A/N: This is a companion piece to chapter 6 of Neon Light by Meeko. Read that one first before reading this one, or read this one first and have a chance to be spoiled.
He had moved her to her bed during the evening as she kept stirring and there was a potential for her to fall off the sofa and had tucked her in. Her bedroom was like an oasis of calmness, peace and relaxation. It smelled of Lavender, and it was beautiful. He felt as if he was intruding on her personal space and headed back to the living room. Kol knew that Ann was probably going to yell at him when she woke up again, for not going to the basement and entering her private haven, but he wanted to be close by so he could keep an eye on her.
Kol had been dozing on the sofa when he heard the door of Ann’s bedroom open and her stumbling out of the room. He sat up and nearly got his head taken off by a baseball bat. “Oh, hey!” he called out as he ducked and fell off. “Easy darling, my head is squishy! But an excellent choice of weapon, if I may say so myself.”
“What the fuck are you doing in my house?” She grumbled as she dropped the bat. “I could have taken your head off with this thing.”
“You do that every morning? What are you afraid of?” he asked when he got back on his feet and looked at her. She didn’t look that rested.
“Nothing,” she muttered as she made her way to the kitchen. “Why aren’t you in the basement?”
“Because I was trying to keep an eye on you after last night. How are you feeling?”
She paused for a moment after switching on her coffee maker and turned around, facing him. After a while, she slowly nodded. “Confused, yeah, I think that’s the right word.”
“Well, you sound more coherent than you did last night,” he replied as he approached her. “You said something about a witch unlocking Bella’s powers?”
“That was true,” she nodded again and turned to make breakfast. She had some smoked salmon in her fridge after her shopping spree at the Church, and she was going to make sandwiches. “A witch performed a blood spell to awaken Bella’s true self. And mine along with it. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way, you know.”
“You said that too,” he acknowledged. “Yours too? But you told me you weren’t a witch.”
“I don’t know what I am, but I do know that Bella’s a Valkyrie and to help her, we need to do research on that because that part of me doesn’t believe in this shit. Valkyries were supposed to be a myth.”
“A Valkyrie? Not a Valkyrie related witch?”
“Oh, no, she’s a Valkyrie alright. That image I saw of her before all of this? Yeah, she’s a powerful weapon, and there might be more of her because from what I remember from my history lessons from Grandpa, they traveled in flocks,” she put some slices of bread in a toaster and sighed, already anticipating his next question. “I don’t know how I know she’s a Valkyrie, but I know, okay?”
“Okay,” Kol made his way over to her and leaned against the kitchen counter, looking at her. “But are you alright? Like… are you feeling any different than yesterday?”
Ann smirked at that. “Depends in what way. I’m a little sore after our adventure, which reminds me, did you-”
“Of course I did,” he huffed as he crossed his arms over his chest. “Stop changing the subject.”
She nudged him gently with her hip and nearly dropped the salmon on the floor when a wave of images and sounds washed over her. A hand on skin, the sensation pleasurable. She followed the hand as it trailed over the skin and gasped when the hand reached the wet opening, a finger slipping inside. She managed to get the salmon on the counter as she held on to Kol. This vision was far too real to a vision of hers. When the image’s point of view shifted, she nearly threw up. “Oh that’s gross,” she muttered as she shuddered and tried to shake it out of her head. “Oh, that’s gross. Oh, it needs to stop. Now. Please, stop.”
“Ann? What’s wrong?” Kol asked as he gently rubbed her back.
“My ability to see things has… become… annoying,” she said with a groan, disgusted by what she was still seeing. Something so private, so tender, and she was witness to it. Well, this wasn’t happening now, but in the future, but still. She filled a glass with water and took a few sips from it as the vision finally disappeared out of her head. “Oh, that… I don’t want that to happen again.”
“Tell me; I can help.”
“No, I’m not going to share this with you! It’s bad enough that I had to see it! Do you want to know about your brother’s sex life?”
