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Breathless

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The dark shadows of the forest seemed to blend together through the beautiful wide innocent brown eyes as a curvy figure in a dark red lacy dress with dark brown semi-long curly hair that had light brown – almost blond streaks running through it ran as fast as her legs could carry her from where she was attacked with a bite to her neck by the olive skin toned curly haired woman that held her two brother's affections.

She truly tried to get along with the woman with the name of Katherine Pierce – even if it was to make her brother's happy – and it wasn't as if the older woman that was closer to Damon's age more than the hers, let alone their younger brother Stefan, cut her 'accidentally' and convinced her brother's to drink from her to complete the change into whatever the hell she was – oh, wait...

A scoff forced itself from her half chapped but still full lips and the only thought that Ava Salvatore seemed to have on repeat was to paired up with the all consume urge to get away. It wasn't safe, she shook her head at the thought of going home. With her luck, Katherine would be there waiting for her. Nevermind the fact that she saw their estranged father, who like she didn't know what her brothers were, shot them between the eyes while they tried to help Katherine escape.

Her neck was bleeding harshly, she tried to gulp down the all consuming feelings of nausea as she pulled her blood stained hand away from her neck, slumping against a nearby tree. She couldn't hear the screams anymore and yet they seemed to echo in her mind – her only clean hand still feeling warm and tingling from Emily Bennett, one of her best friends, touching it with a shock and telling her to run. To get away from here. The beautiful woman with darker skin had always been kind to her, always on guard as if she was expecting a monster to pop out of nowhere and scare them.

As as Ava remembered Katherine's face before she bit her, black and red eyes wide and frightening with veins around each... her fangs sharp and glinting as they were caught in the moonlight... she came to understand that maybe Emily was. Emily was her friend though, one of the best you could ever ask for to be your friend, if she knew.. If she knew what Katherine was than she would have stopped – Sorrow gripped Ava at the thought of Emily getting hurt by the likes of Katherine Pierce.

She tried to push the feeling away but it wasn't hard to be brooding in the corner (or in this case a nearby tree) when you saw your brother's get killed by your own father after they were changed into the unknown by a monster. She shook away the feeling of guilt as she thought the last word. Katherine was more estranged than her father .. her brother's had to have known... didn't they?

A whimper forced itself from her lips before she could stop it, making her clench her teeth in response, as she her legs outstretched from her seated position as her head was rested back against the harsh bark of the tree. A silent figure from the corner of her eye made her head snap fast to look at it, her eyes losing innocence for the first time tonight as they glared with just a tad more devil in the eyes than what people would have liked to see, she just didn't care anymore. The figure was an attractive man that possessed curled dirty-blond hair and light blue eyes that contrasted with his slightly tanned and flawless skin. He was well-built under his expensive clothes that screamed he was a nobleman or a 'lord' as most of the pathetically high and mighty lot preferred, with a delicate and yet masculine face that most likely had all the girls that were much more beautiful than her want to be his wife.

She didn't recall him as one of Katherine's henchman but that didn't mean he wasn't. The weary, mistrusting look that must have been in her eyes must have been the reason for his sudden smile. Which was a strange concept in itself, she knew guys around her age found her pretty but she just couldn't see it. Couldn't see how little old her could make the guy in front of him smile at her. "Are you going to bring me to her or kill me yourself?"

His eyebrow as raised as he stepped forward, watching her silently with his head tilted to the side curiously as even when she was gasping for air, she was glaring feisty at him. Strange for a woman in this day and age.. even stranger was when pull that seemed to vibrate in his chest in this woman's presence. The autumn night wind flew past them, causing only one of them to shiver as her hair flew around he shoulders, revealing the bite on the side of her neck that caused the mysterious man's orbs to come into contact with it. For the first time in his existence of being changed, he didn't feel the thirst for her blood, it surged protectiveness in his dead veins. Curious, very curious. "No. I am not going to kill you, however I am curious to know who you think I would bring you to.."

She looked at him, as if trying to decide if he was playing with her and giving her a false sense of security before she parted her lips and said the one name that made his blood boil all over again after talking to Elijah when they discovered the mayhem that Katerina left behind in her wake, "Katherine Pierce."

"You knew Kater- Katherine?" He spat her chosen name that she went by now and at first he shut his mouth, knowing full well he had a temper and something inside of him didn't want to scare her. Amazed, he watched as she simply relaxed at the hatred of the name of the doppelganger he was meaning to hunt. What's your name, love?

"My name is Ava, Ava Salvatore. And yes, she came into my home with my two brothers and my father.." She winced and her feistiness that he loved in her big beautiful eyes was gone and replaced with sadness, a look he didn't like at all and before he knew it he was crouched in front of her with a warm look of understanding. Katherine always did leave mayhem and tears wherever she went and it didn't bother him usually as much as it did Elijah, actually the only thing it did do was irritate him that he lose her yet again, however this time... He didn't know what to make of this woman, it was as if she was connected to him in such a way that no one else before her could manage, and yet apart of it was cut off like his wolf side was cut off to him.. It was almost as if she was -

His eyes widened as he stared at her with new found emotion in his eyes. He never thought he would be lucky enough to actually find the person who completed him and yet here she was.. sitting literally right in front of him.

"She came there under the impression that he whole family died in a fire. She played and changed both my brothers into whatever she was and..."

"That bite." His hand reached out to gently push her soft hair away from the wound, trying his best to not let the anger he was feeling show, "Was that from Katherine?"

Her nod was lacked energy and he cussed in his mind before pulling her only his lap as he sat on the ground, her beautiful eyes distant with blood loss. He bit his wrist, not even minding the sound that seemed to echo in the silence of the forest as he did so nor the footsteps of his brother behind him, before making her swallow his blood and the second that she consumed just enough of his blood was the same second that Miss Ava Salvatore died in his arms.

..

Brown big and beautiful eyes lit up as a street light shown down on her like a spotlight on stage. She couldn't believe she was here, back to the place she was born even if it was in another time. One of her fingers of her left hand that was on the steering wheel of her car had a beautiful rose ring with lapis lazuli stones as rain drops on it, an engraved 'M' on the side of a plain silver band paired with it. She couldn't help but smile as she remembered the time she had with her husband, and as soon as she heard the doppelganger was alive she knew she would need to take a little road trip and help out her husband. She would bet that Nik wasn't that far behind, and knowing Elijah he was most likely already there... She missed him too much , along with Bekah and Kol. Ava didn't approve of him daggering his family, but in the end she couldn't control Nik's actions no matter how much she wished he would listen to her.

She looked into her rear-view mirror and made contact with a sleeping bundled figure in a minnie mouse baby car seat that matched the diaper bag on the floor of the passenger front seat. Seated in the car seat was a beautiful baby girl with the name of Aria Mikaelson that was clad in a pink zebra stripe baby onesies with pink pants that had ladybug footsies. A gift from Emily Bennett, all those years ago when she shocked her at the touch and told her to run was that even as a vampire she was allowed to have children. The one thing that Nik wanted more of : Hybrids. No one besides Bekah, Kol, Elijah and Nik knew since they didn't want enemies to hunt the little girl that had them all wrapped tightly around her finger. She drove into the driveway of the manor that Nik had purchased and smiled as she saw her friend that she saved from death Amelia Bennett stand up from the spot she was sitting on the steps of the front porch. Getting out, Ava smiled widely at her friend, showing the human that her hair was still long and beautiful with the same dark brown and highlights mixed in there while wearing a leather jacket over a dark gray tank top, black faded jeans and dark gray designer boots with buckles on the side.

Grabbing a car seat with a sleeping dark brown haired Aria that like her mother had blonde streaks in it, though her eyes were all her father, Aria walked up to the house and smiled again while hugging her friend with one arm. "Thanks for coming Amelia, it's good to see you."

Amelia Bennett, standing at 5'5 with black long hair and chocolate colored skin that was covered in a dark blue tank top, skinny jeans and flip flops, smiled in the warm summer night air. "Ava, it's great to see you and Aria again."

..

"The guard! The one that locked us all the church! He was obsessed with Katherine!" He remembered glaring down at Pearl wide fearful eyes, "She offered to turn him! He. Let. Her. Go!" His hand slowly softened it's hold on her neck and he took two steps backward to see Anna rushing to hold her mother. "As soon as she did, I saw her go after your sister. She bit her neck, Damon, and left her to die.."

"It's our fault.." Stefan couldn't keep the sorrow out of his voice as he thought about that day in 1864, "Instead of helping Katherine, we should have gotten our very human sister out of there. Who were we to be convinced to drink Ava's blood to turn into vampires?! Who were we to trust Katherine that she would turn Ava?! She didn't even compel us! We were blinded by-"

Baby blue eyes narrowed at his glass of Bourbon that shown with flexes of light from the fireplace acrossed from him, lip curled upwards in self hate before he threw the shot glass at the nearest wall with a growl of misery. He was the older brother, the one that was supposed to keep both his younger siblings safe and he didn't.. He..

"Now," A familiar teasing voice gave Damon Salvatore a start as he heard it echo in his supernatural hearing, "What did that wall ever do to you?"

He was up out of his seat before he knew it, spinning around fast he saw her. Her big brown eyes with teasing glints, her hair exactly how he remembered it, her curvy figure in modern clothes. No heartbeat, her voice made Stefan rushing down from upstairs, wide eyes taking her in with a look that copied his of happiness and disbelief. Ava.. She was alive.

Stefan said her name, and it seemed to echo loudly in Damon's ears as she smiled with the innocence that she seemed to bring back as a human.

"Good to see you both again."

Chapter Text

Silence seemed to engulf the room as those six little words ignited close to a hundred questions in the minds of the Salvatore brothers but in the end it drifted all away in one small yet nerve-wrecking statement, as if it solidified something.

Their sister, Ava Salvatore, was alive. Well, grant it, as much alive as you can be while a vampire but at the moment it didn't make much of a difference. What did though - "Ava." The older Salvatore dare not to so much as blink in fear that if he did so their beloved thought-to-be-dead sister would vanish into thin air. "H – How are you alive? We thought -"

"That I died that night in 1864?" Her soft voice came out in a dry, almost cold tint to it and both brothers couldn't help but wonder what happened to their shy, kind hearted sister.. did the world harden her in their absence of her life? They both looked at each other, almost as if hoping the other would have the answer they wished to hear, before looking to find one Ava Salvatore in front of her older brother's alcohol collection and pouring herself a shot of bourbon. She turned her head slowly to the side, distant eyes connecting with the lit fire place as she did so, "That was because I did."

A gasp tore itself from her throat as she forced her head from the comfortable white pillow. Her big, brown expressive eyes fearfully connected with the surroundings of a chamber she couldn't recall entering.

Was she dead? The last thing she remembered was fading in the forest outside of Mystic Falls due to blood loss while talking to that handsome nobleman. Maybe she was wrong to trust him? She tried to dismiss the aching feeling that came with that question as her sunkissed hand made contact with the column of her throat where Katherine had bit her, only to find it wasn't there.

Her eyebrows pulled together in confusion as she pushed the soft comforter off her to reveal the dark blue gown she were wearing that was made of what felt like fine silk. She blushed furiously and hoped that the handsome stranger did not in fact change her out of the clothes that she was wearing before.

"My sister – Rebekah -" An amused male voice came from the door reached her ears and made her flushed face snap up to see her blond savior leaning against the door frame with a devious smirk on his face, "changed your clothes." He let her have time to take a sigh in relief before he continued, "No matter how much I would like to."

His smirk seemed to widen as her cheeks heated all over again, and casually walked over to her bedside as if he didn't just calmly admit that he wanted to take her clothes off. She figured that he had experience with his opposite gender and the mere thought made her cringe in something that she would deny was jealousy. It was strange that she felt so connected to a man that she hardly knew and a movement caught her eye before she saw that he reached his hand out to her, "My name is Niklaus Mikaelson, my sweet Ava." Something on his British accent voice made the twenty-one year old woman shiver as she grabbed his hand, murmuring a polite 'Nice to make you acquaintance, thank you for saving me.'

Her parents would have been proud that all their hard work of making her 'into a lady' proved to come out of her in that moment, as he raised an amused eyebrow at her and pulled her off the bed and into his arms. He moved them to the window that showed a full moon was hung high as a spotlight for the beautifully composed jazz music that made it's way into the room with ease.

"Welcome to New Orleans, love, you'll be safe don't you worry your pretty little head about Miss Pierce." He shifted his hands to have only one on her lower back as she was softly steered from the room to step out into a wrap around balcony of huge room. He seemed to stare at her with emotion that was never before directed at her. A bright, positive emotion that made her feel his touch on his lower back was tingling her deliciously mixed with what looked like a guarded secret, maybe she was looking too much into it and it was probably nothing. It didn't stop her being drawn by the mysteriousness of the blond male before her.

"We will sight see later, sweet Ava, but for now you must be thirsty.." Without her even saying so it seemed he knew that her throat was drier than she could safely say it had never been before. Maybe, she now noticed, it was that she was almost quivering? Either way though she watched as he opened a glass, tall flask of dark red and poured two medium sized shot glasses before offering her one. His voice purring with want and expectation, "May I offer you a drink?"

...

The smile that was on her face quickly turned downwards as she came out of her flashback by the hand on her shoulder, and her eyes flashed quickly in sadness before covering it up. There was still a possibility that she was still alive, that she was changed into a vampire in 1864. Why had they given up on the notion of looking for her? Better yet,being changed before the night that they were all getting ready for the Founder's party, their father and the founders conducted to hunt the vampires that night – why did they not change her themselves?

She turned to see Stefan's hand on her shoulder, his forest green eyes holding regret and she cussed herself mentally for having her 'emotions on her sleeve'. She figured they were sorry, that like her they were happy beyond words to be together again but then she remembered that they helped Katherine and not her all those years back. They would have to prove to her that they wanted her in their life.. "I did die. I was changed, I survived and it was absolutely no thanks to your beloved -"

"Stefan..?" A voice cut her off from up the stairs as a person made their way down the steps, she knew they had someone over that was human as she heard the heartbeat before she even entered the house, she just didn't expect the person to look and sound so..

A young woman with an oval face, light olive complexion, almond-shaped brown eyes which were on several occasions described as doe-eyes, and smooth, long, straight dark brown hair. The woman was gorgeous on the outside but she knew first hand just how manipulative and cruel the doppelgänger was on the inside. Ava was on edge, standing frigged as a statue with a frown on her plump lips. She knew also from the way those doe-eyes narrowed at her, a look that was all too familiar with Katherine, that she was just the same no matter how much this girl tried to convince people otherwise.

The look that she gave both her brothers and not just Stefan, confirmed that. Like Katherine, she probably would abandon her friends in the end to save her own skin, as if she thought they had to. Ava narrowed her eyes back dangerously and spat out the name that ended her sentence before the doppelgänger interrupted her, "Katherine."

She watched as the doppelgänger, the reason she was in this god forsaken town in the first place to help Nik, open her mouth to deny that she was Katherine. Both her brothers did also, and Ava rolled her eyes and sighed at the act. They were already head over heels for her. Talk about history repeating itself.. "I know who you are, little doppelgänger."

The human's frown deepened at her tone, even more so when Stefan or Damon didn't stand up for her. ..Just who was this woman? "That's more than I can say for you. My name is not 'little doppelgänger' – it's Elena."

Ava smothered a groan, knowing that the doppelgänger – sorry, Elena – was going to be sacrificed and in turn her brothers would cause trouble for Nik. This girl was not going to find out about her baby girl, no matter what, even if it meant keeping her brothers out of the loop as of right now. She didn't trust Elena, not one little bit. She wondered if those frowns on her brothers faces were because of the girls 'sudden' attitude, "I'm terribly sorry if I just don't care, little doppelgänger – Though," She turned sharply to Damon and Stefan with a raised eyebrow and ignoring Elena's glaring, "ever so sad that my own brothers didn't even care to mention me to their girlfriend."

She was teasing them, and part of the brothers knew it but they could hear the undertone of carefully composed surprise, anger, sadness, and caution. Elena's gasp echoed through their super hearing and the room as she processed the words. Damon stepped forward and hugged her tenderly, that had Elena's mouth dropping and something in her eyes made Stefan's mouth turn down in a contemplating frown. "We truly thought you were dead, Ava. I'm sorry."

A smile graced the only female Salvatore's lips making Elena's eyes were wide with small glints of awe and jealously as she stared at the beauty that was Ava Salvatore before smiling widely. Maybe if she got close to her.."It's nice to meet you, Ava."

Ava turned to her and nodded silently, before looking at Damon with a smile and going to hug Stefan. "I will see you guys tomorrow, get some shut eye Stef, don't you have school tomorrow?"

She looked at him with a deeply amused look before walking backwards and super speeding out the door.

"She really was the girl that you told me about?" Damon turned his blue eyes to Elena as she stared at Stefan, what was her problem with Ava? Elena acted like such a sweetheart around them but at the sight of Ava.. "Your sister? How is she walking around a hundred and some odd years later, Stefan?! I thought you said she was dead.."

Damon rolled his eyes, not even going to question who turned Ava because at the end of the person did both him and Stefan a huge favor, before turning and walking up the stairs to his room. A wore out picture of Ava back in 1864 that on his night stand caught his eyes, making him smile softly as he listened to Stefan's answer.

"She is obviously a vampire, Elena." Stefan looked tiredly at his girlfriend but happy at the revelation on his sister not being six feet under ground and when she asked if she knew who turned her, he shook his head, "I don't care. She's my older sister by four years, I am just happy she's here. I understand that you thought she was an ex or whatever but you will have to try and get along with her. I made the mistake all those years ago of letting her slip away from me."

Elena's brown eyes sought out her boyfriend's orbs in the darkness of his room but to no prevail, mind working into over time at the mystery of Ava Salvatore and the words that Stefan was murmuring to her in the dark, "I am not gonna make the same mistake twice."

Chapter Text

The sun began to slowly rise on the horizon of Mystic Falls, shining down through the white lace curtains and on a curvy woman that was dressed in faded in the front, black jeans, a fierce tiger printed dark gray shirt. Her bare feet pressed lightly on the white plush carpet as she paced around the room, bouncing the baby girl in her arms that was dressed in a white lacy dress and a white wrap around baby headband that had a secured clip black and white pocka dot and striped, bright pink, and white ribbons, sucking on a bottle.

Ava Mikaelson smiled to herself as she looked down at her beautiful baby girl with soft eyes, bouncing her softly until little Aria fell asleep in her arms. A soft knock sounded on the door just as Ava put her down in her crib that was made out of wood, craved by Aria's daddy and the love of Ava's existence, making soft foot falls find their way acrossed the carpet. Opening the door, Ava smiled and mouthed a silent 'Good Morning' to Amelia before she quietly shut the door and went down into the kitchen to heat up a blood bag.

Brown eyes stared at her witch friend acrossed from her from her spot at the table, biting her lip as she did so, "Are you sure that your comfortable about this, Bennett?"

"Of course I am, Mikaelson." Amelia playfully said back, taking a sip of her coffee before continuing, "You know that I love Aria and you know that I have no problem watching her. She'll be safe." Sensing Ava was still second guessing the whole situation in itself, Amelia got up from her seat, put her cup down with a smile and put a gentle yet firm hand on Ava's shoulder. "Don't you worry about a thing, Ava."

Said vampire sighed, it would be the very first time that she would leave Aria since she was born, everything about what she was about to do ate at her insides with worry but.. Amelia was right, she loved the baby dearly and probably nothing would happen .. still – Ava nodded in defeat and looked at Amelia carefully, "Call me if anything happens.. okay?"

Amelia nodded with a salute as she watched Ava get up from the seat at the large round table of the dining room, put on her knee length high heels that had silver buckles wrapped around the ankles, slipped on her leather jacket before picking up her bookbag. "I will, Ava, you have my word."

The Bennett witch offered a calming smile which Ava half nervously returned before giving another nod, "Ava is down for her nap in her nursery, and the bottles are -"

"Are in the fridge." Amelia cut in with a smile and a raised eyebrow, only half serious is her next demand, "She's in good hands – now go, before your late."

She watched with a smile and a playfully amused shake of her head as Ava unlocked her car, put her bookbag in the passenger seat and with a wave the Porsche Cayenne that Ava owned disappeared out of sight.

XxX

"...You mean to tell me that there is a Salvatore sister?" The question echoed in Ava's super sonic hearing as she stepped out of the office with a smirk. It was too easy to compel the secretary to believe that she had the appropriate documents such as transcripts to start school in her senior year. Her brown eyes zoned in on the youngest Bennett witch, her bright green eyes that had beautiful silver glints in them were wide with surprise as she stared at Elena's face to try and tell if she was serious or not, the doppelganger leaning sideways against her locker. The hissed question seemed to be caught by a beautiful blond teenaged vampire with baby blue eyes as she looked off to the side, trying to appear disinterested to the conversation the two females were having, much to the amusement of Ava.

"Yeah." Elena seemed to spit the word out of her mouth like it was a bad taste that she was trying and failing to get rid of, looking down at her converse with a frown, continuing when her friend inquired what was wrong, "I just – I don't trust her! We know absolutely nothing about her, who turned her in the first place, or better yet why her brothers thought she was 'dead' for more than a hundred years. All Stefan and Damon could say about it was that they are 'happy she is alive'. First off, she is vampire and therefore she is technically dead-"

"That's their sister, Elena.." Bonnie's eyebrows pulled together and a frown was on her lips, not understanding what Elena's problem was.

"And," The doppelganger continued as if she didn't hear nor care what Bonnie said, "Why is she in Mystic Falls now? Something is wrong, Bonnie, I can feel it. She didn't even care what my name was, as if I didn't even matter to her. What's worse is Stefan and Damon didn't even bother to try and correct her. She just kept calling me-"

"Little -" Ava stepped forward as she interrupted Elena's rant that she couldn't bare to hear anymore, smiling as Elena's face turned to one that should have had to words, 'Oh, shit!' written boldly on her forehead, "Doppelganger.." Bonnie took her in with a weary look, the same look that Ava had to smile amused at since she was given one too many times with Amelia at first.

The Bennetts are some untrusting little bunch unless you give them extreme reason too day after day – yeah, it seemed that saving a Bennett's life didn't guarantee that they trusted you. Go figure..

"You must be Bonnie.." Ava smiled brightly and held out her hand to the witch who cautiously took it with a gasp, "My name is Ava – Salvatore. She watched through half blurry vision as Bonnie pushed forth an event with a werewolf that had her saving Amelia's life from the mindless beast it became on the full moon, "It's very nice to meet you."

Her brown eyes turned with light mischief as she retracted her hand from Bonnie's and walked down the hall to find her homeroom, feeling Bonnie's emotional eyes on her as she walked away, rolling her eyes at Elena's pitiful pleads to let her know what she saw and a smirk when Bonnie walked away without a word.

XxX

"Hello class." Elena looked up from trying to wave the poster for the 'Decade Dance' at Bonnie who was still standoffish with her, to see all her classmates were situated in their seats as Alaric walked through the door, clearing his throat at how high it seemed before standing behind his desk and flipping through his book.

Bonnie knew that she would forgive Elena, like she always seemed to, but she couldn't help but think about how weird she was acting, how heartless she was to Damon and Stefan with finding their sister was 'alive' and with what she said about Ava in general. Anyone who saved her ancestor from a werewolf and expected nothing in return – couldn't have been as bad as Elena had claimed.

A teacher's pet with pale skin contrasting with dark wavy hair, dark brown eyes that wore a dark blue shirt spoke up, "With the 'Decade Dance' tonight we have been covering the sixties all week."

"Right," Alaric said slowly, putting the teacher's planner book down as he looked deep in thought, "The sixties.." He went to speak but a movement of Elena taking her coat off and putting it on the back of her chair caught his eye, making his stare predatory before he caught himself as the students looked at him expectingly, and started again while turning to the chalk board, "The sixties.. wish there was something good I could say about the sixties.."

Alaric put the chalk down as he stared at the board before turning around, "Actually they kind of sucked – except for the Beatles – they made it bearable.. What else was there.." His eyebrows pulled together as he thought, "The human missile.. thing. The walk on the moon.. There was the Water Gate.."

"Water Gate was in the '70, Ric." Elena spoke up, bringing his attention back to her, before she blushed as all her classmate's eyes were directed at her, "I mean.. Mr. Saltzman."

"Right.." He hid a smirk as he looked at her, "It all kind of.. shushes all together up here.. Thank you for that, Elena." He turned to the board once again, and took a deep breath.. He could do this.

Before long the faces he had to stare at for way to long, were walking out the door and 'Alaric' couldn't help but sigh. This was going to be such a tiring day and then, out of the corner of his eye an all too familiar curvy figure pasted his class making him pull himself out of his chair and stare out in the hallway. A beautiful woman with brown hair with streaks of almost blonde smiled at a baby blond vampire with blue eyes.

What was Ava doing here – of all places? Where was his little girl..? He had Seniors the class after next, as he assumed she would be to blend in.

He could wait until then.

XxX

Chapter Text

Ava liked to think of herself as observant and cautious.

She had to be when protecting her baby girl from people that wanted to get even with the Mikaelson family, and with the unshaken feeling of somehow knowing Mr. Alaric Saltzman. When she locked eyes with his wide brown ones, she was filled with a sense of content.. and even if she knew she didn't know the messy brown haired man it didn't stop the feeling that something just didn't add up. If she was still alive she had no doubt that her heart would be going into overdrive – there was only one man that made her feel like this.

Klaus. Her husband, her soul mate and the father of her baby girl. She knew it was too much to hope for him possessing this man's body. She sighed to herself as she walked out of the interesting class, pulling out her phone as she went before pausing just outside the doorway.

"Ava." An accented voice was amused as it came from the other end of the phone, "Knew it wouldn't take you long to call."

"Amelia." She smiled lightly, not paying attention to the people around her though if she would she would have seen that a certain doppelganger, a possessed teacher, a Bennett witch and a certain blond vampire watching her. Ava did speak in low tones though so only Caroline could hear and 'Alaric' stepped toward her from behind, "How's Aria?"

'Alaric' sighed in relief that his little girl was safe, and now focused on the back of his wife's head.

"Oh, she's fine. Your little girl has been looking around for you since you and her have been attached to the hip for so long but she is fine." There was a pause and a scuffle before baby blabbing could be heard making Ava's dead heart warm and a longing smile pull at her lips. The act caused Elena to raise an eyebrow at Bonnie and share a look before both of them turned their confused expressions to a shocked yet happy Caroline.

"Caroline?" The blond looked in the corner of her eye to see her friends looking at her, demanding to know what was going on, before looking back at Stefan's older sister with a soft smile. If Ava wanted to tell them about her baby then she would have to tell, it wasn't her business to. If she didn't tell Stefan or Damon, hey Damon she could understand the hesitance, then she must have had a reason because if they knew she didn't have a doubt that Elena would know shortly after. If not the day of, the day after.

She ignored them and shut her locker before walking swiftly to the beautiful Salvatore, murmuring in excitement, "...You have a child?" The look on her face was shock as she turned her body to the left to look at the blond who all but bounced over, her eyes turning from playful to narrowed in three point five second and her aura becoming deadly.

"Amelia.. I am gonna have to talk to you later." Ava murmured into the phone and only listened to half of the affirmative reply before she ended the call, she dragged the blond back into the classroom of which she came from and held her up against the wall, "You tell anyone, be it even my brothers, and I am going to make you wish you hadn't. That little girl has had enough trouble staying safe without you telling everyone about her, understand?"

Caroline nodded quickly, knowing that protective mother instincts were talking, and when Ava took a step backward slowly her baby blue eyes connected with the face of an very amused Alaric. This may end up bad for the teacher if he didn't choose a side. "Alaric is Damon's drinking buddy or whatever, he is also with Elena's aunt, what are you going to do with him?"

Ava turned to look at him contemplating with pursed lips, as if trying to figure him out before looking back at Caroline, "You worry about you Goldilocks, may god help you if you mention anything about my baby girl." The bell rang then and Ava nodded politely to the both of them before walking out the door.

Stepping outside, Ava smirked as she caught the last minute painting of things before she rolled her eyes playfully. Procrastinators. Truthfully she hated the sixties, she loved the 20's though. The jazz, the fashion, the blood... She sighed to herself as she walked up to Caroline and a dark haired teenager by the name of ..Dana, she thought it was, "Whose idea was it to do the sixties, anyway?"

Dana looked at her, blinking at her sudden arrival but then she saw Caroline give her a smile, and skip off to hug and kiss her boyfriend Matt, "... The school's council.."

"Well, this idea sucks. They couldn't have picked a decade that was actually fun?" Ava rolled her eyes, and just as Dana was going to ask what she meant by that, she turned to see the new girl not beside her anymore.

….

"Did you tell anyone what it's going to take to do that Klaus spell?" The question instantly caught Ava's attention when she walked past he 'TimberWolves' banner on the wall with her tray of food, to take a seat nearby. She blocked out all the other conversations to zone in on the one the Bennett witch was having with baby Gilbert, she wouldn't let anything happen to Klaus. Amelia's feelings about her descendants set aside.

"No.. and your not either." The witch blinked up at him as they both walked to a empty table. The boy beside her huffed in annoyance before speaking again as they sat down.

"She's gotta know you can't do it." The boy beside her huffed in annoyance before speaking again after she softly countered with 'You don't know that I can't. Have a little faith in me.' "That is not fair. You can't harness the power of a hundred dead witches, it will kill you."

Ava pretended to eat her food as she was listening just as the young witch shhed him and looked around before scooting closer to him, and the vampire was chewing with with irritation for the younger Bennett. A hundred dead witches?! Were they actually being serious? "We don't know that for certain.. You promised to keep my secret.. I am trusting you. I am going through with this, and if you tell anyone I swear-"

"What?" The boy narrowed his eyes at her, daring her to finish that sentence, "You'll do what?"

Ava glared at her tray, deep in thought of how to fix this problem before pulling out her phone, grabbing her tray to throw her food away before stalking out of the school. The 'What is his problem?' from the doppelganger and Bonnie Bennett playfully saying 'I told him he had to wear a suit tonight and he got all uptight.' echoing in her ears as she went. "Hey, Amelia?" Her urgent tone had the darker skinned woman standing up and holding the baby girl that she grew to care for as family protective in her arms. Amelia heard the sounds of Ava cussing softly as she tried to remain calm to drive out of the parking lot, "We have a problem."

..

Amelia grit her teeth as she took in what her friend was saying, bouncing the baby girl in her arms as he mother frowned worriedly at her. Bennetts in her day stood their ground and didn't let others dictate what they firmly believed in. There was Emily, servant of the bitch Katherine by way of paying back changing her dieing brother on the battle field. She was only here because even though – yes Ava did save her life – she was here because she honestly wanted to be. She grew to care for the woman in front of her as a sister, and the little girl in her arms as a niece.

Why didn't the new Bennett witch get a clue to stand up for herself? Klaus did nothing to her, and it was only bad luck that she was friends with the doppelganger. Slavery was over, their people suffered enough – too much to have it all be in vain by a group of demanding supernaturals that thought witches were there for their own gain. Amelia knew she needed to get through to this girl – Bonnie – at all costs. The look on Ava's face told her that much, that if she didn't Bonnie would die by her hand if she tried to take down Klaus or her own by channeling that much power.

She had half a mind to throw a fit, knock out all vampires on her way to see Bonnie and give the girl a good shake. She was starting to hate doppelgangers in general, they really were only demanding little things that acted like they cared, acted like they meant something to you.. and then -

"So what is the third option? Because I am not going to let one of my descendants get herself killed one way or another." Amelia leaned forward, her hands intertwined on top of the table and looking at her friend with desperation, "Tell me that there is another way?"

Ava thought for a second, thinking past the worry of her mate and nodded to her friend while bouncing Aria, "There is a way. You need to get the chance to talk to her, somehow talk her out of it. The girl has no self preservation and it's about time she got a wake up call back to reality. You, as blood family, are the only one to do so. And I hope you succeed, I would hate to see her die either way."

Amelia took in the honest of her words, slowly breathed in and out before nodding determinedly. "I won't fail." She knew she couldn't. Knew that Bonnie's life rested on her, there was no room for error. A phone ringing broke the silence making Ava move with ease to grab her phone off the table, and giving Amelia a confused, guarded look she gestured for her friend to take Aria and gave her her binkie before answering, "Stefan.. what is it?

…..

"...Alaric?" Ava stopped as she got out of the car, seeing the suspicious teacher walking up from his own car. The teacher seemed to survey her with a smirk, and Ava couldn't help but roll her eyes at him, "You just keep popping up, don't you?"

"Ava." He nodded politely at her with an all knowing smirk, watching as she wearily eyed him before stepped forward and opened the door, not even bothering to knock on the door of the Salvatore Boarding House.

"Ah, there you two are." Her older brother spoke up as soon as they both walked in, "Ric, I need you to put me as a chaperon for the dance tonight, Klaus made his first move."

Ava snorted softly as she stepped forward, making all eyes turn to her, "You all are in denial if you think Klaus made his 'first move'. From what is – said about him, at least one of you or those close to you would be dead right about now if he was serious about his 'first move'. He is toying with you, there is a difference."

"So, what's the plan?" Elena ignored her and turned to her boyfriend and his brother, demanding to know how they will save her life this time. There was silence until beside her Bonnie spoke up.

"Me.. I'm the plan." Bonnie's green eyes connected to Ava in confusion when the vampire hissed her name, looking around to everyone else, "He has no idea how much power I can channel. I can kill him."

A growl came from Ava's throat, her eyes narrowed at the witch and the only thing that was going on repeat was 'Don't kill her, Amelia would be pissed.' "NO." She directed that to both Bonnie and Alaric. The last because she had been watching his facial expressions and determined that even though it might not be Klaus himself, it was a vampire that worked for him. Nik knew, thank god for that, but she had to stop this Bennett from her suicide mission.

"Av-" Damon saying her name was cut off by a growl, making him look at her with his eyebrows pushed together in confusion. Ava had to have known the risk of Klaus to Elena even though she made it clear she doesn't care about her.. so what was Bonnie not telling them?

"I said no." Ava snarled and stalked over to Bonnie who tried to use her power to stop her but it didn't seem to be working right – a gift from Amelia, and grabbed her by the upper arms, "You will not go through with it."

"You want me to die?!" Elena yelled out as she tried to separate Ava from Bonnie, only to be pushed back by a hand and landed on the floor in front of the couch with a groan. Behind Bonnie's eyelids, she caught glimpses of Ava saving a witch from being killed by a werewolf. Her name, Bonnie read on the silent lips on the grateful witch, was Amelia Bennett.

