nrgburst: (katherine cessation of hostility)
[personal profile] nrgburst
Title: A thaw in the chill; a meeting of mice
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV series)
Characters: Tyler, Katherine (Caroline/Tyler)
Word Count: Just under 2500
Rating: T/PG-13
Summary: Katherine explains her plan to take down Klaus. 

There’s a certain comfort in seeing everything written in English and cars on the correct side of the road again, in being able to read ads and order food without a hitch. There’s no need to think about conversion rates- the Canadian dollar is pretty much par with USD, and the change even comes in dimes and nickels and quarters.

It’s too easy- it makes him miss using a debit card, which was easier to forget among penny-pinching backpackers playing with the local currency. And he spots phones everywhere- Katherine had started texting the minute the plane touched down, and he wonders when he’ll finally be able to contact Caroline.

He figures he’ll probably have to push to hold Katherine to the bargain. But now is not the time- he’s got to take care of a rather pressing need first.

Katherine slides her phone back into her pocket and then turns to him. “We’ve still got a ways to go. Might as well use some of that cash- won’t need it again until we’re heading back to Mystic Falls. Not exactly fine cuisine, but there’s a Tim’s- I want a coffee, a Tuscan Chicken Panini and Timbits for the road.”

He nods and glances around before lowering his voice. “Oookay, so I’m guessing we’re headed to the middle of nowhere. Can we pick up some blood first? We’ve been in transit for almost a day.”

She looks at the people bustling around them at Arrivals and smiles condescendingly.

“Lots of tasty looking choices. Pick one and find a private spot- the washroom stalls are usually nice and wide at airports. And it’s convenient that it’s cold enough here for people to wear scarves, don’t you think?”

He sighs. He’d figured this would come up ever since that thing on the plane. “I mean a hospital. A blood bank.”

She smiles brightly for passersby and keeps her threatening tone low. “You stubborn little priss. Why don’t you just accept what you are? You think I was searching for blood banks in the 19th century? The 16th? You’re on the run and you’re a predator, twice over. Act like it.”

He frowns, but he’s not going to let her rile him up. “I’m not trying to judge. I get it- you were turned when there were no other options. But I wasn’t- and I know I don’t have to hurt anybody to feed.”

“Oh really? So how exactly did you rationalize stealing blood from hospitals in South-east Asia? Patients with malaria and dengue fever just had to suck it up when you drank the blood meant for them?”

“I healed who I could in exchange for a few bags.”

“So the hospital administration approved this little exchange? Made sure nobody got turned inadvertently after you left?”

“No- I-“ He wishes she would stop the bitchy know-it-all thing. She'd positively delighted in needling him every time they talked, so he’d gratefully shut her out with his headphones on the plane. Easy enough to ignore her since seats are partitioned off in first class. But halfway through the night he’d smelled blood and looked over to see the flight attendant standing unnaturally still in the aisle, obediently extending an arm into her alcove. She’d turned and offered the same open wound on her arm to him (“Would you like a drink, sir?), and he’d seen the annoyance on Katherine’s face when he’d refused. “I just did what I thought was fair, okay?”

“You rationalized stealing what was rightfully theirs.”

“They don’t need the blood if they don’t have malaria anymore.”

She purses her lips and raises her eyebrows reflectively in acknowledgement. But her contempt is obvious. “Still inconvenient. Inefficient. It’s really a lucky thing your little sweetheart is keeping Klaus occupied- if he was hunting you like he hounded me, you’d already be dead.”

He sighs, hating how she knows exactly which buttons to push. He knows the price this “head start” comes at; worries constantly about the danger to Caroline- and now he keeps wondering if he’s squandered it somehow. So many what-ifs have popped into his head ever since Katherine showed up with her pointed questions and acid comments.

“Look, I know we don’t agree on this. But if you want my cooperation, I’m going to ask you to respect this. Or I’m getting a bus to the closest hospital and meeting up with you when I’m done.”

Ultimatums don’t faze her. “You may be a hybrid, but I’ve got five hundred years on you. What makes you think I won’t break your neck and shove you in the trunk?”

He spreads his hands, looking her square in the eye. “You could have done that in Vietnam. You didn’t. Is a detour really going to be that big a deal?”

She glares for another couple seconds before she exhales and looks away. “You can have a bloodbag or two when we arrive. A couple of our witches “came down with” sickle cell anemia for the closest hospital so we wouldn’t have to feed directly off anybody. Vampires are an abomination of nature, etcetera etcetera.”

So she was just pulling his strings. Again. But she wasn’t lying- maybe Caroline was wrong about that. “My friends and family have been terrorized and murdered by vampires. I didn’t choose this- I’m not going to stop acting like myself.”