“Yeah, that,” she grabbed the toast from the toaster and put them on plates before dressing them in some lettuce and salmon. She then grabbed a lemon for some lemon juice to squeeze over it and handed him a plate. “So, is there an off switch for these kinds of things? Because I don’t want to see this ever again.”
“Uh… I don’t know… I’d have to talk to some seers to find out? Probably. I know a harvest girl, maybe she knows something. Would you like me to talk to her?”
“What can a farmer’s girl do?” She poured the coffee into two mugs and set them on the table before joining Kol.
“No, I said harvest. The witches have this thing…” he wanted to tell her the story and then looked at her. “Right. You don’t know anything about witches.”
“Well, I know some things, but not everything. They come into my shop and all, you see,” she smirked as she took a sip of her coffee, allowing the hot liquid soothe her throat and warm her bones. While they ate their breakfast, Kol gave her Witch 101, especially about the witches in New Orleans, how they practiced ancestral magic and that every three hundred years or so their power would fade until a bloody sacrifice would be made by four girls, who’d later be resurrected. His friend was one of those witches. “Well, if you think she has some answers on how to deal with the icky stuff, then sure, talk to her.”
“Right. I’ll do that right before I go my siblings and tell them all about you.”
She eyed him sharply.
“Well, that you’re harmless and all. Not your deepest, darkest secrets,” he said, winking at her. “I’d like to keep those to myself.”
Ann huffed as she got up to clear the table. “I need to open the store,” she said as she placed the dishes in the sink. “Now that you’re up here, you might as well do the dishes for me.”
“Sure,” he laughed as he watched her retreat to her bedroom to get changed. “But don’t you think we should figure this stuff out first, though?” He called after her. “Isn’t that more important?”
“Today’s the busiest day of the week, I can’t just-” her voice sounded before she got quiet again. “Oh, oh, that’s just great,” she said sarcastically. “I’ve never heard of this! This is stupid!”
Her head popped out the door and sighed. “I’m supposed to be helping the six Valkyries.”
“Bella’s not the only one,” Ann replied before walking out of her room, fully dressed and taken no time at all. She was brushing her hair as she looked at him. “Uhm… best to take some books to the store and I’ll help you research when I can.”
“What are you talking about? You supposed to be helping six Valkyries? I haven’t heard of that before,” Kol said as he walked over to the bookcase, ignoring the journal-like books for now. “I thought they answered to the Gods?”
“How am I supposed to know?” She retorted and poured herself a mug of coffee before walking out the door to the store. “Yuck! Your brother is freaky between the sheets! I need to figure out how to turn this shit off; this isn’t funny.”
“I didn’t need to know that, thanks!” Kol said as he looked at the books and contemplated to text his brother about the latest discoveries, but while he knew that something magical was going on, he wasn’t sure what. It would hardly be fruitful if he’d say that something was up but without knowing anything concrete, other than that he and his Valkyrie girlfriend were freaky in bed. That would be embarrassing.
Best was to go and talk to Davina later, see if she had any insights that could help Ann and then tell his siblings about the knowledge he gathered. Starting with these books about Norse Mythology; some looked ancient, others were newer, and the older ones were written in Nordic runes. He was rusty in that language, but he hoped that Ann had lied to him about knowing the language.
He didn’t like it when people lied to him; it was easy enough to combat that as a vampire as a simple compulsion would ensure truth. But he loved it as a human, for some reason, despite hating it at the same time. It kept him on his toes. And in all honesty; if Ann had been skating around the edges of truth, she had probably done it for her own protection.
Everything in her house screamed ‘protection’, now that he thought about it. That the guest bedroom was in the basement, that he wasn’t allowed in the house. The way she exited her bedroom with a bat this morning, it had seemed so natural, as if she’d been doing that for a while now. There were protective runes hidden underneath the wall decorations, there was even one carved in the shelf of the book closet, but he hadn’t told her that he had found them.
Deep down, she was afraid and he wasn’t quite sure why. Either because she had been grown up to believe that everyone was going to be after her, or she’d gone through some pretty nasty stuff. And Kol found himself even more intrigued with her than he had been only two days before.
