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            The Mikaelson siblings boarded the ship, shadows casted in the night helped hide them as they made their way to the Captain’s quarters where their brother Finn had been staying. It almost surprised them that he had chosen a pirate ship to be his place to hide.

            Entering the dim room, they find him asleep, a human woman curled into his shirtless chest, her wild red hair behind her. “Finn.” Rebekah is the first to move again and she goes to gently rouse their oldest brother. “Finn, we need to go.” She lightly touches his arm. She wasn’t prepared for both him and the woman to wake up so suddenly, brandishing weapons. Lucky for Rebekah, she had vampiric speed and was able to leap away, just barely managing to not be hit by her brother’s quickly swung sword.

            “Rebekah?” He blinked blearily, his scowl fading to a look of tired confusion. “Elijah? Niklaus? Kol?” He paused while he lowered his weapon, “What in the bloody h*** are you doing here?” His companion glared at them, but she too lowered her weapon after Finn did.

            “We need to go Finn, all of us.” Elijah said, “We have heard Mikael is on your trail as well as ours.  Instead of getting up to go immediately he shot a worried glance at the red-headed woman who had slid out of the bed and donned a soft robe over her sleepwear and they saw his hesitance to leave her. His worry for her safety outweighed his wish to stay and he too got up from the bed. With his shoulders slightly sagging he pulled on a loose shirt and a pair of boots before approaching her side of the bed.

            “Love.” His voice was soft and sorrowful as she looked back at him. “I must go.”

            “You’re not coming back, are you?” she asked after searching his face. Gripping a small vial in the palm of her hand she waited, still not sure if she should trust the other vampires who had invaded her quarters.

            “I cannot. I’ve already put you in too much danger as it is.” He apologizes.

            “Then take me with you.” She doesn’t beg, but he can see a hint of pleading in her eyes, “I’m a piarate, I’m always going to be in danger.”

            “I won’t be the cause of that danger, not if I can help it.” He reaches out and brushes some hair from her face.

            “Finn we really should go now.” Elijah warns.

            “Compel her to forget all of us.” Niklaus grits out, his patience wearing thin.

            Her beautiful eyes widen a fraction and she rips herself away from Finn. “No!” her back hits the wood wall, “No, you promised me you would not.” She hisses.
            “I’m sorry Love, if not me, then then will do it themselves.” He looks down for a moment and clenches his jaw, he would not have anyone else compel her.

            “No. You will not, you shall not.” She hisses, pressing further into the wall, nowhere else to go. In a smooth motion she pops the top off the vervain vile and tries to drink it. However, she is not quick enough and Finn roughly grabs her wrist, his vampiric speed giving him an advantage. Holding her wrist tight he frowns at her as she struggles to get out of his arms. “Trust me that this will cause me more hurt than it will you.” He apologizes as he holds her to his chest one more time, gently brushing his fingers through the hair at the back of her head.

            Holding her chin he tilts her head up so that he can look into her eyes, but she will not open them. “You must look at me.” He whispers softly, urging her to comply. Stubbornly she refuses to open her eyes, and when she does she won’t look at him.

            Knowing his brother Klaus’s patience would not last much longer, he plants his lips to hers in a soft kiss, managing to get her to open her eyes when they part. His undead heart constricts as he does as his siblings urge and compels her to forget him, forget them all.

            They depart and he’s fighting himself from going back to her side and compel her to remember and to take her with as they ran, but he knows he can’t do that to her. In his hand he tightly clutches the one thing he took besides the clothes he wore. He clutches her ring, the match to his which he left with her. She wouldn’t remember him, nor would she remember the significance of the ring, but he felt connected in the fact that they would still both have a piece of the matching set.

           

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            Even amidst the chaos of running from Mikael, Finn finds he constantly wishes for her presence, he constantly feels her absence. To him, it is as if he is missing a limb, and extension of himself. The years tick by, and the closer Mikael gets, the more he squashes the urge to scour the earth for her.

            His siblings can see it wear on him, he is certain in the way Rebekah looks sympathetically at him, in the way Elijah gives him a tired look. It’s in the way Kol avoids his gaze like he knows what he’s thinking, in the way that Niklaus huffs and scowls at his inability to keep his mind off of it, off of her.

            Even when he has been running for five, ten years he still thinks of her and sends a deadly glare towards Kol when he suggests he forget her and just find a woman wherever they find themselves next to have some fun with before either killing or compelling them. For a moment he considers his brothers words, but then he immediately regrets the thought and feels guilty for even considered betraying her in such a manner.

