One More Chance

At the sight of the tents over the hill, the young man felt relief. It had been miles since he'd seen another living soul and every fibre of his body ached with agony. Huffing and puffing, he staggered onwards at the promise of help. The elements had weathered him.

As soon as he was over the hill, he heard a shout. Figures rushed to his location, just reaching him as he collapsed into the nearest one. He could just about hear shouts for a medic, but there was only one person he needed right now.

Propped up by the other soldiers, his clouded vision returned once he saw the man he needed to meet.

Niklaus of the White Valley rushed over from his tent, frowning at the sight. An injured soldier, alone, was a sight that everyone should worry about. Nodding at his second, he indicated that the whole camp should be on alert for a potential invasion.

"What's your name soldier?" he barked.

"Thaddeus, from the Legion of the West," the man managed to gasp out.

"Where did you come from?"

"From just south of the Grey River, a small village called Riverside. They...they slaughtered every last person in that village...not just the men of fighting age but women and children too. Everyone was dead, there was a woman hiding with her child under the bed, they hacked them to death. Just as a squad of us were leaving, they jumped out from behind the bushes and got us. He was there...he spared me to send a message to you. They're coming, commander, they're coming. He said to send his regards to The Wolf."

Klaus bristled. He'd always ignored the name bestowed upon him, the one he'd gotten at a young age after killing the murderous Kal of Fenrir. The grateful people had called him that as a tribute, especially since the wolf was the enemy of the Fenrir tribe.

He didn't need to ask who 'he' was. The Red Face was known for smearing the blood of his enemies on his face as some sort of war paint.

The Red Face was coming.

"Soldier, we need to get you to a medic."

Klaus knew that Thaddeus was mortally wounded, but he wanted to give him that little bit of hope before he died. The Wolf was not an old man by any means, but Thaddeus looked like he was still in his teens.

"I...I live in a village called Stickgrave. My mother, she's widowed, her name is Ellwyn. I have siblings too, I'm the oldest...my father died years ago. Tell her I'm sorry and that I love the family. Tell my brother Doran to look after the family and my sister Daisy to care for mother. There's a girl too, she lives in a yellow hut in the centre of the village. Cassandra, I never told her how I felt. Please tell her."

With that, Thaddeus slumped forward. They didn't need a doctor to tell them that he was no more.

Klaus sighed.

"Bury him by the daisies, there's a wooden cross in the physician's tent."


He turned to face his second, who looked pale.

"What do we do?"

"We can only prepare for what is to come. If you need me, I'll be in my tent, but I'd like some privacy first."

The tent doors flapped behind him as he entered. He always knew this day would come, the day The Red Face would finally come face to face with him. For most of the war, the two leaders hadn't interacted with each other- heck, Klaus had never even met him in person. He could feel it in his bones.

The fight was coming to him.

Dropping into his chair, he reached out to the letter held underneath a paperweight.

Dearest Klaus,

I miss you so much. It was quiet here, but there's been a steady stream of refugees from all parts of the land. We've been practically overrun, but the people have been so helpful. Even the poorest of the townspeople are letting the refugees into their homes- they sleep ten to a room. Can you believe it? I have half a village in my home.

I pray that the war will soon be over so you can come home and we can finally live in peace. We will have a large family, sons and daughters laughing and playing all day. You will teach them all how to fight and I will teach them letters. They will never have to face what we have.

It has been two weeks since I last got word from your sister, which means I am beginning to worry. I do not believe she got to Hillrun, but that is good, as Hillrun has fallen to the invaders. Unfortunately, I have not heard from anybody else either. The last person I saw was Stefan when he passed through the village, he informed me that his brother was dead. I have this horrible feeling that Stefan has been killed too. All I can do is pray that I am wrong.

My Wolf, please come home safe to me.

All my love,


He smiled sadly, thoughts of her flashing through his mind.

Caroline of Mystic Falls was not a high ranking noble, but her family was of good stock and she essentially ran her town. He'd heard her name before he met her. Caroline had bravely written letters against the invaders and smuggled them across the lands so that those who read it knew not to join them. From her home, she'd directed troops both in military matters and humanitarian ones.

