Chapter Seven - Gone with the Wind
"What were you thinking, brother? That she would be just fine with the fact that her own father killed her adoptive parents?" Elijah said trying to keep his voice firm.
Out of all the stupid things his little brother had done, this was one of the worst. Not only had Klaus killed two innocent people, he had also hurt his own daughter. Elijah had hoped that Hope would bring light into his brother's dark soul, but it seemed like not even she could keep him from doing irresponsible things.
"They mistreated her!" Klaus shoot back getting up to his feet from behind his desk. "They didn't care for her at all, she admitted it herself that she was raised by her own."
"And your answer to that was to kill them?" Elijah shook his head. "That girl upstairs is both scared and confused, you have only made it worse, Niklaus. Just as most of your actions seem to result."
"So I should have let them go in with their lives like nothing really had happened? Believe it or not Elijah, but I did Hope a favor."
Elijah rolled his eyes, his brother's lack of manners sometimes drove him crazy. Believing that death was the only solution for vengeance and that he always had to be the one to be right no matter of the subject.
"You'll have to come up with one hell of an excuse to your daughter, otherwise she will hate you just as much as would like to do right now," Elijah announced. "And you will have to make that quickly before Hayley starts wondering what's going on."
"You can't give me orders when it comes to my own doings!" Klaus said taking a step forward in aggression. "Hope is my daughter, Elijah, not yours!"
He let out a sigh and watched his brother for a couple of seconds, the man their father had called for a bastard and unwanted child his whole life. Klaus had suffered more than any of them, but maybe it was time for him to let go of the past and welcome a new generation.
"Then I recommend you start acting like a real father instead of the one you grew up with believing were yours," Elijah said calmly. "Because this is madness, Niklaus."
Klaus' eyes widened when Elijah spoke up, they always did when someone mentioned Mikael's name or referred to him.
"I would never threat her like Mikael treated me," he said looking away from Elijah for a brief moment.
"Then why don't you go up there and ask for her forgiveness instead of acting like Mikael?"
The thought of having Mikael and Esther only a couple of feet underneath him made his heart skip a beat. They would have to get rid of them one day, sooner or later they would come up with a plan good enough to escape from their prison.
Elijah walked out of Klaus' study without another look at him, he had to exchange a couple of words with Hayley, who probably didn't understand what was happening at all. He found her walking around the table in the kitchen with a worried face expression. This was hard for all of them, it wasn't easy to raise a daughter.
"What is happening, Elijah?" Hayley asked at once she caught his eyes with hers. "Why was Hope so upset? She wouldn't let me inside her room and I-"
"It's going to be okay," Elijah whispered in her hair as he pulled her into a hug. She closed her eyes and leaned her head onto his shoulder, sobbing. "I know this is hard, but we will make it. I promise you we will make this work."
He held her until he couldn't hear her sobbings anymore, then he loosened his embrace to look into her eyes. Although she had cried she was beautiful, her hair in an ponytail and her gaze sad – but still strong. She was the strongest person he knew, the only person who made his heart skip a beat when he saw her.
He swallowed, allowing himself to look down at her lips before moving his gaze back up to her eyes. They hadn't allowed themself to be anything more than friends, mostly because of everything going on and the search for Hope.
Elijah cupped her cheek with his hand before leaning in, she didn't make a move to hesitate. He had waited so long for the right moment, gathering his courage to kiss her, but it never seemed to become anything by waiting. They were only inches apart.
"She's gone." Klaus stormed into the kitchen not seeming to notice them before they let go of one another. Elijah couldn't help but feel a little bit disappointed, but he had to keep his thoughts straight. "Hope is gone, her window was open and her bag was missing."
"Hope has run away?" Hayley asked. "Why would she do that? What did you do?"
Klaus looked furiously at her and then on Elijah. "I have to find her."
"We'll search the Quarters," Elijah said with a quick gaze at Hayley. "You take the airport, train stations and bus stations. She can't have gone far."
Klaus nodded before disappearing faster than the eyes could catch and Elijah moved toward the door with Hayley behind him.
"What did Klaus do?" she demanded an answer.
"He killed Hope's adoptive parents, she didn't take it rather well," Elijah explained.
"This isn't happening," Hayley said with her voice breaking again. She had been crying a lot lately, not being able to control her emotions.
"It's going to be okay, I promise."
