I don't own The Vampire Diaries, I'm just a fan :)


A/N: Thank you to everyone who reviewed this story. I thoroughly enjoyed writing it. Honestly? It's probably my favourite that I've written. I love this pairing even if I'm Damon/Caroline FTW usually. I hope you like the ending and you can let me know if you think I should attempt Klaus/Caroline again sometime. Take care :)

This chapter is dedicated to jau0062 because your amazing review made my day :)


Perplexed

Epilogue


The Originals had been separated for a long time. Some of them for years. Some of them for centuries. But they hadn't been all together for nearly a millennium. Elijah wanted to reconnect with his siblings. All of them. Even Klaus. Rebekah was the baby of the family and she wanted her big sister and her big brothers again. She had Klaus and he would always be who she was closest to – but she wanted the chance to get to know them again. She wanted to be a family again. Helen had never had any problems with Elijah and Gabriel, but Klaus and Rebekah had been trouble makers and their mother was useless so she'd often taken care of them. She'd often felt responsible for them. That was why Klaus resented her. He didn't need taken care of. But of course Caroline talked him into it – eventually. Gabriel was laid back and usually stayed out of it. He didn't like to fight with anyone... but he totally had a crush on Bonnie so he agreed. So the five of them stayed in Mystic Falls.

It lasted six months. Klaus had had it with Helen. Rebekah was driving Elijah nuts. All the arguing was irritating Gabriel. So they split up.

Elijah and Helen left to travel together. They had similar interests and had always been close. They went to England and decided just to stay there. Gabriel left to go to South America and Bonnie shocked everyone in Mystic Falls when she went with him. Klaus, Rebekah and Caroline stayed in Mystic Falls a little longer. Two months in fact. Then the three of them left to travel. Klaus practically dragged Caroline out of the state – he was so fed up with the tragic little town that was Mystic Falls. He vowed to never go back there as long as he lived and Caroline just laughed and told him they'd go back when she felt like it and if he ever wanted to get laid again, he'd stop complaining. He shut up. Caroline was starting her 'visit every country in the world' plan and Klaus wouldn't leave her side so of course he went too.

Caroline had very quickly become close to Helen and Gabriel too. Elijah she could take or leave because he was kind of aloof and a little too pensive for her tastes but whatever – she wasn't one to judge.

Much to Klaus' disapproval, Caroline and Damon had become pretty good friends. Caroline helped Damon accept that he was feeling again. She helped him deal with things that hurt him. She ended up being the only person in the world that Damon Salvatore trusted completely. Klaus still hated him and refused to speak to him if he didn't absolutely have to. He did however start to become kind of friends with Stefan and Tyler. Klaus helped Tyler deal with being a hybrid and though Tyler still kind of feared him a little, he thought becoming a hybrid was the best thing that ever happened to him as he never had to change anymore. He didn't have to go through the horrendous transformations anymore.

Caroline made Klaus apologise to everyone he hurt in Mystic Falls. He apologised to Elena for everything... Jenna, the sacrifice, toying with her, Isobel. He apologised for the works. He apologised to Stefan for making him be the ripper again. He apologised to Bonnie for trying to kill her. But Klaus said to Caroline that he would rather stick that dagger in his own heart than apologise to Damon for anything and Caroline rolled her eyes and let it go. Progress was progress.

Stefan and Damon left Mystic Falls at the same time Caroline, Klaus and Rebekah left. Stefan and Damon left to travel together – Caroline gathered that would last a month. Tops. Everyone had a bet going on it, in fact, as nobody thought that would end up in anything but disaster.

It lasted 22 days.

Bonnie won the bet as she'd said three weeks.

When Stefan left with Damon, Elena had gone on a drunken bender and ended up drowning her sorrows with Matt and the two of them slept together. Elena had only been sleeping with a vampire for a long time at that point so she'd completely forgotten about birth control. She ended up pregnant. With twins. A boy and a girl. She named them Grayson Matthew Donovan and Isobel Victoria Donovan. She married Matt about two years after the twins were born. She'd been waiting for Stefan to come back then she heard that Stefan had a new girlfriend... so she gave up and married Matt. During her pregnancy, Elena had written her story. A story about a girl who fell in love with two vampires and how it changed her life. It was a best seller. Stefan read it. Damon didn't.

