I sat there, listening in awe as Elijah told me the story of the Original Vampires. Roughly a thousand years ago the Mikaelson family had lived in these very parts, amongst the humans and werewolves. They were a normal, happy family... well for the most part. Apparently their father was very cruel to Niklaus.
Niklaus... at least now I know where he got ‘Nik’ from.
Elijah told me how one night, during a full moon, as the humans of the village hid in caves, his brothers Henrik and Niklaus had snuck out to see the men change into wolves. He explained that that was the night when everything changed for them. His father, out of fear of losing yet another child, convinced their mother, who was a very powerful witch, to cast a spell of immortality.
No one could have foreseen the consequences of such a spell. How sunlight burned their skin, how the local flower became like acid to them. Day light rings fixed the first problem, there was no cure for the second.
Elijah grew quiet for a moment, but I didn’t speak. I was too absorbed in his story. “Then we discovered the bloodlust.” He continued.
He told me about how they discovered their constant need for blood, and how they couldn’t control these urges in the beginning. He explained how the first time Niklaus took a life, he became the very thing their father hated... a wolf, exposing their mother’s infidelity several years earlier. Enraged by this their father hunted down and killed Niklaus’ biological father, and once again forced his wife to use her magic. This time locking Niklaus’ werewolf side away.
“The sun and moon curse? It’s not what we think it is, is it?” I said without thinking.
Elijah looked at me, pulled from his memories and back to the present. He wore a small smile. “Very astute Jessica. No, it is not. I started that particular rumour five centuries ago, when the last doppelganger, Katherine, escaped my brother. It was the blood of a doppelganger that created the curse that bound Niklaus, and only the blood of a doppelganger can break it.”
“You had both species looking for the moonstone and a doppelganger to help Klaus?” I heard the disbelief in my own voice. “Why? Why try and help him break this curse, only to try and kill him now?” I couldn’t help asking the question, the curiosity was killing me... figuratively of course.
Elijah looked down at the glass in his hand before answering me. “I told you of my siblings, Finn, Kol and my sister Rebekah?”
I nodded in response.
“Well Niklaus has more of the daggers your friends used on me. Over the centuries, when one of us... displeased our brother in some imaginable slight, he would use those daggers on us, leave us daggered in a coffin until he thought we deserved to be let out.” Elijah paused now to look at me. I know he saw horror etched on my face but I couldn’t help it. He smiled at me, but it was a grim, sad smile. “Well the last time I angered my brother, he dropped our siblings, still daggered, into the ocean. I will never see them again.” As Elijah finished speaking he raised the glass to his lips and lowered his drink.
“And I thought my family situation was fucked up.” I blurted out, before clasping my hand over my mouth. Elijah looked at me, one eyebrow raised. “I’m so sorry.” I apologised.
Elijah stood, “That’s quite alright Jessica, I actually know most of your past. From your father’s abuse and attempt to kill you as a child, to his death at the hands of Damon. Also I believe there was an uncle you killed too.”
Surprise flooded me, “How...” I started but he cut me off. “I always make it my business to know as much as possible about the people I work with. As you can imagine, trust does not come easy to me, as your friends proved when they stuck a dagger in my heart.”
“Please don’t hurt them.” I rushed to defend them, “They are doing what they think is right to protect Elena.”
I saw the look he gave me when I mentioned Elena. I could hear the distaste in my tone, but thankfully he didn’t say anything about it. “You said you had a plan to kill Klaus?”
Elijah sighed, looking out the window. “I had. I also had a powerful witch working with me. Of course, as I lay rotting for over a week I’m assuming he is more than likely dead, by one, if not all of your friends.
My eyes widened slightly. I truly was out of the loop, because I knew nothing about that. Coming to a decision I spoke quickly. “Your plan, will we all survive it, should you have a powerful witch?”
He turned back to me, curiosity in his eyes. “In a way, yes.”
“What does that mean?”
“When Niklaus breaks the spell, when he is in his first transition, that is when he will be at his weakest. That is when I can kill him.”
I thought about what he was telling me. “When he breaks the spell? But Elena has to die to break the spell.” I felt like an idiot. Damon was right. Elijah never planned on Elena making it out of this alive.
But... wasn’t that why I woke him?
Wasn’t that what I wanted? Kill Elena to save everybody else. That was when I realised I didn’t want her to die, not really. I was petty and jealous, but it wasn’t Elena’s fault I was broken.
