[Normandy, France. September 13, 2014. 8:30 am.]
The last year had been insane, insane but fun. Australia had been so much fun, not only because of it being Australia, but the people were nice. She and Kol were welcomed warmly as guests of a coven near Perth, where they spent about three months before moving and going to Brisbane. The year before Australia, they traveled through the America’s, making sure to stop by Renée and Charlie as they traveled. And now? They were in Europe.
It had taken her a while to get used to having fun without being too responsible about it all. She wanted to plan things, Kol always found her notes and either burned them or hid them from her. She wanted to find a map to guide them through things; he insisted that they didn’t need a map. In the end, she just gave up.
The only somewhat to be considered as a plan they made was to spend her 21st birthday in Paris, and they were currently 3 hours away from it. They’d been here for a couple of days now, exploring the Valley on horseback and having so much fun. The area was beautiful, and there were great places to have a picnic or even have sex at.
On top of that, Kol made her get up way too early after last night’s drinking competition between the two of them. “Where are we going?” She asked as she rubbed her eyes in the passenger seat of their rented car. “Are we going to have breakfast first?”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea right now, but we can have it afterward.”
She narrowed her eyes at him as she fastened her seatbelt. “I thought we were going to Paris?”
“We are,” he laughed. “Not to worry, Cuddles, I promised you we’d be in Paris for your birthday, but I thought I’d surprise you with something else first.”
“You have me officially worried.”
[Normandy, France. September 13, 2014. 9:30 am.]
She looked up at the contraption; it was a disused railway viaduct, and it was far too high in the air for it to be a pleasant way to be on. “No way,” she said, shaking her head violently. “There is no way that I’m going to get up there. Why are we going up there anyway?”
“Well, the view, for one. And two… cure you of your fear of heights.”
“I’m not afraid of heights, Kol.”
“Oh, yes you are,” he laughed as he pushed her towards the lift that didn’t look like much. “If I remember correctly, every single Ferris Wheel we’ve been on, you’ve been trying to climb into me or nearly broke my hand because it was too high up in the air. When we’re flying, you insist on having an aisle seat because you don’t want to risk looking out the window.”
“All those things don’t prove a thing and you know it.”
“The Eureka Skydeck in Melbourne. You didn’t even dare to walk over the glass floors because you were afraid they would break, and we’d plummet all the way down.”
“I’d like to keep on living, thank you very much,” she huffed but allowed him to push her into the elevator.
“That was highly embarrassing,” she noted as she put her arms around Kol as the elevator started to move up and squeezed her eyes shut. “I’m not afraid of heights.”
“Very well, since you’re not afraid of heights, our next activity is something you’ll enjoy,” he planted a kiss on top of her head with a big smile on his face. This was going to be so much fun, although he was probably going to be in need of new eardrums after this experience.
She kept her eyes shut tight as he lead her over the first suspension bridge. It was a shame though because the view was breathtakingly beautiful. “Cuddles, open your eyes, look around,” he laughed as he squeezed her hands. “Nothing’s going to happen. This bridge won’t break, we’ll make it across safely.”
She let out a little whine but opened her eyes anyway, looking straight up at him, meeting his eyes. “I hate you.”
“Look around,” he said encouragingly and stopped pulling her along for a moment. “We’re in The Soulevre Valley, what better spot to see how gorgeous it is than from up here?”
“But I thought we explored it yesterday? Safely on horseback?”
“This is different. Trust me. Look.”
She averted her eyes for a moment to look to the left of her and nodded before focussing back on him. “I did it. You’re right. It’s beautiful.”
“You said you wanted to go on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. How is this any different?”
“I am not afraid of heights.”
He let go of her and turned to proceed to the first platform. It was only a short walk from where they were currently at and waited for her there. The first few minutes were just her staring at him, angrily before she gave in and joined him on the platform. He rewarded her with a kiss before pushing her out in front of him to make the journey to the next platform one she had to do on her own. It still puzzled him where she got these flashes of bravery from, but she marched on, probably with her eyes closed, and they made it to the next platform with ease.
It was then that Bella realized what they were going to do, and she wanted to walk back, but Kol stopped her from running away. A wicked grin was plastered on his face as one of the people who worked there secured a harness on her and him. He had informed them that he’d jumped before, but that his girlfriend was a wuss and would probably chicken out. Was this mean of him? It probably was, but it was so worth it to suffer from a shattered eardrum. He could have been crueler by having her jump all by herself, but she would be securely fastened onto him, and she would be fine.
