Author's note at the end.
Summary: Caroline was building a life for herself, her plans were set and continually derailed by the supernatural world. The next thing to take her off course is the discovery that she is married, to Klaus Mikaelson and a vampire/witch hybrid. With her memories of their life back, she finds herself in New Orleans, ruling beside the big bad himself. Sequel to Sun and Moon, An Immortal Dance.
Chapter Twenty Two
Hayley and Elijah walked back to the compound, leaving Genevieve's now dead body in the tomb. They had gotten some answers from the red haired witch, including some very useful information that Klaus and the others needed to know. But it needed to be given in person, it was not something that should be said over text or on the phone. Not to mention, neither were necessarily in a chatting mood at this precise moment.
In the past several hours, their entire world had been shaken. While their plans in getting the Crescent wolves and Klaus's hybrid pack here had served in their favor, not to mention the baby was still alive and was safer than before, but still neither could necessarily cheer with joy. Not when the witches stole Caroline's life. The only real solace they had was knowing what Caroline's ancestors had done for them, for all of New Orleans in fact.
"How are you," Elijah whispered as they walked down the alley, avoiding being seen in their current blood covered state.
Hayley kept her eyes forward as she answered, "Miserable. You?"
"Something like that," Elijah said back, his eyes beginning to sting again.
"It doesn't feel like it, but she and those other bitches lost," Hayley said sharply, her tone bitter and frigid.
Elijah let out a small sigh, "If only their loss could feel more like we won."
A victory they may have had against the witches along with Francesca and her pack, but they lost a prominent member of their family today. For the second time, or third depending on certain perspectives, he had watched his brother lose his wife. First Michael, then her memory and now this. It broke his heart that she was gone again. Caroline was his family, while he may not have loved her the way Niklaus did, he loved her as if she were his own flesh and blood. As if she truly were his own sister and he would have done anything if it meant that she could be alive. He recalled the days centuries ago when she had gotten severely sick, how they feared she would not last, but she refused to give up. Even when her own fear on the subject showed, she managed to fight back, not willing to go out just yet. She was too stubborn to die, but yet he had watched life from her eyes twice now.
Could they be so lucky for her to reappear a third time? His family had never been lucky before, so why would they be lucky now? Regardless, he couldn't ignore the hope that she would return, that she would come back with her bright smile to match her personality. But the more he thought about it, the more he knew that she would not be returning to them. That this time, this time she was likely gone forever. He had to call Rebekah, Kol and her friends in Mystic Falls. How was he supposed to tell his siblings Caroline was killed again? How would her friends react to her being killed while under their care? Elijah knew when Caroline had gone home to speak with them, how they were less than pleased with the revelation of her connection to the family. And even though he was not their biggest fans, he knew they had a right to know the truth of what happened to her.
"I don't know what to do," Hayley said quietly. "Without her… we, we started out as enemies at best and I never thought we'd be in the same town again, let alone family…" Hayley looked down at her feet. "She, she should still be here."
Elijah grabbed her hand in his own and squeezed it tightly, "I miss her too."
Hayley glanced at him, her eyes shimmered for a moment, but she said nothing. The only thing that went through her mind had been the very last conversation she had with Caroline. It had been just before their meeting with Francesca, Elijah and Klaus went down first, but Caroline pulled her aside in the nursery room meant for her- meant for Caroline's daughter. The baby was no longer her own, and it killed her to think about it. Though not as much as Caroline's last words to her.
"I know you don't want to talk about it, I don't want to either," Caroline admitted, she looked every bit as uncomfortable and miserable as Hayley felt. "But I need to say this."
Hayley braced herself, wondering what on earth the woman would possibly tell her.
Caroline visibly swallowed, "You and I were not friends before and I never could have imagined the two of us being close like this."
"That makes two of us," Hayley remarked softly.
Caroline gave her a faint smile, but it quickly faded. "I have no idea how today will play out."
"Your plan will work," Hayely told her, confident and stern. The plan had to work. There was no telling what sort of problems would come if her plan failed, even the parts that Caroline refused to share with the rest of them. "We'll all get through this."
"Even the best laid plans can fall apart," Caroline pointed out just as sternly.
Hayley shook her head, "Your plans almost never fail. We'll be fine."
