Title: The Devil’s Currency
Fandom: Vampire Diaries
Summary: When Klaus catches Caroline following him, he offers her a bargain for the younger Salvatore. But when you trade with the devil, you have to deal with the devil’s currency.
A/N: Warning!!! this chapter is particularly graphic, so proceed with caution. Otherwise, enjoy. I know you guys have been patiently waiting for this update and I continue to be immensely touched by all of your support. All reviews/comments/likes are appreciated.Sincere thanks to the amazing Paige (skerdypants) for beta-ing!!!
The wind whips her hair into her face and Bonnie shrugs into her coat, pulling the collars up to cover her ears. She glances both ways before crossing the road and then stops in front of a door with a sign that reads: Eddie O’Hare, Attorney at Law.
Despite the sign, Bonnie knew better. It is just a cover for a speakeasy known to cater to vampires, witches, werewolves, and the occasional human who is bound to be in for a surprise.
“You should turn it off.”
Elijah had somehow managed to sidle besides her in that silent way of his that always unnerves her.
“What?” She frowns in confusion, trying to compose herself after being startled by his sudden appearance by her side.
He glances down at her purse and as if on cue, her phone comes to life.
Bonnie sighs and reaches inside to take out her buzzing cellphone.
“Are Originals psychic as well now? I thought that was witch territory.”
Elijah smiles a close-lipped smile, but there seems to be some humor in his eyes. “It’s only because it’s been ringing every five minutes.”
“It’s Elena again. This is like her hundredth call. I should just pick up and tell her I’m busy or something so she’d stop freaking out.”
Elijah, who was walking towards the door, turns to her and shakes his head. “Let it go to voicemail. We have more important matters to attend to. And the less anyone back in Mystic Falls knows, the better. This way, there’s less of a chance it’ll get back to Klaus.”
“Yeah, wouldn’t want him to know we’re onto his blood trafficking enterprise,” Bonnie drawls. Underground vampire black markets were the last thing she wanted to deal with. “Are you sure this is the place?”
“Yes, the witch that runs the establishment has a history with Klaus. She’s the one dealing his hybrid blood to the werewolves I’m sure.”
“You think he’s trying to build that hybrid army of his again?”
“That’s what we are here to find out, Miss Bennett.”
“Okay… I’m still not quite sure what you want me to do about it, though.”
“I thought perhaps since she’s your kind, she might be more willing to confide in you than with me.”
“Yes because ‘our kind’ all know one another and have tea to trade spell recipes for witch cookies and discuss the different types of brooms we like best.”
She waits on bated breath for a chuckle or maybe a smile. Something beyond the carefully controlled stoicism he always displays. But though there’s slight amusement playing in his eyes, Elijah continues to stare at her with his unwavering calm expression. A beat pass by and still nothing from the Original.
“Never mind… Let’s just get this over with.”
“Aren’t you going to turn off your phone first?”
It was now incessantly beeping with text messages from Elena who had since given up on Bonnie picking up any of her calls.
Bonnie sighs and reluctantly switches off her phone. She makes a mental note to send Elena an apology text later, and then stuffs the phone into her coat pocket before walking through the door Elijah holds open for her.
As she passes by him he says to her in a musing manner, “I had some witch cookies before, horrible things. But some tea would be rather quite nice right now, though I think Gloria is a bourbon girl.”
Bonnie can’t help but find herself grinning. Maybe Elijah wasn’t made out of stone after all.
Her amusement is quickly replaced with apprehension the moment she steps across the threshold. Magic emanated from down below, sending a shiver down her spine and causing the hairs on her arm to stand on their ends. The time for jokes was over and she is reminded of the reason why they were in Chicago in the first place. With careful, steady steps she follows Elijah’s lead down into the darkness.
Katherine’s eyelids slowly flutter open as she tastes the familiar warm, coppery taste of blood on her tongue.
“She’s coming to.”
She recognizes this voice, remembers it once whispering sweet adoring words into her ear. She looks up, blinks away the cobwebs, and wipes her mouth with the back of her hand smearing the blood.
“Stefan,” she croaks, her voice is still raw.