Bonnie and Gabriel had been in South America for five years and three months when a shaman spiked Gabriel's drink and he became human – he freaked the fuck out. The shaman explained that he sensed a deep rooted goodness in both of them and he was giving them a gift for Bonnie's 25th birthday. Gabriel's humanity was temporary so that he could create new life with Bonnie – they didn't waste any time at all and soon Bonnie was pregnant. The second Bonnie conceived, Gabriel went back to being a vampire and baby Original/Bennett was on the way.

They got married in a small simple ceremony in the middle of the rainforest and the two of them had never been happier. Caroline was her maid of honour and Elijah was Gabriel's best man. Klaus was bored throughout the whole ten minute ceremony and complained incessantly until Caroline gave him 'the look'. He soon shut up. They had a baby boy who was born in Costa Rica and they named him Luke Marcus Bennett. Six months after his birth, Bonnie finally became a vampire, secure that her line wouldn't die out. She'd had her eggs harvested while Gabriel was human and they'd frozen some fertilized embryos. They could have more children whenever they wanted to.

The other Originals – apart from Klaus – had been thrilled at the birth of their little nephew as they'd never expected to have one. Caroline had been over the moon at the news and she was so pleased at being an aunt. Klaus mentioned when he found out about him that he didn't want to see him until he was an adult because children were awful – and Caroline went fucking nuts at him and he quickly changed his mind. He thought maybe being an uncle wouldn't be that bad. (That and maybe she wouldn't yell quite so loud if he just went with it.)

Stefan had been kind of depressed when he left Mystic Falls because of Elena. He'd finally accepted that he was a vampire – only took him nearly 150 years. He'd met a vampire named Holly shortly after leaving Mystic Falls. She'd been in a similar situation with a human and they bonded over it. They became friends, started to travel together and one drunken night was all it took – then they were inseparable and Stefan finally knew what true love was. Holly was everything he'd ever wanted in a girl and so much more. She was sweet, energetic, kind, loving, fun and she lightened him up. He found that he hardly had time to brood anymore. He figured that she was kind of like a cross between Elena and Caroline if he had to label it in such a way – except she was a petite natural redhead. They were only together for a year after being friends for six months when Stefan was down on one knee and she was screaming 'yes'.

Damon was shocked when Stefan asked him to be his best man, but of course he accepted. Damon really liked Holly and thought she was perfect for Stefan. He ended up being good friends with her and he was glad that she brought out Stefan's fun side finally. Damon was sick of broody Stefan. Fun Stefan was way better. The wedding was in Ireland as Holly had been born there in 1903 and it was in the small church that her parents had married in. Caroline, Rebekah and Klaus had been in attendance as well as a few of Stefan's friends from over the years and a few of Holly's. It was a beautiful ceremony then afterwards everyone had gotten drunk off their ass in a spectacular Irish way. Everyone had a great time and Stefan had never been so happy in his life. He'd found his true partner and Holly had the same look in her eyes when she looked back at him.

Damon on the other hand had taken Caroline's advice. He'd been 'dating'. Not just one night stands, but actually dating. He'd had a few short term girlfriends. He'd had some fun. He was letting himself 'heal' as Caroline called it and he was slowly getting to the point that he might be ready for the plunge when he met the right girl.

Before Klaus daggered Helen, she'd been with the same guy, Philip, for over 400 years – she found him. And it was like they'd never been apart.

Unlike his siblings, Elijah had zero interest in being in a relationship. Klaus joked that he was probably gay but was too much of a stick in the mud to admit it. Caroline told him to stop being mean about his brother and he rolled his eyes and shut up – though Rebekah had found Klaus' joke hilarious. (And probably true.)

Rebekah rarely left Klaus and Caroline and if she did, it was only to visit her other siblings then she was always back with them a few weeks later. She and Caroline were practically joined at the hip and she was best friends with her brother too so she didn't want to leave them.

As far as Klaus and Caroline went, things hadn't changed there. She was still his everything and he was hers and that was just the way it was.


Klaus and Caroline were on a romantic weekend in Paris celebrating their eight year anniversary at Caroline's insistence. They'd been shopping since the crack of dawn and it was early evening and Klaus had had it with shopping so the two of them went into a little cafe to have some coffee and cake. They walked in the door and almost literally bumped into none other than Katerina Petrova. Katherine's eyes widened at the sight of Klaus.

"Klaus." She said a little fearfully and he scowled.

"Katerina." He said annoyed and Caroline shot him a look.

