Title: You Hold Me in the Dark: This is What You Chose
Characters: Bill Forbes, Bonnie Bennett, Brady, Caroline Forbes, Elijah Mikaelson, Elizabeth Forbes, Jules, Klaus Mikaelson
Rating/Warning: FRM / Sexual content
Word Count: 4,475
A/N: Though I list a lot of characters, and some of them actually do get dialog, some of them just pass through.
Bonnie wasn't just wasting her summer away while Caroline was off traveling with Klaus and playing negotiator. She and Grams had been looking into Atticus Shane both to find out how close he was to being able to wake Silas and to see if he had Silas' headstone with him. If they could find that –and get it from him, of course—they could use the headstone to contact Qetsiyah.
From all appearances, he was just an ordinary occult expert, author, and professor. If Bonnie hadn't known what to look for, she would have doubted that Caroline was right when she said this was someone under the influence of Silas. However, when she took a deeper look into what his lectures and research focused on, she noticed that he appeared to become obsessed with Silas after the deaths of his son and wife.
Part of Bonnie couldn't help but feel sorry for the man. She couldn't imagine what she would do to get back her dad, Grams, Caroline, or Jeremy if they died. Maybe she would even let herself be fooled into believing that Silas could reunite her with them if she would only free him. Understandable as his motives may have been, though, she still found it incomprehensible that he would kill so many innocent people to bring back his family.
Having run into a dead end as far as locating the headstone in his collection and knowing that she may have to find a way to see it in person, Bonnie found herself at loose ends. She began to regret quitting cheerleading because it meant she wasn't at cheer camp with Caroline. Yes, Elena was there but she was very much wrapped up in all things Stefan.
Bonnie couldn't completely give up for the summer so she turned her attention to searching for the hunter Caroline said was coming. It didn't take long to find information on Connor Jordon, even though he seemed to have gone off the grid after he left the Marines. When she came across his photo, however, she was completely shocked. Staring back at her from the computer screen was the man she had seen Caroline kill in her nightmare vision.
She had managed to put the whole thing from her mind and learn to trust in Caroline and whatever version of her future-self had sent her friend back. Now she was forced to confront that memory. No matter how she tried to twist and turn her mind, she couldn't come up with any possible justification for Caroline killing him. As much as she wanted to, she also couldn't pretend that she didn't believe her nightmare would come true. She was left with the choice of turning her back on Caroline and everything they were doing or finding a way to live with this.
While Bonnie's thoughts seemed to be consumed by Caroline, her friend's thoughts were completely focused on werewolves. Specifically, she was focused on the five alpha werewolves who were currently standing outside her hotel room door. The three women and two men were all standing in almost identical poses – their arms crossed over their chests – though she could see them struggling to relax their stance now that they were face-to-face with her. While they didn't necessarily have a uniform 'look', they all gave off a feeling of authority.
They had obviously been told that she was not the enemy and she, thankfully, had been warned ahead of time by Ray that the alphas would be showing up at her room. Otherwise, she would have spent far too much time figuring out how they knew who she was, how they found her room, and if they were there to hurt her. As it was, the only thing she wasn't really prepared for was finding a place for everyone to sit.
Once everyone was relatively comfortable the alphas –after managing to not give her their names without seeming like they were trying not to— dove right into why they were there. Paige had come through for her big time and not only called up the alphas, but also given them all the details. For all intents and purposes she had done Caroline's work for her. Just as she was about to suggest they call Klaus, there was a knock at the door.
Even if it hadn't been for the telltale feeling of 'hybrids' she got as she neared the door, Caroline would have known Klaus was on the other side. Thanks to the spies he undoubtedly set up, he would have known the second she arrived back in her room and probably already knew about the werewolves that had recently arrived as well.
"Klaus, you're just in time." Stepping back to let him enter with Jules and Brady –and ignoring the glare that the later sent her way – she continued, "I'd like to introduce you to five more alphas who've come to take you up on your offer."
