((The continuation of the Elijah/Elena saga as seen in my previous fan-fics Memories Bring YouNear and Blood and Sacrifice. We all know that at the end of Season 2, Klaus daggered Elijah after Elijah saved him during the ritual. Since then, he's been out of the picture and a lot has happened. What will Elijah now wake up to in Season 3? And will he finally turn on Klaus? This pretty much follows Elijah from the beginning of Episode 3x13 "Bringing Out the Dead" and continues from there. Again, like my previous fics, actual story context was used in this, along with some of my own additions. More chapters to come—with flashbacks, freshly awoken originals, doppelganger high-jinx, brotherly 'smack downs', and some Elijah/Elena ship moments, including an unexpected road trip. *Spoilers for Season 3*))

Disclosure: There are some actual quotes from TVD Season 3 Episodes 13 that are used to provide context. These quotes are being used in a fan-fiction for entertainment purposes only. No copyright intended.

There was nothing—only darkness.

Then suddenly there was a jolt and everything came flooding back in a blur—every sensation—every emotion—every memory—they passed by him like a fast forwarding home movie of his life.

Abruptly, it stopped and soon Elijah opened his eyes.

Lying on his back, on what felt like grass, he blinked into the sun.

As he took in his surroundings and smelled the fir trees, he immediately recognized the forest canopy of his childhood. It was beautiful and dreamlike and untouched, trees for miles and the air crisp and clean, unlike when he had visited it centuries later with Elena's aunt, Jenna.

"Elijah…" he heard a voice near him whisper

He looked to his right and immediately saw her, lying on the ground next to him, her dark curls falling over his shoulder as she snuggled against him and her deep chocolate eyes taking in his face.

At first, he thought it was Elena, but the soul behind her eyes and her olive skin kissed by the sun, gave her away immediately.

"Liliya," he smiled as he crossed his left arm over his chest and stroked her cheek gently with the back of his hand.

"Hello, my love," she whispered, closing her eyes at his touch

Elijah's heart leapt—she was real. He could feel the warmth of her skin.

His face crumbled as he leaned closer to her.

"I've missed you," he said softly, his eyes scanning her face, taking her in.

Liliya brought her hand to rest his and caressed it with her fingers.

"I never left…" she smiled

"Is this a dream?" Elijah asked, "The last thing I remember is Niklaus daggering me—"

"Yes, it's a dream. And soon you'll wake up," Liliya replied, moving her hand from the back of his on her cheek to the breast of his Brooks Brother's suit, "Damon's removed the dagger. It won't be long now."

Elijah looked down his front and saw that Liliya was right. The dagger was gone, leaving behind a large blood stain on his dress shirt.

"Why would Damon awaken me? I failed him—I failed all of them," he sighed, "I gave them my word that I would kill Niklaus, but instead I let him mislead me. I am always so conflicted when it comes to my brother—I always have been. They should not trust me."

"It's not a matter of trust, Elijah, it's a matter of need. You and your brother share a complicated and torrid past, it's true, but you have always been an honorable man and, though your judgment has been clouded, you will prove yourself again in time. You are the only one older than Niklaus, the only one stronger. You could end this fight once and for all—"

"But, I promised my father."

"Mikael is dead. Your promise no longer matters."

"Even if that is true…what of my siblings? Kol and Finn and Rebekah—Niklaus promised to take me to them—"

"Tell me, Elijah" Liliya asked, sitting up beside him, her hair falling over her bare shoulder as one side of her linen tunic dress fell, "Are the promise to your father and the idea of being reunited with your family, the only reasons you haven't killed Niklaus when you've had the chance?"

Elijah remained silent, averting his gaze.

Liliya studied his face for a moment, before stroking her hand through his hair, "It's been a thousand years, Elijah. It's alright to move on—it's alright to live—"

Elijah turned to her, "He is my brother, Liliya. You think that I should forget my loyalty—"

Liliya steadied her hand, bringing it down to the side of Elijah's face, "No, my love, I'm not suggesting that. But, you spent most of your human life watching over your brother, then, when you turned, you spent half of your vampire life doing the same thing. I understand why you did it and I think it noble, but Niklaus has become a monster, when you have not. You have always done for others—your father, your mother, your siblings, Niklaus, me—when will you do for yourself? When will you be happy?"

