A Token of My Appreciation
Author's Note: I saw a post on tumblr that read "Klaus should thank Bonnie keeping Elena alive" and viola, this oneshot was born.
Bonnie waves her hand as she finally finds her keys at the bottom of her bag. Matt, who has been waiting patiently in his beat up truck, slowly begins to back down the driveway. She uses the dying glow of his headlights to successfully insert her key and open the front door. Stepping inside, she immediately tosses her bag and is reaching for the hallway light when it hits her.
The physiological symptoms are immediate – she shivers, the hair on her arm stands, and then her body tenses. A cold dread starts in the pit of her stomach and moves quickly until she is overwhelmed with the urge to run.
"There you are, love."
Bonnie stands rigid, her hand still on the light switch. While her body remains frozen, her mind is working quickly, evaluating her options. She can run – but she is willing to bet she will not make it off the front steps of her porch before he is on her. She can use her powers – but they are pitiful in comparison to what he is now.
Where does that leave her?
In the time it takes her to realize she is completely and utterly screwed, Klaus has moved from the darkness of her living room to lean against the door frame. His arms are crossed and she still hasn't moved. Even in the dim light she can see the smile spread slowly across his face. "Past your curfew," he tsks. "And being escorted home by a young man that is not even your boyfriend. My my, Bonnie Bennett, you certainly are making the best of your teenage years."
Bonnie's hand finally falls off the light switch, and she moves in a jerky fashion to face him. She takes a deep breath to keep down the fear, to push it aside so she can die with dignity. To be honest, she has expected this day since the moment she purposely cast her first spell. She had known then and there she would gladly die for what is right. And although she has come close more times than she would like to admit, she has never envisioned going out like this - petrified by fear in her home.
She summons from deep within, feeling her powers spread throughout her body. She launches it, all she has, in one foul swoop. It is invigorating to see his body twist and writhe before it connects with a set of shelves on the opposite walls. They crack under the weight of him, and she watches as the old photographs and knickknacks that her father still hasn't packed away fall to the floor and shatter.
She only gains momentary satisfaction at seeing him dazed. For she knows she has nothing left – and he is getting to his feet. Before she can blink, she is pressed against a wall with the same force she has used on him. She can feel her body jar on impact, robbing her of her breath. Pain consumes her leaving her dazed. She slumps forward, her weight falling onto him. He presses against her using his body to hold her up. "There, are we done now?" She doesn't nod but she also doesn't struggle. There is no use. "I am not here to hurt you, Bonnie…" He trails off and she thinks he is noting the slightly glazed look in her eyes. "Scratch that. I am not here to kill you, Bonnie," he amends with a bright smile.
She is confused. Her hands are on his arms now, fingers digging into his shirt as she struggles to stay on her feet. She can feel his body against her, surprisingly warm considering what he is. She squirms now, wanting him away from her. She needs to sink to the floor and give into the dizziness.
"Stop that!" He barks and gives her a little shake for good measure. She moans. "Oh dear, perhaps I have underestimated my own strength. Are you in much pain, sweetheart?" When she shakes her head in an act of defiance, he laughs. "One of the things I admire about you, Bonnie, is your stubbornness. It's borderline annoying but refreshing none the same."
Bonnie does not want him to admire anything about her. She wants him to crawl in a hole and die. And she says so, finally finding her voice. She is surprised at how clear it sounds given the trauma her body has just suffered. Klaus raises an eyebrow, waits a moment, and then laughs. "And there's another – your wicked sense of humour." He steps back, and her body gives out. She falls toward the floor, but he catches her effortlessly, scooping her up in an almost tender fashion. He carries into the living room and deposits her on the couch.
She lays there assessing the damage. It is serious, but she doesn't think it is life threatening. It is certainly enough to have her out of commission while her powers recharge. She can heal herself – but it will leave her completely depleted again. She watches out of the corner of her eye as he seats himself on the coffee table, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees, his hands folded together in front of his face. "You really shouldn't have wasted so much energy on that ridiculous display," Klaus begins. "You're not much good to me like this."
She finds small satisfaction in the knowledge that she has derailed his plans – even if it has been in the most painful way possible. She shifts slightly, trying to pull herself into a sitting position. He is swift, using a hand on her shoulder to keep her down. "Don't do that, you silly girl. You'll hurt yourself further."
Bonnie concedes, but only for the moment. She keeps her eyes on him, even though she would like to close them. She knows she will recover quicker if she gives in and just passes out. However, given that there is a hybrid looming over her, she does not let the blackness consume her. He resumes his seated position and for a moment they regard one another. She can sense his mounting frustration – although given she has no idea why he is here in the first place she can't pinpoint the source.
