Elena & Elijah Appreciation Week
“Is Klaus your only brother?”
The question startles him; not because of its banality in the grand scheme of things but because of the genuine curiosity behind it. He glances at her, noting the lilt to her mouth, as if a smile is cleverly tucked behind her fixed frown but she dares not release it in his company.
“No,” he replies shortly. “But he is certainly the one I pay most attention to… for regrettable reasons.”
She nods, accepting the bitterness in his voice without questioning it.
“Can you tell me about them…your family?"
He looks at her, scrutinizing every nervous tic her body shows in his presence, which tells him she doesn’t entirely trust that she’s done the absolute right thing in pulling the dagger out of him, which in turns reveals she’s out of any other alternative, and that puts the ball firmly in his court, but for some reason he’s entirely uncomfortable with the power he holds over her.
"Why?” he asks, and it’s his turn to pave way for his own mortal curiosity.
“I want to know if there are any other members of your family who might cross my path any time soon.” A pause. “Providing of course I survive the ritual Klaus has in store for me.”
He has to marvel at the unflinching way she talks about her fate, without really talking about it. An undercurrent of something deeper - a plethora of personal revelations - guards her tone, preventing him from learning what truly bothers her about all of this.
To distract her - and himself - he reveals a little about his family.
“There’s Rebekah, my dearest sister. Possesses a sharp tongue, a stubborn nature, and a strong will no man I’ve ever met can match.” He eyes her, rubbing his chin thoughtfully. “Something tells me an encounter between the two of you might be most intriguing to watch.” He shrugs, letting the notion linger in his mind for a moment before returning to his reply, “Then there’s Kol, another brother you would not wish to meet in the dark. But his bark is stronger than his bite, and his impulses always have resulted in him getting into trouble.” A wistful smile graces his features. “Finn, my last brother, is very solemn, dedicated to preserving what’s left of his humanity - a far cry from the rest of us. They’re all boxed up now, a result of my brother’s bad temper and incessant need to be right."
He doesn’t realise she’s decreased the distance between them until he feels her standing beside him, quietly observing him, looking far beyond her years in a way he can’t help but admire. She stands tall, proud, unflinching even though the wind in the air increases in bitterness. He entertains the notion of slipping off his jacket - well, the former Mayor Lockwood’s anyway - and covering her with it, but she steps away before he can make a move to do so, looking out at a vision he can’t see, her eyes glazed over, as though she’s wandered into a dream and cannot find the way out.
"Jeremy will be okay,” she says, and the comment, apropos of nothing, throws him until he realises she’s trying to reassure herself of something, based around a possibility of a future which no longer has her in it.
All this talk of family was not to ensure her own safety, he realises now, but to ensure the safety of the people she might leave behind by ensuring by eliminating Klaus, there will be no more Mikaelsons left to terrorise the people back home.
His gaze softens as he appraises her.
What a marvelous thing it is, he thinks himself, to be proven utterly wrong about the weakness of the human race by the strength of one girl.