Caroline released a breath, "I didn't pull you aside for a pep taught. More of a reminder. The baby, she may not be yours by blood, but you will give birth to her and you will be her birth mother. She may have my DNA, but you've carried her all this time." Caroline swallowed again. "I know it's not the same, but I want you as the baby's godmother. And I know that usually has some religious thing tied to it, but I just mean that you are still this baby's mother in a way and I want you to be there for her in that way. So, please."
Hayley didn't have the chance to respond as Klaus called for them. Not saying anything more, Caroline raced away to St Anne's leaving Hayley momentarily stunned.
"Are you alright," Elijah asked her, forcing her to return to the present.
Hayley didn't look at him, "Thinking of our last conversation."
Hayley shook her head, she didn't feel like sharing that conversation with him yet. So she just squeezed his hand before letting go and making her way inside. He didn't question her further, merely followed her silently. The first thing she noticed as she entered was the sound of crying, but not crying from someone she recognized. As she walked further in, she stopped behind the corner as she was met with the sight of an older woman she didn't know cradling Caroline's body in her arms as she cried.
The memory of the woman flashed through her mind, Sheriff Liz Forbes from Mystic Falls, Caroline's mother. Hayley stepped back sharply, almost like she had been forced back. She knew she should look away, but for a moment, she was just frozen in place as she watched Sheriff Forbes. Elijah stood at her side, but he made no move to pull her away or look away himself. For a few seconds that stretched to a lifetime, they just watched a mother cradle her only child.
Liz Forbes was one of the toughest people in the world, so she'd been told and she oftentimes felt. Yet, sitting with her back against the fountain and Caroline's limp body in her arms… she had never felt so weak and broken before in her entire life. Her arms were supporting Caroline's upper body against her, the large red spot on her chest a reminder of the wound that took her life. Though her face was peaceful, as if she were asleep in her arms. And for a moment, Liz could pretend that she was asleep, holding her sleeping little girl after a nightmare. More tears slipped down her cheeks and onto Caroline's stained dress. It was her job to protect her. And she failed.
She grabbed Caroline cold hand and brought to her own face as she whispered, "I am so sorry baby. I'm so sorry."
Liz was tired of crying, but she knew the tears wouldn't stop for a long time. She lifted Caroline up, cradling her head against her shoulder as she had done when Caroline was still a baby. Burying her face into her daughter's hair, she continued to cry and begged with every piece of her soul to the highest power that existed that her baby would come back. That if she could take her place, to let her take it.
Seeing the Sheriff cradle Caroline like made Hayley step forward, only for Elijah to catch her wrist and pull her back. Hayley looked over her should at him, she understood before she saw his face. The moment was intimate and vulnerable, a mother holding her dead child, grieving the loss of her baby. Had the witches succeeded with their original plan, Hayley knew that she and Caroline would be mourning the same way Sheriff Forbes was mourning now. This was not a moment for them to disturb.
They needed to allow this mother to properly mourn her child in peace.
Hayley turned to the stairs and when she looked up, she saw Klaus standing there, a solemn expression, his eyes filled with pain. He tilted his head to the side, a signal for them to follow him and wordlessly, they did. Once they were behind closed doors, in Hayley's room actually, did they finally speak.
"I take it Genevieve is gone," Klaus asked, his voice was hoarse.
Elijah nodded, "Hayley killed her."
"Good riddance," Klaus said sharply, "Well done little wolf."
Hayley didn't react to the nickname, "She told us some stuff that you're going to want to hear."
Klaus raised an eyebrow at that, "Enlighten me."
"It was another of Caroline's plan with her ancestors," Elijah started, his tone soft. "It turns out, that her sacrifice cut off all links of magic for the corrupt French Quarter witches. At least half of them no longer have access to magic and more than half of the ancestors cannot make contact with the living."
"Including your psychotic mother," Hayley added.
Klaus blinked in surprise, "How? How is this possible?"
Hayley spoke with a wry expression, "Whatever Caroline did during the ritual, she ensured that the witches could never hurt us again."
A proud smile spread across Klaus' face, "That's my Caroline, she'd never stand for those she loved to be hurt again."
He swallowed thickly before turning his gaze to the side, towards the nursery where his daughter lay. Caroline ensured that her family would be protected no matter what and Klaus would honor that sacrifice by making sure their daughter was surrounded by nothing, but love. She would only know joy and happiness and good things. No one would ever lay a hand on her, no one would ever hurt her. While he may not have been invincible, he was as close to invincible as they come and he would not allow anything or anyone to harm his family again.
