Disclaimer: All publicly recognized characters are the work of their creator. I hold no ownership of them. I also want to acknowledge KrazyKeke for the inspiration of the twin mates.
A/N: The premise of this story may be a bit disturbing to some. If the disclaimer didn’t give it away already, be warned. No lemons because I can’t write them, but the mates do physically express their love. It is not at all platonic. So saying…on with the show!
There was a certain book that had always intrigued Bella. It stood on a shelf surrounded by other important parts of his past. It was old. The age was obvious even from across the room, but also obviously well cared for. And, while there were few boundaries between them, that book – no other, seemed to be a mark in the sand. Any time she got close to it he would get nervous. Nik wasn’t a nervous man, so the behavior was particularly peculiar. Her dad would have called it ‘squirrelly’ if he was still around. She could only think of one other time he had acted in a similar fashion. He had been telling her about how he and his brother made up legends that spread across the world about the importance of doppelgangers in breaking a fake curse. At the time, Bella had attributed it to his nervousness about her reaction to his need to break his curse or, more so, the lengths he went to in his actions in trying to break his curse. To that end, she had listened with an open heart to what he was saying and not saying, trying to make sure she understood where he was coming from.
But even from the beginning, understanding him and his pain had never been a problem for Bella. It was as if she understood him on the most fundamental level. While she did not necessarily agree with his actions, the reasons behind those actions were always understood and accepted.
Niklaus was the most important person in her life. He had rescued her from Victoria’s clutches nearly five years ago now. She had been stumbling through life in the wake of the Cullens’ abandonment, Charlie’s death and Victoria’s terror campaign only to fall into Victoria’s hands anyway. She had been held by Victoria for months, tortured until Bella barely recognized herself. Physically as well as mentally. Then one day her cell door had been thrown open and this golden haired man had stood shadowed in the light. It had been Nik. He said that he had come across a Cold One’s scent, Victoria, and wanted to investigate, given how close to civilization it was. Usually they avoided humans unless they were hunting. When he realized Victoria had been keeping her and torturing her he killed Victoria and freed her. Bella had nowhere to go and no desire to resume a life that felt like it belonged to someone else. Charlie had been killed. Renee and most of her friends had been told she was dead after Victoria grabbed her. Nik told her she could stay with him until she recovered and decided her next move. Saying that, it was easier to recover from the physical torture than the mental. Slowly her body learned what it meant to eat regularly and function normally again. However, sleep was still elusive and so even the physical recovery was slow. Then one day she gathered the nerve to reach out and ask for help. During the previous months, Nik was there providing a place to live, food and things to keep her occupied but he never pushed for more than she was willing to demonstrate she needed.
The nightmares had been particularly bad for a few days. One night she was up making herself some tea, hoping the soothing brew would help calm her body enough to return to bed. Nik found her in the kitchen and asked what the worst thing was she dreamed.
“Stuck back in that room hearing Victoria coming towards the door again. Knowing I am never going to leave that room and find…” Bella answered
“Find?” Nik questioned.
“I don’t know. I have always felt like I was looking for something. Searching for something that was important to me. It was one of the reasons why I moved in with my dad. I knew my time was running out to find it. I have no idea why I thought that, but I knew to the depth of my being that I needed to find it soon.” Bella said “I thought I might have found it with the Cullens. It was close. I was desperate and I convinced myself that what I felt for Edward and what the Cullens’ felt for me was what I had been looking for all along. But it wasn’t. I knew it but I was so lost as to what I was looking for that I thought it might be the closest I could get. I think it was why I went into such a depression after they left. I was losing hope that I would ever find it.”
“Do you still feel that way now” Nik asked.
“No.” Bella whispered. With that word she quickly looked up at him. His eyes were penetrating and touched something deep in herself. She felt something within her heal a little bit more. “How?”
“I believe we are mates. When I found Victoria I had actually been following what I was hoping was a mating pull. It is a distinctive feeling. I haven’t wanted to say anything because you had been recovering from this ordeal. You needed to heal before you could even begin to acknowledge anything else happening” Nik explained.
“Yes. I understand.” Bella could feel that he was telling the truth. Now that he had mentioned their relationship it made sense these feelings that she would get when he spoke. She knew when he was hiding something or even just happy about something. “I am not totally healed yet. But you saying that does not make me want to run to the hills so I must be recovering. I want to take this slow. I need to know more about you before I can really move forward and think about what I want. Will you be patient?” Bella asked.
“For you kjaere, anything.” Nik got a peculiar look on this face as he continued, “I have had patience until now and that will not change. Ask me anything, and I will answer. I may ask that you wait for later date for an answer but I will never lie to you.”
(End of Flashback)
It was after that conversation that she asked him to hold her as she attempted to go back to sleep. It was strange after being alone for so long especially since it was something Edward used to do. After he left she tried to move away from anything that reminded her of him. But this was different. It reminded her nothing of Edward. It was the last night she slept alone but the first night in nearly a year that she was able to get a good night’s sleep.
He had explained about his family, his curse, and what he had done in the past to accomplish his goals. As Bella learned more, she fell more in love with him. They had been traveling much more in the last few months as Nik was gathering the last pieces of information needed to break his curse. He had said that all the elements were there, he just had to track them down. The doppelganger and moonstone were the last pieces. He said he wasn’t nervous about obtain a vampire and werewolf at the ritual site, evidently the location is overrun with both.
The desire to explore the book had grown over the last six months. It was now nearly as strong as the chest pains she had on a semi-weekly basis. The chest pains had been something new. They had started about a year ago. It happened so infrequently that Bella simply brushed it off as a lingering effect of torture or any of the other things that had happened in her life. In the last two months their frequency had grown a great deal though.
The craving to see what was in the book overwhelmed Bella suddenly, she threw caution to the wind and picked up the book to look inside.
‘Just a quick peek’ Bella rationalized. ‘Nik is out and he would hardly be the wiser and he won’t be angry’ Bella knew this at a cellular level ‘but he would not be pleased either. OK, here goes nothing’ Bella pumped herself up to take the book from the shelf.
She took it over to the sofa to look through the pages. It changed her life more fundamentally than any other event in her life.
“Oh My God!” Bella whispered as she turned each page. ‘Her face. Her face on many different bodies. The clothes depicted and the fragility of the pages indicated these drawings dated back to Nik’s human days.’ Bella thought ‘What is going on!’
It was as if time stood still and sped forward as Bella moved through the book. As Bella neared the end of the book it changed, Nik’s drawings were accompanied by photographs. The photographs couldn’t have been altered. They showed a woman who looked exactly like Bella in period dress. The last one from what looked like about 50 years prior. So engrossed in looking through the book Bella missed the opening of the front door.
“Isabella, what are you doing?” Niklaus questioned hoarsely when he walked into the sitting room and saw what Bella was looking at.
“I couldn’t help myself. I had to look. I’ve ignored this feeling for a long time but I couldn’t ignore it anymore!” Niklaus closed his eyes as Bella pleaded.
“I know, kjaere. I know. You’ve been having chest pains haven’t you?” Klaus asked slowly as if trying to accept a new reality.
“How did you know? I haven’t said anything about them.” Bella answered.
“I know because I can feel them. You know we are soul mates. You felt that within days of meeting me. But what you don’t know is that we are actually so much more.” Klaus told her. “I have so much to tell you. I had hoped to have more time but it seems the time has run out. You have to understand, and remember I have never lied to you. I have always told you the truth. But there are a couple of things I have left out of my story. Things I think you need to know now.” Klaus continued as he crouched in front of her on the table and grabbed her hands.
“OK. I know you haven’t lied to me. I can tell when you are skirting around things. I guess the same way you know about my chest pains. I trust you, but I think you need to tell me now.” Bella agreed.
“Yes, it is time. Just… listen all the way through before you say anything. I will answer any questions you have at that time, but I need to get it all out first. Please know, you are my heart, my soul and I cannot live without you.” Klaus begged.
“You know I will listen to all you have to say before I tell you what I think. I have proven that time and again. I will hold my questions until the end though as well. I know you love me too. Just tell me” Bella assured.
“I have told you about my siblings and I. My family and how we became as we are, vampires. I have also told you about discovering that the man I believed was my father was in fact just my mother’s husband. She had had an affair with the local wolf leader in the neighboring village.” Klaus enumerated. “What I have left out is that I had one more sibling, a sister. She was also the fruit of that illicit affair my mother had. She wasn’t just my sibling though. She was my twin. She was my everything. She died the same day that I was cursed. I wasn’t the only one cursed that day. My mother placed a curse on her as well. That curse was much more destructive and cruel though.”
