Letting Go by Lilly Gray

Letting Go by Lilly Gray

Chapter 001

The Holidays Should Never be Spent Alone

Monday, December 13, 2010, 4:45 p.m.

The Mikaelson Mansion

Bonnie is quiet during dinner, far more than usual, but Kol explains to Rebekah and Elijah that they spent the day with her intentionally giving him aneurysms so that she can learn to control her power and prevent her from accidentally killing someone she might not mean to kill.  The siblings fill in the silence talking about the upcoming holiday.  When they finish eating dinner they all head into the den where Niklaus set up a huge Christmas tree earlier in the day.  Rebekah walks to the couch that is currently covered with shopping bags and tells Bonnie, “I bought everything we might need.”

Bonnie seems to come back to life when the older girl begins taking boxes of ornaments out of the bags.  The teen helps the blonde take everything out.  Then she picks up some white lights and walks to the tree before telling the Mikaelsons, “Okay, I need a tall person because this needs to go all the way around from top to bottom and there is no way I’ll be able to reach the top.”

Niklaus surprises her by flashing over to her and picking her up by her legs so that she is now much taller.  Her arms swing out while she tries to steady herself before she reaches down and swats his head and tells him, “A little warning would be good next time, Nik.”

He just chuckles and moves closer to the tree so that she can wrap the lights around the upper half.

When they finish the top Elijah wraps the lights around the bottom of the tree before Rebekah tells them, “Here I’ll hand you the garland, and you can do that too.”

Bonnie nods and they repeat their motions while they wrap the silver garland around the tree.

The brunette witch breathes out a sigh when the hybrid puts her back on the ground after all of the garland is up.  Rebekah opens the first box of ornaments and hands one to Bonnie before she sighs herself and tells the teen, “I wish we still had the ones we had while living in New Orleans.  They were blown glass and the prettiest, but I’m not sure what happened to everything we left behind.  I know we still own the house but who knows what the state of everything is.”

Bonnie nods before Niklaus frowns and tells them, “I believe Marcellus is living in the Abattoir currently.”

Kol already knew that in fact, he’s the one who told his brother, but their sister stops mid motion and turns to look at her older brother before asking, “He-he survived?  I thought…?”

The hybrid nods and tells her, “He did, and he took over my city.  I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to let him continue to pose as King of the City or if I’m going to go back to the city we built and take my crown back from that ungrateful brat.  For now, I’m letting things remain the way they are because we have all the time in the world to take our city back.”

Kol is hoping they’ll return to New Orleans sooner rather than later because he has it on good authority from the descendants of his witch friends that Marcellus has enslaved them and kills any who dare do magick without his prior consent.

First, he needs to win Bonnie’s heart, though.  The original wouldn’t dream of leaving here until they are bound for all of eternity.  The ancient man has been working on a spell he started writing in 1701 that should allow them to be together forever without Bonnie needing to transition.  Once he has her by his side for all of eternity they will travel to New Orleans and he will avenge his friends that Marcellus has unjustly killed.

Rebekah just nods at Niklaus and then picks up an ornament and walks to the tree before hanging the little red globe.

Bonnie smiles and grabs another ornament before she tells the youngest surviving Mikaelson son, “Start putting ornaments on the tree, Kol.  It’s more fun if we all participate.”

He smiles and nods so he takes one of the ornaments she hands to him and places it on the middle of the tree.  She frowns and says, “The tall people should only put them up on the top so that I can place them on the rest of the tree.”

She smiles when he nods and places another one, higher up this time.  She grumbles, “I really hate being short, but most of the women in my family, except Abby, have had that affliction.”

He laughs and tells her, “Well, being tall definitely has its advantages, but we always get stuck putting everything up on the top… the top of the tree, the top shelf, always the higher things.”

She giggles and then asks, “So tell me a Christmas story.  Maybe one you all spent together.”

He frowns and thinks, ‘Did we spend many Christmases together?  Really we celebrated Yule until the Church converted enough people and Christmas became the acceptable December holiday.’  He smiles and tells her, “We spent more Yules together than Christmases, but I think my favorite was Spain, 1701.  Or actually 1698 through 1701.  I almost forgot during those years that Mikael was after us and wanted us dead.  Of course that all came crashing down around me when he showed up but Christmas 1701 was fabulous.  I converted to Christianity in 1699, and my siblings followed suit the next year, so we celebrated Christmas that year, and I thought life couldn’t get any better than it was.  I was right for the most part, and everything after that was pretty awful, but my friends and I gathered in each of their homes just about every day leading up to the Holidays, and we would decorate trees much like we’re doing now.”

Rebekah nods and tells her young friend, “That’s actually where the ornaments we had in New Orleans came from.  We managed to bring most of our belongings with us onto the ship when we fled Mikael, so they came with us, and we used them every year we spent in New Orleans as a way of paying respect to those we lost.”

Kol is frowning when a lovely caramel skinned face flashes in his mind, and a sharp pain stabs through his heart.  After all these years he still misses her.  Even with his heart now belonging to Bonnie part of it will always belong to Chalina and he’s not sure he’ll ever truly get over the loss of her.

My granddaughter bumps his shoulder and tells him, “Hey, no sad thoughts.  Whoever you’re missing probably wouldn’t want you to wallow in your pain.  Or at least they wouldn’t if they loved you.  They would want you to remember them fondly but to still live the life they can no longer live.”

He nods and smiles gently before he tells her, “Wise words from one so young.”

She smiles and nods before giving him a hug.  He breathes in her jasmine scent and has to physically keep himself from tensing when he realizes that he was correct earlier.  When he fed her his blood it healed not just her cheek but who knows how many bruises that were littering her body because the jasmine scent is no longer anywhere near as strong as it was even yesterday.  He angrily thinks, ‘That bastard has been hitting her probably every day, and I didn’t even realize something was wrong.  Don’t even get me started on her other friends either.  How could they, who have known her for her whole life, not know?’

He forces a smile onto his face when Bonnie pulls away from him.  He knew early on that she is excellent at hiding what she is feeling and what her needs are, but he honestly didn’t realize the full scope of that ability to hide what’s happening to her while everyone else is looking the other way.

He doesn’t know if he should be proud of her for withstanding his abuse and not buckling under Rudy’s horrible care or if he should be angry that she hasn’t asked for help.  Either way, he knows it’s really not her fault, and if he wants to keep her father alive, it’s best that Niklaus and Rebekah not find out what her father has been doing to her so the original can’t ask her if she ever told anyone while his siblings are anywhere nearby.

This time it’s Rebekah who bumps his shoulder and softly tells him, “Whatever has you angry can be dealt with later.  Right now we need to be happy because although Caroline and Bonnie decorated Caroline’s house on Saturday, I know that Elena excluded Bonnie when the group as a whole decorated both the Gilbert’s house and the boarding house.  Apparently, Caroline’s and Jeremy’s votes that they include her got vetoed by everyone else so smile and be happy so she can have the Merry Christmas she deserves.”

He frowns for a quick moment at the cruelty of Bonnie’s other friends, but then he forces himself to smile and then relaxes into the smile when Bonnie begins singing, “O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree.  How lovely are thy branches.  O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree.  How lovely are thy branches.  Your boughs so green in summertime.  Stay bravely green in wintertime.  O Tannenbaum, o Christmas tree.  How lovely are thy branches…”

Rebekah hurries out of the room and then returns a moment later with her laptop, which she opens and fiddles with for a minute before ‘O Christmas Tree’ begins playing.