Without saying anything else, Klaus left the room, needing some air and allowing Elijah and Hayley a chance with the baby. A baby who still needed a name, but that wasn't something he could think about right now. For a moment, or maybe for hours, he just needed to be mindless, to let his grief cloud over him. He found himself in his room, almost working on autopilot, he grabbed his paints and a canvas and started painting. Letting the blank canvas turn into a beautiful scene from his mind, allowing the strokes to drown out the wounds tearing at his soul.
Several hours had passed since Klaus started painting, the only reason he knew was because Elijah forced him away from the canvas and told him how much time had gone by. Not that it mattered, what mattered most to him was that he be allowed to feel all his grief uninterrupted, but it seemed his brother would not allow him to wallow alone any longer. And though not a single word was shared between them, the presence of the other made them feel the briefest bit better and not quite as alone as before.
Elijah then told him to get cleaned up and to head to the nursery, they all needed to talk. Klaus did as he was asked numbly, removing his bloody and paint covered clothes, showered then put on some jeans and a Henley shirt. Caroline loved him in these outfits, she said that he looked so much like himself, like he wasn't hiding when he wore clothes like this.
God he missed her so much.
He walked out of his room and headed towards the nursery, though he paused at another room first when he saw who was inside. His mother-in-law sat in a chair next to the bed, eyes closed and breathing deeply, her hand holding Caroline's lifeless one. He'd briefly spoken with her when he arrived with her daughter in his arms, but he had nothing else he could say. There were no words strong enough for him to describe how sorry he was for failing her. He swallowed thickly and walked towards the nursery with sluggish steps.
He opened the door to Hayley's room and spotted her in the corner, sitting in the chair looking down at the baby she had given birth to the night before. At that moment, he had to wonder what was going on in her mind about the situation. He couldn't imagine carrying a child, believing it to be yours, only to discover that it was not. And while he had been happy the baby was Caroline's, he'd been devastated on Hayley's behalf knowing how excited she had been to have a child of her own.
He approached her slowly, "Have you settled on a name?"
Hayley lifted her red rimmed eyes to look at him, "What?"
"A name," he repeated softly, "For the baby."
"Klaus she isn't mine, I-I can't name her," Hayley whispered, she sounded so pained and heartbroken to admit it. But it was the truth.
Klaus swallowed thickly, his face twisted in a grimace as he forced the words out, "My wife is dead once again. And, and we only ever discussed the possibility of a child once, but we never got to talk about possible names… I have no idea what she would have wanted to name her and… and you and I never discussed such things, but I assumed you've given it thought."
It was true, Hayley had made a list of several names as soon as she found out she was having a girl and she wanted to run them over by Klaus when the baby was born. He was the father and he should have a say in her name. But that had been before the truth of the baby's true parentage came out, that had been before so many things happened to change the dynamic that would not be shared. She remembered Caroline's last words to her, about being the baby's godmother, still being her mother in some form despite no relation existing between them. In the moment, Hayley had been too stunned to speak, she didn't know how to react and then everything else happened leaving her without a chance to ever say anything to the woman again.
"I had thought of several names, but I could never settle on one," Hayley said with a sniff, "But if I had to give a suggestion… I think she should be named after her real mother, after Caroline who died so she could live."
Klaus felt his eyes sting once again, he did not fight the tears as they slipped down his cheeks. It was perfect, it was perfect and painful all in one go. An uneasy breath left him as he tried to stop the tears from falling, even felt the hand of his brother on his shoulder to offer support, but it only made him want to break down further. He had no idea when Elijah had gotten here, but it didn't matter really. What mattered was his daughter, a daughter he loved more than anything and how pained he was to know that his child would grow without Caroline to raise her. It shattered his already broken heart.
"I love that idea," Klaus choked out, barely keeping himself together. "Caroline, I, I love-loved her so much. And I don't, I don't know what I will do without her here." He inhaled deeply. "But I will find a way to make sure this child grows up knowing how loved and cherished she is."
Elijah nodded, "She'll know, we will all tell her and we'll make sure she is the happiest child in the world."
Klaus gripped his brother's hand and squeezed tightly, "Thank you."