Klaus took a deep breath and continued, “you have to understand. We were inseparable from birth. We did everything together because to be apart, for even a couple of hours, was painful. It was as if a limb was missing. A constant ache to be reunited again. Thankfully, my sister was not much for the feminine arts. She was a warrior, a shield maiden. She hunted just as well, if not better than we, her brothers. Mikael did not approve, but because she was so good he couldn’t deny that her help was important to our survival. He drew the line at teaching her swordplay though. He said that no daughter of his would stoop so low as to learn that masculine art.” Bella saw a small smile fleet across his face. “We taught her instead when Mikael was away. Well, our brothers did. I could never bring myself to raise my sword to her no matter if it was for play or not. She was the only one I would allow near me after Mikael beat me. Of course, she never really allowed anyone else near me either. She blamed them all for allowing it to continue. I wouldn’t allow her to interfere but the others…well, no one spoke against Mikael.”
“We had no boundaries between us. It would have been like cutting off a part of our self. So we literally, did everything together” Klaus told Bella as he looked directly into her eyes. Bella was trying to read the message there. She thought she understood, but had promised not to say anything until the end. It seemed Klaus had found what he needed though. “Mother and Mikael thought our relationship unnatural and tried any number of ways to interfere but it never seemed to work. It was Mikael who pulled Tatia, the original doppelganger, into our lives. He felt I didn’t deserve more than a girl who had already given herself to another. Little did he understand that by bringing her around he was allowing her to get her claws into Elijah more.”
“The night that Henrik died she tried to get me to stay. Claimed that she would be cold without me there to keep her warm. But I couldn’t let Henrik go by himself and he would have gone anyway. She also realized that if she went it would hinder us. Two generally move more quickly than three. It will be the night I always question; would it have made a difference if I had asked her to come?” Klaus continued. Bella clutched his hands tighter and started to rub the backs in a soothing manner. She knew the next parts would be the most difficult.
“You know what happened that night. How it precipitated Mother to cave to Mikael’s demands to use magic to strengthen our family. What I didn’t say was that when I rose vampire, when we rose vampire, our connection had grown exponentially. In death, it was as if our souls had reformed to one separated by our bodies. We were twins, yes, but also mates. We couldn’t help ourselves. We had to reaffirm our connection physically.” Klaus told Bella hoping that she understood and relying on the connection that they shared.
“Mother and Mikael were appalled. Our siblings didn’t understand, but we couldn’t help ourselves. We were meant to be together. We discovered early that she couldn’t feed for herself. Due to our connection she was only able to get sustenance by feeding from me. In my need to provide for her, I went on a bit of a killing spree, glutting myself on many of the townspeople. I wanted to make sure that I had taken enough blood for both her and I. Little did I know these deaths would reveal my mother’s infidelity.” Klaus continued. “As I told you, Mikael went insane when he found out. Blamed the wolves for our unnaturalness. She was able to sneak away and warn the wolf village, but Mikael was still able to slaughter many of them. The descendants of that original pack are what remain in Mystic Falls to this day.”
“Then they, Mother and Mikael, turned on us. Our siblings helped them tie us up so Mother could curse us. Mother started with my curse to bind my wolf side. I thought at the time it would end with that. I hated it but I couldn’t see how she could be punished since she hadn’t killed anyone and probably would not when she fed from me. How wrong I was.” Klaus whispered. He seemed to need a moment to gather himself. To steel a part of himself in order to even get the words out.
“Her curse was so much worse. Mother cursed her to be separated from the other half of her soul for as long as it was cursed. She was cursed to be separated from me for as long as I was cursed. Her curse was so much worse.” Klaus whispered, repeating the words unconsciously. “The force and pain of our souls separating killed her. I didn’t die, I think because I had already unlocked my wolf side. She did though. I don’t believe Mother intended for her to die and with her death there were a number of unintended consequences. We were soul bonded at that point so we couldn’t really be separated. She has been doomed to be reincarnated every time she dies, on the anniversary of the curse being placed, unless it is broken. Every time she is reincarnated she also has no memory of our past life. I believe she would regain her memories if I was able to break my curse.” Klaus finished as he looked up into Bella’s eyes. Tears were threatening to fall.
Bella gasped. She knew. She didn’t know how, but she knew what Nik was saying without actually saying the words. She didn’t know if she could accept it but she knew Nik was saying she was the reincarnation of his twin, his mate.
“You’ve told me all of this, but you haven’t told me her name. What was her name?” Bella asked.
“Izabella.” Klaus answered. “Something I have discovered over time. Whenever there is a chance to break my curse, meaning a doppelganger is living, her name is what it would have been. Or as close as possible given changes in language.”
“So this book” Bella took a breath “this book is a collection of drawings of her reincarnations?”
“Yes” Klaus affirmed. “You know I draw and paint what I feel. The first couple of pages are obviously of Izabella, Iza. Every time I have found her in the last thousand years, I had to draw her. I had to have the evidence, for my sanity, that I wasn’t just dreaming or hallucinating that she, you, exist. Have existed through history. As I said, these were unintended consequence, so it took some time for me to figure out what was going happening. Having felt your soul die, how did it make sense to feel the pull again?”
Bella thought about it. “You mean you, your Mother, didn’t know this would happen when she placed the curse. You were left to figure it out with your siblings?” she asked.
“Yes and no. Yes, she didn’t know. She just thought we would be separated for eternity. It would weaken me and stop the ‘unnaturalness’ that we were. No, I was left to figure it out on my own. My siblings didn’t, don’t, know.” Klaus stated stoically.
“What! How could they not know Nik? I know you are not lying to me.” Bella said, “I feel that but, but for your siblings to not know. How did you keep it from them? Why?”
“Why? Why, you ask. They helped her place our curses!” Klaus near shouted. “The first time I felt the pull I thought I was finally going insane from the grief. It was about 100 years after you had died. I left Elijah, Rebekah and Kol. By that time Finn was in a box. I followed the pull and found you. It was the other side of the world, near where we originally came from. It was near the end.” Klaus choked out. “I was able to meet you and find out what your life had been like, married at 15 to the leader from a neighboring village. I had mere months before you died.”
Bella grabbed him and held on as he relived the grief of losing her repeatedly. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m here now. Shh” she whispered to him comfortingly.
“When you died again, I returned to my siblings. I never spoke about it to them. I couldn’t trust that they would understand or help. They never understood us. It was after the next time it happened, again about 50 years later, that I started to put some pieces together. I visited a witch to help make sense of it all. She told me Mother had changed Fate, Destiny and interfered with Nature herself when she placed the curses. She was in a lot of trouble on the Other Side for interfering. It was by visiting the witch that I learned you died on the anniversary of the curse being placed, but it wasn’t sudden. You experienced chest pains for the year leading up to it. Almost as if your body is preparing you.” Klaus gave her a significant look.
“Oh. I guess that make sense. How close are we now?” Bella asked.
“We have about two months.” Klaus answered and continued, “It is why I have been frantically trying to put the pieces together over the last month. Something that has been revealed to me through experience, as I said, anytime there is a Petrova doppelganger on earth your name is as close to Izabella as possible. Given how close it is this time, there is a doppelganger without a doubt. Also, I generally start feeling the pull when you reach maturity. So around your 18th birthday. With that information I have been able to lengthen the amount of time I have been able to spend with you.” He informed her.
“So you were actually looking for me when you came across Victoria. You followed me.” Bella stated.
“Yes. I started to feel the pull a little early this time, but was unable to get to you as quickly as I wished. Elijah was close to my trail and I wanted to lose him so I didn’t bring him directly into your orbit.” Klaus told her.
“OK. I think that is enough for now” Bella said. A frown crossed Klaus’ face. “As I said it isn’t that I don’t believe you. But I need to sit with this for a while. We can speak about it again at another time. Don’t feel like you have hide this and what this is though. It doesn’t change anything between us for me. Does it change for you?” Bella asked hesitantly.
“It doesn’t change how I feel about you. But it does change how I feel in general.” Klaus said. “I don’t have to hide anymore. You know. I don’t have to be careful about what I say anymore. It is an odd feeling, especially because in the past you have not always taken this well. I have had a similar conversation a number of times in the past and they have not always gone as I hope. This time is odd further, because of how close you are to her, Iza. You are a reincarnation, so you look alike and act so very similar but time and cultural influence mean you are not always exactly alike. The one thing that is always the same, aside from your face, is that you never remember me. You may feel the mating pull and any number of familiar feelings but never remember me. As I said, I have come to believe that you will not until I break my curse.”
