Little Mouse

littlemouse

A/N: I couldn’t leave this story alone. While this is also a one shot, I didn’t feel like posting it separately. Part 3 is also already in the works and part 4 planned. Happy turkey day!


Mystic Falls, Autumn 1001

She hadn’t seen him in a while and when she thought about it, neither had she seen the rest of his siblings for a couple of weeks. Isa had heard whispers that Esther had upset nature, somehow, but Isa couldn’t find someone who could tell her outright. The last time she had seen Kol was when the White Oak Tree caught fire. While they were losing a significant amount of shelter from the sun now that it was burning, Isa had fallen ill, passed out right in Kol’s arms. Her father had told him to bring her home and tuck her into bed.

She had seen Mikael, but only briefly as he came to collect her father to go over to the other village, the wolf men, and Mikael looked furious. Father told her to stay inside and she refused, wanting to come with, do something, but going up against her father and Mikael? While her father tried to stop her from coming in a gentle manner, Mikael was furious and smacked her. Told her that she was silly and that she should stay inside for her own safety.

When he wasn’t back by nightfall, Isa went over to the Mikaelsons. She had never spend these many days without Kol. And he would always tell her that he’d be gone for a few days. They’d swap their blood to be together on the inside. A promise to each other to return that portion of blood when he came back.

She could hear whimpering and angry screams from outside their home and she peeked through the window to see Esther consoling Niklaus and Rebekah curled up on the floor with Kol. Elijah was sitting somewhat calm at the table and Finn was nowhere to be seen. Isa realised that maybe she could help and wanted to walk around to the door, but was stopped by Finn.

Isa Karlsdotter,” he said gently, but Isa didn’t trust him. Of all the Mikaelsons, she truly didn’t like Finn. He was too sneaky for her taste. A real mother’s child, too. “Now is not a good time for a visit. We are not well.”

I can help,” she said, wanting to push past him, but he pushed her against the wall and then his face changed. Before she knew it, he was biting her neck and she let out a scream. Finn was gone then, and Kol had protectively wrapped his arm around her while he pressed a cloth against her bleeding neck.

She’s off-limits!” Kol shot at his brother. “How dare you!”

I can’t fight it, Kol!” Finn countered, looking slightly confused about the amount of control his younger brother exhibited. “Smell her blood, it’s glorious, don’t you want to have a taste?”

I already know what her blood tastes like, Finn, and you’re not having any more of it!” He lifted Isa up and brought her back to her home, gently setting her down in front of the door. “Are you mad?”

Mad?” Isa managed to say as she looked up to him. She took the cloth from him and hit him with it. “Mad! Ha! Perhaps, but I wouldn’t have to be mad if you would have told me what you were doing. What’s going on, Kol? What was it with Finn’s face? Why did he bite me!”

Kol was quiet for a moment, thrown off by how calm Isa seemed to be. “You’re not frightened?”

Answer me.” She tried to ignore the whispers around her that were reminding her yet again about upsetting the balance of nature. Isa still couldn’t figure out where they came from; maybe it was all in her head and maybe she was slightly mad. Of course, she wouldn’t tell that to her husband-to-be. He would reject her immediately.

He let out a breath as he looked at her, her eyes were burning with fire, determination set on her face. “We’re all experiencing unwanted effects due to Mother’s protection spell.”

Protection spell?”

Against the men changing into wolves, she doesn’t want what happened to Henrik happen to us.”

It had been a sad day when Niklaus brought back the body of the youngest member of the family. Henrik had been a lovely young boy and liked to make people laugh. She could understand that a mother wished to protect her children, even though she couldn’t remember her own mother. It had been Isa and her father Karl for as long as she could remember. “Those villagers… found in the woods the other day?”

Kol nodded. “That was Niklaus’ doing. If you look closely, other villagers are missing as well.”

Did you?”

She watched as panic struck his face. “I tried not to, Isa. I really tried not to-“

Shushing him, she placed her hand on his cheek and smiled at him. “I understand. It is alright.”

We might have to leave soon, surely our neighbors will start to notice that we’re behaving differently, that there are villagers missing. We cannot stay here,” he kissed the top of her head. “And I am sorry, Isa, but I can’t guarantee your safety around my siblings. Finn was right, your blood smells delicious and it takes every fibre of my being not to finish what he has started.”

I can take care of myself! You have to bring me along!”

I will return for you, I promise,” Kol smiled at her and pushed her hair out of her face. “I shall let you know when we leave, is that alright?”

Will you stay with me tonight? Your father came for mine, said they were going hunting, but he’s not back yet and I don’t want to be alone.”

What part of ‘I want to eat you’ don’t you understand, my beautiful Isa?” Kol whispered as he pressed his forehead against hers. “I shall see you tomorrow. If you need anything, just shout and I will be right by your side.” He took his knife off his belt and cut his hand before handing the knife to Isa, who did the same.

Smiling, she held up her hand for him to drink from and took his hand to do the same. She could feel how his face changed against her skin, and he pulled away, quickly.

Go inside your house, clean yourself up and we can talk some more tomorrow.”

~o.O.o~

When she awoke the following morning, the cut on her hand was gone, and upon closer inspection, so was the wound in her neck. Eager to go to Kol to tell him all about it, she climbed out of bed and made herself presentable. She took a roll off the counter and the headed for the door, only once opened, to take a step back as she looked at the bloodied Mikael in front of her.

Mikael,” she said breathlessly. “Have you returned from the hunt?” He didn’t look too happy. He looked angrier than ever, there was a malicious look in his eyes that she didn’t trust. It was as if he had lost his mind. “Will my father come soon?” Isa asked as she peeked around the door to see if her father was behind.

Isa, I am sorry, I truly am sorry,” he spoke softly, although she could tell there wasn’t any apologetic emotion behind his words. “Your father didn’t make it.”

She looked at him and blinked. Sure, a lot of men didn’t return from the hunt but her father was excellent at what he did, his skills rivalling those of Mikael’s. She couldn’t believe that her father was gone. What was she going to do now?

And unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I can not allow you to marry my son, either.”

Her head snapped up at that as tears ran down her cheeks. “You can’t deny us anything!”

Foolish girl,” Mikael spat at her. “I am trying to protect you. There’s no longer a place for you in my family.”

Lies!”

I understand you’re grieving right now,” he said as he took a step back. “My apologies, Isa.”

No!” She cried out as she reached for the broom and started to hit Mikael with it. “What am I going to do now? What am I going to do!” She screamed as she kept hitting him and he allowed her to. It wasn’t until Kol reached for the broom and threw it away that she stopped. She sought shelter in his arms as she continued to cry.

If you truly care for her, boy,” Mikael said to his son. “You end this now before she gets hurt.”

Kol didn’t say anything as he pulled Isa back inside her home. “Come, darling,” he whispered as he caressed her hair. “Grab some trinkets you wish to keep, I’ll make sure you’re be safe.”

With you? Please, with you!”

I’ll come and join you as soon as I can, I promise,” he said as he gazed into her eyes. “Now, grab some trinkets and clothes. I’ll take you some place safe. You’ll wait for me there.”

Nodding, Isa did as she was told and Kol brought her to a cabin in the woods. Not far from the village but also far enough to be safe. “There is a cavity underneath, you can hide there when the full moon is out. No need for you to go to the caverns.”

What is this?”

I built this for us. Niklaus helped a little, but it was mostly me. This was supposed to be our home after we wed.”

Isa smiled at that and softly kissed him. “It is wonderful.”

I’ll be back, I promise.” He kissed her again and left, leaving her alone with her grief. Even though the cabin was isolated and well hidden, she felt safe. Knowing that this was going to be the home of her and Kol filled her heart with hope. Love.

She could already see them raise many children in it. Be happy, but the moment the thought entered her mind, she heard the whispers again. Kol was an abomination, what Esther had turned him into went against nature. They were never going to have children. “Lies!” Isa screamed at the top of her lungs.

It were days before Kol came back. It was night, and he looked frantic. Scared. She dove straight into his arms to console him but all he did was push her inside the house and onto the bed, kissing her greedily. Taking her in as his hands seemed to be everywhere on her body.

Her clothes ripped and she tried to push him off of her, but he was too strong. “Kol,” she pleaded as she tried to make him look at her. “Kol, please…”

I need to go,” he said, pained by the words. “Mikael… he’s gone mad… He killed our mother and he’s now going through the village. Finn has already fled… I need to go.”

For how long?”

Not long, but I wish to take what’s mine,” he said as he got up and continued to rip her clothes, drinking in her nakedness once he was done. She looked so innocent, so small, so trusting. He fought the urge to drink from her and he knew he could stop himself if he’d lose himself inside of her. He wanted to take what was rightfully his. “I’m aware we’re not wed-“

I’m yours,” she whispered as she looked at him with nothing but love in her eyes. If she was scared, she wasn’t showing it. “Take what’s yours. Claim me.”

