Note: this story is AU, set after 3x12. I may incorporate canon from the show as it airs. Un bet'd so excuse any mistakes. I'll try to update as often as I can.
"Wow! Like the hair Eli." Rebekah smiles approvingly at her older brother as he comes into the room. He flicks a smile and brushes his fingers at his shortened hair.
"About time mate. It was a bit 90's boy band for awhile there." Klaus grins wickedly. Elijah gives him one long suffering glare before moving towards the drinks cabinet.
"Don't listen to him. I missed the 90's but I'm sure you looked smashing. They can't expect us to keep up with all these shifts in fashion. Every decade!" She sighs and slumps back, as if tired at the prospect.
Elijah pours two glasses of whiskey and offers one to Klaus as he comes up behind him. Klaus lifts up the glass with an apple cheeked smile. "Cheers."
Elijah hesitates, staring at his brother for a long moment before the glass clinks against his. Klaus' eyes narrow, never leaving his older brother, as he drinks. When he sets the glass down his expression is meek.
"I am grateful that you've decided to stay Elijah. I know we've had our disagreements but I've never wanted you to leave. You're my older brother; you've always looked out for us. You kept us together, in more ways then one."
Rebekah strides up to them, reaching for a glass. "Poor Eli. It must have been like feeding time at the zoo; cleaning up after us. I think we drove you spare."
Elijah smirks. "Worse." He pours whiskey into her waiting glass. His sister is overtly cheerful and he knows it's an act but he says nothing. He's just happy to see her after so long. She's their only sister and he's always felt protective of her. No matter her assertions that she can take care of herself. She can but old habits die hard.
"You have the patience of a saint." She kisses the side of his head and moves off.
"That you do..." Klaus adds, who had been silent and watchful. He waits until Rebekah is out of the room before speaking again. "I have a...proposition for you."
Klaus nods and moves towards the window. The sun is setting and it bathes the room in a soft orange hue. The house still smells new and his brother had shown him the wood he had carved himself, proud of his work but awaiting his opinion. Now there is no trace of trepidation. "You might not like it but seeing as you've decided to stay here you've accepted what I do."
Elijah says nothing and waits for Klaus to continue. His brother smiles at his retentive stance.
"Simply put I need more blood to make hybrids." He flashes him a quick grin. "I think you know whose."
Elena. A flicker of unease passes over Elijah's face. "We had a deal that no harm would come to her."
"What harm? All I want is one measly pint of blood. People do it everyday."
"She'll never agree."
"I don't need her to. If I hadn't agreed to your demand and if they didn't have the bloody coffin I'd be draining her dry. So you can see my predicament. I'm respecting your request Elijah, I won't go near her. But maybe you'll have more luck."
"I don't see how I can be of any help."
"You were on her side once. She trusts you."
"No longer. I only worked with her as a matter of convenience."
A slow lazy smile spreads over Klaus' face and Elijah immediately tenses. "Oh come on. I know Elijah; you can't hide it from me. She's gotten under your skin, into your heart. She always does."
If it's possible Elijah's face becomes even stonier. "She won't agree."
Klaus' face suddenly matches his brother's. "Again she doesn't need to. If you can pursued her all well and good but I need that blood Elijah."
Suddenly a span of years stretches out before him. Elena will be forced to give up her blood for the rest of her life and he'll always be the one to take it. He shakes his head at Klaus. "This is folly. The curse is broken, you have no need of her any longer."
"Did you not hear what I just said? She's still of us to me. Without her I can't create more hybrids."
Elijah sneers. "Hybrids? Is your family not enough for you?"
Suddenly his brother is in his face with a growl. "Don't think for one moment they're like us. They're tools, soldiers, an army. Nothing more."
Elijah shakes his head sadly. "An army and no war to fight."
Klaus smiles suddenly, backing off. "Oh there are always wars to fight brother; we've both lived long enough to know that." He turns and lifts his glass. "Get me that blood or I'll send someone else."
Elijah exhales a shaky breath once he's alone and stares at his shadow cast by the setting sun.
It's a test of course, one to prove his loyalty. Klaus has suspected him since he agreed to stay at the mansion. No one knows of his true intentions, not even Elena. Keeping her in the dark is for the best, as much as he'd like her to know. He just can't risk it. Not yet.
He closes the door on his car and straightens. The hybrid that had followed him here has stopped across the street, brazenly leaning against a tree. He doesn't even bother to hide anymore. They have been following him for days. They are not only soldiers but his brother's eyes and ears.
Clenching his jaw he walks up the garden path. He presses his finger against her doorbell and braces himself as it opens. As expected she stares at him in surprise but that is quickly replaced with something more cautious.
"Hello. I hope I'm not disturbing you?"
