/|\ Tourist /|\
Spoilers for 3x14 - Dangerous Liaisons
Caroline convinces Klaus to drive across the country with her. Of course, what she calls "convincing" is, in fact, her pestering him until he gives in. He complains, and dangles the opportunity to visit Stonehenge and London and lost tropical islands his family just seems to always own, as if to distract her. She gets bored of planes quickly, and often she quips at him, "You're the Original Hybrid, aren't you? Shouldn't your almighty powers extend to walking across water?"
Eventually, he acquiesces. (Truthfully, he would take her anywhere in a heartbeat just to see the smile light up her face.) However, there is one condition on his part:
"How about a motorcycle instead of a car?"
Caroline had heard all of the horror stories about motorcycle accidents her mother had come home and told her after a long day at work. But, she thought, she wasn't technically alive and almost indestructible. She knows she should be concerned about weather, but Klaus' eyes were piercing hers, a look of boyish amusement crossing his features and she really couldn't concentrate with his callused fingers stroking her thigh like that.
So she shrugs, "Why not?"
The pair start off in Maine, sampling wonderful sea food dishes and splashing in the high waves of the Atlantic ocean, and they began to make their way down the East Coast. They stop the longest in New York City – a total time of four days. Caroline tries to pack as many tourist-y things to do, such as Broadway and the observatory deck at the top of the Empire State building. She remarks how beautiful the view is.
He agrees, but doesn't tell her he was watching her instead.
They visit the memorial at Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center used to tower over the skyline. It's a somber affair, Caroline reflects to herself as she runs her fingers over the names carved into stone. With sudden inspiration, she turns towards Klaus, who was staring at her intently.
"Where were you during 9/11?" He doesn't answer her, but his eyes look sad, and she begins to ramble with slight nervousness. "I mean – I was um, six at the time, and I-... I only remember the school's being shut down and going home early but..."
She looks back at the memorial awkwardly, her fingernails tapping the surface. The coolness radiates into her hand. She suddenly feels his presence behind her, his chest gently brushing against her back. His hands snake in between her arm and her body and grasp at her hand.
"I was in that building over there... across the way," He croaks out finally, as if it were painful, and Caroline follows the direction his eyes are looking at. Sympathy and dread stabbed at her abdomen; her stomach seemed to want to climb up her throat to escape, and she had to refrain from gasping aloud.
She leans her head back, so her neck is resting against his shoulder, as if to offer him silent comfort with her close proximity.
They leave New York City the day after that, the two wheels and the roar of the engine blocking out the melancholia that seemed to follow them.
In the moments surrounded by absolutely nothing, Caroline feels strangely at peace.
The gray road stretches out forever, straight and never-ending, and she watches the cracks pass by in a blur underneath the tires of the motorcycle. The rumble of the machine is so familiar it's almost calming, she muses to herself.
Warm sunlight brushes against her face, but she doesn't dare close her eyes to enjoy the sensation. She doesn't want to miss the beautiful sight of Monument Valley. The large red stones stand erect over the horizon, as if they were blending into the orange and pink stained sky of the sunset.
The color of the sand and rock matches the sky to such a degree that she can't tell where the world ends and heaven begins.
No matter how long they drive, the warped rocks didn't get smaller or fade into the distance. She watches them for a while, before Klaus fills the comforting and familiar silence with the sound of the radio. The motorcycle's radio itself is tinny, and had to be turned up loud over the sound of the engine, but neither comments on it as an old hit streams from the small speakers.
Caroline listens to the song for several moments. She hasn't listened to sixties music in a while; it reminded her of her murdered and then turned vampire father – who is gone forever.
Probably looking at me from - well, whichever afterlife exists and is screaming at me for even associating myself with the likes of Klaus. She hazards a guess. Her own thought process stings.
"So you're a sixties man?" She questions, desperate to get out of the clutches of the thoughts of her dead parent.
Klaus looks almost nostalgic. "The sixties were the best."
She grins and buries her face into the back of his jacket. Her grip around his waist tightens. She could almost hear him smile, and one hand begins stroking her leg as his head turns to look at her sitting behind him.
"Hey!" Caroline teases. "Keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the handlebars!"
