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The Hybrid

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Klaus had been tracking down a pack of werewolves in Oregon. It was the full moon soon so he decided to follow a group of campers deep in the woods. It was night and he was hiding and spying on the werewolves that were getting prepared to turn. He noticed most of them were avoiding a small group that had settled apart from them. This group was composed of four men and only one girl. The young girl was trying not to get in the way, obviously scared of her… what were they? Father, brothers, uncles? He couldn’t tell. But she had bruises all over her naked arms. She was obviously cold and she kept rubbing her arms to get some heat. “Ariel!” the hybrid heard one of the man yelled. The girl jumped, startled and nervous. She rushed to the man who had just called her. He was yelling at her about some food she didn’t take or didn’t prepare like he wanted to. The next thing he did was hitting her. He slapped her so hard she fell on the ground. Every werewolves around saw the scene but didn’t do anything. Klaus wondered why they didn’t help the poor girl that was getting beat up just in front of them. The way she was being treated reminded him of the abuse he used to suffer from his father. He was becoming angrier each time the man laid a hand on her.
Eventually he couldn’t stop himself from going over there and ripping the heart out of the cruel man’s chest. The werewolves started to scream in panic. The three other men tried to kill Klaus but failed, obviously ignorant of who he was. Of course, Klaus didn’t come alone. He’s been searching for werewolves and had made some hybrids on his way to Oregon. Those hybrids stopped most of the werewolves that were trying to escape.
“Don’t kill them all!” Klaus told them, trying to wash the blood off his hands. He looked down at the terrified girl on the ground. She was trembling out of fear and pain. She was looking at him with big eyes, afraid of what he was and what he wanted. He squatted down and she moved back a little. “Hello, love,” he said with a voice he wanted reassuring. “Who was that?” he asked, pointing at the dead body of the men who was kicking her in the stomach a minute before. She moved her eyes to the corpse then quickly back to the stranger.
“My father,” she said with a trembling voice. She spoke so low only a vampire could have heard her.
Klaus frowned. He was in rage, her father was as bad as his. “Did any of them…,” he said, pointing at the werewolves his hybrids had managed to stop, “ever helped you?” he asked. Tears were filling her eyes as she shook her head no. Klaus sighed. “Actually, do kill them all,” he told the hybrids. “Ariel is a pretty name,” he said. “I’m Klaus.” He stood up reaching out to her. She looked at his hand then back at him. She hesitated before she finally took it. He helped her back on her feet. “Are you hurt, love?” he asked and she shook her head no. He took her chin between his fingers and she flinched as she saw his hand getting close to her face. She closed her eyes out of fear but opened them when she was surprised he didn’t hit her. “Are you a werewolf, Ariel?” he asked next, looking her up and down. She nodded. “What if I told you, I can help you,” he said and she looked up at him, confused. “If you trust me, you’ll never have to turn ever again,” he told her. “I’ll heal those bad bruises,” he said. “What do you say, love?” he asked.
She looked at him still confused. Nothing good ever happened to her. Can she trust him? Is he better than her father and uncles? “Please don’t hurt me,” she begged him, tears falling down her cheeks.
“I won’t hurt you, love,” he said and he bit his wrist. “Drink,” he told her. She frowned and look at the wrist and then up at him. She was still scared but what would he do if she said no? Did she want to say no?
She had heard stories about the hybrid Niklaus. “You’re Niklaus?” she asked and he raised his eyebrows.
“You’ve heard of me?” he asked, surprised and she nodded. “If you drink, you’ll be like me…like them,” he eyed the hybrids standing over dead bodies. “Drink, love, it’ll make you stronger,” he said and she looked at him for a few hesitant seconds before she finally took his wrist and drank the red liquid.
He put his hand on her head and stroke her hair once or twice. “This will only hurt for a moment,” he said and she frowned before he snapped her neck. He caught her before she could fall on the ground. “Get me the blood bags,” he ordered his hybrids. He walked to his car and laid her on the back seats. “Clean this mess up.”
The bodies and their belongings were burning. The hybrids, as sired as they were, still couldn’t understand why they had to kill all of them. They were supposed to be turned just like they were. It was difficult for them to kill werewolves as they used to be werewolves themselves.
“How many of our own is he going to make us kill?” one of them asked.
“They’re not our own,” another said. “We’re hybrids now.”
“Still. I wanna help them the way we were helped.”
“You’ll do as I tell you to do,” Klaus said walking to them. “Where’s the blood?”
“The doppelganger’s blood is in your trunk” a hybrid told Klaus.
“Don’t make me feed her regular blood,” he warned them.
“The red cooler” the hybrid said. “The doppelganger’s blood is in the red cooler.”
Klaus nodded before he walked back to his car, waiting for the red-haired to wake up. The bruises on her arms were gone so were the black eye and the cut on her bottom lip. He was thinking back to when his father used to beat him a thousand years ago. He couldn’t defend himself and his was alone, even though he had his siblings, they were too scared to step up to their father. But she was alone. She had been alone for God knows how long with those four horrible men who had hurt her God knows how. Her clothes were clearly inappropriate for the season. They were old and damaged and a little too big for her.
Finally she woke up with a gasp. She quickly sat up, panicked.
“Easy, love,” she heard Klaus said. “You’re fine,” he told her.
“You killed me,” she breathed out, putting her hand to her neck.
“I did,” he said. “Don’t move, love,” he told her and took a blood bag out from the trunk before he handed it to her. “Drink or you won’t survive,” he told her and she slowly took it, looking up at him. “I told you, you can trust me.”
She took the blood bag to her mouth and started drinking. She dropped it as she felt her entire body changed. She quickly left the car and screamed in pain as she fell on the ground. “You’re okay, love,” he told her. Her eyes turned yellow for a moment. “You’re a hybrid now,” he said as he helped her get up. He took her chin in his finger and made her look at him. “You’re safe now,” he told her and she took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down. “Come,” he told her. He introduced her to the hybrids even though he had no intention of leaving her with them. His hybrids were following him in different cars as he was sure they couldn’t disobey him.
Ariel was still very confused. She was scared of them. She only knew abuse and didn’t know what Klaus wanted with her. She hoped for the best even though she didn’t have a lot of hope left in her. She stayed close to Klaus as she trusted him more than the strangers she had just met.
“Next stop, Portland.” Klaus told the hybrids who left with a truck. He lead Ariel back to his car and made her sit in the passenger seat. He started the car and they quickly left the forest for the road. “We’ll start by getting you some clothes,” he said and she looked up at him. “Do you have any belongings you want to take with you?” he asked and she shook her head no.
“I don’t have anything,” she whispered and that made Klaus angry. Not angry at her but angry at the men he had killed earlier.
“Tomorrow we’ll get you some clothes,” he repeated himself.
She stayed silent. Not because she had nothing to say, even though she didn’t, but out of habit. She wasn’t allowed to talk or to make any sound at all.
“Are you okay, love?” Klaus asked after a long moment of silence and she nodded. “Are you hungry?” he asked her and she shook her head no. “Did the sea witch took your voice when I wasn’t looking?” he asked as a joke and she looked down at her hands that were gripping her jeans out of fear he was angry. “We’re going to stop at a motel,” he said. “You’ll get cleaned up and you’ll get some rest there. We will meet the others in Portland tomorrow” he said and she looked up at him. Was he concerned about her well-being? She wondered. That’s a behavior she had never witnessed.
“You don’t have to stop for me,” she said, very low and timid.
He turned to look at her, angry she was used to being mistreated that way. “I told you I wouldn’t hurt you. I told you to trust me and that you were safe with me,” he said and she got scared of his serious tone. “I’m going to take care of you,” he said and she looked up at him but he was looking at the road. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t know what to say, thank you, didn’t seem like enough.
He stopped at motel and texted his hybrids they would meet in Portland the next day. Klaus left Ariel in the car as he went to ask for rooms. When he came back, he seemed annoyed. “Sorry, love, there was only one room left, but at least there are two beds,” he said as he made her get out of the car. The motel wasn’t very cleaned but was still less dirty than the house she used to live in. Klaus throw his bag on his bed and took out a t-shirt he handed to the small girl. “Here, you can sleep with that” he told her. She was so tiny he knew this would suffice.
“Thank you,” she whispered without looking at him.
“You can use the shower first,” he told her and she nodded.
Out of habit she didn’t lock the door, which he found weird. “Take all the time you need,” he told her from the bedroom. She didn’t know if he meant it but she stayed in the shower for a while. She enjoyed the hot water on her body. She enjoyed feeling clean again. She thought about her dead father and her dead uncles. She was never going to see them again and she didn’t know how she felt about that. Was she sad? Was she happy? Was she relieved? They couldn’t hurt her anymore so that would probably be a good thing. Maybe she should be sad about it. Was she a bad person for being relieved her family was finally out of her life? Dead? Now she was truly alone in the world. Why did Klaus turn her? What did he want from her? Was he going to hurt her? She couldn’t figure it out as she had no value, whatsoever. She was scared of Klaus, anticipating what was to come. She had heard stories about him. Would he do to her worst things her father ever did?
When she stepped out of the shower, she was wearing Klaus’ shirt. “Give me that,” he took her dirty clothes from her and threw them away. “I’ll get you some clothes tomorrow and then we’ll get more later, after we get out of Portland,” he said. “I’m going to take a shower but you can go to bed if you want to” he told her. “If you’re hungry I put some blood bags in the fridge,” he said and she frowned. Right. Blood bags. Because she was part vampire now. She decided she wasn’t hungry and went to bed. She was exhausted but she couldn’t sleep. She had nightmares and her father used to beat her every time she would wake him with her screams. She was too scared to relax enough to fall asleep anyway. She got under the covers of the small bed and turned her back to the bathroom door and to Klaus’ bed.
When he got out of the bathroom, he saw her in the bed and wondered if she was sleeping. Her shaky breathing told him she wasn’t and he put the bag on the floor before he turned off the lights and went into bed. In the dark he listened closely to her unstable breathing. He sat up in his bed and turned on the lamp on the table in between. “What’s wrong, love?” he asked. She slowly turned to look at him.
“Nothing,” she answered.
“Are you scared of me?” he asked and she slowly sat up shaking her head no.
“Then, what’s wrong? Do you miss your family?” he asked. After all he did just kill her father.
“No,” she quickly answered.
He looked at her waiting for her to tell him what was wrong.
“I’m sorry,” she said so low he almost didn’t hear her.
“Sorry for what, love? “ he asked.
She looked up at him and realized she didn’t know what to answer so she shyly shrugged instead. She brought her knees to her chest and stared at the end of her bed. He didn’t know what she was thinking or what he could do to reassure her. So he decided to speak instead. “Your father reminded me of mine,” he said and she looked up at him. “But I had my mother…and my siblings,” he told her.
“My mother died giving birth to me,” she said. “That’s how I broke the werewolf curse,” he told her. “That’s why my father hates me…hated, me.” She looked disgusted with herself.
“Come here, love,” he told her waving his hand. She frowned and looked up at him. She was hesitant but slowly got out of her bed to get into his. He put his hand on her shoulder and pulled her to his chest. She was trembling a little, anxious of being so close to him in a bed. “You’ll be fine. Goodnight, love,” he said before he turned off the light. He kept her close and stroke her shoulder to calm her down. She relaxed after a few minutes. He waited to make sure she was sleeping before he allowed himself to fall asleep.
The following morning, Klaus woke up before Ariel did. He decided to go out and buy some food. So when she woke up, Ariel was alone. She panicked for an instant thinking he had left her alone but she calmed down when she saw his bag was still there. She was hungry so she opened the fridge and stared at the blood bags for a while. She closed it, disgusted, and decided to make the beds. She cleaned up whatever she could. She jumped when she heard the door opened.
Klaus entered the room with breakfast in one hand and clothes in the other. He frowned as he saw the beds were made. “Hello, love,” he said as he saw her standing next to the fridge. “I brought breakfast, and some clothes,” he told her. He gave her the bag with the new, cleaned clothes in it. “I hope this fits you,” he told her, setting the food on the table. “Have you tried to drink some blood?” he asked and she shook her head no. “Well, get dressed,” he told her, pointing at the bathroom. “We can eat after.”
She stepped out of the bathroom wearing a jean and a t-shirt with long sleeves that suited her better than what she was wearing the day before. “You look beautiful, love,” he said and she looked down at the ground. He frowned at her reaction but ignored it. “We need to be on the road in less than an hour so let’s eat,” he told her, handing her a blood bag. She stared at it before she slowly took it. “You’re a vampire now. You need to drink blood. I will teach you how to feed on humans but for now you’re going to have to use blood bags,” he told her. Feed on humans? She wasn’t sure she wanted to ever do that. She drank the blood and it tasted better than she would have wanted to. “Coffee?” he asked her.
“I don’t like coffee,” she shyly replied, hoping he wouldn’t get mad.
“Really? Who doesn’t like coffee?” he chuckled and she gave him a very small smile. “Eat, at least,” he told her pointing at the bagels on the table.
After they ate in silence they got into the car and left for Portland.
“What are we going to do in Portland?” she had the courage to ask after a few hours of listening to the radio.
“Well,” he sighed. “Last night didn’t really turned out the way I thought it would” he said. “I’m looking for werewolves to turn into hybrids,” he told her.
“Why?” she asked and he turned to look at her.
“I’ve worked very hard to be able to make hybrids,” he answered.
“Why?” she repeated.
He focused on the road for a while, thinking about what to answer. “So I wouldn’t have to be alone,” he replied.
“Is that why you turned me?,” she asked. “So you wouldn’t have to be alone?”
He didn’t answer right away. “Maybe I turned you so you wouldn’t have to be alone,” he replied.
She was taken aback by his answer. He turned her to help her. He didn’t do it for himself, he wasn’t expecting anything from her. You’re safe now. His words echoed in her mind. He helped her last night but she didn’t know why. Why would he save her?
They both stayed silent for the rest of the trip. Ariel didn’t look up and didn’t see Klaus looking at her a few times. He was worried she was too damaged to ever trust anyone again. He didn’t think about it before, but maybe he would damage her some more.
“Stay in the car,” Klaus told her. She looked up at him. “This won’t be fun for you,” he said before he closed the door. He didn’t want her to see what he was about to do. Even though she knew exactly what was going to happen after he had all the werewolves of her pack killed last night. She stayed in the car as he told her. It was dark when he came back for her.
“Sorry it took so long,” he said as he took her hand to help her get out of the car. “Let’s take a walk.”
She followed him into the woods. He saw her shiver and he removed his jacket to put it on her shoulders. She flinched as he approached her and was surprised by his gesture. She put the jacket on giving him a shy “Thank you.”
They approached the camp where three strangers were drinking blood bags. “I made new friends,” he grinned at her and she gave him a tiny smile before looking back at the ground. She stayed close to him as he was talking to the new hybrids. “How are you feeling?” he asked them.
“Good,” one of them answered. “Stronger.”
“So, we will never have to turn again?” another asked.
“No. Only if you want to,” Klaus answered.
They cleaned the messed they had made, burned what was left of the campers.
“You’re okay, love?” Klaus asked Ariel who was still staring at the ground. She looked up and nodded. They were on their way back to the car when Klaus’s black leather jacket started to ring.
“You have my phone, love,” he grinned at her. She took the phone out and handed it to him. He checked the caller’s ID and picked up, “Portland is fantastic once you get over all the whiney music and healthy-looking people, it’s literally a breeding ground for werewolves,” he said with a grin.
“Your father’s dead.” Ariel heard the man on the other line said. She frowned and looked up at Klaus who had lost his cocky smile.
“What did you say to me?” he asked.
“Oh, my mistake, not your actual father, and not dead. Mikael. Daggered.” Klaus didn’t look happy and there was a short moment of silence before the other man started talking again. “What do you want me to do with the body?” he asked.
Klaus sighed, angry and suspicious. “Well, first, I want you to explain to me exactly what happened,” he said. “I want to see him, I want to see his rotting body for myself!” he groaned and Ariel stepped back a little out of fear.
“Well, he’s here. Come by whenever.”
“If you’re lying to me, Stefan, your compulsion will expose you. So answer with your life. Is what you’re saying the truth?” Ariel frowned. He compelled someone to do everything he said? That did not reassure the already scared young girl.
“It’s true. I saw it with my own eyes.”
“I want to talk to Rebekah,” Klaus said.
Who’s Rebekah?
“That’s not a problem, she’s right here.” Stefan said. After a few seconds a female voice replied, “Hello, Nik.”
“Rebekah, love, what’s this I hear about Mikael’s tragic run-in with a dagger?” Klaus asked. Ariel was surprised he wasn’t sad about his father’s death. Maybe he was like her, maybe he was glad to finally be free of this man.
“It’s true. He’s finally out of our lives for good,” the girl answered. Klaus closed his eyes, understanding he wasn’t being lied to. His father was dead. “I miss you. I’m miserable here.”
“I’ll be home soon,” Klaus said and Ariel frowned. Was he going to leave without her? She wasn’t sure she wanted to be on her own just yet, she wasn’t sure she could. But maybe it’ll be safer for her to stay away from him. Maybe she didn’t have a choice.
“Good. I’ll see you then, brother.”
So, Klaus had a sister. He had siblings.
“Come, love,” Klaus said before walking towards the car.
“Where are we going?” she shyly asked, following him.
“Well, we’re going to a small town called Mystic Falls,” he sighed. “This town is full of people who wants to kill me so we’re going to have to be careful,” he told her and she nodded, scared. “Don’t worry, that’s what my hybrids are for,” he said before he made her get into the car.
That’s why my hybrids are for. She kept repeating this in her head. What did he mean? Should it worry her? Was she free to go? To do whatever she wanted? Or was she his “prisoner”? Did she have to do everything he wanted? Did she have a choice now or was she still “the property” of a man?
“You’re okay, love?” Klaus asked and she jumped on her seat. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” he said, looking at her a little worried.
“I…I’m fine,” she babbled.
“We won’t stop until we’re at the airport,” he said. “I have a private plane that will take us to Mystic Falls,” he said and she nodded.
They arrived at the airport in the hour. She saw the hybrids get coffins out of the truck. She wondered who was in it and why Klaus was travelling around the country with them. But she didn’t dare ask. She got into the plane and sat on the couch and wait as he told her to. She had never been on a plane before and she wasn’t really reassured. During the flight, Klaus talked with the hybrids. She caught a few names like Mindy and Tony. The plane had plenty of food and drinks Klaus offered Ariel to eat if she was hungry. She wondered why he didn’t include her in his plan. She knew she couldn’t do anything but if she didn’t want her to help him, then why did he turn her in the first place? Klaus was nice and patient with her. He looked over to her a few times to make sure she was fine. When she fell asleep, he put a blanket on her and stroke her hair for a second before he went back to his hybrids to make sure they understood the plan and did as he told them to do.
Once they landed, Klaus woke Ariel up. She jumped and tried to move back as soon as he put a hand on her shoulder. “Easy, love,” he tried to calm her down. She looked at him with big eyes, it took a few seconds for her to remember where she was. “We’re there,” he told her. “Do you see these coffins?” he asked her after they got out of the plane and she nodded. “You’re in charge of them,” he told her and she frowned. “I need to leave for a party but I need someone I can trust watching over them,” he told her.
She was surprised he trusted her, he didn’t even know her. “Who’s in the coffins?” she asked.
“My siblings,” he merely said. “I keep them in that container,” he told her. “I’ll be back as soon as I can,” he informed her and she nodded. He was leaving her on her own, in charge of his family. She had never been trusted like this before. “You’re not afraid of the dark, are you love?” he asked. Was he going to make her stay in the container? She shook her head. “Here, this is Mindy’s phone, it’ll keep you busy,” he said before he left her.
She stayed in the dark container with food and water all day and she thought she would spent all night in there but finally she heard someone approaching. That someone, she believed was Klaus, opened the container. But it wasn’t Klaus and she stepped back when she saw the stranger getting in.
“Who are you?” he asked and she recognized Stefan’s voice from the call in the woods. She doesn’t reply, scared. After all, Klaus had told her this town was full of people that wanted to hurt him. “What did Klaus did to you?” he asked and she frowned. “Or are you one of his hybrids?” She stepped back and he grinned. “You’re one of his toys,” he chuckled. “Now I thought I’d have leverage with his dead siblings but maybe an alive hostage will send a stronger message,” he said and she stepped back again but this time her back met with the wall. The next thing she saw was Stefan inches from her and then it all went black.
It was early in the morning when Klaus came back to check on Ariel. His father was dead and he had freed Stefan from his compulsion. Nothing could stop him from getting his siblings back, now. He was leaving a voicemail to his sister when he received a call.
“Stefan! Miss me already?” he asked.
“I’m just calling to thank you for my freedom,” Stefan answered.
“Well, I like to believe I’m a man of my word, more or less,” the hybrid replied.
“The thing is, at too high of a price,” Stefan said and Klaus frowned. “You took everything from me Klaus,”
“Let bygones be bygones. Trust me, resentment gets old.”
“You know what never gets old?” Stefan asked as Klaus opened the container. “”Revenge.”
Klaus saw the empty container, “No,” he groaned.
“What’s the matter Klaus? Missing something?”
“What are you doing?” Klaus asked, enraged.
“Just enjoying my freedom,” Stefan replied. “You’re little friend is quite charming, I must admit I almost pity her, it wasn’t easy to tie her up with rope, especially since it’s sweating vervain and wolfsbane,” he said, looking at Ariel who was lying on the ground, her wrists and ankles were burning because of the vervain and she had a tissue in her mouth wet with wolfsbane. She could barely breathe and she was about to pass out from the pain.
“I will kill you and everyone you’ve ever met,” Klaus threatened the vampire.
“You do that and you will never see your little toy or your family again.”
“If you hurt her…” the hybrid started to say.
“I wonder, Klaus.” Stefan cut him off. “As someone who’s been one step ahead for a thousand years…were you prepared for this?”