He got out of his undergarments, revealing himself to her, fully upright and leaking. She thought it was funny that men had those things to bring pleasure to a woman and she was well aware that it was going to hurt and braced herself as best as she could when he entered her. While she anticipated the pain of him stretching her out of her skin, she never imagined it would hurt this much. Crying out in pain, he greedily kissed her to stop her. The pain lingered before her body gave in to the pleasure. He stilled in her then with a grunt, and she could feel how he continued to fill her up.

She felt light-headed, but while he had reached his peak, she realized she still needed more and he wasn’t going to give it to her as he withdrew from her and got dressed again. “I really need to go, darling,” he apologized. “You’ll be safe, Mikael won’t hurt you, but he is mad.”

Sitting up, she watched him. “When will you be back?”

Soon, I promise,” he leaned onto the bed and looked her in the eyes. “You have such beautiful eyes and your body… it’s exquisite. Once the storm has passed, we’ll be reunited and we shall be together until our days are over.” Kol pushed her hair out of her eyes. “You shall remain here until I return.”

I will.”

Grabbing a knife, he cut himself so she could drink his blood. “You can return that to me when I’m back,” he smiled as she drank his blood before cutting herself so he could drink from her. “You and your delicious blood. I promise I shall return.”

I know,” she smiled at him. “I’m not afraid.”

Whatever you do, don’t go into the village,” he told her. “Do not leave this cabin.”

But you must go.”

Yes.”

And just like that, he was gone.

~o.O.o~

Vienna, Austria, December 26th, 2012

She could hear them from the inside of the cabin but was unable to fully understand what they were saying. They sounded unnatural, as if they had been spelled, or as if they weren’t truly there. Isa got dressed and was greeted by a bleak winter’s sun as she shoved snow to the sides to follow the sound of the birds. “I hear you!” She called to them, looking around as what their location could be.

While she loved travelling with Kol, he had taken her to a place without many trees to interact with, or animals, for that matter. It was winter after all and most species had migrated to a warmer climate, so the sound of these birds, especially this many, felt a little out of place. Looking up, she could see that they were perched in a row on top of their roof. “You all look lovely,” she said as she watched them.

It was strange to see the birds look at each other in confusion. Normally they’d communicate whatever they wished to her, but their chatter had stopped the moment she addressed them. Something felt off. Something was wrong. “Kol?” She called out to him, her eyes never leaving the birds.

“Yes, darling? Come inside where it’s warm.”

“You need to see this.”

She could hear him sigh before the rustling of clothes could be heard. “What’s wrong?” He asked as he stepped outside and followed her gaze. Kol felt the color drain from his face as his eyes spotted the Starlings. He grabbed Isa’s arm and pulled her inside the cabin before grabbing his phone and called his brother.

Kol.”

“Nik,” he said as he walked through the cabin, packing up their belongings. “We have a problem.”

She found you?”

“You could have told me that Mother’s back!”

And Father. Listen, do not come to New Orleans.”

“You’re going to need our help, we’re coming,” Kol said with determination in his voice before he hung up. “Help me pack, Isa, Niklaus needs us.”

“Because of the birds?”

“Yeah, you heard Niklaus, our parents are back. I don’t know how, well… I have a stinking feeling how it happened, but we need to help him. Have his back, make sure that he’s not alone in this even though he has Rebekah and Elijah and other people in his life. It doesn’t hurt to have us around, either.”

“But she could get to you. Mikael could get to you. To me! I killed him, Kol!” She said panicked as she tugged her bra out of his hands. “I’m not going! Mikael will kill me for my betrayal. He will kill me, just like he killed me after you left me!”

“What?” Kol said surprised. “I thought the wolves killed you.”

The color drained from her face as she dropped her hands and head in shame. “That was something I made up to forget. A fast death is always better than the one I had.” Tears fell down her cheeks as he lifted her chin to look at him. “The truth will hurt you, I do not wish for you to know the truth.”

“I’m asking you nicely,” he was worried now. Why would it hurt him? Ever since his reunion, he had believed her story about getting killed by angry wolves as they sought revenge for what Mikael had done. It sounded plausible enough, but her fear for Mikael was bigger than he had imagined. “Don’t make me asking it any other way.”

“You told me not to leave the cabin.”

“I did,” he said with a nod. “I left plenty of weapons there for you to go hunting for food.”

“No, you don’t get it,” she said as she looked at him. “You told me not to leave the cabin,” she repeated, slower this time. She could see the cogwheels work in his brain and decided to continue. “I couldn’t leave the cabin. Only after my death and learning what it was to be immortal, I realized you had compelled me. An accidental compulsion, just how I’m not really supposed to be here but you fed me blood. Your blood that was still in my body when I died.”

The guilt swept over his face. “Oh. Oh no.”

“Mikael found me. I suppose he had followed your scent and believed you were with me. He couldn’t enter, but that didn’t stop him from trying to get me out, so he set fire to the cabin.” She smiled at him, placing her hand on his cheek. “But I have forgiven you a long time ago. You didn’t know.”

Kol swallowed hard. “You were burned alive because I told you not to leave the cabin,” he said in barely a whisper. “Oh, Isa, I am so sorry.”

“I’ve always been afraid of Mikael. I respected him and I liked it that he seemed to like me for you, but he frightened me. He had that effect on people, so I didn’t think twice about killing him to save Niklaus. To save his legacy, because with him, many would die, including the Salvatore brothers. I choose to end one life in exchange for many.”

“And now he’s back.”

“I can’t come to New Orleans with you. I can’t. I can’t face him again,” she whispered. “I survived for so long by staying hidden. Many times I thought it was a bad idea to get involved two years ago, but I simply could not resist, knowing that you were with Nik and I had hopes that I’d see you again. Then they went away and I resigned myself for eternal slumber.”

He wiped the tears off her face and of his own before smiling bravely. “I’ve learned a couple of things over the years. Such as you’re stronger with a small army than on your own. You’re better protected. Family protects you. And if you face your fears, you’ll come out stronger.”

“All good and all, but unlike you, I’m not indestructible.”

“No, but you’re family. We will all protect you, just like you will do anything in your power to make sure we’re safe,” he caressed her cheek and kissed the top of her head. “Nik needs us, Isa. We have to go back.”

~o.O.o~

New Orleans, December 28th, 2012

She had run off to the Bayou the moment they got out of the car near the Abattoir. Kol wasn’t sure why, well, he had an inkling. She had freaked out on the airport of Vienna and he had to compel her to calm down because of her anxiety, and he believed it was his own fault. Too much in too little time.

Isa had been used to living in the woods, and he had forced civilisation on her by going to areas where there weren’t a lot of trees, and it went alright, but he had forgotten to realize that she had become one with nature. His beloved had missed her trees and her animals and she needed some time to adjust. It was a good thing that she left the car after arriving at the house, so he was certain that she’d find her way back.

It was rare for him to feel guilty about something. He had accepted the idea that Isa had been his first sire because they liked to swap blood and yes, he fed her his blood after turning. Come to think of it, Isa was his only sire. After having seen what it did to his siblings after they turned their firsts, Julien, Tristan and Aurora, Kol realized that he didn’t want the responsibility. Not to mention, they were still learning how to be a vampire themselves, and later on, he simply didn’t care. He ate, he killed. He ate, or compelled to forget. Never turned anyone.

He had liked to have fun, and with vampires created by him all around him, it wouldn’t have been fun. Of course, he liked to make everyone believe that he had created an army for himself, but that was as far away removed from the truth as possible. Kol had thought about siring vampires, once or twice, mostly to comment on how great he was. How handsome he was. But then again, why sire when you could compel people to say and do whatever you wanted?

So while he had accepted that he had accidentally sired Isa, he couldn’t forgive himself for compelling her to stay in the cabin back then. Of course she had forgiven him, that was what who and how she was, but he couldn’t forgive himself. Accidental or not, he had assured that her death had been a gruesome one and for all he believed he had been the one that set the cabin ablaze, even if it had been done by Mikael.

“Are you simply going to stand there in the street, lost in thought, or are you coming inside?”

Klaus’ voice roused him from his thoughts and he turned around to smirk. “I was merely taking in the view, brother. I have missed this city!”

“Well, if you and the little mouse weren’t so busy galavanting around the globe, you would have returned home sooner!” Klaus hugged his brother before looking around. “Where is she?”

