06 : Exquisite Corpse

Over the course of the following day, Elijah remained with Bella in his loft as she slept through the after effects of the blood ritual that had been performed. If it had not been for her slow, beating heart and shallow breathing, he would have thought her dead. She had not moved during her slumber, not once.

His concerns were only compounded as he continued his vigil, when Niklaus called to inform him that Eva, the true owner of Rebekah’s current body, had apparently gained control and attempted to take Hope. He knew his brother was already devising plans on tracking their sister down, but a glance at his watch had him concerned.

The previous agreement with the regent had ended at midnight and the hunt for Eva Sinclair had resumed. He knew that a trip would have to be made to Ms. LaRue, but as he tried figuring out a way to convince the witch to extend their graces, Bella had finally begun to stir on the bed.

In a breath, he was sitting at her side, brushing back the hair from her face. As his fingers graced the softness of her cheek, she drew in a sharp breath. Her eyes opened, startled, before looking around and her head turning to find him.

“Elijah,” she sighed, her hand coming up to his. “What…? How did we get back here? What happened?”

“Shh,” he soothed her. Leaning over, Elijah pressed his lips to her brow and released a relieved sigh of his own now that she was awake. “During the spell, Freya managed to find out what you are. We don’t know how it affected you but something happened and you did something near the end. It weakened you and you’ve been unconscious for the past day.”

Bella held onto him tightly, the memories beginning to return and not wishing to let go. “I remember. Oh God…” she shook as she pulled away, looking to her hands as she struggled to process the new changes she’d started to feel.

“What is wrong?” he worriedly asked as she pushed herself up in the bed.

“I almost hurt you and Klaus. I didn’t know what I was doing. I had no control. I just…” she trailed off, her mouth dry in her agitation.

He cupped her face in both his hands, forcing her to look up at him. “You did not hurt us. You did stop a very powerful threat that came close to finding us. We will learn your gift together. Bella. You said that you never feared me for what I am, that you would not run. In that, we are the same.”

Her arms crept up to wrap around his neck as she held onto him. She needed to feel the strength from him, the words overwhelming her heart. His one arm, too, wrapped around her as the other hand buried itself in her long hair, holding her to him.

Elijah didn’t know what he had done, but suddenly she stiffened in his arms. “What…?”

Bella reared her head back to face him, but did not attempt to remove herself from his embrace. Blinking, she appeared as confused as he was. Placing her palm on the side of his face, she rested her forehead against his. Recognising the sensation from when she had met their younger brother, she knew this was somehow different, yet the same.

She could feel the internal torment swirling inside him, the darkness that dimmed the light that helped keep his monster at bay, his dangerous family strong and together. At the time with Kol, she hadn’t known what she’d done, but now she was going by pure instinct. Her own unpressured desire to cleanse his soul.

He didn’t know what had happened. He found it hard to put into words the weight that was lifted from his shoulders. His lips brushed hers in a feather light kiss before he looked into her eyes inquisitively. “What did you do?”

A gentle smile graced her lips and shrugged a shoulder, unsure. “Something similar to what I did to Kol, I think. I’m not really sure. I just felt the a need. How do you feel?”

“Like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. You did not have to do that, Isabella,” he murmured as he held her to him. “I deserved to lived with much of what I felt for what I’ve done.”

“And you will. You still hold the memories. The pain of them won’t force you to lock them away or react irrationally. Whatever your sister did, changed me. I can feel so much around me. It’s strange,” Bella breathed out, shaking her head.

Elijah’s hands tightened on her before he lifted his head. “We will certainly explore your newfound abilities. However, just before you woke, Niklaus called with some disturbing information. You recall that Kol had transferred Rebekah into the body of a witch?”

“Of course. She was with me in Dowager. Why?”

“It would seem that the original owner of that body has been attempting to gain control and is succeeding. We need to find her before the witches do because the agreement we made with the regent expired at midnight.”

Bella frowned as she jerked out of his arms. “Why haven’t you said something sooner? Why have you let me to sit here and delay us?”

“I did not know what you were doing, how you were adjusting to what happened,” he reasoned.

Her eyes narrowed on him as she pushed his hands away from her before climbing out of the bed. “We will discuss this later,” she warned as she left in search of a change of clothes. “Let’s go help Rebekah first. What do we know so far?”