The older girl joins Bonnie in singing along, and they all decorate the tree together, “Let us all remember.  In our gift giving and our merriment.  With our family and friends and loved ones.  The real and true meaning of Christmas.  The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum.  How lovely are, are thy branches.  O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum.  How lovely are, how lovely are thy branches.  The pillars all please faithfully.  Our trust in God unchangingly.  O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum.  How love, lovely are thy branches.  On Comet, on Cupid, on Donder and Blitzen.  Ha ha ha ha.”

When the song ends, Kol asks Bonnie, “So what about you?  Do you have any family traditions or fond memories you want to share?”

She smiles and while White Christmas plays in the background she tells them, “Well, I would sleep over at Grams’ house on Christmas Eve, and we’d stay up late watching Christmas movies.  Then I’d wake up in the late morning, and we’d open gifts before I’d go over to Elena’s house.  All of my friends would be there, and we’d open gifts from each other.  I didn’t get to watch the old movies last year because Grams’ was dead, and I just wasn’t feeling up to it.  This year I plan to camp out on my couch and watch all of them.”

Rebekah thankfully asks what Kol wants to ask, but he thinks they’ll get a better, more favorable response if his sister asks, “Why don’t you come over here on Christmas Eve.  We can hang out in the den and watch the movies together.  One thing I know about the holidays is they should never be spent alone.”

The witch’s whole face lights up before she turns to look at the bubbly blonde who is practically bouncing with excitement and mirroring Rebekah’s actions the brunette asks, “Really, you’d watch them with me?”

All four of the Mikaelsons nod and Niklaus of all people says, “I’ve always enjoyed most of the films of the season, so I’d be happy to watch with you.”

His sister bounces on her feet and claps before she asks, “Yay, what movies do you watch?  I’ll make sure we have them all.”

Bonnie smiles and says, “Awesome, so we always watched ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Holiday Inn’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, but when you’re getting that one get the one that was made in 1947.  The one from the 90’s isn’t anywhere near as good.”

The blonde just nods before the teenage witch says, “The 1964 version of ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,’ ‘Frosty the Snow Man,’ and ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ would be cool too.  I used to watch those every year with my friends, but I wasn’t invited this year.”

She’s frowning at that last part before Niklaus bumps her shoulder and says, “I know our Cable T.V. has ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ On-Demand so we can watch that later tonight, and I’ll see about getting the other movies before Christmas Eve so we can watch them all.”

She’s smiling widely while she nods and says, “Thank you.  You know in the slow moments I keep missing my old friends, but then I remind myself that I have all of you now and Caroline and Jeremy still love me too, but I appreciate that the 1,000-plus-year-old hybrid is going to watch Christmas cartoons for me.”

He laughs and tells her, “I’ll have you know that I only do that sort of thing for very special people, Luv, so you should feel important.”

She giggles and tells him, “Oh the mere fact that you’re not trying to kill me anymore makes me feel special, so I’m already there.”

They all laugh at that and continue decorating the tree while Bonnie lists all of her favorite movies, specials, and music of the season.

An hour later they stand back and smile while they look at the completely decorated and lit tree.  It looks nice with all the red and white little balls and the twinkling white lights.

Kol and his brothers all sit down with drinks while Bonnie and Rebekah go around the downstairs placing little decorations here and there.

Chapter 002

Worth It

Friday, December 24, 2010, 2:00 p.m.

The Mikaelson Mansion


Today is Christmas Eve.  Rebekah told Kol the other day that he is not allowed to make Bonnie practice her magick today or tomorrow.  If she wants to do a spell, that’s fine.  However, there will be no causing Kol torturous pain for hours on end because Bonnie is a bit frayed around the edges of late.  Rebekah knows it’s because the teen witch is developing feelings for the blonde’s older brother, and he’s making Bonnie hurt him.  And while all three of them understand that it’s for the greater good to prevent a terrible tragedy, fact of the matter is, Rebekah correctly thinks her young friend has issues doing that sort of thing to her enemies never mind someone she actually calls a friend.  As I said, she also thinks her new friend is developing romantic feelings for the youngest surviving Mikaelson brother, and so naturally the witch’s instincts tell her to protect him not to cause him immeasurable pain.

Rebekah bounces on her toes while she looks through the stack of DVDs Niklaus and herself acquired after their conversation with Bonnie about Christmas movies.  She might have done something that if it works out the way she intends Bonnie will have a fantastic Christmas and if it doesn’t work out then she’ll never need to even know Rebekah tried to do it for her.

The doorbell rings and based on the noises she’s hearing she thinks her master plan may have actually worked out despite Elena’s best efforts.  Okay, the baby vampire really didn’t stand a chance because the original went and compelled Damon to invite the annoying new vampire to stay over his house today, tomorrow, and the next day.  Then she may have compelled the bratty girl to agree to stay over and Stefan she compelled to go on vacation.  She didn’t specify where to but the younger Salvatore is not in town this weekend.  So that left Caroline and Jeremy.  The ancient blonde vampire didn’t compel either of them.  Instead, she visited both of them and told them that she wanted to surround Bonnie with friends who love her this holiday season.  Jeremy at first thought his sister would put a kink in their plans, but, as I said, the youngest original took care of that before she introduced the idea to the hunter or blonde baby vampire.  So Jeremy is free, and Caroline quickly agreed to tell all of their friends that she’s going to spend the holiday with her dad’s boyfriend because it’s the first Christmas after Bill died.

Rebekah smiles when she opens the door to find the two teens standing on her front step.  The baby vampire has her hands full with her overnight bag and one for Jeremy and two shopping bags full of wrapped presents.  The hunter is smiling despite him not having his arms.  His smile widens when the original tells them, “Welcome, thank you so much for agreeing to help me out.”

The boy nods and says, “Bonnie’s been keeping us informed about her time with all of you, so we know you haven’t done anything shady, and really Elena’s behavior towards Bonnie is sketchy at best.  I mean Bonnie saved us all, and you’d think she personally rammed a stake through my sister’s heart.  Don’t get me wrong, I wanted her to be human again just as badly as she did, but not at the expense of everyone we love.”

He smiles and tells her, “Anyway after you left the other day, Caroline and I talked.  We agree that Bonnie needs to be surrounded by people who love her and despite how wary I am of you and your family I’m slowly coming to admit that we may have all been wrong about you guys from the start, so here we are.”

Smiling he asks, “Any idea what time Bonnie is expected to show up?”

Rebekah laughs and nods at his words before she takes two of the bags from Caroline’s hands and leads them into the house while she tells him, “I told her between 2:30 and 3:00 p.m., so we have about half an hour.  I’m sure you know as well as I do that Bonnie always shows up on the earlier side of a time window.”

They both nod while they walk up the stairs.  The older blonde shows them to two rooms right next to each other and tells them, “Caroline, if you want you can get settled, I’ll help Jeremy.”