When Klaus raised his eyebrows at her she assumed it was to question why she was being rude by not introducing the werewolves by name, she answered a tad defensively, "They didn't feel like giving their names and I wasn't going to pressure them. Paige vouched for them so… they're the real deal."
Caroline had a hard time reading the expression on Klaus' face as he nodded before continuing on further into the room. She quickly realized that he was on the verge of a bad mood, however, when he started talking.
"So, you've hammered out all the little details and made your bargains. All that's left is for me to drop by, donate my blood, and be on my way, then?"
Almost instantly everyone in the room was on edge. Caroline's mind was a blank. This was not a mood she could tease Klaus out of, not while everyone was in the room with them. Caroline had just taken a breath to reply –though she didn't know what she would say—when one of the two male alphas stepped forward.
He had a build and height similar to Klaus but, where Klaus radiated barely checked anger, he gave off a feeling of calm and steady power. His voice, when he answered was smooth and managed to be reassuring without being patronizing. Honestly, Caroline was a bit jealous.
"Please forgive us, Klaus. We were under the impression that you would only negotiate through your mediator. If this isn't the case, then please give us the chance to make amends."
She was convinced that, from most other people, the last would have sounded pleading. However, from this man, it was a simple and polite request. It appeared to do the trick since Klaus rolled his shoulders and neck and visibly relaxed.
"Nothing to forgive, mate. I do use Caroline for the negotiations, I've just been in a bit of a mood. She's been gone for a bit and when she came back it was straight to business, not even a greeting for her old friend."
While Caroline was bristling internally at Klaus not-so-subtly blaming her for his mood, outwardly she didn't show it. Too much was riding on them providing a united front. Given the amusement in his eye, she could tell he was deliberately bating her, perhaps even punishing her for not being there to distract him. Taking a deep breath, she tried to capitalize on the reprieve she was given.
"Well, I'm here now and, unless there are any other questions, we can move along with our plans."
Convinced that the hardest part was over, Caroline was ready to usher everyone out of her room so she could unpack and prepare for trying to break the sire bonds for the new hybrids. However, before she could even begin to suggest everyone should go somewhere that wasn't her room and get some rest, the youngest looking of the female alpha's spoke up.
"You change moods so easily, hybrid. How are we supposed to trust that once you turn our pack members, you won't decide it's better to not break the sire bond?"
Oddly enough, Klaus almost seemed pleased by the werewolf's doubt.
"I'm sure Page informed you that we have plans to lure out a cult using the hybrids. Caroline has made an extremely convincing argument that the sire bond could be used to turn any hybrids I make against me. Normally, I would simply slaughter the members of the cult and be done with it. However, they serve a very powerful creature that want to find and put an end to.
I have Caroline here not only to negotiate for me, but also to remind me that freeing the hybrids is what's best for me in the long run."
Seemingly only partially satisfied with his answer the alpha then turned her attention to Caroline. "And do you care so deeply for the plight of werewolves and hybrids?"
She could have lied. She could have try to convince this stranger that she had just been so moved by the idea that werewolves were dying out that she had to act. She wasn't that good of an actor.
"I would throw everyone in here and their packs under the bus and even jump in their after them, if it meant being able to stop this cult from waking the guy they worship."
Even more than the angry looks on the alpha's faces, the deep warning growl from the doorway warned her that she was truly treading on dangerous ground.
Gesturing toward the doorway, Caroline continued, "Let me introduce you to Brady. As you could probably tell from the second he and Jules walked in with Klaus, he doesn't like me. He also doesn't like Klaus. He doesn't trust either of us at all. That's because he knows our priority is not his pack. I encouraged Klaus to bring him along knowing that he would love nothing more than to bury a stake in my heart. Do you know why?"
Caroline couldn't tell if she had gotten through to the werewolves yet, but they gestured for her to continue.
"His only priority is the safety and wellbeing of his pack. Every werewolf that becomes a hybrid becomes part of his pack. If the pack suddenly becomes expendable to me, he'll be there to make sure they have a fighting chance. I can't guarantee I'll always keep the pack safe, but I can guarantee that he'll always be there to make sure they're not easy prey."