Chapter Text

Klaus was enraged for three reasons. First, he didn’t expect being betrayed by Stefan Salvatore. Second, he never thought he’d see the day when his family would be taken from him. And finally, he didn’t understand why he cared about Ariel at all. He was worried Stefan would hurt her and if he did, it would be his fault. He was the one who had taken his humanity from him. He turned him into the ripper once again and so if he hurt Ariel, it would be entirely his fault.
But Klaus wasn’t used to being attached to people. He didn’t care about anyone but his siblings and it made him angry that he let himself fall for Ariel so soon. Caring is a weakness but he turned her and he promised her she would be safe with him. He had already broken his first promise.
The first thing he did was to prepare a plan. He knew he couldn’t find Stefan so he had to use other means to get what he wanted. And he had to do it fast, his siblings were impossible to kill, but not Ariel.
But Damon wasn’t going to tell him anything so easily. So first, he had to find a way to motivate him. That’s what Tyler was for.
“You want me to do what?” Tyler asked his sire. They were in an old house that Klaus was planning on renovating.
“I want you to spend the day with Jeremy Gilbert,” the Original hybrid repeated. “And if it comes to it, I want you to hurt him,” he told Tyler. “I need to make sure I get her back, unharmed,” he muttered intentionally as he stared at nothing in particular.
“Get whom back?” Tyler asked and Klaus looked up and waved away the question.
“Just do as I say,” he answered.
Tyler frowned and looked at Klaus for a few seconds before he left.
Klaus kept calling his sister but Rebekah never picked up the phone. He couldn’t stop but think about what Stefan could be doing to Ariel right now. He had to get her back and he had to get her back now.
“Tony, come with me.”
//
Klaus got inside the Grill where he found Damon flirting with Elena.
“Don’t mind me,” Klaus got their attention.
Damon looked up as Elena turned around. “Klaus!” she breathed out, afraid. Klaus grinned as Damon stepped in front of Elena.
“You’re gonna do this in the Grill? In front of everyone? It’s a little beneath you, don’t you think?” Damon asked.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Klaus answered as he took a few steps towards the vampire. “I just came down to the local pub to grab a drink with a mate,” he told them before he turned around to his so-called friend, “Get a round, then, would you, Tony?” Tony nodded and Klaus looked back at Elena with a grin. His smile grew bigger when he saw Elena’s worried face as she recognized the hybrid was the jogger who was following her this morning.
“I’m surprised you stayed in town long enough for happy hour,” Damon said.
“My sister seems to be missing. Need to sort that out,” he replied. He would only endangered Ariel more if they knew he really cared for her. Besides, Stefan betrayed them the night before so he was pretty sure Damon wasn’t colluding with his little brother.
“Cute, blonde bombshell? Psycho? Shouldn’t be too hard to find,” Damon shrugged with an attitude.
“Truth is,” Klaus started to say as he took a few steps towards them, “I’ve grown to rather like your little town. Thinking I might fancy a home, here,” he said, taking a dart from Damon’s hand. “I imagine you’re wondering how does this affect you,” he kept talking as he passed them. “And the answer is, not in the slightest. As long as I get what I want and everyone behaves themselves you can go on living your little lives however you choose,” he turned to look at them. “You have my word.”
“What more could you possibly want?” Elena asked, worried.
“Well, for starters, you can tell me where I might find Stefan,” he said, pointing the dart at her face.
“Stefan skipped town the second he saved your ass,” Damon replied, placing himself between Elena and the Original hybrid.
“Well, you see, that is a shame,” Klaus said before he threw the dart in the dartboard, right in the middle. “Your brother stole from me,” he said, showing them an angry look. “I need him found so I can take back what’s mine.”
“That sounds like a Klaus Stefan problem,” Elena said and Klaus took a few steps but Damon stopped him. He chuckled but stopped anyway.
“Well, this is me broadening the scope, sweetheart,” he told her with a threatening grin before he stepped outside with Tony.
//
Ariel didn’t know where she was. She was lying on a dirty ground. Her right arm and shoulder were in the dust. Her hands were tied behind her back with rope soaked with vervain and she couldn’t run away as her ankles were also tied. Each breath she took was burning her lungs because of the tissue in her mouth soaked with wolfsbane. She was hungry and thirsty. They were traces of dry tears on her cheeks. Stefan was there, she figured he was probably hiding. Sometimes he talked to her, asking her questions about her or Klaus she couldn’t answer. He would drop water mixed with vervain or wolfsbane on her when he was bored. Her cries were rended silent by the tissue.
“I didn’t ask your name,” he sighed. Suddenly he frowned and turned to look at the stairs. He sighed again, turned back to Ariel and leaned to take her arm. He squeezed it so hard it hurt her and he dragged her to the other room so whoever was coming wouldn’t see her. He climbed the stairs to meet the intruder.
“Hello, Bonnie,” he startled her. She quickly turned around to see him standing there.
“Stefan,” she frowned, surprised to see him there. “You followed me here?” she asked.
“Yeah, it wasn’t too hard,” he said. “You should probably be more careful,” he lied.
“What do you want with me?” she asked, suspicious.
“Relax. I just need your help,” he told her.
“What would I help you,” she asked, “Elena said you saved Klaus’s life.”
“Let me fill you on a little secret about Klaus,” he said. “He kept his family with him at all times, daggered, stored in coffins,” he told her. “And now, I have them. And I need you to help keep them hidden.”
“You’re out of your mind. You’re just going to make him angrier,” Bonnie replied.
“His family is his one weakness,” he said, “Well…one of his weakness, I believe…And as long as I have them, I can ruin him.”
“I don’t have enough power to hide four Originals,” she told him.
“You’re a witch. You hate Klaus. I know you can figure something out,” he shrugged.
She frowned and sighed. “Where are the coffins?” she asked.
Stefan grinned and took her down the basement. Ariel was hidden and couldn’t see who was with him. Bonnie hid the coffins with the help of the dead witches that were haunted the place. She left the old house unaware of Stefan’s hostage.
//
Klaus was paying a visit to Damon at his house, setting his plan in motion.
“You know we have a lot in common, you and I,” he said.
“Really?” Damon asked, sarcastic. “Well, yeah maybe we can bond over our mutual loathing of my brother. Why are you so mad at him? He stole something?” he asked.
“My family. The Originals… And…more,” he said the end staring at the floor. He stayed silent for a split second. “I had them daggered, boxed up, awaiting the day when I saw fit to wake them. And he went in and pinched the bloody lot.”
Damon chuckled. “Of course he did. Ah…such a buzz kill, my baby bro.” He furrowed his eyebrows before he asked. “What more did he take from you?”
Klaus looked up with an innocent look. “Oh, just…something precious to me,” he shrugged.
“Well, I’d love to find him,” Damon replied. “It’s just, the trouble is, I sure as hell don’t work for you.”
Klaus was becoming impatient. “You know, your drink stinks of vervain, so I can’t compel you,” he told the vampire. “There’d be no point in killing you because you’re actually the one with the most hope of getting me what I need. And yet, it would seem a demonstration is in order. Perhaps it wasn’t clear enough when I told you to find Stefan. Oh, well it seems you people respond best to displays of violence. Why don’t you take this as an example of my reach?” he took his phone out and dialed an number. “There he is,” he said. “So that thing I told you to do, what don’t you go ahead and get on with it?” he hung up. Damon furrowed his eyebrows, annoyed, and watch Klaus leave the house.
Later in the day, Klaus received a phone call from Elena Gilbert. It was dark when he went back to the Salvatores.
“Thank you for coming,” Elena told him after she opened the door.
Klaus entered. “I trust you have news of Stefan,” he said, passing her.
“I couldn’t find him,” she told him and he turned to show her his angry face. “But I have something better,” she told him and he became interested.
She led him to the basement where Rebekah was lying in the dust with a dagger in her back.
“My poor sister,” Klaus said, looking down at her. “I can’t turn my back on her for a moment.”
“You have Rebekah,” Elena told him. “A deal is a deal.”
“The life of my sister in exchange for your brother?” he said looking up at her. “Yeah, I’d say that’s a bargain. Consider him spared.”
Elena took a deep breath as to gather the courage she needed to say what she needed to say, “You should know… I was the one who daggered her,” she told him. “When she wakes, she’ll come after me.”
“I can control Rebekah,” he told her, unhappy. “Besides, I still need your help finding Stefan,” he said as he squatted to remove the dagger from his sister’s back.
“I told you, I don’t know where he is,” she told him.
“You’re lying,” he said. “Fortunately you have no shortage of loved ones. If I don’t find Ariel, the question you should be asking yourself is who’s gonna die next. Bonnie, Caroline…Damon?” he said looking up at her and he saw her frowned.
“Who’s Ariel?” she asked, confused.
“A friend of mine Stefan took along with my family. But you see, she is vulnerable, unlike my siblings,” he told her. “I want her back, unharmed.”
“Stefan doesn’t care about me anymore. You made sure of that. You turned him into a monster. He’s your problem now,” she told him. “And just so you know, I’m not the only one Rebekah wants dead. She knows what you did to your mother. She knows that you killed her. Maybe Stefan just let Ariel go and she ran away from you as far as possible,” she said before he left him alone in the basement with his unconscious sister and his thoughts.
Klaus took Rebekah to the house he was renovating.
“Here we are, Rebekah. Home sweet home. Only took a thousand years. And to think I was counting on you being here with me… But that’s all ruined now isn’t it?” he said. “I’m so sorry, sister, we’ll meet again, one day” he whispered to his unconscious sister after he saw her skin take a normal shade and he put the dagger back in her heart and watch her body turn grey, once again.
//
Despite several visitors Ariel stayed hidden in the basement. She figured nobody was looking for her, perhaps not even Klaus. After all, she did fail him in the one and only task he gave her. She was exhausted from the pain and she was starving. After Damon left the house, Stefan came back to Ariel. He squatted next to her and she flinched and shot her eyes closed when she saw his hand getting close to her face. She let out scared little noises and hoped he wouldn’t hurt her more. She heard him sigh and opened her eyes as he caressed her cheek with his knuckle. He removed the tissue from her mouth and she sobbed and try to take deep breaths.
“What’s your name?” he asked her.
She sniffed. “Ariel,” she managed to say in great pain.
“What are you doing with Klaus, Ariel?” he asked her next.
“Nothing,” she replied.
Stefan sighed, dropped the tissue in a bottle of water mixed with wolfsbane before he tried to put it back in Ariel’s mouth. The terrified girl wailed when she saw him approach the tissue near her face.
“If you answer my questions I won’t put it back,” he told her.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” she cried. “I met him two days ago,” she wept.
Stefan frowned. “He seemed eager to get you back,” he told her. “Why did he turn you?” he asked.
“He said… he wanted to help me,” she sniffed.
“Why?” he asked. He didn’t understand why Klaus would need such a weak girl.
“I don’t know,” she cried.
Stefan sighed and put the tissue back in her mouth. “No,” she whined and shook her head. She tried to scream to stop him but he didn’t let her. She passed out a few second after she inhaled the poison.

