A/N – So this story picks up right where Party Plans left off, I didn’t want to start a huge story right now so Caroline’s time in the Original Family will be cut up into twelve stories each about the same length as Party Plans and each covering one month of her time with her new family. With that said let’s get started on month one.
Caroline looked around the room that Klaus had led her to, her new home for the time being, and fought to keep her jaw from dropping. It wasn’t as opulent as she had been expecting, after all the Originals never did anything halfway, but it was a hell of a lot nicer than her room in her childhood home. She had expected diamond dipped chandeliers and ridiculously expensive but completely useless furnishings. Instead what she found was a gorgeous, if overly large, room just waiting for her to put her personal stamp all over it.
The color scheme, instead of the crimson and black she’d been expecting from the super villains catalogue, was a very light and eye catching blue and silver. The dark mahogany sleigh bed looked antique but soft enough to sink into and never leave. The curtains across the bay windows were drawn leaving light to sparkle across the beautiful ivory vanity that was just waiting for her to use. Oh God, she felt like a princess and had to physically quell the urge to jump up and down and giggle like a mad woman. This was the bedroom of her dreams! Right down to the one flaw she needed to fix to make it truly her own. That rug had to go, it clashed with just about everything else, and had to have been thrown in here as an afterthought.
“Settling in?” Having been so caught up in her own thoughts the sound of another person behind her made her actually yelp in surprise. Something she hadn’t done in so long it felt like years.
“Jesus, Kol make some noise when you walk.” She could tell from the smirk still gracing his face that startling her had been the whole point, and now that she’d reacted he would make it his mission to do it again and again.
“Sorry darling, though in my defense you would have heard me if you hadn’t been so lost in your own mind. What were you thinking about so hard? Me, I hope.” Ew! Never gonna happen.
“In your dreams frat boy, no I was just thinking about where to put all my stuff. Speaking of stuff, this rug has got to go. Have you seen this thing, it goes with nothing else in this room, what were you people thinking? Silver and Cerulean does not go anywhere near Gold and Currant.”
“Currant?” Ahhh! Men, why were they ever even allowed near rooms like hers?
“The red in the carpet, it’s called Currant.” She pointed down at the offending material, just to make sure he was even looking in the right direction.
“It’s red darling.” She huffed as he spoke slowly, like she was the one whose eyes weren’t working right.
“No it’s Currant, you can tell because it’s darker than Garnet but lighter than Wine.” Done with the entire conversation she turned back to the room to give it a more thorough once over to see if there had been any other missteps she’d missed in her first glance. The rug had been obvious, a glaring mistake just sitting there waiting to be corrected, but other things would take a bit more care to find. There had to be others after all if that thing could slip past them all and into here, then smaller things would have had no problem at all getting in.
Kol watched his new sister as she bit her lip and seemed to go hunting, for what he had no idea. The only time he’d ever seen that level of determination on a vampire’s face was when they were stalking their next meal, but she seemed to be examining her entire room for flaws. Chuckling to himself he slipped away to tell Klaus about the one she’d already found.
The clashing colors had been ‘Bekah’s idea, her strange feminine logic being that a girl could never truly call an area hers unless she fixed it first. According to her, one flaw made all the difference, and apparently she’d been right. Hunting through her new room in search of décor faux pas had stripped Caroline of any lingering nerves, and allowed her to begin making the room her own.
Finding the entirety of his family gathered in the study he threw himself down in his usual chair and grinned.
“Apparently red and blue do not go together at all.” At his words they all released a collective sigh of relief they had been so worried that the distraction wouldn’t work, now that it had they could move on to the next phase actually getting all of her things out of her car and into the house. She hadn’t brought nearly as much as they had assumed she would, only a handful of boxes truly, but it was a start at least.
Caroline surveyed the results of all of her hard work, made so much easier by her organized packing, and grinned. While before it had simply been a room she would have loved to have one day, now this was her room. It was peppered with small mementos and dripping with her personal touches.
Her bed was now the throne of her favorite stuffed toy, just waiting to be hugged until her stuffing popped after a long stressful day.
The inside of her closet door was now covered with scotch tape and strategically cut photos and the like. Not only detailing her past and her present but also her future. Scattered cleverly throughout the entire collage were postcards and magazine photos of all the places in the world she would one day go. Paris, Rome, and Tokyo only a few waiting to be seen.
All of her little notes and reminders cluttered up her cork board that she’d hung on the wall across from her bed and above her desk. Filled with all of her responsibilities and information that she could not forget, now or ever. Just to the side of that was her wall calendar that she would use to mark down the days until she was free again. While her cage was gilded beyond reason, she didn’t kid herself into thinking that the bars were any less there.
Some of her excitement leached out of her with that depressing thought, until she caught sight of her snapshots now peeking out at her from her vanity mirror, all of her friends and family smiling back at her every morning when she began her day. Reminding her of not only why she was here, but also that she still had a freaking life beyond these walls.
