Author's Note: Sorry everyone for the long wait! I've had family here the last month and we've finally gotten a little reprieve before more family comes in the next few weeks, so I'm going to try and update as many stories as fast as I can to try and make up for my really long absence. So, I'm sorry about the wait! Thank you all for your support! Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Klaus walks Caroline to the staircase as they say their goodnights once more.
"Goodnight Klaus," she says softly walking up a few steps before turning around to look down at the ancient hybrid.
He folds his hands behind his back, smiling in that way that makes his cheekbones pop out. His eyes crinkle a bit with his smile as he stares at her appreciatively, making her feel beautiful somehow despite the fact that she's in jeans, a nice shirt, and covered in dried sweat that she's going to have to wash off. Yet she felt pretty when he looked at her like that.
"Goodnight Caroline," Klaus says sweetly, blue eyes sparkling as he stares at her.
Caroline nods a bit, turning away to head up the stairs before she stops and turns around once more. She hesitates for a second before looking over at Klaus again. She rubs the tips of her fingers together before saying, "Thank you for today, Klaus. I had a lot of fun."
Klaus raises his eyebrows a bit, blue eyes brightening up beautifully. "Enough fun to want to go and make a day of it tomorrow, should all go well in our meeting with Marcellus?"
"Only if it doesn't end in a bloodbath," Caroline jests, but a part of her is serious. Something tells her that the possible fun day that they could have would be ruined along with her clothes in the middle of a bloodbath. She knows she wouldn't be in the mood anymore after something like that. Luckily, even though she said it as a joke, Klaus seems to be able to read her facial expression to know that she's actually serious.
"Then I'll have to just be on my best behavior tomorrow, won't I?" Klaus asks, sending her that pretty smile once more.
Caroline rolls her eyes playfully. "Klaus Mikaelson? On his best behavior? I'll know it when I see it." She mimics the grin he sends her way. She turns away again and walks up a few more steps before stopping one last time, mentally warring with herself. It really was such a good day, and a great date and great dates end with a kiss. And honestly, she was already carrying his baby, one little kiss was nothing.
To be honest, she wasn't sure if he was interested in anything like that now. In her mind, she's never been the one. She's never been the first choice and a part of her woefully accepts that she'll die alone, but at the same time, a part of her does still thirst for that companionship, and while she knows Klaus is actually a decent person who was looking out for her and may actually still hold some affections for her, the fact that he didn't even try to kiss her today was really disillusioning the situation. Perhaps she really was reading too much into his actions.
Or she's just working herself up for nothing, which isn't unusual.
Before she can do anything besides chastize herself internally on what she should want and the fantasy in her mind of a nice date that was overall great that is supposed to end one way, she feels someone standing at her back.
The pregnant blond turns around on the stair to see Klaus standing on the step right below the one that she's standing on. Klaus smiles at her, blue eyes locked onto her own, waiting for her to give permission. Caroline hears herself say, "Kiss me."
And before she can start to talk herself out of it, he does and Caroline is teleported back to the night of the Mikaelson Gala. Just like then, his kisses were soft and gentle. She is reminded again of just how gentle he is, how sweet that he's been when it comes to him. And needless to say, he's a very good kisser. His hands find her waist, pressing into them softly as she rests her arms around his shoulders.
It was soft, simple, sweet, and yet Caroline's chest swells like it was the most mind-blowing kiss in the world. And this was what got her in trouble the first time around. Kissing Klaus Mikaelson was like asking for something bad to happen. Whether it be mind-blowing sex that she had to pretend wasn't all that impressive as well as keep its existence secret from her friends, or getting pregnant as a result exposing both the lie of omission and probably having to own up to how good it really was.
Either way, this was a bad idea. And this werewolf bastard was smiling against her lips.
Caroline pulls away, opening her eyes, not knowing when she closed them, to glare at the man in front of her, still grinning at her. She scoffs, rolling her eyes and shaking her head. "You ruin everything, I swear."
"A great date ends with a kiss, that's what you were thinking, wasn't it?" Klaus asks rhetorically. Of course, it was, because he can somehow read her mind.
Caroline scoffs again, staring down into his sparkling eyes, trying to think of something to say to try and release some of the hot air in his head. "Oh yeah? You think that you can just read my mind? Well, you can't because that wasn't what I was thinking at all, actually." Klaus presses his lips together, trying not to smile with his eyebrows raised high, nodding his head as he listens.
"You can't, Klaus," Caroline reaffirms, squeezing his shoulders while trying not to think about his hands still resting on her hips.
Klaus nods again, blue eyes wide. "Yes, of course. Absolutely."