His expression is concerned, and for a moment she thinks it’s 1864. Back when he used to adore her, back when he didn’t look at her with loathing and hate and distrust. She’d never admit it aloud, but after years of running, she wanted someone to catch her. She had wanted it to be him. But he is quickly pulled away and soon, another face from her past haunts her. Klaus.
How quickly heaven turns into hell.
“You best be cooperative, Katerina, if you value your life.”
Her eyes now shoot wide open. She struggles to scramble into an upright position only to find a rough, firm hand pushing her back down on the sofa cushions.
“I do not have time to chase you right now, so sit still or I’ll make sure you wish you didn’t survive whatever Bill Forbes put you through.”
She swallows, tasting reminiscent blood in her mouth. Staring into Klaus’s cold eyes, she wishes that she had drunk more. She was going to need all the strength she can get to get out of this one.
“What… what do you want from me?” she asks, her voice uncharacteristically shaky.
The question had come from Stefan, who was standing just behind Klaus with his arms crossed.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” she says in a sing-song voice, slowly regaining her usual arrogance now that the blood had time to take effect.
Her sass is met with a hand wrapping itself around her throat. She chokes and sputters, her hands clawing futilely at Klaus who continues to painfully crush her trachea in his iron grip.
“I’m a little short on patience, my dear. So how about you answer our questions,” Klaus begins. There’s a cruel smile playing on his lips that she recognizes though she wish she hadn’t. “And I won’t cut up this pretty face of yours. Personally, I think that with that wicked mouth of yours, you’d look wonderful with a Cheshire smile.”
He illustrates his intentions by drawing a gleaming edged knife lightly across her cheek.
For a moment, she just gasps for breath and stares into the eyes of her captors. And then, to both Klaus and Stefan’s surprise, Katherine laughs in the face of the threat. The sound of her voice is hysterical even to her own ears, but what does it matter?
“Why should I help you? Either way, you’re planning on killing me. Whether it is now or later makes no difference to me.”
“I’d make sure that you suffer well before killing you if you are uncooperative.”
“Your threats mean nothing. Like I said, I’m already as good as dead. And if you kill me, you’ll never find Caroline in time and then you’ll be dead. So if I’m going down, I rather see the two of you with me in hell.”
Frustrated with Katherine’s insolence, Klaus is ready to tear out the vampire’s heart right then and there, but Stefan’s hand on his shoulder stills him.
“What do you want in exchange for information on Caroline?” the younger Salvatore asks.
You could almost see the calculations clicking away behind her eyes as Katherine plots how to get the best leverage in her captive situation.
“I want immunity.”
“Immunity?” Klaus repeats in hiss.
“Yes. Immunity from any form of revenge, wrath, and retaliation; physical or otherwise by you, the Salvatores, and/or any of your pesky little minions and family members. All past grievances against me are to be pardoned and you promise to leave me alone for the rest of eternity.”
“That is a lot of demands. You’re overreaching,” Klaus drawls impatiently.
“I think it’s a rather cheap trade-off if you consider the circumstances,” Katherine retorts. “How much do you value Caroline’s well-being?”
Klaus narrows his eyes at her. A long silence draws out between the two of them.
“It’s for Caroline, Klaus,” Stefan says, not that Klaus needs reminding. “Or is your petty grudge with Katherine worth more than she does?”
Katherine carefully watches the older vampire hybrid. A low growl emits from his throat.
“Fine,” he bites out through clenched teeth. “You have my word that you will be pardoned and granted immunity once we get Caroline back.”
Katherine’s smile is all feline, like the cat that ate the canary.
“Now tell us where they’re keeping her.”
Katherine licks her lips. “I’ll do you one better… I’ll take you.”
Her dad had left, having more important business to attend to than torturing his daughter, and so he leaves her in the hands of some Mystic Falls deputies. All of which just happen to be of the werewolf variety.
They’re a cruel bunch, and they take turns stabbing her with wooden stakes in-between dosing her with vervain.
“She’s a tough one, ain’t she?” one of them laughs darkly. “A regular vampire would be dead by now. But she heals fast. Even with the shots of vervain.”
