Author's Note: So sorry about the long wait, everyone! I am just loving hearing from all of you! It is really helping me out, so thank you all for taking the time to say something! I hope that you guys are still enjoying! Let me know what you think! Enjoy!
Klaus stares at her for a moment, as if he didn't know how to form words. Caroline watches as a slew of different emotions flickers across his face before settling on an expression exuding resolution.
"You want it?" He asks softly in disbelief, despite his expression being sure. "You will bear my child? You want me to be in the life of my child?"
"Of course," Caroline laughs, voice shaking a bit. "I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I'm basically a child myself. I'm eighteen, Klaus!" She laughs, a bit of hysteria edging into her voice. Her shaking voice withers into silence as she stares into Klaus's pretty blue eyes. Then, softly, "Maybe we both are about the same level of preparation for this."
The corner of Klaus's lips curls slightly. "I have the means to raise this child."
"Great," Caroline says. "You can provide the monetary care and I'll do the rest." They lapse into silence again for a moment, still staring at each other, before Caroline whispers, "I don't want to do this alone, Klaus. I'm not crazy about the idea. But, I'm still at the beginning of my life. I don't know enough to raise a kid on my own. I don't want money, I can make money on my own. I don't want a babysitter, I can always ask my friends or my mom. I want... a partner." Caroline rubs at her forehead. "I knew that I wanted to be a mother one day, but I accepted that I was never going to have children of my own but... now I can. If this is the only chance I get, I'm going to take it."
Klaus's lower lip trembles a bit. "Can you be okay with this being forced upon you?" He asks, his voice soft.
"I don't know," Caroline admits, her voice shaking again, "but I want this baby. I want it."
With confidence, he looks into her eyes, placing his hands on her shoulders and leaning in close to her and says, "Listen to me, Caroline, and listen close. I will keep my word. I will do everything in my power to make you safe again. You and our baby."
Our. He said, 'our'. Does that mean..? Is he accepting the baby? Caroline isn't sure if she wants to ask. Not here. Not in front of all of these witches. Caroline doesn't know them. She doesn't trust them. And even if Klaus is just offering her lip service, it's fine, so long as they are in it together for the time being and he keeps his word.
Caroline feels like she's all alone in this. But knowing that Klaus is there to offer at least peripheral support is enough to keep her going until they get back to Bonnie and Stefan. Oh no, Bonnie and Stefan. What is she going to do? What is she going to say? How is she supposed to tell them? What is she supposed to tell them? Well, the truth, obviously, but that would mean admitting to everything. She can't just pretend like she isn't gaining weight at a crazy speed coupled with swelling limbs, uncontrollable cravings, and wall to wall mood swings. And even if she could get away with it, what was she to do when the baby got there? Feign surprise?
No, she had to tell them the truth.
At least it was Bonnie and Stefan. Stefan would be shocked, ask questions as he saw fit, perhaps have to be alone for a bit to think about it, but then he would be okay. He would be able to talk to her. He would find his head again and they would be able to talk about this.
Bonnie, on the other hand, is going to be a little different. Bonnie could either be very understanding of the situation, or she could not. Caroline knows that she isn't going to blow her top. She may be mad. She may be upset. But she will stay. Caroline needs Bonnie. And even if she has to walk away for a moment to collect herself, she will always come back because Bonnie loves her.
Caroline just doesn't want to face their judgment. She doesn't want to see the disapproval in their eyes. She loves them so much and has hated having to lie to them for so long. It's only befitting that one and only, a huge secret that she chose to keep from her friends happens to come back to bite her in the ass with an absolute vengeance.
Despite the fear and terror that surge through her at the thought of this child, there is a flicker of something else there. It's small and frail, at the very beginning of its life, but she can feel it. But she won't put a name to it just yet. She'll have to see what it evolves into with time.
Persuasive Elijah and daunting Klaus convince the witches that they will remain in New Orleans and take care of the vampires "on their terms" the witches made them swear to, and let Caroline come with them. Needless to say, when they demanded that Caroline remain with them as insurance, Klaus grabbed onto the nearest witch, an older woman by the name of Agnus - if the gasping cries of the witches around them were anything to go on - and held her by the throat.