“I know that we should be meeting Hayley at Ms. LaRue’s in an hour.”

“That bitch gets on my nerves,” Bella sneered at the mention of the she-wolf.

Elijah only smiled as he watched her change, muttering under her breath about the opinionated hybrid’s first meeting. He was unable to pull his eyes off of her. If the situation wasn’t so important that they needed to make that meeting, he would pull her back into his bed to spend the rest of the day.

~o.O.o~

Elijah and Bella sat beside one another in Josephine LaRue’s living room, once again dressed up. Him in his usual suit, and her in another black cocktail dress. Bella stared back at Hayley, who continued to clear her throat awkwardly, casting curious glances between the two.

Finally having had enough of the icy atmosphere, Bella shook her head. “I’m going to go see if I can find Josephine,” she said, standing and leaving the room before Elijah could say anything to settle her emotions.

The hybrid woman gave her a fake smile as she passed by, clearing her throat once again before giving Elijah a significant look as he smiled bashfully, his eyes moving often to the doorway in attempt to seek out the young woman for her return.

“Well now I know why you haven’t been returning my calls,” Hayley muttered sarcastically, pausing by a chair before taking a seat. “Did she really have to come with us?”

“Josephine LaRue can be rather recalcitrant. She is, however, enamored with Bella’s heritage and cavalier spirit,” he replied, appearing uncomfortable by her inquisition of his girlfriend.

She shook her head. “Huh. She the mysterious new girl is now a witch-whisperer?” she asked as he only smiled and sighed to himself. “I’m just glad that you found someone so multi-talented to spend your time with…”

Growing irritated by her attitude, Elijah rolled his eyes. “What exactly do you want from me?”

Hayley stared at him but before she could answer, Bella and Josephine joined them, Elijah coming to his feet immediately. “Madame LaRue,” he greeted.

“Mr. Mikaelson,” she nodded gracefully, allowing him to gently place a kiss on each of her cheeks. As they move to take a seat, she nods towards to Bella. “Have you come to demonstrate young Isabella’s new talents?”

The elder witch had not failed to notice Hayley scowling at the attention Bella received from the woman. “And what, pray tell, does this one do?”

Elijah chuckled, smiling as Bella attempted to suppress her own enjoyment at the subtle insult from the regent. “This one is family, Madame,” he answered as the she-wolf smiled tightly at the old woman. “But we have come to ask for a favor.”

~o.O.o~

In the search for Klaus and Freya, after the failure to secure Rebekah’s safety from the witches, Elijah and Bella sought every place they could think of before he realized the only possibility. They were just on outside of the tomb as he listened in on the conversation, Esther’s warnings of Freya’s possible deceit of Klaus if she were to get into his head if he were to let her use him as the anchor for the spell that he was seeking from her.

As he whispered what was going on inside to Bella, he was conflicted about his sister. He was well aware of Niklaus’ paranoia and distrust towards her. However, he was not blind to the fact that as much as Bella was grateful for Freya in her assistance in her freedom, she too shared in his brother’s skepticism. Only he was afraid to question her for her reasons why.

He made a decision before even consciously realizing the consequences. Ones he knew that he would deal with if needed when the time came, but to save his sister, he would do what was necessary.

Klaus stared at Freya as he contemplated the ramifications of her being inside his head for the spell. “All of my strategies and all of my secrets laid bare to give to Dahlia. You must think I’m a fool.”

Elijah and Bella appeared behind him suddenly, she tucked into his side safely as she looked around, taking in everything. Her newly released magic assaulting her senses with everything inside the vault, warnings coming in blaring neon signals.

“Unless it’s not a trick. I’ll be your anchor,” Elijah announced, looking to Freya determinedly.

Klaus stared at him incredulous. “Brother, I think not!”

He was annoyed by his obstinance. “Brother, whatever this is, nothing must prevent us from losing our sister. I will not lose Rebekah.”

“Oh yes, by all means, let’s give Dahlia’s whelp access to all the information she needs to destroy us!”

“I am in far better control over my mind than you are, Niklaus,” Elijah spoke calmly. “You hold far more secrets than I do. Apart from your wolf side, I am just as strong as you are.”

