A/N: I'm alive. This very long absence has been a combination of RL and frustration with the show, but I think I'm finally over it. Updates will probably still be sporadic, but no more year long hiatuses.

Caroline bites her bottom lip reading Klaus's most recent text (read: sext). It is an ongoing thing of theirs ever since the infamous Mikealson family dinner, and what had started out as a joke has become a never ending bout of foreplay. There's something to be said for the slow burn, torturous delay of gratification. It's an entirely new experience for the blonde.

She's in the middle of formulating a response when her phone rings. Rebekah's terrifying smirk flits across the screen.

"How did you get my number? Better yet, why is yours programmed into my phone?" Caroline answers.

Rebekah snorts daintily on the other end (an accomplishment only Rebekah could manage) "Do you always start off your conversations with an interrogation?"

"It happens more often than what is probably socially acceptable. I'm the sheriff's daughter after all." Caroline answers loftily. "And seeing as how I'm the sheriff's daughter, don't think I didn't notice you didn't answer my question."

"Wow, observational skills. Gold star for you," Rebekah replies dryly. "Congratulations, that's quite the achievement for a girl who thought Moby Dick was a venereal disease."

Caroline reels, because how the hell does she even…shit. It is then Caroline remembers the Mikealson siblings' foray into drinking games last weekend at Kol's insistence. Truth or dare had been especially humiliating for Caroline (as had 8th grade literature).

Hackles raised, Caroline lets out her inner mean girl, her tone sugary sweet, "As lovely as this little hostile exchange is, because truly only you provide that certain condescending derision saturated in scorn that brightens up my day, did you call for any particular reason or did you just want to practice your haughty assertion over people? I suppose I don't blame you if that's the case. What with the way Matt blew you off today while you mooned after him, people might have thought you down right pathetic."

The Original Blonde's pause is a tad too prolonged, and Caroline delights in it; because no matter what her comeback, she's shown Caroline's barbs affect her. And that's just not allowed in this game. It's practically grounds for an automatic forfeit, but she's learned to never underestimate Rebekah.

Admittedly, for a girl new to the bitchfest of teenage girl rivalry, Rebekah recovers nicely, "I have doubts Matt even recognizes subtle flirtation thrown his way by any girl. From my understanding, his last girlfriend chased after him for months before he finally gave up resistance and agreed to date the girl. I gather it turned out to be quite the disaster."

Holding back a growl, Caroline replies loftily, "I'm not sure in what world asking him to the dance next week is subtle, but I feel this conversation has digressed far enough. What do you want Rebekah?"

"Your presence is requested this afternoon for-"

"No!" Caroline cuts her off, "the last time a Mikaelson said that to me I ended up explaining what sexting is to your mother. And you! Acting as if you didn't know what it was! You probably invented it!"

Rebekah chuckles, "That was priceless."

"Yeah, well, whatever you want you can count me out."

"Mother will be saddened to hear that," Rebekah sighs with faux disappointment, and counts down from five silently on her fingers.

Just as she tucks the last finger into her fist, Caroline let outs a tiny cry and all but growls, "I'll be there in ten minutes."

"Mother," Rebekah groans in long suffering. "I love you, truly, but I am not wearing that sweater."

The three blondes had traipsed through most of the mall as Esther did nothing to hide her disapproval of the skimpy modern clothing displays. They now find themselves in the Macy's women's department, Esther somehow managing to spot every grandma sweater in the entire store.

"It's lovely," Esther argues, "The color would bring out your eyes Rebekah."

"It is a pretty color," Caroline eggs her on.

"See," Esther smiled, "Caroline agrees."

"Then Caroline can wear it," Rebekah huffs.

"We should both get one," Caroline's grin is positively evil. "We could go around matching."

Rebekah looks horrified by the thought, and Caroline's glee grows (because she's mature like that). It serves the girl right for roping her into this shopping expedition. Rebekah has done nothing but sulk, while Esther mutters about the cheap wenches and finds them the type clothing your great aunt might knit you for Christmas for them to try on. Normally, Caroline is all for anything involving the mall, but this emotional agony could contend with some of the actual torture she's been put through.

"That's a wonderful idea, Caroline!" Esther exclaims, grabbing two of the sweaters and heading for the register.

"I am going to lock you in a basement and let you desiccate," Rebekah hisses under her breath.