"Klaus," Caroline calls, leaning against the doorway, Elijah's hand under her arm to help keep her steady.
"I'm not sure I quite heard you right, witch," Klaus snarls, lip curling in his rage. "But are you trying to tell me that I can't bring the mother of my child with me? Do you presume to order me around after so blatantly threatening me to assist in your vendetta? I should hope not, because I assure you that will only lead to the three of us leaving this cemetery. Alone."
"It seems my brother isn't in the mood to discuss the location in which the mother of his child will be kept in safe guard..." Elijah says diplomatically.
The witch paws at Klaus's arm, choking as she started to look color in her already dark skin.
"Let her go," Sophie says, Caroline learning to pick her voice out of the crowd of witches all insisting that Klaus release the woman in his grip. "You're hurting her!"
Jane-Anne, dark eyes wide and fearful, sinks down onto a cement bench looking paler than Caroline was. Caroline, in the back of her head, wanted to ask the woman what was wrong, but couldn't bring herself to do it. She didn't want to stay here, in this cemetery for a moment longer than she had to. If these witches couldn't do magic, then nothing else was keeping her here. So long as she stayed in New Orleans, she'll be okay. Hopefully.
"Klaus," Caroline calls again. She swallows thickly, trying to stomp down the fear in her heart as it bubbles up in her chest once more. "Let her go. They aren't going to stop us. I have to stay in New Orleans anyway. We can talk again, but later. I'm exhausted and starving. Come on." A pause, then, "Please."
She knew she got him when his head tilted slightly in her direction. She mustered up enough strength for her pitiful look. She used the voice she uses when she knows he's mad but wants him to do something for her anyway. It's never failed against him. Elijah raises his eyebrows as Klaus looks over at Caroline and she gives him the most pitiful expression she can muster. And she knew she won him over at the droll look he sent her way like she was screwing with his fun.
But then he really looked at, leaning so heavily on Elijah that he was the only thing holding her up now. The nausea from before finally subsided enough for her stomach to start growling in desperate need for food and the pins and needles were working their way up her throat from the need for blood. She wasn't sure why the New Orleans witches couldn't tell that she was a vampire, but it seems like Klaus and Elijah wanted to use that to their advantage, and at this point, Caroline really didn't care.
"Very well," Klaus says airily, dropping the witch into the dirt, casting her a half glance like she was less than that to him, "but there will be no more discussion about where Caroline will stay. You wanted us in New Orleans, we're here. Now your business is with me. You better not get any big brain witch ideas about bringing Caroline back into this," Klaus says maliciously, blackened veins pulsate threateningly around his eyes without his eyes changing but making their point all the same, "or you won't have a tongue to articulate those big ideas."
And that was that.
Klaus makes his way over to her, scooping her up into his arms and makes his way out of the cemetery with Elijah following behind. Caroline didn't have the energy to fight with him or struggle out of his grip. If he was going to carry her around, she was going to let him. At least for today.
But she cast one last look over at the witches with her cheek resting against his shoulder. There were a few of them tend to the threatened witch who was rubbing at her throat, wheezing for air, while the rest watch them go in silence. Except it wasn't the rest of them. Jane-Anne was hugging Sophie close, and it looked like they were crying. Both of them. Caroline couldn't believe that they would be crying in relief to get Klaus that. Apparently, they must have thought he would be some knight in shining armor.
Oh, how wrong she was.
"Caroline!" Bonnie's voice breaks into her drowsy mind.
"Are you okay?" Stefan's voice punches through the darkness too, making her open her eyes to see that Klaus brought her back to where they left both the cars and her friends. Bonnie runs over, walking next to Klaus while looking after Caroline with manicured black eyebrows pulled together tightly. Stefan pushes away from where he was leaning against his car to tilt his head, staring past the rest of them at the person following from behind. "Elijah?"
"Hello, Stefan," Elijah greets, politely.
"Looks like we are all coming back to our old stomping grounds," Stefan says, casting a worried look Caroline's way.