“OK. OK. So, you now know there is a doppelganger. You just need to find her and the moonstone, correct?” Bella asked moving on to the topic that had recently dominated their lives.
“Actually, just the moonstone now. It was what I had found out while I was out. The doppelganger is actually alive in Mystic Falls. Home. Where it all began. And I believe the moonstone is there as well. So, would you like to see where I am from?” Klaus inquired with a slight smirk to his mouth.
“As if you need to ask. Where you go, I go. You know that. I need to be there. Now, I think for more than your support.” Bella informed him decisively. It was a feeling she had gotten once he told her the doppelganger had been found.
“I want to warn you that Elijah has already made it to town. From what my sources were able to provide, he is helping the doppelganger in an effort to thwart me.” Klaus warned.
“From what you have told me, I think that is only because you told him you dropped your daggered siblings in the middle of the ocean.” Bella told him exasperatedly. “If you told him the truth and where to find them so you can be reunited, I believe he would come to your side.”
“Hm. While you may be right, I am wary of believing he would ever support me in this.” Klaus confessed. “Despite his support in the past, I don’t think he believes this is a good thing anymore. Me breaking my curse.”
“I know. I also understand more where you are coming from in your feelings, but you should give him a chance. It has been many years and he doesn’t have the full story. You have hidden much of what your Mother did to you.” Bella tried to sooth him while also showing him more truths. As she went to add her thoughts on Elijah’s presence in Mystic Falls, Bella had a strange feeling engulf her. It wasn’t the chest pain that she had been dealing with, rather a tingling feeling that raced out from her chest to her extremities. She also realized with absolute certainty that there was a flaw in Klaus’ plan for his curse.
“Isabella. Are you OK. Is it your chest?” Klaus questioned frantically.
“Nik, I’m fine. It wasn’t my usual pain. Did it feel different to you?” Bella asked.
“Yes. I didn’t really feel it more your discomfort. It was strange.” Klaus answered.
“I don’t know what it was, but I am sure we will figure it out. But I think you should make plans to keep the doppelganger alive after the ritual. I don’t know why, but as I got that weird feeling I also had the sense of certainty that it is crucial that she is alive after the ritual.” Bella said.
“The ritual calls for me to drain the doppelganger. I am not sure how she can be kept alive, but OK. I believe you. I will get my witches working on it so we have something in place for when we arrive.” Klaus agreed.
“What is your plan for arriving? What is your plan for once we get there? How can help?” Bella asked eagerly.
“I was hoping to head out in the next day or so. We have to make arrangements for our things to be stored and make sure the important things are shipped appropriately. I was hoping to do some surveillance of the doppelganger and my brother when we got there. I don’t know exactly what to expect.” Klaus admitted. “Are you sure you want to involve yourself?”
“I am involved. No matter what. What happens to you, happens to me. Plus, if you are able to finally break your curse, maybe it will break mine.” Bella reiterated. “I can help with surveillance. No one knows me there. Obviously, I will have to beware of Elijah but everyone else should be fairly open to me. Who would suspect the fragile human?” Bella continued disdainfully.
“Isabella, if you that is what you want. I know how clever and formidable you are.” Klaus said kiss to her neck.
“I need to know what the doppelganger looks like as well as Elijah. Do you have any pictures? Drawings?” Bella requested.
“You’ve seen Elijah in my sketchbook. I will pull it out for you again. As for the doppelganger, I will draw something for you so you are prepared. I will obviously have to stay scarce in town so you are going to have to be my eyes and ears until we are ready for me to reveal myself. If we are keeping the doppelganger alive they might be more receptive to my plans.” Klaus outlined.
“So next stop Mystic Falls!” Bella cheered as Klaus lifted her up into his arms.
“Yes, but now we must say goodbye to our humble abode. We can pack later.” Klaus agreed with a laugh as he sped her off to their bedroom.
“Hi, I need two burgers to go.” Bella ordered at the bar.
“Sure. How do you want the burgers? Fries OK with them? Anything else?” Matt asked.
“Medium on one and rare on the other. Fries are fine that is all.” Bella answered.
“OK. I’ll put that order in. Have a seat and it should be out in about 15 minutes.” Matt let her know as he walked over to the ordering station.
Bella looked around the Grill. Mystic Falls was a small town. Bigger than Forks, sunnier too, but still a small town.
“Here you go. On the house while you wait.” Matt said as he placed a coke in front of her.
“Oh, thank you. You didn’t have to do that; I was fine waiting.” Bella told him even as she opened the paper on the straw.
“It isn’t a problem. So, are you new here or just passing through?” Matt asked conversationally as he wiped down the bar.
“Not sure. I am on a bit of a road trip with my boyfriend. We are trying to experience as many small towns as possible. I grew up in one and am trying to prove to my boyfriend there are good things, besides me, that come from them! We ended up here on a whim. I figure we will stick around for a bit. Is there anything to do around here? “Bella answered with the story she and Klaus had agreed on when they were planning their trip to Mystic Falls.
“Well, we have a dance at the high school at the end of the week but that probably isn’t what you were look for, right?” Matt answered with a laugh.
“Ah, no. I avoided dances when I was high school. I can’t imagine going back to high school now that I have escaped.” Bella agreed, and the irony was not lost on her given her history with the Cullens, the perpetual high schoolers.
“Well, Mystic Falls is actually named after a Falls in the woods about 15 minutes outside of town. If you are a hiker, it might be fun. Otherwise, not much to do around here.” Matt told her. As he finished, the door opened and in walked Elena, Caroline and Bonnie. ‘Ah, the doppelganger, the Bennett witch and’ if Bella wasn’t mistaken’ another vampire.’
“Hey Matt” They all greeted as they made their way up to the bar.
“Hi guys. Guys this is Bella, right?” Matt questioned.
Bella nodded, as Matt continued his introduction. ‘This was too much to ask. Was she really being introduced to exactly the people she needed to know?’ she thought.
“Bella this is Elena, Caroline and Bonnie” Matt finished pointing to each girl in turn.
“Nice to meet you.” Bella said.
“You too.” Elena returned. Bonnie tilted her head to the side as if she was seeing something funny.
“So Bella, what are you doing in Mystic Falls?” Caroline asked.
“Small town America road trip.” Bella answered.
“What are you guys up to?” Matt asked when it became obvious Bella wasn’t going to elaborate.
“We are meeting Stefan, Damon and Alaric.” Elena told him.
“Actually, we should go grab a booth so we have enough seats.” Caroline continued. “It was nice to meet you Bella. Have fun on the road trip.”
“Thank you. Nice to meet you all as well. Thanks Matt.” Bella said as she grabbed her order from the bar just as it was set down and made her way to the door and escaped.
Just as she entered the car to drive back to the hotel, a figure appeared near the door to the Grill. Elijah. He paused, startled. He shook it off. His imagination. As he entered, the scent returned but was slowly dissipating. ‘Just my imagination. There is no way I am remembering her scent correctly.’ Elijah thought since there was no way for her to be here.
“I’m back!” Bella called as she entered the house. “I brought food!”
“Ah, kjaere. Perfect. Did you learn anything?” Klaus asked as he made his way over to Bella to relieve her of the food and walk back to the kitchen.
Bella followed him and started to pull down dishes, “Well, I met the doppelganger, Elena Gilbert and a Bennett witch, Bonnie. They also had another friend with them, Caroline. She is a vampire. They were meeting with the Salvatore brothers, and their hunter friend, Alaric.”
“So it was very successful. Good. What were your impressions?” Klaus questioned pleased.
“They are all tense. They know you are around, if not here now. I didn’t get much because I didn’t want to invite too many questions from them. They were your typical small town girls. A little nosey, wanting the latest gossip but friendly despite it.” Bella answered. “Have you reached out to your brother, yet? It would be nice to have him in on this.”
“Not yet. I wanted to call him while you were here. I don’t want him to know about you yet, but…” Klaus trailed off.
“I will be here for you no matter what. I will be here when you call him. Don’t worry.” Bella reassured him. “So if you didn’t do that what were you doing while I was getting food.”
“Funny story. I came across the perfect vampire for the ritual. I thought it was poetic justice since she fouled it up the last time.” Klaus answered viciously.
“What? Who? Katerina? Really?” Bella questioned a bit flabbergasted by the turn of events.
“Yes. Isn’t it perfect. I have put her in the closet. No need to have her wandering around invading our space. But I wanted her close to keep an eye on as well. Maddox has placed a spell on this house, much like the magic that doesn’t allow us to enter a house unless invited. She won’t be able to leave unless invited to by me.” Klaus informed her. “He also finished perfecting the spell to keep the doppelganger alive after the ritual.”
