erethral

Hybrid.

A/N: So I wrote this AU, it’s like a weird futuristic/mutant/mate au. And I just got the idea last night and I’m in love with it sooo…. Here it is.

“Do you need any help?” Elena said from the opposite side of the fire, giving her a skeptical crunch to her brow as Caroline picked up both water buckets. 

“No I got it, but thanks.” Caroline said, throwing a lopsided grin at the young girl who was jabbing a stick lazily into the embers before her.

“If I have to come find you cause you are lost.  I’m totally going to be pissed.” 

“I’ll be fine mom.” She rolled her eyes, walking away from the comforting illumination of the camp fire and its occupants.  The night was soft, illuminated by the pale erethral rays of the full moon overhead.  The iridescent orb hung like the beckoning safety of a porch light leading her down the thin trail towards the river. 

The river wasn’t far from their camp, but Caroline purposely took her time.  After her time in the asylum, then now surrounded by her fellow outcasts it was an unexpected gift.  One that she scarcely had the opportunity to seize anymore.
The light chirping of crickets made an impromptu melody as her feet crunched against the gravel and the empty buckets swayed in rhythm dangling from her fingertips. 

With the final bend the vegetation thinned and broke into the rocky beach.  The moon reflected like glittering black diamonds off the water’s surface.  The rush of water babbling across rocks was a peaceful lullaby from the shouting voices of camp. 

She closed her eyes, letting the cool air tease the loose tendrils framing her face.  The sound, the freedom, the bliss of solitude; she memorized every sensation.

With a heavy contented sigh she let her eyes drift back open.  The metal of the bucket smacking against the rock was alien as she bent down to collect the first bucketful.  As she knelt crouched she angled the bucket at varying degrees a, entirely different sensation rippled through her. 

Every hair on her body stood on end, the gooseflesh rising as another tingle rippled through her. 

She knew, she knew without even having to turn around. 

Klaus.

She stood carefully navigating the now full container to a flat spot against the rocks careful not to spill. 

She did not search for him with her eyes. But she felt his presence as if it was reflecting off of her skin. 

“I know you’re there.”  She said dryly as she reached for the other bucket, and stood. 

There was no response. 

His lack of reply coupled with the irritation she felt of being so hyper aware of his presence made her spin around.

He stood behind her, feet standing on the rocky shore without the faintest sound.  He was staring directly at her, his eyes delving into her own.  A shock this time coursed through her and she shoved it away.  Still they battled, and fury at his audacity began to rise within her making her spine feel as if it was forged with steel. 

It became too much.  “What is your deal?” She snapped.

He blinked as if surprised she had the ability to speak let alone to him.  Everything else faded away as she focused her anger on him.  The water ceased to run its course, the crickets muted in eerie silence.  Even the trees were frozen in terror of what they were about to witness. 

He licked his lips, his mouth opening as if he were searching for what he intended to say.  It had to be quite the feat considering as he had nerve spoken a word to her before now.

“I was not aware that my behavior was classified as problematic.”

His lilting accented voice cracked like lightning through her; even though he spoke softly it pierced through her skin.  Out of the two options, never knowing him speak and having him standing across from her throwing out a quip to her exasperated jibe, the latter was infinitely worse. 

It took her a moment to recover, to shake the tiny voice in the back of her head telling her to run as far away as her legs would take her. 

“Well it is.  So just leave me alone.” She turned, kneeling back down with the other bucket dipping the dull metal into the stream.

“Seeing as this is our first conversation. I find your inference that I’ve been bothering you curious.” 

He sauntered sideways, maintaining equal distance away from her but moving in an arch towards the shore. 

She shot him a sharp glare.  “You know exactly what I am talking about.”

His cheekbones where sharp, the shadows of the moonlight making him more dangerous, more menacing.  His presence that was already stifling her in the open air growing ever more imposing as time ticked forward.

“So I was not mistaken after all.” She shifted the back end of the bucket in the water allowing more to seep over the rim.  It would be better if she simply ignored him, then he would leave her in peace and she could get a better control over herself.  “I almost didn’t recognize you.  It’s been so long since I’ve heard your tale that I had given up hope.” 

