Warning: Doucheward is a douche. No details in story, no trigger warning warranted.
Trigger warning: Bella's unofficial diagnosis is Autism, there are parts in this story that deals with the not-so-pretty side (depression, mental break, asylum). No real/gory details mentioned throughout the story, but it's skimmed upon.
Author's Note: Timeframe: During season 3 of The Originals. Story turned out way bigger than it was supposed to, so I'll be writing a sequel. I am Autistic with an anxiety disorder on the side. My door is always open if you need to talk.
Author's Note: Written for the Fandom For Mental Health fundraiser. This story was exclusive to the compilation they put out. Nearly 4500 USD was raised for charities concerning Mental Health!
Bella always liked watching the newcomers arrive at the cemetery. She usually sat perched on one of the tombs as the newly consecrated witch appeared on the Ancestral Plane, usually with a confused look on their face and unsure what to do next. Bella wasn't a people person, and it took many years for her Ancestors to realize that they should just leave her be. If she wanted to have someone to talk to; she would seek someone out herself.
The whispers were that one person was coming to join them, to add to the power of the Ancestors, and she was surprised to see two souls appear. One of them being the one of Kol Mikaelson, and the Ancestors weren't pleased. She watched as he was picked up by the burst of magic that the Ancestors shot at him and flew over her head, outside the cemetery. She grinned, magic was so awesome.
The new kid was Kaleb Westphall. He explained that he was finally free of being possessed by the spirit of Kol Mikaelson and thanked the Ancestors for accepting him as one of them. He looked cute. Freakishly tall, but cute. He was angry with Kol, though, and he couldn't wait to finally beat the living daylights out of him. What was it with men? She had seen it before when other warlocks would join them, the anger, the testosterone, was still raging like mad upon arrival.
Deciding she had heard enough, she quietly retreated to her little slice of the afterlife. Sure, she could go after Kol Mikaelson and say 'hello', but what was the point? He had told her he never wanted to see her again all those years ago, and she wasn't about to bother him with a warm welcome.
She had ghost pigs and ghost goats to take care of. There was a hole in the fence because one of the pigs wanted to escape and she needed to fix it. It was funny how sometimes the offerings made by the life witches appeared in the afterlife, and no one was taking care of those frightened, sometimes traumatized animals. Before she got there, they were running through the empty version of New Orleans, and while it was fun to watch them run around like that, she knew that they would feel better when contained.
So she became a pig and goat farmer. Not that she'd ever get babies from them or whatever, or they'd be food - because hunger wasn't something you'd get when dead - but the animals were good people. Not challenging and predictable. She liked predictable things. They weren't difficult - only when they wanted to escape, but a simple magic spell made sure they always returned. Sometimes, just sometimes, she let them roam freely, just to see the chaos unfold in front of her and have them scare the Ancestors.
No, she wasn't crazy. Maybe the afterlife had made her a tiny bit loopy. Maybe. Who wouldn't go a little bit crazy after being dead but not dead for a century? The Ancestors certainly were nuts, acting like they were better than anyone else, looking down on alive people when they came to the cemetery, spitting on the vampires, making it seem like bird droppings. When she killed herself, she had no idea what she was getting herself into. Eternally wandering around the city she had grown to hate had not been one of her plans.
It wasn't fair. He'd finally been accepted in his siblings pact of 'Always and Forever' when he died because his older brother put a hex on him. It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair. And sure, when Rebekah told him that they'd consecrate his body so that his spirit could be accepted by the Ancestors, he had thought it'd be a piece of cake.
He died a witch. He was a witch.
He was an abomination; that's what he was. Sure, he'd been a witch before his mother turned him into this monster and she had brought him back from the Other Side, but not in his body. No, his body was in a jar in Niklaus' study - ashes. In essence, Kaleb was the witch whose body was consecrated and Kol'd been merely a passenger on the ride to the Ancestral Plane.
A hitchhiker and unwelcome. And the worst of it all, his magic didn't work here, because he was still an Original Vampire spirit and vampires couldn't do magic. He knew his sister was working hard on finding a spell to return him to the land of the living - again, but such magic was hard to come by. Even he knew that.
He'd been evading the Ancestors for weeks, if not months, now, all the while keeping an eye on Davina and he didn't like the choices she was making. He couldn't keep tabs on her the usual way, so he only got snippets, but he could feel her presence leave the Ancestors at one point and hoped that she was alright. Shunning never meant anything good and knowing his squeeze; she'd figure out something else. She was smart like that. Perhaps too clever and too naive at the same time and that could be disastrous.
The vampire wished that he could look at other people like he had done when Kol was on the Other Side, but it was near to impossible with the Ancestors right on his heels whenever he managed to use his residual magic. Oh, he fought the Ancestors off as well as he could, but dead people simply didn't get any deader. On occasion he allowed himself to be beaten up or hurt otherwise, if there was one thing the Ancestors were good at, it was the art of torture.
He pretended that they were successful at dampening his spirits, but he was simply biding his time until his sister, or Davina, would find a safe spell to bring him back. He was NOT staying here. He merely hoped that they would find a safe way to get him back and not that they'd have to sacrifice a lot. He wasn't worth them giving up their safety.
It seemed like everyone wanted a piece of him on the Ancestral plane. He and his siblings killed quite a few of them, the Deveraux witches were especially tenacious, and the only places he could truly hide was on the outskirts of it all; the witches found it too dangerous to even go there. They weren't fond of pubs either, but they didn't mind going in once they knew he was in one.
And no, he wasn't afraid of them. Well, perhaps a little. Most of the dead witches still had their magic here, and while he still had some magic of his own, it wasn't nearly enough. And without his vampire strength and speed, all he had was the ability to win in a fist fight. But witches used magic, and he couldn't get anywhere close to them before being thrown across wherever he was at the time.
