What if I fall @wingedladycolette
Depart

Author's Note: Sorry about the wait! Not too pleased with the second half of this chapter, but I figured mundane boring stuff had to happen in droves in this story. Stay safe and healthy out there! Let me know what you think! Enjoy!

There is freedom waiting for you,

on the breezes in the sky,

And you ask "What if I fall?"

Oh but my darling,

What if you fly?

-e.h

It's never been this bad. Caroline remembers leaving with Rebekah and just driving around town, going to local shops and walking around before finally heading back to the house. Caroline had a lot of fun walking around with Rebekah. It's been a long time since she was able to just spend some time with another girl who was so much like her. They were interested in the same things, had a lot of the same tastes in clothes, and books when Caroline dragged her back into the library as they walked by, and Caroline liked being able to help Rebekah.

Rebekah was adjusting so well that it was hard for Caroline to keep remembering that Rebekah had only been in the twenty-first century for a few days and she was still learning. So Caroline enjoyed teaching her about things, really showing her the cool stuff her brand new phone could do and even sharing their numbers in case they needed to reach one another while they were sitting at a cafe drinking Starbucks. Which Rebekah liked. She's not used to iced drinks quite like that.

Caroline liked being able to spend time with someone who was so much like her - plus she felt bad for dragging Rebekah to what ended up being an epic shit show at the Salvatore house. So it's nice to just forget about it. At least for a bit. No doubt she's going to have to talk to Klaus about it, which she isn't looking forward too, but still, it is what it is.

She barely made it through the front door before the bones in her legs snapped causing her to collapse. Then they shift back into place, but by then she was already on the floor, having cried out in pain. Caroline remembers Rebekah grabbing onto her, talking to her as bones all up and down her body crack in and out of place one by one. Slowly. One at a time. As one break, then reset, the next one breaks, then resets. So on and so forth up and down her body. And it's not like the intensity of the change when everything starts speeding up and multiple breaks at once.

Rebekah dropped her into her bed. "Sweet lord, Caroline, please tell me what to do. Are you changing? What do I do?"

"No, not changing," Caroline sobs, curling up on her side. "I'm okay. It'll pass. Give me time. It'll pass."

"Your bones are systematically breaking across the entirety of your body, Caroline," Rebekah says, brushing Caroline's hair out of her face. "It's not the full moon. If it's not your change, then what it is?"

"It happens," Caroline growls, curling up on her side. "In preparation for the moon... or like cramps leading up to a period, I don't know." She whimpers in pain as the fingers in her hands start to break. Break, whimper in pain, break back into place. Next one breaks, another whimper of pain, breaks back into place.

"Tell me what to do," Rebekah asks, running her hand over Caroline's forehead, which is scrunched up in pain as she tries to control the whimpers and whines that escape her at every broken bone.

Nothing. There was nothing that could be done. Caroline spoke to a few witches and none of them seemed to know what the reason was behind her having these random fits. It doesn't happen every month, and to be honest, it's never been this bad, and all she could do was just suffer through it. She would just find a back alley or curl up in the shower in a motel she was staying at when it was too cold outside and just suffer through it. She grits her teeth and holds it in until the pain passes.

There is one thing that helps. It doesn't really alleviate the pain or make her feel better, really, But there was something that helped distract her in those moments of pain. It's stupid, really stupid. But she thought about someone and it made her feel better. She thought about the only person who really helped make her feel better whenever she felt lonely.

"Klaus," Caroline rasps, curling up more on her side. "I want Klaus." If he made her feel better just by letting her think about him. Maybe she would feel even better just by him being here, listening to his voice.

"Klaus," Rebekah echoes, grabbing out her phone, fiddling around with it, trying to remember how to get to her contacts, nodding her head quickly. "I can do that. I can get him here."

Caroline nods, laying on her side and closing her watery eyes, just focusing on his face in her mind as her bones continue to break. She's not sure how long it took her, as she's too focused on trying not to think about the pain that she's in but at some point, Rebekah managed to get her phone to cooperate with her and call Klaus.