“I fucking hate you!” She screamed as he let themselves fall off the edge and were in freefall for a while.
He loved the feeling of nothingness and the adrenaline coursing through his veins. “I love you too!” He laughed as he held on tight.
“What?” Bella’s eyes snapped open, forgetting for a moment that she was currently flying through the air on an elastic band. “What did you just say?”
“That I love you!”
She let out a scream as the elastic pulled them back up before they fell again. “I love you too, but I still hate you!”
[Accessing current feeds]
[January 15, 2311. VacTrain 345b. Destination: Richmond, VA. Estimate duration: 10 minutes.]
“How does it feel?” Sam asked as she watched the newly resurrected witch chomp down on a steak sandwich. In the past 300 years, she had learned a lot about the supernatural community and what it truly involved hanging around with her mate, Niklaus. Nothing should surprise her anymore, but to have witnessed the passing of Daisy and Bella’s resurrection was something that she hadn’t seen before.
“I died an old woman after having lived a full life. While I appreciated it that they couldn’t get to my bones and get me back in my own body, it takes getting some used to,” Bella said with a full mouth. “But I feel energized, young, springy. I even think that Daisy was some sort of gymnast because no bones are creaking.” She took a large gulp from her soda and eyed the vampire. “You need to start filling me in right now if you’re taking me straight to them. Forget about the technology shit. What’s going on with Klaus and Kol?”
Sam let out a deep breath. “What’s not going on? Look, I’ve only learned of Mystic Falls’ mystical significance in the last fifty years or so after we got rudely booted from New Orleans by one of your relatives.”
Bella let out a snort. “Seriously? Why did he do that?”
“Klaus kept watch over your lineage, made sure that no one would go after them. In a way, he hoped to see your face again or at least someone who resembled Kol when he was a human. I was with him, but he was lonely after Elijah and Rebekah left. I couldn’t fill that hole on my own and Klaus seemed to realize that, and he made a few boys vampires to keep him company. Fifty years ago, James Edward Mikaelson had enough. While he was grateful that Rebekah had found his ailing son Elijah in New York and turned him into a vampire, he had not expected that Klaus would kill another simply out of frustration.”
“Go James,” she said, taking another sip of her drink. “So that’s why you set up shop in Mystic Falls? Why not somewhere else?”
“As you may or not be aware, they lived there for a while 800 years ago or something and returned in 2010. I don’t know; maybe he got homesick. And the first 20 years it was fine, we ran into some old acquaintances of his, and he just liked toying with them but he snapped. One day Klaus just snapped and said ‘the hell with it’ and made a witch resurrect his brother.”
“I take it he used his ashes?”
“Yep,” Sam nodded. “And I’m sorry but he’s just like Niklaus, if not worse.”
“Worse, probably. He hated being a vampire.”
“It started innocent enough with them compelling the whole town for stupid shit. As of right now, they’ve killed a handful members of the founding families and the capable ones are trying to either kill them or find a way to get them out of Mystic Falls. Even Klaus’ acquaintances are willing to help out. This Caroline Forbes entity went to find Elijah and Rebekah and Damon and Stefan Salvatore are currently trying to stop Kol and Klaus from creating more chaos in my absence.” Sam continued evenly, watching Bella as she finished her drink. “They set the courthouse on fire two days ago, and I hated to leave, but I had to get you before they do something irreversible. They’ve done a lot more, but I didn’t sign up for this. I know Klaus has a temper and a thirst for fun, but this is too much. They’ll soon destroy the town if we give can’t stop them. Seeing as they’re THE originals… there isn’t a lot we can do. But you can, right?”
“For how long have Elijah and Rebekah abandoned Klaus?”
“300 years, give or take.”
[Mystic Falls, VA. January 15, 2311. 3:43pm.]
While the train had reminded her of an airplane but then many times faster, the car they drove into Mystic Falls from Richmond was fully automated. There was no driver, and that was ridiculous. Sam informed her that fewer traffic accidents happened this way seeing as computers were infallible up to a certain extent and that driving a car had never been safer. The car reminded Bella of sitting in a tin can or whatever, very exposed in it’s almost egg-like shape.
She knew she was bound to see more changes along the way, 300 years was a long time. For the first time in her life, she realized that this must have been the same feeling that Kol must have felt. After waking up again after his siblings decided that he had been a nuisance and daggered him for years on end. The world was unrecognizable, alien, even.