Part of him didn't mind getting his ass kicked for the shitty things that he and his family had done over the years, or perhaps he came to this reasoning because the Ancestral Plane was dark, very dark. The Ancestors weren't all that loving after all.
She had always found it fascinating that the Ancestral Plane still had alcohol. She once drank every bottle in a bar - it wasn't as if she could die from alcohol poisoning - and a day later it was all there again. Luckily, hangovers didn't exist there, even though everything else could hurt you or bruise you.
She'd been dead for nearly a century, and it was fascinating to see that the Ancestral Plane changed as New Orleans changed. Her favorite bar was currently Rousseau's. She'd been there a few times, using the music box while she danced around and drank.
It had been far too long since she got plastered like that, and now that Kol was on her side, she needed to drink to forget. He was going to stick around for a while, wasn't he? He was dead. Truly dead and this time as a witch. How that had happened, she wasn't quite sure, but at least he had lived the life he'd always wanted for himself.
But he was still a giant asshole.
When she walked into the street Rousseau's was at, she realized that not only was he a giant asshole; he also needed saving. "Leave him alone!" She yelled at the witches who were casting spells on him, before realizing that she, too, still had magic and pushed them away, setting up a barrier to protect Kol, who looked stunned to see her.
Yeah, she wasn't quite sure why she helped him, either.
She kept casting spells until they scattered before dropping the barrier and walked into the bar to take a bottle of wine and settle in for the night while the music box played softly. It didn't take long for Kol to enter. Of course, he never could leave things unfinished. He pretended that he could, but something always kept nagging in the back of his head. The maniac did have some sort of moral compass, after all, in his twisted way. Or perhaps it was his curiosity.
"You're a sight for sore eyes," he replied, trying to sound happy and excited, but she could hear that he wasn't. From her corner on the bench, she eyed him and took a sip of his wine. "I didn't fancy you for sticking around and help the living to have more power."
"I was consecrated, Kol, I'm stuck here until they decide to let me go," she said as she took another sip of her wine. "But they probably won't, seeing as I took my life and this is hell."
"You don't remember how you died?" Kol was standing at the table now, waiting for Bella to give him a sign that he could sit down. "Love, you didn't kill yourself."
Bella let out a snort as she took another drink from the bottle. "They said I cursed myself after Edward left and my baby died," she murmured as she slightly shrugged. "Apparently it was an accident. And it's been a hundred years; I'm dead. No big deal. I merely wished that I didn't have to be here." She then pointed at him. "How come you're here?"
"Long story, darling, one you don't need to hear," he replied kindly as he sat down across from her and sighed. "You didn't kill yourself."
She mimicked his sigh and shrugged. "I did. Did you know, some of the witches they consecrated over the years had psychological degrees? I talked to them, a lot, about my life. To find some sort of peace with it all, I guess."
"Why did you do that?"
"Because I wasn't like anyone else when I was alive. I still am not like anyone else, I guess. I'm doing better, but it hasn't gone away completely. I wanted to know what was wrong with me. My daddy sent me away for a reason and didn't tell the family I was going to that I was slightly peculiar, but I suppose they found out when I didn't share the same interests as their daughter."
"I liked you; you know that."
Bella took a longer swig of her bottle of wine. "You took advantage of my magic, Kol Mikaelson. You took advantage of my inability to see the bad in people."
His jaw fell open in mock surprise. "But I also took care of you; I hooked you up with your old man when you were too crazy and old to-"
She smashed the bottle on the table and rose to her feet, quick to hold the serrated bottle close to his face. She might not be able to kill him, but she could hurt him. She didn't like the surge of anger and sadness that washed over her. She had done so well to keep those feelings at bay, but Kol's betrayal in the past still stung. And the memory of Edward put even more fuel on that fire. "How could I've been so stupid?"
"Well, in all fairness, you weren't right in the head." She wasn't going to hurt him, too, was she? Nah, Bella wouldn't do that. She was too meek, too kind, to even consider cutting him. Then why had she broken the bottle? "Who can resist such a handsome face like mine?"
"I can," she said bitterly as she threw the bottle against the nearest wall. "I can't believe I saved you from the witches. Next time, I'll egg them on," Bella continued as she walked out of the bar. She hated to feel this way and while she could completely understand most of the Ancestors with their hatred towards Kol, she didn't want to stoop to their level and hurt him. It was bad enough that he was here and knowing his family, knowing him, he wasn't going to be there much longer. She was just going to have to stay clear from him and until he'd leave, spend time with the ghost goats.
"Hey, wait up," Kol's voice sounded, and she kept marching. She couldn't go straight to her goats now; he'd know her hidey hole. No, she was going to walk towards the cemetery where the other witches were. They'd kick him away again. Rid her of him. Yes. Great idea. "Bella, come on. Why are you angry at me? You knew how I was, who I am."
She let out a cry of frustration and turned around to face him. "Yes. And the family put me in that asylum for a reason, Kol. To unburden them. To make sure I wasn't a burden to anyone else. I'd never find a husband, and you got me out of there!"
"You were miserable!"
"You never asked me if I wanted to leave!" Bella shot back at him. "I was fine where I was. I was taken care of and not in anyone's way. No, it was your ego that came in there, killed half of the people who were taking care of others and took me away because you liked my magic."
"It wasn't as if I left you unattended," Kol huffed as he crossed his arms over his chest. "You didn't belong there. You weren't crazy." Maybe it was because death erased most ailments, but she was doing better, she wasn't even afraid of making eye contact with him and didn't stumble over - or mince, for that matter - her words. "You're still not." No, she was angry. But was she angry with him or herself?
"But I was, Kol. I still am. I'm merely able to hide it better now that I'm dead."