Caroline kind of liked that wide-open expression on Klaus's face, but there was no way she was going to tell him. "And you know what? I think that you and your smug face should just stop."
"I'm not smug," Klaus says, expression brightening up more at their banter, and Caroline can't help but feel a grin working its way across her face.
"Oh come on," Caroline laughs, shaking her head. "You are probably the smuggest person in the entire world that has ever been smug. You know, I bet you were the reason the word was even invented in the first place."
That one makes Klaus laugh. "No, I fear you are mistaking me with my dear brother Kol, love."
The words slam into Caroline's chest and she's reminded in the same moment as Klaus about the death of the other Mikaelson. She can see the mirth starting to slip from the face of the man in front of her and after the great day that they had, Caroline hated the idea of leaving it on that note. She really did have fun and despite her words, Klaus made sure this day was a good one, and after all the shit that had been going down around them, it was nice to have this day. She was very thankful to him.
Hating that pained look that started to flicker in those pretty blue eyes as his smile began to slip from his face, Caroline hugged him tightly. She pressed her hand into the back of his head so that his face was buried into her shoulder while her other arm was wrapped around his shoulders, hugging him tightly, knowing that she wouldn't be strong enough to hurt him before whispering into his ear, "I had a great day, Klaus. Thank you, and good night."
His arms circle her waist, squeezing tightly for a moment before letting her pull away.
Instead of playful, his expression is soft now as he says, "Sleep well, Caroline. We can talk about Marcel tomorrow morning."
For a moment there, Caroline forgot about that. But she nods in understanding. Yes, they definitely would have to talk about what to do. "Night, Klaus."
"Goodnight, Caroline," Klaus says for the hundredth time it feels like, before surprising her by laying his hand on her stomach, lowering his eyes and leaning in closer to say, softly, "And you too, Jelly Bean. Make sure your mother has good dreams."
Caroline flushes deeply, not having expected that. She places her hand over his for a moment before he pulls his hand away, smiles at her softly, which she returns before turning around and heading up the rest of the stairs toward her room. Caroline takes a quick shower and changes into her pajamas before falling into her bed, mind still racing about the day. The date, meeting Marcel, the kiss, Klaus talking to Jelly Bean.
Caroline gets herself comfortable under the covers before placing her hand over her stomach and rubbing slowly. They've talked about Jelly Bean a lot but Klaus hadn't spoken directly - as directly as he could considering the baby was still in her belly - to it before. Whenever Caroline talked to Jelly Bean, her voice would rise in pitch and cooing while Klaus's voice was so soft, so sweet.
The blond flushes, rolling onto her side to stare out the window, forcing the excitement away. It's only normal, right? At some point, people become crazy enough to talk to the woman's pregnant belly like the baby inside could actually understand them. Caroline always knew that was in her, but somehow Klaus felt like he was beyond things like that, but she supposed he wasn't.
Exhaustion wipes out the excitement and Caroline feels her eyes droop closed and drops off into slumber.
Caroline wakes up a bit later than she normally does, but is able to go through her morning routine seamlessly despite it. Throw up like crazy in the toilet, brush her teeth, wash her face, brush her hair and then change into a loose sleeveless top, seeing as it's going to get hot today, black leggings and boots before heading out of her room and down the stairs.
She can hear everyone talking in the dining room so she makes her way over there. She definitely had to of slept in longer than normal if Bonnie was already up and dressed for the day by the time Caroline got into the room.
"Morning," Hayley greets, being the first to see her as she enters the room.
"Good morning!" Caroline greets, smiling happily around the room.
Everyone else chimes in their good mornings and afterward Bonnie says, around her cup of coffee, "You're in a good mood, Caroline. A good night's sleep?"
Caroline shrugs, lowering herself between Stefan and Klaus. "Not really," she admits, "I'm still tired from yesterday, but I'm just in a really good mood today. Anything wrong with that?" She asks, suspicious.
Bonnie sips her coffee, eyebrows high. "Not at all. Just wondering."
Caroline rubs at the back of her neck, looking around the table as Hayley leans back in her seat, pulling a knee up to her chest. "So," Caroline says slowly, eyes landing on Klaus, "I assume you guys were talking about Marcel and what we are going to do today."
Klaus nods. "I was just getting to your wonderful idea about putting our baby out there for the world to see."
Caroline rolls her eyes. "That's not what I was trying to say." Knowing she was going to need the power of the mob to help her, she looks around the room, knowing that aside from her and Klaus, Elijah was probably the only other one to know about her idea. "I told Klaus yesterday that we should tell Marcel about me being pregnant but not say who the baby's father is."
