Klaus woke the day after the little planning party with a new sense of purpose, there was a plan, a rebellion, being mounted against him and he now knew exactly what was going to happen, sort of. Turns out the little ragtag Mystic Falls gang was a little more leaderless than he had originally thought just from looking at it from the outside. It always seemed like Damon and Stefan were in charge, which would make sense with them being the oldest of the lot and in theory the most experienced. After spending an entire evening surrounded by their incompetence he now understood why they engendered so little respect from these children and were constantly questioned, anyone with half a brain would question their decisions.
Over the course of about four hours he heard some of the most ridiculous plans he had ever heard in his thousand years of existence and they all centered around one singular goal, protecting Elena Gilbert. Caroline had been right when she said that Damon and everyone else seemed to only care for the comfort and safety of the doppelgänger, the little world of Mystic Falls seemed to revolve around her and her wants.
The entire time they were together the only things he heard about Caroline had been about how selfish she was not to drop everything and help them like a true friend would. Not one of them even tried to argue her side of it the entire time, they were all in agreement that she was in the wrong and for some reason that pissed him off more than the fact that they were plotting against him. He supposed it was because they really didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of succeeding with their little plot, especially if their little brainstorming session yesterday was them at their best, but they had already made his darling girl doubt herself and would likely do so again before this entire situation was over and done with.
Deciding he had let his mind wander enough he got out of bed and headed towards the other room, the one that housed the Bennett witch. He had intended to only use her the once before using a little spell to lock the memories of it away in her mind where she wouldn’t be able to access them until it was far too late for the information to do any of them any good at all. Then he had listened to them and he’d known he would need to be near at hand for a while yet if he wanted to stay in the loop so to speak, so he had to amend his plans slightly as his own needs changed.
Opening the door he found her as he had left her unconscious on the bed, waiting for him really. He had a spell placed on her so that whenever he wasn’t invading her mind she was virtually in a coma, rubbing his hands together he supposed he should get started he didn’t want to be late for school after all.
Caroline walked towards the cafeteria trying to ignore the pit in her stomach, none of her friends besides Bonnie had said so much as hello to her all day long. Her abandonment fears were rising to the surface and she was starting to panic, she couldn’t be an outcast she just wasn’t built to be alone. Seeing her friends all sitting together she thought about just sitting with them and ignoring their obvious anger over what happened yesterday, but she knew they would still be talking about the same stupid plan and she still didn’t want any part of it. Deciding she wasn’t really hungry after all she made her way silently out towards the football field and the line of trees beyond it, solitude could be good for her, it would give her plenty of time to reflect and think and –
“Care?” Oh thank god! Being on her own was driving her crazy already and it hadn’t even been an entire day yet.
“Hey Bon, what are you doing out here? Shouldn’t you be with the others plotting and scheming?” She knew she sounded bitter but she couldn’t help it, she disagreed with them one time and all of her friends turned on her like she was … Katherine Pierce.
“I was there at the start, but it was just a rehash of yesterday like our perspective would suddenly change in those few short hours and we wouldn’t find it stupid now like we did then. How long does it usually take to come up with a workable plan again?” She couldn’t help but laugh at that, she had thought the same thing on more than one occasion.
“I used to think the same thing until I noticed a pattern, now with the big things I don’t even start listening until at least the end of the week, assuming we have that long to plan, which usually we don’t.
“It always goes a little something like this, Damon says the obviously bad idea, Stefan shoots him down, then everyone takes sides and argues about that for about two days even though everyone including Damon knows that his plans are really only ever a last resort. Elena tries to keep Damon in line while at the same time making sure not to spend too much time with him so Stefan doesn’t get jealous, which normally doesn’t work and Stefan winds up threatening Damon with you as back up since let’s face it describing to Damon just how you plan to kill him someday is the highlight of those meetings for you. Then Elena gets angry at the both of you for not trusting her or her decision making abilities and every other time she gets mad at me for not stopping the two of you from threatening Damon who now thanks to that argument is both smug and off the rails at the same time. Poor Matt spends the entire time torn between wishing he was somewhere else and wishing he could help more while simultaneously being unofficially in charge of keeping Jeremy and Tyler from egging each other on until they both do something half thought out and entirely stupid. During which Alaric just stares at us all and shakes his head in disapproval since he is clearly the only rational sane adult in our little group. After all that winds down Alaric gives Damon a glass of Bourbon, Elena sits Tyler and Stefan on either side of me so I can keep them in line, you and Elena flag Jeremy for the same reason, Matt shuffles uncertainly near the door and Alaric gets us all focused again for about an hour when we come up with the plan we usually end up going with.”