Through the cracking of her bones and her soft whimpering, Caroline could hear Rebekah, "Niklaus, come home. You have to come home now. It's Caroline. I don't... I don't know what's happening. Her bones, they keep breaking and I don't know why. Come home now!"

Caroline's not sure how long she laid there in pain, trying her hardest to keep quiet and simply focus on anything else. It helps her to think about Klaus. It helps to think about those times they would walk around whatever city they were in, talking about whatever it was that they were talking about, enjoying each other's company. It was remembering the mundane moments that made her feel better.

And she was right to tell Rebekah to call Klaus back. While they waited, Rebekah sat down next to her, running her hand through Caroline's hair as she writhes in pain, quietly shushing her, humming softly in an attempt to soothe her. And it worked. Caroline was so used to going through it alone, that having someone there, even if there wasn't anything that Rebekah could do to ease the pain in her body, she hadn't realized how bad she felt until she realized she wasn't alone.

Having Rebekah there meant the world to Caroline. And she's not sure she'll be able to ever show how much this meant to her that the Original Vampire was here with her.

And as much as she appreciated having Rebekah there for her, she actually started to cry when she pulled away and Klaus wrapped himself around her, pressing his entire body against her own, his scent wrapping around her. He wrapped his arms around her body, trapping her arms against her chest, which at first almost felt like it was going to suffocate her, but then she realized how hard it was for her bones to break outward when there was already significant pressure placed on them. It didn't stop her legs and hips from breaking, but it did help a bit.

As painful as it was with the big bones in her body, like the femur, breaking, but the ones that hurt the most was the jaw and the ribs, cracking and bending and bowing in her stomach. She pressed back into him as far as she could, naively hoping that the closer she was to him the more strength she could take from him.

"Do you want to hear the story of a beautiful werewolf? About how she managed to bewitch the bastard king? How he may never be a great man or even a good man, but somehow the beautiful werewolf makes him better?" Klaus whispers, kissing the skin beneath Caroline's ear. Caroline's knee pops back into place, making her cry out softly in pain before turning to look over her shoulder at Klaus through blurry eyes.

"Only if you remember... to tell my favorite part," Caroline rasps, blinking a few tears. "Don't forget that the only reason any of that could be, was because... first that bastard king had to save her."

Klaus purrs softly, kissing her cheek as she lays her head back down, too tired and in too much pain to keep twisted around. "I wouldn't dare forget it, little wolf."

Beneath the pain and the exhaustion, Caroline is happy. Happy to be in Klaus's arms as he spins a beautiful tale of their lives together, making it sound like a fairytale. He, thankfully, omitted the blood and the killing and the sex for something more mystical. Beautiful in its simplicity. Like a real fairytale, stripped of complicated realism that comes with real life. And so she listens to his tale as her bones go from cracking and breaking to creaking and splintering beneath her skin.

It's much more bearable, feeling her bones creak and crack but not break completely. It hurt, but it was much more uncomfortable than painful and she could deal with that without complaint. And feeling Klaus's heat wrapped around her, and his scent in her nose and his voice in her ear was enough to ease her into sleep after hours in pain and discomfort.

And it was all okay because Klaus was there by her side. She can deal with pain, and it seems like it becomes more bearable with Klaus there. Caroline could barely open her eyes after hours of laying there in pain, but when she does, she catches the faint light on the clock next to her bed, reading that it was almost three in the morning. She's not sure when Klaus got there, but he stayed the whole time and Caroline knew that she wouldn't ever be able to go through another of these without him again.

This was the worst one yet. It's never been this bad before, but now that she's thinking about it, maybe it has been gradually getting worse over the years and she's just repressed it enough to not notice before. Maybe they will continue to get worse. She's not sure. But that she isn't willing to offer any more thought to. At least, not tonight.

Even though she was still in a bit of pain with her bones, it wasn't enough to keep her awake anymore.

When Caroline opens her eyes in the morning, she can feel Klaus's breath against her forehead and hairline. She feels so comfortable and warm in his embrace, rolling onto her side and wrapping her arm around his waist and turning completely to be flush with his body. Her muscles ached from stretching every time her bones broke, and well, the radiating pain could only come from one place.

