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[personal profile] wheatear
Title: Taken (Chapter 30)
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV series)
Characters/Pairings: Elijah/Elena, Damon, Katherine, ensemble
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: None.
Summary: Post-2x15 AU: Elijah succeeds in kidnapping Elena, Katherine is out of the tomb and the Salvatore brothers have one hell of a mess to fix. Sometimes you have no choice but to make a deal with the devil. If you can get the devil to make a deal with you...


30. Say Goodbye

Jenna sprayed the vervain in his face.

The reaction was instantaneous. Klaus reared back, hissing in pain; there was a sizzling sound as the vervain ate through his skin like acid. His hands flew to his face.

She planted her feet squarely behind the threshold and pointed the vervain spray at him like a gun.


She was amazed that her voice remained steady. Particularly when Klaus rubbed his eyes, shaking his head, and lowered his hands to reveal completely unmarred skin. He had already healed, but that didn’t stop him from glaring at her.

“Is that,” Klaus growled, “any way to treat a guest? I mean you no harm, Jenna.”

“You mean Elena harm.” She was shaking, but at least as much with rage as terror. “I said leave.”

His nostrils flared and for a moment she was afraid that he was going to pull out a knife and throw it at her, anything to get past the invite barrier, but something distracted him. Footsteps coming down the stairs. She glanced back, and saw Jeremy hurrying towards them with a rucksack slung over his shoulder. It would be full of anti-vampire weapons, but Klaus didn’t know that. Unfortunately he couldn’t fail to notice the large crossbow that Jeremy lifted up to point at him.

There was a twang, a hiss. Something shot past her. Jeremy had fired, and though Jenna barely registered it, Klaus had. The stake appeared in his hand; he had sidestepped and caught it. Jenna couldn’t breathe. The urge to slam the door in his face was strong – but then what would he do?

Unexpectedly, Klaus laughed.

He took a step back and held up his hands. She watched, nonplussed.

“So hostile,” said Klaus. “Come now, just bring the girl to me quietly, and we’ll have none of this unpleasantness.”

“She’s not here,” said Jenna.

Klaus’s voice was controlled, but there was a definite brittle edge to his tone. “Then where is she?”

“She’s with me, brother.”

Klaus turned, and Jenna watched Elijah step forward, holding Elena. They had appeared out of nowhere – well, vampires had a way of doing that. Elena was caught in Elijah’s grasp, helpless. Her breath came in short, frightened gasps. Jenna didn’t know how to react. Had Elijah tricked them? Or was this all part of the plan? Klaus had to believe that Elijah was holding Elena prisoner.

But the situation would look just the same if that were true.

“Elena!” said Jeremy, dropping the crossbow to his side as he pushed past her.

“Jeremy – don’t step over the–”

That was Elena’s anxious cry, but Jenna reacted in time. She grabbed Jeremy by his rucksack and pulled him back, earning a yelp from him. They were still safe. Inside the house. Elena was only feet away from safety...

Jenna swallowed. Did she trust Elijah? That was what it came down to. Whether to let Elijah hand Elena over, or... She didn’t know what. Stake them?

A lazy, satisfied smile spread over Klaus’s face as he regarded Elena. “Thank you, Elijah.” He twirled the stake between his fingers. “Well, that’s all I came for. So I’ll leave you two in peace. Jenna. Jeremy.”

He gave each of them a nod as he spoke. Jenna tried to catch Elijah’s eyes, hoping that he could give her some hint – how had he found Elena? What had happened to Katherine? But even when Elijah’s gaze met hers, she couldn’t read him at all.

Klaus stepped towards Elena. I could shoot him in the back right now, Jenna thought. Point blank range – she couldn’t miss, even with the risk of Elena standing right there next to Elijah.

Her murderous thoughts were interrupted when Klaus plunged the stake into Elijah’s heart.

Elijah gasped. Elena cried out too, almost as though she felt the stake in her chest. Jenna could only watch open-mouthed, not daring to step beyond the threshold of the Gilbert house.

Klaus held his brother and gently lowered him to the ground. Jenna couldn’t see Elijah’s face, his features turning grey as Elena stepped back in horror, as Klaus stooped over him. But she could hear him, his last gasp as he swore Niklaus’s name.
Klaus gave his brother a few parting words. “This is what you’ll get if you interfere with my plan. Only next time, it’ll be a dagger through your heart. Sleep well, Elijah.”

