holds a pillow over her face until she is dead.
Her new life starts with a heaving gasp, and is all blood and hunger and a deep yearning that she feels in her bones. Because now she has no heartbeat, and a monster that claws its way from the inside out.
The day his mark came to life, he was drinking, toasting a victory that most would abhor, when he feels it, Her.
The magic wakens on his skin, dancing across the feather in a burn, a steady beat and a hot hot heat.
The glass shatters, his grip too tight in surprise, and his fist drips glass and scotch and blood. He thinks about the poor creature that will share his mark for eternity, for a moment, feels almost sorry for her. Then, as quick as the feeling came, it left, leaving him with plans and plans and an empty feeling between his ribs.
And now, almost two decades later, he feels a rip, something pulled from a place he has never thought about, a deep yawning cavern has opened in his chest, and he can hardly breath with the pain. His eyes blur and he fights to keep his knees strong. He fails, and sinks to the ground, a groan on his lips, fingers digging into carpet.
There is no way to explain the feeling of loss, this dizzy searing pain that starts in his left elbow and ends in his chest, but it doesn’t end. And he knows, right down deep in his soul, it’s her.
He isn’t sure how long her curls in on himself, lying there on the floor, pain stealing his breath.
It could be minutes, or hours, or even days. But one minute the pain is there, and then it’s gone. Just like it was never there. He can still feel the little pulse of his mark, the odd fluttering of magic, older than he is, across his skin, and his relief is ridiculous, because he can still feel her.
It is in that moment that he first realises how very deep she runs through his veins. He had thought he could live without her, he had, after all, made it this far.
He had thought that he could do without her, this weakness that he craves, has been craving for a thousand years.
It turns out, he cannot.
She throws Damon through a wall when she sees him and remembers, remembers the feeling of being small and afraid and weak. But the feeling of strength makes her so happy, she laughs and it feels like a sunshine fire of victory through her veins.
This new life she has woken up to isn’t all bad, she can still walk in the sun, although she hates her daylight ring. Does it have to be so ugly, Bonnie?
And she’s strong now, fast. But forever seventeen, but she won’t age, will forever wear this face of her in-between year.
But, she is lying to her mother, and to Matt. Sweet Matt who knows her moods better than she knows them herself sometimes.
She wakes in the middle of the night, its early on Tuesday morning, and she can feel her feather burning across the curve of her hip bone, and she can feel. Something. She’s never felt this before, has never felt the jump of her mark, but realises it must be him.
Which, really, is inconvenient right now. She is trying to deal with Elena being caught up in the continuing saga of the doppelgänger (insert eye roll), and her mother and Matt being compelled to forget about what she is now, and she has so much homework it’s not even funny, not to mention this dance, and she’s too busy for him to show up now.
(These things don’t stop her from stroking along the lines of her mark, whispering into the dark.)
On Thursday, she gets called to the boarding house for a pow-wow about their plan for the dance. She leaves school with Elena, who talks about how weird Ric has been today, but she doesn’t listen, not really. She hopes that she will still have time to pick up her costume, if not she thinks she might have enough time to do it after school tomorrow. She just nods in the right places, and Elena never even notices, but this is hardly something new is it.
She barely thinks of the mark and its new movements. (It’s a lie, she can’t stop thinking of it.)
Stefan offers her bourbon and they sit drinking in silence for the longest time, they watch as Damon and Alaric make plans to take down this newest evil.
“What does it feel like?” She asks after Elena has taken Jeremy home for the night, her mother won’t be home tonight, and she’s reluctant to be in the house on her own.
Stefan lolls his head against the back of his armchair to look at her, even Damon pauses in his pacing to stare at them, Alaric removes the hand he has thrown over his face, lying on the couch opposite hers.
“What are you talking about Blondie?”
“Your marks, what do they feel like?” She stares at the ceiling, feeling her own mark pulse as if it can hear her, has been doing this for most of the day, it’s almost a heartbeat across her hip, but too slow, even slower than her own dead vampire heartbeat.
Damon finishes his glass, tops it up and sits heavily next to her on the couch, the decanter tangling from his fingertips, topping up her glass.
“I felt it when she was born,” Stefan says slowly, “at the exact moment her heart came to life, it moved.” He sounds unsure, like even after all this time he doesn’t know what has happened.
“I saw her once you know,” the silence has stretched on for what feels like hours. And she knows that they’re all a little drunk, can feel the spinning in her head.
“She was two I think, I saw her and it felt like fire on my neck” he gestures to the mark that sits along the back of his neck. He shrugs, “I knew then for sure, but she was still young.” He stops, drinking deeply.
“Mine has never done anything since the day I found out what they were” Damon confesses quietly, his fingers reflexively touching a spot on his sternum. He drains his glass again, and doesn’t say another word.
“Mine burnt the other night, I can still fell it,” she pauses, watches as Alaric sits up, and Stefan’s eyes have closed.
“It’s never done that before” Damon is frowning and Alaric has a knowing look on his face, she hopes its because he’s going to explain it to her.
“Well, generally,” he starts in his patented teacher voice, “Its either when they’re born, or when they come into proximity. A way of finding each other,”
Stefan agrees, and she drinks the last of her bourbon, shaking the glass at Damon for a refill.
“What does it feel like now?” she takes a deep breath, drinking a little more, tries to think of a way to explain the feeling across her hip.
“Almost like a heartbeat, a pulse, but too slow, slower than mine, even slower than theirs,” she waves her glass at the brothers, slopping a little liquid over the sides.
“And what exactly is your mark?” Alaric has never asked her this before, and Damon cuts in before she has time to answer, supressed jealously in his voice.
“It’s a feather”
He feels it, her, as they get closer to the small, sleepy town of Mystic Falls, where Elijah and Finn await their siblings.
He’s glad that Kol and Rebekah have stayed away while their older siblings work to break his curse. He doesn’t want to share her with anyone.
He can feel the heat growing in the mark, can feel that she is closer than ever before, and he almost laughs, because of course she would be in this horrible place, where he would never willingly return to.