“She’s special. She’s bonded to one of them Originals. Can’t kill those Originals the same way you kill normal vampires,” another replies, he’s older and while he was much less taunting than her younger tormentor, he also knew how to make her hurt the most.
“So how do we kill her?” This came from a third werewolf. She knew there were two others guarding the door, but how many total she couldn’t even begin to think. Her father seemed to have formed his own little army.
“That’s what Bill left to go find out.”
“Yeah, well I hope he has some more of that hybrid blood when he gets back. The full moon is coming soon.”
The younger deputy, though she is now starting to suspect that they weren’t real deputies at all, is downright ecstatic, talking all excitedly like an anxious heroin addict looking forward to another hit.
They continued talking as if she wasn’t there. It didn’t surprise her. They didn’t think of her as a person, because she doubted anyone could treat another human being the way they have treated her.
She begins to tune them out and closes her eyes. She would attempt to try and reach Klaus, but she feels too weak to do so. The shots of vervain had rendered their link muddy once more. So instead, she finds refuge in her memories, replaying happy ones. But because many of the happy memories that involved her father have now been corrupted, she tries her best to recall the more current ones. Somehow, Klaus manages to get tangled in them.
There was such a fine line between them, but somewhere along the way she found thoughts of him to be comforting. His sarcasm, his penchant for British pet names, his unfailing ability to annoy her on end about the little things suddenly became… not so annoying. She rifled through the dreams they shared, studying them with a critical mental eye. He really wasn’t so bad. Hell, he was downright sweet in the last one, even if he was promising maiming and murder on her behalf.
“I’m coming for you, Caroline.”
He had promised her that and she believed him. So come and get me, she thought to herself. She tries willing it to him despite the effects of the vervain and whatever else was in the syringe they gave her.
A hard knock against her head shook her from her concentration.
“Don’t be going to sleep on us, sweetheart.”
She narrowed her eyes at the werewolf, not liking the way he used the term ‘sweetheart.’
“It’s been at least four hours already. Where the hell is he?”
“Just calm down, will ya? He’ll be back soon enough, so quit your yapping.”
The younger one scoffs. “Fine, then…I guess I’ll just have to find something fun to do to pass the time.”
He turns back to Caroline then, flashing her a malicious grin. He’d look handsome if it weren’t for the hard cruelty of his lips.
He pulls a revolver out of his side holster and takes out the normal bullets, replacing them with one wooden one. He spins the barrel before snapping it back into place.
“How about a game of Russian Roulette?” He presses the point of the gun to her head, a wicked looking smirk on his lips.
“Go to hell,” she snarls.
He laughs and pulls the trigger and she flinches, her eyes closing tight, her body tensing for the pain. The shot is empty.
“Lucky you,” he laughs.
He extends his arm, aims again, and cocks the gun.
“Let’s see if your luck runs twice.”
His finger is on the trigger, slowly squeezing it, and she feels sweat beads on her forehead. With her super hearing, she can hear the sound of friction between his skin and the metal, and the anticipation is even more excruciating than the actual pain. She clenches her eyes tightly shut and braces herself once more. Again, the pain doesn’t come. But the gun had not been fired.
Interrupting her torturer’s little game is the incessant sound of knocking.
“Is that Bill? Is he back?”
The older werewolf stands up and reaches for the shotgun he laid against the wall beside him.
“That ain’t Bill.”
The half-formed question is answered by a loud bang and a crash of wood as the large, heavy wooden door to the cabin comes bursting apart. Splinters and larger sharp bits of wood shower them. The room becomes a cacophony of confusion and turmoil.
“What the hell?!”
Caroline had closed her eyes to shield them from the debris caused by the demolition of the cabin’s door. She cautiously opens them again when she recognizes the voice whispering into her ear.
“It’s okay, Caroline. We’re getting you out of here.”
She blinks back tears as Stefan Salvatore’s face comes into focus.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”
Words that echo the ones in her memories.
She should be confused and unsettled because he wasn’t the one she was expecting. The last person she was expecting, actually. And furthermore, she should be upset with him. The last time she had laid eyes on Stefan Salvatore, he had plunged his hand into Elijah’s chest, ruining all of her best laid plans. He had betrayed them, turned his back on her and all of their friends. And yet here he was looking so very much like the old Stefan, the good Stefan. The one that was her friend, her mentor. The boy that she harbored a crush on back in junior year. But in spite of all her unanswered questions, relief floods her at the sight of him.