"You aren't doing this." Ava ignored the doppelganger to glare darkly at Bonnie, "I have been around a lot long than you have, Bennett. Can you honestly say that you can channel the power that you claim to have without getting hurt?" Silence was her answer as Bonnie gulped harshly.

"..Bonnie?" Stefan stepped forward with her name as a question to answer if she could do as she claimed and didn't suffer any consequences.

"Everything has a price. Vampire, werewolf, witch – it doesn't matter what you are, everything has a loophole." Ava continued, dismissing Bonnie's plead in her eyes to stop talking, pulled her away from the group and to the door. Ignoring Elena telling her to stop, to let go of Bonnie, that she was her only shot at survival. "So, sweetheart, don't plan your funeral arrangements yet, as you have to know that one way or another – you will die. There is someone that would simply love to meet you."

"...Where are we going..?" Bonnie gulped harder as she questioned after looking back at the people that stared after them. Ava paused and smiled back at her before tugging her along and forcing her into the passenger seat of her car.

"I am taking you home."

Bonnie blinked at the huge mansion they pulled up to and turned her head to Ava, "I thought you said-"

"I said I was taking you home, Bonnie." Ava smirked at her before parking her car, and unbuckled her seat belt, "I didn't say your home." Ava gave her a look as she got out of the car before nodding reassuringly, watching as Bonnie slowly got out as well.

"Your safe here." Ava murmured as she gestured to the house before walking up the steps and opened the door. Bonnie's eyes narrowed in confusion when something invisible, magic, fell over her as soon as she stepped inside. "Hey, we have a guest!"

"Well, well, well." An accented voice rung out as a woman with french braided dark thick hair, dark skin tone, and dark brown eyes stared down at her from the top of the spiral staircase. She wore a dark faded jeans, a black tank top and Bonnie recognized her instantly from the flashes she got from Ava. The woman hadn't aged a day – it shouldn't have been possible... right? And yet Amelia Bennett was there, smirking happily at her, "Nice to finally meet you, Bonnie."

Chapter Text

Bonnie found herself unable to move as she watched with wide eyes as Amelia Bennett stared down at her as she descended the long, spiral marble staircase. She may have the borrowed power from the dead witches, but Bonnie still felt like the child she was underneath the older woman's stare. Bright green orbs blinked as she turned her head in confusion to Ava who simply stood there next to her with a smile before giving Amelia a look, "Aria?"

"In her room." Amelia's response was instant as she stepped closer to Bonnie, not taking her eyes off of her job to scan over the younger Bennett and take her in inch by inch. Ava nodded curtly and her heels could be heard with each step that she took up the stairs. "Come, come Bonnie. We have much to discuss."

"Whose Aria?" Bonnie questioned, wondering if another Bennett that she didn't know was alive will pop up and say hello, as she was taken into the living room and instantly sat on the leather couch that was gestured for her to take.

Her question made Amelia smile amused, "You just found out that I am alive, that you aren't the only Bennett in town – and you ask who Aria is?" Bonnie shifted from her spot on the couch as Amelia raised an eyebrow from here she sat in the plush chair a crossed from her. "Don't you worry, you may find out soon. However there are things that need immediate talking about – your power, for instance."

Bonnie blinked in surprise at the no bullshitting around approach that Amelia had about things and opened her mouth to speak but her words died when Amelia raised an annoyed hand, "Things you don't know have been going on, and I am not at my most patient moment I'm afraid. So we will be blunt – Have you ever, young Bonnie, wanted to stay out of the supernatural? Have you ever wanted more from life than chance an early death because people demand you to risk it? What has happened to you to want to do such a thing?" Silence was her answer and Amelia's eyes darkened as she leaned forward, "Child... You better answer me."

"I.. I lost my Grams to the supernatural. I was stubborn because Elena's boyfriend Stefan was trapped in there after running in at Elena's scream. I was angry at the world, and I left Mystic Falls to be with my dad. I didn't contact Elena or answer any of her calls or texts. I came back, and tried to save people from the supernatural, only to dive myself deeper into it. Lucy, my cousin, was involved in Katherine's diabolical plan a months back and instead of helping me? She left, telling me that I need to be in the middle. I felt alone.. My mother left when I was young, my father half a crossed the US and paying more attention to his black berry.." She murmured the last few words with tears in her eyes to look up at Amelia, she just told her something she didn't even tell anyone else.

Amelia didn't seem angry any more and yet her eyes were still narrowed as she leaned back to look at Bonnie with an unreadable look in her eyes, "Three." She continued on at Bonnie's confused look, "You said Elena's name three times in the first ten seconds of you talking. Own up to your responsibility, 'I was stubborn'? Guess what, it has been noted that it has runs in our family. This Lucy didn't have to stick around to help you, being forced to work with Katherine would be brutal work on even the strongest of people. It isn't your fault your mother and father left, it's their own." She stood up to stare down with narrowed eyes at the girl, "As is their inability to be a responsible parent and not leave their child alone by herself in a state! This, right here – right now, is a chance to get out of the supernatural. You don't have to do anything you don't want to."

Bonnie looked at her lap, and a hand gently lifted her face up by her chin as Amelia tried to make her understand "Heed a witch's warning. You will die, young Bonnie, if you take on Klaus. You don't have to do it just because you think you have to, that you have to save the doppelgänger. A young woman who wouldn't do the same for you. Slavery is over, our people suffered enough. I know, I was there to witness our hard battle for freedom. Generations were killed, beaten, left to rot. You will stop this suicide mission, you are fooling yourself if you think that I am giving you a choice in the matter. The choice that will lead you to your death."

Bonnie was at a loss of what to say, what to do. Tears clouded her eyes as she finally let the words sink deep into her brain. There was someone that cared whether she lived or died. For so long, she felt so alone. The empty house she lived in was suffocating her with memories of her Grams. Elena wanted her to save her, damning the consequences that she had to live with if she survived, while she was okay with that before? She had someone literally in front of her that cared about getting to know her. That threatened to stop her 'suicide mission' if she didn't herself.

On the other hand Elena will die if she didn't stop Klaus, and then what kind of friend would Bonnie be then? Could she really simply stop being Elena's witch and live her life? "I will ask Ava if you could stay here if you want. I can guide you, Bonnie. Your not alone any more." As she turned her head to watch Amelia smile at her sadly before walking out of the spacious living room, the tears that clouded Bonnie's eyes fell.

"Of course she can, Amelia." Ava's voice could be heard as the refrigerator was opened and a Bonnie's tearful eyes widened at the sound of a baby's cry before it was cut off by a sucking noise, "Does she understand that she cannot take on Klaus?"

"I'd like to think so.. I tried my best to stress to her that she will die either way if she tries to go through with it."

"Hopefully it will be enough.." Ava sighed to herself as she called out for Bonnie and told her it was alright to come out. Echoing in Ava's supernatural hearing, Bonnie's steps drew closer and in the doorway of the kitchen the younger Bennett stood in shock at Ava smiling down at a baby sucking on a bottle of formula and wrapped in a light pink blanket. Stepping closer to her, Ava smiled at Bonnie before bouncing the baby girl, "This is Aria." She continued when Bonnie's eyes widened at the connection, "My daughter."

Bonnie could only stare as Ava moved around her before calling the girl to follow her, and she was lead to one of the guest rooms of the big house and before Ava opened it, she demanded Bonnie's phone which was handed over with a second thought. "This is your room, tomorrow Amelia and I will take you back to your house to get your stuff." The room had Bonnie gapping in awe and shock, for one it was huge with earth tones of light brown, dark brown, black, white, gray, gold, and crème. A marble floor with a plush rug, a king sized bed with a gray soft comforter and different sizes of white and light brown pillows. On both sides of the bed were black and gold lamps on crème colored side tables. There were two vertical shaped windows, both over looking the backyard and one in the corner of the room with a white comfortable couch underneath it. Between the two windows was a bookshelf.

Ava smiled over at Bonnie and gestured for her to go in, "I hope you like it." Bonnie nodded silently and Ava left her to her own devices as she shut the door softly as to not wake up the sleeping baby in her arms before exchanging a look with Amelia, who nodded her head in hesitance and Ava kissed her cheek softly before moving up the stairs again and put the sleeping baby in her nursery silently before going into her room with a smirk.

After all, she had a dance to get ready for.

….

Black heels behind them made Elena sigh in relief that Bonnie was finally here, only to turn and pause. Standing in the place where Bonnie should be was Ava smirking at her with her hair curled at the ends and parted on the side, black eyeliner lined around her eyes look wider, in a black lacy tight fitted at the top – loose at the bottom dress. "I am sorry little doppelgänger... were you expecting someone else?"

"What did you do to Bonnie?" Elena demanded as she stepped up to Ava in a hippie like outfit that made Ava roll her eyes. Elena grit her teeth as she caught the movement.

"I did nothing to her." Ava scoffed and blinked 'innocently', "What – do you mean she isn't here? Oh well, guess your best friend decided not to die for you, huh? Finally smartened up I see.. oh and by the way, sweetheart, the 60's weren't just about 'hippies' they were full of inspirational, famous men and women. Bet you feel a tad bit stupid, eh?" She ignored Elena's huff and focused on her brothers, nodding to them kindly before saying something and leaving the group to go get something to drink, "You guys enjoy your night."

'Alaric' smirked at her as she moved through passing people with ease, pouring some punch in a cup and offering it to her, "May I offer you a drink?" The familiar accent and question made her pause to look between him and the out stretched cup before her smirk turned into a wide smile as she took it from him. She knew there was something about him that was all too familiar, and now she knew without a doubt that it wasn't one of Nik's lackeys, it was Nik himself.

"Of course." She bowed her head politely, taking the drink while her face tried to stay void of emotion. She looked at him strange when he instantly guessed what she was dressed as, "Natalie Wood began acting when she was 4 years old, and when she was 8 she co-starred in Miracle On 34th Street. She received three Academy Award nominations before she was 25 years old, and by the time she appeared in West Side Story in 1961 she was a huge movie star. Of course I was going to dress up as her from one of her old photo shoots." She smiled when she got a laugh and he looked at her fondly with a smile that was too familiar to be just a trick.

She stepped closer to him, perfecting the image of getting more punch, and spoke in one of the many languages she was taught by him, one that she knew that her brothers wouldn't know if they were listening. Arabic rolled off her tongue with ease, "Good to have you back, Nik."

Alaric's lip twitched upwards into a smile before he regarded her with love that reflected in the human's eyes, "Another thing I love about you, my love. So much more than a pretty face. I trust that you have gotten through to the Bennett witch since she isn't here for the plan for my demise.. or she's dead - where is she by the way?"

"Our home." She shrugged at the flat look that showed her he wasn't impressed by her choices, "I am living with a friend that is also a Bennett. Seems Amelia has offered something that Bonnie hasn't had in a while. Someone to care for her. It has helped some that Amelia spelled the house to have her not leave it until the sacrifice of the little doppelgänger is over and the threat is no longer a heavy cloud over out heads. The doppelgänger isn't happy with her friend not laying her life down for her but I could care less about what she wants."

He looked at her pleased just as she turned again to look at him teasingly, "Don't hold Bonnie's missing days against her, teacher, she might just get.. held up." She laughed just as the dark haired girl from earlier by the name of Dana grabbed the microphone. "Catch you later, Nik."

"Thanks for being here everybody!" Her voice rang out just as everyone that was slow dancing turned to her and clapped, "We have a special shout out tonight. This is for Elena – from Klaus." The doppelgänger was frozen by Ava's younger brother, her mouth dropping as she stared at the stage in horror as cheers and claps echoed around them. Alaric looked down at his Italian shoes from the sidelines with a smirk, before he realized that they were only shifting in their group trying to pick out anyone they didn't know. Ava's older brother, Damon he recalled, looked simply uninterested - while Stefan looked on edge.

"A special dedication, huh?" Alaric asked as Damon walked up to him, "Guy is pretty twisted."

"Eh, I'm not surprised." The older Salvatore saying this made Alaric look at him shocked, people used to cringe at half his name that belonged to a man that struck fear into the hearts of many. The man was lucky that Ava cared about both him and their younger brother, it was the only thing that would save them in the end. "Keep me updated on anything out of the ordinary."

"Oh." Alaric nodded, willing himself not to get a little moody at their unimpressed attitude that could kill them without even blinking. He watched as Damon walked off and looked to where he heard Ava's laughter from her seat next to the blond baby vampire that he instantly recognized from earlier that asked about Aria. In the end game, he will need to turn a vampire to take the place. He had no doubt that Ava would be pissed if it was one of her brothers or the baby vampire that was her friend.. eh, he'd think of something involving someone close to Elena. Maybe the aunt? Maybe the brother?

His lips were pursed together as he nodded to himself before walking off with a plan for the night set in mind. If they wanted a show to see he was real, that the threat on Elena's life was real, than he would give them one.

Chapter Text

...

Maybe he was missing something, in fact he had to be. It was too easy to get ahold of Elena Gilbert while in her history teacher's body that she put too much of her faith in. He expected someone, anyone other than Ava of course, to figure it out. He expected at least one of the Salvatore Brothers to figure it out, especially when supposedly Alaric Saltzman and Damon were friends and drinking buddies. He had to hand it to his wife, she caught on pretty quick and was suspicious of him from the beginning. He, of course, expected nothing less. Maybe it was so easy because a certain young Bennett witch wasn't there to stop him.

He wouldn't have gone after Bonnie Bennett if she didn't threaten to have enough power to kill him. An empty gesture since it would take all of the borrowed power to kill him and in the process her but he didn't dare rest assured when she had the power to end him. He would also have to dwell on the thought of not only being around her, but also getting along with Bonnie if Ava said was true and she was good friend's with a witch by the name of Amelia Bennett.

It would be fun to try and corrupt young Bonnie, and he did owe his beautiful little girl to a Bennett witch in 1864 named Emily who was also good friends with Ava when she was human.. He shook his head and adjusted his rearview mirror to look in the back seat of his car where the human doppelganger was knocked out.

Klaus couldn't stop himself from smirking widely as he focused on darkened road ahead, time to give her to Maddox for safe keeping.

...

The first second that Ava stepped out of her car with a smirk for the night going well, she knew there was one young pissed off Bennett witch in her house. It was the familiar feeling of magic crackling in the cool night air, and then there was the yelling. Ava shook her head, it was something that she expected. This was Bonnie's first night, and she was bound to be more than a little irritated that she couldn't spend the night with her doppelganger friend. Bennett witches were nothing if not feisty, loyal to a fault and when they were pissed off? You were better off running in a different direction.

Ava however did none of the things that she would normally suggest other people, in fact she walked up the stairs and opened the door to be greeted by a yelling match by both Bennetts. On one side there was Bonnie, standing tall in her anger and in the other was Amelia, heartbroken and exhausted but still arguing with the younger girl.

"Bonnie.. we are trying to help you-"

"By keeping me on house arrest?!" Bonnie's eyes darkened in anger as she looked at her ancestor and when Amelia opened her mouth to speak, looking pained as she did so, Ava felt enough was enough.

"Bonnie." Ava's voice was dangerously calm and the young girl was startled to see the vampire there, "Make no mistake, even for a split second, the only reason why you are living here comfortably is because of the person that you are screaming at. If I had it my way, I would have thrown your ass in one of themany rooms that are in this house and lock you in there until the sacrifice is over." Ava moved quickly toward Bonnie, who pulled her eyebrows together in confusion when the aneurism she tried to cast didn't work, "Magic doesn't work well on me, you can thank you ancestor and my dearest friend Emily Bennett for that. You better learn some respect for Amelia, myself and my baby girl, because if you wake her up from her nap with your tamper tantrum? You will see a side of me that I can bet that you certainly won't like."

Ava smiled softly that held a bit of danger as she grabbed ahold of Bonnie's arms, "Now.. sit down and shut up." She forced Bonnie down onto the couch before grabbing Amelia by the hand and bringing her friend into the kitchen. Ava grabbed two shots and a bottle of Bourbon before giving one to Amelia after she poured it with a soft smile.

"I'm too old for this shit." Amelia grumbled under her breath as she pulled the shot back, making Ava try and fail to hide the smile that threatened to come onto her face.

"Relax sweetheart." Ava smiled as she came around the table and hugged her friend, "Everything will get better.. she's a teenager. She'll be okay and so will we."

Amelia raised an eyebrow at her friend, her mind racing as she tried to figure out what Ava meant. She caught the smile that the immortal had when she pulled back from the hug. "..Oh?" What would make Ava say that? What exactly happened at that dance? That look only came from spending time with Aria and talking /thinking about "Nik', and since Aria was here.. Was Klaus in town? If so, what did that mean for Bonnie and herself? Amelia had no doubt in her mind that Ava would keep them safe - both of them, even if Bonnie got on her nerves at thd moment with her teenage drama - but it still made Amelia anxious. Klaus was the big bad hybrid that wasn't known for patience. Yet to Ava he was her 'Nik'..

She was left in the kitchen all alone after Ava gave her a smile and told her not to worry, before going up to check on her little girl. Amelia shoved down the urge to find Bonnie and try yet again to get through to her. She gave the older Bennett a fright when she found Bonnie on the floor by the front door, barely breathing with blood coming from her nose. Turns out that when she couldn't find her phone or anyone elses, she tried every spell she knew to take down the barrier. Stupid really since the one who put it up has to be the one to take it down, nevermind the fact that secrecy wards are laced through it. Even if the girl did find a phone, she wouldn't have been able to speak about anything that happens under this roof or where it was for that matter. The person who put it up would also know what was going on at all times - Amelia would know, she was the one that designed it.

It seemed that Bonnie was not only stubborn and loyal but also let both of them cloud her judgement.. Amelia was terrified as to what would happen to the poor girl she was trying to get through to and save. She respected Ava with everything she had in her, loved little Aria with her whole heart... though she couldn't help bit feel that something was coming, coming fast, and she feared that both her and Bonnie weren't at all ready for it.

A pull suddenly came to her and wrapped around her heart, making Amelia's eyebrows pull together in confusion before she grabbed her phone and texted Ava that she needed to go somewhere before walking out to her car, barely containing a sigh as she turned the key.. What now?

...

Amelia blinked as she pulled her car to the side of the road, confused beyond belief that the pull was leading her to.. The Salvatore Boarding House? Ava's brothers didn't even know that she was alive and here in Mystic Falls and Amelia remembers quite clearly how Damon couldn't get her beloved sisters out of that house fire that shouldn't have happened. He really wasn't to blame but the memory was still fresh when his name was ever brought up.. Emily entrusted him to protect her family.. yet he was there and did nothing? Stefan she never met but from what she heard he was a sweet gentleman but was a bit of a blood thirsty dick when he was on human blood. Ava blames his sire and Amelia couldn't blame her, even though she could tell her friend was still very much hurt by all the shit that went down between the siblings in 1864.

She mentally chanted a spell to make her appear invisible to others and conceal her heartbeat as well as her footsteps, before walking own the road, opening and closing the front door silently. Not really bothering to stop and look at the place even though she thought it looked huge, she made it to he basement, walking past Damon who was sitting down drinking Bourbon from e bottle, and stopped in front of a door that had a latch like lock of it.

Amelia silenced the noise it would no doubt make before moving it off to the side and slowly opened the door. Her eyes grew wide as she stared down at the body that was pulling her so painfully to come save him. His dark hair was parted and short barely reaching his ears that were like the rest of his mummified skin because of the antique 'steak knife' in his heart. There, in a slashed and burnt beyond repair suit, was Elijah Mikaelson.

What exactly was going on with her? This mysterious pull to help him.. the feeling of being scared to know what they did to him. She knew from being friends with Ava that he wasn't dead - Oh my gosh.. AVA! How could she explain this to her? Sure, Elijah and her were on good terms more often than not but what if he was working with Elena to kill Klaus? Ava would heartbroken and truthfully Amelia wasn't even sure if her friend knew that Elijah was even in town..

She sighed softly before reaching down to grab ahold of the dagger tightly with one hand, should she really be doing this? She didn't have any idea why she was here right now, why he was even in this dreadful little town that Ava once called home.. she couldn't help but think that she should second guess doing this, but the mere tug of her heart gave all she needed as a answer back.

She pulled it out of his dead vampire looking skin with the help of magic, stashing it into the long pocket she had inside of the leather jacket she wore before sitting next to Elijah on her knees. She put her her hand out expectantly as a ball of green evaporated into the blood bag that she summoned from where ever they kept them in the house, and put it in her jacket. She didn't care if her dark jeans got a little dirty as she reached forward to hold one of his hands in both of her own, own of her small finger nails tracing the spider web like veins that were there and led up his arm and were seemingly printed all over his body.

She took one last look at his face before she allowed her green spiraling smoke of teleportation surround both of them before imagining her car in her mind, in time at all it seemed the green smoke evaporated as if it and both supernaturals were never there in that room to begin with. They were deposited on the grass beside her car and Amelia took the moment to sigh as she unlocked the doors with a button, and got in after when she levitated the immortal that was not awake yet. She stared at him plainly for a few seconds with narrowed eyes after putting the blood bag in the glove compartment, watching curiously as his head leaned against the window, his body unmoving or breathing.. it was kind of weird.

The feeling grew when she tried to grasp for answers as to why she was doing this. Why had she swooped in and saved him from his 'sleeping' state? This pull.. she didn't understand it, even now when it was buzzing through her. And worse yet? What if he as working with Elena and the Salvatore Brothers to kill Klaus? What if Ava found out and that Amelia was the one that undaggered him?

She would never put Ava or Aria in danger - but what would happen if that is exactly what she just did? Noble brother or not, she didn't know where Elijah sided in all the chaos that was going to hit this unsuspecting little town of Virginia and she feared with everything in her that it wasn't the side that Ava chose, what she herself chose.

She decided when he finally woke up, whenever that may be, that she would give him a simple choice. If he had thoughts to harm Ava, Bonnie or Aria in any way, he was to get the hell out of her car before she kicked him out. She had no patience to play games with anyone, unexplainable pull to said someone or not.

With a decision made, Amelia nodded to herself in approval before turning the key and taking down the road with a horrible thought following her as she drove.. one that told her maybe Bonnie wasn't the only project Amelia would have to work on.

...

...

Chapter Text

Laughter surrounded her suddenly, as soon as Bonnie laid her head on 'her' pillow. Green eyes blinked confused before widening as she took in the world around her. She found herself standing by a bright yellow slide, the wind blowing softly around her as the contradicting sun shown proudly from up above. A familiar child came down the slide, green eyes bright with innocence that Bonnie realized sadly that did not reflect in her own.

"Bon Bon!" Another little girl chirped happily and Bonnie turned her head swiftly at the nickname that she hadn't been called since he was young, blinking when she recognized the young dark haired girl with doe brown eyes instantly. Young Elena smiled widely and ran off with a demand of 'Come on' over her shoulder.

"You always were chasing after Elena.. or better yet Elena made you chase after her. Even when you were younger." A familiar voice hit Bonnie's heart so much with longing that it took everything in her not to double over to make it stop. She twisted her body from where she was staring off on the sidelines, watching as Caroline joined them and the three of them played together - and truthfully it was hard to watch - to direct her eyes to see ..

A gasp broke through her shocked expression, her mouth opened and refused to shut as she stared at the older woman in front of her. It wasn't possible.. This wasn't real. It just couldn't be.. right? The woman walked forward from under the playground's half shadowed cover, a smile on her lips peaceful and understanding. For what? Bonnie didn't understand. "...GRAMS?! How..?"

"Am I here?" Shelia Bennett's brown eyes twinkled softly as she stared at her grandbaby, finishing the question that she thought Bonnie couldn't force out of her mouth. When Bonnie nodded silently, loss of words and tears in her beautiful eyes, Shelia continued as she stepped closer. "This is your dream honey, but it's real to me."

Bonnie took a step forward, hesitantly and the tears fell from her eyes when her Grams opened her ams in invitation. Suddenly her feet didn't feel so heavy and she was rushing into her grandmother's embrace, crying hard with her Grams rocking her from side to side and shhing her softly. All too soon it seemed, Shelia pulled back to look at her, a glint in her eyes so full of comfort, understanding and something that Bonnie didn't recognized.

"I know about Amelia and Ava. I know that you don't trust them, Bonnie -"

"How..?" The question was out of Bonnie's mouth before she could stop it and the look that her Grams gave her for cutting her off made her feel so sheepish and uncomfortable.

"You really didn't think that even in death I was going to leave you did you?" Shelia raised an eyebrow in mock anger, her eyes narrowing slightly. "I have been with you every step of the way. I never left you Bonnie.." The teenage girl's eyes stung as she looked down at her feet, trying to get ahold of her emotions but failing miserably, only looking up when her Grams placed a soft kiss on her forehead.

" I understand, Bonnie, for the most part but... Ava has a past that is untold, both deadly to those that stand in her way and compassionate to those she let's in her heart. Emily may have 'enlisted' for Damon to be some demented guardian angel to watch over our family, but it is actually Ava that did that as a thank you to Emily. It was a gift from Emily that Aria was able to be born and so much more was gifted to Ava aside from being the first vampire in history to have children with her true mate. The both of them were good friends, and Ava protected our family for Emily's memory. I plead with you to be both cautious of her and try to understand her. She means you well, and so does Amelia. Gather some of that respect that I know you have in you for these women that are trying against all odds to protect you." Bonnie blinked swiftly as the words registered, her Grams didn't seem angry as such words spoken should have been but.. sad and pleading.

"But Elena-" Bonnie tried to make her Grams try to understand her and where she was coming from. She wanted her Grams to tell her that her line of thinking was right, that she should do what ever it took to protect Elena's life. After all.. weren't witches protectors? Nature balance and all that?

Her Grams walked forward and jabbed a finger at the three giggling girls, "Elena is not like that anymore Bonnie. You are not the same girl before all this. All because you wish people were like how you want them to - doesn't mean that in reality they actually are. I told you when we first started all of this witch training that it was serious, that it wasn't just fun and games. I meant it. Elena wants you to die, Bonnie. How can she be a friend when she asks that of you? What Amelia and Ava want for you is the same thing I want for you - for you to live. Live for you. It will take longer than you would admit, but you have to understand that it is okay to be strong. To stand up for yourself. To live your life. Don't you dare allow anyone to call you 'selfish' for being fair with yourself, Bonnie! " The girl winced as her grandmother's voice became rough with anger and suddenly felt so much smaller than what she normally felt, before she watched as her Grams took a deep breath to reel in the emotions. "Don't cross Ava, Bonnie.. Please . She's strong, loyal.. fierce and you don't want to be one of the unlucky few that are in her way."

Shelia sighed and pulled her into a hug, "Live, sweetheart. Trust me enough to know that I won't lead you down a path where you will get hurt. Your path is with them. In Amelia as well as Ava. I love you Bonnie. I always will."

Bonnie was startled when the last word her Grams spoke echoed around them, an unknown force pulling her out of her grandmother's embrace no matter how much Bonnie trie to scramble back to her Grams, "Wha..?" Bonnie yelled over the wind in dismay, not understanding why she couldn't have more time with her Grams. Her eyes widening sadness when she heard her Grams tell her she was waking up. No.. She didn't want to leave. She wanted her Grams, damn it! She was always someone that looked after Bonnie, helped her and loved her no matter what. And now - "No! GRAMS!"

The playground she played at as a little girl was all cleared out now. No giggling children in sight and the sun was now hidden behind dark clouds. A tug on her hand by a little one and Bonnie looked down to see watching green eyes look up at her curiously. Young Bonnie frowned displeased at her for some reason, not seeming to mind the hard wind blowing her long black hair all over the place, "I'm scared." The child admitted reluctantly, not liking to admit something like that and it was something she still had as a teenager, tears clouded little Bonnie's vision as she looked around with a lost look before looking up again, "Please don't let me die, Bonnie."

Please don't let me die, Bonnie..

Those six words echoed in her head, her heart racing at the familiar childish tone they were said in.. the world around her seemed to shift after the girl disappeared right before her eyes, and before Bonnie knew what was happening her entire world was that of black.

Bonnie woke up with a loud gasp, bolting upright out of the bed that she laid in the night before clutching her heart as it felt like it was trying to escape her chest. ...What was that? She shook her head to clear it, her eyes filling with tears as her forehead tingled with the ghost kiss from her Grams. Could it have -

A soft knock on the door startled Bonnie out of her thoughts, and she only had time to look up to see Ava reveal herself after the door opened quietly. The youngest supernatural blinked a few times when she caught something in the female Salvatore's eyes that she never expected to see. Maybe it was just a trick of the light.. but Bonnie could have sworn that was concern in Ava's sparkling orbs.

"Good morning. Breakfast is ready, blueberry pancakes. Aria is still sleeping and Amelia left early to do something.. when your ready you can go down and eat. Coffee is done as well." Ava gave her an unreadable look, and stopped herself before she left. "I heard your heart beat working to fast to be normal, heard the gasps leave your mouth when you woke up.. I was never a witch myself, but I do know that dreams that witches get are more important that one would think.. For what it's worth.. whatever it was.. I'm sorry. From the sounds of it - it seemed to terrify you."

You care? It was on the top of Bonnie's tongue, begging desperately to roll off of it with a weird mixture of surprise and sarcasm, but for some reason she couldn't. Not when she was seeing a different side of Ava than the terrifying vampire that she witnessed last night. Before she could speak and ask the question honestly, Ava was already out the door going to her child's room as the baby started to get fussy. Bonnie sighed softly, and was left to have one question that spun in her head when Aria's cries suddenly stopped.

That dream.. with her Grams and the a younger version of her..

"This is your dream honey, but it's real to me."

Could it be that.. it actually was ... real?

Please.. don't let me die, Bonnie.

...

Amelia sighed to herself as she took a sip of her hot cup of coffee, raising an eyebrow at Elijah and wondered just what it was about him that earned Ava's respect even if she did claim that he was a buzzkill.. and couldn't stop herself from giving into the urge to poke his cheek. What greeted her was hard, cold skin aside from the normal touch of death that she now ignored. Another hand shot up to wrap tightly around hers, making her roll her eyes as he looked at her suspiciously. Really? The man called out for her help through some crazy bond that she seemed to share with him and he thought that he had the right to be suspicious of her?!

Then again, the last thing he probably saw was someone - most likely one of Ava's brothers - shoving a dagger through his heart. So on some level she guessed she could find it in her to understand why he gave her such a look.

"Who are you?" His voice was gravelly from hunger and she oddly felt safe.. which was weird since she was sitting next to a blood thirsty vampire that most likely wouldn't mind ripping her throat out. It was also composed to be polite and gentlemanly.. and Amelia didn't stop herself from looking at the vampire next to her with a frown and a raised eyebrow. He was different.. how perplexing.

He let go of her hand, and she instantly had the loss of static that she didn't even know was there to begin with when he first touched her. What was going on with her? She didn't even know him.. and yet..

"My name is Amelia Bennett."He had a curious look in his deep brown eyes as he stared at her, instantly recognizing her last name, before she decided to continue watching in amusement as shock mixed with that curious look, "I am a good friend of Ava's."

"Ava is here?" Shock and longing colored his tone as he spoke the question, murmuring under his breath about 'How did I miss that?' He remembers all too well the days after she was turned, filling every room she ever walked with with her laughter and bright smiles. The way that she took Marcellus under her wing, teaching him proper English among the many subjects that the young boy didn't have access to in the first few years of his life as a slave. She balanced Niklaus out, healthy for him as well as the last, important piece of the puzzle that didn't know was even missing until it was found.

This 'Amelia' ws important to not only Ava, but him as well. He could tell by her scent, because faintly underneath her old fashioned perfume as well as the smell of herbs that she handled daily as a witch.. there was something else there. Something that could have been easily overlooked if he hadn't had smelled her hand by his face when he 'woke up'.

She was meant to be his. His mate. Though he was weary of telling her with the possibility that she wouldn't believe him.

Amelia blinked and held back a smile, so she was right. The original didn't know about Ava being in town, most likely being daggered before her friend and Aria even were greeted with e sign 'Welcome to Mystic Falls'. "..And Aria is with her." She glared protectively at him when she mentioned the little hybrid baby that stole the hearts of those around her with every coo she gave and blink of her eyes. "Let's make something clear? I know that Bonnie was supposed to be used to kill Klaus and that will not be happening - At. All. She is not dieing to settle a score or stop your brother. Elena is on her own, she is just like Katherine that it's actually hard to watch. If you have any plans to use my relative in any way, if you plan to harm Ava or Aria in any way - feel free to get out of my car before I kick you out. If you leave I will give you a few seconds head start out of being honest with me, but be warned.. you make yourself have more than just one dangerous enemy as soon as you leave this car."

Elijah watched impressed as Amelia narrowed her eyes at him with the Bennett temper and protective instincts he heard so much about, but didn't move. Grant it, he was always nervous about Aria. Weary of the possibility of what she could do when she started to grow up.. but he would never harm the baby. Ava and Aria would be Klaus' only redemption if there ever was anything left to save, something he hoped beyond his wildest dreams. He only wanted their family back, for all of them to be free..

Bonnie was ever so loyal to Elena Gilbert the last time he checked and he couldn't help but wonder if that was still strong within her. Amelia seemed hellbent on keeping Bonnie safe from everything that wished her harm, even if it was her friends, and he couldn't imagine Ava ever being on board with a plan to kill her soul mate.. Friends, Amelia said they were. So naturally, they would be on the same side..

Amelia nodded, taking his silence and not getting out of the car as answer enough before reaching into her leather jacket and pulling out the dagger that had been in his heart not to long ago, she offered to to him with a warning in her dark eyes, "You go back on this, you harm anyone I care about? That pain of the dagger would be nothing compared to the pain that I will put you through."

He nodded softly, verbally giving her his word as he cautiously reached for it while holding back a look of pride that threatened to overcome his expression. Seems that no matter how sweet and protective she appeared, it was easy to see just how much she was like him.

"Good. There is a blood bag in the glove box, help yourself. We need to talk. Your need the blood and I need for you to not be a hungry vampire that is sitting right beside me." The look gave him said she was nervous to be around him when he was like this, and he opened his mouth to tell her when he would never take a bite out of her but then she turned forward and reached for the key in the ignition. He shook his head, hoping that he would be able to change her thoughts about him soon, before reaching into the glove box carefully and pulled out the blood bag.

He looked at her in the corner of his eyes before he allowed the veins to engulf each one as he lowered his mouth to the bag in his hands.

...

...