Taking a deep breath she plastered on a smile that for the moment she didn’t feel anywhere but her face, she could do this! She was Caroline Forbes for Christ sake! Nodding her head sharply in agreement with her own assessment she quickly spun on her heels and ran off to explore the rest of her new temporary home now that all of her things were in their proper place.
Rebekah had finally gotten tired of all the supposition about what Caroline could possibly be doing now from her darling mother Hen-ing brothers in the study so now she was following the sounds of a certain baby vampire rustling around in the kitchen. Coming through the doorway she jerked to a stop trying not to laugh at the vision before her. There Caroline stood in the center of the room, clipboard in hand, with nearly every appliance they had lined up along the counter. It seemed she was taking inventory.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” Seeing the guilty flush of the girls cheeks made her have to fight the smile that wanted to spread across her face, sometimes Caroline really did show her age as she supposed they all did now and again.
“I’ll put it all back when I’m done I swear. Have you seen all of this though? The bake sale and spirit boxes will be a whole lot easier since I’ll be staying here for them this year.” Her enthusiasm was contagious, like her smile.
“Spirit boxes?” The bake sale was fairly obvious, she had been seeing flyers posted all around school for it over the last month. Apparently, the cheerleaders were raising money for some sort of trip or something. Spirit boxes though, that particular phrase was new.
“Yeah, before big games for the sports teams the cheerleaders make them spirit boxes, usually for away games. We make these sort of care packages with cookies, ribbons, gag gifts, things like that. We put them in the players lockers before school so when they get there they can be surprised and have a treat before heading off to wherever they’re going.” That sounded nice enough, though now she was wondering why she’d given up on being a part of the cheer team. She’d tried out for it, earning her spot, but then things had begun to progress with her family and she had simply never returned to it. She wondered if she was even still a part of it.
“Since you’re on the team now I’ll assign you two players you’ll be responsible for. No girl gets more than two, believe me just doing that many boxes on top of everything else can be a pain. Practice for the upcoming competition at the end of the month really kicks off next week, be there or be off the squad. Normally you would already be off, since you’ve missed so many, but hell you’re a vampire it’s not like you won’t be able to learn the routine in a snap. If you want to you could even help me plan the big basket we give to the coaches as well, it’s usually something I do on my own but I’m a little behind this year.” Normally her pride would have her turning everything down, she was not one to accept an invitation out of pity. However, Caroline had not looked at her once during her doling out of assignments, her concentration solely on her list in front of her, making it seem less like an invitation and more of a foregone conclusion that she was still a part of the team.
Trying to sound casual, as though she had never expected anything else she gave the answer to the question that hadn’t truly been a question.
“What did you have in mind for this basket, and you do know we can just compel someone else to make it, like a chef or something.”
“We could but that would just take all the fun out of it.” She supposed it would, then again she’d never had anyone to make something with before. It wasn’t like her brothers were ever overly eager to spend unnecessary time with her.
“Fine we’ll try it your way for now, but I reserve the right to take over when you inevitably fuck it all up.”
Caroline made her way upstairs, her steps hesitant at best, while she knew she was allowed to visit Elena that didn’t make doing it any easier. She knew her friend would expect her to get her out of the house, but she knew she wouldn’t be able to do that. Hell, she wasn’t even sure if they were even friends anymore. Still she had to see for herself how she was doing, how Klaus and the others were treating her. Inching the attic door open she slipped inside trying not to make too much noise, she didn’t want to startle her after all.
Seeing Elena pacing in front of the lone window she was taken aback at her appearance. She looked pretty much the same as the last time they’d seen each other, only now she was wearing what could realistically be called hospital clothes, not really a gown but more like the pajamas that you would wear if you were going to be stuck there for more than a couple of days. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail and while at first it looked pretty much the same as always she could see now that the edges were jagged and chunky, like someone had carelessly taken scissors to her long locks.
Seeing that Elena hadn’t noticed her yet she did what she never did anymore she turned tail and ran, she had thought she was ready for this, for her but she wasn’t. Not yet. She knew how that would go, she would start off asking her how she was doing, Elena would be cold to her at first then she’d start to demand that Caroline help her to escape not realizing that leaving wasn’t really a loophole that the Originals had left for her.
Sure they had made it possible for Caroline to take her out of the house, but they had also made it impossible for her to go against them. She wasn’t allowed to plot against them for the entirety of the year that she was staying here, and letting Elena go would be plotting against them. Even beyond all of that, they hadn’t really left her anywhere to go, anyone she would have run to for shelter was now under the thumbs of the family in one way or another, leaving her no allies behind to save Damon who was as trapped as she was.
She wasn’t ready yet, not for the yelling or the accusations or the biting comments.
“Caroline.” Looking up at the sound of her name she found Klaus standing there looking at her with understanding and something dangerously close to empathy. Shaking her head she simply turned on her heels and stalked off to her room. She was absolutely done for the day, she had done more than enough now it was time to just pull the covers up over her head and hide. She was done.