When he joined her in the store a few minutes later, she was holding her head as she leaned against the counter. The lights were still out, and the store still closed. He put the books on the table and made his way over to her. “Ann, don’t focus on what’s going on inside your head right now.”
“Easy for you to say,” she winced as she rubbed her temples. “One of the Valkyries – I don’t know who or where they live before you ask – is having a dentist appointment soon and she’s not using any sedation. There’s this hook they’re using to measure bone density and how far it’s receded after some serious neglect and it fucking hurts! I swear I’ll tell this person to get sedated before she gets into the chair!”
He held her hands and pulled them away from her head while his eyes looked for hers. He felt sorry for her. He knew very well what it was like to have this power and not to have any control over it. The first time he had experienced blood lust after becoming a vampire had been a confusing time, and it took him a while to get it under control. “Breathe,” he said kindly. “And I still don’t think you’re in a state of opening the shop today.”
“I’ll have to suck it up,” she said as she gazed into his beautiful eyes. “This is nothing. I can live with this,” she flinched when another image of the hook digging into the gums flashed her mind. “I mean, this is much better than seeing someone get intimate with someone.”
“You’re not going to stop mentioning seeing Bella and Elijah have sex, are you?”
“Nope. It was… horrific. I mean, I’ve watched porn but…”
Kol let out a frustrated sigh as he let go of her hands and went to unlock the door and switched on the lights. “How’s your Norwegian?”
“Rusty,” she shrugged, grateful for the change of subject, as she rounded the counter, took a sip of her coffee and started to put the kettle on. “I know my way around the language, but don’t ask me to speak it.”
“That’s fine,” he laughed as he pointed at the books. “I figured I’d bring some of the older ones with me to sift through. I have to admit; I’m not a master of the language anymore either. I am familiar with so many languages, and it’s been a very long time…”
“Don’t worry, between the two of us, we can figure it out,” she smiled at him as she started to prepare for the orders she was surely going to receive today. “Any idea as to why Valkyries are needed in this day and age?”
“Maybe the cosmic energies don’t believe we can handle our Aunt Dahlia all by ourselves. Other than that, I’m not aware of any major threat against the world.”
“Against the world?” she laughed and shook her head. “Please. It’s not as if you’re that important.”
Kol glared at her, quiet, almost angry before letting a drawn out breath. She really needed to brush up on her local history. “Perhaps not,” he said casually before sitting down at the table and opened a book. “But as it happens, not everything my family has done over the past 1000 years comes with mayhem and destruction.”
“Yep. I mean, Elijah often used his power of persuasion and his charm to get the right person in charge when it came to leading a village or a country. I mean, for instance, hadn’t Elijah used his influence, the Civil War could have ended more bloody, with far more casualties. Niklaus likes to hang around with the artists. He used to hang around with Peter Parler in the 1300’s, an architect who later became head mason of some church in Prague. And in the 1800’s, during the height of post-impressionism, he was drinking buddies with Cezanne and Van Gogh. The cutting off the ear thing? Niklaus’ fault. Or so he told me.”
“Tall tales,” she snorted and took a sip of her coffee.
“No, I already told you, Nik and Elijah built this city, haven’t you been listening?”
She was quiet for a moment and then nodded. “Yes, yes I have. I’m sorry. Information overload and all… the last two days have been pretty bizarre.” She quickly put her coffee underneath the counter and started to make a pot of tea with the recently boiled water as the first customer came in.
It was a couple of witches that she’d seen before, and she couldn’t help but notice Kol trying not to be seen and using a book as a cover. She’d ask him about his behavior later. “Denise, good morning,” Ann greeted her warmly. “What will it be today?”
“Good morning, Ann,” she smiled back and thumbed over her shoulder. “Is that Kol Mikaelson?” she asked in a hushed voice, to Ann just shrugged. “Anyway, do you have some Vetiver Oil?”
