Author's Note: Hello, my loves! I am sorry about the wait! I hope everyone had wonderful holiday! I am so lucky to have all of you here with me, and I appreciate you all sticking around despite my irregular updates! Thank you so much for your support! I do hope that you continue to enjoy it!
Bonnie set up what she needs with Davina's help. The younger witch was hesitant at first but Bonnie just kept explaining what she was doing while she was doing it. That seems to assuage the worries that the younger witch seemed to have. Bonnie then offered Davina a little crooked smile that seems to help win her over. Typical Bonnie.
Once they were done setting up, Bonnie moves to stand over the map of New Orleans and holds her hand out for Klaus to step up and take. He steps up to the other side of the table and places his hand in hers.
"I'm going to use Klaus's blood to locate anything with his blood. That'll include Caroline. Elijah should also appear on this map as well as Klaus. Anything that shares his blood here in New Orleans should show up," Bonnie says, pulling out a dagger that she placed on the table next to the map a new minutes prior. She turns his palm to face up and slides the blade across his palm. She lays the dagger down and pulls her hand away so that Klaus can drop his blood onto the map while she begins with her incantation.
Klaus curls his fingers into a weak fist and turns it to the side, letting is blood slide through his fingers and down onto the map beneath his hand. Bonnie holds her hands up just under shoulder height, palms up, her voice rising in volume and fervor as the windows start to shake and shutter as the wind outside starts to pick up, making it feel like the building is shaking.
Davina leans into Marcel's side, eyes wide as the magic swirls around them. But then, as quickly as it started, it all started to die down once more. She lowers her hands back down to her side and looks down at the map as everyone gathers around to look at it.
"Okay," Bonnie says, pointing at the church. "The two blood droplets here means Klaus and Elijah."
Davina points at another blood spot on the map. "So she's here?"
Bonnie opens her mouth to say 'yes' when Stefan points at another spot on the other side of town where there is also a blood spot. Neither of which are in the bayou where Caroline was last seen. One was in town a few blocks away while the other one was right on edge, but it's close enough to the bayou to probably be the right one. But now they are all looking between the two different ones, not sure what to say.
Stefan sucks in a breath, slowly, before asking, "Do we have an idea of who that is?"
Klaus stares at it for a long moment before looking over at Elijah with raised eyebrows. The two brothers stare into each other's eyes for a long moment before Elijah, half-heartedly guesses, "Rebekah?"
Marcel's lips part, looking between the two brothers. He looks like he wants to say something. He wants to ask the two brothers something, but the words seem to escape him. He rubs roughly at his forehead, sighing. He wants to ask about Rebekah, no doubt, but wisely figures that now is not the time. As much as he wants his answers, he's going to wait. For Caroline.
Klaus offers a little shrug when everyone turns their attention to the Hybrid in the church, hardly even interested in knowing one way or the other. "I don't know. Whatever she's doing here, we'll figure it out later. I am not interested in our dear sister's goings-on. Especially not now while Caroline's life is in danger."
Elijah nods. "Agreed. Caroline first."
"Caroline can't be found using a locator spell," Bonnie says as Klaus drives her and Elijah to the location on the map. Stefan and Marcel are going separately while Davina was told to stay behind by Marcel. She seemed torn, wanting to come with - no doubt not having a lot of contact with the outside world since falling under Marcel's care - but obeyed and watched them leave without protest.
"Why?" Elijah asks, keeping his eyes on the road as Klaus speeds through town.
"She's somewhere between life and death," Bonnie says. "I'm not sure what it is. It might be the necklace linking her to the ancestors here that cloak her, or maybe the person who took her is hiding her somehow with magic, but as I suspected, we were able to locate the baby using her blood. Well, her father's blood. But I suspect she's in a bad state either way. We need to get to her before Marcel does. And by her, I mean Caroline, although I imagine Jelly Bean probably isn't doing much better."
Elijah nods. "She might be hurt in a way that would reveal that she's a vampire and we can't quite afford to play all of our cards."
They fall into an agreeable silence. Klaus's brow is set low in anger and concentration, his mind occupied by his concerns. Bonnie sits back into her seat slowly, crossing her arms over her chest before sucking in a deep breath and asking, quietly, "Do you think the baby is going to die?"