It boils over quickly and he stands, his teeth ripping into his wrist. She knows his intentions and catches his arm as he descends. A drop of blood hits her chin. "No!"
"You're in pain. Don't you want that to go away?" Klaus asks. His tone almost sounds compassionate – he is playing on her current vulnerability.
Very much so – there are very few people in the world who would willingly trade places with her in her current state. But she does not want hybrid blood running through her system, not when she can't be sure he won't snap her neck moments later. "I'll heal," she tells him, turning her head slightly so the next drop of his blood hits her cheek. She expects him to force the issue and she is no position to truly hold him off.
Her eyes widen when pulls his arm from her weak grasp. Already she can see the gash healing. "Have it your way, my dear." He is respecting her wishes? Bonnie knows there is an ulterior motive. She wishes he would just get to the point.
"I guess this means I am spending the night," he announces as he claps his hands together. "Now be a good girl and go to sleep. Recharge that battery of yours."
That is the last thing she wants to do, even as her body seemingly reacts to his command. She feels heavy but she fights it. He makes a face, and crouches down next to her. "Bonnie, love, it is useless to struggle. You need to sleep so you can heal." His voice takes on a soothing quality, and she likens it to him trying to coddle a wounded animal. She only wishes she had the power to lash out like one would. Instead she feels her body betraying her, her eyelids are dangerously close to falling shut. "Don't you worry – I will make sure nothing happens to you as you rest."
The last thing she sees is his wide smile. She'll sleep – but she'll have nightmares.
Bonnie's eyes shoot open and she sucks in a gulp of air. There is not a part on her that does not ache – but she can feel it now, the power swimming throughout her, just waiting for her to direct it. She sits up slowly, her hands curling in the soft sheets around her. She freezes as the rest of her senses catch up to her body.
She is in her bedroom.
She was on the couch.
Bonnie does not need a detailed explanation to know what has happened. Klaus has touched her when she had no means to defend herself. Klaus has been in her bedroom. She fumes. She can hear him on the stairs now. No doubt her startled awakening has caught his attention. When he opens the door, she narrows her eyes.
"Come now, Bonnie. You cannot blame me. I am sure a few hours in your own bed as opposed to lying on that excuse for a piece of furniture has done you wonders," Klaus comments as he closes the door behind him.
It has. She is ready now, despite her obvious physical limitations.
She watches as he strolls through her room, a hand casually running across her dresser. It falls on a picture of her, Elena and Caroline – taken before well before the word 'vampire' became part of her every day vernacular. He lifts it from its spot. "The youth and naiveté present here is very endearing," he comments as he lets it drop to the floor. She hears the tell-tale crack and reacts immediately.
So does he.
Klaus is on her, pushing her onto her back, his fingers wrapped around her throat before she can finish the spell. He gives it a light squeeze, a warning. "Now, now, love, let's not have a repeat of last night. There are better uses of your gift."
Bonnie bucks, ignoring the fresh pain. Both hands wrap around the wrist at her neck. She burns his skin and he tightens his grip. "Heal yourself," he shouts. "Now." She is not too far gone to recognize the irony in his command – he is causing her further damage even as he orders her to fix it. She continues to burn him, enjoying the satisfaction that comes with the grimace of pain the briefly crosses his face. "If you do not, I will," he says with an air of finality that has her withdrawing her spell immediately.
Given her options, she will do as he says.
She closes her eyes to avoid making him a part of this. Whenever she uses magic for her own purposes it is always a private affair. She will have to do her best with his weight bearing down on her. She works to tune him out as she refocuses her energy. The words fall easily from her lips and already she can feel the healing warmth spread across her body. Her eyes fly open meeting his. "Get off me," she grounds out.
He immediately backs off, releasing his hold on her to perch at the end of her bed. She sits up, no longer burdened by pain. However, it has come at a cost. She is now completely defenseless against him. "Fantastic," Klaus mutters as a smile crosses his face. "Now we can finally talk."
"I'm not in the mood," Bonnie spits out as she pulls her knees to her chest. She would rather be as far as way as possible from him but for now she will settle for the head of the bed while he occupies the foot.
"My you are a cranky on the morning. Are you hungry? I know I am." His words take on new meaning and she sets her mouth in a grim line.
"Speak your piece and then get the hell out," Bonnie tells him.
"When you take that tone, it really hurts my feelings," Klaus places a hand over where his heart should be. "Especially when I have come here to thank you."