Esther stared at her sons as Freya shook her magical shackles in frustration. Her attention shifted to the girl that arrived with Elijah, her eyes narrowing. Something about the girl filled her with curiosity and fear.

“Can’t I help in some way?” she questioned as she looked to Freya and Elijah. “I’ve claimed New Orleans as my home with Elijah.”

Freya glared back at Klaus as she broke free of her restraints, having grown tired of the pretense. She held up her hand and twisted her wrist. The next thing anyone knew, Klaus’ head turned unnaturally and he was unconscious on the ground. Making her way to Elijah, taking Bella’s hand as she passed her, she glanced down at her brother’s body. “For an upgraded model, you’re not very sharp.”

Elijah was unnerved by the state of his brother as he glanced back at Esther. She could only stare back at them, especially Bella, as Freya lead them out. “Let’s go,” she pushed hastily, leaving him little choice but to reach for his lover reassuringly as they walked out.

~o.O.o~

Having gone straight to the warehouse where Marcel and Vincent found Eva to be hiding the bodies of her victims, and they held her own unconscious form, Freya was quick to prepare for the spell after she froze momentarily at the sight.

“Lay her inside the salt, and lie on either side of her. Each of you take her hand,” Freya said as she looked to Vincent and Marcel. Turning to Elijah, she hesitated. “I will act as a bridge into her mind, but I’m trusting you to anchor me, brother.”

Bella watched as he nodded, hesitant about her using him. For the witch to take push Rebekah out and resume control, she knew she was strong and wasn’t sure that all their efforts would be enough.

The spell underway, she observed with caution. She could feel the magic slipping away from the witch. Her head turned away from them, as if sensing an approaching threat, but she knew it was not. Her tongue darted out to wet her dry lips as she let out a breath as she anticipated the familiar face. “No,” she growled as she turned to kneel at Eva’s head, placing her hands around the sides.

Her eyes stared down onto the girl’s unconscious face as she heard Klaus’ hurried footsteps. “Do not assist, Klaus! I will finish!” she called to him. “Just give me time!”

He looked to her with concern, turning to look at Elijah. His brother was struggling with his hold on Freya but still had a fairly solid grip around her arms. “Brother-”

Elijah gritted his teeth, knowing full well the lack of trust that Klaus was facing with their sister. He also was aware of Bella’s reservations with her. “Only join if it is necessary! Just be ready!” he tightened his hold around the witch’s arms.

Klaus nodded at his instruction, swallowing as he turned to face Bella and his sister’s witch body lying prone on the floor. He could hear the girl chanting her own spell against Freya’s as she worked her own magic. He could not help but wonder how she learned something so advanced and complicated as fast as she had, when his own sister was having a difficult time maintaining a similar spell.

“Sjel til sjel, sinn til sinn, kombinere disse åndene i ett,” Bella whispered, repeating the line. She felt herself slip inside the witch’s mind, drawing a deep breath as a soft glow extended from her to encompass Vincent and Marcel in addition to Eva/Rebekah.

When she opened her eyes, she found herself standing in the same warehouse, only it was eerily quiet. Her head whipped to the right as she heard Eva’s voice screaming for Rebekah. Around a derelict piece of machinery, a young girl appeared and ran toward her. Behind her was the familiar witch face that Bella knew that she could only assume was the true Eva Sinclair.

“Stand down witch,” Bella demanded as the young Rebekah ran into her and she immediately shielded her behind her body, her blue eyes peeking around her waist.

Eva sneered back at her despite the males approaching close behind her. Throwing them a glance, she threw them back with her own magic before turning back to her newest opponent. “How the hell did you get in here?” she questioned. “You will die with the rest of them.”

“I don’t think so,” Bella said as she threw out her arm, an invisible force bringing the other witch to her knees. Holding her head as she screamed out in pain, Eva glared back at her as she attempted to fight against the influence of the girl’s much older, and stronger magic. “Give up your hold here and I might not send you to hell.”

“Deluded bitch,” Eva snarled. Every time she begun to lift her hands to try to perform any magic in retaliation for what was being done to her, the pain only increased.

