Chapter Twelve - Breaking the Habit
Like opening the wound
I'm picking me apart again
You all assume
I'm safe here in my room
Unless I try to start againI don't want to be the one
The battles always choose
'Cause inside I realize
That I'm the one confusedI don't know what's worth fighting for
Or why I have to scream.
I don't know why I instigate
And say what I don't mean.
I don't know how I got this way
I know it's not alright.
So I'm breaking the habit,
I'm breaking the habit
- Linking Park, Breaking the Habit
It was like the time had stopped. No one moved, no one talked. Klaus' face was a mixture of emotions, like he didn't know how to react after his helpless scream of Caroline's name. Everyone just stared at the lifeless body in front of Mikael's feet. He was the only one smiling, amused by the scene playing before his eyes.
Then it all broke. Hope wasn't able to control herself anymore, a sudden rage made her throat growl and she took a leap toward Mikael. But instead of ripping his head of his body, she pushed him down the ground and started toward the witch.
Diandra didn't have time to stop Hope before she was right in front of her. Hope gritted her teeth, she could literally feel the fangs growing in her mouth. It was a powerful feeling, to see the fear flashing over another one's face. She didn't know where her sudden strength had come from, maybe the anger that filled her was the thing triggering her hybrid side to its fullest.
Before Hope had a chance to end the witch's pathetic life, she was knocked out of the way by no one other than Mikael. She flew a couple of meters in the air before crashing into the ground and rolling around before her fingers digged themselves into the dirt and stopping her from going any further.
"You fool, I'm a thousand years older than you. What makes you think you can defeat me?" Mikael said, he walked past Diandra, probably in case Hope would try to kill her again.
Hope got up on her feet before dusting some dirt off her clothes. She felt Klaus' gaze hit her, but she managed to force herself not to look at him. She was scared what she would meet in his eyes if she did so. Instead she tilted her head to her side and looked at Mikael, she wasn't scared anymore. She didn't see any reason to be.
She was the tribrid.
No one else.
"What are you going to do? Kill all of us?" Hope breathed. She was swimming in deep water now, she was well aware of it. But as long as her family were safe, she was happy. Although a part of her knew that her family was about to be torn apart if she died and she couldn't let that happen. They had gotten too far already, they weren't finished yet!
She made an impulsive decision to rush over to Mikael in the belief she could knock him unconscious. Of course, he had more experience in such matters, and managed to take a strong grip around her wrists before she could reach his face. She spun her around, with the back against him and her arms linked behind her back. Fool, she told herself.
"Toss over the stake, boy, or I will rip your precious daughter's heart out of her cold chest," Mikael threatened. His eyes were linked with the man he called bastard, the man he had named an abomination his entire life. Now Hope finally understood the fear in her father's eyes, Mikael was the monster. Not Klaus.
Hope finally allowed herself to meet Klaus' eyes and she shook her head. She wouldn't allow him to give Mikael the white oak stake, if he had it then nothing could stop him from killing all of them. She could take one for the team if she had to.
"I will count to three," Mikael said, satisfaction covering his face expression. Klaus tightened his grip around the stake, it was written all over his face how he tried to make up his mind. "Three … "
"Do it, Klaus!" Hayley screamed.
None of Klaus' siblings knew what to say, so they all looked like mute statues. With their mouth closed and without any emotions covering their faces.
"Two … "
Hope struggled against Mikael's grip as he moved his hand over her chest right above her pounding heart. She breathed fast and tried to find one thing to make her angry enough to find her strength again. But she felt nothing more than useless. She was about to die.
"Klaus!" Rebekah screamed when Mikael opened his mouth.
Mikael's hand buried itself in the inside of Hope's chest, she could feel his fingers gripping around her heart. She would die, she would soon see the light and walk into the comfort it contained. She opened her mouth in a painful gasp, she couldn't breathe and her mind was all a room filled with fog. Cruel world.
"Stop!" Klaus screamed, his voice near the breaking point. "I will do it!"
Hope took a deep breath as Mikael's hand disappeared from her chest, it felt like having a bunch of stones moved from your pocket while you climbed a mountain.
Hope was just about to scream at her father not to do it when he threw the stake over the circle of fire. Mikael's low chuckle made her blood freeze. Now they were all doomed.
"Let go of her," Klaus growled as he took a step backwards from the fire.
"You impulsive, stupid, little boy. Still too dumb to think things trough before you decide what's best," Mikael laughed.
His grip tightened and his hand trailed up toward her heart again. Klaus rushed against them but was pushed back by the wall and fell down to the ground, causing a deep track of dirt appear from where he had landed.
"I will kil you so slowly you won't remember your own name!" he screamed already on his feet again and in front of the fire. Hayley screamed and cried at the same time as Mikael's hand disappeared inside Hope's chest once again.