“Recharging. Hugging trees. Even when we return to our flat in Los Angeles, the first thing she does is go to the adjacent park for a day or two,” Kol shrugged as he followed his brother inside. Nothing had really changed, upon first glance. “So, how bad is it?”

“Very,” Klaus replied with a sigh. “Let’s discuss it while having a drink. You’ll need one.”

“Gladly. The flight attendants cut me off on the flight here.”

Klaus was amused. “And let me guess, you pulled one with you into the lavatory, had a bite and compelled her to give you some more?”

“Of course,” Kol huffed as he followed his brother to his study. “Where are our siblings?”

“Elijah’s taking care of something for me with a friend of mine,” he poured two bourbons and handed one to Kol. “Rebekah’s disappeared, but I’m pretty sure our mother has something to do with it, or a previously friendly witch.”

“Oh, tell me about that witch!” He was intrigued. He loved witches. Kol always had had a good understanding with the witch population of New Orleans, he couldn’t wait to test to see if that was still the case.

“She’s a pesky little teenager, that one. She was one of the Harvest girls who nearly brought New Orleans down to its knees – of course, no thanks to your friend Marcel.”

“He’s still around?” It was obvious that he was disgusted by him. “Why do you keep people like that around, Nik? He’s-”

“Grown into an exemplary vampire. You will not touch him, Kol.”

He scowled as he took a sip of his drink. “Fine. Who’s the witch?”

“Davina Claire.”

Kol nearly choked on his bourbon. “Claire?”

“I knew that would get your attention. Yes. She’s related to that witch you hung around with the last time and I hope that that bond will get you close to her, to see what she’s up to. She’s been too quiet for my liking and it is possible that she’s behind Mikael’s appearance.”

“Oh great,” he said sarcastically. “Allow me to throw myself infront of the wolves, why don’t you?”

“You have Isa by your side,” Klaus mused. “It’s hardly dangerous.”

~o.O.o~

New Orleans, December 29th, 2012

She knew that Kol that she was slightly off kilter, all the talk about the trees whispering to her, or the animals talking to her, and she had tried to limit her interactions about it as much as possible, toning it down, like it used to be. Much to the point where he’d think that she’d make a joke when she told him that she knew things.

But if she had to be honest, it had only intensified over the years. It was like an extra sense that got heightened after turning, and one that she couldn’t easily shut off. Not that she wanted to; Isa needed it now to stay sane. She knew it sounded crazy, and if people thought she was crazy, then so be it. It wasn’t as if she was normal to begin with.

She had spent the night with the trees as they whispered their secrets, as they whispered about Esther and Mikael. She was worried about both of them for different reasons. While Esther and Mikael both sought the destruction of their children, Esther wouldn’t shy away from using spells and manipulation to get her children to see that they weren’t supposed to be around anymore. Mikael would simply kill – especially Niklaus.

But with no magic in the family, the Mikaelsons would have to ally themselves with the witches of New Orleans and they had pissed off an important one, not even Elijah could turn the girl to reason. Maybe that’s why Kol insisted on coming to the aid of his brother; he had a way with witches. While Kol would have something to do, she wouldn’t. She’d try to accompany him as much as possible because she didn’t want anything to happen to him. He was her beloved.

She could ask the animals to look after the rest of them. While the Salvatores were idiots with mostly every decision they made, the Mikaelson nearly always thought things through, but as the trees had told her; their blind spots had always been the cause of a plan failing.

Now that she was aware of everything going on, she politely asked the trees and the animals to communicate with her for the duration of her stay in New Orleans. That, should they be worried about their secrets getting out, they could ask the trees in Mystic Falls about Isa. But she promised them that she was a good person and that while she stayed in New Orleans, she would look out for them, too.

She had purchased a sandwich on her way to the Mikaelson home and was impressed when she set foot in the courtyard. It was grande, it was over the top and spacious. Isa wasn’t sure if she wanted to stay in the building, she preferred something more compact. Sitting down in one of the chairs, she unwrapped her sandwich and started to eat.

She watched as other people entered the courtyard and eyed her carefully before making their way up the stairs or downstairs to the kitchens. The last one, a dark skinned vampire, didn’t even bother and just approached her as if he owned the building.

“Excuse me,” he said as he looked at her. “You’re in a private residence, you’re not supposed to be here.”

“I am,” Isa replied as she kept his eyes on him and munched on her sandwich. “Who are you to tell me I do not belong?”

“Either you walk out of here on your own, off of my property, or I shall make you.”

“Your property?” Isa scoffed, still munching on her sandwich. “I think not.”

When the vampire wanted to grab her to help her up, she put the sandwich on the table and got to her feet. Isa grabbed his arm and broke it as she pushed him against the nearest column. “Do not try to touch me again, young one,” she hissed at him. She ducked when the vampire turned around and took a swing at her.

For a young vampire, he was quite strong. A warrior. Likely Nik’s second in command as he liked strong vampires for his army. The trees had told her about him. The fallen King of the Quarter. “Marcel,” she said with a smirk as she ducked again and let out a cackle when she ran back to her sandwich and took a bite out of it, waiting for him to come back again.

Who was she? In any case, she needed to leave. With the whole Mikaelson family tragedy that was going on, they really couldn’t use a deranged vampire to deal with. How could she just stand there, eating her Po-Boy and look at him like that? Like a little girl? She was likely a drifter, her clothes recently had a brush with some dirt. There was a twig sticking out of her hair and while he knew not to underestimate women who looked like they were girls, he couldn’t help but take pity. “Look, I don’t know who you are, but you obviously know who I am. Let me take you to a shelter.”

Isa huffed as she allowed the vampire to come closer again. When he reached out, she broke his arm again. “I told you not to touch me,” she said with a growl, staring him down even though she was staring upwards. “The next time I shall sever your head from your spine.”

“It’s okay,” Marcel smiled at her, reaching for her again, despite his broken arm. Perhaps she was simply frightened. She had him on the floor in a matter of a second, her foot firmly planted on his back.

“I told you,” Isa said before snapping his neck. “Niklaus!” She called out, looking around for him and spotted him on the balcony looking over the courtyard. “I broke your toy! But he’s a vampire, right? He’ll come back!”

“Little Mouse,” he smiled at her, making his way down the stairs to greet her. “How lovely to make your presence known. My brother is obviously treating you well.”

“I am not going to apologize,” she said as she pointed at the vampire at her feet. “I warned him and he underestimated me. For your lieutenant, he’s obviously incapable of acting quicker.”

Klaus huffed as he hugged her. “Marcel has a thing for young, impressionable girls. Don’t blame him for his weakness. He likes to pretend he’s a big brother.”

“I don’t like him. Where’s Kol?”

“He’s making nice with the witches. Come, let me show you to your room so you can clean yourself up, we have a lot to catch up on,” he said as he placed his hand on the small of her back and guided her towards the room.

“We don’t have anything to catch up on, I already know,” Isa smiled at him as he let her into the room. “And I am terrified, so I have no idea what you must be feeling.”

“Nonsense,” he said as he caressed her hair. “We have stopped them before, we shall do it again.”

She eyed him and cocked her head. “I don’t know who you’re trying to fool, but I’m not buying it. However, I find it admirable that you’re trying to keep up hope for your family.”

“Hope is all we need,” he smiled at her. “Would you like me to buy you a goat?”

Isa blinked at him. “For what?”

“Your diet.”

“I can eat humans, I find them delicious. If I’m in the mood for something else, there’s a whole big Bayou out there that I can feast upon.” When she saw the look on his face, she smirked. “Don’t worry, Niklaus. I always make sure that when I eat a wolf, it’s not a werewolf, I don’t want to end up cursed.”

~o.O.o~

“Calm down, Marcellus,” Klaus said amused as he watched him rant and pace the room. It was amusing how he got so worked up about everything so easily.

“Calm down? Klaus, we can’t deal with this right now, I understand now that she’s your friend, but you’re in serious trouble as it is, there’s no point in entertaining someone like that!” As he was pacing around the room, hands waving around as if he was making a point, Klaus continued to watch him calmly.

“Someone like who?”

“You have a shitty taste in friends, you know that, right?”

“Present company excluded, of course.”

“Of course.”

He sighed as he sat down on a chair, looking at his sire. “Can she be of use to us?”

“Of course.”

“Seriously?” Marcel snorted. “She’s insane.”

“Why? Because she found her sandwich more important than having to deal with you?” He countered, watching his friend as he did. “What made you think that she’s insane?”

“She’s your friend.”

“Funny.”

Marcel sighed. “I don’t know, Klaus. With Kol coming back in town, don’t we have enough to deal with? I thought you said he didn’t have to come home?”