"No," Klaus growls.
Bonnie looks over at the back of Klaus's head, her eyebrows pulling together. She licks her lips, considering. "Any sort of stress on Caroline affects the baby. If she's hurt or if she's dead..."
"No," Klaus growls, glaring at her through the rearview mirror. "Nothing will happen to the baby. She is going to be fine, just like Caroline is going to be fine."
"Caroline will be fine," Bonnie agrees. "Caroline is a vampire and so long as no one knows that, she'll continue to be fine. But her baby isn't. Jelly Bean is human and Caroline's body already isn't very hospitable, to begin with. The stress on the baby would no doubt be enough to - "
"No!" Klaus snaps, making the dark-skinned witch jump at the suddenness of his voice. She sucks in a few deep breaths, staring at the back of Klaus's head as he continues, "My baby will be fine. Her mother will be fine."
"Brother," Elijah says soothingly, staring straight ahead, "I know that you're worried. And Bonnie isn't unreasonable in what she's saying. Caroline and the baby are not safe. She has a right to be worried. It's scary to think about and I wouldn't want to entertain the idea any more than you do. So let's keep our heads level. We get to Caroline, assess the situation, and move forward from there. Okay?" Elijah glances back at Bonnie. "Okay, Ms. Bennett?"
Bonnie nods slowly, her eyebrows pulled together tightly. "Okay..."
Elijah offers her an understanding look before turning his dark eyes to his younger brother, who has yet to pull his eyes from the road, his face pinched in obvious pain and fear.
"Aye, brother?" Elijah asks softly.
"Aye," Klaus says just as softly.
Bonnie leans back into the seat, wrapping her arms around herself, bringing up her right hand to chew on her thumbnail. She hesitates a moment before pulling out her phone and sending a quick text to Stefan alerting him about them needing to keep Marcel occupied until she can figure out what is going on with Caroline. She stuffs her phone back into her pocket and turns her eyes out the darkening windows next to her, praying that Caroline is going to be okay.
A warehouse near the bayou is where they found Caroline. It was empty, abandoned, aside from Caroline's prone body lying in the center of it. Her skin ashen and desiccating, the area around her eyes black, and she wasn't breathing.
Stefan managed to get Marcel to help him look around the area for anyone suspicious but that's only going to last so long. They don't have a whole lot of time to waste and Caroline... well... she didn't look good at all.
"Caroline!" Bonnie yells, racing across the wide-open room to her best friend. Klaus beats her there, kneeling down next to the unmoving blonde, looking her up and down, trying to find what was stopping her from awakening, but she looked fine. Aside from the fact that she was obviously desiccating, that is. Elijah looks around the wide-open room, still not forgetting the predicament they were in while the other two focus on the prone figure in the room.
"Why won't she wake up?" Klaus asks the Bennett witch.
Bonnie puts her hand over Caroline, closing her eyes and sensing her. There are a few long moments that stretch into eternity while she senses her way through what happened before dropping her hand to her side, staring down at Caroline, worried, helplessly. "It's Jelly Bean. She's absorbing the magic that Caroline's body is trying to use to resurrect her from this state. Caroline isn't strong enough to sustain the energy drain from being pregnant and revive herself from vampire death. The baby is sucking up every bit of magic she can to survive. Caroline's body isn't providing her with anything anymore, now that it's... well, dead."
"So how does she come back?" Klaus asks, looking at the young witch.
"If Jelly Bean dies, Caroline will wake up," Bonnie says, chewing on her lower lip. Klaus looks at the witch affronted, opening his mouth in an angry snarl, but Bonnie's glare stops him. "I'm not saying that we wait for that. I need to think of something, just give me a moment."
Elijah, who was circling the room just to make sure that there really was no one else in there, making his way over to his brother, kneeling down next to him, offering Caroline a worried look before turning his dark eyes to Bonnie. "Blood?" He offers.
"Maybe," Bonnie sighs, reaching out her hand towards Klaus, not even bothering to look at him, still chewing on her lower lip while staring at her best friend. Klaus grabs onto her hand and bites into her wrist, making her flinch before he lets her go and she holds her bleeding wrist over Caroline's pale lips. The blood dripping from it stain her lips a ruby red. Klaus moves to open Caroline's mouth enough for the blood to slide down her tongue. Bonnie holds her hand there as they wait.