I started to tell Elijah that we would never let Klaus kill Elena when I realised he was holding his hand out to me, palm side up. In his hand was a small vial, containing what looked like black liquid. I looked up from his hand to his face, my eyebrows raised in question.
“The first time my brother tried to break the curse with Katarina... Katherine, I foolishly thought she cared for me as much as I did her. Witches I knew at the time, powerful ones, created this elixir for me. It will return life to a mortal killed at the hands of a supernatural creature. Of course I never had the chance to use it, as she escaped and became a vampire.” I couldn’t tear my eyes away from him as he placed the vial in a small box, and then placed the box in the inside pocked of his jacket. He was still talking, “It does not matter anyway. Without my witch....”
“Bonnie is alive.” I all but shouted, interrupting him. It was now Elijah’s turn to look shocked.
“They made it look like she died fighting Klaus, but she’s alive. And from what I hear she has managed to tap into the power of a hundred dead witches.” The corners of his mouth turned up in a smile, but I continued, “I understand you have trust issues... believe me when I say that. But I’m not asking you to trust them, I’m asking you to trust me.”
Elijah looked thoughtful for all of a minute before nodding, causing relief to course through me. We both sat back down, there was still a lot to discuss.
It was several hours later when I entered the Salvatore Boarding house. They were in the library by the sound of it. Of course they were, god forbid they use any other part of this humongous building. Taking a metaphorical deep breath, I walked in, causing the room to go silent. They were all here. Tyler, Caroline, Matt, Jeremy, Bonnie, Elena, Stefan and Damon. Nobody spoke, they all just stared at me. I felt like I had two heads to be honest, but of course I had expected this response.
Actually that wasn’t true. I had expected them to try and kill me on sight. “We have a plan.” I started, and of course that started them.
Damon all but exploded. “Who has a plan? You and Elijah?” He stormed closer to me, stopping when he was right in front of me. “This is beyond ridiculous Jessica. I get that you’re mad at me and jealous of Elena... but to go running to the enemy, to get her killed...”
A loud crack filled the air as my hand connected with Damon’s cheek, snapping his head to the side. I hadn’t meant to slap him; he was just pissing me off. You could hear a pin drop, as they say, the silence was deafening... at least until I broke it. I stepped around Damon, which was hard when my instinct was still to run into his arms. I spoke to the group, but my focus was on the doppelganger. “None of you know what I’m about to tell you, but I need you all to listen without interruption.” I paused briefly looking at them all, and when no one spoke I began.
“It started when I turned my motions back on, when I first saw Elena and Jeremy that day... and I wanted more than I’ve ever wanted anything... to kill them both.”
I heard the gasps but I didn’t stop. For the second time in one day I told my story, the story of how I was broken. When I was finished mine, I moved onto Elijah’s story. I told them about how the originals were made, and about the true purpose of the Sun and Moon curse. For nearly an hour they all sat in silence, listening. When I came to the end I paused, still looking at Elena. “I honestly thought I wanted you dead. I thought if you were gone then...” Now my eyes flitted to Damon before returning to the doppelganger, “Whatever I thought, I was wrong. I now believe that the anger... the hatred I felt towards you, was really aimed at myself and for that, I’m truly sorry.”
I finished speaking and stood there waiting for their response. I looked at all of them except Damon, I couldn’t bear to look at him right now.
“How many?” Bonnie asked.
I didn’t have to ask her what she meant. “Three... no wait, the mugger makes four. I have killed four people.”
“You should have told us.” Jeremy said, anger lacing his words, “If you had we might have known that Ric wasn’t Ric.”
“I know that now, but I cannot change what has already happened. I can only apologise.” I could see they had more questions, but thankfully Elena cut them all off. “You said you had a plan?”
“Elijah can kill Klaus, with the help of Bonnie. He had a witch working with him, but he is convinced one of you killed him.” It was obvious from the looks on their faces that Elijah was right. Bonnie’s lips parted, but I spoke faster, not giving her the chance. “Yes I told him you’re alive. Once Klaus breaks the curse he will begin to transition into a wolf. Bonnie will use the power of the dead witches to pause the transition, rendering him into a weakened state between vampire and wolf. Then, and only then, will Elijah be able to rip out Klaus’ heart.”