“Wait. Did I hear you right? You have her in the closet?” Bella asked.
“Yes. In the closet off the foyer. Feel free to look. I compelled her not to move.” Klaus invited.
‘Oh, I believe you. I think it might be the best place for her. So you have your vampire, and witch to perform the ritual. We are dealing with the doppelganger issue, so all you need is the moonstone and a werewolf.” Bella stated the items still on their list.
“Actually, Katerina had the moonstone with her. As I said, it was rather fortuitous I found her. So that just leaves the werewolf to procure once we deal with the doppelganger.” Klaus corrected her. “I don’t think it will be terribly difficult to get one of those though. I could smell wolves in the area when I was out and about earlier.”
“To that end, you should call your brother.” Bella reminded him.
“If I must” Klaus returned with a bit of a whine and pout that he only ever allowed her to see.
Bella reached up to hold his face. “You must, but I will be right here with you. I will do whatever you need me to do.” She ended with a kiss.
Klaus sighed again and pulled out his cell phone.
Elijah crashed the emergency meeting of the ‘protect Elena club’. His patience was wearing thin with this group. But it was his latest chance at getting his revenge on Niklaus for killing his family. Elijah had no illusions, their Mother and Father deserved any death Niklaus could serve, but their siblings were innocent bystanders in the feud that erupted between Niklaus and their parents. He still felt guilty for his actions that day. He never would have guessed what their parents had planned for them. He never understood Niklaus and Izabella’s bond. From birth they had been inseparable. As young ones it was understandable to a certain extent, but as they grew up it had always struck him as odd. Once they had transitioned they had all been a bit lost, trying to figure out what they were and why. Since learning about mates, those early days with Niklaus and Izabella make more sense as well as what happened the day they were cursed. Elijah would give anything to change that day. He had always wondered if Niklaus would have turned out the same if he hadn’t lost Izabella. While he was still dedicated to their family, he was removed. Closed off. He would leave for years at a time only to come back again more melancholy than before. ‘Maybe I should have gone with him during those times, maybe it would have made a difference’ Elijah thought but also knew that Niklaus would never have accepted it. Those trips away from them were crucial to keeping his sanity it always appeared.
“Come on, you know I am right!” Damon’s exclamation brought Elijah out of his thoughts. Just as he was about to re-enter the conversation his phone rang. The table grew quiet as he pulled it out and looked at the display. Surprise quickly was suppressed as he answered. Taking a chance Elijah decided to stay at the table for the phone call. With a wave of his hand he indicated the others should stay quiet.
“Hello” Elijah answered.
“Elijah. How is your meeting going? Have you solved world peace? Or was the issue you were solving a little closer to your heart?” Klaus asked.
“Klaus. While world peace is a daunting task there are other things that I can actually help with that will help to keep people just as safe.” Elijah returned obliquely.
“Come now, you can do better than that. Have you told your friends everything or are you still keeping your cards close? You have at least told them the Sun and the Moon curse is a fake, right” Klaus asked with a smile in his voice.
Damon, Caroline and Stefan all reacted. Surprised that Klaus would give away such important information and that Elijah had never told them. ‘What is the need for the doppelganger then?’ they thought.
“They do now. I hadn’t quite gotten to the history yet” Elijah answered dryly. No matter what he and Niklaus’ interactions were always stimulating. Aggravating and frustrating but still stimulating. He missed having his brother around. But these glimpses still didn’t make up for killing their siblings.
“Ah, sorry. I would have thought all the time you have spent in trying to thwart me you would have at least given them that. Well, I am sure you have much to impart now. I don’t see that group letting you leave until you have told them a rather long story. No need to go back to the beginning but at least from Katerina. But, before I let you go, what would you say if I told you I was informed that the doppelganger must survive the ritual and I had found a way for that to happen?” Klaus finally asked.
Again, the questioning looks were being shot between Caroline, Damon and Stefan. Elena and Alaric were still in the dark since they could not hear the conversation. Bonnie it seemed was getting parts of it. Elijah didn’t know how he felt about this latest turn.
“I am not sure I can believe you. I would want to look at this spell or potion you have that would ensure her safety. But you also know that is not the only issue.” Elijah responded hesitantly.
“What if I told you there was a way for us all to be together again? ALL” Klaus emphasized. “I won’t say more until we meet, but fear not the rest of us are not as lost as you thought.”
“It will take some time to get through this story now that you have opened up many questions. We can meet tonight. I will bring the Bennett witch with me so she can see how you are planning to keep her friend alive. If she is satisfied, we can speak on other matters.” Elijah agreed.
“Tonight is fine. We can meet at the ritual site. It will be the same as it was before. Dusk seems appropriate. Beware, I will be bringing my witch and another with me. Let us call this the Christmas truce.” Klaus told him. “Good luck, brother!” he finished with a flourish has he hung up.
“BROTHER!” came in stereo from the other occupants of the table.
He had to give Niklaus credit. It was a surefire way the story got told. Again, Elijah remember and missed the brother he had not seen in over a thousand years. Something was different, but Elijah had no idea what could have changed so significantly. And what did he mean about ALL of them being reunited. Izabella was lost to them, never to return. While Elijah could picture Niklaus lying to him about killing his other siblings, he saw Izabella die. There was much to think on, but first he needed to tell a rather important story.
Damon went to open his mouth again, “No. I will tell you all now. But you will not interrupt me. Yes. Niklaus is my brother. The Sun and the Moon Curse is a fake and I have not always been forthcoming but then neither have you.” Elijah said.
“Why don’t you start with the curse Elijah. Does it even exist?” Elena interjected.
“Ah, yes the Sun and the Moon Curse. It was rather brilliant. To answer, yes a curse exists, but it is actually on Klaus himself. As you have found out, it is rather hard to kill me” Elijah said with a smirk. “We are the Original vampires. Without going into mind boggling detail, my family grew up here in the area now known as Mystic Falls over a thousand years ago after emigrating from Europe. Every month we would retreat to caves to wait out the full moon. You see, in the next village, there was a pack of werewolves that would change and overrun the area. For the most part, we lived in harmony with them. We knew to hide during that time and they stayed more in the forest. However, one time my brother, Henrik – who was all of a boy of 12, wanted to see them transformed. He was fascinated by the wolves and what happened each month. He convinced my brother Niklaus to accompany him. He would have gone anyway, and Niklaus knew this so went to help protect him. They got to close at one point and a wolf felt threatened, he killed Henrik. Niklaus gathered him up and ran home, hoping our mother could fix him. She was unable. After Henrik’s death our father became obsessed with protecting the family. Making sure we were strong. To that end, he convinced my mother, a witch, to put an immortality spell on the family. To be stronger, and faster than the wolves, to live longer than them as well. It turned us into what we are now. We are the first and all other vampires come from us. As such the magic was wild still, so we don’t have the same vulnerabilities that you have. After waking up from being run through by our father, they provided blood to finish the transition. We had no idea what the repercussions would be, and I don’t think our parents knew either. It was during this time we discovered our mother had an affair with the alpha of the werewolf pack in the neighboring village. We found out when Niklaus killed some village people in an effort to get enough blood. He unlocked his werewolf gene. So, he wasn’t only a vampire, he was also a werewolf. A hybrid. Our father, Mikael, took it as a personal affront and slaughtered the wolf village. Few were able to escape. Mother, I don’t know what she was thinking, but at our father’s behest she agreed to lock Niklaus’ wolf side down. To curse him, so he could no longer shift with the full moon. He feels the pain, but is never able to make the transition.” Elijah finished. It had been a long time since he had told that story. In fact, he didn’t think he had ever told anyone the whole story. Though, he supposed, he still hadn’t.
“So the curse Klaus wants to unlock is to allow him to allow him to shift?” Elena asked. She was feeling sympathetic to the Hybrid now. No one should have a part of them locked away by another.
“Yes. He needs all the elements you know. The moonstone, the werewolf, the vampire and the doppelganger, you. He needs your blood because of how your mother placed the curse. She used blood magic to bind them and so he needs your blood to unlock it again.” Elijah elaborated. “Since not all of you could hear, he also just said that he has recently learned that he needs you to live after the ritual. While he will have drain you during the ritual, in order for it all to work you must live once it is over. He has found a way to do it as well. It was what I was speaking about when I mentioned bringing Bonnie. So she could look over what he or rather his witch has come up with to ensure it happens.”
“Do you believe him?” Caroline asked.