He dropped the corpse to the floor and straightened up, wiping his hands.

“Elena,” said Jeremy suddenly – and Jenna didn’t know what had possessed him, what he was thinking, but he was struggling against her, crying out his sister’s name. “Elena!”

Elena had backed away along the porch, shaking her head. “It’ll be okay,” she said, her voice quavering. “Stay inside. I’ll be okay.”

Her eyes met Jenna’s, shining with tears, and Jenna nodded. She wanted nothing more than to run out there and tear Klaus’s head off – but she wasn’t a vampire. Vervain, crossbows, stakes; none of it worked unless they could catch the vampire by surprise. And where Klaus was concerned, none of it would put him down permanently.
Klaus walked over to Elena, laying a possessive hand on her shoulder. He turned towards them, Elena shuddering beneath his touch.

“Well?” he said. “Any last goodbyes?”

Jenna’s eyes welled up. She wasn’t even pretending – whatever plan they had with the witches seemed far-off, doomed to fail. Jeremy was shaking, and she held him tight, even though she wanted a parent herself to embrace her, to tell her that everything would be okay...

“I love you.” Elena was trembling. “Always remember that.”

“I love you,” Jeremy choked back.

Jenna added to the chorus, her voice a whisper: “Love you, Elena.”

Then they were gone.


It was something to watch, Jonas Martin’s power. Bonnie had felt it directed at herself before, and that had been terrible. To have her power taken away from her... She shuddered at the memory. No, she still didn’t like being around Jonas.

But with the power of the dead witches fuelling them, they were unstoppable together. Bonnie blasted open the doors. Jonas spoke a single word, and every person in the room flew into the air and hung there, suspended by invisible strings. Alaric, his knees bent awkwardly, a look of comical bewilderment on his face. Caroline, blood running down her face, curled up in the foetal position. Next to her, Isobel, a stake frozen in her hand. Tyler – oh God – Tyler, inside a cage, his head bloody where he had hit the iron bars at the top.

And finally, Greta, her mouth open but no sound coming out, finger pointed at them impotently. Whatever magic she had couldn’t fight against her father.

For a moment, Bonnie felt invincible. Like this, they could take on Klaus. Hold him with magic and blast him to smithereens. They could do anything.

She was startled by Luka rushing past her. “Greta!”

Jonas snapped his fingers, and his floating victims came crashing down, but he was there to catch Greta. And, Bonnie saw, Stefan was there to catch Caroline. He laid her down, said something that Bonnie didn’t catch, then turned to grab hold of Isobel.

For her part, Bonnie hurried over to Tyler. She spoke a few words, heard the lock on the cage catch, and pulled it open.

“Bonnie,” Tyler gasped. “You–”

“We need to get you out,” said Bonnie firmly. “Come on.”

She half-pulled, half-dragged him out of the cage, wrinkling her nose at the smell of days-old sweat. Despite being both a varsity athlete and a werewolf, he seemed weak, and he leaned on her heavily as she tried to steady him.

But once he’d scrambled out, he only had eyes for one person. “Caroline needs help.”
Bonnie let him go, her attention caught by the scene on the other side of the room. The Martin family reunion. Jonas embraced his daughter tightly, holding on to her as though she was the most precious thing in the world. Luka’s eyes shone with tears, but he couldn’t stop smiling. Bonnie felt a pang as she watched them.

In the middle of the floor, Alaric was running a hand through his hair, looking like he had a hangover. Caroline and Tyler couldn’t seem to decide which of them needed comforting the most and had compromised by clinging to each other like two lovebirds caught in a storm. Stefan was caught in a deadlock with Isobel, pointing a stake at her heart. But time was ticking. Her skin prickled, and she wasn’t sure if it was a premonition or if she was just aware that Klaus could return at any time. Matt was waiting for them outside. They were all in danger here.

Bonnie raised her voice. “We need to go.” She looked at Greta. “Are you with us?”

“She’s with us,” said Jonas, his arm still wrapped around his daughter.

Greta’s expression was unreadable. “What are you going to do with them?” she asked, raising an eyebrow in Isobel’s direction.

Good question. They hadn’t come here to rescue Isobel. She was an enemy. They should stake her right now and have done with it. But Bonnie was aware that Alaric was standing right there, unable to look his ex-wife directly in the eye. He didn’t answer. Neither Caroline nor Tyler spoke. And she found that she couldn’t bring herself to say it either.