Richmond had been surrounded by man-made hills – dunes – and machinery to make sure that the rest of Virginia wasn’t going to get flooded. According to Sam, Norfolk and a large chunk of Washington had been washed away by the rising water. The only reason there was still so much of New Orleans was that engineers had cut Louisiana loose from the land it connected to. They had then raised the state above sea level by pumping sand filled with self-replicating nanobots underneath it around a hundred years ago.
Nanobots, it had always been a thing out of a science fiction movie, Bella couldn’t believe the technology was actually there now. It pleased her, however, to see that much of the old buildings in Mystic Falls weren’t replaced by a new version of them as she had seen in Richmond. It still had its charm. Bella had been to Mystic Falls once, for a day, when she and Kol were traveling around America, and he wanted to show her the place where he died the first two times. She had found it a little bit morbid, but Kol had crazy ideas anyway.
They pulled up to the square, and the courthouse was indeed looking quite charred. It had some sort of foam around it, and Sam explained that it were tiny robots trying to rebuild the courthouse as soon as possible. Mystic Falls was a monumental little town now with tourists coming in from all over the world; a burnt down building would definitely be undesirable.
Bella stopped Sam from getting out of the car for a moment and told her to keep the engine running for a moment so that neither Klaus or Kol could accidentally hear them. “Don’t tell them who I am.”
Sam smirked. “I wasn’t planning to; those two deserve some shit.”
“I don’t know if I can be this super witch you’ve been lead to believe that I am; I’m still a bit wobbly, and I’m definitely out of practice.”
“As long as you have enough juice to make sure that they don’t see you as lunch, you’ll be fine.” She had been reading in the book that Mandy had brought them as to kill the time for when Bella would come to. It was old, but it spoke of how Bella and Kol made a great team back in the day, working in tandem with Klaus against the wolves to restore the balance. It had been an interesting read indeed, and it was strange why it had been kept out of the digital updates the kids these days were so in to.
She nodded and took a deep breath as she tried to look into the rear view mirror to fix her hair. Another change was the color of her eyes – they were blue now – and her height. She estimated that she was about 3 inches shorter, but then again, Kol would be a little bit shorter himself, not by much, but still shorter. “How do I look?”
“Appetizing.” Sam shut off the car before getting out. “Don’t be nervous. It’ll be fine. Don’t get eaten because I do not want a bunch of angry witches getting their revenge for allowing you to get bit.”
Appetizing, Bella thought and mentally braced herself. Right. With two out of control Original vampires and a normal one being Klaus’ mate, she was going to have a hard time not ending up as a snack. She hoped that both Klaus and Kol would know better than to take a chunk out of her. She at least deserved that courtesy.
The sound of Klaus and Kol’s laughter could be heard out of the open window of the restaurant when she passed it and paused for just one second to listen to it. She had missed the sound of their laughs. Even now that Kol was back in his original body, the laugh stayed the same; music to her ears, although she could hear a little bit of sadness in it and her heart broke. She was sad too that they were back amongst the living as it had never been their intention.
She let out a breath and followed Sam into the Mystic Grill, not surprised by how modern it all looked and the number of vampires there were actually in it. Two were actually dueling with what looked like spoons while the others sat quietly on the side, looking at the two dueling. They looked like the Salvatore brothers, but surely, they would have been smart enough to move away from Mystic Falls and not stick around for 300 year? It didn’t require a genius to figure out that Klaus and Kol had compelled them for their enjoyment.
“My love!” Klaus greeted Sameen heartily. Bella could see him sitting next to Kol, on top of the bar with a bottle of bourbon in his hand. “You have returned!”
“And you brought a snack,” Kol replied, lingering on the ‘k’. He looked so handsome as he looked at her as if she was indeed a snack. Hunger and lust flashed over his face, followed by pain but quickly covered up with hunger again.
All Bella wanted to do was to close the space between them, drag him off the bar and kiss him. And to tell him that everything was going to be okay because she was back now, and she was going to fix things for him. But he and Klaus had been bad, and they needed to be set straight. If Elijah wasn’t here to do it, then she was going to have to. “What the fuck,” she exclaimed from her spot near the exit.
“Oh, and such a dirty mouth too,” Kol said with a grin.
“She’s not a snack,” Sam said as she joined her mate’s side and took a swig of bourbon before pointing at the two spoon fighting vampires. “Really, Niklaus? You compelled your babysitters?”
