Author's Note: Hello, loves! I'm sorry about the long wait! I just love hearing from everyone! Thank you all for reaching out! Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
"So, Klaus," Caroline says, glancing over at the ancient hybrid next to her. "Where are we going to go today?"
Klaus purses his lips at her, thoughtfully. "Anywhere you had in mind, love?"
"Not yet," Caroline admits. "But you know, I should hope online and do some research and see what the sites are around New Orleans and make a plan for a day." Caroline gasps, eyes wide as she grabs onto Klaus's arm. "Oh! We could all go! Stefan and Bonnie and Elijah could come. We could make a full day of it! Get away from the schemes and the plotting for just a day! Oh, it would be so much fun! I should make an itinerary!"
"That sounds fun," Klaus says amicably, sliding his hand over the one she has on his arm, but she's so wrapped up in her excitement that she hardly thinks to notice it. "Or perhaps you would just like to go. Just get out there and see New Orleans for its beauty. Go where your feet take you and not worry so much about schedules and planning."
Caroline scoffs, rolling her eyes. "Have you ever met me, Klaus? I can't just do that."
Klaus grins back at her. "Perhaps with some practice you can, dear Caroline."
Caroline shakes her head, trying not to get flustered at the handsome look on his face as he stares so intently into her eyes. It's definitely a different feeling to be the center focus of a man so powerful - not that she would tell him that. She pushes the thought to the back of her mind, then stomps it down into the dust while saying, "I don't think I can do that, Klaus."
Klaus stares at her intensely, pride sparkling in his pretty blue eyes. "Oh love, how can you so easily say that? Especially since you have already effortlessly proven to me that you can do everything you set your mind to?"
Caroline feels the flush she was fighting rearing its ugly head. "Look at you and your pretty words. Do you honestly think a simple compliment is going to win you points with me?"
Klaus's grin spreads. "No, my dear, you are far too intelligent for simple flattery to work on you."
Caroline laughs, rolling her eyes. "Don't patronize me."
Klaus stares straight into her eyes, his expression wide and open. "I wouldn't dare patronize you, Caroline. I would be much too scared for the resulting retaliation."
Caroline rolls her eyes again, resting her head on his arm, taking a moment to look out over the front lawn. This feeling washes over her again. That same comforting feeling that she's been getting from Klaus a lot lately. "Hey, Klaus?"
"Yes, Caroline?" Klaus asks softly, running his thumb over the back of her hand and knuckles, staring off over the yard too.
"Do you know a lot about witch babies?"
Klaus hums softly, deep in his throat, the vibrations tickling the top of her head. "Perhaps more than most. Why? Are you concerned about something? Something about our baby?"
"I'm not worried," Caroline says, and honestly, she's not. There have to be worse things in the world than the situation that she's in. As tough as it is, Caroline can definitely imagine worse case scenarios. She actually has it pretty good. She has a lot of support from her friends and family. Baby daddy is actually in the picture and doing a good job. Yeah, there is the drama with Marcel and the witches, but there are definitely people in worse situations. So she's considering herself to be quite fortunate.
"Then what is it?" Klaus asks softly, turning his head slightly to look at her. She feels his stubble brush against her forehead and her hair.
"Do you think the baby can tell? That you're its father? I always feel better when you're around, and not in a lovely, sentimental way. I mean, it feels like the baby is feeling it," Caroline says, resting her cheek more on his shoulder. "Do you think that's a witch thing? Oh, I forgot it's probably also a werewolf. A werewolf thing, then?"
Klaus hums again for a long moment, considering. He reaches over with his free hand, placing it on Caroline's stomach and that feeling passes over Caroline again. She pulls her head up to look over at Klaus. He has the softest expression on his face as he looks down at her belly, caressing it gently with tender fingers. His eyes turn to look at her and there is something in those depths that Caroline isn't sure there is a word for. Affection is the closest she can get.
"I don't know about any of that. I heard stories about babies being more active around fathers, but as you know, I've not been one myself and I don't tend to spend a lot of time around people who are able to procreate for long enough to know, but I am... happy to hear that. Perhaps it is true, perhaps not. But I am happy to hear it if it were true."