"And I got you the husband you so desperately wanted, no, needed, for your survival. All you could do was mope and complain after I took you away from the asylum."
"Yeah, and you got me Edward. Good job," she said sarcastically as she turned around again and continued to walk away from him. "You should have left me alone, because after finding him, you told me you never wanted to see me again anyway because you'd grown bored of me. I wished you'd have killed me then."
"You're not being fair."
"I'm not?" She let out a laugh. "You killed everyone you came in contact with; you never cared for controlling your blood lust, and yet, you allowed me to live? Why? You nearly killed me a couple of times after our first meeting, so why not do it?"
"You're not fair."
"I don't care," she said as she kept walking. "I've died before it was my time because you couldn't leave well enough alone, so yes, I'm not too happy with you. When are they going to bring you back? Any idea?"
"I might be stuck here forever."
"Good luck, then."
"Do you think I like being here?" He put a hand on her shoulder to stop her from walking, earning him to be knocked flat on his ass by her magic. She didn't like to be touched; he had forgotten about that. "My mother brought me back as a witch after I died the first time. It's only because of my brother Finn that I'm here! I liked being a witch again. Honestly."
She eyed him as he spoke, knowing that he was telling the truth. "Your mother hijacked an innocent boy's body to bring you back."
"Well yes, that's unforgivable, and I'm still waiting for him to take a swing at me, but he gave me a second chance, darling, and I loved every moment of it. Until Finn hexed me. You see, mother brought him back from the dead too."
"I heard," she said with a shrug. "The Ancestors were pissed off about Finn, mainly because Vincent Griffith is such a powerful witch who's done inexplicable things with his former wife."
"I swear, I didn't know she was insane when I put Rebekah in her as a joke."
Bella shrugged. "I suppose there hadn't been any time for anyone to inform you about the Dowager's House, how your brother made sure it was turned into a witch' prison after your stunt with the diamond and stuff."
"Ah, so you do know."
"No," she said innocently. "At first, sure, I kept an eye on you from this side, but after you had gotten yourself daggered, I didn't have anything to watch, so I started to focus on my own healing. I sometimes eavesdrop on the Ancestors. Or you know, the rest of the dead witches, when I'm bored."
"And how's that working out for you?" He smiled at her, finally getting off his ass and back on his feet.
"Slightly embarrassed by the resentment I hold towards you," she sighed and looked in the direction she'd been meaning to take; the way to the cemetery to make sure Kol would leave her alone, but she figured he could use a friend. "How are they planning on bringing you back?" She turned into an alley as she walked, directing them away from the cemetery and towards her safe place. She had no reason to be on high alert with him. While dead, she was stronger than he was. Powerful, he had barely anything magical left in him. The feeling of having to be vigilant - or hyper-vigilant in her case - eased, and she relaxed.
"I haven't got the foggiest, but both my sister and my girlfriend vowed to-"
"Girlfriend?" Bella couldn't help but let out a snort. "You? And she's still alive?"
"I was human, darling," he said frustrated. "Everything's different when you're human. No heightened senses for one. No bloodlust… I loved it. Now, I understand that they can't put me in another person's body so that I can stay human."
Turning another corner, she was slightly surprised that Kol followed her. For all he knew, she could be leading him to the rest of the Ancestors. "That'd be rude."
"Perhaps, but they're likely going to use my ashes. That's all I'm going to say about it. You never know who might be listening in this place."
Shrugging, she kept walking. Kol was close to her, but still at a safe distance, something she preferred, and he had remembered. "I doubt the Ancestors will allow them to resurrect you."
He smirked, then. It was a good thing that Rebekah hadn't been asked to become a New Orleans witch in Eve's body and that Davina had been shunned. "Oh, I know, but the Ancestors tend to forget that there's more magic in the world than the one that's fuelled by them."
Bella huffed. "I wouldn't put it passed their arrogance, no."
"You should come back with me. The world is different now, more accepting of others and I'm pretty sure you'll love the city."
"That's it? No?"
"Exactly. No," she repeated as she took a left. "Dead is dead."
"But you'll be able to get a second chance at life!"
"I just want to be dead!" She was starting to regret that she'd canceled her original plan, and it was too late now to stop. She wasn't quite dead now, was she? Sure, her physical body had perished and turned into nothing but bones by now, but she was still sentient. Bella was an Ancestor now. Maybe she should allow Kol to bring her back, only for her to kill herself, or get killed, and leaving instructions to be cremated. To be turned to ash.
Kol didn't take 'no' for an answer anyway. If he had made up his mind about something, chances were that they were going to happen. Such as 'breaking her out' of the asylum her sponsors had put her in. Still, she wouldn't get her hopes up. She liked Kol's newfound positivity and ability to have absolute faith in his sister and the shunned regent, but spells like that were difficult. Dangerous. "Your family thinks they can get away with anything, play God, whatever, well, I'm not playing along. You will not bring me back with you."
"You have to admit, it's tempting," he teased her as he looked around. "You brought me to the Cullen estate?" It was as if he'd stepped back in time. In the living version of New Orleans, the house had been demolished years ago. Why was she holding on to this house? The answer to that question came soon enough once she lead him around back. There were at least a dozen of ghost goats and twice as much as chickens and some pigs. "What's this?"
"Sometimes the Ancestors keep the spirits of the offers to them," Bella shrugged as she opened the gate so that Kol could enter. "I thought I'd keep them in one place instead of them walking around in fear."
"And they have feelings too," she said as she closed the gate and walked through the yard to get to the back door of the house. "And I know what you're thinking."
"I doubt it," he said as he hesitantly followed her, eyeing the animals.
"I should let go, allow the Ancestral Plane to get caught up with the way New Orleans is now, let go of this house," she lovingly ran her hand along the wall as she made her way to the parlor. "And perhaps I should, but on the other hand, this is where I spent the last years of my life."