"I suppose we both are, Mr. Salvatore," Elijah says easily, casting him a look before also turning his attention to Caroline as Klaus lowers her to sit in the back seat of his car, pulling out a blood bag for her that she gulps down greedily, finally able to stomach food. Or in this case, blood.
"Touche," Stefan admits as Caroline blows through the first blood bag and asks for another, taking deep gulping breaths of air before sinking her teeth into the next blood bag, slowing down a bit. "So what happened? Don't keep us in suspense forever."
Klaus leans over Caroline, arm resting against the frame of the car, staring down at her for a moment before looking over at Stefan and Bonnie. "It seems like the witches of New Orleans have forgotten who they are dealing with."
"In perhaps more detail?" Bonnie asks, looking in at Caroline, who wipes the small dribble of blood from the corner of her mouth.
"Not here," Caroline says, looking at Klaus and Elijah. "Maybe we... should go somewhere else?" Out in the open, talking about this probably wasn't the best, but she also needs time to build the courage to admit to Bonnie and Stefan about what she did and how the consequences have presented themself to her.
The initial reaction to this was that she was being punished for something. Of course, she kept her tryst with Klaus a secret and the only true way to prove that it happened short of a video camera recording the whole thing, was her getting pregnant from it. Ironic. She's dead and never thought to use any form of protection and she slept with one being in the world who could get her pregnant. Aint that painfully ironic.
But after admitting that she wanted the baby, more out of desperation to have a baby seeing as it probably would have been her only chance, she started to really think about it and she thinks that it's best. She doesn't believe in abortions, and just the thought of considering it makes her sick to her stomach. But she wouldn't give it up for adoption either. She does want this baby. She may not be physically or emotionally ready for it, but she does want it. And she'll do anything and everything she has to do to make herself ready for it.
This baby shouldn't be punished because its parents didn't think to use protection - well, there is a logical reason for that, but still. And besides that... Caroline is slowly starting to get used to the idea that something is coming. She's not sure she's ready to be a mom or anything like that, but now she's seeing this child as a light at the end of the tunnel. Everything has just been so terrible these last few weeks especially, and Caroline has always loved having something else to pour her energy into.
If she can push past the initial panic that all of this presents, then she's happy. Happy that she is blessed with the opportunity to have a baby, after accepting the terrible reality that she wouldn't have any of her own. Her family was so small, when she died and her dad came out as gay and swore off women, her bloodline will essentially die with her.
Not anymore. Now she had something that would carry her own blood. Something that was hers. Something that would love her wholeheartedly, and she would love it a thousand times more.
And finally, for the first time in her life, she was the girl who was the one. Perhaps it wasn't with a man, but a baby that would fulfill the empty place in her heart. Maybe the reason why she was never really good enough for the boys in her life was that the person that was meant to fulfill her was to one day grow within her. Who is to say the love of her life couldn't be her own baby.
That also helps make her feel better.
"Let us find somewhere to stay for tonight," Elijah agrees. "We can talk more then."
So they go to this fancy hotel. Some nice joined rooms with double beds for them to share. Caroline, Bonnie, and Stefan claim one room and Elijah and Klaus claim the other. They were only going to stay the night as Klaus was already making arrangments for a place for them to live for the foreseeable future. Caroline is just grateful that he's so quick to get the ball rolling. He doesn't drag his heels for anything.
Once they were sitting around in Caroline, Bonnie, and Stefan's room. Bonnie sits down right next to Caroline and turns to face her. "Alright, Caroline, no more stalling. What did those witches want from you?"
Caroline looks down at her colorful socks, trying to think of how to answer that question. "Well, honestly, they wanted Klaus, not me," Caroline says, casting a glance over at the little table on the far wall where Klaus and Elijah were both sitting. Stefan sinks down into his claimed bed, leaning forward with his elbows on his knees.
"Oh? And what does this have to do with you?"
"They used me to get him here, I guess," Caroline admits. Although she wasn't the only one that they used.
Bonnie, used to all of Caroline's behavioral quirks, narrows her eyes a bit at the flippancy in the blond's words. "Okay. So what aren't you saying?"