He settles into the house that Finn and Elijah have set up, and leaves, wandering into the night, appearing aimless, but following the heat of the mark in his elbow. He finds it, and stands in shadow outside her house and hears her strange vampire heartbeat, in sync with the fluttering across his skin, hears her whisper apologies into the still night.
He debates spiriting her out of her window, but he can’t get inside the house, he has time enough, they aren’t leaving just yet. He has waited a thousand years, he can wait a few more days.
He has plans after all, and one baby vampire, marked with his mark or not, is not going to interfere.
As planned, he borrows the history teachers body, observes his doppelgänger, her friends, her boyfriend.
He goes to a silly meeting, a pow wow, the blond called it, and they think of ways to take him down, actual him, not the tame history teacher version of him. Throws them off with some suggestions he knows won’t kill him, learns more about their little rag tag group. The two Salvatore brothers, a new witch (Bennett or not), the doppelgänger the baby vampire and the vampire hunter history teacher.
They’re drinking, an admirable past time for sure, when the blond, (he hasn’t bothered to learn her name, she will most likely be dead in a few days) asks,
“What does it feel like?” from the sound of her voice, she’s a little drunk, but the Salvatore brothers indulge her.
His interest is piqued when she mentions her mark burned the other night, when he had first arrived in town, just as his had.
“And what does it feel like now?” had he been in his own body, he might have called her love.
She’s silent for a moment, he tracks the movement of her tongue as it swipes a drop of bourbon from her lip.
“Almost like a heartbeat, a pulse, but slow, slower than mine, even slower than theirs” an ancient heartbeat, he supplies in his head.
“And what exactly is your mark?” he almost dreads to hear the answer, but it comes from Damon instead of her.
“It’s a feather”
Chapter 2: Chapter Two
Another instalment! Still AU, hopefully it makes sense. Enjoy, and leave a review!
Her name is Caroline. Caroline.
It echoes in his skull, bouncing off the bone, leaving a sunshine taste in his mouth and an ache between his ribs.
It’s worse now that he’s in his own body again, the feather tucked into his elbow holds a heat that makes him itch all over, his skin stretched too tight across his skeleton.
He wonders if she feels like this, this horrible longing that settles in lungs and pulls his mind.
It hadn’t been so bad before, before he had seen her, had her so so close, had smelt the apricot on her hair, the vanilla of her skin.
He feels sick with want, and he hates it, this feeling of being out of control of his own skin, his feet want to find her, his fingers itch to run across her feather, did it feel the same on her skin as it did his, would she shiver, goose bumps rising in his fingers wake?
He wondered where her skin was marked with his mark, after seeing her at the Salvatore boarding house that night, he knew where it wasn’t.
Had it always been like this, this intense sort of longing that made his skin ache, and his thoughts run away from him, he didn’t think so, a thousand years of this feeling and surely, he would have gone mad long before now.
He sits outside her window again that night, listening to her toss and turn and sigh, listens to the tears that fall onto her pillow. He wonders what has put those tears there, what dreams plague her.
When she leaves the dance that night, Elena is mindless with worry, clinging to Stefan like a spider monkey she had seen on national geographic.
Gives no thought to the aching burn that her feather gives later that night, stronger than before, (it’s a lie, she can barely stop thinking about it).
She forgets about it when Bonnie calls to tell her that Alaric has been body snatched by Klaus, the old as dirt vampire, but has since been released.
“That creep, although we were at the boarding house with him all night and he didn’t kill us or take Elena” she tells Bonnie, and wonders how they’re still alive, this guy is supposed to be a feared serial killer isn’t he?
When she eventually falls into bed, thankful that as a vampire could technically stay awake all night and still be fine, she whispers her secrets into the darkness for her mark, that she has made it through another day alive, another day closer to finding the other half of her mark, that steady slow beating across her hip soothing her into a restless sleep.
Her dreams are filled with a yawning chasm of pain and longing that she recognises, a wanting that sits like a bubble in her lungs, making breathing impossible, and she wakes with the sheets tangled around her feet, hair a nest and inexplicable tears running down her cheeks.
Leaving without her, Caroline, is no longer an option. But to woo or to take? He could use soft words and gentle touches and flowers and gifts. Or, he could take her, snap her neck and have her on a flight to the opposite side of the world in an under an hour.
He has a jet on standby and a long velvet box on his desk.
A bouquet of flowers turns up on her door step. She doesn’t know what some of the flowers are, but there are dark orange poppies with dark centres, little wax flowers and pale pink ranunculus.
A little white card is tucked into the petals, her name on one side, and one dark word on the other.
A sweep of the street shows nothing amiss, nothing that shouldn’t be there, the neighbours of her sleepy town doing the same things they have been doing her whole life.
As she turns taking the flowers inside, she notices a feather, tucked into the centre of the flowers, a near identical copy of the one that curves across her hip.
He watches as her lip curls in surprise and delight, watches the sunshine hair and the fingers that touch along the tips of the petals, the shock that plays across her face when she sees the feather, and a feeling blooms in his stomach.
A deep delight that unfurls through his veins, and he debates whisking her away now.
He dreams that night, the first time in a long time, of crushing darkness and sunshine fingers that trip along the feather in his elbow, a deep loneliness echoes through his bones, settling in the marrow.
He wakes even more confused and determined, and cancels the jet.
Tyler’s mother is in hospital on the day of the full moon, falling down the stairs (after one too many martinis, she thinks) and hopes that he has the good sense to stay away. Klaus is doing his ritual tonight, and it’s better for everyone if they’re all far far away when that happens.
Of course, Tyler doesn’t listen, as usual, and they end up in a cellar chained to the walls as her brain repairs itself.
With his arms chained, she can see his funny little half-moon mark, and thinks of the flowers she received that morning, and how easily it has all slipped away. Because she’s going to die, without ever meeting the other half of her, and she’s only seventeen. All the things she had wanted to see, swept away, because some megalomaniac was about to use her blood to break a thousand-year-old curse.
“This is it then?’ Tyler croaks as she comes to, can taste her own blood in the back of her throat, can smell his where it is matting his hair at the back of his skull.
“I guess,” her voice is so small, and it makes her think back to when Damon made her feel small and weak and insignificant.
But she isn’t small or weak or insignificant any longer.