“I did, but he knows that family is far more important than anything else. I assure you, Isa will be able to take care of herself, even if she doesn’t look like it,” Klaus replied, rising from his seat. “She doesn’t play well with others, that’s all.”

“How come you never told me about her?”

“First of all, I don’t have to tell you everything, Marcel,” he poured himself a bourbon and took a sip. “Secondly, up until two years ago, we didn’t even know she was still around. Yes, she’s that good at staying hidden.”

Marcel was quiet for a moment and then it was as if a lightbulb went off. “Two years ago? Around the same time Kol’s dagger was removed? Is she the reason the asshole isn’t in his box?” When Klaus didn’t say anything, Marcel’s eyes grew wide. “She is! Great! The maniac got himself a little friend!”

“Yes, and in exchange, he’s become less of a maniac, or at least a maniac kept in check.”

Marcel huffed. “Kill her, shove Kol in a box. That’s one part of our problem solved.”

Klaus was on Marcel within a blink of an eye, nearly tipping him out of his chair. “We need Kol to make nice with the witches that haven’t gone over to Esther’s side since you’ve lost your way with Davina. Isa will help where she can with the rest of our issues.”

“Great. Then send her to Elijah.”

“Stop talking about me,” Isa growled from the door, wrapped in a towel and soaking wet otherwise. “You are giving me a headache and I’m trying to get clean.”

Marcel pushed Klaus away from him and walked over to Isa as he straightened himself, making himself appear taller than he already was. “I don’t like you.”

“Hi, I’m Isa,” she said as she held out her hand for him, dropping the towel in the process. “Seems like you and I are going to get along perfectly, Marcel.”

Klaus averted his gaze immediately but made his way over nonetheless, picking up the towel and wrapped it back around Isa. “Go finish your shower, Little Mouse. We shan’t talk about you any longer.”

“Oh, please do, but I’d like to be in the room when you do it,” she grinned as she walked off, leaving a trail of wet feet and water drops on the floor.

~o.O.o~

New Orleans, December 31st, 2012

She had been inside for two whole days now and even though no one was stopping her from going out, she didn’t quite like the people outside. Yes, she had made her way through them on her way back from the Bayou, but to aimlessly walk around in an area that was a known tourist trap? No. Not without dragging one or two of those people off the streets to eat.

Instead, she listened as closely as she could. To the humans. To the whispers. To the vampires in the compound. She learned that Marcel had somehow fallen out of grace with Niklaus and didn’t live anywhere near them. There was a crazed witch out there called Davina Claire, whom Kol was sent to get through to, but he hadn’t been lucky so far, mainly because Davina was hellbent on killing Klaus, and had resurrected Mikael to do so. She had been able to bind him to her, but due to an unfortunate chain of events, someone managed to break the spell and now he was on the loose – and Kol wasn’t switching sides either.

With Mikael running free, Isa had insisted in coming with Kol or Klaus whenever they’d leave, but they, in turn, insisted that they were big boys and didn’t need her around.

And so, she had stayed in the building. All by herself. Bored. She was never bored when she was surrounded by her trees, but she didn’t want to disappoint Kol, either. Isa wanted to stay in the Bayou, but he didn’t want to because the werewolves were there and with Niklaus being fickle from time to time, he didn’t want to chance a bite or worse. She didn’t want to leave him, but she needed to do something.

The plans that she had heard that were made inside the house, sounded great, but there wasn’t room for her there. She decided she was going to take someone out of the equation to make it work, and easier for her family. Isa jumped out of her window and into the alley behind the compound and ignored the humans around her upon exiting the alley. She was listening for something else.

Distracted, she walked around for hours before finding what she had been looking for; the fake birds. There weren’t a lot of them, but they were all in the Cemetery. Isa found it hilarious that it was called a City of the Dead. Dead was dead, there was no coming back to it, so why build a city? Where was the bank or the shop? No where.

“I still don’t understand why you’re not speaking to me,” she said as she looked to the birds. “At least your European counterparts didn’t, will you?”

The birds looked at her before flying away. “No, wait!” She called out and started to follow them. “I mean you no harm! I only want to learn why I can’t understand you! This hasn’t happened to me before!” The birds kept flying away from her and eventually disappeared, and she couldn’t find them again.

Maybe this was the first sign that she was losing her touch. Maybe she was crazy and all the whispers she had heard from the trees were just imaginary. But how could they possibly have been true? She looked around and wasn’t quite sure where she was. She knew that she had followed the birds back into the direction of the French Quarter, but that was it.

She looked at the tree and sighed. If she was losing her touch, the tree wouldn’t talk to her. Determined to find her way back, she walked over to it and gently placed her hand on its trunk and she could feel its essence, its heart, course through the bark. “Well, at least you’re alive,” she whispered to it and caressed it. “Can you talk?”

Isa smiled when she heard a faint ‘yes’ inside her head. “Good! Now, I want to go home, where do I go?” When the tree replied that it didn’t have any idea, she frowned. “Are you ill?” No, it wasn’t. It simply couldn’t tell her which way to go because he wasn’t allowed to, which made her feel sad for it. She gently placed a kiss on the trunk and turned around to see that she had gathered an audience around her. “What? Never seen a woman kiss a tree before? Be kind to nature around you because they sustain us,” she shot at them as she marched away.

There was a sign down the road. She was going to have to do this the old fashioned way. Unfortunately, upon arriving at the sign, she couldn’t read it. Not because she didn’t know how to, but because the letters were all jumbled up or blurred out and it was as if someone was messing with her. She felt a slight panic raise in her chest as she focused on the words, but they wouldn’t straighten themselves out and people were following her, looking at what she was doing.

“Kol,” she started to chant as she ran through the streets. “Kol! Find me! Find me! Please, find me! I promise I won’t go out all by myself again! Just find me!”

She kept running for what seemed like forever, and found her no longer to be in New Orleans, but still unable to read signs. If only she had allowed Kol to buy her a telephone, now she was all alone and with someone tricking her. She felt sick to her stomach, a knot was forming and her heart ached. Something was terribly wrong and it was all her fault.

“Are you okay?”

She looked at the man who spoke to her, his voice was kind, his expression was kind too. She wanted to sink her teeth into him. “I’m hungry.”

“Are you lost?”

Isa nodded. “My home is in the French Quarter but I have no idea how to get there. I can’t read and the trees aren’t talking to me. I was lured away, far away, by birds.”

“Well, you’re not far away from it, at all. In fact, Algiers, which is just across the river from your home, is down that busy road,” the man pointed at the highway. “I was driving into town anyway, would you like a lift?”

“No, no, thank you. I can -”

“It wasn’t a request, Isa.”

~o.O.o~

“I swear, if we find him, I’m going to rip out his heart,” Kol fumed as he paced the room. “Locking us into our mind, trapping vampires and werewolves into your home? The audacity!”

“Meanwhile, we know that Elijah is alright.” Klaus piped up as he poured himself and his brother a bourbon. “At least Isa wasn’t inside the compound.”

Kol grumbled as he begrudgingly took his drink. “She’s probably off communing with her precious trees,” he spat. “Don’t get me wrong, Nik, I’m mad for her. I’m still mad for her after all these years, and she’d always been a little… nutty… but this is beyond mad. She’s hiding it from me, but I swear, she has a screw loose.”

“And yet, you asked her to marry you.”

“Of course.”

“I’m curious to what her answer might have been.”

Kol huffed as he downed his drink in one go. “She told me to ask her family.”

“They’re dead.”

“No, she meant the trees in Mystic Falls. I mean…”

“Very well,” Klaus said as he saw the desperation on his brother’s face. “When she returns, we shall compel her to forget all about her trees and animals. Would that help you, brother?”

“No,” Kol scowled. “It’ll only make me feel worse than I already do.”

Klaus was surprised at that. It was unlikely for him to express his personal feelings, he never realised that his brother was capable of guilt. Then again, everyone said the same about himself. “What’s on your mind?”

“I don’t want to compel her, Nik, let’s just leave it at that.”

It was obvious that he was struggling with something, and it was bubbling right under the surface. “Brother?”

He roared as he threw his glass against the wall. “Apparently, I’m the fastest learning vampire there is, because not only did I turn someone before you and Elijah did, but I also compelled someone without my knowledge. How great is that!”

“You compelled Isa?”

“I didn’t know, okay!” He blurted. “I told her to stay at the cabin until I returned, which, of course, I never did, and she died there. I mean, I suppose I should feel grateful to our father, because otherwise she would have starved to death, but still. I’m the reason she turned because she had no other place to go!”

He was quiet as he let his brother rant about it. He could understand where he was coming from, but it was hardly his fault. “You truly care about her, don’t you?”