Caroline looks away from Klaus down at her hands, trying to find the courage to speak. Since they left the cemetery, Caroline has been trying to find a way to give voice to what happened. She was able to admit it to some strangers, yet she can't even talk to her best friend? That's ridiculous. No matter how upset they may be, Caroline knows that Stefan and Bonnie love her. They'll forgive her. Maybe.
It's Tyler that she knows will never forgive her. And it may not even matter if he thought that they were still together or not. Klaus killed Carol Lockwood, Tyler's mom, there is no way he would ever forgive her for sleeping with him. Even if she had slept with Klaus long before he killed Carol. It's not going to matter to him.
But Caroline can't think about that now, it's just going to make her sick to her stomach.
"Okay, I'm going to tell you something and you have to promise not to get mad at me," Caroline says, casting her best friend a sideways glance.
"Oh," Stefan says as Bonnie narrows her eyes a bit more, "I do love confessions that start like that."
"Caroline, I could just tell them - " Klaus starts but Caroline shakes her head.
"No, I have to be the one. They are my friends." She stares into his eyes for a moment until he nods, mouth closing and leaning back into his chair.
Stefan does that closed-mouth smile he reserves for when he's unsure how to feel about something and he's worried it's going to show on his face. Which it usually does. "Great. Klaus is involved in it."
"What happened, Caroline?" Bonnie asks.
Caroline distinctly notes that neither promised not to be mad but decided that she didn't deserve to pressure them into promising her. Even though she really wants them too. She takes a few deep, shuddering breaths, hating that she can't just admit to it. Caroline turns to her best friend, reaching out to take her darker, thinner hands in her own and holding them tightly.
"Okay, so remember that party that the Mikaelsons had at their house when mama Mikaelson came back because of us and wanted to gather all her children together in some unholy ritual to link them all together so that she could kill Finn and the rest of them would all die, thus taking out the entire sire lines of all of them, killing Damon, Stefan, Tyler, myself and everyone else they turned by default?"
Bonnie blinks really slowly while Stefan raises his eyebrows high toward his hairline. Bonnie stares at her and when Caroline didn't immediately continue on, she asks, sarcastically, "Was that before junior prom or after the Silas attack?"
Caroline gives her friend a look. "Bonnie! You don't remember this?"
Bonnie gives her a look. "Of course I do, Caroline. I'll remind you that my mom and I were supposed to be part of the spell that would kill Finn and break the vampire curse when Damon killed her. So yes, I know that time very well."
Caroline sucks her lips into her mouth at the sour expression that covers her best friend's face. Caroline didn't need the high browed look Stefan sent her way to know that she wasn't doing a great job at explaining what had happened. Glancing over at Klaus's own high browed look didn't help either. Caroline kind of wishes she had just let Klaus tell them. He was pretty good at just ripping the bandaid off, but Caroline felt that if she didn't say it, it was like she wasn't owning up to it. And she had to. Now more than ever before.
"So," Caroline continues, pulling her eyes back to her best friend's, "Klaus and I were out admiring the horses and we got into an argument."
Bonnie narrows her eyes dangerously, gripping Caroline's hands tighter. Through gritted teeth, she whispers, "Okay..."
"Well, I told him that I liked horses, and so did he, and then he started telling me about his favorite horse that his father killed like a real jerk, which was really so depressing and not a good party topic if you ask me, and somehow we got onto the topic of people and I told him that I liked horses and people and that he made it really hard to like him because he was mean all the time and threatened Tyler..." She stops to take a breath, having said all of that in one go, and while Bonnie still looks mad, she is starting to look a bit confused as to where Caroline was going with this. No doubt she thought that Klaus threatened her, or hurt her in some way. But it was quite the opposite.
"Caroline," Stefan cuts in, drawing her eyes over to him, "I think you're missing the point of this. And I am suspecting that you're also stalling."
Okay, maybe she was. "Alright," Caroline says, looking back over at Bonnie. "So we were arguing, or I was arguing with myself, and I was yelling at him probably saying some mean and uncalled for things which tend to be my fall back when dealing with him - ''
"Caroline," Stefan warns again and Caroline can see Bonnie is starting to get mad again.
