A/N- Ok so this is a two-shot and I have co-written this with Lea from tumblr. Go check out her blog, she isn't on . This took a hell of a lot of planning guys, coz co-writing across two continents isn't easy so please if you read let us know if you liked it.
Go check out her blog now! She makes amazing gifs.
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Here without you
So this is what happens.
Wakes up one day packs all her life belongings in two bags and leaves. The knowing teary eyed smile her mom gives her as she hugs her goodbye tells her that she had seen this day coming long back. It makes sense, she's a vampire eternally seventeen, she can't be in Mystic Falls forever.
Whatever doubts she had about leaving are put to rest the second she tells her 'friends' that she's leaving. They are all sad, they will all miss her, they all ask her not to forget them... but no one asks her to stay. No one says 'Don't go Caroline' no one says 'What will we do without you Caroline'.
Because the truth is she never really belonged here; human or vampire. She was meant for something else, somewhere else, someone else.
They aren't what define her... she doesn't know anymore what defines her; She went from Elena and Bonnie's best friend, to blonde freckled teenager, to blonde cheerleader, to Miss Mystic Falls, to new vampire, to the werewolf's girlfriend, to newly turned hybrids girlfriend, to a girl stuck in limbo. She doesn't want any of those labels anymore, definitely not those.
No, she wants to be beautiful, strong and full of light.
So she leaves and no one apart from her mother really notices.
Elena has triangle drama.
Bonnie has witchy and VampMommy drama.
Alaric has ring drama.
Matt is just trying to remain a sane human in an insane supernatural town.
And Tyler, she doesn't think of Tyler. It only brings out other memories she wishes to bury forever.
She's standing at the airport staring at the flight plans contemplating which one she should compel herself a seat on. The cities are beckoning her to them, promising freedom fun and adventure and she remembers how as a little girl she had made a list of all the places she wanted to go to. The naive girl that she was she never considered the option to go out of America. She never thought she would be good enough for something so extraordinary.
Somewhere between the midst of deciding between Sydney and Rio her hand inconspicuously slips into her handbag and she's staring at the cover of a bright green notepad. She ignores the fact that the cover of the notepad is marked with her dried tears and opens it to the first page her fingers curl around and smiles to herself.
She knows where she's going.
Rome is calling her.
She insisted they sit on the Kitchen table whereas he was more than happy to continue to stretch out on her bed leaving barely any place for her to sit down. Hence his preference of the bed, but she isn't that stupid anymore and plus close proximity to his body does weird things to her.
She doesn't begin with her customary 'What do you want to talk about?' coz his response it just as standard as her question. So she decides to be the one in control this time.
She almost wants to laugh at the sight of the big-bad-hybrid sitting on her kitchen table patiently waiting for her to come out. It's so surreal that at times she wonders if she's dreaming.
She knows she isn't, her dreams about him tend to be more R rated.
His eyebrows all but disappear into his hairline when she places an ancient globe on the table and he gives it a little spin just for the heck of it.
"Today we talk about you" she declares and he opens his mouth to protest so she continues "I'm only 18 Klaus, I've told you everything I possibly could. You're a 1000, now it's your turn"
He wants to protest but he'll talk on just about anything if he gets to spend time with her, so he merely nods.
She closes her eyes and spins the globe dragging her finger over it as it spins, once it stops she pops one eye open to see him shaking his head with an amused smile. Ignoring his silent patronization she looks down at the place on the globe her finger is pressed on.
It lands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean; with a frown she spins it again. This time he laughs audibly. It lands on India and she smiles happily.
"I want you to tell me everything you know about this place. If you went there, what you did? What there is to do... everything" she asks with a twinkle in her eyes that he just can't deny.
Smiling he takes a peek into the place her finger is pointing at and begins his story.
They do this all the time, she points to a place on the globe, always blindly not knowing which place would be next. She likes to think it was fate that took her finger to that exact point. Fate that maybe one day she would see it too. She's fascinated by his stories and he loves that he can bring such childish excitement to her face.
She writes down everything he tells her in a little green notepad.
She didn't know back then that one day it would become her most prized possession.
Rome is huge, like really huge and she was a small town girl. Just the thought of New York had scared her as a little girl and now she was in Rome, and it was pretty damn clear that Rome wasn't built in a day coz it was fucking beautiful.
It's so rustic and modern at the same time and she loves it. She loves the characteristic smells outside the bakery shops and the taste of the Italian coffee, she loves the cobbled streets and the scooters and she gets a mental image of her sitting on one of the scooters with her hair flying astray. She loves the old woman who sits outside her hotel selling beads and what not, she loves the accent. She loves everything.
But she came here for a reason and for one reason only, and she intends on fulfilling it. So when the sweet young boy in her hotel offers to show her around Rome she declines, instead ventures out on her own hunting for that particular place, that particular face and that particular name.