"Why isn't this working?" Klaus asks, looking at Bonnie.
Bonnie pulls her hand to her chest to stem some of the blood from her wrist. "I... I don't know. Caroline must not be strong enough. Even with blood."
Elijah bites his wrist and offers it to Bonnie. She sighs, looking like she rather wouldn't, before taking a quick drink, shivering and looking down on her wrist to see the wound closing up. She turns away, disinterested, before looking back down at her best friend. Worry flickers across her face again as she tries to figure out how to help her.
"What do we do if blood doesn't work?" Klaus asks, staring hard at the top of Bonnie's head.
Bonnie shakes her head, wracking her brain for any sort of idea on what to do, but all she keeps doing is staring at her best friend's cold, dead face, and thinking about the little life inside of her struggling to hold on. Every second Caroline is unable to support Jelly Bean, makes her one step closer to dying. Caroline will never be able to live with herself if something was to happen to her baby. And probably neither would Klaus.
"Bonnie!" Klaus snaps.
"I don't know!" Bonnie insists, rubbing at her forehead, trying to come up with something. "She's out of magic! If I could give her my own without worry about the baby then I would, but I don't know. Magic from foreign witches could be dangerous for someone unprepared, especially a baby."
"Then do something," Klaus hisses.
"Stop yelling at me," Bonnie hisses back, glaring. "I'm trying to think of something but you yelling at me isn't helping."
"My baby could die!" Klaus insists.
"Don't you think I know that? My best friend will die if something happens to that baby in her! Don't you think I want to save both of them?" Bonnie practically yells back, her dark eyes blown wide in fear and anxiety.
"It doesn't loo- " Klaus starts but is cut off by Elijah.
"Enough!" He commands strongly, making the two younger people in the room fall silent. Elijah turns to Bonnie and asks, calmly, "Why won't your magic work?"
Bonnie sucks in a few breaths, trying to calm down. "I would essentially be forcing magic into her body. She's so frail and little, I have no way of knowing if I'm hurting her until it's too late."
"And how is Caroline okay with doing it?" Elijah asks, prompting her to keep thinking. To keep focusing on what's important as opposed to Klaus who is starting to look crazed with worry.
"The baby is taking from Caroline, it's different. But also Caroline is the mother, instinctually the magic of the mother won't hurt the baby. Or, at least it's like that with witches. We just know. We can absorb magic from our mothers if we need it without the same energy barrier and concentration that it takes when doing it with someone unrelated. The problem is that Caroline doesn't have enough magic to sustain both of them, let alone resurrect herself from vampire death," Bonnie says, rubbing roughly at her forehead.
"Is there some other source of magic we could tap into?" Elijah asks.
Bonnie squeezes her eyes shut, thinking hard. "I mean, technically Esther would be able to do it too, as the grandmother. But well, she's dead, so there's that."
"Oh great," Klaus says, tossing his hands up as helplessness starts to work its way into his tone. "The one time we would actually need her and she's long since dead. For all her rhetoric about family and her love for us and she can't even use her one god-given gift to save her only grandchild. What sort of cruel karmic retribution is that?"
"Considering you were the one who killed her in the first place?" Bonnie asks sourly. "Pretty karmatic."
Klaus glares at her before Elijah cuts in again. "So, can anyone with any form of magic do it? Or does it have to be witches?"
"Typically it would be a witch because vampires only share their magic through compulsion and their blood," Bonnie says, turning her eyes back down to Caroline, staring at her pale face helplessly when her eyes land on the red of her lips. Then it clicks. Bonnie's eyes lower to the necklace laying against Caroline's arm, having slid off her chest at some point in her manhandling.
"Oh!" Bonnie gasps, reaching out to grab hold of it. She runs her fingers across it, wondering if it was going to work or not, but then decided they didn't have enough time for her to work her way through it. She was just going to have to trust her instincts and hope for the best. "Klaus, your hand."
Bonnie holds out a hand for him to take, he doesn't hesitate, placing his hand in her own before she brings it over Caroline's chest and places the red jewel onto his palm, and wraps her fingers around it.
