Caroline sat down with her checklist and doublechecked it, the last thing she needed was for it to be wrong the morning of the cheer competition. Duffle Bag laid out? Check. Spare Uniform clean and ready to pack? Check. Hair ribbons? Check. Makeup both for during and after the competition? Check. Hairbrush? Check. Two extras for the girls who forget? Check. Ponytails? Check. Refillable water bottle? Check. Variety of snacks? Check. Check. Check. Now all she needed to do was make sure to write up the reminder emails to the squad with her list attached to try and help them remain organized and then she would be set until it was time to board the bus.
Feeling accomplished she got up to change out of her pajamas and start her day, opening her closet though brought her up short. She liked to keep her things in a certain way and this was all out of order, looking closer she started to find clothes that she didn’t own and while they were all high quality with no doubt higher price tags she wasn’t sure what to feel about them being here.
She didn’t want to rock the boat so soon over something so small and she couldn’t just interrogate them all to see who had been so high handed she knew that wouldn’t go over well. She couldn’t just ignore it either, that would cause even more problems, as much as they didn’t like explaining themselves they hated being ignored. Shaking her head she pulled out one of the new tops and paired it with her favorite jeans. There, that should signal that she had found the “gift” and wasn’t mad about it then whenever one of them claimed responsibility she would decide what to do based on who it was. Plan in place she jogged down the stairs to get some breakfast.
Luckily there was no centerpiece on the table but unluckily the entire brood was in residence and sitting around drinking blood from wine glasses and picking at each other. God, sometimes it was just too easy to see them as siblings rather than a brood of homicidal idiots.
“All I’m saying is that you should be a bit more transparent about where it is you’re going.” Rebekah was trying to seem bored, but it was clear from her rolled eyes that she was more miffed than anything. She was all but whining.
“I’m going out.”
“You said that already Elijah. What we want to know is where are you going while you are out?” She said we but the others just seemed amused by the back and forth. She wasn’t sure that the rest actually cared at all.
“That is none of your concern.”
At least they were all interrogating Elijah and not her, she didn’t think she could withstand another group discussion with the entire Mikaelson clan focused on her.
“Enough already, Elijah is not going to be telling any of us about his secret plans. What about you Caroline? Any plans for today?” Then again the whole family focusing on her had to be better than just having Kol’s attention alone. There was just something about his eyes that made her want to answer his every question as quickly as possible.
“Just meeting up with Bonnie so we can go over all the last minute details to get ready before the competition.” All that was really left to decide was if they were going to be having their traditional sleepover. She couldn’t spend the night anywhere but the mansion and she wasn’t sure if she wanted Bonnie to come over here or not.
“I see you liked the clothes I picked for you.” Rebekah wasn’t even looking at her but she could still hear the tension in her voice. So she was the one who did the closet raid, it was really a toss up between her and Klaus. Maybe she should invite Bonnie over for the sleepover and have Rebekah join them, as a thank you.
“Yeah, it was a bit of a surprise but a fun one.” Not wanting to backslide any with the good mood vibes she decided that retreat was the best option. Running out of the house with a wave to everyone she guessed she was getting breakfast with Bonnie instead.
Why did her life have to be so complicated?
Klaus watched Elijah leave at a more sedate pace not long after Caroline and couldn’t stop his smirk. His honorable brother was not nearly as circumspect as he liked to believe, they all knew exactly where he was going or more to the point who he was going to see. He had a certain way of speaking anytime he spoke about one of the Petrova girls that hadn’t changed since their days as human boys sneaking off to make time with Tatia.
“You’re not going to stop him?” Rebekah was leaning against the door looking absolutely furious. While Elijah had a continuing infatuation with the Petrova line Rebekah seemed to have a never ending spite. To her, anyone with the face of the girl who made her life hell as a human was the enemy. Something that was usually found to be true, in one way or another.
“Why would I?” He had no reason to try to stop his brother from this foolishness. He had tried in the past and it had caused him nothing but grief.
“Because you loathe Katarina as much as I do.”
“Yes, though I do believe your dislike edges just past my own in this little sister. My feelings however are not the ones that need to be taken into account on this one. Elijah is the one who wants to see her and it is not my place to stop him.”
“Rubbish. You stop us all from doing any number of things.” There had been a time when that was true, but now that both of their parents were no longer living breathing threats things were going to change.
“That I do, but this time I have decided to take a more passive role. While I do believe that dear Elijah is making a mistake I will let him make it. Maybe this time he’ll learn something if I’m not breathing down his neck giving him something to resist.”
“You want to see what he will do.” It was a statement and they both knew it, Rebekah knew him better than anyone and she could always see through him. He wouldn’t disrespect her by denying what she already knew.
“Don’t you? While our family has begun to heal there is still much work to be done and I for one would like some indication of how much effort will be truly needed. If Elijah maintains his infatuation with that face and everyone who has ever used it then I for one would like to know before he starts to get ideas about the version that we are currently keeping in the attic.”
