I Warned You
Summary: Fill for a prompt on tvd_hiatus: "Mikael, Ayanna - 'I warned you.'"
Author's Note: YES, ANOTHER FILL. :D
Disclaimer: I don't own The Vampire Diaries. They belong to L.J. Smith/The CW.
The first day, they learn to fear the sun.
Rebekah is going about her business, the first up that morning (Normally it's Esther, but she's exhausted from the ritual last night and Mikael doesn't have the heart to wake her). She steps past the window where the morning light streams in, and there's a hiss and a gasp tinged with pain and alarm. Mikael rushes out of his and Esther's room to see half of his daughter's face and her left hand badly burned. Before he can react, the wound begins to heal itself.
When Rebekah looks at him, he momentarily sees the little girl terrified of snakes and spiders and thunderstorms. Not a minute later, she's hardened into the woman that he stabbed in the heart the night previously to give her immortality.
"Why does sunlight burn us?" He asks Ayanna. She shrugs with the air of someone with little sympathy.
"I do not know. Perhaps because the ritual was done at night?"
This magic you speak of breeds consequence.
The second day it's the plants. Elijah and Niklaus are roughhousing near the white oak. Mikael notices out of the corner of his eye, and he's trying to decide if he should roundly criticize them for it (They can't get hurt, not anymore) when Niklaus lets out a yelp of pain much louder than Rebekah's gasp. Mikael approaches then, alarmed because whatever manner of fool he is Niklaus does not easily confess to pain; whatever happened, it must have hurt badly.
It's one of the flowers at the base of the tree. They don't have a name for it yet. Niklaus's arm is burned as severely as Rebekah's face and hand were, but in a matter of seconds it's already starting to recede. Mikael is alarmed- Sun and flowers couldn't hurt them as humans, but now as this new breed can cause them great pain. He touches other plants and flowers in the village, but is not harmed. Just the ones at the bottom of the white oak tree.
"Why do those flowers burn us?" He asks Ayanna. She raises an eyebrow at him and his temper flares. Esther must sense it, because she cuts in.
"They grow at the base of the tree. They may retain some of its properties." She breathes out slowly. "The tree has the power to take our lives." No, not her life. But Esther is in this with her husband and children, and so she says 'our'.
Ayanna neither confirms nor denies this.
The spirits will turn on you.
The third night they burn the white oak.
Mikael knows he is stubborn. He knows that the word 'obsessed' would not be inaccurate in its slightest to describe how desperate he is to protect his family. The death of his and Esther's first child is a wound that has not and conceivably never will heal; Henrick's death created a new hole and gouged the first one open even wider. He will not lose another child. Esther simply cannot; it would be the end of her.
Ayanna doesn't understand that. Her children are alive and well. Her children are not rowdy; they obey their mother and take little risks. How could she understand the agony of burying a child? How could she know the pain of seeing their corpses in her dreams at night? For years after the death of their first child, Mikael would wake up at night thinking he could hear the baby crying.
Even Elijah, the most cautious of their children, has inherited that spark of adventure that Esther has noted in Mikael himself. Niklaus is the most reckless of them all, and Rebekah has learned from her brothers. Mikael is turning gray over them, and Henrick's death only verified how very real the danger was. What other choice did they have? More heartache? Ayanna does not understand.
This is the makings of a plague.
The third night, they learn about the worst aspect of their gift.
Mikael is standing with Elijah and Niklaus watching the tree burn, Rebekah a few feet behind them. Others are going about their business. No one asks what brought on the burning of the tree. A lot of people seem to be keeping their distance now, and Mikael isn't certain if they actually know that something unnatural happened to their family or if maybe something about them so small and imperceptible has changed in them, something others can just sense.
Mikael senses rather than sees that Rebekah is no longer there. For a moment he thinks she's gone back inside with Esther, but that nagging paternal instinct of his warns him to look harder. He turns around, eyes searching the darkness far more effectively with his newly enhanced vision and the light of the burning tree. He sees the skirt of her dark blue dress swishing as she walks. She's following Edgar and Anselm as they bring a skinned deer to a fire pit.
At first Mikael thinks that Rebekah is going over merely to flirt. She's beautiful, his daughter, and the boys pay attention to her (Too much, in his opinion). But as he watches, he sees that she's moving strangely, detached, hands down limply by her sides. He can't see her eyes, not clearly, but what little he can see of her expression has a slacked quality to it.
Something goes cold in the pit of his stomach.
That's when Rebekah speeds forward and sinks her teeth into Anselm's neck.
Mikael is so stunned for a moment that he doesn't move. Anselm struggles but doesn't make a noise. Edgar has wandered away and does not see. No one does but him. As movement suddenly finds its way back into Mikael's limbs, Rebekah drops Anselm to the ground where he lies still.
One minute he's by the tree, next he's next to Rebekah. She looks dazed, but the hunger in her now black eyes is a frightening thing to see. For a second he isn't sure if she might try to attack him as well. There's blood smeared around her mouth, dark arterial blood. Anselm is probably dead.
"Rebekah?" Mikael takes her by the shoulders and gives her a little shake. Rebekah snaps out of it, eyes returning to bright blue.
"Father?" Now she looks scared. He imagines that she can taste blood on her tongue, but knows that if he gives her a chance to see Anselm, right at their feet, and let her figure out what she's done that she'll scream.
"Come. Come on. Inside now." He pulls her along. In his pocket is a cloth he usually uses on his sword, but now he uses it to wipe the evidence from Rebekah's mouth as he pushes her inside. She remains disconnected for the remainder of the night.
"Ayanna." Mikael says. He doesn't want to tell Esther yet. Yesterday she came up with the idea for the rings that protect them from the sun, and he wants to give her time before she needs to think of a solution for this new blasphemy to nature.
"You crave blood." Mikael swallows.
"Rebekah. She may have killed Anselm." Mikael realizes with dread that it's only a matter of time before he starts to feel the urge, or the boys. Will he be able to resist? Or would he suddenly snap back into reality standing over someone whose neck he's just torn out (OhGodwhatifitwereEsther-)
Ayanna's eyes were shaded with severity. "The blood drunk initially and then after your deaths is probably the reason. You drank it to receive immortality, and in order to keep that life you must continue to drink- whether you want to or not."
"We will die."
"Perhaps not. But I do not wager that you would want to see the consequences of ignoring the bloodlust."
"What can we do to stop it?"
"You can drink." Mikael hears the final disdain in her tone, and though his expression stays steady, his shoulders slump.
"Ayanna-" But she holds up her hands to silence him.
"I told you," She says softly, coldly, "That this magic breeds consequence. I told you that the spirits would turn on you. You proceeded regardless. If the consequences are too much, then you have only yourself to blame: I warned you."
Mikael doesn't respond. He just leaves the house and tries to find an animal, to see if its blood can quench their thirst. He cannot argue with Ayanna, because she's right.
And he's starting to wonder if ignoring her was worth the price.