Chapter 3 – Play the game
Klaus sat at the bar and waited, his siblings hidden just out of sight waiting for his signal, the dopplegangers plan should begin any minute now. He had to admit that being there for the planning of it all made thwarting them far too easy. Normally at this point he would only be suspicious that something was about to happen without having any definitive idea as to what that something was. Now, though after hearing it all from their own mouths he knew exactly what was to come and after talking it over with his siblings he had the perfect counter attack in place. When he felt his darling Caroline enter the Grill he nodded slightly to Elijah to tell him that the game had begun.
They had, of course, been right about his beloved distraction when it had come down to the wire she hadn’t been able to deny them her aide. Even knowing that they would likely fail either way it just wasn’t in her to leave them to their fate without helping to at least try and keep them all alive. What he saw over the last month only made him want to punish the ungrateful little bastards even more.
At the beginning Caroline had stuck by her assertion that this entire plan was a bad idea, telling them time and again that she would have no part in it. Finally after two weeks of denying them they had gone to her mother, beseeching the woman to talk sense to her daughter. Once the plan had been explained to the Sheriff instead of backing them in their silent fight of wills with her daughter she had scolded them all for their lack of fore thought in this entire endeavor. She had taken her daughters side in their fight stating that if Caroline changed her mind on her own she would not stand in her way but she would not be manipulating her to help them either. She stormed out after giving them a final warning to heed her daughters predictions, saying that their plan could do nothing else but blow up in their collective faces and maybe catch a lot of innocents in the cross fire. He had gained a new respect for Caroline’s mother that day and silently promised to keep the collateral damage to a minimum in this fight between him and the doppleganger.
The last week however, after the plan had finally taken shape and everything had been put into place to ensure their success, at least in their opinion, they had all ganged up on her to try and tear down her defenses. They had gathered in her home like some sort of intervention and had each taken turns emotionally blackmailing her. Each of them began with an amusing tale of their long and loving friendship with her, except for Damon who hadn’t been invited, and ended with a plea to not let them die for her own stubbornness. He had been furious but had played his part as the disapproving Bennett witch, knowing the outcome already before it even began. He watched as his beautiful brave Caroline was moved from conviction to a guilty mess in a matter of hours. He had gone straight to his siblings after that and together they had come up with what to do about this newest threat to their family. Now it was just a matter of destroying all their plans before having fun of their own.
He waited for her to slide into the seat next to him before he spoke, he had to make it seem like the distraction was working.
“Caroline, what can I do for you love?”
“Nothing, I just came for a drink.” Oh, how he loved the sound of her voice, even when she was lying.
“Really, then why are you sitting here with so many other empty seats available to you?”
“This is my seat why should I change it just because you’re here.” Smart girl thinking on her feet, he decided to throw her a curve ball just to see what she would do.
“I’ve never seen you sitting here before love, aren’t you normally in a booth?”
“Okay, just because you’re such a stalker that doesn’t mean that you know everything about me. I sit at a booth when I’m meeting people but when it’s just me I sit here, sitting at a booth by yourself is just sort of depressing after all.” Very good love, carelessly dropping the fact that she would be here all on her own, almost absently like it didn’t matter at all. If he wasn’t privy to her true plans he would have zeroed in on that fact and would have spent hours trying to gain her undivided attention. Tonight of course would not go as planned, he had a new script to follow and for once she would be following his lead.
“Then I will bother you no longer love. Have a lovely evening.” Getting up he made to leave, he didn’t make it two steps before he felt her hand on his arm.
“Why should I love? Planning something?”
She looked in his eyes for a few seconds looking for the teasing light that normally accompanied such a statement before her own widened in understanding, that was just one of the things he loved about her, she was always so quick to understand.
“How did you-” He didn’t allow her to finish before quickly snapping her neck. He silently apologized for the action as he carried her out of the Grill and towards his home where everyone else should be waiting by now. Time for the fun to begin.
Caroline was the first to wake, the first thing her blurry eyes registered was her friends, all around her restrained in different ways was everyone who had had a part in their little Original Plan as she called it, this could not be good. Feeling her hands above her head she tugged at them experimently to confirm what she already knew in the back of her mind. She was tied up, again, normally after that revelation came the inventive and mind numbing torture but considering who she had been with just before the bondage came into it she was reasonably certain she’d be able to skip that part of the regular routine. Hearing noise off to her left she looked towards the door to find Rebekah glaring at them all. Or maybe she wouldn’t skip it. Mentally shrugging she just forced herself to relax, she had seen this coming after all but had helped her friends regardless, she would take the consequences no matter what they were now that the plan had blown up in their faces once more.
