wheatear: (e/e: antagonist)
[personal profile] wheatear
Title: What Happened in New Orleans
Fandom: The Vampire Diaries (TV series)
Characters/Pairings: Elijah/Elena, Katherine
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Death, violence, dark themes
Summary: The secret is out. Thanks to Katherine, all but one of the Originals are dead, and the hunters are closing in. Nothing seems to rouse Elijah from his grief-stricken stupor. Until another doppelgänger appears. Elijah/Elena. Season 4 AU.


previous


Dear Diary,

Never let it be said that I can’t solve a problem. The problem? I’m bored and lonely. I love Louis, but I need someone to talk to. Dan isn’t enough.

The solution? Invite people over. How I didn’t think of this before, I have no idea. Well, before, I didn’t really know anyone to invite except my parents-in-law and you can bet that’s not going to happen.

So I have Julian’s number and I called him and he said yes to coming around. Just as friends, nothing else. I was clear about that. I know for a fact that Dan will get jealous if he finds out. But I only promised to ask him if I wanted to go out, not if anyone was coming to me, so technically I’m not doing anything wrong.

Long story short, Julian visited today and the change was so refreshing. We talked for hours. I got really sentimental. Stupid really. It was an off-hand question from Julian – he asked if my parents lived here so then I told him they’d died and somehow we ended up talking about how much I wish they were here so that they could help me with Louis. Just be a family.

The house we lived in got torched so I don’t have any pictures of them. I only have one thing left that belonged to my mom: a necklace. It’s old, I think it was passed down through the family, set with a dark blue stone, and very beautiful. But its value to me is sentimental.

It sucks that this is all I have left of my family. I guess that’s why I cling to Louis so hard. He’s all I have left.



7. To Death

Sirens blaring outside. Three black-clothed officers. A SWAT team, guns pointed at them – guns that no doubt contained wooden bullets.

“Hands up!”

Elijah was still holding Elena and he let go, instinctively starting forward to protect her – but Elena wouldn’t let him. She had both his wrists in a vice-like grip, and she held them behind her back, pretending to struggle.

“I can’t!” she gulped. “Help!”

The officers all wore helmets. He couldn’t see their faces. But they could see Elena, trembling, dishevelled, the strap of her dress slipping down her arm.

One of them spoke. “Katherine?”

“Please help me,” Elena whimpered. “He’s a vampire, I think he’s going to kill me…”

“Quiet!” Elijah snapped, catching on. He shook her hard enough to hurt her as a human, though Elena wouldn’t feel it. “Don’t move.”

“Let her go!” the SWAT guy barked. “Step away right now or we will shoot.”

Elena glanced up at him. She had let go. He nudged her forward, then raised his hands. Instantly the officers trained their weapons on him. If they fired, he would have to be quick. But Elena was stumbling towards the team, one hand on her brow. She looked weak, almost ready to faint. One of the guys caught her, lowering his gun so that he could help her stay on her feet.

“You’re safe now,” he said. “We’ve got back-up. Stay behind me.”

Elijah waited, watching intently. They wouldn’t shoot while Elena was still in front of them.

“Okay.”

A wicked gleam shone in Elena’s eyes. She reached up – then broke the man’s neck. Bones snapped in an instant. And in that moment, she moved in a blur – the second man raised his gun – Elena snatched it from his hand and used it to deal a fatal blow to the head. He dropped at once. The third man yelped and there was a burst of gunfire – but Elijah had moved as soon as Elena did, dispatching him with a neck snap.

Elena threw the gun aside and stepped over the bodies.

Elijah raised an eyebrow. “Nicely done.”

“He said they had back-up,” she said. “We’d better go. Pretend I’m your hostage.”

Even as she spoke, a burst of gunfire shattered the bedroom window. The sirens screamed even more loudly. Not that way then. He could hear boots pounding up the stairs. The elevators would be no good either – they’d be trapped. Only one thing for it.

Elijah picked Elena up, wrapping an arm firmly around her waist. “Hold on.”

