Kol found it strange now that Bella knew what was going on, her mood significantly improved and she knew how to deal with it a lot better. They talked about their little problem for a day or two, not leaving the apartment and only ordering food in. Getting rid of the mass of cornucopias in their bedroom was hell, but bringing some over to Nik’s house and donating the rest to a nursing home – upon Bella’s request, worked out well enough.
They decided to deal with this new situation the only way they knew how; face it head on and try to embrace this gift, because vampires simply were not able to conceive. Kol did want to share this with the rest of the family as soon as possible, but Bella wasn’t quite sure if she was ready for that just yet.
When they did leave their bubble, they went out to buy two kindles so they could buy books on pregnancy and read from those, brought them back to the house and joined the family for lunch. Much to Kol’s dismay, Lucien Castle was there as well. “Oh, great,” Kol muttered as he protectively put an arm around Bella.
“Aha, the loon! I’m surprised that you’re still out of your box!”
“Lucien, always a pleasure,” he said as he made sure Bella had a seat as far away from Nik’s first sire as possible before sitting down himself. “Bella, meet Lucien, Nik’s little accident after we were first turned.”
“Hi,” Bella said as she reached for a roll and some toppings before she started to build her sandwich. “Uhm, I am sorry for my mood a couple of days ago. Must have been the jetlag or something, I don’t know.” She was still not happy to be at the Compound because it was obvious that most of the Mikaelsons were even more wary of her now. For the moment, at least, she believed that Cami and Myriam were on her side with this. Which was good.
“That’s alright, love,” Klaus mused. “Did you and Kol have fun playing human the last couple of days?”
Bella blinked in surprise and looked at Kol for an answer.
“Yes, Nik, thank you for that question,” Kol quipped as he took his glass of blood and drank from it. “It was quite the experience for her, but I already told you this, no need to bring it up again.”
“I for one, thought it was cute,” Cami piped up. “Hey, you guys should come to Rousseau’s tonight, we’re having a live band playing and it’s going to be great.”
“Sure,” Kol smiled. “Bella and I could use some fun.”
“Great! I have this new cocktail I want you guys’ approval on, seeing as you’ve been all over the world lately, likely tasting so many different things, I could use your tastebuds!”
Bella took a bite out of her sandwich and nodded. Good music was always fun, and bars did serve soda and water, she was going to be alright.
“I’m a bit worried about Bella’s taste buds though,” Myriam laughed as she nodded to Bella’s sandwich. “Jelly and bacon?”
“It’s delicious,” Bella blinked at her friend. “Seriously, you need to try it. It’s salty and sweet!” She held out her sandwich for Myriam to take, but she scrunched up her nose. “Your loss,” she shrugged as she took another bite.
“I thought you wanted to lose weight?”
“I was just bloated… I still am. Who cares? Kol loves me in any shape or form.”
“I must say, Niklaus,” Lucien nearly purred as he sat next to his sire. Bella thought he sounded like a stuck up asshole with marbles in his mouth. “I never believed that your family would be this expansive or this varied. You’ve got your vampire mate, Elijah has a human toy and I don’t know what Bella is, but she’s quite something, too.”
“And mine,” Kol growled. “If you come anywhere near her, I swear I will end you.”
Lucien simply smiled at Kol. “You see, Nik? It’s a good thing that I am here because that lunatic still hasn’t learned to control himself and behave. I’m here to protect you, remember? I’d just box him just to be sure of your safety.”
“Oh, I can’t do that, Lucien.”
“Because of various reasons; one being that I don’t own any of the stakes at this point in time; Finn’s got lost, Elijah’s destroyed and Rebekah has hers on her person. I don’t know what Bella did with Kol’s, but she’s keeping it well hidden,” Klaus said amused. “Don’t fret, Lucien. Kol won’t hurt you.”
“Speak for yourself, Nik,” Kol scowled as he drained his glass of blood. “If he lays a finger on her, he’s mine.”
“Kol and Bella are quite territorial over each other,” Elijah mused. “Best not to poke the proverbial bear.”
When Freya walked in, Bella scooted her chair closer to Kol’s and made herself another sandwich. The oldest Mikaelson meant well and all, Bella knew that, but it still hurt that she believed that Bella would have something to do with the prophecy – Kol didn’t even believe it was real, and neither did she. It was merely something to mess with people’s heads, for sure.
Oh, she knew that family came first, and family was the reason why they were back in New Orleans, so that Klaus could keep his family safe, and for Kol to help out anyway that he could, but right now, Bella wanted to leave until all of this was over. She knew that Kol wouldn’t leave, so she had to stay. She wasn’t going anywhere without him. Not anymore. Not again. So she kept her mouth shut, and she was going to keep her head down. Nothing was going to compromise the safety of the worms inside of her now and she was safe with Kol.
It was best to check herself again now that things in the family had yet again shifted and not in her favor. Quiet and observing in their presence, but herself when home with Kol. They were supposed to go shopping that afternoon for clothes that would fit her more easily and could grow with her. It was a stupid grown up thing to do, they had both agreed while pledging at the same time not to become boring. No, boring was just that.