The baby vampire looks at her younger friend who looks back at her for a minute before nodding, so the younger blonde goes into the room and Jeremy follows Rebekah into the next room.  Smiling she tells him, “Bonnie’s slept here three times in the last two weeks, and she always uses the room on the other side of this room, so your room is between Bonnie’s and Caroline’s if you need any help during the night.  Incidentally, my room is on the other side of Bonnie’s room, so I should hear you if you need help too.  Oh and Kol and Elijah have promised to help you with guy stuff because we decided to forgo the use of your nurses this weekend, so if you need to use the bathroom or want to change clothes or anything else of that nature just let either of my brothers know.  Nik said he’ll help too if you feel comfortable with that, but he told me to inform you that he won’t be offended if you choose to stick with Kol or Elijah.”

The boy nods and laughs, “Yeah I don’t know how comfortable I’ll be with The Big Bad Wolf helping me pee.”

She smiles and nods while she empties his bag into the drawers in the closet.  She hangs his shirts and then his pants and then she turns and tells him, “There, all done.”

He smiles and tells her, “Thanks.”

He smiles wider then he lowers his voice and leans towards her before he asks, “Can we go chill with Caroline now?”

Rebekah nods again and leads him out of the room.  Caroline meets them in the hallway and Rebekah says, “Let’s go down to the den.  We can hang out there until Bonnie gets here.”

They nod and go down the stairs.  When they get into the Den they all sort of stand around looking at each other before Caroline laughs and says, “Yeah this isn’t awkward or anything.”

Jeremy laughs and flops down onto one of the couches as much as an armless boy can flop without falling over.

Caroline sits next to him and when the older vampire sits too Caroline frowns then asks Rebekah, “Uh can I ask a question?  It’s sort of a vampire question, and I figure if anyone’s likely to know the answer it would be someone in your family.”

Rebekah smiles gently and tells her, “Ask me whatever you want.  If I don’t want to answer, I’ll let you know, but if it’s not a too private personal history question or something that would break a confidence, then I can’t imagine my refusing to answer.”

The younger vampire smiles a little and says, “Okay, thanks, Rebekah, so uh, I’ve noticed recently that Bonnie’s scent has changed.  Like it’s not nearly as strong as it used to be.  Is that a bad thing or do you know what would cause it?”

Rebekah sighs but nods and says, “I know what caused it, and it’s not a bad thing.  It’s actually an excellent thing, but I’m not sure if I should answer with why exactly her scent has changed.”

Caroline frowns again and says, “I knew it.  It’s got to be bruises.  Who was hurting Bonnie?”

Jeremy frowns and turns sad eyes on Caroline, “What makes you think someone was hurting her?”

Caroline shrugs and says, “How else would her scent change unless her blood isn’t as close to the surface anymore.  That could only happen if she were covered in bruises before and now she’s not.”  She looks at Rebekah hard for a minute then she smiles gently and says, “I won’t ask you to betray Bonnie’s confidence, but I do need reassurances that she’s not in danger.”

Rebekah nods and says, “Thank you, and for the record, I don’t think Bonnie has ever been as safe as she currently is.  I do promise, however, to let you both know if that changes.”

They nod, and Caroline pats Rebekah’s hand and says, “Thank you, Rebekah.”

She nods and smiles before the younger vampire picks up the stack of movies from the table and flips through them showing each cover to Jeremy.  They both laugh a moment later, and he tells her, “You even got ‘Frosty’s Winter Wonderland’ and the 1966 version of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’  How the heck does a vampire who’s been daggered for the last 90 years even know what Christmas movies are never mind which ones are the best?”

Rebekah laughs and tells him, “Bonnie told me most of those titles when she was telling me about her fond Christmas memories.  I figure we’ll watch the cartoons this afternoon and tonight.  Then we can watch the others tomorrow after we open gifts.”

They nod and then the doorbell rings, so she tells them, “Be right back,” before she hops up and hurries to the door.  When she opens it, she smiles at my granddaughter who has her arms full of an overnight bag and two bags full of wrapped gifts.  Taking the gifts from her the older girl leads her into the house while the young witch smiles and says, “I know I’m kind of early, but I couldn’t wait to start watching movies, so I hope you don’t mind.”

Rebekah shakes her head and tells her young friend, “You know I don’t mind spending extra time with you, Bonnie.  Let’s bring your bag upstairs and then we’ll bring the gifts into the den.”

She nods and Rebekah leads her upstairs.  After quickly unpacking her things the two girls then head back down the stairs.  The blonde leads the younger witch into the den where she stops in her tracks a few steps into the room.  I smile when Bonnie’s eyes widen, and she asks her friends, “What, Care, Jer, I thought you guys were busy?  What are you doing here?”

Jeremy smiles and tells her, “We are busy this weekend.  Busy hanging out with you and the Mikaelsons.”

The very full and incredibly bright smile the young witch flashes all of them before she rushes to give her friends hugs makes Rebekah think that all of her hard work was definitely worth it.

Chapter 003

Be Happy and Merry With Us

Friday, December 24, 2010, 8:40 p.m.

The Mikaelson Mansion

Kol arrived home shortly after Bonnie showed up and hurried upstairs to deposit his treasure where Bonnie can’t see it.  When he was sure it won’t be found before he gives it to her tomorrow he headed downstairs and the three teens and two youngest originals watched several movies.

When Frosty’s Winter Wonderland finishes Rebekah stands and asks, “I’m thirsty and hungry.  Anyone else want some snacks?”

Jeremy laughs and says, “So long as I’m not on the menu, sure.”

The three girls giggle at that before Kol turns to Jeremy and says, “We already stocked up on blood bags, so we’re good on that front.  Elijah wanted to make sure we had enough to last until after the holiday because the hospital will be less populated for a few days so we’d be more conspicuous trying to deplete their blood stores.”

Jeremy turns and looks at the other man and says, “Seriously, you guys actually have to worry about that sort of thing?  Can’t you just look into their eyes and make them forget?”

Kol laughs again and asks, “Are you advocating compulsion, Jer?”

Jeremy chuckles and tells him, “Not at all, I just figured with your abilities you’d have no problem with that sort of thing.  Damon brags about how easy it is to compel anyone to do anything he wants them to do.  I think my sister has been compelling people too despite how against it she was when she was human.”

Kol frowns and tells the boy, “First, I would appreciate it if you compare me or my family members to Damon Salvatore as little as possible.  The mere idea we might have anything in common makes my skin itch.  Second, my family and I actually prefer to use our natural knack for persuasion without using compulsion whenever possible.  Mikael had a nasty habit of compelling anyone he pleased, so we intentionally set out to do the opposite of him.  Although we know from his practices that repeated and frequent compulsions don’t actually harm the human, if you make the human do many things they wouldn’t ordinarily do often enough it will prompt others to start asking questions.  Mikael would just respond by compelling the whole village, but honestly, that’s rather bothersome and entirely unnecessary if you use the ability judiciously.”

The teens’ eyes are all wide before Jeremy nods and says, “Oh okay.  I didn’t actually mean anything by it.  I just figured it’d make life easier.”

Kol smiles and says, “Don’t worry, Mate, I know you didn’t mean anything by it.  I just figured I should set you straight now so you wouldn’t be misinformed any longer.  And I was serious.  Compare us to the Salvatores as little as possible because honestly, the mere fact that we’re the same species bothers me enough to make me cranky.”

The boy laughs and tells Kol, “I can totally see how that would do that.  I mean Damon’s okay I guess if you look past the facts that he killed my first girlfriend, compelled me to forget the whole thing, killed me, and then compelled me to leave town.  Other than that he’s awesome, not.”