When he'd heard how she'd managed to save an entire village under the cover of night, Klaus knew he had to meet this woman. Several months later and he'd found himself in Mystic Falls.

Klaus had never expected her to be so young and so beautiful- she was around his age, he'd been expecting an older and more worldly woman. From the moment he saw her, The Wolf was weakened by her. He was captivated by her bravery and heart. It wasn't long before they became lovers, meeting every time he was nearby.

Before he left last time, they'd wed in a quiet ceremony. He planned to return there after the war and start a life with his wife.

He shuffled through the letters she'd sent them. Some talked of happy news, like refugees finding their loved ones and wedding ceremonies. Most, however, were filled with dark news. Her friend Elena Gilbert had been found floating in a ravine. Her guard Matt's decapitated body was discovered in a field, his head on a spike beside it. An illness had swept through the town, killing many of the elderly.


Klaus looked up.

"Our scouts have spotted the invaders setting up outside an open field on the banks of Lake Vanaville."

That was it- the invitation to dance.

"It is time. You know what to do."

The second nodded, exiting the tent. Klaus took a moment to kneel before the giant crucifix erected on top of some books. He did the sign of the cross and prayed for his forces to defeat the enemy. All he wanted was to stop seeing people massacred.

An end to the war, that would be something.

Pausing at his desk, he unfolded the sketch he'd made of Caroline last time he saw her. She was smiling happily, a flower crown in her hair still from their wedding day. It allowed him one image of his beloved.

He quietly slipped it in the pocket over his heart.

Sword in his sheath, he strode out to his horse, a grey and white beast named Fire. As much as he cared for his horse, he always associated Fire with war. Maybe after it was over, Fire could enjoy a large field with plenty of other horses to play with.

"Onward!" he called.

The men marched behind him in unison, his fellow officers also on horseback. It was a short walk, but a miserable one filled with silence. There was a good chance most of these men wouldn't be alive in a few hours.

It wouldn't just be Thaddeus. There'd be no space to bury them, it'd have to be a funeral pyre.

The army finally approached. Spying through his eyeglass, he saw The Red Face perched atop a horse that was bigger than he'd ever seen. Only glimpses of his pale skin could be seen, for most of his face was painted with the blood he was so famous for.

The Red Face smirked in response.

There would be no negotiation or pact. They wouldn't meet in the middle.

He could hear some soldiers puking, whilst others prayed aloud. Even The Wolf could not get angry at them- they were boys, many of them, and had a right to be scared. Klaus wondered if the opposing army was feeling similarly nervous.

Did they fear The Wolf as they did The Red Face?

The sound of trumpets filled the air. Klaus raised an arm and his troops immediately filled the battlefield. His horse thundering beneath him, Klaus raised his sword and sliced through the invaders, blood splitting across the grass.

Death surrounded him. It cut and it stabbed and it impaled. Fire flew across the field, dodging arrows wherever he could…

...until a direct hit saw him crash to the floor. Klaus was barely able to leap off his stead as Fire fell down. The horse managed to look at his master pitifully one last time before he died.

The Wolf couldn't afford to be distracted, every part of him watching what was around him.

It was then when he saw him.

The blood looked even more terrifying when you saw it up close. The Red Face grinned, his missing teeth menacing against his sharpened ones. He immediately raised his sword, Klaus racing to catch up. The metal clashed together.

"The famous Wolf," The Red Face grinned, teeth tucked between his teeth.

"You've heard of me."

"You have been a thorn on my side for years. I look forward to your blood decorating my face. I imagine The Wolf has special blood, so beautiful and red. I've not been so happy with my blood since I stabbed a maiden in the north. She wore white, it went everywhere."

"I wish that the blood that is spilled is yours."

"Very well then, Wolf, let us dance."

Klaus fought his hardest, everything in him was burning to kill The Red Face. His porcelain skin really contrasted with the deep red on his face, but again Klaus couldn't focus on that. The two moved quickly across their spot, ignoring everything that was going on behind them.

If you do this, life will be peaceful.