"Sweetie? Why don't you go get the coffee while I'm social for a minute?" She asked him sweetly and he shot her an annoyed look.

"You are going to be social with Katerina?" He asked her annoyed and she grinned at him.

"Coffee, Nick." She said through gritted teeth and he rolled his eyes and walked past them over to the counter then she turned her head back to Katherine and she noticed her standing next to a guy that was only a few inches taller than her with a dark mop of hair and black thick rimmed glasses who looked like a total nerd. "Sorry about that. We've been shopping all day and he's being a grumpy pants." Caroline said to her and Katherine couldn't help a little chuckle at Caroline calling Klaus a grumpy pants. "How are you doing, Katherine?" She asked her with a genuine smile.

"I'm great, Caroline." She smiled sincerely and Caroline could see the difference in Katherine. She looked really happy. "How are you?" She asked.

"It's our eighth anniversary so I made him take me for a weekend in Paris. Did you see how many shopping bags he was carrying? I'm in heaven." She said and Katherine giggled.

"Caroline, I'd like you to meet someone." Katherine said smiling a loving smile at the guy standing next to her. Caroline saw that Katherine was like seriously in love with him. "This is my husband, Marc." She said and Caroline's jaw dropped.

"You got married?" Caroline asked with a huge grin and Katherine nodded.

"Yeah, two years ago." She smiled.

"Congratulations! Hi, Marc. It's nice to meet you." Caroline said holding out her hand and he shook it.

"It's great to meet you too, Caroline. Katherine told me about what you did for her." He said and Caroline looked surprised. "I'm eternally grateful to you for that. I would have never met her if you hadn't." He said sincerely and Caroline smiled.

"I'm just glad it all worked out." Caroline replied. "So you got your fresh start?" She asked Katherine who nodded.

"I did. Life's great." She replied and Caroline smiled.

"That's good. I'm happy for you." She said.

"Did you marry Klaus?" Katherine asked and Caroline laughed.

"No way. He's far too grumpy to marry." Caroline replied and Katherine giggled while Klaus shot Caroline an annoyed look from the queue that made her wink at him amused. "Do you live here now?" She asked.

"No, we're on our second honeymoon. We live in London." Marc said.

"What's new?" Katherine asked curiously.

"Let's see..." Caroline said as she thought about it. "Elena got knocked up by Matt and had twins." She smirked and Katherine laughed. "Stefan got married." She said and Katherine looked surprised at that but not remotely jealous as it was obvious that this Marc guy was her everything. "Damon's dating people instead of the feed'n'fuck method he used to implement." She smirked and Katherine laughed. "Bonnie had a little boy. He's the cutest thing I've ever seen, I swear to God." She grinned. "Other than that not much. Nick and I travelled for practically the whole of the last seven years so we're kind of bored of that but can't decide where to settle down yet."

"Who did Stefan marry?" Katherine asked.

"A girl called Holly. She's really nice. Perfect for him actually." Caroline smiled.

"Caroline." Klaus called and she saw that he had their coffees and was motioning to a table.

"Well, it was nice to see you, Katherine. Take care of yourself and it was nice to meet you, Marc." Caroline smiled.

"You too, Caroline." Katherine said sincerely. "Enjoy your vacation." She said and Caroline smiled.

"You too." Caroline said then gave them a small wave and went to sit down across from Klaus while Katherine and Marc left the coffee place hand in hand.

"What on earth was that about?" Klaus asked her annoyed.

"It's called being 'friendly'. You should try it some time." Caroline winked at him and he rolled his eyes. She got out her phone and dialled a number and he shot her a glare knowing exactly what she was doing. He answered almost immediately.

"Hey, beautiful. The hybrid boring you yet?" He asked and she giggled while Klaus scowled.

"You will never believe who I just ran into." Caroline said to him.

"Who?" He asked in his fake gossip tone that showed he didn't give a rat's ass who she ran into.

"Katerina Petrova." Caroline smirked and he chuckled.

"Really?" He asked amused. "In Paris? Please tell me she was attempting to stake herself on the Eiffel tower." He said and Klaus' lip twitched in amusement at that. Caroline winked at him signalling that she saw that he found that funny and he deadpanned.

"Nope. Bumped into her in a coffee shop... but it's who she was with that is the real gossip." She said and he laughed.

"You're making this sound far more interesting than it probably is." He said and she laughed.