            Time passes quickly when they are running and his hope to find her again grows slimmer, his hope to turn her so that he doesn’t have to spend forever without her by his side slowly fades. When thirty years have passed he knows it would be cruel to turn her when she is in her fifties. She has lived her life, without him, she deserves to be left alone to live in relative peace.

            His heart continues to ache as centuries pass, and he feels the loss of her every single day. He feels a particularly painful pang when he watches the hunter, Alexander, flirt with his sister. It hurts to see how taken she is with him as they begin to court. She loves him, he knows. He also knows that she can’t possibly stay with him since he is a hunter, and his sole purpose in life is to kill vampires. He watches her eyes light up when she talks about him and this miraculous cure that he’s told her about, how she wants to help him find it so that she can finally be human again and find her happiness with him. She wants to tell him, he can see it in her eyes. He only hopes that it isn’t her undoing, as it was his.

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            Rebekah sighed in contentment, her head lazing on his shoulder as she traced the pattern of his tattoo. “Does it have meaning?” She found herself asking, still tracing the edges.

            “It’s a map.” He tells her, brushing his fingers through her long golden hair.

            “A map? What treasure does it lead to?”

            “A cure.” He answers and her hand stills, “A cure to what?”

            “Vampirism.” For a moment she is frozen, then she lifts her head to look into his face. “Is there really such a thing? Is there really a way to cure vampirism?” Her palm is flat against his chest, right over a large piece of tattoo.

            “Yes.” He smiles up at her as she pushed herself up to a more upright sitting position.

            “How do you know that it’s real? How do you know that it will work?” she asks, feeling like her dead heart is pounding in her chest.

            “I am a hunter, Rebekah. Have a little faith.” He chuckled at his nervous looking fiancé. “Why are you so curious about this cure?”

            Biting her lip, she slid away, sitting with her legs dangling off the foot of the bed, her hair curtaining around her face as she looked away. “Alexander.” She murmurs, “I have something I should tell you.”

            “What is it, Rebekah? Is something wrong my love?” he questions, moving to sit behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist.

            “Yes.” He looked down to her hands. “I-I” she takes a breath, “You’re going to hate me.” She shrinks in on herself, shying away from his touch. She cannot escape it however, as he simply responds by tightening his arms around her. “Dearest, I could never hate you.”

            “Oh, but you will.” She laughs bitterly, “Alexander,” she finally moves to look him in the face, not hiding the tears building in her eyes. “Alexander, I want to know about the cure because I need it. I-I” a few tears trail down her cheeks, “I’m a vampire.” She admits as she closes her eyes tightly, no longer wishing to see his reaction to her secret.

            His heartbeat is steady, and he doesn’t move, and for a moment she thinks he hasn’t hear or realized what she’s just told him. But then rough hands cradle her face and she opens her eyes at the softness of the touch. “I know.” He brushes at her tears, “I know.”

            “How did you-?”

            “I’m a hunter Rebekah,” he tells her gently, “It didn’t take me long to figure it out.” His finger brushed along the daylight ring she wore. “For your sake I am going to find this cure, I promise you that.”

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            Rebekah screams when Niklaus shoves his hand into her fiancé’s chest. Her face filled with horror, pain and anguish and he feels for his sister, really understands her pain, because even though Niklaus didn’t kills his love, she is still long gone. She clings to her twin, clings to Kol as she screams. Kol doesn’t let her go, doesn’t let her crawl to Alexanders bloody body.

            Niklaus tries to justify what he’s done to Rebekah, yelling that he was protecting them from the hunters. Rebekah screams back that Alexander already knew, that he was going to find the cure for her and he pales, seeing the rage in his half-brother. He is surprised when he doesn’t dagger Rebekah right then, instead he growls out at her, deciding that leaving her to deal with her dead lover and to be in fear that he would indeed dagger her eventually for this would be a more deserving punishment.

            The three brothers help their only sister bury him. She chooses to bury him beneath the church where they planned to be wed, in the place where she was to say her vows and become his wife. She silently cries as she places his sword with him in the grave, watches long after the hole is filled in. She truly hates Niklaus, and he knows she shall likely never forgive him for this. He has very much lost their sister for the foreseeable future. Niklaus thought that no matter what he did, they would all follow, all come back to him. That their sister was overreacting, that she would see he was right, that she would just get over this. He acted as though he never hurt them, as though everything was about him and that they were the only ones who could do wrong. It would take years for Rebekah to even be in the same room as him, years until she would even speak to him.

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            It was miraculous that he was even awake, un-daggered, to see his half-brother’s dream of freeing himself from the curse their mother placed upon him, come to fruition. He kept himself out of the way as much he could, not quite sure if he wanted to be here or if he wanted to be daggered again.