Caroline snuggles close to the hybrid, taking a deep breath of his delicious scent before saying, softly with a raspy voice, "It has never been that bad. Thank you for coming back."

"So that is unusual..?" Klaus asks, pressing his lips against her hairline.

"The breaking? No, as I said... it does happen every once and a while, but that was the longest it's ever been."

"Any idea what causes it?"

Caroline licks her lips a bit, knowing she's going to need to get up soon. She's tired, but she can't keep sleeping all day, her schedule's already all messed up as it is. Just a little bit more sleep, just a little, and she'll get up again. "I asked some witches on the road and they don't seem to know the origin of it. Just that it was triggered by my curse. But they don't know where the root of it comes from."

Klaus sucks in a deep breath, letting it out slowly. He pulls her a bit closer. "We'll figure it out, love. This I swear to you."

"I know," Caroline says softly, closing her eyes and slipping back into sleep.

Caroline and Klaus pull themselves out of bed and down the stairs to the table in the kitchen. Caroline makes herself a bowl of frosted cheerios cereal to munch on lazily. She doesn't have much of an appetite but she starts to eat regardless, knowing that she should. She munches on it slowly, leaning her head on Klaus's shoulder.

"Good morning, darling," Rebekah says, sitting down next to her at the head of the table. "How are you feeling?"

"Sore," Caroline says after swallowing a mouthful of cereal. "But I'm okay now."

"I was really worried about you," Rebekah says, resting her cheek on her fist. "I've never seen anything like that."

"That was one of those attacks that you were telling us about, yes?" Elijah asks, walking into the room looking like he was about to head out to the red carpet as a VIP. Caroline is envious of how perfect he looks all the time.

Caroline nods. "Yeah, that was one of those times, but that one was definitely the worst I've ever had."

"I wish that there was more I could have done for you," Rebekah says softly. "It's been a long time since I've felt so helpless. And this is normal for you? Is it normal for most werewolves?"

"No, I'm the only one who has it," Caroline says, stuffing some more cereal into her mouth, chew for a bit, then swallow before continuing, "But I suppose I'm a weird one. As far as anyone I've spoken to, I'm the only one that goes through this."

"Lucky girl," Rebekah says softly, looking down at the wood grain of the table. "I just hated that all I could do was sit there doing nothing."

"You didn't do nothing," Caroline disagrees. "You were there for me, holding my hand and rubbing my hair. I didn't know what it was like to go through that with someone at my side," she admits. "Now I don't know if I could ever do it alone again. Having you there helped keep my mind off of the pain. So thank you, Rebekah. You did more for me than I could dare ask for." Caroline reaches forward, leaving her spoon in her bowl, and placing her hand over Rebekah's, looking into her eyes.

Rebekah squeezes her eyes closed suppressing whatever emotion was building up in her heart. When she opens her eyes again, her pretty blue eyes are clear once more. "Us girls got to stick together," she says, squeezing Caroline's hand. "You and me, darling."

Caroline smiles at the other blond. "You and me."

"I wanted to apologize," Elena says as soon as Caroline picks up the phone a few hours later.

They were all sitting around in the living room, talking about what was going to happen next. Which was that Klaus and Elijah were leaving to hunt down some werewolves to see if Klaus could make some hybrids out of them. Caroline could tell Elijah didn't seem too keen on the idea but relented in not wanting Klaus to be out there unsupervised on his own. Klaus seemed indignant on the fact that they felt he needed supervision, but he did appear as though he wanted a wingman.

Even joked something along the lines of, "You or Stefan, brother." Caroline felt needed some clarification, but she wasn't sure how to broach that topic, or even if she really wanted to. But no one else said anything, while Rebekah gave Klaus a peculiar look before they moved on. Rebekah opted to stay, suggesting to remain for the time being to continue to get acquainted with this century with Caroline's help - which Caroline figured was code for; I don't want to leave the weird werewolf girl alone just yet.

But Caroline didn't mind, she liked the idea of Rebekah keeping her company.