Hope choked, she couldn't breathe as his nails buried themselves inside her heart. Her eyes became a blur, she didn't want this. She didn't want to die!
And then he ripped his hand backwards.
She prepared for the light, for fading away into the darkness. But nothing happened, she could still feel her heart beat inside her chest.
"What-" Mikael stumbled back and watched his empty hand. There should be a heart, but there were nothing.
Hope took a couple of stabilising breaths as she realised what was happening. Mikael couldn't rip her heart out. She smiled in victory as she lifted her head to meet Mikael's confused eyes. "I'm a born tribrid, you can't kill me!"
Her eyes flashed into their true color before her fangs dropped out and she rushed against Mikael. But instead of ripping his head of, she once again started toward Diandra. The only difference this time was that she didn't hesitate before she snapped the witch's head.
As soon as the witch fell down to the ground, lifeless, the fire burnt out and disappeared like it never had been there. Klaus didn't waste any minute before he picked up the stake which was only three feet from him. Mikael was still too overwhelmed with the fact that Hope couldn't die, that he didn't even react before Klaus was in front of him.
Hayley was soon beside Hope, with her arms around her. Hope let herself become embraced by her mother as her knees failed her and she fell onto the ground. She was too weak to stand on her feet anymore, but she didn't care. She finally felt safe again.
As for Mikael, he found himself surrounded by all of his children. Marcel joined Hayley and Hope, with a hand on her shoulder. Hope understood, this was something between a father and his children.
"Four against one," Mikael hissed. "How brave of you."
"Enough with the manipulation, father," Elijah said. "Where is Esther?"
"Long gone," Mikael answered, a cold smile covering his face.
Klaus grip around the stake tightened, Hope could feel the anger pouring out of him. How every inch of him wanted to end his father's life here and now.
"Let's kill him," Kol said. He didn't even sound the least sad. "Before he does one of his little tricks."
"I will find a way back again, and again and again. You will never get rid of me!" Mikael screamed and took a step closer to Kol who wouldn't allow himself to flinch back even though he wanted to.
"The other side is gone," Rebekah announced. "It has been gone for over a decade now. May you find your peace, father."
"No!" Fear reflected his eyes as all of his children took a step closer to him and making his angle of escaping smaller. He hadn't got a chance now. He was about to take his final breaths once and for all.
"You're all pathetic," Mikael hissed in anger. "You choose to stand beside that abomination, you will all die miserable and alone. He will destroy all of your lives, you don't deserve to live, not anyone of you! Especially not you, boy!"
Mikael's eyes flashed against Klaus, who wouldn't let himself step back. It was now or never and all of the siblings knew it, this was the moment they would finally be free from their father. This time once and for all.
"No, Mikael, you are the pathetic one," Klaus whispered with calm voice before he raised the stake. It was over in seconds, with Kol and Elijah holding Mikael in a strong grip and Klaus who pushed the stake through Mikael's chest.
The next moment he was set on fire and shortly thereafter he was gone. Not a single trace of him left on the ground, only the white oak stake and the four siblings staring at the empty spot where their father had disappeared.
It took a while before they understood that the threat of their father finally was gone and Kol was the first one to move and pick up the stake. He weighted it in his hand before he handed it to Elijah who put it into safety in his jacket.
Hope finally got back up onto her feet and Hayley let herself let go of her daughter. Klaus turned around to put his arms around Hope as she approached him, he didn't care if they saw him cry for the relief of his daughter's safety. They were all alive and safe. Or at least almost all of them.
"It's okay, you're safe now, sweetheart," Klaus mumbled in her ear and causing tears to fall down her cheek.
Hope let herself bury her face in his shoulder, tugging him even closer to her. She had almost let herself lose her sanity for a moment, this night had been beyond her knowledge. She finally understood what her family had been through, what they had suffered from and what they had lost. She should be thanking them for giving her the best chance she had when they sent her away from all the dangerous creatures that wanted her dead.
"Thank you," she whispered between the sobbing into Klaus' jacket. She wasn't sure if anyone heard her, though she didn't care, they were finally safe from Mikael.
When they finally let go of one another, Marcel had already disappeared together with Kol to make sure the nightwalkers wouldn't run around in the French Quarters killing everyone that got in their way.
"How did you find me?" she then asked, looking around at her family.
"Mikael left us a message," Elijah answered taking out a piece of paper from his pocket. "Telling us he had you in his gasp and where you were."
"I don't understand," Hope said shaking her head. She didn't understand anything, why would Mikael want to trigger her hybrid side anyway? He must have known a hybrid was a powerful creature, so why risk his own life for nothing? There was something they were missing, something obvious that they hadn't been able to see yet. But what?
