Thanks for reading to one and all.

I was so freaked when Klaus bit Caroline two episodes ago, because I knew that was where I left this off and that they were going to do a phenomenal job with them and TVD didn't disappoint! I hope I don't either. Here it is. The last chapter with just an epilogue after. BTW Forwood breaking up, was I the only one crying and rejoicing at the same time?

The Wayward Future

Chapter 15: Life

The sharp pain at her neck burned red-hot and spread out from its source causing Caroline to feel dizzy and unbalanced on her feet. He hadn't done much more than break the skin at the nape of her throat, but it was enough to let the venom that his hybrid teeth held enter her bloodstream. All of this Caroline felt intensely, but it was the shock of the action that was what Caroline was having trouble accepting. What was Klaus doing? His bite could kill her. Why was he trying to do this? How was this helping anything?

The question was the last thing she thought as the image of Bonnie's surprise disappeared from her eyesight and down she went into one of the twisted dreams she was sick and tired of having, leaving her unable to protest the action that Klaus had so abruptly taken.

At first she knew where she was. She had seen the dining table at the Mikaelson home before Klaus had burned it down, had even gotten to have a nice meal with Rebekah and Elijah there one night, but she couldn't figure out why she was sitting down at it or how she had gotten there. The whole place smelled like rust and was filling her with serious doubt that she was safe where she was. And why was she alone there? She should have seen at least one of the Originals by now, but all there seemed to be was vast amounts of blood spilled everywhere. It soaked the upholstery of the chairs and was dripping down the walls. When Caroline went to get up from the table she kicked a corpse. It was snow-white from the lack of blood in its system. She wasn't sure who it was, but she was sure they were gone for good. She tried not to gag at the sight. She had to remember that this was just… But already she had forgotten whatever it was her mind was telling her about this place. The blood lust was trying to take over, leaving her with very little room to think clearly.

"Hello?" Her own voice scared her as it echoed through the large house. She slumped at the lack of answer she received.

"Great, I'm alone in the house I detest more than anything." She rolled her eyes at her own thought and pushed past the wasted body. That had been a dramatic outburst, even for her. She surely didn't hate the place. She had fond memories of Rebekah here, not to mention an interesting afternoon of watching Elijah watch American football while she pretended to be picking out material for Prom decorations.

She walked for a short while toward the exit, following a line of dead and drained townspeople, but found she couldn't remember where the door had once been. She ended up at the staircase instead, which was mercifully clean. She kicked off her shoes and headed up the stairs straight for Klaus' room like it was something she did every day. Maybe she could think more clearly up were there was no bloodshed.

The bed in Klaus' room was surprisingly occupied by the Hybrid when she entered and she found that she was not at all happy about this turn of events. Even if it was less messy than what had been downstairs.

"Come join me." He smirked up at her, his voice rich with excitement that she had arrived.

"No," Caroline scoffed at him and crossed her arms across her chest. "What the hell would I do that for?"

Though the words had a sense of logic to them, Caroline was not feeling their effect. Had she not spent several nights now in bed with him? Why was she suddenly against the idea of being with him when she finally understood the feelings she was having toward him?

His eyes held hers more sternly and they adjusted simultaneously with his next words.

"Come here now."

Caroline raised a perfect eyebrow at him as she recognized the eye trickery and undid her arms so she could point judgment at him. "Did you just try to compel me to you? Are you serious right now?"

It was like an alarm had gone off and something opened up in her mind. It was a possibility, a very likely one that this was not the first time Klaus had tried to compel her; just the first time it was unsuccessful.

"Caroline," Klaus said rising from the bed and making his way toward her.

"Have you..." Caroline started breathlessly as the idea took hold in her mind. "Have you been compelling me?"

Caroline tried to think back to a few months ago. When had she stopped taking vervain? Was it recent? Was it something she'd been compelled to assume she was doing, but never actually ingesting?

She stopped herself and shook out all the questions from her mind. She knew Klaus better than that. She had spoken to Stefan about it, about how sure she was of his innocence in at least that area with her. It was impossible to think that he had been the one slowly making her consider him as a lover. He couldn't have had the control that she was implying.