"That'll be suspicious," Hayley points out. "I mean, you guys aren't old friends or anything. So just blurting out that your pregnant will probably be suspicious to him."
"True," Caroline agrees, "but I'm only saying if he asks why we are there. I think we should tell the truth about me being pregnant. At least part of it. Once again, no one needs to know that Klaus is the father. Not yet, at least. If it comes out, it comes out. But I think we should tell him part of the truth rather than try to keep up with a lie. Because I'm sorry. I can't live in this house for nine months straight. I will kill everyone responsible for me being pregnant starting with Klaus and working my way down to the person most minorly involved in sewing my dress the night of the Mikaelson Gala."
Klaus laughs, finding a lot of amusement in this but a small part of Caroline was serious.
"As funny as that is," Stefan says, also looking somewhat amused, "we all know that it isn't logical. We can't do nothing, that much is certain, and I don't think just killing Marcel is going to fix our problems. But I'm not sure about how much of the truth we should tell him."
"It's not saying too much," Caroline defends herself. "All it has to be is if he asked why I'm there, I'll tell him about being pregnant and that I needed to be here because of the necklace and Klaus has to stay with me because... because..." She waves her hands around, not sure what to say about why Klaus was there and couldn't leave. "I don't know," she admits, "that's why I need a bit of help."
Bonnie rubs at her forehead. "I don't understand why you have so much faith in him, Care. You don't even know this Marcel guy. I love that you're so sweet and always willing to try and see the best in people but he could be a wolf in sheep's clothing for all we know."
Caroline looks down at her hands, a pit forming in her stomach as she says softly, "Is it so wrong to hope that my baby's father raised a good man?"
Caroline can't look around the room even as she feels the weight of everyone's eyes on her, especially Klaus's that burns into the side of her head. Because it's true. She doesn't know this Marcel Gerard, and she doesn't just blindly trust him, but she doesn't want to believe he's a bad person, for no reason at all. She wants to believe that there is at least a chance that he's good. That Klaus did a good job with the first child - that they know of - that he raised, and he'll do a good job with his own flesh and blood too. Caroline understands why everyone is so hesitant but she doesn't want to just blindly accept him being their enemy without any proof.
"No," Bonnie says softly. "Look, Care, I'm sorry. I didn't think about it like that. No, it's not wrong to want that. I'm sorry."
"It's okay," Caroline says softly back, peaking through her long lashes over at her best friend past Stefan, who was staring down at his lap with a troubled look written across his face. "I know you didn't mean it in a bad way, and I don't think that we should just throw caution to the wind, but I just don't want him to be the enemy without any prompt. He's never done anything to us. The only reason we are even at odds with him right now is because of the witches and they aren't exactly our allies either."
"Caroline is right," Hayley says, resting her chin on her propped up knee, looking around the table. "I don't know if he's friend or foe, but we should still be careful either way. As for why Klaus is here, just tell the truth about that too."
Elijah offers her a sideways glance. "You think we should just tell Marcellus that Klaus is here because the woman he fancies, and their unborn child are being basically held hostage by the little necklace around Caroline's neck?"
Hayley meets Elijah's gaze with a level one. "No, Elijah. I'm saying, tell him what we already know is really keeping him here. If he asks, tell him that Klaus is here because Caroline is here. She's pregnant and due to poor biology, she can't leave New Orleans until her baby is born, and Klaus, being infatuated by her, is sticking around to keep her safe seeing as she is literally miles away from her hometown, eighteen and pregnant surrounded by strangers."
No one says anything for a long moment as Elijah and Hayley just stare at one another.
"She actually has a point," Stefan says slowly. "If Marcel thinks that Caroline is human, and Klaus is in love with her and won't just leave her, then I guess that's a plausible reason for staying, especially since it's not out of the realm of possibility because that's literally the reason he's here." Klaus shoots Stefan a look past Caroline, which he shrugs at. "Not to say that the baby doesn't play a role in that, but if my understanding of the conversation at the cemetery is correct, the reason you were convinced to stay in the first place is because of Caroline. Now, if I'm wrong, does it really matter? If he knows you as we know you, you're a slave to your own will."
"Very eloquently put, Stefan," Elijah says slowly, finally pulling his eyes from Hayley's. "And I am inclined to agree to an extent."
"Tell me this," Caroline asks, looking between Elijah and Klaus, "If you can agree with absolute certainty, then we can come up with something else entirely."
Klaus nods, slowly, a strange look on his face. "Go on, then."
"Was Marcel this terrible guy that would hurt a pregnant woman and her unborn baby that he's never met before until just recently just to get back at you?" Caroline asks Klaus, then looks over at Elijah. "Either of you?"