“Ah, no,” she replied with a smile. “I run a tea shop, not an esoteric oil one. I can, however, give you some Vetivert reeds, if you wish. You can draw your own oil from it, or, make a tea from it.”
“Yes, okay, sure. And some dried Juniper berries would be lovely. I can get the other ingredients easy in the supermarket.”
“But they won’t be organic.”
“I don’t care; it doesn’t matter,” Denise smiled as Ann prepared the little bags and handed them over. “How much is it?”
“Free. I think you need to find something and I don’t think that parting with your money will help with your journey.”
“What? Whatever it is, it must be important seeing as your companion is trying to grab more sachets,” Ann said, looking directly at Denise’s partner. “And pick up the pieces of paper and plastic that you’ve just dropped. Do not mistake my generosity for ignorance or naivety. You have your herbs, and I hope that the next time you come into my store, you’ll treat my home with respect.”
“Geez, Ann, what’s gotten into you?”
“I skipped my meditation,” she eventually said with a smile. “Tea?”
“No, thanks. And thanks for the herbs. Come, Jamie,” Denise replied as she tugged on her friend’s coat and they quickly left the store.
“If you’re going to bad mouth every customer you have today, you’d better close up before you alienate your clients,” Kol remarked from his spot at the table. “You know, you could open up later if you need an hour to yourself, it’s not as if you’re currently in your right mind.”
“I am,” Ann poured herself a cup of the calming tea that she’d been making. “I can do this; I just need to focus.”
It took her a few cups of tea to settle her down, and Kol didn’t like the line of questioning she had while they explored the books in between helping customers. Such as that technically, his and his siblings were all Vikings – well, biologically, he and Finn could be ruled out, and Rebekah unless she’d returned to her normal self- so was Dahlia, so was Freya, so was Mikael. But Elijah was born in the old world; that’s where he differed with the rest of his family.
Kol hadn’t liked the question and didn’t want to press Ann, but she kept quiet on it anyway. Occasionally, she’d close her eyes and shudder, as if trying to push images out of her mind. Over the course of the day, Ann informed him that two supposedly awakened Valkyries were back to their normal selves after having shown their abilities to mortals, non-supernaturals. Funny enough, that idea could be found in a few of the books there.
The stories about Valkyries varied, but they either were swans or ravens or were depicted as such. Should a mortal see them in their full, Valkyrie glory, they’d turn to swans or ravens for good, for the rest of their lives. It was either that or Odin would either kill them or take away their powers.
Ann was able to tell that these modern day Valkyries, like Bella and the remaining three unknowns, were slightly different than the ones depicted in lore and myths. It had been clear to Ann that Bella had latched on to Elijah, fallen for him immediately as if there had been a magnet pulling her towards him.
Bella escaping the Dowager house with Freya and Rebekah hadn’t been a coincidence. Whether they knew it or not, Elijah was Bella’s now. Bella didn’t have to be responsible for hundreds of warriors. It was the Mikaelsons she was responsible for now and should she have to take one of her ‘warriors’ to Valhalla, that it would likely be Elijah, as that’s who she had taken a liking to.
It was fascinating to see how reading up on the material made Ann awaken even further, the information she came up with was clear, and Kol couldn’t find a flaw in her reasoning, although it was still possible that she was making things up. Yes, he hated himself for thinking that way, but it almost seemed too easy.
The books were telling stories about how Valkyries would entertain their chosen warriors in Valhalla by day, making sure they were happy in every way possible – feeding them, having sex with them, cheer them on during mock battles, massages, and everything else that would please a man’s ego, so that at night, they would fight for Odin. Ann said that it would likely be another day instead of the night, that time in Valhalla was different and yes, Valhalla still existed. Even with the modern day Valkyries.
“Basically, she’s a whore,” Kol pointed out.
“A very powerful whore you shouldn’t piss off,” Ann nodded as she got up to get them some more tea and sandwiches, but she nearly fell and hit her head if it hadn’t been for his quick reflexes. “Ow…”
“What is it?” Kol asked worriedly as he set her back on the chair and locked the door to the shop. “Something wrong?”