At the brothers' shared look, Bonnie looks between them and says, carefully, "Caroline doesn't have enough magic. But Klaus does. And with this necklace, I can disrupt the ancestors' flow of magic, hi-jack it with Klaus's. His energy can't hurt his own baby. And I'll pump enough into her to save her and hopefully, it'll make her release Caroline so that she can wake up."
"Do you think it'll work?" Klaus asks, hope pulling at the edges of his voice.
"We're about to find out," Bonnie says, wrapping her and around his and the jewel, summoning up her own magic to pull Klaus's from his body and into the jewel, praying that it will filter into Jelly Bean without hurting it. Hybrid and Vampire babies don't exist. Whatever happens from all of this... Bonnie doesn't know. All she has is conjecture and educated guesses. She has absolutely nothing to go off of. It's all just her guesses.
She closes her eyes and starts to recite a spell, focusing all her energy into pulling Klaus's magic from him and into his and Caroline's baby, basically smothering it with his energy, being careful to feel for any stress in the baby, but... it strengthens. It grows stronger as the baby draws strength from Klaus's magic. Bonnie keeps pulling until she feels Klaus doesn't have much left to give before she stops.
Bonnie opens her eyes to see the tips of Klaus's fingers are pale and desiccating but quickly start to recover now Bonnie is no longer pulling his magic from him. Her eyes lower to Caroline to see her gray, ashen skin start to pinken up more and more until she returns to almost normal. She looks alive, but she looks terrible. She looks sickly and weak, but after a few seconds of baited silence, she opens her eyes.
Dazed, blurry blue eyes look around. She looks around the room as if completely out of it, before her tongue slides out of her red lips and run across them, lapping up Bonnie's blood before her eyes lock onto her witch best friend. Caroline sees nothing. She feels nothing but weakness and the hunger.
Caroline's eyes shift and she makes a lunge for Bonnie right as Elijah grabs hold of the witch to pull her out of the way and Klaus wraps his arms around her to stop her attack. Klaus is careful to avoid her stomach and placing any more strain on the baby. An arm around her shoulders and a hand on the front of her hips to hold her back. Dark veins crawl up to blackened sclera and piercing blue eyes tinged red with violent hunger.
Caroline hisses in hunger, pointed white teeth flashing threateningly.
"Now that's something we're not going to do," Klaus rumbles in her ear as she fights to pull from his grasp. Even if she wasn't weak from hunger, she was still a thousand years younger than him and wouldn't easily be able to overpower him, just short of handicapping him and catching him off guard. "We aren't going to hurt Bonnie. We love Bonnie."
Caroline digs her nails across the backs of Klaus's arms, snarling viciously at her childhood best friend, while Klaus only offers a small wince of pain before pulling her closer to him in case she found the strength to just push past him. But she doesn't see Bonnie. She doesn't see the girl that she grew up with. All she can see is blinding red and a hunger that she can't fight.
"Caroline," Bonnie says slowly, sucking in a deep breath, steeling herself before saying more clearly, "Caroline."
The blond hesitates, the sound of her best friend's voice finally managing to penetrate the red cover pulled over her mind. Caroline tilts her head a bit, veins pulsating toward her eyes as she stares back at her friend, pulling more and more into herself and past the hunger.
Despite the hungry pulsing in the veins by her eyes, the sharpness of her fangs, and the red in her normally blue irises, Caroline whispers, her voice raspy with obvious hunger, "Bonnie?"
Bonnie smiles softly, reaching out to touch her best friend's face, making the blonde melt a bit more back into herself. Caroline sucks in a few, deep breaths before digging her fingers out of Klaus's arms and places them over Bonnie's hands on her face. Caroline closes her eyes and forces down the hunger deep into her toes as her body slowly returns to normal. The blackened veins sink beneath the skin, her irises return to blue, and her fangs sink back into her gums and Caroline is back in control.
"I'm okay," Caroline says softly, pulling her best friend closer. "I'm sorry, Bonnie. I didn't mean to do that. I'm okay now."
"No, you're not okay," Bonnie says hugging her friend tightly before pulling back and giving her space. "You're exhausted, and starving. I love you, you know I do, but I don't plan on being dinner tonight."
