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Revenge is sweeter than blood

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Caroline can feel herself moving, knows her feet are moving despite her wishes. She can feel the smile on her face despite her inner terror. She was approaching Klaus Mikaelson, the most feared vampire of them all, to play the distraction all because Damon couldn’t think of a better plan. 

No, that wasn’t true. It was also because he considered her disposable.

Something, not someone, to be used up and discarded. If she died following his orders, he’d just get another toy. Maybe it would be Elena, maybe not. There was no telling with him. So she plasters on a smile and enters the Grill, a low cut top under her leather jacket and a full face of makeup. Her feet keep moving and her mouth keeps smiling, all while Caroline is convinced she’s walking toward her death. Maybe death would be better than the hell her life had been these last couple months. But that meant leaving her mom. She just hoped Klaus didn’t hide her body, that her mother had something to bury. An open casket was probably too much to hope for, but maybe he’d leave her in one piece.

She spots him, sitting at the bar in the Grill, a glass of dark liquor in his hand. Caroline approaches him and puts on her best smile, the one that would have won her Miss Mystic if Damon had let her compete. He just had to make sure Elena got everything, even things she didn’t want. 

Back to the matter at hand. Caroline’s body moves up to Klaus, laying a hand on his arm. His eyebrows shoot up on his face as he studies her with interest, eyes roving up and down her body. It would make her shudder, if she had any control over her body. “Hey handsome, haven’t seen you around here before.” She cringes internally at her dialogue, the best her compelled mind could come up with. Maybe she’d be better at this if the person who compelled her was smarter than Damon.

Klaus’s eyes return to her face, studying her intently, making her feel like he could see inside her skull, inside her mind. “I don’t believe we’ve met,” he says dryly, holding a hand out for her to shake. She takes it daintily, his grip firm and smooth. His head tilts to the side as he continues to study her, every inch a predator. “I’m Klaus. And you, unless I am very much mistaken, are Caroline Forbes, the sheriff’s daughter.” Caroline startles at that and moves to pull her hand back, but he keeps a tight hold on her grip.

The compulsion forces her to keep smiling, even as his thumb begins rubbing circles on the back of her hand. “Want to buy me a drink?” She flirts, leaning into his personal space.

He ignores her come on, as well as her nearness. “Aren’t you with Damon Salvatore?” Caroline’s beginning to panic, but the compulsion on her mind keeps her talking, actually comes up with something half decent for once.

“We broke up. Looking for a rebound. Think you fit the bill?”

Klaus studies her for a few moments, before chuckling lightly. “His compulsion technique isn’t very good, I can still see the fear in your eyes. I take it you know who I am?” He leans into her space, whispering, “Is there anything at all useful you can tell me? He seems to think he can get around my designs. No?” Caroline keeps smiling, but eyes are beginning to prick. “Run along back to Damon now, sweetheart.”

Caroline starts to have a full on panic attack at that, even as her body stays still. She couldn’t go back to Damon, not empty handed, not ever. Klaus glances up after a moment when she still hasn’t left. He looks deep into her eyes for a moment and curses. “Shit.” Downing the rest of his drink, he asks, “You can’t leave, can you? Tell me: are you more afraid of me? Or him?” Caroline internally flinches at the mention of Damon, and Klaus seems to pick up on it. “Sweetheart, what were you sent here to do? What were the exact words?”

“I need you to take me home,” she says in a sultry voice, hands trailing up his collarbone. 

He stands up, throwing a hundred dollar bill on the counter, and motions for her to follow him. “Let’s see if the compulsion will wear off should you enter my house.” She follows him automatically, certain she’s walking toward her doom.

 

Caroline’s able to stop smiling once she crosses the threshold of Klaus’s mansion and sags in relief, propping herself up on the umbrella stand before crumbling to the floor and beginning to cry. Klaus is by her side in an instance, pushing hair out of her face. “He didn’t even bother to make you want it,” he says, shaking his head. “He’s left you screaming on the inside, hasn't he?” Caroline sobs again, but still pushes Klaus’s hands off her.

“I want to go home now,” she says between sobs as Klaus backs up.

“You could,” he nods slowly. “I would let you and it appears the compulsion will as well. Or you could stay here and we could find a way around anything else he’s planted in your mind.”

