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Swept into Four Corners

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“News straight from Kansas City! Elijah Mikaelson captures two most wanted! Read all about it!”

The short and stout man’s voice was obnoxiously loud as the gentleman departed the claustrophobic though quite decent stagecoach, adjusting his jacket and spending precious moments wiping the worst patches of dirt off his sleeves that had been kicked up as soon as he stepped down. He was approached almost immediately, the man attempting to sell the bundle of newspapers held protectively under his arm, glancing between him and one such paper several times over.

“Hey, wait a minute! Are you...?”

The gentleman, Elijah Mikaelson himself, smiled politely but not completely void of repulsion. “It’s been said that I bear a remarkable resemblance to the man. Sadly, no, I am not this Mikaelson character. Though I daresay I should much enjoy running into him one of these days,” Elijah finished with a tip of his hat. He walked away quickly though discreetly, desiring to draw no further attention to himself. Due to this, he was relieved - almost delighted - when he discovered the saloon several paces ahead, knowing that if Klaus were in town he would no doubt be there. Or possibly in some alley feeding on some poor, helpless soul.

His brother may be adept at staying several steps ahead of him, but he could not hope to outrun Elijah forever.

This particular small town - Four Corners, he believed was the name - seemed the same as all the others: dusty and full of aimless, often drunken men. Elijah felt a pang of longing for a large city he could easily lose himself in, both a desire and necessity. He had scarce an idea why Klaus had chosen to flee to the West. In Elijah’s opinion the dirt was simply unbearable, seeping not only into and under one’s clothes but also into the blood of everyone he fed upon.

Elijah scanned the mediocre saloon until his broad gaze settled on two gentlemen, who were standing at the bar and sharing drinks. These men seemed the best dressed of the scattered crowd and even gave off the aura of being lawmen. He decided to take the chance.

He approached them confidently, his voice unwavering, “Good afternoon, Gentlemen.” The men glanced up at him and nodded politely, though Elijah did not disclose the nature of his visit until he ordered a drink from a quite lovely Mexican woman. “I was wondering if you might assist me? You see, I am attempting to find Klaus Mikaelson. I heard rumors that he might have swept into this town in Tuesday morning’s stagecoach.”

The slightly taller of the two men, dressed entirely in black, turned to the other. “Vin, you hear of any Mikaelson?”

“Reckon I heard of an Elijah somewhere along th’ line.”

“You got a description?”

Elijah pulled a well-worn though miraculously still intact photograph from his jacket pocket and handed it to the man in black, who stared at it for a long moment before nodding. “I seen him around day before last. Said he just came in town for a few supplies. Haven’t seen him since then though.”

Klaus was always keen to move on quickly, it had become the Mikaelson habit: never staying in one town for too long. His brother should have little reason to believe that Elijah was on his trail; it was more so Klaus and all their siblings having learned from experience that if they became too comfortable somewhere, their treacherous father would inevitably find them. Elijah, however, had taken it as a personal insult that Klaus had left him behind. The Mikaelson siblings were certainly stronger together than apart. Unfortunately, his dear sister Rebekah had sided with Klaus on this particular matter, having refused to go with Elijah, claiming she had her own life to live for once.

So Elijah had set off, securing bounties along the way and establishing quite a name for himself in the process. His father would hear of him soon enough, and that would result in his departure from this dust covered wilderness for good.

Just as soon as he found his reckless brother.

“Might I presume one of you is the law in town, Gentlemen?”

The man in black held out a hand and Elijah shook it, “Chris Larabee.” He motioned toward the other man, “And this is Vin Tanner. We and five other men protect this town.”

“An unusual yet refreshing arrangement. Well then,” he nodded his thanks at the both of them and finished his whiskey. “I shall take no more of your time. It was a pleasure to meet the two of you, and I greatly appreciate your assistance in this matter. Good day to you.”

Elijah swept out of the saloon, resigned to searching every inch of this town in the hopes of proving the men wrong.


 

Chris and Vin watched the well-dressed and almost overly sincere man exit the saloon.

“Talks a bit like Ezra,” Vin remarked.

