Kol came home the next day with a big, goofy smile on his face. “Rebekah had me torture this professor who was after the cure and Silas. I did a great job at it too! Oh, Bella, we had so much fun!” His mood then turned sour and he started ranting and pacing across the library. Bella thought that was fun to watch. “Of course, he confirmed that Silas is indeed, real, and Rebekah didn’t believe him either! How stupid is that? Silas will kill us all! Oh, and on top of that, he can raise the dead, too. He’ll bring back everyone who died in his name, but did I forget to mention the fact that he’ll kill us all? I can’t allow this to happen, Bella, I can’t. I value my life far too much to have it ended now.”
“I believe you,” she said calmly, still eyeing him as he paced. “It’s going to be alright, Kol.”
“It’s not going to be alright, Bella. I’m scared and you should be scared too!”
“I’m not. I thought you said Silas wouldn’t be a match for me?” She reminded him with a kind smile. “I won’t let him hurt you. The moment he lays a finger on you-”
“It’d be too late because then we’re all wiped out of existence!” He threw his hands up in the air. “You don’t understand. Just leave me alone. I’ll figure this out. I’m going to stop them all, even if it means killing them!” Kol then stormed out of the library, leaving behind a very confused Bella.
She didn’t hear from him until he called her on her phone. “First of, I’d like to apologize for my behaviour this morning. I was very frustrated and I shouldn’t have taken it out on you.”
“That’s okay, I’m just glad to hear your voice. Are you okay?”
“Yes, I’m fine, darling. Now, secondly… I’m currently in a room with Damon Salvatore. He has a nice piece of wood sticking out of his chest that I’m telling him to push in further in just a moment. Should he be compelled, can I play with him?”
Bella looked at Myriam, who was reading a book next to her before tiredly rubbing her eyes. “Yeah, sure, just don’t kill him.”
“Thank you. I’ll be back shortly, although I think I might be in a little trouble with my siblings when I’m done. Best for you to stay out of the way.”
“Or perhaps be there so you can fight them off for me?”
“You’re a big boy, Kol,” Bella laughed and shook her head. “What will he do? Dagger you? He knows I will pull the dagger out when he does.”
“I don’t deserve you.”
“Oh cut the romancy stuff already!”
“Shut up, Damon, I’m talking to my wonderful Goddess.”
“Can I throw up?”
“Don’t kill him, Kol.”
When Kol disconnected, Bella threw her phone on the couch. “He’s freaking me out.”
“Every once in awhile the Mikaelsons tend to do that. It’s not just him. Klaus’ crusade for the cure is driving me insane. I understand that he’s paranoid, that others might use it against him, but seriously. Take a chill pill.”
“At this rate, I will likely have to undagger him soon,” Bella grumbled. “What can I do?”
Myriam shrugged. “Sucks to be an observer, huh?”
“I could do something but I don’t know what I can do. I mean, I could turn them all in fluffy little bunnies for the rest of eternity but… is that truly a solution? Klaus, Rebekah, Kol and the scoobies choose to be on this path themselves. It wasn’t forced upon them. Kol is genuinely afraid of Silas and nobody believes him because he’s supposedly the ranting lunatic.”
“Maybe you should get involved in all this. Gather all the information available, turn them all into animals, round them up in a pen and find the cure and Silas yourself. Kill Silas and hide the cure,” Myriam suggested as she kept reading her book. “It’s quite simple, really. Or are you afraid?”
“I have thought about it, but something’s holding me back. Like… a little voice that says that needs to be played out for everyone to learn a lesson and that since I don’t have control over my powers, anything could happen,” Bella said quietly. “In fact, my instincts tell me that I shouldn’t even be in Mystic Falls right now. It’s that bad.”
“Then why are you here?”
“Because of Kol.”
Myriam put her book down and took Bella’s hands. “Ever since you’ve started to experience your changes, you’ve listened to what your instincts told you. Just because you’re in love doesn’t change the fact that you’re still on your own journey of discovery. Maybe all this partying and traveling with Kol, despite it being awesome, has thrown you off your own path.”
“But I also feel that I need to be here. That there’s a purpose. I shouldn’t be here, but I need to be.”
“Go out of town for a few days, see if that solves the problem. Or at least to get yourself on your own path again.”