"Right, sorry," Caroline shakes her head, looking into Bonnie's beautiful brown eyes, sucking in a deep breath before saying, perhaps a bit softer and more terrified than she should have, "I slept with Klaus."
Bonnie stares at her. Caroline stares back, knowing how Bonnie feels about Klaus and admitting to what she did in the face of her best friend both makes her sick to her stomach for the lie and relieved that it was finally out in the open. She hated lying to her best friends. Now she had to tell Elena and her mom, and her conscience would be clear.
Oh, shoot. She still had to tell Tyler too. Whelp, now she feels terrible again.
Bonnie looks over at Klaus who - thank the heavens, isn't grinning like a fool or somehow gloating like a small part of Caroline thought he would be - but instead met her gaze with a steady, calm one in return. Stefan looks back and forth between them, green eyes wide before leaning back a bit and letting out a long, drawn-out breath, a slew of different emotions playing across his face as he processes the new information provided to him.
Caroline starts to think the silence isn't one of contemplation but perhaps a calm before the storm, which is terrifying.
Slowly, Bonnie looks over at her with angry, dark eyes, whispering, "Did he hurt you?"
And suddenly Caroline knows where the rage is coming from. The same rage she faced when she started going out with Tyler and didn't tell Bonnie first.
"No," Caroline says, gripping her hands tightly to ensure the girl didn't set fire to the room that they're in. "No, Bonnie, he didn't."
"Did he force you?"
"Don't defend him, Caroline. If he did something to you, tell me now." Bonnie's dark eyes fill with anger, looking ready to tear Klaus apart. "You always do this. You always defend the assholes! You try so hard to see the good in people!"
"Bonnie!" Caroline yells over her best friend's rising voice, watching as the anger from Expression slowly dim down in her eyes. Once she's sure that her friend is listening, she says, softly, finally accepting the reality of her own words, "It's not like any of that. It was me, Bonnie. I was the one who made the first move. I was the one who had all the power. When I told him to stop, he did. If I didn't want it, he would have backed off. It was me, Bonnie. I'm not defending him, I'm owning up to it. It was my choice." She looks into her best friend's eyes. "He was good to me, Bonnie. He was sweet and kind and never pushed me. Everything that happened that night was my choice."
And she found relief in saying that. Finally owning her decision after so long feels good. She hated that she lied to her friends, but it feels nice to finally admit the truth.
"You're not lying to defend him?" Bonnie asks slowly, still looking like she's ready to tear Klaus apart in the blink of an eye but that anger is starting to dissipate.
"No," Caroline says softly, gripping her hands tighter. "I'm not. I had sex with him because... I don't know why. Maybe I'm just a lost cause, but he was charming and sweet and has always been good to me, even when I want to strangle him for hurting my friends. And when I need him, he's always there to help me. I don't know what made that night different, but... I did it. Klaus let it be entirely my choice. He was good to me, Bonnie. Please don't think for a moment that he wasn't."
Bonnie's anger lowers to a simmer as she accepts Caroline's words with a solemn nod. She laces her fingers with Caroline and the blond sees that the explosion of mount Bonnie may have already passed.
"So what does this have to do with the necklace?" Bonnie asks. "Was it just to weaken you so that Klaus would bring you to New Orleans?" She blinks a few times, big brain working as her dark eyes find Caroline's blue ones. "Wait, what does this have to do with sleeping with Klaus?"
"Well..." Caroline says slowly, refusing to look over at the man in question. In fact, it's been somewhat easier talking to Bonnie as if she was alone with her best friend. She never admitted to anyone, even the witches about that night. Klaus was good to her, he always asked her if it was okay. He was gentle and kind and to be honest none of the other boys she's been with were ever like that with her. Thankfully she didn't have to go into detail about whats of it all for everyone's sake, just that he was very gentlemanly and gave her full control of the situation.
"Caroline..." Bonnie says slowly, her eyebrows pulling together again in worry. "What happened?"
Caroline sucks in a deep breath. "So, you know how I'm dead and I can't get pregnant so I don't need to worry about using protection of any sort with anyone, right?"
Bonnie looks perplexed, dark eyes wide. "Uh, sure?"