Kol laughs and tells the teen, “Then we’re agreed.  The Salvatores are unsavory, and we are the creme de la creme.”

Bonnie laughs then too and says, “I think we need to feed Kol if he’s talking in food metaphors.”

They all get up and head into the kitchen where they find Niklaus sitting drinking a cup of coffee.  Jeremy decides to take a leap of faith and asks, “That anyone I know?”

The hybrid looks up surprised he was spoken too but then grins and says, “Not unless your on a first name basis with some coffee beans.”

Jeremy smiles back and says, “Ooh Coffee, tell me there’s more where that came from!”

Niklaus points to the coffee pot which is full of enough coffee to feed all of the teens and his siblings a cup each.  He smiles and says, “Whoever drinks the last make another pot, otherwise enjoy.”

Jeremy walks over to the pot and leans in taking a whiff before he says, “Bon would you—”

She smiles and tells him, “Yeah sure,” before pouring him and herself cups and then leading him over to the stools.  She takes a sip of her own coffee then holds his cup to his lips and lets him have a sip.

Jeremy frowns after he swallows and says, “Don’t ever take for granted your mobility and independence.  I did, and now I wish I had been more grateful for what I had at the time.”

Niklaus frowns and asks, “Kol, is there any way to give him back his arms without allowing the tattoo to continue growing?”

Jeremy’s eyes are wide whens Kol nods and says, “I’m working on finding a safe way to do it.  It won’t be ready until the next full moon at the earliest, though.  Just hang in there Jer, and I hope I’ll be able to come up with a non-dark way to let Bonnie give you back your arms before Valentine’s Day.”

Jeremy bounces on his seat and says, “That’s way more than I deserve from you, but thank you.”

Kol just nods before Bonnie leans over and kisses the original’s cheek.  He smiles and takes a sip of his coffee but doesn’t comment.

Niklaus puts down his book a moment later and says, “Little Witch, I have something for you.”

He gets up and goes into the pantry before coming back with a plate of something.  He walks to the teenage witch and then stops before pulling the kitchen towel off the plate with a flourish and extending the plate towards her.

She looks at the plate and then her whole face lights up, “You made me snickerdoodles?”

He nods and tells her, “Yes.  I may have gotten Caroline to tell me your favorite holiday snack and then help me get the recipe your grandmother always used.”

She leans up and kisses his cheek before swiping a cookie off the plate and taking a bite.  She moans and then says, “God, that’s so good.  Just like Grams always made.  Thank you, Nik.  You rock!”

He smiles and puts the plate on the counter before returning to his seat and picking his book back up.  He smiles into the pages while he begins reading again.

A moment later Jeremy softly interrupts him, “Um, do you enjoy cooking?”

The hybrid nods and puts his book down, “Usually yes.  Especially now that Bonnie has taken to teaching us how to cook modern food.”

Jeremy smiles and says, “Cool, FYI, Caroline and Bonnie both favor Cheese Tortellini in Pesto sauce with pine nuts mixed in when they’re having a bad day.  They usually keep a package of each in the fridge at all times just in case.  The directions for the tortellini are on the package of pasta and then you just mix the sauce and the nuts in with the hot pasta, and then you serve it hot or you can put it in the fridge during the summer and serve it cold too.”

Niklaus’ eyes are wide, but he nods and says, “Thank you, Mate.  I’ll have to keep that in mind.”

Jeremy smiles and tells the older man, “No problem.  I figure Bonnie and Caroline both dig you so you can’t be all bad.  Plus I’m making a habit now of forming my own opinions outside of my sister’s.  I also check her facts now too before coming to an opinion.”

The Original Hybrid nods and says, “Given what I know of your sister that is probably a wise decision.”

Jeremy nods and says, “You honestly have no idea.”

Niklaus nods and says, “No probably not.  However, as a man with two older brothers, two younger brothers, and a younger sister I think I do understand how annoying siblings can be at times.  They’re family, though, and we put up with them no matter what because we love them, and they love us back, despite our, in my case, many flaws.”

Jeremy frowns but slides his chair closer to Niklaus’ and then lowers his voice and says, “See that’s just it, I’m not sure my sister actually loves me.  She barely acknowledges me at this point, and when she does, it’s usually to yell at me for having screwed up her one chance at becoming human again.”

The older man nods but tells him, “It can take some people years before they come to grips with their change.  I personally took to it fairly well.  Kol, on the other hand, had a short temper that was made significantly worse by the bloodlust, so he had a harder time coming to terms with what he is now.  I’ve known some baby vampires who took decades to get over their own death.  Of course, your sister is overlooking one critical fact about all of the others that have come before her.  Except for my family and me and the Salvatores, most people who transition don’t get to keep any of their family.  They are presumed dead and forced to leave for a time only to return to their home decades or centuries later to reminisce about what they lost.  Why do you think Damon and Stefan keep coming back here?  Hell, why do you think my family came back?”

Jeremy frowns but asks, “Didn’t you come back for Elena and the rest followed, sort of?”

He nods at the younger boy and says, “Yes, that’s what brought us back initially.  Now ask what keeps us from leaving?”

Jeremy frowns deeper but asks, “Okay, I’ll bite, what keeps you from leaving?”

Niklaus turns and looks the boy in the eyes and says, “The friends and family we have here help us remember what it’s like to feel human.  While we will never be human again, we can occasionally feel human.  Bonnie and Caroline give that to me and my family, that sense of warmth that we haven’t felt in centuries.  Some of us haven’t felt it in over a millennium, but now we do.  We’re loathed to miss out on it while it’s available because while Caroline will be around a couple hundred years from now, Bonnie might not be, though her chances are better given that she’s a witch and not human.  Still, we won’t pass up the opportunity to feel human while we can.  It’s too rare and precious.”

Jeremy sits back on his stool and just nods while thinking over everything Niklaus just told him.  A minute later he smiles and then leans down and slurps his coffee out of his mug while it sits in front of him.

Bonnie smiles and lifts the cup and helps him drink.  When they’ve all finished their coffee and cookies, they head back to the den to watch ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas.’

When she walks towards the door, Bonnie calls over her shoulder, “You should join us Nik, instead of skulking in the kitchen.  Be happy and merry with us.”

He laughs and nods before pouring himself more coffee and then following the teens and his siblings into the den to watch the movie.

Chapter 004

I’d Drag it Out

Saturday, December 25, 2010, 12:05 a.m.

The Den in the Mikaelson Mansion

When the movie is over Bonnie stretches and then looks around the room and says, “Do Caroline, Rebekah and Jeremy want to do girl, plus Jeremy, talk before we head to bed?”  She giggles and then says, “I guess we should call it teen talk, huh?”

Everyone laughs before Kol tells her, “I’m invited right?  Technically, I was still 19 when I was turned so I should count.”

Caroline laughs and tells Bonnie, “Keep in mind that you and Jer are the only ones here who won’t be able to hear our conversation from three floors away.”

Bonnie pouts for a minute before smiling and saying, “Then let’s do it in here and everyone can join in.”  She pauses and then adds, “That includes you too, Elijah, mister I’ll sneak into the house while everyone is preoccupied and not say hello like a proper gentleman.  Honestly, I’m shocked you’d stoop so low, Elijah.”

He laughs when he comes to the door carrying gifts and tells her, “Forgive me, Bonnie.  I had gifts that needed to be wrapped, so I thought I’d wait to come say hello until after I had finished that.”