Bonnie cannot contain her reaction, screwing her face up in confusion. And here she thought she had gotten a handle on Klaus' unpredictable nature. The fact that he did not force his blood on her and now wants to thank her seems out of character. "If it is for not killing you than you really need to thank that traitorous brother of yours instead."
Klaus chuckles. "I have…in my own way."
She will not be surprised if she finds out that Elijah is no longer among the land of the living. "I can safely say that you are not welcome. Now go."
"Your manners leave something to be desired," he drawls. "And that is not what I came to thank you for."
Klaus leans forward, and even though there is still space between them Bonnie presses her back into the headboard. "Thank you, Bonnie Bennett, for keeping Elena alive. If you hadn't, all my lovely plans would have been for naught."
It takes her moment for her to process the truth to what he has said. If Elena had died as she was supposed to, Klaus would have been without means to create more like him. By keeping her alive, Bonnie has given Klaus exactly what he needs to build an army. The fact that she did it to save the life of her best friend does not alleviate the guilt creeping into her system. "I didn't do it for you," she tells him.
"I know," Klaus retorts immediately. "It would be mighty arrogant to think to that you had. No, no, you did it to save the fair Elena but I can still be grateful for the consequences of your decision."
Bonnie knows she will have to work hard now to not see her complicity in whatever Klaus is doing now. She knows she would never change her actions, given the choice she would save Elena time and time again, but that does not mean that she does not have blood on her hands. She thinks of Tyler, struggling to straddle the lines between his dual natures and wonders if some day he will trace the root of his problems to the spell she weaved that night. "You could have just stated this last night – instead of dragging out in such a spectacular fashion."
"Ah, love, if I may remind you, you are the one who attacked first. The reason why I had to spend the night rifling through your personal belongings while you slept the sleep of the dead can be tracked directly back to you," Klaus points out. He inches closer and she has nowhere else to go – the wood of the headboard is already digging uncomfortably into her back.
"Still, all of this for a thank you," Bonnie spits back. The other shoe is about to drop – she has always had a keen sense and she knows that she can trust it now.
"Not merely a thank you." And there it goes. She holds her breath, waiting to see what he has put together in that twisted mind of his. "But I thought I would offer a token of my appreciation."
"Not necessary," Bonnie assures him.
"Oh but it is," Klaus states immediately. "How can I not show my thanks to the person instrumental in giving me what I desired for centuries?"
The guilt is a little thicker now and she begins to wonder if anyone else in her circle of friends has come to the same conclusion as he. She knows they too would not want her to change her actions but she can't help but think they will look at her a little differently given the part she has played in Klaus' master plan. "If you are desperate to give thanks, may I suggest leaving town? This minute. I would most definitely feel your appreciation…"
Klaus grins. "There it is again – that sense of humour." He pushes himself off her bed finally and she allows her body to relax. Her eyes follow him around the room only tearing themselves away when he finds a new seat on the edge of her window sill. The sun is starting to rise, causing the sky to be a murky light grey. She thinks it will rain today. She wonders briefly if she will be alive when it does. Then she focuses her attention back to the matter at hand. "My appreciation comes in the form of assistance…"
Bonnie raises an eyebrow, her mouth falling slightly open. Assistance? From him? It seemed akin to sticking her hand into a hornet's nest. "Believe me, the last thing in this world I would want is help from you."
"I suspected as much." Klaus crosses his arms and sighs. "There is a time and place for moral high ground, love. This is not one of them."
Bonnie spins on the bed so that her feet hit the floor. She pulls herself to her full height, hating that he smiles. She doesn't want to exist for his amusement. "This is not about morals - this is about the inability to see you as anything other than an untrustworthy snake."
The smile disappears.
Perhaps she has gone too far. She braces herself for whatever he will do next. Then it returns, as if he had momentarily forgotten it. "But do you know what's coming, Bonnie?" he asks. "Your boyfriend has done a very stupid thing."
Bonnie knows exactly what he speaks of. With the help of Katherine, Jeremy has brought forth quite possibly the one thing that might rid them of Klaus for good. The thought she may never have to see his face again is a comforting one. However, she wonders at what cost? She knows that nothing ever comes easy – and she has a feeling that this Mikael might be more trouble than he is worth. The realization that there is something out there more powerful than the thing that stands before her is enough to make her blood run cold.
Of course she admits none of this to him.
"You're scared," she observes finally finding a smile of her own. "And desperate…otherwise you wouldn't bother with this charade of thanking me." Things fall into place – the acceptance of her refusal to let his blood heal her, the compliments on her stubbornness and sense of humour…he is trying in his own way to win her help. The fact that he is scared enough to seek out a neophyte witch only further cements the feeling that Mikael is not the answer, he will soon become part of the problem.