Klaus was furious, without a real explanation why she would run away. How could Hope really believe her adoptive parents cared for her? She had lived in an apartment that smelled worse than any place he had ever been, her father had left her for another family and she still found them as her parents.
He was her father, no one else.
She was a teenager, what could she possible know about life? He had lived for the last thousand years, he had more experience with life than any other living creature. One thing was for sure, her two weeks of being grounded was just about to extend until she graduated from college.
Though they had spent much time together the last two weeks, talking about everything that came to her mind.
"Do your homework, littlest wolf," Klaus said making a gesture toward the pile of books in front of her. They were sitting in his study, him with a bunch of old, dusty books that could give him a clue about the witches and their ancestors. He still tried to find someone capable of teaching her magic, someone he could trust and it wasn't easy since he had killed most of the witches in the nearest radius.
"But it's boring, why do I have to learn math when we have calculators? And geography when there is google maps?" Hope complained. She drummed her pen against the table. She was wearing her usual black beanie on her head, the ripped jeans and a raglan long sleeved shirt that had a picture of a music band on it.
His amused look suddenly changed when he saw the black marks on her right wrist, which immediately made him look up from his reading.
"What have you got there?" he asked nodding toward her wrist. Hope exposed her arm and thereby also five freedom birds tattooed over a scar.
"A tattoo, I didn't want people to see my ugly scar so I tried to hide it," she explained. "I got the scar when I was little. I think I scratched myself on a sharp twig or something."
Klaus watched her tattoo's for a moment, swept into his deep thoughts before Hope covered her arm up after calling his name a couple of times.
"For having extended hearing, you're quite hard to get attention from," she joked before turning back toward her homework. "Why do you want me so bad to learn magic anyway?"
"Don't you want to learn, sweetheart?" he asked instead of answering her question.
"I asked you first!"
She had become more stubborn for every day that passed by, she wasn't as shy as she had been the first couple of days. She had no problem with making herself heard in the family, especially when it came to having conversations with Kol. They could go on for hours arguing about something not important.
"Because, littlest wolf, if you learn magic, you'll be able to do things you could never imagine."
"And I would be the most powerful creature on this earth," she added. "I overheard Hayley and Elijah talking about it." She hurried to say when he gave her a confused look. "What's up with those two anyway? Their way of looking at each other is obvious that something is going on between them, but neither of them wants to admit it."
Klaus chuckled and leaned backwards. "Quite good at finding details, aren't you?"
"You could be blind but still see the sparkles around them," Hope rolled her eyes. "So what's up with them anyway?"
Klaus sighed, having a gossip conversation with his daughter about his brother's love life hadn't exactly been on his mind. But who could he blame for her curiosity about her own mother in flesh and blood?
"Elijah won't allow himself to approach her because he thinks that will ruin this family and his relationship with you."
"How come?" Hope asked, clearly not understanding the noble thing about Klaus' big brother.
"That's just the way he is, love, nothing to worry about."
"He is a bit stiff though, he talks with this deep, slow voice and it takes him like an hour to finish a sentence."
Klaus laughed, it was amazing how much information she had been able to catch up on within these days in their company. She read them all like they were an open book.
"You've noticed that too," Klaus shook his head before a sudden seriousness came all over him. "Are you trying to keep up this conversation to avoid doing your homework?" She was a teenager after all.
Hope innocently smiled, just as she had done when she was two years old. "Maybe."
"Get back to work, young lady," he said playfully adult with a wide smile on his face. She was smarter than he wanted to admit.
Buzzkiller, it seemed to be Hope's favorite word these days, no matter what you forbid her to do or told her that her idea maybe wasn't so wise as she claimed – the word always appeared one way or another.
Of course Klaus knew she was only being dramatic and messed around with them. But he couldn't really blame her, she was the reason he had felt relaxed the last couple of weeks. It felt like he had nothing to worry about as long as she was there with him, it both killed him and healed him on the inside.
"I got your text, what is it?" Marcel asked when he appeared around the corner as Klaus exited the airport. He had looked for Hope everywhere except for the train station and nearest bus stations.
"Hope is missing, I believe she ran away," Klaus explained in a hurry. "I need you to help me find her."
Marcel nodded, already understanding the seriousness in this situation. Their relationship had grown stronger within the last couple of years, they were like brothers now and Klaus knew he was able to trust him.
"Where do you want me to look first?" he asked.
"The park's all around New Orleans," Klaus answered. He knew about her habit of picking people's pockets in the parks, she had told him about it.