Think, Caroline, she hears Stefan’s voice in her head, those vampire lessons in the woods taught to her what feels like an age ago. What can you hear, smell, feel?
She can feel her fear licking across her skin, can feel Tyler’s from the other side of the room.
She can smell the blood in the room, the metal taste of the chains around her wrists, the leather of Tyler’s jacket, a bite of cologne, the witches that put them here.
Can hear Tyler’s loud heartbeat thumping away, the wet sound of his blood in his veins. The rustle of leaves against jeans when he shifts, the chains clinking together around skin. The sound of the wind as it blows through the gaps in the stones of the cellar they’re in, the way it brushes against the leaves of the trees outside. And the crunching of footsteps, a man’s heavy tread over dirt and crunching leaves and stones and steps-
And can see him as he ducks a dark blond head through the cellars doorway, all lean lines and dark clothes and danger.
“Let us go you psycho” she can’t help but pull against her chains, yelling as he-Klaus- walks closer to her, inspecting the chains around her wrists.
And she can’t help but think that he doesn’t look like a crazed murderous vampire. In fact, he looks the opposite. His hair curls around his ears, and his smile is edged with dimples, his eyes are so blue, and their gaze is intense as he crouches to meet her eyes.
And her mark is burning so hot against her hip, she can see his fingers flex and bunch and she can feel her skin itch and thinks she feels her fingers twitch. She thinks she might hyperventilate. Can vampires do that?
Because it’s him.
“Get away from her” the wolf boy is yelling, but he can’t look away from her, from Caroline.
Her eyes have a note of recognition, a fear as she no doubt feels her mark ignite with magic as his does.
He wants to touch her, smooth his fingers along her cheekbone, place curls behind her ears, wants to fit her along the lines of his skin, wants her smell all mixed up with his until they can’t tell the difference.
The feeling of possessiveness rocks him, he didn’t think it would be this intense, this shaking.
His mark burns and he almost expects to his shirt to burn up.
Her fingers are flexing, making the chains shift and clink and he almost feels bad that the ruse must be kept up, of course, these two aren’t his sacrifice, rather, a red herring, something to keep the others busy while he prepares his actual sacrifices.
“Sorry mate” he says, standing and shifting so that Caroline is blocked from the other wolf’s view, she is his and he does not share.
He tries to ignore the pull to her.
“No can do. Rituals to be done, you, will be staying right here” he is mocking, and can smell their fear in the small cellar, can hear the wolf’s heart trying to beat its way out of his chest, can almost feel her sharp breath, as she breathes too quickly.
He will have to get her out of here before the moon rises.
“Sit tight, then. I’ll see you in a few hours” it hurts to walk away then, his every instinct is to turn around, pull those chains away, to pull her into him until they’re one person, their breath mingling, their heartbeats synced and their skin wearing the scent of the other.
But he walks away, not breathing, pretending her doesn’t want to taste her skin, doesn’t want to breathe her in, doesn’t want to trace his fingers along the blueish veins on her arm, doesn’t want to crush her into his chest and never let go.
Fortunately, he’s an excellent liar.
“Are you ok, Care?” Tyler rasps as he leaves, and she can barely nod, let alone get a word out.
She can still feel her mark burning, and she’s surprised there isn’t a feather shaped burn in her jeans. She closes her eyes and leans back against the rough stone wall, forcing her breath to calm down, its erratic and jumping around in her lungs, too fast and rushed and short.
Her skin feels like it might jump off her bones, it’s too tight.
Her body feels like it belongs to someone else, but not in the way her monster makes it feel, she wants to dig into his skin, to push herself into his bones until she is an imprint he can’t escape, wants to mingle their breath and twine her fingers in his hair.
She can hear the chains as they rattle with her shaking hands.
“I’m fine” she says after a moment, clearing her throat and trying to gain control over herself. She tries to quell the bubble in her sternum that’s making it hard to breath, the tightness in her lungs, her fingers won’t stop twitching, even when her hands settle against the wall.
Tyler is talking to her, but she can’t focus on the words he’s saying, it all sounds like gibberish in her ears.
Its nearing dark when another set of footsteps near the cellar, not his, she remembers their sound.
It’s a woman, with those graceful steps that come with age, having lived in your body for a long long time, she has a shock of red hair, and a kind face, and she completely ignores Tyler.
“Caroline?” her voice is quiet, meant to calm and gain trust, and she moves to crouch in front of the blond the same way he did.
“I know it’s disorientating, sweetheart but I need you to calm down” her voice is even, and manages to break through her haze of longing and fear and crushing darkness as he gets further away from her.
Her name is Sage, she tells her, and she’s here to help, but she needs to calm down before she can get her out of the chains, that she isn’t here to hurt her, can she please breathe, in and out.
It takes a few minutes, but eventually she can breathe through the bubble in her chest, her skin doesn’t feel like its crushing her anymore and she manages to give Sage a jerky nod.
“The wolf has to stay here, the moon will be rising soon” Sage says after she has broken her chains, and she starts toward Tyler, giving the other vampire an incredulous look.
“He’ll be fine, but he can’t come with us. Nothing is going to happen to him, I promise” Sage looks right into her eyes when she says this, and nods slightly, “But we have to go, now” she can hear Tyler’s bones start to creak, his skin stretching, preparing for the wolf.
She lets Sage wrap her hand around her arm, pull her from the cellar. She’s strong, must be seriously old. It makes her feel like a little girl.
“Where are we going?” her feet are itching to take her in the opposite direction, and she stumbles as she fights against her own body.
“Somewhere safe, away from the sacrifice, I was told to give you this” Sage presses a feather into her hand, and her heart gives a solid thump against her rib cage.
“Oh,” she isn’t sure she wants to go with this other vampire. Because while this feather is a sign, it’s also from him, the monster that is out there preparing to kill Elena, to sacrifice her, who even does that anymore?
Apparently, her marked, and she doesn’t want to think about it, about him like that. Klaus is a monster, a certified serial killer, probably on the serial killer monthly mailing list. He’s out there right now murdering her best friend, and they are resting their hopes on a dusty bottle, pressed into Caroline’s hand by her murderer, assured that it will keep Elena alive.