Seeing his sister’s fury begin to build he slipped away just before the first vase hit the walls. He loved her but Rebekah was ever so destructive and hell on a man’s decor. Crash after crash echoed throughout the house before he grew bored of listening and decided to go for a long walk to give her time to calm herself. Maybe he would visit the right and proper denizens of Mystic Falls, it wouldn’t do for them to grow too complacent after all. He was the big bad with the biggest teeth and a few compulsions were the least of what he could do to them if they stepped too far out of line. Something his dear brother may have to be reminded of soon, more’s the pity.
Damon could hear the sound of glass breaking from above and he silently worried what that could mean down below. If someone up there was angry enough they might decide to come down for some relief and that would be the last thing they needed. Jeremy was already practically climbing the walls.
When Kol had chained baby Gilbert to the wall and left without really touching either of them he had thought it was just a tactic, a waiting game meant to psych them both out about what was coming next. After the first hour they had both begun to relax and whisper to each other little bits of conversation in an attempt to stave off the boredom. As the evening dragged on things began to change. Jeremy began to shift and twitch, his eyes constantly drawn back to the door and the world beyond it. Occasionally he would try to walk towards it only to be stopped short by his restraints. Then the itching started, the clawing at his own skin, a little at first and then more and more until lines of blood were dripping all over his body. Damon was not doing well with the scent of fresh blood constantly in the air, but he tried to distract the kid to find out what was pulling at him so hard. By the time night came it was clear that Jeremy was in a bad way, he started lightly slamming the back of his head against the stone wall with his eyes shut tight as tears leaked down his face.
Now this. Whatever this was.
“What do you think is going on up there?” He needed to find a way for Jeremy to pull himself out of this funk. This was working the boy hard and he was breaking right in front of him.
There was no answer, he didn’t really think there would be, the boy had gone non-verbal about the same time he started trying to slam his own brains out against the wall. Still, he had to try.
“I bet it’s Original Barbie throwing things around again, that girl has a thing for hearing glass break. Even when she’s down here sometimes she just works herself up into a lather and starts bouncing things off the walls. Sure usually that something is me, but still.” Still nothing.
“Come on baby Gilbert.” He wasn’t even sure what he wanted the boy to do. Talk? All he talked about at the end was Caroline and this deep worry that she might be hungry. He really didn’t want him to look at him either, his blank stare was more demoralizing than anything the others had done to him so far. Torture was easy enough to take when it was nothing new, but this was just creepy.
“I don’t think he’s going to answer you.” Jerking his head towards the door he saw Kol standing there looking smug. He hadn’t even heard the door open.
“What did you do to him?”
“Nothing. You saw it, I never touched the boy. No this is something deeper. He was so sure that following that one little compulsion was torture beyond measure so I just wanted to show him what it would feel like to not follow it anymore. I don’t think he’s liking his alternative, do you?”
“You bastard, you know that’s not what he was asking for.” Jeremy had wanted the mental traps taken away not ignored! The only thing worse than being compelled was being compelled to do something impossible. Your own mind would turn against you and keep nagging at you to do the thing that you can’t do until you either became a drooling mess of a person unable to function anymore or you died trying to do the impossible.
“Yes, but this was more fun wasn’t it.” The bastard was gloating now and walking slowly around the room circling closer and closer to Jeremy with every step and there was nothing he could do about any of it. “What do you think would happen if I unchained him now? He’d go running out of here looking for Caroline or she isn’t here right now. She’s off doing something mind numbingly dull across town. He’d go hunting for her of course and probably end up running into traffic or something. Wouldn’t that be fun?”
When he reached for the shackles he couldn’t stop the low growl from deep in his throat.
“What then? Should I just leave him here?” The psycho looked gleeful at the idea, like watching what happened next would be a fun night in.
“Bring Caroline down here.” If Jeremy could just see her and make his offer everything would start to snap back into the place for the boy. He wouldn’t be automatically back to normal but he would finally be able to breath easily again and the fog would begin to lift.
“Now I think we both know I’m not going to do that, this place is a bit dirty and crowded for Caroline to come to.” What he meant was that he would never bring Caroline into the same room as him. None of them would.
“Then just wait until she’s back and release him then so he can find her right away.”
“I could do that, but then I get nothing. No entertainment at all. All that work with no payoff.”
“What do you want?” This had to be a negotiation tactic, there was no other reason for the back and forth with no action. If all Kol wanted was for him to beg for Jeremy’s life and sanity, well there were easier ways to hear that, so he had to want something.
“I have a little Patrova problem I need your help with so here’s my offer to you. Jeremy is already down the mental rabbit hole, he’s not going to get any worse. If you help me with this without trying to run for it when I chain you back down here I will let the littlest Gilbert out. Deal?”
Mess with Katherine and save Jeremy so that when Elena hopefully got loose she would have something left to come back to, hell yes. It wasn’t like running would save him anyway.