“Stefan,” she whispers.
Stefan strokes her cheeks, wiping away the blood and the grime with his sleeve. The moment lasts only a few precious seconds, but time slows for her and she lets herself give in to the kind gesture.
He manages to pry one of her restraints apart and then goes to free the other. Freedom was so close that she could almost taste it. And then a shotgun fires, the sound reverberating in her very bones. Its wooden bullets hit Stefan squarely in the chest, knocking him to the ground where he doesn’t get up. Blood seeps into his clothes from the wounds like water from a spring and she screams.
Katherine, true to her word, takes them to the stone cabin in the woods once the sun went down. They pause about twenty yards away from the cabin to scan the werewolves on sentry duty.
“Looks like there’s about three of them…” Stefan declares after studying the surroundings.
“Good, one for each of us,” Damon replies.
“It’s not a brawl, Damon. It’s a rescue mission. Freeing Caroline is our number one goal.”
“Yes,” Klaus agrees. “Besides, I can easily take out all of these mutts myself in the time it takes you to form a witty remark.”
“You think I’m witty?” Damon smirks.
Stefan sighs and Katherine rolls her eyes.
“If you boys are done flirting,” she drawls. “I believe there’s a cheerleader to save.”
They finally all agreed that Stefan shall retrieve Caroline and take her into safety while Klaus and Damon take care of the pesky werewolves. He’s hesitant to trust her rescue to the younger vampire, but he tells himself he’d rather rip apart the werewolves anyways than play knight in shining armor.
Just as he’s about to slink off into the darkness with the Salvatores, Katherine surprises him by placing a hand on his arm.
“Be careful, Klaus… you might get your heart ripped out in there.”
Klaus arches a brow at her, not for one second believing what Katherine said was said out of kindness or concern for his well-being. Nevertheless, he answers her with his usual confidence. “The werewolves won’t be able to touch me.”
“I wasn’t talking about the werewolves,” Katherine replies enigmatically. A sly smile curves her lips for a brief moment before she turns her back on him. She didn’t owe him a clearer answer. She had done her part and now she was going to disappear off the face of the earth.
Klaus had shrugged off her annoyingly abstruse words as more of Katherine’s mind games.
Yet when he finds himself at the entrance of the cabin watching Stefan Salvatore wipe the dirt and blood from Caroline’s cheeks, it is her words that haunt him.
It did not matter the chaos that surrounded them at that moment. Not from the look they shared with one another. From his bond with Caroline, he could feel her emotions: a mixture of hope and a feeling that he can only describe as akin to how kindling begins to take flame. It’s a warmth that begins in the pit of your stomach, but has yet to spread.
He feels Stefan’s hand on her cheek as if it were on his own. Feels her lower the lids of her eyes and lean against the caress. He felt like a voyeur, an interloper that had walked in on something intimate between the youngest Salvatore and the baby vampire.
It was a strange and soothing contrast to all the pain and suffering she had been through. And somehow, instead of feeling relieved that he would no longer suffer by second-hand, he felt the most unbearable clenching in his chest. Irritably and irrationally so.
“Be careful, Klaus… you might get your heart ripped out in there.”
But how can that be when he had no heart?
The answer to the question skirted at the edges of his mind, but before he can fully come into epiphany, the moment is lost. Chaos once again ensues.
If the gunshot was not loud enough to startle everyone into action, Caroline’s scream sure is.
Blood seeps from the wounds in Stefan’s chest, and for a moment, Caroline is terrified that one of the wooden bullets had found its mark. She attempts to yank her other arm free from the chains, but stops when the same shotgun barrel that fired the shot that took down Stefan is shoved into her face, the metal pressing none too gently against her left cheek.
“Don’t even think about it, you bloodsucking whore.”
She freezes then, doesn’t even dare cast her eyes in the direction of the speaker. She knew from his voice that it was the older werewolf. The one that took torturing to a whole new level of art.
“And you back up too, you monstrous freak.”