Chapter Text

“Alaric will be fine,” Damon said, entering the kitchen. Elena was trying to wash up the blood she had on her hands. Her brother had just cut off a hybrid’s head and things got messy. “How are you?” he asked.
She sighed. “I think I got most of the blood off the porch.”
“Elena…Look at me,” he said and she sighed again but turned anyway. “It’s gonna be okay,” he told her. She nodded and lowered her eyes. She was feeling guilty about what she did earlier and she had to tell him about it. She knew he wasn’t going to be happy.
“I have to tell you something,” she said. “I made a deal with Klaus… I gave him Rebekah…”
“What?” his eyes grew bigger, “No, no, no, you did not do that? She’s gonna come here and try and kill you!”
“No she won’t!” she told him. “Klaus won’t let her because he needs me.”
“What? Suddenly you trust him?”
“No, I don’ trust him! But what other choice do I have? I don’t trust Stefan,” she told him. “Do you think he’s just gonna give up the coffins?”
“My brother’s…sorta running his own show right now…” Damon agreed.
“Yeah and my brother just chopped up someone’s head! It’s not right, it’s not fair, he’s 16 years old, he shouldn’t have to live like this…There has to be another way… We need to fix it” she sniffed as she turned back to the sink and continued washing the blood.
Damon stepped towards her and made her look back at him. He took her face in his hands. “Hey, we will, Elena…We will. Okay?”
Elena nodded. “Do you know someone called Ariel?” she asked after a moment of silence. Damon frowned and shook his head no.
“Never heard of her,” he said. “Why?”
“Klaus said Stefan took her with the coffins. He wants her back, now,” she told him.
Would she be the “something precious” Klaus was talking about earlier?
“I’m not okay with this, Damon. The Originals are already … “dead”,” she said. “But Ariel… she’s alive and Stefan might be hurting her,” she said.
Damon was thinking. He fought with Stefan earlier but he didn’t see anyone else in the house. “I’ll take care of it,” he told her. Elena sighed.
“What are we gonna do about Jeremy?”
//
Damon and Stefan couldn’t find a way to open the fourth coffin, the one they had no idea who was in it. After trying several times, Damon gave up and turned to look at his brother.
“Who’s Ariel?” he finally asked.
Stefan frowned. “How do you know about her?”
“Klaus told Elena, who told me,” he answered. “She’s afraid you’re hurting her,” he rolled his eyes. He didn’t care about Ariel but he cared that Elena did.
“She’s a hybrid. I’m keeping her as leverage,” he told his brother.
“Leverage for what?” he asked.
Stefan sighed. “Well, we agreed Klaus’ hybrids need to go. I’m sure he’d agree to make them leave town in exchange for his little friend’s life.”
“Oh, so you’re giving her back to him?” he asked.
“I didn’t say that. But the hybrids need to go,” he replied.
//
Klaus was looking at his sister lying dead in her coffin before he closed it. “Sweet dreams, Rebekah,” he said. “Show her to her room, would you, love,” Klaus told Mindy. He sighed as she took the coffin away. “I’m surprised you’re still in town,” he said after he heard Stefan enter the other room. “I gave you your freedom you could’ve gone anywhere.”
“I live here, Klaus,” Stefan reminded the Original hybrid.
“Well, if we’re playing this game then I was here first,” he said and Stefan chuckled.
“You know, I don’t like your hybrid friends…They’re everywhere, kinda like flies, I want them gone,” he told him.
“Yeah, well, I kinda like having them around,” he shrugged. “How’s Ariel?” he asked, looking up.
Stefan grinned. “Mmh, not so good,” he answered, looking around.
Klaus tried to stay calm. He wanted to hurt Stefan. He wanted to kill him. In fact, if his eyes were guns, Stefan would have died on the spot. But he knew he had no chance on getting Ariel back without him. “You know, I’m hurt. I hoped that I’d free you and we’d pick up where we left off, but here you are, guzzling vervain like the rest of them, I’m sure. So much for friendship.”
“Friends don’t strip friends of their free will,” Stefan replied.
Klaus nodded. “Okay, granted, yeah, that was a little extreme, but I get a little moody. Just ask my siblings,” he grinned. “Speaking of whom…Isn’t it time you handed them over?”
Stefan took a few steps towards the hybrid. “Klaus, get your hybrids out of Mystic Falls or I will remove them myself.”
“Mmh, you see, if you continue to threaten me, I’m gonna be forced to retaliate. Kill people. And it’ll get messy, again.”
“Do whatever you want I don’t really care,” Stefan shrugged. “Or you know what? Maybe I do. Maybe I care so much that I take Ariel’s heart out of her chest,” he grinned at the hybrid.
Klaus took one step. “Go ahead, and I’ll kill miss Gilbert,” he told the vampire.
Stefan laughed. “You can’t, how will you make hybrids?”
“Maybe I’ll take all her blood and leave her to die. And after that I’ll kill your brother. And everyone else in this town,” he groaned.
Stefan laughed harder. “You are so desperate,” he said and that only made Klaus angrier. “Remove your hybrids and I’ll consider giving your little toy back to you.”
“Is everything okay?” Mindy asked, joining them.
“Give her back and I’ll consider removing my hybrids,” he said.
Stefan grinned and chuckled. Suddenly he took the saw that was on the table just next to him and Mindy’s head fell on the floor. “Well, one down. You might want to send the rest away before it gets messy…again,” Stefan said before he threw the saw on the ground and left.
Klaus was enraged and anxious. Actually, he was scared. He was scared he would never see Ariel again. Scared she would get hurt or die because of him. He didn’t like being given orders or ultimatums and he decided to call Tyler to test a theory.
“What happened?” Tyler asked as he entered the room and saw the blood on the floor.
“What happened is, Stefan had two paths in front of him and he chose the one that made me angry,” Klaus answered. “I need you to help me do something about that.”
“Can’t you just leave me out of it?” Tyler asked.
“What would be the point in that?”
“Seriously man, can’t you ask one of your other hybrids to do your biding. I lost my friends, my girlfriend…”
“Right, your girlfriend, about her…I need you to bit her,” Klaus told him.
“What?” Tyler asked, shocked.
“Don’t make me repeat myself,” Klaus threatened.
“A hybrid bite will kill a vampire.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know exactly what it’ll do, but Stefan pushed me too far so I’m pushing back”
“I’m not biting Caroline!” Tyler shouted.
“Tyler, I’ve been supernaturally blessed with the good fortune of a sire bond to you,” Klaus tried to keep calm. “So one could consider this me putting your undying loyalty to the test.”
Tyler took one step towards his sire. “What’s the hell is wrong with you? I’m not hurting Caroline!”
“Alright, alright,” Klaus grinned before he stepped back. “I’m disappointed but you know it’s your choice…free will and all that. I’ll find another way to strike at Stefan. You can go now.”
Klaus watched Tyler go with a grin. He knew that one way or another, Tyler will bite Caroline. He will because he asked him to. All he had to do now, was wait.
It was dark when Klaus left for the founder party. He was talking to Carol Lockwood when he was interrupted by Damon.
“Klaus has promise to protect Tyler, Damon, and our town,” Carol told Damon.
“From who? His hybrids are the ones this town needs protection from,” he replied.
“Well, I’d have no use for them if Stefan would kindly return my friend and family.”
“Not gonna happen,” Damon answered.
“That’s what I thought, which is why I’ve come to an agreement with the mayor. You and the council stay out of my hair, I stay out of yours. All you have to do is get Stefan to give me Ariel back and to stop decapitating my friends.”
“Please, Damon,” Carol said. “Just get your brother under control or the council will be obligated to take actions against him.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Damon replied.
“Oh come on Damon. Give peace a chance,” Klaus told him with a grin.
Klaus stayed late at the party. He socialized with council’s members and he was flattering an old lady when he was interrupted by Damon once again.
“What now?” he asked as he entered an empty room with Damon.
“Stefan just grabbed Elena,” Damon informed him.
“Uh, he’s getting desperate,” he shrugged.
“He’s gonna try and use her against you, do what he says. Get rid of your hybrids.”
“Or what?” Klaus asked. “Stefan would never dream of killing her.”
“You’re sure about that?” Damon asked. “He just tried to behead someone in the middle of a council party. He’s operating on crazy right now!”
“Well, crazy or not, that kind of love never dies. He’s bluffing,” he shrugged the threat away.
“Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but if you don’t want to believe him, believe me. I know my brother better than anyone and right now I don’t have a clue how far he’s ready to take this so if he says blink I suggest you blink,” Damon warned Klaus.
The Original hybrid considered the vampire’s words after this one had left him alone in the room. He stepped outside and he was walking in the garden when Tyler approached him in panic.
“I bit her,” he said. “I bit her, you need to help her,” he begged his sire.
“I will,” Klaus nodded. “But I need something in return.”
“What?” Tyler asked in a hurry.
“Something you can’t give me,” he replied. “ Take me to your friend.”
They left for Caroline’s house and Matt opened the front door.
“What do you want?” he asked.
“I heard Caroline had an accident,” Klaus said.
“You asked Tyler to bit her,” Matt replied.
“And I’m here to help,” he told him.
“I know how this work,” sheriff Forbes said, appearing behind Matt. “You want something in return.”
“I do,” he nodded. “But only Stefan can give it to me.”
Elizabeth invited him in.
“What are you waiting for?” she asked. “Caroline is in her room.”
“I told you. I need something in return,” he said and that’s when his phone rang.
“Stefan, how nice to hear your voice.”
“Tell your hybrids to get out of town, Klaus.”
“Well, that’s not gonna happen until I get Ariel and my coffins back,” he replied.
Stefan chuckled. “Okay, well, then I’m just gonna drive your blood source off the Wickery Bridge,” Stefan threatened.
“I don’t believe you Stefan. You won’t kill her.”
Klaus then heard Elena cough. “What are you doing?” he heard her say.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
“I just fed her my blood. No more hybrids if she’s a vampire,” Stefan answered.
“You won’t do it.”
“Really? Try me, because Ariel is next to go.”
Klaus hesitated as he heard Elena beg Stefan to slow down and to stop the car.
“Give me back Ariel and I’ll send my hybrids away,” Klaus said.
“Not good enough,” Stefan said.
“Tyler bit Caroline earlier this evening,” he said.
“What?” he heard Elena’s voice.
“Give me back Ariel and I’ll send my hybrids away,” he repeated. “And I’ll cure Caroline.”
It took a moment for Stefan to answer. “Fine,” he said before he hung up.
Klaus closed his eyes and sighed, reassured.
“Please,” sheriff Forbes begged. “Caroline,” she reminded him.
“Of course.”
//
Ariel woke up in the dark basement alone. She was scared and suffering from the wolfs bane and the vervain. She was starving and dirty. She had cried all the tears she could and she was exhausted from the pain. She heard someone climb down the stairs and was afraid it was Stefan. She moaned terrified little sound when she saw him approach her.
“Relax,” he sighed as he leaned to take her by the arm. He put her in his trunk and drove his way to Klaus’ mansion.
“Where is she?” Klaus asked as Stefan got out of his car. He watched him walk his way to his trunk. He used his vampire speed to join him after he opened it. Ariel try to look up and was relieved when she saw Klaus. What he saw enraged him. “What did you do to her?” he groaned as he removed the tissue from her mouth, burning himself with of the wolfs bane.
“Klaus,” she cried in a whisper.
“Shh, you’re fine, love,” he told her as he freed her from her ropes. He burned himself again but he didn’t care. He took her in his arm and she flinched when he approached her but he didn’t stop. “You’re alright, love,” he looked up at Stefan and he could have killed him with eyes. She clenched at his shirt like her life depended on it.
“Pleasure doing business with you,” Stefan said before he closed the trunk.
Klaus hurried back into the house. He laid her down on his bed and she painfully let go of his shirt. “You’re safe now,” he told her. She looked up at him and sniffed.
“I’m sorry,” she wailed.
Klaus frowned and sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Sorry for what, love?” he asked as he placed his right hand on her forehead. She tried to back away and he removed his hand almost instantly. She was terrified. He lowered his eyes, ashamed and sighed. “You must be starving,” he said. “I’m going to get you some blood, you can use the bathroom to clean up,” he told her as he pointed at the bathroom door. He got up and she watched him leave the room.
She slowly sat up on the bed and turned her head to look at the bathroom door. She was trembling, wondering what would happen next. She was considering getting up, she was dirty and wanted to take a shower. But her entire body was aching. She needed blood and food. She gradually got her legs out of the bed and very slowly put her feet on the floor. She tried to get up and almost lost balance but she didn’t fall. She carefully walk her way to the bathroom. She put her hands on the edge of the sink so she wouldn’t fall. She couldn’t look at herself in the mirror so she didn’t look up. She opened the tap and moved her hands under the water. She enjoyed the feeling of the water on her face.
She cried out of fear when she felt a hand on her waist. She quickly turned and saw Klaus handing her a towel. “Sorry, love, I didn’t mean to startle you,” he said.
She didn’t respond and looked down at her feet. He put both his hands on her waist and she gasped when he sat her down on the edge of the sink. She put her hands on his shoulders instinctively as he lift her up. He removed his hands as he understood she was uncomfortable when he touched her. He carefully approached the towel to her face. “You’re okay, love?” he asked and she nodded. She was still looking down. Klaus sighed. “Pamela’s waiting in the bedroom,” he said and she looked up at him, confused. “She’ll gave you all the blood you need,” he explained and she blinked quickly several times before she nodded and lowered her eyes again. Klaus laid the towel on the sink next to Ariel. He took her face in his hands but she didn’t look up. “Come on, love, you’ll feel better after you eat,” he told her. He caressed her cheeks with his thumbs before he put his hands around her waist and he helped her get back on her feet. She gripped his shirt and she looked up when he didn’t let go of her. He was looking down at her and she was scared of what he was going to do next. He leaned to kiss her forehead which surprised her and then he whispered. “I’m sorry.” Then he made her follow him out of the bathroom. “Ariel this is Pamela,” he said, looking down at her. “Pamela this is Ariel, you’re her dinner,” he told the blonde human who wasn’t alarm by what he just said and took a few steps holding her wrist to Ariel.
Ariel looked up at Klaus, hesitant. “You’ll do fine, love,” he told her. She looked at Pamela and then back at Klaus. “I don’t want to hurt her,” she whispered, shy and scared he would get angry.
“I won’t let you kill her, then,” he assured her. She sighed and moved on her feet, uncomfortable. She didn’t want to do it but she needed blood. She needed blood so much it hurt. She took the wrist and brought it to her mouth. She listened to Pamela’s heartbeat and she closed her eyes as the strong smell of blood overwhelmed her and she couldn’t resist the hunger anymore. Pamela stayed still and didn’t make a sound.
“Alright, love, that’s enough,” Klaus told Ariel and she let go of the wrist with difficulty. “Go away,” he told Pamela after he gave her a little bit of his blood.
Ariel was wiping the blood off her mouth. She was feeling better but she was still starving and hungry.
“What don’t you take a shower and then I’ll get you something to eat?” he said and she looked up at him. “Like a burger?” he said and she nodded. Even if she didn’t want to take a shower or eat it wouldn’t have occurred to her she had any choice in the matter. He put his hands back on her waist for a short moment and kissed the top of her head. “I’ll get you some clothes, I’m getting take out so take all the time you need,” he told her before he left the room.
Ariel stayed still for a minute. She wondered why he wasn’t angry at her and why he was being so nice. She stayed in the shower for about an hour. She lost track of time as she enjoyed the feeling of hot water on her skin. She enjoyed feeling clean again. She stepped out of the bathroom with only a towel around her naked body and she dressed with the clothes that Klaus had left her on the bed. She walked around the mansion that was being renovated. She followed the smell of food and finally found the kitchen.
Well, what was going to be the kitchen.
“There you are, love,” Klaus said. “Now, normally I’d send one of my hybrids to get the food but they’re all gone now,” he told her as he was taking the food out of the bags.
Ariel had never ate so much in her life. And even after the burgers and some fries, she was still hungry.
“You’re emotions are amplified now that you’re a hybrid,” he told her. “Food often help.”
She nodded and squirmed on her chair. “I’m sorry,” she repeated.
“Sorry for what, love?” he still had no clue why she was apologizing.
“You said you trusted me with your family and now they’re gone,” she said, low.
He looked at her before he said: “Don’t worry about it, love. It was my fault.”
She frowned and looked up at him. She was confused. Usually, she would be blamed for everything. Even when it wasn’t her fault. “What?” she breathed out, confused.
“Stefan is after me,” he was looking down. He was feeling guilty. “You got hurt because of me,” he said, low. He was obviously angry with himself.
“I’ll help you get your family back,” she told him as she put a hand on his. She was making him sad and she didn’t like it. He looked down at her, surprised by what she just did. He quickly got up.
“Come on,” he cleared his throat. “I’ll take you to your room.”
She frowned, nodded and got up when he left the room. She walked behind him quickly and he stopped in front of a door.
“It’s almost done,” he told her as he opened the door. “We just need to finish to paint the walls and the bathroom is almost ready too,” he said. “I took some of my sister’s clothes and put it in the wardrobe, but we’ll get you some of your own soon.”
“This is my room?” she asked.
“Yes, love,” he nodded, wondering why she was so surprised. “You can use the bathroom just not the shower,” he told her.
She never had a room before. Or a bed. Or a wardrobe. She had a mattress. And a cardboard box. “Good night, love. You know where my room is if you need anything.”
She changed and put on Klaus’ sister’s pajamas that was in the wardrobe. She stared at the large bed for a minute. She never saw a bed that size. She slowly got into the bed and under the covers. She didn’t turn off the light, she didn’t want to be in the dark again. She laid in bed for about an hour, thinking back to where she was the day before. Every time she closed her eyes she was back with Stefan in the dusty basement. She tried to chase those thoughts away but she failed. She was getting scared alone so she took all the courage she had left and got out of the bed. She left her room and walked in the hallway and stopped in front of Klaus’ door. She hesitated to knock before she heard movement in the room. She wouldn’t have heard it if she hadn’t been a hybrid. The door opened and she backed away a little.
“I’m sorry,” she quickly said when Klaus appeared behind the door.
“What is it, love?” he asked. “What’s wrong?” he worried.
“I…,” she looked up at him before she looked down. “I…” she tried to say.
Klaus was confused and was waiting for an answer.
“I’m scared,” she said. “Can I stay with you tonight?” she asked so low, Klaus almost didn’t hear her. In fact, he thought he misheard her.
“Come here, love,” he told her and she looked up at him. He opened his arm and she hesitated before she took one step and bury her head in his chest. He hugged her back and kissed her temple.
They got into bed and Klaus was ready to stay on his side and give her her space but she stayed close to him and put her left hand on his chest before she slowly laid her head on his chest too. He wasn’t one to cuddle but he place his hand on her shoulder and pulled her closer to him.
“Good night, love.”
“Good night, Klaus.”