“I don’t need babysitters, love,” he replied, snatching the bottle out of her hand and took another swig. “Besides, they’re so good at it; it’s great entertainment.”
“You’re no fun,” Klaus said as he pushed the bottle back into Sameen’s hands and tapped the Salvatore brothers on their shoulder to make them look at him. “You can stop now. Feed on the human.”
“I said, the human isn’t a snack.”
Bella looked at the two advancing vampires and held her hand up to create a shield and started to push them back before walking into the grill. “I’d like to have a sandwich, I’m hungry,” she stated as she looked at her beautiful Kol. “Make me one?”
He let out a snort in return and took a swig of his bottle. “How about I put you in a sandwich and eat you, darling?”
“Oh, no, thanks,” Bella said, slamming the two vampires who came at her against the wall. “I’ve tried that kind of a sandwich before, wasn’t really what I wanted.”
“You must have some nerve to walk in here as if you own the place,” Klaus said as he watched Stefan and Damon get smacked against the wall again. Compelled vampires were a great source of entertainment.
“I could,” Bella said with a nod. “You know, own the place. The courthouse is just across the … oh no, wait, you burnt that down. Silly me. Blonde,” she said with a giggle and smacked the two vampires against the wall again before simply snapping their necks as they kept advancing. She then reached out her hands and smacked the two bottles of liquor out of the two original vampires’ hands. “I think the two of you need a time out.”
Klaus growled as he looked at Sameen. “You brought a witch back?”
Sameen shrugged for an answer.
“You’re supposed to be on my side.”
She simply rolled her eyes at him.
“Where did you dig up this witch?” Kol asked. The short, blonde girl intrigued him. The way she held herself was majestic as if she – indeed – owned the place. She was fearless. The only human in a bar filled with vampires. All Klaus had to do was to release his inner circle from their compulsion, and they’d be on top of her within a flash. “Is this a gift from you to me?” He smirked at Sameen, who shrugged her shoulders again. “Is she supposed to be my snack?”
“Maybe I’m supposed to be worshipping you, Kol Mikaelson,” Bella said with a soft purr as she unapologetically pushed Klaus into a table for being an ass and took a few steps towards him. “Look at you, all handsome with your dark brown eyes and your hair… god, your hair is on point today,” she said breathlessly.
Kol swallowed hard as this pocket-sized blood bag advanced on him. She was intriguing. “You know of me?”
“Of course,” she said simply as she nodded towards Klaus. “Him too, but I’m not interested in him. He’s just a loser who can’t do much without his siblings to support him.”
Klaus let out a low snarl that ended up sounding as if a dog was being kicked. Why wasn’t Sameen doing anything? Why did she bring this witch to the Mystic Grill? Only to fuck with their heads? What was his love up to? Did she bring the witch as a potential mate for Kol?
“The witches sing the praises of the handsome Kol Mikaelson, who reunited the covens over 300 years ago. How he freed them from the harvest for once and for all,” Bella stood right in front of him, looking up at him through her lashes. “How does it feel to see a few of your lineage turned into the thing you detest being?”
Anger and hurt flashed across his face as he hopped off the counter and stood toe to toe with the little witch. He could easily snap her in half if he wanted to. “How dare you,” he breezed.
“Hmm…” Bella exaggerated her thinking pose by tapping on her lips as she looked up to the ceiling before launching Kol off his feet and dragged him across the bar a few times before Klaus threw her across the grill. “Ow,” she said, rubbing her head as it hit the wall. “Careful now, this body isn’t indestructible.”
Sam pulled Klaus with her to a corner. “Leave them be,” she whispered calmly.
“Oh, don’t do that,” Bella said to Sam. “Niklaus is more than welcome to vent his frustration and anger on me. I can take it.”
“I’d rather not see him get hurt.”
“Ah, but he deserves it. You told me that they both deserved a good ass kicking.”
Kol snorted and closed the gap between himself and the witch, picking her up from the floor by the throat and pushed her against the wall. “Who are you?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know,” she replied with a strained voice, her feet kicking underneath her, trying to kick him so he’d let her go. Bella realized she had tapped out of her magic for the time being, and that sucked. “Please, Kol, let me go.”
Kol breezed as he kept looking at her, squeezing her throat shut, thinking of his options. Yes, he had been bored, and he could have a lot of fun with this witch, screwing her brains out, for one. He could do with a human pet. Raging against Niklaus for 30 years had been great but it was tiresome because, in the end, he could understand why his brother had resurrected him. Both Elijah and Rebekah had abandoned him, and it was something Kol would never do, despite their differences. Then again, what was he going to do with a human pet? They never lasted long with him. He’d probably burn her out in a matter of days, she didn’t look that sturdy. As he was weighing his options, Sam put her hand on his arm and gently pat him on his back.