Elijah's eyes narrowed, "What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that perhaps the true reason you haven't acted against Niklaus in the last hundred years, after everything he has done to you and to those around you, is that you are afraid to live outside of your brother's shadow. He has given you a purpose in life and death—the only one you have ever known. Your promise to Mikael proves that. When he is gone, even with your family beside you again, you are afraid of being without him—"

"I am not afraid of anything." Elijah countered

"Except being alone." Liliya said finally

Elijah's nostrils flared and he shook his head.

"It's true, my love," Liliya whispered, leaning down to him, taking his face into her hands, "And if you are to truly defeat Niklaus, you need to fight this fear—you need to find something to live for other than duty, honor, family and revenge… otherwise, they will all destroy you."

Elijah took a breath and looked at Liliya.

As much as he hated to admit it, she was right. He had always been his brother's mentor in life, then his guardian in death. And after he lost Liliya, he became his brother's shadow for a thousand years, constantly keeping him in check, preventing him from breaking the curse and all along being sucked into Niklaus' world until he was so deep, loyalty would never let him escape and certainly would never let him kill him.

"It's your decision," Liliya said, brushing her hand across his forehead, "and no matter what you choose, know that I love you, Elijah and I'll always be here if you need me…"

Elijah watched as she moved in, her eyes boring into his until she leaned in so close that their noses touched.

She closed her eyes and so did he.

"But you have to go back now…" she whispered on his mouth, "You have to go back to Elena."

Then, he felt the softness of her lips as she kissed him.

Elijah jolted awake, taking a deep breath, though his body did not require air.

As he came to, he realized that he was lying in a dark, enclosed space. He placed his hands tentatively out in front of him and soon touched what felt like silk.

His nostrils flared, he knew immediately where he was—a coffin.

He reached down to the front of his chest, where his hand immediately came in contact with a large tear in the front of his suit and the remnants of what felt like dried blood.

So Niklaus had daggered him and now—if Liliya had been right in his dream—Damon had removed the dagger.

Elijah was not sure how long it had been or what had happened since the sacrifice and his last run-in with his brother, but he knew that his priorites were to one—get get out of this coffin, two—find Elena and ensure her safety, and three—punch his brother really, really hard.

And of course, depending on when he might actually encounter Niklaus, there may be a reversal to that order.

He was just getting ready to push up the top half of the coffin lid when he picked up a voice coming from outside.

It was that of an unfamiliar young male and he seemed to be talking to someone else in the room who had not yet made their presence known.

"You have your family back…finally," he said, "are you going to open them?"

"Not yet," the second party countered and Elijah immediately straightened.

It was Niklaus.

Elijah heard footsteps as the two men moved toward the opposite end of the room and he took that as his cue and swiftly exited his coffin.

When he emerged, he saw Niklaus turn on the landing to face his young sidekick whom Elijah did not recognize.

"I still have some unfinished business to take care of."

"What business?" the young man asked

Elijah immediately took a sniff of the air—he was a hybrid.

Soon, the anger swelled up in Elijah so quickly that he was unable to check himself.

So Niklaus was able to fashion himself a hybrid race after all.

God help him if he had harmed Elena to do it…

Before he knew it, Elijah had moved forward with incredible speed and punched his hand through the back of the young man's chest, securing his heart as the hybrid cried out in pain and fell lifeless to the floor.

Elijah tried desperately to calm himself and push all thoughts of Elena to the back of his mind as he beheld his stunned younger brother, looking him over as he still held the bleeding heart of the hybrid abomination in his outstretched hand.

"So, Niklaus…" he said in as even a tone as he could muster, stepping up the stairs over the fallen body.

"Elijah," Niklaus whispered, flinching a little in response to his brother's encroaching proximity

"What'd I miss?" Elijah asked

"You look surprised to see me" Elijah said, wiping his hand on a handkerchief he pulled from the inside of his suit jacket, "So it wasn't you who pulled the dagger from my chest?"

So Liliya had been right. It was Damon Salvatore who had pulled the dagger out.

"You look like you could do with a drink," Niklaus answered nervously, seemingly wishing to avoid the subject of daggers, "and we have a lot to discuss…so, shall we?"