"No," Elijah says after a moment. "Marcellus wasn't..." He hesitates, trying to find the words. "He has always been exceptionally caring, especially toward children. I... do not believe he would hurt you or your unborn child, even if he did know that the child was Niklaus's."
Caroline feels a relief wash over her as she turns her eyes toward the father of her baby. "Klaus?" She leans in close, staring into his dark eyes trying to see past the trouble and indecision swimming there. "Do you agree with Elijah?"
Klaus presses his lips together tightly, staring back at her for a moment before admitting through clenched teeth, "Yes. I believe Elijah is right, but," he adds before the relief can fully work itself across Caroline's face, "I'm not sure we should just be going around just yet telling people about our baby. It has been a hundred years since I've seen Marcel, and he's no longer the boy I raised."
"But how do you know that?" Caroline asks, softly, seeing the pain in his eyes. "How are you so certain that after the two very short conversations that you've had with him that he isn't somehow still that same boy?"
"I don't know," Klaus admits through gritted teeth, staring Caroline down with intense blue eyes. "I just don't trust it. I don't want anything to happen to our baby. Elijah keeps calling it the hope of our family, and so what if it is? I refuse to allow the boy I raised destroy that."
Caroline feels her eyebrows pull together tightly, reaching for his hand, balled up on the table. She wraps her hand around his fist. "I know that you don't want that, and I don't either. We don't really have any other plans. If we go and you start to suspect that something is up then we can get out of there and come back here and plan for the more nuclear option if it comes to that. But only if you really think everything is going to blow up around us. I promise to follow your lead."
Klaus closes his eyes tightly, warring with himself for a moment longer before letting all the tension drop from his shoulders as he opens his eyes again to stare into her own with a hard look on his face. "You will follow my every move. If I say we leave, we do. You let me do most of the talking. I raised Marcel. I know his tricks, and he knows mine. We have to proceed with caution."
"So it's settled," Bonnie says begrudgingly, pushing her cup away from her as if it was the reason for her being upset. "While you guys are gone, we'll plan out the newly deemed 'Nuclear Option' should all of this start to blow up around us."
"If it does," Stefan reminds them but looks like he's expecting the worst alongside Bonnie. Caroline bitterly thanks everyone for their optimism, although she doesn't actually blame them.
"We should go early and scope out Rousseau's before Marcel gets there," Klaus says, standing up, pulling Caroline along with him. "I don't like that Rousseau's is the place that he picked," he mutters as they walk to the door.
"Why?" Caroline asks as he leads her out the door and to his car, opening the passenger door for her all while looking like he would rather tear his own skin off and throw himself down a salt mine.
Klaus gives her a sideways look. "He's oppressing the witches, dear Caroline, why would he want to go to a bar owned or at least occupied by one of the ringleaders of the faction in this city, just days after he brutally murdered her sister for all to see? Either he suspects that we are all working together, and I use that term loosely, or if there is another unknown reason for it. But I want to get there first to see for myself."
Honestly, Caroline hadn't thought about that either. She was just relieved that it was going to be somewhere she knew of and he was okay with Klaus being there. She hadn't thought about why he would have picked that place, to begin with. She's not ready to admit that she's wrong, just yet. But she is going to have to pay close attention to this meeting today and, yeah, let Klaus do most of the talking. He obviously is keeping his guard up far higher than she is.
That and he just has the evil mastermind mindset down pat. She has a lot to learn if she's going to be protecting her child from its father's copious amounts of enemies.
They ride in silence for a few minutes, Caroline fidgeting consistently like clockwork. She spares a few glances over at Klaus, but his eyes never leave the road and the frown never leaves his lips.
Finally, she builds up the courage to ask, softly, "Are you mad at me?"
"No," came his crisp reply.
Caroline stares at the side of his face as he wars with himself. He is obviously mad, but she's sure a part of him didn't mean to say it like that but his pride isn't going to let him apologize for his tone, which Caroline doesn't really mind.
"Someone should tell your face," she jokes lightly, knowing it was lame but hoping it would help alleviate some of the tension in the car.
Klaus shoots her a droll look, obviously not amused before sighing and turning his eyes back to the road. "I am mad," he admits, "but not at you. Not really. It angers me that goodness in you. How you are so willing to open your heart to people and as much as I loved it for its benefit for me, I am finally seeing it the way your friends did. I am worried about you."
Caroline scoffs, somewhat offended. "I find it hypocritical that you would be angry over a trait that you shamelessly capitalized on yourself."