Everything was as he remembered it. He couldn't imagine she was happy in this house. "You like to torture yourself then?"
Shrugging, she allowed herself to fall onto the couch and looked at him. "It's not torture. It's a reminder of how you set me up with Edward after springing me from the asylum. Despite Edward's … shortcomings and temper… he did care for me. And I killed him. It pains me, still, that -"
Kol blinked at that. Had she truly forgotten the way that she died? How Edward died? He had heard different versions now, and he was worried. Had the witches altered her memory somehow or was it the trauma that had done this to her? "Bella, please," he said as he lifted her legs and sat down on the sofa, placing her feet gently in his lap. He understood where her anger came from now.
If she didn't want to be resurrected for another life, then perhaps he could give her the peace of mind that she needed to move on. To leave this place. She didn't belong here. While all the other Ancestors were nearly always together or at least running in packs, she hadn't joined a particular group.
Looking at her, he realized that she looked caught or stuck. He could almost see the gears in her head rotate faster and faster to change the subject. And she did. "Hey, so if they bring you back with your ashes, does that mean you're going to be a vampire again?"
He scowled at that. Yes. Yes, that meant that he was going to be a bloody vampire again. "It'll be different this time."
A big smile appeared on Kol's face. "Because of Davina. I truly love her, Bella. I'd do anything for her and make sure she doesn't get hurt. I'll behave, I promise."
She hummed a response.
"What about your blood lust?"
He huffed. "It's not that hard to get under control, I never really felt like controlling it. It's far too much fun to maim and kill."
"But you'll control it?"
"For Davina? Yes."
She hummed again and shrugged. "If you get out of here."
Almost as if she heard something that wasn't there, she sat up and cocked her head. "Speaking of the devil… She's on Bourbon Street. Here. Grab her before they get to her, they're not too happy."
"She's here?" Kol shot up and looked at her. "You're not pulling my leg or anything?"
"Find her," she smiled at him. "I'll be here when you return."
The Ancestors worked a little bit like some sort of hive mind. She had long learned how to 'tune out', but she thought it would be wise to tune back in. Not that Kol needed a savior, no, he liked getting beaten up, she figured as much, but because should the Ancestors do anything to hurt the shunned witch that came to visit him, Bella could do something about it. Or try to, at least.
She had to scrape Kol up from the floor of St. Anne's and brought him back home where he could recuperate. Thanks to her goats, chickens and pigs, the other witches didn't like to come to her place, and Kol would be semi-safe. Unless he'd piss her off, then he'd have a problem. Bella pushed him onto the couch and lit a fire before leaving him to find him some alcohol to drink. He looked defeated and worried, and she didn't particularly liked that look on his face. It always meant that there was going to be trouble. For who? It was likely to be for all of them.
"I have to admit," Bella said as she handed Kol the bottle of bourbon. "She's a crafty little witch, isn't she?"
Kol sighed as he opened the bottle and took a swig. "It was incredible to see her again, she doesn't even mind this face, how great is that!" He laughed and shook his head. "No one can resist this handsome face."
"I can," Bella countered with a flat tone of voice as she sat down in one of the armchairs. "It has never been a problem to resist you."
"So you keep saying," he winked at her. "She came down here to tell me that she found a spell to bring me back and wanted me to look it over. Davina knew I was lying when I said it was a fake."
"But hey, that's great, she found a way to bring you back!"
Sighing again, he took another swig of the alcohol. "It's a Strix spell. Now, back in the old days, my brother Elijah set up a secret society of the world's greatest minds - all vampires, of course - and they're a bunch of dicks. They have their own coven, and they're dangerous. The Strix and those witches. I don't want her to be involved in that."
"And let me guess… she won't back down because she wants to bring you back?"
"Exactly and there's nothing I can do about it."
Bella shrugged. "Just let it happen and then protect her when you're out. Help her then. Kill the coven and satisfy your blood lust. It's not like you to be so afraid, Kol. Man up."
Kol snorted. "Fine."
"Don't act as if you have a better offer, Kol. You want to return to your family; she's providing the chance. It'll be everything you want."
"And I want you to come back with me."
"Not this again," she rolled her eyes at him and relaxed into the chair. She couldn't wait for him to go away.
Over the course of the next few days - if you could call them days, the Ancestral Plane was always so dark, she heard chatter from the Ancestors that they were slightly freaking out about Davina having been with them to talk to the Mikaelson vampire. They knew that there was no stopping her now that Davina wasn't connected to them anymore. Bella didn't tell Kol, of course, she didn't want him to worry with hear-say.
And Kol disappeared mid-sentence when she and he were talking again. Part of her was glad, because the conversation had once again landed on her death, but she was worried. It hadn't been a big spell that had swept him away; it was likely a dark object of some sort. No resurrection spell. If it had been, she would have been able to feel it. Damn, that Davina Claire was one crafty witch. Possibly a bitch, too, like her Ancestor.
She decided to spend a little time with the Ancestors, to spy on them. See what they were up to, and walked into the graveyard when Kaleb was spitting out hate towards Kol. It wasn't a secret that the Ancestors loathed the Mikaelsons. They'd rather see them gone after all the misery and all, and Kaleb's anger was more personal. Thanks to the Mikaelsons, his life ended prematurely and for nearly a year his body had been taken over by an Original. Kaleb was even more toxic than a Mikaelson, in Bella's opinion. He was trying to entice the Ancestors to do more work of disrupting the Mikaelsons through the regent. Kill them, if they had to.
Bella scowled. The Ancestors agreed that something needed to be done, that a plan had already been set in motion to make sure that the Mikaelsons suffered, and likely would die. By the time she'd gathered her information and went back to the house, Kol was back, looking tired and fed up. Scared, even.