Although it did add up to how she had been so against him and then just suddenly sleeping with him.

"You think you would have even considered me?" Klaus broke into her thoughts growling with anger. "Had I not been compelling you, you would still want your little Lockwood boy at your side and wouldn't even bat an eyelash at my attempts. Your stubbornness wouldn't have let me anywhere near you and you know it!"

Caroline smacked into the door frame behind her. She hadn't even realized she had moved back until she felt the wall reverberate from behind. She used it to steady herself as she took in the prospect that she'd been used. Every thought she'd had about Klaus up to this point was contaminated by his ability to have power over her thoughts.

"You don't really love me; you can't even be compelled to love me, because you don't know how to love someone. People think I'm a murderous bastard, because I have passion for it, for life and its destruction, but I put everything in and invested all my feelings on you and you can't even return a splinter of that love without it being forced from you. What's wrong with you, Caroline? Can you not feel correctly? Do you just throw yourself at anyone who gives you attention?"

There was lightness inside of Caroline that started to make her feel better even as she let the words sink into her mind. The very contradiction of this feeling and his words was making Caroline wonder if any of this was real.

There was no reason to feel upset by Klaus' words. Caroline could decipher how he was over exaggerating and hypocritical of his own words and actions. It wasn't really the sort of thing Caroline would have crumpled under the pressure of, and yet something about what he was saying was forcing her into a tight ball that was holding her back from responding to his attacks. She wanted to get up and call him out on his remarks, but found herself crushed by her lack of self-esteem and confidence.

That notion did not sit right with her at all. She was Caroline Forbes, Miss Mystic Falls, and she'd be damned if she let anyone try to take her down.

With that commanding thought, her eyes burst open to the reality that her bite had kept her from.

Klaus set Caroline down on the floor as he kept his eyes on the Bennett witch. He could feel that she was bursting with a new energy that reeked of a strong power within her and that made him much more cautious of what the Witch thought she could do to him. He was not unaware of her skill with a spell having relied on her craft before, but his intimidation usually had her cowering to make a move. This seemed to be exactly the effect he was having on her as she froze to the spot, staring at Caroline's slack body on the ground.

"What did you do?" Bonnie whimpered out, keeping her shoulders square, but letting her eyes betray her worry.

"You know for someone who thought she could get away with having me be her little puppet, you'd think you'd be more worried about what I am going to do to you and less about what I've done to her." Klaus stayed behind Caroline, but stiffened his stance to make him seem larger in contrast to the burning fire in the center of the room. It cast his shadow on the wall behind him which in turn gave a better size to his menacing stature. "But since you've asked, I've killed her, Mother. That is, if you continue with your flower there."

Bonnie's eyebrows shot up with the maternal word and lowered with a grin that was nearly a replica of Klaus'. "So you know, my Son, who is really the force behind all this toil."

"As if the young witch could do this on her own. No, I knew someone had to be the real source of power here and who else was so close to this witch's line?"

"I know you're not going to kill her, Klaus." Esther changed the subject quickly to distract Klaus. She tried to regain the control she had felt while doing the spell before, she was determined to continue it. "I've seen inside your mind, remember? She is still my little bargaining tool whether she is healthy or not."

"But you see that is where your diabolical plan fails. If you cure me and thus all of my creations, as well as my siblings, then you leave me no way to save Caroline. I won't be able to feed her the Hybrid blood that would save her from the deterioration into madness." Klaus crossed his hands behind him and smirked. "Make no assumption otherwise, I am more than willing to save her, but you had better make a choice first. Give me the flower and leave, or see the destruction of all the lives your little plan was meant to save."

"And if I cure you all, then she won't be poisoned anymore by the venom in her system. It won't affect her like it is now." Esther shot back. She held the flower in her hands closer to her chest.

"You're assuming, of course, that the poison will transform along with her body, healing her as well as changing her." He paused and raised his eyebrows as he tipped his head at her, emphasizing that he had a point. He even rocked lightly on his feet as he talked to show how he lacked worry for what he was saying. "Are you so sure that her becoming human won't just kill her faster? She could still be poisoned by how much of it has already ravaged her system. Her kidneys could be gone, her mind weak. It may leave her in such a state that she doesn't even remember who she is or just leave her dead. And that will not make me very happy, human or otherwise."

