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Don't Make Me Say It

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“This is getting ridiculous.” Klaus huffs, dropping his weight onto the couch where Elijah sits reading, book perched on his crossed leg. 

“Hmmm,” is all Elijah says in response. 

“You’re being impossible.” Klaus says again, moving closer towards an unaffected Elijah. 

“Am I now?” Elijah doesn’t bother looking up from his book. 

Klaus sighs again, moves closer on the couch towards Elijah, until their legs are pressed together and Klaus has tentatively placed his head on Elijah’s shoulder. For a moment, he waits for Elijah to respond, to say something. But the latter continues to read as if Klaus does not exist at all. So Klaus huffs again. And then again a minute later. And then once more. To no avail. On the fourth time he huffs, he finally seems to get a response. 

“Niklaus?”

“Yes, ‘Lijah?” Klaus looks up, eyes almost twinkling with victory. 

“I’m trying to read. Would you mind finding someone else to bother on this fine evening?” 

Klaus lets out a frustrated grunt, an exasperated “Fine,” then storms out of the room. 

You see, Klaus’s troubles began a week ago. He and Elijah had spent another night together. They fell back into each other a few months before and have yet to reach a rift that would once again keep them at an arm’s length for a century or so. Klaus woke up the next morning to Elijah’s shuffling around in the room. Freshly showered, Elijah was rummaging through his drawers and closet to put together his suit for the day. Klaus did not bother greeting Elijah, choosing to watch his movements instead as he carefully grabbed one of his dark suits, smoothing the perfectly smooth lapels, then carefully placing it on the chair next to his socks and shoes. He started to turn towards the vanity to fix his hair but paused, sensing Klaus’s eyes on him. With a smile, Elijah turned towards him. 

“Good morning, Niklaus.” 

“‘Lijah,” was all that Klaus said, hoping a smirk would compensate for the inevitable softness in his eyes. 

“I hope I’m providing an entertaining show for you.” Elijah shook his head, stalking towards the bed. 

“It’s adequate.” Klaus grinned, sitting up slightly so that he’s propped up against the headboard. 

“Is that so?” Elijah whispered as he leaned in to plant a brief kiss on Klaus’ lips. He lingered there for a moment longer than intended before pulling back. Klaus did nothing, merely looking back at Elijah. “What’s that look for?” Elijah squinted at him, a hint of a smile tugging at the corner of his lips. 

“What look?” Klaus attempted to harden expression, with no real success. 

“That one. The one you’re giving me right now.” No longer attempting to hide his amusement, Elijah grinned as he settled on the bed next to Klaus. 

Klaus shifted in his place, shrugged self-consciously. “Nothing new to you, ‘Lijah, you know how I feel about you.” 

 Elijah tilted his head to the side. “Do I now?” 

“I think I showed you last night several times.” Klaus said, moving closer to invade Elijah’s personal space. He took his lips in a kiss, which Elijah allowed for a while before pulling away. 

“I still would like to hear it.” Elijah said quietly. 

“Hear what?” Klaus huffed. 

“Hear you say how you feel about me. So there isn’t any confusion.”

Klaus leaned away a little, chuckling at first, only for his face to drop at Elijah’s unchanged expression, anticipating his response. “You’re not serious.” 

Elijah pulled back a little more. “I am in fact very serious, Niklaus. It’s been a thousand years and you haven’t said it to me. Not once.”

“I never thought I needed to say what is so painfully obvious.” Klaus snapped. 

“Well, if it is, indeed, so obvious, then it wouldn’t be such a quandary for you to say it.” Elijah folded his arms across his chest, waiting. 

“Alright,” Klaus took a deep breath, sat up straighter. “Elijah, I adore you.”

“Niklaus.”

“Fine! I fancy you.” 

“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” Elijah huffed, getting up from the bed. “Just what do you think will happen if you tell me how you feel, how you truly feel?”

“Well, it’s not like you walk around gushing about your feelings for me either.” Klaus crossed his arms over his chest, panic spreading through him. 

“Don’t deflect, Niklaus.” Elijah snapped. “But by all means, if you need to hear it then I love you. There you have it. Did the universe collapse?” 

Klaus’s jaw locked, gritting his teeth. He did nothing but stare at Elijah as the latter stared back at him. 

“Unbelievable.” Elijah muttered, shaking his head as he headed towards the chair where his suit sat waiting for him. 