Stefan gave the verdict. “I’d kill her, but... She’s Elena’s mother. So I guess we’re taking both of them with us.”

Isobel rolled her eyes. “That’s nice of you.”

Something about her reaction bothered Bonnie. She didn’t seem to care what Stefan intended to do with her. Was it because Isobel had been compelled, so all of her actions were out of her control? Or did she know something that they didn’t?

“Come on,” said Stefan, “before Klaus comes back.”

“No,” said Jonas.

Everything stopped. For a moment, Bonnie wasn’t sure that she had heard correctly.

“They stay,” Jonas said, pointing at Tyler and Isobel. “They’re needed for the sacrifice.”

Caroline made a disbelieving sound. “No! We came here to rescue them. I’m not leaving without Tyler.”

“Then you’ll be here when Klaus returns,” said Jonas, with a terrible air of finality.

It was the same argument that Bonnie had made to Stefan earlier. Klaus had to have his sacrifice victims, even if one of them was Tyler. They had to allow that to happen in order to stop him. But now that she was here, having seen Tyler, she didn’t think that she could abandon him. His face had been so grateful when she had pulled him out of that hideous cage. He was staring around at all of them, the picture of confusion.

Bonnie made her decision, stepping forward. “No. We’re going whether you like it or not.”

Caroline nodded in agreement, her face mutinous. She helped Tyler up, Stefan started forward with Isobel – and the Martins reacted. Luka reached her before Bonnie could do anything, and she let out a gasp that nobody could hear when he clamped his hand over her mouth.

“I’m sorry,” Luka whispered.

She elbowed him hard, trying to wrench free, but this wasn’t like in the Grill when she had effectively rendered him helpless before dragging him away. Luka wasn’t much taller than she was, but he was stronger, and he wouldn’t let go.

Jonas uttered two sharp words and Stefan released Isobel as though she had shocked him. The same happened to Caroline; she cried out as she was thrown back. Tyler scrambled after her, but something stopped him. Invisible forces were at work here; Bonnie could sense them all, threads being woven to keep them apart.

Had she thought that she was invincible? Look how long that lasted, she thought.

Alaric started towards her. “Hey!”

She felt Luka’s hold on her tighten. “Don’t,” he said.

Alaric stopped, swallowing. Slowly, he backed away and raised his hands.

“Out, all of you,” Jonas ordered. “Nobody has to get hurt.”

Again, Bonnie looked at Greta. She had done nothing, said nothing. She had been standing by all this time... why?

Whatever the reason, she couldn’t do anything about it now. She gave a tiny nod to Alaric.

“All right,” said Alaric finally.

Stefan helped Caroline up, and he practically had to drag her over to join Alaric. Luka released Bonnie and nudged her forward. One by one, they filed out. Bonnie was last, and she glanced back to get a final glimpse of them. Isobel’s hand curled claw-like over Tyler’s shoulder; he wasn’t going anywhere. He looked crushed.

Jonas, Luka and Greta followed her, blocking her view. For a fleeting moment, she caught a glimpse of triumph on Greta’s face. Bonnie’s stomach sank.

“I’m sorry,” said Luka again. “I hope you understand.”

“I understand all right,” she shot back at him. “I’m just not sure you do.”

She turned her back on them, hurrying downstairs with the rest. Caroline was already plotting to go back.

“We can take them,” she said. “Tyler wouldn’t give up on me; I’m not giving up on him.”

Bonnie caught her arm. The situation was at a tipping point, and she didn’t think that any of the others realized that. “We’re not giving up. We’re picking our battles, okay?”

“And we need Greta to remove these rings,” Stefan reminded her. “Bonnie’s right–”

He went still. Caroline too had flinched, and Bonnie and Alaric exchanged a bewildered look. She could see the Martins descending the staircase behind them, but that couldn’t be what had startled them. They hadn’t done anything yet.

“Someone’s coming,” said Stefan.

He didn’t need to say any more. Caroline held out her hand to Alaric, who was nearest to her. He understood and took it at once. Stefan did the same for Bonnie, but she shook her head.

“You guys go. I’ll stay with the Martins.”

His brow creased. “You sure?”

She nodded, trying not to show her fear. “I’ll be fine. Trust me.”

She gave both of them – Caroline and Stefan – an imploring look, trying to communicate her meaning without words. She knew what she was doing. She hoped she knew what she was doing. She hoped that Klaus wouldn’t simply kill her on a whim.
The second it took for them to nod back at her felt agonizingly long, but they did, and a moment later both had gone, taking Alaric with them.