"No, you might want to sit down for this part or you'll fall over in shock." She said and he chuckled. "I met – wait for it – her husband." She said and the line went quiet then there was hysterical laughter.

"WHAT? KATHERINE got MARRIED? HA HA HA! That's hilarious!" He laughed loudly and she giggled. Even Klaus was trying not to crack up into laughter at his reaction.

"Oh but it gets better." She giggled.

"How could it? That's so funny." He laughed.

"He looks like Harry Potter." She said and she heard a thud and loud laughter for about two and a half minutes.

"Sorry! I dropped my fucking phone at that! Are you kidding me?" He laughed and even Klaus chuckled because it was funny.

"No... I swear to God. I was dying to laugh the whole time I was talking to her because the guy was an uber nerd. I swear he looks like he fixes computers for a living." She said and he kept laughing.

"That's amazing. I need to call Stef and tell him that. I feel sorry for the little dweeb." He laughed and she giggled.

"Damon, I'm going to compel the coffee shop to give me their security footage because you just have to see this geek. It's just... too fucking funny not to." She said and he was in hysterics again.

"You just made my day, you know. Katherine Potter. Amazing." He said and Caroline laughed.

"What are you doing anyway?" She asked curiously.

"Oh you know, the usual. Thinking about how I can kill Klaus and run away with you." He teased and Klaus scowled at her while she giggled.

"He's been so grumpy all day. I might run away with you anyway." She teased back and Klaus deadpanned and she laughed. "You should see the face I got for that comment." She said and Damon laughed.

"Yeah, we should maybe stop the illicit affair and just be honest with him about it." Damon said and if looks could kill, Damon would be a pile of ash through the phone but Caroline just laughed.

"I don't know about that, Damon. Sneaking around has a kink to it." She replied and Damon laughed while Klaus rolled his eyes.

"Same time next week?" He asked amused.

"Count on it. I'll bring the hand cuffs." She said and he chuckled.

"Excellent. Looking forward to it. See you later, Red." He said and she giggled.

"Bye, Dammy. Love you." She said and he chuckled.

"Love you too but stop calling me that already." He said and she laughed then hung up.

"Lighten up, Nick. It's just a joke." She said taking his hand.

"I hate him, Caroline." Klaus said deadpan and she laughed.

"No, you don't. If you hated him that much you would have killed him already." She pointed out.

"And being 'grumpy' can't be the reason you won't marry me." He said to her seriously and she sighed.

"You want the truth?" She asked him and he nodded. "The truth is that you had a thousand years without me. I'm 27, Nick. I only want to marry one person and I need to be sure that it's you before I do that." She said to him and he scowled.

"Is this because you still have feelings for that idiot?" He asked her and she gave him a confused look.

"Damon?" She asked and he nodded. "No, I don't have feelings for Damon. I only have feelings for you. I only love you. But if we're really going to be together forever, why rush getting married?" She asked him. "It's not like you're getting any older." She pointed out.

"Is it that you want to... have sex with other people?" He asked her and she rolled her eyes.

"No, I don't." She said. "I'm just not ready to get married." She added. "We've only been together for eight years. In twenty years, you could get bored of me. I don't want to take that chance." She said.

"How could I ever get bored of you?" He asked her shocked and she shrugged.

"Because I'm a daft baby vampire." She smiled at him teasingly and he chuckled.

"That's why I'll never be bored of you. You brought me back to life." He said to her and she smiled at him lovingly.

"Aww, I love you." She said leaning over to give him a little kiss.

"I love you too." He replied.

"Good. Then drink up. We have more shopping to do." She smiled brightly and he groaned.

"Kill me now." He muttered and she laughed.


For Luke's tenth birthday, Auntie Caroline was throwing him a birthday party at her and Klaus' house in Marbella, Spain. Klaus and Caroline were both fans of hot weather so they'd settled down in Spain four years earlier. They loved it and really didn't want to move but they knew that they'd soon have to. Rebekah had her own house a few streets away from where theirs was as she still spent a lot of time with the two of them. Caroline and Klaus had been together for over sixteen years at this point and they were still as in love as ever. Everyone was coming to their house for the party. Caroline had the place decorated and catered and there was plenty of booze for the adults and sweets for the kids. There were fun things set up for the kids to do, though since they were kids, they'd no doubt want to just play in the pool. Whatever, Caroline was flexible.