Klaus could feel the blade push into his skin, probably as far as it could go, before it came back out. Looking up, he saw his enemy's wide, cruel smile. Looking down, he saw the large red stain increasing in his abdomen.

The world stopped and everything went into slow motion. He felt heavy as he collapsed to the ground, the blood gushing out of his stomach at a worrying pace- The Red Face had clearly nicked an artery.

As his world started to go black, his thoughts turned to one thing…


Many miles away, across the land

Caroline of Mystic Falls felt a wave of darkness move through her body.

She clutched her chest and buckled slightly.

Something bad had happened, she knew it. Was it Klaus? Was it something else? She didn't know, but she was filled with dread.

Another village had arrived the day previously. Well, it was half a village. A bedraggled band of the elderly, women and children arrived, exhausted from a long walk. Their menfolk were at war or dead.

Mystic Falls was both a military base and temporary home for hundreds of people. It was already packed to the rafters but Caroline could not turn anyone away. Temporary shelters were made, wood and sticks quickly built in spare alleyways and spaces.

The rations would decrease.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of the town bell. She expected to greet some new refugees, but that idea fell through when Sister Hilda rushed into the door without knocking.

"They're here."

Caroline knew this day would come. It was inevitable. Her work had been instrumental in rallying troops and she seemed to be sheltering half the villagers in the land. She may not have been on the battlefield, but her words and actions made her a threat to the invaders.

Mystic Falls was a prize. It had been well protected due to its importance, but that would only last so long.

It was time to lead for the last time.

"Gather everyone you can in the castle, don't bring anyone from outside, there isn't time. Get them inside the hidden cellars and as soon as you're in, LOCK THE DOORS. Don't let anyone else in. Take the key, save who you can."

"My lady, what about you?"

"They're here for me. If I can distract them, it may save lives. God be with you, Sister."

"And with you, my lady," Sister Hilda nodded before exiting. They knew it would be the last time they ever saw each other.

Caroline watched from the window as everyone rushed to the emergency shelters, soldiers and guards rushing to fend off the hoards. She could hear the screams and yells from dying men, the invaders creeping into the streets.

Maybe the children would live in a better world.

She walked over to the crucifix and prayed for the safety of others. After that, she took her nicest jewellery and brushed her hair.

Caroline would face them in style.

She heard thunderous steps head in her direction. Oh gosh, she really hoped that Sister Hilda got as many people in the cellars as she could and that the emergency shelters would hold.

Ever closer.

Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes.


Many, many hundreds of years later

"...The bodies of Niklaus 'The Wolf' of The White Valley and Caroline of Mystic Falls were never found. It's believed that The Red Face stole The Wolf's body to use as a trophy and Caroline's was burnt in a mass grave. Six months later, the war ended. Though they never got to see it happen, legend states that one day, the two lovers will reunite."

The tour guide looked around the room at the enraptured audience.

"We do not have many accurate contemporary accounts on what the pair looked like, so any art is down to the artist. Surviving transcripts write that The Wolf and Caroline were both instrumental in the war effort. Does anybody have any questions?"

A teenage girl raised her hand.


"Did the nun and those other people in the castle survive?"

"Yes, they did. Caroline managed to distract forces long enough for a large number of people to hide. The Attack on Mystic Falls was still bloody and killed many people, but it could have been a lot worse. Now, please enjoy the exhibition."

A man walked over immediately to the art work. He squinted close, admiring the beautiful paintings and tapestries.

A woman walked next to him, looking at a sketch.

"They're nice, aren't they?" he asked.

She nodded, "Very much so."

"I must admit that I came for the art, but I found the story fascinating- and I'm not one for love stories. It's drawing me in."

"Oh I came for the badass women in history and the love story, I'm a sucker for both," the woman laughed, "But the artwork is nice and I feel really drawn to it too.

"Well I own a studio and gallery so it's nice to look."

"I'm a special Ed teacher, my kids love this stuff."

The man extended a hand.

"Niklaus Mikaelson."

"Caroline Forbes," the woman took it, "What a strange coincidence."

"Indeed," he smiled, "How would you like to get coffee?"

She smiled back.

"I'd like that very much."

With that, the two strangers walked off together, both feeling as though this was just right.

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