Chapter Text

Klaus woke up first. Ariel’s head was still on his chest. He watched her sleep and focused on her breathing for a while. She looked so peaceful and calm. She wasn’t afraid in her sleep. He tried to get out of bed without waking her but failed. She opened her eyes slowly.
“Good morning, love,” he said and she looked up quickly and got away from him so fast that she almost fell off the bed. She didn’t, though, and took a deep breath when she remembered where she was and who she was with.
“Klaus,” she breathed out. “I’m sorry, I…I…,” she closed her eyes and shook her head.
“You’re alright?” he asked.
“Yes,” she answered. “I just thought…you were someone else,” she said very low, looking down.
Klaus frowned and sighed. “Are you hungry?” he changed the subject. She looked up and nodded. “Come,” he told her and she followed him out of the room.
She insisted on cooking breakfast. She made pancakes that they both ate in silence. “These are very good,” he said.
“You sound surprised,” she said a little amused.
He chuckled. “I haven’t eaten anything homemade in a while,” he said.
“I can cook,” she shrugged. “I love it, actually, it’s…relaxing,” she said.
“Well, love, once the kitchen is ready, you’ll have a lot of fun in here,” he said. “We can go grocery shopping after we buy you some clothes, today. We can have lunch at the Grill,” he said. “Since my hybrids are now out of town, this house won’t renovate itself,” he sighed. “But it’s almost done.”
Even though she kept telling him she didn’t need any more clothes or futile things she would have never dreamt of possessing, ever, Klaus kept ignoring her and spoiled her with everything she laid her eyes on. He bought her the most recent and expensive phone he could find and then they stopped at the Mystic Grill to eat lunch.
Ariel was setting her phone and Klaus smiled, amused to see her struggle with the piece of technology.
“How are you doing, love?” he asked and she shrugged.
“I think I broke it,” she said, low, ashamed.
He chuckled and took the phone from her hands. When he gave it back, everything was settled correctly.
“Thank you,” she smiled at him.
They kept eating in silence. Klaus was obviously thinking about something but she didn’t dare to ask. Finally, he took a deep breath and asked: “Do you have anywhere else to go?”
She looked up at him and frowned. “What do you mean?” she asked.
“I mean…if you want to leave, you’re free to go,” he told her. He was concerned he didn’t give her any choice in the matter. She was a hybrid so she was obviously sired to him.
She looked at him for a while before she answered. “No, I only have you,” she merely said before she looked down at her plate and took a bite of her meal.
Klaus was both sad and happy. He was sad because the only family she had had hurt her in so many ways he didn’t even want to know about and he was happy because, like she said, he was all she had and so he was sure she wasn’t going anywhere any time soon.
She helped him work on the house. He finished her bathroom and she could now use the shower. She tried to sleep in her bed, alone, but a nightmare woke her up and she finished the night in Klaus’ arms again.
“We’re going to Stefan’s,” Klaus said one morning and she looked up and he saw she was scared. “Don’t worry, love. Everything will be fine,” he told her. “We also need to stop at the police station,” he said.
When Klaus stopped the car in front of the Salvatores’s property, Ariel wasn’t at ease.
“Would you rather stay alone in the car?” he asked. She quickly turned her head to him and shook her head. She didn’t want to be alone. She felt safer when she was with him.
They entered without knocking and when they stepped inside the house, she took his hand and stayed close to him.
“Don’t worry, nobody’s home,” he told her.
They sat on the couch and waited for Stefan to come home. She stayed close to him. She was sitting on her legs and her right shoulder was against the back of the couch and she was nervously playing with the sleeve of Klaus’ shirt. Loud music she didn’t like was playing when the front door opened and she squeezed Klaus’ forearm out of fear. He put his drink down and took her hand in his. Stefan passed them and grinned at Ariel who was obviously scared and he turn the volume down.
“What are you doing here, Klaus?” he asked the hybrid but he was still looking at Ariel who looked down and squeezed Klaus’ hand a little harder.
“Enjoying your stalemate,” he answered.
“What do you want?” Stefan asked.
“The question is, what do you want,” he answered. “My hybrids left town as you demanded, so please tell me what I need to do to get my family back,” he said. He didn’t like to beg but he didn’t have any other option.
“Well,” Stefan cleared his throat and sat down in an armchair in front of them, “See, Klaus, I’m not negotiating,” he replied.
“And you understand holding them indefinitely is the same thing as dropping them in the ocean?”, Klaus told him, faking amusement.
“No, no,…you leave Mystic Falls…and don’t forget your little pet,” Stefan said, pointing at Ariel who looked down once again, “and then give me a call in a few years, and…we’ll talked,” he shrugged.
Klaus looked down at Ariel and chuckled. “I’m going to give you another chance. Just one more. Let’s make a reasonable deal,” he said.
“Or what? You make one move and I will…”
“Yes,” Klaus cut him off with a laugh, “that’s right. Crazy Stefan,” he mocked. “How’s that working out for you? Any friends left?”
“I’m not making a deal with you, Klaus,” Stefan said, getting up. “I need to be somewhere, you showed yourself in, you can show yourself out,” he said before he left the house. Klaus sighed, annoyed before they left the house too.
They stopped at the Mystic Grill and they were eating at the bar. Klaus was talking on the phone.
“How’s life on the road?” she heard him say. Ariel was trying not to listen to the man on the other line.
“It could be worse,” he said next.
“…”
“There’s no need, I’ve been making friends with the town’s civil servants. There’s a deputy who’s awfully chatty, but useful nonetheless. Are you clear on what you need to do?” She looked up then, wondering what he was conspiring.
“I’ve got it covered.” She heard the man on the other line say before he hung up.
“What are you going to do to get your family back?” she asked.
“Don’t worry about it, love, my friend will find out where Stefan is hiding them by the end of the day,” he told her.
They both worked on the house until it was dark. Klaus’ phone buzzed then.
“Looks like my friend managed to find out where Stefan is hiding my family after all,” he said with a smile. “Stay here, love, you’ll be fine.”
“Will you?” she asked, worried. He chuckled and nodded before he left.
She painted the walls of a room she didn’t know what would become of it and when she was done, Klaus still hadn’t come back. She took a shower and changed her stained clothes before she went to the kitchen and worked on a shelf. She had just finished setting it up when Klaus came home. He wasn’t alone.
“Klaus,” she called.
“Good evening, love,” he said with a happy smile. “My brothers are finally home,” he said and she smiled back at him and nodded. She watched the hybrid that came into the house drag the coffins in. “How was your evening?” he asked.
“I… uh… I finished painting the walls and I was fixing a shelf in the kitchen,” she told him.
He nodded. “Come,” he made her follow him in the room where the three coffins were now. “They still have one coffin but we’ll take care of that soon enough,” he said, a little irritated as they stepped in the room.
“You’ve got your family back, finally,” the hybrid said. “You’re gonna open them?” he asked.
“Not quite yet, I still have some unfinished business to take care of,” he said as he was about to leave the room.
“What business?” the hybrid asked.
Klaus turned to answer him but couldn’t as the hybrid’s heart was ripped out of his chest and fell on the floor. Ariel gasped and rushed to Klaus’ side and he placed her behind him.
“So, Niklaus,” the man with the heart in his hand said.
“Elijah,” Klaus breathed out, shocked.
“What did I miss?”

Chapter Text

“You look surprised to see me,” Elijah said. “I guess it wasn’t you that removed the dagger from my chest,” he sighed, cleaning the blood off his hands with a white tissue. His eyes laid on Ariel. She was obviously scared but he found it curious she was gripping his brother’s arm. “And who is this?” he asked.
She looked up at Klaus who nodded. “Ariel,” she whispered.
“Ariel…what are you doing with my brother?” he asked.
“I turned her.”
“Yes, Niklaus, obviously,” Elijah sighed. “But I didn’t ask you, did I?” he said before he looked at Ariel again and waited for an answer.
“He saved my life,” she answered and Klaus frowned.
“Really?” Elijah asked as he took a few stepped towards his brother.
“You look like you could do with a drink,” Klaus said as he pushed Ariel aside. “And we have a lot to discuss so, shall we?” Klaus said, a little trembling.
Elijah jumped on him and punched him and Klaus fell through a door. Ariel gasped and stepped back.
“Easy! I just finished renovating!” Klaus groaned as he attacked back and smashed his brother on a coffee table. “You know, you have every right to be mad at me, but I kept my word, I reunited you with our family!” Klaus said and Elijah got up and punched his brother again several time. He stepped back and opened a coffin to take a dagger out of one of his brother’s heart. “Don’t make me do this to you again, Elijah!” he threatened.
“Come on,” Elijah said. “Use it, I dare you. You’ll have Kol to deal with,” he said.
“Mikael is dead,” Klaus told his brother before he let go of him.
Elijah frowned and then raised his eyebrows. “What did you say?” he was afraid he didn’t hear correctly.
“I killed him, with his own weapon. He’s gone Elijah, forever.”
“Why do our family remain in these coffins? Finn for over nine hundred years, Kol for over a century.”
“Because of Stefan Salvatore,” Klaus replied. “He holds the one thing keeping me from freeing them,” he told his brother. “There are things that you do not know about our past, Elijah. Our mother’s death. Things I never wanted you to know but I’m ready to tell you now,” he said. He turned his head to look at Ariel who was watching the scene, still afraid after the fight. “I only ask that you remember the oath of loyalty you once swore to me,” he said as he stepped back.
“What are you doing?” Elijah asked as he saw his brother dagger Kol again.
“Always and forever,” he reminded him. “I need you to stand by my side, be my brother, help me, destroy Stefan and I promise you our family will be home again,” he said and then closed Kol’s coffin.
Elijah didn’t look happy. He turned his head to look at Ariel who looked back at him, scared, before she looked down at her feet.
“Go to your room, love, my brother and I have a lot to talk about.”
Ariel looked up at Klaus then nodded before she left the room.
“She has a room here?” Elijah asked.
“Yes, I promised her a home when I turned her,” Klaus replied.
“So, she is part of our family, now?” he asked.
Klaus looked up at his older brother. “Her family was worse than ours, if you can believe it,” he replied. “I promised her protection.”
“I am…impressed, brother,” Elijah said. “You actually care about someone else than yourself.”
Klaus gave him a bad look and sighed. “What are we gonna do about Stefan?”
//
Ariel woke up before Klaus and Elijah. She spent a terrible night. She had nightmares but had been too afraid to bother Klaus after what had happened with his brother. She went to the kitchen and started to cook breakfast. When Elijah stepped in the room she looked up at him and froze.
“Don’t be afraid of me,” he told her. “Good morning.”
“Good morning,” she replied shyly.
“You cook?” he raised an eyebrow.
She nodded and handed him a plate of pancakes. He thanked her as he sat down on the counter across from her.
“How did you meet my brother?” he asked.
She stayed silent for a minute before she answered. “I was in the wood with my father. We were getting ready to turn when Klaus…showed up and killed everyone,” she answered.
“But he didn’t kill you. Why?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know…”
“And he killed your family?”
She nodded.
“You said he saved your life…My brother seemed to disagree with that…How did it happened?”
She looked up at the Original vampire. “Stefan…” it was hard for her to say his name. “He… he hurt me,” she shrugged. “Klaus fought to get me back.”
“I see…” Elijah found it weird his brother would bother to fight for a weak girl such as her. “This is very good,” he said after he had taken a bite of the pancakes.
“Thank you” she answered, distracted with her own plate.
Elijah kept eating in silence and after a few minutes he spoke up again. “I’m afraid my family won’t be any better than yours,” he said and she looked up at him.
“Do you know how bad my family was?” she asked him.
“My brother said it was worse than ours, but I doubt that very much.”
Ariel chuckled for only answer.
“You disagree?” he asked her.
“You don’t know my family.”
“And you don’t know mine.”
She looked at him for a minute before she looked down at the counter again and kept cutting fruits.
Klaus joined them and sat next to his brother in silence.
“Good morning, love,” he smiled at her as she handed him a plate of pancakes and fruits. She handed a bowl of fruit to Elijah as he had already finished his plate.
“Don’t forget to eat,” Klaus reminded her. She had the unfortunate habit of forgetting to take care of herself.
“Oh…right,” she nodded and Elijah frowned as she took a piece of fruit to her mouth. “Thank you,” she said.
“Ariel…” Elijah started to say but stopped. He found weird she wouldn’t think of eating on her own. “Ariel… is a very good cook.”
//
Elijah left the house in the morning and when he came back, he said Damon and Stefan were joining them for dinner. Klaus took Ariel grocery shopping and he “employed” three young women to wait on tonight’s event. She cooked and stayed in the kitchen as she didn’t want to see Stefan and Klaus was more comfortable this way.
“Niklaus,” Elijah said after he opened the door. “Our guest have arrived.”
“Damon, Stefan,” he greeted the brothers as they entered the room. “Elijah tells me you seek an audience…very bold,” he mocked them. “Let’s discuss the terms of our agreement like civilize men, shall we?” he said.
“I didn’t come here to eat, Klaus,” Stefan said as he took one step towards them. “In fact I didn’t want to come here at all, but I was told I had to ’cause you would hear us out…”
Klaus chuckled. “Well we can sit and eat or I can reach down your throats and pull out your insides…” Klaus said as he sat down. “Choice is yours,” he smiled at them.
“Ariel’s not here?” Stefan asked with a grin and Klaus frowned then smiled then chuckled.
“She’s cooking for us, which is more than you deserve.”
They sat around the table and started eating dinner.
“You lost your appetite?” Klaus asked Stefan after a few minutes, noticing he wasn’t eating.
“Eat,” Damon told his brother. “I thought we agreed that we would leave the grumpy Stefan at home.”
Stefan sighed and took a bite of his meal.
“That’s the spirit”, Klaus said.
“Yes…” Stefan sighed. “Ariel is a very good cook, she was a nice hostage too, very receptive” he mocked Klaus who was about to get up and smash his head in his plate but Elijah stopped him. He looked at his brother then back at Stefan. He then chuckled and changed the subject.
“Isn’t it nice? The five of us, dining together. Such a treat. Is that what you had in mind when you pulled the dagger out of my brother?” Klaus asked Damon.
“When I know he felt about you, so I figured the more the merrier.”
Klaus laughed. “Well, Elijah and I have had our share of quarrels over the centuries, but we always make it through,” he answered.
“Kinda like you and Rebekah, right?” Stefan asked. “Where is she, by the way, last I checked she was still daggered because you were afraid to face her.”
“If you’re referring to the fact that Rebekah knows I killed our mother, I’ve already come clean to Elijah,” he said like it was something he should be proud about.
“Hey, Stef’, remember when you killed dad? Might want to dial down the judgment till dessert,” Damon said.
“We’re here to make a deal, Damon,” Stefan reminded his brother. “Doesn’t mean we need to kiss his ass for seven courses.”
Klaus laughed.
“I’m just saying we have a long evening ahead of us. Pace yourself,” Damon replied.
“Stefan,” Elijah changed the subject, “where is the lovely Elena tonight?”
“I don’t know,” he answered. “Asked Damon.”
Klaus tried to contain his laughter but couldn’t. Elijah turned his head to look at him.
“I’m sorry you missed so much. Trouble in paradise,” he told his brother.
“One more word about Elena and this dinner is over,” Stefan warned.
“You know what, probably best just to keep Elena in the do not discuss pile,” Damon said.
“You’re probably right,” Klaus answered.
“Yeah,” Damon nodded.
‘It’s just,” Klaus couldn’t stop himself. “the allure of the Petrova Doppelganger is still so strong. What do you say, brother? Should we tell them about Tatia?”
“Now why should we discuss matters long since resolved?” Elijah replied.
“Well, given their shared affection for both Elena and Katerina, I think our guests might be curious to learn about the originator of the Petrova line,” Klaus said.
“Well, we’re not going anywhere Elijah,” Damon said. “Please, do tell.”
Elijah sighed. “When our family first settled here there was a girl named Tatia and no one loved her more than Niklaus.”
“Oh, I’d say there was one who loved her at least as much,” Klaus replied.
“Wait a minute…so you both loved the same girl?” Stefan chuckled.
“Our mother was a very powerful witch,” Elijah continued with the story without paying attention to the younger Salvatore. “She sought to end our feud over Tatia and so she took her and Klaus and I would later learn that it was Tatia’s blood that we consumed in the wine on the night where our mother performed the spell which turned us into vampires. Tatia wouldn’t make a decision between the two of us so for a time, Niklaus and I grew…estrange. Harsh words were traded. We even came to blows. Didn’t we, brother?”
“But in the end we recognized the sacred bond of family,” Klaus said.
“Family above all,” Elijah raised his glass.
“Family above all,” Klaus mimicked his brother.
They kept eating and around dessert Elijah spoke up.
“So why don’t we move this evening along and discuss the terms of this proposal?”
“Well, it’s very simple. Klaus gets his coffin back. In exchange, he, and the Original extended family, leave Mystic Falls forever,” Damon said. “Me, Stefan and Elena live happily ever after, no grudges.”
“Deal sounds fair, brother,” Elijah said.
“I don’t think you understand. I can’t do that because Elena’s doppelganger blood ensures that I will always have more hybrids to fight those that oppose me. I will never leave her behind,” Klaus said. “Let’s say I do leave her here, under your protection. What then? How long before one of you turns her into a vampire? Or worse? How long before she dies, caught between your feuding? You see, each one of you truly believes that you’re the one that can protect her. And that is simply a delusion. Gentlemen… The worst thing for Elena Gilbert is the two of you.”
“You mean just like the worst thing for Ariel is you?” Stefan said and Klaus frowned.
There was an awkward silence before Damon got up and left the room. “I’m gonna get some air.”
“Let me deal with this,” Elijah said before he followed Damon.
//
Ariel was in the kitchen, washing the dishes. When she was done she decided to wait in the living room where the coffins were. She took one of the hundred books Klaus had and started reading it. After a few minutes she saw Damon and Elijah enter the room.
“Ariel, what are you doing here?” Elijah asked and she got scared she wandered in a piece of the mansion she wasn’t allowed. She turned her head and watched Damon remove the dagger from who she believed was Kol.
“What are you doing?” she asked, looking up at Elijah. This one sighed and used his speed and strength to go over her and seize her. He held her so she couldn’t escape him and he put a hand over her mouth so she couldn’t call Klaus to help her.
“Easy,” he told her. “Just be quiet and everything will be okay.”
//
Elijah, Damon and Ariel entered the room where Klaus and Stefan were fighting. She hurried towards the hybrid and he frowned when he saw her scared.
“What’s going on, love?” she looked up at him and whispered. “I’m sorry.” He turned to his brother. “Elijah, why haven’t you left?”
“Well, where are your manners brother? You forgot dessert,” Elijah said, showing his brother two daggers on a sliver palter.
“What have you done?” Klaus asked suddenly scared.
“What have you done?” he echoed. “See I’ve learned not to trust your vulgar promises, Klaus. We’re doing this on my terms, now,” he said. “Ariel, come here,” he told the girl. She looked up at Klaus who gently pushed her towards his brother.
“Kol,” Klaus breathed out, scared. Elijah held Ariel who wanted nothing more than to help her sire who was being attacked by his brothers.
“Long time, brother,” Kol said. Klaus tried to take a dagger but was stopped.
“Finn!” The older brother stabbed the hybrid in the hand with a dagger. As he tried to leave the room he was stopped by a blonde in a red dress. “Rebekah!” she stabbed him in the stomach. “This is for our mother,” she told him.
Kol held his brother so he couldn’t go anywhere. Ariel tried to go to him but was stopped by Elijah. “You’re free to go,” this one told the Salvatores. “This is family business.”
His siblings released Klaus after a few minutes of yelling and hitting. Ariel was back at his sides as Rebekah was smashing vases at paintings. “I like what you’ve done with the new place,” she said.
“I wanted it to be for all of us,” he said, looking down. Ariel gripped his arm as she jumped when Rebekah threw another vase at a wall.
“Who’s your new friend?” Kol asked, grinning at the girl. Rebekah was suddenly now behind her and she took her from her brother.
“We’re leaving you Nick,” she told him. “Right after I kill that doppelganger of yours and then you’ll be alone, always and forever,” she said.
“You won’t hurt her,” Elijah told his sister, pointing at Ariel. The blonde rolled her eyes and released the hybrid who rushed into Klaus’ arms. He hugged her back and looked up when he heard the door open. His siblings turned too and they all were shocked to see the person entering the room was there mother. Klaus placed Ariel behind him. “Mother,” he breathed out, terrified. She passed her children who looked at her like she was a ghost and she looked right at her bastard son who was looking down out of fear, guilt and shame.
“Look at me,” she ordered him and he looked up. “Do you know why I’m here?” she asked him.
“You’re here to kill me,” he answered, trembling.
“Niklaus, you are my son,” she replied. “I’m here to forgive you, I want us to be a family again.”

