Prompt #2: If a character could have one wish come true for Christmas, it would be…
Elijah's wish: That their family once more be whole and happy.
Elijah sighed as he walked the streets of New Orleans. The farthest thing from his mind was to return to the Abattoir, where he knew Niklaus was bitterly drowning himself in alcohol at their latest find in the web of lies Hayley had constructed.
The noble one, as he was renowned for being, did not feel so noble at all in that moment.
His family lay in tatters, divided—more so than they ever had been. Rebekah banished, Kol dead…
And then there was Hayley Marshall.
Guilt swarmed his mind. He knew he should have seen it, should have somehow found a way to… to protect his fragile brother from this latest, cruel betrayal. For, despite the monumental mask the hybrid had constructed, that was what Niklaus was; the thousand years gone by had only continued to scar him. His happiness, his light had been doomed to fall into a pit of never-ending darkness the very night he killed his first victim and the truth of his parentage was found out.
Elijah had always wanted the best for his impulsive, stubborn, violent brother. He had always been wracked with guilt at the hand he'd played the night the curse was laid upon him, at his weakness in the moment he stood staring into his brother's pleading, desperate eyes, their father behind him ordering him to shackle his closest friend to the wood. The moment he had relented and done as asked, he had regretted it. And yet the fear of Mikael had… had forced him to adhere to the sadist's orders.
He shook his head, looking up at the full moon above. A thousand years later and the Mikaelson family was more ruined than ever. Kol's death had marked them all in ways they'd never anticipated, but of course it ran far deeper; one had to tread far further back in their history than that to truly understand the root of it.
No member of the family was without fault, was utterly innocent in their fall. And yet Elijah could not help but shoulder the blame, at least to himself acknowledge that he was the cause of… most of it—however untrue that fact was.
This was why, after witnessing his brother kill the werewolf that had lied to them for months in sheer anger, sheer betrayal, and sheer grief at the loss of a child that had never been… this was why Elijah found himself looking up at the full moon on Christmas Eve, repeating a wish for the thousandth time.
He wished for his brother's happiness and salvation. He wished for their family to once more become whole… he wished, he wished, he wished as he always had.
He looked down at the gravel beneath his feet, shoulders slumped in a rare show of forsaken hope.
Shaking his head, he spun and whooshed away, back to the Abattoir. He passed Niklaus, still drinking himself to sleep with an empty bottle of bourbon on the side table and a bottle of scotch in his hand as he gazed unseeingly at Hayley's body, more pointedly to the counterfeit swollen belly he once believed to be filled with a child—his child. A chance at happiness, a chance at having someone who would love him without reservation; acceptance granted unconditionally.
But it was hollow, a spelled image.
Another dream shattered.
Elijah sighed and looked down, swallowing as he disappeared into his chambers—passing Kol and Rebekah's barren rooms on his way.
He dressed for bed and tried to sleep but found all his efforts to be in vain. His thoughts whirling in his head fast and unrelenting, keeping him up even as his body and mind—his very soul—ached for sleep.
He was at an utter loss.
Finally, a short hour before dawn, he succumbed, unaware that upon awakening he would find his wish come true at last.
Elijah's face scrunched as he felt prodding fingers on his face and he stretched and recoiled, manoeuvring away—or rather, attempting to—only to find himself incapable of escaping the persistent touches.
His eyes opened and he growled low in his chest, sitting up… only to pause, brow furrowing as his lips parted in confusion. His eyes narrowed as he looked around the bedroom, finding subtle changes and a definite change in scent that was… somehow familiar… but impossible.
His attention turned back to the young child in front of him, wide familiar blue eyes looking into his with a mastered innocence. "Who are you?" he murmured, taking in the dimples as she grinned, a pealing laugh leaving her mouth as her head of brunette curls shook from side to side.
"Silly Uncle 'lijah…" the British-sounding child giggled and Elijah opened his mouth to speak back when they were interrupted by a voice.
"Adisa!" an American accent called, the sound of a supernatural creature speeding through halls meeting his ears just a moment after.
The girl perched on his bed sighed and pouted, looking down. "Mama—" she whined.
"No," was the firm response from outside the door before an apologetic brunette with brown eyes and pale skin appeared. "I'm so sorry, Elijah," she said before turning back to her daughter, her expression firming as she rose an eyebrow. "Adisa Mikaelson, you apologise to your Uncle and go downstairs to your father. Now."
The girl sagged even further, a stubborn frown on her face. The pout deepened as she looked up from behind her eyelashes at a very confused and disoriented Elijah. "'m sorry," she mumbled.
"Quite all right," he answered, his voice aloof as he eyed the girl. She flashed him a grin and then got down. He gasped as he watched the child flash out of the room, careening down the hallway as she called "Daddy!"
He looked up to find the girl's mother watching him and she nodded. "We're gonna have breakfast in about fifteen minutes… Nik was thinking maybe we could go to the bayou so Adisa could have some time with the wolves…?"
Elijah blinked, lips still parted and eyebrow quirked as he stared at her. He was unsure of exactly what to say.
Thankfully, the as-yet-unnamed brunette grinned. "I'll, uh… leave you to get dressed."
And then, with a smirk on her face, she, too, was gone down the hallway.