            The young doppelganger caught him by surprise in the library one day, he had holed himself away to read and be alone with his thoughts. The resemblance to Tatianna struck him, but right away he could see something different in the girl, something more human. “Hello.” She greeted him shyly, she had a Bulgarian accent he noted and recalled that is where she came from. “Hello.” He tried to offer a her a small smile. “I was hoping to find something to read, I hope I won’t be intruding if I stay here to do so.” She looks up at him, “If you wish to be alone I can find someplace else to read.”

            How she noticed his habit to be secluded he had no idea, he didn’t even think she knew he existed. It was quite kind of her to offer, and he shook his head. “There is more than enough room in this library for the both of us.” He tried to smile once more. It must have been a more welcoming smile because she beamed at him before taking a book and a seat in the chair near him. Before cracking open her book she looked back to him, “If you change your mind on having company, please do speak up. It is no trouble to me if I have to find a new place to read. You deserve to feel comfortable in your own home, and I hate to intrude upon you and your privacy.” Immediately she turned to her book and began to silently read to herself, not giving him time to respond to her words.

            Cracking his own book back open he found himself smiling softly, she was quite kind to him and had already taken notice of his preference for seclusion. He found, he did not mind having her silent company and soon they began to meet in the library on the daily so that they could sit in silence and read together. It was a quiet friendship, and he was sad to know his brother’s plans to end the poor, sweet girl’s life.

            Being one to sit back in the shadows and observe, he found he knew all the secrets of the castle. Niklaus flirted with her, and yet she saw through his pretty words to know he did not care for her one bit. Instead, it was Elijah who cared for Niklaus’s new fiancé (sacrifice). He took walks in the gardens and played games with her, her favorite one being a game she called chase. He tried to allow them a sense of privacy in their obvious flirtations, but he could not always block it out. This time the conversation turned quite personal, and he felt bad for listening in, however his curiosity paired with his heightened ability to hear even when he didn’t want to, forced their conversation to be less than private.

            “You are meant to catch me, Milord!” she chastised with an out of breath giggle.

            “Oh, but if I catch you then the game shall be over.” He responded evenly, and Finn could picture the smile that would most certainly be gracing his brother’s face.

            They talked about Niklaus and she lamented that she was to enter a loveless marriage with him.  “Many a union is built on much less.” He heard Elijah reply factually.

            “Is it wrong to want more?” she whispered shyly. “Do you have more with Trevor?” he asked, and Finn winced at the jealous question. She blinked and replied softly, “Trevor believes he loves me, but true love is not real unless it is returned.” before raising her voice to ask, “Do you believe in love, Milord?” He could hear Elijah’s hair rustle as he moved his head slightly and put a more thoughtful look on his face, but he could also picture her face falling a little in response.

            “That is to sad for me to believe milord, for if we do not have love, what would we have to live for?”

            He was almost startled to hear Niklaus’s horses and realized his brother had heard that portion of the conversation, inwardly he cursed, the poor girl was sure to be ridiculed and mocked for her feelings later.

            After supper that evening he found he wasn’t surprised when Elijah came to him to ask for his assistance in saving young Katerina. After all, he would have to be a fool not to see how deeply his brother had fallen for the doppelganger.

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            Much time had passed, and after nearly one-thousand years, Finn had found himself daggered repeatedly for long stretches of time. At least, in that state, the only thing he had to do, had to worry himself with, was thinking of his lost love. Now that he was free of the dagger once more, he didn’t know what to do with himself. Their mother was alive, was all for reunifying the family. Secretly she confessed that she hated what her children had become, how the vampire curse had spread like wildfire and infected many individuals over the centuries. She wanted to wipe it out, and for some reason she thought his self-loathing and how he had a tendency to wallow and sulk around was because he hated being a vampire. In truth, it had little to do with vampirism anymore, but all to do with the loss of his lover.

            He didn’t want his siblings to suffer under their mother’s misguided notion that all vampirism was bad and needed to be wiped out. So, secretly he passed along Ester’s plans to Elijah who in turn quietly discussed what to do with the rest of their siblings, so that they could counteract and plan for whatever she had in store.