“Look, I don’t want to break your neck and throw you over my shoulder, but I will if you keep resisting” Sage says with a sigh as if she drags girls through forests often. Maybe she does, Caroline has no idea what this woman gets up to in her spare time.
Her feet are stubborn, trying to lead her in the opposite direction again.
“Just concentrate on one foot at a time,” Sage says eventually, as Caroline’s stubborn body tries to take her the way it wants.
Sitting in a weirdly comfortable living room, a glass of scotch in hand, she feels it, creeping over her, a prickle first, an unknown magic that washes from the top of her head, to the tips of her toes, it sweeps through her, settling in a harsh burn on her hip, through her mark, and she knows that he’s completed it. She feels the same, but strong.
Her breath comes in sharp pants, and she’s unable to stop her palm from resting against her hip, trying to stop the jumping, the soft ache that builds.
Finn, the mildly boring, tall vampire, looks over at her in surprise, his mouth opening even as his marked, Sage is soothing the other girl, her eyes on Finn. Always on Finn.
“It’s done it then?”
Chapter 3: Chapter Three
To the all my reviewers, thank you! (Also to the guest reviewer that pointed out about my formatting, I am so sorry I thought it had transferred, it had not. Face palm. Hopefully all fixed now, and easier to read) Enjoy!
“It’s done then?”
Three days. It took three days for his wolf to be run to exhaustion, which, all things considered, is not nearly as long as anticipated.
It probably has something to do with the longing under his skin, the pull towards her, seeing her before the ritual had been an indulgence, he probably shouldn’t have, but he hadn’t been able to help himself.
“Fantastic” is all he tells Elijah, pulling on clothes his brother had bought with him. “I remember every second”, he can still feel the exhilaration running through him, in tandem with the longing in his veins.
“And the girl?” he asks after Elijah leads him to the car, trying to appear nonchalant, as if he hasn’t spent the last three days forcing himself away from her, fighting his wolf every second.
“Finn says she’s fine. But I’ve been following you, cleaning, rather than checking in” Elijah hands him a cell phone even as he speaks, knowing his brother wants to hear it for himself.
Eventually, she falls asleep on the hotel couch, wakes up the first morning in a bed, hoping she can sneak out, she makes her way to the door, only to meet Finn at the door, blocking her path.
“Sorry Caroline, we can’t let you leave just yet” and he does look sorry, with his kind eyes and gentle hands guiding her to a breakfast table, filling a plate and setting it in front of her before she notices.
The second day, she tries again, but is stopped by Sage as soon as she leaves her bedroom (which has a suitcase full of men’s clothes, and she knows that it is his room), lead her again to a full plate of food with a side of blood, an apologetic smile from Sage and a gentle pat to her hand from Finn.
While they haven’t let her leave, they haven’t stopped her from calling her mother, her friends, she’s talked to all of them at least once, even Damon. Elena was alive, and Bonnie was fine and they obviously hadn’t killed Klaus, but he was gone and so no one was too worried.
But, she doesn’t know where she is, so she can’t tell them to come get her, and doesn’t have any facts, doesn’t know what to tell them other than, she’s safe, and she will let them know when she knows more.
They’ve told her mother that she’s staying at Elena’s for a few days, something about Jenna being on campus, and Damon says he can always compel her to believe it, because she can’t exactly tell her mother the truth,
‘Oh, don’t worry Mom, just some ancient vampires I don’t know have kidnapped me, but they’re not starving me, so they can’t be all bad, right?’
She has a funny feeling this will go down like a lead balloon.
She has an idea of why they won’t let her leave, but she doesn’t want to assume before she is sure. The feather and her current bedroom is a giant neon sign she can’t exactly look past.
An ancient pose of vampires for the ancient vampire, right?
They’ve been nice enough, and Sage and Finn have made sure she’s had a blood bag whenever she wanted it, had allowed her to call her mother, but they hadn’t let her leave. She’s getting a little stir crazy and sick of staring at the same walls all day, and while her company might be nice, they’re just this side of boring.
“Am I allowed to go outside today?” she throws at them on the third morning, forgoing her usual escape routine, and they both give her mild, incredulous looks over their coffee mugs, and turn back to the paper where they’re doing a cross word. Together. Sickening. (She pretends she doesn’t feel a pang of loneliness at the sight).
Instead, helps herself to coffee and blood and breakfast, and settles in for another day of absolute boredom. She hasn’t been able to leave this suite for days, despite being a rather lovely hotel room, she was bored, and didn’t exactly have the time to bring any boredom busters with her. Yesterday, she spent the whole day ripping a box of tissues into shreds.
Maybe she will see how many orders of room service she can talk them into. Surely some grease will distract her from the tightness of her skin and the thrum across her hip.
The monotony is broken that afternoon, by a shrill ring of Finn’s cell phone, and he looks at it like it might bite him, which, she thinks, it quite absurd, given he’s one of the world’s deadliest predators.
She tunes them out and counts the threads in the carpet.
“They’re on their way back now, a few hours” Finn tells her, and she tries to ignore the hitch in her breath, and the steadily growing heat of her mark.
The whole drive back, all he can focus on is the steadily growing warmth in his arm, the want that was there three days ago has only grown, his wolf more possessive, growling in his chest at the thought of waiting hours to get back to her.
He is nervous and excited and, though he won’t admit it aloud, he’s afraid, because no one cares about you, boy, has echoed in his head more than once over the centuries.
He is about ready to crawl out of his too tight skin when they pull up to the hotel in Richmond, his mark twitching and fingers itching, and he doesn’t wait for Elijah to fully stop the car before he’s out and bounding through reception, too fast, he thinks to himself, and decides he doesn’t care.
He is pounding on the door to the suite they’d rented, before he realises, impatient for the door to open, to see her, can feel her on the other side of the wood.
“Niklaus, are-” he pushes Finn aside, ignoring whatever his brother is saying in favour of looking at her, Caroline, he can see nothing else, doesn’t want to see anything else.
“Everyone out” he growls,
His eyes refuse to move from her, her gaze returning his, as his brothers and sister in law leave the room. His mark is fire in his elbow, and he takes her in from head to toe, the anxiety lessening the hold on his heart when she seems to be unharmed, safer here with his brother and Sage than most places.