Esther glared at him, not seeing much option at this point. She pulled a petal from the flower in her hands and as his eyes darted to Caroline. Hopefully the fire was still connected to the bloom and its petals were full of its needed strength.

"Do you see this white flower in my hand, how it's diaphanous against the fires light, but solid in the dark. How it glows when I hold it. This flower is purity in all of its true form. I have looked for this ever since I saw the opportunity to enter the Bennett witch's body. I could give my children back there human lives that I stole from them. Let them live and die as they ought to have once." Esther's eyes smiled as she told her story. She seemed all too excited to finally tell someone what she had planned. "I needed you to find it, because you're indestructible physically and that gave me a huge advantage over the inhuman whereabouts that not even a witch could enter. You may have thought you were rounding up your true Father's bloodline trying to become the Alpha male, but really you were doing a job for me. You were finding out which one of those packs had the bloodline to unlock the place where this was hidden. It's written that the Original werewolves' line would be used to hide the cure for all vampires. Even when you were making up stories about the ties between the two creatures you still had the basics right."

"A little blood from both creatures, a little magic paste on a cave wall and some magic words, and you had this for me without even knowing what you had in your own hands. Do you remember that now, all the labor you had to go through to get it out of that death trap? I'm assuming you are slowly getting back all the memories of how I had you under my spell. I could have turned you then and watched all those people slowly come back without anyone the wiser of what happened. I was planning that the night of their Prom. Unfortunately you attracted Hunters along the way and brought them back here. How they ever got Wolves on their side, I don't know, but that was easy enough to stop once I realized all they wanted was our family. I still can't believe they were actually convinced they killed you. They obviously didn't know what they were dealing with. Now they think Rebekah is in Russia and they've flocked there, well, what little of the group that remains anyway after your little killing spree. That certainly wasn't me controlling you then. I bet you didn't tell Caroline about that, did you?"

Esther's fire was now smaller in size as she talked. Whatever she had done to awaken the power within the flower was already done, leaving Klaus with very little room to stop Esther from using it. She had wasted enough time that it had gained its strength without her magically keeping up the connection.

The question on Klaus' mind was how he could get Caroline to believe him that killing her friend was the only option, a crucial sacrifice, as the need to do so seem to grow more with the time that was passing and Caroline was still unconscious. He doubted that she'd accept his plan of action as a wise one and wished deep down he wasn't so willing to play by her rules. This would all be done with if he could just kill the witch that his mother was using to destroy his power.

"What makes you think I'm going to let you turn anyone else with that flower? I'll just end your connection with the Bennett witch." Klaus threatened.

"Then what will Caroline think of you? You really think after all she has forgiven you for that she'll forgive you killing one of her best friends now? What's that saying about the camel's back and the hair, or was it a straw?" Esther stood her ground against Klaus, not backing down from his words.

"You're not strong enough to hold me off and I believe I hear my sister waking up now in her cage. It wasn't fastened very well against her. She'll be able to break out of it with very little effort. Had I been in control when I locked her in there, I would have at least coated the bars with vervain or subdue her with a dagger. Seems you'll be at even worse odds, two against one. You see, I am holding back for Caroline's sake. Let us see how your daughter feels about this life choice you are once again making for her."

"The ancestors will keep her busy if she does not want it." Esther replied coolly and waving her free hand at her surroundings where Bonnie's ancestors spirits lived.

"I don't think they will. Or else, why aren't they here now, I wonder? Why aren't they stopping me? Why isn't the Bennett witch's own line here to help you?" Klaus speculated as he unfolded his hands from behind him. He wanted his chance to attack to seem a complete surprise, but needed to move quickly. "I think the lot of them aren't happy with you taking over her body."

Esther's eyes adjusted toward the ceiling in just enough time that Klaus was able to cross the room, take the flower from her hand, and throw Bonnie's body against the wall, leaving her unconscious. The fire in the room went out with her.

Klaus made his own blaze as he set the pool of Original blood on the floor to flame with a quick flick of a match, making sure it was no longer useful to anyone. Not that they could use it to cure him now. Klaus possessed the flower and he was determined to destroy it once he figured out how.