Elijah breathed out, frown deepening as thoughts whirled inside his head. Blurry images seemed to be awakened as the two brunettes left him to himself and he shook his head, rising. It appeared he had somewhere to be shortly…
A few minutes later, Elijah was feeling somewhat better as he fixed his cufflinks and ran his hands down his suit jacket. It had been utterly confusing to find new clothing—female clothing and other apparel at that—beside his usual attire. However, he pressed through, convinced he would be able to make sense of things once faced with all of the facts— however mind-boggling they may have been.
The Original sighed as he left the room, taking another look before appearing in the hallway. He walked down at a leisurely if perhaps sluggish pace, still trying to come to terms with what he might find. He was so ensconced in his thoughts that he did not recognize the scent nor hear the quick approaching footsteps until it was too late and, with a small cry, he was yanked into a crevice.
He growled at his attacker, spinning them and then pinning them to the wall by both arms only to gape as he breathed the name of a woman he'd never thought he'd see again.
The woman was not smirking at him as she would have previously, instead grinning softly as she raised an eyebrow. The look was so unexpected that his hold on her loosened and then her arms were around his neck as she pulled him in. He sighed as blocked, murky images came to mind as he kissed her back, the touch of their lips growing from passionate to tender and loving the longer she persisted.
She was the one to pull away first, looking between his eyes and his lips as she pecked him still just one… two… three more times before once again smiling. "Merry Christmas, 'lijah," she whispered, sighing as she leaned her forehead against his.
He swallowed, holding her to him tight, his brow furrowed with confusion at how… different she was with him in this moment. Just what in the world was happening?
"Merry Christmas," he intoned a few moments late and she eyed him, worried a little from what he could tell by the look in her brown eyes. He smiled and brushed it off, head spinning as he guided her down to the courtyard at childish bellows of their names.
Once again, images cleared and—and he seemed to find himself belonging in this world constructed for him. He remembered the events of—was that five years? Yes… five years. And yet he also retained the memories of all previous years before as concrete and true as ever. The memories that had been so fresh in his mind before he went to sleep were just as they had been but not quite so fresh, taken up now by five years' worth of more recent ones…
Was this… Was this real? Was this, what he was experiencing now, a true evolution of his life come to pass or an image of what was to come?
A paper was on the table as they encountered the girl once more—Adisa—sitting by herself, her legs swinging under the chair she was sitting on. She grinned at them as Elijah took the paper and he frowned as he read the date…
So it was real.
"Where is Kol?" he asked, urgent and breathless as he looked around.
Katerina looked up from where she was sitting with Adisa, once again worried. She grinned at the girl then flash to his side. "Kol's upstairs… in the shower," she answered in her husky tones, eyeing him carefully. "'lijah, are you—"
It was then that he realised that, as this was all real, his relationship with Katerina—the memories he had of them together, in love and happy... they were all true…
He grabbed her in his arms, pulling her in as his usual decorum left him and he kissed her firmly on the lips, a hand lifted to caress and curl to her cheek. She gasped under the passion, the urgency of his movements, but she softened to them and melted into him, trying to ease his mind as she kissed him passionately and tenderly and lovingly.
He pulled back, taking her face in his hands as he looked into her dazed eyes. "I love you," he said strongly, emotion almost choking him, a genuine smile on his lips.
Her brow creased with confusion but she could not help but smile, her love for him echoed in not just words that she spoke but her eyes as well... her gorgeous brown eyes. "I love you, Elijah," she whispered, smiling at him. And he believed her—utterly.
"Elijah, I think Nik will have your head should you continue that in front of his child… Christmas cheer or no, he's still a grouch…" a sorely missed cheeky tone rang out through the courtyard. The oldest Mikaelson's head spun around and he drank in the sight of his youngest, once-perished brother as now memories of him from the past five years entered his mind… easier now to see and make sense of.
Katerina smirked, standing in front of him as she wrapped his arms around her waist. "I don't mind…" she said, tilting her head in quite a Katherine-like pose. But she was happy, mindlessly happy, Elijah could tell.
"I'm sure," Kol smirked and he sat down next to his niece, looking at the sketch book in her hand. "Very nice, darling… Did you show Daddy?"
"She did," the man himself said as he entered the room, smirking and with his arm around the waist of the brunette from before. He dropped a kiss to his daughter's head and the girl grinned up at him before looking at Elijah.
The brunet eyed Niklaus, taken aback even as the memories echoed in his ears, behind his eyelids every time he blinked, the knowledge of the past five years almost full now.
There was but one person missing.
"Where's Rebekah?" he asked, a frown on his face.
"She and Stefan are held up," Bella—as he now knew her to be—answered, shrugging. "Should be here—"
The sound of a car stopping, the doors opening then slamming as a set of feet rushed in interrupted her. The blonde form grinned as she found her family, leaving her suitcase at the door as she flashed to everyone's arms, hugging them and greeting them, happy. Elijah smiled as she finally made it to him and he remembered, now, the final piece of the puzzle.
He looked up and nodded to the new addition to the family—Stefan Salvatore—who nodded back, a small smile on his lips that grew larger as he was joined by his wife, Rebekah.
Elijah's eyes wandered over his family's form, taking in their happy faces with a freedom he'd never thought he'd experience. The guilt of a thousand years was lifted from his shoulders as he and Niklaus shared a nod, smiling genuinely at one another as the hybrid patted his back on their way out to the cars. He watched his brother re-join his mate and daughter before looking down as arms wrapped around his middle and he looked into shining brown eyes of the greatest love he'd ever known and would ever know.
His wish had been for the simple wholesomeness of their family, and for Klaus to find his salvation.
What he'd received was so much more.