They just got to the part where Klaus had already called for someone to come by to sign the deed to the house over to Caroline. She didn't even have time to process what he said before her phone started to ring. Caroline contemplated not answering before she saw that it was Elena calling and figured that since she was the one who stomped off last night, the least she could do was hear what the girl had to say. Maybe even apologize. Last night wasn't so bad until Damon arrived. She can't exactly be mad at Elena for his big mouth.

Caroline excused herself, vowing to continue the conversation when she comes back before stepping into the next room.

"I see," Caroline says. "But you don't have to. You aren't responsible for Damon."

"No," Elena agrees, "but I feel like I have to say something. That wasn't what yesterday was supposed to be about. So I'm sorry that Damon came and ruined that with all his questions."

"You are no more responsible for Damon than I am for Klaus," Caroline repeats. "They are grown-ass men, older than you and I combined. The lattermost one is older than all three of us combined, but equally, they should know better. You shouldn't have to apologize for Damon. His actions, his choice." Caroline lets out a disgruntled sigh wondering how many times she would have to say that.

"Okay..." Elena says softly before lapsing into a contemplative silence.

"Listen," Caroline says, leaning against the doorframe to the other room, tired of this conversation, "Elena, you mean well, and I think it's super sweet of you to keep reaching out for me. I appreciate it, I really do, but I don't know what to do. If you don't want to be my friend, that's fine. I'll understand. But if you do want to be my friend, Klaus is off-limits. I'm sorry he hurt you, but I can't change the past. And our friendship can't be built on how we view Klaus, because it'll never survive."

"I know," Elena says. "I know, and I'm sorry. I'm not trying to. It's a lot to get passed, you know?"

"Yes," Caroline admits. "I know. Which is why I appreciate you trying. And thanks for inviting me yesterday. It was nice to see everyone again. To put faces to the names of the kids from elementary school."

Elena laughs softly. "You're welcome. I just wished it could have ended better."

"Next time," Caroline says kindly. "It'll be better next time."

Elena lets out a sigh of relief. "I'm glad to hear it. And I do, Caroline. I do want to be your friend. Even though it was a rocky ending, Bonnie and I especially, want to see you again soon. So do Tyler and Matt."

"I'm surprised about Tyler," Caroline admits.

"Birds of a feather," Elena says. "He told me that it was kind of a relief to see that there was someone else like him. Yes, there was Jules and the people she ran with, but none of them were our age, I guess. Plus, we all have a history together, no matter how minute." A pause, then, "And you've been a werewolf longer than him. So I think that plays a role in it too."

Caroline couldn't say she disagrees with that. Although, there definitely isn't anything that Caroline could do to help Tyler in any way that whoever this Jules was wouldn't have been able to do. Plus, Caroline isn't so well put together that she should be helping anyone with anything. But she wouldn't mind talking with him if he needed it.

"Well, feel free to give them my number," Caroline says. "But I need to go now. If you don't mind, I'll text you later, alright?"

"Of course," Elena says quickly. "Thanks for being so understanding. I'll text you later. See you."

"Bye."

Caroline hangs up the phone, stuffing into her pocket and walking back into the living room, lowering down on the couch next to Klaus again, turning to look at him.

"What were you saying?" Caroline tries to switch her mindset away from her conversation with Elena and back to what they were talking about before she left to talk on the phone. "Oh yeah, what was this insanity about signing your house over to me? Klaus, do you want me to go running and screaming?"

Klaus huffs, rolling his eyes. "No, but while you're here, I would like to ensure that there is at least an extra layer of protection."

"I'll be here," Rebekah says, her eyebrows pulling together. "I'll keep her safe."

"And let's say for argument's sake that I've been on the road for years have some idea of what I need to do to not only survive but to keep myself safe..." Caroline mumbles, giving Klaus a sideways look, then Rebekah. "If this is for extra protection, fine, but I don't want it to mean anything more. I'm already starting to get the itch to run for my life."

"It's for protection," Klaus says. "Vampires need to be invited in to be able to enter this house. I have no doubt of my dear sister's ability to keep you safe, but I have no shortage of enemies. Some of which want to use anyone they can in order to get at me and I don't want that to be you. This is just my way of keeping you safe from some of them."