"Picking someone's pocket is the easiest thing in this world," she said leaning back in the chair causing it to balance on only the ones in the back. "All you have to do is be quick and making the victim think about something else."
"How did you learn this?" Elijah asked curiously.
Hope smiled and leaned forward, making the chair's front legs hit the ground with a loud bang. "I had a boyfriend once that taught me everything I needed to know."
Klaus was about to spit out the bourbon he had been sipping on, she was sixteen years old – she was barely allowed to be out longer than ten in the evening if he had anything to say about.
"Your what?" he spat and blinked a few times before taking a step forward. "When, exactly did this training session occur?"
"Niklaus, there is no need of getting angry," Elijah stated. Klaus glared at him, no need of getting angry? It was his daughter they talked about!
"Relax," Hope said rolling her eyes. "I was eight, we didn't really have a sexual relationship or anything. We were just kids messing around."
Elijah rose his eyebrows and made a hand gesture toward Klaus proving his point that he had been right. It didn't quite make Klaus calm, though. The fact that his daughter could have had boyfriends had some how slipped his mind while her being here. But now when the subject was on fire, he could at least make sure she hadn't done anything she would regret.
"You've had boyfriends?" Klaus asked grabbing a chair around the table with his hands.
Elijah groaned, obviously not as keen on the topic as Klaus happened to be.
"I don't know, I lost count," Hope slowly said. "After five or something ... "
Klaus threw his hands in the air, that's it. "You're not having one now, are you?"
Hope laughed, a confident, I-don't-believe-this kind of laugh. She didn't take this serious, but Klaus knew she saw that he was serious concerning the subject.
"No, and now when I know how you react by the word boyfriend, I won't tell you when I get one." Hope sighed before getting up to her feet and walking toward the exit.
"We're not finished!" Klaus called after her.
Hope stopped and turned to face him, with a calm look on her face. She enjoyed this, watching him suffer for the worry he felt for her. It made her believe him and know that he actually did care for her with his whole heart.
"Are we going to have the safe sex talk?" sha asked, making Elijah cover his mouth with his hand drowning his chuckle. "I think I'll pass, but thanks."
Klaus watched her disappear around the corner from his study before Elijah couldn't hold back anymore and bursted out in laughter.
Klaus smiled at the memory, it made his cold heart grow a few inches. Who would have thought that only one creature could make this impression on him? If anyone had told him this twenty years ago, he would have laughed that person right in the face. But now, after being able to talk to her, getting to know her and what she was thinking about, he wasn't as sure if he would bring back his past life anymore. The one where he only had the Quarter to be concerned about. This was his doing, his miracle, his daughter and maybe his savior.
He rushed in to the last train station he could find, it was filled with humans walking around like they owned the place. He shoved a lot of people to get past them and get a better view of the place, she had to be there.
No one had called him that they had found her yet and he didn't recognize her scent good enough yet to find her by it. He admitted that he was worried, what if the last standing witches had found her and brought her with them?
He shook his head, making himself think about something else, otherwise someone in the nearest radar would drop dead in front of him.
One of the feeling he actually enjoyed was the feeling when you get relieved, it is like your whole body allowed itself to relax and you can finally breathe again. It's like every single part of you that had been close to fall apart finds it strength and keeps it together.
That was the exact feeling he felt when he saw her only a couple of feet from him. She sat alone on one of the benches, with a train ticket in her hand and her usual hood over her head. Dressed in her white sneakers, that for the record wasn't that white anymore, and skinny, ripped jeans. Hope looked exactly like she had when she arrived to New Orleans, with her leather jacket on her and that tough look on her face, although he could see that she had been crying.
Klaus took a couple of steps toward her, causing her gaze to look up and find his eyes. She bit her lip, trying to stop the tears from start falling again.
"Sweetheart, I am so sorry." Klaus said as he approached her. It had been a long while since he had told someone an apology and actually meant it. The gift of being able to verbally explain that they had been wrong and to mean the apology was something that Klaus often referred as something his big brother Elijah was good at. Klaus himself almost never regretted any of his actions, which led to only a few apologies.
"Why did you do it?" Hope asked, he could hear her hurt voice and it felt like knives cutting his heart into pieces.
"I thought they mistreated you," he admitted taking yet another step toward her before crouching down in front of her, making her look into his eyes. "I am a man wanting revenge for actions that hurts me or the people I care about."