“Of course I do, Nik. And if I didn’t, I still would because she waited a thousand years for me. A thousand years! No one’s ever done something like that, for me. She scares me with how devoted she is to me, to us, to our family. She worries me because… because she’s not alright in the head. And yes, we could compel her to forget all about it, but I don’t want her to get hurt.”

Yes, this was far more than Klaus had bargained for. Normally, Elijah would be around to be a listening ear, to give out advice, but he wasn’t there. “Then there’s another solution.”

“Which is what?”

“We kill her.”

~o.O.o~

New Orleans, January 1st, 2013

She woke up, and she was thirsty. Hungry. Thirsty and yet, not so much, but she had a dry mouth. Isa had absolutely no idea where she was and couldn’t find anything that could talk to her either, all she heard was noise, inside her mind. She couldn’t move, either. There was something holding her down, an invisible force.

“Finally, you’re awake,” the man said as a bright light switched on, blinding her. She wasn’t sure why, because she had seen him before he struck her down with magic. “Forgive my rudeness in not offering you anything to eat or drink, but you are a vampire after all.”

“Who are you?”

“Doesn’t matter,” he spoke and Isa could hear the fabric of his shirt move. He was shrugging. “I couldn’t believe Mother when she spoke of you, it simply didn’t make any sense because if you were still around, that would mean that not Niklaus nor Elijah had sired the first vampire, but our little misfit of a brother.”

“Finn.”

“Hey, well done!” Finn clapped excitedly. “Now, now that you’ve established who I am, let me tell you why I need you.”

Isa growled. She knew why Finn took her. It was either for more power, or to get to Kol. The noise in her head got louder, almost like a high pitched whistle. She clutched her head as it intensified and started to hurt her head. She could endure this. She wasn’t going to help Finn, even if it’d end up in her death. Finn should have known better. Isa wasn’t going to break.

~o.O.o~

“According to Hayley, there’s no vampire in the Bayou. They’ve checked,” Marcel said as he looked at the two Original vampires who were pacing around.

“She’s not with the witches, either,” Kol snapped. It wasn’t unusual for Isa to disappear for a couple of days, but normally she’d say something. This wasn’t how he imagined ringing in the new year with her.

“That leaves us with Mikael, Esther or maybe even a third possibility,” Klaus said reluctantly. “Maybe she’s left you, brother.”

“She wouldn’t!”

“Fine, let’s assume she’s been taken,” Marcel said calmly. “To what end? More power? I think they took her because they want to get to you. Like Finn has done.”

“I swear, if that weasel laid a hand on her…” Kol growled as he kept pacing.

Klaus stopped as he looked at his brother. “And only yesterday you were contemplating whether or not to kill the Little Mouse, make up your mind, Kol.”

“As much as I dislike this idea,” Kol said after he ended his pacing session. “Isa’s a strong girl. She’s been through a lot and has managed to stay alive this long. We should continue forming our plan to end at least one of our parents for once and for all.”

“It’s likely that she’ll end up killing the person who’s holding her captive.”

“If that’s our mother, then I heartily encourage her to do so.”

“She’s not invincible, brother. Let’s ask Davina to perform a simple locator spell and rescue the love of your life,” Klaus said calmly, slightly disturbed by his brother’s lack of alarm. It seemed to him that he wanted to know where Isa was, but he also wished to end this misery that they found themselves in and he didn’t seem to want to choose for her. “We can go after our parents any other day. Maybe even wait for Rebekah or Elijah to return so that we’re stronger.”

Kol huffed. “I thought you wanted an end to all this, Nik.”

“I do, but not at the expense of Isa.”

“I’ll go get Davina,” Marcel said as he eyed the two brothers. “Don’t do anything stupid.”

~o.O.o~

She didn’t know for how long it lasted, but all of a sudden, the noise and pain stopped. There was still a severe ringing in her ears, but she was no longer under attack. “Finn, I told you to capture her and bring her to me. I didn’t say anything about torture.” Yet another unfamiliar voice, but she didn’t have to take a guess about who the mysterious woman was. It was Esther. Just like her son, in a different body. Just as the trees had told her.

See, she wasn’t crazy.

“But-”

“Isa is our guest, my son,” she said kindly and Isa could feel how the spell weighing her down was lifted. “She’s a kind soul, what was your idea, Finn? To break her spirit? Or did you simply want to torture her because she’s not yours but your brother’s?”

Isa’s body hurt, and she didn’t even bother to move apart from sitting up. Her instincts told her to run, but she was still unable to hear the whispers and if she’d leave, she was afraid they’d never return to her. “You could have just asked,” she said, her throat dry and raw from the screaming.

“And would you have come on your own volition, little pet?” Esther spoke kindly as she sat down next to Isa and lifted her chin. “I am sorry for what Finn has done to you, he shouldn’t have, please forgive him.”

“He doesn’t deserve my forgiveness,” she muttered. “What do you want?”

“I want to help you, just as I wish to help my children. You are a strange little thing. I could sense your power at the ball. You’re so much more than a vampire and that is unnatural.”

“I don’t understand.”

“Oh my dear child,” Esther gently caressed her hair. “You’ve always been special. You were a good influence on my son Kol, and blessed with such a kind heart. While magic should have left your body the moment you turned into a vampire, it stayed and only grew stronger over the years.”

“She’s a hybrid?” Finn blinked at his mother. “She’s not plainly crazy?”

“Maybe a little of both,” she mused as she kept observing Isa’s face. “Isa wasn’t a witch, and in that time that was all we knew. You were either a witch, a healer or a warrior. It was what was known. Everyone else, like Isa, were simply cursed by the Gods.”

“And you can’t be a vampire and a witch, we all know that and yet, there are the Heretics,” Finn said sarcastically. “Which is ridiculous.”

“The Heretics are a different story as they were a different kind of witch. No, Isa’s a descendant of a dísir, a fertility spirit. They lost their magic in the Old World, and upon coming to the New World, to what is now called Mystic Falls, the magic was reactivated. Not immensely, but significantly,” she kept looking at Isa, who was now simply confused. “She was never a witch, so her gift only grew once she became a vampire.”

Finn squatted down in front of his mother and Isa. “Interesting. What will that mean for us?”

“Nothing,” Esther said as she looked at her son. “Isa has done nothing to us to solicit our full attention as your siblings have been getting.” Her gaze then shifted back to Isa. “Does this information help you in anyway, my child?”

“No,” she growled as she allowed the hunger take over her body. Reaching out to Finn, she ripped out his heart as she sunk her teeth into Esther. They shouldn’t have gotten close to her. Why were people always underestimating her? It didn’t matter anyway. The information received from Esther would only make Kol eyeroll even harder on her as it sounded like fiction. It was best that he’d never hear the story.

As she was draining Esther from all her blood, she didn’t realize that Niklaus, Kol and Marcel had found her. Still having Finn’s heart in her hands, she withdrew from Esther and saw her body fall on the floor next to her. “She tasted old.”

“What did you do?” Klaus said hesitantly. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?”

“Yes. I killed your mother and your brother,” Isa said as she got to her feet and handed Klaus Finn’s heart. “They shouldn’t have captured me.”

“She probably jumped into another body and now we have to spend more time to find her!” He spat at her, throwing the heart through the room and angrily left.

“Probably,” Marcel assured Isa. “Probably not because you caught her off guard.” He then gave her two thumbs up. “Good job.”

Isa looked at Kol, who looked torn between following his brother and his frenemy, or stick with his beloved. “Go after him then,” she dared him, obviously hurt. “Finn hurt me and your mother was a twisted person, telling a fairy tale that wasn’t true. And you wanted her gone too, for being a danger to you and your family.”

“I know, but he’s right.”

“Then you should have told me about your plans instead of leaving me out of them!” She said angrily as she pushed Kol away from her and walked out of the building.

“Isa, wait.”

“No,” she said as she kept walking. “I think it’s best if I disappear for a while.”

~o.O.o~

New Orleans, January 4th, 2013

While his brother Klaus was watching Haley dote over her daughter, Elijah was brought up to speed with current events by Kol and Marcel. He understood that Niklaus was still angry about Isa killing Esther and Marcel was angry because Klaus was, but he found the whole situation ironic, considering it was usually Niklaus who did the exact same thing. He also found it deplorable that Isa hadn’t been involved in any discussion when it came to planning Esther’s demise. Or Mikael’s, for that matter.

He waited until dinner to part with his thoughts on the matter. “Where is the lovely Isa?”

“I don’t know,” Kol said with a shrug. “I had Davina do a locator spell but she doesn’t want to be found. Or maybe she got herself killed.”

“And you’re not vexed by the possibilities at all?” He said surprised. He had witnessed their reunion in the midst of a bloodied church, and ever since then he and Isa had been inseparable. “I thought you cared for her, brother.”