The gun moves momentarily to point to whoever her torturer is speaking to. She dares to move then and then when she sees him. Klaus.
He’s wearing the clothes she had seen him wear in the dream. But that gentleness that he had shown her then was nonexistent now. His face showed all of his rage, his mouth curled in a snarl. But he’s not looking at her, seems to be purposely not looking at her. His angry glare is purely reserved for the man with the shotgun.
“If you prefer a quick and painless death, old man, then I’d suggest you step away from the lady,” his tone is steady, polite almost. “Otherwise I can promise you that it won’t be pleasant and it won’t be fast.”
The weathered faced man merely smiles, points the gun to Caroline’s leg again, and pulls the trigger.
She bites down on her lower lip, muffling her screams, but he can feel the agony ripping through her, ripping through him. He flinches from the pain, but doesn’t allow himself to fall to his knee. Not in front of this pathetic, inferior mongrel. If he was angry before, now he was downright livid.
“You shoot her again and I’ll-”
The man chuckles; it’s a cruel and hollow sound. And without turning, Klaus can hear footsteps behind him. From the corner of his eyes, he sees Damon Salvatore get marched in, his hands held behind his back and flanked by a pair of rough looking individuals. The distinct scent of wet dog permeates the air and the howls of a pack echo in his ear. Reinforcements. There had been more than just three werewolves on watch. They were outnumbered.
From the smug grin on his face, the werewolf knows that Klaus has finally come to the right conclusion. He cocks his gun once more and points it to Caroline.
“Or you’ll do what, Hybrid? I say it’ll be poetic justice to kill you both together. But maybe I’ll let you watch me skin her first.”
Within seconds, Klaus is in front of him. His hand shoves up and under the man’s rib cage, his fingers closing around his spleen. He was so fast, so impossibly fast that no one even saw him move.
“Do you feel that?” Klaus whispers into the whimpering man’s ear. “That’s my fingers digging into your spleen. A useless organ, really. But humans are so slow to evolve,” he says with a sigh.
The man whimpers.
“I think I should help you by getting rid of it.”
And without another word, Klaus calmly rips the organ straight out of the man’s body and drops it to the floor with a sickening splat next to its owner. He had been deliberately cruel. The man won’t die from the loss of his organ, but he would from bleeding out. A much slower death than had Klaus chosen to rip out his heart instead.
He doesn’t miss Damon’s rather impressed expression out of the corner of his eye. He brings his fingers to his lips and licks them clean. The other members of the pack are frozen in pure shock.
“So, who else needs help in furthering along the evolutionary process?” he says casually.
All hell breaks loose.
It’s amazing how that small stone cabin could hold so many people. Limbs and bodies mashed together, collided and thrashed. Damon manages to break free during the struggle and takes down at least two of the werewolves within the first five minutes before fighting his way towards Stefan, who was slowly regaining his consciousness, and Caroline.
Klaus briefly observes in his peripheral vision the eldest Salvatore helping his brother to his feet before both joined the fray. He wants to curse at them for being stupid and not helping Caroline, but is soon preoccupied with a werewolf, surprisingly in its wolf form, trying to tear his throat out.
It’s a pity, he thinks. In another life, the wolves could’ve been his comrades. He had all but spent the entirety of the summer trying to find them. They are a rare bunch, the werewolf gene being so recessive. But now, nothing satisfied him more than ripping them limb from limb.
He had promised Caroline a rain of blood and so he will deliver. Let it not be said that he was not a man of his word.
Still, the wolves possess incredible strength, more than he had expected, and they came at him in hordes. They seem to have the ability to change into their canine forms despite the lack of a full moon. An anomaly that he doesn’t have time to ponder.
He hears a growl from one of them, still in its human form, even as he wrestles with another. It charges him from behind, but he’s still preoccupied with the one that currently had its teeth lodged into his shoulder. With all his strength, he pries the jaws apart, cracking the bones and ripping the tendons that kept them together, and shoves the animal hard against the wall. He spins around, anticipating a stake to go through his side from its companion. He had only time to turn enough to protect his heart from being a clear target and so he prepares himself for the pain when it slices through his flesh. But it never comes.