Hope sobbed, shaking her head. "It wasn't your revenge to make."
That surprised him, so she was mad at them? Then why was she so upset? Because he had been the one to kill them and not her?
"Don't you understand?" she said. "Every time you find someone hurting me you'll want to kill that person, even though that person might be close to me. People hurt each other, dad, and that's part of life! I have accepted it and so should you. There are other ways to find revenge than to kill someone."
"That's not why I did it," he breathed, he felt anger filling him. His hands making themselves into fists, he wanted to punch something, cause blood to pour out on the open floor.
"Are you afraid?" she then asked. Klaus didn't understand what she meant, he untied his fists and swept away the tears from her cheeks. She didn't seem to mind him doing it, she kept her gaze linked with his. "Afraid of losing me?"
"Every second of every day," he admitted. She was the most precious being in his life, she would always be.
"I believe, that you killed them because you were afraid that I would go back to them," Hope slowly explained. "You were afraid I would leave you for them and that's why you never let Rebekah or Elijah have their own love ones. You're afraid that if they love someone else, it will make them love you less."
He didn't answer, she had touched a nerve. After these weeks in her company, she was already able to read him, letting all of him sink in and trying to understand why he was the way he was. He couldn't change, he knew that and he believed she did too.
"What will you do when I turn up on the doorstep one day with a boy with me?" she then asked. "A boy whom I love and want to spend the rest of my life with? Will you kill him?"
Klaus licked his lips, he didn't want to lie to her but he knew the truth would scare her. It scared him. "I don't know. I wouldn't want you to get hurt, I will always protect you."
"You hurt me by killing people I care about!" She exclaimed and got up from her seat, making a half circle around him with her arms outstretched. "And because of what? Because you don't believe in love?"
Klaus glared at her. "Easy, Hope, you're causing a scene."
The people around them watched them as they walked past, probably wondering what he had done to make her so upset.
"Go to hell," she whispered before walking past Klaus.
He was fast to grab her by the arm, pulling her back from running away again. "Don't walk away from me!"
He couldn't believe this, his own daughter stood against him. They had gotten well along since she got here, why couldn't it just stay that way? Two lives here or there wasn't much of an effort and he knew she would get over it sooner or later.
"What will you do?" she challenged. Her eyes went down to glance at his grip before she looked back up into his eyes. They were filled with anger, disappointment and disgrace. "Kill me?"
She shook off his hand around her arm and took a step backwards. "Or put me in a box for a century or two? Always and forever, right?"
This wasn't her, this wasn't the daughter of his he had gotten to know. He didn't recognize her, never had he thought she would act like this toward him.
"Careful, you don't know what I am capable of, love." He didn't believe the words coming out of his mouth, he had just threatened her. His own daughter.
His heart sunk inside his chest. He sounded like Mikael.
Hope took a step toward him. "I would love to see you try. But then again you would, wouldn't you? Considering the fact that you're obsessed with power, you have to be the most powerful one, don't you? So why don't get me out of the way for you? Because you know, as soon as my training in magic begin and my hybrid side is trigger, I will be the most powerful creature in this world. Not you."
Klaus felt an impulse of madness, the next second he had sped over to the window behind Hope and crushed the class with his fist. A rain of glass fragments went all over the floor, causing people to stop and stare at him with scared eyes.
"Get on with your doings, forget this ever happened," he compelled the closest people with a voice filled with rage.
He studied his fist, fragments of glass had been pressed inside his knuckle making the wounds heal slower than usual.
When he looked at Hope his sudden rage were gone, the eyes that met his wasn't angry or disappointed anymore – they were confused.
Klaus didn't show any sign of emotions as he started to pull of the pieces of glass from his hand. "What is it?"
"Why didn't you hit me? I manipulated you, but you didn't even touch me."
"I told you, I will always protect you," he said taking a step forward and putting a hand on her shoulder. "I grew up with the belief that my father didn't love me, I will not let you do the same."
Hope broke their eye contact, her face expressing a bunch of different emotions. She was ashamed of herself, for using that kind of manipulation on Klaus only to see how he would react. "You love me?"
Klaus bent his knees to get his head on her level, forcing her to meet his eyes. "I have been selfish for a thousand years, doing things I regret and causing others to suffer only for my own good, but with you I can't allow myself to be that person." He talked with a low voice, making sure that no one except she heard his choice of words. "I love you, Hope, because you're my daughter and I will always be here for you."