Caroline feels a stab of pain in her chest as she frowns at her retreating friend, understanding why she's doing it, but hate that she has to. Caroline should be in control of herself. She hasn't felt like this for a long time. She hates herself for not being strong enough not to want to rip into her best friend's throat and drink every single drop of her blood.
"I'm okay," Caroline slurs, sinking back into the warm body behind her feeling pins and needles working across every inch of her skin. She tries to look around, get a feel for where she is, but the lights are too bright, the air is too stale, and it's hard to focus when every cell in her body is screaming for blood. She presses her ice-cold hands to her eyes and rubs at them roughly before glancing over her shoulder at the person holding her upright.
It takes a few moments of staring for the spots to clear up and Klaus's face to sharpen in her vision. As soon as her mind registered him, she remembered her baby.
"Oh god! Jelly Bean! Klaus! Klaus!" Caroline twists around as much as she can toward the Hybrid, her eyes wide and alert with panic and fear. "What happened? Where..? The baby? Oh, Klaus is she okay? Please, please tell me she's okay!" Caroline, had she any sort of moisture in her body, would no doubt be crying huge alligator tears, but instead, she's left with dry sobbing and a tremendous shaking of her limbs in fear. How could this have not been her first thought? Why didn't she immediately wonder about her baby's safety? What kind of terrible, horrible mother was she going to be?
Klaus pulls her to his chest, holding onto her as she frantically working her way through her panic. He doesn't say anything, just listened to all of her questions quietly until she's lost all the air in her lungs.
Then, through gasping breaths, she says, "Klaus, please say something, I'm going to work myself up into a panic attack."
Klaus pulls her close and helps her rest her head onto his shoulder, making her comfortable in his arms before saying, softly, "I'm listening to her heartbeat, love. It's erratic and elevated, but it's still strong. I'm not a doctor, but tomorrow morning, I'll bring you to one."
That doesn't assuage Caroline's fears in the slightest. She wants an immediate answer right then and there. If Caroline had even an ounce of energy, she would just demand that he tell her with absolution. She rubs at her face with her hands, groaning. She wraps her arms around his neck as Klaus moves to stand up with his arms wrapped around her.
"Care?" Stefan calls out as he and Marcel step into the warehouse, looking around.
Caroline rests her forehead into the soft curve of Klaus's neck, offering a half-hearted nod. His warmth is wrapping around her, soothing her to sleep once more. Despite how tired her body is, her mind is still racing, wishing now, more than ever, that she was able to just hear Jelly Bean's heart beating. That way, maybe it would assuage her fears, even if only a little bit. But she can't, no matter how much she focuses, the sound of her own beating heart overpowers that of Jelly Bean's and it's honestly frustrating.
Caroline honestly hates the sound of her own heartbeat.
"Hi, Stefan..." Caroline murmurs as they get closer to the two older vampires.
"Hey, Care, how do you feel?" Stefan asks once Klaus stops next to him.
Caroline opens her bleary eyes to look at her friend. She tries to keep her eyes open but just moving - even as simple as looking around - is expelling more energy than she should. Her body doesn't have the energy to deal with that. She needs blood. She needs to get away from Marcel, and Bonnie, and really anyone and everyone that she could hurt because her control isn't as ironclad as she wishes that it would be, and every sandpaper swallow of her throat is a terrible reminder every single time.
"I'm tired..." Caroline rasps, closing her eyes. She tries to focus on the images of her baby in her mind's eye and not the scratchiness of her throat or the pulse of Klaus's heart inside his neck against her forehead. She knows that she's hiding a bit behind Klaus's face a bit, but she doesn't want Marcel to see her. To be honest, she doesn't want anyone to see her. She takes pride in her control and the fact that she almost ripped Bonnie in two in a blind rage is enough to wear her down to her rawest parts.
Her control is how she deals with being a vampire. She needs to be in control at all times. The fact that she could have hurt Bonnie...
"Get some rest," Stefan says, offering a small, understanding nod before Klaus continues on his way without another word. As Caroline drifts into an unwelcome slumber, staring at the ends of her fingers desiccating slowly from lack of blood, all she can think about is how to ensure that her baby is going to be alright. Caroline doesn't care about what happens to her so long as Jelly Bean is going to be alright.
