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Title: The Heart's a Fool
Fandom: The Originals
Characters/Pairing: Rebekah, Klaus, Elijah, Marcel, Hayley
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Family issues and abuse. Otherwise known as: Klaus and Rebekah.
Summary: Rebekah is the girl who loves too easily.
Notes: Written for papyrocrat at AO3, who requested the following prompt: .....as to the question of being feared or loved, I come to the conclusion that, men loving according to their own will and fearing according to that of the prince, a wise prince should establish himself on that which is in his own control and not in that of others....


The Heart's a Fool

She had betrayed him, again. Even the faintest hint of an imaginary slight could set him off. But this time she had a real confession buried deep down in her chest and Niklaus wouldn’t stop until he had plunged his hand in all the way and plucked it out of her.

“All these claims of sisterly love and loyalty,” he sneered. “How hollow they seem now.”

He dipped the tip of the dagger into the bottle of white oak ash. She watched him, sweat beading her brow.

“I told you,” she said. “I did nothing. Are you so incapable of believing that we love you? That we wish you no harm?”

“Not incapable, sister. I simply don’t believe that it does any good. Fear, on the other hand…”

The room was dim, illuminated only by the lamp on the bedside table. But she could see the sheen on the blade, old as it was, flickering as Klaus approached her. He inched the dagger under her breast, pointing it towards her heart. Its bite was ice-cold. Rebekah held herself still.

“Why? Why do you want us to fear you?”

“Because fear is something I can control.” There was a feral grin on his lips. “I can make you fear me. Love, pretty woman that she is, is far more capricious.”

How quickly he dismissed her, always. Rage burned in her heart. “A thousand years. A thousand years, and you call that capricious?”

“I call you capricious. You, who are incapable of crossing the street without some no-good fellow catching your eye. When will you learn?”

Of course it came back to the company she kept. Her lip curled. “So this is about Marcel.”

“No,” he said. “This is about us.”

Nik and Rebekah.

Rebekah and Nik.

He was the only one who had never left her. But he was also the only one who had never allowed her to leave.

“Go on,” she said. “Punish me. Dagger me. Yes, I’m afraid of you. I fear you more than I love you. Does that make you happy?”

“I’ll be happy,” he said, “when I’ve had a confession.”

*

Marcel was her lover, her sometimes-enemy, sometimes-ally, and once upon a time her adopted son. He had made her promises. Promises that he hadn’t kept.

She was frantic, pacing around his room. “Klaus knows. If we stay, we’ll both suffer. Why won’t you come with me?”

“Look, I’m sorry.” He raised his hands. “But I’ve gotta think of the bigger picture. My guys need me.”

“Oh, that’s right,” she said. “I’m the selfish one.”

Stupid, selfish Rebekah. What a fool she was to search for happiness in this wretched pit of a city when there was clearly none to be found. Nothing but this ridiculous supernatural pissing contest between her brothers and Marcel.

He shook his head. “That’s not what I meant.”

“I’ll tell him,” she said. “Every last detail. I can never keep a secret from him.”

He caught her arm. “You could leave. I’d cover for you.”

“How long do you think that would last?”

Their eyes locked. But Marcel had no answer for her.

*

Dust and darkness. The coffin swallowed her up. She had slept for decades in the past, entire centuries lost in the pages of history books thanks to Klaus’s whims.

Life stirred in her once more, and she opened her eyes to find a grim-looking Elijah holding the dagger.

“Elijah,” she breathed.

Her brother, the good one. The one who didn’t put daggers in her heart.

“Come,” he said, holding out his hand to help her up. “Niklaus and I shall have words.”

She climbed out of the coffin eagerly, looking around the basement, at Elijah in his dark suit. Everything looked as gloomy as ever. Then again, Elijah never changed that much anyway.

“How long has it…?”

“Only a day,” he replied. Then, in answer to her unspoken question: “I convinced him that it was Marcel who led you astray.”

Her mouth trembled with dismay. “You laid the blame on Marcel? Nik will kill him!”

Elijah looked perturbed, as if it hadn’t occurred to him that she might be bothered by that.

*

“You see, the problem is that you have a weak heart,” Klaus crooned. “I love you for it, sister, I do, but it’s vulnerable. Easily bruised. Really, you need me to shield you from those who will only take advantage.”

“You are a bastard,” she hissed. “Always and forever.”

The dagger slid between her ribs.

*

“Elijah,” she said, “is it better to be feared or to be loved?”

Her brother was in the study, preoccupied by she didn’t know what. She probably shouldn’t have interrupted him. But he looked up at her question, saw how she was leaning over her armchair, biting her lip.

He considered. “Better to be loved by those you love. And to be feared by everyone else.”

She smiled. “Yes, I suppose that is best.”

There was another question on her lips. Do you love me? But before she had time to draw breath, he was getting up, cell phone in hand, going off to make a call to someone or other, Hayley or Klaus or some witch.

What did she care?

*

The night air of New Orleans could not be called fresh, exactly, but it was bracing. It blew new air into her lungs, cleared out the dust from her throat. She leaned over the balcony, her arms crossed over the railing. Behind her, Hayley was relaxing on a deck chair, eating mango-flavoured ice cream straight out of the tub. Pregnant girls had strange cravings.

Rebekah turned to look at the girl, her baby bump now clearly visible.

“Men say that they love me. But they can say anything. You know, I can’t think of the last man I loved who truly loved me in return. All they do is use me.” She laughed. “Bastards.”

“Sums it up,” Hayley agreed. She licked ice cream from her spoon with relish.

“How do you do it?” Rebekah asked. “I see how Elijah looks at you. How do you do it?”

She blinked. “It’s not something you do. Hey, Elijah loves you, okay? He’s your brother.”

“I know.”

It was reassuring, she supposed. At least, it was meant to be. Rebekah didn’t know why it wasn’t working.

Hayley shrugged. “Anyway, you’re asking the wrong person. I’m not exactly the poster girl for romance. I got myself knocked up by Klaus, remember?”

She laughed. “Well, we all make mistakes. But you haven’t been around for as long as I have. Wait until you start repeating your mistakes. Then it gets fun.”

“Have you tried… not doing whatever it is?”

“Yes. But then I’d never love anyone at all.”

*

She had betrayed him, again…

“Nik, I’m sorry! I’m sorry. I love you, but all you ever do is keep pushing me away. What do you expect?”

“Then prove it,” he snarled. “Prove your love for me.”

They were in a forest. The moon was almost full. There was that hint of wolfishness about Klaus, the curl of his lip, the gleam of his teeth, the way his fingers snagged roughly against her shoulders, gripping her too tight.

Angry tears dashed from her eyes. “Shall I recite a thousand years’ worth of family history, then? Will that suffice?”

He was tearful too, and full of rage – oh, how she had upset him. She could never get it right, never escape his temper. “Oh, come on,” he said, and his tone was scornful. “Do you think my memory so poor? What has your love ever done for me? Nothing!”

Her mouth thinned. She pushed down the bile in her throat. “And what has my fear ever done for you, Nik? Ask yourself that.”

There was, maybe, a hint of surprise, a widening in his eyes. But her heart still trembled.
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