Bonnie and Gabriel had a daughter called Matilda Sheila Bennett when Luke was five. Stefan and Holly had adopted two boys who were now seven and five. Stefan named them Derek and Sebastian. Everyone saw the comparison. Damon was not impressed by 'Derek' but he loved the thought of being an uncle so he got over it. He spent a lot of time with his nephews and he was definitely cool Uncle Damon who they totally idolised.

For all of Klaus' talk of hating kids, he was very good to Luke and Matilda and when nobody else was looking, he secretly loved playing games with them and taking them places and they saw him as cool Uncle Klaus.

Everyone was coming for the party – even Elijah. Klaus refused to let Helen stay at the house so she and her partner Philip and Elijah were staying with Rebekah whereas Gabriel, Bonnie and the kids were staying with Caroline and Klaus. Damon and Caroline were best friends and she'd talked him into moving to Marbella too – much to Klaus' extreme annoyance – so Stefan, Holly and their boys were staying with Damon.

They had cake and games and the kids played and had a blast all day. In the early evening before dinner, the kids were all exhausted so they were having naps and the vampires sat around the large garden table with cocktails.

"Caroline? When are you and Klaus going to have kids?" Helen asked and Caroline giggled.

"Helen, he can't even stand the dog for more than five minutes, how the hell is having kids going to work?" Caroline asked and they all laughed while Klaus rolled his eyes.

"It yaps constantly." Klaus defended and they laughed.

"First of all, stop calling her 'it'." Caroline scowled at him and they laughed. "Second, no she doesn't. She only barks at the mailman." Caroline said.

"Well it wouldn't yap at all if you got rid of it already." Klaus replied and she shot him a look.

"Nick... sweetie... I mean this with all the love I have for you." Caroline said to him and he knew she was about to say something ridiculous. "Call her 'it' one more time and I will kick your ass again." She said and everyone buckled over with laughter – even Klaus.

"What do you mean 'again'?" Damon asked with a smirk.

"Well, he's Mr Hybrid so it's not like I could actually kick his ass in a beat down kind of way so instead I kicked his ass literally." She said and they laughed loudly at that.

"Did you have to tell him that?" Klaus asked her annoyed and she giggled.

"Lighten up. You have taken over for Stefan in the broody department." She teased him and they laughed.

"God, I miss killing people." He muttered and they laughed loudly.

"Then go kill somebody." Caroline said to him with a smirk.

"Really?" He grinned.

"No." She said and he scowled at her while everyone else was in fits of laughter at that.

"What about you, Rebekah? When are we going to meet this secret boyfriend?" Elijah asked her and Caroline, Bonnie, Stefan, Helen and Gabriel were trying not to laugh.

"What secret boyfriend?" Klaus asked confused and they laughed.

"Rebekah has had a secret boyfriend for over two years." Elijah said to him and Klaus scowled at her.

"How is it Elijah knows that and I don't?" Klaus asked her annoyed and she shrugged. Klaus was kind of mad at that considering he thought his sister told him everything as he did her.

"Nick, darling, you're kind of impossible and you don't like anyone and it just wouldn't do any good for you to meet him." Rebekah said and Caroline giggled. Klaus snapped his head to his right to look at Caroline.

"You knew." He said to her annoyed and she shrugged.

"As you are well aware of, sweetie, I know everything." She winked at him and everyone laughed at the double meaning.

"Have you met him?" Klaus asked annoyed.

"Mmhmm. But so has Bonnie, Gabriel, Helen, Stefan, Holly and Damon." Caroline smirked and he scowled at her.

"Well?" He asked her and Caroline smiled.

"Well, he's..." She giggled. "Not Rebekah's usual type. I wouldn't say ugly but not quite a looker. He's kind of irritating and has little to no personality." She said.

"Hey!" Damon said annoyed and Caroline, Bonnie, Gabriel, Helen, Stefan and Rebekah laughed at Damon's huge ego. Klaus and Elijah's jaws dropped.

"Sorry, couldn't resist." Caroline giggled.

"WAIT JUST A MINUTE!" Klaus yelled and they all laughed again. "Rebekah? You are kidding. Tell me you are kidding right this instant." He said and she giggled. Damon was sitting next to her and she grabbed his jaw and kissed him.

"Nope." She grinned and Klaus' face changed.

"Run, Salvatore. Or I will fucking bite you." Klaus warned and Caroline rolled her eyes.

