A Debt Owed
Author's Note: Apparently my muse wanted to see what would happen if Elijah and Bonnie came face to face.
Bonnie knows she is cornered.
In the twisted maze of the warehouse it is bound to happen sooner or later. She is actually surprised that it has taken him this long to pin her down. She has spent weeks listening to his taunts, his promises…his arrogance. She has been expecting much more.
Still, as the heavy sound of his footsteps bounce off the walls, she swallows on reflex.
She is cornered…but not out.
"There you are, my love," Klaus says quietly as he rounds a stack of dusty old boxes, his eyes immediately falling on her. He stops just short of invading her personal space and Bonnie stands, hands pressed at her side, elevating her chin to hide the fear that is pooling in her stomach.
While she may not be out – she is not a fool to pretend she is safe.
He smiles, perhaps at her false bravado, perhaps at the thought of finally burying his fangs into her neck. She does not want to waste any time to find out. She summons what she has left, pushing the power in his direction. She watches as Klaus groans, and staggers. The show of weakness is temporary. He is pulling himself back up to full height sooner than she expected.
"Now look at what you've gone and done, dear Bonnie. You have wasted a significant amount of energy to give me the vampire equivalent of a brain freeze," Klaus chides before the smile returns, spreading slowly across his face. His hand raises and she forces herself to stand still as it tangles into her curls, his fingers caressing her left cheek in what seems like an almost loving gesture. "This whole venture is a waste come to think of it. So much potential in you…" The softness disappears, quickly replaced by the outward appearance of the monster that lurks within him.
She raises her hand as he steps forward. She has not expected the sound – the squelching noise that jars her as the dagger sinks through his flesh and embeds itself right in his heart. He lets out a whoosh of air, his eyes widening.
She has caught him off guard.
Bonnie stands, her hand still curled around the ornate handle of the dagger. She can see his mind working, processing what she has just done. She shakes her head free of his grasp and takes a step back. He is regaining his senses, his hand shooting out to wrap around her wrist tightly. He gives a quick tug, pulling the dagger free. There is the same sickening sound and Bonnie shudders. "I believe you are missing you dead witch friends – resorting to physical violence like some common thug…" Klaus trails off and Bonnie realizes for the first time that he has noticed what she still has tightly gripped in her hand. He wrenches her wrist higher causing her to hiss. "Where did you get this?"
She is not out – and now she has the upper hand.
Bonnie's eyes pick up the subtle movement behind him. A small smile plays across her lips as she loosens her fingers enough to allow the white ash dagger to fall to the floor. The loud clatter of metal hitting cement echoes through the warehouse. He lets go of her wrist - and she knows that he is focusing his attention elsewhere. She thinks she will be unnoticed on her way to the door – and to safety.
As she turns to begin her retreat, she hears a familiar voice, surprisingly clear considering it was not long ago that he was choking for air.
This was not one of Bonnie Bennett's finer moments - separated from her friends, from safety in numbers, and desperate for a way out.
The fact that Klaus will soon be breathing down her neck makes her decision all the more critical. She runs her hand along the smooth wood as she regards the cold figure lying there.
She doesn't like to be this indecisive - she likes knowing exactly what move to make and foreseeing the consequences long before they happen. The fact that she has no idea how this will turn out makes the risks cloud the benefits.
She wishes she had more time – more time to find the necklace bartered to Klaus by Katherine in exchange for her life, more time to think through the decision she is about to make. She knows that logically Damon and Alaric can't hold Klaus off much longer.
She needs to stop analyzing and just act.
It's easier said than done. Perhaps once she could have reached in and pulled out the dagger without a second thought but now, given their shared history, she is hesitating.
He will be angry. But if she has reasoned correctly – it won't be directed toward her but to the man who had placed him in that position in the first place. She needs that kind of rage on her side if she is going to get out of here alive.
With survival in mind, Bonnie throws the rest of her cautions to the wind and wraps her hand around the handle of the dagger. It is colder then she would have first thought. She gives it a tug, freeing it from its makeshift sheath.
Bonnie steps back, clutching the one advantage she has over him tightly. She has no idea how long it will take for him to awaken. She hopes it will be in time – otherwise her internal struggle has all been in vain.
With each passing moment, she wonders if she has placed all her eggs in one basket. She should turn and run, get as far as possible before Klaus becomes aware that she is even here at all.
She gets two steps before she hears the horrid rasp, like a drowning man gasping for air. Her fear intensifies as she turns in time to see his hands grip the side of his prison to pull himself up into a sitting position. He looks sickly. He looks hungry.
"Elijah," she says calmly as their eyes meet.
Somewhere from within the recesses of the warehouse the sounds of something being overturned stills any response Elijah would have had for her. "Dear Bonnie, I know you are close by. Do you wish me to chase you?" The voice is closer than she would have liked – and sincere, with a slight hint of malice that has her stomach twisting into a knot.
Bonnie tears her eyes away from Elijah, her fight or flight instinct going into overdrive.
She runs – dagger still in hand.
Bonnie picks up her messenger bag, her fingers dancing across the keyboard of her phone. After assuring Elena that she will be at the Grille before long, she bounds down the stairs and opens her front door. A cool breeze plays with her hair and reminds her that fall will be here soon.
It has been almost three months since Stefan disappeared with Klaus.