Her green notepad is in her hand again and she's showing the address on it to whoever on the streets she can; most shoo her away, some politely inform her they have no clue, some tell her in broken English that they can't speak any English. Finally a taxi driver takes pity on her and tells her that's he'll take her to the address.
The address is a giant studio apartment building, but it's still so Rome and Rome is nothing but personal. The lady at the door greets her like they've been besties for decades, Caroline smiles back because quite frankly she's become a much politer person in Rome.
She walks the 5 flights up the stairs opting not to take the elevator; she needs time to think. She's here and she wants to be here, but she's still not sure that she can face all of her emotions; the sadness the loneliness and worst of all the regret.
No she doesn't want to feel the regret. Not yet.
She knows she's in the right place once she smells the coal and the charcoal. And it takes her back before she can help it...
"I spent decades there" Klaus declares as his blackened fingers skimmed over the paper ever so delicately "The day I met Fabrizio was the day I was going to leave Rome, but then he showed me his studio and I stayed there for 40 years. Everything I know about sketching he taught me"
She doesn't say anything, doesn't make a movement to even acknowledge she heard. He yells at her quite rashly when she moves and she never really liked being still for so long, but one look at his pleading eyes and the way they shot electricity through her she caved in and agreed to model for him.
The deviant that he is he asked her if she liked Titanic, the glare that she sent his way confirmed to him that that topic was not under discussion. She settled for her favorite blue dress and he didn't say a word. Apart from when he told her how beautiful she looked, but she couldn't pay much attention to what he was saying when he was looking at her like that.
"Who is he?" she manages to ask without moving too much
"He's a vampire and the most gifted artist I have ever met. He taught me how to sketch, I mean really sketch. Before I was just an amateur, he made me the Picasso I am now" he replies cheekily and she rolls her eyes.
"He's your friend?" she asks hesitantly and his eyes meet her and he sees the disbelief on her face.
"One of the very few" there is a hint of sadness in his voice that she can't even pretend to ignore "He admires life for all its beauty and I admire him for it"
She can't help it, even though she has been sitting in the same position for almost an hour and she can't wait to see what the sketch looks like, she sees something more important than the sketch. Pouncing off her chair, ignoring the verbatim he throws her way she runs into her room and returns a second later with the green notepad in her hand.
"Where does he stay?" she asks excitedly and her cheeks are flushed and she has no clue why.
She doesn't know why she asks, why she wants it. But she does.
He doesn't know why he does it, but he writes down the address for her.
And then yells at her to get back on the chair...
She's standing in Fabrizio's studio watching anxiously as he collects the remnants of his last class, Klaus forgot to mention how handsome Fabrizio is.
She approaches him confidently having already played out this situation in her head she knows what she should say, but instead she stutters a little barely forming a proper sentence.
He apparently finds it amusing and asks for her name, stuttering again she mutters Megan.
She doesn't want to be Caroline, not without him.
She notices how his eyes roam over her blue dress suspiciously but he doesn't say anything so she doesn't either. Instead she gets right down to business.
"I want to learn how to sketch" she says finitely almost daring him to deny her request.
"Why?" he asks and she's relived that he hasn't said no straight away.
"Because... someone I cared a lot for loved to sketch, but he isn't with me now" she says softly and he just watches her with those curious eyes "And I want to learn, just coz" she concludes lamely and almost expects him to fling her out of his class, but instead he pulls a chair for her.
Day 1 – He rips the paper out with a grunt.
Day 2 – He shakes his head solemnly and then rips the paper off.
Day 3 – He frowns contemplating the drawing then still rips the paper off.
Day 4 – His brow arches and his lips purses as he studies the sketch, and closes the book.
Day 5 – He nods so slightly that it's only because she's studying him so closely she notices.
Day 6 – He rips the paper off again, apparently the slight approval had made her cocky.
Day 7 – He nods again this time with a smile.
Day 8 – He says no training for today and takes her out for drinking, Italian style. She's hammered in an hour.
Day 9 – He smiles brightly and pat's her head like she's a puppy, maybe because she herself is smiling like a little puppy.
Day 10 – He tells her she has no artistic skills whatsoever, and this is the best she can do.
This was all she wanted really, just to try it, to experience it.
Live something Klaus had lived. Coz she lives in the past, her's and his.
He walks her out the studio and she can't help but ask, because she just needs to know.
"Have you heard from Klaus..." she asks timidly and he smiles to himself.
"I haven't seen Klaus in a century" he says softly and she nods and turns to leave.
"It was nice meeting you Caroline" he whispers from behind and she almost replies 'It was nice meeting you _' before she realizes what's wrong here.
"How..." she begins
"You look even more beautiful in real than the sketch Klaus made of you" he says in finality before he closes the door and she's left with her mouth hanging open.