"You bite him and I swear to God, you'll never get laid again." Caroline said and they all laughed when Klaus' face changed back and he scowled at her.

"This is not acceptable." Klaus seethed and Caroline smiled.

"I think it's great." She grinned and Damon chuckled at her.

"Aww, c'mon, Klaus. I think Rebekah Salvatore has a nice ring to it." He smirked and Klaus looked like he was about to lose the plot again while the others laughed.

"Your secret boyfriend is Damon?" Elijah asked Rebekah wide eyed and she giggled.

"Well... secret fiancé." She said showing her hand and Klaus stood up calmly and walked into the house and they all heard him slam the front door behind him and Caroline laughed.

"Just ignore him." Caroline waved her hand and they laughed.

"Where's he going?" Helen asked amused and Caroline shrugged.

"Who the hell cares? It's a party and he's being a total drag." She said and they laughed loudly at that.

"He's totally going to kill me, isn't he?" Damon asked amused.

"No, he's just mad because I won't marry him." Caroline smirked.

"Why is that anyway?" Helen asked amused and Caroline shrugged.

"I don't see the rush. I'm only 35 whereas he's 1081. He had his time to grow up and just live even if he was a total ass for most of that time." She said amused and they laughed. "Maybe in a couple hundred years." She smirked and they laughed.


Klaus didn't come back for three weeks. Caroline didn't hear from him for three weeks. She was beyond livid so when he did come back, she didn't speak to him. At all. He tried everything. He apologised, bought her presents, asked his sister to talk to her. Nothing. Caroline did not utter a single word to him for five days. She slept in the single bedroom so he didn't have room to sleep next to her. He couldn't take it anymore and he literally begged her to speak to him.

"Caroline, please. You haven't said anything to me in five days. I will do anything. Please just speak to me." Klaus begged her and she turned around in the kitchen where she'd been standing and he saw that she looked way too calm.

"I want you to leave." She said to him calmly and his jaw dropped then she turned back around and continued making the pasta that she'd been cooking for herself.

"What? What do you mean?" He asked her shocked that she'd finally spoken.

"I mean we're done. Get your stuff and leave." She said without looking at him and he looked shocked.

"Why?" He asked confused and she turned around again to face him, still with the calm expression.

"I have spent every day with you for over sixteen years. Every. Single. Day. The fact that you could just walk out on me like that for three weeks, without a word, without a care... hurts me more than you can imagine." She said to him and he stared at her wide eyed that he'd hurt her. He hadn't meant to hurt her. "If you remember, you've left me before, but this time I don't fucking forgive you." She said as tears welled in her eyes and Klaus tried to reach for her and she took a step back so he couldn't. "Last time, we hardly knew each other... this time, it's been sixteen years! Does that mean nothing to you? This is why I won't marry you!" She yelled at him, her calm finally breaking. "So before I say something I regret, get the hell out! We are done. I can't do this anymore. You have completely broken my trust." She said to him and he had no idea what to do... so he got his stuff and left.


Klaus was hardly out the door when Caroline packed up her own things and left too. After he'd been gone for two weeks, she gathered he wasn't coming back and she didn't want to stay in their home alone, so she'd bought herself a house in Athens. She got a moving company to pick up her boxes then she and her dog Lola moved to Greece.

Rebekah called Klaus an idiot when she saw him. He'd taken his things over there in the hopes his sister would be more merciful. She yelled at him for a good hour before calming down. She said that he could stay the night then he was going home to beg her to take him back or Rebekah would be happy to kick his ass – and not in the Caroline way. Rebekah had tried to call Caroline but she didn't answer. Klaus went to the house the following day to find it empty. She was gone. He was shocked. So was Rebekah. Damon was particularly shocked considering Caroline hadn't even told him... though he had a hunch. Rebekah told him to go check out his hunch and call her if he found her.

Caroline had told Damon that she really wanted to go to college. She had two colleges in mind. One in Rome and one in Athens. So he decided to check them first. He searched Rome for a week and there was no trace of her anywhere. So he went to Greece. He searched Athens for a week too and he'd almost given up when he spotted a familiar blonde sitting on a bench outside the University filling forms out. He almost hadn't recognised her since she'd had red hair since the first time she was in Canada with Klaus and Rebekah. He swaggered over to her with a smirk.

"Guess I can't call you Red anymore." He quipped and she looked up at him with a grin then stood up and hugged him. He hugged her back tightly.