"Klaus is right, Caroline," Elijah says diplomatically. "Besides, if it's easier, think of this as a safehouse. Someplace you have control over."

"It's your home," Caroline says, looking at the oldest Mikaelson, "not mine."

"For the moment," Elijah says amicably, "but I don't imagine that there is much keeping us here forever. This is a temporary thing, Caroline, I assure you. The only difference is, temporary for us could be a lifetime for you." He presses his lips together tightly, staring at her meaningfully. "Something like signing over a house is a minuscule situation for us. My brother is correct, you should capitalize on any chance to keep yourself safe and if Nikalus is willing to flip the bill for it, that's his prerogative."

Caroline cracks a smile, looking over at Klaus. "That's my mantra, after all."

Klaus's lips quirk up at that. "Good. It's easier just to let me do what I'd like."

"Oh lord," Rebekah says, rolling her eyes and leaning back in the armchair she was sitting in, looking over at Elijah standing next to her with a droll look. "Are you going to be alright alone with him? You could just let him go on his own, he's a big boy. Let him make his hybrids alone. Replace us with his new family."

Her words were flippant, but Caroline can hear the pain twinging in her voice. She definitely thinks that this is what he's going to do. Making these hybrids means that he sacrifices the people already in his life. Like his siblings. She can kind of understand where Rebekah is coming from, but she remembers spending hours listening to Klaus talk about his siblings. About growing up playing in the forest, about practicing sword fighting, playing in the mud, catching bugs and hunting.

Klaus could talk about his siblings for hours with the biggest, cutest smile on his face. Caroline knows that Klaus loves his siblings a lot. She doesn't believe that these hybrids are meant to replace those people he loves so much. She doesn't know what else they could be for, but she knows it's not that. But it's not her place to say here. That's between them, or something to talk about in private with Rebekah later.

Now wasn't the time to voice her own input on family matters. Not her place.

"Are we going to argue about this again, Rebekah?" Klaus grounds out, glaring at his sister.

"I would rather we not," Elijah says finitely, sparing a look between both siblings to ensure they both stay quiet and submissive. The younger two stare at one another for a bit longer before both deciding that it's not worth the fight and both of them look away. Which is good, Caroline hates listening to them argue. It makes her really sad.

Caroline signs the deed to the house and has to go through the motion of inviting all three Originals in - of which, Klaus's stipulation was a kiss, which made him flash her that beautiful crooked grin of his and he happily obliged. Then for the rest of the day, Caroline lazed around in bed while Klaus got ready to head out with Elijah the next morning. It felt sudden, way too sudden, but it was what he had planned before she showed up. He vowed to come back before the next full moon and she believed that he would try but told him not to force himself. She would be okay if he didn't. He should focus on what he was doing, his life didn't revolve around her.

And then he promised again.

The month was almost over and they were starting to close in on the next full moon, although they still had a couple of weeks. She meant what she said if he couldn't find his way back in time, it was fine. Not that she wouldn't like to at least be with Klaus sooner rather than later. But she doesn't want to stand in the way of whatever it is that he's doing. Making hybrids is important to him. It's not her place to stand in his way.

Once he was packed up for the trip he's taking, he lounges around in bed with Caroline until it's time to go to sleep, then Caroline relishes in his warmth for as long as she can, insisting he wait to get up a little bit longer each time he tries to go. She knew he had to go eventually, but it didn't make it easier when he kept relenting and laying back down with her.

But alas, all good things come to an end and eventually he gets up, kissing her long and sweetly, before heading out. Caroline wanted to go to see him off, but she was so much sorer today than she was yesterday. So she lounged around all day, reading and watching television, which she never really had the time to watch a lot of, before limping downstairs and conning Rebekah into watching some movies with her. She didn't know a whole lot of new ones but Rebekah seemed down to join her in a multi-flick movie day. Lots of popcorns and snacks to help her get acquainted with movies of all genres.