She smiles and pauses before her smile widens and she says, “You’re forgiven.”

He nods and then comes into the room, and after placing his gifts under the tree, he sits in one of the armchairs before asking, “So what are we talking about?”

Bonnie shrugs and says, “I don’t know I just feel like I haven’t connected with Caroline and Jer in so long.”

Jeremy leans against her, and Caroline gets up and squeezes between Bonnie and Kol much to Kol’s displeasure.  He frowns and playfully asks, “Oy, woman, what are you doing?”

Caroline giggles and says, “Huggin’ on my bestie.”

She pauses then she clears her throat and squeezes Bonnie gently before she says, “Um, I have a question for Bonnie.  I asked Rebekah what I thought was a vampire question earlier, but she said she couldn’t elaborate beyond saying it’s not a bad thing so, um, Bonnie care to explain why you smell, um, less potent for lack of a better way of putting it?”

When Bonnie frowns and looks pointedly at the Mikaelsons, Caroline squeezes her again and tells her, “I’m asking now because I figure it’s not something Elena or Damon and Stefan should know about.  No matter where I ask in this house everyone will hear, so I thought you’d rather know they’re listening than telling us things in confidence when they will also inadvertently overhear.”

Bonnie nods and then reaches behind Caroline and grabs hold of Kol’s hand while still hugging her friend.  The blonde baby vampire realizes the significance of that action probably better than the young witch currently does, but she says nothing and waits.

My granddaughter clears her throat and says, “Um, I had bruises, so according to Kol when they healed my scent lessened.”

Caroline gently asks, “You’ve smelled so strong for as long as I’ve been a vampire, Bonnie.  Where did the bruises come from, and why were they always there?”

Bonnie squeezes Kol’s hand tightly and then tells her friends, “Um, my dad, he uh, well, he would, um, well…”

Jeremy gently finishes for her, “He’d hit you.”

She nods while tears fall from her eyes in little streams down her cheeks.  Caroline hugs her tighter and says, “Oh Bonnie.  You’re okay now, though, right?  And somebody compelled him not to hurt you any more right, because if not I’ll go do it right now.”

The witch nods but doesn’t say anything, so Kol asks, “Little Bella, would you like me to tell them what happened?”

She just nods again, so he gently explains what happened two Mondays ago.  When he’s finished Bonnie, Caroline, Jeremy, and Rebekah are all crying.  They just sit there for a few minutes sniffling and reflecting on what they’ve just heard before Jeremy decides to break the tense silence and asks, “Hey Klaus can you come blow my nose for me?”

Rebekah runs out of the room and returns with a box of tissues which she hands to everyone under 19 years old and then she extends the box to Niklaus and motions her head towards Jeremy who’s still sniffling because he hasn’t blown his nose yet.

The hybrid lets out a long-suffering sigh and then grabs the box of tissues from his sister and gets up and goes and helps the teen blow his nose.

Jeremy giggles when he’s done and says, “Thanks, man, I needed that.”

Niklaus frowns but playfully says, “Don’t think about it, no really forget it ever happened because it won’t be happening again.”

Bonnie leans up and kisses his cheek and says, “Thanks, Nik, ya know that pile of pebbles keeps growing, pretty soon it’s gonna be a mountain.  Hey, maybe I’ll start calling you ‘Pebbles.'”

He pouts and tells her, “Nik, Klaus, or Niklaus aren’t good enough for you?”

She smiles and bumps his shoulder before she tells him, “But everybody else gets to call you those names.  Only I’ll be allowed to call you Pebbles.”

Jeremy laughs again and asks, “What’s that make Kol, ‘Bam-Bam’?”

The teens laugh and surprisingly so does Elijah.  Jeremy looks over at the older man and asks, “You actually understood that, Elijah?”

The oldest surviving original nods and tells them all, “Yes, I actually have seen quite a few episodes of the Flintstones through the years.”

Bonnie giggles and tells Jeremy, “That’s good, but maybe we should call Elijah Bam-Bam since he knew who we were talking about.”

Jeremy laughs and nods but then asks, “Then what will Kol’s name be?”

Bonnie giggles and says, “I already gave him a nickname.”

Kol sighs the same time Jeremy’s eyebrow shoots up and the teen smiles before he asks, “Oh?  Do tell.”

She explains about how Kol calls her ‘Little Bella,’ and why and then tells her two teenage friends, “I needed something to call Kol, so I decided that if I’m Bella and I’m hanging out with a family of Vampires, then that means they sparkle.  So I may have maybe started calling him ‘Sparkle Pants,’ though I kind of forgot about it and haven’t really used it all that much.”

Jeremy is laughing hysterically.  Kol’s frown slowly deepens.  When the young hunter looks up and sees Kol’s face, he tells the older man, “Don’t worry, man, I’m crazy, not stupid.  I know that out of all the people on the planet Bonnie Bennett is the only person alive who could get away with calling a thousand-year-old person ‘Sparkle Pants’, but especially a thousand-plus-year-old person who’s probably killed more people than my friends and I have all met combined.  No worries, I will not be trying to call you that.  I know better.”

Kol smiles and tells him, “Just so we’re clear.”

Jeremy smiles widely and tells him, “Oh we’re crystal.”

The original nods once before the boy smirks and asks, “So would it be bad to get together with the Mikaelson men and brainstorm on ways to prank Mr. Hopkins pretty much constantly to get back at him.”

Bonnie giggles but tells him, “Yes, it would be bad.  He may be compelled not to h-hit me anymore, but he can still get cranky, and I’d rather not be around him when that happens.”

Jeremy smiles at her and then winks at Kol and tells him, “We’ll just wait until she goes to college, and then we can drive him nuts until it’s time for her to come home.”

Kol and Niklaus both laugh and tell him at the same time, “I’m in.”

The teen smiles big and nods before he says to the two originals, “We’ll talk later.”

Bonnie smacks him gently on the chest and says, “There will be no pranking my dad.”

The former ghost whisperer pouts and tells her, “But he deserves it!”

My granddaughter smiles and tells him, “Maybe he does, but this is me putting my foot down.”

He smiles and says, “Okay but if you change your mind you just let me, Kol, and Klaus know, and we’ll cook something up, okay?”

She smiles and nods, “Deal.”

Caroline has been strangely silent through the whole thing, and I can hear in her thoughts how she wishes she had noticed something wasn’t right.  She thinks, ‘That’s got to be why she would always change in one of the stalls for gym and cheerleading.  How could I not notice?  She would have noticed if our roles were reversed.’

Bonnie bumps Caroline’s shoulder and tells her, “Hey, no self-doubt allowed on Christmas Eve, or hey is that clock right?  If it is, then it’s Christmas Day.”

She hugs Caroline again and tells her, “Merry Christmas, Care.”

The baby vampire says, “I’m sorry I didn’t realize what was—”

The witch pulls back and puts her finger on her best friend’s lips and tells her, “I didn’t want anyone to know, not even my bestie.  I was too ashamed.”

The younger blonde pulls her back into a hug and tells her, “I love you, Bonnie.”

Jeremy leans against Bonnie’s back and says, “Hey I love you guys too!”

Both girls turn and each kiss one of his cheeks prompting him to smile before he asks, “So are we doing the usual one gift before bed or are we forgoing that now that we’re older?”

Caroline laughs and says, “I’ll never be too old for a gift before bedtime.”