Out into the corridor. A second armed unit running towards them. More gunfire – he ducked – blurred towards the fire escape and there was an iron railing, a set of zigzag stairs. Elijah didn’t bother with the stairs. The night air whistled in his ears; the shouts of the police and the wailing of the sirens floated up from the ground. He jumped. Elena screamed, curling into a ball as she clung tightly to him. It was five storeys down. He was going to shatter at least one bone upon impact.

Down – he hit the ground with a sickening thud and let out an involuntary grunt of pain as his femur split in two. But he had made sure that Elena’s fall was blocked by his body and he rolled over, shielding her beneath him. He heard a muffled laugh. In the second it took for his body to repair itself he was already moving, disappearing through the shadows. The police lights had followed them all the way down and caught a glimpse of them as they hit the ground, but lost them after that.

“Freeze!” The sound boomed out of a microphone.

Lights trained on them again. Elijah hissed. He’d covered half the distance around the hotel building and they were still surrounded. This was no lone hunter. The vampire response units had really stepped up their game.

He pulled Elena roughly to him, angling his arm across her neck. “I wouldn’t,” Elijah called. “She’ll die first.”

For a second or two, there was no response. He looked around, searching for a gap, an escape route. But there were police cars at every turn, and they’d set up barriers as well; he could see the barrels of guns pointing at him from over the makeshift barricades. The searchlights flashing overhead came from two helicopters. The wind rose as they approached, Elena’s hair whipping into his face.

He hoped there were no cameras. If they got a shot of his face–

“She’s a vampire!” A female voice on the microphone. “Shoot them both!”

“Katherine!” Elena hissed, even as a hail of wooden bullets rained down on them again. He ran. They had reached the hotel parking lot – he ducked behind a van and took a moment to catch his breath.

Elena pressed herself flat against the side of the van, glancing over at the wing mirror. “She has the worst timing.”

“Where are the others?” Elijah panted. “Is anyone else still here?”

“I don’t know,” said Elena. “We all booked rooms. Caroline organized it–”

A different, whistling sound in the air alerted him. Something bigger than wooden bullets. He looked up.

“Run!”

The world exploded. For a moment he felt a terrible burning pain in his shoulder – but then he was gone and so was the pain – he alighted by one of the police cars where a young police officer cried out at the sight of him. A bullet tore into his shoulder. Elijah snarled and crushed the officer against his car, biting into his neck savagely. He tasted vervain and staggered back.

Flames melted the tarmac where he had crouched only seconds before. They had blown up the van. He looked around wildly for Elena, but could not see her. She must have fled the other way – unless she had been caught in the explosion.

“Elena!” he called hoarsely. “Elena!”

“There! Shoot, shoot!”

He turned, but not quickly enough. Bullets slammed into his chest and stomach. Pain ripped through him. He could not see his enemy – could not see her – only armed men in helmets, fire reflected in their visors. He clenched his fists and took several bloody steps forward. Back. Chest. Shoulder.

The final bullet hit straight between his eyes. The world went black.

*

“Hello, Elijah.”

His eyes flickered open. There was movement. The sound of an engine. A train? He remembered a train, a night journey, Elena leaning over to feed him blood from a plastic cup…

No. The dark eyes that watched him were not Elena’s. Her voice was lower, older.

“Katherine.”

He was in a cage, in the back of an armed van. Two guards slouched on the other side of the vehicle, guns resting in their laps. One of them lit a cigarette and he caught the scent of vervain. Katherine was seated in the middle of them, watching him. She was clad in black, her hair tied back in a ponytail, both practical and professional. He could easily believe that she was working with the feds. Katherine the government spy. How novel.

She leaned forward. “Looks like I caught you fair and square, hmm?”

He couldn’t reply.

“By the way, I saw you with my vampire doppelgänger. You’ll be glad to know, Elena’s dead. We staked every vampire we found at that hotel. There were quite a few.”

He closed his eyes. Elena. Lucia, Julian. All the vampires who had stuck by him, even through his worst days, when he had lost the will to live. Had Katherine really killed them all?

The van bumped over an uneven section of the road. Elijah gathered himself, sitting up. He leaned forward to grip one of the iron bars that trapped him, and a fresh wave of vervain-filled air swept over him, poisoning his lungs, weakening his muscles. He coughed and sat back.

“Why are you doing this?”