Chapter Text

No.. she didn't.." Damon growled out under his breath as he tried to make his shock and betrayal not as noticeable on his expression as he felt it on the inside. Everything was going well actually, for most likely the first time in seemingly forever. They had Elijah daggered and out of the way, Elena was safe, and they were making plans on how to stop Klaus. Grant it, they didn't have anything set into place because Bonnie had mysteriously disappeared and wasn't able to actually kill Klaus since it would also kill her but...

 

There was only one person who knew the ins and outs out the Salvatore Boarding house almost as well as the both of them did. ..Elena. His brother's girlfriend and a person he couldn't help but care for. She wasn't like Katherine, telling them both time and time again.. but when she was around Ava..

 

Damon frowned in thought as he thought back to that night, of how Elena showed a side to him that he couldn't bring himself to understand. She acted jealous. In a total of five minutes Damon saw a side to her he didn't like. A side that was hidden from everyone that thought Elena was this sweet person that looked out for everyone.. it was a side he didn't like at all.

 

When had Elena.. when had she changed? When had things changed from the twinkling eyed, naïve beauty that he once saw in her.. disappeared before his eyes? Did he even know the real her? Hell, did even Stefan, her boyfriend know of the woman that was so against the long lost Salvatore sister? Even when she found out who Ava really was, even when there was not a shadow of doubt that Ava was some hidden girlfriend on the side (Insert 'EW!' here) .. in Elena's dark eyes there still was jealousy, anger.. resentment. For absolutely no reason whatsoever.

 

Sure, Ava was never the type to follow something blindly. Not even when she was human all those years back in 1864. Katherine did a number on her her last night there as human, if what Pearl said was the truth, and he didn't blame her for trying to see what Elena was like aside from her looks. He himself was still trying and failing to see who Elena Gilbert was.

 

Last night, she left thedance early. Texting Stefan that she had enough for the night and was going home. He didn't know if it was for Ava showing up and basically telling her that Bonnie would not under any circumstances die for her. Damon didn't understand her behavior.. didn't Elena fight her way to get the message around of where she was and that she was surrendering for the sake of her friends and family?!

 

Now she.. what? Wanted people to die for her to live?

 

Damon didn't move from the opened door of the cellar, clenching his teeth together in irritation as he look in the shadows that leaped off the walls from corner to corner. It was empty. There was definitely a deathly pale, spider web patterned older male in a suit that should have been laying limp on the dirty floor.

 

Fuck.

 

Did Elena sneak in and undaggered him when they were asleep? Was he really that much in a deep sleep that he didn't hear her? What was Stefan's excuse then? Didn't Elena know that that they were only trying to keep her safe?!

 

Sometime during his thoughts, Stefan stepped away from the cellar door, a hand reaching in one of his front jean pockets to retrieve his phone. Damon sighed to himself as his hearing heard the phone ringing on the other end a few times before it went to voicemail.

 

"Hi this is Elena, I am unable to reach the phone right now. Please leave your name, number and I will-" The pleasant voice of Elena sounded almost sickly sweet to Damon's ears, and he was almost thankful that Stefan ended the call before he redialed the contact number of his girlfriend.

 

And just when today was looking up to be good.

 

"I'm calling Ava.." Stefan murmured out loud to himself in thought, making Damon's dark eyebrows pull together in confusion as he twisted to look at his younger brother.

 

"Why?" Forest green eyes locked onto baby blue, Stefan surprised that the emotion in them was curious and surprised. So unlike Damon's normal attitude. The younger Salvatore sibling suspected it had less to do with Andie the human news woman that was compelled to fall hopelessly in love with Damon, less to do with Elena huge surprise there, and more to do with Ava being found alive and walking around.

 

Stefan had to admit, he missed his older sister very much and was surprised that Damon wasn't acting his usual irritating diabolical self. It was a refreshing change. He raised an eyebrow at his older brother as if to silently ask why not. "Do you really think that Ava wouldn't tell us if she saw Elena if we asked her?"

 

"Just a guess but I think she would wonder why we even are shadowing almost every move Elena makes in the first place. I know I would." Stefan stared at his brother in disbelief, for in his voice Damon's tone was absent of the snarky sarcastic element that his brother perfected over the years. Instead his tone was honest - almost as if it was a simple fact. He didn't know what to make of the words that came out of Damon's mouth. Sure, Stefan was beyond irritated by Damon falling in love with his girlfriend and even more so when Elena only seemed to encourage it.. but now that Damon didn't seem interested in the slightest, seeming to doubt his overall feelings for Elena..

 

It made Stefan want to do the same, as much as he hated to admit it. He waited for Damon to speak again as he tried to go over things quickly that could have changed an opinion that Damon was just so sure of. He was thankful, truly, that he didn't seem to be fighting the affections of his girlfriend with his brother - Stefan stared at Damon for a few seconds before shook his head sadly in disbelief, "You don't mean that."

 

"Don't I?" Damon scoffed as he took a few steps forward, one eyebrow raised in challenge, "Don't assume, Stefan. You can't tell me that you haven't seen a change in her since Ava appeared out of nowhere? When Ava didn't kiss her shoes and bow down to her? It's not jealousy that Elena is feeling, at least not fully. It's resentment. It's anger.. and more importantly? You have no right to expect that Ava would join the Scooby Doo gang to solve the mystery and save Elena from anything - especially when she literally just met Elena. All because she is our sister doesn't mean that Ava owes us anything, Stefan."

 

Stefan's lips opened ever so slightly in response. In truth, he was shocked. His jaw felt heavy and he struggled to keep it from dropping as far as it could go. Who exactly was this person standing before him and where was his brother? Did Ava's presence really change Damon that quickly? Why hadn't he noticed! It had only been a few days, maybe a week, since Ava came to them.

 

Damon plucked the phone out of Stefan's hand, quickly hitting the contact list and frowned when he saw that Stefan did indeed have Ava's number. He struggled not to pout, failing miserably, but knew very well he would deny it to the end. He sent the number in a form of a message from Stefan's phone to his, half satisfied when his phone beeped shortly after with the message. "How did you even have Ava's phone number and I didn't?" His left eye threatened to twitch at the mere idea that Stefan was holding out a way to contact their long lost sister, keeping it away from him.

 

The look in those forest green eyes went from shocked to mockingly, "I don't know if you are aware of this, Damon, but let me let you in on a little secret.." Stefan leaned forward ever so slightly as if he had a piece of information that nobody else knew and that there were possibly microphones and cameras all over the house, "I go to school with her."

 

Damon blinked twice before huffing under his breath and walking away. When he was out of the room, he allowed a smirk to curve on his lips at the thought of his sister, the middle child in all her beauty, going to school. He certainly didn't expect that..

 

Standing stock still, Stefan blinked at the abrupt departure of his brother. Normally Damon would be the one to tease, to instigate him. Stefan tried to do the same just now - to see if Damon would fight back.. no such luck. First he doesn't want to even attempt to ask Ava if she had so much as seen Elena around town, mildly bashed Elena, then he proceeded to get annoyed that he had Ava's cell phone number first, and finally walked away from a taunt.

 

Stefan only had one question that he would love to know the answer to..

 

Just what the hell is going on?

 

...

 

A brown mansion like estate, not as big as Ava's home but big enough, was where Elijah made Amelia drive to. She had a feeling that he would want to get clean up first before he saw Ava.. not to mention Bonnie was there as well and she didn't know if the two of them ever crossed paths the wrong way. She got out of the car, put her car keys in her pocket and looked around the place appreciatively. The huge front lawn was cut perfectly with not even a single blade of grass out of place, a fountain further from the house that was on the side of a huge drive way and closer to the road. The house had a few white pillars in the front, seven to be exact with a black roof slanted on the top with white windows overseeing the front yard.

 

She pursed her lips in thought as she followed Elijah up the path and tilted her head slowly to the side when a beautiful, slim older pale woman that stood a medium height, with short straight light brown hair with a reddish tint to it and a pair of bright blue eyes opened the door to look them over. One of her thin eyebrows arched in question as she stared at Elijah with a glint of recognition and concern in her eyes, "Elijah.. what are you doing here? What happened?" She stared at Amelia, trying to place if she had ever seen her before but knew the darker woman didn't look familiar, "Who's this?"

 

Amelia couldn't help but narrow her eyes at the woman that Elijah had her take him to. The polite way would be to introduce yourself and then ask for a person's name in return. Shouldn't someone of her standard, to own such a house, know this to be fact?

 

Elijah spoke softly and charmingly, "This is Amelia. I was hoping you could help me. You see I've had a bit of an incident, Carol."

 

Carol smiled falsely at them but with undisguised interest, looking at her wrist watch, "Well, I'm on my way to a meeting, so I -"

 

Elijah cut in to what she was saying by stepping forward and compelling her with his soft yet demanding voice, "It won't take but a minute of your time."

 

Amelia couldn't help but raise an eyebrow in amusement as the woman that she didn't know besides her name and truthfully couldn't stand, smiled at the pair of them a little bit more pleasantly. Carol Lockwood stepped backwards into the house, telling them 'Of course. Anything you need.' To which Elijah thanked. She couldn't believe she found this amusing, normally she hated when vampires used compulsion around her to no doubt screw with human minds but now.. She shook her head as obediently followed Elijah into the house silently.

 

Elijah addressed Carol with a formal tone, "Well, first things first.. I'm going to need a change of clothing." He nodded after the compelled human told them that he could try one of her late husband's suits and that she hadn't boxed them away yet. Elijah smiled softly at the offer, "Wonderful."

 

Amelia stared after the woman with each step she took up the stairs before looking at Elijah with question in her eyes.

 

"Carol Lockwood. Mayor and apart of The Founder's Council." He said simply in answer, watching as she nodded her head slowly. He wondered what that far away look in her eyes meant, had she heard of the founder's council? Had she herself been in Mystic Falls before?

 

"Shouldn't she be on vervain if she is on the council?" Amelia asked innocently with an expression of confusion aimed at the original vampire beside her. A person on the Council were made aware of vampires, nothing more nothing less, and she couldn't help but find silver lining that she wouldn't be burning at the stake anytime soon.

 

Thank goodness.

 

"She would have been if I wasn't the one that got her off of it. Right before I was 'killed' and then daggered by Elena and her friends." Amelia's dark eyes narrowed as a foreign emotion filled her, pumping through her veins and burning the inside of her stomach. Just how pissed off would Ava be if I went after the doppelganger? The feeling in her stomach wasn't painful ..just.. different. Because of this, she missed the amused look that Elijah gave her, it being mixed with something close to fondness as he struggled to keep the smirk off of his lips as it threatened to curve them.

 

Amelia looked at him when he unnecessarily cleared his throat, his facial expression one of seriousness yet polite, "If you will please excuse me, Amelia. I'll be down in a moment."

 

She nodded her head to him in understanding, busying herself with looking at the architecture and design around her as Elijah moved up the stairs at a human pace before turning her head to his form and ever so slightly tipped her head to the side to catch a glimpse of his bum.

 

The side of her lip twitched upwards at the sight before she turned her attention elsewhere, feeling victorious that she didn't get caught checking out Elijah's behind as she looked around her, waiting for them to select a suit and come back down.

 

Little did she know though, Elijah was smirking by the time he got up the stairs at the feel of Amelia's eyes on him. He made a promise to himself that he would find everything about this beautiful woman that was his mate - and that was a promise he was going to make sure he kept.

 

At all costs.

Chapter Text

Through glinting blue orbs that were normally quite a few shades darker than that of his own, a powerful immortal reflected through them with excitement that went hand and hand with conflicting impatience. It had been precisely one thousand years since he was forcibly bound by the curse in which sealed away his ability to turn into the being that Mikeal had called beasts. Cursing him as if he himself were the one that was in the wrong for simply being who - better yet, what - he was. Anger coursed through his veins once again at what both Esther and Mikeal had done to him ever since the mere beginnings of his childhood.. abusing him, tormenting him and Esther - his mother - standing idly by watching it happen before her very eyes..

It was because of his harsh childhood, of thinking himself never good enough to the very people he thought would protect both him and his siblings, that made him nervous at first to even hold his beautiful baby girl. How could he hold her when his hands had long been tainted with innocent blood? How could he raise this beautiful child when he failed to keep Marcel safe in the end? When his one of his past enemies in the form of his abuser and tormentor had ended the young man's life, a young man that both Ava and himself thought of as their son..

Klaus, despite never being able to speak the words that struggled through the barrier of his lips, felt unworthy of the precious gift that his mate had graced upon him. It took a slap across the back of the head and a dry look, both actions that only one person could ever get away with as she was the one to do it, that allowed him to overcome his reluctance.. his growing fear. Yes, Niklaus Mikaelson had many enemies but it was the strength within a beautiful woman that stole both his heart and called to his bound werewolf side, that successfully allowed him to realize that he could protect both his queen and princess.

He had been wrong all those years ago.. love is not a vampire's greatest weakness, nor is humanity contrary to popular belief. It is indeed a strength, that he realized now that he finally had an unwavering source of the previously foreign emotion.

It was present day, where he was once again close to breaking the curse placed upon him in mere days, that he also began to be wary. He had the moon stone, the doppelganger, and close to acquiring the vampire and werewolf .. his queen and his precious little one in town as well, safe despite all the odds over the years. It was going well, a little too well actually - and that was his main problem and the reason for him to be so wary.

Nothing in his life ever went well for very long, hell in the past he had to send off both his wife and daughter to wander the earth without him by their side to keep them safe from the enemies that dared to try and attack them in their home just a few years ago. He paid to heavy price of not being able to see the beginnings of Aria's childhood in order to keep them safe.. and he knew that it was the right thing to do even when he struggled with the consequences for the action.

A small amount of years that felt like a thousand to him, burdened by the rage and sorrow of being unable to be in there presence.. yet unwilling to once again allow someone else he cared for to fall victim to his deadly past. He would protect those that were left even if he had to use any means he deemed necessary to do so..

"I'll be back as soon as I can." A familiar male voice spoke obediently to him, forcing Klaus to focus his attention on the man before him. Dark hair framed the man's slightly tanned face with eyes that were reflecting upon him with respect even if Klaus were not in his real body. Maddox was the younger man's name, one of his favorite warlocks that grew even more powerful under the knowledge that Klaus possessed.

As Klaus nodded a fraction in agreement, he mentally winced as he felt the light brown hair that Alaric Saltzman had actually moved with the movement. How he longed to be into his own body.. "Yes, do hurry. I'm anxious to get out of this body.. and if you get hung up, call me. You know how impatient I get." His tone of voice, despite it not being his own, held both an order and acknowledgment to his temper that got the best of his moods at times. It was one of the things he had come to gradually accept.

As Maddox nodded in understanding and leaves through the darkened door, it give Klaus only a brief moment of silence before a familiar voice cuts through it, grating on his last nerve as he itched to carry out revenge for what the woman did to his beautiful Ava. Nearly killing her as she was left to die in the forest back in 1864, where he would have never had the chance to know her. Katerina.. or Katherine as she went by nowadays, would be begging him to spare her after he was done with her.. a plea he would not grant.

Klaus turned slowly, the reflection of resentment and anger within his eyes as he locked them upon her dark doe ones, to see she was holding out her coffee for him. Mentally he scoffed at the thought of drinking anything he didn't make or see someone make, he had too many enemies on his hit list and him on theirs.. Katerina being one of those people.

Klaus sneered at her, making the right side of Alaric's lip twitch upwards in hate and disgust before responding through clenched teeth, murmuring almost mindlessly, "To retrieve me.. so I can finally get put of this bad hair-do.."

He hated how mockingly her voice sounded as she asked 'Are you sure that's a good idea, Klaus?' Obviously she had gotten too comfortable here.. maybe he would torture her later just to watch her painful expressions. Now that was bound to be entertaining, give her a taste on just how much he hated her and how powerless she was against him. After all, he did enjoy making his enemies squirm. Death would be too kind of a gift to give to the woman before him.

A smirk threatened to curve his lips at the idea before he spoke cheerfully, happy with the progress he was making, "Well, the full moon is almost upon us." He put the moonstone on the table, the sunlight that fought it's way into the apartment shone upon the smooth white oval stone, closer to him than her of course before he continued. The witch is no longer a problem, I have the moon stone, and the doppelganger is in my clutches for safe keeping. The town is practically crawling with vampires and werewolves.. Ohh, I am ready to break this curse." Klaus took but a mere second to pause after he spoke, reveling in the fact that despite any and all attempts that prolonged the sacrifice, he now was so very close to completing it.

Katherine's dark eyebrows pulled together thoughtfully, trying to comprehend something on her mind and it was a look that many didn't get to witness etched upon the face of the most guarded doppelganger. "..And why would you do that here? There's so many people that would try to stop you."

Upon Alaric's face was a dry expression, void of any and all emotion when irony curled within his.. Alaric's.. stomach. She spoke as if he didn't factor that in, as if he was stupidly overlooking such things. There was always someone, somewhere, trying to stop him. Ava's brothers were mere child's play compared to him. He spoke then, annoyed, as if it were obvious. "Because I have to.. It's the birthplace of the doppelganger."

She blinked once in surprise before looking at Alaric's form with shock, despite all of this she kept her voice calm, near emotionless. "I didn't realize that was a requirement.."

Klaus struggled between wanting to laugh and wanting to scoff at her response, before settling on no reaction at all. "..Well, how could you? You betrayed me and fled England before I could give you the details, Katerina. You were always a flighty bitch who cared only about herself. I would have made it as painless as possible back then.. now I just want to rip your throat out for my own personal enjoyment, watch you fuse yourself back together before doing it all over again. Though I did find your birthplace and I slaughtered your family. So I guess we're cool for now." He leaned forward a bit as one of his hands clenched around the moon stone, "However you also have to factor in that I am not the only one you pissed off. A little more than a hundred years ago, in the dense woods bordering a certain little town, you left a beautiful young woman to die, Katerina. Do you have a clue who I am talking about?"

As her dark brown orbs widened more than just a fraction as she rapidly processed his words, Klaus allowed a smirk to dominate his lips, "Her name is Ava, I hope it rings a few bells because you will be severely punished for what you had done to her. Now, you cannot leave until I tell you to, because you can bet that I am far from done with you yet, Katherine.."

He lowered his eyes from where he trapped her own in his compulsion, his lips widening into a devious smile as he rest his gaze upon the curved white oval in his hand, and left with four more words echoing in Katherine's ears. Her face losing her composure as he stalked through the door, her eyes widening and mouth dropping in surprise at what information he carelessly gave her-

"..And neither is she."

Klaus said 'Her name is Ava..' The word 'is' as opposed to 'was'. Present, not past. Ava Salvatore was alive and well as she could be as a member of the undead.. quite possibly in Mystic Falls.

Katherine clenched her teeth in frustration as she remembered had truly hated the innocent, carefree woman the middle Salvatore was when she was human. Jealous of how she effortlessly commanded attention of those around her.. The woman was almost like herself when she was human, that was until she had gotten pregnant with her child and banished. That naïve mentality was something she envied, something sacred that she had thoroughly enjoyed tainting and destroying in rage for not being able to keep hers.

Katherine closed her mouth as the shock wore off, after all she happily believed the younger woman to be dead and gone for quite a few centuries.. but a curiosity grew from within her body as she stared off in the direction of the front door with both longing to leave the apartment and with a pondering expression etched upon her face..

There was something in the way Klaus spoke of Ava, spoke of that even when he had gotten back at her for running.. that it wasn't enough. If she didn't know any better she would have thought that Klaus actually cared for the female Salvatore sibling..

The vampire doppelganger pursed her lips in thought, Katherine Pierce couldn't help but wonder what connection was between Klaus and Ava Salvatore.. and how could she use said connection to her advantage to get the hell out of dodge before it was too late.

...

Wariness dominated the eyes of the dark beauty as Bonnie Bennett slowly forced her body down the stairs and into the kitchen where Ava was seated upon one of the chairs at the large dining room table. Her posture was that of which reminded Bonnie of the image that a humble queen possessed, strong and confident.. yet the smile that curved upon her lips was one that made Bonnie pause as shock pulsed through her veins. The sight before her was one that Bonnie couldn't have predicted, not when she had seen the female Salvatore's anger the night before. Thinking back on it, Bonnie struggled to forbid the mental wince from revealing itself as she recalled just what was the reason for the powerful display of anger.

Grant it, Bonnie could admit even if it was to herself, that Ava had a good reason to be angry with her.. especially after she not only argued with Amelia - a woman who just wanted her to live and be safe - but also tried to aim an aneurysm at the vampire. One that allowed her to stay in her own, away from the silence that consumed her Grams' house immediately after her death.. but at what cost? At what cost did she have to pay for this? For Amelia's involvement in her life?

Was the reality of this house as what Bonnie felt it was - a golden cage to keep her in as well as keeping everyone else out? She felt, not for the first time within her life, useless to do anything more than sit on the sidelines and play with her thumbs. Klaus was still out there, aiming for Elena's blood as well as her head on a silver platter.. why were these two powerful women not helping her? Why were they not on board with the idea to save Elena's life? Yes, her Grams had a valid point in her dream.. numerous in fact.. however the fact remained that even if Elena would or would not do the same for her, as much as the idea hurt Bonnie on the inside.. Bonnie had the power, the magic, to use it to save someone's life. A person that she had known since childhood, someone that was her friend before all the supernatural shit came waltzing into this small town.

Yes, Bonnie never enjoyed her magic. At first it was fun, something new and powerful.. something that made her feel special. That was however before she began getting lightheaded.. before the bloody noses. She had once begged Lucy for a way to just stay out of it, and the woman that was her cousin had told her that since she was one of the good ones that the 'middle is exactly where you need to be'.. She had then felt dishearten at the response, grudgingly accepting it as fact. Now though, to say that the young woman was confused was the understatement of the century.

It felt as if she were being pulled into different directions.. stretched thin. One question spiraled to the forefront of her mind, a reoccurring one that she fought to face every day since her Grams' death: If I stay out of it.. if I allow myself to take a step back.. what would the consequences be? What would the reaction be when shit hit the fan so to speak.. would she be able to hold herself back knowing that she could have done something, anything and didn't? Was she so emotional towards her surroundings, towards situations and people that answered her questions before she even opened her mouth to speak?

...And if so, was it really such a horrible thing to want to help - want to protect - her friends from the powerful supernaturals around them in the only way she knew how?

Bonnie was torn, conflicted and it must have shone plainly on her face because Ava spoke softly to her to sit down at the table. The younger woman did so almost on autopilot, unable to figure out what to do besides that suggestion. Surrounded by food and the aroma of coffee, Bonnie's stomach growled in hunger, making a flare of embarrassment surge from within her. Ava's lips curved upward in the corners as she regarded the darker girl with an interested glint in those breathtaking eyes, before pointing to a certain cabinet, "Cups are in there if you want some coffee. Help yourself sweetheart.. We have much to discuss."

Bonnie looked at her for a long moment, trying to uncover the mysteries that were hidden within Ava Salvatore.. before regarding the vampire with a grateful expression as she got up to get herself some coffee. She was sure that whatever the vampire wanted to discuss with her, she would surely need a cup or two..

Your path is with them. In Amelia as well as Ava. That was what her Grams said in her dream, Bonnie recalled as she painfully thought of her dream, longing for her Grams curling within her stomach. The dark liquid gave off steam as the coffee was poured into a baby blue colored coffee cup, and Bonnie added two teaspoons of sugar and some milk before stirring it slowly with the spoon in her hand. She was almost hesitant to sit in front of Ava again, dread housed within her heart as the young witch feared what was going to be said next.

Ava has a past that is untold, both deadly to those that stand in her way and compassionate to those she let's in her heart. Emily may have 'enlisted' for Damon to be some demented guardian angel to watch over our family, but it is actually Ava that did that as a thank you to Emily. It was a gift from Emily that Aria was able to be born and so much more was gifted to Ava aside from being the first vampire in history to have children with her true mate. The both of them were good friends, and Ava protected our family for Emily's memory. I plead with you to be both cautious of her and try to understand her. She means you well, and so does Amelia. Gather some of that respect that I know you have in you for these women that are trying against all odds to protect you. Her Grams' familiar voice echoed on the outskirts of her mind once again, reminding her that they were trying to protect her. Trying to be there for her, keep her safe.. it was new, completely unfamiliar and for what may have been the first time since in the presence of the female vampire in the same room as her all of the familiar feelings were absent.

When she thought of Ava Salvatore in the past, Bonnie was unashamed to confirm that she felt surprise, cautiousness, suspicion, frustration.. curiosity and awareness. She was the unknown entity in Bonnie's life, who made the girl cautious to be in the same room as her - let alone trust her. Ava was the wild card whom was related to both Damon and Stefan Salvatore, the first and older brother in which Bonnie didn't trust at all. Vampires tainted her happy innocence she possessed before their arrival, used her for their magical fix.. yet the warmth that now flooded her body from the center of her heart made Bonnie want to trust Ava. To understand the woman before her that could smile gently at her baby girl safely within her arms, even when she was powered by fierce, protective instincts to Amelia the night before.

Bonnie caught the corner of her lip with her teeth, having a feeling that while Ava didn't seem to mind her stalling for as long as she could to prolong this.. that Ava was trying to exercise patience with her. In the name of Amelia most likely, since it seemed that her ancestor was the reason behind most of Ava's fierce reactions to Bonnie's mistrust and disrespect.

It only served to make the young witch feel guilty with the way that she yelled at the woman the night before. When she was - and for the most part still is - enraged that she was trapped here in this house against her will, unable to do anything. . Bonnie sighed softly, forgetting for a split second that it would echo in Ava's supernatural hearing, before she forced a hand to curve around her cup of coffee and used every once of courage within her body to move forward to sit in the chair that was posed in front of Ava's. The immortal's brown eyes looking her over from the mere inches or so away from each other as she bounced her child in her arms, alight with something that Bonnie couldn't pinpoint the name of.

"You should eat." Ava stated, and it seemed like a suggestion but Bonnie felt it was an order in disguise. The woman seemed still even with her arms gently moving the cooing baby girl that was the complete definition of a 'Miracle Child'.. A certain calm before the storm if this upcoming conversation didn't go the way the woman wanted it to, a storm that Bonnie wanted no part of despite the nervousness and anger that were at war within her body on the subject of the woman in front of her. Bonnie shifted in her seat, wanting more than anything to run away from the inquisition that was directed at her, but something both strong and invisible held her in this spot.

Was it fear? Or something else? Bonnie didn't know, yet as she filled the plate in front of her with two blueberry pancakes dressed with some butter and syrup, she looked down at them and closed her eyes in a move that was more resign than prayer. She somehow doubted that God would listen to a witches prayer anyway, and while Bonnie felt Ava felt the same she was glad that the vampire didn't judge her actions. Didn't speak at all and the only noises that broke through her concentration was the child's. Ava seemed to be a regarded as a deadly cheetah, waiting in the tall grass of the Savannah yet overseeing any and all movement on the land.

Unchained. Untamed.. Waiting and silently watching to see what her next move would be.

Yet as Bonnie sorted through the thoughts in her head, and her self preservation kicking into overdrive at the close proximity she was with the vampire.. She would try to understand Ava and Amelia if only for the reason that Grams had wanted her to, even if the dream didn't turn out to be real in the first place.. The young woman mentally murmured two sentences before casting her bright green orbs upon the older eternally beautiful woman:

Grams, I will try for you.

You have never failed me before, I just hope that now you are right as well.

 

Chapter Text

Previously on Breathless:

Yet as Bonnie sorted through the thoughts in her head, and her self preservation kicking into overdrive at the close proximity she was with the vampire.. She would try to understand Ava and Amelia if only for the reason that Grams had wanted her to, even if the dream didn't turn out to be real in the first place.. The young woman mentally murmured two sentences before casting her bright green orbs upon the older eternally beautiful woman: her bright green orbs upon the older eternally beautiful woman:

Grams, I will try for you.

You have never failed me before, I just hope that now you are right as well.

...

The air around them was heavy with intent as the silence stretched on, each female waiting stiffly for the other to speak. Ava, even though she was still watching the baby girl in her arms with love, seemed poised in the chair. Though Bonnie found she wasn't much better seeing as though even if she felt guilty for how she spoke to Amelia with the way she had, the young witch refused to be pushed around by yet another vampire. Refused to show weakness in the face of a deadly being even if those eyes were aimed warmly at her own child.

Bonnie had promised herself she would try for her Grams, even if it was reluctantly - though she never claimed that it would be an easy task. Not when she knew nothing about the woman, not when her motives were hidden. There was always a hidden motive, something Bonnie strongly disliked about vampires as a whole.. even if a part of her brain betrayingly chimed in that it was a character flaw that regular humans had as well.

As she began to eat the pancakes that were actually pretty damn good (When was the last time she could recall having a home cooked meal? ..Was it so sad that she was not able to?), Bonnie dwelled silently on the idea that all of this supernatural drama would just go on a long vacation and leave everyone else alone. They had an eternal life span, surely they weren't that bored that they had nothing better to do than pick on the little people.. right? Because that is exactly what it seemed like, dragging down everyone around them in the process. Bonnie couldn't help but question, even though she doubted a straight up answer would ever be given, when enough would be enough..

"Despite what you may think of me, Bonnie.." Ava began to speak gently to her, effortlessly captivating the young witch's attention as she finally filled to silence, making Bonnie look up to see the vampire looking over at her with a sad smile curving on her lips, "Of us.. We want nothing but the best for you, though you have every right to disbelieve that statement.."

Ava let loose a sigh, before she redirected her attention to her child and offered up a binkie with a look that grew even more gentler than it had been, even though she didn't look at the witch she continued. "Be that as it may, I understand your concerns that you don't even have to voice.. but while I respect the morals that you carry close to your heart, I also need you to understand. We need you to understand that we cannot allow you to die." She spat the last word like it was a curse, making it transparent that she refused to accept that a young woman who hadn't even had a chance to live her life yet - would so easily want to throw it all away.

Bonnie lowered her eyes in an effort to escape the raw emotion that was enlaced within the woman's voice, willing her ears to block out the words that kept coming with a plea that conflicted with anger. She didn't have to lift them to know that said woman was now glaring daggers at her, the tightness of her voice gave it away.

"Do you not understand? Amelia cares about you, loves you despite the arguments you make against her. You are family, and that means a great deal to her.. and as a beloved friend of mine, that makes me care about you. What you have to understand, even in the same sense that she cares about you, I will not sit and listen to your blandly disrespect. I will always protect Amelia, and always will have her best interest at heart." Ava released a growl that pushed it's way through her clenched teeth, making Bonnie visibly flinch in response to the sound before lifting her eyes to lock onto the woman's face.

Bonnie wanted to say something, anything really so when this 'conversation' was over she would be able to tell herself that she at least contributed to it. Gave her input on the matter, hell even make an effort to apologize even if she still wanted to be set free from this house.. but no words came. Something had abruptly stopped their path from inside her brain to her mouth.

Aria gurgled in distress, probably sensing her mother's irritation with Bonnie, and as if there was a switch flipped within the vampire's mind - Ava's face smoothed out to an expression of calm, bouncing the child gently. Aria cooed adorably at the attention, her small hands lifting upwards to grasp a hold of her mother's long dark hair.

"If you want to hate us for trying every way we know how to save you Bonnie? Be our guest, do so if you think that would make you feel better about this whole situation. Amelia agrees wholeheartedly with me about the fact that we would rather have you -" Here Ava stopped murmuring with her whole attention shifting from her baby to look at the teenager, who was now soaking up her every word that echoed through the silence that threatened to engulf them both, "a young woman who didn't wvwn get a chance to live yet, to discover and love someone that will always put her first - be angry with us for keeping you away and alive.. rather than you dead and unable to give any opinion at all.."

Bonnie's bright green orbs blinked twice; slowly as they stung with the beginnings of her tears. The matter of fact tone of voice that Ava tried to pull off with these words fell shot as the teenaged girl detected the raw emotion that the vampire tried to hide. It was hard to believe that Ava, a stranger who was a blood thirsty vampire with a hidden agenda.. and Amelia, her ancestor that was still alive and had magic by some undisclosed reason or spell..

These two supernatural females actually cared, actually gave a damn, whether she lived or died. Complete strangers to her in multiple ways and yet -

"You may be entitled to how you feel, Bonnie, and you may grow to thoroughly despise us to our actions.. but whatever your course of action is? It isn't going to change the fact that you will be restricted to this house until you somehow prove to the both of us that you aren't a sacrificing witch willing to gamble with your life." Bonnie watched in shock as Ava shrugged her shoulders lightly in response to whatever was etched on her face, "We only want to help you Bonnie. We choose you - consequences be damned."

Bonnie made an effort to gulp down the hard lump that somehow formed in her throat without her even noticing it until it was too late; her eyes stinging with tears she desperately tried to force back as she quickly processed the words Ava had spoken. The feistiness, the stubbornness - the fight - that always seemed to be at her beck and all.. rapidly diminished and in it's hollow place was shock.

A rustle of movement from somewhere around her reached her ears, yet it seemed to be miles away as Bonnie's mind spiraled with questions.. with the woman's words. It was only with the seemingly too proper words of 'I do hope you enjoy your breakfast..' that Bonnie came back into awareness. There she sat alone at the table, the kitchen empty apart from herself as Ava seemed to move both her and Aria elsewhere in the house. The other side of the table was cleared of any food, Ava's coffee cup and seemed to be cleaned up with a slightly damp sponge.. if the almost nonexistent water left behind was enough evidence..

Just how long had I spaced out? Bonnie questioned herself, even though she knew for a fact she wouldn't get an answer before laying a gently poking her right pointer finger on the top layer that was stacked on top of another, half of each missing, before allowing herself to sigh heavily when she found it had grown cold.

.....

Dark shaded eyes bore into her own from where Amelia Bennett shifted to get comfortable n the middle of the living room couch in which was a pale color yet it also possessed detailed designs within the soft fabric the upholstery was made of.

She narrowed her orbs she met his hawk like stare, one that finally caught a glimpse of something he desperately wanted.. prey. The right corner Original vampire's right lip seemed to curl upwards in amusement as she met his stare head on with determination. A certain light sparkled from within the depths of his eyes, a glint that only increased her suspicion of the vampire despite how much Ava likened him as family.

So, this was Elijah.. The witch silently pondered as she looked upon his muscled frame which gave her the idea that ur was a hard working man even in his human days. Finally, at long last, she was able to put a face to the name of one of few that Ava had spoken of.