Hope gasped for air as her eyes got wet of tears. "I'm sorry for my way of acting." Klaus opened his mouth to answer her, but didn't get the chance before she embraced him.
He put his arms around her, dragging her even closer to him. "It's okay, sweetheart, I forgive you."
He needed blood, he could feel it in his bones. He had never thought that emotions could have such huge effect on him, it felt like he had been thrown from a mountain and landed on sharp stones. But it was worth it, Hope had gotten herself something to think about, so had Klaus. She hadn't said it out loud that she forgave him for killing her adoptive parents, but her way of acting convinced him that she was at least considering it.
"So your father actually did beat you?" she asked. They were walking toward the compound, he had called Elijah and Marcel to confirm that he had found Hope. Elijah of course wanted to talk to him, probably remind him yet again to think things trough before he acted.
"Yes, almost to death once or twice. My siblings usually made their entrance and stopped him at the last minute."
"But they wasn't treated like this?"
Klaus shook his head. "No, only me."
"He's a jerk," Hope said simply shrugging.
Klaus looked at her with a wrinkled forehead, he had just told her that Mikael had treated him as a bastard his whole childhood, but it didn't seem to affect her at all. Did she really understand what that meant for a person's life?
"Mind if I ask you how you can see this as a simple thing?"
"Because," Hope said. "It happened over a thousand years ago, you've gotten your revenge and there is millions of other people out in the world only waiting for their redemption." She picked up a small stone from the ground and played with it in her hands. "Why let yourself get affected by something only one person thinks of you when there is a lot of other humans, werewolves and vampires that has other opinions? I wouldn't let myself get torn down because one person couldn't stand me."
"Even if that person almost killed you every other day?"
"Almost, but he didn't," Hope pointed out. "If he would have then none of the things you have achieved would have happened. Acting like everything you do is because of what someone told you or didn't tell you is insanity, I would like to show that person what I can make of what I've got and that I am better than that person instead of letting myself form my life for one thing that I found being tough. You can't change the past, but you can affect your future."
Klaus hadn't thought about it that way, he had always blamed Mikael of his way of acting, just like his siblings did. He had been so focused on his anger toward Mikael that he hadn't been able to form his way of seeing things another way. And now it was too late, his heightened senses because of him being a hybrid wouldn't let him change, at least not for a very long while.
"So you're not thinking about how your life could have been if your adoptive parents would have cared for you?" he asked in curiosity. He knew it was a tense subject, considering that he had just killed them. He prepared for a reaction filled with hate, but she didn't seem to mind her question at all.
"Nope," she said popping the p before throwing the stone as far as she could in front of her. "If they would have, then I wouldn't be this strong person that I am. Besides, there is no use of me thinking that way because what happened has already happened and I can't change that, so why bother feeling sorry for myself when I can't change the past?"
"I'm impressed," he admitted. "You're a strong girl."
"Yes I am," she said. "I have no regrets."
Klaus almost wished he would have the same way of thinking as her, she was really mentally strong. She probably wouldn't let anything affect her way of seeing things. He found himself watching at her with pride, believe it or not, but it was his blood that was running thought her vanes.
"Hope!" Klaus turned toward the boyish voice that appeared as they were about to walk into the compound. His daughter stopped and so did he as the teenaged boy ran toward them.
"Trip?" Hope asked, giving Klaus a quick gaze. "What are you doing here?"
The boy Trip stopped in front of them. "I wanted to make sure you were okay, you just ran off earlier today and I didn't see you in class." They boy's eyes met Klaus' and instead of looking away, he took a step forward and held out his hand. "You must be Hope's father, I'm Trip Westerly."
Klaus didn't hesitate before taking Trip's hand, shaking it. "Niklaus Mikaelson." He considered crushing the boy's hand, but didn't when Hope gave him a warning look. "Hope has told me about you."
That made his daughter give him an uncomprehending look, which he replied with a smile. Although he now knew he had to have a talk with her about this boy, he couldn't have her run around with any kind of boy around her.
"Want to join me at a café down the street, Hope?" Trip asked. "Summer and Bradin are also there."
"Um ... " Hope gave Klaus a questioning look.
"Go ahead," Klaus said making a gesture toward the street. "Enjoy yourself."
"Thanks … Dad", she smiled in surprise before giving him a quick kiss on the cheek and running off with Trip by her side.
"But make sure to be home by dinner!" he called after her, causing her smile to grow wider.