Behind her, Marcel and Vincent watched her, almost afraid to move closer. While they wished to remove the childlike Rebekah from Bella, they could see that she clung to her like one to her mother. When the walls of the mind’s warehouse began to flutter and warp, Vincent grew more nervous. “It’s destabilizing in here,” he whispered.

Using both hands now, Bella held them palms up. “Ta denne sjel og slipp den til vinden. Måtte det aldri tilbake til dette flyet igjen,” she chanted before they all were surrounded by a bright burst of light.

Bella’s body immediately begun to collapse from where she knelt over Eva/Rebekah, the blue protective mist that had covered them dissipating. In a flash, Klaus had rounded around the prone bodies to catch her as Elijah was still anchoring Freya with her own spell.

As Klaus held his young friend, who remained unconscious much like after their experiment in the woods, Vincent and Marcel slowly begun to stir. Only then did Freya finally let go of her brother and he moved to take his lover from Klaus’ care. His fingers brushed the hair back from her face gently, but he grew more concerned as Rebekah had yet to move. If it was even still her in the body.

“Do you know if the plan had succeeded?” Klaus questioned Marcel as he stared at girl, waiting.

“I don’t know. You new friend showed up and had Eva trapped in one of those witchy headaches. Next thing I knew, I couldn’t see and I’m waking up here,” he answered.

Klaus and Elijah exchanged a significant look, hoping to draw on the similarity of what had happened in the bayou but refused to speak on it. Freya, too, was staring intently, unsure of how to proceed as she looked at everyone, including the unconscious witch in Elijah’s arms.

A feminine groan was heard, her face pinched in pain as her hand raised to her head. “If that bloody girl ever attempts that trick on me, I will snap her pretty little neck,” the familiar accented tone spoke. Only then was everyone capable of letting out a breath of relief. “She won’t have to worry about those Cold Ones finding her. That packs a bloody punch and it wasn’t actually used on me.”

“Let’s go home,” Klaus murmured, squeezing Elijah’s shoulder as he stood and looked over to Freya. His eyes narrowed at the confliction on her face, but only gave her a curt nod for her participation in helping his sister.

~o.O.o~

The reunion was a quiet affair back at the compound as Bella was asleep again after her experience. As it was closer than taking her all the way home to Algiers, Elijah remained by her side as they waited for her to awaken. No one truly understanding why she was in the state that she was.

When Marcel arrived, after assuring that all the witch children, especially Davina, were home and safe, he was able to share some insight as to what he had witnessed inside of Eva’s mindspace. After he was assured that Rebekah was truly back with them, he explained about their new friend’s ability to incapacitate the strong and knowledgeable witch.

“So let me get this straight. The slip of a girl that Freya broke out of that lunatic asylum with me, really is a witch?” Rebekah questioned as she looked to the sleeping girl with concern. “She was so convinced that she wasn’t.”

“And she wasn’t wrong,” Kol piped up as he walked in, a smirk plastered firmly on his face. “She wasn’t a witch back then and technically she isn’t one now.”

“What do you mean she isn’t a witch? We’ve seen her abilities with our own eyes,” Elijah voiced, standing from the chair beside Bella where he had been holding vigil. “Freya helped perform the blood spell to learn what she was because of what she’d already been shown capable of.”

Kol looked over at their sister and shrugged. “Okay. So she might be a bit witchy. Though after our meeting, I would call it more bitchy.”

Klaus growled in defense of both the girl and moved to come between Elijah and Kol before blood could be spilt. “Where have you been the last two days? She cures you of that so-called curse and you disappear while we nearly lost Rebekah to the mind of the blasted witch she is inhabiting!”

“Why don’t you ask the noble Elijah? He was the one who sent me to check on the tea girl’s validity after their little encounter in the market. Which, I should mention, thanks for that by the way,” he added at the end as he looked over at the angry vampire with a cheeky smile. “That Ann sure is something.”

When everyone turned their attention to Elijah, he let out a sigh, crossing his arms before making his way back to Bella’s side. “She is new, unknown. The mere fact that she seemed to know about Bella and myself had me concerned. I will not justify myself for protecting our family.”

Klaus pursed his lips, nodding in agreement after a moment. His eyes flickered between the rest of his siblings, to the sleeping Bella, and then Marcel. “We will do as we have always done, protect the family. However, this is the first I’m hearing about this girl. What is it that you know, Kol?”