To be utterly truthful, even if it was to herself, Elijah had unknowingly embodied everything she had thought the man would be. He seemed to be around the age of twenty-three to twenty-four, the age estimation in which Amelia would have put him at when he was turned a thousand years ago. The was an honorable and kind look in his eyes that reflected upon his face, his posture that of relaxed yet overly so. As much as Elijah Mikaelson seemed to be everything that Amelia had imagined him to be, he seemed to also be a contradiction to everything she knew.

While Ava had once told her before that he was the noble one out of the Mikaelson family, Amelia had hardly believed such a statement at the time. Who had ever heard of a 'noble' vampire?

She recalls in this moment that a noise that was torn between a scoff and an amused laugh forced itself out of the previous concealment of her mouth, "That, my darling Ava, is most unfortunate for the Mikaelson family.. because I can assure you that the such a statement does not say much about them. One out of the entire family prides himself on being the most noble? What of the others? ...What does that say about them?"  She knew how protective Ava Salvatore turned Mikaelson could become in a second's notice due to the fierce loyalty she held for those she loved.. and nowadays Amelia would have likened herself to be on that list as well. Still, as the image of both irritation and grudgingly acceptance briefly enters her mind, Amelia mentally winces even now with years distancing the conversation.

There was something about the man before her that drew her in almost effortlessly, the pull still in effect ever since it had led her to where he was daggered in the cellar of the Salvatore Boarding house. The way he carried himself, the way he didn't even try to drain her dry of blood even when he was literally starving for it.. it was alluring to her in a way that she couldn't grasp. She never recalled having such understanding on any level with a complete stranger to her, let alone a creature of the night.

Who was Elijah Mikaelson.. and what precisely was the man doing to her?

She was as unfamiliar to him as he was to her, maybe even more so due to the fact that she had Ava's stories to rely on when meeting each Mikaelson in what may be the far distant future. As such, Amelia was positive that he in turn shouldn't be looking at her in such a way that was plainly scouring for any secrets hidden within her, all the while laying his soul bare before her eyes. Was it done in a move that was subconscious.. or in an effort to establish trust between the two of them? Better yet, despite establishing a spot spot within Ava's non beating heart.. could Amelia trust him?

Carol Lockwood had long left the two of them alone for whatever meeting she had been formally rushing to get to before they had turned up at her door unannounced, and for Amelia it was growingly uncomfortable to say the least. She sensed as soon as she laid eyes upon the woman that even though she was a Lockwood, Carol didn't share their guarded secret.. Most likely taking the Lockwood through marriage. The woman also knew not of the proper ways that were from the days were the town was built, as this observation was due to Mrs. Lockwood's greeting to her, or lack of for that matter. (Honestly was it so difficult nowadays for people to use manners?)

Within the time that was Amelia's innocent childhood, her parents had instilled early on in her as well as her two sisters' lives that it was only appropriate that in the event that you left the house, your guests were forced to do so also. Living with Ava for so long, a vampire with both mannerisms and protocol instilled in her from her own childhood didn't really give Amelia an outlook on what had changed around her. At least not coupled with much information. Being with Ava, side by side in all of their friendship and sisterly bonding as they traveled the world with Aria in their arms at all times, gave Amelia little motivation to venture out to earn friendships with others.

Amelia suddenly felt a little but better with the possibility that Elijah had compelled the human to allow them to stay when she was out of the house, rather than the dreadful idea that the world had changed that much without her acknowledgment. Throughout her life, Amelia's mannerisms stayed with her and as much as she didn't particularly enjoy the idea that the minds of defenseless humans being toyed with -

"Mrs. Bennett, might I inquire how long you have been in Mystic Falls?" The vampire across from her spoke gently from the opposite couch, and she had to blink a few times to regain herself from her thoughts.. after she lingered fleetingly upon his own mannerisms with a swell of approval.

"It's Miss actually as I am not married." Amelia pointed out softly, refusing to allow the image of the face of her once husband to force itself to the forefront of her mind, before answering his question as well as the silent one whom he couldn't seem to bring himself to address. "Ava and I have been here approximately a month.." She knew she need not mention Aria, as not only did she mention the child before whilst in her car but also because Amelia knew that anyone who truly knew of Ava - also knew that the young vampire cherished and protected those she cared for. Her child being the first and foremost that came to Amelia's mind when thinking of such a list.. Her husband being very close to the top, if not placed directly below the baby girl Ava protect even at the cost of her life.

Elijah seemed to nod thoughtfully, his orbs that were the exact same color as his hair now staring off into the distance. He seemed to be trapped in a flashback that was forced upon him, it had to be regarding Ava .. or so Amelia predicted due to the object of their conversation. There was a sudden flare of guilt that was brought to life, housed from within his eyes, that made Amelia's eyebrows pull together in confusion. Did he really have no knowledge of the praises that Ava spoke of, not only of him, but of the Mikaelson 'children' as a whole?

Whatever it was that weighed heavy on his conscious, was something that Ava did not condone him for. She was hesitant to tell him such, as she didn't believe it was her place to intrude upon anyone's privacy .. but she also felt the need to reassure him with whatever his problem was, no matter how perplexing this certain need was.

After a brief moment of indecision, Amelia found that she had nothing to loose, before telling him her thoughts that seemed to cut through his own in a softly spoken voice. Elijah regarded her with shock etched upon his features, and Amelia didn't know for certain if it was because of the truth in her words that Ava cared deeply for him and all of his siblings still to this day.. or she had overstepped a line drawn in the sand between the two immortals. Did the words that fell from her lips had offended him in some way?

Amelia tried to gulp down the nervousness that threatened to lodge within her throat, parting her lips to voice her apologies.. only to stop when he did something that gave her great pause.

The corners of lips twitched upwards until Elijah aimed a grateful smile in her direction, one that made Amelia unable to do anything else other than widen her dark orbs at him. "Thank you for your reassurances, Miss Bennett.. but I know that I have much to atone for in regards to my family - Ava in particular.." He paused after his words; directing his eyes down at his lap almost in an act of shame and Amelia bit the inside of her right cheek to keep from speaking. She had a strong intuition that the only words that would sooth his guilt, whatever it was that was the cause of it, was Ava herself. He looked up at her face after a few moments had passed, seeming to collect himself and regard her with interest, "If I may be so bold, could you tell me how you had come to meet Ava and gain her friendship?"

Ah, Amelia thought with growing amusement, so despite their time apart he had remembered full well that what he spoke of was no easy task.. then again Amelia supposed that she was the similar way.

After a moment of silence past between them that seemed to stretch on for hours, Amelia nodded her head slowly in consent, "...I do believe we have time for such a story."

....

The bright light that shone from the heavens illuminated their bodies as Ava gently carried her child to her car, situating Aria in her seat before a wide smile curved her lips, "We are about to for a ride, baby girl."

Aria was dressed in a silk and lace white dress that was a tad bit too big at the top and the bottom flowed effortlessly outwards to show off her white little booties. She wasn't as fussy as Ava knew other children to be and for that the vampire was grateful. She seemed to love car rides, her eyes frantically looking around her as new changes of scenery passed by them. Today was probably the first time her daughter would see Mystic Falls since they arrived; a fact that Ava couldn't bring herself to be ashamed of.. not when there would always be enemies aiming to harm them.She just had to be more careful, more so with Aria tagging along.

Ava gave her one last smile that was made in an attempt to reassure both of them and a clean binkie before shutting the door; traveling around it to the driver's side in dark ripped jeans, a black tank top, her leather jacket and flat black boots made to complete the outfit. She adjusted her visor to catch one more glimpse of her daughter before moving it back, a movement caught in the corner of Ava right eye. There she was.. Bonnie; a lace curtain pulled back and looking at her with an expression that almost made Ava feel guilty for keeping teenager cooped up in the house. Then again she didn't feel as if there was any other option left.. Ava sighed lowly, the sound echoing through the silence of her car.

After the 'talk' this morning, Ava wanted to be positive that Bonnie wouldn't do anything stupid. The house had no home phones, as all of the occupants within the house never felt the need for them. She had already texted Amelia as she walked out the door, letting the witch know what she was doing in regards to Bonnie.

This all was a test, one that Ava prayed the young teenaged witch passed.. and it allowed her the time to get stuff done.

A smirk curved on Ava's lips, devious intent nearly oozing out of her pore before a soft fuss from her daughter's mouth prompted her to turn the key. Two words fell out from her lips in a playful manner, "Alright, alright."

They only drove for a short while, before Ava parked on an unfamiliar street, in front of a white house that seemed to have a wrap around porch with pale pillars lining. Getting out Ava put her keys in the front pocket of her jacket, before cradling her child protectively in her arms; shutting both doors with her hip as she set to walking up the brown stone walkway that led to a midnight colored wood for the porch.

Knocking on the white door twice, before ringing the doorbell once for good measure, they didn't have to wait but a few minutes before a beautiful strawberry blond haired woman answered the door and regarded them with undisguised curiosity; her voice pleasant as she spoke, "...Can I help you?"

Ava smiled gently, disarmingly and ready to lie through her teeth, at the woman. On the inside however, she pitied the human before her.. whose good idea was to keep her out of the loop when danger lingered just around the corner..? 

"Hello, I do believe you can help me.. you must be Jenna Sommers. My name is Ava and am a friend of Elena's. My brother Stefan was the one to introduce us just a few days ago you see. I believe you can help me. I urgently need to talk to you about some things.. Do you mind if the both of us come in?"

.....

Chapter Text

After a moment of silence past between them that seemed to stretch on for hours, Amelia nodded her head slowly in consent, "...I do believe we have time for such a story."

....

As darkness slowly descended upon the earth, the shadows housed within the forest started to slowly come alive from the outskirts of Mystic Falls. Spirals of darkened gray concealed the moon from view from it's place high in the sky, yet even with the growing late night hour there was no hesitance visible within the figure's movements as it separated itself from the shadows that seemed to give the person birth.

Dark wavy locks that cascaded down the back of woman's curvaceous figure moved with each movement she made. She seemed to be unaffected by the animals around her that made homage upon the woods that she explored as a child, she would rather be out here in the open than in the captivity that she was forced to call 'home'.

It was one of the few concealed secrets that she kept close to her heart whilst living in a small town that was made up of the most nosiest people she had ever had the misfortune of meeting in all of her life. The only other secret being that of the magic she had inherited from her ancestors. Most of the people within this town were under the impression that that the men her parents set her to marry was a respectable, good looking man that was kind and noble enough to fall in love with a free slave. Someone who was gentle..

It was quite unfortunate that she was the only one that saw him for the monster he truly was.. the only one that acknowledged the estranged emotions reflecting within his eyes.

No.. Robert Lockwood - descendant of George Lockwood whom had once tried to terrorize Emily Bennett those years ago - had everyone around them fooled..

Amelia found her lap to be interesting as she paused through her story, her heart pounding deep within her chest as she recalled how much fear she lived throughout the days following the arranged marriage that she was forced into. Only having a chance to escape the night she met Ava Salvatore turned Mikaelson. She smiled suddenly, remembering just how hard the vampire tried to keep her out of danger ever since they met, even if it meant she was off the Mikaelson radar. It gave her the chance to have time to herself, to recover from the damage that had been inflicted upon her and letter find someone to give her a beautiful baby girl.

It gave her the strength to look up into Elijah's dark eyes, surprise curled within her stomach as she caught sight of the anguish that conflicted with the unadulterated anger upon her behalf as it reflected from within him. She certainly wasn't expecting the vampire before her to so noble that he was visibly enraged on the treatment that she had experienced many years ago.. How wrong was it for her to immediately consider that something else was a midst? Why was he acting so protective of her.. surely it could not be all in the name of Ava?

Amelia nodded her head a small fraction all the same, "I was forced into an arranged marriage to a Lockwood.. Robert seemed to be a gentleman out in public. No one was able to catch even a glimpse of the vicious being behind all the masks he had carefully constructed. I thought that he had temperament issues due to high society demands, his mother dying when he was just a young boy - leaving both he and his two siblings in the care of their wayward father - and forced into the marriage just as I had been.." Amelia released a scoff at how blind she had truly been to the outside world around her and much of the supernatural, before shaking her head sadly, "I was but a young woman, my sisters' and I kept naïve by our parents of anything that would have posed a danger to us.. but before I even found the time to stop it .."

A far away look entered her orbs, throwing her mind back into the memories that she would have liked to forget.. Amelia's lips parted slowly in an effort to continue on, completely aware of how the Original's attention was fixed solely on her as she struggled to remain the strong woman that Ava helped her evolve into, and with only the slightest hesitation reflecting in her movements she spoke the next twenty words that summarized all of their history together -

"..Even I, the person he called 'wife', did not know of the 'beast' he was all too capable of becoming."

....

Bonnie watched from the window as Ava drove off to heaven only knew where, leaving her to once again linger in an empty house but this time there was no escape from the entrapment that she found herself in, nor her thoughts that were centered on her loneliness.

..Just who were these people that seemed to actually care for her? People that even her Grams thought were best for her, going so far as to notify Bonnie even beyond the grave, when the woman didn't trust any vampires to begin with. She remembers listening closely to her Grams talk with Stefan after he brought her home the night she had discovered the tomb of blood deprived vampires.. denying Stefan access into their home even when it had been revealed within the conversation that the both were on good terms with one another. Knew each other from when her grandmother was younger .. and yet her Grams trusted the female vampire, Salvatore sibling and the ever mysterious Amelia Bennett to keep her safe? Going so far as to think her path through her life was with them?

Bonnie felt that she was missing more than one important piece of information to all of this, unable to finish the complexed puzzle before her with the few pieces she had. Just who was Amelia that made her Grams so trusting of her? She was a witch, quite possibility older than that of which she portrayed.. and yet she still looked youthful. Was there a spell that slowed down the aging process? What did Ava do to have her Grams respect her so highly? ...And would she ever really get any answers to pair up to any of these questions?

Bonnie pursed her lips and turned her body away from the window slowly to survey her surroundings once more. Maybe.. just maybe.. she would be able to find some clues around the house that would help her with these questions? It would occupy her time alone, and if she found nothing than she was pretty sure that they wouldn't be completely upset if she watched through the Hunger Games movies that they had among the collection in the living room..

After all.. Bonnie questioned curiously whilst shrugging her shoulders,What was the worst that could happen?

....

A smile of satisfactory curved upon Amelia's lips as she locked her orbs upon the herbs that she had been looking for, able to power a protection spell to enable distance between herself and that of what wished to harm her. She made sure to grab extra to give to her sisters, placing them delicately in the pocket of her cloak before an a terrifying growl thundered through the darkness that shrouded her surroundings.. The sound echoed, and as still as Amelia forced her body to become..

She could have sworn that she was also a woman that would be dead any second now, as soon as she heard a rustle of movement behind her .. followed closely by heavy breathing.

As if it were a cobra, she turned her body slowly around in non threatening moves.. only to stare directly into death's golden, predatory eyes from the darkened depths of hell. The next growl that sounded through the air seemed vengeful, as if the animal was appalled that she had dared to stare directly into the orbs it possessed.. and without making another sound, the rather large furry, muscular body that could only be a wolf parted from the darkness in an unbelievably quick lunge to kill the prey that had been unfortunate to catch it's eye.

..Her.

Elijah stared wide eyed at Miss Amelia Bennett from where she sat before him, her body seemed stiff and coiled into defense as she bravely recalled what would have been the event that led to her death. It was something he had no shame in saying that the mere thought inflicted pain from deep within his body. He was no stranger to death, despite considering himself 'Noble' he himself had killed others over the coarse of the last thousand years. To feed, to protect himself and/or the rest of his family members.. Yes, bodies dropped like flies and fresh blood had tainted the earth for the Mikaelson name - one way or another. It was the woman before him, his mate, that twisted his insides in regard of her would be death. More so than any other before her.

Elijah downcasted his eyes in guilt, even though the logical part of his brain chimed in that it was unjust to do so to himself, for not knowing her then to save her from meeting her end to a werewolf.. whom of which was her late husband.

The corners of his lips quirked upwards in spite of himself as he recalled Amelia saying that she is not married.. not revealing that she ever had been before. It seemed to Elijah that Ava's ambition and slight manipulation regarding any situation that could very well turned around for the better.. had rubbed off on Amelia as well. He couldn't honestly say that he was surprised..

The clouds that hung above parted, revealing a luminous full moon that shone upon the wolf's sharp, slightly curled claws. The only thing that Amelia could do was widen her eyes, her mind's eye flashing with her beloved family's faces, whom would discover her long after the present moment had come to pass. Or so she thought, for to her left sped forward an avenging angel whom had lost her wings as she fell from heaven above. Beautiful on the outside with silky dark brown hair that cascaded down her body in long waves, framing her face that housed an expression etched with worry as she all but lept to the left side of the dangerous wolf without fear. Curling her hand underneath the wolf's jaw of deadly sharp canines.. with her other hand reaching over it's snout, the woman clamped the wolf's mouth shut with a surprising amount of force -

.. and twisted. The action was delivered with strength, snapping the mouth of the animal with rage. It reared back in pain instinctively as soon as it registered that it was indeed broken, fear engulfed Amelia as she felt dizzy from her place on her feet yet the woman beside her seemed unaffected by the dangers that surrounded them. In that moment, Amelia's intuition sparked within her .. telling her that the woman was dangerous as well.

It proved to be too much for Amelia as her vision blurred, fainting in the place she had previously stood on her one two feet. On her way into the warm embrace that the oblivion provided she heard the angelic woman speak in a steely tone of voice, each syllable that left her mouth had protectiveness enlaced from within..

"Ah, I haven't had the pleasure of coming face to face with a werewolf in years. I can see your temperament hasn't improved; nor have you gained the ability to control yourself around others let alone respectable women of society.. Let's amend that now, shall we?"

Amelia picked her head up slowly, tilting her head to cautiously analyze how awe struck that Elijah seemed to be in regard to turn the climax of her tale. His mouth dropped, seemingly too heavy to pick up as his dark eyes darted from side to side in thought. For the first time since the dagger had been pulled out of his chest, Elijah Mikaelson had showed her a side of himself that was less composed. It was only a small glimpse, but it was enough time that made Amelia suspicious that the vampire was indeed hiding something from her. Something he wasn't too keen on sharing.

However, she knew not how a werewolf bite could kill a vampire by poisoning they from the inside out. She didn't know just to what lengths Ava had taken to save her life; Amelia didn't know how much her story had effected Elijah. Amelia didn't understand the anger he felt at the mere idea of his mate being abused, living in fear. He felt the all consuming urge to tear something or someone in half, yet it seemed that Ava had already inflicted retribution in his steed. Ava herself may not have acknowledged that Amelia was indeed his mate, there was an underlining within a person's scent that drew the vampire to their mate, yet she saved her anyway even if it cost the heavy price of her life..

....

".. You must be Jenna Sommers. My name is Ava and am a friend of Elena's. My brother Stefan was the one to introduce us just a few days ago you see. I believe you can help me. I urgently need to talk to you about some things.. Do you mind if the both of us come in?"

Ava had to forcibly push back the smile that threatened to curve upon her lips as Jenna seemed to analyze her expression with concern etched on her own. Seeming to acknowledge despite her lack of anything with the supernatural world, Jenna Sommers seemed all too capable of seeming the high importance of what she had to say.. with surprising speed actually.

How interesting.. Ava thought to herself with amusement though she fought to conceal it from the other woman's view. It seemed everyone didn't give woman as much credit as Jenna rightfully deserved..

Biting the corner of her lip in a show of slight hesitation, Jenna nodded her head silently before speaking the words that sounded music to Ava's ears; "Sure.. By all means, come on in."

Ava smiled gentle, cradling her child protectively as she stepped through the threshold of the Gilbert House, standing calmly in the hallway as Jenna shut the door behind them. A few feet away from her was the staircase that led upstairs to the second floor; the design of the house was made of earthy tones and gave a homey feeling to anyone that entered. "You have a beautiful home."

Jenna smiled softly in thanks before looking at Aria, commenting that she was a beautiful baby girl. Even at eighteen months, Aria didn't speak even when all of Ava's research suggested that by six months babies started to say 'mama' and 'dada'. "She takes after both of her parents in many ways. Not allowing anyone to rush them into anything, so despite what the supposed 'professionals' say I think that she will talk when she's ready.." Ava shrugged her shoulders with ease as she smiled down at her baby girl, as both women went to settle into the living room.

Ava eyed Jenna calmly, intuition flaring in her eyes as she settled the both of them in the middle of the couch; watching the strawberry blonde haired human stare back at her from the love seat. "I may be stepping out of line, Mrs. Sommers, but please forgive me.. The very instant I laid eyes on you, you struck me as someone whom lived in the moment. Someone who saw the reality of things and worked through it despite how hard you knew it would be.. You strike me as a brave person."

Jenna's eyes widened at her words and the respectful tone they were voiced in, before she narrowed them in thought wondering just where Ava Salvatore was going with this.. "Um.. thanks." She hated how much discomfort she revealed into her voice, their seemed to be something unworldly about the female Salvatore. The intensity of her self preservation of the woman may have been much less than that of Damon.. yet it was still a notch or two more than what Stefan brought forth within Jenna's emotions. Yet when she caught sight of the looks Ava gave her petite little girl.. Jenna realized that the female forced out such feelings on purpose. It was in her demeanor, in the way she held herself in the company of others.. that way she was able to make people think twice before trying anything harmful.

"As such," Ava's smile seemed to impossibly soften even more, it reflecting in her eyes as she stared at the woman whom seemed patiently waiting for her to reveal why she was here in the first place. Much more controlling of her emotions than many others that Ava had come across, "You would want to know if something was amidst, wouldn't you? You would want to know if something was kept in secret that could very well pose a threat to you and those you care for.. even if they themselves are revealed to be the ones 'pulling the wool over your eyes' .. yes?" Ava smiled wider, mischief in her expression as her eyes sparkled with glee, "I know the secret that fits all of those categories, you see. I also would be happy to tell you such, though you may not believe me at first. I offer because it seems only fair; after all I wouldn't want to be the last one to know something.."

Ava leaned forward slightly, tilting her head back upright as her words left her lips in both a dare and as a sinful temptation, "All you have to do.. is gather the courage I suspect is in you to ask."

Jenna was silent for a long moment, her mind frantically trying to make sense of the words directed at her before she steeled herself. The concern and confusion that had been etched upon her expression melted into a look of seriousness. Whatever it was, Jenna knew she had to know .. what she didn't consider was that there was a reason behind Ava coming here in the first place. That the woman in front of her was not only an immortal, but also one of which played a game of chess well. Never lingered twice on how weird her phrasing was..

Ava had seen her much more than the pawn that Jenna was regarded as, left to be boxed in by others and unable to move forward in life. As well as blissfully unaware of what was going on around her. Jenna was left ignorant.. how many times did she come a crossed a vampire that had debated on whether or not Jenna be kept alive?

"I want to know.." Jenna nodded firmly as she stared at the mother and daughter, "Whatever it is, I need to know."

..Oh, I certainly agree.

Ava tried to not look as satisfied on the outsideas she felt on the inside, she nodded gently, watching as Jenna regarded her with an apprehensive expression just as Ava opened her mouth to shatter the last remaining thoughts of 'normalcy' .. and everything Jenna Sommers thought she knew.

Chapter Text

Ava tried to not look as satisfied on the outside as she felt on the inside, she nodded gently, watching as Jenna regarded her with an apprehensive expression just as Ava opened her mouth to shatter the last remaining thoughts of 'normalcy' .. and everything Jenna Sommers thought she knew.

.....

Her dark brown eyes were narrowed with disbelief as Jenna Sommers stared down at the small piece of paper with seven digits written in ink. It was given to her by Ava, after telling her to contact her whenever you deemed herself ready.. whenever the hell that would be. She was overwhelmed by everything that Ava revealed to her. Honesty was enlaced within the voice of person whom claimed to be 'immortal' even when Jenna wished that Ava would have laughed with amusement and stated that she was only joking around.

No such moment came to pass, though.. and Jenna found she had enough rather quickly. Not only that but she was utterly terrified despite her effort not to show it and had demanded that Ava leave. Whether Ava had been truthful or not was a mystery, though it didn't change the fact that Jenna needed answers to whatever the hell that was going on, some kind of elaborate plot hidden from her .. not some kind of story that made her feel utterly stupid just by listening to it..

In her other hand Jenna clutched her cellphone tightly, frustration curled from within her body after trying and failing multiple times to get ahold of Jeremy or Elena. Betrayal surged from within Jenna's veins the more time she stood in her kitchen, the silence shrouded her and left only with her thoughts. She should have been told by someone a long time ago that something was amiss, had a chance to honor her sister's dying wishes and protect the children..

She felt like she had failed, no matter how hard Jenna tried to keep both Elena and Jeremy safe. Starting with the first second Jeremy even thought about trying drugs and ended with whatever was happening nowadays. She found that she hardly was given the time to speak to either teenager, there seemed to anyways be something much more important that arose and redirected their attention from her. She was supposed to be their guardian.. Miranda had entrusted her with her pride and joys, and Jenna felt that for a while all she had succeeding in doing is mucking it up.

She knew what the only other option she had left; and even though Jenna felt uncomfortable with the mere thought of it, she still pursued with it. Placing her phone and the small piece of paper on the counter, the strawberry blonde haired woman stalked out of the kitchen to ascend up the staircase.

Forcing herself to place one foot in front of the other,when she reached the top, Jenna traveled across the landing to come to a standstill before a closed white door. She had invaded Jeremy's room before to collect all of the drugs he had stashed.. but as she opened the door slowly, a soft creaking noise reaching her ears as it revealed an all too familiar room, Jenna never would have counted on ransacking Elena's room in search of anything suspicious hidden within.

She felt as if she didn't know Elena anymore, whom always seemed to be the more responsible sibling out of the two.. and that was only one of the many reasons that Jenna took a step forward into the room, shutting the door quietly behind her.

It was about damned time she found out just what the hell is going on around here..

....

Bonnie moved up the stairs as silently as she could even if she knew she was the only one in the house, still she felt nervous with each creaking sound that erupted underneath her feet. Awareness pulsed through her veins, mixing with adrenaline as her heart pounded in her ears. Bonnie scoffed at herself, feeling foolish in that moment and stopping a pair of white double doors that remembered passing a few times since she had been here.

With the ever present weariness bubbling from within her and her constant fight to dispose of it, Bonnie gripped both of the silvery handles and slowly pulled them towards her. Green eyes widened brightly in awe as Bonnie took in the nursery that was revealed to her eyes. The theme was earthy tones, warm and peaceful. The crib was wooden, hand craved if Bonnie would have guessed -filled with soft blankets, a small pillow and a prestige, flawless white teddy bear with a shimmering silver ribbon around it's neck. Face to face with all this, Bonnie had no doubt in her mind that Ava loved her daughter. Would kill for Aria to be safe, happy.. loved. It was both beautiful and dangerous at the same time, yet was foreign to Bonnie herself. Something that she didn't understand yet respect all the same .. a mother's love.

Moving on and soundlessly shutting the doors behind her, Bonnie came to an off white colored door. Choosing that one as opposed to the soft chestnut one door, Bonnie twisted the door knob to showcase a room that was bordered by cream colored walls, lined with bookcases even though she could have sworn that there was a 'small' library in the house towards the left of the huge staircase. Looking closer at the titles that lined one by one, Bonnie stumbled backwards with the realization that most of them weren't just books, they were Grimoires, diaries from Bennett witches and the history that had come to pass. Clearly Amelia's room.. a Queen sized bed stared back at her and just when Bonnie was going to abandon her search to find out anything about these women.. her eyes caught sight of a simple leather bound book that was half hidden from underneath the pillows.

Cautiously stalking forward, Bonnie pulled it toward her and gently opened the front cover - bypassing the plain white piece of paper to the very first page..

....

There was something about all of this that didn't seem right, or that was what Stefan privately thought as his attempt to call Elena once again went to voice mail.

Was, Stefan could hardly believe he was actually thinking this, Damon right .. about Elena? About Ava? Was Damon actually on the right track and he himself was just being foolish? It wouldn't be the first time over the years and Stefan surely would not count on it being the last. Things had changed so fast nowadays in regard to the woman he called girlfriend and facing the revelations that his older sister was alive..

Stefan chanced a look at his brother, whom sat comfortably in the recliner that he had deemed his favorite chair, nursing a bottle of Bourbon shot by shot.He pursed his lips in thought; trying to piece together what was exactly going on around him and pushing aside the annoyance that swelled within him nowadays. Elena was off doing Heaven only knew what with Elijah, Ava was alive and well - with a few extra enhancements that came with being a member of the undead.. He still didn't know the precise reason why she was here in Mystic Falls and had changed since all those years ago when they were human but she was their sister. Their blood..

Stefan paused abruptly in the pacing that he didn't even know he had begun, Hadn't he witnessed Elena and Alaric walk off during the party last night? Had the hunter acknowledged just what Elena had planned with Elijah? No, The younger Salvatore sibling shook his head in denial before staring off into space, Surely Alaric would have notified either of them at some point if that were the case. Closet Vampire Hunter the History teacher may be - he was still a good person. He would have gotten word out to them if Alaric had known of Elena's plans.

Stefan sighed tiresome when he realized he had more questions than answers, Why did it seem like, no matter how hard he tried to make it better, things always seemed to worsen?

....

Dear Diary..

Okay, so I literally find myself unable to call you that. It sounds so.. depressive when I call you 'Diary' as if I need more companionship than I find myself blessed with. Also I highly doubt anyone would want to find this, who would actually want to read the inner musings of a twenty three year old woman in times such as this? Ava thinks otherwise, and has never let her thoughts be doubted on the subject of 'feminism'. I smile as I recall how much good came into my life after she herself did. Ava thought this to be a good idea, to write down my thoughts .. as if it would help. She has her heart in the right place; an observation I never would have counted on directing a member of the undead. She seems.. different, and as of this moment I am unable to tell if it's good or bad..

The concept she was trying to give me with this empty book is being able to turn the page, so to speak.. being able to move on in spite it all and yet I will forever keep my expectations low. At least so I am not once again let down by circumstances that I will forever keep close to my heart.. even when they constrict it.

I am swollen with child nowadays, the precious gift that Sebastian had given me before he fell ill. With each breath I take, forcing air into my lungs greedily, I feel his spirit around me.. around us. Wrapping us with a protective embrace - knowing that even through death, he loves us.

If my precious bundle turns out to be a boy, he shall take the name of his father - strong, loyal, protective and everything my late husband wasn't. If a girl .. well, the name of her grandmother whom has helped me in Sebastian's steed would be a wonderful, appropriate name.

After all.. Doesn't 'Sheila Bennett' seem like a beautiful name indeed?

Bonnie's bright green eyes widened at the name for a girl, tears blurred her orbs as she lifted a shaky finger to trace two familiar words before darting to the date on the right hand corner in dried ink: Sept. 24, 1941 Her Grams had died at sixty years old, fitting this date perfectly to being born in the early 1940's.. Was it even possible that the mysterious Amelia Bennett was in fact -

Bonnie smoothed her pointer finger once more over the name, trying to steady herself even thought she felt much more lost for answers than what she had started with..

...Grams?

....

The shrilling noise of a ringing phone made Damon wince whilst Stefan scrambled to get his phone out of his pocket.. and from the confused expression etched upon his baby brother's face he was disappointed it wasn't Elena. "Hey, Stefan. It's Jenna." The human unnecessarily informed him 'calmly', yet to Damon - who Jenna had usually directed underlining anger at - was surprised that it was now at his younger brother that everyone tended to like.

Stefan's eyebrows furrowed together in caution, and Damon could hardly conceal his laughter. Saint Stefan was scared of a human? Though, after meeting Jenna first hand and seeing how feisty the woman was, he found he couldn't really place blame.. much to both his regret and amusement. "Jenna, hey.." Damon took delight on how awkward he was becoming, for once it seemed that Stefan didn't know what to say.

"Where's Elena .. and Jeremy? No one's answering their phones." Her voice grew firmer with each word she fired through the phone, not willing to hear his excuses and concerns that Elena wasn't there paired up with the stuttered question if everything was okay. "I have no doubt that you know where she is, Stefan. Don't toy with me. I want to know what exactly is going on and where in heaven's name is my niece and nephew! You tell them that I will be at the Grill with Rick if they don't have any more secrets to keep from me.. or anything they would rather be doing than actually acting like a family."

Stefan's eyebrows shot up in surprise and one look towards Damon clarified that he wasn't the only one surprised, before Stefan's forest green orbs narrowed. What exactly did Jenna think she knew? What was with the sudden anger towards him, when Jenna obviously liked him more than Damon.. wait a minute, Alaric?! Hadn't he literally just been thinking that the teacher had been acting suspicious? Alaric didn't want Jenna to know in an effort to keep her safe - as did Elena - but both of them seemed ..different as of late.. "Jenna, listen to me carefully.." Stefan requested firmly, his eyes darting from side to side in thought before he proceeded in a gentle tone to try to sooth her into doing what he was about to ask, "Whatever you do, do not meet Alaric at the Grill.. I'm going to come over right now and I'll explain everything."

On the other side of the conversation, Jenna's eyebrows went up in frustration at being unable to get an answer for Jeremy or Elena's whereabouts before he hung up. The 'young teenager' even going so far as to try to order her around! Who the hell did he think he was?! Fire smoldered from within her brown eyes, giving her a look that would have made Stefan think twice before heading over.. but made Alaric raise one amused eyebrow in her direction. There was fire in her that he had only witnessed in a hand full of people in his lifetime, Ava being one of them. How interesting are these recent turn of events..

"Who was it that told you?" Alaric tilted his head to the right, eyeing her body language curiously, and smirking softly when she fired back at him that it shouldn't matter how, just that she knew.. that he should have said something. Anything. To be fair Alaric was her boyfriend and if he even thought about keeping something from Ava she would have instantly discovered some way to make him regret such a thing. It surely wouldn't be the first or last time a woman yelled at him.

It was almost funny how much her glare reflected with dangerous intent that he knew for sure Ava embodied whenever she was pissed off at something and/or someone.. He knew such things well - almost as well to the fact that she was the only one that could go toe to toe with him in a screaming match and walk away unscathed. Intuition lit from within the dark brown eyes that he was currently 'borrowing', and amusement curled deep within Klaus's soul behind the facade he wore. "It was Ava Salvatore.." He forced 'his' voice to sound resign as he spoke the surname name of his wife, concealing the feeling of longing that surged from the depths of his soul, "..wasn't it?"