They had a lot fun talking through the gushing parts of movies, or the cliches - which weren't cliches to Rebekah - and discovered that Rebekah's favorite genre was the same as Caroline's: romance. They watched a lot of romance flicks.

And the day after, she met up with Elena and Bonnie. With just the three of them, it was nice to get back into a groove that she remembered - even if only faintly. And it was a little odd, trying to work passed Damon's rant and how all of them feel about Klaus, but they managed to skirt their way around the touchy subjects and ended up on a really good note. With the promise to meet up again, they went their separate ways once more.

Caroline took this time to go and meet up with Liz again, having dinner in her childhood home, which was very weird as she hardly has any memories of it, but after dinner, she was allowed to explore and look around to familiarize herself with it once more. Caroline's sure this was probably an attempt at trying to get Caroline to move back in, but neither of them said anything.

Caroline got a blast from the past looking around her nine-year-old self's room. All the rainbows and butterflies and unicorns scattered about. The bright pastel colors, all the stuffed animals and the handmade pictures that little her was so proud of she had to put on her wall. Older Caroline can now cringe in appreciation, for what it's worth. She found an old diary that was even more cringe-worthy, that she hid in a better spot, hoping she would forget where it was and the horrors of inner Caroline's mind would die with her.

She got a call from her dad the following day, asking if she would like to come to visit for a few days, get reacquainted and meet his boyfriend Steve. Caroline wasn't sure about it, holding off for a few days while meeting with Elena and Bonnie again and finally talking to her mom about it. Liz was hesitant at first but said that the full moon was still weeks away and it should be fine to spend a few days with him if she wanted.

And honestly, yeah, she supposed she did want to see her dad again. She was always a daddy's girl at heart, but she had been so scared for so long how he would react with her being a werewolf that she thought the desire would have dissipated over time, but it seems now that she's rebuilding a relationship with her mother, maybe she could with her father.

"It's only going to be for a few days," Caroline says into her phone, laying back on her bed. "This will be the first time I've seen my dad in years. My mom was the last person that I saw. She was the one that dropped me off with my aunt Cassie."

"If that's what you want, love," Klaus says flippantly, "then I suppose it's your choice. Just keep safe and call me if you need anything."

"Thanks," Caroline says, looking at Rebekah stalking into the room. Caroline turns her phone onto 'speaker', scooting to one side of the bed so that Rebekah can lay down next to her with Caroline's phone laying between them.

"So how is your werewolf hunting trip going?" Rebekah asks. Caroline doesn't respond, not knowing how to be part of that conversation seeing as she's a werewolf herself. She knows that werewolves find safety in numbers - in packs, but Caroline's never had that. She's only ever had her aunt. And then Klaus and now Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah. She doesn't have a pack, she has people, which should go against her nature. She should want a pack, but she doesn't really know what to do.

She doesn't have a lot of connection with werewolves - well, now she has Tyler that she knows and could talk to - but that was about it. She wasn't raised with a pack mentality, she probably won't ever get it. But still, she doesn't want to think about Klaus out there turning werewolves into hybrids. The only thing she can do is hope that he's giving them a choice.

But she's not sure she's going to be able to hold her breath on that one.

"It's going," Klaus says easily, "but werewolves are hard to find."

"Ah," Rebekah says, "so when you say it's going, what you really mean is that it's not going well. Serves you right, brother."

Caroline can feel Klaus roll his eyes from the other side of the phone. "I don't have the energy to fight with you, Rebekah."

"Yeah," Rebekah says flippantly, smoothing out her shirt across her stomach before looking over at Caroline, winking, "too tired from chasing all those dead ends, aye brother?"

"Goodbye, Caroline," Klaus says flatly, hanging up the phone, which makes Rebekah bust out laughing.

"That wasn't very nice of you," Caroline giggles while shaking her head, looking over at Rebekah.

Rebekah shrugs her shoulders. "Is it not the duty of a little sister to pester her older brother?" Caroline doesn't know for certain but the social cliche says yes, so she assumes that it's got to be true in part. "Alright, Caroline, what are we going to do tonight? More movies?"

Caroline laughs, nodding her head. "Sounds good to me, let's go!"

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