Caroline wasn't sure what to say to that, which seemed fine as Klaus didn't follow up with anything else. But she was happy. Caroline never would have guessed that she would be here, in this position, with Klaus Mikaelson of all people. But despite everything they've been through - things she can forgive and things that she can't - she's happy.
Klaus lets out a soft sigh, before turning to look at Caroline. "I can't take you anywhere. That meeting with Marcel was an absolute disaster."
Caroline laughs, shaking her head. "Oh my god, I'm sorry!" She looks over to see him looking more amused than mad, the corners of his full lips curved up and his eyes shining in amusement. Thankfully their conversation and the fact that Caroline almost ripped apart a crowd of people so she's needed to rely on him has since eased his anger and annoyance. Surely he'd have been a lot madder for a lot longer if she had actually messed something up.
Thankfully it seems that either Marcel doesn't see her as a threat, didn't fully catch on to what she was saying, or finds her endearing. Either way, she's going to have to be a bit more careful.
A few days later Caroline and Bonnie leave the house while everyone else is away. Elijah and Klaus going to meet up with Marcel to continue to broker good relations - hopefully - and Hayley and Stefan going back out into the buyout looking for the wolves. Caroline isn't the one to just sneak out without saying anything but Bonnie managed to find an OB that was able to see them. Caroline wondered if she should at least tell Klaus that she was leaving, but figured that he would already be keeping Marcel busy and it wasn't like Marcel didn't already know that Caroline was pregnant.
Honestly, Caroline was just worried about Bonnie and if witches saw her. But Bonnie seemed confident and would keep her eyes peeled for any witches, plus Caroline really did need to go and see a doctor to make sure that her baby was okay. And to be perfectly honest, Caroline definitely didn't want to go alone. She had a nice long talk with her mom yesterday, getting everything off her chest in detail, trying to help her mom process all of this over facetime. Liz still seemed wary and unsure, but there was a sparkle in her eye at the idea of being a grandmother.
But this was for the safety of her baby, so she had to go, even if she was still worried about everything else. So Caroline agreed and they left for their appointment. It was nice to be able to walk around New Orleans with Bonnie - who also hadn't been there before. GPS was their best friend whenever they got lost on their way to the appointment and Caroline couldn't wait to just wander the city with her best friend without worrying about who saw them and who they would report back to. But a large part of Caroline really missed Elena. This would be a wonderful time for all three of them together.
Swallowing down the sadness of missing her friend, Caroline smiles and takes in New Orleans with bright eyes.
July 29th. That's her estimated due date.
After almost thirty minutes of waiting, and then going in to see a doctor, they confirmed with a blood test that she was pregnant and got her in for an ultrasound to get a few pictures of the baby and to make sure that everything was progressing smoothly and judge about how far along she is. She's over four months at this point and they were able to see that the baby was okay. They were a bit concerned about how it was growing but weren't too concerned yet. Thankfully the baby is getting stronger now that Caroline is wearing the necklace, but the doctors didn't know that.
Elijah and Klaus were at the house by the time Caroline and Bonnie got there.
"Welcome back, ladies," Elijah says cordially as soon as Bonnie and Caroline walked in through the front door.
"Hey," Caroline says, glancing over to see Klaus staring back at her. He doesn't seem angry, which she was sort of afraid that he would be, but his expression is even. "How was the meeting with Marcel?"
"Fine," Elijah answers, straightening out the cuffs of his shirt. "He's wary of there being two Originals in town."
"As he should be," Bonnie says, typing away on her phone, messaging Elena. "Your family has a long history of leaving people and places in the dust." She shrugs, casting a look their way as she stuffs her phone into her back pocket. "It's a good thing Rebekah isn't here. He needs to absorb the harsh reality of two Originals being in town before a third show up, especially since we haven't been fully honest with him."
"Truly," Klaus says noncommittally, blue eyes on Caroline. "And where did you ladies run off to today?"
"I went to an OB appointment," Caroline says. Klaus looks at her surprised while Elijah blinks a few times.
"Oh?" Klaus says softly, blue eyes wide. "And... how did that go?"