Chris snorted at the bit part and downed another glass. That man, whoever he was, might have talked like Ezra, but he had at least been polite while their gambler was cranky on a good day and outright rude at his worst. “I didn’t know any better I’d think they were brothers. Especially with the way they both dress. Did you see his jacket? Think Ezra would’ve been upset.” He snickered and Vin smiled a little less shyly than usual at him.

“Do we know any better, Chris? Ain’t like Ezra’s an open book or anythin.’ Fer all we know they could be distant cousins or somethin.’ They both repressed a shudder at that; they didn’t need any more of Ezra’s relatives in town.

Chris refilled his glass again and wished they had something better to talk about. Then again, he and Vin never much needed to talk anyway. It was enough just being in the same room together, close enough to touch Vin if he needed… if he wanted to.

He retreated to a corner table, Vin following suit without a word or gesture needed from him. When Vin sat down, Chris hooked a leg around the tracker's chair and pulled him closer. He paid no mind to the saloon's other occupants scattered about, most of them too far away to be worth any bother. It finally seemed like they would be getting a quiet day, free of trouble, and Chris would do anything to keep it that way.

Of course, the main concern was he and Vin getting enough alone time.

“Head back to my room?” Vin offered. He worried about discretion more for Chris’ sake than for his own, how it would hurt Chris’ reputation if he was seen giving any even remotely intimate gesture to Vin. “Or yers.”

Chris shook his head slowly with a sly smile, pouring he and Vin each a glass. It was only then that Vin relaxed, once he realized Chris wouldn’t take the way out that he had offered him. His leg hooked around Chris’ and they both simultaneously scooted their chairs closer.

With a glass of whiskey in his hand and Vin sitting close enough to kiss, Chris reckoned it’d be a pretty good day.


 

Elijah caught up with Klaus shortly after sunset, which had been the most probable outcome given it was the best time to feed. They could manage it during the daylight hours if necessary, though the Original family, despite their age-old power, had learned to lay low due both to lingering superstition and mainly due to their father's relentlessness. Elijah himself now cleaned his mouth with a handkerchief after his small yet quite delectable meal. He could only hope Klaus had used the same such discretion as he.

No such luck.

Elijah found him hidden well-enough, though the location still proved insufficient as a nagging thought in Elijah’s head reminded him that there were seven law men supposedly protecting this little town, quite an unusual number for such a commonplace town. Klaus had made quite the mess of himself, he and the girl he held who was moments from death both coated in her blood. Elijah had caught the scent miles away, and he wondered whether the carnage would draw humans.

“Brother, I would urge you to exercise more discretion.”

Klaus released the girl and she dropped gracelessly to the ground. Elijah tsked and stepped closer, gazing down at her pale, now blood-soaked throat. He would have had a small taste himself, if Klaus had not so rudely dropped her into the dirt. “You and your tips, Elijah. Though it seems to me that you are a hypocrite, given you were the talk of this lovely little town when I arrived.”

“No more so than you, Niklaus. I have followed your trail of bodies for no less than five states now.”

Klaus grinned with bloodied teeth, though Elijah hardly found the situation amusing. Even more so when he had barely stopped to rest since on Klaus’ trail. “I’ve been thinking about perhaps putting up roots here. What do you think, Lijah?”

Elijah couldn't help but smile at this notion. “I believe Rebekah will never visit us here. Far too much dust,” he bent down and scooped up a handful of earth, watching as the wind swept it away.

“Then where, pray tell, will she follow us?”

The question is whether she will follow us at all. It is a matter of when and not of where. Elijah dashed these thoughts quickly and without remorse, handing Klaus his handkerchief to wipe the blood off his hands. His clothes, unfortunately, were in a state of absolute ruin, though Elijah had brought along a spare change of clothes for him in that likelihood. “Dispose of the body, then we shall leave this town for preservation’s sake.”

His dear brother seemed to agree well enough. “I’ve had better whiskey elsewhere.”

“Yes, indeed, no love lost here.”

Hardly ten minutes later and the two well-fed brothers left the town on horses recently purchased, the man in black and his drinking companion watching them curiously as they departed.

FIN