Not a moment too soon.

“Greta!” a cheery voice called. “What’s all this then? Did you invite over some guests?”


So there was a dead vampire on her porch. Jenna took a deep breath, composing herself. Her eyes were red and puffy, and next to her Jeremy didn’t look in much better condition. But she was the parent.

“Okay,” she said. “We’d better... bring him inside the house.”

Between them, they dragged Elijah’s corpse inside, though not before looking around in case Klaus decided to show his face again. Stepping outside the boundaries of the house made them vulnerable. Still, it was either that or risk the neighbours seeing something they really didn’t need to see.

A couple of minutes later, there was a dead vampire on her living room floor instead.

Jenna looked at him. “Do we pull out the stake? If we do, he’ll wake up, right?”

Jeremy ran a hand through his hair. “I think he’d wake up anyway.”

Well, in that case they might as well pull it out. Jenna knelt down and yanked the stake out, wrinkling her nose at the sight of him. Elijah didn’t look so pretty when he was dead. Not that she expected corpses to be fresh-faced in general.

She sighed as she slumped down on the couch – keeping Elijah in sight, she didn’t want any surprises – and looked over at Jeremy. He still had the rucksack full of weapons, and he had propped the crossbow against his chair.

“We have to work with him,” she said. “He’s our only chance of making sure that Elena doesn’t...”

Jeremy frowned. “What if he compelled her? We only trust him because Elena does, and I’m not sure I trust her judgement at the best of times.”

She shook her head. “Do we have a choice?”

She didn’t get an answer, because Elijah chose that moment to wake up. He coughed, his skin slowly returning to normal, and blinked as he sat up, looking around in confusion. His eyes caught hers.


“Welcome back,” said Jenna. She held up the stake she’d pulled out of him. “Just so you know, I’m armed and dangerous.”

“Then I’ll treat you with the appropriate courtesy.” He got up, brushing down his jacket, and frowned at the hole in it. Obviously his suit was expensive. “Well... where were we?”

“You just handed over Elena to Klaus,” Jeremy reminded him, tone accusing.

“Yes...” His expression turned grave. “Then it is high time we met up with the witches. Would you like to join us?”


Bonnie could guess what was about to happen. She took a deep breath and faced Klaus – and gasped.


It shouldn’t have surprised her. Klaus had gathered all his sacrifice victims together. Of course he had disappeared to fetch the last one. He was holding Elena’s hand, fingers interweaved with hers, and though Elena was keeping him at arm’s length, they still looked strangely like a couple.

Elena’s eyes widened. “Bonnie!”

Bonnie swallowed a response when she felt Klaus’s gaze land on her. He smiled, and she felt horribly afraid. This was the first time she had actually encountered him face-to-face. Her first, foolish thought was that he looked younger than she had expected.

A movement at the corner of her eye caught her attention. Greta was coming over to greet Klaus.

“We had some surprise visitors,” she said.

“So I see,” Klaus murmured. He kissed Greta on the cheek when she approached, and Greta took his free arm, turning to face her family. She could not have more clearly stated her alliances.

Luka’s voice sounded choked. “Greta.”

“Hear us out,” said Jonas. “We mean you no harm. We only want Greta.”

“I should hope not,” said Klaus softly. He looked at Greta. “Who are our guests?”

“My family,” said Greta. “My father. And my brother.”

“Ah, I see. Come to rescue your little girl from the big bad vampire.” Klaus grinned. “Do you want to leave with them, Greta? I won’t stop you.”

Greta seemed to consider it for a moment, tilting her head back and forth. Then she shook her head. “I’ll never leave your side, love.”

While they were talking, Bonnie caught Elena’s eye. She smiled at her friend, trying to convey as much reassurance as she could. They were going to save her, and Tyler. Everything was going to be okay. But Elena shook her head minutely, glancing at Greta.

Not her, she mouthed.

Bonnie frowned. What?

Elena held up her hand, her gaze flicking down for a moment, then back to Bonnie. She gave a quick nod, her eyebrows raised, as if to say, get it? Bonnie didn’t get it. She frowned.