Bonnie nods, so she gets up and then helps Jeremy up and over to the tree.  He sits down on the floor beside her with a little help.  Caroline stands and grabs Niklaus’ hand pulling him over to her friends and then pulling on his arm after she sits to get him to join them.  Kol, Elijah, and Rebekah stand and the youngest surviving Mikaelson brother asks, “I take it this part requires sitting on the floor?”

The teens all nod, so they sit, and then Bonnie starts making piles of gifts according to whom they are addressed to.  When she’s done, she says, “We usually go from oldest to youngest or vice versa.  We did youngest first last year so we should start with the oldest this year.  Each of us should choose a gift and then we’ll open them in the order we were born in.”

They all nod and Bonnie hands the piles to each person.  Kol shakes his gifts and sniffs them prompting Bonnie to giggle and ask, “Sparkle Pants, you gonna be okay with presents you can’t open until after we wake up tomorrow?”

His siblings all laugh loudly at that, and Elijah tells her, “You have him pegged correctly, Bonnie.”

She nods and tells the oldest surviving Mikaelson brother, “I figured.”

Kol pouts, but he tells her, “I think I can manage to wait a few hours, just don’t make me have to sit through breakfast first.”

They all laugh, but Rebekah tells the teens, “Seriously, breakfast will be miserable if he hasn’t been allowed to open his gifts before hand.”

Bonnie smiles and says, “So noted, presents before breakfast.”

Kol nods and then puts all but one gift down and looks at his older brother and says, “Well get on with it Brother, times a ticking.”

Elijah laughs and tells them all, “If I didn’t think it would be unfair to our guests I’d drag it out just to spite you.”

I laugh and so does everyone else when Kol sticks his tongue out at his older brother.  Finn who has been strangely silent all night chuckles beside me and tells me, “Believe it or not, Sheila, Henrik may have seemed to favor Niklaus growing up, but he idolized Kol.  He got Kol’s attitude from him, as well as his penchant for sticking out his tongue when he’s displeased with someone.”

Henri laughs and sticks his tongue out at Finn who laughs and says, “See.”

I just laugh and watch Elijah slowly begin opening his present that appears to be in a leather tube.

Chapter 005

What’s Done is Done

Saturday, December 25, 2010, 12:45 a.m.

The Den in the Mikaelson Mansion

When Elijah begins opening his present Bonnie says, “Wait, you’ve got to tell us who it’s from first.”

He smiles and tells her, “This is from Rebekah.”  He then slowly, oh so slowly, opens the paper without tearing it.

Kol huffs halfway through and says, “Seriously?”

The older man just lifts his eyebrow and asks, “How long have we been together Kol?  Surely by now you know how I open my presents.”

The impatient original doesn’t say anything and instead pouts.  When the paper is removed Elijah opens the top of the tube and then slowly pulls a roll of paper out of the tube.

He then gently rolls it open and smiles at the antique map of the world.  Jeremy leans forward to see better and asks, “Exactly how old is that?”

Elijah smiles and tells him, “If I am correct I believe it’s circa 1450 or thereabouts.”

Rebekah nods and says, “Yes, when I sent for my things I found it.  I bought it to give to you many years ago.  I think I found what I thought was a better present for that year, so I put it away to give to you later and then with all the running from Mikael I forgot all about it.  Better late than never I suppose.”

Elijah slowly and gently rolls the map back up and then stands and goes to his sister before leaning down and kissing her cheek, “Thank you, Rebekah, it’s perfect and in perfect time.”

She beams at him, so he returns to his spot on the floor before Niklaus smiles and asks, “Is it my turn now?”

Everyone nods so he picks up a medium sized box and shakes it a little, which causes a little bit of rattling.  He reads the tag and says, “This is from Caroline.”

She smiles and says, “I actually had a little help from Jeremy, so it’s sort of from both of us, but he wouldn’t let me put his name on the tag.”

Jeremy sticks his tongue out at her and says, “It was supposed to be a secret.”

Niklaus laughs and tells him, “Oh the word is out, your my secret friend.”

Jeremy and the teens laugh at that before the hybrid rips open his gift with little care to how well the paper survives.  The box is brown and unassuming, so he uses his nail to open the tape and then slides the lid off of the box.  His eyes widen when they land on the high-quality art supplies.  He takes each thing out smiling wider and wider while he goes then he gets to the bottom of the box and carefully pulls a small 10×12 box out of the bigger box.  He opens it slowly and then gently pulls a framed painting out of the box.

His eyes get large when they land on the image and he smiles and says, “Caroline, whose work is this?  This is fabulous!”

She smiles and tells him, “The art supplies were Jer and me but the painting is one of my favorites, and I happened to see it in a little gallery I was walking by a few weeks ago with my friends, so I went in and bought it.  I wasn’t sure if I’d give it to you anytime soon or just hide it in my closet until I hunted you down a century or two from now and then give it to you.  I figure since Bonnie’s doing the friend thing with all of you I will too, so I thought it would be good to give it to you now, and the artist is Pirko Mäkelä-Haapalinna.  It’s called ‘On the Frozen Lake.’  I love the colors and how it mostly just hints at what it is.  I kind of like paintings that don’t spell it all out for you.  Anyhow, I thought of this painting when I first saw your work and then last month I saw the picture in the gallery and bought it.  I used to have a print on my bedroom wall, but it faded and didn’t look as nice anymore, so I took it down.”

He smiles widely and leans over and kisses her cheek, “Thank you, Luv.  I love it.”

She blushes and then smiles back before Kol interrupts by ripping open his present, which causes everyone else to laugh.

He barely pauses to open the box and then pulls out a massive tome.  Bonnie is still laughing when she tells him, “You’re supposed to say who gave it to you.”

He starts flipping through the pages of the grimoire and smiles boyishly before he tells her, “It’s from you.”

She laughs again and tells him, “Mr. Saunders, you remember me telling you about him?”

Kol looks up for a moment and then nods and says, “The bookshop keeper?”

She smiles big and nods, “Yes, so last week he called me and told me that he had this huge estate sale that looked to be mostly grimoires.  He was a long time friend of Grams, so he never charges me what the going rate is and mostly asks me for the lowest number he knows I’ll let him get away with.  Anyway, He actually drove the fifteen crates to my house, and I snuck them into the basement while my dad was at work.”

She grins and tells him, “I’ve been reading through them most nights, but I thought you’d like that one and you’ll know why when you get closer to the end.”

He keeps flipping and quickly reading each spell until he comes across a drawing.  His eyes pop open wide, and he looks from the page to Bonnie and back again before flipping back to the front of the book.  When he sees who wrote the book, he closes his eyes.  A tear slips out of his eyes before Rebekah asks, “Who’s it by?  What’s the significance?”

Bonnie smiles and tells them all, “It was written by his student and friend, Chalina Fernández.  The woman who died was her great-great whatever niece.  Apparently, the surviving members of the family insisted that her grimoire collection had to go to Mr. Saunders and that he had a young friend that the boxes should go to.  They said that the young woman would know why when she came across a few of the books.  I think they were right because as soon as I saw that picture of Kol, I knew I had to give it to him.”