She looks discomfited for a moment before her expression goes cold. “It’s easier just to let go.”

He scoffs, smiling with self-deprecation. ”Probably wouldn’t be here if I did what was easiest.”

That makes her roll her eyes and smile- that was exactly why this was going to work. “Just be a good boy and get the food? I’ll meet you outside with the car.”


He’d expected Canada to be glaciers and mountains and forests, like the postcards he’s seen. And there’s a thick layer of snow on everything but it smells like spring and mulch, and maybe it’s the vampire thing or maybe he just doesn’t get the Celcius scale still, but it doesn’t feel that cold even though the display says it’s minus four. Cloudless and brilliantly blue, the sky feels oddly huge yawning above, stretching horizon to horizon without a break.

He’s been to a bunch of countries now but never anywhere this… empty. Everything is muffled, and while he spots the occasional set of tracks and the highway has enough high speed traffic that Katherine can’t hog the road with the sedan, he has the feeling that “middle of nowhere” was probably a pretty accurate guess.

It’s a huge change of pace from the last couple months. He can’t help but notice the heated seats and LCD navigation screen; the suspension keeping the ride smooth despite the cracks in the highway; even how quiet the engine is. All the creature comforts after weeks of squeezing into smelly, taped seats and holding on with everybody else crammed in for the teeth jarring ride.

He’s not sure which he likes better.

They both eat in silence for the first part of the journey- food always helps quell the cravings and the hot paninis are pretty good. Cheese was one of those little things he’d missed while travelling. But once he’s left with only his coffee to finish, he figures it’s time to get some answers.

“So when am I going to get the chance to talk to Caroline?”

She retorts instantly. “You said contact, not talk.”

“…Fine. When do I get to contact her?”

“When we’re satisfied with your progress.”

He frowns suspiciously. “…Progress?”

She neatly polishes off a donut hole before answering. “Klaus devoted a thousand years and the lives of countless minions to breaking his curse. He hunted me for daring to run for literally hundreds of years, tortured me after I delivered everything he needed five hundred years later… and yet how many times has he actually turned since breaking the curse?”

She’s avoiding answering his question, but there’s something dead earnest about the way she’s talking.

“He never mentioned any- once, I guess?”

“Exactly.” She doesn’t bother to hide her bitterness.

He shrugs. “I get not wanting to turn- it hurts like a bitch. Plus he told us he just wanted to make more hybrids.”

“Turning gives a hybrid considerable advantage over even the oldest vampires.”

“But… Klaus doesn’t need an advantage. He’s an Original.”

“Klaus has always wanted every advantage, not merely most of them. It was so odd that he never brought that particular toy out to play again, even to lord over his overpowered siblings. And I’m always very interested whenever Klaus avoids anything. You see, according to my sources, you’ve turned over a hundred times.”

He shifts uncomfortably before he answers- he could have sworn he’d only told Caroline that.

“…Not because I like being a wolf or anything- I had to turn to break the sire bond. …Look, I don’t get where you’re going with this. Nothing can kill an Original but the White Oak Stake anyway. Not even werewolves.”

She nods, but keeps going. “Two Originals have died now, taking their bloodlines with them within an hour. And yet nothing happens to the bloodlines when they die by dagger. Or to our bloodline for almost a day despite a White Oak stake.”

Tyler sighs- he’d been instrumental in that one. “We did the bodyswitch spell to preserve the bloodline. I let him take over my body so we could survive.”

She tilts her head and smirks at him. “You really think the bloodline is tied to his soul rather than his body?”

“He told Bonnie…” He stops, clenching his fists. “…It’s not?”

“Klaus was bargaining for his preservation. I bet he intended to jump into somebody else –even someone human—despite having your hybrid body at his disposal.”

She gives him a smug look when he stares at her in horrified confirmation.

“Have you heard of The Other Side? Quite a few supernatural souls sharing this space with us. It was pure luck that Klaus’s body didn’t burn to ash- apparently Damon was an idiot and restrained Rebekah even though our lives were on the line. Our bodies have been linked to our original sire's by blood. They have super strength and speed- so do we. They don't age or sustain damage- ditto. They burn to a crisp- we all fall down. But there’s an interesting loophole that exists for Klaus because he’s a hybrid.”

She takes a deep breath and eyes him before focusing back on the road. “Nothing happened to the bloodline the two days he was a wolf either, even though his body morphed into something else entirely. As if it was excluded from the equation entirely.”

They’re both quiet as she lets what she said sink in. And it only takes him a minute before he scoffs, incredulous. “…That’s the plan? You want me to kill Klaus- after he’s turned?”