He motioned to a table in the next room, but Elijah had already pounced, sucker punching Niklaus across the jaw and pushing him through the French doors that lead to the parlor just a few feet away, glass and wood smashing everywhere.

Niklaus quickly brought himself up on his hands and knees and faced his older brother with so much of his werewolf rage seeping through that Elijah was surprised he didn't turn at will right then and there.

"Easy! I just finished renovating!" he cried as he charged Elijah, throwing him back into the living room and down onto a small antique table, crushing it to bits.

Elijah stayed down for the moment and eyed Niklaus as he rose to his feet, wiping his mouth and catching his breath.

"You know," Niklaus said "You have every right to be mad at me, but I kept my word—I reunited you with our family."

The words sent a chord of anger through Elijah once more and with the aid of vampire speed, he punched Niklaus again. Niklaus fought back and they locked arms before Elijah flung him back into the room with the other coffins.

Niklaus landed on his feet and before Elijah could stop him, opened one of the coffins and removed the dagger from the chest of one of their brothers.

Elijah reacted quickly, but not quick enough.

And as he moved into the room to strike Niklaus again, Niklaus took his older brother firm in his grip and pinned him on one of the nearby coffins, bringing the silver dagger centimeters away from Elijah's chest.

"Don't make me do this to you again, Elijah" Niklaus said, pushing the point of the dagger closer through the cloth of the suit and into Elijah's skin.

"Use it. I dare you," Elijah said through measured breaths as he glanced briefly over at the figure inside the coffin where Klaus had removed the dagger— it was his younger brother who he had not seen since the Victorian Era, "You'll have Kol to deal with."

This struck a chord with Niklaus and Elijah knew that he had hit him where it hurt. Niklaus would wake Kol at his own peril. Elijah knew how and why Niklaus had daggered their younger brother. He also knew that Niklaus did not want to wake the sibling who had a worse temper than Rebekah…at least not yet.

But, leave it to Niklaus, he wasn't down for long.

He had his own revelation up his sleeve.

"Mikael is dead," Niklaus said, pulling the dagger away from Elijah as he released his grip on his brother, pulling back as Elijah straightened with a look of pure surprise on his face.

Liliya had been right, again.

"What did you say?" Elijah asked in disbelief. After all the centuries Mikael had spent hunting Klaus, Elijah found it hard to believe that Niklaus had beating their father at his own game.

"I killed him with his own weapon. He's gone, Elijah, forever." Niklaus confirmed

Elijah steadied himself and his thoughts immediately turned to his family. Klaus had made many excuses over the centuries for his illusiveness and his unwillingness to answer questions about their mother's death and their father's disappearance. It was really the only leverage he had to keep his siblings loyal to him. When Kol once suggested that they find their father, it was much to Niklaus' chargrin. But, Kol went looking for Mikael anyway, not knowing that Mikael was hunting Klaus and had been for centuries and that Klaus would do anything to keep Mikael from finding him. And, before Elijah could intervene and tell Kol the secret he had been keeping for centuries about his promise to their father, Niklaus tracked Kol and brutally daggered him. Mikael had always been the division in their loyalties.

Now that Mikael was gone, it all seemed pointless.

"Why do our family remain in these coffins?" Elijah asked," Finn for over nine hundred years—Kol, a century?"
"Because of Stefan Salvatore," Niklaus replied

Elijah did not see that answer coming

"He holds the one thing keeping me from freeing them. There are things that you don't know about our past, Elijah—about our mother's death—things that I never wanted you to know, but am ready to tell you now."

Niklaus stepped away and moved toward a small side table and Elijah watched as he dipped the silver dagger he had pulled from Kol into a dark, ornate canister that Elijah immediately recognized—it was the canister in which his family had collected the ashes of the white oak they had burned to the ground thousands of years before.

"I only ask that you remember the oath of loyalty that you once swore to me…" Klaus said as he moved back toward Elijah and for a moment, Elijah flinched, believing that Niklaus would truly dagger him again.

But Niklaus quickly turned his sites toward the open coffin.

"What are you doing?" Elijah asked watching Niklaus move closer to their sleeping brother. He desperately wants to make a move toward Niklaus, but stops himself. He knows that he hasn't fed and is weaker than his brother. If he tries to strike him again, he may loose. Their fight from earlier had already completely exhausted him. It was best to wait, he decided.