He can feel his skin pulling at him, demanding he soothe the ache, he has a bubble in his lungs that he can’t breathe past, combined with the burn in his arm, he isn’t sure how he has held it together this long, the need to touch her is driving him crazy.
He steps forward, and she steps back and he wants to laugh at the absurdity, and he watches her carefully, she looks like she might try to bolt at first chance.
She’s lying on the floor, playing angry birds on the tablet Sage had pushed into her hands when her pacing had annoyed the other woman, trying to ignore the other two vampires in the room. She has just opened her mouth to ask for some room service when it sounds like someone is trying to break down the door.
She’s on her feet in an instant (thank god? for those vampire instincts), but Finn has already thrown open the door, and is being pushed aside by Klaus, and her mark is burning, like it did that day in the cellar.
Well, she was right, Finn is holding her here for him.
He looks wild, his eyes, and hair and hands all seem to quiver with anticipation, and she feels it speed along her veins.
He snarls, and orders everyone out, but she knows that he doesn’t mean her, he hasn’t looked away, hasn’t broken their staring contest since walking past his brother and doesn’t seem to notice the others as they leave.
There is an imperfect silence between them, both breathing too harshly, he is growling and she can barely focus.
She isn’t exactly sure who moves first, but she takes a step back as he steps forward and it’s like a perfectly choreographed dance that no one has taught her the moves to. She wants to laugh, and he hasn’t stopped growling since he arrived, and her fingers won’t stop twitching and her mark is so damned hot.
She wants to touch it, to soothe the irritated skin but instinct tells her that she will achieve nothing, in fact, she will probably make it worse. The longing won’t go away until it’s his skin along hers, until she can twine herself into him, until his fingers have replaced hers.
The solution is standing right in front of her and she is too afraid to touch him.
The solution though, is making that choice for her, stepping into her space and her lungs aren’t working properly, and her skin that has been feeling too tight for days is only getting worse, but he’s reaching a hand out to her face. He’s watching her carefully, like one might watch a skittish animal, expecting it to run away.
But she needs this, as much as his eyes say he does, so she stands very still, a pillar in a hotel suite, and waits, watching his arm rise warily.
And when his warm (surprising) fingers smooth across her cheekbone, she wants to cry and laugh and break things at the relief she feels, because her skin stops feeling like it’s trying to reject her bones, and her lungs fill and the feather on her hip stops burning, and it is everything.
She would do anything for this feeling, raze cities and rip and tear and end everything for this.
There’s something that blooms in the space between them, sparking along her skin, she can feel it in her blood, can taste the sparks on her tongue.
And then she is crying, big fat tears that roll down her cheeks, while her breath gasps.
The gasping is relief, the pain of the last few days had gotten to the point where she hadn’t noticed how bad it had got, and now the absence of it is stealing her breath.
He wants to run his fingers over her cheekbone, so he does. She is watching him warily, and he pleads with his eyes, and she must understand, because she stands so so still, and watches his hand rise.
His fingers shake ever so slightly before he runs them across her face, and this smallest touch is enough to quell the pain in his elbow, enough for the bubble in his chest to dissipate. It’s enough for her shoulders to relax and her breath to leave her in a gust, and her eyes slide shut, and his hand moves to hold the side of her face, finger tips sliding into her hair, cradling the base of her skull.
He can feel the magic, that ancient marking magic crack the air between them, can feel it run across and sink into his skin, can taste it between his teeth.
And then she’s crying, big tears rolling over her cheeks and smearing under his thumb. He’s tempted to pull her into his arms, to rest his forehead against hers, to wipe the tears from her cheeks, but he doesn’t have to, because to his surprise, she steps closer, closing the distance and presses her face into his shoulder.
He can feel her tears staining his shirt, and its effortless to band his arm across her back, to pull her closer, to murmur into her hair,
“Shh, love, it’s alright” his own eyes are hot and wet, although he’s not crying, he’s The Immortal Hybrid, he doesn’t cry.
Her fingers are curling into the back of his shirt, her breath is leaving her lungs in gasps and her arms circling him and he has never felt better, relaxed, at peace, he can feel a warmth spreading out from the feather in his elbow.
He’s heard, of course, accounts of what happens when one finds their marked, has watched countless couples fall into the all-encompassing hold, this unconscious need for their person.
And he has seen minds bend and break and fail when the other half of them is gone, had felt it himself, when Caroline had died, however temporary the feeling was, he has no desire to repeat it.
All that hippy mumbo jumbo Sage is always telling him about, but he can’t quite care about the fact she’s right, not now, when Caroline is in his arms, pressing herself into his shoulder, shaking fingers gripping the back of his shirt.
He can’t care about anything but her in this moment, her hair in his fingers, under his cheek, her back under his arm, her breaths leaking through his shirt, her tears soaking through. In this moment, the entire world could end and he wouldn’t care.
“Shh, sweetheart, I know”
She doesn’t know how long they stand there together, how long it takes for her to get her breathing under control, for her eyes to run out of tears.
Her hands never stop shaking though, not matter how tight she winds her fingers through his shirt, and she can feel where she has ripped holes into it to get to the skin underneath.
But her feather has stopped burning, instead spreading a warmth through her, a comforting warmth that makes her think of lazy mornings and too tight hugs, makes her think of Bonnie and Elena and her mother.
He’s whispering into her hair, and once the roaring in her ears has stopped, she can hear him soothing her, he calls her sweetheart and love and Caroline, and he says her name like a prayer.
But she takes a deep breath, and steps back from him, dropping her arms, and he lets her go, even though she knows he could hold her there if he wanted to.
It takes her a few moments to say something, anything, her mouth opening and closing, and he’s watching her struggle.
The distance between them is less than a step, but still too far.
“I’m sorry I ripped your shirt” eventually comes out and he laughs, as if he can’t quite believe what she’s said, his blue eyes are shining, his dimples back in full force, his lips curl and she can see the flash of his whiter than white teeth, and then she can’t help but give a little giggle, allows him to wipe the last of the tears from her cheeks.
In this moment, the one she will remember forever, she forgets how dangerous he is, that’s he’s held her in an admittedly lovely hotel room, she forgets all the blood he’s shed, the fact that he’s just murdered three people to break a curse.