“Like you said, he’s a big boy. He can take care of himself. Should Klaus dagger him, you’ll be the first to know so you can come back and kick Klaus’ ass.”
Bella sighed and hugged Myriam. “Thanks.”
“Just looking out for you, honey,” Myriam winked at her. “Go pack.”
Bella gathered some clothes and pyjamas and got into her truck. As she started to drive through town, she felt reluctance to leave, but also the drive to leave and she couldn’t understand what was going on. If there was some sort of higher power, what did it want from her?
She was so conflicted while she drove that she didn’t realize she had driven herself to the Salvatore boarding home. Bella felt too tired to actually turn around and leave, so instead, she parked her car, grabbed her bag and headed to her old little home, hoping that it was still empty.
Bella was surprised to find an envelope stuck to the door of the guest house. It was strange, because she had made it clear that she wasn’t coming back, and Damon had evicted her with his words. Opening the letter, she couldn’t help but smile.
Bella, this will always be your home. Damon and I haven’t been the best versions of ourselves lately, but this will always be your home. Keys are under the mat. – Stefan.
P.S: just crossing out your name on the deed doesn’t reverse ownership. Nice try, though!
She hummed to herself as she took the keys and let herself into the house. Despite her having cleared it out, mostly, it looked even cozier than before. It was renovated and she had a new bed to sleep on. It was absolutely lovely and she couldn’t help but feel sorry for Damon, whom she allowed to be Kol’s toy.
Myriam was right, it felt good to be on her own for a little while, despite still having the feeling something bad was going to happen. She didn’t even text Kol where she was, but it was likely that he knew. If Bella had to be honest, Kol’s frenzy scared her and she knew that it was a good thing that he was immortal and invincible unlike the rest of the vampires, his behaviour would certainly get him killed if that wasn’t the case. What scared her was that she couldn’t ease his mind, because it was running on adrenaline and fear.
And maybe Myriam was right about not interfering, that it was something Bella just had to do to save everyone from doing stupid things; mainly because Bella had no interest in the cure or Silas, and that she could undertake the journey on her own, with a clear mind. However, the act reminded her of a rule she’d come across while roleplaying online and it was called godmodding. Being so super powerful to cancel out any other player and do what the hell you wanted. It wasn’t nice. It was rude and disrespectful.
No, everyone currently on the path of Silas and the cure had chosen to go on it by themselves and Bella really needed to sit this one out.
It was amazing how easily she slipped back into her old habits; she went to the supermarket in the morning and spent all day writing and focusing her mind on the words as if she hadn’t missed a beat. She lost time in her words as they flowed from her hands and as she replied to messages she’d received over the previous month from people who followed her stories.
It wasn’t until a couple of days later when Bella was taking a shower before bed that something inside of her told her to go out. It wasn’t just inside of her because after getting dressed and grabbing her things, she felt a wave of pain wash over her and it wasn’t the good kind.
She didn’t take the car and she had no idea in what direction she was going, where she was going to be lead, but allowed her feelings to guide her. She walked to the cemetery where she was crowded by the spirits who wanted to talk to her, begged her to raise them from the dead, to pass along messages to their loved ones. It disorientated her, she knew she had to keep walking. Closing her eyes and covering her ears with her hands, she marched through, the pain of the dead tugging on her heart.
The cemetery was behind the boarding house, which was funny because she hadn’t noticed that before. Zach Salvatore had told her to stay away from the cemetery and now she was walking over it. The ruins of Fell’s Church and the tomb were passed next, she still wasn’t off the grounds. She could sense the surge of magic bubbling underneath the soil; Klaus had killed his mother there.
She passed the abandoned cottage where once a hundred witches were burned and buried and despite them gone now, didn’t mean that there wasn’t residual energy. And it didn’t like Bella very much. She was propelled forward, off the property and it was then when Bella had a moment to breathe, as everything in her mind settled and the spirits of those gone had stopped following her.
Bella followed the road leading into town, cars passed her as she walked, a train of small creatures following her in her daze. Foxes, squirrels, mice. Sometimes an owl flew overhead, loudly hooting as if spurring her on. But she couldn’t walk faster than she already was, Bella was a terrible runner and she didn’t want to fall flat on her face.