“My allegiance lies with my family,” Kol said as he took a sip of his bourbon. “Besides, Niklaus was right, Esther could have jumped in a different body, setting us back weeks of work because now we’ll have to find her again.”

“Isa is part of this family.”

Klaus huffed. “She was an accident. I swear, if I’ll see her again, I will tear out her heart.” He then pointed at Kol. “And he even encouraged that it would be grand if Isa would kill our Mother if she was the one holding her captive!”

Elijah could see the slight shift on Kol’s face, and then realized what was truly going on. Kol didn’t dare to choose a side because Klaus had the means to put him away again and he liked being out. “Niklaus, how many times have you been in the same situation as Isa was in? Captured and tortured? How many times have you seized the opportunity to kill?”

“Many times, Elijah, but never someone who was instrumental in our plans!”

“I disagree. There have been many times where Rebekah and I had been forced to change plans the last second because you couldn’t control your impulses,” he simply stated before cutting into his meat. “I do not see why you should blame Isa for an act like that. Nor Kol for having his own thoughts about the matter.”

“She’s not right in the head, Elijah. Maybe it’s kinder to her if we’d end her life.”

Elijah looked over to Kol, who had pushed his plate forward, barely touched. “There is nothing wrong with Isa.”

“She talks to trees and animals! How is that nothing wrong?”

“Have you ever considered that it is the truth?” Elijah countered. “Remember, we are not the only ones who have witnessed her doing so. She’s been the guardian of the Salvatore brothers for centuries and the last time I spoke to Damon, the tree stump Ezekiel is doing better than ever. A tree stump that shouldn’t be capable of growing back after being uprooted and placed back. But it is.”

“Luck,” Klaus huffed.

“She hasn’t been doing it a lot, lately,” Kol added softly. “I’ve been taking her to places that don’t have a lot of nature, to see if there’d be a change.”

“And what is your conclusion?” Elijah raised an eyebrow as he looked at Kol.

“You should have seen the excitement in her eyes when she discovered the Starlings on top of our cabin, and then the disappointment when they weren’t communicating with her,” he replied with half a shrug. “Something’s not right, we already knew that. Her being a vampire only made it worse.”

“Then how do you explain the events in Mystic Falls? Her knowing almost every single thing that was going on?”

“It’s Mystic Falls. That place is packed with magic,” Kol huffed. “Please, Elijah, don’t tell me you believe that she’s capable of it? It’s impossible. And maybe she’s better off without us anyway.”

“How so?”

When Kol remained silent and started to refill his glass, Elijah looked at Klaus who had an amused look on his face. “Niklaus?”

“Would you believe it when I told you that not only did Kol turn the first human, but also that he compelled her to stay in the cabin that he had built for them?”

“Yes.”

“Well, Kol feels actual guilt about having turned Isa. Mikael came looking for Kol but found Isa instead and since she couldn’t leave the cabin, he decided to light it on fire, seeing if she’d come out.”

“Oh dear God,” Elijah said shocked. “That poor girl must have been in so much pain.”

“Well, I take a fire over starving to death any day,” Klaus said, clearly enjoying himself. “Let’s not continue to discuss this any further, we have more important things to talk about.”

~o.O.o~

New Orleans, January 7th, 2013

Why did Mikael have to take Cami? Granted, there wasn’t much that angered Klaus more than taking his friends hostage, and Mikael obviously wanted to draw him out. While Kol was with Davina somewhere in the Bayou, Elijah was pursuing other ideas back at the compound. He still hadn’t forgiven him for getting angry at Isa, but she shouldn’t have done what she had done. Fortunate for her, she did kill Esther before she had a chance to jump into a different host, so he wouldn’t kill her on the spot. Maybe he’d draw it out over the course of centuries.

But he couldn’t think about Isa right now, Cami was in danger because of him, and if Mikael wanted a fight, then a fight he was going to get. Finding a rock soaked in blood outside an abandoned building, he picked it up and sniffed it. It was Cami’s. Rage fuelling him, he grabbed the shovel and broke it in half. Granted, it wouldn’t do much against Mikael, but maybe it’d fight him off long enough for Klaus to take the White Oak Stake and kill his Father with it.

These shenanigans had been going on for long enough.

If something needed to be done, it’s best to deal with it himself; of course, after countless amounts of having someone else try it. But while Mikael had been on Davina’s magical leash, he was now free and in possession of the blade of Papa Tunde and the White Oak Stake.

And Klaus was armed with a part of a shovel.

Alright, so Mikael had the upperhand. But while his father had most of the weapons, he didn’t have the experience Klaus had when it came to combat. Yes, he was going to bring Mikael down, for once and for all.

Knowing that Kol was on the other end of the Bayou gave him a little bit more confidence. He’d rather had Elijah by his side, but alas, their combined stubbornness kept Elijah away from the fight. Very well. Taking a deep breath, Klaus stepped inside the empty building where Mikael was holding Cami at knifepoint. “Let her go, Mikael.” Cami didn’t look too good and he couldn’t help but flinch when Mikael dropped her to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

“Foolish boy, caring for a human? How pathetic,” Mikael spat at his son, who angrily launched himself at his father who, in turn, pushed his son away from him, causing the both of them to roll away from each other and standing up in a defensive position.

Not wasting any time, Klaus advanced on him again, but Mikael was stronger, and threw Klaus through a wall, before picking him up and pushing him against another. He just about managed to stop Mikael from plunging the stake in his chest, but it was a struggle.

“You were never able to beat me, boy,” Mikael spat at him as he kept struggling with the stake and his son. “The last time it took a girl to save your skin.”

Klaus blinked when Mikael flew across the room, revealing a smirking Kol in his place. “Let’s kill our father, brother,” he said cheerfully. “You shouldn’t have to do this alone.”

If Kol had to be honest, fighting Mikael would most likely lead to either his death, or both their deaths, but Davina was casting spells just around the corner to weaken Mikael and to make sure that the stake didn’t hold that much power. He hated to rely on a Claire, but she was the most powerful witch they could get their hands on.

Yeah, he was shitting bricks, but he didn’t want Niklaus to die either. The trick was to get a hold of one of the stakes, preferably both. The blade would be awesome so that Mikael would be even more weakened, the stake would be easier to take from him and then they could kill him. It would have been better if Elijah was around to help them out, or Rebekah, but that wasn’t going to happen.

It was a good thing he managed to call that bitch Hayley and that idiot Marcel before he joined his brother in a fight then, who joined them when Mikael flung Kol across the building.

Not even ten minutes later, Mikael had them all incapacitated, one way or another. He hadn’t even killed them, he had simply taken his time and would continue to take his time killing them all. Then again, Marcel and Hayley would die if Klaus did, so there wasn’t a lot of work for Mikael left.

Kol cursed Davina under his breath as he pushed his arm back in its socket. Strong witch? More like a wannabe, only good for locator spells and other minor things.

“Even with help, you can’t beat me, boy.” Mikael said as he approached his son and plunged the White Oak Stake in his heart. Nothing happened.

Absolutely nothing happened apart from Klaus deciscating.

Kol quickly rose to his feet and pushed Mikael away from Klaus while Cami tried to get the stake out of him, but weakened by the blood loss, it took her some time. It was then when Isa finally showed her face and she didn’t look too happy, either. “You’re all crappy,” she said as she pulled the stake out of Klaus and looked at Mikael who was still fighting with Kol. “And you’re a bully who doesn’t want to stay dead.”

She peeled Mikael off of her beloved and flung him across the room. She dropped the stake on top of Niklaus before leaping at Mikael to pin him down. It was a struggle, but the previous fighting had weakened Mikael as well, and she could hear the change in Davina’s chanting, so she was helping as well. “Someone kick Nik to wake him up so he can have victory over Mikael,” she said with a growl as she punched Mikael in his face. She wasn’t quite sure how long she could over power him, seeing as she only fed on animals for the last week.

She’d rather kill Mikael herself, again. He had been the source of so much hurt over the years for her beloved and his family that he deserved it. But Nik deserved to kill him too, for all the abuse. For everything. She laughed when Mikael kicked her off of him and she flew through the air, smacking into Kol. “Weee!”

“Damnit, Isa,” Kol growled as he got to his feet. “That wasn’t funny.”

“No, but that was fun, I’m going to go for another round,” she smirked as she ran towards Mikael again, knocking him over with her speed and sat down on top of him, his arms pinned to his side. She looked over her shoulder and finally saw Nik getting to his feet and grabbing the stake. “I already killed your mother, and I killed your father two years ago, so hurry up, Nik. Now it’s your turn!”