"Like I'd let us crash," He chuckles, and his hand reluctantly leaves her body and grips the handlebar again. He is still looking at her though, and her eyes narrow playfully. He arches an eyebrow, before he turns back to the road.
She hears him hum along to the occasional song.
They eventually pass the border of Utah and Arizona, and several moments later, the large green sign stating 'Welcome to Arizona' passes by.
"Oh!" She squeals suddenly, ignoring the way Klaus comically twitches in surprise at her outburst. "We gotta go to the Grand Canyon!"
He acts like he's contemplating it (when they both know he would take her anywhere) and nods.
"Then we'll find a nice spot so you can sketch the canyon or something." She continues, and sighs happily.
Klaus smirks to himself as they drive down the road. He wonders if she knows that his entire sketch book is filled with a variety of drawings of her.
After they are done exploring every nook and cranny of the canyon, when they're sitting on a large rock formation and she's half asleep, drowsy in the sun, Klaus contemplates telling her.
Later, he decides, closing the book. He lays down on his back next to her, his arms behind his head.
He'll tell her later.
Klaus can tell she's instantly worried in Russia. He understands, truly, he does, because he has lived through the genuine fear of the once strong Soviets and the Red Scare. Caroline doesn't voice her concern, but allows him to drag her Moscow Palace, with it's large domes capped with gold and beautiful white walls that seemed to stretch on and on.
"I stayed here, once. They tried to marry off a princess to me," He says idly.
His hands were stuffed in his pockets, a scarf wrapped around his neck. Even though vampires don't feel cold, both Klaus and Caroline felt it nip at their fingers and go down into their bones. Caroline flicked up the collar of her pea coat to ward off the below freezing winds.
"Of course, she wasn't nearly as beautiful as you, love."
"Nice save." She mutters sarcastically, but the right corner of her mouth quirks upward to show him she isn't that serious.
Klaus smiles, pulls her closer, and presses a kiss to her temple.
Later, they're studying the fascinating twists, twirls, and bright colors of the Kremlin when the crowd in Red Square grows thick, and separates them.
Caroline shrugs to herself, and begins to walk on the edge of the square, examining the tourist booths set up to draw in travelers with too much money to spend on useless souvenirs.
Suddenly, something sharp pierces her lower back, and she gasps out. Her arms flail out, and she falls backwards, only to be caught roughly by someone unfamiliar.
The vervain paralyzes her, but still allows her to writhe in agony as she's dragged down a back alley. She feels a stake enter her stomach, and a screech finally erupts from her throat, tearing at her vocal chords.
Caroline can't see her attackers face, but she hears him panting. Her vision is starting to black out, and her assailant removes the wooden weapon from her stomach with quick precision. She's about to see the face of the one who will kill her, and his hand is back as if preparing to strike and she squeezes her eyes shut and is constantly thinking in a mantra of I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry -
A growl sounds behind her – loud and feral, but she instantly feels relief. Her eyes open wide, her fingers twitching as her attacker is slammed into a brick wall, and she can only imagine what Klaus is doing: a hand clasped around his throat and large fangs and yellow eyes with dark veins glaring down at him in fury.
She can only see their feet. The attacker is several feet above the ground, legs flailing dramatically.
The stake clatters to the ground and rolls a little ways away.
Black spots dance across her eyes as the vervain fires through her veins, and all she hears is growling, snarling, tearing and then finally, a snap.
Caroline feels hands cradle and lift her gently, as if she is already broken, clutching her body close. Her own hand feebly reaches up to touch his face; her fingertips gently smooth his familiar blonde scruff on his cheek. She ignores the fact that the blood on his mouth stains her hands.
However, she can't ignore the blood that drips onto her forehead. It rolls down her face like a red teardrop.
"I'll never let anyone hurt you again, sweetheart, I promise," He whispers into her hair.
She believes him. He always keeps his word.
Okay, wow, all you Klaroline shippers, you have blown me away. Seriously, I did not expect so many favorites and all of the lovely reviews asking me to politely continue this little one-shot. Thank you! So, concerning 3x15, how cute was Klaus chasing after Caroline and um, almost getting hit by a car? Lol. Anyway, so last chapter was fluffy - so here's some... angst and violence? Please bare in mind that English is not my first language!
Please leave a review!