“Ah good, Nik Caroline is awake!” The smile from Rebekah was one of the more frightening things she had ever seen in her life, and she had been tortured by werewolves before. She looked almost friendly, it made tiny shivers run down her spine, what were they up to?
“Told you sister, she’s far stronger than the rest of them, age be damned.” In walked Klaus, his lagid stride making him seem to almost stroll into the room.
“Can’t blame us for doubting brother, we had good cause to believe one of the Salvatores would bestir themselves before this baby vampire.” Kol said as he wandered in from another direction, this was most definitely not good, hell the only Original missing seemed to be-
“Do try not to judge things so quickly Kol, it is bound to do you a disservice in the future, much like I believe you have done Miss Forbes by doubting her strength.” Elijah. They were so screwed, not only had they plotted against an original but it seemed they had been busted mid-plan by the rest of them. Death would be a mercy she was sure of that now.
“No offence meant darling, it was just a good natured bet you understand.” She decided that silence was her best bet at the moment so she said nothing, which only prompted Kol to continue like her silence was an answer all its own. “See Elijah, she understands completely.”
“Really, I think her silence means she’s been stunned speechless by your utter stupidity.” Rebekah drawled, adding in her two cents, not for the first time if Kols sticking his tongue out in her direction was any indication of their relationship.
“Enough of this petty squabbling, now that one is up what say you to waking the others, we don’t want to get behind schedule now do we.”
“Oh, I love that idea, who do I get?” Kol and Rebekah were jumping up and down like it was christmas and the chore of waking her friends was their present. She wanted to do something, say something, that would stop this knowing from the way they were acting that whatever they had in mind would most likely not be a simple shoulder shake or a shout. She remained silent and still though, knowing that no matter what she did she wouldn’t be able to change anything and might even end up making things worse.
“Elijah you wake the doppleganger and my hybrid, Rebekah you take baby Gilbert, the ripper, and the teacher, Kol you get the quarterback, the witch, and the elder Salvatore and I will keep darling Caroline company while you work.” She watched Klaus swagger over to her while his younger siblings looked far too gleeful about their assignments. Elijah as usual showed no emotion whatsoever, but if she had to guess she would say he almost looked disappointed when he looked at Elena, maybe even betrayed.
“So love, have you guessed what’s going on yet, or do you need more time to puzzle it out?” She thought about simply not answering him, but she also knew how violent his mood swings could be when he didn’t get his way so she decided to humour him for the moment. If he wanted to play twenty questions then she would play along, if only to keep his attention centered on her and off her friends.
“No, I think I’ve got it thanks.” That was it, nothing else, even if she had decided to answer his questions that didn’t mean she wasn’t going to make him work for it.
“Care to share your theories with the class?” He was amused she realized, not the normal kind of amused either this was the smug ‘I know something you’ll never know unless I decide to tell you about it’ amusement. She recognized as a trademark look of Tylers back when he was always a raging jackass, a.k.a before his first transition into a werewolf.
After he became a hybrid it sort of slowly worked its way back, and now was once more a favored expression of his. Maybe it was a hybrid thing, but she doubted it, the only reason Klaus would sport that look was if he really did know something he didn’t think she would be able to piece together on her own. He might be a bit of a jackass himself, but he was an honest one.
“You found out what we were planning to do, and this little show is your response to that. This is basically your version of a victory dance.” Her response set all the originals to laughing, even Elijah which was a kind of surprising, after all it wasn’t like she said anything they didn’t already know.
“She really does know you brother, you were right about that.” Kols announcement only made them all smile again and it was really starting to creep her out, it was strange the Originals weren’t exactly known for being happy people after all.
“It would be hard not to be right about that when I heard the proof right from her own mouth after all.” Wait what? When had she talked to Klaus? Normally when they were forced to interact she was sarcastic or lying through her teeth, how would that show that she knew him well?
Looking around her she noticed what the others had been doing while Klaus had been distracting her, and yes she was aware of the irony there.
Elena was already awake but still groggy from the way she kept rubbing her face against her shoulder as if in pain she guessed that Elijah had ‘gently’ slapped her awake. Matt was also awake and blinking rapidly almost like he was trying to wake from the nightmare he was seeing around him, she could definitely relate to that one. Jeremy was starting to come around from the way Rebekah was violently shaking him causing his head to snap back and forth so much she was surprised she hadn’t broken his neck completely yet. Alaric and Bonnie were still out but from the way they seemed to be waking the humans first she didn’t think that would last long.