"It's not good," he said as he lifted a chair and threw it across the room. "I wish there was a way I could warn my brothers. They're… Oh, why does she have to be so clever and so bloody stubborn!" Kol kicked against the table, and Bella took a few steps back towards the door as he continued to rage.
She listened to him as he told her about the coven's plan to sever the sire links of Klaus and Elijah - Rebekah too, but she'd been lost to them - and then kill them. How while he hadn't said anything, Davina could tell that he was lying when he didn't know the key ingredient to the spell that she was after. She was under stress by Aya, Queen Bitch of the Strix and she was so desperate to bring Kol back that she was going to go ahead with the plan.
A dangerous scheme. Davina could die, and one mispronounced word would be catastrophic. Bella had to laugh at that. Kol was a drama queen. He'd always been one. But he was usually right too, so Bella was even more convinced that she had to find a way back too, somehow. She wasn't going to tell him that. She didn't want to worry him and in all honesty, she didn't want to return. But Bella had a feeling that Kol was going to need her.
Once he had quieted down, she sat down on the couch with him and told him not to worry. She was sure that everything was going to be alright. She hoped, though, that her newly found clarity would return with her. She didn't want to return the way that she was when she died, almost unable to walk the streets of New Orleans due to all the stimuli. In the modern days as they were now, it was probably going to be worse and, despite having a goal in mind, she didn't want her head to explode. Maybe there was a spell that could save her, dull everything so that she could help her friend. She wasn't going to tell Kol that he needed saving, mostly because Bella wasn't entirely sure about it, yet, and because it'd only make him feel worse.
Why did she want to save him, though? Because friends did that to each other. For each other. Just as this Claire witch wanted to resurrect Kol. She made a promise, and she was keeping it, no matter the costs because that's what friends did for each other. There was no doubt in Kol's mind about Davina succeeding with the spell, and to see that Kol had absolute faith in someone… If Bella had to be honest, Kol had been the only friend she'd ever had. So she was going to do this. She was going to save him.
Kol's head was on her lap now, and she had her hand on his arm, feeling his breathing steady again, his anger and anxiety dissolving slowly and her determination growing.
She was going to hope and pray that the Ancestors wouldn't know she was missing until she had undone at least some of the damage they were thinking about inflicting. Bella would seek out the Regent to help her - if he was willing. Perhaps he needed a good dose of reality, and she was going to give it to him.
Until it was time, she was going to think of a fool proof plan and hope that she'd be able to succeed. Because if not, New Orleans was going to be in great danger.
Something was brewing, she could feel it. She could hear it. The Ancestors were restless and chanting; electricity was tugging on their reality, heading straight for Kol, who was still with his head in Bella's lap. Was she going to be able to do this? She'd never been a strong witch, but surely lifting along on someone else's spell was going to be easy right? Especially with the Nexus Vorti in play.
She could hear Davina's voice in the distance. Chanting. The blood of two brothers, the ash of their dead. "The bones of a friend," Bella muttered as she held on to Kol while she reached out for the same Nexus Vorti Davina was using to cast the spell to raise Kol.
The next thing she knew, it was dark and cold. Smelly. The smell of decay was invading her nostrils and her throat as she gasped for breath. It took her a moment to realize that she'd returned to her old bones, and she was interred at the cemetery. There were noises outside, right against her resting place, it seemed, but she needed to get out. The smell was just too bad. Too intrusive.
Using her magic, she blasted the cover stone off the grave that had protected her bones for a hundred years. It felt good; she felt energized and yet, she was scared shitless. The world had changed, she already knew that, but she could feel it. The air felt different on her naked skin, somehow.
Shimmying out of her hole, she landed on her feet, and it was only then that she noticed two half naked people standing in front of her with a shocked expression on their faces. That's right; it wasn't every day that someone returned from the dead, was it? "Hello," she replied with a soft voice. Oh, she felt woozy. "Please take me with you," Bella managed to say before she passed out.
Who knew that coming back from the dead was that draining on a person? When Bella came to, she was in bed, comfortably warm with the blankets all over her. Part of her didn't want to wake up and just enjoy the comfort of a real bed, the relative silence, and the light. But she couldn't, she had a mission to fulfill.
When Bella sat up, she once again met the faces of the people who she had scared shitless at the cemetery when she had risen from the dead. "Hello," she said again. Bella felt glad that she wasn't scared of people anymore. Or perhaps it was because she needed to find Kol and save him from whatever the Ancestors had done to him. "My name is Bella. I am terribly sorry for have given you such a fright. It's not every day someone returns from the dead, isn't it?"
"It's that we're both former drug addicts and now sober otherwise we'd have believed we were tripping," the man replied dryly. "They say New Orleans is a magical place."
"It is," Bella smiled at him.
"We're sorry for uh-"
"We didn't mean to defile your cemetery, please don't hurt us," the woman begged her, causing Bella to let out a snort. "The mood struck, and we have zero to none impulse control."
"What were you doing?" Bella cocked her head as she pushed the blankets aside and noticed that she was wearing a man's shirt to cover her modesty. She was going to need clothes if she was going to venture outside. And she required food. Likely a bath, too. "Do you live here?"
"Uh, no. Liam and I live in New York. We're on our honeymoon," the woman smiled at her, letting out a sigh of relief. "So what kind of magic trick was that then?"
"No trick," she replied as she got out of bed and walked around the room. There were a lot of things that she didn't recognize. Perhaps she shouldn't have done this. No, focus, Bella, she told herself as she found the bathroom. "I died in 1913. I believe it is now 2013, yes?"
"Are you sure you didn't order wonky mushrooms, Tempy?" Liam hissed at his wife.
"Very. We need to take her to a hospital or something."