The werewolf stops abruptly three inches away from him and then suddenly falls into a muddled heap. Its spine had been torn from its body.
Instead of being attached to its owner, it was in the hands of the young vampire cheerleader who had caused his all this trouble to begin with. In the chaos of the all out melee, she has somehow gotten out of her restraints.
She held the spine between her bloody fingers like some sort of macabre trophy.
She looks like hell. Her usually radiant blonde hair is a tangled mess, her clothes were dirty and ripped, and lesions marked her usually flawless skin though he can see them rapidly healing even as he stares.
Their eyes meet for a brief moment and he sees the fire blazing in them. Something terrible and dark, and he feels his hair stand on its end. And then her eyes shut and she drops the werewolf’s spine to the floor with a cringe-inducing crack.
He catches her before her knees hit the ground.
He doesn’t bother checking on the Salvatores. He immediately sweeps her into his arms and without a word, he takes off. Most of the werewolves were dead or dying. He’ll leave it to the Salvatore brothers to deal with the clean up. She’s the one that matters.
He doesn’t realize that Stefan was watching him go.
He carries her into the bathroom. She had regained consciousness as he made his way across the front lawn. Despite his prediction, she doesn’t scream or cry. Nor does she beat against his chest demanding that he put her down like he had thought she would.
Given that he feels everything she feels, he has to give her credit. The pain from the wood shrapnel and the doses of vervain amongst all the other various tortures she had received should be enough for even the strongest vampire to scream, cry, and break down. But she just buries her face into his shoulder and grips his neck in a steel vise.
“You need to clean yourself up,” he tells her as he sets her down in the middle of the shower.
She doesn’t answer him. Doesn’t say a single word. Doesn’t even look at him.
Impatient, he turns on the shower faucet and she gasps when the water hits her skin, washing away the blood and dirt. He ignores how soaked he’s getting and proceeds to remove the rather large shard of wood buried on the left side of her neck. She whimpers when he pulls it out, but doesn’t object.
She lets him inspect her without a hesitation and with only minimal fussing when he moves to take off her shirt, not that there was much of a shirt left. But his gestures are methodical and purposeful, so she lets him.
He runs his hand over her cut and bruised skin. He watches to make sure the wounds heal when he removes the projectiles that have embedded themselves into her skin, wincing occasionally when he feels the pain himself.
“That should be the last of it,” he announces when he pulls the final wooden bullet out from under her collar bone. She had gritted her teeth until her mouth bled from that one, and he could see her eyes watering from the pain. He’s feeling sore himself.
“That one had been incredibly close…” he says as he holds up the bloody bullet for her to examine. “You’re lucky that those hunters had incredibly bad aim.”
She doubted that it was from bad aim. They probably enjoyed missing the vitals.
“Thank you,” she whispers, her voice is hoarse and it comes out raspy.
He can’t really tell if it’s just water from the shower head raining down on their heads or tears running down her cheeks. When a sob escapes her lips, his doubts are erased.
His chest clenches in an unfamiliar way, and he wonders why she’s so idiotic to be crying now that the worst was already over.
“He wanted to kill me,” she sobs, unable to keep the tears at bay any longer now that she’s opened up the dam. “My own father hates me.”
Her words strike him in an excruciatingly familiar way, but he buries the pain, just like he’s done with everything else. He could teach her a thing or two about disappointing fathers.
But just as he’s ready to discredit her, she wipes away the tears, closes her eyes for a moment, and lets out a breath she’s been holding. Her face is composed when she opens her eyes.
She was a continual fascination, a contradictory package of bravery and fragility wrapped up in a tiny blonde girl. The spell that links them should have provided him with more answers, but he continues to be mystified by her. Her actions seldom make logical sense and her feelings even less so.
“I’m fine now,” she tells him, her voice firm.
She doesn’t have to tell him. He can feel it himself. The wounds were healing, but he’s pretty sure she’s referring to her emotional status rather than her physical one.
He doesn’t know why she’s trying to reassure him. He doesn’t care. She was just a liability to him. A byproduct of a stupid spell. He just needed her alive. That was all.
It was unnerving how many times he’s had to remind himself of that fact lately.
“I’m not your savior,” he replies coldly.