"It is hypocritical," Klaus says in that way that makes Caroline feel like she's ten bot eighteen. If she could, she would reach over across the seat and punch him in the shoulder if she wasn't worried he might crash the car and kill their baby.
She glares at him, wanting to yell and scream but decides that she's already starting to fell herself getting really upset by all of this that if they keep talking about it, it's only going to upset her even more. So she crosses her arms over her chest and turns to stare out the windshield in silence, her good mood from earlier is completely gone now.
Klaus glances over at her, frowning. He must sense how upset she is. Which is good because she's not really hiding it. She knows it's a bit childish but she's the-eighteen-year old. If the thousand-year-old can be childish, so can she. Not that he's completely in the wrong or anything, but she is getting annoyed.
Klaus sighs, staring forward for a few minutes, trying to collect his thoughts. "I'm sorry," he finally says. "I know that this is stressful for you too, but I know Marcel, I know how he grew up. I know that he isn't a bad man. I know that he wouldn't hurt a child, let alone a baby. I know that he isn't as bad as I fear, but it's been a long time since I've seen him and he's been alive all this time while I thought he was dead and he never reached out once. I don't know him anymore, which is why I'm worried."
Stamping down her stubbornness, Caroline casts Klaus a sideways glance. "I get it..." she sighs, rubbing at her forehead. "We are all in this icky, stressful situation and I'm sorry too. I'm really not trying to make this harder on you, I swear."
Klaus shoots her a look that begs to differ, making her crack a smile despite how she felt just a few minutes earlier. But at her smile, his expression softens too, and she can tell now that he probably didn't get any sleep the night before worrying over everything, and she feels bad. She knows that he's not a bad guy and she appreciates everything he's doing for them, so she feels bad about making all of this harder for him. But there is this small part of her that knows, despite all that he says, if there is a chance to reconnect to the boy he raised, he would like it.
"I'm sorry," Klaus says again. "I didn't mean to upset you."
"Likewise," Caroline murmurs. "I'll keep my promise. If things during his meeting start to get hairy, we'll run away, okay? Just give me the signal."
Klaus smiles loosely, still concerned but looking significantly better knowing that she was on his side. "And what signal would that be?"
"Yelling 'run' would leave little room for confusion," Caroline jokes, her smile widening slightly at the playful huff that leaves the ancient hybrid next to her.
"Yes," Klaus says mirthfully, "and I suppose that would be an excellent idea if I didn't care for Marcellus knowing that we were about to flee from the scene." Then his expression sobers up a bit as they pull to a park in one of the spaces to walk the rest of the way through town to get to Rousseau's. But before they even exit the car, Klaus' expression hardens as he turns to look at her. "Listen to me, Caroline. Stick close, keep your eyes open, and don't let him get you into admitting anything. I would like to talk to him alone, but there is a reason that he invited you here and not me."
"As much as you know his tricks, he knows yours," Caroline says.
Klaus nods. "Just be careful of anything he asks you directly and don't offer too much detail. If we are going to play it off as you being human, then just admit to this, the baby's father, should Marcellus ask, is a witch. Or was. No connection to the New Orleans witches, but the magic in your baby makes it harder for you to carry it without being here. Marcellus, despite what impression I may give off, isn't cruel or illogical. If it makes sense, he will buy it, and that way you don't have to lie. I am of witch descendence. Just unpracticed."
That made sense to her, but honestly, Caroline never thought about it before.
"This is off-topic, I know," Caroline says, blue eyes wide, surprised that she never really thought about it like that, "but if you had been human, would you be able to use magic? Like Bonnie?"
Klaus nods. "Sure, probably not as good, although then again maybe not," he suddenly looks thoughtful, never having really considered it, "seeing as I am also a werewolf and I'm not sure if I would be able to do both. Be a werewolf and use magic like a witch. Dearest Esther never taught me how to use magic, perhaps fearing the same. Finn learned, as did Kol, and Rebekah learned a bit, but Elijah didn't have a lot of skill in it and no one bothered to see if I could."
Klaus shrugs, not really worried about it at this point but his words stab into Caroline's chest. "I don't know a lot about magic," Caroline says slowly, "but I guess I don't think it would affect it. So... if that's true, there's a chance our baby could be a witch, a werewolf, and have vampire blood in its veins."
Klaus smiles loosely, eyes softening and gaining this far away look. "Our baby is special, no doubt. Perhaps a little tribrid in the making." His soft expression hardens again, protectively, "Which means now, more than ever we must do everything we can to keep it safe."
Caroline nods in agreement. "We're in this together, right?"
"Right," Klaus agrees. "Now, let's go."