For a few moments, they were each silent and lost in their own swirl of emotions. It had been a harsh and difficult few days for each of them, the loss was heavy and their grief suffocating, but they would not endure this alone. They were a family, they were the strongest family in the world and they would not allow anything to tear them down. The sound of gentle footsteps filled each of their heightened ears, they turned their gazes towards the mostly closed door. A moment later, the head of Liz Forbes appeared. Her eyes were red rimmed as their own, she looked just as weary as the rest of them, though there was a small light in her eyes.
"I don't mean to interrupt," Liz told them gently.
Klaus shook his head and stepped towards her, "You're not interrupting. We were just discussing the baby's name… I believe we've settled on Caroline, to honor her mother."
Liz flashed him a heartbreaking smile, but she said nothing.
"Here, you should hold your granddaughter," Klaus said to her and gestured for Hayley to stand with the baby.
"In a second, there's someone here to see you first," Liz replied, there was a soft, but brilliant smile on her face at those words.
Klaus frowned, but nodded nonetheless wondering who it could have been. However, he did not have to question for long who this mystery person was as when Liz moved the door further away, it was revealed who was with her, who she was supporting. Everyone in the room stared wide eyed at her, a flurry of emotions racing through each of them.
"As great of a name as Caroline is, wouldn't it get confusing between the two of us," Caroline whispered, her smile weak and teasing.
"Caroline, you're, you're alive," Klaus said in disbelief as he stepped close to her.
Caroline tried to step forward, but her leg gave out beneath her, but thanks to her mother and Klaus's speed, she didn't hit the ground. A breathy laugh left her as he pulled her back onto her feet, before bringing his hands to cup her face. The look in his eyes said what he could not voice. Truly this could not be real. Was she really here in front of him again? Was she alive? As if he were terrified she would break, his touch on her cheeks was as light as a feather, so delicate.
"I'm here Niklaus," she whispered to him as she brought her hands to cover his own. "I'm right here."
Without speaking, he just pulled her into his arms and she wrapped her own around his, taking in his scent and the feeling of being in his arms once more. A shiver went through her body as she remembered the cold that seeped into her essence when the knife pierced her heart, how she wasn't sure she would ever know what warmth was again. Yet here in his arms, she was reminded of how nice it was. His hand went through her hair as he kissed the side of her face, taking in the feeling of having her so close once again.
"How is this possible," Elijah whispered, breaking the silence.
Caroline let out a breathy chuckle as she ended the hug with Klaus, but he kept his arm around her waist so she wouldn't fall, "Let's just say I'm stronger than I look."
There was certainly more to the story, but she had already told her mother what had happened to her on the other side, how long it had felt over there, everything she had done to ensure her child and family would be safe. So much happened despite it only being several hours since the sacrifice, yet to her it had felt much, much longer. After all, time worked differently over there and many things she had to do, many people she had met, so much happened and at the moment, she didn't have the energy to explain it all. Only that her family was safe.
"The Quarter witches won't be a problem anymore," Caroline said after a beat of silence. "Francesca's pack is defeated and soon enough, word will spread of what happened here, of what we're all capable of."
Klaus squeezed her closer to his side, but said nothing. However his expression said it all. He was glowing with pride, love and joy. There had never truly been anyone like Caroline in his life, he wouldn't trade her for anything, he loved her so much and wanted her to stay with him for eternity. And now, now it seemed that such a thing could truly be possible. For this moment, everything was perfect. His wife was with him, he had his brother, his mother-in-law, his friend and daughter. His family would be safe and powerful. No one would hurt them again. Not ever.
"I think Caroline is the perfect name for her love," Klaus said softly, his smile warm. "It's only fitting she be named after the woman who brought this kingdom to it's knees for her sake."
Caroline stared up at him for a moment, she looked ready to protest, though she paused when Elijah spoke. "I agree with Niklaus. We are all in favor of the name to honor you."
Caroline swallowed at that, "So long as no one calls her Jr, that's fine."
"Is that your only request," Hayley said with a small laugh. She looked at the baby, "Hi Caroline Jr, hopefully you won't be as much of a control freak as either of your parents."
"What did I just say," Caroline sighed with a fake exasperation, though her smile was genuine. "How about the middle name we talked about Hayley?"
Hayley blinked at her in surprise, but said nothing.
This prompted Elijah to ask the question, "You two discussed names?"
"And I wasn't invited," Klaus said with a bitter expression.