The only answer to his question came silently as she glared heatedly, refusing to answer him or feel guilty that he was correct - arms crossed in visible irritation before Jenna Sommers stepped out of the kitchen to wait for Stefan Salvatore to arrive.. most likely to unleash hell upon the young vampire that Klaus was lucky enough to have a front row seat to.

It was just like Ava to start to grow attached to someone he wished to kill - part of an impending sacrifice to inflict the most damage or not - and therefore labeling them as 'untouchable'. Something that could be as useful as much as it was infuriating at the same time. Regardless, Klaus couldn't help how bemused he felt all the same that she was growing close to the Doppelganger's aunt, and allowed himself to have one last mental inquiry before the doorbell sounded through the otherwise quiet house..

..Pray tell, my beloved wife, what sort of tricks did you acquire during our time apart?

Chapter Text

The dark amber color of Bourbon reflected back into Damon's blue orbs as he stared down at the shot that he was pouring; hell in light of things he was thought he was showing an incredible amount of restraint for not simply claiming the bottle as his own right in this moment in time. ('Never have been balanced or restrained', eh Lexi?) He couldn't help but wonder just how the hell did his life become so fucked up? Years of chasing the ghost that Katherine had portrayed to be, searching desperately for a way to unleash her from the captivity that the darkened depths of the tomb provided.. only to discover that she wasn't in there to begin with. Spending an immeasurable amount of time (Had it really been less than a year? It felt so much longer than that..) chasing Elena Gilbert, Katherine's very human Doppelganger and the supposedly epic love of Stefan's life, only to now contemplate something he had never counted on before.. wondering just how far underneath her familiar face did the likeness of Katherine run deep into Elena's veins.

He supposed he loved to deeply, cared too strongly, to not be able to get hurt somewhere in the end. He was only thankful that he was given the time to conduct an escape route before he was forced to sink or swim once again, abandoned as a forgotten castaway once again. How pathetic he felt to not dig further into it, blinded by both the likeness of Katherine that Elena unknowingly possessed as well as in awe at how much they seemed to differ.. better yet, how could Stefan - whom was actually Elena's boyfriend - not look into it.. What was it about the Petrova Doppelgangers that made everyone around them either fawn over them or want to kill them? Why was he once again left behind; searching for the person who would love him for who he was, left to once again trail after a woman with all of his senses in a daze?

Maybe, just maybe, there was more to Ava's visit after all these years that they have walked amongst the earth; but Damon sure as hell wasn't Stefan. He never was the good brother that always wore an expression of disapproval upon his face. He knew that in spite of these thoughts, Ava had to have had her own reasons for not tracking them down.. even now he was trying not to beat himself up for not being able to find her. Not being able to track her down like he damn well should have been able to. Despite whatever the hell was going on, she was his younger and only sister. The only one who didn't judge him based on his actions or who he was.. and while he was far from blind to the faults that she undoubtedly had, he would love her anyway in spite of them.

His icy blue orbs narrowed as he felt Stefan direct his gaze upon his back as soon as the youngest Salvatore sibling hung up the phone on Jenna Sommers (..Was it strange that he actually wanted to be there to watch Stefan be confronted with a woman that looked ready to spit fire? ...Now, dear Saint Stefan, how does it feel to know that you cannot 'charmingly' talk your way out of this one, eh?) and had to hold back a scoff that threatened to fall from his lips. Was Stefan really looking to see what he would do? Had he not just told him less than an hour ago to back off?!

'If anyone could talk Elijah into helping us kill Klaus, it's her.', Stefan had 'optimisticly' proclaimed.

'She's just looking for a better way..' he tried to justify.

"Look I don't like this any more than you do, but we need to trust her. We gotta let her do her thing." Stefan tried to amend, placing the 'right amount' of trust in his voice as he spoke.

'Back off!' he had eventually demanded.

...And now he wanted Damon to take action? He wanted him to react, whilst he could be able to stare disapproving when it was all over? No, it wasn't going to happen; Damon refused to be played by anyone else and such a thing happened too many damned times not to realistically believe that it wouldn't happen again. Maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow but Damon was positive that it would happen sometime in said future.

Damon rolled his eyes mockingly and turned to Stefan with a false sorrowful look that concealed his irritation, "Wow. You know I'd love to lend you a hand, but you wouldn't want me doing anything stupid." That was a given, and even when Stefan's contemplating expression shifted into one of disapproval; Damon didn't back down. Stefan needed to get his shit together and make up his damned mind: Did he want Damon's help or not? Damon wasn't a mind reader, he couldn't keep tabs on what the hell Stefan wanted from him when said younger sibling couldn't even make up his mind for himself!

It seemed after all this was said and done, they needed to have a nice long talk - preferably before the next upcoming hurdle that posed as a problem hit. Damon felt that despite being the older sibling, he couldn't win against the self proclaimed hero of the story that Stefan embodied within real life. Couldn't measure up to him.. and people really wondered why he acted the way that he did? Why people wondered upon the reason he refused to meet other peoples' expectations on what he should be? ....Really?

Damon was suspicious on how Stefan had reacted when Alaric was mentioned, and while the elder immortal hadn't talked to Ric in a lengthy conversation in about a week, not counting the brief one last night at the decade school dance when he were on the look out for Klaus.. but Damon would have at least liked to think that Alaric wasn't the reason behind Stefan's suspicion. That all those Thumber and Squirrely look alikes had gone straight to Stefan's head that didn't seem balanced by his copper colored 'hero hair'..

Silently, Damon smirked darkly at the sight of Stefan's dark caterpillar eyebrows furrowed together in frustration that reflected on his face, "..It's really going to be like this?" Stefan's voiced question insinuated that Damon was being childish in spite for everything going on lately; as if instead of being the older sibling he was a toddler that didn't get his way. Had he forgotten already that it was Damon that was the one to conduct a plan to track down Elena and stop her from doing something stupid; something that would get her killed? ..Maybe it wasn't just Stefan; maybe younger sibling simply thought that they knew better and Ava was apart of the abnormal five percent left over? It was definitely something to think about...

Damon shrugged as he stared into Stefan's forest green eyes with a smug expression etched upon his own face, grasping hold of the Bourbon bottle with the hand that wasn't holding his shot glass he raised an unimpressed eyebrow at his brother before raising the shot glass to his mouth. "You and your girlfriend seem to be calling all the shots, Steffy. I seem to be able to clearly recall how you 'ordered' me to back off. Maybe next time you should make up your damn mind on what you want," Damon's voice steadily grew colder, taking a large step forward towards Stefan with his smirk deepening as it curved on his lips, "..Or at the very least? Learn some respect. I'm not one of your little friends from school - either you want my help or not. Pick one and stick with it because I'm not going to sit off on the sidelines waiting for you to make up your damned mind." Damon sneered at Stefan's expression that told him that Stefan didn't know what to say or how to react to his words. He murmured twelve words that seemed to echo in the shrouded silence that engulfed the room, before leaving Stefan to his own devices as he went to hunt down Andie.

"Do yourself and everyone else a favor Stefan.. Get your shit together."

His eyes sparked with intent after he tracked down his news reporter by following in the direction of her pounding heart beat, waiting for the exact moment that he sure Stefan left for the Gilbert house before putting his new plan in motion. After all, if everyone else could go rogue to do whatever they wanted - surely he could do the same exact thing as well.

And he knew the precise place to start with.. it was time to see if Alaric was involved with any of this as Stefan seemed to want to believe.

....

Elijah pursed his lips together in an act of contemplation as he looked over Amelia Bennett's form from where they still sat comfortably within the livingroom of the Lockwood mansion. He couldn't shake the overwhelming feeling that came with the debt Ava unknowingly carried over his head, even after all these years. She was the woman that was carefully composed unless provoked or threatened, someone that went above and beyond to make sure those she cared for were safe; even if she had to risk her own life and limb to ensure it was so.

For not the first time since meeting the beautiful woman that was both compassionate and dangerous whom became his sister-in-law; Elijah sensed the regret curl within his stomach whilst moving through his veins to dominate the nonbeating heart housed within his body. It was something that lingered on the outskirts of his mind whenever he thought of the image that came of tears running down her face the very night that Mikael chased them from New Orleans, powerful motherly urges moving her to fight against Niklaus' firm hold as he towed her away, kicking outright and wordless scream cutting through the cool air in her fight to get to Marcel's fallen body in the opera house's stage in which he was left to die at Mikael's deadly hand..

Even now, decades later, Elijah had nightmares of her piercing scream that voiced her need for revenge in the steed of the one she had proudly called her son. Loved Marcel as her own child despite the fact he had not been birthed from her womb.. it was the pained scream he remembers feeling helpless to as both he and Rebekah watched pitifully as Klaus snapped her neck in order to get her away from the burning city and to safety. A sheer act that Elijah never believed Ava had forgiven Niklaus for; despite the comfort they had found in each other.. despite how he felt when Rebekah recalled to him in detail how Ava had cried and screamed Marcel's name in anguish even as she slept..

A part of her had died that night, Elijah held no doubt, and around the space that Marcel had taken up.. everything else that was due to Marcel.. had shattered. It was only the ones around her that kept her upright.. kept her alive and made sure that she fed.

A regretful sigh fought it's way past his lips seemingly on it's own accord, trying to shake the mental image of how he remembered Ava's eyes quickly had become as dead as she had felt on the inside.. shining with tears... before he forced himself to focused back on the present. Come now Elijah, you should know better than to reflect upon things you cannot change... no matter how much you may wish for it.. "I take it that the Martin Warlocks are no longer with us..?"

It was supposed to come out as a statement, yet there was something enlaced within his voice that was distant and thoughtful; making Amelia narrow her eyes softly as she thought over his question. She still didn't know what to make of him and the connection that anchored them together; but for now she guessed it was enough that Ava trusted him with her life. Despite of the history between the two of them that may have a hazardous concoction of good intentions and bad blood here and there.

Warlocks from the Martin family line.. Why did that last name sound familiar to her? She personally hadn't met face to face with one of them for Ava's protective ability to keep her away from the Mikaelson family drama. Yes, there were allies affiliated with the prestigious Mikaelson family but over the course of a thousand years - there were enemies that lingered within the world as well.. She smoothed her lips into a grim line before answering him, "Most likely. I have not come face to face with a Martin witch or warlock; so I am positive that if they were here in Mystic Falls - as you are suggesting.." She abruptly stopped herself from speaking, knowing he would be able to grasp her line of thought as well as what she didn't.. it better yet couldn't bring herself to say.

As a witch or warlock, whichever gender the magical being was even thought it need not matter in the end, around vampires - Amelia found it to be messy business all around; or she could amend that statement as 'sometimes'. Ava had changed her views on the things that Amelia had firmly believed before their very first meeting had taken place. Maybe it was also not only affiliated with the Mikaelson family.. but also the Bennett line? She didn't know the answer to such a question..

Elijah raised an eyebrow at her in surprise, as if he expected her to know different.. as if he expected a much different answer. "..Never?" He tilted his head sideways as he questioned her answer with one spoken word.

With an arched eyebrow she nodded her head in confirmation, waiting through a beat of silence before speaking.. a curious feeling pulsing through her veins as if she needed to explain herself to him. How... how perplexing this all was to her. "Ava kept me hidden from that of Mikaelson family." She voiced slowly, acknowledging that he must have been out of the picture for such a time in order to not know this to be fact.. "As well as their allies and enemies alike."

It was a fact that Ava seemed hellbent on archiving, by any means necessary, and Amelia was thankful that the female Salvatore fought for such a thing to come to pass.. However she could not even begin to comprehend that Elijah himself had a thought within similar lines of her own.. for reasons much alike hers,reasons that made him grateful that Ava had shielded her from all. Even the ones the two of them loved and called family..

"And what of Katerina?" A frown twisted upon his lips as he briefly thought of the vampire that was known for causing trouble wherever she went with a trail of dead bodies following closely behind her. It could not happy this time, not with his mate in the equation along with Ava and Aria.. He could not and certainly would not allow harm to rest upon them. "After being daggered the compulsion that I had on her to keep her entrapped within the tomb would have been released.. if she possessed the means as well as the alliance of witch or warlock -"

Amelia, who had been silently watching him from where she sat across from Elijah, spoke gently as she wondered just what this powerful original vampire was weary of Katerina Petrova - or as she had changed her name to Katherine Pierce. "I have reason to doubt that she had a choice to stay in a 'five star hotel'." She reflected with amusement as she remembered Ava's ecstatic behavior and how she reassured Amelia that every would indeed be alright; despite the fact that she didn't go into detail on how she knew for certain that everything would be getting better.

Amelia leaned forward from her seat on the couch, eyeing him with mischief reflecting with the sunlight that succeeded to gaze upon their forms from the outside world. She entrusted Ava with both her life as well as Bonnie's, feeling safe in the thought that the immortal would once again do anything to make it so - even if it went fighting with her husband and the father of her beloved baby girl to do so.

"I have reason to suspect that she is being held captive as we speak, as death would be a too kind of action from anyone crossed by Katherine Pierce.." Amelia Bennett paused for effect before smirking at the vampire across from her, wanting to discover exactly where his loyalties lied ... blood or water? Friend or foe? Would he see Ava and anyone whom trusted her as his own personal enemy if she was on Klaus' side as Amelia knew that the female Salvatore sibling would always be? Was there too much bad blood between both Klaus and Elijah for them to remain on the same side? She guessed she was about to find out.. "I believe his birth name is indeed 'Niklaus' .. is it not?"

Amelia's smirk widened, curving her lips into an almost smile at the sight of his shell shock dominating his facial features. Perhaps Ava is becoming an influence upon her being surrounded by all that sarcasm housed deep within that lithe body..

Even so, Amelia found she didn't mind that much.. she just hoped that he could be recruited to their side if he wasn't already; though for the life of her couldn't understand why.

....

The doorbell sounded through the house, ringing through his ears along with the accompaniment of two heartbeats pounding from the depths of the house. Stefan mentally shrugged, after all it was most likely Jeremy whom no doubt had the same exact questions regarding where Elena was; answering his phone when Jenna called him. After only a momentary pause that came with someone moving towards the door, it opened revealing Jenna's face and even when it was stern, almost cold in a way that the human had never regarded him before - Stefan couldn't help but be relieved that she had listened to him, heeding his warning despite her justified confusion.

He only wondered just how to proceed from the point on.. Was he willing to disregard Elena's wishes to keep her aunt in the dark? Was he willing to pay the consequences that came with such actions due to giving her such knowledge? Stefan smiled gently to try and soften her up to him, a move that succeeded with countless others in the past, before moving around her stiff form and into the house due to fact that such a conversation was most unwise to have in anything less than a private setting. "Jenna, thank you so much for not going to the Grill."

"Don't thank me yet.. You don't order me around. Truthfully I expected more from you.." Jenna shook her head 'sadly', whilst growling her words lowly at him, her eyes flashing with both irritation and betrayal - the second one directed at him since he was here, now, while Elena and Jeremy weren't. For whatever the hell excuse they would later come up with.. "You don't get to come into my house without me allowing you to, remember that for future reference instead of pushing pass me and channeling your hidden, inner dick attitude-"

"Woah.." Stefan blinked in surprise at the attitude that he knew she possessed, yet kept a safe distance from as she unleashed it upon Damon.. just what had he done to deserve her to - ? He raised his hands up, palms facing her, in an action of defense. "I am sorry. I would have spoken more on the phone but this isn't something I would be able to make you thoroughly understand on the phone. To do so would be impersonal and-"

"Stefan.." She spoke his name firmly, trying to cut him off but he just kept speaking about how he could talk to her about it now and how he truly didn't know where Elena was today.. that he wasn't covering for her. It seemed as if he was trying like hell to stay on her good side, something that made him ramble in an attempt to prove to her that she didn't have to be angry with him. Was it guilt that made him speak as quickly as he possibly could? It was only when he saw her eyes gaze over his shoulder, a calm heartbeat echoing within his ears that he twisted to stare at the person that actually snuck up on him.. His words slowly died off as he locked eyes with Alaric's. A smirk twisted widely upon Alaric's face that was the same brand of diabolical that he witnessed on Damon's face more than a thousand times over the span of their existence.. and held no doubt that it spelled trouble with a capital 'T'. Something was wrong with him, more so than Stefan had ever realized beforehand in passing.

The suspicion he had before coming over here as well as aware cemented from within the depths of his immortal body as stared, locking his eyes with Alaric's that were glinting suspiciously with dark intent..

"Hey there, Stefan." The human that was teacher by day - vampire hunter by night greeted him almost pleasantly; his voice hardly strained by that of which Stefan knew came with possession.. and yet it seemed too calm - too amused in light of things. There was also something in the way that his body moved as Alaric took one step forward towards them that immediately sent Stefan on edge with the mental waving of a red flag. It only served to make Stefan shift sideways in an attempt to hide Jenna from view.

If the man before them was not a hundred percent Alaric as they were all led to believe.. just who was he and how had he lasted so long to avoid suspicion? The answer to such a question was not spoken outright, though his brain betrayingly supplied an answer nevertheless. Could it have been though? ..Klaus never did seem to show up at the Decade Dance last night, even when he had gone so far as to compel one of their fellow classmates - a female by the name of Dana - to give a special shout out for Elena to stir fear in them.. to be on guard. Why would he have gone through that much trouble to miss out on the fear that he wanted to inflict upon them? Why wouldn't he show his face when he wanted to get to Elena? It didn't seem right.. not at all.

..And it turned out, that they had every right to be weary. Stefan's forest green eyes widened in horror as he remembered how confused he had been watching Elena walk off with Alaric last night; realization resting heavily in his gut along side with guilt.. how could he not have realized all of this sooner? His very human girlfriend that was a doppelganger.. had been kidnapped last night and he had never even realized it was a possibility. Alaric was a trusted member of their inner circle of people that worked to keep Elena alive .. how could he not have..?!

Klaus turned up last night at the dance alright, hiding in plain view whilst wearing the fact of someone Elena trusted. They had been arrogant, wanting to believe that Klaus was just a myth.. that Elena was safe from some lowly vampire who pretended to be apart of the Original vampire family. When really it was a plan to give them a false sense of security.. Klaus didn't show up at the dance with his own face like they had been expecting. He had successfully; easily - blindsided them.. as if it were as simple as taking candy from a baby..

"..How's it going?" 'Alaric' finished greeting him, a near taunt in his voice as he allowed a knowingly glint shine brightly in his orbs, his mouth broadening into a cheeky smile - silently confirming Stefan's thoughts to be true even when he didn't voice an answer. He didn't need to.. Amusement etched upon his expression as he stared at whatever Stefan's own facial expression gave away, most likely to the terror that now dominated his emotions as he faced the person that Stefan was pretty damned sure was Klaus in disguise..

...Holy. Fucking.. Shit.

Chapter Text

Breathless is hereby progressing to Chapter 14. I am excited to keep this moving. I also wanted to take the time to address one very important thing that has come up in the reviews from multiple users:Firstly, I love that you are loving this story. Though Nik, Ava and Aria are not technically 'reunited', it will happen soon. Hopefully in the next chapter… hopefully. For now I shall try to keep you content with flashbacks, insight in Klaus's mind, a dash of Amelia and Elijah, some Bonnie… and how Ava and Klaus know each other so well that they unknowingly - sort of - mimick each other. :) More than 4,000 words, yay!

I present to you all: Breathless chapter 14: Beauty and the Beast. I truly hope that you all like it.

Bright blue orbs shone with only half concealed glee as their owner stared tentatively at the dark beauty before him, warily casting her gaze upon the goblet of blood in her hand before she looked at him… frantically searching his face in an effort to unveil any secrets that might have bled through the blank expression that he hid behind. The right corner of his lips began to twitch upwards into a ghost-like smile that seemed to be out of place on his face as he recalls such a time, seemingly only yesterday, when he too had the very same untrusting, disgruntled expression that now mirrored her own. Precisely he had such a familiar expression was concealed with uncertainty… it was a time somewhere after Esther and Mikael forced immortality upon them. After he had willingly faced Mikael's wrath once again for trying to shelter Rebekah from any further harm at the hands of their 'family' - at the hands of him.However it was also long before he had come to accept what he was - that hidden part within him that even he knew not was there; accepting it even if no one else in his family did. Before he forced himself to shed away the morals of a human to adapt as the immortal creature he was forced into…

For years he wandered the earth; lost but finding fascination in all the different cultures around him, discovering something new just when he thought he had witnessed it all. Though for all his amusements, admittedly sadistic or otherwise, nothing could grant him what he desired the most: a sense of redemption. To be the man that he was meant to be ,unrestrained by anyone or anything. That was what made him so … perplexed about Ava Salvatore, there was just something about her that shone an illuminated light in the darkness that had previously shrouded him. He could tell that she was doing it unknowingly, how she vibrated a foreign sensation within him when she smiled that made even the wolf take pause from within the depths of his cage. All Klaus knew with certainty was there was a hollow place to the left of his chest that had pulled harshly at the sight of this young beauty dying of blood loss, slumped against that tree trunk. Would anyone miss her after her soul departed from this world? A painful ache enveloped his insides that made him take forcible action in order to heal her… to attempt to save her even though he knew naught why.

What was it, exactly, about her that ensnared him so easily? What arose such thoughts and feeling within a man that previously scoffed at the mushy, disgustingly weak emotions that were more reserved for Elijah and Rebekah rather than he? What ever happened to the 'We do not feel and we do not care' speech that he had given to Elijah when he was going to make the grave mistake of falling for Katerina Petrova? If, of course, Elijah hadn't already done so by that time. Who precisely did this beautiful stranger think she was - invoking such thoughts and feelings within him? It almost made him infuriated with her for conflicting him so. If she were anyone else, Klaus was certain that he would have ripped her throat out and/or left her to die - like he should have been able to do. She would have been yet another casualty left behind in Katerina's wake; death was already creeping upon her when he had discovered her… and yet he found himself unable to abandon her. The wolf within him pounded against the cage that housed him, the growl resounding from it's throat made the protest it held undoubtedly clear.

He couldn't help but cradle her protectively to his person, even after the moment had passed of her dying in his embrace with his blood in her system. On autopilot he carried her bridal style all the way to his home in New Orleans; hovering over her form until Rebekah, finally having enough, kicked him out of his own room to dress her into something much more suitable and a lot less… bloody.

It was after she tentatively took a sip of the blood that he finally gave into the urge to step forward, grabbing her gently as the blood immediately tantalized her newly awakened senses to life and urges her to carb her newfound hunger. He cradles her with uncharacteristic softness, trying to sooth her to the best of his ability as her vampiric fangs pierce through her gums with the anguish he had counted on as much as he dreaded. As he holds her, Klaus desperately attempts to shake off the thoughts plaguing his mind as it betrayingly tells him that he is the cause of her pain… that he forced her into this life just like how Mikael and Esther had done to him - them. He watches her with softened eyes; all too aware how Elijah watches him in turn, as Ava easily fills the motherly role that Marcellous never had - before she even seems to realize that she is doing so. He watches after her as she brightens up Rebekah's days with laughter, shopping and consoling the blonde's raging fears of never being good enough for anyone … as she cares for Marcellus whilst partaking in a full fledged, intellectual debate with Elijah on various subjects - and somehow Klaus knows that Ava Salvatore was going to become both his greatest weakness as well as his strength… his redemption and quite possibly the one thing that could very well be the end of him.

...And as he allows himself to give into the temptation of discovering just who Ava Salvatore is; what she likes and dislikes … the more he knows about her - the more he cannot stop himself from falling in love with her little by little. The warm sensation consuming his insides and heating the stilled blood within his veins almost makes him feel human for the first time in quite a few hundred years. It makes him start to pursue her with earnest, makes him want to charm her like she unknowingly did to him… and with every smile he catches sight of gracing her lips, somehow all his previous worries start to melt away. He attempts to brush off the foreign ache to be around her more for as much as he wants to be in her presence as much as possible, he wants even more to shield her from the horrors he knew all too well existed. Monsters whom walked the earth, cold and unattached … a phantom to everyone around them that blissfully lived their whole life completely unaware of just how close that they had come to death. Klaus knew this all too well, for he had unashamedly been one for the better part of a couple hundred years now… which begged the question that hadn't crossed his mind beforehand:

He knew of infatuation and of worldly lust; had chased after Tatia gleefully every time she bat her long eyelashes at him… before playfully pouting her lips at Elijah. He had forced himself to become unfeeling to it all once he realized exactly what was going on … and that, no matter how hard he tried, he would never be good enough for her. For probably anyone that he pursued. The feelings that he currently felt for the lovely Ava Salvatore… seemed to be so much more than any word could be used to describe, stripping down his defenses and leaving him bare in her soft, gentle hands for him to inspect. To care or to destroy.

Was this… whatever the hell that this all was… really what love felt like? ...And was it even possible for the beast he had been claimed by so many in all his lifetime to be … allowed to love such a beauty?

Behind eyes that were not his own, Klaus was filled with an immeasurable amount of amusement at the sight of Stefan Salvatore shifting protectively in front of Jenna Sommers. As if he meant the human harm, how humorous it was to see the Ripper of Monterey shift onto the defensive at just a few spoken words… someone that ripped apart their victims had not only been looking at the feisty human in front of him with a facial expression that might have been on a guilty child that stole a cookie before eating their dinner, but also quickly pieced together who he was behind the mask. Amusing since Rippers have been known to be possibly the most feral, predatory vampires; savage and beast-like despite their human appearance. A hidden layer under their skin that demanded to be set free to wreak havok upon others. The protectiveness for Jenna was an unnecessary action, though Stefan knew naught that, for Ava held her own hand of protection over this human and he dared not even think of going against it.

I have seen more than my fair share of the glorious temper that Ava possessed, thank you very much, Klaus mused to himself smartly, easily recalling just how breathtaking and fiery his mate was when she let loose her protective streak against some poor soul that dared to challenge her. That's my Queen, Klaus hummed lowly to himself in both agreement with his thoughts as well as to mock Stefan before he made Alaric's head tilt slightly to the right, adopting a curious air as he stared at the two before him. "Hmm… I didn't know that you were expecting anymore company, Jenna." He stated innocently and pretended not to hear her murmur under her breath about how 'That's because I wasn't.' before continuing on, "Though I guess 'the more - the merrier', right? If he is welcome, of course. Shall we move our discussion to the kitchen, then?"

Not waiting for an answer from Jenna, Alaric turned away from the duo and continued forward to the desired destination for lunch. A smirk curved darkly upon his lips, growing with each step that he took as the revised joke of 'A feisty human, a Ripper and a possessed human all sit down for lunch…' instantly came to mind.

Ah, yes. This should very well provide some entertainment.

….

"I believe his birth name is Niklaus … is it not?"

Those nine words that Amelia Bennett had spoken with such ease, with a fearless tone of voice whilst she uttered the name of quite possibly the most temperamental Mikaelson of all, was enough to make Elijah take pause. His dark orbs shifted side to side with confusion as he stared at her. Questions plagued his mind, and he had begun to mentally compose a list on the things that he did know.

One.) Amelia seemed to be too comfortable voicing the name that struck fear into the hearts of many in the time span of a thousand years. That meant that either Niklaus, whom he doubt that she had ever met prior to this date, had (unknowingly) done something or another to earn her favor or … Or she trusted Ava to protect her. Even if it was from Ava's mate and husband … the father of her precious miracle.

Two.) Ava was back in the birthplace of not only the beginning in which his family was turned into vampires but also the very ground she played as a child. By now, she would have discovered her brothers being here - as well as Elena Gilbert… and so would have Niklaus. The Original Hybrid and his (contained) wolf's mate in such close proximity with the very human doppelganger. Coincidence? Elijah didn't believe in such things. He also highly doubted that Ava, despite the long and complicated history she had with Klaus, would let anything happen to the ones she loved and cared for. Klaus being one of the very few that could go to and from her list of 'foes' to the list of the ones she would protect even at the cost of her own life.

This led to the third and final thought of which Elijah knew for certain… That if he continued with his revenge plans to kill Klaus to avenge the rest of their family… he would also be going against Ava. He held no doubt that She would try her very best to rip his heart from his chest before she too died… that she would drag him into the grave with her if he killed her husband. The only man that she ever loved. Could he let go of the need to avenge the rest of their family that he suspected that Niklaus had killed? Could hr continue on knowing that he would be in the company of such a man - unable to do anything whilst Klaus wreaked havoc upon everyone around them? That if not he - then Amelia would be in danger - simply for being tied to him? No. He couldn't allow that, couldn't afford any leeway or error when it came to Niklaus. He had see that happen to others too many times before and could do nothing other than watch helplessly as they were killed for such delusions - errors. Before, Elijah had felt as if their deaths were somehow justified - for the people had done one thing or another to earn the wrath of Niklaus… but it was here, now that…

It was, however, the next thought he had which had to be the Devil's advocate … in which Niklaus had lied to stir such emotions within him. That their brothers as well as their little sister were daggered and hidden somewhere - away from him and, perhaps even more importantly, away from Mikael for as long as Klaus could help it. Finn the longest out of them all: how would he be able to operate as a vampire when he was never given the chance to do so? When Finn hated, more so than any of the others, what he was turned into? What price would his sanity pay for such actions… such thoughts?

Elijah snapped his attentions toward Amelia again, whom was watching him with keen awareness. His every movement followed closely with her eyes as if she expected him to do something dangerous… something that would force her hand to act; despite how he previously sworn her no harm. It was if she expected him to snap at the mere sound of his brother's name… to confirm or deny any of the assumptions that she no doubt held over his head until future notice. He took pause before parting his lips to answer her question, wondering if she truly understood the pros, cons and effects of which side she had clearly chosen… and how fast Niklaus would rip your throat out if he thought you were a liability that he couldn't afford to keep. "Yes, it is."

He gazed upon her face with intrigue bleeding through his own expression, and as he opened his mouth to question her; he found himself praying that she wouldn't be yet another casualty that Klaus left behind in his wake. He had hoped that Ava would protect her, that she herself hadn't changed since the last time that they saw each other and that Amelia's trust was naught misplaced. That this upcoming war will pass as quickly as it would come. He would protect her with his life if need be, though she knew not why, for he had spent a thousand years in anticipation for the day that they would finally come face to face.

It was not long before a black hearse possessing an out of state license plate came to a slow, steady halt upon the back roads of Mystic Falls. From the illuminated depths of the car, the driver smirked widely at the sight of a familiar, breathtaking beauty that sat calmly upon the hood of her car with her legs crossed neatly, bouncing a small child in her arms that seemed keen on playing with her hair. The woman didn't look up at the car that took pause in front of her, though she undoubtedly had been waiting for them to cross her path. Should have known, the man in the driver's seat thought to himself with amusement as another woman in the back gave a near silent huff; uncaring if it would be heard but nevertheless was promptly ignored as he got out of the vehicle calmly to greet her with a slow nod in a show of respect. The sun shone from above; casting it's rays upon his form of twenty years of age, dark hair and his pale face that had a rare smile upon his normally stern expression.

"Hello again… Maddox." Ava smirked widely as she stared at him with glee, for she held no doubt that her husband's body was being charted in the back of the hearse in front of her to an unknown location that was secure enough to make the transition from Alaric's body to Nik's own. She couldn't wait to lay eyes upon him again… to watch as he held their daughter in his arms and known that, despite all the odds that still remained against them, they kept her safe and would continue to do so. Making sure that she was loved; protected, and would strike down thousands in her name as each one rose against her. Against them. "It's been awhile since we last spoken to each other… Tell me what is it, exactly, that you have been up to?"

After a moment, Ava smirked tauntingly past him and it was upon the wind that swayed her long brown locks gently that also made her voice carry towards the witch that had refused to get out to greet her. She who respected her only to a certain extent in the name of Klaus; for said witch always desired the powerful immortal that she couldn't have. I shall try my best to act as if I am despaired to see Nik sacrifice her in the ritual… maybe. Ava smirked wider, drawing the witch out with a 'solemn' shake of her head, "Come on now, Greta… and here I had hoped that you would develop some manners in our time apart. Such a pity that it seems not to be so."

….

Bonnie plopped lazily onto the leather material of the couch, her mind still spinning haphazardly at the revelation that Amelia was indeed her Gram's mother; the information still plaguing her even after five lengthy minutes of relinquishing her search. The young woman had so many questions, so much confusion shrouding both her mind and heart… with not enough answers. Why hadn't Amelia told Bonnie herself about their relationship? About the blood that the both of them shared? How was she still alive? Here, now, and looking around thirty years of age - wielding the magical craft of their ancestors, and obviously not a vampire? Grant it, Bonnie highly doubted that she would have believed the older witch even if she had spoken up about their blood relations but still, it was the point that mattered. With growing regret, Bonnie realized almost immediately that she never really asked Amelia why she cared so much; despite the fact that the pair of them were complete strangers prior to their meeting a few days before.

No, Bonnie had been so concerned with finding a way out of this shiny, beautiful cage that the two elder women kept her cooped up in - that she didn't really care who they were. Did the revelation of Amelia's last name change anything now that Bonnie knew the truth though? Bonnie didn't really know the answer to that question, though she wanted it to. She wanted to at least pretend that someone out there in the world would put her first. She wanted things to become easier - better - for her… but could she really allow her morals to become compromised because of that wish? In the name of people that always took more than she was ever willing to give? As of late, no matter how much she most likely would never be able to admit it out loud; Bonnie privately thought that Elena somehow got on that list when she wasn't looking. Sitting here in this house with nothing to do beside snoop, Bonnie reflected on her life and realized that these hours were the longest that she had ever gone without someone demanding her to do magic. All these people were asking of her was to simply live… why was that so hard for her to accept though?

Bonnie dreams of how it used to be, how she used to be, with longing in her heart. Yet life hardened her; bodies started dropping, a hundred year old witch decided that it was a good idea to haunt and possess her, her Grams dying and it left her feeling more alone than ever. She never wanted any of this, never imagined her life becoming stranger than she actually thought it was… had cringed at the idea of shifting into the Wicked Witch of the West with jade colored skin and a pointed black hat. There were so many guidelines that came with having magic, so many restrictions, that it actually sucked to have all this power at your disposal. All it ever seemed to give her was tears, heartbreak and anguish; but could she really just stop using it? Was that even a option to consider?