At last the alphas seemed satisfied. As she ushered them out, Jules sent her a look she couldn't interpret. Deciding that she had dealt with enough today, she let it go. Taking a moment to rest her head against the now closed door, Caroline took a deep and calming breath. She hadn't even had a chance to stretch her legs from her long drive and she'd already had to deal with what amounted to two diplomatic catastrophes in the span of just a few minutes. Unfortunately, the arrival of the five alphas and the pack members they wanted turned brought with it a whole new set of problems.
Pulling her phone from her back pocket, she pushed off the door and made her way to the desk. Calling her mother first, she ran through her plan in order to get a second opinion. When Liz agreed that it was the only way, Caroline knew she didn't really have a choice. Scrolling through her contacts she had to laugh. Here she was, a vampire out to save the supernatural world, and she was still calling someone else to come help her.
Just after she had finished lunch the next day, there was a knock at the door. She knew who it was before she opened it, but she still felt equal parts dread and happiness when she saw her father.
The smile he gave her was tentative and Caroline hated that their relationship had come to this. At least this time around there hadn't been any torture involved. With a wobbly smile of her own, she pulled the door further open and stepped back to let him in.
"Thanks for coming, daddy."
They didn't waste much time on pleasantries –Caroline wasn't sure she was ready for that—opting instead to start mapping out a plan on the quickest and most efficient way to break the sire bonds of thirty new hybrids. She was just starting to feel sure of the plan they came up with when there was yet another knock at her door. Taking a deep breath, she gave her father a reassuring smile and went to answer it.
Klaus' smile when he saw here was all charm, but his eyes showed he was on the edge of angry yet again. Stepping back and pulling the door open so he, Jules, and Brady could come in, Caroline began talking before he got the chance.
"Before you start throwing around accusations, I was not going behind your back. My dad and I were simply putting together a plan to come to you with."
With an insincerely inquisitive look on his face, Klaus asked, "What kind of plan, love?"
She knew full well he –and probably Jules and Brady—had overheard what she had her dad were talking about. Never the less she answered, "The kind that helps us break the sire bonds of all the new hybrids within the least amount of time."
Nodding along with mock-thoughtful expression, Klaus made his way over to the table and Caroline's notes on it. Riffling through the papers, he began speaking.
"Now, I couldn't help but overhear your plans, and I do agree with most of them. The only problem I have is with…" At this he paused for a moment as he pulled out a sheet of paper. Caroline could see it was clearly the list of names she had come up with of people who could help the hybrids break their sire bonds. "Ah, here it is."
Moving to stand beside her as if to make sure she could see exactly what he was talking about, he pointed his finger right at where her name was on the list. "This name right here. It doesn't belong on the list. Also, should I be offended that my name isn't on here?"
Snatching the paper away from him, she crossed back to the table and slapped the paper back down onto it. Turning back to face him, she crossed her arms over chest and raised her eyebrows at him.
"We've been over this before. You can't be there because it would completely undermine their attempts to break their bond with you. As for my name on that list, we need all hands on deck. That includes me."
At this Klaus was right in front of her, his face millimeters from hers. She could hear her father's chair fall back as he quickly stood –though, how he hoped to defend her she didn't know. Oddly enough, Jules and Brady were right there on either side of Klaus as if they were both ready to pull him off her if necessary.
"I know you're aware that werewolf bites, and therefore hybrid bites, are fatal to vampires. What I can't figure out is why you think I'm going to allow you to put yourself in such direct danger."
"We'll protect her."
Jules firm voice unexpectedly interrupted their argument. The expression on her face showed no hesitation or wavering as she looked Klaus in the eye. As shocked as Caroline had been with Jules' statement, Brady's voice nearly had her checking to see if she was actually still asleep.
"Keeping her alive and safe is what's best for the pack."
Klaus turned to face Brady with a smirk on his face that clearly showed he didn't think Brady believed a word he was saying.