“Why would you help?” She blinks at him through tears in her eyes.

“Damon has no taste, to reduce one as beautiful as yourself to a sobbing wreck, to a shell of a person.” Klaus offers his hand and hauls her up to standing. “Vampirism is a gift sometimes bestowed on those who abuse it.”

“And you don’t?” She can’t help but ask.

“Torture and murder, yes. In the way I suspect you’ve been used? No.” He leads her into an expansive kitchen where she sits on a barstool. “Are you hungry?” She shakes her head and he shrugs. “Guess I’ll be the only one to refuel.” He opens the fridge and grabs a blood bag, pouring it into a mug and shoving it into the microwave. Caroline watches the appliance count down the seconds, picturing it counting down her life. Once his mug is ready, he sits down beside her, drinking slowly from his mug, watching her. “Is there anything you can tell me?

She shakes her head. “I still don’t want Elena hurt.”

“Focus on yourself, sweetheart,” he says instead. “Your friend left you like this, unless I’m very much mistaken. Perhaps you don’t owe her any more suffering?”

She blinks at him as he takes another slow drink from his mug. “How can I make it stop? The compulsion? I’m supposed to report back if you don’t kill me.”

“Ah, that’s the easy part,” he says with that dangerous smile. “I could turn you into a vampire. Any and all compulsions on your mind would wear off with your death.” She flinches at that, even as her mind is racing. She wouldn’t want to be like Damon , but freedom was so close she could almost taste it. All it would cost was blood.

“You’d still be able to compel me,” she says after coming out of her thoughts.

“Yes, though I’d prefer we just bargained in good faith,” Klaus says, watching her carefully.

She forces herself to straighten in the chair. “What do you want?”

He leans forward, studying her intently. “I want to kill Damon. He’s been a thorn in my side for too long. Any and all information you could provide would be of great help. It would be of even greater help if you assisted in capturing him.”

She just blinks at him for a moment. “You realize that’s just a win-win for me, right?” His grin at that can only be described as wolfish. “I want Damon dead and you’re offering to do the deed in exchange for freeing me from him?”

“If you’re worried you aren’t contributing enough to the bargain, feel free to throw the other Salvatore under the bus as well,” he says languidly, stretching out with a chuckle.

“I...I don’t…” She trails off. Elena loves Stefan, but Klaus wasn’t acting like he intended to kill him the way he had his sights set on Damon.

“How about this?” He’s focused on her again. “I’ll trade you vampirism for Damon’s death, and I’ll trade you lessons on controlling your vampirism for information on Stefan.”

“Is it hard?” She asks in a quiet voice. “To control the bloodlust?”

“For some,” he says cautiously. “Stefan has always been terrible at self control, so even if he doesn’t know you helped me kill Damon, he won’t be able to teach you what you need to know.”

“How do I know you won’t just compel me?” She asks in that same quiet voice, barely a whisper.

“Because I would have by now if that was my intention,” he says simply, and she figures that’s the best answer she’s going to get.

She meets his eyes, steel in her gaze. “Do it.”

 

Caroline wakes up to a crick in her neck and a burning in her gums. Klaus’s blood had been disgusting when she forced it down, but now, she could tell she wanted the real deal. Human blood. Her phone was also ringing incessantly, the buzzing too much as she takes in the world with new eyes. New ears.

New teeth.

She could feel her fangs elongated and practically chokes on her tongue in horror. Grabbing her face, she wails: “How do I make them go away? You don’t have fangs.”

Klaus is watching her carefully, on the opposite side of the room from the couch. “Self control, for one. Not being hungry will help.” He gestures to the phone next to her. “Quiet that, will you?”

She grabs the phone and sees several missed calls from Elena, one from Bonnie, and a flurry of texts from Damon, all with the trigger words that would force her compelled mind to text him the truth. She starts laughing, a horrid, cackling laugh as she stares at his texts, knowing she didn’t have to reply. Not now.

She turns the phone on silent, but sends a quick text to her mom, claiming to be staying over with Elena. Not that her mother would notice she wasn’t home. Turning back to Klaus, she says: “So, blood bag?”