He’s nothing like the murderer she has heard about, no, instead, he’s just a man who smiles just so, fingers brushing across her cheeks with shaking hands.
“It’s just a shirt, love, nothing to worry about.”
Chapter 4: Chapter Four
This was the hardest to write. Special shout out to Willow for her rec, for Thomas for ignoring me and to Charlie for the encouragement. Enjoy!
“It’s just a shirt, love, nothing to worry about”
The first week is the worst.
She calls her mother.
“I’ve found him, its Klaus, and-” they’re working things out, they’ve been fighting for days because he wants to leave town, but she doesn’t and he can’t and won’t without her, and they’re both too stubborn to cave first.
Can’t because as fresh as the bond is, the magic needs time to settle, so travelling anywhere without her is not an option, and neither wish to test the bond, won’t because now he has found her, after being apart for a thousand years, leaving without her is simply not an option he wishes to entertain.
“I’ll be home soon, I promise”
He did not anticipate her being quite so stubborn, or that she would be so set on staying in Mystic Falls to finish high school of all things.
“Caroline” He likes the way his name feels in his mouth, “what use do you have for school anyway?”
“You will be by my side for eternity, you can go to any high school you want, we don’t have to stay here”
“I go to Mystic Falls high, I will finish out my senior year, and then I will go to college wherever I want, and you” she pokes her finger viciously into his chest “don’t get a say.”
(He rather likes her all worked up, her cheeks flushed with the most magnificent shade of red, her eyes spitting fire, her fists usually balled up so tight her knuckles are white, her monster so close to the surface, and his feather in his elbow burning with her fury. He doesn’t tell her this.)
“That’s where you’re wrong, love”
“You have no right- “
“Oh, I have every right”
“-you can’t just tell me what to do Klaus- “
“-watch me- “
“- I am not your possession- “
“-you will do as you’re told- “
“-I will not- “
It’s like a tennis match, if tennis matches were played with snarling words and glares and a vase thrown against a wall, Sage and Finn and Elijah and Katherine have been watching them go back and forth for hours, neither one willing to bend, or listen to the other.
“I said no. Pack your things and say goodbye to your mother, we leave in two days, I don’t want to hear any more complaints”
He doesn’t wait to hear her response, and she doesn’t give him one. He storms to one end of the suite, and she storms out.
The first night she doesn’t come back to the hotel, he isn’t immediately worried, she’s with her mother and her friends, and he can still feel her, still feel the thrum in his elbow, instead, he calls Rebekah, makes sure they are prepared for their arrival, and of their new addition.
The second night she doesn’t come back, he paces around the hotel room, hoping that she will be there before they’re due to depart in the morning. All day his skin gets tighter and his feather grows warmer and the magic across his feather feels more agitated, invisible sparks of it running across his skin.
When he wakes, the pain has returned with a vengeance. His skin is too tight, and his feather a brush of hot heat, he can hardly breath through the longing and the aching space between his ribs.
He wonders how long they can last before insanity sets in and he tears apart everything to find her, to return her to his side.
When she doesn’t turn up to the hotel by midday, he goes to her. He stands outside her mother’s house, talking to a closed door.
He can hear her breathing, just as shallow and as laboured as his, but she does not answer and so he bellows.
“Caroline, we are leaving whether you like it or not, now come down here at once.”
She still doesn’t answer, although the hitch in her breath tells him she has heard him, and he waits, while his body further rejects being parted from her, their shared magic pulling them, willing them to be together.
He hears her teeth snap shut, and her bedroom door slam closed. He can smell her tears, and hear her agonised breaths, can tell she feels as much pain as he does in this moment.
“I mean it Caroline,” he grits out, rage fuelling his words, blinding his sense reason.
“I will compel your mother to let me in, then I will carry you out of this house myself if I have to” he threatens, and feels her spike of fear through their marks when he mentions her mother.
He is the immortal hybrid, the strongest being on this planet, and he will bow to no one. Not even her.
(He gives in three hours later when she still won’t speak to him, and he is shaking, his own body betraying him in his need to be near her. Three hours of listening to her cry and her agonised breathing and pained absolute silence.)
And so, they strike a deal.
She can feel the others laughing at them as they trade barbs and sharp words and sharper glares and when she throws a vase at his head, Katherine cheers her on.
They are all lined up on the couch, side by side by side, their eyes swivelling back and forth through this never-ending argument, all of them wear supressed smirks and hide their laughter behind hands and lips that give nothing away.
When she storms out of the hotel room, she takes the keys to one of the shiny black SUVs, and heads straight for Elena’s. She spends the whole drive cursing the feather on her hip, and the magic in her veins that wants to pull her right back to the hotel, right back to him.
“It’s Klaus, how can it be him?” she sobs on Elena’s doorstep, lets her friend pull her inside, cries on her couch and into a tub of ice cream.
She lets herself have one full day of sulking and raging and tears.
He doesn’t call, so neither does she.
The second day, she wakes in her own bed, and feels the feather in her hip ignite, the magic demanding his skin. She ignores it as much as she can, and hides out in her house. She’s sure he is expecting her back before they leave, but she isn’t going to give in. She refuses to cave.
The third day, she wakes with tears on her eyelashes, the pain emanates from her hip, the magic raw and angry and sharp, it brings fresh tears to her eyes whenever she tries to move.
By midday, he has turned up, is trying to coax her outside.
“I mean it Caroline,” he grits out, and has the audacity to threaten her mother, she knows there is no way she will bend to his demands now.
She lets out another agonised breath and curls up on her bed to wait him out.
It takes him three hours to give in, three hours of hearing him pace her porch, three hours of him calling out to her, threats and how he is the Immortal Hybrid, and how he will cave to no one, marked or not.
“Fine, we’ll stay, now can you please come down, love?” she can hear the way pain cracks his voice, the agony in his breath, so she unfolds herself from the tight hold she has on herself, stands outside the front door, where she can see him through the glass, he looks wrecked, and she imagines she isn’t much better.
