nikluas

And burn it all to ash

Success!  I managed to finish my story for klarofic week day two: dark fic.  It’s a sequel to Let the flames consume, which I would link if Tumblr would let me. Please enjoy:

She comes back to life not with a bang, but with a whimper. 

                At first she is disoriented.  She has no idea where she is, and the roof of the room in which she finds herself is unfamiliar.  Slowly, memories come back – killing the whore werewolf, confronting Nikluas, being stabbed through the heart – and with the memories comes the anger.  A scream builds in her throat, and when it comes out it is an enraged shriek filled with pain of a millennia of loyalty betrayed. 

                “Mother?”

                The voice is low and smooth and painfully familiar.  It makes tears prick at her eyes, because it had been over ninety years since she last heard that voice.  Ninety years in which she thought its owner had been lost, yet another child Mikael had stolen from her.

                A voice she thought she would never hear again.  How many lies had Klaus told her?  How many important revelations had been hidden from her?

                “Marcellus?” she whispers, sitting up.  She was in a bed with a simple blue comforter, and there is Marcellus, her beautiful boy.  Klaus had been the one to name him and bring him home, but Caroline had been the one to make him her child.  He grins at her, that beautiful grin that had always melted her heart, and Caroline flashes out of the bed and grasps him in a tight embrace.  “Macellus… how?  You were dead.  Mikael killed you.”

                “He burned the city to the ground, but he never killed me.  God, I’ve missed you, mother.”

                Caroline hugs Marcel tightly, burying her face against his shoulder.  A quiet shuffling draws her attention, and she looks over his shoulder to see a pretty blonde.  She is a few years older than Caroline was when she was turned, with wide doe eyes in blue.  She looks at Caroline as though she is a foreign creature, and Caroline pulls back from the hug, to look at Marcel with raised brows.

                “I would ask if you brought me a snack, but something tells me that wouldn’t garner a positive reaction.”

                Marcel smiles again, but this time Caroline is looking closer.  She’s no longer watching him through the rose-tinted glasses of a mother finally reunited with her child, but rather with the more pragmatic vision of a woman who has spent the last thousand years surviving, only to be betrayed by the one person she thought would never do so.

                Thinking of Nik causes her pain, and Caroline has to turn her back to Marcel and the pretty blonde lest they see her weakness.

                “Cami is the one who told me about you, mother,” Marcel says, and Caroline can feel his hand hovering over her shoulder. 

                “And you came running to release me from the magical coma my husband put me in,” Caroline replies, and her voice is cynical.  “I remember you always doing as he said.  You were so very, very hungry for his approval.  And now you would go against him like this?  Niklaus would forgive many things, but awakening me before he deems it my time?” Caroline laughs darkly, and she spins back towards the duo, certain that she has herself under control once more.  “How long did he keep me like that?  And how is it that your Cami came to be close enough to Klaus to be able to release me?”

                “Things change, mother,” Marcel replies, and his voice is earnest, but she can see Niklaus in his eyes.  The cunning that had been reared into him, turning the loveable boy Caroline had adopted into a mirror of the man that had stabbed her through her heart – first metaphorically, then in reality. 

                “I wonder,” Caroline murmurs, looking between the two and seeing how Marcel carefully keeps his body between Cami’s and her own, “do you call me that because you mean it, or because you wish to remind me of who we once were? Am I your mother, Marcellus, or just another pawn in whatever game it is you wish to play against my husband?”

                “You still call him that?” Marcel demands.  “He lied to you – about me, about Hayley – and then he daggered you and put you in storage like used furniture.”

                The reminder of Hayley, of the treacherous little bitch her husband had briefly replaced her with, makes Caroline’s blood boil.  She had killed the girl, of course, but it hardly seems like enough.  One thousand years of loyalty returned with an affair and a dagger to the heart.  Caroline’s fists clench, but she’s not yet so far gone in her rage that she misses the victorious glint in Marcel’s eyes. 