Caroline grinned, "Don't be pouty. Knowing you, you would have come up with something that would certainly get her bullied."
"She's a princess, daughter of the Original Hybrids, no one would dare bully her," Klaus stated matter of factly.
"Keep telling yourself that," Liz commented with a sly smile.
Klaus had a mock offended look on his face, but before such talks could continue, it was Elijah who brought everyone back to the point. "As entertaining as this is, I am still curious about the name Caroline and Hayley discussed."
When Hayley made no move to explain, Caroline spoke, "When Hayley was brainstorming ideas, I suggested the name Andrea. It was Hayley's birth name after all and I thought it would have been sweet. We also talked about the name Hope."
"Why Hope," Elijah asked softly.
It was Hayley who answered him, a soft and embarrassed look on her face, "You said this baby was this family's hope all the time. I thought it would have just driven the point home even more."
Elijah's smile was blinding and showed how touched he was by the explanation of the name, "Thank you."
"Well we need to settle on something, I want to know what my granddaughter's full name is," Liz said, her smile was disbelieving as if she couldn't believe she had said such a thing.
That made Caroline laugh, "Excited to be a grandma? You look much too young to be a grandmother."
"Don't start," Liz said with a shake of her.
Hayley placed the baby into Caroline's arms, who hesitated at first, but instinct took over and she adjusted her hold to keep the baby steady. She had only held the baby once, waiting for her own execution and trying to soak in the moment, the feeling. And now, her baby was back in her arms, safe and protected by all of them. A watery smile spread across Caroline's face as she stared down at the baby, a baby who's eyes were like her father's. The same glint there that promised something magical.
"You get final say sweetheart," Klaus said as he looked from the baby to his wife.
Caroline's smile didn't change, she whispered, "It's nice to really meet you Caroline-Andrea Hope Mikaelson."
End of season one - look at a ramble of explanations and what's coming next!
Whew guys, we made it! Season one complete! Now, onto season two, but don't expect it to come around until likely the summer. This will give me more time to actually get the chapters flowing, outline any details and overall figure it out because I love this story and don't want to haphazardly continue it like I'd been doing since life had been getting in the way. So it'll take a bit longer, but at least it should be more developed and hopefully worth the wait.
Now with all that said, here's what to expect for the next installment, which won't be a second story, it'll just be added into here. Chapter 23 will be called something like Chapter One - Part II or whatever. Regardless, here's some content stuff to keep in mind. I wasn't the biggest fan of Dahlia and I kind of want to skip all that and go straight to the sire lines, but the problem is I really really really like Freya and want her around. Sooooo I'll be working around that for a good bit, trying to figure things out and how I can make it, make sense. Though what might end up happening is if I have to keep Dahlia, then it'll be severely adjusted and much shorter.
Season two will take place a year or so after season one, just after Hope's first birthday. But here's a summary of what everyone does in that year and to give you some ideas to hold onto while I get this next installment ready.
Cami is in charge of the human faction, she's running things fairly well and she even has a counseling practice open that operates with human friendly hours and some supernatural friendly hours or options. Marcel has been a huge help in getting it all set up.
Marcel is an advisor, but mostly in charge of the vampires. He and Mikaelsons have worked out a number of their issues, so he's more apart of the family than before. As he runs the vampires, he has put in place some aspects of his old system where if a vampire proves themselves, they earn a daylight ring and what not. He's happy.
Hayley and Jackson in charge of the wolves and are doing great. All the Crescents are back in the city, they all can control when they shift and without pain thanks to some spell Caroline had done with Hayley's hybrid blood. Jackson and Hayley don't have a relationship, while he has feelings for her, he knows her heart belongs to someone else.
Caroline is in charge of the witches, she learns more of their ways and teaches them the magic they had lost touch with. While Vincent and a few others had opposed her in the beginning, they all begin to learn the truth about the horrors their coven had committed and work with her to make it better. Davina and the Harvest Girl Cassie are doing well with school and magic.
Klaus and Elijah are the ones overseeing everything, though there is little for them to do except for keep a few odd ones in line and under control. They have each built up their allies in the distance and kept their eyes peeled for any possible threats that may come to the city of their family.
Elijah and Hayley are working towards a relationship. Klaus has asked Caroline to marry him again, she has said yes.
As always, thank you all for sticking with this story! From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for reading. Until next time!