She looks away from the book in his hands and up to his face, and her eyes widen when she sees the tears pouring down his cheeks.  She gets up on her knees and crawls over to him.  Putting her hands on his cheeks, she gently wipes his tears away and asks, “Kol?  Are you okay?  Was I wrong?  Should I not have given it to you?  I just thought you’d like to have it I—”

He pulls her into a hug effectively cutting her off.  “You weren’t wrong.  I promise to explain the significance, but not today, though.  Honestly, probably not anytime soon, but eventually, I’ll explain the tremendous gift you just gave me.”

She pulls away and looks into his eyes, “You’re sure?  You’re okay?”

He nods and then leans in and kisses her forehead, “I’m perfect.  Thank you, Bonnie.”

She smiles and nods before she returns to her seat.  All of the Mikaelsons have wide eyes and hanging jaws.  They slowly close their mouths while Bonnie tells Kol, “That’s only the third book I’ve made it through.  I’m on book number five, now.  Book number four didn’t seem to have any connection to you, but if you want sometime you can come over and look through all the books and take whatever ones you want because I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to give Chalina’s books to you.”

He nods and tells her, “I may very well take you up on that.”

She nods back, so Rebekah picks her gift up off the floor and reads the tag, “This is from… Caroline?”

She looks at the younger blonde and Caroline smiles and says, “I saw this on the same day trip when I found the painting.  I’m still not sure what compelled me to buy it because at the time we were definitely enemies, but I thought you’d like it.  I even considered leaving it on your doorstep and then hightailing it out of here.  But then you invited us over for Christmas, so I realized that must have been why I bought it.”

Rebekah nods and opens the paper, not as slowly as Elijah, but much slower than Kol.  She takes the lid off of the shirt box and then gasps at the red fabric inside.  She gently pulls the dress out, and a tear rolls down her cheeks too.  Caroline smiles and says, “I didn’t see the dress you were going to wear to homecoming, but Elena described it, and so did Stefan, which can I just say was creepy.  Anyway, it’s probably different, but I figured it’d be a good replacement because the first dress now has a dagger hole through the back.  Anyway, we have enough dances at school that you should be able to find one to wear it to, it’s actually fancy enough that you could probably even wear it to Prom.  I kept the receipt in case I guessed your size wrong, but I’m usually pretty good about that sort of thing.”

Rebekah stands up and holds the dress to herself before smiling big and telling Caroline, “Thank you.  I love it.”

Caroline just nods and turns to look at Bonnie who has a thin flat gift sitting in her lap.  She smiles and says, “My turn?”  When everyone nods, she looks at the tag and says, “This one is from Kol.”

She slowly opens the paper and then takes out the envelope before opening it and sliding a paper out of it.  She reads it and then laughs and says, “Custom bookshelves.”

Kol smiles and tells her, “You told me the ones you have aren’t designed for such heavy tomes, and you’re afraid the shelves will break and your books will get damaged when they fall, so I paid for as many cases as you need.  You could even put them in your basement and attic so that you can actually access the grimoires that are currently in boxes right now.”

She gets up again and walks on her knees to kiss his cheek.  When she pulls back, she says, “Thank you, Kol.  I really was worried, so this is great.”

He nods before she goes back to her seat.

Caroline smiles, but before she can open her box, Niklaus flashes out of the room and comes back with a wrapped package that is obviously a painting.  He smiles and asks the younger blonde, “Can I persuade you to open this one tonight?”

She smiles and nods, so he hands the 16×20 package to her.  She gently but quickly rips the paper from the painting and then just sits there staring at it with tears in her eyes.  Bonnie leans around to look and then says, “Oh, Nik, that’s lovely.”

Jeremy peeks and then says, “Whoa!  That’s awesome.”

Caroline just nods with her hand covering her mouth.  She eventually says, “Thank you Nik.  I… How did you even know about that photo?”

He smiles and tells her, “Your mother was surprisingly helpful once I promised I had no ill-intent planned.”

I smile looking at the painting of Caroline and her parents.  It’s based on a picture the Forbes’ had taken when Caroline was about seven, maybe four months before her father left.

He smiles gently and says, “Your mother insisted that I should paint that photograph because it was your favorite growing up and she’s had to have multiple prints made over the years to replace the older ones because you used to keep it under your pillow.”

Caroline nods, so he says, “Now you can hang it on the wall and see it every time you enter your room.”

She gently places the precious painting onto the floor and knee-walks to Niklaus before kissing his cheek and then looking him in the eyes she tells him, “Thank you, Niklaus.  This is a gift that I will treasure through the centuries, not just because of the subject matter but also because of the artist who created it and the care and thought you put into making it.”

He just nods, so she leans in and kisses his cheek again before returning to her seat.

Jeremy smiles and asks, “So who’s going to help me open the second box down in that pile by my foot?”

Bonnie reaches over and grabs the box before telling everyone, “This one is from Kol,” then she slowly peels the paper from the box.  She uses her nail to open the box and then begins taking out art supplies.

Jeremy’s eyes grow dark, but Kol explains himself, “I’m not rubbing your lack of arms in your face as it were, Jer.  In fact, quite the opposite.  This is a promise of sorts that as soon as I can manage it, I will figure out a way for Bonnie to give you back your arms without endangering anyone so that you can go back to doing all the things you love but can’t do right now.”

Jeremy’s eyes are wide, but he nods and says, “Thanks, Kol.  I hope you know I’m gonna hold you to that.”

Kol just nods and says, “Good, I hope that you do.   Tuesday was The Full Moon.  I didn’t finish in time, but I’m pretty sure I can get the spell entirely written before the next full moon comes around.  If not then definitely by February’s Full Moon.”

Jeremy nods and says, “Thank you, Kol.  I mean I was trying to kill you, and now you’re offering to help me get my arms back.  Arms I wouldn’t have lost if I had just listened to you in the first place.”

Kol smiles and tells the teen, “Don’t dwell.  What’s done is done, and we’ll see if Bonnie and I can’t figure out how to fix the situation so that you’re whole again as soon as possible.”

Jeremy nods again and says, “Well, thank you all the same.”

Kol just nods back before Bonnie and Caroline both let out jaw snapping yawns.  The two girls giggle and then Bonnie says, “Well, I think I need to go to bed now, or poor Kol is going to be stuck waiting to open his other gifts until tomorrow afternoon, or this afternoon I guess, after lunch anyway.”

He pouts and stands before holding his hand down towards her and telling her, “Best get you to bed then, Little Bella because you never know what mischief I might get into if I have to wait for very long!”

She laughs and then hugs him before telling him, “Thank you for my gift, Kol.  It’s perfect.”

He nods and holds her tight for a moment before he lets her go and says, “Jer you want some help getting ready for bed?”

The teen nods so Kol helps him stand and then everyone heads up to their rooms.

Finn looks at me while I try to figure out who to follow and he says, “Go with Kol.  I think you might learn more about him if you watch him in his alone time tonight.”

I nod then follow him up to Jeremy’s room.  The older man helps the teen change his clothes and use the bathroom, bantering lightly with him to keep Jeremy’s mind off the fact that someone has to help him pee.

Soon enough, though, Kol leaves Jeremy alone after helping him into bed and then he leaves being sure to leave the door open in case Jeremy wants to exit the room in the middle of the night.

Chapter 006

I Should Have Been Letting Go

Saturday, December 25, 2010, 2:30 a.m.