The front door creaked open then, making Bonnie twitch with alarm as she was forced to come out of her previously occupied thoughts that had her so consumed that she didn't even hear a car pull up. Her ears tuned into the person as they spoke to another with a dangerous warning upon their lips, "Don't you dare make me regret this." Amelia, Bonnie's mind supplied instantly as soon as she recalled the voice with ease, and there was hurt within her heart as she wondered silently if anyone (Elena.) noticed her absence… or better yet, even cared. She couldn't force away the nagging guilt of her previous behavior as it cup into her insides, into her heart. She is only trying to help, right? Ava out of loyalty to Amelia - but Amelia, herself, out of blood. Bonnie questioned herself with conflicting emotions, Besides, anyone who could raise someone to become as wise, considerate and passionate as Grams had been.. Cannot be all that bad. Though who is she with though? Bonnie pulled her body up from the couch with confusion as Amelia specially allowed the person to come inside after giving verbal consent… Vampire.

"Bonnie?" Amelia's voice seemed to echo off the walls, searching for the young teenager before moving further into the house when Bonnie simply called back to her, letting her know that she was in the living room. When she finally emerged, Amelia offered her a raised eyebrow; her expression torn between amusement and knowing; making Bonnie rightfully guess that Amelia somehow sensed that she had snooped through the house and was more amused than anything else that the younger witch had thought that she was able to get away with it. "We'll deal with that later. Now? We have a guest and I wish for the both of you to play nice."

Bonnie tilted her head to the side in confusion, her lips parting to voice a question just as a shadow that reflected off the wall behind Amelia slowly emerged into the light. Heart pounding within her throat; Bonnie stared wide eyed, her posture stiffening as the vampire before her regarded her with cooled, dark eyes. "Good afternoon, Miss Bennett." He nodded his head in greeting, in an almost gentlemanly fashion, as if he disregarded the history that the both of them had that made him untrustworthy as far as she was concerned. She supposed that she could make an effort to 'play nice' like Amelia wanted, for he didn't ever aim to harm her… but it was the fact that he used Luca and Dr. Martin to play her as a fool; aiming for her to die just like everyone else in an effort to kill Klaus.. That made him untrustworthy in her eyes. His name slipped through her lips then, as she wondered what made Amelia give him this chance. What made her allow him access to Ava's home, without consulting the she-vamp on whether or not she would mind? Why not Damon or Stefan - Ava's brothers - even if Bonnie trusted the both of them as far as she trusted Elijah. She herself may not regard him as anything more than a hungry, great white shark running solely on his animalistic instincts at the first sign of blood but Amelia… She had to believe, given everything she had learned whilst both Amelia and Ava were away, that Amelia wouldn't allow anything to come near her if it posed a threat and she could prevent it. Thus, she nodded her head a faction in his direction, trying to present herself as 'civil' as her mind raced a mile a minute; wondering what she was to do now.

"...Elijah."

I thank you all for reading my story. If you could leave a quick review, I would really appreciate it.

Chapter Text

Damon had to use all of his vampiric, heightened senses to drive back to the Salvatore Boarding House so he wouldn't crash his car into a fucking tree. Sure, he would be able to walk away unscathed but the damages to his precious vehicle would be a pain in the ass. His grip on the leather of the steering wheel tightened momentarily as his eyes once again became unfocused to the world around him, as he entertained some of the wayward thoughts that ran amuck around his brain.

For the first time in the last few days, something actually made sense... something had clicked together something else, even if the rest of it remained a jumbled mess. To make it even better, Damon figured it out without Stefan leaning in over his shoulder and steal all of the glory... without having to swallow his pride and ask Bonnie to help fix the situation... without Elena around to try and rope him into something or another. As a new threat came to town and - out of every other person that lived in Mystic Falls - decided to end her life. He used to believe it was only because Elena was born to wear Katherine's face, now he wasn't sure. After all, it could have been solely due to the fact of just how much trouble exactly that the doppelgangers tended to cause. In fact, as sad as it would be to some... these hours without being surrounded by Elena's whining and attempted guilt tripping was actually the most peaceful experience that Damon had in... months? Years? If only he had a shot of Bourbon to raise up for a toast to his sad existence.

Nevertheless, he had first known that something was wrong when he had opened the front door of Alaric's apartment only to come face to face with Katherine, who was literally magically sealed inside with a 'no invite, no entry' type of party (and once you're in, you can't get out apparently..) and Damon found that he had trouble keeping his stoic, emotionless expression when he was suddenly face to face with ... her. It wasn't because she had a hold over him like she did when he was a human, because she didn't. Not anymore now that he saw her for what she truly was: a psychotic bitch who only loved and thought of herself.

It actually didn't matter now as an afterthought, as she was nothing to him... the dulling sting within his stomach and heart that the initial surprise left momentarily set aside. What mattered the most right this second was, as much as he cringed away from the very thought... was that Stefan had been right. Ric had to be involved somehow, since Katherine was there and all (And he could think of quite a few 'Rapunzel' jokes right this minute for the woman that thought herself to be of royalty. Tch. More like the old, manipulative hag of the story if anyone had even bothered to consult him on the matter.) ... and then there was the 'impending doom' that Klaus represented.

Fucking think, Damon. His conscience that had shifted from Stefan's smug voice that oozed self-entitlement... sounded suspiciously like Ava's unimpressed tone of voice, kind of like the one she used when she had first found out about Elena. It growled lowly at him with frustration, and it was at this point where he wondered if he had finally gone crazy. Really, what was the worse voice to have as your conscience? The brother that thinks so lowly of you can do nothing right with him suspecting you to have an alternative motive... or the sister that you searched the globe for? Whom you had desperately tried to find her even if she ended up being in a grave ... only to be discovered her more than a hundred years later, in the very same place where it all started?

...Did she even look for me? For us, her brothers... you know, mainly me though?

You are no more crazy than you were yesterday... thought that might be stretching it. Ava's voice cut in with a near playful scoff. Now, stop with the pity party. You've got a brain for a reason, Salvatore - use it. Damon sighed in exhaustion in response, the huff of air heavy as he left his lips before he parked his car on the side of the road that he was on... and it was within the silence that surrounded him and less than a full minute to connected the dots.

"Funny..." He remembers drawling out with a careless air as he studly began to analyze the female before him and for the first time that Damon could ever recall.. Katherine Pierce looked completely uncomposed and had the usual 'I am ten steps ahead of you and you don't even know it yet. Do try to keep up' aura that she always seemed to have. Instead she looked like the previously naughty little mouse that was too damn sneaky for it's own good... whom had been caught by the cat and kept around only as a source of dark amusement.

Good, Damon thought viciously as he stared at her with indifference after getting over his shock of what was going on, after everything she had done everyone that she had screwed over - to him, to Stefan ...to Ava - Katherine deserved nothing less.

"I would have thought that we saw the last of you now that Klaus is waiting somewhere in the wings... not camping out here. You know Ric has a girlfriend, right? I mean, not that it ever stopped you before but..." He eyed her suspiciously with a slow show of tilting his head to the left before continued snarkly - but ignored her completely when Katherine opened her mouth to speak a few times yet nothing had come out. "And here we all thought you did us all a favor, crawl underneath a rock somewhere and-" Damon made a show of shrugging his shoulders once before nodding his head slowly a few times as he spoke, his eyes sparkling as he blissfully looked off into the apartment behind her, "You know? Die."

Katherine visibly frowned at how he had put emphasis on the last word, her pouted lower lip added a look to her that twisted something bitter and painful in his gut... because damn it all if Elena didn't wear the same fucking expression when she didn't get her way. It was the same one; right down to the look of disapproval in those doe eyes. Too much like... both of the doppelgangers were too much alike one another. Elena had thought herself above Katherine, had claimed numerous of times that she wasn't her and yet... Damon took pause and mentally shook his head because in the time span of literally three seconds, Katherine shifted her facial expression into one he recognized. A devious glint shone within her eyes with familiarity as the smirk that was curving her lips stretched wider into an almost smile, and her body language shifted easily into a smug 'You still don't know... do you?' pose with her arms crossed around her front.

"Unfortunately not." Her tone of voice, which had given him pause before he even processed her words, consisted of a serious edge that was unlike anything he had ever heard come out of her mouth. Was this really the Bitch Queen that valued self-preservation over anything and everything else, anyone else... and what happened that made her think that she would be much better off dead? "But I happen to be well on my way there so do try not to worry your pretty little head over it... Though, since it was you that stuck around here to talk to me, I simply must ask... How's that sister of yours doing?"

...And just like that he wanted to take a page out of Stefan's book and rip the fucking bitch apart; piece by mother fucking piece.

He had thought the crazy bitch was taunting him, after all it was what Katherine did best... but it was now, alone with his thoughts, that Damon was forced to ask question that he otherwise wouldn't want to. Like, how did Katherine come to the revelation that Ava was in Mystic Falls... if Katherine was there this entire time at Alaric's apartment? If Klaus was possessing Ric as Damon now suspected... and he had been the one to tell Katherine about Ava... Why would he even care? It just didn't sit well with Damon; anything about it for that matter... Why would Klaus care enough to tell Katherine that Ava was around?

A glint of awareness ignited within him, after all... if it were him there was only one reason that he would update a psychotic bitch about someone: to toy with them. To rub it in. Somehow Klaus... THE Klaus ... must have grown to care for Ava with his cold, black hole that he once called a heart. Cared for the fact that Katherine had left Ava to die... hated the bitch over it most likely, which in turn meant that Klaus knew things about her...

There was also the possibility that Klaus knew Ava... personally.

Damon mentally pictured Katherine's smug facial expression. Even if the she-bitch herself did know as much as she let on, there was no way that she would tell him. Besides, if and when he was finally going to force himself to try and sort out Ava's involvement in all of this... well, he sure wasn't going to sit there and bounce ideas off of Katherine. That he knew for damn sure.

No, Damon thought with disban just at the mere thought of her before he reached into the left inside pocket of his leather jacket and retrieve his phone; because if something is going on? I would rather hear it from the source than from anyone else.

...

When Greta finally emerged from the back of the hearse, complete with wayward hair that reflected her personality, anyone with a brain could have taken one look at her facial expression and the sheer madness housed within her eyes... and know without a shadow of doubt that this was a woman who was not to be trifled with. Someone that was unhinged. Normally, most would cower in the face of such a woman that not only honed the magical craft passed down from her ancestors but also specialized in the darker arts. However, Ava wasn't like 'most' - in fact she was more amused at the sight of Greta's tamper tantrum than anything else. Aria doesn't even act like this... yet. Ava scoffed underneath of her breath, the display before her that the witch was acting out was not only childish but also was quickly becoming irritating to say the least. To someone that thrived around and underneath the tempers of the Mikaelsons for years, this whole act was petty to say the least.

Ava sighed heavily in response to these thoughts and after she found herself mentally chanting over and over again that it would be very unproductive if she were to kill the witch, she handed Aria tenderly over to Maddox with a warning glint housed within her eyes that spoke of a silent, deadly promise all on it's own: 'If you drop her or if anything were to happen to my little girl -Klaus's child - while she is in your care? I promise you that there will be blood and it very well might be yours.'

Maddox, in response to the fierce glare cast his way, nodded his head quickly before he cradled the child protectively in his arms and took two huge paces backwards to give them space. A nervous gulp went down his throat harshly, the sound echoing within Ava's supernaturally heightened hearing. With a grin upon her lips that began to curve wider at the warlock's visible understanding of what she had meant without having to utter a single word, Ava turned her attention back to the bitch-witch.

Taking a step forward, the immortal tilted her head to the left whilst looking the witch over with a show of faux sincerity. "Come now, Martin. " Ava begged as she adopted a baby-like voice, "Please don't tell me that you didn't miss me... You may just hurt my feelings." After all, sweetheart, I missed you like one normally does with the Black Plague. Ava's eyes widened slightly with the anticipation of what was to come as she stared at the witch that was defenseless against her, sending a silent thank you once again to Emily Bennett for such a feat. For it was because of her that even though Ava felt the soft pressure of magic being used upon her, it didn't ever follow through with it's intent to cause her any harm. Others for so much as attempting such things though -

I had promised myself that I wouldn't kill her, Ava reasoned mentally with a mischievous glint housed within her gaze that was aimed at Greta, but I had promised nothing about hurting her.

...

Stefan paced the length of the living room of the Salvatore Boarding House; his phone clutched in his hand after he had tried and failed for the fifth time to contact Damon. As of late, Damon had been... slipping, to say the least and Stefan guessed that it was Ava's reappearance after all these years that made him act that way. Not that Stefan wasn't relieved, happy even, to know that the middle Salvatore sibling was still alive... or rather semi-alive. It was just that Damon was... unstable on his 'good' days, a wild card that you could always predict to cause some kind of chaos but now? Now Damon seemed different, and Stefan couldn't tell for certain if it was a good thing or a bad thing.

Before a huge part of Damon cared for Elena, had put her higher on the pedestal than anyone else and as much as Stefan hated it... at least he could have always depend on Damon to back him up and defend her. To protect her. Now? Stefan didn't know the answers to any of the questions going through his mind. Elena... the young woman that he loved... where was she right this second? What kind of unspeakable horrors was she being subjected to at the hands of Klaus and his minions?

Damn it, Damon was supposed to be here; drinking his Bourbon from the bottle and nit pick at any plan that he came up with, before coming up with something that Stefan hadn't thought of! Something so insane that Stefan always was skeptical if it would actually work. But that was just the thing - Damon wasn't doing any of that! Damon wasn't even here. Stefan found that he couldn't depend on him anymore and Ava was just as much as a wild card as Damon, possibly even more so. After all, he knew most - if not all - of Damon's tricks... he didn't know any of Ava's.

At Jenna's when he had been face to face with a possessed Alaric, Stefan had found that he was a mere second away from resorting to violence. The only reason why he hadn't was the sound of Jenna's heart beat thumping in his ears. Jenna surprisingly had already knew of the supernatural, or at least vampires... and the exact moment when Stefan found out was when he wished that he had the power to drag Klaus out of Alaric's body - just so Stefan could try like hell to rip him apart. It was yet another thing that Klaus had taken from Elena, besides taking away her peace of mind. Hadn't Elena been through enough? At the end of the day, despite her flaws, wasn't she just a human stuck in the supernatural? Where most beings wanted to kill her for the face she wore?

It had been Elena's right to tell Jenna and she had only disregarded that right, much like Jeremy had done, in an effort to protect her... it was up to no one besides the ones of blood to do so.

Now, Jenna was pissed off at all of them and made it her sole mission to hunt down Jeremy as well as Elena. Ava had secret stashed Bonnie somewhere before the decade dance and the witch hadn't resurfaced since. Klaus was possessing the only hunter in the group and Elena had been kidnapped... again.

Yup, just another ordinary day in this existence all of us sarcastically call 'paradise'. Stefan scoffed to himself before quickly going through the contacts in his phone. After all, if he could somehow convince Ava to have Bonnie do a locator spell to try and find Elena... then maybe they would finally get the answers that he had to believe that all of them were searching for.

...

Brown orbs that were quickly darkening in rage bore down onto the young woman's body that laid before her at an almost broken angle against the dark pavement of the road. Normally, she only used violence as a last resort, especially with her child in such a close proximity of it like she was now. Normally Ava Salvatore-Mikaelson wouldn't feel the unsedated thirst for vengeance like she experiencing right this second. Like the fierce temper that one develops with being born with the Salvatore's Italian blood within her as well as being married into the Mikaelson family. The one that her temper rivaled on Ava's good days had always been Elijah's... except that everyone had their bad days and today just so happened to be one of hers.

You see, Ava had been perfectly fine with making Greta bleed a little - her own little twist of adopting the witch's plan to scare her into submission. As if the younger woman

actually had the strength, power and ability to frighten her? Ava actually had to try and smother the instinct to laugh! It was a pathetic attempt at what the deranged witch deemed as 'logic' of course but it quickly turned to that of a threat that pushed Ava off of the edge that was sanity. It became so much more than the cat and mouse game the precise moment when Greta found that she couldn't cause harm to Ava... so she had set her sight on Aria instead.

Aria was Klaus's child, the miracle baby girl that Ava bore from her own womb. A child that was innocent, defenseless and the very product of love between The Original soon to be Hybrid and his wife. It wouldn't be the first time that Aria had been targeted by someone with the intent to be used as leverage against who her parents were... it was, however, the first time that someone whom Nik trusted - someone that had a frankly disturbing worship for him - attempted such a feat.

Maddox had successfully shielded Aria with his own body from the assault of magic that accompanied some kind of air manipulation, and Aria had been kept safe even as she cried out continuously after the surprise. Each wail that she let loose from her lips send another dagger through Ava's heart, but even though Aria was safe it still wasn't enough for Ava. Even after making sure both Maddox and her child were alright, rage and motherly instincts pounded from within her. What started out as a game, now made Ava want to spill blood. Even after punching the witch in the head so hard that Ava was sure the blow that caused damage... as Greta laid prone on the ground like a broken doll and barely coherent to the world around her, Ava still wanted to rip her limb from limb.

Nik would want to deal with her... Ava desperately tried to reason as the insanity that threatened to overwhelm her mind as her growl vibrated through her throat, personally. Greta's lips gently parted to release a pained groan that warranted no sympathy from the immortal, though the sound did cut through Ava's spiraling thoughts and made her take in a deep breath and exhaling it. Before she could decide to do anything otherwise her phone began to vibrate from where it was in the front pocket of her jeans, and after retrieving it Ava smirked as well as raised a conflicted, yet hereby amused eyebrow at the name that read on the screen.

"Maddox, thank you for protecting my daughter... but why don't you take Aria and wait for me in my car for a few minutes?" It was more of a command than anything else and Maddox knew it. He nodded silently in acceptance before turning to walk to the vehicle with Aria in tow and after watching the two of them get in, Ava turned her sole attention on Greta. "Now, do you think that you could be a good girl for Mommy and be quiet when she is on the phone?" Her voice, patronizing as it was, was a tone that one might use to talk to a child... and completely retorical but Ava was still pleased when Greta gave her a soft groan in response. "Good."

After taking two paces away from the younger woman, the witch that had a death warrant hanging over her head and she didn't even acknowledge it; Ava took a deep breath to calm herself before she took the call. "Well, if it isn't my favorite brother... "

"It would be best if you didn't tell Stefan that. I think he is already jealous of our close relationship." Damon's voice started out sarcastic but grew into something akin to smug satisfaction, and by the time that he was done she was laughing gleefully at him... without reservation, for the first time in what seemed to be years. "Are you busy right now?"

"Yeah." Ava physically nodded her head even if he was unable to see it, "I have things to do... but if you want to meet up I could meet you for 'lunch' at The Grill in an hour?"

After making plans to meet at The Grill for lunch, much to both of their shared amusement, Ava hung up and looked down to eye Greta with a shark-like grin that was full of teeth, "Now Martin, where exactly were - "

Another vibration claimed her phone as yet another person called her, making Ava huff with irritation as she was once again interrupted from what she was trying to do. Most likely Stefan, Ava rolled her eyes and as she lifted it up to see who it was - she couldn't help but take pause. It was a number that wasn't saved in her contacts nor was it was one that she recognized off hand. Unknown is what it was and Ava didn't get to who she was today without being overly cautious.

After a brief moment of hesitation, of staring down at number with suspicion, Ava finally answered it with a suspicious 'Hello?' It was after a few seconds of silence that the person on the other end finally spoke, a savoring element found within the tone. The voice was one that was starting to grow familiar to her, yet there was only one person that invoked such emotions within Ava that she felt right this moment. A primal instinct surged from within the depths of her body as Ava seemed to forget how to speak.

"Hello to you too... love."

Nik...?

 

Chapter Text

Hello People~! Yes, I meant for that to be in italics and with the squiggly line. This is Chapter 16 of Breathless and I am so freaking excited! My new tablet has been awesome and hasn't gone rogue - Real life Transformer freaking Decepticon on me and it better stay that way damn it! I bring to you more five thousand words, the word count kind of took life of it's own with all the detail and everything I wanted to add in the chapter but that's okay! With chapters, more is better ~ right? :) I don't know how that happened but I'm gonna just go with it! Lol.

I hope you like what I came up with! Thanks for clicking on the story.

Chapter 16: Think twice

The music pounded rhythmically against the walls as Klaus walked forward to the door that led to where he was staying relatively hidden at Alaric's apartment, a place where he almost hoped that they would discover him at. They being Ava's brothers that she had thought to be dead for years before and after she found solence within his family, people that opened their arms to her but were never quite able to fill the hole in which both Stefan and Damon could only fill. He may or may not have also neglected to mention to her how the Ripper of Monterey was in fact her youngest brother that he befriended in the twenties; in fear that she too would turn her back on him to find said brother. He wanted her to be happy, and he sought to have it be so in his presence and his alone. He was possessive with the things he thought of as his and Ava Salvatore was no different, as she had risen above anything else that he cherished when she allowed him into her heart and to put a ring of her finger. Ava never met the Ripper in the years that it roamed free and controlled Stefan's body, he made sure of that, so Ava never knew until recently that the Ripper of Monterey that tore apart his victims to get to closer to the blood he hungered for… was in fact what the sweet, younger brother that she fondly remembered had become.

Damon, from what he saw through the eyes of another, was surprisingly much more mentally stable than Stefan was. Surprising because the man was known by many others to be the only one out of the duo to have fallen in love with Katerina Petrova, believing the love was real and actually aimed to free her from the confinement of the tomb more than a hundred years later. A tomb in which the she vamp had never been confined within in the first place. Still, Klaus thought to himself with a near silent hmm vibrating in his throat. After all, above all else, Klaus Mikaelson could respect the dedication and loyalty that Damon Salvatore strongly showed… However misplaced that it may be of the younger immortal.

It was something about that, a family characteristic of sorts, that he too noticed in Ava. It was one of the things that drew him to her like a moth that didn't care to think about the heat of the flame. Stefan, for all intents and purposes, seemed to only express that when in love with someone that was suddenly put on a pedestal until they fell off of it and unto the bodies that had been sacrificed in that person's name. Or, you know, when it came to human blood. Yes, he had bonded with the younger Salvatore sibling with the dark amusement that he held whilst the Ripper; but it was still something that was uncharted within Stefan's brain. Something that made such things like dedication and loyalty only shown when it was warranted to the people he chose to give it to, of blood or otherwise. There was undoubtedly more than what Stefan had revealed of himself, after all people were multi-dimensional despite what they tried to hide from the world, but it was what he saw of Stefan on human blood that made him hesitant to tell Ava about her brother. From what she told of him, Stefan was now a far distant from who he was as a human whilst on human blood.

Klaus wanted to protect her, he supposed, from the image that Stefan had embodied when he had turned. He didn't want her to be left shattered because of someone else's mistakes, even if that someone was a person she thought of as family.

He was almost, dare he even think, giddy when he saw the horrified realization swell within Stefan's eyes. Finally, we are getting somewhere. He thought with an exasperated edge as he briefly wondered how the older brother was doing with all of this, with the mission to track down the ever so precious Elena Gilbert. A girl that both brothers loved and wouldn't find until it was too late. Klaus absentmindedly wonders if either had to choose, right in this moment, to save either Elena or Ava… which one would they pick? Would water overcome blood in this situation and was it wrong how much he had the animalistic urge to rip apart something at the mere thought?

He remembered then that after five hundred years, he finally had her within his grasp. The very same wench that would jump at the chance to destroy him as well as everything and everyone that he held dear, if that chance ever came upon them. Katherine wouldn't hesitate to tear apart Ava or Aria, the later undoubtedly saved for last since Ava would stand defiantly in the way. Every moment that came to pass that Katherine was still 'alive' posed as a danger to everyone involved. He knew with certainty that even though Ava hadn't seen her brothers in many years, she would die for them… as much as Klaus hated the very idea with a burning passion that almost sent him in a fit of rage. Almost.

The music cut through his thoughts one last time, a Pop song that was grating on his last nerve, and Klaus didn't know if he should be irritated that Katherine would choose a song just to annoy him … or sickeningly amused that such things could be found in Alaric Saltzman's apartment, probably right next to the Bourbon. He turned the key into the lock and stepped inside to look at her, really look at her, and decided to be more amused than anything else over the fact - though he didn't reveal just how much. If she knew for certain that he could compel her, how could she not factor in that he could smell the vervain that she found? Even more interesting than her resourcefulness and the ability to be a pain in the ass, in the doorway he could pick up the smell of Bourbon, leather, and a series of natural scents that could only be found by one person.

Damon. Both corners of Klaus's lips twitched upwards in a smile that Katherine thought to be nothing short of terrifying, Yes, things were about to get a hell of a lot more interesting. He was actually impressed by how the older Salvatore came to 'look' for his friend, even if he didn't know at that very moment that Alaric was involved in the first place. He had wanted to see if Damon would stray from the path that Stefan and Elena led him on and to discover things on his own, on his own terms and Damon surely hadn't disappointed him. He yearned to see just how intelligent Damon was, how he wasn't afraid to stand on her own. He didn't need to be spoon fed the answer or wait around to have it be dangled in his face for him to make sense of. Damon was intelligent in his own right, even if others around him tended to disregard it. How amusing.

"Do you mind turning that down?" It was made out to be a question but both of them knew it was anything but. I know that you are being held here as a captive but really think of the neighbors! You know damn well that I wouldn't be opposed to ending them if they saw your distress call for what it actually is.

He watched silently as she used a small black remote to turn down the music until the notes were nonexistent to even their ears, before Katherine slowly turned to look back at him. "Why so grumpy?" She forced herself to question in a monotone tone of voice, as if she were still compelled and he had to visibly restrict himself from laughing mockingly at her. Really, what kind of fool did she think him to be? The fact that she had somehow gotten out of the compulsion that made her stay in the chair, stabbing herself where he had left her - was proof enough that she was on vervain. She should have been seated, not walking around the apartment with alcohol and trying to rock out to horrible music.

"Well…" He started to speak, projecting a thoughtless kind of vibe that Klaus was sure that she instantly picked up on. Mind as well made her antsy before things progress further. "This body has outlived it's usefulness." Meaning you will see my true face once again and very soon, Katerina. How does that make you feel? To know that you can't escape like every instinct you have is telling you to?

Fear gripped her heart tightly, you could tell by how it dominated her brown eyes before she concealed it. He couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment for putting it there. Before him was a woman that posed as a threat to everything he cared for. Katherine would rip it all away from him like so many others have tried one way or another, and much alike rose many others - she too would fail.

Katherine tilted her head to the side in an almost curious manner, as if she were concerned for him or something as equally absurd. "Do you want a drink?" As if she wanted to see if he would celebrate the upcoming ritual that he had been waiting five hundred years for.

"No, Katerina." Klaus let his voice take on a mocking tone as he stared at her. Did she really think that the change in conversation was subtle? "I don't want a drink." He stared at Katherine as she forced herself to move forward, lightly shaking the vervain enlaced Bourbon at him in offering with a 'Come on, it might loosen you up.' Of course it will, sweetheart. Klaus thought sarcastically, but then again do you really not prefer my company to the vampire hunter? I'm almost hurt…

"What I want? Is for you to sit down in that chair and shut up." Klaus growled darkly after he caught Katherine's eyes, grabbing the spoiled liquor before grabbing her arm and forcing her to be seated in the wooden chair that he had left her to stab her leg earlier. He didn't even realize that he unknowingly echoed what his wife had said only hours before. As he leaned forward, he silently dared her with his eyes to attack him for he desperately ached to show her just the full extent of the temporarily transferred capabilities that Alaric Saltzman possessed at the moment.

"Now," He smirked widely at the vampire before him, as he grabbed the knife at he had made her stab herself repeatedly with earlier and spun it gracefully in he hand, "Where, exactly, were we?"

Bright green eyes were narrowed and akin to daggers as Bonnie stood stiffly in front of Elijah, monitoring his every movement for something that would confirm her suspicion at he posed a threat. One that she would eliminate despite the silent agreement that she made with Amelia as soon as she stepped into the room and asked it of her. She felt like she owed Amelia at least that much for how she had been acting towards her. She may not trust Ava, because she knew next to nothing personal about the vampire but … Amelia was family. Something she didn't have a lot of. Maybe if Amelia was able to see Elijah as a threat that she had known him to be in the past, maybe… She may not be able to hurt Ava with her magic but Bonnie was able to do so to Elijah and every other vampire that posed as a threat, in an effort to protect herself.

She wished that her body would relax, that she came off as indifferent to this unexpected encounter with him… unaffected by how his dark brown eyes seemed to zone in on her every move. She didn't want to give him any power over her, but after a moment of thinking about it Bonnie rebuked that line of wishful thinking. After knowing what she knew of him, what kind of mayhem and death followed vampires around like a shadow - (as if it were apart of them, and in reality it literally was) - Bonnie knew she didn't trust him enough to let her guard down around him. She just didn't want to show fear because she knew from experience how vampires as a whole seemed to prey on that sort of thing.

Whether she wanted to admit it out loud or not, Bonnie didn't known how to react to him. What exactly had he done to convince Amelia that he wasn't a threat? What had impressed her?

"You need not be afraid of me, Miss Bennett." Bonnie refocused her attention on the vampire that had suddenly decided to speak to her after a couple minutes of silence, which she had been enjoying. "I mean no harm to come to you."

Bonnie scoffed softly in response - because really, like she hadn't heard that before - knowing at he would catch it no matter the volume she spoke at, "Afraid? I'm not afraid of you. This? This is me being wary of you, as you haven't ever given me any reason to… regard you with anything else." Her tone of voice was one of defense and mentally she cringed at the word 'regard'. Great, not even in his presence for ten minutes yet and the vampire was rubbing off on her with his old mannerisms and way of speaking.

I mean really, was it even possible for him to speak normally? At least pretend to be a human being?!

He inclined his head forward into an almost nod as into silently give her that one as he took the time to think over all of the interactions that the two of that ever had. Prior to today, she had just been Elena Gilbert's friend, another witch that fell in line with the doppelganger. He was ashamed that he never thought of Bonnie Bennett as an actual person that was involved in this, with morals and dreams. He hadn't factored in her importance as anything more than a chess piece on the board that served to protect Elena from the approaching enemy lines. He would make this right, because with Amelia came Bonnie and Ava. He had much to atone for toward Ava that his heart twisted painfully at the mere thought of her name.

Sure it wouldn't be easy to get on Bonnie's good graces or at least better than where he currently stood… even without the fact that they were "moral enemies" with him being a vampire at the end of the day and she a witch. Her death glare alone told him that much.

Elijah felt it was time, however, that they put their differences and past opinions of each other aside - in favor of a better tomorrow.

"I would appreciate it if you and our child were there to witness me being put back into my body, Ava. You have done so well in protecting her after we had to part ways, but you have to know that you don't have to stand strong anymore, Love." Alaric's voice was soft as he spoke through the phone to his wife, as if there weren't a certain doppelganger vampire with her neck snapped at an odd angle to make sure she didn't hear this conversation. Yes, she was better off dead in his opinion but he would draw out his time with her, making her suffer to the fullest extent before he ended Katerina Petrova's existence once and for all. He didn't tell Ava about how entertaining her younger brother's expression was at the Gilbert house, knowing that the chances he would get away with it without getting yelled at were not in his favor, so he hereby ignored the smugness he currently felt and went on to speak. "You both have me now, my love. I already have a number of powerful witches and warlocks enroute to Mystic Falls for the delicate process."

Though he didn't know it, Ava's lips curved upwards into a smile of contentment as soon as her husband started to speak and by the time her was done; her unbeating heart suspiciously felt as if it suddenly became warmer. Tears stung within her eyes as she forced herself to speak, a slight sniffle in her voice was the only tell of how damn emotional she was becoming when faced with the reality he gave her. Finally, after what seemed like years instead of what it was, Nik was finally going to be within grasp. Little did she know that he always had some of his most trusted informants to watch over the both of them from a distance, to keep him updated on how things were for both her and their little girl despite how he couldn't be there with them. "We'll be there, Nik." His lips curved into a wide smile as he heard her tone and opened his mouth to speak, only to be cut off by the pained groan of an female voice. One that was somehow familiar in tone, grating on his nerves as it was, but somehow he also couldn't place it.

"Ava?" He asked her name in question as to prompt her for an explanation, though he was relatively surprised when he registered the sheer amount of rage housed within her voice as she spoke. Usually that was his job out of the duo of them.

"As for your 'powerful witches and warlocks', I know because I found them." Her voice held something akin to irony at the situation she found herself in, though there was still fire and adrenaline still pounding through her. Ava growled darkly as she put emphasis on his exact words, and though Greta was powerful in her own right - one could also easily notice that she was also utterly insane!

"You don't seem pleased." Klaus intentionally made his tone suspicious, though he was still hinting at her own attitude with surprise. She wasn't the one to easily be angered, but when someone fucked with what she deemed as hers to protect - she quickly shifted into a violent haze that demanded blood to be spilt. It was one that was much alike both Kol and himself had experienced time and time again, though Ava was the fair ruling type and only drew blood when she needed to. To find out that she was unpleased by something - someone - that was meant to protect her, made him instantly focus on the situation.

"That's because I am not, dear husband." Ava snarling lowly, making Alaric's eyebrows shoot up in response more so than they were previously. It took a lot more than normal circumstances to get Ava to be this mad, meaning something must have happened… something he undoubtedly wouldn't like.

Talk to me, love. Who is it that I need to kill?

It was when Klaus opened his mouth to speak, Ava unintentionally cut him off, "Tell me Nik, what would your response be if I were to tell you that right in this very moment I was strongly contemplating homicide?" She asked this of him in a faux sense of calm, her emotions wiped from her facial expression as she stared daggers down at the wayward witch before her.

Klaus pursed Alaric's lips together in contemplation before a soft flicker of amusement came to life from the depths of his soul that was entrapped within the borrowed body. Given what little information he had so far, he had only had one guess as to who irated his beautiful Queen and it surely wasn't the first time Ava expressed her hatred for this witch. He doubted it would be the last. Some witches, at the height of their studies of magic and being around him, became easily infatuated with what they were unable to have. It wouldn't be the first time that a witch, as fickle as they were, developed feelings for him. However, Ava always made sure - one way or another - that they got it through their thick skulls that he was taken. Jealousy, he found out awhile ago, was an beautiful color on his wife.

Most, if not all, got the point with only a well aimed glare that promised death if they kept it up. Others, however, were slow enough to think that despite this they had a chance with him. Even as they stepped over the blood of the witch that did the exact same thing… "Greta?" He questioned her in a voice that underlined amusement, just enough to express in one word how much he found the irritation she had to the bloody psychotic witch to be hilarious… but not enough of that amusement to give Ava the misinterpretation that Greta's feelings were okay.