"And tell me, mate, do you like the baby vampire, now?"
Brady's response was firm and immediate. "No. But I trust that our freedom is in her best interests and that she'll remind you that it's also in yours. She's necessary, therefore we'll protect her."
It was far from a ringing endorsement, but it was a lot considering Brady couldn't stand her. Klaus apparently thought so as well since he stopped fighting, though it was obvious he wasn't happy about it.
"Have it your way then, Caroline. However, do be careful. If one hair on your pretty little head is harmed while helping the new hybrids, there will be at least a few less hybrids in the world."
As she watched him stalk out of the room she couldn't help thinking to herself that she really could have handled that better. She got a quick glimpse of a few hybrid's standing out in the hallway and could hear more shuffle out of Klaus' way the further he got. It was hard to tell what they thought of Klaus' threat because they all wore unreadable expressions. Brady's voice drew her attention away from the people in the hall.
"If you manage to get yourself killed, vampire, I will find you in on the other side and make your eternity a hell."
Yup, he still couldn't stand her.
With a huff that managed to almost be amused, Caroline answered, "No need to worry. One, I'll definitely be careful and two, he's probably off to demand Maddox find some way to magically protect me."
Proving that yes, she did know Klaus well, Caroline found herself inside a magical circle that no hybrid could get through as she coached a crying young woman to go ahead and break every bone in her body yet again. Perhaps her guilt showed more than she thought because halfway through the first day Jules stopped just outside of her little circle and scolded her.
"You have to be tougher on her. The gentler you are, the longer it's going to take for her."
Caroline took her words to heart and, no matter how bad she felt about it, she was almost cruel to the young woman and the other hybrids that followed. There were more than a few times she found herself wanting to throw up a white flag and tell Klaus that he was right and she didn't need to do this. However, the thought of giving up in front of Jules, Brady, and especially her father was unbearable.
Caroline called her mother after she was done with her first hybrid. Liz felt helpless as she listened to her daughter cry over having to force someone to suffer. She knew that if her daughter hadn't been able to convince the witch traveling with them to put up some sort of privacy spell then she would still be holding all her guilt in. Caroline didn't need her mother to make everything all better, she just needed someone to listen and understand without judging. It was that knowledge that gave her the strength to listen to her baby sobbing across the phoneline and not get in the car and drive the roughly seven hundred miles to reach her.
Of course, she wasn't without her own support. Oddly enough, beyond being good company and phenomenal in bed, Elijah was also very good at listening and had also proven to be extremely understanding. When Liz told him at the end of August that his brother had enough hybrids and was coming back to Mystic Falls along with her daughter, he didn't seem hurt when she told him that she wasn't willing to put the stress of her mother being involved with a vampire on her daughter. Not when she was already going through so much.
However, he did seem intent on making their time left together extremely memorable. Roughly a week before Caroline was due to come home, Elijah turned up at her door with a bottle of expensive wine and a grocery bag full of food. She sat at her kitchen table and laughed at his stories and watched him cook an amazing meal. Of course, dessert was enjoyed repeatedly in the bedroom throughout the night and well into the morning. By all rights, she should be worn out and sore, not waking up in the middle of the afternoon half ready to go again like a teenager who had just discovered sex.
As unusual as it all was, and even laying there with undoubtedly matted hair, sticky skin, and a metallic taste coating her mouth, Liz was happy. She was also quickly forgetting how unappealing she probably looked due in no small part to the feel of Elijah curled up against her back with his hand sliding up her thigh and the feel of his blunt teeth dragging on the back of her neck.
Elijah her top leg up over his leaving her open for his exploring fingers. At her quickly indrawn breath he chuckled.
"Good morning, Lizbet."
Liz gave a slight chuckle and replied, "I'm pretty sure we've already wasted the morning away."
A shift in his hand and suddenly she felt the welcomed quick slide of fingers into her. His disagreeing hum was nearly drowned out by her gasp.
"I cannot, in good conscience, consider the morning wasted."