She's matter of fact. “After you’ve both turned- in this state you don’t even stand a chance against me. You’ve been competing over a female and fighting for Alpha status. According to my sources, those circumstances can lead to fights to the death during full moons.”

He’s still reeling, but that really makes him double take. “That’s- how do you even know any of this? Did your witches tell you? Did Mason? He shouldn’t have.”

She keeps her eyes deliberately on the road, and for the first time he can sense that she’s hiding something.

“…It doesn’t matter where the information comes from if it’s accurate. Half the reason we’re out here is to give you better odds of ripping his throat out. Believe that.”

He leans back and stares at her, skeptical. “What makes you think I can even do it? This is Klaus.”

“You’re wolf first- Klaus is the opposite. You’ve turned over a hundred times and he’s done it a grand total of twice. You really think you don’t have a chance?”

“I just- I’ve never been able to control myself after turning. Not fully. Most of the time I’m trying to turn back as fast as I can. If I’m going to be your one-man army, we can’t bet on my- instincts or whatever.”

She raises a brow and sighs.

“Like I said. Progress first. Anyway, we’re here.”

She turns off the highway onto a gravel road for a couple minutes until they get to a sprawling farmhouse. She parks in the garage off to the side, and lets him handle the luggage again, locking the car via remote before they trudge through the snow to the door. A young black woman opens it, grinning before stepping back and waving Katherine in.

“This him?”

“Do I ever not get what I want?”

She smells friendly and curious and she extends a hand to Tyler, although he notices that she doesn’t step outside. “Hi, I’m Lucy. One of the witches Katherine keeps dragging into her schemes.”

He glances at her hand before slowly stretching out his to shake. There’s a test here of some kind. And he can’t place it yet, but he can smell a hint of something familiar in the house.

“Hi-Tyler. I guess I’m the hybrid part of the plan.”

She inhales when their fingers touch before her smile widens and she shakes her head.

“I don’t know how you do it, girl. Tyler- you are really not supposed to exist. How did she even find you?”

Katherine smirks. “You’re talking about me. Speaking of which- has my other… friend… arrived?”

“Yeah- got here yesterday. She’s in the kitchen-”

But Katherine is already turning to look at the woman who’s coming down the hallway, and his jaw drops.

So that’s why he didn’t get invited in. Smart, really- he can feel the change in his eyes and teeth as his emotions suddenly surge.



A/N: Blood transfusions (and blood banks) became more common as a result of World War I. Before blood groups were discovered in 1901 they were a rare and risky procedure. Nowadays 85 million units of blood are transfused every year all over the world.

I’ve been racking my brain and the canon and I’m pretty sure my take on the bloodline plot device is sound, but PLEASE PM OR COMMENT if I’ve missed something. Sorry for the long delay in publishing this chapter- spring break and sick kids make for very little creative time and I’m a miserable perfectionist, especially as we get to the plotty bits.

Date: 2013-04-17 08:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay!! This is getting sooo good.

I love the Tyler-Katherine dynamic so much. His refusal to give onto her taunts and her never ending frustration with him. Awesome.

I love your take on the bloodline and using Tyler's breaking of the sire bond as an advantage. Brilliant. Really.

Nice to see you brought Lucy back in the mix, how Tyler smells something familiar and his surprise to see Hayley of all people. Ugh. So good!

I cannot wait for more! I'm living for this fic right now lol.

Date: 2013-04-18 08:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
NGL, I would love a dark SL for Tyler and/or Caroline that would be beneficial for them as characters and for their characterization and not to prop others.

I just...when Rebekah was teasing Tyler with the cheerleader in 3x06 I WANTED IT. Come on, it's a vampire show. I'm here for that lol, but Tyler's bb!vamp urges got completely dropped. We don't see Caroline act vampy anymore and the fact that she didn't micromanage Tyler's post-transition just screams OOC to me.

There was that convo they had in 3x09 where Tyler talks about feeding on people who like it and don't have to be compelled and Caroline didn't even tell him not to do it because it was wrong, but because she didn't want to get caught in a vampire threesome (JFC why not?! lol) and because she wanted him to stay away from Rebekah. I just loved that Tyler wanted them to feed together and didn't really get why feeding on others was wrong. He was new and just embraced and indulged in everything and we never saw any consequence of that. Hmph.

I mean, I don't want Tyler or Caroline to go "bad" but for them to deal with their vampirism head on in a dark and bloodlusty way and come out of it better because of it (they are eventually going to have to deal with it right? They can't suppress their urges forever.) would be awesome in my book.

So yeah, I would love for Katherine to spear head that movement for them lol. The one who "turned" them and having so much in common with Tyler and having her history with Caroline. Ugh. WHYYYYY? I just want that threesome to be canon. :(

I would say take your time with the next update, but I NEED that Tyler-Hayley confrontation in my life. If the show won't give it to me (fuck you forever TVD) then I need it in some form lol.