"I missed you." She said sincerely into his shoulder.

"Then you could have answered one of my million phone calls." He retorted slightly annoyed. "Hunting everywhere for you was a major déjà vu, by the way." He said and she laughed.

"I'm sorry... I just... needed a break." She said with a sigh then sat back down on the bench. He sat down next to her and looked at her lap to see what the forms were then chuckled.

"You do know that you're a vampire, right? You can compel people so you don't have to fill out crappy college registration forms." He said and she shrugged.

"Just because I can doesn't mean I should." She replied and he chuckled.

"Hasn't 17 years of being a vampire corrupted you just a tiny bit?" He asked amused and she giggled.

"Nope." She replied and he smirked because he knew it to be true.

"What are you doing here, Blondie? Why did you just ditch Spain like that?" Damon asked her and she sighed.

"If you seriously want to talk about this, I'm going to need booze." She muttered and he chuckled.

"See, now you're speaking my language." He teased and she giggled.


Damon spent a few days with Caroline then went back to Spain. He walked in the door of Rebekah's house and Klaus appeared in front of him.

"So? Where is she?" Klaus asked him and Damon sighed.

"She doesn't want you to know." Damon said and Klaus looked like he was about to explode but Damon interrupted him. "But let me finish before you go all ape." He said to him and Klaus scowled at him. "She's in Athens. She wants space. I think she's kind of freaking out about the whole eternity thing. If you give her a few weeks to miss you, you'll have more of a shot at getting her back." Damon said to him.

"What do you mean by 'eternity thing'?" Klaus asked and Damon shot him a look.

"I don't know, maybe the fact you've been trying for sixteen years to get her to marry you? You're pushing too hard. Caroline is the pushy type but she doesn't respond well to being pushed back. You have to remember that you two got together when she was only eighteen. She's 35 years old and she's been in a relationship for nearly half of her life. It's like it's hit her that it's forever. She just needs some time, Klaus. You know it's only you that she wants but she hasn't really had time to just live her life." He explained and Klaus deflated. He had a point.

"Well... is she okay?" He asked and Damon nodded.

"Yeah, she bought a little house near the university and she's about to start classes there. College was something she always wanted to do." He shrugged. "She's blonde again, by the way." He said and Klaus looked surprised considering she'd been a redhead their entire relationship.

"Did she say what she wants me to do?" He asked sceptically.

"She wants time to be alone." Damon replied and Klaus nodded.

"Rebekah?" Klaus called and she walked into the hall. "You've been planning to move, right?" He asked.


Caroline noticed that the house that had been for sale next door to hers had a moving van outside. She'd been snooping out the window to get a look at her neighbours but got bored when she didn't see them. She went back into the living room then there was a knock at her door. She turned on her heel and went to the door and opened it. The grin split her face and she launched herself at Rebekah.

"I missed you." Caroline said as she hugged her.

"I missed you too." Rebekah said.

"I missed you three." Damon said amused as he appeared and Caroline giggled.

"What are you doing here?" Caroline grinned.

"We are your new neighbours." Damon smirked and she laughed.

"Seriously?" She asked amused and they nodded. "Just you two, right?" She asked for confirmation and they nodded again.

"Nick's gone to Scotland to visit Stefan and Holly." Rebekah said.

"Now, are you going to invite us in or what?" Damon asked her amused and she laughed then stepped out of the way for them to come inside.


It was almost two years later when Caroline saw Klaus again and it was at Damon and Rebekah's wedding. Her stomach fluttered when she saw him and he ached to speak to her but things were awkward. In true Damon fashion, they got married in Vegas and Damon was half drunk during the ceremony. Klaus hated him slightly less than before but he still couldn't believe his baby sister married the creep. He was still itching to bite that particular Salvatore but he figured he'd never get Caroline back if he did that.

Damon danced with Caroline in the evening at the small reception and he asked her if she was jealous. She laughed loudly at the memory and told him that she definitely was. He told her that in another life, they would have been perfect for each other. She told him that in another life, he better not fucking feed on her and she'll think about it. He laughed and promised he wouldn't.

Bonnie and Gabriel had another baby a few months after the wedding. A little boy they named Henry James Bennett. That was the next time Klaus and Caroline saw each other again and things were slightly less awkward but not by much.