“Oh! I know that Ann is very talented,” he grinned. “She certainly has a way with her -”

“Bloody hell! We don’t want to hear about your exploits with your new witch,” Rebekah interrupted.

“Teas. She has a way with her teas, sister. Some of the herbs in her shop I rarely saw over the years. They had very old usages that even common witches of today might not be familiar with. When I first arrived at her shop, she gave me a cup of violet and lavender tea. To the normal person, it’s another cup of tea. Made by a witch, particularly of her caliber, it’s another style of potion. This one was designed to be have me honest and render any intent to harm useless. Quite ingenious really.”

“I was always told not to take candy from strangers,” Bella’s voice mumbled as she started to sit up. She looked around sleepily, finding everyone’s eyes on her. “Okay. Like that’s not disturbing. New rule. When I’m asleep or unconscious, put me in a bedroom. I’d rather only Elijah be the only creeper around. He’s my creeper.”

“Nonetheless, after what your assistance with saving Rebekah’s soul inside Eva Sinclair, you cannot fault them for wishing to stay close while you are incapacitated,” Elijah smiled as he moved to sit beside her. “Now do be honest. How are you feeling?”

She shifted her glare from Kol to Elijah, her eyes narrowing on him as she considered his question. Taking a mental assessment of herself, she let out a sigh, blinking tiredly. “Like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck. What happened? Last I remember was being inside Rebekah’s – or rather Eva’s head and then nothing.”

“I’m more curious is how you are able to perform such advanced magic when your true power was only just released. What? Yesterday was it? Yes, yes. It all makes sense now. Quite the fascinating creature you truly are. I said it the other day, but knowing what I learned… Phew! Elijah – you really like your strumpets just as much as Nik!” Kol chuckled as he poured himself a drink, eyeing everyone with amusement, but also wary of any angry sibling that would like to decapitate him for calling Bella a whore.

“Take that back,” Elijah growled as he had gotten up and moved over to Kol, his hand on his throat.

Kol attempted to pull at his wrist, failing. “It’s the truth of what she is. I’m not claiming she’s slept around, but it is a part of her. What is it that you believe her to be? Your girlfriend has the power to kill any one of us. Even Nik! So if you had any concern about someone being a threat, you could start with her.”

“Perhaps that is so, Kol. However, there is one glaring fact that you are missing. Unlike everyone else that we’ve dealt with, I’ve never met a human girl so willing to sacrifice herself for us after only recently meeting,” Klaus defended the speechless Bella. “At this point, I’d put my very existence in her hands before you and your tales!”

“Well you’ve already put Rebekah’s in hers, clearly. That’s fine. I’m not saying that she can’t be trusted but you’ve casted a stone against someone because of her knowledge. Everyone in the supernatural world knows of our family!”

“Enough!” Bella cried out. She got up and moved closer, but Klaus’ protective arm wrapped around her waist to keep her from getting to close to her angry mate. “I understand your positions but what I’m failing to grasp, and frankly, I take offense to being referred to as a whore. If you have to know, before Elijah, I was a virgin.”

Kol looked over Elijah’s shoulder at her with renewed interest. “Is that so? Well that’s lucky for you, however it doesn’t change who you are.”

“And who is that?” Freya spoke, reminding everyone that she was still around. “The spell we performed indicated that she is a Valkyrie witch.”

“Not a witch,” Kol sang, pulling again at his brother’s arm and was relieved that he released him. “A Valkyrie, yes. Witch, not really.”

Elijah lowered his gaze onto his brother. “Brother, we all know you have an active imagination, but a creature of myth? Please.”

“And we’re a family of vampires, werewolves, and witches. Tales such as our kind, and even hers, last for so long usually because there is some truth behind them. She’s a Valkyrie, yes, and likely the first to be activated, not the last either. Only problem is, that her abilities are likely to flood her, which could be the reason for that catnap, Poppet,” he explained, smiling over at the girl. “You simply overloaded yourself and needed a recharge, so to speak. Freya’s little spell unlocked your abilities before you were meant to have them.”

“So?” Freya huffed.

