Author's note: Welcome to my full length Klonnie fic. Before you dive in, there are a few things that I want you to know. First of all, this story is complete. I have plugged away for two years at it, off and on, wanting to finish it before I started publishing it. That way I knew I wouldn't leave it unfinished. So when you start this ride, you don't have to get off to the very end if you don't want to. I plan to post a chapter a week and I hope to maintain a fairly regular schedule.
Secondly, this isn't a shippy story per say. This is a story of two people who have been deeply wounded by loss forced together to beat an enemy. There are times when Bonnie and Klaus aren't nice to one another but I like to think that it is all in character. Hopefully if you give it a chance, you will deem it worth the ride! Thank you for all your support in advance.
Part One: the sun will rise
It is stupid of her to be here, she knows that. However, it is the culmination of so many wrong turns that she figures one more can't hurt.
(the list of things she tells herself to keep her head above water is a long one)
She ignores the way the branches dig into her exposed flesh and continues to push deeper into the forest. There is blood on her legs, a siren call to every insect that populates this fetid piece of land but she can't worry about those things. She is running out of time. She can feel it.
Unconsciously, a hand moves to grip the leather cord around her neck. It is frayed from too many moments just like this. Her fingers drop to the cool stone at the end of it and she holds on tightly, as if she can squeeze what she needs from it. One of these days she is going to pull it right off, a careless accident that will go unnoticed until it is too late.
The air is heavy here. She hadn't thought of that when she wandered away from the dirt road hours before. It weighs her down, slows her pace. A sheen of sweat breaks out over her body and she wishes she had grabbed that bottle of water when she had the chance (one more misstep; they keep adding up don't they?).
This will have to do. She can't go any further.
(she is too weak; she hates that she has brought herself to this)
She surveys her surroundings, moving until she is free from the underbrush. She can see earth now and she falls to her knees immediately. Her palms press against the ground and for the first time in days she feels that spark. Maybe nature hasn't quite turned its back on her.
She moves quickly now, her fingers tracing out symbols in quick succession until she is surrounded. She can barely see them in the dark but she has created them so many times that it is almost like a sense memory now. She is breathing heavily, sweat trickling down the lines of her neck. Her eyes survey the space in front of her.
She is waiting, her body still.
(this has to work)
She is still waiting an hour later, but now her head has dropped and she sways slightly. Her hand moves quickly to keep herself from falling over, slamming down against a wandering branch. She feels it pierce her skin and she cries out (in pain, in frustration). The sound echoes off the trees. Perhaps it makes it all the way to the stagnant water. She doesn't know. She just lets it out, screaming until she has no air left in her lungs. She shudders, drawing in a breath. Every part of her feels heavy now.
She lets herself fall, curling against the coolness of the dirt. Her eyes blink once or twice, threatening to close for good.
She thinks she hears the howl of a wolf.
That might be a better way to go, she reflects.
Before she can weigh her options, she (mercifully) loses consciousness.
He has blood on his hands. It is tacky, almost malleable and he spends a brief second rolling it between his fingers before he remembers that he is supposed to have some manners.
Klaus looks up, noting the way his associate's eyes find the floor. A smile plays at the corner of his lips. Desmond won't say a thing of course. Not about Klaus' behavior, nor the mess he has just made. There are very few limits to what Klaus can ask of him (which he sets about proving now).
"See that this is cleaned up," he commands with a flick of his bloodied hand. He has to step over the body of an unfortunate soul to move closer to the exit. He is about to leave when an errant thought crosses his mind. He looks back to see that Desmond already is pulling a body towards the center of the room. "And be quick about it - the sun will rise in a few hours."
You see, Desmond is without a daylight ring and Klaus has a sister who can make them without blinking.
It is a perfect arrangement really.
The Abattoir is shrouded in silence when Klaus returns.
He goes straight for a drink, pouring a generous helping of whiskey and nearly downing it all at once. It mixes with the remaining euphoria pulsing through him and he closes his eyes to give himself over to it.
"I take it your outing went well." Elijah's voice cuts through like a dull knife.
Klaus' fingers tighten on the glass before he turns to face his brother. "We both know that it would not go any other way. They were small compared to us. To me."
Elijah takes a deep breath, his nod conceding his agreement. "Still, they were enough to be a thorn in our side. Did you find it?"
Klaus makes a face, digging into the depths of his pocket to pull the trinket free. It looks harmless enough, a simple wooden box. But if one looks close enough, he or she would note the words etched on the sides and then a deeper understanding would come. Without a thought paid to its true intentions, he tosses it, watching it as it lands on the table between them.
Elijah sucks in a breath, no doubt deciding against whatever lecture that had been on the tip of his tongue. He does, however, retrieve a handkerchief from his jacket. He uses that to lift the box from the table.
Klaus is quick to note how blood seeps into the pristine white cloth, sullying it forever. He feels a measure of pride in that fact.
"I do wish you would take more care in how you conduct yourself," Elijah says quietly, his tone weary. This is hardly the first time he has expressed such a sentiment and Klaus wonders why he continues to cling to this idea.