“Niklaus can be many things and have unpredictable reactions but he would never do anything that might hinder him unlocking the curse. He lost unimaginable things when the curse was placed so I believe he would find a way to make it happen and happen correctly.” Elijah said.
“We want to go with you tonight.” Damon demanded. “I don’t know if I can believe you when you have hidden all of this, let alone someone who wants to drain Elena dry. We should come too. When does this ritual need to take place?”
“It will need to take place on the night of the full moon. So next week. I am sure Niklaus expects you all to go as well. You heard the details. We can meet and make our way to the ritual site. He would like to meet where the original curse was made.” Elijah agreed.
“Fine. We will see you later.” Damon agreed and the others followed him out leaving Elijah behind.
Bonnie leaned over to Caroline as they walked out, “he said bind them. Who else was cursed?” she whispered.
“I know. I caught that, but I don’t know. I figure we won’t know until they decide to tell us. But I have a feeling it has to do with ‘unimaginable loss’ he suffered.” Caroline agreed. “What do you think about this new development and working with Klaus’ witch?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure if I believe him but if the potion or spell looks good it wouldn’t hurt to make it happen.” Bonnie answered.
“Yeah, I’m on the same page. I am going to call Tyler to give him a heads up to stick close to home and then I will meet you at the Boarding House.” Caroline said.
“You are mean! You have left him to tell them everything” Bella reprimanded Klaus as he hung up the phone.
“Kjaere, you know I had to play a part. He wouldn’t have believed me if I had come right out and told him everything. He would think I have ulterior, sinister motives. Playing it this way, gives me a chance to state my case tonight” Klaus explained.
“Fine. You know him better than I. So we are meeting them this evening. Whatever are we to do to keep occupied until then.” Bella’s sultry whisper brushed across Klaus’ neck as she crawled into his lap and reached up to nibble on his ear.
“Oh, I think we have plenty to keep us busy” Klaus answered as he flipped her over his shoulder and raced up the stairs to their room.
As Klaus tossed Bella on their bed, she seemed to shudder. “What was that kjaere?” Klaus asked.
“Our connection has been getting stronger over the last month or so. I can feel you now, can feel your need for me.” Bella answered. “And…I… I think I have been getting random thoughts from you too”
“Oh kjaere, that is normal. The closer we get to the anniversary the closer our connection grows. It has happened with every other reincarnation. Usually, the thoughts don’t start transferring until the last month. It seems to be moving more quickly this time. After our transition, Iza and I could share thoughts. Don’t be afraid.” Klaus reassured her as he climbed into bed with her and pulled her close.
“It is just strange. I had accepted our mating connection. It made sense to me that I could feel you to a certain extent, but thoughts are something different. As close as we are and as open I am with you about everything, I am not sure I am ready for you to hear by thoughts” Bella confessed. “As you know Edward could never read my thoughts. I always felt comforted by that fact.”
“I can’t hear your thoughts yet. I never have, Isabella. It is always my thoughts that have transferred since you died. I believe it is a consequence of your curse. Until you can remember it all, your mind is closed to everything. Maybe once you remember you will understand the comfort that comes with being that close.” Klaus comforted. “Now come here. We have some time to kill and I need my mate.”
“Well, when you put it like that, how could I refuse?” Bella laughed.
For the next couple of hours, Bella and Klaus reaffirmed their mating bond. Comforting each other and relieving the stress of the coming meeting with Elijah and company. It wasn’t until an hour before the meeting time they wrenched themselves out of bed.
“Don’t shower, kjaere. I want to hide your scent a bit.” Klaus requested.
“Why would we need to hide my scent. You told them you were bringing another.” Bella asked.
“Because you smell the same as you did. I don’t want Elijah to make any assumptions or ask questions until we have had time to speak.” Klaus answered.
“You also want them to smell you on me to stake your claim. Don’t hide that!” Bella called him on the unspoken part of his request even as she moved away from the bathroom to start dressing.
“Yes. I have no doubt that the Salvatore brothers and the doppelganger will accompany my brother and the witch. I don’t want any mistake about who you belong to.” Klaus growled.
“Never fear my love. I am yours as you are mine.” Bella reassured with a slight change to her speech. A wisp of an accent slipped through.
Klaus whipped his head around to look at her. She didn’t appear to be reacting, as if she had no idea there was a change. ‘Things are moving much quicker than ever before’ Klaus thought. While it gave him hope that this time he would be able to break his curse and cure his kjaere as well, it also made him even more nervous and stressed about the ritual happening soon.
“Come, kjaere. We can walk to the site from here. Maddox will meet us there with all the information he has gathered about keeping the doppelganger alive. I would ask when we get there for you to keep to the background. I don’t want to Elijah to see you right away.” Klaus asked as they made their way out the door.
“I understand. I will keep to the shadows until you feel it is time for my big reveal.” Bella agreed.
Elijah tried to block the bickering that was coming from behind him. He had walked in on a rather large shouting match between the Salvatore brothers, Elena and her other friends about who would be allowed to the meet. He was glad he put his foot down and limited it to those directly involved in the original phone call. Wisely, Alaric decided to sit it out and watch those left behind.
“When we arrive at the site I would ask that you stay behind me until we can determine the best way for you to meet with Niklaus’ witch.” Elijah asked Bonnie.
“OK. I will listen to what you have to say. I imagine you have a lot more experience dealing with your brother than any of us.” Bonnie agreed.
“Yes. Over a thousand years. No one should be in any immediate danger given the ritual can’t take place until next week. But you never know what might happen” Elijah made conversation with Bonnie and Caroline and left the doppelganger to deal with the brothers. Elijah was intrigued to find out who else Niklaus deemed so important to be a part of this meeting.
As they walked the last steps into the clearing where the original curse was placed, Elijah took in all the players. His brother was in the middle of the clearing, obvious with this blond hair and posture. His witch stood by his side, slightly behind him with all of the paraphernalia of his craft laid out on a stone set like an altar to the side. The last person was in shadows, sitting on the stump of a tree just at the end of the tree line. It looked like a woman, slight of build and stature. Another witch perhaps? Well, he would find out soon enough, Elijah thought as he and the others stepped into the clearing.
“Brother!” Klaus greeted. “It has been a long time. I see you brought a few more than the Bennett witch. I see the Salvatore brothers, Damon and Stefan. And the lovely Elena, my doppelganger. But who is this other?”
“Caroline. I am a friend of Elena’s” Caroline informed him.
“Ah, yes. Strength in numbers, yes?” Klaus returned with a slightly mocking tone. When he finished he glanced briefly towards Bella. She wasn’t happy with his tone.
“Well, as I said I would bring my witch so you could see what we have come up with to keep the doppelganger alive after the ritual. I don’t have many details just that she needs to live.” Klaus says to the group.
“When did you find out this detail? It is not something we knew about all those years.” Elijah asked.
“Recently, in fact within the last month. I guess Mother was trying to ensure my damnation even if I broke the curse.” Klaus answered bitterly. As he finished he felt a wave of love sent by Bella. He took a deep breath. “Come see what we have.”
Elijah walked with Bonnie over to the stone altar to see what Maddox prepared. It was a spell that would preserve a spark of Elena’s life force which would then be put back into her body when the ritual was complete. It called for Original blood as well as a specific crystal ball but otherwise the powerful spell was simple.
“I have procured the crystal ball that will hold her life force. Before the ritual begins we will need to put her blood as well as the Original blood inside to hold her life force intact. As Klaus is completing the part of the ritual with the doppelganger we will start the spell to grab what is left and hold it until the ritual is over. When it is complete the second part of the spell will start when we put it back in her body. She will need vampire blood again at this point, but it can be any vampire. She will not transition, the blood acts as a preservative and kick start to the process.” Maddox informed them.
“Would I be able to do this spell?” Bonnie asked not completely trusting someone else with Elena’s life. Elijah continued to look over the materials and the process Maddox went through to come up with the spell.
“It will take two of us to do it to ensure neither of us is completely depleted.” Maddox answered.
Elijah was impressed with what Maddox had come up with. No part of the spell or spells rather looked like they could go wrong if done correctly and with the correct intentions. He nodded to Bonnie.
“I will help with it then.” Bonnie agreed. “Could I take these materials with me to look them over more?”
“No.” Maddox answered shortly. “However, you are welcome to come to our house and review them at any time. This is powerful magic that should not be played with, I am not sure if I can trust others not to abuse it.”
Bonnie looked ready to argue before Maddox continued but she could see the wisdom in his argument. As long as they were not restricting her access, then she could accept their parameters.