She was just starting to wonder what they were going to do about the more supernaturally inclined of her friends when she smelled it, vervaine. Looking all around the room for the source she finally spotted several old tin buckets sitting in the corner near the fireplace. She knew without a doubt that was where the scent of vervain was coming from. The light from the fire did nothing to help her see the contents, the tin not allowing any shadows to be cast from within them, but she had a pretty good idea about how her friends were going to be woken up.
“So what’s the plan here, I shared now it’s your turn.” Hopefully she was wrong, hopefully they would all throw a simultaneous temper tantrum and kill them all instantly in a fit of blind rage, knowing them it could totally and completely happen just that way and no one who knew them would be surprised at all by the story when it was told as a cautionary tale about why you shouldn’t go up against an original.
“Why should I love, when you’re so good at guessing the outcome of things. You even guessed this would happen from the beginning, as I recall you even tried to warn your little friends off this path several time. Don’t worry love they’re about to wish they had listened to you very soon.” How did he know all of this? Everyone but her mom, and the others in this room, thought she was into this plan whole heartedly, that she followed along from the beginning no questions asked.
“Feel like giving me a hint, I mean you did say you were going to keep me company over here and so far I have to tell you you’ve been a bit of a lousy conversationalist.” Again her snarky comments only got chuckles in response, where was the rage?
“What would you like to know love?” Oh, so so much.
“Well I was going for a hint about what’s coming up for me and my friends and really hoping that the vervain over by the fireplace is just a scare tactic even though I know better, but now I’ve decided on asking something else.”
“What might that be?” She’s was going to die anyway she may as well ask.
“Were all of you turned into pod people or something?”
“What?” When you got nothing left to lose and your life has already basically been forfeit go for broke.
“Well, you’re all being nice to each other and laughing when I make snarky comments. No one’s flown off the handle and attacked anyone yet and it’s been like a whole five minutes at least which has to be a record for all of you, and I swear I saw Elijah smile like twice now and it didn’t break his face or seem to cause him any pain at all so that alone is proof positive that you’ve all been victims of like body snatchers or something.”
“Oh, darling it’s nothing quite so science fiction, we just had ourselves a little chat.”
Great they were talking to each other now, which meant they were being civil, which meant they were completely screwed.
Damon came to with a dull ache in his neck and the sound of barbies voice ringing in his ears, which all added up to one thing. Their plan had failed, and they were about to pay the price for it all. Oh boy.
Raising his head up slightly to show that he had woken, which would hopefully stop the person slapping him repeatedly, no such luck. When he looked up and saw who was slapping him he understood why, it was Klaus junior. All the sadism, none of the hybrid perks.
“Good of you to finally come around mate, your the last to regain your senses. Considering the years you have on most of the others here if I were you I would be deeply shamed.”
Glancing around he finally took in his surroundings beyond the pain his body was currently experiencing. He was surrounded by his family and Klaus’. Oh, joy.
“Alright I’m up, what now?”
“Well that’s the fun part, that isn’t up to me.”
What? Since when did little pain maker ever give over control of torture time? Unless Klaus had pulled rank. Glancing over to the hybrid he found him grinning from ear to ear but he wasn’t looking at anyone but Caroline so that smile could be for another reason entirely. What the hell was going on here?
“Alright, if you aren’t calling the shots who is?”
He expected the runt of the litter to name one of his elder brothers, but the name he got shocked him to his core.
“What!?” the question came from so many different directions he knew this was the first anyone was hearing of it. The only one who didn’t react was Caroline herself which begged the question, why not?
Caroline kept her face blank and her breathing even knowing that what Klaus wanted more than anything was her reaction, so she refused to give him one. They would explain anyway so what was the point in asking.
“Nothing to say love?”
“Not until you say a little more yourself.”
Then she was it, his amusement, this was all fun and games to him. Which both terrified her and gave her hope that maybe at least a few of her friends might survive this game whatever it was.
“That’s my girl. Well, the game is simple sweetheart. I will give you two choices for each of your friends and whichever one you choose will be their fate. One choice will of course be far more severe than the other.”
It couldn’t be that simple. It just couldn’t be!
“What’s the catch?”
“That’s what I love about you Caroline beauty and brains. The catch as you so eloquently put it is simple. It will be a blind choice. You will not know which is which until the choice is made. You told your friends repeatedly that coming after me was temping fate, now they shall tempt fate once more and this time they will have no choice but to listen to you.”