"Good," Caroline says, rubbing her stomach. "Jelly Bean is okay. Healthy. They are worried about its growth and stuff, but I already know why it was like that so I'm not too worried. But, I got something for you!" Caroline reaches into her bag, pulling out the ultrasound pictures before hanging her purse on the banister and bouncing over to Klaus, holding them out for him to look at while keeping one clutched in her hand. "Here's Jelly Bean!"
Klaus takes the pictures, eyes wide and innocent like a child. He looks through each one slowly, eyes taking in every bit of the ultrasound looking like he's enchanted, making Caroline's heart flutter. She just watches this look cross over his face and for the first time in her life, Caroline thinks that Klaus Mikaelson might be the cutest person in the world. He looks like... he looks like he's in love with the small image captured in the ultrasound.
"Beautiful..." Klaus says softly, eyes now half-lidded.
Caroline smiles softly. "Yeah. She is, isn't she?"
Elijah, who was peaking at the photos over Klaus's shoulder, looks up at her, immediately catching onto her words. She offers him a coy smile. It takes Klaus a second longer before he too realizes what she says. His eyes snap up to her and she offers the last picture for him to take, the one that says 'girl'. Klaus takes it slowly from her hand and stares at it for a moment before turning a bright smile up at her.
"A little girl?"
Caroline laughs, nodding. "Yeah, a little girl. Are you okay with that?"
Klaus shakes his head slowly, looking down at the picture again, no doubt reading that single word on the picture like Caroline did a thousand times on the way back to the house. Over and over and over again. A little girl. Jelly Bean is a little girl. Caroline's mind is already racing, imagining their lives together. Imagining dance practice or piano recitals. Imagining dressing up as princesses and pirates. Playing board games and learning to draw. She can also picture going shopping and dressing up her daughter and talking about love and playing in the park.
She imagined all sorts of things with the imaginary baby in her stomach, but now... now she can see a little girl.
"Okay?" Klaus whispers, blue eyes wide. "I am far better than okay." He runs his thumb over the word for a moment before looking up at Caroline again through long lashes, contemplative. His full lips part, considering, before pressing together again, and then they open once more, still warring with himself on whether or not he wants to say something.
"What?" Caroline asks, tilting her head slightly.
"I want to make a request to you but I'm not sure if I can make one..."
Caroline tilts her head a little more, still looking into Klaus's eyes as he passes the pictures over to Elijah to look at. "Just ask, I'll say yes or no."
The corners of Klaus's lips quirk. "If I may be so bold, I want to be there next time. The next appointment, I mean."
Caroline stares at him, blinking a few times trying to process his request. "Oh... oh! I feel like such an asshole! I didn't..." She waves her hands around in Klaus's face, trying desperately to grasp at words. "I'm sorry, Klaus! I just... I never thought that you would be interested in something like that, which is silly, Jelly Bean is your baby too. I'm sorry. I never thought of it. Ugh! I feel so bad. I'm sorry."
Klaus smiles lightly, reaching out to take her flailing hands, and holds them softly, rubbing the back of her knuckles soothingly. "I'm not mad, Caroline. I would just like to be there next time if I could."
Caroline squeezes his hands, feeling terrible. "Yes, please be there. I'm sorry, Klaus. I just didn't even think about it. I would have asked if I'd thought about it, but I didn't."
"I know," Klaus says easily, smiling sweetly at her. "I would just like to be there next time."
Caroline pulls his hand back, offering up a pinky finger, grinning at him. "Deal."
Klaus huffs, shaking his head before holding up his own pinky finger and linking them together with a little shake. "Deal."
"She's pretty, isn't she?" Bonnie says, looking at the ultrasound pictures in Elijah's hands as he looks through them with a soft expression on his face.
"She's beautiful," Elijah says, softly. "Crazy how the hope of our family could rest on the shoulders of something so small..." He blinks slowly at the pictures, hope shining in his eyes. "I can't wait to meet her."
"Yeah, me too," Bonnie says softly.