"Do we have to? Maybe she's in for a threesome."
"Liam! She's obviously in a fragile state, maybe now is not the time to rope someone into having a threesome and she looks barely legal anyway!"
"I was eighteen when I died," Bella replied with an amused smile on her lips as she used her magic to get the water running into the bath and pulled the shirt off her body. She felt fortunate with these two people; she could have been all by herself, and she could have collapsed and then picked up by the police. Only for them to stuff her into an asylum again for public indecency or whatever. "I'll need to borrow some clothes when I'm clean." She said as she stepped underneath the water and reached for the soap.
She wanted to go to the Regent, but chances were that he wouldn't believe her, and the Ancestors would get really mad. Her best bet would be to go to the witch who brought back Kol and tell her what was going on - hopefully; Kol would still be out for the count so that she could fix things before he'd know that he'd come back wrong. Or something like that. Or maybe it was better to monitor things for now. Stay out of sight, out of trouble.
The water was warm, and the soap smelled delicious, what other wonders would this new version of New Orleans bring to her? She hadn't planned on lingering, though. She was going to fix Kol to the best of her ability and then leave New Orleans to disappear forever. Dead was dead. She wasn't supposed to be here. She wasn't going to allow herself to enjoy her new life. Then why was she washing herself to look more presentable?
She thought it was nice of the couple, Liam and Temperance Tucker, for allowing her to stay in the room for as long as she needed, on their costs. Bella wasn't sure why they were so kind to her or how they were able to pay for the luxury, but it was nice. She blessed them with virility and fertility in return, although she got a kick out of realizing that both hadn't been much of a problem for them; the woman was already expecting.
It wasn't that hard to fit in with modern day New Orleans. Or modern day life, for that matter. When she lived with Edward, she had a bath, so that wasn't different. From what she had gathered, everyone had a portable telephone right now and instead of writing letters, it was either sending each other a short message on the telephone. How impersonal. Cars were everywhere. Even big ones who drove people through the city. There weren't many cars in the Quarter, but she had seen a lot of them.
Not a lot had changed, either. She did feel slightly different. More at ease, or perhaps that was because she'd been dead for so long and learned to deal with it properly. She wasn't quite sure about that just yet. It was hard for her not to walk to the Mikaelson home and tell them that something was wrong with Kol. Or to the Regent. Or even that little witch Davina. No, for now, everything was going the way it was supposed to, but it became harder by the day.
It was nice to know that the tea shop near the Norwegian Sea men's church was still there, albeit now owned by granddaughter Ann. It was a tea shop, but she made them from freshly dried or plucked herbs, and everything was organic. Magical, you could say. While her grandparents had definitely been some sort of practical witches, Ann seemed to be convinced that she was running a tea shop. Harmless, but she did sell all the herbs that Bella needed for her plan to help Kol.
Things were getting out of hand. One of the Originals had died - she was glad to see it wasn't Kol, Klaus' sireling was now this beast who could kill everyone even the Mikaelsons and Kol… she could feel him slipping. He'd already killed a handful of people and nearly his little witch.
She found it curious that Davina looked like her. Not just in the face, but also stature. In fact, if Bella hadn't known any better she'd say that Davina was a better version of herself; saner. Power hungry, yes, but balanced. There was no doubt that Davina had any trouble with satisfying her man. Kol. And there was no doubt that Davina actually enjoyed the act.
Bella was the complete opposite of that. Even when Kol found Edward for her to be her husband, she couldn't turn the switch in her head that she was supposed to enjoy being touched, being impaled on Edward's manhood. When Bella learned that she had fallen pregnant, she lived in a constant state of anxiety and Kol was nowhere to be found to tell her that everything was going to be alright. No, he had dumped her with Edward to find a stronger witch to help him with his plight, one that wouldn't stand up to him as she had done.
At the time, Bella understood Kol's rage against his family, against his brother, but who would want to hurt their family? She couldn't imagine hurting her family, despite the fact that she had none left by the time Kol shoved her at Edward.
But perhaps Kol had a type. Maybe he had felt something for Bella, and she had merely been unable to see that, to return the feeling. Perhaps his feelings had been the reason for him to want her back in the land of the living as well. She didn't want to be here, but she was here out of friendship, loyalty, towards her friend. And to prevent him from slaughtering everyone he held near and dear.
Love was a beautiful thing, people always told her that, but she couldn't see it. All she could see was a burden, an obligation to spend time with someone and she never liked that. She'd rather spend her days alone, doing what she liked to do without having to have to take another person into account. She'd been fortunate that Edward had a huge mansion, she only saw him at night in the bed she was forced to share with him, but during the day she'd been left on her own and she had loved that.
She could understand that people had this basic need, this desire, to reproduce. Or at least enjoy the fruits of trying to replicate, but it wasn't for Bella. Too much fuss, too much worrying about if she was doing things right, too much effort in creating conversation. Had she been different - normal - then maybe she would have seen the appeal, but no. Not for her.
Bella followed Davina and a hesitant and nearly anxious Kol to St. James Infirmary. She knew about the neutral zone. She'd given some of her magic for the spell the then-regent had cast to ban harmful magic from the place. It had been a great idea, really, to bring Kol there. The Ancestors wouldn't be able to control him inside.
It appeared that they had found out that the Ancestors were messing with him, which was good, that meant that Davina would at least try to cure him, but Bella knew that there was more to it. It wasn't just the increased blood lust, the fact that Kol was about to lose control. There was more, and she needed to make sure at least that was gone because she knew that he didn't want to die. Again.
This was actually the closest she'd been to Kol since the Ancestral Plane. She didn't want him to know that she was there, and fortunately, he was too busy with Davina and too busy freaking out about his current state, although she loved to see the physical relief on him the moment he stepped into the bar.