Once I had finished I waited for them to catch on to the little hiccup. Of course it would be Damon that caught on first. “After the spell is broken? So you do expect us to allow Klaus to kill Elena? You do want her dead?” His voice was tight as he spoke.
I finally looked at him, really looked at him. I saw the pain in his eyes as he looked back at me, the tiredness in them, and I briefly wondered if he could see the same reflected in mine. I had used the word ‘broken’ a lot lately, but it was in that moment that I truly understood what it meant. I stood in front of the first man I had ever loved and placed my hand on his cheek, the same cheek I had slapped an hour ago. His own hand covered mine and he leaned ever so slightly into the touch.
“Do you really think so low of me?” I whispered, my gaze searching his.
I saw my answer then, an answer to a question I hadn’t realised I was still asking myself. Damon Salvatore may still love me, but the scale was no longer even. It was now tipped in Elena’s favour. I felt the old familiar anger inside, but it was easily controlled this time and didn’t last long.
I pulled my hand back and stepped around him, keeping my back to them all. A single tear escaped the corner of my eye and I’ll be damned before I let any of them see it. I would never again let anybody see me weak. I made my voice sound strong, “No, I do not want Elena dead. I will let Elijah explain that part... and don’t worry. He gave me his word, that as long as he is not attacked again, no harm will come to any of you for daggering him.”
I heard the gasps behind me as Elijah stepped into the room. He looked at me with sadness and pity. That look was too much. I left them to talk, to finalise the plan... and I ran. I ran from the pity, and the sadness.
I ran from the shattered remnants of my happiness.
I had seen it in Bonnies eyes... and Matt’s, Jeremy’s and even Tyler’s, as I told them about myself. They would never trust me again; I was a monster to them.
When I was deep in the woods I finally stopped running. I sank to my knees, and with only the trees to witness my descent into madness I finally let the tears fall. Damon’s expression... that look of disappointment was burned into my mind. As I knelt there it started to rain, and I thought of the last time I was in this position. The night I turned my so called emotions back on, when I first realised that something was wrong with me. It was no wonder Damon couldn’t love me wholly. Who wanted something as broken as me?
“Hello sweetheart. Fancy meeting you here.”
I stood without turning, glad for the rain. The drops hitting my face blended in with the tears still on my cheeks, hiding them. Was this how I would die? Alone and exhausted? A deep calm spread its way through my body. How many times had I cheated death now? Starting on my 8th birthday.
The reaper always comes for you in the end.
I closed my eyes and realised I was smiling. If he was waiting for me to beg, he would be waiting a long time. I had shown enough weakness in my 18 years, and I was done with it. I had meant it when I said I wouldn’t let anyone see me that way again. Even if it was in the time of my death.
Still, it didn’t come. I could tell he was still behind me, but he hadn’t moved. “What are you waiting for?” I asked softly, my eyes still closed. I felt the air shift around me and I braced myself. Still nothing.
I opened my eyes in annoyance, Klaus was standing a few feet in front of me now. He was looking at me in wonder. And not the awe kind of wonder, more like he was wondering if I was completely bonkers. “You’re not scared?” He said it more like a question than a statement.
I felt a small bubble of laughter work its way out of my throat. “I have spent my whole life scared. First of my father, then of Michael... and look where that got me. I’m tired Klaus... or Nik... or whatever your calling yourself...” My voice trailed off, my brave words forgotten as I saw the mixture of emotions cross his features. I had only ever seen such a mixture of fear and hatred in my own reflection. As a child after my father and Michael had beaten my mother.
He took a tentative step closer, “Michael?” The name came out strangled.
Ok... that threw me. “My Uncle,” I found myself explaining, “He was just as cruel as his brother... of course, now he’s just as dead as his brother.”
“What happened?” Klaus asked, curiosity seeping into his words.
What the hell, I’m dead soon anyway. “He came here to finish what my father started. He came to kill me. But I was turned at that stage... I hurt him, made him feel a fraction of the fear I had felt as a child...”
“Then what?” His voice was barely audible as he asked, and I doubted I would have heard him if I were still human. I was about to be more honest with the psycho killer than I had with anyone else, myself included.
I felt the cold smile creep over my lips, I never broke eye contact with original vampire that stood before me, “Then I drained him dry... and it felt good.”
Klaus moved so fast that I barely had time to register it, he was inches from me. He leaned his head down to the side of mine. I briefly wondered if I would get to see my mother again as I closed my eyes.