So yay to the kiddo back to full days! LOL!

Date: 2013-04-19 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm shallow and I have biting kinks okay? LOL. I don't trust this show to ever do a dark SL well. Ever. I kind love how you have Katherine taunting Tyler to give into his more violent instincts and his refusal to do so (that would be awesome to watch on the show, with both Tyler AND Caroline. I don't mean that be the driving force of a SL with Katherine, but you just KNOW she would push their buttons that way.). I would have much rather seen TC give into their bloodlust more when they had first turned. When Katherine was forcing Caroline to help her back in S2 I was ECSTATIC. I thought they were going to be running around MF wrecking havoc, but it didn't exactly happen that way lol.

I want that temptation to be dealt with because I felt that it was never really addressed, but like you said, it's a little late now.

A dark SL would only live in fanfiction for me and most don't do that well anyway. I love Tyler and Caroline exactly how they are, but I would be a lying liar who lies that I'm not drawn to the darker side to vampirism. I've always been more into werewolves than vampires, but I'm still addicted to True Blood and it's ridiculousness lol. And I watched Interview With The Vampire and Dracula as a kid because I was obsessed with Lestat and Anthony Hopkins and the whole being scared thing lol.

I LOVE the temptation scene in 3x06, because you can see how SCARED Tyler is of Rebekah and what he might and ended up doing after he promised Caroline to be more careful. Which is why I wanted to see it so bad. That conflict within him, fighting to do right and not hurt others, but having those bb vamp urges. The whole sire bond SL was terrible form beginning to end, but I wanted to see Tyler's vamp side fleshed out more than it had been. And those two were HOT. Did I mention I'm shallow? I would have loved Rebekah to have been the Original pushed into TC's orbit instead of Klaus. The battle of the barbies? I was there for that lol. I really thought they were going to explore the Caroline-Rebekah dynamic more in the terms of Rebekah going after Caroline's life and social status and NOTHING. Like so many other SLs that were dropped in S3.

So like I said, dark sls on TVD are never done right and I would never trust them to give me what I want as far as TC is concerned, but I would like to see them act more vampy. Seeing Tyler drinking the blood in 4x13 did things to me lol. I want to see them share blood bags and Caroline show the fangs every now and then. Plus I want to see Tyler's eyes glow when he's angry or turned on lol. I guess I want to see their supe sides come out a little more than they do, but they aren't newbies anymore and they have better control over their urges. If anything I want blood bag sharing dammit lol. It was on my wish list for this season I think. We did wish lists in 12's spoiler discussion over the summer and I don't think any of mine came true. I can't remember them now, but I'm pretty sure Tyler leaving again wasn't one of them lol.

Okay I rambled a lot so I'm just going to stop now lol.

Date: 2013-04-21 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Ya know, I'm not into the whole TC getting married and having kids thing (I'm not into that in general with my ships lol), but that gifset killed me when I saw it. I mean, if TC decided to get married later on in life then yeah, catch me I'm swooning, but I'm just into them doing it now while they are so young.

Damn that pesky werewolf venom! I just wanted some sexy biting between those two. OTP IS perfect and everyone else is just jealous.

Date: 2013-04-17 04:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just wanted to say that I replied to your PM! Notifs are being really spotty at the moment... Check your inbox?

Date: 2013-04-18 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yay! An update! :D I'm totally loving it.

"My friends and family have been terrorized and murdered by vampires. I didn’t choose this- I’m not going to stop acting like myself”.

Best line EVER.

And Lucy is back!!!!! I've always wanted to see her back on the show. Great call. I'm also in the minority that enjoys Hayley's character, so I'm gald to see her around.

I love how every character sounds so spot on. Like Lucy saying "girl", I think she's the only character on the show that says that and it's awesome how you pick up on those little details.

Keep them coming, I can't wait for more! :D

Date: 2013-04-20 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, and by the way, I totally love the titles you give to each chapter, particularly this one. A meeting of mice,what a perfect way to describe what's going on in Canada. Great call there.

Date: 2013-04-27 10:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
How did I not realise you had a new chapter??? The idea that Tyler can kill Klaus in wolf form is an interesting one - certainly no more far-fetched than Klaus being able to impregnate Hayley lol. As always, the dynamic between Kat and Ty is awesome. I'm also interested to see the Hayley confrontation, I still can't believe we will never get that on the show.

Date: 2013-05-04 11:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Loving this series sooo much, it's just getting better and better, love the twist of Klaus being vulnerable in wolf form, and Kat and Tyler's interactions, and the descriptions.


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