“Do you promise?” her voice is so quiet, and her throat is raw from crying, but his eyes reflect the agony she feels between her ribs, and so she reaches her hand out, lets him pull her into his chest, bury his hands into her hair, and the immediate relief has them both sagging, knees failing as they sink to the wooden boards of her porch.
The first time he touches her feather, it’s the first time he really feels like he might die.
It curls across her hip bone, the lines of the inky mark cut across her ivory skin.
Her breath is uneven, ragged, and his shaking fingers (always shaking around her) smooth across the tips of the feather, he feels the edges of the mark, the magic that threatens to overwhelm him.
Because he can feel every inch of her, it prints itself onto his bone, to the inside of his veins, as if the feelings he is experiencing are as much his as they are hers.
Because his universe has been explained, his purpose has been shown to him, he lets his eyes slide shut, as he sees everything, her.
Behind his closed eyes, he can see a bright wash of sunshine, his hand tangled with hers, her legs tangled with his across dark sheets, whispered words in the darkness, laughter and blood and teeth and warmth and he finally, finally feels whole, complete.
Because he can see his echo through her, and her echo through him, and he understands.
It knocks the breath from his lungs, and his hold on her has tightened, and the horrible ache between his ribs that has never really left is gone, instead, all that’s left in the gaps of him, is Caroline.
Her feather gives a wanting throb as his hands trace the sides of her ribs, so close. and he watches her with a question in his eyes, hungry eyes. She gives a shaky nod, and his fingers find the edges of her mark, and her breath leaves her in one large ragged gasp.
Her universe shifts, fills up with him, with them, and she knows that this is right. She wears him on her skin, and beneath it, and in her bones and in her veins.
She wants to sob with relief, and dance through rain, and a hundred other clichés.
Instead, she pulls him away, runs her hand hurriedly along his left arm to the splash of darkness just below his elbow, and presses her fingers into the feather that rests there, an identical copy of her own.
And while her universe shifted when he touched her mark, now her universe makes sense, it’s all laid bare before her, leading to him. She can’t draw breath, and can feel him trying to relax, to fight through the same feelings she’s just experienced.
Behind her eyelids, she can see.
It’s all warmth, and blood and teeth, and tangled limbs and dancing and she can feel the laughter and she feels complete. Peaceful. Content, and she wonders how he is (mostly) sane after living without this, without her, for a thousand years.
Chapter 5: Chapter Five
Sorry this one has taken a bit longer to get here, but, it’s here now. Thanks to everyone who has reviewed and favorited and followed, your support means a lot.
Obviously still AU. If there are any questions re my storyline/if something doesn’t make sense, shoot me a PM and I’ll explain
If someone had told him he would one day, be bargaining with his soulmate, he would have laughed and laughed and promptly removed their head. Or heart. Or both. Either way they’d be dead and he would be laughing.
But here he is, sitting with her in her mother’s house, and they’re haggling.
He hates it.
He realises he had thought that she would just come with him. That his life would be the same, only he would have a travelling companion and someone to warm his bed.
He is fast realising just how wrong that thought was.
She wants to stay at her mother’s.
She wants to finish high school in Mystic Falls.
She wants to go to college.
She wants to pick which college she goes to, with her friends.
She wants him to try to be nice to her friends. (She already knows that’s a lost cause)
She wants him to not murder the whole town.
He wants her to stay at his house. For safety, of course.
He wants to leave Mystic Falls.
He wants to carry onto New Orleans as planned.
He wants to make his hybrid army.
He wants to defeat Mikael before Mikael finds out about her.
He wants to take her everywhere.
And of course, there is the ruling of the supernatural population, a never ending revolving door of scheming and plotting and enforcing.
They’re fighting about bodyguards, he’d tried to call them companions at first, but she had demanded the truth from him, and he hadn’t been able to resist.
“Are you insane? No, no. We aren’t doing that” her fingers are digging into the cushions under her legs, her face furious, he can hear the seams popping.
“Caroline, please” he grits out, he’s found himself saying that more than he ever has in his whole life.
She gives a look that he’s sure that she means to be warning, though of what he isn’t sure.
“One, not ten, and they can’t follow me everywhere”
“That is sort of the point Caroline. That they follow you. This town isn’t exactly the safest” he wants to point out that she died in this town, but that was half his fault, and she won’t hesitate to point that out, and it won’t help him win.
She’s shaking her head before he even finishes talking.
“Three and they don’t follow you around school, provided the Bennett witch and the Ripper will be with you all day” he counters, confident that this will be what helps to get his way.
“Two, and we leave my friends out of it” exactly as he thought, he allows himself a small victory smile.
Exactly as he thought, he has already selected the two.
“And I get to choose them” his victory smile disappears.
His arms had been crossed against the desire to pull her into his arms, the magic of their feathers a steady pull, he gives in then, crosses to her couch and she curls into his chest, the hot heat of the magic finally soothed.
He isn’t sure how long it will take for the magic to settle, for their bond to ease into normal life. Sage tells him that it isn’t really settle so much as you just get more used to it.
She rests her head on his chest and the bubble in his lungs settles a little, and he pulls her a little closer.
“We’re going to be okay, right?” she asks into his shirt, and he can feel the wash of her breath through the cotton. Her arms tighten around his middle, and he returns the hold.
“Of course, sweetheart.”
Her two bodyguards follow her everywhere and it is the most annoying thing.
They scowl at anyone that gets a little too close. She’s going to have to talk to Klaus about getting them to back off a bit, they growled at her cheerleaders yesterday. Not cool.
She can’t believe she has found her soulmate. Her marked.
Although, she has always known they would eventually find each other, she wasn’t expecting it to be this soon, or for him to be this paranoid, or that he would be so old.
He’s asked her for a few favours. No, favours isn’t the right word. She’s not sure what to call it. Conditions maybe.
One of those conditions is that she be trained.
Yep, actual training.
“If I am going to go along with your plan” his lip curled, the tone of his voice implying his hatred of the plan, “then you will do this.” There is no alternative in this, he’s made that very clear.
He places his hands on her shoulders, his thumbs gently brushing her collar bones, “it’s for you as much as it is for me” he tells her, and though his hands are gentle, his voice is iron and his eyes are fire.
(She’s basically being inducted into the royal family, is how she explains it to Elena and Bonnie at school.