Chapter Text

“Niklaus, you are my son. And I am here to forgive you.”
Klaus looked at his mother like she was speaking a language he didn’t understand. Actually, all her children were looking at her like she was an alien.
“Mother…” Rebekah was dazed by the words she had just heard.
“Peace,” Esther insisted. She turned to Klaus and he couldn’t tell if she was to be trusted or not. He reached for Ariel’s hand who was still behind him and she squeezed it before she put her other hand on his shoulder, trying to hide from his family. Esther frowned as she saw a figure behind her son.
“Klaus saved Ariel’s life a week ago,” Elijah explained. Ariel was startled when she heard her name.
“I promised her protection,” Klaus said with a low voice as he was looking at the ground.
“I see,” she said. “Why is she so scared?” she asked.
“She hasn’t had the best of life,” Elijah answered.
Klaus turned to Ariel and released her hand. “Go to your room, love,” he told her and she looked up at him and nodded. She looked quickly and shyly around before she left the room.
//
Rebekah didn’t like her room. And so she took Ariel’s. She wasn’t going to be happy, no matter what, so she complained about everything. Most of the clothes and the gifts Klaus had bought Ariel were still in their bags and they were now laying around Klaus’ bedroom floor.
“I’ll get you another room,” Klaus told her. “I’ll get you another house,” he was only half joking.
He let her use the bathroom first so when he got out she was already lying in bed. He could see she was distracted even though she had her back to him. She was staring at nothing and only moved when Klaus sat on the bed. She turned and watched Klaus slipped under the covers and moved to face her. They looked at each other for a few seconds before she moved into his arms. She hugged him tight and he was surprised so he didn’t hug her back right away. Finally he moved one hand to her waist and the other to the back of her head and he started to stroke her hair.
“Are you okay?” she asked in a low voice.
He was surprised again by her question and chuckled as he was touched by her kindness. “Yes.”
She moved back a little but let her hands on his back. She looked up to make sure he was really fine. “Are you sure?”
He locked his eyes in hers for a second and as he was about to get lost in her beautiful green eyes so he looked away and kissed her forehead. “Yes,” he said and then pulled her back to his chest. He moved to lie on his back. She buried her head in his chest and he started to move his hand up and down her back. He was staring at the ceiling, thinking about what had just happened. His mother was alive and his siblings were all out of their coffins. This wasn’t going to end well. They all hated him. One way or another, he will end up alone. He chased everyone away.
“You’ll never be alone,” she said after a long moment of silence, like she had read his mind.
He froze. He sat up and she looked up at him. “Did I say something wrong?” she asked.
“I gave you immortality and you want to spend it with me?” he asked her in disbelief.
She frowned. “Not if you don’t want me too,” she lowered her eyes.
The sire bond, right. He sighed. He lied back down and pulled her to him like they were a minute before. “Always and forever doesn’t last,” he said.
“Your siblings will forgive you” she told him. “You’re not all bad.”
“You’ve known me for a week, love. You don’t know that.”
“But I do,” she said, distracted. She was moving her finger on his chest, tracing invisible patterns. He looked down at her and he frowned. He took her hand and crossed his fingers with hers. He kissed the top of her head before he turned off the light.
“Goodnight, love.”
“Goodnight, Klaus.”
Klaus had too much on his mind to let himself fall asleep. He focused on Ariel’s breathing and eventually dropped off to sleep. He woke up first as he had a bad dream. He worried he had woken up Ariel but she didn’t move from his arms. He watched her sleep in silence. He took her hand that was on his chest and started to rub the back of her hand with his thumb. She let out a sound of comfort in her sleep and moved a little closer to him. He smiled and then sighed. He would have stayed in bed all day. He didn’t want to face his siblings. Or his mother.
Ariel opened her eyes slowly. She removed her hands from Klaus and robbed her eyes before she looked up.
“Sorry I woke you, love.”
She shook her head as she moved away from him. “You didn’t wake me.”
He looked away, smiled then sat up and sighed. “Get dressed, love. My siblings will be less eager to kill you once they taste your pancakes,” he said. She looked at him with big eyes. “I’m kidding,” he chuckled. She didn’t look reassured. “I won’t let anything happen to you,” he told her and she gave him a shy smile.
They entered the kitchen and Kol, Rebekah and Elijah were already there, drinking coffee.
“I told my siblings to wait for your pancakes,” Elijah told her and she nodded and quickly started to cook.
Rebekah and Kol watched her closely, amused. She was scared of them. She was a hybrid but she was so weak.
“This is really good,” Rebekah said as she looked up at Ariel who gave her a shy and uncomfortable smile.
“Now I get why Klaus has kept you around,” Kol said.
Ariel looked up at Kol and then at Klaus who was rolling his eyes. She looked down and kept cleaning.
“Don’t listen to him, love,” Klaus said as he approached her and put his hand on the right side of her waist.
“Ariel.”
She was startled as she heard her name and looked up at Esther who had just joined them. “I see you are cooking for my children,” she said. She was looking right at her. Ariel was nervous she had angered the Original witch. “I thank you for that.” Ariel was relieved and nodded. She put her hand on Klaus’ which was still on her waist and she looked up at him. “I want the town to know us as a family,” Esther spoke up again and all her children looked up. “A ball,” she said. Finn was by her side. He looked like he wasn’t listening. “Tomorrow night,” she said before she left the room, followed by Finn.
“A ball?” Kol repeated.
Rebekah sighed. “Let’s get ready.”
//
“Rebekah, tell me how handsome I am.” Kol was trying a suit for the ball as were his brothers.
“Oh, Kol, you know I can’t be compelled,” Rebekah answered with a grin. Elijah and Finn chuckled. Ariel was painting the blonde’s nail when Klaus got into the room, obviously angry.
“You went after Elena, what is wrong with you?”
Rebekah smiled and shrugged. “Here we go,” she looked right at her brother.
“Do you want another dagger in your heart?” he asked.
“Again with the dagger threat?” Kol said. “Don’t you have any other tricks?”
Klaus turned to face Kol. “Oh, go back to staring at yourself.”
“And who are you? My father?”
“No, Kol, but you’re in my house!”
“Then perhaps we should go outside.”
The two brothers were interrupted by Esther.
“Enough. Niklaus, come.”
Klaus sighed and followed his mother.
“Your turn, now,” Rebekah sighed.
“My turn?” Ariel asked, confused.
“You painted my nails, now I paint yours, pick a color,” she told the hybrid.
Ariel was surprised and looked at the blonde like she was speaking a language she didn’t understand.
“Pick a color,” she repeated.
“Uh… the… pink looks nice,” she shyly said.
“Pink it is!” Rebekah said as she took the nail polish and opened it.
Ariel had never painted her nails. She had never worn nice clothes either. So when Rebekah tried to dress her up, she refused.
“You’re going to the ball, right? You’re gonna need a dress!” Rebekah told her.
“I’m not going to the ball,” she looked down at her feet.
“Come on, love,” Klaus told her as he was suiting up next to his brother. “You can’t leave me alone among those people.”
“Those people?” Elijah raised an eyebrow. “I feel insulted.”
“I’m talking about the Salvatores,” Klaus sighed.
“Stefan will be there?” Ariel asked.
Klaus looked up at her and sighed. “Don’t worry, love, you know I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Kol chuckled. “Isn’t that cute?”
“Shut up,” Klaus groaned.
“Come on, I always wanted a sister to dress up, let me have some fun,” Rebekah whined.
Ariel looked up at the word “sister”. She froze for a minute and looked at Rebekah before she nodded.
“Great!”
It’s not like she could have refused, anyway.
//
Rebekah and Ariel were leaving the room full of dresses and shoes. The red-haired had trouble keeping her balance because of the heels Rebekah made her wear with the purple ball gown she had chosen for her. The Original vampire insisted on doing her hair and makeup and Ariel had never looked more beautiful.
“My brother doesn’t deserve you,” Rebekah told her.
“What?” Ariel was confused.
Rebekah chuckled and dragged her to the ball room where some guests had already arrived.
“I need to find my date,” the blonde told her. “Here’s my brother,” she pointed at Klaus who turned as soon as she said that. He froze when he saw her. He almost didn’t recognize her. He smiled as she slowly walked towards him.
“You are gorgeous, love,” he told her and she looked down to hide her blushing cheeks.
“Thank you,” she shyly said.
He took one step towards her and he took her left hand in his and placed her right hand on her waist. She placed her free hand on his chest as he pulled her to him.
“Hi,” he smiled as he locked his eyes in hers. His smile made her smile too and she looked down as she was blushing.
“Hi,” she let out a small laugh.
He placed a kiss in her hair and she closed her eyes as she breathed in his scent.
“Aw,” a voice interrupted their moment, “Klaus has a girlfriend” Stefan mocked them with a singing voice.
When Ariel looked up and saw Stefan she got closer to Klaus, even though she was already pretty close, and squeezed his hand and shirt a little harder.
“At least she’s not going around kissing my brother,” Klaus said and Stefan lost his smile. Ariel looked up as she was pretty sure she wasn’t his girlfriend and was surprised by his answer.
“Funny,” Stefan said before he turned around and left them.
“Don’t leave me alone…,” she looked up at him after Stefan was gone.
“I wouldn’t dream of leaving you, love,” he said. “Come, my brother is about to introduce our family to the town,” he sighed.
She walked with him to the other room and stopped as he climbed the first step to join his siblings on the stairs.
“What’s wrong, love?” he frowned.
“Maybe I should…stay here,” she said. She wasn’t part of the Mikaelson family. She did not belong up there.
Klaus took her hand and made her follow him. They were standing behind Elijah who was about to speak. She was next to Rebekah who smiled at her before she turned to look at the guests. She stayed behind Klaus who had a glass of champagne in his hand.
“No champagne, love?” he asked and she shook her head.
“I don’t drink,” she told him and he smiled. She was so pure and innocent, what was she doing with him? That’s right. He didn’t give her any choice…
“If everyone could gather, please,” Elijah started to say to the guests. “Welcome. Thank you for joining us. You know, whenever my mother brings our family together like this, it’s tradition for us to commence the evening with a dance. Tonight’s pick is a century’s old waltz. So if all of you could please find yourselves a partner, please, join us in the ball room.”
Elijah led all the guests in the ball room and Ariel took Klaus by the arm and stopped him.
“I don’t dance,” she told him.
He chuckled. “I promise I won’t let you fall,” he told her.
“No. I don’t know how to dance. I don’t know how to dance the waltz,” she repeated.
“I’ll lead, then,” he told her as he dragged her in the ball room.
“Klaus, please,” she begged him but he didn’t change his mind.
They started to dance and even though Ariel was clumsy she did pretty well. When they changed partners as the waltz required it she found herself in Finn’s arms.
“I’m sorry, I’m a terrible dancer,” she apologized and he smiled at her.
“You’re doing fine,” he told her. “You look beautiful, by the way, miss…?”
She looked up at him. He was asking for her last name. Her father’s name. She looked away. “Hale,” she told him and he nodded. Finally, she was back with Klaus. “See, this isn’t so terrible?” he asked her. She chuckled and looked down at the floor.
After the waltz, they saw Rebekah and Kol talking together and Klaus wondered what they could be plotting. He would have gone over them and asked but he wanted to stay with Ariel.
“…and so the Count thought his palace was being haunted,” he told her and she laughed. “So while he was busy trying to chase ghosts away, Kol and I stole the most jewelry we could from the Countess,” she kept laughing. “And Kol even stole the Countess, herself,” she was laughing so hard now, Klaus had never seen her more relaxed or happy.
“Why?” she managed to ask.
“She was pretty,” he answered.
“What happened to her?”
Klaus sighed as he was trying to remember. “She’s probably still in France…”
“He turned her?” she asked, surprised and he nodded.
“She was really pretty,” he said and she laughed again.
Esther appeared on the top of the stairs. “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Waiters are coming round with champagne. I invite you all to join me in raising a glass. It provides me no greater joy than to see my family back together as one. I’d like to thank you all to be part of this spectacular evening. Cheers.”
Klaus took two glasses of champagne and gave one to Ariel.
“Drink, love. It would be rude not to,” he winked at her.
She sighed and took the glass of pink champagne. It looked a little redder than Klaus’ champagne but she didn’t think anything of it and drank. Klaus made her drink the whole glass and laughed at the disgusting look she had on her face.
“I don’t like champagne,” she said.
“You’ll get used to it, love,” he laughed.
“I really don’t want to,” she replied and he chuckled.
“You have all immortality to get used to it,” he told her.
She froze at his words. That’s right. She was immortal now. How could she forget that?
“Are you okay?” Klaus asked her as he saw she had lost her smile.
She nodded. “Yes,” she said. “I’ll take another one,” she looked up at him and he frowned. Then he smiled and nodded and got her another glass of champagne.