“Brother,” Freya addressed Kol in her most pleasant voice. “I think it’s time for you to stop playing house. Could you help me with unraveling this prophecy? Perhaps teach me a spell to speed up the process?”
It was almost as if Freya had somehow known that he and Bella had plans that afternoon. Bella understood why they needed Kol’s help, but she wasn’t happy about it.
“Well, actually… Bella and I-”
“Kol, she could really use your help,” Elijah implored him. “Think of it this way; the sooner we are able to debunk this so-called prophecy, the sooner we can all go back to our lives.”
Kol knew this. But he had plans with Bella. Damnit. Turning to her, he gently rubbed her back. “What do you think? Shall we help Freya this afternoon instead? I mean, it’s not as if what we need is that pressing right now, is it?”
“Actually, I’d prefer it if she’d stay clear of our process,” Freya piped up, worriedly. “Perhaps it would be wise if, for now, our extended family stays clear of these meetings. Just in case.”
“Over my dead body,” Myriam said as she slammed her hand on the table before pointing it at Freya. “Get your fucking head out of your ass, Freya Mikaelson. Blood related or not, now that you’re not connected to your stupid crazy aunt, I can kill you with my pinkie. We are not second ranked citizens here, get that through your thick skull.” Myriam then wickedly smiled. “For all we know you’re the architect of this prophecy and the cause of the end result, should it be real, of course.”
“I am not!” Freya breezed.
“And why would I believe you? After all, you are a Mikaelson, very capable of deception and deceit. Who knows? You might be hiding in plain sight!”
“Enough,” Klaus said annoyed. “You’ve made your point, Myriam.”
“Have I?” Myriam huffed before she looked at Kol and Bella. “Kol, don’t you worry about Bella, she and I will do whatever needs to be done today for you guys. I’m due for a nice, relaxed afternoon anyway. I’m not even in the mood right now to go to work! I need retail therapy.”
“Oh bollocks,” Klaus sighed as he fell back in his chair. This therapy was going to cost him.
“Come on, Bella,” Myriam said as she pulled Bella out of her chair. “We’re going shopping. Sorry Cami, we would have invited you but you’re on your way to work anyway, aren’t you?”
“Yep,” Cami nodded before she pecked Elijah’s cheek and followed the other two girls out. “So I’ll see you tonight?”
“Oh, yes,” Myriam smirked as she put an arm around Bella and pulled her closer to her. “Fuck the men, really. Us girls need to stick together.” Cami waved them goodbye and once Myriam was certain that the woman was out of earshot, she turned to Bella with a smirk. “You have a secret.”
“No, I don’t,” Bella shook her head as she looked at her friend. “And it’s fine, Kol and I can go shopping another day, it’s not that important.”
“Tough. I want to shop and I need an accomplice,” the vampire replied before she dragged Bella off into the direction of the shops. “I’ll find out your secret anyway.”
Bella decided to humor Myriam and go shopping with her, but refraining from buying anything herself; she was merely along for the ride and company. It was a shame that Myriam wanted to stay in the Quarter, but on the other hand it was a good thing; Bella and Kol had wanted to go to a promising store in the Garden District, according to the internet it was a hip and cool store for maternity wear; something Bella was going to need by the buckets and she wasn’t going to go for the obvious mother look. No way. Perhaps it was too soon to look for maternity clothes, but the website looked amazing and it was best to buy some now, so she could grow into them as she’d get bigger. It would be less conspicuous that she was pregnant, too. Or, that’s what Bella’s mind told her. She didn’t want to buy bigger normal jeans. She refused. Parading around in a pair of Kol’s pants wouldn’t be an option either.
If Myriam had wanted to shop in the Garden District, Bella’s secret would have definitely come out.
“Alright, spill,” Myriam said as they were having something to drink at Jackson Square, in the sun, open space and the sun on their faces. “What’s going on? I know you don’t like shopping but today you’re taking the sulk to a new level.”
Bella pouted as she took a sip of her bubble tea. “I’m sorry,” she sighed. “I… At the moment I’m very upset with one of my cousins… or uncles… or whatever they are to me.”
“In the old days they liked to fuck around with people. Either literally or figuratively. Sometimes even both ways. You know the mess the Greek Gods were,” she said dismissively, waving her hand. “They’ve stopped influencing people for major events, but occasionally, they do smaller things just for kicks. I mean, those who are still paying attention to the world underneath them, I mean. The others could care less.”
“Ah, something like tricksters or sprites, huh?”
“Sort of,” Bella nodded. “Although what this particular God pulled is no small feat. It’s no joke and it’s impacting others as well with this prank. Because it’s not a fucking prank, it’s messing with someone’s life and especially with what’s going on now, it’s not fair.” There was the anger again. Bella didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, or hit something out of frustration. “I feel… violated – which I’m not, by the way. Not in the physical way. A decision that was very personal was taken out of my hands – our hands.”
“You’re not leaving again, are you?”
“Nah,” Bella smiled at her friend. “Don’t worry about that. It’s something else entirely and the reason behind it is because of the way that Kol and I decided to live our lives so we’re fair game like the rest of the people who roam this planet.”