Only this version of the royal family probably has more murder at their dinner parties, and she guesses, more fangs.)
It starts with Rebekah.
She takes her shopping, because “being part of the Family, means dressing like one of us, Caroline.”
She says it with the same inflection as her brother, as if it is a tangible thing, rather than an extremely dysfunctional group of people who happen to have been born to the same parents.
When Katherine says it the same way on a follow up trip for lingerie and heels and jewellery she rolls her eyes, asks who started the ridiculous trend.
“Sage,” she tells her with a laugh, and Rebekah huffs, “when all the mob families were just starting out, she said it as a joke, Kol heard and it sort of stuck.”
Elijah teaches her how to fight vampires.
He tells her it’s because as a Family they have a certain reputation to uphold (read: ruthlessness), and as a member of The Family she will be as prepared as the rest of them.
“And besides,” he says with as much of a joke in his voice as he can manage, “heart pulling is The Family pastime”.
And so, he teaches her to break through a breast bone, to grip a hot beating heart in her hand and remove it with the utmost efficiency.
(As if Elijah could, or would settle for less.)
On an unrelated note, she also learns the most effective way of removing bits of organ from under her fingernails.
She ruins almost all of Elijah’s wardrobe practicing; he congratulates her on her impeccable aim.
(She finds herself saying The Family with the same inflection one day when she and Bonnie are having lunch and can’t help the resulting snort and eye roll.)
Rebekah, Katherine and Sage teach her how to fight with her hands, in heels, amid Klaus and Finn and Elijah and Kol laughingly commenting from the sidelines, calling tips that have Katherine and Sage sighing in frustration as it distracts her.
She puts her new skills to use against an unsuspecting Damon when he calls her vapid during an interrupted girls night at the boarding house, managing to gain the upper hand before snapping his neck in retaliation, while Bonnie and Elena look on with wide surprised eyes, barely able to follow the vampire speed movements.
Katherine buys her a killer pair of heels in approval.
Kol and Katherine teach her to feed from the vein, “blood bags won’t keep you strong enough, and you can’t look like the weak link in this chain little vampire, that’s how you end up dead” Kol tells her with a light tap to her chin. They barely comment when she refuses to kill, but when she gives away a little too much of her blood, Kol shows her how to give the smallest amount to help heal, but not enough to transition, as new vampires are messy and no one wants to deal with that.
Kol is the one to help her to have fun as a vampire, to embrace the good, and to minimise the bad. She doesn’t have to be a monster if she doesn’t want to.
Tells her (rather rudely) that she is at a disadvantage because of her rubbish teachers.
“Those Salvatore idiots are the last people that should be teaching a baby vampire anything” he says with a scoff and an eye roll.
“Did they even tell you half of what you can do now?” he takes her silence as an admission, and sets about to teach her everything they ‘forgot’.
She doesn’t expect to like him, Kol, this murderer drenched in blood with a grin like sin.
If Rebekah is her new sister, then Kol is her new best friend.
Elijah and Finn teach her ancient Norse.
She almost laughs when Finn tells her, because, hello? Ancient Norse? There’s a reason it’s a dead language.
He explains that that is how they communicate, in letters, or when there are people around that don’t need to overhear what they’re talking about.
She does laugh when he says that, because, these thousand-year-old vampires have a secret code, and it’s adorable.
It stops being adorable when Klaus and Finn and Elijah only speak to her in Norse, making her nose scrunch and the others laugh as she fumbles over the unfamiliar pronunciation with her clumsy tongue.
Katherine and Rebekah teach her to curse and when she can cuss at Elijah, seeing his scandalised face makes it worth it.
Klaus and Kol teach her as much as they can about the supernatural. Vampire politics, and werewolf packs, and asking witches for favours. (Klaus’s method is more threatening than she likes, and Kol’s is a little too sexual. She resolves to never ask for their help with witches.)
Her favourite times though, are when it’s just the two of them, when he smiles at her, sleep warm skin, pillow creases on his face, his arms warm around her, arms intertwined on the couch, legs intertwined on his sheets, in the sun of the garden, their laughter echoing through his art studio.
The way his voice curls around her name, (it sounds like a prayer coming from his mouth), his lips pressed against hers, his fingers along her spine, her skin, branding everything they touch.
Even when they fight (which happens a lot more than she cares to admit).
She likes the way his eyes flash, the frustration clear in the way he pinches the bridge of his nose, the way his voice growls ever so slightly when his temper gets the best of him, the way his fingers twitch, and the hot heat of his anger burning across the feather in her hip.
Their arguments always seem to end up with them devouring each other, so, yes, maybe the fighting isn’t just about getting him to give in to her demands.
He is warmth, the hybrid heat of him a comfort after her months of vampire cool. She feels him under her skin, it settles into her bones, makes her feel almost human again, except she is more, and he is more, and she feels like she could take on the world with him next to her.
(Caroline doesn’t remember the last time she had someone in her corner. It’s empowering.)
Her relationship with her mother is never quite the same.
She totally gets that finding out your only kid is actually dead can be a little unsettling, but she’s still Caroline, is still the same, a little stronger, and better dressed perhaps, but still Caroline. But she can definitely understand how it’s sort of an issue. And that her marked is sort of the most dangerous creature on the planet and that his family is the originators of a race that has stalked the earth for a thousand years.
So maybe she can totally understand why the relationship might be a bit strained.
But, despite that, she is there in the crowd (in uniform, heading straight back to work after the ceremony is over).
Her father had sent his congratulations from Peru, too busy to come back for her graduation.
But, they have all flown in to see her graduate.
Rebekah and Kol from Italy, Sage and Finn from New York, Katherine and Elijah from god knows where.
She wears a dress Katherine had sent her and shoes Rebekah had sent ahead last month.
And when her name is called, they immediately rise as one.
Kol is cheering (too loud), Elijah and Katherine and Rebekah are clapping too fast, and Katherine gives a whistle, Finn and Sage are the only ones who restrain themselves to warm smiles and polite clapping.
Klaus has that look on his face, the one he only brings out for her. Like he kept it locked under his skin for the last thousand years.
She’s rather possessive about it.