Author's Note: Thank you all so much for the Follows, Favorites, and Reviews. My two guests, if I could respond to you directly I would, but thank you, I'm very glad you like it!
SPOILER ALERT! Don't read if you haven't seen 3x19 "No More Heartbreaks." This story was born of my frustration/devastation about Cami's death (I loved Klamille!) and the fact that we didn't even get a bro-hug in that episode.
"He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is non occasion of stumbling in him." 1 John 2:10 KJV
Elijah let out a heavy, resigned sigh as he heard the weakened heartbeat upstairs come to a stop, almost hearing a second heart shatter at the same time. He set the glass in his hand on the table and made his way up the stairs to the room where they had laid Camille, Freya following solemnly just behind him. As he entered the room his eyes were immediately drawn to the sight of his little brother's form slumped on the floor by the bed, still holding Camille's hand. His heart tightened painfully as he observed the curly, dirty blond head resting on the joined hands and the shaking shoulders as tremors wracking the frame.
Elijah exchanged a grave look with his elder sister before he walked over to his grief-stricken brother and knelt next to him, placing a hand on his shoulder. "Niklaus," he said softly, "Look at me brother."
Klaus gave no indication that he'd even registered his older siblings' presence. Elijah moved his hand up to gently squeeze the nape of the bent neck. "Niklaus, listen to me brother. Come with me; let Freya take care of Cami now."
Klaus finally raised his head and Elijah was struck with the loss and sheer grief that was written so plainly across his brother's face that a blind man could've seen it. The younger man looked at the still figure on the bed before turning his gaze to Freya.
"I'll look after her, Niklaus. You have my word." She promised with tears in her eyes at the sight of her younger brother's pain.
Klaus looked back at Cami again before slowly laying her hand back on the bed and turning back to Elijah who gripped him by his elbow and helped his unusually docile brother to his feet. Klaus paused for a long moment, staring at the woman who'd changed so much for him since he'd known her. He bent over and pressed a final kiss to her cold forehead.
"Goodbye Camille, thank you." He whispered shakily, a lone tear making its way down his face.
Elijah placed a comforting hand on his little brother's back when he heard the raw pain in the softly spoken words. Klaus stood up and followed the guiding, supporting hand's direction as he left the room with his elder brother. Elijah led him to his own room, somewhere he hoped would be free of any painful reminders of the woman who had stolen his younger brother's heart with her compassion and spirited ways. He steered Klaus to his bed, nudging him to sit. Klaus sat down on the edge of the bed while Elijah removed his suit jacket and poured them each a drink. He held the second glass out and both brothers lifted their glasses in a silent toast to the deceased before draining them. Elijah took the glass out of his brother's trembling hand before he could drop it and placed the glasses back on the table. He removed his shoes, kneeling down to do the same for his somewhat unresponsive sibling.
As he felt his shoes being removed, Niklaus raised his eyes and his devastated blue ones met the sorrowful brown ones of his brother. Elijah saw the tears in the eyes that had shown so many different emotions since the first time he seen them, right after Niklaus had been born. The look on the younger's face reminded Elijah of all the times he had seen a similar expression on his baby brother's face. It was a look that never failed to make him want to do anything to fix whatever was wrong. But this time even he was powerless.
"She's gone, 'Lijah" he said in a small voice, "She's gone and there was nothing I could do to stop it."
Elijah felt his heart break a little more at the words and at the sight of tears racing down his baby brother's face. He sat down next to him and wrapped an arm around the shaking shoulders, his other hand bringing the curly head to his own shoulder. Klaus's arms came up and wrapped tightly around his brother as his hand gripped his shirt so tightly it was if Elijah was the only thing keeping him from completely shattering beyond repair. Elijah just held him tighter, hand running over the soft curls comfortingly, not caring in the slightest that his shirt was being ruined.
He didn't offer meaningless reassurances; he simply held his brother through his grief and whispered, "I'm here. I'm right here, brother."
Elijah couldn't tell you how long they stayed that way and it didn't matter. All that mattered was that his brother needed him and that was all he needed to know.
Eventually he became aware of a stillness that had come over his younger brother. Niklaus moved his head so that his ear was pressed over his older brother's beating heart, a sound that had soothed him for as long as he could remember, and his head was tucked under Elijah's chin. Although the heart-wrenching sobs had ended, Elijah was still aware of the silent tears making their way down his brother's face. Without releasing his hold, he maneuvered them both into a more comfortable position; his back his back against the headboard and his little brother still resting over his heart aware of how the sound of his heartbeat had a soothing impact, and both of their legs stretched out on the bed. He resumed his earlier motion, smoothing down the soft curls as he began to speak softly.
"I won't tell you that everything will be okay or any of that nonsense. I will tell you this: you are not alone, brother. You still have me and Freya, your daughter, and even Hayley. And while I can't speak for anyone except myself, I promise you that you will never be alone or unloved because you will always have me. We may disagree sometimes, Niklaus, but I swore "Always and Forever" to you brother. I will swear to you again. As long as I am on this earth, I will always be your brother and I will always love you. And when you're ready, I will help you kill that impudent stable boy, no matter what it takes." Elijah promised.
Klaus drew in a deep, shuddering breath. Elijah's words meant everything to him. He loved Camille, more than any woman he'd ever met in his long life, but he didn't know what he would do without Elijah. Ever since he could remember, Elijah had been his protector, advocate, confidant, and best friend. He was often the only one who Klaus would listen to, simply because he was the only one who had never given up on him. To know that he could still count on that bond even after a thousand years and countless disagreements and betrayals meant more than words could possibly express. He could only nod against his older brother's chest as the tears wound their seemingly endless way down his face and soaked into the dress shirt under his head. He may be an almost indestructible hybrid now, but he still craved the feeling of safety that he'd always found only around Elijah.
He felt his eyes closing, the emotional toll of the day overtaking him. He drifted off, heart still aching with Cami's loss, but safe in his older brother's arms.
Elijah looked down at the sleeping figure and gave a bittersweet smile. He switched off the lamp and pressed a brotherly kiss to the top of Niklaus's head before resting his cheek on top of the unruly curls. He knew that tomorrow there would be funerals to plan, battle plans to concoct, and enemies to destroy. But for now he was more than content to hold his little brother, guard his sleep, and allow him the comfort and safety he sought. His brother had lost the love of his life, but he hadn't lost everything. He still had his beautiful daughter who adored him and a family that would sometimes fight but ultimately would fiercely defend each other. And Elijah had no intention of letting his brother lose anymore than he already had.
I'd love to hear what you think! If you have a prompt, feel free to hit with with it. :)
BTW, apologies if I mentioned Klaus's hair too much; I may be a wee bit obsessed with it. ;)