Three months and Elena still refuses to give up. Bonnie tries her best to understand Elena's unwavering commitment even in the face of a growing pile of bodies and countless rejections from Stefan. Elena is convinced that somewhere inside the monster that now roams from state to state is a man desperate to come home. Bonnie is not so sure – while her search of Klaus' property did not turn up the necklace it did turn up a photo which now rests safely in her bag. Klaus and Stefan are not new acquaintances – in fact given by the way Stefan has his arm slung around the hybrid she believes they were once very close. For now, she decides to keep the damning photo to herself. Elena does not need another blow – not now. She reasons that if she had the kind of love that Stefan and Elena had, she probably would refuse to give in as well.
Bonnie is almost at the end of her driveway when she feels it – a stir in the air that demands her attention. She turns slightly, glancing over her shoulder toward her house. It sits in darkness, as it usually does. She focuses and sees nothing out of the ordinary. Still, she knows something is there. She tenses and readies.
Her head whirls back to find him standing there, hands stuck in the pockets of a rather expensive looking suit. It is new – not the one he had been wearing when she saw him last. She wishes once again that she had not been abandoned by her ancestors. She has power – but not enough to save her from him if he chooses to strike.
"Elijah," she says, trying to keep her voice calm, steady. Perhaps the outward appearance of being in control of her fear will send the message that she is more than capable of handling him.
The slight quirk at the corner of her lips tells her that, like his brother, he sees right through her.
"What are you doing here?" Bonnie asks, her voice faltering a little. She suddenly wishes she had gone along with Elena's original idea of having Damon pick her up. Surely, a few minutes trapped the confines of a vehicle with the likes of Damon Salvatore is preferable to death at the hands of one of the most powerful beings she has ever known.
Elijah furrows his brows at her question. "I should think the answer is an obvious one." Bonnie braces herself, ready to fling what little she has left at him. It will give her a fighting chance. Elijah cocks his head to the side and she thinks he is amused. "I am not here to kill you, Bonnie."
Now it is her turn to furrow her brows. She does not back down, ready in case he is playing her. "Then the answer is not obvious," she tells him.
"You risked a great deal to pull the dagger from me," Elijah begins. "It begs the question why."
"I didn't have a choice," Bonnie retorts immediately.
The ghost of a smile she had witnessed earlier returns full force. "Liar. There is always a choice. I find it intriguing that you strayed down this particular path."
He speaks as if her pulling the dagger out is not the end of their story. Bonnie does not want to put too much thought into his words. She just wants to satisfy his need for answers and then leave. She can feel her phone vibrating against her leg and knows Elena is wondering just where she is. "You're stronger than me. You had a better chance in taking him."
"Assuming I would have wanted to hurt my brother in the first place," he tells her.
"If my brother had stuck a dagger in my chest and then left me a box I would imagine a hug would be off the table." Bonnie resists the urge to take a step back when he comes closer, a slight chuckle caught in his throat. "I had nothing to lose."
"I suppose you're right," Elijah concedes. "And if it is any comfort, I would have finished you off quickly – he would have made it last for days."
Bonnie's mouth falls openly slightly at his declaration. "No, surprisingly, that does little to comfort me." He says nothing but she gets the distinct feeling that he is enjoying toying with her. "Did you kill him?"
"No," Elijah says.
"I am not surprised," Bonnie tells him. "Experience has taught me that in the crucial moment you become a coward."
Something dark plays across his face. "Be careful, Bonnie. I will make good on my word not to kill you – but after a thousand years I am somewhat of an expert at delivering pain." The line is delivered with eloquence and years of fine breeding – but there is no mistaking the malice behind it.
Bonnie knows better than to poke at a man with his strength and knowledge. Still she can't help but feel bitter. If he had just done what he promised in the first place, they wouldn't be standing here now. "I am sorry."
"Insincere but accepted just the same," Elijah says. He steps closer again and this time she does step back. He stops his progress, his mouth set in a grim line. "I didn't kill him because I can't. Just as you can't – just as no one can."
Bonnie is surprised to realize that he wants to kill his brother. She knew he would be angry when he awoke but she did not think he would wish to take it that far. "There is always a way."
"I suppose you are right," Elijah concedes. "My brother is a perversion of nature. I am sure that her servants have made provisions to ensure that he cannot exist forever."
Nature's servants - like her, Bonnie reflects. "I will find them," she promises.
"Or die trying," Elijah adds.
"Or die trying," Bonnie repeats. Unlike him, she will never waver in her commitment. Her phone vibrates again and she knows if she doesn't show up at the Grille within the next five minutes, a rescue party will be sent out for her. The last thing she needs is for Damon and Elijah to come face to face. Like the picture, he is not something she has told the others about. "If you'll excuse me, I have to meet my friends."
Elijah steps to the side, out of her intended path. She begins to walk, wishing he would disappear just as quickly as he appeared. She does not like having her back to him – he claims to be a man of his word but she knows otherwise.
She turns back to find that he has not moved. "Yes?"
"I believe that even by today's standards, I owe you a debt," he says. His hand comes out of his pocket, something swings from his finger and she can barely make it out in the dim light. "I believe you have been looking for this."
Her eyes widen as she realizes what it is that he holds. The necklace – her link to the original witch, to answers. She steps forward automatically, her hand moving toward it. He moves it quickly out of reach. She frowns, tired of his games. "You said you owe me a debt."
"I do," Elijah agrees. "I will give you my help - and nothing more."
She knows he knows it is not what she wants. She takes a deep breath, seeing her prize gripped so tightly in his hands. It's funny how in repaying his debt he holds all the power. She considers walking away but knows it will be a foolish show of pride. He has the one thing she needs the most. "All right – help me and consider your debt repaid."