“Excellent!” Klaus exclaimed just a strong gust of wind blew from the direction of the woods. Elijah stiffened when he smelled the woman who had been sitting silently during the whole exchange. He turned quickly to see her again. She smelled strongly of Niklaus, but there was a scent underneath that triggered a memory. Elijah whipped his head to see Klaus.
“Kjaere, come I guess it is time to reveal all.” Klaus said to the woman. He held out his hand for her to join him.
The waning moon still threw light across the clearing. As she rose from the stump and stepped towards Klaus the light illuminated her face. There were gasps from all, but Elijah had the most dramatic reaction. The usually composed and unruffled Original staggered back from what he saw.
“How?” Elijah whispered.
“I think it is something we should discuss in private. You can come home with us and I will explain.” Klaus told him and turned to the others. “Bonnie is it? Here is Maddox number, feel free to call anytime to make arrangements to come over. Elena, you are welcome as well, I would suggest leaving the bodyguard brothers at home but it is up to you. We can plan to meet later this week to go over how the ritual will work. I am just waiting for one other element, a werewolf, but I am sure I will have that in the next couple of days.”
“There is a group of werewolves that are camping out by the Falls, you may want to look there for your wolf.” Caroline volunteered. “But please don’t take a friend of ours, Tyler. He recently shifted and is hanging out with them.”
“Ah, so that is where they are hiding out. Thank you, I will be sure to look into it. I will avoid using your friend for the ritual, but I cannot guarantee his safety if he attacks.” Klaus replied.
Damon and Stefan looked like they wanted to argue with how the meeting had gone, but Elena stepped in. “Thank you. We, I, appreciate it. I will look forward to hearing from you about what exactly the ritual entails and what Bonnie discovers. Elijah has my information to contact me.”
“Finally, a smart doppelganger.” Klaus smirked as he turned and gathered Bella in his arms. “Come brother, I will explain.” With this he took off and Elijah quickly followed leaving Damon, Stefan, Bonnie, Elena and Caroline to make their own way home.
“Is it me, or did that woman look like that Bella we met earlier today.” Elena asked.
“Yes, it was her. She smelled different than this afternoon though. She was covered in Klaus’ scent. I wonder what that was all about. She didn’t seem to recognize Elijah but he looked like he knew her.” Caroline answered.
“So, there is more that we don’t know about this whole thing. Are you sure you can trust what they have found? That they are going to keep you alive?” Damon demanded.
“Yes. I don’t know why except a feeling I have and while Elijah has not been forthcoming with information he hasn’t lied to us. I don’t know what to think of Klaus. He was different from what I was expecting. I was thinking he would be much more of monster from everything I have heard about him. I wonder what Bella has to do with him and why Elijah looked like he had seen a ghost but I do think they want to keep me alive.” Elena answered.
“I don’t know. But we have time to make contingency plans as well.” Damon said. “Let’s go. It is getting late and I am sure Ric and your brother are anxious for news.”
The group turned to make their way back to where they had left their car. All lost in their own thoughts over the strange meeting they had with the fearsome Hybrid.
Elijah followed Klaus and Bella back to the house they had been staying in. As they entered he was held at the door.
“Ah, Kjaere” Klaus nodded his head back to his brother.
“Oh, right. Sorry. Elijah come in.” Bella invited.
“How are you human? But how is this possible? You look so much like…I don’t understand.” Elijah stumbled, trying to think clearly.
“Have a seat, ‘Lijah. This will actually take a bit of time to explain.” Klaus tells him as he hands Elijah a drink and settles into a chair with Bella on his lap, drink in hand.
“There were some unintended consequences of the curse Mother put on us. The obvious of which is that Izabella died when our souls were torn apart. You may think that was the only one, but it was much more treacherous. It seems that she is reincarnated every 50 years or so. The first time was about 100 years after the curse was placed. If you remember I left you, Bekah and Kol for a bit.” Klaus informed Elijah.
“Yes. I remember you gone for several months, nearly a year.” Elijah said
“I had started to feel the pull, the mating pull. I couldn’t understand how it was possible since I had seen her die. Izabella was my mate, the other half of my soul. So I left to investigate it and found Lizbet. It was almost as if Izabella had come to life again, but different. Her life had been so different from what we lived. Her spirit was just like Iza though. Once I finally found her I only had about a month to get to know her before she died. She had been experiencing chest pains for some inexplicable reason.” Klaus continued but tapered off and squeezed Bella in his arms. “She had been married for a number of years to the village chieftain, but hadn’t been able to have children. I befriended her and learned as much as possible about her. One afternoon, it was dusk, we were saying goodbye when she clutched her chest and collapsed in my arms. Her last words were ‘Niky’.” Klaus finished.
“Why didn’t you say something when you returned to us?” Elijah questioned.
“I had just had to bury my mate, AGAIN! After your and the others actions that caused it to happen the first time did you think I was going to take that chance?” Klaus scoffed.
“Niklaus, we are your family. We may have erred with Mother’s influence, but we made a vow when we left, ‘Always and Forever’. You could have told us.” Elijah returned.
“How was I to know that from your behavior when Izabella was alive. We may have made that vow but how often has it really been upheld?” Klaus said caustically. “Plus, I didn’t know if it was a fluke or if it would happen again. After it happened again, about 50 years later I visited a witch to find out what was happening.”
“What did the witch say?” Elijah asked nervously.
“Mother pissed off everyone when she cursed us. You don’t fuck with mates and she took it one step further and cursed us. Nature is all about balance which is what Izabella provided for me. Destiny had a plan. Mother fulfilled part of it when she created us but then tried to undo some of the so called damage and interfered with the ‘Plan’. Who knows what the ‘Plan’ is but Destiny will not be pushed aside. So, Izabella is reincarnated every 50 years or so. She also dies on the anniversary of the day we were cursed unless her curse is broken as well. A side effect of my curse for her is that she never remembers the past lives or me. She feels the mating bond but nothing else. Once I break my curse she should regain her memories of our life together. I’m not sure what is needed to break her curse, but I do have a feeling it will require the doppelganger’s blood given some feelings Bella and I have felt when researching my curse. Thus, my change to keep her alive.” Klaus finished. He pulled Bella closer.
Elijah was quiet for a minute. He had been trying to ignore what it meant for Bella as Klaus retold the tale.
“So that means that Bella is Izabella?” Elijah clarified.
“Yes. Something else I have found. When there is a doppelganger on earth her name is as close as Izabella’s as possible. When we had found Katerina, I found Isabel about 2 years prior. She lived in a village about a half day’s ride from our estate.” Klaus answered. “I visited her as often as possible given our obligations. We had such hope it would end then. She died not long after Katerina was turned.”
“So that is where you would escape to during that time. I suppose that also explains why you changed so much after that disappointment.” Elijah said. “How did you tell her all this?” he asked.
“Why don’t I step in since it sounds like you are curious about me now.” Bella answered. She had a weird feeling. She didn’t particularly like Elijah but he still felt familiar. These feelings were coming more often. “We had an unusual meeting and I had been exposed to the supernatural before Nik, so this was just one more element to digest. Nik had kept a sketchbook/photo album of all the incarnations which I looked through one day. When he found me going through the book he sat down and explained everything. We had already talked about us being mates, so I learned that I had been reincarnated, multiple times, and that we had been related in addition to being mates. Honestly, the reincarnation was the harder part for me to comprehend. I am still working through it and accepting it.” Bella finished carding her fingers through Klaus’ hair.
“Well, I am eager to get to know you.” Elijah said unsure.
Bella nodded as she turned her attention back to her mate. “If you’ll excuse us now. This has been a stressful day.” Bella got up from Klaus’ lap and pulled him up.
“You are welcome to stay here ‘Lijah.” Klaus invited as he was dragged from the room by his little mate. “I am sure there are still many questions you would like answered. But, for now we will be a bit occupied.”
Elijah nodded despite them not being able to see. It was a lot to absorb and he still hadn’t had a chance to ask about their siblings.
The day of the ritual arrived.
Elijah finalized plans with Elena and Bonnie so they felt secure in what would happen that evening. Damon and Stefan had agreed to the plan under protest. It was a long drawn out argument but they finally acquiesced with the understanding they would guard Bonnie and Elena during the ritual.
Klaus and Bella secluded themselves for most of the day. Klaus was anxious for the curse to be lifted but also scared for what it would mean for his mate.
As the time drew near for them to head to the site, Klaus and Bella dressed. Touching frequently and re-affirming their bond in every way they knew. Bella had gotten used to the idea of thoughts coming from Klaus and welcomed the new intimacy it created for them. She was still nervous about her own thoughts getting to Klaus, but after additional discussion did not want to deny him the same comfort.