Chapter Text

“Isn’t this supposed to get me drunk?” Ariel asked after she finished her eighth bottle of champagne.
Klaus laughed. “You won’t get drunk on champagne, love. You’re a hybrid,” he told her.
“Uh…” she looked at her empty glass before she put it down on a trailer that a waiter that was passing them was holding.
““You want another one?” he asked her.
“No. I still don’t like it,” she told him and he chuckled.
Elijah walked towards them and he didn’t look happy.
“What’s wrong, brother?” Klaus asked him as he was annoyed his brother couldn’t enjoy himself in his own party.
“Damon just killed Kol,” he sighed.
Ariel frowned. “What?”
“Yes,” he cleared his throat. “But I believed he deserved it.”
“Of course he deserved it,” Klaus replied. “You have something else on your mind,” he told his brother who shook his head.
“It’s nothing,” he said before he walked away from them.
Klaus sighed and turned back to Ariel. “Did you have fun tonight?” he asked her. She looked up at him and nodded. “Good,” he smiled at her before he placed his hand on her waist and pulled her to him. He placed a kiss in her hair like he did earlier. He looked down at her and she looked up at him. He looked like he wanted to say something but he didn’t. His eyes laid on her lips and she lowered her gaze as his face got closer to hers. She looked up and he was still looking at her lips. Both his hands were around her waist and she had both her hands on his chest. She closed her eyes as his lips touched hers.
Ariel had never kissed anyone before. She felt his hands moving on her waist and she moved her hands on his shoulders then to the back of his neck. For some reason, she wasn’t scared. Maybe it was the champagne but normally, she would’ve backed away. But now she was kissing Klaus and she didn’t want to stop. But she broke the kiss as she needed to breathe. She looked down at the floor and he smiled as he looked down at her.
“You okay, love?” he asked and she nodded before she removed her hands from his shoulders. He lifted her chin with his fingers and kissed her again. She leaned in the kiss that lasted longer than the first one. She tiptoed and put her left hand back on the back of his neck and her right hand on his shoulder as he deepened the kiss.
She broke the kiss again and he rested his forehead against Ariel’s as she was breathing heavily. She looked up at him and she saw him smile. She smiled too and looked down as she realized she was blushing. He kissed her forehead before he took her hand and led her to their bedroom.
He let her use the bathroom first again but she couldn’t get out of her dress so she timidly got out of the bathroom.
“Klaus…” she said and he turned to look at her. He had removed his black jacket and his bow tie. “Could you…” she blushed as she waved her hand around and pointing to her back.
Klaus smiled and walked towards her. He put his left hand on her left shoulder as he helped her out of her dress. She held her dress with her hands so it wouldn’t fall. Klaus’ right hand moved on her naked back and to her waist as he pulled her to his chest. He started to place small kisses on her shoulder. She closed her eyes as he started to kiss her neck. He smiled when he heard her moaned.
“You’re feeling alright, love?” he asked her.
She opened her eyes and she was happy he couldn’t see her face as she blushed really hard when she realized she had let out a moan. She straightened up and nodded.
“Yeah…”
Klaus chuckled and stepped back to let her go back in the bathroom. She removed her makeup and put on a short and a tank top. When she stepped out, she directly got into bed. She was joined by Klaus a few minutes later and he pulled her to him. She didn’t think Klaus was the cuddling type but he buried his face in the crook of her neck after he kissed it.
“Good night, love,” he whispered.
“Good night, Klaus,” she said as she placed her hands on his. She had never felt safer than in Klaus’ arms.
//
“Someone drank the blood but it wasn’t Niklaus,” Esther sighed. She didn’t know what to do. She wanted to link all her children together but now her plan couldn’t work.
“I don’t understand,” Finn said. “I saw him drink the champagne.”
Esther sighed again. “The glass must have gotten mixed up. Someone else drank it. Perhaps he gave his glass to Ariel…” she thought. After all they had been together all night. “We can’t go forward with the plan…” she said.
“What can we do, mother?” Finn asked.
“We need to make Klaus drink the doppelganger’s blood to complete the link,” she told him.
“What about Ariel?” he asked.
“She’s going to die, linked or not, as soon as your brother is dead.”
“As soon as we are dead,” Finn corrected her.
Esther looked up at her soon. “You didn’t change your mind, did you?”
“No,” he shook his head. “Let’s go.”
//
Elena was leaving for the Salvatores but when she opened her front door she met with Esther who was standing on her porch. Elena frowned.
“Esther,” she breathed out.
“Miss Gilbert, can we talk?” she asked.
Elena sighed and nodded. She led Esther in her kitchen as she didn’t want to invite Finn in.
“What’s wrong?” she sighed.
“There is a…problem with last night spell…”
Elena frowned. “What do you mean?”
“Niklaus, unfortunately, did not drink the champagne,” she informed her. “So I cannot link my children together just yet.”
“What? But…what are you going to do now?” she was worried.
“I need more of your blood,” she told her and she saw Elena getting afraid.
“Just a drop, like last night.”
Elena sighed. She turned around and took a knife.
//
Ariel woke up first. She was still in Klaus’ arms who wouldn’t let go of her, not even in his sleep. She smiled and turned and buried her face in Klaus’ chest. She breathed in his scent and then waited for him to wake up. She could’ve stayed in his arms all day. She heard him wake up as he groaned and moved his head and pulled her closer to him.
“Klaus I can’t breathe,” she managed to say and he chuckled and kissed the top of her head. “Thank you,” she breathed out. She looked up and smiled at him. He grinned and he kissed her forehead.
“Good morning,” he said.
“Mmh”, she responded as she closed her eyes and tightened the hug.
Klaus chuckled. “We should get out of bed, love, it’s pretty late.”
“It’s only 8,” she said and he chuckled again.
He kissed her neck and she moved to lie on her back. He propped up on his left elbow and gazed down at her. He moved his right hand on her stomach and then leaned to kiss her. She slid her hand in his hair and deepened the kiss.
They were interrupted by Kol who knocked hard on the door.
“Hey, I want pancakes!”
Klaus broke the kiss and he sighed. “Get lost, Kol!” he yelled and that made Ariel laugh. He raised an eyebrow and smiled before he kissed her again.
“Pancakes!” Kol repeated as he knocked on the door again.
“I’m going to rip his head off,” Klaus groaned.
Ariel laughed again and took his face in her hands. “It’s okay. I’ll make the pancakes,” she said and Klaus rolled his eyes and sighed before they got out of bed.
Ariel made pancakes for the Original family.
“Where’s Rebekah?” Kol asked.
“Who knows what our sister does with her life,” Klaus answered.
“Mother and Finn are also absent,” Elijah said.
Klaus sighed. “So?”
Elijah looked up at his brother and raised an eyebrow. “Nothing, “ he sighed before he got up and left the room.
“You don’t have to do that, sweetheart,” Klaus told Ariel who was doing the dishes. “Pamela will do that,” he said as he got up and placed a kiss in her hair.
“Brothers,” they were interrupted by Finn.
“Finn! Where have you been?” Kol asked even though he didn’t really care.
Finn opened the fridge and it looked like he got a blood bag from it. “Out,” he answered. He poured the red liquid in two glasses and he gave one to Klaus who took it without thinking anything of it.
When Rebekah came home, she was still wearing the green dress from last night.
“Well, well, well,’ Kol said. “There is our girl,” he stood up and got in his sister’s way.
“Get out of my way, Kol!” she ordered him.
Klaus, who drawing on the couch, looked up and watched his siblings argued.
“Out all night! What a scandal! I trust you did better than that commoner…Matt? Was it?”
“If you don’t shut your mouth the next thing to come out of it will be your teeth!” she threatened him which amused him.
Klaus smiled and laughed in silence before he got his attention back to his drawing of Ariel who was reading a book in the armchair just across from him.
“Don’t start, Nick!” Rebekah told him as she pushed her brother aside.
“I didn’t say anything,” he replied.
“I’m bored,” Kol groaned as he let himself fall on the couch. “Our sister is a strumpet,” he said and she turned to give him an angry look. “But at least she’s having fun, I need entertainment,” he told Klaus.
“What are you waiting for?” Klaus asked. “Go on, have at it.”
“It’s no fun to go alone. Join me, Nick.”
Klaus didn’t answer and kept drawing.
“It’s the least you can do after sticking a dagger in my heart,” Kol said.
Klaus was annoyed by his comment and looked up at his brother then at Ariel who gave him a timid smile then he turned back to Kol.
“Okay,” he gave up as he put his sketchbook away. “Why not? I didn’t have nearly enough to drink last night, what with you trying to murder Rebekah’s date,” he said as he got up. “You’re coming, love,” he told Ariel.
“Yes, please go. This house has enough men rolling around in it,” Rebekah told them.
“Just like you, ‘Bekah” Kol told her.
“Good riddance, both of you!” she said as she throw one of her shoe at his brother.
“Where are we going?” Ariel asked.
“To have some fun,” Kol answered.
Klaus took her hand and winked at her and they left for the Grill.
//
“It’s done, mother,” Finn said.
“Good, I can now link you all.”
//
As they entered the restaurant they walked towards the bar and Klaus saw Alaric Saltzman and decided to go and bother him. He wasn’t alone. He was talking with a woman he believed to be Meredith Fell and they were talking about the murders that have been going on in Mystic Falls and she was blaming them on vampires.
“Oh, come now. Let’s not go blaming the new family in town just ‘cause you lot have yourselves a killer at large,” Klaus told them as the three of them sat at the bar just right next to them. “Don’t mind us,” Klaus told them after a few seconds of silence. “Ariel, Kol and I are just here to let off some steam. Right?”
“Right,” Kol replied as he smiled at them.
They stayed at the bar and made Ariel do shots. Then, Kol discreetly compelled a woman to leave the Grill with him so he could feed on her.
“You sure you don’t want to try?” Klaus asked her and she nodded. He found it weird she didn’t want to as he clearly expressed he wanted her to at least try.
But suddenly, Ariel let out a cry of pain and collapsed. Klaus quickly caught her in his arms. “Ariel!” he tried to wake her up. She wasn’t dead, just unconscious which didn’t make any sense. He looked around. He didn’t see the Salvatores or Alaric anywhere. He didn’t see his brother either. He had to explain to worried people that Ariel had drank a little bit too much but that she was okay as he stepped outside and rushed to find his brother. He laid Ariel on the stairs outside as he saw Damon, Stefan and Alaric trying to get his brother’s unconscious body inside the back of the Grill. He quickly took Alaric by the shoulder and threw him against the wall. He took the dagger out of his brother’s heart and pushed Stefan aside. He was now face to face with Damon.
“I should have killed you months ago,” Klaus told him.
“Do it, it’s not gonna stop Esther from killing you,” Damon replied.
“What did you say about my mother?” Klaus asked as he took a few steps towards him.
“You didn’t know I was friends with your mummy?” he asked. “Yeah, we have a lot in common, she hates you as much as I do.”
Klaus was about to kill Damon but Elijah stopped him.
“Leave him,” he said and Klaus turned around. He had Ariel in his arms and his skin was still a little grey. “We still need him, Niklaus,” he said. Ariel was waking up in the Original vampire’s arms.
“What did mother do?” the Original hybrid asked but he didn’t answer. “What did she do Elijah? What is happening to Ariel?” he asked again.
Elijah didn’t answer but he climbed down the stairs. He helped Ariel on her feet and she clenched Klaus’ shirt to make sure she wouldn’t fall. “You tell me where the witches are or I’ll tell my sister to kill Elena right now,” Elijah told Damon. She was obviously still in pain. Because she wasn’t an Original, the dagger had hurt her more.
“You told me we had until after 9,” Damon replied.
“I’m sure Rebekah’d be more than happy to start her work early,” Elijah warned him as he took his cellphone out of his pocket.
Damon sighed but was obligated to tell him where their mother was.
“Are you okay?” Klaus asked Ariel who nodded.
Elijah drove them all to the old witches house.
“Stay here,” Klaus told Ariel to stay in the car. He didn’t want her to get hurt.
They found their mother and Finn in a circle surrounded by torches.
“My sons, come forward,” Esther said.
“Stay beside me, mother,” Finn told her.
“It’s okay, they can’t enter.”
Kol tried to enter the circle but couldn’t.
“That’s lovely,” Kol said. “We’re stuck out her while the favorite son plays sacrificial lamb. How pathetic you are Finn.”
“Be quiet, Kol. Your brother knows virtue you cannot even imagine,” Esther told her son.
“Whatever you think of us, killing your own children would be an atrocity,” Elijah said.
“My only regret is that I didn’t let you die a thousand years ago,” she said.
“Enough,” Klaus interrupted them. “All this talk is boring me. End this now mother, or I’ll send you back to hell.”
“For a thousand years, I’ve been forced to watch you, felt the pain of every victim, suffered while you shed blood,” she told Klaus before she turned to look at Elijah. “Even you Elijah, with your claim to nobility you are no better. All of you… You’re a curse on this earth stretched out over generations. If you’ve come to plead for your lives, I’m sorry. You’ve wasted your time.”
Her sons were speechless as they were thinking about what she had just said. Elijah knew she was right, Kol was angry and all Klaus wanted to do was to kill them both.
Suddenly, their mother started to struggle with the spell.
“Sisters! Do not abandon me!” she pleaded but the fire of the torches only grew bigger before it stopped and Elijah, Klaus and Kol were left alone, in the dark.
“Looks like the Salvatores came through,” Klaus said.
Elijah took his phone and called Rebekah to tell her to let Elena leave.
They all went back to the mansion where Elijah and Kol took the decision of leaving town.
Klaus laid Ariel on the couch of the room where all his art was, even though she kept telling him she was fine.
“You took a dagger in your heart, love, you’re not fine,” he insisted.
“Your brother took a dagger in his heart,” she corrected him.
“And you are linked to him,” he said. “So it’s the same.”
“What happened?” she asked.
Klaus sighed. “One witch my mother was using to do the spell was turned into a vampire. So she couldn’t use the magic of their family anymore,” he explained.
“What’s wrong?” she asked him as she saw worry on his face.
He looked up at her and stayed silent for a few seconds before he sighed and looked down. “You got hurt again because of me,” he told her.
Ariel frowned and straightened up. “Hey, I’m fine,” she reassured him before she pulled him into a hug.
Rebekah entered the room and interrupted them.
“I thought you’d have gone by now,” Klaus told his sister.
“I hated you when I learned you killed our mother…” she said. Ariel frowned and looked up at him. He looked down at the floor and closed his eyes.
“But I realize now that after a thousand years together as a family, you’re the only one who never left me,” she said.
“Well aren’t we a pair?” he looked up at her.
“There’s something I think you need to see,” she told him as she approached him with her phone in her hands.
“Come to brag about your skills as a torturer?” he asked her.
“Look at the images on the wall behind Elena. The natives told the story of our family history. Look at the images on the far wall.”
“What is it?”
“A native worshiping at the great white oak tree.”
“And? We burnt that tree to the ground,” he sighed.
“Look at the markings that precede it. That’s the native calendar.”
“This can’t be right.” Ariel saw fear and worry on his face.
“A white oak tree 300 years after we fled back to the old world. There must have been a sapling, a new tree to replace the old. That tree could kill us. It’s not over, Nick.”