She looks down at herself and then it strikes. She's unconsciously been wearing the same blue dress Klaus drew her in. She smiles as she realizes that Klaus sent that sketch to his mentor.
In Rome she gains a ray of hope, at least Klaus never forgot her.
When she arrives in Paris she is immediatley overwhelmed by the amount of life the city bares. If they say it's the most beautiful city in the world they sure do not exaggerate.
Then again, at this point out of everything she has seen; always guided by what Klaus so vividly told her about the places, she couldn't even tell which city was the most impressive. But Paris definitely won her the second she steps a foot on its ground.
When she strolls through the city, looking for a hotel to stay, she can't help but catch herself glaring at all the couples in love. Fortunatley there is so much more to see; ridiculously talented artists on every street corner that sketch so quickly and skillfully that within minutes their paper depicts perfect portraits of lonely travelers, young couples or happy families.
Now that she has given it a try herself she feels even more respect and admiration for their talent and skills.
She stops for a second to buy a small oil colored painting of the very surrounding they are at. It shows a small alley framed by trees that seems to vibrate as a result of the lively artwork. She goes on, passes stunning buildings of romantic, ancient times, perfectly sculptured statues that seem to tell a thousand stories, typical french pasteries that send out delicious scents of freshly baked bread and sweet pastries that fill the streets.
Finally her eye catches a run-down house, awkwardly set in the middle of two more modern and fancy buildings, where they fortunately offer rooms. Somehow she is not in the mood for an expensive hotel suite so she decides to stay here.
The minute she arrives in her room and puts down the little baggage she is carrying, she ready to leave again. Just before she closes the door of the reception behind her, she turns around, remembering that she has no idea where to find her next destination. She asks the apartment owner who hands her a plan where he marks the spot and the Metro line Caroline has to take.
While she is sitting in the metro, she fishes her green notebook out of the Gucci bag she bought in Rome.
She didn't have to look it up earlier because she never forgot. She would never forget.
The Musee d'Orsay was one of the things she was most excited to see since Klaus' face literally brightened whenever he told her about his favourite pieces of art.
"Well .. I've never even heard of that man who is supposedly such a genius. Isn't it more impressive to see, let's say, the Mona Lisa?" she had asked him in disbelief when he told her about works of artists she doubted anyone had every heard about.
"Oh, you're gonna see, love" he kept answering her with that beautiful smirk of his.
When she arrives at the former train station that serves as the museum building now, she buys a ticket and begins the tour. While she is not very fond of the oh so famous VanGogh, but in the next room one particular painting catches her eyes.
She stopps to take a closer look and without even noticing it she spends half an hour just staring at it.
It's simply mesmerizing.
It might not be as famous or historical important as many other painting in the Musee d'Orsay, but to Caroline it's something special. The spontanous brushstrokes, the way it appears like a photo taken from a hidden spot, the strong colors and the motive itself.
A couple lying in bed, kissing, it's as simple as that, but that's just why she likes it. It's simple and honest. And yet the colors turn it into something very special and unique.
"It's stunning, isn't it?".
A voice pulls her out of her trance and she shrieks. She turns around to an old man, smiling at her. She returns her gaze to the painting.
"Yes, it's..." and before she continues she let's out a little, sad laughter "..it's genuine beauty."
She realizes that she hasn't even taken a moment yet to read the little sign that reveals the painting's name and artist. It's "The Kiss" by Henry Toulouse-Lautrec. Toulouse-Lautrec.. somehow that name rings a bell, but it's only when she looks again at it's romantic motive when she remembers.
"Henry Toulouse-Lautrec. He has an exquisit and vivid style, I'm sure you'd like it. He is pretty underrated, though. Quite sad, considering he was such a modest man." Klaus says in his silky voice
"Wait.. you knew him?" He chuckles.
"Well, you meet quite a few people when you are around as long as I have been. And sad, abondaned people seem to attract one another."
Their conversation back in art room in Mystic Falls echoes in her head. It's the same artist and more or less friend Klaus told her about.
When she arrives at her room that evening she feels exhausted from all the impressions she has gained this day. Her luggage lies still unopened on her bed and she decides to at least put some of in the closet next to it.
She opens the closets doors and jerks. Someone removed the hangers and ensured open view to what's put on the wooden board.
It's not framed like in the museum, which gives it an even more modest and beautiful look.
Carefully she reaches her hand to slighty touch the thin paper, afraid to harm this unique piece of art.
"How..." is all she gets out. Her fingers trail the brushstrokes and she can't help but smile and find herself stunned. Stunned again by it's beauty and by it's miraculous appearance in her cupboard.
She would never say it out loud and she hardly even dares to think it, but the first explanation that strikes her mind is Klaus. Then again, it's silly.. and impossible.
He's gone and she doubts that he even as much as gives a thought about her or what she's doing.