“Come kjaere. It is time. I will need you to be at my side as much as possible during the ritual. I am not sure what will happen in the end but for my own piece of mind I will need you near.” Klaus told Bella as they made their way out the door, Katherine thrown over his shoulder with a broken neck.
“Don’t worry Nik. I will stay close. I have a need to be close to you too. I have this feeling that something is going to happen at the ritual. It will be significant. I don’t get the feeling it’s bad though. I think I would know but something is going to happen. Who knows how this will affect me.” Bella assured him as they walked to the site.
When they entered the clearing Maddox had set his tools up to perform the stasis spell on Elena, Greta was preparing for the ritual lining the interlocking circles with salt. The werewolf, Jules, had been placed in one of the outer circles.
“Place her in the other outer circle. The doppelganger will go in the middle.” Greta told him gesturing.
As Klaus tossed Katherine into the circle, Elena, and the others arrived.
“Step into the middle circle. It is important that no one interferes moving forward” Greta instructed her. Elena stepped into the circle and rings of fire blazed around each loop. Damon and Stefan jumped and cried out, “what is going on here!”
“It is simple insurance that you will not hinder the ritual.” Greta replied.
Bonnie made her way over to Maddox to help him prepare. She had a vial of Elena’s blood to place in the crystal ball. Damon and Stefan took up positions on either end of the circles. Elijah, after providing his blood to Maddox, stepped over to have a word with Klaus and Bella.
“You are ready?” Elijah inquired.
“Yes. It has been a long time coming. I don’t think I will get another chance for a very long time if this doesn’t work. I don’t want to imagine what that would do to Isabella.” Klaus answered with his arms looped around Bella’s waist.
“We know that your curses are linked. What will happen to her after you break yours?” Elijah asked.
“We don’t know anything for certain. But from what I do know, I believe she will not get her memories of our past lives back. Something about my curse blocking my wolf side is also blocking her memories from surfacing with the reincarnation. For all the details I have been able to put together about my curse, there have been precious few about hers. In order to stop her death next month, we will need to figure out how to break her curse.” Klaus responded quietly.
“I will stay close to her. Just in case.” Elijah told the pair.
“Thank you, brother. It looks like we should begin.” Klaus said as he took a breath and stepped away from them.
Just as Greta began the ritual, Katherine and Jules awoke. Klaus would need the blood of the vampire, werewolf and then the doppelganger. He stepped up to Katherine as Damon and Stefan looked on.
“It is only right that you take part in this despite everything. You kept me away from my mate for an additional 500 years.” Klaus told her. Before she could reply, he stepped into the circle and thrust his hand into her chest. As he pulled her heart out, her body fell and turned to dust. The fire ceased from that circle and Klaus brought the heart over to Greta and placed it in the bowl. He licked the blood off of his hands and stepped over to Jules.
“No hard feelings love. You were just in the wrong place and the wrong time.” Klaus said. “It didn’t help that you have been terrorizing the local population.” As Jules started to retort, Klaus repeated the process ensuring to ingest the wolf blood as well. The doppelganger blood would be the only one that he fully consumed.
As he started to walk back over to Elena, Maddox and Bonnie began to chant the spell to prepare to save her. “Ready, love?” Klaus asked.
“I guess.” Elena answered nervously.
“No need to worry. You should rise tomorrow morning as if you had a late night drinking.” Klaus reassured her. The fire circle disappeared as he stepped up to her. He took her arm and cradled her against him as he thrust his fangs into her neck. Damon and Stefan shifted anxiously. After his first taste of her blood, Klaus heard, “Nik?” as he saw Bella slump against Elijah.
Klaus froze. He didn’t want to interrupt the ritual, but his mind was numb. Finally, thoughts started to race across his mind, ‘What was happening to her?’ ‘It shouldn’t affect her like this should it?’ ‘She hadn’t participated in the ritual so what had happened to her.’
“Niklaus, finish the ritual. I will continue to watch over her.” Elijah told him as he gently placed Bella on the ground.
Finally, Klaus drained Elena of all her blood. With her last breath an orb of light escaped Elena and traveled across the clearing and found its way into the crystal ball on the stone altar in front of Maddox and Bonnie. Once it was inside, they called the Salvatores over to collect her body and move it over to them. Stefan and Damon would need to pour some of their blood into her mouth as Maddox and Bonnie finished the spell to return Elena’s life force.
With the ritual complete, Klaus could feel the difference in himself. He could feel his bones start to shift as he was finally able to take on his wolf form for the first time in over a thousand years. He made his way slowly over to Bella anxious to be near her during his shift especially with her unconscious. With the last jerk of muscle and bone, Klaus was finally a wolf. At the same moment Bella screamed and jerked in Elijah’s arms. Her back bowed nearly in half, her wail was a cry Klaus had only heard once before when their Mother had placed her curse and tore their souls apart. For one long minute Klaus feared the worse, as Bella lay unmoving on the ground. He felt helpless to care for his mate, stuck in the wolf form for this one night. It was bittersweet to finally feel whole but resent not being able to shift to protect his mate himself. Then she seemed to start breathing again and she opened her eyes.
“Niky” Bella whispered, her brown eyes flashing gold, before passing out again.
At her words Elijah jerked and Klaus collapsed at her side. ‘Niky’ was what Izabella had called Klaus since they were children. It was her pet name for him and something no other used.
‘She remembered. She finally remembered who she was.’ With these last thoughts Klaus passed out too.
“Well, what am I to do with you both now?” Elijah mumbled. As he leaned down to take Bella in his arms, Maddox came over to help having finished the ritual on Elena.
“Here let me take her and you can take him. I don’t have the strength to pick him up.” Maddox said.
“OK. Here” Elijah said as he transferred Bella into Maddox’s arms. Once he lifted Klaus over his shoulder, Elijah turned to Maddox. “Follow me, we can bring them to my car and get them back to their house.” So saying the two set off.
While their bodies were being carried back to their house and safely looked over by Elijah, Klaus and Bella’s souls were reuniting for the first time in nearly a thousand years on another plane.
“Niky. You have done it! You have broken your curse. I am so happy for you.” Iza says as she grabs on to him.
With their first contact Klaus and Iza feel their souls reconnecting, merging as it was meant to be. As it had been before their curses.
“Iza. I can’t believe it worked. I hoped, but I was never sure that you would remember.” Klaus said cupping her face gently.
“It worked. I remember everything. Every life that was snatched away from us. Every time I left you broken. I’m so sorry Niky.” Iza cried turning into his hands.
“Hush now Kjaere. It isn’t your fault. We have been burdened together with this and together we have overcome it.” Klaus reassured her.
“It isn’t over yet though. You have broken your curse. Mine is still in place. My memory loss was simply a side effect of the two together. If we don’t break my curse now, I will still die in a month.” Iza reminded him.
“Together we can do anything. We have always been strong, stronger together. Do you know how to break your curse?” Klaus asked.
“Yes. It is the benefit of getting my memories back. I was visited by a witch in, I believe my second reincarnation” Bella hesitated as she tried to recall all the details. The flood of information surging into her brain had been overwhelming, thus her passing out. Here in this alternate plane she was able to slowly acclimate to all the new memories. “I believe she had been sent by Ayana to tell me what I needed to know. Mother pissed off Nature when she cursed us and tried to interfere with Destiny. They have been working to correct the wrong ever since. So, your curse needed to be broken first. We need to physically reconnect on this alternate plane. Then, when I awaken I will need the blood of the doppelganger and a witch will need to recite a spell over a combination of our blood and another of our siblings. It doesn’t matter which one though.” Iza finished.
She took a breath as she leaned into Klaus. Her mind was chaotic. She was slowly integrating the memories of her reincarnations into her own. She was still a bit disconnected from the memories though. In reviewing some of the memories, Bella felt like ‘Iza’ had acted as she, Bella, would have in some situations, but in others they felt like the actions belonged to someone else completely. It was a jarring and uncomfortable feeling. Klaus had said she acted the same allowing for cultural shifts, and that might have held true for the other reincarnations, but her actions as Izabella felt foreign. There was a confidence and arrogance that Bella didn’t feel. It was something she saw in Klaus frequently.
“Everything will be alright, Kjaere. There is a lot to take in and assimilate. You shouldn’t expect yourself to be instantly ‘fixed’.” Klaus said.
“How did you know?” Bella asked.
“Because I know you. No matter what form you take, you are you.” Klaus answered and then leaned down to take Bella’s lips in an all-consuming kiss.