Still, she will not throw in with Klaus.
"If you need to tell yourself that to accept my help then so be it," Klaus tells her as he stands. They are soon nose to nose. Bonnie gives herself credit for not flinching. "But I ask you, love, just how much do you know about Mikael? Do you know he kills indiscriminately? Any vampire will do. Are you ready to see the end of Damon Salvatore?"
Bonnie can't contain a laugh. "I have been ready since the moment I met him."
"Hmm, about sweet Caroline?" Klaus asks and she flinches. "I thought as much. Mikael will make quick work of her…" He trails off and she can see that he is pondering over something. "Or perhaps he'll drag it out. He can be very vicious when he wants."
Bonnie knows instinctively that he is right. Caroline is in danger. "I will protect her."
"I am sure you'll try. The real question is: can you protect yourself?" Klaus asks. "For Mikael is not too fond of witches either. I am sure they have been a pain in his side as long as he has existed. I believe he takes great pleasure in ending the life of a witch."
"I am not scared of him," Bonnie tells him. She is not prepared when Klaus reaches out, gripping the back of her head tightly so he can expose her neck to him. She can see fangs now as he descends. She lets out a startled cry just as he comes to a stop, his mouth inches away from her skin. As quick as he grabbed her, Klaus releases her and she can't stop the shudders that come immediately as the adrenaline works its way through her system. She wraps her arms around her midsection in an attempt to calm herself. He is standing normal now, as if nothing had happened.
"You're scared," Klaus points out. "You can't stop what is innately wired into you. Love, as fierce as you may pretend to be, you are still a slip of a girl. And if the rumours are true, you are without the assistance of your dear departed sisters in arms."
"Which begs the question as to why you even want my help in the first place," Bonnie says when she is calm enough. She hates that he is right – she is scared. Despite her willingness to sacrifice herself to allow her friends to live, Bonnie cannot shake her fear.
"Want your help? This is a token of my thanks, remember?"
He is lying but she decides not to call him on it. "I don't want your thanks, remember?" Bonnie counters. "So to recap: you are grateful, I don't care, you can leave now."
Klaus sets his mouth in a grim line. "I can see that your stubbornness is making you blind to reality. Lucky for you, I am not withdrawing my thanks. If the day comes when you need my assistance, than find me. You know how."
He moves past her, brushing against her as he does so. She knows he did it on purpose. When she turns to stare daggers into his retreating form, she finds that she is the only one in the room.
A week later Caroline nearly dies.
Bonnie is curled up in Caroline's bed, holding the blonde in her arms as Elena gathers up comfort food in the kitchen. It is fast becoming their go to routine for near death experiences. She knows that Caroline is shaken despite her many assurances that she is fine.
Three hours ago she had nearly been ripped to shreds. It had only been by sheer luck that they were able to pull her away before she truly met her end.
Bonnie's face is grim as Elena piles carbs and sugar onto the bed. Caroline pulls away and the two are soon laughing, trying to make the best of the situation. Bonnie can't. She is realizing that tonight is just the tip of the iceberg, that the people she loves are in never going to be safe until Mikael is right back where Katherine and Jeremy found him.
Later, after the obligatory amount of chocolate, she does what she does best – whatever it takes to keep her friends safe.
Klaus is surprisingly easy to find.
She realizes, as she pushes the door open to the dingy bar just outside of town limits, that he probably hasn't strayed far since the night he visited her – almost as if he knew this meeting was inevitable.
Bonnie does her best to avoid the hands of a particularly smelly drunk and seats herself on a stool next to Klaus. She can see that he is halfway through a bottle of a very old scotch. She turns on the stool, reaching out to pull the bottle of out his reach. She has no idea how much a hybrid can consume before they become inebriated but she is not taking the chance – she needs him clear headed.
"Little Caroline all better now?" He taunts.
Bonnie ignores it. She doesn't have time for banter. She wants to get straight to the point. "I need you – but you damn well need me too. That's why you have been hanging around Mystic Falls just waiting for something bad to happen. You can cut the 'thank you' crap so we can get rid of this bastard."
Klaus turns now, his eyes glittering with amusement. "Your intelligence is yet another quality I admire about you, Bonnie Bennett." She takes a deep breath as he leans closer to her. She wonders if one day this will be added to her list of regrets. He tilts his head and smiles.
"Tell me, love, would you like to meet the Original Witch?"