Chapter Text

Rebekah left Ariel and Klaus in the studio. Ariel was laying on the couch. Klaus had her legs on his lap and he was thinking about what his sister had just discovered. She looked at his face closely. He was looking down at her feet, lost in his thoughts.
“Klaus…” she whispered to get his attention. He moved his head a little towards her. He saw she was worried so he grinned and he placed his hands around her ankles. She let out a little sound of surprised when she was pulled towards the hybrid. Klaus was still smiling when he leaned to kiss her. She kept her eyes open at first. She slowly closed them as she became more comfortable with Klaus’ hands on her body. She placed her hands on both sides of Klaus’ face. He moved his left hand under her right thigh and his other hand on her waist. She moved her hands in his hair and he deepened the kiss.
She broke the kiss to breathe and she kept her hands on the back of his head as she sat up. She had her eyes closed and she pressed her forehead against his and he grinned before he kissed her again.
“Don’t worry, love,” he said. “I’ll find a witch to unlink you to my siblings.”
“I know,” she said and she opened her eyes to get lost in his blue ones.
They were interrupted by someone who cleared their throat.
“You’re so cute,” she said, annoyed. Klaus rolled his eyes and stood up.
“What do you want?” Klaus groaned.
“We already have a witch,” she reminded him. “And I want to be unlinked from you as soon as possible,” she told him.
“Why? You’re planning on killing me any time soon,?” he asked.
She sighed and gave him an unamused look. “No. But the white oak tree is somewhere in this town and we need to find it before our enemies do,” she said.
Klaus sighed. He knew his sister was right. “I’m sure you can take care of this, sister,” he told her.
Rebekah raised her eyebrows. “What, you’re not going to help me?”
Klaus held his hand out to Ariel who looked up at him and she took it and stood up. He looked down and grinned at her and pulled her to his chest. He looked up at his sister. “No,” he answered. “I’m not,” he said and he left the room with Ariel.
When Ariel woke up the next morning she was alone. She found Klaus in the studio, painting. He was talking with Rebekah on the phone.
“I found Sage, she should be here soon,” Klaus told her. Ariel could hear her sigh over the phone.
“Great. Can’t wait. Does she know about Finn?” she asked.
“Do you think she’d be willing to come here if she did?”
Rebekah sighed again.
“I’ll call you as soon as I know more about the white oak tree,” she said and hung up.
“Who’s Sage?” Ariel asked.
Klaus turned to see her walking towards him.
“Hello, love. How did you sleep?” he smiled at her.
“You weren’t in bed when I woke up,” she answered and he grinned and opened his arms. She hugged him and buried her face in his neck.
“Sorry, love,” he said and he kissed her temple. “To answer your question, Sage is an old friend of my brother Finn,” he sighed. “She’s coming to help us. The white oak tree can kill an Original and she’ll do anything to protect Finn. She’s on our side.”
Klaus didn’t help Rebekah in the search of the tree in the slightest. He spent the next few days with Ariel and she had never been happier.
Klaus was keeping touch with Kol who was in Denver for some reason Ariel didn’t know anything about.
Once Rebekah had found what was rest of the tree, she burnt it and now Klaus was looking for Finn. Ariel wasn’t happy he made her stay in the car but he said it was too dangerous for her to be around his brother. Rebekah agreed with him. But they needed him to undo the spell that linked them all together so they knocked him out and put him in the trunk.
Once they were back at the mansion, Klaus threw his older brother on the floor of the entry.
“Gather your witch,” Rebekah sighed. “Get his blood and get on with it.”
“You can’t force me to help you,” Finn said.
“Why force when I can persuade?” Klaus said and that’s when Sage showed p.
“Hello Finn.”
“Sage!” he was surprised to see her and he quickly got up and hugged her.
“What do you know?” Rebekah sighed. “True love prevails.”
Klaus turned to Ariel and took her hand and pulled him closer to him.
“It does occasionally have its uses,” he said and he grinned at Ariel who shyly smiled. “It’s easier than torturing him,” he smiled at his sister.
“I have something to do,” Rebekah said. “What do you need from me for the spell?”
“Just your blood and your blessing,” he answered. “Where are you going?” he frowned.
“I have some unfinished business with Damon Salvatore,” she had an angry and serious look on her face. “Ask Sage what he did to me, and you’ll understand why retribution is in order,” she said before she left.
Klaus looked down at Ariel who shrugged. She had no idea what the blonde was talking about.
“Come, I have a job for you,” he said and she followed him in one of the several living rooms of the mansion.
Bonnie was there and she looked both angry and worried.
“Keep an eye on her, will you?” he said and she nodded.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“I have some business to take care of,” he said. He kissed her forehead and he smiled at her before he left the room.
She looked down at Bonnie who was frowning at her.
“You know he’s playing you, right?” she told her and she frowned. She didn’t say anything and she sat on the couch in front of her. Bonnie sighed and shook her head but opened the huge book that was on the coffee table and started reading the spells in it.
Klaus came back an hour later.
“Tic, toc, I should be hearing chanting by now,” he said.
“I’m still studying the unlinking spell. It’s not that easy, especially under duress,” she told him.
“You’ve been warned,” he threatened her. “If you’re looking for a way to send for help, I will kill anyone who comes to your rescue.”
Ariel frowned. He was never that scary with her.
“This is the spell. I just don’t know if I’m strong enough.”
“Then you should have a little more faith in yourself, Bonnie. Your energy helped my mother linked us. Honestly, I think someone isn’t trying very hard,” he waited for an answer but she was just looking at him in silence. “Very well,” he said and he took his phone. “Kol! How’s the weather up there in mile high city?”
Bonnie had a worried look on her face.
“And how’s our friend?” he asked and then he showed a picture of Jeremy to Bonnie. “That’s Jeremy. Playing fetch with his new puppy,” he said. “Thank you Kol. We’ll be in touch,” he hung up. “So, Bonnie. How about that spell?”
Bonnie got back to the book and starting studying the spell again. Klaus sat down next to Ariel and he took her ankles and put her legs on his lap which made her fall on the couch with a laugh. He smiled back at her and he tucked a lock of her red hair behind her ear. She propped herself on her elbows and kissed him. He pushed her back against the couch and she giggled as he started to kiss her neck.
“This could go a lot faster if you kept quiet,” Bonnie interrupted them. Klaus looked up at the witch and chuckled. He helped Ariel sit up, her legs were still on his lap and he kissed her in silence this time. She smiled in the kiss as her fingers ran through his hair. But they were interrupted again by a scream coming from a room of the mention.
“What was that?” Bonnie asked, startled.
“I wouldn’t let it bother you, love,” Klaus told her before he kissed Ariel again. But she was worried too and broke the kiss.
“Well, it does bother me,” Bonnie told him and he sighed. “You bother me,” she said. “The way you use people to get what you want it’s not right! How long before you get tired of her and kill her?” she yelled at him and Ariel gasped at her words.
Klaus frowned. Now he was angry.
“How dare you?” he groaned. “Talk about her that way? Like she’s just a toy?”
“Isn’t that what she is?” she asked and Ariel let out a little scream when Klaus pushed Bonnie against a wall, his hand on her throat.
“You don’t know anything, witch,” he groaned. He looked at her with a threatening look.
“Klaus,” Ariel gently placed her hands on the one that was strangling Bonnie. He looked at the red-haired’s beautiful eyes. He couldn’t resist those eyes. He released the Bennett witch. He couldn’t kill her. He needed her to do the unlinking spell.
“I’m going to hurt the people you love if you don’t do the spell,” Klaus threatened her again. “Because that link threatens the people I love,” he said. “Now, I know it’s in the grimoire, and I know it requires the blood of my siblings, so, here we are,” he said as he handed her the blood of his siblings then Ariel’s.
Bonnie started to do the spell. Klaus pulled Ariel to his chest and he watched carefully to make sure Bonnie did everything right. Once she was done, he accompanied her to the entry where they met Rebekah.
“Oh, leaving so soon?” she mocked.
“Be nice, Rebekah,” Klaus told his sister.
“Thank you, Bonnie,” she said with a fake smile. “See you in physics class,” she said before she walked away.
That’s when both Bonnie and Ariel saw Damon in the other room. Bonnie looked horrified.
“Oh my God,” she breathed out.
“Yeah, you’ll have to excuse the mess. Apparently, Damon hurt her feelings,” he said like it was the most natural thing.
“Bonnie…” Damon begged.
“Go on,” Klaus said. “Help him. Save the man that turned your mother into a vampire,” he waited for her to move but she didn’t.
“Just get me out of here,” she said and he grinned.
“Very well.”
Once she was gone, Klaus walked towards Ariel who was looking down at the floor. He put his hands around her waist and pulled her to him. He placed two fingers under her chin and made her look up but she kept her eyes down.
“Are you okay, love?” he asked and she nodded before she moved her hands to his back and hugged him, burying her head in his chest. He stroke her hair before he kissed her temple.
“Are you going to kill me once you’re done with me?” she asked so low he almost didn’t hear her. Her question made his heart break. It hurt him so much he started to tear up.
“No, love. I’m never going to be done with you,” he said and that’s when she looked up. She had tears in her eyes too and she looked exhausted.
“You promise?” she asked. She looked so fragile he was afraid he would break her. He looked down at her.
“I promise,” he said and he slowly leaned to kiss her. He had never kissed her more gently. He had never kissed anyone that way before. She tiptoed and she slid one hand in his hair and she placed the other one on the back of his neck. His hands moved to her lower back and he lifted her off of her feet and she moved her hands to each side of his face and she rested her forehead against his and she wrapped her legs around his waist and he smiled and in the next few seconds he was laying her on his bed. He kissed her lips, her cheek, her jawline, her neck…
“Klaus!”
Klaus groaned. “What now?” he rolled on his back next to Ariel.
“I’m here! Let’s do this!”
“Is that Stefan?” Ariel asked. “What does he want?” she was scared.
“Don’t worry,” he told her before he kissed her temple. “Come.”
She followed him in the room where Damon was being tortured. Rebekah was already there. Ariel took Klaus’s hand and stayed closer to him when she saw Stefan. He had a bag in his hand.
“What do you want?” Klaus asked and Stefan threw the bag at his feet. There were stakes in it.
“I’m here to make a deal,” he said.
“Stefan what are you doing?” Damon managed to say despite the pain.
“Eight stakes made of white oak. The part of the Wickery Bridge you forgot to burn,” he said.
Klaus turned to look at his sister and gave her an angry look.
“That’s impossible,” Rebekah shook her head.
“Actually it’s not,” Stefan said and the Originals vampires turned to look at him. “Finn is dead,” he said.
Ariel felt Klaus squeeze her hand a little tighter.
“You killed my brother?” Rebekah asked with a threatening tone.
Stefan didn’t answer. He took two steps towards Klaus and Ariel stayed close behind him.
“Damon in exchange for the last weapons that can kill you,” he said.
“And how do I know there aren’t any more left?” Klaus asked.
“Because there aren’t,” he answered, looking at him in the eyes.
“Let’s be certain, shall we?” Klaus said and he looked down at Ariel before he looked at Rebekah. The blonde opened her arms and Ariel rushed to her sides.
Stefan looked at Ariel with a guilty look. He knew what he had put her through when he didn’t have his humanity and he regretted it now. Ariel had both her hands on Rebekah’s left arm and she was looking down at the floor.
“Leave,” Klaus told Damon.
“No,” Damon groaned.
“Come on. Leave,” he repeated.
“Nik, he’s my plaything not yours,” Rebekah whined.
Klaus ignored his sister and put a hand on Damon’s throat. “I said, go…home,” he compelled the vampire.
Damon started to try to leave. He pulled to get his hands free from the animal traps, screaming from pain. As Klaus watched Stefan’s reaction he chuckled and told Damon to stop.
“Stop before you hurt yourself,” he laughed. “I can see that you can finally be compelled. Now. Minus the stake that’s in my brother, how many more stakes are out there that can kill me?” he asked.
“Eleven,” he answered.
“Eleven!” Klaus echoed. “Really? So not eight, then?” he told Stefan.
“You really shouldn’t have lied,” Rebekah told him.
“I’ll get you the other three,” Stefan said.
“Yeah, that would be nice,” Klaus said. “Or since you lied, maybe I’ll just compel your brother to chew his own tongue,” he said.
Ariel didn’t like hearing this. Whenever Klaus threatened someone, she always got scared.
“What is wrong with you?” Stefan asked.
“What is wrong with you?!” Klaus echoed, angry. “Do you really have no appreciation for me? I have given you someone to hate, to loathe, a target for all of your anger so you don’t have to turn it on yourself. I have given your life purpose, as your friend… And considering that you are still alive despite what you’ve done to Ariel…I really think that you should be thanking me,” he said.
“Enough!” Stefan yelled and in the next second he pulled a stake out of his jacket and Klaus’ back was against a wall.
Rebekah caught Ariel by the arm as she was trying to get to the hybrid.
“Step down,” Klaus said, slowly, with an angry and threatening tone. “Or you both die.”
Stefan stepped down and gave the stake to Klaus.
“There. Now you only have to get me the other two,” Klaus said.
“This is ridiculous,” Rebekah sighed, annoyed.
“What are you doing?” Klaus asked her as she set Damon free.
“I brought him here, I get to release him. My rules now. Bring us the stakes and you both live. Take your brother as a sign of good faith,” she said before she stepped out of the room.
Klaus sighed and walked towards Ariel. “Bring us the stakes. All of them. Or I’ll wage a war against everyone you love. I hope I’m being clear,” he told Stefan before he left the room with Ariel.
They joined Rebekah in the living room. Ariel sat on the couch and Klaus went over his sister.
“I can’t believe Finn is dead,” she said.
“Good riddance,” Klaus said, pouring himself a drink. Ariel was shocked by his answer. His brother had just died. “He was an embarrassment, Rebekah.”
“He was still our brother. Mind your tongue,” Rebekah told him, angry.
“Fine, let’s all say a prayer for Finn, who slept in a box longer than he lived as a man.”
Rebekah looked at him, dumbfounded.
“He was a lovesick fool. He’s better off in death,” he said and Ariel couldn’t hear any more so she left the room. Klaus watched her leave and he realized, maybe, he should have mind his tongue.
“Nice. Say that in front of the woman that adores you, “lovesick fool””, she told him. He looked ashamed and looked down at his feet before he looked up. “Is that how you would speak of me if I died?” she asked.
“Well, you let the Salvatores loose with two stakes that could kill us, so I guess we’ll find out soon enough,” he told her. “And since when did you have a soft spot for them?”
“The Salvatores may fight like dogs but in the end they would die for each other. At least they know what family means. You destroyed ours.”
“I wanted a family. They just didn’t want me,” he answered. “And now we’re unlinked. We’re no longer responsible for each other.”
“So, are you leaving?” she asked, like he would never do that. He would never leave her behind.
“As soon as I get my stakes, I’m gone. I’m going to take Elena and use her blood to create a new family of hybrids,” he told his sister.
Rebekah crossed her arms over her chest. “What about Ariel?” she asked and he frowned.
“What about her?” Klaus asked.
“I heard what you promised her, earlier,” she said. “You’re going to break that girl and she’s already pretty damn broken.”
“I can take care of her,” he told his sister who shook her head.
“You can’t even take care of your own family,” she said. “You saved her life and without you she is alone. How will you know if she stays by your side because she loves you or because she’s terrified of leaving you or of being alone?”
Every word was stabbing him in the heart. Every word was true.
“You have a family, Nik! And maybe that girl will help you realize, if you just stop being so paranoid for a minute, that you are loved! You don’t need a hundred hybrids as a family and a hundred hybrids will never feel like a family!”
She sighed and rolled her eyes. “Now go to her. You just said you’d rather be dead than in love, who knows what’s going on in her head right now.”
When Klaus opened the door of his room, he had no idea what to expect. Ariel was in bed, under the cover and it looked like she was sleeping. He got into bed and laid down next to her and put a hand on her waist and he pulled her back to his chest. He kissed her neck and he waited for her to say something but she didn’t move.
“Love,” he said but she didn’t say anything. He sighed. He got under the cover and put his hands over her stomach and pulled her closer to him. He kissed her neck again and whispered in her ear.
“You’re all I have, too.”