Before anyone had a chance to answer her, a sudden gasp for air sounded from beside them. Caroline sat up with a start, still with Hope's blood covering most of her face and shirt. Her eyes spun around in panic and shock in belief she could find something to calm her down.
It didn't take long before Klaus crouched beside her with a protective hand on her shoulder. "Calm down, love."
Caroline kept gasping for air while trying to calm her pulse down to its normal rhythm, her eyes gazing around the place with her pupils big as a bug. Hope, who still felt tired, sat down in front of Caroline to rest her body for a while. How in hell was she supposed to walk to the compound from here? She could barely stand up.
"Wha- …Klaus? What happened?" Caroline finally found her voice. Her forehead went into deep wrinkles when she looked into Hope's eyes. "Something isn't right."
Caroline looked down at her hands, they were also covered in dry blood and dirt from the ground. She blinked a few times before taking a deep breath and keeping her eyes closed.
"You're just dizzy sweetheart," Klaus said in determination. He didn't want to spend another minute at this place. "Let's go back to-"
"No!" Caroline exclaimed, but not because of Klaus' suggestion. She looked devastated and confused, almost like she had just lost her favorite puppy in the woods and wasn't able to find it. "I … I can't … "
"Oh my god," Rebekah suddenly gasped. Her eyes were widened in fear. "Nik, Caroline isn't a hybrid."
Klaus looked up at his sister. "What?"
"I'm not a hybrid, I'm not a werewolf and-," Caroline took a deep breath," I'm not a vampire anymore."
Hope felt stupid, was she the only one here not understanding what was going on? How can a person who has been a vampire suddenly not be a vampire anymore? She shook her head, it hurt, her whole head felt like it was about to explode.
"What does that mean?" Hope almost screamed when no one seemed to want to confirm Caroline's statement.
"It means she is human again," Elijah said.
Hope stiffened. "Wait what? So my blood can turn vampires into humans? You've got to be fucking kidding me."
Enough with this supernatural drama, she had had enough. All she wanted was a normal family who didn't care if she wasn't like every other teenager, a family who were there for her no matter what. Sure, the Mikaelson's were great, but this supernatural thing made her brain feel like a bag of stones. She could barely breathe normal.
"How is this possible?" Hayley asked, well Hope didn't feel as lonely with the confused thoughts anymore.
"I have no clue," Elijah replied, dragging his hand through his hair. "But I believe Mikael knew this and that was why he didn't kill Hope. He was going to use her blood to make us humans again and thereby kill us much easier."
"The balance of nature," Klaus muttered. "I suggest we keep this a secret, otherwise vampires all around the globe would want her to heal them from their prison."
Hope nodded in agreement without hesitation, she wouldn't want people to come to her for a cure against them being a vampire. But did this mean that she could cure werewolves too? Probably not, she had sired her mother once, although Hayley had gotten herself unlinked to her by turning into a wolf about a hundred times. Which meant that she could make hybrids, at least there was something positive about this that came to her mind at the moment.
"I surprisingly enough have to agree with Niklaus," Elijah announced. "For Hope's safety."
Caroline, who probably still felt a bit overwhelmed by the news, slowly nodded before she managed to get up on her feet with the help of Klaus. "So what should we do with this situation?"
"Let's talk about it when we get back to the compound," Hayley said without giving any of them a choice. "It's not safe here."
"Hayley is right, Esther is still out there somewhere," Elijah agreed. They started to turn around to walk through the forest back to the city, all of them with tired looks and heavy feet. But it was over and they could finally breathe again.
"Wait! What about Sam?" Hope suddenly remembered when her eyes caught the cold, white body of her best friend. He looked so peaceful, so calm with his eyelids shut and pale face of his. "I can't just leave him here."
"He is dead, love, nothing we can do about it."
Hope glanced at her father, of course she knew he was dead, but Sam's parents were probably worried sick. She couldn't let them walk around without the knowledge that their oldest son had died, that much humanity was still within her.
"I will take care of it," Elijah offered. He put a warming hand on Hope's shoulder and gave her one of his promise looks. "The rest of you should head back to the Quarters before the sun rises."
Hope shot one last gaze at Sam's dead body before she followed the others through the forest, the only thing keeping her from not falling onto her knees was the thought of soon getting some sleep. It had been a long night, she needed some rest and time to figure stuff out. She was after all a hybrid now, she would need blood to survive and training in how to control herself.
So maybe her family had found their redemption at one level, because she now knew she would always have them no matter what. She had found someone to trust, someone she knew always would listen to her and would come for her if she called. A family.
They still had a long way to go though, battles to fight, decisions to make and themselves to protect from enemies and people who came crossing their path. But one thing for sure, they would get through all of it, as a family.