"Honestly," Caroline says pulling her pinky finger back while still holding onto Klaus's other hand, "she kind of looks like a tiny alien, but yeah. I'm excited to meet her too. She's got a crazy, dysfunctional family, but there is going to be a lot of love." Caroline smiles at Bonnie's crooked grin. "She's going to have so much love she's not going to know what to do with all of it."
Bonnie nods. "What's the saying? It takes a village? Well, we'll definitely have that covered."
Caroline laughs, shaking her head. "Yeah, no kidding."
Caroline opens the door, eyebrows raised. "Uh, hello?"
A pretty dark-skinned woman stands in the doorway. She offers a half-smile and an awkward wave. "Hey. I'm Sabine. Sophie asked me to come in to check on you and see how you are."
Caroline's brain doesn't immediately understand. She blinks a few times, trying to compute what was said to her. She had just woken up from a nape and was going to get her blood for the day and as she was walking by the front door she heard the knock. She was too tired and too hungry to be able to compute what was going on right off the bat. "Sophie? Do you mean Sophie Deveroux? Are you a witch?"
She presses her lips together, still smiling awkwardly, kneading her hands a bit in front of her. But despite her apparent nervousness, Caroline has the feeling that it's not completely genuine. She rests one shoulder against the door frame with one foot locked around the door to keep it pretty much closed with only her body visible. She knows that witches don't have to be invited in, but she feels better blocking the way in regardless.
She definitely wished that Klaus, Elijah, Stefan, and Bonnie were home. Klaus and Stefan were wandering around town looking for something or reliving old memories from when they met here a long time ago, but Caroline's not sure. Elijah took Bonnie just outside of New Orleans to someplace she could practice magic without worrying about Marcel's secret weapon finding out. It was only her and Hayley but Hayley was probably on the other side of the house not aware that anything was going on.
Caroline blinks a few times, sending mental warnings to Hayley, praying that she could somehow hear Caroline mentally yelling at her but she's not holding onto a lot of hope. Plus, she wants to get this witch out of here before Bonnie gets back.
"I'm fine. I don't need you guys to check in on me. I'm still here in New Orleans. Don't worry about it." Caroline goes to close the door but Sabine reaches forward and stops her. It takes all of Caroline's willpower not to slam the door in her face using her enhanced vampiric strength. But she can't. Not only is she not that type of person - save for a select few - but she also knows it won't go over well.
"Look," Sabine says, pushing the door open a bit and Caroline lets her but keeps her foot in place so it can't open it much further than what Caroline was willing to allow. "I know that this situation is less than ideal and you're not exactly happy with us right now, but I promise, we aren't going to hurt you. We really have no need to."
Honestly, Caroline can't believe what she's hearing. She feels like she's stepped into an alternate universe where everything is chaos and madness. She levels her gaze at the woman in front of her. "Sabine, was it? You're blackmailing the father of my baby. I'm stuck in New Orleans until my baby is born. It's not like I'm here to visit and the witches are just being friendly hosts, no, you called me here to manipulate Klaus for whatever it is that you want him here for, and there isn't any guarantee that I can't your word on anything."
Sabine stares back at her, eyebrows pulling together slightly. "I understand how worrisome all of this must be for you, but I do promise, you're not in any danger. I'm just here to check on you and your baby for Sophie."
"I'm fine," Caroline sniffs, crossing her arms over her chest, "my baby is fine, and tell Sophie that I think our interactions outside of Rousseau's should be limited to phone calls."
Sabine hesitates but Caroline is done with this conversation. Hayley is probably off in her room, mentally preparing for the full moon tonight while everyone else is out of the house, and Caroline is just done with all of this. The less she has to do with the witches, the better. She really wished that Klaus was here, people tend to scatter like roaches when Klaus is involved. Besides, she doesn't want to say the wrong thing and end up screwing up all their plans. She messed up enough times during the meeting with Marcel. The last thing she wants to do is further screw things up.
"I'm sorry that you came all the way out here for that." Caroline moved to close the door when Sabine reached in, wrapping her hand around Caroline's arm.
There is a freezing shock that runs through both of them. It takes a moment, a long moment of the two of them just staring at each other with wide eyes as Caroline starts to realize what that was. That was the thing that Bonnie goes through whenever she touches something supernatural that she hadn't realized what it was yet. That cold, chilling warning her witch senses give her whenever something unnatural is near.