Caroline graduated from the University of Athens with a degree in Physics and Damon and Rebekah attended her graduation. She hadn't told anyone else about it because she didn't want Klaus to come. Caroline was kind of obsessed with college so she automatically wanted to do another degree, this time in Rome. Rebekah and Damon were more than happy to follow her there and she was more than happy for that too.

Four years later, Caroline graduated in Rome with a degree in Literature. Damon and Rebekah again were the only attendees at her graduation. Shortly after that, Caroline celebrated her 44th birthday. She sat and took stock of her life so far. She realised that she'd had Rebekah and Damon in her life practically non-stop for 26 years. She'd never been alone. She didn't know if she could be alone – she had to find out. So she left them. They were both hurt by that but she explained that she needed to experience things by herself. They'd held her hand through most of her life. She had to do it on her own. She also told them that they were a married couple who'd never just been alone together because she'd always been there. So Caroline took off on her own. She travelled the world alone. At first, she'd hated it. She was just so lonely. Then she got used to being alone. Independent. It took her almost six years to truly be at peace with herself.

As her 50th birthday closed in, she sat and took stock of her life again. She'd travelled. She'd gone to college twice. She'd gained her independence. She'd learned so many things. She was no longer a baby vampire. She celebrated her 50th birthday with Damon, Rebekah and Bonnie. Gabriel was looking after the kids. They'd had even more. Now they had six of them. She celebrated her 50th birthday in Sydney, Australia. It was there that she realised...

She was still completely, all-consumingly and unchangeably in love with Klaus. That's when she realised it was forever. That's when she realised... Forever wasn't scary at all.


Caroline waited until the anniversary of the day they broke up to go see him. He was in Manchester. She waited until that day because if by some miracle he took her back after all this time, then they'd still have the same anniversary. She was beyond nervous. She had no idea if he even would talk to her. She had no idea if he even felt anything for her anymore. It was fifteen years ago that they broke up. She didn't care if she made a fool of herself. She just had to do this. If he rejected her... then she would deserve it.

Nobody knew she was doing this, not even Damon. She'd snuck his address from Rebekah's phone without her noticing. It was late in the evening when she finally got up the courage to go see him. She got to his door and knocked immediately before she lost her nerve. He was living in a large bungalow on the city outskirts. She thought the house was quite beautiful actually. Seconds later the door opened and Klaus' jaw dropped at the sight of her.

"Caroline?" He asked shocked and her stomach fluttered at the sound of his voice.

"It's fifteen years ago today that things ended between us." She said to him and he nodded. He knew that. God, he'd been drowning in whiskey all day. "I just came to say something that I need to get off my chest." She said and his stomach clenched.

"Go ahead." He said calmly.

"I was so young when we got together. You used to say I was very young and I didn't see it at the time. Looking back, I know I was very young. I wasn't ready for you then. I had no life experience. I was a vampire who knew nothing about the world. I know I didn't give you an explanation when I moved to Athens and I will always be sorry for that. It's one of my biggest regrets. I needed time to figure out who I am. You wanted to marry me but I didn't even know who 'me' was then. I'd never been alone. I'd never had to look out for myself. All I'd ever been at the time was your girlfriend, Rebekah, Bonnie and Damon's best friend, my parents' daughter... I wasn't ever just me. I needed time to make myself happy. I couldn't be truly happy with you until I learned how to truly be happy alone." She said to him and Klaus didn't dare to hope. He'd wished every day for this moment... if this moment was what he hoped it was. "I was in Sydney for my 50th birthday with Becka, Damon and Bonnie and I was sitting on top of the armadillo with a bottle of champagne overlooking the water when I realised... Forever isn't scary anymore." She said and Klaus held his breath in anticipation of what she would say next. "So, I just wanted to tell you that... I am still just as in love with you as I was then." She said and his stomach erupted into butterflies. He knew now what they were and there was only one person that could make him feel them. "My feelings haven't changed at all, but the difference is... I'm not a baby vampire anymore. So..." She said as she put her hand into her pocket and pulled out a plain platinum ring. "I wanted to know if you would marry me." She said to him and his eyes widened a little. "I'll spend the rest of eternity trying to make it up to you because I just love you so much." She said and he was trying really hard not to well up with tears. "Am I too late?" She whispered as she stared into his eyes.

"No, darling." He replied emotionally. "You could never be too late." He said then they crashed their lips to each other's and kissed like the world was going to end.

But really... for them... it was just beginning.