“Don’t make me say it, Elijah. Don’t force it out of me.” Klaus’s tone was sharp, indicating his rising temper. 

“Force it out of you.” Elijah chuckled humorlessly under his breath. Before walking out of the room, he turned quickly towards Klaus, “as you wish, Niklaus.”

But it turned out, Elijah did plan on forcing it out of Klaus, in one way or another. Ever since that morning, he’d been giving him a cold shoulder. He only spoke to Klaus if Klaus spoke to him, and even then his sentences were nothing but brief, curt replies. Suffice to say, initiation of any physical activities was immediately shut down with a frown, and an annoyed “Niklaus”. And it seemed no matter what Klaus tried to get Elijah to speak to him again, nothing but those three dreaded words would get him to budge. And because Klaus was too damn stubborn for his own good, his refusal to utter them doubled. Which is why when Elijah snaps at him that he wants to read, Klaus’s reaction is to go to the closest bar to drown in alcohol instead of attempting to solve his problems with Elijah.  


 

Elijah’s head snaps up from his book when something shatters downstairs in the living room. He frowns, listening for any strange movement. 

“Shit.” He hears Klaus mutter to himself. “I just spilled scotch over Elijah’s favorite carpet.” 

Elijah sighs. The slurred speech, coupled with the broken glass -or bottle, he presumes- tell him that Klaus is drunk. He gets up from his chair behind his desk and walks briskly to the living room, where he finds Klaus sprawled across the couch, looking up at the ceiling. 

“Niklaus?” Elijah says, coming into Klaus’s peripheral vision. The latter’s head snaps towards him rather clumsily, and greets him with a grin. 

“‘Lijah,” Klaus slurs, “I do love the way you say my name.” 

Elijah frowns. “How drunk are you?” In spite knowing that no real harm can happen to Klaus, Elijah cannot help the smidgen of concern at the pit of his stomach. It would take alcohol poisoning levels of consumption for Klaus to be this drunk. 

“Drunker than I’ve been in decades.” Klaus attempts to shrug, only for his shoulder to hang uplifted awkwardly by his neck, as if he’d forgotten to bring it down. And the sight is enough to amuse Elijah and dismiss his worries. 

Chuckling, he sneaks an arm under Klaus’ back, his free hand taking hold of Niklaus’ arm to pull him up. “Let’s get you to bed,” Elijah mutters, more so to himself. 

“Will you join me?” Klaus asks when they’re both upright and Klaus is leaning practically all of his weight on Elijah. 

“No.” 

Klaus huffs. “You still want me to say it, don’t you? The L word?”

“The L word?” Elijah muses, almost certain that this is the title of some show or movie that Rebekah’s obsessed over for a while. 

“It’s not fair you know.” Klaus continues as they mount the stairs. “For you to ask me to say it, I mean.”

“How so?” 

“You know that’s not how I express my affections. I have other methods of showing how much I care about you.” 

“I know.” Finally arriving to Klaus’s room, Elijah gently places Klaus on the bed. “But I would like to hear it once anyway. If for nothing else, then to break some of your insufferable defenses.” Elijah takes off Klaus’s jacket, then shoes, helping him burrow underneath the covers. 

“Come on, you enjoy my defenses.” Klaus grins. 

“You overestimate my fondness towards them.” Elijah answers dryly. “Get some sleep, Niklaus.”

Elijah moves to leave the room, only for Klaus to reach for his hand and grab it. “’Lijah, wait.” Elijah looks back at him. He seems strangely small and vulnerable like this, tucked underneath the covers, defenses lowered, and eyes blown wider than usual, giving him an almost innocent look. It so reminds Elijah of Klaus during their human days that he feels a lump forming in his throat. “I love you.” Klaus finally says. 

Elijah shakes his head, chuckles, and moves his hand so that it’s holding Niklaus’s. “I know.” 

“And to think you gave me such a hard time to say something that you already knew.” Klaus pouts, but the effect of it is lessened by his drooping eyelids. 

“Well, I’m allowed to be difficult every once in a while.” Elijah says softly, moving closer to brush Klaus’s hair away from his forehead. 

“You’ll insist on me saying it sober, won’t you?” With that said, Klaus drifts off to sleep. 

Leaning in closer, Elijah gently places Klaus’s hand by his side, before planting a kiss on his forehead. “No, I won’t. I waited a thousand years for a drunken confession. I’ll wait another thousand for you to say it while sober if that’s what it takes.”