            Finally, the night their mother’s plans would begin to be put in motion, she threw a ball to celebrate their togetherness as a family and reenter society in Mystic Falls. They knew that for it to all work in their favor they had to play along, and she worked to tie their bloodlines together, so they could be wiped out all at the same time. Tiredly he allowed his mother to use him, not for the first time he wanted it all to stop, to be over and done with. If he would just die already, surely, he would have the chance to see his beloved in the next life. He lamented to the eldest of his younger brothers, Elijah was sympathetic, telling him that he too felt the pain of a lover that was gone, or in his case, out of his grasp. His beloved Katerina had been running from them for the last five hundred years on account of Niklaus being angry that she ran and got herself turned into a vampire. He even forced Elijah to be the one to hunt for her. She was adept at running and hiding, and every time he got close she slipped through his fingers. Now, whether this was on account of her skills or his brother’s emotional attachment and inability to catch and turn her over to Niklaus was yet to be determined.

            Once again, he felt like he was just going through the motions, playing his part dutifully. He fought his mother and sister tooth and nail to keep his hair longer, and eventually they relented, allowing him to keep his hair shoulder-length. They did, however, show him different ways to take care of it and style it so he still looked presentable in their eyes. Stuck in a suit and at a party he didn’t want to be at he watched his mother put on an act and the newest doppelganger, Elena, as she acquiesced to his mother’s requests. From that point on, she was a thorn in the Mikaelson siblings’ sides. She double-crossed, threatened, and almost managed to kill them again and again with the help of some of her eager friends, as well as forcing some of her unwilling friends.

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            “He’s your first love, I intend to be your last.”

            The words rang in Caroline’s ears, echoed in her mind in the following months, the kiss he left upon her cheek still tingled as if it just happened moments ago. She threw herself into her classes, trying to push down the hurt that Elena and Bonnie seemed to care little for college life so far, for living together in their three-person dorm. It hurt that they seemed so indifferent, and when both simply stopped coming back to the dorm she felt more alone than before. She knew there was something going on, but for some reason they had neglected to include her.

            Somewhere along the line, a very human Katherine had found herself moving in with Caroline. To be honest, Caroline had no real issues with it. Katherine had always seen through to who she really was, who she really could be. She saw that vampirism would only help Caroline grow, only help Caroline be who she truly felt she was meant to be.

            The two girls had formed a close friendship, and Caroline decided that both Katherine and Stefan were her best friends. Elena and Bonnie just no longer seemed to care about her unless they wanted her to be a distraction or something.

            After months of Katherine’s nagging to follow what her heart was telling her to do, she finally hopped on the road to go down to NOLA. Katherine sat passenger seat and they had fun as they made the long trek down to the French Quarter. Kat had abandoned her to see Klaus by herself, but she couldn’t blame her in the slightest. Klaus thought she was dead, why change that? The two parted with the promise to meet back up so that Kat could introduce her to her friend and show her where she would be staying for the duration of their time in NOLA.

            Caroline’s smile faltered as, instead of Klaus, she was greeted by Hayley Marshall opening the door to the lavish mansion. She had come all the way to NOLA to see Klaus after his last message, telling her how much he wanted to share his home in the French Quarter of New Orleans with her. She and Katherine had fast-tracked college and graduated and had been traveling around with Stefan for a while before he split off to look for leads on how to get Damon back. He finally had come to understand Kat and even befriended her. She and her friends really discovered themselves in that time. Caroline really had a stronger grasp on life, having met and learned about her true heritage, the one she herself had requested locked away from her. Stefan was the only one who didn’t come to grow and remember the knowledge that the two girls had, but both knew that he would, eventually. Once the knowledge was restored to her, her body and mind too reverted to what they had been, and she was more than ready to accept his offer of eternity.

            “Hayley.” She greeted through her teeth, tensing in annoyance. She really had a distaste for the she-wolf and couldn’t fathom why she would be here of all places.

            “Caroline.” She greeted with a sneer, her eyes narrowing as she looked her up and down in an appraising manner.

            “I’m looking for Klaus.” Caroline said with a strained smile, trying to be civil seeing as Hayley must be a guest in the Mikaelson home for whatever reason. Really, she just wanted to blow right past her, ignoring her presence. Or alternatively, snap her neck, but she figured she’d best find out just why they were keeping her here first.

            “Not here.” She scowled at Caroline, but just as she was ready to slam the door on the blonde vampire, Klaus himself had appeared behind Caroline. He approached slowly, as if he wasn’t sure this was real. “Caroline.” He greeted her softly and she whipped around, her lips curving into a smile immediately. “Klaus.” She felt her heart flutter as his face lit up, he was truly happy to see her. “I got your message, and I decided it was time for me to come down here.” She tried to subtly convey her willingness to accept and move forward with him as she really would prefer not to deal with this in front of the she-wolf.

            “Shall we.” He extended a hand, a silent invitation to be by his side. “We shall.” She felt like she would never stop smiling as she took his hand and they left the mansion together.