Chapter Text

Klaus pulled Ariel to his chest and whispered in her ear: “I only have you, too.”
Ariel stayed immobile for a minute before she slowly turned and buried her face in his chest. He stroke her hair before he kissed the top of her head and they both slowly fell asleep in each other’s arms.
It’s been a couple of days since Klaus had ordered Stefan to get him the two remaining stakes. But the problem was, Stefan couldn’t locate one of them, which made Klaus very angry. Kol was still in Denver, “spying” on Jeremy Gilbert, “just in case”. Klaus had texted him that Damon and Elena were coming and that he had to stop them from doing whatever it was they wanted to do.
But the Original hybrid was getting impatient and he decided to pay a visit to Stefan Salvatore, leaving Ariel alone in the big mansion.
The red-haired hybrid was reading a very old book in the living room and she heard someone enter the house. She knew it was a woman as she could hear the person was walking on heels. She quickly closed the book and put it aside. She stood up and went to the other room so she could see whoever it was that was entering without them seeing her.
She silently took her phone and started dialing Klaus’ number but he didn’t pick up. When it when to voicemail she saw the person that had intruded the mansion and got scared.
“I know you are here, dear,” Esther said. “Come out, I won’t hurt you.”
Ariel knew it wasn’t a good idea but she also knew she wasn’t strong enough to escape the Original witch.
“There you are,” Esther said when Ariel came back in the room.
“What do you want?”
//
“Well, this is depressing, isn’t it?” Klaus said with a smile as he entered the basement of the Salvatores’ house.
Stefan and Alaric were discussing about the darkest parts of them, and it wasn’t any fun.
The vampire quickly stood up.
“Oh, and I… find this upstairs,” he showed the white oak stake to Stefan. “There should be one more,” he said.
“Yeah, well it’s gonna take a little more time,” Stefan answered.
“Why? Because we’re waiting for that one to pass out?” he said, pointing at Alaric. “No, thanks. I think I’ll just kill him,” he told Stefan.
“Well then you won’t know the location of the other stake,” Stefan said.
“I can live with that,” Klaus answered and started walking towards Alaric but Stefan stopped him.
“Yeah, well, I can’t,” Stefan told him. “When we staked Finn, we discovered that killing an Original vampire, killed his entire bloodline. Now, I don’t know which one of you I’m descended from but I’d really rather not find out by dying. So why don’t we just find the stake and destroy it so we can all be safe.”
“So the fate of the entire vampire race depends on you finding a stake. And to get it we need you to pass out. Which means that I feel totally justified doing this,” he said before breaking Alaric’s neck. “There, sleeping like a baby,” he smiled at Stefan.
//
Ariel was sitting on the couch and Esther was standing in the middle of the room when Rebekah came in.
She lost the smile she was wearing when she saw her mother. She eyed Ariel to see if she was fine. She looked scared but she didn’t look hurt.
“Mother,” she breathed out. But in the next second, she had her hand on her mother’s throat and her back was against the wall. “Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you right now,” she said.
“Because I’m dying,” Esther told her.
Rebekah was shocked by the revelation. She let go of her mother and stepped back.
“How are you dying?” the blonde asked. “I thought Ayana had preserved your body with a spell,” she said.
“She did. I’m drawing my power from the Bennett witch line. When Abby died the connection was severed. So my body was weakened” she answered.
“Well if you’ve come to spend your last moments with your loving daughter, prepare to be disappointed. You should have spent less time plotting my death.”
Ariel looked up at Rebekah with sad eyes.
“Is that what you think I’ve been doing on the other side? I’ve been looking over you for a thousand years of joy and heartbreak. Your fights with Klaus. The nights you cried yourself to sleep calling my name. Not a day has gone by that I wasn’t right there with you.”
“And yet, you still tried to kill me.”
“Because it shouldn’t have been a thousand years, Rebekah. No one should live that long.”
“But I haven’t lived at all” the blonde says with tears in her eyes.
“Sorry, Rebekah. So, so sorry.” She said and took her daughter’s hands.
Ariel stood up as she saw both of them trembling. Almost immediately, Klaus entered the room. Ariel looked up at him and gave him a sad look.
“What’s going on?” he asked after he saw her mother’s body on the floor.
“She’s dead,” Rebekah told him.
Ariel slowly walked towards him. She placed her hands on his wrist and she saw he was tearing up. She knew he didn’t like to be weak that way so she didn’t hug him, even though she really wanted to.
“Well that’s one problem down,” he said. “We still have one other.”
“And what is that?” the blonde asked.
“One stake is hidden and we need professor Saltzman’s alter-ego to tell us where it is,” Klaus sighed, annoyed.
Rebekah frowned. “How are we going to do that?” she asked.
Klaus took a deep breath and took Ariel’ hand. “Stay here, love. My sister and I have some business to take care of,” he said. He kissed her forehead before he left the room, followed by Rebekah.
Ariel was alone and she looked down at Esther’s body on the ground. She was uncomfortable with it and so she decided to move it and to lay her down on the bed that had been hers when everybody thought she wanted to be a family again. Then, she went back to the living room and started to read again.
//
“I would’ve been more gentle,” Klaus mocked Stefan about how he had beat up Alaric. His nose was broken and he had blood all over his face. Stefan looked down, ashamed.
“I’m gonna take him to the caves,” Rebekah said. She was holding him by the neck. “You’re gonna go inside and fetch me the stake and if you think you can hide, you’re wrong,” she told him before she dragged him outside.
“And then, there was one,” Klaus said. “I know about your brother’s little mission to Denver. He failed. Not that that’s news anymore.”
“So what’re you gonna do, now, Klaus?” Stefan asked. “You’re gonna kill me?”
“I haven’t actually decided yet,” Klaus told him. “Of course, it would be fair, after all, Ariel still has nightmare about how you tortured her,” he said.
“And I’m sorry about that,” he said. “I am,” he repeated. “But I’m sure you have thought about it. See, you’ve had every chance and every excuse to do it and yet you haven’t.”
“Well I’m sure you’re right. See I’m just waiting for my old friend to come back. And by the looks of it, he’s just beneath the surface, ready to come out and play,” Klaus chuckled. “Isn’t that right, ripper?”
“That part of me,” Stefan said. “You’re old friend. He’s the one that hurt Ariel. Not me.” Klaus wasn’t smiling anymore. “Now, unless you’re gonna stake me… Why don’t you get the hell out of my house?”
//
The next day, Ariel was laying on a couch, watching Klaus paint when Rebekah entered the room.
“What took you so long?” the hybrid asked his sister.
“Alaric didn’t want to hand over the stakes, luckily I’m quite the charmer,” she said and handed the stake to her brother.
“That’s it?” he asked.
“The last of the white oak stakes that can kill us,” she nodded. “Do you want to do the honor or should I?” she asked.
Klaus smiled, looked at Ariel before he took the stake and threw it in the fire of the fireplace.
“Pack your bags,” he told his sister who frowned. “We’re leaving.”
This was no news to Ariel. Klaus told her as soon as he had destroyed all the stakes they would leave Mystic Falls.
“Today?” she asked.
“Why not? There’s nothing keeping us here. We’ll grab the doppelgänger and be off by sunset.”
Ariel looked up at him but he didn’t see her as he was painting and had his back to her. That he didn’t tell her.
“But tonight is the decade dance,” she said.
“So?” Klaus couldn’t see how this was relevant.
“So, I’m head of the committee, we have to go,” she said.
“I’m not going to any dance,” he answered.
“Ariel told me she had never went to any dance. Maybe she’d like to go,” she said, turning to look at Ariel.
Ariel raised her eyebrows, surprised the conversation had included her.
“Is that true, love?” Klaus asked and she shrugged.
“Please, “Rebekah said. “I have big plans for tonight, just go for me,” she begged him.
Klaus sighed. “Okay, fine, one last hora.”
“One last hora, Nik,” she smiled before she left the room.
Klaus looked down at Ariel and smiled at her. “You’re gonna need a dress,” he told her.
“Do I have to go?” she asked and he chuckled. He took her hands and made her stand up. She placed her hands on his chest and looked up at him and he was keeping her close to him.
“If I have to go, you have to go,” he said and she looked down and sighed. “Come on, love,” he lifted her chin with his fingers and made her look up, “you get to wear a pretty dress again,” he smiled at her and she smiled back at him before leaned to kiss her.
//
“Klaus, where’s Rebekah?” Ariel asked as she stepped in their bedroom.
“I don’t know,” he said. “She’s supposed to be here, why?” he was getting dress and was looking at Ariel through the mirror.
“I need a dress,” she answered, timid.
He grinned and led her to a room of the mansion she had never stepped foot in before. There was a big chest in the middle of dusty books and old paintings. He opened it and showed her beautiful dresses:
“These were Rebekah’s in the 20’s,” he said before he handed her one.
Ariel slowly moved her hand to feel the dress. “It’s beautiful,” she said.
“A beautiful dress for a beautiful girl,” she looked up at him and he was grinning. She blushed and she gave him a shy smile and took the dress.
“Thank you.”
//
“I don’t know anybody here,” Ariel told Klaus. “Don’t leave me,” she stayed close to him.
“Never, love,” he grinned at her and took her hand. “Come on,” he dragged her to the dance floor. “This is supposed to be fun,” he told her and she shrugged. They danced for a few minutes, enjoying each other’s silence.
When the music started to get louder, Klaus decided to leave, angry Rebekah hadn’t shown up.
“Rebekah call me back immediately, we only came to this ridiculous dance because you begged me to and now you’re nowhere to be find!” he yelled at Rebekah’s voicemail as they were stepping out of the high school.
“Klaus,” Ariel stopped him and pointed the line of salt on the ground.
“What is this?” Klaus asked, annoyed.
“Your mother’s back,” they heard Stefan say.
They turned around and Ariel took Klaus’ arm and got closer to him.
“Come on, Bonnie’s trying to break the spell,” he said. Ariel looked up at Klaus, worried.
Stefan led them to a classroom where Bonnie was trying to undo Esther’s spell.
“What’s taking so long?” Klaus was getting impatient. “All boundaries spell have a loophole,” he said.
Bonnie looked up at Klaus annoyed. She didn’t have time to answer the hybrid as they were interrupted by Matt barging in.
“People are walking pass the barrier,” he said, almost out of breath.
Klaus looked down at Ariel to see if she was okay. She was nervously playing with the sleeve of his jacket.
“Matt and I can leave and stop Esther ourselves,” Jeremy said and Klaus looked up with a grin. “We just need to find out where she is.”
“It’s suicide, Jeremy,” Stefan told him.
“Don’t move, love,” he whispered to Ariel and kissed her hair and before she could look up he was at the other side of the room and he was strangling Bonnie’s friend whose feet didn’t touch the ground anymore.
“Suicide would be disappointing me,” he said. “Now, work your magic, witch, or I’ll start killing people you fancy,” he threatened.
“Let him go!” she ordered him.
“Not until you get us out of here,” he said.
“Oh, don’t be stupid, Klaus, Bonnie doesn’t give a damn about us,” Stefan said as he walked towards the hybrid. Ariel stepped back as the vampire passed by her. “The only reason she’s helping right now is to save Caroline and Tyler, you start killing people she cares about, and she’ll tell us all to go to hell.”
Klaus considered for a few seconds before he relieved the human with a sigh and went back to Ariel’s sides. They let Bonnie work and went outside, waiting for the spell to be broken.
“As soon as we’re free to leave this place I want you to go back home,” he told Ariel who looked up at him. He saw the worry on her face. “Don’t worry,” he told her. “I killed my mother once, I can do it again.” She nodded and looked down. He kissed the top of her head.
“Esther is not fighting me anymore,” Bonnie said after they joined them. “You’re free to go.”
Klaus looked down at Ariel and she nodded again and in the next second, she was gone.
“Look who does have a heart, after all,” Stefan said and Klaus turned to give him an annoyed look before they all left for the cemetery.
Klaus put his mother back in her coffin and then took the dagger out of Rebekah’s body. She wasn’t happy, of course, she had been betrayed by her mother once again and she had missed a dance she had spent days organizing.
When Klaus stepped into his bedroom, the lights were off and Ariel was already in bed. He heard her move and she turned on the lights.
“See? I’m fine,” he grinned at her and she chuckled.
“Is Rebekah okay?” she asked.
He nodded. “She’s not happy she missed the dance,” he told her.
She nodded and she watched him change and get ready for bed.
“What about your mother?” she asked in a whisper.
Klaus didn’t answer right away. He looked down and sighed before he turned to face her. “She’s dead,” he told her and she looked down and nodded.
He slipped under the covers and pulled her to his chest. He kissed the top of her head before he turned off the lights.
“Goodnight, love.”
“Goodnight, Klaus.”

Chapter Text

Klaus woke up with Ariel in his arms. She was still sleeping. She never looked more peaceful than in her sleep. He smiled as he watched her breathe and he started to stroke her hair. She slowly opened her eyes and she knew he was awake. She smiled when she felt his hand in her hair and she looked up at him.
“Hello, love,” he grinned at her.
“Hi,” she said with a small voice before she closed her eyes and laid her head on his chest again.
He chuckled. “We should get up, love. Rebekah is already gone,” he said and she sighed.
She made pancakes for breakfast and they were packing Klaus’ arts when Rebekah arrived in panic.
“Alaric Saltzman just tried to kill me!”
Klaus looked up at his sister and raised his eyebrows. “Alaric Saltzman is supposed to be dead.”
“Well, he’s not!” she yelled. “And he’s a vampire thanks to mother’s spell! With a white oak stake that can’t kill him! He’s stronger, Nick! Too strong!” She was obviously afraid.
Klaus looked down at Ariel who was now scared too. He took her hand and she looked up at him.
“Where is he now?” he asked.
“Stuck at the school without a daylight ring but as soon as night falls he’ll come after us,” she told him. “We need to leave now.”
Klaus sighed. “Fine. I’ll collect Elena and we’ll be on our way.”
Rebekah frowned and Ariel looked up at him.
“Forget Elena! You don’t need any more stupid hybrids!” she said. “No offense,” she told Ariel who shrugged, timidly.
“What I need is protection from Esther’s continued assaults against us,” he told his sister.
“We’ll protect each other, like we always have,” she told him. “Always and forever, Nik,” she reminded her. He stared at her in silence for a few seconds.
“Klaus…” Ariel whispered his name and squeezed his hand. She took one step towards him. He looked down at her and got lost in her green eyes.
Did he really need more hybrids? If he left with her, he would put her in danger but he promised her he would never leave her alone. He needed more hybrids to protect her.
“I’m not leaving without her,” he said.
Rebekah was disappointed and angry. “I’m leaving now,” she said. “You can either walk out that door with me or you two are on your own,” she said.
Klaus stared at her than looked down once more at Ariel.
“You’re killing her, I hope you know that,” she said before she walked out. “Move it, sire boy!” she yelled at Tyler who was in her way.
“What’s her deal?” he asked but Klaus didn’t answer. He had tears in his eyes. Ariel let go of his hand and he watched her walk away from him and she kept packing with Tyler.
“Tyler stay here, with Ariel,” he said.
“Where are you going?” he asked but he didn’t answer and Tyler looked down at Ariel who shrugged. She looked sad. “Are you okay?” he asked and she shrugged again.
They were still packing when Ariel’s phone rang. It was Klaus.
“Hello?”
“Love,” Klaus said. “I’m going on a rescue mission,” he told her. “I should be back soon but be prepared to leave before sunset.”
“Okay,” she said but he had already hung up.
“What was that about?” Tyler asked.
“Alaric Saltzman is a vampire,” she said.
“What?” Tyler’s eyes grew big and she just nodded and kept packing.
When Klaus came back, he wasn’t alone. He had an unconscious Elena with him. She couldn’t watch him drain her of her blood so she walked around the mansion, making sure they hadn’t forgotten anything. But she stopped in the hallway and listened to what Elena and Klaus were saying.
“These last few liters will have to suffice,” he said. “You see…By attempting to kill us, my mother strengthened the bond between my siblings and I. I don’t need hybrids. I have Ariel. I have my family.”
“If you believe that, then why take my blood at all?” she asked. “You want a back-up family. “You know that your siblings will never trust you again. And you’re afraid of losing Ariel. You’re afraid she’ll leave you just like your siblings did. But the truth is, they didn’t leave you. You drove them away. And you’ll drive her away too.”
Ariel started to tear up at the doppelgänger’s words.
“Have a nice death, Elena,” he said before he walked out of the room.
Ariel heard someone come in the mansion. She stayed hidden but saw Damon and Stefan following Tyler in the room where Elena was. He started to untie her.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“Shh.”
“Tyler,” she could only whisper and he turned around and saw Klaus. Damon and Stefan were hidden and the hybrid wasn’t aware of their presence.
“So much for that sire bond,” the hybrid said.
“I’m not your little bitch anymore,” Tyler told him.
Ariel stayed hidden. She looked for a stake and broke a chair to get one.
“How did you break the sire bond?”
“By breaking every bone in my body a hundred times for the girl I love,” he answered.
“That’s impossible.”
“Is it? Or maybe real love is stronger than fake loyalty. But what would you know about that?”
“You know, you should be thanking me. I gave you a gift, I took away your misery.”
“You didn’t give a crap about me! You just didn’t want to be alone!” he yelled.
Ariel heard him walk away from Klaus. “Come on,” he whispered to Elena. But then, she heard someone fall.
“Good-bye Tyler,” he said but then she heard him scream. She rushed into the room and saw Tyler and Stefan holding Klaus and she did the first thing that came into her mind. She stabbed Stefan in the back.
“No!” Tyler breathed out, shocked Ariel would do something like that. Klaus watched with big eyes Stefan’s skin turn grey.
“What did you do?”
She turned to see Damon in the entry of the room looking down at his brother’s lifeless body. But before Damon could do anything, both Klaus and Ariel were gone.
“Get in,” Klaus told Ariel who quickly got into the car and he drove them out of Mystic Falls. “Call Rebekah,” he said. But when she didn’t move he turned to look at her. She was staring at her hands. “Are you okay?” he asked but she didn’t move. “Ariel!” he called her name and she jumped and looked up at him with big eyes.
“I’m sorry, wh… what?” she asked with a shaky voice.
“Are you okay?” he repeated.
She looked at him like, no, she wasn’t okay, how could she be okay?
“Is he…?” she closed her eyes and shook her head at the simple thought. “Did I…?”
“Yes,” he said and she opened her eyes. He was focusing on the road. “It was him or me, Ariel,” he told her.
She stayed silent for a minute.
“I just killed someone,” she whispered.
“Are you gonna be okay?” he asked.
She took a deep breath and nodded. She took her phone and dialed Rebekah’s number.
“What should I tell her?” she asked in a cold tone. He looked at her in silence for a few seconds, she was looking at the road.
“Tell her Elena Gilbert needs to die,” he said and she nodded.
She did as he told her without a blink.
“Are you crazy?” Rebekah said over the phone, “I am not going back there!”
“If Elena dies, Alaric will die with her!” Klaus told her and the blonde sighed.
“Why can’t you do it?” she asked.
“Ariel just killed Stefan Salvatore,” he said. “We can’t go back there!”
“Damn it, Nik!” she yelled.
“Bekah!”
“Alright, alright…” she sighed. “I’ll call you when it’s done.”
“She’ll probably be at the hospital,” he said. “And kill Damon too if you can.”
She groaned before she hung up.
“Where are we going?” she asked.
He sighed. “First, we’ll stop at a hotel but we need to get you far from Mystic Falls, I doubt Damon won’t look for you,” he said.
“I just killed his brother,” she whispered.
“Once Elena’s dead he’ll have nothing better to do than to go after us, we’ll need to get the white oak stake from them.”
Ariel nodded and sighed. She leaned back in her seat and looked by the window.
Klaus stopped at a diner a couple of hours away from Mystic Falls. Ariel was still looking by the window. He took her left hand and she turned her head. She looked sad.
“We’ll wait here until Rebekah calls,” he said. He took her face in his hands and locked his eyes in hers. “Everything will be fine,” he told her. She gave him a sad and tiny smile and she looked down. He kissed her forehead before they got out of the car.
Ariel was sitting next to Klaus but she wasn’t hungry. She probably was starving, but she didn’t want to eat.
“You need to eat, love,” Klaus told her.
“Does it ever go away?” she asked and he frowned.
“What, love?”
She sighed. “The guilt?” she looked up at him.
“It gets easier with time,” he nodded. “Eat.”
Ariel stared at her plate for a few minutes before she finally took the fork and started eating. Half an hour later, Klaus’s phone rang.
“Rebekah, is it done?” he asked. Ariel looked up and tried to listen to what she was saying.
“The doppelgänger’s dead,” she said. “So is the history teacher,” she sighed. “Damon tried to kill me but I’m fine, he’s not dead though… I have the white oak stake.”
Klaus told her where there were. “We’ll be waiting for you.”
“I’ll be there in two hours,” she said and she hang up.
“How are you feeling?” Klaus asked Ariel again.
“I’m fine,” she said. Stefan deserved to die. He kidnapped her, tortured her and repeatedly tried to kill Klaus. “You left Elena’s blood behind,” she said.
“I don’t need her blood, now that Alaric is dead,” he said and she raised her eyebrows. “I just need you.” He was looking down at her and she lost herself in his blue eyes. I just need you. His words echoed in her head and she placed her right hand on his cheek and kissed him. Klaus moved his hands on her waist and pulled her closer to him and deepened the kiss. She broke the kiss so she could breathe but she stayed close to him.
“I heard what Elena said, earlier,” she said and she looked him in the eyes. “I’ll never leave you,” she said. He smiled and kissed her again.
Klaus knew he had to leave his car behind, so they stole another one and left right after Rebekah joined them.
“I called Kol and Elijah,” the blonde said. “They know everything.”
“What did they say?” he asked.
“Elijah didn’t pick up the phone but I left him a voicemail. Kol said if we needed anything, he’d be in France.”
Klaus chuckled. “France… What will he be doing there?” he asked.
Rebekah sighed. “I don’t know,” she shrugged. “Drink, kill…more drinking?”
Klaus laughed at his sister’s comment.
“And where are we going, Nik?” she asked. “What will we be doing?”
Klaus looked in the mirror and saw Ariel was sleeping in the back of the car.
“What about New-Orleans?”

Chapter Text

Klaus had many enemies but he also made some friends over the centuries. When he decided to go back to New-Orleans, he had no idea one of his “friends” had taken his “kingdom” under his leadership.
He had moved with his sister and Ariel in their old house and he knew Marcel wasn’t happy they were back in town.
“Just let him be the King, Nik, if it amuses him,” Rebekah sighed.
“We founded this town!” he yelled.
“And then we left it!” she told him. “Some of us in a box,” she reminded him. Klaus rolled his eyes. “I thought we were supposed to lay low,” she said. “If you start a war with all the vampires in this town, the whole damn world will know we’re here.”
Klaus sighed. “You’re right.”
“Of course I’m right,” she said.
Ariel was trying to read a book on the couch but the yelling of the Original siblings distracted her.
“Sorry, love,” Klaus said after he sat next to her. He placed his arm around her shoulders and pulled her to his chest and kissed the top of her head. She placed her right hand on his chest and smiled. He took the book from her and listened to him read. She liked the sound of his voice.
He smiled when he saw she had fallen asleep. It wasn’t too late, around 10PM. He put the book away and took her in his arms and carried her in their bedroom. He laid her on the bed and she wouldn’t let go of his shirt. He chuckled and lied with her. He pulled her to his chest and she turned around so she could lay her head on his chest. “I love you, Klaus,” she mumbled in her sleep. He looked down at her, surprised. He smiled and kissed her temple.
“I love you too, love,” he said even though he was pretty sure she was sleeping and that she wouldn’t remember it in the morning. But she moved closer to him and sighed.
“Good night, Klaus.”
“Good night, love.”