Klaus listened to her entire explanation fighting laughter the entire time. These were the people who tripped him up so often? He was deeply shamed. Thinking about it a little more he figured if he wasn’t going to be getting more details about the attempt against him anytime soon he could at least get to know Caroline better, get something out of this at least.
“Caroline, do you mind if I ask you about something you said yesterday. You said that Klaus’s siblings would come after us, that they loved him enough to actually get angry if we took him out of the game for a while. Why do you think that, I mean it’s not like we’re going to kill him after all, don’t you think they would be relieved to not have to deal with him anymore for a while, just like us.” Watching her face he saw her emotions run from wary to certain, she was sure she knew what she was talking about with this. Once more he wondered how she could be so sure of his siblings affections for him when he himself was still so uncertain of it all.
“I know we all act like the originals are totally different from anyone else we’ve ever met before and in a lot of ways they really are, but in this they are very human. Klaus is their brother, they’re a family, and when you get down to it blood is thicker than just about anything.
“It took Elijah thinking that Klaus had all but killed everyone else for him to get to the point where he wanted Klaus to die, and even then all it took was his word that they were still alive for him to change his mind. He had spent years being eaten up with rage, betrayal, and sorrow for what he thought Klaus had done to Finn, Rebekah, and Kol if he didn’t love Klaus just as much as he loves the rest of them instead of trusting his word and letting him go he would have just killed him and gotten one of his many witches or even you to find the others for him. For all they try to deny it Klaus and Elijah are close enough to each other, or at least they have been over the centuries that I’m sure that if he had wanted to he could have figured out what Klaus had done with the others once he knew they were alive.
“Kol spent over a hundred years daggered in a box being dragged around behind his brother like a freaking doll, but once he was out what did he do? Sure he screwed with Klaus a little taunting and teasing him, hurting Matt at the ball, but I honestly think that’s just Kol’s personality. He’s a lot like Damon with that, he shows you he loves you by caring enough to provoke a response out of you, what that provocation is might depend on his mood that day but it’s all the same. The point is he stayed, if only for a little bit and after the first day where they all pretty much ganged up on Klaus, none of them attacked him again after that, at least not physically. Think about it, if someone had done that to you locking you away for years making you lose whole centuries of time, of your life, what would you do when you finally gained your freedom. If it had been done to me I would have spent years after getting out just making that person’s life miserable if not just outright killing them for doing it in the first place, or at the very least I would have put as much distance between that person and myself as possible. The only emotion that can overpower that level of anger would be an even greater feeling of love.
“Rebekah was un-daggered just to be put back in her box a few months later just because she learned the truth about Klaus and their mom. She hadn’t done anything but listen to Elena’s little story and again what did she do once she was free again? Like Kol she annoyed him, made comments about going after Elena or the rest of us, but after the first time when Elijah intervened none of them actually did it, did they. Rebekah stayed by Klaus for centuries even after he daggered Finn and Kol, knowing that he could do the same to her at any time and even after he eventually did dagger her after she got out she came back to Mystic Falls with him to help him find out why his hybrids were dying, if she didn’t love him she would have just told him to figure it out on his own and run off to live her own life. Hell, even after they blew town she still stayed here where just about everyone who really knew who she was hated her, just because he asked her to. That’s love, it might be kind of codependent and really inconvenient for us but the originals do love each other like the family they are. Fortunately they also fight like family so they’re rarely all together, making it easier on the rest of us.”
He didn’t know what to say to that, she was right of course he had just never seen it the way she does. He’d always seen their fights as being proof they didn’t love him, not as proof that they did. Pushing it aside to be thought about later he pushed on with the conversation, needing to know something else just as much as he needed to know what she had already revealed.
“Wow, Care I never really looked at it like that, but I guess you could be right about them actually caring if we managed to take him down, guess we’ll have to keep that in mind for later. One thing I still don’t understand though is why won’t you help us go after Klaus? Is it just because it was Damon’s idea, because I get why you wouldn’t want to do anything he asks, you know after everything.” Don’t worry love he’ll be answering for that soon enough.