Caroline laughs sardonically, catching Stefan tilting his head to the side at her words. "Well, it just so happens, there is actually one person in the entire world that could get me pregnant."
Bonnie stares at her. "What? What are you talking about? Protection against...? Who could...?" She blinks once. Twice. Three times, before her eyes nearly bug out of her head. "Wait, what? Klaus can get you pregnant?" Stefan jerks at her question, and then Bonnie's face becomes paralyzed by her own words as her big brain connects all the dots. "Wait... Caroline... are you pregnant?"
"That's impossible," Stefan cuts in. "You're both vampires. There is no way that's possible."
"Apparently the impossible doesn't apply to my brother," Elijah finally cuts it, lacing his fingers together beneath his chin. Now Klaus has the audacity to look smug, shrugging his shoulders.
"I've been told that before," he jests, ignoring the glares sent from him at all angles.
Stefan runs his hand through his styled brown hair, shaking his head slowly as he tries to wrap his mind around this information. "Wait, so were you always able to do this or...?"
"The curse," Caroline offers, looking over at her other friend seeing as Bonnie shut down. "The werewolf curse. Apparently, when he broke it, the magic now allows him to have babies. Yay. And apparently, it doesn't matter if his partner is dead or alive." Caroline makes a sour look at her own words, not liking how they came out. And by the looks of the people around her, they didn't like it either. She amends with, "I mean, vampire or human."
"But you're pregnant," Stefan says, staring at Caroline. "With an actual baby? Of Klaus's?"
Caroline nods. "He's the last guy I was with. And don't say 'actual baby'. I'm already going to be having nightmares about crazy hybrid baby, I don't need it to not actually look like a baby."
Stefan holds up his hands. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. I'm just... shocked."
"You and me, both," Caroline mutters. But now that the hardest part was done with, they were finally able to move on to the rest of the story. The necklace, Caroline's family and now this problem with Marcel Gerard and the witches. That's finally enough to pull Bonnie back. She keeps close, eyeing Caroline's stomach with an open expression, no doubt with questions, but decides to hold her tongue for now. At least she's not boiling with rage anymore. Caroline is thankful for that.
"Okay, so what are we going to do about this?" Bonnie asks. "We aren't leaving Caroline behind, so it looks like we're staying in New Orleans." She looks over at Stefan who nods in affirmation.
"So what do we sort out first?" Stefan asks. "Who is this Marcel Gerard? Why do the witches want him stopped? And why do they want it done a certain way?"
"Marcel is... an old family friend," Elijah says, jaw working a bit. "We raised him a long time ago from a boy. We... thought he died a hundred years ago when last we were here in the city, but if this is the same person, then apparently he did not."
Klaus purses his lips a bit. "Apparently, our dearly beloved Marcel has found a way to control the witches, preventing them from using magic."
"How are they doing that?" Bonnie asks, eyebrows pulling together.
"If only I knew, love," Klaus says simply, "I'd have used it a hundred years ago."
Bonnie glares at him and Caroline squeezes her hands. "Maybe that level of candor is unnecessary, Klaus." He shrugs his shoulders dismissively. "So whatever he's doing is preventing magic from being used, because the necklace is working."
"Or perhaps it's linked to new magic," Elijah says. At Caroline's perplexed look, he elaborates, "Meaning whatever is alerting him of magic is something that is active now, and doesn't connect with passive magic spells like the one in your necklace."
"Or Sophie Deveraux's ability to know you're pregnant just by a glance," Klaus offers. "Passive magical abilities or objects must go unseen. Only active spells may be accounted for."
"So why wouldn't they want us to kill this Marcel guy?" Stefan asks. "It sounds like he's the problem. If we kill him, then wouldn't they not have to worry about a magical warning system telling people they're using magic?"
"Stefan is on to something," Elijah admits, pointing over at the vampire sitting on the bed as he turns dark eyes toward Klaus. "So what reason could they have to not want Marcel dead?"
"Because maybe it's not an object," Bonnie cuts in as Klaus's lips part to answer. All eyes turn to the Bennett witch. "Maybe it isn't an object at all. Maybe it's a person. And not just any person. Another witch."