So, he watched helpless as Niklaus lowered the dagger into Kol's chest, then turned back to him.

"Always and forever," Niklaus said with a small amount of indignation in his voice as if challenging Elijah to defy him—to be disloyal ever again.

Elijah doesn't say anything in response; he just stares down at his brother as Niklaus moves closer.

"I need you to stand by my side, be my brother, help me destroy Stefan and I promise you our family will be whole again," he said, then reached over and closed Kol's coffin.

But, unbeknownst to Niklaus, the lid had also shut on Elijah's loyalty, right then and there.

Minutes later, Niklaus was leading him on a tour of his newly renovated mansion.

"I had a room built for you. I trust you'll be quite comfortable here," Niklaus said, reaching his arm through the threshold of the upstairs bedroom and flicking on the light.

Elijah took in the lavishly decorated master bedroom for a moment before he walked past his brother into it.

"It has a small blood storage chamber and clothes in the closet," Niklaus said, leaning on the door frame, seemingly pleased with the features he had included, "there is a full service bar with your favorite vintage below and, in case you're feeling really crazy…the television rises up from the cedar chest at the end of the bed. There is a button for it near the night stand—"

"You know I don't watch television." Elijah said with a sigh, taking a seat on the edge of the king size bed, testing out it's firmness.

"Well, I thought one of these days you might finally come around to the twenty-first century," Niklaus replied in good humor, "and when you did, I wanted you to do it in style. I spared no expense…it's a plasma. "

But Elijah just raised an eyebrow, clearly unimpressed.

"Fine," Niklaus sighed in exasperation, pushing off the door frame and walking through the room to the far corner, where he moved the bar aside to reveal a faux wall behind. He pushed on the lower part of the panel to open a large entrance to a walk-in room, nearly fifteen feet of walnut shelves lining the walls on either side, filled to the brim with antique books.

He held his arms out to Elijah and rolled his eyes, "I saved them…alright? Happy?"

Elijah quickly stood and crossed the room to his brother, gazing past him into the small library.

"My books…" he smiled

"And they're all here so you don't have to take inventory," Niklaus said with a smile as he placed a hand on his brother's shoulder, "because quite frankly, that would just be creepy."

Elijah shook his head as Niklaus passed him and made his way back toward the bedroom door.

"Oh, by the way" Niklaus added, turning back when he reached the threshold, "now that I think about it, I don't think you'll like any of the clothes my stylist picked out for you. I'll have one of the girls bring up one of my suits for you to wear until we can get you some new ones."

"Thank You…I guess…" Elijah replied, furrowing his brow

Niklaus' face dropped, "Now, what is that supposed to mean?"

"It means that after a thousand years, you still dress like a womanizing misfit."

"Well, I take that as a compliment from someone who still dresses like he's going to his own funeral." Niklaus shot back

"Touché" Elijah smirked, whipping his right first finger in the air like a sword as he turned back toward his library.

"Goodnight, Elijah" Niklaus said as he closed the door behind him.

About fifteen minutes later, a stunningly beautiful, yet utterly compelled young blonde woman, knocked on Elijah's door. When he opened it, she presented him with the suit Niklaus had promised.

"Thank You," he said, taking the suit from her.

She nodded curtly, then turned on her heel and left.

Well, Niklaus had certainly taken what Elijah had said to heart. The suit was a tailored black number with a matching blue dress shirt and tie and it was probably the most reserved article of clothing in Niklaus' wardrobe.

Elijah smiled to himself.

He shouldn't have chided his brother about his clothing choices—God knows, half a century before, Finn was worse.

But it was the only legitimate jab he could really get in at Niklaus for now and he took it. Hopefully, the jabs wouldn't stay good natured for long. Elijah knew that he needed to form a plan, but first, he needed to change.

He laid the suit out on the bed and began to undress, starting with his jacket.

As he pulled it off and folded it long ways over his arm, a small folded piece of paper fell out of the inside pocket and onto the floor.

Elijah threw the jacket on a nearby chair, then leaned down and picked up the note.

As he unfolded it and read its contents, he took a deep breath.

It was from Damon Salvatore.

He wanted to meet.