“It’s not that, or at least not just that, I admit it is a little satisfying to be able to throw a wrench in his plans like that. Petty but satisfying. It’s just that, well, everything just sort of got to me yesterday, like I’ve been holding it all back because we had one crisis after another and now that everything’s relatively calm I just don’t want to have to do this anymore.”
He caught the emphasis and just had to ask.
“Yes, this! This plotting and scheming that always ruins everything and leads to nothing but more pain for me. I mean haven’t I already gone through enough? I was turned into a vampire by Katherine freaking Pierce as a vampire version of a revenge fuck. I went through my transition alone in a hospital and when I managed to calm down enough to go out and try to get my life back on track, a monumentally stupid idea by the way, Damon freaking Salvatore tries to stake me in a parking lot. Stefan saved me sure, but then all I got was judgment and lectures about how I was a monster and the second I slip up and kill someone, which apparently I couldn’t help but do eventually, there would be a line of people just waiting to kill me. I spent months hiding what I had become from my mom only for her to find out and try to kill me, twice, since I compelled her to forget the first time. I help to deal with Katherine, and the sacrifice being a good and supportive friend, only to be tortured by werewolves and my own dad. All of it necessary and I get that, but this, this isn’t life or death. It isn’t necessary and I am just too far beyond tired to even act like I give a damn at the moment.”
Those sorry bastards! How dare they treat his angel like that. Her father was already dead; he knew more’s the pity, but everyone else would soon feel his wrath that he swore.
“Oh, and here I was thinking you had feelings for Klaus or something.” He played it off as a joke but he wanted more than anything to hear her reply to this.
“I don’t have feelings for Klaus Bonnie, I swear.” Just as he thought, “At least not like you’re thinking anyway, but what I do feel for him is playing a part in this though.” Now it was getting interesting indeed.
“What could you possibly feel for Klaus?” Come on love, unburden yourself, I won’t tell a single soul I swear.
“Sympathy maybe, understanding, and I don’t know what else it’s all just such a confusing mess in my brain. It’s just that ever since we started learning more about him, ever since he and I started spending time together, even if it usually was just because I needed to keep him occupied while the rest of you tried something, I don’t know, I just don’t hate him as much as I used to, as much as I should.”
“Care, what are you saying?”
“Don’t even start with the judging Bonnie, it’s not like I’m jumping ship for the other side or anything, it’s just that he’s different from anyone else I’ve ever known you know. Think of it this way let’s say your entire life was filled with nothing but people who were only around you because they had to be or because they needed or wanted something from you or because they had some kind of agenda and were trying to use you. Then imagine that someone comes along who doesn’t do any of that, who sees your weaknesses and instead of exploiting them just sees them, sees you. Whenever I’m with Klaus it’s like he’s the one person who doesn’t want to judge me or use me for some stupid plan and I don’t know I guess now that he’s not all homicidal and trying to kill us I just don’t want to put that look in his eyes again.”
“What look?” What look was she talking about, he wasn’t even going to acknowledge the rest of her explanation until he was alone and in his own body. He did understand everything she had described and the idea that he could be that person for her, it was intoxicating.
“Hurt. When I play the blonde distraction and he and I are talking and laughing, and both of us are having a nice time just being around each other. Then he figures out what we’re doing and just for a second when he looks at me for the first time after figuring out that I was being used against him, that I was using his feelings for me against him, his eyes are just filled with so much hurt. Every time I see that, I feel worse and worse about doing that to him, and every time I tell myself I won’t do it again, that this time is the last time that I make him feel the way people used to make me feel all the time. Then everyone, all my friends, come to me and tell me that if I don’t help again that someone I love will die and it’ll be my fault, but this time no one’s dying, even without this plan everyone lives if we just let it go and live with our new reality.
“Don’t get me wrong I feel bad for Elena, I remember what it’s like to be used for your blood, but what Damon did to me didn’t end my world and what Klaus is doing to Elena won’t end hers. Once a month he’ll pop in to fill up a blood bag or two, with needles no less not even fangs, then he’ll be off again to find more werewolves to turn. Damon was in my life every day, using me for blood, for information, for sex and no one seems to even care anymore. Why should I drop everything, putting my life in jeopardy, putting my mom’s life in danger if we fail, all because Elena will have to go through something that isn’t even life or death? You can say I’m selfish or whatever but I just don’t see the point of this plan, succeed or fail we’re still going to lose.”