She’s not fazed by his chilly response. She just nods and accepts it. And suddenly, his temper was flaring. The feeling is alarming and he tries reining it in so she wouldn’t notice.
Apparently, he wasn’t able to hide as well as he had hoped.
She nods silently as if answering her own question. “You’re angry,” she repeats, not a question this time.
“Of course I am!” He barks. “You almost got killed.”
She swallows hard, looking very much scolded.
“I know I got you involved, because of our bond, I’m sorry-”
His temper flares again.
“That’s not what I said,” he growls through gritted teeth.
They were fire and ice, she and he. Never on the same page. He doesn’t know if it was just their nature or she was just being contentiously oblivious on purpose. Why is it that despite their bond, despite all the spells and magic, she doesn’t seem to understand him at all? And then he realizes it’s probably because he didn’t understand himself until now.
“Be careful, Klaus… you might get your heart ripped out in there.”
The epiphany that eluded him before hits him then. She was his heart. She embodies all those feelings he has buried so deeply inside. The ones he thought were dead. She has rekindled them, made his pulse beat once more and for the first time in centuries he feels like a man again and not just a monster. But he’s been a monster for so long, he’s not sure he’d be any good as a man.
She blinks at him, confused. She looks just about like how he feels. Why does he even care if she understands or not?
“Do I have to spell it out for you?”
Except he needs her to understand. Desperately so.
She opens and closes her mouth several times, unable to properly string together words into any comprehensible sequence.
“Were you…” she pauses, unsure of how to finish her sentence and turning shy. “You were worried about me?” she says finally.
There’s a slight smile to her lips and somehow it makes his chest clench again and he hates it.
This silly little blonde vampire has gotten under his skin. She has infuriated him, annoyed him, tortured him endlessly with her myriad of teen girl dramatics. Her practically vegan diet, the annoying company that she keeps, and the endless string of pointless social functions that she’s unceremoniously imposed upon him. But her most offensive and unforgivable act was making him care.
“No, I was worried about the pack of mongrels that were ready to riddle you with wooden bullets in attempts to kill you,” he answers tersely. “Seeing the number of wooden shards I had to pry out from under your skin, I’d say they were nearly successful. The act of first aid was a delightful ritual for myself might I add.”
She’s weaseled her way into his life, made him feel things he’s locked away, and for good reason. And then she has the nerve to almost get herself killed and take him down with her. Completely unforgivable.
“You’re getting soaked,” she murmurs sheepishly.
She reaches a hand to brush back a wet lock of hair only to pull back her hand shyly.
And there it was again, that odd clenching feeling in his chest.
She begins to shiver and he instinctively reaches out to her. Their eyes meet in a brief moment. And before he knew what he was doing, he had brought his hand up to her face, rubbing away the droplets of water from her cheek with his thumbs before crashing his lips into hers.
She gasps and closes her eyes, but this time it’s not from pain. She raises her arms and he thinks it is to push him away. But instead she wraps them around his neck to pull him closer, her lips demanding dominance over his. He can feel a fire burning in the pit of his stomach.
Her lips yield under his, her body against his body, her hands entangling in his hair. She tastes slightly salty from her tears.
His kisses are like poison, his kisses are like wine.* She can’t get enough. Even if her head is screaming at her to stop, she can’t.
In her darkest moments, in the eye of the storm of terror and agonizing pain, it was him that kept her anchored. It was his promise to save her that kept her from succumbing into madness. How strange that only a month ago she had to be rescued from him and now he was the one doing the saving. He says he’s not her savior and he is by far no hero riding on a white horse, but she’s grateful all the same. And maybe she is a naïve girl for confusing gratitude for something more, but right now his lips are warm and his arms are strong as they wrapped around her and she likes the way he tastes.
She runs her hands through his wet hair before traveling down his chest, her gestures growing bolder and rough in their eagerness.
Their wet clothes cling heavily to their bodies and the cold water continues to drum on their backs, spilling over the tiles. But neither of them cares very much. Their bodies are warmth enough.
Her hands fumble with the button on his wet shirt, her fingers slick from the water. When she finally manages to peel it off, he lets it drop heavily to the floor where it joins her previously discarded shirt.