“So, that spell also overloaded tea girl, and I’m merely telling you all to be cautious when it comes to Bella using her powers. There’s more to it because she believes that it also called for others to be activated. Also, please make sure that whenever you use your powers you’re not seen by humans if you like to keep them and your invulnerability.”

“What the hell do you mean by that?” Rebekah questioned. “That there are more like Bella?”

At that point, Kol looked genuinely helpless. “Ann and I were still looking into everything when she saw Bella here passed out at a warehouse. I suppose while I’m with her, going through her family’s archives, someone here can do some reading up on Valkyries and their legends?”

While the new, fledging creature appeared upset by what she was hearing, those around her began making plans regarding her care and training. Freya volunteered to help, her knowledge and skills being the most advanced of any witch in the area. Bella was reluctant to accept, only smiling slightly as she agreed to think about everything.

Her eyes settled back on Kol, who began sharing about his meeting with Ann, the tea girl she’d met. The way he spoke of her, left her feeling uneasy due to her own encounter. It wasn’t until Elijah made his way back over to her, wrapping his arms around her, that she allowed herself to relax and accept that for the moment, everything was okay.

~o.O.o~

For her efforts in fighting against Eva Sinclair, Josephine LaRue, with a few of her witches, visited the Mikaelson compound to accept Freya as a member of the nine covens. This offered her a place within New Orleans to ground her magic so that she may not have to use her brothers, or someone else, for the spell like the one that had been performed on Eva.

While Rebekah and Elijah joined in the festivities like proud siblings, Bella had remained slightly removed from the event. She observed the woman with concern, just as she knew Klaus was watching from above with his own suspicions. She felt herself caught between what she felt, and her loyalties. Despite Freya’s work to help her find out what she was, in turn opening her own magic, she could not help but think on what Kol had said that evening.

And if there were more like her, she grew concerned about the threat they might pose on her new family. Between Dahlia coming for Klaus’ daughter and her own questionable new gifts, she knew that she would also one day have to confront her past. That was something she was most eager to do at first chance she would be afforded.

~o.O.o~

Inside the Lyonne tomb, Freya walked to the surprise of Esther, causing the vampire to come to her feet.

“Freya,” she whispered as she looked upon her daughter with tears in her dark eyes.

“You were wrong about me. I loathe Dahlia more than you could ever know,” Freya said, her voice cold and filled with emotion as she stood tense in the presence of the woman. As her mother answered with a silent look of confusion, she continued. “You don’t see that light in me? That’s because she snuffed it out! I was five, and she was the devil. She took my light. My love. My will to live. My ability to die. You are no longer my mother, but I am not her child.”

“I am so sorry,” Esther began, taking a step toward her daughter, her attempt to apologize for her actions so long ago.

The witch closed her eyes and sighed, annoyed. “It’s a little late for that. But, it turns out, you were right about one thing. Klaus shouldn’t let me get a glimpse inside his mind…”

Esther glared angrily at her, for her son, and herself. “I warned him to be wary of you. Of what you might see.”

“Oh. Don’t worry, Mother. That little witch that our brother has grown so fond of saw a stop to that with her interference. But I did learn one thing- Klaus and I may never be allies. I now see that he will never trust me. So, he leaves me no choice- I will have to turn the family against him.”

As she was met with surprise and horror on the vampire’s face, she could only smile as she continued. “One by one. And now I know just how to do it. Klaus and Elijah are both particularly fond over this new girl.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Esther questioned, fearful and suspicious. “That girl from the other day? Her power is unstable. Even as a vampire as I am I can feel it. She would be yours, and the family’s destruction…”

Freya stepped closer, bridging the gap between them. Whispering, her smile darkened, “Oh, I will help her, but she is far more valuable to me at the moment. As far as telling you? Because you won’t be around to see it.”

Grabbing the blue crystal talisman around her neck, she held it as she placed two fingers on Esther’s forehead, causing the vampire so much pain she shrieked at the top of lungs. After a moment, her body burst into a cloud of starlings, fluttering around inside the tomb before one by one falling to the floor, dead.

Looking around at the mess of bodies, Freya stepped over them on her way out the door, smiling at now having her revenge completed against her mother.


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One Comment:

  1. Can’t wait for more lease update ASAFP.