He couldn’t do it, he couldn’t judge her for being the only smart one in her little ragtag group of friends, for being on her own side for once since he’d met her. She was right after all, it wasn’t fair of them to demand she lay her safety, her very life, on the line for something so selfish and truly unimportant. As she had pointed out she had survived far worse at the hands of Damon Salvatore, why should she drop everything to save Elena from a fate that would be arguably far kinder than what she herself had been forced to survive, on her own no less. From what he knew of her time with Damon, and he had investigated after finding out what little Elena had let slip the day before, the only thing that had been done for her by her so called friends once Damon’s manipulation and use of her had been made known, was to spike her drink with vervain at a party so that they could use her themselves to weaken and then trap the elder Salvatore. He would not judge her for this, not even if it blew his cover as Bonnie Bennett sky high.
“I don’t blame you for not wanting to help Caroline. After thinking about it more after we left I started to see things a bit more from your perspective, you have every right to decide not to go along with what the others are planning. I can’t speak for them but know that I will never hold this decision against you, you are a good friend Caroline, and it’s time we started being good friends to you in turn.”
“Thanks for understanding Bonnie, though I guess that’s my problem. I’m being a good friend, not a best friend.”
“What do you mean Care?” He was truly confused, nothing in his thousand years had ever been so challenging as trying to follow the logic of this conversation. Women truly were a mystery, and one he for one was positive he would never truly solve.
“You know, like that t-shirt says. A good friend will talk you out of a fight you can’t win. A best friend will stand beside you in that same fight swinging a bat while singing ‘Someone’s gonna get it’. I’m being a good friend and they want me to be a best friend, I just can’t do it this time.”
As he watched her walk away Klaus wasn’t sure what to say any longer. Deciding it would probably be best to leave her to her own thoughts for the moment he got up and began to make his way back towards the others knowing deep down that this conversation was far from over.
Alaric made his way towards the Salvatore home and tried to understand once again why he was allowing himself to be pulled into these messes time and again. For the last few days he had noticed a bit of a strain on the friendships of his favorite students, but he’d let it go as being nothing more than teenage angst getting the better of them. Supernatural or not they were still teenagers after all. Until Elena approached this morning and explained the entire situation to him in full, to say he was stunned would be an understatement. Elena wanted to bring the fight to Klaus and so far everyone but Caroline was on board with this little suicide mission, though he was told in no uncertain terms that Caroline would come around eventually, though he wasn’t so sure of that himself it did explain some of the tension of the past week. Now they just needed to come up with an actual workable plan, which is apparently where he came in, they needed him to come to this next planning session to help reign in Damon. At some point over the months of Mystic Falls hijinks he had become Damon’s only sort of friend and unofficial handler, he still didn’t understand how that had happened but if the Gilbert siblings needed him he wasn’t going to let them down now, he owed Jenna at least that much.
As he walked into the boarding house, thoughts of Jenna still weighing heavily on his mind, he was nearly hit by a tumbler of bourbon that flew just past his head to shatter on the wall behind him. Ah, the joys of making plans with Damon Salvatore, the inevitable temper tantrum. He truly believed that if they could just get past their difference of opinion about the care and future of Elena Gilbert Damon and Klaus could actually be good friends, their personalities were similar enough after all.
“I’m telling you this is the only way there is Stefan. There is no sneaking up on an original, least of all Klaus, if we try it any way but head on he’ll see us coming a mile off and then he’ll have time to get ready for us.”
“As opposed to what? Rushing him won’t work, we can’t overwhelm Klaus he’s too strong and when he truly needs to he just powers through the pain. Not to mention all the Hybrids that he’ll be surrounded with, it’s not like they’ll just stand there and let us kill him, they’ll jump in as soon as we hit him if not sooner and then we’ll be the ones out numbered. Klaus isn’t stupid Damon, no matter what we do he’ll have a counter attack already in place. We have to find a way to surprise him if we’re going to have even a little chance at winning.”
“Well I guess you would know, weren’t you two all buddy buddy back in the day.”
“That’s enough! This isn’t helping, we need a plan and we can’t even decide on what kind of plan to even try. This is getting us nowhere.”
Elena was right of course, then again they never could decide on anything right off. He once had a discussion about it with Caroline and he agreed with her, there really was no reason to pay attention the first few days after they decided to make a plan, that time was less for planning and more for posturing. Taking a deep breathe he decided now was as good a time as any to jump in the fray.