                “You released me for a purpose, I assume,” Caroline says coolly, and she can see Marcel deflate for a moment, almost take a step back, because it’s the voice she had once used on him when he had acted the role of fool, and Caroline knows that there was once a time when there was no worse action in Marcel’s eyes than doing something that disappointed her.

                But it’s been ninety years.  Ninety years in which Marcel has sat on a throne and been without her, and it is clear that her opinion is no longer as important to him.  It makes her hate Mikael more than ever.  Killing her first child in her womb hadn’t been enough.  He had to take this child from her as well, and Caroline feels the sharp edge of mourning as keenly as she had when they first fled this city, believing the man before her dead.

                “Klaus is going to burn this city to the ground, and I can’t stand against him alone.  But you?  You can.”

                “I assume Niklaus holds Elijah’s loyalty.  And Rebekah’s.  I am only one Original; they are three.”

                “Rebekah’s gone,” says the girl, Cami, and when Caroline turns an intrigued gaze towards her, she looks flustered and uncertain.  “She left, because Genevieve wanted to kill her, and so did Klaus.  It’s just him and Elijah now.”

                “Once again, I find myself interested in how you know so much, my dear,” Caroline says, walking towards the girl.  Marcel looks ready to interfere, but a sharp look reminds him who he is dealing with, and he steps back with clenched fists and a tight jaw.  “Who are you to my husband?  And I really hope you don’t answer this question incorrectly.  You can ask Hayley what happens when you answer incorrectly… or not, as it were.”

                “I didn’t sleep with him, if that’s what you’re worried about,” Cami replies, her voice tense.  “But even if I had, I didn’t even know he was married until Hayley was dead and you were daggered.  Did she even know he was married?  Or are you blaming the other woman for your husband’s actions.  Because I could write essays on that mindset.”

                “A psychologist?” Caroline turns a faux disappointed expression to Marcel.  “Let me guess, she told you what a tortured soul you have and you fell for it hook, line, and sinker?  Men are so incredibly predictable.  Make them believe you understand them and they become like putty in your hand” – Caroline came to a halt in front of Cami and considered her – “Hayley knew Niklaus was married.  I met her, prior to their indiscretion, and she knew better than to poach.  I hope you take the lesson Hayley learned so hard to heart, Cami.  And I wouldn’t try to psychoanalyze me.  I don’t pretend to be a tortured soul as Niklaus does.  I am who I am, and who I am is a creature that could crush you and never regret it.”

                “Marcel said you’re his mother,” Cami says, staring at Caroline defiantly, but there is fear in her eyes, fear that tells Caroline this is just a very brave act the girl is putting on.  “Yet you don’t seem very motherly.”

                “I dislike being manipulated, even when it is my son doing the manipulation.  What is it that you want from me, Marcellus?”

                “I told you – you’re assistance.  Klaus needs to be reined in, and you’re the only one who can do it.”

                “You mean that you wish me to kill him,” Caroline says, her eyes and voice frigid.  “Let us put all our cards out on the table, Marcellus.  You don’t want my husband reined in, you want him dead, and you believe I will be angry enough to do it.”

                “Fine, yes,” Marcel shoots back.  “I want him dead.  I want him out of my life permanently.  Can you blame me?  He breaks what he touches!  He broke you, the one thing, the only thing that he’s ever done right.  And you can believe I want him dead for me all you want, but I want him dead for you too, because you are my mother, and he has spent the last thousand years destroying you.”

                Caroline remembers Niklaus’ apology, the realization of what he was going to do a split second before she felt the dagger in her heart.  She remembers his soft kiss and how he had looked so very sad, and she has to turn her back to Marcel and Cami once more, because her hand comes up to her heart, to rub the skin over top of it.  She wonders if this is what it feels like, to be heartbroken, because it’s an actual physical ache, an ache Caroline doesn’t think will ever go away.

                Once, she had ruled this city as its queen, her husband at her side.

                She had returned to the city the betrayed wife, determined to seek revenge, only to be stabbed by same husband she had once stood by so loyally.

                There is nothing left to her but to paint the city’s streets red with blood.

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