By the time she arrived in the town’s square, the sun had started to come up and as she didn’t want to deviate from her path, she nudged the hurrying people around her aside without blinking. Animals were still following her, dogs were tugging on their leashes to join, cats were now in the trail as well; Bella didn’t care what it looked like. Stranger things had happened in Mystic Falls.
She only briefly stopped to get herself something to eat, but had to eat it while walking as the animals were complaining when she sat down for a little rest. Bella wasn’t tired, though. She felt determination grow and kept marching on while the animals looked out for any signs of danger.
It was only when she turned into the street that she knew where she was going; everything was leading her to the Gilbert House. Something had happened and it wasn’t good. She started to walk a little faster now, still not running because she could break her neck if she fell, and stopped dead in her tracks when she saw that the front door had been kicked in.
The smell of burnt flesh wafted in her face and she coughed as she stepped inside. It smelled bad, as if they had roasted a pig inside the house. Bella made her way to the livingroom where Klaus stood, waiting. “Took you long enough,” he snapped at her.
“Huh?” she shook her head, trying to clear the fog but it wasn’t working. Everything registered, but she couldn’t control it. “Stuck?”
“That blasted Bennett witch cast a spell to stop me from slaughtering them all after they killed Kol. They’re now well on their way to find the cure, I guess!”
Klaus narrowed his eyes on her. “Are you even here?” He walked over to her and knocked on her head. “Hello?” Klaus snapped his fingers in front of her to make her blink before the sound of animals distracted him. They were standing outside the line that he couldn’t cross and was fascinated. “Bella, love? Did you bring your friends?”
Klaus merely pointed towards the kitchen and Bella followed his line of sight. It was then that she saw Kol’s spirit sitting on top of the counter, anxiously bumping his feet against each other. “Took you long enough,” he repeated Klaus’ words to her and motioned for her to come over, and she did. “You can see me?”
“Of course I can,” Bella smiled at him, cocking her head. “You’re shimmering. Are you dead?”
Kol snarled then. “Hunter’s curse or not, I’m going to kill baby Gilbert.”
“How? You’re dead.”
“Who are you talking to?” Klaus demanded. “Kol?”
Bella turned around and sighed. “Would you please shush? It’s hard enough for me to have to live with this slow ass lifting fog in my head, talk to you and your dead brother. So shush,” she shot at him before turning her attention back to Kol. “You can’t go and kill people, Kol. You’re dead.”
“You can bring me back to life.”
“Not when you want to kill others to take revenge,” she replied as she hopped on the counter to sit next to him. “I know you need to feed to stay alive and you like to kill for fun, but out of revenge?”
“Bella, he killed ME. It’s the least he deserves. He and Elena had it all planned out. Do you want to know what happened? They attacked me with a butcher’s knife after we fought through the house. Then hosed me down with water from the tap, and as you know, the water supply is tainted with vervain so it hurt like hell. Elena then stole the White Oak Stake from me and had Jeremy kill me. It bloody hurt and they need to pay.”
She sighed and shook her head. “I just can’t believe you’re dead,” she said in barely a whisper. “What am I going to do now?”
“I don’t deserve to be dead, Bella.”
“Bella, please,” Klaus’ voice sounded, he was practically begging. “Don’t let Kol be dead. He’s my little brother. He’s a paranoid maniac and he likes killing things but he’s my little brother and I failed in keeping him safe.”
“Yeah,” Kol snorted. “By not daggering me and stuffing me back in my box.”
“You know I wouldn’t let that happen to you,” Bella looked at Kol’s shimmering form. “Because you’re good, you’re better than wanting to take revenge. I understand that it’s a part of your vampirism, I do, but-”
“Silas needs to be stopped.”
“What about doing good with your second chance? Turn all that anger and angst into something more productive?”
“Oh please, I don’t like Mary Sue vampires, why should I become one? No, Bella, life is to be lived to the fullest and that means getting even. Getting revenge. To feel everything so passionately that it burns inside of you. Fuelling a fire that you allow to consume yourself enough but not entirely. It feels good to hate so deeply and allow that as a basis to get even,” Kol spat. “I’m a vampire. It’s what I do. Get over it.”