He was too preoccupied to notice her, and it was beautiful. He was truly happy with Davina, something she'd never really believed or seen with him. If he liked a person it was usually only until they proved not to be useful anymore. He only liked himself. He only cared for himself and, when necessary; he cared for his family, but he'd rather see them dead. Bella knew better, though; he loved his family despite what they'd put him through. They'd been the constant in his 1000-year-old life and without them, he'd be lonely and alone.
But, for the time being, he and Davina were beautiful together, and he deserved that.
She didn't like the band that was playing very much, it was an assault on her senses, but she needed to ignore it. She needed to keep an eye on Kol to make sure he was alright. To find the right time to offer him the cure for everything that ailed him - or at least that's what she had hoped. She had put a lot of time in this. A lot of effort and calculating. A lot of gathering the things she needed. And now she was done. Complete.
And she was going to save him.
Bella saw the panic in his eyes when the spell was taking hold. The Ancestors were meddling again, the safety of St. James Infirmary was at stake. She was about to move in to cast a spell to soothe him when Marcel Gerard snapped his neck. That was going to complicate things. Now she had to find a knife to cut herself and feed herself to Kol as he was recuperating from a snapped neck. Ugh. She hated to get messy.
She made herself scarce as Marcel cleared out the bar, hiding in the kitchen for the sharp knife before returning once it was just Marcel and Kol in the area. "I told everyone to clear out," Marcel remarked as he looked at her, sharply. "I somehow missed you. Uh, he's drunk."
"No, he's not," Bella replied as she used her magic to launch Marcel across the space. "I know you're a vampire, and I know he's an Original. I'm also glad you don't remember me, Marcel Gerard."
"You're a witch!"
"Yes, and I'm going to save our friend here, so stay back or I'll give you a headache you won't believe," she said as she turned to Kol and gingerly ran her hand through his hair as she looked at him. He wasn't going to like the solution to all his problems, but he was just going to have to man up.
"He's not my friend," Marcel used his speed to come back towards Bella, and she stuck true to her word and gave him the world's worst headache. "Ah!" He cried out as he stumbled back, causing Bella to smile. "Look, lady," he groaned from where he had stumbled back to. "I don't know you, I don't particularly like him, but my friend does, you're not going to do anything that could harm him."
"Relax," Bella huffed as she took a deep breath and sliced open her hand, wincing because of the pain that it caused. She let out a breath and sucked one back in as quickly. She had not expected it to hurt that much. "Fiddlesticks," she muttered as she watched the blood accumulate in her hand. Fascinated for a moment, she shook her head to shake herself out of her head and brought her hand to Kol. "Wake up."
"Are you insane? He'll kill you!"
"Yeah," Bella replied absentmindedly as she used her other hand to open Kol's mouth to pour in the blood. "Kinda counting on it seeing as my blood is his cure, I've been working on it for quite some time now. Ever since we came back, really."
"Shh, vampire. If you're lucky, you'll hear the entire story," she said as she poured the blood into Kol's mouth and raised a barrier around them so that he didn't have anywhere to go. His face changed, his neck snapped back, and his eyes shot wide open. "Morning."
"Bella, what- No, you need to go away!" Kol said as he looked at her. She was back! She had no idea how happy that made him, but right now all he wanted to do was to kill her. Drain her of all her blood and kill her. Oh, he wanted to kill her so badly, it was hurting him. And she was so close. So. Close. He moved to get away from her, getting up from the chair and using his speed to get away from her but got knocked flat on his ass when he collided with a barrier of some sort. No, this wasn't good. "Bella, let me go. I can't control myself."
"The Ancestors are assholes," she said calmly as she watched him. "They cursed and hexed you when Davina pulled you out. I heard them, and I followed you out. To save you. My blood will be your salvation, Kol. I hope it will cure everything they've done to you so that you can live a normal life. Help your family. Be with your witch."
"But I'd have to kill you."
Bella pulled out the spell from her back pocket and handed it to him. "I've picked up a thing or two from my time with the Ancestors."
He snarled as he looked at the spell. It was genius. It was intricate and very, very clever. And it broke his heart. Was she really willing to give up a new life for him? "Why?"
"As I said before, dead is dead."
"No, no, I don't believe that. You can't do this. We'll find another way," he said, almost pleadingly. He couldn't take her life again. The first time was because she was suffering so much, but now that she voluntarily offered herself to him… no.
She walked towards him, knowing that he couldn't move away from her, holding her bleeding hand up to his face. "The first time I died because I couldn't handle the world. I asked you to kill me because I lost the stupid baby, and then I killed Edward and I had an overload," she smiled at him. "And you killed me. I'm forever grateful for that. Now I can do something for you. My death can truly mean something."
"But you deserve to live!" Was she stupid? There was so much to live for, didn't she know the opportunities that lay ahead? "Bella, don't do this."
"It's too late," she sighed as he averted his face from her. "I turned myself into your cure, if you don't kill me, it will kill me in a couple of days."
He looked at the spell again and frustratingly bunched the paper into a ball and pinched the bridge of his nose. She was right. "Why, darling? Why?"
"We've been over this. I'm not going to repeat myself. However, I do have a favor to ask of you."
If he was able to do something for her - again - then yes. He'd do anything. Nodding he calmed down again. He wasn't used to people doing things for him, to show kindness. He had seen it in Davina, and of course, Bella before she died, but to have her repeat that kindness? Kol felt the luckiest man in the world, even if it meant losing a friend.
"I want you to burn my body and take it as far away from New Orleans as possible. I do not want to be consecrated again; you hear me? The Ancestors are assholes, and they need to be taken care of. Promise me. Promise you'll do both."
"And be good to Davina and your siblings."