The Den in the Mikaelson Mansion

Kol walks back down the stairs and into the den where he picks up his new grimoire and flips to the title page.  He runs his fingers along Chalina’s name and another tear trickles down his cheek.  He slowly flips through the book taking the time to trace many of the words with his finger.  When he gets to the drawing of himself he stops and just stares before whispering, “I still miss you, but I have a new love now.  I think you’d like her.  You both are actually a lot alike.  She’s just a touch braver than you were when it comes to putting my siblings and me in our place, but other than that I think you could be soul sisters you’re so alike.”

I notice a ghost off to the side that I’ve never seen before.  She has tears in her eyes while she watches Kol talk to thin air.  A moment later she looks at me and tells me, “I’m glad he’s moving on.  I’ve been surreptitiously watching without calling attention to myself.  She’s good for him.  If my father had beaten me on a daily basis Kol would not have been able to keep himself from killing him.  The fact that he only knocked her father unconscious and then compelled him into no longer harming her is incredibly significant.  He doesn’t think he’s over me yet, but I see it, slowly but surely the pain of my death is being overrun by his love for her.”

She pauses while Kol continues to silently cry.  She looks back at me and continues, “The time I knew him was the happiest of my short life.  I’ve always been grateful that he stopped to love me.  He’s such a big personality, and he noticed shy, quiet, unassuming me and quickly brought me out of my shell.  He’ll be good for her and her self-esteem.  He’ll cherish her, and above all else, she’ll know she’s cherished and loved.  Once she comes to him, she’ll never doubt his feelings again.”

She pauses and watches him for a moment and then says, “The book she gave him has the notes I made about the spell he started working on back in 1701.  He never finished because I died, and he no longer had a reason to tie a soul mate to himself.  What he never knew is that I’m not his intended mate.  I was merely the seed that planted the idea that he could love and be happy for eternity.  She is his future and his happiness.  He’s been struggling with the spell, which for the record is unusual for him, but I think it’s the memory of me and what I endured at Mikael’s hands that make it so difficult for him to work on the spell.  That book right there will help in two ways, one it has all the notes I wrote down about the spell he needs to finish and two I wrote him a letter based on a premonition I had shortly before I died.  I basically wrote him a goodbye letter.  His brothers daggered him before he ever had a chance to go through my things, and then Josefina and the Mikaelsons packed everything in short order and then fled with Kol in his coffin.  The letter should give him the closure he needs to be able to fully give himself to your granddaughter.”

I nod.   Chalina walks to Kol and places her ghostly hand on his shoulder while he cries into his hands, “Be at peace my love and never let her go.”

She kisses his forehead and then turns and tells me, “She’ll never want for love or protection.  She is already his world.  They just don’t realize it yet.”

She walks farther away and then turns back, “You’ll have an opportunity to talk to your granddaughter again after Kol finds a second set of notes that should help him with returning the hunter’s arms without putting the world at risk.  Henrik should think back on Kol’s time in Haiti in the 1680’s because he’ll likely remember something from that time that should help you all.  If you could tell them both that I give my blessing and that Josefina, Alaric and I will be in touch when Esther finalizes her plans because while she is definitely dead, she will not be satisfied until all of her children are just as dead as she is.  Josefina is also keeping an eye on Mikael who has his own plans.  He remembers me, but she’s just another nobody he forgot almost as soon as she fled, so she has befriended him and is trying to discover his and Esther’s plans before they become a problem for the Mikaelson Children and all they hold dear.”

I just nod, so she nods back and says, “Freya, will help you protect them too.”

She smiles and turns back to look at Kol again.  She closes her eyes for a moment and then tells me, “Help protect them, The Living World and The Otherside both will depend on them to survive.  Though the main threat should be defeated in quick order with very little effort.  They deserve to be happy, though, so protect them always.  I will smile upon them while they live the life I never got to live, together like they should be for all time.”

She pauses again before telling me, “It might, however, be best to minimize how much I’m involved, though, especially right now because Kol’s wounds from my death are once again fresh, and I don’t want him to pull away from Bonnie out of some misguided loyalty to me.  Tell them I give my blessing but tell them Josefina gave you all the other information.”

I frown but tell her, “I won’t lie, but I won’t volunteer the information if you think that’s best, however, if either of them asks I will tell them the truth, they deserve no less.”

She smiles and says, “I see where she gets her morals from.  You did an excellent job raising her.  You are correct, though, so don’t lie but please wait as long as possible to tell them of my involvement.”

I nod and tell her, “That I can promise I’ll do.”

She smiles and nods then whispers, “Goodbye my love.”  Then she walks away and slowly fades until I can no longer see her.

I jump when Finn and Henrik come into the room, and Henrik says, “Did I hear right?  You’re going to get to talk to them?  Can you tell Nik my death was my fault, not his?”

I smile.  Henri may technically be 1,020-years-old, but he still has the exuberance that comes with youth.  I think for a minute, and I realize Chalina gave me all of the clues I need to solve this riddle of how we’re going to get to talk to them, so I tell him, “I think you’ll get to tell him yourself.”

His smile widens and he bounces on his toes before he asks, “Really?”

I nod and tell him, “Chalina said you need to think about Kol’s time in Haiti, the 1680’s I believe.”

He nods and says, “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”

I nod and watch Kol continue to cry.  I wish there was something I could do right now to ease his pain, but I don’t have the resources needed just yet.

Kol stays in the den for close to three hours, mostly crying.  Towards the end of the three hours, he begins flipping through the book again.  I look over his shoulder and smile when he opens it to the letter Chalina told me about.  His eyes widen, and he whispers, “You knew.  You knew, and you didn’t warn me.  Why?”

I laugh lightly because the line right after ‘Dearest Kol, if you’re reading this then I have passed on to the Otherside,’ reads, ‘I did not warn you because you would have gotten yourself killed.  You must live.  There is another who will win your heart, and she will be far more deserving of your love than I ever have been, and I’m not discounting how much I deserve your love, quite the opposite actually.  She will be your light in the darkness, your beauty in the ugliness of the world, your Little Bella.’

Oh wow, she really did know.  I move away from him confident that she wrote what he needs to read but also quite sure I shouldn’t invade his privacy any more than I already do.  When he finishes reading, he smiles slightly and tells the air, “I will always love you, but now I have room in my heart for both of you.  You are correct, I was still holding on when I should have been letting go.  You always knew what I needed to hear.  Thank you for loving me and preparing me for Bonnie.  Good-bye, my Little Rose.”

He closes the book and then stands before carrying the book up the stairs towards his room.  He pauses outside Bonnie’s bedroom door.  He places his hand on the door and then jumps slightly when Rebekah opens her bedroom door and asks, “Kol, are you okay?”

He smiles and turns to look at her before telling her, “I am now.  Good night, Sister.”

She smiles cautiously and then tells him, “And to you as well, Brother.”

He squeezes her shoulder before he walks past her and then turns down the other hallway and enters his bedroom where he shuts the door.

I turn back towards the stairs and go sit by the Christmas tree for the rest of the night contemplating everything I’ve learned tonight.

To Be Continued

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Posted on

December 13, 2016


  1. together25x3

    I absolutely love this!


    Amazing…I adore Bonnie’s character so much!
    Gook luck. 😉

  3. geezerwench

    I like Bonnie here and feel bad for her—being shunned by “the gang.” *damn*Elena*

    Bonnie will be around to help Kol out.

  4. geenakmom

    This was great! Can’t wait to read more!


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