She looked surprised. “I’m doing this for you, Elijah. Putting you out of your misery. Isn’t that what you wanted?” She watched him, realization dawning. “Oh. It isn’t. Something’s changed. You’ve found something to live for?” She cocked her head. “Or you just don’t want to lose.”

“This isn’t only about us. My family – everyone you killed–”

She interrupted him. “Oh, it’s exactly about us. An eye for an eye. You know, being human again brought back a lot of memories. There was a time when I was young and innocent, ignorant of so many evils in the world. Your family destroyed that. You destroyed me. Did you want to meet your precious Katerina again?” Bitterness filled her voice. “Well, this is me. Katerina Petrova. I loved you. I could have loved you again. But you could never love me, could you?”

“This is what you choose to do with your humanity,” said Elijah. “No. I could not love you, Katerina.”

“This is the most human thing I could do,” Katherine breathed. “I’ll admit, it’s personal, but like the papers say, it’s for the greater good. No more vampires. Call it my gift to the world.”

“You’re delusional.”

“I’m really not.” She shuffled forward a little more. He glanced at her hand, which was closest to him. If he could grab her through the bars… “I take no joy in doing this, Elijah. Not in killing you. You saw something in me that others wouldn’t. You believed I could be better. And I am. That’s why I’m doing this.”

“Is it?” he said. “It has nothing to with the fact that you’re no longer immortal and you can’t stand that, so you don’t want anyone else to have it either.”

“Well,” she said. “Revenge feels good too.”

She was just close enough. He moved like a snake uncoiling to strike, slamming against the bars as his hand shot out to grab Katherine’s arm and pull her towards him, crushing her wrist. “I know the feeling.”

She gasped, cried out. Her head hit the iron bars. But before he could wring her frail little neck, a spray of liquid vervain caught him right in the face, eating into his flesh like acid. He reeled back with a cry, clutching his head with both hands. Katherine had already scrambled away.

“Bite me if you can, Elijah,” she said. “It won’t do you any good.”

Next to her, an armed guard stooped down with a pepper spray can ready. It was he who had used the vervain.

Katherine nodded. “Stake him.”

*

“Okay,” said Sophie. “It’s time. All we need is your blood.”

“I want to talk to him,” said Katherine. “This is personal.”

He heard the women’s voices faintly, as if filtered through heavy cloth. There was a dull throbbing in his head. The world was dark.

“What about you guys?” Katherine asked. “Are you ready?”

Sophie’s voice was firm. “Everyone’s here.”

He was slowly coming to his senses. Eyes opened, blinking. They were not in the crypt, as he had expected. He had a feeling of space, height, open but enclosed. A church, perhaps, or an abandoned warehouse. He couldn’t move. He was chained by his hands and feet, and with stakes driven into the palms of his hands pinning him into a wooden hangman. A third stake had been driven into his heart. His head lolled; his skin held a grey pallor. Any other vampire would be dead.

But not Elijah. Even as Katherine approached, his muscles twitched and he slowly raised his head, eyes focusing on the girl in black.

They were in a church. The pews were blackened and burnt out, the floorboards scorched, and the stained glass windows smashed. But the stone survived. Behind Katherine, Sophie watched him with narrowed eyes, a silver pentacle dangling proudly from her neck.

“We dosed him with our strongest shot of vervain,” Sophie said. “But be careful. Even like this, he’s still dangerous.”

Katherine came to a stop in front of him. The witches were arranged in a half-circle behind. She pursed her lips at the sight of the stake sticking out from his chest, then climbed one step and leaned up, yanking it out. Elijah let out a breath and stared at her, the colour returning to his face, as Katherine twirled the stake between her fingers. She looked different.

“Hello there.”

He gasped something incoherent, the air hissing from his lungs.

She shook her head, tapping a finger to her mouth. “Don’t speak. I’m doing the talking. I wanted you to see me, Elijah. See all of us–” she waved a hand in the direction of the witches – “before you die and vampires become extinct forever. All you have to do is drink my blood.”

She held out her arm, palm facing upwards, and rolled up her sleeve. Then she drew out a knife and cut into the delicate veins on her wrist. Blood welled up. She wasted no time. Leaning up, she shoved her wrist against Elijah’s mouth, forcing him to drink.