"Are you sure?" She was going to die anyway, according to all the herbs she'd used but he wanted to be sure. It was him about to kill his friend. The most loyal friend he'd ever had, apart from Davina.
He sighed deeply before putting his arms around her and kissed the top of her head. "Thank you, Bella," he really was grateful. She was giving her life for him. "I hope you'll be oblivious for the rest of your afterlife."
"Me too, so stick to what I told you. Burn me," she smiled at him. She wasn't scared. She was welcoming the abyss. Again. "Don't feel bad about this, okay?"
"Don't tell me what to do," Kol muttered before he sank his teeth into her neck and held her tightly as he drank from her. Right at that moment, Davina rushed back in. Of course she did. She had the worst timing, but he had already felt that the magical barrier had gone up again and Bella's barrier down. Kol would have preferred to have some more privacy with his old friend, but now it was up to Marcel to explain what his girlfriend was seeing.
"D, it's not what you think," Marcel said as he stopped her from casting a spell.
"The Ancestors, they-"
"Were controlling him," Marcel nodded. "But thanks to his friend Bella, they won't be able to much longer. All he needs to do is drain her completely."
Kol winced as he drank, greedily. Her blood tasted familiar, as he'd done this before, but he could feel the magic take hold in his body. Oh, she'd been so clever in hiding it inside of her and fly underneath the Ancestor's radar since their return, and he regretted that hers was yet another life he'd destroyed. He was not going to waste his in honor of her.
He hadn't done right by her; he knew that. He had brought her to Edward without fully vetting him, without compelling him to speak the truth or reveal hidden skeletons, without compelling him that Bella didn't like to be touched. That she was pure and innocent. Mainly because Kol had grown bored with her, as he tended to do most of the time. She had started out as having so much potential, but when she refused to do his bidding, she became an obstacle.
He had broken her out of the asylum, yes, because she didn't belong in there. Kol then had given her 'a new life' with Edward and thinking that she was comfortable, he had forgotten about her until that fateful night that she appeared in his playhouse, all bloody and pale as a sheet. She had snapped, and it was all his fault. He didn't care, at the time, but now he did. The year that he lived as a human witch had opened his mind to what kind of bastard he'd been and that there was a shot at redemption.
He was going to do right by Bella. He was going to honor her memory and do better. Yes.
Something was wrong. Her heart had slowed, but it hadn't stopped - and he was pretty sure he had drained her, he'd even squeezed the hell out of her body and heard some bones crack, but her heart was still beating. He was feeling fine, but, she should have died. Marcel was already rushing over to offer his blood, but after pulling his teeth out of Bella's neck and shoving the other vampire away, he sank to the floor with Bella in his arms. "No vampire blood. She wanted to die, and I intend to honor that request, as much as it pains me," he said as he tucked a strand of Bella's hair behind her ear as he cradled her.
"Who is she?" Davina asked as she squatted down next to her boyfriend holding this strange girl in his arms. Sure, Marcel had told her what the girl was doing for Kol, but who was she? To him?
"Bella and I knew each other a lifetime ago," Kol said as he pulled her closer to him, he found it odd that she was still warm too. "She was an Ancestor; she had my back when I was on the Ancestral Plane."
"Really? She was around?"
"She told me you were there," he smiled at his girlfriend. "She liked it how your influence has mellowed me out."
Davina turned to Marcel and raised an eyebrow. "Did I really make that much of a difference?"
Marcel snorted and shook his head as he poured himself a bourbon. "I think the fact that he was human again for a while had something to do with it too. But if she's an Ancestor, we should be worried."
"No," Kol countered angrily. "She's the one who alerted me to their behavior when we were there. She's one of the good guys." He let out a frustrated sigh. "Why isn't she dying?"
"Maybe you've lost your touch," Marcel quipped.
"Shut up, Marcel," Davina scolded him as she shifted a little and cast a minor spell to see if she could sense anything. "Uhm," she cocked her head as she redid the spell. "She's not dead. In fact, it seems like she's slowly getting back to normal."
Kol blinked as he looked at the unconscious form of his friend in his arms. "How?"
Davina shrugged. "My best guess is that when she came back with you, she used my spell as a stepping stone. She might be connected to your life force; I'd have to do a stronger spell when she wakes up, which is probably soon."
"We're going to have an immortal witch on our hands?" Marcel said pained. "Seriously?"
"Not to worry, Marcel, she's as cute as a button and won't hurt a fly," Kol smirked. Success. Well, not because she wanted to, but she was going to live again, and she was simply going to have to enjoy it. It made him happy that he was going to be able to see her flourish in a new age where it was alright to be a little peculiar.
She had seemed to be quite together when she told him to kill her for him to be cured, but she could be like that when she was focussed. It was curious to see how she'd live in this new world with her new life.
"Am I dead?" Bella muttered as her eyes fluttered open and looked at Kol. "You need to drink all of me for it to work, Kol."
"I did," Kol smirked at her as he helped her sit up, still holding on to her as her head rolled around. "You just don't want to die."
Her jaw dropped in surprise. "I do!"
"Tough. According to Davina, it's entirely possible that you're linked to me now, and I'm an Original, sorry darling; you're just going to have to keep on living."
Bella scowled. "I want a second opinion."
Kol got to his feet and pulled Bella to hers. She was still a little wobbly, but she seemed to be recovering at a fast rate. This was going to be amazing; he had his best friend back, and she was an everlasting blood bag! "After we save my brother from a lunatic, yeah?"
"Did I save you, though?" she held on to him. "At least tell me that I managed to cure you. Please."
"Let's find out," Kol smirked as he put his other arm around his girlfriend and headed to the exit. It felt good to be between the two girls he liked the most. One was his girlfriend, and the other was his friend who he had a lot to make up to. "Marcel, are you coming?"