"Klaus…" Ava started with a serious note and all of his amusement fell away at that one word. She usually called him 'Nik' as her chosen nickname for him, adopting it fondly after finding out his full birth name … and also how he favored that Rebekah used it. For her to use the name that the supernatural world had grown to hate ever since he was turned and made a name for himself, meant that something drastic happened. Fear, despite how much he tried to push it away, gripped him tightly.

He said nothing in response as his mind raced in response and when Ava spoke again, he had to take a full minute to process her words. Those six words that left her mouth seemed alien as they traveled through the speaker and into his ear. Though he at first came stock still at first, his mind and mood spiraled downward into a dark descent as the caged wolf within him growled with the rage that dwelled within his chest now.

"She tried to attack our child…"

He breathed deeply through his nose and out of his mouth, trying to take comfort in the key word 'tried', but every instinct both parental and animalistic rose as soon as she finished speaking. The word attack echoing in his mind as he wished to do just that, to show the wayward witch how much of a mistake it was to attack his child. Ava, he knew could handle her own - but to attack an innocent child? His, to be exact? No, this just would not do. Greta Martin was about to quickly find out that despite how much power she had running through her veins, did not exempt her to attack anyone with the Mikaelson name. She wasn't special, no matter how much she deemed herself otherwise and as the fury in him began to fester within him… his grip on the phone by his ear tightened until the snapping of it was dulled for the roaring in his ears.

What he was doing to Katerina was child's play to what Klaus Mikaelson was capable of and after what Greta had done, he felt it only fitting that she be given a punishment that something truly diabolical. Katerina may currently wish herself to be dead, but by the time he was done with Greta Martin the witch was going to regret having ever been born in the first place.

He'd make sure of that.

Absentmindedly, Klaus reached for the spoiled bottle of Bourbon that Katerina had foolishly offered him and hovered over her as he tilted it over her form from where he hid her body behind the kitchen's island. The sizzling contact that it made with her skin was that of some of the finest music that he ever had the pleasure of hearing, before he threw the now empty bottle carelessly at the nearest wall. The resulting shatter was ignored as thousands of shards exploded from the impact like a firework, the sun that reflect through the windows nearby glinted each one in only the time span of a millisecond before they clattered to the floor.

Ripping her heart out that she seems to be under the impression 'beats only for you, Klaus'? No, too much like Elijah's methods. Greta deserved something at least a tad bit more original then that. Having Ava dislodge her muscles from her bones, then rip her apart piece by piece whilst laughing diabolically? That would be hot, in his opinion and would have saved it for later discussion if it weren't for the fact that it would get blood everywhere… leaving few places where clean up duty would be less of a hassle. Besides, no matter how much Ava seemed to trust the witch she allied herself with - a Bennett witch at that - he didn't know her or trust her enough to watch little Aria when Mommy and Daddy played Torture the Wicked Witch of the West for a couple of hours…

A knock on the door brought him back to the present, making him turn to see Maddox arrive hesitantly with a child cradled protectively in his arms… her face tucked in the curved juncture between his neck and shoulder. Time halted for him as he stared in awe at her baby curls that was a soft almost copper tone, a perfect mix of his blonde and her mother's dark brunette. Here, literally before him, was the moment that he had dreamed of… the moment that kept him going. Finally came the moment that he had been waiting seemingly forever for... but suddenly, Klaus felt inadequate to lay his gaze upon her. The beautiful baby girl that he helped bring into this world. It had been awhile since he had something good in his life. He supposed that he spent so my time dreaming of her, his little Aria... That he didn't contemplate on what he should do when the moment came. It was one of those things that he told himself that he would know what do to when the time came to pass, but now when that moment was here he felt anxious and speechless to be in such close proximity of her.

What if he turned out to be a carbon copy of Mikael was, knowing he too had a temper? ...What if he, like Klaus always had expected since finding out she was on the way, wasn't enough to be what she needed him to be? What if…

He quickly disregarded everyone else that came into the apartment though he tracked their movements, especially when one of the warlocks brought in Greta's wounded body that would have to be healed with - That was it! An idea struck him then. What if he used his blood to heal her? The blood that would be in her system for the next twenty four hours, the perfect time frame to get her to do what he needed her to do for the ritual… and then when he no longer had any use for her magic he would turn her. The magic she was so damn proud of herself for having would be replaced with a void, everything she felt would be heightened and then the real fun would begin.

Ava stepped in his line of sight then, somehow much more beautiful that he ever recalled her being, her lips curving gently as she stared at his soul that reflected from the eyes of another and nodded her head gently. In greeting as well as telling him silently that whatever 'punishment' that he came up with for Greta she would go along with as long as it wasn't light. She half turned her body to the right so he was once again able to make contact with Maddox whom had been shifting at the focused attention Klaus gave to both him as well as the precious child protected within his arms.

"He was the one that saved her." She smiled softly as his facial expression softened at that knowledge before she twisted her body towards him and stepped forward to give him a hug, "I missed you…"

"I missed you too, love." He didn't think twice before hugging her back, the body he was in allowing Klaus to feel how soft her curves were as they pressed against him and for a moment it satisfied him to the fullest measure. After making note to reward Maddox for keeping his child safe under any circumstance that may rise (which was why he favored Maddox above all the other magicals that he 'collected') he abruptly realized that even though Klaus was possessing this body, it still was the hands of another on his wife. Possessiveness surged within him at the very thought. We have to remedy that… right now.

He jerked Alaric's hands away from Ava - cursing himself for getting caught in the moment as much as she did, not that he could find it in him to blame her with how long they've been apart - and took a step backwards away from her. Ava may be strong in her own right, but Klaus knew that he was one of her sore spots that could be easily targeted by another; as she was his in that same regard. Klaus smiled softly before the curve of his lips was wiped away into a flat line. Abruptly, he spun the brown eyes he hid behind to the magical beings that had been gathered, a dangerous look crossing his face as two words left his lips with a sharp command that spurred all his conscious minions into action:

"Let's begin."

….

Yes! I thank you all so much for reading! I hope that you liked it! If you could review/comment on this chapter; I would be sooooo happy! :)

Chapter Text

Hello you wonderful readers, you! Welcome to the next chapter of Breathless. Chapter 17, yay! I have to tell you that this story got more attention than I thought that it would! I am so very happy because of this. Thank you! I know that all of you are excited for this so let's just get to it! :) More than 3,000 words.

Chapter 17: Back in Black

...

Previously on Breathless:

He jerked Alaric's hands away from Ava - cursing himself for getting caught in the moment as much as she did, not that he could find it in him to blame her with how long they've been apart - and took a step backwards away from her. Ava may be strong in her own right, but Klaus knew that he was one of her sore spots that could be easily targeted by another; as she was his in that same regard. Klaus smiled softly before the curve of his lips was wiped away into a flat line. Abruptly, he spun the brown eyes he hid behind to the magical beings that had been gathered, a dangerous look crossing his face as two words left his lips with a sharp command that spurred all his conscious minions into action:

"Let's begin."

….

From behind the dark eyes that were not his own, Klaus watched in approval as all his little minions dashed around Alaric's apartment to do his bidding. Well, mostly all of his minions… Klaus turned his eyes to glare darkly at Greta's form that had been carelessly thrown on the couch, an arm laid limp off the edge. Every kind of torture that he had inflicted upon others within the span of a thousand years came rushing to the forefront of his mind and while that was all fine then, his daughter's life had been on the line by someone that was supposed to protect her. Instead of doing so, Greta decided to not only attack her since she couldn't get to Ava but had foolishly thought that she would be able to get away with it. Such actions were unacceptable, he thought as he made the right corner of Alaric's lip curl up in disgust, and she won't live to make that same mistake twice. She'll be practically unrecognizable by the time that I am through with her.

Did he really need her to even do the ritual? No, there were many - if not all - besides Maddox that would die for him. At the moment, Klaus wasn't even considering sacrificing Maddox even though he knew true enough that the warlock would accept such a task without a flicker of hesitation. The younger male saved his daughter, and was care for by Ava like that of which he hadn't witnessed in what seemed to be a very long time… because of this Klaus refused to use Maddox in the ritual. If the only justification to this reasoning, not that he needed one, was for the fact that the warlock had bravely shielded his daughter from the harm that another tried to cause - then he dismissed the very idea. Loyalty he found to be rare, he would not sacrifice a loyal soldier for the sake of doing so. Ava liked him as well, and he with certainty that his beloved Queen didn't like everyone. Greta being a key example to that testament.

Klaus supposed that he could leave her as is, broken until the proper time came to pass when he would be able to enjoy building her up just to watch her fall. Then repeat the healing cycle each time until she was nothing but a broken doll, a soul that he took pleasure in dragging the life out of… I can always trap her in a cage with me after I break the curse. I am sure a newly released wolf would love to rip her apart, to attempt and fail to make a den out of the inside of Greta's body. The sheer amount of delicious blood that would be spilled from her lifeless body in the process would be such a pleasant experience to wake up it, could be worth the pain. Klaus mused before waving two of the other warlocks, though he knew naught their names offhand, to move Greta into another room. It wouldn't do to have Aria see what would come of her, though for all the innocent child knew as of right now was that the woman was sleeping.

Klaus locked eyes with his wife before trailing down to eye the child cradled carefully within her arms, hardly believing that such perfection came from his thought to be blank seed. Aria was already so very much like her mother outwardly, her hair that was lightened in comparison to her mother's showing through of him. From first glance that was all, then as he stared he took notice of the mischievous glint housed within her orbs that had been gifted from both their parents. Ava had taken such good care of her and Klaus wasn't naive in the slightest to think that the road that led the both of them here had been easy. Still, despite all that she went through to protect Ava, what mattered is that she did. Enemies always arose against the Mikaelson name, no help from him or Kol of course, and it dawned on him that Greta wouldn't be the first or last to target Aria.

I wouldn't be surprised if she had the blood of my enemies on Ava's hands, Klaus barely concealed a flinch at the thought and tried to push back the emotions that threatened to squeeze at the dead heart that felt heavier that it had been ever before. He had originally parted ways from them to keep them from harm, from the ones that were sure to disregard Ava's trail in favor of following his own. Maybe if he had stayed with them there would have been a chance to save Ava from having to do that, even though he had a gut feeling that she wouldn't ever regret protecting her child. The nervousness I felt earlier when I saw Aria was something that I brought on myself. I, somewhere along the way of trying to protect them… had failed them both.

He looked away slowly away from them, shame filling him when faced with what he loved the most, and as Klaus tuned in to Aria's heartbeat that rung rhythmically in his ears - such a beautiful sound indeed - he promised himself that he would do right by the both of them. Like I should have done in the first place, he growled darkly within his mind before locking his narrowed eyes unto the warlock that stepped forward to let him that everything was ready. The muscular warlock was moving his lips but even with Klaus's super hearing, all that the Original could register was sound of the man's heart pumping blood throughout his body. He thinned Alaric's lips into a line before nodding absentmindedly in response after getting a main idea of what the warlock had said, it was time to begin. Whether he was have second thoughts about having Aria see the real him or not… what he was thinking wasn't unfounded though. What if Aria saw him for the monster than many claimed to be? How would he hold her… knowing that blood had once saturated the very hands on her body?

The very idea turned his stomach with dread and guilt; hell it wasn't even his stomach! He refused to hide from his daughter though, no matter the emotions that plagued him at the possibility of not being good enough in her eyes. It wasn't like he was afraid but… Okay, fuck it. I'm afraid. He wished to be more for his daughter, for his mate that bore him such a miracle that should have been impossible. Klaus promised himself then and there that he would somehow be the man that both of them deserved, his daughter's fairytale prince that she knew would come to her rescue when she found herself in trouble. That he would save her even if it was at his own expense, for Niklaus Mikaelson knew without a shadow of doubt that he wouldn't think twice before doing so.

He was helpless last time and because of that he wasn't strong enough to save the one child that Ava had all but adopted, that he himself had cared for as his own… how he held her as Ava fought against him, knowing that he would take it before it led to her sobbing into his chest.

No, he refused to lose another child... The both of them could hardly handle it the first time.


Behind Alaric's eyes, Klaus watched as Maddox and another warlock that had stood in place for Greta dropped to their knees to the floor; candles aflamed around them to help focus their power. Klaus chanced one look at Ava's face; one that he discovered was of excitement for this moment to finally be over with, to be in his arms once again. In just a few moments, she would once again see his face… hear his voice once more by ear after the time span that seemed to be longer than what it was. He still didn't understand what he had done to be worthy of her, of the precious gift that she had given him, but Klaus knew he would protect the both of them at any cost.

Klaus knew what was to come and as he moved to stand next to the large box-like coffin that housed his real body, he bowed Alaric's head and closed his eyes. He inwardly cringed at the feel of Alaric's hair moving with the movement, and stiffened the body that he was in when Maddox and his other dutiful minion started the spell. Within his ears, the not quite dead language of Latin sung. "Phasmatos Tribum, Nas Ex Veras, Uenes Phasmatos Et Sonos. Ex Tutam Exum Lamia Matus."

His soul vibrated through the body that it was in, spiralling into the air in darkened wondrous colors before breathing into his nostrils a breath of fresh air. Klaus released a shallow breath, the sound echoing within his own ears from within the confined space around him as Alaric gasped one question before he collapsed to the floor with a dull thump, "Ava?" He cursed himself silently, for he now knew that the confusion was directed at not the two witches before him but the excited looking beautiful woman that held a child within her arms. Despite the fact that Alaric had been possessed by him, he still had met Ava in school before it had even happened… he was just surprised that the teacher actually had recognized her simply by one glance at her face. I'll have to fix that.

Footsteps echoed within his ears as the door of the box he was in, and Klaus readied himself with anticipation and something else he dared naught name as the door opened slowly in front of him. Maddox's face appeared then, a welcoming sight indeed of he was the very person that dared to give all to keep his little girl safe from harm. The ablaze that danced upon the candlesticks illuminated soft light behind the warlock else there would be darkness and without further instruction, the younger male revealed him to all that stood within the room.

Klaus, whom was sharply dressed in a tux without a tie and the collar of his white dress shirt carelessly tucked down, slowly moved forward. His senses once again sprung to life as he stared down at Alaric's unconscious form right beside his Italian made shoes, and as he covered up his previous worries with a devilish smirk Klaus couldn't help but be more aware of his two favorite girls than ever before. Aria was looking at him with curious eyes whilst her mother eagerly ranked her darkening orbs over his form, savouring the moment as it were. Klaus leveled his gaze up slowly, almost hesitantly but not quite, and parted his lips to speak, "Now that's more like it."

He smiled cheekily for a moment before he waved Maddox and his other minion to leave them, to go into the other room with the others so that he may have this moment to savor. The each moved near silently, after Maddox grabbed the other warlock by the collar of his T-shirt and forced him to move. Yes, I do really need to find some suitable way to reward him. Klaus eyed the back of Maddox's head for a moment before he shifted his gaze back to his wife. She was as beautiful as he remembered her to be, even more so if that were possible with her dark brown hair that had streaks of sun flowing through it. Her heart shaped face flawless and olive skinned as the rest of her form, her eyes seemed to widen as she zoned in on each of his movements with hawk-like accuracy. How breathtaking she is; my mate, my wife, the mother of my child. Klaus thought in awe as he slowly took her in, once more wondering what he had done to deserve such an angel. She seemed to be watching him in turn with anticipation, wondering what he would do now that they were face to face. Oh, love...

Klaus gently lowered his gaze to his child; his heightened eyesight magnifying every detail from Aria's soft curls that his fingers ached to run through, the dimple in her cheek that he knew for a fact that she got from him, those sparkling blue eyes that were solely him and those tiny little fingers that already had him within their grasp. Hard to believe that something as monstrous as me could help make something so… beautiful, so innocent. Everything good about Aria… didn't come from me. He stepped forward in a near silently move, his eyes never leaving the color that mirrored his own and reached out his hands for her. Klaus silently begged his wife to allow him to hold her - even if it was with the hands that had killed thousands and as Ava shifted the child for him to grab, the Original breathed heavily from his mouth when he held her soft, fragile body. So squishy she was from where he held her ribbed with calloused, hard working hands that even the vampire blood within his veins couldn't heal. He tuned out all but the two of them, Aria's heartbeat pounding in his ears as Ava stepped back to watch them. The smell of salt filled his nostrils and he knew that it came from Ava, he just hoped that it was of happiness.

Klaus attempted to gulp down the lump that grew within his throat and he knew he would slaughter thousands more, just to keep her safe from those that wished differently. He held her to his chest to hug her soft, little body to his person; tucking her against his suit jacket and not even caring if she drooled on it. When he pulled her back, Klaus looked deep within her eyes and spoke in a soft tone of voice that he usually only had reserved for Ava; though he knew that the child couldn't quite understand just yet.

"Hello there, sweetheart..."

As soon as these three chosen words encased within his British accent gently cut through the silence around them, a sob fought it's way from behind Ava's lips and echoed in his ears. Klaus snapped his head up to stare at her for the sound startled him, and when he looked at his wife then - shed of the strong exterior that she held for everyone but him - he saw that the woman he loved may have stood alone for so long. Blood was on her hands too, just as he had feared but as much as Ava had shielded her heart from those whom aimed to wound it, Klaus couldn't help but be proud of her. She was a Mikaelson after all, they protected each other to any sort of length that could be achieved. We do what we have to do, damn everyone else. Blood had been spilled in their name, coffins housed his family members first from the harm of what Mikael could do and then because Klaus was wary of what they would do when they finally awakened…

Ava had tears blurring her eyes as she watched them, the emotion held within easily told them that this reunion was one that she had dreamed of and if it wasn't for the smile that curved upon her lips, Klaus would have had questions plaguing his mind. He shifted Aria within his arms to be held to his side, one arm around her waist like he had seen Ava hold her, before lifting his left arm up slowly to bid his wife forward. "Come here." Ava sped forward, stopping short of him to look up into his eyes with a plea within hers. A plea that urged him to reassure her that this wasn't a dream that she was about to wake up any second from, that this was real. That he was here, now and before her. What he did do was curl his lifted hand around her and pull her gently into his body so she occupied his right while their child was held protectively into his right.

Tears soaked his collar as Ava finally released her emotions that she bottled up since they departed, her lithe body shook gently and he tightened his hold on her in hope that he would bring her comfort now. "I've got you…" He promised fiercely with baited breath, his previous worried engulfing him for another reason altogether. What had Ava done in the past to bring forth such emotion? Better yet, did he really want to know? Whatever it was, he held no doubt that it was for the survival of both of them… maybe she missed him so damn much? And why did his heart feel so heavy within his chest at the sight of her slowly unraveling within his arms?

"Remember what I told you earlier, Ava? You aren't alone anymore, this I promise you."

And even if it took a thousand more years and destroying all of the enemies that arose against them, Klaus promised himself that despite all that may come to pass… that was the promise that he would be hellbent on keeping.

Yes, this chapter is solely Klaus prov. We see the side of him that is beyond the killer, we see depth and the side that only Ava had gotten to see. This is also how I imagined how Klaus would react with Aria - protective, in awe and wary that he would do wrong by her because he wants to give her more of an upbringing than he had. Yes, he will still be badass but he is a British badass with a gentle side from those few he loves. Klaus will still be Klaus, just now he gives a damn about Ava/Aria and what's best for them, their happiness. (Example: Thinking about how his wolf could make a den out of Greta's body after the curse one minute to being in awe with Ava and Aria the next.) I was going to add on but after I was finished with his prov I was like, "Nope. Klaus, Ava and Aria deserve their own freaking chapter!" I like this a lot and I hope you do too! Please leave a review and let me know what you think!

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Yup, chapter 18 of Breathless and I have very excited to continue. Thank you for clicking on my story. I hope that you like it! No, 'Previously on…' needed I had guessed, so we will just jump right into the story.

Chapter 18: Dominos

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"You have got to be fucking kidding me." Ava growled darkly from where she was cocooned in the middle of her bed; covers wrapped tightly around her shivering, sweat ridden form and glaring at the incompetent witches hovering around her bedside. They acted like she was left broken at death's door and with how she currently felt, the immortal was almost positive that statement was indeed the case. She shouldn't even be sick, she was a vampire damn it and yet here she was! Surrounded by tissues, her normally luscious hair dulled and she suddenly felt like she wanted to hit something - anything - just to focus on something else other than the pain. She immediately thought of Greta, the witch that attempted to cause trouble between her and Nik since her husband had brought her into the fold, but Ava knew that despite how much she hated the wench - it was hardly Greta Martin's fault for her current moods. No matter how much the mere image of Greta's face within mind sparked Ava's homicidal tendencies to life. If it did in fact turn out to be Greta's fault however, that would be all that it took for Ava to act upon those tendencies.

Ava rolled her head carelessly to her right to lock her vein rimmed, tired gaze on her husband whom eyed the magical minions that he had summoned to see to her with a steely look of vengeance if someone didn't offered some kind of information. Soon. As if Nik had sensed her gaze upon him, he swiftly shifted his own to hers and with that his expression softened as he took her in. She could only imagine the image that she gave him, bags bordering underneath of her eyes as the veins receded. "Get rid of all the witches, I feel too crowded… and we are obviously not going to be able to get information from them, even if they did find out something." She requested of him with a soft plea that captured Nik's attention far faster than the dumbfounded witches that just stood around and looked at her like she grew a second head. Apart of Ava, the monster within her soul, wanted to part the witches' their heads from each of their necks so they'd stop looking at her like how they were. "I want you to bring me Maddox." She stopped to glare at the witches around her that have been purposely unreliable, the corners of her lips curling with a silently sneer at the very sight of them, "At least there is a greater possibility that Maddox would be able to provide some useful information than the nothing that we got out of these four."

Klaus nodded his head to her, silently responding to what she asked of him without unclenching his jaw before roughly forcing the witches out the door. With one look directed at his face, Ava knew instantly what kind of thoughts had clouded his mind. They - the ones that he thought could provide some kind of answer as to why she suddenly had sickness plaguing her immortal body - had failed him. Even worse, in Nik's eyes they had failed her. Ava sighed gently, knowing what was to come but not currently in any condition to put a stop to it. When her supernatural hearing picked up a scuffled sound followed by a terrified scream, she knew it had begun.

Her body gave way to gravity, tilting backward until she laid flat on the bed with her head haphazardly thrown on one of the pillows behind her. A joyous, humming tune made itself known then, fighting past the laryngitis that hadn't clawed at her throat since she was ten. Ava concentrated on the how the vibrations felt as they made their way out of her throat and how the tune itself sounded, that the immortal ignored the familiarity that came with hearts being tossed to the ground. Vocal cords, from the sickening sounds of it, were being ripped out and one was even lucky of just having their neck snapped. Ava wasn't happy about it, not by far, but the immortal supposed that she would be even more upset if Nik left the blood splatters for her to see.

Her stomach twisted at the thought, which was curious since she was indeed a vampire and all. Maybe it was her conscious coming to the forefront of her mind? It didn't make sense otherwise, and as Ava subconsciously cradled her stomach she couldn't shake the feeling that she was somehow different. It was like she had changed overnight into something she hadn't been, it was preposterous however. If Ava Mikaelson wasn't a vampire… just what was she?! ...The four witches that Nik summoned didn't exactly fail either of them, whatever they found none of the females could get past their lips due to shock. Or at least that is what Ava suspected. To Klaus, doing nothing was equivalent to failing and it was with the line of thought that - if one would follow it down the rabbit hole where it led - that one would see the logic in it.

Such wayward thoughts made up only one-tenth of the starting point that made the path to being a member of the Mikaelson family.

Ava's vehicle hummed with life underneath her feet as she urged it forward, her heart constricting with pain from within her chest as it did so after being apart from Nik for so long. She wanted to spend what was left of their existence watching Nik with their daughter... With each roll of the tires that moved her and her baby girl farther away from her husband, made Ava want to turn around and never leave his side again. That wasn't her reality though, and as much as Nik was uncertain of what she was contemplating to do - he was also well aware that if she didn't show to have lunch with Damon, that her older brother wouldn't think twice before setting out to track her down. It gave her a warm feeling within the red folds that she had once called a heart, knowing that not only were her brothers alive as they could be - but also due to the fact that if she were to suddenly go missing, at least one of them would notice.

Both of the corners of Ava's lips curved upward into a soft smile as she thought of Damon, whilst she loved Stefan all the same… it seemed to her that Stefan was too much in love with the doppelganger to think of anything but keeping Elena Gilbert safe. Blinded by the fact that she was enjoyed toying with not just him, but their other brother as well. Damon she could see easily untangling himself from Elena, Stefan… not so much. It wasn't like she actually had a problem with the human, other than the fact that she looked exactly like Katherine and acted like her ancestor as well. The doppelgangers actually had characteristics that Ava respected, one of them being the ambitious quality; it was more to the fact that they both expected the world to bow before them that irked Ava. Even so though, nothing could ever amount to the sheer despise she felt for people that expected others to lay down their lives for them. The people that they loved were the ones that they pushed to death's door so that they could live. Ava wouldn't have really said anything about it if her own long lost brothers were two of the dominos that Elena, resident doppelganger, liked to play with. She didn't expect to want to protect Bonnie either, she should have given how close she was with Amelia, but still - she didn't expect it. Taking Bonnie and Elena, for example; Ava had been shocked when Elena pushed Bonnie to die for her when they all had been gathered just a day ago. She had ignored Elena all too easily when ordered her to stop, to let go of Bonnie as Ava dragged the witch out of the door... that Bonnie was her only shot at survival. Nevermind the fact that there were others in the house that were idiotic enough to attempt at laying down their lives for her to live. The doppelganger went so far as to ask Ava incredulously, 'Do you want me to die?!" Ava hadn't answered that question due to the fact that the doppelganger's tone of voice made it seem like a crime punishable by death but now that she thought about it, truly thought about it, Ava found she wouldn't miss the doppel-bitch if she dropped dead right this second. It would have been different if Elena herself was different, but Ava never lingered upon what wasn't.

Ava shook her head as she was stopped by a red light, before eyeing her baby girl in her rearview mirror, sleeping with the head tilted and mouth parted in her car seat. Everything that Ava had ever done was so that Aria could be safe. She was innocent to the chaos that both of her parents lived, pure amidst the hardened world that threatened that innocence at every turn. Ava would keep from her for as long as she could just how many she had to slaughter to keep Aria safe, how long she sat in the bathroom late at night to scrub off the blood from her hands with bleach… and how given the choice, Ava Mikaelson would do it all over again. The number of kill blended together in the first year, faces fleetingly coming to the forefront of her mind before graying with veins of the dead vampires that fell by her hand before their faces blurred out of focus. For as long as she could help it, Ava would protect Aria from the image of just what kind of monster her mother was. At times she felt like the monster she knew herself to be, but then she remembered that no one ever judges a mother bear trying to protect her cubs.

A beep of a horn sounded from the car behind her, the light had turned green whilst she was in thought and Ava rolled her eyes before scanning her surroundings and pressing forward. She had somewhere to be for lunch, Ava just prayed that it all went well… to a God that she hoped would hear her despite what she was.

It wasn't long before Ava pulled into the driveway of her home, one that Klaus had anonymously designed for their every comfort. Turning the car off with a turn of the key before pulling it out, Ava had unlocked the doors and retrieved Aria's baby carrier before she realized that something was different. However strange it may sound, there was a shift in the air that Ava had come to trust with both of their lives and instantly went on high alert. Something was different from how she had left her house, and Ava swiftly moved around the car with her baby cradled in the carrier on her arm to grab the wooden stake that she purposely stashed underneath the driver's seat.

Moving to the house cautiously she closed her eyes to attempt to pinpoint where the intruder was, having the answer in only seconds before narrowing her darkening orbs at the door that she slowly moved to open. I didn't know that we were having a guest over, Amelia. Ava's lips silently twitched upwards into a snarl at the lack of heartbeat registering to her ears before she placed Aria's carrier on the floor and sped to where the intruder was in the livingroom. Her body blurred with the action, catching all that were present by surprise as Ava pushed the unwanted guest into the wall that was behind him before poising the stake directly above his heart. The tip just started to sink into the unknown man's chest before Ava took the moment to look up, instantly however the void expression etched upon her face shifted into one of shock.

It had been many years since she saw him and the two of them parted not on good terms in the least. Ava knew that the only reason that she had the opportunity to stake him was due to the fact that somehow she had caught him by surprise, nothing more. She now realized that blood from the temporary wound that she caused him seeped through a well tailored suit, what may have very well been his signature look. Ava cautiously stepped backward two paces from him, well aware that both Amelia and Bonnie stood behind her as both of them waited to see just what would happened now. Ava blinked twice as she stared into those familiar equally brown orbs of his and was blindsided by the sorrow that was visible to how much apprehension she felt in his presence, she had always cared for Elijah as family. It was however when he voiced his immediate opinion on Aria that -

Ava's eyes widened further before she shifted on her heels and sped to block the doorway that led to where Aria was. There was a time that Ava would have trusted Elijah with Aria's life, but he would have tread down a long road to earn that back. It didn't matter if the child could have the power to be dangerous, as Elijah had claimed once. Humans and the supernatural community alike had the capabilities to be dangerous, they all had the ability to do both good and bad. It was their choices that made them who they were, what they were taught. I won't have a member of her own family calling a innocent child dangerous. My innocent child at that. Fuck that, Elijah. You are delusional if you think that you - the noble brother - are some kind of innocent little butterfly. You have blood on your hands, who are you to judge someone that doesn't?!

Elijah tilted his head to the side then, taking in her stance with a critical eye before looking down at the stake still embedded within his chest with a sigh. A hand reached slowly up to grasp the still upright piece of wood before pulling it out with a soft grunt leaving his lips. The Original reached out the hand with the stake until it was eye level before releasing it, allowing it to drop to the floor beneath their feet with a clang sounding in their ears. He eyed her expression the whole time, noting how Ava looked like she just wanted to take her child and immediately leave his presence. She didn't trust him and while that dug at his heart with anguish that surpassed all that he had ever known, Elijah knew that it was to be expected. He would spend the rest of his existence making it up to her and being the uncle that Aria would need him to be. He slowly started to smile halfheartedly, more than anything with the silent apology that he thought that she didn't want to hear right now before parting his lips to speak and even if it was a dry tone of voice, Elijah felt that it was better than saying nothing at all. "It's good to see you to, Ava."

Ava in turn stared stone faced at him, eyes narrowed as she felt her body coil instinctively in defense. She didn't understand why Amelia would allow him entry into the home that was supposed to be a safe haven, but she was sure going to find out one way or another… even if she had to raise a kind of hell that no one in this room had ever witnessed before. Mainly due to the fact that it usually followed with bodies dropping. Nobody threatens my baby girl and lives. Ava had blood on her hands and she guessed that as long as Aria was kept safe, she could deal with the fact a small part of her shattered from her heart with each and every kill. If Elijah posed as a threat to them, Ava would be sure to find out; for she may not be strong enough to stand against him, but Nik would be probably itching to take her place if it were so.

It was just… despite all that was between the two of them, somewhere hidden deep within Ava's heart there was a hope that Elijah wasn't a threat to them at all. Then, and only then, would she ever be able to find strength to forgive.

Thank you so much for reading. Yup, good old Mikaelson drama but not to worry Ava despite all that she is - would forgive. She just wants to make sure that she wouldn't get burned if she did so. I hope that you liked it. Please leave a quick review and let me know what you think? Thank you.

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Hello! Yes, I am still alive ! Yes, I also come bearing gifts ! So... Don't hate me! This is chapter 19 of Breathless and I couldn't have been more happy with how this story is progressing! From your reviews, I am so relieved that you like it too! I am very happy with this chapter, because it has a bit of everything - (except Klaus.. *frown* but not to worry. He will have more… screen time? … soon. Lol. I can hardly wait.) but nevertheless, what I have come up with is more than 5,000 words and that's just the actual chapter. Actually it's almost 6,000... Anyways, I hope you guys like it!

Chapter 19: Reckless Creed

Elijah tilted his head to the side then, taking in her stance with a critical eye before looking down at the stake still embedded within his chest with a sigh. A hand reached slowly up to grasp the still upright piece of wood before pulling it out with a soft grunt leaving his lips. The Original reached out the hand with the stake until it was eye level before releasing it, allowing it to drop to the floor beneath their feet with a clang sounding in their ears. He eyed her expression the whole time, noting how Ava looked like she just wanted to take her child and immediately leave his presence. She didn't trust him and while that dug at his heart with anguish that surpassed all that he had ever known, Elijah knew that it was to be expected. He would spend the rest of his existence making it up to her and being the uncle that Aria would need him to be. He slowly started to smile halfheartedly, more than anything with the silent apology that he thought that she didn't want to hear right now before parting his lips to speak and even if it was a dry tone of voice, Elijah felt that it was better than saying nothing at all. "It's good to see you to, Ava."

Ava in turn stared stone faced at him, eyes narrowed as she felt her body coil instinctively in defense. She didn't understand why Amelia would allow him entry into the home that was supposed to be a safe haven, but she was sure going to find out one way or another… even if she had to raise a kind of hell that no one in this room had ever witnessed before. Mainly due to the fact that it usually followed with bodies dropping. Nobody threatens my baby girl and lives. Ava had blood on her hands and she guessed that as long as Aria was kept safe, she could deal with the fact a small part of her shattered from her heart with each and every kill. If Elijah posed as a threat to them, Ava would be sure to find out; for she may not be strong enough to stand against him, but Nik would be probably itching to take her place if it were so.

It was just… despite all that was between the two of them, somewhere hidden deep within Ava's heart there was a hope that Elijah wasn't a threat to them at all. Then, and only then, would she ever be able to find strength to forgive. ...But that sure as hell didn't mean that she would just hand over that forgiveness. If he wanted it, he would have to work for it.

"What are you doing here?" The question curled off of Ava's tongue with a dangerous edge as the female immortal stared daggers into Elijah's dark brown eyes that had become familiar to her. Images flashed behind her eyes as Ava remembered how she wondered over the years just who he had come to be, yet at the same time his close proximity to her now made her wary of him. There had been a time seeming to be only a month ago when they had last spoken toeach other; and even though their last encounter wasn't one that could be described as happy by any means, it still resonated within her all the same.