She blinks at his cordial manner. Maybe she was expecting him to attack her. A stab of regret passes through him but he suppresses it. "What are you doing here?" She looks behind him, likely expecting Klaus to be at his heel.
"I'm alone, in manner of speaking..."
She crosses her arms over her chest and gives him a look of stony judgement. "Have you come to apologise?"
The question trips him and he falters. Of course he wants to, he's wanted nothing more but it's been impossible. Instead he smiles sardonically. "Would you accept it if I did?"
She shrugs. "I don't know until you do."
He can't stop a bemused smile. He exhales, contemplating her before answering. "You have my condolences. Jenna was a lovely woman."
Elena nods, the harsh lines softening into sadness. "She liked you..."
He stares at her intently, keeping his voice very low. "I broke our deal and I'm very disappointed that I had to. I am truly sorry...But I would do it a thousand times over if it meant seeing my family again. I hope you can understand that?"
Her mouth thins and she looks aside. Finally she gives another small shrug. "I do but I'll never understand why you've sided with Klaus. For years you've wanted him dead, you were prepared to kill him. You probably would have if he hadn't baited you."
It's the truth. Baited and he fell for it. He keeps his face blank. "I'm aware of what I said and what happened. I've made my choice."
"He deceived you!" She gestures in exasperation.
"As I've deceived him. I don't expect you to understand and frankly I don't need you to. It's none of your concern." The words are harsh and he winces but it is an unfortunate necessity. Nothing must give him away.
She purses her mouth and raises her eyebrows. "I see. Well if you're finished?" She moves to close the door but he stops her. Hand placed against the wood he leans down.
"I wish that was all Elena but I've come to ask something else of you."
She remains still for a moment, shocked into silence before she laughs suddenly. "You can't be serious?"
I wish I wasn't. Elijah stares at her plaintively for a moment before nodding. "I am."
She doesn't bother to respond. Scoffing in disgust she attempts to close the door but he easily slips past her. She turns sharply as he stands in the hallway. She glares at him, grinding her teeth before she flicks around.
"Fine!" She strides out of the door and down the garden path.
"Elena..." He moves to her side but doesn't attempt to restrain her. Not yet. She ignores him and resolutely continues walking down the street. He shakes his head. "Remember when I told you that I'm a patient man? Well Klaus is not."
"What do I care? I'm sickof hearing his name." She hisses it, finally looking at him as she comes to a stop at a crossing. He lays his hand gently against her arm and she jerks as if burnt. He doesn't let go.
"If you don't consent it won't be me that turns up tomorrow but one of his hybrids. If that doesn't work it will be him and he will not attempt the formality of knocking at your door. I don't need to tell you the lengths my brother will go to. He needs you alive but only you."
"Jeremy..." The lights change but she does not cross. She stays still, glaring into the distance. Elijah gazes at her with a soft attentiveness before turning her towards him. She comes reluctantly. She stares up at him wearily. "If I run?"
"I won't let you go. I am asking you to do this. I want you to agree."
She snorts. "Would it leave a bad taste in your mouth to force me?"
"Yes." Inwardly he's pleased at her surprise. "If this had been when we first met I would not be so accommodating."
"I remember." She snarks back before growing contemplative. Her eyes narrow in thought and then she moves closer. "I also remember that we used to negotiate."
He smiles at her determination. "I don't think you have anything to offer me this time Elena."
"I give over my blood and you give us information about Klaus' plans."
His eyes flick across the street. The hybrid is seated on a garden wall, looking down at a cell phone. Listening to every word they say. He looks back at Elena. "Why would I tell you anything?"
"Because despite everything you've just told me I know you don't want Klaus here anymore then I do."
He stares into her eyes sombrely. "Maybe you don't know me as well as you think."
Not to be defeated she continues. "You said it yourself that hybrids are an imbalance, that Klaus had to die before he could create them. I can't believe you've changed your mind."
He shrugs. "Be that as it may all this talk is pointless. Klaus is unstoppable. And," he adds softly, "this is the first time in centuries that my family is back together. I won't jeopardise that."
Finally defeated Elena slumps. She stares at him with a retched look of dismay. "I don't want to be chained to him for the rest of my life. Because that's what will happen; he'll always need more blood."
He cups her face before he can stop himself. "I am sorry Elena, truly."
"Not sorry enough." There is no anger in her voice, just disappointment. It hurts more then any cruel words. He thinks then, madly, of taking her out of Mystic Falls, hiding her where Klaus will never find her. But he banishes the notion quickly. It wouldn't be fair to her. None of this is.
He sighs, removes his hand and gestures for her to follow him. The antique Porsche is parked outside of her house. By the look on her face Elena hadn't noticed it before.
"Where are we going?" Her voice is dull.
He opens the door for her. "The hospital."