She opens her eyes after what feels like only a moment to Klaus pulling up to the house. She looks down at her hands to see they've mostly desiccated to the middle of her forearms, crawling closer to her elbows. Her fingers feel so cold that they are hot and the prickling sensation across her entire body is only getting worse. She's never desiccated due to lack of blood before. At least, not like this. And it horrifying.
Yet once more all she can think about is her baby. She has to make sure that her baby is strong. That her baby is okay. Caroline isn't sure how long she was out but just understanding basic common sense, her being dead did nothing wonderful for Jelly Bean. But there is only one cureall that she can think of that would ensure that her baby would be okay.
Caroline shares everything with Jelly Bean. Klaus said that blood hasn't appeared as though it was affecting the baby - at least in a negative way. And Caroline is too paranoid to wait until morning to do something to make sure that her baby is okay.
Despite how weak she is, Caroline looks over at Klaus as he puts the car in park and glances over at Caroline as she struggles to unbutton her seatbelt. She opens her mouth to say something but Klaus is opening his door and stepping out into the night. She can't get her desiccating hand to wrap around the door handle. Klaus opens the door from the other side and helps her out.
Caroline lets Klaus lead her into the house before she turns on him, grabbing his arm to stop him from leading her further into the house. Klaus pauses, turning to look at her as Caroline cups his face.
"Hold on a second," Klaus says, grabbing onto her hands and looking at them with a frown. "Give me a minute and I'll get you all the blood you want."
"Okay," Caroline rasps, nodding, "but I want something else first..."
Klaus pulls his eyes from her hands to her eyes. "What?"
"I want your blood," Caroline rasps softly, wanting nothing more than to satiate this hunger, but she's not just going to blindly attack him. "If blood doesn't hurt Jelly Bean because it's good for me... maybe vampire blood can heal her from any damage that I caused."
Klaus's lips part, studying her face as he works his way through her words, trying to understand them. He stares down into her eyes.
"I know your blood won't really do a whole lot for me - at least, I don't think it works that way - but if it can heal anything done to Jelly Bean... I want to try. I want to do it. And she's your baby... I thought... I don't want anyone but you..." Caroline rasps, stepping closer to her baby daddy. She can't really feel him with her hands because of how desiccated they are. "I'll get my blood later. But for her..."
Klaus nods, taking her hand and heading up the stairs with her following after. Caroline follows him over to his bedroom. He pulls her inside and closes the door before leading her over to the bed and helping her sit. He sits against the headboard and pulls her to his chest before bringing his arm up to her mouth. Caroline wraps her hands around his arm opens her mouth so that her fangs can poke through her gums and she sinks them into his skin.
Typically whenever Caroline drank Klaus's blood, he was always the one who broke the skin. It was when her own fangs punctured his skin she felt him tense up against her, holding his breath for a long moment before letting out a long sigh. It was then that Caroline remembered Damon and Elena. How personal it was to do this. How intimate.
Klaus usually did it himself because of that, no doubt. But now he was letting her do it. From what she understands... one Vampire's bite on another Vampire releases a lot of endorphins into the blood. It's not something done lightly. And Caroline feels good too, drinking his blood. It makes her body feel warm and eases the painful tingling into a more excited one.
And then she feels it.
She feels love flowing through her in waves with each swallow. It's Klaus's love flowing through her. She can see hazy images of herself behind her eyelids. This warmth. This affection for her. This brightness around her in his mind. He sees her - even the hazy image of her that she saw - as beautiful. As kind. As wonderful. And he loves her.
It's a mixture of fiery hot passion - like wanting to rip her clothes off and devour her, but also a gentle love. He wants to hold her and kiss her and see her smile and he falls in love with her again and again whenever she spoke about their baby. Whenever she smiled and laughed and even when she was going a bit psycho with cleaning and planning and organizing.
To him, she was beautiful. Even when she wasn't.
Even when she was snotty from crying or red-faced, flushed with rage, or she was asking a stupid question that she didn't realize was stupid when she asked it. He loved her in any and all capacities.
And she felt that love flowing through her.