Klaus sat in the corner and just silently laughed at them all. Damon was loud and full of bluster but he was amusing, while Stefan was solemn and serious but still just as hilarious. To hear them tell it he was the devil himself, and that was the funniest thing of all. Caroline had been right, they were lost without her and the teacher around to get them all focused and in line. The young hunter and his hybrid were off in the opposite corner talking each other into the monumentally stupid plan of the two of them just going to his home and taking care of him themselves, as if they could. They were both of a mind that he would not see them as a threat, and they were right about that for the simple reason that they weren’t a threat, not to him at least. The doppelganger was bouncing between the Salvatores and her own brother trying to keep everyone calm but truly only succeeding in working them all up more. The quarterback was over towards the door trying to stay out of reach of all the brassed off supernaturals in the room, smart man he was the most expendable and the easiest to kill in the room at the moment. The teacher had come in a few moments ago just in time to dodge a glass of liquor thrown towards the far wall and now seemed to be preparing himself for battle. This was becoming more and more entertaining the longer it dragged on, he really would have to thank them for providing such amusement right before he crushed them all.
“Damon! Sit down please. Stefan, you sit over there as far from your brother as we can get you. Tyler, Jeremy, whatever you’re planning over there amongst yourselves I don’t even want to hear it, just know it’s flawed, won’t work, and you should both know better by now, grab a seat yourselves. Elena go sit by Bonnie, as far from either Salvatore as we can get you. Now, since Caroline isn’t here to help me, and getting you lot to focus is like herding cats, things are going to go a little different this time. I won’t be coddling you, there will be no peace offerings of booze or un-ruffling of feathers. This is not something that we all need to do to survive, this is something you all want to do for your own reasons, so either grow-up and handle it like adults on your own or drop it now before your immaturity and inability to work together without Caroline and I as buffers gets everyone killed.”
After having said his peace the teacher simply turned and left leaving everyone else to either take his advice or not. A few seconds of stunned silence eventually gave way to more bickering, seeing a perfect opportunity Klaus slipped out to catch Alaric before he could make it to his car.
“Alaric, wait up.” When he finally caught the man he finally saw just how tired he truly was, the circles under his eyes and the lines etched into his face making him look far older than he really was. “Why did you do that? Why won’t you or Caroline help us?” He already knew Caroline’s reasons but no one else knew that though so he kept his tone disbelieving and almost lost like any teen would be when faced with the possibility that the adult in their life wouldn’t be helping them this time.
“Well, I can’t speak for Caroline, though I do have my theories on why she backed out of this but I’m just tired. After Katherine, then Elijah, then Klaus and the rest of his family, peppering in the occasional follower or random bit of evil including my now actually dead vampire wife, I’m just tired. I thought I could do this, even as I walked up to the house I was thinking about how I needed to help with this to help Elena and Jeremy, for Jenna if for nothing else.”
“So what changed?” Why back out now, his being tired was obviously true it was practically written all over his face, but there had to be more to it. The others he easily understood, they were angry, rash, stupid really all following the doppelgänger and her pet vampire brothers. Caroline and the teacher though, they weren’t attacking, they were bowing out and he didn’t understand it. Why?
“I walked in that room and I just listened to them arguing and it just reminded me about all the other times before it and I just couldn’t do it again. Especially without Caroline there to help me calm everyone down. Bonnie I understand why all of you want to do this, you’re doing it for Elena and I want to help, I do, I just can’t do it right now. Don’t worry about it though, I’m sure that after this meeting is declared a bust I’ll be ganged up on by Elena, Jeremy, and Damon all of them taking turns trying to get me to help and I’ll cave much like I’m sure Caroline will. When it comes down to the wire we’ll be there like we always are, we just need a little space this time.”
Huh. He was likely right of course, when it came down to it both he and his darling girl would throw their lot in with their friends. The only question for him now was would this slight hesitation change the teachers fate if the end result was still such a forgone conclusion. Should the teacher be spared or condemned with the rest?
Klaus stood staring at the door in front of him for what felt like hours but was surely only moments. Raising his hand to knock he thought about his plan once more and still found no other option open to him, he needed help and this was the only place he was likely to find it he only hoped that Caroline’s assessment of the situation was spot on.
“Ah, Miss Bennett, to what do we owe the pleasure of your company?”
“I suppose I could tell you that, but I was rather hoping to speak to all three of you together. So be a good brother, Elijah, and summon the other two we have plans to make.”