She knows, Caroline's brain screams. She knows!
Sabine and Caroline just stare at each other as Caroline struggles to push back the panic firing through her veins at incredible speeds. She can feel herself starting to panic just staring into Sabine's wide brown eyes. She knows. She knows that Caroline is a vampire. It's over. It's all over. Not only is Klaus going to kill her, but he's also going to tear New Orleans apart.
No, no. She can't let Sabine leave, not if she knows the truth. Maybe... maybe she can talk to her, try to convince her not to say anything. No, no that'll never work. She's stuck. The only other option would be to kill her. Caroline couldn't do that. Sabine did nothing wrong.
But this could jeopardize her baby's safety, that evil little voice in the back of her head whispers.
Her baby, that's right. Jelly Bean comes first.
Before Caroline can react, Sabine's lips part and she whispers. "The baby... the baby..."
The baby? Jelly Bean? Wait, something is wrong with the baby? What...? What did she see?
"What?" Caroline mumbles, her body freezing over as her lips can barely move to form words. "What did you say? What... what's wrong with my baby?"
Sabine's eyes lose focus, as her hand gripping Caroline's arm tightens. Her lashes flutter a bit as she tries hard to focus on what she's seeing.
Caroline can feel the panic starting to settle in around her. "Sabine? Sabine, what did you see?"
"Death... I see... death."
Caroline feels her entire world crash down around her, blue eyes blown wide in terror as ice fills her veins. Death...? What does she mean by that? Is something going to happen to her baby? To her little girl?
"Let her go!"
Suddenly, Hayley is at Sabine's side, grabbing hold of her arm and ripping her hand away from Caroline's, and effectively pushing herself between the two. The short brunette looks fierce with her posture wide and confrontational. Her stance is aggressive and Caroline can see horror flicker across Sabine's face as Hayley's eyes flash yellow. It's close enough to the full moon tonight that she can shift.
"Hayley," Caroline says softly, reaching out to touch the werewolf's arm but Sabine is already backing away, shaking her head.
"I'm sorry about coming unannounced," Sabine says, back away a bit quicker before turning completely and heading for her car. She climbs in too quickly, looking haunted, before driving off. Caroline felt terror coursing through her body as her mind races trying to figure out what Sabine could have meant with her words. She said so few of them and out of context, Caroline has no idea what to think other than the worst possible thing that she could think about.
Caroline pushes past Hayley for a moment, thankful that Hayley was there to offer her support and get her out of a potentially bad situation but honestly it couldn't have come at a worse moment. Caroline needed to know if Jelly Bean was going to be okay. She needed to talk to Sabine again to make sure.
Caroline makes it a few steps off the porch, watching as Sabine's car vanishes out of sight feeling dread wash over her as she kneads her hands tightly against her stomach, terrified of what could have just happened. Something terrible is going to happen to her baby. She has to know what's going to happen. She has to tell Klaus, she has to save her daughter.
Jelly Bean comes first.
Through the screaming in her ears, Caroline hears a loud thump behind her but it sounds a thousand miles away underwater and it takes her frantic mind almost thirty full seconds to realize that she should be alarmed by what she heard. She blinks a few times, spine straightening up as the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end.
Caroline looks up at the porch to see the open doorway and nothing more. She blinks slowly before looking down at Hayley's unmoving body crumpled onto the floor. Caroline jumps into motion, rushing up the stairs and kneeling down next to the werewolf girl. She reaches out to touch her neck to feel the pulse and after taking a few panicked breathes she forces herself to calm down to be able to hear Hayley's soft breathing.
She's alive. She's fine.
"Hayley..." Caroline says softly, pushing her hair out of the way a bit but she can't see anything that immediately catches her attention. She has no idea what happened to Hayley but she is starting to panic again. "Oh my god."
Then she feels it, almost instantly, someone at her back. Once more the hairs on the back of her neck prickles. She doesn't get the chance to move much, just turn her head slightly, when someone grabs hold of her neck and twists it sharply and everything goes dark.