Their silent conversation was interrupted by Klaus. He’d offered to show the Martins out, and Bonnie flinched as both of them moved past her. Luka was pleading with his sister and Jonas looked about ready to kill Klaus himself, but maybe he didn’t want to risk it with both of his children there. Maybe he was just devastated; she caught a glimpse of his expression when he looked back, and saw the pain deep in his eyes. More than pain. Betrayal.

Bonnie swallowed. She’d expected this to happen, anticipated it – deep down in her gut she had never trusted Greta, never believed that she would choose their side. The Martin family though... What would they do now?

She stared at Greta, who watched her family go by with no sign of regret on her face. The other witch had taken Elena’s arm in place of Klaus.

Bonnie couldn’t help herself. “He could kill them!” she said. “Don’t you care at all?”

“She’s right,” said Elena. “They’re your family, Greta. They only wanted to help you.”

Greta arched an eyebrow at her captive. “No, they wanted to save me. They were wasting their time.”

“What do you think Klaus is going to do for you?” Bonnie asked. “He’s using you. He needs you to break the curse – that’s it. The Originals don’t care about people like us. It’s our powers they want.”

She was thinking of Abby as she spoke, how Elijah had used her, how she had been unable to return home for fear that Klaus would take out his wrath on her family. She was almost surprised at the strength of the hatred in her voice. She hated them. All of them.

“Well, that’s a little unfair.” Klaus had returned. “You and I get along very well, don’t we, Greta?”

Greta’s smile was that of a satisfied cat as Klaus took Elena’s arm again.

“Go upstairs and fetch the others, would you?” he said. “It’s time to prepare.”

Greta nodded. Bonnie watched her go with her heart thumping in her chest. Now it was just her, Klaus, and Elena. Klaus bent close to Elena and whispered something that she couldn’t hear, but whatever answer she gave seemed to satisfy him. Then he turned his attention to her. Bonnie lifted her chin defiantly as Klaus approached her.

“Bonnie,” he greeted her. Elena was still caught at his side, and Bonnie resisted the urge to tear her away, to run. “Mystic Falls’ resident witch. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

She steeled herself, fists clenched. “I came to help the Martins.”

“Did you?” He looked at her searchingly; she could sense his sharp intelligence focused on her. But she was a witch. Whatever else Klaus could do, he couldn’t get into her head.

Klaus turned to Elena again, lifting up her chin so that she was forced to look at him. “What is she doing here, sweetheart?”

It was then Bonnie realized that Elena wasn’t wearing her necklace. And if she hadn’t taken vervain recently, that meant she was vulnerable to Klaus’s compulsion. She held her breath.

“I don’t know,” said Elena.

His hand went to Elena’s neck, tracing the line of her collarbone where the necklace would have been, then cupped her throat. Elena barely flinched, though again it took all of Bonnie’s strength not to do anything. We pick our battles, she thought. We choose the time and place.

“And the Salvatores?” Klaus went on. “What are they doing?”

Elena didn’t blink. “They’re probably looking for me.”

“Hmm.” Klaus looked back at Bonnie. “Well, you’d better tell them that Elena is safe with me, hadn’t you? Off you go.”

She didn’t need telling twice. Bonnie stumbled past both of them, averting her eyes as she felt the tears well up. She wished that she could have hugged Elena goodbye. Instead, she wanted to get out of there as fast as possible. Shoulders hunched, she hurried out of the house, not daring to look back.

She was halfway down the driveway when she spotted the car outside and remembered. She broke into a run, tearing open the gate as she practically flung herself at the car.

“Matt! Matt – oh God...”

His blond head was slumped against the window. A trickle of blood stained his temple. She yanked open the door and cried out in horror as he collapsed on the ground in front of her. His head lolled at an unnatural angle, clearly showing the gaping wound on his neck. His eyes stared up at the sky, lifeless.

Bonnie fell to her knees and shook him, crying out his name, but the moment her trembling fingers found his neck, she knew. There was no pulse. His throat had been torn out.

Her chest felt tight. How had this happened? She looked around, back at the house she had barely escaped from, and a terrible sense of vertigo overtook her. For a moment, she couldn’t breathe. She wanted to throw up. Somehow she managed to get up and totter a few steps down the street – she didn’t know what she was doing, where she was going, all she knew was that she could smell the blood on his body and on her hands and she had to get away...

“Stefan,” she called weakly. “Somebody... help.”

A hand caught her arm, steadying her. She felt the touch of leather against her skin, and then blue eyes stared into her own with surprising tenderness.

“Let’s get you out of here,” said Damon.