There was a time when she would not only trust Elijah with her life, but with Aria's as well. The thing that changed though had been her; even if you set aside all the other things that added onto it. She wasn't the same naive woman that she had been in 1864, Ava had to get gritty… to force out the hidden, darker side that was housed in her so that her child would have a chance to live. Sure, she still had her softer side but Ava knew better than to bring that into play around people that would abuse that. The problem with Elijah was that Ava truly didn't know what side he would be on, what side he now stood with. Hell, she hadn't even told her own brothers about Aria yet! What made Elijah think that she would welcome him with open arms? An answer to that very same question was what Ava wasn't leaving this room without, no matter the reason she still felt that a simple head's up would have been nice. Amelia had invited him in, that much she knew without speaking to her friend - though it was the why that Ava didn't quite get yet. It wasn't like Amelia knew him enough to place trust in him, they had only met each other - at best - last night. Despite the stories that Ava had shared with Amelia, that kind of limited time getting to know another person hardly warranted trust. Which she probably wouldn't have given anyway due to the fact that Ava had been the only vampire that Amelia… didn't quite hate but a tad bit more than tolerated. Even that description wasn't exactly efficient enough to label their weird friendship.

As Elijah parted his lips to speak after staring at her for a good two minutes in shock, in an attempt to form some kind of answer to her question, Ava effectively cut him off. With the speed of a viper, she turned her focus to Amelia and not caring in the slightest that it seemed Elijah's answer wasn't worth her time to listen to. He took too damn long. He may be stronger than her but that didn't mean that she had to make any of this easier for him - why the hell would she do him any favors?

"Why is he standing in my home, Amelia?" Ava growled the question once more, this time in looking sideways at the two witches that stood stiff as a board. Bonnie visibly jumped backwards at the near animalistic vibration that claimed Ava's throat, eyes widening slightly in fear and suddenly realizing that the way the she-vamp was acting before with her was simply out of protectiveness… not anger, like the young witch had thought. This side of Ava was darker than what Bonnie had encountered and in a way, as much as she probably wouldn't admit out loud, Bonnie suddenly understood what Ava stood for. Clarity claimed her as she remained focused on Ava's hardened face that seemed to slowly begin to crack with worry and maternal determination. She is going to go out swinging; guarding her child from death like a real life, darker version of Lily-freaking-Potter. Something in Bonnie flared with life at the thought.

Ava had to know she wouldn't win in a fight against Elijah… he was an Original vampire for crying out loud... but she fought anyway, not so much for her own life as much as for for daughter's. Bonnie wondered what Ava was prepared to do to make that happen, only because she had no recollection of her own mother, but the answer came to mind just as easily as the question had been thought manifested. Anything… everything. Ava seemed like the kind of person that would be all in or all out, no matter what she did… and that - vampire or not - was something that Bonnie found herself respecting. A woman that went above and beyond to take care of what her daughter needed… deserved that much. She thought of the interaction she had witnessed between Ava and Amelia, two seemingly opposite personalities, yet they still stood by each other. All in or all out. Bonnie remembered how angry she had been at the thought that they were keeping her captive, how she fought with Amelia until Ava arrived and stepped in. Ava was protective of Amelia - of what made Amelia happy - and that was most likely the real reason why she was even here in the first place.

"Why, exactly, did you invite him in?" Ava's voice brought Bonnie back to the present, her green eyes refocusing on the woman that was demanding an answer from the older witch that stood slightly in front of her since Bonnie had moved. She didn't know what to say and really, there was nothing that she could say to make this situation better. "Did you not think it courteous to warn me ahead of time that you had a momentary lapse of judgment to invite Elijah into the home that was built pretty much for the sole purpose of being a safe haven for Aria?"

"I mean Aria no harm, if that is indeed what you are implying." Elijah spoke then after a mere second of silence, - (even though he knew for a fact that she did plainly state as such) - his face constructed into one that gave the impression that he somehow couldn't handle the line of questioning that Ava was demanding of Amelia, whom looked pretty blindsided by it all. Bonnie felt for her, she knew firsthand now that when Ava was furious with someone it was smart to stay out of her way… and may the Lord above be with you if if it happened to be you that screwed up. "That applies to everyone in this house for that matter. I don't even wish harm on Nik - your husband." Elijah said instead of saying "Nik's" birth name since he didn't know if either Ava or Amelia clued Bonnie on who he indeed was. "I just want the rest of my family - our family - back. I apologize for what was said before, I was wary of what was to become of Aria and took it out on you. I provoked your motherly instincts… when I knew better to do so. I am ashamed of this."

After slowly processing what he just said, Bonnie visibly blanched and paled at the implication that Elijah had just made. Somehow… Ava and Elijah were related and if not by blood - Bonnie finally caught sight of the beautifully styled, white gold wedding ring on Ava's left hand. The witch couldn't understand why she hadn't noticed it before but now that Bonnie was eyeing it with curiosity she noticed an letter engraved in the white gold wedding band. Suddenly she had more questions than what she had started with and as Bonnie watched silently as Ava regarded him with a soft, fleeting expression that quickly shifted into a calculating one - she couldn't help but wonder… Who was Ava married to? Who was Ava's father? ...And what did the delicately engraved M stand for?

"And if you decide to go back on this?" Ava raised an eyebrow, for now only nodding thoughtfully at his apology because damn it he should feel like this. There are certain things you just don't do to family… which she had thought they were. Before she slowly tilting her head to the right in contemplation as she silently dared Elijah to give her a reason not to trust him; much alike her gut instinct warned her of right in this moment. "What happens when you stop wanting to play by the rules and dare to make your own? What happens when you come face to face with him again? What happens when you are in close proximity with Aria? ...What happens when you - the supposed noble brother - decides to go back on your word?"

...Brother? The word echoed within the depths of Bonnie's mind, equipped with warning bells. It was almost as if her subconscious was trying to tell her something, something important that she couldn't seem to pull to the forefront of her mind while she was staring at Ava go toe to toe with the Original. Not when it could possibly be just a figure of speech when Elijah called her 'family'. For a long time, Caroline and Elena was apart of her family; family isn't restricted to who you share blood with. Which was obviously the case here because Ava's last name was Salvatore, but to think these two otherworldly beings Bonnie had to find the answer to one seemingly unimportant question... Just who was Nick?

"I know from experience that you prefer actions over words, any day of the week. I could reassure you of how Aria is safe with me, how my intentions are true... But I know without actions to backup my claims that they are mere empty words. I ask of you to give me a chance - one chance - to prove it to you."

Ava stood silently before him, her eyes scanning his face for a hint that this was merely a ploy. She refused to go into any of this blindly, it was more than just her life on the line now. She refused to get sucked in, knowing that if she wasn't careful ...there was a chance that Aria would be caught in the crossfire. She knew that both Elijah and Nik wouldn't let any harm come to Aria on their watch, even if the former still held... reservations locked within his heart about the youngest member of their family. However, Ava also knew that in the heat of the moment, when the arguing would finally escalate into an actual brawl... that their minds wouldn't be on Aria. When their focus solely was on each other, rather than whom was standing in their close proximity.

Her protective instincts skyrocketed from the moment Aria was born, beforehand Ava knew she wasn't this defensive… then again, though, how could she? Everyone that was within her family - that she knew to be semi-alive, that is - could handle themselves. Then she gave birth, seventeen and a half hours of painful labor, to a miracle child that she didn't even know that she could have. Ava knew with certainty from the moment she first held Aria in her tired, straining limbs… that she would kill thousands to keep her child safe. Even if it was at the expense of her own soul - she was a vampire… wasn't that damned anyway? In the off chance that it already wasn't by default due to who she was… if it was to keep her child safe, it still seemed to be a low cost. Maybe that was just her motherly instincts being heightened again, but given the chance Ava wouldn't take back the statement.

She didn't know if she could trust Elijah with Aria, as much as it pained her to admit; even if it was to herself. Too much time had stretched between them, and now she didn't know the man that stood before her. Ava hoped that his intentions were as pure as he wanted her to believe, but there was still a fifty percent chance that he would cross her. More than that told her that he was much alike any other vampire, only being moral when it suited them… when they chose to honor it. Humans were much alike, what made Elijah any different? He still possessed the baser instincts that rose from within them all, it would be foolish to consider anything but.

Ava pursed her lips thoughtfully, and it was only when she remembered how they were once close - family - before they drifted apart both physically and mentally… that urged her to grant him the chance that he was asking for. One and only one chance. If he crossed her, if his actions showed differently than the words he was using now, she could always deal with it then. Ava may not be an Original, may not be able to take him down if such an occurrence came to pass, but she could inflict serious damage. She also knew that Nik would jump at the chance to finish it, even though her stomach twisted at the thought of something happening to Elijah; even after all this time.

Besides, even their once friendship set aside; if it did result in a fight with Elijah… given the apparent gravitation between the Original and Amelia - Ava held a sigh. She didn't want Elijah hurt but… she also didn't know what Amelia would do if it came down to it. It was a preposterous idea all on it's own since Amelia didn't even really know Elijah - for what? Maybe a few hours? - but that didn't stop the little warning bell ringing off in her head; letting her know that something was amidst.

"One chance." Ava declared roughly, warily eyeing him still and noticing that her voice startled the three supernatural beings whom were gathered around her. She hated how Elijah's dark eyes glittered with appreciation, for a part of her wanted to hate him… because doing so seemed to be so much easier than the long dreary road that he willingly wanted to travel down to earn her forgiveness. She just didn't want to get hurt again. He probably doesn't quite remember how well I happen to hold a grudge, Ava thought before releasing the sigh that pushed past her lips. "Only one, Elijah. In return, you aren't to be left alone in the same room as Aria. You may be right - we are family or at the very least we once were - but you still have to earn your spot here. You have to literally show me that you won't go back on your word, that will be the first step down the long road that leads to me being comfortable in your presence. So in so many words? You are now starting off from scratch. You now have a babysitter, and since you have decided to worm your way into Amelia - into my home - she is the one that has volunteered."

Amelia parted her lips to speak, probably to deny that she signed up for such a thing, but with a firm look from Ava the witch shut her mouth with little to no noise. She might feel that she didn't sign up for such a thing, but Ava felt as if she had. The immortal knew that she was pissed, probably acting impulsive towards Amelia but the fact remained that the witch didn't contact her to let her know what awaited her when she arrived home. If anything, Ava was wary of Amelia being so impulsive. She only knew Elijah for a few hours at the most… and she already invited him inside their home? He was but a stranger to Elijah and yet, here he stood…

"You both are very lucky that I have to meet my older brother for lunch in a few minutes, but we will discuss this later today. Elijah, you will be confined to one of the many rooms in the manor until we have said discussion. Even after hearing your apology and taking it into account, I do not feel comfortable with you roaming my house - where my child thinks as home - without me here. You can no longer walk around town inconspicuous, others now know what you are: an Original. Whatever tricks you may have pulled before we crossed paths, won't work anymore. Whether you realize it or not, you need a safe haven of sorts and despite our history - I don't hate you so much so that it makes me deny you that much. Not when I have the means to remedy that. If you want to ever be considered family again, you will find a way to show me that you want it. You should remember that I won't simply give away my trust to you, or anyone for that matter."

Elijah shifted his gaze from her face, to the tile floor beneath their feet and back again. She silently watched as he nodded his head in understanding, grasping onto the possibly to start new with Ava. He had expected nothing less than what she was offering him now, actually it was a step up from what he assumed she would offer him. He expected, at the very least, things to be thrown at him. Maybe a vase, a chair, a tv…. or those death traps of high heels that both Rebekah and Ava favored. "I understand. I thank you, Ava, for giving me this much."

Ava minutely held his gaze before rolling her eyes, "Yeah, sure." Baby steps, Elijah thought in return before he silently shadowed her up the stairs after a gesture of wordless prompting. Elijah felt both Bennett witches follow Ava and himself with their eyes until they turned the corner out of sight. Before he willingly stepped through the threshold of the room Ava brought him to, the near invisible ripple that magically sealed, soundproof room allowing him to pass; his supernatural hearing picked up the thoughtful hum that vibrated from Amelia's throat before she finally spoke to Bonnie.

"Well… that went well." Her tone of voice might have been sarcastic, but if Amelia ever had seen the side of Ava that laid hidden underneath the surface - dangerous and very much alive - she wouldn't have been sarcastic at all. Other than the tone Amelia had used, Elijah felt inclined to agree with her words.


"I thought that you would be happy to see Elijah. From how you talked about him before, you didn't have such a problem with him. Ava, you can't be mad at him for following my instincts. He didn't seem like a threat to me or, better yet, anyone who ever entered this house." Amelia blinked at her steadily a few steps away from where the Original was locked up, as if she couldn't find out what set Ava off. How was she supposed to know that Ava would get defensive? Sure, Elijah was wary of how Ava would react but to lock him in a room here - as a prisoner at that? Bonnie's situation was different, it was for her own safety, or at least that was what Amelia kept telling herself to justify her being trapped her. Bonnie didn't like it here, that much the younger witch had expressed, but it kept her alive… so no, Amelia didn't think Bonnie was being held captive. But Elijah what had he said about Aria to make Ava so hostile?

"You know nothing of him, Amelia! That's one of the problems about this. You have known him for less than a day and you invited him in my house. Mind you, without even telling me about it! You thought it wise to bring him to another person's house like he was some stray dog, without even contemplating the thought of rabies! How did you think I would react to someone - that might as well be a stranger - standing in my home, Amelia?! What scenario did you come up with that made you think this was such a good idea?"

"I thought it would be a pleasant surprise for you!" Amelia stated exasperatedly, defensively and Ava clenched her teeth in irritation before raising both of her eyebrows at the witch.

"Ooh, it was a surprise alright but that doesn't make it pleasant!" Ava turned away and went to leave before taking pause at the stairwell, "Amelia, you have to try and understand. I have kept Aria safe from any unknown variable that tried to force it's way into her life, ever since she was born. From the moment she left me and became her own person that was now capable of screaming, I fought to make sure that she didn't grow up fearing the shadows clawing her bedroom walls, her closet and underneath of her bed. I fought to keep her safe from the things I want her to be unknown to, so she wouldn't ever think that she was safe. Elijah is an unknown, he was once my friend… family. I spent too much time away from him that when I now look into his eyes, I can't help see a stranger that looks kinda like someone I used to know…"

With those words lingering in the air, Amelia watched silently as Ava descended the staircase before hesitantly looking at the wooden door that she knew Elijah hid behind. Why does this man have such a hold on me? Amelia scoffed within her head before she turned to leave for her room, only to take pause and dare to look at it once more. Ava was right, she didn't know him personally - instead she knew of him and while Amelia felt like she was to blame for the confrontation that happened between both immortals… she hoped that things would move forward for them. Even if it was just for Ava to move on.

Little did Amelia know as she once more turned herself away and started to move toward her bedroom, that Elijah literally stood right next to the door. His right hand placed firmly on the wood for even if no sound leaked through into the room, he somehow knew that Amelia still was within the house… and for now, that was enough.

Without Amelia or Elijah in view now, Bonnie moved hesitantly out of the living room to watch Ava finally step down from the last step. Bonnie had heard the argument between Amelia and the vampire before her - how could she not? - and the young witch couldn't help but understand both sides of the coin. Amelia did what she thought would be best, a surprise for Ava to see one that she once called family… and Ava.. well, she saw Elijah as an unknown variable. Which Bonnie felt was smart. Amelia didn't know him, didn't know everything Elijah had done since he stepped into Mystic Falls… and Bonnie couldn't help but be wary, because it seemed like Amelia didn't want to know. It was like Bonnie somehow joined their creed, their code of arms and she couldn't take back the unspoken oath… no matter how reckless she now knew it to be.

The young witch withheld the sigh that fought to leave her but still could contain the frown that tilted her lips downward as she watched Ava tried to regulate her breathing in an effort to calm herself. It was such a human behavior that, even if it was for a moment, Bonnie didn't have to imagine that hard that Ava was human… a young mother that barely had it together, holding to what was now her life by mere fingertips. The more she was around Ava, the more Bonnie grew to understand her. She couldn't fault Ava for putting her daughter first, shielding Aria from what would cause her harm… as well as shielding the child away from the reality of how much blood was on her mother's hands. There would come a day where Ava could no longer hide such things from Aria, this much Bonnie already knew, but as of right now? Bonnie felt that Ava was just a mother trying to keep her child safe in a world where monsters lingered, where if given the chance… they would eat Aria alive.

Biting her bottom lip, Bonnie moved one more step forward before opening her mouth to speak, "Is there… anything I can do?" She tried to pretend that seeing Ava still at her question didn't bother her, but for some reason it did. Bonnie didn't know why it did exactly, it's wasn't like they were close by any means and Bonnie was still getting used to her… but she supposed that she was bored here in this house. An itch scratched underneath of Bonnie's skin to do something to pass the time while she stayed here. Bonnie tried to justify to herself that being stuck here in this 'manor' gave her cabin fever, but she also could admit to herself that Ava wasn't just some vampire. Bonnie didn't know the best definition to describe the she-vamp, though she knew that there was somehow more to Ava than one could see at first glance… even if Bonnie herself hadn't figured it out yet.

Ava slowly turned to look at her, the glint in the immortal's eyes was one of surprise. This was probably the first time that Bonnie spoke to her civilly. It was one thing to think Ava was different but it was a completely different thing to act on that thought. Ava in response didn't quite know how to react towards this new development, if the look that Bonnie was getting was taken into account. Bonnie didn't know if her dream was real, the one with her Grams... she didn't know if she actually wrapped her arms around Shelia Bennett; but it had to be some kind of sign. She would try for her Grams and see where it led her. I've got nothing more to lose right, Bonnie thought to herself as she watched Ava try to conceal her emotions… to shift back into the almost unimpressed facade. Too late for that.

"You…" Ava seemed to have difficulty speaking as she stared at Bonnie before forcing herself to speak, "want to help… me?" Ava and Amelia made it clear that they wouldn't ask Bonnie to do anything for them, that she was to simply live… not once had the possibility crossed Ava's mind Bonnie would want to do something. To help. When Bonnie nodded her head in confirmation, Ava let a breath of air pass her lips. She looked down at her beautiful little girl for one long moment before an idea struck her, one that would prove that she could start to trust Bonnie. If not, then giving Bonnie a chance to watch over Aria - to spend time with the child as well as keeping her safe - will kick start things in motion.

"Alright… Hey Bonnie, what do you know about protection spells?"

Ava pushed open the door the Grill, trying fruitlessly to keep the pleased smile off of her face as she scanned the establishment for her brother. Finally, after a few minutes, she spotted him seated at the bar; looking bored amongst the teenagers that hungered for entertainment. Whether it be playing pool, eating or checking out the opposite gender - they all were almost a marvel all on their own. Things have changed in the youth since Ava was considered one, that was for sure. She moved forward confidently towards him, her eyes glinting as she watched him pull back a shot of Bourbon and Ava was playing ignorant to how the human males seemed to respond to her walking past them. They were worth her time, besides watching with amusement as Nik got jealous. That always resulted in the best sex after all, Ava thought mischievously before shaking her head and gaining Damon's attention.

"How can you already be bored, Damon? Did you miss me that much?"

Damon's bright blue eyes electrified with amusement at her voice even before he looked at her, "Yes, sister dear. It's a miracle that I had survived as long as I did without you there to be a constant presence." He started off sarcastic but grew to be almost… serious about that statement, making her wonder what he had been through after she thought both him and Stefan to be dead since the last time she saw them in 1864. "Stefan came and went like a thief in the night -" He continued on and his voice made her start to grin, the dramatic emphasis he put on certain words greatly amused her. He leaned toward her a little as if to share a well-kept secret with her which made her lean forward as well, "though to be fair, most of the time I tended to kick him out of my life… and then later, he did that to me. Our youngest sibling grew into such a bore."

Her smile twitched and before she knew what she was doing, a gentle laugh spilled from her lips. For the first time in what seemed to be many years, she actually laughed. Beside her older brother. Who she spent years thinking was dead. In response to the sound, the corners of Damon's eyes crinkled with delight; for it had been soo long since he last heard that sound. "You, on the other hand…" He teasingly trailed off before reaching a band blindly down to grab another shot of Bourbon and offered it to her, "I have a strong suspicion that you know damn well how to have fun."

She playfully winked then - not confirming or denying his assessment and it only made Damon's smirk to grow into a smile - before snagging the offered shot glass and pour it's contents swiftly down her throat. The burn that accompanied the liquid curled through her system, appreciated by Ava after the frustration she had at home. She spoke before she even realized she opened her mouth, "Thanks. You absolutely have no idea how much I needed that..."

Damon gave her a side glance at that, giving her his sole attention after signaling the bartender to get him a few more shots. "Tell me." He requested of her in an almost carefree manner, not willing to show his hand so soon and ask her the questions that were assaulting his mind. He continued when the bartender, a blond human with eyes too far apart in his opinion, placed two more shots in front of him. She left them after eyeing him coyly and pouting when he didn't offer her much attention, you know - aside from the dry look that told her to get lost. Nothing was going to get in the way of spending time with his long lost sister - nothing.

"Come on, Ava… Don't you dare leave me in suspense!" The corners of Damon's smile curved as he eyed her with those piercing blue orbs, mischief danced within him and it seeped into his tone that was almost pleading. "...Inquiring minds want to know."

Thank you so much for reading! I hope that you liked it. Please leave a review. I would love to hear what you think. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside when I read them. :)

Chapter Text

He y people! I have been sick. Here I am though with the next chapter of Breathless. Hope you like it. It's more than 3,000 words. :) Thanks for the reviews, favorites and follows.

Chapter 20: We are the Champions

...

Her smile twitched and before she knew what she was doing, a gentle laugh spilled from her lips. For the first time in what seemed to be many years, she actually laughed. Beside her older brother. Who she spent years thinking was dead. In response to the sound, the corners of Damon's eyes crinkled with delight; for it had been soo long since he last heard that sound. "You, on the other hand…" He teasingly trailed off before reaching a band blindly down to grab another shot of Bourbon and offered it to her, "I have a strong suspicion that you know damn well how to have fun."

She playfully winked then - not confirming or denying his assessment and it only made Damon's smirk to grow into a smile - before snagging the offered shot glass and pour it's contents swiftly down her throat. The burn that accompanied the liquid curled through her system, appreciated by Ava after the frustration she had at home. She spoke before she even realized she opened her mouth, "Thanks. You absolutely have no idea how much I needed that..."

Damon gave her a side glance at that, giving her his sole attention after signaling the bartender to get him a few more shots. "Tell me." He requested of her in an almost carefree manner, not willing to show his hand so soon and ask her the questions that were assaulting his mind. He continued when the bartender, a blond human with eyes too far apart in his opinion, placed two more shots in front of him. She left them after eyeing him coyly and pouting when he didn't offer her much attention, you know - aside from the dry look that told her to get lost . Nothing was going to get in the way of spending time with his long lost sister - nothing .

"Come on, AvaDon't you dare leave me in suspense!" The corners of Damon's smile curved as he eyed her with those piercing blue orbs, mischief danced within him and it seeped into his tone that was almost pleading. "...Inquiring minds want to know."

Ava froze up immediately in response, at his tone as well as the strong feeling gripped at her heart for she somehow knew that Damon wouldn't let it go. She could have given him some mediocre reason as to why her day went so badly, and had gotten away with it too if she were human. That was the thing though, she wasn't and Ava promised herself that if either one of her brothers' attempted to take the time to understand… that she would try her damnedest in return to explain it to them. It didn't come much of a surprise that Damon was the first one to start to question her about it, given how close Stefan was to the equation… to Elena. The fact was that if Damon found the bread crumb trail first, it meant that there was one to begin with. It meant that Stefan overlooked it and wouldn't be too far from them if he was trailing after Damon. Metaphorically, of course, and who knows? Maybe physically as well.

Now, Damon… He probably had plans to interrogate her for information regarding something, and it was probably the real reason why he wanted to spend lunch with her. To sort through the pieces and decipher what was the truth and what wasn't. Something more than what she knew to be pain clenched her insides and twisted them into different directions, pulling in ways that they were not meant for. She should be happy that he wanted to meet with her, to give her a chance to explain, but Ava also felt the sting of the ulterior motive. Which was fucking comical to her given what she was doing. She couldn't help but feel that way though, but the only thing that was slowly settling that feeling was the knowledge that he loved her. It also seemed he was more curious than anything - something Ava couldn't fault him for - and the tone he used wasn't judgemental in the slightest. In fact, it was playful, as if this was all one big trivia game. So there was always that… Maybe this could work, maybe. Ava just felt so terrified to lose him for all the secrets she chose to keep. If Damon knew about it all, if she forced herself to lay it all out for his eyes to judgewould he?

"Helllooo. Earth to Ava?" Damon waved a hand in her face to try and get her attention and when she refocused, Ava noticed that even though his tone was playful it was those blue eyes that gave way to how he really felt in that moment. Concerned. Maybe this wouldn't be so bad. Maybe things will get better. She smiled gently at him, trying to keep back the tears that threatened to sting in her eyes as he continued with urgency, "Where the hell did you go, hmm? ...Are you okay? You are okay, right?"

She tried not to laugh at how confused he sounded towards the end, how uncomfortable he was around emotional women. This is nothing, I was so much worse when I was pregnant… God, how I wished you were with me in that time Damon. Even if it was just for a mere second. It would have meant everything to me. Ironically the reoccuring thought of how her brother's weren't with her in such a life changing time, how they still didn't know about Aria, made her even more emotional. Even though she knew within her heart that she needed to protect her child from anyone; keeping this from her brothers was proving to be so much more difficult than earlier when she asserted herself against Elijah. These were her brothers, for crying out loud. "I'm fine." She responded back by default, as she didn't want to worry him of how close she was to an emotional break down. Today alone, Ava saw her husband with their baby; was held protectively in his arms or the first time in what seemed to be such a long while. She went back home, grudgingly, and came face to face with one from her past. One that she hadn't been on equal footing with since the night that was fine before it all went to hell… before he had died. She got long well with Elijah; his mannerisms, his code and how he viewed his family was something to be admired. Something that she had always counted on even when things were at their worst. She just didn't make it a secret how she thought about what he said about Aria.

In a way, Aria's birth was as surprising to Klaus and Ava as much as it was to everyone else that knew. It shouldn't have happened, she was a vampire but it did anyway. Even though she was technically dead, and to find out how one needed to ask the one that already passed on. The one whom gifted Ava with such abilities… the one she had to have that conversation with was Emily Bennett. They loved Aria, no matter what her bloodlines were. She was their child, their miracle child. Of course it didn't start off with an upbeat attitude like that, nothing was ever perfect… but the fact still remained the same.

Ava sighed, the huff of air escaping her lips softly, because she could hear for herself that her emotions leaked through her words. She looked at him, truly looked at him and when she opened her mouth to speak Ava knew she had to give him a head's up on where this conversation was going. In an attempt to prepare him, mentally, for the conversation Ava knew that they needed to have. "...Womb to tomb, right?" It was a figure of speech that fit this scenario: Bound together more than just blood; will you, my sibling, always be with me? Will you love me though it all?

Damon's face fell sharply, his eyes narrowing in on her own before he spoke, "Yes… I am astounded that you even have to ask." And hurt, Ava heartbreakingly deterred from what slowly bled out of his blank expression. "Listen, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that you have secrets and hey to each their own. I can't blame you for that, I wasn't there with the the majority of your vampire years. Literally just realized you were alive at all when you popped up in Mystic Falls. ...But whatever secrets that can and will involve me, whatever gets too much to handle? I'd like to know about. Even if it is out of self-preservation and protecting you." She didn't know why, maybe it was the idea of him still protecting her even with him knowing all that she had done… but as his words sunk deep into her, Ava's chest warmed with emotion. Now, all she could truly do was stare at him. Ava could easily tell that her stare unnerved him in some ways but he also didn't complain. The right side corner twitched upwards in response, he didn't back down. There; that was yet another thing that she could respect of Damon.

"...Your right Damon, I am keeping secrets. Though that doesn't seem to surprise you at all." She finally admitted to him, still locking his eyes with her assessing ones as she observed that the second half of her statement rung true. "Be that as it may, I do need to ask that of you. These secrets that I have kept from you... from Stefan, only a select few know of. I wanted to tell you as soon as I found out you were here, as alive as could be expected but I couldn't let my emotions blind me, Damon. I still can't. I couldn't tell Steffy, not when he was visibly so wrapped up in Elena... and until recently, I thought you were too."

That was because up until recently I was. Damon silently amended, tearing his eyes away from her as something close to shame filled him. He hadn't been able to break the doppelganger spell, not until he saw how Elena had treated the one person he gave a damn about besides himself to date. What she was leading up to though made him wonder what she got herself into hundred plus years that they had been apart. Ava obviously was protecting something - someone? - special to her and she forced herself not to tell anyone because of it. It stung a bit before he actually took the time to understand where she was coming from; they hadn't seen each other in awhile. 'As alive as could be expected-' so Ava didn't know that he was alive at all… she had to have heard of Stefan's Ripper days though right? It wasn't like either of them went off the grid. Adding all of that with whatever she had been through made her wary to trust... and god, if he himself didn't understand that. He would be lying if he said that he hadn't been hoping that Ava had a good existence, he felt that she deserved that much. Hearing her talk though made Damon want to wrap his arms around her and just give her a hug. However, bit of good news: Stefan didn't know either. And damn, if that didn't do his ego some good.

"If any of my enemies -" Ava had enemies? Plural? Damon blinked in response before he contemplated if he should be proud of such a fact or even more on edge... probably both. Hey, it happens to the best of us. "were to hear any of these secrets and all of them are underhanded enough to use any bit of information against me and mine..." Ava looked away from him for the very first time since she started to speak, in an effort to collect her thoughts and after a moment she looked to Damon with a plea in her eyes for him to understand, "It's not just my life that will be on the line, brother."

So, she is protecting someone. Damon assessed her words quickly, but at the same time more questions arose. But why? Who would be worthy enough to protect? She had protected Bonnie with a fierce edge, that was for sure.. But this? This seemed like an entirely different ball game. What he had seen before was the minor league version and Damon couldn't help but wonder if he was even ready for this. "And you think that I would tell anyone when it's obviously so damn important to you? Really, I'm hurt." Damon scoffed with an edge that wasn't quite playful, before looking at her with serious eyes, "Ava, I wouldn't ever betray you. You're my sister, damn it, so stop with the theatrics and just tell me."

Ava sighed in response, "...I can't do that." She only got the first two words out before Damon groaned in response, he turned his head away and because he did so, the older Salvatore sibling didn't see the mischievous smile curling on his sister's lips. "But… I can show you." Damon's head spun around so fast that if he were human, he would certainly have whiplash. His blue crystallized eyes frantically found her dark ones, taking in her smile that was sincere. "Yeah… I think I want to introduce you to someone very special to me." She hopped off the bar stool in one fluid movement, before turning back and downing the shot of alcohol that was in front of her. He hesitantly followed her movement, watching her with observant eyes as she scanned the Grill before she took notice of Caroline, "Hey Blondie!" The cheerleader corrected her pose with interest from where she was almost slouched in her seat at one of the tables; trying and failing to come off as not being an eavesdropper of their little conversation no doubt. "You are coming with. I tend for you to be a present for a certain little witch that is currently bored out of her 'ever loving mind'."

Caroline Forbes, no doubt concluding that Ava was talking about Bonnie, jumped out of her seat with brightly lit eyes. After grabbing her jacket that was hanging off the back of her chair and clutching at her purse, the blonde mysteriously was in front of them faster than any human could recognize. Damon glared at her after quickly observing that no one had taken notice, but Caroline's attention was centered solely on Ava's face; the younger vampire's body positively vibrating with glee. Ugh, I swear that I can almost see the little hearts hovering around her body. As if that weird twinkle wasn't enough.

"Seriously?!" Caroline asked her, a smile wide on her lips and when Ava slowly reflected it, Damon inwardly cringed. Please don't let there be two of them. Ava seemed to understand what Caroline was going through though and nodded her head firmly once. As they all made it out of the Grill, Caroline of course reaching the door before either of them, Damon reflected about how he got here. All the trials and errors, all the bloodshed and pain… and he couldn't help but hope that Ava had a better life than he.

"Ava." Stefan started in relief as soon as he came crashing into the parking lot with his restored, older car - ha, still has nothing on my beauty - and the women in question paid him little mind as she unlocked her vehicle and told them to hop in. "Have you seen Elena?"

"No." Ava answered without pause, as she moved around in attempt to make it to the driver's seat at human pace. Conviction and truth laced in that one word. Damon listened intently to the answers that Ava had to Stefan's questions, mentally comparing his list of things he himself needed to ask to what Stefan was asking. He quickly got in the front passenger seat with Blondie seated behind him, and ignored Caroline for now in favor of concentrating on every word that was spoken between the two siblings.

"Elijah, then? She is probably with him. Surely you have at least heard of him." Stefan seemed desperate, even after Damon told him not to question her about this.

"Stefan." Ava's voice reflected to anyone listening that she had enough, it was bad enough that the first thing he said to her wasn't how her day was going - but 'Have you seen Elena?' He wouldn't bother to listen right now… Ava thought to herself before turning her body to finally face him, "I don't know anyone that actually knows their history to not know about Elijah. What makes you so sure that I know what he even looks like? But from what I do know, I am going to ask you one question and if you have the answer, I will stand here all damn day and you can bug me to your dead heart's content. I will drop everything important that I need to do today if you just answer me this one question. Ready?" Caroline visibly leaned forward to gravitate to the conversation opposite of her and ironically, so did Ava to Stefan.

"Elijah is a thousand year old Vampire. If you were a thousand year old vampire... Steffy," Ava borrowed his nickname for Stefan, making Damon's smirk widen before she continued without pause, "Tell me, where - exactly - would your lair be?" Damon had a hard time smothering his chuckle as Stefan stood before their sister, dumbfounded, and she gave him a full minute to respond before silently getting in the car. With a blank face to Stefan's protests, Ava put it in drive and left the parking lot with ease, it was only then did Damon release his laugh. Caroline had more reserve and tried not to laugh, though he could have sworn that a snicker came from her.

She has a point. Multiple points, actually. Damon gleefully thought as he blissfully recalled Stefan's expression to the question, and before fiddling with the radio to blare what was sure to be their new theme song - "We are the champions" by Queen - he was sure that a corner of Ava's lips quirked up for a second as well.

...

….

How sassy Ava is. Technically she didn't lie, if you read carefully. Example : "What makes you so sure that I know what he even looks like?" See? Underhanded and all, Ava didn't lie to Stefan… she just didn't tell him anything useful. I don't think he is even ready for that at this stage. He will get there… eventually. -_- Thanks for reading. Please leave a small review. *The author does this in her free time and would like to hear what you think… even if it's just a one word review. Please and thank you.*

You all can take a guess as to what happens next chapter, right? ;)