His hand runs over the fabric of her bra. The material was once satiny and smooth to touch, but the torture had all but ruined it. He didn’t give it a second thought when he snapped the clasp. He reckons it wasn’t salvageable anyways.
His arms wrap themselves around her waist, pulling her even closer. He bends his head to kiss the underside of her jaw, working his way down her throat. He pauses at a spot where a wooden bullet had grazed her shoulder, places a soft kiss against the now smooth skin.
The reality beats the dream. Every pleasure is doubled. He can feel everything she feels. Every hitch of her breath is his own. Every moan of pleasure, every titillating kiss is magnified. He doesn’t know anymore where he ends and she begins. Their hearts beat in unison, he feels it reverberating under their skin, in their souls. That is, if monsters like them have souls.
He spins her around and presses her against the wall. She lets out a gasp, but doesn’t struggle against him. His hands brace against the slick tiles of the wall, trying to find support as he thrusts into her from behind. The rhythm is exquisitely slow and she feels herself impatient with his teasing. She grinds her hips backwards against his and it earns a groan from him. He growls, burying his face into her neck, teeth grazing the smooth skin. But he gets the message and increases his speed.
He doesn’t know if the water from the shower was finally turning hot or it was just the heat of their bodies, but he doesn’t really care. All he knows is that she fit perfectly against him and every moan from her lips, every gasp of breath edges him on more.
He feels them both simultaneously reaching their climax and in the last moment, she arches her body against his, pushing him even deeper. It is enough to send them both toppling over the edge, and if it were not for his arm that had wrapped itself around her waist for balance, she surely would’ve collapsed.
They stand there panting for a moment. For a vampire, she feels out of breath. She turns slowly in his embrace to press a kiss to his lips.
“Is this a dream?” she whispers against his lips.
He’s silent, and the echoes of the droplets of water ricocheting off the slick tiles are her only reply.
He breaks their kiss and covers her hands with his. She opens her eyes to meet his sea green ones.
“This is not a dream,” he answers.
For the briefest of moments, they stand there, under the downpour of the shower head. Conflicting emotions rise in her then and he wonders if she had allowed herself to give in to him only under the illusion of a dream. That under her state of duress, she had been confused and sought comfort in this escape. The thought brings yet another violent pang in his chest.
He realizes then that he’s still holding her hand and that he should let go. But when he does, she reaches out and pulls his face back towards her for another deep kiss.
“I didn’t want this to be a dream,” she whispers.
In an underground Chicago bar, Bonnie clasps her hands over her mouth and murmurs a silent prayer, something she hasn’t done since she was five, before her mom had left. But the scene before her was so gruesome she had fallen back on old habits. She might no longer believe in miracles, but she felt she would need the strength of angels for this mess she’s walked into.
The first thing that should’ve tipped them off was the distinct, sharp metallic scent in the air.
“Oh my god. Is that even human anymore?”
Elijah’s face, which did not usually betray any uncontrolled emotion, twisted in a grimace.
“I believe that was our witch.”
Before them is what looks to be a mangled body, so twisted and mutilated it was beyond recognition, laid in the middle of a spelled circle drawn in blood. The walls were painted with it. And on the ceiling are the words Veni, Sancte Spiritus, Lava quod est sordidum.**
Bonnie mouths the words and frowns.
“I don’t understand. That isn’t a spell.”
Bonnie turns to Elijah then, puzzlement replacing her disgust.
“That’s because it’s not.”
Elijah’s face changes from its usual calm then, changes to something dark, troubled, and dare Bonnie say it… afraid. And if Elijah, immovable, perpetually unfazed Elijah, was afraid then she should be downright terrified.
“It’s lines from the Golden Sequence, albeit abridged. To translate, it says, ‘Come, Holy Spirit, Cleanse that which is unclean.’”
“I still don’t understand… what does that mean?”
Elijah tears his eyes away from the macabre scene before them and turns to Bonnie.
“It means that there’s a greater villain afoot than Klaus.”
* Poison and Wine by the Civil Wars is the ultimate klaroline song, y/y? YES.
** You can find the full translations and text via wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veni_Sancte_Spiritus