Before Liz could respond, he withdrew his fingers and was shifting her forward onto her stomach. A pillow that wasn't there just a moment before gave her hips some lift and he then moved over top of her. She didn't bother trying to stop herself from moaning as he slid into her. The angle was all wrong –she wasn't going to get friction or pressure anywhere she needed it— and it was made even more frustrating by the fact that he didn't even attempt to move.
As pleasant as it was to feel him almost surrounding her as he lay over her back and slid his arms underneath her, Liz was discovering she wasn't very patient. She had just taken a breath to demand he do something when she noticed he was slowly pulling something from beneath the pillow her head had just recently been on. Slightly bewildered, she had to wonder when he got the chance to slip something under there. Quickly on the heels of that thought, there was a second of panic when she noticed it was a black box. Elijah more than likely felt her momentary tension. In fact, given his slight chuckle, he had deliberately teased her.
Liz was laughing even as she awkwardly tried to bat at his body still lying over top of her. She quieted down as he placed the rectangular black velvet box obviously intended for jewelry on top of the pillow. She continued to stare at it as he shifted slightly and slid his arms along-side her body, encouraging her to lift onto her elbows to make room for them. He kissed her shoulder and then rested his chin on it.
"Earlier this week, Pearl finalized the purchase of a home just outside of Mystic Fall which is to be used as a residence for Klaus' hybrids."
Unable to keep the laugh out of her voice, Liz interrupted with, "When you're lying in bed, buried nearly to the hilt inside of me, it's not really the time to talk about your brother or another woman's real estate ventures."
Elijah gave a playful nip on her shoulder causing her to swat, albeit gently, at his head.
"I do have a point, sweetheart, if you'll let me get to it."
Liz mockingly gestured with her hand and a slight bow of her head for him to proceed. The movement was only slightly awkward given her current position.
"I requested Pearl also look for a suitable home within the Mystic Falls town limits but preferably a fair distance from your residence." At this he reached forward and opened the box, revealing a dully gleaming house key nestled inside.
"All you have to do is say 'Yes, Elijah' and this doesn't have to end in a week."
Liz was completely stunned. When she had told Elijah what her daughter coming home meant for them, she had assumed what they had would simply end. She hadn't expected him to take it as a challenge and attempt to find a way for them to continue even with Caroline's presence. Honestly, she thought to herself, what kind of person would just buy a house so they could keep having sex with someone?
Seemingly not content to wait out her silence, Elijah pulled them both into kneeling position which had the side effect of driving him deeper into her. Suddenly pulled from her state of shock, Liz was focused firmly on the here and now. More specifically, she was very focused on every movement from Elijah. Running his right hand up over her neck until he could turn her face more toward him, he rested his forehead against her temple and closed his eyes.
"If you want, we can end this when your daughter returns and simply leave it as a pleasant memory we shared. However, if you were to accept this gift…" Liz was distracted from what he was saying by his left hand which had by now, slide down her torso so that his fingers were free to gently rub over her clit with only enough pressure to tease.
"There are so many things I want to show you, my Lizbet. So many pleasures we haven't even touched upon. We can create memories that will wake you up in the night and leave you shaking from desire. You just have to be willing to take what you want."
And it suddenly seemed so easy. She had spent her whole life playing it safe and still managing to get the short end of the stick. Now she was presented with the opportunity to do something completely for herself. Yes, he was dangerous; but he wouldn't be any less dangerous to her if she let what they had end. And maybe she was just trying to justify it, but so what if she was? She was going to be selfish and pay whatever price she needed to down the road.
Reaching down to press his fingers firmer her sex with one hand while reaching for his face with the other, she let out a soft moan as she rolled her hips back into him. When his eyes shot open to meet hers, she said in a voice that was only slightly shaky, "Yes, Elijah."
Feeling herself being moved for just a moment, Liz quickly found she was lying on her back underneath a very enthusiastic Elijah. She was soon lost in the feel of his deep and steady thrusts and the stream of filthy praises that fell from his lips. If this was a mistake, it was one she had a feeling she wouldn't regret making.