With the cure in hand, he made his way back to Caroline and fed her his blood to purify her of the venom that was coursing through her. She was looking worse than she ever had from a bite; she hadn't even come out of her sleep since he bit her, though her eyes had opened. His bite was clearly stronger than he had assumed. This left Klaus stranded for a moment as he considered waiting with her until she awoke safely.

Then Bonnie stirred.

"That won't keep me out, my Son." The soft voice called from the now rising body. "I can heal this body much more quickly than you can get away."

"Then I'll just have to kill it." Klaus growled and had Esther by the throat. He took the still bleeding wrist on his right arm and put it to Bonnie's mouth before snapping her neck clean. She collapsed to the ground and landed just so he could see how the neck severed completely without the skin of the neck even being broken. It was the work of someone with a long history for killing.

"No," a faint voice called from the other side of the room as Caroline watched her friend slump to the ground and her head loll to the side freely.

"Caroline," Klaus went to her side as he heard her objection. She didn't reach for him, but instead fell forward toward Bonnie's body. "Let me help you up."

"Get away from me." Caroline's voice sputtered as she pushed herself to Bonnie's side, clawing across the floor, and saw the blood on her friend's lip. "You turned her. How could you turn her?" Her eyes flashed back to his with anger boiling within her veins. Between being bit and seeing her friend's death she was starting to feel her old mindset toward Klaus returning and it was not boding well for him.

"We have the flower, Love. I can cure her." Klaus tried to sound like this had been his plan all along. He had acted out of hope that not fully killing her friend would redeem him somehow and had only thought of the cure to help his situation once it was in his possession. A happy coincidence, as they say.

Caroline's eyes rose to meet his, but looked past at the staircase behind him. Rebekah had appeared, but there was something fiercely wrong with her and the way she moved. It was like she was trying too hard to be herself. She lacked the luster of her ability to be someone disconnected from caring, and yet, clearly upset by her conditions. She was still wearing large metal bracelets that had once chained her down as she walked over to Bonnie.

Interestingly enough, it reminded Caroline very much of how Bonnie had been acting a few months ago. Her attempting to seem like herself instead of just being normal, it confused Caroline profusely.

"Who got to do that, and why wasn't it me?" Rebekah evoked a semblance of herself, but it wasn't enough for Klaus to believe it. Not after having been fooled once before by his mother in his sister's body.

"Found another form to take, I see." Klaus stood slowly, but kept his hand firmly on the flower that would undo him.

Rebekah turned an unimpressed look toward Klaus and answered him. "No fooling you, is there?"

"What?" Caroline asked from the floor. "Who is in Rebekah?"

"My mother," Klaus answered her, but his eyes never moved away from the girl in front of him. "She had previously inhabited Bonnie until I killed her. Now it seems she is falling back on old traits."

"With one exception, my dear boy, the ancestor's are no longer happy with you. You've effectively ended their physical line and they don't seem to agree with your actions. They like my plan." As the words came out of Rebekah's mouth, Klaus could feel the grip of hands taking his arms and legs to hold him. He pulled himself away, but to no avail. The hands simply gripped harder and a painful popping sensation started at the back of his head, enabling him from trying to fight further. It took all his control just to stay conscious.

Caroline watched him with confusion as she wondered why he was no longer moving, but falling helplessly to the floor.

"Klaus?" Her voice was innocent as she murmured his name, but she found she couldn't move any closer to him when she tried, something was keeping her back from him.

Esther grabbed the flower from where Klaus had dropped it on the floor and pulled a few petals from one side of it.

"Now I can complete this flowers purpose." Esther spoke and shoved the flower fully into Klaus' mouth and clamped his mouth shut over it. When she was sure it'd been absorbed into his body, she stepped back and put the free petals she had ripped off the bloom into her jeans pocket and was off without a second look back at those still left.

No, this wasn't possible. That flower couldn't have been a cure, it couldn't have been so easy to feed Klaus, and he couldn't be human.