Katherine opened her eyes. Good, she thought. Wherever she was, she was still alive – as much as a vampire could be. She tried to sit up and felt chains digging into her wrists. Her eyes darted around, quickly assessing her surroundings. She was in a dark cell, sitting on an iron chair that seemed designed to be as uncomfortable as possible. The smell of vervain was strong. It was in the air somehow. She tried not to breathe.

The cell door creaked open.

Katherine couldn’t hide her surprise. “Sheriff Forbes?”

Liz Forbes stepped inside, expression grim. “You’re awake.”

She frowned, struggling with her chains. “Where am I? What am I doing here?”

“You’re in jail,” Liz answered. “Do I really need to say why? You’ve murdered countless people. You tried to kill me. You turned my daughter into a vampire.”

Katherine gritted her teeth. The sheriff was so infuriatingly literal. “The last thing I remember, I was with Elijah... Did he turn me in?”

Of all the things she had expected Elijah to do, handing her over to the police was not one of them.

“No. Maddox did.”

She laughed softly. “What are you going to do, charge me for my crimes?”

Liz shook her head. “I’m keeping you detained. By tomorrow, you’ll be dead. I’d stake you myself, but you’re here as proof.”

“Proof?” A feeling of foreboding stole over her. Katherine looked down. Yes, there on her hand the ring still glinted. She hadn’t been able to get rid of it. “You mean when Klaus is killed.”

Liz’s face was hard. “When he goes, you’ll go, and this town will be safe again.”

She rolled her eyes. “Apart from all the other vampires running around.”

“Caroline will be fine,” said Liz, her voice strained. “I’ll take care of her.”

“And Damon?”

“He’ll help. He’s head of the council.”

Katherine paused. The irony was almost too much. “You don’t know, do you?”

For the first time, Liz looked unsure. “Know what?”

“Who do you think turned Caroline? Yes, I killed her, but it wasn’t my blood that brought her back. It was Damon’s.”

Liz hesitated, but then she shook her head, her mouth a thin line. “You’re lying.”

She could tell that her words had shaken Liz, however much the sheriff tried to hide it, so she pressed on. “The Salvatore brothers are vampires. And they’re not the only ones.” Katherine shrugged. “I could tell you who else, but you have me chained up, so. That limits my desire to be helpful.”

Liz’s nostrils flared. She stepped forward. “You can tell me one thing. How do you walk in the sun?”

Katherine smiled. “Magic.”

“This room was designed to hold vampires,” said Liz. “The ventilation? It’s full of vervain. And I can turn it up.”

She was unimpressed. “Is that a threat?”

Liz moved over to the side of the room and pulled a lever. Instantly there was a hiss and the smell of vervain became stronger. Katherine bit her lip to stop from crying out. The vervain was condensing in the air, tiny droplets sizzling on her skin, and it hurt. Even her long built-up immunity to the poison couldn’t stop it burning her.

“How do you walk in the sun?” Liz repeated.

“Ask the Salvatores,” Katherine breathed. “Here’s a tip: look at what they’re wearing.”

“What do you mean?”

She shook her head. “That’s all you’re getting. Like I said, I don’t feel like being particularly helpful to those who capture and torture me.”

Liz stared at her. “I hope you rot,” she said finally, and she walked out, shutting the cell door shut behind her.

Katherine heard the click of the lock – trapped again. She closed her eyes. The vervain was beginning to overwhelm her. She needed to get out fast, before she was too weakened and befuddled to do anything. Grimacing, she tugged at the chains again. They were heavy and strong. But Katherine was over five hundred years old, and vervain did not hurt her like ordinary vampires. Had the humans who created this prison been prepared for her?

She didn’t think so.


It was dark, Elena thought fuzzily. Dark and cold, and damp... She was outside, on the ground. She shifted a hand, and felt leaf litter brushing against her skin. A light breeze stirred the branches of the trees around her.

Elena drew in a breath.

Klaus had taken her. He’d asked her how she was feeling and then Greta had done something... put her to sleep. Maybe that was why she felt so drowsy. But before that... There had been Bonnie, and Maddox and Katherine...

Now she was in an empty clearing. Or maybe not empty; was that a figure lying prone a few feet away? She couldn’t tell. Before her eyes could adjust, a circle of flames leapt up around her, surrounding her on all sides with blazing heat.

Klaus’s voice spoke out of the darkness. “Hello, my lovelies. Are we ready?”

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