His eyes widened. It was her. Somehow, impossibly, it was her. If he hadn’t realized it before, the taste of her blood gave the game away. His face remained human, his teeth blunt, and a calm aura settled over his features as his gaze met hers. He sucked the blood away from her wound before it could close up, and felt Elena catch her breath. She swallowed, closing her eyes.

The temptation to bite was strong. But he remained passive, and Elena’s eyes fluttered open again. She stepped away, cradling her wrist to her chest so that the witches wouldn’t see that it had healed already. Elijah breathed deeply, lips parted, his mouth bloody.

“Form a circle!” Sophie called. “Quickly!”

The witches had already started chanting. A sense of déjà vu swept over him.

Sophie stepped towards him, holding a stake in both hands. “The blood that made you will also undo you.” Her lips were colourless. She intoned his doom like a prayer. “To the sun, you forfeit your power. To nature, you forfeit your hunger. To death, you forfeit your life.”

“To death,” said Elena. And smiling, she snapped Sophie’s neck.

*

“He is a wolf,” said Esther. “Promise me that you will look after him, won’t you, Elijah? And Rebekah too, she dotes on him so, but I fear what he might do…”

“He will learn to control it,” said Elijah. “We’ll all help.”

“But how long will it take? You have all killed.”

She had refused to invite Niklaus into their home. As a show of solidarity, Elijah and Rebekah had slept outside with their brother, but he had returned to plead on Niklaus’s behalf. His mother fixed him with steady eyes.

Elijah swallowed. “It is… difficult. I don’t know how to describe it. But I feel the hunger quietening, Mother, I swear. We all do.”

She turned away. “Truthfully, Elijah, I fear for my life.”

A little pain blossomed in his heart. “Mother… We would never hurt you.”

His mother took down a jewellery box from a shelf, but the precious stones it contained were not adornments. They were tools of her craft. She held up a moonstone, the light from the window shining into translucent pink.

“There may be something I can do to help. But it must be done before Mikael returns.”

Elijah nodded. “What can I do?”

Esther smiled. “My dear Elijah. You always were a good son.”

*

The rest was death.

Elena ripped away the chains that tied him to the hangman, and together they tore the witches apart.

He saw a flash of blonde – and another – Caroline and Lucia had joined them. Lucia grinned, imp-like, as she and Caroline took down a witch together. Julian moved in an explosion of dark fury, cutting off any escape.

As for Elijah, he felt the magic in the air grappling, choking him, the last feeble attempts of the witches to take him down. But their power could not match him. He finished off the slaughter, ripping out the heart of the last standing witch. He held the bloody organ in hand, inhaling the scent of blood, of death, of triumph.

This was what he was made for.

Twelve dead witches. A full coven. Their bodies lay scattered around the church. He dropped the heart to the floor and looked around, searching for the witch who had started it all.

Sophie.

There she was, right before the altar, her body small and broken. Elijah stooped down beside her and closed her eyes. Even in death, her face still wore a stubborn frown. She had killed Hayley – and in doing so had murdered Hayley’s unborn child, Klaus’s child, the child that would have been the first addition to the Original family for a thousand years.

But that family was gone. Those who didn’t have a family made their own.

And so the vampires crowded around him – Julian patted him on the back before being pulled into a hug by his sister, Caroline smiled proudly, and Elena simply stood there, a little apart from the rest, observing it all.

“How did you…?” he asked.

She pointed to his waistcoat. “Your pocket watch. It’s a tracker. We used it to follow you.”

It took a moment, but he caught on. Elijah shook his head. “You knew they were on to us. You planned this.”

The hunters, the party. The ambush at the hotel. Everything. She had known it was coming all along.

Elena shrugged, flicking her hair back. “We made sure we were ready.”

“There were casualties,” said Lucia, whose arm was entwined with her brother’s. “Most of the newbie vampires didn’t make it. But we did good work tonight.”

Good work. He looked around again, cataloguing each of the bodies. More witches had died in New Orleans. The city was a graveyard for both vampires and witches, their spirits no doubt restless on the Other Side. The back of his neck prickled. Their voices seemed to echo in the church, but there was one voice that was missing.

Elijah frowned. “What happened to Katherine?”

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