He whooshes out of the room and comes back with a mug for her, which she eagerly takes. Slurping down the blood, she looks at Klaus, who’s still watching her as if she could run at any moment. “What all do you want to know?”

“Where the Salvatores are getting their vervain, for starters.”

“Oh! That’s easy,” Caroline says brightly. “It’s in the basement of their house. Damon has me water it, ever since he killed Zach.”

“Can you get an invitation?” He says with a hard voice.

She takes a few moments to parse his meaning. “You want me to steal it.”

He smiles a hard smile. “The fruits of your labor should belong to you.”

“I get to keep it?” She blanches. That was enough vervain to protect her from Original vampires for years. “I’ll definitely steal it then. I should be able to get Elena to invite me in, though you probably don’t want them to know I’m a vampire yet, right?” Klaus nods, a little surprised. “I’ll have to be tricky about it then,” she says, gnawing on her lip, “but it’s worth it. So much vervain!” She’s practically gleeful by the end of the sentence, clapping her hands together. “I’ll need gloves, and a way to transport them, it’d be a shame to lose all the plants.” She starts making verbal plans, and adds to do lists to her phone, ready to be checked off, as Klaus watches, confused.

She finally looks up after everything is planned for her heist, to see Klaus watching her. “What?”

“You’re….not how I expected,” he admits.

“Well, you’ve been in town for a week or so. Damon’s had me for months, I haven’t had a personality during that time. I’m usually way more obnoxious,” she says brightly and he chuckles.

“I can’t wait to see you resume your stranglehold on the town,” he says warmly and it honestly weirds her out a little, so she gets back to business.

Caroline tells Klaus everything she knows about both Salvatore brothers, as he keeps bringing her more mugs of blood to sip on, hanging on her every word. She tells him about Damon’s daily habits, his obsession with Elena, his hatred of and former obsession with Katherine, Stefan’s struggles with sobriety, on and on and on. He finally stops her after the fourth mug of blood has been consumed. “I don’t need to know the color of their knickers, sweetheart-”

“Black,” she supplies anyway and he chuckles.

“-You’ve given more than enough to fulfill our bargain. So, I believe it’s time I held up my end,” he says, standing up and taking her hand, pulling her off the couch. When she just looks at him, confused, he says: “Vampire training time, love. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

 

Caroline hates vampire training. It’s stupid, she knows she’s not going to hurt her mother, would never hurt her mother. When Klaus reminds her their plan requires her to interact with Elena without so much as flashing her fangs, she relents and resumes practice. Klaus’s witch, Maddox, cuts open his palm and Caroline’s fangs drop. “Force it down, sweetheart,” Klaus coaches, “you’re in control, not the hunger.” She forces her face back to human and Klaus smiles at her. “Isn’t she brilliant, Maddox? Such control usually takes weeks.” The witch in question just grunts, healing his palm with magic, but Caroline’s practically glowing. She needs to remind herself not to fall for pretty words, at least until the vervain is hers. Maddox had given her a daylight ring before they started their training outside, which surprised Caroline, not sure it was included in their deal.

“Now, your hearing is naturally attuned to heartbeats,” Klaus says as he sends Maddox off into the house, “but you can listen for much more than that. Tell me which room Maddox is in.”

She rolls her eyes, but closes her eyes and focuses on her hearing. She can hear herself and Klaus’s heartbeats, his shallow breathing next to her, and forces her attention inside the house, where there is one living person. Must be Maddox. Now how can she tell which room it is? She thinks hard for a moment, realizing she knew where he was in relation to the closest sink, meaning he had to be in the first floor library. When she tells Klaus as much, he smiles widely at her again. “Brilliant, sweetheart. You’ll have the hang of this in no time.”

Her phone vibrates with a text and she sees it’s from Damon. 

TELL ME IT WORKED. I HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO GET ELENA OUT OF TOWN YET.

Caroline and Klaus look at each other, Caroline on the verge of panic, as Klaus lets out a stream of curses. “I’ll distract Damon,” he says, beginning to walk away, “you steal that vervain.”

“Wait, but I’m not ready!” She protests, and he pauses, fully evaluating her.

“You have to be.” His voice comes out low, before he disappears with the wind.