“Tell the doppelganger she has until next month’s full moon. Then I come for her.”
My eyes snapped open, but I was once again standing on my own. Why didn’t he just kill me, why play these games?
Sighing I made my way back to the boarding house. Every step I took forward to put this place behind me, seemed like I was also taking two steps back. When I was close to the boarding house, I could hear raised voices. Of course, it seemed to be what they did best.
I entered the house and stood in the entry way of the library taking in the sight before me. The only people that remained were Damon, Stefan, Elena and Bonnie... and of course Elijah. Damon and Stefan were arguing over trusting Elijah. From what I could tell Stefan was all for trusting him, Damon wasn’t. Bonnie and Elena were sitting on the couch, deep in their own conversation. It seemed to be about the validity of a resurrection elixir.
Elijah was standing by the window, just watching them. He noticed me first. “Ah Jessica. I did not think you would return so soon.”
All sets of eyes turned to me. “Either did I to be honest,” I said, walking deeper into the room. Damon stepped in front of me. I could see the apology he wanted to say in his eyes, but I just walked around him and stood by Elijah. “As the old saying goes, ‘Every time I’m out, they pull me back in’.”
“Who pulled you back in this time?” Bonnie asked, her voice void of warmth. Shocker, apparently the only vampires that are allowed to kill and get away with it, are the ones that are in love with Elena. “Who else,” I said shrugging, “Klaus. He wants Elena to know that she has until next month’s full moon.”
Just as I expected that started everyone off again. I ignored them all, instead I watched the fire. The dancing flames where hypnotic. I was pulled from my trance by someone taking my hand in theirs. I looked into Damon’s worried face. “I’m so sorry Jessica. I shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions earlier. It’s just with everything going on...”
I pulled my hand from his, kept my voice calm and cold. “Don’t sweat it... Hey, I thought I did want her dead. Apparently I don’t.”
“Can we talk? In private?” he pleaded.
I didn’t even have to think about my answer. “Right now isn’t the time Damon. When everything is settled, whichever way it ends... then we’ll talk.” He looked like he wanted to push, but instead gave me a small smile which I couldn’t return, and nodded.
“What exactly happened when you left here? Where did Niklaus give you this message? Are you ok?” Elijah kept asking questions, one after another and I had to put my hand up to stop him.
“When I left here I went into the woods to.... think.” Nobody here needed to know the real reason I was there, but from the look on Damon and Elijah’s faces, I wasn’t fooling them. I continued before they could say anything. “Well Klaus found me. I actually thought he was going to kill me, and I think he was... but instead I’m the messenger.”
Bonnie spoke up from where she sat next to Elena, a look of doubt on her face. “So Klaus just found you, and told you Elena had a month, and then left without hurting you?”
I felt my face harden at her tone, my voice cold as I answered her. “Actually first we talked about how much I enjoyed beating and killing Michael. Then he told me a month.” Bonnie and Elena just looked at me with wide eyes and an open mouth. Of course I ignored them when I heard Stefan ask Elijah if he was alright.
Elijah was looking at me with the same look that Klaus had, just not as severe. Fear and hatred. “Michael?” he asked.
I nodded, “Remember, abusive uncle. Came to avenge his brother by finishing me off. I killed him.”
Elijah’s posture relaxed, “Of course. I remember now.” The way he was looking at me though, kinda creeped me out. It was like I was a puzzle and he had just figured something out. I started to ask him what it was, but I didn’t get the chance. He straightened himself and buttoned his jacket. “If you will all excuse me, I have business to attend to. I will leave you to decide Ms Gilbert’s fate.”
With that he was gone. Nobody spoke when he left and I realised why. They were waiting for me to leave as well. I didn’t give them the chance to ask me, I followed Elijah’s example and walked out. I was halfway down the driveway when I realised I was being followed.
“What is it Stefan?” I asked, turning to face him. He didn’t look angry, or annoyed. He just looked... worried.
“Are you ok?” he asked. I started to answer him, but he kept talking. “I mean really ok? I know you’re going through a lot with Damon, your emotions... and now Klaus playing these mind games. Are you ok?”
Before I knew what I was doing I had sped over to him and thrown my arms around him in a fierce hug. “I’ll be fine.” I whispered, which was as truthful as I could be, “but thank you.”
With that I sped off, leaving him standing there on his own.