Klaus was standing over Isa and his father in an instant, but now found himself torn between killing Mikael – the monster of all monsters, or Isa. While Esther hadn’t jumped to a new body, she acted on a whim and she could have brought even more danger upon them. On top of that, she was crazy and to kill her, would be a mercy killing for her, and revenge for him. She could become dangerous in the future.

However, Mikael was harder to kill and Isa had basically handed him on a silver platter. Klaus owed her for killing Mikael the first time.

He hated choices.

Klaus pulled Isa off of Mikael before plunging the stake in his chest, watching in fascination as his father burned as he held on to her. Once he was gone, he turned to her. “Thank you, Little Mouse.”

“You’re welcome,” she said, looking up to him. “Are you going to kill me now? Rip my heart of of my chest and give it to my beloved? End my suffering?”

“Would you want me to?”

She shrugged. “It’s not my decision, is it? I think there’s nothing more you’d like than to kill me and put Kol back in his box, saves you a lot of grief, doesn’t it? But he came to your rescue, as did I.”

Klaus looked at her, confused. She sounded sane. Not all floaty and the mention of talking to trees. Why had Kol made such a big deal out of it? Or was it simply a mask? Pretending to be sane? “I think,” he said slowly as he let her go. “You should continue to make yourself scarce until I know what to do with you.”

“What about Kol?”

“Whether or not he joins you is his own decision, but I promise you, as long as you’re still alive, I will not put him back in his box.”

She smiled at that and hugged him before making her way over to Kol. She gently placed a hand on his cheek and looked up to him. “I think you’re unsure about everything, my love,” she said gently. “I understand that it is hard having to deal with everything that has happened in the last two years, since our reunion. You were never quite comfortable with the thought I was still here. Waiting. Longing. Come find me when you figure it all out and whatever the outcome is, I shall have my peace with it.”

“Isa…”

She tiptoed and softly kissed his lips. “I love you. I will always love you, even if you don’t or won’t love me back.” Isa smiled at him before she sped off.

“Not a word,” Klaus warned Marcel and Hayley before picking Cami off the floor. “Let’s go home.”

~o.O.o~

Mystic Falls, March 21st, 2013

Kol had left New Orleans a day after Isa had gone. He had mixed feelings about it all. He was still terrified of Nik, but he was also a man of his word; as long as Isa was alive, Kol was not to be boxed. He decided it was better for him to put as much space between him and his brother, just in case.

He had gone back to the flat he shared with Isa in Los Angeles, secretly hoping that she’d be there, but she wasn’t. Nor had she been seen in the woods behind their home. Kol then started to travel, looking for answers about Isa. Seer after seer told him that she was special as vampires were everything that nature wasn’t, and that she held a balance.

And more and more, he started to despise himself for not having opened up more. It was his own fault, wasn’t it? He loved magic, he loved witches, maybe a part of him was jealous about that part of Isa that wasn’t entirely vampiric. That she had retained her craziness. Yes, even thousand years ago, he thought she was slightly insane, but they both were quite adventurous with his magic, and their sharing of their blood.

Kol was so used having things his own way, just like his siblings, that he had forced her into something she wasn’t comfortable with. Oh, he knew she tried, she tried hard, especially because he didn’t give her a lot of space to work with, and he found that strangely enough, quite ego inflating. Even as a vampire, there wasn’t a malicious bone in her body, she did everything out of the goodness of her heart, and that was something he hadn’t experienced in a long time.

He needed to talk to her, explain his side of things. Maybe beg her to come back with him and start over. Do it all again. Make her forget about the creepy hippy crap so she wouldn’t weird him out. She needed to accept that it was unacceptable, that there wasn’t room for that in his life. Why would he ask her trees for permission to marry her? For them to accept his proposal? He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to marry her anymore. If she wasn’t willing to change, then he’d rather have her out of his life.

Yet, stupidly, he had a brilliant idea to get her back. But he felt ridiculous and didn’t tell anyone about his plans. Nik would certainly laugh at him.

Letting out a deep breath, he stepped into the woods of Mystic Falls. “Okay uhm… so… Hi, I’m Kol Mikaelson and if you could bring Isa to me, that would be lovely,” he said as he walked around. “I mean, I’ve tried to find her. Had witches scry for her and she doesn’t show up anywhere. I think she came home and if so, you can bring her back to me.”

“Talking to trees now, are we?”

Startled, Kol turned around to see Damon Salvatore stand behind him with a big, stupid grin on his face. “Wipe that grin off your face, Damon, and mind your own business.”

“But I am,” he replied as he pushed past the Original and headed deeper into the woods. “Ever since you took Isa away from here, I’ve been making sure that the trees are alright. If one looks sickly, I call in a park ranger buddy of mine to patch it right up.” Damon gently pat a tree stump. “Ezekiel here is flourishing. Give it a hundred years and he’s back to being a tree.”

“You’re insane.”

Damon shrugged. “It’s all relative, and you just asked the trees to find your girlfriend, so I don’t know who’s more insane.”

“Don’t you have anything better to do?”

“Of course I do. My brother has switched off his humanity, I’m trying to bring my mother back from a Gemini prison world and oh yeah, we brought back the Vampire Cure from a different prison world and my girlfriend doesn’t want me to take it with her, so yeah, I have better things to do,” he replied as he ventured deeper into the woods. “However, seeing as Isa’s been looking out for me and my brother, and the rest of Mystic Falls for a very long time, I thought that I’d do something nice for her. Like taking care of her trees and look after her cabin.”

“Your mother’s in a Gemini prison world?” Kol blinked. “Best to leave her there, mate.”

“No,” Damon said angrily. “She’s my mother and doesn’t belong there.”

“Trust me, Damon, if the Gemini put your mother in a prison world, then she’s there for a reason,” he replied. “You should not get her out, under any circumstance.”

“She’s my mother, Kol. She’s not evil and doesn’t belong there.”

Throwing his hands up in defeat, Kol sighed. “Fine, but don’t come running to us when things go sideways. Once she’s out, she’s your responsibility.”

“Aha!” Damon turned around to face him and pointed at him. “Speaking of responsibility, where’s Isa?”

Kol let out a growl.

“Oh, you lost her, didn’t you? How? She doesn’t have a bad bone in her body, did you do something to push her away? Oh!” Damon grinned. “Ohh, you don’t believe her and you don’t fully trust her, do you? Oh man, you screwed up!”

“I’m warning you, Damon.”

“And that’s why you asked the trees! As a last resort!” He was having way too much fun with this. “You know, I should despise you, but I already did, so I can’t do that even more. But how can you screw this up? She’s the sweetest, when she’s not breaking private body parts, but I suppose I deserved that.”

“What would you do if you were in my shoes, Damon?”

“Well, after learning Isa’s story, I would have cherished her, worshipped her. I would have adapted to her. If I’d love her, that is. I mean, I don’t in a sexual way, but yeah, I can see she’s a keeper,” when Damon saw the confused look on Kol’s face, he sighed. “Come on, I need to show you something.”

Kol followed Damon to the cabin and he couldn’t recognize it at all. He had built a wooden one for her and he could imagine her having rebuilt it over the years, but not in the way that it had been. There was a large tree sticking out in the middle, so she obviously moved the cabin a few feet. He had always imagined the tree to give them shade on a hot day. It was rebuilt with rocks from the mountains and it looked beautiful, in its quirky way.

When Damon went inside, Kol was right behind him. The inside was even more different than he thought. There wasn’t a bed, instead, it was a big slab of rock with some rags and a makeshift pillow. There wasn’t anything modern in it at all. He had already spotted the fire pit outside, but there wasn’t one inside.

“Yeah, I couldn’t believe my eyes either,” Damon said as he looked at the Original. “She never upgraded to the 21st century. There isn’t even running water,” he said with a snort. “But she did whip up something that gave me a little more time after Tyler bit me so your brother’s blood could save me, so there’s that.” He pushed a large boulder out of the way, revealing the entrance to the basement. “Now, this must be something you’ll recognize.”

“Yeah, it took me quite some hours to hollow out a cavity and make some stairs,” Kol replied as he followed Damon down. Damon lit some torches on the wall, revealing an even bigger area, filled with drawings and words. “And this isn’t even everything, she has a whole cave system here, the walls filled with notes, stories and even more notes. I had Alaric translate some of the early runes, but I suppose you don’t need it.”

“You brought someone else to Isa’s private property?”

“Relax! There’s a thing called a smartphone. It has a camera. It takes pictures,” Damon rolled his eyes at the vampire and pointed at a story. “Your father Mikael was an asshole.”

Kol nodded. “That was common knowledge, but he liked her.”