“I love you, kjaere. I have loved you every time I have encountered you. But here, now, I finally feel complete.” Klaus whispered as he continued to kiss down her throat.
“I know. I love you too, astin min. We have been together in this life and many lives before, but now. There are no words for what it is like to hold you again.” Iza returned.
They slowly undressed and lost themselves in each other. Though they had no sense of time or place on this alternate plane, they lost the ability to care that there might be people waiting on them as they reconnected and re solidified their bond.
Hours passed as Elijah continued to guard their bodies. He had no idea what to expect when they awoke. As the sun broke the horizon, Klaus lost his wolf form and his human body reappeared.
“Kjaere, I believe it is time we left this place and returned to reality. We have much to do if we are to break your curse tonight as well.” Klaus murmured into Iza’s hair as he lay draped over her.
“I supposed. If I remember correctly, ‘Lijah is waiting for us. How you kept him around as long as you did, I don’t know.” Iza answered with a huff. Their mating had done what she needed, it had allowed her memories to merge with her present. Now, she was just as much Iza as Bella, with the confidence and arrogance necessary to get what she and her mate needed. To be the balance and mate Klaus so desperately needed.
“Hmm. Well, I forgave him what I could. He apologized and explained that he had no idea what Mother and Mikael had planned for us.” Klaus explained. “I needed them after you were gone. I could never really forgive them for the fact that you were gone but I was able to get past it enough. I never did trust them with anything to do with you again though as you know.”
Iza turned over to lay on Klaus’ chest, “I know astin min. I am not feeling at all charitable but I will put up with him for now. I know he feels bad. We shall see what happens next with him.” Iza replied as she caressed his face. “Yes, we should move back across. I am sure it has been hours and he will be getting impatient. We still need to get everything for the spell tonight, as you said.”
So saying, the pair began to feel the pull of slumber.
With a jolt both Klaus and Iza opened their eyes. Elijah had been smart and put them in their bed to awaken. He had kept vigil throughout the night reading in a corner of their room.
“Astin min” Iza whispered as she turned to seal her mouth to Klaus’. The sound was precious to him. This indication that she finally remembered him and all they had been to one another. Bella and Izabella were finally one again. They were finally whole.
“Kjaere, finally.” Klaus returned with a sigh.
Hesitating to interrupt, but feeling awkward witnessing such an intimate moment, Elijah coughed quietly. He had never really understood their relationship. Never quite felt comfortable with it. He realized it was slightly different now. They were no longer technically siblings, twins. But, they were. It was confusing and uncomfortable for Elijah.
“Kjaere, let’s get up and start working. I believe we are making dear ‘Lijah uncomfortable.” Klaus said with one last kiss he pulled Iza into his arms to sit on his lap.
“Are you alright? What happened?” Elijah asked as the pair righted themselves on the bed.
“Getting all my memories back was a bit overwhelming. My mind couldn’t process everything so I passed out. When that happened Niky did as well since we are linked again, finally. We were able to reconnect on another plane.” Iza informed him.
“We also realized what we need to break Iza’s curse tonight. From what she was able to remember a messenger from Ayana came to one of her past lives and told her what needed to happen. She needs to drink doppelganger blood while a spell is said over a combination of our blood. This all must take place tonight.” Klaus continued.
“Tonight? Why so soon?” Elijah questioned. “Do you know the spell that needs to be said?”
“Yes, tonight. We only have 1 more month before I die. Also, the curses must be broken during the same full moon or they won’t take. Is that a problem dear Elijah or would you like to see us suffer for another thousand years?” Izabella asked caustically.
“I didn’t realize. I don’t want you to suffer. I don’t want you to die. I never did!” Elijah returned quickly.
“Yes. You are torn up with remorse over it.” Izabella replied drolly. “As for the spell, it is rather simple. The original spell must be said backwards. I believe you have her spell book, correct. So it should be easy enough to have Maddox do the spell tonight.”
“Yes, I have Mother’s spell book. After Niklaus daggered Kol, I wanted to make sure it didn’t get into the wrong hands.” Elijah said.
“Come my love. Let us retire for now. Elijah, would you please let Maddox know and get him the spell so that he can prepare? I assume you have no qualms providing your blood for the ritual.” Klaus stepped in. As much fun as it was for him to see Iza take shots at Elijah he wanted more time alone with his mate before the ritual tonight. They weren’t quite sure what would happen to Iza after the curse was broken except that she would not die next month. Eventually, she will demand a reckoning from Elijah but that could wait until the curse was broken finally and they had time to reconnect and make up for some of the thousand years they missed.
“Yes. I will speak with Maddox and get him the spell. I assume the ritual must take place at moonrise. How will you get the doppelganger blood?” Elijah asked.
“I believe we should use fresh blood. Given the rituals were meant to be done successively it would be important to have blood from the doppelganger post ritual.” Iza answered. She took a deep breath, “would you speak with the Salvatores and doppelganger? Ask for a liter of her blood. I don’t imagine she needs to be there or drained for the ritual to work.”
Elijah paused, “Of course. I will let me them know and collect her blood for you.”
“Thank you.” Iza replied as she and Klaus took off for their room.
The moon had risen and found Klaus, Izabella, Elijah and Maddox in the clearing again. On the stone altar there was a bowl with blood from the two mates and Elijah. At either end stood a candle to illuminate the area. Just as Iza raised the bottle of doppelganger blood to her lips, from the circle of Klaus’ arms, Maddox began chanting the spell to reverse her curse. It was quick.
It would have been anti-climactic except for the gold and silver light show the pair put on. As the last words left Maddox’s lips, Klaus and Iza started to glow. Klaus gold and Iza silver. It was if their auras took visible shape around them and merged as one. With a last burst of light from their bodies the two collapsed.
“I am really getting tired of hauling unconscious siblings around. That worked, correct?” Elijah inquired as he picked up Klaus.
“Yes. I would say that light display was the confirmation that both of their curses were broken and they are now rebound as mates.” Maddox answered has he picked up Iza. He hesitated for a minute though. Something felt different when he picked her up from the night before. Nothing he could put his finger on immediately though, so he quickly followed Elijah back to the house. They could figure that out later.
With a gasp, Klaus regained consciousness. As he sat up in bed, once again with Iza, his eyes slipped closed again as he reveled in the feeling of having his mate bond with her again. It was almost as if it were actually Iza beside him. He supposed it was in many ways. It was a strange feeling after a thousand years, but he welcomed it again.
“Good you are awake. Maddox said the curse has been broken, but he thought that something strange had happened with Izabella. He wasn’t sure what though. He said we would have to wait for Izabella to wake up again.” Elijah said from the chair he had kept vigil in the night before. Only a couple of hours had passed this time.
“Yes. It is as if Iza is here next to me. As if she never died. It is so strange after a thousand years to feel this again.” Klaus repeated his thoughts to Elijah. “I would have thought it would same yet different despite her being reincarnated. Izabella’s body is still human. I didn’t feel like this until after we transitioned. I believe she will wake soon. I am not sure what to expect,” he admitted.
Just as the words tumbled from his mouth, Izabella gasped awake. She brought her hand to her eyes to block the light. “Please, do not speak so loud,” she whispered. “Niky, I think something is wrong. I feel like we did when we awoke. This isn’t right. I should be human but it feels almost like I have transitioned!” Iza continued worriedly.
“Elijah go and get some blood from the kitchen.” Klaus asked urgently as he cradled his mate in his arms.
“Actually, get the other doppelganger blood we collected” Maddox interjected.
“What?!” Klaus and Elijah asked.
“I was meditating and got a message from Ayana. By breaking her curse, Destiny and Nature have allowed Izabella to reset to before the curse was made. She is vampire again. She is an Original.” Maddox informed them. “But she needs the doppelganger blood to transition.”
With those words Elijah ran down to get the blood Elena had donated before ritual. He ran back upstairs with it and handed it to Klaus so that Izabella could complete the transition.
“Please, kjaere, drink” Klaus asked as he handed her the bottle.
“Of course, astin min. I would never deny us the life we should have had; the life we will have.” Iza said as she took a gulp of the blood. Once the blood had passed her lips, Iza’s eyes flashed gold again.
“What does it mean that her eyes have flashed gold twice now?” Maddox asked.
“I don’t know. But I am sure we will find out.” Klaus answered as he cupped Iza’s face. “But now we have our whole lives to find out. The eternity that was torn away from us has been restored.”
“Eternity. Always & Forever, Astin min.” Iza said softly as she leaned up to kiss Klaus.