"At least I won't be here," Caroline rolls her eyes, taking off after Esther when she sees her glaring at the cashier's low cut top.

"Are you twins?!" A zealous sales associate behind the jewelry counter asks.

"No!" Rebekah denies with venom. "This is all you fault," she glares at her supposed twin.

Ignoring her, Caroline oohs and ahs over the pearl necklaces, the sales associate only too happy to show her the merchandise.

"Oh, these rings are lovely!" Esther gushes, standing at another counter as the sales lady packs up Caroline's selection at Esther's insistence.

The girls wonder over to her, and look at the rings. Esther has browsed her way to the end of the counter where the more modest rings are on display.

"Why are these ones so much simpler?" Esther questions.

"Well, some of them are for people who can't afford the more expensive ones, but these ones over here," Caroline gestures to a row, "are usually used as promise rings."

"Promise rings? Isn't that the same as an engagement? Promising your intention to marry?" Esther prods.

"Well, no actually," Caroline bites her lip suddenly feeling she's on shaky ground (any day now she'll learn to keep her mouth shut around these people, really she will), "A promise ring is a symbol of your promise to remain celibate until you marry."

Esther eyes widen in interest, "What a charming tradition! I'm so glad to see women of today have some modesty left." As it suddenly dawns on her, "You girls don't have one? No worries I'll get them for you."

Both girls speak simultaneously.

"No mother, really that's okay." "I couldn't let you! You've already gotten me so much."

"Don't be silly girls," she bats away their concern in what is most certainly fake oblivion, "I insist."

As Esther settles the bill at the counter, Rebekah seethes, "Desiccation, Caroline; long, lonely years of desiccation."

"Your mother's already taking care of that," Caroline sasses.

Letting out a frustrated shriek, Rebekah stomps her foot and calls over her shoulder, "I'll be waiting in the car."

Caroline only smiles sweetly when Esther turns at the outburst. No need to have both Original women after her head.

It isn't until they are driving back to the mansion that the girls learn the best of it.

"I'm going to put a spell on the rings so the wearer is less enabled to break your promise of celibacy," Esther informs them.

"What does that mean," Caroline gets out before Rebekah's indignation cuts her off.

"Mother really! This is ridiculous. I'm nearly a thousand years old."

"And still unmarried," her mother points out.

"What does marriage even mean to us?" Rebekah challenges.

"A life, or in your case an eternity, of having someone at your side to love and support you," her mother replies serenely.

Rebekah falters before becoming indignant once more, "Why didn't the boys get one?"

"They did."

There's silence for a good few moments before a defeated, "oh," escapes Rebekah's lips.

"Let's not tell them, okay?" Caroline suggests. "Let it be a surprise."

Rebekah sends her a questioning look.

"If we have to suffer, so do they," Caroline mouths.

Rebekah smirks, feeling fondness for the younger vampire for the first time all day.

"Caroline," Klaus smiles as he enters informal dining room to see her setting the table.

He makes his way over to her pecking her on the cheek. "You stuck around after a day with my mother and sister? You're positively saintly."

Caroline beams up at him as she sets the last fork into place, and whispers in his ear, "I wouldn't go that far."

"Those texts you sent me this morning do hint you're a bit of a sinner," he grins (damn, those dimples will be the death of her one day) placing his hands on her hips.

The way he suggestively pulls her into him reminds Caroline of the little gift his mother has in store. She nearly breaks down and warns Klaus, but the very moment she opens her mouth to do so Rebekah enters the room still clad in her sweater as is Caroline.

Klaus looks between them a couple of times before breaking down into uncontrollable, boisterous laughter that seals his fate (or rather, reawakens Caroline's spiteful side).

The girls share a look before releasing a giggle or two of their own letting Klaus think they are laughing with him rather than at him.

Over dinner all the Original children plus Caroline wear their rings. They sit at the more casual round table – rather than the elegant long one they dined on during Caroline's first visit – and Esther asks they join hands to say thanks. A small pulse of electricity travels around the circle binding Esther's spell.

"What was that?!" Kol shouts, chorused by his brothers' similar questions.

"Just a spell of chastity," Esther shrugs, serving herself a helping of potatoes.

Four sets of male eyes bug out in her direction.

"More sirloin, Caroline, Rebekah?" Esther offers.

"Yes, please," both girls chime toothily.

Too cheesy? You like cheese? Let me know, all feedback is appreciated.