“Let her go, big guy,” she said calmly. “The witch doesn’t deserve your wrath and you don’t want to kill this particular witch if you want to be left in peace.”
“Why is that?”
“All the more reason to kill her,” he said as he squeezed a little tighter, loving how the color drained from the girl’s face.
Sam looked at Bella and sighed. “I have to tell him or he’ll kill you.”
“Tell me what?”
Bella let out a strangled noise; she had wanted to do so much more, fuck more with Kol’s head before revealing who she was. However, she hadn’t counted on her magic still being on the fritz, even though she could have expected it seeing as she just came back to life a few hours ago.
“You’re strangling your wife,” Sam whispered before stepping back as Kol immediately dropped the girl to the floor.
Bella gasped for air as she scrambled to her feet, looking angrily at Sam for telling Kol, but one look at Kol made her realize that he didn’t quite believe Sam to begin with. It had been the shock that made him drop her. “Honey, I’m home?” she said with a raspy voice and tried to smile.
“No, I don’t believe you,” Kol said to Sam before walking back to the bar to fetch himself a fresh bottle of hard liquor. “This is low, Sam, even for your standards.”
It only took one look at Sameen for Klaus to realize that his love was speaking the truth and blinked at Bella, who was still trying to compose herself. The girl had blonde hair and blue eyes; she was shorter and she smelled different but it made sense why she honed in on Kol so much when she got in. He then looked at his compelled vampires and told them to leave the grill because this was something they didn’t have to watch. Neither Kol or Bella deserved that, and it was good to give them some space. “I’m so screwed,” he muttered as he sat down and pulled his mate in his lap.
“Yes, yes you are,” Sam replied and gently pat his head.
Bella made her way over to the bar and tapped herself a glass of water as she looked at Kol, anger and grief set on his face. “It’s me,” she said as she reached for him, but he pulled away. She rounded the bar and sat down on a stool next to him. “For my 21st birthday you promised we’d be in Paris, but we weren’t. You took me bungee jumping in another attempt of curing my fear of heights and in all of the excitement of the jump you confessed you loved me. You told me you loved me, and I told you I loved you too. That was the first time we expressed that verbally to each other.”
Kol looked at her as he took a sip of his drink. “And we used to tell that story to our children and grandchildren. Parts of that story surely must have survived all these years.”
Bella sighed. “When we were in Finland, I was in labor of our first daughter. I was in so much pain, and you proceeded to ask me to marry you. I scolded you for always picking the wrong time to tell me things.”
He snorted, but a small smile appeared on his face of that memory. “Yet again, a story for the grandchildren.”
Bella set her jaw and looked over her shoulder, looking at Klaus and Sam. They were acting as if they weren’t listening in, but Bella knew better. She then looked back at Kol and grinned. “Both Patrick Swayze movies, Ghost and Dirty Dancing, girl movies, make you cry.”
Klaus’ laughter filled the Mystic Grill. “Is that true?”
“Oh yeah, every single time,” Bella said with a grin as she caressed Kol’s cheek. “The flood gates open when they do that last dance in the movie where Johnny lifts Baby into the air. She finally trusted him enough to perform that lift. So beautiful.” She turned Kol’s face to look at him. “That night we had the horses in Normandy, we stripped off all of our clothes and rode them naked until we found the perfect spot to make love underneath the stars. The horses then got spooked when we accidentally had a magical discharge.”
“You’re here?” He asked softly as he looked at her, hope flashing all over his face. “It’s really you, Cuddles?”
Bella felt how a tear escaped from her eye. “You have no idea how long I’ve waited to hear you say that to me again.”
Kol grabbed her face with both his hands and kissed her greedily.
Sam looked at Klaus and sighed. “Damn, I forgot to get the popcorn out,” she deadpanned. She was glad that in the end, it worked out, but Bella had been too close to dying. If she was going to have to do what the witches wanted from her, she needed to be breathing. At least for now, the town of Mystic Falls would be a lot safer as they had a lot to talk about, a lot of catching up to do. Bella was the distraction that both Klaus and Kol needed right now, and Sam could take a breather. It had been a long 300 years, but there was finally light at the end of the tunnel.