“And yet, he burned the cabin down because she wouldn’t come out,” Damon countered and pointed at another story. “Which was entirely your fault, but she forgave you, knowing that you wouldn’t have known.”

“When she told me the truth about her death, I didn’t know what to think. A part of me believed it had been a good death, she would have died from starvation otherwise.”

“Eh, dead is dead. She’s really big on forgiveness and helping others. Every few stories, she gets angry, but then she realizes that anger isn’t the way of doing things. Her stories about learning how to vampire are quite endearing. She did quite well even without having anyone around to show her the ropes.” Damon then moved to another story, still in Nordic Runes. “She knew what you were up to. Granted, the dates don’t really follow the dates of it actually happening, but that’s because a greater distance had to be crossed for her to get it. You were in France in 1002 or 3. Elijah was being an asshole. Your siblings created their first vampires. You then hid in Italy while the three sired vampires were pretending to be Klaus, Rebekah and Elijah.”

“How did she…”

“You know how she knew. It’s all a matter of accepting it. Here. In 1111, you had a run in with the Five. 1114, Klaus kills a vampire hunter and goes cray-cray. Stories about you in Africa, Arabia, Uganda…” he pointed at the walls as he ventured deeper into the cave system. “Her wishing that she was at your side, but she also knew that you probably didn’t know she was still alive. She could have gone and left Mystic Falls, but she stayed, always hopeful that one day, you’d return.” He stopped at a wooden board with newspaper clippings. “Now, I don’t know how she got these, but isn’t that you, after you and Klaus slaughtered that tenement building in New Orleans?”

“Are you sure she never left Mystic Falls?”

“I think that this proves it all, doesn’t it?”

“This is…”

“Amazing, yes. But there’s more.” Damon turned a corner and pointed at the elaborate schematic on the wall. “I copied this to paper, and checked it out. These are all the trees in these woods. Their locations and their names. The ones she favourited over others, the ones who weren’t nice.” He pointed at another schematic. “She also has an animal cemetery. Dead birds, the remains of the larger animals she used for their skin. And a list of all their names, as well.”

He wasn’t sure what to think. All he knew was that Isa had truly made her home here and he had taken her away from it. The only reason why she often fled to nature over the last two years was to try to feel at home. Pretend that she wasn’t homesick. “That big tree in the house.”

“Yeah, his name is Kol, believe it or not,” Damon said as he walked back up the stairs. “Go explore. Isa might come back soon from her swim, although the trees might tell her not to come back because you’re here. Check her latest entries and stop being a self-centered asshole. You’ve got your proof.”

~o.O.o~

They don’t believe me. My beloved doesn’t believe me. It’s been two years since our reunion and I knew he thought it was strange for me to listen to the whispers, so I tried to hide it from him. Not make it too obvious. I felt a loss, when we started to travel and there weren’t any trees at all.

It was as if I lost a part of me, but I did it, for my beloved.

Los Angeles was alright, Kol chose a home for us near a park, but it wasn’t enough.

I didn’t like New Orleans. There were too many people and too much excitement. And it seemed that only Elijah is in my corner, which is curious, because all the things that I know about my beloved is that he loves witches. He treats them with respect and finds their abilities fascinating. If this is the case, why can’t he accept me for who I am?

Is it because I am a vampire and shouldn’t be able to talk to nature? Is it true, what the Original witch told me about my heritage? That I’m descended of ancient forest spirits and that that’s the reason why the trees started to whisper louder after I became a vampire?

I might have to leave my home behind again. They know where to find me. But I will do it, because if I make myself invisible and alive, then my beloved can roam the Earth freely. That’s what Niklaus said. I don’t want to leave, but I’m afraid that if I don’t, Niklaus will try to find me here and burn the entire forest when he can’t.

Or maybe, I could ask Damon if his friend can cast a protection spell, so I can stay here.

He had read her entire story twice, and she was still not home. If Damon wanted him to feel even more guilty, then it was mission accomplished. He realized that he had taken her away far too soon after their reunion. This was her life. This is what she’d known and he had taken her away.

Kol knew he was an asshole. He should have taken baby steps with her. Be not only hers, but also her sire. She’d been on her own for so long, had to learn everything on her own, while he had had his family to learn with. Her whole story had been about self sacrifice, kill a human or another person only when needed and nearly always ask permission from an animal to drink from them.

She liked to help people, there were dozens of stories about the Salvatores, rants against Tatia and that she thought she had spotted Tatia again, seeing her mess with her boys. Saving people from some big fire.

She had also written a short note about the night of their reunion; only in Nordic Runes. A church on fire and then a heart breaking next to it. He hadn’t known that whatever Elijah had done, had hurt her so. She was fragile, but she was strong. She was amazing and she was everything that he wasn’t.

And he tried to change her.

“How’s the wallowing going?” Isa’s voice sounded from behind him. When he turned around, she was holding a bottle of bourbon. “Damon said you would need this.”

Kol looked at the bottle for a moment, before sinking to his knees and looked up to her. “I don’t need that bottle… I need…”

She put her arms around him and pulled him close. “I am not angry with you, Kol,” she said as she ran her hand through his hair. “Nor am I angry with Niklaus. I simply don’t fit in your life anymore, everything has changed.”

“No,” Kol shook his head as he put his forehead against her chest. “We didn’t give you the space to fit into our lives. I didn’t give you the space and for that, I am sorry.”

“It’s alright, Kol.”

“No, no, it’s not. You should get angry, hit me.”

“No.”

He took her hand and hit himself on the head with it. He was surprised that she let him.

“Feel better?”

“No.”

“Good,” she said as she sat down on the ground and pulled him close before opening the bottle of bourbon and taking a sip. “So, what’s next?”

“What’s next?” He looked at her as he took the bottle and took a sip himself. “Just like that, everything’s alright?”

“Everything has always been alright, Kol.” She pointed at her walls. “I am used to being the outcast, the forgotten. The weird. The crazy lady getting stones thrown at her when she’s taking a bath in the river.” Isa sighed as she put her head against his shoulder. “I lie, not everything was alright, but that’s because our lives are different.”

“And that’s going to change. From now on, you call the shots. I’m not leaving you alone again. I will fight for you, you’re my family, too. You’re part of our family and I’ve been terrible.”

“You’re staying then?”

“What? Here?” Kol huffed as he took another swig of the bottle.

“Yes, here. We could still travel, if you wish, but I want this to be our home, as it was intended to be.”

Kol scowled. “Fine, but we’re going to need a proper bed. And running water.”

“There’s a river,” Isa mused. “And I happen to know a spot nobody frequents… it’s great for nudity.”

“But you don’t object to the bed?”

“No,” she grinned as she took the bottle from him and kissed him tenderly. “Welcome home.”

~o.O.o~

It was a couple of days later when they finally decided to leave the cabin. They both needed to feed and Kol had a mission or two. “Who’s the wisest of the trees?” He asked as he took her hand. “I saw your schematic of the trees, but who was the most important one to you?”

She turned them around and headed back to the cabin.

“Isa!”

“You asked!” She countered with a smile and pointed at the tree sticking out of the cabin. “The most important one of them all is that one. His name is Kol. I named him after you because he refused to give me his name. I rebuilt our home around it so that you’d always be here in spirit.”

“And if I wanted to ask him something, how would I do that?”

“Just ask, silly,” she smirked as she opened the door so they could go to his trunk. “He won’t bite.”

He rolled his eyes at her and put his hand on the bark, as he had seen her do on occasion. “Hi, uhm… Kol. It’s me, Kol.” He felt ridiculously stupid, but the smile on Isa’s face made it all worthwhile. “You’ve probably heard stories about me and I can tell you that they were all true. Also that I’m the biggest asshole ever, but I truly love our Isa. Can I please have your permission to marry her?”

What was even more stupid was that he believed that the tree would talk back to him. When he looked at Isa, she looked at the tree in shock, nodding as she processed the information.

“What?”

“He only has one thing you need to agree to,” she said as a mischievous smile appeared on her face. “He wants the right to tell every bird that’s ever perched on top of him to kill you if you hurt me.”

“I won’t hurt you.”

“He doesn’t know that,” she countered and nodded to the tree. “Tell him.”

Scowling, Kol turned back to the tree. “Fine. If I hurt her, or if my actions have a direct consequence on her health, you can tell every stupid bird there is to come and find me.”

“Then yes, you can ask me for your hand in marriage.”

“Oh, thank God,” Kol breathed out as he turned to her with a big smile on his face. “Will you please do me the honor of becoming my wife?”

Isa looked at him, feigning the look of horror on her face. “You’re crazy!”

“I’m serious. Marry me.”

She looked at the tree and then at Kol, before nodding. “There’s nothing more that I want.”

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