"Next time, you can go," Klaus retorts immediately. He brings the glass to his lips once more, finishing off his whiskey. Blood is smudged on the glass as well and he intends to leave it there. If only to turn the screws a little tighter. He eyes his brother closely, relishing in the minute reactions that play across Elijah's face. "But we wouldn't want to do that, would we? You might enjoy yourself too much."
(he is walking the finest of lines now)
To his credit, Elijah stomps much of his anger down. For now. They both know that one of these days, he will not. He holds up the box. "I will put this with the rest." It is as close as a goodnight as Klaus is going to get.
He watches his brother retreat and then he too turns on his heels. His head tilts upwards and his eyes fall on a closed door. He shouldn't.
(but he is powerless to help himself)
He stops first, venturing into his room - a mess of half finished paintings, and empty glasses. The only untouched thing in the bed. He hardly has a use for it. He is not seeking it now either, instead moving past to the bathroom. He takes a brief moment to look in the mirror and see how the blood is smeared across his skin.
Then he gets to work.
By the time he enters his daughter's room, there is no trace of the recent massacre on him. He moves quietly, keeping to the edges for the time being. He has no wish to rouse her. She looks far too peaceful at the moment, limbs sprawled out and hair spilling over the pillow. Fairy lights illuminate a passive face, her mouth turned slightly down as she breathes at a steady rate. He had helped her string those lights around her bed posts not that long ago, a ward against nightmares (they seem to have worked, she does not cry out as frequently).
He watches for a while, feeling as if an age has passed between this moment and the high he had clung to as he walked home. Finally he cannot help himself and moves toward her bed, mindful of his steps. His eyes never leave her sleeping form, watching for any sign that she might wake.
In the end, he is able to seat himself on the floor. His legs stretch out and he lets his head fall so it rests against the side of her bed. His eyes drop for a moment, but he fights it. He will eventually lose his battle, he knows this. But he is at peace with it.
It is amazing how much power one little being can have over him.
A hand falls, soft on his shoulder.
He still jerks awake, his body lurching to the side as if he has been burned.
Freya stands over him in a robe belted across her midsection. Her hair is slightly askew and there is sleep in the corners of her eyes. He quickly turns his head to see that Hope still rests, unaware of her visitors.
"I need you downstairs," Freya tells him.
He wants to take apart her words and know their true meaning before he agrees to anything.
But not here.
Instead, he rises and together they leave Hope to her good dreams. He waits until the door is shut before he sends a questioning glance in his sister's direction.
"We have a visitor," she explains as she moves quickly towards the steps.
Klaus immediately casts a glance over the balcony to the courtyard below. Standing there, looking wholly out of place among the antique furniture, is a wolf that Klaus only knows as Moreau. A Crescent - not quite the alpha but one of the inner circle (he makes it his business to know these things, of course).
Moreau stinks of the bayou and the look in his eyes hints that he would rather rip this place apart than stand there a moment longer. Part of Klaus wants to let him. Instead he has to take a page out of his brother's book and appear in total control.
"What is it?"
Moreau shifts his weight from one foot to the other. He eyes Freya for a second and then finally looks at Klaus.
"I think you better come with me."
Day hasn't quite broken when they come to stand at the edge of the trees. Klaus fleetingly thinks of Desmond and hopes the boy has conquered his task in time to seek shelter - he would hate to have to find a replacement.
Moreau moves with ease through the woods. He could navigate this place blindfolded no doubt. Klaus struggles, swatting at low hanging branches with frustration. He could still be asleep (at peace) and instead he was battling with nature. He loses track of time, and although he will never admit it aloud, he loses track of where he is. All the green has blended together and looks the same to him.
The wolf must sense his unease because he speaks his first words in at least an hour. "Not long now."
Klaus grumbles at being rooted out. "This bloody well better be worth it."
Moreau just shrugs his shoulders.
Finally, after Klaus has envisioned at least two ways of killing his companion, Moreau's hand shoots out.
Ripping off his arm won't do the trick, Klaus thinks. But it will hurt like hell.
Moreau's head tilts to the side, causing his hair to shift in his face. He looks more beast than man at the moment.
"What is it?" Klaus asks. He receives no answer. He closes his eyes in frustration and then does what he should have done the moment he left the compound. The monster in him inches closer to the surface. He lets it listen to their surroundings: the breeze moving through the leaves, the creatures slowly waking for the day, the water rippling, the heartbeat.
His eyes open. He looks at Moreau with a new understanding.
He doesn't need the wolf any further. He moves with confidence, the sound luring him in like a siren. He steps through a final growth and stops up short. The figure would be unrecognizable to most, clothes worn and tattered, legs and arms covered in cuts and insect bites, hair covering her face.
But he knows immediately.
He crouches down next to what had once been a perfect circle traced on the ground. Footprints litter it now; Moreau and his packmates no doubt (one of whom still stands vigil over the scene). A finger tentatively reaches out to push a lock of hair away from her cheek. He knows, but just wants to prove to himself that he is right. Before he can stop himself he is whispering her name.