“You’re scaring me now, please tell me. I promise I won’t tell anyone else.”
She thought about it. It would be nice to have at least someone else in the now until Kol and her were ready to share it with the family. But Bella also knew that Myriam could be overly excited about things. On the other hand, Myriam was also a very powerful ally right now when it came to Bella’s position in the family now that Freya had it out for her for no reason. “It’s still very fresh, Myr, we’re still trying to get used to the idea ourselves, so please…”
“For God’s sake, CeilingCat,” Myriam rolled her eyes at her. “Spill.”
“Hades isn’t just the God of the Underworld. He’s mostly known for it, because that’s what people fear and they usually connect his softer side with another relative because he barely used it. Hades can make the land fertile; much like Demeter and whatnot. Guess what he did?” Bella sighed as she took another sip of her bubble tea while the cogs in Myriam’s head continued to spin. “He offered me this as a reward, only when I was ready and only when I would ask him to, but instead, he said something along the lines of; ‘You live as a human, you have happy little accidents like a human’.”
“Happy little accidents?” Myriam echoed slowly, a frown on her face before she gasped in horror and shock. “Noooo!”
Bella slowly nodded as she bit her lip. “I’d always imagined that maybe in a couple of years, you know… but not now. Now is like the worst timing. Ever.”
Myriam eyed her over and of course, everything made a whole lot of sense now. Bella’s behaviour; her slight weight gain, the jokes around the compound of Klaus having caught Kol at Walmart to buy tests and condoms under the guise of ‘human experiences’… “Oh Bella, you don’t have to worry about the timing, everyone will love your little bundle of joy as it’ll be a Mikaelson! It’s the one thing the entire family hates, not to be able to create blood related offspring, to expand their family… Sure, Rebekah will be quite envious of you, and I have to admit, I wish I could give Klaus a child of his own but your little baby will be so loved by its Aunts and Uncles!”
“Oh, don’t worry,” Bella let out a breath of relief. She had imagined Myriam to squeal like a girl on steroids and hug her senselessly, but was happy that for now, Myriam refrained from doing so. “There will be plenty of babies to go around…” she said as she pat her belly. “There are two of them inside of me.”
Myriam’s eyes nearly fell out of their sockets. “You are going to be huge!” She squealed.
“Kol and I have a lot to think about, yes,” Bella blushed. “And we are. The first thing on the agenda is to move because while the apartment is big enough for a small family, there are too many stairs. Like the one you have to take before getting to our place. It’s what we wanted to look at this afternoon. That, and to get some fashionable clothes that I could grow in to…”
“Will they be supernatural babies? Like hybrids?”
“No, thank fuck they’re not going to be some weird hybrid and inherit some of our abilities,” Bella chuckled. “They’re going to be human. Witches.”
“Maybe you and Kol should move back to the compound,” Myriam smiled at her. “At least for the duration of your pregnancy and then until the babies sleep through the night. Being pregnant isn’t easy, let alone with two babies. And when they’re born, you’re going to have to need all the help you can get. You can have the rooms at the back on the ground floor, I’ll have some workers come in and make sure everything is safe for you and your babies and, because I know you guys love your privacy, have them construct something that will hide your rooms from public view.”
“Discuss this with Kol, please. It’s only temporary and it’ll give you more time to find something you two would love to live in together, or even to buy land and build your own dream home. You’re absolutely right about the stairs being a hazard for you when you get bigger. Or when you have to carry two babies up the stairs. We’ll still leave you alone, give you all the privacy and independence you need, but you’ll be surrounded by family.”
“I don’t want-”
“Oh, don’t worry, I’ll keep that wench far away from you,” Myriam snarled. “I’m this close to snapping her neck anyway, but we do need a witch in our family… or at least one who likes us. She’ll pipe down eventually, I promise.” She then hugged Bella. “You know that Klaus will likely say the same thing, you know, once you and Kol tell him what’s cooking.”
Bella sighed and nodded. “Fine, I’ll discuss it with Kol, but only if you promise me all the things you just offered.”
“Of course!” Myriam huffed, finally letting go of Bella. “I’ll steal Elijah’s pocket book and find a good contractor and have a meeting with him once you and Kol decide that it’s the right thing to do and yes. This will be my project. For you.” She planted a big, sloppy kiss on Bella’s cheek, earning her a scowl. “Oh, I can’t wait to find out what’s cooking!”
“Ugh, Mikaelson boys are the worst!” Myriam said dramatically.
“Hey! We’re both dating one!” Bella laughed. “I’m sure they won’t be as bad, their parents aren’t maniacs.”
“Says who?” her friend replied innocently. “A demi-Goddess and an Original vampire raising babies sounds pretty insane to me!”
Bella let out a snort and took another sip of her bubble tea. “Kol and I will tell everyone when we’re ready, I promise.”
“Don’t wait too long, the building is old, I want to make sure that whatever the contractor does to it stays in the same style.”
She stuck out her tongue to Myriam and raised her tea. “Here’s to never growing up.”