She tipped the bucket up with a jerk, her irritation getting the better of her.  The cool liquid sloshed precariously as she slammed it onto the shore standing at her full height.

“What the hell are you talking about?’ They had never met before, she… She stopped herself before her mind wandered down a path more dangerous than the one leading to the river. 

“Back when I was young it was called Bashert.  There is no real words that describe it’s true meaning now.  I had thought that it had been forgotten…”

“Again.  What the hell are you talking about?” His eyes met hers burning even in the dark.  He took a single step forward, heat zapped through her and she stumbled back.  He murmured the word again.

“What does that mean?”

“It can closely described as two halves of the same whole.”

Silence wept between them.

“You’re high.”

“Not in the least.”

She gripped both handles and heaved them up, marching carelessly back up the bank towards the mouth of the trail.  “Then you’re crazy.”

“Also untrue.”

She spun around to face him to find him hot on her heels.  The proximity, the fire that it created caused her to take a step away.  “You have to be crazy, because you just told me we are some twisted version of mutant soul mates.”

“I would not have put it so indelicately.” He said simply, making a mockery of her notion that this, whatever this was, was just some sort of sick joke he was playing on her.

“Right.” She said, sarcasm dripping like venom from her lips.  “This is real life, not a movie, not a fairytale.  There is no such thing as soul mates. Or unicorns.  Or Dragons.”

“Of course there is.  We have transcended the bounds of human limitations.  How is the ability for me to create fire from my hands more believable to you then that we are fated?”

She opened her mouth to argue before the force of his logic stopped her.  The things she’d seen alone were enough to classify her as a lunatic.  Yesterday, she had watched a small girl throw a man twice her size with only the power of her mind.  Not once had she questioned the powers that the people encamped here possessed.  She had seen them, she had felt them. 

The world was not what she thought it was.

There were Hybrids.

But she was not one of them. 

“Well I’m sorry to break it to you but I’m not one of you guys.”

He tilted his head, the move oddly graceful as he took a step closer to her.  The urge to scatter was all consuming but she forced herself to hold her ground as his eyes caressed her face.  She could feel the answering hammer of her pulse in her temples as if it was a physical touch.

“Is that so?”

“Yes.”

Yet you were held at the asylum?”

She shook her head, the water clapped loudly in protest and she worked to steady her balance.

“It was a mistake. I was picked up on an accessory to vagrancy charge.  They just took me to the wrong place.”

“And you believe that?” He said skeptically.  “That an institution that runs the government, that has hunted us down for centuries made a blunder like that?”

Doubt welled with her.  “I… I’m not like the others.  I don’t have any powers.”

“If you weren’t like the others…” He lifted his arm between them, hovering.  The air sizzled and if she were to close her eyes she could hear it’s hypnotic crackle.  “This wouldn’t be possible.”

Alarm bells rang in her head as the smoking tendrils of need began to pull at the frayed edges of her control.  She took a step back, hoping that the physical distance would lessen the strain. 

“I don’t feel anything.” The words sounded hollow as they dripped from her,.  She cursed as a flash passed over his face.  One of a deeper knowledge that surpassed thought.  He knew. He knew she was lying.   

“You’ve felt it.  The loneliness.”  He said matter-of-factly, shifting a step to the left. “The yearning for another. The emptiness and dissatisfaction of each boy that doesn’t fill that void.”

She scoffed.  “Welcome to being single.”

“No, it’s more than that.”

“You’re unhinged.”

“It painful isn’t it? The pull? I step closer to you and the ache lessens, but it never leaves.  You are fighting it.  Fighting it rather successfully and I want to know how. Because I cannot find the strength.”

Silence rang between them, his face was raw with his emotions. 

“I do not know what you are talking about.” In reality, she felt every single word he spoke.  How eloquently he was able to put the unexplainable connection she had to him into words.  As if he had burrowed inside of her, and could feel the racing currents coiling within her, begging her to relents.  Perhaps he could.  
She took another step up the trail.  One, then another.  “I’m going back to camp.

 She turned, making every effort within her to start walking and not to look back at him. 

“Good night Caroline.” Pain seared her as she fought to get further away.  Away from the ache.  Away from him.

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Can we just take a moment to appreciate Akiko Shikata’s Angelic voice?