“I don’t know… Bella’s up to something. Something really powerful. Everyone’s there. It’s in a warehouse, and she’s on the floor, I don’t know…”
“Is she still alive?”
“Yeah… it’s possible she tapped herself out… I just… ow, that hurt,” she sighed as she rubbed her temples. “She can’t keep doing this, she needs to take it easy for a while; this wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Her powers needed to come gradually, not at once!”
He lifted her out of the chair again and started to walk her towards her apartment above the shop. “Okay, that’s enough for today. Enough research and enough customers and certainly enough visions. You’re going to rest, and I’m going to talk to my witchy friend about your visions and then go to my siblings to inform them about all of this. I’ll be back later.”
“I’m not objecting,” Ann said as she had her arms wrapped around his neck. “Will you bring back some food?”
“Of course,” Kol huffed. “I’m not a savage!”
His first stop was Davina. He hadn’t seen her in a while, and he didn’t know how long it would take at the compound, so Davina would be great. However, when he arrived at her place, she looked a little worse for wear.
“What?” She snapped as she readjusted the mountain of blankets over her and sipped her chocolate milk. All she wanted was to sleep or to kill herself or whatever. Sex was good. Maybe Kol would finally have sex with her? “Sorry, I’m uh… a little out of it still.”
“What happened?” He asked worried and squatted down in front of her. “You look as if you’ve been hit by a truck!”
“Because it feels that way!” she whined and poked him in his shoulder. “That little trick of yours, putting your sister in someone else’s body came right back and bit us all in the ass!”
He smirked at that. “Really?”
“It’s not funny, Kol. She’s in- she was sharing her body with the original owner of it. Eva. And she was one bad witch; there’s a reason why Dowager House exists. To put the crazy witches in there.”
“I was told that Eva showed her face more often,” he tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and noticed the mark on her forehead. It was fading, but it was still there. “What happened?”
“The lunatic took other kids and me and connected herself with us; that’s what,” Davina snapped at him. “She had me for days, Kol. Where were you? Why didn’t you come and find me?”
He sighed and dropped his head in shame. “Elijah and Niklaus asked me to look into something; I’ve been preoccupied.”
“Something involving that super witch Bella?”
“Not a witch, love,” he looked up to her with a smile. “I am sorry.”
“Yeah well, tell your sister to hurry up with finding that spell to disconnect us from your other sister, I hate feeling as if she’s going to do something wrong even though Eva’s been ejected from her own body.”
Nodding, he took her free hand and gently squeezed it. “I understand and I will. I know you’re tired, love, but could I pick your brain for a moment?”
She shot him an incredulous look. “Seriously?”
“Pardon the words,” he said with a slight chuckle. “Let’s say… hypothetically, a new witch has come into her powers, and she’s a medium or a seer or a fortune teller. As she still needs to learn to deal with them, every bit of information, every ghost, comes at her all at once. What could she do to hold them off?”
“Nothing. It’s something she has to figure out on her own because everyone’s different. Some witches I know meditate a lot or use herbs or whatever,” she replied with a shrug, but then her eyes widened. “You’ve been dealing with one? Do you have any idea what your brother could do if he had a seer on his side? Kol, you need to make sure that your brother won’t put his hands on her, he’d be even more of a menace than he already is.”
“Relax, darling,” Kol snorted. “I doubt she has any intention of walking amongst us.”
“But he already has Bella. Well, Elijah has. Klaus would want something powerful of his own.”
“He currently has two sisters who are witches and would do anything he wanted. Don’t worry about him getting a seer or whatever the hell she is.”
“If you say so,” she sighed as she handed him her mug and laid down on the couch. “Was that it?”
“Go to sleep, darling. I’ll come by soon, I promise.” He placed the mug on the table and kissed her forehead before getting to his feet. “Thank you for confirming what I already knew.”
“You’re welcome,” Davina yawned as she pulled her blankets closer and closed her eyes. “Don’t forget to shut the door…”