Bella wiped away the tears that had started to quietly roll down her cheeks. “Is that all you feel? The darkness?”
“Spending a thousand years with my siblings and in and out of the box like I’m some sort of toy or a dog to be put down makes me feel just that, yes. I deserve better. I deserve my freedom, I deserve my revenge and I deserve another chance.”
“And you wouldn’t do anything different with that chance?”
“For Gods sake, Kol, she’s trying to see if you’re worthy of another shot. I don’t know what the bloody hell you’re saying but it’s not what she wants to hear!” Klaus said impatiently. “You know what? I don’t care. Bella, you resurrect him right this instant or else!”
“Shut up!” Bella retorted and turned Klaus into a puppy before hopping off the counter and walked into the other room to find something to cover Kol’s burnt corpse with. She didn’t feel any different, just numb and sad. She understood where Kol was coming from, but she was afraid that if she’d unleash him into the world like this, hell was going to break loose. She wanted him back, she truly wanted him back and take him away from all of this, but he had chosen this destructive path himself and it hurt.
Bella found a blanket and returned to the kitchen where she gently covered Kol’s body before she sat down next to him and lightly touched his scorched hair with her fingertips. “You know what I’m going to miss? I’m going to have to miss my best friend. My boyfriend. My person who cheers me up when I feel down. My person who doesn’t give up on something because he’s so passionate and it makes him so adorable. My person who is strong and protective even though I could likely kill him with my pinkie,” she said with a slight chuckle, but because of her tears it sounded more like a sob. “I’m going to miss the one person who felt like home to me. I’m going to miss the person who laughed in the face of danger, even when the danger was his family. And most of all I’m really sad because he’ll never get to hear me say ‘I love you’ to him.”
She looked up to see Kol stare at her from his position on the counter, seemingly at a loss for words and tears in his eyes. Bella kept touching his hair gingerly, not wanting to break anything because that wasn’t respectful.
“Bloody hell,” he said hoarsely. “Bella… I am so sorry,” Kol let out a breath, anger no longer evident in his voice, it had been replaced by guilt. He hopped off the counter to crouch down next to her, not taking his eyes off of her. “I don’t deserve your kindness. I-I have done so many bad things in my life, massacred thousands, manipulated so many… and yet, here you are, kind.”
“I was afraid for you when you went off like you had but I knew I couldn’t stop you unless I’d physically prevent you from leaving. That wouldn’t make me any better than Klaus or anyone who has hurt you in the past.” She looked at him with a kind smile. “Even when you were daggered and in your coffin, I could just feel that you were a good person. I understand your thirst for revenge, I do. But there are more important feelings. Feelings that even Klaus doesn’t deny they exist.”
“You were afraid for me? Bella… Darling, the feelings that I feel for you make me afraid. Because of my temper. Because of my rage. When we were alone together, I went out during the night a lot, to feed, to get some release because I’m afraid, I suppose I’ve always been afraid, to hurt you. You’re my person too, you know,” he said with a cheeky smile. “You’re always kind and protective of me towards anyone, especially my siblings and no one’s ever done that for me. And that scares me because what if you decide to leave me one day? It’d break my heart and I’m not sure if I can take that.” He took a deep breath. “I suppose my second chance started the moment I laid eyes on you and I screwed it up. I promise, I’m going to do better if you grant me a third chance.”
Bella felt a warm light enter her body, so much so that it startled her and knocked her back against the cupboards.
“Look at you! You’re glowing!”
“You can see that?” she asked him, although it wouldn’t be too hard to miss, she was basically a light house at this point. “Oh… wow…” Bella could feel how something else took over and yanked Kol from the Other Side, only to push him back into his body. The light embraced him for just a short moment before he sat up and the blanket fell off of him.
Kol’s clothes were charred and he was still stained by the fire, but he was back alive. Bella scrambled to her feet as she could feel how her body was changing on the inside and it felt funny. It felt out of this world. Klaus the puppy was making noises in the other room and as she moved through the barrier, she dropped it and changed Klaus back.
Bella was ready to leave Mystic Falls now, she was ready to go home. Almost like magic, she got swept off her feet by another force and disappeared, leaving two flabbergasted vampires behind.
“Bella! Come back!”