Whatever was keeping her away now allowed Caroline to move and she found herself pulling Klaus onto her lap as he tossed and turned, convulsing like a child who'd been caught in a tickle fight with the lack of smile upon his face. She gasped as he turned on his side and seemed to be trying to pull air into his lungs. He did this several times before falling unconscious, seeming to finally be free of any pain.

Caroline panicked and tried to wake him up, but as he lay lifeless, she felt herself becoming weaker. No, she needed to remain awake to see if he was okay. She needed to see if the flower was effective. She needed to know if she too was affected, but her mind was fighting her too much and started to drain her strength. She was unable to hold him up any longer and collapsed backward onto the basement floor a second time.

Caroline woke up on her bed in her own room, she was thirsty and hungry, but she was surprisingly not so hungry that she would want to tear into an artery. In fact, the idea seemed to sicken her stomach even worse. That was not a good sign. That meant that she was not craving blood, that she no longer had a need for it. That she was without the ability she was now accustomed too.

She pulled herself up and over to the side of her bed, but as she stood she found that her legs didn't immediately hold her and she fell back into the bed with a loud Humph.

Her mother came bursting through the door and threw her arms around her like she hadn't seen her in months.

"Mom, mom. I can't breathe." Caroline laughed and then stopped at her joke. She really couldn't breathe. Her mother was holding her too tightly and was restricting her airway which would have seemed normal, if she's supposed to be able to breathe. Her mind reeled at the thought. That meant that Klaus was human, that all of her friends were human. That vampires were gone, although she couldn't speak for Rebekah, Kol, or Elijah.

"I'm just so glad you are alive!" Sheriff Forbes exclaimed as she pulled back from her daughter and mentioned something about getting her water.

If only Caroline could share in the same excitement.

When she returned, Liz told her daughter about how she had gotten a call from Bonnie and how Bonnie, seemingly unscathed, was claiming that Caroline was human again. Bonnie had no idea how she had gotten to the house or what had gone on, only that Klaus had awoken her. Bonnie learned of her sudden return from the grave as a sign of being cured from vampirism and that Caroline was affected as well before he vanished off into the night.

Caroline wondered how Bonnie had taken the news of nearly becoming a vampire, but she was more interested in where Klaus had gone and why he hadn't seemed to check in on her yet. It was unlike him; at least she thought it was. He'd left her a note the last time he had run off and there wasn't one now. That was a clear sign he was still nearby, wasn't it?

"And I guess that last little test proves it." Liz supposed to her daughter, tilting her head in the direction of the glass Caroline had just taken a large mouthful from. "That's full of vervain and you didn't even flinch."

Caroline looked down at the glass and shrugged. She already knew. She could feel it. Everything was harder to do: sit up, drink, and breathe. All her normal functions took a little extra effort than it had before. It was going to take some getting used to, again.

"No sign of Klaus?" Caroline asked curiously. Her mother still didn't know of their affair and she didn't want to alert her of it, even now. "I mean he hasn't tried anything?"

"Nothing I am aware of. The town has been quiet. I didn't even know you were involved in anything until the phone call from Bonnie." Liz explained and smiled at her daughter.

Caroline smiled back.

"I think I'm going to go out, see if everyone else is alright." She lied to her mother. Caroline had set her determination on high and made herself get up from her bed to get dressed and cleaned to go looking for Klaus. She was convinced he hadn't gone far and that was enough to make her wonder where he was.

As Caroline moved to get ready, she was unnerved by how slowly she moved now. It took her forever just to get into the shower. Then there was the problem of her car being out at a hotel outside of town. She broke down eventually and had her mom drive her since vamp running was out of the question and she needed to check the hotel for Klaus anyways.

Caroline spent the rest of the day looking everywhere and finding nothing. Surely Klaus wouldn't just leave her. Why would he suddenly disappear now, especially now that he was human again?

Well, there was the fact that this left him vulnerable and that several people in town were waiting for the right moment to kill him, but didn't that kind of feel useless now that they were human as well? It was kind of even on that plane now. They got back their lives and he was now forced to live as a human, grow weak, and die off. It seemed a punishment fit for him.

But no matter how hard Caroline searched, she never once found a trace of him. There was no promise of his return to her, or of her ever seeing him again. He was gone. He was just gone.