In Paris she finally understands what he means by genuine beauty.
England is wet and grey and cold, and then some more wet and grey. Every time she looks out the hotel window the sky is always a deep depressing azure blue or an even more depressing grey. She understands now why Klaus had said that this was not her town, she's bright and bubbly and colorful and London does not do good things to her appearance.
For the first time in years, she actually looks like a vampire. Pale skin and all, sometimes she thinks she might just look grey here.
At this very moment though she looks like she's getting ready for battle, but she had been assured that this very much is like a war. Only instead of guns and swords; beer bottles and the occasional shoe are used as weapons.
She looks herself up and down in the mirror and concludes that anyone on the street could easily assume her to be pregnant; she suddenly finds this as a comforting thought. Maybe this means they might go easy on her. She's a vampire but still she's wearing enough padding to herself participate in the event she is going to watch instead of just being a spectator.
That's when she can't quite believe what she is doing, her Caroline Barbie Forbes is about to go watch an entire soccer match in Manchester of all places.
But she doesn't care that she'll look like a fish out of water there, or that she will very much be horrified by all the yelling and the swearing. She also doesn't mind that she's going to be there all alone.
No she doesn't care that's she's alone, she repeats in her head like a mantra.
She doesn't care about anything, she wants to do this and no amount of potential humiliation will deter her from it.
Because she knows that when she's in that noisy, stinky, sweaty stand... she'll feel closer to Klaus.
Laughing to herself as she buttons up her coat she can't help but mumble "The things I do for you"...
"Remind me again why I must watch this atrocity with you?" she pushes her nose in the air whilst poking him in the shoulder. She can't help but admire how sophisticated her vocabulary has become ever since she started spending time with Klaus. She uses words like atrocities, golly, blimey, arse and fancy and beautiful and...
He turns to look at her with a frown on his face and momentarily puts the TV on mute "I thought you wanted to know things about me?"
"Yes" she says exasperatedly "So I know you like soccer, I don't need you to explain the blessed rules to me"
There she goes again - blessed? She almost giggles to herself.
"You can't get the essence of the game if you don't know the rules love" he says affronted and starts his thesis on the various rules of soccer.
She loses every intention she had of turning him down when he calls her love.
Somewhere in between his heated rant of the 'offside' rule (she does her best to pretend that she actually understood what the offside rule is) she's had enough, far too enough of having to listen to some godforsaken imaginary line in which apparently all the players are supposed to stand, so she acts on instinct and grabs the neck of his jacket and pulls his face closer to hers.
He almost continues his bitching about the offside rule inside her mouth, and it's not until she almost moans that he realizes what is happening here. And it's only because he's so shocked that his tongue doesn't stick through her like it's digging for oil.
The kiss is sweet and simple, but Caroline for one can't deny the way her entire body lights up from his touch... just that of his lips, she can't even imagine how the rest of him would feel.
"So which is your favorite team?" she asks softly a while later when they're both staring too hard at the TV in a vain attempt to pretend that there isn't a volatile electricity between them, courtesy the smallest of kiss ever.
"Manchester United..." he says with a boyish grin that makes her want to kiss him again...
And she does.
It's a blur of colors mostly Red and Blue, scents mostly beer and sweat, noises mostly of mindless yelling and then she can faintly hear 'Glory Glory Man United...' amongst the crowds and she laughs as she makes her way to what a polite man told her was her seat.
It's a big match they tell her, Man United v/s Chelsea they tell her. We really need this win they tell her, and she feels stuck between confused and happy that within all of 10 minutes she has been accepted into the Manchester United family of sorts.
It's always we were so close to a goal there.
We so should not have gotten carded there.
We need to find someone to support Rooney better.
We need to beat Chelsea so bad.
We need to win this year.
She almost feels like a part of the family, she even finds herself cheering them on to win.
Not because she wants them to win, really not. She honestly liked watching some guy called Fernando Torres run around more than she did the actual game, but no she still jumps up and down and hugs the guys next to her when Manchester United wins.
Because Klaus wanted it, he would do the exact same thing when they won. Jump up and down and throw abuses at the opposing team, and in the event that they lost he whipped the remote at the TV and she had to compel herself a new TV.
She wishes, so badly wishes for the first time in so long that he was here, right next to her. With that ridiculous childish grin on his face as he celebrated their win, because she liked seeing him happy.
It made her happy.
She never recognizes when exactly in the midst of her laughter and yelling the tears begin to stream down her face and she just plops onto the metallic seat when the depressing thought paves its way into her mind.
She lives her life for Klaus now.
Everything she does, every action, every movement, every motion, every step forward is only a way for her to feel closer to him.
And he isn't even here.
Finally she accepts it.
In London her heart breaks.
A/N - So should we continue? Any guesses on what happened WITH or TO Klaus?